Sunday, 5 August 2007

Mousetrap - 113

Whatcha wanna do?
The site’s promise to teach you ‘how to do all the things nobody taught you in school’ isn’t quite bang on—though I’ll admit that those that were, I didn’t pay much attention to at that time—but it is, nevertheless, a fascinating repository of tips and advice from its members. The subject range is huge. Just a random wander around the site, and I now know how to become a scuba diver, fake appreciation for art, hold a seance, become a cheerleader, and learn about pro wrestling story lines. Not likely to be much use, I’ll admit, but it was a happy hour spent. But here’s one I’m going to use pronto: so you wanna ask for a raise? (You’re going to hear from me soon, Editor Sahib.)

Q and A
Google Image Labeler
In June, this column featured a site called ESP Game. Well, it looks like big brother Google is muscling in on the act. It’s essentially the same method. You play with a random stranger, and you’re simultaneously shown images. Both of you provide descriptive labels, and get points for matching results. You can play anonymously, or through a free Google ID, if you want to track your points. Why am I suggesting you go to a me-too site? Well, I think Google search rocks, and anything that helps make it better is good for all of us.

Senior blogger
The Life of Riley
The generally accepted view is that blogs are things that young, tech-happy people use to tell the world—or their ten best friends—what they had for breakfast. This one breaks that stereotype. And how! You see, the voice here is a bit older than that. Olive Riley was born not in the last century but the previous one. She is 107 (she’ll be 108 on the 20th October) and going strong! She doesn’t type in her stuff herself, a young friend helps her with that, but the blog is all about her and her life. Aside from the conversations you can read, you also have audio and video to delight you as this sprightly lady talks about the years of her life, her memories of the changes. Fascinating reading, and all of it suffused with the spirit of this grand old lady. (Link via Prem Panicker.)

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Published in the Times of India, Mumbai edition, 5th August, 2007.

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