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Commenting April 10, 2007

Posted by sk in Blogroll, Just Posts, Miscellaneous, random.

This blog, while not the most popular of blogs, receives a fair share of comments. Since this hasn’t been done yet, I thought I’d make this clear. Please refrain from making the following types of comments:

* Serious allegations: E.g., To infer that a company has fudged sales records is a serious allegation in my opinion and has legal implications. Such comments will be deleted. In case you’re wondering why your comment was deleted, you have the answer now.

*Ad hominem: You may not agree with the author. Please refrain from calling him names. This is not encouraged.

*Cheap sarcasm: This has been made clear by tismarkhan in the past. 


Story of 2006 – updated December 22, 2006

Posted by sk in Blogroll, Just Posts, Miscellaneous.

So, 2007 is a few days away. First of all, anybody have any resolution for 2007? Getting together with an old flame? Eating fire? Finally deciding to pay for mp3 songs? Starring in a porn movie? Becoming the next Baba Sehgal? Losing your virginity? Going on a blind date? This is not a list of my resolutions, by the way, it’s just something to help you come up with yours.

Now, coming to the topic of this post, what, in your opinion, was the most defining moment of 2006 or was there none? Here’s my list:

1. Italy wins the WC

2. Federer has an amazing year.

3. Indian hockey plunges to new depths.

4. Warne retires.

5. Google and Apple continue to grow.

6. More and more people join social networking sites and/or start blogs.

7. Riya Sen and Ashmit Patel make waves.

I can’t remember anything else so I’ll update this list when I can. I also call upon the other Sparks! members to add stories to this list (with your display name in brackets) or in the comments section.

Update by Parmanu

I wanted to do a very similar post, but looks like somehow the idea was leaked. Anyway, I will briefly go over my resolution and my top favorite stories.


1. Tell Himesh Reshamiyya on his face to stop singing not to mention stop acting

2. Be as fluent in German as Adolf Hitler (Right now I am at par with his dog)

3. Be on one of the 10 planned NASA space-shuttle mission for next

4. Have two girls kiss me on either of my cheeks at the same time

5. Come up with equally good 2008 resolutions

So as you can see I have very reasonable and near-in-sight goals. Thats how I am. Never a big dreamer.

Now my favorite stories

1. Pramod Mahajan shot dead

2. I turned 27. (This was the age when Yuri Gagrain rose to fame by being first man in space. Newton was 4 years younger when he formulated his graviation laws. So was Bhagat singh when he was hanged. Pascal would retire from his all scientific contrubutions in 2 years and Ramanujam would die in 5). Just a list of few people on the top of my head who makes me feel I have achieved SO MUCH.

3. India declares manned mission to space

4. Sanjay Dutt, who enlightened us to Gandhism, (I refuse to use ‘Gandhigiri’) convicted for possesion of arms.

5. Iran hosts a Holocaust Conference (Primarily to promote holocaust denial theory)

Updated by planetsk

Before this year ends, I want India to win their first ever Test series in SA. Hopefully, Indians don’t disappoint me as they did through out the year.

Here are a few things that I think I spent sometime watching, reading, following and thinking about them this year.

Sports come first:

– Italy winning FIFA-WC..I was supporting Germany..disappointed a bit.

– Agassi’s farewell, Federer redefining tennis, Sania becoming more of a celebrity than a player.

– Ganguly dada’s return to Indian team, Warne’s retirement (one of my fav.bowlers of all-time), SA’s record run chasing win over Aus and 20-20 version of cricket.

– Followed baseball for the very first time.

Science andTechnology:

– ISRO’s space mission, successful Discovery’s landing and Pluto’s lost status ( how does this affect astrology?)

– Global warming and Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth ( I see this effect in MN…..just kidding..but there is no snow yet in MN which is weird)

-Thanks to MS for finally getting something to think about other than iPod

-IBM et al creating “phase change” material for memory chips

-Google aiming high in the market.

-Infosys getting added to NASDAQ-100

-Intel losing market share to AMD


SPARKS ENGR’S Blog – A great platform to express one’s opinions.

– Laloo getting attention all over the world.

– BORAT and new Bond

– No big hits for SRK

-Ash and Abhishek, Riya and Ashmit

– Indian economy rising purely due to IT and cheap labor.

– Hezabollah’s rocket launches and Israel’s fightback

If I think of any more, I’ll update.

No resolutions at all for 2007….thats a resolution by itself.

Pics of some of my favorite places October 19, 2006

Posted by sk in Just Posts, Miscellaneous, random.

 **********For the record, this is our fiftieth post**********
I originally wanted to write a post on Google and I had an idea for the post too, but I think there’s been an overdose of software related posts on the Sparks!! blog. So, I’m going to do something different instead. Here are some pics that I found on my desktop. Not all these pics were taken by me. In fact, I think except for the images from Hyd and the one with dark clouds over the evil empire, I don’t think I took any.

The first two were taken in San Diego. The first one was taken at the Zoo, while the second at Point Loma. I don’t have any better iamges of San Diego. I really wish I did. It was a fun place.

My Unpublished and Incomplete Posts October 12, 2006

Posted by PagMax in Just Posts, Miscellaneous.

 I just checked that google has released ‘Google Documents’ . It was was not
there last time I played with Google Spreadsheets. My guess is this is part of
Google’s attempt to create a ‘web-based office’. I do not know how long it has
been up there, but I decided to give it a shot. Since I use google as my home page,
it always keeps me signed in, and hence using this feature is relatively
comfortable for me.  I am not reviewing this software as I am not good at
it and I am not very opinionated about any software company in general. I am
just testing how its ‘publish to blog’ feature is. (That would probably  be  the
only feature I would ever use)

 To test this, I need to blog about something. So what do I blog about? Lets
try this.

 I have been inactive as a blogger in a while.  Although every weekend, I did
start writing on something (new) but could never complete it enough to publish it. Now
the list I have on my saved draft is so big, that it could be an article itself in itself..

 So here is what I have to write as per the title of this article


Let’s blog about sex, baby October 3, 2006

Posted by sk in Blogroll, Let's talk about sex, Miscellaneous, MMS Clips, sex.

Our (Tismar’s) post about the Riya Sen and Ashmit Patel mms seems to have become the most popular article on our blog during the last few days. Does that mean sex sells? It would appear so, right? So, to keep the Sparks team blog going, we’ve decided to blog about every other popular sex video during the last couple of years. We’ll start with the Paris Hilton Video next week. Of course, we’ll soon run out of videos, so, we’re also thinking of getting people to guest post on these topics. For example, every week we’ll have a guest poster analyzing one of the videos. We’ll also have a few podcasts with Bappi Lahari and Himeshji singing about the Riya Sen mms clips. What do you think about the idea?

By the way, this is the new theme song of the blog:

Let’s talk about sex, baby
Let’s talk about you and me
Let’s talk about all the good things
And the bad things that may be
Let’s talk about sex

UPDATE: Let’s enjoy the Riya Sen blitzkreig while it lasts. While this post has had over 300 views in the last couple of days, the others are at a humbler 10-15 views. Really, does sex sell so much? But I have to admit, it was a nice post and a clever bit of marketing by our ex-MVP that was the reason for this. Incidentally, I haven’t seen the mms clip and haven’t even the faintest clue who Ashmit Patel is. Whoever or whatever he is, he’s the MVP of this site in my opinion. Incidentally, Ms. Ruhi had a post on marketing strategies. Maybe she could tell us what kind of marketing this is.

September Blog Stats September 30, 2006

Posted by PagMax in Miscellaneous.

Laloo Prasad Yadav: A case study at Harv

Riya Sen and Ashmit Patel MMS clip

To ‘Vande Mataram’ or Not….

Indian Idol

Sania overhyped?

Yet another post on Vande Mataram

He-ee-eey main hoon d-d-d-don

Windows Live Mail Desktop (Beta) Screens

My first impressions of the Zune

Get a MacBook

Shah Rukh Khan:Rank 2 among heros who ca

(1) WordPress “more feature” / (2) Click

Vote for your favorite header

Launchy for Windows

Abhishek on Karan Johar and KANK

Interesting article

Comfortably Numb

Federer did it again ! !

Vande Mataram to sing or not – Contd….

Expanding the Circumference of Your Soci

A speech not delivered

Macs crash too

Vote for your favorite header September 27, 2006

Posted by sk in Miscellaneous, Technology and Software.

Which one do you prefer?


Maybe now I can get back to working on my thesis etc., eh? By the way, both were done in Photo Filtre and Paint.Net (layers for the first photo and some designs for the second). Each took 10-15 minutes to make. The fourth one is older than the other three.

Credits: Photo Filtre software was suggested by phoenix. In fact, the photo on the “About” page was a direct copy of one on phoenix’s other blog.

The theme was suggested by Ruhi!

How to blog and how not to comment! September 22, 2006

Posted by sk in Miscellaneous.

I found these two interesting blogs on WordPress. The first one by phoenix (yes, the same “I like guys in orange glasses” phoenix) gives you tips on how to maintain a good blog, while the second one by Lorelle talks about how NOT to comment on comments. Now, do I follow the tips? No, not all of them :-), but nevertheless, they’re both good reads. I’ve also found the book, “The Elements of Style” by Strunk and White very useful, not only for blogging, but also for writing technical reports etc. (even in Latex – of course, the book has nothing to do with the word processor/ typesetter but I thought someone would be happy to hear the word “Latex”)

Oh, and please suggest a good title for this post. Maybe phoenix can help with this. On the topic of phoenix, I’m returning to Phoenix on October 1st after three long months in San Diego.

My first impressions of the Zune September 18, 2006

Posted by sk in Computers & Internet, Miscellaneous, Music, Technology and Software.

<More pics here

So, the Zune was finally (officially) launched last week. Newspapers and blog sites (the ones I read) have been abuzz with articles about it. So, why not add one more to the list? Here’s my take on the features, the UI, and the looks in general of Zune. I’ll list things I like and dislike about it and features that I’d like to see when it’s released. All this is based on what I’ve seen and read on the Internet and I’m liable to change my opinion in future. Let me start with the things I hate about it.

Yet another post on Vande Mataram September 7, 2006

Posted by sk in Blogroll, Miscellaneous, Music, National, Political.

Oh God, not another one! Fear not, this time, it’s only a link to the song on YouTube. Or at least, it was supposed to be only that. Obviously I’m not yet tired of this topic and am prepared to milk it dry. Anyway, here’s the song at the center of the controversy:

All right, I lied (does it matter?). This is actually A.R.Rahman‘s version of the song and it’s definitely not as controversial as the original one, so what better way to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the song? It’s a pity that I couldn’t find my favorite patriotic song – Anu Malik’s “I love India” or something of that sort.  

Update (9/8/06): Here’s an interesting view on the topic:

“Making it mandatory to sing “Vande Mataram” is a gross infringement on individual freedom. No government has the authority to force a word out of my larynx. Or block me from reading a blog. Or prevent me from reading a book (like say for instance ‘Satanic Verses’) . End of story.”

“… symbol of patriotic pride has been misappropriated for sectarian gains. For the BJP/Hindu revivalists, “Vande Mataram”’s Durga-imagery is a vindication of its identification of nationalism with “Hindutva”. For the proponents of a pan-Islamic identity (like the Imam Bukhari) who are dead set on showing to the world that Islam is under attack in India (despite the fact that Muslims enjoy rights and privileges in India they would struggle to have in other non-Muslim countries—paradoxically rights which Muslim countries deny to their own minorities), “Vande Mataram”’s allusion to a non-Allah superior being is proof positive of a sinister Hindu conspiracy to humiliate and oppress their community.”

Which, in general, reflects Mr.tismarkhan’s (yeah, I know, “Mr. tismarkhan”. It sounds cool!!! :p) views on the topic. Incidentally, Mr. Tismarkhan is also the MVP of this blog site (whatever that means). But what about disrespecting the flag? Should the country not force you NOT to do that either? Or disrespecting the national anthem (or even the national song)? Also, what about the Christian prayers we were forced to recite each morning in school? How come no one has protested against that practice yet (or maybe someone has and I am not aware of it)? I agree with Mr.greatbong, though, that the BJP tried to exploit the situation and equate hindutva with nationalism, which pissed off Muslims. Fair enough. As I said earlier, good idea to get school kids to sing the song, if only it had not been guided by their ulterior motives. The whole issue will soon be forgotten (like Sania Mirza???), only to be rekindled 10, 25, or 50 years from now. Until then, we can rest assured in the knowledge that two simple words like “Vande Mataram” will not divide the country.

Update (9/10/06): Another blogger, Balajiworld has this to say about the whole situation:

“… so called ‘leaders’ chose to represent a fringe minority of bigots by not singing the national song instead of the millions of largely tolerant and easy going muslims/christians who happily paid tributes to the song on its 100th anniversary. Manmohan Singh has fallen one more step in my eyes.”

FWIW, he’s a known BJP sympathizer. This is apparent from some of his other articles. However, this does raise an interesting question: Should the PM have sung the song?