November 29, 2004
NCAA Football 2004 week #13
Last week of regular season college football brought on more heartache for Nebraska. They got beat by Colorado. I was hoping for a win. But, this loss translates into first losing season after 43 years and breaking the longest running bowl game streak in the country. Nebrska played in a bowl game for 35 years consecutively. They will sit at home and watch others play around New Year's time. This is absolutely the bottom. The only good thing about it is that the only way from here is up. Hopefully, Bill Callahan will get the team in better game shape next year with his west coast offense and we'll at least have a winning season next year.
Texas beat Texas A&M but, they will most likely be left out of the BCS bowls. The chances of Cal losing to Southern Miss are close to nil.
There were no big surprises during this last week. USC and Oklahoma kept their 1 and 2 BCS rankings and that will make them eligible to play for the championship unless Oklahoma loses in the Big12 championship game to Colorado. That is quite unlikely. Auburn got left out of the National Championship game eventhough they played better football caompared to Oklahoma and had an unbeaten season.
Michigan will play in the Rose Bowl. All of the bowl schedule will come out soon. All the best to the teams playing in bowl games. This is the first time that College football season is over for me in November.
iShares Cohen & Steers Realty Majors
For diversification in real estate other than the house that we live in, I started periodic investment in an ETF (Exchange-traded Fund), iShares Cohen & Steers Realty Majors (ICF). This was one of the real estate funds recommended by Kiplinger's magazine.
It was lovely to have a white Thanksgiving this year. We had our first significant snowfall on Wednesday and the snow stuck around for a couple of days.
It was a nice Thanksgiving as usual. A lot of our friends were able to join us for the feast. We had 12 adults and 8 children. It felt like the house was full after a long time. We spent most of Wednesday and Thursday morning cooking. All the guests showed up around noon on Thursday. Due to Ashwini's nut allergies, it was a nut-free event. Here is the menu...
- Chex mix
- Brandied apples and goat cheese
- Brie with fig jam on crackers
- Spiced apple cider
- Green bean casserole
- Broccoli and rice casserole
- Cranberry delight
- Acorn squash stuffed with wild rice, raisins and cranberries
- Creamy mashed potatoes with chives and gravy
- Pasta salad
- Broccoli and cheese salad
- Death by chocolate
- Yellow cake with fruits
- New York style cheesecake
Making a real cheesecake was new this year and I was very apprehensive about how it will turn out. It was like a cholesterol bomb with 2 and half pounds of cream cheese and 7 eggs. It was just heavenly. So creamy and soft and silky. Yummm. The only problem is that because it is so big, we can't make it for just ourselves. I won't be able to make it unless we have a big gathering. That means I'll have to wait till Thanksgiving next year.
Unfortunately, I didn't designate someone to be the photographer, so, we don't have many good photos. I don't think I have a photo of the desserts. *sob*
Ashwini was very excited to have so many kids around. But, at the same time it was really nerve-racking for her as she had to share all her toys and books with them.
Overall, we had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We got to see a lot of our old friends and share a good meal with them. Hopefully, we'll do this more often in the coming year.
November 23, 2004
NCAA Football 2004 week #12
Nebraska and Texas were both resting on Saturday to prepare for their respective matchups against Colorado and Texas A&M on Friday after Thanksgiving.
Looks like hopes are fading for Texas to get into one of the BCS bowl games. They get in only if California loses to Southern Miss which is not very likely. Mayuresh explained the 'at-large' births in BCS, etc in a comment to my last football post. Check it out if interested.
One of the biggest matches last week was Florida at Florida State. Gators beat the Seminoles on their home field for the first time and ironically, this was the last game for Ron Zook as the coach of Florida Gators because he was fired earlier in the year.
Wisconsin lost second game in a row after being unbeaten for the first 9 games. That puts Michigan in the slot for Rose Bowl as Big10 champions even after losing their last game against Ohio State. I thought Michigan would win that game easily but, I was wrong.
Steve Spurrier accepted the head coach position at South Carolina after Lou Holtz retired from there. He will be coaching the Game Cocks for the next 7 years.
Notre Dame faces USC next Saturday. I hope they get their butt kicked really bad. :)
Let her run away....
Don't know why she is given this special protection. Doesn't the court think there is a flight risk? She can run away to her kind in W. Bengal or China.
Here are the activities of this social activist...
Setalvad had sought the protection fearing arrest in connection with allegations made against her by the prime witness in the Best Bakery case, Zaheera Shaikh, that she was "pressurised" to give false evidence in the court. ... Zaheera had filed an affidavit on November 3 before the Vadodara collector alleging she was forced to move to Mumbai at the behest of Setalvad, kept in wrongful confinement for nearly a month, made to sign documents and pressurised to falsely depose before a Mumbai court.
I hope they find her guilty and burn her at the stake.
November 22, 2004
Citation index by Google
Who needs an expensive subscription to the 'Citation Index' by ISI web of science? Find out all the publication information on Google scholar. It found 11 out of my 15 publications and I have been cited at least 22 times.
Moon on Nov. 22nd, 2004
First photo taken through my telescope using the Nikon D70. It is not great. I still need to play with aligning all the optical elements properly to get a crisp clear image. Hopefully, I'll get some time to play with it when we have clear skies.
November 17, 2004
Could someone please enlighten me with the meaning of this movie's title? From the previews, it seems like a Bollywood version of 'Zorro'. Is that a correct assumption?
Blog and get fired, part II
Be careful about what you post on your blog, people! It is in public domain. Your employer can view it too.
November 15, 2004
It's high time...
Colin Powell should have resigned a long long time ago. Now, after this loss of a sane voice from the cabinet, get ready for the 'Dick and Donny Show'. Scary, eh?! It would have been even scarier if Ashcroft hadn't resigned.
Well past expirarion date...
In preparation for our annual Thanksgiving gathering, we decided to clean-up around the house. Yesterday, we ventured into our pantry. There was so much stuff in that little room that we could barely stand but not turn around without knocking something down. After going through and combining bags containing multiple vintages of masalas brought from India, canned food, Sam's club size packets of food-stuff and big bags of daals and flours, we made enough room for all the new stuff we are planning to buy for this year's party. We thought that we had done a good job of cleaning and throwing old stuff away when we moved from NJ, a couple of years ago. But, there were various food packets past their expiration date. One packet of Gits 'gulab jamun' mix took the cake. It had expired in 1998. We must have bought that when we lived in an apartment in NJ. Moved it to our house in NJ and then moved it with us to Michigan. Thankfully, it lies in our trash-can now, on its way to a landfill.
NCAA Football 2004 week #11
Huskers lost to Oklahoma as expected. They lost second game in a row. I don't think that happens very often. Hopefully, they will win the last game with Colorado and end with a winning season. That will also put them on top of Big12 north division (if Iowa State loses to Kansas State, which is highly likely) and get a chance to get beat by Oklahoma again in the Big12 championship game.
Texas almost lost to Kansas. V stopeed watching when Kansas was leading by 10 points in the fourth quarter, but, they came back to score two touchdowns and win the game in the end 27-23. Longhorns will play Texas A&M aggies on the day after Thanksgiving. They have to win this game to get a berth in one of the three BCS bowl games.
Pittsburgh beat Notre Dame by a field goal. Yeaaaaay!!!!
Auburn beat Georgia and made a strong case for a ranking higher than the struggling Oklahoma.
Michigan State kicked Wisconsin's tail (49-14) in a huge upset to bring down a team that was ranked #4 in the country. Michigan had a easy win over Northwestern.
In other minor upsets (loss for higher ranked team), West Virginia was beaten by Boston College and Miami beat Virginia.
Some coaching news: Joe Paterno may stay on for another year at Penn State after they beat indiana. Steve Spurrier is looking for a job. He is not going back to Florida after Ron Zook got fired. And, he would like to stay in warmer south. So, there is no chance of him getting the Penn State job in another year.
Just one more week of regular season games and the Bowl games. The season is coming to an end. :(
This American Life
This American Life is one of my most favorite programs on NPR. It is an hour of storytelling at its best. They cover a very very wide range of topics. I can listen to it all day long if they made that many shows. It usually airs on weekend afternoons. Check the schedule in your area for show timings. All the old shows are available at their website and can be listened to using real player.
November 14, 2004
Thought of the day
"Not guilty" is not the same as innocent.
November 11, 2004
OK. So, finally, they figured out that Arafat is dead. That news brought on more violence. I don't understand why...
Three Palestinians were killed, at least two of them gunmen, in fighting that erupted when militants from an armed group in Arafat's Fatah (news - web sites) faction attacked a Jewish settlement in central Gaza after learning of the Palestinian leader's death.
Another Palestinian was killed in stonethrowing clashes in the West Bank, Palestinian medics said.
The al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades said the attack against the heavily fortified Netzarim settlement signaled a new round of clashes against Israel to avenge the death of the 75-year-old Palestinian leader who came to symbolize his people's cause.
What is wrong with these people? They are acting as if Israel assasinated Arafat. Do they get their news from palestinian "Fox News"?
November 10, 2004
the best joke ever...
Now, this is the best bloody blonde joke I ever read. Couldn't stop laughing for hours.
November 09, 2004
The Scott Peterson case is such a freaking waste of time and money. I can't believe I am writing about about it. I think they should just execute everyone involved with this case. Start with Scott and all the lawyers (of course!!) and don't even spare members of the jury and the judge.
Dead or alive?
What the hell... Is it so hard to figure out if a person is dead or alive?
November 08, 2004
Awesomely bad movies
Watched the Saturday afternoon Indian programs on International Channel after a long time.
According AVS TV show, these five are "awesomely bad movies":
It must have been very tough to choose only 5, considering 99.9% of all Hindi movies made are bad. Maybe, if I watch these, I won't criticise other Hindi movies.
Also saw preview of 'hulchul' starring Akshaye Khanna. He seems to have grown a lot of new hair. Would like to know if it is a hair transplant or result of using Rogaine or some ayurvedic medication.
NCAA Football 2004 week #10
Was a tough week. Nebraska lost to Iowa State. I was expecting an easy win before they get gored by Oklahoma. Now, Oklahoma game gets more interesting. Hopefully, huskers are all ready to come back after that embarassing loss. Oklahoma is not playing that well. They have been very lucky last couple of weeks and won very close games. If they don't get a huge lead in the first half, it could be an interesting game.
Texas continued their march by beating Oklahoma State. They are ranked #6 in the BCS now. So, if they don't lose their remaining two games, they have a sure BCS bowl birth. Auburn is playing Georgia next week. One of the top 5 slots is going to open up.
Tennessee lost to Notre Dame in a big upset. The whole state of Tennessee must be hanging their collective head in shame. It couldn't get any worse than this. They have two easy games to finish off the season. Hopefully, they won't lose to Vanderbilt.
Purdue continued on its losing streak. They won the first 5 games but, have lost the next 4. At the end of week 5, they were ranked in top 10. It is almost like two different teams were playing two halves of the season.
Miami hurricanes lost second game in a row. This time they lost to Clemson in a close OT game.
Florida State coach Bobby Bowden turned 75 today and is still going strong. They may win the ACC championship.
Can't believe NCAA football season is coming close to finish. Only two more regular season games left. :(
November 05, 2004
Michael Moore on election results
Check out Michael Moore's website for his thoughts on the results of the elections.
Ok, it sucks. Really sucks. But before you go and cash it all in, let's, in
the words of Monty Python, 'always look on the bright side of life!' There
IS some good news from Tuesday's election.
Here are 17 reasons not to slit your wrists:
1. It is against the law for George W. Bush to run for president again.
2. Bush's victory was the NARROWEST win for a sitting president since
Woodrow Wilson in 1916.
3. The only age group in which the majority voted for Kerry was young adults
(Kerry: 54%, Bush: 44%), proving once again that your parents are always
wrong and you should never listen to them.
4. In spite of Bush's win, the majority of Americans still think the
country is headed in the wrong direction (56%), think the war wasn't worth fighting (51%), and don't approve of the job George W. Bush is doing (52%). (Note to foreigners: Don't try to figure this one out. It's an American thing, like Pop Tarts.)
5. The Republicans will not have a filibuster-proof 60-seat majority in the
Senate. If the Democrats do their job, Bush won't be able to pack the
Supreme Court with right-wing ideologues. Did I say "if the Democrats do
their job?" Um, maybe better to scratch this one.
6. Michigan voted for Kerry! So did the entire Northeast, the birthplace of
our democracy. So did 6 of the 8 Great Lakes States. And the whole West
Coast! Plus Hawaii. Ok, that's a start. We've got most of the fresh water,
all of Broadway, and Mt. St. Helens. We can dehydrate them or bury them in
lava. And no more show tunes!
7. Once again we are reminded that the buckeye is a nut, and not just any
old nut -- a poisonous nut. A great nation was felled by a poisonous nut.
May Ohio State pay dearly this Saturday when it faces Michigan.
8. 88% of Bush's support came from white voters. In 50 years, America will
no longer have a white majority. Hey, 50 years isn't such a long time! If
you're ten years old and reading this, your golden years will be truly
golden and you will be well cared for in your old age.
9. Gays, thanks to the ballot measures passed on Tuesday, cannot get married
in 11 new states. Thank God. Just think of all those wedding gifts we won't
have to buy now.
10. Five more African Americans were elected as members of Congress,
including the return of Cynthia McKinney of Georgia. It's always good to
have more blacks in there fighting for us and doing the job our candidates
11. The CEO of Coors was defeated for Senate in Colorado. Drink up!
12. Admit it: We like the Bush twins and we don't want them to go away.
13. At the state legislative level, Democrats picked up a net of at least 3
chambers in Tuesday's elections. Of the 98 partisan-controlled state
legislative chambers (house/assembly and senate), Democrats went into the
2004 elections in control of 44 chambers, Republicans controlled 53
chambers, and 1 chamber was tied. After Tuesday, Democrats now control 47
chambers, Republicans control 49 chambers, 1 chamber is tied and 1 chamber
(Montana House) is still undecided.
14. Bush is now a lame duck president. He will have no greater moment than
the one he's having this week. It's all downhill for him from here on out --
and, more significantly, he's just not going to want to do all the hard work
that will be expected of him. It'll be like everyone's last month in 12th
grade -- you've already made it, so it's party time! Perhaps he'll treat the
next four years like a permanent Friday, spending even more time at the
ranch or in Kennebunkport. And why shouldn't he? He's already proved his
point, avenged his father and kicked our ass.
15. Should Bush decide to show up to work and take this country down a very
dark road, it is also just as likely that either of the following two
scenarios will happen: a) Now that he doesn't ever need to pander to the
Christian conservatives again to get elected, someone may whisper in his ear
that he should spend these last four years building "a legacy" so that
history will render a kinder verdict on him and thus he will not push for
too aggressive a right-wing agenda; or b) He will become so cocky and
arrogant -- and thus, reckless -- that he will commit a blunder of such
major proportions that even his own party will have to remove him from
16. There are nearly 300 million Americans -- 200 million of them of voting
age. We only lost by three and a half million! That's not a landslide -- it
means we're almost there. Imagine losing by 20 million. If you had 58 yards
to go before you reached the goal line and then you barreled down 55 of
those yards, would you stop on the three yard line, pick up the ball and go
home crying -- especially when you get to start the next down on the three
yard line? Of course not! Buck up! Have hope! More sports analogies are
17. Finally and most importantly, over 55 million Americans voted for the
candidate dubbed "The #1 Liberal in the Senate." That's more than the total
number of voters who voted for either Reagan, Bush I, Clinton or Gore.
Again, more people voted for Kerry than Reagan. If the media are looking for
a trend it should be this -- that so many Americans were, for the first time
since Kennedy, willing to vote for an out-and-out liberal. The country has
always been filled with evangelicals -- that is not news. What IS news is
that so many people have shifted toward a Massachusetts liberal. In fact,
that's BIG news. Which means, don't expect the mainstream media, the ones
who brought you the Iraq War, to ever report the real truth about November
2, 2004. In fact, it's better that they don't. We'll need the element of
surprise in 2008.
Feeling better? I hope so. As my friend Mort wrote me yesterday, "My
Romanian grandfather used to say to me, 'Remember, Morton, this is such a
wonderful country -- it doesn't even need a president!'"
But it needs us. Rest up, I'll write you again tomorrow.
November 04, 2004
Today, a day after re-election of George W Bush was officially announced, two op-ed articles appeared in the . One by Maureen Dowd, who is at her vitriolic best, criticising Americans for electing Bush even after he did such a bad job in the first four years. The other one is by Thomas Friedman who talks about how this election redefines what America is. Both the articles are good reads.
Here are some of the newly elected members of the US Senate (Taken from Dowd's column):
Tom Coburn, the new senator from Oklahoma, has advocated the death penalty for doctors who perform abortions and warned that "the gay agenda" would undermine the country. He also characterized his race as a choice between "good and evil" and said he had heard there was "rampant lesbianism" in Oklahoma schools.
Jim DeMint, the new senator from South Carolina, said during his campaign that he supported a state G.O.P. platform plank banning gays from teaching in public schools. He explained, "I would have given the same answer when asked if a single woman who was pregnant and living with her boyfriend should be hired to teach my third-grade children."
John Thune, who toppled Tom Daschle, is an anti-abortion Christian conservative - or "servant leader," as he was hailed in a campaign ad - who supports constitutional amendments banning flag burning and gay marriage.
My favorite quote from the Friedman article:
This was not an election. This was station identification. I'd bet anything that if the election ballots hadn't had the names Bush and Kerry on them but simply asked instead, "Do you watch Fox TV or read The New York Times?" the Electoral College would have broken the exact same way.
November 03, 2004
Fire Ty Willingham
A couple of weeks ago, I made a post about NCAA football and wrote that Notre Dame will probably fire Ty Willingham. I have been seeing a lot of hits coming to my blog through search engines (Yahoo and Google) with words "Fire Ty Willingham". Looks like Notre Dame fans are totally pissed at him and want to blame him for their team's poor performance and want him out. How many coaches will they fire before they realise that their whole football program is in trouble? How long will they live on those stories from past about their greatness?
Interestingly, this post will be hit by those looking for "Fire Ty Willingham", too. :)
Four more years
It looks like USA is going to get four more years of W. Presidential comedy continues.
I didn't care much for Kerry so, him losing doesn't feel too bad. If it was Howard Dean, it would have saddened me. Maybe, democrats made a mistake in choosing their candidate.
Bush in the White house and republican held congress and senate is good for the pharma industry and hence for me personally. Probably will get some more tax cuts. That is good. On the other hand, I could be put in jail for no reason by John Ashcroft.
Over the next four years, Bush will have to face the consequences of all the mess he has created in Iraq. So, it is good in that sense. Situation in Iraq is going to get much more complicated in the coming years.
Other election issues:
- 11 states (including Michigan) approved a gay marriage ban. This is so retarded.
- Californians voted to pay ($3billion) for stem cell research. Excellent!!!
November 02, 2004
Kerry win predicted...
Following two indicators predict a win for Kerry...
- Green Bay Packers beat Washington Redskins on Sunday. A loss for Redskins on Sunday before the election has always followed by the incumbent President losing the election. Thanks Brett Favre, Ahman Green and Co.
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 10035; way below 10281 where it was 2 months ago. If Dow closes lower than where it was two months ago, that has always (92% of times) translated into a loss for the incumbent and a higher Dow always resulted in the incumbent getting reelected.
But, I am not sure if we'll know who won the election for at least another week.
November 01, 2004
Florida voting machine
I am sure everyone has seen this by now considering that I received this forward seven times in last couple of weeks. If you want to get the voting experience in Florida, check it out...