Too Big To Fail

Tell us about something you would attempt if you were guaranteed not to fail (and tell us why you haven’t tried it yet).

For sure it would be to move and settle down in Canada. I make no efforts to hide it, my biggest wish is to move to Canada and settle down there for the rest of my life. I wish I could have moved there in my early 20s. Or my teens. Or heck, I wish I was born and raised and still living in that beautiful country.

For several reasons I think that Canada is the place that I most wish I was living in. I think they have a great country and some awesomely beautiful cities, towns and places. I can think of more than 30-35 places in Canada that I’d love to see and live in. Whereas I can only think of a handful in most other countries, including my own. I love the places and the rivers and the scenic beauty and the funny names that they have as well for those places (Wawa, Moose Jaw, Dildo anyone?) and I love ice hockey. I love their singers and bands and I enjoy a lot of Canadian shows and some films.

The fear I have I and why I haven’t tried is because I do not have much money, neither do I have a sponsor to get me to Canada. Finding a job will be difficult and I guess my lack of a degree (I only have a diploma and do not work in that field at all) will affect my chances anyway. I could try and get there and then find a job but for that I will need a place to stay and I need lots of money. I have friends but they are all my internet friends (some of whom have offered a free bed if I do make it there) but I have never even met them in real life hence I am not comfortable in asking them to go good on their offer.

I do hope that I will go there atleast for a visit someday before I die. I do want to see my fav cities and have a beer in toast to Canada. I guess that might be possible.

Prompt from the Daily Post at

Tv Shows From The Deep Caves

If Al Qaeda released tv shows here’s what the titles may look like :

* How I Blew Up Your Mother
* Dead Friends
* Al Qaeda Horror Story (or normal stories from the desert)
* Muffy The Infidel Slayer
* Little Bomb On The Prairie
* Sons Of Butchery (riding the latest camels)
* Breaking Heads
* The Big Bang not a Theory but something we put into Practise
* Game Of Drones
* Jihad Trek : Deep Cave Nine

Power Down

So it’s a little past 11am on Wednesday and we have no power at home. This is a scheduled power outage as it is mentioned in the newspapers that the KSEB is conducting routine maintenance work in this area and hence power could be shut down for the area anytime between 10 am to 5 pm. I was hoping that it wouldn’t go for long but I doubt it will come back up before I leave for work at 3pm.

Luckily my clothes are ironed and all I need to do from now is to lie back in bed, drink some coffee or take a nap till 1:30 pm when I take a shower and a shave and then have lunch. Last night I reached home by 2:30 am and had a solid 6.5 hour sleep so I am good to go. I had wanted to catch up on some TV shows but no power means no internet/computer/tv.

Maybe I should go out for an hour and get a cool drink or have lunch outside. I have a hankering for pizza not having had any in a while. I am typing this blog post using a new app for me called “CutePress”.

Manchester United 1 Arsenal 2

Considered surplus at Manchester by his coach and allowed to be sold to rivals Arsenal, Danny Welbeck returned to Manchester United as Arsenal’s match-winner as the FA Cup holders sealed a semi-final place at Wembley. That’s irony for you! England striker Welbeck joined Arsenal from United in a £16m deal on deadline day in September – and came back to score the goal that gave the Gunners their first win at Old Trafford since 2006. It ensures Louis van Gaal, the manager who sanctioned his sale, will almost certainly end his first season empty-handed.

Nacho Monreal gave Arsenal a first-half lead but Wayne Rooney equalised with a flying header from Angel Di Maria’s cross – the high point of the Argentine’s night as he was later dismissed for two yellow cards after Welbeck had restored Arsenal’s advantage. And on a great night for manager Arsene Wenger & the Gunners after United had won 11 of the last 15 meetings between the sides in all competitions, Arsenal are now huge favourites to reach another FA Cup final after drawing either Reading or Bradford City in the semi-final. The hero of the night, however, was Welbeck as he punished United, the club where he scored 29 goals in 142 appearances before switching to Arsenal after Van Gaal brought in Radamel Falcao. There was no reprieve here, though, and now a place in the Premier League’s top four and a return to the Champions League is their sole aim for the rest of the campaign.

For Arsenal, this was a demonstration of the sort of resilience that saw them win at champions Manchester City this season and now ends that recent curse at Old Trafford. Arsenal’s crisp passing had already caused United problems before they took the lead in the 25th minute. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was the creator with a weaving run along the edge of the area before finding Monreal, who beat David De Gea at the near post with composure. The lead lasted only four minutes, United replying with quality of their own as Di Maria’s perfect delivery dropped between Arsenal’s defenders to be met by the flying figure of Rooney, who directed a powerful header beyond Wojciech Szczesny. Arsenal went back in front just after the hour. Antonio Valencia’s backpass sold De Gea short and Welbeck reacted quickly to nudge the loose ball around the keeper and roll it into the unguarded net. Welbeck received warm applause from large sections of United’s support when he was replaced by Olivier Giroud. There were some jeers mixed in but he clearly remains a popular figure at Old Trafford.

Seconds after that switch De Gea produced a miraculous piece of goalkeeping to keep United in contention, somehow clawing out Santi Cazorla’s shot from Alexis Sanchez’s cross. United’s play, as well as the noise from their supporters, carried an air of desperation and their cause was not helped by a moment of madness from Di Maria that saw him sent off with 13 minutes left. After being booked for diving, the frustrated Argentine then tugged at referee Oliver’s shirt as he walked away, with inevitable consequences. In the dying minutes Alexis Sanchez too had a great chance at goal but was thwarted by a great save from De Gea. Di Maria’s diving was shameful as was some of the other players too – no place for it in football and he was rightfully sent off; Fellani was a bully and could have easily have been sent off himself.

Revenge is sweet, it was well deserved for Arsenal for whom every player stepped up. Ozil, Carzola, Bellerin (who was substituted with Chambers who was also good), Chamberlain, Sanchez, Monreal, Coquelin, Kosceilny & even Per who had a solid game at the back. I would wanted to have seen Walcott given a run at them but it was not to be. Great atmosphere, great game and a memorable win for the Gunners.

We Can Be Taught

What makes a teacher great?

I believe that a great teacher is one who puts in her/his 100% into the class and the lessons that are to be taught and also to the students in the class room. If the teachers wants to really influence the students they have to be passionate about what it is that they teach to the class. Not just some 9-4 job that they come, do like any other job and then sign off at the end of the day and go home to drink endless cups of tea or coffee in the comfort of their living room. Nothing bad in that but that’s not what the students of today need.

The teachers can really inspire and influence a student(s) into picking up a book, learning a new language, learning about the history of the world, choosing the right college courses and classes and even carving out a career path for them. It depends on the knowledge, communication skills and the passion and drive that the teacher has. Also she/he needs receptive students who are willing to learn but they can still mold the minds of the brats who do not care and make them into responsible and enthusiastic learners and focused youths who will go on to contribute to society in a positive manner.

Prompt from The Daily Post at

Return Of The Friends

When one thinks of seminal, culture-changing television shows, immediately favorites such as Star Trek, All in the Family, MASH, The Honeymooners and – in more contemporary times – Seinfeld come to mind.

In that mix is a show that has stood the test of time, proving itself on the rerun circuit and amassing a mind-blowing fan base that many sitcoms that have come and gone in its wake can’t approach. The legendary Friends has been with us for over 15 years, remarkably, and continues to prove that its audience is here to stay, due in part to the Netflix’s re-release of the show and PopTV’s “behind-the-scenes” special about this cultural phenomenon (check here for listings).

But what is it about Friends that endures? Why did this story about a seemingly ordinary group of young adults who basically socialize, inter-date and live vicariously through each other’s lives take off the way it did? To answer those questions, one must first look at what has become known as “Generation X” and the way its first “grown-up sitcom” appealed to this demographic; the series immediately struck a chord with Gen X, with characters played by Courteney Cox, Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, David Schwimmer, Matt LeBlanc and Matthew Perry embroiled in career difficulties, life goals and evolving notions of the ideal relationship. Indeed, they were scenarios that all of us in that generation could relate to – I know I sure could. Even the immensely catchy theme song, suggesting we’re “always stuck in second gear,” gave us a peek into the difficulties of single life in the ‘90s.

A main feature of why the series was so popular is that instead of focusing on a family or simply a duo of friends, it was instead a mix of both; a group of friends who had created their own family. As is often the case in families, this one was dysfunctional, but that only made it all the more endearing. Viewers were invited into this group to witness the trials and tribulations that so many of us have gone through or were going through. There was casual sex, accidental pregnancies, unrequited love, adoption, marriage, divorce, betrayal, birth, death, career lows and highs, and so much more than young people all across the world go through. However in this scenario most of the situations were tackled comically and in thirty minutes, giving viewers a sense of relief for their fictional friends.

Then there’s the “Seinfeld Curse” and how it relates to Friends – specifically how the cast members struggled to find work outside of their roles that so lavishly made them famous and garner millions of fans worldwide. Within this dynamic is the issue of typecasting as well, with many rabid Friends fans feeling more than a few of the cast members have been “baked into” a particular type of character; in all fairness to the cast, some of their roles since Friends have worked and some haven’t, much like any other actor in Hollywood coming off a mega-successful project.

While Lisa Kudrow, for example, starred in such features as Analyze This, Analyze That and the Gen X classic Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion during her time on the show. After the show ended, she managed to carve out a niche in cult TV series like Web Therapy and The Comeback, portraying Valerie Cherish, the show’s main character. While the show wouldn’t be renewed for a second season, Kudrow received an Emmy nomination for her work on the series, making her the first Friends cast member to receive a major award nomination since the show came to its conclusion in 2004.

Other Friends cast members would move on to experience a similar up-down-up momentum to their careers. Courteney Cox managed to find success back on TV with Cougar Town as well as Matt Leblanc who’s earned praise in his series Episodes. Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer appear to be the two who haven’t quite been able to catch that magic that they others have been able to, but have respectable careers none the less. And, of course, we all know how things have turned out for Jennifer Aniston.

But say what you will about the classic known as Friends and its sometimes cheesy 90s-esque wardrobe and dialogue: The legend and its stars are here to stay, evidenced by the Pop TV special that keeps the spirit of the show alive with an in-depth probing of its inner workings, as well as Netflix’s decision to re-release the uber-popular sitcom that is destined to keep it fresh in the minds of not only seasoned fans, but for a generation raised on a (sometimes nauseatingly so) steady diet of iPhones, texting and virtual dating.

~ guest blog written by Emma! (connect to her via @emma_bailey90)

Food Review # 33

Coffee Beanz has a new-ish sandwich called the Triple Decker (this video was shot in September 2014). It’s 4 slices of bread and in the 3 gaps are roasted chicken, an egg omlette and ham. Good but kinda hard to fit into your mouth for a bite and the mix of ingredients loses out a bit of the individual tastes.


From director Christopher Nolan comes Interstellar a science fiction movie written by Nolan and his brother Jonathon Nolan and starring Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain and Michael Caine. Matt Damon, Casey Affleck, Topher Grace, Wes Bentley, John Lithgow & Lean Cairns have supporting roles.

In the near future the human population are having a shortage of food and hence is a failing agrarian society with frequent dust storms. Former pilot Cooper runs a farm with his father-in-law Donald, son Tom & 10 year old daughter Murphy “Murph”. Murph believes that there is a poltergeist in her room that is trying to communicate with her, dropping books and leaving markings in the dust and on investigating Copper believes that the “ghost” is an unknown intelligence sending coded messages using gravitational waves, leaving binary coordinates in the dust that direct them to a secret NASA installation led by Professor John Brand. Brand informs Cooper than a wormhole has opened near Saturn, presumably by an alien intelligence, and that the wormhole leads to another galaxy where 3 possibly habitable worlds orbiting a super-large black hole that they named ‘Gargantua’. The three planets are named Miller, Mann & Edmunds after the astronauts who were sent to survey them on a one way mission. Brand recruits Cooper to pilot the spacecraft Endurance to recover the astronauts’ data; if one of the planets is habitable, humanity will follow on space stations.

Murphy takes his leaving the hardest and refuses to be amicable. On the Endurance Cooper is joined by Brand’s daughter biotechnologist Amelia and two other scientists Romilly (David Gyasi) and Doyle (Wes Bentley) as well as advanced robots TARS and CASE. After they enter the wormhole they head to the planet Miller but find that the planet suffers from severe gravitational time dilation due to being too close to the blackhole; each hour on the planet is roughly equivalent to 7 hours on earth! Amelia, Romilly and Cooper head to the planet on one of the shuttles to retrieve the data left behind by Miller but a gigantic wave hits them and Doyle is killed. With a little delay the other two head back to Endurance where Doyle has spent 23 years all alone! On earth meanwhile, a now grown up Murphy is a NASA scientist working with professor Brand on an equation that will enable NASA to launch the space stations via gravity. However on his deathbed Brand confesses that he feels that it is impossible to do so and that he concealed his conclusion to keep hopes alive and also that Plan B was to restart the human population on a new planet using frozen embryos kept on board Endurance.

Murphy however believes that she can figure out the formula with additional data from a black hole’s singularity. Meanwhile the 3 remaining crew on Endurance have enough fuel to go to one more planet and they pick Mann as data is still being transmitted. They bring Mann out of cryosleep and he shows them the planet’s surface which is covered in icy glacier, perpetually cold and mostly inhospitable. However Mann, who knew about the embryos and Plan B all along, faked data to get the Endurance to pick him up and lures Cooper away to protect his secret. He & Cooper fight and the former breaks the latter’s visor and runs back to the shuttle. Romilly is killed by a bomb Mann set to protect his secret. Amelia rescues Cooper using the other cargo shuttle, and they arrive at Endurance in time to witness Mann docking improperly. The airlock explodes, killing Mann and causing serious damage, but Cooper uses the cargo shuttle to get Endurance under control. Almost out of fuel Cooper & Amelia plan to slingshot Endurance around Gargantua on a course toward Edmunds on the other side of the black hole while many years will pass on Earth. However Cooper & TARS use their shuttle to detach themselves from the Endurance in order to lower the load and give Amelia with CASE a better chance of reaching the planet.

TARS and Cooper collect data from the singularity and send it to Endurance before the shuttle is destroyed forcing Cooper to eject himself and TARS into space. They emerge into this inter-dimensional tesseract where time appears as a spatial dimension and portals show glimpses of Murphy’s childhood bedroom at various times. Cooper realizes that the wormhole’s creators are future humans transcending time and space, who have constructed the tesseract so he can communicate with Murphy as her “ghost” and save humanity. Using gravitational waves, Cooper encodes TARS’s data on the singularity into the adult Murphy’s watch, allowing her to solve Brand’s equation and launch the space stations. Once Murphy realizes that it is her father reaching out to her and she collects the data, the tesseract dissolves and Cooper is moved to the wormhole where he is pulled back in and is found floating near Saturn. When he comes to he finds himself onboard a large biological NASA space station on which the humans on earth now live. He is reunited briefly with an elderly Murphy, who pioneered the exodus of humans from earth to space stations in the Milky Way, and is now near death. She tells him to find Amelia who is implementing Plan B with CASE on Edmunds’s desert, hospitable planet. Cooper and TARS, who was also rescued from space, steal a NASA shuttle to travel to Edmunds’s Planet.

Bold, beautifully shot, ambitious, special effects laden, artistically gratifying, excellent acting (though I still can’t stand McConaughey) but the ending ruined it for me with with the “love” as a 5th dimension and the transcendal futuristic humans guiding Cooper to see Murph etc. For the last maybe 30 minutes I didn’t really enjoy the film though the rest is great. Surprised by some logical goofs though and choices that the characters make. Still, I shall give it an 8.5 outta 10, mainly for the science & scifi elements.

Time Capsule

What would you put in this year’s time capsule to channel the essence of our current moment for future generations?

I would put a few smartphones and mp3 players and a tablet pc as well as a laptop. I would put up dvds/blurays of The Walking Dead & Game Of Thrones as two amazing shows that rule the roost of this age. Ok, dvds/blurays of The Big Bang Theory as well.

I’d freeze some pizza and hamburgers and bacon for future generations – just in case they run out of the good stuff in the future. Also a bottle of the finest vodka and some beer. I’d put travel coffee mugs with coffee and cream of all the major coffee brands from the world (Tim Horton’s Starbucks, Illy, Costa, etc etc) and some cookies.

I’ll keep some Star Trek starship models in it as well. And some Ninja Turtles figures. Some footballs (not the egg shaped thingy) and tennis balls and hockey pucks with a stick as well. And a hockey mask. And a Harley Davidson bike model!

I dunno what else. I could go on for days.

Prompt from the Daily Post at

Saturday Night @ Golden Dragon

After a long while my cousin Sujith & I went to Golden Dragon (our favourite restaurant) this evening after coffee and had some good food and drink.


Started off with Crispy golden fried prawns and Chicken Spring rolls – two regulars that we seem to have at this place.



Main dish was Shanghai Emerald fried rice with pork in hoisin sauce and dragon chicken (the latter of which is just awesome). We had a beer and 2 orange flavoured vodkas each with some 7up to wash the food down as well.

What Places Do You Remember Fondly From Childhood?

What Places Do You Remember Fondly From Childhood?

There is a place, like a theme park and rides, games etc, called Entertainment City in Kuwait that my family and a lot of other families took their children to. This was during the 80s which is when my family & I used to go there. It was our Disneyland and we kids all loved going there and enjoying the rides and games and yes the food at the food court. I also enjoyed the beaches in Kuwait which my family, uncle, aunt and cousin used to go to on a regular basis when we were living there. There was also a small park that was nearby which was a good place to go in the evening and sit on the grass and eat some snacks and enjoy a cold drink.

I also miss the small shopping centers near our apartment and the playground and the old parking lot where a bunch of my friends and I went to play football in. I miss the building my family & I lived in with good friends and neighbours who all helped and enjoyed each other’s company. We had lots of parties and functions and a few trips to parks or beaches and hosted lots of games. The rooftop parties with games & presents for kids as well as adults as well as stuff like Bingo, followed by great food (and drink for the adults) followed by a movie or two played on a projector screen in the late evening were highlights of my childhood and I miss them so great and look back upon them fondly.

The silly games we kids played and the fun we had all seem like a another lifetime.

Prompt from The Learning Network at The New York Times.

Arsenal 2 Queens Park Rangers 1

Arsenal produced an impressive second-half display to beat QPR in a fourth consecutive Premier League win and consolidate their top-four place. Olivier Giroud opened the scoring, poking home when on the ground after Kieran Gibbs’s shot was blocked. Alexis Sanchez beat Robert Green at his near post to double Arsenal’s lead. QPR faded after a strong first-half performance, although they were given late hope by Charlie Austin’s powerful strike with eight minutes left. Arsenal remain on course for automatic Champions League qualification, sitting one point clear of fourth-placed Manchester United, and three points ahead of fifth-placed Liverpool.

Sanchez scored his first goal since January as he ended a mini-drought with a bit of skill while Giroud scores fifth goal in five games. While Arsenal took time to settle, they provided a reminder of their quality when Green kept out Santi Cazorla after a flowing move that saw the Spaniard combine neatly with Giroud. The Gunners were much the better team after half-time though, and threatened almost immediately, with Mesut Ozil insisting only a foul by Henry had prevented him from converting a Tomas Rosicky cut-back. Soon after Giroud put Arsenal ahead, they created further chances in quick succession and, having just denied Sanchez, Green was beaten by the Chile forward at his near post from an acute angle.

The Gunners were much the better team after half-time though, and threatened almost immediately, with Mesut Ozil insisting only a foul by Henry had prevented him from converting a Tomas Rosicky cut-back. Soon after Giroud put Arsenal ahead, they created further chances in quick succession and, having just denied Sanchez, Green was beaten by the Chile forward at his near post from an acute angle. Austin’s late strike gave QPR hope of a dramatic late equaliser, but the home side failed to build further momentum and Arsenal’s control of possession ensured no further alarms. After 28 games played and 54 points Arsenal stays in 3rd place a point above Manchester United and 3 above Liverpool who are breathing down the neck of the top 4.

New Camera Zoom Lens Coffee Mug

Here is another purchase I made off eBay. I didn’t actually pay for this as I could use some payback coupons/points to get this Rs.497 (including taxes) worth little novelty item. It’s written “Caniam” on it though I don’t know if that is actually a brand of cameras or if it’s just a name for this – it’s a coffee mug that looks like a camera zoom lens and which comes with a lid so you can avoid spilling you coffee. I think it looks mighty nice.

I might not take it to the office with me since I don’t drink coffee during the late night shifts. But when I change shifts I might take it or I could just use it to sip water while I am at work. Here is the unboxing video.

The Granite Door

You’re having a nightmare, and have to choose between three doors. Pick one, and tell us about what you find on the other side.

I am dreaming and it’s not a nice dream and in this dream I am in a dark hallway with barely enough light to see what’s in front of me. There’s a lot of noises and what sounds like tiny feet on hard cement coming near me and I look towards the three doors and try to figure out which one I should pick. I can hear loud chants and screams getting closer as I stare at the three doors – one that looks like dark mucus and slime green, another which looks like it’s blood red in colour and the third one which looks like it’s made of granite.

As the noises and scurrying feet come closer to me I think that the granite one looks like the most harmless one and push open the door and go in and close the door on the fast approaching creatures that then begin to bang on the door and make yelling sounds. Good luck getting me to open the door you vermin! I am not gonna let them get to me. So I try and see what’s in front of me in this room and in the dim light find a lantern. I pick it up and light it and I can finally see clearly what’s in this rather large room. And oh boy I was not expecting that at all.

In front of me are the most vicious looking creatures I have ever seen. Straight outta all the horror movies and stories that I can think of. And they look angry and hungry and all are arguing with themselves as to who gets to rip into my guts first. As I press myself towards the granite door with these horrible creatures looming at me, I can hear the faint voices from outside the door telling me “We tried to warn you to not open the granite door!”


Prompt from the Daily Post at