Friday, April 30, 2010

Of Luddo, For Luddo (both of the Witty persuasion)

So I was walking along trying to get myself lost (the logic being if one is lost, one cannot get home when the call comes (however dutiful one happens to be)) in the maze of colleges and masters' residences when it started pouring. Ran towards this arched hedge in front of a house to take refuge and discovered that this was also Witty's refuge a long time ago. Hence, decided one should get picture for the namesake.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Not quite Nate Silver

I was thinking just the other day (for those of us who don't follow the bookies too much) what we need here is Nate Silver. Well, guess what? Turns out that there is a chap at fivethirtyeight who is doing a few posts on this.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

More Indecision 2010

This is the first general election I am seeing in this country but I get the sense that the elections are becoming very Americanised. For instance, the focus on personalities and personalities alone that is the American election seems to be a relatively new trend here. Considering that this is not presidential system, not sure where this needless focus on the leaders (and their families) will lead to. Second, the role of media in shaping popular opinion seems to have scaled new heights recently - I am yet to meet a reasonable someone who thinks that Clegg came out strong against Cameron and Brown in last week's debate. Yet, after the media declared him the winner, the Lib Dem surge in the polls has been pretty unbelievable - it of course remains to be seen whether this will convert to actual votes but Cleggmania, I am convinced, is totally a media invention.

Still, there are these minor things that makes one a little hopeful. Like when commentators talk about "early days of the campaign" when referring to three weeks before the actual election date. Like Miriam Gonzalez Durantez. May there be more of her. And may she stick to her guns especially now that her husband is doing so well.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Indecision 2010

This side of the Atlantic, there is some kind of election happening if you haven't heard. One that I can actually vote in apparently. In a constituency where it might actually matter (as the incumbent Lib Dem MP is stepping down). More relevant to the post, we have a TV now. It came with the house. So yesterday evening, I prudently decided to watch the leadership TV debates (the alternative was to try and calm down the very fussy monkey so it wasn't much of a choice) and tuned in promptly.

First, transplanting American style TV debates to this country seemed a little off. Comic, really. All these people on TV were trying to sound enthusiastic and over the top forgetting that those traits don't exactly come easily to the British. Both Clegg and Cameron were trying to be Obama (Brown just was boring Brown which is apparently his selling point) which was painful but entertaining.

For those of you who watched this thing, a couple of questions:

1. Why was Brown wearing a pink tie and Cameron a blue one? (Only Clegg seemed true to yellow)

2. Was it just me who thought that: boring Brown sounded like someone who has been doing boring parliamentary debates for ages, Cameron tried a little too hard to sound transparent (though he didn't repeat his points like the other two), and Clegg sounded like he is the captain of the university debate team? I read today that apparently people thought that Clegg won the debate. Really? Politically, yeah, I fall right into Lib Dem territory but that's besides the point.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A monkey of our own and other updates

Toshi has indeed left the fortress but guess who gets to deal with the monkey that came out into the outside world?


"So what?"

"Not bad, eh?"

"Its okay"

"So its all good?"

"What is all good?"

"Well, you know, this place and all..."

"Oh. Well, its bigger than what we are used to"


"Given the postcode difference, yeah, to be expected"

"Yeah. So its alright then?"

"What is alright? I said its big. Which is not necessarily a good thing"

"So its not alright?"

"I said its ok. But that is not the point. The point is this will have to do"

"I guess. Anyway, its not like this thing is forever"

"Its not?"

"The house I meant"

"The house, yes. Just for a few months"

"Until you go back to work. Then we move back to London"

"What if I decide not to?"

"That is completely up to you"


"I said work is completely up to you"

"Who will fund your life?"

"I am sure we will figure out a way"

"You are that certain what I will do?"

"Of course. A month ago, I might have been worried. Not anymore"

"Well, you wait and see"

"I will only. You really want me to believe that you so desperately want to be tortured 24X7?"

"You never know. I could be some masochist"

"Right. And I could be a productive member of society"

"Which is the same thing. If I stop working, you have no choice but to be productive member of society"

"And what exactly would that accomplish?"

"Good point. What is that across the street?"

"What does it look like?"

"Its dark but from here, it looks like some sort of a cemetery"

"That is what it is"

"We live across from a cemetery?"


"Monkey's first friends will be dead people. How cool!"

"I know. Not for nothing I went with this house"

"Oh, the possibilities.."

"are endless. First, lets give the thing this room which faces the graveyard"

"Yes, of course"