CategoryFun & Weird

“I’m a Pole, So Can You”

I don’t watch the Colbert Show regularly (don’t judge me, a man has only so much time) but his interview are hilarious and 1000x better than Jon Stewart’s show. This interview with Maurice Sendak, the acclaimed author of many children’s books (Where the Wild Things Are), is great on many levels including the book that Stephen writes and reads out for Sendak.

Are these the 100 most beautiful words in the English language?

I'm sure we have our favorite words that we love to sprinkle around in any text we write. I went through a stage when I equated writing 'big words' with good writing and it took me until I started blogging to see how foolhardy that way. Preparing for the GRE actually exacerbated this idea. The friend I studied with was also afflicted with the disease and actually managed to insert 'unfathomable' into a sentence with a strong Marathi accent to everyone's amusement.

I had (have?) a special fondness for the word 'erstwhile' which coincidentally also is mentioned in the link below. I used it everywhere I could and if I was a children's book writer, I would have started out with, Erstwhile in a kingdom far far away…but thankfully, for the children, I am not. My dissertation involved analyzing impact of sites that were once contaminated and boy, did I go wild using 'erstwhile'. It got so bad that my advisor had to gently rebuke me and ask me not to use 'such a complicated word'. Admittedly,I was crestfallen.

PS. How many 'favorite' words have I used in this blog post? Discuss (10 points).

[Link to Are these the 100 most beautiful words in the English language?]

Go the F**k to Sleep

[Source: YouTube – Go the F**k to Sleep – read by Samuel L. Jackson]

This is how we feel most nights (or days) these days. Just when you think you have figured out his sleep pattern, he throws you a googly to mess with you. Eventually, we hope to get him to sleep on command and then we’ll bring out those oh-so-sweet bedtime storybooks. Until then, Samuel Jackson to the rescue.

A Kid’s NYC Subway Map

If you are a kid in NYC and love taking the subway, then this map is always going to be in your pocket [via].

Order for the next person

Cabel Sasser stumbles upon an unique cafe in Japan where – "you get what the person before you ordered. The next person gets what you ordered." Why? Because it encourages communication between total strangers? Or perhaps just lets you have something that you otherwise wouldn’t have ordered? [via Kottke].

Bad Engagement Photos

Anyone who has tied the knot in India in an elaborate ceremony involving overly-excited relatives knows the importance of the wedding photographer. He is taken care of lest memories of the day are lost by ‘accidentally’ hitting the delete button. He uses this position of importance albeit for a day to the hilt making the poor couple squirm uncomfortably in atrocious poses. Pointing to the moon (WTF!) in one such commonly used pose. I’m sure a secret cabal of photographers nestled deep in the secret darkrooms have devised this torture technique that lives on forever in garishly photoshopped wedding albums. We had our share of poses; some we flatly denied; others we couldn’t because he would dumbly stare at us feigning deafness until we relented for a second.

So in that context, I was glad to have stumbled upon this hilarious collection of engagement photos taken mostly in the U.S accompanied by priceless comments. The sadistic married man in me smiles gleefully at the naivete of gullible couples who have fallen prey to the instructions of the photographer. It indeed is an international conspiracy. I wish I could see their wedding photos too. Or perhaps not.

Obama is Spock

They’re not just talking about the ears. For those of us who watched the show in the 1960s (or during the countless reruns since), Nimoy’s alter ego was the harbinger of a future in which logic would reign over emotion, and rational thought triumph over blind faith. He was a digital being in an analog world; the Pied Piper who led our generation into the Silicon Age.

In the spirit of the Star Trek movie, it is time to admit that Obama is Spock. It’s quite logical. Indeed.

Obama’s Pirates

The Somali pirates standoff with the American captain was at best a law and order issue albeit over water and not the national security crisis as the media would like us to believe. It was definitely a dangerous situation for the hostages as anyone holding a gun to your head is. I was surprised to hear some people in the media portrayed this as a test for President Obama. Are the standards that low now?

Of course, President Obama authorized the use of force and the Navy SEALs took it from there; all credit deservedly to them. But if the outcome was different, I’m sure some crazy conservatives would have blamed Obama just as some are grudgingly crediting him for its success now. I’m sure the world’s most powerful navy could have handled this crisis all on their own regardless of who the President (as long as clear orders are given) was so any credit or blame to Obama is misguided. But of course, for those keeping count, the image below will be satisfying :)

Pirates killed by Obama

But Obama fanboys shouldn’t celebrate too soon. When compared to Jefferson and Madison, he is still waaay behind:
Pirates Killed by U.S. Presidents

Guard your Pubic Hair

New Jersey wants to regulate your pubic hair. Now given this blog’s PG status, many puns and snide remarks have to remain unexpressed.

Twitter Interview with McCain

Just when we were hoping that the mainstream media would get smarter and substantive, George Stephanopoulos gets a bright idea that what our political discourse needs right now is 140 character responses. I know the MSM loves Twitter but this is insane.

Indian Elections Color Palette

India Elections Party Color Map

Unlike the U.S., India is not a simple dichotomy of red states and blue states. Based on the 2004 elections results, you can see the splash of colors thanks to the hazaar parties; national and regional [click to enlarge]. Chances are that this color palette is going to get more enhanced this election cycle and we might just transcend into the 256 color palette that early Windows users were accustomed to. I can create a similar map based on results of upcoming elections or even as the results are streaming in.

Feel free to disagree with my color choices for parties. Requests for change in colors will be entertained as long as they are backed with solid reasons.

Created using ArcGIS 9.3 with data from Election Commission of India. Also, check out Thejesh’s mapping of the constituencies on Google Maps.

Baap of All Conspiracy Theories

These morons redefine conspiracy theory [YouTube] and wants to break trade ties with India including flyovers by Indian aircraft [via]. So why the hesitation? Living in a state of Pakistan denial can do that to you.

Loony Idea of the Month – Going Galt

Conservatives in the U.S. right now are intellectually bankrupt. Case in point – going Galt – to protest against tax increases for people earning more than 250,000. It sounds lofty in theory but none of them are following by actually “going Galt”. Conservatism needs a bailout from these morons.

The Gandhi Auction Tamasha

On the Gandhi items auction, Ambika Soni talks to Rediff:

On the choice of Vijay Mallya:
I don’t think Mallya is a controversial choice. I don’t think anybody will think like that.

I got feedback on TV that the government has done a good job. So what if he sells beer?

Jinke hath main tha who kya abhi tak beer nahin pi rahe the? (Didn’t the man who possessed these things ever drink beer in his life?)

Immense WTF! I think she means James Otis, and not Gandhi, right? Was someone suggesting that jiss haath se beer piya hai, uss haath se Gandhi ke chashme penehega? And there are plenty of such choice paragraphs that make you go kya hoga iss desh ka. The Otis guy although an idiot was smart enough to generate enough buzz and controversy among which involved telling India to invest more in Gandhian ideas instead of war. This buzz ended up driving up the price of the items under the hammer and what otherwise had a reserve price of $20,000 ended up as a bidding war between two (or three) Indians driving up the price to nearly $1.8 million. Ravi Batra, the lawyer for Otis even called the bidding a “small Cuban missile crisis”. What? Was the Dandi March and Civil Disobedience comparisons taken? Anyway, the idiot (and his lawyer) laughed all the way to the bank. Now will Mallya give it away for free as Soni claims he will or simply add it to his personal museum that includes Tipu’s treasures among other things? You can’t really stop him if he builds his own museum and throws it open to the Indian public albeit with an entrance charge.

This interview was to get a sense of the “multi-pronged strategy to bring Gandhi’s items back.” I wish the UPA government had any strategy for India’s national security and continued economic development.

The Mahatma Glasses

The Gandhi glasses were bought by Vijay Mallaya for $1.8 million. Sure, it is his money so is my right to call his desire to dish out dough for something we see in every place that Gandhi slept stupid.

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