Bhrigu's question

कभी जो याद भी आता हूँ मैं तो कहते हैं के आज बज़्म में कुछ फ़ित्ना-ओ-फ़साद नहीं - मिर्ज़ा ग़ालिब

Location: the valley, California, United States

Bay Area, Strategy Manager, Haas- U. C. Berkeley, Marathons

Friday, June 30, 2006

Ogden Nash's poem

From today's Minstrels post:

"Reflection on the Fallibility of Nemesis"

He who is ridden by a conscience
Worries about a lot of nonscience;
He without benefit of scruples
Has fun and income soon quadruples.

-- Ogden Nash

Thursday, June 22, 2006

The Indian in Badwater

For the first time, an Indian has gained entry into the toughest foot race on earth, the Badwater Ultramarathon. See Wikipedia article here. Congratulations and good luck to Nattu Natraj. It is great to see the Indian flag in the roster.

The Badwater marathon is 135 miles of hell in 140F temperatures. From Death Valley to Mt. Whitney. It gets so hot that shoes melt on asphalt. Therefore, the runners often seek solace on the white strips on the side of the road, where it is relatively less hot. People take anywhere from 24.x (Scott Jurek) to 58 hours to finish the brutal race. The runners have to be equipped with their own crews for support. The runners have to wear special outfits to fight the heat. They are constantly doused with water and ice to keep their core temperatures cool.

More pictures here. Way to go Nattu. Keep the flag flying! Best of luck and make us proud.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Sir Paul McCartney

Paul McCartney, born June 18th, 1942, turns 64 on Sunday. Thirty-seven years ago, he wrote this song. Well, we have the answer to the questions he had posed. Heather Mills has declined to send him a valentine. There will be no birthday greetings or bottles of wine from her. But he's still got his hair!
When I get older losing my hair,
Many years from now.
Will you still be sending me a valentine
Birthday greetings bottle of wine.
If I'd been out till quarter to three
Would you lock the door,
Will you still need me, will you still feed me,
When I'm sixty-four.
You'll be older too,
And if you say the word,
I could stay with you.
I could be handy, mending a fuse
When your lights have gone.
You can knit a sweater by the fireside
Sunday mornings go for a ride,
Doing the garden, digging the weeds,
Who could ask for more.
Will you still need me, will you still feed me,
When I'm sixty-four.
Every summer we can rent a cottage,
In the Isle of Wight, if it's not too dear
We shall scrimp and save
Grandchildren on your knee
Vera Chuck & Dave
Send me a postcard, drop me a line,
Stating point of view
Indicate precisely what you mean to say
Yours sincerely, wasting away
Give me your answer, fill in a form
Mine for evermore
Will you still need me, will you still feed me,
When I'm sixty-four.

Dalyrmple reviews a book

Theodore Dalrymple reviews 'Islamic Imperialism - a history' by Efraim Kersh.
The originality of Karsh’s interpretation is its underlying assumption that Islam was, from the very beginning, a pretext for personal and dynastic political ambition, from the razzias against the Meccan caravans and the expulsion of Jewish tribes from Medina, to the siege of Vienna a millennium later in 1529, and Hamas today.

Karsh argues [..] Islam has never succeeded in eliminating political power struggles within the Muslim world, where, on the contrary, such struggles have always been murderous. Islamic regimes, many espousing in the beginning the ascetic principles of what one might call desert Islam, invariably degenerate (if it be degeneration) into luxury- and privilege-loving dynasties. Like all other political entities, Islamic regimes seek to preserve and, if possible, extend their power.

Indeed. While, the portrayal by Edward Said and others of a colonised Arabia reflects history of a recent vintage. For too long, Asia and Africa were under the yoke of Arabic imperialism. The victims of this imperialism, most notably, India, Persia and Egypt have had lasting damage done to them. The collapse of it has left a legacy of craving in much of the elite living in Arabic nations. They practice what Kanan Makiya labelled as 'the politics of rejection - reject, reject, reject'.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Basil Fawlty can't be wrong

The Germans have enlisted Basil Fawlty to ensure that the Brits do not mention the war.

Now, 31 years after the television series was made, Cleese is again advising the British "not to mention the war", only this time at the behest of Germany.

The 66-year-old actor is endorsing an essay competition - called "But don't mention the war" - organised by the German embassy in London, which encourages British students to write 3,000 words about modern Germany