Thursday 28 September 2006

Young Tam girl, well educated, only minor tendencies towards violence, seeks geek for purposes of audio reproduction

The faymbus Neha bids us pass this on:

Global Voices Conference in Delhi: Help required.

The annual Global Voices Online conference is in Delhi this year on the 16th and 17th of December 2006. The conference is scheduled at the India Habitat Centre. The first day is open to anyone who is part of Global Voices or is interested in their work.

So here's the question. We're looking for someone to help with our live audio webcast for that day. A volunteer Geek in-charge would very much smooth out the process. Anyone interested? Please leave a comment here or mail me: nehavish[at]gmail[dot]com. Thanks!

Monday 25 September 2006

Hutch ado about nothing

Local Hutch to Hutch calls at just 30p/min! Also get 100 minutes of local Hutch to Hutch calls FREE at just Rs30/month. To subscribe SMS 30Y to 6565 (toll free).
'Swot our service provider SMSed us the other day.

Erm, does that compute?

Like 100 minutes at Rs 30 works out to Rs 0.30 per minute, which is the rate being offered. So where's the FREE then, huh? Fact is, if you don't make 100 minutes worth of calls in a given month, you're actually paying more per minute than 30 paise a minute for the calls that you do make. Now, is it just us, or does that sound a tad slimey?

What mortal hand or eye framed thy fearful symmetry?

Tyger One:

Logo recently designed for Madhya Pradesh Tourism by a leading, award-winning Indian ad agency.

Tyger Two:

Logo of Save China's Tigers, an organisation that's been around for a few years.

Hem, hem, kof, kof.

Update: Shodan, in the comments, points us to..

Tyger Three!

The Shotokan Karate symbol.

Shodan informs us that
The tiger was painted by the great Japanese artist, Hoan Kosugi, to honor Master Funakoshi (father of modern Karate) who used it on the cover of his first book.
This logo is from the International Shotokan Karate Federation. You can also see it at Shotokan Karate of America, Shotokan Karate International India the Shotokan Karate-Do International Federation official site, and, oh, a bunch of other sites.

Now we don't know about you, but personally, we wouldn't advise anyone to go borrowing logos from folks who can smash bricks with their bare hands and all that.

Update 2: We did a bit of digging. Here's a much better version of the Shotokan symbol. And this page tells us that Gichin Funakoshi's Ryukyu Kempo: Karate (the book Shodan pointed us to) was published in 1922 in Japanese. And here and here you'll find a little more history.

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

All ye who enter here, be warned.

Sunday 24 September 2006

Innovation, thy name is Zig

We were travelling, in Munnar and Valparai, visiting bungalows that once served as the residences of tea planters. Most of these edifices sank foundations around the turn of the century (the last century, natch), when, we deduce, there were no three-point plugs. And our battered Compaq Armada, old though it is, is not, we hasten to tell you, of quite that vintage. Its battery being shot to hell, it needs a power source or it dies in about 15 minutes. Power was available only via two-pin plugs. Net net: the darn thing was just so many extra kilos in the backpack.

So, while we traipsed from bengalow to bengalow (that is the prevailing pronunciation among the Malayali cognoscenti, so we do as the Romans do), therefore, we took notes in our handy paper note book.

(Now, of course, we're faced with the grim task of transcribing our own handwriting. We had atrocious handwriting in school. In college, our professors whimpered softly when we submitted papers. Computers were our salvation. For years, no one has known that we produce hieroglyphics instead of copperplate. And, as a result of lack of practise over the last decade or so, our writing is—believe it or not, Prof Vishwanathan—even worse. Oh yes. Digression from a digression: we write beautifully with a brush. Weird, innit?)

Said notes were dated, random and self-indulgent scribblings recording our impressions of the past few days, wee turns of phrase that struck us as being save-worthy, a lot of essential data that we had to make sure we wouldn't forget. Which, if one thinks about is, how we've always used this blog. So (fanfare), ladieeees and gennelumen, we are proud to present our latest invention: the paper blog!

Ha, you say. That's just a diary. nuffing new about that, smartarse. Wait, we say. If the the erudite geeks at BlogCamp can call a bulletin board (the real as opposed to virtual type, y'know, board, cork or otherwise, where folks could come pin up or stick on notes) a paper wiki, then we old economy types can damn well re-label other stuff in nonsensical ways too, no?

Friday 22 September 2006

En route from Munnar to Top Station

The first wild elephants we have laid eyes on. Max zoom, of course. One doesn't want to upset critters this size.

Missed out on getting a glimpse of the old tusker who raids the vegetable garden at the Tallayar plantation, though.

Munnar - dawn

UFO - somewhere between Munnar and Valparai

Anyone care to identify this magnificient creature for us?

Valparai 2

Valparai 1

Munnar 2

Munnar 1

Tuesday 12 September 2006

Chai break

This blog, currently resident on the East Coast, will, as the sun rises, depart for The City Formerly Known As Cochin, from where we will be driven up to the land of three rivers (mooNa Aar, in Tami[l/zh], or so we're told), where we will inspect, examine and otherwise test the only-recently-open-to-the-plebes accomodation invarious planters' bungalows, including, possibly, a dinner at the High Range Club, after which we will depart for Coimbatore, to visit at another plantation.

Normal blogging will resume next week.

Saturday 9 September 2006


Our essay in the Sarai Reader 06: Turbulence is out.

(Hit the link for the table of contents. All essays are avaiable as free PDFs, as per Sarai tradition, and the 608 page book can be purchased from Sarai at the modest price Rs 350, US$ 20 or € 20.

And while we procrastinate about posting our HTMLised version, the PDF is here.

Friday 8 September 2006

Bombay Uncut

We loathe tags.

But when uberblogger/friendtypeblogger folk tag us simultaneously, we sigh deeply, swear foul oaths under our breath, and give in.

And of course, if we can get one of the taggers to look silly along with us, even better.

When stuck between India Uncut and Bombay Addict, one, erm, seems to be doing, ah, um, the hokeypokey or summat.

Thursday 7 September 2006

Till next year then, Ganeshaji

It's a festival we're not exactly fond of, we'll admit, for the way it imposes its noise (loudspeaker bans be damned) and traffic disturbances on all and sundry, and the hideous ecological impact of so much that it is not biodegradable being dumped in the sea (wish there were more environment-friendly idols, but they're always written about as an exception).

But we like the pageantry, and the way so many people have a damn good time. Manish Vij has a great photo post on the visarjan, and follows it up very quickly with another on the aftermath.

Monday 4 September 2006


As the Festival season kicks in, noise levels from loudspeakers is going to start getting bad. We thought we'd help this little initiative along. Sumaira is someone we've known for years, and we believe she's doing a good thing.
A PIL has been filed in the Bombay High Court by Vora regarding Noise Violations and was heard this morning. The judge has asked for instances of violations of Noise Rules to be produced in Court on the next date (scheduled for Monday).

This could be noise from any source including religious places, festival processions or stationary loudspeakers.

Helpful details would be:
• Location
• Timing of Noise
• Date(s)
• Possible Source / Cause of Noise
• How it bothers you (optional)
• Your contact details (optional)

Please email to sumairaabdulali[at]yahoo[dot]com with cc to info[at]karmayog[dot]com.

You can also complain by calling 100 or 103. There is no need to give your details -- even name and phone number but do get a Complaint number otherwise it means that you called them but your complaint was not recorded :-). We would be glad to have a copy of your letter or email to the Police recording such instances which could be produced as evidence in Court.
Please feel to copy-paste and pass on.

Sunday 3 September 2006

Silly enough?

An experiment with a digital camera, tripod and Photoshop, in a pal's place. Camera in centre, panning around the room to take stills, then the shots stitched tgether in Photoshop to make a 360 degree panorma. In the pic, this blog is busy messing around creating an earlier panorama.

Er,. Amit, Neha, does this qualify?

Saturday 2 September 2006

Found in translation

There are jokes for all ages in the original French, and I hope the translations provide the same mixture. Some jokes are simple, aimed at eight-year-olds. In the latest book, Asterix and Obelix all at Sea, it was at last possible to work in that hoary old gag "The galley slaves are revolting," so that an irate Caesar could tell the trembling admiral who imparts this news, "And so are you."

Some run to extended literary references, for older children and adults. In Le Cadeau de César there is a whole page where Asterix, defending the local innkeeper, slips into the character of Cyrano de Bergerac as he fights a duel with a Roman while composing a ballade. Quotations from Rostand, Cyrano's creator, come thick and fast.

The translation replaces them with probably the most famous sword fight in English literature, Hamlet and Laertes, and suitable Shakespearian quotations: the innkeeper's wife begins by advising her husband, "Act with disdain!", whereupon the belligerent Roman can point out, accurately, "I am more an antique Roman than a Dane," thus launching the literary sequence
Read the rest of this lovely piece by Anthea Bell, who, with Derek Hockridge, translated all 30 Asterix books.