The world of no good

wanna have a fun life, travel, and see different cultures.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Another funny typo

Was just chatting with a friends. And suddenly things reached a point where he lauched into a three word diatribe (yes! GRE!) against me. He said:

u incomptent dick

thought it was surely worth a laugh.

Update: One person (the guy who typoed. guess who, btw?) didn't think it was funny at all. To him: I pity you, you freaking loser. (i mean, u frie
king luzer)

Friday, July 22, 2005

Typos are a man's best friend

I recently emailed a couple of classmates a 'hi email'. I typoed big time. I started the letter with

Hi Sac.

Now, one of the recipients (with a keen eye, and an excellent sense of humour) mailed back

you know, that means something in English.

haha. I saw my own letter, and burst out laughing. I mailed him back saying it was super funny, and (I think) acknowledging that even the best had slips. Now, he being a good sport emailed back recounting one of HIS recent emailing debacles.

He presented a paper last week, and emailed the conference director
a few days before the conference asking him a few questions about the conference. He ran a spell-check for typos, and then emailed it. He got a reply with all his doubts answered and a section of his (myfriend's) letter highlighted with the comment (from the conf. director) to the effect of

we are, too.

The highlighted words from my friend's letter were

I am sorry for the incontinence!

I read the guy's confession, and I swear, I never laughed so much for a typo. It should be in the typo hall of fame. Adding to the humour is that I typoed 'sac' and he 'incontinence'.

Hands and Paws, and Paws and Hands

I just realised Teddy (my 7 1/2 year old puppy;)) was left-pawed. My parents apparently knew it for a long time, but I just noticed it. He pulls stuff with his left front paw, he pees to his left... (actually, that is about it, lol). And I thought wow, I need to find out if this is really true, and looked up on the net. Lo and behold, I had an answer in less than 2 mins. Yes, other animals can have a hand/paw bias. The figures weren't there to be quoted except for chimps and humans. Chimps have a more-or-less equal number of lefties and righties, while there is a huge bias in humans (85-90% righties) (Reference no. 3 for more).

Ambidextrousness was also seen - it was clearly the left/right-handed chimp with the advantage. With more use of a single hand, there is better control; hence, more food (insects) caught. The ambidextrous remain jacks-of-all-trades-good-at-none, so they get a smaller catch. That might explain why handedness is evolutionarily advantageous, but there is still some unresolved stuff about why humans have a huge right-hand bias.

A lot is covered in the Wikipedia article (Reference 2) - an excellent article. The most interesting aspect is this:

The researchers hypothesize that left-handed inheritance is likely to be associated with violence, because violent left-handed people would be more likely to benefit from the advantage in fighting. They found a positive correlation between murder rates and percentage of left-handed people in several traditional societies: The more left-handed people, the higher the homicide rate.

The researchers argue that left-handed people are not more violent than right-handed, but that violent left-handed people are more likely to be successful than violent right-handed people
(Reference 2)

One question is - why do lefties have an advantage in fight? And the answer provided is actually quite believable. Righties are more common, so a leftie gets a lot of practice in how to counter a rightie (we are talking about hands-on combat here) than the reverse. So, a leftie is more likely to succeed in a fight cos he's had more practice.

All this is very surprising because my mom always told me as a kid, that people with left-slanted writing or left-handed people often have criminal intentions. Maybe a house-wives tale, but I am willing to believe (now) that maybe it was the experience of centuries speaking.

Interesting Reads:

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Douglas Adams

An article by Douglas Adams. worth a read.

The love triangle - shmiangle

I just thought of something. The love triangle! A very common phrase. Used a million times at least to describe the plots of (Hindi) movies.

I just realised we were all fools! The love triangle is impossible for 'hetero-sexual' love (which was surely what was clearly intended by the directors of all those movies)!

Think about it, a triangle needs to be closed. In those love plots. It isn't! A boy loves a girl, who loves another boy. Now, unless the second boy loves the first boy, where's the freaking triangle!!? It should be a love-line!

Were we dufuses or what!

The lounge - Resurrected

This blog has been rechristened 'The Lounge' (though the name says 'The world of no good' - that is just the tagline).

We tried a lot of things after college to keep this fantastic community alive. We tried telephone calls, we tried webpages, we tried multiple-webpages, we even tried visiting each other! yet, somehow we managed to lose touch (ok, i meant it figuratively, before u despos get excited). So, this is the latest technological innovation to keep the sinking boat afloat. The Blog (trumpeting heard in the background along with donkeys braying, and females screaming for gender equality).

as i love to copy Richard o'Brian of Crystal Maze fame -'Let the games begin.'

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Crime or something like it.

Just read an old article by a friend - (yes, this is the season for reading old stuff). Reminded me of a question that I wondered about as a kid -

why is stealing bad?
Well, tried thinking about it again. And again, i came to the same conclusion.

Let's see. the traditional answer - it is morally wrong. Let's go a little deeper into this. A thief, works hard, risks his life on his work and gets money. Why is it morally wrong, again? oh wait, simple! Cos it is deception! duh! So, is it ok if the thief warns the person he is stealing and then actually gets away with the theft? I don't see the deception anymore. I guess most would say no. But they dunno why anymore! Basically, their moral argument is no longer valid.

Practical answers are infact more satisfying. I can think of two. One, If X steals from Y, then Y loses his money for nothing. The key is 'nothing'. So, Y is unhappy cos he got a bad deal. Two, cos theft disturbs how society hopes to work in general - with order. This is, in my opinion, closer to the truth than those vague and psedo-religious claims of morality/ethics.

Now, it is easy to understand why theft is 'wrong' in our society. It is an unfair business practice - one that can cause considerable instability in the normal workings of society because there is no control over it. So, the society 'punishes' the 'wrong-doer'.

All this may seem elementary, but it is important that we realise the reasons for our actions. They are not based in any god-given right called morality, they are just base/crude displays of our survival instinct.

This brings us to the question that my friend, Ashwin, actually raised in that article of his. Does anyone deserve capital punishment? It is for each of us to answer for ourselves. It should match the answer to this: Is it ok to kill someone to protect ourselves (and our society) - especially if there are ways and means of avoiding it?

It logically relates to the question of economic feasibilty. Remember, it is not about ethics/morality anymore.

The logical (but heartless) question is: Can the above questions be answered based on principles of optimisation from mathematics (given that it is simple social economics/order at stake)?

Logic forces me to accept that for the proper functioning of society, what is not economically feasible should be avoided. So, if keeping those murders alive is really bad for us, then we should 'get rid of them'. However, conscience (perhaps, a set of brainwashed ideas of 'morality') urges me to consider otherwise.

A bridge between yesterday and today

Just found something interesting that i wrote a long time back. Funnily enough, I had named it 'Crap' - the keen reader would already have noticed my penchant for this wonderfully descriptive word. It is good to know that I haven't changed too much in all these years. Here goes...

What is maturity? Is it the understanding that comes through years of social interaction? Is it the knowledge that one gains through experience? Or is it innate, and is it dependent only on the person being talked about – something like intelligence?

Over the years, many people have asserted that maturity can come only through experiences; only if ‘you see the world’ – a favourite of all parents ;). Well, all such definitions cannot explain oddities in the behaviour of normal people.

On one hand, if a parent tells a child to ‘shut up’, the child usually listens. Maybe, it is not due to respect all the time. Sometimes it is due to fear. But, the end result is that he realises that a quiet submission would really be in his best interests.

On the other hand, if a child tells a parent to ‘shut up’, the parent usually gets agitated (in very few cases does he/she not get agitated). The parent should have known through his/her many interactions with the world that such an action might be a result of the stress the child is under. But, in stead of being understanding (and mature?), the parent is usually severe.

Well, then who is more mature in this case - the parent or the child? This is a singled out example of the many that happen everyday. It only leads one to wonder if we haven’t got many of our ideas wrong. Don’t you think it is time to do something about it?

Troubles, worries...

I am jealous! Terribly jealous of a dear friend's success. Ever had that feeling? Well, if u are me, u will have it all the time. But this time, it is justified. This friend Kumar has a blog, and it is doing smashing well. The idiot's got stories and romantic comedies and stuff posted, and all i have is crap about crap that no one cares a crap about. Now, tell me isn't that a position that would make the noblest minds jealous?

To worsen it, i have weird human ideas to battle - not mine, others'. Think about it. i am a funny man (u will vouch for that, I am sure), but if i even attempt writing a comedy at this stage, i have so many hurdles to cross.

If i write a crappy story, immediately people (you fake friends!!) will say 'You copied kumar, but are useless, so of course the stories came out like crap'!

If the story is good, then i get, 'You copied kumar, but why read yours if there is nothing new on offer'.

And, if the story is great, then i get, 'You are a great writer though you were inspired but kumar. And you are so much better then kumar'. Then Kumar will say 'Ass, you copied me. what a cheapskate. hope u go to hell, you backstabber'.

And finally, if i choose not to write a story, I will writhe with justified (as i have clearly shown before) anguish.

You see! No matter what I do, I am bound to be troubled! Such is my life. Hmmpf! And you worry about urs, daily!

Monday, July 04, 2005

Bush, Blair, and the Downing Street Memo

Just found the Downing Street Memo ( online.

Please do read it.

Bush and Blair (alongwith their cohorts) should be tried for international terrorism. It is a shame that their countries get a bad name because of them. There are still many decent people in their lands.

A word of advice to all of you. Don't hate the countries and the common man living there for the mistakes of these despicable individuals. People were simply misinformed there.

Come on, Georgie Porgie!!

'We know that the best way to honour the lives that have been given in this struggle is to complete the mission, so we will stay in the fight until the fight is won'
- George Bush, July 2, 2005, (weekly radio address marking the 4th July holiday)

Come on georgie!! Is that the only argument left for u to use? What happened to WMD and freedom and the other stuff you talked about? oh, oh, I forgot, you don't beeeive them yourself! Lessee,

Q: Does the US have WMD?
A: yes.

Q: Does the US have the freedom Georgie talked about for a long time?
A: Not exactly. Corporate America does, not the common man.

Q: Which is the only country to actually use a nuke-bomb in war?
A: I know, I know! The greatest country on Earth, the champion of liberty. The US of A.

No wonder the change in words! Georgie is no hypocrite (anymore).

I thought the dead (martyred??) soldiers fought for peace/freedom of Iraq. Don't you all think they would be happier in heaven/hell (as the case may be) knowing they achieved peace and not a never-ending saga of bloodshed?

What does America have to do for peace/freedom in Iraq? Not a toughie. I will leave the answer for you to figure out.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

We all need to get a life!

Just a couple of days back, the US rebuked Mexico for introducing a stamp that supposedly had racist undertones. The stamp is of a mexican cartoon character, Memin Pinguin. The US said Mexico failed to show proper respect to the black populations (ahem, african american in america), and that it was propagating a false stereotype of that particular race.

I see it mainly as a failure of US to understand what the character means to the mexican (now, I am not a mexican, and so don't claim any better understanding. However, America seems to be imposing its own racially discriminatory view here.)

More notably, such 'discrimination' is a part of the american philatelic tradition, too - Speedy Gonzales (remember the song by Pat Boone) - Speedy Gonzales is the mexican version of the italian Casanova, or the spanish Don Juan - only, with a twist. He is perceived to represent the mexican stereotype - lazy, drunk, and womanising. So, what happened to all the american yap when they were printing that stamp? What happened to Jesse Jackson's (the self-proclaimed torch-bearer of all black culture in america) 'racial discrimation' view? Why didn't he see it in the Speedy Gonzales stamps? It sure looks like he isn't really interested in discrimination. He is just interested in blacks. A very familiar case of one bigot fighting against the bigotry of others! Great , simply great!

Another thing, there are too many american (cartoon) stamps that portray violence (from cartoons). While it is by itself innocuous (at least to me), using the 'american yardstick' should lead us to accuse America of not respecting basic human morals/feelings. I mean, isn't violence something to resist (even as per the american constitution)?

As far as I can see, those people who see racism in the Memin Pinguin stamps are themselves either racist 'whites' or obsessed 'blacks'. Too many whites in america are racist, and too many blacks in america are overly sensitive about such crap because of this. So, what the whites usually do is keep mum about their feelings - doesn't mean they don't have them, and in fact lash out at anyone who does voice his opinion. Note, it happens all too often that a black man can make fun of both white people and balck people (pretty openly), but rarely do you see the opposite - of a white man making fun of both - the moment he does it, he is deemed racist. The term racism has gained an all together new meaning in america (and perhaps the whole world). It no more means the 'discrimination against the people of a particular race'. Rather, it now means, 'discrimination against minority races', more specifically, 'black minorities' in america.

Similar problems exist in India too. Let a muslim or a christian or a 'lower caste' hindu open up a school or office only for 'his people' - this is hailed as good coomunity service, while a similar action on the majority hindu's (or more specifically brahmins') part is immediately deemed communal and anti-social! The indian constitution forbids 'casteism', yet when it comes to admissions in schools and employment opportunity, 'low caste' quotas are openly accepted. Where the hell is the constitutional right for all the others then? Many, have claimed that such sops help decrease the divide. But, long gone are those days where only the low-caste' people are economically challenged or only the 'higher caste' people are basking in plenty. If any sop needs to be given, it has to be for the 'poor' people. Yes, i agree the overlap is huge between the so called low-classes and the poor, but if the idea is to help the people without opportunity then, why not include the 'high-caste' people who are poor - they lack opportunities too! All i see here is the same blatant violation of the constitutional rights by the indian govt. that is shown by its american couterpart.

I guess, it is not 'racism' but 'discrimiantion' that has a new meaning. I am not pro-hindu or pro-white. All i am saying is, let everyone have the same freaking privileges!

Friday, July 01, 2005

Hurray Spain!

I recently read the book 'The Name of the Rose'. For anyone who is not familiar with this cult book by Umberto Eco who specialises in Semiotics - it was written about 20 years before Dan Brown wrote 'The DaVinci Code'. It is based in medieval europe and is basically a murder mystery (others would see a lot more than just this) with the political/religious problems of the medieval church as back-drop. The book is an ocean of information about medieval church life and the beliefs/practices that were current in that era.

It was a long read. Many bits in it were especially fun to read. My favourite part of the book was when a guy called 'WIlliam' stands up to give a speech before a gathering. His speech discusses the need for dissociation between choices of faith( and what religion demands) and the right to freedom that every human being has.

The message is especially instructive in light of recent events in Spain. Spain became the fourth country to amend its constitution to make same-sex marriages legal (after, Belgium, Holland, and Canada). There was as expected a huge outcry from the catholic sections (amongst others) of society who seemed to declare it a travesty of the divine order of things. Such feelings have plagued the human race for too long, and it is about time we let go of them for the sake of freedom.

What a man does in the privacy of his house is his business - with the obvious proviso - as long as it doesn't not hurt the rest of the population in any (quantifiable/real) way. And if your doctrine professes that such a man will go to hell, then too bad for him.

Simply put, if u believe in a particular faith (Catholic, for the spaniards who protested), then u follow it. You have no right to condemn anyone else who chooses not to. Especially religious choices, which are personal choices.

To point out the slag more clearly - christianity (to be precise, The Bible in one of its interpretations) professes (only) heterosexual relations, so if you wanna be a good follower of the faith, then do as it says. But, the Bible has nothing to say about people who choose not to follow its teachings. - except say that they will go to hell. It doesn't say that the religious minded should punish the 'pagans'. So, what right does even a devout christian have to outlaw same-sex marriages? Why impose what you believe in (u are really curtailing ur own freedom - but out of choice) on others who have other opinions?

What I have said about christianity in particular is not to point out that it is the only flawed doctrine. I am of the opinion that all religious doctrines are flawed along similar lines, and that a real belief in god has very little to do with religion. Religion is, really speaking, the view of people on what god is and what is needed of us to get in touch with him - it doesn't mean it is the only way (as is openly professed by some faiths).(Although, pratically, it makes good reason to put such stuff in what is basically propaganda for a particular view of things which is you want people to believe it. The best way is to scare them into believing that there is no other way. The theory of advertising will have moer to say about it I am sure.)