Arsenal 3 Newcastle United 0

Arsenal are now poised to secure 4th position in the league which will mean a Champions League place for next season after a stroll in the park victory over Newcastle United. Following a low-key start, the Gunners went ahead when Laurent Koscielny prodded home Santi Cazorla’s free-kick. Mesut Ozil tapped in to double their lead before half-time. After the break, the German crossed for Olivier Giroud to head in the third and seal Newcastle’s sixth consecutive Premier League defeat. Arsenal are on the rise having responded to their defeat by Everton on 6 April by winning their next three games to climb four points ahead of the Toffees with two games remaining. The Gunners, who have spent more days on top of the table this season than any other side, offered a tantalising glimpse of what might have been had Ozil and Aaron Ramsey not been injured for such a crucial phase of the season.

The home crowd were just starting to voice their frustration at the Gunners’ lack of cutting edge when they took the lead from a set piece. Cazorla’s ball from deep was floated into a dangerous area over the Magpies’ back line and Koscielny shrugged off Moussa Sissoko to meet it on the bounce and poke past Tim Krul. The second goal arrived three minutes before the break when Giroud sprung the Newcastle offside trap to race on to a Mikel Arteta pass. Twice, his shots were blocked by Krul, but the loose ball rolled across goal to present Ozil – who may have been marginally offside – with a simple finish. The outstanding Ramsey played Ozil into space on the left and his cross was expertly headed home by Giroud at the near post. Lukas Podolski went close again when his side-footed shot fizzed past the upright before, at the other end, Paul Dummett’s effort flew horribly wide to sum up a miserable night for the Magpies.

With this win Arsenal have 73 points after 36 games played and can finish with 79 points in total if they win their last two games and it looks like 4th place is the highest we can finish. After the final 2 games we have the Cup final against Hull to look forward to.

It’s My Party & I’ll Cry If I Want To!

You’re throwing a party — for you! Tell us all about the food, drink, events, and party favours you’ll have for your event of a lifetime. Use any theme you like — it’s *your* party!

Let’s see. I haven’t hosted a party in many, many years. I’ve taken small groups of people out for lunch or dinner. One reason is mainly because my apartment, where I live in with mum & dad, is pretty small. If they were out for the day/evening, I’d be comfortable in hosting a little lunch / dinner party for a group of 5-10 people. That would be fine. Back when we were living in our old house in Thrikkakara, we used to have friends & family over for lunch or dinner quite often and we had a nice big living room / dining room combo so we could easily fit in 20-30 people if needed. But I only used to have people over for my birthday party or something like that, if it was just be throwing the party.

I remember one year – age 17, I think – I took permission from my dad & mum to invite 8 friends to a dinner for my birthday at the Cochin Suburban Club, where my dad has a lifetime membership. I remember I had injured my knee and hence was limping over to the place helped by a friend who lived near me. I love treating my friends out for lunch or dinner if I can afford it but there is a difference in having people over for a meal, even if it’s food that you’re catering from a restaurant. It feels different because it’s at your home, your table and chairs, your plates and you control the whole atmosphere in the place and can have your own music or put on a movie or two. My sister does a good job, usually for new years, in hosting a good casual dinner party with lots of snacks and drinks and good meals following the festivities with desert.

I would love to have some music playing – song list chosen specifically for the occasion – some snacks like chips, chicken, fish, beef or shrimp as appetizers, drinks (vodka, brandy, beer, whiskey, rum and coke, sprite, pepsi & 7up) and for main course it will be fried rice, some noodle, two types of chicken dishes, some pork, some sea food and maybe some lamb. All the while, laughing and cracking jokes. Some games that involve everyone and a fun movie that everyone will love (comedy, adventure, action or scifi). Desert will follow and people will relax in the sofas and be as comfortable as possible until late in the evening when it’s time for people to go back home. Simple and yet for me it would be very satisfying.

Prompt by the Daily Post at

The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty

I’ve been waiting to see this movie ever since I saw the trailer many months back. The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty is a 2013 American adventure comedy directed by Ben Stiller who also co-produced the movie he stars in as the title character. Gore Verbinski executive produced the film which also c0-stars Kristen Wiig, Sean Penn, Adam Scott, Shirley MacLaine, Adrian Martinez & Patton Oswalt. This is the second film adaptation of James Thurber’s 1939 short story of the same name. The 1947 version was produced by Samuel Goldwyn and directed by Norman Z. McLeod, with Danny Kaye playing the role of Walter Mitty.

Walter Mitty is a negative assets manager at Life magazine, where he has worked for 16 years. He frequently zones out as he day dreams a lot about fantastic adventures but lives a very safe & predictable life, where is even hesitant to give a ‘wink’ on Cheryl’s, his coworker on whom he has a crush,  eHarmony page. On one morning the magazine announces that it’s going completely online and hence downsizing is in order. Photojournalist Sean O’Connell, who works closely with Walter but has never met him, sends him a role of negatives of his latest work and a wallet as a gift for his excellent work. The new transition manager, the obnoxious Ted Hendricks, is also sent a message by O’Connell,  that the 25th photo is the perfect one for the final magazine cover as it captures the “quintessence” of Life and will be perfect before the change to online status. However Walter cannot find negative 25 and stalls for time as he heads to Greenland to track down Sean, aided by clues in his other photos which Cheryl helps him out with as the two finally talk.

In Greenland he finds out from a bartender that Sean has already left on a boat and hence Walter must hitch a ride on a helicopter piloted by a drunk man who loves karoke. He is inspired by a vision he has of Cheryl singing an acoustic version of David Bowie’s Space Oddity and he jumps into the helicopter as it takes off. Walter has to jump into shark infested waters to get to the boat but finds out that Sean is no longer aboard it. From a cake, a favourite recipe of Walter’s mother, that Sean has offered to the ship’s crew, he finds more clues on the wrapping paper that leads him to Iceland, where Sean has gone to photograph the volcano Eyjafjallajökull. Walter has more adventures trading a skateboard from some kids and skating through the roads and escapes the exploding volcano’s smokes with help from a man he meets and who drives him to a pizza place. Walter is forced to break off the search after receiving a text message calling him back to New York immediately. Having failed to get the photo for the cover in time, Walter is fired and is also dismayed to find out that Cheryl was also let go a few days earlier. He goes to her house to see her but on seeing her ex-husband there, he leaves the skateboard as a present to her son Rich and leaves without speaking to her.

Walter goes home dejected and throws the wallet into the bin but is surprised to find that Sean had visited his mother earlier. Apparently his mom had told him about it while there were in a supermarket but he had zoned out at the time. Walter decide to go find Sean and treks to the Himalayas where Sean is photographing snow leopards.  To Walter’s astonishment, Sean had tucked negative 25 into the wallet, leaving a clue for him in a message he left along with the package. The two of them play football with the natives before Walter leaves back for home. He is arrested at LAX by security and has to call  the only person he knows in the city to vouch for him : Todd who was the eHarmony rep who talked to Walter when he was having issues setting up his profile and who kept calling him for updates to add to the page. Dismayed that he had dumped the wallet, he helps his mother sell her piano but is pleasantly surprised when she gives him the wallet she found in the bin. Without looking at the picture, an emboldened Mitty delivers it to Life magazine, tells management that it was the photograph Sean O’Connell wanted for the final issue, and berates Hendricks for disrespecting the staff that made the magazine so honored.

As the movie winds down, Walter applies for new jobs and watches a video that Cheryl & Rich had sent him. He meets her when they are both at the office to collect their severance packages and and learns that Cheryl’s ex-husband was only at her house in order to repair the refrigerator. As they walk in the streets they find the cover of the last magazine in a nearby stand – the final cover photograph shows Walter sitting outside the Life building, holding a sheet of negatives up to the light and examining them with an eyepiece. Walter holds Cheryl’s hand and they both walk along the street.

Sweet and funny at times but the movie also loses my interest in a few places.Overall I think I liked it quite a bit and will give the film a 7.5 outta 10! It’s just missing some really good scenes which could have made the movie a classic.

Star Trek’s Prime Directive

Symbiosis is a really good example of the Prime Directive and non-interference despite wanting to do something. The USS Enterprise D receives a distress signal from a freighter and offering their assistance, captain Picard has the freighter crew beamed up but he and his officers are surprised to see that the cargo was beamed up first instead. Four of the 6 occupants of the freighter are beamed up just in time before their ship explodes. While our crew is stunned – had they beamed themselves aboard first all 6 occupants would have survived – the guests argue amongst themselves as to who is the rightful owner of the cargo. There are two members each of Brekkians & Ornarans – different races on neighbouring planets. The cargo is ‘felicium’ a medicine which the Ornarans need to cure a plague which has affected everyone on their planet. However the materials needed for the medicine is available only on the Brekkians’ home world and thus the Ornarans are dependent on their neighbours for the medicine. In turn the Brekkians devote themselves to making the drug and their whole society is dependent on it; all their needs are met by the Ornarans in return for regular supply of the drug.

The Brekkians & Ornarans on board the Enterprise fight for possession of the felicium; the Ornarans claim that they have paid for the cargo, therefore it belongs to them. The Brekkians argue that since the payment was lost on the destroyed freighter, the cargo still belongs to them. Dr. Beverley Crusher cannot find signs of the infection on the Ornarans but since they are clearly suffering Picard asks the Brekkians to provide atleast two doses for the immediate requirement of the two Ornarans onboard. Seeing their reaction to the felicium being injected into them, Dr. Crusher correctly concludes that the drug is actually a narcotic and the two Ornarans, like their entire species, are addicted to it! Data and Riker research the history of the drug. Though it had cured a plague on Ornara two hundred years before, it is now just being sold as an addictive narcotic. The Brekkians won’t give the rest of the felicium to the the Ornarans without pay but change their minds after a signal from Ornara demanding that the felicium be sent to the planet immediately. The two Brekkians decide to “give” the drug to the Onarans, rather than risk the Onarans losing their addiction. Picard realizes that they have been purposely exploiting the Ornarans. Picard cannot tell the Ornarans without violating the Prime Directive.

To correct the situation, while letting the Onarans have the shipment of felicium the Brekkians had already promised to give, Picard refuses to repair the Ornarans’ freighters, citing the Prime Directive of non-interference for both decisions. Without a method of transport, the Ornarans will begin to withdraw from the drug. This is the only thing he can do without violating the rules of the Prime Directive; the Federation & humans have found that whenever mankind interferes with a less developed civilization, no matter how well intentioned that interference may be, the results are invariably disastrous. So no matter how he feels, it was the only thing he could do.

That was just awesome.

9 Years Have Passed Since You Died

9 years ago today my best friend of 11 years, my dog Shawny passed away. She died after an infection caused from a pneumonia like fever. Even after we called the vet and tried giving her medicines, she only last 2 more days. I was alone at home while it happened. The last days of her life were of her lying down in her kennel and not coming out at all, just a little whine. I would feed her some milk mixed with water. She hadn’t eaten anything except maybe some gruel water. She was drinking water. She kept whining when I went to give her the milk but she couldn’t get up but everytime I called her name, she would wag her tail. Later on the afternoon of the 3rd day after we called the vet, she passed away while I worried about her. When I went to check on her for the umpteenth time that day, I found her lifeless body.

I cannot ever forget the feeling of having failed my best friend and the feeling of loss and loneliness that I still feel to this day. With the help of my uncle and a guy who does odd jobs, we had a hole dug for Shawny in our backyard and buried her. It’s been 9 years since she died but I highly doubt that a day has gone by without her in my thoughts. I always dream and/or day dream of space voyages and fantastic adventures traveling in spaceship and fighting bad alien guys on alien planets. Next to me in my adventures, always a constant companion is Shawny. I miss her terribly. I’ll never forget her as long as I live.

Is Online Learning As Good As Face-to-Face Learning?

I’ve never been the student nor the teacher when it comes to Online Learning (unless a few sessions using an office tool with a bunch of others counts). However one of the projects I have worked on was for an American based company that does online tutoring for students of all school grades as well as college students. From time to time they also did provide adult learning classes as well. Now in these cases there is no video interaction allowed – the company has a software that they use for the purpose of duplicating the white board effect and the student can view the text at the same time as the teacher types it out. For subjects like Math, they also use a digital pen and pad as it makes things easier.

Now I have not done any of the tutoring myself but from some of the parents feedback I got the impression that the tutors were of a really high quality and I’d say a solid 90% of the parents and students were happy with the tutoring provided. My company provided the marketing side of things as the client company in California had outsourced the tele-marketing, fixing of appointments for a demo and some of the customer care to the company I worked for and mostly things were done well and client, customer & us would be happy. Sometimes outside factors make it difficult for the things to happen smoothly and hence there are dissatisfied customers and cancellation of classes. I would say a lot of it was due to the parents being unaware of what their child is upto (either the parents are too busy or they are too demanding or their kids are pain in the butts and are not interested in attending the sessions) and from time to time, the client’s in house staff (particularly one person) would mess up the session timings and hence the customers would get annoyed at us.

I believe that it depends on the student in question; a student who wants to learn and is comfortable with taking lessons online will do well if the teacher is able but a bad student can ruin the sessions and even the best teachers can salvage the time & effort being spent. In some cases the student is lost without that personal face-to-face interaction. I believe that the parents should put an effort to take part in the first few classes (which our client company even encouraged) and make a decision to continue based on their observations. Especially if the student is below 14-15. This will make things clear and they can base their decisions wisely.

Carpentry Sounds Like Fun

If you could learn a trade — say carpentry, electrical work, roofing, landscaping, plumbing, flooring, drywall — you name it — what skill(s) would you love to have in your back pocket?

Hmmm, I’d have to say that I’d like to have some good carpentry skills, which would be really handy to have. Plus you can make stuff for other people and even sell them if you want to. I say this because I love book shelves and built in cupboards and like seeing the shelves at other people’s houses and apartments. And the shelves you have in the living rooms where you keep the decorative pieces along with the tv and dvd / blu ray players.

So I’d like to build little bookshelves, big bookshelves, cabinets for showing off your glass ware and expensive China sets, beer & wine glass cabinets, dvd / blu ray storage shelves, cool furniture stuff, you know. And maybe my own Pinocchio puppet :D. Just for fun. Carpentry seems like a fun and yet handy and reasonable hobby to have, as long as I cover my nose to protect myself from all that dust affecting my asthma. I could be a weekend carpenter in my garage – if I had a garage!

Prompt from the Daily Post at

Walking With Dinosaurs

Financed by Reliance Big Entertainment and IM Global instead of a major studio and produced by BBC Earth and Evergreen Films, Walking With Dinosaurs is a 2013 animated family film about dinosaurs in the Late Cretaceous period (70 million years ago). The production features computer-animated dinosaurs in live-action settings with actors John Leguizamo, Justin Long, Tiya Sircar, and Skyler Stone providing the voice for the main characters. The movie starts off with with a full live action scene of paleontologist Zack who takes his nephew Ricky and niece Jade on a dig in a fossil bed in Alaska. The sulking teen Ricky stays back at the jeep holding the Gorgosaurus tooth that Zack had found earlier when he is visited by a talking crow who morphs into Alex the Alexornis bird who tells young Ricky about a story 70 million years ago.

Alex was best friends with Patchi, the runt of a litter of Pachyrhinosaurus hatchlings and who’s father Bulldust was the leader of a large herd. Being the smallest Patchi is often bullied by his big brother Scowler. Patchi is attacked by a Troodon and the resulting injury left a hole in his frill. However Juniper, a young female Pachyrhinosaurus from another herd who befriend Patchi thinks it is cool and our hero wants to impress her but her herd soon moves out, migrating south for the winter. Soon Bulldust moves his own herd south but a forest fire forces the herd members to flee. Taking advantage of this situation predatory a Gorgosaurus pack attacks the family killing Patchi & Scowler’s mother and other siblings while the leader chases the two boys who are separated. Bulldust finds them and attacks the Gorgosaurus leader but is killed off. The two boys find their way back to the herd and Major, a rival of Bulldust, assumes leadership of the herd and combines his herd with Juniper’s herd as they head south.

Later, once again the herd of herbivores are attacked by the Gorgosaurus pack and in the chaos Patchi, Scrowler & Juniper fall in the river and are swept downstream, with Alex following them from the air. At the beach Scowler leaves his brother & Juniper behind as he joins a herd of Edmontosaurus in search of food. Patchi and Juniper make their way through a forest and eventually are able to find their herd and Scowler in a feeding ground. Years pass by and a big & powerful Scowler challenges Major for the leadership of the herd (in a head-butting contest) and wins. He then proceeds to move the females, including Juniper, away as his mates much to Patchi’s dismay. Scowler recklessly leads the herd onto a thinly frozen pond, and Patchi is able to lead the majority of the herd to safety. Enraged and believing Pahthi to be usurping him, Scowler goads Patchi into a battle for leadership of the herd. The more stronger Scowler wins and disowns Patchi, making the herd leave him behind lying partly underneath a fallen tree (which had tripped Patchi leading to his loss).

Depressed and heartbroken over the loss of his herd, his brother and Juniper, Patchi is ready to allow predators to eat him until Alex convinces him to die for something worth dying for as his father did. Patchi gets up and chases the scavengers away and finds the herd again, just in time to see the Gorgosaurus pack attack them again and the leader nearly killing Scowler. Patchi leads an attack against the carnivours dinosaurs, knocking out some teeth of the Gorgosaurus leader and breaking it’s arm with the hole in his frill. Having saved his brother and chased the attacked away, Patchi is now the undisputed leader of the herd and finally makes Juniper his mate. They go on to have their own litter of hatchlings. In the present day, moved by Alex’s story, Ricky returns the Gorgosaurus tooth to his uncle and sister, who have unknowingly discovered Gorgon’s skull.

It’s a nicely made movie with no star attraction in voice actors or over the top humour but it does have it’s fun moments. I liked it quite a bit and think it’s a good entertaining movie to watch for the whole family. 7.5 outta 10!

Things To Know About Earth’s “Cousin”, Kepler-186F

She’s 490 light-years from Earth but we call her our planet’s cousin; Kepler 186f is an exo-planet orbiting the red dwarf Kepler-186. It is the first planet with a radius similar to Earth’s to be discovered in the habitable zone of another star. NASA’s Kepler spacecraft detected it using the transit method, along with four additional planets orbiting much closer to the star (all modestly larger than Earth). Analysis of three years of data was required to find its signal. The results were presented initially at a conference on 19 March 2014 and some details were reported in the media at the time.The full public announcement was on 17 April 2014, followed by publication in Science.

Kepler-186f is the first Earth-size alien planet found in the habitable zone of its star. That means the planet, which is only slightly larger than Earth, is in the part of its star system where liquid water could exist on the planet’s surface. Astronomers have found other planets in the habitable zones of their stars, but this is the first time a planet this close in size to Earth has ever been found in the habitable zone of its star. This is the best case for a habitable planet yet found. Because of Kepler-186’s location in the habitable zone around its star, the planet might be a place where life can thrive. It’s possible that the planet has an atmosphere that can help keep water in liquid form on the surface, a prerequisite for life as it is known on Earth. Kepler-186f is on the outer edge of the habitable zone, so it is possible that the planet’s water could freeze. Its larger size, however, could mean the planet has a thicker atmosphere, insulating the planet, San Francisco State University astronomer and study co-author Stephen Kane said in a statement.

Although they know the alien world is in its star’s habitable zone, scientists still aren’t sure what the planet’s atmosphere consists of, and they cannot say with certainty that Kepler-186f could support life. The planet is Earth-sized, but it might not be Earth-like.  The newly discovered exoplanet orbits about 32.5 million miles (52.4 million kilometers) from its sun. It takes Kepler-186f about 130 days to orbit its red dwarf star. Scientists have described Kepler-186f as a cousin to Earth. The Kepler-186 star is dimmer than the sun, so the planet may be somewhat similar to Earth in size, but its star is not the same as the sun. The Kepler-186 star is about half the mass of the sun, and the newly discovered planet is far enough away from its star that powerful flares may not greatly affect the planet, scientists have said.

Wander Lust

Tell us about the top five places you’ve always wanted to visit. GO!

I’ve always wanted to go abroad and other than India, where I am from and where I live, I have only been to ever been to Kuwait (born and raised there for 11 years) and a brief trip to the UK but I was around 2 years old and do not remember. So, here are my top 5 places that I’ve always wanted to visit in order:

  1. Canada – especially part of Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta & Quebec
  2. The United Kingdom – England & Scotland baby; I want to pub a pub
  3. The United States Of America – a select few states & cities especially parts of the East Coast and West Coast uptil San Francisco
  4. Spain – who doesn’t want to visit Spain
  5. The Netherlands – especially Amsterdam, Rotterdam & Utrecht

So that’s my 5

Prompt from the Daily Post at

Dust In The Wind

Have you made your bucket list? Now’s the time — write about the things you want to do and see before you become dust in the wind.

I don’t have a huge bucket list at this point of time. My circumstances states that I should have a rather small and sensible bucketlist and then if things improve in my life make a bigger one. So here is a small & much simpler version of my bucketlist:

  • Get a really well paying job and get financial security
  • save a bunch of money to get my own place
  • find Miss right and make her Mrs. Roshan
  • travel to one place that I really want to go to – Canada
  • Attend a rock festival where the lineup consists of my favourite bands
  • once I settle down in the new place, see about getting a dog or two and a couple of cats to complete the family
  • Have a moment of total contentment, pure joy, love and happiness
  • Die a very happy man, in my sleep, without suffering

Prompt from the Daily Post at

Powdered Alcohol

They’ve finally done it. Instant alcohol, in a powdered form. Alcohol is primarily known as a liquid, but it can also be whipped, solidified, and practically vaporized. But a new product is out in the US markets after getting the necessary approvals – Palcohol! Powdered Alcohol. No, I’m not making this shit up!

Alcohol powder is a molecular encapsulated alcohol that produces an alcoholic drink or meal when mixed with water. Because alcohol can be absorbed in a sugar derivate, it can be delivered as a powder and/or packed into capsules. Last week, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) okayed seven versions of Palcohol, including Margarita and Cosmopolitan flavors. But since gaining approval, the Arizona-based firm, called Lipsmark LLC, has removed its description of the product from its website.

Here’s how Palcohol was being touted: What’s worse than going to a concert, sporting event, etc. and having to pay $10, $15, $20 for a mixed drink with tax and tip. Are you kidding me?! Take Palcohol into the venue and enjoy a mixed drink for a fraction of the cost. We’ve been talking about drinks so far. But we have found adding Palcohol to food is so much fun. Sprinkle Palcohol on almost any dish and give it an extra kick. Some of our favorites are the Kamikaze in guacamole, Rum on a BBQ sandwich, Cosmo on a salad and Vodka on eggs in the morning to start your day off right. Experiment. Palcohol is great on so many foods. Remember, you have to add Palcohol AFTER a dish is cooked as the alcohol will burn off if you cook with it…and that defeats the whole purpose. 

It is not a new concept though. Similar products already exist in Germany (Subyou) and the Netherlands (Booz2go). Powdered alcohol has even been sold in the U.S. before, the subject of several patents. So the next time you go to a supermarket you buy milk powder, coffee powder, orange juice powder and ta da – alcohol powder aka Palcohol!

Farscape Movie In The Making

After a few weeks following the original rumours, Rockne O’Bannon, creator and showrunner of the original series, has confirmed that the movie is, in fact, happening. Confirmation came via that “O’Bannon, the co-creator of Warehouse 13, Defiance, and Revolution… who was also Farscape’s creator and showrunner – has indeed CONFIRMED a Farscape movie is happening. SpoilerTV followed up with a quote from O’Bannon establishing Justin Monjo’s involvement: “Yeah, yeah it’s the worst kept secret…We’re far from production, but yeah, the first step is Justin [Monjo] working on a script for us. We’ll keep our fingers crossed.” This will be great news for fans of the cult show that ran for 4 seasons before it got cancelled followed by a mini-series to wrap up the storyline, which was initiated by a massive fan campaign on the internet.

The film would follow John and Aeryn’s son, D’Argo (or Little D, as we will always refer to him). Because their baby was exhibiting a set of interesting powers that made him a magnet for galactic villains, we find that John and Aeryn hide their son on Earth to grow up. Now the kid is 19 and ready to go into space with his parents. Farscape fans would know that any future stuff from the Farscape world will not include the regular characters Ka D’Argo who died in mini-series Peacekeeper Wars as well as recurring character former crewmate Jool, who was killed off as well. Pa’u Zotoh Zhaan, a main character, too was killed off at the beginning of the 3rd season, due to actress having health problems due to the extensive makeup which was affecting her kidneys.

One can only wait and see.