Thursday, October 28, 2004

It's Evolution, baby!

Nature's latest issue carries a report on the discovery of a new species of humans on the island of Flores in Indonesia. Homo floresiensis, nicknamed 'hobbit', is barely 4 feet fall, with a brain one-third the size of that of modern humans. The skeleton is just 18,000 years old, which could mean that our entire ancestral tree needs to be re-drawn. Interesting.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

U2 drops marketing bomb

U2 has tied up with Apple to include tracks from its latest album " How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb" on the new i-Pods, along with some older tracks. The music industry is calling this "A historic shift in music marketing". Speaks volumes about the state of music these days. With major bands like U2, Metallica and the like churning out numbers to please the studio bosses, music has become just another saleable product. Gone are the days when real musicians played from their hearts, and people thronged to watch them play. Today, bands are put together by record companies by placing ads in the paper. Can Ms. Spears strum a guitar? Can Westlife write their own music? And now, a big rock band like U2 is worrying about how to push sales. Whatever happened to real music? The Gods of Rock have gone to sleep, and left their followers to despair.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

The Google Desktop Search

The Google Desktop Search is quite a cool thing. I have a rather slow PC at work, and searching for files takes forever. The Google Desktop Search seems noticeably faster and it works pretty well with Windows (It is compatible with only Windows 2000 and XP, I think). It does take a long time for building the index on its first run, though. As the guys at Google suggest, put it on before you leave for a long lunch! In true blue Google fashion, the software is completely free, and wont intrude on your privacy (If you don’t want it to, in this case). Google has been up to quite a lot lately. It would be worth it to wait and watch what the company does with all the goodwill it seems to be generating.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Bandit King killed in encounter

With the killing of Veerappan, the Special Task Force finally managed to put an end to a menace that had been plaguing the governments of TamilNadu and Karnataka for nearly three decades. TN Chief Minister Ms. Jayalalitha has been quick to pat herself on the back, calling the STF "a precious jewel of her government". Hats off to the STF and Additional DGP Vijay Kumar for putting an end to a 20 year man hunt.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Bride & Prejudice - a taste of India

Maharashtra went to the polls yesterday, giving me time off to watch Gurinder Chaddha's "Bride & Prejudice" in the evening. Bad adaptation, to say the least. Too many songs, and interest wanes after the first two. The leads seem frigid and lack chemistry. Henderson is all right with those baby blues, but he is no Colin Firth. Bride offers a taste of India to a non-Indian audience. Mildly entertaining.

Monday, October 11, 2004

More than a bird, more than a plane...

Christopher Reeve passed away today. He was 52. I am not going to wax eloquent on how great a man he was. There are plenty of places where you'll find that. I am reminded of this documentary I saw on Discovery a few years back. This was shot just before Reeve's accident, and he was tracking whales across their migratory routes. In a touching moment, Reeve runs his fingers over the back of a spouting whale, and laughs with the joy of a 10-year old. It is a moment that will stay with me forever. May his soul rest in peace.