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Fun and Games

November 28th, 2007  |  Published in What's Up Online


Bored at work? Between the Covers Rare Books has created two literary diversions (please use only during your federally mandated 15-minute breaks and your unpaid lunch hour). They have sound tracks, so if your boss is likely to walk by and think that exercising your literary chops is not essential to your highly paid position, turn off your speakers first. Basically, I suck at both games. I managed to go 0 for 8 trying to match the first lines of famous books with their covers, and the computer, which is dumb as a post, clobbered me on Letter-ature, a Wheel of Fortune–style game (And that after I guessed "The Shining" from only the clue: "horror fiction." The game does not reward greediness. If the spinner lands on lose your turn, you're toast). What, I wonder, is dumber than a post. If I were a bit smarter, I'd probably know the answer to that question.

A while back, BibliophileBullPen posted a link to an online vocabulary game called Free Rice. At last, a use for all the hours I spent learning words like proem ("an introduction to a literary work or a speech")!

Free Rice says it donates 10 grains of rice to feed the hungry for every word you get right. (The Internet says there are 29,000 grains in a pound, for what it's worth.) A blogger has calculated that the rice donation costs about $1,000 per day and that the ad revenue generated should be many times that (if you read that blog post, be sure to check out the comments because the initial math is straight out of the Internet bubble). Still, if you're into words, it's pretty fun, even if it might be a bit of a scam.

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