Friday, 1 July 2005

Mousetrap - 9

Kaun Banega Timewaster
What colored lightsaber would you have? Which of the Greek gods are you? Which alcoholic drink are you? Which Harry Potter character are you? Visit Quizilla. Hundreds of user-created quizzes to hekp you find your place in the world. Perfect for the type of people who find it difficult to describe themselves in more conventional ways. The quizzes are rated for different audiences, so the more easily shocked readers of this column can navigate without fear of terminal scandalosis. You don’t have to be a member to take any of the quizzes, but you will have to go through a fairly simple registration page to create a new quiz or save data. Many of the quizzes also offer you cut-and-paste HTML that you can put on your home page, blog or networking site member page. Wouldn’t advise you to put this in your online biodata, though.

Face Off
The Perception Laboratory's Face Transformer
Want to know what you’d look like if you were Caucasian? Or East-Asian? Or if El Greco or Botticelli had painted you? Or even as a member of the opposite sex. Upload a full face picture to this site, and then let the face transformer loose. (You’ll need to have a java plug-in installed.) Here, for your viewing pleasure, is your columnist as an ape and as a Manga cartoon.

Blog of the week - Eye Candy
Blogs are not just about words. And, thankfully, I found Drawn a while ago. It is a colloboration between a small group of artists who are not just from Canada, despite the Top Level Domain. As the name suggests, it focusses on drawing, illustration, art and cartoonisting, with links and resources that aim to inspire creativity. A great place for the artistically inclined to pick up on trends and developments, or just for ideas. Even the non-initiate will be blown away by the sheer variety of talent on offer. Go, gentle reader. Feast your eyes.

How do I love thee...
Wergle Flomp Poetry Contest
This page, and the contest, owes its origins to the well-known site, is, depending on whom you ask, a huge scam preying on poets desperate for recognition, a vanity publisher, or a wonderful contest site. The way it (and others like it) works is by running regular contests, the winners of which are selected to appear in a special anthology. Netizens noticed that everyone who entered seemed to get a letter saying they had been selected as a “semi-finalist,” and their poem would be published in a beautiful cloth bound book, which they could buy, naturally. Well, one of those canny netizens decided to test the hypothesis, and sent in a piece of gibberish, signed Wergle Flomp. Which was selected. Later, winningwriters decided to start their own contest, named after the fictional poet, half tongue in cheek, half warning to the innocent. You can see the “winning” entry off this page, and find links to other, ahem, vanity contests. And yes, this contest is genuine. There are prizes worth US$1,609 to be awarded this year.

Bad to verse
Nikhil Parekh
Is this man the worst poet in the world? You decide. He’s certainly a champion at collecting what he calls “prime ministerial/presidential/world leader/world organization accolade letters for his poetic writings on immortal love/anti terrorism/world peace/environment conservation/hiv-aids awareness/tsunami killer quake/several other heart-rendering causes.” As the recipient of one of them in January when, with some friends, I was running a blog that collected information about aid efforts for the tsunami-affected, I can tell you that he lacks not for enthusiasm and a thesaurus. Going by the sheer number of scans of form letters he has available, he certainly has time on his hands. And more to spare. His latest effort? “Longest poem on earth ... Only As Life. The poem measures a 1301 lines, 7389 words, 46257 characters. It is the longest in ‘pure poetry fraternity’ and 21st century on the planet, written in English language.” That last bit, i must warn you, is debatable.

This column explores the wilder, wackier, weirder corners of the world wide web. Reader suggestions welcome, and will be acknowledged. Mail

Published in the Times of India, Mumbai edition, 1st July 2005.

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Zira said...

"This column explores the wilder, wackier, weirder corners of the world wide web. Reader suggestions welcome, and will be acknowledged."

hahaha you know what, I remember reading that signoff on your very own article in TOI and felt quite amused. Reader suggestions will be acknowledged seemed like such a big spam! Especially when I had tried mailing the contacts provided at the end of a few other new columns that sprouted suddenly in the Bombay Times and like. How silly can a reader get eh?

How do you people operate anyway? I'd really like to know. Does the hint of a freelance writer on the other side put off people at the TOI? ;)

BTW I enjoyed reading this one. Phew?

Anonymous said...

You hit the nail on the head re the world's greatest poets. It's hard to convince those who think they are Shakespeare or Eliot reborn that their work is not even mediocre... I have come across several people like that who claim credit for the longest ghazals to the shortest one-worders! How do I suffer them? Let me count the ways...

Guess who!

zigzackly said...

Erm. Zira,

I do acknowledge all suggestions that I use in the column. And I'm a freelance writer too. ;)