Tag Archives: news

The second coming


I pretty much suck at all things that need any more effort than required in the act of yawning. But this time I am determined to really outdo myself and kick this blog into high gear. So watch out. The aim is to produce at least a post a day. You have been warned!

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Gingrich cites fraud but Perry prefers to Sue


U.S. 2012 Election is becoming really fun to watch. Look at Virginia’s presidential nominating contest.

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, who failed to come up with 10,000 verifiable signatures, (to satisfy Virginia’s qualification process) has accused a worker hired by his campaign of fraud.

“We hired somebody who turned in false signatures. We turned in 11,100 – we needed 10,000 – 1,500 of them were by one guy who frankly committed fraud,” Gingrich says.

Read the Reuters Story

This may well be true. What I find idiotic is that he has such an incompetent campaign team. I mean if you know you definitely need 10,000 signatures and also know that one person has about 1,500 hundred of them, you would definitely make sure the person was sound. And if he says that he had been unaware that one person held 1,500 signatures, then, he is even more incompetent than I suspect.

Would you trust the reins of your country with someone who is not able to oversee his own campaign without being made to look silly?

Read more.. at http://bit.ly/vdCB01

Have you had “One too Many?’


Image from cartoonstock.comHave you ever wanted to find out your exact tolerance level for alcohol? I mean we keep hearing about people having had “one too many drinks!” I think, and I am sure you will agree with me here (unless of course you have had one too many yourself) the real key is knowing when to stop.

Well, I am happy to tell you that I think we have finally a sure-fire test to figure this out. It is called the River or Parking lot Test.
So here is how it works.

Ingredients

One medium sized river
Few large bottles of whatever it is that makes your boat rock
Notebook and pen

Method:

Sit in front of the river. Look carefully at the river. Note down what you see in the notebook. If what you have written reads “river” then have a drink. Repeat.

If at any time during the above mentioned steps you see the words “underground parking lot” appear on the notepad, promptly stop guzzling the nectar.

Later, count the number of times the word river appears on the notebook and you will have the exact number of drinks that you can have before you have had “one too many!”

Now, I can see that you are scoffing at this novel theory of mine. Well, if you do not pay heed to it, you might end up with your car in the river and your driving licence with the police. That’s exactly what happened to Peter Thaler.

Check out this story : Swiss man mistakes river for car park

This Swiss man obviously had had “many too many” and mistook a river for an underground car park. Having happily parked his car (no doubt bucked at having been able to park it in the exact right spot even while intoxicated) he went away humming to himself.

“He was confused because of the fog – but mostly because of the drink,” the report quoted a source as saying.

Little did Thaler know that the police were just waiting to nab him when he went to collect his car. The police took away his licence and fined him and (beat this) asked him to pay costs for the recovery of his car.

I personally think that the authorities exhibited a marked lack of a S of H. But then, in their defence, the police say that he was so massively drunk that he flunked a breathalyser test on the day after the parking-car-in-the-river incident. Depressing, or what? Enough to make you take to the bottle, yourself.

So take this opportunity to test the limits of your sobriety. Find your tolerance level. (And save your car from getting an unscheduled wash!)

Moral of the story: Not only must you “Not drink and Drive,” you must also refrain from “Drinking and parking!”

Apple, Analysts and the iPad 2:The Apple of their Eyes


“Apple remains the best technology company on the planet.”

“This is a sad day (The day Apple released iPad 2) for the crowd of competitors.”

“The day could not have gone better”

“Comparable tablets will need to price meaningfully below the iPad in order to take share in this market – an event that is highly unlikely given that they would essentially be breaking-even or losing money at those prices.”

(Image Courtesy – iPad.net)

You could be forgiven for thinking that an Apple flak penned the above lines. That, however, would be no closer to the truth, than Apple’s nearest rivals are to catching up with the tech giant.

These are, in fact, the carefully considered and meticulously measured words of various brokerages, that they issued in response to Apple’s launch of the iPad 2 on March 2.
READ REUTERS REPORT : Apple’s Jobs puts on lively iPad 2 show

It makes me wonder why ever Apple would need to spend a single penny on public relations. With analysts so deeply in love with the company and its array of blockbuster products, who needs the services of a public relations officer?

An Omnicom’s Interbrand brand consultancy division report shows that Apple products were placed in 10 of the top 30 Hollywood films in 2010. And that is actually down from 50 percent in 2008, and 44 percent in 2009! I find it amusing that while on one side Apple coughs up hundreds and thousands of dollars to project their company/products favourably, brokerages/analysts are willing to afford them stellar coverage, in most cases for free!

Frankly, analysts seem to have let down their guard. People who usually jump at the faintest sign of weakness in a company’s balance sheet, commentary, outlook and are wont to keep their comments guarded, brief and lined with caveats, suddenly seem to be outdoing each other in waxing eloquent. Some of their comments and the general sense of the whole of their notes belie the fact that these are the guys that investors are relying on to do a critical evaluation of the company.

And if you are still not convinced about Apple’s love affair with stock analysts just take a look at the brokerage recommendations.

Of the 54 analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters 50 have a “buy” or a “strong buy” rating on the stock. That’s a staggering 93 percent. I doubt if I could get my blood relatives to confess their love for me so unanimously.

Even if Apple is in truth all it is touted to be, it is unhealthy and dangerous for analysts — the people we trust to study and analyse the company in an objective manner – to be so lyrically adulatory and in such a unanimous manner at that.

A part of the reason why analysts love Apple so may lie with Apple’s successful gadgets but a lot has to do with Jobs. In a note an analyst went so far as to say, “Yesterday Apple and Steve Jobs introduced the iPad 2.”

Clearly Steve Jobs being on the stage for the launch is almost as fascinating an idea as the company’s new product itself. A fantastic case of “the Man “ and “the Machine” coming together to take a company to heady heights.

To my mind the obvious reason (legitimate or otherwise) for the way analysts adulate Apple and Jobs, is their success. Nothing succeeds like success. Success, however, may be fleeting and one must be alert to the possibility of things going wrong. The “truly, madly and deeply in love” tone of most of the analyst notes can hardly be the end result of a critical, alert and objective approach.

Whether it is the charisma of Steve Jobs or the sheer magic of its products Apple certainly has stock analysts wrapped around its little finger.

It is for lesser companies to shell out oodles of cash on splashy advertising campaigns and carefully thought out promotional events. All Apple needs to do is to have Steve Jobs take the stage with whatever it is that the company is launching.

And then the company can sit back and enjoy the applause.

(The writing above does not reflect anything but my own personal views.)

ONLY RAJNI KAN(TH)


Making a super-duper hit movie in India is really simple you know.

First things first, cast Shivaji Rao Gaekwad. That’s ‘Superstar Rajinikanth’ for the uninitiated. (The standard of people visiting this blog is falling daily – next you will tell me you do not know Lady Gaga !)

After you have done this, you can pretty much relax. I mean if you have the time and inclination then you may think about ancillary things like story, screenplay and the likes. These are not all that important once you have managed to net the God of South Indian movies.

And in case you are really unlucky ( And we are talking a special brand of bad luck here.. something on the lines of a black cat that has killed a sparrow, breaking thirteen mirrors while walking under a ladder !) and make a loss you can always get Rajnikanth to reimburse you out of his own pocket!

I cannot tell you how popular the guy (read God) is. Just casting him in a movie ensures that at least 2 million people will watch the flick. And that is just the combined population of the South Indian states. I hear that he also has a considerable fan following in Japan. Though honestly speaking, I have a suspicion that the Japanese have not yet realised that he is not speaking in Japanese. They might have mistaken it for a regional dialect of their native tongue.

Rajnikanth has become a brand name. Take this latest film, Endhiran. The movie has a highly original plot. Something to do with a scientist and his humanoid clone that turns rogue and tries to do hanky panky with his creator’s girlfriend. As lame a story that ever occurred to a stoned storyteller!
And yet movie halls have been bursting at the seams to accommodate all the people wanting to take a look at their star’s latest work.

The guy is bald, middle-aged and has a paunch. I mean if I looked like that not even my faithful dog would take a second look at me! And yet we have simply millions falling over each other to shake his hands! The man is something else.

Grady Hendrix has put it neatly when he said ..

“He is a force of nature. If a tiger had sex with a tornado and then their tiger-nado baby got married to an earthquake, their offspring would be Rajinikanth!”

Word has it that the guy has enough chutzpah to strangle you with a cordless phone and has made even the simply act of smoking a cigarette into a refined martial art.

Check out the video!

If You have not died laughing after watching this do go and watch Endhiran

The (Un) Commonwealth Games


I hope you are keeping a tab of all the jokes you are hearing about the New Delhi Commonwealth Games, set to start Oct. 3.
Why? Well, I am considering bringing out a joke book specially dedicated to this event. It will help spectators pass the time of day while they wait for the fire brigade to come and pull them out from all the rubble.
I mean, if stadium roofs and bridges are falling apart at the seams even before the contest starts, it is very likely some such disaster will happen when spectators actually start clapping.
The Guardian on Wednesday reported that the Commonwealth Games have been plunged further into crisis after a roof collapsed in the weightlifting arena, the Scotland team delayed its departure and the England team boss said the competition was “on a knife edge”.

READ REPORT http://bit.ly/CWGreport

One cannot but feel that the England boss is taking things a bit too seriously. After all, he should realise that any knife that is brought into association with the Delhi version of the CWG, will probably get all bent before it can nick anyone!

Structures at the CWG are so flimsy that even Bollywood celebs — well attuned to acting on the shakiest of movie sets – are protesting.

Actor Ranvir Shorey reportedly tweeted that he is “Waiting for something to collapse on one of the Government officials who’re telling us everything is alright at the CWG.” Stern stuff.

Hollywood, on the other hand is taking a more lenient view of the whole affair. Word has it that media bosses are so impressed with all the bridges and ceilings falling all over the place that they are contemplating shooting sequels for “Armageddon” and “2012” on location in Delhi.

Organising Committee secretary-general Lalit Bhanot, is certainly not reading too much into reports that Commonwealth Games Federation chief executive, Mike Hooper, on Tuesday expressed disappointment over the ill preparedness of the 2010 Games Village and termed it as ‘filthy’.

The standards of cleanliness and hygiene differ from person to person,” Bhanot said, brushing aside these concerns.

According to unreliable media sources Bhanot only bathes on alternate Saturdays because he has a ‘different standard of cleanliness!’

I will sign off with a warning to my loyal readers.

In case you are brave enough to actually visit the stadiums during the games, I hope you take necessary precautions. Wear a helmet, stock up on mosquito repellent to keep off all the dengue mosquitoes and try not to cheer too hard lest the stadium fall on your head.
Of course it might be a good idea, to not stand too close to Suresh Kalmadi. I have overheard that javelin throwers have been told that they will get extra points if they manage to hit Kalmadi! Let the games begin!

The (I am not making this up !) News – Vol. I


THE WORLD, SEPT 21 – Some people just do not know how to utilise all the unused talk time on their mobile phone calling plans. Take for instance the 42-year-old man in Singapore who decided to use some of his unused minutes to place a call to the police emergency hotline 999, about a non-existent bomb at a hotel. At the time of going to press the man, if convicted stands to be fined up to $100,000 or be jailed for up to 5 years or both. One expensive prank call this!

READ REPORT http://bit.ly/PRANKCALL

Talking of expensive mistakes, the Commonwealth Games in Delhi could be termed as one too. On Tuesday a footbridge near the main stadium collapsed, injuring more than 20 people, and leading people to question if other structures such the stadiums can be relied upon to stand the strain of the games. The president of the Commonwealth Games Federation, Mike Fennell, said the newly built village had been seriously compromised and conditions in the residences had “shocked the majority” of overseas officials. Unconfirmed reports said that Fennell has suggested that audiences at the games be banned from loud cheering, clapping, whistling, stamping of feet and heavy breathing lest it result in the stadium falling on their head.

READ REPORT http://bit.ly/CWGdisaster

There is, however, plenty to cheer at the London Fashion Week. After years of painstaking research and path breaking creative thinking wig-maker Charlie Le Mindu has managed to achieve the ultimate in Haute couture.. nothing! Mindu broke tradition by making his models strut down the catwalk completely naked, said London’s Metro newspaper. It seems the jury is still out, unable to make up their mind if Mindu’s designs are copied. “When I saw this nude model walking down the ramp, I thought to myself… I have seen this look somewhere!” One, however, cannot but feel relieved that the models were naked, considering that this is the same Mindu who at last years fashion week had produced a headdress made of real mice and rat carcasses. At least rodents will approve this year’s designs!

READ REPORT http://bit.ly/NUDEDESIGNS