Monday, October 23, 2006


Richard Dawkins - The Root of All Evil

Calling religion the root of all evil is bold in today's age: one automatically turns the majority of the world against oneself. This is a two part series in which Ricahrd Dawkins examines religion as it stands in today's deeply religious America. He travels to Israel and Palestine territories. In some segments he comes of as an evanagalist for Athiesm. I say this not in a bad way. I hold Dawkins with the highest regards but my skeptisicm( of his approach, not athiesm) is deeply rooted in the way most athiests like me view many religions: live and let live. We are unlike people in airports trying to convert you, trying to spread the word of god. We do not care if the other person believes in Jesus, Allah, Rama or the FSM. We know we are right but do not see the harm caused by people living in delusion. We think it's infringing on the rights of other people if they choose to believe it. We are uncomfortable to disclose that we are athiests in polite company -- much like gays were ( or still are in places like India). There are very few flaming athiests like flaming gays that cry out loud. In short we do not like the attention. That's what seperates Dawkins from the rest of us. He is not willing to stop at telling himself there is no god. He deeply cares about the wedge that religion drives between reason and logic. He is passionately against indoctrinating children before they are old enough to choose their own god( or not).
Even when he is talking to supposed religious know-it-all leaders he is extremely calm and never agitated. There is one conversation with a man who is a passionate muslim preacher( he was born into Judaism in New York) in palestine. Dawkins tells him upfront that he is an athiest presumably trying to indicate that he has no motives against his issue. The reaction he elicits from the preacher is stunning: he hates him even more than he hates Jews. He launches into a tirade about why people like him( Dawkins) dress up their women as whores and parade them in the streets. To which Dawkins responds that they are not his women and it's upto the women to decide on how to dress. It's brave work -- watch it.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


So you've screwed up. Now what?

Yesterday I read this amazing incident in The New Yorker. Apparently, Steve Wynn --owner of the Wynn casino in Las Vegas, poked a hole with his elbow to La Reve, Picasso's painting of his mistress. He bought it for several million dollars and had just sold it to another art collector for $139 million. I called it an amazing incident not because of the extent of damage caused to the expensive painting; it was his reaction after the damage had been done. He had just lost several million dollars because of an accident and he was pretty cool about it. Later he took his friend's out to dinner:

A few hours later, they all met for dinner, and Wynn was in a cheerful mood. “My feeling was, It’s a picture, it’s my picture, we’ll fix it. Nobody got sick or died. It’s a picture. It took Picasso five hours to paint it.” Mary Boies ordered a six-litre bottle of Bordeaux, and when it was empty she had everyone sign the label, to commemorate the calamitous afternoon. Wynn signed it “Mary, it’s all about scale—Steve.”

That's it. He said, "Nobody got sick or died," when he had just poked a hole in a $139 million dollars painting. How cool is that? Is there a better way to handle an crises except when people are actually dying or getting sick? Isn't that the best answer for all the crises? You see what you can fix in a bad situation and then move on. I like this Steve Wynn guy.

Monday, October 02, 2006


There's no fall in Chicago

Weather's changing: time to dust that coat
long cold nights pushing the days
this october or any for that matter
the start warm, the end frozen
summer leaves like the train you see
trying to catch it out of breath
with a big white X painted behind.

Saturday, August 26, 2006


Game in disrepute

Cricketers are often charged with an offense called: 'Bringing the game into disrepute'. Usually, it's for something like excessive appealing, questioning the umpire when the batsman thinks he's wrongly given out among others. But isn't it funny that the officials never ever charged with bringing the game into disrepute? What bigger blemish on cricket than an umpire blackmailing the Cricket's Institution to leave the game? Is the game more tainted than racism being as the reason for decisions taken on the field? Who will frame charges of bringing the game into disrespute on the officials who believe they are be-all and end-all of the game?

Sunday, August 20, 2006


It's all about the umpire: Part2

I really have a problem with the umpire lording over the proceedings. The players are expected to grovel when they give bone-headed decisions and just walk away even without a hint of as much as shaking their heads. I've blooged about it here, earlier when Steve Bucknor thought he was all the rage.
Now, Darell Hair is somebody who is always in the news for more than what he should be doing. He too seems to have a problem about realizing who the crowds to come to watch the game. In pointing a finger at the Pakistan team without any proof, making a unilateral decision without as much as consulting the fielding team or warning them is absolutely disgraceful. Pakistan team has every right in protesting and not taking the field. But I know what will happen. The ICC will further give a free ride to it's umpires, dock the Pakistani team and the board some fines and keep everything normal.

Saturday, August 12, 2006


Anil Kumble Circle

Apparently there's Anil Kumble Circle in Bangalore. Given the way he bowls, I'm guessing it's just a straight road...

[Photo courtesy from here. Please let me know if it's a copyrighted image.]

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


There's a lot of happiness coming my way

Given that most young people are broke, scampering for relationships, and studying algebra that most of them will find useless later in life, you wouldn't think they are the happiest people. Now researchers agree. Aaah, how I look forward to my retirement and play Bingo.


Stephen Hawking says

Get ready to Star trek.

Link via [Instapundit]


To call a spade, a spade

is probably the most difficult thing in modern life. I really don't care if politicians ban english rhymes in Bihar as posted here in India Uncut, because politicians are always banning one thing or another. For example, there's a ban on foie gras in my city Chicago and you can read all about it here. The problem is with stupid people thinking one can change status quo by resorting to euphimisms like calling a black sheep, a rainbow sheep and such as reported here. What's the point of that? To make black sheep feel better about themselves?

Link via [India Uncut]


Anil Kumble - Still unsung

I've wanted for so long to write a post about Kumble and kept putting it off. Then I remembered reading this post a while ago, by one of my favourite bloggers Jai and I couldn't have said it better. He wrote,
Eight other bowlers have 400+ Test wickets. Their names are: Muttiah Muralitharan, Shane Warne, Courtney Walsh, Wasim Akram, Kapil Dev, Richard Hadlee, Curtly Ambrose, Glenn McGrath. Of these, a black mark has often been put against Muralitharan’s name -- but that’s because of the perceived illegitimacy of his bowling action, not on the grounds of talent/ability/achievement. The rest? Read the list again.
The point of that post was how under appreciated Kumble was inspite of all his achievments. That was when he went past 400. Like a champion marathon runner overtaking the ones in front of him, he went past Akram, Hadlee, Kapil Dev, Ambrose, and now, Walsh. So apart from the contemporeries McGrath, Murali and Warne, there is no one ahead of him. Anybody notice a difference recently?

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