Archive for 05/01/2011 - 06/01/2011

Is On Line Radio the next big thing in Social Healing?

FRASIER, epitomizing the fallacy of radio as a medium for social healing, is one of my all time favourite TV shows. However, technology has now the power to render the humble FM radio a veritable social healing medium for the whole world!

FM stations, now available on line to a worldwide audience, can play a powerful role in social healing as this radio show from Dubai proves.

TV has revolutionised social interaction in communities on national levels through talk shows, reality shows, celebrity shows like X Factor and Oprah Winfry, mostly carried on the shoulders of their celebrity hosts.

Though these shows bring people together, around a common cause or interest, and have enormous entertainment value, their role in providing a reprieve for human pain and agony in day to day life is quite limited. At best, people watch them out of curiosity or boredom. Most TV shows do not leave something behind to lighten your burden, or give you the relief in opening up to someone!

Serene One

This week I've been heavily focusing here on new work from my next show which opens at the Principle Gallery on June 10th. I was going to move to something other today but as I sat here contemplating what to write about, this piece just completely swallowed my attention, making me forget about anything else. I suppose that's as strong a sign of validation for a piece of work as anything.

This painting has a feeling of total contentment for me. Nirvana. In fact, I call this piece, a 14" by 24" image on illustration board, Serene One.

Friday, May 27, 2011
Posted by Sreedhar Pillai

Chasing the Sun

It's fun, chasing the sun. ...a bit expensive, but oh so colorful.
Post #100. ...figured I would go back to something I'm good at - photography.
...ok, not necessarily good, just more gooder than writing that is. It's all relative.
A few from the past 100 and a few that will be in the next 100...
From top to bottom, left to right: Axum, Ethiopia // Yankari National Park, Nigeria // Lake Lagdo, Cameroon // Niokolo-Koba National Park, Senegal // Dahab, Egypt // Bagan, Myanmar // Mt. Nebo, Jordan // Kabul, Afghanistan // Dahab, Egypt // Halong Bay, Vietnam // Northern Sudan // Lake Tana, Ethiopia // Bagan, Myanmar // Simien Mountains, Ethiopia // Axum, Ethiopia // Bagan, Myanmar // Northern Sudan // Black Desert, Egypt // Black Desert, Egypt // Niokolo-Koba National Park, Senegal // Bagan, Myanmar.
I think it's gonna be a lifetime pursuit...

Book Review: Tea Time with Terrorists

This article was originally published in Wandering World

Tea Time with Terrorists: A Motorcycle Journey Into The Heart Of Sri Lanka's Civil War

Here is a subject and country you don't often see written about or travelled around. Sri Lanka, formerly called Ceylon, definitely has a good reason for such a lack of written experience, having been in the midst of a decades long civil war and considered one of the poorest nations in the world, as well as being known as the home of modern terrorism. Mark takes full advantage of this "blank palette" of the world and creates an informative, insightful, sometimes surprising, often quite dangerous, fascinating and humorous look at this island nation that so many know so little about, let alone even knowing where it is located on the map.
In Mark's own words, he "sets out to find and report the most subjective and inaccurate news I can", having the thought that stories we have to tell are more true, less accurate, as compared to stories you see on the news, which are more accurate, less true.

Mark starts his journey in the south and works his way north to Jaffna. Along the way he starts to understand this "Galapagos of Terrorism". He puts a face to some of the most wanted terrorists in the world, literally also, with pictures throughout, and sets out to show what real terrorists are like.

Monday, May 23, 2011
Posted by Sreedhar Pillai

The Almost Human Tabs of Huffington Post

Article first published as The Almost Human Tabs of Huffington Post on Technorati.

A few years back the question was how much human the computer can become. Now the question is how much human the internet can be.

The tabs on the Huffington post are the closest I think the Internet technology has got to eliciting human emotions and communicating to others. I discovered this accidentally.

I had wandered on to the entertainment page on HuffPo on a piece of news about Russell Brand. Though I don’t know much about Russell, as I live in the UK, I have come across some TV shows and news item about him. I guess he was a celebrity presenter on an award function for something but what remains in memory is a Radio 2 row where he and his co presenter, Jonathan Ross I suppose, said some thing weird.

Anyway “weird” is the impression I have about Russell, probably etched in my mind from his hair style. You know the first impressions always count! I have no intention to offend Russell Brand or his admirers. I must reiterate that I don’t mean to belittle Russell Brand, his achievements, his contributions to the humanity or his celebrity status, which obviously is important enough for him to figure on the front page of Huffington Post. I just didn’t get the time or opportunity or need to know more about him. That explains why the “weird” feeling stuck in my mind.

Tabs with labels can elicit human emotions an prompt you to express.

When I glanced through the news item about Russell Brand being deported from Japan on the entertainment page of the Huffington Post yesterday, I noticed for the first time, below the photo a set of tabs with labels, one of them being “weird” and a navigation title “REACT”. To my surprise I clicked on it instinctively, without even thinking what it meant or will produce as a result of the click.

Is jupiter Really a Planet of Fortune?

Article first published as Is jupiter Really a Planet of Fortune? on Technorati.

Now before you post your birth data and questions about your fortune, let me tell you this. I am not an astrologer. Even more important, I know nothing about western astrology. Then what am I writing here? Consider these events for a moment.

• Tsunami in Japan
• Death of Osama Bin Laden
• Jasmine revolution
• Arab spring
• BP oil spill
• Strauss Kahn affair

They all represent colossal losses in fortune! One way or the other these events have caused losses of wealth, fortunes of political establishment, and heads of movements and states in a way unheard in living memory.

All of them have happened in the span of a few months!

Unusual combination of stars depicted in this chart raise interesting questions not just for astrologers.

Now where is Jupiter in all of this? Whether they are total believers in astrology or not, a lot of people believe Jupiter has something to do with your fortune.

One can only wonder what those eyes have seen.


happypoppeye | May 20, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Tags: Angkor, Angkor Thom, Cambodia, Jayavarman, Photography, The Bayon, Travel | Categories: Travel - Destinations | URL:

Angkor, Cambodia.

One can only wonder what those eyes have seen.

Cracked, but still smiling nonetheless...

Taken somewhere in Angkor Thom.

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Friday, May 20, 2011
Posted by Sreedhar Pillai

Travels through Sudan V - Into the Desert


Northern Sudan.

...and so we went. Out of Wadi Halfa into the Sahara. Illegally actually, but not really, but kind of, seeing as we were given permission to enter the country by the customs officials, but with one stipulation - that we weren't allowed to enter the country until we came back to Wadi Halfa the next morning to get "officially" processed, at which point it would be official, but no more real, but I guess less illegal, all the while knowing that these guys just wanted to finish their day, go home, and smoke a hookah. Understandable. That's what I would do. Read more of this post

Syndicated from Wandering the World

GOD's own country can't be this beautiful!

An excellent audio  visual montage of Kerala, a south Indian state, lovingly called GOD's own country by its inhabitants. Though it might sound a little pompous, and the people of Kerala take undue pride, to the discerning traveller, the affectionate name to this little corner of paradise on the earth is quite acceptable.
This montage made by Mr C.J.Kuttappan amply demonstrates the point. Many thanks to Mr Kuttappan for making it available to everyone on the YouTube.

Thrissoor Pooram - A Unique Temple Festival of God's Own Country!

Pooram (Malayalam: പൂരം, pronounced [puːɾam]) is one of the nakshatras or star in the Hindupanchangam. There are 27 Nakshatras in the Hindu panchangam and a million or more temples in Kerala, and this combination creates numerous possibilities for auspicious occasions, with each temple having varying importance for the different stars. However, over the years, the pooram nakshatram has gained special significance in its association with temple festivals, mainly because of its association with Thrissur. It has now taken on a different meaning all together, because of the huge congregation of people during the pooram festival in Thrissur.

This year the Pooram Festival also fell on a unique day when the emotions were running very high in Kerala.

It was the day before the much awaited results of the State assembly elections were to be declared. With a high politically concious population, with a literacy level of almost 100%, which also crave for communist ideals disregarding their demise in civilised world, the pooram festival was an early start of the agony and ecstacy they were long waiting for to arrive!

Some screen capture shots of the Pooram Festival 2011

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President Obama And The Power Of Lord Hanuman.


Before the presidential elections of 2008, there was an interesting piece of news in wide circulation about President Obama. It was about a lucky charm he carried with him all his life, 
Is was a small replica of Lord Hanuman, a powerful God from the Hindu epics of India, who is depicted to have a body which is a combination of a human and of a monkey. Now, this type of representation of God is very common in the Hindu mythology and is not unknown in other cultures. But what made it to the news was that a candidate for the US presidency had it with him for good luck.

As history has proved it, LUCK in abundance was what he had in the 2008 US Presidential elections! 

But we don't know if President Obama knew it or anyone near to him was aware of a Hindu belief that Lord Hanuman bestows victory over the enemies of those who worship him rather than just bring merely good fortune! Whether President Obama or anyone near him believed it or not, it looks like this is what really happened.

First there was the victory over his opponents in his political life during the elections, defeating, Senator McCain and Governor Sara Palin in the Presidential election. 

Then more recently, he has defeated his opponent in war by annihilating Osama Bin Laden, who was his nemesis in the fight against global terrorism. What is interesting is that though it looks like a victory over one albeit the main enemy in war, it is in fact a great victory over all his enemies.

The courage and mettle the President and his team of officials and the US armed forces have shown in hunting down and finishing the face of terror from the earth  in effect also have silenced his political and social enemies, at least for the time being.

Lord Hanuman seems to have the power to annihilate your enemies after all, if you believe he can!

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Japanese Internet kissing machine is ready!

Years before, in the beginning days of the internet, when everyone was struggling with 28k and 56 k modem connections, I used to wonder when things will improve to make human contact experience possible. At last it has become a reality now. Well, almost!

This invention by the Japanese gives them a heads up for the next generation consumer electronics and perhaps new dimensions for social networking.Hopefully very soon people on Facebook should be able to share kissing experience with those on orkut! 

Below is a report by CNN

Japanese lab invents Internet kissing machine

Doug Gross By Doug Gross, CNN
May 5, 2011 -- Updated 1103 GMT (1903 HKT) | Filed under:Innovation

A Japanese lab has created a video device that allows you to

Japanese lab invents Internet kissing machine

CNN) -- We admit to being sort of creeped out by this: A Japanese lab has created a device that may let let you "French kiss" someone over the Internet.

And by "kiss," we mean waggle your tongue on a plastic straw, thereby making another plastic straw waggle remotely on someone else's tongue.

Hot, huh?

Well, the folks at Tokyo's Kajimoto Laboratory say it's just the beginning of what could become a full-on person-to-person experience over the Internet.

The lab, part of The University of Electro-Communications, posted a video in which a researcher demonstrates the "Kiss Transmission Device." It's a motorized box that looks a little like a police Breathalyzer.

Watch the video of the "Kiss Transmission Device"

In the video, Nobuhiro Takahashi, a graduate student and researcher at the university, manipulates the plastic tube on one device with his tongue. A program stores the movements on a computer and then transmits them to another device, causing its tube to move -- presumably in someone else's mouth.

The idea is to help lovers -- in long-distance relationships, say -- by transmitting the tactile sensation of kissing from one person to another. The lab is running both devices on the same computer, but says a system could be set up to connect them via the Web.

"Kiss information" can be recorded and replayed, presumably meaning someone could save and share a "kiss" over and over.

"For example, if you have a popular entertainer use this device and record it, that could be hugely popular if you offer it to fans," Takahashi says. (Can you say, "Justin Bieber"?)

The researchers seem to realize that most people might not exactly find licking a plastic tube a suitable replacement for sucking face. But there are refinements on the way, they say.

"The elements of a kiss include the sense of taste, the manner of breathing and the moistness of the tongue," Takahashi said. "If we can re-create all of those, I think it will be a really powerful device."


America that does the hard things, that does the great things.

Saturday, May 07, 2011
Posted by Sreedhar Pillai
Tag :

The defining image of Barack Obama's presidency.

The mystery of seven sacred gemstones hidden by the Gunpowder Plotters

Black Country Bugle | News | Is a local man the key to unlocking the mystery of seven sacred gemstones ;hidden by the Gunpowder Plotters?:
"Is a local man the key to unlocking the mystery of seven sacred gemstones hidden by the Gunpowder Plotters?"

Black Country Bugle | News | 17/03/2005

A couple of weeks ago, we reported on the unmasking of the so-called "Phantom Horseman" of Wombourne, who terrorised the village and surrounding areas during the fifties. While some at the time believed it to be the ghost of Gideon Grove, the young groom shot dead as he fled the aftermath of the siege at Holbeache House four hundred years ago, retired policeman John Mellor revealed that the Phantom was, in fact, a wily old character who "borrowed" horses in order to carry out petty thefts! Others jumped on the bandwagon, impersonating The Phantom, therefore hampering police investigation

Read the full story here

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