Archive | July, 2012

Thoughts On The Batman Saga (Has Spoilers) « Random Thoughts of a Demented Mind

24 Jul

Thoughts On The Batman Saga (Has Spoilers) « Random Thoughts of a Demented Mind.

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Who is on first? Truly hilarious =))

13 Jul

You have to be old enough to remember Abbott and Costello, and too old to REALLY understand computers, to fully appreciate this. For those of us who sometimes get flustered by our computers, please read on…

If Bud Abbott and Lou Costello were alive today, their infamous sketch, ‘Who’s on First?’ might have turned out something like this: COSTELLO CALLS TO BUY A COMPUTER FROM ABBOTT

ABBOTT: Super Duper computer store. Can I help you?

COSTELLO: Thanks. I’m setting up an office in my den and I’m thinking about buying a computer.

ABBOTT: Mac?

COSTELLO: No, the name’s Lou.

ABBOTT: Your computer?

COSTELLO: I don’t own a computer. I want to buy one.

ABBOTT: Mac?

COSTELLO: I told you, my name’s Lou.

ABBOTT: What about Windows?

COSTELLO: Why? Will it get stuffy in here?

ABBOTT: Do you want a computer with Windows?

COSTELLO: I don’t know. What will I see when I look at the windows?

ABBOTT: Wallpaper.

COSTELLO: Never mind the windows. I need a computer and software.

ABBOTT: Software for Windows?

COSTELLO: No. On the computer! I need something I can use to write proposals, track expenses and run my business. What do you have?

ABBOTT: Office.

COSTELLO: Yeah, for my office. Can you recommend anything?

ABBOTT: I just did.

COSTELLO: You just did what?

ABBOTT: Recommend something.

COSTELLO: You recommended something?

ABBOTT: Yes.

COSTELLO: For my office?

ABBOTT: Yes.

COSTELLO: OK, what did you recommend for my office?

ABBOTT: Office.

COSTELLO: Yes, for my office!

ABBOTT: I recommend Office with Windows.

COSTELLO: I already have an office with windows! OK, let’s just say I’m sitting at my computer and I want to type a proposal. What do I need?

ABBOTT: Word.

COSTELLO: What word?

ABBOTT: Word in Office.

COSTELLO: The only word in office is office.

ABBOTT: The Word in Office for Windows.

COSTELLO: Which word in office for windows?

ABBOTT: The Word you get when you click the blue ‘W’.

COSTELLO: I’m going to click your blue ‘w’ if you don’t start with some straight answers. What about financial bookkeeping? You have anything I can track my money with?

ABBOTT: Money.

COSTELLO: That’s right. What do you have?

ABBOTT: Money.

COSTELLO: I need money to track my money?

ABBOTT: It comes bundled with your computer.

COSTELLO: What’s bundled with my computer?

ABBOTT: Money.

COSTELLO: Money comes with my computer?

ABBOTT: Yes. No extra charge.

COSTELLO: I get a bundle of money with my computer? How much?

ABBOTT: One copy.

COSTELLO: Isn’t it illegal to copy money?

ABBOTT: Microsoft gave us a license to copy Money.

COSTELLO: They can give you a license to copy money?

ABBOTT: Why not? THEY OWN IT!

(A few days later)

ABBOTT: Super Duper computer store . Can I help you?

COSTELLO: How do I turn my computer off?

ABBOTT: Click on ‘START’…

Reflation of Panties…

10 Jul

Gennaro is in this country for only 6 months.

He walks to work 20 blocks every day and passes a shoe store.

Each day he stops and looks in the window to admire the Boccelli leather shoes.
He wants those shoes so much… it’s all he can think about.
After about 2 months he saves the price of the shoes, $300, and purchases them.
Every Friday night the Italian community holds a dance in the church basement.
Gennaro seizes this opportunity to wear his new Boccelli leather shoes for the first time.
He asks Sophia to dance and as they dance he asks her, ‘Sophia, do you wear red panties tonight?’

Startled, Sophia replies,
‘Yes, Gennaro, I do wear red panties tonight, but how do you know?’

Gennaro answers, ‘I see the reflection in my new $300 Boccelli leather shoes. How do you like them?’

Next he asks Rosa to dance, and after a few minutes he asks,
‘Rosa, do you wear white panties tonight?’

Rosa answers,
‘Yes, Gennaro, I do, but how do you know that?’

He replies, ‘I see the reflection in my new $300 Boccelli leather shoes. How do you like them?’

Now as the evening is almost over and the last song is being played, Gennaro asks Carmela to dance.

Midway through the dance his face turns red.

He states, ‘Carmela, be stilla my heart, please, please tell me you wear no panties tonight, please, please, tella me this true!’

Carmela smiles coyly and answers, ‘Yes Gennaro, I wear no panties tonight.’

Gennaro gasps, ‘Thanka God ..
I thought I had a CRACK in my $300 Boccelli leather shoes!’

7 Jul

The International Security Observer

By Djan Sauerborn.In the annual edition of Foreign Policy’s top 10 missed stories of 2011, India’s Military buildup found itself on the top of the podium, and rightly so.[i]Not only the magnitude of modernization, but also the variety of countries selling weaponry, technology, blue-prints and know-how to India seems breath-taking. The elephant is on the rise. India today, according to SIPRI (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute), is the world’s largest weapons importer.[ii]  This new wave of arms deals covers all branches of the Armed Forces: Indian Army, Indian Navy, Indian Coast Guard, Indian Air force and Indian Paramilitary Forces. What is the strategic rationale behind these purchases? This essay seeks to answer this question by reference to the recent multi-billion dollar military aviation deal between India and France and analyze the implications and factors of India’s decision-making process.

The “Rafale” deal revisited

According to…

View original post 1,631 more words

Noah’s Ark

3 Jul

In the year 2009, the Lord came unto Noah, who was now living down under, in Australia , and said, “Once again, the earth has become wicked and over-populated, and I see the end of all flash before me. Build another Ark and save two of every living thing along with a few good humans.”

God gave Noah the blueprints, saying, “You have six months to build the Ark before I start the unending rain for forty days and forty nights.”

Six months later, the Lord looked down and saw Noah weeping in his yard – but no Ark.

“Noah!” He roared, “I’m about to start the rain! Where is the bloody Ark ?”

“Forgive me, Lord,” begged Noah, “but things have changed.”

“I needed a building permit.”

“I’ve been arguing with the inspector about the need for a sprinkler system.”

“My neighbors claim that I’ve violated the neighborhood zoning laws by building the Ark in my yard and exceeding the height limitations. We had to go to the Development Appeal Board for a decision.”

“Then the Department of Transportation demanded a bond be posted for the future costs of moving power lines and other overhead obstructions, to clear the passage for the Ark ‘s move to the sea. I told them that the sea would be coming to us, but they would hear nothing of it.”

“Getting the wood was another problem. There’s a ban on cutting local trees in order to save the spotted owl.”

“I tried to convince the environmentalists that I needed the wood to save the owls – but no go!”

“When I started gathering the animals, an animal rights group sued me. They insisted that I was confining wild animals against their will. They argued the accommodations were too restrictive, and it was cruel and inhumane to put so many animals in a confined space.”

“Then the EPA ruled that I couldn’t build the Ark until they’d conducted an environmental impact study on your proposed flood.”

“I’m still trying to resolve a complaint with the Human Rights Commission on how many minorities I’m supposed to hire for my building crew.”

“Immigration and Naturalization are checking the status of most of the people who want to work.”

“The trades unions say I can’t use my sons. They insist I have to hire only union workers with Ark-building experience.”

“To make matters worse, the Tax Office seized all my assets, claiming I’m trying to leave the country illegally with endangered species.”

“So, forgive me, Lord, but it would take at least 10 years for me to finish this Ark.”

Suddenly the skies cleared, the sun began to shine, and a rainbow stretched across the sky.

Noah looked up in wonder and asked, “You mean you’re not going to destroy the world?”

‘No,’ said the Lord. “The government beat me to it.”

Unwanted Mails & Calls – Solution or Not

3 Jul

Tips for Handling Telemarketers
Three Little Words That Work !!

(1)The three little words are: ‘Hold On, Please…’

Saying this, while putting down your phone and walking off (instead of hanging-up immediately) would make each telemarketing call so much more time-consuming that boiler room sales would grind to a halt.

Then when you eventually hear the phone company’s ‘beep-beep-beep’ tone, you know it’s time to go back and hang up your handset, which has efficiently completed its task.

These three little words will help eliminate telephone soliciting.

(2) Do you ever get those annoying phone calls with no one on the other end?

This is a telemarketing technique where a machine makes phone calls and records the time of day when a person answers the phone.

This technique is used to determine the best time of day for a ‘real’ sales person to call back and get someone at home.

What you can do after answering, if you notice there is no one there, is to immediately start hitting your # button on the phone, 6 or 7 times, as quickly as possible This confuses the machine that dialed the call and it kicks your number out of their system. Gosh, what a shame not to have your name in their system any longer !!!

(3) Junk Mail Help:

When you get ‘ads’ enclosed with your phone or utility bill, return these ‘ads’ with your payment. Let the sending companies throw their own junk mail away..

When you get those ‘pre-approved’ letters in the mail for everything from credit cards to 2nd mortgages and similar type junk, do not throw away the return envelope.

Most of these come with postage-paid return envelopes, right? It costs them more than the regular 42 cents postage ‘IF’ and when they receive them back.

It costs them nothing if you throw them away! The postage was around 50 cents before the last increase and it is according to the weight..

In that case, why not get rid of some of your other junk mail and put it in these cool little, postage-paid return envelopes.

One of Andy Rooney’s (60 minutes) ideas.

Send an ad for your local chimney cleaner to American Express. Send a pizza coupon to Citibank. If you didn’t get anything else that day, then just send them their blank application back! If you want to remain anonymous, just make sure your name isn’t on anything you send them.

You can even send the envelope back empty if you want to just to keep them guessing! It still costs them 42 cents.

The banks and credit card companies are currently getting a lot of their own junk back in the mail, but folks, we need to OVERWHELM them.

Let’s let them know what it’s like to get lots of junk mail, and best of all they’re paying for it…Twice!

Let’s help keep our postal service busy since they are saying that e-mail is cutting into their business profits, and that’s why they need to increase postage costs again You get the idea !

If enough people follow these tips, it will work —- I have been doing this for years, and I get very little junk mail anymore.

An open letter to the Chief Justice of India by Vidyut

3 Jul

Dear Sir,

I wish to write to you on an issue of vital interest to our country, the freedom of speech on the internet. We have a sizable population on the internet, and it is slated to grow phenomenally within the next decade. I don’t presume to speak about things you know better than I do, our constitution, our laws. Instead, I would like to draw your attention to the value of freedom of speech, something that has captured imaginations over the ages, always. Free Speech is something that has made heroes out of ordinary men for simply standing for it, because it holds value to populations.

Today, our country is in a precarious condition. There are concerns on every possible front from economy to human rights. We have let our country deteriorate to the point where there is frustration in the population. This frustration emerges as angry speech. There is a movement in the government to strangle the emerging flood of criticism.

I wish to make a case that freedom of speech is vital to the health of a society and to strangle it is worse than the evils of allowing it voice. Worse for the people, worse for the government, worse for the country as a whole. Blocked, anger can only accumulate out of sight and explode in unpredictable ways.

Where there are people, there are differences. A fundamental of co-existence is the ability to negotiate these differences and move from polarization to a shared objective, however minor. Be it a couple in a marriage, political parties in the parliament, or people with different fundamental views on things on the internet. These negotiations are a case of learning, and like all learning, don’t emerge perfect. The internet is not a special case in this regard, though it is being specially targeted.

The internet is particularly well suited to accommodate differences. The ability to choose what we see is of enormous significance. To object to the very existence of any content not palatable, when it can easily be avoided is intolerance.

This, when it happens among random netizens is the equivalent of children fighting over something. They figure it out with time, they settle down. There are people offended, sure. But they learn to handle that, just like we learn in real life. We are all the more mature for it. In the process of interacting about some subject, we are also learning the principles of interaction on the internet itself. But once there is the expectation that offensive content will not be allowed, then offensive content starts seeming like an injustice. Till then, it is simply something ugly to be avoided. Allowing the use of the law as a weapon against another citizen may serve a political class rooted in taking advantage of differences rather than bridging them or other criminals who prefer misuse of power over accountability, but it is always citizens being hurt.

In a democracy, unaccountable power with a few people is far more worrisome than people offending each other. Yet, there are relentless efforts in that direction. Every few months, our Minister Kapil Sibal comes up with a new rabbit out of the same hat. Sometimes over terrorism, other times over religious offense, but any statistics of use that we do have indicate political censorship, which has to date never been openly given as the reason. Increasingly, the methods are being designed to operate under radars.

Today, we are seeing increasing and unpredictable censorship. Be it cartoonists being arrested, cartoon websites being banned, cartoons to be removed from text books, or the infamous IT Rules, which give anyone the power to censor content on the internet, bypassing not only any court of law, but any authority whatsoever. This has to be the singular application of law in our country where it is impossible to collect any reliable statistics on its use, because it touches no government body of any kind in its application. There is no way of saying if this law is useful, how it is useful, how much it is used, or how it is used unless the law actually gets defied. In other words, people will have to flaunt the law of the land if they even want to escape being wrongly targeted.

That is, if they actually fight being victimized at all. A simple research project by CIS-India showed that not only were wrongful takedown requests complied with, in six out of seven cases, they were over complied with. The common man has been left high and dry by a legal process designed to create that. It defies every explanation of democracy.

Another example exists on this blog itself. I had written a post about scams in sailing. A whole range of small but profuse evasions of dues to the country over a long period of time. It was based on documents obtained through RTIs. I received a notice pointing out minor inaccuracies and blatant false claims. I corrected any inaccuracies immediately, but the very next day I received a second notice, this time as the owner of the blog to take down the content through the IT Rules. Now, as the author of the blog, I am not an intermediary. The notice wanted me to take down the post on charges of defamation. It was printed on a letter head with the names of seven advocates on it. I am a mother with a special needs child, no income, and on the verge of divorce. I have no money to hire a lawyer and fight for my ACCURATE content in courts. I have no way to know how a judge would view this, or any authority laying standards on what is allowed and what is not.

My missing post will not be recorded anywhere as a use of the law. There is nowhere to record. The procedure is intended completely among citizens. It needs no claims or even intent for justice. Vague terminology like “offensive” or “harmful” or “defamatory” is enough. Your guess is as good as mine what anyone will find offensive or harmful, and how much speech will be wiped off from the public domain silently. It isn’t defamation, if I can prove it right, but unless proven right, what is it? This naturally suits a political class intent on censorship without dirtying their hands. However, this is not in the interests of fundamental rights of the people. A person should not require to afford lawyers in order to protect their words. It is the opposite of free speech.

To the cohesive growth of any society, dialogue is important. Offense, negotiation, accommodation, compromise are all important. Without these, there are no bonds formed. There may be a superficial silence, but it is one of lack of any communication rather than harmony. When there is conflict, it is likely to become a question of one upsmanship rather than a solution seeking process. This requires greater and greater applications of power. In essence, democracy becomes slave to power. To a diverse country like India, this arbitrary handover of control over the citizen’s voice is a recipe for disaster. In the short term, it may allow power holders to score cheap points through politics of “saving honor”. In the long run, the country will be dishonored.

As the foundations of democracy itself are being bulldozed by one pillar intended to uphold it, it falls upon the other pillars to stand firm for the survival of all. It is my humble request to you to join us in our fight in restoring the right to have a voice to the common man. To do everything in your power to see that the IT Rules are overturned, and while that happens, to at least add an expectation that before finding something problematic, a minimal effort was made to avoid it at the very least.

Thanking you for your attention,

~ Vidyut