Monday, July 24, 2006

It's always good in life for this

How many times can you watch a movie? I must have watched The Bourne Supremacy a few dozen times in the last couple of months and never seem to tire of it. A few reasons why I think it is so cool, in no particular order;

1. Matt Damon - Matt Damon IS Jason Bourne. Damon was Bourne to be Jason (Sorry, couldn't resist that).

2. The editing - I can't find one scene which is redundant and the story moves at a blistering pace

3. The camerawork - The camera moves so quickly and never stops. Almost shaky at times, the emphasis is on style rather than on the details of the action and it adds to the air of uncertainty.

4. Photography - Some of the photography is breathtaking. All the classic shots of world cities and I remember one stunning shot of an expressway curving around the snow covered mountains when Bourne is driving from Naples to Berlin

5. The background score - Fantastic. Fits the movie perfectly. I love all the tracks. Moscow Wind Up in particular

6. Extreme Ways - The awesome song by Moby at the end along with the credits. Can't think of a better song to end the movie with.

The title of this post is a line from Extreme Ways. And like it says, it's always good in life for this because it's one fantastically cool movie.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Preethi maade figure andre thogomba anthaLe pulsar

One of the many classic one liners you can find on the back of Bangalore auto rickshaws. See more gems like this on this awesome blog focused on Auto rickshaw art. Haven't seen a more focused blog in a long time! Tantrik is that you writing under a pseudonym?

From the same blog I came to know of the The Indian Auto Rickshaw Challenge. Crap! Someone organised it before I could! The Challenge takes place Aug 21-28 in Tamilnadu. Such a shame I won't be going.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Thank You, Bergy

DB10's glittering career comes to an end with his Testimonial on saturday at our sparkling new stadium.

As Football Commentator puts it very nicely, "there have been players more prolific than Dennis Bergkamp, but few scorers of greater goals". Very few had such an eye for the killer pass as well.

The greatest non englishman to wear the Arsenal Red&White, he is also definitely one of the game's greats. See one of his magic goals here. If you want to see more of his brilliant goals buzz me.

Thanks Bergy, Thanks for the memories.

Update: Read a nice article from the Guardian here about the influence of DB10 on Arsenal and how what he started is now culminating in the opening of one of Europe's best stadiums. DB10 didn't just bring success to Arsenal, along with Arsene Wenger, he brought a revolution.

Update2: Here is a brilliant montage of DB10's goals and skills. Genius.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Whats all this hullabaLOO about?

How about a loo that pretty much does everything itself except maybe clean your behind? The AJC reports about the Space age toilets at Five Points station on the Atlanta Marta (Metro Atlanta Rapid Transport Authority if I remember right).

These things withdraw into the wall after use for an automatic wash & dry session. The toilets welcome you in a female voice, inform you that it was disinfected after last use and even bid you goodbye when you are done. Here is the best part though - the doors automatically open after 20 minutes with a warning sign after 17!! The paper quotes the authorities as saying they will soon reduce the duration to 10 minutes. If they do, I am sure quite a few people (including some my dear friends here) will be caught with their pants down !!

The German engineered (but of course!) toilets cost 1.1 Million quid for twelve toilets but apparently still end up saving some maintence costs!! Makes you wonder how much the people who presently clean the loos earn!

The article says these things are popular in Europe but are just beginning to be used in the US. The Marta is supposedly the first transit system in the US to install them. Read this AJC article for a detailed description of the Loos and the first day experiences of users!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


All you hundreds of readers (ok ok the 4 readers) who want to know the details of my Warsaw trip last month, read this on The Other Side. This includes some of the 'interesting' things that happened when Mr.D and Mr.M were in Atlanta before flying with me to Warsaw.

Update: Do I still have to clarify who the 'Hero' is?
Update 2: Some photographs from Warsaw here.Thanks again to Mr.D. I will try to post some of them here very soon.

Road Mirage

I read an excellent article on the problems plaguing the Ahmedabad - Pune stretch of the GQ project post its construction. I came to know of this article through Ajay Shah's blog and you can read his views on this here

Already beset by delays and huge cost overruns, quality issues post construction is not really good news.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Bengalooru special

I wanted to post this several days back but didn't because I did not have a camera with me when I went to work. Anyway TOI beat me to it day before.

This is a photograph of 100 Feet road in Indiranagar, Bangalore where my company is located. The wonder that is the BDA built a flyover, asphalted the road leading upto it, and then promptly dug it up to put up the Shamiyana (Pandal) for the inaguration of the same flyover!

Yes, the same airport road flyover which has been under construction for more than 3 years now. For almost 2 years the flyover was in a half constructed state and Tantrik used to joke that the powers were in the process of declaring it an Archeological heritage site in India.

Update: I just read that quite appropriately even the inaguration was delayed by over two hours. And guess what the flyover seems to have created more problems than it has solved. While the traffic jams were not a surprise the flood angle is new. Bangalore never ceases to amaze you, does it?

Update 2: I removed the photograph because I didn't want to get into any copyright issues. Waiting for the denizens at TOI to give permission to use the photograph..

Rhyme time news

I came across this hilarious post by Sidin who has to be one of the funniest guys in the blogosphere. read and enjoy!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

More discussions on the blasts...

An interesting piece by Amit Varma on the Guardian blogs . A good read in general except that he comes across like he is blaming only the BJP and the Shiv Sena for the present situation. I am not sure that was the intention though. Part of the problem is also policies and pronouncements which serve to accentuate the differences between people. I think the "secular" parties who are only interested in the minority vote are equally culpable.

Another point, While there can be no justification whatsoever for the likes of Narendra Modi, it is important that we do not turn a blind eye to divisive acts and pronouncements by others. Bigotry needs to be frowned upon regardless of the faith of the bigot. Gaurav Sabnis makes a similar point in his comments to Amit's article, some of which you can read on his blog


We live in troubled times. Delhi, Varanasi and now Bombay. And of course countless blasts and killings in Kashmir which I am sure no one bothers about.

I am sick of hearing about the Spirit of Mumbai on every channel today. I dont think there was anything ever wrong with the Spirit of Mumbai or any other city for that matter. I am sure New Yorkers and Londoners would have similar stories about their citizens. But what is different in Mumbai and India in general is the fallout from these incidents.

The media doesnt seem to be ask the most pertinent questions. While the US hasnt seen a repeat of 9-11 in 5 years why have had 3 major blasts in 1 year? After 9-11 there was a complete overhaul of the Intelligence and Security set up in the US. While there is scepticism about the results of the overhaul the important thing is that someone was willing to admit there might have been mistakes and look at corrective measures.

Given our security and police infrastructure, I think it is a great credit to our intelligence agencies that such attacks are not more common. But I am sure there is tremendous scope for improvements in coordination among the different agences. There is definitely a case for reviewing our security infrastructure. But all we will hear about is increased alert levels in other metros, Metal detectors at Mumbai stations and so on for the next few days and then silence until the next such incident.

Case in point - baggage screening at most Indian airports. Most baggage is screened by Airline staff before checkin. How difficult is it for people to distract these untrained staff and sneak in stuff? Security checks are not very thorough. Seldom are your wallets etc. scanned. Instead you just dump them in a bowl which is never scanned. In the US security checks are done by a trained dedicated agency (TSA) and are very thorough with everything including your shoes being screened. Still a recent review of the US airport security measures said this was not good enough because the technology employed for screening is dated. If this is the case with the US what can we say about the checks in India?

While at the earliest opportunity every DGP & commisioner bemoans that his police force is understaffed how many of them have a plan to overcome the shortage? In a city like bangalore which is growing at a phenomenal rate how come we still have the same number of policemen? I am sure the revenues of the city are growing too from all the economic activity but has the security spend grown at the same rate? If it has grown at all where are we spending the money?

Why is there no replacement for Pota or Tada? Maybe these laws were draconian but should we be reforming them or doing away with them completely?

Why dont I hear Rajdeep Sardesai ask these questions instead of gloating that the whole world is seeing the blast images on CNN-IBN? Why isn't NDTV talking about these issues instead of showing slick ads saying Salaam Mumbai? It is a huge disrespect to the courageous people of Mumbai that all we can talk about is their spirit while ignoring the real issues.