Friday, October 31, 2008

Thought of the day - 31st Oct 2008

Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is
exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only
different kinds of good weather.
- John Ruskin

Thursday, October 30, 2008

First snow of the season

This is what I woke up to this morning. 

This is Zurich for you. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Quantum of Solace

I have just realized, or actually been made to realize, that Quantum of Solace, the latest James Bond movie is releasing in UK this Friday not in November as I was thinking. So, Friday 31st of October, it's being lauched in the cinemas and me traveling on that very day from Zurich to London.

Well, it's too bad I can't watch it as soon as it's released but I am gonna watch it pretty soon for sure.

Now, if Hollywood wants to kill piracy this is the kind of movies they need to make. Even if it's available to download or even on first-class, genuine, right-from-the-producers DVD I would not watch it first on the small TV. First viewing will of course be on the silver screen and then of course I'd add the DVD to my collection.

Just for the record I really hate Daniel Craig but my love for the Bond genre is greater than my hate for Craig.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

What is Booty Call?

I learnt most of my English from storybooks, comics and novels. The rest of it I got from movies and TV shows. :) There were many times when I could not look up something in the dictionary. I can give as example, the policemen's love of donuts, dogs' love of postmen's ankles and fire hydrants, city blocks, drugstores and so many other concepts that don't exist in India and you can't really find them in the dictionary.

Most of the time I learned their meanings from repetition or seeing them on the screen. I wish I had somebody to explain things to me like Alan explains the meaning of Booty Call to his son in this video...:-)

Monday, October 20, 2008

A Good Man's Potential

This is one of my pet peeves too, women picking men for their potential, trying to change them...I like Charlie's last speech in this clip.

P.S. I really hate this girl. Not her personally but all that she does to the cool Charlie. Really hate her!

How much can you read in a lifetime?

Well, I haven't done this, EVER, in a bookstore but I do think that bookstores remind us of our mortality in a more painful way than graveyards or crematoriums. There are so many books around in so many different categories and so many languages. And every time I go to a bookstore I think about how many of those books I'd like to read and how there's never going to be time enough to read all the books that I want to read.

Somehow that overpowering, overwhelming feeling doesn't come when you visit even when you follow link after link. I don't know why. Do you?

Watch the video and make sure never to do that yourself.

I doubt therefore I am!

Recently, I had to find the meaning of the word - agnostic. I knew at a generic, broad level that they were different in their belief system from atheists but I didn't know what their belief system actually was.

So as I say, I looked it up. And this is what I found out - an atheist goes right against the majority and says "There is NO God!". But the agnostic takes a big question mark and pastes it where everybody can see it and says "How the hell do you know if there is or there isn't, a God!".

Funny words aside, I believe in the quote, "Admire anyone who goes in the search of Truth, doubt anyone who claims to have found it."

Agnostics are right, there is not enough data to decide on this big question. For my money, I'd trust an agnostic sooner than a priest who leads me through a lot of mumbo-jumbo in order to "please" "God". I put those words in separate quotes for a reason. They  want you to believe that there is a God and this is the particular way of pleasing him. And you can't ask how they know this to be true...because that's questioning the faith.

This healthy curiosity, this capacity to doubt everything, that's what makes us an intelligent race.

I think I am going to convert - from an atheist to an agnostic!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Google Office

That's the kind of office and office environment that should be made available for creative workers.

Take a look at Google's Zurich office.

GG - A friend everyone should have

I was looking for something else when I found this. It's funny.

A google Office Worker gets lucky

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

An Effort - An Adventure - A Beginning

You didn't think I was just going to sit still, did you? So, finally after spending a truckload of time and money, I lauched my websites. I call them City Portals!

The idea for these websites kind of developed over time. I started working for a software giant in the year 2000 and in 2001 I had to go to the US for work. When I started living there I found that the best way to find anything in the new place was to search for it on the net (Google was not yet so popular so Googling was not a word). That method was quite successful in finding a lot of things from directions to deals on cellphones. Later, I moved back to Delhi and after a couple of years I moved to Poona.

Now Poona was again a new city and I needed to find a lot of things there starting from a house. To my dismay I found that my tested and tried method of searching on the net did not work in Poona. Simply because the few sites that were available had very little relevant information, mostly touristy kind of information and most of the time had not been updated in years! Over the first few weeks in Poona, after a few dozen searches I realized the sad truth - Poona was not online!

I don't know when the idea actually took form in my mind (but most great ideas start like that) but slowly I came to realize a fact following from the sad realization - If Poona was not online, I will need to take it online!

Easier said than done, right? Right! Even though I had the necessary web designing, web programming and online research skills, I did not have the massive amount of time that would be required to create a data-centric web portal that can be really useful to the general public. On top of that it has to be updated, constantly, otherwise it would fall into the same trap of presenting information that nobody could use.

Well, to cut the long story short, I hired some professionals, got the site developed and ApnaPune.Com (lovingly called APC) was born.

But what about Delhi? When I was trying to bring Poona city online, how could I forget my hometown, my city of birth - New Delhi? So, (loving nickname - MDMS) was born to keep APC company.

On my birthday this year - (22nd of August for those of you who don't know), we launched both the sites, bringing them 'live'! Now, I am proud to say anybody can go to one of these sites and do a simple search to find out what movies are playing in the city on which theatres with their addresses, phone numbers and even user created reviews of the movies. There are many other categories in which information is available, readily and in a comprehensive manner.

The major source of my pride in the guarantee that the INFORMATION WILL ALWAYS BE there is a dedicated team of people behind each site, people who collect information from the real world and put it online for anybody to search and use. This for me is the beginning of a dream! One day, every city in India will be online and part of this chain.

I encourage you to check the sites and let me know what you think. They are both geared towards the cities that they serve but we have created them in a way that they can offer something interesting and useful to any visitor no matter where they are coming from!

The links are:

Friday, October 03, 2008

It's the journey

I have recently come to realize that the journey is usually more interesting than the destination. It's true of the metaphorical journey of life and so many other journeys. For example, the journey to success; it's a long road paved with hardships, tough choices, hard work and depressing situations. But if you look back on it, you know you enjoyed every moment of it. I bet making your first million would be a million times better than bigger deals that you just get used to. (I don't know yet, I'll let you know when I make that first million.)

Or take a simple journey to a holiday spot. When you are going, you are excited, thrilled with the prospects of skiing, hiking, swimming, fishing...or whatever make you jump with joy. When you are coming back your head is full of memories (usually good) and you are looking forward to getting home and relaxing in the familiar environment, a soak in the hot tub or a meal at your favorite restaurant. No matter how good or bad your vacation went your journey is usually exciting.

The point is, we usually look back at our journey, esp. this journey to success, with fondness
and something akin to nostalgia. Most times we can also enjoy the journey when we are living it. And when you are able to do that, life becomes such joy!

That was my 2 cents. Do share your thoughts on this.

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