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Weekend Picks

May 24, 2003 14:49 IST

 A girl obsessed with shopping and a guy who spends a lot of time arguing - with his girlfriend!

Kate Bingaman, a graduate design student, would have been like any other girl her age. Obsessed with shopping! But she went a step further. She not only buys things, but also documents all her purchases to track her spending habits since January 2002 on a site called Obsessive Consumption.

It started with a green couch Kate purchased on that date for $30 from the Salvation Army. She decided to keep the receipt and also take a picture of the couch. Only it didn't stop there. She kept track of everything she has bought since then and says her project is a "way to study consumption on a personal level."

All of Kate's receipts are stored date wise in glassine envelopes and then ranked according to overall satisfaction. Some of them bring back memories, while other purchases embarrass her. Some of the objects have been thrown away and lost, but she still is a part of the "history of the object" since she still has a photograph and receipt for it.

Her documentation went online in the second year and Kate hopes her effort will not only reveal her buying habits, but also help understand yours. So if you've just got back from a hectic round of shopping, you know exactly where to head to ease those guilt pangs!


Admit it. Humans spend most of their lives arguing. With their parents, wives, girlfriends, kids, shopkeepers and anyone who cares to carry on a conversation with you. And Mil Millington not only admits it, he's also documented most of the arguments he's had with his girlfriend.

"Nothing keeps a relationship on its toes so much as lively debate. Fortunate, then, that my girlfriend and I agree on absolutely nothing. At all," is what Millington has to say.

And what do they argue about? From the mundane to the hilarious, here are a few samples:

  • The best way to hang up washing.
  • Those little toothpaste speckles you make when you brush your teeth in front of the mirror.
  • First Born's name (Jonathan). Then, when that was settled...
  • How to pronounce First Born's name.

If you identify with some of Millington's arguments, then you should definitely read his whole list. He's also got some equally hilarious section, like lavatories of the world, if you're interested in some fun weekend reading.


Beauty, they say lies in the eyes of the beholder. This site actually defines what a beautiful face actually is and what makes it so.

A large research project on 'facial attractiveness' carried out at the universities of Regensburg and Rostock in Germany, the site has lots of information on the concept of beauty.

Things you can find out from the site are why some faces are more beautiful than others; how scientists help unravel the mystery of beauty and the dangerous relationship between a beautiful body and social power.

Some characteristics of a beautiful female face according to the research are suntanned skin, narrow facial shape, less fat, fuller lips, higher cheek bones and thinner eyelids. For a male face, they are browner skin, less fat, fuller and more symmetrical lips, darker eye brows and no receding brows, amongst others.

If you're wondering if your face qualifies as 'beautiful', this project might give you a few answers.


For books, music and movie lovers, the List of Bests will be a worthwhile visit. Bill Turner, who is responsible for this site says he got the idea when he was trying to tackle reading all the books on Random House Best 100 Books of the 20th Century list. He printed copies of the list but they seemed to get lost or thrown away. Turner then built a Web page to keep track but that too ran into problems – he would forget to update or it took too long.

Turner decided to then build an online resource himself to store lists of best movies, music and books. It took him three months to complete on his free time. The books section includes lists like '100 Science Fiction Books You Just Have to Read' and 'Booker Prize Winners'. If you're a jazz enthusiast you might want to check out the 'Top 100 jazz CDs'. And for movie fans, there are categories like top thrillers, love stories, British films, Academy Award winners.

All in all, a very useful site, especially if you plan to catch up with your reading and catch a few films, or even listen to some good music.

Anita Bora