I told you, didn't I? I told you this blog would be late! Shame on you for thinking I would write it on time! That is so incredibly presumptious and evil! TARNISH NOTTE THE MAJESTY OF MY TOWERING PILLAR OF HATS!
I watched Contagion on the day I celebrated my 13th birthday, and it is a great movie. One thing I found I liked the most was that, you know, if an evil, deadly pandemic of death hit the world, this is how people would act. Everyone trying to get a chunk of the pharmaceutical market. People abusing evidence and faking cures the earn enormous amounts of money. Politicians saying that everything will be fine. Doctors prioritizing themselves and their family. One reason it is kind of scary is that it tells the truth.
Contagion is NOT nearly a horror movie, at least in the conventional sense. But every time a character goes outside, you fear for them. Contagion's characters are mostly likable, and sometimes that ends badly and sometimes well. It's really a test of your judgement skill. The shifting between character removes the traditional "main character", but instead makes them all important. No SPOILARS here, so I won't go into specifics, but sometimes you're just angry when you are betrayed.
Contagion ended in a happy way, and yet, one of our favorite people was mourning the loss of his wife, and even more so, his six year old son, both dying very quickly. That really makes you miserable, when you see that dead little boy. And yet, you have to hate his wife, she was a scumbag who brought apocalypse on everyone through her idiocy. But anyway, this guy never does get his life back after that.
The ending is truly scary and a stirring moral. Again, no SPOILARS, but day one was disturbing.
The 12th of September was my 13th birthday, and it was awesome.
Don't you hate how every multitude of years, your birthday is on a Monday. A Monday, of all days. Not, I dunno, a "normal" Tuesday, or Wednesday, or Thursday. Not a "good old" Friday. Not an "amazing" Saturday. Not a "slightly disappointing but still not a weekday" Sunday. A Monday. The cursed day. The day on the ubiquitous "I Hate Mondays" mugs. Sure, none of this matters if your birthday is in a summer, but mine is just on the edge: September. Doesn't matter this time though.
I celebrated the night before with family. My mother and grandmother made my favorite foods, and my sister helped my mom make a homemade cake. It was delicious. The next day, I got gifts in the morning. If you don't know, I ALWAYS wore my old watch. Even when I slept. 23.75/7. Where's that other fourth of an hour? The time when I'm taking a bath. I got my watch specially 2 years ago, and I got a new one on my birthday. It was the iWatch: the only product that ever came from Apple that isn't just an inferior product with a sticker on it. Some may say: it still costed a bit. To that, I say, Have you SEEN the price tag on a Rolex? The iWatch is a watch with an iPod Nano. It's NOT an iPod Nano, it's a WATCH, DANGIT! It just has a Nano in it. I also got Rock of Ages and Deus Ex: Human Revolution (thank god, it's actually good, as opposed to Invisible War. Hand the mind-bleach, I thought about it again).
The Saturday after, I had a celebration with a small group of friends. We talked, had some pizza, etc. etc. watched Bashcraft: The Legend of Hobo. Did I ever mention that that serial is awesome?
"WHO. ARE. YOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
"I think you already know who I am..."
"I am the burning lake!"
"SHOW ME YOUR POWERS, YOU FOOL!"
"Well, if you insist... LET THERE BE CREEPERS!"
Enough quotes from the creator of the universe. We went to see the movie Contagion, a review of which shall be forthcoming in the next days. Let's just say that it's a good movie. Also, I'm a weak and pathetically paranoid bugger. We had cake on our return. I enjoyed being able to talk to my friends at home, two of which had never been here. Overall, I had a great 13th birthday. I'll be talking to my loyal readers again soon with the movie review (which, hopefully, doesn't get delayed to the bowels of the earth like most of my blogs do :)
Heyo, guys! Haven’t updated in a while! I’ve been on vacation to India. I’ve been playing TF2 for the last few months too (how many of my readers understand THAT acronym? /facepalm). At any rate, here’s an account of my summer.
Fun fact: I just got back yesterday from India. It was a great trip, but unluckily enough, it was only 3 weeks long. My mom only had 2 weeks. My parents were also having a book release, which they were constantly stressing over.
After arriving in Bangalore, we took a few days rest. My sister and I actually saw a rat on a night we couldn’t sleep. Anyway, what’s so important about a rat? It’s not like the black plague exists anymore.
Our first visit was to my cousins, Hamsini and Shreyas, in Mysore. Sadly, we had 1 night and 1 morning there only. That day in Bangalore, there was actually a function for my great-grandmothers death. I got sick that day, too, and for the next week and a half, I had nasal congestion. Let me say this: for me, nasal congestion is the new ear infection! (thumbs up u getz taht rfence /YouTube comment scrubbery)
The morning after we arrived in Mysore, we went to Beligiri Ranga (BR) Hills, a Jungle Lodges and Resorts reservation. Turns out that we were the ONLY ones there. We were taken to a large, clean wooden cabin. We relaxed for an hour before we went to eat. What did we eat? Ve aTEZ wut me dun rmember! I CANZ GRAMMARZ! But seriously, what do you care? We went on a jeep safari and saw about a metric tonne (oh yes… I went there… British spelling) of deer… and deer… and deer… and monkeys. It was really enjoyable though, especially for me. Afterwards, we watched a movie on tigers. The next morning, we went on another safari, and did some trekking as well. We saw some tiger and leopard paw prints on the way back. After that, we headed back to Bangalore. On the way, we went to the temple at Nimishamba. It's a popular place (I don't see why: it's a modern temple with no historical value, is too cramped, and is very small. Still it's nice to see the idols, very spectacular). Last time we went there, a dog pooped in my sister's shoes when they were off and she wasn't looking. This year, another pair got soggy and worn. To go with the tradition of going to Nimishamba if something good happens, I'll go to Nimishamba if, the next time we go to Nimishamba, my sister doesn't need new shoes.
We stayed there for the weekend, and on Monday, we traveled to Hassan to see my paternal grandparents. That weekend, there was a big function at my grandparent's house. A lot (I mean a LOT, it's a big house, and still full) of family came. Hamsini, Shreyas, and their parents even came all the way from Mysore. We did a lot of talking and played a few games (like Jenga) together.
I went around the city with my dad and grandfather, and I really enjoyed it. We went to Kowshika on one of the days for a puja. It was quite a distance, but it was enjoyable. The highlight: seeing my sister eating curds (oh how I hate that word, almost as much as my sister hates the food) that she hates. Ok, I lied, that was not a highlight, that was entirely boring. But I like the rest. That day, my mother and sister went back to Bangalore. Turned out that there was an auto rickshaw strike, and my dad, mom, and sister had to go on one scooter to the bus station. My mom and sister said that the buses were very good luckily, and they had a good journey. My dad and I left the next day with my grandparents and one of my dad’s relatives. They were coming for the book release. We went to My older cousin’s, Chandana and Nandita, house for a few hours and then got back to my maternal grandparents home. Nice story, on the way there, my mom, grandparents, and sister spent 45 minutes going 50 kilometers, and then an hour and a half for 1 kilometer. On the way back we got a flat tire, and we were delayed for a while. My dad’s laptop also died, so bad things ensued.
That weekend was the book release. My dad’s was a collection of poems in Sanskrit translated to Kannada, and my mom’s was a book of short stories. At the release they got a bunch of media coverage and a number of famous guests of honor came. And for those who have been following this blog for a while, my “Ocean of Knowledge” poem was read there as well.
The next day was the celebration of Chandana and Nandita's parents' 25th anniversary. It was in a big hall, and there were about 200, 250 people in there. Hamsini and Shreyas were also there, and I talked with them. The function went on from about 9 to 3, and there was breakfast and lunch. I liked the entire function.
The Monday after the book release, my mom went back home. One day in Bangalore, we went to Bannerghata nature preserve for a “safari”. It’s not a nature preserve, it’s a zoo. That many tigers don’t live in such close proximity, tigers and lions don’t live so close together, and no place has that kind of white tiger concentration. It’s a zoo, with imported domestic animals. It was fun to go through, though. After that, we saw the part that was actually declared a zoo. We saw hippos, peacocks, miscellaneous birds, snakes, turtles, and tortoises. I’ll never forget the mad dash of one of the baby turtles, it was hilarious. It was literally running at the speed of… of… of more than 0.5 mph! Well, I would have forgotten it, but now I’ve written it down, and since it’s on the internet, I’ll never lose it. Unless someone attacked the Google data center with an EMP. Then I’d be screwed.
Another day, we went to Bangalore’s tech museum. In the hall of engines, we learned about the history of machines in transportation. Next, we saw a “science show”. What it had to do with science, I’ll never know. But we can do anything with the MAGIC OF VIDEO EDITING! It was still entertaining. We looked through a hall of random science paraphernalia, a puny dinosaur exhibit, an electricity and power generator hall (it was great, we saw LIGHTNING!), a space exploration hall, a hall on circuits and modern tech, and more. The next day (technically the day after… or was it the day after that? I don’t remember), we left. It was a really fun trip, and hopefully, we can go again next year.
This year, I really liked being with my grandparents. In Bangalore, we went to museums, zoos, etc. etc. In Hassan, I went around with my grandfather on his scooter to see the city. I really liked being with them, and I hope they come visit us this or the coming year.
So here I am, writing this in a word doc. Hopefully, this was interesting. If not, HATARS GONNA HATE! (I’m joking, knowing the internet, they’ll be on me like hounds. HOUNDS, I TELL YOU!)
What do most people know about the internet? It is the biggest hotbed of xenophobia, racism, and idiocy man has ever known.
Who here has seen YouTube comments. Yes, everyone, I thought so. And who here knows that the vast majority of them have bad grammar, spelling, and include bad language and are there to simply spam the comment box and enforce the writer’s own ideas with no respect for anyone else’s. I knew it. YouTube comments have long been the bane of the internet and are widely known around the world as the biggest representation of internet user’s sometimes colossal lack of knowledge. Not everyone on the internet is like this. Sadly, the vast majority are. Let’s look at why:
The internet offers unparalleled amounts of anonymity. People can say anything they want and have ways of cov-ering their tracks. The only way to really track someone requires lots of powerful technology. The stereotype is that it’s always a twelve year-old hiding from his parents that exhibits all the symptoms of internet idiocy (incredibly prominent use of language, racism, etc. Read YouTube comments for more examples) because he can’t be found. I object to that,though, being twelve myself. A good few of them are adults and don’t have to hide anything.
The modern sense of humor is also a problem. Most people have a twisted, puerile sense of humor that is ex-ploited by famous YouTubers like Smosh. They make racist songs, puerile jokes, and other twisted, sickening things that don’t belong in this world.
The biggest group of people with internet idiocy are gamers. Ever of CoD nerd rage? Oh, yes, when people start screaming random profanity on voice chat for games like Call of Duty, Battlefield Bad Company 2,Halo Reach, and more. The vast majority of gamers with these anger problems play shooters. The other group plays MMORPGs like World of Warcraft. They are the whiners. They can’t deal with losing, so they go to the Blizzard forums and complain about how the company made a horrible game and how they are bad developers and that they’ll leave if the game isn’t nerfed (made easier). They think they are the most important people ever. The final group is the “meme hounds.” Granted, they aren’t the worst. They constantly make references to funny quotes. Sometimes these are profane and racist, but most aren’t. I myself am one, making only references that are not profane or racist. Examples of good memes are “IMMA FIRIN MAH LAZ0R”, “KAMEHAMEHA”, AND “his power level is OVER 9,000!”
While the internet is full of idiots, some people aren’t really bad. Hopefully one day there will no longer be the idiots that swarm the internet today. See you next time in Self-Reflections
On 4/9/11, my family and I went to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter part of Universal Islands of Adventure. Wizarding World is the newest addition to Islands, and is only about one year old, if not less. It’s a replica of Hogsmeade and includes a disproportionally small Hogwarts Castle. You enter in front of a steaming Hogwarts Express in a snowy Hogsmeade. Never mind that it never snows in Florida, especially on days like that one. After about 20 pictures of the Hogwarts Express, we entered Zonko’s Joke Shop and Honeydukes sweet shop. We bought some Honeydukes merchandise and then watched a wand show after a long line. I bought myself a hawthorn wand. Why? Because it looks amazing. We skipped the Dragon Challenge roller coaster because we valued our sanity. Bypassing that, we went to perhaps the best theme park ride I’ve ever seen (yes, I hate roller coasters. BRING ON THE FLAMETHROWERS!), Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, a moving simulator. After a line that moved quickly (but was a mile long) through the herbology greenhouse (lots of twists) we entered Hogwarts Castle. And OH JOY, there was a half mile line in there, too. This was made nicer by the very nice set pieces such as video portraits and the like. I think I even heard Rowena Ravenclaw chastising Salazar Slytherin for critiquing the riders. On the actual ride itself, amazing things happened. We flew out of the castle at ridiculous speed and were suddenly chased by a dragon. Then, when we escaped that, we got stuck in the Forbidden Forest and attacked by acromantulas (Aragog’s colony, or whatever it’s supposed to be called). We got rid of them, but were nearly bludgeoned by the Whomping Willow in the process. We got to a Quidditch game and flew around at breakneck speeds, but, as I’m sure you’ve guessed, we got attacked by dementors. Frikkin’ amazing, right. We finally got back to the castle and saw another video portrait of the Hogwarts staff and other important characters congratulating us. When we got outside, we went on the Flight of the Hippogriff roller coaster and ate some of Florean Fortescue’s ice cream. After that, we went to the rest of Islands of Adventure, which, I note, has significantly less advanced technology than Wizarding World. On the second day of our vacation, 4/9/11, we went to the Everglades. The Everglades is a famous national park. It’s a swamp that’s widely known to be covered in alligators and crocodiles. We were not disappointed. We went to the West Palm Beach part’s visitor center, first. There, we went with a group of people on the Anhinga Trail, named after a bird that lives in the Everglades. There, we saw a number of vultures, alligators, anhingas, and cranes. My sister did the Junior Ranger program and became a Junior Ranger. We moved on to the next trail, which went through pinelands, large areas covered in many, many thin, tall trees. They kind of looked liked juvenile redwoods in size. If you don’t know, for the first few decades, maybe even a century (or however long it takes), a redwood only grows straight up. Once it’s reached maximum height, it will keep growing fatter and larger for the rest of its (hopefully) 2 millenia long life. But redwoods aren’t the focus of this post, now, are they. After walking through the pinelands, we went to an overlook where I took a number or pictures. We then reached the end of the road: the Flamingo side of the Everglades. The Flamingo visitor center looked like an ugly, FLAMINGO pink high school building. It’s right on the coast and has a seaside café. We ate some food before leaving to an alligator farm. Sadly, we got there late and weren’t able to do what we were going to. The next day, we did go, though. On the third day of vacation, 4/10/11, we did an assortment of water activities. First up was jet skiing! Incredibly fun thing to do. We went pretty far out to sea off of the coast of Miami. My dad was going very fast and the water was flying. We stopped over a sunken boat and went snorkeling. I saw about a million fish, which is lucky, because I don’t think I’ve ever seen a live fish. BRING ON THE FLAMETHROWERS! But while snorkeling, I learned an unpleasant fact. If you accidentally swallow seawater, it tastes bad. Very bad. Very, Very bad. So bad that I want a little green monster that wants hugs and says SsSsSsSsSs… to make a hole in the ocean. Afterwards, we went around Miami Beach and saw the houses of famous people. I’d want an artificial island mansion, too. Finally, we got back to the harbor. Next, we moved onto the alligator farm. Yes, they exist, and I don’t like them. Why? It’s a nice place to go to; it’s that it’s like every other farm: they breed gators, and then they chop them up and sell the bodies to make worthless purses, belts, and other frivolous objects. It’s like Megamind’s “Custom baby seal leather boots.” That’s probably the most evil thing he ever did. Baby seals are cute. Anyway, now that I’m done with my mini-rant, we saw many alligators there. We went to a snake show as well. I was the first volunteer and I held up a constrictor. It tried to crush my arm. It failed. Next, we went on an airboat around the place. Really, all it was was going around at very high speeds in a swamp. That doesn’t mean it isn’t fun. On the last day of our vacation, 4/11/11, we went to the Kennedy Space Center. We’d heard it was amazing, and boy, those reports weren’t exaggerating. First, we went to the launch pad viewing gantry and saw the enormous crawler machine. It carries up to 9 MILLION pounds and can maneuver to about 1/8 of an inch. And of course, it costs $400,000 to fire this baby for twelve seconds. Er, I mean to drive it. At the gantry, we saw a show about space shuttles and saw an actual engine for one. Next, we moved on to the Saturn V rocket launch facility. Saturn V’s were the size of skyscrapers, and were widely used and incredibly powerful. They are famous today for their role in the Apollo missions, though they have been retired. At the facility, we learned the entire, long story of the Apollo missions: why they started (the Russians might attack), why they were delayed (the deaths of three astronauts), and their successes. We saw a mockup of the launch featuring the ACTUAL CONSOLES that were used at the launch. Afterwards, we went on the space shuttle simulator, which can’t compare to the Forbidden Journey, but was still fun, if not exactly intense. Finally, we saw an IMAX presentation of Hubble. It was a great movie, what with the astronauts breaking the fourth wall in zero gravity and the information about the Hubble space telescope. After that, we left to the Orlando airport and went home. Today is 4/12/11.
Today my mridanga teacher asked a simple question. Where should the sol 7 (1) Tha. Kita Thakita thom. 7(1) Tha. Kita Thakita thom. 7 Tha. Kita Thakita thom start in chaturashra madhyama adhi tala. By this point, I should have known it, but instead, I just gave nondescript answers like “1” and “7.” I completely missed the point. I was supposed to say where in the talam it was in mathirais. I said that “The sol starts after the 7 mathirai of the utharangam.” That was completely wrong. My teacher said it was akin to saying “A mridanga is made of the same things that go into tables and chairs after the mridanga is made.” Then he talked about how we should just subtract 23 [(7+1)x2+7] from 32, the number of mathirais in the tala. I said it was 9 aksharams, which was completely incorrect. My teacher told me that I should NEVER get confused between the two. He said it was nine aksharams after the samam. Then he asked where the the sol started. After many more incorrect answers, I said that you had to push 1 mathirai after the 3rd laghu. We did some more examples, like- 6(2) Tharikitathaka tham. 6(2) Tharikitathaka tham. 6(2) Tharikitathaka tham. Since it was the same as 8 8 8 It took 6 aksharams at madhyama kalam (4 mathirais/aksharam). My teacher asked where the sol started. I correctly stated that it started at the 3rd laghu. The next example was 6(2) Tharikitathaka tham. 6(2) Tharikitathaka tham. 6 Tharikitathaka I started saying all sorts of things, like “between …” and “… after samam.” Finally, I understood and said that you pushed 2 mathirais after the 3rd laghu and then said the sol. Another example was 5(3) Thadhinginathom tha.. 5(3) Thadhinginathom tha.. 5 Thadhinginathom This time, I correctly said it started after pushing 3 mathirais after the third laghu. Then we got back to the original question. Both me and the other student said that you pushed 1 mathirai. We then said all the examples. We did some last few examples. The first one was 5(3) Thadhinginathom tha.. 5(3) Thadhinginathom tha.. 5(3) Thadhinginathom tha.. 5 Thadhinginathom I said we push 3 after the samam and I was correct. The next example was 6(2) Tharikitathaka tham. 6(2) Tharikitathaka tham. 6(2) Tharikitathaka tham. 6(2) Tharikitathaka tham. 6 Tharikitathaka I said 6 mathirais before samam, which was correct, but my teacher told me that when you have to do math like this in a fraction of a second, it has to be after something, not before. Then I said 2 after the first aksharam in the last dhrutham. We then said it. The last example was challenging. It was 5(3) Thadhinginathom tha.. 5(3) Thadhinginathom tha.. 6(2) Tharikitathaka tham. 6(2) Tharikitathaka tham. 7(1) Tha. Kita Thakita thom. 7 Tha. Kita Thakita thom The class ended at that point and we have to say that next class as a challenge. It was a very productive class.