Sunday, March 9, 2008
Free Rice Forever
No no, not Connie. I’m referring to the remarkable website, FreeRice, that manages to serves as a philanthropic endeavor, word quiz, mind stimulant (since you can deduce many of the correct answers) and stress reducer all at the same time.
Okay, so Marissa reported on FreeRice all the way last November (see “Put Your Overducation to Good Use”). But even though I quickly became addicted to the philanthropic website, I remained dubious about it -- as I would be of any new denizen of the blogosphere. And at first it seemed I was right to do so, as scandals mounted about bogus net charities.
So imagine my delight to find FreeRice ratified today by none other than Rob Walker in The New York Times. According to Mr. Walker (in an opinion echoed by the venerable hoax-busting site Snopes), FreeRice is the real deal. It has donated more than two billion grains of rice since October 7, using the UN's World Food Program as its distributor. Its founder is John Breen, a computer programmer with a history of using the net to make a difference; he also created Poverty.com just 14 months ago.
Sweet, eh? Now you can take a break from work productively by building your vocabulary (or reviving those obscure terms you picked up in grad school) and saving the planet at the same time. But when you visit, be sure to check the user settings so the site remembers your vocabulary level next time. If you appreciate a challenge, know that there are 50 levels in all -- but reportedly few make it past 48…