July 30, 2005

Mousetrap - 13

Weather, ’tis nobler in the mind
India Meteorological Department (Mumbai)
Ah, those weather bulletins on TV. Ah, those pretty ladies who always get in the way of the charts. But I digress. If, like many in this city after Tuesday’s cloudburst, you’ve become a wee bit more interested in the weather, you should bookmark this (hint: type in “main.htm” after the URL above, or you’ll have to wait for what is practically de rigeur on Indian government websites: a large graphic that takes ages to download, only to tell you to “click here to continue.”) The site features current forecasts, weather reports, satellite pictures, advisories, even special sections on cyclones and earthquakes, all laid out in a no-nonsense menu. No pretty weather lady, alas.

Connector Pro Bono
Karmayog
Ever since we started the South-East Asia Earthquake and Tsunami Blog (http://tsunamihelp.blogspot.com), a few friends and I have been working on the idea of a web service that helps NGOs, and the people who’d like to support them, to get together. So it was, in a way, disappointing to find a site that’s already doing that, and operating out of our own back yard, so to speak. Karmayog, despite its name, is not a site on spirituality. It focuses on Mumbai, and lists precisely what non-profits and charities are looking for, as well as what sponsors, donors and volunteers are offering. It also has profiles and category lists of non-profits, emergency numbers and other resources, articles and explanations of laws and government schemes, and more. (Thanks, Amit Varma.)

Mumbai ICE
In Case of Emergency (ICE)
Here’s an example we high cellphone usage Bombaywallas can well follow. Launched by the East Anglian Ambulance Service after the recent London blasts, the ICE campaign advises you use the acronym “ICE” followed by a contact name (for example, ICE - dad or ICE - Ravi) in your mobile’s phone book (not forgetting to tell the person you choose that you have nominated them. Then, should you – God forbid - be involved in an accident, and incapacitated, medics, the police, even a good Samaritan, can quickly inform the nominated person. Good idea, Mumbai? (Thank you, Aparna Dogra.)

A Term Opus
Internet Anagram Server
“Use Om, Rapt.” “More stupa,” and the perhaps most accurate “Use at prom.” Just four, including the title of this paragraph, of the thousands if anagrams I found for the name of this column. Started by Anu Garg, the chap behind the famous A.Word.A.Day list and site, this “I, Rearrangement Servant” ltes you type in a word or words, the finds you oodles of anagrams. Use the “Advanced” button to fine tune your search, for instance, if you’re looking for a message that anagrams your name, and want one particular word to appear in it. Gives you results in other languages too.

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Blogs of the week

This one’s for you
Mumbai Help and Cloudburst Mumbai
On a personal note, some friends and fellow bloggers and I are attempting to set up a resource centre, Mumbai Help. It lists emergency helpline numbers, rescue routes, safe areas, and similar information for this city. If, in the future, we do face a scenario like the one that resulted from Tuesday’s cloudburst, we hope that this site will be of help to all of you. We’re also going to put together news, links to news, and personal stories at Cloudburst Mumbai. Come visit, make suggestions, or join us.

Reader suggestions welcome, and will be acknowledged. Go to http://o3.indiatimes.com/mousetrap for past columns, and to comment.

Published in the Times of India, Mumbai edition, 31st July 2005.

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