Spin on crazy rainbow wheel

Here's an odd thing. Lately I've been experiencing web browser crashes -- whether using Safari or Firefox -- when using a number of websites. In particular, ESPN.com and SLATE.com consistently cause browser hangs, and other sites cause crashes from time to time. In general, it seems that the common denominator is multimedia content. Thankfully, my preferred pornography gateway hasn't been affected.

Any idea what's going on? My default answer, namely that Safari is an unstable piece of shit that just happens to be a great browser along all other dimensions, is stymied by the fact that similar crashes seem to be occurring in Firefox. Could it be a hardware problem? Or is there some common plug-in, maybe Java or Flash, clogging my tubes?

Addendum:: Interestingly, Safari scores only 39/100 on the Acid3 Standards Compliance Test. By way of contrast, Firefox scores 100/100 and then crashes.

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