Friday, December 29, 2006


Officer Candidate School at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, was tough. During an inspection, a fellow soldier received 30 demerits for a single penny found in his area. Ten demerits were for "valuables insecure," ten demerits because the penny wasn't shined, and ten more because Abraham Lincoln needed a shave.
- Jack Howell

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Scared of Santa

A huge man with a big potbelly, a huge face full of white hair and over-sized everything else. Who would not be scared of Santa Claus. These kids certainly were.

How to prank a telemarketer

This is really cute. How to prank a telemarketer. With the menace of loans, credit cards, restaurant memberships, resort and holiday share schemes and what not on offer on my telephone, I am strongly tempted to use this in India too.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The 10/20/30 Rule of Presentations

In continuation of my exploratin of Guy Kawasaki's blog, here is the 10/20/30 rule of presentations, which, put in a nutshell says that one should have:
  1. No more than 10 slides in a presentation
  2. No more than 20 minutes for presentation
  3. No font less than size 30 on the presentation
I agree completely. Interesting, this is essentially a repeat of what my MDI communications professor, Dr. Vasanti Srinivasan, taught me more than 10 years ago, but this is more succinctly put.

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.

The Top Ten Lies of Entrepreneurs

Guy Kawasaki, of Apple fame, now a venture capitalist, lists the top ten lies he keeps hearing. Have a look at the incisive list.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Of Sreesanth and India

Still recovering from India's emphatic win over SA in the first test match at Johannesberg, I have watched Sreesanth's impromptu dance in the field many times on youtube and Google videos. Have a look at them here and here.

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.


Once uton a pime in a corn funtry there lived a geautiful birl and her name was Rindercella. Now Rindercella lived with her two sad blisters and her mugly other. Also in this corn funtry there liv inviting all the geautiful birls from riles amound. But Rindercella gouldn't co. She had to make dancy fesses for her two sad blisters and her mugly other.

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!

Good Bye Mom

I was walking through the supermarket to pick up a few things when I noticed an old lady following me around. Thinking nothing of it, I ignored her and continued on. Finally I went to the checkout line, but she got in front of me.
"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.


An African chieftain flew to the United States to visit the president. When he arrived at the airport, a host of newsmen and television cameramen met him. One of the reporters asked the chief if he had a comfortable flight.
The chief made a series of weird noises: "Screech, scratch, honk, buzz, whistle, z-z-z-z..." Then he added in perfect English, "Yes, I had a very nice flight."
Another reporter asked, "Chief, do you plan to visit the Washington Monument while you're in the area?"
The chief made the same noises: "Screech, scratch, honk, buzz, whistle, z-z-z-z..." Then he said, "Yes, and I also plan to visit the White House and the Capitol Building."
"Where did you learn to speak such flawless English?" asked the next reporter.
The chief replied, "Screech, scratch, honk, buzz, whistle, z-z-z-z... From the short-wave radio."

Monday, December 18, 2006

Worth a snort

A suicide hotline is where they talk to you until you don't feel like killing yourself. Exactly the opposite of tele-marketing.
- Dana Snow

I laughed so much at this that I actually snorted.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Assorted Thoughts

  • 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 that they really don't want it.
    - Ogden Nash
  • The petty economies of the rich are just as amazing as the silly extravagances of the poor.
    - William Feather
  • If your income doesn't keep up with your outgo, then your upkeep will be your downfall.
  • Every year education gets more expensive, but ignorance costs even more.
    - Sam Ewing
  • Why do people who know the least know it the loudest?
  • If at first an idea isn't totally absurd, there's no hope for it.
    - Albert Einstein
  • I drink to your charm, your beauty, and your brains - which gives you a rough idea of how hard up I am for a drink.
    - 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 smartass.
  • 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. He really is inferior.
  • You have a lot of funny lines - too bad they're all in your face.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

What Teachers Make?

The dinner guests were sitting around the table discussing life. One man, a CEO, decided to explain the problem with education. He argued, "What's a kid going to learn from someone who decided his best option in life was to become a teacher?"

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?

“Incidentally, what do you make?"

Congratulations on getting married

Now that I am condemned to death..err...engaged to be married, there are a lot of reactions from the many people who come to know about my impending doom.
  1. A simple "Congratulations". Short, sweet and simple.
  2. "Shaadi Kab Hai? I need to make plans for that day" Mostly from over-busy friends and relatives.
  3. "Photo dikhao". Ab mere paas ho toh dikhaoon na. Waise karoge kya dekh kar? Post-match analysis karoge? [Pun intended]
  4. 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?
  5. "You are not married? I always thought you were married." Now what I am supposed to say this simply escapes me.
  6. "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.
  7. "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

Perfect System

A loaded mini van pulled in to the only remaining campsite. Four children leaped from the vehicle and began feverishly unloading gear and setting up the tent. The boys rushed to gather firewood while the girls and their mother set up the camp stove and cooking utensils.
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."

It's all in the spin

Hillary, an amateur genealogical researcher, discovered that her great-great uncle, Remus Rodham, a fellow lacking in character, was hanged for horse stealing and train robbery in Montana in 1889. The only known photograph of Remus shows him standing on the gallows.

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."

Replies and Promises

Never reply to anyone when in anger, and never make any promises when in happiness.
- Anonymous

Saturday, December 02, 2006

How to calculate the value of Pi by throwing food

For those with surplus food and time, and the inquisitiveness to find out the value of Pi, which incidentally is 3.14159265358979323846264338327950288419716939937510, here is the perfect solution. Throw food to calculate Pi. Wow!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Summers Process at IIM-A

A blow-by-blow account of how summers at IIM-A are handled. Have a dekko.

The Five Most Expensive Addictions

Alcohol: Estimated annual cost: $166 billion. Binge drinking hits the unemployed harder on a per capita basis - 10.4%, vs. 8.4% of employed people. It is most prevalent in small metropolitan locales, rather than big cities or rural areas. The $18 billion spent on alcohol and drug treatment last year represented 1.3% of all health care spending.

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~