The sword of insanity against inanity

"There is a pleasure in being mad. It is none but the madman's" - Old Klingon Proverb.


Thol to T9 in Thamizh... ?

The most frequent letters in the English alphabet... are "e t a o i n s r h".. do you realize in most cases it is ergonomically inneffecient to type withouth the dictionary option.. in the cell key pad ?.. "E, N" requires two key presses.. "I" and "O" 3... and "S" the only letter to have 4 key presses... who designed it.. ??? What a godsend the T9 system would have been...

That brings us to the question... since we will nt have a T9 system for some of the local languages in india.. would it be better to have a text entry method for Thamizh... with a different ordering of the english lettters ? Where the most popular letters... in Thamizh are arranged with the fewest keystrokes ???

i am now giving more work for "Maa Nannan" and Thol Thirumavalavan...


Are monkeys a race ?

Hey.. how can someone calling someone else a monkey be called "Racist"... I thought monkeys were a species not a race... Maybe Harbhajan is a "Speciesist"...
And also whats all this about Harbajan being evaluated through a hearing.. I thought it was Bucknor who needed a hearing test...

Jokes apart, we are still waiting for the whole sordid affair to unravel... (I never thought I would use this adjective in association with cricket... after the betting scandal)... What is this after all going to rake ? The attitude of the Australians ? They were playing the only 'cricket' they know... which is to raise a ruckus with every country that tours them... They did it against Sri Lanka.. called them monkeys (and were not fined for it). They have always done it against England... those guys just laugh it off... and so do almost everyone else. Australians are not at fault here. It is just their nature to be unprofessional.

The only sane reasoning I have heard over the last two hours was Sunny Gavaskar who directly asked the question... "Why are we talking about technology here? Shouldn't we be talking about having better umpires?". So, having known the nature of Australian cricket, isn't it the umpire's duty to be doubly cautious wile mkaing decisions... And what does this bright chap Mark Benson do ? He asks Ponting (a guy who did not even have the integrity to walk when he edges the ball) to depute for the third umpire. Was Benson in some kind of hurry to get home?

What we need to evaluate is also the way any news item is beng spun out of control by the media. Over the last couple of hours I have had the misfortune of watching the various news channels giving their own spin of the events. NDTV promptly reported that Mumbai is ablaze because two kids they interviewed expressed their anger against Bucknor. Headlines Today flashes the mugs of the two umpires and blatantly calls them cheats. Times Now.. time and again flashes the footage of the Ganguly dismissal... in a split screen, and on the other side, a group of people hitting a sack with "Bucknor" written on it. Enough already!


Are SMS contests lotteries ?

I have always wondered about this. Gambling is banned in Tamil Nadu... right.. ? Then how can cell phone companies make money... by making people respond to truly simple questions like "Do we have red on the Indian tricolour?"... and charge 6 Rs per SMS ?

Doesn't that amount to gambling ? even people without money might just charge their cell phone for 10 rs to answer that question in the hope of winning a Motor bike. The sponsor and the cell phone company would recieve a lak of SMSes, which would more than cover the prize money.

Is this gambling ?


Reasons vs Excuses

Do people know the difference between a reason and an excuse ?

We keep hearing excuses and people pass those off as reasons all the time. Do you remember the day when India had Australia at 120 odd for 6. then India went ahead and made Australia score 400 during that innings. 300 more runs of the last 4 wickets.

You know what the 'reason' was? Andrew Symonds was NOT given out when he was in single digits. To me that is nto a reason. That at best is a lame excuse. Something like.... why are you late to work? "It was raining." I have only one word for such people. "Umbrella".


Twenty 20. Does the toss matter?

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Since it is the trend in almost all blogs.. (Except this popular one) to post some comment on "Super Star's Sivaji", (the name in itself is a shameless gimmick), I will post some of my thoughts too,

1. Apparently it is the flavour of the month to be 'obsessed with Sivaji'. People greet each other with.. "Sivaji tickets vaangiyacha?", and each seems to have his own theory about
what the story is. This pervades through the NRI community too. There are guys who used to think 'Annamalai' was a tech college in South TN, who seem to be genuinely interested in Sivaji. A change of time zones... definitely screws up perspective.

2. Secondly, there are these people who despise the movie because Rajini is overly hyped, and that it is stupid to like his movies. I agree partly, but then if you do not like Rajini movies, then possibly you really cannot watch any other Thamizh movie except maybe "Mozhi" and maybe some of the comedies that Crazy coems up with for Kamal.

'Masala movies', characterized by a phenomenal introduction to the hero, a hero who is a paradigm of ALL virtues, a hero who bashes goon up with his little finger have been the norm even since MGR's hey days. Every Tamil/Telugu hero has followed the same idea. So blaming Rajini for starting the 'trend' is like blaming Saddam for being the first demagogue. Saddam definitely shined in being a cruel demagogue, but by no means was he the pioneer in that art.

3. There is also lots of speculation about how much money this movie would make,and how much greater Rajini is, than the 'Khans' because he makes so much more money. Obtuse reasoning. What I felt was, that irrespective of how much money any of these guys make, none of it is goign to be recycled into the betterment of society. The irony is that Shankar, the director has made movie after movie after movie about how a single man can change society for the better, but still, does not do anything to actually help. (I could be wrong on that... I am not Shankar's auditor... maybe he siphons some money into Vidhyakar's organization).

4. Finally... it is just a movie you guys.. !!! not worth getting worked up so much about it... :-). I get worked up watching you get worked up over the movie!!!


If our gaaptan were to analyze Cricket...

Number of matches in the league stage - 24
Number of worthwhile matches (between two seeded teams) - 4
Number of games in the super 8s - 24
Two of the teams are useless to even watch, 13 of the matches are hence trashed
Number of worthwhile matches - 11
2 semifinals, 1 final.

So, total watchability index of this world cup ... 18 / 51... only about one third of the matches were worth watching.

People following Indian cricket - 60 percent of one billion - 600 million.
People following Pakistani cricket - 60 percent of 200 million - 120 million
People following Srilankan, West indian, Australian, South African, New Zealand and English cricket - about 30 million.
720 million of 750 million now, do not have direct interest in the results

Study by news channels mentioned that worldcup watchers reduced from 60 percent when India was present to less than 30 percent when India was eliminated. The same figure could be used for Pakistan. Worldcup viewers reduced to 390 million from 750 million because India and Pakistan were eliminated. Dawood's gain was cricket sponsor's loss.
This directly impacted on the reduction of advertisement costs per 10 seconds. Rates were reportedly slashed from 4.5 laks for a ten second slot to about 1.2 laks. What does that translate to? Increasing ads between overs making cricket telecast unwatchable for the average cricket fan. During yesterday's match I counted the time slotted for the bowler to complete 6 balls and the time slotted for the ads. This is what I came up with.

Time slotted for the bowler (which shows him just delivering the first ball. The run-up and the field adjustmentsare deemed unimmportant when compared to watching the Bachan guy nodding his head to MOTOROKR). These are average figures compiled when there were no wickets falling.

Time during over : 180 seconds
Time between overs : 55 seconds (sometimes they even cram 3 ads between overs)
In the event of a wicket falling, break duration:120 seconds
2 drinks breaks:300 seconds each

So on average, during a 50 over innings, with 10 wickets falling, you get to watch 150 minutes of cricket and 70 minutes of ads. You watch a little less than 3 minutes of cricket before being thrust upon rudely by almost a minute of advertisements.
Just to keep it in perspective, music channels play 5 minutes of a song/narration before interrupting the program with a 30 second commercial break. Watching cricket these days is like watching a sequence of ads interspersed by a few guys throwing a ball about.

Apart from all these inter-over disturbances there is a ticker that runs at the bottom of the TV screen ALL THROUGH THE GAME asking you if you want to get married, a dancing tiger that comes up in the event of a boundary completely drowing the commentators and another ticker what crops up in the middle of the screen during third umpire decisions that completely hide the action. On average, the Sony Logo, the marriage ticker at the bottom, the tiger and the replay ticker take away 20 percent of your screen directly.

On Wednesday, the encroachment of advertisements was so irritating that I switched off the game and started following the match on the web. Atleast I could get whatever information I needed whenever... Maybe I do sound like a 60 year old... but I definitely miss those glorious days when the ONLY ad available to Doordarshan was the "Only Vimal" ads. Which was played for 10 seconds religiously at the end of each over. We had the comfort of watching all aspect of cricket apart from just the ball hiting the bat.

I sometimes get a feeling pretty soon there would be a bunch of people who would watch the game just for the ads, and not for the game pretty much like most desis watch the Superbowl. The way Indians are playing, that day is not too far off. I look forward to the day BCCI is bouht over by WWE and Vince McMohan becomes the CEO.