Please note: Our format changed as of 10/18/07 – see the front page and full archives for more recent listings. Thanks.
massless 5/28/02 Description:
the faster I go the lighter I get
"If I ever decide to start an online identity anew, I might like to call my online journal Small Nuclear Devices. This is a temporary infatuation to be sure as I am, every day, a small packet of personal fission. And latent energy." Chris wrote his own blogging tool called "BlogLess" last year and uses it to produce the site. When this young software engineer (I'm guessin') isn't doing his blog and writing applications, he's off making pop music with some friends – just finished tracking their 3rd album. And when he's doing the software thing, he comes up with stuff like an ASP Messageboard and a Java-driven headline aggregator. Those are just two projects from a long list – Chris is a busy guy. He writes about all kinds of things, some techie, some not, and I find most of it interesting (and well-written). His sidebar of links includes comments about the listed sites and has a cool design touch – you can sort the list alphabetically (sans descriptions) on the fly without the page reloading – dynamic goodness! The overall design is excellent, and if you don't like the default layout and color scheme, you have 3 more to choose from. There's more - photo series, articles, and resources – great content and plenty of it...
Pixelbreaker 5/24/02 Description:
Flash experiments plus screen savers and walls
I love the fact that today's pick gives the user a choice before throwing them into fullscreen mode – just click [OK] if that's how you want to view it or click [Cancel] to view the site in a compact popup window, nicely centered on the screen. Next, for those of you who might think I've abandoned my quest to keep adding sites with "pixel" in their name or description – think again – today's pick is yet another one. If you're gonna submit a site, you just might wanna throw the word "pixel" in to appeal to that irrational, somewhat prejudiced side of the coolstop guy (moi) – it might not help, but it won't hurt (hehe). Anyway – today's pick is a collection of interesting Flash diversions with some screensavers and walls, plus some photography, thrown into the mix. Personally, I really like the cool interface...
saltfreak 5/18/02 Description:
a seasonal exhibition of personal photographic work (Flash)
Thad's "Spring 2002" exhibit was done in and around Seattle in April. He quotes Meng Hao Ran from centuries ago – "The spring dawn has crept upon me, heralded only by the singing of the birds..." This issue contains some outstanding nature shots, blue skies, and architectural forms. A signage shot shows a timely message – What makes us great. UNITY. Pass It On." Signage shows up more in the exhibits from the last 3 seasons and it's Thad's composition that makes it all so interesting, not to mention the dreamy music playing in the background as you browse his work. The first exhibit from last Summer is a hefty download, though the other exhibits will load reasonably fast even on a dial-up connection. The big Summer exhibit covers a trip to New York last May and is divided into "people, places, and things." Each season's exhibit has its unique navigation devices – Thad does the Flash thing nicely. What I like about the site in general is that it's focused – it's all about the photography and there's no distractions – just clean design with just the right atmosphere for enjoying it. Simple is good, especially when the style is on the money...
Kanibal 5/17/02 Description:
I must change to stay the same
I discovered today's pick via the Visitors' Gallery. A 19-year-old designer living in the Czech Republic, Miroslav Toman a/k/a Kanibal, submitted this image yesterday. His minimal site design is all text – actually tiny smoothed text on images – I think it's impressive. Though the design is all text, the content is different story – it's all visual in the form of "artworks" and "photos" presented in clean popups. For a guy who's only "19 and still rising", there's quite a collection of works. Though I'm considerably more risen than Miroslav, I admire his taste in music and movies as well as his positive attitude about change which shows up in some of his creations – "I must change to stay the same..."
artetic 5/16/02 Description:
multimedia design, including painting, illustration, webdesign and digital art (Flash)
"Since bread heals the hunger / holy the mutated flesh whips / once and for all up the skirts / the membrane bombed speech collaborates." The words of Irene's friend Anna, a writer she's collaborated with and for whom she built a website, fill the splash page. On one hand, Irene's an artist. Her "HEROinES" series of 40 paintings on canvas, from which she displays a sampling on the site, plus the remarkable background image(s) on her site's interface clearly spell a-r-t-i-s-t. On the other hand, Irene's a knockout web designer and programmer – the site puts all of it together perfectly – what else can I say? She's done splashes for a number of well-known design sites and has art and photography on exhibit in various places. She produced an interesting project called "self exposure" – what else can I say? Finally, there's a sweet little project (actually a stand-alone site) called razorshark that's a collaboration between Irene and 15-year-old Isabell – wow! Now, all I really wanna know is whether Isabell is Irene's sister or daughter...
Sentient O.S. 5/13/02 Description:
Do you think your world can be better? (Flash)
I'm pleased to kick off the new week with one of the most unique sites I've ever come across. Yeah – I know – words are easy, but I really mean it. Unique in that it has some important things to say, little lessons if you will, and if you're patient and go through the whole thing, you'll walk away truly enriched. I found this site early this morning and it affected me in a most positive way. Patience is just one of the topics it touches on and I'm leaving out the other interesting subject areas intentionally. Go there, be prepared to interact and most important, be patient and let it affect you...
FAZED 5/11/02 Description:
a community of humor - pictures, video and sounds (mature content)
Following suit from last Saturday, it's time again to look to the lighter side. Today's pick is all community and if you like humor, it'll tickle you senseless. A 26-year-old guy named Adam a/k/a SpunOne appears to be a key figure behind the site, but the community appears to have mucho members. "For those of you that haven't seen this site before, I urge to you grab a jar of peanut butter and read the comments for a while. I used to write interesting stuff here until I burned out. Now, somewhat uninspired, I just write about nothing, and throw a few links down while I'm at it. Most of the fun around here is found in the comments made by others." The posts are searchable, but if you really wanna get to the heart of the humor, just choose one of the "entertainment" links on the sidebar – "Pictures, Videos, Sounds, Misc." and you're in for total amusement. I hate to admit it, but this silly video simply grabbed me – and so did this one. And it's not like there's nothing to learn here – did you know that "8% of Americans twiddle their thumbs?" I didn't think so! "Random Fact" could possibly eat up a few hours of your time today. So – select from one of the 10 available "themes" for the look you like and have fun!
iotic experiments 5/7/02 Description:
experiments in html, shockwave, and sound
I like the simplicity of the design and though today's pick is produced by a design agency in London, it's presented anonymously. Among the experiments are several entries done for a competition where the HTML can be no larger than 256 bytes. Wow! – and you thought 5k was tiny! There's also 9 Shockwave movies that can occupy your mind for awhile, and if you're into Director, you can download the source code. Then, there's what I liked the most - 5 original mp3 tracks, all very good. It's a low profile, entertaining webspace and I commend that agency that builds music websites for keeping the promotional activity in the right place...
youngpup.net 5/6/02 Description:
dreaming up new ways to interact with data
"Bringing better ui to the people!" was the random tagline... on reloading the page, "I'm not a programmer, I just play one on the internet" was next in line – I just love those little random thingies. Anyway, I bumped into today's pick in the source code of another recent pick – a really cool scroller got my attention and thanks to the conscientious designer leaving the credits intact when he grabbed and used the free script, I found the source of the source, so to speak. It's a cool personal site of a young "programmer/developer/designer person" named Aaron who's into discovering and developing new "ways to talk to a computer system." He wants to see "the web community continue to lead the software industry into the future of interface design." That's part of what motivated him to open his site in early 2001. So, I found a wealth of "components" and "snippets" at Aaron's site, not to mention some interesting writing about trends in design and scripting. Aaron is deep into CSS and DHTML and it shows in his site's design. "There is something that just feels good about developing open-source software and then seeing people use it." I'm thinking it feels good to know that people like Aaron are out there doing their "new school stylie" thing and sharing it with us. Cheers to Aaron, and wishing him luck in finding his new digs in NYC...
Ghost City 5/5/02 Description:
an interactive urban environment designed by jody zellen
It's funny. A long time ago, I had recognized a site that is definitely one-of-a-kind in terms of it's mission and value as a useful web resource and the person behind the site ridiculed the fact that the notification message he received said the site was entertaining. Every site reviewed here at coolstop receives the same generic notification – there's simply not enough time to handle it otherwise, so the message is written to apply, in general, to most of the sites that get picked. I've modified the standard message several times since then – it's amazing how "and/or" can affect it – "excellence in graphic design and/or usability" – "entertaining and/or useful content." So it goes in my little world of doing the daily webthing – I expect that when the person behind today's pick receives their notification message, they're probably gonna scratch their head and say "huh?" Today's pick is definitely not about usability, easy navigability, useful content, or excellence in web design (though it does shine graphically). It's more about original, meaningful art and exploration, which I find extremely entertaining – on some days, nothing else matters...
Drunk Men Work Here 5/4/02 Description:
fresh zero-content for compulsive clickers
It's Saturday morning so, chill and be prepared for a little web fun. I've noticed that a search for the word "drunk" in the portal cool zone, which has roughly 1,750 sites listed in it, turns up zilch. I'd say that's probably a positive thing, but with today's pick, it all changes – drunks are now officially represented thanks to the name of the site I've chosen to review today. I guess it's all downhill from here, baby! Anyway – the odd looking navigation menu on the main page might validate the idea that drunks do work there, but don't let it fool you – some of the experiments they've been doing are far too cool to have been pulled off in a stupor. Go for the "archive" link to see a list of 149 "editions" done since February, 2001 – it was edition #146 that got my attention – giving the phrase "mirroring a site" a whole new meaning – see what a mirror of coolstop looks like? Edition #144 ("recycler") is kinda cool, too, and I noticed that some of the images in the "gallery" have something to do with it. There's also a long list of "games" you can play. To be serious, I've gotta give kudos to the people behind the site – it's fun net art and if they really are drunks, more power to 'em...