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What Google & Wikipedia can’t answer for me

June 19, 2009 Leave a comment

You’d think that with the slew of search engines, a new one being launched every week (Cuil, Wolfram Alpha, Bing), everyone would now the answer to everything that can possibly be found, searched for, derived, or put together. But as anyone using the Internet for long enough knows, there are some things Google can just not answer for you. My list of ‘aggravating unknowns’ for now:

* What is the real name of the story/novel that I remember as ‘Ants’, a story that starts with a white man being tied naked on an ant hill as the ants slowly crawl up his toes, his feet, his legs, his genitalia, his stomach ? It’s revealed slowly that he’s being held and tortured in a town in northern India (near present-day Uttaranchal), it’s pre-Independence era, and that the local leader who instigated this and has the power to get him out is a woman, a foreigner, presumably white – and he tries to escape twice, both very daring series of last minute run-ins and escapes described wonderfully. I think he escapes in the end, but I’m not sure and (therefore) I badly want to read this again, just to make sure he does escape.

* What is the name of the series of science fiction books I spent half of 1998 devouring? This was a series of YA-type science fiction books that started off very, very strongly, with a boy and a girl in a high school in California, both intelligent, good athletes in their late teens. It went on to a major search of some ‘golden orb’, and was a Jetsons-version of LOTR, and so I gave up after book 7 or 8. But what was the name of the series?!!!?

* What are the titles of the three novels (and where can I buy the books) published by India Book House (they were all gifted to me by an uncle for my 13th birthday, i.e. mid 1990’s) – one story involved an alien who survived on sugar and supported a girl fighting for her right to play football, this was set in a ‘colony’ much like the one we lived in, and this girl had a twin brother who was not as good as her at the game but got to play it nevertheless. A second book was a sci-fi story set in ~2050 and involved some really kewl technology. The third was a geeky gamer boy cracking a kidnapping ring using gaming technology, again very very engaging.

* Which country(ies) of origin does the last name ‘Lukashok’ denote?

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Categories: lists, literature, web

In Sultings

March 17, 2009 Leave a comment

Dwarfs

Women

Gays

Lesbians

Los Angeles

10-year-olds

Uni-gun makers

Smokers

Non-smokers

Midgets

Fat people

Americans

Prostitutes

Belgians

Belgium

Irish

Girls

Black girls

African-Americans

Suicidal people

Depressed people

Priests

Little boys

Receptionists

Pakistanis

Skinheads

People on tranquilizers

People who know & practice Karate

Spastics

Robert Powell

R2D2

Vietnamese

Chocolate-inventers

Child abuse victims

Child abusers

Ticket/gate agents

Englishmen

Pregnant women

Quick, what would you fast for?

April 17, 2006 Leave a comment

I mistook Modi’s age for his weight (via India Uncut) and was seriously depressed for a while and wanted to go off on a fast myself, real fast. Before I could decide on a cause, or many, fortunately I read on.

But seriously, if you were to fast unto death or for 51 hours, whichever being earlier, what would be your preferred cause? (I know, I know, it should’ve been the other way round: what causes are important to you –> decreasing order of importance –> which all causes in your list would you be willing to fast for, etc., but humour me. Real-time thinking wins hands down on a blog…monkeys and keyboards). My list goes:

  • Good inexpensive vegetarian food around the world
  • An end to sexual harassment – any form, every form, by anyone
  • Accessible, trouble-free, free technology for all (at least for me!) and a competent IT helpdesk. (yes, I know that without charging people for technology there’s no profits to be made and so no incentive for anyone to actually create or innovate on existing technology, but this is a wishlist and I’m not fasting anytime soon, so if you’re an economists – Shh! already)
  • Accessible, trouble-free, free books & music for all (ditto!).
  • Gun control. Did you know that 50% of the world’s arms exports are by the United States? (find out more here) – and most of this finds its way into Africa and into the arms of the despots & dictators and fundamentalists and terrorists who perpetrate hunger, sexual harassment, destroy industry/economy/trade/tourism, etc.

Anyway, that’s a start. Of course, this listing is not just dependant on what causes you hold dear: a big factor would be how easy/difficult it is for you to keep the fast. Considering that I need – NEED – to eat something (preferably with a little rice) every two hours, this list just goes on to show how dear the causes are important to me. And it’s more than a little ironical to fast for ‘good inexpensive vegetarian food’, but hey, that’s important for me!

Categories: food, lists