Taare Zameen Par

I am ultra glad that I signed off the year with Aamir Khan's Taare Zameen Par. What a treat to the senses! I have been recommending this movie to anyone who cares to listen. The movie is still fresh in my mind and the movie is still fresh in the theatres. Go see it. My thoughts on the movie is reserved for one of the many flights I need to take in January.


Twenty20 cricket innovations

Cricinfo - Four stumps, and first-ball free hits

Interesting article that advocates
1. Four stumps behind the batsmen
2. No leg byes
3. Extra over for bowlers who take a wicket

by way of encouraging bowlers in this batsmen-centric format.

I say, we have had many such innovations in street cricket for a long time.

1. No runs behind the stumps
2. One pitch catch
3. Batsman is out if the ball lands in a certain area
4. Bowling XI different from Batting XI

and one for the batsmen

Last man gaaji (continue playing even if the rest of your teammates are all out)


The Dish on Dads

The Dish on Dads

Which Dad are you?

The original cast away

Lonesome George is no longer lonesome - World Wildlife News

According to the Guinness Book of World Records Lonesome George, a native of Pinta, an isolated northern island of the Galápagos, is the “rarest living creature.” By the late 1960s, it was noted that the tortoise population on this island that is visited only occasionally by scientists and fishermen, had dwindled close to extinction, and in 1972, only this single male of the species Geochelone abingdoni was found.

New research led by biologists Adalgisa Caccone and Jeffrey Powell in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Yale, with the strong support and cooperation of the Galápagos National Park and Charles Darwin Research Station, has identified a tortoise that is clearly a first generation hybrid between the native tortoises from the islands of Isabela and Pinta. That means, this new tortoise has half his genes in common with Lonesome George.

Lonesome George was immediately brought into captivity at the Charles Darwin Research Station on the island of Santa Cruz where he is housed with two female tortoises from a species found on the neighboring island of Isabela.

The rest on Science Daily

We didn't start the bubble!

Funny yet poignant - a musical parody of the impending bubble

Time Travel and Me

It was a Sunday afternoon, some day in 1989, and I was feeling the first pangs of procrastination. The day after was an important test for which I had under prepared (as in not having studied a bit). Irrespective, I was drawn towards 'Indradanush' on good old DD. The need to distract oneself when there is a compulsion to concentrate is the first in the list of procrastinator's creed.

DD Sundays were a blast for me - Walt Disney presents, Bharat Ek Khoj, Indradanush, Spiderman and the afternoon regional movie that put me to sleep like a healthy dose of Benadryl. 'Indradanush' was the rare sci-fi serial on DD. Two brothers end up traveling in time and having zany adventures along the way. I immediately latched on to the concept - If I had a time machine I will pop in, go to Monday, check the question paper for the test, come back to Sunday and just prepare for that particular set of questions. That was my plan. I even drew a block diagram of my time machine prototype. In fact, I was quite confident that I will be time traveling at some point in my life that I wrote a personal checklist and cryptic messages. Yes, I did all this when I could have very well studied for the exam the day after. Shut up!

That notebook is somewhere among my things back in India. I need to go see the percentage of achievements sans time travel. I even wrote an essay (ghost co-authored by my Dad) titled, 'If my life had a second edition what corrections would I make' and ended up winning a prize of sorts. So, the commitment to travel back and forth in time was, is and will be there.

Over the years support and discouragement have vacillated on my time travel aspirations. Stephen Hawking made a major dent on my drool with this observation - "If time travel were possible, we would have already seen people from the future". I wasn't able to counter this annoyingly practical observation for a long time. My hopes were renewed by pioneers like Doctor Who and the Journeyman. Unfortunately, both these guys are fictional. However, they did project the idea that time travelers tend to do all their traveling in a discrete fashion. Ergo, there are people traveling from the future but they are just excellent in not revealing themselves. Double ergo, time travel is possible, we just don't see the journey men. Also, as clearly illustrated in The Butterfly Effect, time travel is possible under extreme duress but has the side affect of alternating your own future. Time travel is also supposed to be an impossible concept according to some theorists as the earth is never in the same cosmic location to return to. The fact that people against my wishes include Stephen Hawking and those for include Ashton Kutcher has to be overlooked.

The Grandfather paradox is another mood spoiler on the adverse effects of time travel. It gives an instance where a girl is born in 1945, has a baby herself after meeting a drifter in 1970, who goes back to meet himself in 1945. In 1985, he is a time traveler and also a facilitator of his own time travel. He takes himself back to 1945, kidnaps his own kid in 1970 and so on... It somehow dwindles down to a loop where the girl is her own mother, father, grandfather, grandmother, son, daughter and bartender.

I am not seeking all this fuss. My simple request is that I get to see the question paper of an inconsequential exam in 1989, so that I can watch TV in peace... in 1989.