Sunday, April 30, 2006

Mahima and Shilpa for Palme D'Or

Found out the list of nominations for this year's Palme D'Or at Cannes. Seems Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's (of Amores Perros and 21 Grams fame) next movie, Babel, is one of the movies in the list. I was surprised to see Mahima Chaudhary and Shilpa Shetty's names in the cast list on Babel's IMDb page. The plot summary doesn't say anything about one of the stories being set in India, so I guess Mahima and Shilpa will probably play Indians living in Morocco, Tunisia, Mexico or Japan.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

pseudopost++

While I try to finish my work and think about things to blog, you people go read something else. Like this hilarious post by Greatbong! Not as hilarious as I expected but filled with a couple of gems here and there.. overall quite entertaining.. :)

Friday, April 28, 2006

post++

Just commented on this post of Vivek's about languages, gaalis and their offensiveness. I know it should probably be considere cheating if one just copy-pastes his comment on someone else's blog and counts it as a post, but its better to do this rather than not post anything for a month, no?

Anyway, here is my reply. Reading the original post will probably provide some necessary context to this.
hmmmm I remember wondering about this English/hindi gaali funda when I first came across english gaalis (at IIT I guess)... but since then I have had experiences that have illuminated the issue for me. I don't think the degree of offensiveness/obscenity of any word has a lot to do with the actual meaning. Probably only to the extent that these words started to be considered offensive/obscene because of the meaning but the degree is more often than not "learned" from your family/society. You realize it only when you come across a word that you have seemingly always considered highly offensive and then you come across another word that means exactly the same thing and yet doesn't offend you. Its amazing how quickly our reactions get correlated with just the way a word "sounds". I suspect that if someone does a study about the order of interpretation of a word's meaning by brain and the onset of the feeling of offense, it will be found that the latter probably precedes the former. Or at least that they are not necessarily correlated to a high degree.
There was a time when I uttered a particular word that didn't mean anything to me and ended up offending a Puerto Rican friend of mine because it was a highly offensive word in spanish. So much so that she visibly flinched every time I said the word and could not bring herself to say the word aloud even when she was actually explaining the meaning. Like I said, very often we just reflexively react to a lot of these sounds. If you wonder why "Maadar**od" is so much more offensive to hindi-speakers than "Motherf***er" is, consider why "T*tti" is considered a dirtier word that "Paikhana"... or "G**nd" dirtier than "Pichhwaada". The whole concept of a euphemism is based on the fact that we don't react to the meaning of a word but the word itself (which probably means the sound pattern).. and a corollary to that is that we tend to react more strongly to the words in the language we grow up with rather than an acquired language. No wonder you get to hear "Sh*t" much more often in IIT than in a US campus.

ID and ET

Slashdot has a discussion going on about this picture (released to celebrate 16th anniversary of HST). The discussion took a little detour to this picture of Hubble Ultra Deep Field released earlier by NASA and someone came up with this gem...
I love how my dad, a fundy christian, looks at the deep field, and says to me "and people think there isnt life elsewhere out there, in all of that, there *has* to be", and then sees me reading "the origin of species" and tells me "you know, thats just called the theory of evolution."


somehow he manages to believe in aliens halfway across the known universe, and that god created the earth and everything on it in 7 days. /rant over


Funny!

Monday, April 24, 2006

Materialist Me.

Here goes.... no idea what to make of it... specially because the questions were so completely ambiguous that selecting any given answer was extremely difficult. What can you do when you know that disagreeing with "Spirituality halts the progress of society" would be interpreted as being "Romanticist" or, horror-of-horrors, "Fundamentalist" when all you want to say is that "possibly it has helped the human species to survive and there is no reason to believe that it might not have any evolutionary significance and survival advantage value in the short or the long term"... Or consider a statement as profoundly idiotic as "It is humanity's responsibility to progress". What does one do with this? what is meant by "progress"? defined by whom? "responsible" to whom? to the "creator"? No idea... Sigh! anyway, here are the results...

You scored as Materialist. Materialism stresses the essence of fundamental particles. Everything that exists is purely physical matter and there is no special force that holds life together. You believe that anything can be explained by breaking it up into its pieces. i.e. the big picture can be understood by its smaller elements.

Materialist

81%

Modernist

63%

Postmodernist

56%

Fundamentalist

44%

Existentialist

44%

Idealist

38%

Romanticist

25%

Cultural Creative

19%

What is Your World View? (updated)
created with QuizFarm.com

busy busy..

Have been extremely busy over last couple of months... I know that sounds like a lame excuse coming from me, but there really isn't any other reason why I havent been blogging much. (Ok, maybe I had some time to blog while in Venice but its not exactly easy to blog when you don't have internet access... I was surprised the universe didn't collapse while I was unable even to check my mail... )

Anyway, should be back to blogging once this bubble of busy-ness bursts.. should be in a couple of weeks.. hopefully..

Meanwhile, a completely useless test result is coming next up. I only did it because Vivek said so here. Can't say I was terribly impressed though.