Thursday, November 22, 2007

Right back at ya, US

Who are the real illegal immigrants in US? :-)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

He he he

Some years ago...
Santa: Ho! Ho! Ho!
Woman: Awww...its Santa! So sweet...

Now in Australia....
Santa: Ho! Ho! Ho!
Woman: How dare u! ~one tight slap~

Even Santa's got to be Politically Correct (PC) this year, atleast in Australia. He cant use the word 'Ho' as a greeting any more. Why? Coz, in the crazy mixed up world which is ruled by whatever happens in the US of A, Ho is slang for a prostitute... and u don't want Santa pointing his finger at a girl and going Ho Ho Ho, do u? That too, at a little girl at an impressionable age of six or seven. Who, by the way, should not know the meaning of the slang anyway. But ya, some kids at 12 or 13 would probably snicker at hearing Santa say Ho... over and over again. Kids above the age of 15 wouldn't probably care at all.
But heck, Santa cant say Ho... It might insult adult women in Australia. Australia? Where they've got a bordello on the stock exchange? What's wrong with being called a Ho?
But when u come to think of it, it does change how u look at a lot of other things...
I wonder, how people can keep a straight face now when they go to Ho Chi Minh City... and does that mean Westward Ho is really about prostitutes in the old west? Oh wait. That was what Unforgiven was.
There was even a Westward Ho hotel which is now defunct. Wonder if it was the name that got to it. If this had been in any other country other than US, this might have happened...

Some cocky American (why are they always so cocky?) walks into the WHH and sashays (who sashays these days?) over to the reception...
Cocky American: So is this where the Westward Ho is?
Bored receptionist: ~yawn~ What do u think?
CA: Dont give me any attitude, scum. I got lots of it myself.
BR: ~yawn~ u want a room?
CA: Yes. and ur best Ho.
BR: Excuse me?
CA: Send me one of ur Hos...
BR: u want a hose?
CA: No...Ho! Ho! Ho! u numbskull...
BR: Oh! Merry christmas to u too...we'll send up our hotel Santa to ur room...
CA: What BS. I am leaving...

If u dont believe me, about the Santa thing.. here's the link

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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Quote of the day

Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in hospitals dying of nothing.
Redd Foxx
US comedian (1922 - 1991)

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Life - in a few short words

There are times when I wonder.. I wonder about life? I wonder why I keep doing what I am doing? Am I happy? Is this all worth it? Why did Vidya Balan do Heyy Baby? Albus Dumbledore is gay?? I guess I get confused a lot and the only thing I have been able to figure out that the choices we make, define our life... *Sigh*...

But ever so often, there are some moments of clarity, when, viewing life in its entirety, its not as bad as I usually think it to be. The silver lining. But I think that's because of the booze... You know, the world will be a much better place with more drunk people. There might be a lot of drunken revelry and slurred speeches, but then everybody's happy, right? So, there'll be a hell of a mess to clean up, but everybody's.... happy?

Anyway, getting back to life... wait, no, it should be coming back to life...

Describing life is difficult, or even summarizing it in a few words is quite tough. Interestingly, there are people who have been able to do it in such a way, that it all makes sense. Without further explanation, I'll defer to wrecktangle who's summarized life quite succinctly...

"....Life –
    1. Some friends.
    2. Some alcohol.
    3. Some music.
    4. Some books.
    5. Some movies.
    6. Some things stay the same. Thank god for that."

There's more in that post and its really good. Link to the entire post.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Ridin down the thoroughfare...

Cars whizzing by like crazy
in a bleary-eyed blur of reality
The roar of the engine
drowns the exhilarated silence
The rush of air around
subdues the breathless excitement
Whizzing past the standing-still
catching up with eternity...

Was aiming for a haiku but got carried away :-)

Monday, October 1, 2007

Let Sleeping Buddhas Lie

I tried to read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance... like three times. Every time I would start it off, after a certain while, I would just lose interest. Maybe it wasn't racy enough for my taste, or too deep that I couldn't take it anymore. I guess it depends on your mood when you can handle some deep introspection into the metaphysical nature of life or when all you are looking for is just sex...oops, I mean entertainment. Disastrous as it is, usually, my attempts at soul searching have always resulted in a lot of confused writing. But sometimes, if the topic is something that's really close to my heart, I end up with a little interesting piece of prose. Similar to the following...


A state of rest.
A feeling of complete relaxation.

Rejuvenation of the body and the soul.

Very addictive. So much that mornings become a pain.

Better in winters when you are under a blanket. When you slip your leg out from underneath the warmth and feel the cold and then snuggle back in. When you can feel the muscles in your body relax and feel like you never want to get up. Ever.

Horrible without air conditioning in summer. Sweat soaked and sticky. Smelly. You turn and turn hoping to get into some position where despite the heat, you might get some sleep.

Difficult in cramped spaces, hard mattresses, and without a pillow.
Difficult to, in planes, trains, cars and buses.

The best part of sleep is that its personal. Its only for me. My sleep is for me alone. I need to sleep. I cant give u my sleep, and neither can u have some of mine. But yawning, that's communal. Your yawn ends up setting off everybody...

Dozing off... One of those "hold-your-pee-until-u-burst" sort of situations, when trying to stay awake during some tedious class or conversation, you suddenly nod off. There's this small period of release where you are semi-conscious and you feel amazing. Then your head moves down and u wake up involuntarily. And you wish you could just doze off, right there.

Memories of good sleep makes u want to go back to sleep. The way you can snuggle up and feel so cozy that thinking of it makes me sleepy.

How, even when your day has been totally crappy, the thought that you can now close your eyes, and despite how hectic/panicky/life threatening the next day might be, you'll feel relaxed for a while.

How, when you have been keeping yourself awake for a really long time, your eyes become droopy and suddenly u feel like they r just too heavy to keep open.

Waking up, and realising it was just a dream...

Waking up, and realising its time to get up...


Monday, August 27, 2007

Astrological Nuisance

In continuation from my previous post where I had gone home for the weekend...

But anyway, this isnt about my deep rooted lack of self esteem. Its more of an observation on culture at large. Because on this trip home, I met, for the first time, with a sooth-sayer. Ya, ok, so he's an astrologer, but isnt that what they all are? Nostradamuses who foretell your personal future with just date of birth and time of birth as inputs. Oracles who move around some little shells over a square board, placing them at random and then listing out what u can and cannot achieve in your lifetime. The same people who sent those 300 horome crazies from Sparta with wash-board abs to their doom... Or the weird looking guy who sent Bill and Ted on their excellent adventure (but ofcourse, he was from the future). For me, he was a rather paunchy 50 year old with black wire-frame glasses and some sandal-wood paste smeared on his forehead. He also was a certified astrologer - A certificate from the All India Astrologers association was prominently displayed on the wall behind his desk. It showed that he had passed the astrology exam in flying colors. I wondered about the exam. I wondred if he probably had foreseen the questions beforehand, or maybe the examiner had given him a blank paper and asked him to write down the questions which they wanted to ask!!
Anyway, My visit was pretty much just a courtesy because my parents had got some work done by the guy and wanted me to settle accounts. But the dude was so wound up, that the moment he got me, he.. 'unleashed hell' - to quote maximus. The offensive was pretty strong and it lasted about 2 hours during which he sought to shake me up.. metaphysically speaking. He fired off 'to do' lists like an assault rifle at 500 rounds per minute. He rambled on about life and its meaning and how people ought to live it. He talked about everything under the sun. About prayer, and visiting temples and understanding god. To top it all, he also gave me free sex advice. "Dont watch porn", he said. "That's not real." (You got that right buddy...). "Nobody can be that big", he said. "At least not in India." (Really? That sure is informative!) "Dont do it from behind." What??? Hang on dude... That sure is like the most irrelevant and so-not-what-I-want-hear advise ever. All I am currently aiming not to be, is that 40 yr old virgin type. So right now, my only area of interest is in getting some. Period. Once I am over that hurdle, I'll worry about my technique... Wat the hell?
There were many other myraid points which he made after that but I was lost in the thought that this was taking too long and there were other relatives I needed to impress with my lack of social skills! I think he noticed when my eyes glazed over, after about an hour of me not listening, and quickly wound up the session. He also gave me some quickies about what phase of life I was in currently, and how the alignment of the stars was ruining my social scene. I nodded wisely deep in the thought that, finally he was right. You know its hopeless when the entire universe is conspiring against you...
After this, he took the money and let me leave. Phew.. that was something I dont want to go through again.

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Social ineptitude

I went home last weekend. It was one of my bi-monthly trips in my role as 'the caretaker'. I go to a home which is empty (of people, not stuff) and get the local help to clean up the place. I also take out the family car, like an animal that had been leashed for the past two months, and give it a run around so that it doesn't get... rusted? Whatever. I thought these trips would be good for me. More time for myself, and also to keep in touch with the extended family. But somehow, I don't seem to identify much with there, at least, not as much as I want to.
The usual modus operandi in these visits is I check out the house, and I do some bank related activities. Post these, I also meet the relatives. Its usually perfunctory meet and greet sessions timed (by me) to last 15-30 minutes before departing with some vague apology about having to clean the house or meet other people. Its not that I don't care about them, but its that I am usually at a loss for words in such social circumstances. My main failing I think in my ambition to be a smooth talking, wise cracking, all knowing sort of guy is that I don't talk much. I think I am better on the all knowing part. Anyway,I think the main failing on my part is my inability to associate with the regular banter of such meetings. This has to do with the following general concept I think is valid in such scenarios. The key ingredient to maintaining good ties in the family circle is knowing what each relative is doing. But this is where I come across as a dud. I just don't remember where my father's brother's wife's third cousin is these days or which uncle's second son got married or any of that stuff. So, mostly, whenever my loquacious relatives try to stir me into conversation by mentioning these people who I cant for the life of me remember... I smile and nod vigorously hoping that was the intended acknowledgment. It usually back fires, coz then they clam up and give knowing looks to each other like I did something cardinally wrong. Gosh, its hard! I never know when I might have accidentally done something which is not part of the social etiquette, and I keep worrying about it. My inability to shine in such social circumstances usually compounds my despair about my rather Neanderthal-like social skills with the rest of the world. "I Anand, I like this only... u like? No? Ok. Boink!".

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Saturday, August 4, 2007

Cynical Goat-ism

I am a cynic. I look at the world through the tinted glasses of a cynic. And it looks pretty blue to me. People don't like cynics coz cynics make fun of stupid people. They act all high and mighty and look like they know everything. To be honest, a cynic generally does. :-)

Being a cynic is actually easy. You put on a frown, or a general smirk on your face, and criticize everything. And in doing so, cynics generally irritate people. Its not intentional, but it happens. Mostly because cynics tend to blame everybody else for what's wrong with the world, while they themselves don't do anything to improve the situation. True. But its not easy being a cynic if you are stupid. The light's gotta be on upstairs for being a cynic coz or else u've got be like Forrest Gump.... 'Run Forrest, Run!"

Cynics are the irritating buggers in the movies who'll constantly ridicule the choices the hero makes, or the inspiring rhetoric he makes, and obviously get killed/eaten/turned into a zombie at some point in the movie. This obviously allows our hero to cry out in anguish, "Why him/her? Why not me instead?", thus establishing his dashing persona and his penchant for self-sacrifice. Bah! Humbug!

In my opinion, being a cynic is more of a choice of self-preservation, forget self-sacrifice. Life is full of low lifes who'll fleece the lint out of your smelly sock if they could and trust me when i say, trust is truly overrated these days.

There are certain things that really get my goat, cynical goat that is.

1.) Shit happens and it generally happens to you - No matter how many ways I look at this, I can never understand/explain how this happens.

2.) Only the beautiful survive - Andrew Grove was wrong. It ain't the paranoid. Its the good looking. If you look good, then you're half way there. Ugly people have to do so much more to get to the same level as good looking people. In fact, some times, its just better to not try.

3.) Talk the talk and you dont need to walk the walk - Oh yes... forget about actually having to workif you can "power shmooze" your way through life. Networking is all that's required these days, and I dont mean the orkut kind. Not only does it boost your career, it helps you get the women too. Woe betide the tongue tied...

4.) Taste is directly proportional to waist - Whatever tastes good, adds to your waist. And more the taste, the less proportional your waist will be!

5.) There's no absolute - I dont mean the vodka (because then i would say, there's never enough Absolut!). I mean, in general things are always grey and life is never black or white. This can sometimes be a good thing, but making decisions becomes infinitely more harder.

There's always more things in life to complain about and I guess this would end up being a pretty big post. But I wanted to start off on my metaphysical ranting. Now, I can come back later and pick up from where I left off. There'll be more posts on the Cynical Goat... But this one's over. And it doesnt have a link at the end!

Monday, July 16, 2007

The End of the World as We Know It

Ok, so maybe the title was a little too drastic, but according to scientists, the Comet Swift-Tuttle is going to hit the earth soon. And that too, on my birthday. The date is Aug. 14, 2126.
I would be 146. Who knows?
In the words of REM, "Its the end of the world as we know it... and I feel fine!"

Friday, June 8, 2007

Single and Loving it

When you are single, shy and as orkut calls it "mirror-shattering material", the social scene on weekends are mostly limited. In my case, in addition to my having a dull social life, most of my friends are also single and have pretty much nothing to do as well. The old adage about the birds flocking comes to mind. So, our choices for cool activities to do, are usually limited to either watching a movie, going to Spencers/any other local mall or generally chilling out at home (read: sleep like a log or get drunk and pass out) .
It usually happens that as the weekend rolls around, we always make plans to go where the "chicks" are, or where the "scenery" is interesting. And we do end up in these places, all dressed up, looking like the single-and-ready-to-mingle cool dudes that we are. The teetotalers munch on the free eats while the rest order the cheap beer. Post initial grubbing session, and sufficient loosening of the tongue by inebriation, everybody concentrates on checking out the crowd. Categories are decided, and nicknames get created. "Check out that pinktop, in the corner. She's hot da, and she keeps looking this side!" " Ya, I'd give her a 7. But look at what's attached to her arm. What does she see in him?"... and so on and so forth. Talk then moves onto the latest gossip about who's doing who where and who saw them together and what the heck is wrong with them for doing the previously mentioned who. In between, somebody, slightly less sober might attempt to revel everybody with topics, totally unrelated but usually another round of drinks would get that guy to shut up and let the gossip continue. The only topic that might actually evoke enough attention other than the current real-life soaps, is who's shifting to which company and how much more money they are going to make. This would lead to further discussions on how cruel the world is and how, some people are just too lucky/talk their way into getting what they want. Being the sort of guy who is sufficiently intoxicated before being able to actually tolerate these conversations, I tend to remember very little the next day.
Many weekends, the prospect of having those conversations itself was enough for us to ditch the idea of going out and just chilling at home. Unfortunately, chilling at home also tends to end up having these conversations anyway, the only difference being, the evening is a whole lot cheaper.
I dont regret any of these times, coz, without them, I'd probably be doing something totally productive and enriching like learning a musical instrument, helping the elderly or even god forbid, working out. But the soul enriching times I spend with my single friends, doing the "cool" single stuff, will surely last me with great memories for all the future life ahead when I wont be single and wishing I was! Maybe then, I'd think of taking up all those productive and enriching stuff which I mentioned before!!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Thought sourcing

I am not a major news reader. Yes, I like RSS feeds but its not largely to do with news. But on the odd occasion I check the world at large, I get the feeling America is obsessed with two things. Osama and Outsourcing. Osama's the general metaphor for terrorism and ever since 9/11, he's been around everywhere and his henchmen/lackeys/assorted heinous deputies have been troubling the world no end. Its daily news, usually very sad, and pretty repetitive, so I'd rather not discuss it right now.
On the other hand, outsourcing, that supposed manna of business re-engineering and cost control, has also evoked the interest of most Americans and you can be sure everybody's got an opinion on it. I think outsourcing is cool, not because I give a rodent's behind that America can finally figure out where Asia is on the map, but because it provides a huge potential to make money. Yet, despite this initial euphoria about the monetary gains from IT outsourcing, its quite obvious its not going to grow at such a tremendous rate for very long, and the cost arbitrage which everybody's been harping about, is probably going to disappear at some point in the future. People have gone to great lengths to assure everybody that right now, there's just so much to throw around, and so life's going to be good for a while at least. Yippee!!
So, everybody's happy now, and young people in India study, work hard and get a "campus placement" into a software company that recruits only the cream of the class. To do what?? Maintenance work on some 100 year old code that runs on obsolete hardware which cant be replaced, or sit on the metaphorical bench and wait for a moment to go "on site" and rake in the moolah.
In some recent articles by some of the supposed visionaries of the IT revolution, there has been talks of how the IT companies should move towards intellectual arbitrage, as the cost arbitrage advantage is not sustainable. IMHO, there is very little that separates one Indian IT company from the other. Catchy titles like Global Delivery Model, Offshore Development Center, Center of Excellence etc just give rise to cool acronyms like GDM, ODC and CoE, and are quoted ad nauseum, but is that enough for sustainable profit growth? And if so, for how long? Yes, alright, I concede that, considering the sheer volume of available work, it seems the party's going to last for a while longer.
Moving on from my rant (I work in one of these companies!), one of the positive points, I guess, of outsourcing, has been how entrepreneurs in certain countries (like India) have been able to capitalize on it. And in the process, create jobs which in turn leads to a growing economy, and so on and so forth. Most companies in developed countries, nowadays have an India strategy which, I guess, over the years will probably become an Asia/East Europe/Latin America strategy considering the Global Delivery Model (GDM) encompasses all low wage area as potential for an ODC. Even the markets respond positively to companies who outsource, as it seems to be the one of the popular strategies to cut costs in a "globalised", "highly competitive" and "constantly evolving" economy.
The media, too have had their fill of debating the positives and negatives of outsourcing, and reams of print have been wasted in efforts to either justify or condemn it. There have even been articles that have joked about outsourcing.

But recently, I came across one that sort of mocked the entire thought process behind outsourcing and how its not a strategy that can be blindly applied in any industry. In particular, the article talks of how its not possible to do outsourcing where the social context cannot be understood by the people who the work have been outsourced to, and thus it leads to a really hilarious situation. Although, it makes fun of the Indian parliament (of which I am not a big fan anyway), I still felt it was interesting enough to warrant a link. So here it is.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Meth Marathon

Back in the 1960s, getting high wasn't about climbing the local hill, but something u did by breathing in. The world was a happier place and a lot of people got lucky without having to work hard or look good! Damn, those hippies! This post isnt about the Swinging sixties, but about the rather large scale use of intoxicants that happened then. Ofcourse things have changed over the last couple of decades. Recreational drug usage, is nowadays always immediately associated with abuse and hence gets categorized under dangerous and potentially harmful. I don't advocate it, but I am not against the whole 'getting high' business. I think people, who can handle it, and enjoy it without ending up abusing the substance, should do it.
So, when I came across this article which gives an account of a bunch of well heeled, social drug users and 72 hours in their life while they were riding the white lightning (or something of a similar nature called meth) , it was interesting enough to warrant a post. They close themselves off and take off to mental pleasures unheard of. Its quite a marathon drug use session and the article is just as long too! Interestingly, crystal meth, their poison of choice, has many websites like this dedicated to telling you how bad it is. Well, whatever! Those guys had fun.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Losing weight the sweat free way

Never in my life have I ever felt a profound and deep respect for the scientific community than when I read today that they had developed what is probably, the most significant achievement in the history of science since the television. A cure for obesity which does not involve moving a muscle. According to this BBC report, US scientists have devised a drug that can switch on a gene to burn body fat, offering hope of an exercise pill. They've tried it on mice, and those mice are losing weight alright! If they get down to human trials, I would definitely want to volunteer...
This one's going to be one hell of a best seller in the life style drug category. It would be bigger than viagra even!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Is it ingenuity or just plain stupidity?

Lets stop talking about human ingenuity. Ya, so there are a lot of smart people out there. And these people make sure that the remaining bunch feel really stupid about themselves. But stupidity is also an amazing thing. Other people's stupidity especially. Right from the guy who first looked into the wrong end of gun to see what would happen to the people who walk around thinking that UFOs will take them to a better place, they have kept mankind entertained for centuries, and still continue to do so. Its always very comforting to pick up the newspaper and read about how somebody would slash their wrist before their supposed lover's wedding hall, just to prove a point. Ofcourse, the irony in the situation where the aforementioned dejected lover got arrested for trying to commit suicide just had me laughing in splits.
So, it grieves me no less that human stupidity can also be used as an excuse. An article in Wired deals with how immediately after the Virginia Tech incident, people had started registering domain names like and selling them on ebay. When one of the guys who registered these domain names was asked as to why he would do such a thoughtless and heinous act, his reply was and I quote, from the article, "I didn't think it through. I was just thinking about the money first." Wow! Duh!
This isnt an isolated phenomenon. People had the foresight to find out which were the expected hurricanes for 2006 and then register the domain names in advance, so that they wouldnt miss out on the "gold rush" afterwards. Who cares about human compassion, when u're trying to make a quick buck?
It brings me back to my initial statement. Human ingenuity is cool! And so is stupidity! It makes for great reading.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Weathering the storm

"If patience is worth anything, it must endure to the end of time. And a living faith will last in the midst of the blackest storm. "
- Mohandas K Gandhi

More amazing storm photos

Sunday, April 8, 2007

I am all for reservation...

The railway ticket kind, the crappy low cost airline kind, and yes, the really cool movie ticket booking kind... But not for the education system.

It was Aristotle who said that "The only stable state is the one in which all men are equal before the law." But in India it seems, this is not the case. Politicians, in order to stir up vote banks, have been flaying the reservation issue ad nauseum. Its had unbelievable repercussions so far, and everybody who's anybody has an opinion on the issue.
Its highly controversial. My stand on it is pretty clear. I am against reservation. I am against reservation for post graduate programs, and private sector jobs. I am against somebody who's already made use of the reservation system to gain a seat in a graduation program, and then use the same excuse to get into a post graduate program and then get a private sector job. How much further will it go? Will appraisals and promotions in organisations be decided on reservation as well? Will children of people who have already benefited by reservation get the same benefits again?
It was really heartening to see the media and the general public rally together against such atrocity. In keeping with ensuring that the anti reservation message is propogated as far as possible, the following site gives people full access to all details.

Check out the wiki... Make up your mind, and support the cause. Its worth fighting for.

Shit happens.... and its got a website too

Sometimes, there's more to life than just weird and interesting stuff to read. I mean how many silly things are there on the net? I mean its all right to want to learn how to feed pigeons or even learn how to make houses from matchsticks, but you never truly understood the sheer availability of useless information on the net unless you come across a site like Poop Report. Yes, its true, shit happens, and they're there to make sure that it gets reported.

Read on at

"The Intellectual Appreciation of Poop Humor"

Die, Die, my darling

I guess one's mortality is never as such a concern until one is truly made aware of it. People go about their life aspiring, dreaming, scheming and in general living with the general idea that there's something to look forward to. But there's always some moment in everybody's life, even for a few seconds, that they are confronted by the sheer fragility of it. That one point of time, when suddenly clarity hits you like a brick wall, and your thoughts explode in your head wondering how and why and what, and you think... thank god I have life insurance??

What would be a person's last thought before he dies? well, if you are one of the following people, I doubt they actually thought they were going to die...

30 Strangest Deaths in History

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

An anthology of expiry dates

In today's Information-I-always-craved-for-but-never-found-till-now section, I came across this web page which has a detailed list of expiry dates for most household items, and then some.
If you ever wanted to know how long you could keep that old bottle of face lotion around after it had been opened, dont fret. This page will tell you all that and more.

The site is appropriately titled "Organize Your Life".

Insurance for ticketless travel

Mumbai is probably one of the most interesting cities to live in these days. Right from natural disasters, to random acts of terrorism, the city has seen it all. Life in Mumbai is fast, furious and very crowded. Just like its local trains. Everyday, these trains traverse hundreds of miles, overflowing with humanity, most of whom are driven by the tedious, yet natural need to exist. Survival of the fittest.
Sometimes, being the fittest, is not a matter of physical ability but mental dexterity. I came across this blog entry which was referenced by the freakonomics blog of how some people have formed an organisation for assisting people who travel ticketless in the local trains and get caught! This system infact promotes the violation!
This goes to prove that in India, the general belief is that if there is a rule, it can be circumvented! Its antiestablishmentarianism at its best!

(Image from Hindu Business Line)

How to Cheat the Mumbai Train System

"....However, when there is DRM, there is piracy. Because supply reaches to demand (and not vice-versa). This happened in this case also.
Some very intelligent traveller (and in Mumbai everybody is a local train traveller), came up with this brilliant idea. What he did defied this model of random checks."....

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Reading between the bubbles

I love comics. They provide a visceral entertainment which is comparable to watching movies. The comics are a medium where the text is as important as the visual representation of the scene. This gives rise to a lot of possibilities as to how comics can be made. Where initially it was considered a childish preoccupation, comic books in the form of graphic novels are for mature audiences and are indeed quite graphic in detail and visual themes. I think this is an art form that'll probably take on a whole new dimension, if its taken to the web and presented as an interactive graphic novel. I mean videos are cool, but despite all efforts, people never really look as good as they do in comic books! With the latest trend of trying to create movies out of graphic novels like Sin City,300, Batman Begins (supposedly based on graphic novels Batman: The Man Who Falls, Batman: The Long Halloween and others) , and the multitude of super hero movies, it only seems natural that the future bodes well for comic books!
On a separate note of interest, comics of Indian origin (before it used to be Indian comic books, but now they're made in US by Virgin Comics, hence, the comics of Indian orgin tag!) like Devi, and 'The Sadhu' are interesting as concepts, but it remains to be seen how far they are able to amalgamate Indian mythos with modern sensibilities of comic books.

In the link for today, its comic book double entendre at its best. Infact, they have taken it out of context to create the effect. But its fun!! Check out...

Top 15 Unintentionally Funny Comic Book Panels

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Quotable quote for the day

"You know the world is going crazy when the best rapper is a white guy, the best golfer is a black guy,the tallest guy in the NBA is Chinese, the Swiss hold the America's Cup, France is accusing the U.S. of arrogance, Germany doesn't want to go to war, and the three most powerful men in America are named Bush, Dick, and Colon. "
--Comedian Chris Rock

As quoted on

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

High school fusion

When I was in high school, or as we in India like to refer to it - the period between 8th to 10th grade - I liked physics and maths. Yeah, so I was a nerd. For most nerds, a scientific project is probably a huge achievement. For me though, I wasnt so interested in the whole project thing, because I was a lazy nerd! Anyway, the maximum I came up with was a working trip alarm. If you tripped the wire, the alarm would go off. That was the height of my technical achievements. Pause to dig my nose and look goofy.

But kids these days are doing stuff I couldnt even imagine doing. Here's a sample of a kid who in high school (In US, it covers the entire set of grades from 8th to 12th), created his own fusion reactor. Nuclear fusion reactor. Out of regular household parts. Now,I am enough of a geek to know how difficult it is, for full blown scientists to set up one of these things. With complex planning and equipment which would require some level of security clearances and hell of a lot of raised eyebrows in any country.

Must do wonders for his social life.
Bully #1: "Hey, isn't he the nerd who built that thing which was in the news?"
Fellow antagonizer: "Yeah, he thinks he's real smart. Lets beat him up..."

High school student builds fusion reactor

High school student Thiago Olson has gone beyond basic physics class. Way beyond. Using parts and materials scrounged from the local hardware story and eBay, Olson built a working fusion reactor... (Link)

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Pavan sees stars!!

I'll let the photo do the talking. Pavan, met his favorite actress and as you can make out from the smile, he was feeling quite peachy after that. Happy man, him! For those not in the know, she is actress Nayanthara, looking quite nice, if I might say so. The location is Mochas, Chennai... and according to the maitre d', "Oh! She comes here quite often.". How droll, darling!

Googling your way to jail

You know the world has changed when what you do online is used as evidence against you in court. Its a scary thought, considering everbody crying hoarse about preserving the anonymity.

In a bizzare turn of events, a wife who had googled 'how to commit murder' has her search results used against her as evidence for the murder of her husband.

Yikes! Talk about giving google-whacked a whole new meaning. It returned just one result. Guilty.

Cop: Wife googled 'How to commit murder'

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

At exactly 5:45:34 on April 18, 2004 a computer taken from the office of the attorney of Melanie McGuire, did a search on the words "How To Commit Murder."

That same day searches on Google and MSN search engines, were conducted on such topics as `instant poisons,` `undetectable poisons,' 'fatal digoxin doses,' and gun laws in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. (Link)

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Who does drive better?

Some people run, others climb. Some like to sleep, others like to watch TV. I find driving very soothing. Driving and music. Its a great combination. Get out onto the open road, play some great music, and its an amazing relaxation. Over the last couple of years, the quality of roads in various cities in South India have become better, and long distance driving is not as much of a pain as before. Yet, there are a lot of obstacles to an enjoyable drive. Pedestrians, animals and bad drivers would form the main chunk of the problem. Pedestrians and animals are, unfortunately, in India atleast, beyond one's control. Bad driving, though, is something that can be curbed by laying out better guidelines for driving on roads. What we need with bigger, and better roads, is stuff like laying out lane rules and certain amount of road etiquette.

I had actually posted earlier about how I felt men make better drivers than women. I'll just leave that comment in like that rather than explain in detail. I stand by my statement. I still think they are bad at it... and so proves some of the videos in the next link. Its from a blog called "One Man's Blog" and its a list of the

10 Worst Drivers Ever Caught on Video

Go ahead... take a look. Atleast some of them are really hilarious. Even if u dont agree with me. (Link)

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Real-(sh)ity TV

A recent survey in USA noted that 30% of Americans would like to be on a reality show, and the remaining 70% already have. Well, nobody did that survey, but watching TV these days, one gets the feeling that pretty much everybody in America are either stranded on an island, pretty bad at singing, racing down some highway with cops behind them, eating weird bugs for money or generally having their most candid moments played back to the entire world. Now, I am sure there are some real good reality programs, but most of them lack original content other than for your regular Joe being as irregular as possible.
The thing that really irritates me is that most of Indian TV feels it is entertainment to either show these sad American or British tv shows to Indian audiences or even worse, copy them and Indianize them.

A recent article I came across, courtesy the freakonomics blog, is a hilarious take on these programs. Its a news article reporting a new reality show to air soon...

University of Chicago to Pick Next Economist by Reality TV
The University of Chicago, known for its free-market approach to economics, today announced that it will select its next tenured faculty member in the "the dismal science" through a reality TV competition modelled on shows such as "Survivor" and VH1's "The (White) Rapper Show".

Friday, March 9, 2007


photo (C) bruno mercier

He whose wisdom exceeds his works, to what may he be likened? To a tree whose branches are numerous but whose roots are few. The wind comes along and uproots it and sweeps it down.
From the Talmund

That was the profound part of this post. Now then, in real life,

If you got the grounding,
then your brain's got the founding,
But people gonna be hounding,
coz they think u need a pounding!

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Trivial pursuits - I

Came across some stupid trivia in this site I visited. It said

When Albert Einstein died, his final words died with him. The nurse at his side didn't understand German"

I wonder if he was trying to tell her that she was stepping on his oxygen know.. something like
bitte Schritt weg von meinem Sauerstoffschlauch.. bitte..bitte...".

More useless trivia at... Human World

Sleep Well, Naked

Sleeping in the nude? well, New research says its healthy.
New research??? Who does these things? does.

Here are the results of one of their studies

  • On average, 39 of the 45 participants agreed every morning that they found it easier to fall asleep during week two of the study in comparison to week one.
  • The sleep professional examining the video footage determined that 34 of the 45 participants seemed to be sleeping more restfully during week two of the study in comparison to week one. It is known that sleeping more restfully allows the body to regenerate and repair itself more effectively, so health benefits could also be suggested as a result of sleeping naked. (Ya right!)
  • On average, 38 of the 45 participants agreed that they felt they had more energy upon waking in week two of the study, although many noted that it was hard to determine their level of alertness in a conclusive manner.
Who says research isnt fun?

No man is an island and all that stuff

Tom Hanks proved that the highlight of being shipwrecked on a deserted island is being able to lose an intellectual argument with a volleyball and throw it away in disgust.
Sometimes, in life, you wish you atleast had that volleyball. Loneliness isnt just about not having anybody around but not being able to associate yourself with those around you. I think the following cartoon strip highlights a certain feeling of unwantedness which precedes loneliness. Its probably not sad in the existential sense, but I wanted to set the context. (Link)

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Real life C&H Snow Art

With a sprinkling of wit, satire, philosophy, and great drawing, Calvin & Hobbes was and is probably THE best comic strip I've ever read. I have always wanted an official (!) Stupendous Man t-shirt, but apparently Bill Watterson , the guy who drew C&H, doesnt believe in merchandising... (irrelevant trivia, but hey I bought and read the 10th anniversary edition)
(Image taken from here)

Anyway, getting back to the site I wanted to recommend.. Calvin had an amazingly twisted imagination and this was reflected in the most awesome snowman art he used to do. It would have taken quite an effort to realise that art in real life, but somebody's actually gone and done it.

Follow the link for some weird photos and the corresponding Calvin art. (Link)

Calvin and Hobbes Snowmen in Real Life

Desktop Tower Defender!!

Absolutely engaging flash game. Spent lots of time trying to build the optimum defence strategy!!
Try it out...

Desktop Tower Defense

A live action puzzle game written for fun in flash. You have to stop your enemies, or 'creeps', from travelling all the way across the screen. Tower pieces can be purchased and placed on the map to kill the creeps before they make it across. Inspired by a Warcraft 3 tower defense map called Autumn Crossing and a few other TD Warcraft III maps. (Link)

Wannabe lazy blogger

Blog started.
Will post stupid/interesting stuff found on net.
Was mailing everybody.
Instead, now will post.
Comments anyone?