Happy Birthday Sachin – And, Good Luck!

Happy Birthday Sachin!
It is a privilege to watch you play!

The only thing one can even pray for is that God give you the required wisdom to plan your retirement to perfection.
We are in no hurry.
We would love to watch you bat till we die!
But, we want to remember you for the best knocks you played…..
Not as a pale shadow of a once-invincible player who rose to demigodness only to be brought to rude reality when Father Time caught up.
We saw it happen, after all, to sportsmen worldwide.

Good luck, and may you live a “century”!

Meanwhile, I am amazed by this man’s tongue-in-cheek humor and laser wit.
He strung together a series of tweets about Sachin’s birthday, that were as pun-poetic as Tweets can ever be!
Take a look at the laugh-riot at @rameshsrivats twitter page.

Rajendran.

Li kai yang qi guan and Dr. Albert Einstein!

The Reader’s Digest magazine recently ran a poll to look for the “All-Time-Best Jokes”, and this one below, earned creditable mention.

A guy was at the hospital visiting his Chinese neighbor, who had been involved in a serious car accident. He found his friend in the ICU, among many tubes here and there, all connected to various medical equipment. The patient was sleeping peacefully… when suddenly he got up in a shock, his eyes popping out, yelling “Li kai yang qi guan!!!” Having said that, he died.
During the funeral, the guy approached his friend’s mother and his widow, and hugging both of them he asked,
“Mrs. Chen and Mrs. Lin, seconds before my friend Yuan Chen passed away he told me some words I cannot forget: ‘Li kai yang qi guan!!!’ Would you kindly tell me what do they mean?”
Yuan’s mother fainted, and the widow looked at the guy with a shocked expression in her face. The guy insists, “What do these words mean, Mrs. Chen?”
Furious, the widow replies, “That means ‘STEP OFF THE OXYGEN TUBE, YOU SON OF A B*TCH!!!”

Now, after that brief comic interlude, read about this…

I heard of this interesting tidbit only yesterday, at this authentic website

He died in his sleep at a hospital in Princeton, New Jersey on April 18, 1955, leaving the Generalized Theory of Gravitation unsolved. The only person present at his deathbed, a hospital nurse, said that just before his death he mumbled several words in German that she did not understand.

Now, that sets me wondering…

What other equations like the unbelievably beautiful and simple E=mc-squared did we miss?

Did he finally crack the Unified Field Theory?

What great and noble thought about world peace did he try conveying at that last moment of epiphany?

Did he want to have one last word with Tagore perhaps about God?

Hmm… All lost. Forever. Because of an illiterate American nurse who couldn’t “sprache Deutsche”…..

P.S:- I checked with a Chinese friend of mine. Yes, in Mandarin Chinese, that phrase “Li kai yang qi guan” actually means “Get off the oxygen tube”!!

30 Questions – One Final Answer!

More than four years ago, that is like a decade in these Internet-Times,

I ran a quiz within my company, on the occasion of Valentine’s Day. Later, I even made a blog post about it, and let the world play the game.

Now, on a sudden whim, I tried checking it out once more. To see how things were, whether the cobwebs of bitrot have caught up with it, and the wheels have ground to a halt…

But, no. Surprise of surprises! I was able to play the game smoothly all the way to the end!

Felt like sharing it with you all, for it was one fun exercise for the three of us who worked on it!

If you feel like playing that game, do read the instructions out here at http://tippingcup.rediffblogs.com/2006_12_02_tippingcup_archive.html

Rajendran.

Categories: Uncategorized

The iPad – An Ergonomist’s Nightmare, An orthopedic’s Heaven!

April 11, 2010 3 comments

I brought a severe back strain on to myself, trying some heroics playing football with my son, on our building’s terrace.

That could be the reason for the negative tone of this blog post, and that could also be the reason for the “seeming volte face” from the previous blogpost earlier in the day.

But, I visited the homepage of the Apple-website, and was greeted with a huge collection of video-ads about the iPad and its magical features.

Something struck me as odd, and I decided to look closer. Took some screengrabs, and this is what I have.

First see the images, and then, let us continue the “sudden theory” that dawned on me now.

So, does the same thing that struck me as odd, strike you as odd?

Look at all the postures. While they convey the casual ease of use, it is SO OBVIOUS that ergonomics has been “thrown out the window”. Look at all the unnatural postures. Try holding on to such a pose for longer than ten minutes and you’ll get a crick in your lower back, I am sure. And, look at those feet – More often than not, they seem at a higher level than the hands!!

Nobody gives a damn I guess, if you murder your back by watching a movie propped on one elbow, from the couch… Or, if you have to “hold on” to your iPad with a thumb and forefinger to keep it strategically right on the tabletop while you flick away with the other hand….

This is a digital consumer’s dream come true! The iPad is the new-age couch-potato’s bottomless supply of popcorn.

But, it is also one insidiously dangerous device – I am sure orthopedic surgeons will be laughing all the way to their banks!

– Rajendran.

iPad envy!

April 11, 2010 2 comments

The iPad is finally out, and notwithstanding polarized opinions and hate-filled diatribes about it, the verdict is pretty clear.

It is just pure and distilled manna for the couch potato of the information age.

May God save the first human with an iPad who crosses my path. I am not sure how powerful the laserbeams of the evil eye are, but she’s gonna get a full load of it!

I have been set a personal goal. To earn the iPad I so crave. I am to bring my weight down to 80 kgs from the 93.6 it was on Jan 26th (yes, iPad launch day…) I am now hovering over 88.2. It’s gonna be a long drive to the Apple store…

Am gonna go public with my weightloss and tweet everytime I cross a kiloline. Bear with me!

Meanwhile, here’s an interesting quote to keep me company:
As the need for more diminishes, the appreciation for what we have grows!

From a book titled “Pause” by Katherine Gibson (a paperback I am reading… Not on the iPad…)
An image of which I’d have embedded on this usually picture-rich blog (if only I was typing this from the free widescreen wordpress app for the iPad…)

Hmmmm….

Rajendran

Categories: Self-Referential Tags: , , ,

How I taught my son his Fundamental Rights!

April 10, 2010 15 comments

The Indian Constitution, the venerable very amended tome that it is, dictates these as the Fundamental Rights of an Indian Citizen.

  1. The right to equality
  2. The right to freedom of speech and expression
  3. The right to freedom from exploitation
  4. The right to freedom of religion
  5. Cultural and educational rights
  6. The right to constitutional remedies

Why am I talking about this now? Well, I had to read, recollect, revise and drill them into my son’s “short-term memory” so that he could regurgitate it appropriately if they appeared in his Social Studies examination, the last of his “exams” before he moved on to Grade V.

Finding it near impossible to get him to list them without missing at least one of them, I racked my brains for a nice metaphor, a mnemonic, some hook that I could employ, willy-nilly, to get him to remember them right.

And, this is what I came up with.

I am talking to my son here… He is in blue!

Let us take the two hands… As shown below. One hand with five fingers laid out open, and the other made into a fist.

The First Finger:-

Let us start with the little finger of the first hand. What is special about the little finger, and what do you think it would say if it had a mouth?

“That I am the smallest? That I am not equal to the others?”

Yes! There you go! The little finger represents your Right to Equality!

The Second Finger:-

Next, move to the finger next to the Little Finger. What do they call it?

“The Ring Finger?”

Yup! What ring? Why ring? Who wears ring?

“Christians wear rings in that finger”.

Great. So, we are Hindus, Matheeha who visited us today is a Muslim. And, Christians wear Rings. So, The Ring Finger must remind you of our Right To Freedom of Religion!

The Third Finger:-

What is the next finger in your hand?

“The middle finger”.

(I make the “middle finger” gesture, and confront him). What does this mean? (A sheepish grin and a semi-shyness takes over). Come on. I know you know. I am sure you have seen this being shown, at school, TV, movies. What does this mean?

“Some senior-class friends at school do this Dad! Not me.”

I know. I know you don’t. But, this basically means I am not happy with what you are saying, and I am going to express my unhappiness about it. A rude gesture, the showing of the middle finger is to express your irritation and that is why, we will use this finger to remember our most important Right. The Right to Freedom of Expression.

The Fourth Finger:-

What is the next finger?

“The Index Finger”.

Do you remember, we all went to the voting booth recently, and came back with a dye mark in our index fingers? What did we do?

“Voting”.

Great! So, when you are unhappy with the government, and when you are looking for change, you go to the voting booth and express it. You are looking for “remedy”. A constitutional remedy. So, this finger will remind you that we have the Right to Constitutional Remedies.

“Great pa. Thanks pa. We have two more to go!”

The Fifth Finger:-

Yes, what is the next finger?

“The thumbfinger”.

What is the most common signal you give with this finger?

“The Thumbs Up sign”.

When do you give it?

“Exam time!”

Why do you give exams?

“Learning. Education”.

So there! This finger is going to remind you that you have Cultural and Educational Rights.

The Fisty Hand:-

We have just one more to go. The Fist symbol.

What does this Fist symbol remind you of?

“Fight!”

Yes. So, this fist symbol must remind you of your right to Fight Back. Against something bad. Your Right Against Exploitation.

“Wow. Thanks pa! I will never forget pa!”

I am not sure how many parents and teachers from around the world will approve of a mnemonic like this…….. But, what’s much more important? – My son aced the question when it came up in today’s exam, and called me up to say “Thanks pa! I listed all six correctly!”

On this, keep a Tab. Let Ebook Readers beware!

January 22, 2010 Leave a comment

Apple, ever the secretive genius that derives as much joy surprising its audience with the unexpected, as it does in making the impossible possible, is at it again.

It is now official that they are launching a serious large-screen tablet device. (It has been rumored for long, but now the WSJ and FastCompany are talking about it….)

And, what’s more, they have sent a special colorful playful invite to journalists.. That looks like this.

I get this uncanny feeling that the folk at Apple would surely have tried some mischief here.

My feeling is that the color blotches actually HIDE what was originally printed on the cover – a photograph of the gorgeous new iSlate perhaps.

Am I just dreaming too much? (No, can’t be! Have been losing a lot of sleep lately, ever since I learnt that this Apple device is going to make my own Sony PRS700 look shamefully ugly…)

Categories: Bookish Tags: , , , ,