Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Nursebots !

Overworked nurses, take heart : help is on the way

I saw an early 'bot', actually an 'orderly bot' in action at

a hospital in Denville New Jersey about 12 years ago
and as it glided (glid ? glade? glode?) by we stuck
a greasy bag of store-bought Samosas (an Indian snack)
on it to deliver to the patient we were visiting.
Just one of the many fun things you can do when these
nursebots start showing up in hospitals.......

Prototype robot nurses could be bustling
around hospital wards in as little as three years,
according to scientists in Germany who have developed
ground-breaking software.

The mechanised "nursebots" being developed by the
EU-funded scientists will perform basic tasks such as
mopping up spillages, taking messages and guiding
visitors to hospital beds.

They could also distribute medicines and even monitor
the temperature of patients remotely with laser thermometers.

Link to article from IBN Live

The Simple Life at the World Bank

(AP Photo/Nadir Alp/Anatolia)

Nothing to laugh at here I guess, if you are
busy traveling like World Bank President
Paul Wolfowitz, seen here as he leaves from
the Ottoman era Selimiye mosque in Edirne,
western Turkey, Sunday, Jan. 28, 2007.
Wolfowitz was in Turkey for a two-day official visit.

The last World Bank annual report, for 2006,
puts the president's salary as of 1 July, 2005,
at $391,440 (£200,279).

Blank Noise update

[Blank Noise Project]
March 8: Blank Noise Action Heroes-Call for Submissions

Wednesday, January 31, 2007 6:39:01 AM

From: jasmeen patheja


Last year just before March 8, International Women's Day,
Blank Noise set up a blog-a-thon , linking all of you and
many other readers not on our mailing list, to each other
through a particularly sensitive and private subject -
the re-telling of experiences of street sexual harassment.
We thought the solidarity in numbers, the anonymity the
Internet offers and the significance of the day itself might
allow some people to tell stories they had never told before.
We expected some thoughtful stories, some provocative ones,
some that would disturb and stay with us, perhaps forever.

But we did not expect over 240 deeply personal testimonials
to come rushing out. We did not expect 131 comments on a
single post. We did not expect the media to pick it up the way
they did, with coverage ranging from regional to international.

This March 8, we're hoping to take the journey begun last year
one step forward. We've heard each other's testimonials, now
let's share each other's actions. On March 8, 2007, Blank Noise
launches an Action Heroes website, which collects no 'victim'
testimonials, no stories of bit-back hurt, no stories of
indifferent onlookers.

This archives and builds your testimonials of a situation where
you emerged as the hero! This space will launch with the
stories of action plans. Give us your strategies.
Your interventions. The time when you subverted a situation,
flipped it on its head and gave the 'perpetrator' no chance but
to stop what he was doing. Give us your success story. Tell us
action hero you are. We will post strategies and
interventions from eight countries up on our brand new
space on International Women's Day.

We're also looking for volunteers to help on this project:

Please email us if you can think you can help out: this is a
two-month project only and we could do with all hands on
board! Especially with reaching out to people who might not be
on the Internet or able to write....

We will have lots more details for you when you email , the words
"march 8 volunteer" in the subject line.

And of course, start writing straight away!**

Hope to hear back soon!
The Blank Noise team

Ph:+ 91 98734 85284 (In Delhi)

+ 91 98868 40612 (Bangalore)

Holla Back California

A sample piece along with guidelines
is available in PDF format

e-mail: frdmilltx (at) yahoo (dot) com

Monday, January 29, 2007

The People have spoken, Big Brother

Here is the outcome of the Shilpa Shetty uproar

on the UK Reality show Big Brother as reported
by CNN. Guess who won.

Prince at Super Bowl XLI

Prince has sold nearly 100 million albums
and is a member of The Rock & Roll
Hall of Fame. He has won six Grammys
(he's one of the leading nominees this
year with five Grammy nominations)
and five American Music Awards.

The Super Bowl is annually America's highest
rated TV program. More than 141 million viewers
watched last year's game in the U.S.
Super Bowl XLI will be broadcast to a potential
worldwide audience of 1 billion in more than
230 countries and territories.

Read about The Super Bowl XLI Halftime Show

Previous Virtual Poona Football-related post

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Bollywood Hits Comedy Central Pt. 2

Previously on Virtual Poona we learned of the
Amitabh-Shahrukh Khan dance-off as
by Stephen Colbert on Comedy Central

Here is the equally funny follow-up via You Tube

Wise Beyond His Years

I must admit I care little about Football, the great
American pastime. If I do watch the Superbowl
Halftime show it's for the prospect of seeing who's
on the star-studded Entertainment line-up and
in the TV commercials which cost in the millions for
a 15-second spot. But this item from Yahoo caught
my eye .....

College at 16. Degree in 3 1/2 years.
Job interviews with
several companies and
an NFL prospect?
» Who is he?


Friday, January 26, 2007

The Bollywood Beatles

Shammi Kapoor from some '60s flick.
'I Wanna Hold Your Hand' is butchered
99.999% !!
Must read the hilarious responses by the
YouTube viewers.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Indian Siblings on American Idol

They are talented but a bit young and need to find
their niche........
who died and made me a judge ??!!


Virtual Poona Blogger is pleased to support
the work of The Blank Noise Project including
upcoming Jan 28th call for Action Heroes
as outlined
by Jasmeen Patheja :

Here's another one! One more action,
one more time!

"Who we are, where we go, what we wear, how
we sit, stand, talk, walk in our very own cities.
Sometimes we just love to walk, stand around,
hang around, without looking 'available.'

Blank Noise Bangalore calls for
Action Heroes
to intervene on the streets of Bangalore.
An action
hero's reaction is not an emotional
outburst, but in fact a strategy/a plan/a choreography.
An Action Hero knows how to judge a situation.
Action Hero chooses to confront or not to
confront, but at no point ignores/ avoids the
problem. Are you one?
Would you like to be an ACTION HERO?
Noise Project Bangalore calls for women/
girls/ ladies/ of all ages, languages, colour, and
shape to be participate in a street intervention on
Sunday January 28th.
Venue: Brigade Road. By participating you will
be celebrated as a BNP Action Hero.

We guarantee that this action won't ask you to be
acrobatic, but to be yourself, and experience the
site you act upon transform. Be the stimuli, be an
action hero.

Confirm /ask us questions at 98868 40612.
This street intervention will be approximately
1.5 hours ( 5 - 6 30 pm)

The group meets at sharp 4 pm at 'ganja park'
off brigade road on rest house road. PLEASE TRY
THE POA WILL BE DISCUSSED. it is futile to repeat
it over and over again for those who dont make
it on time.

To sign up mail us at,
subject titled ACTION HERO, BANGALORE.
Any one can volunteer to work behind the scenes/
run around and get this going! Last week was
handled by Yamini Deen, Soumya Shekhar and
also Sanjana.

Looking forward to plenty of action! Let's get this going!


The Blank Noise Team

( further details will be given to those who sign up).


Ph:+ 91 98734 85284 (In Delhi)

+ 91 98868 40612 (Bangalore)

Monday, January 22, 2007

Big Brother UK update

I must admit I haven't watched an entire episode
of Big Brother UK. Caught a few spots via YouTube.
I have never viewed Shilpa Shetty's Bollywood
work but I am aware of her support for PETA.

**The eviction of former dental nurse Jade Goody,
a contestant on Celebrity Big Brother
is seen as a victory of good over bad, and takes
the sting out of the international furor over the
accusations of racism and bullying by Goody
and other contestants.

The hit series dominated headlines in Britain and
India this week after Ms. Shetty was called
"the Indian" and "Poppadom" .

Show Quote: "She should fuck off home."

**Link to Reuters news article via Yahoo

Need A Date ?

A brilliant short clip !

Saturday, January 20, 2007

R I P : Papa Denny

The Mamas and Papas on Pandora Internet Radio

Denny, Mama Cass, John and Michelle
were The Mamas and the Papas

Denny Doherty
's official site
is currently facing bandwidth overload problems, testimony
to the amount of interest his death has generated.

Software Humour

An ambitious Software Engineer finally decided
to take a vacation.
He booked himself on a Caribbean
cruise and proceeded
to have the time of his life.
At least for a while.

A hurricane came up unexpectedly. The ship went
down and was lost
instantly. The man found himself
swept up on the shores of an island
with no other people,
no supplies, nothing.
Only bananas and coconuts.
Used to four-star hotels,
this guy had no idea what to do.
So, for the next four
months he ate bananas, drank coconut
longed for his old life, and fixed his gaze on the sea,
hoping to spot a rescue ship.

One day, as he was lying on the beach, he spotted
movement out of the
corner of his eye. It was a rowboat,
and in it was the most gorgeous
woman he had ever seen.
She rowed up to him.
In disbelief, he asked her,
"Where did you come from, and how did you get here?"

"I rowed from the other side of the island," she said.
"I landed here when my cruise ship sank."

"Amazing," the Software Engineer said, "I didn't know
anyone else had
survived. How many of you are there?
You were really lucky to have a
rowboat wash up with you."

"It's only me," she said, "and the rowboat didn't wash up,

He was confused, "Then how did you get the rowboat?"

"Oh, simple," replied the woman. "I made it out of raw
material that I
found on the island. The oars were whittled
gum-tree branches, I wove the bottom from palm
branches, and the sides and
stern came from a eucalyptus

"But, but, that's impossible, "stuttered the man. "You had no
tools or
hardware - how did you manage?"

"Oh, that was no problem," the woman said. "On the south
side of the
island, there is a very unusual strata of exposed
alluvial rock. I
found that if I fired it to a certain temperature,
it melted into forgeable
ductile iron. I used that to make tools,
and used the tools to make the
hardware. But enough of that...
where do you live?"

Sheepishly, the man confessed that he had been sleeping on
the beach the whole time.

"Well, let's row over to my place then," she said.

After a few minutes of rowing, she docked the boat at a
small wharf.
As the man looked onto shore, he nearly fell out
of the boat.
Before him was a stone walk leading to an
exquisite bungalow
painted in blue and white. While the
woman tied up the rowboat
with an expertly woven hemp
rope, the
man could only stare ahead, dumbstruck.

As they walked into the house, she said casually, "It's not
much, but I
call it home. Sit down, please. Would you like to
have a drink?"

"No, no, thank you," he said, still dazed. "I couldn't drink
drop of coconut juice."

"It's not coconut juice," the woman replied. "I have made a still,
about a Pina Colada?"

Trying to hide his continued amazement, the Software Engineer
accepted, and they sat down on her couch to talk.

After they had exchanged their stories, the woman announced,
"I'm going to slip into something more comfortable. Would you
like to have a shower and a
shave? There is a razor upstairs in
the bathroom cabinet."

No longer questioning anything, the man went into the bathroom.
There in the cabinet was a razor made from a bone handle.
Two shells honed to a hollow-ground edge were fastened
to its tip, inside a swivel mechanism.

"This woman is absolutely amazing," he mused. "What next?"

When he returned, the woman greeted him. She beckoned for
him to sit down next to her.

"Tell me," she began suggestively, slithering closer to him,

brushing her leg against his, "We've both been out here for a very
long time. You've been lonely.
There's something I'm sure you
really feel like
doing right now, something you've been longing
to do for all of these months."

She stared into his eyes. He couldn't believe what he was hearing -
this was like all of his dreams coming true in one day...

"You mean..." he replied, "I can check my e-mail from here?"

( Thanks, Manny ! )

Friday, January 19, 2007



A streaming music jukebox you can listen to
while you do other stuff on or around your PC
Based upon YOUR current mood:calm, energetic,
dark or positive. Click on a mood type, listen to that type
Visually trance-like, Flash-based animations of swirling
circles and colors
A jukebox that generates music by decade: '50s, '60s, '70s
through the current period
18 genres of 'hit' or 'non-hit' music : Jazz, Blues, Vocal Pop,
Funk, Disco, Reggae, etc. all available with one mouse-click
FREE !! Also upgradeable (in Euros) for better sound quality.**


** I think it sounds fine just the way it is. If I had any more thumbs,
they'd be up too !

Mumbai's Swing Era

Bombay & The Swinging Sixties

STANLEY PINTO, old Bombay boy and night
club pianist, describes the rocking times that
the city was witness to in the 1960s.

As told to Mumbai's Upper Crust magazine

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Hollaback India

click to enlarge and read message.
Pic courtesy of the Blank Noise Project

Originally uploaded by FredMikeRudy.

Shivaji Market

Shivaji Market
Originally uploaded by FredMikeRudy.

Here's another view of the Shivaji Market Pune, the area
that I lived in for the first 20 years of my life. I like to think of this
as a 'gift' from Rolf Heimann from Germany. I mentioned earlier
that Rolf wanted the Poona Blues.
Well, he certainly realized his dream when he
found himself like Robert Johnson at the 'Crossroads' Pune !
Only problem,
the last time he was in Pune was about 40 years ago.
Here's part of his e-mail :
"Of course, after so many years it was like travelling in one of those
sci-fi time travelling machines: India has changed so much.
To my mind, it's basically more people, more houses, more traffic -
and the infrastructure is completely overstretched. It is awesome to
see the masses of people belonging to something of a new middle
class who all seem to have mopeds and buying power.
One day I went out into the countryside and I found the old India
again, but even there businesses were flourishing and traffic was
breathtaking (literally)."

Related post:

Monday, January 15, 2007

LEGO : The Abston Church

Precious Memories
Amy Hughes constructed a church entirely from Lego
blocks, all the while documenting construction progress.
er cat, Precious was an onlooker during the entire
process and passed away shortly after project
The Abston Church is dedicated to Precious.

See photos

Link to Amy Hughes' site

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Bollywood hits Comedy Central

Stephen Colbert's funny take on Bollywood gossip
You Tube video pits Amitabh against Shahrukh Khan.

See who wins :

Friday, January 12, 2007

Street Justice for Nagpur Pervert

Angry locals took justice into their own hands
on Thursday
when they stripped, paraded
and beat up a social welfare officer accused
with sexual harassment of a minor over a two-
year period.

Read the IBN News article here

Watch the CNN/IBN video here

Related links :

New Year's Eve Teasers
The Blank Nosie Project
Hollaback NYC

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Free TV and Movies on your PC !

UPDATED - Dead links deleted 1/29/09

If I was looking to profit from this particular post,
I'd probably say something along these lines :

" WTF ? You refuse to pay hundreds of $$$ for Cable TV or
Satellite channels but you want to watch an Indian sitcom or
the news from the U.K.? How about Comedy Central,
Trance from France, or Japanese Game shows, or an oldie
Bond flick or a Silent Classic like 'M'?
Well, OK....grouch no more, my disturbed friend ! "

But I'm not out for profit
so enjoy these links
I've painstakingly put together.
All you need is basic
hi-speed internet, a little patience
(depending on your
personality/attitude) and lots of time to watch the
3,000+ channels available.

NEWS channels
Ov Guide rules !

CNN is EVERYWHERE! Just go to, wherever you are....

TV Serials/Full Blockbuster Movies/Anime/ Music

(No registration, but requires Free Google Video Player)
In addition to Oldies,TV, Cartoons, full Music albums,
Slideshows and Cricket, there's new full-length
Hollywood movies here :

new full-length Bollywood movies here :

Movies, Music and Documentaries and more

Global TV Portal

The Patient Channel

'Informative. Empowering. Accessible'. Not my words,
theirs. Viewed in many hospital waiting rooms and clinics.

For your online addiction.....
The Home Shopping Network

If you're having viewing problems e-mail me at:

Saddam is Hydra-like

In Greek Mythology one of the twelve labours
of Hercules
was to kill the two-headed Hydra,
a serpent-like underworld beast.

The problem here was that each time one head was
cut off
, two heads grew back.
(See Wiki explanation here )

So Saddam is dead and buried, you say ?
Well, my disturbed friends, read on and see
your grandchildren's peers could be ....... article via UPI
How many Saddams to make a village?
Lakhanow, India | January 10, 2007 12:01:13 AM IST

There''s not much to picking out a name for new sons in
the village of Lakhanow in northern India -- all the boys
are being named Saddam Hussein.

The BBC says the name hardly was ever used before the
first U.S. war against Iraq in 1991 but now there are more
than 20 in Lakhanow and 100 others in 27 adjoining villages,
mostly populated by Sunni Muslims.

Since Saddam''s execution last month, Lakhanow villagers
have decided to name all newborn boys Saddam Hussein.

This is our way to pay tribute to our leader. We want to carry
on his legacy here at least in our village, Ejaj Alam told the BBC.

Villagers admit, however, having so many Saddam Husseins in
one place can be a bit daunting.

In the playground we have Saddam Hussein running after
Saddam Hussein, behind Saddam Hussein who is ahead of
Saddam Hussein but too far from Saddam Hussein ...
it can all get a little confusing, he said.

Friday, January 05, 2007

New Year's Eve Teasers 2

Aussie couple comes forward

A thoroughly dismaying follow up to
New Year's Eve Teasers
wherein we learn of multiple assaults on females in Mumbai.

Harassment and molestation takes place on a daily basis in this city,
on the street,
on trains, in buses, at bus stops.
The links below are to brief clips from CNN/IBN News video
which give an idea of the challenges that lie ahead for those who
are attempting to bring about change. People
I applaud like
Blank Noise Project in July 2006, and Hollaback NYC

Overpopulation, Poverty, Corruption, Illiteracy and Apathy
all contribute to this escalating problem.

For your mothers, for your sisters, spread the word !

Australian Couple Recalls Molestation Horror
Lee and Maya, a couple from Sydney were in Mumbai
new year's eve when a mob surrounded them
and molested Maya.
The tourist says she was badly bruised
and over 20 men tried to rip
off her clothes. The couple
somehow managed to escape and chose
not to file any police
complaint either. They only decided to voice their
experience after seeing the footage in news reports of a girl

(still untraced) being molested by the mob.
Link to CNN/IBN video

Mumbai Cop Held for Molestation
Constable Rajesh Pawar was reportedly hauled up by the public
and handed over to the Marine Drive Police Station for
the modesty of a young woman.
Link to CNN/IBN video

Mumbai's Image Forever Tarnished

As if this weren’t enough to tarnish the city’s image,
a 30-year-old
American tourist has said she was molested
while taking photographs
at the Prince of Wales Museum
in the Fort area of the city.

Link to CNN/IBN video

For your mothers, for your sisters, spread the word !

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Movin' On Up in Mumbai

From the International Herald Tribune :
Under an inventive government program in Mumbai, builders raze
entire slum neighborhoods and use part of the land for tenements
to house the original residents. In return, the developer wins the
right to build lucrative towers on the rest of the land and pays
nothing but the cost of the slum resettlement

Slideshow with terse comments: Moving Up in Mumbai

Compare this to a previous Virtual Poona post

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

New Year's Eve Teasers

Found this* at DNA India just moments after reading
the latest entry at Holla Back NYC which encourages
women to fight back against street harassment :

*'MUMBAI: A photographer from a city-based tabloid,

on duty to capture revelry at the Gateway of India on
New Year's eve, clicked pictures of a girl allegedly
being harassed by a group of men during celebrations.'

Here's the follow-up story, Jan. 6th

Over 60 men involved. This is progress in the world's
next economic powerhouse ? Related link

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy 2007 from Bangkok

Pom in Thailand sent this greeting to y'all :

Happy New Year 2007!
and said :
It's nice to hear from Rusell again, welcome back in action.