June 24, 2007

Mousetrap - 108

Rickshaw!
Teesra Pahiya
As you read this, sipping your coffee, three young people from Bombay will be revving up their engine and embarking on a madcap adventure. And the engine they will be starting is that of the humble rickshaw. Yes, that lick-and-a-prayer bucket of bolts that swerves through city traffic making a godawful racket. They will start at Calcutta, and drive 3,750km across the north, including a bit of Nepal, through hills, valleys, highways, dirt roads, not to speak of torrential downpours, and wind up—hopefully—in Manali two weeks later. They are participating in the Rickshaw Run, and are the only Indian team in the fray. And for the benefit of people like me who would have given their eye-teeth to join in, but couldn’t, this blog will chronicle their trip, live. Whenever they can get an internet connection, that is.

How many roads in a cannonball?
Weird Converter
There’s plenty to choose from when you’re looking for online converters for mundane stuff like currency, metric to imperial, and all that. But here, you’ll find the answers to queries that are rather more, um, unusual. For instance, you know how our teachers told us how long the small intestine was (er, I’m sorry Mrs George, I can’t remember..) But did you ever wonder how many small intestines it took to cover a marathon route? Or how many average size bowel movements it took to weigh up to an African Elephant? (7094.153846154 and 27501.52959855 respectively, by the way.) Right then, off you go now. Go see how many Tom Cruises it takes to balance the scales against an intimate body part of a Right Whale.

Show and tell
Video Jug
Not your typical video site. This one’s full of how-to videos covering just about everything you can think of and many things I’m pretty sure you never expected to find an instruction video for. The site promises “step-by-step through everything from the lighter, more welcome aspects of life (leisure, hobbies, beauty and style) to the more serious tribulations we all face in day-to-day life (health, legal, money, parenting).” So, yes, it isn’t just the dreary stuff and the hobbyist hints, there’s a lot of nicely enacted, funny stuff too. I particularly enjoyed the Modern Manners section, where you should look for the films on the proper technique for a man to man hug, and instructions on how to air kiss.

Spam, Spam, Spam
Pythonline
This one’s kind of niche. You’ll enjoy it if you’re a Monty Python fan, but then, these days when fdinding video clips and entire films online is child’s play, heck, go look them up. This is the official site for the series, with loads of trivia, pieces by the cast members, and hey, just a heck of a lot of fun. Enjoy.

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, 24th June, 2007.

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