Wednesday, 27 October 2010

The Secret Dairies of Anne Lister (2010) [* * * * * *]

I downloaded this movie by mistake because it was under 'Toy Story 3', but I'm so glad I did. I've always been terrified of lesbians, because women tend to get quite close as friends. When they hit on you, its a violation of your privacy and gross manipulation. I'm sure hetero men would feel the same when confronted with a secretive gay man - probably why there's so much fear of it. I'd say lesbians are more pushy and domineering than even men at getting their own way with you.

This is a story of a lesbian in England (1791 - 1840), a rich orphan, who seduces several women in her lifetime, though she's madly in love with one, Marianna, who betrays her to get married to a man (for social approval). But you see a love as deep and true as in any forever-romance, from Anne Lister's side anyway.

She kept a secret diary, 1/6th in code (greek and algebra), with enormous output - 4 million words written at 2000 words a day(!) about her life and relationships. You see none of the usual tiptoeing around the truth that women do to protect tthe male, the social 'niceties' that conceal deep lying to oneself - just the raw woman and her clear comprehension. Fantastic, unusual even today, but in Jane Austen's contemporary ... unbelievable!

The movie is, barring a few racy scenes, a fabulous reminder of how hard women have struggled to come this far, 150 yrs of internal struggle - to reject marriage, which suits few, for security and social acceptance; to withstand patriarchal mockery when they take to industry or managing finances; above all, to put their own thinking mind as equal to a man's, and their own passions first. Women of substance and character.

Its a herstory of feminism: a woman's struggle to be who she truly is - written by a woman, about women and for the women she loved. Hats off and many thanks to the Anne Listers for freeing themselves, so that my choices and freedom aren't a struggle today!
Trailer of 'The Secret Dairies ...'

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

A frienly visit by the seasonal flu

That Tuesday was like any other day, the only difference was an odd sneeze at lunch time.
The custard apple which i had got a day earlier was beckoning me , as there were three in number.
dad got his friend that afternoon at the garden, and the magic number 3 seemed just right for sharing.
so there we were the three custard apples between ourselves, every thing seemed ok till dinner, when things started with an ache, and a raise in temperature.

Ohhhh la la la, the nose started to drip and the head started to feel heavy, the body pain was a horror, and all the adjectives the patients used to offer to express themselves was flowing in front to bear readings to the fever.

The mental faculties were expressing themselves with all the mail, commands, the flow of words on the screen, the downloading of lessons and the blogging all seemed to want the attention at the same time, this seemed like a new finding, which was not expressed by the patients.

I seemed to groan and moan and make all sorts of noises calling folks , present and those who had left, if only there was a passage, am sure they would have all come seeing my state i guess.

My lady made a brew of coriander seeds and country Jaggery and leaves of tulsi, the concoction did soothe my throat and must have had some internal effect as my fever was going down and the body aches bearable.

I took off from work and munched neem leaves when i could manage the bitterness, my appetite was down, the feeling of floating in the air very much present.

I had avoided all synthetic preparations for the episode, I had decided not to cut my bath, so the bath timings had been scheduled to the passing of the sun over head, and westernising movements.

All seemed well and the fever i guess took off faster than it would normally stay.

I was back to work and type and seek out those who needed what i had to share.
others noticed the loss of weight, but my attire of dhoti could not notice the change in the waist.

It was another of those fear mongering fevers, that left as a friend, whose statistical data's i could not add to their numbers.

The flues fly away if we do not hamper them to stay longer,our system gets stronger, and we get to feel all the parts of us, both physical and mental.

May be it is the help of the climate and family that takes the credit for the quick recovery, but our own system can manage most such troubles with out external influence.

The original face

It was another day spent, with the face changing innumerable times to suit the person in front, and changed according to the situation that i lost myself.

I was going to bed, with a thought how it would be to keep myself same, inspite of all the changes and folks who come on during the whole day.

It must have been just a few moments before i dozed away only to find myself in front of a happy go lucky face, asking if i was willing to come to see my original face, "good lord what an offer" i yelled.

I was getting a water bottle ready, when he said it was not a long journey, but only of depth, so i went along with him, he took me to one of my own home rooms, and dished out a mirror i had kept behind a cupboard.

He said it was a simple magic mirror which will show my original face, i told him i had used it before, but got nervous when i saw one with a large cut on the face in the mirror.

He smiled and vanished.

There i was with my own mirror of long standing, unused, i wiped it clean and sat down in front, times have passed and so has my patience.

After a few minutes of quietness, i saw a simple villager and turbaned and wiping away the sweat on his brow, his was a face of simpleness and silent happiness, fresh as the morning leaf on a plant in the garden.

I was back in bed, with thoughts of that person, and how that could be the original face, when i had the guest of the evening come back and say that " our original face is that which surfaces when we forget ourself in our doings."

Monday, 25 October 2010

Flash Gordon [1980] (* * *)

I remember seeing this movie in the late 1980s and being embarrassed for the actors, and for all of us watching them in x-rated outfits..:) I saw it again now and, after all the crap Hollywood has thrown at us and knowing how easily the west shed their clothes, it didn't look quite as bad.

Still, it doesn't compare against the backdrop of fabulous comic books movies in the last 20 yrs - Superman, Batman, Spiderman, Phantom, Tarzan, Incredible Hulk, etc. So I don't recommend it. The Flash Gordon comics are superb - this was just very very average in script, acting and set design.

I gave it 3 stars for Queen's fantastic score for the film.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Food Inc. (2008)(* * * * * *)

The total control of the food industry over the US is amazing. Its a painful video for a vegan to watch, but if you're eating meat and dairy, its a must-watch.

For a doctor, it would be interesting to see how salmonella and e.coli were created by the meat and dairy industry practices in the US, early onset diabetes and a resistance to antibiotics.

In terms of agriculture, the story is quite as bad with Monsanto monopolizing the seed production. They've developed a similar hold in India as well - virtually every seed bought in agricultural shops is Monsanto and genetically modified. Saving and selling your own seeds will push your shop out of business.

I'd like to see a similar story of the milk dairy industry in India which is far larger than any other single industry with very similar lobbying practices as the US.
Watch 'Food Inc.' in 11 parts here..

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

The Last Airbender (2010) [* * * * *]

At last! I've been such a mad fan of the cartoon series, I'd been hunting for this movie all over the net. So well worth a watch for any fan!

The movie was thoroughly trashed by its critics, a lot of it justified, but from me it gets top-rating. I couldn't believe how real the special effects were! The story came to life for me in my mind like never before. I can imagine how thrilled kids would be to see this amazing spiritual, martial arts movie bringing their heroes to life. If only I was in the 5 to 13 age group again, it would change my life.:)

But, being older, I have developed judgement: Night Shyamalan made a huge mistake casting an all-white set for Aang, Katara and Sokka - that's one of the glaring drawbacks from the very beginning. The 'why' gnaws at you. I so looked forward to a dark-skinned Katara and a Tibetan Aang!!:( Besides that, the dialogue didn't have much zing for an adult and the music too sober for kids... the movie though fabulous in capturing the feel, seems to have a beat missing - oh well, no Oscar, so what.

It was wonderful to see so many Indians on screen (yay, we were the Fire Nation!) and Shyamalan promises more multiculturalism to follow. It is meant to be a trilogy, I hope they make them all.

The story is of an Avatar, a child trapped in ice for a 100 yrs, who wakes up to a world where Water, Earth and Air Nations are being enslaved by the Fire Nation. Its up to him to save it. Fabulous story!

Sunday, 17 October 2010

The Last Starfighter (1984) (* * *)

A very corny story about a video player who becomes the last starfighter to save two galaxies, but enjoyable nonetheless.

The thing about science fiction is that it can't help but be good, because it carries in it a projection of the future. That takes imagination rooted in reality. That's why so many sci fi stories have led innovation in science. Every single person has an impression of where we're going based on one's own experiences so these stories are like listening to someone else's experience.

In this story, for example, the young boy is stuck in a trailer park with only a video game for amusement. He beats the highest score just because he's so frustrated with his life and he finds that he's been chosen by a galactic talent scout to be a starfighter, based on the computer simulation of the game. How amazing of the writer to think up a deeper reason for video games - 20 yrs later the US Army is using similar techniques to train its army.

Friday, 15 October 2010

Armegeddon [1998] (* *)

Bruce Willis has been growing dull since the late 80s. I think his peak performance was in the tv serial Moonlighting [1985] (* * * * *) with Cybill Sheperd. Anyway, its another end-of-the-world sci fi.

But just because he's charming when he smiles, I watched a bunch of his movies that I'll review all at once today. I had a massive crush on him in the 80s, before he revealed himself to be a musclehead by marrying the horrible Demi Moore and being Republican.:)

The Whole Nine Yards [2000] (* * * *) was quite a lot of fun - didn't expect Bruce to do a good comedy after his tv days.

He followed this up with The Whole Ten Yards [2004] (* *) which was less funny and interesting but did add to the storyline. I suspect Mathew Perry had a lot to do with the humour - he's a great fallguy.

His Blind Date [1987] (* * * *) with Kim Basinger was quite comic too but not nearly as romantic as it should have been. Perfect Stranger [2007] (* *) with Halle Berry was bad on all counts except twist. Unlike all his other attempts, he really seemed to have a thing for Cybill Sheperd - the kind of magic that made his first his best!

Night Shyamalan brought out the best in him in Sixth Sense and the Fifth Element couldn't have gone wrong - both amazing stories of the paranormal. Perhaps Death Becomes Her can be added to the list of a worth-watching, but not because of him. Then there's the Die Hard 1, 2 and 3, Mercury Rising, etc. all fairly good for the genre of superviolent action movies. But that's it. What went wrong, Bruce?

Monday, 11 October 2010

Cooking up results

Ever since the physics practical exams I was prone to cook up results, I never could do them with in the stipulated time and get the correct answers, so I would give the mugged up answers and get away with it.

It was the same way with chemistry salt analysis.I felt those were only school studying ways and one got to forget them in matters of life and business.

I am getting to know that they are being followed the same way by big companies even dealing with medicines and food supplements.

How erroneous it would be when scientist are forced to cook up results to the tune of managements to suit their answers and findings and raise profits for their firms, at the expense of the public which trusts the testing scientists and their qualifications.

One such product is aspartame about which I have talked and written and read much, to many a deaf and blind public, which is the cause of many a blind mans illness.

The origin and continuous use of this product around the world is a sham and a shame.

The cooked up results are getting burnt and they are bound to be noticed soon, may our awareness grow to find them, for our benefit and for the benefit of those who trust us in deciphering things.

From a Boxers alphabet tapping corner

I happened to sneak a peek at the screen that showed an Indian and an Irish boxer, making a bout in the commonwealth ring,it brought back memories of my school days when we had a tap dancer heavyweight teacher of African origin called Mr Nat Terry.

He had us sweat it out at shadow boxing with iron holds and taught us all the ways of ducking and blocking a punch with guards, and feigning moves, and how to offer an upper cut when the opponent went in for a head down position.

The boxers were matched according to the weight and their arms reach, and houses.

We were given an afternoon rest before the evening bout and allowed to get into the ring ,with a sash around the waist and gloves and shorts and a vest,to the cheers of all the school mates sitting on the parapet wall and the sounding of the gong.

The red and blue corners had the massagers who gave us hints and allowed us to gargle out a bleeding cut during the time outs.

Many a best boxer and a best looser were made in these rings, and who even fought again to exchange titles.

The last time I had my nose bleeding was when we had the then chief minister of Tamil Naduperunthalaivar”(great leader) kamarajar hand out the certificates to the young pugilists, hoping that the kids would stop fighting and finish all this during school itself, and grow up into friendly relationships in the future world of adults.

He was a soft spoken Tamilian who had a way of prophesying every future plan with “parkalam”.

He must have been the only chief guest to ever speak in tamil in an English medium school, to the clapping and thunderous applause of the kids who did not know what he was speaking.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

The courageous Ukrainians

The Ukrainians have opted out of going along with the other nationals in receiving the vaccines, that their government and health authorities of the world have decided for them.

I wonder how they have managed to join hands and go against the decision of their government.

I am worried for their welfare, as some times even nature seems to get angry at nationals who will not go along with the members of the other nationalities

Some times it is such nations that get floods or tsunamis or earthquakes or such natural disasters, or the aircrafts of their leaders come crashing down.

My heart is palpitating and my mind thinking if such things will happen, as these folks have set a trend for others to follow, with their courage and intelligence.

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Coconut oil to the rescue of nutty worries

There are many ills affecting the modern man, and most have no permanent cures, one such illness is Alzheimer.

There can be no one who can be exempt, as the real cause is still in study.

The cause has been pointed at mercury, aluminum, stress, nutritional deficiency and more, and all the medicines are more like trials.

One promising research is pointing to coconut oil, and how it could help, and reverse, and prevent this illness.

May we find what we are in search of, to handle this illness which makes a nut of one who had once been an intelligent human.

The poor rich Americans

I recently had a chance to see how much the Americans are in debt, as they seem to have so much to go to war,spending on games, and luxuries we can least imagine.

We have been taught not to live in a state of debt, maybe our needs are few and our desires are less, our spendings are stingy, but debt is scary, when it is beyond our means.

A Trillion Dollars

If you travel back in time to the birth of Yeshua and spent a million dollars a day, by today's date you still wouldn't have spent 1 trillion dollars. An American Trillion is a million million: 1 followed by 12 zeros.

America's government debt estimated at more than $13 trillion. $43,600.00 for every Man, Woman and Child!Before this coming New Years Eve the American government will issue almost as much new debt as the rest of the world's governments combined!

Total Credit Debt which includes all government debt, corporate and personal debt the figures comes to $47 trillion.: $157 000.00 per every American!

Japan is owed more than $580 billion

China more than $390 billion

United Kingdom more than $320 billion.

Those amounts represent money owned to Japanese, Chinese and British workers to secure their retirements.

How are the future generations of Americans going to pay back this enormous debt?

Or are such loans written off like some parties do when they win elections in our lands!

maybe their printing press will work over time!

The Man From Earth [2007](* * * *)

I found this the most extraordinary story - of a Neolithic Man who lives for 15000 years.

The story is told by the man himself to his colleagues but they react with horror and fear, so he, at the end, pretends it isn't true.

He tells them an interesting piece of his history, when he met the Buddha and tried to teach the same ideas in the Middle East and was crucified for it (which was Holger Kersten's fabulous research on Jesus).

Anyway, worth a watch. And even if there's a whole 80s feel to the movie that makes it appear antiquated, it has a lot of references to modern research which make it a learning opportunity.

Silent Running [1972] (* * * *)

The idea is interesting in that the earth has already been destroyed (for a change:) and now a few people are sent by govts to nurture trees on satellites.
When the govt gives the order to destroy the experimental forests, one nurturing man can't do it. He takes his satellite to the rings of Saturn and teaches a droid to take care of it. But loneliness gets him and he destroys himself in the end.
Very depressing movie.
But again the theme of sacrificing himself for a larger idea, a forest of birds and animals and trees, appealed to me.

Friday, 8 October 2010

Somewhere In Time [1980] (* * * * *)

This sci-fi is a different version of reincarnation, but interesting nonetheless for being a fine romance. Usually christian movie makers have a great resistance to the idea of being born again, so this is believable for their audiences.

A man goes back in time by just hypnotizing himself and meets the woman he loved 80 yrs before. Its been a long time since I saw a Christopher Reeves movie and Jane Seymour is lovely in it. Well worth watching for the psychic implications of time travel - they meet again as an old woman and a young man. I've always wondered at how love seems timeless and seems to stretch from one lifetime to another - this movie captures that seamless feeling with some of the 80s ideas on memory recall and time. Very nice.:)

Moon [2009] (* * * *)

We see a lone space-station run by a human who is longing to be home with his family. He has an accident and is rescued by his clone. The rest is a fascinating peek at how humans may use clones to replace themselves in the future, even though it is an abuse of those intelligent lifeforms. Very interesting twist in the end - I couldn't see how it could have a happy ending and it did.

If there's one thing that I believe about a possible future for humans, it is aloneness, maybe even loneliness. Especially with the rate at which the world is aggressively trying to reduce populations while increasing property.

Fantastic Voyage [1966](* * * * *)

Finally I find the original! So many movies, comics and present day medical nanoscience is based on this story of internal surgery by miniaturization. A cold war scientist has to be saved by brain surgery and a team of doctors and military personnel are sent into his body to do the job in a limited time. Fabulous introduction to the human body - should be shown in science classes everywhere.:)
Racquel Welch not being exploited by her miserable husband was a plus - she's acting, and very well, in this one.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Mayor encourages tree planting

The school campus had colorful flags flying on the roof tops of the buildings, awaiting the arrival of the worshipful mayor of salem, Mrs Priya Darshini.

She was on time and the school band played tunes to her and took her on a slow march to the parlor for refreshments.

Before the speech of the chief guest other speakers spoke how difficult it was to make an impact on elders to take up environmental issues, that they had decided to woo the children instead.

The children were told, our parents will give us money and land and jewels , but they cant give us a healthy atmosphere as they have spoilt it themselves, if we need to give a safe clean living environment for out next generation, we need to save what little is present as a gift to the future.

The ill effects of plastic carry bags was stressed, tree planting was encouraged for special occasions of marriage and birthdays.

The kids took an oath to take baskets and bags at shopping times and cut plastics, the lady mayor planted saplings at the campus, and donated many to be distributed and planted, she then whizzed away with her guards to the next awareness programme and her busy schedule.

A band of school children then went on bicycles, carrying placards and banners around Ellampillai, creating an awareness on the issue to the silent gaping public.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Equilibrium (2002)[* * * * * *]

Once in a while I see a movie that obsesses me - Equilibrium is one of those. The sci fi story is of a nazi-like fascist future after a 3rd World War, when people who feel emotion are persecuted to prevent wars by an SS-like militia called 'grammaton clerics'.

Of course, it might be Christian Bale or the role of a grammaton cleric that might have been so sexy. The role is so asexual - and there's nothing more attractive than an asexual man; He's also exploring emotion illegally for the first time. Repression is common enough - but emotionally exploring innocence in a man is rare and exotic. Then there's the eastern mystique of training in gun kata, an imaginary martial art invented by Kurt Wimmer.

The movie itself is philosophical, romantic without being mushy, with a clean feel. A real thrill after the confused mumbo jumbo of Matrix. Perhaps one of the best sci fi movies made about a very probable future, if men don't learn to appreciate their emotions more.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

US says sorry

I fail to understand why US should say sorry,for the happenings that took place 60 odd years ago, to a friendly nation which allowed it to take part for actions and the welfare of its citizens and for the future of the world of medicines.

But if this apology makes light of the guilt of the American politicians , let them show it for what they are allowing to happen across the world, or is it a trend that they do what they like now and the future politicians will come and apologize for the doings of today?

For those who do not know what the lines are about,

Syphilis and gonorrhea were allowed to spread, and were tested with medicines on native African population, in Guantemala, on mentally deranged individuals and prisoners around the 1940 s and it has come to light now, by private researchers. The tests were conducted with the help of personnel (medical researchers) from America.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Antique vessel

The drinking water bottle has become a scare with the Bpa in the plastics.

Living in the tropics, or constant traveling can get one thirsty to seek a source of safe drinking water.

Most of us in this generation have become adjusted to the water bottle that carries the water, we cannot even think what else can water come from or be carried in.

The school children have no alternative,the parents cannot imagine the child consuming water from any other source but from their own homes.

we found this vessel in the antique cupboard, a stainless steel vessel , jar like with a capacity for ¾ of a litre.

Vessels of this kind ,was what was taken those days when one went to the cinemas, or travel.

It has two tumblers that go with this vessel at the top near the lid with screw rings .

Many a neighbor would give a look of wonder when one carries this to work or take it outside for a refill or a wash, but antique things always get a look of amazement!

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Barkings of a dog

I am a Dog and I am called as mans best friend.

I have been completely spoilt by man, with his food and life style, I envy my country cousins who still live a rugged life out in the open, under the sky and sleep on the ground,chase wild uncooked meat for food.

They have a normal physic and never get sick and if they do they fast and eat grass, booh booh, how unlike them I am the city dwelling, mild mannered, kennel living, well bred species of high class, who gets to see the vet and given all the jabs and medicines like a human .

Recently owners of my type have gone nincompoopish and got kennels like their own homes with doors, curtains, drawings of bone on the walls, and air conditioned,this is madness, if only some one could learn our language and ask us what we love as a home and our needs, things would surely be easier for us and them.

We like lots of exercise, uncooked food, no preservatives and junk like their food bought in packets, which have been kept on the shelves for long.we are getting diseased like them.

We hate to be dressed, now our owners are feeling ashamed of our nakedness and getting to cover us with materials of their likings.

We are getting sick in body and mind.

At this rate I wonder how long a man can continue to call us as “his best friend”.

Bow Bow.

Friday, 1 October 2010

Alice in wonderland

It was the last show for the movie and the whole village was on the eve celebrations of the new Rajinikanths movie “Iyandiran” the next day, and whose fans were already clinging to the rails for the movie next morning.

Me and my lady decided to see Alice in wonderland what ever the cost,(Rs 20) we were 11 of us inside the theatre, a pity we were not given the 3 d glasses as the movie was a Tamil version, well any way nice to see and hear Alice in Tamil and also the animals.

There was very little of the original Lewis Carroll, except for the “eat me, drink me” labels, on the liquor bottle and cake.

Well like all evolutions, so with this making of the movie to please its audience.

All the animals looked so real and the humans acted with such animalistic understandings, that there did not seem to be any line of difference in the mixing of species.

It is a movie which will be enjoyed by the kids and the adults equally well.

The animations were so good, and the emotional qualities of the animal world brought out with such human qualities u could understand them with no words, ohh the froggy subject was too good.

It takes some time to adjust with the height and shrinkage of Alice, that one could puke in the theatre, if one was prone to disease of heights.

The cast has been chosen with care, and there has been no frame of over acting or want of character.

To understand the whole sequence it is best one reads up the script after the movie. to realize what u have seen on the screen, or it would have been just adventure with no background, and missing all that the folks who made it wanted us to know and enjoy.

Alice grows from a small timid girl to a mature adventure seeking person of courage, and with her all of us too.

A clean-up of the outer and inner

There are a variety of baths, a tub bath, a shower bath, an oil bath ,a steam bath, a seitz bath, a hip bath,a foot bath, a river bath, a water fall bath, a sea bath,and a sun bath, all baths are a clean up, no one makes an issue of the style or the preference of a kind and availability.

A meditation is also of that kind, it is a bath of that which is contained and goes along with the body, name it any thing u like from a bombastic word called consciousness, or a simpler term of your understanding.

All that matters is u have one to guide, who has been in the process, and the rest is an enjoyment of the rush of energy or a flow of that water over u.

From past to the present we have had varieties of meditations ranging from Vipassanna, given by Bhuddha, gibberish words, dancing and whirling, sitting quietly or expressing things, modern days of transcendental meditation to the Dynamic and Bhairava meditations and more mysterious methods, each to their own styles, and Masters.

What ever the method, each one has been designed with a reason, for certain individuals, may we get to find the one suitable for us and get to enjoy the multitude of others too, for a clean up of the inner kind.