Saturday, July 29, 2006

What a surprize ...

Net surfing led to a surprize discovery :

My post: Comics - 2 - Movies
found a place in ...
"Gossip and Young Celebs Search Engine" by Susan Mernit ...

LINK:
# Comics - 2 - Movies

# Comics - 2 - Movies


kristen dunst - Gossip and Young Celebs Search Engine
Gossip and Young Celebs Search Engine swicki : results for kristen dunst - powered by ... http://aninternofsorts.blogspot.com/2006/05/comics-2-movies.html ...
gossip-and-young-celebs-search-engine-swicki.eurekster.com/kristen+dunst/ - 58k - Cached - Similar pages


Just in case I'm pasting the url ...
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&sa=X&oi=spell&resnum=0&ct=result&cd=1&q=comics-2-movies+gossips+and+young+celebs&spell=1

Sunday, July 16, 2006

On a Sunday ...

BOOOOOOOORrrrrED

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Spotlight: Media

Off late there has been some war-of-words between the media and the government … sparked off by *disclosures* of a few secret government programs by nation’s leading publishers … notably …

• The New York Times – which published stories of covert government program to find terrorists by monitoring financial transactions.
• The Washington Post - which uncovered the CIA detention of purported Al Qaeda operatives in secret prisons in Europe.
• The Times - which revealed the National Security Agency’s effort to track phone calls between Americans and people overseas …

This has ignited a national debate over the issue of civil liberties versus national security.

I think that media is raising the right questions ... Should civil liberties be restricted till the “War on Terrorism” is over??? A related and more important question; whether this war be ever over??? This war, with enemies that have NO national boundaries, NO well-defined organizational-form, or NO government … can go on indefinitely … So the media is just performing its sacred duty of keeping people informed and initiating public debates over some very relevant issues …

However I think, there are a few very important areas where media has seriously failed in getting the public attention …
Domestic:
- The economic cost of wars ...
- The escalating fiscal imbalances ...
- Declining proportion of expenditure over education …
- Dwindling Social Security reserves …
International:
- Problems in Africa, which seems to have little news value …
AND most importantly the issue of ...
- Global Warming …

While I'm at it …
There is one very interesting one hour program [scrutinizing media] on CNN on Sundays ... Reliable Sources – anchored by Howard Kurtz.

Media is one institution that interests me immensely … and … this is not my first post on the issue of media-coverage … I’ve earlier written on …
# My great admiration for war-correspondents …
"What makes some people charge headlong into the most dangerous places on the planet, where chances of getting wounded, kidnapped or killed is higher than the chances of pulling out unscathed.I am talking about “war correspondents” in general …"
... in my post …“The week that was”…

# How few celebrities have smartly used media in a constructive way to generate public interests over some very important issues …
In my post ... "Celebrity Activism”.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Little Kim, Giant Bush and the good ole diplomacy!

The choice of the date for Kim Jong Il to test-launch missiles – was definitely provocative … The 4th of July … as America was celebrating it’s Independence Day.

Though the Taepo Dong missile failed, but it’s almost certain that Kim would not relinquish his efforts to improve upon it. This intercontinental ballistic missile is a great danger to the US. To add, N Korea has nuclear warheads; which it can use or sell to our enemies.

But, as a reaction to this bold provocation by North Korea; we don’t hear Bush’s old swagger of pre-emptive strike against it. Instead [Surprise! Surprise!] Bush opts for diplomacy, through multilateralism … A “Six Party Talks” … with China, South Korea, Japan, Russia … & of course … N Korea & the USA.

What happened to unilateral pre-emptive strike, or even tongue–lashing, the kind we heard some days back … zero-tolerance, wanted dead or alive, bring it on, you are either with us or with them ???? What happened to Bush's signature cowboy diplomacy?

However, I think that this shift in approach from unilateralism to multilateralism;, is quite a welcome … If US attacks any N Korean site, it might not retaliate by striking back the US, but it may put S. Korea or Japan in the line of fire.

Moreover, Bush policies are not working.
There is diminishing support for war in Iraq as it burns in the flames of civil war. There is growing insurgency in Afghanistan. Meanwhile Iran and North Korea are both pursuing their nuclear ambitions. In fact some say that by attacking Iraq and not N Korea or Iran, [of the 3 countries described by Bush as members of “Axis of Evil” club] Bush has sent a clear message that having nuclear arsenals is a big deterrent. I’m not even touching the huge drain on tax-money …

Also, Bush doctrine of working independently, without seeking international cooperation has diminished American stature in the international arena. It has reduced its ability to deal with other global challenges, like genocide in Sudan, chaos in Congo, and growing conflagration in the Middle East.

So when North Korea test-launches 7 missiles ...
Bush shows a seismic shift in attitude. Rather than opting for unilateral pre-emptive strike … he chooses to take the route of multilateral diplomatic talks.
Finally … a 180 degree turn … and back to the good old diplomacy!

This post draws heavily from this week’s “Time” issue [July 17, 2006] … “The End of Cowboy Diplomacy”.
EXCELLENT ISSUE!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Today

Today, I wonder …
What will the historians term our age [say since 9/11/2001] ????

After the two World Wars with the in-between phase of the Great Depression [1914-45] … there was a prolonged phase of Cold War [1945-91] and humanity survived the constant threats of nuclear Armageddon. Well the Cold War ended with the collapse of the Berlin Wall and disintigration of erstwhile USSR … and then began a NEW PHASE … the one in which we live-in today ...

And I wonder what the historians’ will term this "New Phase" / Era that exists today … after end of the Cold War phase ... Would it be ...
The Rise of International Terrorism???

- Mumbai blasts once again puts the resilient world on a high alert … the country mourns but in the collective spirit of “moving on” tries to grapple with this horrific events that rocked the city 2 days back. It reminds us of the blasts in London and Madrid … and the infamous 9/11 blasts in the US, that changed our world forever…
- Situations in Iraq turn grimmer with every passing day as perils of civil war escalates …
- Iran boldly pursues its nuclear ambitions …
- N Korea too flexes its nuclear muscles … and test-launches various missiles … and once again brings us to the dangers of nuclear warheads in the hands of a dubious dictator ...
- The ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict show no signs of abating.. meanwhile ...
- Israel- Lebanon conflict escalates … as Israel bombs Beirut airport over abduction of 2 soldiers by Hezbollah guerrillas ...
- Afghanistan once again becomes a trouble-zone …
- The lost world of Africa grapples with its own share of problems ... famine, AIDS and warlords ...
- … AND …
- The global warming has made the “Mother Nature” red-hot angry too, as the intensity and frequency of natural calamities become more and more severe …

So where are we heading?
We are still spilling blood over age-old issues of land and religion and the innate human tendency to seeking revenge will ensures that this cycle of action-n-reaction will go on for a long time … The origin of the problems are so deep seated and so entrenched in the psyche of our geo-political existence that beginning afresh on a “new slate” is an idea too naïve and too utopian.

While the human environment has changed dramatically since the time of our hunter-gatherer ancestors, the basic behavior has remains the same … our history has always been one of war … and it things stand today will always be so …

But I don’t want to end on a grim note …
So here’s a few wonderful scientific advancements that caught my attention:

- Hope for paralyzed patients … Scientists have come up with “electronic implants” in the brain that allows patients with severe motor impairments to control objects through thoughts….
- Once-A-Day, One-A-Day pill for AIDS patients … what an advance over “cocktail” therapy of 2 to 3 dozen pills a day …

While we are still trying to define “marriage”, whether it’s a union between two adults or essentially between a man and a woman?

I was just reflecting on the events of TODAY ... basically I dont believe that wars and conflits would ever end, just its nature and the players keep changing ... However the scientific advencement goes on with it ... which on the one hand simplifies our lives BUT and on the other hand makes the wars much more sophisticated and ever more deadlier ...
And Long Live HOPE !!!

Sunday, July 09, 2006

The Taste of Chicago!

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Yummmmm ... finger-licking good!

Scenes from "The Taste of Chicago" ...

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I had thought that I would miss this food-festival, but on the last day ... I was able to make it to this ... luscious, ethnic and modern, gourmet show ...

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It was the 26th annual event …
between: June 30 – July 9, 2006.
Venue: Grant Park, in downtown Chicago …

Everyone was gorging at desserts ...esp. ice-cream & cheesecakes ...
Other popular items: beer & corn [!!!] ...
And Chicago city's favorite signature foods ... "deep dish pizza, Chicago hot dog, Italian beef sandwich, Maxwell Street Polish sausage sandwich, steak, Eli's cheesecake and Billy Goat's Cheezborgers ..."

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The place was so chock-a-block full that it seemed that the entire city had gathered for some gastronomic extravaganza ...

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What did I treat myself with???
NOTHING!!!!
I just looked at the people and left the place ...

There were also few live musical shows in progress ...
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Wednesday, July 05, 2006

2006 US Grand Prix at Indianapolis

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This week is exceptionally busy with 3 major events …
- Sunday: July 2nd Grand Prix
- Tuesday: July 4 – Independence Day
- The week, July 1- 9 – “The Taste of Chicago” is on ...

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[Pix above: race in progress ...]

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[Pix above: David Coulhard [Red Bull] beats Nico Roseberg [Williams]]

As obvious, this post is on the Indianapolis Grand Prix …
This year was the second time I attended the event, beginning last year. The only motivation to get the tickets … Michael Schumacher!!! He didnt fail me either time!!!

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2006 results:
1. M Schumacher [Germany] – Ferrari
2. F. Massa [Brazil] – Ferrari
3. G. Fisichella [Italy] – Renault
4. J. Trulli [Italy] – Toyota
5. F. Alonso [Spain] – Renault
6. R. Barrichello [Brazil] – Honda

- Grand Prix began in Indianapolis in the year 2000 and Michael was the winner in the year 2000. He won again in 2003, 2004, 2005 and now in 2006.
- Ferrari duo went on to get the team's first 1-2 of the season.
- M. Schumacher made the fastest race lap time ...
- It started with a 22-car race and ended with only 9 … as the race was full of accidents …

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First major accident took place in the very first lap … Turn2, when Christian Klien [Red Bull] hit M Webber [Williams] … and this resulted in multiple accident sending 7 drivers out of the race: Christian Klien, Mark Webber, Montoya, Raikkonen, Nick Heidfeld, Scott Speed, and Franck Motagny ….

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After a few laps with “safety car” the race began and again an accident as Takuma Sato went smashing into Tiago Monteiro. That was two more cars effectively out of the game.
A few laps later Jacques Villeneuve's engine went boom ...
So half the field was gone with 50 laps still to run … However in the end … since M. Schumacher won … and I got no complaints!

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Rankings

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1. Michael Schumacher [Germany] - Scuderia Ferrari

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2. Filipe Massa [Brazil] - Sccuderia Ferrari

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3. G. Fisichella [Italy] – Renault

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4. J. Trulli [Italy] – Toyota

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7. David Coulthard [Great Britain] - Red Bull Racing

The crowd

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Watching in the stadium is anytime better than getting glued to the TV set, mostly because of the cheering n jeering crowd ...

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