TiME is mYsteRiouS . . . believe me

 

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Does it happen to you? Sitting in a classroom, listening to a professor, jotting down notes and down goes my head, for a second or two, and then it happens again, and again until the end of class.

Seriously, did you get that?
Oh come on! That was me napping in the middle of a lecture.

Even though the time frame of my sleep was so small practically, I felt rejuvenated after that seconds long nap, that time definitely elongated for me (as I think about it now, may be ‘Inception‘ was true, may be a 1 min reality could be 1 hour dream).  On the contrary, some lectures end very quickly, without me anxiously looking at the clock. Although, I do find it vague and utterly discouraging, that when I look at the clock more often, the time seems to pass quite slow, contrary to when I don’t look, but then again if I think about the clock even though not looking, it will punish me for even thinking and move slow nevertheless. I call it the ‘Mystery of  Time’.

People say its all to do with my interest in the subject under study. So, why does my mind do that, why does it not work in the same fourth dimension as time, or, does it manifest some other dimension in itself. Oh, lets hold that thought for sometime and think about it. Nah, I’m just kidding, I would not pull that trick on you, you were kind enough to read it till this point, I won’t dare scare you off like that.

Take Flight With Colour

Why must somethings be black & white, let’s open doors to colours and imagine their depth

The composition, creation of our world, and evolution of our being have dealt with colors. From the old ages to modern, with open eyes, from day’s start to it’s end, working, and finally closing eyes, comforting, we are bound to the aroma of colors. Our lives have been so deeply infused with and subjected to their presence, that imagination is paralyzed without them, words lose meaning and pictures appear impossible.

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The world has been disintegrated into two pragmatic approaches, colored and black&white. Although nothing around us that exists can be bracketed to such circles of entailment, we in our own language, have devised these approaches to define the world, and lure in the system “SYMBOLISM”. Since, nothing has remained untouched and even if it is not a part of our evergreen set of known colors, we have managed to drive our brains to find the essential combinations, shades and methods to identify, and further synthesize these unknown colors and brand them names to ascertain their existence and addition to our “evergreen” set. As I go back in time (yes, time traveling), I find how we began interpreting their being, proclaiming their usage as symbols. For instance, black symbolizing darkness and submission, white symbolizing peace and purity. Further, we conferred, black as evil and white as good or prosperous. Such an assertion is predominantly based on the contrasting effect that the two colors present to the viewer, how black like a hole swallows every color on earth vanishing its existence, and on similar level, white brightens and further adds to the visual appeal of any color on earth, it even stays same for the evil black, symbolizing the good that does not blemish evil, instead presents it with a chance same as all other existent.

I am still in those old times. You do remember, I time traveled, right?

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I am in a boat, in waters, viewing this incredible “Old North Wharf” located on Nantucket Harbor. I see the beautiful houses, capped with reddish-brown, blue roofs, distinct windows, lightened white walls with light shades of brown, very light, standing tall on this seemingly translucent spread of water. The overall outlook of the place this day is vibrant, I am caught up in the moment, looking. The blue skies, smaller clustered white clouds are still, as I await the dusk that shall part me from the glory that the place bestows. Without wasting any time, I take my camera and capture the moment, hoping to secure my vision, the beauty forever but now as I see the picture, it appears bleak, its black&white with shades of gray all over the place. It is the same place but it is not, not to me, the house looks old, looks like history, that does not help me to relive it and so I blame the technology of those days. It’s not that I don’t like black&white, it does add distinction to the image, but it’s not what I was hoping to remember, it’s not the art I am interested in, it is indeed the place itself, just the way it is, just the way I wanted it to be, I would have preferred a colored outlook.

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Well then, it’s good that I have this modern camera that can take colored pictures, I did tell you I am time traveling. I took the picture again, this time it is vibrant with all I saw and as I see it, I am mesmerized and compelled to visit the place again.

A distinction I realize resides in the colored and black&white approaches, each has it’s place but latter has become a niche of some, while the former is primitive to many. I told you, I am not against black&white but urge to fill life with colors does not let me absent it’s astounding presence, to draw nature as it is supposed to be, as it is supposed to be remembered. The black&white portraits, movie shots often describe the historic times, further the pictures often have an unhappy vibe about them, somehow when we are in this generation of technological advancement where restrictions have been crossed, to provide photographers, cameramen with tools to contemplate real life, is an initiative which human society itself adopted and began uploading their pieces and instances of life to sites like Flickr, however some still practice the art of black&white expressing their views, for they tend to relate to them better.

Coveted corners of color psychology,
traveling along the perceptual stimulus,
I recognize, I understand
their appeal, charm, what they claim,
how black, powerful, dark and submissive,
how white, clean, vulnerable and pure,
how these two, unparalleled, join forces
to comply with saturation,
representing all, in black&white.

But are they absent or neglected?
dimensions I fail to attend,
why sunset, red eclipsing blue skies,
why trees, green and prosperous,
why her blue eyes, possessing depth,
have been shaded in gray.
I would have preferred, elements coupled,
reflecting delights, anguish, in subtext
of world as we know it.

One place that has remained untouched by colored associations, is the Newspaper. The ink of black on white sheets is dominant in many papers, but the reason to such a stand is quite clear. This has nothing to do with the technology, at-least not after 1990, nor does it concern itself with art, the  only reason is cost. The mechanism to infuse colored photographs implies greater costs, which is neither favorable nor beneficial to the customer and the newspaper itself. However, the possibility of coloring the newspaper, with colored photographs picking up, has led to changes and their being  has gained unprecedented success, which brings us to newspapers on special occasions, weekly supplements and latest, hot, trendy, colorful magazines, be it political, sports, technological, featuring lively pictures that gain attention.

 

 

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But it remains a commercial landscape, they are bound to comply to the ideas of profit and minimization of expenses. But, when we are concerned, the amateur photographers, we see how quickly the transition has surfaced. Black&white is bygone for the common people, they have adopted to the totality of colored proportions, an era of black&white infused with all possible colors we can comprehend.

If you talk to me about my choices of colors, you might see a lot of yellow, red,  and blue, with black&white. I have always applauded black&white for the contrast, for the clarity they depict, you cannot misunderstand or lose any corner, but when they are further imbued with many others, it becomes magical but for me to like, it has to be decent, it has to be clean, it has to be white. If you have noticed, white goes with anything, but something appeals more. So, you pick up that something and turn it into ‘your thing’. It very much defines you, even though we don’t recognize, even though sometimes our choices are restrained by available choices, but still what we have, is the best possible thing we have liked, we have kept, given our urge to experiment with colors. As for me, I seriously am a child, and may be you are too. I am certain, even though I have passed teen years, I still possess those childish attributes, which I don’t’ want to let go. May be I am crazy for not growing up, or may be not believing that I am, but the innocence, smartness, carefree nature of a child are highly attractive and joyous to my soul. But don’t get confused that I will be kidding,I won’t be taking blues or cartoons, it’s an appreciable tool to lighten the mood, to say “Hey, if you are serious then I am too, I shall always be active (quite a satire, something I wish to accomplish), evergreen, never misunderstand a child for maturity”.

P.S…. Don’t misunderstand that Black&White photography, is just black and white, they use highly complicated techniques, softwares, color filters to add drama to their black&white imagery, to adjust the gray-scale distribution to add or subtract contrast. It is indeed an art, depicting world, but we have colors for it, I am gonna stick to them for a change.

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500 Days of Summer

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Ever gotten bored doing the same thing over and over, listening to the same concepts of life always, pile of rhetorics buttered with voices where the only difference among them are the damn voices. Well, whatever your answer, you are bound to adore the Indie flick, “500 Days of Summer.”

Let’s hope the preceding lines didn’t throw you off the track.
What I was going for, was to put it out there, the word ‘newness.’ Insanely common it does sound to the majority of us, since we have always wanted a newer beginning, or a newer end, a change of technology and precisely a change of perspective. The idea of ‘newness’ is so alluring that mind genuinely drifts off to a bunch of imaginative glimpses, possibly a creation of our mental research. Although, you might accept that even though you are quick to think and explore this newer perspective that has presented itself, you fail to imbibe it in reality. You cumbered by your own defense mechanism, generate scenarios where the change that you seek would not work, and to discourage yourself is all you Continue reading

Long Live the Friends

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“Friends” was the first series I ever saw, even before Seinfeld. The show seemed ordinary at first, to be specific the first season, but then it really blew me away. I am not sure what was it, whether it was the script, the characters, or the fact that I envisioned having similar bond with my friends. The first season, was more traditional, you can guess from the music, and their acting, but it was still nice compared to any that featured in the similar genre, such as Party of Five, Chicago Hope, My so called Life, The Vicar of Dibley etc. It was the second season when I saw the characters and thought that they exist, this could be true, its no fiction, I must find myself some of these friends. Continue reading

Hey CHEVRON, what’s up with CRUDE

Do you believe in Karma? Do you believe that if you commit a mistake then the forces of nature work against you, to even out your arrest.

What do you think of the Amazon rain-forest, do you believe they are beautiful and are the only remaining explicable entities to comprehend our natural outlook. If your answer is YES, then the next big thing will come as a shock to the many who are not aware of it. I believe no environmentalist has missed it and it underlines a fine line between “Industrial Exploitation permitted by law” and “Contamination of Nature”. The story I am referring to is “the $ 27 billion lawsuit against Chevron filed by tens of thousands of Ecuadorans”.

A documentary “Crude” deals with the issue and explores the real-time problems that the Ecuadorians face, a possible result of the oil exploration by Texaco, now Chevron. The lawsuit will be the largest environmentally ever encountered if proved. The Joe Berlinger’s film Crude provides diverse angles to the depleting quality of life of the Ecuadorians, the environmental peril and captures explanations from each side onto asserting their claims. Let us understand the situation and study the possible.

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The Scenario

Chevron the third largest  company in USA, is being sued by the Ecuadorian people in a court room of  Ecuador. The high fine is accredited to the clean up and implementation of water systems, and to compensate for cancer debt.

Back in 1972, the Gulf Oil, Texaco and Ecuadorian Government were controlling the oil production in Amazon. But soon in 1997, the Government oil company (CEPE, later restructured and named PetroEcuador) bought shares of Gulf Oil to let it off, since the Government wanted to nationalize the Oil Consortium. Thus, the 40-60 partnership between Texaco and PetroEcuador ran the oil production with Texaco acting as the operator i.e., responsible for safe execution of the construction and commissioning activities in accordance with plan, company standards and management processes.

How they got there?

The lawsuit of $1.5 billion was filed in 1993 by a group of Ecuadorians against Texaco. Chevron acquired Texaco in 2001 and hence inherited the case. They emphasized that the case belongs to Ecuador and not in Manhattan where it was initially filed. They won the case to pursue the fight in Ecuadorian Court, but the compensation raised to a staggering $27 billion.

The case by People

The thousands of Ecuadorians were supported by Plaintiff lawyers lead attorney Steven Donziger to raise the claims of contamination in the Amazon. In 1990, Texaco had spend $40 million in clean up and hence the Ecuadorian Government exempted them from any further liabilities, but there was a loop hole in the pact – it was the absence of third-party claims which was judicially exploited by the people of Ecuador as purported by the Plaintiff lawyers.

  • The people use water as a crucial resource and the centimeters deep oil spills had polluted the water. The result was dying aquatic life, dying animals and loss of human health. For instance, chicken were found dead because of the pollution, further majority of younger generation had stopped developing over time. Consumption of water with traces of oil lead to deaths. Later “Amazon watch” a social activists group supported the case raised by people.

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  • When oil is extracted from ground, pits are constructed  around it to store the liquid oil waste produced. These pits are temporarily filled and then emptied, they are kept away from water sources to prevent contamination. The pits dug by Texaco as operator, till date are filled with the waste, also an anomaly in the construction is the design of pits which have been provided with pipes to let the waste seep out of it when filled completely, into streams directly connecting to water sources used by people.

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  • The hydrocarbons are dangerous to human health, the presence of carcinogens in the water degraded the health of people, further elevated the cancer rates in the region.
  • When evidence were searched in site inspections, the lawyers exclaimed that “Chevron claims that no waste can be found on the ground, and it is true, since it resides beneath it and can be found in the whole region”. According to Chevron, Texaco cleaned 162 pits but inspection of the site discovered 968 pits which was huge.
  • The Plaintiff Lawyers believed that the request of Texaco to pursue the case in Ecuador instead of USA was a deviation, since they intended to delay the case and eventually expected them to run out of money.

The case by Chevron

At first Chevron claimed that the water sources were not contaminated because of them. Texaco had done thorough examination of water, out of which 99% was safe as per WHO standards.

  • Chevron’s Chief Environmental Scientist stated that they disposed their resources in finding the truth and found no increase in cancer deceases. They also blamed poor sanitation for contamination.
  • In the videos shown at the Chevron shareholder meetings, the company blamed PetroEcuador for massive oil spills in the region. They said since they were 40% partners, hence they are liable for 40% of the mess. Thus, the company’s strategy was to pinpoint blame on the Government run company “PetroEcuador”.
  • The company deliberately emphasized on “decisions managed by Consortium” which it was when with PetroEcuador, even though it was the operator and was blamed for faulty pit construction, disrupted waste management system.
  • The company further blamed the judicial system of Ecuador. They were the one’s who in 2002 won the case to shift the case to Ecuador and later blasted on the politically influenced judiciary. They believed that the judge will be partial to the people after being sued for $27 billion in Ecuadorian court. Also the billion dollar lawsuit was erroneous and invented according to them.

The result till date

The Ecuadorian Court on 2011 fined Chevron with $8 billion as found guilty. This makes it the largest environmental lawsuit payable ever. Also, they were asked to provide a public apology, otherwise an additional fine of same amount would be imposed.

To this Chevron replied back with another appeal against the ruling, and the plaintiff lawyers. They have already sued Plaintiff lawyers such as lead attorney Steven Donziger and others involved for manipulation, unethical and improper if not illegal and faulty practices in estimating global assessment report.

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According to them, even if the practices pursued are legal in Ecuadorian Court, the US court would discard the lawsuit on the basis of foul play.

Opinion by a Neutral

  • The pits were responsibility of Texaco, now Chevron and they were being sued, but why is PetroEcuador not being sued, it has also operated and was solely responsible for the damage after 1992. The Plaintiff lawyers said they would do so once they win against Chevron. Is it true what The Wall Street Journal said “an Amazonian Swindle” and the fact that “Chevron is where the money is”. The Chevron spokesman described the lawyers as con man for looting the rich companies.
  • When a master list of the pits dug were inquired from Chevron, they had none. This does not hold to their claim of cleaning up 162 pits, and further cannot challenge the claim of Ecuadorians of having 900+ pits.
  • The company is blaming the Ecuadorian court for corruption, then why did it choose to change the court room in the first place. Why did they not confine themselves to the US court instead of fighting a case for Ecuador for 9 years?

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Chevron is to be blamed for their irresponsible behavior in waste disposal and construction as an operator in the Consortium. However, Chevron is right to blame PetroEcuador for part of fines, however it cannot completely hold PetroEcuador liable for the claims. Not much can be said about the Plaintiff lawyers, but the people of Ecuador are definitely on the losing side and hence, need to be protected.

Are Pictures better than Words

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The day was December 8, and the year 1921, it started and now is the modern trend. The ad campaign that published the article “One Look is worth thousand words” has been acknowledged to have begun the saga of pictures, attenuating the premise of words, and  implying that pictures can better illustrate with a more obvious opinion, a situation that words might require a book to comprehend. Looking into it closely, one might get confused and find it difficult to ascertain, whether pictures alone can project the truth. Can they cripple the nub of words, or, are they simply an associate of words, bound to influence each other and work out the course, or are pictures obsolete for words are not biased, their interpretation not limited  to an individual, truly versed in pool of rendering, not bound to literal periphery.

The fact that WordPress itself, acknowledges the posts published with images, and highlights the necessity of pictures, provides enough evidence as to how deep the pictures are embedded in our system. There is no denying that pictures provide the gist of the post to certain extent, they highlight the obvious predicament that one supposedly postulates, they many-a-times form the complete post, but are they always essential. Does one use it to lure the visitors into their content, are the words not strong enough that they require pictures, does one want to enlarge the post, does the picture complement the words, is it more likely that a visitor looks at pictures and does not read the entire post, for too many words after certain time appear like blah, blah, blah! Continue reading

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules

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I saw ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules some time ago. Oh! yes, a kid movie, shoot me now. Well, I have no regrets, for it was hilarious and not at all emotional, but does give away a sweet message of shared love among siblings, in a family. The movie I felt good about because of the character Rodrick, older brother messing with younger one who is kind of sappy, yeah the cover says wimpy. It’s a sequel to the earlier in the same segment, adapted from Jeff Kinney’s well written witty story with comical illustrations.

The film portrays our very self. If your family is as protective and gaga about stuff as Greg’s parents were, you would have a hell of a time!

The Heffley family is a mix bag of awkward people who can be distinguished by each of their highlighted enactment.

“A mother trying to run the family, looking for better understanding within the family, kind of carefree with hints of social briefing.
A father who I guess is not in-charge, but has a say, shrugging off from wife’s uncanny behavior but pretending to like and accept, not so dominant on children for he once was a boy.
A big brother, picking on smaller one, the kind of fights we love, put up with and laugh as we look back and remember.
A smaller brother, who is innocent but then again pain in the ass, and because of his innocence nothing can be done about it.
However, most importantly, there is a boy in between all this, a wimpy kid, who would love to become famous, respected, adored, who dreams to set things right. He presents to us, our own self, started with pretend, away from awkwardness and humiliation to have friends and girlfriends, sometimes ending up there and other times blessed by a safe rescue, but no matter how far you run, you tend to find happiness when you abolish sham and be yourselves, when you least expect it, when you realize that mending ways with all who are close is all joy, and all trouble to reach the realization was worth it.”

The film was kinda family drama, since it was never predominantly about the kid, but the kid and people around him. Enjoyed the situation when Greg was picked up by his father as he was skating in front of all people, broadcast-ed by his mother out loud, felt like a loser and his father was like, “I know”. There was a good song playing before that, Atlantic Star – Always, gotta love the line “girl you are to me all a woman should be”. One of the Rodrick’s tricks to easy life was definitely true, the one with lowering parent’s expectations, though I won’t recommend it. The poop part was hilarious as well.

So, I think I liked the movie, I remember sitting on my chair, laying still and remembering my childhood, I would give anything to go back, but somethings are not meant to be, that’s why they say, “Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose“.