26 February 2007

Watering the Sun

Biella writes about a humourous piece from a book by John Morreal. I was reminded of a similar story from times long long ago.

"Nanak’s teachings are best understood against the backdrop of bhakti, the devotional movement which was then sweeping north and western India, and in the context of the ossification of both Hinduism and Islam into religious faiths which inculcated blind beliefs in their followers. During the course of his travels, Nanak reached Hardwar, where he encountered Brahmins who, while standing in the Ganga, were throwing water towards the sun to appease the souls of their ancestors. It is reported that Nanak bent down and began throwing water in the opposite direction, and when asked what he was doing, he replied that he was watering his fields in the Punjab. When his reply was met with derision, Nanak reportedly told the Brahmins that if the water they were sprinkling could reach the sun, then doubtless the water could also reach his fields, which were merely a few hundred miles away."

c.f. http://www.sscnet.ucla.edu/southasia/Religions/gurus/GNanak.html

24 February 2007

Grip Rocks

I had an old audio CD which wasn't playing too well, so I thought of ripping it and burning a new one. Yesterday I ripped tracks 1 to 7, and the 8th track took around 3hrs. I started ripping of the 9th track around 15hours ago, and it is 41% done. I am using Grip to rip the CD and it has been chugging along bit-by-bit literally. I won't mind waiting another 24hours to get the 9th track ripped. Grip hasn't quit on the CD yet, so all I can say for it is that simply rocks.

Update: Finally, Grip has finished ripping the track taking about 38hours in all. I have the complete .wav file. Yippeeee :)

15 February 2007

Movie: Amu

Last night I went to see the movie Amu at a special screening at the Forum. Partly due to the weather conditions, there were only about 600 people at the multiplex watching the movies; 200 of them were watching Amu!

Amu is a movie[imdb.com] about a young American-Indian girl who goes to India to know about herself and her roots. She finds India very interesting but something disturbs here and she can't pinpoint the reason. But the tenacious girl keeps digging and finally ends confronting her own family about her real roots.

The director, Shonali Bose, has done a great job at portraying the what happened during the 1984 riots in Delhi, for which none of the main perpetrators has been brought to justice till now! The movie has been censored in India by the film board CBFC and also given an adult certificate (R rating). Censored dialogs can be found on Amu's website. Just like a pen can be stronger than a sword, silence can be more effective than words. Silence has been used for the censored parts and it goes great lengths into explaining the extent of the cover up even 23 years after the incident! A great effort by the director who has met with threats during the making of the movie. A must see.

The movie starts Friday, February 23 in the AMC Forum 22 in Montreal. Shonali Bose will be present during the release weekend for any questions you have about the movie. In Toronto the movie starts February 16 and Vancouver will be able to see it from February 23rd. The movie is English with a few dialogs in Bangla and Punjabi (subtitles are provided).

PS: The foreword from the report on the 1984 pogrom of Sikhs can be downloaded from here.

13 February 2007

-20°C and Fire

A fire happen to break out in the adjacent block. The fire fighters spent hours trying to contain the fire. No one died but there were a couple of shops/restaurants that were completely brought to rubbles and the adjacent restaurants and businesses were damaged by water/fire.

I was amazed to see the fire fighters out there with a temperature of around -20°C (would be even lower if you consider the windchill factor). My fingers were actually freezing while holding the camera and I had to put my hands in my pockets after every few pictures. Below you can see a few of the images which catch they eye and depict the extent of the fire and hard work by the firemen.

Smoke Column
Doesn't that look like a staircase?

Fighting Fire
Brave firemen fighting the fire

Fire Ice and Man
Fire on back of the building and ice on the front! Isn't that an antithetical situation?

More pictures here.

11 February 2007

Windows Vista

This is completely hilarious and ingenious:

My father heard about Vista coming on the news. Since he was interested in getting it, he asked me to obtain it and install it on his computer and he would give some cash in return. I told him I was going to do that, but instead I burned an Ubuntu CD and installed it.

Later, when he came home from work, I showed him his new "Vista" install, complete with the latest Office and Solitaire.

Well, it's been a few days since that and now he says Bill Gates is better than Steve Jobs and brags about how OS X on my iMac is obsolete compared to Vista on his PC.

I will continue with the prank for some weeks, after which I'll tell him the truth and give him back his money.

ref: http://www.degredo.net.

5 February 2007


You are cordially invited to enjoy the sunny days we are having ;). Unfortunately one has to be brave enough to get their fingers out even to take a picture (provided the battery doesn't die in those few seconds).

3 February 2007

Genuine Linux

I run a genuine copy of Linux. Do you?

2 February 2007

Dear Yahoo! [Mac]

I wonder why doesn't your Yahoo! News item work on my Safari browser! Clicking on a video news item does indeed open a new window with a list of other news items on the bottom and a little description of the news item on the right side. However, there is no video! Also, I didn't find any indication that my browser lacks a plugin or something and I should install it to view the news item.

If one looks around on the page, there is a Settings button on the top, so I went there hoping to get things sorted out by changing some settings. The settings page tells me that Yahoo! already has selected a media player (none as far as I can see) and a connection speed too (no indicator as to what is the present setting). A user cannot select a media player if it is not in the list, and selecting the speed without the media player is kind of redundant. Oh and when you click on the Help link on the page, it takes the user to a generic Yahoo! Help page. Why couldn't you have put a link which went straight to information about video news items on Yahoo! News?

So, Yahoo! please fix your news media player application so that Mac users can also enjoy the content on Yahoo! News.