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.

Pongal Holidays

Yay! I’ve got a whole week’s worth of holidays coming up, courtesy of it being Pongal for a few days. That’s one thing I love about India, there are always festivals for you to have holidays on. Of course, one thing I hate about India is the number of festivals involving a noisy bunch of people breaking melons on the roads and then proceeding to slip and crack their skulls on the same mashed melons a couple of days later. Like one of Pipe’s acquaintances said, “Why are they wasting vegetables?”

Anyway, what’s new is I’ll be posting much fewer ads after this last one because I can’t bear the sight of looking at the index page so full of that stuff. So another month and it’ll be clean all over again. It didn’t help that Google’s latest update sent my PageRank back down to 2 so I won’t get that many ads to post either. That’s a good thing, I suppose.

WordPress: HowTo Exclude Specific Categories From The Index Of A Blog

Sometimes, when you want someone else to look at your blog but not see posts belonging to one category. Try the following link to my blog index for instance: George Files without Ads or Friends. You should see my index page without posts that belong to the Ads or Friends category. This is rather useful if you want people to just see certain posts of your blog and you have lots of categories. Just put it as a space separated list in the cat variable.

Here’s an example of a link:
http://blog.arjie.com/index.php?cat=-37%20-29
The %20 is a space, and the numbers 37 and 29 are the category ids for the categories that I don’t want to include. If you use the numbers without the – sign in front of them only those categories will be displayed.

Fancy Vehicles

LexusLately they’ve been a lot of expensive cars going around Madras. The other day I saw a Lexus turning at the Cancer Institute signal, and today I saw a Suzuki Hayabusa today in front of my college. Man that thing looks beautiful!

A long while ago I saw a BMW parked outside the Audits office near DMS, it’s obvious what auditing is going on, eh? Okay okay, it was a really old vehicle. Then there’s Shray’s convertible, damn it, it’s enough to make you cry, looks freaking awesome. Lots of people with very expensive cars around here. Its funny, where’s all the money coming from? Give me some too!

And a UN High Commissioner for Refugees Land Cruiser in Gandhinagar? He must’ve been driving cross-country across the Gandhinagar club grounds or something or there’s no way they would use something as wasteful as that to drive across the cities. It’s the UN! It cares!

Marc’s going to be on TV

Well, on air anyway, he’s going to be on BBC’s Have Your Say program. That’s pretty nice, they’re going to talk about the Tata 1 Lakh car, must’ve found him via his blog post on that particular subject. That’s awesome. Naturally, once you know this you want him to say something that you’ve thought of so you can call him and talk to him. If I wasn’t baked out of my mind, I’d say something extremely witty, but right now I can’t think of anything.

He’s on at 11, don’t miss the Z speak.

Interesting Spam

Back in the good old days, I used to get thousands of spam comments per day, but before that I only had a regular flow of twenty or so. In those days I actually bothered reading through the moderation list and removing the spam which got through Akismet. Some of those messages had very interesting text. Here are a few I had saved as a draft a long while ago.

  • Bangem smurf and domination: What were they thinking? Perhaps they too believed that the Smurfs were commies too?
  • Male strippers in cincinnati: I don’t know why I put this here. It’s not even funny. I mean, anyone looking for that can get precisely that on Google Maps. They didn’t even need to advertise, especially on a blog in Madras, India.
  • Prune juice for baby constipation: This is just twisted but I’ve got to admit that it’s got a use. Remember that annoying little kid at some relative’s place that kept biting you for no reason? Give him constipation, buy our prune juice.
  • Professional clown shoes: Professional clown shoes, a growing market that some say may eventually force amateur clown shoes out. Horrifyingly, the link included with the text pointed to a site full of naked women without clown shoes!
  • Really really want spice: Oh my god! It’s the Return Of The East India Company! Get Aamir Khan on the line, we need to make another movie.
  • The walrus and the carpenter: were walking hand in hand. They wept like anything to see such quantities of spam. And the link seemed to imply that both the walrus and the carpenter needed Sildenafil citrate
  • Poop com in apartments pantie: This reads like some Borat text. “Poop come in pantie, 4th best poop in apartment!” I wonder what they were advertising, I hear it’s something about a cup.

Unlock your DVD player region code

A lot of people I know get a relative to buy them something when that relative is coming back from The Gulf, and very often this is some electronic item. Naturally, everyone wants a DVD player and gets one but they can’t play their DVDs because while The Gulf is in Region 2, we’re in Region 5 and so none of the cheap DVDs found here will play on the region 2 player. Usually they just get very disappointed and decide to try another movie or borrow the neighbour’s player.

But all that is unnecessary, with a DVD Unlocker from http://www.dvdunlocker.com/ you can unlock your player’s DVD region and make it play either another regions DVDs using just a few menu buttons and a few clicks here and there.

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.

Catch-22 at the reservation counter

The Tambaram Railway Station likes to be almost disabled friendly. For a long time they had a ramp for people to wheel up, except the ramp seemed to be blocked for use, there was one of those big traffic control barriers across it. Now the barrier is gone, but the ramp is a sight, the handrail rises at a funny angle so that at the bottom the ramp it’s at the level of your ankle and at the top it’ll be at the height of a standing person.

Another example of their almost-helpful policy is the following sign. How Nice!, one would like to say.

Catch-22

There is a problem, of course, the sign is on the first floor. You can get to the first floor only by using the stairs. This is a classic Catch-22! If you can get to the sign, you aren’t eligible for the ‘priority’ because you aren’t disabled and if you’re disabled you’re eligible but you can’t get any ‘priority’ because you can’t get up there in person. The Railways has quite the penchant for black humour.

Tests – Complex Analysis

We have tests, and I’m reaping exactly what I sowed: nothing. It’s quite painful really, to go there and stare at the question paper and have no clue whatsoever as to how to solve what’s there. I was planning on getting the text book, but Higginbothams was closed on Sunday, and so I didn’t have a textbook. Other universities were very helpful though, and this is one reason I love foreign colleges. They have all sorts of lectures put up in PDFs so you can get a hint of what you’re getting. They’re not complete though, I think. You still need a textbook, which I never did get till around half an hour before the test. Yeah, that’s just asking for it, especially since I haven’t attended one hour of this class before.

Anyway, here’s a couple of useful links:

Meanwhile, I also noticed a bug in File Roller. It will ask you for a RAR password if the RAR archive you’re downloading isn’t yet complete (which would be the case if it was downloading and not downloaded).