I turned on the 6PM local news on Sunday and the first 10 minutes had no less than 6 reports of deaths, murders, accidents and mishaps in the local area. This just firms up my belief that the media (or who ever is controling it) is responsible for spreading so much fear into the lives of those who are exposed to it. Sure, journalists need to cover incidents in the area but for it to dominate the news like that ?

It is a fact that in Disney’s Aladin, the lead characters of Aladin, the princess and her father were all given American accents, whereas most of the evil characters are developed as being of Middle Eastern background (including clothing and accents). No wonder the population of this country has grown to have an inherent fear of other cultures, especially the one from central Asia.

I was hoping to lay my hands on some Google stock, but reports say that their IPO’s initial pricing is suppoed to be between $108-$135. At that rate, 1 share is all I can afford. But I cant help feeling concerned at all the initial hype surrounding it.

This week promises to be pretty hellish until Friday too. I am working a DUST event Monday evening and will probably be roped into another on Wednesday. Tuesday is reserved for FIN 311 homework, and Thursday is a midterm.


Okay, I know I’ve not posted in ages, but there have been personal reasons. But this one absolutely deserves an entry. I’m not sure if it should make me proud or not, but it sure as hell made me laugh. Getting ‘Bangalored’ sure as hell makes me want to head back to the homeland!

3 Laws Safe, or not

I’ve always been a great sci-fi fan. Lots of people, especially girls, think ‘geek’ when I say that. I’d beg to differ. I don’t spend hours watching star trek marathons, and I’ve never enjoyed the Star Wars movies. Infact, none of the star* (for the non-programming folk, the asterisk is a wild card character, hence meaning anything beginning with star — Star Trek, Star Wars, StarGate) has ever held any fascination for me. But good sci-fi books are something I’ve always enjoyed. Asimov and Clarke would be on the top of my list. To me, a sci-fi novel doesn’t really have much techno-mumbo-jumbo in it. It’s a regular novel, with regular people, just in a different environment. People who think otherwise should give a few Asimov books a try before dismissing it as rubbish.

I watched I, Robot last night. I’ve always liked Will Smith, Asimov, and action movies. So the movie was right up my alley. The action movie part of the movie was good. But the way the movie dealt with the 3-laws was rather weak. But that is to be expected. One would have to make a movie in the scope of Lord of The Rings to properly explain the intricacies Asimov’s robotic world.

I never knew it, but apparently a lot of researches are implicitly implementing Asimov’s laws in their AI/robotic research. This site gives a useful insight into the shortcomings of Asimov’s laws and why they could even be dangerous. It’s an interesting read, if one is an Asimov fan. And if one is not, maybe it could be a first step.

Work, Work Everywhere…

It promises to be an awful week. Today (Monday), after a whole days work, I’ve got to work a DUST event that is supposed to go till midnight, which means that it’ll be at least 1 AM by the time I get home. This repeats itself on Wednesday, with Wednesday’s event being a lot harder and a lot longer. Thursday night I have Finance 311 from 6-9 pm. I’ve never looked forward to Friday so much.

On a lighter note, this Thursday (15th) is also my third anniversary with Maithreyi. Considering that two and a half of these three years we’ve been apart, I certainly think it’s something to celebrate. Also this Friday marks the beginning of the Asia cup. It’s been a long time since India played cricket, with the defeat of Pakistan in Pakistan being the last (and VERY memorable) series. Although, so far there is no sign of whether it will be telecast live via internet.

Killed by a Cooker

Well, almost killed at any rate.

Two mishaps in one day. First, when I turned on the large heating coil I see a spark and hear a *phut*. It was a short circuit. I’ve always been a bit wary because the stove is right by the sink and water and electricity aren’t good friends. Then, not to be deterred, I put the pressure cooker on the smaller heating coil. All seems to be going fine. First whistle, second whistle, BOOM! It sounded like the gasket of the cooker burst, and all the pressure escaped just at once. The bottle of dishwashing soap that was by the sink went flying as high pressured, hot steam sprayed everywhere. Thankfully nothing else happened, no knives flying in my direction or anything. All this happened just as I turned my back on the cooker. End result? There was a bunch of water everywhere that I had to clean up. But the daal got done, so great.

It seems like there is something that doesn’t want me to make a sambar today.

For Sale

After taking the car for a checkup at the Pep Boys near work and finding that it’ll cost me over $1200 to get the car into a condition where it’ll pass the annual inspection, I have realised that the only rational thing for me to do is sell is as soon as I can.

Recently, BBC UK posted an article that the American movie industry made $1.03 billion from box office collection in June 2004. This beat the previous record which was set in June 2003. Unfortunatly, I’ve not been able to find the article again. I wonder now if the MPAA is going to go on the same war-path as the RIAA and claim that movie downloads causing them to lose money.

Hao and I beat The Divas (Bill and Binoy). They were arguably the best team in the tournament. I don’t see any reason as to why we wont be able to win the entire thing now.


I wonder why it took me so long to disconver Firefox. I guess I’ll put it down to laziness. I read about it all the time and have seen tons of reasons why it’s better than IE. I finally made the plunge and am loving it so far. Get it here

A wasted walk

I went for a walk. It was a wonderful day today. A perfect sunday, gentle breeze, some sunshine and some clouds. But it seems like everyone else had the same idea. I’ve never seem so many people in Center City. But it being July 4, I guess everyone was out seeing the fireworks. I didn’t realise that it would be so crowded. I was hoping to clear my mind of some things and think things out, but with the noise of cars, people and police it was near impossible. And to top it all off, I’ve got a mild head ache now.


If Big Brother is reading this, don’t worry so much. Even though I may be a foreigner in the States, these are just my thoughts. So don’t put me down in one of your “could cause trouble” lists and send the FBI knocking on my door, or stop me from flying.

Now that I’ve got that disclaimer out of the way, I feel better. Or do I?

I just finished watching Fahrenheit 9/11 and that has what has prompted this post. My first impression of the documentary is that Michael Moore makes good emotional arguments, has some good points, but he is just lacking the facts. The evidence presented is inconclusive. A rational thinker would not be swayed by this movie. It is definitely not going to make Bush supporters switch sides (which could be his intent). And it has scenes that may anger some people enough to cause them to sway. If you are reading this, you know who you are. The documentary itself sways and jumps around a lot. Moore has done a poor job in finding and stating the issue clearly. Unlike Bowling for Columbine, which seemed very well thought out, with ideas clearly laid one after another building to a good argument, this documentary jumps from one point to another.

According to Moore the Washington Post reported that in the first 8 months of in office, Bush spent 42% of that time on vacation. But the Washington Post is known to lean leftwards. Even so, I fail to see how this has direct relevance to the issue in the documentary. Is he trying to say that had Bush spent more time working, the events of September 11, 2001 would not have occurred?

The “Bush-Bin Laden-Cheney-rich Texas oil company-rich Saudi family” connections are definitely suspicious. I think Moore is hinting that because of the money involved in the business deals that were made in between these families Bush allowed 24 members of the Bin Laden family to leave the USA on September 13, 2001. But I don”t think he ever states that outright.

I did like the section on the Iraq war. I always believed that the premise that the war against Iraq was based on was false. Why wasn’t more done in Afghanistan, where Bin Laden was known to be? Why were lies told about Saddam Hussein stock-piling WMDs and chemical weapons? The strikes against Afghanistan were short lived, and apparently only 11,000 US troops were sent there. There are more than 11,000 policemen and women in Manhattan alone. The war against Iraq was always about oil. Bush knew that he was coming into office in a period of recession and 9/11 did nothing to improve it. A war would certainly provide the necessary impetus to force the economy to pick itself up. There were some video clips of American CEOs talking about the money they would make from rebuilding Iraq. The way they spoke was disgusting! “Come and get a peace of the action. The oil is flowing. Now is the time to jump in.”

There are some cuts of Bush that show him to be a vain and conceited bastard. Addressing a gather he says, “You are a gathering of haves and have-mores. You are my base.” This is him acknowledging that he works for the rich, and not for the people of the land.

Many times I’ve said that this country runs on fear. And Moore reiterates that in this documentary. Turn on the local news and the only reports are of the gangs causing trouble. The “special reports” are generally on how to keep you and your family safe from xyz, or how not to fall victim to abc. Keep the masses ignorant. Feed them silliness like a bunch of colors that signify how threatened they are. Or try to sell them parachutes that’ll save them if they jump out the 10th floor of a building. Encourage them all to own guns. And tell them that a country half way around the world owns weapons that could destroy hick-town, Virginia, with a population of 2000. Keep the country afraid, because that is the only way to keep them from the truth.