Recently in No Value Added Category

Nerding for Economic Justice

Via Game|Life, I just learned of a charity video game. It's fairly simple; the game's a vocabulary quiz, and for every question you get right ten grains of rice are donated to the UN to feed the poor in underdeveloped nations. It's like a walkathon, but with words. The site itself donates the rice, which it pays for through sponsorships from Time Life, Apple, and other companies. The game can be found here.

. . .Of course, this game isn't really a viable solution to world hunger. It's a nice way to waste otherwise unproductive time, but the amount of time and effort you put in is far out of proportion to the amount of good you get out of it. I just spent about 30 minutes answering the 100 questions required to get to 1000 grains of rice. 1000 grains of rice is equivalent to about 1 cup. There are about 2 1/2 cups of rice per pound. You can get, at retail, a five pound sack of rice for $6. That translates to half an hour of work for 48 cents-worth of rice. Of course, it does add up over a lot of people, and chances are the 48 cents of rice I caused to be donated is more than I would have donated myself in the absence of this game. It does help, and it's important to spread awareness about global poverty issues.

Food History

One of the most simple, yet fun, websites I've ever seen: Food Timeline. A history of when certain foods were first cultivated and consumed and when various recipes were first invented. I'm having the most fun so far starting at the end and seeing what are relatively recent dishes. Pasta Primavera and Tiramisu, for example, are both products of the 1970s. Share and enjoy!

Good Vibrations

Via Game|Life, Impossible-to-find synaesthesia shooter classic Rez is coming to XBox Live Arcade. No word yet on whether you will be able to buy an XBox 360 version of the Rez vibrator.

PETA Bread

I have to agree with Jill of Feministe on this: Speaking as a vegan, PETA makes me want to eat a hamburger. Out of spite.

Somewhere Else to Send my Resume...


Book-on-Book Action


Hot Library Smut. Not Hot Librarian Smut. I'm a fan of the Real Gabinete Portugues De Leitura in Rio de Janeiro, the Handelingenkamer Tweede Kamer der Staten-Generaal in The Hague, and the Trinity College Library in Dublin.

No American libraries in their list, sadly.

Turn Around, Bright Eyes


This is making the rounds in certain blog circles, so I figured I'd pass it along: A cover of Total Eclipse of the Heart made by Hurra Torpedo, a Norwegian band that uses kitchen implements, and the destruction of same, as the percussion. I might be a bit late to the party on this, as they apparently were already a Big Internet Thing early last year. Still, if you missed it then, here it is in all its weird, Nordic glory.

Il Cavaliere della Rosa


Nothing new or interesting to report, just thought I'd post the strikingly fun image from the cover of the Deutsche Grammophon recording of the orchestra music from Richard Strauss's cross-dressing comic opera, Der Rosenkavalier (The Knight of the Rose).

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