It’s a kitty!

Little Kitty

Kitty!

Gitanjali and Isha let me take this adorable little kitten because they couldn’t keep her in the hostel in college. She’s the friskiest cat we’ve ever had and spends all of the time either running around attacking a stuffed hedgehog tied up with string or biting and clawing our hands and arms. I think she’s a bit of a nutcase, because she doesn’t eat fish unless it’s been fried, she’ll eat any cooked chicken but no uncooked, and she’ll eat all kinds of mutton. The funny thing is, she loves human company and sleeps only when there’s someone around. This means that in the middle of the night she’ll crawl onto my pillow and curl up to sleep, sometimes with one paw on my head.

The crazy bit is my dad isn’t really fond of cats. He can tolerate them, but he’s not actively crazy about them like the rest of the family. Unfortunately, Cleo insists on sitting on his lap whenever possible and is always running around his legs. It’s patently hilarious, I tell you. Oh, and xkcd was right.

Looking for an EN-EL1 Charger:

All these photos were with the remaining charge on my digital camera. Unfortunately, the charger is broken (I think). I’ve tried to charge both the original EN-EL1 and a replacement Camelion battery but neither seem to have charged properly. Does anyone know where I can get a cheap charger? I’ve looked around and I managed to find a CTA Digital MR EN-EL1 Charger but Amazon doesn’t accept Paypal so I’m stuck now. I’ll just have to go to Ritchie Street now. That sucks. Those buggers are all frauds and their prices are inflated, not in little part due to the idiot import duties we have on electronics. What good do they do anyway, stupid duties. So high.

“I’m a citizen!”

There was once a boy named Jee, who studied in Madras. While in this college, he met another boy, slightly older, called Diwali. The two got along rather well, and spent a lot of time with potted plants. Indeed, it seemed quite a passion. One day, in anticipation of some very creative work for a Saturday that was to come, the two decided to attend to their plants with a couple of Jee’s friends, Dren and the Breeze. After enjoying themselves that night, Jee and Diwali decided to return home. It was two in the morning.

In Madras, no one walks around at two in the morning except incredibly pot-bellied policemen on bicycles, a hilarious sight for a normal man and patently side-splitting for our heroes. With great restraint, they passed the policeman and walked on, carrying Jee’s laptop on which they had watched some anime. Diwali liked anime, very much, and so did Jee. The policeman, however, exercised no such restraint, possibly because he liked anime but had none. Mumbling like a cow, he summoned the duo and asked them for all sorts of things. At this point, outraged by this assault upon his person, Jee, endowed by the power of botany, counter-attacked, “I am a citizen!”, he said, “I have the right to go where I want in public in this country!”. The policeman was fat, and he had a funny hat, so he responded with some accusations that Jee was drunk. Jee was not, in fact, drunk. He was in a state that the Taliban puts women in when the women are accused of adultery. Diwali, however, understands policemen at two o’ clock and the things they like to do, so with a deferential tone in his voice and a polite bow he asked forgiveness and removed both of them from the scene. The policeman stood in silence and contemplated the purpose of his life.

And they said vodka is bad for you

Liars! All of them. It saves lives. Suren will agree with me. Many a time, his sorry ass has been saved by a bottle of vodka. Why, this one time he nearly died of ethylene glycol poisoning and he had to self-administer shots of vodka every half an hour. Poor chap. Fortunately, it is a very good antidote and saved his life. How many people in his position have died because they have too strong a moral stance? How many religious nutcases have destroyed a suicidal man’s life by proscribing vodka? When will we learn the beauty of this lovely liquid, something that one in three Russian men can already see?

Cartoon Propaganda – The Truth Behind Those Lovable Characters

Slap a Jap??!Yes, Bugs Bunny is racist, and not just the quiet racist type, he’s violently racist and likes blowing up “slant eyes“. Maybe we should let the dead past bury its dead, and allow our childhood favourites to exist in their own happy innocent bubble, or maybe not. I liked Bugs, goddammit, he was a bunny and that makes all the difference. You can’t make Bugs Bunny a racist and not kill off the cartoon childhood of any person. Hey, we know that you were at war and stuff. We know you had to make them out to be stupid and you had to use stereotypes to promote support but why the hell did you have to drag this guy into it. He was supposed to be a practical joker, not some replacement G.I. Joe. And then there’s the retarded SNAFU cartoons with evil spy women with microphones on their breasts. And surely during this time of war you would want to unite your population, yes? No. Because, hey! The blacks are all lazy and big-lipped. They like wearing bones through their noses and they beat on drums and throw spears at the nice white people. They also beg for money to buy war bonds with. The Japanese have an equally bad time, but I can’t say it as well as the guy who wrote the article can. Heck, they get beaten up by Popeye and compared to dogs. But then, here in India, we’re no strangers to that are we? Treating people like dogs, not getting beaten by Popeye.

A quote from the Head Injury Theater article Nazi Nipples is GO:

It sucks to be black in old cartoons. It sucks to be Japanese because you’ll be short, need glasses, and a lot of orthodontic work. Germany has bad leaders. Wait a second. Why is it that in these cartoons they depict the Japanese as being evil down to the last man, while when it comes to Germany they only depict the country’s leaders as being goofy morons? Is it because you couldn’t demonize people of Germanic descent because that would include a large chunk of America’s population?

Ha ha, nice question at the end.

Fundamentalist Church Compels Polygamy – Expels Young Boys

Well well well, look at this. Apparently, to reach their idea of a heaven a man must have atleast three wives. Their former ‘prophet’, Rulon Jeffs had some 75 wives and some 65 children. Apparently he convinced them that they were preserving the ‘bloodline’ of Jesus Christ, whatever that is. Very nice. His son, the current ‘prophet’, Warren Jeffs, married all except two of his father’s wives, and probably suffers from some variant of the Oedipus complex. This fellow was on the Top Ten Most Wanted list that the FBI released in 2006 because he’s committed sex crimes like sleeping with a minor and shit like that and he’s now in custody. Good for them.

Sadly, when one man’s got three wives, there are not enough wives to go around, so you have to ensure there are 1/3rd as many guys as girls. This is easily handled, find an excuse to get rid of the boy kids. Sure you don’t kill them or anything but you send them off with nothing but the clothes on their back. Let them fend for themselves, after all, you need that third wife. Luckily there are nicer people in this world, and they’ve helped these guys get a home and get jobs. Ah America, what contrasts!

Here’s the story where I noticed this: Boys Cast Out by Polygamists Find Help – New York Times. You know, the New York Times, that’s the way a news website should be: clean and easy to read, and a button to click to make it all appear on a single page. Kudos to them!

At the end of that story you’ll see a little bit about a guy named Marc who was thrown out of his house because he drove to another town to watch a movie. His father’s four wives were also ‘re-assigned’. Re-assigned?!! What the hell?

My Brilliance or lack thereof

This morning I woke up with a funny idea in my head, the idea that primes are neatly ordered. At first I thought I was being brilliant, it was a wonderful idea. Every positive integer > 3, has atleast one pair of primes equidistant from it. For primes, the pair of equidistant primes are the prime itself. For every other number, you can see a pair like this. Now, this seemed really smart until I decided to think of the two primes as n + a and n – a (n being the positive integer in question and a being the distance away). Adding the two leads to 2n, an even number. Now basically, what I’ve said is that every even number is the sum of two primes. Hello Goldbach! :(

Craziest comic I’ve seen!

Venus Leopard Women Firing Comet Intensified Blasts from Head-Guns while riding Space Lizards This is the pinnacle of the Golden Age of Comics, and is characteristic of the work of Fletcher Hanks. The way he thinks up origins for his super-villains is hilarious, and the nutjobs that result are like something out of a surrealist comedy movie about incredibly bad luck. For example, take the origin of Professor Zomax. Brilliant! Simply brilliant! Makes even Venusian Leopard Women shooting from Head-Guns while riding Space Lizards look tame. Sir, I take off my hat to thee. Your skill with the legendary weapon Copy-Paste will be remembered forever, passing from history to legend but never to myth.

For more Comics of the Absurd (forgive me, Eugène), go to Mister Kitty’s Comics. Oh jesus, the craziness.

Update: For a book on Fletcher Hanks that includes some of his more obscure stories and a commentary, look at I shall destroy all the civilised planets.

The Room that George lived in – 2

DSCN2729thumb.JPGIn the absence of having anything else to talk about, I shall continue in this vein. I would’ve opened the windows when I took the photograph but it was raining at the time and the last thing I want is a wet bed in the corner that won’t dry. That and my books, books don’t like water. In this slide, class, we meet my venerable old cupboard. If you have the strength of a 5-year old at least, you can pull the handle clear from the door. Naturally, that doesn’t help you to open it, so you have to shove it back again and turn it the right way. Ah wells. On top of the cupboard is the empty box for the music player. Boxes are useful, especially when you’ll be moving.

The book rack contains most of my lecture notes and worked problems, but there are also a bunch of books (another Wheel of Time, in there), The Grundrisse – Karl Marx, two German textbooks and a couple of Reader’s Digests (right-wing nonsense, but the jokes are good) and a tape cleaning set I haven’t used in years. The green books are my English textbooks from college, and they have some nice poems and a couple of good plays. Worth keeping if only for that. Most of the books on the lower racks are covered with a thick layer of dust, I haven’t touched them in ages. The ones that are in pencil I sometimes reuse, because going out to the stationery store to get more notebooks is a pain in the ass. DSCN3885rotthumb.JPG This is one of the cupboards, there’s a shelf with a couple of binders on the top, above the drawer. In the drawer is part of my collection of tapes, some coins from a coin collection spree I went on a long time ago, a bunch of stamps in a stamp book and some emirates phone cards. Also, my original Airtel pack. Pink Floyd Fan Badge for the person who can spot the one album that’s there on top of this pile instead of in the bottom shelf of my table.

The shelf underneath the drawer contains some textbooks, some novels and the book I track library borrowings in (so that all are returned in time). There’s also a packaged photo frame, I have no clue why that’s there. At the back of that shelf are some books I haven’t read in years (like 2-3 years) and when I looked they were covered in a couple of millimetres of dust like some long forgotten archive. Find the Peter Hamilton book for a small prize.

The bottom shelf contains my brother’s collection of those small polybutadiene bouncy balls and the bag (I’ve opened it for your viewing pleasure) contains a couple of human femurs and one side of a pelvis. There are also a couple of tibias in there. At the back of the shelf is my collection of Hot Wheels cars from when I was a kid. Ah good times, we didn’t need much to keep ourselves amused then, did we? I used to play with this bunch of wooden blocks, sort of like lego, except no interlocking pieces. It was rather neat, the best part about building a three foot tower of wooden blocks was kicking it down, or rolling one of the cylindrical blocks right into the bottom block in case the whole construction is one of those little tricks where you’ve got only one wine-glass stem style pillar and everything else is built to balance it.

Oh and that reminds me of marbles, I’ve lost my marbles (heh heh) and I can’t find them anywhere. I had this lovely collection with these wonderful shapes inside, blue, green all colours. Oh, good times. There’s nothing like looking back at childhood, it’s always through rose-tinted glasses. Good times, good times.

The Room that George lived in

They say a man can be judged by the way he keeps his surroundings. Well, no, they don’t say that, but I just did anyway. So now, you can authoritatively claim that ‘they’ said it. Lovely word, ‘they’. So anyway, images of my room to keep you amused, though it says a lot for you if you find rooms amusing. DSCN2730thumb.JPG
The board above the air-conditioner is useful for sticking stuff on to. There’s nothing I’ve got going right now that needs an entry there so all that’s there is a bunch of torn scraps of paper. The guitar is there because there’s nothing to ease a block like playing some music (at least I hope it’s music). The bag is my bag, nothing to say there. The books are the ones I’m currently reading and two I’m hoping to read:

  • My Name is Red – Orhan Pamuk: Yeah, this is taking ages. It’s rather slow.
  • Name of a Rose – Umberto Eco: Good book. I’m enjoying it so far.
  • City of Joy – D. LaPierre: Planning on reading. I’d just borrowed it from Bikram that day.
  • Being and Nothingness – J. Paul Sartre: The other one on the to-read list.
  • Couple of books on Stephen Hawking: Nearly finished one, yet to start the other.
  • One book I can’t recognise from the photo.
  • Economic and Political Weekly

The pillow against the wall is where I recline, with the laptop comfortably placed at arms reach at the right height. The black bag is the laptop case. The colourful cloth is a towel and the belt in the corner is a belt. That is my bedroom. My brother sleeps in another room and my parents in the room next to mine. The reason there are so many beds is that there’s just one air-conditioner and everyone but me crowds into this room to sleep when stuff gets hot. I just sleep in the heat.
DSCN2731thumb.JPG
This is the array of shelves which houses stuff that I need to grab quickly in case the government finally decides to send its men to get me, or in case I’m late to college. It’s also where the music collection is kept (other than the tapes and LPs which are kept elsewhere, besides I don’t want to listen to Bee Gees LPs and the tapes are rather old now, so I don’t pull them out any longer).

The book in the foreground is Suren’s and it’s part of Peter Hamilton’s Night’s Dawn trilogy (each book having two parts, making six real books) which is really good. Do not tell Suren you’re reading it or he’ll give you fake spoilers (I repeat this everywhere so that you may be warned that he is a dangerous being, not to be trusted). Other than that, the rest of the books are:

  • Two German-English dictionaries and some German instruction books.
  • Two guitar instruction books and one little anthology of some western classical music for the guitar.
  • Some of my notebooks from last semester and I’m not sure if that’s Differential Calculus by Ghosh & Maity or Fundamentals of Physics by Resnick, Halliday and Walker.
  • Two CDs, Bob Dylan and the other Paul Simon. That’s James Taylor on the lower shelf.
  • My wallet and watches, and the laptop charger. Also, my lovely Nokia 1100. I absolutely love this phone, it does exactly what I would expect a phone to do. I can message and talk and it has the least buttons of all the phones I’ve seen. When I replace it, I hope I can buy one just like this model.
  • There’s bonus points somewhere in the picture for the person who finds the Wheel of Time book.

The middle deck, with the remote, has the CD player and a large number of CDs. Also a couple of books and some guitar tabs for To Yelasto Pedi by Mikis Theodorakis (Sky 4 version, which I can’t find sheet music for, without paying. Heard it on cassette ages ago, and I could only recreate part from memory.) and Fade to Black – Metallica. The brown book is Absurd Drama, a collection of four plays that showcase drama of the absurd, good stuff. The cassette is The Ragpicker’s Dream – Mark Knopfler (the Dire Straits dude) and the cover contains the second book from the Discworld series. I found it in Landmark in Spencer’s the other day. I shall gift it to someone and then borrow it immediately :P

The drawer on the right is where I keep letters, notes (not my lecture notes), cards, and articles and poems that people hand over to me for the college newsletter. The drawer on the left contains god alone knows what. Those are my clothes on the floor, my favourite shirt! The door leads out to the balcony where the Lung Tas hang.

Ta-dah! That’s my room, and I love it but frankly, Bikram’s room back in Gangtok is the best place I’ve ever seen. On a cloudless day, you can see Kanchenchunga right outside the window and the view, oh the view! Lovely lovely.

Obligatory Blog Update

It is necessary to keep moving. So I shall. Here is a blog update.

Funny Newspaper Clippings:

Ha ha. Funny. See funny newspaper clippings. Laugh at clippings. Enjoy.

Funny news stories:

Ha ha. Not so funny after all. But very gratifying. Idiot Scientologists. And as for you speed junkies, here’s coming at you. Idiot two-wheelers.

Random observation:

Have you ever noticed how upset Americans get when some foreigner does their job for less, but how supportive they are of ‘Free Trade’ and swamping other countries’ markets? Well, sirs, ha ha. I’m laughing at you. Idiots.