Monday, July 23, 2007

Future perfect?

Argentina's under-20 team win the football u-20 world cup. They beat Czech Republic 2-1. They have now won 5 out of last 7 under-20 world cups. The future looks promising, isn't it?

Argentina current national team of very talented players often start favorites (ahead of Brazil) at every championship they play. But after living up to their billing at the beginning, they seem to run out of steam against tough teams in the later stage. In WC 2006, they lost to Germany when everyone was expecting them to defeat the Germans comprehensively. In Copa America 2007, they lost to a Brazil side sans Ronaldinho and Kaka in the final, beaten fairly easily. All this after dominating previous matches. It must be heart-breaking for Argentinian fans. They seem to have all the talent, but can't seem to win when it matters. Seen in this context, their under-20 team's world cup win is something to savor. Hope this team of future superstars will dominate the world stage in the future.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Stray dogs shot dead - yet again!!

Read a news item in the Hindu today - it said around a dozen stray dogs were shot dead by 'Narikuravas' in a multiplex in ECR.

These Narikuravas were employed by the management of the multiplex. From the article, I am assuming the 'multiplex in ECR' they are talking about is Mayajaal. Why can't they just say Mayajaal instead of saying 'a multiplex along East Coast Road'? But thats not the point here.

Is there no other way to curb the stray dog menace other than killing those poor animals? They could have thrown stones and scared them away or something of that sort. But why kill them? Really shocking! Man's best friend is killed by man himself.

Update: Around a dozen animal rights activists protest in front of Mayajaal. This news item was seen in Hindu couple of days ago.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Monday, July 09, 2007

Argentina blank Peru

Great stuff from Argentina. They defeat Peru 4-0; enter Copa America semis.

Watch all the action

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Wah Taj - TAJ Mahal makes it to the list

All those campaigns for getting people to vote for Taj Mahal has paid off. The Taj has made it to the list of 7 new wonders of the world, announced by the new7wonders foundation. Though some people have dismissed this online poll as a marketing gimmick and UNESCO has distanced itself from this campaign, this does not take away anything from the victory.

AR Rahman fans will also be happy about this victory for Taj Mahal. Thats because ARR also had a part to play in this campaign. He came up with a specially composed Taj Anthem and that really gave Taj the much needed impetus to win this online poll.

I can think of some immediate benefits for Taj as a result of this victory. For one, it will attract more media attention worldwide, which in turn will attract more tourists to it. Thats good in one way. But the Indian government and local authorities of Agra should also be prepared to take in more visitors if they are to convert this influx of visitors to revenue. They should properly maintain the serenity and splendor of the Taj as well. No doubt, it will be a huge challenge for them. Secondly, more money will be pumped in to spruce up the Taj and it will help with lots of repair and maintenance work. I just hope this money is spend wisely and does not fall into the wrong hands.

How far will this victory help the Taj (and India) in the longer run? Only time can tell. For the moment though, we can all say 'Wah Taj'!

Friday, July 06, 2007

Indian Players at Wimbledon

Wimbledon is the world's most prestigious tennis tournament with a long history dating back to 1887. Yet through all these years, no Indian (or Asian) has ever won the singles title!!

The best Indian performance so far at Wimbledon is by Ramanathan Krishnan. He reached the semifinals 2 consecutive times in the 1960s, losing out to eventual winners on both occasions. His son Ramesh Krishnan reached Wimbledon quarterfinals in 1986. Vijay Amritraj also reached quarterfinals 2 times in the 70s. After that, there is nothing much to say about Indian players in Wimbledon singles. Of course, in doubles we have had some good performances over the years by Anand/Vijay Amritraj and later on by LeanderPaes and Mahesh Bhupathi. But singles is a different matter altogether.

I have always thought why a nation of 2 billion people is not able to produce a single tennis champion? It cannot be the money factor. Even poorer countries like Serbia are producing very good players like Ana Ivanovic. Anyway there are lots of Indians who can afford tennis training now.

Just wondering, wouldn't it be great if India can produce players who can actually dominate world tennis? Our latest tennis hope is Sania Mirza. But she seems to be mostly inconsistent, often going out in the 2nd or 3rd rounds of big tournaments.

What are your views ? When do you think an Indian will win Wimbledon singles title?

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Taj Mahal - A R Rahman video

Remember the vote for Taj Mahal campaign for which AR Rahman lend a helping hand by composing a special anthem? Now here is the music video for that song. must watch for ARR fans!

Monday, July 02, 2007

Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton the most recent sci-fi novel i've read. Very good stuff from Michael, one of my favorite authors.

Its amazing to know this book was published in 1968 and was one of the bestsellers of that time. Some of the concepts mentioned in this book are just out of this world, and they stand relevant even to this day. Many similar themes have been shown in later sci-fi movies.

I also heard that a movie by the same name was made in 1971. It would be interesting to watch that one.

This is my third Michael Crichton novel. I've also read Jurassic Park and Sphere. After reading 3 sci-fi books from Michael Crichton, I can almost see a common pattern through his novels.

1. The main characters are always scientists, or a group of scientists.
2. The way the plot develops is very similar. An out-of-the-world incident/accident happens somewhere in some remote corner of the world, for which there is no explanation. But most of the time, some secret government agency will be aware of it or will be tracking such happenings. And they will send a group of scientists to investigate. This group will be typically 4-5 member group and might or might not include a woman.
3. The group members might not agree among themselves at all points during the investigation. There will definitely be some kind of mistrust and/or betrayal between them.
4. The antagonists are mostly: aliens from outer space/extraterrestrial organisms/man-made organisms. They will have unimaginable strength and man can only fight them with his brain.
5. At the end of the story, all the group members might not survive.
6. Most of his novels seem to feature wonderful technology gone awfully wrong and seem to have some sort of hidden message to mankind. For instance, Jurassic Park had a wonderful message - "Do not fiddle with mother nature. Dinosaurs are extinct creatures because nature wanted them to be extinct. Bringing them back to life means you are going against nature".

I really like the way he uses technology in his novels. He explains them so very well that any one will be able to understand and appreciate it. I'm now looking forward to read some of his more recent works like Timeline or Prey.