Sunday, September 24, 2006

Things I will miss if the Internet ever replaced books in the future.

IQ, on his blog MisEntropy, writes that books would meet their nemesis and would die out in a few decades.

If that were ever to come true, I would miss -

1. The smell of a new book
2. Finding people's names in second hand ones
3. Bookshelves that are just waiting to be raided
4. Colorful bookmarks
5. Curling up with hot chocolate and a good fat novel
6. Pressing roses and leaves and finding them years later
7. Reading under a blanket with a tiny flashlight after everyone's gone to sleep

What would you miss?

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Top 40 Magazine Covers

Compiled by the American Society of Magazine Editors, this list chronicles the top 40 magazine covers of the last 40 years.

The 25 Worst Websites

A list compiled by PC World who promise "no one is safe from our look at the world's dumbest dot-coms and silliest sites."

The World's Most Misnamed Websites

Copy-pasted from a forward from Vinod D'sa (somebody ask him to join us, no?)

Everyone knows that if you are going to operate a business in today's world you need a domain name. It is advisable to look at the domain name selected as others see it and not just as you think it looks. Failure to do this may result in situations such as the following legitimate companies who deal in everyday humdrum products and services but clearly didn't give their domain names enough consideration.

1. A site called 'Who Represents'. Here you can find the name of the agent that represents a celebrity. Their domain name <>

2. Experts Exchange, a knowledge base where programmers can exchange advice and views at

3. Looking for a pen? Look no further than Pen Island <>

4. Need a therapist? Try Therapist Finder at www.therapistfinder.com

5. Then of course, there's the Italian Power Generator <>

6. And now, we have the Mole Station Native Nursery, based in New SouthWales:

7. If you're looking for computer software, there's <>

8. Welcome to the First Cumming Methodist Church. Their website

9. Then, of course, there are these brainless art designers, and their wacky website: <>

10. Want to holiday in Lake Tahoe? Try their brochure website

Monday, September 18, 2006

Top Ten Flea Markets in the World

"Flea Markets are places where you can find hidden gems. It’s simply too hard to describe the euphoria you experience when stumbling upon an accidental treasure at a flea market. There are countless of flea markets around the world, and Discovery Travel and Living brings you the best of them."

Current Account Balance Of Countries

A list of 150 countries and their current account balance compiled by the CIA. If you scroll down to the very end, you'll find the US with the largest current account deficit of anyone in the world.

Monday, September 11, 2006

My current 5 favourite random quotes

I wanted to buy a candle holder, but the store didn't have one. So I got a cake.
- Mitch Hedberg

An original idea. That can't be too hard. The library must be full of them.
- Stephen Fry

Friendship's more lasting than love, and more legal than stalking.
- Jane on ‘Coupling’

There's no rehab for stupidity.
- Chris Rock

People would take pains to tell her that beauty was only skin-deep, as if a man ever fell for an attractive pair of kidneys.
- Terry Pratchett

Friday, September 08, 2006

Designs That'll Never Grow Old

Ten Things They Never Taught Me in Design School

1. Talent is one-third of the success equation.
Talent is important in any profession, but it is no guarantee of success. Hard work and luck are equally important. Hard work means self-discipline and sacrifice. Luck means, among other things, access to power, whether it is social contacts or money or timing. In fact, if you are not very talented, you can still succeed by emphasizing the other two. If you think I am wrong, just look around.

2. 95 percent of any creative profession is shit work.
Only 5 percent is actually, in some simplistic way, fun. In school that is what you focus on; it is 100 percent fun. Tick-tock. In real life, most of the time there is paper work, drafting boring stuff, fact-checking, negotiating, selling, collecting money, paying taxes, and so forth. If you don’t learn to love the boring, aggravating, and stupid parts of your profession and perform them with diligence and care, you will never succeed.

3. If everything is equally important, then nothing is very important.
You hear a lot about details, from “Don’t sweat the details” to “God is in the details.” Both are true, but with a very important explanation: hierarchy. You must decide what is important, and then attend to it first and foremost. Everything is important, yes. But not everything is equally important. A very successful real estate person taught me this. He told me, “Watch King Rat. You’ll get it.”

4. Don’t over-think a problem.
One time when I was in graduate school, the late, great Steven Izenour said to me, after only a week or so into a ten-week problem, “OK, you solved it. Now draw it up.” Every other critic I ever had always tried to complicate and prolong a problem when, in fact, it had already been solved. Designers are obsessive by nature. This was a revelation. Sometimes you just hit it. The thing is done. Move on.

5. Start with what you know; then remove the unknowns.
In design this means “draw what you know.” Start by putting down what you already know and already understand. If you are designing a chair, for example, you know that humans are of predictable height. The seat height, the angle of repose, and the loading requirements can at least be approximated. So draw them. Most students panic when faced with something they do not know and cannot control. Forget about it. Begin at the beginning. Then work on each unknown, solving and removing them one at a time. It is the most important rule of design. In Zen it is expressed as “Be where you are.” It works.

6. Don’t forget your goal.
Definition of a fanatic: Someone who redoubles his effort after forgetting his goal. Students and young designers often approach a problem with insight and brilliance, and subsequently let it slip away in confusion, fear and wasted effort. They forget their goals, and make up new ones as they go along. Original thought is a kind of gift from the gods. Artists know this. “Hold the moment,” they say. “Honor it.” Get your idea down on a slip of paper and tape it up in front of you.

7. When you throw your weight around, you usually fall off balance.
Overconfidence is as bad as no confidence. Be humble in approaching problems. Realize and accept your ignorance, then work diligently to educate yourself out of it. Ask questions. Power – the power to create things and impose them on the world – is a privilege. Do not abuse it, do not underestimate its difficulty, or it will come around and bite you on the ass. The great Karmic wheel, however slowly, turns.

8. The road to hell is paved with good intentions; or, no good deed goes unpunished.
The world is not set up to facilitate the best any more than it is set up to facilitate the worst. It doesn’t depend on brilliance or innovation because if it did, the system would be unpredictable. It requires averages and predictables. So, good deeds and brilliant ideas go against the grain of the social contract almost by definition. They will be challenged and will require enormous effort to succeed. Most fail. Expect to work hard, expect to fail a few times, and expect to be rejected. Our work is like martial arts or military strategy: Never underestimate your opponent. If you believe in excellence, your opponent will pretty much be everything.

9. It all comes down to output.
No matter how cool your computer rendering is, no matter how brilliant your essay is, no matter how fabulous your whatever is, if you can’t output it, distribute it, and make it known, it basically doesn’t exist. Orient yourself to output. Schedule output. Output, output, output. Show Me The Output.

10. The rest of the world counts.
If you hope to accomplish anything, you will inevitably need all of the people you hated in high school. I once attended a very prestigious design school where the idea was “If you are here, you are so important, the rest of the world doesn’t count.” Not a single person from that school that I know of has ever been really successful outside of school. In fact, most are the kind of mid-level management drones and hacks they so despised as students. A suit does not make you a genius. No matter how good your design is, somebody has to construct or manufacture it. Somebody has to insure it. Somebody has to buy it. Respect those people. You need them. Big time.

- Michael McDonough
Michael McDonough, award-winning architect and industrial designer, consults world-wide on corporate futurism, personal environments, and product development. His design philosophy is rooted in systems convergence theory, synthesizing traditional and modern design, emphasizing new materials and sustainable technologies.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

My current 5 favourite bits of movie dialogue

Avi: Should I call you Bullet? Tooth?
Bullet Tooth Tony: You can call me Susan if it makes you happy.
- Snatch

Jack Sparrow: Stop! Not good! What are you doing? You burned all the food, the shade... the rum!
Elizabeth: Yes, the rum is gone.
Jack Sparrow: Why is the rum gone?
Elizabeth: One; because it is a vile drink that turns even the most respectable men into complete scoundrels. Two; that signal is over a thousand feet high. The entire royal navy is out looking for me, do you think there is even the slightest chance they wont see it?
Jack Sparrow: But why is the rum gone?
- Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

C. S. Divot: You mashuga!
Hrundi V. Bakshi: I am not your sugar.
- The Party

Clouseau: Now, this time I'm going to stand on your shoulders!
Cato: What good will that do?
Clouseau: Because I'm taller than you are, you fool!
- Revenge of the Pink Panther

Tyler Durden: You know why they put oxygen masks on planes?
Narrator: So you can breathe.
Tyler Durden: Oxygen gets you high. In a catastrophic emergency, you're taking giant panicked breaths. Suddenly you become euphoric, docile. You accept your fate. It's all right here. (pointing at the emergency instruction manual) Emergency water landing - 600 miles an hour. Blank faces, calm as Hindu cows.
- Fight Club

Top 5 lists on you T-shirt

Check out T-lists - what this blog would have ended up becoming in some time. Or so I'd like to believe :)

Sunday, September 03, 2006

List of Bests

Found another list website where you can
1. Create a list of your favorite products, places, people, goals, food, etc
2. Mark off your progress on an existing list
3. Compare your progress on a list with someone else

Friday, September 01, 2006

5 (of the million things) to do in Mumbai

1 The Kalaghoda Fair The art district around the Jehangir Art Gallery transforms into a huge open air gallery filled with colour. The whole thing looks like an installation.

2. Leopold's Stroll in with a copy of Shantaram, then identify the characters around you.

3. Bandra Sausages, mini skirts, coffee, sailor boys home for the holidays, the Saints, fresh bread, quaint roads.

4. Prithvi Never been here. But I intend to. In exactly 24 hours :)

5. Chor Bazaar Ah, bliss. Walk around collecting nonsense you'll regret the next day. Hey! But no, wait, there are some great finds here as well.