April 30, 2006
April 29, 2006
I got a mail yesterday from one of my friends who wanted to know that why would I stop comments on blog. I just hope a lot of people don't have this problem because comments are allowed on my blog. (follow the arrow). Now I know why I don't get too many comments here...
Well, this is also the my 200th post. Congratulations to you and me.
Gautam Ghosh has commented on his blog about a discussion taking place on Atul's blog. The topic of the debate is wheather Indian Organisations are Innovative or not. Gautam emphasizes that Indian Innovation is 'decentralized' and that it affects more people than certain organisations. One line that I liked was "We shouldn't be seeing innovations through the Western lens." (link)
He talks about the "maruta" in rural Punjab, making lassi in washing machines, Jaipur foot and Aravind eye hospitals and links to a BBC story about innovation in Rural India. (link)
But the real information comes from a page, which is listed somewhere down in the comments. The link is to a web site called the Indian Innovation Association. (link). This website writes about the latest and the upcoming products of Indian Innovation.
Trot down to the Hall of Fame page and you'll realize that there are a lot of products being created in India. But the problem that I see now is why don't we as ordinary citizens of India hear about it? Is it because of a general feeling that it might not be of much use to us? Or is it because the really important ones always come from the west? Or probably it is just bad marketing. I would like to see the technical creativity of India being spurted out on the Television, the Radio, the Newspapers and the Blogs becaues that is how I would really know if India is still shining. Wouldn't you?
Tagged India, Innovation
April 28, 2006
The sensex fell by 490 points today morning due to panic amongst investors after hearing about the ban on 24 operators by SEBI. This was the biggest drop, and was only lesser than the 564 point fall on Black Monday about two years back.
SEBI had banned 24 operators including IndiaBulls, Karvy and Anagram yesterday in the IPO scam. Though SEBI had clarified that the ban on the broking firms is applicable only to their own account (proprietary) trading and the clients of these firms would be able to trade as usual, panic ensued.
The sensex is moving up again and is only about 60 points away from yesterdays's close.
Tagged Sensex, India
Lok Paritran, a political party started by IITians, released thier first election manifesto in Chennai yesterday.
The party's nominees will contest in five constituencies in Chennai (Anna Nagar, Thousand Lights, Chepauk, Mylapore and Anna Nagar) and Villivakkam and Mudukulathur in Ramanathapuram on `axe' and `drums' symbols.
The manifesto emphasizes on the following issues:
- To work towards the eradication of corruption.
- To ensure that the implementation channels are clean and efficient with minimal leakage of resources.
- To work with transparency and accountability by introducing measures such as having regular communication channels open with the public.
- To work towards eradication of poverty and unemployment through policies like promoting vocational education.
- To improve public health and sanitation by means such as conducting health camps, promoting health awareness and the construction of basic facilities like toilets, in areas where these are required.
- To improve the condition of farmers through measures like providing effective and sustained irrigation facilities, and training programmes to educate the farmers.
- To improve the level of education in the State by promoting the spread and reach of primary education and introducing skill based education programs at the secondary school level.
- To ensure that the Constituency Development Fund that is assigned to every MLA will be used to address the fundamental issues of concern in each constituency.
Tagged LokParitran, India
April 27, 2006
The clergy in Iran have opposed the move by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to allow women and families in the stadium for the Soccer World Cup. The President, who is an ultra conservative had lifted the ban on Monday.
Members of the clergy say it is wrong for men and women to look at each other's bodies, even if they have no intention of taking pleasure from it. The President added that the presence of women and families in public places promotes chastity.
I never knew men in Iran were so horny that they couldn't forget about women ever while watching the World Cup.
But this is something I'm sure you would have never heard before. Sixteen-year-old Isma Mahmood was deported to Pakistan last month after serving six months in shackles and handcuffs in a prison in Saudi Arabia. Her crime: being raped by a Saudi man.
Tagged World Cup, Iran
BBC reports rapper Snoop Dog (real name Calvin Broadus) has been arrested at London's Heathrow Airport and has left seven police officers with minor injuries.
Police said that when they were told they could not board the flight they got abusive and violent. Six of the thirty men with him were arrested on suspicion of violent disorder and affray. Snoop Dogg and his entourage were due to travel to Johannesburg, South Africa.
Snoop Dogg has a criminal record dating back to the early 1990s when he was a teenager. In the early 1990s, he was arrested for possession of cocaine and spent the next three years in and out of prison. In 1993 he was charged for being an accomplice to the murder of Phillip Woldermarian though in 96 he was found not guilty of all charges but voluntary manslaughter. Around 1998 he was arrested again for marijuana possession and was fined $370. Three years later, Snoop was charged with possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. In 2003 Snoop Doggy Dogg's bodyguard, McKinley Lee, was grazed by a bullet after unknown assailants showered Snoop Dog's car with bullets. The same year he was also named in an affidavit claiming that he and the makers of the "Girls Gone Wild: Doggy Style" tape lured two underage girls to take their tops off for the camera by offering them marijuana and ecstasy. The suit was settled in July 2004.
Tagged Snoop Dogg
Marriage proposals can be quite interesting if done the right way. People can go to great heights to impress their loved ones. Especially like this guy who painted this. I wonder if he was really aware if Google was trying to get a big picture of the earth, when he painted this. And no it's not the picture which has been fixed to make you believe that somebody did this, the actual one can be seen on google maps. The place is in New York I believe.
But there is one thing I know for sure, she couldn't have refused it. Sometimes it's just not possible to refuse. (Ofcourse there are mean women, but who wants them anyways).
Tagged Marriage, Proposal
Indianwriting links to the first ever published story from Muriel Spark, a leading British novelist.
No part was undergoing a process; the outline lacked the signs of confusion and ferment which are commonly the signs of living things, and this was also the principle of its beauty. The eyes took up nearly the whole of the head, extending far over the cheek-bones. From the back of the head came two muscular wings which from time to time folded themselves over the eyes, making a draught of scorching air. There was hardly any neck. Another pair of wings, tough and supple, spread from below the shoulders, and a third pair extended from the calves of the legs, appearing to sustain the body. The feet looked too fragile to bear up such a concentrated degree of being.
Her first novel "The Comforters" was published in 1957, but it was The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1961) which established her reputation. She expired at an age of 88 about two weeks ago.
Other Links :
Indianwriting | Wiki | BBC
Tagged Muriel Spark
April 26, 2006
The Tribeca film festival, founded by Robert De Niro, has opened with the world premiere of "United 93", a movie about the terrorist attacks on 9/11.
Several of the festival's 275 films also tackle the impact of that day. These include documentaries about a fire department chaplain killed at the World Trade Center - entitled Saint of 9/11 - and also The Heart of Steel, about volunteers who helped victims of the attacks.
Among the 90 premieres at the festival is the first US screening of Mission: Impossible 3, which sees Tom Cruise travelling across Manhattan by helicopter, speedboat, sports car and underground train. Other major movies include the disaster remake "Poseidon".
The trailor has been drawing a lot of negative vibes recently after a lot of families of 9/11 victims raised objections against the movie. Almost four and a half years have passed since that day and yet there is a lot of backlash from the community. But Writer director Paul Greengrass, says Tribeca was "the most appropriate place for the film to play first". He is supported by festival creator, Robert De Niro, who feels "it would seem strange" not to show the movie.
Even though there is widespread controversy, some say that this is the film of our generation. However, according to voters on IMDB, the authority on movies on the internet, the decision seems divided into three. One who believe the movie was excellent, one who think it couldn't have been worse and the rest in between.
The movie would take it's time to reach India (for me to be able to give a review), where I'm sure it would be quite welcome, since 9/11 cannot draw the same emotions in any country other than the one which has bears the scar.
BBC | IMDB | Website | Trailors | Variety | Slate
Tagged Movies, United 93
Sudesh Sharma, a resident of Ujhani village near New Delhi, had purchased two bottles of Pepsi from a retail shop near Kashmere Gate in the Capital in year 2003. After suffering from a pleathora of diseases, he examined the bottle to find amongst other things, a condom.
He filed a complaint with Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum (North), who has ordered Pepsico India Holdings Ltd to pay Rs 1 lakh towards the Consumer Legal Aid Fund and Rs 20,000 as damages to Sharma.
Pepsi has denied any negligence on its part, and maintains in court that the bottles may have contained spurious products illegally marketed under its brand name.
At 0353 IST, 27th April 1986 an explosion at Chernobyl nuclear plant tore off the plant's roof, spewing radioactive fallout over swathes of the then-USSR and Europe. The Soviet took its time to announce the "possibility of a catastrophe" which caused 93,000 deaths by cancer alone, while the total number could be as high as 200,000.
Ukraine is holding a series of events today to ommemorate the 20th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear disaster at the Chernobyl power plant. At evening ceremonies in Kiev, hundreds of mourners, each carrying a single red carnation and flickering candles, gathered for an outdoor Orthodox Christian service. President President Viktor Yushchenko was also present.
The Chernobyl nightmare revisited
Chernobyl 20 Years On
Sasha Yuvchenko : Survivor
Poems by survivors
Wordwood Forest : A natural history of Chernobyl
Assessment of Radiological and Health Impacts
International Atomic Energy Agency Report on Chernobyl
United Nations and Chernobyl
Game: Stalker - Shadow of Chernobyl
Chernobyl Children's Project International
The Chernobyl Myth : Vilhelm Konnander's weblog
Remembering Chernobyl : Andrea Mitchell
Bring Forth New Life : On An Overgrown Path
Chernobyl : Megan Case
A Chornobyl [Chernobyl] Poem : Renaissance Research
Being related to two much discussed recent events, these are two stories which i found impossible not to mention.
India Express has an article by Kumar Ketkar. In this unassuming piece, he provides a brief sketch of the Mahajan brothers.
Of the more popular brother, Pramod he says
"He was in his thirties then. Argumentative and energetic. Smart and self-confident. His rise up the political ladder didn’t make him lose these attributes. Pramod looks at the peak with self-assurance and thinks it is reachable .... We all were impressed by his energy and ability to argue a difficultideological position ..... Between 1999 and 2004, all of us have seen Pramod on every single TV channel, arguing and fighting with anchorpersons."
He knew Pravin too, of whom he says
"His voracious reading, agile memory and the ability to analyse political events impressed me. He struck me a wonderful conversationalist"
Another article, in which G. Ananthakrishnan writes about how South Africa brought reforms post Apartheid without any job quotas or reservations of any sort.
Yak farmers in the mountains of the fighting Nepal are using wireless internet technology to keep in touch with their families. They are taking advantage of a wi-fi network set up in a remote region of the mountain kingdom where there are no phones or other means of communication.
All of this has happened as a result of a campaign led by a local teacher Mahavir Pune, and helped by volunteers. It took him five years to connect the villages of Nangi, Paudwar, Ghara, Tikot, and Sikha to the internet.
Yak farmers are now using the network to buy and sell livestock, and exchange vetinerary tips. After getting the network in place, Pun says they could talk to the people taking care of the yak and ask them if they had problems, for example if they needed medicine or food or if they had any messages for their families. They can send message via e-mail and also they can do it through NetMeeting video conferencing software, so they can also talk.
After the first success, Pun is now trying to find ways of doing live teaching from one school by one teacher to several schools at the same time.
Tagged Wi-Fi, Yak, Nepal
Pages can be written about the falling standards of Air Travel in our country. The long queues, bad food, not-so-good air hostess, and the list goes on. But a certain 72-year old doctor, Vinayak Shrikhande, from Mumbai had the experience of travelling for 18 hours, from Mumbai to New York, in a seat which could not recline. He asked for the crew for help, but they only managed to get the seat belt stuck in the socket to make sure that the journey could not be any more uncomfortable.
The surgeon approached the consumer court and demanded damages. In the landmark judgement, Air India was asked to pay Rs 2.75 lakh ($6111) as damages and Rs 5000 as legal costs. The court also issued a show-cause notice to General Manager, Air India, Narendra Kumar, seeking explanation as to why he should not be prosecuted for perjury for filing a false affidavit in Air India's defence.
Air India says that they have apologised to the consumer and offered to upgrade to first class on his next flight and that they would appeal to a higher court.
Tagged Air India
The Indian Stock Market, which has grown from 11,000 to 12,000 in just 19 days, has had positive reaffirmation. The results of 116 early bird companies have been announced and have shown a healthy trend in sectors as diverse as IT, cement, construction, automobile and private sector banks.
Phanisekhar, analyst, Angel Broking, said, “The year has been good for the frontline IT companies. However, mid-cap IT companies are expected to deliver a mixed bag of results. The demand has been picking up in the US, while Europe continues to open-up providing exciting opportunities for the Indian IT industries.”
The net profit has grown by a mammoth 48.7% and the operating profit has grown by 46.28%. The gross profit has grown by 19.6% and the profit before tax has risen by 53.7%. Out of the many companies which showed profits, Surana Metals & Steels has recording the maximum increase, which is of 494.92% in profit after Tax.
Tagged Stock, Profit, India
April 25, 2006
I have been an avid follower of LifeHacker for the last few months. It is undoubtedly one of the most informative tech blogs.
They are currently accepting entries for the Lifehacker’s Coolest Workspace Contest. (link). To participate, you can send in your photographs of your workspace at firstname.lastname@example.org . This is mine.
A man is a god in ruins. When men are innocent, life shall be longer, and shall pass into the immortal, as gently as we awake from dreams. Now, the world would be insane and rabid, if these disorganizations should last for hundreds of years. It is kept in check by death and infancy. Infancy is the perpetual Messiah, which comes into the arms of fallen men, and pleads with them to return to paradise. (link)It is said of him that
Emerson was noted as being a very abstract and difficult writer who nevertheless drew large crowds for his speeches. The heart of Emerson's writing was his direct observations in his journals, which he started keeping as a teenager at Harvard. The journals were elaborately indexed by Emerson. Emerson went back to his journals, his bank of experiences and ideas, and took out relevant passages, which were joined together in his dense, concentrated lectures. He later revised and polished his lectures for his essays.More of his works here.
April 24, 2006
I found this via digg, though I don't remember the link. Still this is quite interesting.
Telemarketers make use of a telescript - a guideline for a telephone conversation. This script creates an imbalance in the conversation between the marketer and the consumer. It is this imbalance, most of all, that makes telemarketing successful. The EGBG Counterscript attempts to redress that balance.
Keep this handy and start following the script right after they shoot the first question. Best of luck.
The Ladybag purse is for the young professional women, who would like to make sure that they do not leave their cell phone, house keys, or the wallet at home. This bag has sensors to alert the owner when it detects any of those things as missing. Not just that, it can also display the owner's emotions on a LED screen. If the owner hugs the sides, the bag becomes happy, and if she fiddles with the zipper it gets nervous.
The owner's keys, wallet and cell phones are tagged with radio frequency identification devices (RFID), and when those items are taken from the bag, a small screen on the bag shows which object is missing from its contents.
Web 2.0 has alraedy been stacked with new ideas, and here is another one. This one is called Sabifoo and it allows you to send instant messages to RSS. This brings to light a whole new publishing infrastructure, where publishing is as simple as sending a message. Sabifoo uses the instant messaging account you already have. You just need to add Sabifoo as a buddy on your friends list and start publishing to your RSS Feed.
The people at Mashable have other interesting ideas.
I think there’s a lot more potential here - I’d love to see a private notetaking application built in the same way. After all - your IM client is always on your desktop, and could provide an easy way to jot down an idea. But you could do more than that - how about the ability to use your IM client as a submit form, and send those notes off to other services via an API? You could create calendar entries (”meeting at 2pm Tuesday”), draft blog posts, write SMS messages and add items to your todo list, all without firing up your browser. Mash it up with Backpack, Writely, 30Boxes, Wordpress and whatever else takes your fancy.
Other than that, I think it'd a great tool for blogging if blogger is blocked at your office.
We've all heard and read about the the lives of great men and women who have walked the earth this century. But here is a different kind of a list, about the top deaths this year according to the FBI. FBI investigates over 36,000 cases of homicide a year and these are the top 11.
1- Debby Mills-Newbroughton, 99 years old, was killed as she crossed the road. She was to turn 100 the next day, but crossing the road with her daughter to go to her own birthday party her wheel chair was hit by the truck delivering her birthday cake
2- Peter Stone, 42 years old, was murdered by his 8-year-old daughter, whom he had just sent to her room with no dinner. Young Samantha Stone felt that if she couldn't have dinner no one should, and she promptly inserted 72 rat poison tablets into her fathers coffee as he prepared dinner The victim took one sip and promptly collapsed. Samantha Stone was given a suspended sentence as the judge felt she didn't realise what she was doing, until she tried to poison her mother using the same method, one month later.
7- Helena Simms, Wife to the famous American nuclear scientist Harold Simms was killed by her husband after she had an affair with the neighbour. Over a period of 3 months Harold substituted Helena's eye shadow with a Uranium composite that was highly radioactive, until she died of radiation poisoning. Although she suffered many symptoms, including total hair loss, skin welts, blindness, and extreme nausea and even had an ear lobe drop off, the victim never attended a doctor's surgery or hospital for a check up.
8- Military Sergeant John Joe Winter killed his two timing wife by loading her car with Trinity nitrate explosive (similar to C4). The Ford Taurus she was driving was filled with 750 kg of explosive, forming a force twice as powerful as the Okalahoma Bombing. The explosion was heard by several persons some up to 14 kilometres away. No trace of the car or the victim was ever found only a 55-meter deep crater, and 500m of missing road.
You can find the rest here.
Waiterrant has an intersting article on how to order wine without looking like an asshole. Now I'm no connoisseur and all that I know about wines could be written on a grain of rice besides I'd choose the worst beer over the best of wines. So these wine related issues don't really concern me but now it's good to know if the other guy is faking. (I hate the wine sipping morons anyways. We're Indian, not french, who has wine with dinner anyways?) What follows is a list of things you really shouldn't do:
I appreciate the artistry that goes into making wine and I respect people who have a good grasp of Oenology. However, since most people are dopes when it comes to ordering wine, I’ve assembled a list of tips to help you not look like a putz. It’s not an exhaustive list. (It’s not a knowledgeable list for that matter either. I’m sure the wine snobs are going to rip it apart.) It’s just a list of observations I’ve made over the years.
Most customers swirl the wine around in the glass to oxygenate or “open it up.” That’s fine. But SWIRL the wine! Don’t spin it like you’re trying to separate U-235 in a centrifuge machine!
Then they stop, smell, spin it again, stop, smell, spin, stop, smell, spin etc. After a few minutes they finally taste it and I have several new grey hairs. Maybe I can see that for 1975 Bordeaux. But for a $25 bottle you can pick up in the grocery store for $6? Please. You’re showing off.
The list is quite long and exhaustive, and there are like a million comments which follow. That should keep you covered till you can leave office today.
April 22, 2006
Michael Schumacher and Ferrari gave their fans what they wanted in qualifying for the San Marino Grand Prix at Imola this afternoon, taking pole position and thus breaking the record he held jointly with the late Ayrton Senna.
However, the final 20-minute shootout was a close-run thing with Jenson Button putting his Honda on the front row close to the end of the session. On the lap that Schumacher stopped the clocks in 1m 22.795s, Button banged in a 1m 22.988s to push aside team mate Rubens Barrichello. The Brazilian subsequently lapped his RA106 in 1m 23.242s to take third place away from Ferrari’s Felipe Massa. The younger Brazilian had an off-course moment exiting the Variante Alta chicane, but made amends with 1m 23.702s.
Tagged F1, Schumacher, Imola
April 21, 2006
The puzzles are designed to honor both a fanatical puzzler’s sheer love of a mental challenge and the labyrinthine spirit of The Da Vinci Code itself. They'll be released over the next 24 days, in the form of six different challenges at four difficulty levels, with enough variety that I think everyone will be able to find something they like and play it over and over -- although if you're in the U.S., you'll want to try to complete all 24 and make it to the Final Challenge, where I hear there's a pretty nice prize package awaiting the winner.
There are also prizes worth $428,170.54, if the love of puzzles alone is not enough to take you there.
Google was forced to remove the logo commemorating the birth of Spanish Painter Joan Miró. The artists family asked Google to remove the photograph since it violated copyrights. I agree with DI that they missed a huge opportunity, since millions who haven't heard his name could have had the experience of learning about the man's genius. It's a pity that people can be such assholes (the family maintains that they would have given the permission if google had even dropped them a mail). This is not what copyrights are supposed to be used for... are they?
Tagged Google, Da Vindi Code Quest
Google is interviewing candidates for engineering positions at their lunar hosting and research center, opening late in the spring of 2007. This unique opportunity is available only to highly-qualified individuals who are willing to relocate for an extended period of time, are in top physical condition and are capable of surviving with limited access to such modern conveniences as soy low-fat lattes, The Sopranos and a steady supply of oxygen.
The Google Copernicus Hosting Environment and Experiment in Search Engineering (G.C.H.E.E.S.E.) is a fully integrated research, development and technology facility at which Google will be conducting experiments in entropized information filtering, high-density high-delivery hosting (HiDeHiDeHo) and de-oxygenated cubicle dwelling. This center will provide a unique platform from which Google will leapfrog current terrestrial-based technologies and bring information access to new heights of utility.
The Googlunaplex will house 35 engineers, 27,000 low cost web servers, 2 massage therapists and a sushi chef formerly employed by the pop group Hanson.
You can apply if you satisfy the following conditions.
Applicants must be at least 18 years of age by April 1, 2007 and have proof of earth residency. Google is an equal opportunity employer.
The rest of us, who are still "down to earth", can apply for Google in the US, India or Switzerland.
Tagged Google, Lunar, Jobs
April 20, 2006
Akira Kurosawa, the legendry Japanese Film Director's son has started a private film academy to teach movie direction in the spirit of Kurosawa. Many of his colleagues including Teruyo Nogami and Tatsuya Nakadia will also be part of the institute which will offer courses in production and acting.
The school is still in production but applications for the 80 seats in production and 30 in acting which the institute would offer are being accepted. The application form is still in Japanese which means that you can apply only if you know the language. Kurosawa might have taken his art to high levels, but it has still failed to break the barrier of language.
Film making is an art form, which many of us desire to learn. So I decided to compile a list of resources which are available to us right here in our country. Though I still believe that the best way to get into film making would be to buy or rather lend a camera and start shooting, and take your film to BYOFF next year, a few references wouldn't hurt.
Application Form (via)
In you are interested in film studies in India, you might have a look at a few of the following schools:
1. FTII, Pune
Established in the year 1960 on the erstwhile Prabhat studio premises at Pune. It is now considered as a Center of Excellence not only in India but also in Asia and Europe. Films made by students have won many National and International awards and have the alumni has penetrated all corners of the Indian film and television industry.
2. Whistling Woods, Mumbai
This film school by Subhash Ghai recently has the best equipment amongst the schools in India. The Head of Departments include Naseeruddin Shah, Anjum Rajabali, Rajen Kothari, Umesh Gupta, Rakesh Ranjan and Ashish Kulkarni. It offers diplomas and short professional courses.
3. National Institute of Design, Ahemdabad
They offer graduate and post graduate courses in Animation Film Design and Film & Video communication. Admission announcements would begin by the end of Septemeber. This year students from NID have won 5 awards in Indian Documentary Producers' Association Award for Excellence.
4. Satyajit Ray Film & Television Institute (SRFTI), Kolkata
The Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute has been set up to provide the students latest education and technological experience in the art and technique of film making. Financed by the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, it offers a 3-years Diploma course in Film Direction, Motion Picture Photography, Editing and Sound Recording.
5. St Xavier's College, Mumbai
It offers courses in Television & Video Production which are aimed at providing an integrated overview of film and television with emphasis on direction and production. According to the website, there are input sessions three days a week in the evenings from 6.30 to 8.30 p.m. and a practical/laboratory/self-study session from 4 to 6 pm everyday. Works out more like a part time course.
6. Asian Academy of Film & Television, Noida
It offers graduate, post graduate and very short term courses in varied disciplines. The school is spread over 100 acres and students get to work with directors like Satish Kaushik, Subhash Ghai and Ram Gopal Verma.
7. Digital Academy, Mumbai
This school offers courses in Acting, 3D animation, Screnwriting, Cinematography, Non Linear Editing, Direction, Film Making, Sound Recording and Engineering.
If you're still looking for more, take a look at FilmMaking.net. Well however, if you don't have the time or the energy to take up one of these courses (like me), you could get some of the following books to wet your appetite. They are available in Pune at Manny's and I'm sure the would be available across India.
1. An introduction to Film Studies, by Jill Nelmes
2. The Filmmaker's Handbook, by Steven Ascher and Edward Pincus
3. The Filmmaker's Guide to Directing, by Renee Harmon
4. Teach yourself Film Making, by Tom Holdon.
Self Reliant Filmmaking (link) Sam Longria's Film Blog (link) Film making Central (link) Osian's Cinefan Talent Campus, a five day workshop in Delhi for aspiring Film makers. (link) New Trends in Film Making, by Fine Print (link) A blog on Good Indian movies with a focus on Paralell Cinema (link) Making Films in Western Australia (link) Film Budgeting (link) The lost face of Indian Cinema (link) Alternative Indian Cinema (link) Creative Blog Directory (link) Film Making for the poor (link) Adventures into Filmmaking (link) Guerilla Filmmaking (link)
April 19, 2006
Raghav FM Mansoorpur l is a radio station which used to beam Bhojpuri and filmi songs, give community news and advice on all sorts of things, including AIDS and polio. It was started by Raghav Mahto, a 22-year-old mechanic in Mansoorpur, Bihar. He was happy and popular, besieged by requests from his fans to play their favourite songs.
I air devotional songs at dawn and dusk," he told BBC, and this made him more popular with women than men.
Two weeks ago, on March 27, his station was closed and his equipment seized because he broke two laws, he did not possess a licence and he gave news on FM radio. A formal police complaint has been lodged against him.
The Times of India says:
Raghav FM Mansoorpur l is the quintessential metaphor of a diverse and plural India. Mohandas Gandhi would have celebrated the idea of a radio listening community that might help to unite our caste ridden, factionalised villages.
Tagged FM, Odd News, India
April 18, 2006
I just read this. Actually I read a lot of his posts today and yesterday and the day before yesterday, but when I came to this one, I didn't have the urge to go on, rather I had the urge to start ranting about one of my experiences with flying. Being a passionate, impulsive fellow, I decided I loved his blog, and that I would come back sometime for the rest of the posts.
The first time I flew outside the country, I had for company a senile old couple, who started liking me for no reason at all. It sounds strange now when I say it but at that time, I must admit I really started liking them too, but only for a little while. The lady kept talking to me sweetly for all of the eleven hours and fourty-five minutes of the journey, wanted to know how much I was earning and what my parents did for a living. By the time we reached the destination, she had asked me for my address and wanted me to meet her nephew's daughter.
Unluckily I was at the window, so I couldn't jump, nor run to a co-passenger or sue her for mental harrassment. It took guts of steel to tell her to bugger off. Though of course I did it nicely.
I felt tired and used by the time I reached the airport. Now I'm no good looking fellow that people might want to marry their daughters off to me, but to these old women, it doesn't matter. They take pride in fixing up young people together and then blessing each couple with a hundred kids with no regard for our out-growing population.
Anyways that was a long rant. But before I end, I have a riddle for you. ( More a PJ I guess )
Who was the first Indian woman to fly abroad?
Sita, who flew to Lanka with Ravan...Gotcha
I recieved this at 2:55 am. Anybody heard about them?
But I think I already like them.. they work at night...
Stream Radio is a good idea, but the audience is limited.
Though I really don't think intelligence and popularity are inter related, I hope they'd win.
At the outset I thank you from the bottom of my heart for the support you have given to Voice Of Ambition – India's First People's Radio. In the last few weeks we got hundreds of emails encouraging us and many people have registered at the site and participated in our forums.
The following are the things we want you to know through this email.
A new board "Paritrana" is added to our forums which will be moderated by the members of the newly launched political party "Lok Paritran". If you want to ask the founders any questions then go to the forums and post your questions. Those will be answered in our upcoming interview with the founders. This board is to know all about the party, give feedback, suggestions and make this new political party a success.
Please check out the new episode "Holistic healing for a saner world" with Dr. Leo Rebello one of the very outspoken personalities you will ever meet. It is an interesting talk and you will enjoy listening to it. Some of the topics covered are; What does "Holistic" mean?; Why does he think that WHO should be replaced with WHHO?; Why the frenzy about bird flu? What happens if an infected chicken is eaten? What happened to his efforts to be nominated for Rajya Sabha?; Is it true that he contested for President of India in 2002?; What advice will he give to the Indian youth?
As we got number of questions regarding VOA and our mission we have updated our FAQ so that it will answer the questions many of you have.
Also check out the new series called Daily thoughts through which we will present an interesting thought daily which is beneficial to all. Even you can send your own thoughts so that if we like we will podcast. Please give us 5 minutes everyday and start your day by listening to this segment and we promise that it will be good.
An eminent personality who is a member of our forums suggested that VOA should take up the forgotten issue of seniors and create a group which will discuss the matters deeply and create some action regarding this issue. So we request you to share this information with seniors you know so that they can provide their email addresses and contact info to call for first meeting to discuss the matter and take some action. If you are a senior please send us an email with the Subject "Senior Issues". Please read the open letter to the seniors written by the member of our forums who wants to spearhead the moment.
We also like you to know that we are on our way to launching a 24 hour online streaming radio. So keep your support flowing and please spread the word. To know about us Go to http://www.voiceofambition.com/voa/content/view/25/51/ .
Together There Is Power.
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Tagged Lok Paritran, Voice of Ambition, India
April 17, 2006
...We kill ourselves slowly and languidly by destroying the precious moments with events of no value. We consciouly torture the best relations by diluting them with flashes of a dying ego. We stack ourselves with masks to disfigure reality, to overcome the lack of passion in our lives. We choose solidarity out of fear. We place vanity over friendship. It is the duality of our lives that makes it so meaningless and futile.
April 16, 2006
Amir Khan, is now with Medha Patkar for the Narmada Bachao Andolan(NBA). I'm quite sure, he can still take a few lessons regarding screen presence, for she certainly is the queen. Twenty years is a long time.
Before I begin, I would like to state that I'm not an ardent fan of Patkar's games on the telly. She can do enough of them if they gave her a channel of her own. But the point remains, is the objective correct? I readily disagree with some of the methods or the means but I would stand for her if I knew she had the right intentions. So I've decided to take a look at a few linked articles on the issue, which had the privilege of being on desipundit today.
The first one is from India Awake. (link)
It is really a pity that Aamir Khan, generally considered to be a sensible person, got carried away by the false propaganda of the Narmada Bachao Andolan. Medha Patkar and her cronies have been assiduously following the Goebbelian principle of telling lies long enough to make people accept it as truth.
They have organized a one sided debate referring to two posts against NBA(will come back to these two) and supreme court directives(There is no Anti-Supreme court, so we can't have the other side). Unluckily he fails to show anything which is pro-NBA. He sums it up thus:
The issue is whether a handful of objectors with their own unclear motivations can stop the progress of the country itself.
As I had mentioned earlier, India Awake had referenced two posts. The first one is by Lok-adhikar, which can be found here.(link)
It is a pity that those who feel that Medha Patkar and her ilk have a just cause and a right to blackmail the Central and State Governments into changing their decisions, are either not fully aware or ignore the background of the entire issue.
This made me think that this site would have something concrete to offer. He does indeed give an illuminating background on the subject, but rather fails later when he only accuses NBA of using wrong methods to attract attention, and states court rulings and procedures as evidence. The comments too, are all against-NBA, except a neutral one by AshishG
The second link by Siddhartha Shome, can be found here. (link)
His post is definitely the most informative, creating and answering questions in a logical manner. He accuses Medha Patkar of this amongst other things:
Around 1989, Medha Patkar and the NBA decided to take an extreme ideological view that large infrastructure projects are inherently and irredeemably bad. Since then, the NBA has argued that rural people are best left as they are, and that adivasis are best suited to a subsistence-level existence "in harmony with nature"
He also brings to the front, another organizationon Action Research in Community Health and Development (ARCH) Vahini, which has played a vital role in the resettlement and rehabilitation in the area. Other than that he answers some important questions.
But I still fail to agree with him, (not because of a blood relation with Medha Patkar) but because when he answers the question if the resettlement and rehabilitation is going as expected or is troubled due to corruption, he states
There is some truth to this, but it is far from being the complete truth. As has been documented by the Center for Social Studies Surat, despite hiccups, R&R has generally been carried out successfully in Gujarat.
A little earlier he had said that
Four villages (three in Gujarat and one in MP) will be fully submerged.
241 villages would be partially affected, (16 in Gujarat, 33 in Maharashtra and 192 in MP)
Now what does simple arithmetic show us? That R&R has been successful in the 19 villages in gujrat out of the 245. Which is about 7.7%. Hmmm.. Not quite reassuring.
But I still maintain, I really loved the way he's written the post. (You should have this guy in bloglines.)
Since I still don't find myself convinced that NBA is for the wrong cause, I had a chat with one of my friends who has actually been to one of the affected villages. (She is doing her Masters in Social Work from TISS). She states quite emotionally
The rehabilitation process isn't going on the right lines. The struggle has been on for a long time but only the well connected have been able to get 're-settled' properly. For the poor, R&R is still a synonym for running to government offices.
Standard Indian working procedures, you might say. Most of the villagers might get away fine, but for the ones who don't, it's a hard world mate. I know, because I have the privilege of sitting here at home on a sunday evening in front of my computer.
UPDATE: Here is a beautiful paralell. The government decides to increase reservation and a million blogs cry foul. That is because the urban population gets affected. But how would the voice of the villagers reach our ears. A full stop.. no a question mark?
UPDATE: Do read this too before you make your conclusions.
Tagged Narmada Bachao Andolan
April 13, 2006
Javed, the 18-year-old high school student who saved 15 children from the Meerut Brand India fair fire, succumbed to his burns today in Delhi. He was a student of Class 12 at Sarvodaya School in east Delhi and had gone to Meerut, his home, after appearing in the board examination. The fire in Meerut, 80km from Delhi, has claimed about 60 lives so far.
As the fire broke out, he rescued six children trapped in the hall and got severely burnt in the process. Mizaz, his father, said when the fire broke out, Javed managed to come out safe from a burning tented enclosure but went back to help those trapped inside. Anida, his mother, added, 'Javed saw six kids were stuck in one corner of a tent and so he went back inside the burning enclosure to save them. He tore a part of the synthetic cloth that was used to make the outer cover of the tent to make way for the children.
Meerut administration has recommended a posthumous bravery award for him. Puja Srivastava who also saved many people without fearing for her own life will also be honoured at the district level. She is currently undergoing treatment at a local nursing home in Meerut.
Javed parents are upset at the government for failing to come to Javed's rescue. They say he was left unattended from Wednesday night when they brought him to the hospital. He also said that though Javed had died at 6 a.m., doctors did not disclose the news till 10 a.m.
Is this how we treat our heroes?
(link : IBN Live)
Tagged Meerut Fire, Javed, Puja
Now this one is really strange. The unemployement rate of Immigrants in America has fallen below the natives. Umm.. Maybe Americans are just plain lazy. No wonder they keep crying that jobs keep getting outsourced.
(while we are at it, I've heard TCS is about to get the biggest outsourced order ever. I don't remember where I read that, so you'd have to take my word on it.)
Tagged Umemployement, America
A Malaysian man named Yahaya Wahab, has received a phone bill worth $218 trillion AND was ordered to pay up within 10 days or face prosecution. As expected, he is ready to seek legal action against Telekom Malaysia Berhad.
Wahab said he disconnected his late father's phone line in January after he died and settled the $23 bill, the New Straits Times reported. But, Telekom Malaysia later sent him a $218 trillion bill. It wasn't clear whether the bill was a mistake, or if the phone line was used illegally after the death of Wahab's father.
I'm just happy that it doesn't happen only in India.
Tagged Malaysia, Phone Bill
For the first time, an Indian would be sking to the North Pole. Ajeet Bajaj, who has been involved with adventure sports for over 20 years would undertake this expidition with four Americans and one Brit. He will leave for Norway this coming Friday.
I wanted to test my endurance by undertaking an expedition to a place where temperatures are sub-zero and the terrain too is harsh. I will be braving extreme weather conditions like freezing chilly winds and also inhospitable terrain.Footwear and apparel company Woodland will provide Ajeet with the complete attire including jackets, trousers, socks and shoes for the upcoming expedition.
Tagged India, Ski, North Pole
The telegraph reports here regarding the riots and subsequent Bandh in Bangalore
Such reasoning usually leaves me speechless!
"It’s a deviant way of expressing love and affection,” said Dr P. Kodandaram, consulting clinical psychologist and former professor at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Science, Bangalore. “They (the fans) want to be recognised as the one who did the most damage. ‘If you burnt one tyre in your area, I burnt four’ is the kind of message they want to send across. It is a kind of competitive destruction. The fans were waiting for an outlet to express their suppressed emotions.”
The famous kannad film actor Dr. Rajkumar expired today. He died following a cardiac arrest on Wednesday afternoon in Ramaiah Hospital in Bangalore. The 78-year-old actor had made his debut in the film world nearly five decades ago and is a revered figure in the state. About four years back he had also been kidnapped by Verappan.
There seems to be quite an agigation in local crowd today in Bangalore. Most of the offices of IT companies, the stronghold of India's outsourcing industry, closed early today due to fear about riots on the streets. There is no clue today about what tomorrow might bring, but people are hopeful things would be normal tomorrow.
April 12, 2006
For the first time ever, I found a link in the RSS feeds above Gmail which had me interested. It was a link to Pune360, a classified service for Pune. It covers housing for rent, job profiles, education, tuitions, automobiles, personals, amongst other things. I am still not sure about it's coverage, as I still can't find anything to sell, but I'm sure I'd find some stuff soon.
They are planning to get a blog soon, where they plan to have an editorial section where they would screen articles from Puneites and post them there. It is always a good idea to keep bloggers on your side, right.
Finally I guess we have a good looking website, catering to puneites. The best one so far had been Pune Diary, where you could find out all the movies playing that week. That is a must, I believe, if your visitors are going to be predominantly from one city. Pune360 has a tab called 'Attractions' too. We're waiting for the goodies.
Tagged Pune, Classified
April 07, 2006
As I opened the newspapers today, I felt a wave of optimism taking me over. Magically, everything in the world is going great today. The newspapers might be dumping the crap of the world on our front pages, but today, it is possible to see through it, and see the better side of the world.
These are today's news,
Nasdaq at 5-year high, Biotechs reach all-time sales high in 2005, Bonds mixed, Layoffs at lowest mark in 11 months, Oil
prices ease from Monday's peak, FII inflows cross $4 bn mark in India, ISB gives India its first crorepati graduate, The swiss are coming to India, Two wheeler sales on a high, Americans are moving to India.
I am sure you get the drift. However if you still find yourself a little uneasy, read about this really smart sea lion who's been taking engineers for a ride.
Tagged News, Biotech, Economy, FII, ISB
April 06, 2006
Indiapad has recently had a makeover. A lot of enhancements have been done. Anonymous voting is now allowed, live telecast, user profiles, statistics, avatars are just some of them. You have to check out the rest yourself.
Go on vote for the stories you like, they are waiting for you out there.
April 05, 2006
Sambhar Mafia, has an informative post about the different options that are available to buy books online in India. He covers almost eight different online bookstores including Prakash Books, Indiatimes, Fabmall, Landmark On The Net, Rediff, First And Second, Go Book Shopping and ofcourse Ebay India
Update: If you're not the buying kind, here is a list of free online books.
Tagged Online, Bookstore, India
A textbook for 14-year olds in Rajasthan, compares housewives to donkeys, and concludes that the latter are more loyal.
'In fact, the donkey is a shade better, for while the housewife may sometimes complain and walk off to her parents' home, you'll never catch the donkey being disloyal to his master.''
Well ofcourse it has caused some protests, but the officials say it is all in good humour. Since when did officials get a sense of humour?
Tagged Rajasthan, Education, India
Jabberwock, has an interesting post today about movie hall rant.
Why the f#$! did you dumbasses decide to see this film in the first place?”
…was the question I silently mouthed over and over and over again, until it attained the intensity of a hymn. This was at a Brokeback Mountain screening and it was directed at two girls sitting a couple of rows behind me, who kept up an unremitting flow of Idiot Talk throughout the film.
I couldn't have agreed more with him on this one. Instances like the ones which he says keep happening to him, can completely wreck a good movie. I would like to rant about my own experiences, but sadly they are very much like everybody else's so I wouldn't go ahead with it.
But there is one which I am sure a lot of poeple wouldn't have gone through. Well nor did I technically, but I had the chance to hear it from the mouth of the very guy who did. Once upon a time, a couple of my friends got drunk and went out for a movie. So far so good, but when I say drunk doesn't mean that they had a couple of drinks and walked into the hall, rather they had been drinking till the point that they could have no more. I doubt if they knew what movie they were watching, and if it wasn't for this incident, maybe they would have never remembered that they ever saw it. They were there just because there was nothing else to do.
Half an hour into the movie, one of the fellas starts feeling sick, the other one tells him to cool it and sit still. So he sits there, feeling all droosy and starry eyed, and then suddenly pukes on the guy sitting next to him. **Ahmm.. This turns out to be a really disgusting movie hall story**.
This happened at E-square in Pune. The staff came in and asked both the guys to leave (This is what they say, I believe it must be 'pushed them out' or something). The poor guy who had been 'puked upon' was in a fit of rage, (Well quite understandably) and wanted to bash these guys up. (He should have been washing instead of bashing, but never mind). But it didn't really get that far, they just got off by paying a fine of Rs 500 (I'd say they got away real easy). Nowadays, it has become a tradition to make sure that everybody is sober befor we get into a hall, because for obvious reasons, it can get very embarrasing for everybody involved. I just hope I never find people like him next to me.
Tagged Movie, Drunk
April 04, 2006
I bumped across this list of 50 greatest independent films ever. I though I might try to list how many have I seen..
01 Reservoir Dogs, 02 Donnie Darko, 03 The Terminator, 07 Sex, Lies and Videotapes, 08 The Usual Suspects, 09 Sideways, 23 The Evil Dead, 26 Lost in Translation, 39 The Passion of the christ.. not many I guess, 9 in all. Damn, I flunked again.
link (via :NEFA, luckily he flunked too..)
The Hindustan Times Kitab Festival will celebrate the impact of South Asian writing in English on the contemporary world, and in turn, the impact of British literature in contemporary India. This extravaganza will provide an unprecedented opportunity to explore and expand the intermingled literary traditions of Britain and India.
The event would be organised from the 7th to the 9th of April at the Stein Auditorium in India Habitat Centre, New Delhi.
The list of participants includes Amit Chaudhuri, Nadeem Aslam, Goldie Hawn, Rana Dasgupta, Clare Short, William Dalrymple, Tarun Tejpal, Alexandra Pringle and Pavan K. Varma.
The programme schedule is here.
Tagged Kitabfest, Delhi
Ajaxwrite, brings to us a text editor which looks and feels just like Microsoft word. This is how they sum up its benifits.
Global access, all you need is an internet connectionWorth checking out? I don't think so, I have Word on my desktop why would I ever need this.
Platform independent, you can use it with any operating system
Automatic updates and upgrades, no more computer restarts or missed patches/updates
Server side management — all the busywork is done for you
Tagged Ajaxwrite, Internet
Life is getting more and more advanced on the internet these days. Here are some fellas who've come up with a web operating system. They were recently Digged to the the front page (Thinking about Digg, you might like to check out this too), though they say it's still waayyyyy alpha.
But why do you use a web operating system to develop? This is why
Scale: YouOS handles the scaling of servers and bandwidth - you just need to handle the application logic and UI (and about getting paid).
Powerful Shared Data Structures: Need a distributed, revisioned hashtable shared by N users? You got it.
Sweet Interfaces: Need to send or receive email or text/instant messages? We're working on providing full communication APIs.
Tools: Use an free in-browser development environment with built-in source control, syntax checker, compiler, and administration.
Analytics: Know exactly how many people are using your apps and how they are using it.
Tagged YouOS, Web, OS, Technology
Deepak Chopra, inspirational guru, speaks on a one minute video about creativity. The video is a program featured on Lime.com about "Healthy living with a twist." and "Fresh ideas for living a greener, more balanced life." It is something you might want to hear.
Like intuition, creativity is an aspect of your soul. When you create something it has to be something that never existed before. So when you heal your body of an illness, that's biological creativity. When you invent something new, that's scientific creativity.Thanks to Idea Sanbox for the transcript.
Creativity comes from having an intended vision and then gathering information and then analyzing the information and incubating. Incubating means quieting your internal dialogue and just resting in your soul. Sooner or later there is a quantum leap of insight which is called the "eureka experience." If that insight is genuine and authentic then you feel inspired, you implement what you have found out and you incarnate into a new experience.
(link: Idea Sandbox)
(link: Deepak Chopra)
The story goes that a lot of this guy's stories got rejected at Slashdot, since they were not US centric, so he says F*** slashdot, and comes up with his own tech discuss site which would be India Centic.
What else is new? It now in Ajax, has RSS feeds, traffic links, and even more, it allows you to earn money. How? Check this out. I guess it's time, we do start getting India centric on the internet.
Tagged India, Shunya, Technology
Don dodge, has a good article about 'The Next Big Thing'. He lists some of the websites which he thinks would be big really soon.
The Next Big Thing does exist...it just doesn't look BIG to IBM. That is a common problem with large companies. When you have revenues of $40B to $100B no one thing will move the needle. Nothing looks big or interesting. Innovative or disruptive technologies are viewed as a threat to the core revenue stream, rather than promising new opportunities.Some of them are worth checking out. Who knows, google might get some of them, and then you wouldn't be able to sign up for a long time. There is also a list of french entrepreneurs here.
Besides, it is an interesting blog, some of the other things that I found interesting were The Innovators Dilemma, and The Website vs The Blog
Also check out this list of Free Webspace by Bothack (link).
Professor Wiseman, as wise as him name suggests, executed a ten-year study to determine the nature of luck, and published his findings in a book called The Luck Factor: The Scientific Study of the Lucky Mind. Among other things, he experimentally studied the lottery winnings from people who count themselves as "lucky" and compared them to those who are self-described as "unlucky,"
It led him to conclude that a significant portion of one's good fortune is not random, but rather due to one's state of mind and behaviors. He concludes that luck is an artifact of psychology, where a person is lucky not because of cosmic accidents, but because one achieves a particular mindset which precipitates and amplifies "lucky" events.Professor Wiseman has even outlined four principles to help one increase their good fortune:
Principle One: Maximise Chance Opportunities(link)
Lucky people are skilled at creating, noticing and acting upon chance opportunities. They do this in various ways, including networking, adopting a relaxed attitude to life and by being open to new experiences.
Principle Two: Listening to Lucky Hunches
Lucky people make effective decisions by listening to their intuition and gut feelings. In addition, they take steps to actively boost their intuitive abilities by, for example, meditating and clearing their mind of other thoughts.
Principle Three: Expect Good Fortune
Lucky people are certain that the future is going to be full of good fortune. These expectations become self-fulfilling prophecies by helping lucky people persist in the face of failure, and shape their interactions with others in a positive way.
Principle Four: Turn Bad Luck to Good
Lucky people employ various psychological techniques to cope with, and often even thrive upon, the ill fortune that comes their way. For example, they spontaneously imagine how things could have been worse, do not dwell on the ill fortune, and take control of the situation.
Tagged Wiseman, Luck
April 03, 2006
Latest research shows up that a single neuron can recognize people, landmarks, and objects--even letter strings of names ("H-A-L-L-E-B-E-R-R-Y"). The findings, reported in the current issue of the journal Nature, suggest that a consistent, sparse, and explicit code may play a role in transforming complex visual representations into long-term and more abstract memories.
Maybe that's why we're so quick in recognizing celebrities...