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News cheaters.

By Thom Wong 23 Nov 2005 | TheTyee.ca

Thom Wong writes regularly about music for The Tyee. He has also been a teacher and contract specialist. With eight years of education and three bachelor degree, Thom focuses mostly on marketing writing.

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[Editor's note: 40 bLinks lists Thom Wong's top web picks. For information about him and how he chooses them, click here.]

Every day you wake up thinking this is the morning you're going to read the New York Times. You know you should; the amount of news never lessens, and every day the volume multiplies by a kind of Moore's law of eventful things. As JFK said, and erroneously attributed to the Chinese, "May you live in interesting times."

But after you skim the Times' front page (does anyone read the ENTIRE Times?), there's still the Guardian UK, the Globe and Mail, and Google News, all free and all just a click away.

Cheaters go to 10 x 10. Each day is represented on the site by a grid of one hundred images taken from that day's news; along the side of the grid are 100 words corresponding to those images. Clicking on one of those words (they start small and grow larger as you move your mouse over them) opens up a small window with the picture and relevant links underneath it.

The site also links to JUSTCURIO.US a bizarre pseudo forum where you can post a single question, provided you answer someone else's random question first. Taking the anonymous nature of the Internet as a credo, the site bill's itself as "Strangers helping strangers." Users are identified only by country of origin, and you can choose to receive any answers to your question by e-mail.

For my question, "Love: feeling or choice," I received the succinct: "Both," the mysterious: "True love is feeling over choice, but it can easily be both," and the zen koan: "Love is a force, like gravity. It's always there; we just don't acknowledge it until we drop something heavy on our toe." Short, informational pearls from strangers.

Thom Wong is a law student who spends an unreasonable amount of time online. His 40 bLinks column will run every Monday and Thursday on The Tyee.  [Tyee]

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