Monday, March 30, 2009

Professionals in Politics - Misfits ?

Yesterday, on NDTV We The People program, the topic discussed was Can Professionals Be Good Politicians ? Amongst the participants were two "star" independent candidates, Captain Gopinath (Deccan Airways) and Ms. Meera Sanyal (ABN-AMRO) contesting from prestigious Bangalore South and Mumbai South Lok Sabha constituencies. The limited influence of independent MPs was brought out by eminent lawyer Mr. Harish Salve. Of course, there were lot of people who vociferously supported these two and said it is time professionals enter politics and "clean up" the system. Though winnability of the independent candidates is doubtful, I feel it is a good sign that professionals are taking an interest in politics. One among the audience pointed out that Ajit Singh, who was earlier with IBM, did not do very well in politics. One swallow does not make a summer. Professionals can definitely make a mark. It is indeed a good sign that instead of shunning politics, some professionals are evincing interest and I am sure this will bring lot of people, who so far have avoided polling booths like plague, to come out and cast their ballots.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Fancy Truck art

Here are few pictures of European trucks whose trailers are decorated to look like the sides are missing and the products they are hauling are painted on the sides and back.
The first is of Pepsi cases and they are all stacked on the ceiling, and the bottom of the trailer is empty

The second is of a canvas tote bag.

The third is of a bottle of beer and looks so real, like it is coming out the side of the trailer.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


This one from Benjamin Franklin.

There are two ways of being happy: We may either diminish our wants or augment our means - either will do - the result in the same; and it is for each man to decide for himself, and do that which happens to be the easiest. If you are idle or sick or poor, however hard it may be to diminish your wants, it will be harder to augment your means. If you are active and prosperous or young and in good health, it may be easier for you to augment your means than to diminish your wants. But if you are wise, you will do both at the same time, young or old, rich or poor, sick or well; and if you are very wise you will do both in such a way as to augment the general happiness of society.

What say you ?

Monday, March 23, 2009

Switch oFF Lights

On March 28th, 2009, you can switch off all lights from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm to observe Earth Hour. The lights will be switched off as an indication that you are committed to saving energy and is ready to take steps to save the world environment.

The lights out initiative, which began in Sydney in 2007 as a one-city environmental campaign, has evolved into a grassroots action that has captured the attention of the citizens of the world. In 2008, 371 cities across 35 countries turned their lights out in a united call for action on climate change.

Purely symbolic gesture, yes, but everything big has to start off with these kind of simple initiatives, right ?

IPL versus Elections

It is amusing the way Lalit Modi and his ilk are conducting themselves. Personally I am not happy that they are shifting their venue from India to England or South Africa. Some amount of planning could have avoided the matches's timetable clashing with Lok Sabha elections.

GI Tag

Of late, GI tag has been doing the rounds in media with famed Tirupati laddu and Bydagi chili seeking to obtain the GI tag. It piqued my curiosity and I googled to find this: "A geographical indication (GI) is a name or sign used on certain products which corresponds to a specific geographical location or origin (eg. a town, region, or country). The use of a GI may act as a certification that the product possesses certain qualities, or enjoys a certain reputation, due to its geographical origin."
I gathered from The Hindu that the GI tag has been awarded to a number of products or goods, including the famous Darjeeling Tea, Madhubani Paintings, Kashmiri Sozani Craft and Thanjavur Paintings.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Stark Contrast

I read these two news items recently and cannot but wonder......

Female monkeys in Thailand have been observed showing their young how to floss their teeth - using human hair.

Researchers from Japan said they watched seven long-tailed macaques cleaning the spaces between their teeth in the same manner as humans.

They spent double the amount of time flossing when they were being watched by their infants, the team said.

This suggests the mothers were deliberately teaching their young how to floss, Professor Nobuo Masataka of Kyoto University's Primate Research Institute said.

WINNENDEN, Germany — A teenage gunman killed 15 people, most of them female, on Wednesday in a rampage that began at a school near Stuttgart in southern Germany and ended in a nearby town, where he then killed himself after the police wounded him.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Grist to the Mill !

Some people have a knack of getting caught in highly undesirable situations and escaping by the skin of their teeth but eventually making the most of it. Read on :

British author Frederick Forsyth has told the BBC how he was caught in the turmoil this week in the tiny West African state of Guinea-Bissau, rocked by the assassinations of its president and army chief.

The best-selling author of books including "The Day of the Jackal" recounted how President Joao Bernardo Vieira died a long and bloody death -- and said he might even use the experience in his next book.

"I can assure you I had nothing to do with the coup d'etat," said the writer, who has previously admitted to helping fund a 1973 coup attempt in nearby Equatorial Guinea, and whose 1974 book "The Dogs of War" recounted a failed plot to topple the government of a fictional African country.

Vieira was assassinated on Monday in apparent retaliation for a bomb blast Sunday night which killed the head of the armed forces, General Tagme Na Waie.

Forsyth -- in the country to research his latest thriller -- told how he was woken his his hotel bedroom by an explosion in the early hours of Monday, as soldiers launched an apparent revenge mission on the veteran president.

"They went to his villa, threw a bomb through the window which hurt him, but didn't kill him," Forsyth told the BBC late Tuesday. "The roof came down, that hurt him but didn't kill him either.

"He struggled out of the rubble and was promptly shot. This, however, still didn't kill him. They then took him to his mother-in-law's house and chopped him to bits with machetes," he added.

The author said he was temporarily stranded in Bissau, the country's capital. "I can't get out now. I was due to fly out tomorrow (Wednesday) afternoon, and I rather think that they're going to keep the airport closed, which is very inconvenient," he said.

But he was philosophical. "What I was researching had nothing to do with bumping off generals or bumping off presidents. But it's a little extra garnish on the cake, so I'll probably use it eventually in the book."

Cool, isn't it ?