Saturday, December 31, 2011


So some scientists have found out that people can be identified by the butt prints that they leave on their seats. If we aren’t already being tracked enough by the social networks, location tracking mobile phones and cookies planted graciously in our browsers here and there, now the places where we park our butts will also start recognizing us. And life as we know it will change forever.

Imagine going to a restaurant with these butt identifying seats. By then, I am sure the Facebook Graph API will be available to be used everywhere. The moment I park my butt into a seat, the restaurant will automatically post on my wall saying – “Girish is sitting in this restaurant and eating blah blah”. If I am unlucky enough it would also know what I order all the time, order the same and update my fitness tracking app with the calories that I consumed.

People around me will also be Butt-IDed so Facebook will remind me – “The guy on the table besides you is your friend’s friend”. (After all we are separated by 3.74 degrees of separation from anyone in the entire world!)

Every club I go to will have bouncers with Butt-ID scanners. these will be simple devices on which you will be asked to sit to identify yourselves. So a burly looking gentleman twice my size would politely say, “Sir, may I see your butt please?”

Celebrity seats – seats that have been seated on years before by a celebrity, would become tourist attractions. You would have random seats all over the world saying “Lady Gaga Butt-IDed here” or “Do you wanna park your butt on the seat that Justin Bieber sat on?”. Then we would have celebrity-crazy tweens shelling out bucks to sit and take pictures to eventually put them back again on Facebook. Wow life is gonna be soo cool!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Endorsements gone wrong

In India, cricket is a religion (luckily without any reservations) and cricketers are Gods (Yeah its polytheistic). So these Gods of ours, other than controlling our destinies, sorrows and happiness also make us buy stuff. Cricketing endorsements make a major chunk of the advertising budget in India.

My marketing professor always said that if nothing else works in advertising – sex can sell anything. So our cricketing legends are the Indian equivalent of the legendary naked women. They can sell anything. Period.

The funniest endorsements that some of them have done are – fairness creams, inverters, engine oil, clothes whiteners, Mysore Sandal Soap, Toothpastes, Biscuits etc. !! For people who have forgotten, there was this legendary advertisement about a cricketer’s mom calling him up while he was on the field!

Sehwaag ki maa ka phone!

Anyways, entire of last week I have been hearing this new advertisement of a cricketer trying to sell me anti-virus software. The jingle goes “Trusted by the best”. Now I have no problems in him endorsing software. But its wrong to call a cricketer to be an expert in security software. Its like using Bill Gates to endorse a cricket bat.

Trusted by the best

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Caught in an affair

So I have a fairly common Indian name. I didn’t get statistics about number of Girishs in the world, but I am sure we are a considerable number. Now, considering that I started using Gmail while it was still in beta and was open for limited people, I got a prized email handle (Username). My definition of prized email ids are those in which I don't have to put numbers, last names or funny sounding acronyms that make no sense. I am sure years later I will be able to sell it to a rich Girish who will pay me handsomely to get this handle. Then I can retire from my day time job and write here all day and all night long.

A quick ego search about other Girishs did reveal to me an interesting Girish. I have been listening to his music all of yesterday and he is real good. Anyway, I think I am straying away from my core topic – the prized email handle.

Having this rare email address entitles me to get some misdirected emails. Other than a lot of interesting spam, I do get legitimate sounding emails which are continued conversations of other Girishs (which always start with “As discussed with you on phone…” and then an attachment which I dare not open). So I am Girish bhai, Girish dada, Girish bhaiya, Girish sahab, Girish sir, Girish uncle and a whole lot of other objectives. I have learnt to ignore most of the emails. I guess only twice I have replied to the senders – once when it was a bank statement (but they STILL continue to send me this legendary Girish’s credit card statement) and the second time was when some unsuspecting Girish gave my email address as his on his PAN card.

Anyways, these days a lovelorn and rather weird Girish has bitterly quarrelled with his girlfriend. This girlfriend of his has now retorted to sending him emails (apparently because he is not logging into the messenger). Now the problem is – this lover boy never bothered to give her his true email address. So she is spewing abuse all over the emails that she sends to me. Imagine my dilemma – if I reply saying I am not the right guy she is spewing venom at, I might end up embarrassing her and also, my mom told me to never talk to strangers. If I don’t reply, she thinks her Girish is ignoring her and her abuse is intensifying day by day. Anyway, God has given me the unique gift of being ultra patient (and lazy), and I will wait out her abuse till she gets a new boyfriend and dumps this Girish.

Sometimes it makes me wonder – life can be so interesting even if you just login to the internet everyday!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Scientific understanding

As a school going kid, I did understand my elementary physics quite well. But during my time, in school, physics barely touched upon particle physics. With the recent invasion of The Big Bang Theory and the Large Hadron Collider, I felt woefully inadequate with my understanding of particle physics in general, and the Higgs Boson particles and Theory of relativity in particular.

The Big Bang Theory

While browsing through books at a bookstore, I chanced upon a book titled – “Why does E=mc2?”. Now, I generally don’t do any book reviews, but to set context I would like to say that it is a perfect book for a guy like me who wishes to know a bit about particle physics without getting into the gory details of the mathematics behind it.

With my complete disconnect from physics lately, it took me quite a while and effort to get through this book. Though the authors have gone to a great extent to simplify things, my peanut sized brain still had issues with understanding the concepts. I literally had to read each and everything over and over again, many a times highlighting stuff and looking for it on the internet to really understand what each theory stands for. After 4 long months of arduous study, I kinda got what the book says, mostly about – space-time, theory of relativity, nuclear fusion and fission, standard model of particle physics, properties of fundamental particles, Feynman diagrams etc . (Well, before I go any further, I think I need to clarify my degree of understanding. If you are a particle physicist reading this blog, then I understand nothing, nada, zilch. I am a complete noob. I can just shake my head and say “I have heard those terms”. If you are my grandma reading my blog, then well, I can actually sit and talk about those terms for hours together and try to confuse you while I get confused at the same time.)

Most of the book (and if I mistake not – the theory of relativity as well) however is based on the assumption that no particle can travel faster than the cosmic speed limit, which incidentally also happens to be the speed of light. So finally, when I reached the last page of the book, I was ecstatic to have figured out at least a bit of particle physics. However the day I finished reading the book I read in our newspapers that scientists have discovered that neutrinos can travel faster than light.

Now, I know its still open for scientific scrutiny and the results of the experiment might be proven to be wrong later someday. But imagine if its not. Imagine – 4 months of efforts wasted trying to understand a theory which was going to be disproved the day I finished reading it. I am already dejected, not because a huge discovery of far reaching implications has been made, but because the lazy me had to spend so much time to read something which was ultimately going to be cast in a shadow of doubt! I should have waited till the experiments at the LHC were all done and we came up with a final theory which explains everything for lazy bums like me. Sigh!