Wednesday, January 31, 2007

You may be more popular than Jesus Christ...

...but can you beat yahoo?

The Daily Domainer points out that yahoo has overtaken sex as the most popular search term on google.

Shallower creatures might be intrigued by the rise of yahoo, but I am more concerned about the decline in interest in sex.

If you think its just statistics, consider this: the battle between Satan and Christ is also coming to a head, with Jesus finally catching up, even as Satan holds on to his awe-inspiring lead in Turkey, Slovakia and Norway.

Trend-watchers might also remember that as of January 2007, God has held his own against Paris Hilton for a whole year. And while that contest is by no means over (the Lord, in his majesty, will be the first to admit he is no Paris Hilton), it does make one wonder.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.

Or maybe not. The Beatles vs Jesus Christ is still a no-contest.

PS: In case you were curious about Aamir vs Shahrukh (it isn't pretty).

Friday, January 26, 2007

The problem with assumptions

xkcd is surreal sometimes, sometimes plain weird.

PS: This is where I stole my pic from.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Or perhaps He does not know

Who then knows whence it has arisen,
Whence this emanation hath arisen,
Whether God disposed it, or whether He did not,-
Only He who is its overseer in highest heaven knows.
Or perhaps He does not know.

- Rig Veda (creation hymn)

If you watched Bharat ek Khoj, you might remember the same hymn played in hindi in its title song.

Wahi sachmuch me jaanta, ya nahi bhi jaanta.

Its surprising that thousands of years ago, people were willing to admit they didn't know a thing about God or creation. I don't know where that honesty disappeared.

They must have gone woefully wrong with their kids ;) .

Monday, January 15, 2007

The Imperialist Strikes Back

I had to blog this bit of trivia.

What is common to Liberia, Myanmar, and the United States?

Answer: The only three countries that still follow the Imperial System of measure.

Cliff at slashdot pointed out this interesting little nugget. He also suggested that it might be a good idea for the US to switch to the metric system.

I thought it would be a very non-controversially good idea for the US to start getting used to the metric system. Besides the incentive of getting its name off the only list that reads more embarrassing than the Coalition of The Willing, there is also the confusion, sometimes very serious, trying to cope with two systems creates.

But Cliff was on to something, as he filed it under the worthwhile-but-pigs-are-likely-to-fly-first category. In vindication, the little entry generated one thousand three hundred-odd comments, with passionate arguments for and against. Clearly people do get worked up over the metric system.

But, it turns out, people get even further worked up than that. Though the protest against metrication is usually conventional, such as placards or Simpsonesque civil disobedience, some people have actually gone to the trouble to set up websites, of which slashdot points out The reason given on the website is not laziness, or who's-going-to-go-about-changing-all-the-boards-now, or sheer pig-headedness (which are all perfectly good reasons, btw). No, it would threaten the American way of life. I guess if you provide logical reasons you run the risk of being refuted. But what to do of emotions. Dil to Pagal Hai.

In its defense, the website provides other reasons. For one, the metric system is sexist, as it was 'almost wholly created and standardized by male scientists and bureaucrats' (apparently because the lesbian cabal was busy with the imperial system). Also, it quotes the great French Man of Destiny:

The scientists adopted the decimal system on the basis of the metre as unit. Nothing is more contrary to the organization of the mind, memory and imagination. The new system will be a stumbling block and source of difficulties for generations to come. It is just tormenting the people with trivia.

-Napoleon Bonaparte

Seriously, who better to defend the imperial system than the grand imperialist himself?

Saturday, January 13, 2007

A New Poet Arrives

A New Poet Arrives

A new man flies in from Manchester.
Fran Frittlewood.
Death to the Public Schools,
Ready to piss in the eye of the Old Universities.

A big woolly striped scarf around his neck,
The hunched antagonism of a left wing student,
How right he is!
Through immense spectacles he sees clearly

That only a New Movement can save our souls.
Wordsworth's great beak was pecking at that apple.
The tree of knowledge,
Dividing line between the past and future.

Take off those vestments, and those vested interests.
Show as a naked soul. You must admit
He's onto something.
Change, in the Arts, is nearly always good.

- Gavin Ewart

The sarcasm almost killed me.
Gavin Ewart, an admirer of Auden and also Betjeman, is generally known for his light verse. There is, in his obituary in The Independent, another poem excerpt; containing, in characteristic english (or desi) style, a cricket reference.

Friday, January 12, 2007

All roads lead to...

Austin for me.
Back home. After a long and winding vacation, with Slj.

Highlights include a visit to Canaan Valley, West Virginia, where in the beautiful countryside punctuated only by pickup trucks, snow-white churches and restaurants advertising home-made meals, I got my first sight ever of the leafless autumn I only knew through comparisons to Larkin's bored childhood.

Then a visit to Baltimore, MD, where at the science center embarrassingly(for us) short of adults, with an increasingly exasperated Slj beside me, I indulged my juvenile fascination with dinosaurs.

Finally a short but exciting trek at the Breakneck Ridge trail, NY, with my brother and his fiancee.

Canaan Valley, West Virginia:

Science Center, Baltimore, MD:

A Giganatosaur

Tyrannosaurus rex

Breakneck Ridge, NY