Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Day 8: Playing for Food

Today, after work, I set to work at FreeRice.org, a website where you can play knowledge-based games and earn money for the United Nations World Food Programme.

I've been to Free Rice many times in the past. The way the site works (or so I thought) was that you played a vocabulary game where you chose the meaning of words and, the longer you play, the more rice gets donated to prevent hunger around the world. Each question answered correctly gains 10 grains of rice. The words get progressively harder, and I usually end up fluctuating between levels 40 and 45 out of 60, and find it a fairly entertaining way to pass the time. (The rice is paid for by the banner advertisements on the page as you're playing the game.)

Since I knew I would blog about it, I was paying a bit more attention to the links on the site and I noticed one I hadn't seen before: Change Subjects. By clicking on it, I discovered that "English Vocabulary" was only one of the many subjects that they offered you to play for rice. The full list of subjects is:
  • Art - Famous Paintings
  • Chemistry - Chemical Symbols (Basic)
  • Chemistry - Chemical Symbols (Full List)
  • English - English Grammar
  • English - English Vocabulary
  • Geography - Identify Countries on the Map
  • Geography - World Capitals
  • Language Learning - French
  • Language Learning - German
  • Language Learning - Italian
  • Language Learning - Spanish
  • Math - Basic Math (Pre-Algebra)
  • Math - Multiplication Table
I played the English Vocabulary, English Grammar (reached level 5 of 5), Identify Countries on the Map (level 4 of 5), Basic Math (level 10 of 10), World Capital (level 4 of 5), and French (level 9 of 10 - who'd have guessed the foreign language classes stuck that well?).

According to the Free Rice website FAQ, in countries where rice is a staple, they provide about 400 grams of rice per person per day. About 48 grains of rice is a gram. So this means that 19,200 grains of rice will feed a starving person for a day.

Today, with only about an hour's worth of play, I earned about 5,000 grains of rice.

So, if I can keep this sort of activity up for each of the remaining 32 days, the World Food Programme would be able to provide about 8 days worth of food for starving people in developing countries ... and my own knowledge of vocabulary, geography, and French (who knows, I might try some Italian, Spanish or German) might even increase a bit.

Day 3 Follow-Up
Today, Amber and I received our test kits for the Be the Match National Marrow Donor Program. We rubbed cotton swabs on the inside of our moths and placed them into the envelopes to be sent back. They'll go back out in the mail tomorrow and, in relatively short order, we'll be placed on the registry to donate bone marrow.