Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Let's help the flood victims in Bihar


  • Volunteer if you are a doctor.
  • Volunteer if you can swim.
  • Contribute money to relief funds. I prefer sending money through NGOs working at the grassroot level. Plenty of information is available on the internet. For starters, here are two blogs dedicated to the cause: and
  • Contribute essential items like medicines, clothes and life jackets. Find more in the blogs mentioned above.
  • Make others aware of the need.

Read another post on this issue in my other blog.

Monday, August 11, 2008

India gets Gold at the Olympics

An sms from Times Now a few minutes ago made my day!

Abhinav Bindra has fetched India her first-ever individual gold medal at the Olympics. Bindra clinched the first place in the air rifle event of the shooting contest.

We are proud of you.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

I am not dead... just breathing slowly

Wow! Two months, no posts! Is this blog another dying one? I assure my loyal readers it is not. Wait for some interesting posts to appear here soon.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Bloggers too will have their day!

It is International Webloggers' Day or InWeDay 29 days from now. On 14th June, 2008, bloggers from different countries will unite to celebrate the fourth such event.

Why is that?
Apart from revolutionizing the widely-known Valentine's day, Women's Day, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Family Day, the greeting card industry has been making earnest efforts to popularize days like Teddy Day, Kiss Day, Hug Day, Promise Day, Naked Day (yeah, there's this one too!), Cheese Pizza day, No Diet Day, Nutty Fudge Day, Freud Day, Wife Appreciation Day, Hug Your Cat Day, Hiccup Day, and many more.** Should it be a surprise then if bloggers decide to celebrate a day of their own?

What is it?
The declaration of a day for bloggers is a way to recognize the importance and relevance of blogging in the current times. Lately, I have been engaged in discussions and arguments over the responsibility of media, the Fourth Estate in everyone's life and in everyday governance. All those discussions have pointed to the fact that a Fifth Estate has to rise to keep an eye on the Fourth Estate, at the same time hoping that there will never be a need for a sixth one. In his book, Watching the Watchdog, Stephen D Cooper, declares the blogging community to be the Fifth Estate.

How did it start?
A need to unite the blogging community was in the offing and it all started in 2004 with Rio Akasaka's webpage declaring 9th June as the Bloggers' Day. Later, 14th June was chosen as the International Webloggers' Day (InWeDay).

What do I do?
Participate. If you want bloggers from different countries, with diverse cultures and interests to unite and share a common platform, join the community.
International Weblogger's Day 2008
Every year, bloggers participate in the event by meeting up at a pre-decided place or writing blogs posts on the current theme. This year's theme is Change. Make a blog entry on this topic on the International Bloggers' Day . There is also an award for the best relevant post.

**In case you are curious about the Days in our world, check this out.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Know how the most powerful government spends

The right to information on government positions is a widely appreciated phenomenon. However, few in the general public are aware of, a website serving as an access-point of information on the US government's expenses.

Initially introduced as the Coburn-Obama Transparency Act, Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 came into being a powerful act soliciting complete transparency from the US government. This act required setting up a website,, to help US citizens access information on government expenditure.

As a response to a frequently asked question, What's the purpose of the new legislation? the website says,

To provide the public with information about how their tax dollars are spent. Citizens have a right and need to understand where tax dollars are spent. Collecting data about the various types of contracts, grants, loans, and other types of spending in our government will provide a broader picture of and much needed transparency to the Federal spending processes. The ability to look at contracts, grants, loans, and other types of spending across many agencies, in greater detail, is a key ingredient to building public trust in government and credibility in the professionals who use these agreements.

Though completely functional with regular updates, I wonder if the US citizens ever bother to check the website. Launched on December 13, 2007, the website does not seem to have received the expected response. The website has not been an important topic of discussion since its launch. Four days after its launch, had carried a news item declaring a lukewarm response to the site. The media does not seem to have carried out any more reports on the website.

Friday, May 9, 2008

For the hungry and lazy times (while you are in India)

Last night, while surfing the net, I came across a website catering to tired, hungry souls like me. The website, Hungry Zone, not only provides reviews of numerous restaurants across India, but also eases out the ordering process.

This website can help you with:

  • choosing a restaurant to your liking
  • booking a table in the restaurant
  • ordering food home via the phone or the internet
  • planning a party
  • deciding the meal from detailed menus

The website also provides an instant Meebo chat service for an urgent order.

One of the coolest services provided by this website is the tiffin service for office-goers. I checked the meal plans and prices for Bangalore, and found that you can have a proper vegetarian lunch for Rs. 30, the same you pay at your office cafeteria.

I think this website has been smart at tapping the potential of restaurant market online. The website's USP is definitely the online home delivery process; the service is available only in Bangalore, as of now. Placing an order online, after thoroughly going through menus makes home delivery more convenient, bypassing the confusion of the i-have-no-clue call-handlers. A number of restaurants facilitating home delivery have provided their menus online.

If you are hungry in Bangalore, click here.
If you are hungry in Delhi, click here.
If you are hungry in Mumbai, click here.

If you like surfing the net for recipes, you will like some available on Hungry Zone.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Please translate me - Translated in Hindi

कृप्या मुझे अनुवाद करें.

Hindi is in. At least as one of the languages in Google's translation service. The inclusion of Hindi is still at the very basic stage, but it is a welcome start for the large Hindi-speaking population of the world's largest democracy.

I know what you are doing now!

As the more-than-a-century old Boston Marathon took place on April 21st, thousands, probably millions, tracked every move, every step of forty athletes, including the father and son duo, the team Hoyt, on the track. Anybody in any place on the earth, from a web-enabled device, could catch the action of these athletes as they ran geared with MyAthelete GPS tracking devices. Imagine watching your favorite athlete on the miniature screen of your cell! Athletes wore the devices on their belts. GPS is on the running track now!

MyAthelete recently tested the beta versions of these PLS (Personal Location Service) units. These GPS tracking units have been developed by GTX Corp. I checked their website to discover some other amazing GPS services and products. We already know about tracking vehicles through GPS. Now, with the MyAthelete GPS tracking, we are tracking athletes. However, that's not all. The technology is now employed in footwear, thus promising to assist you in your everyday lives! How? By keeping track of the whereabouts of your toddler or your ill grandma. What the advertisers didn’t think of was a prospect of spying on the other half in a relationship! But, I guess, people are smart enough.

I must mention to my readers that this is a sponsored post. Watch out for more news on this technology in the next posts.

US Presidential history: How is 7th May important?

219 years ago, in 1789, the first Presidential ball was held on the 7th of May in the United States to honor the newly selected president, George Washington.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Can you be arrested for blogging?

Fellow blogger, Al Farhan was. He was arrested on unspecified charges and suffered an extended period of 137 days in custody for questioning in Saudi Arabia. Why? Because he chose the right to freedom of expression in a land that controls the media and has strict internet laws. Fouad al Farhan was released on the 26th of this month. He was not convicted with any crime; his arrest on 10 December, 2007 was triggered by his rather radical views. In a country where people are scared to express themselves, Al Farhan has no fear identifying himself and expressing himself. Al Farhan's blog, is a reflection on the human desire to be free.

This blog salutes his courage.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Zoom into the outer space

Following up the news of India's space expedition, I am here to tell you that the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota in the state of Andhra Pradesh saw the successful launch of PSLV C9 into space, followed by ten man-made satellites entering earth's orbit.

India in space again with a ten

Tomorrow morning at precisely 9:23 am IST, India will be creating history of sorts by launching ten satellites into the space carried by its PSLV C9. Eight of these satellites are non-Indian, lightweight nano satellites. The other two are the remote sensing 690 kilograms Cartosat-2A and the 83 kilograms Mini satellite.

With a payload of 824 kilograms, this launch will be the heaviest of its kind. The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) expects the 2 billion Cartosat-2A satellite to aid geological infrastructure development. The satellite will be equipped with a highly-advanced camera.

Read more about the launch in the Economic Times, India:

This blog will follow the news closely.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

The technosexual woman of today

Sometime ago, cars, bikes, gadgets were considered boys’ toys. If women made a style statement with clothing, jewelry, shoes, and purses, men made it by displaying their happening possessions. Lately, however, the fashion scene seems to be changing. With men becoming metrosexual, women are becoming extremely obsessed with possessing gadgets, thus showcasing yet another side of their individuality.

What do we call this new woman? Technosexual? That’s the only term I can coin now. Fashion has evolved with time, and with the current technological times, can women’s fashion be bereft of it?

Technology must have invaded fashion ages ago when they set up schools and institutes that impart years of education in ‘Fashion Technology’. For the lay man, the term may have sounded like a misnomer. Defining the technology of fashion is beyond the common man’s aptitude. However, in today’s world, with terms like fashiontronics doing the rounds of the fashion industry, technology and fashion are evidently great pals.

Earlier, mobile phones, laptops, and other gadgets were just a necessity. However, they soon started making fashion statements. Colors and shades have always mattered not just in clothes or lipsticks but in cars, home appliances, and personal gadgets. With fast changing trends, it was only obvious that personal gadgets became as important to the fashion-conscious souls as the color and texture of their attires, hats, shoes, belts, wallets, and purses.

The fashion-conscious, technosexual woman walking on the street is no longer just showing off her newly acquired Gucci footwear but also her latest Bluetooth and the savvy laptop popping out of her big Prada purse. And, no, it’s not just the high society ladies who are becoming technosexuals, your next-door girl too is.

She may be the taskmaster or the workaholic at work, but the technosexual will rather invest in a good-looking laptop than a ‘geeky’ one. The urban woman does not want to be known as the bimbo but the intelligent, tech-savvy, know-it-all woman.

A search for the term ‘fashiontronics’ fetches me 827 results in Google today. In a few months or a year, the number could rise to a hundred thousand. But then, we know the woman of today is not waiting for a term to define the trends in fashion. The technosexual woman already knows it all.

Friday, April 25, 2008

World’s 100 Sexiest Women: The list has either left me confused or caught me blind

What is wrong – my eyes, or the four different news reports I saw on the list of world’s sexiest women 2008 that has been released by FHM? Why do the reports differ from the list published on the FHM website?

FHM’s website ( lists the following as the top ten:
1 Megan Fox
2 Jessica Alba
3 Keeley Hazel
4 Elisha Cuthbert
5 Hayden Panettiere
6 Scarlett Johansson
7 Cheryl Cole
8 Hilary Duff
9 Angelina Jolie
10 Keira Knightley

Though all the four news reports I read this morning are right about the winner, Megan Fox, the rest of the lists seem to come from somewhere else. Or, is it my sleep-laden eyes? The most remarkable thing about these incorrect-in-my-eyes reports is that they are consistent! Yeah, if they were wrong, they could not be so consistent. I need your help here. I checked the 2008 list, not any other year’s. I also made sure I saw the date on the news reports. All say April, 2008! Then, what is wrong?

Here are the highlights of the differences as I see them.

CNN – Reported by Associated Press
1 Megan Fox ---------- Bingo!
2 Jessica Biel ------- I found her at 13
3 Jessica Alba ------- I found her at 2
4 Elisha Cuthbert ---- Bingo!
5 Scarlett Johansson - I found her at 6
6 Emmanuelle Chriqui - Did not find her in the list!
7 Hilary Duff -------- I found her at 8
8 Tricia Helfer ------ I found her at 73!
9 Blake Lively ------- Did not find her in the list!
10 Kate Beckinsale --- I found her at 12
100 Britney Spears --- I found her at 31. Holly Willoughby was at 100.

Other news websites have similar reports, with some declaring Victoria Beckham at 99. I found her at 98. Am I looking at the right report? Here are the other three news links for you to verify against the FHM list (

Let me know if I need to see an ophthalmologist.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Controversy and cricket: The new drama off the field

Where cricket is concerned, controversy always comes along as the escort. The Indian Premier League has started with a boom on the field. But there are some controversies doing the rounds off the field, the latest being the promotional video of IPL.

IPL's Karmayudh video has been created by Ogilvy & Mather's Prasoon Pandey. However, it is said to be a copy of an ad telecast by Fox Sports five years ago. Prasoon Pandey, in conversation with the Economic Times, India, acknowledged the similarity but is of the notion that the two ads are different in soul and the similarity is only in terms of the picture treatment.

The Fox Sports ad has been posted on YouTube by someone called ripoffexpose who seems to have come on YouTube for the sole purpose of uploading this video and letting people know about the coincidence.

I looked for any statement by Fox Sports on this but did not find any. The controversy seems to have arisen from the post by ripoffexpose. One niharsaqib has posted a response from Prasoon Pandey. I don't know if it is him, but it does sound like him. Here's the response:

I am the one who directed the IPL Karamayudh Commercial and my name is Prasoon Pandey.

The use of the splash in the baseball commercial, I must confess is uncomfortably close to the one in the IPL Ad. When we cut the actual footage together and gave it to my animators to paint on top, they having painted on top also put a splash on a shot and showed it to me. I loved it and I am the one who asked them to go ahead with it.

But I hadn't even seen this baseball commercial till you put it on You tube, and have just confirmed with my animator E. Suresh of Famous Studios, neither had he.

At the same point of time, the splash can neither be anybody's property nor is it the idea of the IPL commercial. IPL'S idea is in the Veer Ras audio track. The splash is only a visual punctuation in the larger imagery.

This decent part of my reply is for all you guys who are genuinely worried about where Indian advertising is headed.

Now for the nameless coward who wrote the indecent limericks- Son, if you put your creativity to better use, one day you could make your mum proud by being able to put a name to your work.

Prasoon Pandey
Corcoise Films

I am waiting for the debate to spice up!