What are the most productive ways to spend time on the Internet?

What are the most productive ways to spend time on the Internet? by @KhotteDePuttar

Answer by Deepak Mehta:


A. Quora

B. Reddit

C. Youtube Channels

D. Other websites

E. Blogs for MBA students

F. Various interests

G. Short Stories

H. Wikipedia articles

A. Quora

(Each link is a separate answer)

  1. Best questions on Quora
  2. Best answers of 2015
  3. Best answers of 2014
  4. Technology
  5. Movies
  6. Entrepreneurship
  7. Literature
  8. Books
  9. Book Recommendations
  10. Writing
  11. Comics
  12. Hinduism
  13. Travel
  14. Cooking
  15. Google
  16. Marketing
  17. Military
  18. Harry Potter

B. Reddit

I. Have a question?

  1. AskReddit : The mother of all "ask" multi-reddits. Any question you have, shoot it to this 7 mn + community.
  2. AskScience : For questions pertaining to science. No bullshit tolerated. Answers generally contain authentic and credible sources
  3. AskScienceFiction : How can Superman fly at speed > c? Feel a disturbance in the force? Wanna become Batman? What about some Wizarding world's natural rules? A host of intriguing questions and equally incredible answers.
  4. AskAcademia : For academical pursuits
  5. AskEngineers : For when you need stuff to get repaired. Or broken completely.
  6. AskHistorians : To take a look back in time
  7. HomeworkHelp : When you are too lazy.
  8. ask_gender : For the socially awkward
  9. tipofmytongue : Ever been confounded by something that you know but can't remember the name? May be a movie you saw when young? Or that song they played at the pub yesterday?
  10. what_is_this___ : Click a photograph. And the community will let you know what it is

II. Wanna learn something?

  1. Explain Like I'm Five : A simple, layman explanation of even the most intriguing questions.
  2. Today I Learned (TIL) : A compendium of things/facts people stumble across on a daily basis.
  3. Life Pro Tips (LPT) : Stuff they don't teach you in school or college
  4. LifeHacks : Stuff they don't teach you in school or college. Part 2
  5. You Should Know (YSK) : Sort of like TIL but with a purpose. Stuff that you should know to lead a better life.
  6. HowTo : Learn how to do simple stuff
  7. DIY (Do It Yourself) : Learn how to build simple stuff
  8. UniversityofReddit : Probably an underrated sub. People actually take classes here. Sort of like Reddit Coursera.
  9. IWantToLearn : Wanna learn something? Ask. And someone will come along and teach you the same.

III. Some really good, intense or offbeat stuff here:

  1. DepthHub : A collection of some of the best, in-depth conversations on Reddit.
  2. RedditThroughHistory : If Reddit existed way back, what kind of posts would the front page have.
  3. Futurology : The pseudo-counterpart to RedditThroughHistory. Discussions on upcoming technologies and the evolution and future of mankind.
  4. Foodforthought : Something to stimulate and excite your neurons. Things to ponder on.
  5. TrueReddit : Started off by some users when they saw that the quality of posts on reddit was declining. Almost all upvoted submissions are of wonderful quality.
  6. IAmA : The flagship community of reddit. Celebrities and unusual people come and field questions from the community. People like Obama, Bill Gates, Buzz Aldrin, Neil DeGrasse Tyson etc have done one.
    1. Here's the Google Calendar they use to track and notify users of upcoming AMAs:IAmA Schedule
  7. blowit : Space for people to share stuff that is "mind-blowing" in a sentence of two.
  8. trees : for Marijuana lovers.
  9. UpliftingNews : Who doesn't need a dose of some good news in these times of distress. Witness people doing wonderful stuff, businessmen giving back to society, people reaching out to each other etc. A must-read for when you are feeling down.

IV. Need some fun?

  1. Today I Fucked Up (TIFU) : People doing stupid shit
  2. Showerthoughts : People thinking stupid shit while showering.
  3. FanTheories : A place to speculate about stuff from books, movies, TV shows, anime etc. The reasoning and logical construction of some is brilliant.
  4. nottheonion : A collection of news that look like they belong to The Onion but are actually true.
  5. ExplainLikeImCalvin : The parodied version of Explain Like I'm Five. If you had a kid like Calvin, and he asked you a question, how would you tackle it.

V. Can't sleep at night?

  1. All Things Horror: The umbrella sub.
  2. NoSleep : People posting original, long, detailed stories. Posted as "true" accounts and treated as the same.
  3. cryosleep: The sci-fi version of NoSleep.
  4. shortscarystories : The shorter version of NoSleep. Stories in less than 275 words.
  5. creepy : All things creepy – pics, stories, videos.
  6. creepypasta : A sub dedicated to the Creepypasta culture.
  7. Glitch_in_the_Matrix : Stories about stuff that you can't explain. Things that appear out of nowhere, or where they shouldn't be. Assuming out world is a matrix simulation, these phenomena are called glitches.
  8. LetsNotMeet : True accounts of people experiencing something terrifying – stalkers, strange noises etc.
  9. UnresolvedMysteries : self-explanatory

VI. Missed out on the news?

  1. worldnews : For all news except US
  2. news: For all news (primarily US-centric)

VII. For gamers

  1. gaming : The umbrella sub.
  2. A list of all gaming-related subreddits: Top Ten Video Game Subreddits

VIII. For audiophiles

I would recommend only two:

  1. /r/music : The mother reddit for all things music. Fridays are for in-depth discussions, Saturdays for fresh music.
  2. ListenToThis : For music recommendations.

If you really want to get in-depth, a really comprehensive list of genre and interest based sub-reddits has been compiled by /r/music can be found here: musicsubreddits.

IX. For comic lovers

  1. comics : For all web + print comics. Comics usually are strips posted by users or the artists themselves.
  2. comicbooks : Only for print. Interesting scenes, tid-bits, piece of history from the 2 major publication houses.
  3. manga : For all things manga.
  4. Webcomics : Only for webcomics.

X. For the librocubicularists

  1. books : The umbrella reddit. A wonderful sub with book-discussions, AMAs by popular authors, recommendations etc.
  2. A list of related sub-reddits here: relatedsubreddits – books

For specific books and/or series.

  1. asoiaf : A Song of Ice and Fire
  2. Hunger Games
  3. The Hobbit
  4. Lord Of The Rings
  5. TheDarkTower
  6. harrypotter
  7. The Kingkiller Chronicle
  8. TheMortalInstruments

XI. For the lovers of the visual medium

  1. movies : For all stuff movies – trailers, discussions, articles, fan arts
  2. television : For all stuff TV.
  3. The top bar of the sub-reddit also lists specific sub-reddits for specific TV series sorted by genre.
  4. The Reddit Cinema Arts Feed : Feed curated using content from 26 movie related subreddits. Worth bookmarking

For specific movies and TV series

  1. Game of Thrones
  2. TrueDetective
  3. TheWalkingDead
  4. Star Wars
  5. Arrested Development
  6. how i met your mother
  7. Big Bang Theory
  8. Family Guy
  9. Breaking Bad
  10. Gotham
  11. Hannibal
  12. Homeland
  13. House of Cards
  14. Orange is the New Black
  15. Doctor Who
  16. Supernatural

XII. For geeks

  1. Technology : 5mn+ subscribers. A brilliant sub for all things tech.
  2. geek : Not a very social place
  3. Reddit Fantasy : For the fantasy genre
  4. Minecraft : duh!
  5. wowthissubexists : A sub-reddit discovery sub-reddit. People post about obscure subs that exist and might be of use to others.

XIII. For the shutterbugs

  1. Photography : The umbrella sub.
  2. I Took a Picture (ITAP) : People share personal clicks and others give feedback for appreciation and improvement.
  3. Photo Critique : Similar to ITAP.
  4. photomarket : For people to sell and buy photos.

A list of related subreddits: metareddit – Photography

XIV. For budding writers

  1. writing : Discusses everything related to writing – techniques, advice, news etc. Has a weekly critique thread where people post their snippets for a good critique.
  2. worldbuilding : For people wanting to get into Fantasy writing. Focuses on developing the ability to conceptualize, create and develop fantasy worlds and back-stories before writing the actual thing
  3. Screenwriting : For budding screenwriters
  4. shutupandwrite : A self-help club where people push themselves and others to get thinking done and start writing.

A list of all writing-related sub-reddits is compiled by the folks at WritingHub and is on their sidebar.

XV. Reading

  1. /r/respectthreads – For anyone who loves comics, video games, anime, and manga (mostly).
    1. The people over at /r/respectthreads do exhaustive compilations (with proof) of the powers and feats of characters from different mediums. And I am serious when I say exhaustive.
    2. So, if you are new to comics (say) and want to how powerful or impressive a character is, head over there.
    3. E.g. Sentry respect thread, Dr. Strange respect thread, Green Lantern (Alan Scott) respect thread
  2. /r/tldr – A daily summary of the top posts on Reddit.
  3. /r/hardscience – For the academically inclined, a collection of actual scientific papers, not pop-culture science.
  4. /r/100yearsago – Catch up on history by reading what happened today, 100 years ago.

XVI. Learning

  1. /r/learnuselesstalents – Things they don't teach you in school (or anywhere for that matter). Impress people by learning utterly useless stuff.
  2. /r/UniversityofReddit – A group of learning enthusiasts who like to create and attend informal courses (the inspiration for my blog University of Quora).

XVII. Listening

  1. /r/treemusic – A never-ending playlist for when you are high.
    1. The sub-reddit player: radd.it!

XVIII. Watching

  1. /r/mealtimevideos – Interesting videos for when you are eating. Not too short, not too long.
  2. /r/EducativeVideos – Learn while you watch.
  3. /r/ArtisanVideos – Watch the masters of various arts at work.
  4. /r/fullmoviesonyoutube – Need I say more?
  5. /r/fullcartoonsonyoutube – Like above, but for cartoons.

XIX. Related to Reddit

  1. /r/OutOfTheLoop – Do you ever feel left out on some hot or trending topic? Too afraid to ask people in case you come off as stupid? Worry not; get updated on anything you have been missing out on.
  2. /r/wowthissubexists – A sort of meta sub to discover obscure subreddits on interesting, weird, and seemingly insignificant topics.
  3. /r/subredditoftheday – Similar to WTSE, SROTD nominates one official sub-reddit each day. Kind of similar to the Quoran of the Day blog here on Quora.
  4. /r/SubredditDrama – All the high-school type drama that goes on on Reddit, in one place. They have popcorn too.

XX. Light reads

  1. /r/DogShowerThoughts – What is your dog thinking? Akin to the /r/showerthoughts sub (which has recently become full of inane and duplicate "thoughts"), but from a fresh perspective.
  2. /r/explainlikeimcalvin – For parents with highly inquisitive kids.
  3. /r/AnimalsBeingBros – To all bros on Quora. And all animals too.
  4. /r/chemicalreactiongifs – Watch fascinating gifs of chemical reactions without risking burning down the lab.
  5. /r/PerfectTiming – Every photographer's deepest desire is to click the perfectly-timed picture. Here, you can view everyone's lucky stroke.

C. Youtube Channels

Here's a list of 86 channels you should subscribe to, sorted according to interests.


  1. Serious learning (including official college courses and other MOOCs)
  2. Science and mathematics
  3. Nature
  4. Space
  5. History
  6. Technology
  7. Literature
  8. Real news
  9. Varied interests (Channels that create content spread over multiple topics)
  10. Niche interests (Arts, Finance, Philosophy, Travel, Food, Magic, Farming)
  11. Fun while learning (Videos that are informative as well as fun to watch)

A. Serious learning

A.1. College courses
Yale Courses – The official channel of Yale offers full length lectures on various topics, by some of the world's leading and most-respected experts.

The lectures are beautifully arranged and sorted as classes.

To start, you can check out the series on Financial markets by Robert J. Shiller – a 2013 Nobel prize winner in Economics for his work on "empirical analysis of asset prices".


MIT OpenCourseWare – Similar to Yale Courses, here's the official channel of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

GreshamCollege A collection of full video lectures and some interesting shorts by Gresham College, uploaded so that everyone can learn for free.

A.2. Other official courses

Khan Academy – The official channel of the first true online educator, Salman Khan, that started off as simple videos for his niece.

(*Subject-wise assorted playlists*)

A.3. Everything else

BIO – A collection of biographies of some of the most famous people from all spheres of life.

(*Sorted playlists – Olympic medalists, Oscar winners, actors, politicians, athletes et al*)

DOCUMENTARY TUBE – A collection of full-length documentaries.

Big Think – showcasing content that is actually relevant, analyzing the same, and featuring some of the most well-known thinkers of our time – Bill Nye, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Stephen Fry.

B. Science and Mathematics

Applied Science – Focusing more on the practical application of science rather than the theoretical, Applied Science does some really quirky videos like building an LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) or the electron microscope image of a vinyl LP.

Minute Physics – Explaining some basic concepts as well as some of the most FAQs related to science with the help of hand drawn animation, in videos of less than 4-5 mins. Perfect for the less patient ones.

They also provide some definitive Quora-type answers. For example, this video that proves that running in the rain is better than walking if you can find a shelter before the rain stops. Else, both are the same.


SciShow – Keeping you abreast of what is happening in Science, SciShow does a good job of combining news, theories, and random facts.

Naked Science – Don't go by the name; it is a perfectly SFW channel. It is named so because it tries to unravel some of the mysteries and secrets of science.

ASAP Science – Similar to Minute Physics in almost all respects. The only difference being that their horizon is broader and includes biology, philosophy, neurology and other fields.

MinuteEarth – Part of the same family as MinutePhysics, MinuteEarth does a similar style of videos, but this time focusing on everything related to nature – biology, ecology, genetics etc.

Sixty Symbols – A collection of random, fun videos about mostly Physics and Astronomy.

StarTalk RadioNeil deGrasse Tyson talks about everything science.

Veritasium – A play on the word, Veritaserum (or the Truth Serum) from the Harry Potter series, Veritasium tries to bring the truth and dispel myths about science in the public.

For example, the infamous myth that no person can stay in a perfect Anechoic chamber for more than 45 minutes, was disproved, when the creator Derek Muller stayed in one himself for more than an hour.



Videos about numbers – it's that simple.

Reactions – The best Chemistry channel out there, bringing to you the chemical reactions behind some of the daily phenomenon you encounter, be it your morning coffee, or your dog sniffing another's butt.

(*I especially love their Superhero series*)


C. Nature

  1. Animal Planet
  2. BBC Earth
  3. NatGeoWild
  4. Discovery

The 4 biggest nature channels on TV offer some interesting content for nature lovers.

This Place – "This place" is a veiled reference to the fact that we have only one planet. The channel tried to bring to notice some of the biggest issues with nature – viz-a-viz ecological preservation, and ties it to some of the basic theories of psychology and game theory.

D. Space

NASA – Stay updated on the latest events in Space exploration. And also on what is going behind the curtains with this playlist, updated weekly to offer a glimpse of life at NASA.


(*This Week @NASA*)

Scientific American Space Lab – Offering videos from the Space section of one of the most popular Science magazines.

(Recommended: The *It Happened In Space* playlist.)


VideoFromSpaceSpace.com's Youtube channel. Get a glimpse of life in space, especially from their videos featuring astronaut, Chris Hadfield.

(*Astronauts, Cosmonauts, and Taikonauts*)


E. History

It's History (Already featured on the blog)
With an aim to cover every major event in recent human history – from the Industrial Revolution, to the numerous wars fought, the channel is a perfect one-lecture crash course for each topic.

The Great War A brilliant channel where the host, Indiana Neidell, aka Indy, aims to cover the entire World War 1 in real-time, with a lag of 100 years.

It is a very ambitious project that will take 4 years to complete (2014-18).

'The Great War' shows you the history of the First World War in the four years from 1914 to 1918, exactly 100 years ago. Our host Indy takes you back week by week and shows you what was going on in the past. Learn more about the Allies and the Central Powers, emperors, Winston Churchill, Wilhelm II, soldiers, battles and of the life aside the battlefield. Subscribe to our channel to watch a new video every Monday & Thursday!

Using a combination of an impressive narrative voice, actual pictures and footage from the war, maps, sketches, and an apt setting for discussing a 100-year old war, Indy manages to present one of the biggest events in human history in a lucid and engaging manner.


(I highly recommend saving the official playlist that is updated regularly.
*THIS WEEK 100 YEARS AGO – The Great War*)

HISTORY – The official channel of the History Channel.

Smithsonian – The official channel of the Smithsonian group of museums.

F. Technology

Codebabes While the premise of the channel (women slowly taking off their clothes as the video tutorial progresses) is sexist and promotes the objectification of women (and is inspired from Naked News), the content however is really good, especially for beginners.

Eli, the Computer Guy For the ones who would love to get started with everything computers (Linux, basics of networking including DNS, TCP/IP, VoIP, basic Windows troubleshooting etc)

LinusTechTips – Working for a Canadian software/hardware store as a product reviewer, Linus Sebastian soon started his own channel, which now has over 1.8 million subscribers.

He reviews most of the incoming tech products, from gaming consoles, to unmanned drones.

Also, check out his story on How I Became.


G. Literature

The Dictionary of Obscure SorrowsThe Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows is a website that creates new words; especially tailored to oddly-specific human emotions and experiences. Now they convert the same into beautiful videos.

Just for starters,

n. a kind of melancholic trance in which you become completely absorbed in vivid sensory details—raindrops skittering down a window, tall trees leaning in the wind, clouds of cream swirling in your coffee—briefly soaking in the experience of being alive, an act that is done purely for its own sake.


SpokenVerse – Some of the most important and influential poems of all time, narrated by creator Tom O'Bedlam.

(*All of them wonderfully sorted by author*)

wordsoftheworld -Ever wondered where a particular word originated? Not anymore.

H. Real news

Pulitzer Center – The official channel of the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, the channel features stories from journalists around the world. Stories that need to be heard.

Start with their featured stories collection.


Test Tube News News that actually matters, but is not TRP-worthy enough for channels


VICE specializes in exploring uncomfortable truths and going to places we don't belong. Herein you will find people talking frankly about their hatred and love for various things, general heresy, the only culture, travel and news documentaries you'll want to watch, tons of exclusive new stuff, and probably not a lot of cats.

I. Across varied topics

Ted Ed(uation) – The TED Ed channel focuses on disseminating knowledge across a wide variety of interest fields (superheroes, climate change, decoding the human mind, governments and politics, language, mathematics, writing etc.).

(Check out their *curated playlists here.*)

TEDx Talks – TED Talks are great. But there are a lot of underappreciated ones, that take place during those independently organized events (called TEDx) that go unnoticed.

That is until now. The TEDx Talks channel brings you all such talks from all over the world.

CrashCourse Already featured on the blog twice (here and here), CrashCourse is a channel run by the Green brothers – John and Hank. John Green (author) is the reknowned author of multiple best-sellers including Looking for Alaska and The fault in our stars.

It is the single best resource on Youtube for learning anything from World History, to US Politics, from Ecology to Astronomy.

Start here with this fantastic series by Phil Plait, aka The Bad Astronomer.


(Full playlist: *Astronomy – Crash Course*)

In a Nutshell – Kurzgesagt(Already featured on the blog)

This isn't exactly a course, but more like a meta course, where you get an erratic Professor who rambles on about dark matter and energy one day and insists on debating the age old question of "are we alone" the next.

The best part about Kurzgesagt's videos is that they are beautifully animated. Using both Adobe Illustrator and After Effects, they come up with some stunning visuals which obviously takes a lot of time and effort, one of the primary reasons they only upload 1 or 2 videos per month.

Start right here with the first (of two) videos on the Fermi paradox.


VSauce – A what-if (XKCD) style collection of videos that seek to answer some of the most common hypothetical questions asked by people.

CGP Grey – Educational videos spanning politics, British history, economics and geography.

(*Sorted playlists*)

#Education – An auto-generated Youtube channel featuring educational content from all the educational channels.

Tell me why – Why does stuff happen the way it does? Know through this series of animated shorts.

J. Niche Interests

J.1. Arts

BFI (British Film Institute) – The official Youtube channel of British Film Institute, who maintain the world's largest film archive.

J.2. Finance

eHow Finance – Sort of like the ELI5 version of the most common questions people have wrt Finance. eHow Finance does short videos trying to explain the myriad, basic concepts of stock markets, trading, insurance, personal finance etc.

J.3. Philosophy, spirituality, metaphysics

Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science – The official channel of the foundation of the same name by Mr Dawkings. They have videos, interview clips, debates etc of Dawkins and a bunch of his contemporaries on the subject of God, the Universe, human consciousness and so forth.

QualiaSoup – Animated videos to help facilitate discussions regarding phislosophy, theism vs atheism, and the science of morality.

Spirit Science – Focusing on the spiritual side of the human world.

J.4. Travel


The Travel Film Archive is a collection of travelogues and educational and industrial films — many of them in color – that show the world the way it was between 1900 and 1970. Our holdings include archives of the renowned travel filmmakers Burton Holmes, Andre de la Varre, and James A. FitzPatrick, as well as footage shot by many other intinerant cameramen.

J.5. Culinary Arts

Food Wishes – From Allrecipes.com and FoodWishes.com, the channel features 100s of recipes to help you get started on cooking.

(*All recipes sorted by cuisine and occasion*)

J.6. Magic

Disturb Reality – Learn a few basic magic tricks to amaze your friends

J.7. Lifehacks

expertvillage – Learn some of the most basic life skills.

J.8. Farming

How Farms Work – Farming is a profession slowly losing its charm. But if you aspire to have one, and have no idea where to start, this channel is for you.

K. Fun while learning

WatchMojo.com – Uploading 4-6 videos every day, WM is one of the best channels on YT if you simply want to relax and also learn something at the same time.

They have a top 10 list on almost every topic – but majorly focusing on movies, music, TV shows, books, and comics.

list25 – Same as WM, but with 25 items per list, and a little Buzzfeed styled content.

Vi Hart – Vi Hart is a scribbling, fast-talking, restless piece of soul. Her videos are fast-paced, quirky, and at the same time informative. Don't believe me? Check her making hexaflexagons.


Mental Floss – Official channel of MentalFloss.com, the channel is perfect for a laid back evening.

Smarter Everyday – 140 videos, covering a wide variety of topics, uncovering some of the obscure aspects of science, religion, tradition, nature etc. Learn something new everyday for the next 4 months.

Stuff You Should Know – HowStuffWorks – Know the logic that will help you make better informed decisions.

TheBackyardScientist – Learn stuff by doing.

  1. Hybrid Librarian
  2. It's Okay To Be Smart
  3. Life Noggin

3 channels to help you satisfy your daily need of information trivia.

D. Other websites

  1. Literature and reading
    1. Letters of Note : Collecting letters, postcards, and all things not found in books by some of the most influential people in the world.
    2. Archive.org : Providing free and open access to countless books, websites, songs, movies, and almost everything digital.
    3. Project Gutenberg : Thousands of free e-books.
    4. Brain Pickings : The best review/recommendation blog for your daily reading needs.
    5. Futility Closet : A collection of all oddities in literature and art.
    6. CliffsNotes : Helping you understand the plot, the conventions, the themes, the motifs, and character motivations from books.
  2. MOOCs: Helping you learn from the comfort of your room
    1. Khan Academy
    2. Coursera
    3. edX
    4. Udemy
    5. iversity
    6. Udacity
    7. FutureLearn
    8. MIT Open CourseWare
    9. Open Learning at Harvard
    10. Open Yale Courses
    11. CMU – Open Learning Initiative
    12. NPTEL
  3. Learning
    1. Duolingo : A new language
    2. Codeacademy : Coding
    3. Chesscademy : Playing chess
    4. Justin Guitar : Playing the guitar
    5. Lizard Point: Geography
    6. TED : Great talks on various subjects
    7. Lifehacker : Tips and tricks for everyday life
    8. AddictiveTips : Tips and tricks for the techies
    9. Instructables : Make it yourself
    10. Top Documentary Films : Hundreds of free documentaries
      1. Also, Documentary Haven
  4. Multiple StackExchange forums (depending on interest)
    1. The complete list can be found here: http://stackexchange.com/sites#
  5. Multiple subreddits (again, depending on interest)
    1. Sub-reddit starter pack
    2. Booster pack
  6. Others
    1. Snopes.com : Debunking myths. One at a time.
    2. TV Tropes : Breaking down the conventions used in all forms of art.
    3. Atlas Obscura : Exploring the unknowns of the world.
    4. Listverse : Lists, lists, and more lists.
    5. Neatorama : The alternative 'front page of the internet' – curating the most interesting things from the web.
    6. The Needle Drop : Music reviews
    7. The Art Of Manliness : Helping you become the perfect "man".
  7. Blogs for MBA aspirants (in the domains of Finance, Marketing, Economics, Leadership, and Entrepreneurship)
    1. Deepak Mehta's answer to Which are the must read sites and blogs for an MBA student?

E. Blogs for MBA students

I. Finance

  1. Prof. Jayanth R. Varma's Financial Markets Blog: Prof Jayant Verma is a Professor of Finance (mainly Financial markets) at IIMA. He is one of the most impressive teachers I have ever met. He was one of the first members of SEBI and is on the board of multiple big companies including Infosys and Axis Bank. His blog, which has been up since 2005, is a brilliant resource on understanding the nuances of the financial markets.
  2. Dealbook (NYT): Dealbook is the news aggregator section of NYTimes to keep you updated on the current state of affairs of the Fin industry.
  3. Mergers & Inquisitions: Everything you need to know about every aspect of the Financial world – from big investment banks to boutique firms, from Private Equity to Hedge Funds and AM/WM firms.
  4. Investment Banking Blog: The holy mecca for preparation of i-Banking interviews, the IB Blog offers everything from bootcamps and interview prep courses (paid) to free resources like basic interview questions, overview of the industry etc.
  5. Wall Street Oasis: Similar to #2 above, but with more functionality to read the best articles of the month/week/day etc.
  6. FT Alphaville: Another news aggregator that will make sure you do not have any time left in your day (courtesy it's exhaustive coverage of current affairs)

II. Entrepreneurship

  1. Entrepreneur: Your companion on the entrepreneurial journey. The site will keep you updated with the start-up world, help you work on various aspects of your professional self, and also provide the much needed pep-talk when you are feeling down/exhausted/defeated.
  2. AVC: The chronicles of Fred Wilson ( a Venture Capitalist for the past 30 years) with some incredible credentials to his name (including investments in Twitter, Tumble, Zynga, Foursuare etc). AVC is probably the most widely-read VC blog in the world.

III. Marketing

  1. Mad Over Marketing: MoM is a fun blog. They capture everything from brand wars on twitter, to collection of some of the best and most important marketing campaigns. The blog is a very easy read and will help you broaden your horizon when it comes to thinking of how you can ante up your marketing/advertising game.
  2. Duct Tape Marketing: Duct Tape Marketing focuses on small businesses and startups. They take into account that small businesses do not have the funds that large corporations do. So their marketing tactics need to be tailored to their financial capacity.
  3. aimClear: aimClear wants to be the single resource when it comes to your personal as well as company brand by using every possible tool in the marketer's kitty – from social media to SEO, from conclaves to data management using basic tools like Excel.
  4. Bufferapp social: Bufferapp is an exhaustive resource to help you manage, grow, and track your social media persona.
  5. HubSpot Blog: A collection of 3 secondary blogs – focusing on sales, marketing, and your agency. This trio will help you streamline your sales activity, boost your pre-sales capabilities, help you traverse the maze of sales-killer questions like, "This is too costly", and also help you manage your time and productivity in a better manner.
  6. Marketing Land: The Dealbook of marketing, ML is the one-stop solution for your marketing trends news requirement.
  7. Startup Marketing | Ryan Gum: Ryan Gum is a growth hacker who helps create marketing plans for startups and small businesses starting from creating your initial pitch, attracting your first customer, and an exhaustive list of Startup Marketing Resources.
  8. The SumAll Blog: The SumAll blog is like the child of Buzzfeed and Medium (and not in a negative sense). They post content which is useful and is also written in a fun manner. The articles are often crisp and under a 5-min read.

IV. Economics

  1. Freakonomics: The uthors of the best-selling economics-infused-with-pop-culture book have more to say and share than the 2 books. The blog is usually a collection of podcasts that aim to explore the "hidden side of economics" and highlight outliers, which although rare, are extremely critical.
  2. Why Nations Fail: On the same line as Freakonomics, the blog by Daren Acemoglu is a follow-up on his book of the same name and explores similar obscure events that shaped the rise and fall of nations and civilizations.
  3. Economixcomix: The companion blog for the graphic novel of the same name by Michael Goodwin, Economixcomix explains the basic tenets of Economics in a simple way, along with illustrations to make understanding easier.
  4. The Grumpy Economist: The perennial pessimist, the one who finds faults in everything, the dad who bores his kid during dinner with his constant rants and criticisms, John Cochrane provides an unabashed, and hard-hitting critique that exposes the not-so-sunny side of the world economy.
  5. Investing and Economics Blog: The Curios Cat blogs is for us. The laymen. The dabblers. It focuses heaving on personal finance, economics, financial literacy, tax planning, credit management et al; stuff that affects the majority of the populace on a regular basis.
  6. The Upshot: The NYT economics companion to its financial section, Dealbook, The Upshot is all you need to read to be perfectly updated of what is happening, why it is happening, what would be the consequences, and what could have been done better.
  7. Economist's View: A collection of self-posts and the hottest posts from other economics blogs.
  8. The Money Illusion: TMI focuses on the money and capital markets and provides wonderful commentary on financial crises, international economics, foreign reserve dynamics, monetary and fiscal policies, labor markets etc.

V. Leadership

  1. Guy Kawasaki: Guy is one of the most well known figures in Silicon Valley, and among the first "tech evangelist".
  2. All Things Workplace: As the name suggests, this is a blog for managers, bosses, and professionals and aims to cover all aspects of workplace management including effective communication, employee engagement, conflict management, incorporating cultural diversity and differences, various facets of leadership, boosting creativity, and so on.
  3. Seth's Blog: Seth is a funny guy. The funniest of all in this list. Although he calls his blog a marketing blog, it's more generic in nature and oft has funny quips and clever observations interspersed with longform articles.
  4. Lean In: Everyone knows the book by Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook. The blog aims to continue the story and encourage and empower women to face challenges, voice their opinions, and grow themselves in the workplace.
  5. Switch & Shift: S&S aims at helping business transition from the traditional workplace model to the current, more information driven, globally-diverse-yet-connected workplace.
  6. Hot Momma's Project: Don't go by the sexist-sounding name, HMP is sort of a companion to LeanIn and strives to help women claim their rightful place in the corporate world.
  7. Culture University: In a globally inter-connected world, understanding, accepting, and imbibing cultural diversity is an important trait for organizations to sustain themselves and grow.
  8. Big Think: Having Bill Nye, TheScienceGuy, on board is a big achievement for Big Think which aims to be an idea hub, an "Youtube for ideas" as its founders put it.

VI. Others

  1. Bob Sutton: Bob, a Professor of Management Science at Stanford, writes on everything including, but not limited to, workplace culture, book reviews, team management, employee management etc.
  2. Harvard Business Review: HBR is the most popular published management magazine that covers almost everything relevant to an MBA degree. If there has to be a starting point for an MBA student/aspirant, this is it.

F. Various interests

Detailed posts to help you with the resources and recommendations to start learning new things. All posts first appeared on University of Quora

  1. Getting Started
    1. #1: Finance
    2. #2: Economics
    3. #3: Marketing
    4. #4: Philosophy
    5. #5: Game Development
  2. Resources
    1. #1: 2 free courses on MS Excel (Basics, Macros)
    2. #2: For MBA aspirants
    3. #3: Best Youtube channels for learning
    4. #4: Everything on startups and entrepreneurship
    5. #5: The Android Classroom
    6. #6: A few more educational Youtube channels
    7. #7: Indian podcasts
    8. #8: 200+ Programming/Computer Science MOOCs
  3. Informal Courses
    1. #1: The Great War – Indiana Neidell
    2. #2: Crash Course – World History – John Green
    3. #3: Crash Course – Astronomy – Phil Plait (The Bad Astronomer)
    4. #4: In a nutshell – Kurzgesagt
    5. #5: The basics of animation – Ted-ed
    6. #6: Crash Course – Ecology – Hank Green
    7. #7: Managing your money – An introductory guide to Personal Finance

G. Short Stories

Below is the list of 72 wonderful short stories that can be found online for free. (Click on the title to go to the story page.)

So can you take a couple of days off from your busy schedule?

Science fiction

#1: All you zombiesRobert A. Heinlein (4.5 stars)

Probably the most convoluted and complex of all time travel stories, All you zombies is a masterpiece that has been lauded for its originality and the sheer mind boggling complexity of its plot.

#2: The last question – Isaac Asimov (5 stars)

The best work of the best sci-fi writer that ever lived.

The last question was asked for the first time, half in jest, on May 21, 2061, at a time when humanity first stepped into the light. The question came about as a result of a five dollar bet over highballs

Asimov takes one simple, fundamental question and weaves a story around it – as story spanning billions of years, the vastness of the universe and the hyperspace. The narrative is captivating, enchanting and fast paced. There is a continued sense of awe throughout as the story nears completion. And then, in a single closing statement, Asimov pulls offs a stunner.

*Since "The last question" is rated 5 stars, no other story will be.

#3: A sound of thunder – Ray Bradbury (3.5 stars)

2055. Time machines. Safaris to the past – humans going back millions of years to hunt exotic animals including dinosaurs. Every moment is carefully planned to avoid making even the slightest change to the future. Or is it?
Butterfly effect!

#4: They are made out of meat – Terry Bisson (3.5 stars)

We are not alone. But we might never know that. And there's a reason why.

#5: 2BR02B – Kurt Vonnegut (4 stars)

The story of a utopia. Of mankind's most lusted after ambitions come true. And mankind's most dreaded horrors too. A painter, a father, a doctor, triplets, a woman with a strange job, drupelets and the Happy Hooligan.

Vonnegut's dark "paradise" leaves much to be desired and pondered and answered.

#6: The Nothing Equation – Tom Godwin (4 stars)

The space ships were miracles of power and precision; the men who manned them, rich in endurance and courage. Every detail had been checked and double checked; every detail except—

An observation bubble at the edge of our galaxy. One man to oversee it surrounded by vast legions of nothingness. The first commits suicide, the second goes insane. Now there is a third.

#7: I have no mouth, and I must scream – Harlan Ellison (4.5 stars)

What begins off as another post-apocalyptic world story, where a sentient, all-powerful machine has annihilated humanity, gradually builds up to be a terrifying, what-if tale. 5 survivors of the end of humanity must endure against an immensely powerful and vengeful machine. And there's no way out. There is just the 5 of them and an eternity of pain and torture.

#8: As long as you wish – John O'Keefe (3 stars)

A coin with a paradoxical statement on both sides: THE STATEMENT ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THIS COIN IS FALSE.

A Professor of Philosophy.
A strange discovery.
A hidden message.

#9: No moving parts – Murray F. Yaco (3.5 stars)

The story of a time far ahead in the future where everything works perfectly. Human intervention is no longer needed to maintain or fix things. But everything's changing now.

That light will be flashing with more and more frequency in the months to come. But not just to signal trouble in space. If I were a superstitious man, I’d think that the age of the perfect machine is about to be superseded by the age of the perfect failure—mechanical failures that can’t be explained on any level.
I really believe, childishly, that the mechanics and motions of the galaxy may turn themselves upside down just to snap man out of his apathy and give him some work to do.”

#10: The Veldt – Ray Bradbury (3.5 stars)

A wonderful story of a utopia. Of a happy family. Of a time when the human civilization has advanced so much that everything you want is done by machines at the slightest thought. A story that explores the question of "How far can you go mechanizing things before you are redundant?"

#11: The nine billion names of God – Arthur C. Clarke (3 stars)

Lamas at a monastery have taken up an ambitious project – to list down all the 9 billion names of God. And they believe that this is what humanity was made to do. And once the 9 billionth name is listed, our purpose would be fulfilled.

But what happens after that? If we have no more use for God, what happens to us? Will everything end? Or is it just the religious fantasy of a bunch of devout fanatics?

#12: There will come soft rains – Ray Bradbury (3 stars)

A mechanized house. A pre-planned schedule. Machines running around frantically, executing every job. But where are the masters?
Bradbury's story is more than what it seems – a bleak commentary on the horrors of nuclear wars and their aftermath.

#13: The star – Arthur C Clarke (3.5 stars)

AD MAIOREM DEI GLORIAM – For the greater glory of God

A scientific voyage to the remnants of a supernova discover one lonely planet encircling the white dwarf. They stumble upon the carefully and intentionally preserved remains of a civilization – advanced, intelligent and in full bloom of its youth – wiped away by the same sun that gave them life.

The team makes some calculations to estimate the date of the supernova explosion (it would have been visible on earth) and come across a startling revelation.

#14: Harrison Bergeron – Kurt Vonnegut (3.5 stars)

THE YEAR WAS 2081, and everybody was finally equal. They weren't only equal before God and the law. They were equal every which way. Nobody was smarter than anybody else. Nobody was better looking than anybody else. Nobody was stronger or quicker than anybody else.

A few years into the future, everyone is equal. Now there are only two ways to achieve that – either uplift and empower everyone to the same level, or drag down everyone else to a lowest common ground. It's not surprising what the human race chose.

#15: I don't know, Timmy, being God is a big responsibility – Sam Hughes (3 stars)

Tim and Diane (and their team) have successfully built the first quantum computer – a device with infinite processing power and storage capacity. Diane programs a simulation of the Big Bang and creates a model of our universe to study. As she approaches the current day, she makes a startling discovery.

#16: The coming of the Ice – Green Peyton (4 stars)

Is love something entirely of the flesh, something created by an ironic God merely to propagate His race? Or can there be love without emotion, love without passion—love between two cold intellects?

A doctor in the 20th century, has finally solved the age-old problem of immortality. Our hero volunteers to be the first to undergo the procedure. However, immortality comes at a price – emotions. Every emotion, starting from love to hate, fear to rage, joy to sorrow, slowly deserts you, until you are nothing more than an empty shell, a walking automaton, devoid of the joy and beauty in everything.

Is the price worth paying?

#17: The cold equations – Tom Goodwin (3 stars)

What will you do when the only option is to kill someone? (No, this is not a case study on morality) But truly, the only option is to kill. There is no margin for error, no probability, however infinitesimal, that there could be an alternate recourse.


#1: A very old man with enormous wings – Gabriel Garcia Marquez (3 stars)

A normal family with a normal backyard. An unexpected visitor. Is it a bird? Is it a moth? Is it a fairy?

#2: Snow, Glass, Apples – Neil Gaiman (3.5 stars)

In a retelling of one of the most loved fairy tales of all times, Neil Gaiman provides a starkly different viewpoint on the events that transpire and the conditions that lead to them.

#3: Nicholas was – Neil Gaiman (3 stars)

A short story, short enough to be reproduced here in its entirety.

Nicholas Was…

older than sin, and his beard could grow no whiter. He wanted to die.

The dwarfish natives of the Arctic caverns did not speak his language, but conversed in their own, twittering tongue, conducted incomprehensible rituals, when they were not actually working in the factories.

Once every year they forced him, sobbing and protesting, into Endless Night. During the journey he would stand near every child in the world, leave one of the dwarves' invisible gifts by its bedside. The children slept, frozen into time.

He envied Prometheus and Loki, Sisyphus and Judas. His punishment was harsher.




Life and Philosophy

#1: Signs and symbols – Vladimir Nabokov (3.5 stars)

An old couple. A sickly child in the hospital. Referential mania. 3 calls from a wrong number.

#2: Lorry Raja – Madhuri Vijay (4 stars)

The story of a poor, wretched family, working in the iron mines, told through the eyes of the 2nd son, Lorry Raja is sure to stir up a lot of emotions in the reader. The plot is simple, the characters simpler still. And yet, the feeling it evokes isn't some thing that can be explained easily.

#3: The necklace – Guy de Maupassant (4.5 stars)

“Of all the words of mice and men, the saddest are, "It might have been.” ― Kurt Vonnegut

A simple couple. A simple life. A wife that yearns for a more exciting life. A party invitation. A borrowed necklace. A wonderful night. A life changed forever. "The necklace" is one of the best stories of love, support, yearnings, strength and regrets. The ending leaves one with an entangle of emotions, most significant of which is a sense of unfairness.

#4: Silver Water – Amy Bloom (3 stars)

Told from the first person perspective of Violet, Silver Water is a tale of her elder, mentally unstable sister Rose. The story weaves through a, though lightly comic at times, gritty and realistic narrative of having to deal with and adjusting with a family member suffering from acute Schizophrenia.

#5: If you were a dinosaur, my love – Rachel Swirsky (3.5 stars)

The first person narrative of a woman who wishes her fiancée was a dinosaur and then weaves a fictional world around it – a world of dinosaur operas and weddings. A tale that will leave you chuckling, pondering and going back to re-read the story.

#6: The Egg – Andy Weir (4 stars)

You were on your way home when you died. It was a card accident. Nothing particularly remarkable, but fatal nonetheless.

So begins a tale that spans religion, belief, life, death, afterlife, and reincarnation. Taking a leaf out of Asimov's book, The Egg builds up to a wonderful climax. And delivers.

#7: Three questions – Leo Tolstoy (4 stars)

In this story, Tolstoy addresses 3 fundamental questions, which since then have been passed down as life lessons and parables.

#8: And all the earth a grave – C.C. MacApp (3 stars)

There's nothing wrong with dying—it just hasn't ever had the proper sales pitch!

You can sell everything if only you know how to. Even death. A brilliant satire on the current media industry and the wave of consumerism that has engulfed the world.

#9: The snows of Kilimanjaro – Ernest Hemingway (3.5 stars)

A writer. A festering wound. A re-living of regrets, of opportunities passed up, of chances not taken. The slow approach of death, like the night, creeping and inevitable interspersed with a melange of memories, good and bad.

#10: To build a fire – Jack London (4 stars)

A man and a dog hiking through the snow covered trails of the Yukon in Canada on a day that they shouldn't be. It is "too cold to be travelling along" but the man persists. To defeat the cold, he would need to start a fire. A fire that would be the difference between life and death.

#11: The curious case of Benjamin Buttons – F Scott Fitzgerald (4 stars)

We have all seen the box office hit starring Brad Pitt in the titular role but there is an eerily, haunting quality to Fitzgerald's writing that makes the experience even more wonderful. The story of a man who starts off as a old man when born and slowly ages backward, turning into a middle aged man, a teenager, a kid, an infant and finally an embryo is fascinating. It is a concept that has always had people wonder and Scott does a great deal of justice to it.

#12: The last leaf – O Henry (4 stars)

A woman, dying of pneumonia pegs her life to the last leaves on an ivy vine. Bereft of all hope, she plans to take her final breath as the last leaf falls. But will it? Will she?

A story about hope. About struggles and finding the strength inside. A story of finding something to live for. We have been told numerous times that appearances can be deceptive. Nothing reinforces the notion more than this masterpiece by O' Henry.

#13: An occurrence at Owl Creek bridge – Ambrose Bierce (3.5 stars)

The scene opens with a condemned man being hanged on the bridge. Like everyone else on a death sentence, his whole life flashes in front of him. His only wish is to somehow escape the hanging, fall into the river and swim away to safety and his family. That is when the rope snaps.

#14: The hunger artist – Franz Kafka (3.5 stars)

The story of a man with an unusual occupation – a hunger artist. Someone who fasts for days on end to amuse the world and its spectators. The story is a clever satire on the world where the talented yet trivialized people spend their entire lives in search for a fragment of glory, a single word of appreciation, a small part of the acknowledgment they truly deserve.

#15: The one who walks away from Omelas – Ursula K LeGuin (3.5 stars)

A city that is the perfect description of a middle-age utopia with its beautiful people, its skilled artists, its bright festivals, its everlasting intellectual orgy of joy. A terrible secret revealed. A compromise that had to be struck. A price that had to be paid.

#16: The School – Donald Barthelme (3 stars)

30 orange trees planet by 30 kids of a class all dead. Soon followed by the snakes. And the herbs. And the fishes. Death creeps nearer each day. But everything is not as dreaded as you think. There is still hope somewhere out there. Or is it?

#17: The yellow wallpaper – Charlotte Perkins Gilman (4 stars)

A husband and wife move to a mansion temporarily, something that is grand but suspiciously cheap. The wife believes she is sick and has an eerie feeling about their new home. The husband, however, doesn't. And then there's the room and it's yellow, shabby wallpaper. There is something definitely wrong with it.

#18: Hills like white elephants – Ernest Hemingway (4 stars)

A couple waiting for a train on a railway station have some beer and a rather intriguing conversation which leaves the reader puzzled and pondering.

#19: Flowers for Algernon – Daniel Keyes (4.5 stars)

“I don’t know what’s worse: to not know what you are and be happy, or to become what you’ve always wanted to be, and feel alone.”

Rarely does a book stir up so many emotions in the reader. Flowers for Algernon is one such. The story is about simple and kind man, Charlie Gordon, with a below average IQ of 65, who undergoes an experimental procedure to triple his intelligence. Told in a narrative, progress report style (Charlie was required to compile a daily diary to monitor his progress), the prose develops in tandem with Charlie's intelligence – starting off as the scribbling of a kid, laced with spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors, and evolving into the publication-worthy musings over Plato's allegory of the cave.

Flowers for Algernon is a commentary on human condition, on our schadenfreud-ian tendencies, on the treatment meted out to the mentally challenged, and one man's journey of finding something he never had, and then living through the horror of losing it all over again.

#20: Shooting an elephant – George Orwell (3 stars)

If you are the conqueror, the master, the dictator, are you really in control? Or are you just a face, just a puppet being manipulated by millions of invisible strings? The strings of the will of the people you oppress?

#21: Clean well-lighted place – Ernest Hemingway (4 stars)

There is something simple and yet enthralling about Hemingway's words. There's a beauty in those plain sentences. You don't need to exert any efforts. You don't need to read the story. The story reads you. It hooks itself to you and then starts to devour you, but in a pleasant way. And, in a short time, you are completely engulfed. You are now the story.

#22: Bullet in the brain – Tobias Wolff (3 stars)

A bullet to the brain is surely one of the quickest ways to die. Or is it? To the shot, does the last few milliseconds feel like an eternity?

#23: The bet – Anton Chekhov (3.5 stars)

A somber gathering of gentlemen soon turns into a passionate discussion about the morality of the death sentence. The ones who advocated it said it was more merciful than life imprisonment – cleaner and quicker. The ones against brought God into the midst of things and stated that the State does not have the right to take someone's life when it itself cannot create life.

A young banker agrees with the latter and boldly claims that he would take life imprisonment over death. The host, a rich and pompous banker, bets 2 million in exchange for the young guy living in solitary confinement for 15 years.

This was on Nov 14, 1870. Today is Nov 14, 1885.

#24: The dream of a ridiculous man – Fyodor Dostoevsky (4 stars)

Dreams, as we all know, are very queer things: some parts are presented with appalling vividness, with details worked up with the elaborate finish of jewellery, while others one gallops through, as it were, without noticing them at all, as, for instance, through space and time.

Yes they are. In a dream, you can live an eternity but wake up none the older for it. In a dream, you can achieve everything you have ever wanted, every aspired for, ever lusted after, but wake up none the richer for it.

Our hero had had such a dream. And he was ridiculed for it. Mocked. Derided. Pronounced senile. Yes, you can call him a madman. But aren't we all?

#25: The Happy Prince – Oscar Wilde (4.5 stars)

It's astounding, the power of words. How they can sway us, infuriate us, flame our desires, preserve our hopes.

This short story by the master is a perfect testament of the power of words in the hands of the wordsmith. A story that was part of the school curriculum, at least in India, and one I revisited after years.

In a few thousand words, it encompasses a love story, a tale of sorrow, and a satire on human condition. In a few thousand words, it stirs up emotions of love, joy, sorrow, pain and contempt. In a few thousand words, it is as much the cold winds of the winter, as it is the warmth of the sun on a spring afternoon.

#26: Happiness – Guy de Maupassant (3.5 stars)

Happiness is relative. And a lot more simpler than it is made out to be.

#27: The Sugargun Fairy – Kuzhali Manikavel (3 stars)

"Because everyone must keep a box of things they don't understand and can't throw away"

A story that is as simple as the daily ramblings of a teenager, and yet brooding and sinister at the same time. One about the fleeting passage of time, and yet the inevitable existence and decay of things.

#28: A little cloud – James Joyce (3.5 stars)

One of the most wonderful feelings in the world is catching up with an old friend. We might not have a time machine (yet), but an evening of smoky conversations and reminiscence with old pals is good enough. There's anticipation, carefree laughter, a hint of nostalgic fondness, and just the tiniest sliver of jealousy. Especially if the other friend has a life worth being envious of.

#29: Across the bridge – Graham Greene (3 stars)

Life's a curious case. In the end, does money matter? Or influence? Can one final act of kindness undo (at least in part) a life brimming with sin, theft, lies, and debauchery? What is the source of happiness? Of contentment?

In this fast-paced story about a millionaire fraudster evading the law in a quiet, shabby town of Mexico, Graham Greene hopes to find the answer. At least to some of the questions.


#1: The lottery – Shirley Jackson (4 stars)

A village. 300 people. A charged morning. A lottery. A winner. A twist.

#2: A face in the dark – Ruskin Bond (3.5 stars)

From Mr. Bond, comes another story set in the backdrop of the hills and valleys of Shimla. The story of a boarding school and its brave headmaster. A story that brings out all of your primal fears. A story with the basic elements of horror – the dark of the night, the eeriness of the howling winds, a strange sighting and a twist ending.

#3: In the penal colony – Franz Kafka (4 stars)

In a fast-paced story that slowly reveals, in the true sense of an actual horror movie, its various twists and turns and its arsenal of fear, Kafka manages to scare the reader and at the same time fill them with a certain amount of sympathy for the devil and bewilderment at the actual happenings in the story.

A traveler is invited to be the witness to a sentencing – a seemingly, outdated custom that tortures the guilty for hours before killing them. He must pass a judgement on it. What would it be?

#4: Man From the South – Roald Dahl (4 stars)

"A fine evening," he said. "They are all evenings fine here in Jamaica."

In this brilliantly crafted tale of a bet between an old man and a young one, things suddenly take a turn for the grim. The pacing of the story is fantastic and keeps you hooked till the end. And the ending – another twist in the devil's tale.

#5: The tell-tale heart – Edgar Allan Poe (4 stars)

From the master of mystery, comes a tale worthy of his praise. The first person confession of a madman who murdered an old man and then describes it to the reader in vivid detail to prove his sanity. The story is eerie – you have the constant feeling of being watched because of the 'unreliable narrative' and the fact that the lunatic addresses the audience directly.

#6: A good man is hard to find – Flannery O'Connor (3 stars)

A normal family. Mother, father, kids, grandmother. A routine family vacation. A little detour to find something exciting. An accident and a deadly encounter.

#7: The face on the wall – E. V. Lucas (3.5 stars)

A group of people discussing the supernatural. An outsider with a real narrative. Three extraordinary things about the story.

#8: The open window – Hector Hugh Munro (Saki) (3 stars)

A man with a nervous condition visits an old lady on the behest of his sister to calm his nerves. While waiting for her, he engages in conversation with her niece and tale goes grim.

#9: The most dangerous game – Richard Connell (4 stars)

A celebrated hunter and a published author is thrown overboard a ship on a dark night. With every ounce of energy in his body, he manages to swim to safety and arrives on an island, uninhabited by humans except for a game hunter and his looming man-servant.

Discussion over dinner soon converges to the one common topic – hunting. And how, for someone who has hunted all his life, most game is boring and no longer a thrill. That is when the hunter reveals a chilling truth – the discovery of an entirely new game that promises to break the monotony of the 'cunning hunter vs the dumb prey' routine.

#10: Where are you going, where have you been? – Joyce Carol Oates (4.5 stars)

A story that leaves you perplexed and befuddled. One where you are not sure what the story really was about?

Over the years, many people have attempted many interpretations of Oates' masterpiece, but every alternative eventually leaves out something. This could be a story told from a delusional victim's standpoint about the advances of her predator. Or it could be an allegorical tale about the corruption of young people by satanic cults. Or it could be on the broader theme of giving in to sins.

I don't know. Let me, if you do.


#1: The secret life of Walter Mitty – James Thurber (3 stars)

Made into a motion picture starring Ben Stiller, The secret life of Walter Mitty is a comical narrative of a man who's blurred the lines between reality day-dreaming. Weaving through multiple episodes of real life and fantasy, it is a wonderfully paced story that will leave you chuckling at the end.

#2: Cookies – Douglas Adams (3.5 stars)

A train journey. 2 strangers. And a packet of cookies.

#3: The nose – Nikolai Gogol (3.5 stars)

A barber wakes up one day and finds a nose in his roll. Another gentleman wakes up and finds his nose gone.

However absurd, or improbable, this may seem, it does happen. (Or does it?). Gogol again displays a knack for weaving stories out of the pure bizarre and sprinkle it with his signature flavor of comedy.


#1: About love – Anton Chekhov (4 stars)

What is love? Is it rational? Can it be defined scientifically or diagnosed medically? Why do people fall in love? Why, sometimes, do they fall for someone who is their exact opposite? What is it about love that leaves even the strongest of people completely hapless?

Is it fine to love someone who is already with another person? Is it fine to profess your love to them knowing well that it could disrupt their perfectly peaceful existence?

All these and a multitude of other questions are answered in this beautifully crafted tale by the master himself.

#2: A girl I knew – JD Salinger (4 stars)

I saw a girl standing on it, completely submerged in the pool of autumn twilight. She wasn't doing a thing that I could see, except standing there leaning on the balcony railing, holding the universe together. The way the profile of her face and body refracted in the soupy twilight made me feel a little drunk.

A story that is not as much about love as it is about losing it. The story of a
man who flunks college and is sent to Europe to master his trade, is advised against socializing much and falling in love, but who inadvertently manages to do just the opposite. A classic love story of romance, of the first jitters of love, of moving away, of writing letters. A wonderful love piece with a few splotches of some grime here and there.

#3: Selkie stories are for losers – Sofia Samatar (3.5 stars)

A weird tale of love and loss. With just a pinch of folklore and fantasy. While you are jumping from one narrative to another, you feel like being shaken intensely without being allowed the time to understand what exactly is going on. But once the dust settles, you can see the whole picture.

#4: The eyes have it – Ruskin Bond (4 stars)

A blind man on a train journey meets a female companion. During their 3 hour conversation, he doesn't let her know that he lacks sight. And then her station arrives and she leaves. (Oh the simplicity of it!)

#5: The water that falls on you from nowhere – John Chu (3.5 stars)

In the near future water falls from the sky whenever someone lies (either a mist or a torrential flood depending on the intensity of the lie). This makes life difficult for Matt as he maneuvers the marriage question with his lover and how best to “come out” to his traditional Chinese parents.

The story of Matt and Gus, a same-sex couple who truly love each other, but do not know it yet is one that upholds the roots of traditional story-telling. There is no embellishments, no forced sub-plots. Everything leads to the next thing in a way that is simple, yet beautiful. The premise of the story is new and straightforward, but the narrative, due to the way it is seamlessly weaved together, lingers with you like the misty air on a December evening.

#6: The silence here owns everything – Kirsten Clodfelter (2.5 stars)

The perfect companion piece to the previous story by John Chu. It's a story of two girls – Natalie and Kendra. Friends on the surface. Lovers and probable soulmates deep beneath.

Throughout the narrative, you can pick up subtle hints that Nat is in love with Kendra, but somehow, every opportunity where she could express it eludes her. The story ends abruptly, as if a teenage girl one day, simply forgot to take out her diary and pen her memoirs. It leaves you with a certain sense of absence, and yet you can feel that it's the ending you really wanted.

#7: On seeing the 100% perfect girl one beautiful April morning – Haruki Murakami (3 stars)

What do you do when you chance upon your 100% perfect girl? What do you say? Haruki Murakami comes up with the perfect story for such a rare happenstance.

#8: A rose for Miss Emily – William Faulkner (4.5 stars)

Faces are treacherous things. Behind the serene expressions that people carry lie complex machinations that no human technology or intuition can completely comprehend.

And so is love. Love drives us to do great things. It goads us to reach out, extend our arms, and push ourselves to achieve the impossible. But it also pushes us over the cliff once in a while – over the boundaries of sanity, of happiness, of self-preservation.


#1: Lamb to the slaughter – Roald Dahl (3 stars)

A perfectly happy couple. An expecting mother. A confession. A leg of lamb. And an intricately covered up murder.

I. Wikipedia Articles

(Total 301 articles spread over 12 categories:
Music, Lists, Horror/Creepy/Mysterious, Funny/Humorous, Religion and Mythology, Language and Semantics, Law, Interesting, Mathematics, Paradoxes, puzzles and thought experiments, Badass people, The universe)


  1. List of songs considered the best
  2. Pearl Jam
  3. The Beatles
  4. John Lennon
  5. Alice in Chains
  6. Led Zeppelin
  7. Pink Floyd
  8. Metallica
  9. The Rolling Stones
  10. U2
  11. Nirvana
  12. Radiohead
  13. Michael Jackson
  14. AC/DC
  15. David Bowie
  16. Elvis Presley
  17. Bob Dylan
  18. The Smashing Pumpkins
  19. Death of Jimi Hendrix
  20. Jimi Hendrix
  21. Eminem


  1. List of lists of lists
  2. Wikipedia:Unusual articles (an articles linking to possibly thousands of other articles. Basically a goldmine)
  3. Wikipedia:Silly Things
  4. List of animals with fraudulent diplomas
  5. List of unusual deaths
  6. List of inventors killed by their own inventions
  7. List of common misconceptions
  8. List of Latin phrases (full)
  9. List of people who disappeared mysteriously
  10. List of military tactics
  11. List of events named massacres
  12. List of extremely hazardous substances
  13. List of trees
  14. Largest artificial non-nuclear explosions
  15. List of paradoxes
  16. List of memory biases
  17. List of fallacies
  18. List of poisonings
  19. List of explorers
  20. List of fictional demons
  21. List of most massive stars
  22. Traffic-light signalling and operation
  23. List of most expensive photographs
  24. List of mythological places
  25. List of recurring Mario franchise enemies
  26. List of largest monoliths in the world
  27. List of phobias
  28. List of paraphilias
  29. List of technical terms for nonparaphilic sexual interests


  1. Albert Fish
  2. Hinterkaifeck
  3. Killing of Tim McLean
  4. Unit 731
  5. Armin Meiwes
  6. Dyatlov Pass incident
  7. Locked-in syndrome
  8. Boston Molasses Disaster
  9. Cluster headache
  10. Murder of James Bulger
  11. Issei Sagawa
  12. Bunny Man
  13. Bubbly Creek
  14. Mad Gasser of Mattoon
  15. Tanganyika laughter epidemic
  16. Murder of Junko Furuta
  17. Original Spanish Kitchen
  18. Sedlec Ossuary
  19. Visual release hallucinations
  20. Voynich manuscript
  21. Alien hand syndrome
  22. Capgras delusion
  23. Brain transplant
  24. Polywater
  25. Head transplant
  26. Lost Dutchman's Gold Mine
  27. Pope Lick Monster
  28. James Dallas Egbert III
  29. Bermuda Triangle
  30. Spring-heeled Jack
  31. Goatman (Maryland)
  32. Who put Bella in the Wych Elm?
  33. Adam (murder victim)
  34. Original Night Stalker
  35. Disappearance of Frederick Valentich
  36. The Licked Hand
  37. Gef
  38. John Murray Spear
  39. Tunguska event
  40. Atuk
  41. Aokigahara
  42. Raymond Robinson (Green Man)
  43. Belchen Tunnel
  44. Moberly–Jourdain incident
  45. Rosenheim Poltergeist
  46. Bachelor's Grove Cemetery
  47. Kate Morgan
  48. Premature burial
  49. Zombie
  50. Mercy Brown vampire incident
  51. Clapham Wood Mystery
  52. Black dog (ghost)
  53. Thomas Lyon-Bowes (heir to Lord Glamis, born 1821)
  54. Princes in the Tower
  55. Bloop
  56. Devil's Footprints
  57. The Great Thunderstorm
  58. Jersey Devil
  59. The Devil's Chair (urban legend)
  60. Devil's Tramping Ground


  1. Florence Foster Jenkins
  2. List of names for turkeys
  3. List of animals with fraudulent diplomas
  4. List of nicknames used by George W. Bush
  5. List of sandwiches
  6. List of premature obituaries
  7. Wikipedia:List of really, really, really stupid article ideas that you really, really, really should not create

Religion and Mythology

  1. Empusa
  2. Book of Life
  3. Cthulhu Mythos in popular culture

Language and semantics

  1. List of linguistic example sentences
  2. Colorless green ideas sleep furiously
  3. Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo
  4. Semantic satiation
  5. Eats, Shoots & Leaves
  6. That that is is that that is not is not is that it it is
  7. Lion-Eating Poet in the Stone Den
  8. James while John had had had had had had had had had had had a better effect on the teacher
  9. Homophonic puns in Mandarin Chinese
  10. One-syllable article


  1. Breach of duty in English law
  2. Person having ordinary skill in the art
  3. The man on the Clapham omnibus
  4. Reasonable person
  5. Man on the Bondi tram
  6. Contractual term


  1. Timeline of the far future
  2. Timeline of the near future
  3. 3rd millennium
  4. List of millennia
  5. George Mason University's historical hoaxes
  6. Controversial Reddit communities
  7. Tower of Babel
  8. Synesthesia
  9. Constructed language
  10. As Slow as Possible
  11. Library of Alexandria
  12. Death of Ludwig van Beethoven
  13. Athletics at the 1904 Summer Olympics – Men's marathon
  14. Semantic satiation
  15. List of linguistic example sentences
  16. Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo
  17. Colorless green ideas sleep furiously
  18. Eats, Shoots & Leaves
  19. Lion-Eating Poet in the Stone Den
  20. That that is is that that is not is not is that it it is
  21. Emerging technologies
  22. Floating timeline
  23. Mad scientist
  24. Automatic writing
  25. Ancient astronaut hypothesis
  26. Dendera light
  27. Phantom island
  28. Out-of-place artifact
  29. Shakespeare Apocrypha
  30. Sigil (magic)
  31. Anthropodermic bibliopegy
  32. NecronomiconRongorongo
  33. Lost cityBlue Peacock
  34. Mojave phone booth
  35. Prometheus (tree)
  36. Emperor Norton
  37. Joseph Jagger
  38. Just-world hypothesis
  39. Humanzee
  40. Etaoin shrdlu
  41. Alexamenos graffito
  42. Homunculus


  1. Signed zero
  2. 0.999…
  3. 2 + 2 = 5
  4. Mathematical fallacy
  5. Asch conformity experiments
  6. Erdős–Bacon number
  7. Graham's number
  8. Hyperoperation
  9. Ackermann function
  10. Kruskal's tree theorem
  11. Goodstein's theorem
  12. Ramsey's theorem
  13. Happy number
  14. Illegal prime
  15. Infinite monkey theorem
  16. Monty Hall problem
  17. Narcissistic number
  18. Nothing up my sleeve number
  19. Minkowski's question mark function
  20. Ulam spiral
  21. Vampire number
  22. Will Rogers phenomenon

Paradoxes, puzzles and thought experiments

  1. Interesting number paradox
  2. Boy or Girl paradox
  3. Sleeping Beauty problem
  4. Two envelopes problem
  5. St. Petersburg paradox
  6. Newcomb's paradox
  7. Ellsberg paradox
  8. Gambler's ruin
  9. Exponential growth
  10. Kelly criterion
  11. Pascal's mugging
  12. Zeno's paradoxes
  13. Allais paradox
  14. Gambler's conceit
  15. Inverse gambler's fallacy
  16. Ross–Littlewood paradox
  17. What the Tortoise Said to Achilles
  18. Thomson's lamp
  19. Hilbert's paradox of the Grand Hotel
  20. Ship of Theseus
  21. False positive paradox
  22. Banach–Tarski paradox
  23. Coastline paradox
  24. Archer's paradox
  25. Fermi paradox
  26. Heat death paradox
  27. EPR paradox
  28. Extinction paradox
  29. Bootstrap paradox
  30. Temporal paradox
  31. Grandfather paradox
  32. The Lady, or the Tiger?
  33. Kavka's toxin puzzle
  34. Laplace's demon
  35. Pascal's Wager
  36. Retrocausality
  37. Martian scientist
  38. Demon (thought experiment)
  39. Ideological Turing Test
  40. Vanishing Sun model
  41. Sphere-world
  42. Simulated reality

Badass people

  1. Hugh Glass
  2. Juliane Koepcke
  3. Leonid Rogozov
  4. Michael Malloy
  5. Ching Shih
  6. Khutulun
  7. Simo Häyhä
  8. Jack Churchill
  9. Subutai
  10. Samuel Whittemore
  11. Tank Man
  12. Roy Benavidez
  13. Boudica
  14. Albert Jacka
  15. Agrippina the Younger
  16. Ronald Speirs
  17. Yogendra Singh Yadav
  18. Chesty Puller
  19. Miyamoto Musashi
  20. Blackbeard
  21. Adrian Carton de Wiart
  22. Alvin C. York
  23. Genghis Khan
  24. Audie Murphy
  25. Brian Blessed
  26. Witold Pilecki
  27. Thomas Baker (Medal of Honor)
  28. Joan Pujol Garcia

The Universe

  1. Big Bang
  2. Graphical timeline of the Big Bang
  3. Chronology of the universe
  4. Cosmic Calendar
  5. Dark energy
  6. Dark-energy-dominated era
  7. Ultimate fate of the universe
  8. Heat death of the universe
  9. Future of an expanding universe
  10. Graphical timeline from Big Bang to Heat Death
  11. Big Rip
  12. Big Crunch
  13. Big Bounce
  14. Cyclic model
  15. Entropy (arrow of time)
  16. Galaxy formation and evolution
  17. Stellar evolution
  18. Formation and evolution of the Solar System
  19. History of the Earth
  20. Age of the Earth
  21. History of Mars observation
  22. Dyson's eternal intelligence
  23. List of Deep Fields
  24. List of minor planets
  25. List of notable asteroids
  26. 90377 Sedna
  27. 243 Ida
  28. List of geological features on 243 Ida and Dactyl
  29. List of potentially habitable exoplanets
  30. List of nearest terrestrial exoplanet candidates
  31. Asteroid belt
  32. Asteroid mining
  33. Aries (constellation)
  34. Hubble Deep Field
  35. Oort cloud
  36. Supernova
  37. Rings of Neptune

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