Monday, October 17, 2005

Indoor football

The world gets crazier by the day.

Gaurav Sabnis, yes the same guy who has launched a thousand petitions in the blog world, reminisces about something unique he saw in Germany some time back.

In this particular urinal in this particular bathroom in this particular restaurant in Munich, placed on top of the holes, was green gauze. On top of the green gauze, was a small plastic goal. And in front of it, was a tiny naphthalene ball which looked like a football. The whole purpose of this contraption was to let you have some fun while peeing. You could aim at the ball and direct it into the goal.

I googled around a bit and even managed to locate a picture over here.

I was amazed at the sheer ingenuity of this product. I was later told that these urinal-football-kits are very popular in football-crazy Europe. Spare a thought for the guy who "invented" them. Can you honestly deny him a place alongside Edison, Da Vinci and ben Franklin, as one of the greatest minds to grace this planet?

Oh by the way, I scored 4 goals!

I couldn't believe it until I saw the picture. I mean, what the hell !

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Bharateeya Blog Mela

Bharateeya Blog Mela at indiagenie.blogspot.com


The blogosphere this week was on fire, with the sordid IIPM story ruling the roost. Though I was tempted to start off with a round up of some of the many excellent posts on the issue, I did not do so because -

a) I have already linked to quite a few of them in my previous post here.

b) I simply cannot include enough of those to call them a really representative sample of the spontaneous uproar that it has entailed. There are far too many.

Leaving that burning issue aside, I proceed to the rest of the many excellent nominations I recieved over the past 1 week.

Arzan, representing the Parsi Khabar, announces the 100 post landmark and invites
more contributions on the same.

NP Ojha, of Saara Akash, wonders
Ek hi ulloo kaafi tha, barbaad-e-gulistan ke liye
Har shaakh pe ulloo baitha hai, anjaam-e-gulistan kya hoga

Akshay, goes on a trip to gastronomic heaven, reminiscing about Berry Pulao at an old Parsi joint in Mumbai.

Minal, waxes eloquent about Iqbal
, and gets inspired in the process.

Vivek, paints an evocative picture of life in Afghanistan and makes me wish I was in his shoes.

Arzan, in overdrive this week, talks about Navratri in Afghanistan, linking to some really nice pictures of the Bamiyan Buddha statues that are no more, and comments on the spurt in sales of condoms during dandiya celebrations in Gujarat.

Mediumlatte is furious about the latest fad of wearing colored bands to support different causes.

In the festive mood,Sreekanth throws up some intriguing parallels between the Darwinian theory of evolution and Indian mythology.

Neelakantan explains what is bringing the dollars rolling into the coffers of IT companies in India.

Sakshi Juneja sees a ray of hope in the new Domestic Violence Bill 2005. She also expresses her fondness for the Parsi community.

Roop Rai expresses her views on the paradox inherent in "Unconditional Love".

And to round it all, Juneflower lists out her views on legalising the oldest profession in the world.

Just before I was about to hit publish, I recieved a nomination through the rather informal channel of Instant Messenger and after reading through the post, could not resist including it, though it does not fall inside the time window. Blame it on my emotional bent-of-mind or whatever, do read it here.


The Bharateeya Blog Mela can also be found at The Truth Laid Bear's UberCarnival

Friday, October 14, 2005

the unsavoury saga continues...

Well, just when I thought it couldn't get any murkier, it does exactly that.

For most of the readers, the IIPM vs Blogosphere story is certainly well known by now.

Starting with JAM Magazine's expose on the institute, and Gaurav Sabnis' impassioned support of the same, things took a ugly turn when the institute in question decided to serve legally notarised and tagged email notices to both of them for alleged defamatory comments with dire threats of all kinds of action.

As if that was not enough, they went on to start a concerted campaign of commenting on blogs in favor of IIPM and lambasting anyone who dared to think beyond their blubber and spoke against them. They even stooped so low that they started posting extremely personal and uncharitable comments to an extent that certainly constitutes libel and slander.

Not satisfied, they put pressure on Gaurav's employers, IBM, to force him to apologise, failing which they threatened to burn all the laptops they had purchased from IBM. IBM did not succumb, at least thats what Gaurav himself says, but Gaurav still resigned from IBM, stating that he does not IBM to get any negative publicity due to him.

As more and more bloggers started pitching in with their support for the embattled duo, IIPM's legal cell went into overdrive, serving more notices and broadened its campaign of vile comments to include other blogs too.

Stung by this blatantly outrageous behavior, the blogger community has joined ranks with both Amit Verma and Desipundit maintaining a rather comprehensive compendium of all the voices being raised. Do visit them for the latest on this topic.

In the meantime, inspired by Arzan's research into IIPM's international connections, which threw up some interesting bits of information, and then some more, Gawker, of The Renegade of Junk, snooped around in the websites of both IIPM and IMI, the institute that awards degrees to IIPM students, since IIPM is not recognised by any statutory body in India, and found some remarkably unsavoury things.

Digging deeper, Transmogrifier, of Transmogrified, found some remarkable similarities between the websites of IMI, BBS and EBMS.

But hold on... IMI and EBMS both have same contact address, phone numbers and both have campuses in Antwerp and Brussels, as we can see from their contact pages (IMI, EBMS). So, could it be that there is just one school with two websites and two different names? Why? I don't understand this.

Now you will say, "So what? What about BBS? It is physically at a different place (Barcelona) and has a different name too." Very well. I presume it must be having different students too. I think it is highly improbable that these schools located at different places can have the same students. But guess what... different students studying at different schools have surprisingly come up with "exactly the same" testimonials [IMI, BBS, EBMS] singing the glory of these schools. Or was it that "BA graduate from Russia" simply attended all of these schools and found that they are really the same. Curiously none of these students seem to have any names or addresses.

Looking into the nitty-gritties, Puneet, of PuneetWorld, found that IIPM sympathisers are trying to influence Google and other Search Engines' rankings for their blogs and websites by questionable methods. Read it here. Its pretty interesting to say the least.

I frankly wish someone got down to the bottom of this whole murky thing and brought everything into the open.

The Go-to guy for captains

The excellent folks over at Wisden Cricinfo keep coming up with some really insightful analysis on the basis of data culled from their massive database of numbers.

In this latest analysis, S Rajesh has compiled a nice summary of the players winning captains have turned to whenever they have needed a match winning performance and the returns they have got.

In what came as a nice surprise, Rahul Dravid leads the world by a fair margin as the Man Friday for Saurav Ganguly.

Among batsmen, no-one has done more for a team's win under a single captain than Dravid has under Ganguly's leadership. Dravid has been a part of every single one of the 21 wins that Ganguly has achieved, and his scores in those matches are quite staggering: 2571 runs, with nine hundreds - three of them double-centuries - and ten fifties in 32 innings, and a mindboggling average of 102.84. He contributed nearly 23% of the total runs scored by India in those games, that's almost one out of every four runs the team scored.

The only batsman who comes close to those figures is Greg Chappell. When he was leading Australia, he scored over 21% of the runs and made them at more than 80 per innings. None of the other chief contributors, save Steve Waugh under Taylor's leadership, managed such a high average.

Read the complete report here.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

tips for finding "luuuuurv" online

Here are some handy tips for those who are still on the look out.

Hello, I am a boy — No no no! NO! Don't explicitly state that! Let it be apparent from your email. And if you have to state it, for the love of God, please do NOT refer to yourself as a boy. A guy maybe but not a boy. Boy is not macho. Bond didn't set his martini down, turn to the drop-dead gorgeous babe next to him and say 'Boy. I am a boy.' Yep, there was a darn good reason for that.

I would like to make friendship with you — The most famous of all cringe-worthy sentences. Credit her with the sense to realize that you are not sending her an email to discuss the price of tomatoes. Unless she is a tomato-farming blogger, in which case that might be a good way to start a conversation. But I digress. The intent to know her more is already apparent in the sending of the email. You are writing to 'get to know her' not to 'make friendship' with her.

Read it all here. Do not miss the comments at the end.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Robin Utthappa goes berserk

Those of you who missed the blitz that Robin Utthappa unleashed yesterday night to carry India B into the finals of the NKP Salve Challenger Trophy cricket tournament have missed seeing a star in the making.

I know I am sticking my neck way out on this one, but then you dont get gut feelings like this everyday.

To get an idea of what happened, read this excerpt from Cricinfo's report on the match.

What do you do when you're at the top of an inexperienced batting order, chasing a daunting target under lights, in a must-win game against a varied bowling line-up? Play the innings of the tournament, of course. And how? Start steadily, build a partnership, up the rate after the fifth over, race along after the tenth, shift gear after the 15th, go berserk in the 16th, set the stadium ablaze in 17th, make it rain boundaries in the 18th, reduce the asking-rate drastically and walk off.

In 14 balls, Robin raced from 60 to his century and then retired hurt, only to return later and spank a couple of fours more.

Read the entire account here.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Alum Matters

I am totally at a loss of words here.

Sometime back, Rashmi of Youth Curry and editor of JAM Mag, and IIM-A alumni to boot, published her opinion on the rather aggressive claims made by a B School in North India, lets call it BSINI, and refuted most of them.

Another IIM Alumni, and active blogger, lets call him IAAB, commented on the same and supported most of what she had stated.

This happened a long time ago and all was quiet and peaceful.

Then suddenly, a few days back, many blogs with dubious names appeared on the blogosphere and then IAAB posted the "legal notice" that he recieved through email on behalf of the aforementioned BSINI and was aked to remove all his blog posts related to the topic and publish an apology for the same.

Now this IAAB was apparently so popular that, unsatisfied with the "legal notice", the BSINI went ahead and pressurised IAAB's current employer, a multinational IT firm, lets call it TBB, to force IAAB to apologize.

IAAB, clearly torn between principles of free speech and career obligations, decided to take the road less taken and resigned.

Meanwhile, lots of supposed admirers and supporters of the BSINI have begun a massive campaign in the blogosphere of commenting on all blogs related to the matter and rubbishing all claims and opinions against the BSINI. Especially vitriolic are the comments on Rashmi's blog.

What is the truth ? You decide. I am feeling sick. Very sick.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Bharateeya Blog Mela Nominations invited

Yes, the Bharateeya Blog Mela is going to be here, on this blog. Please send in your nominations, and referrals. You can use either the comments on this post or email me at indiagenie[at]gmail[dot]com.

The rules remain the same -
o All nominations must have been posted between 6th October and 13th October,2005 (both dates included).
o You are free to nominate any post that you think is worthy of mention. An India-based theme or origin would be ideal, but thats a very flexible rule.
o Nominations close 14th October 12 noon. (But nominations still need to be for blog posts within the time window specified in the first rule).

Barring some misfortune befalling someone, the Mela should be available by 14th midnight.

So start the barrage.

Attack of the cabbage

Regular readers of this blog, the damnably few there are, would recall with extreme fondness the tales of a certain female batchmate of mine which went a long way in relieving the general boredom and dispelling the myth that only those who were a cut-above-the-rest can make it to the IIMs.

Here I divulge the secret of the shocking good and prosperous health of another close friend of mine, Ravi. Have a close look.

cabbage
Yes, that is 3/4th of a raw cabbage. The other 1/4th is nestling cozily in Ravi's cavernous belly at the time of the clicking of the snap.

This snap, taken approx 12 hours later, was taken barely in time to record the last remnants of the very same cabbage being condemned to a life of oblivion with their earlier colleagues from the first quarter of the cabbage sentenced the previous day.

Last rites
Note: No grain of salt, or any other spice has been used in the consumption of this cabbage or the creation of this blog post.



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