Words & Phrases I Dislike

If you could permanently ban a word from general usage, which one would it be? Why?

Just one word. Gee, I dunno there’s a bunch of words and what they mean or ascertain to that I would want to get rid of. Religion for one. Born-again (is that one hyphenated word?), faith as pertaining to the religious minded folk, god, devil, angel and all that shit, jihad, taliban (ban the taliban), etc etc. I’d like to get rid of the word theist and all kinds of theism so I don’t have to define myself as an atheist instead of the right & only word I want – human!

Banning words; words aren’t the problem. It’s the meaning & actions associated with them that are the issues. I’m all for changes to words or coining up a new & better sounding word for something that we already know. If it is just words, dumb stupid words there’s a few – I find YOLO to be the most ridiculous one that is out there now and used only by a section of society. I’d get rid of that right now.

Regarding India and more specifically the corporate world in India, which is about as ridiculously cliched as can be, there’s a few words & phrases I’d like to get rid of. The management always seem to throw these words about without bias or basis and they don’t realize that they look & sound absolutely ridiculous. I’m talking about stuff like ‘moments of truth’, ‘standard operating procedure’ and all that shit! Most of the time, the idiots who keep repeating it and demanding it have no clue as to when to use it and when it becomes just a word or phrase thrown about when you have nothing worthwhile to contribute.

And finally I’d like to get rid of ‘may god bless you’ and especially “by the grace of god we were blessed with a baby’ because both just piss me off! Those of who are believers and use it and like it – good, I don’t!

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Star Trek : Into Darkness

Lying in bed with a nasty cold that crept up on me last night (it was kinda cold) I setup the downloaded camera print (although one of the best camera prints I have ever seen) copy of Star Trek : Into Darkness. I stopped going to movie theatres back in 2005 and although I really wanted to see this one in the theatres, I didn’t go. But I also couldn’t wait for the dvds to be released and so I finally gave in and watched it today. This is the 12th movie in the Star Trek franchise and the second of the reboot/alternative universe series with director J J Abrahms at the helm and coproduced by Abrahms, Bryan Burk, Damon Lindelof, Alex Kurtzman  & Roberto Orci. The screenplay was written by Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, and Damon Lindelof. We have the cast from 2009’s Star Trek (or Star Trek 11); Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, Anton Yelchin & John Cho as the senior officers of the USS Enterprise. Benedict Cumberbatch, Alice Eve & Alice Eve also have huge roles in the movie and Bruce Greenwood reprises his role, although quite briefly, as Admiral Christopher Pike.

So what did I think of this movie? It’s Star Trek and I will love it. No seriously the movie is good and I do like it a lot. It’s an exciting, thrilling, action packed and a great ride. There are some negatives too and I’m laying down my points here:

  • Good beginning and it was nice to see some alien landscape in this movie. There is a chase involving Kirk & Bones and a whole village of angry primitive aliens. They showed a bit of Qo’nos or Kronos (which is the initial English spelling of the Klingon home planet) but all they showed is a usually uninhabited desolate sprawl of a province. Atleast we got bird of preys, which looked awesome!
  • There seems to be better interaction between the crew of the Enterprise. I certainly liked the bigger role given to Scotty and how he gets involved. I highly doubt if Prime Scotty would have ever given up his beloved ship but since this is the alternative universe, I’m ok with Scotty resigning (albeit temporarily) on a matter of principle.
  • I’m really happy that they had Carol Marcus as a character in this film. Although she has only previously appeared in one movie and perhaps mentioned in the second pilot of TOS, she had a big romance with Kirk and bore him a son, David. However I do get the criticism about Alice Eve’s unnecessary underwear scene which wasn’t needed and seemed forced.
  • Anton Yelchin aka Pavel Chekov has a smaller role in this film and I wish they would use him for more than just the comedy relief scenes.
  • I liked Karl Urban, who is really trying hard & doing a good job of recreating the grumpy doctor that Deforest Kelley did so well, as Dr. Bones McCoy. He imitates Kelley’s mannerisms, way of speaking and walking as well. It really is a good homage for a much loved character.
  • Peter Weller plays a good villainous role as Admiral Alexander Marcus, an ambitious head of starfleet who wants to be prepared for war and will do what it takes to have the winning edge. Marcus feels that the Klingons, who have already attacked & occupied two other planets, will head towards earth and wants to be prepared to defeat them. Interestingly, Weller also played a xenophobic tycoon in a two part episode of Star Trek : Enterprise.
  • Best thing about the movie is the great role played by Benedict Cumberbatch. I think it was the worst kept secret that Khan Noonien Singh would appear as the villain in this movie. Cumberbatch plays the role of Khan, a 300 year old super human, genetically engineered to be much faster, stronger & more intelligent than ordinary humans. Khan goes by the alias John Harrison an operative in Starfleet’s secret Section 31, a department that Admiral Marcus setup to device weapons & technologies to counteract hostile alien forces.  There are some things against that though!
  • Everyone else – Quinto, Saldana & Cho did relatively good jobs in the movie. I am still not convinced about Chris Pine as Kirk. Lightyears behind William Shatner. I just wish that Bruce Greenwood had a longer role in the film. It was odd to see Kirk & Spock both being affected by his death they way that they did.
  • Nice to see a tribble in the movie.

Now the cons:

  • What the fuck is with Jar Jar Abrahms and those annoying lens flares? Ugh, I hate that!
  • Once again we have Kirk being demoted & in trouble. Two movies in a row? Come on! Captain then first office, then captain again. Same for Spock and Kirk having big disagreements on the course of action.
  • Uhuru acting like an angry girlfriend was annoying. Not what I expected from Spock & Uhura!
  • Although I liked Benedict’s performance I didn’t feel that his Khan could be compared to Ricardo Montalban’s Khan. The latter just towers over the former because he displayed so much more depth. Maybe they shouldn’t have had two major villains in this movie with the Admiral in it. Really the role should have just been John Harrison!
  • I did not like the death scene which was a rehash of the iconic death scene in Wrath of Khan. Only it’s Kirk who gives up his life to save the ship and crew and dies. The same kind of hands against glass and Spock yells “Khaaan”! Is JJ running out of good scenes & plots?
  • And don’t get me started on the Klingons!!! They looked like Mr.T’s relatives!

All in all I do love the movie. I think it’s a good one to watch. There’s a lot to like, enough for me to give it an 8 outta 10!

Dad’s Back At Home!

A small post to let any & all of my readers know that my dad is back at home. He was discharged from the hospital by 3pm today. He’s recovering well, the doctor says that the damage is minor and with the treatment plus lots of rest he should bounce back to full health. He has an optional exercise given by the physiotherapist – a sports band that is used to strengthen the hands and feet. Although the doctor says that it is not needed in his case, we’re still going to get the exercise band so he can work with it at home.

He is ordered t have 10 days rest and mum & I are restricting his mobile phone usage. He is not making it easy as every time the phone rings he wants to use it and see who it is. I will be the official fielder of all calls and only important work related ones which cannot be delayed will be handed over to him. Relatives & friends will call on the landline and or visit from time to time. Once he came back home he had tea, a bit of an apple and biscuits and watched some of Mission Impossible : Ghost Protocol with my nephew Adhitya and my sister. After that he went for a nap. Late evening my cousin Raju and his wife Leskhmi came for a visit. Post grocery shopping by me, dad has had dinner and his medicines and is now watching really bad Malayalam tv serials – there’s no cure for those, unfortunately!

I’m just glad that he is improving and that there wasn’t much of an issue. That was a huge scare for my family and we’re glad that he is doing better.

An Update: Dad’s In Hospital

An update : Some of my cousins already know but – my father has suffered a mild stroke a couple of days back but none of us were able to detect it till late Monday evening (not that he had a stroke but that something had affected him, especially in his speech). He himself seemed unaware of anything like a stroke just that he was feeling more tired than usual. But yes it was a mild stroke. He went to the hospital on Tuesday morning and the MRI results confirmed that he has a mild stroke and he was admitted to the hospital.

My mum is staying with him round the clock as he gets medicines, I’m on evening & night duty plus getting him stuff. My sister is there during the day so my dad has plenty of company & support plus we have relatives galore who are in & out visiting & cheering my dad. My dad is recovering, much better today than yesterday, much better yesterday than the day before and his appetite is back. He will start some physio therapy soon to help his motor functions. He seems ok and will be back home soon.

Those who know him and want to enquire about his health can either call me or my sister (unless you already have)

“I’m A Doctor Not A…..”

I needed some Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy quotes. I haven’t seen any Star Trek series episodes of one of the movies in a while. That doesn’t mean that I’m not reading or watching Trek related stuff online though. I’m active in 4 Facebook groups that are Trek related or general Scifi related (but Trek is the unifying common factor). Anyways, back to Bones McCoy. Arguably the best & most beloved doctor in the entire Star Trek franchise universe. Here are a compilation of his best “doctor” quotes from both TOS & TAS!

  • “What am I, a doctor or a moon-shuttle conductor?” (TOS: The Corbomite Maneuver)
  • “My dear girl, I’m a doctor. When I peek, it is in the line of duty.” (TOS: Shore Leave)
  • “I don’t know, Jim. This is a big ship. I’m just a country doctor.” (TOS: The Alternative Factor)
  • “What do you mean what sort of work? I’m a doctor.” (TOS: This Side of Paradise)
  • “I’m a doctor, not a bricklayer.” (TOS: The Devil in the Dark)
  • “I’m a surgeon, not a psychiatrist.” (TOS: The City on the Edge of Forever)
  • “I’m not a scientist or a physicist, Mr. Spock…” (TOS: Metamorphosis)
  • “Look, I’m a doctor, not an escalator.” (TOS: Friday’s Child)
  • “I’m a doctor, not a mechanic.” (TOS: The Doomsday Machine)
  • “I’m a doctor, not an engineer.” (TOS: Mirror, Mirror)
  • “I’m not a magician, Spock, just an old country doctor.” (TOS: The Deadly Years)
  • “I will not peddle flesh! I’m a physician.” (TOS: Return to Tomorrow)
  • “I’m a doctor, not a coal miner.” (TOS: The Empath)
  • “I’m not a mechanic, Spock…” (TOS: The Empath)
  • “I’m a doctor, Spock … a doctor! Get us beamed aboard!” (TAS: Albatross)

Blackhawks Win 2013 Stanley Cup

Woke up this morning and almost skipped watching game 6 of the Stanley Cup finals thinking “it’s in Boston and the Bruins are gonna win this and we’ll have a game 7 back in Chicago where the Blackhawks will win it”! Lucky for me I decided to catch the 3rd period of the game. Until the dying moments it was 2-1 to Boston. See? I was right!

And then 2 goals scored 17 seconds apart and an adrenalin rush and then it was over. Chicago were crowned the 2013 Stanley Cup champions! What a great finals it has been. Congratulations to everyone in the Blackhawks team, coaching staff, front office, other crew and the fans!

Now down to business – Bettman ensure that the Phoenix Coyotes are sold & moved to Quebec City. This is ridiculous!

Like A Hook Line & Sinker

This song has been stuck in my head for the 4th day now. Ali Milner is a Canadian singer and this song I Wanna Be Loved By You came out in 2009. Funny thing is I heard this song in a realestate based video of a nice house! Thanks for that. I’m hooked. I couldn’t find a video for the original just a few live versions. The original is much faster with a full band and a semi-pop rock feel to it. This one is cool too.

Stephen King’ Needful Things

About two years ago I made a resolution to read more books or rather go back to the habit of reading a lot more than I currently was. It’s tougher to sit down and read more books these days. The internet is a huge distraction and then there’s all the movies and tv shows that I want to watch & rewatch. Besides I’d usually prefer to watch it rather than read about it. Some exceptions are there – like a Stephen King novel! You just can substitute the chills you get from reading his books that just has translated into the movies that have been made based on his stories.

Anyway the book in question is Needful Things a 19919 novel which was made into a movie two years later starring Max Von Sydow & Ed Harris. I haven’t seen it yet but hope to someday. The book, I just re-read for the 2nd time. The last time was quite a while back so I didn’t remember most of it. A mysterious proprietor named Leland Gaunt, claiming to be from Akron, Ohio,opens a new antiques store called “Needful Things” in the small town of Castle Rock, Maine. The gossip & interest about the new store even before it opens is true of an small town in any part of the world. The women call each other and spend an hour or so discussing the possibilities of what the store might offer for sale and what the name could possibly mean. A young boy is the first person to step in, in advance of the actual opening time but since he saw the sign shown as open, he just couldn’t resist and thus is the first in town to meet Mr Gaunt. The boy is thus also the first to be sold an item that he “just must have” and seemingly for much cheaper a price than it is actually valued. Mr. Gaunt sells the items to each customer at this low price in part exchange for a “favour” in the form of a prank to be played on someone in the same town.

Mr. Gaunt seems to have the oddest items in his store and each person seems to want one particular item that the shop owner just seems to have in his collection. aunt knows about the long-standing private grudges, arguments, and feuds between the various townspeople, and the pranks are his means of forcing them to escalate until the whole town is eventually caught up in madness and violence. The acts of violence & murder attract the investigation of the lead protagonist Sheriff Alan J. Pangborn Pangborn manages to stop the violence before the town destroys itself, and the townspeople admit their pranks, exposing Gaunt’s web of manipulation. The store with Leland Gaunt still inside is blown up but Gaunt, who is the Devil himself comes out unscathed. With a warning of meeting Panghorn’s grandson in the future, Leland/the Devil leaves in a mysterious black car. The novel ends as it begins, with a first-person narrative indicating that a new and mysterious shop is about to open in Paradise Falls, Iowa – an implication that Gaunt is ready to begin his business cycle all over again.

The book is quite length with typical King trademark of going into deep detail of several scenes and characters and thoughts behind some of these characters. You really need the patience to sit through this one, which most King fans do have. Well worth a read.

What’s The Perfect Rainy Afternoon?

Safe inside, toasty warm, while water pitter-patters on the roof… describe your perfect, rainy afternoon.

Well, isn’t this a perfect little blog prompt for the monsoon that we are experiencing in India at the moment. My state, Kerala, is “enjoying” it’s heaviest monsoon season in 5 years. Atleast that’s what the papers said a few days ago but I think since then it has gotten even heavier and this certainly is one of the coldest, with somewhat chilling winds, that I can remember. Brrrr as I shiver in the cold and wrap a thicker sheet around me to keep me warm.

How would a perfect rainy afternoon be like? Simple, hot food with some rice or fresh bread or noodles. Some thick spicy fish or chicken curry or maybe the fried variations of them. Alternate with pork chops or ham slices. Maybe pipping hot boiled veggies, some salad or lentils. Long big dinner sitting in front of the tv and chewing while I watch the rain pouring down through my windows or the balcony door. The heat coming in from the delicious food should be more than enough to keep me warm.

Belly full, it will be back to the bedroom to wrap my self in thick sheets or a blanket and select a movie to watch as I laze in bed. Movie should be fast paced, action filled and engrossing as other wise I would be liable to fall asleep and snore in the breeze. Once the movie is over maybe pop in a few episodes of one of my favourite sit coms or take a light snooze for an hour or so. At 5pm, the sweet smells of a hot coffee should wake up my senses as I go get my evening fix.

Simple as that!

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Taken & Taken 2

I call the Taken movies as the Die Hard for the 21st century. Not that the Die Hard franchise isn’t making movies in this century but the real Die Hard – the first two movies – are special and that same kinda of element is brought to the screens with Taken.

Now I hadn’t seen Taken until 2 weeks ago but waited until I could watch the sequel so I could write up a review of the two movies paired together. Most of you have already seen Taken and loved it and I did too. And it’s a 2008 French film (not American or British) co-written and produced by Luc Besson, starring Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace and Famke Janssen. The screenplay was written by Besson and Robert Mark Kamen, and the movie was directed by Pierre Morel with Xander Berkley, Katie Cassidy, Leland Orser & Jon Gries playing supporting roles. Neeson plays former U.S. Central Intelligence Agency operative Bryan Mills, who now does private security for celebs along with his former colleagues. He is divorced and quit the CIA so he could be closer to his teenage daughter Kim who lives with her mother Lenore & wealthy stepfather Stuart in Los Angeles. Bryan is worried that Kim is traveling to France with her best friend Amanda and is pressure by Lenore not to be over protective. However he is even more worried when he finds out that they girls are not just staying in Paris but following U2 on their European tour.

At the Paris airport the two girls meet Peter, a charming young Frenchman who shares a cab with them to find out where they are staying. He is in fact a scout for a kidnappers gang that sells young women & girls as sex slaves. Peter relays the girls’ temporary residence to the gang and leaves. Kim is upset on finding that Amanda’s cousin isn’t home and it’s just the two of them alone in Paris. As she calls her father on a phone her gave her, the gang force their way in and kidnap Amanda and search for her. Bryan instructs her to go to the nearest room and hide under a bed. He explains that when the men find her, she has to shout out their physical descriptions. Kim is pulled out from under the bed, and she complies with her father’s instructions before the phone is found and destroyed. Bryan then informs Stuart & Lenore about the kidnapping and makes plans to go to Paris Bryan’s former colleague Sam tells him that based on the recording, Kim has probably been taken by an Albanian human trafficking ring that has recently begun abducting female tourists. He also says that if she is not rescued within ninety-six hours, she will likely never be found. At Paris Bryan meets with a former French intelligence officer who is less than helpful but does direct him to the gangs possible location. Bryan finds a girl in a drug induced state at a makeshift brotel and rescues her after fighting the guards; she manages to give him locations to a house where Kim could be kept. At the house he finds the Albanians and wounds Marko, the leader, and shoots the others dead and finds a dead Amanda. He tortures Marko to find out that Kim is being auctioned of on the black market as a virgin slave.

Bryan gets to the mansion where the auction is taking place and forced a bidder at gun point to purchase Kim but gets captured. He frees himself and kills the henchmen and finds Kim on a rich sheiks yatch. There, he kills the boat’s guards, confronts the sheikh in his boudoir, and shoots him in the head and rescues his daughter. They return to the U.S. where she is reunited with her mother and stepfather. Afterwards Bryan takes Kim to a famous pop singer, one who’s life he had saved, for lessons on singing as Kim has aspirations to be a singer.

The sequel Taken 2 was released in 2012 directed by Olivier Megaton and co-written by kamen & Besson, who also produced it. At a funeral in Albania the mobster are buried with Marko’s father Murad, who is also leader of the gang, vowing to take revenge on the man who killed them and wounded all the parents, wives & children of the dead. Murad & his men capture & torture the corrupt policeman from the first movie to find Bryan’s location. Meanwhile Kim is trying to set up Bryan & Lenore, who is having problems with her current husband Stuart. They join Bryan in Istanbul, where he has just wrapped up a job and settle into a luxury hotel. The next day, as Kim stays back to lounge at the hotel pool, Lenore and Bryan go out for lunch and are followed by a car. After a chase they capture Lenore, forcing Bryan to drop his weapon and gives up but before he does, he calls Kim and warns her. Kim hides in a hidden closet in Bryan’s room; her would-be abductors shoot another hotel guest and two security guards, but fail to find her and are forced to flee.

Bryan wakes with his hands tied to a pole in a dark room. Using a communication device that he had hidden in his sock, Bryan calls Kim, instructing her to go to the US Embassy and tell them what happened, but she begs for a chance to help him and Lenore. Under Bryan’s guidance, she opens his suitcase, containing weapons, and throws a grenade onto a deserted rooftop parking lot. Bryan uses the time it takes for the sound of the explosion to reach him to help locate where he is. He then has her take a gun and two more grenades and take to the rooftops, while he frees himself from his restraints. Two more grenade detonations enable Bryan to guide Kim close enough to see steam he sends up a chimney to mark his precise location. Kim tosses the gun down the chimney. Bryan uses it to kill the Albanians in the building, then saves Kim from her rooftop pursuer. Lenore, however, is taken away by her captors. Bryan & Kim steal a taxi and crash their way into the US embassy where he leaves her safe and then heads out to look for Lenore. He traces hi way to Murad’s hideout using the directions he he memorized from his abduction. Then he goes on a killing spree of the mobster’s men, with a solid hand to hand fight with one of them and corner’s a lone Murad. The mob boss confirms Bryan’s guess that his two remaining sons will seek revenge if Bryan kills him. Bryan offers to let Murad live if he gives his word to end his vendetta. When the man nods his head, Bryan drops his gun and starts to walk away.

The mobster seeking revenge grabs the gun only to find it empty as Bryan has removed it and is then killed by Bryan. 3 weeks later, after having passed her driver’s test, Kim is celebrating with Lenore & Bryan at a diner having sundaes when her boyfriend Jamie arrives. He had an awkward scene earlier with Bryan and now the father is more welcoming of the boy. As the movie ends Kim jokingly asks her father not to kill Jamie as she likes him.

Like I said, I call it Die Hard for the 21st century. One man against a mob, killing so many and not getting arrested or killed himself. In 2 movies the family do get hurt but none of them are killed. Seems unrealistic but Neeson pulls it off as an actor who can “act” in this kind of action movie. If done well, it can be highly entertaining. The first one does that the second not so much and it gets very predictable. Taken gets an 8 out 10 while Taken 2 gets a 6.5 out 10 from me!

Ramblings About Animals & Killing

On a program on AXN I saw a woman who mummifies your pets – mostly cats & dogs – after they die, so you can keep them nearby as a remembrance. They showed this young woman, whose cat died & she approached this woman who did the macabre service for her. I don’t know about you, but I found it sick. I mean, fuck, of all the things… what next, stuff & keep granny next to you sitting room shelf so everyone can admire her! What a waste of money!! I would never do that.

I don’t agree with stuffing animals for show casing as a practise. If you are not gonna eat them then don’t kill them unless your life is in danger. They deserve to live as much as you & I do. Just have to reconcile my meat eating (and loving) habits. Killing if not for food is just so wrong.

I’d love to go fishing again. I’d fish only for food ofcourse. The only time I’ve gone fishing, 10 years ago in Calicut, we cooked and ate all the fish we caught for dinner. I could never go hunting just for sport. I don’t want to kill tigers, bears or wolves. These are beautiful animals. Ugh! killing in the name of sport is not something that should be done in the 21st century.

Babylon 5 : The Wheel Of Fire

The 5th & final season of Babylon 5 (although we still have a couple of more movies to come) was titled The Wheel Of Fire. John Sheridan is targeted by an assassin in the lead up to his inauguration as President of the Interstellar Alliance. At the behest of Sheridan, Captain Elizabeth Lochley (the lovely & sexy Traci Scoggins joins the main cast as a regular character)  arrives from Earth to take command of Babylon 5. A group of rogue telepaths, led by the charismatic Byron, come to the station looking for sanctuary. Delenn & Sheridan go about their various duties on the station as they also adjust to life as newlyweds. Londo suffers a heart attack and falls into a surreal dream, where he must face his greatest fear in order to survive. Lennier decides to leave Delenn’s service and return to Minbar.

Sheridan clashes with the various member worlds of the Alliance over the Declaration of Principles. An isolated world on the Rim asks for the Alliance’s help in defending themselves against Raiders. Garibaldi attempts to recruit telepaths for intelligence operations. As Babylon 5 comes under attack by an alien race, ordinary maintenance workers Mack and Bo work to keep the station running. Two Minbari Ranger trainees visit the station, Garibaldi investigates Lockley’s background, and Zack investigates a murder Down Below. The command crew are put in a difficult position when a unit of Psi Cops, led by Bester, comes to the station to arrest the colony of telepaths. Lyta becomes closer to Byron and the colony of telepaths, while Franklin investigates a secret from the Hyach race’s distant past. Babylon 5 becomes part of the Brakiri “Day of the Dead” festival, in which people are visited by the deceased from their past. Famous entertainers Rebo and Zooty visit the station.Byron and the telepath colony bring an ultimatum to the Interstellar Alliance. Londo returns to Centauri Prime, with G’Kar as his bodyguard, and discovers intrigue and danger in the Royal Court. The situation between the Alliance and the telepath colony continues to deteriorate when Bester arrives on the station. Londo and G’Kar discover an old friend in the Centauri Royal Court.

The standoff between the telepaths, the Alliance and the Psi Corps ends in blood and tragedy. Garibaldi confronts his nemesis. Garibaldi’s relapse into alcoholism jeopardises a covert mission to the Drazi homeworld. G’Kar discovers that he has become a religious leader to his people.With a pair of trainee Psi Cops in tow, Bester pursues a murderous rogue telepath from Mars to Babylon 5. Lennier undergoes Ranger training aboard one of the White Star vessels, while secretly on a mission for Delenn and the Alliance. Meanwhile, the Drazi bug Londo’s quarters and face the wrath of Vir. Lennier risks his life to uncover the proof needed to implicate the Centauri in the attacks on shipping lanes. Lise arrives on the station and confronts Garibaldi about his relapse. Sheridan and Delenn bring formal charges against the Centauri Republic, bringing the Centauri and the Alliance to the brink of war. As the war between the Alliance and the Centauri grows more intense, Sheridan must contend with rogue Narn and Drazi generals who want to take drastic action. Lyta and Franklin uncover a startling truth behind the Centauri campaign. The fate of Centauri Prime is decided, between the weapons of the Alliance and the threats of the Drakh. Delenn and Lennier are stranded in hyperspace. G’Kar deals with the ‘cult of personality’ that is forming around him. Delenn learns that she is pregnant. Lochley helps Garibaldi deal with his problems with alcoholism. As G’Kar plans to leave Babylon 5 with Lyta, the crew avert an assassination attempt on Garibaldi and Lise with the help of an old ally.

Sheridan and Delenn finally depart Babylon 5 for the IA’s new headquarters on Minbar. Franklin leaves for his new posting on Earth. Garibaldi settles into his new corporate life. And Lennier makes a terrible choice and must face the consequences.Twenty years after the end of the Shadow War, Sheridan is approaching the end of his life and decides to gather together all his old friends one last time. After a fond farewell dinner with Delenn, Garibaldi, Franlin, Ivanova & Vir. The next morning after a final goodbye to Delenn, Sheridan leaves for Babylon 5. He is greeted by Zack Allen who tells him that the station is being shut down. Sheriden says his goodbye to Zack and the station and leaves for another system and as his lifesigns fades away Lorien appears to Sheridan and tells him that the First Ones have not forgotten him, and that they have been waiting for him beyond the rim of the galaxy. Sheridan asks if he can come back, but Lorien tells him that his old life is over and that it is time to start a new journey. Ivanova, Garibaldi, Franklin, Delenn, Vir, and Zack attend the decommissioning ceremony, taking one last look around the station before departing on the final shuttle against an honor guard of ships from member worlds of the Alliance. The final shutdowns are completed as a maintenance worker (played as a cameo appearance by creator of Babylon 5, and writer and director of this episode, J. Michael Straczynski) shuts down the system and the fusion reactors are set to overload. Babylon 5’s existence ends in fire, as was prophesied.

Sad ending to a great show. Wonderful cast (some of who have left us now) & writers/producers/directors & crew.

Statue Of God vs The People’s Lives

Here is my addition to The Joker Mind loss meme, that I created last night!

This is my reaction to the floods is India. 34 people have lost their lives in my state of Kerala. Heavy rainfall in North India has caused damages to roads, destruction of buildings & houses. The torrential downpour has triggered devastating floods and landslides in the states of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh. Other states and union territories affected include Haryana, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh. As of 20 June 2013, officiate that more than 150 people have died but according to unofficial estimates thousands of people have died, with hundreds missing and thousands homeless. Damage to bridges and roads left almost 73,000 people trapped in various places. Many people are missing. As of 20 June 2013, the death toll in the worst affected state, Uttarakhand, was reported to be 150, hundreds missing and more than 60,000 tourists and pilgrims were stranded.

Yet most of what I see on posts on websites & facebook is  “Shiva’s statue washed away by heavy floods of the river Ganga! Thousands sharing the same stupid video!!!!

WHAT ABOUT THE LOSS OF PEOPLE AND THEIR HOMES?

A Single Law….With Lots Of Implications

You have the power to enact a single law. What would it be?

Ahahahahaha (rubs hands in glee and has that evil look of power on his face) this is something I dream about. Ok, so if I had the power to enact a single law – just one – that has to be followed all over the world, which one would it be?

I would ban religion, no. But I’d enact a law that gives it the same power as that of any fan club. The same powers as a fan club of say a movie star or a rock band. Or like a community  for Star Trek or Star Wars or Stargate fans. A fan club – because that’s essentially what all religions are. Same for religious cults. Thereby stripping all the current power that they have in society and nullify any and all power that they have over politics and politicians. And thus they also have to pay taxes like everyone else. And no more space associated with churches, mosques & temples. All money & wealth will be confiscated and goes to the government. Better yet it will be distributed among the orphanages and the homeless & the poor families. Religious organizations will have to buy a building like everyone else in the usual family, apply for licenses to have a club / function held and pay for everything. Just like any other club or organization has to.

So religious organizations cannot run schools, colleges, hostels etc. Everything will have to be done by secular run organizations. No money donations pouring in they will have to be funded in the normal ways and no black money. Also any and all priests accused of crimes, especially of the sexual manner, will be investigated like normal people and put behind bars and fined if found guilty. And no clout to get them off scot free.

Let’s put all that excess money to feed, clothe & provide shelter to everyone and spend the rest on education & healthcare & science. And progress.

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Sherlock : The Great Game

The 3rd episode of the first season or first series of the BBC tv series Sherlock finally features the arch nemesis of the great detective – Moriarty. The episode starts of with Sherlock meeting a convicted murdered in a foreign prison. The man, an English citizen , reaches out to Holmes who is bored and correct the prisoner’s grammar and tells him that it is an open & shut case; the man is guilty and hence there is nothing for Holmes to prove. Back in England, Sherlock is bored as he has no case to solve. He amuses himself by shooting holes in their wall, causing Watson to go and spend the night at his girlfriend Sarah’s flat. However the next morning an explosion on Bake’s Street brings a concerned John running back, only to find an unaffected Sherlock sitting with his brother Mycroft. Mycroft wants Sherlock to investigate the murder of MI6 employee Andrew West. West was found dead on a railway line, and an important flash drive is missing. Sherlock refuses the case, saying he isn’t at his brother’s beck & call.

Then the duo are called to Scotland Yard where a phone with a pink case (from the woman in the first episode) has been delivered. A photo of their basement is sent to the phone, and they head to to it and find a pair of trainers left there. A woman wearing an explosive vest is forced to call Sherlock on the phone and made to read a message to the detective – if Sherlock does not solve the puzzle in 12 hours, the explosive vest she is wearing will be detonated. As Sherlock & John examine the trainers in the lab, Molly Hooper, the lab technician with feelings for Sherlock comes in and introduces her new boyfriend but to her dismay Sherlock deduces that the man is gay. Sherlock makes out that the shoes belong to a schoolboy Carl Powers who had drowned many years ago. An underaged Sherlock had tried to investigate the boy’s murder but was unable to convince the police to take his theories seriously. He solves it from clues left on the trainers: Carl Powers was poisoned via his eczema medication. The booby-trapped woman is freed. Then a second image is sent to them – a blood stained sports car. Another hostage calls & gives Sherlock 8 hours to solve the mystery. The card of a rental agency is in the glove box. The agency owner has a distinct suntan and was recently in Colombia, and the blood in the car had been previously frozen, so Sherlock concludes that the lost man, Ian Monkford, paid the agency owner to help him disappear. Once again, the hostage is freed.

All this has led Sherlock to deduce that he is battling Moriarty as named by the killer in the first episode. Next, Sherlock investigates the death of a reality decorative show, Connie Prince, from tetanus. Supposedly, she cut herself on a nail, but the wound was made after her death. A blind woman calls, giving Holmes 12 hours in which to solve the crime. Sherlock pins the crime on the housekeeper, who murdered Prince by increasing her botox injections. Although Sherlock solves the puzzle in time, the bomber triggers the explosives when the hostage starts describing her kidnapper’s voice. The next image sent is of the Thames river. Sherlock & John find the corpse of a security guard there. A pair of bruises on the body are trademarks of “the Golem”, an assassin. The guard had realised that a recently discovered painting by Vermeer was a fake. An astronomy professor had talked to the victim about the painting, and is also targeted by the Golem. While Sherlock and John fail to save her life, they find a clue to prove the painting is a fake, saving a fourth victim. The museum curator tells Sherlock that the person ultimately in charge was called Moriarty. During gaps in between, John has been trying to investigate the death of Andrew West on his own to appease Mycroft. John is puzzled to hear that little blood was found on the tracks and just as Sherlock had deduced from afar, agrees that West was killed elsewhere, then dumped on the roof of a train. They confront West’s prospective brother-in-law, who confesses that he stole the flash drive and accidentally killed West, who fell down the stairs in a tussle.

Sherlock waits for John to go out and then arranges to meet Moriarty. He is met instead by John, who appears to taunt him before revealing that he is another hostage, wearing an explosive vest and having his words dictated. Moriarty shows up and turns out to be Molly’s boyfriend Jim. John grabs him, but lets go when a sniper aims at Sherlock. Moriarty leaves momentarily but soon returns, having multiple snipers target both Sherlock and John. Sherlock aims his handgun at Moriarty, but then changes his aim to the explosive vest, which he had thrown across the pool deck. The episode (and the first series) ends on this cliffhanger.