Saturday, September 27, 2008

Overpopulation: Boon or Bane?

This article that I stumbled upon some weeks ago is now over 10 years old. It doesn't contain any brand new information, but it is pretty insightful and informative in it's own way.

Those who fear overpopulation share a simple insight: People use resources. They eat food, drive cars, and take up space. Because resources are scarce, the only way to improve living standards, Malthusians argue, is to limit the number of people with whom we have to share these resources.

The rebuttal to this argument is equally simple: People create resources. They bring into the world their time, effort, and ingenuity. Before deciding whether world population growth is a curse or a blessing, we have to ask ourselves whether an extra person added to the planet uses more or less resources than he or she creates.

Do read the entire thing. It's rather pertinent to us living in India, at least, with all the "let's blame all our country's woes on the population".

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Drinking Problems

I think the biggest problem I have with people getting drunk is their infernal need to announce it to everyone around! It seems like whenever someone has had a little bit too much to drink, their most important priority in life is suddenly to grab someone by the ass and go, “Look at me. I’m drunk!” But they won’t stop there. Nah huh. They need to spread that information on to everyone in the world who is within communicable range.

Now, some years ago, “communicable range” used to be confined to people within hollering distance of the subject. That was good. Today, thanks to cell phones and the internet, this has now been broadened to include just about everyone on the planet. I have actually received text messages on my phone (or messages via Instant Messaging), from people I haven’t spoken to in months, telling me that they’re plastered. Really, it’s happened.

I think that is one reason we have so many words for it to begin with – drunk, intoxicated, inebriated, hammered, wasted, smashed, sozzled, tipsy, buzzed, plastered, tanked, loaded, blitzed, trashed, wrecked, bombed or even, if you wish, shit-faced. The list could go on and on. The only reason people keep inventing new words for this is so that they can tell someone they’re drunk. In about three hundred different ways.

Drunk dialing, though, does have its plus points. I can’t count the number of relationships that have been born out of one of the people getting drunk, calling up the other and saying, “You know what? I lurrrve you.” I like it for that.

Stuff like that was so much harder in the old days. If you’ve ever tried calling the love-of-your-life’s house at one in the morning after having gotten smashed only to have her Mom answer the phone, you’d know what I mean. (On the other hand, all these cell phones have completely wiped out the entire “Blank Calling” industry. That used to be big when I was a kid, I remember. Fun times.)

The irony of the whole situation, though, is this – they keep yelling out that they’re drunk, but if you actually ask them, they’ll deny it.

Girl (on two sniffs of Vodka): Oh boy, I’m so drunk. You have no idea how drunk I am. Drunk. Drunk. Drunk!
Me (two minutes hence): Are you drunk?
Girl: Of course not! Don’t be stupid!

True conversation.

And forgive the ramblingness of this post. Apologies to all.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Filed under “Yet To Understand”

Everywhere I go in this country, there are more men than women. And yet in these same places, the men’s washroom is practically deserted while the ladies’ washroom has a longer waiting period than the local country club.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Awesomely Cool Transaction for the Week

A friend parks his car near M. G. Road and is asked for Rs. 5 by the parking attendant on duty. The smallest note he has is a twenty and the attendant doesn’t have change. Meanwhile, there’s a beggar pestering him for alms on the side.

My friend, turns to the beggar and tells him he’ll trade him the twenty for a ten and a five, completes the deal with the more-than-bemused beggar, hands the attendant the five bucks, pockets the ten and walks away leaving everyone happy.

Change from a beggar—who would have thought of it!

Monday, September 08, 2008

The Universal Theorem of Download Speed…

“Any download speed will invariably enter a monotonically decreasing function the moment the ‘Downloads’ window falls under the gaze of a human eye or any other similar observational means. This monotonic decrease will continue for as long as the observation exists. The behavior of the speed once the means of observation have been removed is undefined. (However, should the window be observed once again at some point in the future it is often noted that the speed is considerably higher than what it was when the observation was ceased. This would obviously lead one to conclude that this characteristic decrease is only present when the window is under observation and not otherwise.)”

I might also like to add that despite the overwhelming empirical evidence that lends support to this theory, no rigid proof has been devised as yet. Thus, it is prudent to note that this is not a ‘theorem’ in the rigorous mathematical sense of the term but rather, merely a conjecture. A handsome—though unspecified—prize is on offer for the first person to either offer solid proof of the argument mentioned in the theorem above or provide a clear demonstration of the inverse. (At the risk of repeating myself, the latter is considered, by the scientific community worldwide, to be, for all intents and purposes, impossible.)

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Cooking and Me

I am a relatively decent cook. Most of the feedback that I’ve received on my cooking tends to be fairly upbeat. This would, in large part, be due to the fact that the audience I cater to is quite lenient a judge, has no fancy tastes and is rather partial toward me. In other words, I’m the only one who eats what I cook.

I don’t really like cooking for others. I feel there’s too much pressure to get it right. This is why I like to put up a disclaimer before I start to cook anything, saying “This will not taste anything like what you expect it to. If you are still okay with eating it, let me know now, otherwise I am counting you out.” Most people wisely choose to abstain. Besides no one can ever be really sure exactly what someone like me might slip into the dish, and since most people I know avoid—almost religiously—some item of food or the other, they wouldn’t want to risk eating anything coming from my hands. All this, of course, suits me just fine. I cook, I eat.

I find cooking to be somewhat boring. I cook almost exclusively because I have to eat and am too broke or too lazy to order in or go out. So if I have to cook, here’s what I do—I pretend like I’m hosting my own little cook show. I imagine there’s a studio audience in front of me, three or four cameras around the place, a nice little hat on my head (still imagining, I don’t wear one for real!) and maybe even a surprise guest every so often. Sometimes I’ll pretend like I’m the guest on someone else’s show.

So as I’m throwing in the ingredients, I’ll look up and speak to the audience. I’ll try to do different accents on different days, just to make things a little more interesting. I like to toss the stuff in the pan up in the air every now and then. These days, it often falls right back in too! (Who says I can’t learn!)

Then, when it’s all ready and over I’ll sample it. It normally tastes worse than dog turds in mud, but I’ll somehow manage to put a brave, almost satisfied, expression on my face and go, “Wow! That is just simply dee-li-cious!”

I figure I’m a good showman but a bad cook. Heck, isn’t that exactly what they need for these shows? Maybe, I should apply for one. Hmmm.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Girls and Ordering Food

There are, to be precise, three kinds of girls in this world when it comes to classification based on their food ordering styles.

There are those girls who will order a dish, take two bites and a nibble and then push it away. The reason given is either “I’m too full! How was I supposed to know they served this much?” or “Eww, this doesn’t taste like what I thought it did at all!” Apparently, in the bizarre world that women come from, servings are two forkfuls—three if you order the jumbo-size—and you’re allowed to call for a sample taste of the dish before ordering it. Of course, it’s not surprising then that they consider the enter restaurant industry on this planet an injustice to the customer!

The second type of girls are those who will not order anything at all—and then proceed to polish off half of your food! And the casual shamelessness that they will do it with! Like it was ordered and brought there especially for them, sent with love from the cook with flowers all around and their name on a nice little card on the top! Her eyes fixed right into yours as if you’re stupid enough to get mesmerized by that and not notice that thieving little hand slide across the table and right into your fries!

Now, I harbor a slight dislike for the first kind and can just about tolerate the second kind, but the third kind I could just shoot dead there at the table itself. Those are the girls that both leave their food almost untouched and attack yours! This must surely rank as at least as grave a sin as any mentioned in the Bible. I don’t care what you do the remainder of your life, if you’re the kind of girl who fits into the third category, you’re going to hell. Period.

I’m sure there’s an exception out there somewhere—a girl who is actually capable of ordering what she wants and nothing more or less than that. And if I find her, I’ll marry her.