Longing For Gravity

You are on a mission to Mars. Because of the length of of the journey, you will never be able to return to Earth. What about our blue planet will you miss the most?

So I am on this space ship to Mars and due to the length of the trip that it takes from the earth to Mars, I won’t be able to return!!! What kind of cruel job is this? You’re going to let me die of old age out there, all alone, on a barre planet?

So yeah, I would miss my life back here on earth, my family and friends. I would miss seeing the sky and the rains and the moon and the birds and the animals. I would miss the streets with shops and stores and restaurants and all the wonderful smells that come up when things are cooking. I would miss people watching, especially watching hot women passing by. I would miss having human interaction. I would miss going out to get a beer or some vodka and having a few drinks.

I would miss tv and movies and the internet. I would miss being able to sit in a cafe for a couple of hours drinking coffee and read a book as the morning passes me by. I would miss listening to new music. I would miss getting a new book to read. I would miss a whole lotta things. How good is Mars a place to live in though?

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3 Religious Jokes

One day Jesus was out for a walk, strolling near the walls surrounding heaven, when he heard an old man’s voice call from the other side.

“Hello? Hello?”

Jesus replied, “Who is it?”

“Just a poor, old carpenter searching for his son,” the old man replied.

Jesus’ heart leapt with joy and he called out, “Father?”

The voice answered back, “Pinocchio?”

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There was a new preacher who wanted to rent a house in the country. The only house available was rumored to be haunted. Since the preacher didn’t believe in such things, he rented it.

It wasn’t long before the ghost made its appearance. The preacher told his friends about the ghost, but they didn’t believe him. They told him the only way they would believe was if he would take a picture of the ghost.

The preacher went home and called for the ghost. When it appeared, the preacher explained the situation and asked the ghost if it would mind having its picture taken. The ghost agreed.

When the picture was developed, the ghost wasn’t visible. Feeling very disappointed, the preacher called again for the ghost. When it appeared, the preacher showed it the picture and wanted to know why the ghost wasn’t in it.

The ghost thought a minute and replied, “Well, I guess the spirit was willing, but the flash was weak.”

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REAL STATEMENTS FOUND ON CHURCH BULLETINS

The 1991 Spring Council Retreat will be hell May 10 and 11.
Weight Watchers will meet at 7 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church. Please use large double door at the side entrance.
Pastor is on vacation. Massages can be given to church secretary.
The senior choir invites any member of the congregation who enjoys sinning to join the choir.
Please join us as we show our support for Amy and Alan in preparing for the girth of their first child.
Scouts are saving aluminum cans, bottles and other items to be recycled. Proceeds will be used to cripple children.
The associate minister unveiled the church’s new giving campaign slogan last Sunday: “I Upped My Pledge–Up Yours.”
8 new choir robes are currently needed, due to the addition of several new members and to the deterioration of some older ones.

Clean Slate

Explore the room you’re in as if you’re seeing it for the first time. Pretend you know nothing. What do you see? Who is the person who lives there?

Hmmm interesting topic.

Ok, I have just stepped into the room, a bedroom. I see an old (not working) pedestal fan near the door. Dusty and need of cleaning. Next to it and right smack against the center of that wall is a big steel almirah (cupboard or wardrobe). Next to that is an old broken computer swivel chair on which some books and a laptop bag and some other stuff is kept. There is a builtin two door cupboard in one corner. Let me take a look inside – it’s got a bunch of boxes with Star Trek starship models inside it and some magazines and a few clothes in a lower shelf.

On the opposite side of the steel almirah is the bed, pushed towards one side. Nice sturdy bed, queen size and looks comfy even if a little hard. Towards one edge, stacked together are a smartphone’s earphones, a BlackBerry Q10, an iPad with box, a couple of books and an office id tag. On one bedpost is a USB cord tucked away. Looks like a lonely guy sleeps here. There obviously isn’t a woman’s touch.

There’s a clothes rack pole thingy next to the windows and just beside the built-in cupboard. A clean shirt, one worn pair of trousers and one worn shirt are hunt on the round pegs. A slightly torn bag is hanging off one of the pegs on the lower level. Finally we have a small table on which a laptop, mouse and speakers rest. There are a bunch of external hard drives, dead & new batteries in covers, modem, extension cords, dvds and cases lay in the lower racks.

Looks like the place of a lonely guy who sits in his room a lot and spend a lot of his free time online.

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Alternate Timeline

Go back in time to an event you think could have played out differently for you. Let alternate history have its moment: tell us what could, would or should have happened?

As a science fiction fan I am used to readinf and watching tv shows or movies about alternate timelines. If you go back in time and make a change in history then there is an alternate timeline created due to that change which affects the course of that timeline. I am fascinated by the theory and possibilities and hence have often wondered what an alternate timeline with or without me would look like and what the alternate timeline me and his life would be like if I had made different choices.

Like if I had gone to a different school or college or opted for a different course. If my family had continued to live in Kuwait past 1987 and been affected by the Gulf War. Or if my family had moved to the UK or Canada and if I were raised there. Or if I had fallen for a different girl or not chosen to pursue her. Or if I made better choices regarding my academic subjects and career path. What if I had continued my guitar lessons and tried a career in music. Or lost weight as a teenage / in my 20s. What if I had tried to get together with this girl who had a major crush on me when we we 13.

So many questions and so many possibilities. All seemingly following a better timeline for me. A better life and less lonelier. Things that keep me up at night. Or who knows – maybe things could have been worse. Really? You don’t say! I dunno but I wish I could go back and make a few changes by virtue of which I would have a better life, in my opinion.

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Legacy

Imagine yourself at the end of your life. What sort of legacy will you leave? Describe the lasting effect you want to have on the world, after you’re gone.

I seriously do not know. Most people you talk to will say that the children you leave behind and thereby their children and their children’s children etc is the legacy that you leave behind. Being unmarried and childless I ofcourse have no such readymade answer to give. I wonder if my blog were to stay on for years on a free service or webserver and it was there for anyone to read, even a 100 years from now, if the posts that I wrote will be my legacy that I leave behind!

Or Facebook profile for that matter. A friend and former colleague of mine died two years ago and his account is still active and on his two birthdays since, we have remembered him. As no one has deactivated it yet we still have a place in cyberspace to remember him. I can’t remember is Facebook let’s your account stay inactive without anyone logging in for years at a stretch. If so then it can serve as one’s legacy.

My belongings are limited to my cds, my dvds and my collection of stuff like books and Starships. You will be able to know what my interests are through those. But my blog and my Facebook page will let you have a somewhat clear idea about the person that I am. That I love cats and dogs and I hate religion. That I love scifi and music and comedy and that I have a weird sense of humour. That I am a foodie and have a love for beer and vodka. That I support Arsenal FC and The Ottawa Sens and that I would love to have been living in Canada and that I am a die hard Trekkie.

There’s more to me though but that’s a good portion of who I am.

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Unboxing The USS Enterprise NCC-1701-E Model

I almost forgot to post this. The next Eaglemoss model in my collection is the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-E as seen in the movies Star Trek First Contact, Star Trek Insurrection & Star Trek Nemesis. Commissioned and assigned to Captain Jean-Luc PIcard and crew after the events of the movie Star Trek Generations and the destruction of the Enterprise D. She was sleeker looking, with longer warp nacelles but that also means that the ship itself is longer and hence on a smaller scale model it looks too small and lacking in some of that awesome detail. I was disappointed with this one, mainly due it it’s small size and really wish they had made this a much bigger model. Still, I love having it in my collection.

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And here is an unboxing video of the ship.

Hope You Never Have To Go Through It

Tell us about something you’ve done that you would advise a friend never to do.

I’ve done it and although I have enjoyed some aspects of it I have mostly regrets about it. My advice to most of you living here is to never join start-ups companies. Unless you yourself are at the beginning of your career and are looking for the experience. If you have commitments and need a steady job and a steady income, be careful as to where you join.

There are advantages ofcourse; like a smaller group of people to contend with, less stress (it depends) and no corporate B’S to contend with. Reviews are mostly easier to deal with as the people you report to know exactly what you have to deal with and will be more understanding. Reports will be less and you don’t have to cater to a 100 egos and various formats. The timings are flexible and things tend to be more friendly.

But the bad things outweigh the good. Good talent might be hard to come by, salaries might be lower, perks are less and facilities could be poorer. I’ve had to deal with deferred salaries and little to no benefits and little choices for everything to admin, facilities, material and even water and food. We had situations like no water on certain night shifts, no coffee or tea and getting food was tough. You also have restrictions and limitations and even have problems with getting loans or credit card applications rejected. Can’t blame the banks when even your salaries and benefits are limited or delayed.

Hence it might be better to join established companies. When a startup does work out it can have many rewards and satisfaction. But it is riskier.

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Sunday Lunch With My Cuz

Usually I prefer going out for lunch / dinner on Saturdays. And by going out I mean, spending a few hours with a cousin or friends or even by myself. But I was tired on Saturday morning, having slept very little the previous night and so it was on Sunday that I went out with my cousin.

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First it was some coffee. Due to a bad cold I hadn’t drunk anything cold or with ice in well over a week. I initially thought that I’d get a cold coffee. I waited for Sujith at the Abad Food Court, as he was running a bit late and so I had a cold coffee by myself. It’s nothing fancy but I seem to enjoy it a lot and have missed it as I hadn’t been there in many weeks.

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After a while we went to Golden Dragon in Ravipuram for lunch. It was almost 1 am when we got there and found out that they had moved – but just one floor up in the Mercy Estate building. Their old haunts were starting to look like a little like a dump (ok a lot like a dump) and this new diggs was an improvement. But the toilets are still pretty old and dingy.

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Anyways, we selected out usual starters which were Chicken spring rolls and Golden Fried shrimps. The shrimp was slightly disappointing as they weren’t as large as they usually were. I’m guessing that during the monsoon season it is harder for them to find big fish. Anyway, both dishes were delicious and came with tasty sauces; the sauce for the spring rolls were spicier!

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Ofcourse we washed them down with some beer. Both of us ordered the 650 ml Tuborg beers and stuck to just one bottle each.

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Main course, in between bouts of chatting a lot, was chicken noodles (for me, he opted for chicken fried rice) and we shared a plate of honey roasted pork and honey roasted beef. Everything was delicious as hell, yummy pork was so crispy and delightful. We enjoyed our lunch a lot. There was only one thing that could elevate the meal to another level.

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Ice cream. Or gelato to be more accurate! The Italian ice cream place, Milano, was our next destination and a quick walk away. I had the M&Ms & chocolate scoops while he had the hazelnut scoops. Great way to end an awesome aftenoon.

Friends Indeed

Pause whatever you’re doing, and ask the person nearest you what they’re thinking about (call someone if you have to). Write a post based on it.

I don’t have to ask the person what she is thinking about, since she has been texting me on Whatsapp for a long time this evening. Well this friend & colleague was reading an online article about her favourite sit com – FRIENDS – and there was a quiz at the end. Since she loves FRIENDS as much as I do, she decided to test my knowledge about the show and asked me several questions from the quiz.

I knew them all and in return I asked her a few questions of my own from some episodes. She knew some of them and we joked about the show for a while. I know she is missing the show and having watched some other shows in completion she is missing Friends and wanting to watch it again but discussing episodes & jokes with me, since I love it equally as much as she does, is good fun for her. And it is fun for me to to relive the jokes and act out the scenes to peels of laughter.

So yeah, that’s what my friend is thinking about at the moment. Or atleast at the time I started typing this post.

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Power To Predict The Future

You’ve been granted the power to predict the future! The catch — each time you use your power, it costs you one day (as in, you’ll live one day less). How would you use this power, if at all?

Why would one not use it? And at the cost of just a day of life less – hell I’m down for it. I would so put this power to good use. For the benefit of the poor and the homeless and the downtrodden and yes even a lot for me. Heck, yeah let me bet high on the winning number, on the outcome of a title winning game and on the horse races and the stock market – and make a shit ton of cash! And retire on the winnings. And move to Las Vegas!

What? I have never been to Vegas. And I want to live in luxury and have women all over me. Strippers and models and actresses. I wanna splash that cash and spend a little more than the best of the rest. I’d place bets on all the games in the casinos, winning the ones with the big money and share that wealth too! So I lose a few days – live life to the fullest while you can. I bet I could live & enjoy 10 lifetimes if I had that power of prediction!

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Podolski Signs For Galatasaray

He was one player that a lot of fans wanted to see succeed as a Gunner but it just never worked out for him. Striker Lukas Podolski has joined Galatasaray from Arsenal on a three-year deal. The Germany international, 30, has signed for the Turkish champions for a reported fee of £2.8m. Podolski underwent a medical and then signed his contract with the Turkish side at their Turk Telecom Arena home.

Podolski moved to Arsenal from German side FC Koln in 2012 for a reported £11m and scored 31 goals in 82 appearances for the Gunners. He helped Arsenal win the FA Cup in 2013 but spent the second half of last season on loan at Inter Milan. His chances became limited as Gunners’ manager Arsene Wenger added the likes of Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez and Danny Welbeck to his forward options. Wenger also has Theo Walcott, Olivier Giroud and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain at his disposal.

Galatasaray president Dursun Aydin Ozbek said he was delighted to have finally worked out a deal for the Germany international. “Podolski was a player we have been following for a long time,” he said at the announcement of the signing. “We have met the expectations of our fans. We think he will serve us for many years.” The 2014 World Cup winner, who was warned he needed regular football before Euro 2016, will now look to revive his career in Turkey after a disappointing loan spell at Inter Milan during the second half of last season.

Extinct Technologies In My Lifetime

Of all the technologies that have gone extinct in your lifetime, which one do you miss the most?

I think, because of the amount of time I spent with it and enjoyed it, my stereo system and my Walkman are the ones I miss the most. Don’t get me wrong; I prefer mp3 formats and players and also playing music on my laptop but from birth till just a few years ago, I would always spend hours listening to the stereo system and my multitude of Walkmans. The pleasure of making copies of your favourite songs on cassette tapes was something altogether. Also CDS! Gosh I remember when CDS was sa new things for me and loving the format.

Now everything is MP3 for me. I also do miss VHS and video players – but only for nostalgic reasons. I hated the tapes and the player getting fungus and the roll of film getting stuck inside of the player. Along with those I also miss the Atari player I had! Oh my lord, how much fun we had playing those for hours and hours. And yeah an older Sega mega player. Damn, we used to play football competitions on it.

What about the joy of Polaroids? Ofcourse it can’t compare to digital optoons now but I do remember the excitement of Polaroids during the early 80s when I was like 4-6 years old. My parents let me use it to take snaps of the family. What else do you miss from the years or decades gone by?

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Marty St.Louis Retires From Active Hockey

One of my favourite players just hung up his skates for the final time. Martin St. Louis on Thursday announced his retirement from the NHL after 16 season. St. Louis, who turned 40 on June 18, had 21 goals and 54 points in 74 games with the New York Rangers last season. “I have been blessed to play for 16 years in the NHL; it has been an amazing ride,” St. Louis said in a statement released by the Rangers. “I would like to thank the Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Rangers organizations and owners for providing me the opportunity to play the sport I love for so many years. “I could have never played for so long or accomplished all that I have without the unwavering love and support from my wife, Heather, our three sons, Ryan, Lucas, and Mason, and my parents.”

St. Louis had 391 goals and 1,033 points in 1,134 regular-season games. Prior to spending the past season-plus with the Rangers, St. Louis played parts of 13 seasons with the Lightning (2000-2014) and 69 games with the Calgary Flames (1998-2000). The Flames took a chance on the 5-foot-8, 180-pound sniper by signing him to a contract on Feb. 18, 1998. He quickly became an inspiration to undersized and undrafted players looking to one day make an impact in the NHL. St. Louis came to the Rangers in a midseason trade with the Lightning in March 2014. The move made sense since he lives in Connecticut and had always relished the opportunity to play for the Rangers. After finishing the 2014-15 regular season with his lowest point total since 2001-02, St. Louis had a goal and seven points in 19 games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

He became an unrestricted free agent July 1. The New York Post reported last month that the Rangers didn’t intend to bring him back for his expected salary-cap charge for 2015-16; St. Louis had just finished a four-year contract with an average cap charge of $5.625 million, according to war-on-ice.com. St. Louis averaged 16:30 of ice time during the playoffs. The Rangers lost to the Lightning in seven games in the 2015 Eastern Conference Final. St. Louis helped the Rangers to the Stanley Cup Final in 2014 and scored his 1,000th NHL point last season. One of the more memorable moments of the 2014 playoffs took place when St. Louis scored in a 3-1 Game 6 victory in the Eastern Conference Second Round against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Madison Square Garden three days day after his mother, France, died of a heart attack at the age of 63. As replays of the goal were shown on the center-ice scoreboard, the MSG crowd began chanting, “Marty! Marty!” The emotional moment occurred on Mother’s Day, and served as a springboard for the Rangers to reach the Stanley Cup.

St. Louis played in seven NHL All-Star Games and was named All NHL First Team once and Second Team four times. He won the Art Ross Trophy as the League’s leading scorer (2003-04 and 2012-13) twice (2004, 2013) and the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy, awarded for sportsmanship and gentlemanly play combined with a high standard of playing ability, on three occasions (2010, 2011, 2013).

The Monsoon So Far

If it’s autumn or winter where you live, what are you most looking forward to doing next summer? If it’s spring or summer where you are, what has been the highlight of the season so far for you?

Fuck summer. Kerala has no four seasons, it has just two. Monsoon and bloody hot summer. There is no spring and no fall and no winter of any kind. The only kind of cold we get is when it rains a lot and there’s a cold win blowing and because we aren’t used to that, we tend to heat our water to take a bath. Otherwise, we shiver when we shower.

So far the summer was crazy hot & humid. Nights were terrible because I couldn’t keep the windows open for fear of mosquitoes out for my blood. As much as I hate mosquito bites the worst is when they buzz in your ears or your nose! Disgusting creatures. Sweating all day if you are in the sun and they sweating while you sleep – ugh. And then the monsoon finally came!

So far I have been ill twice – I had to take two days off work in June due to asthma and cough, cold and slight fever and I have started off July with a sick day as well. I have this bad cold that is affecting me badly and the cold air-conditioned offices aren’t helping either when it’s raining a lot outside. Also, yesterday was a no-rain, hot and fucking humid night – it was tough to sleep when I was sweating between the sheets. And then this morning it rained at around 7 am for just a bit and it’s sunny outside after that. And now it looks cloudy and a bit humid. What a weather we are having!

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5 Arsenal Players Released

While us fans eagerly await any news of which players, if any, will join goalkeeper Petr Cech in suiting up for Arsenal during the summer transfer window. most fans will agree that we need one world class striker and possible a defensive midfielder in our quest for winning the league and challenging for Europe. But while the rumour mills have the club linked with Lacazette, Vidal, Carvalho, Vargas and a few others, 5 players quietly left the Emirates.

Abou Diaby, together with academy players Jack Jebb, Austin Lipman, Brandon Ormonde-Ottewill and Josh Vickers, are leaving Arsenal, having reached the end of their contracts. Diaby leaves the club after 10 years in which he made 180 first-team appearances, scoring 19 goals.

A hugely talented midfielder, unfortunately his time at the club was interrupted by a number of serious injuries. Diaby has also represented France on 16 occasions. Midfielder Jebb, forward Lipman, full-back Ormonde-Ottewill and goalkeeper Vickers came through the Gunners’ Hale End academy together, and went on to represent the club at under-21 level.

Jebb, Lipman and Ormonde-Ottewill have all played for England at youth level. Arsenal would like to take this opportunity to thank Abou, Jack, Austin, Brandon and Josh for their contribution to the club and to wish them well for the future.