Tuesday 30 November 2004

Life's a bitch, and then you permalink

There's a bunch of people bitching about Big Media at DesiMediaBitch, at the invitation of that human dynamo, Rohit Gupta, including (but don't tell any of the magazines we write for), this blogger. Do drop by.

Monday 29 November 2004

We don't need no education, but we'd like some of the royalties, please.

ThisisLondon reports:
A group of former pupils at a London comprehensive school are poised to win thousands of pounds in unpaid royalties for singing on Pink Floyd's classic Another Brick In The Wall 25 years ago.
The pupils from the 1979 fourthform music class at Islington Green School secretly recorded vocals after their teacher was approached by the band's management.
Now the 23 ex-pupils are suing for overdue session musician royalties, taking advantage of the Copyright Act 1997 to claim a percentage of the money from broadcasts.
[Via Indian Dope Trick.]

Sunday 28 November 2004

Finding Griffins...

...and Yara-ma-yha-whos, and Yofune-Nushis and Vilkacis and Amphisbaena and Nahuelitos and Simurghs and Kulshedras and Bunyips. Try the Bestiary at the Encyclopedia Mythica.

Dilemma for the day

We just read on Ananova that coffee can cure baldness.
But wait. Apparently you have to smear it on your scalp. Adolf Klenk of Kurt Wolff cosmetic research said "One would have to drink between 60 and 80 cups of coffee a day for the necessary amount of caffeine to reach the roots."
Oh well. Better to go around reeking of beer and saying its conditioner?
And there's this. "Men who are frightened that they may lose their hair should start treating their scalps with caffeine while they are still young."
So that leaves us out. We'll just continue swilling the stuff down our throats. Which you ask? The beer now. The coffee, lots, strong, tomorrow.

Greek tragedy

Go see this.

Kiss my chuddies, man

Our fave cat, Putu, has fun with the Dalrymple-Guha spat.
Hurree, of course, has all the links, including the retort to the reply to the response, plus a third voice. Here. And an update here.

Friday 26 November 2004

idle, or switch off?

Adam Kotsko has a question that has often crossed what passes for our mind:
In general, is turning off one's car rather than idling, for instance at a long stop light, an effective way to save gasoline? Does restarting the car take such a significant amount of gas that the wait would have to be unrealistically long to produce a net savings of gasoline?
Go read the comments to that post. And do come tell us if you have a different opinion. (: Adapted for Indian road conditions, of course. :)

Thursday 25 November 2004

The We Are Not Worthy Department

We just learned that the worthy folk at Blogstreet India are running out of blogs to feature. No, really. In case you click that link and find they've corrected their mistake, we took a screen grab for posterity. Not that it's got us huge spikes in traffic, or anything. Or even a measly book deal. But we'll take what we get. Maybe we'll even blog more regularly now. Sigh. What suckers for publicity we bloggers be.

Friday 19 November 2004

Search. For the bright ones in the class.

Google Scholar (Beta) "enables you to search specifically for scholarly literature, including peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, preprints, abstracts and technical reports from all broad areas of research. Use Google Scholar to find articles from a wide variety of academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories and universities, as well as scholarly articles available across the web."

Link via Amardeep Singh, who says "Scholars are increasingly prone to googling subjects before going to library catalogs, World-CAT, or the MLA Bibliography. Google is just faster, simpler, and more up-to-date than slow, CD-ROM based databases that require log-ins and proxy servers. If you can find a book on a topic you're looking for through Google, why go to the library website?

"Of course, that short-cut often creates a problem, which is that you get a lot of personal websites when what you really want to know is: who's published something serious on this? As much as I enjoy doing this blog and am pro-blogging in general, sometimes you want books, not blogs. Scholar.google fixes that problem, and cuts out anything that isn't a journal or a book pub."

Sunday 14 November 2004

But Dr Desai, we already have Page Three people

P.B. Desai, former director of the Tata Medical Center, proposes that we breed headless humans that can be used as a source for organs. and other forms of commercial exploitation. "Science is moving at such a fast pace that scientists have proven that they can create headless mice through removal of genes in embryo that control development of the head," said Desai "But the body would have the capacity to keep the organs functional for use as transplants."

Thursday 11 November 2004

It's never too late folks

We know they finished "counting" in Florida, and that Kerry conceded and all that. But our candidate is still in the fray.

Wednesday 10 November 2004

Poetry exercise

Let’s Write a Poem.

That might be fun, mightn’t it? Here’s what you do. There are eight lines.
Line 1 - Write down something that happened this morning. But make it an out and out downright lie.
Line 2 – In the spirit of 1 – write a sentence with a sound in it.
Line 3 – Write a sentence with a colour in it.
Line 4 – Write a sentence with a number in it.
Line 5 – Write a sentence with a character from a book in it
Line 6 – Write a sentence with an animal in it.
Line 7 – Write a sentence with an emotion in it.
Line 8 – Write a sentence to do with the past, present or future.

You might want to go away, write it, cut and paste it. But write it quickly! Go for the first things that come into your head. But by all means do a little work on the finished result. The result may not be great poetry - but hey, it should be fun.
Blatantly lifted from Searching For Blue Sea Glass, where you should go to join in. Or perhaps i can unashamedly steal it and tell you to play right here in the comments box? Your decision. :)

Did we tell you the one about the time our Lonely Planet fell on our toes?

Some of life’s funniest experiences happen on the road. Whether they take the form of unexpected detours, unintended adventures, unidentifiable dinners or unforgettable encounters, these experiences can give birth to our most profound travel lessons and illuminations, and our most memorable – and hilarious – travel stories.
LonelyPlanet.com is looking for humourous stories of exceptionally high literary quality that illustrate this theme. We are especially interested in stories that fall under one of four themes: Food, People, Accommodation and Transportation. But if you have a wonderfully funny story that doesn’t fall neatly under any of these, we also have a fifth category – Miscellaneous – created just for you.
Submissions must be original, unpublished stories of from 1,000 to 3,000 words, and must be received by Nov. 30, 2004. All entries will be read by a panel of Lonely Planet editors. Winning entries will be announced and published on LonelyPlanet.com.
There are also cash prizes ranging between US$25 and US$100. Go here for more details, and here to enter. [Via Random Notes]

Saturday 6 November 2004

Like guns aren't enough of an advantage

We're anti-blood sport, but from what we hear, the thing about hunting is supposed to be man against nature and the elements and all that. Right? Apparently not, as Wired discovered. You can even get yourself electronic ears, mp3 drives full of animal and bird calls, and 'scopes that let you hit targets two miles away.

For your Christmas list (for us, natch)

TV-B-Gone is, according to NYT, a $14.99 keychain fob that is "Essentially a one-trick remote control [that] quickly spits out roughly 200 infrared codes and, within customary remote-control range, turns off most televisions in a few seconds." Wired's been talking about it too.

Hopefully the world has four more years

A friend [thanks Rajesh] pointed us to this blog, by Comedian Adam Felber. And after turning a colour similar to the right panel on the page at the sheer number of comments he gets, we decided to share it with you. Particularly his Concession speech [an extract: "I concede that I misjudged the power of hate. That's pretty powerful stuff, and I didn't see it. So let me take a moment to congratulate the President's strategists: Putting the gay marriage amendments on the ballot in various swing states like Ohio... well, that was just genius. Genius. It got people, a certain kind of people, to the polls. The unprecedented number of folks who showed up and cited "moral values" as their biggest issue, those people changed history. The folks who consider same sex marriage a more important issue than war, or terrorism, or the economy.."] and his invitation to join the "Predict Headlines From Bush's 2nd Term Game." [BUSH TO RUN FOR 3RD TERM, SLAMS DEMOCRAT JESUS His Second Coming seemed promising at first, but today the Bush campaign lashed out at Mr. Christ, branding him as "out of touch with mainstream Christian values." Polls show an increasing number of voters feel that Christ is soft on defense, and it seems that the ads from "Last Supper Diners for Truth" has done some real damage...]

Thursday 4 November 2004

25 years of the LRB

The London Review of Books turned twenty-five recently. The Guardian sent them a nice card.

Tuesday 2 November 2004

You have a new message

herez d rulz.up 2 160 charctrs,includng spaces.NE subjct.SMS abrevs & bad spelng encuragd.prizes:2 Gmail inVt8ns.entries only via commnt buttn.
Caferati has a just-for-fun SMS verse contest on. Wanna join in?