Monday, April 04, 2011

Team India - Cricket World Cup

So Team India swept to their Cricket World title after a span of 28 years, and in the process became the first country to win a title on its home soil (Sri Lanka was the first to win as a host country, but the final was played in Pakistan in 1996).

I was thinking about the gauntlet that India had to run through to win the cup...and their last four victories came in order against 
The West Indies
Sri Lanka.

Now, the Cricket World Cup has been played since 1975, and the following countries have, in order, won their first title since then.
West Indies
Sri Lanka.

The amazing thing about Team India's run in the 2011 World Cup is that they beat the teams in the same order as their first World Cup title. Obviously it is a mere coincidence, but it is still uncanny that the sequence played out in this way.

Beyond all this though, congratulations are in order to the Men in Blue. They did themselves and the country proud.

This year, S and I have been privileged to have watched and followed two teams that made a successful run at the title. Both of them were talented enough that they were considered favorites for the title, both stumbled a bit and then when they hit on all cylinders, took on all comers and blitzed their way to the epitome of their respective sports.

One is Team India in Cricket. The other? The 2010-11 Green Bay Packers in the NFL.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

The King's Speech

My wife S is an avid Colin Firth fan and has tried to catch up on his movies as often as she can. I am an avid history buff, especially interested in the era spanning the end of the First World War up until the start of the Nixon era.

So when these two interests intersected in The King's Speech, we wanted to go and watch the movie. And boy, were we glad we watched it.

Firth aced the titular role, but Geoffrey Rush in a delightful turn as speech therapist Lionel Logue is the scene-stealer. After Slumdog Millionaire in 2009, we were glad we did not miss out on a movie that went on to capture Oscars glory. Beyond the usual uplifting elements of the story, it is the warmth of the characterization that seems to be the difference.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The King's Speech

Colin Firth, interviewed by David Mermelstein of the Wall Street Journal, about the role he played in The King's Speech:
"My profession can so often be completely frivolous, which is one of its virtues. But whenever I play someone who suffers, I feel that there's a danger that I'm an impostor. So it's a relief that people who stammer haven't felt misrepresented. The reason why people tell stories and read stories and see films is to feel less alone. And if there's a story that takes everyone through something like this, it's a way to say to others, 'Now you live through it and see how it feels.' And if my profession gets that wrong, we've lost that opportunity. So it's a great relief not to have dropped the ball.''
J loves all things Colin Firth, and I have promised to take her to see the movie, and the above quote makes me want to see it even more. Even if it figures to be drama at the highest level.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Overheard on the radio this morning...

My commute to work is a manageable 15-minute drive whirling like a dervish through a maze of snow-bird traffic. I typically favor listening to NPR or my favorite smooth-jazz station, KYOT on the drive to-and-from work, and this morning I turned to KYOT after quite a while of staying away from that station.

True to their form, they played an impeccable selection of music that helped smooth the drive to work, and then it happened. They went into a break, and the host announced - "one hour of commercial free radio presented by Hyundai", and then went straight into a commercial break featuring ads for, amongst other things, bankruptcies, IRS liens, wage garnishments.

Now, it is highly likely that they were advertisements for non-profit (which I believe are exempt from the commercial-free hours that radio stations often run), but the impeccable timing of the entire thing had me in splits, and set me up really well for the work week. Especially the first week back from the holiday season.

Friday, September 10, 2010

India...Incredible India...

Two minutes. 120 seconds. A million facets. A billion people. Countless vistas. Belonging to the one and only...Nature. All showcasing the good in the land that is home to a sixth of humanity.

In those 120 seconds, this video paints a fascinating montage of India. Set to a thumping rhythm that is at once pulsating and engaging, the rhythms of the melting pot that India is, are captured beautifully and artfully.

And thankfully, it showcases the best way to experience India. Not on a guided tour.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Its a party! College style!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Octopuses and Coconuts.

Now, for the life of me, I would never dreamed of linking a coconut shell and an Octopus in the same sentence. Maybe I am a poor creative writer or sci-fi writer.

But as is always the case with Nature, here is a bizarre story of Veined Octopuses, which not only use the coconut shells to hide in (see picture above), but actually "walk" around with them. National Geographic has this all covered in an interesting article complete with video. Here.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Vancouver 2010

So Vancouver signed off on the 2010 Winter Olympic spectacle in style.

Watching coverage of the games on ESPN during the early part of the games, the way the presenters emphasized on Canada not having won gold at their two previous attempts at hosting the Games was irritating at best, and gloatingly condescending at worst. I am glad that the Canadians answered in the most fitting way possible - by winning a record number of golds for any country at the Winter Games. And oh the icing on the cake. No. make that the cherry on the icing on the cake. They beat US for the Hockey gold.

Now, if the US had won, we would have heard ad nauseum from various bloviators on how it was akin to the Miracle on Ice yada yada yada. But now it is like, who cares about the Olympics. Oh well.

Now onto London 2012. Can't wait to see the Londoners try to follow Beijing's act.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Saturn's Double Light Show

HubbleSite has this wonderful photograph as well this excellent video that showed Saturn with its rings nearly edge-on, resulting in the ability to view a symmetrical light show on both poles. According to the site, the geometry of the solar system allows a simultaneous view of both poles only twice during one revolution of Saturn around the Sun.

Watch the video to appreciate the symmetrical light show. And enjoy.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

"Fear the blobfish"

So I came across this hilarious piece of writing in the LA Times. Click the link and read. No, I mean it. Read it fully. Done? Good.

You know it is about the blobfish and you have to admit, it is somewhat unnerving to look at. It is like revolting scene in a movie that you cannot take your eyes off of. It is like the fender bender on the freeway that everyone has to have a look at, craning their necks in weird angles and causing traffic to slow down to a crawl.

So, what is my point with this post? Just this. We seem to have forgotten what it is to have a good laugh at something. We take everything we read, and wring it through our own spectral biases and then react either in sheer delight or scathing scorn. Somehow everything has gone in the direction of "you are with us or against us" that seems to be pervading everything and everyone these days.

I really am hoping that the pendulum would veer toward the center at some point, and soon.