Monday, 27 December 2004

Tsunami help

Please pass this URL around:

http://tsunamihelp.blogspot.com/

You can use it to post any info you have on:

where to send money,
what kind of help is needed,
aid organisations,
helplines,
infolines,
email addresses,
phone numbers
news updates
etc

You can post it in the comments section, or post yourself. Mail me at zigzackly@gmail.com and i'll send you an invitation.

Sunday, 26 December 2004

Plus ça change...

A year ago, when i had just started blogging regularly, i said:
If you're dropping by today, you need a life.
[...]
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?
So this is an appropriate time to figure out out whether this thing is more than just a thief of time. And it's also year end, when everyone's doing this, so indulge me, please.

i haven't blogged with any degree of regularity in the recent past. Because i've been busy, yes, but also because i've been [shudder] introspecting.

When i started, i was pretty sure i wanted to do a filter blog, not a Dear Diary - after all, the workings of my mind are not of interest to the world at large, unlike a certain multidimensional artist and author, or this talented young writer i know. When it came to specialist blogs, i knew i couldn't hold a candle to Hurree's hugely well-informed and entertaining lit-blogging, or Dina's well-researched and comprehensive views on networking and social issues, to name just two.

So Zigzackly became a generalist blog, one of many, many, many. The numbers haven't been that interesting - a little short of 4k vistors since i installed a counter in March. Zz hasn't become a must-read to thousands (which may not be a bad thing - the pressure!), or got me a book deal (again not a bad thing, because i honestly don't have a book in me), and i haven't acquired a life that's different in any major way (this i wouldn't mind).

The positives.

My belief in blogs grew, and along the way, i also archived some of my press work in another blog and started a secret blog in which i unleashed my poetry on an unsuspecting world.

In August, i midwifed a CollaBlog that has grown, both in readership and participation, beyond anything i expected. And there's another community blog that is also showing signs of going places that Zig would never be able to get to alone. And i'm also into a collaboration which has helped me produce some verse i'm actually happy with.

i also discovered blogrolls, and RSS readers (and now subscribe to more blogs than i have time to read) and got involved with a group of writers via Ryze, and started a site that i hope will soon grow into something big...

And here's what i've been asking myself. Is this blog any more than a personal set of bookmarks that's easily accessed as long as i'm near a net connection?

And, Faithful Reader, i guess i'm asking you that question too. If you visit regularly, or subscribe to this feed or this one, what do you like about this blog? What do you want to see?

i shall have to think about this a bit longer, i think. Meanwhile, i'd love to hear what you have to say.

Won't be blogging much for the nonce. Next week, i go North, to maybe scout around for some rich clients and gullible editors and suchlike in our nation's capital, but mainly to laze around and eat the Babu and Partner out of two houses and homes for a bit, and perhaps meet for the first time MarginAlien and Putu, and maybe Jabberwock and all my other Delhi buddies.

Hope you're having a great Christmas season, love to you and yours, and in case i forget to post, may 2005 be wonderful for you.

Monday, 6 December 2004

RSS feed

Nope, not the kind that we have so kindly provided for you on the left so you can use a reader to get updates from this blog.

We're referring to them gents in the starched, ballooning khaki shorts. Aside from their efforts to rewrite history, they're now revolutionising science, with their tests on, er, bovine excreta. Some excerpts from Manu Joseph's article in Wired News:
Bhanwarlal Kothari, a senior member of the RSS, said, "Our tests have shown that distemper made out of cow dung and spread over walls and roofs can block nuclear radiation."
...
Sunil Mansinghka runs Go-vigyan Anusandhan Kendra, an outfit "devoted to R&D on the role of cows." At four every morning, VHP workers stand with bottles beside their cows, waiting for them to urinate voluntarily so that the workers can collect the waste for future research.
...
"We believe that cows' urine can cure cancer, renal failure, arthritis and a lot of other ailments," Mansinghka said. "We are working hard to test and prove these claims."
He summoned one of his researchers, an Ayurvedic physician named Bharat Chouragade, to explain the benefits of cow urine. "I don't think cows' urine can cure cancer," Chouragade said. "What it can do is enhance the effects of the modern cures for cancer." That disappointed Mansinghka, who later said of his Ayurvedic physician, "some people are misled by too much learning."
...
Mansinghka also spoke with great adoration about "the stunning work of professor Madan Mohan Bajaj, who has clearly proved how important cows are."
Professor Bajaj is from the Delhi University's department of physics and astrophysics. He has spent 14 years investigating the effects of animal slaughter on earthquakes, air crashes and other disasters. "The killing of animals causes natural and manmade disasters," Bajaj said. "But, since the cow is so useful to human beings, its slaughter causes exceptional seismic activity. The cries of the animals go down to the earth through Einsteinian pain waves."
[Via Sepia Mutiny]

We would like to draw to your attention our restraint in not using the obvious headline for this post.

Sunday, 5 December 2004

Defenestrate this

And while the entire blog world is throwing its collective hat into the air over the fact that "blog" was Merriam-Webster Online's Word of the Year (why the merriment, i'm not exactly sure - that citation simply means that more people didn't know what the hell that word meant than any other), we were thrilled to see "defenestrate" creep in at number ten on the list. (You: "So, like, you're dumping on bloggers getting whooped up about people being confused enough about their raison d'etre to go look it up, but you're happy that an obscure word that you actually remember the meaning of - having looked it up dozens of times, thereby probably single-handedly pushing it into the top ten - also confused people, but less?" Zig: "Erm, uh, well, yeah.")

Friday, 3 December 2004

Remembering Bhopal

Greenpeace activists in fifteen countries, and seven Indian cities, including Bhopal, will hold candlelight vigils and form human chains. In Switzerland, they will deliver an exact replica of the memorial statue in Bhopal to the DOW European headquarters in Zurich. Photo exhibitions showing people impacted by the poisoned gas and the contamination of the site are being held in Belgium, France, Australia, India, Slovakia and China, among others.

Here's the India schedule for today:

Bangalore:
Join the dharna on Dec 3rd morning 11 am to 2 pm at the same venue as above.
Paint the Solidarity Canvas on Dec 3rd morning, 11.00 am to 2.00pm at the same venue as above.
Sign the petition in support of the International campaign for Justice for Bhopal.

Chennai:
11am to 1 pm
Human Chain from Gandhi statue to Light house
2pm to 5pm
Bhopal Show at Diocese Pastoral Centre, New # 25, Rosary Church Rd (Kutcherry Road) towards Santhome End. Mylapore, Chennai-4.

Delhi:
Candle light vigil at Amar Jawan Jyoti, 'C' Park India Gate

Pune:
Candle light vigil, at Balgandharva Rang Mandir.

Chandigarh:
Non-violent protest & candle light vigil at Sector 17 Plaza.

Mumbai:
Candle light vigil in front of the Gateway of India.

Bhopal:
Take part in 4 day activities - we will have a booth to showcase GP work on Bhopal on one day

Kanpur:
Raghu Rai Photo exhibition at IIT Kanpur at the International Conference on the 20th Anniversary of Bhopal Gas Tragedy "Bhopal and its Effects on Process Safety."

For more info, contact:
Vinuta Gopal, Greenpeace India campaigner in Bhopal, + 91 98 45535418
Zeina Al-Hajj, Greenpeace International campaigner, + 31 6 531 28904
Cecilia Goin, Greenpeace International media officer, +31 6 212 96908
For photos, Laura Lombardi: +31 6 46 16 20 09;
for video, Hester van Meurs: + 31 6 29 00 11 35

We will be at Gateway, influenza permitting. See you there?

Thursday, 2 December 2004