Saturday, November 10, 2007

November in Cyprus: sweatshirts, sailing, and donating rice online

This morning we all sprouted sweatshirts. It was distinctly cooler.

Still, depite threats of strong wind and rain, it was sunny and calm. So Richard went sailing with his friends, as he often does on a Saturday morning. He said they were out for a couple of hours, but it then did get too windy after lunch. So now he's brought his boat back to our driveway, so he can spend the winter doing some necessary repair-work and maintenance. He hadn't really expected to go sailing at all after we returned from Malaysia just over two weeks ago, so has been pleased to have three extra Saturdays when the weather was suitable.

I cleaned most of the windows this morning, as they were looking a bit grubby, and did some ironing, before switching on the computer to check email, forums, and so on. I ordered some Christmas presents from play.com which is almost always the best value site for ordering to Cyprus, since postage is free.

I also browsed the BBC site and found this interesting article about free rice for the hungry. It appears to be genuine. Sponsored by advertisers, the FreeRice site gives words with four possible definitions. A little like 'Call my Bluff' or 'Balderdash'. Select the correct one, and the site will donate 10 grains of rice to the United Nations World Food Program. In about a month, since the site started, a billion grains have been donated - enough, apparently, to feed 50,000 people for a day.

Even if it weren't an interesting and educational game, I think this is worth doing for anyone with a few minutes spare (and, probably, a broadband connection). But the vocabulary game itself is also quite interesting. There are 50 levels of vocabulary, according to the FAQ; get three words in a row correct, and the level moves up by 1. They say that it's very rare to get beyond level 48; I can believe it. I think my vocabulary is fairly good, helped by an understanding of some Latin and Greek, but the highest I saw was level 46. Most of the time I was between 42 and 44. I think I donated 1500 grains of rice today in all - the game, simple though it is in concept, is surprisingly addictive.

1 comment:

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