Sunday, 8 April 2007

Mousetrap - 97

Faster than a broadband connection..
Superman through the ages
More than seventy years ago, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, boyhood pals, created a cultural phenomenon. Their creation, Superman, that child of Krypton, was the first superhero. Their comic defined the genre: skin-tight costume (and the chuddies on the outside), the secret identity, the special powers, the super-villains to battle. This fan site is a mother lode of information about the comic, right from it early days in the 1930s, and the novels. There’s even an encyclopaedia. And, to my utter delight, there are also scans of complete editions, large numbers of them. Such joy to see the character and the comic evolve and adapt over the decades, all of it without having to wait for the next edition. (Oh yes, if you’re the participatory type, see Supermanica which is a wiki that you can contribute to.)

I am..
This is a student project that aims to connect seven million people online, becoming, in the process, “the game with the most number of players ever.” It’s all about finding innovative ways to bridge the real and the virtual. You can only play by invitation from someone already in the game. And that invitation can be anywhere: graffiti, SMSes, tattoos, postcards, heck, skywrite it if you can afford it. Each time someone goes to your unique URL (generated for you when you join the game), and signs up, you get points. The more innovative your method of publicity the better. At the end of the game, the top finishers get cash prizes. So, pretty please, sign up via my invitation; it’s the URL above. And maybe give me bonus points for exploiting this column to work towards a prize, hm? After all, I get peanuts for writing it. [Link courtesy Albert Barton.]

When is Easter?
Unless you’re a devout Christian, you wouldn’t know that Easter falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox (and yes, I had to look it up). Luckily for you, me, and everyone planning long weekends out of town, there are quite a few online calculators that simplify things for you. Here are just three:
Easter Calculator
Easter Day
Ecclesiastical Date Calculator (Also lets you calculate other Christian holidays.)

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

Published in the Times of India, Mumbai edition, 8th April, 2007.

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