Monday, December 8, 2008
Whatever, let's come to the point. I mean my post. We all know what is the biggest news right now. We have seen the terrors and horrors with bulging eyes, endless shifting between the national news channels and/or refreshing the websites. Almost in an infinite loop.
Check NDTV, oh it's Barkha again chasing some poor survivor just out of Trident,
OK, go to CNN-IBN, Sagarika Ghosh in her weired accent trying hard to make sense what is happening (sounding like Arun Lal in an IPL match in the process... "It's a SIX... Yes, it's a HUGE six... He has managed to score six runs of the last ball.."). Change channel.
Good, Times Now. Exclusive telecast of the NSG operation at Nariman House. They are preparing for the final assault on the terrorists. OK. Back to NDTV...
(Nothing much to say about the other channels. See it here)
Sigh. Finally it's over. We are now busy with the usual blame-game, talk-shows, Mahesh Bhatt-Shobha De-Shabana Azmi crowd giving their expert opinions, candlelight-march and what not. I don't have much to say in this regard. Being a true software engineer used to copy-pasting code, I'll link to my not-so-old-post. Things haven't changed much. Yeah, it's bigger, scarier, more international (after all some white-skins have died this time). But the end result is yet to be out. We are waiting.
And still amidst this high volatge, out-of-Warner-Brothers'-latest-summer-flick type drama, where the daredevils from NSG, ATS and hotel staffs have won our hearts, our politicians came into the fore. And they showed, the species called Indian politician is not be under-estimated. At any cost. In any situation. So what if they have failed miserably in securing the lives of the people of our country. They can give statements. Statements which are so bizarre, you forget about the sorry state of this nation. It becomes a black-comedy. Or, maybe 'comedy of errors' is a better term. Read this one from the funnyman of Chennai, and have a laugh at ourselves (yes, we elect these people).
And yes. One more thing. After having 3 whole days of 24/7 live telecast and soaring TRPs, media, i.e. the news channels are being questioned for their apparent lack of sensitivity and restraint. Look at Barkha Dutt's answer to these questions and one beautiful article from The Telegraph.
So... what is the point of typing these things again, you might ask. After all you have more-or-less same thoughts in your mind, and hearing the same thing from every corner. Well. Nothing. Zilch. Zero. It's just that this my rant-box and I have nowhere else to express my rants. So thanks for going through this. Comments, any comments, rants, links, insights, on this event (historical as some people are saying) are welcome. Please feel free.
Btw, If anybody is wondering about the apparent lack of grammer and spelling in the post-title, check this. You might skip some of the links in this link-infested post, but don't miss this.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
After a long time I read some fiction. First it was the Bengali Pujo-specials.
Then I read Norwegian Wood by Murakami. I had one PDF of this novel in my laptop for a long time. Never felt like opening it.
Till last week. And finished it in one sitting. 12 to 5. A.M. Yes. It was worth.
And there is this small piece which struck me.
"True, given time enough, I can remember her face. I start joining images...
It takes time, though, for Naoko's face to appear. And as the years have passed, the time has grown longer. The sad truth is that what I could recall in 5 seconds all too soon needed 10, then 30, then a full minute - like shadows lengthening at dusk. Someday, I suppose, the shadows will be swallowed up in darkness. There is no way around it....
I liked the imagery of lengthening shadows and fading memory. And the inevitable darkness which lies ahead. Well, liked is the wrong word. I was saddened by it. Maybe this is what will happen to our memories.
Memories which are sweet and that's why sad. Someday they won't make you smile and cry like today.
But there are another type of memories. Like small wooden splinters.
We had a small storeroom in our backyard (we still have), filled with many uselful and useless things. There were lots of wood-pieces. Flats. planks, plys. I used to play with them. Short wooden planks. Breaks easily. And small wooden splinters (very small, 5-6 mm) used to get stuck inside the skin of my palm. It was a pretty routine affair.
First it pains a lot. Then it subsidies and a dull ache remains.
Until Mom notices and takes it out with a safety-pin.
Time has gone by. We have grown old, and came far. We play with different things. But still things break. And splinters remain. Big and small. Some come out easily. But some remain. Stuck inside. Somewhere deep.
Safety-pins can't reach there.
At first it pains. Aches. Then it reduces. Slowly. You stop noticing it.
You have got used to it now. It's still there. Under your skin. Stuck in the flesh beneath.
Now it pains only when you touch it.
And you like the pain.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Yeah that's John McCain's running mate Sarah Palin with Pakistan's PM Mr. Asif Ali Zardari. In case you missed some words here is the transcript.
Zardari: “You are even more gorgeous than you are on the [inaudible].”
Palin: “You are so nice. Thank you.”
Z: “Now I know why the whole of America is crazy about you.”
[A Zardari aide tells the two to shake hands again for the cameras.]
P: “I’m supposed to pose again.”
Z: “If he’s insisting, I might hug.”
Hilarious... Benazir Bhutto must be turning in her grave. God bless Pakistan.
If you want to know what happened afterwords, read this. :)
Monday, September 15, 2008
"8 blasts... can you believe? These scoundrels should be hanged from the lamp posts".
"Yeah man... psychopaths..."
"By the way, how's the market today..."
"300 plus... Good na? Did you see Chelsea versus City"
Yeah that's how it is. We have become immune. There are much more pressing matters for our politicians to discuss. Should forest land be given to Amarnath Yatra Committee or Jaya Bachchan should speak Marathi in promotional events... you know. Important topics...
Back to square one, aren’t we? Same scenario, same arguments and same results. Even the word déjà vu sounds familiar… A few hours back “We The People” was going on NDTV, with Arun Jaitly and Abhishek Singhvi in guest’s chairs. I was curious to see the blame-game and what argument they place. And just as expected BJP has found their argument in anti-terror laws like POTA/TADA which Cong opposes and Cong is harping about a Federal Anti-Terror agency which is not possible because of opposition from BJP-ruled govts (according to Singvi). Same story as we know...
I don’t have much knowledge about Indian penal code and exactly how much power is given to a law will make it a fascist law, prone for misuse. I think the line is blurred as always. But don’t we know all anti-crime laws can be misused this way or that way? Aren’t we aware that law-enforcing agencies can and sometimes do misuse their powers, be it the Army (technically not a law enforcing agency) or the Police? Does that mean we won’t have those agencies/forces or we won’t have stringent laws to tackle crimes? In an ideal world we don’t need an Army, but we know the world we live in is not ideal. I think we need a complete overhaul with the security agencies beginning with an Central Anti-Terror agency. From Kargil to Parliament attack to these blasts we can see our intelligence capability is non-existent or ineffective at best. The time has come where the need of a strong body with strong laws outweighs the danger of potential misuse. It’s just not worth to sit back and argue about pros and cons. How much blood can we shed? Till when?
Do we realize these people who are doing this ghastly acts are not even bothered. They are doing it at will. When they want, where they want. Sending emails before the countdown to proclaim their superiority over the nation and its administration. It is like people bully the weak kid in school just to show that they can. No political or economic gain. Just to throw stone and laugh. This is where we are now. All we can do is watch in horror. Shake our head in disbelief. Sigh and get on with our lives. And pray tomorrow it's not me or someone I know. I am thankful to Christopher Nolan for how he showed Joker in the latest Batman film. I mentioned about this in a previous post and say it again here. Global terrorism and its projection as we are seeing in India does not need any reason, any justification. There can not be any rationalization. Only a psychologically demented person can do this and take pride in it. Words are not enough to condemn this and words mean nothing. We need some action. Some tough decisions. Soon. It is already late.
Having said so much, I’m pretty much sure we will not see any action. None. Blame-game? Yes. Endless debate? Yes. One more blast in Hyderabad/Kolkata/Pune/Lucknow? Very much possible. Another post in blog from where I can copy-paste from this post… Did anyone say 'déjà vu' ?
P.S: Most of this post is cross-posted from the comment I made in Greatbong's blog. After putting my comment I could not resist to share my rant in my blog.
P.P.S: See this not-so-old post from Greatbong (again) to witness the sad and comical aspects of this continuing tragedy.
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Question: What would have been the name if the movie was based on girl bands?I know, I know, bad PJ... But that's the fun... :D
Answer: Frock On!!
The caption tells "Put your skills to better use". Got the connection? There are some lucky people who are doing what they want to do. And some are not. Stuck somewhere else. And of course there are some who are not even sure what they want. Confused souls (I'm one among this category). And I really liked this advertisement. Other than being a fabulous piece of sketch, I saw something very familiar in it, a pert of me to be precise... Maybe, just maybe, someday I'll stop being an engineer and then be... Well, I don't know... something else. Till then, Dream On....
Monday, August 25, 2008
I am sure some visitors in this blog came looking for a very different kind of overhead transmission and were disappointed at the quality of transmission found here. Aplogies guys. This is just my blog. Though I read some stuff about transmission lines and all but that was long long long ago. And if you happen to read the same post about naming of this blog, you will know I don't remember a single word about those lines. To use a bad pun, I can say "It was nothing but overhead transmission". But thanks anyway for visiting.
Now this was about people who was searching for some technical term (maybe students), but imagine the disappointment of the guy who came to this post of mine when he was looking for this. All I can do is pray for speedy recovery of your condition. And thanks for visiting!
And now I will go into more bizarre categories. Looks like this blog features at the very top when somebody searches for, hold your breath, Tranny Blogspot!!! What the eff!! Did you say that? Well I did, when I saw this amazing result. For those who doesn't know 'tranny' is a slang used for a transgender person. Naturally the presence of my blog in that search result, raises interesting questions about this blog's author, which is me. And I am pretty sure those who are searching for tranny blogspot in net are not doing it for their final year thesis on "Representaion of transgender community in blogosphere". If you are not getting what I'm saying, just search 'tranny' in any engine and you'll know. But before you jump the gun and start wild speculations about my profession also,
one sober fact. Tranny also means transformer, transistor radio and automobile transmission among other things. Says who? Dear wiki, who else. Check out yourself. Which does explain the situation to my relief.
Well... What can I say. Web search is not a perfect technology. It is evolving, just like the World Wide Web is evolving. And it is not possible to provide search results which provide exactly what you what all the time. We are so used to Google's brilliance we take things for granted. Just try using some other search engine for one day and you will see the difference. And till it becomes perfect (if at all it does someday) we'll keep getting these wacky results to write blogs on them... So in the end it is Google whom we should all thank. :)
Thursday, August 21, 2008
But then some films go beyond that promise. You get what you should get and then you get a little more. Which stays with you. You can come back to it again after a long time and it will not lose its appeal. In English I can name Shawshank Redemption before any other films. It is my all time favorite film. Somehow it crosses all your expectations and touches that point. On the first glance it is a very simple film. It's a prison drama. That's all. We see Andy's life in prison, his struggle, other inmates and everything. It got the most pleasing ending which makes you happy. You know, 'poetic justice', win of good over evil etc etc. But still Shawsank Redemption is not just that. The name has become synonymous with hope. It teaches you something. Things about life. 'Inspirational' is the most oft quoted word used to describe this film. And it is a film which was not successful in the box office. Well, greatness doesn't demand people will recognize it then and there. But ultimately they will.
There is this short film made by Vishal Bharadwaj. It's on AIDS, made for a campaign called AIDS Jaago. Total four films were made, by Mira Nair, Farhan Akhtar, Santosh Sivan and Vishal Bharadwaj. It is on a given topic. We know all about AIDS (at least we like to think we know). A short film, some twenty minutes in length. Supposed to give some gyan, dos-and-don'ts etc. We know it all. And still this film packs a punch. Vishal manages to make a film within such a predictable and short frame beautiful. And at the end it does not remain only about AIDS. It shows great painters can create memorable art even with small canvas. Witness yourself.
Blood Brothers (Part 1)
Blood Brothers (Part 2)
Let me know your thought about this film. Or any film for that matter. Just share your opinion. Thanks and Ciao...
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Also was busy catching up with some great movies of old, not so old and recent times. The oldest one is from 1957 and the most recent one is one released last month (yes, it is The Dark Knight). And as I told these are great movies. Great in their own way. Themes are different. So are the techniques and narration style. But one thing is common between them. Somewhere these films go beyond their basic premise, their genre (like action, drama, thriller etc), their settings (urban/non-urban, indoor/outdoor), and projects some questions which are fundamental and timeless. Today’s post is about these films.
First thing first, this is not a review. And I’m not going to list details, plus points minus points of them and give rating of 4 out of 5 etc. No. It is just a few words about them. If you have seen them please share your thoughts. If not, try to watch if you feel interested from my ramblings. Let’s start with the senior most of all.
12 Angry Men:
It is one of those very few films which I call one-room film. In fact there is only one film that I have seen which has similar setting (more about that later). And one room does not mean some people talking in a room and viewers are then shown those things they are talking about. I mean flashback or something. No sir. Here these people just talk in that room and you will be there with them for the full length of the film. The camera remains there. That's all. The film is based on the concept of 'reasonable doubt' in case of justice. The criminal laws in civilized societies are based on the promise that 'no innocent man should be punished' and 'if there is a reasonable doubt in the judge/jury's mind that the convict might be not guilty, then he can not/should not be punished'. Note the keyword is reasonable doubt and there is no concrete definition of that. A wonderful concept supported by a tight script, and great acting. #10 in IMDB top #250.
The Dark Knight:
Now, this is one very very recent film. And one which is hyped to the core. Is it that great? Well, yes and no. It is the best comic-to-film adaptation. No doubt about that. Christopher Nolan has taken this film and the batman franchise to a different level.
I think, this movie will change the way superhero films made in Hollywood, just like “The Godfather” changed mob films and “Saving Private Ryan” changed war films. And that’s some achievement.
Having said that it still doesn’t come in the all time great/classic list or maybe it does (it's too early to judge it). There are themes touched in this film, which given more time and effort could have taken the film to the hallowed list, but those themes were touched and hinted upon. Not dug into. No offense to Nolan. It is a summer blockbuster after all and he has to please everyone including batman fans and earn millions worldwide. He did it and he did in his own style. And it surely demands a second watch (I am waiting for one more sitting, with the DVD) to keep aside the suspense and brilliant stunts and delve deep into the dialogues and story. There are metaphors and allusions to post 9/11 world spread in the film and the more you think about it, more you can connect the dots. It is a world where violence is the first option, it is given. Where the evil does not need any backstory any justification. It is evil. Period. Obviously there are talks of a tormented childhood, but we know that doesn't mean nothing. Injustice suffered in the past can never be justification for spilling blood of innocents. Sounds familiar?
And then there is Heath Ledger… That guy is mad. Nolan has just let him lose in the screen and Ledger lapped up the footage given to him. With glee. Just look at the scene where Joker enjoys the wind in his face out of a car window. You can tell how much he is enjoying the anarchy and chaos created by his devilish mind. What a character! And yes it is #3 in IMDB Top 250 (yes, it is overrated, but that is another story).
Well, there are some more films from my list to blog about... but it is already late. One more hectic day at office is waiting. So, ciao...
Friday, June 20, 2008
How many of you like statistics? Serious statistic. Not who got how many DLF Maximum Sixes awards type of stuff... I am talking about rows and columns of numbers, tables, matrices. Things you put into plots and graphs, make presentations. Not many of you, I guess. Unless you're one of those MBA types, who thinks the second best invention in the history of mankind is MS Excel (the first one obviously is the MBA degree). And when I tell serious data, I'm talking about things like child mortality rate, per-capita GDP and wealth distribution in sub-Saharan Africa. Sounds scary, isn't it? Fear not my beloved readers. Today I show you something which will change your perception towards statistics. Well, it changed mine.
In Hans Rosling's words…
"...few people will appreciate the music if I just show them the notes. Most of us need to listen to the music to understand how beautiful it is. But often that's how we present statistics; we just show the notes we don't play the music."
And unlike other so-called experts he didn't stop after giving a quotable quote to put in your blog, he played the music.
Hans Rosling is a world renowned health expert and medical scientist. He also studied statistics. But today all over the cyberworld he is now known as the-guy-who-showed-stats-can-be-fun, by his now-legendary presentation given in TED 2006. Watch the video posted below to experience it.
This one presentation tells us so many things about our world, which can not be achieved by hundred articles. The best thing is anyone can try his/her hand in this kind of magic with data. Just go to this link where Rosling has provided the software and database for everyone. It opens an amazing window to the world, where you can pick and choose different parameters for both the axes and just play around. The plethora of options given is extensive to say the least. Try it out. You won't regret.
After the introduction and showing what real data with correct presentation can do, Rosling came back to TED 2007 with more. His topic this time was simple and ambitious. To show people that "The Seemingly Impossible is Possible", poverty is not something which can not be cured. Watch the amazing presentation. And by any chance don't miss the end. It packs a surprise which can be best described as "jaw-dropping".
He's one cool dude, no doubt about it. And you know what, he did his study in Public Health from St. John's Medical College in namma Bengaluru. :)
Monday, May 19, 2008
After the oohs and aahs, when we came back to the task in hand (his hand, my head) the damage was done. See the accompanying picture to see the effect.
Ooops... Sorry. Wrong picture. Here you are...
Yeah... What to do. At least he didn't cut my ears! BTW, it's not a bad haircut if you think about global warming. Also I'll save a lot of shampoos. And lot of time also, no combing etc... Also it's more aerodynamic. Well, I could go on and on praising my new haircut. None of them make sense.
Only good thing is, it's hair. It'll grow. Think about the same thing while tooth extraction at the dentist's. Or tattooing. Or body piercing. I know I'm lucky...
One small request at the end. If you are a regular reader of this blog and want to keep updated about new posts, you can subscribe to it. Check the sidebar for subscription. My preference is Google Reader. Thank you.
Thursday, May 8, 2008
After so much useless build-up let's come to the point. We are talking about 'Ewing Theory' here. Now what on earth is that? Distant cousin of Swing Theory, being practised by Ashish Nehra? Again wrong. Ewing Theory is the a well known theory in sports-world (mainly in US) made famous by noted sports journalist Bill Simmons. According to Wikipedia,
Ewing Theory, the brainchild of reader Dave Cirilli and named after Patrick Ewing of the New York Knicks. Ewing's Knicks seemed to play better when he was hurt or in foul trouble. In 1998-99, the Knicks made the NBA Finals after Ewing sustained an Achilles' tendon injury.
Bill describes his theory here in detail, though the examples are from Major League and NBA and all those Yankee sports, so it become kinda boring people like me who thinks World Series is Border-Gavaskar Trophy. For your benefit the main criterion to qualify for the theory is given here:
So does it qualify our scenario as an example of Ewing Theory? Well for one thing, Bhajji was the biggest star in Mumbai's playing eleven and there was a view that after the controversy it's only downhill for them, as shown in Buchannon's comment. I think so far it fits the frame. Let's see where it goes. No doubt it's a very interesting theory. The funny thing is I am sure there are plenty of examples of Ewing Theory in cricket, but I can't remember any at this moment. Do post a comment if you can remember any...
- A star athlete receives an inordinate amount of media attention and fan interest, and yet his teams never win anything substantial with him.
- That same athlete leaves his team (either by injury, trade, retirement or ban in our case) -- and both the media and fans immediately write off the team for the following season.
All in all things have spiced up quite well. IPL is almost halfway through, still not possible to choose four semi-finalists convincingly. You can have your predictions just like everybody else. I will only say Picture abhi bhi baki hai mere dost... :)
Monday, April 21, 2008
Anyway the opening ceremony started. I won't bore you with the details. In one word, it was just great. The dancers, performers, acrobats, music and last but not the least the fireworks... It was simply awesome.
So the firework ends, the game starts and it is fireworks again! This time it's on the pitch, fired by Brendon McCullum!! If you don't believe, ask Rahul Dravid and Co., if they weren't seeing stars... All in all I was enjoying it tremendously. After all I was routing for Kolkata, and McCullum just went on and on and on, like a one-man-army. He is special, no doubt about it. 158* in 73 balls is a rare innings even in T20 standards. I think he'll play some 4-5 matches in IPL and then he has to join his national team. Sigh...
Yes, IPL is here to stay. Three cheers for IPL…
Sunday, April 6, 2008
After a long-long time i came to put a new post and first thing I did was to check any news from Blogger.com. So I go to this news-post and get mad at first try, click back-button in browser, again the same stupid song in Youtube and then it dawned on me...
I have been April-fooled, by Google... that news-post was published on April 1, 2008.
The funny thing is just days before I was explaining to one of my friend about Google's famous (and infamous) April-Fool pranks. Forwarded some links to her to give some example. In fact I kept my eye open on the D-day, so I don't fall into one those traps. Checked Google sites many times all day, checked Google's job sites. Nothing... Just a tame "yogurt" logo in Orkut...
But the surprise was waiting quietly. Like a seasoned predator it waited till the prey let down his guard and is most unsuspecting, it pounced. And got me.
In a serious note, April Fool hoaxes not just about good fun and laughter. These kind of things help to keep the buzz about Google always going. For a company like Google, which makes money showing advertisements, like any media company (think MTV), being in the talk (or chat or mail) of its users is a must.
In the end I should add, whatever may be the reason behind, all kudos to Google to provide a situation like this to laugh at yourself and life in general. These guys know how to have fun and share it, how to make people happy and profit from it... No wonder they always come at the top at Best Employer surveys!
Keep it up Google.
[You'll find more about Google's hoaxes in this link]
Monday, March 17, 2008
Some nights back (I think last Firday), I was as usual surfing late in the night, my friend Mr. Geek pinged and asked what I'm doing online at this hour (completely ignoring the fact that he himself is online). Well, I told I'm just browsing (and googling and wiki-ing) and looking for any good topic or material to put in my beloved blog, in short looking for some inspiration. So Mr. Geek told to continue my "Inspiration Hunting" and logged of. This got me thinkin'. Inspiration Hunting??? Not bad, huh… I'm sure Anu Malik, Abbas-Mastan, Pritam and all the creative geniuses of bollywood will find this phrase very inspiring.
Now here is one result of my 'hunting'.
I was following a post in DilbertBlog about a poor fellow caught in some intimate act (and indecent by some account) with a vacuum cleaner. Life sucks… yeah right!
Well, I was following the news article and found one more piece of gem.
And in 1993, Karl Watkins, an electrician, was jailed for having sex with pavements in Redditch, Worcs.
Sex with pavements!!! Pavements!!! Yup, you read it right… Must be some horny pavement. But one thing for sure, Mr. Watkins is a genius. I am not able to even think how he did it. And they jail him. How cruel. Screw them. Or better strap them on the pavements and make them suffer. Then they'll understand...
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
So after enough pondering, scratching various body parts, searching dictionaries and wiki-ing you fix upon a name which has all the necessary quality. Then you google the name and find out there are already five poor sods who have named their blog exactly the same (excluding ten other blogs which has titles 90% similar, differing in one word or so). Obviously they have stolen your name by some unfair means and created their blog before you. So much for being hatke...
So you repeat the process all over again. And again. And so on… till you find that untouched, unused, unthought name you were looking for.
I told it’s not simple. And no way quick. And one word of caution to any wannabe blogger, try to stay clear of words like Random, Mind, Thought etc. There are hell lot of blog-titles with these words and their permutations and combinations (incidentally all of these words are present in the title of my favourite blog RTDM).
But, after so much of hullabaloo, I am rather pleased with my choice.
I remembered, once upon a time when I was a student in some engineering college (yeah, engineering and I passed too), and the lectures used to pass by without bothering to venture into our brains (Oh those golden days)... "If you give a discreet-time signal to a linear time-invariant system and take the z-transform, the stability of the system…" Yawn… (I told you, those were the golden days). Anyway, the above phenomenon is termed as Overhead Transmission. And assuming that enlightened souls are never the majority in any community including the blog readers, I expect similar fate of my posts.
So this is the story behind naming of my blog.
P.S. It’s a bit out of the topic, but as the post is about names, I think the name of the Mumbai IPL team is the most unimaginative in recent times. What’s your take on this?
This is where I'll put down my raves and rants (in which none of my fellow human beings are remotely interested) with this hope, that there are some enlightened souls who appreciate a good thing when they see one.
This blog will contain thoughtful observations about those babes who never give a second look towards my direction (that is if they gave a first look at the first place) and chosen expletives for those managers who give a first, second and third look every single time I discuss something non-technical or non-official with my co-workers.
This blog will contain my oh-so-valuable comments about important decisions taken by our Prime Minister and criticism of all the unimportant decisions taken by the Perpetual Morons in my company. Most of the time it will be of the latter category.
What did you say? You care a fig for these priceless gems? Remember I mentioned specifically about enlightened souls.
So ladies and gentlemen... wait... that's so uncool.
OK, start again. One...Two...Three...
Guys and gals (that's better), thanks for tuning to Overhead Transmission, I am The Transmitter welcome you all in my blog-station. Comment links are open. Please post your suggestions and criticisms, flowers and brickbats.
Now how was that?