May 06, 2005

Mousetrap - 1

What was that word again?
Word Spy
You know all those I’m-so-cool words that suddenly come into vogue with the with-it corpo crowd? That get bandied about by the young B-school grads with the power ties? This site is a good place to figure out what the heck they’re saying. Seriously, though (and before my MBA friends put a fatwa out on me), the site is a fascinating repository of what’s new and happening. It calls what it does “lexpionage,” or the sleuthing of new words and phrases. And the words it chooses aren’t the made-up variety of doubtful provenance that descend into your inbox with monotonous regularity. Word Spy includes detailed citations of each entry.

Click to find
Bartleby.com
This is what the net was supposed to be: free information across borders.
This site is one of many (we’ll cover some more in future columns) that give you online versions of books, absolutely free. Bartleby is best known for the invaluable set of reference books it offers. (A small sampler: Roget's Thesaurus, Fowler's King's English, Strunk and White’s Elements of Style, World's Orations, Oxford Shakespeare, Gray’s Anatomy, World Factbook, Oxford English Verse, the Bhagavad Gita, the King James Bible, and much more.) But it also has sections on non-fiction, fiction, and poetry.
Worth a virtual bookmark, hmm?

Creature Feature
Cryptozoology
Cryptozoologists study animals that are presumed to exist, ranging from the mythological to those which are presumed extinct. In this field of, um, science, these creatures are called cryptids, and include everything from the Yeti and the Loch Ness monster to the thylacine (or Tasmanian Tiger, sightings of which have been reported recently) and the ivory-billed woodpecker, recently spotted in the USA.
This site, run, not by professionals or organisations, but by amateur enthusiasts, lists many cryptids, has a bunch of interesting links and news, articles, pictures, a discussion forum, and lots more. Parts of the site are accessible only to members, but joining is free.

Sea Major
Jazz Goa
If you’re headed for India’s only truly tourist-friendly state, and you want to make sure you hear music other than techno, trance, or whatever the beach shack guys are playing these days, check out this site.
The aesthetics range from dull to chaotic (too many add-on services have been jammed in without customising the look), and the home page sounds like it’s been put together by the marketing team in a consumer products MNC.
But never mind all that. What counts is that it lists venues and musicians, has a few MP3 files by Goan jazz artists to download (and one solitary video), and best of all, a gig guide that lists coming performances.

From the badlands
The Jesustan Diaries
The tongue-in-cheek travels and travails of a desi in the Land of the Free, which he calls Jesustan. The anonymous blogger, who signs himself ‘PS’, adopts the condescending style of countless white travellers in heathen lands, taking quiet little digs at all manner of Americana. But he’s even-handed, is PS. He just as frequently turns his scathing wit on desis in the US, and on the home country too. Unlike many bloggers, he doesn’t post daily. But he does promise one post each weekend, and he does long posts, so, I guess, it’s worth the wait.

This column will explore the wilder, wackier, weirder corners of the world wide web. Feedback, suggestions welcome. Mail inthemousetrap@indiatimes.com.

The first edition of a column in the Times of India's Bombay edition. Published 6th May, 2005.

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1 comment:

Ian said...

Awesome!