Archive for September, 2008

Leaving Baghdad: Culture Shock in America

This is a beautifully written piece by Ahmad Fadam on his experiences in USA.

Having stayed in the US for two months, Ahmad reflects on a number of issues: the freedom he was never aware of when he lived in Iraq, how people take it upon themselves to represent their culture abroad, his rich Iraqi heritage and culture, the ignorance and disinterest of common Americans towards a country they’ve invaded, and yet their amiability and sympathy on recognising him as an Iraqi.

Written in simple english, Ahmad’s deliberations and questions are evoking and moving. It’s a piece you wouldn’t want to miss!

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September 25, 2008 at 12:33 am Leave a comment

C’est la vie!

Credit: Time Magazine

September 23, 2008 at 1:36 pm Leave a comment

The Mind Control Project

According to this article by the Time magazine, the US Army has commissioned a $4 million contract to a coalition of scientists from the University of California at Irvine, Carnegie Mellon University, and the University of Maryland to begin developing “thought helmets” that would harness silent brain waves for secure communication among troops. Ultimately, the Army hopes the project will “lead to direct mental control of military systems by thought alone.”

The idea is not that far-fetched as a commercial video game that uses brain-wave technology will be on shelves by the summer of 2009. The US Army’s requirements, however, are much more sophisticated and may take decades to develop.

The ethical question of reading people’s minds is squashed by the scientists who claim that the technology requires willing consent as well as cooperation to train the helmet to recognise the unique brain-waves of each participant.

If some day, such technology is available, it would find numerous other applications!

September 23, 2008 at 1:08 pm Leave a comment

Meet Sustainable Dave

I wish there were more people who emulated Dave Chameides – Emmy Award winning TV cameraman who stores all the trash he creates.

Keeping it all in his LA basement has made him actually realise the amount of unrequired products he buys. Consequently, he’s reduced buying crap that he doesn’t really need, thereby minimizing waste. And over a period of 8 months Dave has reduced waste production by a phenomenal margin too.

He points out that the garbage from NY is dumped over a 100 miles away. That from LA is dumped 40 miles outside the city. With landfills getting clogged, and recycling progressing at a rate significantly slower than waste production, one can only imagine the problem we face in the future.

Though this is in the context of the US, I’m quite sure that countries worldwide face a similar problem. And a starting step to solve this issue, could be as simple as reducing the garbage we actually produce. Think about it..

September 23, 2008 at 12:40 pm 1 comment

How Can She SLAP??

This is probably the most hilarious video I’ve seen recently! Its quite a viral piece and has spread through the web space at an incredible speed.

Turn up the volume and enjoy!! 😀

September 17, 2008 at 12:54 am 1 comment

New Pages: Read & Watch

I’ve just added 2 new pages:

Read

This includes a list of books that I’m reading and wish to read in the future. Most books may be non-fiction because I feel there are very few fiction books worth mentioning on a blog. I may throw in some good names at times though.

Watch

This is planned to be a list of documentaries as of now. When I have the time, I like watching documentaries related to the present world – like the genocide at Darfur (Darfur Now), the case for Global Warming (An Inconvenient Truth) – and the past (The Genius of Beethoven), rather than those that speculate the universe and its accompaniments. Its a personal choice.

September 10, 2008 at 12:49 am Leave a comment

Bow Down to Gunda!!

If you haven’t discovered the brilliance of Mithun Chakraborty, go watch Gunda!

I guarantee that these 2 hours will change you – for the better or the worse! Hah! The movie has a non-existent storyline, an absurd parody of dialogues, an insane cast and a director and writer who can twist the story to unimginable extremes.

Mithun plays a coolie at the start and ends as the avenging hero who destroys the underworld and corrupt cops, usually with just one blow of his mighty hands. From lifting cargo, he amazingly transforms into a rocket launcher yielding hero who knows how to drive and uses a cell phone to update his enemies. He sets dates to kill his enemies too..

Dialogues: There’s nothing to beat them in Hindi cinema.. Where else do you find lines like:

  1. [in response to “kaun hai be tu?”]: “Main hoon jurm se nafrat karne wala, Sharifon ke liye jyoti, Gundon ke liye jwala”

  2. Arrey itihas badalne wale ka naam kabhi itnihas mein nahi hota hai,
    Kyun ki itihas pathhar ki lakir hoti hai, aur usko mitaney wala khud aise mit jaata hai,
    Jaise woh kabhi paida hi nahi hua ho.
    Jis tarah train ke aaney par platform kaapney lagta hai na,
    Usi tarah merey khaunf ka bhukhar, tum sab ko kaapney par majboor kar dega.
    Ye mera wada hai! Aur us dhuein ki kasam hai, jo meri behen ki chitah se nikalney wala hai!!
  3. Dekh randi, dhandey mein bethi hai, toh buddha kya jawan kya – Kya chhota kya bada – Kya baittha kya khadah!?!

  4. Tere bhi marney ka date aa raha hai! Aaj ek October hai.. Do, Char, Chhey, Aat, Das – BAS!

Sorry for the 3rd one, but I just had to include it!!

Characters: Each one gives his introduction at the start of each and every scene! If you are lucky, he may also give you a recap of his misendeavours of preceding scenes! Characters include the protagonist Shankar (Mithun) and his enemies Bulla, Chutiya, Potey, Eegoo Hatella, Kala Shetty, Lambu Aata, Lucky Chikna and many more…

Songs: There’s a song for every scene with a female in the frame.. And its always Mithun and his love interest. Even when Mithun’s sister is romancing some guy, the subsequent song features Mithun. And yes, ehe wears a yellow shirt in all songs – without fail!

Action sequences: We see a Maruti Esteem, auto rickshaws, trucks, helicopters, a 2-seater plane, ships and a monkey who can guide you to dead bodies in the middle of a forest and catch babies flung by our hero over 30 feet! The action sequences take place just anywhere – Mithun’s locality, Villain’s house, shipyard, cemetery, random deserts and canyons that just pop out of nowhere, fields, a flying whore-house, a beach and an air strip (airport).

I mean.. C’mon.. WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT!!!??!! Just go watch it!!

Read GreatBong‘s review here.

September 8, 2008 at 12:05 am Leave a comment

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