A moo point, basically …

Arbit/ Random

Posts Tagged ‘xkcd

Social Networking?

with 4 comments

I’m yet to decide whether I am glad or dejected because I haven’t been tagged in any of the viral things doing the rounds on Facebook these days – Wall photos, 25 things you didn’t know about me, songs which come to my mind first when I read this and other Notes. What I am fairly certain about, though, is how highly irritating these things have turned out to be. I find myself torn between 2 extreme emotions: despair at having my notifications page being bombarded with random alerts, and an intense urge to find out who is the sluttiest person in each of my acquaintances’ friend circles.

What is most irritating, especially about all the random lists people generate, is that most of the things people include are solely meant to be cute/funny and hence end up being quite unreal. I would be very interested in knowing if, for example, someone colour-coded his underpants to work, or things which turned people on (and off). But telling me that you like taking long walks or that you do/don’t cry that often is just a criminal waste of cyberspace. As a mark of protest, here’s my list of things (in no particular order) which I find quite irritating –

1. People who talk about themselves all the time, only to pause and let you talk about them. This can be especially irritating when you want to talk about yourself.

2. People who don’t follow loo etiquette. As if it isn’t scary enough that foot tapping while getting epiphanies can have risqué implications, it can be quite pathetic when people make small talk out of plain relief (no pun intended) or just to dispel uncomfortable silences. This includes saying stuff like ‘I’m so awesome’ on making surprising discoveries. (People also have a tendency to say the most ridiculous/scandalous things in office restrooms – it’s almost like they forget that they still are in office and can very easily be overheard).

3. (Picking up from the previous point) – People who find it absolutely essential to dispel uncomfortable silences. Uncomfortable silences have a very specific purpose in life – to make people uncomfortable and shut them up at the same time. Breaking them, then, is just plain unnecessary.

4. People who ask redundant questions – ‘Ooh did that hurt?‘ after stepping on your foot. ‘I’m sorry am I blocking your view?‘ after coming late to a cinema hall and ambling along to their seats with their eyes glued to the screen. ‘What do you think?‘ after having already decided to buy something and asking for a second opinion just to give you the illusion of relevance.

5. People screwing up their grammar. I know, this might sound a bit finicky, but when someone says ‘I forgotted …‘, what is said thereafter gets, well, forgotted. Or ‘No I didn’t gone.‘ Or ‘I does not do this.’ Or ‘He catched it so well.‘ Mildly irritating.

6. People who screw up my name. I’ve had a wide range of people from Credit card call centre representatives to Rating Agency helpdesk individuals giving me advice on how to pronounce and/or spell my name. How tough is it to accept that someone can be named Sujay and not Sanjay, Sujoy, Suja or (this I swear I am NOT making up) Suagy? How in god’s name do you even pronounce the last one?

7. Pseudo-secularists, because they are full of BS. And armchair critics, because their purpose of existence is as mysterious, if not more, than slugs and bedbugs.

8. Arabic football commentators. I went through the entire 1998 Football World Cup telecast on the (then) newly-launched Ten Sports channel genuinely believing that the ‘experts’ on TV had all been infected by the same strain of strep which made them cough/clear their throats while talking. And they had a very irritating habit of yelling Goaaal GOaaal GOAaaal GOAAAAL! in an infinite loop when … obvious. Same goes for Latin American commentators who shout ‘GOLAASO’ ‘GOOLAAASO’ with a similar passion and sense of urgency.

9. Indian cricket commentators. And Pakistani ones too. ‘Nuff said.

10. The new FB interface. It is not just irritating – it is quite crappy.

11. Over-exuberance.

12. Tomato skin. I’ve talked about this before in great detail.

13. Babies who cry in cinema halls. And parents who act like their kids will shut up if they are ignored. Kids cry because they need attention. Makes you revisit the principles of Idiocracy every single time.

14. Having to explain jokes, especially those which aren’t meant to be classics and have a very, very short shelf life (i.e. bad ones). I go through this particular agony almost every day.

15. People who oppose something (a team, an idea, anything) you support just to have a stand (or to piss you off). I refuse to argue with someone who argues for the sake of arguing.

16. Honking at red lights. There might very well be some deep-rooted pyschological/Freudian explanations for this phenomenon, but there is no doubt that this can get mighty irritating.

17. Atheists who are atheists because it is cool to be one. For that matter, anyone who is something just because it makes her cooler. Although for atheists, I think most of the times they are (as a thumb rule) a little bit irritating anyway. Same goes for PETAmaniacs.

18. French footballers and Australian cricketers. I have no rational justification for this, though.

19. People who post ‘Sorry for not blogging in a long time …’ or ‘Blogging has been slow because …’. Seriously, the world has existed and will continue to exist without your contributions to cyber-literature.

20. People who add unnecessary points to lists just to have a ‘nice’ number of entries.

(This list is not exhaustive and is likely to swell with the passage of time. The round number of entries right now is purely coincidental, and doesn’t contradict point # 20. )

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Written by sujaybedekar

March 26, 2009 at 6:17 pm

Confessions – 2

with 2 comments

Every time I walk into a room, the first thing my mind pictures is this: How can I throw a rubber ball at one wall, make it bounce off/onto other walls without hitting miscellaneous objects such that it lands perfectly in my hands like a demented boomerang?

Not being able to test different scenarios can sometimes limit my fulfillment, but just imagining different scenarios is by itself quite enjoyable. The very first code I remember writing was to simulate a ball just bouncing around inside a box of any prescribed shape. This was, of course, eons ago, when people used BASIC to be nerdy and by ‘the web’ actually referred to some arachnid creation. It follows, not so surprisingly, that Jeezball (or kBounce if it pleases you) is up there in my list of all-time favourite games.

This interest of mine was piqued ever since I learned that angles of incidence and reflection are always the same for light. Then I discovered how a periscope really works and was completely bowled over. Trying to simulate multiple bouncing of light was tough given the absence of any spare mirrors at home. I hence turned towards the omnipresent cricket ball for solace, and it did not fail me. I now had the unexpected but nevertheless interesting factor of gravity to contend with: the ball doesn’t just move forward and bounce off stuff, but it does this while it is falling constantly! Seriously, how cool is that! (nod and read ahead )

Sadly, real life manifestations of this hobby got severely curtailed after some rather unfortunate incidents. Trying to replicate this in other games like carrom often ended up in me hitting some very complex (and absolutely futile) shot and looking quite silly in the process. But my enthusiasm hasn’t waivered one bit.

I would had kept this thing to myself had xkcd – more specifically Randall Munroe – not given me courage with this gem –

(Ok – Maybe the xkcd bit is just to make this post funny and distract the reader from the aforementioned nuance)

Being a geek is not and will never be fashionable unless you have oodles of cash – even then people will just barely tolerate you and call you ‘eccentric’ instead of ‘weird’. But at least you won’t get ostracized by a civil society (I hope).

So that’s that.

Written by sujaybedekar

September 22, 2008 at 7:36 pm

Posted in arbit, comics

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Guilty as charged!

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It's pi + c, obviously

Written by sujaybedekar

February 25, 2008 at 5:31 pm

Posted in comics

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