Wednesday, August 31, 2005

On Language, Identity and Linguistic Chauvinism.

I got to thinking today about what we mean by a national language? Does such a concept mean anything at all in a multicultural, multilingual nationa like ours? The whole issue started of with someone complaining that the posting of notices in regional languages rather that English is offensive because it excludes all people not knowing that particular language. Now, this again sparked of the age old debate of the Rashtrabhasha, which makes me wonder, what is the significance of Hindi in the National context? Sure, with around 40% of the nation speaking it as their first language and another 10% understanding the language it is by far the most spoken language in the country, and given that these figures are from the '91 census, I suppose that Bollywood & Doordarshan may have made Hindi speakers a small but definite majority, but is that reason enough to force the other half to learn the language?

Then there is the weirder question of what exactly is the status of English? Spoken by 11% of the nation according to the '91 census, definitely a larger figure today, and still growing. Left behind as the unwanted legacy of a foreign oppressor, unwanted and suspect, it has managed to cling on in the nation and now as we slowly realise that with the Internet, that this knowledge of English has turned out to be a boon with a lot of outsourcing and BPO, stuff English is only going to strengthen it's hold on the nation. I think it is time we realised that English is as much an Indian language as any other and moved on to institutionalise this Indian English.

Methinks mine somnulence is making me very very incoherent now,
More on this later.


Monday, August 29, 2005

Is there, for honest poverty, that hangs his head, and a' that?

My favourite song, by Robert Burns : Do I need a Reason to put up things on this blog??

Is there, for honest poverty,
That hangs his head, and a' that?
The coward-slave, we pass him by,
We dare be poor for a' that!
For a' that, and a' that,
Our toils obscure, and a' that;
The rank is but the guinea-stamp,
The man's the gowd for a' that!

What tho' on hamely fare we dine,
Wear hoddin grey, and a' that;
Gi'e fools their silks, and knaves their wine
A man's a man for a' that!
For a' that, and a' that,
Their tinsel show, and a' that;
The honest man, though e'er sae poor,
Is king o' men for a' that!

Ye see yon birkie, ca'd a lord,
Wha struts, and stares, and a' that;
Though hundreds worship at his word,
He's but a coof for a' that;
For a' that, and a' that,
His riband, star, and a' that,
The man of independent mind
He looks and laughs at a' that!

A prince can mak' a belted knight,
A marquis, duke, and a' that,
But an honest man's aboon his might,
Guid faith he mauna fa' that!
For a' that, and a' that,
Their dignities, and a' that,
The pith o' sense, and pride o' worth,
Are higher ranks than a' that.

Then let us pray that come it may---
As come it will for a' that---
That sense and worth, o'er a' the earth,
May bear the gree, and a' that;
For a' that, and a' that,
It's comin' yet for a' that,
That man to man, the world o'er,
Shall brothers be for a' that!

On Random Thoughts in the Morning

The sunshine is gone,
Can Anyone drive away the:
The Cold Shivers of Death?

On the creation of new rarely updated blogs

I realised that the more work I have to do, the more I tend to waste my time. As a corollary of the above statement, the fact that I have to complete a lab Report today means that I up and started a quizzing blog : African or European. Well anyway, check it out if you either have time, or are into quizzing, and let me know.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

On The Rogers Indicator of Multiple Intelligences

My result, interestingly I scored higher on verbal/linguistic than mathematical. Should I switch disciplines??

You scored as Verbal/Linguistic. You have highly developed auditory skills, enjoy reading and writing and telling stories, and are good at getting your point across. You learn best by saying and hearing words. People like you include poets, authors, speakers, attorneys, politicians, lecturers and teachers.















The Rogers Indicator of Multiple Intelligences
created with

On webcomics and a weird sense of humour

Reading this post on George's Blog led me to thinking that it might be a good idea to post the list of webcomics on my own regular list. So here goes:

  • PX! or PandaXpress is as the creators themselves put it, "a story about a girl and her Panda". It's a hilariously funny webcomic, which begins with a large number of seemingly unrelated story threads which reminds me of snoopy's It was a dark and stormy night ... The artwork is splendid and script funny in a quirky kind of way. It's at #1 on my webcomic list

  • Piled Higher and Deeper is a nice webcomic about PhD grads, that pretty much everyon in college or at least those planning for a PhD have heard of, nice humour and decent artwork. The artist, Jorge Cham also started a strip entitled Jenny Jetpack about the life of a young preteen girl in a Jetsons-like future, but that project seems to have fizzled out after the first few strips.

  • One Over Zero any comic which starts with the disclaimer ``I fully endorse whatever nonsense happens to come up here" has gotta be interesting. This was one of the first comics to base itself on the central idea of breaking the fourth wall. An interesting comic about philosophy, existence, the nature of knowledge and suchlike stuff, without getting too boring. Truly an internet-age classic.

  • Questionable Content as George puts it ``follows the life and adventures (?) of Marten Reed, his AnthroPC PintSize (kinda like a robot) and his various friends''. It deal a lot on US pop stereotypes, it's getting a bit repetitive and predicatble nowadays but still pretty entertaining. Another pretty similar(but older) comic Something Positive was the first webcomic I started following, though It got boring after a year or so.

  • Casey and Andy, Another webcomic I recently discovered, which totally rocks. The artwork is pretty bad, but the storyline and the perfect mix of science-relegion-scifi-fantasy more than makes up for that. It's the tale of the adventures of two mad-scientists/programmers one of whom is dating a female Satan(she has many forms), a police officer, styled after holmes, who knows everything except bovine dentistry, which he's currently learning, and many other psychotic characters.

  • Hell's Corners, Another truly weird comic about a geeky guy who dies, goes to hell, and find out it's totally different from what anyone led him to expect. A nice take on Dante's Inferno. [it's updated pretty irregularly nowadays, but it's worth reading the archives at least]

  • Jellaby A really cute story about a young girl and her monster, by the same guys who brought you Salamander Dream.

  • Copper A comic worth checking out simply for the stellar artwork. The author Kazu, is the main guy who brought out the Flight anthologies. Made all the more fun by the fact that the content is extremely good as well. It's basically about the boy Copper, and his dog Fred and somehow reminds me of Calvin and Hobbes, only with the roles reversed.

  • With Gusto an interesting site, with funny captions on a lot of 70s/80s style artwork.

  • The Dark Him, a nice parody of noir comics/graphic novels. Very witty in a macabre sort of way

  • Passages for Lost Clouds is a collection of really weird surreal sketches, which is somehow beautiful in a poetic way

  • 55 word stories, an iteresting idea. Write a story in 55 words.

Some more interesting Web Comics that I'm too lazy to write descriptions of, definitely worth checking out though:

Some comics/manga related to the game of Go

That's all for now folks, visit again for more enlightenment.
Feel free to drop by any other interesting Comics in comments