an "a to z" of thoughts, conversations, remarks, observations,musings about

Friday, April 27, 2007


whom would you rather believe... this ....

or the wise guys at onion....

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


And over at the tagging life blog, Westy has come up with this lyrical gem...

There is a valley in the east of spain
Where the clouds hang out, pouring rain
The valley is wiide and has a gentle slope
A fantastic place to have a dope

Boris...the spider

As the New York times says in its take on Yeltsin and his era,

No one recognized more than he how far short he fell of his goal. In his resignation speech, he told the Russian people: “I ask forgiveness for not justifying some hopes of those people who believed that at one stroke, in one spurt, we could leap from the gray, stagnant, totalitarian past into the light, rich, civilized future.”

At the end, he was a man worn down. “I feel like a runner who has just completed a supermarathon of 40,000 kilometers,” he wrote in his memoir. “I gave it my all. I put my whole heart and soul into running my presidential marathon. I honestly went the distance. If I have to justify anything, here is what I will say: If you think you can do it better, just try. Run those 40,000 kilometers. Try to do it faster, better, more elegantly, or more easily. Because I did it.”

In an era of manufactured political leaders, Yeltsin was the last of the old school politico's. Someone who could orate, who could mingle, who could get drunk, who could shake a leg, who would use the local transport, who would remember what it meant to be poor and disenfranchised and who would get angry at the state of things around him. Power corrupts and Yeltsin too left the stage to polite applause and muttered whispers, but for a brief moment in time, he was the man who dared raise his voice and take a hammer to the machine-state.

Perhaps it would have been better if he had been a spider, able to weave his web and hang by a thread, play the parlour games and tread lightly on the ground...
Still we must judge a man by his actions in his youth and middle age, not in his dotage. For those who remember, Boris was not a spider, but a bear of a man, poking his nose where it wasnt appreciated, shoving his way into places where he wasnt welcome and forever ready to stand up and climb on tanks and talk to the people directly.

Look, he's crawling up my wall
Black and hairy, very small
Now he's up above my head
Hanging by a little thread

Boris the spider
Boris the spider

Now he's dropped on to the floor
Heading for the bedroom door
Maybe he's as scared as me
Where's he gone now, I can't see

Boris the spider
Boris the spider

Creepy, crawly
Creepy, crawly
Creepy, creepy, crawly, crawly
Creepy, creepy, crawly, crawly
Creepy, creepy, crawly, crawly
Creepy, creepy, crawly, crawly

There he is wrapped in a ball
Doesn't seem to move at all
Perhaps he's dead, I'll just make sure
Pick this book up off the floor

Boris the spider
Boris the spider

Creepy, crawly
Creepy, crawly
Creepy, creepy, crawly, crawly
Creepy, creepy, crawly, crawly
Creepy, creepy, crawly, crawly
Creepy, creepy, crawly, crawly

He's come to a sticky end
Don't think he will ever mend
Never more will he crawl 'round
He's embedded in the ground

Boris the spider
Boris the spider

Sunday, April 22, 2007

and i aint no animal....

excerpts from an article about a man from gorakhpur......full article here

"He apes buffalo's bellowing to such an extent that whenever he visits the cattle-shed, a simple call by him (Munna) makes all the buffaloes turn their attention towards him. Likewise, crows too hover around his head no sooner than he gives out a call of caw-caw," said Raju, one of Munna's friends. "

and another -

"It may be of interest to know that the famed hunter-turned naturalist, Jim Corbett had mastered the art imitating the roar of mating call given by a tigress. It is said that often, he relied on it to lure his game."

thank god for a free press.... we would be so deprived of astonishing information if not for them....

btw.. Shantaram, the book about a guy in mumbai, too had characters from Gorakhpur, the bear handlers who loved their bhaloo, went back with him to their home in Gkp.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

message in a bullet

Excerpts from the video message that Cho sent to NBC

"You had 100 billion choices and ways to avoid today but you decided to spill my blood instead," Cho said in one of the more coherent passages aired by NBC. "You forced me into a corner and gave me only one option. The decision was yours. Now you have blood on your hands that will never wash off. ... I didn't have to do this. I could have left. I could have fled. But no, I will no longer run.

"Your Mercedes wasn't enough, you brats," said Cho, the son of Korean immigrants who reportedly work in a dry cleaning business, in a passage apparently addressed to his victims. "Your golden necklaces weren't enough, you snobs. Your trust funds wasn't enough. Your vodka and cognac wasn't enough. ... They weren't enough to fulfill your hedonistic needs. You had everything. "

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

shot through the heart...and you're to blame

Quoted from the Guardian - She said the gunman "was just a normal-looking kid, Asian, but he had on a Boy Scout-type outfit. He wore a tan button-up vest, and this black vest, maybe it was for ammo or something

In virginia tech.... 32 people killed by someone wandering around in a boy scout outfit and spraying bullets..... hmmmmmm

totally wierd.... whatever happens... theres something rotten in denmark....why are schools and colleges the best targets? ..... why not target offices ( where people may actually thank you for giving them a break ) etc...why does it happen in schools and colleges mostly.....

One theory doing the rounds is that the guy was angry coz his girlfriend had been cheating on him.


Friday, April 13, 2007


Update .. an anonymous commenter informs me that i am an idiot for posting this....and its patently false and hopelessly outdated; since the current aussie humor standards are hovering at 73% below 1997 levels ....

note to anonieperson... please take up matter with Tamanna... see below...

Hat tip to Tamanna

After every flight, Qantas pilots fill out a form called a gripe sheet, which conveys to the mechanics problems encountered with the aircraft during the flight that need repair or correction. The engineers read and correct the problem, and then respond in writing on the lower half of the form what remedial action was taken, and the pilot reviews the gripe sheets before the next flight. Never let it be said that ground crews and engineers lack a sense of humor.
(P = the problem logged by the pilot
S = the solution and action taken by the engineers)

P: Left inside main tire almost needs replacement.
S: Almost replaced left inside main tire.
P: Test flight OK, except auto-land very rough.
S: Auto-land not installed on this aircraft.
P: Something loose in cockpit.
S: Something tightened in cockpit.
P: Autopilot in altitude-hold mode produces a 200 feet per minute descent.
S: Cannot reproduce problem on ground.
P: Evidence of leak on right main landing gear.
S: Evidence removed.
P: DME volume unbelievably loud.
S: DME volume set to more believable level.
P: Friction locks causes throttle levers to stick.
S: That's what they're there for.
P: IFF inoperative.
S: IFF always inoperative in OFF mode.
P: Suspected crack in windshield.
S: Suspect you're right.
P: Number 3 engine missing.
S: Engine found on right wing after brief search.
P: Aircraft handles funny.
S: Aircraft warned to straighten up, fly right, and be serious.
P: Target radar hums.
S: Reprogrammed target radar with lyrics.
P: Mouse in cockpit.
S: Cat installed.
P: Noise coming from under instrument panel. Sounds like a midget pounding on something with a hammer.
S: Took hammer away from midget.


Vonnegut 1922 - 2007

Player Piano (1952), The Sirens of Titan (1959), Cat's Cradle (1963), God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater; or, Pearls Before Swine (1965), Mother Night (1966), Welcome to the Monkey House (stories, 1968), *Slaughterhouse Five; or the Children's Crusade: A Dance with Death (1969), Breakfast of Champions; or, Goodbye Blue Monday (1973), Slapstick, or Lonesome No More (1976), Jailbird (1979), Deadeye Dick (1982), Galapágos (1985), Bluebeard (1987), Hocus Pocus (1990), Timequake (1997), Bagombo Snuff Box (stories, 1999) and on and on ...unfortunately the chain shall stop now...and Kurt Vonnegut, god bless him, will no longer pour out the molten lumpy crackling prose that made each book of his feel like a journey in a amateurish space ship.

I was doing my summer internship in an architects office in Calcutta in the middle of the worst spells of summer that Kolkata has ever seen. Luckily the American Centre was just behind my office, and I took a membership in their library. For a couple of months while I commuted in trams, buses and trains, I was lost in the world of American writing. Not knowing much about American authors apart from irving wallace and robert ludlum etc, I took potluck each time, choosing books based on their titles. It was a good move, and led me to discover authors like Mailer, Styron, Faulkner, Steinbeck, Saroyan, Dos Passos, Fitzgerald et al and I was having fun escaping from the heat of the city, sitting in the airconditioned library, when I should have been standing by a construction site taking notes....but hey...

So one day I chose Bluebeard by Kurt Vonnegut. With a title like that, you could hardly lose. Had a nice ring to it. By the time I had finished the book, I knew I had stumbled upon a treasure. Soon I had read the entire shelf and it was a lot of heavy reading to pack into a 19 yr olds head in the short span of a month, still I will always remember how it used to feel to dip into the purple-green prose of Vonnegut and emerge later refreshed and weary as if from a long journey.

Read yesterday that Vonnegut had passed away at the age of 84, in Manhattan. A giant, truly.

Links -

from those who knew him.

the official (sic) website

the wiki

Cold Turkey - An article by Vonnegut

Brief Bio

Quotes by Vonnegut

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Fact of the day - go vegan

Fact: -The United States alone slaughters more than 10 billion land animals every year.

Interesting post in "Philosophical Musings blog" which pointed me to this article from where I pulled out the above factoid.

An excerpt -

Last year researchers at the University of Chicago took the Prius down a peg when they turned their attention to another gas guzzling consumer purchase. They noted that feeding animals for meat, dairy, and egg production requires growing some ten times as much crops as we'd need if we just ate pasta primavera, faux chicken nuggets, and other plant foods. On top of that, we have to transport the animals to slaughterhouses, slaughter them, refrigerate their carcasses, and distribute their flesh all across the country. Producing a calorie of meat protein means burning more than ten times as much fossil fuels--and spewing more than ten times as much heat-trapping carbon dioxide--as does a calorie of plant protein. The researchers found that, when it's all added up, the average American does more to reduce global warming emissions by going vegetarian than by switching to a Prius.

According to the UN report, it gets even worse when we include the vast quantities of land needed to give us our steak and pork chops. Animal agriculture takes up an incredible 70% of all agricultural land, and 30% of the total land surface of the planet. As a result, farmed animals are probably the biggest cause of slashing and burning the world's forests. Today, 70% of former Amazon rainforest is used for pastureland, and feed crops cover much of the remainder. These forests serve as "sinks," absorbing carbon dioxide from the air, and burning these forests releases all the stored carbon dioxide, quantities that exceed by far the fossil fuel emission of animal agriculture.

As if that wasn't bad enough, the real kicker comes when looking at gases besides carbon dioxide--gases like methane and nitrous oxide, enormously effective greenhouse gases with 23 and 296 times the warming power of carbon dioxide, respectively. If carbon dioxide is responsible for about one-half of human-related greenhouse gas warming since the industrial revolution, methane and nitrous oxide are responsible for another one-third. These super-strong gases come primarily from farmed animals' digestive processes, and from their manure. In fact, while animal agriculture accounts for 9% of our carbon dioxide emissions, it emits 37% of our methane, and a whopping 65% of our nitrous oxide.

Its a college, its a university, no its Infosys Mysore

In a story on how India is running out of tech workers, and the ways companies like Infosys are adapting to it, by setting up virtually their own educational institutions..the Time magazine reports

"It has 120 faculty members, more than 80 buildings, 2,350 hostel rooms and a 500,000-square-foot education complex. There's a movie complex built inside a geodesic dome. An army of workers sweeps the already-spotless streets and trims the already-perfect lawns.

Month by month, it's getting bigger. Today, some 4,500 students at a time attend the 16-week course for new employees. By September, there will be space for 13,000.

Infosys spent $350 million on the campus, and will spend $140 million this year on training, said Pai, the human resources chief."

april fools day

Courtesy of the careerbuilder website...heres a list of the funniest 10 pranks pulled off at work on April Fools Day.

1. Sent a letter signed by the president of the company that informed employees they would have to take potty breaks in alphabetical order.

2. Decreased the size of boss's lab coat. Joke continued after April 1 with boss perplexed by his coats getting tighter each week while he was dieting so diligently.

3. Made for a very foggy day with dry ice in the urinal.

4. Changed all of boss's reading glasses to clear glass.

5. Sent a note to co-worker's pager that said to contact "George." The number was to the White House.

6. Employee went to the restroom and when he came out, he ran into a wall of tape draped across the doorway, courtesy of his team.

7. Put "random burping" program on boss's computer that would loudly burp every few seconds. It went on for days.

8. Brought in jelly doughnuts filled with ketchup.

9. Had someone with a "questionable" profession call the office and ask for directions.

10. CEO placed a very large and official-looking "For Sale" sign in front of the building.

The essential guide to email writing

Interesting review in the New Yorker, about a book on how to email. This book seems to lay down the rules for this new medium, and it reads ....

Shipley and Schwalbe enumerate six essential e-mail types (the Ask, the Answer, Grovelling, etc.), eight deadly sins (too casual, too vague, too illegal, etc.), and a four-step checklist (S.E.N.D.) that reflects the authors’ broad-ranging e-mail conservatism. “S” stands for simple, “E” for effective, “N” for necessary, “D” for done. Generally, they’d have you hit “send” later and less often. They offer a hermeneutics of the cc, an invocation against the word “please,” and a number of rather chilling but by now self-evident rules (“Never forward without permission, and assume everything you write will be forwarded”). The reader gulps at the thought of unexploded self-incriminations ticking in servers around the world. The authors, astonishingly, come out in favor of exclamation points (“ ‘Thanks!!!!’ is way friendlier than ‘Thanks’ ”), abbreviations (“Is LOL . . . really inherently more opaque than FYI?”), and emoticons (those smiley faces and the like may “bug many people but they make us smile”).

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

and everyday the paperboy brings more

News of the day.... After 60 years of independence, we finally got around to doing a survey of our children being abused...and the results -

"More than half of India’s child population has been scarred by sexual abuse. The nauseating statistic, indicating that 53 per cent of the country’s children are sexually assaulted, was revealed by the Government of India’s first survey on child abuse."

read more here -

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Embedded :)

You know when technology has totally embedded itself in your life when -

- after embedding the micro iPod chip in your testicle it can sense when you're having sex and play the right music.

BBC Widget