Friday, August 31, 2001

Ever been stuck on a lonely stretch of highway, with a flat, and no spare tyres in your dicky?
If Goodyear lives up to it's promise, that scenario could well be history...

Cell phones a bonanza for cabbies...
A survey reveals that over 60,000 of these gizmos were left in the back seats of London cabs, this year....

now, why does this piece of news sound familiar to me....

because, i did likewise....

If you find a pachyderm strolling in your backyard....
Dassara Elephant goes missing... I wonder how they managed that!

Thursday, August 30, 2001

What happens when you pull a trigger? Someone at the business end of the pistol gets his brains blown out, right? Well, it isn’t as simple as that… How Bullets Fly explains

Korea posts the names, addresses and telephone numbers of sex offenders online... @ Commission for Youth Protection...

and the ensuing traffic crashes the site...

If you chanced upon the cryonics link, posted on August 28.... and couldn't quite digest the idea of being forzen for posterity... here's an alternative... become an exhibit...

You have probably heard of makkhi marna... in Rome, it's an annual sporting event... instead of flies, the Italians will be killing mosquitos... and to think that Italy is home to the matadors...

Is someone watching you bathe... beware the hidden camera...

If you find a security hole in a web site, you could do one of two things... exploit it... or keep your mouth shut... what you shouldn't do is report it to the webmaster... you might just end up on the wrong side of the law. Ask Brian West.

Scott Adams designs Dilbert's ultimate cubicle

The principal organs of the French state were in full view... as the paparazzi caught President Jacques Chirac with his pants down

Wednesday, August 29, 2001

Instant messengers as brand wagons...
A teenage musician hopes to top the charts thanks to the launch of a specialised chat buddy by his record label on AOL Instant Messenger.

Health-conscious Polar Bear steals toothpaste and vitamin pills... but leaves food untouched...

Comedy of horrors... as Frenchman shoots neighbour after a tragic chain of misunderstandings...

Another Kalahandi in the making...

Get ready for another division of the country... now, on the basis of time

Anything wrong with this headline in the Indian Express...? Death gets new face in Valley, two priests beheaded...

Tuesday, August 28, 2001

When you escape from prison... don't spend your freedom in a brothel!
Manoj Singh, who escaped a Bhuj prison, after the earthquake did just that. Now, he is back where he belongs.

Superman sans his over-worn underwear... A new TV show has the hero without his famous costume for the first time ever.... reason: "today's teens may be willing to believe a man could leap tall buildings in a single bound, but they're far too hip and media-jaded to accept that he would choose to do so in long johns".

Should we go gentle into that good night... or rage against the dying light? Is death the only pancea for pain?

Freeze! You are on Cryonics!... will we wake up one day and realise we aren't dead any longer!

Is there a ghost in your machine? Is some errant genius using your computer to wreck havoc on others? Is a hacker right now dropping a malicious virus onto your hard-drive? HackerWhacker has the answers. You could also read some handy tips from yours truly here

Monday, August 27, 2001

He came off the street one rainy morning in August, three years ago. He was dripping wet, dirty and hungry. Instinctively, I was angry at the intrusion into my tiny little space, already crowded by three colleagues, four computers and a bunch of pesky mice with a taste for mouse cords.
Just as I was about to shoo him away, he sat on his haunches and gave me his trademark look: part soulful, part pleading and, on the whole, endearing. I thawed instantly.
That day, I had only half my lunch.
I forgot all about him, till he turned up again, a couple of days later. This time, he was merely trying his luck. I indulged him, feeding him a packet of biscuits.
I realised much later that biscuits made him thirsty. Every time I feed him biscuits now, I pour a bottle of water into his ersatz cup, a decapitated Bisleri bottle, and he happily laps it up.
It’s strange, now that I think back about it. Except those two instances, I recall little of how or when he became part of my everyday life. All I know is, along the way, he got himself a name – Bruno – lots of attitude and a more-than-healthy dose of aggression, both of which were reserved for his less fortunate brethren out on the streets.
There are things about him, though, that I will always remember.
For instance, the fact that, like all dogs, he hates noise. Every year, during Diwali, he disappears for a week. I don’t know where he goes. Though I wonder where he finds refuge, in a city like Mumbai, from those deafening decibels.
I will never forget the way he wiggles his entire butt when he is happy, because someone a long time ago snipped off his tail, leaving just a stub in place. Or the way he plays the ‘mandolin’ -- a colleague’s wildly imaginative description of Bruno scratching himself with his hind leg.
Or his fear of swivel chairs: a Pavlovian throwback to the early days of our relationship. Then, the only way to evict Bruno from the office during closing hours, especially on rainy days, was to take cover behind a swivel chair and push it threateningly towards him. I could think of no better way to save my Nike shoes from the wrath of his teeth.
Why am I writing all this now? Because, in a week’s time, I am moving, and I worry about what will happen of him. If the neighbourhood dogs don’t get him, I am sure the BMC will.
Three years ago, I thought I was giving him shelter. I realise now that I have done him a great injustice.
The tragedy with Bruno is that he does not belong. Till he arrived at my doorstep, he ‘belonged’ to the streets. He knew the rules. He knew the territory. He knew the enemies. And, above all, he knew how to survive.
I have managed to alienate him from all that. Outside, the rules have changed. A new generation has staked claim to what was once his territory. His enemies are younger, faster and stronger. And my misplaced largesse has dulled his survival instincts.
These truths were brought home to me poignantly by an incident last month. It was about six in the evening. There was light drizzle outside. I had to shut down and Bruno was being difficult. So I used the swivel-chair trick. As I locked up, and walked towards my car, I saw Bruno, drenched with sewer water, trying desperately to haul himself up by his forelegs from a gutter.
He simply did not have the strength. And the slippery cement edges offered little purchase to his trembling forelegs.
Worse, there were three dogs waiting above to pounce on him the minute he got out.
Growling, his teeth bared, Bruno was trying to put on a brave face. But I could see he was completely, utterly helpless.
Fortunately for him, I was around that day. In a week’s time, he will be on his own.
One of my colleagues tells me, with the air of an expert. "He is very old. Look at the amount of hair he is shedding. He won’t live long."
I hope she is true. I shudder to think otherwise.

Ever wondered why moths are attracted to light? I did, last night after a swarm of them invaded my house. Every source of light was buzzing with activity. Had to live with an unplanned hour of darkness, while I waited for the creatures to shift their allegiance to the light on the floor landing. Anyway, here's why they do it, from Scientific American and the wonderful How Stuff Works

Take the cake with the red cherry on top
The sardar of hyperbole steps down the track, online. Catch all the latest Sidhuisms

Happiness Explained
New science shows how to inject real joy into your life.

Chances are, the corner office is monitoring your email
So, think twice before you mail water cooler gossip to your colleagues and friends

Houston declares free net access a birthright!
The city aims for 100 per cent free connectivity to bridge the digital divide. Maybe, our politicos could find time from their shenanigans to dream up something like this.

Immortality is not far away
Researchers have identified a region of a chromosome they believe contains the genes responsible for longevity

I Witness!
Jaswant Singh Mauji has been a key witness in several criminal cases, including six murders, a rape and four thefts. But has he really seen it all? Two convicts don't think so, and have put Mauji in the dock.

Games people play, and die playing
A 22-year-old Thai playing a computer game marathon, died at his terminal of a stroke induced by stress.

Viagra on a (lip)stick
Indian doctors claim to have developed a herbal lipstick that works like Viagra.

Lecter's on a feeding frenzy
Prague postmen discover another parcel with body parts

Are we on the way to mass extinction?
The world is losing between 50,000 and 100,000 species every year, says researcher

Saturday, August 25, 2001

Don't kiss that Massai hand. Spit on it instead
The Kenyan tribe considers a dollop of saliva on the palm lucky.

Madonna sells condoms
And the Material Girl isn't amused.

A decade too late
10 years after applying for jobs as clerks, hopefuls get a call for a written examination... that's what i call snail mail.

Eat, drink, and get heavy
Rum, cola and chakna... make a deadly cocktail

Crustaceans in the Curriculum
A Thai school is teaching kids the art of cultivating prawns

Was this meant for Hannibal I wonder
Postmen smell a rat. And discover human limbs in parcel in Prague

Tee off with Tiger in China
If you fancy your swing, and want to test it against the best in the world, Tiger Woods is standing by to play you in China. That it would mean a $ 80,000 hole in your wallet is another story.

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