When I first came to know that Adele would be performing the theme song for Skyfall, I was a tad sceptical. The end result, however, is pretty impressive as the tone of the song is classic James Bond as if it were the 70s. Adele, here, has just done a Nancy Sinatra.
What makes it better is the fact that the song was launched on the 50th anniversary of Bond in film.
A very well written review of one of Robin Dunbar's works which actually explains the idea behind his thinking. I personally came across this concept a little over a year back and it made quite a lot of sense. Irrespective of the social networking phenomenon, there is always a compact social group beyond which things are rather arbitrary. This is a very interesting read.
To know more on Dunbar’s Number, you can read the Wikipedia article about it here.
Robin Dunbar How Many Friends Does One Person Need? Dunbar’s Number and Other Evolutionary Quirks Harvard University Press, 2010. 312 pp.
In May 1846, a year and a half before gold was discovered at Sutter’s Mill, several extended families and quite a few unattached males headed with their caravans from Illinois to California. Due to poor organization, some bad advice, and a huge dose of bad luck, by November the group had foundered in the deep snows of the Sierra Nevada. They came to a halt at what is now known as Donner Pass, and, in an iconic if unpleasant moment in California’s history, they sat out winter in makeshift tents buried in snow, the group dwindling as survivors resorted to cannibalism to avert starvation.
From an evolutionary point of view, what makes the story interesting is not the cannibalism — which, in the annals of anthropology, is relatively banal — but who survived and who did not. Of the 87 pioneers, only 46 came over the pass alive in February and March of the next year. Their story, then, represents a case study of what might be termed catastrophic natural selection. It turns out that, contrary to lay Darwinist expectations, it was not the virile young but those who were embedded in families who had the best odds of survival. The unattached young men, presumably fuller of vigor and capable of withstanding more physical hardship than the others, fared worst, worse even than the older folk and the children.
Here’s a superb analytical piece on which one is the best smartphone OS out there right now. I have been very vocal about my praise for Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android platform while being highly critical of the Blackberry OS (and phone) from RIM (Research In Motion), which, incidentally, doesn’t even have a mention in this article.
The other smartphone platforms discussed here are Nokia’s Symbian ^3 and Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7. The results aren’t really surprising. I still don’t get the Blackberry craze though. Well, I guess it’s just herd mentality.
It’s that time of the year when people start making these so-called “resolutions” which seldom seem to stick for most people. Some are even calling it the end of the decade, which, technically speaking is quite incorrect. It’s not like we celebrated the end of the millennium when 2000 was getting over, did we? But then again, there’s no harm looking at 2011 as the beginning of a new decade. Giving things a fresh start always work, so yeah, go ahead; call it the end of the decade. Personally, I’d like to do the same thing, considering 2001 was where all the trouble started, and I won’t say that 2011 was a particularly fantastic year, both for me, and some of my closest friends.
I’m not going to deconstruct the makeshift “decade” in detail, because it is a rather stupid thing to do. While most of the decade was a drag, 2007 stands out as a year of pure, guilt-free fun; a year where everything was calm and no one was looking at the way you dealt with things, at least not everyone. I can do anything to get that back, anything. I almost succeeded over the last course of the last month till something rather dramatic happened, and that was followed by a rather tragic anti-climax a couple of weeks back. There’s always a horrible way for things to get worked out. You can’t blame me for feeling like Michael Bluth most of the time.
So here we are, on the threshold of a brand new journey, one which will be so crucial for most of us, that we will try our best to change ourselves to adapt to things. Sadly, we will end up opening a new can of worms effortlessly and unknowingly, because that’s what has always been happening; and whatever we do, we can’t change the fact that we are essentially continuing what people around us do. In all this, it isn’t wrong to forget the knots which you have tied in the past, because there’s no point going back to these things. Some knots are best tied, and if they have to be untied, they will, in due course. It doesn’t work if you keep thinking of it all the time.
I doubt if 2010 could have been worse than it was. But then again, can we be sure that the New Year will be better? Nobody can know for sure. The year’s most important lesson had to be something that Edward Abbey said years ago – “When a man’s best friend is his dog, that dog has a problem.” The funny thing is that I am not even remotely talking about dogs, but all that is a different story. 2011 will see a lot, but most of it will be in the head for everyone around and that’s what will make it worse for them. I’m not looking out for anyone. I’m just making an observation which can be taken with a pinch of salt.
So, here we go. Season’s greetings! Let your hair down over the next two days like there’s no tomorrow, because, as a certain Don Draper would say, there isn’t. Wow! Quite a few TV show/movie references here, as usual. I just can’t stop, now can I?
The frown. Possibly one of the most complicated expressions that the world has ever seen. I’ve seen it being pulled off with as much as a slight effort. True story.
Change is imminent, at least most of the time. Only a microcosm tends to get the best out of the remaining bit. While this statement may seem a little too wild, it is something that has been observed, time and again. Nobody would want change to be the deciding factor for a decision. These decisions are something that will bother us long after they’ve been made, irrespective of the choice we make when we were to decide upon the very thing that got us into such a situation in the first place.
An event always has ramifications and it is these that go on to define the change that came out of a decisive moment that was closely linked with the said event. Knowledge of the event isn’t enough; it is the experience that counts. Entry is always supposed to be controlled and not be taken lightly. This is not supposed to sound elitist despite the fact that it is just that. When there is need for contraction that is exactly what should take place. Expansion should be avoided as much as possible, for not being able to do so will lead to a consequence that can burn down many houses. It is all about utility, sometimes. When things are done to this effect, there ought to be a follow-up failing which there might be a severe backlash, such is the inevitability of destiny. Sadly, all that we remember is the distance from here, to then.
After all this is over, the transmission of trauma begins, and I must say that it isn’t really pleasing. Somehow, at the end of the day, the sea always manages to reclaim the land, because that’s how it starts. Such is the perfection of nothing. On an entirely different level, the future, basically, is the past waiting to happen. The only difference is that the next stop is unknown. One thing that must be realised is that the truth is born in strange places as the compass continues to burn across the wall of days.
Oh well, I think that made me frown, but then again, what if it was actually a smile? It isn’t like it hasn’t happened before, you see.
“We might define a constitution as its process of amendment. For to amend is to deconstitute and reconstitute. […] But the amending clause is so fundamental to a Constitution that I am tempted to call it the Constitution itself.”—Herman Finer, The Theory and Practice of Modern Government