- Jack Howell
Friday, December 29, 2006
- Jack Howell
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
- No more than 10 slides in a presentation
- No more than 20 minutes for presentation
- No font less than size 30 on the presentation
This simple mnemonic way of presenting complex data is helpful. I remember another one, which is called the 20/20/20 principle of using a computer. After every 20 minutes of using a PC, look at a thing at least 20 feet away and blink your eyes rapidly 20 times. This prevents dry eye and itching and most of the common eye problems for people who use PCs heavily.
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
His dance is the symbol of a strong sociological change in India. Earlier teams of India have been meek mice, especially outside India. We have never been confident of ourselves, which is a clear mark of our position in the world, economic, strategic or otherwise. With Indians flexing their muscles in various fields, we are emerging as a stronger and more confident nation and people in general. Tata's aggressive bids outside India on various tea companies, beverage companies and now steel companies is a clear case in point. Arcelor's acquisition by an Indian, and the protests against that by various Europeans, are yet another symbol of the emergence of India.
Our cricketers too are a part of the system and are not untouched by the sweeping changes. The amount of media glare and the resultant moolah has made cricket an especially strong cauldron of India's sociological maelstrom.
Sreesanth's defiant posturing, his I-will-not-bow-down-before-this-white-skin-loudmouth is pop patriotism for you. It titillates us. It makes us live vicariously about the pleasure of showing to the world that we are no less. And his on-field antics make him the darling of the newsbyte-hungry media.
Indian cricketers have generally been tame. However Sreesanth is different. He follows in the aggressive footsteps of Polly Umrigar, "Tiger" Pataudi, Salim Durrani, Bishen Singh Bedi, Kapil Dev, Srikanth, Sachin Tendulkar, Virendra Sehwag and of course Ganguly. Dada showed what he was capable of, from the Lord's Balcony. Sehwag had the audacity to hit his triple ton with a six at Multan. Sreesanth has surpassed them with his "Karara Jawab". Kudos and may he do more of this.
While they all went off to the bancy fall, Rindercella just cat down and shried. She was just citting there a shrying when there appeared before her - her jerry mud father! "Rindercella," she asked, "Shry do you why?" Rindercella mold her jerry mud father of her werrible tork.
Just then her jerry mud father made Rindercella a geautiful bown and took two mield fice and a tumpkin and purned them into two stighty malions and cig boach! Off to the bancy fall went Rindercella, with the warning that she must go home before the mid clock struck night.
As Rindercella entered the bancy fall the pransome hince saw her through a widden hindow and thought she gas worgeous! They danced and danced and soon they lell in fove. Suddenly, the mid clock struck night and fearing her cig boach would purn into a tumpkin, Rindercella staced down the rairs. But as she beached the rottom, she slopped her dripper.
Well the nery vext day the pransome hince searched the corn funtry for the geautiful birl who had slopped her dripper. He tried it on Rindercella's mugly other, but if fidn't dit. He tried it on her sad blisters... Then, the dripper fit only Rindercella at last.
Now the storal of the mory: If you ever go to a bancy fall to meet a pransome hince with the hopes of lalling in fove, don't forget to slop your dripper!
"Pardon me," she said, "I'm sorry if my staring at you has made you feel uncomfortable. It's just that you look like my son, who just died recently."
"I'm very sorry," I said to her, "Is there anything I can do for you?"
"Yes," she said, "As I'm leaving, can you say 'Good bye, Mom?' It would make me feel so much better."
"Sure," I said. An odd request, but no harm would come of it.
As the old woman was leaving, I called out, "Good Bye, Mom!"
As I stepped up to the checkout counter, I saw that my total was $1027.50.
"How can that be?" I asked, "I only purchased a few things!"
"Your mother said that you would pay for her," said the clerk.
Monday, December 18, 2006
Sunday, December 17, 2006
- God will not give you a burden you can not handle; so if you ever find yourself in a mess that is impossible to resolve, take it as a compliment. God thinks you can do it!
- People who have what they want are fond of
telling people who haven't what they want
- The petty economies of the rich are just
- William Feather
- If your income doesn't keep up with
- Every year education gets more expensive,
- Sam Ewing
- Why do people who know the least
- If at first an idea isn't totally absurd,
- Albert Einstein
- I drink to your charm, your beauty, and
- Groucho Marx
- He was a self-made man who owed his lack of
success to nobody .
- Joseph Heller
- Give a jackass an education and you get
- A man cannot be comfortable without
his own approval.
- Mark Twain
No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.
- Eleanor Roosevelt
He doesn't have an inferiority complex.
- You have a lot of funny lines - too bad
Sunday, December 10, 2006
He reminded the other dinner guests what they say about teachers: "Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach." To stress his point he said to another guest; "You're a teacher, Susan. Be honest. What do you make?"
Susan, who had a reputation for honesty and frankness replied, "You want to know what I make?
"I make kids work harder than they ever thought they could. I make a C+ feel like the winner of the Congressional Medal of Honor. I make kids sit through 40 minutes of study hall in absolute silence.
"You want to know what I make?
I make kids wonder.
I make them question.
I make them criticize.
I make them apologize and mean it.
I make them write
I make them read, read, read.
I make them show all their work in Math and perfect their final drafts in English.
I make them understand that if you have the brains, and follow your heart, and if
someone ever tries to judge you by what you make, you must pay no attention
because they just didn't learn."
Susan paused and then continued. "You want to know what I make?
'I MAKE A DIFFERENCE.'
“Incidentally, what do you make?"
- A simple "Congratulations". Short, sweet and simple.
- "Shaadi Kab Hai? I need to make plans for that day" Mostly from over-busy friends and relatives.
- "Photo dikhao". Ab mere paas ho toh dikhaoon na. Waise karoge kya dekh kar? Post-match analysis karoge? [Pun intended]
- Shock and disbelief on face and in the voice. Mouth agape. After some time to adjust the mouth back to its normally-occluded stance, a guttural growl "How can YOU get married?" Kyun bhai, mere ko shaadi karna manaa hai kya?
- "You are not married? I always thought you were married." Now what I am supposed to say this simply escapes me.
- "My deepest sympathies are with you." This one comes from men who have been married for some time. I noticed that the strength of this greeting is inversely proportional to the amount of hair left on the greeter's head.
- "NAHIN.....AISA NAHIN HO SAKTA.......MAIN LUT GAYEE....MAIN BARBAAD HO GAYEEEEEE" - OK, this is more of wishful thinking but I think I may have seen a few elements of the fair gender mouthing something to this effect.
Monday, December 04, 2006
A nearby camper marveled to the youngsters' father, "That, sir, is some display of teamwork."
The father replied, "I have a system; no one goes to the bathroom until the camp is set up."
On the back of the picture is this inscription: "Remus Rodham; horse thief, sent to Montana Territorial Prison 1885, escaped 1887, robbed the Montana Flyer six times. Caught by Pinkerton detectives, convicted and hanged in 1889."
In Hillary's Family History, her staff of professional image consultants, cropped Remus's picture, scanned it in as an enlarged image, and edited with image processing software so that all that's seen is a head shot.
The accompanying biographical sketch is as follows: "Remus Rodham was a famous cowboy in the Montana Territory. His business empire grew to include acquisition of valuable equestrian assets and intimate dealings with the Montana railroad. Beginning in 1883, he devoted several years of his life to service at a government facility, finally taking leave to resume his dealings with the railroad. In 1887, he was a key player in a vital investigation run by the renowned Pinkerton Detective Agency. In 1889, Remus passed away during an important civic function held in his honor when the platform upon which he was standing collapsed."
Saturday, December 02, 2006
Friday, December 01, 2006
Smoking: Estimated annual cost: $157 billion. The tab includes $75 billion in direct medical expenses, with the rest in lost productivity from ill patients missing work. Given the low-tax (or no-tax) underground cigarette economy on the Web and on Indian reservations, it's unlikely that sales and usage have dropped much over the past decade, official government statistics notwithstanding.
Drugs: Estimated annual cost: $110 billion. Like alcohol, illicit drug use is more prevalent among the unemployed. Most addicts are also heavy drinkers, though only a small minority of alcoholics are drug abusers. Crystal meth has followed marijuana, cocaine and heroin as the drug of choice among the young set.
Overeating: Estimated annual cost: $107 billion. Overeating increases the risk of many health problems, including heart attacks. Obesity causes 14% of attacks suffered by males and 20% of those suffered by females, the National Institutes for Health says, and fewer than a third of adults get regular exercise. The bulk of the $107 billion is the direct cost to treat heart disease, osteoarthritis, hypertension, gall bladder disease and cancer.
Gambling: Estimated annual cost: $40 billion. Addicted gamblers often feel compelled to chase after bad bets with more money in the hope of winning back their losses. And some who catch the fever develop the need to periodically raise the betting stakes to keep the same thrill. Also, addicts often face job loss, bankruptcy and forced home sales, and they are at greater risk to commit crimes like forgery and embezzlement.
~By Tom Van Riper, Forbes Magazine~
Thursday, November 30, 2006
- A person should not be too honest. Straight trees are cut first.
- Even if a snake is not poisonous, it should pretend to be venomous.
- The biggest guru-mantra is: Never share your secrets with anybody! It will destroy you.
- There is some self-interest behind every friendship. There is no Friendship without self-interests. This is the bitter truth.
- Before you start some work, always ask yourself three questions - Why am I doing it, What the results might be and Will I be successful. Only when you think deeply and find satisfactory answers to these questions, go ahead.
- As soon as the fear approaches near, attack and destroy it.
- Once you start a working on something, don't be afraid of failure and don't abandon it. People who work sincerely are the happiest.
- The fragrance of flowers spreads only in the direction of the wind. But the goodness of a person spreads in all direction.
- A man is great by deeds, not by birth.
- Treat your kid like a darling for the first five years. For the next five years, scold them. By the time they turn sixteen, treat them like a friend. Your grown up children are your best friends.
- Books are as useful to a stupid person as a mirror is useful to a blind person.
- Education is the best friend. An educated person is respected everywhere. Education beats the beauty and the youth.
A large file, so it is better to just right click and save it before playing it.
An excellent article to help in that pursuit. Never Another Like Sachin.
Ahle-Dil Yoonhi Nibha Lete Hai
Dard Seene MeiN Chupa Lete Hai
Dil Ki Mehfil Mein Ujalon Ke Liye
Yaad Ki Shamma Jala Lete Hain
Jalte MausaM MeiN Bhi Yeh Deewane
Kuch HasiN PhOOl Khila Lete Hai
Apni AankhO Ko Banakar Yeh ZubaaN
Kitne Afsaane Suna Lete Hai
Jin Ko Jeena Hai Mohabbat Ke Liye
Apni Hasti Ko Mita Dete Hai.
- J. Krishnamurti
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Mom: Has my midsection gotten larger?
Mom: Since exactly when?
Dad: I don’t know. It’s a continuous function. But it became statistically significant about six months ago.
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
The first was a comedy in English, "Abducting Mallika" which is an adaption of Dario Fo's Il Ratto Della Francesca. It was a treat to watch, to say the least. A tight script and a great cast to boot, the play in its director's words "turns into a sly, political tale of the media, the market and the managers of the society." One wishes for slightly less slapstick, but I guess as long as it is under check, it too has its share in humour.
The second one, "Murdon Ka Prachar" - was an adaption in Hindustani - not Hindi, mind you - of Gregory Burke's Gagarin Way. It was a serious play, and had some "rough vocabulary" in the chastest of Hindustani. Fair enough, considering the setting of the play. Some of the cast was brilliant, but the others left a lot to desire for. The direction needs to be more taut so that the play does not sag in the middle. One dialogue captivated me, and in fact I had a bit of discussion with Hemant on that, "You can't domesticate Capitalism."
All in all, a great way to spend an evening. Thanks Hemant!!!
Sunday, November 26, 2006
Fear of the number 13?
Fear of Friday the 13th?
Fear of long words [which you must be suffering from, by now, after reading the previous answers]?
Phobias are interesting. Just as you can tell a lot about a man's character by looking at what he throws away in his trash bin, you can tell a lot about a society by looking at what it fears. To me, phobias are God's way of saying, "Well, you had better be careful of these things, since I made some irrational fears built into you." They are like hard-coded bugs in our operating system, if I may.
Interesting phobias are available here, and here.
When Bond meets a Hyderabadi guy...
James Bond : "My name's Bond...(smiles and then says).... James Bond."
James Bond: "And you?"
Telugu Guy : "I am Sai... Venkata Sai... Siva Venkata Sai... Laxminarayana Siva Venkata Sai....Srinivasulu Laxminarayana Siva Venkata Sai... Rajasekhara Srinivasulu Laxminarayana Siva Venkata Sai..... Sitaramanjaneyulu Rajasekhara Srinivasulu Laxminarayana Siva Venkata Sai.... Bommiraju Sitaramanjaneyulu Rajasekhara Srinivasulu Laxminarayana Siva Venkata Sai....
James Bond faints!!!
Friday, November 17, 2006
"Rabbi, I stole a gold watch," Jack admitted sheepishly.
"But Jack, that's forbidden," replied the Rabbi. "You should return it immediately!"
"What shall I do?"
"Give it back to its owner," answered the Rabbi.
"Do you want it," asked Jack slyly.
"No, I said return it to its owner."
"But he doesn't want it," said Jack.
"In that case Jack," pronounced the Rabbi, "you can keep it."
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Saturday, November 11, 2006
Friday, November 10, 2006
I've never written to you before, but I really need your advice on what could be a crucial decision.
I've suspected for some time now that my wife has been cheating on me. The usual signs... phone rings but if I answer, the caller hangs up. My wife has been going out with the girls a lot recently although when I ask their names she always says, "Just some friends from work, you don't know them."
I always stay awake to look out for her taxi coming home, but she always walks down the drive. Although I can hear a car driving off, as if she has gotten out of the car round the corner. Why? Maybe she wasn't in a taxi? I once picked her cell phone up just to see what time it was and she went berserk and screamed that I should never touch her phone again and why was I checking up on her.
Anyway, I have never approached the subject with my wife. I think deep down I just didn't want to know the truth, but last night she went out again and I decided to really check on her.
I decided I was going to park my Harley Davidson motorcycle next to the garage and then hide behind it so I could get a good view of the whole street when she came home. It was at that moment, crouching behind my Harley, that I noticed that the valve covers on my engine seemed to be leaking a little oil.
Is this something I can fix myself or should I take it back to the dealer?
Reality TV finally hit Indian Cable Television this last week, with the launch of the atrocious, obnoxious, odious, loathsome and stinking "Bigg Boss" (that's an extra g, in bold so that you don't miss it!).
Who wants to see "celebrities" doing household chores? Firstly, are they really even semi-celebrities? They are wannabes or havebeens. I don't want to watch Rakhi Sawant or Deepak Parashar or God forbid, Rahul Roy! Secondly, I certainly don't want to see them, without makeup, doing things that everyone does. I pay the cablewallah so that I can watch escapist fare, that makes me forget my life for the time I watch the telly. I have enough troubles in my life, thank you very much! I don't want to see theirs too!
When the show was announced through fairly slick promos, I had this premonition that something bad was coming out of this. And how!
Puhleez, take it off-the-air. Give us a break. Increase 10 rupees in my cable bill, but take this off now!
Showing a friend around the house, I pointed out, "You know, these doors are from the Piedmont Hotel."
He raised an eyebrow. "Most people just take the towels."
Thursday, November 09, 2006
Sunday, November 05, 2006
Friday, October 27, 2006
There is a new and disturbing trend of trying to protect the young ones from competition. The thinking is that they are too young to understand winning and losing. Far from true! Children, not only understand win and loss, but also appreciate the difference; because that shows a strong causal relationship between effort and reward.
In the long run, all this culminates into a strong fear of failure. Academically, how many children pass, when they should be failing. Grace marks, compulsory passing, no-exams policies all induce various pushes in the system, which ensure that even the most incompetent students are able to beat the system. That also leads to decline in the standards of of higher education.
We should realise that life is full of failures. For every 5 efforts made in real life, only 1 succeeds. However, in our cocooned lives, we pass almost 100% of the times. And thus, when one enters the workforce, after 15 odd years of schooling and college education, we are strongly ingrained with this no-failure system; the 80% failure rate comes as a big shock to people!
Instead, we should encourage more sports or other such activities at school level, where people win and lose, so that they understand what is losing. That is when they get the life skills of coping up with failure.
Michael Jordan puts it aptly in this lovely poster!
Be thankful for your failures. They teach you 100 times more than successes!
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
-666: Negative number of the Beast
DCLXVI -- Roman numeral of The Beast
666, 1332, 1998 -- Years of the Beast
666.0000000000 -- Number of the High Precision Beast
0.666 -- Number of the Millibeast
/ 666 -- Beast Common Denominator
0.005015 -- Reciprical of the Beast.
666i -- Imaginary number of The Beast
1010011010 -- Binary number of The Beast
-0.80902 -- The Sine of the Beast
443556 -- Square of the Beast
25.807 -- Square root of the Beast
295408296 -- Cube of the Beast
0.58779 —- Cosine of the Beast
-1.37638 -- Tangent of the Beast
2.8235 -- Log of the Beast
6.5913 -- Ln Beast
1.738E289 -- Anti-log of the Beast
6.66E2 --Scientific number of the Beast
29A -- Hexadecimal number of the Beast
666! -— Factorial of the Beast
2, 3, 111 -- Factors of the Beast
665.5-666.5 -- Range of the Beast
669 -- Sexual Position of the Beast
660: Beast rounded down
670: Beast rounded up
6, uh... what was that number again? -- Number of the Blonde Beast
1-666 -- Area code of The Beast
00666 -- Zip code of The Beast
firstname.lastname@example.org -- E-mail address of the beast
www.666.org -- web-page of the Beast
1-900-666-0666 -- Live Beasts! One-on-one pacts! Call Now! Only $6.66/minute. Over 18 only please.
1-888-666-6666: Toll free number of the Beast
$665.95: Retail price of The Beast
$399.96 (net) $359.86 (30 days): Wholesale Price of the Beast
$55.50: Monthly cost of the Beast in twelve easy equal monthly installments $699.25: Price of The Beast plus 5% state sales tax
$769.95: Price of The Beast with all accessories and replacement soul
$656.66: WalMart price of The Beast
$646.66: Next week's WalMart price of The Beast
Phillips 666: Gasoline of The Beast
Route 666: Way of The Beast (Highway to Hell)
666 Minutes: Weekly news program about the Beast
666 F: Oven temperature for roast Beast
66.6 mHz: F.M. station of the Beast
666 kHz: A.M. Station of the Beast
664 & 668: Neighbors of the Beast
666k: Retirement plan of The Beast
666 mg: Recommended Minimum Daily Requirement of the the Beast
6.66%: 5 year CD interest rate at First Beast of Hell National Bank,
$666 minimum deposit.
999: A Beast and a half
Lotus 6-6-6: Spreadsheet of The Beast
Word 6.66: Word Processor of The Beast
i66686: CPU of The Beast
666-I: BMW of The Beast
665.99996973: Intel Pentium number of the Beast
666 Sunset Strip: Old T. V. series about the Beast soon on Nick-At-Nite
DSM-666 (revised): Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of The Beast
66.6: A Mini-Beast
Windows 666: Bill Gates' personal Beast
665.9999...: The Beast's Twin
WD-666: Spray Lubricant of the beast
IAM666: Licence Plate of the beast
333: Half brother of the Beast
Formula 666: All purpose cleaner of the Beast
666 lb CAP: Weight limit of the Beast
666(-1)1/2: Imaginary number of the Beast
6-6-6: Fertilizer of the Beast
6.6.6b6: Version of the Beast
451 ºF.: Temperature of the Beast
666-66-6666: Social Security number of the Beast
6666 6666 6666 6666 EXP 6/66: Credit card of the Beast
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
However, I chanced to see a movie called "SAW" recently. Not exactly a horror movie, it was more of a Thriller-Horror and I enjoyed it immensely. I was casually flipping through the telly the other night and somehow got stuck on Star Movies which had just started this flick. Man! It was awesome! The photography and the suspense are really nerve-tingling!
Watch it! IMDB agress with me!
Nowhere is this more pronounced than online/offline surveys/forms that I keep filling. Till recently, I was happily placed in the range of "24-30 years" in the age column. Sometimes, someone did manage to infuriarate me with the upper limit of a preposterous "25-35 years" entry, but life was mostly happy. But with this 30th budday behind me, I am suddenly in the "30-35 years" category, or worse, "30-40 years". But the real trouble is "30 years or more"! This one assumes that everyone is the same after the Golden Age of Thirty!
I feel like not filling in the survey properly, if I get an entry like that. These marketing guys had better make better surveys or they had it! It is like the shopkeeper who knows never to to call an older woman "Auntyjee" or worse "Ammajee". He calls her "Didi" or else the woman takes her business elsewhere! :-)
Of course I am not vain about my age and do not hide it, but it does open for me, yet another window to my mind! :-)
Jaane Kahan Gaye Woh Din...........................
I wonder what kind of marketing thinking and logic went into this ad. The campaign is good, what with the "Blue Billion" and the "Ooh Aah India, Aa Yaah India" etc (btw, this line reminds me more of Iodex). But Ganguly is a misfit in this. Had they had other retired oldies like Gavaskar or Kapil Dev, that would have lent grace but Ganguly only manages to backfire.
- A friend in need is a pest indeed.
- Marriage is one of the chief causes of divorce.
- Work is fine if it doesn't take too much of your time.
- When everything comes in your way you're in the wrong lane.
- The light at the end of the tunnel may be an incoming train.
- Born free - taxed to death.
- Everyone has a photographic memory, some just don't have film.
- Life is unsure; always eat your dessert first.
- Smile, it makes people wonder what you are thinking.
- If you keep your feet firmly on the ground, you'll have trouble putting on your pants.
- It's not hard to meet expenses, they are everywhere.
- I love being a writer... What I can't stand is the paperwork.
- A printer consists of 3 main parts: the case, the jammed paper tray & the blinking red light.
- The hardest part of skating is the ice.
- My phone number is 17. We got one of the early ones.
- The guy who invented the first wheel was an idiot. The guy who invented the other three, now he was the genius.
- The trouble with being punctual is that no one is there to appreciate it.
- In a country of free speech, why are there phone bills?
- If you tell a man there are 300 billion stars in the universe, he'll believe you. But if you tell him a park bench has just been painted, he has to touch it to be sure.
- I had a friend once. Then the rope broke and he got away.
- If you cannot change your mind, are you sure you have one?
- Beat the 5 O'clock rush, leave work at noon!
- If you can't convince them, confuse them.
- It's not the fall that kills you. It's the sudden stop at the end.
- I couldn't repair your brakes, so I made your horn louder.
- Never underestimate the power of very stupid people in large groups.
- The cigarette does the smoking; you are just the sucker.
- Someday is not a day of the week.
Youtube is another blessing for emotional fools like me, who are in love with things past. I found two videos of this fabled Japanese series.
Have a look!
Johnny Meets the Robot
Saturday, October 21, 2006
Then I discovered that somewhere inside the wonderful device lived an amazing person and her name was "Information Please"and there was nothing she did not know.
"Information Please" could supply anybody's number and the correct time.
My first personal experience with this genie-in-a-bottle came one day while my mother was visiting a neighbor. Amusing myself at the tool bench in the basement, I whacked my finger with a hammer. The pain was terrible but there didn't seem to be any reason in crying because there was no one home to give me sympathy. I walked around the house sucking my throbbing finger, finally arriving at the stairway. The telephone! Quickly, I ran for the footstool in the parlor and held it to my ear.
"Information Please," I said into the mouthpiece just above my head. A click or two and a small clear voice spoke into my ear.
"I hurt my finger," I wailed into the phone. The tears came readily enough now that I had an audience.
"Isn't your mother home?" came the question.
"Nobody's home but me," I blubbered.
"Are you bleeding?" the voice asked.
"No," I replied. "I hit my finger with a hammer and it hurts."
"Can you open your icebox?" she asked. I said I could.
"Then chip off a piece of ice and hold it to your finger," said the voice.
After that, I called "Information Please" for everything.
I asked her for help with my geography and she told me where Philadelphia was. She helped me with my math. She told me that my pet chipmunk, which I had caught in the park just the day before, would eat fruit and nuts.
Then there was the time Petey, our pet canary died. I called"Information Please" and told her the sad story.
She listened, then said the usual thing grown ups say to soothe a child. But, I was inconsolable.
I asked her, "Why is it that birds should sing so beautifully and bring joy to all families, only to end up as a heap of feathers on the bottom of a cage?"
She must have sensed my deep concern, for she said quietly, "You must remember that there are other worlds to sing in."
Somehow, I felt better.
Another day I was on the telephone. "Information Please."
"Information," said the now familiar voice.
"How do you spell fix?" I asked.
All this took place in a small town in the Pacific Northwest. When I was nine years old, we moved across the country to Boston. I missed my friend very much. "Information Please" belonged in that old wooden box back home and somehow I never thought of trying the tall, new shiny phone that sat on the table in the hall.
As I grew into my teens, the memories of those childhood conversations never really left me. Often in moments of doubt and perplexity, I would recall the serene sense of security I had then.
I appreciated now how patient, understanding, and kind she was to have spent her time on a little boy.
A few years later, on my way west to college, my plane put down in Seattle. I had about half-an-hour or so between planes. I spent 15 minutes or so on the phone with my sister who lived there now.
Then, without thinking about what I was doing, I dialed my hometown operator and said, "Information Please."
Miraculously, I heard the small clear voice I knew so well.
I hadn't planned this, but I heard myself saying, "Could you please tell me how to spell fix?"
There was a long pause.
Then came the soft spoken answer, "I guess your finger must be healed by now."
I laughed, "So it's really still you," I said. "I wonder if you have any idea how much you meant to me during that time?"
"I wonder," she said, "if you know how much your calls meant to me. I never had any children and I used to look forward to your calls."
I told her how often I had thought of her over the years and asked if I could call her again when I came back to visit my sister.
"Please do," she said. "Just ask for Sally."
Three months later, I was back in Seattle.
A different voice answered, "Information." I asked for Sally.
"Are you a friend?" she said.
"Yes, a very old friend," I answered.
"I'm sorry to have to tell you this," she said. "Sally had been working part time in the last few years because she was sick.
She died five weeks ago."
Before I could hang up she said, "Wait a minute. Are you Paul?"
"Well, Sally left a message for you. She wrote it down in case you called when she was too sick to work.
Let me read it to you." The note said,
"Tell him I still say there are other worlds to sing in.He'll know what I mean."
I thanked her and hung up. I knew what Sally meant. Never underestimate the impression you make on others.
Carcinoma--n., a valley in California, notable for its heavy smog.
Esplanade--v., to attempt an explanation while drunk.
Flabbergasted--adj., appalled over how much weight you have gained.
Negligent--adj., describes a condition in which you absentmindedly answer the door in your nightie.
Lymph--v., to walk with a lisp.
Gargoyle--n., an olive-flavored mouthwash.
Bustard--n., a very rude Metrobus driver.
Coffee--n., a person who is coughed upon.
Flatulence--n., the emergency vehicle that picks you up after you are run over by a steamroller.
Balderdash--n., a rapidly receding hairline.
Testicle--n., a humorous question on an exam.
Semantics--n., pranks conducted by young men studying for the priesthood, including such things as gluing the pages of the priest's prayer book together just before vespers.
Rectitude--n., the formal, dignified demeanor assumed by a proctologist immediately before he examines you.
Marionettes--n., residents of Washington who have been jerked around by Mayor Barry.
Oyster--n., a person who sprinkles his conversation with Yiddish expressions.
Circumvent--n., the opening in the front of boxer shorts.
Monday, October 16, 2006
The article says, and I quote :
“Cohabitating is our choice, and we have no intention to be married,” Ms. Lynch said. “There is little difference between what we do and what married people do. We love each other, exist together, all of our decisions are based upon each other. Everyone we care about knows this.” If anything, she added, “not having the false security of wedding rings makes us work even a little harder.”
Read it here!
Friday, October 13, 2006
The last few lines of the article aptly sum it up:
"Finally a brief, century-long pulse of radio waves will forever radiate out across the galaxy and beyond, proof - for anything that cares and is able to listen - that we once had something to say and a way to say it. But these will be flimsy souvenirs, almost pathetic reminders of a civilisation that once thought itself the pinnacle of achievement. Within a few million years, erosion and possibly another ice age or two will have obliterated most of even these faint traces. If another intelligent species ever evolves on the Earth - and that is by no means certain, given how long life flourished before we came along - it may well have no inkling that we were ever here save for a few peculiar fossils and ossified relics. The humbling - and perversely comforting - reality is that the Earth will forget us remarkably quickly."
A thought provoking article, to say the least! Rarely am I so mesmerised by an article. Kudos! Read it here!
Thursday, October 12, 2006
First - Lola Kutty on Orkut - The description is simply fabulous -
"May I haouve your yedention pleez?", The Real Lola Kutty stands up in this space..One Man's Terrorist is another Man's Freedom fighter and One man’s beard is another man’s Velcro, So if u dig Lola like Alex digs his nose, come on in and "Yenjoooy" If ur not a Mallu, thats ok, Nobody is Perfect.."
Second - This is a lovely video.
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Head to the BBC site for some adrenalin pumping!
Monday, October 09, 2006
"Professionally employed?" he asked.
WWF Wrestling. I mean come on, gimme a break. Can't you see it's fake. If you can't then I feel sorry for your powers of perception. And if you can and still watch it, then I feel sorry for your life that you have nothing better to do!
What a big and busy world. “I will meditate on Your wonders.”
Why get hung up on the past? Why worry about the future? There is so much to life today. Grab hold of it! Notice it, don’t rush past it.
I really like the above article for two reasons.
Firstly, it reaffirms my belief in what I do. "Carpe Diem" has been my cry too. Too many people are too hung up on the past and that hampers their performance and happiness in the present. Worry about the past will not change it. Or they are too worried about the future. I once read that worry about the future is interest accrued on troubles one is yet to encounter! I couldn' t have put it better myself. However, Carpe Diem does not mean that one cannot learn from the past or plan for the future. Au contraire, one should do both. But that should not prevent one from living in the present.
Secondly, this article makes me realise that there are millions of things around me that I will cherish 10 years or 20 years from now. Writing a blog at leisure, listening to RD Burman songs, dancing in an office party while suffering from Dengue (probably!!), making tea with neembu and tulsi from our kitchen garden, sharing that cuppa tea with my mom, while talking about Diwali preparations, talking over the phone with my 4-yr old nephew and 3-yr old niece, enjoying a good joke, reading scraps , emails and SMSs from students/friends concerned about my health are just some of the things that I can think of, which I enjoyed immensely in the last 24 hours. It is not there are no troubles in today's life, but how can I let them overshadow the good things in my life?
Sunday, October 08, 2006
Read more here and download here.
Saturday, October 07, 2006
I myself thought about this earlier too, in this blog entry, where I said "It's not that I have given up on "Angry Ganeshan" - I still admire him and his unique antics, his choleric and wrathful outbursts, his unique perspective on most things, and his shameless avarice and self-promotion. I am not looking for a complete role-model, but sometimes admire the brazen and bold manner in which he puts across his point, something that I sometimes feel, I need to develop more."
My choice of Langda Tyagi, Don etc. as Orkut avatars, also indicates tendencies in that direction. Have I started to admire their chracters' personalities completely? No. Thankfully I can recognise this on my own. And thus the remedy is easy to find. I should become more assertive in life, so that people do not tread on my toes and my pent-up frustrations do not get expressed as Orkut Avatars!
Time to take out my dust-covered copy of "How to say no when you don't want to say Yes!"
Read about this interesting development.
The net is full of good websites that offer accurate information about him. A good place to start exploring about him would be here.
Read more about the Oak Island here.
Friday, October 06, 2006
Operator: Yes, you can speak to me.
Caller: No, I want to speak to Annie Wan!
Operator: Yes I understand you want to speak to anyone. You can speak to me. Who is this?
Caller: I'm Sam Wan. And I need to talk to Annie Wan! It's urgent.
Operator: I know you are someone and you want to talk to anyone! But what's this urgent matter about?
Caller: Well... just tell my sister Annie Wan that our brother Noe Wan was involved in an accident. Noe Wan got injured and now Noe Wan is being sent to the hospital. Right now, Avery Wan is on his way to the hospital.
Operator: Look, if no one was injured and no one was sent to the hospital, then the accident isn't an urgent matter! You may find this hilarious but I don't have time for this!
Caller: You are so rude! Who are you?
Operator: I'm Saw Ree.
Caller: Yes! You should be sorry. Now give me your name!
Interesting work; seems like a simple application of factor analysis to me! Read more here.
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
Let's take a pause to think what kind of decision we could make.
Go on, think well and make a good decision.
Most people might choose to divert the course of the train, and sacrifice only one child. You might think the same way, I guess. Exactly, I thought the same way initially because to save most of the children at the expense of only one child was rational decision most people would make, morally and emotionally.
But, have you ever thought that the child choosing to play on the disused track had in fact made the right decision to play at a safe place?
Nevertheless, he had to be sacrificed because of his ignorant friends who chose to play where the danger was. This kind of dilemma happens around us everyday. In the office, community, in politics and especially in a democratic society, the minority is often sacrificed for the interest of the majority, no matter how foolish or ignorant the majority are, and how farsighted and knowledgeable the minority are.
The child who chose not to play with the rest on the operational track was sidelined. And in the case he was sacrificed, no one would shed a tear for him. The person who wrote the story said he would not try to change the course of the train because he believed that the kids playing on the operational track should have known very well that track was still in use, and that they should have run away if they heard the train's sirens.
If the train was diverted, that lone child would definitely die because he never thought the train could come over to that track! Moreover, that track was not in use probably because it was not safe. If the train was diverted to the track, we could put the lives of all passengers on board at stake!
And in your attempt to save a few kids by sacrificing one child, you might end up sacrificing hundreds of people to save these few kids.
While we are all aware that life is full of tough decisions that need to be made, we may not realize that hasty decisions may not always be the right one.
"Remember that what's right isn't always popular... and what's popular isn't always right."
Everybody makes mistakes; that's why they put erasers on pencils.
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
Monday, October 02, 2006
Saturday, September 30, 2006
Thursday, September 28, 2006
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Hai Hai! Kitne paagal hote the! Baar-baar flick kar-kar ke imaginary raakh phenkte the, imaginary dhuaan udate the! Asli toh kabhi bhi nahin pee, par yeh waali bahut pee dali!
Tomorrow's agenda - Get a packet and finish it off :D
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Two guys are fighting and a third guy comes along, then a fourth and they start arguing about who's right.
You are in Kolkata
Two guys are fighting and a third guy comes along, sees them and walks on.
Two guys are fighting and a third guy comes along & tries to make peace.The first two get together & beat him up.
Two guys are fighting. A crowd gathers to watch. A guy comes along And quietly opens a chai-stall
Two guys are fighting and a third guy comes he writes a software program to stop the fight. But the fight doesn't stop b'cos of a bug in the program.
Two guys are fighting. A crowd gathers to watch. A guy comes along and quietly says that "AMMA" doesn't like all this nonsense. Peace comes in.
Two guys are fighting. Third guy comes along with a carton of beer. All sit together drinking beer and abusing each other and all go home being friends.
You are in Goa
Two guys are fighting. Both of them take time out and call their friends on mobile. Now 50 guys are fighting.
You are DEFINITELY IN Punjab!
Sunday, September 24, 2006
In a judgment that can benefit a large number of students who change educational institutes during competitive exams such as Common Admission Test (CAT), the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission has told Mumbai-based S P Jain Institute of Management and Research to return Rs 1.4 lakh (Rs 140,000) to an applicant who later took admission in IIM-Lucknow.
"We find that the respondent (SPJIMR) has indulged in unfair trade practices and also brought about additional cost on the applicant by forfeiting the entire amount," MRTPC acting-chairman M M Sardana said. He asked the institute to refund Rs 1.4 lakh to one Varun Gupta within six weeks.
The commission held that the scheme of changing from an institution to the other by a student was "inherent to the entire system" and slammed the premier management institute for making "undue gains." "It (the institute) is not expected to make undue gains particularly in a situation where the system allows the candidate to change their institution before the commencement of the course," Sardana said.
Gupta, a resident of New Delhi, had appeared in Common Admission Test for management institutes in 2002. On the basis of his score, SPJIMR sent an admission letter in April 2002. The institute had mentioned that Gupta would have to deposit a sum of Rs 1.4 lakh, which was non-refundable. As per instructions, Gupta took admission by submitting Rs 1.4 lakh.
Later, he got a confirmed call from IIM Lucknow and took admission there. He also informed SPJIMR and sought refund. But, SPJIMR refused to return the fees paid as per the terms of admission, forcing the candidate to approach MRTPC against the institute for indulging in unfair trade practices. Gupta argued that this forfeiture clause was to apply only when the seat vacated by him remained unfilled.
"There was sufficient time to fill-up the seat vacated by candidates of waiting list since the course was to begin on June 11," he contended.
In his petition, Gupta said, SPJIMR's action amounted to restricting the competition, leaving no scope for candidates to exercise options with their CAT score and would burden them with additional cost. SPJIMR countered Gupta's contention and said the institution suffers loss if an admission is cancelled.
"We have to plan the budgets and expenses accordingly. If every student seeks cancellation after the admission process is over and asks for refund of fees, it would be difficult for the institute to run," SPJIMR argued. However, the commission rejected this contention and observed that Gupta had informed SPJIMR within a week. At that time a waiting list of candidates was available and the institute could have filled the seat.
MRTPC compared the admission cancellation process of other institutes such as Indian Institutes of Management and MDI, Gurgaon, and found that in most cases only a part of tuition fee is deducted and substantial fee is returned. The commission felt that the institute's action amounted to "restricting the choice of candidates."
"It (the institute) would naturally be making financial gains at the cost of students while it is not making any financial loss correspondingly," the commission observed and directed the institute to return Rs 1.4 lakh to Gupta within six weeks.
An unsurprising report, if there was one!
Read complete article. (Free login required)
Friday, September 22, 2006
- False Impression - Jeffrey Archer's new novel did not impress me. It can easily be classified as the worst JA I have ever read. JA should write as JA does. Trying to copy Dan Brown's story does not work. JA neither remains JA nor becomes DB. And therein lies the rub - he is the latest Trishanku on the block!
- The Namesake - Jhumpa Lahiri's second novel is impressive. Strong insights into human psychology make her simple narrative captivating. The struggle of Gogol to come to terms with his strange name, his lineage as an ABCD (American Born Confused Desi) and the ways these two dilemmas are essentially the same are well-written and well-woven. A must read!
- Artemis Fowl - A simple fiction for young adults, it was impressive for its ability to vividly describe the imaginary world of fairies (a misnomer for magical people) and how their problems are the same as ours!
- The Talkative Man - Had missed reading this simple novella by RK Narayan and made up for it recently. Very simple, in his characteristic narrative style. Interesting for its plot of a philanderer on the prowl in small-town India. Very small novel (as the author himself confesses; "Only 116 pages") and left me with a sense of having eaten an incomplete meal!
- Nirmala - Premchand's saga of a young-girl-marries-much-older-man never fails to move me, inspite of repeat readings! Wow!
- Currently reading Freakonomics for the second time, and trying to read up Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe (Unabridged). The first is easy enough and the second is difficult enough to consider abandoing!
Even more importantly, why is this question important?
I guess someone is trying to co-relate sociology and anthropology too much! Decide yourself.
That you decide on your own; read this article on cheating by business students, in the meanwhile.
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Keon: "What are you doing, Znaxl?"
Znaxl: "Writing a book!"
Keon: "What's it about?"
Znaxl: "It's a thriller. The hero is a paraplegic chameleon!"
Keon: "I'm going to deeply regret asking this... What's it called?"
Znaxl: " 'You Can Hide, But You Can't Run'!"
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
Movie - Aandhi
Lead - Suchitra Sen, Sanjeev Kumar
Lyrics - Gulzar
Music - Rahul Dev Burman
Singers - Lata Mangeshkar, Kishore Kumar
Kya Song Hai!
Iss Mod Se Jaate Hain,
Iss Mod Se Jaate Hain,
Kuch Sust Kadam Raste,
Kuch Tez Kadam Rahein,
Iss Mod Se Jaate Hain,
Kuch Sust Kadam Raste,
Kuch Tez Kadam Rahein,
Patthar Ki Haveli Ko,
Sheeshe Ke Gharondon Mein,
Tinkon Ke Nash-e-man Tak,
Iss Mod Se Jaate Hain,
Iss Mod Se Jaate Hain.
Aandhi Ki Tarah Udd Kar,
Ik Raah Gujarti Hai,
Aandhi Ki Tarah Udd Kar,
Ik Raah Gujarti Hai,
Sharmati Hui Koi,
Kadmon Se Utarti Hai,
In Reshmi Raahon Mein,
Ik Raah Toh Woh Hogi,
Tum Tak Jo Pahunchi Hai,
Iss Mod Se Jaati Hai
Iss Mod Se Jaate Hain.
Ik Dur Se Aati Hai,
Paas Aake Palat Ti Hai,
Ik Dur Se Aati Hai,
Paas Aake Palat Ti Hai,
Ik Raah Akeli Si,
Rukti Hai Na Chalti Hai,
Yeh Soch Ke Baithi Hoon,
Ik Raah Toh Woh Hogi,
Tum Tak Pahunchti Hai,
Iss Mod Se Jaati Hai
Iss Mod Se Jaate Hain,
Kuch Sust Kadam Raste,
Kuch Tez Kadam Rahein,
Patthar Ki Haveli Ko,
Sheeshe Ke Gharondon Mein,
Tinkon Ke Nash-e-man Tak,
Iss Mod Se Jaate Hain.
Iss Mod Se Jaate Hain.
Monday, September 18, 2006
And finally, a plea that I can't answer, can anyone else help? from Tony Woodward in Canada:
"I'm trying to complete a humorous verse I heard decades ago, which used cricketing terms. I've remembered most of it, but I am missing a couple of lines in the middle. Can anyone fill in the missing lines?"
With my arms around her Boundary
I said "Will you be mine?"
As I admired her two Fine Legs
And splendid Bodyline.
[Darn, I've forgotten the next two lines and I can't find them anywhere!]
"Did you bowl the Maiden Over?"
"No, she belted me for Six!"
This was last week. Today, in the next weekly edition, the following answers have been run by the column!
There have been a few responses to last week's appeal for the missing words for Tony Woodward's poem:
Mike Staveley from Canada suggests:
I wondered how she'd look without her Extra Cover,
And how she would respond if I tried my Leg Break tricks ...
While Tony McGowan attempted:
Did she spot your googly coming,
Or your other fancy tricks?
And Farrukh Aziz from Pakistan tried:
Wanting to drive Through the covers, I just got a nick,
I heard the Third Man saying "Oh what a nice flick".
But possibly the best one came from Chandramouli in India:
I thought she would be a good catch,
And we would make a perfect match.