Friday, October 28, 2005

Updates on the Baby Dumping Case

The Daily trojan has a bunch of articles today about the Holly Ashcroft case, which was covered on this blog here and here before.

- Ashcraft case affects 2-9 cafe

- Sex ed may have impacted Ashcraft

- Media use of Facebook profile sparks discussion

The lawyers claim that the baby was stillborn, and the police report says that the baby was 30-32 weeks in gestation only. I wonder why they cannot just check for inflated lungs and verify once and for all about the stillbirth, since the baby's lungs swell only when she takes her first breath, outside the mother's body.

The last two articles raise a couple of interesting questions - can a newspaper get sued for breaching copyright [of the facebook, in this case]? Does teaching an abstinence-only sex-ed really help?

Interesting are the days we live in... so much changing... so fast...


Speaker of the House has a blog now!

From this Slashdot post, the speaker of the house of representatives of the US has a blog now! Go read it!

This is interesting ... I wonder how much time it will take our very own Lok Sabha Speaker to have his own blog, and what will he write about? [silence silence.. please shaant ho jaaiye :-)]

Luv and Luck,
P.S. I have been busy with my quals proposal... hence the lull in blogging... but don't worry... the storm will return!

Saturday, October 22, 2005

BNT : Doorways

Brooke is from Illinois, brought up by a single mother, and she came to California to study on a scholarship.

She has only 2 friends, her roommate Carrie, a typical LA girl, and Alex, a smart student who is 2 years senior to her and whom she loves.

BNT's Doorways is Brooke's story, told to the audience sometimes through a monologue, sometime through enacted scenes. Told on a very special occasion [see the play to find out more :-)].

It is the story of how the big city college life affects a simple, small city freshman girl for whom this is the first time among strangers. It is the story of how misunderstandings can spoil relationships. It is a love story that begins with a kiss, rather than end at it, as Brooke says in the opening act.

And I am one bowled-over audience member!

From 8 to 10pm today, Danielle Faitelson kept on speaking, sometimes alone, facing a spotlight, sometimes with others enacting a scene. The story was composed of so many flashbacks and present day things, one would expect it to crumble in front of a friday-night audience. However, Daniel Frey's writing stood up to all these tests, at times predictable, at times shocking.

When it was over, the performers were given a standing ovation [I must say I was one of the first ones to stand], and a standing ovation they deserved, for a play well executed!

The range of emotions shown by Danielle was amazing, especially considering that she did not have breaks in between, and was present in all the scenes, facing the audience in a spotlight frontstage for nearly 40% of the play. I mean how many people can come back with a straight face just after a superbly executed sentimental scene? And that too for multiple times in a 2 hours, no breaks play!

Credit is also due to Nicholas Rutherford, Amanda Klein, Winthrop Ellsworth and Jessica Perlman for their powerful performances, Daniel Frey and Natalie Miston for their wonderful direction, and Griffin Behm, Chelsea Bardellini and Andre Rosa for handling the lights and the playbill.

Great job! If you are around USC, I recommend going to this play. It is playing on saturday and sunday also. [Sunday 2pm I am told.]. Entry is FREE, although you should help these bright students out with your donations!

That's all for tonight... sleep well people!

Luv and Luck,

Friday, October 21, 2005

Touchy-Feely Engineers, Skid Row and Hunger

Abhishek sent this amazing article [alt link, alt PDF link] about an engineer's account and how apparently girls think we can be too "you know, very logical and everything... not very touchy feely".

A nice article, I would recommend all you engineers and engineer's friends ;-) to go read this.

Well, speaking of myself, I have been feeling very moved recently reading this chain of articles about the people on skid row here in LA, the dark underbelly of Los Angeles, less than 4 miles from where I live. The author talks about how people die everyday in this area from drug overdoses, and prostitution occurs in portable toilets... the list goes on and on. Remember to read from part 1 onwards. It is really worth the time.

There is also this moving article about this musician who lives there because he is ill, but gets a chance to visit the Disney Concert Hall.

Very touchy.... and people label us engineers as non-touchy!

Luv and Luck,
P.S. I and a bunch of friend are participating in the fast-a-thon today. No food or water since sunrise. I have deep respect for all muslims who fast for the whole month!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Railways allege that Bangalore Techie was at fault!

Note: Please read till the bottom and if possible, send a protest email to stir the conscience of the officials responsible. Email address after the article.

Apparently, the railways officials are alleging that Nimish, whose case was reported here earlier, was drunk while taking to the Ticket Collector and did NOT furnish his ticket!!! They say that Nimish withdrew his complaint was because he realized his mistake. The news was in TOI page 3 of Bangalore edition. [Can someone please post a link to it?] [update: here is the link, thanks to a friend who emailed it to me.]

However, according to this post on Nimish's blog, he had withdrawn his complaint after a request from DCM Anwar Hussain, so that the people responsible, who were then apologetic, did not have to suffer more.

So a decent man takes his complaint back and what does he get? Allegations that his story was false??? Not fair I say.

We all are with you Nimish. You did a good job and I am sure the next time something like this happens, the victim will not stop after listening to a verbal apology, but will take then culprits to court. Thanks for showing us all how to fight for justice and how low these guys can go.

I was chatting with Nimish some time ago and he gave me the email ID of the DCM, who should be ashamed of himself for saving his people while killing justice!

So people, I request you to send emails to Mr. Anwar at letting him know that he has shamed all of his railway official community by taking the side of the wrong-doers.

Thanks all... and Thank you Nimish for being bold through all this!

Luv and Luck,

Monday, October 17, 2005

School scores versus JEE ranks - interesting study

So apparently, students who did well in school topped classes better in the JEE schools [if they qualified JEE, that is] than the ones with just great JEE ranks and bad high school marks.

Read more here.

I guess this goes on to show the fact that learning over a long period of time is different from learning for a specific exam.

Or does it show that our education system makes the sharp-brained JEE high scorers bored with what they have to offer? I personally saw a couple people (with better JEE ranks that I) getting horrible grades in ITBHU with me, but excelling in what they liked at the same time.

I wonder ... I wonder... any gyan from you, dear reader?

In other news, I named my steed [my bike, thanks to Gaurav who donated it to me when he graduated and we ceased to be roommates].

His name is Rocinante, named after the horse of Don Quixote :-). Whaddaya say?

And for those of you who do not know, my car's name is Jean-Luc Accord, after him.

Anyways, enough for this post, now back to work!

Luv and Luck,

Sunday, October 16, 2005

USC Student had done it before also ?

Apparently, the USC student who I talked about in my previous post (the one who dumped her baby into a dumpster) was involved in something similar last year also.

I wonder what goes on in the mind of someone to do this. As I once read - "hate the behavior, not the person", but one cannot help but think about the cause of such behavior.

In other news, today was the 4th consecutive day of my daily noon swim, and I LOVE the water. I tried flippers on my feet today and it was a totally different experience - cannot believe how fast one goes with them! Lets hope I can continue doing it.

That's all for now folks.

Luv and Luck,
P.S. I went to Jaimey's last 2nd nature show last night .. :-(.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Of birth and death... and right and wrong

Today M sent me this link to an article about a couple welcoming their 16th child into this world.

Sadly, last night I saw no less than 4 media vans near the 29th street cafe near my house. Upon asking one of the mediapersons, I was told that the cops had found the girl (a USC student) who had dumped her new-born baby in a dumpster. The baby was found dead some days ago.

Read the article about it here.

The saddest part is that the girl chose to abandon the baby, although by law one can abandon a baby at any fire station [there is one very close to where the baby was found], and no questions are asked. I wonder what made her choose to kill a newborn.

One can assume that she thought that the baby will survive, but lets be reasonable... how long can a baby that small [the umbilical chord was still attached] survive in a cardboard box in a dumpster?

What do you say, dear readers? I am sure you hold a variety of views on this.

Curry and Rice girl

And now for some humor.... here is a hilarious video I came across.
Go see the curry and rice girl video!


Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Happy Birthday Amitji

11th October is the birthday of Amitabh Bachhan, probably the greatest Bollywood star ever.

However, here is the take : he is not celebrating his birthday. Read this for more.

Now this is a true gentleman! Way to go Amitji!

P.S. Happy Dusshera and VijayaDashami to all.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Bangalore Update and Durga Puja Prayers for Asylum inmates

Nimish Adani, the ITBHU guy who was man-handled in Bangalore railway station recently, has a blog now. Go check it out here.

In other news, the Times of India is running an article about the ladies in Ranchi Asylum who are cured now but have been deserted by their families.

From the article:
More than 30 women are still living in the campus despite being cured because their family members have deserted them.

"When any festival is celebrated we miss our family members. This year I will pray to the goddess for going back to my home," said Rajani (name changed), a patient from Bihar. Several women echoed her sentiments.
Read the article here.

I pray for these women, in addition to the thousands who were affected by the recent south asia earthquakes.


Saturday, October 08, 2005

Bangalore News, IgNoble Awards and my Detective Work

So, my blog got 650+ hits on day 1, followed by 1200+ hits the next day after posting about the incident that happened in Bangalore!!!

The comments indicate that some good things have happened, including coverage in the Times of India, the Deccan Herald and even NDTV. I have been told that an IPS officere who is an ITBHU alumnus has taken this up with his seniors. More details will be posted on this blog as I get them. Our best wises to Nimish.

Also, this incident lead to the creation of my latest crazy idea. Go read it!

In other news [from slashdot], the 2005 IgNoble awards have been announced. My favorite one is

LITERATURE: The Internet entrepreneurs of Nigeria, for creating and then using e-mail to distribute a bold series of short stories, thus introducing millions of readers to a cast of rich characters -- General Sani Abacha, Mrs. Mariam Sanni Abacha, Barrister Jon A Mbeki Esq., and others -- each of whom requires just a small amount of expense money so as to obtain access to the great wealth to which they are entitled and which they would like to share with the kind person who assists them.
If you are not getting what I am talking about, read this page.

If even other news, I was instrumental in the recovery of a duffle bag full of stolen stuff next to my house last night, not to mention the apprehension of the culprit. I shall soon be sent summons and will be a witness in court! Life gets exciting here in downtown Los Angeles! Wish me luck.. I intend to uphold the truth :-) !

That's all for today folks... now go and watch the first 9 minutes of Serenity for free here .. and then go watch the real movie :-).

Monday, October 03, 2005

Nexus between railways officials and fraudsters in Bangalore!!

Hi all,
A fellow ITBHU alumnus sent this today. I was extremely moved by what happened to him, and deeply respect him for the courage shown. Please read on and help him in his effort, by letting your friends know about this, if nothing more.

And yes.. this is NOT a hoax letter. I know this person.


I would like to bring to notice a certain injustice that I have subjected to at the Bangalore Railway Station (Majestic). On September 30 (Friday), 2005, I had been to the station to see off my fiance and her mother. They took the Karnataka Express (Train #2627) to Jhansi at 6:30 pm.

On my way out I was asked to present my platform ticket by a railway official. On producing the same, the TT turned around and told me "What if I say that you haven't given me the ticket?" Before I could react, he along with his colleague pushed me into the adjacent enquiry cabin and physically manhandled me. I was slapped several times, my spectacles were grabbed and deliberately crushed by foot, and my phone was flung away from me. The RPF comprising of one RPF and four constables, appeared on the scene. The surrounding public was whisked away. None of the railway police officials cared to listen to me and they started hitting me indiscriminately with lathis. They dragged me out, and all the 4 constables continued hitting me with lathis from Platform 1 to Platform 3/5, till we reached the station master's cabin. Racist abuses and threats were made on the way. At the station master's cabin, I was told that I have been charged with a non-ba! ilable offence and would be behind bars for 15 days.

Not for a single moment was I allowed to speak. All of a sudden a stranger came to the scene and he claimed that he was there to help me. Having lost all my physical strength and mental senses, I was happy to see some sort of help. He, claiming to be V Srinivas from Infosys, talked to the officials and the railway police in Kannada. He told me that the only way I was to get out was if I was willing to pay my way through. Being in no state to make a rational choice, I gave him my ATM card and pin. He took one of the RPF chaps along with him and said he would clear the matter. He returned some time later saying that everything was okay now.

I was asked to sign a statement which said that I hit the police and TT in a drunken state. I refused. Finally, they pressurized me to write that I did not produce a platform ticket when asked. I wrote the same and then V Srinivas took me out of the station. He joined me in an auto and took me to the ICICI ATM at Anand Rao circle. He withdrew Rs. 15000 from my ATM and got back. he took the cash under the pretext that while helping me he had left his wallet in the train he had left behind and that he would return the same through his ICICI Internet account. Having broken down mentally I did not realise that I was being cheated. He then took me to a Samsung showroom and tried purchasing a cellphone worth Rs. 18500 with my card. It was only then that I realised what was happening. I grabbed my card back, caught him by the collar, snatched my cash that lay in his pocket, and got into a running auto.

I have now realized that all of this was a plan. There is a strong nexus between the railway officials, the railway police and the fraudster. The railway officials identify a victim who they think is well-to-do, the RPF beat that individual till he has no physical or mental well-being. Then this fraud chap comes on to the scene, takes advantage of the situation, and takes all your cash away. Also, this series of events generally occurs on the last day of the month as they know that the salary gets credited on this day. (This strikes me now because the self-proclaimed Infy employee, V Srinivas, clearly asked me whether I had received my salary. He said that he just wanted to find out if there was cash enough to tackle the case.)

Now three days hence, I have tried to run from pillar to post. I have been forced to miss office hours in my effort to get justice. But I don't want to give up the fight midway. If any of you are in the media, or have friends/relatives who are in the industry, I'd like to speak with them about this in greater detail. I can be reached on 09886179319 or 08030933067. I believe it would catalyze my efforts.

Also, please pass this email to all the people who reside in Bangalore, so that they don't fall into the same trap.

Nimish V Adani
IIML Batch of 2003
ITBHU Batch of 2001