Thursday, June 30, 2005

For all those non-stick cookware lovers...

The Environmental Protection Agency is taking a cautious approach to a scientific panel's conclusion that a chemical used by DuPont Co. to make the nonstick substance Teflon is a likely human carcinogen.

CNN Article

My earlier blog

A slap in the face of Hurriyat

"I admire your talk on the essence of universal human values, but this is not what is needed in Kashmir. You please tell India to remove its 10 lakh security forces and peace in real sense will return to the lives of the people in Kashmir."

--Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani

"Now the people and nations need more of interdependence rather than independence to live peacefully."

--Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

War of the Worlds

Last night I went to the movie 'War of the Worlds' . The movie was based on the original works of the great H.G. Wells (1898). This was like 107 years ago. WAW.

I have the seen the older version of the same movie, 'The War of the Worlds (1953)' .

Spielberg's version actually doesn't revolve around the aliens. This movie actually revolves around Tom Cruise, a 'not so successful in married life' guy, and a father of 2 kids. The story is actually about how such a father tries to protect his kids, amidst a situation where aliens go on a total annihilation spree.

The best scene of the movie was the probe of the alien craft , snooping in the basement of a house. That scene was thrilling, in fact it was thrilling in the old version too. In my opinion ,that scene is the highlight of the movie.

I like the way, the movie ended. I am not going to reveal that as it will be the ultimate spoiler :-)

But the way the movie started and ended, it was excellent.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

This weekend turned out to be a damn expensive weekend. It pretty much fucked up my bank balance.

It all started with me deciding to buy a DVD Recorder. So many good programs airs late night and I was missing most of them. Most of the programs are super awesome programs like South Park, Reno 911, Crank Yankers and the likes.

My uncle got a Panasonic DVD Recorder and inspired me to get one too. But I wanted to buy a DVD Recorder with a Hard Disk. Without a Hard Disk Drive (HDD), the maximum you can record on a DVD(4.7 GB) is 8 hours (low quality) or 1.5 hours (DVD movie quality).
I was zeroing in on a Panasonic with a HDD, but my friend Michael Morse suggested to get a Toshiba RD-XS34, with 160 GB HDD and TV Guide support.

After doing some research I found out that, that particular model was the near perfect one for my requirements. I say near perfect because, a perfect one would have also carried a VHS player with VHS to DVD dubbing feature.
But , hey it's ok...we don't live in a perfect world ;)

I also decided to re-wire my entertainment system completely.
Till today, I was using RCA composite video cables, and stereo jack cables.

For video, I would have preferred to take the component video route, but as my TV doesn't support component video, I had to settle for S-Video.

I went to circuit city and bought the following:

(1) Monster Video® 2/Interlink® 250 A/V Connection Kit (S-Video)
(2) Monster Video® 2 High Resolution S-Video Cable
(3) Monster Satellite® Fiber Optic Audio/S-Video Hookup Kit

For video, I connected the 3 S-Video cables between, the DISH Satellite Receiver and DVD Recorder, DVD Recorder and my BOSE 3-2-1 DVD Home Entertainment System & between Bose 3-2-1 and my Sharp TV.

For audio, I junked the old RCA A/V stereo cables and used the Monster Interlink 250 A/V cable between my DISH Satellite Receiver and DVD Recorder. I also replaced the RCA A/V Stereo cables connecting my DVD Recorder with BOSE 3-2-1 with Monster Interlink Lightspeed 100 Fiber Optic cable.

This completed the re-wiring of my home entertainment system.

When I turned on the systems, WAW...everything worked perfect and the quality of the video and audio was super awesome.

The whole process took me about 15 minutes.

I recorded some clippings from Sun TV to my HDD and viewed it later. The playback quality was as good as the original. No loss of quality.

When I went to circuit city, I also ended up buying 3 more DVDs for my DVD library.

I got the following DVDs.

(1) Not Another Teen Movie
(2) Once Upon a Time in the West
(3) Titanic

Even though this whole operation was a successful one, it cost me a lot.
When HDTV(High-Definition Television) and BD(Blu-Ray Disk) comes out sometime next year, I may have to get ready to re-wire everything. I better start saving some money.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Today evening I decided to just watch a movie and relax. I went to 'Batman Begins'

This movies was a real good one. This movie shows how Bruce Wayne becomes Batman.

Iam glad I saw this movie.

Is Pakistan, part of India ?

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has accused Pakistan of violating travel agreements during a recent visit to Pakistan by Kashmiri separatists.

India had issued passports to the separatist leaders but reports say they were permitted by Pakistan to travel across the country without visas or the use of their Indian passports.

If the separatist leaders have Indian passport, and they traveled to Pakistan without a Pakistan visa or without the use of their Indian passports, does it not make Pakistan, part of India?

Cool. Not only Kashmir, we now have Pakistan also as part of India :-)

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Lot of things happened this weekend. I had booked tickets for Anniyan, which was playing at Falls Church, Northern Virginia. Saravanan also drove down from Delaware to Richmond Friday night. Saturday, Saravanan, Prabakar and I drove to Falls Church to see the movie. We went like 2 hours early to get some good seats. To our surprise we found that nobody was there in the theater. So we went and had some lunch and went to the theater. We managed to get good seats. The theater became full house later and in fact some of them were sitting down reminding the 'Tharai tickets' back home. haha.
Anniyan Review (with no spoilers)

After the movie we went to Starbucks and had some coffee and drove back to Richmond the same evening.
Later ...{censored}

On Sunday, we didn't do much. We rented two movies, 'Meet the Fockers' and 'In Good Company'.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Hello Tamilnadu

Entrance Exams
It looks like Tamilnadu government has passed a new law that there will be no more entrance exams for medical and engineering. A lot of students were pissed off and have filed a case against the state government.


I wonder why the government passed such a law. Does anyone have any insights or insiders information?

I was watching Sun TV news and one of the students was saying...

"I did not score good marks first time so I was preparing for the entrance exams for the last 2 years and now I have a cutoff around 192 and this new law will bar me from getting admission in a good college"

If this guy did not score good marks the first time and spent 2 years preparing for entrance exams alone, is it fair that this guy is treated same as another guy who scored more or less same cutoff marks in his first attempt?

On the other hand, it is a good thing to give another chance to someone who failed in their first attempt and want to succeed.

When did life get so complicated?
This was another relaxing weekend for me. Did some groceries at Ellwood Thompson’s, a local health food store. I never do my groceries at the Wal-Mart.

Even though the idea of Wal-Mart is cool, having almost everything under one roof, I do not like their expansion strategy. Wherever a Wal-Mart opens, it becomes very tough for the local small guys running their stores. Most of them go out of business. If every place has a Wal-Mart and if we always do shop at Wal-Mart only, well it sucks. We will never get a complete taste of the local culture and tradition.

Imagine this. What if Wal-Mart opens at 10 different locations in Chennai, India and kicks, just say, Saravana stores and Nilgiris and the likes out of business?
When someone from US, visits Chennai as a tourist and if he ends up shopping at Wal-Mart, eeww, doesn’t make much sense to me.

The only good thing about Wal-Mart is that they are open 24 hours (that too I found not all locations). In case of an emergency, it’s ok to go ahead and buy there.

The only thing I do when I go to Wal-Mart is watch some super awesome ‘gummus’.
Yeah…Wal-Mart kicks ass.

Ok…coming back to my weekend…
I watched ‘Conan – The Barbarian’ on Sun TV Sunday afternoon (Tamil dubbing).
Then I did my weekly laundry.

It was 630pm. I realized that I had time to catch some movie on theater. I checked out the timings for 'Mr. and Mrs. Smith'. There was one show at 655pm. I booked my ticket in Fandango and took a quick shower and went to the theater. I found out that the whole computer system of Regal Cinemas was down. No ticket purchase or pickups. Then I had to stand in a long queue for a manual ticket pickup. When I got my turn the movie had already started. So I requested a ticket for ‘Madagascar’ which was about to start.
The guy said ok and we were cool. Customer service in US kicks ass.

The movie was hilarious. I enjoyed it. The graphics and animation was good too. I guess they might come up with a sequel too.

On my way back, I picked up some Fried Chicken from KFC.
Then I saw ‘Athu Mattum Ragasiyam’, a suspense thriller in Sun TV.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Science and Religion - Part II

Response to the comments posted by my friend on my previous blog.

NOTE : When I say religion, I don't mean any specific religion. So in that sense, I mean spiritual. So think of religion and spirituality as same while reading.

What source and destination are you talking about?

I thought your cut and paste itself had the answer for your question.
People call it by different names, Truth, God, Enlightenment.
And your question is exactly like what I had mentioned, how a pro-science only person would ask the question.

Now, you will ask what is God, or Truth or enlightenment.

In Tamil there is a saying 'Kandavar Vindilar Vindavar Kandilar'.
It means, those who have seen it has not explained it and those who have explained it has not seen it.

Now you might ask what the heck does that mean.

Let me try to explain with examples.
You go and ask a person if he loves his parents. He will say yes. Ask him how much he loves his parents and if he can prove his love towards his parents.
I don't think he will be able to tell or explain how much he loves his parents.
I don't think he will be able to prove that the love exists.
He would most likely say "I can't talk about it, you will have to experience it for yourself"

Ask a person who just went to a cemetery on a moonless night and saw a ghost like figure or a person who just survived a catastrophe, how scary it was. I don't think he would be able to explain it to you. Even if he explains , probably you won't understand. You will have to experience it yourself.

There are so many things in this world, just like that. Things that can't be said and explained. They have to be experienced.

"Are you implying religion is not in its infancy and is mature and found answers for everything?"

The answers are always there. You just have to find it. Some people try to find it through religion some try to find it through science and some both ways.

"Oh. So looks like you have solved the classic debate between creationists and evolutionists. I think this is a fleeting statement and oversimplifying things."

Probably you did not read carefully what I said.
I said "Is that African ancestor Adam & Eve?"
I basically asked a question, did not make a statement.
Iam not asserting that mankind started only 60,000 years ago. If that is the case, Ramayana is supposed to have happened in Treta Yuga, millions of years ago. How do you fit that in here?
Iam just trying to keep my mind open, and see the truth. I don't have a narrow mind and shut down avenues.

In my opinion, one can live happy fruitful life without bothering about the WHYs, but its pretty hard to survive without knowing the HOWs.

If your car stops on highway, do you ask 'Why the heck did my car stop in the middle of highway?' or 'How the heck did my car stop in the middle of highway"
Honestly I think you will not even bother to ask how did your car stop. You will ask why it stopped and examine why it stopped and try to fix it.

Next time when something does not work in your lab, observe yourself and see what question you ask first. It will be 'Why is it not working?'

As for as I can see, science doesn't even try to answer the WHYs and religion doesn't bother with the HOWs.

When a space shuttle blows up scientists don't watch the video and see 'How the shuttle blew?'
Instead they ask "why that happened ?"
So saying that science doesn't even try to answer the WHYs is a very generic statement.Or in your words content free empty statement.

Saying that religion doesn't bother with the HOWs shows lack of understanding of the scriptures.
Bhagavad Gita for instance not only talks about the Supreme but also talks about HOW you can reach or realize the Supreme.
The Bhagavata Purana's description of the cosmology is a sophisticated system, with multiple levels of meaning that encode at least four different astronomical, geographical, and spiritual world models.Many of these were written by ancient scientists. They did not separate science and religion. It's all interconnected.

So religion talks about both WHYs and HOWs.

You are saying that "science doesn't even try to answer the WHYs "

So science doesn't have all the answers. Because it does not even try to find out the answers to some of the questions? (WHYs)
So in that sense isn't science having a narrow mind and shutting down things not trying to find out answers? So is science complete?

Religion inspires science.

Empty statement. Doesn't further any point.

Do you know how many Hollywood movies were inspired by eastern religions?
Star Wars. You definitely must have heard about that movie. One of the best science fiction movies ever made.
The concept of Force is noting but what has been described as Prana (India), Qi (Chinese) or Ki (Japanese).
Do you know how many scientific inventions were inspired by such science fiction movies?
Do you know how many researches on the activity or functioning of brain were inspired by the transcendental state or enlightened state of meditators, mostly Buddhist monks?
Dr Satwant Pasricha, additional professor at the Department of Psychology, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), Bangalore, has researched over two decades 500 cases of reincarnation. (BOOK : Claims of Reincarnation: An Empirical Study of Cases in India)
Reincarnation definitely came from eastern religions.

These are just few examples.

Imagine this.
What if I say "What if Charles Darwin's Theory of Evolution was inspired by our own Dasavatharam" ?
Think about it.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Science and Religion

Even today, many believe that science and religion are against each other. They argue science is based on facts and religion is based on faith and you cannot mix fact and faith...blah…blah…blah.

I feel that those people are either ignorant on this matter or lack the intuition to see the Truth.

I believe that science and religion are not against each other.

This is my take on this subject.

1. Anyone who believes that science and religion are at odds...don't know much about what they are talking. It's just a perception that they are at odds. It's not the truth.

2. Science and Religion are two different paths to the same destination. TRUTH. Religion is like..."there is a source, it's also the destination. You came from source...and these are the different ways to go back to the source (or destination)". Whereas science is like..."what is the there a source...what is the there a did we come from we can go to destination".

3. Religion inspires science.

4. Science is at its infancy. It makes mistakes. It corrects them. It makes mistakes again. It corrects them again. This goes on.

5. DNA studies (science) say that all humans descended from an African ancestor who lived only 60,000 years ago. Is that African ancestor Adam & Eve?(Religion). This is a classic example of my Point (2). Science and Religion tries to take humanity to same place, in different ways.

Is it science or religion that has made our lives better?

It depends.

If you are talking about the physical body, or anything to do with materialistic world, then YES, science has made our lives better.

But if you are talking about the spiritual, or anything to do with spiritualistic world, then religion has made our lives better.

Has science done anything for spirituality?
So far not much. Most of them indirect. In future this might change. The closer the two paths (science and religion) are to the source, the more they will converge.

In my opinion, we should have an open mind and not say religion is crap or science is crap.

A person should fall under only one of the 3 categories.

1. Spiritual,

2. Scientific,

3. One who believes that both are different paths to the same.

One of my friends is so pro-science. He says all things said in religion are more or less crap, as there is no proof. He asks has anyone seen God. Yet, he goes to temple & prays to God. When asked, he says not to mix faith and fact.

Holy Crap.

What in the world is that supposed to mean???

Jesus said "One can serve only one master".

I said earlier that science hasn’t done much for spirituality and that even whatever it has done has been indirect.

But looks like this is going to change soon. Or is it?


I have been hearing this word for quite few months now.
Thanks to Tom Cruise, who has converted to Scientology and trying to talk to his super awesome fiancée Katie Holmes to adopt Scientology.

What is this Scientology? I decided to check it out myself.

After spending about half a day in their website I understood the following:

1. Scientology is a system of beliefs, teachings and rituals, originally established as a secular philosophy in 1952 by author L. Ron Hubbard, then re-characterized by him in 1953 as an "applied religious philosophy".

2. Scientology is defined as a controversial belief system developed by L. Ron Hubbard, based on a person being an immortal spiritual being whose survival depends on him/herself and his/her attainment of brotherhood with others and the universe .

3. Scientology literally means ‘knowing how to know’ .

4. It sounds more abstract initially and more like a religion for the elite few.

For more, I think it would be better for you to get it straight from the horse's mouth.

It took some time for me to comprehend what they were trying to say. But I think that’s because Iam neither intelligent nor one among the elites.

Honestly I think it is old wine in new bottle.
Scientology is nothing but the knowledge from our age old Hindu philosophies, Vedic literatures, Ramayana, Mahabharata, Bhagavada Purana, Bhavishya Purana and all such works, presented in a modern way to a modern world, applying scientific principles wherever possible.

Have a look at this:

So is Scientology the way to go?

Maybe not.

I don’t know as of now.

It looks promising.
But I know almost nothing about it. Have to research and understand more about it.

When I Google for Scientology I see a lot of Anti-Scientology websites too.

In my opinion, if Scientology is trying to bridge the gap between science and religion, and trying to say that both are 2 different ways to the same Truth, and if science can be applied to religious philosophies and if it makes the world a better place to live, then that’s the way to go.
That will be cool.

But if it turns out to be another evil cult…

yada yada hi dharmasya
glanir bhavati bharata
abhyutthanam adharmasya
tadatmanam srjamy aham

paritranaya sadhunam
vinasaya ca duskrtam
sambhavami yuge yuge

Bhagavad-gita Chapter 4, Verse 7 & 8

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Anniyan songs

I have been listening to Anniyan songs lately. Almost all the songs are super good.
Not sure which song will have Yana Gupta. Will have to watch the trailer in Sun TV carefully.

The funniest song which I like is 'Oh Sukumari'. It's a damn good teaser

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Wad di 'ell iz gowin on ?

If Advani is ‘most wanted’ in Pakistan, for involving in a conspiracy to do away the founder of Pakistan Mohammad Ali Jinnah, and an FIR to that effect still existed, why was Advani not arrested when he went to Pakistan?

Did he praise the country's founder, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, because he was not arrested when he went to Pakistan or to prevent an arrest?

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Mercury Montego girl in TV commercial

Has anyone see the recent Mercury Montego TV commercial girl?

She looks so hot and mesmerizing. Iam trying to find her name and few pictures. So far the only name that I have come across is Jill Wagner. Not sure if it's her. She is also now featuring in a second commercial, Mercury Mountaineer.

UPDATE : Yes, It's Jill Wagner.

Another Spin-Off from Vimal Incorporation. hehehe.

A new blog from the labs of Vimal

Friday, June 03, 2005



Police beat women who asked politicians to obey Indian Supreme Court order

List of injured includes 3 year old child, with pictures

Join in on the fax action: Act now and send a free fax to Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh here:

Give the politicians a real "Wake Up!" call, and ask them

a) to obey the Supreme Court's order of May 2004
b) to condemn the police brutality and take action against those responsible; and
c) to drop trumped up charges against peaceful demonstrators

Their home numbers are given here, together with a useful clock showing the current time in Bhopal. Please make good use of it.

Pictures from the Neend Udao protest and the brutal repression by the police are at


Toxic chemicals abandoned at its factory by Union Carbide have poisoned the drinking water of 20,000 people. In May 2004 the Indian Supreme Court ordered local politicians to provide the communities with clean, safe drinking water. The politicians ignored the order.

On Tuesday 17 May, 300 people, overwhelmingly women, many with children and babies in arms, went to government offices to protest. They banged spoons on tin plates in a "Wake Up" (in Hindi "Neend Udao") protest. The politicians' response was to send in the riot police.

Pictures of police kicking and punching women and children have shocked the world. Amnesty International has expressed concern and asked the Bhopal authorities to bring those accused of violence to book.

The survivors of Bhopal have suffered enough. We need the help of every decent person whose sense of justice is as outraged as that of the women who dared to raise their voices against the politicial bullies.

/Disclaimer:/ The "Wake Up!" call is an independent Bhopal.Net initiative to support the "Neend Udao" protest. Pissed-off sleep-deprived politicians should note that the people in Bhopal have not asked us to do it. We are doing it because it seems right and proper. Bhopal.Net is a project of the UK Campaign for Justice in Bhopal, which is a member of the ICJB. If you are a politician who has been woken up by a phone call from a supporter on the far side of the world, you may complain to editor_at_bhopal dot net.
Bhopal mailing list

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Anniyan - Shankar, Vikram, Yana Gupta, Sada

My friend Vijay, who is also my class/lab mate during my college days, came to Richmond last week, to visit Virginia Beach. The first day when he came to my home, he wanted to see Sun TV. So we switched on Sun and we saw the trailer of Shankar/Viram’s ‘Anniyan’. We both were really excited about this movie. We had lots of expectations.

After seeing the trailer, we both were like “What the heck was that???”

Yeah, we saw some scenes in the trailer, which were like…”Whaaaaaat!!!”

Vikram was doing some unbelievable ‘Matrix’ kinda stuff.

Hmm. Hope the movie turns out to be a good one and not a blooper.

Going by the title and stills, I think it looks like Vikram is acting in dual role or he is a split personality (Batman, Spiderman, Superman). An innocent guy and a ‘Robin Hood’ kind guy.

But didn’t Shankar already do a movie like that with Arjun. Remember Gentleman?


Looks like the movie will be kinda violent with lots of

Whatever...Yana Gupta is there

Iam seeing 'The Yana Gupta'. Oops... sorry, the movie.

Photo courtesy : IndiaGlitz

Is this only me or...

Is this only me or...

I think Vijay's younger brother Vikranth (Karka Kasadara) looks like a hybrid of Vijay and Ajith.