Free Rice. Helping to feed the World and your vocabulary.

Right, I want you to stop what you’re doing and I want you to go to a website called Free Rice.

Well not right now obviously, first I want you to keep reading but afterwards I do want you to go to a website called Free Rice. In fact I implore you.

Because not only will you get a chance to test your intelligence and learn some stuff but in your own little way you’ll be helping to fight World hunger as well.

And I know how fanciful that sounds but it’s absolutely true. Let me explain.

FreeRiceFree Rice is a very neat little website that is run by the United Nations World Food Program and one which lives up to the name because its sole purpose is to provide free rice to some of the poorest people of the World in over 75 countries.

And it does this with your help using simple but fun vocabulary tests, alongside some other quizzes, that for every one of your correct answers the various large companies who sponsor the site donate 10 grains of rice.

Not alot obviously but when hundreds of thousands of people are taking the challenge every single day that’s a lot of bowls being filled.

On the day before I posted this, the site says 22,659,350 grains were donated and since Free Rice was launched in October 2007 a total of 66,691,160,670 grains of rice have been contibuted so far. That’s 66 billion, crikey, I wouldn’t want to count ’em.

But apart from the fantastic charitable aspect of the site, it’s just simple addictive fun. You’re given a word and asked what it means from a choice of four options. And oh they start off easy but begin getting harder and more obscure until you think they must be making the buggers up.

With 60 levels of difficulty as well, which for every 3 correct definitions you go up a level and for a wrong ‘un drop down a level, there’s a distinct sense of achievement when you beat your previous best. Of course that’s when they start hitting you with words like ‘dyspeptic’ and ‘vituperation’ to define.

And I was dyspeptic and hurled plenty of vituperation at the computer screen when those came up I can tell you.

Not that I knew it immediately, because then I didn’t know dyspectic meant bad tempered and vituperation meant verbal abuse. At the time they just meant I wasn’t as clever as I thought I was, but I’m a little bit cleverer for knowing them now.

So do the clever and charitable thing yourself, go to the Free Rice website by clicking this link and the first thing you should do before starting the tests is to select the Options Tab and click the button for it to remember your own tally of contributed rice. Trust me, you’ll be returning to the site plenty more times yet.

Tell your friends about Free Rice too, and if you know any kids definitely tell them about it, they’ll be the ones to benefit most other than those to whom a simple bowl of rice means so much. And if they object at first, make the little darlings visit.

Between a bit of coercive vituperation and helping to donate some food for the most needy, Bob Geldof would be proud of you.

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