.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Jumpdrive to cyberspace

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Deja vu

"Let him who is without sin among you be the first to cast a stone."

Maybe it would do a bit of good for the Ricky Ponting led Australian cricket team to go meet a priest.

Apparently some repairs were made to the pitch by the hosting South Africans as seen from this AFP report.
Matthew Hayden, Australia's opening batsman, hit out on Monday at repairs which were made to the Kingsmead pitch before the fourth day's play. Hayden says, "A hole on one end has been mudded together to stop the cracks and at the other end there was a huge hole last night and it's been repaired. "
He continues, "It's very embarrassing. In Test cricket the rules are very plain. You can't touch any of the playing surface."
With the Australians pressing for a win, the possibility of Shane Warne being able to exploit any assistance from the pitch was a factor in their complaint. "It may have come into play, it may not have," said Hayden. "But it's the principle. You never compromise those rules. It's very disappointing."
Noble and sportsmanlike as Hayden's words may seem, history has a way of repeating itself. Let us rewind to India's tour of Australia 2003 for the last day of the Melbourne test. On the fifth day, the pitch
curator replaced a lump of soil the size of two fifty cent pieces, on a spot which was a good length for the left-arm pace bowler to bowl to a left-handed batsman. At the request of the match referee, the patches were removed from the pitch.

Here's a sampling of comments from different people.

Steve Waugh (Australian captain): "An honest mistake".

Mike Procter (Match referee): "There was nothing malicious about it."

Saurav Ganguly (Indian captain): "You know what's happened, you know whether it's right or wrong."

I guess, when it's done in Australia it's harmless, while elsewhere it's against the rules.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Mithunda and Govinda - we miss you

My friend Amit and I were huge fans of Mithun and Govinda movies before we came to the US. Every weekend there was either a Mithun or a Govinda movie shown at our request by the local cable operator. Unfortunately, now we both live on opposite coasts of the US. We tried buying a few movies from online websites that sell desi movies, but the real classics are hardly available.

I still remember watching my first Mithun movie in a theater. The part of my mind that processes Hindi movies at that time was like a blank slate, open to external impressions. Luckily, the strongest impression was made by the symbiosis of Mithun and TLV Prasad. Since then I have been seeing as many Mithun (and later Govinda) movies as possible. The peak of my movie watching was between 1993 and 2000 where some major classics were produced. Some that I can never forget are Dalaal (Chad gaya upar re), Cheetah (Mithun da climbing a tall wall like Spiderman), Jallaad (for which Mithunda won a Filmfare award) and Jurmana (Mirchi re mirchi). Similarly, for Govinda, the classics were Aankhen, Coolie no. 1 (which i think is his best movie ever), Hero no. 1 (a close second) and Chotte Sarkaar.

Now when it comes to Govinda, his best years were 1993 (starting with Aankhen) to 2001 (Jodi No. 1). After 2001, none of his movies were at the same level as before. Clearly, it takes a lot of effort to make movies. Now some people think they were B-grade movies fit to a certain recipe and should be easy to make. But, if that were the case then all of Govinda's later releases should have been hits. Obviously, Mithunda had something special - that X-factor!! Which is why some people refer to him as Prabhuji. The best piece of literature I have read on Mithun is at http://greatbong.net/2005/09/09/mithunism-the-religion/.

Our hope is that one day all of the Mithun and Govinda fans would congregate and start a sharing their movies/songs (hey some of the songs are awesome) through streaming video or otherwise. Who knows, we could be starting our own virtual channel that streams Mithun movies on Sundays. :)

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Animal testing

Ever since I started working in the Medical Devices area, I have never been caught into thoughts so much as today when the topic of animal testing for some of the devices I am designing came about. I have mixed feelings when I know something that I have designed will be put into a perfectly healthy animal to see how it will respond before testing it on humans. I do not want to get into the debate of banning animal testing or not.

I believe that animal testing cannot be done away until reliable, alternative testing methods can be found. From my experience, it is almost impossible to replicate properties of tissues, veins and arteries in the lab. That is just the very nature of biology - which is so simple, yet so complex. The closest we can come to imitating human tissue is animal tissue. As a result, animal testing for cardiovascular devices and others are almost inevitable. Nevertheless, as engineers and human beings, it is our responsibility to ensure that we do not harm more animals than we should.

After being with animals, it is almost natural to create an emotional bond with them. Last week, I met a person whose job it is to quarantine (for a week) and care for test animals. I wonder how many deaths does she die everyday when she has to take the animals to the Operating Room or for necropsy.


This is my first post! It's exciting to post one's views unabashed and unmoderated!! Watch out for some interesting posts in my blog!!!