Thursday, September 29, 2005

Handicapped Parking Issues

I been at BYU for 5 years now. There have been umpteen times when I have seen people park in the handicapped spot without a permit. Other times I have been astounded that people getting down from the car appear perfectly healthy and normal even when they have a permit. There was girl once who was bragging to one of my friends about how she had gotten a temporary permit when she twisted her ankle once. The ankle healed in a month but since she had a year long permit. This enabled her to get good parking for a year. Well this can atleast be explained with the fact that parking on university campuses is always tenacious.

There are some facts of which authorities who design handicapped parking are not even aware of. Even when people are not misusing the handicapped parking there are many times that all the handicapped slots are simply full. There are many places where they have very few handicapped slots. Among those slots here lies the problem: whenever there is a handicapped slot there always some extra space next to the parking lot for people with wheelchairs to get in the wheelchair. A lot of handicapped passes are handed out to old people, people with heart conditions, people who use crutches etc. There is a integral difference between afore mentioned people and people in wheelchairs. People in wheelchairs actually need the next space next to the parking lots to be able to get out of the car and get into the wheelchair. The others just need a parking spot close to their destination. If the local authorithes could realize this fact, and mark certain spots for people in wheelchairs only this could resolve a lot of issues. It is a lot harder for people in wheelchairs if they don't find an accessible spot compared to the other people with handicapped permits. I cannnot even think of getting a car modified so I could drive it because my horror lies what if I don't find any empty handicapped parking slots. There is no way I could park the car and get out of it.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Jon Stewart on Crossfire

A really good episode. Jon Stewart on Crossfire . Rumor has it, Crossfire got cancelled because of it.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Kate Winslet in the American Express Ad

This is a long time since I have liked an advertisement so much. Its the new
Kate Winslet in the American Express ad. Alluding to her different roles over time Kate Winslet says in the ad
At 17 I went to prison for murder
By 19 I was penniless and heart broken
I almost drowned at 20
My mind started to go at 24
Then I had my memory erased at 28
And by 29 ..... I was in neverland

My real life doesn't need any extra drama
thats why my card is American Express"

In the 94 movie "Heavenly Creature" she plays a trouble teenager who with the aid of her best friend murders the latters mother. This movie is supposed to be based on a true story. In Jude (based on Thomas Hardy's book) she is the girl in love and ends up poor. Oh the drowing is her biggest grosser at the box office. The titanic ofcourse. She play novelist Iris Murdoch in "Iris" who suffers from Alzehmiers Disease. The memory erasing is Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind and ofcourse the last one being Finding neverland. The background score of the advertisment reminds me very much of the score from "The Hours".

The Kate Winslet ad can be seen at the American Express page

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Movies in Summer 2005

Here is my take on the movies I saw during summer 2005.

Hollywood: This has been a shocking summer from Hollywood. Unlike most summers I was gaping at the movie listings most every week. There would be nothing appealing enough for me to go to the theater. But here are the some that I did watch.

Mr & Mrs Smith: This film opened with great hoopla with Pitt and Jolie's personal life being the forefront. A out and out fluff movie but was entertaining while you were watching. They shared great chemistry, had some good one liners, and some well executed action sequences. You have to make sure that you put to sleep your logical and rational side of the brain while you are watching it.

Batman Returns: I was bored for the first half hour of the movie, and then it was just bearable. Great acting by Morgan Freeman, Micheal Caine, and Liam Neeson. Though their roles didn't do justice to their acting abilites. Katie Holmes needs to learn to smile and talk with a straight mouth. But mainly I thought Christian Bale didn't have enough screen presence to carry the movie on his shoulders.

My Two best films of the Summer:
The Interpretor: A great action/suspense/thriller. This is what Hollywood is good at. For a change they had a good story on it. It does try to bring out some issues about the apathy of the western world towards the suffering of African countries. Sean Penn and Nicole Kidman shine in their roles. There is a subtle moral in the movie without it being preachy.

The Constant Gardener: A British diplomat's wife is murdered in Africa. He goes on a quest to discover the truth about his wife. Ralph Fienes is great as usual. He has a very British quality about him that makes him come across as a very intelligent actor. The thing that makes this movie very real is that most of it was shoot in a slum in Kenya. The widespread poverty and suffering comes across as very real. No set
can do justice in being as hard hitting as the real thing. The acting is top notch. The story is also very believeable and potrayed realisticly. The last half hour kind of drags a little but there are enough twists to keep you entertained.

Bollywood: I was kind of pleasantly surprized by what Bollywood churned out this summer.

Parineeta: This tops my list of the summer. A very well made movie. You have to see Devdas again to really know how good Parineeta is. You can acutually empathize with the main characters. Their relationship comes across as naturally and not put on like it did in Devdas. Again since it is shot mostly in Calcutta, you get the Calcutta feel. Had some good music to top it off.

Sarkar: A very good adaptation of the GodFather. You know why Ram Gopal Verma is the king of his genre. For a change they give credit to Mario Puzo. Abishiek is the revelation, because you expect Amitabh to be good. The heroines don't have much to do but fit their roles.

Paheli: A visually rich film. A good attempt for hindi film to be different but the film doesn't have enough to keep engrossed.

TV shows: Since there was an acute lack of films to watch this summer I saw four seasons of Alias today. For those not into it, it is the female version of James Bond . Jennifer Garner is your Jane Bond, she is the one who saves the guys. It is mindless show which you can watch with your brain turned off. A good show to see if you just want to vegetate and relax.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Sania Mirza vs Maria Sharapova

This the first time I saw Sania Mirza play tennis. Everbody expected to be outbeaten by Sharpova, and thats what happened. There are some very obvious things Mirza needs to improve on. The media has to been talking about that. The first and foremost is her service. If she is to be a force to be contended with, the serve needs to rise a few notches above what it is right now. The next thing is her fitness. She needs to train harder and build herself. She is a short girl given the height of women players. She needs to be much fitter to compete at this level of the game. She showed great spirit and ambition. You can tell she has the fire and the desire to be a champ. She also has some good groundstrokes. People have been talking about her strong forehand. The fourth round appearance was her best ever performance. This will definitely get her ranking pushed higher than her current 42. Given the dearth of sporting heros in India, she could tryly become one. It is important for her not to lose her focus in all the adulation and remember that the game always comes first. At this point it seems she is taking each step at a time and that whats she needs to keep doing. She does deserve credit for being where she is. Three Cheers for Sania Mirza!!!!

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Google Talk

There has recently been a barrage of VoIP applications. Starting with Skype. Google introduced its latest chat client Google Talk which allows you free PC2PC calls. I have used a variety of chat clients over these years. Among the long list is Msn Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, AOL Instant Messanger, GAIM (both on Window & Linux), Trillian, and Fire. Compared to all of these I found the chat client for Google talk the simplest and cleanest. There are no extra fringes nor any clutter on your chat window. When msn messenger came out with version 7.0 I think I had an anuerysm. The nudges, all the other emoticons, your picture and the picture of the person you are chatting with were all there too. So why did we need all this to simply instant message. Google Talk takes a different approach you don't see the emoticons, nor a very fancy profile. It will make you think of the ICQ days. Well I don't see myself getting rid of msn messenger sometime soon, given that all my friends and contacts have accounts on those. I still need to try to call someone using Google Talk, and see what the latency of voice is.