Return Of The... King? : Celestial Conversations - XV

on Posted by Rajesh J Advani
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First: Celestial Conversation
Previous: House-hunting: Celestial Conversations - XIV
God: Hello?
Me: Hello! And where have you been?
God: Oh, up and around.
Me: Really.
God: Finally found a place to stay, by the way.
Me: Oh, great! So Heaven's back in business, eh?
God: Well, not exactly.
Me: Oh? What's wrong now?
God: See, I'm living in a studio.
Me: What? Heaven's a studio apartment?
God: It's not exactly heaven, right? It's what you people call a stop-gap arrangement. Some place to rest my head till I find more permanent accomodation.
Me: Oh. That way. So everyone's still in Hell?
God: Yes. It's becoming a bit of an embarrassment, really. It seems they can't really hold their drink very well.
Me: Abstinence doesn't help tolerance much, I guess.
God: No, it doesn't.
Me: Hmmm.
God: In fact, Luci's even lodged a complaint.
Me: Luci?
God: Yeah. You know. Luci.
Me: Oh. You mean The D-, I mean, him?
God: Yeah.
Me: Oh. Complaint against whom?
God: David
Me: David?
God: Yeah. Apparently, he challenged Goliath to a wrestling match.
Me: He did?
God: Without his sling.
Me: Oh.
God: Yeah. Luci says he isn't responsible for the health of my people.
Me: Is he okay?
God: He wishes he were dead.
Me: But he is dead.
God: Exactly.
Me: Ah.
God: Yeah. Quite embarrassing. But not as embarrassing as a 90-year-old nurse doing the pole-dance.
Me: 90-year-old nurse? Who?
God: Florence.
Me: Nightingale?
God: Yup.
Me: That can't have been pretty.
God: Interesting choice of words. Anyway. I have to go. Have an appointment with my landlord in a few minutes.
Me: Oh. See you later, then.
God: Yeah. Bye.
Me: Bye.

Next: God's Will? : Celestial Conversations - XVI

So you think you get too much spam?

on Posted by Rajesh J Advani
Until a couple of months ago, when my company implemented some really cool spam filters, I was getting upwards of 70 spam emails a day. I thought that was bad enough.

Now imagine getting 4 million emails everyday, most of which (of course) are spam.

I'm not kidding. That's how much spam Bill Gates gets. Poor guy. I wonder if he uses gmail... Maybe I should send him an invite.

Nice Guys

on Posted by Rajesh J Advani
After spending quite some time ranting about (or listening to rants about) how girls go for all the wrong guys, it's nice to see a girl agreeing with you. And not just agreeing with you. I mean knowing exactly what you mean, and taking the words right out of your mouth.

Fu-zu Jen wrote the following piece as a student for the Wharton Undergraduate Journal. It brings tears to my eyes...

This is a tribute to the nice guys. The nice guys that finish last, that never become more than friends, that endure hours of whining and bitching about what assholes guys are, while disproving the very point. This is dedicated to those guys who always provide a shoulder to lean on but restrain themselves to tentative hugs, those guys who hold open doors and give reassuring pats on the back and sit patiently outside the changing room at department stores... Click here to read more

Thanks Megha for the link!

Men live in bars and Women don't have a...

on Posted by Rajesh J Advani
I always wanted to write about this. It's a thought that came from the results of a survey held in UK around July last year. Unfortunately, I can't currently find the article where I read about this survey, so you'll just have to take my word (yes, My word) for it.

The results of the survey, were as follows
  1. Women who had been in a larger number of relationships were more depressed than women who had been in fewer relationships. That is, women who had remained with their first love, were happiest. And women who had a larger number of men in their past, were more depressed about the failed relationships.
  2. We men, on the other hand are... you know... Men. The fewer a man's past relationships, the less happy he was. Whereas men who had been in a larger number of relationships, were happier.
This means that, whereas a woman would prefer to fall in love with and spend the rest of her life with exactly one man in her whole life, a man is generally happier to play around.

The only conclusion I can derive from the results of this survey, is that - Maybe men and women are not really meant for each other.

Interesting thought, hmmm?

Disclaimer: The above-mentioned survey was conducted in a country that uses really innovative ways to reduce its teenage pregnancy rate.

I'm Chandler?

on Posted by Rajesh J Advani
I was checking out Dumbs' blog yesterday, and a friend pointed out that the "I'm Chandler" link is actually a test out there created by a guy called stomps that tells you which F.R.I.E.N.D.S. character you are most like, based on your answers to some questions there. So you take the test and then he asks you to put some HTML on your site/blog/homepage that tells the world what he thinks. So here it is.

I'm Chandler Bing from Friends!

Now I've mentioned this before, but I'll say it again - I don't believe in the results of Personality tests. So, I've got my own opinion about which friends character I'm most like. And I came to this conclusion back in April this year.

I, am Ross Geller. Why?

Well, given my track record, it is highly probable that:

1. If I ever do get married my wife will realise that she is a Lesbian.
2. The woman who marries me will only do so if she is completely drunk.

Also, look at some of Ross's personality quirks:

1. Ross is a geek.
So am I.

2. He comforts Rachel when she breaks up with most of her boyfriends, and specially Paulo.
I am often in the position of being "A shoulder to cry on" for women who are having trouble with their boyfriends or ex-boyfriends.

3. Rachel tells Ross that she is off guys after she breaks up with Paulo.
Most single women tend to say that to me.

4. When Joey falls for Rachel, after initially being shocked Ross tells Joey that he should tell Rachel how he feels. And that if Rachel feels the same way then that's up to them, and Ross shouldn't have a say in it.
I have the same "Aa bail mujhe maar" (translates to inviting a bull to come and hit you without the training of a matador) attitude.

5. When Joey's girlfriend Charlie (who Ross likes) tells Ross she thinks she should break up with him since he's not intelligent or a paleontologist (which Ross is), Ross encourages her to stay with him, inspite of his own interests.
See (4)

6. Rachel gets a job in Paris and Ross tries to make sure that she can stay in New York. Even after everything is arranged, when he sees that she wants to go to Paris, he tells her she should go.
See (4) and (5)

So there.

So, what is it that women want, again?

on Posted by Rajesh J Advani
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When I was in my teens, my mom used to ask me "Why can't you be like other boys?"

Instead of playing Cricket in the parking lot of my apartment building, like the other boy kids - and some girl kids too - I'd be happy to sit at home with a book (preferably Isaac Asimov). If not with a book, you'd find me at my computer, attempting to write a computer game using QBasic. (And I finally did. Two. Naughts and Crosses, and a much simpler version of Space Invaders - Level 1)

And it wasn't just my mom. All the women in my life seemed to say the same thing. All four aunts. They expected me to have a girlfriend, "like all boys today have". Yeah, right. They expected me to workout, play sports, build muscles, and beat up other boys my age in the neighbourhood (No, they're not sadistic. This was considered a preferred alternative to being bullied by kids who played sports, built muscles, and beat up other people.)

The fact that I couldn't be bothered to remember the names of all eleven members of the Indian Cricket team and the twelfth man, and the waterboy and their families, or know what exact flavour and brand of bubble gum Sachin Tendulkar chewed, surprised a pretty large number of people.

Well, now I've grown up (or so I'd like to think). I play video games that involve blowing holes through 49 armed men at a time with a Kalashnikov Rifle. I prefer to keep my clothes in a pile beside my bed after I do the laundry instead of putting them away (Because I prefer to fold them before putting them away, and I'm too lazy to do that). I can spend 4 hours at an electronics store without buying anything (just like I can spend the same amount of time in a library without deciding which book I want to take home). And, I prefer waking up when the sun is directly above you, instead of when it rises.

And you know what women say now? They crinkle up their nose, give me a dirty look, and say "You men are all the same!"

I guess you can never win...

Why would anyone continue to use IE?

on Posted by Rajesh J Advani
Firefox, The Mozilla browser that's been making waves recently, is eating into Internet Explorer's share in the browser market. As someone who's been using - as my browser of choice - Mozilla since 2001 (milestone builds that didn't even have a version number), and Firefox since version 0.6, I am not surprised.

Except for the odd website that is still too outdated to be standards compliant, the World Wide Web works great on Firefox. And, it's safer.

You know all those Popups that keep bothering you on almost every website on the net? It's irritating to have to close them all the time, isn't it? And what about all the spyware - programs like search toolbars - that seem to get installed on your computer without you ever doing anything? Have you made a habit of reformatting your harddisk every few months just to deal with it?

Well, with Firefox, you do not need to worry about that. Popups are disabled on Firefox. But for some reason if you want them to work on a particular website, it's a matter of a couple of clicks to get them to work, and if you want, you can make them work only for that website.
Firefox is more secure. So no more crazy toolbars being installed on your PC without your permission.

I only ever use IE for the company intranet site, which is hardwired to IE.

So I was quite stunned to see that IE still has more than 92% of the market share. It would make sense if alternate browsers were large and heavy to download, and difficult to install.
But Firefox is just a 4.5 MB download! On dialup, that means around 30 minutes to download it - assuming you were doing some surfing on IE in the meanwhile - and a two minute install.
With broadband, it takes all of 5 minutes to download and install Firefox on your PC.

My stats show that almost 75% of people who read this blog are using IE. That's 3 out of 4 people who are using the wrong browser! Why?

Get Firefox today.

Get Firefox!

Even its preview release is a lot more secure than IE. And a lot more usable. You will like what you see.

Warning: Usage of Firefox for extended periods of time causes an aversion to the IE browser. You might never be able to use a PC without Firefox, again.

Vote for Count Dracula!

on Posted by Rajesh J Advani
It's election day here in the US. After today, the United States of America will have a new president. And it will be Count Dracula!

If is to be believed, both George W. Bush and John Kerry are descendants of Prince Vlad III of Wallachia - Count Dracula - himself, and are ninth cousins twice removed.

So, whatever the outcome of today's elections, expect to hear something like this in the near future:

Ken Starr: Mr President, did you in fact suck blood from the neck of Ms Johnsonsky?
President: No, I zeed not.
Ken Starr: Are you saying that you did not in fact suck blood from the neck of Ms Johnsonsky?
President: Yez, zat eez vat I am saying.
Ken Starr: So you are denying the allegation, Mr President?
President: Yez. I 'av nevair sucked ze blud from Ms Johnsonsky's neck.
Ken Starr: Are you sure, Mr President?
President: Ov course, I'm sure! I nevair suck ze blud from ze neck. I prefer to suck from ze throat.

Firefox 1.0 - Any time now

on Posted by Rajesh J Advani
Back in 1998, something wonderful happened to this world. Netscape released the source code of their browser. And thus Mozilla was born.

Today, six years later, Mozilla is at version 1.7.3, and Mozilla's new browser - Firefox - is just a few days away from 1.0. Not that 1.0 matters to users like me. Firefox has been stable for months now.

It's light (a 4.5MB download), has a search bar (No need to go to - other search sites also supported - when you want to search. Just type the keyword into Firefox's search box, and it takes you to Google's results directly), it allows you to surf multiple sites in the same browser window using a Tabbed interface, is extensible (like getting a tiny icon in your status bar to let you know that you have new email in your gmail account, or control your MP3 player from within Firefox), blocks popups by default, and is Web-developer-friendly (has neat tools like the Javascript Console, and the DOM Inspector). And of course, it supports Themes. So if you think you like Firefox but want it to look like IE (but not behave like it, of course), well, that's possible too.
And even that, isn't the half of it.

Get Firefox!

So, click on the image above (or the one in my sidebar) to check out Firefox today and get on the bandwagon. You might begin to wonder how you've been managing with IE all this time.