Sunday, 21 August 2005

Mousetrap - 16

The ultimate shopping site
Private Islands Online
Got a few million stashed away, sahib? Dollars? Yes, dollars. US. Yes? Come weeth me. I ’ave a leetle something for you. Your very own private island. Right here, we have this wonderful spread in Nova Scotia for 150,000 Canadian dollars – for you, 149,000. More tropical? The Bahamas? Let me see, 35 acres, 7 mill US? Oh, nearer home? I have a bargain. Sri Lanka. US$ 200,000. Hop, skip and a boat ride from the airport. But you’ll have to keep the environment protected. Excuse me. Hey! You there! Yes, you, the newspaper writer. Don’t get your hand on the merchandise! Run along to the downloads section now. There’s some wallpaper there you can take. Yeah, yeah, no charge. These columnists I tell you! Ah, B’wana. Now where were we? Fiji perhaps? [Thank you, Sujoy Mukherjee]

This site isn’t a keeper. That is, it’s not one that you keep going back to see what the latest updates are. But it is worth a visit. It is a deadpan slash job on the typical consultancy corporate site – take my word for it, I’ve designed similar – and well worth ten minutes of your time. And do try the “contact” button. Form and all.

Imagine there’s no copyright
Open Clipart Library
A completely free, “open” library of clip art that you can download and use in your presentations, projects, email, website, what-have-you. The limitation is that the site mainly favours the .svg format (scalable vector graphics), which means that you’ll need an application that can read that kind of file. But you’ll find .jpgs as well. The project also invites submissions, provided, of course, that you place them in the public domain.

Swatch closely now
Colour Lovers
If you’re an artist, artistically inclined, or just need to decide on a colour scheme for your home, this is a fun way to interact with like minded souls, pick their brains, and perhaps make some contributions yourself. The colour values are given in hexadecimals, so you can use the codes for your sites and blogs. Or – pretty please! – go change some of those ghastly default Powerpoint templates. (You’ll have to register to make comments, or contribute, but anyone can browse the palettes.)

Blog of the week

Blogging blogs
First, the west appropriates the word “pundit.” Then, a blog that recommends sites uses the word in its URL (I’m referring to It becomes a worldwide hit, and the P-word, like the “gate” ending suffixed to scandals, is now used by a bunch of imitators to indicate what they do. And, now, in burst of irony, a group of Indian bloggers brings the word back home for their CollaBlog (that’s a word I invented). That apart, DesiPundit has very quickly become an excellent introduction to the Indian blogosphere, and its recommendations will, I think, over time, have similar effects on the sites they point to as the original Pundit. And since I intend to raid their larder often for this column, I might as well send them some traffic first, right?

Reader suggestions welcome, and will be acknowledged. Go to for past columns, and to comment, or mail

Published in the Times of India, Mumbai edition, 21st August 2005.

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