Monday, November 12, 2007

Roman Ball Games!!

Recently I was browsing to read about Medieval Civilizations of the World, and an interesting link came across while reading about the Great Roman empire.

Roman Ball Games

From the website and evidences illustrated there, it seems Romans played quite a few games popular today!! If what's seen is to be believed, roots of Hockey, Football, Soccer, Baseball and even Cricket (!!!) go as back as Roman Empire!!!!

A lot of these games are prevalent in different parts of world today. While Soccer gained the most popularity around the world, Cricket found its place only in 10-15 countries which are wide-spread. Baseball became popular only in US and so did (American) Football. It is safe to assume that, however, Rugby was an offspring of Greek-Roman times, it being first cousin of football.

{BTW, I am not posting reason for being on a hiatus as I am trying to be less self-indulgent now. :)}

Turbo Tagger

Monday, August 13, 2007

A Public Clarification!

Friends and Well-wishers..

I appreciate your concern for my last post. I want to assure you that it was just a temporary fling, a one night stand with sadness and foul mood. I am perfectly fine, working hard and healthy. I have been doing a lot of introspection and have figured out some areas where I need to improve to avoid such down-times of my mind. And I feel I am doing good there.

Thanks again all...don't worry..I am still the rock star!! ;)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

I'm so Lonesome, I could cry!

Hear that lonesome whippoorwill
He sounds too blue to fly
The midnight train is whining low
I'm so lonesome I could cry

I've never seen a night so long
When time goes crawling by
The moon just went behind a cloud
To hide its face and cry

Did you ever see a robin weep
When leaves begin to die?
Like me he's lost the will to live
I'm so lonesome I could cry

The silence of a falling star
Lights up a purple sky
And as I wonder where you are
I'm so lonesome I could cry
-Hank Williams

I am little sad...I know why. But I am not sure when I will be able to come out of this.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Yahoo! sent me a gift!!!

Yahoo! sent me a gift today. My room-mate brought the mail and he thought that white packet bearing Yahoo! Answers logo was some sort of freebie from Yahoo, rightly so. I first thought it was a T-shirt as a reward for my 'Best Answers!' on Y! Answers. But lo!! I opened up and there was a cute cloth bag....

It is a gift for my partaking in Yahoo! Green Planet project. I pledged to contribute to make this planet a better place, read 'Yahoo! Green - Let's make a Better Planet'. next time when I go for shopping...I can use this one instead of polythene bags. You all also can take the pledge on Yahoo! to help save the planet, and get your goodies!!! :)

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Fountainhead ode to Ayn Rand!

The Fountainhead quotes - an ode to Ayn Rand!


"My dear fellow, who will let you?"

"That's not the point. The point is, who will stop me?"

"Nothing can be reasonable or beautiful unless it's made by one central idea, and the idea sets every detail."

"But you see," said Roark quietly, "I have, let's say, sixty years to live. Most of that time will be spent working. I've chosen the work I want to do. If I find no joy in it, then I'm only condemning myself to sixty years of torture. And I can find the joy only if I do my work in the best way possible to me. But the best is a matter of standards--and I set my own standards. I inherit nothing. I stand at the end of no tradition. I may, perhaps, stand at the beginning of one."

"If you want my advice, Peter," he said at last, "you've made a mistake already. By asking me. By asking anyone. Never ask people. Not about your work. Don't you know what you want? How can you stand it, not to know?"

"What do you want? Perfection?"
"--or nothing. So, you see, I take the nothing."

"I take the only desire one can really permit oneself. Freedom, Alvah, freedom."
"You call that freedom?"
"To ask nothing. To expect nothing. To depend on nothing."

"Argument, Mrs. Gillespie," he said, "is one of the things that has neither use nor charm. Leave it to the men of brains. Brains, of course, are a dangerous confession of weakness. It has been said that men develop brains when they have failed in everything else."

"Whatever made you think that I aspired to be dangerous, Mrs. Gillespie? I'm merely--well, shall we say? that mildest of all things, a conscience. Your own conscience, conveniently personified in the body of another person and attending to your concern for the less fortunate of this world, thus leaving you free not to attend to."
"But a desire to choose the hardest might be a confession of weakness in itself."

"It's a secret, Howard. A rare one. I'll give it to you free of charge with my compliments: always be what people want you to be. Then you've got them where you want them. I'm giving it free because you'll never make use of it.


"The style of a soul. Do you remember the famous philosopher who spoke of the style of a civilization? He called it 'style.' He said it was the nearest word he could find for it. He said that every civilization has its one basic principle, one single, supreme, determining conception, and every endeavor of men within that civilization is true, unconsciously and irrevocably, to that one principle....I think, Kiki, that every human soul has a style of its own, also. Its one basic theme. You'll see it reflected in every thought, every act, every wish of that person. The one absolute, the one imperative in that living creature. Years of studying a man won't show it to you. His face will. You'd have to write volumes to describe a person. Think of his face. You need nothing else."


"You know, Ellsworth, I think the man who designed this should have committed suicide. A man who can conceive a thing as beautiful as this should never allow it to be erected. He should not want to exist. But he will let it be built, so that women will hang out diapers on his terraces, so that men will spit on his stairways and draw dirty pictures on his walls. He's given it to them and he's made it part of them, part of everything. He shouldn't have offered it for men like you to look at. For men like you to talk about. He's defiled his own work by the first word you'll utter about it. He's made himself worse than you are. You'll be committing only a mean little indecency, but he's committed a sacrilege. A man who knows what he must have known to produce this should not have been able to remain alive."

The gist of entire story sums up in this quote. It is not written from the correct point of view, but yet represents the perspective of Ayn Rand and the words are put in the mouth of the antagonist.

"But to be beaten by the man who has always stood as the particular example of mediocrity in his eyes, to start by the side of this mediocrity and to watch it shoot up, while he struggles and gets nothing but a boot in his face, to see the mediocrity snatch from him, one after another, the chances he'd give his life for, to see the mediocrity worshipped, to miss the place he wants and to see the mediocrity enshrined upon it, to lose, to be sacrificed, to be ignored, to be beaten, beaten, beaten--not by a greater genius, not by a god, but by a Peter Keating--well, my little amateur, do you think the Spanish Inquisition ever thought of a torture to equal this?"

You're much worse than a bitch. You're a saint. Which shows why saints are dangerous and undesirable."

This is one of the best expressions of double meaning, or pun. The quote can be read both ways – in a positive or a negative meaning.

"I have visited the Enright construction site. I wish that in some future air raid a bomb would blast this house out of existence. It would be a worthy ending. So much better than to see it growing old and soot-stained, degraded by the family photographs, the dirty socks, the cocktail shakers and the grapefruit rinds of its inhabitants. There is not a person in New York City who should be allowed to live in this building."


"When facing society, the man most concerned, the man who is to do the most and contribute the most, has the least say. It's taken for granted that he has no voice and the reasons he could offer are rejected in advance as prejudiced--since no speech is ever considered, but only the speaker. It's so much easier to pass judgment on a man than on an idea. Though how in hell one passes judgment on a man without considering the content of his brain is more than I'll ever understand. However, that's how it's done. You see, reasons require scales to weigh them. And scales are not made of cotton. And cotton is what the human spirit is made of--you know, the stuff that keeps no shape and offers no resistance and can be twisted forward and backward and into a pretzel. You could tell them why they should hire you so very much better than I could. But they won't listen to you and they'll listen to me. Because I'm the middleman. The shortest distance between two points is not a straight line--it's a middleman. And the more middlemen, the shorter. Such is the psychology of a pretzel."


"Why are you a good architect? Because you have certain standards of what is good, and they're your own, and you stand by them. I want a good hotel, and I have certain standards of what is good, and they're my own, and you're the one who can give me what I want. And when I fight for you, I'm doing--on my side of it--just what you're doing when you design a building. Do you think integrity is the monopoly of the artist? And what, incidentally, do you think integrity is? The ability not to pick a watch out of your neighbor's pocket? No, it's not as easy as that. If that were all, I'd say ninety-five percent of humanity were honest, upright men. Only, as you can see, they aren't. Integrity is the ability to stand by an idea. That presupposes the ability to think. Thinking is something one doesn't borrow or pawn. And yet, if I were asked to choose a symbol for humanity as we know it, I wouldn't choose a cross nor an eagle nor a lion and unicorn. I'd choose three gilded balls."


And as Roark looked at him, he added: "Don't worry. They're all against me. But I have one advantage: they don't know what they want. I do."

"You're a God-damn fool. You have no right to care what I think of your work, what I am or why I'm here. You're too good for that. But if you want to know it--I think you're the best sculptor we've got. I think it, because your figures are not what men are, but what men could be--and should be. Because you've gone beyond the probable and made us see what is possible, but possible only through you. Because your figures are more devoid of contempt for humanity than any work I've ever seen. Because you have a magnificent respect for the human being. Because your figures are the heroic in man. And so I didn't come here to do you a favor or because I felt sorry for you or because you need a job pretty badly. I came for a simple, selfish reason--the same reason that makes a man choose the cleanest food he can find. It's a law of survival, isn't it?--to seek the best. I didn't come for your sake. I came for mine."

"You said something yesterday about a first law. A law demanding that man seek the best....It was funny....The unrecognized genius--that's an old story. Have you ever thought of a much worse one--the genius recognized too well?...That a great many men are poor fools who can't see the best--that's nothing. One can't get angry at that. But do you understand about the men who see it and don't want it?"


"Probably. But not quite. I'm not afraid any more. But I know that the terror exists. I know the kind of terror it is. You can't conceive of that kind. Listen, what's the most horrible experience you can imagine? To me--it's being left, unarmed, in a sealed cell with a drooling beast of prey or a maniac who's had some disease that's eaten his brain out. You'd have nothing then but your voice--your voice and your thought. You'd scream to that creature why it should not touch you, you'd have the most eloquent words, the unanswerable words, you'd become the vessel of the absolute truth. And you'd see living eyes watching you and you'd know that the thing can't hear you, that it can't be reached, not reached, not in any way, yet it's breathing and moving there before you with a purpose of its own. That's horror. Well, that's what's hanging over the world, prowling somewhere through mankind, that same thing, something closed, mindless, utterly wanton, but something with an aim and a cunning of its own. I don't think I'm a coward, but I'm afraid of it. And that's all I know--only that it exists. I don't know its purpose, I don't know its nature."


"Men like you and me would not survive beyond their first fifteen years if they did not acquire the patience of a Chinese executioner. And the hide of a battleship."


"When you see a man casting pearls without getting even a pork chop in return--it is not against the swine that you feel indignation. It is against the man who valued his pearls so little that he was willing to fling them into the muck and to let them become the occasion for a whole concert of grunting, transcribed by the court stenographer."


"But I'm afraid. Because you've changed something in me, ever since our wedding, since I said yes to you--even if I were to lose you now, I couldn't go back to what I was before--you took something I had..."

"No. I took something you never had. I grant you that's worse."


"It's said that the worst thing one can do to a man is to kill his self-respect. But that's not true. Self-respect is something that can't be killed. The worst thing is to kill a man's pretense at it."


"That love is reverence, and worship, and glory, and the upward glance. Not a bandage for dirty sores. But they don't know it. Those who speak of love most promiscuously are the ones who've never felt it. They make some sort of feeble stew out of sympathy, compassion, contempt and general indifference, and they call it love. Once you've felt what it means to love as you and I know it--the total passion for the total height--you're incapable of anything less."


"Thank you--Dominique." His voice was soft and amused. "But we weren't talking about you or me. We were talking about other people." He leaned with both forearms on the rail, he spoke watching the sparks in the water. "It's interesting to speculate on the reasons that make men so anxious to debase themselves. As in that idea of feeling small before nature. It's not a bromide, it's practically an institution. Have you noticed how self-righteous a man sounds when he tells you about it? Look, he seems to say, I'm so glad to be a pygmy, that's how virtuous I am. Have you heard with what delight people quote some great celebrity who's proclaimed that he's not so great when he looks at Niagara Falls? It's as if they were smacking their lips in sheer glee that their best is dust before the brute force of an earthquake. As if they were sprawling on all fours, rubbing their foreheads in the mud to the majesty of a hurricane. But that's not the spirit that leashed fire, steam, electricity, that crossed oceans in sailing sloops, that built airplanes and dams...and skyscrapers. What is it they fear? What is they hate so much, those who love to crawl? And why?"


"I often think that he's the only one of us who's achieved immortality. I don't mean in the sense of fame and I don't mean that he won't die some day. But he's living it. I think he is what the conception really means. You know how people long to be eternal. But they die with every day that passes. When you meet them, they're not what you met last. In any given hour, they kill some part of themselves. They change, they deny, they contradict-- and they call it growth. At the end there's nothing left, nothing unreversed or unbetrayed; as if there had never been an entity, only a succession of adjectives fading in and out on an unformed mass. How do they expect a permanence which they have never held for a single moment? But Howard--one can imagine him existing forever."


"I breathe for my own necessity, for the fuel of my body, for my survival...I've given you, not my sacrifice or my pity, but my ego and my naked need..."


Men have not found the words for it nor the deed nor the thought, but they have found the music. Let me see that in one single act of man on earth. Let me see it made real. Let me see the answer to the promise of that music. Not servants nor those served; not altars and immolations; but the final, the fulfilled, innocent of pain. Don't help me or serve me, but let me see it once, because I need it. Don't work for my happiness, my brothers--show me yours--show me that it is possible--show me your achievement--and the knowledge will give me courage for mine.


Every form of happiness is private. Our greatest moments are personal, self-motivated, not to be touched. The things which are sacred or precious to us are the things we withdraw from promiscuous sharing. But now we are taught to throw everything within us into public light and common pawing. To seek joy in meeting halls. We haven't even got a word for the quality I mean--for the self-sufficiency of man's spirit. It's difficult to call it selfishness or egotism, the words have been perverted, they've come to mean Peter Keating. Gail, I think the only cardinal evil on earth is that of placing your prime concern within other men. I've always demanded a certain quality in the people I liked. I've always recognized it at once--and it's the only quality I respect in men. I chose my friends by that. Now I know what it is. A self-sufficient ego. Nothing else matters."


"if this boat were sinking, I'd give my life to save you. Not because it's any kind of duty. Only because I like you, for reasons and standards of my own. I could die for you. But I couldn't and wouldn't live for you."


Turbo Tagger

Disclaimer: All the quotes, as an intellectual property, belong to its creator Ayn Rand. This is only a humble effort to put together the best of them from the book. This should serve as a very quick reference for those who love the book, and looking for a single or more quotes use. I am not trying to reproduce from the original work, the blog is not intended or used for professional activities. I don't want anyone on my ass like some issues in the world between JK Rowling and some die-hard Potter fan. Thanks.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Do you love your Mac..or PC..or Linux..!! :P

New array of Mac-Windows-Linux-BSD spoofs...they are hilarious!!
Courtesy: YouTube and TrueNuff.


Wednesday, May 16, 2007

World's Smartest Man competition

I am not only the World's Smartest Blogger, but the World's Smartest Man too. Well..there are a few others who are trying to match my caliber, but they will fall short. Always. :-P

Below is the list of other candidates. If you knew me, you would realize that they don't even qualify to become candidates in the race, umm..there is no competition at all.



Competitors who wished their name be published here..

Goldy World
Baja Energy Blog
Charles Sheehan-Miles
Tasty Booze
Money Blog Site
Dirt Exposed
Cultural Subterfuge
The Thinking Blog
A Frog to Kiss
Thought for the Day
Filtered Design News
Rich Gentleman Hide
Mattress Police
Bob Meets World
Hammer Uncut
The Psychic Guy
Decipher Wealth
Market to the Mobile Masses
The Rain in Spain
What a Wheenie
Greg's Brain
Speedcat Hollydale
The Rag Box
Barstow Mama
Blog Slut
Monster Truck Man
World's Smartest Man

Your Site here

Disclaimer: The post to be taken light heartedly. My evil twin sometimes takes control of the blog and then posts some weird things. He does think that I am the world's smartest man. However, this is just a test for the page to get ranked in Google. Check Hammer's page as he came up with the idea of declaring me with the title. He is also one of the world's smartest mans.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Yahoo! Green - Let's make a Better Planet

Dedicated humbly to Zalak or Zee as we fondly call her, a terrific friend. I am proud to say that she practices all the steps described in this article herself, and has been making me aware of them for a long time. Also, I would like to mention the same amount of gratitude towards Hardik, my one of the oldest buddies, and a true environmentalist I have known. Zee writes regularly on her blog We will donate about various ways of charity and saving environment. Hardik is my co-author on this blog.


"To forget how to dig the earth and to tend the soil is to forget ourselves." - Mahatma Gandhi

I appreciate Yahoo! as an innovator. It's not long ago that they came up with an idea of Yahoo! Time Capsule. And this time their project is well..much more important. Yahoo! has come up with a serious issue on hand this time. It concerns our dear Planet Earth. Please check more details about the plan at

In this plan, you can register and 'pledge' for making earth a greener place. As you sign in, and take the pledge, you are presented with a list of steps you could take in order to reduce emission of CO2, saving energy, water and recycled items, based on your willingness of degree of effort and impact. And many steps Yahoo! proposes are very simple to follow. You can employ them without additional expenses, and all it needs is some carefulness and proactive actions on an individual's side.
One can customize plan according to different criteria such as
  • Family plan, Individual plan, Office plan, Student plan.
  • Energy saving, Water saving, Recycling and Travel.
  • Easy, Medium, Hard effort.
  • Small, Medium, Big Impact.
Some of the very basic steps I have added to my plan:
  • Air-dry your clothes in the spring and summer instead of using the dryer.
  • Drive less aggressively -- don't accelerate and brake rapidly.
  • Get off junk mail lists. Read More on Zalak's blog ..
  • Take shorter showers instead of baths.
  • Carpool. Read More on Zalak's blog..
  • Bring your own canvas bags to the store instead of using plastic or paper. Read More on Zalak's blog..
  • Using darker colors on computer screen, hence the design of my blog. Read More..
The plan itself suggests more ways of saving energy for each step you add to your plan. I am the proud 364th member who has taken the pledge to keep planet green. I am going to save approx. 1.75 tons of CO2 a year by sticking to this plan. much are you going to save this year?! :)

Additional Link:
Turbo Tagger

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Meet my co-author, and my best friend..

Allow me the pleasure to introduce to you, my co-author - Cantfindagoodname! :D

I have known Harry, our new contributor, for almost 15 years. I hold utmost respect for him as my best friend, my philosopher, my guide and my partner in many fun times since childhood. He is very educated, well learned, well-read. I am sure his contribution to this blog will bring many useful, knowledgeable posts. I can see him posting on his favorite subject - environment.

Wishing him the best of luck in this blogging world..hopefully next post will be from him. :)

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Beautiful Poem...

In the midst of tons of meaningful posts, (!!!???!?!? :D), I thought of shooting this beautiful little poem a friend sent me 3 years back, when I came to the US. It holds its true meaning for me, and I am sure you will be able to connect to it more or less.


I was thinking of old friends today
And how many of them have slipped away.
Moved, got married, or stopped calling so much,
Found new friends, got busy, and just lost touch.

It reminded me of falling leaves.

Every autumn the leaves fall from the trees.
Some stay longer than others, but eventually -
Each leaf must fall, I'm told,
Leaving the tree alone to face the cold.

Why is it that in the time of utmost need
The leaves would seek to leave the tree?
And when we need our friends around
We look and they can not be found?

Of course these friendships come and go
And in the spring new leaves will grow.
But I prefer autumn friends of old
With crackling laughter and colors bold.

It saddens me now I must admit
How somehow, someway, I did forget
Laughing with old friends of mine
During summers when the sun would shine.

And then I thought of you


I am sure many of you might have read it, as it has been circling on Interweb for long time. But I just started feeling my association with the poem surging once again in my life, and hence the post.

Disclaimer: I take no credit for the poem. I tried finding its real author but in vain. Whoever it is, props to him for such a nice little thing.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

'FREE' and Legal Music Torrents!!

It's a little stale news that American industrial metal band Nine Inch Nails released their new album 'Year Zero' on ThePirateBay, the world's biggest BitTorrent and P2P network. Well, when the world is already 'sharing' the music and movies through broadband and high-speed internet, it seems only a new idea that Nine Inch Nail is following to promote their album. 'Year Zero' debuted at #2 on Billboard charts.

When the government and RIAA battle to protect the copyrighted music and stop its sharing over the internet, there are many sites which let users download music for FREE, and legally. You can download bootlegs, live gigs, promo material of many artists from these sites.

Here's a link to a site where all such legal music torrent download sites are listed: - This is one more very nice collection of bootlegs that I have been using.
ZOMB torrents - Another very good site. However, they are somewhat bitchy about the upload and download ratios.

You can always download the music as FLAC files, which is the best audio quality. If you have to convert it to high quality mp3, you can always convert it to WMV format first using FLAC and then encoding it as mp3 using WinLAME. I just downloaded a couple of Pink Floyd gigs, and boy..they rock!!!

Support Music. Support and Save Net Radio. Sample the tracks of your favorite artists on online radio services like, and

Monday, May 07, 2007

The Technorati Fav Train is coming...Hop in!!

Original Post where I borrowed the idea from: EverydayWeekender. A very nice blog, and a must see.

So, basically the idea is simple. It's going to be a win-win situation, and all of us can see our ranks going sky-high on Technorati in no time. All we have to do is add the following list of sites to your favorite and they will do the same. So, what are we waiting for? Happy Journey of this new train, and Happy Blogging. :)

Copy and Paste the following rules and they are very simple to follow.

*~*~Start Copying Here*~*~

Here are the rules:

1) Write a short introduction paragraph about what how you found the list and include a link to the blog that referred you to the list.

2) COPY the Rules and ENTIRE List below and post it to your blog. To avoid duplicate content and increase the amount of keywords your site can accessible for, go ahead and change the titles of the blog. Just don’t change the links of the blog.

3) Take “My New Faves” and move them into the “The Original Faves” list.

4) Add 3 Blogs that you’ve just added to your Technorati Favorites to the “My New Faves” section. Remember to also add the “Fave Me” link next to your new blogs (i.e.

5) Add Everyone on this list to your Technorati Favorites List by clicking on “Fave the Site.” Those who want good kharma will fave you back. If not, you will for sure get the benefits of faves from the bloggers who continue this list after you.

My New Faves

Where is that Money - Fave the Site - Fave the Site

Quartz Mountain Weblog - Fave the Site

The Original Faves

Everyday Weekender - Fave the Site
Bobs [ReformatThis] - Fave the Site
Armen’s Blog - Fave the Site
Gary Lee - Fave the Site
Dosh Dosh - Fave the Site
Nate Whitehill - Fave the Site
Ms. Danielle - Fave the Site
Jeff Kee - Fave the Site
Scribble on the Wall - Fave the Site
Jimi Morrisons Head - Fave the Site
Jon Lee - Fave the Site
Samanathon - Fave the Site
Eat Drink & Be Merry - Fave the Site
The Man of Silver - Fave the Site
Hannes Johnson - Fave the Site
My Dandelion Patch - Fave the Site
Nathan Drach - Fave the Site
SiteLogic - Fave the Site
Julies Journal - Fave the Site
Stephen Fung - Fave the Site
Ed Lau - Fave the Site
QMusings - Fave the Site
Net Business Blog
- Fave the Site
Career Ramblings - Fave the Site
Ramblings from the Marginalized - Fave the Site
We will Donate - Fave the Site
LifeHacker -Fave the Site
43Folders - Fave the Site
Discover Something...Everyday! - Fave the Site

*~*~End Copying Here*~*~

Post this list to your site as well.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Goliath vs David!!! ;)


But that shouldn't stop me from posting at present. It's farewell to all those ads I have had on the page. It looks nicer anyways. :p

Now is the time to post more content, more appealing, more interesting!! I will at least not stop till I have not posted all 7 drafts. ;)

Catch you guys. Google might be a big fish in the pond, but there is space for everybody. They won't be able to stop the mission. NO F$%#^& WAY!!! :D

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Videos that Rock the world...!!!

After last week's serious discussion titled 'Don't waste food. Period.', we switch gears to something lighter. So let's watch I have found. Not all of them are funny or comedy but are very famous videos for one or another weird reason.

!! They shot to fame just after this video became popular. They were named as one of the biggest internet phenomenons of the year '05-'06. more internet phenomena:

The Numa Numa Kid (I could do a video like this..believe me!)

took one picture of himself everyday....for SIX YEARS!

Reference: VH1 Internet Superstars

Turbo Tagger

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Don't waste Food. Period.

Well, I don't have a nice topic right now to discuss about. But I cannot stop noticing one thing, particularly in US - 'WASTE OF FOOD'.

Why do it? I have discussed this thing often with my friend Zalak, and it's annoying when you know how many countries (not just people) suffer from hunger and famine. It has been continued for so long that the units of measurement have changed. We don't say 1 million people are starving, because as a matter of fact, a couple of countries face this calamity. And not for some months, or one or two seasons - for YEARS. Our units are getting bigger and bigger. It may sound sarcastic to most, and funny to a few, but it remains one of the most painful and harsh realities of our time. An official report shows that: "World-wide around 852 million men, women and children are chronically hungry due to extreme poverty; while up to 2 billion people lack food security intermittently due to varying degrees of poverty. (Source: FAO, 2003)." [Wikipedia: Food Security]

And that's not all. We have again one entire COUNTRY, devoted to obesity. Not just being fat, note the unit - OBESE. I go around in cafes and fast-food joints, there are overly huge people everywhere indulging in cheesy and greasy stuff. Lots of people throw away half their food in trash bins. The restaurants advertise 'value meals', where they give lot of food, for very less money. The amount of food is more than one person can, or should eat. So, the person buying it, either throws away or eats it all - causing harm to the world in one case, to one's self in other.

Why can't the food joints offer small chunks of food for lesser value! If someone has to eat more, he can just buy it twice. In that case, if he cannot finish it all, he has untouched food which he can eat later. Or just give away to someone who needs it. Can we think of a concept of 'Shared meals' just like shared cabs/carpool?! Well...I personally do that. Me and Z always used to buy meals among two of us, because we knew neither of us could eat it all.

Due to restrictions and regulations related to health, catering services and restaurants cannot use the leftover food for any other purpose. One very nice thing I have noticed is that they offer the take-away service and people happily and willingly take advantage of it. But, if the same catering services and restaurants can arrange for a better utilization of leftover food, such as giving to asylums, orphan houses or homeless shelters, it can serve a very good purpose. I very well remember back in India, my mother and grandmother used to take leftover food after any huge party and give it to people in slums.

A lot of people don't eat previous night's left-overs. Without being a guru to such people I would try to summarize my philosophy: 'Millions more people die of getting less food or no food at all, than people dying because of eating stale food.' That's all.

Some eye-opening facts:

  • India has highest number of under-nourished people in the world: 198 millions. Next are China, Bangladesh, Congo and Pakistan – respectively 150, 43, 37 and 35 million people. [Malnutrition is political term used for ‘Hunger’ to a certain extent.]
  • A continued condition of malnutrition can cause reduced intelligence, putting those countries in an infinite loop of poverty.

What WE can do:

PS: And we haven't even touched the effects to environment, yet.

Turbo Tagger

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Wordplay, Puzzles and Ambigrams!

I just came across something truly amazing. I have read about Ambigrams before. To acknowledge the contribution - in Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code, although Brown's previous work of fiction, Angels and Demons, was more focussed on ambigrams and literally brought this art back to popular attention.

Ambigram is an art of writing words such that they can be read in more than one way.

In the above image, the word 'ambigram' can be read from left-to-right and then turn it upside-down and still you read the same word.

John Langdon is known as god of ambigram art. His work has been influential throughout the years. Another masters of this art include Scott Kim, Punya Mishra and numerous enthusiastic all around the world. :) John Langdon's work is world-famous and his credits include Angel and Demons novel itself. Not only that, it also influenced the director of The Da Vinci Code, Ron Howard so much that Langdon was requested to do title credits for the movie. He also designed quite a few symbols in the movie.

Well, ambigrams form a very small portion in the world of wordplay. In the world of puzzles, different forms of twisted and deformed wordplay is known as Flats. And there are many many types of Flats, some famous one's being Anagram, Antigram, Deletion, Enigma etc. You can read more about wordplay and Enigma puzzles at National Puzzlers' League's website.

The craze for ambigrams and wordplay puzzles is not new. Noted writers such as Shakespeare, James Joyce have used wordplay in their creations for long time. The new messiahs of the genre are making it more world-wide popular. The spread of internet also contributes to that. It does require lot of dedication and practice to become an ambigrammatist.

Here's a nice link where you can create simple ambigrams of any words of your choice. It can also mix 2 words so that it can read one word in one direction and 2nd in another - Ambigram Generator.

Punya Mishra's Home Page
John Langdon's Home Page
Scott Kim
Planet Perplex

Turbo Tagger

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

A Wonderful Online Radio for Indian Rock Music!

Today's blog is about my discovery of this new streaming audio site. Known as Radio-verve, this site specializes in Indian Rock music. So many of Indian bands, that I used to listen to but were missed due to my transition, were found today. Pentragram, Pin Drop Violence!!! I can also keep myself updated on upcoming Desi bands, such as Extinct Reflection, Demonic Resurrection, IIIrd Sovereign, Joint Family, MyndSnare, Narsil, Bhayanak Maut, Black Hole theory...the list goes on and on. Some of the best things to happen in life were these bands. Despite living in a relatively rock-dry city of Ahmedabad, I almost grew up listening to or about bands such as Pentagram and Indus Creed. And now all of them come to me!

Also a Google search on the bands got me some free clips of some of them.'s a beautiful life!!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Portable Apps - Part 2

As a second part of the original post Portable Apps - All you need is a USB, I am trying to summarize few more applications that can help you in your day-to-day chores. And I cannot emphasize more on having a portable email client that suits all your needs!

John Haller loves to build portable applications. His next gift to us is Portable Thunderbird. Mozilla's original ThurnderBird is a wonderful open-source cum freeware application, a great alternative to Microsoft's Outlook. The portable version works like a charm.

Feel like having a calender to keep yourself scheduled?! No worries fellas! Portable Sunbird is right here. I thought the Sunbird project was long dead. But it was a pleasant surprise to see this application.

How can you imagine a computer without virus...errr...anti-virus application?! Clamwin Portable is there to rescue. Sweet part is that although it's portable installation, it updates virus definitions everytime you use it.

I would be worried about spywares-adwares more than virus today. I have tried and succesfully used Spybot from a USB stick. It is a simple trick, where I installed both on a USB stick instead of a local program file folder on the hard drive. Next time I had to use it, all I had to do was click the .exe on the stick. There are few more such applications available like X-RayPC but I have never used it before.

FloppyFW is a portable firewall application you might want to consider.

For an alternative web browser, you can always try Portable Opera. Many many people consider Opera far better browser in the universe.

Putty is a freeware SSH client. It is a tiny .exe file that you can run to connect to a remote server. It is really cool toy.

Along with GAIM, you can use Portable Google Talk as a chat client. I found this 20 MB CrazyPack, which included many cool small apps that you can use on USB. Most of them are listed here already.

I think you can also use uTorrent as a portable application. But I am not too sure about it.

Purplenova is a very good web server you can run off your USB.

If downloading and installing each application separately is a pain for you, you can also download another package called Pensuite. It comes in different varieties as per the usage and size.

If you intend to rely this much on USB sticks, you must read PCStat's USB Data Recovery Guide. Things can go wrong anytime as USBs are flash drives. You should be prepared for a rainy day anytime.

Here is a nice article I found about setting up all these portable apps. Hope it is helpful.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Lord Hanuman sending Spams!!

Spams are becoming a bigger nuisance than beggars and hawkers these days. Mails claiming to help you with mortgages, recovered treasures are fun in a sense, while the other type: extending a 'hand' to increase size of a person's organs are highly unwelcome, disturbing, frustrating and embarrassing. :-D

Rediffmail is one of the earlier email provider services in India. It was no wonder that I had an account on that site, being one of the early users of internet. [Smell the self-satisfying ego here. ;-) ] The service in the past and even now, earn their revenues from 100 spam per day policy, I am sure. When an old friend from my rediff using days told me that she sent an important email to my rediff account, I was reluctant to go open the mail. I had to recall password, and like my most other online accounts, I used the Forgot password technique. ;)

And lo!! I had some 1500 spams waiting for me. Thank God, they had a new search feature by which I could find my friend's mail. But one particular spam caught my eye.

I had this one spam, from someone named
Hanuman, urging me to buy a 3 CD set of a popular and epic mythology series Ramayan at discounted rates. Well, it did make much sense because Hanuman was a leading character of that mythology!!! Hanuman is a God, one of the many metaphorical divine entities of Indian culture.

Before this I was getting daily spams from Jenny, Cassandra and Julie - requesting if I was available for a date. They interest in me was overwhelming, and gave me an ego-boost. I could never make it to the date because of my busy schedule. What a pity!!

But this was probably first time in the history of my life I received a spam from God himself! I must be not very religious. If this was God's way of reaching to me, it was very eye-opening. I cannot afford those CDs even at discounted rates. But here I am, off to my torrent sites. I am sure God is not interested in my money, but only wants me to turn to my roots, heritage and culture. Thanks God, for lifting my spirits in times like these. When I am out, I will sure buy some CDs!! ;)