Wednesday, October 31, 2007

'Halloween' be thy name!

An end-term exam day after, but I couldn't let go off getting a feel of Halloween after all! Incredible and spooky at the same time - it was quite unbelievable to see an entire bandwagon parading through downtown here in Austin wearing in the most wierd attire you can imagine! Happy Halloween.. :D

I wasn't really sure of the historical details associated with this, but then Wikipedia gives it all. In a nutshell,
The modern holiday of Halloween has its origins in the ancient Gaelic festival known as Samhain (pronounced /ˈsˠaunʲ/ from the Old Irish samain). The festival of Samhain is a celebration of the end of the harvest season in Gaelic culture, and is sometimes erroneously regarded as the "Celtic New Year". Traditionally, the festival was a time used by the ancient pagans to take stock of supplies and slaughter livestock for winter stores. The ancient Gaels believed that on October 31, the boundaries between the worlds of the living and the dead overlapped and the deceased would come back to life and cause havoc such as sickness or damaged crops. The festivals would frequently involve bonfires, where the bones of slaughtered livestock were thrown. Costumes and masks were also worn at the festivals in an attempt to mimic the evil spirits or placate them. When the Romans occupied Celtic territory, several Roman traditions were also incorporated into the festivals. Feralia, a day celebrated in late October by the Romans for the passing of the dead as well as a festival which celebrated the Roman Goddess Pomona, the goddess of fruit were incorporated into the celebrations. The symbol of Pomona was an apple, which is a proposed origin for the tradition of bobbing for apples on Halloween.

Enough of enlightening and as the saying goes, a picture says more than a throusand words.

P.S: There was this hilarious incident where a genuine fire brigade was rushing to some spot, and a seemingly moron chap with an axe and dressed up started sprinting behind it. To add to the hysteria, once he was done, an encore chanting 'Bravo' went up. Crazy Austin, but its fun.

OpenSocial - Social Networking 2.0

Google's plunging yet again into the social networks, this time with a much bigger and serious perspective. Things have been changing in this field since the past 12 years when was launched. Last few years, especially since 2004, this concept has taken a whole new dimension with terms like orkutting and myspaced becoming commonly used jargons.
Last few days have especially been interesting. Microsoft's new found interest in this finally was out when they entered into a whopping $240 million deal for a mere 1.6% stake in Facebook - a move criticized by many by terming it as 'not making sense'.
And now New York Times reports that Google's launching OpenSocial - which gives a whole new perspective on this - a more serious one. In a nutshell, through OpenSocial, Google's will provide 3 common APIs which would allow application developers to build their own applications using an array of hosts which include LinkedIn, hi5, Friendster, Plaxo and Ning, along with Google's own social networking service, Orkut. Understandably Facebook and MySpace were not there. The kind of impact it will have will only be clear in the future, but this standardization effort of Google might just result in some interesting sequence of events in the near future.
Update: Some serious momentum for OpenSocial APIs as MySpace and Bebo have too joined now!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Spare me the Glare!

Crowd Taunts, verbal chats, brushing shoulders and intimidating glares - A perfect script to get the game going with the least emphasis on getting the game right! Its pretty inquisitive of the way things have been happening in this game and looks like a new script writer has been appointed to spice up things. A question however pops up - Is it really called for?
Cracking up Australia is not that easy. Andre Nel would have learnt that a couple of years back when Gilly whacked him to all corners of the ground after his antics. He even got a taste of his own against India, though Sreesanth's terpsichore in reply probably overshadowed the entire match itself. No doubt, its fun, though once a while. It becomes quite annoying after that!
Subtle humor with a pinch of sledging is brilliant and I'm not sure if anyone barring the likes of Graeme Hick would really argue with that. But not everyone is good at it, and then comes the case of crossing that 'thin' line when it becomes seriously objectionable. Isn't that happening too often these days? We all know that there is a lot of chatter going around that 22 yards but then to do it gracefully is an art in itself.
Indians were never really good at it, barring a few smart blokes, whom you can count on one hand (The name of Ravi Shastri instantly comes into my mind). However, there has been a substantial change in the past decade or so and this was much evident when Ganguly was at the helm of affairs. He definitely caused a few jitters in Steve Waugh's tummy when the Aussies had come down to India 2000-01.
Things have been changing since then. Aggression is suddenly becoming more important than your numbers. Sreesanth is perhaps a classic example of this. I'm not against giving it back to the Aussies, but then an overdose of the same doesn't really carry any meaning, and especially when you are not able to back your words with deeds. With the recent developments in the Indo-Aus series, its pretty clear that the upcoming tour to Down Under would probably be a make-or-break series for quite a few Indian players. We've all seen how 'generous' the crowds Down under can get, leave alone the 'mates'!
However, ICC would probably be relishing seeing all this. There's a touch of 'soccerial' behavior thats sneaking in this game, driving even the 'relatively' passive folks to hoot for their players. Lets see if these gimmics on display highlight fierce competitiveness or should be ignored as mere buncombe.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Halloween Beckons!

Just an image to capture the moment. Yeah, cynics would accuse me of getting americanized! It isn't that way, its just that these folks here paint the entire picture of Halloween so well that you tend to get a li'l involved! :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


So finally I did something which was pending since a long time now. You can now find me at my department web page. It ain't pretty for now, but atleast its there. :D

10 Weirdos in Cricket

Here's a video I came across on YouTube regarding the '10 Most Weird Dismissals in Cricket' and it accounted for a pretty interesting viewing. Though there have been quite a few which have been hilarious and at the same time outrageous, not all can be covered in this one.

Remember the game in New Zealand, where Andre Adam's magic delivery did in Kumble! I tried finding a video for the same, but couldn't. Any others that you can recall?

Sunday, October 21, 2007


iMac, iPod, iPhone - Steve Jobs and Co. have given quite a few i's since the iAge took over. We all know the kind of hysteria that was on display when the iPhone was first revealed. However, humor could sometimes fit so perfectly in certain scenarios. For instance, sample this spoof on the same. Thanks to Kunal for the link.

P.S: In no way do I despise Apple or any of its products. Its just some humor out here!

Trends of a Different Sort

Trends! Beep.. Beep.. Mind says fashion or food or probably even cultural! Welcome to the Google Age and so yet another addition - Google Trends. :) The term is self explanatory but is enough to generate inquisitiveness. Although Google Trends has been there for sometime now, but then one doesn't have time to really infer from the data as such.
According to statistics provided by Google, it definitely shows some interesting patterns. PC World summarizes the same for data from 2004 (Oh c'mon, its like 3 yrs but I guess nothing much would have changed).
Indians hunt for 'sex' and Swedes hunt for 'Kate Moss' while the Americans stay glued to 'Burritos' (damn, I'm sick of Burritos). But the most interesting one would be the Latin Americanos - Mexicans and Venenzuelans lusting for 'Britney Spears'!! Why on earth do they need to hunt for anyone else? ;) Read the article here..

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Monday, October 8, 2007

Time's the Problem..

There have been quite a few things happening around, be it in the tech arena or the sports world or even in my routine life. But then posting takes time, and thats something I'm desperately trying to find. There might be a few souls visiting this blog (if at all) to see if there have been any updates, but I'm just way too preoccupied with the coursework, projects and other academic stuff.. I'll try my best to update here sometime soon..

By the way, I did manage to grab some little time to watch Johnny Gaddar, and as one of the reviewers had put it, for a change you need to apply your brains to watch this intelligent thriller. Quite absorbing for sure!