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Showing posts from June, 2014

Where Are My Robots?

Science fiction means different things to different people. Some are enthralled by FTL space travel, others dream of the day humans can travel through time - if only to kill their grandfathers ;) Me? I wanted robots. Not just any robots mind you. I wanted a III laws obeying, Asimovian robot all for myself! I know other writers have written robot stories but I was always intrigued by Asimov's robots, and the Three Laws of course.

For Asimov's robots were special. Unlike other writers who portrayed robots as evil or as creatures who would eventually destroy humans, Asimov conceived of robots as tools of humanity. And just like other tools, their effects depends on how they are used. The Three Laws are used by Asimov to explore the relationships between humans and robots as well between robots themselves. The many ambiguities inherent in the laws also make for a wide variety of stories ranging from alternative histories to murder mysteries from Asimov.

So while others wait for th…

Adventures In The Dark

If you have ever moved to a new city, state or country, you know the feeling of strangeness that pervades your first few days or even weeks sometimes. You miss some aspects of your old home but find and appreciate good things about the new one too. Pretty much the same thing happened to me when I moved from India to the USA 18 months ago.

I missed - and still do - street food, the hustle and bustle on the roads and inside colonies, movie songs blaring from autos and buses, kids going off to school in the winter mornings and so many little things that you never notice while living at home. Basically I miss the sense of being surrounded by life all the time. Life in India is always noisy and colorful. But at the same time, I love many things about the American way of life. There is a sense of calm and order, people respect your privacy even in public spaces and I certainly don't miss the constant ogling and catcalls from strange men on the street. Given the snowy winters of Michigan…

Why Everyone Should Learn To Cook

Two years ago, I was a care-free working (though I'd just quit my job) girl who hated cooking. Back then, if someone had told me that I'd be a fabulous cook someday I'd have laughed in their face. Really, you're talking about a girl who has burnt the rice in a pressure cooker because she was so absorbed in a book that she didn't hear the whistles. My poor mom came home to find the kitchen in a cloud of smoke that day! A girl who couldn't make a cup of tea or coffee to save her life.

And yet, flash forward to today and I'm a girl with an actual recipe blog. I can cook several cuisines and I'm always on the lookout for new dishes to make at home. On the way I've burnt my fingers a few times and chopped or nicked them several times over - inspite of challenging my mom that I would learn cooking without hurting myself :D Other than fantastic new dishes and how to make them though, I've learnt quite a few things about cooking that has changed the way…

How-To: Hide Youtube Comments

If the internet came with a warning label, it would say
"DO NOT READ YOUTUBE COMMENTS" For tech-savvy geeks or those born after 1995, it might seem to be the most obvious thing in the world. But to those people who don't spend the majority of their lives online, reading the comments section of YouTube for the first time can be quite the rude jolt. It is a cesspool of hate, abuse and inflammatory statements spewed by trolls and jerks. Indeed, there are few people who can wade into the comments section and come back out with their faith in humanity intact. If you dare to try and read the comments on a few videos, you are generally guaranteed to lose two things (at the very least):

Brain cellsAny and all hope for humanity
Now Google has tried to clean up the place with some G+ integration - forcing users to use real names or at least pseudonyms - which appears to have made some improvement. Still, there are far more productive ways to spend your time than reading YouTube com…

8 Simple Rules For Indian Movie Heroes

Hero: Male lead who always emerges victorious in the end. Easy to mistake for the villain - they often do the exact same thing - so it is necessary to introduce him to the audience with a traditional song and fight scene. Now, heroes in Indian movies aren't nearly as type-cast into certain roles or cliches as heroines but that doesn't mean heroes don't have rules too!

1. A hero can always fight
It doesn't matter if the guy is a school teacher or doctor (as opposed to a policeman or a soldier), if he has never had any martial arts training or attended self-defense classes. If his mother, sister, wife or girlfriend is threatened by any thug, mafia gang or corrupt cop, the hero will fight anywhere from 1-20 people effortlessly. Well, sometimes he might get hurt but he will always go on to win in the end. After all, nobody can be stronger than our hero. He's the HERO!

2. A hero will refuse to fight with a weapon, to show moral superiority
No hero will even think of armin…

8 Simple Rules For Indian Movie Heroines

Before I get down to the rules, here is a working definition of heroine:
Heroine: Female movie lead who falls in love with the hero. Always. She is a good person, with no shades of gray. Always.1. A heroine should conform to a certain 'type' Sati Savitri (SS): She wears salwars or saris. She is god-fearing, obedient, shy, innocent and often poor. Acceptable vocation: Classical arts teacher, help parents run the family business (provided it's not the mafia or something). Falls in love with the hero by interval.Deadly Diva (DD): She wears mini-skirts or tight jeans. She is arrogant, selfish, rich and usually dislikes Indian culture (until made to see the light by our hero). But she is also god-fearing. Falls in love with the hero by interval. 2. A heroine should be a virgin Not being one automatically disqualifies her. If she has to eventually end up with the hero after all, the director will go to any lengths to show that she is still a virgin, somehow. 
One of my favorite Ta…

The Girl Who Would Not Fail

Part V - The Triumph
Day of the results

The results had just been posted on the notice board and a horde of excited students rushed to check their scores. Some whooped in joy when marks exceeded their expectations while others moped. Some students were furiously debating whether to submit their papers for revaluation. Jazzy stood nearby, watching and trying to work up the courage to take a peek at her scores. She congratulated her friends on their results and assured them that she would catch up with them later at the college canteen. When they asked about her marks, she only replied that she hadn't seen them yet.

One part of Jazzy argued with the other, Don't be such a coward! You've done so much hard work, you have surely passed. Even if you haven't, it is better to know that to bear this torture of not knowing. Do it like ripping off a band-aid, fast and painless. 

Still, she waited until the crowds thinned a bit. Now only a handful of girls were left and no one was …