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Archive for the ‘Weird’ Category

Facts about Tehran

Tehran, is the capital of Iran, and one of the biggest cities in the world (in terms of population as well as surface area).

Here are a few facts that i did NOT know about my old home town:

  • 280km of highways and 180 km of loops, ramps and exchanges! unparalleled in west asia.
  • Excavatios at the site of Tehran, put earliest settlements in that region to around 6000 BC!
  • Tehran has the longest metro line in the middle East after Tel Aviv, and 6th longest in Asia.
  • Tehran has the MOST BUST STOPS of any city IN ASIA. (i didnt see that one coming)
  • 27 people die PER DAY in Tehran, due to its bad air pollution.
  • Maximum numbers of deaths in a month due to pollution: 3600!!!
  • The Tehran Stock Exchange has been one of the world’s best performing exchanges in recent yeras
  • There are nearly 50 universities and colleges in teh Greater Tehran Area.
  • Tehran’s Azadi football stadium is the biggest in middle east, 3rd biggest in Asia, 4th biggest in the world (FIFA)
  • 10 minutes drive from Tehran will get you to Tochal Ski resort, 5th highest ski resort in the world (3730 metres), and its highest 7th station.
  • The Tehran Internation Book Fair is considered by the international publishing world to be the most important  publishing event in Asia and Middle East
  • Sister cities to Tehran include: New York City, LA, Toronto (yay), London, Beijing, Moscow and New Dehli (among others)

Cool. thank you wikipedia!

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Musical Philosophical Nightmare

It was a couple of weeks ago, when sleeping in the throws of a mild fever, i had one of those fantastic fever-induced surreal dream/nightmares.  Now before i continue, if for no reason other than to set my mother aflight with worry, i should add that it was mild, and nothign serious, in fact i enjoyed it quite the lot.

I remember when i was a kid my particular dreams in this state involved inflation of body parts or things in my room.  A general change of size thigns.  And it wasn’t nightmarish in the Freddy Krueger sense of the word either (i can recall two nightmares in my entire life, and one of them was rather psychological more than anything else), so i’m not even sure if this one shoudl qualify as a ‘nightmare’ per se.  But it does make for a nice post-title.

The fantastic thing about this fever-induced dream was that i was a musical! That’s right, not musical (as in the adjective), but also A MUSICAL (as in the noun, as in South Pacific, or Moulin Rouge).  What was even more fantastic was the fact that it was a musical about the Philosophy of Physics.  And what was even more fantastic was that it was complete!  So here is the summary:

I had a fever induced nightmare which consisted of a Musical about the Philosophy of Physics.  And it was in three acts! The first and final act were in the classroom with my students, and the middle act was in the Teachers’ Lounge. Honestly, if i could have more nightmares of that nature, i would not mind it one bit.  I was so totally awestruck when i woke up in the morning.

And why was it a nightmare, you ask?  Because not only where none of the students were actually paying attention (that’s pretty normal for my students), but i also kept missing the High C!!!!

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Rabbit – by Run Wrake

Here is what can best be described as a very odd and surreal morality tale. The animator is Run Wrake.

08:34 – May 01, 2007

And speaking of surreal and rabbits, how can we forget good ol’ David Lynch:

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… filipino “slaves”?

04:49 – July 26, 2007

[tags]embassy, baghdad, US, 592 million dollars, philippines, filipino[/tags]

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London Explosions

London Explosions

So as you must have all heard, a series of explosions rocked the british capital this morning. Condolences all the innocent people who have been affected by this.

Of course, everyone is commenting on the what these means, who is responsible, what will this result in. Listening to any american news network so far, the word al-qaeda has already made itself heard, with increasing regularity i must add.

Unfortunately, with the times as they are nowadays, these events will only show their signinficance with time, and with the reactions of those involved. Will Mr. Blair, react in the american way, and use this as an excuse, and go deeper into the supposed war against terrorism, in the american way? Or will they take it as a warning, and end their part in the occupation of Iraq?

Another thing, that we must worry about, is to see whether the american side of things, try and attach this to Iran! It could be the perfect pretext for america and the british to ‘engage’ Iran. They have already made overtures because of the election of Mr. Ahmadinejad, and no doubt look to push it further.

We must wait and see.

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  • Filed under: Weird
  • still here

    I’m still here, still alive

    Hey everyone. So yes, i’ve been gone for a while. But i’m still alive. Here is the deal:

    As of July 18, 2005, i will no longer be living in Canada. Anne-Laure and I are moving to France. Well, she’s going back to her home, having finished her two year post-doc at U of T’s math department. Now, she has a position in Paris. And so we’re moving to France.

    I could not put into words, how excited i am about this new chapter in our lives.

    But what that does mean, is that for the next two/three weeks, life is goign to be extremely busy and hectic. we’re packing everything, getting things ready to be shipped over, finalizing financial matters. i don’t know how much i’ll be able to post. i will do somethings.

    Moreover i’ve finally put together a WordPress-run blog. And working on a couple of such projects. As soon as i am able find a nice free host, with good space and bandwith, no ad’s, and php/MySQL support, it’ll be up. So if you have any hints in that terms, i welcome them.

    Until then, wish us luck.

    ps. so much to write about the situation in Iran, but just no time. but soon.

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  • Filed under: Update, Weird
  • orson scott card

    Orson Scott Card on Democracy, Freedom and ….

    Here is a very interesting article by Orson Scott relating to the NEWSWEEK story about The Koran being flushed down toilets.

    If you don’t know, Orson Scott Card is one of the biggest science fiction writers out there, with such popular, widely read and acclaimed books, as Ender’s Game.

    Here is the article. I’m curious as to what you think of him, and if you find his -almost fascist- views surprising.

    Here is an interesting response to it on

    There is also a very interesting article and analysis in last week’s New Yorker by Hendrik Hertzberg with regards to the very same NEWSWEEK article. I urge everyone to read it because it is very nicely written (as one has come to expect from mr. Hertzberg).

    Here is a brief excerpt of it:

    What it retracted was the statement that such abuse had been uncovered by �an internal military investigation.� Left standing was the source�s testimony that he had seen the abuse documented; he was simply no longer sure whether it was in the SouthCom draft or �other investigative documents or drafts.� Newsweek�s apology was an act of journalistic conscience …

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  • Filed under: Weird
  • jesus diet

    It has finally arrived … THE JESUS DIET!

    The world would be so much more boring it weren’t for the way americans go for fads. This is simply great.

    Oh, and we went and saw REVENGE OF THE SITH, friday nite … and i gotta tell you, … i’m still having dreams about it.

    I have a LONG review of it coming soon.

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  • Filed under: Weird
  • Ubik


    Well, well, well. So i’ve finally been introduced to Dick.

    No, no, no you dirty perverts. Not that kind of dick. Philip K. Dick. I recently finished my first of his stories: UBIK. But let’s begin at the start.

    It’s all jai’s fault. He was the first to introduce me to science fiction. He kept insisting and insisting that read DUNE. “it’s different from other science fiction” he said. And I, in my youthful folly believed him.

    What originally started as me reading the first volume of DUNE just to shut him up, ended up with me not going to classes, or piano, or the gym, for a period of one month, so that i could finish all the six volumes. Something on the order of 3000+ pages in 4 weeks. Right in the middle of the second term of what was supposed to be my final year too.

    He was fine with that for some time. We had many discussion on various topics related to Dune, and why frank herbert was so cool, and what the heck did the ending of the final book mean, what with the net and the god-thingy laughing and so on.

    Time went by, until jai started to tickle my curiousity bone once again. This time it was Asimov. So i’d read asimov, since i was a kid. But only his non-fiction. In fact he is probably as responsible as anyone for my going into physics. His non-fiction books about the solar system and stars was what first got me enamoured with science. In fact i didn’t even know that he wrote science fiction.

    So jai started telling me about the FOUNDATION series, and how it’s really great, and that it’s right up my alley, and that i really should. And so i did. I started by reading PRELUDE TO FOUNDATION. Which was interesting enough. But unfortunately the bing reading did not stop there. I had to get all the other books. And then that wasn’t enough. I had to get CAVES OF STEEL, and so i read all the robot novels. But that wasn’t enough. (thanks to my brother) i read all the robot short stories. I even just finished reading NEMESIS (which was quite a disappointment compared to his incredible normal levels).

    So then you’re thinking it stops there. No. Seriously. He first had to infect me with the HARRY POTTER bug, before relenting finally. (more about harry potter later).

    So the point is that reason i went for Philip k. dick is actually NOT jai. Which makes all the stuff i’ve said to this point in the post, somewhat irrelevant. Well, we’ll just say that it was for atmosphere. So at the insistence of my brother. I took to reading dick. (also the fact that some of the best sci-fi/philosophical movies of recent times have been based on his writing vis a vis minority report, blade runner, total recall ….).

    So i took on UBIK. It was one of the most confusing openings to a story i’ve read to this point. Which adds to everything, in the sense, that you want to read on further for the sheer sake of understanding what the heck stuff means. His vision of the future unlike Asimov and Herbert is thoroughly distopic (which is visible to anyone who saw blade runner, and NOT visible to anyone who saw minority report). I have to say my favourite hting about his future, are the coin-operated home appliances and doors! Very cool.

    The story itself is very … incoherent at times … but somehow that adds to the feel of it. There are times, you’re reading when you suddenly ask, what happened just now, did we just leave the story. It truly feels like Dick has veered off to a daydream of some sort. But it works. At least for this story. The entire story is a meditation on what is real, and what is reality. The ideas are abundant, and not well explained enough to make them seem natural for the time. The characters with the exception of Joe Chip and Glen Runciter seem to flow in and out of one another.

    All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable experience. IN fact i’m going to definitely read more of his stuff. One thing that bothered me about the story however, was the ending. It was like ‘huh’? what? What was the poitn of all that? i think he kicked it up a notch, one notch too many.

    So that is a short history of my first dick.

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    What is wrong with the world today

    What is wrong with people?

    (thanks to RandomURL)

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    • You take the lies out of him, and he'll shrink to the size of your hat, you take the malice out of him, and he'll disappear. - - - Mark Twain

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