Thursday, June 26, 2008

Iran indicates that EU sanctions could hurt nuclear diplomacy

Iran said on Tuesday that new sanctions imposed on it by the European Union could hurt diplomatic efforts to resolve a long-running row over Tehran’s disputed nuclear ambitions.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini condemned the latest sanctions, agreed by the 27-nation bloc on Monday, as illegal and suggested they would only serve to strengthen Iran’s determination to pursue nuclear technology.

Search on for Philippine ferry survivors

Philippine officials refused to give up hope of rescuing some of the 800 odd people missing after a ferry capsized during Typhoon Fengshen, even as the still-roiling seas hampered efforts to get inside the vessel on Monday.

Divers heard no response when they hammered on the tip of the 23,824-tonne ship that was jutting from the water, off Sibuyan Island in central Philippines.

The Coast Guard are still not ruling out that somebody there could be still alive

More details at

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Federer begins his quest for his sixth title

Federer's 60th straight victory on grass, and the first in his quest for a record sixth Wimbledon title in a row, came against the old Slovakian warhorse — and Federer’s good friend and practice partner from his early days in the game — Dominik Hrbaty and the 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 success required the champion’s presence on the centre court for a mere 79 minutes.

At no time in the past five years has the Swiss maestro had to fend off so many questions concerning his form and championship mettle as he has had to in recent months.

Courtesy : Nirmal Shekar

For more details

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Spain finally conquers the penalty shoot out phobia

Vienna: Spain overcame a dreadful history and a phobia. Its dread of shoot-outs was conquered and so, too, was Italy, opponent it had not beaten in competitive football for 88 years.

The decisive penalty was taken by the substitute Cesc Fábregas, who displayed all the calm so associated with Arsenal as he slipped the ball past the left-hand of Gigi Buffon.

Previously, Daneiele de Rossi and Alessandro Di Natale had failed for Italy, while Daniel Guiza, of Italy, also had his effort saved.

Despite the eventual drama of the penalty shoot-out, the Eurocup tournament had not been afflicted with a game of this sort since the opening set of fixtures in which Romania and France held one another to a turgid 0-0 draw.

More details at

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Tyra to replace Oprah ?


But with a mentor like that who wouldn't be happy to see her win the Daytime Emmy Friday for Outstanding Informative Talk Show recently

To top it all Tyra Banks graciously thanked Oprah Winfrey in her acceptance speech.

What more do you want ?

Friday, June 20, 2008

Police give chase to a UFO

No not again !

well this time the UFO was close to a military base. and apparently zoomed in to a chopper

The chopper pilot had to swerve sharply to avoid a crash and then decided to pursue it

As expected, no fuel and the chase was called off

Shucks, another one lost

For more details ;

Monday, June 16, 2008

Perspectives - The Balancing Act

There’s too much mental telepathy at work these days.

Imagine how much easier it would be if everyone simply stated what they wanted. Rather than making grand assumptions about other people’s motives, we might actually start getting our needs met.

Lies seem to be the in thing. It has no origin, and has lost its actual source and flavor. Nowadays, a lie is so obvious, something to be made mockery of. It sucks.

I didn't say that, although it appeared like a soliloquy, but I feel your anger.

It is amazing that people wait for something to be over, that they have waited all along, not realizing what is over. It's like having a ball with your credit card, under the assumption that you have a balance, no it's not worth discussing it, realization is what matters. I guess, opportunities are easier to realize, when they leave rather than when they knock, which they do rarely. Those few moments are to be cherished rather than assuming that a load has been taken off your back.

Financially - it appears that mutual funds are making a comeback. Bankruptcies are yet to raise its head. Appears embezzlements are out of fashion. Fudging the books is slowly poking its head up, and laundering is still a baby.

Where have the good old Cambodians gone. Perhaps we ought to come up with a grant so as to support this ailing industry. Apparently, the only things, which still rule, are the dumbbells.

If we don't something quickly, we wouldn't have countries to buy depleted weapons, as a result we might have to increase taxes again. Well, if this continues, it appears politicians eventually have to fund themselves, apart from an occasional handout.

I am, at 40, no longer in any demographic that matters. Other than the not mattering part, which stings a little, 38 is a fine age. There are even occasions when 38 can seem young, as if the numbers 3 and 8 were some sort of clerical error. You remind yourself of all the great professional athletes who are 38. Then you put on an old album by a great defunct band and rock out in the living room until your nephew walks in and tells you to stop acting "stupid."

I envy 20-somethings, but it's not their youth or their freedom or their little hardbodies that I envy. The place from which my rancor pours, the true source of my bile, is their timing.

Because, by some inexplicable (and unjust) force of dumb chance or intergalactic intelligence, this generation has landed in its 20s at an especially opportune moment in human history.

Reckon Mr. Greenspan was right in requesting the students to make mistakes, so as to reduce the level of perfection and so that we mortals can perform.

We are the generation that bought investment banking as an exciting and sexy profession.

We are the generation that said, "Just do it".

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Bill Gates or Bin Gatees

Well... came across this again, today, and though it is a bit old.... it is definitely worth a read...

Blog courtesy ...

Today, Bill Gates — who now prefers to go by the name of Abu Mai’saf al-Windaaz — gave up the life he had known to become a Muslim. The wealthy entrepreneur and über-geek left behind the power breakfasts and business suits, moved to Saudi Arabia, and put on a burnoose.

He also answers to the name of Bin Gatees... so as to maintain Business Protocol.

We spoke to the software magnate in his villa, Beta Ri-Lis, on the Red Sea coast not far from Jeddah. We sat on a low couch next to an intricately carved table on a cool terrazzo floor while a ceiling fan turned silently overhead. As we spoke, we drank sweet tea and nibbled on dates and nuts presented by unobtrusive servants.

Q. Tell us about your conversion to Islam. Was it a momentous experience?

A. It certainly was. I was at a conference with some of our software partners in the UAE, and, during the meeting, I noticed the Arab men across the table pointing at my face and whispering.

It turned out that the freckles on my face miraculously formed the words “Allahu Akhbar” in Arabic calligraphy. They showed me in a mirror, and it was true! Then they started telling me about the Qu’ran and the Prophet (peace be upon him), and it all came together in a giant convergence — Allah, my freckles, and me! And now, here I am.

Q. Amazing! What are some of the benefits you have found in your new faith?

A. Well, I guess one of the main things is the prescriptions about women. I’ve always had trouble with… you know, meeting girls, talking to them and so on. But Islam makes it easier, since the women have to cover up and all.

In fact, most of the time you don’t even see them.

Q. And do you find a way to make your faith fit into your business operations?

A. Oh, yes. We’re working with our Dubai partners on the release of a new Islamic software suite called Microsoft Islam 2007. It will have five separate packages, Microsoft Dawa, Microsoft Jihad, Microsoft Hajj, and so on. We’ve got a ways to go yet — we’re working on Virtual Hajj, so that pilgrims won’t have to physically go to Makkah to meet the Hajj specifications. I’m consulting with the Mufti of Makkah to get the application declared halal, so it can aid people in places like Bangladesh.

But not all the bugs have been worked out — we still haven’t perfected the virtual stoning of the devil, for example.

Q. And jihad?

A. Well, I like to think of jihad as the process of getting the bugs out of the spiritual system, both on a personal and umma-wide level.

It’s kind of like optimizing a network — setting the system parameters and protocols, registering the users (in this case, the faithful), establishing permissions, and enforcing restrictions. Think of Allah as the Network Administrator of Islam, with Mohammed (peace be upon him) as his Chief Implementation Engineer.

Q. Is there anything you miss about your old life?

A. Bacon. That’s about it. Wait; there’s also pulled pork barbecue. Oh, and then there’s scrapple. And prosciutto…

Recently the wunderkind of Microsoft has become disenchanted with Islam, and is said to be no longer a follower of the Prophet.

The software magnate is said to be at his new home on the tiny Caribbean island of Santa Melinda, just to the northwest of Aruba. Mr. Gates owns the entire island, and has a sunny villa built on the slopes of Mount Vista, surrounded by lush tropical greenery with a view of the breaking surf below.

Q: Why did you decide to leave Islam?

A: There were several reasons. After I’d been there for a while, I started noticing subtle things I didn’t like. Besides, it was virtually impossible to get a decent broadband connection in Saudi Arabia.

Now a small note to reality-challenged people - Just remember, today is April 1st.

And with due apologies to all Muslims.....this is in no way to hurt anybody's feelings but just to have a good laugh...

Courtesy :

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Let sleeping dogs lie

What are dreams? Do they have a purpose, and do they have a significant meaning?

Existing theories are the Freudian theory that attributes disguised meanings to dream content, and the Hobsonian theory that reduces them to experiences of disordered brain activity. The Freudian theory gives dreams hidden meanings, and the Hobsonian theory denies that they have any significant meaning at all. Y

Yet our immediate intuition about dreams is that they are little movies that we experience and take part in. If dreams are movies, do they have producers and script-writers and directors and all the other personnel required to make one?

Dreams are normally non-lucid. Dreams are often bizarre and incoherent. And finally, most of them are completely fforgotten bt the time we awake.

We can compare those characteristics to those of a cinematic movie. The creation of a cinematic movie is a purposeful activity. We can ascertain an overall purpose, which is something like: to give the movie-goer an exciting, emotional, disturbing or satisfying experience.

Can we ascribe a similar purpose to dreams?

The possibility that dreams are purposefully constructed by a dream-maker suggests an alternative interpretation of non-lucidity: dreams are non-lucid because this intensifies the experience.

One specific phenomenon that is given an interesting interpretation by this theory is that of realizing that you are dreaming and then dreaming that you are awake…. Dreaming that you wake up is the same thing as no longer realising that you are dreaming.

If there is a dream-maker, who or what is it ? If we are not to believe in supernatural beings accompanying us in our sleep, the dream-maker must reside in some part of our own brains. Presumably it is found in some or all of those regions specially active during dreaming.

What is the overall purpose of the dream-maker's dreams? I have given some reasons why we can believe that dream-making is a purposeful activity, and whatever the purpose is, it is one that requires dreams to be experienced as if they were real. Unfortunately I can only speculate as to what this purpose actually is. It may for example be some sort of testing or rehearsal

Careful study of dream content may shed more light on this question. Better understanding of the mechanisms that hold the dream-maker accountable for the success of its dream-making may also give some clues.

But all of us need dreams and the need to dream. They are the first stage to satisfying our innate hopes and desires. Desires, which one may be embarassed to express in front of others…

As indicated earlier….if there was a dreammaker, things would have been very convinient. But since we still have yet to identify one, what does one do.

We watch movies, cinemas, serials, and identify the themes, the stories the actors and actresses enact with our unsatisfied desires, thus being able to fill that void

Now there is an advantage for this as well….. it also fills that void for those real-life dramas, one is unable to enact with the reel-life ones, and which can be filed and enacted at any stage with a definite result. There is satisfaction for both sides, hopefully, we never know….. but at least they are being paid for it…..

We might have some disagreement here, but every cinematic or a serial plot has some link to some real-life drama who knows where…… but it’s better that neither the script writer nor the innocent role-players who enact that drama are unaware about it….. mainly because, it is the connection that the viewer makes during the movie, that make the movie more exciting, and that leaves a sense of déjà vu behind…….

Basically, it keeps the wheels of the society churning…. In other that separates a good scriipt writer from a bad one….

Fortunately, by the time a script is written, edited and made into a movie, the drama process for the role player would have changed considerably…otherwise it could have devastating efffects

He dreams about his hereoine, his perfect woman and likewise the woman, her perfect charmer and the process goes on…..

If not for them, where would we be……

The proverbial masturbators

Recently, stole this from a blog which I took a fancy to…..

The last day I was goin through the articles and news reports on violence in Bangalore at Rajkumar's death. Due to a quirk of fate, Salman Khan got released from jail on the same day too. The reactions of common people to these 2 news got me quite uncomfortable - people were willing to risk their lives and security for some person they see in a cinema hall.

But thinking a bit more in detail about the issue made me realize that its not the hero they are willing to sacrifice their lives for, its the character he plays and the dreams he helps the audience to dream.

Entertainment is all about a willing suspension of disbelief, of helping the audience to be what they could not be in real life. So when Rajni, an auto driver becomes a crorepati one day in a movie, the audience laps it up with full fervour. We do not see Mohanlal as a person, we see Dasan, we see Induchoodan and we see Mangalasery Neelakantan. This is also true with Amitabh Bachan in north India.

But how ethical is this dream weaving? I started thinking along these lines because a couple of weeks down the line, i will be doin the same thing for a living. Use a deo and patao a girl; use a cream and u can make a career; use a soap and u can be like a movie star.....

All these ads might seem like useless to the educated audience like us [hopefully]... But think about a farmer or a daily wage labourer.. who uses these products and spends that much extra money which he could have spent for his kids or family... Are these companies doing the right thing by creating these "emotional and experiential attributes" for products and selling them at a premium?

However this issue has an other side too... It is definitely true that the customer has the right to choose. More importantly the issue is that products like these and films like that of Rajkumar or Rajnikant help the poor farmer to become a crorepati or an Aiswarya Rai by spending 5 bucks or 10 bucks.

Every individual has a right to dream irrespective of the living standards he is in.. and as society moves towards a materialistic one, products and services like these help the poor to satisfy their dreams within their limitations... Something worth discussion??

No let sleeping dogs lie……