Saturday, April 28, 2007

Random thoughts on a weekend...

Finals today. Neither team I wished would win the world cup made it. Now, I hope SL wins this - again for the same reasons. Aussies have won it too many times now! I guess Aussies are favorites, but there is no way SL can be written off.

The SL vs NZ semi was accentuated by Mahela's century. Such was the innings that it would be a bench mark for playing a stellar knock under pressure. Too bad they weren't chasing - the same innings would have been perceived as a classic under the circumstances.

Watched "unnAlE unnAlE" yesterday. Very passable movie - nothing special. Acting was very bland with very unnatural emoting. Even HJ shines only in certain places. Only the pre-release hype and the glossy coating on the screenplay carry the movie forward. The story had a lot of scope for depth - but doesn't deliver. The attempt to sketch a Hollywood style screenplay is evident, but doesn't deliver due to insufficient board work (Jeeva can use vattAram as a case study!). The movie does have some good humorous elements sprinkled around, but even that loses focus. To me, it looks like a lost opportunity! Cheran's mAyakkANNAdi is next...

Spiderman 3 is out next week :). Estimated at a whopping 258 MUSD - though I don't have any doubt it will recover the amount back.

Are you used to telling lies when it really isn't required? Say, if it brings about a benefit - either in your business or for your personal well being - you may or may not tell a lie in the situation. Sadhguru says there is a karma involved with that lie anyway. But what about cases where you lie for no reason? (sheer habit, (peer) pressure, fear). I had to do this today - it is a very unpleasant feeling.

If you're interested in investing, Fidelity's new international opportunity fund is out - closes 30th Apr 2007.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Random thoughts on a weekend...

Lara bids farewell. It was a sad way to go - I was disappointed with Marlon Samuels. For such a big occasion and a packed crowed wanting to witness his batting, he should have put more thought into his call for the run.

So, it's Aus vs SA and SL vs NZ in the semis. One would assume it is Aus vs SL in the finals, but I would love to see either SA or NZ lift the trophy this time - since they haven't done so before. We should go by merit, I guess...

I watched Jerry Maguire - again! Keeping the theme aside, the movie really scores in depicting a very complex amalgamation of emotions from different characters on screen. I read that the writers came up with thirty drafts of the script before approaching Tom Cruise. I'll remember the last line Dorothy says for some time - "You had me at Hello!"

Bajaj's Pulsar 200
is out. In the ad, they say "Stunts performed by experts. Do not attempt them". Well, the stunts are the selling point for the bike and hence the ad. So once we buy the bike, what do we do? Ride it like a TVS 50? Besides, I doubt if ALL stunts were really "performed". In one scene, a double somersault is performed. I wonder if it is technically feasible. It would be nice if ad makers show a little discretion in their ads.

Two great articles I came across. One titled, "Don't buy stuff you can't afford". One would assume this is common sense advice. But only when you see the video do we get reminded how much we buy on credit. This is especially true for the USA. Credit Cards make sense only when used as a "cash substitute". Even so, there is definite truth that CC's make you spend more.

The other one lists ten tips for leaving a lighter footprint. Under current circumstances, I think we have quite some distance to go till this becomes common practice. There was one article I posted earlier which measures your Eco footprint. That will also give a clue to how damaging our current living habits are.

Another great article about plastic biofuel generation. As common in India, this got caught in red tape! But thanks to the resilience of Alka, this project has seen light at the end of the tunnel. Hopefully this technology would become common in days to come.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Kahlil Gibran on Eating and Drinking

On Eating and Drinking - Kahlil Gibran

Would that you could live on the fragrance of the earth, and like an air plant be sustained by the light.
But since you must kill to eat, and rob the newly born of its mother's milk to quench your thirst, let it then be an act of worship.
And let your board stand an altar on which the pure and the innocent of forest and plain are sacrificed for that which is purer and still more innocent in man.


When you kill a beast say to him in your heart,
"By the same power that slays you, I too am slain; and I too shall be consumed.
For the law that delivered you into my hand shall deliver me into a mightier hand.
Your blood and my blood is naught but the sap that feeds the tree of heaven."


And when you crush an apple with your teeth, say to it in your heart,
"Your seeds shall live in my body,
And the buds of your tomorrow shall blossom in my heart,
And your fragrance shall be my breath,
And together we shall rejoice through all the seasons."


And in the autumn, when you gather the grapes of your vineyards for the winepress, say in your heart,
"I too am a vineyard, and my fruit shall be gathered for the winepress,
And like new wine I shall be kept in eternal vessels."
And in winter, when you draw the wine, let there be in your heart a song for each cup;
And let there be in the song a remembrance for the autumn days, and for the vineyard, and for the winepress.

Note: I don't know what to say... :-(. I wonder how our consciousness would be after a period of time if our state of mind is as Kahlil Gibran asks us to be. Planet Earth is truly blessed to have housed such beautiful people.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

How Bill Gates works

Nothing very path breaking, though one can clearly see he is very focussed. The interesting thing which you don't see is the way he splices three displays to form one integrated display. He can afford this and more of course :). Carrying a tablet PC is also a very good idea, again if you can afford one :)

I picked the URL up from Thiru's blog.

Friday, April 13, 2007

CIA Flicks

The Bourne Supremacy

I recently read a post that matched Jason Bourne and James Bond. Having watched Casino Royale recently, I had a good chance to review their skills in close time lines. My vote goes to Jason Bourne, and in this movie you see why. Primarily, the credit goes to Matt for his subdued but awesome portrayal. In the comments of the above post, some one mentioned that Bourne is more realistic than Bond which is true as well. I will wait for the next version of the Bourne series.

The Recruit
!!Spoilers!!

A story about new CIA trainees being caught in a double-cross setup by Al Pacino. The story does succeed in getting the viewers caught in a mazy plot, but it ends with a feeling that it could have been better. I was hoping to get an insiders view of the training they undergo and the trainees first time experiences as they undergo a real test. The betrayal is a surprise nevertheless and I like Al Pacino's screen presence in general. Worth a watch!

Conversations with God - The Movie

The book with the same title was (and is) one of my favorites.

I feel it is very difficult to bring full justice to such a loaded script in a 2 hour movie - in that context, the crew has done an admirable job.

Just like in Indigo, I would like to keep all reviewing gripes aside when confronted with a movie like this, because I would like to see more of these movies coming out. Being aware of so much of Neale's history (disclosed by himself through the CWG series), it was truly fascinating to watch this unfold on the movie screen. Some areas were very poignant - for instance, Henry's emotions when he is choked by the sight of being watched at after his hunger gets the better of him and prompts him to eat food from a dumpster. The dialogues were also were neatly presented - for instance when Neale leaves $150 as tip to the college girl waiting his table, she exclaims "Oh My God!" and Neale replies "My God too!".

Whether you are aware of the CWG story or not, I would recommend you to watch this movie - it can be a real eye-opener to a new way to relate to other people and Life itself. It was a gladdening thing, watching a movie with a story that was already so close to my heart!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Seabiscuit

At the end of the movie, what really stands out is not the fact that they brought out a true story to Life. In one of the shots, the photography, the music and the direction beautifully bring out the pulsating Life that was present in the moment. It truly didn't matter who won the race at that moment, though you're rooting for Seabiscuit almost by impulse. Had this been fiction, it would have been almost fairytale to believe - the history adds so much reinforcement to the screenplay that it is difficult to put into words.

Very fascinating - at some times, it looks like poetry on visuals!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

The God Delusion

I happened to browse through this book at a book store.

The title should make it clear that the author argues there is no God. A part of his frustration stems from the constant bickering there exists among religons. I am sure there would be other intellectual questions that are typically athiestic.

But what surprised me most was that, when some one has the audacity to come up with a title that says 'The God Delusion', he must be ready to stand by his views. A chapter in the book said 'Why there is almost certainly no God'. Why the 'almost'? That single word takes away the entire credibility of the chapter, and the book in fact. No matter how many logical points the author would list, it says that the author is not 100% sure - so how can he expect the readers to listen along?

I am sure I won't be reading that book. In anyway, whatever question Mr Dawkins puts forth, I have a feeling CWG would provide a good rebuttal.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Casino Royale

I know only Sean Connery and Pierce Brosnan among Bond's. Of the three, I like Daniel Craig the best. His, burly, intelligent (of course, this is a Bond requirement) but only moderately sophisticated demeanor is very appealing. But as always, he is happy-go-lucky with women.

Unfortunately, even before the movie starts, we know Bond is going to win, so that takes off much of the surprise. What is appealing however is that, instead of unfolding in a pitch-perfect sequence for Bond, we see him missing a few shots which take you by surprise.

It will be nice if Daniel stays, but we see him failing some of his assignments so viewers don't take the ending for granted. Ian Fleming wont like it though!
 
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