Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Doing Good by Doing Well

Bill Gates won’t give you five dollars for every email you forward. You can’t get good luck by passing on a chain email. But you really can do a good deed by clicking on this web site.

Freerice is the most excellent time-waster ever, and it appears to be completely on the up-and-up. I checked it with Snopes, the urban-myth debunking site.

Here’s how it works: You go to the site, and answer multiple-choice questions that test your vocabulary. For every question you get right, 10 grains of rice are donated to the UN World Food Program. (The rice is paid for by advertisers.)

The questions start out pretty easy, but get harder. After a few questions, you will be assigned a vocabulary level, and you jump one level every time you answer three in a row correctly. You drop back a level every time you get one wrong. The site says there are 50 levels, but that it’s rare for anyone to get past the 47th. So far I haven’t done it either, but it isn’t for lack of trying.

I urge everyone to check it out. You get to put that SAT prep to work. The hungry get fed. Procrastination is accomplished. Everyone wins.

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