Saturday, September 04, 2010


I recently overheard a girl saying something to the effect of the person on the other end (a girl I presume) is being too available and it would help if she wouldn't notice him for a while.
Then having been fed on many many stereotypical sitcoms and rom-coms, the following resulted:

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Wanna Voice?

"Hey, it's on that this is a pool of. So with you regarding the place cos so whenever you get a chance, please give me a call about all I would take a look at it next often, although maybe water, so give me a call back at 2(wrongly transcribed phonenumber with more than usual number of digits). Thank you"
This probably doesn't make sense to you. It doesn't make sense to me either and this was the output from my Google Voice account (by invite only, if you must know)- the transcribed voice mail. Oh where oh where do I begin to explain how very wrong this above message is in comparison to the actual voicemail? The transcription (though valiantly attempted) was less than 10% correct to the actual message. What is 'on that'? There is no 'pool of', no 'the place' regarding which I could expect a message, 'next often' is never seen together and what exactly is 'maybe water'?

Text-to-speech is a feature I have used in my eBook reader software for the purposes of laughing at toneless renderings of very high action or emotional passages in books, that provided me brief hours of merriment until my vacillating nature took over and I wanted other sources of irreverent humor for my personal amusement.
What passages, you ask? The proposal scene from Gone with the Wind was fun and the bombing chapters of Patriot Games (Jack Ryan rocks!). In fact I urge you to try anything at all as long as its in .lit eBook version. Oooh wait. Exception - the text to speech feature literally hara-kiried itself over The Fellowship of the Ring. That was not fun and in hind sight I should not have attempted to have elvish read out to me. L
Ah...Microsoft Sam, you are so cold and alien that you're forever associated in my nightmare visions of Skynet like rise of the machines...they could have just called you a 'Dalek' and not taken the pains to name you.
[irrelevant train of thought: Anyone else loved the Doctor Who scene where the Daleks face off with the Cybermen, shouting 'Exterminate' to their chants of 'Delete'? Common programming language syntaxes, get it? No? Never mind. A shout out to the TARDIS, the most funky looking space/time ship ever! Wooo hooo! J]
Anyone would prefer a homicidally logic driven yet human sounding HAL...or is it just me? Also...seems to me that ship's AIs that have female voices rarely try to kill of the human crew. If I am wrong, please feel free to quote the example. Say I am right (yaay me), then the philosophical question arises (ala sound made by a tree that falls with no witnesses in uninhabited forest) - Is it the gender of the voice of the hypothetical AI that determine its penchant for extermination of the humans?

Not only can’t systems speak like us, they don’t get our speech. Anyone who has struggled with a voice activated dialing in a supposedly hands free mobile or user of automated voice service in any customer service dept of telephone provider, bank etc (random institution/corporation) knows how frustrating and steadfastly unhelpful it is to deal with an entity that needs coding to 'listen & understand' your speech.
Familiar scenario - commands of 'Call Mom' [fervently repeated] results in 'Dialing Ron' (aka your boss who thinks you're hospitalized for the last week largely due to the email you had sent to him earlier) and ends in raged epithets that further urges the phone to Dial Tuck, Fitch and Lestrade. Or consider this - how very often do you come across people walking with their bluetooth headsets on screaming ' NO!' when a calm voice on the other side says 'You've selected to check-in 8 pieces of luggage. Please confirm by saying Yes or No' when all that the customer person wanted to do, was track schedule of the flight they were to take?

My current source of mirth is the speech to text or Automatic Transcribe feature and going by Voice, I would say it’s not very successful. Speech is very individual (like finger, toe and nose prints). That is why de-individualized people are often shown robot like in speech (not going to loop back to sci-fi references, I promise. Mainly because there are far too many for my exploding brain to rationally pick from). You can have a bunch of people that speak similarly but never exactly the same. Intonations, Accents and physical irregularities of the speaker can cause the same words to sound different. It would be very unsettling to have uniform speech because that would intend standardization of tone, verbiage and other parameters like speed, pitch and pauses which usually give us the depth/meaning to the actual content as harbingers of the non-verbal part of the communication. But I digress, the point central here is that current system cannot even correctly identify the verbiage of what is being said, let alone comprehend the meaning or information in the words.

This probably is why voice activated security systems are limited to very few words because any more and the speaker cannot render them the same way every time. Imagine being locked out of your own secure place by a system that doesn’t think your current repeat of Mark Anthony’s 'I've not come to praise Caesar' speech from Julius Caesar matches with the recording you made when you set up the security lock in the first place. Conversely, mimics can definitely say a few words to match a voice printed this means of security is not good enough (yet).

One could argue that writing is as individual as well but it adapts better to the world dominated by the internet because it doesn't involve translation by a soulless entity (not talking about non-english languages here because that warrants a entire post) and increasingly more so because written language is shrinking rapidly due to the unchallenged invasion of pre-pubescents/teens on the internet and in mobile communications. They hate long drawn out sentences, grammar and any semblance to actual spelling. After all they are so very busy that it’s not reasonable for them to not brutally mutate the English language. BTW (and not withstanding acronyms) the youth have yet to corrupt the spoken language nearly as much. A teenaged relative may have her fbk status as 'waz siked bffs cud cum 2 da party!' but on the phone she verbalizes the content with the same sounds associated with the words - 'was','psyched', 'the', 'could', 'to' and 'come' [soft sigh of relief].

Let’s switch back from teens to machines because I would rather deal with Cylons any day than the erratic, hormone powered roller coasters, spawned by humans, in their intermediate growth states. Associative memory helps to interpret speech correct when we are just talking about words here (thus taking away non content parameters from current scenario or simplifying the scenario) in humans, so the best way to build the system to work that way would be neural networks with artificial intelligence programming constructs that 'learns' each word from all possible variations of how that word can be spoken. This database will be nearly infinite and will add to its rosters on a daily basis but the system itself will have to 'grow' to be able to transcribe and will still be susceptible to breaks.

You cant make a machine version of the human ear+audio processing of brain+memories/learning...but you can strive to make something close and the current stages of this feature are below even the most basic, infantile standards that can be set by the world's kindest judge (which I am not even close to by a infinitely long shot).

Piece of gyan related to non-human systems & human voices - Don't argue with the GPS Lady when you are driving-1. she is programmed to always be right & 2. You look like (and probably are) a crazy person.

We speak therefore we exist,

Monday, April 12, 2010

Disconnecting starts now...

Things I'll miss about living away from America:
1. Smug Jewish Comedians giving me the daily/weekly dosage of irony, sarcasm and intentionaly poorly veiled double entendre. Or in 2 words - Jon Stewart.
2. Icecream and Chocolate cake for breakfast with a side of seasoned fries.
3. My dream library - whatever books and dvds I want that can be picked up at the place and time convenient to me. For free. [Long live NYPL]
4. Black Coffee. The more the merrier.
5. Seasons- Fall, Spring, Winter.
6. Having a night life without unintentionally screaming- "I am an unmarried adult woman out after sundown. I'm asking for it! Do your very worst."
7. I am a clothes size small petite here.
8. Living my life entirely online. Watching my TV there.
9. Maggi being the staple food of the NRI. Add the soy sauce.
10. No one accuses you of being a "Peter" or a "Mary" when you are most fluent in english.
11. Comic Book stores with washed Aquaman Tees.
Aquaman being the lamest super hero in the entire known set of multiple universes.
12. Washing literally dirty linen in a public laundromat in full view of all strangers who choose to look your way. Yes, that is my underwear.
13. Celebrities cycle into you randomly when you are just trying to cross the street on the way to office. Or sit in the table next to your when you are out having lunch. FYI. I always meet celebrities in the airports on my India trips. 100% successful track record.
14. Usage of double negetives -"You ain't got nothin' " and double positives - "Yeah right!" in everyday talk.
...more to come...

Want to help me by adding to this?

disengaging slowly,

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Magical Realism

Dionysia Circle, 28, died in a freak accident while performing practicals of Apparation Course as she reappeared on to the path of a runaway thestral, 2 feet away from the emergence area.

Ms.Circle who moved to London to study magic after 6 years of IT service industry work was remembered as a enthusiastic student who was older than most teachers at Hogwarts Magical Education of the Elderly program.

She is known to have frequently remarked that learning to apparate would reduce the onsite-offshore resourcing charges not to mention any travel related per diems leading to competitive quotes that translate to more projects thus increasing profitability margins in the third quarter results of the IT company. "Classic Di", remarked one of her apparating class friends," so funny with her irreverent jokes that no body got except that they were absurd and made up words!".

Her apparation ed teacher Mr. Silverfield commented on the unfortunate circumstances of her death. "Quite senseless it was", he grumbled from disgust, "there it was galloping away, minding its own business when she apparated right in front of it, scaring the beejeezs out of the poor thing". He went on to mention that if she had reappeared within the marked circle, the exercise on completion of which she would've gotten her license, the needless Thestral Trauma could have been avoided. "All she needed to do was be less of a cretin but noooo". This is the first recorded case of magical death from being a cretin.

The statistics of trampling accidents involving invisible creatures is growing and so are drunk/underage/unskilled apparating related accidents. Since Ms.Circle's sad demise fits on the union of 2 such large sets, it stands to reason that it would be all the more likely.

The thestral involved, Inviorse, has been admitted for intensive therapy to examine why its feelings of unadequacy about its appearance (wanting to look more like a unicorn), a bane from the media images beamed into every home, lead to its running indiscriminately into a field marked for apparation practice. "Tell me about your mother", we overheard its therapist asking of Invi, as its known to friends. Dr.Fried was addressing the blank space on the opposite corner of the thestral and had to be physically turned around, by our news team, to face his invisible patient.

The IT service company has issued a statement saying "BCP will be implemented and We are happy to announce the Cathbert HR plan to reanimate Ms.Circle's corpse so that she may track to schedule on her allotted tasks after the short rejuvinating vacation provided by the Thestral incident".

Friday, March 12, 2010

My so called names

Having just read a fluff piece in Telegraph UK about having a drab forgettable name which people tend to substitute with another drab name when in conversation; I suddenly recalled a couple of times when I was named on the go.
These were two most worth remembering among the countless other times that I have been called other names (most often by my sister's name).

First incident was when I was talking to a friend who I was supposed to meet at church for the midnight mass (first time), that we were going to as a group, more than a year ago.
When I expressed concern at being the first to arrive, not knowing if I would be let in, being hindu and also not a parishioner of that church, he said "If someone asks, introduce yourself as Lilly"
I was transfixed by this and questioned, albeit inanely "Why Lilly?" to which he replied "Well, you seem like a Lilly."
A short time after that, while still basking in the glow of understanding that I had been compared to a serene flower, I found out that Lilly is usually the short form of Lilith who happens to be Adam's first wife who left him because she refused to let even God dictate that he was better than her in anyway and (or perhaps therefore called) a demoness to boot.
Additionally, she is known to be a succubus and a very prolific mother. Now I really liked that I seem like a Lilly. Pretty sure P (my feckless friend and Lilly Namer) had no inkling of all this but I like to think I naturally inspire people to acknowledge my independence and female power.

The second anecdote is from last fall when I was exploring the cramped, confusing stair cases in the USS Intrepid very close to lock up time when a guy from a separate group asked me to not go away alone to places that seem deserted.
In his defence it was days to Halloween and he seemed high as a kite - potent combination for paranoia.
"Because if we were the last to see you", he explained, "and they would say", then assuming what I think was his idea of a cop voice he continued with, " what did you see..."
He reverted abruptly to his normal voice with the inquiry of, "what is your name?".
Then just as suddenly, without a pause, he replied to his own question with an utterance"..Isabella ".
I had not said anything at all and to this day I wonder how and why he pulled 'Isabella' from what appeared to be thin air.
Going back the story, the guy proceeded unimpeded by anyone present,"So cops would ask -what did you last see Isabella do and we would say she was climbing down some creepy stairs to a dark room, all alone...we told her but noooo...Isabella just smiled".
That unceremonious end of the sentence was our clue that some slasher movie bimbo blonde's fate befalls this Isabella girl who dared to walk down to an exhibit of the first officers room on a New York landmark at 6 PM in the evening of a busy weekend.
I laughed merrily with all of them and the group moved away with their parting wishes of "Bye, Isabella!", "Isabella, Take Care now" and "don't go anywhere I wouldn't go, Iz" [which I guess means I can go anywhere else except where I was currently headed]

It is really interesting to me that an average melatonin challenged american group would find me to be a 'Isabella'. Surely that seems so very classic italian or spanish?
Very often people speak to me in spanish, mistaking me for a fellow Mexican, near the Mexican embassy, which is on my walking route to work. But that the extent of my international look.
Did those people think I was mexican, one called 'Isabella'? The likelihood they would've called me 'Maria' is more. Sad but true. All of us stereotype.
Where they so sloshed off their minds that I looked like a white Isabella to them? Possibly but only if they had spent quite a lot of time and effort getting to a physically ambulatory yet mentally LSD-ized state.
Did I remind that guy of someone he knew named Isabella? Far more likely. And it even seemed like the whole group knew this Isabella and were okay with her. even friendly.

I wonder what you (that is basically anyone) would call me if you didn't already know my name.
This would give a huge insight into what the namer thinks of the namee. If you thought someone was a Jane or Jim you probably think they are boring or conventional while someone you think is distinguished and interesting looking you would pick Portia or Adrian.
I should probably trademark this idea for a psychological profile or test. Anyway, I hereby state that I (not Lilly, not Isabella) came up with this idea right here and you read it in my blog first so if anyone uses this idea better find me and buy the idea from me or face my wrath.
A sample set of strangers are flashed on screen, the photo of the subject and asked to associate a name with that. they will additionally be asked on what factors did they think the subject qualified to that name like - cultural context, personal association, stereotype, stoned (therefore no f*king idea why)
As a control to those findings, a group of equal number of acquaintances (not too close) should be repeating the same activity with the subject's photo.
There should also be multiple subjects in each session so that any extreme variances in the findings can be compared to the readings of the non-main subjects.

The interpretation of the results will be a separate project in itself to ensure that each picked name is taken in consideration with all factors concerning the name picker and the country/ethnic background.
For example, I wouldn't pick Priya or Divya to be very exotic but everyone in this country (not of east asian descent) would look at a mysterious beauty (without any Anglo Saxon features) and associate her with that option.
Who knows? It may even have applications in understanding race relations in mixed demographics that our world is increasingly becoming.

inventor of WhatNameCanPeopleSpeculateYouHave(a mere placeholder for future cool name) psych profile,

Future Gen-e-us ?

Ever since I read about the life cycle of the stars I imagine this scenario in my mind a lot.
The idea of using genome to separate the grain from the chaff, which is the leading moral question about genetics lends itself to such a future situation...

if this is the present, I would like to return it please!

What the Frac (tal)

I have recently begun reading a column about maths in the NY Times.
Considering my love of physics and space and the contradictory dislike of maths...I realize I am softening my stand on the number side of things with this advancing in age!

Strange but true,

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Luck and Love

It was Lent season, Fat Tuesday came before Ash Wednesday.
On Fat tuesday, there is a special cake made called the King Cake and figure of baby Jesus is put into the cake. Whoever uncovers the figure when they take a piece are supposed to have the luck for the year.
I cut into the whole cake (previously uncut) and in the very first piece saw the tiny plastic legs of the baby sticking out and therefore picked out the figure and am the owner of all luck for 2010.
This surprising show of luck comes in the (almost) heels of me winning the lucky draw at the Holiday Party in december 09 (I think of it as Christmas still).

This leads me to think on a bigger picture question. So far in my life, all my problems have been little and I have had zero short term/small sized luck.
Upside being that whenever there was potential for me to be in deep muck (about twice) I've had a miraclous smooth sailing when the way emerges out of nowhere (which I call good karma and grace of god) that everyone is happy with.
But now that I am sinking into pretty deep muck (best way to describe it without getting explicit) and do need a helping hand into all that is great and good, I am getting this small installments of luck which do make for immediate gratification but have no impact on the overall quality of my life.
That has me worried.

This is the oft heard puzzle/joke/question - if you had a choice between small payouts peppered more frequently through time (with an unstated addendum of you being left to your own devices for any crap that you might get subjected to) or substantial bonuses that come between larger periods of small difficulties (that are well within your limits of tolerance/being able to overcome it)
what would you rather pick?
It seems to greedy to expect to have both short term and long term luck, so we will leave that option out of the pick.

I passed get another made up day that causes a lot of unnecessary grief among my peers in this country with stereotypical company of my own self.
Let another few years go by and the stereotype would be for me to start collecting cats and treating them like people;I am a cat person (but also jell well with dogs, cattle, birds...other species) and proclivity to a conclusion that seems both foregone and dreadful is not pleasant to consider.
To amuse myself on this Hallmark (the company) day, I resorted to watching and reading like I do for the rest of the thankfully ordinary days.
Valentine's Day (the movie) was predictably bland and lifeless. My pattern for picking the one guy as a hawt one and him inevitably being a gay character...continues.
But on the reading front, happily, I am rediscovering my taste for poetry.
Due to my natural pull towards anything celt (I must have been scots-irish in some previous birth), I randomly started reading Robert Burns (To quote "Better off Ted"-Irish drink too much and write overly depressing poetry)a few weeks ago and felt great resonance to his take on life/love in "Thine am I, my faithful fair" (which I always remember wrongly as Thine I am)-
What is life when wanting Love?
Night without a morning:
Love's the cloudless summer sun,
Nature gay adorning.
In poetry, Love is always associated with sunshine and warmth and Depression (or sadness) with darkness and cold. Scientists have shown links between night owl teenagers (who I used to be before I became a night owl adult)who rise late and miss the sunshine being less effective and happy.
I guess either poets had a scientific observation or that its just common instinctive sense of what goes together.
But getting back to the quote above, I liked the imagery evoked. I am in no hurry to get back to Sylvia Plath (Daddy was dark!) because I would like to not get to that place (like ever).
My 'embrace the inner darkness' phase is gone or atleast waning so I don't want to encourage anything that will increase its potency. I mostly want it gone because the people I interact with (not at professional capacity) are clueless to deal with the likes of me in the full throes of delirious joy from acceptance of my inner demons.
Its predictably disturbing to them. I might as well go goth all the way for the kind of unease I inspire in them even in a faceless interface like a text chat.

My sis and poet/blogger sent me some Pablo Neruda poems yesterday. She is well versed in espaniol (writing, reading and speaking) and enjoys spanish language movies and songs.
I recently saw "Like Water For Chocolate" (subtitles!) and I didn't like it at all [interestingly, the lead made king cake in the movie]. Magical realism doesn't go well with me which is also why I was left with a bad taste in the mouth after completing "Mistress of spices".
Spanish literature seems strewn with that keyword ('magical realism'...not 'mistress' you dirty dirty thing you). I didn't like 'Love at the time of cholera' but did like 'One hundred years of solitude'. So I approach Neruda with the mindset(its unfair but I am a bad bad girl) that I will probably not find the resonance I feel when I read (say)"Passionate Shepard to his love".
I mean, C'mon - "Come live with me and be my love and all the pleasures we will prove." what beats that? [mind turns to mush and subject starts drooling]. That one hits the spot every time.
Ol Shakesy is pretty good too. I read his poem on Aphrodite called "Venus and Adonis" that interestingly gave a backstory to why love is also so much pain; she apparently curses after Adonis dies (foolishly, not heeding her words...[men!!!])-
'Since thou art dead, lo, here I prophesy:
Sorrow on love hereafter shall attend:
It shall be waited on with jealousy,
Find sweet beginning, but unsavoury end,
Ne'er settled equally, but high or low,
That all love's pleasure shall not match his woe.

'It shall be fickle, false and full of fraud,
Bud and be blasted in a breathing-while;
The bottom poison, and the top o'erstraw'd
With sweets that shall the truest sight beguile:
The strongest body shall it make most weak,
Strike the wise dumb and teach the fool to speak.

'It shall be sparing and too full of riot,
Teaching decrepit age to tread the measures;
The staring ruffian shall it keep in quiet,
Pluck down the rich, enrich the poor with treasures;
It shall be raging-mad and silly-mild,
Make the young old, the old become a child.

'It shall suspect where is no cause of fear;
It shall not fear where it should most mistrust;
It shall be merciful and too severe,
And most deceiving when it seems most just;
Perverse it shall be where it shows most toward,
Put fear to valour, courage to the coward.

'It shall be cause of war and dire events,
And set dissension 'twixt the son and sire;
Subject and servile to all discontents,
As dry combustious matter is to fire:
Sith in his prime Death doth my love destroy,
They that love best their loves shall not enjoy.'

How very true...huh? Pretty Awesome!!!
You'd think for someone who likes his work and who's thinking around the theme of V day, I would put in a good word for the seminal 'Romeo and Juliet'.
But fat chance my dear...I remember reading out passionate lines from that very play to Jay and B in the library, while all 3 of us were bubbling in mirth. Yes, we are the kind of people who laugh when Juliet looks at the dead body of her love and chides him for not leaving her any poison.
Judge away. Play was well written and everything, I just find young love comical; they were 15 yrs old for gods sake! at that age we were worried about school and exams...not comparing anyone to a freaking summer's day.The more intense or earnest they got, the more funny it was (is?) to us.
Think a line from Valentines Day sums it up best - Young impractical.
Back then, in school, my taste in poetry ran more into the intensely religious William Blake stuff and the other extreme...the very wonderful, light tone of Ogden Nash's poetic take on everything from going to the dentist to mosquitoes.

Coming back to the V theme, I am listening in a loop for weeks together to the song Cosmic Love by Florence and the Machine. It has very dark lyrics on the subject of feelings for a lover that attracts me-
"The Sun, The Moon, They have all been blown out
You've left me in the dark
No dawn, no day, I'm always in this twilight;
In the shadows of your heart."

and also - " So darkness I became"
Ladies, this is a must when you are trying to accept your rage against a one who is senselessly dropping laundry around the house (for you to pick up, presumably) when all you want to do is love him, having given up practically your entire life.
Guys, you will not like it. But if you do, let me might be worth knowing (or going by my pattern - gay; but still worth knowing)

In all, I am thankful for the little luck, presence of love and support (regardless of lack of the cupidy, red colored, heart shaped kind) and the abundance of knowledge and creative art (learning & expressing) for me to feast on for the rest of my life.
These are my joys and I am truly grateful to have them.

Also On 23rd Feb...I went to the taping of the show that comes on night after night (yet not called the nightly show) and blurted inadvertently loud words of love to the host and he returned the words sweetly (and made up pretty much the entire 28 yrs that I have spent not saying anything romantic). Thankfully those are my lovely memories and were not shot on camera or broadcast.

I am definitely the lucky one :)

Friday, January 15, 2010


Its that time of the year again when I announce my latest crush, although mid life is hardly an appropriate time for this, I am exceptional. Ta Da! The Pretender was a cool series that I used to watch when I was in middle school (very early teens) and immediately liked the premise and the leads enough to never have forgotten it.
Fast forward to a few years later (ok...quite a few) and Hulu was hosting the entire first season of this Show expiring by New year eve. So I did the marathon watching and it was a joy.

For one thing, Jarod (the hero, pretender, genius) suddenly struck me as being amazingly attractive in my rewatch. Surprise gave way to reason when I considered that I had had my puberty this time around and hence noticed.

Come 2010, Hulu put up season 2 and I was hooked all the way until the season finale. Then I couldn't bear to wait till Apr & Aug 2010 for seasons 3 & 4. I needed immediate gratification. So I plunged into research and found out that there were 2 movies out after season 4 (which had only raised more questions and wasn't a logical endpoint to the story).
Age and erosion of story line was apparent (as was bad hairstyling advice) in the 2 movies which I was able to get my hands on but I watched anyway until the 2nd movie (which came out in 2001) concluded with a LOTR/Matrix melange with Jarod as the Neo/One.
Sigh...great expectations crashed and burned.

But yes the end result is that, Michael T Weiss from 1994-2000 (when he was in early 30s) is my new crush (note how specific I am of which timeframe in the life of the guy I have a crush on) and a testimony to the shallowness of my character that I don't nearly encourage or feed enough.
As a result of the strong interest in this very hunky person (did I mention the deep bass voice, dimples accompanying smiles with eye crinkling and cheekbone and jaw structure of a superhero? No? How remiss of me!), I have watched a made for TV movie(Mary Higgins Clark's 'Remember Me' where he is not the hero),2 episodes of Justice League (voice of Etrigan/Jason Blood) and Disney's Tarzan & Jane (animated, voice of Tarzan). All in the last 18 hours.
I'm dreading 'Jeffrey',the movie I have ordered that is in transit to me, where he played the romantic lead of the protagonist after whom the movie was named (yes, its 'that' kind of movie).
Like a car crash, I dont like it but I can't look away. Also the DVD of a cheesy looking detective movie 'Written in blood' (he is the lead) is also expected any day now...I am gamely going to get through it despite the worst hairstyle of all time on an otherwise striking man.

Phew...lets have some substance after all that fluff, shall we?
I loved the titles to the science articles in today's papers (not the wrap your groceries kind of newspapers) -
Y chromosome not stagnating, men not idiots
As shameful as it may seem and being a self confessed quisling to my gender, I have to admit that the smartest people (offputting academic successes are not considered; just the cool ones) I have met and liked are predominantly male. So I didnt think there was never any danger of men being idiots.
One track minded (a track that is fated to disappear?), for sure, but not idiots.
Rather than stagnation, I was worried more about complete vanishing of the 2 sexes biology of human kind which is not discounted with the new discovery that Y chromosomes are rapidly evolving. Also, if they evolve too fast for us (the women) to parallel, we may even reach a point where men and women differentiate as a species; Which will bring us back to parthenogenesis as the only way to foster survival (so sad!)
No immediate danger, I think. But then, change is the only constant [I hate that phrase. HATE IT.]

Doomsday Clock to be reset 10am EST today
This wonderful device has been at 11.55 PM since 2007 (maybe even from cold war era) for fear of nuclear annihilation of the planet and they are resetting it to 10 AM. Rejoice, world. Me...I will live each day as if it were the last (by over eating and copious escapist media) because too many nations are "Nuclear" without sharing a responsible outlook.
The official survivor of 2 atom bombings died in japan last week and SNL joked that he coined the phrase - Oh no! Not Again. [ROTFL]
But its quite likely that in my lifetime I may have to survive some sort of inter continental, high heat war/attacks regardless of which part of the world I live in. Anti missile missiles are being announced by the nations of the world (our desh & China...which I guess means NKorea, Iran and Pak also to state the obvious) on an almost daily basis and I think...this is an infinite loop isnt it?
Some enterprising soul will definitely have thought of creating the Anti- Anti missile missiles and pretty soon we will be seeing the positive x axis increase of N plotting where N is the power to which Anti is repeated. So I say- Be Afraid. Be very afraid.
Make it 11.56 PM on the Doomsday clock, ye fools. Start kissing people goodbye as many times as you can (or shake hands...up to you)

Half A Million Bathe In India's Ganges
Kumbh Mela is here again and I am too far away to even get a sprinkle of the gangajal on me...its all Hudson all the way with me. Makara Sankranthi is upon us, my people. Happy Pongal.
Even otherwise I encourage everyone to bathe. Its a good practice that keep man from being an anti-social animal.