RIP Steve Jobs

Woke up this morning to the news that Steve Jobs has died. He has has a battle with cancer and underwent a liver transplant in 2009. The co-founder of Apple Inc, one of the world’s great entrepreneurs, was surrounded by his wife and immediate family when he died in Palo Alto, California. His ill health has always been a part of the man; he had taken a few leaves of absence to receive treatment and recover during his career.

Earlier this January too he had taken a medical leave. Jobs announced his resignation from his role as Apple’s CEO on August 24, 2011. In his resignation letter, Jobs wrote that he could “no longer meet [his] duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO”.

A college dropout, Buddhist and son of adoptive parents, Jobs started Apple Computer with friend Steve Wozniak in 1976. The company soon introduced the Apple 1 computer. But it was the Apple II that became a huge success and gave Apple its position as a critical player in the then-nascent PC industry, culminating in a 1980 initial public offering that made Jobs a multimillionaire. Despite the subsequent success of the Macintosh computer, Jobs’ relationship with top management and the board soured. The company removed most of his powers and then in 1985 he was fired.

Apple’s fortunes waned after that. However, its purchase of NeXT — the computer company Jobs founded after leaving Apple — in 1997 brought him back into the fold. Later that year, he became interim CEO and in 2000, the company dropped “interim” from his title.  Well you known what comes next – Macbooks, MacAir, iPod, iTunes, iPhone & iPad and many others. The guy was a genius and a visionary. He was also CEO of Pixar until Disney purchased the company in 2006.

I never liked Apple products. I was always a Windows & I love BlackBerry when it comes to smartphones. When I can afford to upgrade from my current outdated BB, I will choose a newer BB model. My laptops will always be PC & Windows models. When I can afford t buy a tablet pc it will be BlackBerry. I wasn’t too impressed with iPhones or Macbooks. I’ve used both – a friend’s laptop briefly and for 2 months an iPhone kept in my custody for work. I admire the company and their success and their beautiful line of products but they were never for me. But mostly I liked the man behind them – Steve Jobs will be sorely missed by his legion of fans.

Steven Paul Jobs (February 24, 1955 – October 5, 2011)

Terror Attacks India Once Again

India & Bombay has been struck by terrorist attacks yet again! Between 18:54pm and 19:06pm IST, in what was a well co-ordinated attack, 3 bombs exploded in 3 separate areas of Bombay.

The blasts occurred at the Opera House, Zaveri Bazaar, and Dadar West localities. So far the death toll has reached 21 and around 120 people were injured. Following the explosions phone lines were jammed and communicated were affected badly in the city for the next few hours. In the times of crisis it was still heartwarming to see the outpouring of offers to help that flodded Twitter yesterday evening. Lots of people were offering to house those who were stranded in the explosions affected areas – apartments, houses & even offices being used as temporary guest houses for the evening.

Also a lot of help lines were immediately released and made available for people who were directly affected by the attacks or those who were in search of the status of loved ones. Other major cities in India were put on high alert and security forces were being deployed to deal with such attacks if they happen.

Osama Bin Laden Is Fucking Dead

He was the mastermind behind the devastating September 11, 2001 attacks on the twin towers of the World Trade Center and other mass-casualty attacks against civilian & military targets. This cock sucking bastard shit of humanity was finally killed earlier today by a small group of American Navy Seals, acting under the direct order of US President Barack Obama. Almost 10 years after his biggest & most unforgettable act of destruction, the asshole is now dead. Justice prevailed I guess in a way.

For a lot of Americans especially those who have lost someone in the attacks and people who worked in the WTC, it’s a closure for them but it’s not going to bring back the dead. Still they will feel some kind of vengeance was done for them and their loved ones. What about the Arabs who were tortured and killed by Osama & his Taliban henchmen. They destroyed lives to serve a kind a Islam that they felt was right. Who made them the experts and gave them the right to kill and destroy? No one! Religion & gods are all ok as long as you don’t start killing people in the name of some crappy notions or ruining lives in the name of some imaginary bugger in the sky.

I don’t usually condone killing & taking lives but in this case, I celebrate. Anyone this evil and vile deserve to be killed and I just wish that he would have suffered a whole lot more. Like stuff a grenade up his asshole. Or wire his testicles and run electricity through them. Or stuff a water hose up his asshole and run the water so forcefully that shit comes out his mouth & nostrils.

Top 3 Historic Events I’ve Experienced

Iraq invades Kuwait : This one is highly significant for me. Saddam Hussain invaded Kuwait on the 2nd of August, 1990 – also known as my 14th birthday. I was born in Kuwait and for the first 11 years of my life, I lived & grew up in the capital city of that country. It was home; despite the fact that us Indians, like most other foreigners of non-Arab background were not eligible for citizenship. So I was born there and unlike most of the West, I did not get automatic citizenship. So what? It was home and it still feels like a home to me even if I haven’t been to the country since 1987. The invasion of Kuwait was more than enough for me to hate Saddam and his cronies and I celebrated when that bastard died. The hurt, shame and pain I felt when he invaded my birth country on my birthday – if I had ever seen him in person, I would have castrated that motherfucker on the spot!

9/11: No need for any introduction to this date. “9/11” is forever tattooed onto most people’s brains as the day that America suffered their most devastating attack since Pearl Harbour and the first on this magnitude by a foreign group on the American mainland. I think America got a huge shock as did the rest of the world. If it could happen to the biggest city in the only superpower of the world, what hope could there be for the rest of us? I also like to refer this day as the one on which what remaining innocence was left in the world died out. Americans also showed us their racist & unconcerned side; Sikhs being tormented and shot to death just because ignorant morons couldn’t tell the difference between a bearded & turbaned Indian and a bearded and turbaned Islamic terrorist. Really? Also its a time when the infamous “You’re either with us or against us” war cry came out of the US. In a few years the anger stemmed down and the good people have continued to be good people. However you still got more trouble at the customs at US airports if you were brown; no matter if you were a citizen. Most Americans know better but them jerks are around.

November 26 aka 26/11 aka Mumbai 2008 attacks: Indians proved that they could be as numerologically astute as the Americans when naming a national tragedy. Pakistani terrorists attacked 10 areas in Mumbai at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, the Oberoi Trident, the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower, Leopold Cafe, Cama Hospital (a women and children’s hospital), Nariman House, the Metro Cinema, and a lane behind the Times of India building and St. Xavier’s College and a couple of other explosions via bombs. After 2 days all areas were secured by the combined efforts of the locals police force and Indian security forces. An action by India’s National Security Guards (NSG) on 29 November (the action is officially named Operation Black Tornado) resulted in the death of the last remaining attackers at the Taj hotel, ending all fighting in the attacks. I was sure, as were most of the people I spoke to, that India would go to war against Pakistan. It didn’t happen. Ajmal Kasab, the only attacker who was caught alive, gave the information as to the Pakistani terrorists groups behind the attacks, was sentenced to death on 5 counts and his last appeal in Feb 2011 was denied by high court judges. Indians can’t wait to see the pig fucker get his just rewards.

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The Missing Ship & Crew Found

With all the devastation & loss caused by the biggest tsunami to hit the country of Japan, all eyes were on the death toll. And as much as the stories of tragic deaths, loss of property & the bravery of the Japanese, as is inevitable because it’s always in the midst of a true crisis that the true spirit of human beings always shines at it’s best, one story struck me with the hardest impact. It was the one about the missing ship.

On the 11th of March, a Japanese coast guard official confirmed that a search was under way for a ship carrying 80 dock workers that was swept away when a tsunami struck the northeastern coast. The vessel was washed away from a shipbuilding site in Miyagi Prefecture. That’s the area most affected by the massive offshore earthquake on Friday. But on the 12th, In the midst of all the death and destruction left in the wake of the 30-foot wall of water that ravaged northern Japan, there was at least one piece of good news. The ship feared lost at sea was been found with all 80 crew aboard alive. Naval and coast guard helicopters safely airlifted the 81 aboard to safety.

I thought that they were all goners when I first heard of that story. I would never have thought that the crew would ever make it back alive after being swept away from a building. But they were and that’s amazing.

UFOs Headed For Earth?

It seems that there are 3 unidentified flying objects (UFO) in space headed for Earth. From The Examiner:

SETI Astrophysicist Craig Kasnov ( not to be confused with Craig Kasnoff ) has announced the approach to the Earth of 3 very large, very fast moving objects.  The length of the “flying saucers” is in the range of tens of kilometers.  Landing, according to calculations of scientists, should be in mid-December 2012. Date coincides with the end of the Mayan calendar.

A few very large objects rapidly approaching the Earth – says SETI astrophysicist Craig Kasnov.  Don’t take his word for it you can check it out for yourself.  He recommends to go to the site and enter the coordinates of the giant UFO:

19 25 12 -89 46 03 – the first large object
16 19 35 -88 43 10 – a cylindrical object
02 26 39 -89 43 13 – the object as a circle

The project participants are assured that the facilities are absolutely real, and the American space agency NASA is trying to conceal important information.

None of these objects can be seen from the northern hemisphere. The second set of numbers in each line tells us that the “object” or “objects” is/are coming in from very deep in the southern hemisphere sky.

In any case, the only thing we can do now – wait for it – says Kasnov. – Soon celestial objects will be visible in a good telescope.

One Way Trip To Mars

Well we have NASA has unveiled bold plans to send humans ‘one-way to Mars to colonise the  planet as part of ambitious investigations to permanently colonise other planets in space. The multi-billion pound mission, titled Hundred Years Starship, is being spearheaded by the Ames Research Centre, one of Nasa’s main research centres, based in Moffett Field, California. Officials from the Pentagon’s Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) are also heavily involved in turning the science fiction idea into a reality. Early estimates put the cost of such a mission, which has “just started” at more than £7 billion and could be achieved by 2030.

Such a space journey would take up to nine months with volunteers embarking on the mission knowing they would never return to earth. This is because the cost of returning astronauts to earth would make the project prohibitively expensive. Supplies would be sent to make them self-sufficient. Such a mission would be gruelling for humans with forbidding conditions including sub-zero temperatures and a thin atmosphere. It comes as researchers claimed such a human mission was technologically feasible and was cheaper returning astronauts to earth. Their new study, in the Journal of Cosmology, found the costs of safely returning a crew would eat up the majority of such a mission’s budget.

Dirk Schulze-Makuch, from Washington State University and Paul Davies, from Arizona State University, said four volunteer astronauts could undertake the first mission to permanently colonise Mars.

Wow, could you imagine being one of the first humans to be born and raised on Mars?

Doh! You Can’t Be Serious

In one of the craziest news articles that I have ever read in the papers, the Vatican has just given their blessing to the Simpsons, in particular the very popular Homer, by declaring him to be catholic. I’m not kidding; this ridiculous information is also in the Indian Express and in online news sites too. What’s more, it says that parents should not be afraid to let their children watch “the adventures of the little guys in yellow.”

Reuters cited a study by a Jesuit priest of a 2005 episode of the show called “The Father, the Son and the Holy Guest Star”. That study concludes that “The Simpsons” is “among the few TV programs for kids in which Christian faith, religion and questions about God are recurrent themes.” The Simpsons pray before meals, and “in its own way, believes in the beyond,” the newspaper quoted the Jesuit study as saying. It’s the second time the animated U.S. TV series, which is broadcast in 90 countries, has been praised by the Vatican.

But executive producer Al Jean told Entertainment Weekly on Monday he was in “shock and awe” at the latest assertion, adding that the Simpsons attend the “Presbylutheran” First Church of Springfield. “We’ve pretty clearly shown that Homer is not Catholic,” Jean said. “I really don’t think he could go without eating meat on Fridays — for even an hour.”

To the vatican, I’d only show them this picture (from the movie along with the dialogue) below:

Most Earth-like Extra-Solar Planet Found

The possibility of finding life on another planet just got a shot in the arm. Astronomers at the University of California have discovered a new planet which is considered to be in the middle of the Habitable Zone of its parent star, a discovery which has raised the possibility of finding life on another planet. Researchers found the planet while conducting the Lick-Carnegie exoplanet survey of Gliese 581, a red dwarf. The planet, named ‘ Gliese 581 g’, is approximately 20 light years away from Earth and is hypothesised to have a generally rocky landscape with enough gravitational pull to accumulate an atmosphere.

Steven Vogt of the University of California stated that Gliese 581g potentially has a gravitational pull similar to that of Earth, which would allow humans to walk around upright on its surface although human inhabitation of the planet is in no foreseeable future. Vogt observed that there is a significant possibility that life exists on Gliese 581 g. “Personally, given the ubiquity and propensity of life to flourish wherever it can, I would say, my own personal feeling is that the chances of life on this planet are 100 per cent,” Vogt said. Only lichen, bacteria and other micro-organisms are expected to exist on the planet.

Gliese 581 g is thought to have a temperature range from extremely hot to freezing cold depending on the side with respect to its star. The average temperature is expected to range from ?31 to ?12 degrees Celsius. Prior to this discovery, two other planets were discovered in the low or “cold” end and the high or “hot” end of the ‘Habitable Zone’, respectively, orbiting the same star. The planet is tidal locked – one side of the planet is always facing it’s sun while the other faces away. meaning that it would be permanently light on one half and permanently dark on the other half of its surface.Tidal locking also means the planet would have no axial tilt and therefore no seasonality in a conventional sense.

For fans of Star Trek, you know what that means don’t you! We have discovered Remus! That means that her sister planet Romulus and the Romulans are nearby. Quick, alert the Enterprise before they attack us.

Walking On Planet Earth

I just got the link for one man’s journey to promote peace

On August 18th, 2000, at 9:00 am, Jean Béliveau left Montreal, Canada. His goal is to walk around the planet to promote “Peace and non-violence for the profit of the children of the world”. He is travelling alone with a three wheeled stroller to carry a bit of food, his clothing, a First Aid kit, a small tent and a sleeping bag. Jean plans to walk across all the continents, from North America to South America, then across to South Africa, up to Europe, then the Middle East, South and Eastern Asia, Australia, New Zealand and finally back to Canada.

This journey will take 11 years to complete which is in accordance with the United Nations proclamation: 2001-2010 – International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-violence for the Children of the World

This is the map of the route and this is the route with distances traveled covered.

6 Year Old On US No Fly List

Could someone explain this to me please? How is that a 6 year old Indian-American girl on the US government’s terror watch list? Dr. Santhosh Thomas is at a loss to understand as to how his 6 year old child, Alyssa Thomas, came to be on that list. The doctor was informed of this when is family were embarking on a recent trip from Cleveland to Minneapolis. When he asked the ticket agent as to how come, the only reply he got was “Well, she’s on the list!”

They were allowed to fly that day but were informed to contact the US Dept. of Homeland Securities to clear up this matter. A flabbergasted Dr. Thomas states that the worst his young child could have done is to threaten her sister during a bout of sibling quarrels that most kids go through, but was that enough to have Homeland Securities get involved as to put her on a watch list? The family then received a letter from the government addressed to little Alyssa telling her that nothing has changed in her file and that she is still on the list.

How stupid can a governmental agency get? What possible harm can she do? The kid has been traveling on planes since she was 2 months old. What did she do? Poop a few many times while in the air?

Your Face Up In Space

NASA is encouraging people to send electronic images of their faces to fly into orbit aboard one of the final remaining space shuttle missions.The “Face in Space” program allows people to select which mission they want their faces to be a part of. Discovery is currently set to launch in September and Endeavour is the last scheduled shuttle mission, planned for November, before the program is retired. But those dates are expected to slip.

“The space shuttle program belongs to the public, and we are excited when we can provide an opportunity for people to share the adventure of our missions,” said space shuttle program manager John Shannon. “This website will allow you to be a part of history and participate as we complete our final missions.” There are no plans for submitted photos to be shown publicly, although there is a disclaimer on the website that says “Whatever you post on your Face in Space page may potentially be available for everyone to see, so you must exercise caution in what you post.”

If you are not able to upload a photo, you can submit your name instead. After the flight, participants can go to the website and print a “flight certificate” signed by the mission commander. Shuttle Atlantis could get one last chance to fly in orbit next June. NASA is waiting to see if the White House and Congress approve an extra mission. Nearly 75,000 people worldwide have already submitted their images or names.

So if you want that sexy Klingon or Romulan to notice you, click

Gentlemen of His Holiness

I’m laughing at this:

One of Pope Benedict’s ceremonial ushers and a member of an elite choir in St Peter’s Basilica have been implicated in a gay prostitution ring, in the latest sexual scandal to taint the Vatican. Ghinedu Ehiem, a Nigerian, was dismissed by the Vatican on Wednesday from the Giulia Choir after his name appeared in transcripts of police wiretaps, published by an Italian newspaper, in an unrelated Italian investigation.

Among four people arrested last month in the corruption probe was Angelo Balducci, a engineer who is a board member of Italy’s public works department and a construction consultant to the Vatican. Balducci was arrested on corruption charges and the allegations of prostitution emerged only later. Balducci is also a member of an elite group called “Gentlemen of His Holiness” (:) LOL), ushers who are called to serve in the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace on major occasions such as when the pope receives heads of state or presides at big events.

“Gentlemen of His Holiness””carried the coffin of the late Pope John Paul at his funeral in 2005.

Where No Boat Has Gone Before

What you see here on the left is the Plastiki, the sailing vessel which David de Rothschild will, with a six-man crew, sail across the Pacific Ocean starting in San Francisco, California in 2010, ending his journey in Sydney, Australia after a planned visit of several sites of ecological importance or which are susceptible to environmental issues caused by global warming, for instance the current sea level rise, ocean acidification and marine pollution. The Plastiki is a distinctive, one-of-a-kind 60-foot (20m) catamaran made out of 12,000 reclaimed plastic bottles and other recycled PET plastic and waste products. As of October 15th, 2009, the catamaran is under construction in Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco, California.

The catamaran has a hydroponics garden, toilets, solar panels, camera & lockers for the crew. The crew is yet to be determined, but it is to be skippered by prominent British ocean sailor Jo Royle, and will carry up to six artists, adventurers and scientists at any one stage of the journey. The date of departure is in the fro-zone.

The Male Version

It seems that there’s a drug trial in the UK for a contraceptive for men which intends to take the burden off women’s shoulders as far as family planning is concerned.

80 couples are taking part in the trial of the drug which the scientists claim to be as effective as the Pill. As they claim, the contraceptive will be administered in two injections every two months, tricks the brain into shutting off sperm production in men. They also claim that it’s effective 99% of the time and sperm counts should rapidly return back to normal once the injections are stopped.

No serious side-effects – although some men may experience hot flashes & mood swings! Holy smokes. I wonder where the injections are done, I certainly do not like the sound of those injections. Tricking the brain into shutting off sperm count? Hot flashes, mood swings? What if it turns you into a woman?

Seriously there should be an easier way (other than abstain from the act all together) for both men & woman.

Baaaah, Moo To You

According to a snippet article in today’s Indian Express, cows outnumber humans in New Zealand! A record 5.8 million cows were counted by June 2009 against a New Zealand statistics count of 4.3 million citizens!

New Zealanders have long endured jokes about being outnumbered 20-1 when it came to sheep. However in 2009 that count was at a 8-1. Still, I am surprised that a beautiful country like New Zealand has only 4.3 million humans. That’s the population of one of the cities in the US, the UK or Germany.

Annual Solar Eclipse Seen Tomorrow

Tomorrow January 15th will see India witness the annular solar eclipse, which will be the longest lasting eclipse in the last millennium. The eclipse will last for 11 minutes at the peak, and will be first seen in the Southern part of India, staring from Tamil Nadu, and finally ending in the North-East part of the country.

The eclipse that will be seen by the people this January is an annual solar eclipse; the same occurs when the Moon’s diameter is smaller than the Sun, causing the sun to look like an annulus (ring), blocking most of the Sun’s light. The path of the Moon’s antumbral shadow begins in Africa and passes through Chad, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, Kenya, and Somalia. After leaving Africa, the path crosses the Indian Ocean where the maximum duration of annularity reaches 11 min 08 s.” It will be visible as a partial eclipse in much of Africa, Eastern Europe, Middle East and Asia. It will be seen as annular within a narrow stretch of 300 km (190 mi) width across Central Africa, Maldives, South Kerala, South Tamil Nadu, North Sri Lanka, Burma and China.

At approx 13.20 hrs IST, the annular solar eclipse enters India at Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum), Kerala and exits India at Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu. The eclipse will be viewable for 10.4 minutes in India, making it the longest annular solar eclipse of the millennium. The best place to view the eclipse from India is Dhanushkodi in Pamban Island off Tamil Nadu coast and in Kerala it is Varkala.