Saturday, April 23, 2005

Scientists solve unpopped popcorn

From slashdot today..

CNN is reporting on how researchers have solved the mystery as to whysome popcorn remains unpopped...

Now I can sleep in peace :-) ...

Friday, April 22, 2005

Hibernation possible in mammals!

BBC is reporting on how scientists have succeded in getting "near suspended animation" in mice. Amazing thing indeed.... reminds me of the various science fiction movies I have seen.

The wonderful slashdot comments are here.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Movie Preview : Bunty aur Babli

The guys at IndiaFm have this nice preview of Bunty aur Babli up today!

I am soooooooooo looking forward to seeing this one...

Still mesmerized by Dhadak Dhadak and Karjaraarey kajraarey ...


Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Are you ill, try a Maggot !!

Boing Boing was reporting about a LiveScience article about using maggots and leeches in medicine. The story is incredible... remember to not watch the pictures if you are eating something. The yuck facter is high.

So, what do you think? ready to go and buy a leach or two??


P.S. They also have the results of the ugly animal contest. Personally I think they all are kinda cute :-).

Monday, April 18, 2005

Bunty Aur Babli music released!

Just saw that Mahiram has released the music of Bunty Aur Babli. Amazing songs!

Have been listening to them on desi radio also.

Cannot wait to see Big B chasing Rani and Small B as crooks!!

Link to wallpapers [] and my personal favorite.

Also, the music review for this album is here.


Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Pandemic-causing 'Asian flu' accidentally released

Just submitted to slashdot.. lets see.

New Scientist is reporting that a pandemic causing asian flu virus has been accidently released to labs worldwide when it was not intended to be. Alarmingly, the lab in which it was found says that the virus was initially found in a sample unrelated to the test kit.

From the article:
There are fears the virus could escape the labs, as the mistake was discovered after the virus escaped from a kit at a high-containment lab in Canada. Such an escape could spread worldwide, as demonstrated in Russia in the 1970s.

Is that why my officemate has been sneezing incessantly of late?

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Call Cutta !!

Thanks to grover, I came to know of this interesting article on a cellphone based theatre form [Indian Express Article] currently being performed in Kolkata. Here is the Goethe Institute official page on this. Pretty informative.. and talks about call centers too, something that is changing the life of Indian youth presently. And here is the Indian Official page.
At the end of the first act, the player finds himself at a hole-in-the-wall shop, where he reveals a password provided by the caller. A deadpan shopkeeper replies, ‘‘Download act two,’’ and hands over a packet of potato chips and a bottle of water.

Sounds interesting.. doesn't it?

So, wanna play a role.. how about starting one in LA?? You know my phone number.. don't you?


Kargil's First Hero

I got a forward today asking me to sign my name at the bottom and forward to all those I know.

Now I generally do NOT forward such emails. However, I do execute a google search for the topic and reply to the sender with the information that the mail is a hoax (as happens mostly.. remember the non-small cell lung cancer mail?).

However, my google search today on Lt. Saurabh Kalia brought forth some heartrending articles. This one on rediff about his supreme sacrifice and the government's apathy towards the issue really moved me.

Here is a link to the online petition, I wonder if this will ever be read by the government.

My salute goes to the family of him and such soldiers who are constantly risking their lives for the country. I pray that the government soon gets something done in this regard.


Tuesday, April 05, 2005

On Google Maps, Slashdot and Yours Truly

April 4, 2005, 8:30pm Pacific Daylight Time: I notice that google maps has gone satellite and is showing sat images also apart from sketches of the areas in their maps.

April 4, 2005, 8:31pm PDT: I post a story on slashdot to let all know of my discovery and share it with fellow geeks.

I wait for my post to appear ... I wait.... have dinner at gypsy cafe [uhhh... the turkish coffee... so black...] .. wait... watch cricket match.. wait.. sleep..

April 5, 2005, 9:00am PDT: I found this post on slashdot submitted by someone else. Posted today at 9:13am, and citing a newspaper post that was posted at midnight!

I wonder why the editors decided to choose that post instead of mine, especially since that obviously came after mine [read the timings]?

They actually have an FAQ entry about this, but I would say that my post was definately interesting, albeit a bit lacking in links, but who needs links when you can go to [to which I linked] and experience it for yourself!

I am perplexed, but I guess I will categorize this mystery with the mystery of my lost socks and not worry about it :-).

In other news, India won the second ODI [neha's blog post link] yesterday! Way to go team!


Google Maps goes sattellite!!!!

This is simply amazing!!!!

I logged onto today to look for some driving direction and lo! there was a "satellite" link waiting for me next to the "link to this page" link.

Google maps now has clickable, draggable sattellite maps!!!! This is simply mind boggling.... I have no words to describe how I feel now!!

Google is GOD!!!!

go to this link and click on satellite to see USC, my university.

This time, I have reported this before slashdot... just FYI :-).

Dabbawalas for Charles' wedding

The times of India is reporting about how a pair of dabbawallas or tiffin carriers from mumbai are going to attend the royal wedding in Britain.

Nice to see them being honored.

From the article
"Over 200,000 tiffin boxes are delivered by a team of nearly 5,000 carriers across the city each day."



Monday, April 04, 2005

Idea #3: Sex determination of visitors (to your website)

So, the third idea is online on my crazy ideas blog. I am quite surprized that I actually wrote (typed) it. Or did I ???

Waiting for all of you all-knowing-owls to post comments there.

read on!


Sunday, April 03, 2005

Please don't boil our players [and fans too] has a nice article about the infernal conditions at the last cricket match between India and Pakistan. Really sad to know that the match was played at 40 degrees C [104 degrees F] with 90% humidity!!!

I pray that the BCCI comes to its senses and stops subjecting our players to such inhuman conditions.


Saturday, April 02, 2005

Brand New Theatre at USC

Joyita and I went to see the brand new theatre show at the Massman theatre today. The experience was simply amazing - there were these short (and long) acts performed by USC students, completely created by them: script, lighting, sounds, everything! The acts were from 5 minutes to 20 minutes long and revolved around life in the dorms/fraternities/sororities at USC but covered topics from alcohol abuse to football at USC.

For the impatient, the snaps and a video are at this page. Please note that a) the pictures were taking without a flash and so are hazy and b) there are no captions, so I recommend reading on before opening the pics or opening the above link in a new tab [what! you do not use a browser with tabbing facility... shame on you].

The theme tonight was My Big Fat Greek Production, and all was very relevent, from the stage decoration to the pamphlet.

First, a gentleman dressed in greek attire greeted us with music, playing some sort of modified hawaiian guitar and then a banjo. The first act, titled Stubats, was basically a fraternity hazing thing in which Winthrop Ellsworth showed us how much he loved his "house", depicted by a cardboard box. The idea of him talking to the audience the whole time was nice, and the other character sitting in the front row was also playing his part nicely.

Second was Scripted, which showed a young man who is deeply in love with a girl but cannot stop planning about how things should be. Hi dad comes and talks some sense into him finally and asks him to stop planning and go for the real thing. The rewind-play again nature of certain scenes was amusing.

The third performance of the night was commons, an extremely wonderful piece written and directed by Kirill Baru, who takes the cake of reminding me of the others and lost highway simultaneously. The piece starts with two girls, one of whom decides to tail her professor in search of a good script for her play, but ends up planning to murder the professor's comatose lover. The strangeness begins when the comatose girl wakes up and tells our protagonist that she is actually dreaming this whole thing! More interesting and unbelievable things happen and you simply must see it to experience it fully. Excellent work by all.

Next came Spirit of Troy, which was a nice behind-the-scenes look at how the USC Trojan football team works. They hilariously showed a scene from the home of coach Pete Carrol, whom the university president reprimands for not defeating the opponents by a zero! Hilarity ensues as he goes on to try to whip the coach's behind! Jaimey played the role of the coach's wife and did a good job of shouting at her husband towards the latter part of the act, after having tried in vain to seduce him and pull him away from the football videogame :-). [Jaimey was the one who helped me in attending this show in the first place... thanks Jaimey!! ]


The second part of the evening opened with The Way it Went Down, a funny take on how Jesus, and other biblical characters were frat boys and how the others picked on Judas so much that he had to call the police [romans in this case]. The only (minor) goof up was a beard on one of the characters that started to come off towards the end. John's streaking was hilarious! He got quite a few cheers from the girls :-). This skit reminded me of the various Modern Ramayans we used to have back in ITBHU.

That was followed by Room 308, which focussed on building of relationships between roommates when they first arrive at their dorms in freshman year - how different people get together and how some influences can be bad. The piece started with a girl enticing a new one to drink "just one drink" which leads to several more that evening and ultimately leads to her death. The first girl is then shows as a resident advisor two years later who is helping new dorm members settle down. The whole skit was sooooo nicely done... excellent performaces by all the actors here!

The final piece was titled Scenes for Young Actors, and Clay from second nature was the main protagonist, Ryder, with a "Y". The act had him trying to convince his girlfriend how he has found his true calling in life, bussing tables and secretly aspiring to act in westside story. The actors then one by one broke into a song and the whole thing transformed into a musical. The piece climaxed with the whole cast of the evening coming out of the wings to take a bow.

It was a nice scene to watch, especially when they all came together on stage. I have a small video also that pans the whole scene.

All this reminded me sooooooooo much of ITBHU theatre. I miss the good old days when we used to work day and night to get a play/skit/mime/expressions on stage and finally when the audience applauded, we felt sooo like a team and sometimes cried with joy (I still remember the last part of Kunal ). I had similar happiness today watching Jaimey, Nick, Clay, John and gang basking in the glory of their successful endeavor. I wish them all the luck and hope to see more students performances at USC.

So long guys.. thanks for reading all the way down to here... remember to make your voice heard by posting a comment!


Friday, April 01, 2005

Gulp some Google!!

Today, apart from releasing new features in gmail [send me an email at for invites], Google released Google Gulp, a fundoo energy drink that makes your brain work amazingly fast!

I especially likes their FAQ, esp the following bit

11. When will you take Google Gulp out of beta?

Man, if you pressure us, you just drive us away. We'll commit when we're ready, okay? Besides, what's so great about taking things out of beta? It ruins all the romance, the challenge, the possibilities, the right to explore. Carpe diem, ya know? Maybe we're jaded, but we've seen all these other companies leap headlong into 1.0, thinking their product is exactly what they've been dreaming of all their lives, that everything is perfect and hunky-dory – and the next thing you know some vanilla copycat release from Redmond is kicking their butt, the Board is holding emergency meetings and the CEO is on CNBC blathering sweatily about "a new direction" and "getting back to basics." No thanks, man. We like our freedom.

Notice the Redmond reference, just FYI, Redmond, WA is where the castle of evil is. :-).

Way to go people!!! I am off to drink my first bottle, since Gaurav already has a invite, thanks to his bro who works in the silicon valley.

cheers and yppah lirpa s`loof yad to you all!