April 29, 2007

Mousetrap - 100

Buy green
ecocentra
This column missed a few good dates in the last month or two, most notably April Fool’s Day and World Environment Day, last week. Well, I’ll continue to be an idiot all year long, and I’ll make up for last week, at least, by pointing you to this online marketplace with a difference. This one is for the buying and selling of eco friendly and ethical products. Products are defined for you: Organic / Natural, Fair-trade, Recycled, Charity / Campaign / Educational, and Energy Conscious. Oh yes. And it’s a free service. Now, don’t go using too much electricity browsing through what’s on offer, okay?

Fold here, cut there
Paper Toys
Great fun for the younger readers, for sure, and shouldn’t be too boring for you fogies of similar vintage either. You get a wide variety of models to choose from, including famous building, F-1 cars, motorcycles, the Taj Mahal, Bipasha Basu, even a T-Rex. You print out, make enlargements with your photocopier if you need to, and then cut, paste, and there you are. Oh, and sir, I was kidding about Ms Basu. Sir? Sir?

Radio Gaa Gaa
Music India Online
A nice site for a huge variety of Indian music. From classical (Carnatic and Hindustani), devotional, folk, ghazals, pop, remix, even fusion, and music from various regions of India there’s a heckuva lot to choose from. The music comes to you streamed, via their online player, which, even on my occasionally molasses-like connection, plays quite smooth. Turn it on. [Link from Megha Murthy, who says, she loves it because “there are no annoying pop-ups, and the songs that play don't have silly ads preceding them,” unlike some competing sites. ]

Presentation software
Bullshit Bingo
Bingo is the American version of the game we know in India as Housie. And this is, well, not an officially recognised variant as such, but fun all the same. If you’re in a company overloaded with bright-eyed and bushy-tailed professional manager type folks, chances are your eyes glaze over about 3 minutes into any meeting as the jargon whizzes past your cranium at dangerous speeds. Here’s one way to enjoy them instead. Hit the site, print our cards (a randomiser gves you a different permutation with each Refresh Page). The idea is to tick off words on your card as they are used during the meeting, and when yu get five in a row, get up and shout “Bullshit!” Whether you win or lose depends on who is speaking at that time of course. There are variations of the cards to suit various industries, though most of those aren’t as good as the one on the front page. Oh, and if you’re the boss, and you use this game? May I come join your company?

This edition of the column is number 100. And, next week will be precisely two years since it made its debut. No great shake when compared to some of the names sprinkled around these pages, but for the web, well, hey we’re glad it’s still around. Do write in and let me know how you rate the column over the last couple of years. And of course, continue to send in sites.

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, 29th April, 2007.

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