Sunday, November 28, 2004


This is something new I discovered recently. Since nowadays, practically everyone has a digital camera or a cellphone with one, the number of photos out there is going up exponentially!

And that has resulted in something called photoblogs! Basically, the idea is to post something with a photograph.

While reading up about this on the internet I came across this site which called, which deals with a number of people who post their photographs on a regular basis on the web. If you have RSS you can subscribe to these. (By the way, there are other groups also like Their entire list is here)

My favourite is Chromasia, which is also the top rated in (Incidentally, I got to know about after subscribing to Chromasia!). Chromasia is published by a guy whose snaps make the everyday mundane things look great. The other thing I like about Chromasia is that he gives all the setting of each particular photograph, which is really useful for budding photo enthusiasts.

Here's one of my favourites called "Dried Petals"

Saturday, November 27, 2004

The Great Indian Dream!

India is now getting Europeans to work in its Call Centers!

call centre employee

And check out the perks!
"We live very well. We have a nice guest house. Our schedule is done in a way that we can travel around and do things in our free time. Also, we get picked up and dropped off for work, a privilege we don't have in Sweden. We also get snack coupons."

Wow! Snack coupons!

via Om Malik

Some Recent Happenings in India

This is more like a news post. I came across these two conferences held in India recently and was pretty amazed, to say the least!

The first one was about the "World Congress of Endourology" which was being held in Mumbai. The 1,500 physicians attending the conference viewed a surgery which was done in Detroit, USA and transmitted real time all the way over! As if this wasn't enough, all this was transmitted in 3-D!!! It was the first time ever that an operation was transmitted around the world in 3-D, which required new transmission standards!. (The news articles are here and here).

(Although this was a great achievement, I couldn't help but chuckle at all those sombre looking physicians wearing those 3-D glasses!!)


The second was even more extreme! It was about the "International Conference on Exploration and Utilization of the Moon", held in Udaipur! (I think that place is the farthest from the moon!) And to top that one of the points of discussion was how to cart Helium 3 from the moon to the earth as it would solve all of earth's energy problems! (Ya, right!)

Amar Chitra Katha

I always used to think that Amar Chitra Katha has been around for ages. So it was quite a surprise to know that it's only been around for thirty-five years.

Growing up, I had a friend who's Dad who used to subscribe to these comics and I really used to enjoy them. I mean what's there not to like - there were heroes, there were villians, there were superhuman powers and there were gadgets! Coming to think of it, most of my knowledge about Indian mythology is from those comics!

Thinking back though, there was one thing about Amar Chitra Katha - although they used to talk about simpler times, it somehow conveyed to me that morality and ethics was not necessarily easier all those ages ago. They were as conflicting, as confusing as they are today. And one more thing - it used to cover the Indian past in all it's mixed and diversified glory, in all it's form - region, religeon, everything! The scope and the vastness of our history is something unique in the world, I think.

It was great to see the face behind the comics - Anant Pai. And what is even more wonderful is that the entire Ramayana can now be read online!

Via BoingBoing

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Mobile Phone Accessories

Came across a couple of interesting cell phone accessories via Treehugger.

The first is a windup phone charger, which I think is hugely convenient.

windup charger

The second is a backup device for your phone numbers. Holds 250 numbers. Get a new cell phone and plug this back in to update the address book!
sim card backup

Lastly, a bigger version of the previous one, but this stores 500 numbers and also lets you edit the phone numbers!
sim tools

All available at Porta-Charge from UK

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Reinventing the Wheel

Who would've thought that the wheel could be reinvented?

But as Orbital Wheel shows, it can! They've invented the hubless wheel which not only makes the design look sexy, to see the least, but also makes for interesting variations.

Check out these concept motorbike and bicycle...

Also, check out this vehicle which can change it's ground clearance at will! Sure beats the Hummer, what?

Thanks to The Red Ferret Journal

Monday, November 22, 2004

Sulabh International

Before I begin, some background. Sulabh International builds toilets and bathing facilities. All of the facilities are for the poorer class of society on a pay-per-use basis. Initially, when I came across the Sulabh International website, it brought back a number of memories from Delhi. We always used to make friends, in a deragatory manner, of having been there (Of course, this was to indicate that he's a stink!). Somehow, all those years ago, I never realised the significance of this institution!

Now, when after all these years, when I've seen and experienced struggle. Now, when I know that after all these years of evolution, the only luxuries that anybody would gladly have are running water and fire-on-demand, I've come to appreciate Sulabh a lot more.

Sulabh International

Looking at their website, I saw that they have set up an excellent Museum of Toilets! At their website, they even have an Evolution of toilets down the ages. And then I read about the Sulabh Sauchalya, an organic toilet developed by Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak, which not only takes care of basic hygiene for people who can't afford but does it in a completely organic, recyclable way.

And as always, low tech and organic methods always win over high technology in my view.

So, three cheers for Sulabh, and for people who don't think twice about flushing down 11.5 litres of potable water down the drain four or five times a day, let me point you to some other websites like Treehugger and WorldChanging who actively suggest that a more ecological alternative exists.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Mega-Projects of the World

If you're interested in mega-scale projects, I had written about the "Palm Jebel Ali" and the "Palm Jumeirah" islands earlier (And then man built an island...) These are the two huge man-made islands built in Saudi Arabia.

Today, I came across Tokyo's G-Cans project.

"The G-Cans Project is a massive project, begun 12 years ago, to build infrastructure for preventing overflow of the major rivers and waterways spidering the city (A serious problem for Tokyo during rainy-season and typhoon season). The underground waterway is the largest in the world and sports five 32m diameter, 65m deep concrete containment silos which are connected by 64 kilometers of tunnel sitting 50 meters beneath the surface.

The whole system is powered by 14000 horsepower turbines which can pump 200 tons of water a second into the large outlying Edogawa river."

The whole site is in Japanese, but the pictures are great.

Check out the photo gallery. There is a flash animation here.

Thanks to BoingBoing

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Peer-to-Peer between a restricted group (and the RIAA!)

I've been reading up on this over the last week or so. Got a glimpse of it both at Om's blog and at Slashdot. Slashdot also mentions that DownhillBattle had suggested this as a GAIM plugin.

Basically, the idea is to share whatever files you want over a restricted group. Sort of like a Yahoo! group but for all files, rather than being restricted to just photos or documents. (Does Yahoo! groups allow music files? I never thought of checking!) Of course, Grouper gives you additional capability like IM as well as being able to stream music remotely. I'm sure Yahoo! could get something like this out in a jiffy, if they combine their IM with their Groups!

But there are free alternatives already available! Check K:drive. This allows the same thing that Grouper does for free! So I don't really know why anyone should pay for the priviledge. Besides, with K:drive, you can actually get the files, so, in my opinion, that's an obvious advantage.

But I find the whole thing totally ridiculous to start with! To me, this sounds like just another way that the P2P file sharing is going to go underground (CNET article). This is just like whole companies creating softwares to block pop-up windows or to stop spyware just because Internet Explorer is full of holes or allows it!

Basically, the more P2P file sharing is restricted by RIAA and it's cronies, the more softwares are going to come up to make file sharing 'legal' and then allow the whole thing anyway! I feel like kicking some sense into these guy's heads! When are they going to wizen up? Somebody should whisper into their ears that they aren't just fighting a losing battle, they've lost the whole damn war. The best thing for them to do is to wake up and see the new world that is out there. See the opportunities it provides. See the potential that exists.

First everyone should realise that this 'free music' is not really free, in any sense of the word. Anybody who downloads media, has to pay the ISP, has to buy hard drive space, an MP3 player and maybe a cellphone with customisable ringtones. Besides all this effort, this person has to tag and maybe convert the files, transfer them to different devices by means of USB drives and CDs.

I mean, in which other industry does the customer put in so much effort to enjoy a product? Anything else I buy I expect to work right off the shelf, right? I expect better deals, discount coupons, mail-in rebates. I expect a 100% working product. And if it doesn't work, I will surely go and return it!

And here the RIAA is going against the same consumers who are taking all the effort to get the music on their own, making it listenable and store-able and then enjoy it!

(The other thing of course, is that when RIAA claims they've lost a gazillion dollars to P2P file sharing do they add the cost of all the lawsuits? How much is that costing them?)

Let's say both of us want to share a file, right? A file which neither of us are ever going to modify but are going to use again and again. Now, what makes sense? That both of us keep a copy? Or considering today's scenario of high bandwidths, ubiquitous connectivity and music players in every device possible, we just keep the file in a mutually agreed place and listen to it whenever we feel like it, and, say, pay 5c for that priviledge? So, why doesn't RIAA stay one step ahead and build up the biggest music collection possible, have high speed pipes connected to it, and have everyone pay a really nominal fee (maybe this can be added to the monthly ISP bill!), just the way I'm currently paying for my VoIP? At any instant, I can find any file that I ever want to listen to, and every time I play it, I pay a small charge to RIAA or whoever it is who's maintaining this. That makes way more sense to me.

Other sites like allofmp3 (based in Russia to avoid all the copyright hassles!) are already doing this. You can download a whole CD of songs for less than a dollar! RIAA should smarten up and get whatever money they can rather than have even that go out of the country!

Hacking Vodka!

In case the title isn't self-explanatory, this fantastic article explains how to make great vodka out of cheap ones!

The short answer - just filter it! About six or seven times. Any regular water filter will do (They used Brita water filter)

These guys used Vladimir Vodka ($11.09 for 1.75 L) whereas what they compared it to was Ketel One ($11.99 for 350 ml!!). Just to confirm I checked one online retailer and Ketel One was listed at $37.05 for the one litre bottle!

And their conclusions? By the sixth filtration, they surpassed even Ketel One's refined taste.

Yes, the obvious questions follow, so read their answers to all the feedback!

Which got me wondering, can we do the same with regular cheap whiskey and turn it into Scotch?!!

Friday, November 19, 2004

India & WIPO

WIPO is the "World Intellectual Property Organization", one of the specialized agencies of the United Nations. They are currently having negotiations in Geneva, Switzerland.

Cory Doctorow, of BoingBoing, is also the Electronic Frontier Foundation's (EFF) European Affairs Coordinator. He's been blogging about the goings-on at the WIPO meet.

His blogs have always made interesting reading, but his coverage on the WIPO meet is quite an eye-opener for me.

Suddenly, I realised how much the countries like India, Brazil, Russia, Iran, Chile and Argentina are trying to ensure that their rights are heard clearly in the debates over Intellectual Property. And how much the adminstrators of the meeting, the chair and the secretariat are trying to push through their agenda.

In another few years this is going to affect us all. And this hardly gets in the news!

Charge 2 Go - power up your cellphone with a single AA battery!


Now, why didn't anyone think of this earlier? Just get the Charge 2 Go and the corresponding connector for your cellphone and whenever you're running low on charge just use an AA battery available anywhere to recharge it!!

Provides -
  • Up to 3 extra hours of talk time.
  • Up to 90 hours of standby time.
  • Up to 120 minutes of charge time.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

In the Beginning was the Command Line


I came across this great story by a guy called Neal Stephenson. He writes books.

This one is called "In the Beginning was the Command Line" and explains very nicely the differences between vague things like Microsoft & Apple!! And from a very different perspective. Although, it's about IT and how the world came to be the way it is with software, hardware, Operating Systems and all that stuff, it is written in very plain english (except for a few lines of HTML code within the first few paragraphs!). But more than that, it's about life, about cultures, about perspectives and about beliefs.

An instance -
"The problem is that once you have done away with the ability to make judgments as to right and wrong, true and false, etc., there's no real culture left. All that remains is clog dancing and macrame. The ability to make judgments, to believe things, is the entire it point of having a culture."

Let me warn you, this is the size of a small book. (When I copied it into Word, it was 59 pages). So, my suggestion is either to take a printout, or to read it in large swathes of time. It's worth it.

Download it here in zip format.

By the way, Neal's website is hugely engrossing!

How to be creative?


In this lifetime, every once in a while, you wonder, is there somebody else in this world who feels like you do?

And every once in a while, paths cross. At that instant, at that moment, you read something, you hear something and you realise you're not alone.

Today, while wandering in cyberspace, I came across one such person. His name is Hugh, and he writes a blog called GapingVoid.

I liked his cartoons (on the back of business cards, no less!), so I kept reading, and then suddenly out of the blue, I come across this one called "How to be creative"! I didn't know there was a 'How to' for that!

Hmmm. As I read further I realised he's not talking about how to be creative, he's talking about how to be yourself! And yes, that's really the only true creative thing that we can do, isn't it?

A human being is born, lives, dies.
And from the point he's born, there's do this, don't do this...
A little later, there's - why can't you be like...?
And then there's growing up and you think - Will I ever be like....?
And then you grow older, and you realise, I'll never be....

And then it strikes you, to hell with the world, I'm me. That's it. With all that's good, that's bad, that's horrible - THIS IS ME!

And at that very instant, I fell into this Gaping Void!

So, with a high-five to Hugh, here's his tips on "How to be creative"!!
  1. Ignore everybody.
  2. The idea doesn't have to be big. It just has to change the world.
  3. Put the hours in.
  4. If your biz plan depends on you suddenly being "discovered" by some big shot, your plan will probably fail.
  5. You are responsible for your own experience.
  6. Everyone is born creative; everyone is given a box of crayons in kindergarten.
  7. Keep your day job.
  8. Companies that squelch creativity can no longer compete with companies that champion creativity.
  9. Everybody has their own private Mount Everest they were put on this earth to climb.
  10. The more talented somebody is, the less they need the props.
  11. Don't try to stand out from the crowd; avoid crowds altogether.
  12. If you accept the pain, it cannot hurt you.
  13. Never compare your inside with somebody else's outside.
  14. Dying young is overrated.
  15. The most important thing a creative person can learn professionally is where to draw the red line that separates what
  16. The world is changing.
  17. Merit can be bought. Passion can't.
  18. Avoid the Watercooler Gang.
  19. Sing in your own voice.
  20. The choice of media is irrelevant.
  21. Selling out is harder than it looks.
  22. Nobody cares. Do it for yourself.
  23. Worrying about "Commercial vs. Artistic" is a complete waste of time.
  24. Don't worry about finding inspiration. It comes eventually.
  25. You have to find your own schtick.
  26. Write from the heart.
  27. The best way to get approval is not to need it.
  28. Power is never given. Power is taken.

Here's his short version
And the long version (with his wonderful cartoons!)

Incidentally, I just posted one of my favourite pictures from his site on mine. Reflected glory, I think it is called!

Monday, November 15, 2004

Speak in Bengali, Hear in Tamil!

The Telegraph, one of my favourite newspapers in India, has this great article about real-time translation of conversations over cellphones.

The software is being developed jointly by C-DAC (Centre for Development of Advance Computing), IIT Kanpur and IIIT Mysore. They are expecting the software to be commercially available in three years time!

This has been a holy grail for a many, many years. In the past, all such developments, even simple text-to-speech conversions have been miserable failures as most of the nuances of a language get lost in these translations, including pronunciations of certain words, and the current idiom of the language.

However, a brief note in the article gives me some hope -
“Latency of a second or two will be experienced when the conversation begins since the knowledge has to be extracted from databases. But once the conversation moves ahead, it will become real time."
That points to some intelligent translation rather than brute force!

I hope this succeeds and doesn't go the "Simputer" way, where the product becomes so prohibitively expensive that it becomes useless for the target consumers.


Friday, November 12, 2004

Microsoft used an illegal copy of SoundForge 4.5!


The techies will like this.

Microsoft illegally used Sound Forge 4.5 to ship files along with Windows Media Player!!

Just go to c:\windows\Help\Tours\WindowsMediaPlayer\Audio\Wav\ folder and open any of the wave files there in Notepad. You'll see a lot of vague characters but you can ignore all that. Go to the last line till the end. You'll see the SoundForge 4.5 written there!!

Did I hear Bill saying "Oops"?

via Slashdot

Raindrops on the Window

It's Friday. A dead day. I leave work early, have some shopping to do. The bus drives up and I get on. Usually I take up a seat next to a window. Today I decide to sit on one of the aisle seats. I recline the seat and look out.

Autumn is well on it's way. Winter's practically set in. It's raining. The sky is heavy with clouds. Just variations of grey. The trees are bare, their branches like claws against the sky. The grass also seemed to have turned colour. Nature has worn her clothes in all shades of brown. My eyes seemed to have got set on 'sepia' mode!

As the bus takes off on the freeway, the scenery moves faster and faster till it becomes a blur. My eyes refocus on something that's happening much nearer. On all the raindrops on the window. All over. Raindrops of different sizes scurrying back. And no two of them follow the same path. As I look I realise that there are many different types of raindrops.

Some, very few, just streak across the window. You can hardly discern the drop. More like a quick stream. As it leaves a wet mark across the window, others just follow the easy path till the end. Over time, the path becomes more streaked and slowly and slowly it gets difficult to even see the path.

Other raindrops go fast as well. As they catch another raindrop waiting, they speed up some more. One thing I noticed that the faster a raindrop travels across the window, the more of itself it leaves behind! Others sometimes catch on to these remnants.

Some raindrops seem big enough to be able to move but seem too lazy. They just wait for one with more energy to come along and drive them. Others are even worse! Despite another drop going through them, they still decide to stay where they are.

I watch this fascinating play of water, sometimes cheering some drops on, sometimes admonishing some for hanging around. Sometimes I focus on only one drop and coax it, but as if to just show it's stubborness, it refuses to move! A couple of times the bus stops at toll booths and this whole drama comes to a standstill. Frozen. Waiting for a cue to begin again. The bus starts and they are back at it again, chasing each other.

I'm nearing New York. The bus emerges from one the numerous tunnels that connect New York, and suddenly there's light and movement everywhere. Outside, there are people walking, rushing, standing in groups together at a stoop and chatting. People stopped at a pedestrian crossing waiting for the light to turn green. Umbrellas everywhere. Everyone raising them up or down as they manoeuvre through the crowd. An unspoken communication. From a distance the sheet of umbrellas look like a wave, bobbing up and down.

I squint my eyes, and the window and the outside worlds merge. I practically see a person in each raindrop. I wonder if there's another window somewhere, and if we'll ever see the view outside that window.

The bus stops. It's Penn Station. The doors open. I step out into the mad throng. I wait for a second and look around at the rain, at the people. Determined faces. Everyone heading somewhere.

I sigh and join the crowd heading for the subway.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

India and Innovation

You might have got those emails. About India's contribution to the rest of the world, be it in mathematics, in astronomy or numerous other fields. Unfortunately, most of these inventions, discoveries and innovations are from Ancient Indian times.

I've always wondered what has been happening since!

It took a few years for me to realise that a number of great things that have happened in India in modern times have not been individual contributions or products & ideas. Most of the creative, innovative things that have happened have been in the social realm.

The first census that happened in independent India was in 1951. The literacy rate in India then was 16.7% and in 1991 it was 43.3%. Why that low even after 40 years? Maybe this number would enlighten: the population of India in 1951 was 361 million, in 1991, 83,606 million! Phew! What happened? Suddenly, after India gained independence, the population exploded! Barring risque comments, the actual reason were primarily due to improved healthcare. The death rate per thousand population has decreased from 26.6 in 1955 to 9 in 2000. Wow! That's a remarkable 66%! What happened here? Increased healthcare for India meant a number of developements in medicine, eradication of major epidemics like malaria, and of course, focus on educational instititutions, both medical and otherwise and better food production and distribution systems.

Somehow, when Indians think, write and criticise about India, they forget the fact that they are able to do so primarily because of a number of social incentives which were taken soon after our independence. If it weren't for institutional education, medical and infrastructural facilities which were created in the early years after independence, I might not have been sitting halfway across the world, writing this blog today.

Although learning these facts was certainly consoling, I was still feeling despondent for a number of reasons. Many, many Indians who are well educated and have travelled all over the world, have been successful outside of India, but there haven't been many success stories of Indians in India.

A recent article, for example, listed 9 Indians in MIT's top innovators' list. Smruti Vidwans has a new approach to develop drugs against tuberculosis and Vikram Sheel Kumar developed interactive software that motivates patients to manage chronic diseases such as diabetes and AIDS.

Of course, neither of them are in India, so I was wondering if it would ever be possible to create Indian greats while in India!

So, it was really heartening to see Wired coming up with a wonderful article about "India Emerges as Innovation Hub".

Two of the notables - Shekar Borgaonkar and his team are building what they call Script Mail, a device that makes electronic communication easier for people who speak languages that can't be typed on a standard keyboard. And Kirti Trivedi, from IIT Mumbai, has built what he calls a "compact media center" for schools without enough computer equipment to go around. Although it costs a steep $3,200, a single unit can tutor a large classroom of nearly 100 students in schools that cannot afford multiple personal computers. Considering tha a computer in India costs over $500, this is certainly a more economical alternative.

Of course, there are many, many things that can be done in India. Things that can be improved. Sometimes the number of hurdles left still to cross seem daunting and it never seems like an achievable goal. But I think, slowly there is a realisation creeping in. That things can change. That we can create, innovate, think up new ways to solve problems which have dogged us for years.

The interesting times are just beginning!

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Buy Salwar Kameez over the internet!!

I couldn't believe this when I saw it! Indian shoppers are selling Salwar Kameez, get this, 'made to your measurements' on the internet!! No, not selling, auctioning!

A customer's even posted a page which tells how to go about doing it! You send in your measurements and they make it exactly the way you want it.

And when I checked at the other items that one of the shopper is selling, the listing starts from Antiques all the way to Sports Memorabilia!

At this rate, eBay will soon leave IMF and WTO in the dust!!

Long live the internet.

via Boing Boing

Dog swallows cellphone! Owner discovers new ringtone!!

News gets weirder and weirder!

A dog gulped a cellphone and the owner realised it only when he called his phone and his dog's stomach answered!!

The owner was able to get the phone back though (nope, the article doesn't say how!) Maybe he took the dog for a walk to the telephone booth instead of the hydrant!!!

PS. I wonder what would have happened if the phone was on vibrate mode!

via engadget

Replace a microwave with a toaster?

Maybe for some basic dishes, at least!


This is one of the most innovative ideas I've seen aimed directly at students in hostels and dorms. It's called the "Toastabag"! A bag in which you pop in your leftover stuff to reheat it. They've also managed to cook an omelette in it!! Apparently, you can manage salmon fillets and chops too.

Oh, what I wouldn't give to have this a couple of decades back!!!

via engadget

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Do you know Koshy Eapen?

Koshy Eapen

Do you know Koshy Eapen? I don't. Somewhere in the dim recesses of my memory there is a faint ringing, but nothing beyond that.

Today I get to know that he's been named as the "World's Outstanding Young Person" for 2004. What's that you ask? An award instituted by Junior Chamber International for identifyign young leaders and entrepreneurs. Former awardees have been John F Kennedy, Henry Kissinger, Elvis Persley, Linius Torvalds, Jackie Chan and Arjuna Ranatunga.

Koshy has been involved in geriatric care for quite a few years now. For a young India, geriatric care might seem quite low in priority, but the value that elders add to a family has been one that that has been irrefutable. The wisdom, care, love and sensibility that elders have to share is something that balances society at large. As Koshy puts it, most of these are not quantified -
"They contribute by bringing up grandchildren, doing voluntary service, caring for the sick, and often counsel and resolve conflict by virtue of their position. In many cases they are also repositories of knowledge, experience, culture and religious heritage."
(from his interview)

In my life, my grandparent's have been a tremendous influence. On their behalf, and for the elderly everywhere, here's wishing the best to Koshy.

Friday, November 05, 2004

'Creep' by Radiohead


If you've heard this song, you know how great it is.

Came across an excellent flash animation of it. Potrayed the song well I thought!

thanks to little.yellow.different

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Was the whole thing a conspiracy?

Was it a facade? Was it just eyewash? That's another thought that comes into my head - Is it possible that everything was just a charade?

First the fact that of all the Democratic leaders, the weakest, the least impressive candidate was the one who ended up opposing Bush. 'Lamb to the slaughter' one could say! Isn't that something? I mean, can you think of any weaker Democratic candidate? Well, I'm sure it'll come down to the point of who had the most money. But if that were the case, then wouldn't the Democrats make a special effort of making sure that the strongest leader wins by backing that guy up financially? This, in itself, sounds like a kind of cop-out to me.

Then there were the rumours of the 'Skull & Bones Club'. Both Bush & Kerry are members of this club and even to this date refuse to disclose anything about their association with this club. There were many write-up that came up when the 'Skull & Bones' connection was unearthed, but somehow things quietened down afterwards. The surprising part is that none of the other candidates were members of this exclusive club. (Here's a direct link to the BBC Radio 4 audio)

I see shades of 'The Da Vinci Code' here. Could it be the whole populace is getting fooled into this huge sham?

The other thing that strikes me is that considering most of the media is corporate controlled, could it be that the whole media was manipulated and subverted? It happened earlier when support was required for going into war in Iraq. Because while watching the vote counting the evening of the 2nd, all that was being shown was all these predictions, and I kept on wondering why they needed to predict when the results would be out in a couple of hours?

And finally, Kerry conceded! I thought that strange. I mean once someone concedes do they stop counting the votes? What's the point after that? And why would someone concede before all the counting is done? Isn't that disrespectful to all the people who came out to vote?

And then there's Diebold! Here's quoting from Boing Boing -

In a fall 2003 fundraising letter sent to Republicans, from Diebold CEO Walden O'Dell: "I am committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president."

This was even quoted in CNN, CBS among other places.

Isn't that, like, a slip? Something that shouldn't have come out at all? If Ohio was the clincher, and the e-voting machines company is based in Ohio, and the CEO of that company has made a statement like that, wouldn't that be enough reason NOT to use those same voting mchines for that particular state?

I don't know about anyone else, but I smell something rotten here!

Thanks to Boing Boing

A new use for Colas!!


I've got to try this out, especially since I don't have a green thumb (even cactii die under my care!!).

Farmers in Chhattisgarh are using Pepsi & Coca Cola in lieu of pesticides! BBC has more details in this report. Farmers are saying that regular pesticides costs Rs. 70 an acre whereas cola mixed with water works out Rs 10 to 15 an acre! Sales of colas in rural areas have been increasing. Pepsi and Coke are saying there's nothing in their drinks that can be used for pest control!! (Ya, right!)

So, the next time you take a bite of food and admire it's taste say a quite thanks to those coke companies!!!

(Yup, you guessed it. Pepsi isn't my favourite!)

via Near Near Future

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Ok, we're past it. And we're back to being funny!


Came across this amazing article from Harper's Magazine, truly hilarious!

So the wrong candidate has won, and you want to leave the country. Let us consider your options. (Read more...)
via Boing Boing

The more things change, the more they remain the same...

Wrong. Wrong. All wrong.

Is this the way America's supposed to go?

Along with a whole bunch of Americans, myself, though not one, do feel disappointed.

But it is just a moment in history, isn't it? In the larger scheme of things, will this actually matter?

My mind reels between dire futures, where flames of war burn in more places. Sometimes, it feels that fifty years from now, people will look back at 2004 as the tipping point for the US of A.

At other times I think that maybe things will change. The reasons why the Republican party began will shine through once more. But I wonder, with a majority in the Senate whether that would actually happen or whether it will polarize this country and the world even more.

In closing, let me quote from this great article from WorldChanging:

The US President, despite the brou-ha-ha of the last two years, does not run the world. The US President is just a very powerful player. The President is just someone who makes important decisions that change the context for the long-term work of innovation, diffusion, and transformation -- the creation of a world that can work for everybody, and nature, over generations. The Great Work, as geologian Thomas Berry called it.

And you know what?

So are you.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Anil's Political Post

This is the best post I've seen on the elections till now.

I think Anil has potrayed every thinking person's frustration adequately...

And the worst thing about the candidates? They're fucking lazy. Nobody said to me "Vote for me because I'm most able to work with people in the opposite party who have good ideas, and that's how we make progress."

And by the time the whole process has finished, most dumb, loud Americans will go back to hating their counterparts in the other party more than they hate Osama Bin Laden. The other 80% of us will shake our heads, be glad it's over, and get back to work.

Thanks, Anil. All I can add is that you are echoing the feelings of people all over the world.

Most of the people might be having a good laugh at the numerous animations floating around. But underneath that, we're also shaking our heads in disbelief.