Thursday, February 23, 2006

Metallica - Always The Same.

Why do all Metallica numbers sound the same? I mean the exact same, unlike what we call the typical sound of a band. We can recognize an Iron Maiden, Queensryche, or Oasis song with some familiar note, sure.

But Metallica is always the same - every single number. The same opening bars everytime, the same guitar riffs, the same roar by James Hetfield, and the same guttural wail at the end of every stanza. How repetitive and boring.

As a metal fan, I listen to a wide range of bands - past and present. However, I've never liked Metallica. Often times, when I mention heavy metal, the first thing I'm asked is 'Do you like Metallica?'. No, I don't.


Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Mind Your Language

This week, I chanced upon one of my favorite shows on DVD - the classic 70s British TV comedy Mind Your Language. Laughed for 3 days straight. I watched it as a little kid in the 80s, and still recall many of the characters' lines.

The show's completely politically incorrect which makes it very appealing. Honest.
Audiences from the stereotyped characters' countries find MYL hilarious. No reports of any offense taken.
The title soundtrack is unforgettable.
Reports are MYL will never be aired again in reruns, as it will raise the hackles of the PC set.

'Chinese are peasanto. Japanese not fascisto.'
'Oh blimey!'
'I cannot mally Ari'
'Oh dearie me' -' You can say that again' - 'Oh dearie me!'
'Fly from Africa to here? Like on a big iron bird. Vrrroom!'

A complete laugh riot.

Monday, February 13, 2006


Freewheel Burning
Suite Sister Mary
A Change Of Seasons
The Sentinel
Rock Hard, Ride Free
Revolution Calling
Hells Bells
Aces High
2 Minutes To Midnight
Eyes Of A Stranger
Victim Of Changes
All Guns Blazing
Highway Star
The Hellion/Electric Eye

Sunday, February 12, 2006

A hunting incident.

At least the Veep's ever present ambulance detail was kept on its toes.

Cheney shoots attorney

'Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally shot and wounded a companion during a weekend quail hunting trip in Texas, spraying the fellow hunter in the face and chest with shotgun pellets.'

Fodder for Leno tonight.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

My inbox.

My vast, exaggerated, and aggravated readership (and thanks for caring to write) ;) :
Do not send hate mail, or any email. Post here with your name, so I can edit/delete your critical commentary. No need to login and post any more.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

First in Asia...? Really!

What the heck is 'first in Asia'? (Or best/largest/tallest/widest) This is a title or record claimed for many achievements in India, and other countries in Asia. Why? Because they can't be verified.

There aren't really any statistics or records kept specific to Asia, but there are for a country or for the whole world. So who's watching Asian records? No one, and so it's easy to claim a record. Besides, this is a continent with a lot of backward countries and 3 billion people.

Asia's largest mall. Really? - How do we know?
Asia's largest software company. - So? You're measuring up to who else here?
Asia's biggest solar power facility. - Meaningless. Where are the stats to compare?
Asia's largest plastic maker. - Jeezzz.
First gobbledygook-ology procedure institute in Asia. - Did anyone know of other similar ones?

It's easy to jump and say 'Asia's first..', when people can't really find out if it's true.

In any case, in such claims - the records that really matter usually belong to N.America or Europe.

The ultimate 'best in Asia' tripe I came across was this 'First in Asia' title for someone's TOEFL score. 'My cousin's super TOEFL score made her first in Asia!', said this acquaintance to me.

First in Asia for TOEFL? How could that be? Hundreds of candidates would have received a perfect TOEFL score, and many of them from Asia. Countries like India have several such scores.

Nothing like expanding the importance of a modest achievement - just extend it to the continent. Watch for these non-verifiable Asian firsts - there's one every month. =)

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Why is Bryan Adams in India so often?

Anyone recall a 'Bryan Adams', former rock star? The one that was famous over a decade ago?

Well, he's still huge someplace else, long after North American audiences have forgotten him. Three concert tours in 4 years in India!

Wonder why he goes there so often. It seems like there's a Bryan Adams concert in Bangalore every year. Star starved audiences will keep attending, and they're promised acts like U2 every year. But who shows up? Bryan.

PDIs ->Pre-determined Internationals

What's a PDI?
As opposed to the old ODIs or one day internationals, PDIs are a recent and extremely popular form of cricket. The rules are the same as one day games, with one difference - the results are decided ahead of game-time.

PDIs were first played in the late '80s with numerous instances of incredible scores, and facile victories. The mid-east venue of Sharjah was an early catalyst in the development of this version of cricket. In one game, a bowler took seven lbws in bad light, and that was considered fair, because it meant fantastic returns for the winning team's backers.

Early enthusiasts were from the subcontinent, before the readmission of South Africa into international cricket in 1991. This was an important point in the evolution of the pre-determined game - South Africa proved to be a top-class source of fixing talent. The country's result facilitators devised complex determining techniques, and blazed a trail for others to follow. By 1996, the PDI version had an influential organization across South Asia, South Africa, and Australia.

Lucrative for bettors and and even more so for players, it was no surprise that pre determined games caught on rapidly in the '90s. Top quality match fixing soon became an art many wanted to perfect. It meant acquiring high level playing contacts, detailed knowledge on the weather, gestures, pitches, and team selection. Importantly it also included a fair amount of glamor, which meant a significant upgrade in social status. Who wouldn't want to hang with the stars, and have a good time?

Minor Controversy
The party was a little spoiled in 2000 when the general viewing public, and fans got in on the details. There was some indignation, because so many had been denied their share of gambling windfall for years. If they'd known, so many fans would have gotten with the program early. Much like the stock market, where investors love a good tip, and want it fast. Good ol' sporting capitalism.

Progress and Current State
Soon all was forgotten, and the PDIs continued, and made several people very comfortable. The system was streamlined so that results from the quarterfinals of tournaments were known in advance, so people could make informed betting decisions. Also, a cryptic set of codes and signals were formulated so everything went per plan in a game.

Players' remunerations and perks increased exponentially, and a healthy rapport with result facilitators was established. There was no more an atmosphere of distrust nor fear. After all, every one stood to gain. Once crudely referred to as 'match fixing', the tag 'pre-determined' allowed the game a measure of respectability.

For county, and test cricket as well, a parallel 'Pre-Det' version was created. PDTs - pre-determined tests - are huge in India, Pakistan, and of course South Africa. Recent results stand testimony to the popularity of this version.

Find Out Yourself
What should you look for? Next time, before any PDI/T, watch for the pre-game weather report, and comments made by players in the media. Watch for the gesturing in the field, similar behavior in the pavilion, and in the stands near it. Watch for unusual dismissals and strikes during play that leave you incredulous. The party rolls on....

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Yet another grand thrashing...

What did I say - has SRT ever performed when India's needed the runs? Never.

And that's what happened - again - in the 3rd game. The most overrated cricketer ever.
Not even once has this 'great' delivered when the chips were down. That's for players like Lara to do.

More stupid 'is it the end of an era?' media fawning. Stupid eulogizing for someone that only set personal records.