Sunday, November 27, 2005

Adventure 9

Scrabble, anyone?

Who said the world lacks original thinkers? One of the most original thinkers, in my opinion is Nigerian Scrabble ace, Chinedu Okwelogu a.k.a Sidespin. For want of any original thoughts, I have decided to introduce you to the world of Sidespin, who is a regular contributor to the SOWPODS Yahoo group.

The A--Z of Why You Should Play Scrabble

Able bodies require the support of able minds.
Scrabble trains the mind.

Busyness requires the companionship of other business.
Why not make Scrabble your other business?

Capital is essential for development. Your capital
support base is incomplete without Scrabble.

Dangerous situations require desperate measures.
Scrabble teaches you desperate measures.

Education without leisure is boring. Scrabble provides
the link.

Friends are made through Scrabble. But be careful!
They can also be lost through it.

Gateways to success are manned by sentries of
perseverance. Scrabble introduces you to those
sentries.

Holiness is next to godliness. Play Scrabble with your
spouse or betrothed, and you have a godlike assurance
of it.

Innovation may live in the neighbourhood of invention;
but Scrabble is the estate manager.

Justices are lettered balancers of judgment. Scrabble
players are judicious jugglers of letters.

Kingdoms, over time, have been ruled over by kings.
Scrabble, with time, will overrule even a king!

Love without reciprocation can be sheer agony;
Scrabble, even without love, is sheer ecstasy.

Madness is sanity in a scrabble; Scrabble is sanity in
madness.

Nature abhors a vacuum. Scrabble is the vacuum
sweeper.

Opportunity knocks but once. Scrabble opens up several
opportunities, so you can receive several knocks (pun
intended and unintended).

Parliament is the battleground for the sharpening of
wits. Scrabble is the fairground for the display of
sharpened wit.

Questions are fascinating for as long as they remain
unanswered. Scrabble is riveting for its many unasked
questions.

Rottenness is a stage in the chronological progression
of a body. Scrabble is a halt in the progression of a
mind to rottenness.

Size is of great consequence in the field of sports.
Some sports require big bodies; others create wide
bodies; Scrabble is just content with the size of the
contents in the skull.

Tennis is sexily divided into male and female.
Scrabble is hermaphroditically sexless.

Utopia is a painting of imagined realities. Scrabble
is a photograph of realistic imaginations.

Variety is the spice of life. Scrabble is the spice of
variety.

Wives at times hate Scrabble, for they see it as a
RIVAL. Scrabble is indifferent to such wives, for it
sees them as VIRAL.

Xenophobia is the morbid fear of strangers. Scrabble
is a strange cure for morbidity.

Yoghurt is a cream enjoyed by society. Scrabble is
enjoyed by the cream of society.

Zoology is the study of living animals, wild and
domestic. Scrabble is the animalistic ology of
wildness, living and nonliving.

Sidespin.

More from the Sidespin treasure chest:

Scrabblica Parrotonia

Members of the House of Assembly assembled in the
house of a member for a baptismal party. By and by,
the Speaker sat down to a game of Scrabble, and his
opponent, the Whip, enquired whether he had anything
to say before he spanked him.
The Speaker replied, "My words will speak for me."
Rejoined the Whip: "Just remember you'd be speaking to
the Whip."
Then chimed in the household's pet member from his
cage: "Just whip the member you speaking to...Just
clip the mamba you spoken to...First grip the ember
you picking to...."
After five minutes: "Don't speak the member you
weeping to!"
The Clerk, who had been listening, vituperated: "Shut
up, or you'll be baptised with alcohol."
Without blinking, the malapropian Mr. Feathers replied
with "Phut up, or you be advised leave the hall".

Sidespin.

Too much Scrabble? Well, here are the lessons he learnt from the Under-20 World football finals:

Hi, Everyone,

1.
I should always assume that when my opponent commits
an infringement, he will get away with it; but if I DO
IT, I will be punished. So I should NOT DO IT.

2.
Knowing how to legitimately win a penalty in topflight
football is an artful science, part of the game, and
should be distinguished from DIVING which is next to
criminal.
Knowing how to convert a penalty kick is a scientific
art, equally part of the game, and not synonymous with
CHEAPNESS.

3.
Conversely, knowing how not to give away a penalty is
an artistic scientific technicality, and it takes the
MOST PRESENT of minds, in the SOUNDEST of bodies,
under the LUCKIEST of circumstances to perfect it.

All said and done, we cannot take anything away from
the Nigerians(including the two infringers), for at
that high level of physical combat, it takes supreme
ability to control a body in motion, especially in
relation to another body equally in motion. It is not
easy. Bravo, Flying Eagles!

But, were the Argentines not a delight to watch!
What with the spraying of wall passes and fleet-footed
dribbles!!
In my small opinion, they are deserving World
Champions.

Sidespin.

Hats off to you, Sidespin. Shine on, you crazy diamond!!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Adventure 8

Ennui

Cars pass by on Hosur Road. I sit at my desk, looking at the plasma skin. I contemplate the future occassionally. Mine, that is. Does not seem too bright. Peeleraja, the scourge of the NITK Final Block LAN Forum, made his entry in the internet. But, even posting there has gotten quite mundane. Unfortunately, the netizens of Bangalore do not know how to use forums like the inmates of Final block hostel of NITK, batch of 2005.

Orkut has gotten stale. Online radio is now repetitive, albeit a welcome respite from that continuously looping Winamp. CAT is a few days away. No leave. Long hours at office. I am bored. IIM seems a distant dream now. No enthusiasm to study any more.

The pool table at office has degenerated further. I have grown tired drinking fruit juice (on the house) thrice a day. I drink it once a day now. Nobody seems online. I am bored.

I miss college life. Yes, I really do. Even those horrid labs in the Chemical Engineering Department. Even those psychopathic teachers. Even the bad mess food. I can't wait for the Convocation. I hope they do not cancel it.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Adventure 7

Für Elise

I wake up in the morning to the alarm Für Elise.
The lift opens
Für Elise.
The car downstairs reverses
Für Elise.
I walk out; the bus honks
Für Elise.
My neighbour's cellphone beeps
Für Elise.
I am watching TV - the advertisement is
Für Elise.

I am now sick of Für Elise.
Click here to find out why

I get back home and play some music - Für Elise.
My irritation vanishes.
Here's to Beethoven who composed Für Elise.
Click here to find out why




Thursday, October 13, 2005

Adventure 6

There Ain't No Such Thing As Free Speech

IIPM targets bloggers.
Bloggers unite.
Gaurav need not worry.
Neither does Varna.
The blogging fraternity will crush the Empire.
The Revolution has begun.
The world will be a better place to live in.

Arindam Chaudhuri is a fraud. One of thousands, in a land of frauds. The land of Maharshi Mahesh Yogi. Abdul Kareem Telgi. Satya Sai Baba. Subroto Roy. Ramar Pillai. Lal Krishna Advani. Laloo Prasad Yadav. Murli Manohar Joshi. CR Bhansali. Ketan Parekh. Harshad Mehta. PV Narasimha Rao. Kishen Kumar. Bal Thackeray. Daler Mehndi.

So where did he go wrong? A man who had effortlessly duped thousands of students a year, with his slick advertisements, has suddenly found himself on the wrong side of the 'cognoscenti' of Indian cyberspace. Chaudhuri is not a bigshot. He will be overcome. But what about the rest?

Free speech is a myth. It has never existed - either in the civilised or uncivilised world. The Soviets erased all records of Stalin and Trotsky from their official records. The y had no remorse. They openly practised censorship.

The free world is more subtle. Dubya for example. The prospect of losing major advertisers was too much for CNN. No wonder American soldiers were shown cuddling babies and giving Mars bars to the young ones in Baseh.

India. The land of the free. Where miracle workers are known to have rather strange tastes. Where newspaper offices are raided by State servants, and official apologies doled out like laddoos in Tirupati. Where Money Is Power. Just like everywhere else. And why not? What is the fight for? The ones with money will continue to control the press. Opinions will continue to be manufactured. For thats the way things work.

Arindam Chaudhuri is no Dhirubhai Ambani. He made a false step and will pay dearly for it. He will soon be consigned to the dustbin. Like Shakti Kapoor. He is unfortunate. The real suppressors will continue to flourish. Because nobody knows them. Because they uproot the cause. Not the symptom.

Bye bye Arindam...

Monday, October 03, 2005

Adventure 5

Paradox

2 October, 2005, Bangalore:

There I was, at Screen 4, Inox, Garuda Mall, clutching a Rs. 200 ticket, and sipping a chilled soda (Fanta, to be precise). Before that, an escalator had transported me to the fifth floor of this place, populated by such brands as Baskin Robbins, Swarovski, Samsonite, Nokia, Westside, and Shoppers' Stop. The movie I had come to watch: Maine Gandhiji ko Nahin Maara; 9-time National Award winner Jahnu Barua's first ever Hindi film.

It was fantastic. Barua is not only a gifted director, but also an excellent story and script writer. Anupam Kher as the paranoid schizophrenic (or whatever) and Urmila Matondkar as his harried daughter were absolutely outstanding. The film rues the loss of Gandhi's loss in today's generation - and does manage to score a strong point.

The paradox lies in my surroundings. Only such a mammoth multiplex as Inox could play a meaningful film like this, which is bound to bomb at the box office! One that lives off the boom in the technology sector and ever increasing disposable income in today's youth. A multiplex that is slowly cornering all the better movies from the smaller and older cinema theatres. One that is responsible for the ever increasing closure of cinema theatres all over. One that has jacked up prices of movie tickets all over the city. One that is slowly killing competition. A shark that threatens to eat up the smaller minnows. Exactly what Gandhi stood up against. Such a multiplex is one which has managed to resurrect the smaller, meaningful Hindi film.

Enjoy the show...

Friday, September 23, 2005

Adventure 4

What's Google upto?

Sorry, I do not know too much about either computers or business. But seriously, what the hell is Google upto? Every other website is raving about how Google is going to overthrow Microsoft as the future Empire in the computer world.

Supposedly Google has been continuously buying dark fibre for the past five years to connect all its data centres (or whatever they call it). Google Earth offers satellite pictures of the world. An ambitious online library project is coming up. Google is the toast of every techie worth her salt. But for what good?

The cracks are already evident. The South Korean Government is planning to sue Google for providing satellite pictures of its defence installations openly on Google Earth. Some authors have already sued Google for copyright violation. GMail has faced severe criticism for breach of privacy. And the small print says that Google will sell the personal details of millions of Orkut users in case it goes under.

I am sure more is yet to follow.

Sadly, Google, a company famous for its unorthodox innovations and superior talent pool is going the way of other big corporations. They have unveiled a slew of other services, which seem unbelievable at first. But, seriously, who's going to pay over a hundred dollars to know how many ICUs are there in Texas? Google's revenues are mainly from search results. Admittedly it controls more than half of all web searches. But why not concentrate on that only? By shifting focus, they may let Yahoo! and MSN just take a large chunk of the pie. Google Talk is hardly an innovation...Yahoo and MSN messengers already had the PC-to-PC call feature, though admittedly not so clear. Other services like linguistic support are good, but cannot be used by serious professionals, as some flaws do exist still...not everything is translatable!

Google needs to watch its step, or it may just cease to be the religion that it is...

Friday, September 09, 2005

Adventure 3

Ode to the software industry

Please forgive the erratic metre and poor language...

Early in the morning I wake
And a hurried dash I make
To the cubicle
To sit and stare
And tear my hair
Over PL/SQL

Please tell me friend
Where's the end
To the Java Bean
No point I see
To J2EE
Whatever does that mean?

But hold on dear
I've had fun here
Surfing and playing pool
The pay's not bad
Though the place is sad
To quit I would be a fool

So let us toast
Our gracious host
The software industry
Where we while away
The entire day
What a place to be!






Friday, August 26, 2005

Adventure 2

The Great Automatic Grammatizer - now a reality

Roald Dahl is, in my opinion, second to only Jules Verne in his prediction of future technologies. He isn't famous for science fiction. But I came across this short story the other day - The Great Automatic Grammatizer. The creation of Adolph Knipe can create stories based on input parameters like magazine (for which story is invented), type of story, amount of passion, genre, etc. With it, the creator corners the market, as a hand-made item cannot compete with a mass-produced one in terms of consistency and rate of production.

Seems like a distant dream? Not quite! Though the English language does not have this sort of grammatizer, Oracle has managed to creat the Oracle Aplplications Framework (yeah - it is OAF) as far back as 1997. This is a handy tool to make mass-produced computer code. You have to give input parameters like object names, kind of page, class names, region names etc, and this baby churns out page after page of Java, SQL, PL/SQL and XML code! All in conformity with Oracle's global standards!

So now, any layman (euphemism for oaf), with a few weeks of training , can create sophisticated XML pages, with advanced search, delete, create and update algorithms in a few days. Thank heavens for that!

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Adventure 1

Rowling's Muggled-up Act

Why this blog? After all, I am neither inclined towards high literature, nor do I have an exciting persona that everyone's dying to read about. Well, the answer is, thats why! I am not new to blogging. Some of you may remember the larger-than-life adventures of The Crime Syndicate. Well, at least that's one bad piece of trash off the web! But the itching to propagate my thoughts (read rants) got the better of me yet again. I tried a lot of fancy names for this brand new blog (names that make me cringe now), but thankfully they were all taken. So here I am with Oraclemania - Oracle but not clairvoyant! welcome to my world once more...
The Harry Potter series has intrigued me for years. I started reading it when the fourth book was out, and was hooked by the time I was half-way through the first. The writing was splendid, and Rowling showed an uncommon knack for analysing human nature. The second book was all right, but the third one - Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban was simply mind-blowing. I had become a dedicated Harry Potter fan.
Then the rot began to set in, along with Harry's hormones and JK Rowling's growing popularity. The creatures began to get larger and scarier, while the curses could disfigure a person for life. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix continued the same downward trend. By this time, Rowling had become a victim of her own plots. She struggled to find her way out of the logical complexities she had created in previous stories.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is a desperate attempt by Rowling to run a pair of garden shears through the now-tangled web of circumstances created by the five previous books? Why did Lord Voldemort kill Harry's parents? Why did he want Harry's blood? wouldn't he be a living corpse after drinking unicorn blood? Why did Severus Snape protect Harry Potter all these years, after coming back from the dark side? Only Albus Dumbledore knew. But did Rowling? I don't think so...that's why the old man had to go! In this respect, Rowling is no different from a mafia ganglord or the CIA or the Vatican, which (courtesy Mario Puzo, Sidney Sheldon and Dan Brown respectively) arranges for a convenient hit-and-run case for its agents and obstacles alike.
But some more questions arise. How did Snape manage to hoodwink one of the greatest wizards of all time? What happened to Dumbledore's (peace be to his soul) hand and why couldn't Fawkes' tears - powerful enough to act as Basilisk antivenom - not heal it? Why is the person whose memory is being accessed in the Pensieve be visible instead of being a first-person view like Quake3Arena? Could he see himself from various angles also when he experienced or remembered the incident? And finally, should I pay 900 rupees for this piece of crap when I can read its .pdf file (albeit at the risk of straining my eyes and enduring the typos) for free?
I can only answer the last one - the answer is "NO!" Because I may be in Oracle, but I am no clairvoyant!
The magic is over.