Sunday, December 30, 2007

Free Rice: Because there are never enough ways to waste your time on the web

My mom sent me a link today for a site called Free Rice. The premise of the site is this: They give you a word and 4 choices. You need to pick the correct definition, and if you do, they donate 20 grains of rice to starving people via the fine folks at the United Nations. You know, the UN that sends "letters of strong rebuke and condemnation" to despots everywhere. They'll stand up to the United States but for dictators elsewhere they put their countries on the Human Rights committee. According to Snopes, the deal is for real. Here are two key questions answered from the sites FAQ :

Who pays for the donated rice?

The rice is paid for by the advertisers whose names you see on the bottom of your vocabulary screen. This is regular advertising for these companies, but it is also something more. Through their advertising at FreeRice, these companies support both learning (free vocabulary for everyone) and reducing hunger (free rice for the hungry). We commend these companies for their participation at FreeRice.

If FreeRice has the rice to give, why not give it all away right now?

FreeRice is not sitting on a pile of rice―you are earning it 20 grains at a time. Here is how it works. When you play the game, advertisements appear on the bottom of your screen. The money generated by these advertisements is then used to buy the rice. So by playing, you generate the money that pays for the rice donated to hungry people.

Now, I realize hunger is not a laughing matter. I see it every day here in Brazil. I remember my father told me one of his last memories of Cuba was a campesino who knocked on his door asking for food, and when the guy's son saw meat on the table he said "Papi, carne!!". Two, three times a week there is a kid who knocks on our door asking for rice, or beans, or milk, coffee, sugar, etc. He's got a system worked out where he will ask us for one thing, the neighbor for another, and he just works his way around the block, and by the time he's done he's got a meal for his family. He changes it up, from house to house, week to week, so everybody pitches in. But 20 grains?!? That's barely a mouthful. And the words are kinda easy for the most part, although they built a program where it gets harder as you get them right, easier if you get them wrong. I think they should rework it whereby the harder words are worth more rice, and the easier ones less, but thats just me.

Anyways, if you are one of those "word people", and you wanna help out a good cause, visit Free Rice, tell'em my mom sent ya!!


Soulberry said...

Hi, I reached your blog quite by chance earlier in the day (was in a bit of a hurry then) and I had set aside the link to read at greater leisure. I like your blog.

My best wishes to you on a New Year.

Thanks for the link to FreeRice.

Daniel @ Garanhuns said...

Hi Soulberry,
Thanks for the visit and comment. According to my mom, that Free Rice game is addicting. Enjoy!!