Tuesday, May 27, 2014

All Doom and Gloom

The human race is headed for big problems! Why? 

 - Because we don't realize we are going over-board across the board. 

 - Because we don't recognize that sometimes going back to how things were can actually be a good thing. 

 - Because we have shown that we definitely never learn the right things from history.

Like the wise one keeps saying, "Common sense is not all that common!"

:) Have a good day!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

The new normal

I was reading the newspaper recently ... that in itself could very well be my subject, given that in this era of the interwebs I am actually still reading a printed-on-paper-the-previous-night newspaper. I can imagine reactions like "how quaint", "Luddite alert!!!" and "are they still making those?". That being the case, I think that there is still space for the good old newspaper in our gadgetified and caught-in-the-wwweb world. Or maybe I am already at that age where I am too stubborn to give up my old ways for something new.  

That is however not my subject, so let me move along. I was reading about a zoo in the Philippines which is offering a free massage to any visitor willing to take it. There are 4 masseurs - Michelle, EJ, Daniel and Walter - who will all work on you for about 15 mins. So why is this news? Ah yes! The 4 masseurs are 5m long Burmese pythons. That, I bet you agree, is newsworthy. "Relaxing with Pythons" as they put it! I finished reading the article, my eyebrows came back down to their regular position and I was ready to file this away under the "We are weird in that way" section and move on. But I couldn't. I kept thinking about it through the day, especially the part of human nature which makes us do seemingly illogical things like this and decided that I have come across enough stories over the years that it shouldn't actually be considered weird any longer. As I mentioned earlier, I guess it is that "I-am-already-at-that-age-where-I-am-too-stubborn-to-give-up-my-old-ways-for-something-new" mentality I am stuck with. 

So here are the other stories that prove that "we are weird in that way"! (This is where the interwebs come in handy. You can easily search for old stuff here)

Swimming/Diving with Sharks - Really? People want to do this? Hasn't anyone seen Jaws!

Running with the Bulls - Again, really? This proves what exactly? Please remember, the bulls are better endowed in every physical aspect!

Living with Tigers - Mind = Blown! fo shizzle (I had to look that up!! ;) )

Pet Crocodile - Dude, what were you thinking?! Oh, sorry for assuming you were! SMH! 

These are a few that have stuck around in my head long enough for me to recall and decide that being weird is the new normal for us. I am now looking forward to headlines along the lines of "Picnic with the Piranhas" or "Run Rhino, Run". That is, if they haven't been published already.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

nom de plume

So what do I remember of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn? First up, I read Huckleberry Finn before Tom Sawyer. It was part of school syllabus. I caught up with Tom Sawyer a little later in a pocket sized book. Anyway the thing is I don't really remember much beyond the names of the two protagonists (I think there was also slave called Jim though I am not really sure about this. I am trying hard not to turn to Google to fill me in. "Google dependency" is probably a separate post on its own. Or not!!). I do however remember the author - one Mr. Mark Twain.

I recently learnt that Mark Twain is not the real name of Mark Twain! Confusing? No? It was for me. Apparently the great "Mark Twain" is a just a pseudonym - also known in literary circles as a 'pen name'. Not to be confused with 'pen pal' which apparently doesn't mean a pen is your pal. Alright, back to Mark Twain who was actually not Mark Twain. That's because he was actually one Mr. Samuel Langhorne Clemens. Who wrote under the pseudonym Mark Twain.

PS - I wonder. Wonder if Samuel Langhorne Clemens was related to the Longhorn or the Greenhorn!! ;)

PPS - By the way if 'pen name' seems too bland and 'pseudonym' sounds too mainstream, try 'nom de plume' for size. I don't know which language that is or which century it was prevalent in but it definitely has a ring to it. Plus, saying 'nom de plume' makes you seem cool and knowledgeable. :)

PPPS - I promise this will be the last! Mark Twain has also been a constant in my reading over the years because of all the quotes attributed to him. My favorite? This one - "I have never let my schooling interfere with my education." I am looking to buy a T-shirt with this on it.

PPPPS - This is fo' sure the lastest one. I mean it! Two words - Robert Galbraith. :)

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

All the best

I know that the world's largest democracy has finally seen the end of the most massive elections in its history a few days back. But I have to confess that I am still on an election high. I voted. The BJP won. 

To be clear, the party I voted for didn't win and I didn't vote for BJP because my gut says they haven't let go of their hindutva radicalism. Another reason for not being positive about BJP is Modi, the current PM designate who is apparently an astute administrator but seeing how belligerent (and in my opinion, arrogant) he comes across on TV, I look at him only as a full fledged politician. Whether he has the administration chops required or not will be found out over the next five years. Given that we regressed during the tenure of an intellectual, maybe it is time for a politician to take over! Everything said and done, the democratic process has handed victory to BJP and Modi and I have no problem accepting that the next five years will be theirs to run the government and do something about the mess we find ourselves in.

So the pertinent question now is: what can we look forward to? Broadly speaking, Modi won by saying and promising the right things - Development, Growth, End of corruption. Hopefully he can deliver on those. And hopefully without any accompanying hindutva related nonsense being shoved down our throats.

Wishing all of us the best of luck for the next 5 years.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Pop Quiz

Quick, what is common between the occupy <fill-in-your-favorite-cause-here> movement and the parties sitting in opposition in the new Indian government? 
A. They don't have a leader & are capable of a whole lot of noise for no outcome

Thursday, May 15, 2014


Was wondering why I cant do 140 characters in my blog. Turns out, I can. Who'd have thunk it!! :O So here it is. I am calling it Twigger!!