Archive for November, 2009

← What are those?

They are three websites I really like, and you might too.

1) Better The World

Imagine there was a turkey named Giblets. Every time Giblets gobbled (since that is generally what he did), something good happened in the Turkey World. Maybe hungry turkeys had some extra grass to eat, or a turkey coop was built for the coopless turkeys, or a lost poult was reunited with his rafter. Giblets doesn’t change his daily habits, but just by continuing to gobble, Turkey World improves.

That’s what Better The World does, for humans! By surfing the web (what many of us already spend too much time doing), you raise money for programs that help the hungry, the sick, and Earth, among others. It is as simple as that. This 90 second video breaks it down.

2) MicroPlace

Now imagine Giblets had some extra cranberries, and another turkey, Dewlap, happened to need a few cranberries to open her Cranberry Crumb Cupcakes and Other Confections Shop. So Giblets lent his cranberries, allowing Dewlap to open her store. Word spread that Dewlap’s cupcakes were the best in the coop, and soon she had custurkeymers lined out the door. After selling enough confections, Dewlap was able to return Giblets’ cranberries to him, plus a few cupcakes as an added thanks.

Substitute you for Giblets, the motivated poor for Dewlap, and money for cranberries, and that’s the basic idea of microfinance – making small loans to the working poor, enabling them to pull themselves out of poverty. What I like about MicroPlace is it allows everyday people, for as little as $20, to make a positive, effective impact on alleviating global poverty. is another gravy microfinance program.

3) Free Rice

This might take a stretch of the imagination, but work with me. So, imagine Giblets has a friend who visits and, with each correct multiple choice answer, donates rice to feed the hungry, at the same time learning nifty words like poult (baby turkey) and rafter (group of turkeys)…

Yeah, couldn’t quite think of an adequate analogy for that one, but that’s the gist of it – each correct answer donates 10 grains through the UN World Food Program. Free education, free (well, sponsor-supported) rice.

You may have noticed a few themes running through this post, namely helping and turkey. Giblets is a caring turkey. You are, too. I mean, not to say that you are a turkey, just in respect to Giblets being a turkey and you being a…well, you get it. Happy Thanksgiving!

Pen Pals

I tried convincing a couple of my elementary schoolers that Lord Voldemort and I are なかよし (close friends). Well, they weren’t just going to take my word for it, so they asked for proof from You-Know-Who himself:


For some reason, WordPress doesn’t want to show their letter, but it’s basically a handwritten note that says:





Sure enough, on my next school visit, they received a reply. They are now true believers.

I think Voldemort's cursive could use a little work.

I think it was the snake heart that did it.