Posts from — March 2009

Brangelina, Nanny, Slap

Okay, this is almost a couple of weeks old – but I couldn’t resist blogging it. Apparently, Angelina caught Brad Pitt giving the nanny a backrub and gave him a tight slap.

Hollywood’s most talked about couple Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt seems to be going through a rough time as media reports suggest that the actress allegedly slapped Pitt after catching him on the bed rubbing the back of their female employee.

[…]

The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button star was reportedly left ‘stunned’ by the act and stormed out of the couple’s home and went for a four hour motorbike ride to calm down.

Well, you get to backrub a pretty nanny; plus a four-hour motorbike ride – away from the nagging wife. All at a price of a slap. That’s a good bargain, right?

March 31, 2009   1 Comment

Advani And The Swiss Bank Money Hoax

Self-appointed Prime Minister Lal Krishna Advani apparently is too excited about the Internet.  He suddenly is receiving chain mails like all of us – and has decided the government policy should be decided based on these email forwards.

Mr.Advani now wants all black money stashed away in Swiss banks by Indians brought back. And he promises to do that if he comes to power. Well,  how a man who couldn’t negotiate a few hijackers – will arm-twist Swiss bankers is beyond me.

But Mr. Advani has a lot of figures to quote from a “credible source” called the Wikipedia.

Quoting Wikipedia, which he described as the “most credible” source of information, Mr. Advani said that in 2007, holdings in Swiss banks by Indians were estimated at $5.7 billion, up from $2.6 billion in 2001

His  press release says:

It is equally well known that many wealthy Indians have deposited their illicit monies in secret Swiss bank accounts and tax havens elsewhere around the world. As per credible estimates, these amounts range between $500 billion (Rs. 25,00,000 crore) and $1400 billion (Rs. 70,00,000 crore).

Now where in the whole Wikipedia do these figures appear? I can’t find any such mention in the Wiki. Probably it has been edited out. But I can tell you precisely where Mr.Advani got those “credible estimates” from.

It comes from a hoax email chain that has been around for a couple of years now.  A version of it is here. Over the past year or so – a number of journalists, web media guys and bloggers have fallen for this and have converted the email contents into news reports and blog posts. And now Advani, the PM-in-waiting too has fallen for it.

Here’s what this legend claims.

Black money in Swiss banks — Swiss Banking Association report, 2006 details bank deposits in the territory of Switzerland by nationals of following countries:

Top five

India—- $1456 billion
Russia—$ 470 billion
UK——-$390 billion
Ukraine- $100 billion
China—–$ 96 billion

Okay, the small problem is that the ‘Swiss Banking Association’ simply doesn’t exist. There is a ‘Swiss Bankers Association’ - but that never released any such report. So, where does Advani’s figures come from?

Further Advani has a crack team in place who will work out a way to bring the money back.

The BJP will form a Task Force comprising experts in law, accounting, management and intelligence to prepare a strategic document for India to recommend ways to get back the national wealth stashed away illegally by the corrupt politicians, venal businessmen and criminal overlords. Shri S. Gurumurthy, well-known chartered accountant and writer specializing in investigative journalism; Dr. R. Vaidyanathan, Professor of Finance at the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore; Shri Mahesh Jethmalani, a renowned lawyer; and Shri Ajit Doval, an acclaimed national security expert, have agreed to work voluntarily on this Task Force.

Now in addition to Advani – we have a further four idiots who don’t even the know the source of the information they are throwing around – and they will recommend ways to get back the money.

I don’t mind Advani’s populist promises- but at least he could get his facts right.

March 30, 2009   20 Comments

The Gender-Neutral Language

The European Parliament has banned the use of terms that they think aren’t ‘gender-neutral’, whatever that means.

The European Parliament has prohibited the use of the terms ‘Miss’ and ‘Mrs’ in case they upset female MEPs. 

According to a new “Gender-Neutral Language” guidance, the politicians are required to address female members by their full name only.

It has also revealed that ‘sportsmen’ should be called ‘athletes’, ‘statesmen’ should be referred to as ‘political leaders’ , and terms like ‘synthetic’ or ‘artificial’ should be used in place of ‘man-made’.

The guidance lists has also banned terms for describing professions, including fireman, airhostess,headmaster, policeman, salesman, manageress, cinema usherette and male nurse.

Now I am glad that gender-neutral language isn’t official in our part of the world. Else, we would be struggling to decide on how do we address our beloved nation – no Bharat Mata, no Bharat Pita – then Bharat what?

Worse, we can’t call our Prime Minister by his own name. Sorry, No Manmohan Singh or Womanmohan Singh allowed.

And the worst part – no Manishwa or Womanishwa. Just Ishwa. Isshhh…

March 17, 2009   16 Comments

Bodily Fluids And Cricket Commentary

The BCCI  is so panicky about any of its members coming in touch with the ICL rebels, that it has tried to keep Craig McMillan (Of the ICL league) away from the commentary box in the India-NZ cricket series. The New Zealand Herald has an interesting take on this:

It’s one thing to pull two players out of a festival match in case they’re contaminated by ex-ICL bacterium Hamish Marshall.

It’s two things to have New Zealand Cricket general manager of cricket Geoff Allott ring ICL virus Daryl Tuffey to ask him to withdraw from a State Championship match. But it’s a truly absurd thing to flex their muscles in the commentary box for fear that Ravi Shastri (IPL) and Craig McMillan (ICL) might accidentally exchange bodily fluids that could eventually infect all the right-thinking people of the cricketing world.

Now, I am not sure on the exact procedure Ravi Shastri and McMillan would use to exchange bodily fluids, but if they did it on live television, that would be lot more fascinating than all the cricket, no?

March 17, 2009   No Comments

The Bossy Wife

PTI reports that celebrity couple Liz Hurley and Arun Nayar are headed for splitsville as Nayar finds his wife “bossy”.

Amid speculations that Liz Hurley and Indian business tycoon Arun Nayar are headed for splitsville, the friends of the couple have claimed that the friction in their marriage is the result of Hurley’s alleged “bossy” behaviour.

“She’s more like a boss than a wife,” a friend of the couple told the Daily Mail.

Wait a minute – aren’t most wives generally bossy? Or is my and Mr. Nayar’s households the rare exceptions?

If wonder if Mr.Nayar can gather a bit of courage (unlike me) and walk over to his boss’ cabin with an application in hand – just like you take a leave application to your boss.

Nayar: I have an application to submit

Liz: For leave? Or a raise?

Nayar: An application for divorce.

Liz: (throwing the application into the bin) Rejected. Anything else?

Nayar: Oh yes, can you at least fire me?

March 17, 2009   4 Comments

How To Guarantee That It Will Rain

Forget the fact that the International Cricket Council wants a guarantee from  tournament organizers that it will not rain. I now have a formula that ensures rains whenever you want it – and it doesn’t involve all the trouble Devanand undertook in Guide.

The procedure, though a bit tedious, is pretty simple.

Take your car (preferably black in colour) out of your garage for a wash. Spend a couple of tiring hours using all your tools – hose pipes, buckets of water, car shampoo, sponges, towels, wax to give it a new-car like look. Make sure the car is shining in all its glory and you are exhausted and drenched with sweat.

Park the car in direct sunlight, sit back on a chair and sport a satisfied smile.

I assure you, within half-an hour, it will rain.

Works every time.

March 16, 2009   3 Comments

Mrs. Eiffel

There is a lady somewhere who has gone on to marry the Eiffel tower.

Erika La Tour Eiffel’s madly in love. Her partner resides in Paris and is the tall, strong and silent type. Yet since they married in a ceremony with friends in the City of Love, the logistics of an intimate relationship have been more than a little challenging. Her  spouse, after all, is the Eiffel Tower.

See – no matter what the experts tell you – size does matter.

Back home I can think of a number of people wanting to marry inanimate structures. Mayawati and Taj Mahal could make a nice pair. Advani, Pawar, Paswan and the likes probably would be desperate to marry 7–RCR.  

March 16, 2009   No Comments

Weather Guarantee

The International Cricket Council comes out with their latest WTF.

The ICC’s Chief Executives’ Committee (CEC) has recommended that the Champions Trophy in September be shifted from Sri Lanka to South Africa following concerns over weather conditions in the island nation during that period. The ICC board is expected to take a final decision on the matter on Monday.

According to the ICC, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) were unable to provide a guarantee during a teleconference on Wednesday that there would be no rains in Colombo during the tournament which runs from September 24-October 5.

So did ICC really ask Sri Lanka cricket for a personal guarantee that it won’t rain for two weeks? I can understand things if the ICC asked for a guarantee on issues like security. But who on earth can give anybody a guarantee that they would be no rains, earthquakes or tsunamis?

No wonder with such brains in the ICC, cricket runs so often into rough weather.

March 11, 2009   1 Comment

Vatican And The Washing Machine

The Vatican’s official newspaper Osservatore Romano thinks that the washing machine has had done more for the women’s liberation movement than the contraceptive pill.

“In the 20th century, what contributed most to the emancipation of Western women?” questioned the article. “The debate is still open. Some say it was the pill, others the liberalisation of abortion, or being able to work outside the home. Others go even further: the washing machine.”

The article is entitled, “The washing machine and the emancipation of women: put in the powder, close the lid and relax”.

For someone who spends most of his time washing clothes or dishes the old-school way, I would think there’s some truth to the emancipation bit.

But what delights me the most is the Vatican’s opinion that washing is supposed to be the woman’s job. Sadly, my wife doesn’t seem to agree with that.

I wish she could turn into a Catholic.

March 9, 2009   No Comments

Big B, Manishwa Not To Celebrate Holi This Year

Superstar Amitabh Bachchan will stay away from holi celebrations this year, reports the Times Of India.

Superstar Amitabh Bachchan will give Holi a miss this time as he feels the spirit of the festival of colour has been dampened by the  Mumbai terror attacks.

Meanwhile, Superblogger Manishwa will not celebrate holi this year as well. Why? In protest of the Times of India not covering Manishwa’s decision to not celebrate holi this year.

March 9, 2009   1 Comment