I've found a new way to kill time -- a New York Times article a few weeks back mentioned kayak.com in passing, and holy cow, what a great tool.
It's quite simple: plug in your dates, plug in your departure and destination, and it trawls hundreds of airlines and ticket sites to find the cheapest deal. Some of the things I look up are for legitimate purposes -- searching a roundtrip to Singapore for next year, for instance, or figuring out that I can go Atlanta-Kiev roundtrip for about $800 if I don't mind going in the dead of winter (and I don't, baby).
But others are fuel for the imagination -- when I get bored at work I normally daydream about going elsewhere, and this gives me a price for those flights of fancy. Atlanta-Bishkek? $1250. Atlanta-Asmara in January? More than $4000 (but down to $1800 if I waited a month). Atlanta-Peshawar? $1582, but the outbound trip takes 70 hours thanks to a two-day layover in Doha.
It's a lot of fun to conjure with these names. I've only found a handful of sites that Kayak can't take you -- Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan, North Korea, and (oddly) Greenland. Everything else seems possible. Now I just need a whole lotta money.