The Interweb Is 40 Years Old?

The Internet is 40 years old! It’s older than me – I didn’t know that!

Len Kleinrock and his team at UCLA began tests 40 years ago on what would become the Internet. The researchers sought to create an open network for freely exchanging information, an openness that ultimately spurred the innovation that would later spawn the likes of YouTube, Facebook and the World Wide Web.

Few were paying attention back on Sept. 2, 1969, when about 20 people gathered in Kleinrock’s lab at the University of California, Los Angeles, to watch as two bulky computers passed meaningless test data through a 15-foot gray cable. The Internet didn’t become a household word until the ’90s, though, after a British physicist, Tim Berners-Lee, invented the Web, a subset of the Internet that makes it easier to link resources across disparate locations.


I’ve been wanting to watch this movie ever since I saw a ‘the making of’ special back in January 2008. As a fan of Julianne Moore, this left me with some more incentive to watch what turned out to be a disturbing but thought provoking movie. I’m surprised that the movie hadn’t done that well and got mostly negative reviews.

The film is about a blindness epidemic that plagues an unnamed city (Sap Paulo is where most of the film was shot along with Montevideo, Uruguay and Guelph, Canada) starting with a Japanese man who goes blind while driving a car. All he can see is blurry, milky whiteness. He infects a thief (Don McKellar) who steals his car after dropping him home. The doctor (Mark Ruffalo) who treats the Japanese man is next and so is a woman in dark glasses (Alice Braga) a call girl who is also one of the doctor’s patients.

The infected are all quarantined off in an abandoned asylum, where they huddled in 3 wards and food is dropped off by mitary soldiers. Ward 3 starts taking over due to their leader King of Ward 3 (gale Garcia Bernal) having a gun and because of the accountant (Maury Chakin) a blind man from birth whose senses are otherwise accustomed. Ward 3 take over the food parcels and demand jewellry in exchange for it. When the jewels run out, they demand that the women in the other two wards pleasure them in exchange for food.

The doctor’s wife (Julianne Moore) is not infected but she pretends to be so, in order to be close to her husband. She becomes a silent leader and tends to the inmates. Despite her husband having sex with the girl in dark glasses, she still stays loyal. After having being sexually humiliated by the King of Ward 3, she kills him and demands food. One of the inmates sets the ayslum on fire and most of them escape to the outside world – only to find everyone infected & blind. Chaos and disorder reign and fighting for food & survival.

The doctor’s wife leads a small group back to their house where she takes care of the doctor, girl with dark glasses, a small boy, man with one eye patch (Danny Glover who also narrates the movie) and the Japanese couple. One morning over coffee the Japanese guy, who was the first to get infected suddenly gets his eyesight back. Over rejoycing, it also give the others hope that the blindness may suddenly lift as quickly and inexplicably as it came.

7 outta 10!

Here Is What Is – Daniel Lanois

Acclaimed singer/songwriter/producer Daniel Lanois, known for producing some of the greatest albums of the last two decades. He also has his own solo stuff that has got him much acclaim. His 6th studio album Here Is What Is was first released in December 2007 as a high-quality download, and later released on CD on March 18, 2008.

It is the result of the same project that lead to the 2007 documentary “Here Is What Is” that premiered at the 2007 Toronto International Film Festival in September. We start off with Chest Of Drawers, a voice recording of Brian Eno speaking (as in the documentary). The  first song is Where Will I Be followed by Here Is What Is. The atmospheric, world weary tone is apparent in them and it’s sets the mood for the rest of the album.

The almost apologetic Not Fighting Anymore is beautiful and melancholic. Eno is then asked about how beauty is created out of nothing. The instrumental Blue Bus is fleshed out by the beautiful pedal steel guitar work of Lanois. Lovechild is a haunting piano instrumental, with just some words, that reminds of snowy arctic life, which then segues into pedal guitar. Harry is about a guy who needs some salvation. Bells Of Oxacana offer an interlude before a surprise in This May Be My Last Time – which is a old time blues number. Smoke #6 is another lovely instrumental.

I Like That is a slow & mellow request for the things that the singer desires. Duo Glide starts off with a steady drum beat, the bass and guitar follow to create a nice intro. Bladesteel is another instrumental. Moondog reminds me of Native Canadians tribes music. And the name ‘Moondog’ sounds like it could be the name of a Native. Brian Eno speaks with Lanois about anti-romanticism in Sacred And Secular. Lanois then tells us about his love for the pedal steel guitar, which he describes as his ‘church in a suitcase’, before he serendes us with some guitar playing.

The pedal steel guitar continues for a bit in Joy, when a more cheerful sounding organ takes over. The album closes with Luna Samba, a lot more happier and jazzy sounding number. Here Is What Is was recorded in Toronto, Los Angeles and Shreveport, LA with drummer Brian Blade (Joshua Redman, Joni Mitchell, Norah Jones) and pianist Garth Hudson (The Band) and captures Lanois’ signature musical sensibilities and virtuosity.

Sundays At Home

This is the life! I’ve always been known to quote, along with a few of my friends, that all Indian companies should advocate the 5 day work week rule. I’ve been getting 2 Saturdays off in a month since May but for over 3 years I have been working 6 days in a row with just a day off (if not Sunday, then some other day).

This is a ridiculous format and the guy(s) who invented this must be hanged to death! You need 2 days to recover from the tension & stress of work. I can understand working 10-12 hours a day if you have Saturday & Sunday off to relax. Saturday should be going out, shopping, hanging out with your buddies, drinking and getting wasted.

Sundays – ah Sundays! They must be for relaxing on your bed with a cold breeze blowing in through the windows, lots of coffee, movies on your DVD player, apple juice, lazy afternoon naps, evening football on tv & pizza!

Shopping On A Saturday Afternoon

I’m sitting in my room sipping cold apple juice that I had bought today afternoon and sipping it in a nice imported glass (one of two that I got free along with a 200g packet of coffee powder). I’ve been shopping today but didn’t get much. I bought one shirt for work, a few dvds, some coffee and the aforementioned delicious apple juice.

I wanted to get some new shoes but the two stores I went into today have only shoes that are out of my budget. Shoes starting at Rs.1950/-. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?! No way Jose! I’ll go to another place in a couple of days and get them for less than half that price. I had some Smirnoff, chicken omelette and some noddles for lunch. And then back home again to watch a movie and take a nap.

Twittering Banned At The US Open

Holy crap! I haven’t watched the US Open (or any tennis tournament coverage) in ages. Twitter seems to be in news everywhere and the Open is no exception. The U.S. Open, which gets set to start on Monday, has issued a warning to players and their entourages to be careful about what they post on the social networking site.

Signs are being posted in the players’ lounge, locker rooms and referee’s office at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center with the header: “Important. Player Notice. Twitter Warning.” They also warn about using Twitter away from the court, saying sending “certain sensitive information concerning your match or other matches and/or players should be avoided. Depending on the information sent out this could be determined as the passing of ‘inside information.”‘

The messages define that as “information about the likely participation or likely performance of a player in an event or concerning the weather, court conditions, status, outcome or any other aspect of an event which is known by a Covered Person and is not information in the public domain.” The warnings say they apply to players, coaches, agents, family members and tournament staff.

The List Is Out – Here’s My Team

The list is published and by late afternoon my four new kids were released to me. I was so happy when they came in to report to me – like a proud father who has been waiting for the deliver of his new born. Well, in my case, I’ve got 7 in total. So that’s Roopa, Wasim, Sabareesh & Anusha who have joined up.

Due to some activities going on at the office, I told them to meet up with me after 3 pm. By 3:30 I sat with them for 3 hours and gave them a download and set expectations for what’s coming up in the next few days. Some leaves requested prior to joining up with me were sorted out and I asked them to give a good introduction about themselves.

Stuff that keeps piling up made me feel stressed and so from 6:45 pm till 8:45 pm I was at my desk and trying to sort out emails. Then I waited for a cab while I chatted with one of my new trainers. She was waiting for her sister, who is an agent in the call center, to finish her shift too. By 9:45 pm I got into a cab and made my way home – the long way. 88 minutes laters I’m home, having had a late dinner and checking my mails.

I Could Almost Kill This Moron

Idiot moron at work may actually be the dumbest fool I have ever met. He has singlehandedly made the biggest goof up possible while dealing with entry level employees. This imbecile does not know anything (he may not be a bad guy) but he kisses ass like crazy and therefore he still has a job.

The waiting is over and I will be able to add 4 more members to my team. The results are released and will be published across by tomorrow morning. I am glad and relieved that it’s done with. I don’t want to have half baked jobs done for my department by idiots on loan.

Arsenal 3 Glasgow Celtic 1

Without much trouble Arsenal wrapped up their Champions League qualifier second leg tie with a 3-1 win over Celtic and they cruise through to the Champions League proper on a 5-1 aggregate win. Eduardo’s 25th-minute penalty, a contentious award after he clashed with Celtic keeper Artur Boruc, extended the Gunners’ two-goal first leg lead.

Emmanuel Eboue finished a sweeping move for Arsenal’s second after 53 minutes and Andrey Arshavin added another two minutes after coming on as substitute. Massimo Donati’s spectacular angled volley pulled one back for Celtic, but they now go into the Europa League. Arsene Wenger’s side were without injured captain Cesc Fabregas, and Wenger also chose to leave Robin van Persie and Arshavin on the bench as they held a healthy lead from the first leg.

If Tomorrow Comes

If Tomorrow Comes is, in my humble opinion, the best novel by the late author Sidney Sheldon. I saw the mini series first, way back in 1986 while living in Kuwait. My sister had recorded it and we must have watched it quite a few times over the next few years, so much so that the mini series is embedded in my brain.

I often hear of movies often not matching up to the book but I think they were both equally good. Sheldon created his best heroine ever in Tracey Whitney, who gets framed for a crime she didn’t commit while trying to salvage her mom’s reputation. Prison time brings the loss of her unborn baby, her fiance breaking up with her and society shunning her. She gets revenge on the men who framed her and then when all else fails, turns to conning & theivery to get by.

Her path crosses with a fellow con artist Jeff Stevens and towards the end they fall in love, while going to Europe on jobs that their boss has assigned them. The threat of an investigator who is obsessesed with Whitney and uncovering her crimes also looms but he is outwitted by the duo at every turn. This is a magnificent page turner and I assure you that you will not be dissappointed.

The Picture Seems A Lot Clearer

Well the interviews are finally over and done with. I kind of have 3 people who I were looking at as good enough to join my team as already selected. I just to finalize on one more guy and I want it to be a guy as I need to balance things out in the sex ratio. Simply put, girls cannot work past 10:30 pm in my office and since we are a 24/7 inbound customer care center, I need a couple of guys to do the evening shifts.

So I’m glad that selection rounds are over. By tomorrow, the list will be out and once I have selected the 4th person I can claim the 4 of them as my own. I’m also looking for an option to take one more person. If I can, I will take this girl who is good on product knowledge and quality but she is weak in communication skills in English. If I do get to take her in, she will need a lot of molding when it comes to English communication but I’m willing to take that risk.

I will keep you posted.

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Another Bus Strike In The City Of Cochin

If there’s one thing that you could label the bus operators in the state of Kerala, it’s this – consistent!

And so once again, these buggers have declared a total strike in the city of Cochin. Imagine the difficulty that most commuters are going to have to suffer just to get to their respective offices and places of work. Some of us will be quite inconvenienced and this is not thought out by these private bus owners.

I plan on going to work later than usual and taking a company cab at 9:30 pm (that’s the time of the first drops arranged by the company) and I’ll probably reach home by about 10:30 pm or so. Fuck these strikes!

The Butt End Of A Long Day

It’s the butt end of another painful & long day at the office. When things don’t go right, they go fucking wrong!

Anyways, to keep it short, we couldn’t start the interview rounds at 10:30 am as planned but it got delayed till 2pm due to various stuff being asked by corporate to the HR manager here. By 2:30 pm with all things set up, we started the interviews. 2 people done, we had to break for a meeting in the board room from 3 pm till 4:40 pm.

Then it was back to the interviews and we completed the rounds for 22 people. By that time, it was 10pm and I went to search for a cab to drop me home. About 20 minutes later, I was in a cab, escorting 3 lady employees to their home and then  by 11:20 pm I was in my room and ready for dinner. What a long day and it’s more of the same tomorrow.

Arsenal 4 Portsmouth 1

Continuing their impressive start to the new season, Arsenal beat Portsmouth 4-1 on Saturday. Abou Diaby opened the scoring with a first-time finish from Eduardo’s cut-back and doubled the lead when he tapped in Emmanuel Eboue’s cross.

Younes Kaboul headed in to give Portsmouth hope but Arsenal responded when the ball rebounded off William Gallas’s face and into the net. Aaron Ramsey slotted home a Robin van Persie pass to seal the hosts’ win.

Arsenal found themselves top of the league on goal difference temporarily but Arsene Wenger is worried about Cesc Fabregas. With their Champions League qualifying play-off second leg against Celtic on Wednesday and a trip to Manchester United on Saturday, manager Arsene Wenger was banking on the fitness of captain Fabregas, who went off at half-time with a hamstring injury.

I Gotta Know Tonite, If You’re Alone Tonite

Me thinks that this song was  meant to be this way – acoustic & gentle. Hey, don’t get me wrong. The original is a rock classic and will be loved for decades more. But this is a beautiful rendition. A shame that it’s only two members of the quintet. Def Leppard’s Phil Collen & Joe Elliot sing Hysteria.