Archive for the ‘Nonsense’ Category

Wassup Saddam?

‘Sup? Jus Hangin’ Dawg!

I know it’s in bad taste, but could not resist it! Enjoy!

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Disclaimer: This has nothing to do with the current Ashes cricket Test.

People are stupid. I am one of them. But after reading this story, I feel smarter! Why? Because even if I did plan a trip online, I normally would not end up 8,000 miles off course!

A twenty-one year old German tourist planned to take a trip to Sydney, Australia, but wound up 8,077 miles off-course — headed instead for the small oil town of Sydney, Montana, after mistyping his destination into a flight booking Web site. The man didn’t notice anything was wrong until he was about to board a flight from Portland to chilly Montana, dressed in summer vacation clothes.

And his mum thinks he’s good with computers. Sure, he must be. He booked the flights and travelled, didn’t he? It’s the thinking part he’s not good with!

The Daily News & Analysis reports that China is further censoring information leaving the country. After working their minds over in limiting Google and internet services, they have now proposed to make weather reports inaccesible to ‘foreigners’.

“Illegal meteorological surveys and data collection have infringed China’s sovereignty… and threatened the country’s security,” the paper quoted CMA Vice Minister Zheng Guogang as saying.

Yes Minister, indeed. So those of you travelling to China and looking for weather information, please plan well in advance. You wouldn’t want to land up with a pair of shorts when it’s starting to get chilly, would you? You too need to censor!

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Drunk driving helps?

There has often been research that defies logic and longstanding beliefs or theories. Drunk driving is one such theory. It is rightly assumed (supported with enough proof) that drunk driving is generally not the smartest thing to do. And while that theory still holds good, there is new research that suggests it may not be an entirely lost situation…

The University of Toronto team found head injury patients who had drunk low amounts were 24% less likely to die than those who had not had any alcohol.

This, from an article on the BBC.com site. Whatever the research may suggest, the text between the lines says that there is a 24% “less” chance of death. No “24% less deaths”… In any case, I would like to know how and why such half-ready research gets published. Half knowledge is a dangerous thing. And when one’s drunk, it’s even tougher to read between the proverbial lines, eh?

Have a safe Christmas and New Year’s!

Without making a religious statement, I would like to point readers to this article: Haj pilgrims can now buy animals through Internet.

The real killer in the implementation of being able to “buy animals for slaugher on the Internet”, is this:

The bank would send an email or SMS messages to pilgrims who have purchased coupons confirming that the slaughter of their animal has been carried out.

But there is a obviously a reason for this e-commerce model. And for the bank running this (the Islamic Development Bank): “This will enable the IDB to build up a central data base that will help in planning for the best utilisation of slaughterhouses,” bank President Dr Ahmed Mohammad Ali has said.

The Indo-Asian News Service (IANS) further reports:

Islamabad, Dec 18 (IANS) After Eid greetings and marriages through the Internet, Pakistanis can now turn to websites for Qurbani – the sacrifice of animals on Eid-ul-Azha.

Several websites have on offer traditional sacrificial animals – goat, sheep, camel and cow – and the billing is done through credit card. Customers can either donate the animal directly to the poor or take home the meat from the trust office, the Daily Times reported.

‘The online booking is for people who are busy and do not have enough time to visit offices or markets,’ said Shakeel Dehlawi, public relations director of the Karachi-based Alamgir Welfare Trust International.

‘We started the service two years ago but few people were aware of it. Now we have a good response from Internet users.’

Sahara, the life trust of singer Abrarul Haq, also sells animals online. US-based group Islamicity and Life for Relief and Development offer this service to Muslims around the world.

And the Ulema have approved of the practice.

‘I see no problem in it, even if the payment is through credit cards,’ said Mufti Sarfraz Naeemi, head of Jamia Naeemia.

‘But it is important the credit card user pay the qurbani amount instantly so he saves himself from interest,’ he added.

Interesting times we live in, surely!

Well, I definitely didn’t! And if you are telling me that you know what an Aglet is, then sir/madam, you are a more learned person than I. Not that you otherwise won’t be, but just! So here’s an interesting list.

And no, I have not done the research. This has come via Canongate and the link was from a good old friend Gautam D.

  • AGLET – The plain or ornamental covering on the end of a shoelace.
  • ARMSAYE – The armhole in clothing.
  • CHANKING – Spat-out food, such as rinds or pits.
  • COLUMELLA NASI – The bottom part of the nose between the nostrils.
  • DRAGÉES – Small beadlike pieces of candy, usually silver-coloured, used for decorating cookies, cakes and sundaes.
  • FEAT – A dangling curl of hair.
  • FERRULE – The metal band on a pencil that holds the eraser in place.
  • HARP – The small metal hoop that supports a lampshade.
  • HEMIDEMISEMIQUAVER – A 64th note. (A 32nd is a demisemiquaver, and a 16th note is a semiquaver.)
  • JARNS,
  • NITTLES,
  • GRAWLIX,
  • and QUIMP – Various squiggles used to denote cussing in comic books.
  • KEEPER – The loop on a belt that keeps the end in place after it has passed through the buckle.
  • KICK or PUNT – The indentation at the bottom of some wine bottles. It gives added strength to the bottle but lessens its holding capacity.
  • LIRIPIPE – The long tail on a graduate’s academic hood.
  • MINIMUS – The little finger or toe.
  • NEF – An ornamental stand in the shape of a ship.
  • OBDORMITION – The numbness caused by pressure on a nerve; when a limb is `asleep’.
  • OCTOTHORPE – The symbol `#’ on a telephone handset. Bell Labs’ engineer Don Macpherson created the word in the 1960s by combining octo-, as in eight, with the name of one of his favourite athletes, 1912 Olympic decathlon champion Jim Thorpe.
  • OPHRYON – The space between the eyebrows on a line with the top of the eye sockets.
  • PEEN – The end of a hammer head opposite the striking face.
  • PHOSPHENES – The lights you see when you close your eyes hard. Technically the luminous impressions are due to the excitation of the retina caused by pressure on the eyeball.
  • PURLICUE – The space between the thumb and extended forefinger.
  • RASCETA – Creases on the inside of the wrist.
  • ROWEL – The revolving star on the back of a cowboy’s spurs.
  • SADDLE – The rounded part on the top of a matchbook.
  • SCROOP – The rustle of silk.
  • SNORKEL BOX – A mailbox with a protruding receiver to allow people to deposit mail without leaving their cars.
  • SPRAINTS – Otter dung.
  • TANG – The projecting prong on a tool or instrument.
  • WAMBLE – Stomach rumbling.
  • ZARF – A holder for a handleless coffee cup.
  • It’s not easy to really make money, is it? But some people seem to have an easier time of it than others. But Rs 1.5 lakh per minute? That seems a bit much for even the highest paid execs, eh?

     Not for our own Bollywood siren, though. Through some deft negotiations and timely under-handedness, Mallika Sherawat has (according to “sources”) ensured that this is indeed a rich New Years eve for her reports the Mid-Day.

    And the result will be that she would draw Rs 1.5 lakh for every minute she performs at any hotel.

    These shows usually last half-an-hour; so on December 31, Mallika will make Rs 1.5 lakh for each minute of work, said a reliable Bollywood source.

    Which also implies that she would be performing at more than one hotel. Or is it?

    MiD DAY has now learned that she is going to perform for the highest bidder — the JW Marriott at Juhu for a sum of Rs 50 lakh.

    Mallika Sherawat What this means is that patrons at the JW Marriott (in Mumbai) would be treated to about 33.33 minutes of Mallika.

    Wonder if this includes changes and time lost between dance numbers… And I also wonder how much the entry to the JW would cost on 31st!

    Crowd behaviour is also on top of the Hotel’s list as they keep an eye out for how many people get to attend. They sure have learned from their experience, it would seem:

    Last year, when Malaika Arora Khan was the star attraction there, the tickets were priced at Rs 5,950. Nuell said ticket prices were raised because the hotel wants a smaller crowd.

    “Last year, controlling the crowd was a major issue.

    This time, we want less people and more spice at the event. So, we have fixed on a higher price.”

    So there… now you know what you need to earn Rs 1.5 lakh per minute. A body like Mallika’s, a total lack of professionalism and a hotel that’s, well, stupid enough to pay this kind of money.

    But… can you dance?

    There are shirts and then there are shirts. I am rather class-less when it comes to the matter of dressing. Give me my pair of Jeans and a shirt or T-shirt and I’m good to go. I normally have about 2 (two) formal shirts ready and waiting for that occasional meeting, function, interview (less occasional than the earlier two events!) and other such necessities. These are complimented by a pair of formal trousers. Also normally on wait.

    As Gabbar Singh would say, Ek trouser aur shirt do… bahut na-insaafi hai! (heh!), the reasoning is simple. Both shirts belong to the light shade category and the trouser is of a darker hue. Hence either combination is possible. It also makes life easier when “dressing up”! Brown trouser + White shirt or Brown trouser + Beige shirt. Simple.

    Obviously, not everyone would approve of this method. For the discerning, there are places like Savile Row and such. I recently chanced upon one such place… not that I was in London or anything, just through blogs! English Cut is a fine tailoring setup and if they really do create (make is a small word for their process) shirts the way they claim to on their blog, then I feel ashamed. Little did I know that so much craftsmanship was possible in a shirt. The buttons, collars and even cuffs.

    Perhaps when I do make it to London, I should get myself a couple of these, eh? Until then, maybe, Indigo Nation could do well to send a couple of their tailors down there!

    [Via: Gaping Void.]

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    Regift (v.)

    Wish I’d seen this at Diwali. Sigh.


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    Rahul the destroyer

    So Rahul Mahajan is having a bad year. Maybe that’s an understatement. As Mid-Day informs us, he has now taken to physically abusing his wife. After his father’s death, his drug problem (alleged, mind you) and a score of other problems that have seen his perfect world fall apart, one would have thought, he would take time and recover. But obviously not. And it does not sound like frustration either. There’s a “manic edge” as his wife Shweta puts it:

    Apparently, Rahul was full of remorse later, but even this had a manic edge. He told Shweta to ”take a hammer and finish him off”. Terrified, Shweta asked him to stay away from her. Shweta’s mother intervened, and Rahul left for Mumbai, sources said.


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    Testing new tool

    Got another upload tool for the WP blog. And yes, this means that I shall write more frequently now.

    Cheerio for now.

    LIC Disease

    Only in England!

    LIC is a disease!


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    So you like music? The new kinds? The type that makes you move and groove? But have you ever paid attention to its lyrics? Heh. Thought so!

    Check it out if one of your fav songs features here. [Worst Lyrics].


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    I am not as well informed about these matters, perhaps but even to the naive eye, the answer to the first question on the linked page (below) would seem absurd… or is it?

    Is there something I don’t know?

    Mumbai Mirror

    (Warning: Long and rambling sorts. Could be termed funny!) 

    Earlier, I had written about a really ghastly Radio ad. Now I draw my sword on some pathetic TV spots. Both the ones I shall comment upon have superstars (lots of 'em) but no substance… so here goes:

    Pepsi TV
    Starring: Shahrukh Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Kareena (same as Kareina) Kapoor and two 1.5l bottles of Pepsi. Support cast unknown.
    There was a promo by Frooti about 2 years or so ago about a fictitous character Digen Verma. And it created a helluva lot of hype. Because the ad simply asked "Who is Digen Verma?". The answer was "You". In a strange correlation of sorts, Pepsi TV was also built up similarly with Shahrukh Khan trying to tune his TV to receive "Pepsi TV". Hm. One was compelled to think whether Pepsi has indeed come up with their own channel… but then, the second part of the ad came and completely killed what seemed like an interesting concept.

    "Pepsi peete peete jab aap TV dekhte hai, to usse Pepsi TV kehte hai". 

    Please. Someone save me. And why did one need Kareena (or is it Kareina) Kapoor (KKappoorr, whatever) and Priyanka Chopra to say this inane line? Logically (nowhere in the picture yet, hence I introduce it!), this would apply to all things. So if you are eating chana and drinking Pepsi while watching TV, it's "Pepsi Chana TV". Pepsi + Rum would make it "Pepsi Rum TV" and so on. You get the drift, right?

    And this would also apply to watching TV when say, having tea or scratching yourself or you know, getting cosy with someone. The first two are ok and gross respectively, but the I&B Ministry would never allow the third. For it would be known as "Cosy TV" or "Necking TV" or "Make Out TV" depending on the level of activity you are indulging in.

    Now lets bring in a touch of science into this. Hopefully everyone is aware of the law of transitivity (for the non-scientifically-inclined, it says if a = b and b = c, then a = c). Now putting the logic and science to use (they work together so brilliantly, I tell you) we can infer that since Pepsi TV is what you see when drinking Pepsi and watching TV, and Make Out TV is well, you know what, and since that cannot be allowed, Pepsi TV also cannot exist. I wish. I would have been spared the insipid ads at least!

    Lux Soap
    Starring: Aishwarya Rai (cartoon also her) and three dumb-ass guys. 

    Aishwarya Rai just did the rather well-done ad for Coca-Cola (she is doing a better job of it in ads than the movies, eh? Perhaps a return to roots or sorts, what?) and then she agrees to do this: become a nymphomaniacal-looking cartoon superheroine. Who flies around throwing frisbees.

    Let's look at it positively, though. As a superheroine, what special powers does she possess? Frisbee throwing is one we know. The other is the ability to bathe (d-uh, this is for a soap) and the third would have to be switch between real and cartoon life at the drop of a soap, oops hat.

    Nothing much to write about in the ad and the bottom line is that this is soap she is selling. So it's lavender in colour and makes Aishwarya look thinner and better 'filled up' in all the right areas (controlled environment, you see, in the drawing room). That apart, forget it. I prefer Dettol and Hamam. They are orange and green respectively. Also smell decent and have disinfectants for sure.

    They do, right? 

    Right. Now I undestand that there are some funny people in the world. But what in the name of the goat, sheep and the ram is a goatonapolist?

    Check out more info! Insane, man!

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    For once, there seems to be some sense about this business in China. A court has ordered Carrefour to pay LVMH damages for use of their logo on fake goods.
    Wonder whether the same ruling would have happened if the offending company was a Chinese local one and not a multinational.

    One wonders…
    Full Story here.

    And no, we are not talking about India’s population for once! That is the number of Kalashnikov rifles (AK-47) that have ever been manufactured. Interestingly, only 12 per cent of these have been in Russia. Hm.

    AK 47

    Seriously, is it something to be proud of that you have created a weapon so deadly that it is ‘reliable and durable’ in most conditions? Mr Kalashnikov seems to think so.

    Ads by AdGenta.com

    Bad Ad?

    Following is the transcript of a radio ad for Kaya Skin Clinic:

    Wife: Darling, how do I look?
    Husband: Ummm… nice
    W: Just nice?
    H: Lovely
    W: Only Lovely?
    H: You look beautiful.
    W: You know, that’s what I like about you. It’s 5 in the morning and you think I look beautiful.
    H: You know, I mean it.
    VO: Kaya Skin Clinic. For those who know beauty begins with skin and not make-up.

    Just a few points:

    1. Why in god’s name is the poor husband being tested at 5 am?
    2. Of course this is a trick question and there is no right answer.
    3. Doesn’t it sound like the wife is coercing the answer she wants (i.e. beautiful) out of him?
    4. After getting two wrong answers (listen, if “nice” and “lovely” were correct, he would have gone back to sleep), he had to say the b-word.
    5. Doesn’t she sound rather conceited? Why would you want to know how you look when you are just waking up? It’s another thing if someone volunteers a compliment. But this is like extortion.
    6. Are the women of the world approving of this ad? Doesn’t it show them in poor light?

    Just some things I thought I should ask. Any answers?

    Only if you are in China, though! For this mobile service provider has cancelled services of 19,000 people. Wonder if the Indian cellcos would comply like this with the government. In times when numbers mean more numbers (you get the drift, eh?), it’s unlikely.
    What?

    Look alike?

    In slightly bad taste, this one, but it's good for a laugh. Once, mind you. 

    Freddie like
    Check out more here…

    Britney Spears, is who I am talking about. Art is about expression and only an artist could understand why another artist may have created something. One hopes, anyway! So what do you make of this sculpture of BS giving birth? (p.s.: BS=Britney Spears despite all other connotations!)

    Often, seen written behind cabs and autos and trucks and even cars sporting the message "Keep safe distance". This raises two questions: Isn't distance safe anyways? If not, how much distance is safe distance? 

    Being a student of Physics, I would like to argue that rather than distance, one would be better off writing "Keep safe velocity". Or some such. But then, not many would know the difference between velocity and speed and mistaking one for the other or vice-versa, could lead to trouble.

    Coming back to this distance business, assuming I maintain what is perceived as safe distance, but my velocity is not well, safe, there are chances that it may make the erstwhile safe distance 'unsafe'. Let me illustrate:

    I see a lovely lady across the road. Naturally, palpitation has increased as has concentration decreased. Thankfully, I have safe distance between us. But soon enough the palpitation takes over and is commanding the vehicle. In this case, me. So the palpitation, which can be likened to velocity is what is driving me at this moment making the distance extremely unsafe. Why? Because opposites attract.

    So. coming back to cars, it is the safe distance and greater velocity from my end that will make the entire episode unsafe. The idea is to maintain that safe distance not just keep it for a moment or two. Since distance is (supposedly) stationary and velocity not so, they are opposites and will attract. Which also implies that the auto/truck/cab that is urging me to keep safe distance will not be safe the moment after the threshold has been crossed. Obviously, you say? Try it.

    So what is the safe distance number? I would say 5 metres! 

    No, this is not a movie review, but more of how things change in 7 days. My last post was exactly 7 days ago and since then, I have seen a fair few many changes… India won the 2nd Test, Australia and South Africa slugged it out in the best ODI ever (debatable!) and I bought a new O2 Atom. It was on my wishlist, but I did not think I would get it so soon!
    The first two are related, the third is not. It’s just to announce that I now own the little unbelievably powerful PDA phone (again, debatable, but not open for debate yet!). What made me go and spend all of Rs 38,000 on this is a mystery that even I cannot answer. But all I can say so far, is that it was worth it.
    So changing lanes right along and jumping straight into a review of it, let me assure you that if e-mail, messaging and Internet are high on your daily requirements list, this is the phone for you. If making simple calls is your poison, look away.
    The Atom is targetted towards a rather specific breed of business users (I don’t fit that description) and is a sleek black beauty. Instant access buttons for Windows and the media functions are also a good addition to the minimal design. There are four keys in concentric circles on the front that are customisable and should be lest you waste them. But once you get used to tapping and typing, everything else seems mundane.
    Since I do have this phone now, I have already gone on and subscribed to a costlier GPRS package that allows me to browse the Internet and access my office e-mails. Sounds impressive, but it also means that I’m accessible 24×7 on mail, phone and soon, IM. Hm. So much for the gadget that ‘frees me’!
    Running Windows Mobile 5.0, this device is an absolute must-have if you are interested in quality phones that are scalable. Only things missing yet are a MiniSD card and a pouch for the phone.
    I would rate this a hefty 8/10 and recommend it to power users. (Note to self: Must try posting a blog entry using the stylus!).
    Here’s a comprehensive review of it and the product site.

    I did not want to hold her hostage. It was not something I did out of choice. It was the animal inside me urging me on… I did not enjoy holding her hostage… why would I? I’m not a sadist neither am I a terrorist. I’m you regular guy. Watching TV, having coffee, talking nonsense and working hard day in and day out. Why would I be holding anyone hostage? Especially when she was being coopertive.

    I asked her to hand over the pointer device. She said “No”. I asked again. Again she replied “No”. I had three conflicts to monitor. It’s not all that easy, you see. From the southern hemisphere to the Indian subcontinent, I have to keep an eye on everything. Especially on the subcontinent. That’s a volatile area, you see. My radar must span across these areas. And the pointer device was the only one that would allow me to keep an eye on the events as they would unfold… from three in the morning to midnight. I asked again, but she would not comply. “Not this time,” she said.

    Continue Reading »

    Please help in whatever way you can. Since Gaurav Sabnis has said it so well, I will simply link there for more details. But please do help by contributing to the trust.

    Remember, he died for us. [Direct Link]

    3-D Painting

    3D Room

    This is simply marvellous. Take a look at the photos and you will see that ordinary painting on the walls appears 3-D. Truly remarkable.

    [Via CNet]

    China is censoring everything in sight. Pretty soon, your thoughts could also be censored if you are in China! But the recent ban of certain sites and types of sites by Google (at the behest of the Govt) is a serious attack on the right to freedom. But then, that’s the fabric of the country.

    To be fair, even in India, where is the total freedom? Something as trivial as Valentine’s Day is (has been since 2003) under the scanner by local organistions of national stature (yes, I mean that) to “protect” the cultural ethos of the country. What about when these very people are found drinking in the night and creating violence? Isn’t non-violence the call from India? Isn’t what they are doing against democracy? Ironically, democracy is the tool they use when they want to disallow anything democratic. Belive me, it is as cryptic as it sounds. Can’t these groups do anything constructive?

    From what I cannot see on TV to what I cannot handle in books and magazines… everything is spellt out for me. Am I really that stupid? And these (or their ilk) are the ones who go about bashing educational institutions like the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute because someone called James Laine wrote something about Shivaji. Would it not be better to prove it wrong than to demolish a heritage building? What did that prove? That we are still a bunch of babboons? No. because, as Manu Bhagavan says, most of the people who have acted against this have not read the book. Maybe because they cannot? Perhaps. In fact, this has gone to the extent that an arrest warrant has been issued against him.

    While these incidents may be dismissed as stray and the best way to deal with them would perhaps be said to be ignoring them, it hardly serves as a solution. Do I have to think everytime I want to say or do something? And now that the last standing bastion of total freedom – the Internet – is also being attacked, where does one go?

    In many ways, India and China are more alike than apart. Unfortunately, these are not the good ways.

    Can I write this openly any more? Can I criticise anyone or anything? Will I suffer for voicing my opinions?

    Hope not.

    Mobile Cooking

    This could be termed a little extreme, but if ‘convenience’ is what you yearn, you could do this. Your ‘call’!

    Instructions for cooking an egg with your mobile phones!

    Remember the erstwhile post about pigeons converting our bedroom window into their own private maternity home? The situation persists and as P G Wodehouse would say, Queer.

    The scene now is that about a week ago, I noticed that the two most recent additions to the ever-growing hordes (or whatever it is) of pigeons had flown away. I planned to clean up the mess the following Sunday (that is on Dec 11)… but to my sheer horror, this morning, I checked and found two more eggs and the mamma pigeon quietly sitting on it.

    When will this end? And why my window?

    I could easily chuck the whole jamboree out, but I can’t bring myself to doing that. Anyway, what are pigeons good for? They just make gross noises, a lot of shit and provide Bollywood directors ideas for innuendos. Who needs them? Does their existence really serve any purpose? Any why in the name of God must they multiply so fast? Are they planning to take over the world? Are they real rulers and not the mice? Do they know the answer to 42?

    Must-move-pigeons.