priya tuli's randombloggz http://blog.abiss.gr/priya/ en-us Copyright 2012 Fri, 9 Mar 2012 04:40:27 -0800 Apache Roller (incubating) 4.0 (20071120033321:dave) http://blog.abiss.gr/priya/entry/armchair_activism Armchair activism: one click at a time! priya http://blog.abiss.gr/priya/entry/armchair_activism Fri, 9 Sep 2011 02:11:09 -0700 General slactivism amorphous glop signature petition sign armchair_activist <p><p>Nobody ever changed anything by just sitting there and fretting about it. Activists know this better than anyone else; that's why they're called activists. They're actually out there shaking up the status quo, by whatever means attract the most attention, getting people to sit up and take notice of whatever the cause of the day might be. As opposed to most of us, who are merely lumps of amorphous glop sitting around and being inactive, and often not even having much of an opinion on anything. Inert and disengaged.<br /></p><p>Activists don't sit around thinking, &quot;Oh, but I'm just one person, how can I change the status quo.&quot; They just go out there and soon a tribe gathers, and they start to make a noise, and the media hears about it and arrives to cover it, so more people hear about it, and it gets bigger and bigger and then finally, things start to change. Slowly and imperceptibly maybe, but change they will. Because the intent has been seeded in the ethers by all those people who want change and believe in it. <br /><br />People don't usually go around wanting to change things that are fine as they are; they want change because something is wrong with whatever it is they're protesting. All it needs is enough people to think that way, and you have the makings of a small revolution. More people, bigger revolution. And lately, it seems, people are finally beginning to realize that every voice does count. Even theirs. <br /><br />Nowhere is this more apparent than online. The internet has changed the way we do revolutions. If you're not quite into joining a march or rally in your city, or are located a couple of continents away from where the big action is happening, no problem. You can sign online petitions, send emails and text messages, send your signature to added to petitions that are miles long, send your mug-shot to be added to a wall of human faces... the possibilities are endless. If you feel strongly enough about it, you CAN do something about it. Right from where you're sitting.<br /><br />The social media have made this even easier. Okay I'm talking only Facebook here, because I don't use twitter or Google+, but still. There are organizations like Avaaz.org, Greenpeace, PETA, One, 350.org, Petition Site... among many, many others, that tackle everything from human rights abuse in China to the famine in Somalia and dog pound atrocities in India to abuse of circus elephants in the USA, to whale and dolphin slaughter in Japan, to child abuse and human trafficking globally. The sort of depressing, ugly stuff people don't want to have to deal with. But somebody has to, so they're doing it. Unsung heroes. They get my vote every time.<br /><br />Activism has changed a lot since my day; I remember going on peace marches and protest rallies through University days, but I have no recollection now what they were about. Just that they were nothing like the student demos that have toppled heads of state, disrupted international WTO conferences and brought on the teargas and pressure hoses one sees these days. <br /><br />Well the good news is, as an 'armchair activist' you won't actually be out there courting arrest, with the possibility of being teargassed, bludgeoned and being stuck without toilet facilities for who knows how long. You'll be in your comfort zone sipping your coffee/tea, signing online petitions and making a difference to whatever you feel strongly about, from wherever you are. <br /><br />Some call this 'slactivism', because to hardcore activists, armchair activism involves no hardship or danger to life and limb. To which I say, I get my adrenaline rush in other ways, none of which I could possibly mention here. So I'm happy to be labeled a slactivist, no problem. <br /><br />Do these online petitions really work? Yes, I believe they do, in two ways. One: they create exponential awareness for the cause; if people don't know about something, they're hardly going to want to do anything about it. And two: they deliver bunches of signatures, which add up and count when they are presented by on-ground activists as support. I sign loads of petitions, because I believe they do make a difference. Nobody can afford to ignore the signatures and the numbers any more, not even corporates or governments. Online activism may not quite be mainstream in many countries yet, but it is gathering strength. And getting bigger, better and easier to do. <br /><br />So go on, throw off the inertia. If you care about something, do something about it. Sign an online petition. The worst thing to do is to say &quot;I've been signing for years but nothing happens.&quot; Well, how much longer than that has the child trafficking/seal cull/flesh trading been going on? Decades? Double-decades? Of course it won't stop overnight because you signed a petition for 3 years straight! But if we stop trying, it will NEVER change! Be sure you add your voice because if you don't, that's one signature less on the petition. And guess what, if we all felt &quot;What's the point?&quot;... well, there would be no signatures at all. And then, really, nothing would change. Not even things you feel strongly about. And what's the point of that?<br /><br />This IS our world. We're all here right now. And it doesn't matter where in the world change is needed, we can help make it happen. You are a citizen of your country, but also of the world. Petitions can be local, or global. You have the option to make a difference... or not. To be a slactivist... or a lump of amorphous glop. SO, which is it going to be for you?<br /><br />You could check out these sites for a start:<br />http://www.avaaz.org<br /><span><a class="smarterwiki-linkify" href="http://www.greenpeace.org">http://www.greenpeace.org</a></span><br /><span><a class="smarterwiki-linkify" href="http://www.thepetitionsite.com">http://www.thepetitionsite.com</a></span><br /><span><a class="smarterwiki-linkify" href="http://www.one.org">http://www.one.org</a></span><br /><span><a class="smarterwiki-linkify" href="http://www.peta.org">http://www.peta.org</a></span><br /><span><a href="http://www.350.org/" class="smarterwiki-linkify">http://www.350.org/</a></span><br /><br />Or you could start your own petition, if there's something you feel strongly about and think is really worthy of change. Here's where you can do that: <span></span><a class="smarterwiki-linkify" href="http://www.thepetitionsite.com/">http://www.thepetitionsite.com</a> <br /><br /></p></p> http://blog.abiss.gr/priya/entry/aaaaaargh aaaaaargh! priya http://blog.abiss.gr/priya/entry/aaaaaargh Sun, 14 Aug 2011 23:40:51 -0700 General <p>I HATE when WISYWIG blog editors mess with the line breaks in a post!!! Somebody tell me how to fix this please, because I am NOT going to make like a loser and manually fix it!*&amp;^%$#@#$%^&amp;*</p> http://blog.abiss.gr/priya/entry/heisenberg_s_uncertainty_principle Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle? priya http://blog.abiss.gr/priya/entry/heisenberg_s_uncertainty_principle Sun, 14 Aug 2011 23:31:59 -0700 General heisenberg's_uncertainty_principle politicians quantum_mechanics <p><p class="MsoNormal"><font size="2" face="arial,helvetica,sans-serif">Quantum<br/> mechanics has always fascinated me; I don’t<br/> understand it at all. I love reading the stuff because it makes me <br/> laugh, it’s just so much gobbledygook. As long as I read it casually, <br/> like a spy thriller, it’s fun. The moment I try to figure out what it’s <br/> saying, it causes my eyes to glaze over and gives me ‘Hammer of <br/> Thor’-type headaches that won’t go away for weeks. Physics was not one <br/> of my preferred subjects at school, as you may have surmised by now.</font><font face="arial,helvetica,sans-serif"><br /></font><font size="2" face="arial,helvetica,sans-serif"><br />Why<br/> I like something I don’t understand is simple: something<br/> in there triggers off something else in my headspace, and I get my <br/> jollies messing around with it. Not in a bad way, you understand. Here’s<br/> an example.</font><font face="arial,helvetica,sans-serif"><br /><br /></font><font size="2" face="arial,helvetica,sans-serif">Very simply stated, the Heisenberg principle posits that both <u>position</u> and <u>momentum</u><br/> (of a particle, electron, wave etc.) cannot be accurately determined. <br/> In other words, you can accurately determine one, or the other, but not <br/> both.</font><font face="arial,helvetica,sans-serif"><br /><br /></font><font size="2" face="arial,helvetica,sans-serif">Why anyone would even want to spend that much time on the<br/> movements (or not) of an electron, I have no idea. But somebody had to do it, I guess. A</font><font size="2" face="arial,helvetica,sans-serif">nd I’m quoting directly from a scientific website, so you know this is accurate:</font><font face="arial,helvetica,sans-serif"><br /><br /></font><font size="2" face="arial,helvetica,sans-serif">“The more precisely the position is determined, the less precisely the momentum is known in this instant, and vice versa.&quot; </font><font size="2" face="arial,helvetica,sans-serif">~ Heisenberg, Uncertainty Paper, 1927</font><font face="arial,helvetica,sans-serif"><br /><br /></font><font size="2" face="arial,helvetica,sans-serif">Okay, now my premise. </font></p><p><font size="2" face="arial,helvetica,sans-serif"></p> <p></font></p><p class="MsoNormal"><font size="2" face="arial,helvetica,sans-serif">I<br/> think Heisenberg was actually talking about politicians,<br/> government leaders and corporate heads. Because that’s exactly how it <br/> works out there. As long as they’re GETTING there, they have the <br/> momentum. Once they’ve achieved the position they’re after, the momentum<br/> tails off and the inertia sets in. So maybe<br/> Heisenberg was on to something, after all. What he may have overlooked <br/> is the WHY. You can only accurately determine either position or <br/> momentum, because they’re mutually exclusive. It’s like flipping a coin;<br/> you can get either heads, or tails. Not both. And so it is with <br/> position and momentum. Once you’re in position, you lose momentum, and <br/> become a ‘body at rest’. You have achieved the position you were after; <br/> the need for momentum is now over. QED.</font><font face="arial,helvetica,sans-serif"><br /><br /></font><font size="2" face="arial,helvetica,sans-serif">Of the 39,598 websites I checked for background information,<br/> this one was actually a great browse: <a href="http://www.aip.org/history/heisenberg/p08.htm">http://www.aip.org/history/heisenberg/p08.htm</a></font><font face="arial,helvetica,sans-serif"><br /><br /></font><font size="2" face="arial,helvetica,sans-serif">I<br/> was particularly tickled at the bit about electrons jumping at random <br/> from one energy state to another, much like some people I know. These <br/> jumpy electrons are actually used to safely scan the brain. So now you <br/> know, make sure you say hello to the friendly little electrons in the <br/> CAT scan machine.</font><font face="arial,helvetica,sans-serif"><br /><br /></font><font size="2" face="arial,helvetica,sans-serif">Special<br/> thanks to Mario Boccucci, currently out in the wilds of Africa, with <br/> whom I had many random and jumpy conversations on Heisenberg and other <br/> such esoterica; I miss you. And Akul<br/> Chopra, who unwittingly kicked off this train of thought tonight by <br/> spelling it 'Hisenberg’, which my beady editorial eye instantly fixed <br/> upon. I love when that happens! </font></p><p><font size="2" face="arial,helvetica,sans-serif"></p> <p></font></p><p><font size="2" face="tahoma,arial,helvetica,sans-serif"></font></p><style><!--<br/> /* Font Definitions */<br/> @font-face<br/> {font-family:Cambria;<br/> panose-1:2 4 5 3 5 4 6 3 2 4;<br/> mso-font-charset:0;<br/> mso-generic-font-family:auto;<br/> mso-font-pitch:variable;<br/> mso-font-signature:3 0 0 0 1 0;}<br/> @font-face<br/> {font-family:Tahoma;<br/> panose-1:2 11 6 4 3 5 4 4 2 4;<br/> mso-font-charset:0;<br/> mso-generic-font-family:auto;<br/> mso-font-pitch:variable;<br/> mso-font-signature:3 0 0 0 1 0;}<br/> /* Style Definitions */<br/> p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal<br/> {mso-style-parent:"";<br/> margin:0in;<br/> margin-bottom:.0001pt;<br/> mso-pagination:widow-orphan;<br/> font-size:12.0pt;<br/> font-family:"Times New Roman";<br/> mso-ascii-font-family:Tahoma;<br/> mso-fareast-font-family:Cambria;<br/> mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-latin;<br/> mso-hansi-font-family:Tahoma;<br/> mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman";<br/> mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;}<br/> a:link, span.MsoHyperlink<br/> {color:blue;<br/> text-decoration:underline;<br/> text-underline:single;}<br/> a:visited, span.MsoHyperlinkFollowed<br/> {mso-style-noshow:yes;<br/> color:purple;<br/> text-decoration:underline;<br/> text-underline:single;}<br/> @page Section1<br/> {size:8.5in 11.0in;<br/> margin:1.0in 1.25in 1.0in 1.25in;<br/> mso-header-margin:.5in;<br/> mso-footer-margin:.5in;<br/> mso-paper-source:0;}<br/> div.Section1<br/> {page:Section1;}<br/> --></style></p> http://blog.abiss.gr/priya/entry/here_comes_the_sun Here comes the sun! priya http://blog.abiss.gr/priya/entry/here_comes_the_sun Wed, 10 Aug 2011 14:55:18 -0700 General apple fossil_fuels here_comes_the_sun exxon solar_power <p><p>Are we on a new turn of the upward spiral? Is the earth round? Will the sun rise tomorrow?<br /><br />Yes. And yes, and yes.<br />Here's why. Apple, the sleekest, sexiest and most progressive tech company with the most loyal following globally, has overtaken fossil fuels (Exxon) as the most valuable company in the USA. Why should anyone care? Here's why. Crude could finally be on the way to obsolete, as more of us turn our faces towards the sun, that freely available source of clean, sustainable power. <br /><br />Why has political will, the corporate sector and big investment money shunned heavy investment in this viable and infinite power source? Because the sun shines down on all the world, and it would upset the existing balance too much, equalizing things between those that have the power, and those that don't. Literally, metaphorically and financially.<br /><br />All it needs is for the world's top 10 billionaires to put some money into the pot, and throw open a global challenge to the world's best Tech students, and award a big, fat prize to the ones who come up with a way to harness solar energy, then store it and distribute it via grids in a way that can be mainstreamed globally within 24 months. The technology exists; in every area of our lives, from IT and space tech to the Genome study. If they could reduce computing from a mainframe computer the size of a city block to something you can slip into your pocket, that technology ought to be adaptable to reducing solar panels to the size of a wristwatch, and capable of providing the power requirements of a city block.<br /><br />Impossible? Well, I can dream. And if enough of us do that, we would have seeded the idea and it will be out there. And if it's out there, pretty soon somebody will come up with a breakthrough that will be exactly what that previous paragraph talked about. That's the nature of thoughts, you see. They do, like you and me, have a life. They're made of the same stuff... energy. And solar energy is so much an idea whose time has come. <br /><br />So move over, fossil fuels. Here comes the sun. If it happens in the next two years, remember you read it here first. If not, well, I'll just have to recalibrate my space-time continuum scale. Damn thing always gives me trouble.<br /></p></p> http://blog.abiss.gr/priya/entry/enough_is_enough Enough is enough!!! priya http://blog.abiss.gr/priya/entry/enough_is_enough Thu, 2 Jun 2011 23:25:08 -0700 General lazy change enough-is-enough raining google battle_cry <p>I’m convinced this is going to be the battle cry of the next couple of years.</p> <p>How do I know this? I know it like I know the sun will rise tomorrow. I know it like I know the stars will shine, even if obscured by city smog and cloud cover. I know it like I know my right ankle still pisses me off 3 years after I tore a ligament. How long does it take to heal a ligament, fer Chrissakes?</p> <p>I remember a song from way back when you probably weren’t even born. I forget the singer (Donna Summer, maybe? Go google it, I’m feeling lazy.) But I still remember some of the lyrics:</p> <p>It's raining, it's pouring<br/> my love life is boring me to tears, <br/> after all these yearrrrrrrrrrrrs</p> <p>No sunshine, no moonlight, <br/> no stardust, no sign of romance<br/> we don't stand a channnnnnnnce</p> <p>I've always dreamed I'd find the perfect lover<br/> but he turned out to be like every other man</p> <p>Enough is enough is enough<br/> I can't go on, I can't go on, no more no<br/> enough is enough is enough<br/> I want him out, I want him out that door now</p> <p>Sure, that was a ‘woman’-type song. But remember, those were the days of a nascent Women’s Lib movement. We all wanted to burn our bras, and some of us did. I miss those times, because back then we didn’t even technically need bras. Sigh.</p> <p>Anyway, back to the battle cry. In the last few years, it has been used by the lesbian and gay movement; the campaign to stem societal violence; anti-consumerism movements… and now by pretty much every 3rd person I know. Maybe I know a bunch of weird people, but I swear I saw it on 3 different websites this week. And when something knocks on my head 3 times within a compressed timeframe, I sit up and take notice. That is definitely a message coming through from my Higher Power. I HEAR YOU!!!</p> <p>So of course, I’ve been riffling through my days, looking to see where I can apply this powerful ‘now’ battle cry. Well you guessed right, my entire life is due for a major overhaul. Everything from the toothbrush to my raw food lunch to the computer to Facebook, are under fire. I’m going out tomorrow to get a bunch of customized post-its printed. I suggest you do the same. The line is ‘enough is enough’, in case you forgot. We’ll exchange notes (post-its?) next week, same time, same place. To see who had more ‘enough’ than anybody else. Bet I’ll have more neon-green post-its than you will. <img src="http://blog.abiss.gr/images/smileys/tongue.gif" class="smiley" alt=":-P" title=":-P" /></p> <p>Seriously though, what in your life are you not going to put up with any more? What are you going to do to change it? Are you going to talk about it, or just go and make the changes you need to? (Thanks Sherrie, for your Reflection Question format; I like it so much I ‘borrowed’ it!)</p> http://blog.abiss.gr/priya/entry/jug_ears Jug Ears? priya http://blog.abiss.gr/priya/entry/jug_ears Sun, 8 May 2011 23:13:31 -0700 General skinhead pinnae gremlin windflaps tweak ears alien troll <p>Ever struck you what a strange part of the anatomy the ears are? I find them endlessly fascinating, particularly the terminology. External auditory meatus. Ossicle. Cochlea. Fossa. Tragus. Ear wax. Seriously alien stuff.</p> <p>And then the way they look. Of all our various bodyparts, the ears seem like an afterthought. Somehow, they just don’t seem to fit the rest of the anatomy. All the whorls and ridges and bumps and lumps and lobes look more gremlin or troll.</p> <p>Believe me, there’s nothing that exposes the ears like a nekkid head does. I was in a queue behind a skinhead the other day. His ears looked like they’d been stuck on in a hurry, at the last minute, and someone had given them a quick tweak just to check if they were glued on firmly. They were probably not quite done yet, so they remained sharply angled away from his head, at 90 degrees, sticking out like two windflaps. The image was surreal, with the overhead lighting filtering through his pinnae, rendering them translucent and very Shrek. </p> <p>I have this theory. Maybe they actually belong to some other species on some other planet, and we’ve been selected to beta-test them? Maybe they’ll revoke this accessory one of these days, after the final trials are over? And then maybe we’ll need to start listening through our bellybuttons, or toenails, because earsRnotUs? </p> http://blog.abiss.gr/priya/entry/hair_on_my_chest Hair on my chest priya http://blog.abiss.gr/priya/entry/hair_on_my_chest Sun, 9 Jan 2011 17:02:28 -0800 General bialetti moka_express weep hair_on_my_chest caffeine power-chug <p><p>I had the most surreal Sunday morning today. I resurrected my beloved Bialetti Moka Express, which had been lying neglected in some forgotten corner of the kitchen cabinet for months, maybe years.<br /><br />Being prone to taking the path of least resistance, I gave up the elaborate ritual of preparing my own Moka Express brew every morning in favour of the Indonesian way of doing coffee...boil the water, dump the coffee (fine-ground) in a mug, pour in water, drink. I add: sugar and creamer, inhaaaale, light cigarette, sigh, grab newspaper. That's only on Sundays, mind you. Maid's day off. <br /><br />So today I thought I'd give myself a treat. Dug out the Bialetti. Got really upset at the grungy state of it. Why do they look so leprous after they've been used? The only sexy Bialetti is a brand new one. You use them, they go to hell. The aluminium loses its shine, the insides look like something that will surely give you at least three types of poisoning, and my Italian friend made me swear never to use detergent to wash it. It ruins the build-up, she said (of what? 50,000 cups of coffee and water scale and millions of colonies of caffeine-starved micro-organisms?!?), and then your coffee will forever taste of soap. So I have never washed my Bialetti with washing-up liquid, but I have tried to shine the outside with a scouring pad...to no avail. Still leprous; enough to make me weep.<br /><br />But ahhhhhh, the coffee it makes! So today I rinsed it out, tested the rubber washer for signs of life (rigid; could crack if I screwed on the top too tight). Filled the bottom to the valve mark. Put in my freshly ground coffee. Screwed on the top loosely (big mistake; NEVER be kind to the washer). Plunked it on the stovetop and waited.<br /><br />The water first started to trickle out as it heated, from where I should have screwed on the top much tighter. Not much was getting to the top. I waited, as half the water spitted and hissed its way onto the stovetop, dousing the flame several times. I finally figured half a mug was all I'd be getting, the rest had escaped in the process. Damned rubber washer. Poured it out, added sugar and creamer, inhaaaled, lit a cigarette and grabbed the newspaper. The first unsuspecting sip of my devil's brew jerked me straight up in my chair. My heart stopped for a few beats. About 2000 volts of double-espresso -x-500-strength coffee raced through my barely-awake system, which began ringing loud alarm bells in my ear...the good one. Talk about a power-chug; this was one-mug worth of coffee in half the water it needed. And then I felt hair growing on my chest, just like that. <br /><br />The good thing is I've never been this wide awake in decades. What's not so great is I'm too wired to attack the mountain of work staring me in the chest. Concentration is down to 0.3 seconds. Ah well, it is Sunday. Work can wait until manyana. But oh dear, I'll need to get a chest wax first...<br /></p></p> http://blog.abiss.gr/priya/entry/luna_tic Luna-tic? priya http://blog.abiss.gr/priya/entry/luna_tic Tue, 27 Apr 2010 06:24:00 -0700 General broomstick la_luna barmy full_moon awrooooor! moggies garlic cats catfight reconciliation <p><p>We all know where that word comes from, right? And about the effect a full moon has on tides and tempers. They say cops don't really look forward to bright lunar-lit nights, because the general wave of criminal activity seems to peak and go crazy around then. No coffee breaks on loony nights for the cops, obviously.<br /><br />Well, we have a big, fat, full moon looming tomorrow. I've personally been tracking this phenomenon closely of late, for reasons I am not going to elaborate on here. Ha. And sure enough, I find everything in general, including me, goes a little more barmy around the time la luna getta fulla. In other words, before, during and after da fulla moona.<br /><br />It's not just me, everyone is more batty than usual, and the cats...ohhhh, the cats. I made the biggest mistake during the last full moon, of trying to get two of them to get along and not fight so much. Bad timing...it was a really full moon, in Aries to boot. Which means fire sign energy was rampant and exploding all over the place. I should have known better than to try a major reconciliation at that time. <br /><br />Well, there was much fur flying...literally. Now I know exactly where that term comes from. And believe me, much as I adore my moggies, a catfight ain't a pretty thing. Thong. Thang. But now I do know better, so they have all been separated and shall remain that way for the next 3 days, until the full moon energy abates. I have learned that lesson very, very well. <br /><br />And while I'm at it, I've decided to hole up as well during la luna loco times, because an ounce of prevention is better than a shitload of cure. So if you're trying to reach me for the next couple of days, forget it. I'm not available. I'll be off baying at the moon and plotting insane schemes, cackling wildly all the while. And probably looping off for a test-ride on my new turbocharged broomstick. The one with all the bells and whistles. Meanwhile, you stay safe, don't forget to howl at la luna as she reaches fecund fullness. And remember to watch out for the vampires. Keep lots of garlic handy to bean them with. Awrooooor!<br /><br /></p></p> http://blog.abiss.gr/priya/entry/but_the_camera_is_only "But the camera is only 2 MP!" priya http://blog.abiss.gr/priya/entry/but_the_camera_is_only Tue, 20 Apr 2010 00:28:14 -0700 tech-no! <p><p>I finally got that new phone. It was quite a production, I can tell you. Almost as bad as I had expected. To start with, there was the superior attitude and open incredulity of the young sales staffers to contend with. I asked for their simplest model, no bells and whistles. <br /></p><p> I said, &quot;No camera, no internet, no nothing. Just the phone.&quot; They laughed outright, the whippersnappers.<br /><br />They then conferred amongst themselves at length, giggled some more (even the boys), and finally showed me something so dated and butt-ugly that even I wouldn't use it. It was a model my friend's 5 year old daughter had around 10 years ago, in lurid pink. Shudder. <br /><br />While they rooted around looking for something suitable, I wandered around the store, ogling at all the latest models and getting utterly seduced by them. I had several moments of extreme indecision when I nearly gave in to the siren call of the newest and sexiest. Man, these phones were so I-want making! But I talked myself out of every smartphone in the place. Dazzled, sure. But I'm never going to read an email on my phone, or browse the net; that only makes sense for people who are on the road and away from their computers for large chunks of their day. I'm generally never more than one room away from mine, we're joined at the hip. So why would I pay a premium for specs that are totally redundant in my context? And anyway, reading documents on that tiny screen would give me vertigo. Or hives. Or chikungunya. Or all five. And anyway, I'd rather get a netbook.<br /><br />But oh my, the slide thing was so neat! And they even had an iPhone lookalike that I really liked... ahh! Decisions! But no, I wasn't giving in to technolust. No way Jose.<br /><br />Those sales kids don't give up easy, though. When they'd see my eyes gleam at some fancy model or other, they'd draw closer and rattle off a string of entirely incomprehensible specs, till I'd glaze over. Even then they wouldn't quit. I think they just got their jollies watching my reactions and waiting to hear me squawk every time they demonstrated yet another incomprehensible and totally unnecessary feature. <br /><br />Finally, after the fifth time of telling them I did NOT want 3G or a 7 MP camera, they heard me. And showed me the 2700 classic. I liked it. Simple, or so I mistakenly thought at the time. Larger screen than my old one. Better colours and resolution and sleeker looking. And only a year old, as models go.&nbsp; But of course, not a patch on the BB or...sigh...the iPhone. &quot;But the camera is only 2 MP&quot;, the salesboy said. No big deal, I said, I'm never going to use it. He seemed unconvinced, and rather deflated that his 2-hour sales pitch had failed so miserably.<br /><br />The whole process, start to finish, took me four hours of vacillation. Then came the tough part, transferring my numbers. The old phone didn't have a cable that could plug into the new phone to retrieve them. So they tried to do it through the computer, and lost half my numbers in the process, before they eventually told me it wasn't possible. I was therefore faced with the prospect of transferring the remaining numbers manually, and am still faced with it 2 months later. <br /><br />As a result, I now carry around 3 phones; my old Nokia, my new Nokia and my CDMA Nokia, for calls to India. All of them so last-century that I'll never make it into the 'hip' crowd with perma-bent thumbs, forever hooked into Blackberry-texting-position.<br /><br />So we get home, and I fondle the new phone and affectionately name it Affandi. I then try putting in a few more numbers; I give up after about 10, it's just too painful. So if you never hear from me ever again, you'll know why. Also, this model works differently from my old one, so a bit of cussing ensued. Particularly as it would take me to something called Life Tools, even though I didn't want to go there. More cussing. Of course, I dropped the brand new phone three times on the very first day, I kid you not. So it has a pretty good idea of the sort of abuse it will be subjected to through this current avatar. Better to be up front about these things, I always say.<br /><br />Anyway, I now have some of my numbers in the old phone, some in Affandi and who knows what on the CDMA. The rest went into the black hole that swallows up random numbers that are precariously living life on the edge, balanced between being transferred from one phone to another. Phone number limbo. So now, every time I need to make a call, I try guessing which phone the number is on. I am invariably wrong. In the end, I just give up the idea of calling altogether. Which sort of defeats the purpose of buying the phone in the first place. <br /><br />Then I need to remember to charge all three, as one or other of them will start beeping incessantly from low-battery syndrome. And all three have their own charger, of course. Rare is the day when I step out of the house with the right phone and the right charger. Ah, well. The joys of connectivity.<br /><br />Oh, and about the camera? I finally figured how to activate it. I've taken 3 pictures with it so far, and they were right. 2 MP is no fun at all, just very fuzzy and pixellated. So hey, how about this: if I buy you a beer or five, would you transfer my numbers into the new phone for me? Pretty please? And I'll throw in my old CDMA as part of the deal. What? You don't want it?! Harrumph!<br /></p></p> http://blog.abiss.gr/priya/entry/earth_day_2010_are_we Earth Day 2010...are we listening yet? priya http://blog.abiss.gr/priya/entry/earth_day_2010_are_we Sun, 18 Apr 2010 19:45:00 -0700 Viva Gaia! honouring_our_planet earth_day_2010 chief_seattle <p><p><br/> Another Earth Day approaches, as volcanoes erupt and species are hunted to extinction, and we blithely continue to uphold our sacred creed of conspicuous consumption. I'm not going to take off on the evils of plastic or malls or consumerism today, nor rant about our wasteful and selfish ways. Instead, I'd like to share a beautiful thought from Chief Seattle:<br /><br /><i><span class="huge">&quot;Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but<br/> one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.</span>&quot;<br /><br /></i>He was wise enough to know then, what we are only now beginning to accept. The 'we are all one' mantra has recently begun to resonate with growing numbers of people across the world. The ancient Hopi prophecy could be right; maybe we really are the ones we have been waiting for. And no, that's not an Obama original, much as I like the guy. He's a good human bean.<i><br /></i></p><p>So back to Chief Seattle, who was also a good human bean. There is a beautiful and moving speech attributed to him, and there is also an unresolved historic controversy about whether these really were his words or not. To me, that's a moot point; the sentiment in those words, whoever wrote them, cannot fail to touch you. It's long, but well worth a read. Get yourself a coffee and read it to the end, if you're not already familiar with it. And even if you are. <img src="http://blog.abiss.gr/images/smileys/smile.gif" class="smiley" alt=":-)" title=":-)" />&nbsp; This is not my favourite version; I couldn't locate the one I wanted on the net. But it's close enough. So, enjoy! My Earth Day gift to you.<br /><br /><font color="#4169e1"><i>&quot;How can you buy or sell the sky, the warmth of the land? The idea is strange to us. If we do not own the freshness of the air and the sparkle of the water, how can you buy them?</i><i><br /><br />&quot;Every part of this earth is sacred to my people. Every shining pine<br/> needle, every sandy shore, every mist in the dark woods, every clearing and humming insect is holy in the memory and experience of my people. The sap which courses through the trees carries the memories of the red man.<br /><br />&quot;The</i><i> white man's dead forget the country of their birth when they go to walk among the stars. Our dead never forget this beautiful earth, for it is the mother of the red man. We are part of the earth and it is part of us. The perfumed flowers are our sisters; the deer, the horse, the great eagle, these are our brothers. The rocky crests, the juices in the meadows, the body heat of the pony, and man --- all belong to the same family.<br /><br />&quot;So, when the Great Chief in Washington sends word that he wishes to buy our land, he asks much of us. The Great Chief sends word he will reserve us a place so that we can live comfortably to ourselves. He will be our father and we will be his children.<br /><br />&quot;So, we will consider your offer to buy our land. But it will not be<br/> easy. For this land is sacred to us. This shining water that moves in<br/> the streams and rivers is not just water but the blood of our<br/> ancestors. If we sell you the land, you must remember that it is<br/> sacred, and you must teach your children that it is sacred and that<br/> each ghostly reflection in the clear water of the lakes tells of events and memories in the life of my people. The water's murmur is the voice of my father's father.<br /><br />&quot;The rivers are our brothers, they quench our thirst. The rivers carry our canoes, and feed our children. If we sell you our land, you must remember, and teach your children, that the rivers are our brothers and yours, and you must henceforth give the rivers the kindness you would give any brother.<br /><br />&quot;We know that the white man does not understand our ways. One portion of land is the same to him as the next, for he is a stranger who comes in the night and takes from the land whatever he needs. The earth is not his brother, but his enemy, and when he has conquered it, he moves on. He leaves his father's grave behind, and he does not care. He kidnaps the earth from his children, and he does not care. His father's grave, and his children's birthright are forgotten. He treats his mother, the earth, and his brother, the sky, as things to be bought, plundered, sold like sheep or bright beads. His appetite will devour the earth and leave behind only a desert.<br /><br />&quot;I do not know. Our ways are different than your ways. The sight of your cities pains the eyes of the red man. There is no quiet place in the white man's cities. No place to hear the unfurling of leaves in spring or the rustle of the insect's wings. The clatter only seems to insult the ears. And what is there to life if a man cannot hear the lonely cry of the whippoorwill or the arguments of the frogs around the pond at night? I am a red man and do not understand. The Indian prefers the soft sound of the wind darting over the face of a pond and the smell of the wind itself, cleaned by a midday rain, or scented with pinon pine.<br /><br />&quot;The air is precious to the red man for all things share the same<br/> breath, the beast, the tree, the man, they all share the same breath. </i></font><font color="#4169e1"><i>The white man does not seem to notice the air he breathes. Like a man dying for many days he is numb to the stench. But if </i></font><font color="#4169e1"><i>we sell you our land, you must remember that the air is precious to us, that the air shares its spirit with all the life it supports.<br /><br /></i></font><font color="#4169e1"><i>&quot;The wind that gave our grandfather his first breath also received his last sigh. And if we sell you our land, you must keep it apart and sacred as a place where even the white man can go to taste the wind that is sweetened by the meadow's flowers.<br /><br />&quot;So we will consider your offer to buy our land. If we decide to accept, I will make one condition - the white man must treat the beasts of this land as his brothers.<br /><br />&quot;I am a savage and do not understand any other way. I have seen a thousand rotting buffaloes on the prairie, left by the white man who shot them from a passing train. I am a savage and do not understand how the smoking iron horse can be made more important than the buffalo that we kill only to stay alive.<br /><br />&quot;What is man without the beasts? If all the beasts were gone, man would die from a great loneliness of the spirit. For whatever happens to the beasts, soon happens to man. All things are connected.<br /><br />&quot;You must teach your children that the ground beneath their feet is the ashes of our grandfathers. So that they will respect the land, tell your children that the earth is rich with the lives of our kin. Teach your children that we have taught our children that the earth is our mother. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of earth. If men spit upon the ground, they spit upon themselves.<br /><br />&quot;This we know; the earth does not belong to man; man belongs to the earth. This we know. All things are connected like the blood which unites one family. All things are connected.<br /><br />&quot;Even the white man, whose God walks and talks with him as friend to friend, cannot be exempt from the common destiny. We may be brothers after all. We shall see. One thing we know which the white man may one day discover; our God is the same God.<br /><br />You may think now that you own Him as you wish to own our land; but you cannot. He is the God of man, and His compassion is equal for the red man and the white. The earth is precious to Him, and to harm the earth is to heap contempt on its creator. The whites too shall pass; perhaps sooner than all other tribes. Contaminate your bed and you will one night suffocate in your own waste.<br /><br />&quot;But in your perishing you will shine brightly fired by the strength of the God who brought you to this land and for some special purpose gave you dominion over this land and over the red man.<br /><br />&quot;That destiny is a mystery to us, for we do not understand when the buffalo are all slaughtered, the wild horses are tamed, the secret corners of the forest heavy with the scent of many men and the view of the ripe hills blotted by talking wires.<br /><br />&quot;Where is the thicket? Gone. Where is the eagle? Gone.</i></font><font color="#4169e1"><i><br />The end of living and the beginning of survival.&quot;<br /><br />1854</i></font><br /></p></p>