Friday, December 29, 2006

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

an awwww... moment

two Bengali Economists & Nobel Laureates meet in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on Dec 25.

Left: Dr. Amartya Sen (Economics, 1998)
2nd from right: Dr. Muhammad Yunus (Peace prize, 2006)

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Friday, December 22, 2006

dude, where's my car?!

my first blizzard, my first snow shovelling, my first falling squarely on my ass on the snow... and almost cracking my pelvis...
I think I will stay away from ice-creams for quite some time.

Friday, December 08, 2006

some wise words

And when your life is in the toilet and that blue water is swirling around your head, just remember: The sky is also blue, and as we all know, the sky’s the limit.
(It’s important to hope, but vodka does not remove bloodstains from white linen.)


Monday, December 04, 2006

It's dizzying

...the criticism, that is. Check it out:

"Art is made to disturb," Georges Braque, the cubist painter and Pablo Picasso buddy, once said. But art museums?

The new Denver Art Museum addition, it seems, is disturbing some visitors by making them dizzy. Staring up at the soaring walls is - in a few people - causing tiny crystals to tumble around the inner-ear balance center, hitting cells and making the visitors woozy. Add the building's unusual angles and curving stairways, which can confuse the eyes, and the results can be stomach-churning.
"My patients are not going to the art museum," said Carol Foster, an ear specialist and balance expert at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. "You could bus a bunch of them over there and they'd be flopping around on the floor," she joked.
Museum officials say the effect is tiny - there has been only one official complaint of dizziness.
"There was never intention on the part of the museum to create a perceptual challenge," said Andrea Fulton, the museum's communications director. Still, with the reports of vertigo, the museum - designed by architect Daniel Libeskind, who could not be reached for comment - joins a list of buildings with high-profile architecture and unintended consequences.
There is the Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles designed by Frank Gehry, for example. The building, a swirl of shiny metal, caught and reflected so much Southern California sunlight that it raised the temperature on a nearby sidewalk to 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
And the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. - designed by Edward Durrell Stone - has a massive awning with no visible supports that triggers anxiety in some people, creating an urge to flee.
"Architecture is a speculative project," University of Colorado architecture professor Taisto Makela said. "Just by drawing things, making models, thinking about things, you can't tell how that space will be experienced until you do experience it."
Only one of the 223 official comments at the Denver Art Museum mentioned dizziness, Fulton said. Others suspect the problem is more widespread. When CU's Makela visited the museum last month with 11 students, three of them said they felt dizzy and uncomfortable.
"I was really quite surprised," Makela said. "I didn't experience it, but these students did." Makela has been a critic of the building not for its ability to induce vertigo, but as a strange and difficult place to display art given its tipped walls and odd spaces. The museum's space is challenging the ears and eyes, which work together to keep people balanced and comfortable on their feet, said CU's Foster. The inner ear's gravity sensors - the saccule and utricle - form a chairlike structure with a "seat" and "back," she said. When you tip your head up, the seat's now vertical and the back is horizontal, Foster said. In the new museum, she said, "not only are the walls interesting overhead, but they bend backwards over you, which is a really, really unusual position." "Ice skaters get used to it, but the average person doesn't practice that position enough to have reflexes for it," Foster said. So we feel dizzy - or fall down, she said.
Many people, especially those who are older, also have small defects in otoconia, a system of crystals in the inner ear that help people orient in space. "They're heavy, and they're stuck together with this sticky glue," Foster said. The glue becomes less sticky with age, letting some crystals float free, and whenever you bang your head against the car door or when crawling under a table - that can fling crystals free, she said. Eyes are also critical for balance, Foster said. Unconsciously, we're continually using objects within 6 feet for visual reference in space.
In the new art museum, walls slant away from the edges of the winding "canyon walk" staircase. Visitors descending the long stairways often clutch the guardrail. "People who are a little more visually dependent for balance ... you're gonna want to hang on to a railing," Foster said.
That was true for Trevor Pyle, one of the CU students who accompanied Makela. Pyle said he experienced slight vertigo when standing at the balconies. "I actually enjoyed the motion caused by the angles," Pyle said. "I thought it added to the experiential aspect of the building. None of the motion sickness made me uncomfortable, but it was present."

Craig Ruff, a Boulder resident, sometimes feels mildly motion sick when a passenger in a car, but the museum was worse.
"There were these sloping walls, bright lights that draw your attention other than where you're supposed to be walking, angles that were worse near the top," he said.
Ruff said he overheard one museum docent advising visitors to "concentrate on a piece of art and not look around too much."
Inside the new museum, paintings hang on angled walls. Explanatory videos play on surfaces that tilt away from the viewer, or on trapezoidal walls, making a projected rectangle appear distorted. "Our approach in general is that not everything has to fall into the normal boundaries of what you might expect. We like that," Fulton said. "We like the conversation it's created."

Denver Post/9News staff writer Ernie Tucker contributed to this report. After which he promptly packed up for the weekend and left for the equally dizzying experience of the Rocky Mountain National Park...most probably. He is currently writing on his experiences, and the experiences of other climbers and outdoors men and women and the article will take a critical view on the effects of mountains and other natural expressions on unsuspecting, ill-prepared humans.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Running out on technology

Here's a headline that caught my eye recently: ipod + nike = surveillance.
I thought, "who cares?". Apparently, a few people do care, fairly deeply, and get funded for their paranoia as well. Why? Because a thief could use the set-up to case several houses at once, figuring out when Nike-wearing owners are at home and when they aren't. Seriously, can one laugh and cry simultaneously?

From left: 1. The Nike+ iPod consists of a small sensor (right) that fits under the pads of your Nike sneaker, and a receiver (left) that plugs into the iPod Nano. 2. The University of Washington researchers broke open the Nike+ iPod receiver and wired it up to a PC. 3. The tiny iMote receives data from the Nike+ iPod sensor, and then it can pass that data along to a Microsoft SPOT watch for easy and convenient stalking. 4. This is the gumstix-based Nike+ iPod surveillance device, with a wifistix antenna attached (left) and the Nike+ iPod receiver attached (right). It can broadcast surveillance data back to a computer network.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

always a pleasure

... to watch you act. Anthony Hopkins.

a still from Bobby

Friday, November 24, 2006

Thursday, November 23, 2006


Daring Director [Robert Altman] Died [today].

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Ashes upon us!#2

A few hours into the cricket and Geoff Boycott is already pulling out a few punches at the English selectors for picking Giles over Monty Panesar (in more serene times Boycott spends his time comparing his mum and grand-mum's cricketing abiliies vis-a-vis the current crop of players).
Meanwhile, another Ashes ritual - people commenting endlessly on the Eng/Aus time difference: "I keep hearing references to how late it is in the UK, things like 'I'm sure you're all stifling yawns'. The thing is, for myself and many other students, this sort of hour is when we're most in our element. My sleeping patterns last week were ridiculous; usually I got to bed at about 9am and then woke up at 5pm..." Ned Pendleton of Leamington Spa. Chink, do you know of this night crawler???

Ashes upon us! #1

I seem to love starting series-posts that go nowhere. Here's one more - after 15 months of preludes to "the definitive battle" between the "old enemies", it's HERE! Tomorrow. The Ashes, that is. For me it also means a chance to read endless miles of Brit and Aussie reports, opinions, bravados, bettings, whimperings, bitchings, yellings, whinings, screechings for the next two months. Once again we will hear that England "can't bat, can't bowl, can't field". And once more we will hear of those bullish Aussie players, huffing and puffing and blowing England's defenses down. Oh, joy!
In recent times, no contest has begun before McGrath has had a pass at some prophesizing. 'We'll smash 'em', Mcgrath said earlier in the week at a press conference. 'They come out here and piss on about how strong they are and how they aren't scared of Brett Lee* throwing a little red ball 150 km/h** at their heads or Adam Gilchrist*** walking after being given not out. What they're really saying is holy shit we have to play Australia again!' Mcgrath also brought up how, with the help from the rest of the pace attack, put half of the New Zealand team**** into phsycological wards. 'We had been working really hard on the phsycological aspect of our game. There have been more pranks and insults beeing thrown around the dressing rooms now and i believe, not only has it made us stronger mentally, but also gives us the ability to read people's minds.' When asked why he thinks he can read people's minds, he simply replied, 'Coz Warnie***** said so.' When asked whether he thinks he's back to 100%, he got up, picked a cameraman up, and threw him across the room, 'does that answer your question?' he was then escorted out of the room by John Buchanan****** and sent to bed early with some warm milk.
*Aussie very-fast bowler. Has apparently gone through some life altering transformation to become a senior member of the team, as against a young pin-up boy that he was, like, yesterday.
**93.21 mph
***Aussie Vice-Captain, legendary ball-whacker and ball-keeper
****A forever underdog team from the land of the Ring
*****Famous spinner - of the ball and the tabloids
******Periodically offers Philosophy 101 to the Aussie team
...and finally, McGrath: Aussie medium-fast metronymic bowler - who always perdicts the Ashes to end 5-0, Australia.

Sunday, November 19, 2006


feel free to click on the photo


the one that got away #1

Every once in a while one comes across a project that one not only thinks one could have so easlily done oneself, but should have done before anyone else. This then is a series in celebration of those acts that makes one flinch and grin simultaneously.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

tragedy in art and soliloquy: part II

Inspired by this post, I hereby dedicate a portion of my day-to-day posts to the great Shakespearean tragedies. This section will time-travel into the minds of the valiants who refused to die "many times" before their death, through pre-raphaelite and neoclassicist images that sought "refuge" in tragedies.
Please listen to
Henry Mancini's "Romeo & Juliet" while going at it, to heighten your sense of sadness.
[tragedy in art and soliloquy: part I]

... For never was a story of more woe
Than this of Juliet and her Romeo.

Romeo and Juliet. Aaah... young love! And how it torments!
For the very young, very naive and very beautiful Juliet, "It is too rash, too unadvised, too sudden..." and for the young, passionate Romeo, "all this is but a dream". The two young lovers get trapped and torn between two warring families in Verona, Montague and Capulet. "My only love sprung from my only hate", mentions Juliet.
This saga of Shakespeare's 'Lyrical Period' is merciless, and the two love-birds are doomed from the beginning. "Alack, there lies more peril in thine eye..." The impending tragedy is obvious.
ACT III, Scene V: images by Dicksee [top-left] and Brown [top-right]

ACT IV, Scene IV left image by John Opie

No happy endings. Everyone dies at the end. Mercutio dies, 'accidentally and dramatically', in a duel between Romeo [a Montague] and Tybalt [a Capulet and Juliet's cousin], but had enough time to wish A plague o' both your houses! right before he passed away. Romeo slays Tybalt, and as a punishment, goes into exile. Juliet refuses to marry Paris, as she is secretly betrothed to her Romeo already, and goes into mourning. Herbal medicines and potions come to the rescue. Juliet gulps down some to go into a comma, so she can escape away with Romeo after she is taken to the family crypt. Misinformed about the staged death, a grief-stricken Romeo haggles with the Apothecary [There is thy gold, worse poison to men's souls] to buy some poison, kills Paris on the way, and drinks the poison to die on Juliet's lap. O true Apocotheary! Thy drugs are quick! Thus with a kiss I die. Juliet wakes up, sees the dead, and stabs herself with his dagger. Yea, noise? then I'll be brief. O happy dagger! This is thy sheath; there rust, and let me die. And the two lovers lie dead together.

Surprisingly, it is not considered one of Shakepeare's 'great tragedies' like Macbeth or Hamlet. The tragedy stems more from mistiming, or misfortune, than individual flaws of the two lovers. The long-running feud ends at the price of the two lovers' lives.

ACT V, Scene III: Romeo at Juliet's Deathbed by Füssli ;

The Reconciliation of the Montagues and Capulets by Leighton ; Death of Romeo and Juliet
by Millais;

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

We are the Aliens

...when alien-ness is so dramatically incorporated, our location mysteriously shifts from the western hemisphere to Kerala! (Finally: outsourcing locations for outer sources.)
Meanwhile, humanoids still hold on to their caucasian-woman-in-the-red-dress source location. The few incursions by non-caucasians have met with eventual victimization.

happy grazing

its moo-time once again !! and so is A&T Balconism.

A Moo Sonnet

Your absent heart's the image of my need
Your hollow eyes I fill with my desire
These vacancies are all that I require
For food on which my fantasies can feed.
The hands that hold you here are undefined
The lips that kiss you now you must invent
My touch transformed into an argument
That finds its major premise in your mind.
We make of soundless tunes new harmonies
Embrace each other's fancies in the night
And find in these uncertainties delight--
We share, not selves, but possibilities.
I make myself your dreams though we're apart
Come fill the empty spaces of my heart.
[disclaimer: poem source unknown]

Monday, November 13, 2006

utter betrayal!!!

picture courtesy ToyFare
...and look who's decided to make some extra dough for the holidays....behind our backs!!!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

where are the numbers?

To lighten the day of nailbiting countdowns:

Stewart on taking political satire too far: “Here’s the way I look at it. Bush has uranium bunker busters, and I have puns. I think he’ll be okay.”
Colbert on meeting Bill O’Reilly: “He was very nice. He said, ‘I like you. You know why? You’re not mean-spirited like most of ‘em.’ And I thought, ‘Take me now, Jesus.’ I was so thrilled.”


Saturday, November 04, 2006

vaguely familiar...

"...they considered themselves uniquely positioned to lecture everyone on a variety of topics: accounting professors on accounting, Vermonters on the fall foilage, Indians on America, Americans on India, Indians on India, Americans on America. They were poised; they were impressive; in the United States, where luckily it was still assumedthat Indian women were downtrodden, they were lauded as extraordinary - which had the unfortunate result of making them even more of what they already were".
Kiran Desai. "Inheritance of Loss". Penguin Books 2006. pg. 50.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Are you THE ONE? [real world part - I ]

“Look at us...I'm frozen, you're dead...and I love you.”

Some dude wants me to believe that I have a Second Life waiting for me in some cyber world, far more real, far far more interesting than the one I have right now. It is just a click away. Hide away into a world of avatars, fountains, birds and live with people that you can pick and choose.
Fembots are in. So, are cosmic narcissism, eternal youth, ’Beautiful People’ fantasy, and extraordinarily narcissistic vanity projects.

"the [real] world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth." It’s a choice between two pills, as Morpheus has warned Neo. One blue, which would enable him to wake up safe in his bed but never learn the truth about the Matrix. "You take the blue pill and the story ends. You wake in your bed and you believe whatever you want to believe.” The other is the red, which would allow him to "see how deep the rabbit-hole goes".

And finally, it is believed that if one's mind cannot adjust to the implanted reality that results in a Schizoid Embolus, a lobotomy is the only solution.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Overdose #2

Why? Why? Why? Why? Why?????

Friday, October 27, 2006

A Daily Dose of India #5

After a week of Diwali merriment, thoughts turn to a more tempered approach to food intake [die, yet]. At the top of the list is that Creamy Layer* (viscosity TBD) - hardly surpirising, since India has long been obsessed with cream and its clarified version, ghee. Yavat jivet sukham jivet/ rinam kritva ghritam pibeyat (Be happy as long as you live/ Drink ghee even if you have to borrow for it). As one can see from the Sanskrit saying, support for the [die, yet] attitude is often not forthcoming - internal joint lubrication by the milk fats being one of the many justifications. Also, since what results from the fat are 'delicacies', there is no danger of being grossed out, is there? In due course, however, the interaction of the obsession with the [die, yet] attitude leads to doubts. Fat/no fat. Skim/2%/Low fat. Cow/Buffalo. Good fat/ bad fat. Saturated fat/non-saturated fat. Trans fat. Progressive [f]at/non-progressive [f]at. Forward at/ Backward at. Forward/Backward/the Other Backward/the forward Backward/ the backward get the picture?
....Ah! creamy layer.

* Main Entry: 1cream Pronunciation: 'krEmFunction: nounUsage: often attributiveEtymology: Middle English creime, creme, from Anglo-French creme, cresme, from Late Latin cramum, of Celtic origin; akin to Welsh cramen scab, crust1 : the yellowish part of milk containing from 18 to about 40 percent butterfat2 a : a food prepared with cream b : something having the consistency of cream; especially : a usually emulsified medicinal or cosmetic preparation3 : the choicest part : BEST 4 : CREAMER 15 a : a pale yellow b : a cream-colored animal
**Main Entry: 2creamFunction: verbintransitive verb1 : to form cream or a surface layer like the cream on standing milk2 : to break into or cause something to break into a creamy froth; also : to move like frothtransitive verb1 a : SKIM 1c b : to remove (something choice) from an aggregate 2 : to furnish, prepare, or treat with cream; also : to dress with a cream sauce3 a : to beat into a creamy froth b : to work or blend to the consistency of cream c : to cause to form a surface layer of or like cream4 a : to defeat decisively b : WRECK c : to hit with force : SMASH
***“the correct criterion for judging the forwardness of the forwards among the backward classes is to measure their capacity not in terms of the capacity of others in their class, but in terms of the capacity of the members of the forward classes. If they cross the rubicon of the class of backwardness, they should be taken out from the backward classes and should be made disentitled to the provision meant for the said classes” Indian Supreme Court Expert Committee (1993 report)

Thursday, October 26, 2006

A Daily Dose of India #4

[Times of India, Page One]
....wading through a cacophony of advertisements, random celebrity news and a whole load of cricket trivia, one occasionally finds an "issue". The chai and Gluco biscuits are momentarily forgotten....