Monday, December 31, 2007

(Claire stands up on the sign. She looks at West, then she falls – her arms outstretched in front of her. After a moment, West catches her.)

CLAIRE: You caught me.
WEST: Of course I did.
CLAIRE: But I would've been fine.
WEST: I know you can heal, Claire. But I never want to see you hurt.

Heroes, Episode # 204

Sunday, December 30, 2007

"Out of every hundred new ideas ninety-nine or more will probably be inferior to the traditional responses which they propose to replace. No one man, however brilliant or well-informed, can come in one lifetime to such fullness of understanding as to safely judge and dismiss the customs or institutions of his society, for these are the wisdom of generations after centuries of experiment in the laboratory of history."

Will Durant, The Lessons of History

Friday, December 28, 2007

As soon as i began watching Jal's new video 'Sajni', i immediately recalled the video of 'I don't love you' by My Chemical Romance. The resemblance of the scenes in which the girl is standing beneath the tree is striking... and i doubt that it can be a result of mere coincidence. See for yourself:

Jal - Sajni:

My Chemical Romance - I don't love you:

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

"What you discover on your own is always more exciting than what someone else discovers for you - it's like the difference between romantic love and an arranged marriage."

Terrence Rafferty

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

* Mr. Bennet: I could never love you enough.
Sandra: You do fine.

* Linderman: There comes a time when a man has to ask himself whether he wants a life of happiness or a life of meaning.
Nathan: I'd like to have both.
Linderman: Can't be done. Two very different paths. To be truly happy, a man must live absolutely in the present, no thought of what's gone before and no thought of what lies ahead. But a life with meaning, a man is condemned to wallow in the past and obsess about the future.
Heroes, Episode # 118

Such a sweet song. :)
It only happens once - not twice
the moments vanishing like mice,
scurrying past, life much too fast,
and only for the very brave, the strong, the true,
and when the moment comes for you,
don't let it pass you by,
for in the twinkling of an eye, the love is gone,
the moment dead,
an empty ringing in your head,
your heart will know when fate has whispered
in your ear...oh, never fear, beloved friend,
for in the end it's worth the price, the fee, the cost,
when all is lost, but love is won,
when true love comes, there is but one.

Danielle Steel

[Courtesy of Mehreen; thanks!]

Monday, December 24, 2007

The seven great ‘medical myths’
By Peter Griffiths

LONDON - Reading in dim light won’t damage your eyes, you don’t need eight glasses of water a day to stay healthy and shaving your legs won’t make the hair grow back faster.
These well-worn theories are among seven “medical myths” exposed in a paper published on Friday in the British Medical Journal, which traditionally carries light-hearted features in its Christmas edition.
Two U.S. researchers took seven common beliefs and searched the archives for evidence to support them.
Despite frequent mentions in the popular press of the need to drink eight glasses of water, they found no scientific basis for the claim.
The complete lack of evidence has been recorded in a study published the American Journal of Psychology, they said.
The other six “myths” are:

*Reading in dim light ruins your eyesight
The majority of eye experts believe it is unlikely to do any permanent damage, but it may make you squint, blink more and have trouble focusing, the researchers said.

*Shaving makes hair grow back faster or coarser
It has no effect on the thickness or rate of hair regrowth, studies say. But stubble lacks the finer taper of unshaven hair, giving the impression of coarseness.

*Eating turkey makes you drowsy
It does contain an amino acid called tryptophan that is involved in sleep and mood control. But turkey has no more of the acid than chicken or minced beef. Eating lots of food and drink at Christmas are probably the real cause of sleepiness.

*We use only 10 percent of our brains
This myth arose as early as 1907 but imaging shows no area of the brain is silent or completely inactive.

*Hair and fingernails continue to grow after death
This idea may stem from ghoulish novels. The researchers said the skin dries out and retracts after death, giving the appearance of longer hair or nails.

*Mobile phones are dangerous in hospitals
Despite widespread concerns, studies have found minimal interference with medical equipment.

The research was conducted by Aaron Carroll, an assistant professor of pediatrics at the Regenstrief Institute, Indianapolis, and Rachel Vreeman, fellow in children’s health services research at Indiana University School of Medicine.

"He who asks the questions cannot avoid the answers."
Cameron Proverb

So think before you inquire. :)

Sunday, December 23, 2007

'I asked my music-history class the question, "What is music?" I introduced the subject by showing a video of American composer John Cage describing his silent piano composition, 4'33'' - so named because it was four minutes and 33 seconds long. After composing it, he erased the notes from his score as a way of compelling others to think critically about what they consider "music".
I was amused by one student's submission. She wrote a five-page essay, and then erased every word with white-out.'

P. Janson, Reader's Digest, Campus Comedy, Dec 1997

Friday, December 21, 2007

Muhammad Awais Aftab

And there she stood
A mere child
With all that snow around
The desire to create a snowman
Beating in her heart, profound
So, she rolled the balls of ice
And made the body and head
And for the pointing nose
She chose a carrot red
Two dark coals for the eyes
A curved twig for the smile
Two branches for the long arms
And a hat and scarf for style
And there she stood
At night, looking at it in awe
With the love of a creator
Not a single flaw she saw
And she prayed and prayed to God
With an intensity unknown
To give life to this man of snow
And make it her very own
And there she stood
Weeping to see it melt
To her prayers
A death-blow dealt
As it softened
And thawed
Into an amorphous mass
Of watery snow
Her eyes shimmering
With the tears' flow!

[Published in Us Magazine today.]

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

"There is a theory which states that if anybody ever discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened."

Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

"Love is the only sane and satisfactory answer to the problem of human existence."
Erich Fromm

Monday, December 17, 2007

Claire: I'm finally realizing who my friends really are. And that maybe being different isn't the end of the world. That's just who I am.
Zach: Exactly, you gotta embrace your inner freak. Because the only thing that you'll regret is denying who you really are.

Heroes, Episode # 109

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Russell's witticisms at his best! Leaves me laughing whenever i read it:

"Although we are taught the Copernican astronomy in our textbooks, it has not yet penetrated to our religion or our morals, and has not even succeeded in destroying belief in astrology. People still think that the Divine Plan has special reference to human beings, and that a special Providence not only looks after the good, but also punishes the wicked. I am sometimes shocked by the blasphemies of those who think themselves pious-for instance, the nuns who never take a bath without wearing a bathrobe all the time. When asked why, since no man can see them, they reply: 'Oh, but you forget the good God.' Apparently they conceive of the Deity as a Peeping Tom, whose omnipotence enables Him to see through bathroom walls, but who is foiled by bathrobes. This view strikes me as curious." [Unpopular Essays]

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Paulo Coelho posts a link of this blog on his own blog!

This quest. This need to solve life's mysteries. In the end, what does it matter? When the human heart can only find meaning in the smallest of moments?

Heroes, Episode # 101
Hold me
Like you held on to life
When all fears came alive and entombed me
Love me
Like you love the sun
Scorching the blood in my vampire heart

HIM, Vampire Heart

Friday, December 14, 2007

My favourite scene from the movie Becoming Jane: a conversation between the young Jane Austen and mischievous Thomas Lefroy, who makes her aware of what she lacks as an author.

And this is what she says after she has read the book:

My article on the life, works and thoughts of Paulo Coelho, published in Us Magazine today:

Thursday, December 13, 2007

"I promised to tell you how one falls in love....

And then she began to read from The Histories -- the story of Candaules and his queen... There are several things one can say. Knowing that eventually I will become her lover, just as Gyges will be the queen's lover and murderer of Candaules. I would often open Herodotus for a clue to geography. But Katherine had done that as a window to her life. Her voice was wary as she read. Her eyes only on the page where the story was, as if she were sinking within quicksand while she spoke.

This is a story of how I fell in love with a woman, who read me a specific story from Herodotus. I heard the words she spoke across the fire, never looking up, even when she teased her husband. Perhaps she was just reading to him. Perhaps there was no ulterior motive in the selection except for themselves. It was simply a story that had jarred her in its familiarity of situation. But a path suddenly revealed itself in real life. Even though she had not conceived it as a first errant step in any way. I am sure.
She stopped readng and looked up. Out of the quicksand. She was evolving. So power changed hands. Meanwhile, with the help of an anectode, I fell in love.
Words, Caravaggio. They have a power."

Michael Ondaatje, The English Patient

Oh, isn't this an enchantingly spooky song!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

"The more i see it, the more i realize that there is no vehicle more expressive than the qing qi that has been roaming the city road for some years now.... The beauty of the vehicle is that it brings the people sitting on its rear side, exposing them from head to toe, face to face with those following behind. The exposure is such that a discerning follower can tell about the relationship of the people occupying the rear seat in a qing qi. And once the relationship has been established, with a slightly deeper look at body language etc., the follower may be able to say whether the insistent (and if you ask me rather undeserving) husband will succeed in getting an amnesty for his acts from the stern-looking wife and whether the boy's backbreaking accompanying journey would earn him the medal in chivalry he richly deserves."

Excerpted from Lahore Diary [The Dawn, December 10, 2007]

Monday, December 10, 2007

Russell writes about a friend:

"He inspired the deepest affection in almost everybody who knew him. I never knew but one woman who would not have been delighted to marry him. She, of course, was the only woman he wished to marry."
My story 'The Dawn' which won the Consolation Prize in short-story competition by Us Magazine:

Sunday, December 9, 2007

"I often quote myself. It adds spice to my conversation."
George Bernard Shaw

A song for all the gloomy, pessimistic souls out there:

Thursday, December 6, 2007

"Everything has returned to silence, but it isn't the same silence."

Jean-Paul Sartre, Nausea
Looking back at the past mistakes...

Alicia: I mean, I remember feeling angry and alone and doing all those things, but I don’t know, when I think about it now, it’s like... it’s like watching a movie, like it wasn’t even really me.
Clark: Maybe it wasn’t. Maybe this is the real you.

Smallville, Episode # 411
"Romantically she decided that love must surely reside in the gap between desire and fulfillment, in the lack, not the contentment. Love was the ache, the anticipation, the retreat, everything around it but the emotion itself."

Kiran Desai, The Inheritance of Loss

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Lana: You know, with you, everything seems like it's a secret.
Lex: What you may perceive as secrecy, I see as precautions.
Lana: I'm a big girl, Lex. I don't need precautions. I need the truth.
Lex: Sometimes we think we want the truth until we actually get it. Lana, if you want me to be honest with you, I will. But you're not going to like it.

Smallville, Episode 413

Drawn by Tabassum, appeared in this week's issue of Dawn magazine

This time all I want is you
There is no one else
Who can take your place
This time you burn me with your eyes
You see past all the lies
You take it all away
I've seen it all
And it's never enough
It keeps leaving me needing you

Take me away
Take me away
I've got nothing left to say
Just take me away

I try to make my way to you
But still I feel so lost
I don't know what else I can do
I've seen it all
And it's never enough
It keeps leaving me needing you

Take me away
Take me away
I've got nothing left to say
Just take me away

Lifehouse - Take Me Away

Monday, December 3, 2007

"Love is the child of illusion and the parent of disillusion."

Miguel de Unamuno
The end of November has witnessed the emergence of yet another international blasphemy case, which revolves around a Sudanese teddy bear and a British school-teacher Gillian Gibbons working at Unity High School in Sudan. She was arrested by the authorities under the accusation of insulting Islam and its Prophet by allowing her class to name a teddy bear as ‘Muhammad’.

From BBC News:

Ms Gibbons, who joined the school in August, asked a seven-year-old girl to bring in her teddy bear and asked the class to pick names for it, he said.
"They came up with eight names including Abdullah, Hassan and Muhammad," Mr Boulos said, adding that she then had the children vote on a name.
Twenty out of the 23 children chose Muhammad as their favourite name.
Mr Boulos said each child was then allowed to take the bear home at weekends and told to write a diary about what they did with it.
He said the children's entries were collected in a book with a picture of the bear on the cover and a message which read, "My name is Muhammad."

The government said that when some parents saw the book, they complained to the authorities. On Sunday, Ms. Gibbons was arrested. Several Muslim clerics in Sudan called for her to be whipped, while British diplomats said that she had made an innocent mistake and that she should be cleared.
Ms. Gibbons went to trial on Thursday, and after an all-day proceeding, the judge seemed to reach for a compromise by finding her guilty of insulting Islam but handing her a relatively light sentence. The government said she would be deported as soon as she was released.
It seems that Ms. Gibbons and the teddy bear became enmeshed in the larger struggle between the Sudanese government, which routinely accuses its Western critics of being anti-Islamic, and European and American officials pressing for an end to the crisis in Darfur.

From Wikipedia:

The school has been closed until January for the safety of pupils and staff as reprisals are feared. On November 28, 2007, it was reported that the teacher, Gillian Gibbons, had been formally charged under Section 125 of the Sudanese Criminal Act, for "insulting religion, inciting hatred and showing contempt for religious beliefs". This carries a maximum sentence of imprisonment, a fine, or 40 lashes.
On November 29, 2007, Gibbons was found guilty of "insulting religion", one of the three counts against her, and was sentenced to 15 days imprisonment and deportation. The Muslim Council of Britain, an umbrella organisation of British Muslim groups, has said the punishment is "completely unjustified" and has said it is "appalled", and called on the Sudanese government to intervene.
On November 30, protesters demanded Gibbon's execution after imams denounced her during Friday prayers. During the march, chants of "Shame, shame on the UK", "No tolerance - execution" and "Kill her, kill her by firing squad" were heard. However, the authenticity of protesters has been questioned. Witnesses have reported that the government is inciting protests by using government employees to start said protests.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

In 1929, two physicists Robert Atkinson and Fritz Houtermans (1903-1966) at Gottingen, Germany, forwarded the idea that nuclear reactions are a source of energy of stars. The day Houtermans wrote down the research paper he felt over-worked aand so went for a stroll with a pretty girl in the evening.
When it became dark and stars looked down upon them in all their splendour. 'Oh, stars! How beautiful! They shine beautifully, don't they dear?' the girl remarked romantically.
Houtermans could not contain himself. He thrust his chest out and said proudly, 'I've known since yesterday what makes them shine!' The girl might not have understood what he had remarked or its implications in science. Nevertheless she became Houtermans' wife later.

Excerpted from Folk Tales of Science by Dilip M. Salwi
Try to imagine a person who has no emotions and feelings at all. What meaning or purpose would his life revolve around? As far as i can judge: none. Because reason per se is not capable of generating a meaning in life. It is emotions which do so. Rationality is condemned to absurdism from the start. Logos might understand the universe better, but only mythos can make life worth-living.

They say to us
We live in the sands of time
Shapeless, nameless moments
But they don't know what we know
That all it takes is two hands joined
And they can turn the soil
Into the golden dust of love.

M. Awais Aftab

"Perhaps the most famous conference was the October 1927 Fifth Solvay International Conference on Electrons and Photons, where the world's most notable physicists met to discuss the newly formulated quantum theory. The leading figures were Albert Einstein and Niels Bohr. Einstein, disenchanted with Heisenberg's "Uncertainty Principle," remarked "God does not play dice." Bohr replied, "Einstein, stop telling God what to do." Seventeen of the twenty-nine attendees were or became Nobel Prize winners, including Marie Curie, who alone among them, had won Nobel Prizes in two separate scientific disciplines."
[From wikipedia:
Thanks to Tamoor for the picture!]

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