Sunday, 28 October 2007

Mousetrap - 124

I fully intended to follow up last week’s column with some more sites fighting the good fight for our environment, but then, hey, you don’t read this column for its grey matter now, do you? So, here’s the usual dose of looniness. Next week, we’ll go green again. (Send in site recommendations, yes?)

Conference call, redux
Every now and then, the web throws up a mad little idea with legs. I’m not talking useful stuff, mind you. I mean things that re just plain weird. (No remarks about this column now, Junior.) Like the dancing baby, or the Star Wars kid or LOLcats, which this column wrote about recently, and, oh, lots of others. This site’s noble objective is to bring them all together for a conference in spring next year. Why? Well, there are a few good, solid, scientific, research-oriented reasons peppered among the posts here, like thebit about their talking abut fame and celebrity online. But do you really need a reason? Heck, I’d go just to gawk. (And yeah, when I looked at the guest list, this column has covered quite a few of them.)

Facebook for President
The Right-Wing Facebook
So everyone with an internet connection and his second cousin are on Facebook. Big deal. Try getting on to this site. It’s reserved for US Presidential candidates. Alright, alright, we keeed. This is a parody, a satirical take on the right-wingers who are competing for their party’s nomination. There’s attention to fine detail—each has a profile, a Wall with messages from the others, a friends list, and so on—that makes the points its creators are aiming for in a light-hearted but devastating way. Now, any takers for an Lorkut Sabha? You do the work and this column will feature you, deal? Unless our humourless netas get both of us banned.

Warm and fuzzy
Despair, Inc
You know those cute posters with cuddly animals or scenic vistas and coupled with enthu motivational messages that make you want to tear them off their softboards and barf on them? Preferably with the person who put them up in the first place under the shreds? Well, this site feels that way too. And they’ve made a good thing of it, with their line of “Demotivators.” Available not just on posters but also on other merchandise. But you don’t have to buy. You can just go view their gallery and download the ones that really speak to you. Or use the DIY section to create your own. Then, print ’em out and put them up in your office. You know where.

Buy good
NGO products for the festive season
Yes, yes, I know, I promised only frivolity. But this one couldn’t wait, after all, we’re already into the festive season. Karmayog, which we’ve covered before, has a list of NGOs that offer products for sale. It’s neatly sorted by category, including small items as well as corporate gifts, and though mainly Bombay-based (that’s the city that’s Karmayog’s focussed on), there are quite a few options in the rest of the country too. So shop till you drop, and you wind up helping an NGO and its cause. Happy Diwali, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year.

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, 28th October, 2007.

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