Friday, April 30, 2004

lukkha in lab.....

finally decided to take a break from whatever little I am used to working in my lab.. so, aaj lab mein lukkha-day manaate hue... currently on a movie-trailer watching, spam sending, india-top-20-songs listening spree...

created a yahoogroup called "urlukkhas" today for those bechara souls who are always caned for their tendency to send not-quite-useful mails to our already existing "ur_indians" group.. and suddenly the spam has increased manyfold on the original group... amazing what a little competition can do!! :)

Also, just saw latest trailer of "The Village" and the trailer of "The Terminal".. both are looking good.. Though I am sort of getting bored by the unchanging look/mood of Shyamalan's movies.. I still have to see "Signs" and "The Village" gives you are "Signs" feel yet again.. Though obviously if it is good I wouldnt mind even a bit of deja-vu. As for "The Terminal" it would probably be a nicely made comedy a la "Catch me if you can". In any case, I think Spielberg is incapable of making more than one uninteresting movie within a 10 year span (and its not yet 10 years since "AI" released).

by the way, speaking of lukkhagiri wouldn't it be nice to work close to this place so that jab bhi lukkhagiri karne ka man kare aaraam se ki jaa sake.. :P

Thursday, April 29, 2004

Broke!!! :(

At the rate as which I have been breaking things in my lab, I am sure my advisor is going to give me the pink slip very soon. :( Broke a 150 USD flask about half an hour ago. :( I dont know how to break the news - no pun intended - to him when I'll meet him tomorrow. :(

Sounds Cool!!

And now another technological innovation! something called "thermoacoustics" promises to change the way we refrigerate. Penn State, working with Unilever, has developed this technology which uses Helium and soundwaves to generate refrigeration. No harmful chemicals like CFCs. just plain old innocuous Helium that escapes into space even if there's a leakage. There's an ice cream company called Ben & Jerry's which is using (or going to use?) this system for keeping its ice creams forzen.

jitna mujhe chamka hai, it somehow separates the heat collection in expansion and compression phases of a sound wave's cycle. So, during the compression phase, the heat is released and during the expansion phase, when the gas is cooling down, the system is connected to whatever needs to be cooled. Wonder how do they do it so fast though... or is the frequency of the sound too low? i dont know.. havent read the article completely myself. You can figure it out yourself by going to this link.

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

I haven't yet started using my gmail account with any regularity. Mainly because it doesnt have any "new mail alert" system. I think it would be difficult for anyone to make gmail his/her primary mail account unless they introduce mail alerts.

I stumbled on some interesting news stories online. here are the links...

1. Russian site is music to the ears

2. Spintronics

3. clips of onstage stripping by Nicole Kidman at West End.

Monday, April 26, 2004

This is turning out to be an unusually intense movie-watching phase even by my standards. This weekend I watched 5 movies and started to watch another. 4 of them were in one sitting!!! "Once upon a time in the midlands" was so-so... the music was superb though... "The Clerks" was okay too.. in fact in parts it was very funny... however, the production values were tacky and performances non-existant... still, worth a dekko for some funny sequences.... "Reservoir Dogs" is pretty interesting watch... if you take away one REALLY violent scene from the movie, its has some pretty entertaining dialogue... Still, its not quite as good as Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill... The "funny" side of Tarantino isn't quite as patent as in his latter movies... Moreover, that one scene is a bit too much... Pulp also had one such sequence, which can only be called "sick"... That is where Kill Bill is so different.. it doesn't have even one scene that I can call truely violent.. it was all pretty comic-book, eye-candy, popcorn-movie stuff... so even though there are more decapitations, limb slaughter and blood floods in Kill Bill than his earlier movies combined, its still not half as violent as some scenes in them...

"Meenaxi" was a bit too abstract... or maybe a bit too simplistic... you understand most of the things that are happening, but the problem is there isn't much happening in the first place.. all the three stories are so simple that it becomes boring... though I must say it wasn't quite as "unbearable" or "unwatchable" as many people are saying... the BGM and cinematography kept me going... in fact, I had rented it mainly to watch the song picturizations... and they were nice, though not quite orginal... "Noor Un Ala" is so much like "Kehna hi Kya" that 'resemblance' would be a gross understatement... "chinnamma chilakkamma" is a like a poor attempt at copying "Humma Humma"... "ye rishta" has a "Pachchai Nirame" feel to it... and "Rang Hai" reminded me of some scenes from "kandukondain kandukondain"... "Badan Dhuaan Dhuaan" has nice choreography though.. and not unoriginal either... however, Tabu's body sort of doesnt gel well with all the dancing... she must be one of the least graceful dancers around... anyway, I wouldnt say the picturizations weren't good.. after all, the fact that some of sehwag's shots remind you of Sachin obviously implies that Sehwag looks good too... I dont think they could've chosen many better songs to try and imitate than what they did...

"China Town" was the fifth movie I saw.. A Roman Polanski movie. Its a murder mystery and a good one too... Jack Nicholson did a good job as the private investigator protagonist... I dont know if he has done too many great movies in the past or is it a coincidence that I keep watching all his good movies very frequently... I have seen three good movies now, with Jack Nicholson giving bravura performances in all of them. The other two were "One flew over the cuckoo's nest" and "The Shining".

Friday, April 23, 2004

I told my officemate about my blog today. He was very amused to learn that mostly my postings are concerened with movies, cricket and little else. He seemed to think that some thoughts about science will be in order. hmmm... so... I dont know what to think about science. :) lets think about a scientist then. aaj hi net par kuchh to Einstein ke baare mein dekh raha tha and I came across this site about Mileva. Nice little details about Einstein's wife (and more importantly his love :) ). Look it up.

So much about science ( i know i know there was zilch about science in that... still.. :) ). Lets come back to the usual movies gossip. I saw four good movies last week.. "Kill Bill-2", "Annie Hall", "Farewell My Concubine" and "Paths of Glory"..

Annie Hall was very funny. I would highly recommend it to anyone who likes witty dialogue and "hatke" comedy. Its a Woody Allen movie by the way. I didnt know he makes such funny movies! Maybe this is his only good romantic comedy. But its really good. watch it!

Farewell My Concubine is a chinese film. Lavish in scale and hardhitting in impact, it will simply blow you away. It was pretty slow to start with but picked up pace (or maybe you just start caring for the characters and dont mind the slowness of the narrative any longer... I guess thats the case... it draws you in.. ). And ended superbly! The last 40-45 minutes are simply mindblowing! Those scenes themselves are worth more than the price of the rental, many times over.

Paths of Glory is a Stanley Kubrick movie. My fifth to date. (since you ask, the other four are: "Dr. Strangelove", "The Shining", "2001: A Space Oddyssey" and "A Clockwork Orange"). It was good too. Though probably its effect was somewhat dulled because I saw "Farewell My Concubine" after it. Watch it if you like war dramas. Though its more drama than war.
YOOHOO!!!! ab mai bhi geek!!! :))

thanx to Vivek, I found out that I only needed to log into my blog account to get an invite for gmail!!! :) I guess the happiness is not about getting a gmail account. Its more about getting an invitation to be a Beta tester.. :)))

Sunday, April 18, 2004

As I said in previous post, I saw "Kill Bill - 2" yesterday. here follows a concise review.

Vol 2 isn't quite like Vol 1. While Vol 1 was complete style and absolutely no story, driven primarily by stunning action, soundtrack and cinematography, vol 2 is almost completely dialogue and character driven. the whole of vol 2 doesnt have half as much violence as the bride vs crazy 88 sequence in vol 1. So, even though Vol 1 was more exciting, vol 2 isn't any less satisfying. Though it took some time to build up some speed in the narrative, once it does it becomes thoroughly enjoyable. Tarantino's writing is probably the single most outstanding feature of vol 2 as it was of Pulp Fiction. In that sense vol 2 is closer in genre to Pulp Fiction than Vol 1.

Uma Thurman gets more to do here than she did in vol 1. and she does it extremely well. her vengeful bride is as convincing as the pretty bride-to-be at the wedding chapel as also the doting "mommy" at the end. David Carradine was superb! His Bill was just the right mix of big-boss intimidation and villainous charm.

As for other things, the soundtrack isnt quite as over the top (and hence as exciting) as vol 1. But as I alluded to earlier, the enjoyable dialogue makes sure you'll love this part as well!!
Most of my friends are either busy with their studies or are just plain not interested in talking to me. :( so, as it always happens with me, all the time that I have on my hands is getting devoted to watching more and more movies.. :) I saw "Solyaris", "Once upon a time in the west", "Raging Bull", and "Mystic River" recently.. not to forget "Kill Bill - 2" that I saw yesterday. I also began reading "Atlas Shrugged". Though I dont think I'll be able to finish it anytime soon. Its difficult to find time to read anything. lets see..