masala: the international spice
Flavor your world with masala

Friday, October 31

Halloween banned in Russia
"'When people turn to evil forces by way of a joke, when they praise them and flirt with them, it reflects on the fate of the person, because it teaches him that evil is acceptable," said a rep. from the Russian Orthodox Church.

Just saw the footage of the shooting outside the Robert Blake trial. Dude was ducking behind a tree trying to avoid bullets, right outside the trial, with cameras on them both. Dude gets shot in the neck and the shooter walks about 10 steps before he's tackled by some guy (police officer?)

Wednesday, October 29

Link found between cleanliness, hepatitis A, asthma
Being too neat bad for immune system.


Economics of Suicide
After people attempt suicide and fail, their incomes increase by an average of 20.6 percent compared to peers who seriously contemplate suicide but never make an attempt.


9-year-old boy arrested at gunpoint and handcuffed for waving a toy gun
Mother also arrested for begging police to stop (obstruction of justice)

Tuesday, October 28

How Urban Schools Keep Good Teachers at Bay
Urban schools nationwide hire mostly just friends of existing teachers and stonewall those outside the family, no matter how qualified they are.


Marijana leaf

Marketing ganja -
Using the page as a template for one I'm building


Southern California Wild Fires
Phonecam pictures by those who were there

Monday, October 27

Fox News Threatened to Sue The Simpsons
The Simpsons did not cut the contested scene.
The Simpsons is, of course, on Fox.

Sunday, October 26

The Diesel lashes out at Kobe
Shaq: "Everybody knows that [it's my team]. You guys may give it to [Bryant] like you've given him everything else his whole lifetime, but this is the Diesel's ship. So ... if you ain't right, don't be trying to go out there and get right on our expense."


Went to Pat's King of Steaks today. Got a roast pork sandwich - haven't eaten cow for the last 5 yrs, and today's the Hindu new year so I figured it would be bad karma to do so today.

Friday, October 24

Human bodies used as portable ethernet cables
Network runs at 10 MB/sec


Japan's population aging rapidly
Dire consequences for Japan's economy possible.

Thursday, October 23

Puja to Lakshmi - goddess of material and spiritual wealth. So now I'm gonna make me some money.

Wednesday, October 22

Life in the new Afghanistan (short films)
Afghani cinemas re-opened. Mostly Indian movies shown.


Pan'jabi MC music videos
Mundian To Bach KE is also known as Beware of the Boys and Knight Rider Bhangra


Human evolution can't cope with fast food
We tend to assess food intake by the size of the portion. Fast food meals contain a much higher calories/portion size than a healthy meal.

Tuesday, October 21

Violence against teachers in UK schools

A year 5 male pupil with a history of violence and serious disruption attacked every member of staff including teachers, support staff and kitchen staff.

Monday, October 20

Judge raps the verdict in slander case against Eminem

Mr Bailey complained his rep is trash
so he's seeking compensation in the form of cash.
Bailey thinks he's entitled to some monetary gain,
because Eminem used his name in vain.

Sunday, October 19

Poll: Majority of Palestinians Back Suicide Bombing
"Seventy-five percent of Palestinians support the suicide bombing at an Israeli restaurant two weeks ago in which 21 people, including four children, were killed, a Palestinian survey showed Sunday. "

Friday, October 17

Box cutters found stashed in lavatory on two Southwest Airlines flights.
I'm flying out of SFO today, to Philadelphia. Non-stop.

Wednesday, October 15

Going to a pair of Indian documentaries at the History Corner. (Kashmiri culture, voting in Uttar Pradesh).

Added Later: The films were mediocre. Too much talking, not enough action.


Getting to Stanford just got a lot more complicated


Poll gauges Americans' beliefs in the supernatural/paranormal
Republicans are more likely than Democrats to say they believe in God, heaven, and considerably more likely to believe in hell and the devil. Democrats are more likely to say they believe in reincarnation, astrology, ghosts and UFOs.

Monday, October 13

Ethics and mammal-eating in Japan
"But enough about whale. By far the most diabolical dish I've heard tale of here in Tokyo has nothing at all to do with whales. It seems that in some restaurants, they will put live baby eels in a large bowl of water with a big block of tofu at the bottom. The bowl is heated, and as they become uncomfortably hot, the baby eels burrow down into the cooler tofu. There they are cooked alive, and served like an olive loaf. Any discussion of evil cuisine begins and ends with this recipe."


Fights, brawls, and 72-year old Don Zimmer thrown to the ground by the head
"I thought it was a fan, so I went, "All right, I want to watch them beat up the fan,' " Sauerbeck said. "Then I saw it was our grounds crew guy and we all felt kind of bad."
This guy wants to see his own fans beat up. He's Public Enemy #1.

Sunday, October 12

Monkeys Control Robotic Arm With Brain Implants
No hands

Welcome to uComics Web Site featuring The Boondocks -- The Best Comic Site In The Universe!

Friday, October 10

Space may be shaped like a soccer ball
The new idea involves blocks of space “with opposite faces abstractly glued together,” the researchers write in the Oct. 9 issue of the journal Nature. An object sliding off an edge of one block will instantly slide into view at the edge of its opposing block.

Thursday, October 9

Is WiFi dangerous?
Parents sue school district for installing wireless internet, citing studies that low intensity, but high radio frequency radiation can stunt growth in children. There is a link to the lawsuit in the article.

Are cell phones dangerous?
Three Nokia phones have exploded in the last two months, at least two causing burn injuries. Nokia yesterday pointed the finger at unauthorised, counterfeit batteries, and said original batteries sold with its phones were safe.

Wednesday, October 8

Sleep helps people learn

Separate studies, conducted at the University of Chicago and the Harvard Medical School, showed that sleep helps people structure their thoughts.

Two theories that could explain this phenomenon: (1) the brain sorts and reorganises memories during sleep; (2) memories are lost during the day, but reconstituted by the brain during sleep.

Monday, October 6

BBC to put archive online
It will actually consist of two separate, but possibly integrated archives. The internet media player (IMP) will enable users to download programs initially up to a week old, whereas the creative archive will enable them to use much older clips from programs for their own use. There will be legal, financial, and technological problems, but the hopes are to get as much of the archive as possible online. The radio archive goes back to 1922; the TV archive since 1936. The article estimates that nothing of note will happen before the chapter renewal in 2006.


Beer flows at Oktoberfest
About 6.3 million revelers downed 6.1 million liters of beer. Stewards relieved souvenir hunters of an estimated 195,000 one-liter glasses stolen from the sprawling beer tents after stalls ran out of stocks for sale.


AIDS vaccines, human subjects
Vaccines are in the works that could prevent HIV from developing in patients, but the more promising trials involve attacking infected cells in patients that have already contracted the virus. About two dozen potential vaccines are currently being tested by 12,000 human volunteers in experiments around the world.


Structured Procrastination
If all the procrastinator had left to do was to sharpen some pencils, no force on earth could get him do it. However, the procrastinator can be motivated to do difficult, timely and important tasks, as long as these tasks are a way of not doing something more important.

Sunday, October 5

Lump in bed says President also a poet
Roses are red
Violets are blue
Oh my, lump in the bed
How I've missed you.

- by President George W. Bush to Laura Bush after she went on a 5 day solo trip to Western Europe

Saturday, October 4

Nets bought out Dikembe Mutumbo's salary for $30 million
The Nets traded for Mutumbo after the 2001-2002 season. But after being injured for most of the regular season, he was benched in the playoffs in favor of Jason Collins and Aaron Williams. He complained publicly about his lack of playing time during the playoffs, but the Nets went to the Finals with him on the pine and decided he was expendable. Mutumbo is 37 and wants to play another 4 or 5 years.


12-year old arrested for eating a french fry in Wash DC metro station
At the time of the arrest, Metro police maintained that D.C. law allowed them to issue citations of up to $300 to adults caught eating in the Metro but required that minors be arrested and taken into custody. Police seized Ansche's jacket and backpack, removed her shoelaces and transported her to the District's juvenile processing center, where the crying girl was fingerprinted and held for three hours.


Report finds that public gleaning incorrect facts from commercial news
80 percent of those who said they relied on Fox News and 71 percent of those who said they relied on CBS believed at least one of the three misperceptions (Saddam-Al Qaeda ties, Saddam had WMD's, the world supported the US war). The comparable figures were 47 percent for those who said they relied most on newspapers and magazines and 23 percent for those who said they relied on PBS or National Public Radio.


The Ig Awards
Tangy science

The Living Dead: If you're dead in the books in India, you lose your land and your livelihood... even if you're still actually alive.

Distinctly Munich: "Demonstration of the Exponential Decay Law Using Beer Froth".

Very Dilbert: "Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One's Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessment"


on Gen. Clark and time travel

As a scientist, let me serve as a translator for you. When a scientist says, "there is no evidence for that," what they really mean is "we have no evidence for that." There's an enormous difference between implying something doesn't or can't exist, and admitting we don't know enough about it to say one way or the other. Except, of course, the former makes you sound smarter than our ignorance honestly allows for ("Clark Campaigns at Light Speed," Sept. 30, 2003).

As for Clark's belief that we'll eventually break the light speed barrier being "probably based more on his imagination than on physics," we should keep two things in mind. One, human imagination has been responsible for all advances, including physics. Two, NASA already has a program for studying such "impossible" things.

Thursday, October 2

Chick-fil-a #1 drive-thru
McDonalds #12 out of 25 fast food restaurants studied


Numbers of lions, tigers, and other big animals dropping dramatically
Number of African lions has dropped 90% in the last 20 yrs.
Fewer than 8,000 tigers left in the world.

The dragon and the rat (animation)
Why the big species will be wiped out first


Military practices shooting down commercial airlines two to four times a week
How do they practice? The article doesn't really go into it.
But it does quote the general who is the head of the US Northern command as saying: “I would take issue with anyone who would say the men and women in our armed forces are trigger happy.”


Photoessays from China, Pakistan, India, Japan, Southeast Asia, Korea
By TimeAsia. This photo is from Phnom Penh, Cambodia.


Creativity and mental illness may have same source
"It appears likely that low levels of latent inhibition and exceptional flexibility in thought might predispose to mental illness under some conditions and to creative accomplishment under others." - Harvard Psych Prof Shelley Carson


Chinese sweatshop produces eyelashes (mini-documentary + article)

Workers were recruited with promises of $120/mth, and they applied to the factory through the local Chinese government. But when the workers arrived, they were presented with a contract for only $11/mth. The factory owners refused to let the workers leave unless they paid a $58 quitting fee - an amount of money that none of the workers had.

This article highlights the plight of two of those workers. Two girls that escaped the factory by tying bedsheets from a seventh story window - the only window without bars. The girls' parents and other workers give supporting details, but the factory foreman claims the girls are lying.

Laptops widely used for editing in the music industry
For years, music students were expected to learn to play the piano as the main instrument for their education. But according to Professor Michael Bierylo of Berklee, those days are over. "People are turning to the computer as the way of learning music," said Bierylo. "That represents a very radical shift in music education."