Monday, October 19, 2009

Free Software For Writers or Authors

As you know I have been trying to write a book and as you might not know I have a few other writing projects in the oven. More than once I have felt the need to have a software tool that could help me organize the huge amount of text that goes in a book. For example, my current book, the one mentioned on it's own blog has several places where I have put in brackets and written "How many times do I say this?", it's easy to forget something like that when you have 200 pages of text that you travel through back and forth, back and forth. Hence, the need for a tool to assist.

With a google search I found a tool called the Storyboard. It seems nice and best of all it's free and open source. So, I am going to try that. If you have a need for this go to -

Oh, remember my ranting post about MS-Word being a piece of crap because it crashed and I lost data? Well, Storybook saves each input as it goes along, so no losing data even if it crashes. Neat huh?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Hindi Movie - Woh 7 Din

I like this movie, an old classic, though I don't like the climax but well, no director usually goes again the public sentiment, any other climax would cause the movie to flop at the boxoffice.

So, here are 2 clips from it, one a comedy scene that I absolutely love.

The other, a powerful, emotional scene that refers back to the comedy scene.

Nida Faazli - The Common Man's Shaayar

Well, I am only going to re-quote. While looking at some Hindi blogs I across this blog called shreesuvach, I am posting the direct link to the post.

After giving due credit, here are the lines that compelled me to post:
" निकल आते हैं आंसू हंसते-हंसते,
ये किस गम की कसक है हर खुशी में
गुजर जाती है यूं ही उम्र सारी;
किसी को ढूँढते है हम किसी में.
बहुत मुश्किल है बंजारा मिजाजी;
सलीका चाहिए आवारगी में."

और इन पंक्तियों को पढ़कर अगर मुँह से "वाह" ना निकले तो अपनी नब्ज़ ज़रूर एक बार चैक करवा लें.

" फासला नज़रों का धोखा भी हो सकता है,
चाँद जब चमकें तो जरा हाथ बढाकर देखो.."

For my English-reading readers, the poet says,
"The distance may very well be an illusion of the eyes,
When the Moon is shining, just try to reach out.."

No, I won't dissect it for you. :)

एक पोस्ट मातृभाषा में

एक ज़माना था कि मुझे लगता था कि हिन्दी में कंप्यूटर्स पर काम करना यानी जैसे हम लोग वापिस जाने कि कोशिश कर रहे हैं और वक़्त कि रफ़्तार को रोकने की कोशिश कर रहे हैं, लेकिन वक़्त के साथ साथ मेरे विचार भी बदलने लगे और मैने महसूस किया कि इतने बड़े देश की इतनी पॉपुलर भाषा को अगर कंप्यूटर्स सपोर्ट नहीं करेंगे तो बात अधूरी रह जाएगी.

खुशी की बात ये है कि मेरी तरह और लोगों ने इस बात को समझने में इतनी देर नहीं की और इस दिशा में बहुत सी तरक़्क़ी इस बीच में हो चुकी है.

ये पोस्ट मैं एक वेबसाइट पर टाइप कर रहा हूँ और ये देख कर हैरान हूँ कि कितना आसान है हिन्दी में टाइप करना इस phonetic editor में. ग़लतियाँ तो हैं ही नहीं और रफ़्तार बहुत अच्छी है. इसका नाम है Quillpad और URL है अगर आपको हिन्दी आती है तो टाइप करके देखिए बहुत मज़ा आएगा! और अगर आपको हिन्दी नहीं आती....तो मैंने कुछ कहा ही नहीं :D

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Get Smart - Laser Smart

Another sexy and funny scene from the same movie - Get Smart. I like this movie.

Bruce - Reading News With a Difference

I recently re-watched Bruce Almighty, a very funny film with lots of good, hilarious scenes. I selected this one because this is the silliest, in my opinion.

Get Smart - Dance Scene

This is a very funny movie, but don't think it's very famous. I liked this dance sequence that's both funny and sexy at the same time. Watch to the end.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Fifty Fifty

I have always loved this simple scene from the movie terminal. It's a very small scene, basically just one dialogue but worth watching.

It's a great way of looking at things, especially something to remember when you are thinking how hard it is to do that particular thing and want to give up. Oh, but not if you live in America, remember what she said, "America doesn't work that way." :)

The Switch

Please read this in the order it is written watching the video clips as you come to each one. You'll enjoy it the most that way.

So, the story, ladies and gentlemen, is of a man who wanted to perform the legendary maneuvre called "The Switch". Nobody in the history of the human race had ever performed this switch before but this young man was ambitious. Maybe too ambitious for his own good!

It all started like this. Jerry Seinfeld was dating this woman named Sandy. Now Sandy, while a very personable young lady had but one flaw.

Her words stayed in his mind and he decided to test this theory.

And then, to make matters worse, he met...the roommate!

And so, Jerry is thrown into the middle of an emotional turmoil.

They all but accept defeat.

But where, there is a will there is a way. And so...

Jerry puts the devious plan into action, not sure of his footing but urged on not only by his desire for the roommate but also for the unparallelled achievement of...The Switch! Will he succeed where better men than him failed?

Jerry is in over his head. Can he cope with this new development? This unforeseen complication in his plan! Let's watch.

And here folks, you have the whole story!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

HIMYM - Know Your Girlfriend!

Don't you wish there was a class like that about 'your' girlfriend?

G.I.Joe: The Rise of Cobra - Lights, Colours, Sounds = Garbage

After a long wait and with much anticipation I finally got my hands on the "G.I.Joe:The Rise of Cobra" DVD and watched it as soon as I got it.

In short, it's a mixture of lights, colours and action sounds that lacks meaning. In very short, it's total garbage!

You know I review a movie only when it moves me emotionally, either positively or negatively. This one just pissed me off completely!

So, let's start dissecting it. I will discuss the plot in detail because I wouldn't want you to waste your time on it. Not much of a plot anyway.

The title - absolute crap. It has nothing to do with Cobra of any kind and the attempt to connect it is even more pathetic than the title.

A better title would be "Attack of the Nanomites", because that's what the movie is all about - microscopic, mechanical creatures that can "eat" through anything, called Nanomites and developed by a corporation called MARS for NATO. There are 4 nanomite warheads developed, and are to be delivered to NATO complete with their KILL switches. And of course, the bad guys are after these things.

The hero "Duke" and his friend "Ripcord" are not G I Joe's in the beginning, they come in contact with the Joe's when they are attacked by the bad guys and the Joe team saves these 2 and the warheads, everybody else dies. So, these 2, of course, want to "join up". They are put through the training and god knows how they pass - they act like puppies more than soldiers if you ask me, one as a lovesick puppy and the other as a heartbroken puppy.

I like human heros with their strengths and weakness, but this hero, esp. in this kind of movie, is all weak! That includes a weak mind. The best thing you could say about him is that he's too stupid to be bad. There's one scene where his ex-fiancee is holding the bag of the warheads alongside her bad-man accomplice and this moron (the hero, Duke) has a gun pointed at her while both of them have no guns and out of sword range....and he lets her walk away with the warheads because he can't shoot his ex-girlfriend!! Now, would you want that kind of dedicated soldier guarding your country?

The dialogue is all made up of tired, old cliches. There was not a single dialogue in the whole 1 hour 57 minute movie that impressed me. The attempt at levity would make you groan, the jokes are that bad! Dialog delivery, maybe because of the poor quality dialogues, is very bad.

Usually, the objective of this kind of a movie is to present the superhero (in this case Superteam) in a positive light. This movie does the opposite. After watching them at work, I wouldn't hire them to walk my dog. They can't do a single thing right. They fail all their missions and assignments one by one. One example - The bad guys want to shoot the Nanomite warhead at the Eiffel Tower, the Joe's get to know in advance where they will "weaponise" the warheads but they are so late in arriving that they have to start the chase from the time when the bad guys are getting into their SUV (Truck for Americans) and driving towards the Eiffel Tower. Imagine this scene, their SUV is outside the lab, the girl has yet to get into it, and the Joe team arrives in their fully-equipped, sci-fi weapons loaded kind of van but do they shoot at the SUV and blast the bastards to kingdom come? No! That'd be too easy, that'd make common sense. So what do they do? They chase the bad guys, on foot, in accelerator suits. Nice chase scene made up of lots of *boom* *bam* *crash* sounds which I think is the director's idea of "action".

Well, finally, after a long and at times boring chase sequence the Joe's fail as the bad guy launches the warhead. Then they can't get to the KILL switch until it's too late to save the Tower. Some team!

The most interesting thing in this to me was, WHY were the bad guys DRIVING to the Eiffel Tower? According to the demo shown in the beginning, the nanomites will continue eating through everything until killed by the KILL switch. They had the potential to destroy the world, if unstopped, hence the need for a KILL switch. So, why go to Eiffel Tower when you want to destroy Paris? (That was their objective.) If I were a bad guy, I'd just fire the warhead at the farthest building I could see and start driving in the opposite direction with the KILL switch in my pocket.

Not just this but with other things also it seemed that the villain's plot was just as bad as the director's plot for this movie.

There are several flashbacks in the movie, most of which detract from the speed and don't add anything to the impact. There are way too many fight sequences with a variety of weapons but none of them impress. Most of them are nothing more than a haphazard mixture of lights, colours and sounds. You feel like you are watching a comic book being enacted.

Common sense is lacking in the whole movie which pisses me off the most in any movie. In one scene, General Hawk, the big boss of the Joe's says, "Give me a satellite uplink. I want to see everything that's going on there." An UPLINK is to upload data to a satellite, if you want to download data from the satellite, like images uploaded from another station, then you need something called a DOWNLINK. If you are making a movie and can't spend 30 seconds to get your facts are pathetic!

It's very clear the director doesn't understand technology and wants viewers who understand even less. The nanomites are shown other than as attack critters, as particles that can control the mind if injected into a person. Apparently, for the director, nanomites equals "magic goblins".

The bad girl/good girl in the movie is Sienna Miller. And even with a hottie like her, they have not been able to generate any sex appeal, except a little when she makes her first appearance. The other heroine, Rachel Nichols, is also gorgeous, but again, the camera work and direction are lacking in taking advantage of her beauty.

The climax is also equally crap. Apparently, the only thing the director was conserned about, was to leave a couple of doors open for a sequel. Well, count me out, mate!

On the whole, a "must miss" movie.

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