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Sledge Smart Cricketers- It Tickles my Belly!

Posted by fifthdimension on February 27, 2008

The recent India Vs Australia Cricket series has seen some very amusing, though unfortunate, turn of events in terms of sporting spirit, ethics and morality. However, my point of discussion is not “Who’s Right, or Who’s Wrong?” 

Sledging is a natural tendency among players of sports and at all levels. When situations turn out frustrating on the field, players are compelled  to react that way, because they need an outlet to let go off their frustrations. That’s it.

Interestingly, I’ve observed that a majority of the sledge-smart players are at a talent level of average or mediocre. You’ll rarely see experts dabbling with such trifles.   

That said, let me recollect some of the most amusing and funny sledgings in the history of cricket:   

How’s your wife and my kids? [Rod Marsh’s famous comments to Ian Botham]

McGrath: Why are you so fat?
Brandes: Because every time I fuck your wife she gives me a biscuit.
[A sledging match between Glenn McGrath and Eddo Brandes after McGrath gets frustrated at being unable to dismiss Brandes]
You don’t get a runner for being an overweight, unfit, fat cunt!
[Ian Healy’s famous comment when Arjuna Ranatunga called for a runner on a hot night during a one dayer in Sydney]

McGrath:So what does Brian Lara’s dick taste like?”
Sarwan: I don’t know. Ask your wife.
McGrath
(losing it): “If you ever fucking mention my wife again, I’ll fucking rip your fucking throat out.” [Glen McGrath to Ramnaresh Sarwan]

Now David, Are you going to get out now or am I going to have to bowl around the wicket and kill you?” [Malcolm Marshall was bowling to David Boon who had played and missed a couple of times]

Posted in Life, Media and Culture, Reviews, Society, Sports | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

India’s IT Boom – Humor Inside!

Posted by fifthdimension on February 19, 2008

comp-spears.jpg

AVM Infosys deals with Computer SPEARS! It can only happen in India.

P:S: A mis-spelt version of Computer Spares.  The guy might not be proficient in English, but he’s adept in assembling computer hardware as well as troubleshooting!  

Posted in Media and Culture, Perceptions, Society, Travel | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Travel 2.0: Musings on the Long Tail in Travel

Posted by fifthdimension on November 7, 2007

While Travel 1.0 is headed for its sunset, the Web 2.0 has enabled the Travel industry to integrate new features, enhance user experience and differentiate themselves in the highly competitive travel market. So, here comes Travel 2.0.

Unlike Travel 1.0, where companies were in control, in Travel 2.0, corporates must allow travelers to take control, plan and find or design the perfect trip. So, the concept of lowest airfares or the cheapest trip do not hold much water anymore.

Has anybody noticed the social networking phenoma? You do not belong to the Internet generation if you have not! The most interesting aspect is that this kicked off the Long Tail economy. If you want to be in business, you must concentrate on niches and the smaller products. This is because all the smaller numbers taken together, by far,  will out number the larger product. 

Before going further, I’d like to remind you that you can’t ignore customer complaints. They are communicating with each other and eavesdropping in social sites. It takes just a day to ruin your reputation, which matters most while selling products.

Alright. The Long Tail almost rang the death knell for the Pareto Principle . In wake of Web 2.0, you can’t even imagine banking on the 80/20 law or “the law of the vital few”.  

Recently, Phocuswright released their five predictions on the future of the long tail in travel. Here’s a summary of their report:

  • The little guy’s (product, channel, site, business) influence is significant
  • The sum of the niches is embraced
  • The 80/20 rule is debunked (“law of the vital few”)
  • The size of your reputation matters more than the size of your marketing budget
  • Distressed, “out of print” or discontinued product now has value

The first four definitely looks very vital for the Travel Industry, which will guide all future strategies on products, pricing, marketing and branding.

Posted in Airlines, Media and Culture, News, Perceptions, Reviews, Society, Travel | Tagged: , , , | 4 Comments »

US Honor to Dalai Lama Adds to China’s Woes!

Posted by fifthdimension on October 17, 2007

Finally, the US-China bilateral relationship is headed for a snafu. As the US prepares to honor Tibetan Dalai Lama with the Congressional Gold Medal, the situation has turned quite amusing, especially in wake of China’s reaction to the US senate’s decision.

For China, Dalai Lama is a fugitive. But the US decision to honor him with such a Top Civilian award has made things clear that US is not going to buy China’s verdict on the Dalai Lama. Did the US congress ever listen to anyone? I have serious doubts!

Whatever it may be, this is a gross intrusion into China’s internal affairs. Honoring the Dalai Lama is to support the Tibetan struggle for “real autonomy”.  But again, the Dalai Lama is a spiritual leader,  as Mr. Bush sees him. Meanwhile, we know that Mr. Bush wears some strange glasses that casts images of chemical weapons and weapons of mass destruction in the deserts of Iraq.  I wonder if he’s wearing the same!

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hammerfall- the fallen one, listen and watch!

Posted by fifthdimension on September 23, 2007

Posted in Media and Culture, Music, Society | 3 Comments »

Japan Might Resume Humanitarian Aid to N Korea

Posted by fifthdimension on August 30, 2007

Japan’s foreign minister, Nobutaka Machimura, as quoted by the Tokyo financial newspaper Nikkei, says that the government is debating on whether to lift its three-year embargo on humanitarian aid to North Korea.

In wake of the recent natural disaster and the call for help by UN and other humanitarian organizations, the country is considering options of resuming aid to the “rouge”(!!) country.  

It may be mentioned that recent flooding in North Korea has claimed over hundred lives and displaced some 300,000, in addition to  destroying a huge amount of the country’s crops.

South Korea has already promised $7.5 million in emergency food and medical supplies and another $40 million in construction and fuel aid.

Japan, it may be recalled,  has suspended humanitarian aid to the Communist state in 2004 over the issue of Japanese citizens kidnapped in the 1970s and 1980s by North Korean intelligence services.

Pyongyang has admitted to abducting at least 13 Japanese nationals, of which five were repatriated, while the remaining eight reportedly died in the interim. In sensational revelations, the released abductees said they had been forced to train North Koreans to spy against Japan.

However, Japan declined to accept North Korean assertions that the matter has been closed, insisting that many more of its citizens remain unaccounted for.

The issue is to gain prominence onec again, when the two countries meet on September 5-6 in the Ulan Bator, as part of the six-party negotiations on North Korea’s nuclear disarmament.

If Japan resumes aid, it will come as a tremendous breather for Pyongyang, who’s reeling under natural disater and continued US pressure for nuclear disarmament. The progress on the nuclear issue will be worth observing. 

Posted in Media and Culture, News, Perceptions, Politics, Reviews, Society | 1 Comment »

New Helloween Album Arriving on Stands

Posted by fifthdimension on August 24, 2007

For the German heavy metal powerhouse Helloween, the Keeper Of The Seven Keys and The Legacy world tour days are over. After a grueling run of 93 shows in 34 countries around the world, and in the post-Live On 3 Continents DVD period, the band gathered in their studio to work on their 12th album- Gambling With The Devil.

The album is scheduled to arrive US stores by October 23, 2007, in Germany by October 26, 2007 and rest of Europe by October 29, 2007. After guitarist Roland Grapow’s departure, this is the first major work with new guitarist Sascha Gerstner. Andi Deris remains on vocals, along with Michael Weikath (guitar),  Markus Grosskopf (bass) and Dani Loble (drums). Some of the songs have been written during the incredible Keeper Of The Seven Keys and The Legacy tour.

For starters, Helloween is one of the pioneers, many consider them as the founders, of Power Metal, a genre that evolved in the mid-eighties. When Kai Hansen  (guitar/vocals)  left the band after the first album Walls of Jericho, they roped in Michael Kiske to take the world by storm with their Keeper of the Seven Keys Part I and II. The rest is history! Not to forget that Helloween is one my five favorite bands of all times, equalling my love of Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force, Stratovarius, Dokken and Judas Priest. 

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Bushlore- A Poem Composed of Actual Quotes by George W. Bush

Posted by fifthdimension on August 17, 2007

I bumped into this poem composed by summing up some quotes by George W. Bush.  While I’m still looking for the real author/compiler, you can read and have fun!

Make the Pie Higher

I think we all agree, the past is over.

This  is still a dangerous world.

It’s a world of mad man and uncertainty and

potential mental losses.

Rarely is the question asked.

Is our children learning?

Will the higways of the internet become more few?

How many hands have I shaked?

They misunderestimate me.

I’m a pitbull on the pantleg of opportunity.

I know that the human being and the fish can co-exist.

Families is where our nation fiinds hope, where our wings take dream.

Put food on your family.

Knock down the tollboth.

Vulcanize society.

Make the pie higher! Make the pie higher!

  

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Top Travel News

Posted by fifthdimension on August 7, 2007

Aer Lingus’ First Base Outside Ireland– In an attempt to expand its business further, Aer Lingus has launched its latest base in Belfast International Airport, it’s first base outside the Republic of Ireland. Initially, it will serve London Heathrow and Amsterdam Schiphol. 

Carnival Cruise Carries 2.5 mn in the Caribbean– In a record-breaking season, this year Carnival Cruise Lines will carry an amazing 2.9 million passengers within the region. This is unprecedented in its 35-year history.

To meet this, Carnival will deploy 18 ships in the Caribbean, out of which, 14 will offer year-round service. Carnival is the only cruise line to offer departures from 12 convenient U.S. homeports.

CheapoAir.com Hits the Bull’s Eye Again–  New York City-based online travel site CheapoAir has made it to the Top 10 travel websites consecutively for the second time in the Hitwise Top 10 Websites Report for this quarter. CheapoAir offers cheap airfares to budget travelers from the US and Canada flying both for business and leisure.

Cheapflights Get record Number of Visitors– Online travel site cheap flights recorded 56 million visitors globally for the for the year to 30th June 2007, as cited by company sources.  The company launched its US site in may 2003.

Posted in Airlines, Media and Culture, News, Reviews, Society, Travel | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Lenses on Hunger and Poverty- Let’s Take a Look at the Stats

Posted by fifthdimension on July 25, 2007

The world hunger and poverty scenario breaks me apart. Many of us might be unaware, but statistics have touch moved me. I think it’s time to act, not just sit and look at lame stats.

   

  • Today, 854 million people across the world are hungry. A 2 million increase since last year.  
  • Every 5 seconds, one child dies from hunger related causes. The stats say that 16,000 children die from this everyday. 

Officially, hunger is the “most extreme form of poverty, where individuals or families cannot afford to meet their most basic need for food.”  It’s not just famine and starvation where hunger manifests itself. There are people who are suffering from chronic undernourishment and vitamin or mineral deficiencies, which result in stunted growth, weakness and heightened susceptibility to illness. These are all different hues of the same portrait- hunger.

Countries in which a huge portion of the population battles hunger daily are usually poor and often unable to provide the basic social safety cover that we enjoy, such as soup kitchens, food stamps, and job training programs.  Today, if I’m living in a poor country, which is unable to grow enough food or earn enough money to buy food, I have nowhere to turn for help.  

  • Today our world is home to just over 6.55 billion people.

 The developed/industrialized world, of which the US is a part, comprises of about 57 countries with a combined population of about 1 billion. This is less than 1/6th of the world’s total population. But approximately 5.1 billion people live in the developing world consisting of about 125 low and middle-income countries, where people generally have a lower standard of living and have access to fewer goods and services than people in high-income countries. The remaining 0.4 billion live in countries in transition, which include the Baltic states, eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States.  

Hunger and Poverty Stats Combined 

In 2004, almost 1 billion people lived below the international poverty line. This they earned less than $1 per day. This group of poor people had numerous problems obtaining adequate, nutritious food for themselves and their families. As such, 1 billion people in the developing remain undernourished.   

Undernourishment has negative affects on people’s health, productivity, sense of hope and overall well-being. It results in stunt growth, slow thinking, sap energy, hinder fetal development and contribute to mental retardation. From an economic standpoint, the constant search for food consumes valuable time and energy of poor people, allowing less time for work and earning income. Socially, it eats into relationships.  Click to see presentations on hunger and poverty around the world. 

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