Saturday, August 31, 2013

~ Steve McCurry: Photographer & Storyteller ~

A photographer is also a storyteller. The story doesn't end with a photograph, but extends beyond when they narrate it. Steve McCurry is one such photographer, who doesn't compromise on his vision. 

Here are few untold stories from his 30 years of professional career. 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

~ Woody Allen | What I've learned ~

Woody Allen has some good advice in life.

Dad's advice
My dad didn't even teach me how to shave — I learned that from a cabdriver. But the biggest lesson he imparted is that if you don't have your health, you have nothing. No matter how great things are going for you, if you have a toothache, if you have a sore throat, if you're nauseated, or, God forbid, you have some serious thing wrong with you — everything is ruined.
On marriage
It's been said about marriage "You have to know how to fight." And I think there's some wisdom to that. People who live together get into arguments. When you're younger, those arguments tend to escalate, or there's not any wisdom that overrides the argument to keep in perspective. It tends to get out of hand. When you're older, you realize, "Well, this argument will pass. We don't agree, but this is not the end of the world." Experience comes into play.
Final piece
It's just an accident that we happen to be on earth, enjoying our silly little moments, distracting ourselves as often as possible so we don't have to really face up to the fact that, you know, we're just temporary people with a very short time in a universe that will eventually be completely gone. And everything that you value, whether it's Shakespeare, Beethoven, da Vinci, or whatever, will be gone. The earth will be gone. The sun will be gone. There'll be nothing. The best you can do to get through life is distraction. Love works as a distraction. And work works as a distraction. You can distract yourself a billion different ways. But the key is to distract yourself.

We call come with shelf life, so live in the Moments & Enjoy what you do.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

~ Seal of approval ~

Last week I saw people sharing an article about an American student's experience in India across Social Media. 

Today another student has expressed her experience during her stay in India.

Am sure anyone on travelling or studying or working in India will have perspectives about the country, culture, people, food, history, et al. Each one goes through different experiences - good, bad & ugly. The perspectives about an experience could be based on various factors - family upbringing, economical status of the individual, knowledge about place, food, people, etc. It varies on many degrees. Its not WYSIWYG.

Am sure, as Indians, we ourselves are highly opinionated about people from different parts of a State. Forget about our perspectives with people / culture from various parts of India. So, our perspective about foreigners would be a very skewed. 

I don't really understand the need of such hype or stereotype the subject. I feel, we don't need Western review to highlight the lows or the highs of the country. Most of us, Indians, are already aware of the circumstances & behaviour. Be it treating women / men / elders / disabled, race, cultures, etc. We do nothing about it to bring any change in self or those around us. 

As M K Gandhi said, "Be the Change you wish to see in the World". We need to drive that change what we wish to see in the world around us. Do your bit, before stereotyping / preaching others.

Over the weekend, while at traffic signal near SadhashivNagar, observed a hoarding which says something like this - "Learn yoga from Internationally certified yoga teacher". Do you figure oxymoron in it? Yoga & International :) 
Yoga, which has its origin in this country, we Indians still look for the seal of approval from elsewhere. 

Such is our obsession with Western approval for the scheme of things in life or otherwise. We need to stop looking elsewhere for doing what is right. Just do it!

*iReport is running on Jive. Jive is a collaborative product. In my previous job, have helped build customized enterprise communities. The technologist in me makes me observe the underlying platform :)

Saturday, August 17, 2013

~ Dark is beautiful ~

If you have watched any Indian TV channel then you would have come across the plethora of fairness ads targeting women & these days men too. Even after 66 years after obtaining Independence from the British rule, Indians are fascinated & obsessed with everything white. We haven't really come out of the colonial mindset. 

Finally there has been an initiative called "Dark is beautiful" from the group Women of Worth.
Dark is Beautiful is an awareness campaign that seeks to draw attention to the unjust effects of skin colour bias as well as to celebrate the beauty and diversity of all skin tones.

Good to see Nandita Das giving her voice to the cause. 

~ "I want people to be comfortable in their own skin and realise that there is more to life than skin colour," she says, adding that an Indian paper had written "about my support for the campaign and then lightened the photo of me that went alongside it" ~
"India's obsession with fair skin is well documented: in 1978, Unilever launched Fair & Lovely cream, which has subsequently spawned numerous whitening face cleansers, shower gels and even vaginal washes that claim to lighten the surrounding skin. In 2010, India's whitening-cream market was worth $432m, according to a report by market researchers ACNielsen, and was growing at 18% per year. Last year, Indians reportedly consumed 233 tonnes of skin-whitening products, spending more money on them than on Coca-Cola."

If you are obsessed with fair-skin then you are spending too much time & energy on something which is not worthwhile. There is much to life than sporting fair skin or applying fairness cream to get there.

Stay UNfair and live your life!

~ V for variety ~

My friend Abhi tagged on a FB post today morning. It was a post about the following rules/challenge

Rules: It's harder than it looks! Copy to your own note, erase my answers, enter yours, and tag 10 or more people. Use the first letter of your name to answer each of the following questions. They have to be real . . . nothing made up! If the person before you had the same first initial, you must use different answers. You cannot use any word twice and you can't use your name for the boy/girl name question.

I thought it was pretty easy, but it took me a good 15 mins to come answer all of them. 

1. What is your name: Vivek

2. A four Letter Word: Vine

3. A boy's Name: Vinay

4. A girl's Name: Vindhya

5. An occupation: Veterinarian

6. A color: Violet

7. Something you wear: V-neck sweater

9. A food: Vada

10. Something found in the bathroom: Vicotermeric 

11. A place: Virajpet

12. A reason for being late: Very long traffic jam in Bangalore :P

13. Something you shout: Victory!

14. A movie title: V for Vendetta

15. Something you drink: Vodka

16. A musical group: Van Halen

17. An animal: Vulture

18. A street name: Vital Mallya Road, Bangalore

19. A type of car: Volkswagen

20. The title of a song: Vengeance is Mine

Friday, August 16, 2013

~ Andrew Kim | Design genius ~

I have been following Andrew Kim's blog for about 4 years now. From 2009, I have enjoyed his photographs with various cameras, starting from D90, GF1, X100 to his latest RX1. Always loved his compositions; Be it cars, people, streets, product reviews.

Then there is his design work across - technology, lifestyle, daily-use. Occasional review of consumer products which he bought. The reviews done by Andrew has always focused on the product aesthetic & design. Each time I read the review of a product, makes me wanna own one. It could be a pen, notebook, watch, etc. His recent review of non-technology products like shoes & car makes me drool.

Andrew got the limelight when his personal project of unifying the brand *Microsoft* published on his blog got picked by numerous design & technology blogs across the world. Those who follow his blog know that he has been a big Apple & Jobs fan. Despite that, he took up the job offer presented by MSFT. 

Back in April Andrew got to witness the legendary Dieter Rams, Iconic industrial designer at Braun, give graduation address.

The connection between the two did not end there, Andrew got to showcase his work & also have lunch with the Legend. You can read more about the meeting of design minds in Andrew's words - My lunch with Dieter Rams

Has been a while since I paid visit to his blog, was quite surprised to see him doing reviews on non-tech these days. The one that stood out was his new car Mercedes-Benz SLK. I have watched enough Car shows which do reviews about engine, tires, performance, design, etc. The review from Andrew might not be pure from technical aspects like your typical Top Gear show, but from a design perspective. The eye for details across various sections & User Experience (UX) gives a whole new dimension to how a car can be reviewed. Do check out the review - Mercedes-Benz SLK review

Follow Andrew on Twitter | Blog | Instagram

Note: All the photographs used here are photographed by Andrew Kim. Have sourced it from his blog.

Monday, August 12, 2013

~ Art of running a football club ~

Swiss Ramble rightly nails on all the finer points of footballing economics.  who play such fast paced game on the field also have a clever Manager who has been made the club more profitable. The biggest irony of having good bank balance is that we haven't won any Silverware.

We might be the richest club in  but have failed to land any players this summer. Signing experienced players would definitely help us stay in contention when the team needs to cope with injuries during the season.

A very insightful post, with lots of facts & graphs that doesn't make you sleep, even though it speaks about accounting, taxes, balance, et al. Now is the time for #Wenger to spend some £ and take the challenge to the next level in EPL & Europe. 

Arsenal - Money Don't Matter 2 Night   

~ One second ~

If you love stats then here is a website which highlights what happens every second on Internet -

10 years ago Skype, Facebook, YouTube, Reddit, Twitter, Tumblr, Dropbox, and Instagram didn't exist. 
20 years ago there were only 130 websites total, Google wasn't even around yet, and you had to pay for an email account through an ISP. 
30 years ago there was no internet.

Additional reading: What happens in 60 seconds ;)

~ Wildlife. Robots. Drones ~

Probably the only place where most of us would agree to use Drones, i.e. to monitor wildlife. National Geographic uses Robots & Drones to film African Lions at Serengeti.

The big cats are on a steady decline over the last couple of years. It is sad to note that 5000 - 6000 lions are bred in captivity till 5 years and then released for hunting. Thats shocking to hear. You can listen to it here.

Don't forget to visit the beautiful micro-site setup by NGC, The Serengeti Lion. Love the Design & UX of the site.

I wish India adopt Drones & Robots or Technology in general to save Wildlife

Via: The Verge | Note: All photographs by Michael Nichols & Bent Stirton for NGC.

Saturday, August 03, 2013

~ Winner of NGC Traveler Photo Contest 2013 ~

These two images stand out for me compared to the others.

Merit Winner: Portrait of an Eastern Screech Owl. Masters of disguise. The Eastern Screech Owl is seen here doing what they do best. You better have a sharp eye to spot these little birds of prey. Okefenokee Swamp, Georgia. (© Graham McGeorge )

Third Place Winner: Say Cheese. Cheetahs jumped on the vehicle of tourists in Masai Mara national park, Kenya. (© Yanai Bonneh)

View all the winners here.