Monday, September 29, 2008

Democracy combined with technology can be a disaster

So the 700 billion dollar bail out proposal for the US economy got rejected and I learnt that it was mostly republican candidates who voted against it in the House. I was wondering why and I thought it must've been because the republicans need popular votes to win the upcoming elections. I guessed popular sentiment would be against this proposal because the stupid short-sighted media was talking about it in terms of taxes and stealing from the poor to feed the rich. But then, I figured, that couldn't really have made the candidates turn their back on a proposal that was initiated by their own party representatives! But I just read a BBC report where they state that thousands of individuals wrote emails to their own members of congress angrily demanding that they reject a scheme which is universally perceived here as a bail-out of Wall Street bankers.

May be technology isn't such a good thing after all. It gives too much power into the hands of ignorant people. Most congressmen i'm sure have a better grasp on the situation than the stupid average american public, and if they didn't get thousands of emails giving them an alarming reminder of the upcoming elections, they might've made a sensible decision after all.

When I read the flash news of the bail out in my lab, I turned to my American friend and told him in excited tones, "The bail-out proposal just got rejected!!" and he replied without even turning his face from the monitor, "Yeah." I said, "So you just read that?" He said,"No!" I: "Then how do you know?" He: "Because it was expected." I replied a little stunned, "What?!?! How?" He said, "Because we the people don't like it!"


Thursday, September 18, 2008

What are the odds

Yesterday, we were playing table tennis doubles. At the table were three Indians, and one Asian. One of the Indians casually asked in the middle of a warm-up rally, "Are you from China/Taiwan?" The guy replied, "Yeah, I"m from Taiwan. How did you guess?"

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Around the world in 800 days

Photographs taken at a bicycle stand on the ASU campus in Tempe, Arizona:

Monday, September 15, 2008

Worthless lives

This trash is very aptly located right behind the rear entrance to the Engineering Research Center. In fact, my office is at the rear entrance on the first floor, so every time I take a break and go look out the window, I see this message, sigh in disappointment and get back to work.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Brain fries

I went to Burger King for lunch today and a friend came along later. She asked me to order apple fries for her. It wasn't on the menu, but she said they'd have it. So it seemed like a special item. I asked for the apple fries along with my burger and apple pies. Here what the apple fries looks like:

Its about a quarter of an apple sliced in the shape of french fries.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


President's prophetic prediction

1928 - Herbert Hoover at the Republican Convention: "We in America are nearer to the final triumph over poverty than ever before in the history of any land."

1929 - The greatest economic catastrophe in United States history.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

and still...

"In addition, adopting advertising techniques increasingly employed by private business, American politics became more packaged and American politicians more image conscious.
The ablest practioners of this public relations politics were Presidents Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge. Whatever their limitations as statesmen and political thinkers - neither had a vision of a just society or an appreciation of fundamental problems - both Harding and Coolidge were masterful politicians. Nor were they merely accidental presidents. Both men attained the presidency and commanded popular support by astutely using rhetoric to cultivate and project an image of sound, responsive leadership. Harding's speeches, as pompous and meaningless in content as they often were, were impressive policical performances.