<$BlogRSDUrl$> blog of parag

blog of parag
a repository for facts and thoughts
Friday, March 25, 2005
fresh snow 

fresh snow, originally uploaded by Parag.

After a snow fall, there was snow stuck to all the banches of the trees.

Posted by: Parag at 2:42 PM | PermaLink | 
Sunrise on 031205 

Sunrise on 031205, originally uploaded by Parag.

After a snow storm that passed through overnight, the sky was clearing as the Sun rose.

Posted by: Parag at 2:41 PM | PermaLink | 
snow covered chairs on the deck 

snow covered chairs on the deck, originally uploaded by Parag.

Posted by: Parag at 2:40 PM | PermaLink | 
This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.

Posted by: Parag at 2:25 PM | PermaLink | 
Sunday, May 16, 2004
Spring/Summer storms 
Watching the thunderstorms rumbling last night, reminded me of this photo that I took last year. Some of you may have seen it before.

Posted by: Parag at 9:49 PM | PermaLink | 
Monday, December 08, 2003
Moving to a new home... 
This blog is slowly moving to a new home. www.parablog.com. Please update your links.

Posted by: Parag at 2:40 PM | PermaLink | 
Wednesday, December 03, 2003
Bush Signs Law Meant to Thin Forests, Stop Fires 
Another win for the special interest groups. More power to the timber industry lobbyists.
Bush, joined by two members of his Cabinet, touted the legislation as a crucial step to protect forests, homes and human lives that have been endangered by "uncontrollable growth left by years of neglect" on U.S. lands.

Helloooo! uncontrollable growth left by years of neglect: that is the definition of a forest. After all the thinning and controlling, might as well start calling all the forests, gardens.

It is interesting to see the lobbyist dynamics that control the lawmaking. Plundering these pristine forests means huge profits for the timber industry and resultant lower prices for timber because of increase in supply means more profits to homebuilding industry. So, everyone is happy. Who cares about the environment and protecting wilderness???

On the other hand, the steel industry lobby is not going to win the battle over surcharges on steel imports. Current trade restrictions are good for the steel industry making imported steel expensive. That has brought the wrath of steel-using industries that are lobbying for removal of these tariffs to allow cheap steel imports. So, after couple of years of smooching with the steel industry people, the administration will announce to remove these tariffs to make bed with the steel-users and to comply with WTO ruling to make the steel exporters happy.

Interestingly, President Bush visited Pittsburgh, a steel industry town, this week and raised almost a million dollars in campaign money by attending a $2000 per plate dinner before making an announcement on this tariff decision.

12-04-2003UPDATE: Bush Decides to Lift All Steel Tariffs

Posted by: Parag at 5:17 PM | PermaLink | 
Catching snowflakes

It is hard to see them in the photo, but, they were there.

Posted by: Parag at 4:03 PM | PermaLink | 
German cannibal tells of fantasy 
I would not have believed this story if I heard it on FOX News, but, it appeared on a reliable source like BBC NEWS website.

This German man is charged with murder, because there are no specific laws against cannibalism in Germany. He claims that his victim agreed to be slaughtered and then eaten. So, the defense attorneys are going to argue that there is no murder because the victim wanted and agreed to be killed. It is so weird that the victim wanted to eat himself in the process.

Mr Meiwes told investigators he took Mr Brandes back to his home in Rotenburg, where Mr Brandes agreed to have his penis cut off, which Mr Meiwes then flambeed and served up to eat together.

Posted by: Parag at 3:11 PM | PermaLink | 
Tuesday, December 02, 2003
First woman to swim English channel dies in NJ

In 1926, Gertrude Ederle swam the choppy, treacherous stretch under the most adverse conditions, battling rip tides, cross currents, driving rain and mountainous seas, as well as a constant threat of floating debris, poisonous jellyfish and sharks. She left Cape Griz-Nez, France, at 7:05 a.m. and stumbled ashore at Kingsdown, England, 14 hours and 30 minutes later, better timing than the four men who had completed this feat before her. Because of the stormy weather, she had swum 35 miles in crossing the 21-mile-wide channel. Yet her time for the crossing stood for 24 years before it was broken in 1950 by Florence Chadwick, who negotiated 23 miles in 13 hours and 20 minutes.

This picture shows Gertrude ready to start her swim. Interestingly, this is probably one of the first instances of a woman wearing a two-piece swimming suit in public.

I remember Arati Pradhan from Thane swimming the channel sometime in the 80's. She was one of the youngest women ever to do that. Upon returning home, there were some big ceremonies hosted by the city and the state governments.

Posted by: Parag at 5:31 PM | PermaLink | 
he he he!

I realise that this is very juvenile, but, can't resist posting it. Found these perfect acronyms on the internet somewhere...

Most Intelligent Customers Realize Our Software is Only for Fools and Teenagers

Will Install Needless Data On Whole System

Posted by: Parag at 4:20 PM | PermaLink | 
Monday, December 01, 2003
Kal ho naa ho

I haven't seen this movie yet. Was planning to, but, reading this review on Rediff was enough to change my mind. It is an interesting dissection of the movie by someone who lives in New York. Worth reading...

Posted by: Parag at 2:42 PM | PermaLink | 
Tuesday, November 25, 2003
Recent wacky referrers

It is interesting to see what link leads to your webpage. Many times the search engines pick up words from different posts that are not related and puts the page on top of the list for hits because the search keywords appear in the page. Here are a couple of wacky searches that led to my blog:

- Yahoo! Search Results for bodybuilder matthew rush
- Yahoo! Search Results for i hate dante culpepper pictures
- Yahoo! Search Results for god hates ill people
- MSN Search Results for Jessica Lynch nude pictures (multiple times in different forms)

Posted by: Parag at 11:25 AM | PermaLink | 
Monday, November 24, 2003
US Postal stamp on Diwali

I have just read and signed the online petition:

"Issuance of US Postal Service stamp on Diwali"

hosted on the web by PetitionOnline.com, the free online petition service.

I personally agree with what this petition says, and I think many of you readers will, too. If you can spare a moment, please take a look, and consider signing yourself.

Posted by: Parag at 3:00 PM | PermaLink | 
122,000 miles

On the way to work today, my car turned over 122,000 miles. Way to go! I hope to see 150,000 on this gal.

Posted by: Parag at 10:20 AM | PermaLink | 
Wednesday, November 19, 2003
Gay Marriages 
Now, there is one more state other than Vermont and Hawaii that will recognize gay marriages. Gay couples can get married in Massachusetts. Hopefully, this will firmly set a precedent and most of the other sensible states in US will adopt such laws. I am not expecting Texas, Kansas or Alabama to be the next, but at least New York, California, New Jersey, Maryland, etc should follow in Massachusetts' steps.

The argument that marriages are sacred and hence, gays should not be allowed to be married is beyond ridiculous. Are people really that foolish not to realise that half the people take those sacred vows only to break them? Are they so blind to not notice all the broken marriages and families with children without their biological parents?
- If Elvis can marry a man and a woman in Las Vegas,
- if Dennis Rodman can marry Carmen Electra and get divorced in a week,
- if Elizabeth Taylor and Jennifer Lopez are allowed to go on their marrying spree,
- if Michael Jackson can marry,
---> then all the law-abiding, tax-paying gay couples should have the right to get married and enjoy all the benefits that come along with it. Marriage between two persons should be a basic civil right protected by the constitution.

Posted by: Parag at 11:21 AM | PermaLink | 
Tuesday, November 18, 2003
What the Blog just happened?! 
Mahesh Shantaram published a nice article on history of blogging. Learnt a lot of things I didn't know about.

Posted by: Parag at 1:51 PM | PermaLink | 
Court Orders Alabama Judge to step down 
I had posted an article on this topic in August. Here is the culmination of the fuss. A 9-member special
Court Ordered Alabama chief justice to step down. They cited ehical breaches in his refusal to remove the Ten Commandments monument from the lobby of Alabama Supreme Court.

Posted by: Parag at 1:36 PM | PermaLink | 
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