Category Archives: Miscellaneous

40 X

Frost. I1220725809850t meanders across the shoulders and onto the couch. The green then the white, and the green again. It’s nice…but you are playing and you want to be picked. Why is he hunting? There’s no need, laying back works. Fuck it, it’s futile, he keeps hunting…his prey’s on the move….leaping, sweeping across…on the other side now…but it’s locked! Why would it be locked, there are no secrets between us, just let me in…Sweat.

Bullets and bullets…shirt’s drenched, stuck. Depleting saltpetre, but my Belmont’s aren’t in reach. That half’s closed…Why look to the left when the game’s on the right…Focus. He’s counting, mapping his quest. I lose interest in him, my labyrinth beckons. I enter. It’s easy. Facile. I invite him to play, but he’s irate now. He must hunt. Brother, stop! Laying back works take it from me. The other half signals its presence. Amused, but dangerously, teetering on panic. I want to respond, to reassure, even grin, but no go, it’s locked. Focus! Sweat. Bullets and bullets, but only on the right. Green and white and white and green and you can merge and why not the hunt’s on but you want no part of it you just want to merge you just want to be and green and white and white and green and on and on and smile…

…..

Cillin, you can turn now… Cigarette’s cashed though. Stand up, vitals normal, sigh, sit, look, channel-flip. Tummy announces it’s existence.

I’m back. ¿Por qué?

“Rather comical, dude”: American vs. British humor- an academic perspective

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Just watched a captivating Salman Rushdie interview in which he repeats a telling quote on the difference between American & British comedy.

British comedy is based on the question “Wouldn’t it be funny IF?” whereas American comedy is based on the question “Isn’t it funny THAT?

American humor is up-front, expressly stated, with laughs readily available and reflection rarely required. Conversely, British humor requires a curious sort of patience. It unravels itself slowly, titillating the imagination. It requires relationship-building- a character or mannerism may not seem funny until its been expressed over time and in many situations. For these reasons, it’s more intimate, and more likely to strike a lasting chord. You might guffaw hard at Zohan’s antics now, but in 20 years, you’re more likely to remember Basil Fawlty and chuckle.

Sybil Fawlty: You’re looking very happy Basil.
Basil Fawlty: Happy? Ah yes, I remember that.

ant-sexyIt’s sort of like a supermodel’s bare bottom versus the same celestial clad in a slit mini-skirt. While it’s amazing to have the instant gratification of the former, one somehow yearns for the artful allure of the latter.

Wisdom in a box

Sport, music, dance. These are-all process driven activities; quote every existing statistic, recognize every sonata, memorize every salsa sequence…but until you kick, shoot, grapple, dive, strum, beat, play, jive, step- you aren’t a sportsman, a musician, or a dancer. It’s helpful to think of wisdom along the same lines; raw intelligence and scholarship are only two of the steps towards Solomon.

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*Big ups to Dr. John Vervaeke, University of Toronto, CogSci, for this framework

Wisdom is largely process-driven, composed of the  5 INs:

  1. Intelligence: Processing power, speed & efficiency. Note that this intelligence is the only mechanical and capacity-driven component of wisdom.
  2. Insight: The ability to effectively formulate ill-defined problems (e.g. how can I be successful at work?), which compose of the majority of life’s problems.
  3. Integration: The ability to size up, prioritize and create background/foreground relationships, focus scattered bits and pieces into an intricate whole.
  4. Intuition: Procedural expertise that results from implicit learning, very stimulus-bound…the ability to ‘get’ the complex interaction between variables
  5. Induction: Involves discovering/understanding what is important/valuable to you…a sort of self-reflective insight

These 5 INs are guided and monitored by the 3 METAs:

  1. Metacognition: Awareness of our cognitive processes
  2. Metasystemic reasoning: Now craftily copyrighted as “Integrative Thinking” by the Rotman School, this involves using the ‘opposable mind’- the ability to synergize seemingly contradictory beliefs and make them work
  3. Metamotivation: Motivation by higher needs, such as truth, spirituality, etc.

Becoming ‘wise’ involves all the above aspects, plus practising mindfulness to gain new perceptions, souped-up neural circuitry, and altered consciousness.

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Blessings not just for the ones who kneel: Bono’s flawed take on Africa

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I am a diehard Bono fan. His performances are inspirational, exhilarating. As a powerful and influential celebrity who is passionate about changing the world, Bono is a potent force. But his efforts regarding Africa, his pet project, can sometimes do more harm then good. ‘The Dark Continent’ is steadily emerging into the light, but the Western view of Africa as a nightmarish and completely destitute place often leads to counterintuitive policies. Check out this article by William Easterly that sheds further light on the matter. Link

Bono and many other well-intentioned, big-hearted celebs are advertising in the skies for people like us, but lets take the effort to learn for ourselves whats really needed in Africa.

“The true artist has the planet for his pedestal; the adventurer, after years of strife, has nothing broader than his shoes”- The Bush shoe incident

A surprise visit by US President George Bush to Iraq has been overshadowed by an incident in which two shoes were thrown at him during a news conference. (BBC)

Muntadar Al-Zaidi’s attack was launched with the words “this is a farewell kiss, you dog”. He launched two size-10 shoes at Bush, who was swift enough to duck them. In the Arab world, showing someone the sole of your shoe is considered a grave insult. So this farewell gesture was a  sign of utter contempt for Bush.

Credit to W, he managed to pull some sheepish smiles after the incident. The comedy channels will have a field day with this after running dry since Obamamania.

Nonsense Trivia: John Doe & Friends

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Suspect: John Doe, 6′, armed and dangerous.

Names for our friend in various countries:

Arabia: Fulan
Argentina: Ningun Nombre
Australia: Joe Blow
Brazil: Fulano
Canada: G. Raymond
China: Pinyin
France: Jean Dupont
Germany: Hans Mustermann
India: Naamaloom
Israel: Israel Israeli
Italy: Mario Rossi
Jamaica: Jah D!
Russia: Ivanov Ivan Ivanovich
Scotland: Jock Tamson
Serbia: Marko Markovic

Evel Knievel- Desi Style

It takes a special sort of soul to remain serene while doing this.

What’s also glorious is the conversation between the friends in the car who are taking the video. The accents and inflections are pure Indian, but all the phrases are American (“I was like WTF?!”, “he’s texting!”,”Yo, what!”), suggesting the influence of exposure to an American education and US pop culture.