Thursday, March 29, 2007

Someone told me

Someone (who shall remain unnamed) said to me, "Jaipur is like a big Colaba" !!!

Howlarious and to some extent very true :D

The pronouncement of today

You are made to buy a vineyard - someone said to me. What joy that statement gave to me...amazing it was :D

Beauty tip of the day

I made sure my hair was squeaky clean today btw :D

Also, I am thinking about not using Boots products as they seem to give pimples. I am not sure I want to test this out though

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Alcohol, c***iya rick drivers & running

As I downed two glasses of champagne yesterday, I was in a haze..it was a wonderful haze, where I felt warm inside and mindless too. Its amazing how the human mind succumbs to the power of alcohol especially on an empty stomach :P Alcohol is a beautiful thing to imbibe, its hold over human beings is highly powerful! To drink the right amount and be happy is something we should all try to achieve...

Last night as I got a rick to my house, the c*** had the audacity to shortchange me. He had to give me 40 bucks back and he gave me 30. What totally pissed me off is he doesn't tell me he is gng to cut 10 bucks. Just fucking gives me 10 bucks less. Got so mad, told him that, those 10 bucks didn't matter to me, what he did was terribly wrong! Asshole!

This morning, got up with the alarm surprisingly. Went for a walk/run. Man, am so out of shape, not funny. Called my love who was in la la land :D Bloddy how she is going to climb The fucking Himalaya is beyond me! Pisco only she is! It was good, felt good going for walk/run. I want to do running again properly not like how I am doing it now. Blehpfft it is!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Am mindfucked

Stupid TOEFL results havent come and I am pissed beyond madness! Pissssed off is not the word for mood right now. People have made rude personal remarks at me in the morning. I sometimes think I get what I deserve and sometimes I am like fuck you man, u ain' got no right to tell me shit about anything.....maddddd is not the word for what I feel right now!! Total fucking bleh pfft!

Beauty tip of the day

When coloring your hair at home do not wash your hair the day before and your color will come out better and last longer. Also wet your hair before coloring it for the best results.

Hhahahahhaahhahaha..this has been suggested by SB and I lurrrve the idea of giving beauty tips everyday. This one has been credited. :D

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Lazzy Sundayys

I woke up this morning mindfucked. I had fuck all dreams about suicides and shit. Felt really crappy about life in general. Had to go to town for class. Snapped at Mom which I don't like doing of course but when I was so messed up, to ask the ridiculous question where I was going at 9.45 in the morning was like totally wtf!

Went my way. Sat in train, got nice message from Shakira lover..sort of woke up from gloom...also not meeting people contributed to my general despair in life. Sent Dee a msg asking her to hit on cute agent she was yapping about yest! Felt better. Then got off at VT.
Saw Nescafe. Asked for black kapi, he didn't have. :(
Saw CCD Express, asked for black kapi, he had :)

My life felt 180* better coz I consumed caffeine! Kapi for me is number 3 on my list after sex & chocolate. White wine is number 4. I was debating between white wine and kapi. Kapi of course won. :D

I felt alive after drinking the kapi, like my brain was on fire or something. Then went to college and took class. One child came as usual. The others were apparently horrendously sick. Met someone from school after like 10 years. Was like wtf! Said hullo like a good gurl...walked off, dont' care if he exists or not to be honest.

Going to do dinner with Dee tonite, Coo coming along...marble grinding sound coming from next building. Time for Sunday snooze is approaching. Sister already in dream world as I am typing out these words.

Toodles as SB would say...

Saturday, March 24, 2007

The demise of a team

Yesterday night after much nakhra, I went over to friend's house to watch the match. C'est terrible it was! Waste of time etc etc.. I mean the Indian team collapsed like a pack of cards and several other similes that I can't think of right now. Seriously, felt like smacking all of them. Half the team deserves to be sacked, but as everyone was saying the scapegoat is probably going to be Chappell.

Tendulkar played like a peeg! I mean, wot the fuck was that? Kyaa tha woh shot jo shot hi naheen raha! Total bleh it was. I liked the Lion Man's hair - awesome tha..Muralitharan has a pretty wife who goes by the name of Mrs Muralitharan. There was a chik who (almost) flashed her boobs at the camera. Supporters are so passionate about the game as was evident in the house last nite with all the oohing and aahing. Puttar yaar, once more :P

The one and only cricket match I saw, they lost. I thought it would hurt from the bottom of my heart but it didnt even touch it. Good thing or bad thing, no clue about that. Life will go on, houses will be stoned or torched, not sure which one. Greg Chapell is not going to pass on to the nether like Bob Woolmer did, as was expressed yesterday by Mr S and Spikey!

End of a World Cup for India or people still going to hold onto that slender run rate margin over the so-called minnow match between Bermuda and Bangladesh? I think fans never stop hoping. I stopped last nite....

Friday, March 23, 2007

Spot the difference!


Randomness strikes again..

I was coming in the rick towards office and saw this young boy standing near the road side dustbin. He had a dustbin in his hand and there were 2 dogs near him. (Dogs seem to be a recurrent theme don't they?) He had raised the dustbin and the dogs were flinching everytime he made a move. Something similar happened when I went on run day before (Have been snoozing the past 2 days btw! Ah, blissful sleep) I wonder at the cruelty of humans towards animals....Animals can't talk back, can't express except through their whines and cries....and people can be so cruel. But somehow it doesn't surprise me at all, especially when people can be cruel towards other human beings...

I remember watching a program on genocide and I have talked about this before as well. People killing other people because they belong to a different race, tribe or fucking colour for that matter. Not a good scene at all. (Like how understated can I get!)

I saw two policemen sitting outside Lakshmi (near IIT-B) where the manager guy escaped being shot because of his pocket diary! Wah, kya story hai, very filmy it sounds to me. Anyways, the policemen looked fat n round to me. So was wondering what protection they are going to give and whom are they going to chase after!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

I want to go back here again..


This there is Kashid btw! I reallly really want to go away!

I want to be away...

Sheece is going to Goa..I am envious as hell! I want to go away, stare at the blue skies, sit in the cold water of a beach and immerse myself in the freedom of being away from work, family and fucking routines!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Tourism or Desecration?

The Grand Canyon's Skywalk has been inaugurated with hundreds of invited guests getting stunning views over the canyon through its glass walkway.

Rising 4,000ft (1,220m) from the canyon's floor and 70ft (20m) beyond its rim, the Skywalk is being described as an engineering first.

The Hualapai Indians, who own the site, are hoping to attract visitors to a high unemployment area.

But some tribal members say this is a desecration of sacred ground.

Former astronaut Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin was among the first to go onto the walkway to join Hualapai leaders for a brief ceremony.

Credited to http://indexed.blogspot.com/


Really liked this!!

Random stuff!

I went running today, was real nice, after a long time. Muscles ached of course and felt twinges in my knee! Bloddy 25 years old and am feeling twinges in my knee! I don't know why I stop running and then when I get back to it I feel joyous about it.

Saw a dog and his owner while running. The kid (owner) was going to school with his father and the dog started running after him as he realised that the kid was going away. Both were playing a game. Then the dog stopped as the kid went away....

I spoke to a friend yesterday and he told me had realisations. As I listened to him, was struck with how profound you can get when you are on dope! :) But it was not just about dope, it was about thinking about something you read and taking it further in your own head as well and then sharing it with the world. Told him he could become a guru if he wanted. :)

Its funny how you remember something and the thought keeps you smiling like an idiot for hours. I am smiling right now :D

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Woh Lamhe

This song has special meaning for me. U get thinking, Woh Lamhe, mins totally wot! Friends make phun of me but for me and two other friends, it sort of symbolised our friendship that year!

These words especially
Saagar ki,
Gehraayi se,
Gehra hai,
Apna pyaar,
Sehraoun ki,
In hawaon me,
Kaise aayeee-gi bahaar,
Kahan se ye hawa aayi,
Ghataayen kaali kyoun chhaayi,
Khafaa hogaye hum,
Judaa hogaye hum....

It became our song and we still call it that.. I always remember
us together when I listen to the song!
Here's to Munnu and Man!

By special request..beauty tip of the day

When you wash your hair, you must make sure that it is squeaky clean!! :D

Thursday, March 08, 2007

No more...

How to French Kiss

I could not resist especially after seeing this link! I mean oh my god...there is a wikihow to French Kiss!! HHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHHHA

You have seen it done often in the movies and probably on the street in darkened corners. The French kiss is a timeless and passionate gesture of romantic affection. Whether you live in Paris, France or Paris, Texas, you can learn how to kiss like the French do without an embarrassing faux pas!

Steps

  1. Freshen your breath.You never want to have bad breath when you are about to kiss someone, whether the kiss is a French kiss or not. Because your mouth will be open in a French kiss, fresh breath is especially important. Practice good dental hygiene. Carry mints with you if you think there is even so much as a hint of a chance you might kiss. Avoid foods that leave an unpleasant aftertaste or residue, particularly garlic, onions, milk, and corn.
  2. Moisten your lips. Dry lips do not move well together, but you do not want them to be dripping wet either. Just a light brush of your tongue over your lips will be sufficient to moisten them. A little bit of lip balm can help, too, but be warned, lipstick can be awfully messy so blot before you kiss.
  3. Angle your head. If your mouths meet dead-on, your noses will get in the way, and you will not be able to kiss deeply or smoothly. To avoid this, tilt your head slightly to one side. Make sure you do not both tilt your heads to the same side.
  4. Close your eyes. As you approach for the kiss, look into your partner's eyes, but, once you are close to theirs, close your eyes. It can be a bit of a turnoff to be kissing and going cross-eyed .
  5. Start with a gentle and soft closed-mouth kiss. The French kiss is an open-mouth kiss, but do not lunge in with your lips agape like you're going to eat them; instead, open your lips very slowly. If you were learning to speak French, you would probably start with the basics, vocabulary and grammar, before trying to write poetry. Well, the French kiss is like the poetry of kissing, and before you can be good at it, you have to master the closed-mouth kiss. Even after you have added French kissing to your romantic repertoire, it is usually better to start a kiss with closed lips.
  6. Go Dutch on the decision to French. Kissing should be a shared decision. You need to have permission to French kiss someone, but when your lips are locked with your theirs you may not want to stop and ask, "Hey, this is great, but can I put my tongue in your mouth?" Open your lips slowly and just a little during the kiss so that one of your lips is sandwiched between theirs and one of theirs is between yours. As you are locking and re-locking lips, brush your tongue against your partner's lips ever so slightly. This should make it clear that you want to French kiss. If your partner's tongue does not respond in like fashion or if they pull away, you will have to save the French kiss for another time when you are both ready.
  7. Explore with your tongue. If you and your partner seem to be enjoying the open-mouth kiss, slowly try to open your mouth a little bit more and gently push your tongue a little farther into their mouth. The tongue is very sensitive, and the mere act of touching your partner's tongue with your own will be very pleasant and stimulating for each of you. Do not stick your tongue too far into the mouth, as this can be a big turn-off. Instead, just gently and playfully touch tongues.
  8. Go Slow. Passionate kisses are good sometimes, but to really enjoy a French kiss, you must take it slow. Do not hurry and take time to explore each other's mouths.
  9. Mix it up. Kisses are like snowflakes: no two are exactly the same. Once you finally feel comfortable French kissing someone, it is tempting to try to do the same thing every time. Add variety. Sometimes kiss deeper, for example, and other times pay more attention to the lips than the tongue. Hold the kiss longer or shorter and explore the art of kissing. When something feels good for each of you, do not abandon it for the sake of variety.
  10. Read Body LanguageEverybody kisses a little differently, and each person enjoys different things in a kiss - there is no "right" way to kiss. What separates good kissers from bad is an ability to read a partner's body language and be responsive to their partner. Of course if your partner pulls away or seems uncomfortable at any time, understand that you have to slow it down. Listen for cues that tell how much your partner is enjoying a particular kissing maneuver. If you hear a sigh or moan, or they begin kissing you back with increased intensity, realize that they are responding with fervor.
  11. Develop your style. Good French kissing, like good kissing of any kind, requires practice. You will get better as you do it more. In addition, the more practice you have with one person, the more comfortable you will feel kissing them and developing a style that suits both of you.

    Tips

  • Breathe!Forgetting to breathe is probably the most common French kissing error. Do not hold your breath--everybody needs to breathe, and it is a lot more awkward when you have to pull away gasping for air than if you're breathing normally. Breathe through your nose, and try to keep a normal rhythm. As you and your partner grow comfortable with the kiss, you can try breathing through your mouth a little: sharing breaths as well can be romantic (but not everybody likes it).
  • Teeth are a sensitive subject. You definitely do not want to bump teeth with each other. It is not only awkward, but can hurt as well. It might inevitably happen at times, so do not worry when it does. You may want to try rubbing the backs or fronts of the teeth of the other person with your tongue. This can create a ticklish feeling that might enhance your kiss. Not everyone enjoys having someones tongue rubbing on their teeth, and many do not like to touch teeth with their tongue.
  • Not everybody likes to be kissed the same way, so while your former partner might have enjoyed one method of kissing, your new love might not. You need to learn to read signals and adapt to a style that's comfortable for each each of you. This works in reverse, too. Just because someone doesn't kiss you like you are used to does not mean they are a bad kisser. As long as you are not uncomfortable with the kiss, try to be open-minded, as you just might like the new style.
  • Be an active partner. If someone is French kissing you and you want them to do so, do not just sit there but get into the kiss. Reciprocate their actions, and alternate taking the lead on the movements of your tongues and lips. If you are uncomfortable with any part of the kiss, do not be afraid to pull away or gently close your lips. This will give your your partner the hint.
  • There are no rules for how long you should hold a kiss. If you feel uncomfortable at any time, break the kiss; otherwise, just enjoy it until one or both of you slowly pull apart, usually together. It is extremely romantic to lightly suck your partner's upper or bottom lip as you part. You might find yourselves returning to kissing, after each of you takes a breath.
  • Use your hands. Your hands are important to kissing, and you should use them to make the kiss more romantic. Gently hold your partner's face with your hands on their cheeks and their neck, or wrap your arms around your partner in an embrace. The most important thing about using your hands is that you respect your partner's boundaries. Play with their ears or run your fingers through their hair, as this is very stimulating. The second most important thing (much less important than the first) is that your hands should do something. Don't just let them hang at your sides; it will seem like you're not into the kiss, and you'll look like an ape.
  • Talk about it. A lot of people have difficulty talking about intimacy, but open communication is important to all parts of a relationship. If you really like the way your partner kisses you, let them know. If you don't like something, also let your partner know that, but approach it delicately and compliment them at the same time on something they did that you liked. Even if the kiss goes all wrong, it can still be an intimate affair if you can both laugh about it together!

Warnings

  • When you use your tongue to nudge your partner's lips, don't press hard, and don't keep trying if they do not want to open their lips. Do not force a person into a French kiss as your partner will resent you if you do.
  • Offer your partner a breath mint, and take one yourself before kissing. This ensures that you won't be recoiling from your date nor they from you.
  • To some people a hard tongue is a turn-off. Keep tongue and lips soft and supple...think of the pressure used to lick a soft servie ice cream cone, no probing with a stiff tongue unless the other enjoys it. use variations too to mix it up. Now go practice!
  • You can still French kiss if one or both of you has braces, but you should be careful to prevent the braces from touching each other. Also avoid touching the braces with your tongue (you could cut your tongue).
  • Excessive saliva can build up during a French kiss, and that can interfere with the romantic moment. Swallow periodically without breaking the kiss. If you have trouble doing that, do not be afraid to pull away for a moment.
  • If you ever feel uncomfortable or do not want to move forward with any move your partner is attempting, pull away and let your partner know that you want to stop. Be firm. It's OK to say no.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

I want a job here and I could sell my soul for it

France on Tuesday signed a controversial deal worth one billion euros (1.3 billion dollars) to set up a satellite of the famed Louvre museum by 2012 in the oil-rich United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Under the 30-year agreement, the government of Abu Dhabi, capital of the UAE, will pay 400 million euros (525 million dollars) just for the Louvre brand name, of which 150 million euros will be paid within a month.

‘This is a fair price for using the brand name,’ Louvre chairman Henri Loyrette told AFP.

French Culture Minister Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres and the head of the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority, Shaikh Sultan bin Tahnoun Al Nahayan, signed the unprecedented accord at the city’s luxury Emirates Palace hotel.

The project has sparked outrage in France where some 4,650 people -- including dozens of museum directors, curators and art historians -- have signed a petition in protest.

Critics accuse the Louvre of ‘selling its soul’ by loaning out its prized collections overseas, and dismiss the Abu Dhabi project as a gimmick that will deprive the Louvre’s 7.3 million annual visitors in Paris.

But Loyrette and his department heads say it will contribute to the spread of French culture and benefit museums in France financially.

The ‘Louvre Abu Dhabi,’ as it is be named, will be built on the island of Saadiyat off Abu Dhabi.

Construction of the 24,000-square-metre (260,000-square foot) gallery, designed by French architect Jean Nouvel, will start later this year and cost 83 million euros (109 million dollars).

The government of Abu Dhabi, the largest and wealthiest of the UAE’s seven members, will pick up the tab.

The accord signed Tuesday sets the stage for the establishment of a universal museum dominated by classical Western art covering ‘all civilisations and all eras, including the comtemporary era,’ while respecting the two sides’ ‘cultural values.’

French museums will loan out artworks for a maximum of two years on a voluntary basis to the museum, in an arrangement that will last 10 years.

Some 300 works will be loaned out in the first four years, with the number going down to 250 and 200 in the next two three-year periods.

A ‘reasonable’ number of the artworks will have to come from the Louvre, the agreement says, without defining what would be considered ‘reasonable.’

‘We will be able to (loan out) major pieces without emptying the Louvre,’ Loyrette said.

The Louvre Abu Dhabi will be one of four prestigious museums, including a Guggenheim contemporary art museum, to be built in a ‘cultural district’ on Saadiyat.

The Abu Dhabi government plans to turn the island into a world class tourist resort and a home for 150,000 people by 2018 as part of an effort to snare a larger slice of the Gulf region’s booming tourist industry.

Do you indulge in "Slow Time"?

Again, a friend sent this to me and its a very good and interesting philosophy! I could try but don't think I am going to make it with this philosophy...

An interesting reflection: Slow Down Culture

It's been 18 years since I joined Volvo, a Swedish company. Working for them has proven to be an interesting experience. Any project here takes 2 years to be finalized, even if the idea is simple and brilliant. It's a rule.

Globalize processes have caused in us (all over the world) a general sense of searching for immediate results. Therefore, we have come to posses a need to see immediate results. This contrasts greatly with the slow movements of the Swedish. They, on the other hand, debate, debate, debate, hold x quantity of meetings and work with a slowdown scheme. At the end, this always yields better results.

Said in another words:

1.
Sweden is about the size of San Pablo , a state in Brazil .

2.
Sweden has 2 million inhabitants.

3. Stock holm, has 500,000 people.

4. Volvo, Escania, Ericsson, Electrolux, Nokia are some of its renowned companies. Volvo supplies the NASA.

The first time I was in
Sweden , one of my colleagues picked me up at the hotel every morning. It was September, bit cold and snowy. We would arrive early at the company and he would park far away from the entrance (2000 employees drive their car to work). The first day, I didn't say anything, either the second or third. One morning I asked, "Do you have a fixed parking space? I've noticed we park far from the entrance even when there are no other cars in the lot." To which he replied, "Since we're here early we'll have time to walk, and whoever gets in late will be late and need a place closer to the door. Don't you think? Imagine my face.

Nowadays, there's a movement in
Europe name Slow Food. This movement establishes that people should eat and drink slowly, with enough time to taste their food, spend time with the family, friend s, without rushing. Slow Food is against its counterpart: the spirit of Fast Food and what it stands for as a lifestyle. Slow Food is the basis for a bigger movement called Slow Europe , as mentioned by Business Week.

Basically, the movement questions the sense of "hurry" and "craziness" generated by globalization, fueled by the desire of "having in quantity" (life status) versus "having with quality", "life quality" or the "quality of being". French people, even though they work 35 hours per week, are more productive than Americans or British. Germans have established 28.8 hour workweeks and have seen their productivity been driven up by 20%. This slow attitude has brought forth the
US 's attention, pupils of the fast and the "do it now!".

This no-rush attitude doesn't represent doing less or having a lower productivity. It means working and doing things with greater quality, productivity, perfection, with attention to detail and less stress. It means reestablishing family values, friends, free and leisure time. Taking the "now", present and concrete, versus the "global", undefined and anonymous. It means taking humans' essential values, the simplicity of living.

It stands for a less coercive work environment, more happy, lighter and more productive where humans enjoy doing what they know best how to do. It's time to stop and think on how companies need to develop serious quality with no-rush that will increase productivity and the quality of products and services, without losing the essence of spirit.

In the movie, Scent of a Woman, there's a scene where Al Pacino asks a girl to dance and she replies, "I can't, my boyfriend will be here any minute now". To which Al responds, "A life is lived in an instant". Then they dance to a tango.

Many of us live our lives running behind time, but we only reach it when we die of a heart attack or in a car accident rushing to be on time. Others are so anxious of living the future that they forget to live the present,
which is the only time that truly exists. We all have equal time throughout the world. No one has more or less. The difference lies in how each one of us does with our time. We need to live each moment. As John Lennon said, "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans".

Campus Exposure

A friend sent me this article and it registered that we are a million years away from this sort of openness about ourselves, our body and how we live our lives sexually.

Some excerpts from the article:

In an era when the educated elite seems wholly comfortable with overt sexual imagery (Nerve.com depicts highbrow group gropes; Fleshbot.com and others archly parse the nether parts of Paris and Britney), maybe it’s not so strange that students are confronting their own sex lives so graphically and publicly. But there’s more to the phenomenon. Considering that a smorgasbord of Internet porn is but a mouse click away for most college students, there’s something valiant, even quaint, about the attempt to organize and consider sex in a printed magazine. It’s as if, though curious to explore the possibly frightening boundlessness of adult eroticism, they also wish to keep it at arm’s length, contained within the safety of the campus. The students involved display a host of contradictory qualities: cheekiness and earnestness, progressive politics and retro sensibilities, salacity and sensitivity. They aren’t so much answering the question of what is and what isn’t porn — or what those categories might even mean today — as artfully, disarmingly and sometimes deliberately skirting it.

Despite the sex magazines’ brash names and general air of exuberance, a scrim of protectiveness, even primness hangs over many of them — a vestige, perhaps, of a not-so-distant past when topics like date rape, sexual harassment and AIDS were dominating the national discourse. Seminars addressing these issues are still a part of most freshman orientations, though mention of the infamous Antioch sex code of the early 1990s — which postulated that students should secure their partner’s verbal consent, button by button, before each stage of lovemaking — tends to evoke blank stares and giggles from the undergraduates of 2007. Still, though personal online pages on Web sites like MySpace or home videos on YouTube often reveal as much as students do in these magazines, Squirm’s release form specifies that the magazine is intended solely for on-campus distribution and that students retain the copyright to their contributions. “We try to limit unwanted exposure as much as we can,” wrote its current editor, Sarah Fraser, in an e-mail message. “It’s one thing to know you’re posing nude or writing erotica for an insulated campus, and understandably quite another to know it’s being disseminated widely.” After a brief initial flurry of publicity, Kimi Traube, one of Outlet’s founders, began declining interviews from noncampus press. “We’re flattered by all the attention but have decided it’s best for the magazine to focus our energies on the Columbia community,” she said, also via e-mail. The current editor of H Bomb, Ming Vandenberg, is especially concerned about the security of the magazine’s content on the Web. “I am trying to design a foolproof plan to prevent any negative externalities,” she said, adding with a note of horror, “There could be a photo of a clothed Harvard student that someone goes into, chops the head off and puts it on an unclothed body.”

These publications vary in tone and content, but while all strive to be provocative after a fashion, they generally eschew the term “pornographic,” hurling it as an insult with the good-natured mutual contempt of varsity football teams. “Outlet ... is not intended to be porn,” sniffs a December letter from Traube to readers, saucily addressed “Dear Hotbottoms.” “They do a very good job of that over at Harvard.” On their Web site, Harvard staff members retort: “If you aren’t mature enough to tell the difference between playful nudity and pornography you probably shouldn’t be reading H Bomb.”

The exception is Boink, which Oleyourryk calls “user-friendly porn”: an unblushing assortment of bared private parts, lewd prose and graphic caricatures. With its panoply of contributors — about 50 percent of whom are enrolled at B.U., most of the rest at other colleges — Boink is the most independent and commercially ambitious of the pack, and at first glance the least interested in critical thought. It retails for $7.95 at Newbury Comics and other stores in the Boston area, has a print run of 10,000 and, atypically for a college publication, pays its contributors. Boink has also sponsored a number of parties, some shut down by the police for under-age drinking.

An ode to a winemaker

The man who helped to create an international market for Californian wine, Ernest Gallo, has died, aged 97.

He went into business with his brother, Julio, in 1933, after the United States abandoned the prohibition of alcohol.

From humble beginnings, E & J Gallo Winery thrived with Julio making the wine and Ernest dealing with marketing.

It became the world's biggest wine-producing company, although it was later overtaken by Constellation Brands of New York.

Ernest Gallo died peacefully surrounded by his family in the Californian town of Modesto, where he was born almost 98 years ago.

With Julio, he founded the company in 1933 with less than $6,000, after learning about viticulture from their Italian immigrant parents.

They made $30,000 in their first year, and gradually expanded their business to include more vineyards, a glass plant, warehouses and distribution chains.

Shunning publicity

"My brother Julio and I worked to improve the quality of wines from California and to put fine wine on American dinner tables at a price people could afford," said Ernest Gallo, in an interview on his 90th birthday.

The company now sells an estimated 75 million cases of wine a year.

Ernest Gallo was a courteous but tenacious businessman, and he and his brother, who died in 1993, avoided publicity.

According to colleagues, this was because of their parents' violent deaths.

Joseph Gallo shot dead his wife Susie, and then killed himself in June 1933, two months before the brothers founded their business.

E & J Gallo Winery is now run by Ernest Gallo's son, Joseph.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Amazing Sci-Fi Predictions

1. CCTV – as imagined by George Orwell in ‘1984’ (1949)
In one of the most famous dystopian imaginings, George Orwell plunged his character Winston into a world of paranoia and suspicion, watched over by the sinister Big Brother. First published back in 1949, Orwell pictured a life where the populace was watched over by telescreens, with nobody ever sure if they were being watched. CCTV arrived as a means of watching the public in the 1970s, and there are now an estimated four million cameras in the UK alone.

2. The Internet – as imagined by Mark Twain in ‘From the London Times of 1904’ (1898)
"The improved 'limitless-distance' telephone was presently introduced, and the daily doings of the globe made visible to everybody, and audibly discussable too, by witnesses separated by any number of leagues."

3. Geosynchronous Satellite – as imagined by Arthur C Clarke in ‘Extra-Terrestrial Relays’ Wireless World magazine (1945)
Arthur C. Clarke came up with one of the most astoundingly accurate predictions of our time when he postulated that a network of geosynchronous satellites that revolved at the same speed as the earth and therefore remained in the same position over it, could make global communication possible. Hermann Oberth in his 1920 book ‘Die Rakete zu den Planetenraumen’ and John R. Pierce also have claims to have come up with the idea. Although this idea was not first published in a fictional context but in a scientific forum, Clarke also used the idea in his books.

4. The video iPod – as imagined by HG Wells in ‘When The Sleeper Wakes’ (1899)
Wells, the writer of some of the most important books in science fiction, came up with a device that sounds almost exactly like a modern day media player such as a video iPod in his book ‘When The Sleeper Wakes. His version was a flat square with a little picture that was ‘very vividly coloured.’ Not only were the people on the screen moving, but they were conversing with clear small voices.

A little bit more a stretch for this one, but back in 1898, Twain wrote of a global communications network called the telelectroscope that you could see and hear through – pretty good going for the 19th Century! The Internet, or at least the American military precursor to it named ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency NETwork), was first brought about in 1969, as a way of keeping lines of communication open in the event of a major attack during the Cold War.

5. Test-tube babies – as imagined by Aldous Huxley in 'Brave New World' (1932)
Brave New World is one of the most famous glimpses into an imagined future, and author Aldous Huxley’s imagination conjured up a world where the population is not born naturally but from a machine, where their genes can be perfected and the nutrition controlled. This pre-dates the arrival of so-called test tube babies, where the egg is fertilised outside of the body, by some 46 years – although in reality a human is still needed for the pregnancy, which means you'll have to hold off on suggesting a test-tube baby's star sign is Pyrex...

6. CD/DVD – as imagined by EE ‘Doc’ Smith in 'Triplanetary' . (1934)
In Smith’s book Triplanetary, the author talks of records surviving a noxious gas attack because they were on playable discs of platinum alloy. Although CDs and DVDs are, of course, not platinum alloy, a metallic looking storage disc is fairly prescient.

7. Robot – as imagined by Karel Capek - 'Rossum’s Universal Robots' (1920)
There are links to mechanical servants traceable back to Greek Mythology and the legend of Pygmalion, but the first use of the word robot in its modern usage comes from Capek’s play R.U.R – the root is from the Czech word ‘robota’ which means drudgery, although the author kindly gave credit to his brother Josef who had suggested the term.

8. Nanobots – as imagined by Raymond Z Gallun in 'A Menace in Minature' Astounding Stories magazine (1937)
Gallun talks of ‘Scarabs’, a machine constructed by man which in turn constructs a replica of itself that is much smaller and so on, until you have an ‘ultra-microbot. This is an idea that caught on in a major way in fiction, and work is still ongoing on a real working nanobot to this day.

9. The Screensaver – as imagined by Robert Heinlein in 'Stranger in a Strange Land' (1961)
Heinlein talks of a television screen ‘disguised as an aquarium’ in his book Stranger in a Strange land, with guppies and tetras swimming around, describing the now familiar site of a computer screen with fish floating serenely across it. Screen savers were brought in to stop an image being burnt on to a screen, and even the advent of monitors much more resistant to this problem has not really curbed their usage.

10. Scuba diving – as imagined by Jules Verne in '20,000 Leagues Under The Sea' (1875)
Although diving gear was nothing new, even in 1875, it was then only possible through a pipe to the surface and a semi-rigid suit. Captain Nemo introduces Arronnax to a portable system of diving in which air is compressed into a tank that is then ‘fixed on the back by means of braces, like a soldier’s knapsack.’ The progression of the aqualung continued through the early part of the 20th century, but was not perfected until the 1940s.

Images of fashion?


Haute couture in gay Paris

Coats: Cocoon back; military; stand-away, A-line peacoahooded; fur/feather chubbies.

Jackets: Studded mess jackets; crested blazers; tailcoat backs;belted; square-cut; military details.

Skirts: Slim over-the-knee; full circle from hips; return of the A-line.

Pants: Skinny; drop-crotch jodhpurs; high-waist; occasionally big and cuffed.

Knits: Clotted-cream thick, hefty cables; boyfriend sweaters; angora.

Dresses: Tunics; A-line; strong-shouldered shifts; short- hem skating dresses; high-waist; crystals for day and evening.

Hats: Deep-crown felt; pouchy berets; caps; hoods.

Gloves: Elbow length; leather; suede; crocodile; shearling.

Belts: Deep and corset-cinching; studded.

Hosiery: Ribbed knit hose; bright colors; studded, ribbon patterns; knee-high socks.

Shoes: Platform soles; ankle boots; patent leather; crocodile.

Bags: Soft-fold envelope; ultra-large; knit and fur.

Colors: Wine red; mallard blue; violet; mustard; orange; absinthe green. Neutrals: black; anthracite; gray.

Fabrics: Plastic; nylon; laminated cloth; fake and real alligator; cashmere; angora.

Fur and feathers: Sheared mink; plucked fox; astrakhan; mink or rabbit with knit. Cock feathers; swan's-down; pheasant quill plumes.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Swiss Accidentally Invade Liechtenstein

What a phatte story!

What began as a routine training exercise almost ended in an embarrassing diplomatic incident after a company of Swiss soldiers got lost at night and marched into neighboring Liechtenstein.

According to Swiss daily Blick, the 170 infantry soldiers wandered just over a mile across an unmarked border into the tiny principality early Thursday before realizing their mistake and turning back.

A spokesman for the Swiss army confirmed the story but said that there were unlikely to be any serious repercussions for the mistaken invasion.

''We've spoken to the authorities in Liechtenstein and it's not a problem,'' Daniel Reist told The Associated Press.

Officials in Liechtenstein also played down the incident.

Interior ministry spokesman Markus Amman said nobody in Liechtenstein had even noticed the soldiers, who were carrying assault rifles but no ammunition. ''It's not like they stormed over here with attack helicopters or something,'' he said.

Liechtenstein, which has about 34,000 inhabitants and is slightly smaller than Washington DC, doesn't have an army.