70 Unleash your inner Warlock
“MMOs (massively multiplayer online role-playing games) are a nice place to unwind when you get some free time, or after a long day—the rules are different and you can lose yourself in a new world.”
A ‘World of Warcraft ’ Orc hunter called Slink.
71 Air your dirty laundry to the world
A preliminary 2008 study conducted by the Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia, found that among its sample of Internet users, people who “started blogging” were “better adjusted” and “lived healthier, happier social lives” because “blogs are open to dimensions of social support, friendship and positive interaction”.
Blogspot (www.blogspot.com) is a good bet. Another service, Livejournal India (community.livejournal.com/lj_india), has a great community.
72 Play with paper
Origami, the Japanese art of folding paper, is known to allow “effective development of motor, intellectual and creative abilities”, according to a 2000 study by Katrin and Yuri Shumakov, psychologists based in Toronto, Canada. But if mastering the intricate folding patterns doesn’t fit your crazed schedule, try Papercraft models instead. These freely downloadable PDFs offer detailed folding instructions. All you need is a printer, a pair of scissors and a bit of patience. Start your doll collection at
73 Ogle at animals
While there’s no scientific evidence to back up the claim that fuzzy animals equal bliss, founders of Cute Overload ( www.cuteoverload.com ) and Upside Down Dogs ( www.upsidedowndogs. com ) might beg to differ. Thousands of viewers check in daily to get their fill of adorable furry little animals in ridiculously saccharine-sweet poses.
74 Turn to the funny pages
“Say you’re having a crappy, bored-outta-my-brain day at work, and then along come these little nuggets of awesomeness in convenient little boxes,” says Reetika Joshi, 22, a research analyst at a Pune-based firm, about Webcomics, free graphic comic strips on the Internet. “I guess what I like most is the simplicity of it all. How someone can draw just stick figures and scribbles, and it’ll still be the best thing you see all day.”
Start your Webcomics viewing spree with the popular but geeky XKCD ( www.xkcd.com ) or the irreverent Cyanide and Happiness (www.explosm.net/happiness) . Careful, the stick figures do get a bit graphic.
75 Go Ga-Ga over goo
A 2006 study on the “Cognitive Health Benefits of Digital Gameplay” by the Games for Health Project, a US-based non-profit organization that studies the use of videogames for health care, monitored the effects of videogames on thinking patterns and found that—surprise, surprise—certain types of games could potentially contribute to a healthy, agile mind. World of Goo! is a new, independently produced game from 2D-Boy (www.2dboy.com), a new indie game studio. It’s a lovely puzzle solver, leaving you to figure out concepts of physics and architecture while couched in an impossibly cute and addictive game. The game can be bought online for $20 (around Rs1,000), and is available for PC, Mac and Nintendo Wii.
76 Tweet often
“Twitter is very different from mail, chat or Facebook. It keeps you up-to-date with friends’ happenings in your day-to-day life,” says Harish Ravindran, an IT professional who uses the popular service with gleeful abandon, having clocked 249 updates since December 2007.
While keeping your friends in the loop of your daily banalities might not seem like the most profound of activities, once you get into the Twitter groove, a strange wibbly-wobbly feeling of what technology commentator Clive Thompson calls “ambient awareness” starts to kick in. It’s like a peripheral awareness of what’s going on with all your friends at all times, making you feel much more connected to them, no matter where you may be in the world.