Sunday, September 24, 2006

Sports Quiz

Here are some of the questions from the Sports Quiz I conducted at Ittiam recently.

1. Connect: A wheelbarrow, a battleship, a sack of money , a horse and rider, a car, a train , a thimble, a cannon, an old boot, a Scottie dog, an iron, and a top hat. Sitter, th

2.What’s common to Portland Trailblazers, Seattle Seahawks, Space-ship 1, and a mag called The Sporting News?

3. The official name of this sport is Takkyu in Japan and it is called Tak-Ku in Korea. English manufacturers of this sport's equipments trademarked the more popular name in 1901,they later sold the rights to the name to Parker Brothers in the US. Name the sport.

4. Complete the series:
2000: Tiger Woods (USA) - golf
2001: Tiger Woods (USA) - golf
2002: Michael Schumacher (Germany) - motor racing
2003: Lance Armstrong (USA) - cycling
2004: Michael Schumacher (Germany) - motor racing
2005: Roger Federer (Switzerland) - tennis
2006: _____________________

5."I was at Starbucks the other morning, and this guy was like, 'Dude, has anyone ever told you, you kinda look like...' - and I was expecting to hear my name. And he goes, 'Seann William Scott, that guy Stiffler [from American Pie].' And I'm like, 'Oh yeah! I get that sometimes,' and then he goes, 'I wish I could look like someone famous.' I just said, 'Me too!'“
Identify the speaker.

6.The origins of the split between A and B are hard to pinpoint but an Allied bomb attack on Herzogenaurach in 1943 illustrated the growing tension. A and his wife climbed into a bomb shelter that B and his family were already in.
"The dirty bastards are back again," A said, apparently referring to the Allied war planes. B was convinced his brother meant him and his family. The damage was never repaired.
In 1948, the brothers split their business. A called his firm X; B called his Z before changing to Y.
Identify X,Y. (the companies that A,B started)

7.This cricketer, father of an talented Indian, played one Test and six ODIs for India as a right-arm fast-medium bowler. He made his first Indian team appearance on the 1980 ODI tour to Australia for the Benson & Hedges World Series. After his retirement from first class cricket in 1985 he became an actor, best known for his villain role in “Badla Jatti Da”. He was in the news recently for all the wrong reasons. Identify.

8. This word originally meant a pack of fresh hounds, which were held in reserve at a strategic point along the route so that they may relieve the other hounds taken on the hunt, and so that there would be no chance of losing the scent. Which word?

9. In Tour de France parlance what exactly is a ‘virtual yellow jersey’ ?

10.Who said this and about whom? “He cannot kick with this left foot, he cannot head a ball, he cannot tackle and he does not score many goals. Apart from that he’s alright.”

11. The “rules” of this game are:
*that you cannot play it the same way twice,
*that everyone who plays it must wear a mask and
*no one is allowed to question the masks
What game?

12. "When Apollo 14 went to the moon, in 1971, it carried a rock-and-soil sampling tool that had a barrel grip and a cylindrical shaft three-quarters of an inch in diameter. Aluminum with Teflon O-rings, it was thirty-three inches long and consisted of six parts that could fit into one another to make the one shaft.
What ingenious use did one particular astronaut find for this device? It caused quite a sensation actually.

13. What was unique about the Australian opens of 1977 and 1986?

14. What car does Bernd Maylander drive in F1?

15. In the 2006 season, F1 broke with recent tradition by not keeping the Australian Grand Prix as the opening race, instead giving the honour to Bahrain. Why was this so?

16. In 1900 a British touring club team, Devon & Somerset Wanderers played a cricket match against the French Athletic Club Union. The French team consisted of Britons living in Paris, reportedly mostly members of the British Embassy.The two-day game was played commencing on August 19, 1900. The British team batted first and scored 117. The French team were then bowled out for 78. The Brits then scored 145 for 5 in their second innings, setting their opponents a target of 185, who were promptly bowled out for 26. What is the main claim to fame of this match

17. Despite being ranked No. 1 in the world for 270 weeks, he never got his hands on the silver plate, despite seven trips to the semifinals. Eventually he just skipped Wimbledon, telling reporters that he was 'allergic to grass.' Then he showed up on a golf course two days later.” Who?

18. Connect



There were a whole lot of visuals which I havn't uploaded here. There was also a videos round, with the videos mostly taken from youTube. A couple of the videos were really amazing.
Check out the 'isle of man TT' and the 'drunken monkey' style kungfu if you have the time on youTube.

Shall put up the answers a little later.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

A Match to Remember

It’s been quite a while since I’ve seen a football match. So I guess I’ll try and claim a little vicarious satisfaction out of this post. These days, most critics and so-called pundits seem eager to sound the death knell for entertaining football as we know it. With football becoming a market by itself with the players and merchandise on sale these critics are only too keen to pronounce that football has finally lost its sheen. But once in a while a game comes along that serves to prove them wrong and redeem the beautiful game that is football. The Champions League final of 2005 between Liverpool FC and AC Milan was one such match.

I was at home then. Unfortunately the match was being broadcast only on the paid channels. So we decided to watch it at ‘The Cellar’ at Radisson SAS. The four of us Viju, Chirag, Vivek Thomas and myself arrived well before time. The place was packed and a Filippino band was playing some obscure pop songs, mostly dance numbers. The music wasn’t all that great, but they finally made up for it with a beautiful rendition of Hotel California, complete with the superlative guitar solo at the end. Of course the fact that they had a cute female on the vocals came as some solace. We were soon joined by Rohit Sumanth and his brother Rahul, Monisha, Abhishek and Mohit, none of whom I guess were all that crazy about football.

To get back to the topic, the game finally began at about 10.30 pm. It was billed to be a lackluster affair, the two teams replete with world-class defenders. But then, with likes of Shevchenko, Kaka and Milan Baros playing there was some hope for the lovers of good attacking football. The game kicked off and who could’ve asked for a better start. With only about 30 seconds of play Milan went ahead, the goal coming from the most unlikely of sources, their captain and stellar defender, Paolo Maldini. Milan kept up the tempo throughout the first half, very unbecoming of an Italian team, and by half-time deservedly gained a three goal lead, thanks to two good finishes from their Argentine forward, Hernan Crespo, ironically on loan from Chelsea, Liverpool’s perennial Premiership rivals.

At that point I remember Chirag telling me that he felt the final score-line would read 3-2. Liverpool, according to him was too good a team to be written off that easily. I could only laugh at him and state my feeling that the score-line could only widen in the second half, if the veritable difference in class was any testimony.

But then the second half started and it was pretty evident that Rafa Benitez had done his job in the break, for Liverpool was now surging forward with a spring in their step. Within the space of six minutes they pegged their way back to 3-3. First it was a headed goal from their captain and playmaker Gerrard. Then a fantastic strike from the Czech midfielder, Vladmir Smicer. Then came a controversial penalty which was converted by Alonso, after the ball rebounded from the hands of goal-keeper Dida. Those six minutes were probably one of the games most telling spells, akin to Manchester Uniteds two minute spell against Bayern in the 1999-2000 Champions League final. But then the goals were going to stop there, for Liverpool was quite content to sit back and soak the pressure for the rest of the game. Milan, on their part could not make that incisive run to break apart the Liverpool defence and the game moved into extra-time. Here Milan had most of the chances but the writing was pretty much on the wall. When a world-class striker like Shevchenko misses a straightforward chance then it’s pretty obvious that fate isn’t on Milan’s side. The game drew to a close with the two teams still deadlocked at 3-3.

I for one am not of the opinion that a good game of football should finally be decided on a game of chance more than anything else. But then a penalty shootout is probably the only reasonable way to bring the proceedings to a decisive end. In the ensuing shootout three Milan players including the talismanic Shevchenko missed their spot kicks and Liverpool were crowned champions of Europe for the fifth time. The unlikely hero on that night was their Polish keeper Jerzy Dudek.

A game to redeem all games, a match to silence the critics, a match to remember for eternity; All these, except of course if you were a fan of the AC Milan football club. It was about 1.30 pm when we started back home. The Cellar, unfortunately, wasn’t a no-smoking bar and was filled with a perpetual cloud of cigarette smoke. Coming out, I was absolutely and completely reeking of smoke. Not wanting to confront my dad in the dead of the night in that state, I convinced Viju to stop the car at a 24 hr outlet and bought a can of deo, which I amply used on myself. That, I guess proved to be as decisive as Rafa Beintez’s half time talk for my dad never seemed to notice anything strange. Or maybe he did and never mentioned it. Anyway, I was too tired to worry about it and almost immediately hit the sack.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

' The Writing on the Wall' - An interesting sign on the way from Forum to Legends of Rock

The Grand Slam

The year 2006 AD shall be remebered for quite a few bizarre and memorable happenings ; George Bush being awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace, Osama Bin Laden, the erstwhile brand ambassador of terrorism, announcing his conversion to Buddhism and of course Trinidad & Tobago's stunning victory at the World Cup.

But there was one major happening which was quite forgotten in the hype surrounding the remaining events. Only a handful of people really know how close mankind had come to total world domination by a fearsome and power-hungry force (not counting Microsoft of course), for this was the year that the Earth was attacked by the Bugs, a race of ugly, stinky,ill-tempered,fowl mouthed (they possessed the unenviable talent of being able to speak with whole live chicken stuffed in their mouths) and not to mention hexapodal (half the population of the race was wiped out in a battle over the debate of whether to classifytheir second pair of limbs as hands or legs. This was after a rampant rebel group ran amok and committed a pesticide which decimated the population of the race ) alien creatures. Worst of all, they lacked any sort of table manners.

Well coming back to the point, the Earth was on the verge of a veritable conquest by a powerful alien force. The aliens, identifying the UN as the central power on the earth (boy, were they mistaken!) contacted a certain Kofi Annan, informing him of their wish to take over the Earth and subject its people to slavery. The UN was in a fix. They tried bargaining with the Bugs. An offer of 10 Billion Afgahns was made, which the Bugs flatly refused. They were not that ignorant when it came to currencies and exchange rates. After much haggling the two parties finally came to an agreement. The fate of the earth was to be decided over a game of tennis. (Tennis was indeed a popular game amongst the bugs)

Well...if the future of the Earth lay in the outcome of a game of tennis there was one man that humanity could bet its life on, Roger Federer. On a bright, cloudless morning when Roger was milking his prize cow he received a phone call from Mr Annan informing him of the situation. Roger, never shy to prove his mettle accepted the request without any complaints. The Bugs on heir part chose their own tennis hero, Magus Bugdatis, ten time winner of the Grab Slam.

The stage was set for the great battle. It was to played at the Mecca of human tennis, Wimbledon. This was after a suggestion by one of the world leaders of the possibilty of using bug-spray on the grass. Anyway, one concession that the humans had to allow was to play the match bug-style, where the players could use upto four rackets at a time. Federer on his part politely declined the offer, prefferring a lone Wilson racket. This proved to be disastrous as Bugdatis raced away to a 6-2 win in the first set. Federer fought back to tie the game through a tie-breaker in the second. (Largely because the bug couldn't help gloating after the first set). But much to the horror of all the poeple watching, Bugdatis came back with a bang (a great fart actually which left Federer shaken, actually more than shaken. He was blown off into the third row of the stands.) to win the second set 6-0. Federer couldn't even muster (remember him?) a single breakpoint. The humans in the audience were stunned. This was the end of the world. The bugs were taking over! But Federer had other things on his mind. From the few points that he had won in the previous sets he had learnt that the bug had a very weak back-hand which was what he had to rely on. The trouble was getting the bug to use his back-hand when he had four hands (or should we say two hands and two legs) at his disposal. The idea was clear as crystal. What he had to do was to aim his shots at the bug's gigantic body, with its bulging abdomen and thorax. His plan seemed to be perfect for Federer won the fourth set 6-2. But the bug soon realised what Federer was aiming at and improved his game drastically in the final set. In the deciding fifth, neither player was able to win the all-important break of serve and the game was moving towards a tense finish. After five hours of a hard-fought battle the score stood at 10-10 in the fifth. The bug was beginning to enjoy this for Federer was obviously being worn out. If it came to a war off attrition it was pretty evident who was going to win the battle. Federer realised this only too clearly. He had to get the all-important break. It was the bug's chance to serve. 'This was it!' Federer thought. It was going to be now or never. Summoning all his strength Federer managed to achieve what neither player had managed in the last 20 games, a BREAKPOINT! What could possibly be better? Of course converting that point, which is exactly what he did. Now the task was pretty straightforward. He just had to hold his serve in the next game. Finally, after 5 hours and 22 mins, Federer was serving for the match with the score at 40-15. Mankind waited with baited breath. Well, you can always count on good old Roger to finish off the event in style, for he finished the game with a thumping ace which left the bug totally stunned and the humans still in control of their lives and destinies (actually maybe not) . The whole stadium filled with a deafening roar. "Roger, You're the Hero. The Saviour of the World!"

Roger Federer woke up woke up from his reverie with a jerk and stared at the computer in front of him. He shook his head and slammed his fist on the desk. (Boy! wasn't that a grand slam or what?) He got up and walked out of the room. Computer programming, and in particular debugging wasn't exactly his cup of tea.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Yet Another Boring Weekend in Bangalore

If you're wondering why I haven't posted anything for so long, am I. I guess it could be attributed to laziness, or maybe it's just because I'd absolutely and completely forgotten that I'd started a blog. It wasn't until one of my friends, stumbled upon this ghost of a site, and promptly reminded me about it that I start thinking about posting someting new. Well, that was a long time ago, and I didn't really bother about it much, always relegating my creative spurts (they were few and far between, mind you) to the shadowy oblivion of...of...whatever the cerebral equivalent of the recycle bin is. Anyway, I'm not one for lamenting on spilt milk, and shall not dwell on this subject any longer.
After a hard five days of work, I really look forward to the weekends as a time to invigorate my spirits; have a blast, maybe do something adventurous. Yet so far my weekends in Bangalore have truly been uneventful. Except of course that fateful bike trip to Hoganakel, which turned out to be a little too adventurous, or should I say a total disaster. It happened to be this trip, with six of us on three bikes travelling to a place, almost two hundred kilometers away. This was my first bike trip, and I got to admit it, my heart was in my mouth (pardon me, but I have this unhealthy addiction to cliches) for the greater part of the journey. The trip was turning out to be just what the doctor ordered(well, here I go again). The falls were absolutely spectacular, aptly called the Niagara of South India. But then, I guess we were a little too awed by the spectacle that we decided to stay a little longer than we'd planned, and soon before we knew it was dark. I really do not intend to elaborate on the trip back. All I'll say is that we met up with a nasty accident, which left me totally shaken, and my friend, who was riding the bike with a dislocated ankle.
I'm sorry. I guess i've digressed a lot here. This was supposed to be about a boring weekend in Bangalore as the subject reads and I've almost given you an account of the most evenful weekend of my life, that too outside Bangalore.
Coming back to the topic, must say that probably that rush of blood sort of completed my quota for the rest of the year, and perhaps half of the next, for my good ol' weekends from then on were about as thrilling as a Hermit's sex life (sorry, I wish I'd come up with that one, but then the credit goes to my happy friend PGK) . The swelling feeling of frustation finally reached a crescendo last weekend. Three of my friends and I spent the whole Sunday roaming around...where else but good ol' Brigade Road... that haven for all the sorry specimens of humanity, who have absolutely nothing better to do, but perform their perambulatory ritual on the streets all day long. I must confess that at that point I felt like a total LIL (read Loser in Life). Well, as they say, that was the straw that broke the camel's back (an expression that has been indelibly etched in my mind, thanks to my high school English teacher). I decided that come what may, from the next weekend on, I would do someting constructive or maybe just have a jolly good time in any way I could. But wait, hold on a sec, this was the same Bangalore that I've been living in for the last few months. How the hell am I going to do something different? Beats me.
A week has now passed. Here I am, on a nice Saturaday evening, sitting in front of a miserable computer typing some gibberish. Well...maybe I expect too much from life, or maybe I dont try hard enough.

Out of The Frying Pan

Never thought the day would come. After all four years isn't really that short a span of time. But then, at the threshold, didn't it seem like a jolly quick ride? (sure, many of my compatriots would object to the usage of the word 'jolly' here) Four years, that's 48 months,1460 days,35040 hours... (you get the point-supposedly a relatively long duration of time)...and it seems to have gotten over in the wink of an eye! (pardon me, just couldn't help the cliche). So how does it feel? Well...the first reaction would be that of relief, happiness, euphoria, ecstacy... whatever. Four years of drudgery, four years away from good food and a clean bathroom, four years of that oppressive heat, four years starved of art and beauty, four years wishing you were in some other part of the universe. Phew! Over atlast. But lo! that's not all. What about those good ol' hostel rooms, the loud blaring of your neighbour's speakers, the food at the gate (and even the mess!), those terrace parties (where invariably everyone ended up getting sloshed), those sleepless nights, those long hours at the computer centre, the fests, the drama and music, the litting...and above all, those sorry fellow creatures who ended up listening to all the drivel you dished out and likewise and in whose company the aforementioned four years were made more 'memorable' . Looking back at these and many more, can't help feeling a trifle nostalgic. Fours years up, and what we have with us is a truckload of memories and what they call a degree, B.Tech that is, though I shudder to think how much I have gained as far as technical proficiency is concerned. Yet here we are, with the degree in our hands, (not yet actually) at the crossroads about to tread our separate paths.