Hasya Kavi Sammelan

Hasya Kavi Sammelan

Was looking for some interesting videos to watch on Youtube today, and landed up on a Hasya Kavi Sammelan video conducted in IIT KGP. That got me started into a journey into the past. My father has always been a great fan of Kavi Sammelan’s (literally, a congregation of poets), and as a kid we used to go for many performances during the festival seasons of Holi and Diwali.

Great thing about these are – unlike the idiot boxes of today – the poets would mix humour with social messages, the humour would be very clean and simple, weaved together using perfect verse and recited eloquently. Those days are now over – what we enjoy today is Big Boss, and stand up comedy where in most cases men dress up as women and act stupid (don’t get me wrong — that’s also fun and enjoyable, but these lack the depth).

So, here’s a peep into the past and a few verses I discovered today. I’ll start with Ashok Chakradhar in his brilliant Buddhe Bacche aka Galiyaan:

Moving next, the brilliant poet who creates humour with a straight face, Surendra Sharma:

Continuing the Haryanvi Streak of Humour, Arun Jemini:

No kavi sammelan is complete without a poem of the veer ras (war poetry), and presenting Hari Om Panwar:

Next up, is the grand old man, Shail Chaturvedi:

And thus, we come to the end of the ceremony with Shailesh Lodha, a young poet but worth a watch:

Thank you guys! And hope you enjoyed the show :)

The Kitchen Computer : If she can only cook as well as Honeywell can compute…

Chanced upon this very interesting trivia in the Wired article on the new book by Chris Anderson (FREE):

Honeywell Kitchen Computer Advertisement

Honeywell Kitchen Computer Advertisement

“Honeywell Kitchen Computer, priced at $10,600″

“the Kitchen Computer was aimed at housewives and featured integrated counter space. Those housewives would, however, require a programming course (included in the price), since the only way to enter data was with binary toggle switches, and the machine’s only display was binary lights. Needless to say, not a single Kitchen Computer is recorded as having sold.”

The text of the advertisement read (source: Wikipedia):

“Her souffles are supreme, her meal planning a challenge? She’s what the Honeywell people had in mind when they devised our Kitchen Computer. She’ll learn to program it with a cross-reference to her favorite recipes by N-M’s own Helen Corbitt. Then by simply pushing a few buttons obtain a complete menu organized around the entree. And if she pales at reckoning her lunch tabs, she can program it to balance the family checkbook. 84A 10,600.00 complete with two week programming course. 84B Fed with Corbitt data: the original Helen Corbitt cookbook with over 1,000 recipes $100 (.75) 84C Her Potluck, 375 of our famed Zodiac restaurant’s best kept secret recipes 3.95 (.75) Corbitt Epicure 84D Her Labaird Apron, one-size, ours alone by Clairdon House, multi-pastel provencial cotton 26.00 (.90) Trophy Room”

Hmmmm …

Interactive Game on Youtube

I found this game on youtube where you have to drive a car to safety by clicking on annotations they present at seemingly random places during the video’s playback. While a little lame to call it a game, it sure is a way to make youtube interactive and a little more engaging, and perhaps something YouTube team itself might like to experiment with [via pluggd.in]

This has been made by Hexolabs, an IIT Kanpur startup.

The new Microsoft “I’m A PC!”

Microsoft just released their retort to Apple’s “I’m a PC and I’m a Mac” ad — and one must say that the ads are absolutely cool!

Microsoft has chosen to use the opening line from Apple’s ad — and turn it into their strength. The ad first shows a (real) Microsoft employee, Sean Siler, saying “I’m a PC” and then goes on to parade a lot of cool people — many of whom are celebrities (one can spot Deepak Chopra, Bill Gates, Eva Langoria, Tony Parker) saying how they use a PC too and they live the new Microsoft Maxim Life without Walls.

These follow the disappointing Bill Gates – Jerry Seinfeld that nobody got — Microsoft has chosen to call them the ice-breaker to start conversation about the PC.

See the ads here:

What a reply! This is adverti-zing !

The Phelps Phenomenon

The media has been agog with Michael Phelps‘ feat — and for good reason. Winning 8 Olympics Gold medals, is, ah … well … Olympic! The way Phelps has dominated the sport of swimming over the last few years (as I have gathered from newspaper reports). It is incredible that a human being has engineered himself into becoming such an achiever. Especially in the light of India regaling the lone gold medal, the 8 Golds that Phelps has won shows how he must have pursued his goal with almost maniacal single-minded concentration.

Michael Phelps in Action

Michael Phelps in Action

It seems that his physique has probably also developed in a manner to suit his devotion to the sport [ndtv]:

According to his coach Eddie Reese, Michael Phelps is not only the most talented swimmer but also the hardest working.

And to complete the nightmare for his peers, the bionic ‘Aqua Man’ has a peerless physique to boot. It took 36 years to break Mark Spitz’s seven-gold performance and it may take an eternity to eclipse Phelps, for the American has a unique 6’4″ weapon, his physique, that is quite a stuff of dreams for others.

While his talent and hard-work are well-documented, Phelps owes his success largely to his amazing physique which boasts of some unique features that leads to the belief that he was born only to swim. He has a long, thin torso that is just what a swimmer aspires for and he weighs 195 pound.

Generally, a man’s arm span equals his height but in his case it’s 6’7″ — three inches more than his height. Naturally his arms work as powerful propulsive paddles, giving him a clear edge over others.
His lower body, interestingly, is shorter than that of an average man of his height. His relatively short legs result in less drag or resistance. In short, Phelps has an upper body of a 6’8″ person but his lower body seems to be of someone who is only 5″10″, which also make the perfect plane in water.

His size 14 feet may not dwarf Ian Thrope’s size 17 but Phelps’ double-jointed ankles allow him to do a ballerina’s ‘pointe’ standing on the tips of the toes. It allows him to whip his feet as if those are flippers and break loose.

His unique constitution also produces less lactic acid than others which means Phelps takes less time to recover. And if he looks indefatigable at times, it’s because of the Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, which he was diagnosed with at the tender age of nine. His daily routine is equally mindboggling.

He consumes 12,000 calorie every day and trains 96 km every week. Naturally it was hardly surprising when Russian swimmer Alexander Sukhorukov went on to describe Phelps as “just a normal person, from a different planet, a planet from a different galaxy.”

Also, worth exploring are the following:

No mean feat of course is Usain Bolt’s breaking the 100 m dash record — the ease with which he did it is mind boggling (his last 20 metres he was almost relaxing).

PS: To see videos in case silverlight doesn’t work, you can go to DailyMotion, search for “phelps” or “bold” and order by most recent.

And here’s wishing our boxers the very best!

Mall’spitol

I recently spent a couple of days at a hospital in Bangalore. While the drab green/grey/white walls can be a bore, there is a lot of humour especially because a hospital is probably the most far removed from the rest of our lives. Once, you enter into the confines of one, you get completely transformed — your priorities change, the way you interact with people changes etc.

But what would happen if we become as aggressive in a hospital as elsewhere? As in a mall? We all search for deals, try to get bargains … how would that pan out in a hospital?

  • Special offer on hospitals meals — get double the quantity for half the price! (and still have food left since nobody wants to eat it)
  • Replace one kidney, and we replace the second one for 50% off!
  • Flat 25% off on CAT Scans every Thursday — avail of the offer now!
  • Make one baby, and we give you two for the same price!
  • New Arrivals: Injections that hurt 25% more at the same price — try them now!
  • Tooth Fairy Special: Replace all 32 teeth for only Rs. 2000 — offer valid only for the next 2 days
  • Visit a Neurologist and we let you consult a Psychiatrist absolutely free!
  • Holiday offer: Stay 2 nights and 3 days in our special resort with a spa and nurse on call — get your brain replaced for as little as Rs. 15,000.

Better still, the following conversation:

Patient: Doctor, heart kya bhav diya?

Doctor: Bouji, yeh wala drunkard hai Rs. 5000, yeh wala cigarette peeta tha – Rs. 4000, Yeh bilkul normal tha – Rs. 10000

Patient: Theek daam batao bhaiya. Aajkal bahut daam badhane lage ho. Woh Reliance fresh mein toh 3000 ka mil raha hai.

Doctor: Bouji, ab woh le lo aap. Woh toh Tutankhamen ka nikaal ke bhech denge aapko.

And what about the advertisements? Will there be an ad-supported heart transplant? Will they put banner ads or text ads? How will they measure CPMs? How many times does the consumer want to buy everytime she looks at a saree or jewellery? They might even sell prepaid cards: After sometime, you would have to recharge if you wanted to continue breathing or your heart beating.

The way things are going — this day is not far. In my own hospital stay, they didn’t expedite the discharge process until somebody else had ‘checked into’ the other bed in the room (I was in twin-sharing).

Ghor Kalyug.

Optical Illusion: Red or Green?

This was pretty cool, so decided to post here:

1: If your eyes follow the movement of the rotating pink dot, the dots will remain only one color, pink.
optical illusion
2: However if you stare at the black ” + ” in the centre, the moving dot turns to green.

3: Now, concentrate on the black ” + ” in the centre of the picture. After a short period, all the pink dots will slowly disappear, and you will only see only a single green dot rotating.

It’s amazing how our brain works. There really is no green dot, and the pink ones really don’t disappear. This should be proof enough; we don’t always see what we think we see.

[Thanks to Shruti and Mayank who originally sent it to me!]

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