zigzackly's omnium-gatherum *
|Quid quid latine dictum sit, altum videtur|
Reactions, suggestions, any kind of feedback is always welcome.
We, the Media;
Son of CSF.
Now and then, when Hurree needs a holiday, i pinch-hit at Kitabkhana.
We endorse, approve of, and throughly adore:
Other Thieves of our Time
D Mervin Ffingir writes, and having writ, moves on:
Friday, January 27, 2006
That's what some erudite person searched for, and found this blog. And guess what? Thanks to a quote on our sidebar and one quote from an article that mentions the city that we still stubbornly call Bombay, we're the number one for the term.
Any pron sites want to buy ad space from us?
Thursday, January 26, 2006
..Desicritics, the blog that everyone has been talking about, which is now open for business.
We have mixed feelings.
The positives first.
As both our readers know, we're a fervent evangelist and disciple of collablogs.
Add to that the site's promise to showcase excellent writing from the Indian blogosphere, and we're sold. And from an initial cursory flip through, it is defintely worth a bookmark or an addition to your feedreader. Quantity and quality.
Set against that is the nagging discomfort we feel when we see human beings choose to replicate political boundaries in this wonderful, borderless world of blogs that we love so much. (And yes, we know we started indi³. We're conflicted. Sue us.)
[Extremely opinioniated statement warning]
And then there's the design.
The blogcritics look is way too busy as it is, making it extremely difficult to enjoy their excellent content.
The look here takes the worst elements of that design and adds some clutter of its own. It's not so bad once you see the post pages, we'll grant them that (bad yes, just not so bad), but the home page is more crowded than a stockbroker's terminal during trading hours.
How do you bug us? Let us count the ways.
Post introductions are way too brief — we'd prefer to get more of a taste of a writer's style, more of the flavour of the post, before we click through to read. Especially when there's so much to choose from. Here, one has to click through, read a bit, and then trudge back to the home page.
There's an advertising panel of which the kindest thing that can be said is that it does not have animated banners. It completely overwhelms the content, which is supposed to be the site's USP.
And those icons, flags, call them what you will, that mark post categories? Two words.
Thankfully, there's an RSS feed. Whew.
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
We're helping organise two contests as part of the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival's Literature and Writing section. The submission details are still being worked out, but here's the basics. An exclusive preview, so to speak. :)
Hope you decide to participate. If it's not quite your thing, we'd appreciate it of you would pass on to pals who you think might be interested.
And those of you with blogs, personal sites, mailing lists, forums and the like, we'd be eternally grateful if you gave this a plug. This blog will return the favour any time.
Reprised from last year, SMS Poetry (: someone you know won first prize last year :)
The basic rule is simple: your poem must fit into a single 160-character SMS.
For more details, prizes and the jury, please see http://www.caferati.com/contests/SMS.htm
The second contest is a new one, Flash Fiction. Also known as short-shorts or micro-fiction. The challenge here is to tell a story within a very limited word count.
For more details, prizes and the jury, please see http://www.caferati.com/contests/FF.htm
Caferati will also be hosting an evening at the Festival. 12th February, around 5 or 5:30 p.m. If you happen to be in Bombay at that time, we'd love to see you.
This page will detail the programme once we have it finalised: http://www.caferati.com/contests/KGAF2006.htm
And to generally keep track of important updates for any of these three events, please keep an eye out on http://www.caferati.com/contests
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Akshay of Trivial Matters announces a Mumbai Meetup for bloggers here and here.
Tuesday, January 31st, 6 p.m.
Cafe Coffee Day
We hope to be there.
Sunday, January 22, 2006
‘Want to go up to the terrace while the order gets ready?’
‘Yes.’ As simple as that. No games.
Her eyes glistened in the moonlight.
My cheek stung. ‘That was for presuming I’d say “Yes.”’
The other cheek. Christ. She’s ambidextrous. ‘And that was for being right.’
And then she kissed me.
9th January 2006. 55 words.
The addition of the ellipsis thanks to excellent suggestion from an anonymous commenter,
Monday, January 16, 2006
..in the Hum Blogistani series.
Sunday, January 15, 2006
We're very pleased to see so many of the blogs and bloggers we admire winning at the IndiBloggies.
Huzzahs and hosannahs to:
Amit (IndiBlog of the Year), Sonia (Best Topical IndiBlog), Jai (Best Humanities IndiBlog), Prem and gang (Best Sports IndiBlog), the DesiPundit team (Best IndiBlog Directory and Best Group Blog), Shivam (Best Tagline) and Megha (Best Designed IndiBlog).
If you comment here, you'll notice we have turned on comment moderation. Just to tell you that we haven't got too big for our britches and all fancy-like, and the chicas aren't beating down our door with proposals decent or otherwise.
It's just that someone seems to have figured out how to get past the Blogger word verification / captcha thingy. Got a bunch of identical spam comments on some old posts.
We will try turning it off later, and hope that it's gone away.
Thursday, January 12, 2006
And here's what we had started to post when we learned that we were a spam blog *mutter, mutter, mutter*
The Scotsman tells us that
a team of researchers from Edinburgh's Heriot-Watt University are launching what is believed to be the world's first scientific study to answer the often asked question of how clothing can affect the appearance of the female rear.Yeah right. A bunch of scientists staring at female posteriors all day and getting funded to do so. We should be so lucky. Ig Nobel, anyone?
four models had been chosen to provide as representative as possible a sample of female rears.There are only four?
"Blogger's spam-prevention robots have detected that your blog has characteristics of a spam blog."
"Blogs engaged in this behavior ... can be recognized by their irrelevant, repetitive, or nonsensical text, along with a large number of links, usually all pointing to a single site."
Well, we won't quarrel with the "irrelevant," "repetitive" and "nonsensical." We know our character flaws. But we do pride ourselves on our "large number of links." Fercryin' out loud this is, and always has been, primarily a filter blog (the original, and some say, only real blog). And what single site are we pointing to? Huh? Huh? Huh?
Reporters Without Borders urges Internet users and bloggers to support its recommendations on freedom of expression
Got this in the mail (thanks Ingrid). A few things here that we disagree with. Which we'll come back to later. Meanwhile, here you go:
Reporters Without Borders / Internet Freedom desk
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
Today's your last day to nominate your fave blogs worldwide at the 2006 Bloggies.
Monday, January 09, 2006
1. Because it's the world's largest democracy.Read Charles Wheelan, the "Naked Economist" columnist at Yahoo, on Why What's Good for India Is Good for Us.
meant to link to this ages ago, when we saw it in Lawrence Lessig's post on the Creative Commons blog. Here's Lessig:
ccPublisher is a desktop application that makes it easy for people to put their creative work — marked with a CC license — on the Internet. Once you install the application, you can simply drag a file to ccPublisher. It will launch a procedure to first ask you to specify a CC license to apply to the content and then upload it to a server.And from the ccPublisher page:
CC Publisher is a tool that does two things: it will help you tag your audio and video files with information about your license and it allows you to upload Creative Commons-licensed audio and video works to the Internet Archive for free hosting. You also have the option of publishing the licensed and tagged audio works on your own site.Good stuff for those among ye who create much heavier content than us word warriors, who can make do with our blogs.
Downloads are available for Windows XP/2000 and Mac OS X. Here's the ccPublisher link again.
This via email from journalist Dionne Bunsha, who you can contact at email@example.com (For the record, we don't know Mr Narkar. One of the reasons we're posting this here is because the bit about the graduate constituency is something we didn't know, and while we are admittedly abysmally ignorant, the fact may somehow have missed the erudite readers of this blog. All two of you.)
I am writing to ask for your help in getting a truly deserving candidate voted to Maharashtra's legislative council.
Prabhakar Narkar is a friend of mine. He is a well-respected journalist of 18 years experience. He was with Maharashtra Times, the state's most influential newspaper for 16 years. Narkar has written several exposes on corruption in co-operatives, banks, dairies and his stories have resulted in the arrest of over 40 people, including some influential ministers and MLAs. He has also written alot about Mumbai's labour issues, land scams, social issues.
Recently, Narkar decided to quit journalism because he felt he should be doing something concrete rather than just criticising the system. He feels that the reason our system is so corrupt is because people feel politics is too dirty to get involved in. So the space lies vacant and is filled by people we criticise.
Narkar now plans to stand for election to the legislative council of Maharashtra from the graduate constituency of Mumbai. Only graduates can vote for this seat. And they have to register to vote before-hand.
I'm writing to request you to please register to vote. All we need is:
1. a form to be filled (which you can collect from me)
2. a xerox copy of your graduate certificate (from anywhere)
3. a xerox copy of your proof of residence in Mumbai. (passport, driving licence, ration card, recent electric bill etc)
We need to submit this by Jan 10th.
The election will be held in June 2006 and you can vote in a centre in your own neighbourhood.
Please help enrol as many graduates to vote, and support an honest and sincere candidate in politics.
you can call me 98203-01643 or Narkar 98205-07342 for further details and the form.
please spread the word and get other friends and people involved.
thanks and best wishes,
Saturday, January 07, 2006
..the Hutch-Crossword 2005 Book Awards longlists are also up.
Here they are: English Fiction, Indian Language Fiction Translation, and a new category, English Non-Fiction.
Amitav Ghosh, 2004 winner for English Fiction, will announce the shortlist at Crossword, Kemps Corner, Bombay, at 7:00 pm, Tuesday, 17th January.
Go here to see who's been nominated.
And here to register to vote.
We haven't seen all the blogs that are on the list, but we'll happily recommend these for you attention:
IndiBlog of the year
A walk in the clouds.. - Megha's unique brand of madness
Death Ends Fun - Dilip's take on life and the world
India Uncut - Amit's great mix of links and opinion
Indianwriting - Uma's writing, causes and links
Random Thoughts Of A Demented Mind - the Great Bong's reliably funny blog (even when he gets earnest
The South-East Asia Earthquake and Tsunami Blog - our precious
Best Humanities IndiBlog
Jabberwock - Go Jai!
Best Sports IndiBlog
Online Chess Blog - not that we luhrve chess or read this blog, but we approve of anything that isn't all cricket
Sight Screen - because we take off our hats to the way Prem and his gang have used blogs in brand new ways
Best IndiBlog directory/service/clique, a category we're conflicted about, because we disapprove, on principle, of blogs that draw geographic boundaries. But then, we shouldn't be doing this post.
DesiPundit - we likes the mix, though we thinks it could get better
IndiBloggers - great effort
Best Designed IndiBlog
A walk in the clouds.. - no, not bias; go see the others yourself
Best Group Blog
The South-East Asia Earthquake and TsunamiBlog - well.
Thursday, January 05, 2006
Rebecca MacKinnon has the skinny on MSN Spaces's blocking of a dissident Chinese blogger's site.
Microsoft’s MSN Spaces continues to censor its Chinese languageRead the whole story here, along with recent updates.
Link via Neha, who also says this:
I think it's crucial to remember that this just isn't about living in oppressive regimes. You may choose to ignore this issue because you live in a country with relatively more freedom, or you think you are outside the purview of censorship because you write about horticulture or compare knitting patterns. You probably aren't.
Note: [*] = The site linked to requires registration.
Zig's on TwitterFollow, all ye who must know more.
We've all heard that a million monkeys banging on a million typewriters will eventually produce a masterpiece. Now, thanks to the Internet, we know this is not true.