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 Rense.com

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 tube...you 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?
SleepNaked.org 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?