Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Common sense is so uncommon

One of the things that piss me off immediately is the lack of common sense and logic. For example, people keep forwarding their friends these stupid emails which are just hoaxes dreamt up by some idler with too much time on his hands as he sits on the bench of some software company. This is forwarded by other "most clever" people who do not look at the email twice but just read the words "WARNING" "BEWARE" and "send to ALL your friends" and immediately set out to do just as the first idiot says.
There have been a lot of hoaxes over the years, so many in fact that there are a number of websites that research and denounce these hoaxes. Plus most major anti-virus and security companies maintain a section on hoax information on their website other than virii information. But do these super-intelligent people take the trouble to research the hoax? No. All they see is the Forward button and a list of their friends. As someone rightly pointed out person after person keeps forwarding it to all their friends and the list of email addresses keeps building up, and somewhere along the line it falls in the hands of a spammer.
I don't mind forwards with jokes and interesting things but the email about a little girl who is dying and has been dying for the last 70 years really pisses me off.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The joy of being lost

What I mean...lol..is ah! the joy of being satellite linked. The first time I saw GPS navigation system that was in 2001 in a friend's friend's car. I loved the concept of having one's own personal guide who tells you, "after 200 metres turn left" and keeps track of you even when you don't follow the directions correctly. But I got really fascinated by it in Germany where I saw my colleagues using it on their Pocket PCs with bluetooth GPS receivers. That's where I walked with my friend Thomas Diller to look for a GPS receiver for me, using his GPS receiver. It got us to the shop even through the confusing narrow streets.
But the quest for a new toy, or rather this new toy was fulfilled in UK recently when I finally had all the pieces of the system - pocket pc, GPS receiver, and the navigation software. So last Saturday, I set out with the small GPS receiver hanging from my neck, my QTEK 9000 in my hand trying to find an ATM, with TomTom showing the way. I could see each and every side street as I approached it and as I passed it. The turns are shown as a small diagram showing the other geographical features like round-abouts, sideroads to set the perspective for a clear decision. It was a simple journey, first the ATM then to the party venue, but it was thrilling.
Now, all I need is a car...lol.
 

Friday, October 20, 2006

Gandhigiri

Recently I watched Lage Raho Munnabhai on DVD. A good movie without a doubt. I concur the opinions of those who said it's better than the original. I have never seen a sequel so well-made, well maybe Back to the Future part 2 and 3 were good but not in Indian cinema.
One thing that it made me think about is Gandhi. My feelings and opinions towards Gandhi have gone through different phases. It is absolutely impossible to grow up in India and not come in touch with Gandhi. I read the excerpt from his autobiography in primary school. Then read the whole thing in book form. I liked him. God knows, I have even been to his tomb and the Gandhi museum. Truth, non-violence, national hero of India and all that jazz....
Then I saw Gandhi, the movie with Richard Attenborough and I saw rows and rows of Indians walking up to the policemen only to be stricken down, putting up no protest. And I turned off Gandhi in a second...I hated and loathed his philosophy of violence..
Well, it goes on and on...
But, in recent times I have been thinking about all the terrorism that's prevalent in the world today. Ever watched "Air Force One"? You can't convince the head of the terrorist group that what he is doing is wrong.
I have always believed that Indian independence was a direct result of the actions of our Revolutionaries, Bhagat Singh, Azad, Bismil and others. And though they resorted to violent means, robbery, disruption of machinery and even murder. I still support them. They did what needed to be done. But finally, didn't they also adopt the non-violence policy? What would you call the act of exploding a non-lethal bomb in the assembly and getting themselves arrested?
With all this as background and watching Munna bhai applying Gandhi's principles to the current, real world, made me think. True, some of the situations were dramatized but the principle was there...
Maybe there was something in what Gandhi said....?
 
 

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Weather

Weather here is getting chilly now, sunlight is welcome, wind not so much.
I have heard of places where the weather is the same all round the year; Bombay where it's always hot, Hawaii where it's always pleasant. I wonder what it would be like to live in a always-pleasant weather.
I am sure it's nice but some of the fun in life is from its unpredictability, isn't it?
If you know you are going to get an A why bother checking score on the noticeboard?
If you knew who's going to win would you watch the match?
Lol...that reminds me Jerry Seinfeld once tapes a match cos he is busy at the time of telecast. When he comes back and starts watching the recording, the telephone rings and he answers with, "If you know what happened at the game today, don't tell me."
Of course in the next shot Kramer comes in and starts with, "Too bad about the Nicks today, huh?"
Jerry shuts off the VCR...lol.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Hair again

Let me talk about this hair thing a little more. The reason I was thinking about it was that for the first time in my life I changed my hairstyle. For a long long time (never mind how long, suffice it to say that I have seen a lot winters and a lot of summers) during which I have worked in 5 cities in 3 countries in 3 different continents, I have never changed my hairstyle. But when I arrived in this 6th city I made a new friend and she told me that my hair is one of the two things that show me up as a tourist, a foreigner.
Open as I always am to feedback and constructive criticism, I decided to change it. But I kept postponing it, not sure what I wanted it to look like and a little nervous. A colleague of mine, who by a fluke of chance needed a haircut around the same time as I, was looking strictly for an Asian barber, not trusting English barbers one bit. I don't blame him for when I myself got to the barber's chair finally and told him what I wanted I found myself more than a little apprehensive. The sound of scissors started and when I looked at myself in the mirror I found that I was cringing. Positively, visibly cringing. That made me think and the blog entry about hair was born.
Thankfully the change went well and next morning my boss was the first one to say that it fits here and looks good!
It was almost exactly the same situation when I decided to get rid of my moustache in US, but that's a different story.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Puzzle

For people who like to use their head for other than as a hat-rack
here's an interesting puzzle.
Have a go at this...............

its quite tricky but it tests the brain!!!!

http://www.freestuffhotdeals.com/hacker/1.html



EDIT: Just to keep you on track there are total 23 pages. Don't stop before that. And this is the final page, for your reference and to show you that I did finish the whole puzzle. :D

Monday, October 09, 2006

Hair

Hair...it's such a sensitive issue. Not only is it called the Crowning Glory, it does get a pretty big consideration in all matters pertaining to health and beauty. The same thing shows in our expressions and idioms which are always a reflection of the real social life. For example, to "have a bad hair day" is to have a bad day, to "let your hair down" is to relax, apparently informal mode of being.
Hair is always a social thing, it reflects on person's character and social status. A parent would readily trust a teacher with grey hair than otherwise. And whoever ever attended the discourse of a clean shaven guy?

Hair being such a sensitive issue hairdressers or barbers are also very important in our society. Generally people treat the hairdresser like a family doctor, they go to the same one that they trust and father will take the kids to his own trusted one etc.

Being under the barber's scissors is like being under the surgeon's knife - "Will I come out of it alright? Will I be able to go to office tomorrow? Face the society?"

Well, to cut a long story short; I got myself a haircut yesterday. :-)

Sunday, October 08, 2006

New toy





Ok so I didn't go for the new JasJam but it was a very narrow thing with the JasJar offering almost everything that JasJam can plus the big 3.5" screen. So I finally got a JasJar and so far I am happy with my choice. Well, yes it weighs more than my cordless phone and it is quite a handful to hold to your ear during a call but I knew that before I bought it. And the features more than make up for the extra bulk. Look what I can do on this baby. I can type this blog on it and post it directly from here without going near a computer. I can browse the internet in full color, send emails, make videocalls, play music, watch movies, voice chat, take photos, record video and a lot more.
It's kinda funny when I think about it. The first cell phone I bought was a little bigger than this, and much heavier. As I earned more and got more fond of cellphones, my next handsets grew more expensive and smaller and lighter. And now the trend is on reverse pattern, while my phone continue to cost more they are growing heavier again, but more feature packed. And I believe it's a general trend nowadays. Now it's not the handset that disappears in the palm of the owner that causes comment, it's the pencil-box shaped monster that is noticed across the room and makes people nudge each other "Did you see that?"
Of course I know this, why did you think I bought this 285g pencil-box? ;-)

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Sleep, dreams and life...

There's never a night when I am not awake past midnight. Generally it's my laptop for company. Most of the time I am chatting, if I am not chatting, it's something else. Like trying out new games, or downloading lots of software and trying them out, or MP3's or video clips. Recently it's been ebay.com.
But I did not always have a laptop. Ok, then it was my PC. But what I mean is, I didn't always have a computer. Then I used to stay awake late watching TV. But I didn't always have a TV either.
There was a simpler time, when I didn't have a 500-channel-cable-connection-TV with a CD player and about 500 video CDs. In those days I used to spend a lot of time reading. I can recall many a years that I have spent, sitting, half-sitting, lying on my cot, with a pillow under my head and a book before my eyes. I didn't say "a book in my hand" because it was not always in my hand. If you get really tired lying your back you can turn over, rest your chest on the pillow and read the book by placing it directly under your eyes on the floor..lol.
But the point is I never was the "early to sleep and early to rise" kind of guy. Those wonderful novels used to fascinate me so much I never wanted to go to sleep.
The main villain in the last James Bond flick, "Die Another Day" is rumoured never to sleep. When questioned by reporters on it he says that life is so short he doesn't want to waste it sleeping, and that since he can't sleep and dream he has to bring all his dreams to life.
On the other hand are the wise people who say that sleep rejuvenates us and dreams are harbingers of so many new, exciting, life-giving things.
I would tend to believe the second, but the funny thing is I never want to go to sleep until, like a child, I have no energy left to play anymore. What reminded me of it was that last night, I was reading Robert Heinlein's "The Puppet Masters" which is as fantastic a piece of science fiction as any. I stayed awake till almost 1 a.m. and then had to go to sleep. If I didn't have to go to office the next morning, I would have finished the remaining 100-odd pages. :)

Monday, October 02, 2006

Money or Work?

Recently I finished reading a book by Rober Heinlein called "For Us, The Living". The main gist of the story is that a man gets into a road accident in 1939 and somehow gets transported into 2086. The 2086 United States is vastly different from that of the year 1939. The main difference there is that the government takes care of everybody. There are some very complicated, (and I must say very well thought-out) economic theories involved, but the government pays a fixed amount of money to every individual on a regular basis regardless of whether they work. This money is quite enough to keep one living comfortably. So, basically, nobody has to work in order to make a living. Still, a big majority of the populace does work, and they get paid more for their work and paid handsomely. With that extra money they improve their lifestyle further.
Given that this can be economically achieved, would man still want to work? And insomuchas that the money can be utilized to improve one's life, no matter how good the government allowance is, wouldn't there still be crime based on money?
 

By post

Another thing I like about living in the western countries is the postal system. You can buy anything, new or used, from anywhere in the country or neighbouring countries (e.g. UK, US, Germany etc.) and it can be delivered to you by post, quick and safe. It is fun. Recently I bought a cordless phone that way and I was more than a little pleased when it was delivered to me in the office. I didn't have to set foot out of my own office and I made a purchase from a person I had never seen and never will. This kind of convenience would be hard to explain to someone who has not experienced it firsthand.
I can still remember a time when I used to go to the bank to ask my bank balance (which was never more than a couple of hundred Indian Rupees :) ). Ah, good old days!
 

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