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Showing posts from December, 2008

10 Songs That Helped Me Survive 2008

10 songs that helped me survive 2008... in no particular order:

1) "This is the life" by Amy MacDonald

And you're singing the songs
Thinking this is the life
And you wake up in the morning and your head feels twice the size
Where you gonna go? Where you gonna go?
Where you gonna sleep tonight?

2) "I really want you" by James Blunt

I really want you to really want me, but I really don't know if you can do that.
I know you want to know what's right but I know it's so hard for you to do that.
And time's running out as often it does, and often dictates that you can't do that.
But fate can't break this feeling inside that's burning up through my veins.
I really want you. I really want you.
I really want you - now.

No matter what I say or do, the message isn't getting through,
And you're listening to the sound of my breaking heart.

3) "Disintegration" by Jimmy Eat World

Wonder why I'm so caught of guard when we kiss.
Rather live my li…

The Lost Prophet

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The Lost Prophet by M. Awais Aftab
I stand not-so-steadfast on my deck And gaze at the horizon far away The swirling inky clouds painted with gloom And no sign of the emergence of day The ship rocks on stormy waves Forever uncertain of her fate My crew looks with inquiring eyes How long more will they have to wait? Ah! Curse the day we left those shores And began our journey for the promised land Tormented and persecuted we were But still had an abode on the sand Now we drift aloof Lost in the turbulent sea The purpose, wrecked, forgotten, dead And nothing to drink but bitter salty agony
Image Source

What, Who, How... in 2008

Here are some selected top ten searches that were conducted on Google in 2008:

What is...

Amidst the economic crisis and terrorist bombings, the world is still asking, "what is love?"

1. what is love
2. what is life
3. what is java
4. what is sap
5. what is rss
6. what is scientology
7. what is autism
8. what is lupus
9. what is 3g
10. what is art


Who is...

Apparently a lot of people have been watching the presidential drama and thinking, "who are these guys?"

1. who is obama
2. who is mccain
3. who is palin
4. who is lil wayne
5. who is miley cyrus
6. who is dolla
7. who is jonas brothers
8. who is chris brown
9. who is biden
10. who is martin luther


How to...

And its 8 years into the 21st century, but the world still needs to learn a lot...

1. how to draw
2. how to kiss
3. how to write
4. how to cook
5. how to tie
6. how to hack
7. how to run
8. how to cite
9. how to paint
10. how to spell


See Google Zeitgeist for more info.

Blog Prob: Refreshing Browser's Cache

A lot of bloggers and their readers are facing the problem that the blogs they open show the old posts and do not show the updates made recently. This is due to the browser cache not refreshing itself. The problem usually goes away by itself in a day or too, but is highly recurrent. And dial-up users are affected more than broadband users. The solution to this, however, is very simple. You have to refresh the browser's cache. To do so open the blog/website which is showing you the outdated content. Press and hold [Ctrl] on your keyboard, then Press [F5] or click on the Refreshbutton. This will refresh the cache of that particular page and show you the updated content.

On Life

X: How can you determine the philosophical temperament of medical students?
Y: Ask them to define life.

Most people have a distinct notion of "living" and "non-living", the two being separated by a wide chasm, a binary situation of 0 or 1. Furthermore, under the influence of the representational view of language, they think of "Life" as a noun representing some sort of an entity, which makes the living living. However, both of these notions turn out to inadequate, if we consider life at the molecular level, and take into account the non-representational view of language (such as that given by Wittgenstein). Let us consider this issue in a semi-Socratic fashion.
At the level of multicellular organisms, it is easier to determine what is living: there is a set of chracteristics like nutrition, growth, metabolism, homeostasis, adaptation, reproduction, locomotion, which an organism exhibits. If we go one step lower to unicellular organisms, many of these charact…

Like, I Mean, You Know, Right?

Becoming conscious of my increasing use of the words 'like' and 'you know' in conversations, i recalled a hilarious article "Like, I Mean, You Know, Right?" by Roderick Nordell. I'll share a few lines from it:
'If only everyone talked the way we do in my household. I mean… if only everyone… like… talked… you know… the way we do… right? It would be so much… like… easier to… you know… understand… right?
Obviously it is deplorable that these words have taken over the language. But this doesn't mean we should wait forever to recognize them. No, we must face facts and put them in our books:
"Friends, Romans, countrymen... lend me your ears... I mean... I come to bury Caeser... right?... not to... you know... praise him."
Anyone, of course, is welcome to disagree. I mean, like, you know, right?'

Advice: On Socio-political Philosophies

All angry, young men who are seeking an ideology for socio-political change, i would advise them to mindful of all philosophies which incorporate these two elements:
1. A utopian vision of a perfect society: There are no perfect solutions to our socio-political problems. Followers of any ideology which claims to present one are either myopic or ignorant of the implications of their own views. We do not have all-encompassing panaceas for the ills of our world. The fault lies, perhaps, within us. Humans are not perfect and neither are societies.
2. Statements of this sort: "People will suffer/die, but it will be a sacrifice for the higher good." It is my opinion that any ideology that makes its followers believe in such a thing contains distinct elements of fundamentalism, and is likely to cause more harm than good.

Dawkins T-shirt

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This could probably get me killed, but i am drooling over the idea of buying this shirt and going to my college wearing it!
*The shirt is available for sale at http://richarddawkins.net
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How would you react if you went to a clinic for check-up and the doctor said: "Now i am going to perform the Dick test on you!" *imaginary evil grin*

Relax. It's just a skin test to check whether a person is immune to Scarlet fever or not :)

Spooky Perfume

A little before midnight i was taking a walk near my house; it was a lonely path and i was the only one. Lights were out, so it was all dark. Suddenly, out of nowhere, i could feel the distinct smell of a woman's perfume. It was so real, i turned and looked around to see if anyone else was walking there. But there was no one. So, i tried to shake it off and continued walking, but the smell persisted. It could have been a flower, but i walk there every night and have never sensed it before. I kept looking around trying to locate its source. Finally after five minutes, i was so spooked out that i went back home!
And i don't even believe in ghosts!

Real

"Because today we live in a society in which spurious realities are manufactured by the media, by governments, by big corporations, by religious groups, political groups... So I ask, in my writing, What is real? Because unceasingly we are bombarded with pseudo-realities manufactured by very sophisticated people using very sophisticated electronic mechanisms. I do not distrust their motives; I distrust their power. They have a lot of it. And it is an astonishing power: that of creating whole universes, universes of the mind."
Philip K. Dick, How To Build A Universe That Doesn't Fall Apart Two Days Later
How much of our world view is correct? How do we know what is true? Much of what we know about what is happening in the world comes to us through media. And it is not just one view that we are exposed to; we are, in fact, bombarded by a plethora of views related to an event. And we tend to accept the view which fits in with our existing world view. An event happens, but it m…

Lollywood makes it to Andy Warhol Museum

'With nods to masters of horror Romero, Raimi, and Hooper, first time filmmaker Omar Ali Khan pays a giddy and gory homage to the genre, splattering Lollywood with more than just arterial spray.'
A Pakistani movie will be shown at Andy Warhol Museum (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) on 5th December! No, it's not Khuda Ke Liye, it's not Ram Chand Pakistani... it's of a totally different league, a horror movie, Hell’s Ground (aka Zibahkhana) by the director Omar Ali Khan. It isn't exactly a portrayal of the so-called 'soft image' of Pakistan, but something positive and gory nevertheless. Thumbs up to Omar Ali Khan!
For details: http://www.warhol.org/calendar/events_detail.php?eventID=1387&dateYear=2008&dateMonth=12&dateDate=5

The First Step

"If you had asked my grandmother whether she is oppressed, she probably wouldn't have understood what you are talking about; that's life. If you'd asked my mother, you'd have found that she resented it, but accepted it, as life. If you'd ask my daughters, they'd tell you to get lost. That reflects hard-won victories for freedom."
Noam Chomsky
The first step towards freedom is being conscious of being in captivity...

Being Friends

BROOKE: (Crying) Lucas broke up with me. PEYTON: I’m sorry. BROOKE: (Crying) I was looking forward to getting a chance to show him how much he means to me and he said he just wants to be friends. And every idiot knows that that’s just code for go away. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do. PEYTON: Look if Lucas said he wants to be friends, I’m sure he means it. BROOKE: How do you do that with Lucas? (Peyton looks to Haley) HALEY: You just sort of do everything that you’ve been doing without the sex part.
One Tree Hill, Episode 1.15

Tooth Brush Gender

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Has anyone noticed how tooth brushes tend to come in 'male' and 'female' styles?
*Photo taken by me

Possible

George: Is it possible...do you think, to love two people...at the same time?
Burke: I, uh...I'm still hoping it's possible just to love one person.

Grey's Anatomy, Episode 3.23

Dependence

Despite possessing a lot of modern, liberal and radical ideas, most young people of our society are unable to bring a significant change in their own lives. It seems to me that economic dependence is one of the key factors behind it. Our youth depends too much on their parents for support, even up to the age of mid-twenties. There are no adequate job opportunities for the youth, jobs that would pay enough for a person to live on his own. Hence, they are forced to depend on their parents. With economic dependence comes social dependence: young people are forced to live within the limits of the lifestyle approved by their parents. And by the time they begin to earn enough, it is too late. For girls, the situation is even more constrained because while they are studying they are dependent on their parents, and after that they are hurriedly married off (too much economic burden for the parents?), and then they become dependent on their in-laws, and have to adapt to their lifestyle, regard…

On Death

I could have died last night.
I forgot to close the gas switch of my room, as i turned off my heater before going to sleep. Even though the heater was off, i guess there was some leak, cause in the morning when my father came to my room, it was full of gas. And all the windows were closed too. But i was alive. And i woke up with a full and somewhat runny nose, and the perceptible odour of gas. No other damage done.
But that's not what disturbs me. What disturbs me is that as my mother woke me up and was telling me how i could have died, my first instinctive thought was "Dying peacefully in the sleep, that's not so bad." :S Am i really that screwed up to prefer annihilation over this life? It's not as if my life is very terrible. Yeah, there are problems, and sometimes it's just a mess, but i am also happy, and there are people who genuinely love me. So, why the thought?
And i was just wondering, if i had died, many of the readers of this blog would never have f…

9 Crimes by Damien Rice

Listen to this beautiful song:

Aubade

I recalled a poem today that i had once read on the blog Utopia Forever. 'Aubade' by Michael Londry. It's a long and beautiful poem, but the part i like best about it is the ending, which i would like to share with the readers:

Being in love with you is centrifugal.

It is hard to believe
Being in love with you
Was once
That tiny space
In my heart
That has since exploded
Into a vast cathedral
Of sky
Under which I stand alone,
Looking up.

It is raining cats and dogs.
I am drenched.
Being in love with you has soaked me
To the bone
And I will never again
Be dry.

A Brief Introduction to Phenomenology

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The term phenomenology literally means the study of ‘phenomena’. Philosophically, it is the study of structures of consciousness as experienced from the first-person point of view (in contrast to say, cognitive science, which attempts to study consciousness from an objective view). There are a number of different methods which have been grouped under the umbrella of phenomenology. In this brief introduction, however, I will place central emphasis on the phenomenological method of Edmund Husserl, the founder of phenomenology, and briefly mention the other forms of phenomenology, which too, have a basis in the work of Husserl.

Husserl came to prominence with his book Logical Investigations which raised the call of returning to the things themselves; i.e. in focusing on how things (which includes not just physical objects, but also numbers, emotions etc anything that is an object of consciousness) actually do present in our experience, instead of relying on some philosophical system to te…

Ashes by Edvard Munch

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Ashes by Edvard Munch
The misery of being in love... and not being able to be together.

Madame Bovary

Sarah Pierce: I think I understand your feelings about this book [Madame Bovary]. I used to have some problems with it, myself. When I read it in grad school, Madam Bovary just seemed like a fool. She marries the wrong man; makes one foolish mistake after another; but when I read it this time, I just fell in love with her. She's trapped! She has a choice: She can either accept a life a misery or she can struggle against it. And she chooses to struggle.
Mary Ann: [sarcastically] Some struggle. Hop into bed with every guy who says hello.
Sarah Pierce: She fails in the end, but there's something beautiful and even heroic about her rebellion. My professors would kill me for even thinking this, but in her own strange way, Emma Bovary is a feminist
Mary Ann: Oh, that's nice. So now cheating on your husband makes you a feminist?
Sarah Pierce: No, no, it's not the cheating. It's the hunger. The hunger for an alternative, and the refusal to accept a life of unhappiness.
Mary Ann…

'Sakta'

I have been trying to find the English equivalent of the Urdu word 'sakta' (that mental-shock and numb-like state which the people in dramas get into when they hear a very bad news, usually the death of the beloved) for some days, but i have been unable to find an exact translation. Which is somewhat strange. Kia angraizon par kabhi sakta taari nahi hota? In fact, i was not just trying to find a proper translation, i was also trying to find the medical diagnosis of that condition. The closest that i have discovered to it is Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome, but even its medical description doesn't match exactly with the sympton profile of sakta. Does sakta even exist in reality, or is it a drama-construct?