Live long and prosper!

June 18th, 2009


So, finally, I got to see the new Star Trek movie. And the best part was that I watched it in a proper movie hall – not one of these itty bitty 100-seater tiny multiplex large screen home-theatre jinks.

I have always been a fan of the original Star Trek  – more so than any other SciFi programming out there.

Why? Primarily because I prefer to read my SciFi and secondly because most SciFi films and TV serials are either too cheesy and filled with only action/sex/idiotic robots or too complex to be attempted without some form of interactivity with the audience. (Actually I can’t really think of a SciFi flick that was too complex – any suggestions?)

Star Trek : TOS (The Original Series, as it’s apparently now known, in order to distinguish it from the Next Generation, Voyager, Explorer… whatever, you get the idea), was brilliantly conceptualized by Gene Roddenberry in 1964. Some of the obvious devices in the series included the Warp Drive (faster than light propulsion) and a variety of alien encounters. But some of the more unique features were the teleporter and the logic-over-emotion Vulcan species.

But my biggest draw in terms of the series itself was the fact that most technology was a theoretically logical progression from our times and most critically, this technology was rarely more important than the people who used them.

Of course, for a ten-year old boy watching Sunday television on Doordarshan, there were the usual cheesy fights; the fact that Capt. Kirk was a mostly lousy fighter who always managed to hang on to the cliff edge but still get the girl at the end; the brilliant single-eyebrow lift of Spock (which I learnt to imitate to show off – now I can do both eyebrows independently!); Bone’s corny “He’s dead, Jim!”; and all the shots of the crew members throwing themselves at the corridor walls to indicate the ship under attack!

The new movie manages to keep the spirit of the series alive, without being too much of a by-the-numbers kind of film. Using a slightly illogical plot-device of an alternate time-line being created due to a supernova meeting with red matter – the movie sets itself in a world similar to yet different from the world of TOS.

James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) finds himself born in a escape pod after his father dies battling the villain Nero (Eric Bana) and turns into a wild young man who is persuaded to join the Starfleet after a fight with a bunch of cadets. He manages to be Kirk without being overshadowed by William Shatner’s original portrayal, but doesn’t really get to kiss the girl.

Spock is brilliantly portrayed by Zachary Quinto and more than manages to hold his own against the original Leonard Nimoy in the brief sequence they have together. (Yes, Nimoy makes a guest appearance – but Shatner does not.)

The relationship between the two is more reminiscent of the fourth Star Trek movie (The Voyage Home), with Spock, in conflict with his half-human nature, coming into direct conflict with Kirk – who doesn’t originally start the show as the captain of the Enterprise – over the latter’s unconventional approach to solving their problems.

At the end of the movie, I felt a longing to watch the next in the series (I guess it is likely to come out sooner rather than later) and that is a good sign for the future of the new crew.

There were a lot of deft touches like Zoe Saldana’s portrayal of Uhura (and her relationship with Spock – of course, I should’ve guessed it before!); Karl Urban’s funny man Bones McCoy; and Anton Yelchin’s young Russian Chekov having problems with his Ws and Vs!

Nero was the least strongly defined character, what with a bunch of snarling and nothing much else – but possibly this was the only way to allow the other characters to be defined more clearly before coming into conflict with him.

You can watch this movie even if you’re not a Trekkie. It’s far far better than any of the Star Wars prequels – think more along the lines of Batman Begins. J. J. Abrams has managed to set a good foundation for a future Dark Knight-like movie.

RANT: Why do movie halls in Bangalore, at least for the night show, cut the closing credits. It’s terrible to hear Leonard Nimoy say in the closing, “To boldly go where…” and nothing more.

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Bug squashing @ XKCD

May 13th, 2009


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It’s just not cricket

May 12th, 2009

And here comes the bowler from the Royal Challengers. He bowls a Vodafone No-ball and now has to pay the price of a ICICI Bank Free Hit. This match is turning out to be a Big Bazaar humdinger. Now the Deccan Chronicles (sorry Chargers) have to make a Hero Honda Dhak Dhak number of runs to secure the Nokia charged win.

And that’s a big hit, it looks like it may be… yes it is DLF MAXIMUM.

Now we are going for a Pepsi Strategic Timeout. Come back after the break (if the sponsors let you) to watch the rest of the match.

This is what cricket commentary has come to. Is there any point in watching this any longer?

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The question is – does it work as a poem?

February 19th, 2009

Demetri Martin has taken a bunch of palindromes and strung them together to make a “poem”. It’s interesting, and has it’s virtues – but I’m not so sure it’s a good poem after all! What do you think?

A 224-Word Palindrome – Neatorama

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Joint Statement on the Barbaric Assault in Mangalore (please add your names) « Ultra Violet

January 30th, 2009


Joint Statement on the Barbaric Assault in Mangalore (please add your names) « Ultra Violet

Categories: india, life, personal, sexual harassment | 1 Comment

Most Husbands nowadays, have stopped beating their wives…

January 28th, 2009

O! Really? My goodness – times have changed haven’t they?

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The Times of India – The leader guards the reader – or not!

January 16th, 2009


Look at this article in the Time of India – Jilted lover thrashed for bid to kiss batchmate-Nagpur-Cities-The Times of India

Now take a look at the opening paragraph again:

A second year computer engineering student of GH Raisoni Engineering College paid the price for his misdirected exuberance

Misdirected exbuerance!!! He was harassing her, and it’s called misdirected exuberance! What kind of country do we live in!


Thank god the students thrashed him.

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‘Tis Hard to Pee Straight

January 7th, 2009


‘Tis Hard to Pee Straight

  – it is! Really!

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How time flies!

January 6th, 2009

So, it’s the new year again. And, of course, I haven’t been blogging for the longest time. So I thought it’s useful to use the new year to start again at my beginnings (and never breathe a word about my loss).

This is the start of the last year of the first decade of the new millennium – whew that’s a mouthful! (Although to be pedantic, the first decade may actually end only in 2010.) And where has this decade gone? In war, storms, floods, near famine, recession, and so many terrible terrorist attacks worldwide.

And what do we look forward to? The first African American President of the US or … shit! I can’t think of a single other thing which we as citizens of the world can look forward to in 2009 (and the next decade)!

That is a horrible fact of the world we live in today. The first decade of the 20th century was replete with scientific and technological achievements. There was art and literature. The new millennium had begun well. (Of course, the First World War came along in the next decade and we saw the start of bloodier conflicts than had ever been seen before.)

So I think, that we need to start this new year with a thought for hope. Anindita lead me to this wonderful poem by Sheena Pugh (even with the clarifications!). And here’s another poem which I find thought provoking, this one by Robert Francis.

Eat, drink, make love, be merry, for tomorrow is still uncertain, but today you are alive!

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Sunday! D-day for Lewis!

October 31st, 2008

Aargh! Lewis! Why did you leave it so late? Again seven points!

Okay, okay. For those who haven’t been keeping up with the latest in Formula1 – under which rock have you been hiding? – Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix will be a nearly déjà vu repeat of last years final where Lewis Hamilton with a seven point lead in the championship needed to only come fifth or better to win it from Kimi Raikonnen.

This year is slightly different, mainly because it is Felipe Massa rather than Kimi; but it’s not all that different. Unfortunately – imho, since I am a fan of the Silver Mclarens rather than the Scarlet Ferraris – last year, Lewis blew it big style and failed to win the coveted driver’s trophy.

He was just 22 and in his first season in F1, and of course was the grand F1 spy scandal. But the scary thing is that this year, Lewis has had a few failures that couldn’t be just simply written off as inexperience anymore.

Still, holding on to a slim seven point lead, I am holding my breath, crossing my fingers and doing voodoo dances in the hope that he can become the youngest Formula 1 champion ever.

ps. He’s the first driver since Ayrton Senna whom I admire this much.

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