Tan Leather Pouch For My Phone

Got a courier delivered to my home this afternoon. I had ordered a tan leather pouch via eBay from BerryNext. I thought it looked cool in the pictures that were uploaded and wanted to buy it. I already have a nice black one but I thought that the tan one looked nice.

This was waiting for me when I got back home. I opened it and here is the pouch.

Feedback – it’s not as good as the ones you get from the company directly. This was a cheaper cost and that’s why I bought it but yeah the pouch doesn’t feel as good and it feels like it could tear off at the seams easily. Oh well, when you buy cheap you get cheap products.

Here is a video of me opening the package.

What’s Your Phone Alert Setting?

This post originated as a comment on a post in Toronto Mike’s blog post on the same topic.

Phone : currently rings the same for all callers – guitar solo from Deep Purple’s ‘Sometime I feel like screaming’

Email : both Gmail and Hotmail ids have different alerts so I know which is which.

SMS/MMS : has a bell like alert

Twitter, Facebook, Gmail and BBM alerts are unique dings so I know which is which.

I have my profile settings for sounds and alter with Vibrations+sound for only when my phone is in its holster.

What are your settings dear reader?

Dream House

With 3 heavy weight names in this movie, you’d expect it to be a blockbuster wouldn’t you? Not the case as it would seem as this movie was panned by critics and audiences stayed away. However it’s not a bad film and you do get some strong acting from the cast but the storyline disappoints. Dream House is  2011 American psychological thriller, that was packaged as a horror film and probably fails due to that, directed by Jim Sheridan  and starring Daniel Craig, Rachel Weisz, Naomi Watts, Elias Koteas and Marton Csoka.

Will, a writer, & Libby have just moved into a new house & neighbourhood with their two young daughters. The family is very happy there and life is good but soon Will’s children start seeing a man watching the house from the front yard. On investigating Will & Libby discovers that something had happened to the house’s previous owners. A woman named Elizabeth and her daughters Beatrice and Katherine were murdered, and her husband, Peter Ward, was the main suspect because they believed he was the only one at the house during the shooting, but was let off because of lack of evidence. Will believes that Peter Ward is the one stalking outside their house and fears for his family’s safety.

Will’s investigations leads him to a psychiatric hospital where Peter was was committed after being arrested for murdering his family. After some initial hestitations, the doctor who treated Peter Ward shows Will video proof of a startling revelation – Will is in fact Peter Ward! 5 years ago he was brought there and created a new identity for himself in order to cope with the grief of his family’s death. After a long period of treatment, Will was released just a few days prior to the events of the movie. Will is unable to come to grips with this truth and leaves the hospital. It is then revealed to the audiences that what we have seen so far in the movie is all a fantasy in Will/Peter’s mind – when he returns to the house we see it for what it really looks like. Abandoned, broken down and in ruins after being burned. His wife & daughters are no longer alive but live on in his fantasy.

Peter speaks to his neighbour Ann & her daughter Chloe and remembers that the two families used to be friends. Ann believes in his innocence and encourages Peter to live a new life in order to heal himself. After some time Peter goes back to the house.  It was a local man named Boyce, who broke into the house and shot Peter’s wife and daughters. During the struggle Libby accidentally shot Peter while trying to shoot at Boyce and this gave him a chance to get his gun back and kill Libby and the two girls. Peter was then accused of the murders. As Ann joins Peter at his house, they are attacked by Boyce & Ann’s ex-husband Jack and the reason behind the killings are explained. Jack had hired Boyce to kill his wife but the latter had entered the opposite house by mistake. Jack decides to kill Ann and set the house on fire, framing Peter for her murder, and shoots Boyce as punishment for his early failure. However Peter overpowers Jack and saves Ann while a dying Boyce douses Jack in gasoline in revenge for being shot – the two die in the flames.

Ann is reunited with her daughter and Peter says goodbye to the ghosts of his family. He recovers a scrap book he kept in the house and watches the house goes down in flames. We learn that a year later Peter is now living in New York city and is a best selling author after writing a book called ‘Dream House’.

The story is rather lame and it seems derived. However you can’t really blame the actors and I thought that Daniel Craig did deliver a strong performance. The two young girls were good as well. I’d give it a 7 for the acting out of 10.

Van Nistelrooy Retires

Netherland international striker Ruud Van Nistelrooy has retired from professional football as a player. At the age of 35 he finished off his career with a spell at Spanish side Malaga, helping them to qualify for the Champions League next season by finishing 4th. He joined Malaga in 2011 from Germany’s SV Hamburg but has spent more time on the subs’ bench than on the playing field, only managing to score four goals in La Liga. He also previously played for giants Real Madrid & Manchester United and Dutch side PSV Eindhoven.

Van Nistelrooy scored a league—best 25 goals to lead Manchester United to the Premier League title in 2003. After transferring to Spain, he scored a league—high 25 goals for Real Madrid in 2006—07. In the Champions League he is the second highest goal scorer of all time, behind Raul.

Van Nistelrooy started out as a central defender, at Den Bosch, before being converted into a striker. He played at Heerenveen, PSV Eindhoven, Manchester United, Real Madrid, Hamburg and Malaga. He scored a total of 338 goals in 557 games for his different clubs, and in the process won domestic leagues. He made 70 appearances for the Netherlands between 1998 and 2011, scoring 35 goals.

Babylon 5 : Point Of No Return (Season 3)

As we start season 3 the Babylon 5 crew are presented with a new weapon with which to fight the growing Shadow threat – the first of the White Star ships. Ranger Marcus Cole joins Babylon 5. A series of random bombings rock the station and threaten the crew and the ambassadors. A group of monks from Earth arrive on the station. As G’Kar’s standing amongst the Narn is threatened, a strange alien probe approaches the station with a series of questions that have to be answered correctly within 24 hours, because otherwise Babylon 5 would be destroyed. Meanwhile Dr. Franklin struggled with his stims addiction and Garibaldi confronts him on it. Vir is assigned to Minbar as an emissary.

Then Lyta Alexander returns to Babylon 5 along with Vorlon Ambassador Kosh. Lyta is the first human to have been to the Vorlon homeworld  she’s had modifications done on her  by the Vorlons which better adapt her to carrying pieces of a Vorlon’s consciousness inside her. Through the use of the Great Machine, Susan Ivanova is able to inadvertently uncover new evidence that President Clark was involved in President Santiago’s assassination. This evidence is made public for the first time. Bester returns to Babylon 5 to track down a dealer of Dust, an illegal psychotropic drug that can be used as a weapon and also suggests that Talia was dissected by Vorlons. G’Kar uses Dust to telepathically assault Ambassador Mollari and learn what his role was in the war. G’Kar is sentenced to sixty days in prison for his assault.

Franklin and Marcus investigate an outbreak of parasitic aliens in Down Below. When President Clark declares martial law throughout Earth Central, the command crew must find a way to stop Nightwatch from taking over Babylon 5. Londo receives a prophecy from Emperor Turhan’s widow when she visits the station – the prophecy reveals that both Londo and Vir are destined to become Emperor. Nightwatch attempts to take over the station and is eventually rebuffed and replaced by a Narn security detail. President Clark tries to seize control of Babylon 5 by force, forcing Sheridan and the command crew to take arms against their own government. After Delenn confronts the Grey Council, Minbari ships are sent to protect the station. Vir faces calamity when his fiancée – whom he has never met – arrives on the station, and his “work” as the Centauri ambassador to Minbar is revealed. We learn more about the humans’ first encounter with the Minbari and how the war started. Bester returns to Babylon 5 and proposes a strange alliance: information on President Clark’s plans for the station in exchange for helping to liberate Shadow weapons. The Shadow War begins in earnest, and it falls to Sheridan to rally a force against them. He requests help from Kosh and it brings about profound consequences. Franklin falls further and further into his addiction.

Jeffrey Sinclair returns with a mission vital to the survival of the station: travelling back in time to steal Babylon 4. This clears up a puzzling season  episode. And it is revealed that he undergoes a transformation, goes back in time and becomes known a Valen of the Minbari people. Delenn is installed as head of the Rangers, while Kosh dies and a replacement is sent. A delegation of religious leaders come to Babylon 5 to visit Brother Theo and provide assistance to Sheridan. Londo sets a plan in motion to rid himself of Lord Refa. Sheridan’s wife, who supposedly died four years ago, tries to convince Sheridan to come to Z’ha’dum and meet his opposite number. Londo receives important news about his political future. The Shadows move against Babylon 5 itself. An explosion happens on Z’hadum – is Sheridan dead?

Traits of My Good Friends

Well let’s see. A good friend, according to me should be:

Loyal – well that’s a given. I have a few good friends in my life and they are loyal as hell.

Fun loving – no one likes a too serious a person. The more fun loving the better.

Open minded – try new things that you have never thought about doing but your friend asks you to do.

Honest & truthful – a true friend will not just agree with you for the sake of keeping things cordial. If you are wrong, they should tell you why you are wrong.

Has your back – No matter what, they will back you up and support you and vouch for you. Differences of opinion aside.

Simple. They need not beautiful or glamorous or popular. But they will be there to join you for that beer and laugh at your jokes!

2012 Playoff : Conference Finals Lineups

                                #1   vs. #6             #3 vs. #8

Who would have seen this lineup for the conference finals? No many of us fans or critics that’s for sure. The West has two surprise teams reaching the conference finals in the Los Angeles Kings & The Phoenix Coyotes. The Coyotes who are a franchise in debt and are hanging on due to the NHL owning them and still not yet found an owner (sale is pending). A hockey franchise in the Arizona desert of all places where they have a poor fan attendance and yet they are there. This recent success has brought on rabid attention from the folks in Phoenix but can they sustain it? Will getting that new owner who wants to duke it out in the desert really pay off? Or will the franchise keep losing money as it has been for the past few years? I think it’s time for the Coyotes to say bye to the desert, heck it should have happened 3 years ago, but the players have done their best, forgetting about all the news surrounding the sale & the finances and performed to their best. The Los Angeles Kings have shown to be a very strong team, having finished only at 8th spot in the West but playing like they were #1. Having defeated both the Vancouver Canucks and the St.Louis Blues the Kings are looking good to win the whole deal and bring a first cup to LA. The team looks confident and they don’t seem to have a weak link.

In the East it’s old hands the New Jersey Devils against their hated local rivals the New York Rangers. The Rangers have looked world beaters all season long and it was only a few games that they looked weak. Their fine form continued in the playoffs as they defeated the Ottawa Senators & the Washington Capitals but both series needing a game 7 win. The Devils, 3 times champions since 1995, have usually been in the running for the Stanley season after season. However their star seemed to have waned a bit in the last couple of years and this season they have picked it up with aging goalie Martin Brodeur showing his form of old. New Jersey had to defeat Cinderella team the Florida Panther in 7 games and Philly in 5 and are looking strong. Will the suburbanites be able to defeat Broadway and show them up? Is there a 4th Stanley Cup ring for the Devils and Marty? If NJ does win, it will be a great farewell for Brodeur to retire to. How awesome would that be?

My prediction is an LA vs NY finals.

Puss In Boots

If you have seen the Shrek movies, all four of them, you will be familiar with the hugely popular character Puss In Boots, voiced by Antonia Banderas, who appears in 3 of the movies. Well Puss gets his own prequel movie – Puss In Boots. This movie precedes the events of Shrek 2, in which the character makes his debut. Produced by DreamWorks Animation, directed by Chris Miller, executive produced by Guillermo del Toro, this animated movie came out last year and also stars the voices of Salma Hayek, Zach Galifianakis, Billy Bob Thornton & Amy Sedaris.

Outlaw Puss In Boots is in search of the magic beans that he’s been looking for most of his life, beans that can lead him to a giant’s castle holding valuable golden goose eggs. At a local bar he  hears that fellow outlaws Jack & Jill have the beans in their possession. When Puss tries to steal them from the outlaws’ room, he is thwarted by a masked cat and they have a fight and both fail. The masked cat leads Puss to a cat hideout where they have a dance off to Flamenco music and Puss finds out that the masked cat is a female cat – Kitty Softpaws. Kitty is allied with Humpty Alexander Dumpty, Puss’s long estranged friend who wanted to lure Puss to him and ask him to help him get the beans and find the golden goose eggs. Puss is upset and we find out in a flashback as to how the two childhood friends became estranged.

Both Puss & Humpty were orphans raised by a loving woman and they soon became best friends. They both had grand plans, especially Humpty who wanted riches. Humpty tricked Puss into helping him rob the band and when they got caught, Puss had to jump and escape to save himself, leaving Humpty behind. It wasn’t what he wanted to do and ever since then Puss could never go home. Humpty however appeals to Puss and says that they can make things right by getting some golden eggs and help their town so Puss joins him & Kitty and the trio steal the beans from Jack and Jill and and plant them in the desert. The go up the beanstalk into the clouds to find the castle of the late giant, while avoiding the Great Terror who guards the Golden Goose. When they realize the golden eggs are too heavy to carry, they steal the Goose, which is just a gosling (the great terror is the mother goose), and escape the castle. However as the group come back down they are ambushed by Jack & Jill and Puss is knocked out cold. Turns out that Jack & ill were in cahoots with Humpty’s scheme all along and he planned to take revenge on Puss for betraying him many years ago.

At their hometown the townfolks charge at Puss and his mother pleads him to give himself up, which he so does while Humpty becomes a hero by giving the people plenty of golden eggs. In prison Puss meets the real Jack who warns him that the large mother goose will soon come looking for it’s child. Kitty approaches Puss, tells him she loves him and helps him break out of prison.  Puss tracks down Humpty, who wants the Great Terror to demolish the town. Puss tells Humpty that he must help him and knows that he is a good person inside. The giant mother goose arrives and starts attacking the town. Using the goosling, Humpty, Puss & Kitty lure the mother goose outside the town  but Humpty and the Goose are knocked off a bridge with Puss holding onto them. Humpty knows Puss cannot hold both of them, so he lets go, sacrificing himself to save the Goose and the town. Humpty’s shell cracks open to reveal he was a golden egg on the inside. The Great Terror then takes the Goose and Humpty back to the giant’s castle.

Puss’s efforts makes him a town hero again and he kisses Kitty. Puss rides off again into the sunset off to seek more adventures and we know that he later joins Shrek, Donkey & Fiona. Great fun, hilarious and exciting. This franchise is awesome. Puss in Boots opened to very positive reviews and became a success at the box office with a gross of over $554 million. It was also nominated forBest Animated Feature Film at the 84th Academy Awards.I’d give it a 9 outta 10!

How Much TV Do You Watch Each Week?

Ah the tv question. Well, from a guy who used to watch 3-4 hours of his tv shows each week night and perhaps an additional 4 to 5 more hours on a weekday, I have now come down to almost zero hours this year. Or I should say from May 2011 to May 2012. I literally do not watch tv on a regular basis and can go days without watching the actual tv or programs shown on the tv here in my land to make it very precise. From cartoons to my fav cop-shows, scifi, supernatural, comedy & drama tv series and WWE I used to watch a lot. And ofcourse the many movies I used to watch on 4 or 5 different channels that show movies. I was never much of a reality tv show hound, with exception to shows like Rock Star or American Idol ( a couple of years) and I did watch Animal Planet, Discovery, Nat Geo and especially Travel & Living shows.

My tv watching diminished at about the same time as I got a new computer around September of 2006 and took a broadband connection a little later. I spend hours upon hours online so tv kind of lost much of it’s appeal. Plus they did have a lag in good shows for a while. Then I bough some dvds of tv shows and hence could watch the episodes at home while lying in bed at my leisure. Soon I discovered torrent and now I download all the tv shows I need with some exception as I like to keep the dvd collection if I can. However not all the good shows get dvd releases here and also they can be rather stupidly expensive. So downloading is the major option. I also do the same for movies.

The only thing that I didn’t want to download or watch online as my broadband speed isn’t that high is football matches. Watching football matches live is really something else all together and that proved to be a big exception to the rule. Around 2009-2011 football was the only thing that I watched online with a couple of exceptions here and there. Saturday and Sunday evenings watching football with coffee and chips or if it is later in the evening a pizza or sandwiches. Total relaxing time and great fun to watch. However, from May of last year my stupid cable tv provider has had a legal hassel with the 3 major sports pay channels – Star Sports, Ten Sports & ESPN – and hence no football for me.

The only thing that I still watch is when I am home alone and the internet is out. Or I am really bored and want to check what’s on tv during lunch or dinner. Maybe a movie that I haven’t seen yet or a couple of episodes of a tv series or two once in a while. That’s about it.

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The Walking Dead – Season 2

If it took me a couple of episodes to really start liking The Walking Dead in the short 6 episode season 1, it took another couple of episodes in season 2 to make me a fanatic. I have zombie fever and it hasn’t died down at all. And if season 1 was a miserly 6 episodes, the sophomore year didn’t really explode with just 13 episodes. Not bad but not good enough. A decent season run is 20-26 episodes, although that is seen less and less in these years. Anyways the group leave Atlanta and decide to try to head to Fort Benning. Along the way, they come across a traffic jam of abandoned vehicles on I-85. Seeing an opportunity they raid the cars for supplies that they can use, including huge bottles of water from a truck. But they are soon forced into hiding in & under the various vehicles as a horde of walker come passing by.

Sophia is chased away from the rest by two walkers who were at the very end, stragglers at the very end of the pack. The young girl runs into the woods to get away from them and Carl runs behind her, leading the walkers away and killing them. But now they have to find Sophia who is missing. In the initial search Carl, who is entranced by a deer he sees, is accidentally shot by a hunter Otis. Shocked by what he has done, Otis leads Rick who carries Carl in his arms, to a farm house owned by a veterinarian Hershel and his family. As the search for Sophia continues, the rest of the group slowly move into the farm. Shane & Otis go to a hospital in town to get supplies for Hershal to treat Carl’s wounds and are attacked by a large group of walkers. Running out of bullets, Rick shoots a tiring Otis in the leg, leaving him to be attacked by the walkers and offering himself a distraction to escape. Rick takes the medical stuff back to the farm and Carl begin the slow road to recovery.

Shane changes post this, becoming more antagonistic and dangerous. The group camps out in tents just outside the farm house, eating meals inside the self-sufficient household with fresh meat & vegetables. Things slow down to an almost idealistic pace, although Hershel wants them to leave. Rick asks him to reconsider letting them stay permanently as the farm is well isolated and there’s plenty of food and enough work for all the group members to pitch in as the search for Sophia proves fruitless, much to Carol’s dismay. Lori discovers that she is pregnant, after asking Glenn to get supplies from town and using a test kit. Glenn builds a romantic relationship with Maggie, one of Hershel’s daughters, and discovers that Hershel’s barn is full of walkers, many of whom in life had been friends and family members of Hershel’s. This causes a huge rift amongst the group, some of who want the walkers to be killed while Rick wants to respect Hershel’s feelings. The old veterinarian is hopeful that a cure can be found for his family members to bring them back to being humans and hence feeds the live poultry in the meantime.

During a moment of heat Rick, with some of the group on his side, forces the walkers out of the barn and the group opens fire killing all the walkers as they stumble out into the open. Rick & Hershel’s family tries to stop it from happening but all the walkers are killed. Finally we hear a less confident snarl as a zombie Sophia come out, staggering towards the group – she was there all along! A scared Sophia while trying to find shelter must have stumbled onto the farm. None of the group is able to do anything as Daryl holds a crying Carol back and Rick is forced to shot & kill Sophia. A grieving Hershel goes away into the deserted town nearby and finds a bar to drink his sorrow away. After Rick and Glenn find him and convince him to return, they trio have a run in with another group of survivors and they end up having to kill two of them and rescue an injured young man, Randall, and bring him back to the farm as a horde of walkers arrive. Shane wants to desert Randall in town as soon as he is healed but a disagreement between him & Rick ends up in a fight and attracting more walkers. Rick decides to bring Randall back for execution instead. Meanwhile Hershel’s younger daughter Beth tries to kill herself in order to escape a seemingly hopeless situation.

The group argues & debates about Randall’s fate and finally agree to execute him despite Dale’s passionate pleas not to do so. As Rick & Shane take a gun to Randall, they are urged on by Carl, who is seemingly experimenting with death and must be finding things strange as the only child in the survivors midst. Rick cannot bring himself to kill Randall with his son watching and halts the execution. In the night Dale is attacked by a walker and dies. Later Shane secretly releases Randall and kills him nearby, while the rest of the group conduct a search for him. Daryl and Glenn come to the realization that the dead can reanimate without previous exposure to walkers, as the find a zombie Randall without bite marks on him. An almost deranged Shane uses the search for Randall to kill Rick but it backfires and Rick is forced to kill Shane. After Shane’s death, he reanimates and Carl shoots him in the head. The gun shot attracts a horde of walkers who had wandered into the woods and they attack the farm. Rick and Carl get into the barn and ignite it to destroy a bunch of walkers.

In the battle, Jimmy & Patricia are killed and the rest make their way away in a couple of vehicles but Andrea gets left behind. She is later rescued by a mysterious hooded woman, leading chained, armless, walkers. The others – consisting of Rick, Lori, Carl, Glenn, Daryl, Carol, T-Dog, Maggie, Beth, and Hershel – regroup on the highway and are forced to make camp due to shortage of gas. This is where Rick reveals the truth behind Shane’s death and about what Dr. Jenner told him – they are all infected carriers of the walker pathogen. Meaning if they die they will immediately reanimate as zombies. This revelation leaves the group feeling uneasy and as the season ends we see a prison looming nearby.

Designs For The BlackBerry Bold 9780

Selfridges had brought out the exclusive limited edition BlackBerry Bold 9780 created by leather-happy designer Bill Amberg. At £1000 a pop, these handsets are part of a set of just 60, with 10 of each of the six colours available. The designs feature leather back plates and cases and have apparently “undergone an intricate moulding process to achieve the unique curved shape”.

Amberg said on the launch “”I am excited to be working with BlackBerry on this exclusive run for Selfridges that celebrates the launch of the new Bold 9780. Quality products like this are crying out for something complementary on a functional and stylistic level, which is both beautiful and unique”.

I think they look very nice indeed. There’s also a video on Youtube on the making of the cases.

A Once Popular Joint Now In Ruins

Although I have never been inside and tasted their wares, Delhi Durbar restaurant on MG Road, near the Medical Trust hospital used to be a popular eatery. Its a shame to see a once busy place in deserted ruins. Although I have never been there several of my colleagues (from Idea) and friends used to visit it a few years ago and loved their food. Tandoori chicken, reminiscent of dhabas, and kebabs were among the popular items on the menu.

No clue as to whether they just folded or if they have started up a newer outlet elsewhere. The place looks like a store wreck, like you see in holocaust movies; trust me I only captured the one pic but there’s more debris & waste.

Beer Types – Brown Ale

Brown ales are usually dark amber or brown in colour. The term was first used by London brewers in the late 17th century to describe their products, such as mild ale, though the term had a rather different meaning than it does today. 18th-century brown ales were lightly hopped and brewed from 100% brown malt. The term “brown ale” was revived at the end of the 19th century when London brewer Mann introduced a beer with that name. However, the style only became widely brewed in the 1920s. The brown ales of this period were considerably stronger than most modern English versions.

Caramel and chocolate flavours are evident. Brown ales from northeastern England tend to be strong and malty, often nutty, while those from southern England are usually darker, sweeter and lower in alcohol. North American brown ales are usually drier than their English counterparts, with a slight citrus accent and an aroma, bitterness, and medium body due to American hop varieties. Fruitiness from esters are subdued. When chilled to cold temperatures, some haziness may be noticed.  Appropriate foods are apple pie, pork with brown sauce, beef vegetable soup and cheddar.

A light-flavored, malt-accented beer that is readily suited to drinking in quantity. Some of the more famous brown ales are the Nescastle Brown Ale, Brooklyn Brown Ale, Goose Island Nut Brown Ale, Garrison Nut Brown Ale and, pictured here, the Amsterdam Nut Brown Ale. Look very refreshing &  tasty.

Racist Or Not?

Unless you were hiding under a rock or not online much, you would most likely have seen you have seen or heard about the Ashton Kutcher ad for Popchips depicting him (among other characters) as an Indian man, Raj a Bollywood Producer, with a fake and bad Indian accent and in brownface! Yeah, ok and if you haven’t seen the ad or clip online, the above pic should help you. Take a minute to fully appreciate it.

Now this ad was pulled after following a public uproar over its alleged racist overtones. Which makes me shake my head? How is this ad racist? Because Kutcher was in brownface and faked a badly done Indian accent. He also fakes a German/Austrian accent – does that make it racist against Germans & Austrians? Indian origin Canadian stand up comic genius Russell Peters makes fun of the Indian accent – would you call him racist? No!! He also does killer Philipino, Chinese, Vietnamese, South American, Mexican, Arab and British accents. Is he racist against all these people? One think that I notice in his videos is when he is doing a joke about a particular ethnic group, it’s that ethnic group that laughs the loudest & the hardest! Because they know that there is some truth in it and he is just stating a stereotype.

And you think Indians don’t make fun of other nations? Indian ads & music channels used to have a ton of ads or videos of Indians faking American or UK accents. Look at all the voice overs of English & American announcers speaking in badly accented Hindi (I seriously think that some Indians consider that entertainment). There are jokes where the punchline is badly pronounced English words in Hindi, Tamil & Malayalam and more Indian languages. Hell, the Malayalam tv, movie & mimicry industry has run for decades on mispronouncing English words & faking accents. Are they all racist?

Stereotypes are poking good hearted fun at a particular ethnicity. That’s exactly what this portrayal of “Raj” is – a stereotype. Done badly – yes. The accent is terrible – yes. I am not a fan of Ashton, I don’t think much of him as an actor. I don’t watch his movies. I think he isn’t very talented. He isn’t very funny. I thought the ad was a bit funny. Indians take themselves way too seriously. They make fun of others but they can’t take a joke. If you want to get riled up over something choose something more substantial. Like actual racism and mis-treatment based on race & colour. Not this stupid stuff!

The original ad is below.

On Same-Sex Marriage

Ok here is my take on same-sex marriages: I do not understand male homosexuality. I will never ever be able to understand it. But I neither hate them nor do I want any harm to befall them. Unless ofcourse they want to harm me or someone I care about. I will admit that on a few occasions either me or a friend has had a bad experience with a homosexual male. Nothing that gaudy, just rude come on remarks, unwanted attention and an over eagerness to become friends. On each occasion we have warded it off. But that’s just 3 or 4 times and that’s a small minority. Heterosexuals have done me & my friends more harm.

I need not understand them but they are human beings just like you and me and that should be more than enough for me or anybody else. Leave them alone. They don’t harm anyone and they have as much right to be married and live a happy life as you and your loved ones. If you know gay people and they are nice, good people, support them and their rights. Show them you care. Their sex life & sexual preference should matter less than the kind of person they are. And no religion should be worried or bother them too. Remember neither Islam nor Christianity nor Hinduism invented marriages. Contrary to what the idiots might think & say. Even some of the gods were gay. Don’t deny it, they were. Mythical & characters in stories but yes, gay. So get off your high horse. Nothing is gonna happen to your family & kids, nothing will happen to your way of life, nothing will happen to societies morals. Your religion doesn’t have a stranglehold on morals or ethics either. Stop being drama queens & mean. Shut up and go to the gay weddings if invited. If not stay and home and watch tv.

This shouldn’t even be a question. I realize that I only mentioned males above. That’s because I said I couldn’t really understand gay males but I totally understand lesbians. Not to be too sleezy but I can understand why women would like other women – because women are so sweet, lovely & beautiful & sexy. Why wouldn’t they want to be with more of their kind? I love women so it’s natural for me to understand why women love women. Not only do I support them, I give them my blessing! Ok – little bit silliness there. Back to the point, same-sex marriages should have the same benefits as the more common man-woman marriage. Anyone who think otherwise is just being a douche-bag!

John Carter

A 100 years after the first appearance of John Carter,  the heroic protagonist of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ 11-volume Barsoom series of novels (1912–43), the character gets a live action movie courtesy Disney Films. John Carter is directed by director/writer Andrew Stanton, who has previously only directed animated movies, and stars Taylor Kitch, Lynn Collins, Samantha Morton, Dominic West & Willem Dafoe. On a $250 million dollar budget, the movie has so far only made $271.4 million, which would make it a flop. I think the way the movie is structure the audience finds it difficult to follow the storyline and get involved with the characters. It seems quite rushed. However there are some enjoyable moments & visual effects to the film.

John Carter is a a former Confederate Army cavalry officer, who has become an eccentric and wealthy scholar-adventurer. On his sudden death in 1881, his nephew Edgar Rice Burroughs becomes his sole heir and has the body, in accordance with his uncle’s instructions, put in a mausoleum, which can only be unlocked from the inside. Edgar reads his uncle’s journal which tells the young man as to the reason for such actions. The films flashes back to 1868 where a younger John having had violent fights with both the 7th Cavalry and the local Apache Indians, shelters in a cave where he finds a large quantity of gold. He is attacked by a strange man, revealed to be a White Martian Thern, and on killing him John accidentally activate’s the latter’s medallion which transports him to Barsoom (which is what the Martians call their planet). Now Mars isn’t the dead planet we think it is but a dying one inhabited by warring civilizations with great airships.

Due to the planet’s low gravity & his human higher bone density Carter is able to jump fantastically high and throw killer punches more powerful than he could have ever imagined back on earth. He is however captured by giant, four-armed Green Martian Tharks and taken to their leader king Tars Tarkas. The red Martian (with humanoid skin & blue blood) live on the two major cities of Helium and Zodonga and the two cities have been at war for over a 1000 years. The king of Zodonga, Sab Than, is now armed with a special power ray gun like weapon given to him by the Therns (why they want to side with the Zodongans is not explained), and proposes a cease-fire and an end to the war by marrying the Princess of Helium Dejah Thoris, thereby uniting the two cities.  Although her father the king of Helium agrees, Dejah does not choose to do so and escapes the city and meets John. Carter, Dejah and Tarkas’s secret daughter Sola escape from Tharks and try to find a way for John to return to earth. At a facility of the Therns, John & Dejah discover information about the Ninth Ray (the special weapon), the medallion and the process by which the Therns teleport from planet to planet.

On their way out from the facility the Thern leader Matai Shang and his minions, the Green Martians of Warhoon, attack the trio and John fights off wave & wave of warriors until it becomes too much even with his newly formed strength. After the fight, Carter is captured by troops from Helium and taken back with Dejah, while Sola escapes. Dejah reluctantly agrees to marry Sab Than so she can give John a medallion and set him free. Carter decides to stay and in doing so is captured by the shape-shifting Shang, who tells him about the secret purposes of the god-like Therns and their age-old manipulations of the histories of civilizations on different planets. With the help of Sola, Carter escapes and goes to the Tharks camp to ask for help.  There he finds that Ta Hajus has taken over as leader and he captures Carter & Sola. Tarkas, Carter, and Sola are subjected to a gladiatorial contest with two gigantic white Martian apes. After defeating them and killing Hajus, Carter is acclaimed leader of the Tharks.

With a vast army of Tharks advances on Zodanga, then on Helium, and defeats the Zodangian army, killing Sab Than and informing the citizens of Helium about the plans of the Therns & the Zodangans. Carter then marries Dejah himself and becomes king of Helium. At night after he decides to stay on in Barsoom with Dejah as his bride, he throws away the medallion, only for Shang to reemerge from hiding and banishes him to Earth. Without a medallion to return to Mars, Carter spends 10 years looking for signs of Thern activity on Earth. He acquired wealth & a good standing but no medallion. So now, on his death he has given Ned clues about how to open the mausoleum which Ned goes to do. As Ned approaches the mausoleum, Shang who was spying on Carter approaches from behind to kill him but is instead shot to death by Carter who was hiding nearby. He has faked his death to bring Shang out in the open and get a medallion from him. Entrusting his nephew with his earthly belongings, Carter shuts himself in the mausleum and transports back to Mars to be with his love.

Confusing? It seems like a lot happening in one movie. I think they should have done a 2 parter or something, giving the characters room to breath and time to fleshen out their development. Instead we get a rushed movie that was doomed to fail despite a big budget and some awesome effects. Oh and a monster kinda creature that turns out to be an overgrown puppy-dog like thing that attaches itself to Carter. I still liked it enough to give it a 7 outta 10!