Thursday, 15 May 2008

Solar powered bra!

Rediff has this report of the solar powered bra at the following link.
As Amit Verma says in his blog,
    So if you boys ever spot a chica wearing one of these, walk up to her, rest your palm on her device and say: “Is this a solar panel or am I turning you on?”

    Damn, that is so bad I feel like slapping myself.




Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Quitting Drink?

While going through previous posts of the Calumnist, I found this post which I reproduce in full.

Quitting drink

It’s a mad, bad world, as any man who’s ever tried to quit drinking or smoking will tell you. Everyone looks at you differently the day you announce your intention to turn over a good, new leaf. Friends check your temperature, ask you if you’re having a hangover, and offer you cigarettes and coffee with worried looks on their faces. Some enquire whether you plan to become a monk. Your sex life will run dry, they tell you, so you just as well might.

An air of gloom pervades your entire social life.

Your descent into solitary confinement begins soon after. “Hi, we’re going out for a drink”, colleagues will tell you. So maybe you go and sip orange juice while everyone else has a great time. The only satisfaction you can get out of that is by telling everyone the next day how hilariously silly they drank themselves. It’ll go like this: “Ha, ha you were so piss drunk you thought the pot was your ex-boyfriend – and you, you wanted to go up the wall because you thought you’re Spiderman!” And then they’ll never call you again unless they need a driver.

The professional losses are no less than the personal. Try inviting business contacts over for a tea party. They’ll thank you profusely, say how good tea is for health, and erase your number from their phones. There might be a few discreet enquiries about your religious beliefs and sexual orientation, for purely professional reasons of course.
The trauma of all this social rejection can seriously damage the psyche. As a consequence, you could become a drug addict.

Even those of ultra-strong mental construction, who escape such a fate, must come to terms with their newly found free time. Since evenings will always be free, they will have to take up something healthier than television to kill time. Joining some strange cargo cult and spending the evenings prostrating before pictures of the only superhero currently more powerful than Spiderman might be a good idea. I refer to the friendly hood, Taxman, who is reportedly slinging webs even Spidey can’t escape.

Women who quit smoke and drink somehow seem to get a better deal. They still get invited everywhere, and get free orange juice and sympathy because they’re such good girls. Men, those hypocritical ding-a-lings, suddenly want to take them home to mama after years of trying to just take them home.

There might be some common fringe benefits for born-again teetotalers of both sexes. Lower credit card bills are guaranteed. The money previously spent in bars can now be spent in salad bars. The beer belly could well recede, especially after the distinction between morning and night becomes clear.

Days and nights would obviously seem to stretch longer as well. If, after all the sacrifice and heartache, you still don’t live any longer, you’ll at least feel like you did.

Having considered all the pros and cons, my plan is to quit drink, but to leave a loophole in the law (Safety valve feature to prevent drug addiction). Even teetotalers are allowed to drink fruit juices. And wine is but a special sort of grape juice, after all, isn’t it?

Well, now I know what to say the next time someone asks me to quit drinks. :-)

What we don't say!

The Calumnist in his excellent blog "What we don't say" mentions that newspapers are pushing stories about farmer deaths and Floods in the east to obscurity because we - the readers - do not want to read about it.
"So, yes, the Indian media does largely reflect only the concerns of the upper and middle classes. After all, they are the 'customers', the people who buy papers and magazines, and the goods advertised in them and on TV. No one's really digging for the fortune at the bottom of the pyramid yet.
That's why papers tend to push away drought and flood and farmer suicide stories to the inside pages, where they are reduced to briefs, space permitting. TV usually doesn't bother at all - there's IPL now, and other masala. Besides, it costs more to run a TV channel. You need more advertisement revenues. No advertiser really wants to pay top rupee for space on a channel about bhookha-nanga (hungry-naked) people. It's just not cool enough.
This is only the half of it, and it should be of concern to us all. However, what's never spoken about is the more insidious omissions that advertising money forces upon the media."
Also, in the same post he writes,
"The cost of production of a day's newspaper is never less than 6 rupees for any of the major papers in any major city in India. The papers are sold for half that price or less. The accumulated losses have to be compensated somewhere, and a profit generated. The more the copies sold, the more the losses to be recovered.
That money comes from advertisements. So dear reader, when you pay a pittance for your paper, please know that you are pushing news media to economise on the truth."
Read more posts from the Calumnist at his blog.

What's a soft target?

Found an excerpt from B Raman's book on Terrorism: Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow being published by Lancer Publishers towards the end of May 2008 explaining about soft targets.
Makes an interesting read. In a vast country like India, close interaction between the various law and order machinery is essential. However, this is hardly the case in India. And it seems states are resisting the attempt to form a single agency to investigate and prevent terror acts all over the country. Our ministers are more concerned about wielding authority than to form an effective agency to combat terrorism. Sad.

Jaipur blasts and IPL

The Jaipur blasts have to be condemned in the strongest possible manner. There can be no excuse or reason for taking innocent lives. No religion in the world can sanction such acts of terror. No cause in the world can justify such acts.
In this hour of grief I express my solitude with the beautiful people of the great city, Jaipur. My city, Mumbai, has also witnessed a fair amount of such terror activities. In each of the occassions, Mumbaikars (or Bombayites as we were known at that time) reacted splendidly. I can think of the first serial blast in 1992 or 1993, when the blood banks started issuing statements after 2 hours of the Bomb Blasts requesting people that the blood banks were full and there was no need for any more blood. Every time, some disaster struck Bombay or Mumbai, we did not succumb to it and those unaffected refused to be terrorised and continued with their lives.
We should not be cowed down by terror. I urge all residents of Jaipur to come out on the streets and show the wicked, impotent and headed-for-hell (where they will be greeted by 72 frustated and sexually starved gorillas) terrorists that we will not bow down to them.
The Jaipur Franchise in the ongoing IPL tournament has done very well so far in the tournament. Lalit Modi has announced that matches in Jaipur will go on as scheduled. When I heard of it the first time, I thought it was veru callous and unkind of Lalit Modi to say something like that. But now I realise that the tournament should go on. We need to show those terrorist outfits that such acts of terror will not keep us indoors in fear of our lives. All further IPL matches should be played by players wearing black arm bands and all IPL matches in Jaipur should start after a 2 minute silence in memory of the blasts victims.
The Indian government has been accused too often of being a "soft" state. During the last blasts in local trains in Mumbai and again during the blasts in Hyderabad, I was hoping that the govt. would start acting tough. But now I think its too much to expect from the Indian government, especially in the wake of elections in the next 10-12 months.
Its for us Indians to stand up in solidarity and repel these terrorists. Instead of relying on state organisations to provide us security, we should start being responsible for our own safety. Do be vigilant and on the look out for suspicious people. All unattended baggage should be reported immediately to the concerned authorities. If we are not concerned about our own safety, we can hardly accuse the government of not heeding our security.