I have over 200 e-mails in my inbox, and though sometimes I can deal with a lot quickly when I put my mind to it, progress came to a screeching halt when I'm confronted with one from my brother, alerting me to the FreeRice vocabulary game.  It's a simple, multiple-choice vocabulary quiz that adjusts to one's abilities, making it suitable for a wide range of players.  For each correct answer, 20 grains of rice are donated (funded by advertising on the site) to the United Nations World Food Program.  All at one site: good turn, mental workout, and addictive distraction.

This game is particularly useful when there are so many other things you need to be doing that your mind can't concentrate on any of them.  :)  In my introductory session, I spent about half an hour and got up to Level 49 (of 50) and 3300 grains of rice.  This is much better than the Reader's Digest "Word Power" for challenging me. (More)

Posted by sursumcorda on Tuesday, January 15, 2008 at 5:37 pm | Edit
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Today's Hi and Lois, not true for us, but too close for comfort.  Good thing Janet's earning her money in CHF.

Posted by sursumcorda on Monday, January 7, 2008 at 9:45 am | Edit
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I came upon this Sheep Dash game in an article on sleep cycles.  Supposedly it provides a measure of how sleep-deprived one is, though they admit reaction time is slowed by aging as well.  I've found I score "Bobbing Bobcat" pretty consistently, and it tells me to go get a cup of coffee.  I only score worse when a head-bobbing sheep tricks me into jumping the gun.  Once I achieved "Rocketing Rabbit" but have not yet repeated the feat.  Maybe after a nap....

I'd be interested in seeing how you video game players score.  I expect you'll do much better, though it won't be a fair contest since none of the video gamers I know are as old as I am.  :)
Posted by sursumcorda on Thursday, November 8, 2007 at 9:22 am | Edit
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I don't have enough data yet from my comics survey to make any permanent changes, but I've added a couple of new ones on a trial basis to my comics pageSherman's Lagoon was recommended by DSTB, and Stone Soup I just discovered.  I'm reserving judgement on both, but Stone Soup makes it because the currently-pregnant heroine is planning a home birth.  I can't read the archives far enough back to know the beginning, but I need to read the strip at least long enough to see how the idea is handled.

I've also moved Baby Blues to the bottom of the list, which will inconvenience some of you.  The order is not permanant, but for some reason I haven't figured out, going to the Baby Blues site now causes all subsequent comics to open annoyingly in a new tab or window instead of in the frame.

Here are a couple of Stone Soups I especially liked: (More)

Posted by sursumcorda on Sunday, July 1, 2007 at 7:17 am | Edit
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Every once in a while the Orlando Sentinel publishes a comics survey, in which they ask readers to rate the comics they read and suggest new ones for the paper to run.† Not a bad idea.† I've been considering revamping the Morning Coffee section of my Sursum Corda home page.† Since I know that several of you visit it regularly, it seems only fair to get your input.† In fact, one person already suggested a new comic—which was the inspiration for this post.

So...what do you like?† Not like?† Do you use any of the other links on the page besides the comics?† What else would you like to see?

Thanks, all!
Posted by sursumcorda on Wednesday, June 20, 2007 at 8:48 am | Edit
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Today's Frazz:

Posted by sursumcorda on Friday, June 8, 2007 at 7:15 am | Edit
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Since everything turned out all right, I have to post this link to Serina's Crazy Afternoon.  It's as funny as any comedy show, much cleaner than most, and has a happy ending.  Serina writes so well!  Li'l Writer Guy nearly indulged in a fit of jealous pique, but fortunately his sense of humor won out.
Posted by sursumcorda on Saturday, April 21, 2007 at 5:15 pm | Edit
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Taking up Janet's challenge, I'm attempting to put a YouTube video in this post.† Being perennially out of date and out of touch, I think this was my first venture into YouTube-land.† As one of those whose lives are still affected, for better or (and) for worse, by Judge Green's decision to break up AT&T, I found it hysterical.

Posted by sursumcorda on Saturday, January 20, 2007 at 12:48 pm | Edit
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Jonathan, who just turned three, met me on the stairs with a blue cable in his hand. As I passed, I remarked, "That looks like a Cat 5 cable." "No it's not," he responded, "It's a USB cord." (He was right.)
Posted by sursumcorda on Wednesday, November 29, 2006 at 7:34 am | Edit
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Jon's Johari Window was a nice break from cleaning the kitchen, so I decided to set up one for myself. There's more to the Johari Window than a simplistic personality profile tool, but this version is kind of fun. Despite my frustrations with the limited, multiple-choice format, I think it may even be useful in the quest "to see oursels as ithers see us!" (More)
Posted by sursumcorda on Wednesday, August 2, 2006 at 2:28 pm | Edit
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Jon showed me this Speed Bump comic (by Dave Coverly), and it's too good not to pass on.

Posted by sursumcorda on Tuesday, June 27, 2006 at 5:17 pm | Edit
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It's been a while since I've posted a Frazz comic here (I always worry about the line between fair use and copyright violation), but it's one of the best comic strips ever, and deserves all the publicity it can get. Though set in a public school, it often captures what homeschooing is all about, and today's strip made me shout in acclamation:

Posted by sursumcorda on Friday, June 16, 2006 at 7:04 am | Edit
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This has nothing to do with Japan, except that a link to the site was waiting for me in an e-mail when we returned. I scored "38% Dixie. You are definitely a Yankee." This is more fun than most e-mail quizzes, and includes information on regional speech variations. (The friend who sent it to me is very selective in what she passes on.) Enjoy!

Test your own speech habits here.
Posted by sursumcorda on Tuesday, April 4, 2006 at 1:51 pm | Edit
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Happy Pi Day, everyone! Since I don't habitually use the 24-hour time format, or more truthfully, since I have better things to do (sleep) at 1:59 a.m., I choose to mark the occasion at 1:59 p.m. Too bad I don't have time to make a nice strawberry-rhubarb pie today....
Posted by sursumcorda on Tuesday, March 14, 2006 at 1:59 am | Edit
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This isn't high on the list of important things I have to do at the moment, but Jon challenged me and it looks like fun, so I'll see if I can come up with something reasonably quickly.

Total size of music files in my computer
About 500 songs, I have no idea how many hours, about 2.1 GB.

This is slightly misleading, as most of the music I listen to is not on my computer. What I've counted includes a number of recordings, compositions, and transcriptions of music featuring family and friends.

Last record bought
Prayer for Peace (Orlando Deanery Boychoir and Girls' Choirs), title song by Robert Kerr

Song that I am listening to now
Silence. No, not Simon & Garfunkel's Sounds of Silence, but the real thing, or what passes for it in this busy world. Sometimes silence is my favorite song, especially when I'm trying to concentrate.

Five songs that I listen to a lot or that mean a lot to me
Impossible to choose! But here is a representative sample:

Camille Saint-SaŽns, Symphony No. 3 (Organ Symphony)

I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say/Star of the County Down (The link will take you to Horatius Bonar's words, but you'll have to click on the "Kingsfold" MIDI link to hear the right tune.)

St. Patrick's Breastplate (Irish tunes "St. Patrick" and "Deirdre" with Cecil Frances Alexander's translation of an ancient Gaelic poem attributed to St. Patrick. The link doesn't have the complete music, but will give you an idea.)

Kilkelly (Green Fields of America)

Non Nobis, Domine (unpublished arrangement by Linda Clary of Patrick Doyle's version from Kenneth Branagh's production of Shakespeare's Henry V)

5 persons to whom I am passing the baton
I'm not going to name names, but hope some people will add their own information in comments.
Posted by sursumcorda on Thursday, June 2, 2005 at 12:56 pm | Edit
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