Saturday, November 18, 2006

Is Gmail = Ev(a)il = Immora(i)l ?

Is Gmail becoming Evil. Is it goin against its own *Mission* statment of, "do no evil" ???

Google claims to use all our data and information kept with them for any future purpose. It will share any non-identifiable portions of the information with anyone they choose. Even if we delete any mail from our inbox or even delete our account, the copies of our data would still remain on their systems !! It brags about never deleting anything from day One. Infact, if the ownership of google changes, the entire accumalation of information will now be accessible to its new owners.

Hmm now how safe is that? Is google getting a li'l too creepy ???

Check out the following links for more ...

Google mail is evil – privacy advocates
'Delete your Google cookie before and after'

Two Poems close to my heart !

Thought I'd share the two poems that are really close to my heart. Both of them, I had first read in School. They are both special because, both say alot... They are very meaningful..and I have learn alot from both.

(By Rudyard Kipling 1865-1936

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on";

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!

And the other,

Death Be Not Proud
(by John Donne 1572-1631)

DEATH be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadfull, for, thou art not so,
For, those, whom thou think'st, thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poore death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleepe, which but thy pictures bee,
Much pleasure, then from thee, much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee doe goe,
Rest of their bones, and soules deliverie.
Thou art slave to Fate, Chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poyson, warre, and sicknesse dwell,
And poppie, or charmes can make us sleepe as well,
And better then thy stroake; why swell'st thou then;
One short sleepe past, wee wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Time for Alice to return from the Wonderland !

(... Part II, of Alice in Wonderland)

Six months just passed in a whizz. Another month to go before i leave this place and go back to my home. As happy and excited I am, I am equally sad. This has been "my home". I remember the empty apartment i moved into. And now its a comfortable home if not posh. I have built it up. Made the "house" to "my home". I am so attached to it now. This place has taught me so much. Firstly being alone, it has made me stronger. Made me wiser to make my own decisions. Made me bolder to be on my own. Made me cautious since I am now alone and also made me independent.

So many things in this place fascinates me. As simple as Food. Am not much a foodie. Or maybe i should say "was" coz today I def. am. So much of variety. Be it in brands and flavors, in price, in taste and in types too.

Ice-creams and Puddings are my daily doze of nourishments. I might have not cooked food some days and lived only on Puddings and Ice creams. All you guys staying in US, try out the Vanilla Pudding. Its awwwwesome! You have,
Cakes: Cheese cakes, regular cakes.. .. ah! mind blowing.
Bread: Garlic Bread, cinamon bread, Plain wheat Bread.. all so Tasty.
Juices: Oranges, Apples, Lemon, Cranberry and many other flavors i haven't heard of.
Oh the list can go on..Well, I tried my best to stay away from Indian food and try all these delicacies.

Let me tell you the Funny and amusing thing I have noticed here.. Its that, the healthier foods like Green leafy vegetables, Tomatoes, Sprouts, they are all hell expensive compared to the junk food like Puddings, Ice-creams, Chocolates, Cakes.
Puddings will cost you 97Cents for a packet of 4, say in Wallmart and around $1.75 in Giant Eagle if you take the store brand leaving the others which are def. more.. While cheapest tomatoes cost $2.49/lb and Green leafy vegetables $3 for a small packet!!
Its like cooking healthy food is a luxury :-) Here comes the Best part: Sometimes these vegetables would be on sale :-) Yes, Imagine Sale for vegetables :-). How funny is that! Yes, I have bought Tomatoes only when they are on SALE !!!

The poor here can afford Cakes, cheese, butter, puddings while in India butter, cheese and cakes are nowhere close to what a poor man has for his meal.
Maybe thats why people here are FAT. They'd rather buy these junk food which are cheap and tasty (and Fatty !!) :-)

Now speaking of People.. there is so much of variety here too :-)
US is definitely a country of Immigrants. "Americans" are people who basically imigrated. Only the Red-Indians are the original Americans i guess.
So you will see different kinda people here in terms of religion, nationality and origin.
What i love about the people here is their way of talking. So calmly and kindly. They would praise you for anything good you say and feel sorry for anything not so good that you say.
I remember, I was talking to a friend here and I happened to mention about something which unfortunately I cannot re-collect. Which means it was'nt really important. But she exclaimed, "Oh Shradha, I am So SORRY so-n-so happened". I said to myself, "Hey its ok.. even m not sorry.. so why r u.. cmon chillax !!"

Infact, earlier when anyone whould greet and ask how you are with an expression that they r so concerned, it really bothered me, coz (1) They were really not concerned and (2) it was so damn Artificial !
Of course, now I am used to it and you shouldn't be surprised if I start talking in the same way to a stranger !!

But yes, this is also a way of respect they show to eachother by greeting. Just that I wish they weren't that artificial! This again applies to some "few" people not all!!

Another Classy thing... Everybody here is very well dressed. Ladies in cool leather jackets, smart sweaters, beautiful clothes and high heeled sandals and boots. Wow it is very impressive that women take so much care of themselves even when they r old and above 45. This is unlike women in India. Lately people might be stylish but most of them would not engage in spending time in taking care of their beauty.
Ah! another common thing here is the mobile... Poor, rich and of course stinking rich! You would see many of the women busy on their Blackberry. Even old ladies busy on their cell phones playing games or messaging someone or else chatting away. This is not what you would see in India. Especially old ladies using cell phones so easily.
Also, many of them, young and old,
will listen to their Mp3 Players mostly iPods, or are busy reading books. So, basically everone in the Tram you see are busy in their own things. Hardly anyone gossiping or talking. Its a nice and peaceful journey in the tram even when it is over crowded.

Well anyways.. ya, i did feel this place uncomfy at the start, But now, I LOVE IT. I am used to living with these people. I dont miss having Indian around me. Infact i never missed that part from the start. I am Ok with living with what we called "firangs" as long as i have friends. And yes I have made some friends too. So its hurts to say Good-Bye. I will miss the people, the city... and also The food !!!
I wish i could take back some good things from here back home. The style of living, the ethics, the respect for eachother and respect for eachother's views,.... not to forget All the Fooooood !!!!

"Wonderlands" dont last forever .. do they ??
Looks like, Alice's trip in a Wonderland will come to an end.. soon. :-(

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Falling in Love with Fall !!

Hey, Its that time of the year, the first of its kind I have ever seen.. Something that is so beautiful and well thought of, by Nature. When most of the trees, from the traditional green, turn into different shades of Yellow, Greens, Reds, Pinks and Orange. The view is just so beautiful. This is the first time I am seeing what "Fall" is.. I am in Love with this season. Nature has indeed groomed the trees so very well for this season !!!

Its so colorful around. The trees around are in so many vivid colors. You will see Yellow, Bright Yellow, Red, Orange, some in shades of various Reds and others which are evergreen stay green. The hill sides covered with trees now make the hill look colorful. It looks like a colorful carpet over the hills. Soon every leaf from the tree falls off and the tree stands tall .. totally bare.

I am just amazed by nature especially the Creator or nature for such a great peice of work. I wanna capture every beautiful scene I have seen, in my camera. I was not very good at photography but my skills have definitely bettered with time. I have placed a few snaps here for those who would like to see the beauty of Nature through my eyes. Hope you see the beauty as I see them and appreciate them all.

About Fall ?? .... Well it starts smwhere around the month of October n goes till the end of November. December 1st is when the official Winter starts here in US. However, temperatures during Fall do fall pretty low. For me, Its already winter!! The sun rises at almost 7.00am and sets by 5.00pm. By 6.30pm its pitch dark !!

The temperature now is ranging from 5 to 6 degrees C as minimum and 14 to 18 degree C would be maximum. When it is around 18, it is nice and sunny and yet you feel the cold breeze blowing. Its very pretty cold but for a change its nice and warm. However, Its seldom that temperature these days. Coz, as soon as it gets this warm, you can see the clouds and soon there are showers and the temperature goes back to being around 4 to 6 degrees C.

I did get to see some extermely low temperatures already. It has gone to as low as -2 to -3 degrees C during the day and even noon. Its been like this for a while now. Though yesterday has been the lowest so far being -8 degreeC.
No, Its not snowing. Something that I am looking out for most. Infact even at that temperature the sun is out and its Bright, Sunny... Cold and yet so Beautiful.
Well its still bearable at -8 degreesC if the wind is not blowing. If there is wind, even a 4degreesC feels like -10 degreesC. Oh that becomes unbearable then.

Its like this, even at -8, it does feels cold.. yet comfortable and nice. But if the wind is blowing, its not really possible to appreciate the weather coz the cold air blowing most of the time is pretty harsh & severe and somtimes uncomfy to breathe too.

Everytime the temperature is in minus, I am all excited that finally I will get to see snow. But till now... not been really lucky yet :-(
Well, Ok, couple of weeks back there was a li'l snow shower. Flurries as they call it here .. and Yes, It was finally my first snow experience. Totally worth it and really very Beautiful. But am waiting for the real sno where i can collect and throw on someone ;-) and make a snow man!

And what I also got to see last week was, the Hail storm. This version was very much a true hail storm and not like the fairly light one I have seen in Pune at times. Here there was wind blowing strong, all leaves from trees flying in the air. Heavy rain which was now also accompanied with Ice. There was rain falling from all directions due to the winds blowing hard.
The wet roads with ice was making it difficult for the cars to drive smoothly. You could hear them screech. All the cars that were parked were covered with ice. They all were white. It was scary for the first time that i experienced it. But like i said before, totally worth it :-)

For now I am glad the temperature is still not at its the worst... its a long way before that happens !

The leaves that were once green,
are now turning to yellow, red with oranges & pink in between.
Oh dear, these leaves will soon Fall,
And leave alone the bare tree, to stand tall!
The new leaves will now come back in spring,
And Evolution will yet again begin !
So much in awe, I am, with the beauty that Fall brings us,
The hills, they all look as if covered with carpet with vivid colors.
Oh so beautiful are your colors o Trees!
Will say the same thing he who sees!
Soon winter will arrive and snow will have everything white-out,
And then its just White is the only color that we can see n talk about!
Autumn, Its surely Mother Nature's one of the Best creation,
something so phenomenally n so perfectly done!

Friday, November 03, 2006

Love is in the Air !!!

This one is dedicated to someone I know.. who is so in love with the love she has found :-) !

When in Love, everything feels so nice and beautiful,
Everything around feels so calm and cool!
You see Beauty in everything around,
Hear Light Music in every sound.
You feel the waves dance as the water flows along the Bay,
Hear the Tree's sweet wisper as they begin to sway.
The night looks beautiful with the moon shining bright,
and Every moment of your life feels so Right!

You try to see right in ever wrong,
see the beauty in the words of ever song!
Your Life feels so complete to have him around,
and just wanna be with him forever as if Time were No bound.
When he is around you are so cheerful,
Life just seems so Colorful!
Just thnking of him makes you smile,
and you Miss him if he is away for a while!

He brings Happiness when you are Sad,
Cools off your anger when you are Mad.
Is your strength when you are weak
Is your voice when you cannot speak!

You are so confident coz he is with you,
and I am sure he is lucky to have found you too!
Never have I seen you this way before, my friend,
I wish this happiness in your life will never end!
When I see you, that how love has changed you,
I am Happy for you and that you've found your love so True!