In the Minestrone Soup


It’s close to dawn, and my code’s still running. I’m not in bed because I’m babysitting it. Not to worry  (I know some of my kinsmen and kinswomen who read this blog do worry… much thanks 🙂 ), I’ll wake up late in the morning… I’ve – or rather, my body has – become fanatic about getting seven hours downtime every 24 hours.

I plan to go on a Disney movie watching spree once I’m done with all that I’m currently doing. Yeah you can accuse the movies of promoting unhealthy body images in girls, Princess complexes, being racist, and a ton of other things, but they do bring the Magic alive. I was down low last week, and what made me fly again was Lightning McQueen and Mater from Cars. I totally loved Schumacher’s cameo in Cars… though I don’t much know about F1 racing, I couldn’t help but be impressed when Schumacher visits Luigi and Guido and asks them for tyres.

Cars2 was a fun watch, too. I don’t understand why it has been panned so badly by critics. Why should an animated movie always have some sort of a message, about how we are polluting the environment or how we should switch to cleaner energy sources, or how we should eat healthier? Or about inner peace and discovering yourself. Or family values. Why can’t it just be plain fun, where we are awed by the awesomeness of the animators in anthropomorphising cars, planes, trains and boats, and getting and chuckling at all the references they make? It was fun watching a kiddie spy movie, with all the jingjang gadgets and parodies and tributes. The story might probably have required a lot more work, but the dialogues were spot on, the animation topnotch,  and the overall execution great. In particular, I liked the scene where Mater gets knighted by the Queen, and she calls him Sir Tow Mater, when he says nope, it’s okay, you can just call me Mater, none of this Sir business, and oh, by the way, have you met my friend McQueen? McQueen, Queen, Queen, McQueen.

Kung Fu Panda 1 and 2 were quite impressive too. Yeah, it’s not really China there, and it’s way too Americanized, but heck, it’s a fun escapist watch.

*****

And I’m still having a girl-crush (Womance? Sisfatuation?) on Tina Fey. No, I’m not asserting she’s perfect… I’m pretty sure to get to where she is, she should have been a jerk at one point or the other, presumably a ton of times, and listening to the way she insults people in public makes me wonder how she insults them when not on camera… she called Paris Hilton a tranny on Prime Time TV. But the thing is, she’s disciplined, works hard, lets her strong personality shine through… screw all the oh-she’s-a-lady-broke-the-glass-ceiling… she’s there because she worked hard for it, and that’s something I need to emulate.

I don’t know about other fields of science and technology, but Computer Science is pretty objective in terms of evaluation; I came across a study that says there’s less dissatisfaction and disparity in terms of pay and position among women in Engineering and Computer Science than the more women-dominated fields like the Humanities. No matter what everyone says, I don’t think there’s an active campaign to diss and keep downtrodden women in computer science. It feels like a boys’ club sometimes, especially when you are in a new area and everyone around you seems male and genius, quite the opposite of female and clueless which you are. But half the problem is the perception – the whole getting psyched about ‘OMG, I’m the only brown girl in the ring’, which brings down your morale and boldness. It takes only a couple of google searches to reach out to more people like you. And all you need to do is ask for help… people are nice. Sure there are the demoralizing jerks, but they are not everyone. None of this is easy or intuitive, but you need to just keep at it, keep these in mind. Yes, some bimbo will screw you over some time. Yes, some jerkofellow will take credit for your work at one point. Things will happen. But you’ve got to keep in mind hard work and smart work and dedication always pay off. They do, no matter how much life tries to convince you otherwise. You just need to take into account the fact that life is not fair.

*****

Thanks to my wonderful friends, I saw Blackfield live in concert a few weeks back. They were wonderful. And Steven Wilson signed my ticket for me, but sadly was not posing for pics. Still… yippie-ki-yay.

I watched Guna last week. It’s one of the (many) movies where Kamal Haasan plays a deranged character. The first ten minutes of the movie creeped the hell out of me, and is still haunting me. I wonder very hard if people like Kamal Haasan and Ryu Murakami are sane in real life. Is their view of the world PG-13 for the most part? Do they view everyone in terms of neuroses and psychoses? Do they visualize dastardly acts of violence happening around them? Sometimes, when I people-watch, I start wondering about people’s backstories. They’d seem very Swami and Friends if I write them down… but what sort of backstories do Kamal and Murakami think of? When Kamal is pissed in real life, does he get poetic? When he cries in real life, does he do it Mahanadi-style or does he just sob quietly? I remember some talk of his where he says it’s like he leases out his mind to a character he’s playing, and makes the character vacate his mind once the lease period – his workday – is over. What was he like before he figured this simple thing out? Does he follow this to the T always?

*****

I now see NITK has jumped on to the TEDx bandwagon and will host talks that’ll come under TEDx this Incident/Engineer. Since it’s a trend they are following (after NSIT and BITS and possibly others I’m not as such aware of), I wouldn’t say good job, great move or anything…. this was inevitable. And it’ll be a great experience for the students (and possibly faculty) organizing it. It’ll give NITK some very good press, and wider coverage. We should have been putting out Inci-Engi stuff on an official Youtube channel so far atleast, but this will catalyze all that, make all of it happen sooner than expected.

That said, what’s with the proliferation of these? Sure, it’s a good thing and all, but there seems to be no form of quality control. The few talks I’ve seen all seem to be put together on the way to the venue. One talk by RK Misra however seemed much godawesome, as did the one by the Faking News guy. What’s the point of the brand name if it doesn’t stand for quality? I was mildly irked by the frivolity of some of the topics, but more than that by the lack of dedication shown by some of the speakers. I can only hope the ones picked for TEDxNITSurathkal are folks showcasing good ideas and more importantly folks who speak well, and inspire NITKians and everyone else.

*****

I’ll leave you with the third installment of Everything Is A Remix that came out in the past couple of weeks. I liked this one a heckuva lot. It’s about the nature of innovation and copying and standing on the shoulders of giants. In particular, I liked this quote by Henry Ford which summed it all up:

I invented nothing new. I simply assembled into a car the discoveries of other men behind whom were centuries of work… Had I worked fifty or ten or even five years before, I would have failed. So it is with every new thing. Progress happens when all the factors that make for it are ready, and then it is inevitable. To teach that a comparatively few men are responsible for the greatest forward steps of mankind is the worst sort of nonsense.

Watch it.

About wanderlust

just your average books-and-music person who wants to change the world.
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5 Responses to In the Minestrone Soup

  1. S says:

    Pixar movies aren’t “Disney movies”. That is all. :p

  2. Siri says:

    God I hate and love how regularly you post updates and write about the things you did. Two thumbs up woman!

  3. Akshay N R says:

    God damn it! Why is it that the Blackfield show I wanted to go to in Chicago gets cancelled while some of the ppl I know get to see them live elsewhere??!!?? Unfair.
    Got ur tickets signed by SW?? Grrrr. Jealous.

    • wanderlust says:

      Haha. the ones after the one we attended all got slashed 😀 everyone loves LA 😛 and the signing thing was random…. we weren’t supposed to walk back past the venue half an hour later, but the guy who was driving us had parked somewhere and we decided on dinner nearby and by sheer chance walked past the theater…. we wouldnt have noticed also, but someone screamed ‘Steven Wilson!”, and i was numb with shock. then the folks with me said get your ticket out, get your ticket out… and i would have taken a pic, but he posed for the last pic just when we saw him, and said no more pics, but i’ll sign your tickets. wowie.

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