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Mon, 01 Jul 2013:

This is a written ovation to Tahatto's, "Romeo & Juliet: No Strings Attached".

I'm sure a teenager from the 90s set the score to this. The 90s teenager in me watched this and knew every sound bite was aimed right at me. To hear Pehla Nasha for Juliet's intro (and other Karan Johar references) and laugh needed someone who was 14 in the 90s - and still is.

If there is one line I will truly remember this play by, it is the monologue of Tybalt. He laments that the it is upto the villain to keep the plot moving.

And it is true, to let go of the plot takes perhaps a few good natured gestures from the villain. Perhaps to to walk away from Mercutio when the swords were drawn or perhaps even devious cunning to treat the Montague-Capulet romance as the foundation to eventually raise his own relevance in Verona. It would fall far from the material but if you need an example of what happens if the Capulets decide to lead Romeo on, watch malayalam's Godfather.

And in fact, Juliet too. Her rant about her wishes stands out in the play. Even removing the tinges of modern feminism from that monologue, it has to be admitted the men run the show. Neither Tybalt nor Romeo, well nobody at all, actually listens to her wishes for peace & love. Perhaps her suicide plot was a last ditch measure to have her thoughts heard, just like several other calls of attention which have ended in tragedy.

Even Mercutio haranguing the audience, breaking the fourth wall after his death. Only to ask if the audience is so jaded and detached, that they laugh at a man's untimely demise.

But the funniest of all are the multiple characters played by the two puppets, who despite switching characters often break to reveal that they play others as well. In particular, the death of Mercutio, only to be followed by Romeo's confusion over Benvolio played by the same. It is self-aware in a rather direct way that this is a play within the stage, performed by different hats rather than different actors.

Of course, for me the most meta reference was the play being run by the players themselves, with a very large & obvious presence of the lack of a director.

After the play is over, they decide to do it again, because to follow the script is the only way to get the girl, even if only for a little while. And therein lies the rub.

O happy dagger! [Snatches Romeo's dagger.]
This is thy sheath; there rest, and let me die.
  -- "Romeo & Juliet - Act V, Scene iii"

posted at: 12:26 | path: /fun | permalink | Tags: , ,

Thu, 06 Sep 2007:

There are moments in my life when I'm at a loss for words.

And something like that happens.

Take my advice, I don't use it anyway.

posted at: 20:52 | path: /yblr | permalink | Tags: , , ,

Fri, 24 Aug 2007:

Nearly every year, I'm usually with my entire joint family for nearly the entire half of the ten day Onam celebrations. But this year, since I'm in mourning, I hadn't thought much about going home and by the time I had gotten back from the US, it was too late to do anything. Thankfully, the office has a significant enough malayalee population to actually make a good friday out of it.

Kudos to all the folks who did all the fantastic floral work ... makes me feel right at home here :)

The worst feeling in the world is the homesickness that comes over a man occasionally when he is at home.
        -- Edgar Watson

posted at: 14:52 | path: /yblr | permalink | Tags: , ,

Thu, 16 Aug 2007:

The hustle and bustle of real life is a killer. But there's no reason for it to be a silent killer, so here's one of those mental kicking & screaming thoughts which was dragged through my head as I was wasting time in Hongkong Airport. My flight called for me before I finished this, but the time has come to acheive some closure.

To: y-blr <...>
Subject: Cubicle for Rent (rates negotiable)

One premium corner cubicle in M G Road available for rent. The cube is 
surrounded by conference rooms, fully furnished with a laptop dock,
a comfortable chair. Extensive table space, entire sixteen foot carpet
area with easy access to sofas, coffee and the pool table. 24x7 
internet access enabled, fully packed bookshelf and with neighbours used
to loud music after 7 PM.

Available for occupancy for a month and at negotiable rates.

Since it is too late to actually send that mail, I guess this is its home now. But sing with me - My cubicle ... it doesn't have a view.

If money can't buy happiness, I guess I'll just have to rent it.

posted at: 08:20 | path: /fun | permalink | Tags: , ,

Thu, 02 Aug 2007:

In the last episode of Unicode Fun, we met the non-trademark infringing xoferiF. But this time I bring you English from beyond the equator - do not attempt to adjust your screen.

¿ ʇı ǝsnqɐ ʇ,uɐɔ noʎ ɟı ǝpoɔıun sı unɟ ʇɐɥʍ 'llɐ ɹǝʇɟɐ

˙ƃuoɹʍ uǝǝɹɔs ǝɥʇ ʇɐ ƃuıʞool ǝɹ,noʎ sıɥʇ pɐǝɹ uɐɔ noʎ ɟı

In conclusion, unicode ftw.

A smile is but a frown;
Turned upside down.

posted at: 01:30 | path: /fun | permalink | Tags: , ,

Thu, 10 May 2007:

The great and awesome teemus has come up with a theme song for APC. Set to the background score of Akon's Smack That !, it goes something like this.

Cache that, give me some more,
Cache that, don't dump some core,
Cache that, don't hit the _store,
Cache that, ~ oohoooh ~

In a sort of related note, I might be singing this somewhere.

Everything in nature is lyrical in its ideal essence, tragic in its fate, and comic in its existence.
                      -- George Santayana

posted at: 01:44 | path: /fun | permalink | Tags: , ,

Mon, 26 Mar 2007:

This had to be documented, like the other offtopic masterpeices. It all starts from a mail which had a typo - "Vacancy for 1/2 girls" which evolved into a discussion about dinosaurs (don't ask). But it eventually ended up with Dinoman and spo0nman in discussion.

I know Kung-Fu: Now throw yourself back to the Matrix, the first ever episode [1] - spo0nman as Neo. dinoman as Tank and me as Morpheus.

spo0nman  : Reg-ex? I'm going to learn Reg-ex?... Holy shit.
dinoman   : Hey Mikey, I think he likes it. How about some more?
spo0nman  : Hell yes. Hell yeah.
t3rmin4t0r: How is he?
dinoman   : Ten hours straight. He's a machine.
spo0nman  : I know Regular expressions.
t3rmin4t0r: Show me.

Volley #2: Now, that alone wouldn't classify as an offtopic masterpeice. So here's the second wave with even more - in the matrix gym.

Sometime later, after t3 beats the cwap out of spo0nman,

dinoman   : There is no spoon, really.
t3rmin4t0r: How did I beat you?
spo0nman  : You were too fast.
t3rmin4t0r: Do you think my beating you has anything to do with perl
            in this place?
spo0nman  : ....

t3rmin4t0r: Again... 

And I for one, welcome our matrix spoofing overlords ... *bows*

I suppose if we couldn't laugh at things that don't make sense, we couldn't react to a lot of life.
                    -- Hobbes

posted at: 17:54 | path: /yblr | permalink | Tags: , ,

Fri, 23 Mar 2007:

Every company has its own unique attitude. Now, I lament a bit about some stuff in Yahoo! I never got to experience - its fun side. I did catch the tail end of this phenomenon, but here's a blast from the past about how different the times were in the last millenium.

This is one of the cards from the Yahoo!-o-poly which was given out as the year end gifts in '99. There is a fair bit of company history hidden inside those images like the Say 'No' to AOL card or the reply to all card.

Somewhere along the way, that sense of humour seems to have been replaced with suit & coat seriousness. Maybe not with the old folks, but every hire you make you dilutes the culture if you fail to inculcate the same in him - which requires slow growth and mainly of fresh talent. A crowd of new joinees in their thirties is impossible to subvert to local cultural standards.

But let me say this - mourn not for what some never had.

Some changes are so slow, you don't notice them;
Others are so fast, they don't notice you.

posted at: 04:14 | path: /yblr | permalink | Tags: , , ,

Sun, 11 Feb 2007:

Oh, how often has that tired old line been repeated. But now, there are a lucky few in Yahoo! who can back it up with a certificate, which looks something like this.

The card is given out once you take a trust fall, where the other guy/gal catches you while you fall and push you onto the soft padding. The card, on the flip side, has more content and it goes like this.

I've got the expertise to make the right decision here. So let me. 

Once you accept this card, you agree to avoid second-guessing me, 
escalating the situation, or switching on the blamethrower. 

If it works out, great. If not, I agree to take a fall.

Oh, and it says on the bottom - may not be transferred, sold or substituted for U.S dollars - maybe I should try paying it with some real geek money, like pizzas, beers or t-shirts.

Cheesy, cheap and corporate - but the designers had their hearts in the right place. And If you liked it, take a look at Yahoo! Bangalore's campus brochure.

Who does not trust enough will not be trusted.
                -- Lao Tsu

posted at: 09:52 | path: /yblr | permalink | Tags: , ,

Fri, 09 Feb 2007:

Consider the past year. Now consider UserFriendly.org's blatant MS bashing of past. And then take a look at the following cartoon.

In the past the Orbital Mind Control Ray could only have been an obvious reference to MSFT (as seen on slashdot). But today, we're making fun of Google - is the attitude towards GOOG changing as the company grows bigger and starts eating small companies for breakfast, lunch and dinner ? Which reminds of this conversation between Bart and Fat Tony from Simpsons 8F03.

Bart: Are you guys crooks?
Fat Tony: Bart.. uhm. Is it it wrong to steal a loaf of bread to feed 
          your starving family?
Bart:     No..
Fat Tony: Well suppose you got a large starving family. Is it wrong to 
          steal a truckload of bread to feed them?
Bart:     Nuh-uh
Fat Tony: And what if your family don't like bread. They like.. cigarettes.
Bart:     I guess that's okay.
Fat Tony: Now, what if instead of giving them away.. you sold them at a 
          price that was practically giving them away. Would that be a 
          crime, Bart?
Bart:     Hell no!

As someone else pointed out, when Microsoft came out, they were the hungry rebels who were freeing the public from the iron fisted data processing overlords, without the cutsey "Ribbons and Ponies" approach that Apple was taking. The big blue of old, which has now become a savior and hero for Linux, was the evil monopoly ?

How often does sides get switched, old rebels become new masters and acquire new allies from old enemies ?

No permanent friends or allies, only permanent interests.
          -- Lord Palmerston

posted at: 11:45 | path: /fun | permalink | Tags: , ,

Fri, 13 Oct 2006:

Found this in one of the mailing lists - but this is total fnuk. Please feel free to click on any of the following links - yahoo shit and google shit. Please take a look at your title bar of your browser to understand the true beauty of bi-directional font-rendering :)

I'm sure xoferiF wouldn't violate any trademarks by the Mozilla foundation.

Drawing on my fine command of language, I said nothing.

posted at: 05:30 | path: /fun | permalink | Tags: , ,

Sun, 20 Aug 2006:

Now, this isn't new, but it just had to be given its due respect. Sung to James Blunt's - You're Beautiful.

My cubicle, My cubicle
It's one of sixty two
It's my small space
In a crowded place
Just a six-by-six foot booth
And I hate it, that's the truth

Well, I give a sigh
As the boss walks by
No one ever talks to me
Or looks me in the eye

And I really should work
But instead I just
Sit here and surf the Internet

My cubicle, My cubicle
It doesn't have a view
It's my small space
In a crowded place
I sit in solitude

I haven't seen anything that has more truth in so few phrases. Kudos to Keith Hughes and Jym Britton for pull this one off, with style. Get the song from morningsidekick and play it loud in office.

How can I "Think Outside the Box" when I'm in the @#$%? box all day!

posted at: 16:51 | path: /fun | permalink | Tags: ,

Mon, 08 May 2006:

When we last left off, we were talking about matchpot and the soon to be world championships. But what matchpot lacks in cerberal and social subtlety, Mafia brings out in potfuls. Basically the game is about killing innocent villagers, whether you are the mafia or one of the lynch mob yourself. I was introduced to this game when we were all sitting around in our hotel rooms in Thrissur. The real interesting part is not the game in itself, but how it lets (or in fact forces) you to study other people under a microscope.

After the first few games where Mafia won hands down, slowly the villagers started to pick up on the non-visual cues as well. It was quite interesting to see people trying to be overclever and bluff with poker faces. Also several interesting observations, some particularly personal, were made by a lot of people. I did get a quite inside picture of a couple of people's minds and it is terrifying what some people are actually capable of, compared to your mental estimate of their trick quotient. On top of that, it is also a measure of how successfully you can con other people into changing their opinions. On the receiving side, mafia has a way of exposing your gullibility in a painfully obvious way.

An important lesson the game has taught me is about myself. I found out to my surprise that I think a lot more clearly when I am not formulating a point to present. Being dead in the game gives you a totally different perspective which you are unlikely to get while you are talking. Sometimes just having to sit and watch the entire crowd ignore the clinical quality of the strategy is just way too frustrating. Masterpeices of strategy are completely lost to the villagers who're more concerned about staying alive to the next round rather than bringing the mafia down. Exposed are the simplified versions of our daily grind, where the evil go un-punished and good are targeted. Religions have been based on much less than fixing this (later, much later).

Nobody has seen me as the Mafia yet, but I'm better at finding things out than hiding them.

Fanatics are often blinded in their thoughts.
Leaders are often blinded in their hearts.
          -- Dune

posted at: 07:46 | path: /fun | permalink | Tags: , ,

Fri, 05 May 2006:

As gleaned from the php irc channels on wednesday :-

<helly_>    need to show a table with >2k columns, it can but not show all column headers
<SaraMG>    funny
<Rasmus_>   You need Dell's new 8192" wide monitor for that table
<Davey|Job> *with* the built in HDD
<Rasmus_>   and a bicycle
<g0pz>      and it blinks "pedal faster !!"
<Derick>    8192 inch
<Derick>    wow
<Derick>    that's 208.0768 meters..
<scoates>   Derick: NVGA
<scoates>   (Neighborhood)
<scoates>   it requires 16GB of video ram, though..
<andrei_>   it's not the size that matters
<andrei_>   it's the font

The humor doesn't stop with IRC channels, though. Consider this very awesome groklaw comment, inspired by the Cheese Shop sketch. Also making the rounds is more interesting things like this firefox gurl.

Life's never boring if you watch this world carefully enough.

The probability of someone watching you is proportional to the stupidity of your action.

posted at: 09:51 | path: /fun | permalink | Tags: ,

Thu, 27 Apr 2006:

After a quarter century of not having made it big with Rock 'n Roll (maybe not so badly on the sex and drugs department), Spo0nman has crossed over into the next bracket [25-35]. He's written a touching blog entry about growing up. I've often felt that same disconnection with my age where everybody around seems to have grown up while you are left behind to figure this all out by yourself.

In a year

But as they say, growing up is optional, growing old isn't. And Pankaj, definitely is a case in point

The older a man gets, the farther he had to walk to school as a boy.

posted at: 20:10 | path: /yblr | permalink | Tags: , ,

Thu, 30 Mar 2006:

I've come to love php. No, not really - but some of their fan generated advertisements literally kill me. To quote Rasmus about what's happening out there :-

Being an open source project, we don't have an HR nor a marketing
department to bug us about political correctness. Nobody can get 
fired. Anybody can do whatever they want.

There are many such pics that are floating around the web with PHP splashed all over. There are a lot of other projects like firefox which have outrageous posters. Amidst all that, here's one that quite caught my attention - feel free to guess why.

Projects aren't really about code, they are about communities. Technical issues get solved in commercial companies as well, but FOSS communities take the rest of the being together, building together thing to the next level. Basically, writing code isn't the only way to have fun.

Do what's fun.

If God had meant for us to be naked, we would have been born that way.

posted at: 07:03 | path: /fun | permalink | Tags: , ,

Thu, 23 Mar 2006:

I had a lot of fun in Calicut. In fact, I totally went crazy in Calicut as even casual observers would have noted. But there was a method to this madness. Away from the student masses and the bustle of the city, there is a beach. It is far far away from the NIT itself - so we got a cab to travel to the beach and possibly, hopefully see the sunset. We were standing around in campus watching the sun go down and further down slowly, waiting for the cab to arrive.

We had to drop premshree's cousin and were going slightly roundabout towards the beach. So when we dropped her off, he too went to push back all his laptop and bags at the house, while we all idled around. Finally we got to the beach with barely a minute of the sunset left, but we enjoyed it anyway.

That's when the madness started in earnest. I hadn't been to a beach in over a year - the last time I went was to the Cherai Beach with my cousins. But this time around, I wasn't the responsible one - I could literally let my hair down and enjoy. Well, so did almost everybody.

I had brought a pair of shorts along with me in the jeep. But before I jumped out onto the beach, I had forgotten to actually change, what with the sunset and the timing. Anyway, since the tide was headed in the waves were pretty awesome and I started by wading waist deep in the water. Quite an amazing feeling when a big wave comes along and hits you square on the chest.

That day ended when I trudged back up the beach in wet Levis and changed into the shorts. I had to face the slight embarrasment of people staring at my knees - they got a lot of unwanted attention from the paparazzi as well.

The next evening saw us standing around near the event hall with nothing to do. There were some people playing in the basketball court nearby and philip said let's play. The last time I played basketball was in 2002 in college. I sucked badly at the game, especially blocking bluesmoon's passes to shreyas. To top all that, I was so stiff from the acrobatics the other day that my turn was more of fifteen degrees than the full ninety. If it weren't for shres's loose pants, we'd have got our asses kicked.

After this, we headed out to a valley nearby called the sunset point. Basically you can see a long way out from the hilltop and there is a lot of bird life around. We basically sat there for a while and then got back to the guesthouse to pack and leave for Bangalore.

Ah, good fun.

Bing's Rule:
       Don't try to stem the tide -- move the beach.

posted at: 06:03 | path: /travels | permalink | Tags: , ,

Fri, 03 Mar 2006:

Nobody who's seen my older posts about Y! blr will actually mistake it for a boring office. That pyramid of paper cups has almost become a benchmark to judge back-bench efforts during meetings. Here's one from teemus which is in the same ballpark, plus a few extra points for a steady hand.

If any future webdevs are reading this, you might want to learn how to balance your work and life - it's a little harder than the above example.

He who steps on others to reach the top has good balance.

posted at: 02:10 | path: /yblr | permalink | Tags: , ,

Tue, 14 Feb 2006:

Today is February 14th - the Singles Awareness Day. Before you jump to any conclusions, I didn't actually name this day. After having sold all the cards and chocolates, this seems to be the latest thing from Hallmark to harness the other and largely under-utilized market of single people. What is written here is largely inspired by the perverse genius of spo0nman.

SAD is a humorous holiday celebrated on February 14. Its a day for
people who are single; that is, who are not involved in a romantic
relationship and can therefore not participate in Valentine's Day

Some observers of SAD do so out of spite for Valentine's Day as a Hallmark holiday or for other reasons. Hallmark spokesmen were unavailable for comment as they were too busy at the moment (rolling the stuff, I suppose).

" Nobody shot me "
    -- Frank Gusenberg, last words to police, St Valentine's Day Massacre

posted at: 15:40 | path: /fun | permalink | Tags: ,

Thu, 12 Jan 2006:

It all started with sabiokap, a coffe mug and a matchbox. But it started going over the top once everyone realized that it was in fact possible to enjoy doing the silliest things around. And thus the Saga of Matchpot starts. The game has literally taken over due to the absolute silliness and of course the skill required to actually play the game.

For those who think we are crazy, here is one masterly stroke. If you can't take pleasure in such simple achievements of mankind, pity the future of such a race that includes a hard head such as you. Cherish your curiousity and innocence lest you end up with no romance or soul.

huge image

It was created from a MJPEG capture from my camera, which was split into multiple frames using avidemux2 and recombined into one XCF using a gimp script - frame2anim.py. The active portion of code looks as below.

  filename = (basedir + "/" + format) % i
  frame_img = pdb.gimp_file_load(filename, filename) 
  drawable = pdb.gimp_image_get_active_drawable(frame_img)
  layer = pdb.gimp_layer_new_from_drawable(drawable, newimg)
  pdb.gimp_image_add_layer(newimg, layer, -1)

After it became a gimp XCF file, it was easy to trim out the surroundings and remove intermediate frames to reduce the size of the image from 4.1 MB to 600kb.

Ego sum ens omnipotens.

posted at: 16:10 | path: /yblr | permalink | Tags: , ,

Tue, 10 Jan 2006:

A couple of days back, I had posted a puzzle on my flickr.com account. It dealt with a simple capture from a video - as shown below.

What happens next ?

Since nobody could really guess what happened, I thought I'd publish the answer. Here's the video in divx with sound. Before anyone starts making fun of premshree, I'd like to say that I lost to him with him today morning - twice. He has the sort of talent which makes pool a truly spectator sport, something a straight laced player like me can't copy. He's got his heart in the right place after all.

This office gets really interesting after midnight.

It is better to be a spectacular failure than a dismal success.
          -- Venture Capitalists 101

posted at: 12:20 | path: /yblr | permalink | Tags: , ,