Tuesday, November 06, 2007

... and onward, onward

Yesterday, I got a Diwali gift of such surpassing ugliness that I was quite impressed. It takes real talent to produce something so extremely horrid that it has no redeeming qualities WHATSOEVER. It got me thinking about what it means to give gifts that aren't meant to be taken seriously ... and whether we should all rise up and do something about all that wasted expenditure ... and what I should do to stem the rot. But then when I got to thinking about all the other causes and crises that exist in the world ... well ... it seemed kind of ridiculous to get carried away about just another Diwali gift. So I removed some of the more fruity descriptions I had posted here about the thing and have stowed the object out of sight.

Meanwhile, my travel agent (I'll post a link to his company web-site some day soon -- he's become a buddy over the years quite aside from being possibly the friendliest person ever to survive in his line of business!) sent me a kilo of fresh tasty almonds (unsalted) in a pressed-glass bowl that looks as if its designers put some effort into making a pleasing, durable object. It makes the point about the holiday season in the right way. Can't go wrong with almonds!

And for those who like to combine their word-game-playing skills with a spot of good-samaritanism, here's a useful link: Free Rice. Fill that bowl! You'll enjoy it -- and maybe someone else will too.


gt said...

Web game provides rice for hungry
An internet word game has generated enough rice to feed 50,000 people for one day, the UN's World Food Programme (WFP) has said.

The game, FreeRice, tests the vocabulary of participants. For each click on a correct answer, the website donates money to buy 10 grains of rice.

Companies advertising on the website provide the money to the WFP to buy and distribute the rice.

FreeRice went online in early October and has now raised 1bn grains of rice.

That is enough rice to feed 50,000 people for one day, the WFP said on Friday.

'Viral marketing'
The head of the WFP, Josette Sheeran, said: "FreeRice really hits home how the web can be harnessed to raise awareness and funds for he world's number one emergency."

She said word of the game has spread with the help of internet bloggers and websites like Facebook and YouTube.

"The site is a viral marketing success story."

FreeRice is the invention of US online fundraising pioneer John Breen.

gt said...

hi ms mp. my younger son (mistake number 2!!)is studying for his SAT entrance exams 4 college in the st8s and was looking 4 a way to enhance his vocabulary. i directed him to the free rice site and voila! he is learning - the system is perfect and rice grains are being transferred. so thanQ 4 bringing this to my attention. this is a fabulous way for students to be exposed to vocabulary enhancement, usually required for sharpening skills in entrance tests. perhaps a way in which one could spread the word of this remarkable idea and site to other students?could be by blogging? or by advertising in the entrance exam sites?

also - as a gedanken experiment - it would be so easy to set up a "bot" - a li'l piece of software code - that would essentially be a dictionary (best would be to use the windows dictionary itself!)that could automatically churn out the answers and get the rice transferred to needy mouths. naturally this couldnt help students on this but could ensure lots of correct answers! i love it! the thought that there would be an automatic answering system right on the computer! 2 me. the easiest algorithm is to catch the screen shot - get the word - run it in the windows thesarus - match the word given and determined - choose answer transfer rice next. perhaps an enterprising software expert will look into this? gt

i'm cer10 u endorse idea 1 and want to censor idea 2 but heh if 1 could squeeze out some rice 4 a bunch of needy folks - and get it coerced out of a multi national corp...... at least there would be an obvious short term benifit? gt

maya gomez said...

This is an unrelated comment; happened to google for you and chanced upon your blog.

I became a fan of yours when I was around eight or nine - that would be 25 odd years ago.

One illustration did this for me (I must confess here that that's the only work of yours I've seen). It was in TARGET (that brilliant youth magazine) and was a full page black and white illustration of a princess. It was so stylised and there was so much of wonderful detail in that illustration, I remember staring at it for hours.

For creative influences, growing up, I owe you one, big time!

Marginalien said...

Hello Maya -- what a delightful comment to get for a drawing I did over 20 years ago! It happens to be one that I was very pleased with myself and I still have it with me (I did my best to collect all my original artworks back from the publishers to whom I gave them for printing, but I didn't always succeed).

It's the same size in the original as it was in the magazine. I generally did all my drawings Same Size -- if you know what that means? -- because it was less of a strain to fill a tiny area with detail using a fine-tipped Rotring pen than to make a large drawing that would need to be reduced to fit the page, sometimes losing definition and detail in the process.

If you'd like, I can send you a print of it (-- what I mean is a high quality photocopy). I'm not in Delhi at the moment or else I'd immediately post a copy of it here on my blog! The name of that drawing was: GIRL WITH A PENCIL -- because her dupatta was caught under a pencil -- and yes, she had a huge long plait of hair!

maya gomez said...

Better late than never. Thank you - I would love a copy and it would be great to see it here.
It was a master piece.