Daily Archives: 12/31/2005

Food Force Game

The UN’s World Food Program released a video game this year to promote understanding of world hunger and disaster relief. Players of Food Force take on the task of supplying disaster relief to the imaginary island of Sheylan in the Indian Ocean through six missions. It’s a good twist on exploiting the popularity of video games to reach a demographic not normally associated with charitable giving.

Also worth checking out is the World Hunger Map at the WFP website. And again, do something to help, even just a click a day helps.

Million Dollar Homepage

Came across a story yesterday about this chap in Britain who has made a mint by selling advertising space on his homepage. Alex Tew, a college student from England started selling off one million pixels on his homepage in August. In four months the idea has made him richer than his wildest dreams. The Million Dollar Homepage is exactly that.

Like all great concepts the idea is simplicity itself. The homepage is divided into 10,000 boxes, each made up of 100 pixels.

Companies or individuals are invited to buy one or more box for $100 each – $1 a pixel – and cover it with a logo. When a websurfer clicks on the logo he is transported to the company or person’s website.

This has turned Tew’s homepage into an online version of Times Square, a gawdy collection of logos and advertisements for everything from online poker to rental agencies, mangosteen, water filters, specialty book publishers and absinthe ads to furniture merchants.
The Million Dollar Homepage
The wild success of this idea has even spawned knockoff million dollar pages around the internet. It’s simply amazing what strikes the internet zeitgeist sometimes. Congratulations to Alex Tew for making a fortune on the fickle whims of the internet. All your base are belong to us.

Nadirs of the Earth

Here’s a very cool map showing exactly what is on the opposite side of the world. Two inverse maps, one in black and the other red, show what’s on the other side of the world. For example, it looks like Rio de Janeiro is the closest landmark for what’s on the opposite ends of the earth from Guam. Hmm.

The Art of Nicholas Roerich

Well this is just plain unexpected; a plethora of really cool art by someone hitherto unknown to me. It’s all vaguely unsettling, which is obviously why H.P. Lovecraft was so enamored of the paintings.

Nikolai Roerich (1874-1947) was a Russian painter who traveled through Tibet in the 1920’s painting the Himalayan mountains. His works can be seen at the Roerich Museum in New York City where Lovecraft saw them. They would have a profound effect on Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness.

What is equally interesting is the Roerich Pact, a 1935 treaty for the care and preservation of cultural artifacts around the world. Much as the Geneva Convention lays out the rules for war, the Roerich Pact lays the groundwork for the preservation of cultural artifacts. This is just fascinating stuff for me, especially the association with Lovecraft. That’s just plain weird.

Tibet. Himalayas. 1933 - Tempera on canvas. 74 x 117 cm. Nicholas Roerich Museum, New York