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Help through a Click

Recently on my way back from New Delhi to Chennai by Air Sahara, not knowing what to do for the nearly 4 hours journey (Flight delayed for 15 mins & a scheduled stopover @Bangalore) I started reading the in-flight magazine. You know this is the magazine that Airlines hide behind the AirSick Bags. Kidding, honestly, I find the in-house magazines of Domestic Airlines (Jet and IA) much better than the International Airlines (they suck!) and most of the time, I take a copy home for further reading.

Air Sahara calls their magazine, XPRESSIONS (all caps?). In the Feb ’04 issue, there was a useful article “The Desktop Philanthropist“ by Payal Dhat. Payal points out to lots of sites on the Internet, which we can use to donate/help for worthy causes.

3 sites impressed me a lot, that I made sure to register with them as soon as I reached home.

The first is Hungersite, on this site for every click we do in a button, a new page opens up with sponsor advertisements. Each such click helps feed the hungry with the value of 1.1 cups of staple food. So far they seem to have given 47,919,670 cups of food to the hungry.

The last is  http://www.fightaidsathome.org. This is the first biomedical distributed computing project that uses your idle CPU time to do drug compounds computations against detailed models of evolving AIDS viruses —an accomplishment previously impossible without expensive supercomputers. It does this by installing on your Windows machine a Screensaver software that wakes up when your PC is idle, doing nothing other than painting beautiful Windows with no one to see it. It then downloads compounds over the Internet and then tries to solve them. Once done, it uploads the results and gets the new set.The second is Panda P@ssportIt is your licence to campaign for the environment, no matter where you are in the world, all over the world. Recently,  Norway said no to oil drilling in Lofoten Islands because of the pressure from Passport holders, WWF along with other stakeholders.

All these are worthy causes right?. Now when my wife says, “What are you doing in front of PC for hours, are you saving the world?”. I can reply confidently “Yes, I am saving the world!”.

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