Archive for Other

Ashton’s Brownface ad

I’m sure everyone’s heard about the Ashton Kutcher “brownface” ad now. Personally, I thought the whole ad sucked – poor script, direction, and just not funny – and not just the mocking Indians portion.

Basically, the reason people are offended isn’t just the context of this one ad, I think it’s been a build up over time to the point where Indians really needed to finally stand up and say ” We Indians are part of the mainstream now, stop depicting us as brown and always with an accent.” If you think I’m just exaggerating let me remind you that most Indian characters are constantly portrayed in American TV with the accent (ie think Raj in Big Bang, the Indian kid in that Disney show Jesse (obv faking an Indian accent), etc.).

Hassan’s points are dead on and it’s time Indians were integrated better into the world of TV and Film.

The time has come for the US (like the UK has done for a several years now) to just have Indians be like any other character in a show… depict us as you depict any other race – as having an ethnicity, but American accent – and not the token “haha your accent is funny” character. We Indians are over it.

TYT Network saying it’s not offensive:

Hassan’s vids:

Stop bullying.

Truly an inspirational story, but also a remind how disgusting our modern society has become.

We’ve become a society so corrupted by the quest to reach “perfection” in beauty, that we’re missing the fact that beauty isn’t just external. Beauty goes beyond just physical characteristics. We need to judge people based on their intelligence and ability, on their internal beauty, and not just the outside packaging. If you’re judgmental and always trying to pull others down, that is not a sign of beauty.

The fact that this girl was able to rise about such negativity is impressive and highly commendable. For those who don’t want to sit through the video, essentially while in high school she was labeled the world’s most “ugly” woman on Youtube. It’s sad and terrible that she had to endure such negativity at a young age, but instead of caving to such attempts to bring her down, she was able to rise above it all. This is true beauty.

It really bothers me that people have become so superficial these days. Personally, I think the most attractive feature in a person is their humility and intellect. Hopefully, more people will realize that the world will be better if we see the good in others.

Superbowl 2012

Well, that was a very disappointing SuperBowl game… at least from the standpoint of a Patriots fan.  As a Bostoner (well I’m in CT now but still MA at heart), of course, I was rooting for my beloved Patriots.  Unfortunately, in a terrible replay of 2009, the Giants swooped in to defeat the Pats again!

If the Patriots are to win against the Giants, in the future, they are really going to have to work on their defense!  The team tends to rely too much on QB Tom Brady’s accuracy and skills.  Nevertheless, a ship can’t stay afloat with just a captain at the helm… you need a strong crew as well.  This is where the Giants had us.  They put pressure on Brady, even though they managed to tackle him only 2x.  This increased pressure forced him to throw sooner than he otherwise would have.  However, more at fault were our receivers who did a poor job today.  They fumbled, allowed an interception, and rarely managed to successfully connect on Brady’s passes.  For example, in the oh so important last quarter and last minute, if the first two passes had connected, we would’ve won!!

Overall, the superbowl was not as exciting as normal… not just because the Pats lost, but in part due to our desire to see constant touchdowns.  Both the teams were strong, which explained the lower final scores and lack of several touchdowns.  To make things more annoying, this year, especially, the ads were a complete yawn fest.  Nothing witty or unique.  My fav was the Matthew Broderick “ferris bueller” remake ad.

As for the half time show, Madonna was ok, but not as outstanding as I was expecting.  For example, Madonna’s dance for “Vogue” looked more like the half time show at a nursing home (sorry Madge!)… but at least it got better with the mixes feat. LMFAO, Nicki Minaj, MIA, and Cee Lo Green!  I’m also not a fan of her new song… though I will always be a huge Madonna fan.

Next year, when the Patriots make it to the Superbowl, the half time show should feature Madonna and Janet… now that would be entertaining!

What did all of you think of this year’s Superbowl?

Kelly Clarkson’s FLAWLESS rendition of the National Anthem:

Madonna’s Performance:

2011 in Review

As the year comes to a close, it’s making me want to reflect on the year that has been 2011! It is one year that I will miss! It’s had mostly plus points, which is why I’ll truly miss it! The only true down side to 2011 was that we lost a lot of famous people – Steve Jobs (Apple CEO), Dev Anand (actor/filmmaker in India), Shammi Kapoor (actor in India), among many others.  However, I think we must focus more on celebrating the lives these individuals had and the positive impact they made on people.  Talent never dies, and there will always be others to keep the flag alive!  We’ll see what innovations occur in 2012!

3 Weddings!

On a personal note, this year saw 3 weddings in the fam! 2 cousins on my Mom’s side got married (in Wales and one in Italy) and 1 cousin on my Dad’s side (all the way in Australia!).

Going to an Indian wedding was amazing! There were 5 days filled with colors, style, and celebrations! My Mom, Dad, sister and I all flew to London and drove into Wales for the festivities. Watching Dad drive stick shift was just as interesting as the wedding. No trip can be complete without adventure, and trust me, getting into Wales was quite the adventure. The signs were blocked by branches so we never knew where our exit was. We eventually ended up in Cardiff, Wales (a 2-3 hour trip from London, which had turned into 6-8 for us) by a hospital.

A group of workers was sitting outside, so we assumed they could help us figure out where we were. You’d think they’d know where they were right? Wrong! I went to ask for directions and when I asked, “What’s the name of this hospital?” They’re responded with “What hospital?” I pointed out the sign they were sitting in front of – which clearly said “HOSPITAL,” but they refused to admit that they were sitting by a hospital. Just then out of the hospital, came a few doctors and nurses so I went to ask them the name of the hospital. Surprisingly, they didn’t know either! So, I asked them the name of the road, to which they responded “What road?” Luckily, one girl was on her phone and was able to ask her Mom to google where she worked. She told us the name of the road… which actually turned out to be the name of a building.

As for the wedding itself – it was amazing. My cousin and my cuz-in-law looked like a match made in heaven! There are many more such stories, but I’ll spare you all the craziness right now.

Life in London

Besides weddings, I got a chance to live in London for the summer.  Although I was hoping to meet up with more friends in the city, I enjoyed my time there.  Spending time with family and getting to truly experience the sites and sounds of London was amazing.  I hope to spend another summer in Europe!  Unfortunately, next summer won’t be the one I return to London, as I’ll be busy with moot court at Law School.

Law School

Speaking of law school, my second year is half way over!  I’m not sure how many of my readers know it, but in addition to a web comic artist, I’m a law student!  This semester, I had a chance to explore a wide range of subjects and hopefully will have some publications to my name!

UrbanAsian

I’m also a senior editor/blogger/writter/interviewer/host at UrbanAsian.com!  The site’s been active since Oct 2010, but it’s really taken off this year in 2011!  So, can’t complain there, as the way it seems, the site is only going to grow in the coming year!  I love my UA fam and love the friends I’ve made!

Erratic Beat Comics

http://www.erraticbeat.com/comics/ As I mentioned above, in addition to law school and UrbanAsian, I also draw a webcomic.  While I’ve only had a chance to post 3 comics this December, you can still catch the older comics I drew throughout the year.  Prior to getting my own domain name (erraticbeat.com) I had run the site on comicfury.  However, this year, I realized it’s time to get my own URL and move on to bigger waters.

Of course, along with the comic I now have this blog, which I hope to use more often next year.  Till then, Happy New Year!

Also, check out this page for the biggest WTF moments of 2011: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/26/years-biggest-wtf-moments_n_1170053.html?ncid=webmail2

Amit Gupta Bone Marrow Drive

Reproduced from my article on URBANASIAN.COM
Many of you may know (or some may not) that Amit Gupta (son of Suman and Dr. Arvind Gupta), an entrepreneur, needs a bone marrow donor from South Asian Community (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives, or Sri Lanka).  The age group for donors should be 18 – 60 years.  Amit is currently undergoing chemo, but it is essential to find him a bone marrow match. The process of testing for a match is a simple swab test.  Amit took to Tumblr and social media to spread awareness of his need for a bone marrow donor.  On Twittter,  #ISwabbedForAmit, is the hash tag associated with this search.

 

 

 

When Amit’s doctor called him, he was brief, “Amit, you’ve got Acute Leukemia. You need to enter treatment right away.”  Share Amit, “I was terrified. I packed a backpack full of clothes, went to the hospital as he’d instructed, and had transfusions through the night to allow me to take a flight home at 7am the next day. I Googled acute leukemia as I lay in my hospital bed, learning that if it hadn’t been caught, I’d have died within weeks.”

 

This Friday, there will be a bone marrow drive in NYC.  We at UrbanAsian urge those of you in the area to please go to the drive in case you are a match.  There are not many South Asian bone marrow donors, so it is especially important to go to the event.  The test to find if you are a match is noninvasive – it’s just a simple swab test.  If you are found to be a match, you can still refuse to give your bone marrow, but we hope you will donate if you are a match.

 

Details for the NY Bone Marrow Drive:
412 Broadway, Floor 2
New York, 10013-3594
Friday, October 14, 2011 at 9:30 PM (ET)

PLEASE R.S.V.P AT http://brownbones.eventbrite.com/
Details for the CT Bone Marrow Drive:
Saturday Oct 15, 2011
10:00 am to 1:00pm
Hindu Cultural Center
96 Chapel St , Stratford, CT 06614

Dr. Vijay Chhabra, Clinical Instructor, Yale University School of Medicine, Oncology Hematology Care of CT will be there to answer any questions that you may have along with getting the sample to send for testing.

R.I.P. Steve Jobs

7.1

Today,the world of computers and technology has lost one of it’s best innovators and visionaries, Mr. Steve Jobs.

 

I’m not sure how many of my readers know my educational background, but I have a good basis in computer science – in fact, I have an associates in science degree in programming. So, this loss hits home.  To add to the loss, is the fact that I got to meet Steve Jobs when I was younger.  It’s the first and only time I’ve ever been star struck.  How did I meet him?  Well, when I was 10 or 11 I went to a technology expo fair in Boston at the Bayside Expo Center.  I went with my father and even got my own name tag that said, “Roopa – CEO of Mischief”.  Being in the midst of all the technology, I was thrilled.  I’ve always been interested in science and tech.  So, I was already excited as could be with that fact alone.  However, the icing on the cake was hearing a talk from Steve Jobs.

 

Having been interested in computers since I was 4, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates were like my Gods.  Having the opportunity to be in the same room as them was inspiring in and of itself to a tech-addict such as myself.  I remember sitting in the 3rd row, in the aisle just feet away from the legend during his talk, and I remember him looking amused at this little girl in a room full of 50-something males.  He gave a very inspirational talk and mentioned how age (he pointed at me), nor gender (pointing at me) mattered.  What did?  It’s motivation and inspiration that should drive each of us.  Of course, I’m paraphrasing here because I unfortunately don’t remember enough of the talk to quote here for you.

 

The point is simply this – Steve Jobs has been an inspiration for so many individuals.  He’s also the father of the personal computer (he invented the Mac IIC).  I remember using my first Mac in first grade – it was a IIC.  I mostly remember the Turtle game and basic programs, but since the first mac, you could sense Macs would be a big deal.  It also got me interested in programming because I hoped one day I could make interesting computer games.

 

It’s not that I never wanted to own a Mac… because I always wanted my own Mac.  However, over time, I didn’t turn into a full-fledged Mac user simply because it was easier and more cost-effective to buy a PC and repair it myself to keep it running.  When the iMacs came out in the late 90s-early 2000s, I wanted an orange iMac!  Every time we went to CompUSA (back when it existed) I would be glued to the Mac section exploring the features on my coveted mac. I’m sure nerds everywhere would agree that when the colorful macs came out, they were like kids in a candy store – in complete awe of the new toys that had come into being.

 

Ultimately, I never got my orange iMac.  However, last year, having begun my journey to become a full-fledged attorney – that’s right I’m pursuing a JD – I finally caved and got a MacBook… with an orange cover!

 

In 1986, Steve Jobs bought Pixar and was even executive producer of Toy Story.  Then he bought Next.  In this re-birth of the Apple brand, Steve Jobs launched the iPod (governing music), iTouch, MacBook, MacBook air, iPhone, and most notably the iPad, which would again revolutionize the world of computers.  I of course own an iPod – who doesn’t – but I really hope to get an iPad soon.

 

My love of animation too can directly be correlated to two main companies – 1 being LucasArts, and the other, being Pixar.

 

So, thank you Steve Jobs for all you shared with the world and for being such an inspirational person.

 

My animation:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iT71UmM8jMM

 

Interesting article on the History of the iMac (1998-2006):

http://blogs.pcworld.com/staffblog/archives/007473.html

 

My fav Steve Jobs quotes:

“Your time is limited..don’t waste it living someone else’s life. ”

“Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water or do you want a chance to change the world?” (Steve’s rumored to have lured John Sculley into being Apple’s CEO)

“Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.”

“My job is to not be easy on people. My job is to make them better.”

“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.”

 

RIP Steve Jobs 2011

10 years since 9/11

9-11_tribute

It’s hard to believe that it’s already been 10 years since the horrific attacks in NY on the Twin Towers.

9/11 – a date which was like any other in the year prior to the attacks – immediately became one of the most important dates in American history and has become etched in our heads forever since 2001.  Even thinking about that date evokes so many memories of that fateful day.

I’m sure everyone who was alive in 2001 can very clearly remember where they were when they heard about the attacks.  I was in class that day, when all of a sudden there was an announcement on the intercom about an attack in NY.  The principal mentioned a plane crashing into the World Trade Center, but said it wasn’t clear what had happened.  The principal didn’t divulge too many details, but he said we were to remain in our respective current classrooms for the rest of the day.  He said not to panic, and announced that he would allow us to use cell phones to call our friends and family to check on them.

As expected, none of us really knew the extent of the tragedy.  Obviously, something was going on, but we were not privy to the seriousness of it.  Luckily, I was in a classroom with a very nice teacher who kept us all calm and somehow brought a sense of normalcy to what was otherwise a very tragic day.

We were let out slightly early that day.  Still not aware of what had really happened all the students buzzed excitedly about our early dismissal.

Walking into my house that day, however, I could sense something big had happened.  My Mom had the TV on and the image I most clearly remember is the extensive fire coming out of the towers.  She filled me in on what had happened.  At that point only the North Tower had collapsed – which Mom saw happen live on TV.  The footage they replayed seemed unbelievable to me especially since all this was happening in the US!  Watching the crowd run from a smokey backdrop of the towers did not seem like a scene that would happen in America.  I kept thinking this has got to be a trailer for some movie because who would attack the US?

Unfortunately, I was wrong.  The attack definitely popped the bubble and sense of safety I had in the US.  Having been born and raised in the US, I suppose I had bought into the invincibility of the US.  I couldn’t understand why anyone would want to attack America.

Dumbfounded, I sat watching and processing the telecast.  My Uncle was working close by to the towers, but he luckily survived.  He shared that he saw a ball of fire coming towards his workplace, and he immediately managed to vacate along with his co-workers.

At around 5 pm, the second tower crumbled.  I couldn’t help but think of the quote from Star Wars where Obi-Wan says (upon the destruction of Alderaan) “I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddently cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.”  Watching the towers crumbled was horrifying – even if it was on TV – as it was unclear who this nameless enemy was.

Soon of course, we would put a face to the terror- Osama Bin Landen – the head of Al Qaeda, a fundamentalist Islamic Terrorist group trained in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

In the after-math of 9/11, many people took out their anger upon turbaned Sikhs and other Indians and Muslims.  However, we didn’t face any discrimination in my town, school, or MA where we lived at the time.  It’s hard to rationalize that a single day could change so much.  1 day launched our endless war against terror.

Probably the other image that is in my mind is the footage they showed about President Bush receiving the news.  It was impressive how calm and collected he remained.  Though I don’t agree he attacked the right country, I think he deserves credit for his vigilance in amping security.

As for the terrorists – I hope they all get caught.  I don’t understand how they interpreted their religious text, as encouraging them to kill and take so many innocent lives.  No religious text advocates such behavior.

I am not sure how we will eradicate terrorist organizations, but I am hopeful it will happen one day.  I am thankful to live in the US, to be an American… to be an Indian American, and am especially proud of the nation that we are.

Victims of 9/11 you will never be forgotten… RIP.

Tribute Pages:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/kennedy-center-911-tribute/2011/09/09/gIQA4WzZEK_gallery.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sue-frause/ten-years-later-911-memor_b_949561.html

http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/09/ten-years-later.html

http://urbanasian.com/events-gigs/2011/09/urbanasian-commemorates-the-10th-anniversary-of-911-we-shall-never-forget/

Action Movies

Turned on the TV earlier today and found Spike TV doing a Star Wars Marathon.  I was really into Star Wars back in the day – when I was around 10.  In fact, I had joined a SIM (online simulation) where we used to write and post stories taking place in the Star Wars universe using characters we had developed.  I met a ton of great people through the SIM… people I’m still friends with today and who are truly more like family.  Plus, I owe a lot to the SIM for how my writing developed.  It was a good experience in creative writing!

 

As for Star Wars itself, I think the magic has passed.  I’ve seen the movies too many times now to really get immersed in it’s sci-fi universe.  Plus, I think once the prequels released, George Lucas sorta butchered the whole saga.  I’m always going to love the original trilogy best – especially Empire Strikes Back!

 

The thing about Star Wars that’s annoying is how whether you watch the originals or prequels, you’re faced with some very irritating characters – ie Chewbacca and Jar Jar Binks.  I wonder why action movie directors feel the need to add in such characters.  Not sure either one added to the storyline or appeal of the series.  At least George Lucas didn’t add in any strange characters in the Indiana Jones series… well, until he added Shiah LeBoeuf. 😛  Just kidding of course.

 

While the Star Wars saga seems to have lost it’s charm over time, I think the 007 movies actually get better.  When I saw them when I was younger, I think it was interesting to see how Bond would catch the “bad guy.”  Now, I can understand his sarcasm and dry humor.  Though, I really think they need to make a female 007 and get some Bond guys! :)

 

I wouldn’t say that I’m only an action movie fan, but since I’ve always been interested in computer graphics, I think I enjoy the special effects best in action flicks and sci-fi picks.  For example, loved the whole Matrix movie!  Had a chance to meet the director too while I was at Brandeis!

 

Apparently, this summer when I was in London, they filmed the new Batman movie close to where I was staying in Central London.  I didn’t get a chance to see the shoot, but at least I can say I was close to the action!  The Batman series is probably the only one that has remained consistently good.  I caught the very original Batman movie a few months ago On Demand.  It was so over the top with costumes and acting that it felt more like a comedy.  Of course, the saga has gotten darker over time to the point where it now seems to parallel our modern struggle with terrorism.

 

Surprisingly, between action and sci-fi, neither of these two is my fav genre of movie – which will always be comedy movies!

Oh the irony! Irene not as bad as expected!

Well, Hurricane Irene was officially a lot weaker in MA-CT-RI than expected.  I think we got lucky because it changed course and went further west through NY.  We still have some downed trees and branches, but I think expectations were that the damage would be 10x as bad as it was.  CT’s faced a lot of flooding, but our condo seems to be okay so far!  Hoping that things by Hartford are equally okay.

 

I guess on a positive note, the Hurricane forced us all to be technology-free for a while.  I think we all need to detox from Facebook, Twitter, etc. every now and then.  This summer, when I was in England, I actually went a month without my computer and internet.  It made for a very nice change.

 

I saw a post on Facebook that everyone’s been using as their status that pretty much sums up the Irene experience: “BREAKING NEWS: As Hurricane Irene prepares to batter the East Coast, federal disaster officials warn that Internet outages could force people to interact with other people for the first time in years. Residents are bracing themselves for the horror of awkward silences and unwanted eye contact. FEMA advises: “Be prepared. Write down possible topics to talk about in advance. Remember, a conversation is basically a series of Facebook updates strung together.””

 

It was nice stripping down to the basics – just family and fun!  Hope you were all safe in the storm and don’t have much damage!  xx

A Tale of Two Hurricanes

Apparently, the last major Hurricane that hit MA was Hurricane Gloria.  I was just 1 years old at the time.  I remember the event surprisingly vividly, but I remember not really understanding what was going on!  As far as I was concerned, we had all just decided to relocate to the basement to hang out there.  We had a roaring fire going in the fireplace, that added, as far as I was concerned, to the coziness of the night.

 

I didn’t understand the sense of fear that my parents displayed.  However, it was the first major Hurricane that had hit the area, so I can appreciate their fear now.  After all, the trees were swaying more than fans at a rock concert and the wind was whistling louder than ever.

 

Lucky for me I was just a little kid, so I didn’t have to deal with the true understanding of danger during a Hurricane.  I think I actually slept through a lot of it though. My sister was very little at the time as well, so we just busied ourselves playing with one another as usual.  We (and by “we” I mostly mean my sis) had a tea party going and were cooking with imaginary dishes with toy bowls and cups.  I remember asking my Mom for the saucer I had left by the window sill in the basement, but she said I couldn’t go near the window!

 

Perhaps the moment most ingrained in my brain is the cracking noise of a tree falling on our garage.  Moments before that my Dad had gone into the garage to listen to the radio.  We had a better signal from there for some reason.  Thankfully, he got back inside before the tree fell.  For a minute, I had thought my Dad was still in the garage, but he was in the room!  Sis and I resumed playing, while Mom and Dad checked out the damage from inside.

 

Beyond that, I don’t remember much.  After all, I was only 1…

 

This weekend, Hurricane Irene is bound for the north east coast again.  We had planned to end our vaca in MA and go back home to CT this Saturday, but those plans had to change.  My law classes on Monday got cancelled too!  Guess everything does have a silver lining!  So far, Irene has made her way to North Carolina, but we’re bracing for the worst.  I’m hoping all my friends on the East Coast stay safe!  I wish my sister were at home with my parents and I, but she’s on call this weekend.  While most people are evacuating, physicians have to turn into superheroes to brace the storm.  I wish she would just come to MA, so we can hold another tea party, but I guess the veil of innocence from childhood must be lifted to face the true realities of a hurricane.

 

Here’s hoping for the best thought!  Do any of you also remember Gloria?  What are you expecting from Irene?