Archive for March, 2007

Everyone’s a little different, even if just a little

Advertising pop-ups are the curse of the web. And there’s probably nothing more painful than waiting for a commercial to run its course before you are allowed into a gated site. Still, there are some classy ads out there. Check out this personality test on Maker’s Mark bourbon. 


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How Henry Ford learnt to make cars—quickly

This simple, no-frills YouTube video makes a delicious claim. That Henry Ford picked up the principle of assembly line production of cars by looking at the supply-chain management of the humble South Indian oota—where 10-12 items are served on a plantain leaf to dozens of people in next to no time.

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Can anybody—anybody!—review food?

The once-genteel discipline of restaurant reviewing has turned into a free-for-all. Internet food bloggers (floggers!) rip apart restaurants even before the wrinkles have been ironed out, slamming the food, the furniture, the cutlery.

“Everyone has become a food critic. They think they’re real big shots. They probably can’t even make scrambled eggs. My wife and children eat here every day. Do you think I would serve them disgusting food?”

Public service or freedom expression gone too far at the hands of online amateurs?

Read the full article here:  Food bloggers dish up plates of spicy criticism

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Long live the career smoker

As a non-smoker who believes that the ostracism of smokers has gone a little too far, I just loved these paragraphs by Dave Eggers in Esquire’s Book of Great Writing.

When “WoodyWilner [the lawyer who sued and won against the tobacco companies] says in conversation and in court that smokers are “weak”, he is of course right, but he also couldn’t be more wrong. Smokers are the most stalwart and persevering people there are. Who but someone with a will of iron could bear such pressure—the sneers of strangers, the glares of his sons and daughters, the bitter, seething comments of the people who are forced to tolerate him and his aura—such decades-long opprobrium?

Who else would be willing to leave his office twice an hour to stand in the cold or rain to suck smoke from a paper tube? Who else would be willing to forgo going out to dinner, to movies, to any public place where smoking is not permitted, for fear that the urge will strike and not be quenchable?

Who but a giant could look at a dying wife, a pleading family, and a young son who will soon lose his mother and whose fate you hold in your yellowed fingers—will this boy lose one parent or two?—and yet still continue? Who but a man of outrageous fortitude, a will of steel, a mind of golden labyrinths?

A tobacco death requires years of meticulous attention and constant, obsessive care; it is perhaps a marvel of mortal achievement. When you die from smoking, the death is yours.


Excerpted from “Long Live the Career Smoker” from Esquire’s Big Book of Great Writing, Hearst Books, 2003

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Are you good enough to deserve a room here?

Its owner Charles Henn has a PhD from Cambridge. He doesn’t shake hands with guests. He hangs a sign outside saying “Sex tourists not welcome”. He throws out guests who complain. Louts and degenerates are not welcome. Coasters warn you: no sleaze, no yobbish behaviour, and keep your feet off the couch.

Welcome to The Atlanta in Bangkok where “miscreants and catamites” will be tossed out, and which caters to a certain kind of clientele: writers, academics, and discerning travelers who seek rest and comfort in refined surroundings among like-minded people.

Read the fascinating article here: No room for the wicked

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If wishes were horses, coasters could be…


These coasters, according to Scary Ideas, were printed using a special invisible red ink, which spreads only when moistened. The Mumbai Traffic Police placed at tables and bar counters in Mumbai’s prominent bars. When a customer places their moist glass of alcohol on it, the red ink starts spreading and the face starts to bleed.”

Courtesy: Scary Ideas

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The emulsified high fat offal tube

# Is a ban on straight bananas in the offing?

# Will the British sausage be renamed as “emulsified high fat offal tube”?

# Will the “Bombay Mix” have to be renamed because of the change in the city’s name?

# Is the pint as a measurement of beer doomed?

# Are the cleavages of British bar maids in danger?

Are “po-faced pen pushers” also known as “barmy Brussels bureaucrats” or “meddling eurocrats” running riot and changing the way the Brits live and eat and drink?

Read the full story: Guide to the best euromyths

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