Mar 28, 2008 - Uncategorized    1 Comment

Trivia travails

I have been fascinated with trivia and general facts since I was a little girl. I always wanted to know things like the exact duration of a blink, which by the way, approximately lasts 0.3 seconds. I would try to read volumes of encyclopedia, much to my mother chagrin, who wanted me to spend every waking moment with my text books. My mother actually thought that cramming my brain with useless (in her opinion) information would not leave much room for trigonometry theorems and English literature. What she did not know that knowing that a chameleon’s tongue is twice as long as its body or that milk of a hippopotamus is bright pink would make it so much easier for me to understand the Pythagoras theorems.

some of the trivia facts that always draw a wide eyed response are:

The space between your eye brows is called glabellas.

A fetus acquire finger prints at the age of three months.

It is impossible to lick your elbow.

In Japan, 20% of all publications sold are comics.

57% of British school kids think that Germany is the most boring country in Europe ( i know Germans are not fascinated by this one).

Issac Newton invented the cat flap.

and my personal favourite is …

If you keep your eyes open by force during a sneeze, they may pop out. It is body’s defence mechanism that we always close our eyes shut while sneezing.

Mar 28, 2008 - Society, urban    No Comments

Yuppie suits, here I come

I have promised that I will not write about my work which is ultra boring and at times, bring me to tears. Believe me, writing emails to accountants “educating them about the effectiveness of regular IT maintenance” can bring tears to the most hardened soul, but I soldier on.

What gets my goat more than the accountants’ never ending questions is the super human confidence of the consultants and the way they throw acronyms. I am willing to bet half my salary that they use them so much that they can no longer differentiate the acronyms of their own company, the vendors’ and the clients. After every long and grueling meeting with consultants’ I vow to become a consultant myself. After all, when you can’t beat them, you might as well join them and make a decent living. When I shared this idea with a friend, she discouraged me and said that I can never be a good consultant. The reasons she cited are listed below.

  • I actually care about implementation of the policies.

  • I hate writing long reports.

  • I do not call hopping in the plane and going to another city ‘process flow’.

  • I do not use words like diagnostic period, successful value creation and synergy.

  • Being a cynic and pessimist, I can never utter the phrase win-win, even if someone is pointing a gun at me.

  • I never use bullet points.

Oops, I just used the bullet points. There might be some hope for me. Yuppie suits, corporate speak and fuel guzzling vehicles, here I come.

Mar 28, 2008 - Uncategorized    1 Comment

Through the roof, under ground

Summaiyya sent me this killer song from an utterly fabulous Ukrainian gypsy punk band Gogol Bordello and I am hooked.

This morning on my way to work, I plugged my ipod to car stereo and started singing along – at the top of my lungs. At the Clifton bridge signal opposite ABN-AMRO, a banker dude winked at me( I am assuming he was a banker because he was in a suit and was walking towards the bank, but I could be wrong), at the teen talwar signal an aunty gave me a stink eye which said ‘tauba tauba, kya zamana a gaya hai, larkiyan sarak pe subah subah gana ga raheen hain’ and no, before you say it that it could be just her face, let me tell you that it WAS the stink eye, but I paid no heed and kept on singing along. I personally think that singing is about as natural as breathing and if anyone has a problem with that, well that’s their problem.

The song goes like this …

When there is trap set up for you in every corner of this town

Hey sailor, the only way to go, is underground

When there is a trap set up for you in every corner of your room

Hey sailor, the only way to go, is through roof.

Ooooohhhhh oooohhhhhh, through the roof, under ground

Ooooohhhhh oooohhhhhh, through the roof, under ground

Oh Sumi, I have hit the roof, with the high note.

Mar 27, 2008 - quirky    No Comments

I am doing it because I can

Rich men are eccentric and one of such rich eccentric men have decided that he wants a replica of Stonehenge in his country so he is building one.

Ross Smith hopes the monument will be ready in time for Australia‘s next summer solstice, on December 21.

“I’m doing it because I can,” said Mr Smith, who plans to reconstruct the ancient monument on land he owns in the MargaretRiver region of Western Australia.

“Nowhere in the world has a complete Stonehenge been built.”

The structure will be made with 2,500 tonnes of granite quarried from Esperance, on Western Australia‘s south coast.

The £700,000 project, to be called The Henge, will include 101 granite stones arranged in an inner and outer circle and a central altar.

Mr Smith, the former owner of a successful microbrewery, said The Henge would be a business venture, to be hired out for weddings and other events.

I totally love this dude’s attitude. He is doing it because he can, no arguments and explanations given.

Mar 27, 2008 - Uncategorized    No Comments

Growing older

I have noticed that as I grow older my skin is becoming more sensitive and it cannot take the sun like it used to when i was a kid. Its either this or maybe all that they say about ozone layer disappearing is true after all….

Mar 27, 2008 - religion    No Comments

Saving face

Saudis take the cake for being the weirdest of people in a planet full of weirdos. Take this new item for example. A 50-year-old Saudi woman asked for divorce after her husband lifted her face veil while she was sleeping. For 30 years, the wife said she never showed her face to her husband in conformity with the tradition of her native village near the south western Saudi city of Khamis Mushayt.

“After all these years, he tries to commit such a big mistake,” the wife told Saudi newspaper Al-Riyadh, after she left the house in total disbelief.

She said the husband apologized and promised never to do it again.

This is not the first case of husbands who have not seen their wives’ faces in decades.

In the past Ali al-Qahtani’s wife had been wearing the face veil for the entire ten years of their marrage. When he tried to take it off, she threatened to leave and only decided to stay after he swore never to try again.

Hassan Al-Atibi threatened to marry another woman if his wife didn’t show him her face. The woman nominated one of her friends who doesn’t observe this tradition as a possible new wife for him, saying this would be better than her showing her face.

And neither the husband or children of Om Rabea al-Gahdaray, 70, have ever seen her face. Al-Gahdaray says it is a family tradition, also followed by mother and sisters, which her husband accepted and never tried to change.

When asked how she could have kids without her husband ever seeing her face, she replied: “Marriage is about love, not faces.”

Now, is that convoluted or is that convoluted?

Mar 27, 2008 - Uncategorized    No Comments

sucking-at-maths contest

A friend, who is preparing for GRE, and I were quibbling who suck at mathematics most. I thought I am the undisputed suck-at-maths queen while he thought that no matter how much he practices GRE mathematics, he just won’t be able to pass muster so he should be crowned king of all things hating mathematics.

In order to win the argument, I said that I must have been a suicidal wreck to read economics in bachelors because of my obvious lack of mathematical genius and how I used to get mathematics related nightmares. He then asked what are the mathematics related nightmares like. Honestly, I have never had nightmares where a maths monster attacked me and tore my limbs apart. The worst Maths related inconvenience I have had was an upset tummy and insomnia before every maths exam since grade 7. But it got me thinking that if there were a maths monster how would he look like? Would he have a nose that looks like derivation sign or a square root? Would he have a name that rhymes with trigonometry or calculus? I don’t have the imagination to create a maths monster so the crown goes to my friend.

Haris, you win. You are the king of all mathematics fearing beings.

Mar 26, 2008 - Uncategorized    No Comments

Killing me softly

I have had what you call a chick-flick week.
Not only did I watch three Jane Austen films (Emma, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion) in a row (ok, I am demented, I get it), I also watched Jane Austen Book Club, a book about five Californian women and a man who form a book club to discuss the works of the celebrated writer but also had the ulterior motive of improving their love lives after taking cue from Ms. Austen.

But the chick flick which I am certain would be soon made into a Bollywood musical is not any of the above mentioned films. The film that is sure to see a hindi remake is Katherine Heigl, James Marsden starrer 27 Dresses. Heigl plays a selfless woman who helps out her girl friends by being their bridesmaid – a horrendous 27 times. In addition she plays adoring PA to her hotshot boss who’s blissfully oblivious to his employee’s infatuation. Her beautiful sister comes along and gets engaged to the boss and then enters Marsden, a cynical wedding reporter (is that an oxymoron or is that an oxymoron?) who wanted to do a feature on a woman who is always, always, always the bridesmaid but ends up falling for our heroine and they all live happily ever after.

It has become a standard practice of late that every successful romantic comedy (or the not so successful romcoms) soon sees its Hindi version. The most recent was Partner which was very loud, crass, yet yawn inducing copy of Will Smith’s Hitch. So cheeky have they become that they call lifting every scene frame for frame, mere inspiration! Some are so shameless that they even copy the name of the film (Mere Yaar Ki Shadi Hai was a bad remake of My Best Friend’s wedding).
So be ready to see Rani Mukerji or some other actress like her (can’t have a glamazon in that role) reprising the role of Hiegl as the self sacrificing shareef heroine silently in love with her smooth and suave boss (probably John Abraham – seriously, cant think of anyone else who fits the bill of good looking yet vacant and single dimensional). Enters the glamorous young sister (could be any of the former models or pageant winners) who makes the suave boss fall for her. Now, who is going to save our heroine from the cold clutches of impending spinsterhood; a cheeky but extremely good looking Saif Ali Khan who wins her heart and make her realise that there is more to men than just being ridiculously rich and good looking; they have to be smart and witty along with being ridiculously good looking. They hold hands and walk into the sunset … or whatever.
Shit, I actually wrote the plot of a bollywood masala musical. I seriously need to get a life and do something other than watching escapist cinema. It is killing me softly; before I know it, I would be dead, at least intellectually.
Any suggestions people???
Mar 25, 2008 - Society, Yousuf Raza Gilani    No Comments

Boobie groping or Boobie guarding?

Somebody was singing the praises of the newly elected PM Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani on an online forum. As I was truly galactically screwed by PM’s protocol the night before, this is what I responded with.
“Yeah Gilani the Groper. In case you have forgotten, it is the same guy who was immortalized in the youtube video where he was trying grope a fellow female politician (hence he will always be remembered by boobie trap) in a rally. He got elected last evening, then flew to Karachi to attend his son’s wedding with Peer Pagara’s grand daughter (in case people here don’t know, Peer Pagara also happens to be Gilani’s khalo or maternal uncle) and blocked the traffic for four hours as every lane near the wedding venue was blocked off. I got stuck at a relative’s home and managed to reach home at 2.00 am after the PM’s protocol party opened the roads.

So, after these elections, we chose a man who became a youtube legend (there are two entries of the same video with over 160,000 views) for groping – but hey, what red blooded Pakistani male would not do that?

The newly elected PM is a close relative of Peer Pagara who defines the word ‘establishment’ which also tells us how ‘independent’ the new PM will be. 

To this, I got this response from a gentleman.
“Alright… that is a news for me! No wonder PIR PAGARA is considered a KING MAKER and everyone seek his blessings to stay in the corridors of power!

Mr. Gillani is a human and he may have got carried away at that time. Or may be, what looked ‘boobie groping’ then could actually be ‘boobie guarding’ in that unruly crowd. We must give that benefit of doubt to our new ‘elected’ leader for the sake of JO QAUM APNAY LEADER KI IZZAT NAHEE KARTI… WHO AGAY NAHEE BADHTI!

Besides, who is a clean person in Pakistan’s politiKs today?”

Boobie guarding, now this is fucking hilarious.

Mar 24, 2008 - quirky    No Comments

Professors strike back

Students have been ranting about their professors since time immemorial. Of late, they are doing it online on rate my professor.

Most of you would think that there is nothing special about this. Students do that all the time and if they are now doing it via vlog, then it is just cyber progression of an old phenomenon.

What interesting is that the professors are striking back, online of course. When academics and scholars were recently given the chance to counter student criticism posted on the website RateMyProfessors.com, a cult-hit television series, “Professors Strike Back,” was born. The show, which has professors responding on camera to undergraduate gripes such as “boring beyond belief,” made its debut in October last year on mtvU, a 24-hour network broadcast to more than 7.5 million students on American college campuses.

I thought it was hilarious and shared it with a friend who has a teaching position in a university in London (I know I know, you wanted it to be confidential, so no names here). She, very stoically, said that a teacher’s job is to impart knowledge, not entertain. If a teacher is boring beyond belief, the students just have to grin and bear it. Education requires some serious mental sweat, enduring boring lectures is part of it.

As far as I am concerned, I am against teachers oversimplifying complex concepts for stupid students (I think it contributes to general dumbing down of the society), but I have always appreciated professors who impart knowledge with a sense of humor. One of my professors, Dr. Rorden Wilkinson had just the right blend of humour, wit and intellect to woo his students. The fact that he was a looker also helped. What say?

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