Friday, January 30, 2009

What Is The Probability Of..?

Would definitely like to read this book someday. I wish this book was available when I was a student. Not that I did not grasp the concepts when I was in school - Dr. Chaudhury made sure that I did, but perhaps I would have scored an A instead of the usual B had I read this book.

Just a thought.

Update on 10/25/2010: I had to increase the size of the image because I am trying a new feature called Stipple It ( that lets you add comments and descriptive information about the object(s) in the picture. For example, if you move your pointer over to the dot on the picture displayed above, you will see a window pop up with two icons - shopping cart and more info. You can buy the buy by just clicking on the Stipple It dot! Sadly Stipple It does not work on images less than 200 X 400 :-(.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Please Vote For Me..

Just finished watching an independent film called "Please Vote For Me" on PBS which is about holding elections for the first time in an elementary school in China (Guhan) to elect the class monitor. After watching this movie my evergrowing fascination for China went further north, but for a moment I thanked God that my childhood was not spent in China.

The story is about 3 candidates - Xu Xaiofei, a girl; Cheng Cheng, perhaps the naughtiest boy in the class; and Lou Lei, the current class monitor (also a boy). The selection process starts with a talent show (which I missed), and goes on to a debate round in which all the three candidates confront each other on a one on one basis. Cheng Cheng and Xu are first, and Cheng totally insults her. He tells her that she cries, and lacks confidence. He also tells her that she is a slow eater to which she replies back saying that it's a personal habit. Cheng cleverly tells her that she should be setting examples for other students if she becomes the class monitor. If she eats slowly, then how does she expect the other kids to eat fast?

After the debate, Cheng tells Xu that she should have been prepared. She runs away from the camera - crying.

Lou and Cheng - Cheng tells Lou that he is a dictator, and a fascist! He also goes on to say that if elected, he would be a manager, and not a dictator. He would treat everyone equal, and that he would not pull anyone's clothes. Lou defends by saying that he is strict because if he is not then the other kids won't listen to him. "Parents beat their children when they misbehave" is what he adds, to which Cheng quickly says, " You are not an adult".

I should perhaps not divulge more details about this fascinating story about 8 year olds and the adults in their lives, all pushing the little kids to extremes, telling them about their failures, about what they would do when they grow up if they give up now; the speeches, the giving of "gifts" to influence votes, and the "quick thinking" of those little kids that always keeps them in the competition.

At first I was a little upset when I saw the parents discussing the election with their kids, preparing speeches, and making the kids memorize them("Watch your tone and expressions"), and getting annoyed when the kids did not listen. If I were a 8 year old in China, I probably would have ran away from my house. But, we as Indians are not new to pressure. We have been asked to meet our parents' demands all the times, and we have always tried to fulfill them - how many times we succeeded (or failed, in my case) is a different story.

I am just amazed at the so many things that cultural differences have taught me.

Here's a preview of "Please Vote For Me":

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Not Again!

First there was "I am a Mac", and then came "I am a PC" (after Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Gates totally sucked ass on the pointless MS commercials). Now, there's "I am an IBMer". The IBM commercials, however, are not about making fun of the competition, but more about CSR and innovation in technology that would help the planet. It's kind of fun to watch these commercials, but when all the folks go "I am an IBMer", I go, "seriously?". I mean, couldn't they really come up with something truly unique, something that would make IBM stand out from the rest of them, and that would make an IBMer proud? Hearing them go "I am an IBMer" on TV just makes me think that Apple is indeed a great company for having started a trend (yet again). Cheers to Apple's creativity, and boo to IBM's "let's just use their's" tactic ( or the lack of effort in coming up with something really nice and IBMish). Or did IBM hire the same ad agency that made the "I am a Mac" commercial? Whatever the case may be, the new IBM commercials are cool, but "I am an IBMer" somehow sounds a little lame.

Btw, Circuit City going out of business was a total shock to me. The company shut down overnight, and immediately released majority of its 34,000 workforce.


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

So Long, vsrao!

"Our records indicate you have left Illinois State University. You will lose electronic access in 1 days as described below.If you are a student, register for at least one class before January 15th, 2009 to avoid losing electronic access.On January 15th, 2009, your email account will be permanently removed. If you have an email forward set up, it will stop forwarding your email on this date.On January 15th, 2009, your ULID account will be permanently removed, and you will lose access to all ULID services, such as email, iCampus, Datastore01, Milner Library, etc.For more information, refer to . You may deactivate your ULID account before January 15th, 2009 by going to .Questions about this message may be directed to the University Computer Help Desk at 309-438-HELP (4357).Thank you,Computer Infrastructure Support Services"

My last link with Illinois State would break tomorrow. The Ulid vsrao would be permanently disabled, and my ilstu identity would cease to exist.

I am sad.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Wrongness in the Right..

I think I am at that stage of my life where I have to explain to everyone about why I am the way I am. Explanations were not really a part of my life around a few years ago because I was surrounded by people who knew me inside out, and vice versa. Living with roommates also was not really a problem because in three years even they got a general idea of what I was. But now I am surrounded by people who I don't know very well, and when I do or propose to do something - they question. They either ask "why" questions, or they think that I shouldn't be doing what I plan to do at all. Some of them think that I am a really sweet guy (which I guess I am, to some extent), but I always have to tell them that in my younger days I have had my share of fun. I have done a few extreme things that I am not really proud of, but I am not ashamed of them either. Indulging in such things is a part of growing up after all.

So anyway, justifying my actions is slowly becoming a way of life, which to be honest, is annoying. I sometimes miss my friends a lot, simply because I am sure I would have been a totally different person (my usual self, if you will) if they were around me.

I have mellowed down a lot (I think) which is perhaps both good and bad. Good because it suits my age, and bad because I don't want it to suit my age. I want to be a wild animal like before, but miss the people who would help me become one.

I want catalysts who would bring my wild self back to life.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Are You Serious?

I am slightly irritated right since morning. I spoke to my mom this morning and what she told me came as a total shock. She wants me to get married. It was one of those "enough already" talks. Suddenly. My mom thinks this is the right time to get married. I asked what happened to the deal that we had about me not getting married for 2 years (one year is gone, btw). She said we would have to start looking now - it is a tedious process apparently. I told my sister about my chat with mom, and she also seconds mom's sentiment. She wants to talk to me in detail about all this.

So now I have no support whatsoever. I used to look at my single friends and kind of sympathised with them when they said that their parents are pressuring them to get married. I am one of them now I guess. Well, my parents are not really pressuring me, but it might just start - you never know.

Mom also said that I should reduce/quit smoking and drinking if I haven't already. I said I have quit smoking. She said she was glad I said that. She also told me that I should change my lifestyle and that I should be more accomodating and all that.

Man, it's a very strange and awkward feeling. My life would totally change if I get married. I cannot see myself doing things that I normally do, with another person. It's so weird.

My brain has not been functioning since morning. I have been thinking about this. Oh God!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year!

Here's wishing a very happy new year to one and all. I hope this year brings cheer and happiness to all of us. The global recession is a bitch, but I just hope our lives are not affected too much by it. 

May peace and prosperity reign this year. 


The Thin Black Line..

You know what else I  hate?

I hate butt cracks of men taking a sneak peek at me when their pants  slide down a little bit. It's just so damn gross. 

Especially when it's hairy.