Thursday, December 30, 2004

Tsunami #2

Satellite Images of the Tsunami hitting Sri Lanka

Receding Waters

....expose 300m of beach not previously uncovered

4 Hrs later

Photo of the Day #2

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

U2 Lyrics #2

You were pretty as a picture
It was all there to see
Then your face caught up ....
.... with your psychology

With a mouth full of teeth
You ate all your friends
And you broke every heart ....
.... thinking every heart mends

-- From "Crumbs From Your Table" on "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb"/2004

Photo of the Day #1

Quote of the Day #3

Dilbert's Words of Wisdom:
Needing someone is like needing a parachute. If he isn't there the first time you need him, chances are you won't be needing him again.

-- Scott Adams

Mythology Revisited #1 [Re-uhh, Re-something]

More analogies:

1.Aquaman - Poseidon (Greek) or Neptune (Roman). The God of the Sea, how fucking more obvious can it get? Damn, shoulda gotten that one on first attempt. "I'm feeling lucky" also tells me that Poseidon was also lord of earthquakes. Therefore the recent earthquake/tsunami that "changed the map of Asia and affected the axis of the Earth" was a direct expression of his wrath. Lastly, Poseidon is the supreme badass god of *ahem* ... horses. What an anticlimax :p

2.Batman - Dracula? There's a sad elseworlds called "Red Rain" that deals with this, that I read at Ramprasad's place. In fact, it was so bad that Ramprasad didn't even want to take it to the new flat when he was shifting.

3.Swamp Thing - The Ents of Fangorn Forest? *prepares himself to get flamed by Abhijeet* Just a wild guess, but there is at least a physical resemblance *shrugs*

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Quote of the Day #2

Dilbert's Words of Wisdom:
I love deadlines. I especially like the whooshing sound they make as they go flying by.

-- Scott Adams

U2 Lyrics #1

I don't know if I can make it
I'm not easy on my knees
Here's my heart and you can break it
I need some release, release, release .....

-- From "Love and Peace or Else" on "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb"/2004

Mythology Revisted #1 Redux

The Green Lanterns from the DC universe were especially difficult to think up a parallel for , till I recalled an issue where a character described the power rings as "wishing rings" . Taking that into account , Alladin and his magic lamp would probably be analogous to any Green Lantern and his power ring. Now that I think of it , there was a rather poorly written elseworlds comic with a similar theme.

Mythology Revisited #1 [Reprise]

The shape shifter Mystique has plenty of parallels all over Indian mythology. So many of our Gods / Goddesses / Villians have been shape shifters. While our gods [Shiva / Vishnu etc.] are shape shifters, by extension, so are their incarnations [Krishna comes to mind]. And a large number of humans were granted the boon of shape shifting by the same gods [Ravana, the evil protagonist of the Ramayana comes to mind].

Karna in the Mahabharat is almost the equivalent of Superman! He was sent away by his real mother in a small "boat" and then raised by adopted parents, who found him floating in the river. He had an armor that was impenetrable, making him rather hard to kill. He was ultimately killed by deceitful means. Another character in the Mahabharat, Duryodhan, was rendered almost completely invulnerable when his mother laid eyes on him for the first and last time! But, he was an evil sort of guy, so he had to die too.

I'm sure I could come up with plenty more parallels from Indian Mythology, given the time.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Mythology Revisited #1

Comicbooks and their characters draw a lot from mythology. A lot of comicbook stories have been taken from folklore or mythology. Sometimes the character is a classic mythological being, e.g. Thor, the god of lightning and thunder is a central character in Norse mythology. An equally good example is Morpheus (Sandman), the Greek god of dreams. Sometimes the connection isn't so conspicuous, so in this post we're going to try to identify comicbook superheroes with their mythological counterparts.

I'm starting off with a few that come to mind immediately:

1. Forge (X-Men) has a startling parallel in Hephaestus, the Greek god of fire and metal-working. Equivalent to the Roman god, Vulcan.

2. Storm (X-Men) has control over the elements, particularly lightning, thunder, wind... so she's basically a female Thor. Or closer to home, a female Indra.

3. Pyro (X-Men) can manipulate fire. Too easy. Agni.

4. Iceman (X-Men) needs water do his stuff, kinda like the Indian god of water, Varuna. However, Varuna isn't exactly the "ice-god."

5. Flash (finally a DC character!) is easily identified with Hermes (Greek) or Mercury(Roman), the god of speed. Hermes is depicted as having winged boots, while Flash has a winged helmet, to make the connection a little less obvious. However, Hermes is also characterized with abilities of invention, cunning, theft and healing.

6. Superman/Hulk/Mr. Incredible/ - there's always a generic super-macho in every mythology as well as every comicbook universe. The original Superman couldn't fly, but could 'leap over the tallest bulidings in a single bound' which is pretty much what Hanuman was capable of (he crossed the oceanic divide between India and Lanka in a single leap). Epithets like 'faster than a speeding bullet' and 'stronger than a locomotive' also apply, more or less.

7. Hawkeye(Avengers)/Green Arrow(DC - JSA?) - Arjuna. Any super-archer has to be an Arjuna. In fact there's even an anime called 'Arjuna' in which the protagonist is an archer chick with other abilities.

There are lots of mythologies that I'm completely unacquainted with (e.g. Babylonian, Sumerian, Incan, Celtic, Mayan), and I don't know much about Egyptian, Arthurian, Neopagan, Red Indian, Wiccan legends or folklore. Most of them share some common features like elemental deities, a holy trinity etc.

The point is, not many of our comicbook heroes are based on truly original ideas, indeed most of the Marvel ones I can think of are obvious rip-offs. In contrast, I can't think of an equivalent for Batman (perhaps there's some kind of 'Bat-god' who hunts down vermin at night in some African folklore) or Spiderman(another theriomorphic theological equivalent perhaps). Green-Lantern seems to be an especially original creation. I could be wrong because my knowledge is rather limited, but that's what this post is for - to provide suitable motivation to explore some of the remote but intriguing mythologies out there.

I think that Batman, G.L., Spiderman, Magneto, Swamp Thing (which only Abhijeet has read enough of), Aquaman, Prof Xavier should provoke challenging and interesting research. There must be an equivalent for the generic shape-shifter in every comicverse (e.g. Mystique) but I can't think of one right now.

So get googling or whatever and find some parallels of your own!

Slang! #1

World War II Slang

Youthful antiauthoritarianism is reflected in much of the slang of the World War. The seemingly endless series of profane acronyms such as,

SNAFU (Situation Normal - All Fucked Up),
FUBAR (Fucked Up Beyond All Recognition),
TUIFU (The Ultimate In Fuck Ups) and
JAAFU (Joint Anglo-American Fuck Up),

all reflect a youthful distrust of authority.

(quoted from "Flappers to Rappers: American Youth Slang")

Sunday, December 26, 2004


A tsunami (from Japanese meaning wave in port) is one or a series of ocean surface waves that occur after a large earthquake (having a vertical component of movement), seaquake, volcanic activity, slumps, or meteorite impacts in or near the sea. The term tidal wave is sometimes incorrectly used in place of tsunami but the two are different and in scientific usage tsunamis are not related to tides.

--- From Wikipedia

Huge Tsunamis hit the coasts all along the Indian Ocean yesterday morning, follow a massive underwater earthquake off the coast of Sumatra. The death toll according to last reports is near 10,000 with thousands more missing.

Quote of The Day #1

May there be warmth in your igloo, oil in your lamp, and peace in your heart.

-- Eskimo proverb

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