"They have insurance, and there's no reason that the doctors' judgment should be overrided by a bean counter sitting there in an insurance office,"
This just goes to prove that no matter how people look at United States; as heaven or haven, there is still no place for compassion and humanity over business ideals. You are at the mercy of your insurer when you are ill. Michael Moore, after all, was absolutely spot on with his movie "Sicko". Sad. I hope someone somewhere wakes up before it is all too late.
And so I ran my fourth marathon of this year. Monterrey Marathon. I did it in almost the same time as my New York Marathon, which was around 4.50. Too much work left me with little time to practice. The course was quite flat, which provided ample scope for me to improve on my timings. Well, I guess I have to target the Bombay Marathon for that.
And so the Chennai Runner's have one more location where the flag has been successfully hoisted :-)
PS: The finisher's medal is quite heavy, and feels much better than my NY, San Diego and Los Angeles medals ! PPS: I am inching closer to my target of five marathons every year. Let me see how 2008 fares up.
It was many years ago, (15, to be precise) that I chanced to read this book. Imagine the surprise, shock and a multitude of other feelings that ran into me when I chanced to lay my hands on this book again today, in a library here in Monterrey.
Time to read it once again, and relive those amazing days when holidays meant curling up and reading some book !
I think it is time the blogger community did something concrete so that something like this; a horrible and inhuman act does not happen to any one of us.
Now, will the so-called high and mighty government of United States of America come down to its knees and apologize for ruining this man's family ? No, they won't. As long they do not have the humility to apologize for their mistakes and atone for it, terror will always keep coming to their shores. Nature, is not without its sense of ironies.
It was around 2005 when Radiocity, the FM station in Bangalore, switched completely to Hindi songs. During one of my trips to IISc by the Bangalore buses, I heard this song "Saathiya Tune Kya kiya". At the first listening the song sounded quite catchy, which was a rarity for a Hindi song. What was more puzzling to me was the instrument arrangement, which was quite close to what the "King" Illayaraja himself would do, including the violins, and most importantly the flute interlude. Anyway, check out the song here.
And then, true to my instincts, it turns out to be a Telugu song, tuned by, who else but Illayaraja of course. Check out the song(dubbed into Tamil) here:
Needless to say, the song picturization in Hindi is downright hilarious, especially towards the end, when the lead pair strum an acoustic guitar, but the audio has a soft bass guitar ;-)
I am just wondering aloud here. We Indians wrote KamaSutra. No doubts about that. Our grandfather's generation, to put in S.Ve.Shekar's words, were of the "Muttai ittu kunju parikkum" (raising a brood of kids) generation. With all this background, how did we become such hypocrites, that the society vehemently raises up to censure even remote talks on the subject of sex-education ? What made the society, and any average Tom, Dick and Harry, think that they are the protectors of the so-called culture ? Me thinks that the Mughal invasion lead to this kind of hypocrisy. Any enlightened soul out there who can throw some light on this ?
There is a huge craze for fuel efficient cars in the United States. The car companies are vying with each other to give their fuel economy numbers, 28 MPG (Miles per Gallon), 33 MPG e.t.c, e.t.c. But, the fine print in those advertisements says it all-- "Manual Transmission".
And yet, in spite of this craze and advertisements, cars with automatic transmission outsells the ones with manual transmission.
Grow up you Americans. Stop using automatic transmission; switch to Manual Transmission, save the earth and your fuel bills.
Polladhavan(2007). A movie that reminds us as to why, in general, tamilians do not look anywhere else (read Hindi movies) for quality movies. Of course, notable exceptions are Malayalam movies of the Adoor Gopalakrishnan times.
A detailed review, in both English and Tamil, would be up shortly.
However, the scroll wheel of that player got bad and hence, I got it replaced as it was still under warranty. What do I get in the replacement ? A Sandisk Sansa E280 V2 !! The second version of the player, which unfortunately does only MTP and no MSC. For the uninitiated, MTP is Microsoft's Media Transfer Protocol for media players. More on that is up here. MSC is a generic protocol for accessing USB devices. More on that here. That totally sucks.
Now I am forced to download some extra software for my Mac to maintain playlists on the player. Luckily, there is a free alternative called XNJB.
There is however a hack I found on the internet to switch the Sandisk Sansa E280 V2 to MSC mode. Here it goes. First, switch off the player. Now, move the hold key, found on top of the player, to lock all the keys. Now, while keeping the |<< key pressed, connect the player to a PC. The player switches on and gets recognized in MSC mode. Now, you can use the remaining space in your player to store any kind of files that you want.
But, one thing is for sure. I am not recommending Sandisk Sansa E280 to anyone from now on, for the simple reason that they force people to use some shitty M$$ protocol. Any iriver owner wants to trade his/her player with me ?
Update: XNJB locks up my player, and quite horribly at that. Time to see which other software I can use to sync up my player and my Mac.
PS: Yes, I do admit that Sandisk Sansa E280 V2 kicks some serious ass when compared to the previous version. The buttons feel better, the scroll wheel is nice, and most importantly, the quality of FM receiver has gone a few notches higher.
PPS: Update: As of 18th December, Sandisk has released a new firmware for Sansa E280 V2, which enables one to force MTP or MSC mode. The MTP mode still does not work with XNJB, which I am sure would be sorted out in the next few days. Sanity at last !!
Now, everyone knows that flying within, into and out of the Unites States is a nightmare. You cannot carry that, you cannot carry this, you have to remove your shoes, belt before the screening point, and all that jazz. Basically, the TSA makes sure that you are almost stripped butt naked ;-)
Having flown into and out of the United States on an almost monthly basis for the past year or so, I found something that is quite puzzling.
You are not allowed to carry water bottles, if you purchased it prior to the security screening point. However, you are allowed to carry it if you purchase it _after_ the security screening point. If the purpose of the whole exercise is to prevent inflammable liquids and such, how did they allow the shops, which are situated after the security screening point, to stock water bottles ? If they did some kind of check on those water bottles before allowing the shops to stock it, why cannot they do the same check on those passengers who carry the water bottles ?
I mean, the security check for those shop attendants cannot be any different from the travelers right ? If they are, well, I guess I just pressed the panic button for quite a few people ;-)
Puzzling indeed. And to think of there are a lot of people protesting against these kinds of stupid acts. Read here and here. There have also been reports that investigators have been able to take in explosives, undetected, across the so called secure scanners.
Well, in case you were unaware, MPAA, the Motion Picture Association of America, has been going around various universities in the United States, distributing copyright violation and take down notices to many students, as if they were research grants ;-)
And so what do they get ? A copyright violation notice in return ! As you sow, so will you reap indeed.
They violated the GPL and were served a successful take-down notice.
Sorry to disappoint some of those who were wishing I disappeared, but, I am still alive and kicking. Just that due to some exciting things that might happen over the next few months, I am pretty busy ;-) Hopefully enough, I would return to regular posting in the next few days.
"The true tragedy of a routinely spent life is that its wastefulness
does not become apparent till it is too late." Amitava Ghosh in his book
"Hungry Tide". Code monkey, marathon runner, bicyclist, motor biker & general crazy-ass guy