Fun Stuff, Serious Stuff

Take a look at this week’s lineup: no more punching a zillion numbers to reach customer service; generate a poem, proverb, plot or dozens more fun things; click your mouse to ‘donate” to humanitarian projects; and last but not least, participate in a science-based project to find out how strong your psychic powers may be.

IVR Cheat Sheet. IVR stands for “interactive voice response”—we know it as the computerized voice on the phone that tells us to punch 1 for this, 7 for that. Who doesn’t get annoyed by having to punch in all those numbers? We can now avoid all that and talk directly to a human, thanks to the work of Paul English. He has compiled a “cheat sheet” of instructions on how to access a human voice at several credit card companies, large banks, phone companies and many, many other businesses. Paul English also suggests that we send in our own cheat codes for businesses not listed, if we happen to know them. So far, NIPSCO is not on the list. Too bad.

Generator Blog . Here is a place to find dozens and dozens of links to mini-programs that instantly generate fun stuff. Want to morph a face of your least-admired politician? Hint: you can morph, print, and make a dart target out of it. That’s just one example of the variety of generators found around the Internet. You can generate crazy names for yourself, from an outlaw biker to a Star Wars or Tolkein character. You can write a message and have a penguin create it for you—watch as it slides through the snow. Plug in some words and instantly generate a poem with them. Or, if you don’t feel like writing in any information, just have the plot generator come up with an idea for you. The latter comes in different genres, too. The list of generators is huge, and amazing. Have fun.

Click to Donate <a href=” I’ve listed two different sites where you can contribute to a humanitarian project just by clicking your mouse. Free Donation has been around for several years, and I’ve mentioned it in this column before. The second-mentioned website appears to be newer—click to help the nonviolence movement, and on the same site look for other projects that may be dear to your heart. We’re limited to one click per day. Who knows how much one click is worth, or how much has been collected so far from the people who regularly add a click each day. That is a question worth researching.

PSI Arcade ( I’m not big on video games, but I am a fan (and past member) of the Institute for Noetic Sciences, founded by former astronaut Edgar Mitchell. The Institute has been researching paranormal and consciousness studies for more than 25 years. The PSI Arcade is an experiment where we can test how strong our intuition, intention and perception is. The games can be played anonymously, or if one registers (free), the results are added to the project’s research database. You can see how you measure up to other players. In addition to one game that involves 3 doors, there is another “garden” game with several different activities. See how well you think you can perform remote healing or sense where an object will appear on screen. When you’re finished, have a look around the rest of the site to see the other interesting projects that the Institute is involved with.


~ by IndianaDunesPoet on January 12, 2006.

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