Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The Dutch labour party has proposed that educated women, i.e. ones with college degrees, should be fined if they decide to stay at home instead of joining the workforce !

Excerpts...
MP Sharon Dijksma, deputy chairperson of the PvdA's parliamentary party, believes the punitive measure is needed to stimulate more women to join the workforce. She outlined her ideas in 'Forum', a magazine published by employers' group VNO-NCW.

"A highly-educated woman who chooses to stay at home and not to work - that is destruction of capital," Dijksma said. "If you receive the benefit of an expensive education at the cost of society, you should not be allowed to throw away that knowledge unpunished."

The MP said a fine for non-working mothers is a logical consequence of the PvdA's intention to introduce a 'feudal system', under which graduates repay money dependant on their earnings. "If someone chooses not to work, then a substantial repayment is in order," Dijksma said.

Hmmm...don't the Dutch make claims about having freedom of expression and choice, and all that supposed nonsense ?

As Chequer-Board asks...
Stay-at-home mothers could agree to make use of their degrees by home-schooling their children. Think that would fly in the Dutch parliament?
Well, if women won't make much of the opportunities provided to make them "equal" in society, then perhaps we should force them, eh ?

This was also an interesting statement in that article...
A high proportion of Dutch women traditionally favour working only part-time or staying at home to care for their families.
Original link via Pajamas Media.


Cross posted on Context Switch.

Trying New Things

I am bored ...so I will try new things .....

Wine and food is not my thing.

Wanted to learn Salsa/Tango/Cha-cha-cha - May be in couple of years
since all there is these days is "50 cents" (and they are good)

Thinking of taking some basic course in farming / growing crop etc.
Any other idea(s).

Monday, March 27, 2006

Scariest Ghost Story

List the most scary (someone's personal experience or yours) ghost story you have heard ever. The winning entry will get a cup of short coffee which has been kindly sponsored by DC.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

ENDULKAR booed and abused!

Hmmm. Is it getting close to the time that Mr. Tendulkar announces his retirement? Or is he still willing to produce that form that made us celebrate as a country that nothing else ever did? I dunno. What I do know though is that he probably isn't ready to stop making money from all his endorsements and what not.

Today is day 5 of the last test between India and England on England's Cricket tour of India. India have 295 to get in 90 overs, with 9 wickets in hand. Tendulkar has one more chance to redeem himself after his string of abysmal scores for the last several innings. Given that the test is in Mumbai - Tendulkar's hometown, it would be extra special for the erstwhile master batsman to show one more trick of mastery. But given his recent form though and his susceptibility to good pace bowling, the chances of a match-saving/match-winning performance from this man looks increasingly bleak.

I wish things were different. But reminiscing Tendulkar at Wankhede stadium in Mumbai is one thing. (I saw him score a century against South Africa in 1996 at Wankhede. Believe me - the welcome given, at least until recently, to Sachin Tendulkar at Wankhede is like few other things you'll ever see!). Recognizing that there is a slide that has begun that seems to be irreversible is another. Classic case of the heart and the head not agreeing. But I think the head has started to finally convince the heart, especially if India loses, this may just be "e n d u l k a r" for Indian cricket fans. Sadly, I don't even feel sad about it anymore.

Monday, March 20, 2006

To sleep or not to sleep

The popular sleep prescription drug Ambien has a serious side affect. It apparently makes some people walk, talk, drive, shoplift in their sleep.

Happy Birthday Sibin

The Daffodils by William Wordsworth

Spring is here...here is one of my favourite
poem by William's Wordsworth.

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er valleys and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced, but they
Out-did the sparkling leaves in glee;
A poet could not be but gay,
In such a jocund company!
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

JJ Redick and WolfPack

I can't believe it. It's like the sun rose from the west or something equally inanely improbable.

JJ Redick of Duke missed 5 of 7 free throws in last night's win against George Washington in the NCAA tourney. He missed 5 free throws!! Wow! I don't think he's ever in his life missed that many free throws in a single game. This coming from a guy who's been averaging in the 90% or more all his college life. In fact, prior to tonight, I could count on one hand the number of times I have seen him miss free throws in all the Duke games I did see. God listens to the (WolfPack) fans once in a while! Only it's been a little too late though!

Meanwhile, I sure hope the Wolfpack win against Texas tonight. Or at least go down fighting. It would totally screw up my picks for the NCAA'06 tourney challenge (on ESPN.com), but this will be one time I will be absolutely happy to lose! Sweet 16 - here we come!

Also, with the wife being around for the weekend, I doubt if she'll be terribly pleased with us just sitting around watching hoops all day and all evening. I admit, if you put it that way it does sound boring. But it might also have something to do with the sad fact that her school Tennessee was knocked out last night from the tournament. Still, in case I don't get to see the game hope someone's recording it.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Happy Holi

Happy Holi everybody.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Jessica Lall - Rang de Basanti Style

I had to write something after the endless discussions at the adda and Sarat's pointing out the fact that our country is absolutely and completely filmy. Jessica Lall was killed by Manu Sharma 7 years ago, after 7 years he walked away from it. The price of a crime 7 years of bail time. Well, that happens when your father is a rich sugar cane mill owner and a congress minister in Haryana.

The newspapers have been splashed with stories of anger and resentment against the release of Manu Sharma. The vigil at India gate brought wide publicity to the event. Rang de Basanti was still fresh in the masses mind and this was their turn to protest against the killing of a "pretty face" working in an fancy restaurant that did not even have the license to serve alcohol. Why India Gate but? What did Jessica do for the country that a vigil was held at India Gate? Sarat says sex sells but good looks sell even more. Was this the first time that justice was denied to someone? What makes the Jessica Lall case so different then? Are we all victims of appearances? Does a pretty, popular face deserve more justice than another person? Why could Matto not do what Jessica did?

Thursday, March 09, 2006

$185K

Some of the conversation this evening (initiated by Salil) was about the news that new IIM-A graduates were offered salaries of up to $185,000 this year. That, for a fresh graduate, is a sh*t-load of money!!

It also baffles me that there's so much of money floating around. More importantly, it begs the question: Mera number kab aayega?!(Translation:"When will my number come?" i.e. "When will my turn come to be paid that kind of money?")

Update by Sib : Well, $185K is old news by the looks of it.

What is a Life Really Worth?

It confuses me over and over and over again, I have not been able find an answer to it. I was just reading CNN and it has a little link that says "Faces of the Fallen". They are just a picture on a website for some and for others beginning of the end of their lives. How does one quanify the worthness of a life? Why arent the first daugthers figthing the fight for Iraqi freedom that their father so strongly believes in.

Abortion Ban

South Dakota's new abortion ban in my opinion is absolutely ridiculous. I feel it encroaches on woman's rights in so many ways. I have a firm belief that if a woman does not want to have a child then is should be her decision. No law should force her to give birth to a child she does not want. Maybe she is a scared seventeen year old girl who got pregnant by accident, maybe she was raped and did not realize it till later that she was pregnant or maybe she was raped by her boy friend and is so confused that she does not even report it and half blames herself for it. This law expects this child to stop her life and give birth to a child that will probably end up with social services and innumerable foster homes. In my opinion abortion is a woman's right and she should have the right to choose if she is ready for a child or not.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

The Circle

The circle was really interetsting last evening. The conversation ranged from indian trains to F16s vs Sukhois. It would be interesting to record this conversation and listen to it maybe 10 years from now and publish "Chronicles of the Circle".

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Catcher in the Rye

Just like Bob got to Becker today, someone got to me today. Phew! I cant seem to get over it, It is exhausting to be mad. Catcher in the Rye.

"an historic event" or "a historic event"

The rule of grammar is that "an" should be used in words starting with "h" only if "h" is silent. However, people use "an" all the time. Guilty of this crime is the President of USA he said " It is an historic event" after signing the nuke deal with India. Sometimes it sounds right, doesnt it?

Controversial cartoon...

This is what is causing all the uproar...the original article from the Danish Jyllends-Posten newspaper. I am suprised that the American media has completely shied away from showing these images...even Malaysian and Australian newspapers showed the images...if not for anything else - at least to keep their readers informed. Since when does the media do this kind of self-censorship ? Since when do they make decisions about what must be reported and what must not be ? Isn't it their role to actually report the news and let the readers make a choice and form opinions ? I believe that the American media has fallen short of the high expectations that journalists are usually held at. Even the so-called liberal newspapers such as the New York Times and Washington Post didn't have the guts to go through with a fair reporting progress. And what about Faux (Fox) news...that great defender of democracy ?

[Click on the image to enlarge.]

Original link via Wikipedia.

Update : My remarks about the American media completely shying away from publishing the cartoons is inaccurate. Apparently the very well-read Rocky Mountain News and the Philadelphia Inquirer did publish the images and got appropriate responses...picketing, slogans and the kind...perhaps I should have stated...
None of the larger media conglomerates with broad reaches took it upon themselves to report it.
Original link via Instapundit.

Europe divided...

After the cartoon controversy that started in Europe and spread across the world, the new divide...Vodka wars !

The Polish, supported by the Danish (they just can't stay off any controversy can they?), Estonians, Latvians, Lithuanians, Finns, Swedish and the Germans, have a complaint...they want the promiscuous definition of Vodka to be tightened...
The Polish side says that vodka should only be defined as an alcoholic beverage derived from cereals or potatoes. Any loosening of this definition, argues Poland, leads to ingredients such as grape marc being used, which result in a final product that has different ‘organoleptic characteristics
Hmmm..."organoleptic characteristics", is probably fancy speak for "different tastse".

Apparently Hungary and the Brits do not want any such definition...the Poles, though, have a very valid question...
why vodka should have a more watered down definition than, say, whisky or rum
I mean, after all, V does come before W, doesn't it ?

Original link via Pajamas Media.

Cross-posted on Context Switch.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Ganguly - Six Feet Under?

Sitting, nay, mostly lying down on the bed trying to sleep, while being curative I am sure, does have other effects too. For instance, the sheer boredom of doing nothing, and the sheer effort it takes to "try and relax". Of course, the furstration at missing out on the daily discussions with the ol' bitches (and ladies) at Cup-A-Joe. And finally, all that lying down on my back (a vocation for some) isn't all that pleasurable, especially if the back starts hurting after a while. (No. No. No "Brokeback" mates assisted me in or contributed to my condition. At least not this time.)

Fortunately, since there's broadband, I can indulge those sleepless sweaty hours when the medicine's bringing the temperature to normal environs, in that mindless pleasureful activity called surfing. This afternoon in particular, stumbled on this article in the UK Guardian where Indian cricket coach Greg Chappell talks about the Ganguly situation in some candor, which since then has been lapped up by the Indian media.

I had a thought before I read this article that what would happen to all his endorsements and stuff now that he isn't really the captain anymore. I guess he could still milk his image in Bengal for all its worth. Moreover, perhaps he wants to fight it out in the domestic cricket circuit to improve his image that he has of himself which may have been transplanted more by the media and less by his assessment of his own qualities.

Poor Gangs.

But someone's gotta remove Dravid from the one day team though! Hee Hee!