Saturday, August 30, 2008

No news is good news? Fifi ***

There was a time when I used to read the newspaper, as a means for gaining "general knowledge", which all and sundry claimed was essential for your all round development. That is to say, there were quizzes and debates and such events at the school where you could prove your prowess, not to mention the chance of getting into the administration later in life, and lord over the masses. But as soon as I gained some degree of insight into what the news actually meant, if filled me with such revulsion that I stopped reading all but the headlines, and the comics. In my view, the larger the comic page, the better the newspaper. For what was news all about except acts of depravity, cruelty or bestiality carried out by mankind, over men, women, children, animals and the earth? It depressed me, and horrified me, and I had the feeling that the world as it was couldn't possibly last much longer if we all continued doing things like that. Well, so many years later, the world is still doing things like that, worse if possible, and we still have the same news of deaths, disappointments and derangements. Isn't there any good news ever? Not the kind of chicken soup stories that come from Readers' Digest, even though I do like reading them, only not in my newspaper. No, news of the good that men can do. Of the survival of good, of the heights that the human spirit can and does achieve, of the things that are possible with effort or imagination or both, of wonder and awe, of exploration and inspiration, without eulogizing or sentimentalizing the affair. I expect that is why the Olympics are such a draw. Even seen through the haze of politics and all the murkier affairs that will not die down, there is still an achievement to look up to each day as you open the newspaper.

Many characters on tv, or in books and comics have their own websites nowadays, and many of my links are of this nature. They may not be educational in that their primary purpose is to entertain, but for the tiny tots at least, there is still some computer dexterity to be learnt. I am not so sure about the older ones sustaining repetitive stress injuries and eye strain spending prolonged periods playing one game or the other, even though studies seem to point to better performance by laparoscopic surgeons playing video games. At any rate, most of these, because of the commercial nature of the endeavour, and because a lot of them are already animated characters, are quite well designed and maintained, and prove to be quite popular with kids. Today's site, Fifi and the flowertots, is one such site. It is run by Chapman entertainment limited. The characters are cute, and the animation quality good.

There are the usual games, printouts, bit of videos, sing along songs from the tv series, along with scrapbooks, ecards, events and promos, shop for fifi merchandise, and such stuff which I haven't personally tried yet. Games and songs, and at the most some videos have been our province so far, but I doubt not that this will change once my kid is old enough to 'network' at school or otherwise. The games have a sort of reward system wherein most of them will give you something to grow in 'your garden' when you finish successfully. Here is one which requires quick clicking of the mouse -

Be sure to warned though that the site is rather slow loading on low speed connections, and sometimes does not load correctly either, in which case you have to refresh the screen repeatedly.

The url -

P.S. Well, well, well, its already tomorrow, isn't it, despite my efforts to be short and sweet and catch the deadline. Sorry to be late and stuff, but this has to happen from time to time, and better not spend too many tears here. And, the next entry will have to wait too...

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