Thursday, 2 June 2005

Mousetrap - 5

Girls just wanna have fun
No, it's not that kinda site. This site is dedicated to those unfortunate young ladies of Indian blood resident in the USA, who find themselves constantly compared – unfavourably – with “Good Indian Girls.” Who is a Bad Indian Girl, then? “If you have a boyfriend, are not married at 25, have not mastered the art of making your own plain yogurt, have nosy relatives constantly inquiring about your life,” you’re it. Hmm. That should interest a lot of women right here in this city. Well, girls, you’ll find a bunch of short pieces that lampoon the members of the menagerie: the perv uncle, the nosy auntie, and so on, plus Letterman-style Top Ten lists, and lots of tongue-in-cheek advice. Go girl!

If it was just a set of reviews of watering holes not just in Bombay and India, but in other parts of the world as well, I’d raise a toast to this site. But it also has a nice selection of cocktail recipes, information about various kinds of alcohol, smart drinking tips, contests, and a lively discussion forum. Cheers!

Blog of the week
The Compulsive Confessor
I’m not much of a fan of the Dear Diary school of blogs. Too many people who think what they had for breakfast is something the world needs to know now! But eM (“twenty-something, single, female, journalist, with large groups of friends and who goes out for drinks pretty regularly. That's my life and that's what I write about. Okay? Okay.”) has a life that a lot of people want to read about, evidently, because she is quickly developing a a fan following. She writes with a degree of frankness that anonyblogs make all too easy, but the difference is she writes well.

Utility site of the week
Mumbai Navigator
Don't expect sleek design, pretty pictures or other frippery. The Navigator (designed by the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at IIT Bombay) is a strictly functional site that helps you figure out the public transport in this city. Pick a start and end point, and it will give you a travel plan, estimated journey time, and any changes in transport you need to make. Or simply enter a place name and find out what transport is available. Or browse the database of bus routes sorted by number, and train routes. The site hasn't been updated in the last few years, so it will deny the existence of trains to Panvel, for instance, or of the Thane-Vashi rail link. No train timetable either. And someone at IIT is a spelling purist: if you don't start place names with a capital letter, the site won't find them. (Merci, Rohit Verma.)

Take one subtext, get two paradigms free
Postmodernism Generator
Want to bamboozle the eggheads in your life? Pop by this site, and copy and paste one of the randomly generated essays it spouts. Don’t like what you see? Hit ‘Refresh’ and it’ll do you another. And when you’ve found the one you want, go over to the PoMo Title Generator and find yourself a headline. See ya next week, professor.

This column explores the wilder, wackier, weirder corners of the world wide web. Mail

Published in the Times of India, Mumbai edition, 3rd June 2005.


1 comment:

Bhavna Bahirvani said...

Dear Peter,

I really enjoy reading 'Mousetrap’ It's a nice way to learn about Wild - Wacky -Weird websites :) and moreover I really enjoy reading your comments, as it’s not biased and gives the reader a clear picture about the site.

Best Wishes,

Bhavna Bahirvani