Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Lord of the Rings, the short version

right here - for free .. LOTR condensed .. ook superkort .. .. fun stuff: mirrored.flabber.nl/lotr.gif/lotr.gif

Tamil election candidate killed

Map of Sri LankaBBC NEWS | World | South Asia: "International election observers have condemned the murder of a Tamil candidate in Friday's general election. Mr Sathiyamoorthy was a candidate for the Tamil National Alliance, the party which supports the political aims of the Tamil Tiger rebels.

But he was loyal to the breakaway rebel commander in the east, Colonel Karuna. The mainstream leadership of the Tamil Tigers had recently described Mr Sathiyamoorthy as a traitor. But only the mainstream faction of the rebels could benefit from this killing and it comes as part of a trend of attacks on civilians associated with the breakaway rebel leader.

Last week the mainstream Tigers warned they wanted to remove Colonel Karuna from their soil - a comment widely interpreted as a threat to kill him. "

27 Indian companies among Forbes' 2,000 top global firms

siliconindia: "Twenty-seven Indian companies, including state-run Indian Oil Corporation and tech giant Infosys Technologies, have been included in Forbes' list of 2,000 leading global corporations.

Oil major Indian Oil Corporation topped the list of Indian companies in the survey at a rank of 243 and sales of a whopping $25.26 billion. Public sector State Bank of India (SBI), the country's largest commercial bank, followed at 251 with sales of $10.37 billion.

Besides SBI, eight other Indian banks were included in the Forbes list. They are ICICI Bank, Canara Bank, Punjab National Bank, Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, United Bank of India, Indian Overseas Bank, and Oriental Bank of Commerce.

Reliance Industries, India's largest private sector diversified business conglomerate, has been placed at 303 rank with sales of $9.57 billion and assets of $13.49 billion. Infosys Technologies, India's largest software exporter, and its business rival Wipro are ranked 1,320 and 1,343 respectively.
"

Indo-European Languages

Count to ten in over 4500 Languages: Teluguokatirendumuudunaaluguayduaarueeduenimiditommidipadi

Monday, March 29, 2004

NDTV.com#

Opinion Polls:
"All India
NDA : 287-307
BJP : 190-200
Cong : +143-163
Cong : 95-105
Others : 90-100"

StateWise Results

Leisure Pursuits of Today's Young Man

NY TimesNY Times: "Mr. Brandel, a 24-year-old real estate agent in Chicago, says that these days he looks to the Internet for news and entertainment. Television, he says, is bogged down by commercials and teasers that waste his time. 'I'll go to the Comedy Central Web site and download David Chappelle clips rather than wait to see them on TV,' he said.

ComScore also collects data on Internet pornography-viewing habits, although that was not part of the online publishers' report. According to the company, more than 70 percent of men from 18 to 34 visit a pornographic site in a typical month, and those men make up 25 percent of the visitors to such sites. They are 39 percent more likely than the rest of the Internet population to visit the sites, said Graham Mudd, an analyst for comScore."

Sunday, March 28, 2004

Who should govern the Net?

CNET News.com: "A United Nations summit ended Friday with a consensus that poorer nations must have more influence on the way the Internet is run, but with no agreement among delegates on the details.

One concern is that if third-world countries without a tradition of tolerance of free expression get more involved in running the Internet, censorship will inevitably result. The World Press Freedom Committee of Reston, Va., distributed a position paper at the summit, warning that "authoritarian governments, which already censor their own Internet traffic, (will) seek content controls internationally and legitimization of such controls nationally." "

On the Web, Vengeance Is Mine (and Mine)

Frontier Justice: New York Times: "Self-appointed sheriffs scan eBay and Yahoo auctions looking for fraud. When they find it - or at least when they think they've found it - they warn buyers or make outrageously high bids themselves in order to end the auction and prevent potential victims from falling into the trap. Elsewhere, private crusaders cruise Internet chat rooms for pedophiles and report their findings to law enforcement - or even expose them online. And hackers release programs into cyberspace that repair the damage done by malicious computer viruses.

In the movies, it always looks so good and pure: the lone gunman rides into town to clean up the lawlessness committed by bad men. From Shane to Bronson, the vigilante theme runs deep in American culture. So it should come as little surprise that the online world - for good or ill - is teeming with vigilantes who take matters into their own hands.

The online world, Professor Zittrain says, is in the process of asking Abraham Lincoln's core question in the Gettysburg Address, which he paraphrases as "are we capable of governing ourselves?"

The jury is still out on that question, but Professor Zittrain said, "It's clear that the status quo is not working.""

Significance of Yugaadi

CHAITRA SHUKLA PRATHAMA - The first day of Chaitra

The first day of the year according to the National Calendar of Bharat (in some parts, the Shalivahana Shaka and in the rest, the Vikrama Samvat - corresponding to the era beginning 78 A.D. and 57 B.C. respectively) is significant both for its historical import and for the advent of bountiful nature. The day falls in the beginning of spring - Vasanta Ritu - When the Goddess of Nature gets bedecked as a divine bride.

The day aptly carries the assurance to human life, "If winter comes, can spring be far behind?" It fills the human spirit with optimism and hope about one's future and injects into him courage and confidence in facing the trials and tribulations of life - both individual and national.

In some parts of Bharat, the tender leaves of neem mixed with jaggery are distributed on the occasion. The neem, extremely bitter in taste, and jaggery sweet and delicious, signify the two conflicting aspects of human life - joy and sorrow, success and failure, ecstasy and agony. The neem-jaggery blend is offered to God as naivedya and then distributed as prasaada. This embodies one of the highest philosophical attitudes taught by the Hindu spiritual masters. Sri Krishna says -

Duhkheshwanudvignamanaah Sukheshu vigatasprihah |
Veetaraagabhayakrodhah sthitadheermuniruchyate ||

Not being agitated in sorrow, and free from desire for pleasure, sensual attachments, fear and anger - such a person is called Sthitaprajna - one who has acquired equanimity.

This in fact is the essence of yoga - whatever its path - Jnaana, Bhakti Karma or the Raajayoga. The innate peace and tranquility which results from such an equanimity in the face of the extremes of life-situations holds the key to the supreme goal of self-realization of the human soul. The resolve, single-minded and indomitable, to reach hat goal is taken on this day. Thus, this day verily becomes a moment of starting a new epoch - yuga - in our life.

On the national plane, the day recalls the inspiring occasion when the invading Shakas - the barbaric tribal hordes from Central Asia descending on Bharat like locusts during the 1st century A.D. - were vanquished by the great emperors Shalivahana and Vikramaditya. A people who had become benumbed and passive in the face of the furious and inhuman onslaughts, were roused to heights of manliness and patriotic fervor by their efforts. The people who till then were given to peace and affluence and had been singularly free from devastating aggressions from outside, had to be mobilized to face the challenges of the new situation. Shalivahana was the King of Shatavahanas, with his capital at Pratishthana on the banks of Godavari (in the present-day Maharashtra). A beautiful allegory woven round the singular achievement of Shalivahana depicts how he made clay images of soldiers, breathed life into them and forged a formidable army of warriors. As another story goes, Shalivahana popularized the figure of the dark Kali in her terrible form trampling upon a Raakshasa white in color, and piercing him with her deadly Trishoola. The idol carried its own message, - the dark Kali representing the Hindu people rising to their full heroic stature and crushing the foreign aggression of the white Shakas. It also symbolized the triumph of the forces of divinity over those of wickedness.

Vikramaditya - literally, the Sun of Valour - was famous not only for the peerless prowess he displayed in liquidating the foreign aggression; he was the patron of nine gems of poetic genius - Kalidasa crowning them all. The King was also celebrated for his supreme sense of justice so much so that Vikramaditya Simhaasana (The throne of Vikramaditya) has come to mean the seat of undiluted justice. His very name has become so much a part of all that is great and glorious in Bharat's tradition that many a king in later days even in distant parts of the country prided himself in affixing the title Vikramaditya to his name.

The founding of new Eras in the names of Vikrama and Shalivahana signifies the supreme importance accorded in the Hindu history ad tradition for safeguarding the nation's freedom and sovereignty. As such, the continuing tradition of the two Eras has helped to keep aglow the spirit of national freedom in the nation's mind.

Baishaakhi, which follows Yugaadi, is the first day of the Hindu Solar Year (2nd week of April). In Punjab and certain other northern parts, it is an occasion for unbounded religious fervor and mass participation in festivities.

Casting Reality TV Becomes a Science

Sunday NY Times: "If film is a director's medium, and television drama is a writer's medium, reality TV is without question a casting director's medium."

Some Great South Asian Women

Guest Column : : New England Gurru: "Abida Parveen was born in Larkana, Sindh, Pakistan, where her father, Ghulam Haider, ran a music school. Though women in Muslim society are rarely encouraged to pursue musical (or other performance) careers, her father recognized his daughter�s extraordinary talent at an early age and encouraged her to sing. Her career crystallized after her marriage to the late Ghulam Hussain Sheikh, a senior producer in Radio Pakistan who became her mentor. She studied classical vocal music with Salamat Ali Khan, who, like Abida Parveen, has appeared previously at the Freer and Sackler Galleries. She has performed in a wide range of venues both sacred and secular, from the shrines of saints in her native Sindh to the world�s greatest concert halls."

Friday, March 26, 2004

Cremated man returns home - The Times of India

Cremated man returns home - Only in India!!

Cinematic Happenings Under Development

lists of movies--especially lists of movies that I mostly haven't seen before .. CHUD - Cinematic Happenings Under Development .. 100 Movies that Deserve More Love: A Simple Plan (1998), The Devil's Backbone (2001), Mr. Frost (1990) etc...

'The Lies of George W. Bush' by David Corn

THE LIST KEEPS GROWING: "But do you know why the following statements are some of Bush's biggest whoppers?

10. "I have been very candid about my past."
9. "I?m a uniter not a divider."
8. "My [tax] plan unlocks the door to the middle class of millions of hard-working Americans."
7. "This allows us to explore the promise and potential of stem cell research."
6. "We must uncover every detail and learn every lesson of September the 11th."
5. "[We are] taking every possible step to protect our country from danger."
4. "I first got to know Ken [Lay in 1994]."
3. "Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised." And, "[Saddam Hussein is] a threat because he is dealing with al Qaeda."
2. "We found the weapons of mass destruction."
1. "It?s time to restore honor and dignity to the White House."

Click here for a full explanation of each lie."

Willful Ignorance

TOMPAINE.com: "The prewar intelligence was lousy�hardly slam-dunk material. But Bush made matters worse. He falsely characterized the intelligence, and he and his aides misused it to win support for their war. Bush has appointed a commission to study what happened with the prewar WMD intelligence. As the White House marks the first anniversary of the invasion of Iraq with a variety of events this week, this commission has yet to meet. And so far there is no indication that the commissioners�each handpicked by the White House�will examine how the Bush administration handled the intelligence. Perhaps they don�t believe such an investigation is necessary, because on the question of whether Bush abused the intelligence and blatantly misrepresented it, there really can be no doubt. "

MIA WMDs--For Bush, It's a Joke

Capital Games - David Corn, the Washington editor of The Nation magazine: "Disapproval must have registered upon my face, for one of my tablemates said, 'Come on, David, this is funny.' I wanted to reply, Over 500 Americans and literally countless Iraqis are dead because of a war that was supposedly fought to find weapons of mass destruction, and Bush is joking about it.

Bush was somber about the sacrifice being made by U.S. troops overseas. But he obviously considered it fine to make fun of the reason he cited for sending Americans to war and to death. What an act of audacious spin. One poll recently showed that most Americans believe he either lied about Iraq's WMDs or deliberately exaggerated the case to justify the war. And it is undeniable that in seeking public support for the war he made many false assertions that went beyond quoting intelligence that turned out to be wrong. "

Cremated man returns home - The Times of India

Cremated man returns home - The Times of India - Only in India!

Thursday, March 25, 2004

How to Write for BloggerCon

BloggerCon: At the first BloggerCon, we encouraged people to write for the conference as if it were a publication. This way, by putting some thought into agenda-setting before the face to face meeting, we could get more done. The result was a small but interesting collection of essays. I think it worked really well, and I'd like to try it again.

Microsoft BizTalk Server: Technical Information for Developers

Understanding BizTalk Server 2004: "Visit the MSDN site for an overview of how BizTalk Server 2004 adds new services for developers. These services include a group of Business Activity Services, such as Business Activity Monitoring (BAM) for analyzing running business processes, support for business process provisioning and configuration, and services that enable information workers to set up and manage interactions with trading partners. BizTalk Server 2004 also adds technology for creating human workflow services, enabling people to interact with business processes using familiar tools such as Microsoft Outlook. "

WUGNET - CyberScrub ES Pro

Windows XP/2000/NT Shareware: "CyberScrub is a high level military grade security application designed to help you completely eliminate sensitive information from your computer, protect your Internet privacy, and enhance system performance. Few realize every picture they view is written to their hard drive or that �delete� does not mean �Erase�. CyberScrub protects your privacy by removing all traces of your online activity and erasing files beyond recovery. It will also make �previously� deleted files impossible to recover. CyberScrub can boost system performance and recover disk space by functioning as a wonderful clean up utility.

This award winning program will clear the �locked� Windows files (swap/paging, index.dat) and Recycle Bin, wipe free disk space, file slack and delete email. CyberScrub can also run in stealth mode. A number of options are provided for fine-tuning the file wipe details, but suffice it to say that the data is securely overwritten, and then summarily removed from your computer beyond recovery. Other features include command-line support, password protection and shell integration. Excellent support and full documentation is included."

Yassin killing brings call for Islamic unity

A woman in Gaza City holds a poster of Hamas spiritual leader Sheik YassinBBC NEWS | World | Middle East: "'Ahmed Yassin was the Palestinian Bin Laden,' said the Israeli defence minister, Shaul Mofaz, after Israel assassinated the Hamas spiritual leader.

Al-Qaeda is generally viewed as a global movement. It has its roots among Arabs who received military training from the CIA in the 1980s and forged ties during the war against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.

Its aim: Apparently to encourage a clash of civilisations between the West and the Muslim world.

Its tactic: To target the US and Middle Eastern regimes that are allied to it, hoping to draw a crushing response that will widen the breach between them and strengthen a radical Islamic identity as a separate political and military force. "

Suharto tops corruption rankings

BBC NEWS | Business: "GRAFT TOP TEN
Suharto: $15-35bn (Indonesia, 1967-98)
Ferdinand Marcos: $5-10bn (Philippines, 1972-86)
Mobutu Sese Seko: $5bn (Zaire, 1965-97)
Sani Abacha: $2-5bn (Nigeria, 1993-98)
Slobodan Milosevic: $1bn (Yugoslavia, 1989-2000)
J-C Duvalier: $300-800m (Haiti, 1971-86)
Alberto Fujimori: $600m (Peru, 1990-2000)
Pavlo Lazarenko: $114-200m (Ukraine, 1996-7)
Arnoldo Aleman: $100m (Nicaragua, 1997-2002)
Joseph Estrada: $78-80m (Philippines, 1998-2001)

In a recent report, Global Witness accused several current leaders of looting their own treasuries. Among them are:

* Angola's President Jose Eduardo Dos Santos, whom it says keeps large sums in bank accounts abroad
* Equatorial Guinea, whose President Teodoro Obiang calls oil revenues a "state secret" but is accused of keeping oil companies' payments in a bank in Washington DC under his own name
* Kazakhstan, where a bungled attempt to smear a rival led to President Nursultan Nazarbayev inadvertently revealing $1bn in state funds placed abroad "for the good of the country".
Source: Transparency International. All sums are estimates of alleged embezzlement "

Russia's Future, Putin's Legacy

Op-Ed Contributor: NY Times: "The public's antipathy toward the oligarchs, meanwhile, was simply used as a threat to enforce the deal � a threat that was proved to be credible when Russia's richest man, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, was arrested last year. Mr. Khodorkovsky had become a champion of modern corporate governance, restructuring his oil company, Yukos, and making it more transparent and efficient. The company became one of Russia's largest investors and taxpayers, and Mr. Khodorkovsky and his partners donated money to schools, universities and other charitable projects.

None of this helped him, however, when Mr. Khodorkovsky began to support parties other than Mr. Putin's. The retaliation was swift and not necessarily respectful of the law. Yet there was little public outcry over the Kremlin's tactics because Mr. Khodorkovsky is still disliked by about three-quarters of Russian voters.

By now, nobody has any illusions about Mr. Putin's respect for property rights or democratic values: he simply pays them lip service in order to consolidate his power. With last week's election, this task is finally accomplished. Mr. Putin now rules free from any campaign promises or political obligations. Political opposition is almost nonexistent. In contrast to his position four years ago, the president can finally pursue whatever agenda he wishes."

Ethnic Cleansing, Again

Op-Ed Columnist - NY Times: "The most vicious ethnic cleansing you've never heard of is unfolding here in the southeastern fringes of the Sahara Desert. It's a campaign of murder, rape and pillage by Sudan's Arab rulers that has forced 700,000 black African Sudanese to flee their villages.

The culprit is the Sudanese government, one of the world's nastiest. Its Arab leaders have been fighting a civil war for more than 20 years against its rebellious black African south. Lately it has armed lighter-skinned Arab raiders, the Janjaweed, who are killing or driving out blacks in the Darfur region near Chad."

A List a Day

A List a Day: "C'mon everyone loves a good list, don't they? This is the place to find links and commentaries on lists of all sizes and merit. "

Ivorian opposition set for rally

Ivorian army armoured vehicle BBC NEWS | Africa | Ivorian opposition set for rally: "The opposition in the Ivory Coast is gearing up for an anti-government march on the commercial capital, Abidjan.
It decided to go ahead with the rally after last-ditch mediation talks with Ghana's President, John Kufuor, failed to resolve a growing political crisis.
Earlier, Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo mobilised the army to enforce a ban on public rallies and appealed for the march to be called off. "

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Why Is Haiti Such a Mess?

It takes a rebellion to get America's attention. By Kim Iskyan: "Since independence in 1804, the Massachusetts-sized country has seen 33 coups. In 1915, the U.S. Marines, perhaps weary of commuting, landed and didn't leave until 1934, claiming as justification humanitarian intervention and the Monroe Doctrine�although protecting a key approach to the Panama Canal factored into the equation as well. After leaving Haiti to its own self-destructive devices for several decades, U.S. troops returned in 1994, to restore Aristide to power against a group of military rebels. The current U.S. military intervention, aimed at restoring order to the island, is the fourth in the past 90 years.

Even less than the typical basket-case Third World country, Haiti's 7.5 million citizens can ill afford the permanent distraction of political instability. Consider the following sad litany: Haiti's AIDS infection rate is the highest outside sub-Saharan Africa, and the average Haitian lives about 51 years�far below the Latin American/Caribbean average of 71 years and the lowest national average life expectancy outside Africa and Afghanistan. Infant mortality is nearly three times the regional average. Haiti's adult literacy rate of 45 percent is the lowest in the Western Hemisphere by a margin of 19 percentage points. Growth in gross domestic product per capita has been negative for more than the past two decades. Foreign direct investment in 2001 amounted to just $3 million, pathetic by any measure. "

Challenges for mankind survival

PRAVDA.Ru: "We need an immediate worldwide forum to address a safe and stable means of isolating and destroying weapons that pollute water supplies. Let-s not be shortsighted and think that all will be as it has been. What if the magnetic shift causes man-made orbiting objects to fall? What if export and import are no longer part of the equation? Would solar on our roofs, better insulation and incorporating solar adaptors for computers, radio and television keep our society stable? Perhaps we should be planting trees and curtailing heat and CO2 producing activities to buy us time. Thinking outside of the box now will reinforce our natural human resiliency to address a challenge and find the most comfortable way to survive it. This is of course what we humans do best-adapt."

IT workers--unhappy campers?

News - ZDNet: "If information technology is your chosen vocation, think again; you might be a lot happier if you switched profession and took up hairdressing, plumbing, cooking or even selling flowers.
Only one in seven IT specialists rate themselves as 'very happy' in their work, compared to one in three in hairdressers, plumbers and chefs, and one in four florists. The findings are revealed in a new City & Guilds 'Happiness Index', based on a survey of 1,054 employees both in academic professions and in vocational occupations. Overall, IT workers came in at number 19 in the happiness index. "

WSJ - The Truth About 3/11

OpinionJournal - Featured Article - This is no time to hand the terrorists a victory: "ETA or al Qaeda--the difference is important, to be sure, but the response to what has happened should be the same: firmness, political unity and international cooperation. Each and every democrat in the world was on those trains in Madrid. It has been an attack against all of us, against everything we believe in, and against everything we have built.

It is precisely for this reason that we must not send out confusing messages, messages that induce people to believe that we have to make concessions to those demanding that we kneel before bombs. This is not the moment to think about withdrawals of troops. And much less when the terrorists, with their message of death and destruction, have demanded that we surrender. To yield now would set a dangerous precedent that would allow our attackers to believe that they have imposed their conditions on us. It would allow our attackers to believe that they have won.
Mr. Aznar is prime minister of Spain. "

THE SEARCH FOR OSAMA

Did the government let bin Laden’s trail go cold? - The New Yorker: Fact: "Gilles Kepel, a well-known French scholar of Islam, suggested that, without media exposure, bin Laden was �fading.� He added, �Terrorism requires the media, but he�s become invisible. It becomes less and less important to kill him, except as a trophy.�"

A Shameful Show in Haiti

NYT Editorial: "Haiti, torn by weeks of unrest and decades of misgovernment, badly needs its newly appointed prime minister, G�rard Latortue, to succeed. Yet Mr. Latortue did himself no favors on Saturday by going out of his way to embrace some of the unsavory thugs who helped oust the country's last elected president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Successive Haitian governments have compromised their own legitimacy by using criminal gangs as enforcers. Mr. Latortue needs to end this disastrous pattern, not perpetuate it.

Haiti's new prime minister should end the tradition of associating with criminal gangs that has compromised the country's governments in the past."

After Centuries, the Vegetarian Feast of India Finally Arrives

Masala DosaiNY Times - Dining & Wine: "India has the most varied vegetarian cooking in the world, and it has been thousands of years in the making. Now, finally, it is also widely available and authentically prepared in restaurants across New York City.

Religion, economics, demographics and geography conspired early on to make India one of the most prolifically cultivated regions on earth. Today, there are about 220 million strict vegetarians in India, according to the Anthropological Survey of India. Indian Hindus, Buddhists and Jains all aspire to an ideal of ahimsa, or nonviolence, that prohibits the killing of anything living or with the potential for life (hence, Indian vegetarians eat dairy products but not eggs). Traditionally in India, cooking is intimately entwined with purity, spirituality and caste. Chennai Garden

Pizza is still a staple for New York's Indian-Americans, especially young ones. Singas Famous Pizza, originally a Greek-owned family storefront in Elmhurst, Queens, has become a six-store franchise with a cult following. The distinctive Singas tomato sauce is heavily dosed with fresh jalapeños. The owner of the Hicksville franchise, Jai Jeyasri, said that about 40 percent of his customers are Indian. "Singas pizza is even too spicy for me," he said. "But I like a mysore dosa."

Beyond the boundary

Business Standard: "In the purely cricketing sense, Inzamam and Tendulkar played incredible, match-winning knocks to nevertheless end on the losing side; Kaif has taken unbelievable catches; the quicks have persistently taken wickets off no-balls; batsmen have played Chinese cuts shaving the stumps.

What is it with us Orientals that we simply cannot accept the fact that both sides are pretty evenly matched in terms of ability? Neither team has the firepower or consistency to win by more than a 3-2 margin. And, if there is a 105-1 against-the-odds tie today, it would be a just result! "

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Mbeki under fire for sister gaffe

Thabo MbekiBBC NEWS | Africa: "South Africa's president has provoked anger after saying he would beat his sister if she told him she had fallen in love with an opposition leader. Director of Gender Links, Colleen Lowe Morna, said President Mbeki's remarks were unfortunate because whatever he said, whether in jest or not, carried weight. "His comments send a wrong message that men control the thinking, like they can just think of beating a woman and just do it."

Mammooty caught in Coke controversy

siliconindia: "Various organisations are up in arms over what is believed to be a Rs.20 million offer for Mammooty to endorse Coca-Cola. The protestors want the actor to turn down the reported offer, alleging that Coke has overexploited water resources at the Plachimada bottling plant in Palakkad district.

Mammooty's links with the CPI-M are well known as he is the chairman of Kairali TV in which the party has considerable stake. One of the first people to urge Mammooty not to go ahead with the endorsement was Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader V.S. Achuthanandan.

Mammooty himself seems irked over the protests from the student and youth wings of political parties like the Communist Party of India, Janata Dal, Socialist Unity Centre of India, All India Democratic Students Organisation and Jamaat-e-Islami. Reports indicate that the Youth Congress will also demonstrate. "

Mid-East pen friends part 3: Politics

BBC NEWS | World | Middle East: "Omneya al-Naggar, an Egyptian school teacher in the northern city of Alexandria, has begun an e-mail correspondence with Orly Noy, an Israeli journalist of Iranian origin, living and working in Jerusalem. In this, their third exchange for BBCArabic.com, the two women share their views on politics. "
Click here for Omneya's and Orly's introductions to each other. Click here for Omneya's and Orly's impressions on each other's culture

THE ASTOUNDING B MONSTER | B MONSTER BULLETIN

THE ASTOUNDING B MONSTER | B MONSTER BULLETIN: "BABES FROM BEYOND, B MOVIE STARTER KIT, SCI FI SIRENS, 10 B movie figures you ought to know, Authors and film makers choose the best of all time; ClassicSciFi.com http://www.classicscifi.com "

Ask Dr. Science!

Ask Dr. Science!:Questions on anything from The Work of Mojo, Peg Leg MTV, Mice and Honey, Physics, Explanation, The Flintstones

Interesting Trivia

Harper's Index for February 2004 (Harpers.org): "Amount earmarked by the House last December to create an indoor rain forest in Iowa : $50,000,000 [Iowa Environmental/Educational Project (Des Moines) ]
Percentage by which Dick Gephardt's $460,000 overexpenditure exceeded the limits for Iowa's nomination caucus in 1988 : 60 [Federal Election Commission (Washington) ]
Ratio of 2004 Bush campaign donations from Merrill Lynch employees to those from Bechtel employees : 60:1"

Science, Optics and You - Secret Worlds: The Universe Within

Molecular Expressions - Interactive Java Tutorial: "View the Milky Way at 10 million light years from the Earth. Then move through space towards the Earth in successive orders of magnitude until you reach a tall oak tree just outside the buildings of the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory in Tallahassee, Florida. After that, begin to move from the actual size of a leaf into a microscopic world that reveals leaf cell walls, the cell nucleus, chromatin, DNA and finally, into the subatomic universe of electrons and protons."

Monday, March 22, 2004

Chat with Trishaa

Welcome to Sify.com: "Two of her films are releasing this summer. The first one will be with Vijay in Gilli where she is the pivot around which the story revolves. Then there is the multi-starrer Aayitha Ezhuthu directed by Mani Ratnam. In Aayitha Ezhuthu she has the most glamorous role opposite young upcoming star Siddharth. The song Hey Goodbye Nanba picturised on her is on top of the charts.
She never forgets to add at the end of any interview that without her mom Uma Krishnan she would never have reached such dizzy heights. "

WELCOME ENGLISH Teaching Methods Make All The Difference

The Statesman: "Emily Lau in her article �Speak Chinese�� writes: �With the best of will in the world the government (of Hongkong) cannot ... do very much about the many teachers who simply cannot teach pure English�. If this be the case with a closely held British colony, the magnitude of the problem our state has to face � where there is an acute dearth of well-qualified English teachers at present � may be well imagined.

It augurs well for the education system in West Bengal that at last decades of animus against English has been driven away. After a lot of controversy, it is gratifying to find that reason has finally dawned. But could anybody dispute the fact that the steadily declining standard of English among students is because of the method of teaching English which has been faulty notwithstanding the many experiments carried out? "

Politicos book their corner in cyberspace

siliconindia: "Sarangapani Puli, a Telugu Desam Party (TDP) worker in Warangal, has hosted www.supportpuliforwgltdp.com to get his message across to Naidu. Reddy's website www.ysrportal.com urges visitors to express support for his candidature as well as the Congress party. Not to be left behind, Reddy's party rival Srinivas has also booked his own corner in cyber space. The site www.dsrinivas.com is under construction.

The sites, www.gkvasan.com and www.evkselangovan.com, are under construction thanks to party workers seeking to get into the good books of the leaders and, through them, to the legislature or parliament.

Naidu had abandoned the site www.nchandrababunaidu.com, which originally contained details of his daily engagements, after the domain's owner sold it to another individual who turned it into a pornographic site. a hunt in a popular search engine for Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Laloo Prasad Yadav's portal surprisingly yields one result - www.lalooprasadyadav.com. However, the site is not yet operational."

Outsourcing Giant Fights Back

Wipro - NY Times: "TO his compatriots, Azim Premji is the Bill Gates of India. By transforming his family-owned vegetable oil business into a global technology powerhouse, Mr. Premji has become the country's richest citizen, with a net worth hovering around $8 billion. Upon the death of his father in 1966, Mr. Premji dropped out of Stanford to return to India and take care of the family's cooking oil company.

Outside India, however, Mr. Premji is not exactly Mr. Popularity these days. A British newspaper recently went so far as to describe him as 'the man who wants to take away your jobs.' But, India's technology industry employs 800,000 people, he said, while the American technology industry employs 10.2 million. And 300,000 people work in Indian call centers, compared with six million in the United States.

On one recent day, the company had 17 clients visiting at once, and a mad scramble ensued for conference rooms. Over all, the company said it expects revenue to reach $1.3 billion in the 12 months through March, up 44 percent from the previous 12-month period."

Dravid, Inzamam slam fixing allegations

NDTV.com: "Pakistani captain Inzamam-ul-Haq and Indian vice captain Rahul Dravid reacted sharply against speculation that bookies might have influenced the 2-2 score in the Indo-Pak ODI series.

'Gentle Giant' Inzamam bluntly told a reporter, who raised the question at the post-match press conference on Sunday, to 'shut up'. At another interaction with the media, Dravid lost his cool when a reporter asked him a similar question, thundering, 'Will someone take this man out of the room'."

Today's Tip: Supplement Week - Heart health in a pill?

For those with a personal or family history of heart disease, the road to reducing risks can be challenging. Eating well, losing weight, getting regular exercise and reducing stress all take time and focused commitment to implement into a daily routine. While there is still no magic pill to guarantee heart health, there are already a few options that hold promise. Co-Q 10 is a potent antioxidant that has been linked to normal cardiac function and many cardiologists recommend supplemental Co-Q 10 for anyone taking statin drugs (which can effectively lower cholesterol, but reduce the production of Co-Q 10). It also has shown potential benefits for anyone with risk factors for heart disease. Magnesium Glycinate (which plays a role in energy metabolism, bone mineralization, and intestinal motility) and L-Arginine (a precursor to nitric acid, which may help support blood vessel dilation and oxygen delivery to the heart) all help to provide additional support for those who want to optimize their heart health. Learn more about heart health and supplements by visiting DrWeil.com.

The Issues: Bush Aide Sees $1 Trillion Gap in Kerry's Plans

NY Times: "Citing government estimates, newspaper reports and figures developed by research organizations, the analysis put a price tag of $1.7 trillion for the next 10 years on 28 major programs advocated by Mr. Kerry during his campaign. It said the tax increases Mr. Kerry had called for would raise about $700 billion over the same period, leaving a $1 trillion gap.

In an advertisement this month, the Bush campaign said that Mr. Kerry would have to raise taxes by at least $900 billion. The biggest component of the Mr. Kerry's spending projections is a $900 billion health insurance plan. He has called for repealing the Bush tax cuts on people earning more than $200,000, a shift the Bush campaign said would bring in a little more than $500 billion over the next decade."

Sunday, March 21, 2004

Gibson to film Jewish 'Western'

BBC NEWS | Entertainment : "Mel Gibson looks set to provoke further antipathy among the Jewish community with plans to make a film about the story behind the festival of Hanukkah. The Jewish festival of Hanukkah celebrates the Maccabees' victory against Greek king Antiochus IV, 165 years before Jesus was born.

There was further controversy on Saturday, after Yasser Arafat, the Palestinian leader, added his voice to the row. His adviser told the official Palestinian news agency WAFA that Mr Arafat found the film "moving and historical". "

Software of Democracy

Op-Ed Columnist: NYT: "As long as these two liabilities of inept governance and endemic poverty are not addressed, India can't really take off and become a big-time technology competitor of the United States. The information revolution, though, has given India, for the first time, some real resources and tools to address its chronic ailments. Will it seize this opportunity? This is India's 'to be or not to be' question.

India's "Golden Enclave" — disconnected from the country's bad governance, as companies create their own walled enclaves, with their own electricity, bus service, telecommunications and security, and disconnected from the countryside, where many Indians still live in abject poverty.

Krishna Prasad, an editor for Outlook magazine and one of the brightest young journalists I met in India, said to me that criminalization and corruption, caste and communal differences have infected Indian politics to such a degree that it attracts all "the wrong kind of people." So India has a virtuous cycle working in economics and a vicious cycle working in politics. "

10 things we didn't know this time last week

BBC NEWS | UK | Magazine: "People who chat online have just seven topics of conversation - popular culture, solidarity, food, relationships, money, social activity and banter. "

Ancient Indians made 'rock music'

Kupgal rock, AntiquityBBC NEWS | Science/Nature: "Archaeologists have rediscovered a huge rock art site in southern India where ancient people used boulders to make musical sounds in rituals. A dyke on Kupgal Hill contains hundreds and perhaps thousands of rock art engravings, or petroglyphs, a large quantity of which date to the Neolithic, or late Stone Age (several thousand years BC).

Modern-day commercial granite quarrying has already disturbed some sections of the hill. A rock shelter with even older rock art to the north of Kupgal Hill has been partially destroyed by quarrying. "

Mass rape atrocity in west Sudan

Map of Sudan highlighting DarfurBBC NEWS | Africa: "Arab militias, backed by the government, have driven hundreds of thousands from their homes, in retaliation for a rebellion launched a year ago by two armed groups. The fighting was characterised by a scorched-earth policy and was comparable in character, if not in scale, to the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

"All houses as well as a market and a health centre were completely looted and the market burnt. Over 100 women were raped, six in front of their fathers who were later killed". A further 150 women and 200 children were abducted.

The fighting in the west of Sudan has intensified as government peace talks to resolve the 20-year war with southern rebels are nearing an end. But the UN is concerned that this conflict could undermine the peace talks in Kenya. "

Did Noah really build an ark?

Artist's impression of the arkBBC NEWS | UK | Magazine: "In the Bible, God tells Noah he has to build an ark and load a pair of every kind of animal before a great flood engulfs the world. It is widely regarded as a myth, but could it actually be true?

If the story is taken literally, it would have taken 35 years for Noah and his family to load two of every animal on earth. And a flood that engulfed the Earth would have left a signature for geologists - yet none has been found.

Instead of building an ark to survive a great flood, he is more likely to have built boats to trade goods like beer, grain and animals. One Babylonian text suggests the ark came to rest on what is now the island of Bahrain, providing a very different yet plausible end to the adventure. "

Friday, March 19, 2004

Summary of Findings

Blog Survey: "- the great majority of bloggers identify themselves on their sites: 55% of respondents provide their real names on their blogs; another 20% provide some variant of the real name (first name only, first name and initial of surname, a pseudonym friends would know, etc.)

- 76% of bloggers do not limit access (i.e. readership) to their entries in any way

- 36% of respondents have gotten in trouble because of things they have written on their blogs

- 34% of respondents know other bloggers who have gotten in trouble with family and friends

- 12% of respondents know other bloggers who have gotten in legal or professional problems because of things they wrote on their blogs

- when blogging about people they know personally: 66% of respondents almost never asked permission to do so; whereas, only 9% said they never blogged about people they knew personally.

- 83% of respondents characterized their entries as personal ramblings whereas 20% said they mostly publish lists of useful/interesting links (respondents could check multiple options for this answer). This indicates that the nature of blogs might be changing from being mostly lists of links to becoming sites that contain more personal stories and commentaries.

- the frequency with which a blogger writes highly personal things is positively and significantly correlated to how often they get in trouble because of their postings; (r = 0.3, p < 0.01); generally speaking, people have gotten in trouble both with friends and family as well as employers.

- there is no correlation between how often a blogger writes about highly personal things and how concerned they are about the persistence of their entries

- checking one�s access log files isn�t correlated"

The Economics of Faking Orgasm - No, really

Slate - Steven E.�Landsburg: "He then turns from the Fourth Amendment to the Fifth, and the defendant's right to remain silent during a trial. The Fifth Amendment increases the number of wrongful acquittals (which is bad) and reduces the number of wrongful convictions (which is good). Is that bad or good on net? I addressed this question once before in Slate, where I pointed out that lawyers are wont to say asinine things like, "It is better to let 10 guilty men go free than to convict one who's innocent," as if a sufficiently bold statement obviates any need for a supporting analysis

It's not clear whether it's the woman who overestimates her acting ability or the man who overestimates his perceptiveness. Be that as it may, Mialon uses game theory to investigate why women (sometimes) fake and why men (sometimes) doubt them. I'm not sure I buy all his assumptions, but he makes a reasonable first pass at the problem."

The $33,000 Per Hour Consultant - And other seamy sweetheart deals hiding in corporate annual reports

Slate - By Michelle�Leder: "American investors are about to be buried in paper. Annual report season is officially underway and this year is shaping up to be a contest of big, bigger, biggest. Georgia-Pacific, which is luckily in the paper business, filed a 390-page annual report with the Securities and Exchange Commission last month. Citigroup's annual report for 2003, filed with the SEC on March 1, weighed in at 295 pages, nearly 30 percent larger than its 2002 report. "

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Alanis Morissette - Isn't It Ironic? Nope.

MellowFellow.com: "Alanis Morissette sings a song titled 'Ironic' on her album Jagged Little Pill. In this song she offers vignettes of situations where life is going well and then suddenly takes a turn for the worse. She exclaims, 'Isn't it ironic...don't you think?' My answer: 'No!' I have critically analyzed her lyrics and have found only 1 ironic episode therein. Ultimately I have discovered that she has no clue as to what irony really is."

Women's bad habits getting worse

Graph showing percentage of age groups smoking BBC NEWS | Health: "Young women are drinking and smoking more than ever, according to new figures released by the government. Weekly drinking levels amongst young women have increased significantly and smoking has become much more popular with teenage girls.

Campaigners blame increased income and marketing aimed at young women. The figures for 16-24 year-old women who drank more than the recommended weekly 14 units, virtually doubled from 17 to 33% between 1992 and 2002.

Smoking habits were also worse among 16 to 19-year-old girls. The statistics revealed that more women smoke than men in this age group with 29% taking up the habit compared with 22% of teenage boys."

How English survived in India

The Times of India: "Many ceremonies recently marked the 35th death anniversary of C N Annadurai, first DMK chief minister of Tamil Nadu. He is remembered mainly for ending Congress hegemony and Brahmin supremacy in the state. But today we should see him in a new light: he saved India from Hindi imperialism, ensured the continuation of English, and so made possible the outsourcing revolution that is moving lakhs of jobs from the West to India.

Today we boast that India has a competitive advantage in outsourcing because of its English-speaking population. But most politicians at independence wanted to eliminate English, then seen as a vile colonial implant, and replace it with Hindi. The Constitution in 1950 decreed that Hindi would be India�s officials language, but as a transitional measure allowed English to continue for 15 years (till 1965).

Nehru wanted Hindi as a national language, but also saw the value of English as a window to the world. Socialists like Lohia were rabidly anti-English, and launched an Angrezi Hatao agitation in 1957. The Jan Sangh in 1963 launched a violent agitation for abolishing English not only in official use but in shop signs, street signs and even car number plates. "

Java, Mono, or C++?

Thoughts on the future of open source desktop development: "Why is a high-level language and runtime important? Why are these projects considering a move?
Coding efficiency. High-level languages are simply technically superior to C/C++ for most uses, desktop applications in particular.
XAML. Microsoft is trying to take over the Internet and replace HTML. There are many more possibilities for an effective open alternative to XAML given a managed-runtime language.
Component technology. A managed language solves some of the same problems COM was designed to solve, such as ABI encapsulation, versioning, and modularization.
Unification of server and desktop APIs. By allowing programmers to use the same set of class libs to write a desktop app or a server-side app, we get advantages in terms of training and code reuse.
ISV appeal. A familiar language with cross-platform capabilities is a relatively friendly porting target.
The rest of the world is moving, and companies are angling to get their particular technology accepted. It's important for the open source world to proactively and consciously make its own decision. "

Answers to the World's Hardest Movie Quiz by Michael Atkinson

The Village Voice: Film: "the climactic spoken words (1) belonged to Psycho (A), Ashes of Time (B), Grand Illusion (C), 2001: A Space Odyssey (D), Woman in the Dunes (E), Champion (F), The Last Detail (G), The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover (H), and L'Avventura (I). Breathless (2) had its final subtitle restored from the cryptic 'A little what? I don't understand.' to the fabulously wry 'What's a scumbag?' The first Arab feature film (3) was The Girl From Carthage, made in Tunisia in 1924. The peak moment for working movie theaters in the U.S. (4) was 1929, with over 23,350 one-screen establishments cranking away. "

The History of St. Patrick's Day

The History Channel:
800 Years of Conflict --> All things Irish --> Famous Irish Personalities --> Interactive Ireland --> Irish History on Video

World's Hardest Movie Quiz 2004 by Michael Atkinson

The Village Voice: Film: "the semi-annual Stuart Byron Movie Trivia Quiz attempts to confound the world's cine-trivia cabalists, who today have 3 billion readily Googled websites at their research disposal. Prepare, then, for a death match. All answers pertain to theatrical features. The deadline: February 18, 2004. "

A. R. Rahman - Return of the King!

Sify.com: "Rahman-Mani Ratnam combination has once again struck gold with Aayitha Ezhuthu album. The first three-day audio sales have crossed the magic figure of 1 lakh! "

Pollhost.com

Get a free poll for your website.: "Sign up for our free poll service! Our polls are fast, free and fun! All that you need is a website. Our features include multiple vote protection, instant account creation, and completely customizable vote boxes. "

Gadgets galore on show at Cebit

Cypak paper computer, CypakBBC NEWS | Technology: "on show will be the usual slew of nifty gadgets including a paper computer, a camera lens that works like the human eye and a Swiss army knife that doubles as a portable memory card.

On show will be a range of high-speed services that will send music, movies and TV programmes to future 3G phones. Cypak has crammed a small chip, 32kilobytes of memory and a speaker onto the paper processors that it says could find a first use as an interactive drugs dispenser.

The top of the line version of the famous Swiss army knife combines a 128MB USB memory key with an LED light, scissors, nail file, screwdriver and ballpoint pen. "

Many die as Kosovo clashes spread

BBC NEWS | World | Europe: "Tensions resurfaced in the flashpoint town of Mitrovica on Tuesday when three Albanian children drowned, allegedly as they were trying to escape from Serbs who chased them with a dog.
The boys' deaths came a day after an 18-year-old Serb was wounded in a drive-by shooting in the village of Caglavica in central Kosovo, prompting clashes between Serbs and Nato peacekeepers.

Other incidents include:

* clashes in Caglavica where several Serbs' houses were burned

* in Kosovo Polje, on the outskirts of Pristina, a local hospital was burned alongside Serbian houses

* attacks against Serb returnees in Belo Polje in western Kosovo

* rioting in the western city of Pec, where UN offices came under attack and an Albanian was killed by a UN policewoman

* in Lipljan, eastern Kosovo, four Serbs were reportedly killed, the Serbian news agency Beta said. There has been no independent confirmation of the report. "

The modern-day Venus de Milo

The modern-day VenusBBC NEWS | Magazine: "The vacant plinth in Trafalgar Square is to be filled with a marble statue of a naked woman. Rather than aping classical sculpture, the model - Alison Lapper, born with no arms - says it is a very modern take on femininity.

When heavily pregnant with her son, artist Alison Lapper posed naked for a sculpture which is about to take pride of place in the heart of London.
The work - entitled Alison Lapper Pregnant, by Marc Quinn - has been selected to fill the empty fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square for 18 months, the latest in a rota of sculptures for the plinth."

How Do I Love Thee, TiVo?

NYT: "Today, Mr. Davies, a software engineer in Mountain View, Calif., owns six TiVo and ReplayTV digital video recorders, and actively uses five of them to record programs from his satellite dish for later viewing.

'With my TiVo and Replay units, I can record seven programs at once from DirecTV,' Mr. Davies said, although so far he has only recorded four simultaneously. 'Having an infant who requires feeding, we can now watch our shows at any time, and without commercials.'"

Malicious Computer Worm Detected

NY Times: " new malicious computer program has been detected that can create networks of remotely controlled computers to take part in online attacks, send junk e-mail messages as spam and engage in other shady activities common to the bad neighborhoods of cyberspace.
The program, known as phatbot or polybot, uses technology like that developed for file sharing networks such as Gnutella and Kazaa to control the machines. "

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Wampum: 2003

2003 Koufax Awards And The Winners Are:
Best Blog: Atrios of Eschaton
Best Writing: Whiskey Bar by Billmon
Best Post: Whiskey Bar for What a Tangled Web We Weave (the WMD quote post)
Best Series: David Neiwert for Rush, Newspeak and Facism
Best Single Issue Blog: Talk Left by Jeralyn Merritt
Best Group Blog: Daily Kos
Most Humorous Blog: TBogg
Most Humorous Post:Atrios for his example if media coverage Preznit Giv Me Turkee
Most Deserving of Wider Recognition: South Knox Bubba
Best Commenter: John Emerson, also or formerly known as Zizka
Best Non-Liberal Blog: Tacitus
Best Design: Daily Kos
Best Special Effects: Uggabugga

* Informed Comment *

Juan Cole: "This silly question is being asked by billionnaire Rupert Murdoch's and Conrad Black's media outlets all over the world in blazing headlines. For some strange reason, the billionnaires aren't happy that the Socialist Workers' Party won the elections in Spain, and are trying to portray the outcome as cowardice on the part of the Spanish public.

The entire argument is specious from beginning to end. First of all, the Iraq war had nothing to do with the battle against al-Qaeda. Nothing whatsoever. Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, Paul Wolfowitz and others were pressing for a war against Iraq in the 1990s before al-Qaeda had even become much of a threat to the US (certainly, they do not bring it up in their writings of the period). There is no evidence for any significant collaboration between the secular socialist Arab nationalist dictatorship of Saddam Hussein in Iraq and the neo-Caliphate hyper-Sunni fundamentalist movement of al-Qaeda. (Az-Zaman is reporting that Saddam proposed Bin Laden for 'Man of the Year' in 2002"

Quiz

Quiz: "This is a really short quiz with astonishing results; It'll only take a minute or two.
When asked to name people you know, please be truthful; it matters. "

Europeans take a shine to Google

BBC NEWS | Technology | TOP FIVE IN EUROPE:
"Google: Audience of 55 million
MSN search: 27 million
Yahoo search: 12 million
Google image search: 10 million
AOL search: 5 million
Source: Neilsen/NetRatings"

Web site pairs cast-offs with those who treasure them

IHT: "Wanted: old socks, 'ripped, without partners, and of any size or color.' Offered: a telephone pole. Wanted: a chicken coop, a doghouse, a barn. Offered: 'Excellent quality landscaping rocks. Organic lemons will be given away to those who take the rocks as an extra bonus.'
.
The Internet has fed dreams of unimaginable wealth, a hope that in many cases turned out to be as fleeting as an instant message. It began as a way for the military and then academia to communicate, with little thought to profit, before evolving into a worldwide "

Freecycle

Number of cities freecycling: 279
Number of people freecycling: 36,971
: "The worldwide (!) Freecycle Network is made up of many individual groups across the globe. It's a grassroots movement of people who are giving (& getting) stuff for free in their own towns. Each local group is run by a local volunteer moderator (them's good people). Membership is free. To join simply click on your city under 'Sign up' below. It will generate a automatic e-mail which, when sent, will sign you up for your local group and send you an response with instructions on how it works. Or, go directly to the webpage for your city's group by clicking on your city's link on the left. Can't find your city? It takes about ten minutes to start your own (click on 'Start your own' for instructions). Have fun and keep on Freecyclin'! "

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Cal Thomas

Jewish World Review: Incoming Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has promised to bring home Spain's 1,300 troops from Iraq when their tour of duty closes at the end of June. Somewhere, Osama bin Laden must be smiling.

Haven't Europeans learned anything from history? Don't they recall the resignation of Austria's president in 1938 and the annexation of his country by Germany to "avoid war"? This merely increased Hitler's appetite, and he launched World War II by invading Czechoslovakia following British and French appeasement at Munich. Spain will make itself and the rest of the West less safe if Zapatero follows through on his promise of a troop withdrawal.

On a mission in south India

The Hindu: "ANJU VARGHESE, a fully trained pilot with the German Airline, Lufthansa, has two jobs. Not only is she the only Asian woman pilot with Lufthansa's InterCockpit Pilot Training Network in Frankfurt, but she is also Lufthansa's Marketing Officer for Asia. She's on a mission in south India to woo young aspirants to join one of the world's most advanced commercial airlines training academy. "

Telugu Cinesouth

April MadhadhilTelugu Hotnews - Hotnews, Gossips, Titbits, Star Speaks, Geetha & , Fashion:
"Priyanka Chopra ready to go nude!
Chiru's special mannerisms in Shankar Dada!
Vulgarity sells big!
Another Varasudu in heroes list!
Balakrishna injured in shoot!
The ever faithful Teja!
Riya Sen replaces Trisha!
Ramgopal Varma catches audience with Ad!
I want to make one with Chiranjeevi!
How Venktesh lost Munnabhai! "

Blame India Watch

Outsourcing and India: "Blame India Watch is concerned with the increasing anti-Indian/anti-India sentiment among tech workers, as well as media coverage that focuses disproportionately on Indian workers or propagates anti-India(n) sentiment. What began a few years ago as IT grumbling about Indian-specific H-1B 'Temporary Guest worker' and L-1 'Intracompany Transfer' workers and immigrants has now morphed into the outsourcing issue, and is now gaining international attention. We aim to highlight this scapegoating, encourage IT workers to put a stop it, and redirect the anger to where it belongs. "

Bush and Kerry Side By Side

Bush and Kerry Side By Side: side-by-side display of the official blogs .. The Bush - Kerry joint campaign blog .. pointer

"Ok, this is a new project for me. I've been poking through Bush's and Kerry's websites, just to see what's up. They seem to really turn up the hate when addressing their core constituents -- the kind of people that would read a Bush or Kerry blog. I think it's important that all of the non-core constituents be exposed to the activites of both parties, so I'm trying to bring up a page that aggregates both blogs into one.

That way, us middle-of-the-roaders, who wouldn't read either blog, can read both blogs (or just the headlines) very quickly.

It's a work in progress. I just started it about an hour ago. So feedback is appreciated."

THE MOST INFLUENTIAL REPORTERS AND BLOGGERS

BlogRunner: The most influential reporters and bloggers on the web. This list is generated by counting unique references to articles and posts authored in the last 60 days and mixes bloggers with reporters from traditional media.

100 Most Often Mispronounced Words

yourDictionary.com: "Now that Dr. Language has provided a one-stop cure for the plague of misspelling, here are the 100 words most often mispronounced English words ('mispronunciation' among them). There are spelling rules in English even if they are difficult to understand, so pronouncing a word correctly usually does help you spell it correctly. Several common errors are the result of rapid speech, so take your time speaking, correctly enunciating each word. Careful speech and avid reading are the best guides to correct spelling. "

State of the News Media 2004

Journalism.org: "The State of the News Media 2004 is an inaugural effort to provide a comprehensive look each year at the state of American journalism. Our goal is to put in one place as much original and aggregated data as possible about each of the major journalism sectors. "

Is The Blogosphere Half-Empty, or Half-Full?

TCS: Tech Central Station: "If you've read Weblogs for any length of you time, you probably already know that the 'Blogosphere' is divided into two halves. There are those Weblogs that link to, and very often editorialize about, the news of the day; and then there are the more intimate -- and therefore more personal -- day-in-the-life diaries. "

'Indian developers lack bonding'

siliconindia: " Indian developers excel in software development and communication skills. They, however, lack subtle skills like bonding, said the vice-president, developer relations and chief evangelist at Borland Software Corporation, David Intersimone.

Unlike their western counterparts, Indian developers are less prone to forming interest groups. Brazil, for instance, has a very large Java group, while US has several software language groups."

Top 37 Headlines From the Future

Keepers of Lists: "'Mime beaten for protesting to loud at Bush rally'

New Research: How Republicans ran the USA into the ground before 2010!

Bush looses election; Still President.

Copyright symbol copyrighted

Febuary 27, 2189 ---- D!ck Clark Dead at Age 263"

Monday, March 15, 2004

Return of the Aryans - Bhagwan S. Gidwani

SiliconIndia.com - Books: "Return of the Aryans tells the epic story of the Aryans�a gripping tale of kings and poets, seers and gods, battles and romance and the rise and fall of civilizations. In a remarkable feat of the imagination, Bhagwan S. Gidwani takes us back to the dawn of mankind (8000 BC) to recreate the world of the Aryans. He tells us why the Aryans left India, their native land, for foreign shores and shows us their triumphant return to their homeland�

Vast and absorbing, the novel tells the stories of characters like the gentle god, Sindhu Putra, spreading his message of love; the physician-sage Dhanawantar and his wife, Dhanawantari; peaceloving Kashi after whom the holy city of Varanasi is named; and Nila who gave his name to the river Nile� "

Signs of Life

Signs of Life: screenshotWe created signage to tell us about our complex world and help us navigate through it. But what do signs tell us about ourselves? This site presents signs that call to mind familiar human traits, such a penchant for stating the obvious. Whether it's a monolith up ahead or directions on where to find parking, sometimes you just can't be too explicit. Other times, brutal honesty can backfire, scaring away valuable customers with our dirty laundry. Drastic warnings are needed for those with hard heads: Be on the look-out for high surf, falling coconuts, and wayward beach logs. Some people need things spelled out, while others need a picture to get the message. Viewing this international collection, you'll find some signs lost in translation, while others will have you wondering whether you're coming or going. (in Photography Exhibits)

Author Ali on women's prize list

Monica AliBBC NEWS | Entertainment | Arts: "Margaret Atwood, Monica Ali and Toni Morrison are among the authors who have made the longlist of this year's Orange Prize for Fiction. The women-only £30,000 prize was set up nine years ago to promote and celebrate women's writing.

The shortlist will be announced on 27 April followed by the winner on 8 June. There are six debut novelists on the list - Monica Ali, Rupa Bajwa, Jhumpa Lahiri, Dinah Lee Kung, Joan London, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Audrey Niffenegger.

And six authors have been on the longlist before - Margaret Atwood, Maggie Gee, Stevie Davies, Toni Morrison, Andrea Levy and Anne Tyler."

Haiti arms row rocks South Africa

BBC NEWS | World | Africa: "A row has broken out in South Africa over an attempt to send weapons to deposed Haiti president Jean-Bertrand Aristide as rebels closed in on him.

The South African constitution contains clauses designed to prevent the government using covert forces across its borders -- a practice used extensively by the previous apartheid government, which left office 10 years ago.

Mr Leon told reporters in Johannesburg the plane had a shipment of 150 R-1 rifles, 5,000 bullets, 200 smoke grenades and 200 bullet-proof vests. "

The table of equivalents of Windows software in Linux

The table of equivalents / replacements / analogs of Windows software in Linux. (Official site of the table): "This list of Linux equivalents / replacements / analogs of Windows software is based on our own experience and on the information obtained from the visitors of this page "

advice on writing and thinking

remembering rebecca :: march 2004: ""

Eat Your Own Dogfood

Bob Congdon: "Dogfood � Microsoft concept for internal testing of software that's not fit for public consumption, but good enough for internal purposes. Very unrefined and buggy, but containing basic nutrients. Coined by former senior VP Paul Maritz, but made famous by now senior VP Brian Valentine in 1988."

Software Wars

Software Wars

BMW's Easter Egg

Popular Science: "There's a cheat code in the software running the BMW M3's sequential manual gearbox (SMG): Press the right buttons in the right order and the car will launch you from a stop after revving the engine to 5,000 rpm. But don't look for a how-to in the owners' manual�this feature is undocumented, an inside joke of sorts.

To our knowledge, it's also the first automotive 'Easter egg' "

Tamil box office March update!

Sify.com: "Cheran?s Autograph is scorching the box-office in Tamilnadu and the film is slowly but surely turning out to be a mega blockbuster! The film may be a bigger hit than last year's biggest hit Saamy which did Rs 15 Crore. "

Falling Reign in Spain

Slate - Sam Schechner:The New York Times fronts an accompanying news analysis that explicitly highlights the proxy blow Spaniards dealt to President Bush, who has often relied on Aznar to round out his "coalition of the willing." The Wall Street Journal, for its part, fronts a piece on the political fallout across Europe (subscription required), which may have other pro-Bush governments questioning their resolve. "We cannot escape the hypothesis that we are a target," said the head of Poland's intel service.

But the Washington Post notes in its lead, USA Today notes in its Cover Story, and NYT mentions in yet another article inside, that a more determining factor may have been outrage at the government's tone-deaf insistence—out of what some said was political self-interest—on blaming Basque separatist group ETA for the attack. According to separate articles on the investigation that the Los Angeles Times and WP front (and the NYT stuffs), the Spanish government further backed away from that original position yesterday, announcing that one of the three Moroccans arrested on Saturday in connection with the bombing had been linked last year to an al-Qaida operative who helped prepare the Sept. 11 attacks.

Powell defies Kerry to list world support

Boston.com / News / Politics / Presidential candidates: "Secretary of State Colin L. Powell criticized John F. Kerry yesterday for suggesting that foreign leaders want him elected president, and he challenged the presumptive Democratic nominee to name names.

"I don't know what foreign leaders Senator Kerry is talking about. It's an easy charge, an easy assertion to make. But if he feels it is that important an assertion to make, he ought to list some names," Powell said on 'Fox News Sunday.' The Bush campaign and the Republican National Committee have argued that such unverifiable comments raise questions about Kerry's truthfulness. "

french military victories

Try this:

1. Go to Google.com

2. In the search box, type "french military victories"

3. Click on the "I'm feeling lucky" button.

You will see some interesting results! ;-)

Sunday, March 14, 2004

'What's wrong if actors take money to campaign?'

Rediff: "The controversy over actors being paid for campaigning erupted when Mumbai tabloid Mid-day frontpaged a report detailing the rates they claimed actors were paid for campaigning for various political parties. "

Saturday, March 13, 2004

Spain arrests 5 in terror bombings

CNN: "Spanish authorities investigating the Madrid terror attacks arrested five people on Saturday who they say are linked to a telephone card found with an undetonated bomb. Three of those arrested were Moroccans, Acebes said, and two were Indian."

Stars give polls a shine

The Hindu : "Politics seems to be the last refuge of faded film stars. But for political parties, the hope is that such glamorous campaigners or candidates will turn the tide in their favour"

Director Cheran speaks

Chennaionline: "Cheran-producer-director-hero of 'Autograph' speaks on his film and experiences."

To Russia With 2 Adolescents: Mission Possible

NY Times Essay: "The challenge was to take two adolescent boys who knew almost nothing about Russian history and culture and make our adventure a super-duper, meaningful experience. Or something like that.

While we were caught up in Dostoyevsky's geography, Suzanne and Guy were hanging out on Nevsky Prospekt, St. Petersburg's magnificently restored main street. They enjoyed the street performers, from break dancers who talked too much to cute little children in formal clothes doing ballroom dances.

ONE evening, Guy ate at Pizza Hut and then happily retired to his room to watch Russian music videos. Roy came with us to one of St. Petersburg's most luxurious restaurants, Dvoryanskoye Gnezdo, or Noble's Nest. He gasped at the precise choreography the waiters employed to raise the silver covers off our exotic meals. (First course: bear-meat dumplings.)"

Aristide in Jamaica trip furore

BBC NEWS | Americas: "Haiti's prime minister has criticised Jamaican plans to allow the country's ousted president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, to visit next week. It is only about 150km (93 miles) from Haiti and there is fear is that Mr Aristide's presence in the neighbouring Caribbean country could embolden his loyalists and lead to more violence, our correspondent says.

He reportedly wishes to visit his two daughters - who were sent to the US as the political situation in Haiti deteriorated - for about eight to 10 weeks in Jamaica, the Associated Press reported. "

Friday, March 12, 2004

South Korean president impeached

Scuffles in the South Korean parliamentBBC NEWS | World | Asia-Pacific: "South Korea's parliament has impeached President Roh Moo-hyun for endorsing a pro-government party and incompetence ahead of next month's general election.
The opposition parties which dominate the chamber impeached Mr Roh by a vote of 193 to 2, suspending his powers pending a Constitutional Court ruling. "

India: Kingdom of the Tiger

Afsana Amarsy, Film ProducerLokVani: "When Amarsy visited India for the first time with her children, she was amazed at what she found. She had imagined India?s little villages and quaint lifestyle but was blown away by Mumbai. ?I knew then that I had to put this India, of vibrant colors and incredible energy into an IMAX Large format screen?, she said.

India: Kingdom of the Tiger is a collaboration between the National Wildlife Federation and Primesco, the Montreal-based company owned by Amarsy and her husband Ghoulam. "

Movie Review - Paap

Chitra Parayath -LokVani: "After sitting through Paap, this reviewer must report that it is indeed prime paap (sin) to expend one's precious time and money on Pooja Bhatt?s directorial debut.

The main emotions the tale evokes within one with are wonder and awe. Wonder at the talented lama tailors up in the Spiti Monastery where our heroine resides -- those dudes can give Mizrahi and McCartney a run for their money, and awe at John?s and Udita?s acting skills or lack there-of."

Review Of Paul Knox’s Play, “Kalighat,” Interview With The Playwright-Director

Chikako Sassa -LokVani: "Even before a friend and trusted theater aficionado beseeched me not to miss it, I had full intentions of hopping one metropolis over to the Big Apple and catching this particular show. I have seen Paul Knox�s previous productions � �Three Plays� at Wellesley College in April of 2003, a premier of �Informed Consent� in Circle East�s production of �First Light: A Festival of New Short Plays� in New York City, and most recently �Gehri Dosti� at Harvard University in November of 2003 � and have consistently admired his humanistic commitment to theater as a means of celebrating cultural, spiritual, and sexual-orientational diversity.

“Kalighat” was part of MELA, a series of events in New York City celebrating South Asian music, dance, film, and theater, sponsored by the Indo-American Arts Council and held in Baruch College’s new swanky Performing Arts Center. "

Anand Patwardhan - An Agent Of Change

Amita Parashar - LokVani: "The Wellesley College Association for South Asian cultures recently sponsored a four-day film festival inviting the community to view his films and hear him speak at an opening reception, and for an intimate lunch and culminating keynote address.
Arguably the most significant social/political documentary filmmaker in India, Patwardhan has opened the eyes of countless viewers to issues involving housing rights for the urban poor, for communal harmony, the environment, movements against the Narmada Dam and unsustainable development. Patwardhan�s most recent release, Jang aur Aman (War and Peace) involves nuclear testing in South Asia and has won critical acclaim around the world. "

Book Review - The Conch Bearer

Tara Menon - LokVani: "Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni�s latest novel for young adults, �The Conch Bearer,� once again demonstrates her story-telling prowess and versatility in writing. The book is a confection of Indian fantasy that children will love. Unlike J.K. Rowlings� Harry Potter books, Divakaruni�s �The Conch Bearer� is not adult fare, though this reviewer confesses that she personally found it a page-turner. "

Fish. Barrel. Boom.

t r u t h o u t - William Rivers Pitt | Perspective: "'Why should we hear about body bags and deaths and how many, what day it's gonna happen? It's not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?'
- Barbara Bush, said on 'Good Morning America' the day before the Iraq war started, New York Times, 01-13-03
'I'm the commander - see, I don't need to explain - I don't need to explain why I say things. That's the interesting thing about being the President. Maybe somebody needs to explain to me why they say something, but I don't feel like I owe anybody an explanation.'
- George W. Bush, Washington Post, 11-19-02
These quotes, and about a thousand others equally as preposterous, can be found in a new book by Bruce Miller and Diana Maio titled 'Take Them At Their Words.' The next time our valiant conservative leadership bemoans the 'corruption and fall of the nation,' remember that, by and large, these bemoaners are the clowns who have been running the circus for the last several years.
A few are also up for re-election in 2004. Bear that in mind. "

Britney Spears commits suicide! - The Times of India

Britney Spears commits suicide! - The Times of India - After Janet and Justin's stint at the superbowl, will it be Brittney Spears? Ooops... she did it again.

India stunned by Pakistan A

BBC SPORT | Cricket | Pak v Ind: "Tour match, Lahore: Pakistan A 336-4 (46 overs) beat India 335-6 (50 overs) by six wickets "

Teacher cleared of scarf 'attack'

BBC NEWS | UK | England | Cambridgeshire : "A teacher accused of religiously abusing and assaulting a Muslim pupil has been found not guilty.

The court had heard claims that Dick called Islam a "joke" during an incident in March 2003 after the girl was told to change her hijab scarf because it was not correct school uniform.

The prosecution alleged that Dick became annoyed and pulled the scarf from the girl's neck, causing a 2cm (1in) pin scratch. "

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Welcome to flickr.com!

What is Flickr?: "
Outrageously simple 'drag 'n' drop' real time photo sharing!
Ridiculously easy public and private groups formation!
Buddy lists and instant messaging!
Photo commenting, advanced privacy options, and more!
It's free"

Study Finds That Teenage Virginity Pledges Are Rarely Kept

NYT: "Among teenagers who pledged not to have sex before marriage, a majority did not live up to their vows, according to a national study reported here on Tuesday. The teenagers also developed sexually transmitted diseases at about the same rate as adolescents who had not made such pledges.
But a pledge to refrain from premarital sex, the researchers found, did tend to delay the start of sexual intercourse by 18 months. The adolescents who took virginity pledges also married earlier and had fewer sexual partners than the other teenagers surveyed, said Dr. Peter Bearman, the chairman of the sociology department at Columbia University and the lead author of the study.
Of the 12,000 teenagers included in the federal study, 88 percent of those who pledged chastity reported having had sexual intercourse before they married"

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Kagame accused over plane attack

BBC NEWS | World | Africa: "A French newspaper says an official report has blamed Rwandan President Paul Kagame for a rocket attack that triggered the genocide 10 years ago.
Le Monde says French police have concluded that Mr Kagame gave direct orders for the rocket attack on then President Juvenal Habyarimana's plane.
Mr Kagame was head of the rebel Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) at the time. "

Your pictures: On the beach

BBC NEWS | In Pictures: With a coastline stretching 570 kilometres you can always find a quiet spot for a sunset stroll. Take a camera though.
For the best Keralan sunset shots wait until after the sun has dipped over the horizon. Shades of pink and crimson will magically fill the sky. Now look round for striking shapes to serve as silhouettes. No digital enhancement will be required.
The name Kerala is derived from 'Kera' meaning coconut in Sanskrit, and 'alam' which means land. There are an estimated 200 million palm trees in the Land of Coconuts, providing food, drink and shade. Photographers like them too. (Photos: Tim Pile)

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Tamil Tigers 'preparing for war'

Tamil Tigers 'preparing for war': "In an interview with the BBC, Colonel Karuna said he believed this was the reason why he was asked to send 1,000 troops from the east to the north.

The BBC Frances Harrison, who visited the camp, says it is clear the breakaway commander is not just one lone individual - as alleged by the Tiger leadership when they expelled him on Saturday. "

Are you a fast food junkie?

Are you a fast food junkie?: "As the world's largest fast food chain overhauls its menus, test yourself on how much you know about burgers, fries and the people who sell these to us."

To read or not to read

Atlanta Journal: Is Shakespearean English becoming impenetrable to modern children - is it going the way of Middle English, almost perpetually needing translations? .. No Fear Shakespeare

Some educators say the beauty of Shakespeare rests in the writer's eloquence and poetry — something missing in the translations.

"Shakespeare without language is like a movie without sound," said Paul Voss, who teaches Shakespeare at Georgia State University.

Indians know how to make marriage work: Sabeer Bhatia

siliconindia: "Hotmail founder Sabeer Bhatia says his broken engagement has given him a new insight into wedlock and he believes that Indians know the formula to make marriages work."

Lingering Job Insecurity of Silicon Valley

NY Times: "unemployment among electrical engineers last year, at 6.2 percent, was the highest in 20 years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
By comparison, the unemployment rate for all workers, skilled and unskilled, averaged 6 percent last year, a much smaller increase from the low point of joblessness around 4 percent for 2000, and well below the 7.8 percent jobless-rate peak of the early 90's.
The persistence of record high unemployment among skilled computer engineers suggests that something beyond the usual up-and-down cycle of business is at work.
'You have multiple effects going on: automation, outsourcing and business strategy all playing a role,'"