Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Get smarter & save the world

The website FreeRice.com was started with two goals in mind:

1. Provide English vocabulary to everyone for free.

2. Help end world hunger by providing rice to hungry people for free.

Lo and behold, that's exactly what it does. When you arrive at the site, you're asked a vocabulary question (don't worry, you don't have to sign up or anything - no forms, I promise). If you answer it correctly, the site donates 20 grains of rice to the United Nations World Food Program; then you're asked a harder question. With each question you answer correctly, the site gives another 20 grains away. In January, the site donated a total of 4,551,581,980 grains (that comes to more than 150,000 pounds).

The best part is, even if you get an answer wrong, you can still continue to play. And the site keeps track of how much rice you've donated in a cute little ricebowl icon to the right. You can also change your settings so that the site remembers you when you return, keeping a tally on how many grains of rice you've given since you first started playing.

So. Next time you want to procrastinate, why not increase your word knowledge and give a little something to the poor? It's that easy.

(Many thanks to a commenter on the WSJ Health Blog for pointing out the site.)