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What’s The Beat?

Who in Your Life Introduces You to New Music?

These years I dread listening to new music. Well, I guess dread is not he right word. It’s just that it seems like I have so little time for listening to music these days that I can barely find time for new stuff. So when I find a new song that I really like or even a song that is from years ago but I am listening to for the first, I dread the fact that I can’t just stop at that one song from the band/duo/artist because if I liked that song so much then there must be so many songs from the same artist that I will like a lot.

That is a dilemma. I don’t have time and/or energy to discover new bands anymore. I am 41 now and I haven’t been into listening to new music for the past 4-5 years. I like what I have and I can barely listen to all of my current mp3 collection – infact my rather neglected collection as I usually just play music on Youtube with music videos or live versions of these songs. You also find just the audio of the songs or even whole albums worth of just audio on Youtube which makes it easy for you to listen to stuff while you do other things online – like Facebook or blog.

No one really introduces me to new music these days. I am part of 2-3 music related groups on Facebook that share music videos and stuff online and from time to time I have been surprised by how much I like a new song or band and that is great. But music has become much of a downer for me as more and more crappy pop and rap artists rule the roost and people just don’t want to learn to play instruments anymore.

Prompt from The Learning Network at The New York Times

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Arsenal Win Community Shield Over Chelsea

FA Cup winners Arsenal beat Premier League champions Chelsea to win the Community Shield on penalties after Thibaut Courtois and Alvaro Morata missed spot-kicks in a shootout at Wembley. An English football first followed as the ABBA penalty shootout was deployed and Arsenal prevailed 4-1 to extend their winning record at Wembley to nine straight games, including two in penalty shootouts. The ABBA system is based on the format used in tennis tie-breaks, with the team taking the first kick in each pair of kicks alternating. Chelsea goalkeeper Courtois took the second kick of the shootout, seeking to equalise, and blasted over before Morata fired wide.

That gave Arsenal the initiative and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scored before Olivier Giroud netted the decisive penalty. Arsenal celebrated and Chelsea looked on, just as they had done in May when the Gunners beat them in the FA Cup final but it had been an even contest after 90 minutes. Victor Moses’ strike soon into the second half was cancelled out by Sead Kolasinac’s header eight minutes from time. Both benefited from defensive lapses. The Gunners’ equaliser came moments after Pedro was sent off for a tackle from behind on Mohamed Elneny and was no less than Arsenal deserved after Alexandre Lacazette hit the post in the first half. Arsenal’s record signing Lacazette was the only new signing in the starting line-ups, with focus on those absent as much as those playing.

Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez was present as a spectator, as was Chelsea’s Eden Hazard, but Diego Costa, for three campaigns Arsenal’s tormentor-in-chief in this fixture, remains in exile. Conte’s switch to a 3-4-3 formation during last September’s Premier League loss at Arsenal prompted a 13-match winning run, but here Chelsea’s defence was stretched by the Gunners’ pacey three-pronged attack. Alex Iwobi’s direct running twice forced Courtois to be alert, while Danny Welbeck headed at the goalkeeper, who was beaten by Lacazette only for the striker to see the ball rebound off the post. Per Mertesacker had to go off after 30 minutes, struck by Gary Cahill’s flailing arm in the Arsenal box. On came another of Arsenal’s summer signings, Kolasinac.

Chelsea’s first attempt of note came on the counter-attack as Pedro — wearing a face mask following the facial injury sustained between the teams in last month’s friendly in Beijing — stretched the Gunners. Petr Cech was equal to his shot. Willian was booked for simulation in the Arsenal box late in the half as the sides cancelled one another out. Chelsea took the lead within moments of the restart. Granit Xhaka sent Cesc Fabregas’ corner looping into the air and Cahill met the ball on the edge of the area.

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Kingsman: The Secret Service

Kingsman: The Secret Service is a 2014 British spy action-comedy film directed by Matthew Vaughn, and based on the comic book The Secret Service, created by Dave Gibbons and Mark Millar. The screenplay was written by Vaughn and Jane Goldman. It follows the recruitment and training of a potential secret agent, Gary “Eggsy” Unwin (Taron Egerton), into a secret spy organisation. Eggsy joins a mission to tackle a global threat from Richmond Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson), a wealthy megalomaniac. The film also stars Colin Firth, Mark Strong, and Michael Caine.

Kingsman is a secret service that is so secret that most people don’t even know about it. Harry Hart, code-named “Galahad”, delivers the news about the death of probationary secret agent Lee Unwin, who gave his life to save his team including Hart, to Unwins’s wife Michelle. He also gives Lee’s young son, Gary “Eggsy”, saying that if they ever need help, they should call the phone number (which is the date of Lee’s death) on the back of the medal. Seventeen years later, Professor James Arnold is kidnapped by Internet billionaire and philanthropist Richmond Valentine. One of Hart’s fellow agents, “Lancelot”, attempts a rescue single-handed, but is killed by Gazelle, Valentine’s henchwoman, who wears prosthetic legs that are sharpened to an edge. Gazelle releases Arnold, who then meets with Valentine.

Eggsy is now an unemployed young adult living with his mother, infant half-sister, and abusive stepfather, Dean. Despite being highly intelligent and capable, he left training for the Royal Marines and lives the aimless life of a stereotypical chav.Eggsy is trouble with the law having stolen the car of his mother’s lover’s son who bullies him and his friends. On calling the number given to him by Hart, he is released from the police station and is met up by Hart, who has been keeping tabs on the young man.  With Lancelot’s death, the agency has a vacancy. Eggsy agrees to be Hart’s candidate. Eggsy tries out with a few other candidates, all chosen by the members of kingsman and in a series of tests is one of two selected to the final. He loses out on the role as he refuses to shoot the pug he was given to take care off, unaware that the bullets were blanks and a woman named Roxy, whom he had befriended, wins the trials to become the new Galahad.

During this time, Merlin notes that Arnold is no longer missing. Hart tries to extract information from the professor, but a chip implanted in Arnold’s head explodes, killing him. Hart is injured escaping from unknown assailants. Meanwhile, Valentine secretly meets with various powerful individuals, some of whom go missing afterwards. He also announces a giveaway of SIM cards, which grant unlimited free cellular and Internet service. With all roads leading to Valentine, Hart poses as a billionaire interested in investing Valentine’s ventures but he is not fooling the villain. Hart tracks Valentine to an obscure hate group’s church in Kentucky. Valentine uses his SIM cards to broadcast a tone that causes everyone in the church to become uncontrollably violent. A brawl to the death erupts, during which Hart massacres most of the people in the church, leaving him as the only survivor. As Eggsy, Merlin – the trainer – and Chester King — Kingsman’s leader, code-named “Arthur” — watch via the video link, Valentine shoots Hart in the head.

Eggsy meets Arthur and notices that Arthur has a scar behind his ear, just like Valentine’s other converts. Arthur pours Eggsy brandy containing a radio-triggered poison, but Eggsy distracts Arthur and switches the glasses before they drink. Arthur explains Valentine’s views: humanity is akin to a virus, and global warming is the Earth’s equivalent of a fever. Valentine intends to broadcast his “neurological wave” worldwide to cause a massive culling of the human race to rescue it from extinction. Only those whom Valentine deems worthy of living — his allies, who have protective microchips implanted in their heads, and the VIPs he kidnapped — will be spared. Eggsy refuses to join Arthur, who activates the poison he has unwittingly consumed, killing himself. Merlin gets Roxy and recruits Eggsy to infiltrate Valentine’s lair. As Roxy goes after Valentine’s satellite Eggsy and Merlin infiltrate Valentine’s mountain bunker complex in northern Siberia.

Eggsy is recognised and engages in a running shootout with Valentine’s henchmen. Eventually, both he and Merlin are cornered separately, but at Eggsy’s suggestion, Merlin hacks into Valentine’s system and triggers the implants’ failsafe. Valentine’s henchmen and all his converts’ heads explode into fireworks, leaving only Valentine and Gazelle. Eggsy kills Gazelle after a fierce and intense fight, and then spears Valentine with the sharpened tip of Gazelle’s prosthetic leg. A dying Valentine falls to the ground floor, removing his palm print from the activation pad, terminating the signal. In a mid-credits scene, Eggsy, now a Kingsman agent, offers his mother and half-sister a new home away from Dean, who flatly objects to Eggsy’s suggestion. Eggsy then dispatches him in exactly the same manner that Hart dealt with one of Dean’s henchmen earlier.

So a secret agent film that does not take itself seriously and mixes humour with fast paced action scenes and fights. It’s like a parody of James Bond and the secret agents stuff and it’s fun and silly. I would give it a 7.5 outta 10! Had it been a Hollywood film it wouldn’t have worked as well.

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Are You Less Religious Than Your Parents?

Are You Less Religious Than Your Parents?

I’m an atheist. My parents are religious hindus. So I’d say that I’m definitely a heck of a lot less religious than them. By far. Here is the deal – if I ask them questions about their religion and what the gods have done and why they have done it, after a few minutes they admit that they have no clue as to why or how and they readily admit that they do not understand most of it but that they don’t question it.

I have also noted that as they have grown older they have become more religious to the point where they feel like it is expected of them. Mum started reading scriptures every morning at sunrise and at sunset – because that is what she feels she is expected to do. She didn’t do that a few years ago. She reads then aloud (not too loud) and she cries in between. She used to only light the lamps at the pooja section of the house (and now apartment) in the morning and the evening and that was it.

Dad too will watch any shitty tv program as long as there is a hindu god element to it. It doesn’t matter if it’s really, really bad. He will watch that shit. He goes for readings of Ramayana or Gita and listen to them many times – but if you ask him a few questions he won’t really know what to say. And that’s ok! Just not enough to convince anyone else. Or me.

Prompt from The Learning Network at The New York Times

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A Storybook Day

You have to spend one day as or with your favorite fictional character. Which one would it be and what would you do?

If I could spend just one day as a fictional character – I would pick someone who is very wealthy and glamorous. Who has money pouring out of every hole and splashes it out like it’s going out of style and he wants to get rid of it. That kind of rich.

Or perhaps I would like to spend it as a vampire. A glamourous vampire who seduces the nubile young women, bed them and sucks their blood – just not enough to kill though. I wouldn’t want to do that. But yeah seducing and sucking (not just blood) and orgies of me and several women under my spell.

What else? I am still in a daze thinking about the orgies of women writhing away with moans of pleasure. As do I! Damn, it’s a shame to not have that.

Prompt from The Daily Post at WordPress.com

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Rings

Rings is a 2017 American supernatural psychological horror film directed by F. Javier Gutiérrez, written by David Loucka, Jacob Aaron Estes and Akiva Goldsman and starring Matilda Lutz, Alex Roe, Johnny Galecki, Vincent D’Onofrio, Aimee Teegarden and Bonnie Morgan. It is the third film in The Ring series. The film takes place thirteen years after the events of the 2002 film.

We start of the movie with a passenger, Carter, on a plane who tells a young woman named Faith hat he has watched Samara Morgan’s cursed videotape. Faith tells another passenger Kelly, who reveals she has seen the tape too. She asks Carter if he made a copy and after learning he hasn’t, the airplane begins to malfunction as Samara comes for Carter and eventually causes the plane to crash. Two years later Holt is off to college and says bye to his girlfriend Julia who later gets upset when he stops contacting her.  She is inspired to find him when a panicked girl, Skye, contacts her, asking for Holt’s whereabouts. Julia meets Gabriel and finds a group of people known as “The Sevens”, who are involved in an experiment involving the cursed video, watching and filming themselves, before passing the task to another person, called a “tail”.

Julia recognizes Skye, who takes her to her apartment to have her watch the video, but Holt warns her not to. Julia locks herself in the bathroom as Samara kills Syke, her tail having been late. Holt reveals that he has watched the tape as well and has twelve hours left. Unwilling to let Holt die, Julia watches his copy and when she picks up the phone, she experiences a vision of a door. The phone burns a mark on her hand. Gabriel notices Julia’s copy of the video cannot be copied and is larger than usual. He discovers extra images within the tape and Julia watches the new footage, which features a mysterious woman: she realizes they must cremate Samara’s physical remains. Gabriel sends them to the town Sacrament Valley, where Samara was given a proper burial after the residents of Moesko Island refused to accept the remains. He realizes the mark on Julia’s hand is Braille, translates it, and goes to warn them. Julia and Holt find an unmarked tomb, but when they break in, they find it empty. They are caught and taken to a blind man named Burke, who claims Samara’s body was entombed by the local priest but a flood came, leading the priest to bury her in a potter’s field outside town.

Heading for the field, Julia and Holt are stopped due to a car crash and learn Gabriel was involved. He tries to warn Julia of his discovery but is fatally electrocuted by a falling utility pole. After experiencing a vision of Samara’s birth mother, Evelyn, Julia and Holt return to town. Julia goes to the church and discovers a hidden chamber beneath the bell tower, finding evidence that Evelyn was imprisoned there whilst pregnant, held in captivity by the priest after being raped before she escaped eight months into the pregnancy. Julia visits Burke and explains her findings. He attacks her, revealing he was not only the priest but Samara’s biological father, and had blinded himself to escape the reach of his daughter’s powers. Julia pushes him down the stairs, temporarily incapacitating him. Holt rushes to Burke’s house, where he is knocked unconscious. Julia is drawn to a room in the house where she discovers Samara’s skeleton behind a wall. Burke appears and tries to choke her to death to prevent her from cremating her remains, which he claims would unleash an unspeakable evil upon the world.

He also reveals that Julia was the twelfth person to have attempted to cremate her remains; the previous ones have been killed by Burke. Suddenly, a swarm of cicadas fly in, summoning Samara through Julia’s phone. Samara removes Burke’s blindness and promptly kills him. Holt recovers and rushes to Julia’s aid. That night, he and Julia cremate Samara’s corpse, in an attempt to appease her spirit for once and for all, and return home. While Julia is in the shower, Holt notices a voicemail from Gabriel, who warns him of the Braille. Holt translates it, discovering it means “rebirth”. In the bathroom, Julia peels away the skin where the mark was, revealing gray skin underneath. She begins to cough up black hair, from which a cicada is born. Meanwhile, Julia’s copy of the cursed video is sent to everyone on her contact list, which becomes viral, despite Holt’s futile attempts to disconnect the computer. Samara is successfully reborn as Julia sees Samara’s face in the mirror instead of her own.

It’s not very original and not very scary. It’s more of the same and though the cast is good, but the plot is muddled and this whole trying to explain too much of the mythology makes it a bit of boring mixed with some “huh?”. It’s an ok attempt to expand the story. I give it a 6.5 outta 10!

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Another 365

Another 365 days of living on this planet. Another year has passed me by. Another 52 weeks have gone. Another 5,25,600 minutes have run down. Another four seasons and another monsoon, summer and holiday season have whizzed by.

I grow older by a year. And it scares and saddens me. Another year of life is over and I am nowhere where I want to be. Just a lonely guy who wants a different life. Who wants to move away and live alone if he cannot live with the love of a woman who is to be his partner for life. And that is getting more and more difficult as the years pass me by. And as each year passes me by I feel like I have wasted my life.

This is year 41. The newness of a new decade and of being 40 has worn off. I wanna go back. Let the next few years see be rewinding back in age. So 39 then 38, 37 and so on until ……..30! No wait, 25! Yeah, that’s it.

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Three Things You Can’t Go Without

Three things you can’t nys deferred compensation loans go without

Currently when I think about my life, I’d aurora loan have to say:

  1. My inhaler – asthma struggles and all that. I shudder to think if I was stuck at home late at night or somewhere and my inhaler is empty. Just thinking about it gets me to have difficulty in breathing.
  2. Uber app – making going to and fro very easy in my city. I am dependent on Uber a lot. To the office, back to home. Getting to a bar, or a movie theatre or the mall or to a cafe or to get some pizza.
  3. The internet – my music, tv shows, movies, entertainment, access to various apps, blogging, connecting to friends and family across all the cities and countries – cannot live without it at all.

Prompt from 119 Journal Prompts for Your Journal Jar

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To Sleep, Perchance To Dream

Sleep is one-third of our lives: write a post about it. Do you love naps? Have trouble falling alseep? Wish you could remember your dreams? Remember something especially vivid? Snuggle under a blanket, or throw the windows wide open? Meditate on sleep.

Sleep, is comfort at the end of a long day or a tiring week. I used to take naps when I was in my 20s but I started thinking that napping in the afternoon is not a good thing/habit to have so I forced myself to do so. When I am at home during the weekends or on a holiday I tend not to nap in the afternoon unless I haven’t slept well the previous night and did not get my 40 winks in and therefore I am tired and sleepy. Those days I will end up sleeping for an hour or so in the afternoon.

Now when I am ill that is a different matter all together. A really high fever and a bad cold and cough followed by a breathing issue can me feel very weak and rest is what I need. Then I could sleep for a few hours in a day other than my actual to borrow money bedtime. I have done it a lot but not that often. I just I don’t take naps that much. Sometimes I feel that I wish I could, it would refresh me. But my brain is very active and easily distracted so I tend to think about a lot of things and this keeps me from falling asleep unless I am really sleepy and/or tired.

Prompt from The Daily Post at WordPress.com

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Food Review #178

Dominos Chef’s Chicken Special – black olives, paprika, chicken chunks (salami style), green bell peppers & cheese. Skimping on the cheese are we Dominos? This gave the pizza a very dry taste.

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Lust

Lust is a strong emotion or feeling. The lust can take any form such as the lust for sex, lust for expensive objects (extravagance) or the lust for power. It can take such mundane forms as the lust for food as distinct from the need for food. Lust is a psychological force producing intense wanting for an object, or circumstance fulfilling the emotion.

I lust for sex, I lust for certain women who appeal to me, I lust for wealth and power and the freedom to spend lots of money on whatever it is that I want to do! I lust for good food and wine, vodka, beer and other types of alcohol. I lust for the richness of chocolate or ice cream. I lust for more and more and I am not ashamed of it.

Screw the sins bullshit, screw the idea that lust causes suffering. In English-speaking countries, the term “lust” is often associated with sexual desire – I want sex, I crave sex and I lust after sex! I want it so much and I want orgies. I want a two-some, or a threesome or a 4some! Me and 4 women! 4 gorgeous, voluptuous women who are eager and willing. I trust my lust and I am not ashamed of it. Fuck you if you look down upon me. You can keep your frowning with yourself.

All people lust. Few act upon it. Even fewer admit it.

Prompt from The Daily Post at WordPress.com

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Sweeping Motions

What’s messier right now — your bedroom or you computer’s desktop (or your favorite device’s home screen)? Tell us how and why it got to that state.

My computer’s desktop is relatively spic and span and spartan compared to my bedroom. Well, actually my bedroom is not that messy when you first see it because the mess is pushed to one side or a corner or is inside a cupboard and well hidden away from prying eyes.

I have a bunch of stuff that is in my cupboard all catching dust. Stuff I don’t need. Stuff on a chair that sits in one corner that I should have gotten kept away in a bookshelf or cupboard a long, long time ago. I have stuff on my bed, pushed to one corner. I have a plastic bag filled with stuff I should throw away sitting in my cupboard. And ofcourse I need to clean my shelf but that is another thing – it’s only dust! And I clean once every few weeks anyway.

A good cleaning will work wonders and everything will look great again.

Prompt from The Daily Post at WordPress.com

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Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is a 2017 French science fiction action-adventure film loans no credit check direct lenders written and directed by Luc Besson and co-produced by Besson and his wife, Virginie Besson-Silla. The film is based on the French science fiction comics series Valérian and Laureline, written by Pierre Christin and illustrated by Jean-Claude Mézières. It stars Dane DeHaan as Valerian and Cara Delevingne as Laureline, with Clive Owen, Rihanna, Ethan Hawke, Herbie Hancock, Kris Wu, and Rutger Hauer in supporting roles. Besson independently crowd-sourced and personally funded Valerian and, with a production budget between $177–209 million, it is both the most expensive European and independent film ever made.

Mankind’s progress in space exploration is shown where they form a large space station called Alpha and gradually they meet representatives of various space faring alien races throughout the years and centuries, forming alliances. By the 28th century, Alpha has grown in size to accommodate millions of creatures from all these races, working in several various habitats. Valerian and his partner Laureline are special agents of the human police forces. The story is about how these two are sent on a mission to retrieve a rare object that belongs to a race of peaceful aliens in order to cover up an earthling military act that wiped out almost all of that alien race and their planet 30 years ago. Valerian was chosen by an alien princess just as she died to receive some of her memories, as she sent them out through space & time in a burst of energy.

What we get in this movie is a visual feast with weird and wonderful looking alien, a beautiful alien planet and beach, some wonderful gadgets and tech and a fun, fast paced ride. Stunning backgrounds of these alien worlds, the latest in visual effects and green screen and computer wizardry all combine with a rollercoaster ride of epic space opera proportions that puts to shame other such attempts. With jellyfish that eat memories, aquatic monsters the size of cathedrals, bazaar so bizarre its exists simultaneously in different dimensions, a creature named Bubble that can enter you and take other forms at will, to awesome spacecrafts, the peaceful alien race using pearls, that generate large amounts of energy, from their beautiful oceans to use for their needs and feed to a native cute animal that eats a pearl and spontaneously poops out replicas in the hundreds – what an imaginative world this is!

Sadly, I knew it would not be a success as the films lacks character, chemistry and story. The charisma is lacking from the leads and character development isn’t really there. A small cameo from an actor of the status of Rutger Hauer didn’t help, as didn’t the roguish brief appearance from Ethan Hawke in a totally non-Ethan Hawke role. Why do directors want rappers and pop singers to be actors? Ugh, Rhianna is terrible and I was glad that she was mostly in her character’s actual form – a squid-octopus-watery creature! One ridiculous jelly fish incident and the largest hat in the galaxy moment also was detrimental to the film. Luc Besson doesn’t want serious scifi and while his The Fifth Element worked awesomely well it letter of credit loan didn’t with Lucy or Valerian (even if Lucy did become a box office hit, it was critically panned)