October 09, 2005

Mousetrap - 22

Splash page
Liquid Sculpture
Liquids take the shape of whatever contains ’em, right? But what happens when they break free? When they splash, drip, are poured, squirted and dropped? That’s what delights and inspires this photographer. He displays a fabulous collection of photographs of water, plain and coloured, and other liquids of different viscosities, his flash freezing them in time for that fraction of a second, crowns and coronas, discs, beads, of course, and other shapes you wouldn’t believe water could form unassisted by movie SFX.

Funny Farm
Online Comics
Great place for the comic fan, especially if, like me, you’re distressed by the step-motherly treatment newspapers give them these days, you could do worse than check this out. (There are other sites run by the big syndicates, where you’ll see all the usual suspects. This is not that kind of site.) It allows anyone (who signs up, natch) to submit strips, so you’ll see a lot of fresh talent, a veritable rainbow of styles and schools, and a whole lot of fun. And the site helps you find them based on your preferences. There’s a lot happening out there, beyond the freckle-faced kid and The Man Who Cannot Die.

Screen Test
The Internet Movie Database
If you’re a film buff but anti-web, this site could change your mind. It claims to be the Earth’s biggest, and it might well be. It covers movies and TV shows, You can look up movie titles, personalities, check out star lines ups and lots more. You can set up your own personalised pages too, provided you register on the site. And yes, the Indian film and television industries (and I don’t mean just Bollywood) and their offerings are covered too.

Dead Editors
The Shannonizer
Named for the legendary Claude Shannon, this page uses Shannon’s research to comic effect. He showed that a random string of words could seem to have meaning, provided “each word had a high correlation with the word before it.” For the purposes of this site, it uses the styles of various writers, the word sequences they favoured, and any text you care to name. For instance, the previous sentence, as edited by Lewis Carroll: For the purposes of this site, the Jubjub bird, the claws that bite, waving his precious nose, and with quivering curds! Callay! Callay! Or by Hunter S Thompson: For the purposes of physical and reached for a suitcase full of a stainless-steel hunting knife with a grapefruit and crushed honeydew rinds? Fun? You go try. You don’t even need text. Feed the site a URL instead. You’ll find this column’s address below.

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Blog of the week

Nepotism
Caferati
Disclosure first. I started this site a little over a year ago, as a part of the activities of a online group of writers I helped start and run. But not to worry, you won’t be subjected only to this columnist’s deathless prose and verse. Far from it. Caferati – a play on the coffee houses that seem to be writers’ favourite hang-outs, and “literati” – is a collaborative blog with contributors from all over India and, indeed, the world, all of them more talented than yours truly. You’ll see essays, short fiction, poetry, reviews, and more. And we’re always open to new talent. Do drop by.

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

Published in the Times of India, Mumbai edition, 9th October, 2005.

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