Fifth Dimension

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Archive for the ‘Perceptions’ Category

Perceptions is about my thoughts and views on society, culture and everything around us.

India’s IT Boom – Humor Inside!

Posted by fifthdimension on February 19, 2008

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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!  

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

Obama is a Cult: Stalking the US Presidential Exit Polls

Posted by fifthdimension on February 14, 2008

If you expect me to say that Obama is going to be the US President, I will hugely disappoint you! But over the past few days, I have some exciting and positive observations, which could be common with many of you.

Whether Obama will win the race for nomination or not is not my area of interest. For me, the most bewildering part is the kind of following that Obama has succeeded to generate!  Young Americans constitute a majority of his followers. His campaigns leave behind a trail of energy and excitement, which is very rare in the history of US elections. His inroads into Mrs Clinton’s fortresses, i.e. Virginia and Maryland, are significant.

I see Obama as a Panzer dancing behind the enemy lines, headed for the target with lightning speed! Obama is emerging as a new cult in the United States. In this case, his mission, among many others,  is to bring an end the mindset that led to the Iraq war.

Will the new president restore faith in the United States? Will the world’s powerhouse get an able leader, who can align the country with the interests of the rest of the world? The new President’s policies will impact a number of broader global issues like climate change, terrorism and poverty.       

Posted in News, Perceptions, Politics, Reviews, Society | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Stratovarius is Progressive & Symphonic Power Metal at its Best

Posted by fifthdimension on January 26, 2008

Even if  they’d never released Elements (Part I and II), Stratovarius would be MY favorite Power Metal Band, not only a power metal, but for any music.

Listen to their ‘Stratovarius II or Twilight Time’, ‘Fourth Dimension’, ‘Episode’, ‘Vision’, ‘Dreamspace’, ‘Destiny’ and ‘Infinite’. And after you’ve had enough, add ‘Eements’!

Stratovarius came earlier than Helloween, though the latter is commonly considered the first power metal act. They re-introduced and perfected the use of Keyboards in melodic metal.

Apart from fast keyboard solos, blazing guitar runs, high pitched vocals and pounding drums, their trademark “sad rush’ or melancholic style is the single most factor that won my heart.

Stratovarius….I hail thee!!! Long live Scandinavian Metal!!

Posted in Music, Perceptions, Reviews, Society | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

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 »

Sepultura Live in India: One Metal Act, Three Cities

Posted by fifthdimension on October 30, 2007

Loyalists of Max and Igor might regret the absence of Cavelra Brothers, but for the average metal head, Sepultura’s XXI concert in New Delhi, India was one hell of a show. However, I’m surprised with the audience response in India’s capital city. Unlike other jam-packed Sep concerts, the concert venue gave the appearance of a run-of-the-mill local show. Not more than 2000 rivet heads turned up!!     

But those who did were the lucky ones to savor every classic and new track laid bare. After an amateurish and sluggish performance by local opening band Metakix, the demi-gods were received with thundering applause throughout the concert venue. 

Derrick Green did his job quite well, although I dearly missed the Man- yes, Max Cavelra. I’m excited about their Shillong concert. Shillong just beat Kansas City to enter the Guiness Book of Records for the largest ensemble of guitarists in the world when 1730 guitar players came together to play “Knockin on Heaven’s Door” as a tribute to Bob Dylan. Earlier, it was the KYYS in Mission, Kansas City, which brought together 1683 guitarists who played Deppe Purples epic “Smoke on the Water” in 1994.

Posted in Life, Music, News, Perceptions, Reviews, Society | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

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!

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

Gandhism, Non-violence, Peace and Stuff

Posted by fifthdimension on October 3, 2007

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Churchill may frown upon him as the half naked fakir,  but I’m convinced that what Gandhi showed to the world decades ago can only be achieved by the brave. There have been the likes of Che Guevera and Fidel Castro, whose claim to greatness is unquestionable, but taking on the mighty empire with empty hands, i.e.  the dictum of non-violence, is something which is lacking in the present world order. 

Lasting world peace can only be achieved by following the golden principles of the Mahatma. It was 2nd October yesterday, the birthday anniversary of Gandhi. This post is not just a reverence to this great figure, but a reaffirmation of my faith in non-violence- the only road to a free world. 

“Put all your knowledge, learning and scholarship in one scale and truth and purity in the other and the latter will be far outweighing the other.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Posted in Life, Perceptions, Philosophy, Politics, Society | Tagged: , , , , | 2 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 »

Beyond Wealth, Assests, ROIs Etc

Posted by fifthdimension on August 10, 2007

Coming straight from Einstein’s historic revelation- “the fundamental problem of the modern people is that they get obsessed with means to the neglect of the ends. This cripples the art of living“, perhaps, I won’t be wrong if I should ever give up material pursuits in favor of spiritualism. 

To be spiritual is not to demonize modernity or renounce wealth. I believe that it’s about maintaining a healthy balance between our pursuit of wealth and richness, and at the same time developing in ourselves a passion to find peace and happiness in a psychic world, which is beyond all worldly matters.  

The individual within us is enslaved only when we worship or idolize affluence and over-indulge. True, individuals are free to choose the things that they want in their lives. We have our own ways of finding peace and happiness. But what I’ve discovered and experienced is that lasting peace and happiness is found only when we give up our cravings and desire for status, wealth, power and limit our expectations from the people around us. 

Too much of absorption in the material aspects of life can well be perceived as a bottleneck to a balanced mental state.  

Virtue is not a delusion, and enjoyment is not the only reality, for death is just a beginning.

Posted in Afterglow, Life, Perceptions, Philosophy, Society | Leave a Comment »

Coming up Next Airbus A 390

Posted by fifthdimension on July 20, 2007

That’s right!  A380 has just made a head start and an overwhelming majority of the frequent and not-so-frequent fliers are yet to get the real taste of this innovative carrier. But what’s buzzing everywhere in the aviation industry is the news that Airbus has initiated preliminary studies for the design and manufacture of a 2600 capacity passenger carrier.

Still on the drawing board phase, the aircraft will have ten decks—seven for passengers, three for cargo and baggage, and is to be called “Airbus A 390”. Designed for long haul flights of over 20 hours, the proposed features on this airplane include six restaurants, three duty free shops, a lounge with a discothèque, two full sized movie theatres, a 14 lane bowling alley, a swimming pool with water slides, a wedding chapel, a fully functional medical clinic, and a 11,000 volume library.

The target market for this airplane is international long distance flights of over 9,000 nautical miles (about 16,600 kilometers). It will need six Rolls-Royce turbofan engines to power this flight, with each developing thrusts of over 340,000lb. Plus it will need a passenger load of around 1750 passengers to reach the break-even point for operating, meaning it must have 1750 passengers on board in order to fly. 

But what about the environment? A 390 looks more glitzy and fascinating, but who’s going to control emission levels? 

Posted in Airlines, Environment, News, Perceptions, Reviews, Society, Travel | Leave a Comment »