Friday, June 30, 2006

Sorry for a little bit of rant from me..

(The following comment was meant for Dilip D'Souza's space regarding this post. But, as Dilip already enabled comment moderation and I do not know whether the piece will ever see the light of day, I have no other option but to publish it in my own space. Leaving comments on this post is useless because I shall not reply to any of the comments in that regard.)

@Dilip: I’m also disappointed to see that you bogged yourself down in the cesspool of the weblog owned by the one whom you referred to as G. I really did not expect that from someone like you who wrote numerous mature and erudite pieces before. OK. I don’t want to go into this mockery of a debate because what was going on, on G’s blogspot is nothing but a rant fest and blasting of ad hominem arguments, right from the beginning, which sadly I was following back and forth and essentially was much amused and entertained.

If one sees G’s post, it does not go unnoticed that it is just full of rants (in fact that is what people tend to do to grab some cheap attention by slinging mud at relatively well-known writers), first against Annie’s, then against the positive reaction by the audience to her post because he was clearly envious of that. I don’t understand what the reason would be other than jealousy that one would complain against the audience appreciation of Annie’s post. Well, one is free to disagree with someone on some points in a healthy debate, but any self-respecting writer should also respect the spontaneous eulogy showered on other’s writings too by the audiences. I don’t think he has anything constructive to say rather than ranting and venting ill-feelings about others. I find it really ridiculous, regardless of whether I agree with the post or not, that a writer chooses his topic to criticize why someone else wrote so and so and why she got spontaneous positive reaction from others. Writer with such a negative frame of mind. Huh.

And when G says about comment moderation breaking the pillars of blogdom, I can’t resist smiling secretly. Pot calling the kettle black. In one of his previous posts, he singled me out and debarred me from posting comments because I caught him with his pants down that many of his sycophants commenting on his space are he himself, like yourfan, yourfan2 et al. are just different reincarnations of his (no self-respecting commentators can assume names of such low tastes) ; surprisingly, in this hot debate they disappeared into thin air only to enter at the end, perhaps because G’s too busy writing long posts in his original self and does not have time to take breath. A shameless display of dishonesty, self-indulgence and ego-massaging.

By the way, leaving aside all the "controversial" points about equality of genders of Annie's post, the way Annie brought out some miserable conditions, which a large section of Indian women live in, is truly commendable. This is the reason I agree that it is undoubtedly fine journalism by Annie. I look for positive stuffs in a piece. It is disgraceful to remain blind about the positive part of a work and attempt to create noise over something you don't like in order to make your presence felt by crying hoarse. I’m sick and tired of large number of rant/hate posts in the blogspace which may be rhetorically productive for instantaneous impact but at the end of the day delivers a blank. G’s weblog is just one of them. Take my word. It is unfortunate to see you trapped in it. Thanks.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Men Vs Women

A nice piece of writing reminds me now that a long time back one of my friends, whom I admired a lot because of his inclination for cutthroat scientific analysis of any subject, told me that ten billion years hence, women would be even physically stronger than men by way of evolution/mutation process. Had he been anybody else I would have dismissed such crap immediately. But he was not, however, I still do not know whether such statements really have any scientific foundation or not.

This thought provoking post by Annie Z is perhaps worth a read regardless of whether you agree with her or not.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Opinion poll

Perhaps a month or two ago, with a lot of enthusiasm and hope, I set up an opinion-poll-window on the sidebar of this weblog, expecting that my readers, whom I consider the most erudite and discerning in this universe, would deluge me with praises and prizes, making my wretched and barren life blooming with flowers and sweetness all around. But alas… Me poor chap!! Too credulous and naïve to deal with this cruel world. What I discovered now was devastating.

Status Report at 2300 hrs June 25, 2006 (GMT)

  1. 75% of my readers believe that the weblog is a junk.
  2. 87% of my readers believe that I have no talents whatsoever to qualify as a blogger.
  3. 62% of my audiences think that the weblog, whom I consider my greatest love, is the most awful of all.
  4. 75% of my visitors conclude that the weblog is pretty ordinary.

Dear readers, I am sure that what you said is not the true opinion from your heart. I know that you love me so much, as I love you too.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

His name is Robinho

I'm now in the mood for making some silly comments, uninhibited. After all, there is nothing to fear in the company of such a lovely and pampering readership that I have.

Comment 1. If Robinho is not to allowed play from the beginning, Brazil will not be able to defend the World Cup.

Comment 2. It is just a matter of time that Robinho becomes the Fifa best player of the year.

Comment 3. On any given day, Robinho is more effective than Ronaldo who is now long past his heydays.

Comment 4. I've never seen such a beautiful player in the forward line. Agile, creative and strong. If he can keep his cool, he will be mentioned by the generations in the same breath with Pele.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Short, mini, micro .... she doesn't know where to stop......

Now you can take whole of your computer in a tiny flash drive. Megabytes, Gigabytes, Terabytes... perhaps pentabytes in a small flash drive very soon.... NewYork Times reports.

"June 15, 2006
David Pogue

A Flash Drive That Holds Your Computer

YOUR digital life spins at 7,200 rotations a minute on your computer's hard drive. A delicate reading arm, hovering a fraction of an inch above the surface of the drive's spinning platters, dances across them at 60 miles an hour; one bump, and your files are toast. Your hard drive's likelihood of mechanical failure is 100 percent; it's just a matter of when.

And this is how society has chosen to preserve its future?

There may soon be an alternative: those tiny, shiny flash drives (also called thumb drives, jump drives, U.S.B. drives or keychain drives).

A flash drive has no moving parts. It's rugged. It's fast. And goodness knows, it's portable. Without any special installation or drivers, you can stick a flash drive into the U.S.B. jack of any computer — Mac, Windows, whatever. It shows up on the screen as if it were a hard drive, making all your documents available.

But if all you want to carry around is photos and Word files, you could just burn a CD. What if your flash drive also stored your programs, your settings — your entire computing universe?

That's the idea behind the Lexar PowerToGo software, which is itself a licensed version of something called Ceedo Personal. It's designed to turn a flash drive into a portable Windows XP ecosystem, meaning that you can jack into anybody's PC anywhere and find yourself — and your software tools — right at home.

Starting in July, Lexar will include PowerToGo on all of its Platinum series flash drives ($53 for a one-gigabyte model, $90 for a two-gig; a four-gig model is due in August). PowerToGo will also run on older Lexar drives (, although you'll have to pay $30 for it after a trial period. If you have some other brand of flash drive, you can download Ceedo Personal from; here again, a 30-day trial is free, and after that, you have to pay $40. Keep in mind, however, that faster flash drives provide a much zippier experience; Lexar claims that its Lightning models, for example, are two to six times as fast as typical flash drives.

Now, you're entitled to ask: "What's the big whoop? Why do I need some special software? Can't I put one of my programs onto a flash drive just by dragging its icon?"

You can, but it won't run. The installer for a Windows program does a lot more than add the program's name to your Start menu. Behind the scenes, it sprays all kinds of little support files into the four corners of the Windows archipelago, tucking them into special locations in your Windows folder, making changes to your registry (the master database of Windows software and settings) and so on. A program can't run without those files.

CEEDO isn't the first company to tackle this problem. A start-up called U3 already makes it possible to install programs directly onto flash drives. Trouble is, this stunt requires not only specially designed flash drives (bearing the U3 logo) but also specially modified programs, of which there are only 150 so far, most of which cost about $30. (U3 argues that this hardware-software solution offers greater security than Ceedo's — for example, you can protect your flash drive with a password.)

Ceedo's design, on the other hand, requires neither special programs nor special flash drives; in fact, it even runs on iPods and other portable drives (although Lexar's version runs only on Lexar flash drives). Ceedo-equipped drives trick software installers into spraying their pieces into its own duplicate of your Windows folder. There's even a portable, duplicate registry on board.

After installing your favorite programs, you're ready to sally forth into the world of Windows computers. When you plug your drive into any PC — at, say, a Kinko's, an airport waiting lounge or a friend's house — a dialogue box offers to run Ceedo Personal or PowerToGo, depending on which version you use.

If you click O.K., a neat miniature Start menu appears at the bottom of the screen. Here are all your programs, ready to run.

If you choose Internet Explorer, Opera or Firefox from this Start menu, for example, that Web browser opens up, complete with all of your bookmarks and even your browser plug-ins. If you choose Outlook Express or Thunderbird, you get your familiar e-mail collection. (This flash-drive system is therefore one good way to keep a single e-mail collection as you shuttle between home and work.) In Skype (for making free Internet phone calls) or AOL Instant Messenger (for typed chat), your buddy list opens, ready and waiting. On a fast flash drive connected to a U.S.B. 2.0 jack, all of this runs quickly and slickly.

When you're finished and you eject the drive, not a shred of your presence is left behind. Even the behind-the-scenes Web browser junk that's ordinarily dumped onto your hard drive — cookies, temp files, browsing history and the like — are actually stored on the flash drive. The borrowed PC is left clean, including its clipboard, which was holding whatever you most recently copied.

If it all worked perfectly, it would hint at a future where we could abandon not only the heartache of hard-drive failure, but even the expense, frustration and obsolescence of PC ownership. It would suggest that in, say, 2025, we'll store our entire digital worlds onto cheap 160-gigabyte flash drives. We'd jack into public computer terminals everywhere we go — taxis, restaurants, airplane tray tables — and pick right up where we left off. We'd leave buying, maintaining and de-virusing the computers themselves to professionals.

Ceedo and Lexar point proudly to the list of 100 compatible programs listed on their Web sites. There's good, brand-name stuff here, including Skype, Google Talk, AIM, WinAmp, Picasa and WinZip — but all of them are either freebies or shareware.

Unfortunately, commercial productivity programs are another story. You can't install Microsoft Office, for example. Of course, as Lexar points out, most PC's you're likely to encounter already have Office installed. In those situations, Ceedo/Lexar does the right thing: it fires up the computer's copy, but using your own preference settings — toolbars, standard font and so on.

Quicken 2006, FileMaker Pro and Dreamweaver 8 install smoothly. Most others, though, conk out with cryptic error messages at the very end of the installation cycle, including Photoshop Elements, OpenOffice, Palm Desktop, MusicMatch, the Now Up-to-Date calendar and Dragon NaturallySpeaking. Some programs are too big to install practically; others apparently don't work because of copy protection or unusually complex installations.

Ceedo is working on fixes for some programs, including iTunes and Microsoft Outlook. That's fortunate, because your e-mail and music collections are great candidates for portability.

Figuring out how to install programs from their original CD's isn't obvious, however. You open up the drive's copy of Internet Explorer, type the drive letter of the software installer into the address bar (D:\ to see what's in your CD drive, for example), and then navigate three folders deep to the program's setup installer.

This situation will improve. Ceedo is working on a software installer called Install Anything that it says will make installing all kinds of programs much easier. (Lexar will charge $30 for this installer, even for people who get PowerToGo on new Lexar drives.) Unfortunately, even the not-quite-honestly named Install Anything won't be able to install every program on your flash drive.

Still, Ceedo/Lexar have already done the world a great favor with this software. Even without Install Anything, your flash drive can already store your e-mail program and e-mail, browser and bookmarks, chat program and contacts, essential utilities (FTP and zipping programs, for example), and the trappings of your Microsoft Office environment.

If that's not every last program you'll ever need, it's still the core of your computing existence. And having it dangling from your keychain at all times is a tempting prospect. It means that the next time you're caught without your computer, you can get at your software — in a flash.


Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Jeo Beta!!!!!

Vikash Dhorasoo made history when he came in as a replacement in the second half of the match between France and Switzerland to become the first footballer of Indian origin to play in World Cup soccer. A veritably great day for Indian Soccer.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Obesity: Now and then

Around 2500 years ago, he took the most significant and of course the toughest decision of his life. Miseries of humankind, their unavoidable sufferings from illnesses and eventual deaths had awakened him to the complete futility of humans’ mortal existence and pushed him to give up all the possessions of a material life – family, friends, beautiful wife, angelic face of his son, palatial house and humongous wealth of an emperor – in quest of Nirvana. Gautama Buddha perhaps attained the enlightenment sitting at a shadowy place under the Bodhi tree, all alone and too far away to be perturbed by the agonies of the human race; however, unfortunately, human ailments, their miseries and sufferings, which actually turned him to go hermit, was not at all helped by his attainment of Nirvana. Then what’s the use?

2500 years later, Akash Sen, quite ironically, would do exactly the opposite of what Sir Gautama did long time ago. He would, rather, head back home to re-engage in the hubbub of human habitation, breaking free from all the austerity of an ascetic life in the lonely corner of a forest and would deal with one of the banes of human existence of today, head on.

Well. Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to one of the most decietful yet deadliest health conditions of this century, that, believe me or not, is the mastermind behind most of the life-crippling diseases of the present generation, directly or indirectly. Yes I’m talking about obesity, which these days took such an alarming proportion all around the world, that a weblog post, containing a couple of facts about it , in the hope that it would leave some imapact on the issue, sounds like fighting an elephantine giant with just a pin. Anyway....

Caution: if you are a Bong by race like I am, reading this post is totally a waste of time, because, inarguably, you belong to the healthiest race that the mankind has ever witnessed, therefore, the post does not reveal much for you. For example, in most of the states in India when the incidence of smoking is on the decline and vehemently discouraged much to the concern of the World Health Organization, the bongs refuse to give up this super healthy habit as it is the proud hallmark of their long tradition of intellectual leadership and a symbol of their vigorous virility (medically virility is attenuated by smoking in general, but not for the bongs).

OK. Now back to the topic of today. Obesity.

1. What is obesity and overweight?

If your BMI (Body-Mass Index) crosses a certain threshold value, you are categorized as obese or overweight or underweight depending on the value.

2. What is your BMI?

Calculate your BMI visiting this link.

Below I give the list of BMI ranges and weight status for adults.


Below 18.5-------------------------------------Underweight

18.5 – 24.9-----------------------------------------Normal

25.0 – 29.9 ---------------------------------------- Overweight

30.0 - 35 ------------------------------------------- ----Obese

35 and above ------------------------------------------ Morbidly Obese

By now if you find yourself in the green colored Normal group then accept my heartiest congrats and I bet that you are a Bong. So now close your computer immediately and rush to your nearest ice-cream parlor to grab a triple scoop before the shutter downs. If you still desire more then this is for you from me. Enjoy!!! But hold on. If you are overweight or, god forbid, obese then brace yourself for some unpleasant truths. You may choose to turn your gaze away, but trust me, the more you ignore it now, the more is the severity with which they come back to you later. So make your decision. I’m here simply discounting the aesthetic issues of fitness and neatness in appearance which are undoubtedly compromised to a large degree by overweight; I’m just reporting the direct ailments associated with it. When I did a short google research on this subject, I was chilled to the bone marrow observing the plentitude of diseases that are caused by the prolonged condition of overweight which is so blissfully laughed away by many (I'm sure you are not one of them). The abundance of consequent health problems arising from this apparently innocuous condition forces me to list them in alphabetic order. The following ailments are either caused or aggravated by overweight/obesity. There are certainly many more.

  • Asthma or respiratory problems
  • Cancer
    • Breast
    • Colon
    • Endometrial
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Diabetes (type 2)
  • Eye problems (e.g. retina)
  • Gallbladder disease
  • High cholesterol and high triglycerides
  • Hypertension
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Piles
  • Pregnancy and Birth Complications
  • Sleep apnea
  • Stroke

As I’m not a medical person either academic or practicing, I collected all the above information making full use of the third greatest invention of human history. The first is fire, the second being the Internet and the third is the Google. So please sue google not me (too poor to hire the sloppiest lawyer in town), if any information provided here is awfully wrong.

This is very interesting to note, not very surprising though, that this obesity is the product of modern civilization. The cavemen of the Altamira in the Paleolithic Age never ran the risk of turning obese and therefore, perhaps had not suffered from diabetes. The reason for obesity is primarily the lack of physical work. The prehistoric men used to chop trees, lug wood, row boats, hunt animals with spears and harpoons and perform many such physically demanding jobs and thereby, could burn all the excess calories of their body to remain gracefully lithe and athletic. But now-a-days, with the aggression of large scale mechanization, the possibility of such strenuous jobs had been diminished to a very large extent, except, of course, a very few cases such as the government jobs in West-Bengal that can well be compared to the stressful lives of prehistoric men. One can never expect an employee in Calcutta Corporation or Righters Building to be overweight or physically unfit. They come late to the office, sometimes well after noontime, just because they prefer to run from their homes instead of riding buses. For the same reason they leave the office much earlier than the official closing time. And in between those two arduous workouts -- one in the morning and the other in the afternoon – they sleep in the office snoring quite ceremoniously without any compunction. So if you are not lucky enough to be one of them, you have to be on your toes to fight off extra weight before it makes inroads into your health and kills you brutally. Now I conclude the piece by listing some countermeasures against overweight. The following material was lifted mercilessly from the article contained in this link. To make the post self-contained, I reproduced a few paragraphs of it in the original within quotes. As a final note, let me add, the moment you feel tired (frustrated and disgusted) of following the regimen suggested below, you may just like to go up the post and look over the diseases that you are so far able to keep away and then reassure yourself that what you gain is much more that what you lose . I think that would do the trick. Good luck and stay fit!!

“How Can You Avoid Becoming Overweight or Obese?
The best way to avoid these health problems is to maintain a healthy weight. And the keys to healthy weight are regular exercise and good eating habits.

To stay active, try to exercise 30 to 60 minutes every day. Your exercise doesn't have to be hard core, either. Walking, swimming, and stretching are all good ways to burn calories and help you stay fit. Try these activities to get moving:

  • Go outside for a walk.
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Walk or bike to places (such as school or a friend's house) instead of driving.
  • If you have to drive somewhere, park farther away than you need to and walk the extra distance.
  • Tackle those household chores, such as vacuuming, washing the car, or cleaning the bathroom - they all burn calories.
  • Alternate activities so you don't get bored: Try running, biking, skating - the possibilities are endless.
  • Limit your time watching TV or playing video games; even reading a book burns more energy.
  • Go dancing - it can burn more than 300 calories an hour!

Eating well doesn't mean dieting over and over again to lose a few pounds. Instead, try to make healthy choices every day:

  • Soft drinks, fruit juices, and sports drinks are loaded with sugar; drink fat-free or low-fat milk or water instead.
  • Eat at least five servings of fruit and vegetables a day.
  • Avoid fast-food restaurants. If you can't, try to pick healthier choices like grilled chicken or salads, and stick to regular servings - don't supersize!
  • If you want a snack, try carrot sticks, a piece of fruit, or a piece of whole-grain toast instead of processed foods like chips and crackers, which can be loaded with fat and calories.
  • Eat when you're hungry, not when you're bored or because you can't think of anything else to do.
  • Eat a healthy breakfast every day.
  • Don't eat meals or snacks while watching TV because you'll probably end up eating more than you intend to.
  • Pay attention to the portion sizes of what you eat.

What Can You Do If You Are Overweight or Obese?
Before you start trying to lose weight, talk to a doctor, a parent, or a registered dietitian. With their help, you can come up with a safe plan, based on eating well and exercising. Remember that teenagers need to keep eating regularly. Don't starve yourself because you won't get the nutrients you need to grow and develop normally.

You may also want to keep a food and activity journal. Keep track of what you eat, when you exercise, and how you feel. Changes can take time, but seeing your progress in writing will help you stick to your plan. You might also want to consider attending a support group; check your local hospital or the health section of a newspaper for groups that meet near you. Above all, surround yourself with friends and family who will be there for you and help you tackle these important changes in your life.”

Friday, June 02, 2006

Collection of short stories

... bumped into this link which contains a lot of short stories and perhaps is updated regularly. Hope, at least some of them would be interesting to fill my days meaningfully. But do not bay for my blood if they are all rubbish (such possibility is not entirely ruled out for good works are not usually available free) .

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