February 18, 2007

Mousetrap - 91

Life after Second Life
Get a First Life
Second Life, the 3D virtual world, has over three-and-a-half million members glued to their computers all over the world. Leading, inevitably, to highly polarised camps either raving about it or dissing it. This page, needless to say, is of the second variety. Since it’s just one page, I won’t spoil it for you by telling you too much.

Pen pals
Today in Letters
A wonderful little blog that gives you a peek into the minds of great writers across the years. Not through their books and formal writings, but from the letters they wrote to their friends. Yup, from way back when people actually wrote real letters, like with pens and ink, on paper (you remember, don’t you, grandma?) without a spellchecker or cut ’n’ paste. Dylan Thomas, Shelley, Thoreau, Austen, Pushkin, Faulkner, Proust... many riches indeed. And what’s even better is that the blog keeps it promise and does actually post a letter a day. It’s just over a month old, so let’s hope its creator can keep it up. [Via an friend who prefers to be known as Space Bar.]

Dunked
The Skeptic Tank
The problem with faith is that so many people believe in it. Profound, no? But before you sign up for my books and companion 20-CD set, go check out the Tank. It features “archives on destructive groups, individuals, and ideologies with special focus on religion’s impact upon history as well as religion’s impact upon rights, liberties, health, and safety of the world’s populace in contemporary times.” If that wasn’t enough , the site also aims to scientifically debunk paranormal claims within the bounds of what is “testable.” Oodles of articles, newspaper stories and the like. All free to access and download. Go, keep the faith. And if unconvinced, come back, here. I want to invite you to my 20-day residential workshop at a luxury resort. I need a holiday.

Free site
Fottal
Web 2.0 is all about the user-created web and all that. Yeah, heard that, been there. Now, here’s a site that fascinates me. You can go there and do anything. That’s right. Anything, including deleting the whole site. As the site’s About pages say, what you do with it will speak of who you are, and what you do when you’re free to do anything. Kind of like the difference between out social selves and the person we are when alone? I dunno. You go mess around. I’ll be watching. And yes, I know what that says about me. And I know what knowing that says too. And I know.. never mind. [Link courtesy Annie Zaidi.]

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, 18th February, 2007.

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