December 31, 2005

My (late) Simoqin review

Simoqin Prophecies cover

Read this and this first… Mine’s going to be really short.

This really is a funny book. If you’re a fan of SFF, you won’t be able to stop laughing while you read it.

I loved the parody of all things people are too inclined to take seriously. There are different kinds of humour—this book is the kind that makes you smirk in a knowing, superior manner. It’s a sort of inside joke that bibliophiles appreciate.

The plot’s OK-ish. The ending didn’t seem to fit well with the book. Minor annoyances these, don’t really spoil the fun of reading the book.

Obligatory quotes follow.

The Vertical Sea had been created long, long ago, when magic was young and wild in the world. Some well-meaning prophet, as the legend goes, had tried to part the seas to let his people cross southwards from Elaken to unknown lands across the southern seas. The immensely powerful charm he had used had worked beyond his wildest expectations. Unfortunately, however, he had been pointing his staff in the wrong direction. He had created a vast passage, not southwards to the unknown world but right across the world in a great circle…

‘I have heard of the sword of Raka, of course, but do you think that this is the best possible sword for Simoqin’s Hero? I mean, it doesn’t even have a name. And magic swords should have names.’
‘In the east, we do not name our swords—we consider it silly.’

Obligatory year-end’s list

Some books I really liked reading this year, in the order I read them:

  • Heroes Die
  • Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town
  • Of Human Bondage
  • An Artist of the Floating World
  • Blade of Tyshalle
  • Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
  • Foucault’s Pendulum
  • The Simoqin Prophecies
  • Shogun

Actually these are only in the last 7 months or so, had not been keeping track of stuff I read before that. I’ve got a pathetic memory—I remember which books I’ve read, but can’t remember when or where.

Huh, so I guess I’ll just have to log other stuff too—movies I’ve seen and the such.

I’m too lazy to go through a year’s worth of archives and list out all the good posts. Listing the comments would be even more tedious. So will not do that.

Can’t really think of other stuff to list—a first for me. Hey, just realized I’m not as much as pedant I thought I was. The year-end was actually useful, I’m shocked.

C’ya next year, or later today if I get really bored and start posting again.

December 28, 2005

I’ve reddit.

Reddit is my new favourite source of linksnews. Seems easier to keep track of new stuff via reddit compared to a lot of other sites I’ve used. del.icio.us popular was useful for a while, but not so much now. I still keep visiting over there, but not as compulsively as before.

Both sites serve different purposes to me. Delicious is a way to keep track of links I like, and to discover new pages—but only when I’m searching for something in particular. But mainly to store and manage my personal hoard of links.

Reddit helps me stay up-to-date on current going-ons; and the links that show up on the home page are surprisingly suited to my taste. It has a simple system for moderation, just tell it whether you like an item or don’t. Whatever people like turns up on the front page, and anything dumb is modded down to oblivion.

Also, there’s a recommendations engine that works on-and-off. As you keep voting for stories, you’re training a filter, which gives you personalized news. Have found a lot of good stuff in the last few days via reddit, hence the evangelism.

December 24, 2005

The Dirk Gently series

Just read & by DNA. Yes, I ordered them off Sify. No I’m not gonna blog about each and every book purchase. Just saying that I got most of what I was planning to, that’s all. Most, not all. Seems simpler to write about books after I’ve read them, instead of before.

Dirk Gently is a holistic detective, and believes in “the fundamental interconnectedness of all things”. Only DNA could come up with him, and no one can write it better.

The first book deals with the fate of mankind, with time travel, with the start of time itself, and with Samuel Taylor Coleridge (poet). Note: need to read The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Kubala Khan later.

The next book deals with an Act of God. More specifically, an Act by a specific God. Yes, the Gods do walk amongst us. It takes us to Valhalla and back. And so on.

Can’t find a fault actually with the books, so have been obsessing about what to write. Somehow need to read them again, just to clear my head and form a coherent opinion. But haven’t got the time, there’s so much to read. Will probably start re-reading some of the stuff I’ve speed-read when college starts again.

Will just quote stuff for now, maybe I’ll re-do the post later on.

From Dirk Gently:

“The Electric Monk was a labour saving device, like a dishwasher or a video recorder. Dishwashers washed tedious dishes for you, thus saving you the bother of washing them yourself, video recorders watched tedious television for you, thus saving you the bother of looking at it yourself; Electric Monks believed things for you, thus saving you what was becoming an increasingly onerous task, that of believing all the things the world expected you to believe.”

“Even the sceptical mind must be prepared to accept the unacceptable when there is no alternative. If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird of the family Anatidae on our hands.”

And from The Long Dark…:

“It can hardly be a coincidence that no language on Earth has ever produced the phrase, ‘as pretty as an airport.’ Airports are ugly. Some are very ugly. Some attain a degree of ugliness that can only be the result of a special effort.”

“The reason why so many sects hang around airports looking for converts: they know that people there are at their most vulnerable and perplexed, and ready to accept any kind of guidance.”

“It was his subconscious which told him this—that infuriating part of a person’s brain which never responds to interrogation, merely gives little meaningful nudges and then sits humming quietly to itself, saying nothing.”

Ciao, I’m off reading Shōgun.

December 21, 2005

Searching stats redux

OK, Google’s made by day by adding trends to Personalized Search. I was thinking about scraping together the stats manually for a few days.

Without further ado, some nice graphs for y’all to look at.

First off, monthly stats. Nothing particularly illuminating over here.

Now, when you get down to daily searches, things get a little more illuminating. It’s got a nice rhythm, and here’s proof that I don’t like Mondays.

Things get even more interesting in the hourly stats. For the life of me, I can’t figure out the dip in searches from 5 to 7 pm. Must be my sleeping after coming back from college or something.

Oh, and BTW, the search total’s up to 3461.

December 18, 2005

Score!

So I went around to pick up a few books yesterday…

At Strand:

Then though that I’d better check whether the streets are as good as they used to be. Due to a stupid law, the book-lover’s paradise at Fort had turned into a pathetic mockery of its former self. Hey, don’t mind the heavy-handed prose, I’m still pissed at those bastards.

The place’s still pretty barren, but there was one guy there who had a great collection of books. So I bought:

Whew. Carrying all those books is hard on the hands, especially if you’re still feeling a little weak from all the medication you’ve taken (just in case). A few of those were really hefty.

The Shakespeare book was a real find—a traditional red-leather bound edition that’s practically in pristine condition. And with come colour illustrations! Only for 250 bucks! Gotta calm down! It’s all in the original verse, no translations. More fun really, have read most of the ‘abridged’ versions of the plays anyway. You just don’t let a book like this pass by.

I’ve wanted to get my hands on The Historian for some time; it’s considered a classic already. A friend’s read it, and loved it.

Aristotle is bound to be boring as hell, but I wanted to give it a try. After reading Heller’s Picture This, and Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintainece, I’ve got to read Aristotle.

The Joyce book was also a nice find. I liked Dubliners, and if I like this one too, I just may gather my courage to give Ulysses another shot.

Shōgun was just a lucky find—I hadn’t heard of the book before and just picked it up on impulse as I really liked the last book I read about Japanese culture. After googling it, I couldn’t be happier with my choice.

I’ve read Rice, but I didn’t own any of her books. And I really liked the first three books of The Vampire Chronicles. The rest not so much…

The guy also had Douglas Adams’ The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul—which I passed up as it was a hard-bound edition for which he was asking 300 bucks, and I was fresh out of money. Also, I thought at the moment that I’d have to read Dirk Gently first, but now I realize that it was a sweet deal. I’m gonna buy those two books anyway, and now I’ll end up spending more money on a crappy paper-back.

Plus I forgot the order of Thomas Harris’ books; though it was Red Dragon, Hannibal and then Silence of the Lambs. Crap, now I’ll have to wait till I complete the set before reading—I won’t have the patience otherwise.

Didn’t post anything yesterday as was busy reading Simoqin (a whole different story, expect a post if I’m up to it). Now to decide what to buy online—I hadn’t expected to get anything cheaply this time (read second-hand), so I saved up a lot more. More good stuff, I’m sure.

Should probably stop writing now, just finding links for all those books will take me half-an-hour.

December 15, 2005

Over for now.

The 7th semester’s officially ended. Only one more to go, and then it’s time to see whether spending all this money on engineering was of any use.

Today’s last exam was terrible. I just hope that I reach 40 (the passing marks) somehow, but really am not to optimistic this time. The paper was quite easy really, I just didn’t do well.

I’ve been sick for the last three days. It started with a minor throat infection and today it’s a full-blown attack on my body by those damn germs. I’m dead-tired after taking some antibiotics, and I’ve got a head-ache that makes me want to scream. It’s like thousands of tiny screw-drivers are slowing turning my brain to mush. It’s not painful, nothing can be really painful after you’ve been to the dentist a few times. No, it’s persistent, that’s what it is.

From the moment I’ve woken up today till right at this moment, it’s been the same. The same pain at the same places. You just can’t ignore it.

I can’t think straight when confronted with stuff like this. I barely wrote 60-70 marks worth in the exam, and that too not too well. The cat’s out of the bag, nothing more I can do now.

What my down-turn of health does affect right now is my enjoyment of time alone. I’m home-alone till the 20th at least, but if I get worse I don’t know how I’ll cope. I was supposed to go to Strand and pick up some books. Will go tomorrow if I feel up to it.

December 13, 2005

Bengaluru

OK, so let’s recap. Bombay turned to Mumbai. Calcutta to Kolkota. Madras to Chennai. And now Bangalore’s gonna be Bengaluru

I don’t have anything against ‘re-discovering your roots’ and ‘throwing-off imperial shackles’. But I do think that the powers that be can find much more productive uses of their time.

One consolation though—I can’t wait to hear some foreigner pronounce the name. I myself can barely pronounce it properly. And imagine people being “Bengalurud” (or should it be Bengaluru’d?)… Try saying that five times quickly, without taking a breath.

December 12, 2005

Starting off this round.

You know, I should stop all my book-related postings. No one’s interested in hearing about each and every book I buy. But it seems that I just can’t stop talking about my books.

OK, so a couple of months ago I ordered some books off Firstandsecond.com. Shopping online is a sort of mixed experience; you really get to choose what you buy. Put me in a real book shop and I just freeze looking at all the books I’ve not heard about. Online I can select exactly what I want.

On the other hand, buying stuff online can be a pain, especially if you don’t have a credit card. I should get one soon, the nice folks at HDFC keep bugging me with a call every week telling me I’ve been pre-approved for some super-duper gold/silver/platinum card. No amount of my swearing at them seems to make ’em stop.

Plus there’s the small thing about books you buy not being in stock—really annoying. And customer service is an oxymoron.

Enough small talk, lets get to the details. I ordered the following (linking to the Amazon page where I can find a link to the exact book):

I got the first four books today; the fifth is “Unavailable in primary warehouse, being procured from secondary warehouse”; which is their way of saying that they can’t find the damn book. I’ve had a lot of trouble getting this book, and by god I’m gonna get my hands on it some way or another!

The experience of shopping at Firstandsecond.com was almost the same as shopping at Sify. I’m just gonna buy from where the books are cheaper, and Sify seems to be slightly cheaper at present. Also, I get to use their nifty tie-in with HDFC in order to make payments directly online, instead of sending a cheque which is too much work.

December 10, 2005

Book season!

It’s near the end of the exams, and I want me books!

Already ordered a couple at Strand:

Am getting the Bradbury book real cheap—250 bucks when the list price is 700. And I’ve heard nothing buy good things about The Simoqin Prophecies.

And have been deliberating on buying some of these ones from Sify:

  • Stardust by Neil Gaiman
  • American Gods by Neil Gaiman
  • Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams
  • The Long Dark Tea-time Of The Soul by Douglas Adams
  • Demolished Man by Alfred Bester
  • More Than Human by Theodore Sturgeon
  • Dune by Frank Herbert
  • Neuromancer by William Gibson
  • Perdido Street Station by China Miéville
  • Lest Darkness Fall & Bring The Light by David Drake & L. Sprague de Camp
  • The Man In The High Castle by Philip K. Dick

Of course this is just the preliminary short-list; and already I’m way over my budget. As you can see, I’m on a sort-of SciFi/Fantasy spree, and that includes checking out the classics in the genré.

Am open to any suggestion you can throw my way. I need to limit my spending this time around to 2000 bucks, so I’ve gotta make many tough decisions.

December 09, 2005

A short intermission

Four exams done with, only one to go. My next subject’s Mobile Computing—and I can’t think of any other subject that’s made an interesting topic as dull as one has. Seems I’ll just clear all the papers I’ve given so far (hopefully); there’s nothing more I can do now about it anyway.

I’ve got a 6-day break before the exam; so it’s four days of fun at least. A sort of mini-break, just before the ‘actual’ break. These are going to be some of the last times I’ll be relatively careless, so I’m planning to spend all these days in a sort of lazy squalor. Ya, that’s the plan.

And to top it all of, my folks are going for a 5-day trip out-of-Mumbai to some religious-place-I-forget-the-name-of, just as I finish my exams. Alone time! The best kind of time there is.

Tags:

December 05, 2005

Book stats

I’ve been keeping track of my reading for some time; using a Backpack page to list all the books I’ve read recently. This does not include re-reads.

From June 2005 to November 2005, I’ve read 37 books.

Monthly breakdown is:

  • June: 4 books
  • July: 6 books
  • August: 12 books
  • September: 4 books
  • October: 6 books
  • November: 5 books

The more the merrier.

November 27, 2005

So I begin…

  • Confirm the time-table … check.
  • Buy stationary … in progress.
  • Create some groovy playlists to listen to while studying … check.
  • Put links & news feeds at Bloglines on hold … check.
  • Actually open the text-books … check.
  • Get well stocked on coffee … check.
  • Start panicking … trying.
  • Implement my plan for world dominion … on hold for now.
Tags:

November 22, 2005

God’s Debris

I just spent around 90 minutes reading God’s Debris by Scott Adams. Now I’ve gotta stop & digest all that I’ve read. Brilliant, and thought provoking. Go read it if you “enjoy having your brain spun around inside your skull”…

“So according to you, no one believes anything that they say they believe.”
“The best any human can do is to pick a delusion that helps him get through the day. This is why people of different religions can generally live in peace. At some level, we all suspect that other people don’t believe their own religion any more than we believe ours.”

“We like to believe that other people have the same level of urges as we do, despite all evidence to the contrary. We convince ourselves that people differ only in their degree of morality or willpower, or a combination of the two. But urges are real, and they differ wildly for every individual. Morality and willpower are illusions. For any human being, the highest urge always wins and willpower never enters into it. Willpower is a delusion.”

“There are two types of people in the world, my young friend. One type is people-oriented. When they make conversation, it is about people—what people are doing, what someone said, how someone feels. The other group is idea-oriented. When they make conversation, they talk about ideas and concepts and objects.”

November 21, 2005

Three new shows to check out

Arrested Development

I know that I’m late on the bandwagon, but I love . Star World just started airing the show a couple of months ago; and ’coz my life’s so good, the moment I start liking the show I hear that Fox has cancelled it in its third season. Worst channel ever.

If you’ve seen the ads for Arrested Development on TV, you’ve probably thought that the show would suck. I know I did. I’ve got Sunil to thank for continuously bugging me ’bout how great the show is.

You’ve got to check this show out. Those with good net connections just download a couple of episodes and see. You’ve got my guarantee that you’ll love it.

Numb3rs

Then there’s . The ads tell that it’s “A Beautiful Mind meets CSI”, which is exactly what it is. I’ve just seen the first couple of episodes, but so far it’s worth watching. I can almost tell that it’s gonna get repetitive soon, but am hoping that I’ll be wrong.

You have a mathematician using equations and such to help his brother (in the FBI) solve crimes. I know, it sounds weird. But watching it is fun, and it gives me hope for my math skillz [sic]. I’ve always wanted to like math, and to a certain extent I do like it; but the way I’ve been taught to use it makes me pathologically averse to it.

Go watch it if it’s your cup of tea.

Life As We Know It

Which brings me to . Always save the hardest for last. It’s the most clichéd show you’ll see that manages to be as original as can be.

I’ve almost given up trying to explain the stuff I like, so I’ll just give the IMDb tagline for the show here: “A show about sex, school, and growing up (not necessarily in that order).”

Once again, you’ll never guess how good the show is if you watch it’s ads. In fact, the ads almost generate a negative impression about the show. If you’ve seen them, then try to forget ’bout ’em and just watch the show with fresh eyes. Marketing people suck big time, they haven’t a clue about how to advertise something this good.

OK, if you just check out one of these shows I’m pimping here, then go with the last one. Just because Arrested Development runs till three seasons while this’ll be your only chance to watch Life As We Know It.

On a related note, I’ve almost begun my studies. Exams start on the 29th, and I studied for a whole 10 minutes yesterday! (This is progress, seriously.)

November 20, 2005

The Goblet of Fire is…

The best Harry Potter movie till date.

Just wanted to say that, am going away now…

November 14, 2005

Searching

I’d turned on Google Search History, now called Google Personalized Search (I think) a while ago. On the 21st of April this year to be exact. I was not too worried about the privacy concerns, and some of the Personalized results I’ve got are really useful.

Today I see that I’ve got 2888 searches in my history. That’s a lot: 2888 items since when I began averages to around 14 searches per day. Not counting the days I’d inadvertently logged out of Google. It’s really a lot.

Anyone else been keeping track?

(People should be able to tell by the glut of posts recently that I’m even more bored than usual.)

Information overload

It happens to everyone; I’m no different. I’ve finally began to feel the the pain, and now I’m looking for ways to manage it. I confess: I’m an information junkie. I’m an information addict.

I’ve always been this way. Get to data first, and knowledge will surely follow. I’ve never been impatient with not understanding stuff—never expected to understand everything. My strategy to the world has always been to just read/listen/watch whatever’s going on, even if I don’t understand what the hell is going on.

An analogy to make this clear: I’ve got lyrics of hundreds of songs memorized in my head here. I can’t remember them at will of course; I’m not a robot or something. But everytime I hear a song I like, I can sing along (OK, not really sing along … I’ve got a terrible voice). Most of the times I haven’t a clue ’bout what these lyrics mean, but that’s never stopped me.

Every once in a while, I suddenly remember a song I’ve not heard for a while, and it makes perfect sense. Almost as if I’ve written it myself. Every once in a while, I get moments of such clarity that makes all the useless junk sitting in my head worthwhile. These moments never last long enough for me to quantify them (fancy term). They’re always fleeting, always on the edge of understanding. But that’s what makes me go.

You would not believe all the shit I’ve got stored in my head. I’ve got a great memory for ideas, concepts, plots, outlines, et cetera. I almost never remember specifics though—for example I usually have to read half-way through a book to even begin remembering all the character names. And sometimes these ideas just click.

But lately even I’ve been feeling overloaded. I’m high on data, and lately none of it is making much sense. It seems to me that I’ve stopped understanding it all, and just play along. I’ve become hyperactive. I can’t go a few hours without checking my mail, without checking for new stuff on my subscriptions.

There’s way too much data out there, and sadly my strategy won’t cut it in the internet era. I’ve begun to reject broader & broader pieces of data, and am afraid that pretty soon I’ll reject almost everything being offered to me. That’s my worst nightmare: I become like all the people out there who never think about stuff and never change their minds.

I just don’t know how to deal with the mess I’ve drawn myself into, but given time I’m sure I’ll manage somehow.

It’s the curse of getting stuff too easily, I’m sure of it. Remember: you can always stand on the shoulders of giants to look even farther away, but none of it is not gonna make any sense if you don’t work at it.

November 13, 2005

del.icio.us Tagrolls

For all those who don’t see my links:

Another cool feature added by del.icio.us. Lately it seems that I’ve spent more time posting links than actual posts. But links are fun *winks*.

November 12, 2005

Books I want.

Note: Not the obvious ones.

I want the but it’s too damn expensive. Strand has it at Rs. 525, and I’m already broke as it is. I hear it’s the oldest written ‘heroic fantasy’ … so can’t really resist it.

I want and by Matt Stover. I want every book written by him, but don’t think there’s a single copy of either of these books in the whole of India. Amazon also does not have ’em in stock, which is a tragedy. I could not pay for the shipping costs to India anyway.

I want to read some decent editions of all the ancient Indian myths—from the to the to even the and all that. I’ve got the inkling that these could well be some of the best fantasy works I’ll ever read. I can’t really find ‘literary’ version of ’em; plus I don’t want to be seen as a religious zealot by anyone—people might start taking what I say seriously then! I tell ya, Indian myth and religion are hopelessly mixed up. Maybe these are for when I’m a little more ‘secure’…

I want to check out some cool comic books ahem graphic novels, but haven’t seen any of them in Mumbai so far. Any suggestions?

Plus there are a whole lot more. I’ll just name the authors, you go look them up. I can’t be doing all the work around here: George RR Martin, China Miéville, Gene Wolfe, Charles Bukowski, Bertrand Russell, and so on.

November 10, 2005

Comic strips

I’ve discovered some comic strips online—now I don’t just read Dilbert and Calvin & Hobbes.

Frazz is my new love. I caught up with it when I heard that the character of Frazz is considered to be grown-up version of Calvin, and some people have a theory that Bill Watterson is actually drawing the strip! Not true of course, but it made me check out the strip anyway. Anyone who’s not read this, and I’m especially talking about Calvin & Hobbes buffs, is missing out on a lot. Nothing can compare to Watterson’s strip of course, but so far this one comes close.

Speaking of which, Sify has the complete Calvin & Hobbes at a measly price of Rs. 5523. Will this year never end? I want to start the job today.

And speaking of Dilbert, Scott Adams’ new blog rocks! Best non-tech blog ever. The man somehow reminds me of Douglas Adams, and it’s all good.

Back to comic strips. There was a recent thread of Metafilter on online comics—wherein I discovered Achewood and The Perry Bible Fellowship. Both good strips to enjoy, though I’ve not read enough of ‘em to really give you the details. Check ‘em out and see for yourself.

The only decent way to read all this is through RSS feeds of course. Check out the ‘comics’ folder of my Bloglines subscriptions.

November 09, 2005

Bored now.

OK, I know I haven’t posted something here for a while. My college exams start on 29th November, and I’ve been waiting for two weeks. Three more to go. I of course won’t study till it’s absolutely necessary, hence I’ve got a lot of free time to play around with.

Free time and me are not friends. I can’t handle it—nothing seems too much fun when you’ve got all the time in the world. I’ve cut back on my reading, not written more of this crap here, not done anything actually for the last few days.

Deadlines are fun: everything else seems so much better when you’re on a schedule.

November 05, 2005

Serenity

Can't Stop the Signal

This was not the hardest post for me to write, but it’s close up there.

What can you say about a movie you loved every minute of, and know that almost no one else is gonna watch it? I want to help some others find serenity in watching this movie, but can’t do that without sounding like an overbearing zealot. That the whole ’verse built around Firefly/Serenity is way too complex to explain in a short paragraph a factor in delaying this post. That the movie seems like it’s not gonna show up in India anytime soon is another factor.

First thing you catch about the ’verse is the humour. Joss Whedon is brilliant at stuff like this: he can make you laugh until you cry.

Wash: This is gonna get pretty interesting.
Mal: Define “interesting”.
Wash: [deadpan] Oh God, oh God, we’re all going to die?
Mal: [a beat, then over the ship’s intercom] This is the captain. We have a little problem with our entry sequence, so we may experience some slight… turbulence and then explosions.

Zoë: [after breaking into a practically empty bank safe] At last, we can retire and give up this life of crime.

Mal: While I’m gone, Zoë is in command. Now, if I’m not back in an hour, I want you to take this ship, take off… and you come and you rescue me!
Zoë: What? And risk my ship?

Mal: I know she meant to kill me ’fore the Doc put her to sleep, which how exactly does that work anyhow?
Simon: Safeword. The people who helped me break River out—they had intel that River and the other subjects were being embedded with behavioural conditioning. They taught me a safeword, in case… something happened.
Kaylee: Not sure I get it.
Simon: A phrase that’s encoded in her brain, that makes her fall asleep. If I speak the words, “Eta…
Jayne: Well don’t say it!
Zoë: It only works on her, Jayne.

There’s a huge cast of characters which I won’t even bother introducing. The movie does not do justice to all the talent there like a TV show would have. Nothing can. Still, this is probably one of the best SciFi movies ever. Orson Scott Card sure liked it.

Once you get to know the humour, you fall even more in love with the language. If you’re me that is. Ain’t nothin’ like it. Archaic english mixed up with slang mixed up with Chinese.

Like the classic quote:

Kaylee: Goin’ on a year now I ain’t had nothin’ twixt my nethers weren’t run on batteries!

People not familiar with the vernacular take a second and then read it again. I’ll wait with a smirk on my face.

Did I say Chinese? The people swear in Chinese instead of English, you nothing needs to be edited out. And you don’t know exactly what they’re sayin’, but can always get the gist of it.

The movie starts off with a long introductory scene that’s brilliantly done. You can watch it online if you so wish. Then it’s all fast-paced and such, leading up the the climax. There’s a space battle going on near the end that’s better than anything you’ll see in Star Wars or something.

That’s where one of my favourite characters in all fiction says:

Wash: I am a leaf on the wind—watch how I soar.

You need to know more ’bout him to get this one, sorry. But trust me the first time you see the movie this scene’s endearing. On the second viewing it’ll be heartbreaking. Haven’t watched it a third time yet, so can’t say what my reaction will be then.

The end is great. Won’t do good to give too much away now.

A not-so-subliminal message to end the post with: <hypnotic voice>go watch this movie.</hypnotic voice>

November 01, 2005

Wonderfalls

Wonderfalls is another brilliant show that never got its due. I loved watching it, but don’t think anyone I know will get to see it now.

I missed the first few episodes when it started airing on Star World; one episode was enough to get me hooked though. The final episode aired yesterday, and I was hoping Star would repeat the series as it keeps doing with so many others, but no. Next week onwards it’s The Office followed by Coupling at Wonderfalls’ time slot. Hey, at least we got to see all the episodes around here—only the first four were aired in the States.

The show is about a girl—funny how most of the shows I like recently are about female protagonists. Jaye Tyler is a philosophy degree holder, who works in a souvenir shop at Niagara Falls. And lives in a trailer park. In the words on one of the characters, she’s ‘really managed to create a stressless expectation-free zone’ for herself. But everything changes when she starts hearing voices…

Won’t do to give too much away. Needless to say, she grows a soft heart, falls in love, saves people and generally manages to be an all-around awesome person.

I love the shows humour. I haven’t laughed so hard about anything in recent times. Always off-beat, sometimes offensive and occasional touching—if you don’t love this show then you’ve got some serious taste issues.

Obligatory quotes from the last episode:

Jaye: [spying on a little boy customer] He’s eyeing the Slinky. You know, he has to steal, like, four of those for me to even get a dollar.
Wonderfalls Security Guard: Is this one of those stores that gives its employees a cash bonus when they apprehend a shoplifter?
Jaye: Ten percent of whatever they were gonna steal. One time, I “accidentally” left the watch case open and I got like 500 bucks!

Wonderfalls Security Guard: [after catching the little boy shoplifting] You have choices, life choices. This was a bad life choice. That’s why you’re in an unpleasant situation. Unpleasant situations can be avoided by making good life choices.
Jaye: I have to disagree. I make good life choices. Mostly because they’re forced on me, but I make them. And I find myself in unpleasant situations all the time. You know why? Because even if you have a choice it can and will be taken away from you. We’re all fate’s bitch. You might as well go ahead and bend over for destiny now.

I’ve added the show’s DVD to my ever-growing Amazon wishlist. Now I just need to go buy a winning lottery ticket.

Sidenote: I’m loving Star World for now. Daily BtVS! AtS season five. And shows like this. Keep it up guys.

October 29, 2005

Sleep/Dreams

I’ve been reading up on stuff like sleep cycles—fascinating. Only goes to show the importance of proper sleeping habits, which I surely lack.

There are five stages of sleep. A complete cycle means going through all five uninterrupted. People seem to think that the quality of sleep you get depends on the number of complete cycles you get; waking up groggy is a direct result of waking up in the middle of a cycle. Makes sense, somewhat. The average length of a sleep cycle is around 90 minutes, but you can never be sure.

I’m trying a new way of waking up: setting the alarm at the latest possible time I can wake up. I’ll usually wake up just before that time, naturally. Waking up to a really loud sound is not great for your health—I can tell from experience.

One last thing. Is it weird to dream in the third person? Usually in my dreams, I’m the narrator. It’s like I’m telling a story or something—with an audience of one. My dreams are a continuous soliloquy; the problem is that I just can’t seem to remember ‘em.

October 24, 2005

In the Beginning was the Command Line

Bloody amazing is what it is. Just read:

The group giving away the free tanks only stays alive because it is staffed by volunteers, who are lined up at the edge of the street with bullhorns, trying to draw customers’ attention to this incredible situation. A typical conversation goes something like this:

Hacker with bullhorn: “Save your money! Accept one of our free tanks! It is invulnerable, and can drive across rocks and swamps at ninety miles an hour while getting a hundred miles to the gallon!”

Prospective station wagon buyer: “I know what you say is true…but…er…I don’t know how to maintain a tank!”

Bullhorn: “You don’t know how to maintain a station wagon either!”

Buyer: “But this dealership has mechanics on staff. If something goes wrong with my station wagon, I can take a day off work, bring it here, and pay them to work on it while I sit in the waiting room for hours, listening to elevator music.”

Bullhorn: “But if you accept one of our free tanks we will send volunteers to your house to fix it for free while you sleep!”

Buyer: “Stay away from my house, you freak!”

Bullhorn: “But…”

Buyer: “Can’t you see that everyone is buying station wagons?”

And:

It is obvious, to everyone outside of the United States, that our arch-buzzwords, multiculturalism and diversity, are false fronts that are being used (in many cases unwittingly) to conceal a global trend to eradicate cultural differences. The basic tenet of multiculturalism (or “honoring diversity” or whatever you want to call it) is that people need to stop judging each other-to stop asserting (and, eventually, to stop believing) that this is right and that is wrong, this true and that false, one thing ugly and another thing beautiful, that God exists and has this or that set of qualities.

The lesson most people are taking home from the Twentieth Century is that, in order for a large number of different cultures to coexist peacefully on the globe (or even in a neighborhood) it is necessary for people to suspend judgment in this way. Hence (I would argue) our suspicion of, and hostility towards, all authority figures in modern culture. As David Foster Wallace has explained in his essay “E Unibus Pluram,” this is the fundamental message of television; it is the message that people take home, anyway, after they have steeped in our media long enough. It’s not expressed in these highfalutin terms, of course. It comes through as the presumption that all authority figures—teachers, generals, cops, ministers, politicians—are hypocritical buffoons, and that hip jaded coolness is the only way to be.

October 17, 2005

General tech phobia

The craziness just keeps going on. Just read an article over at CNN that said the our President, the great Abdul Kalam, “expressed concern” about Google Earth. Seems that governments the world over are scared shitless that terrorists are gonna use Google Earth to blow up the world or something.

Nonsense from the article:

“developing countries, which are already in danger of terrorist attacks, have been singularly chosen” and “Kalam, a scientist who guided India’s missile program before becoming president, called for new laws to restrain dissemination of such material.”

This is from a guy that supports Open Source for Bob’s sake! I can’t really put down where this asinine behaviour of every bureaucratic organization stems from.

Wake up you morons. This is the information age. If terrorists want to blow up your parliament house, they will find out where to go. It’s not like the place is in a top-secret zone that no one knows about.

People can use offline maps. People can just ask where the parliament is located. People can just buy off even higher resolution images from some offshore company. People can get intel from other your not-so-friendly neighbours. If they want it, they’ll have it.

Some restrictions are useful of course. But let’s not go overboard and all perform in a Security theatre because you’re afraid of the bogeyman. (Note to self: actually read something that Schneider has written.)

When the hell is all the stupidity gonna stop? Just an estimate would be much appreciated.

Here’s a quote from the Slashdot discussion on this story—which really scares me for some reason.

“As an American I’m comforted by this reminder that most politicians are morons, and that George Bush is not that special.”

October 15, 2005

First.

The gauntlet had been thrown :P

This is my first work of fiction… hopefully it does not suck too much.


“The 63 year old communist wears green striped socks when visiting oil rigs off the coast of Darjeeling.” That is how it started. That was the first strange thing he said. What followed is the stuff of legend of course.

He was just a kid—the anti-prophet. No one knows why or when exactly he started saying un-truths. Pretty soon he didn’t say anything else. Friends and relatives were worried, and they sought help. Which didn’t help.

Don’t know who first noticed it, but soon the everyone at the hospital knew about him. Nothing he said ever was true—nothing. Then the pilgrimages began…

People from all over started asking him to say that they’d be miserable their whole lives or something like that. That never worked, but by then it didn’t matter. Scientists and such sad folk kept telling people that this just because something is false, everything else does not become true by default. Then the psychologists started expounding on the ideas of mass hypnosis, and how we’re all just lemmings after all. And then the philosophers started trying to devise a systematic way to generate such falsehoods, as philosophers are wont to do.

But no one listens to such serious minded talk now—it’s so proletarian. The kid’s old now, and still the people come.

I went to meet him yesterday—had to pass through more security than the current Bob-head of India has. Told him—don’t know why, he never listens to people—that I was going to write about him.

He said, “Fish fly through freezing pools of lava dancing to the beat of your eye-lashes.”

Don’t know what people are so crazy about…

October 13, 2005

A request to readers.

This is something new that I’m trying. People, please co-operate!

I want to better my writing—really. Lately I haven’t been posting as regularly as I used to. That’s just something that happens to me; I freeze when I should be gaining momentum. It’s not that I haven’t written stuff, I have loads of unfinished posts lying around. They’re not as good as they ought to be, I feel.

So to anyone reading this, I ask: tell me what to do. Give me topics to write on, anything arbitrary. I’m at my best when I’m bluffing my way through life, so don’t be shy of including any subject. I want to stop the whirlwind of ideas that is in my head, and instead really write something. But I’ll never do that unless someone helps… I’m passive that way.

Seriously, I’ll write anything. And if I can’t, I’ll pretend that it was never mentioned.

Ball’s in your court now… Charge!

October 12, 2005

Blog subscriptions

You may notice that I used to keep a list of blogs I visit in the sidebar. The list’s pathetically puny: I use my Bloglines account of read stuff. I just added a few blogs there, ’coz I didn’t want to have a mammoth list like many other blogs out there have.

But maintaining it has been no fun at all. When someone links me, do I link them as well? How do I decide which blogs to add there? I wanted to limit myself to 5-6 items there, so I just let the list stagnate as it was for a long time.

I’ve given up on that now. Instead, I keep a list of my ‘public’ Bloglines subscriptions for you to check out. You can even get ’em in OPML form if that’s your drug.

October 10, 2005

Editors & religion.

I’ve grown tired of using SciTE as my default text/code editor. Time for a change: learn to use either Vim or Emacs.

A decent editor is essential if you’re doing any writing work. And I mean an editor—not a formatter. Writing in something like MS Word or OpenOffice.org Writer is atrocious. A warning: please don’t ever mention Notepad to me. Ever. Any programmer who tries to use Notepad to code is either high or is not too bright.

I already know some of Vi, and am not too crazy about it. So am thinking I’ll go with Emacs for now. No comments for the Holy Editor Wars—I’m neutral for now.

Another thing that makes learning Emacs that much more enticing to me is Lisp. Emacs is totally customisable in its own dialect of Lisp, Emacs Lisp. Lisp is a truly beautiful language that I’m just wetting my toes on for now. Any chance to learn some more Lisp is not to be missed.

The dialect I’ll learn properly when I do get around to it will probably be Scheme. Whatever little I’ve seen makes me drool… There’s a free book online if anyone’s interested: Teach Yourself Scheme in Fixnum Days.

October 09, 2005

Some movie reviews

Seen some movies in the last few days I’d like to speak about.

Elephant is ’s take on violence in American high-schools. Pretty gritty to watch, not for the faint-hearted.

My first thought while watching the movie was: wtf are those teens so depressed about? I’d kill to be in a school like that. That place was a palace! I mean how depressed can you get over photography… You should send them over to some Indian school and see how they like it.

Of course, I got over that. You’re never satisfied with what you have. I never am.

Next up I checked out Napoleon Dynamite. Deservedly a cult classic—I thought it was hilarious. Please don’t take this movie too seriously though. Whatever you do, don’t miss the dance scene at the end. Trust me, that is gonna stick in your head for a long time.

Another thing I like is how your main characters here aren’t really ‘well-adjusted’. They aren’t like the other ‘normal’ kids; beats me what they are like. Damn, I’m beginning to analyze. Must stop doing that.

Other than that, I did see Matrix Revolutions again recently, courtesy HBO. I have a love-hate relationship with the triology. Loved the first movie, went crazy after checking out the second one. Spent six months wildly speculating what was gonna happen before watching the third—and came out shell shocked after watching it. For months I was in denial: I thought the movie sucked big time but couldn’t bring myself to admitting that.

Finally after watching it again now, I can say that that the movie’s not that bad actually. It just didn’t live up to my expectations—huge. I doubt anything would have.

Google Reader

Google Reader screenshot

It’s disappointing to say the least. Google Reader it seems tries to mimic Gmail’s interface, which won’t work in a feed reader anyway, and does so badly.

I’m a fan of Bloglinesriver-of-news format—you get all your new items one after other in a big-damn-page. I don’t like reading each item individually—when I do wanna do that, I just open the perma-link in a new tab and read it there. This is another reason I’m not sure I’ll like Feedlounge much…

Google Reader’s AJAXy interface is nice, but not to my taste. And it seems somehow incomplete.

Google’s recent releases had me confused for some time. Now I realize that there’s plan to them, and there is no plan. Looks like most of their new releases are private projects of Google employees that Google though were good enough to be public or something. Time will tell whether this strategy of doing everything is gonna work out.

October 07, 2005

Et tu, Amazoné?

I tell ya, Amazon.com is a fucking tease. I made a wishlist of stuff I can’t afford, just for kicks. Now every time I see an Amazon page, I get an ad with products in my wishlist on the side. I swear, it’s taunting me for my financial incapacity at present.

I should stay logged-off, I know. But logging-in when I need to is such a chore.

TFT

Bye bye Samtron 55V, hello LG L1515S. I’ve waited a long time for ya.

October 04, 2005

365 tomorrows

I’ve subscribed to the 365 tomorrows feed, which gives me a brand new short story everyday. Here are some of my favourites so far:

I’m really beginning to like this style of speculative fiction. I had planned to describe the stories here, but they’re really short. Just read ’em yourselves.

October 03, 2005

What I don’t understand.

I don’t understand which is worse—that I never get exactly what I want at first, or that I always end up getting what I wanted in the end. Karma’s a bitch.

I don’t understand why people persist in taking sides on issues—why go for Black & White when there are infinite shades of gray to pick from. Think big.

I don’t understand why individuality is so under-rated—and why people who lament the lack of initiative shown by others never seem to show any themselves. Me included.

I don’t understand why technology seems to create so many problems—when it is meant to solve them all. Shit happens.

I don’t understand is why every generation thinks that the world is going to hell—and whether it really is getting much worse than before this time around. Optimists don’t count.

I don’t understand money-matters—I can only think in terms of ‘things’ and a bank-balance is too abstract for me. Abstractions are lossy, and soon you end up with nothing at all.

I don’t understand women—nor do I know any man that does. Nor would I try too hard at this.

I don’t understand why life always seems so pointless—but almost never meaningless. This one has me confused in all sorts of ways.


This was just from five minutes worth of pondering. I could write a huge essay-type post on each, but have neither the time nor the inclination to do so.

October 02, 2005

Sin City

I finally saw Sin City yesterday at Geo’s. It was as good as I expected it to be, maybe even better.

As you probably know, the movie’s based on Frank Miller’s Sin City graphic novels—which I plan to get my hands on someday. Not for the light-hearted, and especially not for people who take things literally, this movie will take you through a ride you’ll never forget.

The movie tells three different tales, somewhat intertwined. Starting off with Marv/Goldie, the story I liked best:

Marv: This is blood for blood and by the gallon. These are the old days, the bad days, the all-or-nothing days. They’re back! There’s no choice left. And I’m ready for war.

Then on to Dwight/Gail:

Dwight: The Valkyrie at my side is shouting and laughing with the pure, hateful, bloodthirsty joy of the slaughter… and so am I.

And finally Hartigan/Nancy:

John Hartigan: And after I pull off that miracle, maybe I’ll go punch out God.

There’s more of course. This is cult stuff here—nothing I can explain in a page. Nearly every line delivered in this movie sticks with ya, every damn line is quotable. Every scene you see is perfect. Everything’s slick as hell. It really can’t get much better than this.

Apologies for lack of content in this post, I'm sleep-depraved.

OK, a note at the end which has nothing to do with the movie. I was sick of waiting for this movie to launch in India, which it never did. I’ve waited 3-4 months before each LotR flick aired in India, and I know how hard the temptation is to just watch a pirated version of some movie badly I wanna watch. The only problem I have with pirated copies is that nothing beats watching a new movie on the big screen. I don’t want to be spoiled for a great movie by watching a crappy quality rip on my PC. I can usually hold out till it releases, but it’s getting harder. You can’t really expect fans to be this patient.

October 01, 2005

Nerdy humour

You can be sure I’m bored when I begin putting up quotes here. Here goes:

  • Cannot find reality.sys. Universe halted.
  • Coffee.exe Missing—Insert Cup and Press Any Key
  • Computers make very fast, very accurate mistakes.
  • 2 + 2 = 5 for extremely large values of 2.
  • C:\WINDOWS C:\WINDOWS\GO C:\PC\CRAWL
  • C:\> Bad command or file name! Go stand in the corner.
  • Bad command. Bad, bad command! Sit! Stay! Staaay…
  • … File not found. Should I fake it? (Y/N)
  • Smash forehead on keyboard to continue…
  • Press any key… no, no, no, NOT THAT ONE!
  • Real programmers don’t document. If it was hard to write, it should be hard to understand.
  • Black holes are where God divided by zero.

I picked all of these up from a page ages ago, don’t remember from where through. Found them in a text file somewhere among my assorted documents today—gave me quite a laugh.

September 29, 2005

More weird Google searches

The craziness continues:

  • joyce sirens psychogenic fugue
  • ank porn
  • twisted sleep iterate
  • ektaa kapoor blog
  • ankit love
  • mini project circuit of elevator
  • love at Hexaware
  • weird stats about weird things
  • where is the best place to live during global warming
  • brain would explode under pressure forcing not outdistance incompetence
  • tobey maguire asked to eat healthy

People actually reached here after searching for these terms on Google/Yahoo. Do check out an earlier post.

September 25, 2005

Good stuff!

Yesterday I had to go to some relative’s place for whatever reason. I usually get out of stuff like this by making some excuse, but yesterday was conveniently timed for me. I could go there, show my face around for a while, and then shop for some stuff I wanted.

First of all, books! I found New & Secondhand after much searching, went in and was blown away. The descriptions don’t do any justice to how cramped that place is with books. I almost felt claustrophobic there. Plus there are so many books that for a while I didn’t know where to begin.

Didn’t have much time though, so just picked up a couple of books:

I don’t know why, but the place had at least 5 different hard-bound editions of Great Expectations by Dickens. Each looked great, some even had the original illustrations. Guess that’s the most popular Dickens book or something.

Next time I go there, I plan on cleaning up the shop if you catch my drift…

The book shopping was only my compulsiveness, what I really went there to get was a decent pair of headphones. In the last 6 months, I’ve gone through 3 pairs of cheap headphones that sucked. It was time to get a good pair, and forget about headphones for a couple of years.

The end result: Philips SHP805

Philips SHP805; which fits like a dream on my head, sounds divine, and nearly finished up my account balance. But it’s gonna be worth it I’m sure.

September 22, 2005

Stupid PR-speak

I don’t like people using incomprehensible English as a shield designed to confuse anyone who tries to understand what is going on, like lawyers for instance. But I can accept that. What I can’t accept is false politeness, writing in a sugary-sweet manner while saying absolutely nothing at all.

Take for example Sify. They didn’t have Heroes Die in stock, so they cancelled my order. Infuriating yes, but what was more infuriating was the way they did it. Here’s the first email I got:

This refers to your order no. deleted which you had placed on us. As per your instruction to Sifymall we have cancelled the following items from this order. This mail is just to inform you of the same. […] We hope you enjoyed shopping at Sify and will come back for more!

Thanking you and assuring you of our best services at all times,
Customer Service @ Sify Shopping

WTF! I hadn’t cancelled anything. When I wrote to say that, I got:

Thank you for contacting Sify Customercare. We are writing to let you know that we have received your mail and it has been allocated tracking number deleted. Should you need to contact us again for followup on particular inquiry, referencing this number will help us to assist you better.

Rest assured that our Customercare team will reply to you within 24 hours.

Thanks again for writing in to Sify Customercare.

And then:

With reference to your mail, we wish to inform you that the order for the item ” Heroes Die” has been cancelled due to non availability of stock. The rest of the titles has been delivered to deleted on 23rd august,2005. Do mail us incase you need further clarifications.
Warm Regards. Customercare@sify
ISO 9001:2000 Certified
Thank you for shopping with Sify!

Note the pathetic grammar. I was getting really pissed at being ‘thanked’ all the time. The mail (gasp!) didn’t clear anything up, so I wrote again, and very politely if I could say so considering my situation:

It’s understandable that you could not deliver an item due to “non-availability” of stock. But I’ve already paid for the book “Heroes Die” via Netbanking. The total order was for five books worth Rs. deleted. I’ve received four books, which are worth Rs. deleted.

So if you cannot deliver the book (Heroes Die), I want a refund. Which comes to Rs. deleted.

Secondly, you could be more clear in your ‘customer-care’ emails. The first mail I got stated that I had cancelled the last item, which I certainly did not.

And lo behold! More annoying prose:

This is with reference to your mail, we wish to inform you that we have forwarded your request to the concerned team and will do the needful.The reference number for your request is deleted. Kindly mention your order number and reference number when you contact us again pertaining to this enquiry. We request you to kindly bear with us in the interim.

Thank you for giving us an oppurtunity to serve you!

Finally something readable after another day:

Thank you for shopping at Sifymall.

We regret to inform you that we will not be able to process order number : deleted as the title ” Heroes Die ” is out of stock. We would therefore be canceling the said title and reversing the charges to your account . You can check the same in your next billing statement. We apologize for the inconvenience caused.

Thank you for giving us an opportunity to serve you.

But there’s only so much politeness someone can bear. Any suggestions on how one can deal with these people without losing one’s sanity?

September 17, 2005

Miscellanea

OK, time to empty my brain a little. I’ve been uncharacteristically lazy recently: usually I’m just a little lazy but I get the job done in the end. Not so much now.

I’m wading through a swarm of assignments that I can’t get started. The project’s languishing. I haven’t even posted in a while. Worst of all, I’m reading less than usual. There’s a lot going on, while I try to appear interested.

OK, starting with philosophy. I’ve decided what my Life Philosophy is to be, which I deduced a posteriori. Note the use of capitals to show importance.

He goes: Do what you want; but when you don’t have a clue about your desires, look at what others around you are doing and do the exact opposite of that; unless that’s too hard, in which case do what everyone else is doing.

I happen to think that’s simple and elegant.

I’ve read 1.5 philosophically inclined books recently. First was Zen & The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, which I really liked most parts of. But I could not stomach Thoreau’s Walden. Don’t know why, the book bored me to death … probably because I had such high expectations. I wasn’t able to continue reading past the half-way point.

OK, enough philosophical ramblings. I’ll scare people away.

Hey, did I mention that I have a mile of assignments backlogged? Never really outta my head, that.

Thing’s I’ve signed-up to receive updates for:

Foucault’s Pendulum is mind blowing! I’m ~70% done. It’s a book to be read slowly, trying to decipher each and every phrase. Best to keep a thesaurus handy, but as my only thesaurus-esqe tool is Wordnet, and as I read most of it at college, I’m trying to manage without it.

I was looking over Sify’s book catalogue, one of my ways of passing time, and I came across this a book for Rs. 0.86 only. Heh, if the price is not been updated by the time I next shop there, I’ll order it just for the kicks.

I can’t stop drooling over the iPod Nano. Check out a TV ad if you’re not convinced this is the hottest-thing-ever.

I’ve come to realize that I’m as completely self-centred as can be possible. And I just remembered something I told a friend yesterday while chatting:

i consider myself the ‘limit’ of sanity
anyone crazier than me is really crazy

Heh, don’t all of you?

Before I forget, I hate MSN Messenger. Fucking software makes me feel impotent: can’t get it to sign-on. Yesterday it did allow me to login, which was a miracle. I’ve tried everything: un-installing & re-installing, updating, checking firewall rules, stopping the firewall, chanting spells, dancing naked in the rain … everything.

OK, will someone tell me if there is a correct way to use ellipses & em-dashes? I’ve pretty much figured out that you don’t place any space on either side of an dash—like I’m doing now—see? But ellipses confuses the hell outta me. To follow the same rule…or to insert some gratuitous space … that is the question.

I realize that is is the most banal thing I’ve put up on this blog yet, but I can’t help being a geek at whatever strikes my fancy. Recently it’s been punctuation, for Bob knows what reason.

Bored now, so stopping this post. Ciao.

Update: Can’t figure out what this site is. Seems like a weird aggregator (?) of sorts, but could not find an about section on the site.

September 11, 2005

Shows that should be aired here

FireflyBattlestar GalacticaVeronica Mars

I watch a lot of TV. In fact there is not a single show that airs over here that I’ve not seen one episode of—but of course I only continue to watch the good ones.

Shows are different from movies, you get a more relaxed rate of enjoyment if that makes any sense. And the really good shows satisfy you in ways no movie ever could. Unfortunately for me, the fact is that in India most of the shows on TV are old. We’re often at least a couple of seasons behind, many times the show has been taken off the air in the States before we get to see it. I can’t understand why in today’s age, where people can download whatever they want to see as it airs, that the channels continue to delay launching their shows over here. Guys, the globe is supposed to be connected now, if you hear all the marketing speak.

Here are some shows I’d love to see on TV. Any channel executives who came here by mistake can take note.

Well, it’s no surprise that I start off with Firefly. Only 10 episodes aired there, and the DVD has only 14. And I don’t care how they air it over here, could be done as a promotion to the movie or something.

What’s not to like: Whedon, space westerns, great characters, humour, action, et cetera. More people should get to see this gem of a show.

Another show I’d love to see on TV is Battlestar Galactica. The concept itself if great to hear about: read this great article from the NY Times site. Anything more I add will just lower it; that article’s perfect.

These two shows go against the tradition of all those SciFi shows you’ve seen so far, to great effect.

Then there’s Veronica Mars. I gotta admit that the show sounds like it’ll be great to watch. A young girl working as a part-time detective for her dad, at times when shit is piling up all around. This show has some hope of being aired—they can sure market it well.

I usually keep my ear out for any stuff I know I’m gonna like, and I’ve heard a lot of good about this show. So I did what I usually do when I want to check out a show—read the (tran)script of the pilot episode online. Colour me impressed, the show rocks! Now I could be bad and download the episodes and watch it; but you try downloading 7Gb of data on s terrible 40kbps line and tell me how you like it. So I’m just hoping gets aired.

Last of course, I can bitch for all the shows that are currently on TV, not going anywhere. These channels just keep showing the same season again & again, much to my frustration. I have, for example, watched every episode of the first season of Six Feet Under at least three times on TV, but can’t get to watch the second season. There are off-beat shows like Carnivàle: HBO only aired the first season and conveniently seems to have forgotten to continue it.

Too much to write on this front, but you get the point.