Friday, February 28, 2014

February 28, 2014

Holy shit, it's obvious when you start on the thought experiment that Greer is talking about Hitler, but the superficial similarities with AAP practically jump out at you (not least the similar-sounding names). Example (the entire post is well worth a read):
Through all this, the new party keeps building momentum. As spring comes, Halliot begins a nationwide speaking tour. He travels in a school bus painted green and black, the NPAPP colors, and a Celtic tree-of-life symbol, the party’s new emblem.  The bus goes from town to town, and the crowds start to build. A handful of media pundits start talking about Halliot and the NPPAP, making wistful noises about how nice it is to see young idealists in politics again; a few others fling denunciations, though they don’t seem to have any clear sense what exactly they’re denouncing.  Both mainstream parties, as well as the Libertarians and the Greens, launch youth organizations with their own t-shirts and slogans, but their lack of anything approaching new ideas or credible responses to the economic mess make these efforts a waste of time.

Why do some sites (I'm looking at you, LinkedIn) frown upon the use of Privoxy when accessing their services? Try accessing them this way, and all you get is a 'We detect unusual activity from your network' or something similar, and there's no way to continue till you turn Privoxy off.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

February 20, 2014

Dear Flipkart,

Thank you very much for your very thoughtful question "How has your experience using Chhota Bheem been?".

Bheem been. Bheem been. Bheem been. Hee hee hee.

Sorry, got carried away a bit there.

Anyway, the experience has been simply wonderful; I can't for the life of me imagine how things would have turned out, had I used, say, Red Bird or Blue Bird, or, god forbid, Yellow Bird. I'm sure these characters have their share of hardcore supporters, but I'm a Chhota Bheemer myself, and wouldn't have it any other way.

With that out of the way, here are the ways the Chhota Bheem figurine has enriched my life:
  1. He is an excellent paperweight. I would like to highlight the stellar role he played when there was a sudden gust of breeze from the open window. But for his weighty presence, all the papers below him would have been blown clean off the table.

  2. He also makes a very effective blunt instrument. My last three adventures as a stalker-cum-serial-killer have been a hoot because of him. Just one firm blow, the satisfying crunch of weapon on skull, and very little blood (I can actually buy another Chotta Bheem figurine just from the money I saved on cleaning fluid, but I digress).

  3. He is an excellent conversation piece. I've lost count of the number of new friends I have made since getting him -- all I have to do while walking down the street is to suddenly whip him out of my bag at random strangers and start humming the signature tune from Pogo. Instant friendship, I tell you. In fact, I acquired my last three 'special' friends this way; see also #2 above.
However, it would be remiss of me if I claim that it's been a bed of roses all the way, and I must point out ways I've felt let down by CB (hope you don't mind me calling him that).

  1. He doesn't respond to commands. "Get me that book on the table" elicits only the same village-boy-in-awe-of-modern-gadgets look. Adding a "Please" doesn't work, either.

  2. He doesn't seem to have an appetite at all. Going by the gusto with which he gulps down laddus before doing a number on the baddies, you'd think he'd react at least a little bit favorably when I offer him similar (if not better) laddus. Nope, same village idiot look.

  3. I don't have any proof for this, but I think he's been playing naughty with my other toys. The stuffed Chutki on the top shelf has a distinct look of horror on her face -- something she definitely did not have when I stole received her as a gift from that kid on the bus. Nothing I can take to the court, but still.
But all in all, a five-stars experience. Would I recommend him to my friends? You bet. In fact, I would be surprised if you haven't already received a glut of orders for the figurine, with a special add-on request for  a handy, removable velcro grip (makes removing the bloodstains a lot easier) -- I sure have been spreading the good word among my Stalker Club buddies.


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

February 11, 2014

The Hindu with some rare egg on its face. No, make that a Baked Florentine Omelette with spinach, Mozzarella, Ricotta and other great stuff. It strains one's credulity to believe that they got such a critical quote wrong, and that too in the editorial of all places. I'm not a conspiracy theorist (ha, whom are we kidding), but it sure looks like national security concerns trumped adversarial journalism. The simultaneous appearance of the opinion piece by Praveen Swami is interesting, not just for the fine line he walks trying to stay on the side of democracy, morals and all the good stuff, while also trying to ensure that access to sources in the national security apparatus remains in place ("Everything has a context" -- verily, verily).

Meanwhile, things are heating up in IPL Land, and our friends at DC are practically slipping and sliding over their drool, climbing to the rooftops to shout out the good news. They must have been really slighted by the BCCI coterie when the Chargers were in the IPL, I tell you.