Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Grrrr..

So I land up pretty early at office, and enter the gate thinking how nice it is to come in early, with the day gently breaking, and the crowds not yet in, the pressure not yet turned on. And just when you're basking in the glory of the new day , you're hit with the tons of garbage which some uncouth workers have left lying around, approximately 2 feet from the garbage bin.

It always gets my goat, why WHY do we love to litter so much? Why is it that basic civic common sense is so totally extinct? I don't think it has much to do with upbringing , I think its just a mental defect, probably a missing gene, or something wrong with the brain chemistry to the majority of our population.

I wish I'd ignored the mess the way I usually do, don't know why it pissed me off so badly today.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Fermat's Enigma

Just finished the book by Simon Singh couple of days back, and it totally lived up to its advance publicity! I hadn't thought that a book about Maths could be written so well, keeping up the pace almost of a thriller, but ensuring that the content stayed about mathematicians and their stories and no inanities. Recommended reading for anywone who's ever loved Maths ( like me!) and then fallen from grace :)

Luckily there was no electricity most of the day yesterday, so I didn't feed my usual tv addiction. Instead I completed Sphere by Michael Crichton which was also a pretty decent read. This one fell in the -sort-of-sci-fi-thriller genre. Considering that I'd seen the movie already, and knew the "answer" right when I started, it was well written enough to hold interest till the end. Although reading it, one could see that it was almost written to be made into a movie!

Hmm lets see what I can lay my hands on next..

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Pot Pourri

It was an interesting independence day..

Started off with a visit to Mythri, reminded me of a lot of things I'd forgotten , or preferred to forget.

Pondered on some discussions about relationships with friends. Something a friend is going through hits rather close home.

Watched a movie at the PVR here, and vowed never ever to watch one there again. A post about the service levels in long over due. Whats amazing is not that the service levels are abysmal, but that there is not even a feeling among the vendors that something is wrong somewhere, that there is anything like a concept of quality, meeting commitments, standards.. Perhaps my own job is pretty much the same, commitments not met, but I can never imagine lying with my chest puffed up and shouting back to an end user...

As for the movie Blue Umbrella, I loved the first half. I'm not sure whether the second half in general was a little slow, and abstract, or whether I was shaking with too much rage to really appreciate it. Either ways its a movie worth watching ..

The day ended with holding a four hour old baby, I touched her cheeks and they felt like they would just melt away! A really amazing feeling..

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Flowers for Algernon

Read Flowers for Algernon again the other day while battling the usual insomnia. It wrenched at my guts again, just the way it had an year ago when I'd first read it. Its amazing that in such a short story the author has managed to weave the whole dilemma about "intelligence". It something I've thought about and agonised over so much in the past 6-7 years. The perennial questions with no answers..

What is intelligence?
What is motivation?
What is knowledge?
Why do people fear it?
Why is there so much anger & frustration?
And of course.. What is the cost of it all?

It a beautifully written story, a first person account of a persons journey to "intelligence" and back. Maybe I should find out more stuff written by the author Daniel Keyes.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Idols with feet of clay.

I've been watching a few of these music talent shows on tv off and on, for which addiction parents are solely to be blamed - they made me realise the presence of those channels!

Funnily enough, probably the most popular of the lot has the worst singers. In fact I'd go so far as to say that my school's singing contexts often featured better and more consistent singers. And there wasn't anyone I can remember at school who had taken any classical training . Really makes me wonder, is this the best that so called all india contests can be?

I'm no expert , but even to my untrained ear, the notes often sound off, and I feel myself cringe and rush for the remote. After much thinking I've come up with a theory - ( yes I've living a very busy life, I know!)

The abysmal quality is there, becuase that is what the channel was looking for. After all if they had a room full of good singers, where would the voting armchair experts involvement be ? - Thus must have thought the powers that be. Like me the voting junta would not be able to tell the one from the other. Currently there's much debate about "performance" vs singing. However the more self respecting of the aam junta can still claim to be able to differentiate between some of the singing and vote on "merit" because some are so patently bad!

The fact that inspite of such dumbing down of the singing, many a time the voting is based on factors other than singing, does make a mockery of the claims of the "singing" contest. Perhaps the channel needn't have nothered with dumbing down, there would have been plenty of other things for us to base our voing on. The size of the contestent's pimples, how cutely they smile, which state they are from, their life's sob sotories, how provocative their dresses are. :)

As I read somewhere , remember when dealing with human being, rember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but creatues brimming with prejudice.. or words to that affect.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Galileo's Daughter.

Just finished reading the book which was a gift from papa. I think I'm realising that I quite enjoy these biography type books about people from a few centuries ago. Even when they are not really grippingly written ( and this one certainly isn't!)

It fun to be able to discover those little details about how people lived. What drove him to study and write about what can be called modern day physics and astronomy. And the social mores that landed his daughter in a convent. I think I'd like to read a few more of these !