Sunday, 23 November, 2008

Could Use some help...

Hey guys, can you suggest some whacky, humorous way of advertising a helmet?? C'mon, put on your thinking caps and look for some out of the box ideas.... Thanks in advance!



Saturday, 22 November, 2008

The World is Flat?

No, this is not the same post as one of my previous ones (Note the '?')

I had posted a kind of a review of the book The World is Flat. I call it kind of a review because I had invited everybody to also discuss what it meant on the face of the current financial crisis. I had posted the same on The Reader's Paradise, one of the other blogs I contribute to. Now, I received a comment on it, take a look here. For those too lazy, the comment runs thus:

I wouldnt presume to be an expert, but this is what Joseph Stiglitz (Nobel winner for economics and was Chief Economist at World Bank) said while on a trip to India - 600 million people from India (out of the one billion!) have been left out of the “development” fold of globalization.
Then there is a small, but interesting book I would recommend reading, by Aronica and Ramdoo, "The World is Flat? A Critical Analysis of Thomas Friedman's New York Times Bestseller," which offers a counterperspective to Friedman's theory on globalization.
Interestingly enough, the book written about two years back, discusses in the following chapters,
"Debt and Financialization of America"
"America"s Former Middle Class"
"A Paradigm Shift for America" with prescriptions for the future
the debt ridden American society, deregulated financial institutions, mortgage crisis and other related issues, with clear pointers to the economic crisis gripping US today. For more information regarding the same, check this out: http://mkpress.com/FlatExcerpts.pdf
This is a small book compared to the 600 page tome by Friedman, and aimed at the common man and students alike. As popular as the book may be, some reviewers assert that by what it leaves out, Friedman's book is dangerous. The authors point to the fact that there isn't a single table or data footnote in Friedman's entire book.
"Globalization is the greatest reorganization of the world since the Industrial Revolution," says Aronica.
You may want to see
and watch www.mkpress.com/flatoverview.html for an interesting counterperspective on Friedman's"The World is Flat".Also a really interesting 6 min wake-up call: Shift Happens! www.mkpress.com/ShiftExtreme.html
There is also a companion book listed: Extreme Competition: Innovation and the Great 21st Century Business Reformation www.mkpress.com/extreme http://www.mkpress.com/Extreme11minWMV.html
I did check out each one of them, and before I give my word on it, I would like to have yours, but there is one thing I want to add. Just as a matter of curiosity, I googled the entire name of the book in double quotes and I found that this particular comment exists on a lot of blogs which had mentioned the original book by Thomas Friedman, mostly by an anonymous person, but the fact that there's always a personal note involved (the first line, in this case) clearly indicates that this is not spam. In this case, name of a person does exist but his/her blogger profile is not up for public viewing. So I don't know what to make of it, because this book does exist and the links seem authentic too. Is it just publicity? However, that issue notwithstanding, I would be interested in knowing what you guys think about the entire present situation.

Wednesday, 19 November, 2008

Down the Drain

I'm feeling extremely irked right now, very frustrated, very angry and very very disgusted... I'm going to divulge all the details coz I'm going to ask for help at the end. So be prepared.

I'm an Electronics student pursuing my B.E. from SRKNEC affiliated to Nagpur University, about to start with my fourth sem. We've been looking for a good company which will permit us (actually they'll have to literally invite us, read further for reason) to visit their manufacturing unit, like a tour or something so that we'll be able to gain some practical knowledge, because Nagpur University course sucks, provides no experience, lectures suck and the laboratories and the horribly inaccurate equipment can make anybody go crazy. On top of it, our HOD has refused to permit us to go for a tour arranged by the department, even when we're ready to do all the work and let them enjoy the name. And again, there are very few people genuinely interested in going, and even fewer agreed to meet the HOD and finally only 2 turned up at the right time. On calling up the others, we found that they were planning to come after one or two hours (boys, as usual). I've just returned from the college covering 24 kms. in all, for NOTHING....
ZILCH...
ZERO...

This is where you guys step in. If you know any company which would permit us (read invite us) to visit and gain first hand experience, please please let me know. I seriously need help right now, coz I'm feeling like I don't know the ABCD of Electronics and I'm finding it very difficult to grasp the practical usage of the shit stuff being taught to us. The onus would be on a company situated in a city like Bangalore or Hyderabad or others that fall into this category, but I'm open to all suggestions. Please HELP!

Saturday, 15 November, 2008

A feat achieved...

I don't know how many people noticed, but this is the 100th post of my blog. Yes, you read it right the first time, the 100th.The journey has been long, almost a year-and-a-half, with long periods in between when I just couldn't find any time for blogging, but that was before I got properly addicted. Now, I hope I am going to churn out things with speed matching that of the stock tumble-down. Actually, I would prefer it to be speed matching the stock rise, but that seems to be too distinct a possibilty right now!!!

P.S. Looks like I am stock-smitten, eh?

Thursday, 13 November, 2008

Bridge to Terabithia

I'm sure most of you around here must've never heard about Bridge to Terabithia. Well, neither did I, not until this afternoon atleast. Bridge to Terabithia is a well known novel (so it seems, even though very honestly I'd never heard about it) by Katherine Paterson. It was converted into a movie (twice, actually) in 2007 and this movie was what I happened to catch this afternoon, unintentionally.

Bridge to Terabithia is mostly about two kids Jess Aaron and Leslie Burke, both of whom are fifth graders at the same school. Jess is a poor country boy while Leslie is a new city kid who's just moved into Jess' neighbourhood. Jess and Leslie share the love for adventure. Leslie, particularly has an extremely creative mind, while Jess is a talented artist. Jess is bullied by kids at school and is very lonely even at home in the midst of five children, four of whom are girls, until Leslie comes along and befriends him. Together they escape the world to form a completely new world, away from the older people which they name Terabithia. They swing across a rope hanging above a creek and enter into an old, long-forgotten forest, where they use the power of their imagination to create Terabithia all for themselves. Jess has a crush on his music teacher, Miss Edmunds, who on learning about his art interests, invites him to accompany her to an art museum. Jess doesn't want to share the trip with Leslie and so Leslie tries to swing across the rope on her own, but due to the continuous rains, the water level of the creek increases and the rope breaks and strong currents push Leslie and she's drowned. Jess is quite devastated and blames himself for the loss. His family supports him and his father tries to explain to him that he should honour her friendship. Jess then builds a bridge across the creek and asks his younger sister May Belle, who quite admires him, to share his world with him.

The movie is very well made, though as Wiki points out, there are notable differences between the book and its adaptation. But since, I've only seen the movie, I have nothing but praise for it. The frienship has been brought out in the movie so well that you laugh when they do, and you feel like sharing their world with them. Although it's a movie primarily for kids, I don't know how you'll like it, but I enjoyed it! And when grief befalls, as Leslie's death is announced out of the blue to Jess, your heart goes out to him. I think it's s great movie with a great story. I don't know if you people want to see it, but if the review sounds appealing to you, why not give it a try???

Wednesday, 12 November, 2008

Quantum of Solace


I saw this movie yesterday. (I remember this part of my 8-pointer What Should I do With My Life the best; grinning) Anyway, I was talking about the movie.

Quantum of Solace is the latest 007 movie belted out less than a week ago. The movie picks up right from where Casino Royale left off with James Bond in a revengeful mood to avenge the death of Vesper, as he goes about killing leads, left,right and centre, angering his boss M yet again. As always, Bond moves around from one country to another, trying to trace members of the organisation called Quantum which has never been discovered before this. He comes across Dominic Greene who is planning to take over a large part of the world's water supplies. And then follows a showdown where Bond leaves him in the desert lands with a can of oil. That's the movie in a nutshell.

The movie is very fast, too fast, if you ask me. The pace could have been slowed down coz as it is, it's not all that lengthy. But all action sequences are fabulous and I am going to recommend watching this movie for them. The movie is a little different from all others because it shows Bond as an emotional person as opposed to an emotionally detached charachter in the other movies. Daniel Craig as Bond sizzles and Olga Kurylenko as Camille, who assists Bond and wants to take a personal revenge, has done a wonderful job. So guys, go watch.

Thumbs Up!

This is the first...

I've been awarded this award by Infinity authored by Aseem. And this is a first...

I'm giving away this award to ten more blogs.

Random Thoughts of a Chronic Thinker

SOAK YOUR HEAD or DROP DEAD

Varun's Vagaries

Original Reflections Of Mind

There goes a thought...!

Literary Musings....

Sauron's Eye on Internet

About Offshoring

Voyaging through the blogosphere

Ask Ms Recipe

Congratulations to all winners. Guys, do drop me a line so I know you've accepted it. Thanks again to Aseem. Now the rules for passing on this award are:

1.Put the logo on your blog.
2.Add a link to the person who awarded it to you.
3.Link 10 other bloggers whom you wanted to share this award to.

Thursday, 6 November, 2008

It was a Wednesday...

I saw Wednesday yesterday, something that was pending. The vacations and then Fashion postponed my date with the movie.

The story is that of a common nameless man (Naseeruddin Shah) who plants bombs at five different places and demands release of four terrorists involved in various terrorist activities that took place in '92, '93 and '06. To prove his point, he even places one in the police station. The police find themselves helpless because they have absolutely no information on this man, and have to act as demanded. The four terrorists are taken to the Aviation base as commanded. To watch what happens further ahead, watch the movie.

N.B. Spoilers ahead.

You've been warned.

Wednesday is a gripping, yet an unrealistic movie I think. A let out for all the pent-up frustration that lies within every common man due to the existing terror which increases with every new incident, be it a bomb blast in Mumbai or in Delhi or in Malegaon or in Jaipur. The movie is short, not even one-and-a-half hours long, but it's moving. It reflects what every common man feels. A common man who wants to show how frustrated he is by the plight of several more like him, people who are forced to endure, people who find themselves helpless against it. The dialogues delivered by Naseeruddin Shah are forceful and his speech is I think the highlight of the movie. All in all, I'd say, watch it once.

The World is Flat

The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman is one of the books that are intended to describe exactly how deeply globalisation runs. I finished this book a few weeks back but before shooting off a review, I wanted to wait and watch the latest impact, namely the financial crisis that is trickling down from the US to India and will soon assume the form of a gushing stream before the holes can be checked. Confused? Well, read on.

The author has done extensive research and has based the book on the situation around 2004-05(of course, that was the present then) when the Indian IT sector was going boom boom and the Indian markets were singing Kadam Kadam Badaye jaa and even people who had never invested in stocks all their life were religiously following CNBC and Zee Business and Stock Today and so on and so forth…

The book has been divided into three sections, first where Thomas explains how the world got flat, second where he talks about US and the flat world and third where he talks about the developing countries and the flat world. The author quotes Nilekan, CEO, Infosys as saying ‘The playing field is being levelled’, meaning the world is a completely flat place, thanks to the internet and the connectivity it has provided India with. Thomas talks about all the outsourcing of jobs that have been given to the Indians, primarily IT jobs and mostly for the computer engineers, working at salaries that can be called meagre compared to what the US engineers demand. It initially started with the Y2K movement when all computers had to be reset to accept dates from the twenty first century because they were not originally built to accept those. India with its sheer ready work force at low costs and high connectivity bagged the opportunity. The offshoring movement led to a similar prosperity in China when big US companies looking to cut costs shifted factories, workhouses and manufacturing units to China.

Thomas talks about the success achieved by some of the companies like Wal-Mart, FedEx UPS, Google and TiVo and the role played by the flat world behind their achievements. The way Wal Mart succeeds in providing low cost, high quality products would’ve been absolutely impossible in a world not so flat.

Thomas says In the flat world, one person's economic liberation could be another's unemployment. What has been beneficial for the Indians has been harmful for Americans as they claim their rights to these jobs. I highlight it here because it has been an important issue in the just concluded US elections where Obama has expressed a clear desire to curb outsourcing at the cost of Americans, which is I think bad news for us at present but might actually be able to pave a new path of progress for us after the current financial crisis has been dealt with. Your views on the issue are more than just welcome.

Thomas further provides what he believes are rules for survival and growth in a flat world. He also touches upon the issue of terrorism and its impact on a flat world, how it could prove to be a lot more harmful. He concludes by calling upon the Americans to dream because America has always been a land where dreams come true.

Overall, the book makes a very good read for someone aiming to understand the global position, the global economy and a global coexistence. But the recent happenings may make some of the issues irrelevant for the present world because I think; the world is seeing a totally different side to globalisation today. Where I may not be an expert in economics, I do realise that I don’t need rocket science to recognise the fact that the global crisis does not carry a tag of Made in India, and yet the profound effect that we’ve seen could be just the beginning of the darker side to a flatter world. Thomas stated that people thought the slow down in the late 90s when the IT bubble bust was the end of globalisation whereas it proved to be just the beginning, what remains to be seen is whether this is the end or just another obstacle.

I would appreciate it very very much if somebody who’s more of an expert than I am (actually, I am a newbie) could comment on what they think the present situation holds in store for the future of what seems to be a little disturbed flat world.

Wednesday, 5 November, 2008

Movie Watch?

Fashion
I saw Fashion yesterday. Yes THE Fashion by Madhur Bhandarkar. Since I don’t know how stars are given to movies, I’ll stick to the plain and simple review of how I liked it. As usual, Madhur gives an inside view of the big bad world of Fashion and the baggage that follows. Based on the true stories from the Fashion world of the ill- famed wardrobe malfunction and the model who was found on the streets of Delhi some time back, Fashion gives you a view of the world of alcoholism, drugs, sex and abuse, instant success, instant fame, instant rise and a steep steep fall.

As a movie, Fashion is great. A wonderful star cast that does full justice to the roles played. The story revolves mostly around Meghna Mathur (Priyanka Chopra) who against her father’s wishes comes to Mumbai to become not a model, but a supermodel. It’s a story of her rise and fall and rise. Besides we have Shonali Gujral (Kangana) whom she replaces as the fashion diva on her rise. It’s a world where you easily find relations and break ‘em with equal ease. On whether the movie is an eye-opener, well I can’t really say that coz I think a lot of people jump into the world, knowing fully well what the repercussions can be. It may be a shortcut to name, fame and money, but well, even famous models accept that Behind the Scenes is totally different. It’s like a Cine Town. All front and no back. Like some movie set. Looks great on-screen but is actually hollow from within.

Fashion is watchable, not a family movie. No, it doesn’t contain any inappropriate scenes (the Censor Board ensured that) But I think so, I mean most people would be uncomfortable watching it with your family around you. I’d say watch it when you’re free, when maybe you’re in a mood to watch something serious, coz baby, it’s not fun, this world of Fashion.


Golmaal Returns
I saw this movie with my entire family in Indore, ok not entire, there were last moment cancellations so 21 out of predicted 30 turned up.

Golmaal Returns is a brainless movie devoid of any kind of a storyline. Is it comedy? Well, yes, it is. The comic timing of the actors is pretty good. Female actors are wasted since they have almost nothing to do during the entire length of the movie. Shreyas Talpade has excellently replaced Sharmant Joshi as the fourth actor from the prequel. The story(if I can call it one) is about a man working in Golden Fisheries(Ajay Devgan), his couch-potato shakki wife (Kareena), his brother-in-law who runs his own saloon (Tushhar), sister (Amrita Arora) and her boyfriend police inspector (Arshad Warsi). Shreyas enters as an employee of the company.

Ajay returns home late one day after saving a girl from some goons and then spending the night with her in a yard to escape the stormy night. To escape his wife’s wrath, he lies to her and rattles of a story about being with a childhood friend. The same night, an employee of his company gets murdered and he is blamed for it, and the story goes on about all the Golmaal that ensues.

The movie is again watchable, more so for a younger generation. It is, as I said brainless so it’s better if one leaves resoning aside for some time…








Monday, 3 November, 2008

Back...

Hey guys, I'm back, though not with the usual bang coz I'm not in the best of health(festive seaaon catching up,eh?). But hey, don't worry since it doesn't stop me from being online or posting new stuff on the blog, so you can definitely look forward to new posts...