Fifth Dimension

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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 »

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 »

Am I Ever Gonna Buy Lipstick For My Girlfriend?

Posted by fifthdimension on October 12, 2007

Am I ever I gonna buy lipstick for my girlfriend? No way! Because “lipsticks” are synonymous with “leadsticks”, I wont buy her one again even if she keeps insisting.

During a Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, a U.S. consumer rights group found one third of the lipsticks they tested contained lead above the  US Food and Drug Administration’s 0.1 ppm limit. The samples that tested negative include popular brands like Cover Girl, L’Oreal and Christian Dior!

So, what’s the hoopla about lead? Researchers associate lead to learning, language and behavioral problems such as reduced academic performance and increased aggression. Increased aggression! That’s another reason.  Lead is particularly unsafe for pregnant women and young children as it has been linked to infertility and miscarriage.

Wouldja buy me a lipstick, honey? Always say NEVER! 

Posted in Life, News, Reviews, Society | 10 Comments »

Just Confirmed for Oktoberfest 2007, Munich

Posted by fifthdimension on September 11, 2007

Last year 5.9 million people gorged on 5.7 million litres of beer at Oktoberfest, Munich! I’ve been regretting almost everyday for not being able to make it to Oktoberfest 2006. “But you can’t stop me this time”. That’s what I kept telling everyone. 

I just booked a flight to Munich on Cheapoair. With $587.50 for a round trip NYC-MUC-NYC, I guess I got a fair deal, too, yay! They had student airfares for a cheaper price, but I’m not going to regret my ineligibility in this case.  I just want to be there and Cheapo did come to help. No wonder there ‘s a deluge of Cheapoair reviews on the web! 

I have planned in advance, too, for I don’t want to miss a thing at this bavarian beer fest. A Mass at the Weisn is all I’m looking for! However, I’m returning on 11th, so I’ll have plenty of time to marvel at Munich’s gothic, renaissance and neo-classical architecture.  

Festival Dates: 22 Sept – 7 Oct, 2007
Where: Munich, Germany

Posted in Airlines, Journeys, Life, Reviews, Society, Travel | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

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 »

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!

  

Posted in Life, Literature, Media and Culture, Politics, Reviews, Society | Leave a Comment »