Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

End World Hunger Vocabulary Quiz

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This linked online vocabulary game has an interesting premise; for every correct answer you provide, twenty grains of rice will be donated to the United Nations to end world hunger (they increased their reward from ten grains of rice). This game was invented by a man who was trying to help his son improve his vocabulary in preparation for the SATs. How many grains of rice did you donate?


  1. #1 Elf Eye
    December 18, 2007

    May I brag, please? I have made it to level 50 several times! Of course, I never stay there long–just for a few turns until I fall back to a lower level. Anyway, it is a fun way to pass the time during breaks from more intensive activities, and it’s neat (neat? I am sooo retro) that at the same time rice is being added to the pile.

  2. #2 polly
    December 18, 2007

    Not to sound like a pessimist, but do we have any proof rice is actually be donated because of this game?

  3. #3 "GrrlScientist"
    December 18, 2007

    wow, that’s very impressive! almost no one makes it to level 50, according to the guy who invented the game.

  4. #4 "GrrlScientist"
    December 18, 2007

    i heard an interview with the game’s inventor on NPR the other day and yes, the rice is being donated .. i have been trying to find the streaming version of the interview on the WNYC site, and i can see it in the search results, but the link doesn’t pop up, for some truly weird reason.

  5. #5 david1947
    December 18, 2007

    So I had to go back; 2220 grains sent and still no higher than 47. I had to guess a fair number, and only my classical education (Latin, Chaucer) and F&SF affinity helped. Lots of words needing specialist knowledge, not just general, but very few (<10 IIRC) of a scientific nature. But fun, time-wasting|filling. Thanks.

  6. #6 David Harmon
    December 18, 2007

    While the idea is generally a nice one, it’s worth noting that rice runs 30-50 grains to a gram, so we are talking microdonations here. That is, 3000 grains amounts to perhaps 100g dry rice, about a quarter-pound.

  7. #7 pat silver
    December 19, 2007

    I am gratified to find that my vocabulary is still good, I’ve been between 46-50 consistently for several weeks. It’s nice to know that there really is rice going somewhere too.

  8. #8 "GrrlScientist"
    December 19, 2007

    thanks for the stats regarding rice weight/quantities. i was going to figure that out for all of you, but fortunately, someone else did it for me, first!

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