May 31, 2006

Free Website Monitoring Service - Site24x7 is a new website monitoring service that has been launched recently. It is in the beta version & the best part is, it is free.

Gyan on how it works : Once you register your website in Site24x7, the hosted service periodically checks if your website is accessible or not. When it is not accessible, notifications are sent and corrective actions can be triggered.

Now, you can heave a sigh of relief, if you are running an online store or any such thing.

May 30, 2006

What a hoarding!

A gigantic cut-out of the German goalkeeper Oliver Kahn, pulling off a spectacular save, spans across an artery road, close to the Munich stadium, which will host 2006 FIFA World Cup games.
source: Rediff

May 29, 2006

Its a small world

After 500 years, sheer chance reunites head and body of Parvathi statue in Paris.
This believe-it-or-not story from Cambodia, where once the statue of Parvathy was decapitated in the 15th century. This headless body was taken by French Archaeologists and exhibited in Paris.

Last autumn, the museum held an exhibition on Vietnamese art which paid tribute in its catalogue to a retired American diplomat, John Gunther Dean. The catalogue recounted Mr Dean's efforts, as ambassador to Cambodia in the early 1970s, to rescue ancient Khmer art from the ravages of the Khmer Rouge, which was determined to expunge all record of Cambodia's past.

To thank the museum, Mr Dean, now 80, offered a gift from his own collection of ancient Khmer artefacts. Last month, the gift arrived, the sculpted head of a woman found at the Bakong temple site in 1939.

"I asked him for a Khmer head because we only had headless statues but I didn't think for a moment about a possible match," said Pierre Baptiste, the museum's curator for south-east Asian art.

"I brought the head into our [Cambodian] hall looking for a place that it could be exhibited," said M. Baptiste. "I had a sudden notion the two pieces resembled each other but then thought, 'no, things never happen that way'.

"I put the head on the statue's shoulders. It shifted a few millimetres. I heard the little click that you get when two stones fit together and the head fell perfectly into place. It was as if it had put itself together. I still get goose-bumps thinking about it."
Through Varnam

May 23, 2006

Needs Strong Condemnation

The Multiplex Association of Gujarat has decided not to screen Aamir Khan's forthcoming film Fanaa.

The Rediff report says 'According to Manubhai S Patel, president of the Multiplex Association of Gujarat and chairman of city-based multiplex Wide Angle, some multiplexes had to stop screening Aamir's last film Rang De Basanti mid-way after an agitation against the actor over his remarks in connection with the Narmada dam intensified. "We do not want property damaged nor do we want movie buffs coming to see other movies harassed in any manner," he said, adding that there was no political interference in the decision..

Freedom to speak up is being strangulated at all possible levels. This is down right disgusting.

May 22, 2006

Martina Hingis - The Fighter

I had always been an ardent Steffi fan, Along the way, I started to like Martina Hingis also. The 'Swiss Miss' holds many firsts..

In January 1997, Hingis became the youngest Grand Slam singles winner in the 20th century by winning the Australian Open aged 16 years and 3 months.

In March, she became the youngest-ever player to attain the World No. 1 ranking.

And in July, she became the youngest singles champion at Wimbledon since Lottie Dod in 1887. She went on to win the US Open title by defeating another up-and-coming star, Venus Williams, in the final. The only Grand Slam singles title she failed to win that year was the French Open, where she lost in the final to Iva Majoli.

In 1998, Hingis won all four of the Grand Slam women's doubles titles. She became only the third woman to simultaneously hold the No. 1 ranking in both singles and doubles.

But, In 2003, at the age of 22, Hingis announced her retirement from tennis after losing her battle with severe ankle problems (ligament damage) and dwindling results.

I thought another star had faded out. But to my surprise, she announced a comeback last year. I can always catch up with my career if a take break for five years. But in sports, the game is entirely different. I still had my apprehensions as to how she will manage the show with the younger ones clearly dominating the court.

Upon her return, Hingis had a WTA rank of no. 349. And today after winning the Italian Open, she is 14th in the list. What a comeback, it has been.

Three Cheers to you .. Hingis!!!

..And the sensex came tumbling after

The stock market crashed with 1100 points going down the drain. At 9826 levels, the trading has been suspended for an hour as the indices hit the lower circuit. This is the biggest intra-day fall for Sensex ever.

Have a heart guys! Good time to sort out some quality stocks.

May 17, 2006

BBC Blooper

There is a saying in tamil 'Yaanai-kum Adi Sarukkum' meaning the big are entitled to their fall (pardon my pathetic attempt at translation)

BBC has apologized to its viewers for a studio mix up that resulted in a cab driver appearing on live television as an expert on Internet music downloads.

More on this TV goof up - cbsnews

Da Vinci Code - Ban?

Na..I was eagerly waiting to see Da Vinci Code on the big screen..Trailers were teasing enough. But somebody is out there to spoil my party.
The Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry has said that clearance will not be given to the movie till it is screened before the Catholic Churches' Association of India (CCAI).

I am actually amused that a religion that relies heavily on faith feels threatened by a movie!I heard somewhere that India was a secular democratic country?

May 11, 2006

Vijayakanth - the real hero

You have to give it to Vijayakanth, he plowed the lone furrow n won in Virudhachalam.
Even though, DMDK (Dravida Murpokku Desiya Kazhagham) lost in all others, this win is worth applauding. That too ..the win comes from the PMK (Pattali Makkal Katchi) bastion.

Not even once, the other parties mentioned him in their speeches. He was completely ignored by the media and inspite of that he could snatch the victory with a comfortable margin. Should wait and see, the % of votes polled for DMDK, it is generally believed that he ate into the vote banks of ADMK. Cine stars still hold sway!

And it looks like TamilNadu is heading towards a coalition government for the first time..Hmm Interesting times ahead.

May 09, 2006

Elections - Ballots - 900 AD

With the elections having passed off peacefully, Jus thought of blogging abt the earliest known election.

It is said that during the times of Paranthaka Chola I (900 AD), in Uthiramerur village(near kanchipuram, vandavasi), people actually had a voting system. The Kudavolai system consisted of people writing the names of people they thought were appropriate posts in the village administration on palm leaves or 'olai) and dropping them in a big pot or 'kudam'. The elders counted the leaves to install the one with the most leaves and installed him to that post. This was the first recorded instance of 'free and fair elections'.

And Lo! there is this Blog called kudavolai.blogspot.comcovering the Tamilnadu elections. has an indepth analysis on the Kudavolai system.

May 05, 2006

whatz in a painting

Was simply amazed at the news that the Picasso Portrait of Lover was sold for $95.2 Million at Sotheby's. The 1941 ``Dora Maar au Chat'' transforms the visage of his glamorous girlfriend into a female Shrek.
Thought this was tooooo much and googled for more info.

But to my utter disbelief, found the recent sale was only the second highest and the world's most expensive painting was again from Picasso. In 2004, a 1905 masterpiece 'Garcon a la Pipe - or Boy with a Pipe' was sold for a whopping $104 Million.

Did somebody say I'm joining a painting class right away ;-)

Pramod Mahajan - Humour

On the Vir Sanghvi's Face the Music talk show in NDTV, few weeks back

Vir: Do you aim to become the Prime Minister of this country?

Pramod Mahajan: [not the exact words-me] Everybody wants to become the PM, Even in Miss India contests, the cliche would be , I want to become the PM to serve the country , if at all they dont say, they want to be like Mother Theresa.

We definitely lost a charismatic, media savvy gen-next politian. I'm incensed at the way media covered the funeral. The family sure would have wished to grieve in private.

May 03, 2006

Discovery of a century

The discovery of a Neolithic stone celt, a hand-held axe, with the Indus script on it at Sembian-Kandiyur in Tamil Nadu is, according to Iravatham Mahadevan, "a major discovery because for the first time a text in the Indus script has been found in the State on a datable artefact, which is a polished neolithic celt."

He has estimated the date of the artefact with the Indus script to be between 2000 B.C. and 1500 B.C.

More info on this interesting find in the Hindu

The juicier part in the article:
"This confirms that the Neolithic people of Tamil Nadu shared the same language family of the Harappan group, which can only be Dravidian. The discovery provides the first evidence that the Neolithic people of the Tamil country spoke a Dravidian language."