Archive for June, 2009

Tetris

June 15, 2009

Oh, it is twenty fifth birthday for Tetris. I think, there is hardly any computer geek who put his hand on computer key board has not played Tetris. It is a fascinating game to while away time. It was a game to be played when one is down and needed some fresh air in office. It was a game played on a game player while travelling. It was everywhere.  It was an addictive game, still it used to give some satisfaction of building something rather than destroying.

It was a game invented by a Russian, and steadily, the game worked its way around the world. Millions of people found themselves glued to their computers and game players – hearts racing and screaming in frustration – all over getting a simple horizontal line of digital squares to disappear.

Fun was, there was no winning target. One just went on playing, till he decided to stop. Yes, it was fun.

I do not play it anymore.

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Moral Dilemma

June 11, 2009

President Obama restored fully the State funding for embryonic stem cell research. It is an about turn to the policy followed by Bush Administration.

Nations do not drastically change policy in moral ideologies or foreign relations at change in Government. But this case begs to differ.

The potential for stem cell research is so amazing; it may boil down to life and death or ability to live without suffering an incurable disease. It is perceived as the future of medical science.

But at the same time if cures are made from the bodies of unborn children, it will create a market for aborted fetus material. An embryo at any stage is a life. Its cells will naturally divide, this makes it alive. Therefore, it is like cannibalize policy followed by developing countries when they are constrained to find spares for their machinery.

Useful discoveries have also been made from adult stem cells, i.e. those that do not require destruction of embryos. But the scientific fraternity thinks it is a dead end.

Is it a dead end?

Web 2.0

June 11, 2009

The Global Language Monitor, which uses a math formula to track the frequency of words and phrases in print and electronic media, estimated that “Web 2.0” is the one millionth word or phrase  in the English language.

The contention is purely subjective. There can not be any criteria or set rules to take a word into any language. English is a flourishing language and it adds and obsoletes many words. So, counting the exact number of words currently in a language is like counting stars- it can only be a best estimate.

The term “Web 2.0” was coined by Darcy DiNucci in 1999 in her article “Fragmented Future”. Today Web 2.0 is a popular word among the internet savvy.  Still, nobody has yet been able to define “Web 2.0″ in a standard manner. Generally it denotes second generation of internet -interactive, collaborative, user-centered.

The official meaning given by the Global Language Monitor is “Web 2.0 – The next generation of web products and services, coming soon to a browser near you”.

Roger Federer

June 8, 2009

My best tennis player is Pete Sampras. Not only for his tennis prowess, but his whole personality. A quiet, solid player. No exhibitionist. For me he will always be at the top along with Bjorn Borg.

And second is Roger Federer. Federer is one player that I wanted to succeed. For the last three years when he lost French Open, I secretly craved that he would win. Even when he lost Wimbledon, I felt that he should have won and made a record, though I would like Bjorn Borg to have a special place in tennis history.

So far the success at the French Open was eluding him. For the last three years he came so close to success, but Rafael Nadal was a wall between him and success. It was felt that he can never defeat Nadal at Roland Garros. And it may remain so forever.

Then Soderling defeats the Reigning king. And see what happens, a new star is born.

Roger became one of the greatest sports persons in the world.

Lebanon Votes

June 6, 2009

Lebanon votes on Sunday.

Though it is a Parliamentary democracy, it has adopted a system called confessionalism. A unique system in the world, where it tries to minimize sectarian conflict by giving fair representation to all the recognized religious groups in governance.

Historically, Lebanon was part of Ottoman empire, after the World War I it was given to France. It attained independence in 1943. And the Christian majority was able to garner major power in the Government. Under the system the President is to be a Christian, Prime Ministership is given to Sunni Muslims and Speaker of the Parliament is to be a Druze/Shia Muslim, deputy speaker to be a Greek Orthodox.

But demography of the nation started changing after independence. The birth rate of poor muslims increased exponentially. The poorer Muslim population increased faster than the richer Christians. This gave raise to dissatisfaction with the government structure and sectarian rifts increased, eventually leading to Taif, Saudi Arabia agreement in 1990 where the power of Christian president was drastically reduced and Muslim Prime Minister became the power centre.

Muslim World

June 5, 2009

The speech by Barak Obama in Cairo University to the Muslim world is hailed as historic. But a speech by the head of a nation that stands for equality, democracy, freedom and peace, and is perceived as a wall against Islamic extremism is hollow by its purpose. What possibly could Obama achieve by quoting from Quran, to a people who recite it everyday?

America is great Satan. It needs to be destroyed.

United States of America is a country that welcomes people from all religions and nations, including Muslims. It acts and pursues happiness as all the other countries in the world do. It does not persecute a particular religion, nor it favors. It acts in self interest. If, today it fights against Muslim majority countries it is in self interest, tomorrow it may fight against the countries of other religions. It pursued a cold war for decades against Russia, that has Orthodox Christianity as its majority religion.

Are we fighting a religion? Or an enemy  that is against our ideals.

Tiananmen

June 4, 2009

Tiananmen Square – there is nothing which commemorates the deaths of the hundreds, perhaps thousands of people in June 1989, the massacre which brought a brutal end to many weeks of demonstrations.

What was achieved by the hundreds of students who gave their life away? Nothing is changed, people have almost forgotten the days of Tiananmen. Popular China is busy in the economic development, it has moved on. For a moment the Communist Party of China shook a bit, but it steadied itself to its course.

Western world, tries to remind China that there was a tremor, there was a popular anger twenty years ago. The anger similar, or more fiercer than the anger against the Gang of Four. But China looks the other way. May be, may be there is wetness in the eyes, but hardly any acknowledgment, a bad dream better forgotten.

The people asked for justice and more freedom. They were given a developing China.


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