Sunday, 23 September 2007

Mousetrap - 119

Judging a book
Bad Book Covers
I must hasten to add that these are not bad in a way that will get the Moral Police morons after you. They’re just awful design, or bad juxtapostions of titel and graphics, or— oh, just go see. 112 images for you to giggle at, with the site owner’s snarky little captions.

Homer and me
Simpsonize me
If you’re a Simpsons fan, you’ll like this site, which lets you convert a picture of yourself into an image in the cartoon’s drawing style. It’s a marketing gimmick, really, and also a bit of a con, or that’s the impression I got. Despite the specifications about full-face pictures and a bunch of other questions, what you get bears little resemblance to the photograph you upload; you then have to fiddle around with a bunch of controls to get something approaching the source, so perhaps they’re just harvesting pictures for some nefarious ploy.

Royal Flush
Uncle John’s Throne Room
(Warning: this column’s potty mind takes over again.) Do you like to read when you’re, you know, expelling what your digestive system had decided it doesn’t need? If you do, you know that it’s difficult to get just the right reading material, stuff that you finish by the time you, er, finish. Newspapers and magazines work for some, since content is in small sections, but they’re unwieldy. Poetry works, since most poems tend to be short (and now I will have poet friends looking at me strangely when I tell them I’ve read their newest works). Fiction? Problems. Do you abandon a chapter mid-way? Read through past immediate needs because the suspense would kill you? This website, amigos, promotes a series of books that are designed for bathroom reading. And as incentive, doles out a selection from the books for free. They’re available in short, medium or long variations, to suit every bowel movement. So visit, print out, and, um, go. (And if the water runs out, hey, you’re prepared.) No, sonny, don’t take that hand-held device in.

Bedtime music
If you have ever travelled by long distance train or lived in a dormitory, you’ll kick yourself for not having thought of this one. All those liquid, sinusitis induced sounds gone to waste. But never fear, this site’s owners want your contributions to use in their symphonies. In the meanwhile, go listen to their samples (the audio is free, no paying to listen with these generous souls. And read up on their plans (which include a live mix of snores from hotel rooms played in the lobby). Righty-o. See ya next week kiddies. It’s late, and I have an album to record.

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, 23rd September, 2007.

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