Monday, May 30, 2011

Myths about ENDHIRAN busted!

Hi. Brass Tacks here. I just do not understand what made ‘Endhiran’ click. Is it because the entire Tamil population [or the entire Indian population, since the movie was a multilingual release] has a cabbage in their heads instead of a brain, or because Shankar and Rajnikanth don’t?? For the untrained eye, Rajnikanth is an actor in the Kodambakkam movie factory, who is, in many respects, comparable to Amitabh Bacchan of the Bombay movie factory. I can back that up with statements from a lot of movie reviewers, although I’ve not seen a single movie of Amitabh’s. But my point is, Amitabh has been looking at himself in the mirror for quite sometime, and so he has been taking roles that, atleast approximately, reflect his actual age. But not Rajnikanth! Had he been doing that, Santa-Banta and Fropki websites would have been gestating with jokes of, let’s say, Barack Obama instead of Rajni!

What I’m saying is, why does Rajni do all these crap? I mean, he is a 60 year old guy. Why not portray a 60 year old guy on screen? If he thinks that the omnipresent “Tamil audience” won’t accept it, take a look again. The success mantra to Kollywood movies of yesteryear was- title song, hero/heroine/villain intro, some mokka comedy, some sentiments, some fights and finally, the clichéd climax. But the recent movies have proved otherwise thanks to their inspiring storylines, some of which are blatantly stolen from Hollywood. So, if Rajni thinks his so-called image will go down the Koovum river if he plays an old guy, take a look at Amitabh, or better, Al Pacino!! They don’t sing duet songs or dance[?!] with girls one-third their age. But their movies become big hits in the box office. So my humble suggestion would be- Stop playing such roles Mr. Rajnikanth. And leave the task of exploiting Deepika Padukone’s skin to youngsters like me… I mean, younger actors.:P

Ok. I’m just gonna narrow down my discussion. I watched the movie SIVAJI once. And it was quite ok. But when I watched it the second time, it was nothing more than a sit-com show. Endhiran, I tried to watch but it’s so full of excrement [meaning ‘shit’], that I started sleeping after 20 minutes. But I gathered all my courage and watched the interesting parts of the movie [for the record, I was cheated by the word ‘interesting’]. And I’ve clearly seen what Chitti the robot can do. And let me tell you what an actual robot CAN NOT do. This is a tribute to all my EIE friends, who know a lot about robots than I [or for that case, director Shankar] do. And this I write on a special request from my classmate, Sri Vatsan.

What an actual robot cannot do

A robot, by definition, is a machine that closely resembles humans in looks, purpose, functioning or other traits, created to do work that, otherwise, a human would ask salary for… So obviously, there are limitations to the ability of a robot. The following are a few.

• Robots built for research are mainly for study and analysis for what they can do. So, they are not aimed to look exactly like a human being.

• Robots built for commercial use- like domestic helper robots- need not have karate, bharathanatyam or music fed into them.

• But in the story, the robot was built as a replacement to human soldiers! [ROFLMAO] If that is so, one would understand the environment a soldier has to face. There is no need for a soldier robot to look exactly like a human replica, at least as far as the face is concerned.

• If we move towards the basics, the visual input to the robot is not as tiny as the two eyes. And more importantly, the input device cannot, in any way, act as a projector, let alone projecting images on thin air.

• The status msgs on the robots so called visual reception, are absolutely unnecessary even to the robot. It’s a shameless steal from the TERMINATOR franchise of movies.

• Likewise is the case with the audio output from the robot. If the actual purpose of such a mechanism is to just convey through sounds, what the robot wants to convey, a simple speaker arrangement with text-to-speech software is sufficient. It need not have a mouth, or lips.

• This is the real kicker. How many of us have thought about how the robot moves? So far as I know, even the simplest of motion patterns of a robot require a combination of electric motors aided by pneumatic or hydraulic actuators [Yep! You guessed it- Ironman] Even such a perfect combination will not be able to reproduce the elegance of a human [especially women:P]. But not in Endhiran!

• Another similar entry- Walking. Science says that any object should have atleast 3 points of support on the ground in order to be stable and the centre of gravity of the object must lie within the triangle thus formed. Most animals walk on 4 legs, and if you might have noticed keenly, all animals [from 4-footed ones to millipedes] have at least 3 feet on the ground at any point of time. Only if the animal is running or hopping does it break this rule. Humans and other animals that walk on 2 feet do so by delocalizing the projection of the centre of mass on their feet. This is why the upper and lower parts of the underside of the feet are hard, while the middle is comparatively softer. But most importantly, this is why we are able to walk. A robot can NOT do that.

• How is possible for the robot to charge itself from different sources of power? A dedicated 1A DC source in the laboratory, a car battery, railway mains of several hundred volts AC, what else? May be he should have tried charging the robot with static electricity from the clouds or better, lightning!! [4 varusham ‘FULL NIGHT’ pottu padiccha naangallam kena pasangala??]

• A robot cannot lift an LCD TV or anything that is heavy enough to disturb its centre of mass.

• A robot cannot RUN.

• A robot cannot feel. It cannot love. It cannot pee. It cannot puke. [The last two don’t appear in the movie however ;)].

• One question- I’ve seen parents name their kids with specific reasons, and families and clans thus develop unique naming patterns. How come a family named their first child ‘Vaseegaran’ [a clean red tamil name], wheareas the second kid is named ‘Chitti Babu’? [a pakka local Madras tamil name. Wait a minute! ‘Babu’ is telugu, isn’t it?? :O] Welcome to the family of partiality!

• Not only a robot; no creature, or creation can simply ‘slide’ on a railway track. The idea stinks like the ‘Cooum’ river over which those train tracks are laid. [Dey! Tambaratthukkum Beachukkum naduvula etthana station irukkunu unakku theriyumada??]

• Oh no! The fights. Don’t get me started with that…

• A robot cannot speak to mosquitoes

• And as a converse to the above theorem, Mosquitoes cannot speak to the robot

• A robot cannot develop giant magnetic fields. So, it can NOT form those fancy shapes like sphere, or a snake or a gigantic man

• A robot can not create a ‘hand-gun’

• A robot cannot, I repeat, can NOT rotate its head.

I guess this is quite enough from me. But as a token of appreciation, let me tell you what a robot can do. IT CAN DEFINITELY EXTEND ITS MIDDLE FINGER. Guys, if you want a better robot entertainer, I suggest you watch “Vicky the robot” of the Small Wonder series. Who knows? May be some day in the far far future, a robot might be able to do some [or all] of those things. But I'm damn sure it won't look like Rajnikanth...

To Shankar: Poi pulla kuttingala padikka vainga saar!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The topple of the toppers

Hi friends… Easily, one of the most talked-about topics of this week is the results. Yup! Both +2 Public examinations and TN Assembly elections alike. But the most puzzling thing about this is that there are comparatively too many tweets about the results than the blogs. Why? Have we all gone to the “Brevity is my charm” era?? Most certainly not!! At least as far as the toppers are concerned. Wait a minute… That might not add up now, but what I was trying to point at was the winners’ speech.

My brother took the +2 public exams this year, and adding pride to the family name, he slept in the exam hall [on the day of Physics], while a couple of weeks later, I did the same thing in my exam hall [for Total Quality Management]. But as the day turned out, it worked quite well. Anyway, I got this wonderful opportunity to interview the toppers in person.

Student’s Name: K. Reka
Total Marks: 1190/1200

Me: Hi Reka. J

She: Hi stranger with a mic. :/

Me: You’ve topped the state in the board exams. What do you feel about that?

She: What else? I’m extremely happy. :D :D

Me: Oh… Do you have any secret under your sleeve that might help someone next year?

She: Oh yeah… I figured out when I was in class 11 that you people ask the same question to the toppers year after year. So, I made a list of things I did from when I was 2 years old, like a reckoner, to be given as a handout, just in case I got to be the state topper. What are the odds?? Ok, here goes. When I was 2 months old, my mom stopped breastfeeding me, and I started drinking Memoryvita, the health drink that boosts your brain. When I was a year old, I started tearing newspapers to shreds. This gave a small clue to my parents that I’m gonna be good with paperwork. When I was 5, I won all the rangoli competitions I participated in. This further assured my good marks in the +2 exams, as it is mostly about presenting the paper with the most vibrant colours possible. I even tried using water-colour painting in my chemistry exams. When I was 9…

Me: Uh… Reka, I’m quite sure that you have a grand list. But due to time constraints, can you bypass all those and come straight to class 12?

She: Oh. L Well, in class 12 not only did I always come first in my class, but I also used to come first to my class. I wake up at 3 in the morning, get ready by 3.30 and come to the school by 4. Since the other students usually come to class by 9, I got 5 hours to study. That was my first + point. Then after the classes are over, I go to my tuitions which go from 4 pm to 10 pm everyday. After that, I have my supper and start studying again, till 1 am. I didn’t have any sort of entertainment- be it TV, radio, telephone, mobile phone, Orkut, Facebook, Twitter, Google, iPhone, iPad, iMac, washing machine, mixie, grinder, fans, lights, etc.

Me: So you come to say that you lived like a total caveman? Err… cavewoman? Congrats on that. But what bothers me is that by simple arithmetic, you slept just 2 hours a day? That’s totally impossible!! I mean, not unless you’re an insomniac.

She: Ha ha… People ask me that all the time. But what I’d like to remind you is that while I study all night, you forget the simple fact that I’ve got all day to sleep. So, I do it in 2 shifts in my school. 9 to 12 and 1 to 4 with lunch break 12 to 1 in between.

Me: Also, isn’t it quite suspicious that you got 200 in 4 subjects and 195 in the other two? Just like a grocery list? [200 x 4 = 800, 195 x 2 = 390, 800 + 390 = 1190]

She: Yeah, my dad believes in whole numbers and numbers that amount to round figures. For instance, if I ask him 25 paise, he’d give me 1 rupee. Round… see?

Me: But both the coins are round, aren’t they? Besides 25 paise coins have been wiped out of circulation miss.

She: I meant the amount, silly! Well, that’s my dad…

Me: Well, that was quite an inspiration Ms. Reka. I’m sure your parents would be very proud.

She: Yeah. I take this opportunity to thank my mom, my dad, my grandma, my grandpa, my mama, my maami, my atthai, my chitthi, my chitthappa, my onnu vita perimma, my onnu vita perippa, my newly born cousin, and my pakkatthu veetu paiyyan who has a crush on me…

Me: Heard you’re from Hosur, and your dad is in Ashok Leyland. Can I get to know about those?

She: Hey, I thought this interview was about me. Besides, I’ve spat out here everything that I byhearted, exactly like I did in my +2 exams. So, mind your words mister!

Me: Thank you Reka. [Phew!!]

Name: Kokul Krishnan
Tamil Marks: 198/200

Me: Kokul Krishnan, neenga tamil-la maanilatthuliye mudhal madhippen vaangirukkeenga. Vaazhthukkal.

He: Thanks mate.

Me: Ennanga tamil-la vaazhthu sonna, English-la thanks solreenga?

He: I’m from an English medium school. And I don’t speak tamil very well.

Me: Unga paere vidhyasama irukke? Kokul Krishnan- Numerology-a? Illa, straight tamil to English transliterationaa??

He: Dude, what did I tell you? I don’t speak tamil, man!

Me: Then how come you topped the state in the language, “dude”?

He: That’s the speciality in TN… Just add “Barathiyar koorugirar”, “Bharathidasan koorugirar” and puke some crap on the paper, and they’ll take it to be real serious shit. Try it if you want, man!

Me: Hey, my days of tryin are over. But I still can’t stomach that you little no-good-brat in tamil scored 198!! That’s unfair, you dimwit!!

He: Hey, pull the brakes asshole! Don’t you realize that you’re in TN? Crazy shit happens here. If Anushka the actress, who can’t speak a word in Tamil can receive a “Kalaimamani” award from the TN government, why can’t I score a 198 in tamil in the exams conducted by the same TN government?? Ha??

Me: Hey you’re crossin some fuckin lines buster! You can talk whatever the hell you want about TamilNadu or its stupid education system. But don’t you dare say a single word about Anushka, you loser!

He: You bloody #!$%#@%

Me: Adeengo !#!#@%$#%^$

[The interview was abruptly broken as the two got into a fistfight and the cameraman ran away to save his own life, and his camera. The passersby recorded the fight on their cell-phone cameras and uploaded it on YouTube, and shared it on facebook]

TN Assembly elections
I guess I don’t need to give any introduction here. In fact, I have none.

Victorious candidate: J Jayalalithaa

Me: Hello mam. First, let me congratulate you on your victory, I mean your party’s victory. It looks like the sun is shining bright on the face of AIADMK!

She: Thank you very much. But I’d like to tell you that the days of the shining sun are over. TN is gonna get a huge relief from the scorching SUN and is gonna get some cool soothing shade under the LEAVES.

Me: Wow mam… Wordplay at its best!! Can you comment on the decisive success your party has embraced in the state?

She: To be exact, it is not a victory to me or my party. It is the victory of the people of TN.

Me: Oh…

She: If I can rephrase that, I’d say this is not even a victory to tamilians, but rather, it’s a victory to democracy.

Me: Yes mam. Can you brief me on that?

She: Well, it’s been 10 years that a rule of retrogress prevailed all over the state. This is evident from the various mishaps that you might have seen in the news- acts of corruption and wrong political conduct. The people of TN have been asking for a change, and who better to give it to them than they themselves? The elections were a mere reflection of the people’s mind and they’ve totally put on vote what they require the most.

Me: So to speak, your party has swept a whopping majority in about 200 constituencies, a proportion that is an amazing value!

She: Yes. This is the state’s answer to those who take it to be a joke and play with the people. But the people of TN are not mindless asses to be meddled with, especially in issues involving manipulation of lakhs of crores of rupees.

Me: Definitely mam. The people of TN will not allow the same person to steal, for more than a while. But can I ask you if you want to change the word ass to something a little less unparliamentary?

She: Ha ha ha… I saw that coming. I meant the word ass as a replacement to ‘donkey’. Not the other thing. I’m a state-topper in 10th Matric, mind it!

Me: Oh… Excuse me. I’m a little imaginative… What’s your initial premise mam? What’s the first thing that you’re gonna work on, as soon as you take charge?

She: My first responsibility is to rebuild the state. It’s not an easy task but somebody has to do it. And that somebody has been decided by the people to be me. I’ll increase the number of air-conditioned Volvo buses in the state, build 20 more flyovers connecting the last few areas in Chennai that don’t have a flyover, and hence a land-crisis, yet. My next step will be toward improving healthcare and education. All the more, total emphasis will be on maintaining law and order.

Me: Wouldn’t it be better if you completed the 50 half-built flyovers in the city before starting the construction of new ones? And what about the other specifics mam?

She: You’ll see.

Me: What do you wanna tell the people of TN?

She: Thank you.

Me: Seeing the response to my last pair of questions, I’d like to ask, on a more personal note, about your faith in astrology. Me being the same ‘Maasi magham’ just like you are, do you think I’ll have success in my life too, just like you did now?

She: The people will answer that question too.

[She departed with that answer. But before that, she did 2 things. She showed the people of TN, the victory symbol, actually her party’s symbol- the one used to indicate 2-bathroom, and she showed her middle finger to the interviewer]

Just like they say, both the state toppers and the CM are gonna literally “serve the people”… I guess that’s it for now. Or till I get physically assaulted.

Thambi tea innum varala!! :P

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The ten commandments of hostel life

Hi guys. I’ll get right down to business. I’ve been in this “Living in the hostel business” for quite a while. So it is bestowed upon me by the holy Lord that I guide my fellow தமிழன்s in this ominous life of 4 years. I do this because my Godfather (!) Mr. Samuel L Jackson told me to.

“The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish, and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother’s keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger, those who attempt to poison and destroy My brothers. And you will know My name is the Lord when I lay My vengeance upon thee”
Ezekiel (25:17) [now stolen from PULP FICTION]
Well, I’ve been the weak and I've been the evil. Now I take a chance to be the righteous man. And I accomplish this by leaking out the secret which was carried on generation after generation only by an elite group of people. No no, not the Knights templar/Priory of Sion/Illuminati/Freemasons kinda guys. They all retired when Tom Hanks started acting in those shitty movies. The dudes I was referring to are the hostel wardens. The commandments were delivered by Yahweh [Founder- Anna University, Madras] and were duly noted down by Moses [First engineering graduate of TamilNadu]. But Moses wasn’t given due respect, and so he posted it on his blog. This totally pissed off Yahweh. So, he took out his pen and failed Moses in all subjects Moses wrote. Poor Moses is now a typical washout, but he shared with me his wisdom. Ok. Here goes…

The 10 commandments of hostel life

1. Thou shalt brush thy teeth everyday
    The key behind his commandment is that the hosteler, though an animal he may be, should not be verbally abused as one, and so he is expected to brush his teeth at least once a day.

2. Thou shalt take a holy bath everyday
   Also, since most hostelers don't take a bath everyday, bathrooms are obviously one of the most peaceful places one can spend his time in. And so this law.

3. Thou shalt miss breakfast everyday
   The thumb rule of hostel life is that one always wakes up at such a time in the morning, that he has time to do only one of the two things namely excrete or eat, and not both. So logically, if he follows the aforesaid two commands, he misses breakfast.

4. Thou shalt be late to class everyday
   What's the point in going early to class when all you're gonna do in the class is sleep? So, go to class just before the 1st lecture is over, or atleast before the 1st professor of the day gets mad. Anything more than that can be considered as an act of 'showing off'.

5. Thou shalt not maintain an attendance percentage more than what is necessary
    In colleges where attendance is necessary to write the semesters, stay near the prescribed cutoff. If marks are allotted for extra attendance, one should selflessly sacrifice those marks. If attendance does not carry any mark, then by rule, DO NOT GO  TO COLLEGE.

6. Thou shalt curse your professors for some reason or the other
   It's been printed on human DNA that students and teachers are deadly enemies. It is by some great force of nature that they co-exist [Like protons and electrons in an atom. They both are in the atom together. But we don't know why/how. When excited, some electrons, possibly those with the highest energy, break the energy barrier and leave the atom. Likewise, when excited, some students, possibly those with the lowest GPA, leave the classroom]. So it's only natural that the students curse professors, and vice versa.

7. Thou shalt not study until it is too late
   No engineer would have touched his textbook atmost 2 days before his exams. Some engineers even go to extremes and start studying just hours before the exams. They are called legends.

8. Thou shalt not use your roommate’s jatti
   Although the prime motto of living in hostels is caring and sharing, students should not use one another's underwear. This is not for some reasons of sanitation, but for the simple fact that no two humans can have the exact same sized jattis that perfectly fit them [because of the apparent reason that no two humans are equally 'sized'].

9. Thou shalt not watch X rated porn
   Seemingly impossible in hostel life, this can be academically termed a crime because, those who don't wanna watch porn should rightfully abstain from it. And those who do wanna watch porn must upgrade themselves to XX and XXX categories.

10. Thou shalt not succumb to turning gay
   This is easily the most difficult thing to do. But one who is capable of accomplishing it is technically a hero. This task may become even more difficult for people with sexy roommates [boys with a 6-pack ab, girls with an hourglass figure, et al]

These were the exact words that Moses told me. Some of you might already been feeling guilty that you've missed a number of rules mentioned above. And a few others might have got the idea of closing this tab [Ctrl + F4] and do something stupider than reading my blog [watching Thirumathi Selvam or the IPL match of KXIP vs DC for instance]. For the last category of people [like myself] who wonder what happened to Moses after he gave me this piece of wisdom, i humbly give you the answer. He has found solace and salvation from the perils of being an engineer. He is now placed in TCS. :)

Bye bye...