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Intarweb Thingies




Google Personalizes 

Google has a truckload of new features on its main page today. It also introduced Personalized search. Since I'm at least partially interested in personalized searching (seeing as how my thesis was based on it and all), I tried it out. I created a profile with 3 or 4 favorite subjects and then started searching. I started playing around with the slider on the top of the page and lo behold! My personalized results started magically sliding upward. It's always nice to your research project being closely imitated on Google.

A few quick questions, though...

My newest addiction... DingDongs -- The satan-influenced evil sibling of 'Pure Magic' biscuits!

On my to-watch list... 

There are two movies in the theaters that I'm dying to watch:

1) "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind". If anyone'e seen Being John Malkovich and Adaptation, they can expect a surprise from Charlie Kaufman every time. His scripts are entirely mind-bending and funny to boot. The story of the new movie also seems promising - "Would you erase your past memories?". The movie is directed by Michael Gondry, who directs music videos, especially a lot for Bjork. (This video by him is really cool and very creative). A collaboration by Kaufman and Gondry is sure to be quite different from Scooby Doo 2.

2) "Dawn of the Dead". I'll let Maddox do the talking... here's a snippet: "This movie stomps so much ass that they have to import colons from other countries to meet the demand".

I hope my self-imposed exile from the theaters ends soon -- I'm getting impatient!


* Nifty new sidebar on the left where I'll be putting up links that caught my eye.
* Book selection and movie selection changed on the right sidebar.
* Added CognitiveOverload to the blogger list.

Why?: Because I don't have anything else to do.

Of Pancakes and Plains. 

via Fark today, Kansas admits it's as flat and boring as your high school girlfriend, will give you free land if you move there.

Since I haven't had a high school GF, I can't confirm or deny the lack of assets(physical and mental) of the forementioned creatures, but I can vouch for the fact that Iowa is way flatter than north east Kansas. My road-trip to Chicago proved that Kansas doesn't really deserve its reputation for flatness. The flint hills in south eastern Kansas are quite beautiful during spring/summer. The rolling hills and the meadows are a soothing sight for any traveller on I-35.

But what do I know, some guys have actually scientifically proven that KS is flatter than a pancake. As for your High School GF, only you can be the judge :)

Office Space - the sequel? 

Call Center - The Film is being made by a British guy(Art director for 'Star Wars' and 'Life of Brian' - impressive!). It's going to be Office Space meets Dil Kaho Na Kuch Mil Gaya Hai. Or so I would hope...

Gumballa Govinda 

[via MetaFilter]:Blog Survey from MIT : Summary of Findings. This part particularly interested me :
83% of respondents characterized their entries as personal ramblings whereas 20% said they mostly publish lists of useful/interesting links (respondents could check multiple options for this answer). This indicates that the nature of blogs might be changing from being mostly lists of links to becoming sites that contain more personal stories and commentaries.

[via /.]:Big Brother thanks you for flying US Airways. I've been reading about this for quite a while. I also read a technical paper by some desi guy from CA who said the CAPPS screening process doesn't really work that well and proved it mathematically.

These lines from an AP article seemed ominous:
Passengers who raise questions would be classified as yellow and would receive extra security screening.
The CAPPS website or the official release doesn't mention anything about such measures. Looks like a typical knee-jerk reaction by a pinko AP writer who must've heard about this from the second cousin of his best friend's roommate.

On my trip to NYC, our group of brown middle-eastern looking people visited the Empire state building. Security measures were in full swing. People who got in line to go to the top were stamped with a radioactive ink on their wrists. Once we got to the top, our radioactive tattoos were checked with a detector. There were a lot of people being pulled aside for not being radio-fluorescent and a few hassled ushers pulling them aside. Although I got myself inked at the entrance, the young black girl doing the checking pulled me aside. The reason? she checked the wrong hand. I had to make her stop and show her my right wrist to pass through.

The ones who were pulled aside were 'photographed' with a picture of the empire state building in the background and were told they could pick up pictures at the lobby if they wanted to. What's interesting was that the background picture of the ES building was such that your face was framed in a perfectly blue sky background, so that it made identification easy. I watched with amusement as a pair of teenage black girls were 'photographed' while they posed for the photograph with smiling faces and pretended to pinch the needle of the ES building in the picture.

Were these girls a threat? Did the department of homeland security expect them to launch a suicide attack on English penmanship from atop the ESB? (OMG, I LUV THE VYOO FROM HERE, ITZ SO TERRIFIZZLE! LOL!!!!11!) I've heard about old ladies being searched for deadly weapons in airports. In an effort to refrain from racial profiling and maintain normality, the dept. of homeland security goes to extremes to pick people at random. Being caught between paranoia and political correctness seems to be the bane of these poor minions of homeland security.

There, I'm now a blog statistic. I've given a few links that interested me and I've ranted about something personal.

Where's Ventura County? 

The good news: 47% of firms in Ventura County indicate they are about to hire this spring.
The bad News: Most of the jobs are in durable and nondurable goods manufacturing, transportation-public utilities, wholesale-retail trade, finance-insurance-real estate, and education and services.
Maybe it's time to move to Californ-eye-yay.

The Model Spammee 

How does the spam industry stay afloat? Does anyone actually click on junk mail??? I'll admit it - I do. I now know where to go if I want to date Christian singles. I can eliminate my credit-card debts by sending debbi453 an email. I can 'increase' my 'performance' without 'vI@gr4'. Even though I do not have the necessary appendages, I can choose to increase my lactation stations by two sizes. It's a win-win situation!

But I stop at merely perusing these mails. Apparently, people like Soto actually buy stuff from the spammers.(Note: Soto has been depicted in charcoal to protect his identity.) I read somewhere that spammers made $115 billion in profits last year. With dutiful American consumerobots such as Soto, it's no wonder spammers keep finding innovative ways to increase my boob size.

[from:Dashes]: Here's a link for amateur bloggers on how to write. Strunk and White has been on my reading list for a while - formal grammar just seems so... dry.

Oops, I didn't read the memo when I signed it. 

Raapi blogs that Bush wasn't aware that H1-B applications filed last year came under FY2004's visa cap. Says he'll reconsider adding 12,000 H1-Bs. Do H1-Bs come under intra-company visas too? Aren't intra-company transfers called L1's or some other letter of the alphabet followed by the '1'?

*** you, you ******ing ****ers. 

Via Metafilter:C4 swears by four-letter advert. Here's the ad. NSFW, if you have your speakers on.

What makes a swear word, well, a swear word? Why did derogatory references to genitalia and bodily functions attain their swear-status? When did female dogs begin to refer to women who refuse to have sex with you? I've winced when teenage girls in India said "Oh shit", imitating their favorite Hindi actress. I've been winced at when I said 'damn' in regular conversation here in Kansas. 'Hell' and 'damn' are considered cuss words in my god-fearing state. Considering their non-aligned status with respect to the G-man, can atheists curse? Does the pope shit in the woods?

So, what is your favorite swear-word ?

Dead Milkman Dead 

Via MetaFilter: Journalist gets his own article outsourced. Do people still buy "... and all I got was this lousy t-shirt" t-shirts ???

Dave Blood of The Dead Milkmen, found dead. I hadn't heard about them until a friend loaned me a CD, and I was hooked. The funniest music group, ever.
Life is s***, indeed. RIP.

Raising Cain 

Cain is cool. He says he might consider running for VP with Kerry. I saw him on The Daily Show in an interview with Jon Stewart and I all I got were good vibes. He is funny, thinks for himself and strangest of all, campaigns for Bush.

Daily Show, how I miss thee! George Carlin is on today :(

Flings Feces 

Anti has blogged about the music for Ayutha Ezhuthu today. The uncorroborated rumor is that the story is going to based on the City of God. I haven't seen the movie, but it's been on my to-watch list for a long, long time. (92% on RT, that's pretty darn good.)

Speaking about Tamil movies, I saw Virumandi finally this weekend. So here's yet a belated Virumandi review, sorta.

---->Lovin' it: The differing Points-Of-View technique -- the first narration by the bad guy seemed disjointed and kept me wondering if there was an editing mishap. The subsequent narration by the protagonist nicely fills in the blanks. When compared to movies that told multiple points of view, I'd say Kamal has done a good job of it. Apart from that, I wouldn't say that the direction was better than Hey Ram. My reason for being less-than-impressed with cinematography might be due to the fact that I saw it on a 17" monitor from a burnt CD of a copy taken at a 320X240 resolution from a website. (On a sidenote: I haven't seen Aazhavandhan, but if there was anime in there a la Kill Bill, I'm all for it.)

---->I hate you, I hate you, I hate you: The usual commercial elements, the bad CGI... all of which have already been pointed out by TeaKada.

And that's how I feel right now. (by LesKellert from Worth 1000. Original idea: Gary Larson). What's the deal with IE here? I can see the image on Firefox, but not on IE.

All together now, sing like South Park: "Blame India..." 

Dashes' blog is full of gems... like BlameIndiaWatch. And the Halftime Janet Barbie. I'm surprised Fark missed the Barbie thing.

Some Farker proposed online today. Some might call it cheap. Some might call it nerdy. Internet watering holes are the new half-time Jumbotrons, and it's all cool, baby.


Via Dashes: The Singhsons. Not bad at all. I kept getting unsolicited mail from Badmash on my school account, so I unsubscribed. Badmash is not just another web comic -- it's the only South Asian one. Meh, I'd read it if it was consistently funny. But this one is not too shabby. I would love to see a desi Simpsons spin-off. Or better still, a Family Guy spin off.

Yes, it's 5:00 in the morning. Yes, I should be going home...

"Yes, I have them all mounted." 

Two interesting links from Metafilter today.
1) The exciting, but politically incorrect hobby of Girl Watching. You can also graduate to the more criminal pursuits of Girl Collecting and Stalking.

2) The Sadhus of India. (*warning: Weener Alert !!!)

It's the Little People that matter... 

Via Slashdot:: Blog Epidemic Analyzer is work done at HP Labs that says bigger bloggers plagiarize from smaller blogs without attributing it to them. Their conclusion? Bigger isn't better. BlogPulse is similar to Google Zeitgeist in that it tells us the "in" phrases, people and links at the moment. Not surprisingly, Bush, Kerry and Iraq are "in". Also on MetaFilter today, The American People, if you want to know which politician is speaking up for "The American People". Representative Democracy rules!

In other news, from Lileks today:
" Statement the Fourth: it’s the war. That’s what counts. If I had a choice between an isolationist Republican who would withdraw all American troops from everywhere and cast Israel adrift, OR a Joe Lieberman Democrat who understood the threat and wanted to take the fight to them - and nevermind what our valiant allies thought, like Russia - I’d pull the lever for the D. As I've said before: we can argue about the future of Western Civilization after we've ensured Western Civilization will survive."

Woah there!


Holy Crap! I've just been blogrolled by Anti. This increased the readership of my blog by... one (maybe).

"Holy Crap" were also the first words to come out of my mouth when I entered my office today. The lighting economy experts had come and replaced the harsh glare of fluorescent tubelights with... more fluorescent tubelights. It's such a pity, after working for a year in a gloomy cubicle-farm with dim lighting that made you fall asleep the instant you took your seat and turned the computer on, I expected more out of my graduate research office. My office turned out to be situated in one of those grim, modernistic 60s buildings, built by someone who probably read The Fountainhead too many times. The lighting was, once again, provided by tubelights -- tubelights that didn't even have the decency to conceal themselves under false ceilings. When I heard about these energy-efficiency experts, I had hoped for a soothing, yellow lampshade glow.

Such a pity.


I received one of those chain-mails this morning. It wasn't of the benevolent type that you can safely ignore, the type that implies a direct correlation between n days of good luck and m number of people I forward it to. No, this was of the more threatening variety, the one that promised death, sodomy, supernatural occurrences, or all of the above. The mail read, "This is a picture of a girl who was killed last week. If you don't forward it to 5 people in 5 minutes, this girl will appear tonight and stab you!". As I scrolled down the interminable message headers, a photoshopped picture of a zombie girl, with green, rotting skin, yellow eyes, a nasty grimace appeared. I pawed the "Page Up" key frantically.

My first encounter with images of gory women came when I was 13. I watched The Exorcist in an open-air theater. Despite the fact that there were thousand more people around me, I was mortified by the horrifying shrieks emanating from the screen and had to resort to peering through a piece of torn paper, which I pretended I was reading. The green and possibly pus-filled face of Linda Blair, along with a tongue rivalling that of Gene Simmons, haunted my nightmares and daymares. Around the same time, I saw some Tamil horror movies, "My dear Lisa" and "13-aam number veedu", which only proved to worsen my fear of women with green faces and white saris. My most recent encounter with this irrational fear of demonic women was from the movie The Ring where, once again, my aversion to them was reinforced by the addition of oriental eyes and a bad hairdo.

A simple google search announced that Caligynephobia does exist and, yes, it can be cured by ingesting ample quantities of painkillers and repeated exposure to beautiful women. but what about the irrational fear of ugly women, who are demoniacally possessed? Does science have a cure for my particular fear?