Sunday, April 30, 2006

A scientific explanation for ghosts

I don’t go around with the fear that there is something out there that can get me. There is a strong disbelief in ghosts and other such supernatural beings, more of their dubious intentions. However, there have been a few dreams of a weird nature that is dangerous to believe, because they involve things that happen to you while you are sleeping. This, is something substantially more spooky that happened when I had gone to my grandmother’s place in Bangalore.



I heard footsteps. The payals or whatever these girls wear on their legs. Walking back and forth in the courtyard. I asked my grandmother about it, and she said that she had heard it too. What didn’t make sense was that she attributed it to bandicoots. What the hell, I thought, and went back to sleep.




Amongst the many science experiments that high school kids conduct, is one designed to study the “interference of light”. You can do this at your home too, all you need is a single source of light, like a light bulb or a candle, and a piece of card with two tiny pinholes. Don’t put in the entire pin, just the tips of the pins should suffice. Or better still, make slits by cutting out a rectangular piece of the card, and taping two pieces of a blade terribly close to each other.




You end up with alternating bands of darkness and light. This happens because of the interaction between the light from the two sources (the double slit). Here is the reason why this experiment is so damn significant. The interference pattern is observed, even when one photon (indivisible light-unit) is released, one at a time, over a long period of time. This means that, beyond any doubt, the photon interacts with itself, after coming out of BOTH slits simultaneously.




This predicts the existence of parallel universes showing up every time a choice is made anywhere in the world. There are as many universes in existence, as there are positions for every particle in the universe to be in, as long as it has a natural history to explain how it got there. The multiverse is not populated with universes where every permutation and combination of particles exists, but rather one where they have a justifiable reason to end up there. Which means that at this point of time, there are as many universes as there have been permutations and combinations of all the choices available to all the particles in existence.




This can mean you are the king in one universe, a pauper in another, a popstar, a candlestick maker, anything. Actually no, anything that you could have become making the correct choices from the second after you were born. That’s why the multiverse is not full of disconnected chaos.




Coming to the point, ghosts may be the fallout of universes in limbo created by unmade or unassumable or even unknown choices or choices with no physical repercussions. Afterall, the photon does interact with its own ghost.

The World is full of married men

I lent the code and a compilation of Sherlock Holmes stories to a friend. In turn, he lent me a copy of "The world is full of married men". A book by some chick called Jackie Collins, who, from the appearence on the cover, appears to be a creature from her own book. The book paints a picture of the the English glitterati, where sex is currency and people get robbed plenty. Not a terribly good read, loses steam in the middle, and does not have much to start with in the first place. Read it just so that I could say that I had read it. Donno exactly where and why. Next on the list is a book on the walkman as a cultural artefact.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Shooting star no 3

Nothing else to say really. Already lost the magic the third time around. Was the largest one yet though.

The Universe Next Door


“I know its crazy, but is it crazy enough to be true?”




-Neils Bohr




Read a book by Markus Chown, a compilation of the latest cosmology theories, some I have known for a long time, but this book is one of those rare science books that discuss the implications of a theory without in-depth mathematical analysis, which makes the reading really easy and interesting.




1: Time can flow backwards as well as forwards, and in the same space. That is there can be localized areas existing within out universe where time flows the other way: people become younger, things unbreak and everyone devolves.




2: Parallel universes created whenever a choice is made, understood the real implications of the double split interference experiment I have done so many times.




3: Splitting an electron by splitting an electron bubble within liquid helium in a supercooled state. Basically that there are no ultimate building blocks of matter.




4: That the smallest particles are all time machines, or knots through the time dimension.




5: That there are more than three space dimensions, something upto ten and these cannot be noticed by us because they are extremely tiny – comparable to the Planck length.




6: Black holes – tiny ones, the size of refrigerators taking up most of the volume in space.




7: Mirror worlds existing in unison with ours.




8: Multiple universes created with different mathematical basics. A different GUT for each universe, and a universe based on each mathematical system already existing in our universe.




9: The universe as a creation of ETs/ Angels etc.




10: Extrasolar planets – that the universe is populated with planets not in orbit around any star. And that many of these planets could be populated.




11: The most interesting, and scientifically viable theory here, backed by really really strong evidence. Basically, that the universe was full of space dust – dead bacteria that jump into life whenever they land on a hospitable planet via the agency of a comet or an asteroid. Life could be like a plague, springing up everywhere.




12: In the history of the earth, there is a strong probability that 40,000 chunks of alien garbage would have landed on the earth. Somewhere, in some museum, there could be an unanalyzed piece of equipment – to put matters in perspective, what would a twelfth century fellow do if he came across a usb-drive?




Theories one, two, six and seven try to explain dark matter. All are pretty damn weird, and harder to believe than any of David Icke’s theories, but as Arthur C Clarke put it “The truth will be crazier than we can ever imagine”.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Darna Zaroori Hai

Caught the movie today.



Amazing opening, a guy heads over to see Darna Mana Hai, through a graveyard, is not scared at all, claims the movie is bullshit and goes back home via a shortcut - straight through a graveyard. He hears footsteps there. It follows when he walks, stops when he stops. He runs out, with loud footsteps following him, gets out of the graveyard, sees a horrible witch - the one on the poster.







And gets a heart attack and dies.



The footsteps are the loose change in his pocket. The witch is a poster of the movie. The camera freezes on "Darna Zaroori Hai".



Pretty damn clever opening according to me. Pretty damn downhill from there. There is the customary item number, then the same format of friends exploring the jungle is used from the prequel, but this time around, they are all little kids. You do not want anything happening to the kids, you know it will when they come across an old bungalow, and that is a clever thing to do. An old naani starts telling them ghost stories there.



No1: Amitabh Bacchan is the teacher of Ritesh Deshmukh, his student who cannot understand the erratic behavior of his teacher, who seems to be scared of a man roaming around the house. Ritesh cannot spot anyone, and Amitabh shows him the mirror, and the man is reflected in it. No punch in this one.



No2: No 2 is a Bipasha - Makarand Deshpande - Arjun Rampal story. Copy of the Vivek Oberoi story. Bipasha and Makarand try to scare Arjun, who turns out to be the ghost himself.



No3: Sonil Shetty, Sonali Kulkarni, Rajpal Yadav. Absolutely nothing scary in this one. YAdav tries weird ways to sell Sunil a life insurance police, Sunil gets irritated, they have a fight, a bullet goes through Yadav. They should have really put in a totally different story here.



No4: Anil Kapoor, a director, dies of a heart attack after Mallika Sherawat pretends to be a host to inspire his horror flick under the direction of Anil's friend. Again, no punch, nothing scary at all.



No5: Bunch of donnos (Isha Koppikar?) a girl killed by her inlaws seeks revenge through the medium of some random guy driving. The girl gets into a body of a policeman as well, confusing everyone. Pretty scary, and this is a good story.



Either they should have made all the segments as good as the first one, and based on the same lines, where everyone is scared for no reason whatsoever, or they should have used something like Darna Mana Hai to actually scare people outright with ghosts and things like that. The prequel was better.


Oh yeah, forgot



No6: The kids keep dying when they go to fetch water or pee - killed by the naani, who is also a ghost. The police are baffled the next morning, but the naani continues to tell the kids stories in the ghost-world.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

The Copter-Shark Hoax guide



Look at this picture. Apparently it was taken during a naval exercise by a
National Geographic photographer, and also won the prize for that year. National
Geographic printed in an issue that this picture was a hoax. It is. You can do
it too.


Look at this picture now.





Not the original hoax, this is the fake hoax, made by me.


The differences, are, for the record:




  • The height of the shark above the
    water is lower




  • The outline of the shark is more
    blurred




  • The splash looks more artificial
    under magnification




The image is a composite of two pictures.


A little scavenging in google, turned up the original pictures:


here is the copter





and here is the shark





Here is a step-by-step guide into making the hoax.


Step I: edit out the water around the shark, and save the file.
Since you will be using the original picture along with the background for the
helicopter, editing that won't be necessary, you will be working directly on it,
but it would be a good idea to save the file in case of any mishaps.





Step II: put the blank image of the shark into the picture of
the helicopter. You can even use paint to do this, but I recommend Photoshop for
best results. The picture will look like its done, but not yet - you need to put
in the finishing touches.





Step III: If you look carefully, you will see the edges of the
shark don't actually mingle with the background, and remnants of the shark's
original image linger around it. Also, the shark is just jutting out of the
water without a flash. your hoax will be busted by a trained eye at this point.
that is why, you need to blur the edges using a blur tool in any image editing
software.





Step IV: Notice the difference? Now, you need to put in the
splash. Use a combination of a good brush and a blur tool, or simply the spray
paint option if you are using paint. Make it look somewhat realistic. The
picture will come out blurred later on, so it is OK to be a little imperfect at
this.



Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Photoshop CS2

Headed over to VT again today, and walked down those sunglasses-mobile covers-cheap jewellery filled lanes in search of CDs that were conspiciously absent. Turns out there was another raid, but usually these guys hang out at their empty display boxes... even that was absent today.

The main dhandha of these guys includes not only porn, but associated products like vibrators and viagra. They also make the odd buck selling pirated movies, software and games. They do not, as a rule, sell music. After a few years, you learn to recognize each other, and the exchange of a hundred bucks and a photoshop CS CD was succesfuly managed.

The weird thing about new Adobe products is the authorization code which makes cracking close to impossible, atleast beyond my capability. But now I have photoshop, something which my comp lacked for over a month and I celebrated with an ad against piercing, which I was asked to do for an ad club thingy and a little art.



Tuesday, April 25, 2006

A slightly different Ramayana





This is the result of extensive research done for a short film… the film is not about all of this. Something interesting emerged about the Ramayan because of the digging and sifting through various versions. A lot of it is connect-the-dots and just because of its controversial nature, I’ll also refer to it as blatant speculation.



However, this version of the Ramayana makes more geographic and historical sense.



Aboriginal-Indian tribals co-existed with the Dravidians and Aryans before the races intermingled. It is necessary to give a brief physical description of each of these races.



Aryans: Tall, fair, thick-haired. High cheekbones and slim noses.



Dravidians: Tall, slim and dark. Facial features where not pronounced, and these guys were pretty much like the dark-skinned Aryans.



Aboriginal-Indians: Short and thin, with flattened noses and sparse hair. Referred to as the Monkeys and Bears when they came to aid the Raman camp.



Lankan Dravidians: Fat, round faced people with large protruding eyeballs, huge limbs and torsos.



The Aryans used to raid the other races for resources and women. Sita, was the daughter of a Lankan general, Ravana and she was captured and taken away in one such raid. (Will used parenthesis instead of footnotes, many versions of the Ramayana do state that sita was of Lankan descent, and some even claim that she was Ravana’s daughter. The legend goes that as soon as Sita was born, Ravana’s courtiers predicted her to be the death of him, so she had her buried in a foreign land. That’s why Sita is also known as Bhumi-putri – daughter of the earth,) Now Rama, the son of the Ayodhya King, fell in love with Sita, and married her. His family didn’t approve of his marriage to a woman of a lower caste, and banished him from the family and kingdom. Rama left, with an army of his supporters and friends, to set up his own camp independent of his father’s kingdom.



Ravana, with the aid of Lankan spies, and a small army, raided this camp and recovered their women and went back to Lanka, fleeing the following Raman army. Rama’s army grew stronger with the aid of Aboriginal-Indian tribals (monkeys and bears).



Basically the Ramayana was a fight between two factions – the Ramans and the Lankans over females. Important figures like Rama, Ravana and Sita were reduced to motifs in the telling and retelling of this story. The Lankans reached home, secure with the knowledge that Rama would not follow because of a strong superstition against making sea voyages (this superstition still exists, one of the reasons for the Sepoy Mutiny, the Indian soldiers were forced to make sea voyages under the British Raj). The Ramans followed, with perhaps the engineering feat of their age, a stone bridge across the palk strait, evidences of which NASA satellites recently picked up. The Lankan camp was burned down, the Lankans vanquished, and the country demonized.



History is written by the winners.

Second shooting star

Becomes a funny routine when you end up in the entrance to a National Park full of panthers, after having seen one up close. Dodn't spot any today, but saw my second shooting star. Lost all the bloody magick after the first time around. Haven't wished yet though - stupid of me, but am saving it up for later... nothing I really really need right now. Maybe it's just me, but I totally forget to wish everytime, which makes it two. Mebbe I should like wait for the next one before using this wish.



On that theory that Theists are more likely to win the lottery than Atheists (see the next/previous post, depending on how you look at it - just scroll down), is absolutely true beyond all doubt. There is the 97% theist advantage, so theists are more likely to play the lottery in the first place, and this figure actually increases because cynical atheists who do not believe in the power of their prayers nor in any luck other than what they have made for themselves, are unlikely to participate at all, therefore, the odds are that all lotterys are won by theists only. Should like do a reasearch and check this out properly.



On a totally unrelated note, what feels really great is to put in all your favorite songs in a playlist, and play them back to back, and its cool when the music just does NOT stop. Only Denver on my list now, but am adding Enya. Something cool about her is that she made a song called Lothlorien BEFORE singing for the LOTR OST...

Monday, April 24, 2006

Bite me






There are many fundamental questions that constantly perplex us self proclaimed intelligent humans. Most of them have to do with chicken – why did the chicken cross the road? What came first, the chicken or the egg? When is it safe to start eating Chicken in the bird-flu aftermath? Some of them, however, have nothing to do with chicken. If we are so intelligent, why do fundamental questions perplex us? Where do Sidhuisms come from? What is life? Do extraterrestrials fool around with humans? What exactly messed up Freud? Then again, probably most fundamental and perplexing is – Does God exist?




There are many perfectly levelheaded arguments to prove that beyond any doubt, God exists. There is the ultimate origin proof where you irritatingly trace back effects through various causes till you come to God. Like “Where did you come from?” “My parents” “Where did your parents come from?” “Their parents” “Where did their parents come from?”




… a few billion generations later




“Self replicating cells possessing DNA”




At this point of time, the Theist, finding an outlet comes up with the life-couldn’t-have started-without-God argument, and either the atheist manages to successfully argue about amino acids and organic soups, or loses (The existence of God is proved here itself), else, the Theist looks on with inestimable smugness and continues asking questions like “Where did the amino acids come from?”




… a few billion perfectly natural random geological phenomena later




“The big bang.” The Theist, goes “Ah-Ha!” again, and asks “Where did the big bang come from?” Instead of explaining theoretical self-propagating universes, the atheist gives up at this point of time, walks of in his own inestimable smugness that the Theist is a dumb idiot, too stupid to understand anything.




The inestimable smugness on both camps is more of the problem, made fun of by agnostics, (pussy little fence sitters without the guts to take a stance). All Theists appear extremely dumb to the Atheists (who might have taken their stance for fear of appearing stupid) and the Atheists appear spiritually impaired to the Theists, (who would have taken their stance for not appearing spiritually impaired, or, more likely, for the fear of rotting in hell for an eternity). Either way, each camp is convinced that the other is as mistaken about their beliefs as the engineers of White Star Line. The absolute, irrefutable proof either way is a difference of a simple “not”, “Fuck You! God exists” xor “Fuck You! God does not exist”.




There are other proofs of course, 97% of the world’s population cannot be wrong, and 3% cannot be right (tell that to the flat-earth believing world), and amazingly enough the same argument is used to refute the proof of the Atheist’s camp – scientists have always been wrong and have been replacing one hare-brained theory with another, they could be wrong about evolution too, and therefore, beyond all doubt, God exists.




Some enlightened Theists are pretty clever… they believe in a different kind of omnipotence and omnipresence… the God is the Truth and Light is his Shadow… or the Lord is Love, or even sometimes, God is but your conscience, it is the atheism of the Atheists. Such a worshipworthless God is, as both You and I know, is of no use whatsoever.




The most pathetic line of argument is that of evolution against creationism. This rose is too beautiful to exist with the help of evolution alone. Hell, I believe it is even more beautiful if the rose did indeed come out of evolution, and therefore lies another argument, what if God designed evolution. Or even better, the argument based on the extreme benevolence of God. Pamela Anderson (read Silicon) exists, therefore, God exists. Sometimes it goes beyond – God does NOT exist… atleast not any more, Kurt Cobain is dead. The same argument, coming from the atheists goes something like God Wouldn’t have subjected us to internet-inspired Sidhuisms if he existed, therefore he does not. Both Theists and Atheists appear stupid in arguments like these – it is almost like they owe this to each other.




Some claim that you cannot prove anything exists – even you, let alone God. Amazingly enough, there are some things that you can prove exists, which absolutely don’t and are mere abstract thoughts that are just human attributes – like the equation one plus one equals two. That exists for sure, although it absolutely does not. Weird eh? Mebbe God’s like that. Similarly, there is this line of argument that we perceive only what our senses tell us, there is no way in hell we can prove without doubt that we aren’t plugged into a matrix like system. Hell, I think this is pretty damn possible, but the question that really matters is if god exists within the system, messing interacting with our minds?




That amounts to a simple question… does God exist in our universe?




There are irrefutable proofs either way for their beliefs, so it becomes really a matter of how much a belief either way pays off. Being a pussy little fence sitter, an agnostic who looks down upon both Theists and Atheists in his own brand of inestimable smugness who replies with the standard “I donno, I haven’t heard of irrefutable proofs either way.” First off, ask the agnostic to search the web, and he will not be faced with any lack of irrefutable proofs. Both theists and atheists look down upon agnostics, and their beliefs can be safely regarded as irrelevant – they are just ensuring that they will not appear stupid or burn in hell.




The arguments on both sides are pretty much the two sides of the same coin. An interesting line of thought is to contemplate the existence of God to be of such a nature, but there is a certain lack of intellectual capacity to tackle this properly. When it comes to this matter, there is a famous agnostic argument – “absence of evidence is not evidence of absence”. It is safe to assume that God will not manifest himself in front of us and help us win the lottery ticket, Pamela Anderson, or marks. It is however (for the burning in hell reason) NOT safe to assume that God does not exist. The belief is therefore, what really matters, atleast what belief pays off more. The Atheist is faced with a lack of purpose, a lack of belief in destiny, like things will work out for the better. There isn’t much to hope for, nothing to base the hope on, there is no trust in the future. No faith in a power regulating the working of the cosmos. To put things in perspective, atleast the Theist believes, for at least a few glorious days that he will win the lottery. Since 97% of the world believes in a God, it is more likely that the one guy who DOES win the lottery is a theist (a damned good reason for the Atheist to convert) and that one believer will remain one forever, in spite of subsequent lottery losses. The Atheist, to be fair, does not face religion induced neurosis or being asked to blow up/demolish/burn down stuff. The Theist on the other hand, has nothing concrete to base his belief, faith and hope on, but an abstract concept serves the purpose anyway. Like both theists and atheists have numbers. As long as religion does not mess up with the individuals and turn them into fanatics, irrespective of existence, a belief certainly has clearly better pay offs. It is not a waste of the Theists time to believe in God whether or not he exists, but the Atheist has a lot to lose in the eventuality of being misguided, and almost as much even if he is right.




I am a believer. Simple reason, Theists have less to lose if they are wrong than Atheists.









Saturday, April 22, 2006

Back Home

Hardly any sleep in the journey. Noisy little kids were looking smug as they were showing U/A movies. But that was after they played an entire CD of Himesh Reshamiyya hits. In most of the videos, Himesh and the serial kisser guy, forgot his name, try to imitate each others expressions, as if they are pained and hurt and sad all at the same time. Donno which creature shat on them and ran off without apologizing, but wish like hell it were me.



The Volvo, was this time around, a PINK one. I thought the Orange Volvo of last times was the most atrocious one I would see, but I was mistaken. You are mistaken if you think the pink Volvo is the most atrocious one I have seen... a half-pink and half-orange one was headed the other way at around Kholapur.



We stopped at small restaurants which had to take care that people wouldn't urinate on its walls. the sign to this effect was, "No Urinals please. Strictly Prohibited."



Got back now, and am back to fearing Load Shedding again. Major template upgrade coming up.

Friday, April 21, 2006

5

That's the number of the cubicle I am sitting in in this cyber cafe, which has come up with a pretty innovative idea for a keyboard where the letters have worn out. They have used those stickers, which makes the keyboard look kind of jazzed up actually.



Have to catch the bus back to the city in exactly two hours and forty five minutes, but I have to pick up sweets which aunties insist on sending. Infact, they insist so damn much that they actually pack it in the dammned bags when I am not looking.



Weird tradition. There is also a huge cock in the aangan outside my aunt's place. It almost reaches upto a man's knee's, and terrorizes little kids by pecking them and little hens by trying to rape them. Funny sight really, just climbs on top and crows like its morning or something. This is like one of those photoshoped big cocks that show up in a google by little excited girlies looking for extra large phalluses, more than provided by Sydney Sheldon.



That apart, am not really going to miss Bangalore. What I thought was a pleasant visit to a quaint city turned out to be almost as hectic as Mumbai itself. Bangalore is growing up, for many reasons. Actually its grown hotter than the last time I was here. There is more traffic too, but the roads are well maintained and there are functional traffic lights, unlike mulund, where they look like they have been brought out of a disco. There are traffic policemen around too, and flyovers and suchlike, but the drivers here have no road sense. Unlike Mumbai, they don't behave like they own the road, they are all hesitant of being in a vehicle at all, and roam around in a slow measured speed, cursing each other all the same.



The water problem still exists in most places, but the good thing is Bangalore is experimenting positively with solar energy. Local transportation is not a problem because of the excellent Bus system, which shuttles between any two arbitrary points in Bangalore. No trains, a metro is coming up, but there is sufficient opposition from the locals to stall the project for some time now.



Supermalls, markets and showrooms are flourishing, and like Mumbai, there is a class divide in this city too... but the south is more posh in contrast.



Problem is, with all the developements, its no longer the peaceful little city that I used to enjoy. The people in this city are no longer simple.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Solar Water Heaters

Yes, yes, but first, a little self praise:



I recieved a weird damn nice compliment today. Figured out what surrealism is all about.



Legions of Communists worship your robust cannabalism of Capitalists clad in junk mail suits.




To recieve one yourself, head over to the Surrealist compliment generator.



Anyway, so I head over to an aunt's place, and the beautiful terrace is jarringly disfigured by a huge contraption kept bang in the middle of one corner. Doesen't take a rocket scientist to figure out that it was a solar water heater, right over my favorite sit-comma-read-and-eat-ice-cream-here spot. My initial mental response was "wtf? WHY?" and my initial verbal response was "WHY?"



Pretty justified reason. This house has a washing machine, a microwave, a computer, a television, a deck and every appliance that is supposed to make life easy and pleasurable in the twenty first century. Every appliance, that also ends up getting you the electricity bill in a box on your doorstep. Unfortunately, the water heater is never counted as an appliance which gulps down electricity. The electricity bill with a geaser and all the appliances? Approximately one thousand two hundred bucks. With a solar water heater? Two hundred bucks.

People in Bangalore are pretty smart that way. I looked around, and was amazed to see thesmall apartment complexes all with a solar heater or two on top. I lost count at seventeen... there were too many that I spotted at once.



These heaters sell for about twenty five grand along with the installation charges. They come with a guarentee of ten years, but without any moving parts and plastic piping, I don't see why they shouldn't last much much longer. Apparently they recover the cost in five years, I calculated it to a two, and I think this is a pretty good investment.



Now these people use hot water for all sorts of purposes, cleaning the floor, cooking et cetera.



Unfortunately, solar cell technology was in the market before it could be perfected, and the research mony was cut thinking the technology had already reached its optimum efficiency. More funding means more efficiency, and probably lower costs.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The backstory for this park is also a good read, and must post it sometime. Will blog what I saw for now... without the pictures.


The main entrance has an open physics lab, with all imaginable physics experiments converted into a playground. There are giant pulleys, wave machines, ball coasters with complicated mechanisms, a automobile model compelete with a gearbox, crankshaft and steering. There was also a see-saw with a weight adjustment arm so that you could see-saw alone, a lift that could lift one guy up by his own efforts, a merry-go-round that had apparatus built in to calculate the centrifugal force generated on each arm, and what looked like a flower made up of circles of different colored metal disks, of apparently no purpose whatsoever. Turns out that it radiates different amounts of heat if you touch it... clever way to explain things eh?


Then there was the kubera garden, which was infested with money plants of the most exotic variety. Most of the names will probably be unknown, but things that could easily fetch upwards of half a grand for a few grammes. There was also the Darwin Room, which had HUGE shells of different deep sea molluscs, collected from singapore, Malasia and god knows where. There were a few dried starfish as well.


Then there was this amazing rock garden, with rocks more than 250 million years old, along with striations and places where the lava had crept in between the sedements. There were rocks from the palazoic, jurrasic and triassic eras, all carbon dated and catalogued. There were also rare minerals and ores, like Aluminium Silicate and Fluorapetite. The most amazing specimen, was however, the pillar like rock in the middle of the garden, which turned out to be the largest fozzilized tree in all of India, and something that I could actually touch. The best, however, is yet to come. the Geology department was full of rare gemstones, both polished and unpolished. Actually got to hold wrist sized topax citrines, epidotes, peridotes, huge conches and shells, all treated and polished, pearls, cultured and otherwise, some still in the oysters (contrary to popular belief, there is not one pearl in the middle of the oyster, but a bunch of them growing out of random places), Onyx sculptures from pakistan, as well as large Onyx stones, Jade crystals, raw aquamarine crystals, emeralds, Zyrcon jewellery, gomads, corundums, Rubies (I got a small ruby fleck, unpolished), quartz crystals some still in stones, jade, amethyst, agates, Flurites, Opals, psilomalanes and a rare stone known as the Banded Jasper. The coolest gemstone was probably the tiger's eye, a translucent stone with tigerish striations. THe star attraction, was however, a small box of unpolished, untreated diamonds. The best, is however, yet to come.


There was a mini forest, with a greenhouse which had, hold your breath, THIRTY FIVE different kinds of orchids, all in full blood. Orchids. Thirty five different kinds. Gemstones and flowers on the same day, along with rare butterflies flitting through a forest of rarer trees, collected from around the world and including apocyncacae, Euphorbiace, Durvasane (a foul smelling plant), combretacae (an ill-omened plant that villiagers refuse to touch fearing that it is inhabitated by Shani, the god of bad luck), Myatacae and Accocias. There was also this plant that was five hundred times sweeter than suger, got some. Also a poisenous plant that kills the nervous sytem - three leaves in my pocket. The most exotic plant was probably the telegraph plant, one that responds to vibrations by moving significant parts of its stem and branches.


lazed around for a while in the geology department, which had shelves upon shelves or blocks of various stones, not rare ones, just about everything you would expect to find. learnt how a simple Tulsi plant serves around eighty functions in the house, thats why one is always kept and worshipped. A lot of things turn out to become superstitious when they have a pretty valid basic scientific foundation. Came home tired with senses that were terribly assaulted.

Urinating man

So I was sitting next to a bar, and many bars in Bangalore have a policeman stationed right in front, who doubles as a parking assistant by directing incoming vehicles to suitable parking places. Now this groggy guy comes out of the bar, obviously pretty drunk, unzips around four feet to my left and urinates.


The funny thing is that a 4X4 drove up, and illuminated his urine from behind. Now picture this... everything else except the headlights (hidden by the man, who has a headlight-aura around him) is dark, and there is a spectacular parabola of urine sparkling at random spots. Pretty damn amazing sight.


The man was donw and went back and sat in front of a tailoring shop, god knows doing what.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Fucking slow cybercafe

Pretty stupid title for this post, but most of my posts are like that. Not to the point anyhow. Who will go around blogging about slow cybercafes? Anyway, this one has to do with my Grandmother's science exhibition. I helped set it up... has all sorts of things for little kiddies in the usual sections - geography, mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology. Most of it is however pretty damn innovative. This particular grandmother of mine burns the leaves that fall out of a mango tree to heat the water for bathng, uses the ash to wash utensils, and uses the residual water to water the plants. Therefore, it is no surprise that there are sonometers made out of Bamboo. The Mathematics section is amazing, where leaves are used to teach all concepts from fractions to trignometry. Funny to see leaves with geometrical figures drawn all over them following the lines that have naturally grown. Will blog photos later, when I get back home to a cardreader. Shapes and angles existing in nature are used to teach the cocepts. Most of the apparatus for physics experiments are made out of thermacol. The biology section shows the detailed cell structure with 3D pictures not found in Indian Textbooks, as well as displays of working apparatus that use pheromones for pest control. The Earth Sciences section actually shows how projections are used to plot maps, along with the minerals that we all had to struggle to learn by rote in our school - the kids could actually see feldspar and uranium ore and barium ore. Uranium ore man... donno how it ended up there. There are displays of exotic shells in the bio section as well, of crab spiders, nautiluses and the like. Sleeping in that house was like sleeping in a museum.


Everything you really wanted to know about how the world was run was in that house, and although most of those concepts would be untrue according to quantum physics, it really does not matter because light behaves like people see light behaves irrespective of whether it is made out of photons or waves. Even if the kids go on to become rocket scientists, all they really need to know is to create enough action for a greater reaction which will make a faster rocket.


Will blog pictures soon. Visiting a science park tomorrow. Bangalore is pretty damn weird. Really stupid priorities. In my area, there are two temples, three cybercafes, six bars and one school.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Bus Journey

I was practically forced out of the city, and came here on a bus ride. The only trouble with a Volvo is the lack of a pissing facility, which makes the driver stop the bus at random intervals in the middle of the night, in accordance with the fancies of the bladders of the thirty passengers.



The bus that was supposed to come at five thirty arrived half an hour late, and the new curvy 7up bottle was marketed to me pretty damn strongly by some kid who tried to talk in English. The guy in front of me was excited and/or highly confused by the seat, with all its complex hydraulics adjusted the backrest and the footrest. He looked like he was doing one of those stupid dance moves with inane hip movements and finally subsided and rested in a position that blocked circulation to my knees. Then obviously, I had to adjust my seat, and I understood why he appeared to be excited and/or highly confused. The seat-hydraulics were SUPER SENSITIVE. A push this way and I had my nose in the back of his seat, and one push the other way I was parallel to the floor. Ok almost. A compromise was achieved at some arbitrary point midway and I settled down for the rest of the ride.



They showed three movies I never wanted to watch in the ride, Life ho to Aisi, Garam Masala and some Vivek Oberoi, Rimi Sen, and children of dubious parentage movie that I could not recognize.



I was sleeping most of the way, and had frequent piss breaks only when others wanted to, so that no one would get irritated at me.



Passed through the fields of the country on the way, and let me tell you something, India is B-E-A-utiful. Except there was this school which had pictures of National Leaders in a row over its walls in small circles. Subash Chandra Bose, Chacha Neheru, Mahatma Gandhi, Lal Bahadur Shastri and Donald Duck to name a few.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

What the hell

Hell... reading The city and the Stars, Five children and It and Deception Point at the same time. Pretty weird I know but its really so.



:::::::::::::~~:MMMMM,:::::,::::::::,,:~::::::::::::::::::::
::::::::::::MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMI::=MMMMMMMM=::::::::::::::::::::
:::::::::~7+~,MMMMMMMMMMMMM.MMMMMMMMMMM~::::::::::::::::::::
::::::::::::MMMMMNDDDDDNMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM::::::::::::::::::
:::::::::::~ZMMMMMMMNDD8DDMMMMMMMMNNMMMMMM::::::::::::::::::
::::::::::MMMMMMMMMND888NMMMDDDDNNMMMMMMMMM:::::::::::::::::
:::::::::MMMMMMNNDDDDDD88MD8DDDDDNNMMMMMMMMM::::::::::::::::
::::::~~DMMMMMMMNDDDDDD88MMMDDDDMMMMMMMMMMMM~:::::::::::::::
::::::$MMMMMMMMMMNDDDDD88MMMMMMNNMMMMMMMMMMMM~::::::::::::::
:::::~MMMMMMMMMNNDDDDMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM::::::::::::::
::::~MMMMMMMMNNNNDNMMMMM~~~~~~~MMMMMMMMMMMMMMM?:::::::::::::
:::::MMMMMMMNNNNNMMMM=~~~~~~~~~~~==ZMMMMMMMMMM,:::::::::::::
::::MMMMMMMMNNNMMMI=~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~=MMMMMMMM+::::::::::::::
::::MMMMMMMNMMMMN~=~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~:MMMMMM+::::::::::::::
:::::NMMMMMMMMM~~==~~~=~~~~~~~+MMMMMDM:~MMMMM+::::::::::::::
:::::~MMMMMMMMM8NDDDDDNN~~~~~DNDNNNNNNN:~MMMM,::::::::::::::
:::::~MMMMMMMDNNMNNNNNND~~~~$N=~~~~=~~~~~~MMM,::::::::::::::
::::::MMMMMMMN~:~~?ZDMMM~=NN::~==~~~~~8~~:MMM:::::::::::::::
:::::::MMMMMM~M~~+MM:~~~++~~M~~=~MMM=~=:NIMMM:::::::::::::::
::::::~=MMMMM=7~~MMMM=~~+=~~7~~~~MMM~~~~=:MMMDM~::::::::::::
:::::::~8MMMM~M~=~MM~~~:8~~~~7O?$NMMMMD=~?MMD~~,::::::::::::
::::::::N~MMM~=:~~=~=~=~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~?M:=~=:::::::::::::
:::::::::~~7M~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~?M~~~?~::::::::::::
::::::::~IZ~M~=~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~?MM=:?~::::::::::::
::::::::::M=MM=~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~:~N:::::::::::::::
::::::::::NM~M~~~~~~~~~=MM~=MM~~~~~~~~~~~:===:::::::::::::::
:::::::::::~~=~~~~~~~~~~~=~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~,MN::::::::::::::::
:::::::::::$~=M~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~D::::::::::::::::::
:::::::::::~,,I~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~M~~~~~~~8::::::::::::::::::
:::::::::::::::M=~~~MMMMMMMMMM8~~~~~~~~~=~::::::::::::::::::
::::::::::::::::~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~=:::::::::::::::::::
::::::::::::::::,=~~~~~~~~~~~=~~~~~~~~=M~:::::::::::::::::::
:::::::::::::::::,~~~~~~~~~:::~~~~~~~~~,:~::::::::::::::::::
:::::::::::::::::~:M~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~MMMMMMMZ:::::::::::::
::::::::::::NMMMMMM~M~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~MM~MMMMMMMMMMMN:::::::::
::::::::MMMMMMMMMMMM~ZM~~~~~~~~~~=?==M=~MMMMMMMMMMMMM:::::::
:::::OMMMMMMMMMMMMMM~Z~~+M:~~~==+O~~~8~~MMMMMMMMMMMMMM,:::::
::~8MMMMMMMMMMMMMMM==~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM::::
:~MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM~=~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~=MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM8:::
MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM=~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~=MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM~::
MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM+~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM::
MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM~~~~~~~~~~~~NMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM:
MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMO~~~~~~:MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM
MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM



Saturday, April 15, 2006

Experienced




My mother got my schoolbag out and emptied it in front of me. What spilled out on the floor amongst all the random bits of paper that appear from nowhere and the pens that you thought have been stolen, were:



1) A quater of whiskey, a little empty

2) A lighter

3) A matchbox and a whole bunch of loose matches

4) Around 8 odd decks of cards

5) Not in the whole mood of the situation, but my literature book

6) A copy of JAM




Use your wildest imaginations to guess what followed, and you will still fall short and be drastically wrong.



I guess I will just post a poem I wrote in anticipation of what I would do in these vacations...




Experience



The sheer bloodymindedness

That you've felt all along

Nothing but your conscience

To tell you you are wrong



Reduced to nothing

But a sensation whore

No logic, no reason

No explanation before



You convince yourself

That the pain wont last

But you spend a future

Haunted by your past



And then do things

They never allowed

Just look at yourself

And laugh out loud

Thursday, April 13, 2006

New improved Gtalk

Google Talk seemed to be a simple chat software without the extra frills, but we overlooked the beta tag to the software, and the latest installment has the feel of your standard resplendent IM client. There are many preset avatars available, you can also use your own picture, or if you want to hang onto your yahoo! avatar, printscreen it and use it here. The view feature allows you to sort the contacts in the window in various convinient ways. The standard one throws up the most mailed contacts, but there is an option to ignore offline contacts or just show everyone in your address book. You can choose to archive all your conversations in your gmail account. There is no provision to archive them on your system, but I would trust the google servers more than my own hard drive. You can play around with various notification settings too, so you can customize google talk as much as your other messengers. Google Talk uses Chat Themes instead of backgrounds, and this goes a step further in changing the appearence of your conversation. There are five themes available as of now, but more must be on the way. Each has a picture/non-picture version.
Inspite of all of this, the messenger retains its simple look, for example, you can edit the status message by simply clicking on it instead of feeding it into a popup. The messenger can be downladed from http://desktop.google.com/download/googletalk/googletalk-setup-testing.exe. The official google talk site does not yet have a link, so this must be some kind of a pre-release set up.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

bday

I went up to the terrace to catch some fresh air, starlight and inner peace. God had other plans for me and sent me mosquitoes. But the sky was so clear that the stars were not twinkling. Funny how tiny almost invisible points in the sky are giant furnaces with billions of nuclear explosions.



Went up eighteen and came down nineteen. Much like Queen Victoria, who went up treetops a princes and came down a queen.



First, some resolutions. Never really felt the need for them, so this is like the first time I’m actually doing them:



1) Watch more cartoons – never tire of them. Wonder why I grew out of them. I love Swat Kats and Tom and Jerry. I shouldn’t let the hindi stop me.

2) Start drinking – doing this because of this guy who died because he gave up.

3) Eat pickles – I always forget to put the pickles in my dish. Now I won’t. I love pickles and I will remember to eat them more often.

4) Look at stars, learn constellations – was too busy to go to the terrace of late, and am jealous of friends who can recognize constellations. Can only recognize the plough… want to be able to do them all.

5) Save water, Electricity – why not do something I know I can pull off…



Has been one hell of a year… took a pretty big career decision when I got into the BMM course. Funny how you look back at what you had said about the course throughout the year…



Went to a women empowerment seminar, a non-fiction writing seminar, a bloggers meet where I met the author who spoke at the non-fiction writing seminar, went to an anti-coke seminar, and although all of this is not in the same league, a Bryan Adams concert.



I ended up angering Mizoram dog eaters, humoring Harry Potter fans who found it funny that I was incredulous of all the Harry Potter porn, and offended faggot-haters for taking a its-natural stance on homosexuality. Also got some material I came up with pirated by this sicko godforsaken assfucked bastard who just copy pasted my shit on his blog.



Tried many new things this year:















Oh yeah, had a LOT of fun this year.



Made friends pee in Mail Boxes….







Assumed power on loo-land on commode-castle in my toiletseat-throne.







Found the office of a Doctor whose parents hated him and named him after his origin







Contemplated ear growth, stole the Mona Lisa, invented a technique that allows any Rubick's Cube to be solved in under five minutes, made a totally usable lightsabre in five minutes flat (using a dupatta, a lungi and a curtain road), made a normal lightsabre, built a geodesic dome that took up half my living room, then converted it into an igloo, and finally, penned a list of a hundred favorite things which got unformatted due to the crappy wordpress importer.



Had fun with photoshop



















Encountered Ghosts







Talked to friends from med school



This means that all the formalin gets squeezed out. My friend once rested his hands on the stomach of his cadaver and just as he applied a little too much pressure on the stomach, the formalin flows right out of the poor dead fellow’s ass.




Visited many wonderful places





















I fought against myself with lightsabres (I Won)







Collected cattle bones







And nuggets of nonsense I found hidden deep within my posts… actually got bored reading my own blog.



There should have been an idiot friendly universe, or at least, all of us should have remained idiots.




I have always thought of political correctness as a politically correct way of saying something totally incorrect.




Found out that my friends think I am a psycho capable of binding and torturing other people after all




99% of all sex is basically something pornstars do so that other people can masturbate.




Dakota Fanning is more conceited than Aishwarya Rai, but then Aishwarya Rai is more of a nine year old.




Hey thought for the day: Love is worse than Vodka




Then we took a cab to Jai Hind. What a rotten motto... "we will and we can" It should have been "we can and we will" if at all they had to involve willing and canning. On second thoughts, it is actually cool that they put determination ahead of potential.




For the first time ever, went through the embarrassing prospect of reading cosmo.



Sixteen out of seventeen covers show a very deep cleavage, and if the seventeenth one did, J’lo would be wearing nothing.




For a few glorious hours, thought I had hit upon a cure for AIDS, later coming to know that they had already tried in that direction.



And here I was thinking I've hit upon an idea to combat AIDS effectively. Enzyme inhibiters exist, and are one of the few methods of treating AIDS patients.




Plucked elephant hair. Do not ask why. Won’t tell.



But elephant hair, is really like smooth wire. Just outside thane station, there was an elephant. I went up to the fellow, and purchased two strands of elephant hair from him. He plucked it out of his head or her head, I can’t exactly tell with elephants



I also dreamed that I had been abducted by Aliens. The freakish thing about dreaming such a dream is the small tiny window of possibility that opens up that it really happened. You cannot tell yourself it was only a dream, because you don’t want to be fooled by them. Then again, you may be fooling yourself, but that simply is not as bad… maybe that is why there are so many abduction accounts.



Blogged right through college



And I am in a course that used to be taken up by girls who wanted an interim education till marriage. Biggest risk in my life - hope BMM pays off.




I can’t believe this - Tomorrow is the first day of college, and I am going to enter it knowing that my life is perfect right now.




In the rare occasion that the toilet had to be used, because of the 400 limitation on humankind's bladder, we had to 'dissect' in one of the stalls. This is a gross thing involving the breakdown of faecal matter by projection of liquid with high urea, albumin, bile salts and glucose content...




[This was said post last term, applies now too]
Just realised something about my previous term. I have learnt nothing. Nada. Zilch.




The stupid syllabus seems to be set by a lesbian African and a feminist naxalite.




The clever idea of mine to study off the net did not really pay of. Google's low search relevancy, an affinity to throw up irrelevant porn, and Freud's theories with spectacular jumps of logic all combined to give me far more interesting a pastime than studying psychology.




Contemplated suicide



In those darkest hours, when bowl containment was at its toughest, I half-seriously contemplated jumping off and making it look like an accident.




And had a few near death experiences



Almost drowned once when I thought I could "hop" through the deep end of a swimming pool, breathing every time I surfaced.




Saw other people dieing instead











He made a weird movement with his hands, I cannot understand the purpose of it, and right in front of my eyes, with his body barely two inches away from me, he suddenly fell off.








Spent the day getting over Dumbledore's death, by making fun of it, and telling friends about it before they read the book. Got punched in the stomach for that...




Indulged in some 3D art







Loved this fountain I made using Poser and Bryce.







Titled goodbye







That's a Raptor







Thats an Authentic Indian Railway station







And THAT is a Mumbai Local



Made half-hearted resolutions I did not keep







And here is me like few have seen me







Will stop blogging now and spend my birthday more fruitfully.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

......

Heading over to Yeoor now. Am in the eighteenth level of Dark Forces II. Will blog caps later. Finished XIII, as well as some other mobile game. Want to blog a walkthrough... might get down to it sometime.



Played basketball today with what I thought were snobbish building people. Might just about get a new friend circle.



Yeoor. Later. Bye.

Yeoor again

So its close to nine o clock, and I get a call from Aonz asking me if I am willing to join him for a ride up Yeoor. I agree, and he comes over with his friend Wazym, and we all head over to the top. After a fifteen minute drive, we arrive.



Let me tell you this... Moonshine is BRIGHT. But there was no other source of light, and there were long shadows. We went until the gate of the National Park, and stood there, beneath a bright almost full moon, a bottle of thumbs up and some smokes. We are sitting and talking mostly about escape strategies in the eventuality of a leopard showing up. Then we go silent just to hear the various sounds in the jungle. Remember, we are doing this in the middle of (I) the night (ii) nowhere and (iii) land that is totally pwwnnd by another species.



Some leaves rustled. Some bird made a weird sound. An airplane went past. Then dead silence save for the crick-crick of them night insects.



And then we all hear it. It was like a long drawn out moan, but there was no escaping recognition of what it was. We didn't get up and run, because it was far away. Then we heard it again. And again. And we sat there, shit scared... And hoping it was sufficiently far away. Then we heard it loud and clear and near.



We didn't exactly run to the car, but no one tried to hide their fear. That was the first time I ever heard a leopard scream... That is what it was. An amazing sound that is like embedded in my head now. Am expecting leopard nightmares.



Of course, in the safety of my home (actually a Leopard was captured fifteen meters from where I am currently sitting), reasoning the whole thing out, we were in absolutely no danger. No predator on the prowl is likely to scream enough to scare the prey away. The far/near scream must be a mating call or some kind of communication between two leopards. Maybe something like "I am awake, are you?"



Leaving out the last paragraph, have a great party story now. I have actually heard the growl of a wile leopard.

Bad Marks

On my way to college, I was wondering how much I would score. Then something hit me like hell... I wouldn't be satisfied no matter how much. My guesses ranged from a pessimistic 460 to an optimistic 498. Flashback one year ago, I was just out of something that cannot exactly be termed as academic excellence. Would always end up getting around twenty marks less than my guesses, and would guess low just to be safe. So it was a pleasant surpries to know that I had come third in class. I have no clue how that happened without studying, but if nothing else, it gave me drive - a drive to study like hell. That's why, today, on my way to college, I felt weird because of the fact that I was now a marks-hungry person, and nothing would satisfy me. I had become one of those blokes I made fun of throughout high school.



Now I appreciate the truth in the statement that everything happens for the good. Came down a startling fifty marks from last years performance. I just feel stupid. I had written more than one paper on nothing but brazen overconfidance, and any marks but these would have ruined me by the end of next sem. Suddenly, it is all again totally not important. I know that I can affect my marks like hell, but it feels weird to let marks affect you so much.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Results later today





Results later today. Might not be in a state to blog tomorrow. Really nervous. Cannot sleep. A dysfunctional diet, sleep pattern, neural pathways and government is actually to blame for THAT, but what the hell... Lets just blame it on the results. Not that I am REALLY worried... This just happens. My stomach is in a bad state right now. Here is a neat labeled diagram of my stomach.







Its either the butterflies or the gas. I'll pretend its the butterflies. That way, I'll get to imagine you in your underwear.



Let me take a moment to laugh on that.



Still laughing.



Still laughing.



Now the joke is old. Anyway, just to get my mind off things, something about share rickshaws.



1) The regulars bribe the traffic policemen, and they know the rickshaw drivers by face and let them pass. The others get caught, and therefore don't normally risk share rickshaws.



2) Unless its post nine o clock, when the policemen return home to salvage their messed up love lives, or head over to marine drive to rejuvenate it.



3) The slimmest fellow ALWAYS sits in the front.



4) The slimmest fellow (sitting in the front) will have to hear out the rickshaw driver if he is in a mood to (i) cacaphonically whistle (ii) swear at random people in cars (iii) bitch about the said policemen.



5) Kids are not considered people... They are merely baggage. This resulted in seven people getting into a rick today. Me, the driver, two ladies with vegetable filled bags, and one man with two small kids.



6) Said kids standing in the back will drool on your hand and tickle you when the only thing keeping you in the rickshaw is your hand around the driver holding on to 4 centimeters of metal piping half an inch in diameter. (YES, I will mix the metric and the imperial systems, not my friggin fault, I am not responsible for so many units of measurement.)



7) If the rickshaw driver spits, some spittle is bound to spray all over your feet.



8) Reading your SMS is the birthright of everyone in the rickshaw



9) The bus comes to the stop the second you sit in the rickshaw. Conversely, if you do not take the rickshaw, the bus will never come.



10) You are jealous of the fact that the rickshaw driver gets a better deal than you do.







On something that is the exact opposite of a lighter note, here is something interesting.



A few days ago, a guy I recognized walked into the train. He climbed in and hung out of the opposite door. I looked at him, and then without saying anything looked back out. A few minutes later, I see him headed towards me. I truthfully told him I contemplated saying hi... He didn't believe me.



We talked for hardly five minutes. Obviously, the movies we watched were a part of the conversation, and in the mood of the moment I asked him to invite me the next time he went out anywhere.



When his SMS arrived yesterday, I didn't even recognize his number. He and a small circle of college friends I am not in touch with anymore, were going out for a movie.



I arrived on time, they didn't. One guy didn't believe I was coming. The other didn't even know. The guy I met in the train was feeling proud for bringing me. And remarked "aur logo ko bulana chahiye tha" (we should have called more people). One guy apparently couldn't make it because he was sick. I had seen him and had not said hi at the station.



The second we saw each other after such a long time, spontaneously, all of us started laughing. I suspect the validity of the statement that being happy does not make you laugh, laughing makes you happy. Maybe both are true, I donno.



We saw the movie, cracked jokes that I had thought had died long ago, still remarked about each other just like the old days (God I have old days now?), headed over to another mall, bitched about everything being too costly, and finally split ways with a promise to meet up again for future movies.



I have, with almost no effort, re-entered a circle of friends that I never thought I'd be in touch with. Somehow I am feeling dead happy about this. For the class in my course, there are many people I am only slightly more than cordial with for the simple reason that I know that we are not going to be in touch after the course is over. Seen this happening in School year after year, and remember how painful it is for the first few days, and then it passes. I thought this was a natural thing to happen. Was confirmed at all the classes and tutions I took up in persuit of academics. Same thing kept happening... A group of people interact for a relatively short span of time and then become total strangers. Realized that it does not have to be that way today.







That, however, is still for the exams. And your undies. More for the undies actually.

V for Vendetta




Another one of those don't take no bullshit from the government movies. The Wachowski brothers know how to play with the emotions of the audience, and they got back Hugo Weaving for V, almost a reprise of his Agent Smith role. He talks in the same hateful voice. Not that I recognized it when I saw it, but I do now that I know who the masked guy was.


The story is pretty straightforward... V is a freak of the government's messed up nature, formed mostly by a hitlerish fascist ruler and a bunch of hitlerish fascist ruler wannabes. V topples it by blowing a couple of buildings up and killing everyone he dislikes in the government. Evee and a couple of other blokes who thinks the government is mostly "bollocks" help him/ are manipulated by him. The grand finale is the parliament building blowing up, replicating the Guy Fawkes attempt.

Remember, remember, the fifth of November, The gunpowder treason and plot. I know of no reason why the gunpowder treason should ever be forgot.

Funny how many such movies are coming up. Even in India, watched Yuva only this morning, and Rang De Basanti was another example. All these films represent the real political scenario... as Evee father would put it,

artists use lies to show the truth, while politicians use lies to cover it.


Not all dialogues are good however, there is a good measure of

A revolution without dancing is a revolution not worth having.


The good thing about Vendetta is that although it shows the future, the technology is not in your face like Minority Report. The focus is on the people and how some of them abuse technology. Pretty realistic portrayal actually.



V never removes his mask, although he comes close to doing it at least twice. One guy I was watching the movie with hated the movie for that. Like not showing the face of a masked guy is stupid, he thought. This was more or less as laughable as people who were expecting Nana Patekar to hear till the very end of Khamoshi... That was probably why Bhansali drove home the point of Rani Mukherjee's disabilities in Black over and over and over again.



Clever use of the mask... The focus was on the vendetta, and how one person brought it about, but this one person could be an anonymous anybody. In fact, he was the combined personification of everyone in the film resenting the government and finally speaking out and doing something. They even say this indirectly towards the end.



This one has to be given a thumbs up... Ideas ARE immortal.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Chimeras





That's a chimpanzee. Look carefully, might be necessary in the future.



Now imagine a human getting sexually attracted to a chimp. Imagine an intercourse... there have been many opportunities for such an intercourse over the long history of mankind. This is well known, many of us roam around with the knowledge that AIDS came from Humans intercoursing with apes. Although this is untrue, (US vaccination experiments in Africa using monkey blood gone awry), the idea of a human-chimp intercourse is not something novel. Everyone acknowledges that it must have happened... In fact, there are considerable evidences to the argument that homo-sapiens and Neanderthals interbred for the twenty thousand years that they co-existed, leading to modern men. Interspecial mating might be in this case, more natural than it seems. We are only marginally different from Chimpanzees in our genetic content. There is no doubt that with everything we have done over the ages, a chimpanzee-Human intercourse has NOT happened. Now imagine one such chimpanzee-human union resulting in an offspring. What are the social, moral and cultural repercussions of such an offspring?



Now imagine such a thing has already happened.







Was watching discovery yesterday, when the story of Oliver, an alleged humanzee came along. An actress even offered to let the creature mate with her. If it was so easy, you really wonder why such instances were not better known and in fact, more common.



Zoophilia has a long history. Mythologies of all cultures are awash with creatures born out of unions between men and animals. Even the extremes of necrozoophilia is not spared, being a part of the Ashwamedha horse ceremony. Just because little kiddies are not told ALL the tales in our mythologies, does not mean that they are not terribly well documented. Upto the middle ages, it was almost the norm in European countries, to intercourse with farmyard animals, and there are many documented evidences of this phenomenon. Ancient Egyptians copulated with Goats as a form of religious ritual, Roman women with Snakes as a cleansing ritual, Roman prostitutes with asses as a form of entertainment, and Greeks with 'beasts' as a form of art. It is not just the Gods of Greek and Roman pantheons who were sexually active with animals, the enactment of their mythologies had live shows of such intercourses.
The spectators at the colloseum have been thoroughly "entertained" with many spectacles - the least of which were gladiator deathmatches. Full scale battles were played out, sometimes naval ones where the colloseum was flooded with water. Hordes of virgins were sacrificed live - to baboons - and other animals - some of which were trained to kill or eat them after the act.



Bestialiy has survived as a form of pornography, something that is (fortunately?) taboo in mainstream society. The question is that of offspring from such intercourses. Since bestiality is much more common than it appears, why aren't there more cases of offspring? There isn't even one definite case, which can be considered true beyond all doubt.



As things turn out, that is not because of any lack of sincere efforts.


1) Stalin apparently directed his top scientists to carry out Human-Chimpanzee interbreeding experiments with a
"I want a new invincible human being, insensitive to pain, resistant and indifferent about the quality of food they eat"
speech. The scientist, Ivanov's experiments, fortunately failed (Hopefully). Apparently the Bolsheviks wanted to disprove a God. Good thing Stalin went down, or he might have got his army.



2) The Chinese, The Italians, and the United states have all tried creating Human-Animal hybrids. There are whispers and rumors of surviving offspring, which were killed immediately after.



3) Chimpanzees are relatively close relatives, but mankind's science has allowed him to combine the genes of Hamsters with humans, as well as a variety of other creatures, including mice and pigs.



4) Stem cell researchers not only fool around with human fetuses, significantly goes down the path to create parahumans, and has already ended up creating controversial chimeras.



Now comes the question of ethics. Governments, to be at the forefront in biotechnology, will become increasingly permissive about ethics. In fact, a controversial UK ruling actually seems to encourage the creation of human-animal hybrids. All of this was just an introduction to the real thing... how far should we go as a species? Where do we cross the line? What steps must be taken now to safeguard our species from unforeseen contingencies?







Ok, to be as open minded as possible, lets just pretend that humans can use the technology and the creatures they create responsibly. This would, however be the equivalent of saying that your offspring are your property, and you are free to do anything you want with them. Humanzees or Chumans used for menial tasks or hazardous working conditions, will eventually lead to the question of rights, and another movement will start of, about special discrimination and the likes. However, such a thing is not likely to happen if existing apes are given sufficient training to do the same things Humanzees would do.



About Chimeras from other animals with human genes, as long as the mental processes are not upto the same level as humans, there really shouldn't be any problem. Except the question of ill-treatment, again, to human genes, of ownership of creatures with human genes amounting to slavery, or even of cannibalism if creatures are bred to supply allegedly tasty human flesh as a specialty food - an offshoot of transplant farming.



Supposing we accept the creation of entire races arising out of interbreeding, an initial stage of co-existence will eventually lead to some kind of a war. There is simply no way out, we will not resist war with a competing species, we cannot do it even with our own.



Such scenarios, are all obviously drastic, and not much beyond the scope of conspiracy theorists, and are all hare-brained and crazy to the core - but all of it scares you, makes you uncomfortable, displaces you from the secure pedestal of unquestionable superiority to other animals.



When we hear of such things, we become fundamentally insecure about our own humanity.



Science will continue its progress, the people who don't take risks, the people who hinder science for being too unorthodox are the ones that future generations look back in anger towards. There is nothing men can do against the progress of science, it knows no responsible limits, no one knows what such genetic experiments can bring us, and if it is a cure for cancer or AIDS, the repercussions are a risk worth taking.



What we need to do on a personal level to counter the perceived threat, which as of now, and at least for our lifetimes, is a remote possibility, is to simply raise the benchmark of humanness... let being human stand for something much more than what it already does.



That, simply put, is the only real way out.


Dream Diary preview

Soft shadows. Ambience. Gamma correction. Dof. Reflections, refractions, shadows. Shadows on top of shadows. Total internal reflections. Put...