Saturday, February 28, 2009

Jai Ho

Not the most original title in these Slumdog crazed times I agree , but hey it's probably increased this post's ranking on google some , so I'll take that.
I was just telling someone how I had nothing to say about Slumdog since I had not seen the movie. To be honest I don't expect to be blown away, since I have seen a 100 bollywood movies and its not a unique experience for me as it would be for a western audience(that by the way is the same logic I used not to see Bombay dream's). And unlike some others I also do not see it as my patriotic duty to "support" Slumdog Millionaire(like it really needed my support anyway).
Coming to the point of this post. I am not quite sure I have heard Jai Ho earlier, but I did today.
It was in a spinning class. Maybe it was the unexpectedness of it, I felt the blood rush to my face. And it kept me pumping well beyond my capacity.
So I guess inspite of my protestations to the contrary, I do feel good about Slumdog Millionaire achieveing the success it has.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Do you have a first aid kit handy?

So go the lyrics of a song I have heard in the gym repeatedly, it has a catcy tune and I believe its called "Damaged".
There were also such pearls as "Can you patch up a wall for me?" "Are you patient and understanding?" .
I also had the great misfortune of watching the video while on the step mill. And it was a bunch of really dolled up women in extremely skimpy outfits(so whats new right?)
Now the lyrics of the song seem to place certain demands on the man , including such inanities as patch up a wall. All he can expect in return(since the lyrics don't specify) is a dolled up skimpily clad hottie. A deal I must admit most would go for in a heart beat, despite the uneveness of the trade.
I thought of writing this bloag a while back and never got around to it. But now with Chris Brown smacking up Rihanna , it seems like the dolled up hotties knew what they were talking about when they list having a first aid kit handy as man selection criteria.

Friday, February 06, 2009

The idiocy of the IPL

The IPL is the Indian awnser to the NFL. Where the world of cricket collides with the world of glamor accompanied by a flood of money.
The NFL draft which any fan looks forward to is sought to be mimiced by the IPL auction.
So while top prospects of the NFl are drafted or picked, cricketers are auctioned like heads of cattle bought by the highest bidder.
Ignoring the distasteful terminolgy for a second, lets focus on some specifics.
The IPL which is the brain child of the US educated Lalit Modi, is the favorite son of the BCCI which for all practical purposes has a monoply on world cricket.
But like all good monarchies you have to keep the your Nobles happy. So it is with the IPL and BCCI.
The boards of England , Australia and South Africa must be kept happy since they are the ones that matter.
At this point it might be useful to introduce the concept of the reserve price. Each player comes into the auction with a reserve price(now I am not sure how that reserve price is decided)
ie. the lowest bid has to be for that amount.
The thing that took me by suprise was that stars from weaker teams such as Mohammad Ashraful and Mashrafe Mortaza from Banagladesh who have performed against the best of opposition for years attracted a reserve price of $75K and $50K.
While such unknowns or atleast unproven performers like Samit Patel and Owais Shah of England attract reserve prices of $100K and $150K .
I would juxtapose their career statistics but You can always look that up.
My point is this display of disregard for bangladesh and bangladeshi cricket and fawning of England's cricketers is apalling. If this isn't brown on brown racism I am not sure what is.

Michael Phelps - Olympic Hero,Pothead

Recently the man who won 8 golds (more than the gold medal tally of all but 9 countries) in a single Olympics was caught in the eye of a mini-storm when he a photo of him smoking pot .
And suddenly the man is losing endorsements and copping suspensions.
So in a country where pot smoking is culturally front and center, where shows like that 70's Show ruled the air waves not too long back, we recline in horror when a 23 year old who has achieved more at that young age than most of us would in a few lifetimes, is caught in film smoking a bong at what was doubtless a private gathering.
Sure he has benefitted from being in the public eye, so should'nt he be ready for the consequences?
In my opinion its silly to hold our heros to moral standards that most of us cannot apply to ourselves. Phelps did not make a name for himself preaching about how marijuana was bad for you. He made his name training tirelessly and delivering on the biggest stage there is.
I have not done the research required to comment on the smoking of pot itself. But I can safely say there are a lot of people out there who have smoked pot and have no qualms doing it. And they lead rewarding and successful lives.
So America get of our moral high horse and give the Kid a little space to breathe.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

People invested with Madoff did not have a CFA did they?

Quoting from one of the many voluminous books that one has to go through to appear for the CFA exams:
The investor needs to be intimately familiar with the investment process of the manager's organization(where manager means fund manager which is what Madoff was).. Futher .. Before selecting a manager the plan sponsor needs to spend time asking questions of several key people in the organization.
Clearly the funds and rich individuals who invested with Madoff , missed this para.
As the saying goes "A fool and his money will be soon parted".
I know this might sound like kicking a guy when he is down, but when you are dealing with the kind of money these people were, surely they should have asked more questions.
On a slightly unrelated note, I read an article of how a wealthy Jewish community in Chicago was devastated by the Madoff scandal.
It brought to mind certain thoughts I have had in the past.
For some reason we tend to trust somebody solely on the basis that they belong to the same community. I guess its human top an extent, to be a little suspicious of the unknown.
But it is quite illogical to base our trust on which community someone belongs to.
Scoundrels comes in all shapes sizes , colors , speak many different tongues and worship many different Gods.