Have you ever gotten lost in the Internet?

I know that sounds like a weird question, but stick with me here.

Have you ever been researching something on the internet and suddenly you find yourself so deep in links with so many tabs open that you begin stumbling upon some really bizarre shit?

That happened to me while researching my latest post over at Pittsburgh Magazine.  I got the brizzilliant idea to hunt down as many lists that Pittsburgh made as I could.  We’re most livable; what ELSE are we?, I innocently asked myself.

I started with a simple Google search of “best cities Pittsburgh” and stumbled upon some great lists about things like recycling and college graduates and the economy. I got craftier as things slowed down. “worst cities for” ” Pittsburgh ranked” “Pittsburgh makes list.”

Sometimes links would take me to other links which would take me even further to other links and so on, and eventually, in order to get back to my first link, I’m hitting the back arrow a million times and then DAMN! Dead end. How did I get here again? Is that a picture of a rhino playing Connect 4 with a monkey? Crap. Let’s try this way. Hell. How did I land on a Robert Freaking SPARKLE SPARKLE SPARKLE Pattinson (Patterson? Peterson? Pattinkinswooninson?) fan-site full of blinged out pictures? GET ME OUT OF HERE!

I spent hours and hours researching lists, and I found lots of lists that Pittsburgh made.  You’ll notice in my list that Pittsburgh is listed as the 8th best recycling city. I also found a list that had Pittsburgh as number one in recycling, but I accidentally clicked away from it, took a wrong turn, wound up deep in the bowels of Forbes.com, got disoriented and gave up. We’re number eight.

You’ll also notice I never found a list of cities with the most pigeons. That’s because by the time I decided to search for that, I was cross-eyed and scared to click too many hyperlinks for fear I would accidentally open the portal to hell.

The Internet is a scary place, friends.

Long story short. I have a new post up at the magazine. [grin]


  1. Sooska
    May 13, 2010 7:17 pm

    I was looking up the film “The Parrots of Telegraph Hill” that played here a few years ago. At that time I had done some follow up and had seen a list of the US cities that have feral parrot populations (Chicago, NY, Boston come to mind.) I didn’t recall if we have a feral parrot population so that is what I was trying to find -you’d think I’d recall that. I found this instead. In 1934 we were #1 in pneumonia and deaths from pneumonia and the only city that routinely quarantined pneumonia patients. Times have changed. I am glad we aren’t that #1 now.

  2. JenEngland
    May 13, 2010 8:09 pm

    This happens to me All. The. Time. I know exactly what you are talking about. You find some crazy wacky sites, and inevitably lose the one so useful you will refer to for the next 10 years anyway even without citation.

  3. bluzdude
    May 13, 2010 9:22 pm

    I get lost on YouTube like that. Start with one video, next thing I know, I’m hurtling down the path of similar links of things I need to see that I never thought of looking for before.

  4. Tim
    May 13, 2010 10:51 pm

    Ah yes, the virtual labyrinth. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen that site with the rhino and monkey playing connect four.

    You’re hilarious. :-)

  5. Roxy
    May 14, 2010 8:48 am

    Happens to me all the time! I don’t think I thought much about weather other people surf link to link as much as I do. Apparently I am not the only one :)

  6. Elle C.
    May 14, 2010 9:09 am

    Hands down, the city with the most pigeons is Venice, Italy.



  7. Erin
    May 14, 2010 9:19 am

    HA – this has definitely happened to me. Going down the rabbit hole of the internet.

  8. jdp
    May 18, 2010 10:29 am

    If it bothers you that you get net-lost try:
    http://www.dejaclick.com/ IF you use firefox.