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Friday, June 27, 2008

On the Quote of the Day

Comes from my friend and reader of this blog Crazybunka (Shankar), from a comment on this post,

if you want to speak to a feminist(or any other special interest group) use equality, rationality and fairness selectively.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

On Atheism: The Meaning

I was raised a Hindu, in fact I am still a Hindu on official documents, but over the last few years I have increasingly been identifying with Atheism. For a long time, I had difficulty articulating my thoughts and the belief system; now that problem has been solved by Amit Varma in this post. He writes,
The conviction that there is no God is irrational because one cannot prove a negative. (How do you prove that something does not exist?) However, it is entirely rational to not believe in something whose existence has not been demonstrated. I don’t believe in dragons or fairies because no one has yet proved to me that they exist. Ditto God. I am not asserting that God does not exist, but simply saying that I don’t believe in the existence of God because I see no evidence of Him (or Her, or It). This is not a dogmatic position: if you can prove to me tomorrow that God or dragons exist, I will start to believe in them. Until then, I remain in disbelief.

Do read the whole thing.

On Jane McGrath, RIP

This is kind of late. Last week saw the passing away of Jane McGrath, wife of Glenn McGrath. She passed away because of complications from a surgery. As readers might be aware, she was battling cancer for the last few years. Even through her pain, she was a major driving force behind the Glenn McGrath foundation, which does a lot of good work in the area of breast cancer. Please take a moment to remember this courageous lady. All the best to the kids and Glenn.

On How the World Went Bonkers While I Was Out of Town

So the last weekend saw me visiting the Universal studios and Disneyland in California. Two days I am out of town, and when I come back, I see the Netherlands have managed to lose to Russia in the quarterfinals of the Euro-2008. What?

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In other news, I am the new king of I-5, the interstate connecting San Diego and northern California and further. Well, not of the whole area but a stretch between Los Angeles and Six Flags (an adventure theme park featuring extreme roller-coasters and related rides). Four times in twelve hours, yeah baby! I am extremely proud of my driving skills.

On Dowry--Some More Thoughts

But this time not mine, read Crazybunka's last comment on my last post. Food for thought.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

On Dowry--A Revisit

A lot of google-search traffic to this blog come to this post on the practice of dowry and related laws. This started me thinking more about the practice, and revisit the thoughts that went into that post.

I had argued that anti-dowry laws trample on the freedom of people to spend in any way they choose. However, I started thinking whether one should willingly give up one's right to give dowry--maybe as a pre-condition to live in a society that is trying to eradicate the practice.

Unfortunately, I haven't been able to come to a conclusion. To be precise, I haven't been able to think of an example where I would willingly give up a particular right in order to live in a society. More thoughts will be appreciated.

On Weird Stuff in Harry Potter

Obliviate-simple file deletion. can be restored
legilimens--intrusive inspection of file
occlumency--firewall.
imperius curse--turn into a full-fledged bot
avada kadevra--shift-delete
accio--search
leprechaun gold--stuff on cache

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

On my Transformation from a Fatso to an Incredibly Muscular Hulk

PRESENT DAY:

Took bath, and wore a tee-shirt. Wow! Shirt snuggling against the torso, my biceps straining against the sleeves--yeah baby! I am the hero, I am great.
Within a few seconds, my eyes turned misty, and my mind turned to that day when....


FLASHBACK: Ten months earlier.

A somber chat with my friend J. I had just found I had become fatter than I already was.

J: Dude, what's wrong with you?
P: Yaar, I have become so fat!
J: How?
P: Arre, the pant I wore on the flight to US? It doesn't fit me anymore :(
J: When was it?
P: A couple of weeks back, since then a steady diet of coke, burger and fries has done the trick.
J: What? That surely explains it--three times a day you eat burger and fries and what do you expect? A Bradd Pitt body?
P: Not exactly, those for lunch only.
J: Hmm, say, have you washed that pant after coming here?
P: Yes, why do you ask?
J: You idiot, US washing machines will do that to your clothes, don't worry you are not fat. The pant has shrunk.

CUT BACK TO PRESENT:
And so has the tee. Sigh!

On the bright side, that pant does fit me right now :)

On the Laker-Celtics Finals Game 3 2008

"When Kobe Bryant attacks the basket, good things happen"--A commentator on ABC.

Very true. So many good things happen.
1) Kobe Bryant scores. He makes spectacular shots, not for nothing is he called the Unguardable.
2) Opposing team have to double team him. That opens up other players, who score freely. Like yesterday in the dying minutes of the game. KG and Ray guarding Kobe, Odom free. Kobe passes to Lamar Odom, who passes to Vujacic for an open three, and Lakers take a six point lead, effectively ending the game right there.
3) Kobe draws a number of fouls, thus creating lots of free throws.
4) Opponents' best defender has to guard Kobe, so a teammate gets guarded by a lesser defender, making it easier for Kobe's pass to become an assist.

That's why the poet said,

Do you know why the Black Mamba is the MVP?
Coz he does stuff you can't see.
One on one with Ray, double with KG,
what he does? A pass for a three. Yeah, a pass for a three.

Rondo thinks, "Why's he guarding me?"
A masterstroke it proves to be.
On the counter, Rondo has to guard Kobe,
For the MVP, that's too easy. Yeah, just too easy.

Nineteen points in the first quarter,
Killed the Celtics right then and there.
By the time Doc got wiser,
and asked Allen to take over, too late. Yeah, too late brother.

Stopping on the dime, rise and shoot.
A turn, a fake and layup to boot.
With Jack and Eddie and the Staples to root,
For the MVP, game three was a hoot. Yeah, the night was a hoot.

[Sing in a rap. If anyone wants to compose the music and sing, feel free. Send me the link please. ]

Sunday, June 8, 2008

On 2008 Roland Garros Final

Federer unforced errors interspersed with a few Federer winners and a few Nadal winners--sums up the match.

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A commentator remarked at the end of McEnroe's interview with Nadal, "He feels worse for the way he defeated Roger!"

During the presentation, Nadal takes the mic after Federer is done and goes, "Sorry Roger for that final."

During that same speech, next thing he does is urge the crowd to applaud Federer's efforts.

At the end of the match (fittingly, with yet another Federer unforced error), Nadal's reaction? Keep the racquet in the chair, walk back to the net and clap twice with hands over the head. That's it. As muted as it can get when you have just won four times in a row.

Meh, it seems I am becoming a Nadal fan after all. Unless this was a vicious vicious way to rub it in, and I hate myself for even thinking that thought.