Thursday, May 21, 2009

Tocantins Finale

It was a pretty good season although JT's winning streak towards the end played a major spoiler. Not only was the finale predictable (despite a good jury tribal) but I had to be content with my pre-season picks taking the 2nd and 3rd places. Hopefully I ll get it right the next season!
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Sunday, May 10, 2009

To tweet, or to blog

The question:
Having a blog and a twitter account (for the same purpose) is not only redundant but also a major cause of indecisiveness. I now have to make another decision everytime; To tweet or to blog, that is the question.

The fix:
Took some time to set up my twitter account updates to be displayed on top of my blog posts (using the twitter widget).

The compromise:
If I am too lazy (or too excited) to write a long(er) blog post, I ll tweet.

The lesson:
The more you have, the more you have to maintain.

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Saturday, May 02, 2009


Survivor Tocantins spoiler alert!

The best episode of this season of Survivor was when they voted out the second member of the jury.  However the episode following that hasn't really lived up to expectations. Overall, this season has been pretty lame with a large number of the contestants lacking strategy. And Coach with his "dragon-slayer" ramblings is more irritating than funny to me.

Two positives this season:
  1. My two pre-season picks Stephen and Erinn are still in the game! And with only 6 people left, I have much better odds than ever before to have picked a season winner!
  2. I have to give credit to Coach for inspiring some unimaginable dialogues. (Sample: Sierra to Coach: "How do you save the kind enemy?". Whoa!)
Btw, the secret scenes from the episodes and the ponderosa clips offer a lot more insights this time into the tribe equations that are pretty much edited out.

For example, Erinn and Taj didn't write down Sierra's name at tribal council because they are playing for her jury vote! Erinn's vote against Stephen has nothing to do with sending her to exile (as I had initially thought).

Also, Sierra apparently spilled the beans on Taj still holding the hidden immunity idol to Coach and Debbie, who refused to believe her. Whoa! And I thought Coach can't get any stupider.

Hope they don't start bringing in Coach stereotypes in future seasons.

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Awesome Threesome

Happened to watch three very amazing "kids" movie recently - "Children of Heaven", "Ma vie en rose" and "WALL-E" and strongly recommend all three of them to all "adults".

Of the three, I definitely liked "Children..." the most. Cliche alert: "made me wonder why they dont make such movies anymore". It is a definite must-see for kids these days who can't seem to function without texting and cell phones. 

"Ma vie..." is a more serious film, at least thematically; the film is extermely heartbreaking despite lacking emotional manipulations as in "Taare Zameen Par".  It is hard to believe that it has a "R" rating at the US, especially since most hollywood "PG-13" blockbusters have extreme violence and/or crude humor.

"WALL-E" is a definite third in this list, for despite the animated magic that it was, I felt a bit let down towards the end with a rather gimmicky climax and the happily-ever-after ending. To its credit I didn't feel like I was watching an animation movie, it crossed that bridge successfully; however, it left me feeling like one of those "good-but-not-great" movies (like say "Taare Zameen Par") and THAT, I think is where the movie fell short. 

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I shrugged

This post is long overdue.

Finally managed to finish "Atlas Shrugged" in March. This was probably the longest I had taken to finish a book; unfinished ones don't count, obviously. The book wasn't boring, actually it was pretty difficult to put down once you started reading, but for some reason it not only took me 6 months to finish but also broke my reading record of two books a month (I could only manage to finish 2 others on the side).

What did I think of the book? It was... hmm... okay, I guess! I don't agree with a lot of the objectivism principles and feel very little of them have relevance today. (I definitely don't think comparing it with the bank bailout situation makes much sense). So reading 1000 odd pages that emphasized those principles as the be all and end all of human existence is a little hard to digest, especially when the author decides to re-emphasize the same point every 10 pages! I lost count of the number of times I must have thought "Ayn Rand, I get it. Now, go on will ya?".

A note for those planning to read the book - this is NOT a novel. It is just Ayn Rand's objectivism theory disguised as a novel. The characters are pretty much "good" or "evil" and stand to drive home the theory with their words and actions. For example, one main character's "speech" (in a radio broadcast) lasts close to 100 pages. I would strongly recommend that you read "Fountain Head" first and then take a big gap (a year or two at least) before returning to "Atlas Shrugged".

PS: How much of a dubious honor is it to be awarded the "Least edible book" in an edible books competition?
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