Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Zimmers on MySpace

An awe-inspiring performance of The Who classic
by a group of Seniors from the U.K. They've
been all over the net for awhile now but my memory
of them was jogged when I read that one of the films
being pushed at the current Sundance Film Festival
is 'Young At Heart', which I mentioned here last June.
American or British, these folks are a pleasure to watch
and I only hope I can kick-start something similar when
I grow up ;-)

Check out this video:
The Zimmers - My Generation










Sunday, January 20, 2008

Indian Car Culture

A hilarious piece from the New York Times
on the new Nano and Indians who are adjusting to the
new car culture taking over their lives.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Same Old New Year Problems

From the Hindustan Times:
'A mob of 70-80 men groped and molested two young
women for some 15 minutes on a busy main street in
Mumbai’s glamour district Juhu early on New Year’s Day.'
LINK to full article

That piece of news got me ranting on the state of
affairs in India, touted as the soon-to-be world's
next Economic Superpower.
Simply put : if there's not enough room, you're going
to bump into something or someone. If the bumping
is between individuals, sooner or later
it becomes an
unwanted and unavoidable fact of life.It's when the
'bump' turns into 'grind' that it becomes
the unaccepted,
that which must be dealt with on a personal level - via
confrontation with the source of discomfort.

So it is in over-populated India, where overwhelming
opportunities reside for the teeming masses to bump into
each other on a daily basis as they go about their business.
The jostling for comfort and safety in overcrowded
trains, buses and stations remains an ongoing fact of life.

Confrontation with sources of discomfort may take the
situation to levels of verbal abuse and violence and legal
action. However, confrontation often comes with the
threat of repercussion, in the form of stalking of victims
and their families and even murder. As an example of how
confrontation can escalate a problem, take a look at
Houston, Texas USA where I currently reside. When driving
in New York City I freely honked at drivers and pedestrians
to alert them to make way, along with the rest of the
frustrated million people wanting to travel through the
streets of the Big Apple. Same as in India, bumper-to-bumper
and breathing down each other's necks, getting hot under
the collar and honking in frustration. In Texas however,
where Gun Control has a whole different meaning, the
simple act of blowing one's horn at someone who is in
your way means you're almost certain of being physically
confronted or shot at. It's that simple. You blow your horn,
you're asking to get shot. So we don't blast on our car
horns, rather we tap-not beeep-politely to get the other's
attention. Sadly the shooter often drives away without
ever being punished.

What does all this have to do with sexual harassment
in India ? What's my point ? The point is, the extreme
measures necessary to overcome the problem are simply
not in place. That's why the people have the need to
form groups like Blank Noise and attempt to tackle the
problem themselves. It's the Wild West in its Asian
incarnation, and it's only when there are enough
martyrs for the cause that we can hope the situation
merits more action from the Indian Government.

In the meanwhile, Ladies - keep paving the way for your
children's children. Show them the way to take a stand
just as the Suffragettes did a long time ago. We may not
see the change in our lifetime but it will come about
as surely as Democracy did
after India's Independence.

For more opinions on this topic visit the Action Heroes
at http://www.blanknoiseproject.blogspot.com/


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Back To the Dashboard



" This coffee tastes like mud! Well, it was ground
this morning. " ~
Author Unknown **

Apologies dear friends and readers, and many
thanks for your patience and the returning visit !
I shall be resuming the regular scheduled blogging
shortly. Lost my broadband connection and spent
my precious time instead of my precious money on
getting the problem solved. I got as far as the
you are
now connected' message from my modem
and then -
no page would load in my browser.
Turns out I was
using the wrong power adapter for
the modem,
that's all ! The Tech support guy left
without giving
me a bill and that was the best thing
to happen to me
in the New Year....so far.

**More Coffee Quotes here

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Way Beyond Weird

Updated May 29, 2009 - recently discovered links !
My original post was published here in Jan. 2008

Margaret Deefholt's colorfully related piece is an
excellent read and the accompanying video is
a perfect testament to this rare and unusual sight that
takes place in Sivapur, - about an hour's drive from
my old hometown of
Pune.
video


Above image and a great article seen at:
http://www.aulia-e-hind.com/dargah/Pune.htm


Say, are you mystified by mystical occurences and psychic
phenomena like I am ? The weird experiment mentioned
below is one that I can personally vouch for, having taken
part in it, in fact it takes place on a regular basis !
If you are making plans to visit India I highly recommend
making the trip to take part in something that can only
be described as truly extraordinary. Something that falls
'off the beaten path' of Tourist agendas.


This link from an
article by John Decker at Keelynet.com
entitled 'Gestalts and the Production of Anomalous
Phenomena'
mentions the Sufi shrine I visited during the
Seventies in
Shivapur, near Poona, India :


'It is named after Sufi holy man Qamar Ali. In the courtyard,
visitors to the temple are
asked to assist in a demonstration
of Qamar Ali's divine
presence. The experiment involves two
large boulders
in the courtyard, one slightly larger than the
other. When eleven people stood around the largest boulder*
and lightly touched it with a single forefinger (as I understand
it, either hand could be used),
they were instructed by a
disciple of the temple, to chant
in unison, the phrase,
'
Qamar Ali Dervish' in a kind of sing-song style. After a
couple of minutes of this chanting,
the stone would rise up
off the ground. If the chanting
stopped or just one person
removed their finger from the
stone, it would instantly fall
to the ground. The smaller
boulder could also be lifted in
similar fashion, yet it only
required the participation of
nine people. On our recent
trip to Egypt, I SO wanted to
go to India to witness this
phenomenon and do it for myself,
making a videotape
and taking measurements where
possible, however,
the cost was beyond my budget.
Again, we have the
combined willpower of a group of
people, expecting a
specific goal to occur.'

Related story here

*
138 lbs.!

JibJab Reviews



The American-slanted socio-political video

commentary from the folks at JibJab always
amuses ! I liked their review of 2007 on YouTube
but it got yanked so here's the direct link to the video

Lots more poking at the Establishment, like this
one for 'Big Box Mart'

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

What is XING ?


Bild008
Originally uploaded by ekaabo.

Sorry, XING is not Xiao's last name.......

Are you looking to network socially but on a
slightly more refined and mature level than MySpace,
Facebook and their kin ? Then check out XING,
which was the first web2.0
company to go public.
These folk work hard and mingle equally hard
all over
the globe, from Europe to Dubai to the USA.
Photographic evidence like the Oktoberfest one above
may be viewed on Flickr,
but does not necessarily
represent the total scope of
Their Mission :
'XING is committed to powering relationships based

on trust for all professional people. Based on the
theory that “No two people are more than six degrees
apart”, XING enables members to grow their trusted
network by making their contacts’ contacts visible
to them.'

With XING you can:

• Find decision makers and experts fast
• Open doors to thousands of companies
• See your contacts' contacts
• Market yourself in a professional context
• Open up new sales channels
• Find old student friends and former colleagues
• Let other people find you
• Manage and expand your network

I didn't expect much going into the deal and rightly
so since I don't come from a corporate situation now.
However, the highly professional and helpful members
certainly got my vote when they actually offered
free advice on various topics related to their particular
field of expertise. Take the tour here.

XING


2008 New Year Greetings from Jackie Mason

Stand-up Comedy legend Jackie Mason's still going
strong
after selling out Broadway and Las Vegas with
his raunchy
no-holds barred sarcastic wit. But here
he is a bit more
mellow as he reflects on what we
should really look for in the New Year...it's also a
little plug for his upcoming March 2008 Live show
via his YouTube page.