The Whole Cricket Scandal

Harbhajan Singh There was that huge controversy over Harbhajan Singh making racist comments about Andrew Symonds, it was all over the news, and edged out ethnic violence in Kenya, Intel’s war with the OLPC, and the near end of the high definition format wars. Quite strange really that Indians are so untouched by ‘monkey‘ but so outraged at ‘poppadam‘, it has to be something to do with the religion and Hanuman and stuff like that. One would think that the people who find it offensive if people of another religion visit their places of worship would be the first to stand up against racial comments. Odd that, I didn’t see any of that.

Cricket Itself

It’s a boring game, really, and not particularly exciting except for the last few minutes but people still play large sums of money simply to have the chance to sit under the hot sun along with other sweaty tired people like them and talk about how advanced their nation is because they’re good at cricket. Perhaps, it’s the whole thing about cricket being a gentleman’s game. Or perhaps not. It isn’t. Not to the wildest imagination. It is a violent game, filled with unsportsmanlike behaviour, lies, cheating and a stupid adherence to so-called tradition to the detriment of fair play. Even worse, it has never been a gentleman’s game at any point of time when it was played between countries. Really, even under the watchful eye of the cliché police one is forced to quote George Orwell. Get over it, cricketers, you’re no gentlemen.

Racism

A touchy thing, racism, and one that Indians are not amateurs at. We’re professional bigots, talking about the stupid dalits, evilly reproducing people from other religions who hope to take over India, white men who defile our temples, heck we’re Masters of the Art. However, I doubt Harbhajan Singh intended to make a racial slur. As Pipe pointed out, he probably said “Teri maa ki…” :D

Well, okay, maybe not, but one has to stop and think: are words like ‘poppadom’ and ‘monkey’ really so offensive? I mean look at them – one is a food item, the other is an animal. Here we are, the most intelligent species on this planet and we spend our time calling each other the names of food items and animals and then we let our tribal blood boil and unleash modern-day animal screams. Douglas Adams was right about the dolphins.

I used to be a great subscriber to this anti-racism business, before I realised how stupid it is. I am now an anti-bigot, too much anti-racism is fluff that covers up real events. And words… words… words are just that, words — they don’t hurt you unless they’re from someone you care for, they don’t kill you or maim you and they don’t rip out your soul. Harassment’s a different issue, bullying’s something else: If someone comes up to you every day and puts you down, it’s not the fact that that person uses particular words that’s bad for you, it’s the fact that it is repetitive harassment. That sort of stuff can hurt people, really, reduce productivity, and drive them to feeling unappreciated and depressed. If a bunch of white kids pick on a black kid because he’s black the real offence is in the fact that they’re picking on the kid, the colour of his skin is less important. Think people, grow thicker skins not heads.

The Xerox Is A Lie!

We wanted to take a photocopy of our notes for tomorrow, but the places right outside college didn’t have any power so they couldn’t do anything. So we went across the station to West Tambaram and then through the subway and when we came up we saw a huge sign promising Printing, DTP, Xerox, blah blah, so we went up the stairs and…

That’s my classmate Deepak. And yes, the video is low res, but what do you expect, it’s from my phone-cam. If the video doesn’t play in the player you can just copy the link address. The 3gp file is the smallest, but the default quicktime file is the only one that doesn’t need either flash or java.

What’s wrong with this picture?

This is the Adyar Bus Depot. I took the shot some time ago while I was on my way to Marc’s place.

Adyar Bus Depot

I’ll tell you: It’s the buses. There are beautiful new buses all waiting in the bays, just asking to be run around the city, but instead of the improved comfort, we have to put up with the old buses. It’s like the MTC is trying to get as much of their money’s worth out of the buses as possible. They’re probably losing it all on worse mileage anyway. I don’t understand why they can’t run the newer ones and make us a little happier.

Redirecting a subdirectory to a subdomain

You know, the older versions of CPanel are weirdly quirky. One of those things that annoyed me was that all subdomains are also subdirectories. For example, if you create the subdomain george.arjie.com, then all files for that subdomain are stored in the folder accessible at arjie.com/george. This is very annoying if you have want web spiders to index your content because they’ll sometimes completely ignore the subdomain and index everything at the subdirectory. This was a rather painful issue for me because http://blog.arjie.com was rather well indexed but http://blog.arjie.com/, the actual address, was nearly completely untouched by Google — there was one result, the subdomain root.

In any case, I decided to make everything point to blog.arjie.com now and spent the better part of the last hour trying to get the right commands in my .htaccess file. The thing with .htaccess is that if you make a mistake you don’t get told what it is, you get a 500: Internal Server Error message, which is about as helpful as a monkey with a tyre iron but not. So I’ve got it all figured out finally so here’s the relevant bit of the .htaccess that I’ve placed in my blog.arjie.com subdirectory:
RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^(www\.)?arjie\.com$
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://blog.arjie.com/$1 [R=301,NC,L]

and since I searched for a similar solution and didn’t find anything like it on the Internet. Here’s a version that I may be able to find by a Search Engine.
RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^(www\.)?domain\.com$
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://subdomain.domain.com/$1 [R=301,NC,L]

College Starts Again

Yeah, so college starts again from tomorrow. And unless I’m wrong we have tests starting from Friday. That’s pretty bad because, having attended only two hours out of the 150-odd so far, I have no clue what we’re going to have a test on. There’s no way I’m going to be able to do this paper well. I’ll just have to count on the good old 2 out of 3 rule and make the other two tests count. Life’s heating up again, just like in the 12th, it’s time to apply to a college for a post-grad course, and I’m not sure where I’d like to join. Best give everything a shot, I suppose.

The thing is I’ve suddenly gotten into the scheduling habit, so I’ve got a lot of things all carefully marked on my laptop calendar marking every thing I have to do. I’ve never been one for to-do lists and as a consequence, have never manage to get things done :) or at least I haven’t been organised for the past 3 years, but it’s time to put the shoulder to the wheel so this blog post is here to remind me later about what I’d hoped.

I just realised that this whole thing reads like a New Year Resolution. It’s not. I don’t make New Year Resolutions on the first of January, that’s slightly short of a real new year for me.

The Holidays have begun

They weren’t supposed to start until tomorrow, actually. But the kind government gave us all a holiday, so I could take today off. The holiday routine involves waking up past noon, and then wandering around in a sleepy daze before going to sleep at 4. I’ve gotten used to it.

Marc and I were supposed to go to the IOB branch at Besant Nagar for an account for him, but it got late and they turned him away. Poor fellow. In any case, he drove me to a place to get a microSD card for my phone and when we were done he burnt Counterstrike:Condition Zero on a disk for me. I haven’t gotten round to installing it, though I was supposed to join the game tonight. I wonder if they’ll give you a legit copy of CS:CZ if you have a half-life disk, I remember CS 1.5 being free, I started playing it around that time.

Incidentally, while I was waiting for the bus at the stop, I snapped this with my phone (I have no clue how I managed to make it take a photo at that resolution, I can’t make it do it again):

Hotel Runs

How much would you pay for shipping?

Two 19¢ washers, The USA, The Department of Defence. One hell of a shipping bill.

Cheap washers - Shipping Bill

That’s No. 50 on Forbes’ 100 Dumbest Business Decisions. The list isn’t great, some of the items there are stupidly chosen but some are good. A curate’s egg, one might say.

My favourites:

  • No. 51: Apple sends a 9-year old a letter rebuking her for making suggestions on how to improve the iPod Nano in a previous letter to them.
  • No. 44: Bank of America branch evacuated after receiving a fax with a picture of a bomb on it. It was meant to have the text, “The Countdown Begins … Small Business Commitment Week June 4–8″
  • No. 21: The Boston bomb scare. They seem to claim this was a bad business decision for Cartoon Network. Au contraire, nearly everyone’s heard of ATHF and CN now.
  • No. 13: Fat people in Disneyworld not allowed on ride because the boat gets stuck to the bottom. Given food as compensation. Ha ha ha.

I’m lost and I want to go back

It’s like I’m somewhere else, things are different that shouldn’t be, people are different from what I know them to be, they all act different, talk different, move differently. It’s strange, because I feel like an outsider here, there’s something about everybody that seems to tell me they’re not who I once thought they were. It’s lonely here, and unfamiliar; I feel like one of those characters in story books and video games who get stuck in a world whose rules they’re not used to.

I can’t recognise my city any more. If I look at the streets or the shops real hard they do resemble what they were, but the people walking along are not from here and the voices and languages are not native. College is no different, it’s almost like it changes every time I glance in a different direction, it’s confusing and disorienting. It’s new, like I’ve been here the first time. I’ve walked all over the damn campus, fallen in the grass and learnt that it was the itchy kind, watched the ‘lake’ go from dry to wet to dry again, and it’s all different now. I haven’t been here before, this isn’t where I’m from.

I want to go home.