Wednesday 31 December 2003

No links today.
Just popped on to say, hope it's a great 2004 for all of you. And (especially if 2003 hasn't been that great) here's my wish for you.


Sometimes, things don’t go after all,
from bad to worse. Some years, muscadel
faces down frost; green thrives; the crops don’t fail,
sometimes a man aims high, and all goes well.

A people will sometimes step back from war;
elect an honest man; decide they care
enough, that they can’t leave some stranger poor.
Some men become what they were born for.

Sometimes our best efforts do not go
amiss; sometimes we do as we meant to.
The sun will sometimes melt a field of sorrow
that seemed hard frozen: may it happen for you.

~ Sheenagh Pugh

Now get off the net, finish whatever it was you were pretending to work at, and get out and party. If you're drinking, don't drive, ok? Or fly.

Monday 29 December 2003

Did you know that Google was powered by pigeons? (Link shamelessly lifted from Oh Google, how do I love thee? by Pauline Masurel, online pal, on trAce.

Sunday 28 December 2003

An interesting statistic in this article[*] on NYT (reprinted in yesterday's TOI, Mumbai edition) on safety in automobiles: "Outside stimuli — billboards or accident scenes that inspire rubbernecking — accounted for almost 30 percent of crashes; adjusting the radio or CD player, 11.4 percent; talking with passengers, 10.9 percent; adjusting climate control, 2.8 percent; eating or drinking, 1.7 percent. Cell phones accounted for just 1.5 percent of accidents, the study found."
Hm, you know, chaps, perhaps all those creative hoardings telling people not to use their phones when driving are not having quite the desired effect!

Thursday 25 December 2003

If you're dropping by today, you need a life. But for your trouble, here's a funny link stolen from FOTB, The Babu at Kitabkhana. Thank you, Hurreeji.
A very happy Christmas to all of you. And may the spirit of the season last all year through.
Hm. The fact that i'm posting today - what does that say about me?

Wednesday 24 December 2003

A Christmas Poem by Dave Barry (First published in the Miami Herald in 1995) over at his his blog.
The difference between men and women - one more take in the letters column at 2blowhards, which is well worth a visit anyway.
For all among ye who are slaving away on the the next Booker winner, here's a list of other awards. Just in case. Oh, and the site's for sale, by the way. Mail if you want to take over.
Did you know of the existence of the Indian Digital Library?
Ah. Someone's exhibiting and selling Raja Lala Deen Dayal prints. Even if you don't want to spend US$30 per B&W 8x10 to get one of that 19th century wizard's works on your wall, drop by. Viewing them on your monitor is free. And while on photography, do wander by this Henri Cartier-Bresson collection, and this lovely set of Annie Leibovitz portraits, from her book, Women. And there's another set here, which include some famous shots of music icons. More music - photography jugalbandi, closer home: Farrokh Chothia's wonderful Jazz Images are well worth the loading time.

Sunday 21 December 2003

Chortle for the day: this piece by Nilanjana S Roy, [FOTB].

Saturday 20 December 2003

Here's a story about a possible Bill Watterson sighting for the Calvin and Hobbes fans. And Jef Mallet, who some people say will be the Watterson of his age, has moved several notches up in our estimation, because of his prompt, friendly and personal response to fan mail. Check out his strip Frazz some time.
Did Douglas Adams foresee Googlebombing?
Our favourite googlebombs: miserable failure, which we read about in the TOI; dishrag of india, which we most certainly didn't read about in the TOI; and what we think was the first widely passed around googlebomb, weapons of mass destruction.
What's a googlebomb? Read this, or just enter one of the italicised phrases in a Google search box and hit 'enter' for a practical demo.
Sometimes it becomes counterproductive to be commented about too much, though. The "dishrag" effort points now to several bloggers pages about the bomb, with the intended victim coming in fifth. When i last checked, that is. :-)
We'd like to assure our readers (all two of you) that this news item has nothing to do with the sudden burst of activity on this blog. Just that we never seemed to get down to actually blogging instead of quickly forwarding links to friends. Now, we're going to stop bombing people's in-boxes so much and put it all here.
Somehow, i've always liked his writing about writing, even his book intros, much more than i've ever liked his stories. Though to be fair, Friends Who Read King tell me i haven't read his best stuff. Anyway, here's his NBA Acceptance Speech text, and the audio is on the author's home page (worth the wait for the download - and thanks, Vivek, for the link).
Them serious folk over at the Canadian Medical Association Journal do their once-a-year loosening of their stethoscopes and poke a little fun at themselves with a study of dangerous sub-text in children's literature, and some holiday ideas for that special physician. And i hope the MBAs in my life don't take this too seriously.
Whaddya know. Actually found a coupla book-related articles in the TOI.
So what if one of the articles is by one senior TOI person about a book by another senior TOI person. We love both writers and will happily read anything by or about either of them.
In the other, Nina Martyris [FOTB] takes a look at Priya Joshi's In Another Country: "a fascinating account of the way Indians read and then produced the English novel from the time it was first shipped here in large steamer trunks to the time Salman Rushdie gleefully dipped it in curry." Delicious, that.
And there was this about changing tastes in children's books in ET. Speaking of kid lit, there was this in NYT about writing Science for children.[*]
A little treasure trove of Maya Angelou's poems
Billions of bilious blue blistering barnacles in a thundering typhoon! Chap called David has put together his Favourite Captain Haddock Curses. He comments at one point, "This Haddock webpage has received a fair bit of e-mail over the years (most of it, strangely enough, from India. For some reason Indians just love Tintin and Captain Haddock.)" Have always been more of an Asterix fan meself, but hey, there's still a row of Tintins on my book shelf.

Wednesday 10 September 2003

A small note about Parks and Gardens in Indian cities in a virtual garden set up by a net pal, Margaret Penfold.
Fascinating lady.