Wednesday, September 28, 2011

PrithviRajappan Jokes

There is not even a single day, I don’t see a SMS or a photo in my Facebook or in my Twitter timeline that makes fun of Malayalam actor Prithviraj. These days he has replaced “Tintumon” as the most popular character for SMS jokes.
The name "Prithvirajappan" got famous after someone who goes by the name "bachuvivek" uploaded the video below making fun of the arrogance of Prithviraj. Once that video became a huge hit Prithviraj became Prithvirajappan for ever. Here is that video.
Here is a compilation of few jokes/photos going around. Most of them are in Malayalam. Knowing Prithvirajappan and his mother, who files complaint to police for even silly thing, let me put a disclaimer first – I am not the creator of any of these jokes nor photos (I wish I had this creativity) and so no use giving a complaint against me.  For readers, I am sure you will have a fun time reading these. Come back for more as I plan to update this page very often.















Teacher : Supriya...SPEAK-nte past and past participle parayu...
Supriya : speak,spoke,spoken

Teacher :good....ini Prithvi KEEP-nte past and past participle parayu...
Prithvi : Keep,kope,koppen... !!!

-------------------------------------------------------
John Britas : Wat is the meaning of OXFORD

Prithviraj : OX = KAALA        FORD = VANDI

OXFORD = KAALA VANDI..

----------------------------------------------
John Britas: ishtamulla football kalikkarnte peru parayu?
Prithvraj: Cristiano Ronaldo !
John Britas : spelling parayu?

Prthvi: ayye pattiche.... enikk ishtam "KAKA" ye aane..

----------------------------------------

To understand the next one you should watch this video first
TN Gopakumar : edmondo ryandinte "The chapter of clouds" enna pusthakam vayichityundo ?
Prithviraj : ofcorse...i love it !
Gopakumar : athinu angane oru book ithu vare irangiyittillallo ?

------------------------------------ 
Technopark Guys interviewed some of the celebrities

Question : Tell any one of the microssoft product  ??
Mohanlal : MS Word
Mammutti : MS Power point
Suresh gopi : MS Excel
Prithviraj : MS dhoni

 ------------------------------------ 
Wats ur father's name ???
Mohanlal : A C  visvanathan nair
Mammuttti : T V ismail
Prithviraj : My father's name in FRIDGE sukumaran 
 
------------------------------------ 





Believe it or not there is a Facebook Page "Padmashri Dr. Rajappan" and there are over 1200 'Likes' to that page already. Here is the screen shot of that page.
Now the Prithvirajappan II video is out. Here it is. Not as good as first one but still this video also has some great edit. Watch it.

Had a fun time, right? Come back for more...
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SMS Numbers Speaking - Idea Star Singer Losing its Popularity

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Idea Star Singer, the reality music show in Asianet is considered to be the most popular reality show in Malayalam. The grand finale of Season 5 was on 24th of September. Kalpana Ragavendra from Chennai, who had the minimum SMS won the 1 crore worth villa. Now this show has entered its sixth season now. 
Is ISS losing its charm? If you compare the SMS received (a yardstick of popularity of these kinds of reality shows) by the five finalists of season IV and season V, it clearly shows that people are getting smarter and sending less SMS. 
See below the screenshot of the number of SMS the finalists got in Season IV finals, that is close to 3,00,000 (this screenshot was taken almost 30 minutes before the phone lines were closed for voting).
Now see the screenshot of this years final almost 20 minutes before the phone lines were closed for voting. A total of 1,80,000 SMS! A reduction of 40% SMS compared to last year. 

Don’t these numbers speak for themselves? Don’t these numbers tell us that people are losing interest in this high power melodrama? What do you guys think?
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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Paid Journals!!!

“Let us shoot to publish this part of our work in ‘abc’ journal”. This is what my professor used to tell me when he thought that we are ready to publish the research work. I start writing that paper following the format of that journal. After I finished the first draft; gave it to my professor for edits and then it comes back with so much correction that I most probably had to rewrite each and every sentence of it. Five to six corrections normally takes place before the professor says “Let us send this”. We send the paper to the journal and then the wait starts. If we were extremely lucky that paper got published within one year of your sending. All through the MS and PhD, this was the procedure I have adopted and also all those working around me did to publish a paper. 
Now move the clock a few years forward. After returning back to India, I have been invited to chair a session in an International Conference where the topic of that session was closely related to my PhD work. A professor was presenting his work and all he was presenting was crap after crap; he was talking something and the figures he showed tells you something else; the tables and the figures contradicted each other. I did not ask him any questions while he was presenting as I thought it was not appropriate to tell him in front of a big audience that his study had no relevance and had a lot of fundamental flaws. 
After that particular session was over, I went to this professor and started a dialogue. I tried to tell him my view point on his research work and asked him some questions to clear my doubts where he contradicted himself in the presentation. He got upset when I started asking him probing questions. He told me that he had been doing research for a long time and had over 100 journal papers and conference proceedings to his credit in international journals and conferences. To my surprise he opened his bag and gave me his list of publications. I knew that he was not happy with me asking questions and so I just took that list of publications from him and stopped that conversation. 
I came home and out of curiosity started looking into the journal papers published by that professor. I could not believe what I saw. Almost all were substandard papers where you don’t need any research or writing skill to complete such papers. With the six year blogging experience I can easily write 365 papers in a year. 
I become more curious. I wanted to know how a so called international journal accepts such lousy papers. I created an account and went to the section that deals with submitting a paper. Now comes the real shocker to me. If your paper is accepted for publication you need to pay the journal Rs 10,000 so that your research paper will be published. In short I realized for the first time it is a “Paid Journal” and there are hundreds of paid journals available. Seven years of MS and PhD and even while publishing six papers I never knew of its existence. Some more research into the “paid journal” concept, I realized that there are lot of paid journals out there in which if you are ready to pay the stipulated amount, most of the time publisher is ready to publish what you send. 
These paid journals have papers from all over the world. Some of the papers were so badly written, with nothing new and it is very clear that such papers are published to enhance the resume of those who write it similar to the professor I met in the conference. 
Had known about the concept of “paid news” long back but the concept of “paid journals” and “paid journal papers” were new to me. But then you learn something new everyday, right?

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Friday, September 23, 2011

When (so called) National News Channel Goes Behind TRP...

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I happened to read this piece written by Vijayendra Mohanty where he talks about how the so called national news channels pick and choose the news they want to telecast. He writes
Why exactly do the likes of CNN-IBN, Times Now, and NDTV call themselves “national” channels? All they ever seem to do is dance around the metros and sing about metropolitan concerns. Every broken branch and water-filled pothole in Delhi and Mumbai is flashed as ‘Breaking News’ while LARGE parts of India, especially the villages, remain absent from our TV screens (unless some gross “human rights violation” takes place which city-bred studio pundits can then pontificate on). Heck, when they are not doing politics (which is at least relevant), they would fill in the moments with garbage on celebrities and the occasional brainless sportstar caper, but far be it from them to spare a glance at the rest of the nation. Unless there is a scam (flavour of the season), anything outside of the metros seems undeserving of their attention.
This is exactly what has happened today. A Malayalam movie “Adaminte Makan Abu” was has been named India’s official entry for this year’s Oscars. I went and checked the entire home page of the national news channels NDTV, CNN-IBN and Times Now (10:00 PM IST 23/09/11). There is no reference of this news anywhere in the home page of any of the national channels. Just imagine if a "Bodyguard" or a "Ghajani" or  a "My Name is Khan" starring those Khans or Kapoors has made it to Oscar, what could have been the home page of these channels look like? There will be News Hour dedicated to this, special interviews and so much crap. Now when a regional language movie that don't have big names got nominated for Oscar, they don't even have the courtesy to mention it in their home page.
Here is a well made movie, supported by an amazing performance of Salim Kumar, for which he was selected the best actor, when got nominated for Oscar, gets completely unnoticed. Here is the trailer of the move. At least we bloggers should step in when the national media fails to make people aware of such good movies, right?
Do these National Channel’s have the right to use the word “National”? As Vijayendra Mohanty has put it “Our “national” news channels are national only in that they have their headquarters in the national capital and other national hubs.” 
So called National Channels - Shame on You

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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Travel Security Administration (TSA) and Etihad Airlines Horror Story - Update

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(Update on 09/22/11- It is over 45 days since complaint has been filed with TSA and there is no response yet).
My friend’s parents were travelling from Cleveland to Chennai recently with American airlines/Etihad airways. They started their journey on 07/07/11 and it was an emergency trip due to the sudden demise of his grandmother (Their original plan of staying in the US for around 6 months cut short to 3 weeks).  After a 3 hour travel by road from Detroit to Cleveland airport, they boarded American Airline flight to New York. They got their baggage checked in through to Chennai, which was their final destination. They also got their boarding passes for the New York to Abu Dhabi and Abu Dhabi to Chennai legs of their travel.  As it is customary, their Etihad (EY 100 & 268) boarding passes were printed by American Airlines on American Airlines’ sleeves. The first flight from Cleveland was delayed by 70 minutes. They reached New York JFK airport at 20:50 hrs late but still 2 hours ahead of their next flight to Abu Dhabi. They rushed from Terminal 8 to Terminal 4 and reached the security check (B20-B31), which was just before the departure gate B27 by 21:30. EY 100 flight scheduled take off was at 22:50 and they still had 80 minutes left.
At this point his father showed the boarding cards to security guards and said he is flying Etihad flight EY 100. The security person denied entry to them and asked them to go the gates from where American Airline flights were taking off which was a floor below where they were. His father was really confused at this stage, because he could clearly see the departure gate B27 through the security check they were queuing at. So he showed the boarding card again pointing to the Etihad flight number in the boarding card (although the boarding sleeve said American on top since it was printed by the American Airlines counter) requesting entry. At this point the ignorant security guard had stopped talking and blankly pointed to the direction they should go. 
His parents returned back and went all around the place but thoroughly confused because it was clear to them that had to go through the security check where they came from. So they queued up once more at the same security check but were denied entry again. Finally they had no choice, went back to Etihad sales/customer service desk in JFK terminal 4. It was 22:00hrs by then and they still had 50 minutes left. At this point Etihad staff informed them that they cannot take the flight anymore as the flight was overbooked. It was the last chance for his parents to come in before his grandmother's funeral/cremation. Hearing this shocking news his father passed out. My friend was contacted by one of the officials and everyone in the family was distressed by this incident. Moreover his parents didn't reach India till Sunday 07/10/11 and missed to see his grandmother for the final time before she was cremated. Due to this careless error by the security staff they had to sleep near the airport gate and stay with in that area (in fear of going through the security check again) for the next 24 hours. 
The whole incident was caused due to careless behaviour of security staff at the security check before gate B27 (B20-B31) of Terminal 4 JFK airport. His father’s health deteriorated, his family was put under lot of distress and his parents missed to attend grandmother's funeral which was the original reason for the travel. The security guards had no right to deny entry to his parents at the security check. They have asked for full reason as to how and why this happened. The following questions need to be addressed by TSA staff and the airlines official. 
  •  Why would the official turn down repetitive requests from my friend’s father to be examined and passed through the security checks when he had valid boarding passes and was well before the flight take off?
  • Why would the security staff send them to a different gate / security check? After all when they eventually traveled the next day, they went through the same security check they were denied entry that day.
  • And finally why would Etihad airways issue additional tickets when his parents had already checked in and resell the same seats which were already allotted to his parents?
A complaint has been filed by my friend with TSA with the following action items
  •  Identify the security staff who worked on these gates and take action on them for their ignorance, racial inclination and biased nature
  • The security staff’s ignorance in not knowing that Etihad’s boarding cards could carry an American Airlines logo on top is a shame to TSA’s training
  •  The security staff’s immediate resorting to sign language was a display of rude behavior and prejudice
  •  Compensate his parents for the lost chance of having my friend’s mother participate in his grand-mother’s funeral, for the deterioration of his father’s health, mental distress of the entire family in his parents’ denial of boarding the Etihad’s flight and them spending more than 24 hours in front of the Etihad departure gate.
  •  Attempt to prevent incidents like these happen in the future
(Update on 09/22/11- It is over 45 days since complaint has been filed with TSA and there is no response yet).
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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

K J Yesudas Unplugged

K J Yesudas, one of the greatest singers of our time opens up his mind in an interview with Johny Lukose (in Malayalam) in the program “Nere Chove”.
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Good one, right?

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Sunday, September 18, 2011

How News Gets Sensationalized in India


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Here is a perfect example of how news gets sensationalized. Mohanlal recently got into an accident during shooting of the movie "Casinova". Here is the raw video of it taken by someone in his mobile camera and telecasted by Indiavision channel. Seeing where the other people were standing the ramp was probably 4 feet tall.
Now see what was reported by Surya News. The anchor claims that Mohanlal had a “miraculous” escape falling down 40 feet. The director Roshan Andrews, to get maximum mileage out of this freak accident talks voraciously about this accident. Now see this video (in malayalam)
Another example of news getting sensationalized, right? 
Think twice before believing any news you see in Indian News Media

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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Four Myths of Studying in USA

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(This blog post is written by Jennifer Kumar co-creator of two cross-cultural training programs: “Chasing the American Dream: From Take Off to Landing” a comprehensive pre-departure preparatory course for students planning to study in US and Living and Working in USA – an online multi-media cross-cultural course for those planning to live, work and study in America.)
It’s going to be easy to adjust- I already have a lot of Desi Friends and Relatives in US – they are doing ok.
We often don’t hear complaints from our relatives abroad. This is because they don’t want us to worry about them. They may mention cultural differences, but not the struggle they faced in adjusting to them. Living abroad is NOT living at home. One will face differences, challenges and adjustments. Remember this when abroad and be ready to be adaptable and flexible.


I’ll be able to get good grades in US. I was class topper in India.
Being a class topper in India is not the same as in USA because the teaching style is different. That means the expectations teachers will have from you in USA is different. Be ready to think independently and creatively on your feet. Be mentally prepared to challenge your fellow students and your teacher also- asking questions, showing off your knowledge and find ways to practically apply your knowledge. This will not be easy. It’s not always easy for Americans. But for Indians it can be more challenging as this requires on-your-feet problem solving skills, critical thinking skills, an ability to talk about your understanding in your own words and not always believing in everything you hear or read.
I can only get help from Indians because Americans and others won’t understand me.
For many Desis studying in USA this will be easy as many colleges have some desis studying there. Before always relying on Desis remember why you are studying abroad. One reason could be because you know you couldn’t get the experience you wanted in India. This is one reason anyone studies abroad – to experience something we can’t find at home. One way of experiencing something not found at home is to step outside your comfort zone. It’s surprising how Americans or other international students can help you understand the local ways of success in the classroom or social arena that a Desi may not be able to help you with because of not being an ‘outsider’ to you (or conversely, if American, an insider to the American culture and mindset). In addition, asking for help from classmates, dorm mates, professors, and various offices on campuses (these are free services paid for with your tuition money- take advantage of it!) can all offer you other unique perspectives that you wouldn’t find ‘at home’. Be brave. Be bold. You came abroad to experience something new and different. The majority of learning on any American campus is done socially and amongst your peers – not in books – take advantage of this great opportunity- get out and talk to people. Ask questions. Be curious.
I will lose my identity if I don’t hang out with Indians or if I hang out with Americans and get Americanized.
This is a fear I hear from a lot of foreigners in US and especially from Desis going to USA for work or studies. It’s a legitimate fear. Again, it’s best to identify why you are going abroad. If you truly want to experience something different – there is a big chance it will affect you. You will not be the exact same person you are today in a few years from now. This will happen even if you don’t leave India. You will grow, mature and change. Life does that to us. Being abroad magnifies this. Also, being abroad means you will have to learn to talk differently, behave differently and do things a bit differently to be successful as already mentioned in the other tips within this article. This will happen to you even if you never leave India- but move to another part of India. For instance, a Tamilian who moves to Delhi- or better yet let’s say, Pilani (Rajastan) may need to learn a new language, speak a different more localized version of English, learn local mannerisms, gain a taste for the local food, change to a local style of dressing, among other changes. One may argue that it’s still India and therefore no need to change the identity – but look at all the adjustments this Tamil person would need to make to fit in with the local Rajastanis and others at BITS Pilani. If you went away from home in India for college- you also came back slightly different. It did not make you less Tamil to pick up Rajasthani habits, or less Delhi-ite to pick up Bangalore habits, or less Keralite to pick up Gujarati habits- it only enhanced your personality, adaptability and success rate away from home. Refresh your memory with the skills you used to adapt to college life in India while adjusting to college life in US as those adjustments were also cross-cultural. You have a leg up on your American counterparts already in your adaptability quotient! You will not lose your identity-as you hadn’t lost it while going away for your graduation to a different part of India- you will enhance it with new coping skills that none of your friends back in India can boast of because of staying local (and cross-cultural adaptation skills look darn good on a resume!).
Thank you for reading.
Jennifer Kumar is a co-creator of two cross-cultural training programs: “Chasing the American Dream: From Take Off to Landing” a comprehensive pre-departure preparatory course for students planning to study in US and Living and Working in USA – an online multi-media cross-cultural course for those planning to live, work and study in America.

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Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Social Media and False Propaganda – Threat to Democracy?

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It has become a fashion these days among educated middle class Indians – sitting in the comfort of their house watching a pirated movie or sitting in the comfort of an air-conditioned office listening to a song downloaded illegally – to tweet or re-tweet or share any news or stories that portray politicians and administrators of India in bad light. These people never care to ascertain the facts before re-tweeting or sharing news in social media. For them all politicians and administrators are corrupt and any news that is critical of politicians and ruling class is news to be spread.
Here are two “stories” that went viral during the last few days – people tweeted, re-tweeted, shared on their walls, sent as email forwards that actually has no truth in it. Why can’t the so called educated people using the social media take few seconds to cross check the facts before posting? For them anything against the system is a true story and it is their duty as a true Indian to spread it. I always felt, have they ever shown half of this enthusiasm during the election time and exercised their franchise! Maybe they are waiting for the time when they can tweet their votes during Indian election sitting in their house and make their “ideal” candidate win.
Here is the first of these stories – if you use Facebook you may have either posted it on your wall or have seen one of your friends post on theirs.
In 1982, In Singapore, LOKPAL BILL was implemented and 142 Corrupt Ministers & Officers were arrested in one single day.Today Singapore has only 1% poor people & no taxes are paid by the people to the government, 92% Literacy Rate, Better Medical Facilities, Cheaper Prices, 90% Money is white & Only 1% Unemployment exists..Re Post this if you want to live in a corruption free country!! I DO!!
What is the truth? Here it is…
The agency responsible for combating corruption in Singapore is called the CPIB, or the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau. It was formed in 1952 and not 1982, as the message claims. It does not consist of a small body of people with "high moral standards". It has regular policemen and some civilians in its ranks. In this regard, it is nothing like India's proposed Lokpal. It is a large organization, drawn from service police officers, just like our CBI! It reports to the Singaporean Prime Minister, unlike India's proposed Lokpal.Most importantly, the body can only recommend the people found in corruption to be guilty to the courts, unlike India's Lokpal, which can initiate prosecution and impose penalties. There is no source on the internet about the arrest of 142 govt. officials in one day - this is completely false. Also, Singapore's prosperity has been grossly overstated: Singapore does not have 0 taxes - the highest tax bracket is as high as 20%.  Singapore does not have cheap prices by any stretch of the imagination - it is, as of 2011, the 10th most expensive city in the world!
Now here is the second story. Most of you may have seen this picture going around. It is supposed to be the revelation by Wikileaks about the Indian black money holders in Swiss bank.

The above story became viral in no time. But today Wikileaks have come out with the following statement on their Facebook Page.
WARNING: WikiLeaks and Indian black money accounts: The following report is FAKE and was NEVER released by WikiLeaks.

I would say someone sitting in some part of the world with good imagination using Photoshop to the best use, and there are hundreds of people ready to get fooled by this prank. 
I have a piece of advice to these so called educated middle class people – not all politicians and administrators are corrupt. There are rotten apples among politicians and administrators like there are rotten apples among engineers, doctors, sports persons or name any field. You may see 10 doctors who are corrupt and will you brand all doctors as corrupt? Have you ever thought of the consequence of spreading such a lie? So my advice to those who do social media activism is
Please don’t spread lies. You do more harm than good. Visit the polling booth once in every five years and try to bring the changes you want to see in a democratic way. Jai Hind.

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