Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A Very Stark Observation...

While going through my regular dosage of news, I came across the news of Neda Agha Soltan on Reuters (Click here) ...
On the left side is the image of a girl who is dying after having stood in front of the Iranian military to fight for the truth and freedom...while on the ad on the same page you see a girl resting somewhere in a field.

One image is so full of life and the other completely devoid of it!

Both images are so similar and yet so different - remarkable is the eyes of the ladies in both the pictures...look closely and you will understand...



Saturday, June 20, 2009

Critical analysis : The girlfriend experience...(8/10)

Coming from Steven Soderbergh's stable, this movie had to be odd...and it did succeed in being one - the lead character is played by Sasha Grey - a pornographic actress and another oddity was that the actress has not given any shot which testifies that she is a pornstar (which was expected!)...
The movie is about Chelsea...and her complicated thoughts...of being in love, craving for love, getting used to be treated like a lover and a door-mat and her coping with all this...
The initial scene of movie makes you believe that you are watching a romantic movie...a couple is seen having fun, dining, talking and there is red wine too. However, the starkness of the movie is revealed as the lady wakes up alone next morning,  and is paid money without even an iota of emotion being displayed...the client does not even look at her - it is this scene that wakes you to a realization that she is not a girlfriend but an experience of a girlfriend to the guy ...this starts the movie in its real sense...


The movie also contrasts between the tangible and intangible side...Chelsea is quite visibly drawn in monologues with her clients - about the economy downturn and its impact...she is like a lighthouse for many clients...giving a sense of direction in the night for the clients to park themselves suitably / temporarily - rest for a while - where in she gives them some solace and comfort like a girlfriend.

She has a boyfriend, its evident that both of them love each other but still want to earn more money...they are both worried about the inevitable economy crisis coming up and hence they want to make extra money asap...he tries to talk to various gym so that he can become a more successful trainer while she is looking to enhance her clientèle list by a website...

On one such occasion, Chelsea falls prey to her emotions - and this is the turning point of the movie...Chelsea, who had shown no emotions in interacting with clients but falls for this new client...she decides to break the rule - and agrees to go out with the new client on the weekend...this enrages her boyfriend but she does not seem to bother about this...which leaves the boyfriend stumped.

The client does not turn up...leaving Chelsea alone...it is this that makes her cry ...she is also tricked by a potential client who on the promises of taking her to Dubai makes her do unacceptable and disgusting acts...as he wanted to see what he will sell in Dubai!...For a minute, we see Chelsea broken and for the first time she shows emotions (which is another rule broken) to a client...but she strikes back...and the movie culminates with her with yet another client...depicting that the life does go on...


The shooting style is Reverse Chronology and so it does become quite difficult to keep track of what is actually happening...what happens before? Sasha's disinterest in her boyfriend or her falling in love with the new customer...does she buy brands during her replete shopping trips to keep her sane from her schedules with clients or does she buy them to get more clients? or is it like the case of the unknown drummer who is seen playing a nice rhythm but is not at all acknowledged by anyone when he finishes but himself...so is Chelsea treating herself after every one of her "shows"? 
Chelsea is seem to be clinical, even therapeutic with her clients, to an extent that she is shown just talking to them and making them comfortable - this has been wonderfully portrayed by Sasha Grey - to an extent that I fear her porn career could be at stake now! 
The movie is not recommended if you want to have fun as the movie will leave you with lot of thoughts...thoughts which will evoke the real sense of consumerism in our minds...do we actually use what we want? or we want what we actually want to use?

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Famous "Anshul"

I am writing this post in all vanity...well almost...after all it took one full sleepless night for me to be able to write a post on it...

Facebook had announced the vanity URLs and I, for sure, wanted to get it...more because Aakriti has always been teasing me that she has ultimate vanity email address  - so when a chance came to get www.facebook.com/Anshul - why would I let it go???

So dear friends, I am now available at www.Facebook.com/Anshul - see you there...

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Why is Computer mouse called "Mouse"?

I was intrigued by this simple piece from the daily dose of Delanceplace.com  about the "Computer Mouse" -  I simply love the story...how an enterprising inventor works simply , without much help, and ultimately gives us a simple but one of the most effective invention of 21st century...


"Douglas Engelbart - Inventor of Computer Mouse - had almost - but not quite - hit upon the concept of the mouse in his original 1962 paper. With his NASA funding, he began exploring pointing devices and became interested in the problem of selecting text or graphics objects that were displayed on his screen. 
  1. The goal of the study was to discover which device would allow a user to get to a given point on the screen most quickly as well as repeatedly with the fewest errors. ...
  2. "Other kinds of pointing devices were already in use, including light pens, trackballs, and tablets with styli. The RAND Corporation had invented the latter, and though Engelbart hoped for a while that he could persuade them to lend him one for their research, the company told him it didn't have any available. 
  3. "The actual idea of a rolling, handheld pointing device came to Engelbart one day when he was at a computer-graphics conference. As he often did, he was feeling like an outsider, because everyone was talking, and he was uncomfortable and having trouble making himself heard. At times like this, he frequently tuned out and dropped into his own reverie. ...
  4. "Pulling a small notepad from his shirt pocket, he made a quick sketch of a device that would track movement across a desktop. The idea was to use the two wheels to drive two potentiometers - devices that would register varying voltages as they were turned. Each one would move depending on the degree to which the wheels turned, and the resulting voltage could then be translated into the position of a cursor - they originally called it a 'bug' - on the screen. ...
  5. "[He] turned to an SRI draftsman to carve an elegant, hand-sized lacquered pine case large enough to contain the two wheels and two potentiometers, and then gave the case to a craftsman at the SRI machine shop to manufacture the other mechanical components. The original mouse that the team assembled was large and bulky, in part because of the size of the available potentiometers. [Bill] English had also figured that he would need a device that would roll about five inches, a distance that could be translated into the width of the screen. That, in turn, required large wheels, which would rotate only once in five inches of travel.
  6. "Although it is commonly believed that the story of how the mouse got its name has been lost in history, Roger Bates, who was a young hardware designer working for Bill English, has a clear recollection of how the name was chosen. ... He remembers that what today is called the cursor on the screen was at the time called a 'CAT.' Bates has forgotten what CAT stood for, and no one else seems to remember either, but in hindsight it seems obvious that the CAT would chase the tailed mouse on the desktop." 
Source - John Markoff, What the Dormouse Said: How the 60's Counterculture Shaped the Personal Computer, Penguin, Copyright 2005 by John Markoff, pp. 54-56.