So you think you can’t draw?

I just saw the video here:

I am not an artist. Anything but. My general opinion was that my “art” can make a good torture weapon. And while watching the above video, came up with this:
My-first-cartoon

Not great, but definitely better than anything I’ve tried before. Great, in my opinion, for a first attempt of five minutes in all.

The message towards the end struck a chord. What else am I too afraid to try?

Relevant tweet I came across this morning:

A poem from reddit

When reading comments from AskReddit post What “Truth” are people not ready to face?,  I found this poem.

Whatever space or place you be –
Whatever life you’ve known –
What’s true for you is not for me:
To each, my friend, their own.

No matter wisdom, age, or youth,
Or how you choose to test –
You’ll never really find the truth.

Except that mine’s the best. [ source ]

Although we each have thoughts and views,
On matters known by all;
Your battered claims do seem to lose,
And clatter as they fall.

Your mind and method’s all askew,
We’ve known this all along.
I’d love to think akin to you,
But then we’d both be wrong. [ source ]

Perhaps it’s best to call a truce
In times so tense and taut,
When words fly forth, all fast and loose,
But don’t say what they “ought.”

Thoughts will leap and jump and freeze,
And catch in open air.
Although some speak and aim to please –
Most want their views laid bare. [ source ]

You’re free to wave your flag of white,
And bend to what I’ve said.
Just end your doubt and say I’m right,
And lend me your sweet head.

If I would wound I’d use a knife,
For words, have no complaint.
Don’t seek the silent end to strife:
The weak man wants restraint. [ source ]

I sense, my friend, you’ve seen it fit
To skirt around the topic.
Bellig’rent chomping at the bit
Has made your speech myopic.

Indeed, our words can breed disdain
And serve as life’s cruel sword.
But those same phrases, when contained,
Can be a peace accord. [ source ]

But men of you and I, alike,
Shant use their sword for peace.
War and fighting, talent not take,
Throw one stone, I must, at least.

Words, they are but fickle things
With power, only true.
To tatter every nation’s flag,
Harmony, words do eschew. [ source ]

He speaks of flags, you speak of chomps;
Is this the fruit of labors lost?
For all your circumstance and pomp,
You’ve merely served to self accost.

I won’t buy in: you’re not so trite
As that which you pretend to be,
And nor is she. (Or is it he?)
Regardless, I am right. [ source ]

On magic numbers, and tripping in the dark.

I have a habit of showing off. To anyone who has been around me for a while, this shouldn’t be a surprise. So when I tweaked and tuned my mobile to my usage patterns, people asked about it when they noticed crazy things and I gave many a short tour.

To any experienced android enthusiast, my customizations would be elementary. Rooted stock android on a Moto G 1st gen, Xposed, plus a bunch of nice Xposed mods ( special mention to Gravitybox ) , Greenify (Donation pack with extra goodies like patched GCM) , Nova Launcher (Prime) , Tasker, carefully selected themes and apps all make it look and behave very different from stock android. Giving up my warranty on day 1 was totally worth it. I spent few weeks making my mobile a very personal device.

One particular feature I love showing off is a simple gravitybox tweak, timed torch bound to volume down long press. There’s a dark unlit path I use regularly, which takes approximately 120 seconds for me to cross, and the torch is set to switch off 120 seconds after activation. Practically everyone found it cool. But there was one person who said it is stupid. There’s a CS professor who also happens to be a good programmer ( No, one does not imply the other. ) who said I should instead use ambient light sensors or GPS to detect when I crossed that patch and then switch off the torch. He says he is forced to use magic numbers in server monitoring scripts but that is sub optimal. He was concerned I would trip in the dark if I walk slowly and the light goes off sooner. I had to explain my device had a shitty ambient light sensor and the GPS resolution is often not very fine and takes time, so I will probably achieve similar results with added battery drain.

Today, the light went off when I was in the middle of the path. It has been doing that consistently for the past few days, probably because I walk slower these days. Time to tweak the timeout, and to consider the ambient light sensors more seriously. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to cook up an app anytime soon, since there are more important tasks that keep me busy. Another idea added to my ever growing list of nice-to-have-awesome-features-that-not-many-need.

You can haz time?

To anyone reading this who has the time and likes me enough to invest their time for me, please cook up an xposed mod or a tasker plugin and I’ll take you out for lunch/dinner. It should take a couple of days at most, but beware, I’ve a reputation for underestimating time lines. Following my rule of thumb and multiplying initial gut feeling by 3-5, 6-10 days is a pretty safe bet.

Credit the source, Please!

I got a call this morning.

It was an angry Robo, angry at me that I’ve publicized his story on facebook. He said “The writing style, its undoubtedly you.” I’m out of facebook since long. I’ve never even asked anyone to do it on my behalf either. Someone copied my blog post verbatim, and posted it. They got to my blog by searching “funny incident iit delhi” in Google. ( Looking at the analytics, I am about 99% sure that thats the one. )

Now, It is kind of fun, I don’t have any issues with him copying and publicizing it, and now that its done, Robo can not do anything either, we don’t have any issues, but something bothers me.

That someone who copied my post verbatim did not care to cite the source! Yeah, I know, its common for people to steal content these days. Mind you, common but not legal.

I have stopped playing many games since I am against piracy. I do not go about pirating stuff since that goes against my ideals. I respect intellectual rights. I go to great lengths and even request permission to make copies of publicly-available material. ( Not many realize that the right to make copies is not granted when the content is made publicly available. ) And I try to license my works under a open license.

When some of my peers freely copy content verbatim from sources ranging from blogs to publications, without citing them, I have a reason to be angry.

Now, please don’t misunderstand me. I am not really blaming anyone. I am just worried that not many are aware. I request you all to take time to spread the word.

If you can not afford to buy a Windows License, please do not pirate it. There are over a thousand options available for an operating system. If you can not afford a Microsoft Office license, do not pirate it. Use open office or Libre office. If you can not afford a game, do not use a crack for it. Either save money and buy it, may be as a group, or do not play it.

IF X IS NOT PROVIDED GRATIS, IF YOU CANNOT AFFORD X, DO NOT USE X. IF YOU CAN, BUY X BEFORE USING.

IF YOU USE A SIGNIFICANT PORTION OF X, CITE X. AND BEFORE YOU USE, MAKE SURE YOU ARE PERMITTED TO.

Pardon me for the all caps. I know it hurts the eyes, (mine actually bleed looking at all caps) but I want to make it clear. Not many consider it emphasized enough unless they bold and all caps and underline and use a repulsive color scheme. Not many understand that italics is the proper way to emphasis. and that a normal word in a italicized text means emphasis. Well, writing etiquette can take an entire post by itself, and it doesn’t really belong here.

Content creators deserve respect. If you do not understand this, you will, once you create something putting hours of hard work, time and money into it, and when someone copies it without even attributing it, or when someone steals it from you, you will then understand.

P.S : Besides that, I am also angry at whoever copied my post for not linking since that would’ve been some good amount of traffic. I do not earn by advertising on this blog, but still, its good to have some traffic 😛

The Horrors of Holi

Its Holi, and everyone is celebrating.

Wait, not everyone. I’m crying today. My eyes are not wet though. For some bizarre reason, my lachrymal glands dried up some 8 years ago and produced no more than a dozen drops of tears that escaped my eyes since then.

Why exactly? You may ask. Look at the area around you. Most likely, it is contaminated by toxic “colors”, with mud pools or toxic ponds, and people competing against each other to waste more and more water. I am one of those “environmentalist” “save energy” “save water” “save wild life” “waste no food” guys, who continue to speak up, voice their concerns, opinions and suggestions no matter if the audience listens or not. I am one of those that are adamant enough to voice despite no audience. (I made my own share of mistakes, which are not very relevant here. I may post them separately.)

What made me write this post?

My “friends” attacked our hostel just now, while I was in the common bathroom brushing my teeth. ( I have a habit of waking up late, and compensate that by working late. ) I managed to shout at the top of my voice and some of them knew my anger, so they either exercised caution, took pity on me or had mercy. I was not poisoned. They were after the taps. With all instruments of warfare (mugs, buckets, bottles, water guns, cans, packets of powdered colored poison) they marched in, filled their vessels, and marched out. Not many cared to shut the taps.

I was brought up at Hyderabad. Any hyderabadi can relate to the water crisis we face in summer. Everyone attacks the government. These are the same people that compete in making the largest toxic blobs, decorating them and dumping them in water. All in the name of God. (Ganesh Chaturdhi, for those of you who can’t relate. you see a toxic blob every corner.) And when they face the consequences, they start a blame game.

Diwali and Holi are the festivals that I wish hadn’t existed. Or I wish they were different. When did festival of lights turn into a sound and air pollution race? When did the festival of colors turn into war? You only attack someone with poison if it is a war. Wait, it is prohibited, countries signed treaties, that they would not use poisonous gases, or poison-tipped bullets in wars. Name one scripture or one priest, who advocates environmental destruction.

My grand parents lived in a village where they had no running water till 2010. I was brought up in a city where people buy water every summer to survive. I am from the state of Andhra pradesh, an area of which by name Nalgonda is world-famous for its fluoride removal technique. A town with no proper fresh water even to this date. I am a resident of a hostel where at times I couldn’t find water to bath. I know how bad it is to not have proper water.

It is my sincere request to use environmentally friendly colors most of which are naturally derived and bio degradable, and actually “celebrate” the festival of Holi. I do my part of the duty. I distance myself from Holi completely, limit my Diwali to lights and sparkles, go out of my way to switch off lights and fans when no one is around, shut off leaking taps and flushes, switch off geysers in the afternoon, use mud-made statues instead of plaster-of-paris for Ganesh Chaturdhi, and advocate the same.  It takes little effort to change. Your actions speak louder than your words ever can. You will see people getting inspired, motivated, you will find people spreading your word on your behalf. It all begins with a small step.

You will see a change. A change for the better.

As I finish writing this, the next band attacked..

All that makes the difference: A start

Have you ever wondered what made the difference? Between you and that friend of yours who is now good at this and that? Are you secretly jealous of him/her? Ever thought.. “I should one day be better. I’m just waiting for the chance..” Let me tell you a secret: I can give you what you were waiting for. The chance, that will change your life. Read on to find out..

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