Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Enna Kodumai Saravanan Idhu?!?!?

Champions Trophy

Thank God, India exited the tournament. I don't want to use 'crashed' out as they never had any momentum going into the tournament or during the tournament to 'crash' out. Harbhajan Singh, as always thinks he has a God-given right to be successful and kept bowling poor line and length. Ishanth Sharma is a trend-setter. In my memory he is the first Dravid of bowling - meaning, he is a test match bowler, where, you can afford to have attacking fields and not have a concern about being containing - He is young and so can improve on his temperament and perhaps comeback to the ODI team.

Dravid - needs to go back to Bangalore and only come in on overseas test tours (but the way the pitches around the world are being 're-laid' to convert them into batsman friendly ones, he can retire from all forms).

RP Singh - another vetti. I think to motivate him, the BCCI has to pay him like he gets during IPL - which is not viable/sustainable. He could be India's answer to Flintoff's mercenary ways.

Dinesh Karthik - I think he is the true modern reincarnation of Hrishikesh Kanitkar.

Sehwag and Tendulkar - the best opening combo can have at this moment. They complement each other well, yet, are similar in certain ways which makes them a potent combo.

Google Wave

If Google can pull this off, without too many bugs, then they might be onto something - but I'm surely skeptical at this point of time.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Recently a good friend of mine told me that he was waiting for my review of Unnaippol Oruvan - This part pleased me as I was at some point of my previous life calling myself a Tamizh Padam PhD - but the reason he gave me stole my thunder - that I generally kizhichify every movie and he was looking forward to see what faults I will find in this one.

Apart from this guy, there is always rathathin raththam, arumai thangachi who keeps telling me that I write blogs to instigate people, make them angry and perhaps sambadhichufy their vayitherichal/sabam. Of course her accusation comes from the fact that amongst our likes, there are only 2 anomalies - Shriya Saran (I like her) and Saurav Ganguly (Akka is a Udal Mannuku, Uyir Dada-ku kinda of fanatic, while I'm, quite evidently, a passionate hater of Ganguly and his ideas {rather the lack of them} ). I generally discount her criticism as I thought she was over exaggerating - but now I'm tempted to think that I've got to definitely tone down. I'm passionate about my opinions and views, but when it encroaches on others' sensibilities, I guess, at that point, I become something I don't want to be - overbearing and hypocrite - so no more rants and raves - no more criticisms - at least for a while so that I can get the "too-much" of it out of my system.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Lost Symbol

I loved Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons for the same reason(s) I like Alexandre Dumas, Charles Dickens (Great Expectations) and Robert Louis Stevenson - the uncanny ability to weave a fictional story around historical events and characters. In utmost honesty, I liked Angels and Demons more than the Da Vinci Code, though the latter had more shock value. Less said about D. Brown's Digital Fortress and Deception Point, the better as, they are worser than the masala movies that Dr. Vijay gives out.

I digress. In his latest book, Brown returns to his favorite topics - Symbology, Pagan and Christian origins and of course an esoteric cult, here the Freemasons. The book starts quite in the Da Vinci mode, with Langdon being brought into a crime scene, him trying to evade authorities, a few twists and turns and the final denouement, followed by a fill in the blanks session between lead characters. To me, having spent almost 6-7 hours at a stretch to complete the book, it felt like a huge letdown. Highlight the next para for spoilers:

The plot itself is very reminiscent of the Da Vinci - there it was Jacques Saunière, here it is Peter Solomon. And you feel that book has too many parallels and you would not notice this, had the plot been thicker and more interesting like, the da Vinci Code. The character of Mal' akh is quite a mix of the psychotic Ghost from dVC and the Hassasin from A&D. The only new thing in this book is that P. Solomon is alive till the end, while Leonardo Vetra and Jacques Saunière were killed in the previous book. And to please the crowd that he displeased in his previous outings, here Brown plays to the religious galleries. I was amused to find that Brown was liberally using the Advaitam, propounded by Sankara (since there were multiple Sankara's, he is referred by his popular name, Adi-Sankara, who, single handedly established the shanmata and stopped the rampant spread of Mimamsa and Jainism and Buddhism which was the case in South India - read Ponniyin Selvan for another historical-fictional work by Kalki). Brown expounds on the asAvAdhithyO brahma | brahmai vAhamasmi concept and towards the latter portion of the book, ends up preaching to the choir (for most of the tambrahm crowd).

If you have not read the dVC (which is going to be a remote possibility) or its been a long while since you read the book, give this one a try and you shall be happy you did. Else read the book some months down the line when the paperback edition is released.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

San Jose

When I used to be really young, whenever my mother made my favorite palagaaram - Kesari mudhal baadam halwa varai - I used to eat them till I used to feel sick - sometimes I used to be choked with the sweet taste. San Jose is like that - continuously predictably good weather, at the least one Indian in every direction you turn your head, one big company per street... But all this is making me hate this place more and more. Wonder why.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Internet Explorer and Shopper Discounts

One of my rule of thumb is that Microsoft is internet challenged. They cannot produce one internet based product which is useful for your daily life (including Bing, which is more interested in giving you some service related search results instead of what you are searching). See below: Shopper discount is a scamster online who have a pop-up for IE and when you use your CC it phishes for it and uses it to charge $12.00 every month. I googled the word shopper discount and also searched for it on Bing. While google's second link was about scams, the money hungry Bing tries to promote this scam service. And the LYAO part comes with the Bing advertisements on TV parodying Google. There is a typical tamizh cinema thittu (dad to udhavakarai son) which comes to mind. I don't want to say that. What I shall say is even if Microsoft drinks water standing upside down, they cannot get any close to Google in terms of Internet technology. When it comes to OS and Software suites, I take my hat off to Microsoft - they are God - Windows XP might perhaps be one of the best things that ever happened to me in my life, but when online, run away from Microsoft as if they have the Swine Flu.

Point in case: I'm an Internet Explorer averse person. In my opinion, Internet explorer is like an American car - useless, unreliable and of course, susceptible to every tom, dick and harry out to make a fast buck. A person whom I know quite well is, well, for personal reasons a big fan of Microsoft - and sadly, Internet Explorer and so via that channel, this moron Shopper Discounts phished my credit card number and have been happily charging me 12 every month. Since I quite recently, with a superlative mind control methods chose to zap out all balances on all credit cards, I was surprised to find that there was a balance in one through this shopper dicsounts. So, this whole blogpost might be a result of some personal experience/bias, but the point to take is stay away from Internet Explorer. Use Google Chrome. I swear on God that I've not had any pop-ups at all - even when I visit the usual suspects like,, You never know - when Internet Explorer might let you down next.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

The Sun TV effect

Whilst I was in India, Sun TV used to play and replay certain songs and manufactured them to be hits. A good example I would say were those stupid thathuva songs of Dr. Vijay. Now that effect that has been revisited. This song has been played and replayed so many times in the last few days that I catch myself humming the tune - worsht!! The guy who wrote the lyrics for this song deserves to be flogged till he promises to learn thamizh and write better songs.

How the web views you...

This tool from MIT is cool - try it!!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009


Seeing the current US Open, I think Men's Tennis is at its nadir with regard to service games. There was a time that Sampras used to serve out 4 aces to seal the deal after he has broken his opponent. There were other guys like Rusedski, Ivanisevic and Philippoussis who had killer serves and of course you had Becker and Co. for a very good serve combined with all round playing skills. The only person currently who has the ability to move the ball in the box on a regular and consistent level seems to be Roger Federer. Tennis, in particular, the women's game, is becoming more and more a baseline slugfest (complete with guttural moans and cries - Nadal, Sharapova to be noted). If any one of you had seen the the Wozniacki - Kuznetsova game yesterday, you would wondered if there is any more subtlety or nuance in the game at all. It was like 2 barbarians having a battle with racquets. Nobody cares about serves. The average first serve percentage for a Women's game is around 30-40 and in the Men's its closer to 60. A pity, really....