July 09, 2006

Mousetrap - 61

Everyone’s an expert on something
wikiHow
As with all wikis, this site relies on collaboration. It focusses, it says, on “offering clear, concise solutions to the problems of everyday life.” There are nigh on 9000 articles up, ranging from basic stuff like how to ride a bike and or preheat an oven to more long term or deeper stuff like how to retire at 30 or talking to fundamentalists. And since it is a wiki, you can contribute too. Its sibling site, eHow (a click away via the top menu), claims to give you “Clear Instructions on How To Do (just about) Everything.” Between the two, you can pretty much do without all your how-to manuals. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a tutorial for what to do with them.

The eyes of the beholder
The Museum Of Bad Art (MOBA)
Whether this is all bad art is open to debate: I’ve seen the paper you’re reading chronicle the sale—for many columnists’ ransoms—of work that looks far worse to me. Never mind. MOBA (a neat play on the famous MOMA), presents, tongue firmly in cheek, a collection of art under the heads of Portraiture, Landscapes and Unseen Forces. Take the tour for the most impact, starting with the first portrait, Lucy In The Field With Flowers. Chortle through the lot, and then go see their news section. More joy.

Gallery of the Gods
Mark Harden's Artchive
After the site in the previous section, I must hasten to prove that I am not a complete philistine (and also make sure I don’t get beaten up by artist friends), so I’ll share with you a site that’s an old favourite. The Artchive is an absolute bonanza for the art lover, with free downloads of images of classic art by the cartload. I have enough of those stored to be able to change desktop wallpaper every day for years! There are also notes on criticism, and art links, but it will be a long time before you get down to those, I’ll wager.

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This week’s blog

Chomp
Celebrities Eating
In the time since I bookmarked this site to include in this column, it has been “discovered” by a hugely popular entertainment site and a newspaper, and its owner seems to now be too overwhelmed to update further. Never mind. It’s not a complex site to explain. The name says it all. It’s just pictures of celebs (mainly Hollywood types), well, eating. Bon appétit.


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. The writer blogs at http://zigzackly.blogspot.com.

Published in the Times of India, Mumbai edition, 9th July, 2006.

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