June 19, 2007

Mousetrap - 107

Waves To Friends
Worse Than Failure
Along the lines of the more family-friendly LOLs and BRBs and other such abbrevspeak, there’s another acronym that finds itself in pretty common usage online, and in real life, spelt out. It’s used to indicate an annoyed, surprised disbelief at some event or action, and has the same initial letters as this site’s name does, but, let us say, it packs in a lot more punch and feeling. This site focusses on instances where IT provokes the usage of this phrase, or it put it like the site does, “Curious Perversions in Information Technology.” There’s a regularly updated blog, and a forum that you can join and contribute to. And no, the title of this section is just another euphemism.

The best thing since sliced bread
Sandwich Project
Ever since the Earl of Sandwich got the feudal underlings to shove some venison—or something—between a couple of slices of bread, the human race has continued to experiment, always asking that eternal question: what can you put in your sandwich? This site has, as of this writing, 2927 answers for you, from the simple to the cholesterol magnets (look for the Douzzy and the various Elvis tributes). Yes, I know we’re not big on bread in this country, but hey, these would work well wrapped into a chapati too. You can browse randomly, name some ingredients and look for suggestions, search via common themes, or contribute your own.

wood ewe no how two say that?
Homophonerate
When too words are pronounced thee same, butt are spelt differently o'er halve different meanings, they are homophones. This cite invites yew two input any text ewe like, and then finds yew homophones from it's list. It’s an American list, sew account fore that when yew look something up. What wood yew u's it four? Um.. how about making up puns? Ore as a rudimentary code? O'er perhaps just two irritate yore readers?

Type cast
ban comic sans
On my blog, last week, I posted about typefaces, and asked friends to tell me what fonts they liked most. Now, I’d assumed that only designers and folks like me who work with them would have strong feelings about the matter. But the post surprised me with impassioned statements for and against a variety of typefaces. Which got me digging around, and brought this site up. It has a single-point agenda: ridding the world of Comic Sans (Windows users will know it). So if you dislike it as much, you can sign their petition, buy stuff from them, or just get a sticker that you can slap on to signboards and things that use it.

Stellar site
Bad Astronomy
Last December, this column featured a site about bad movie physics. This one’s on the same lines: ot picks on astronomy. There’s a list of movies that have earned the author’s disapproval, and he has kindly offered spoiler-free versions of most of his reviews, in case you haven’t seen the movie in question and want to at some point. Why take all the trouble? I’ll let him explain: “these movies have made an impression, and if it's wrong, at least I can use that impression to teach Good Astronomy.”

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, 17th June, 2007.

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