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Posts Tagged ‘video’

The film reminded me of a Bangalore classroom years ago. Me and this-girl-who-was-not-yet-my-girlfriend were communicating via notes scribbled on paper. It was supposed to be a study session of course but when have such details dampened the excitement that comes with the early stages of a romance?

Come to think of it, I am pretty sure I still have those notes somewhere (I no longer have her).  And if I remember correctly, we not only communicated about our lives and likes in that furtive hour of under the desk note-passing but also about less likely things like Camus’ The Outsider and the social characteristics of young Indians. Heh.

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Of late I have enrolled at a gym for Crossfit and Krav Maga. I will write a detailed post a month or two later, but for now, watch this video of the amazing (and beautiful) Nicole Carroll of Crossfit fame attempting 15 overhead squats of her bodyweight (125 lb). 

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[Post edited] I discovered this video today. It is a recording of a speech Obama made more than an year ago. The familiar themes of collectivist altruism (this is Obama after all!) have their place but the speech is mainly about religion in a political context. Having heard many good and not so good Obama speeches, I think the one ranks among his best. It is extremely substantive and gives a lot of insight into Obama’s thinking on these matters. As an atheist, I find 26:50 to 31:30 particularly relevant.

Another very significant section is 21:50 to 22:39 where Obama talks of personal morality and its effect on political philosophy. This should be heard in conjunction with 28:25 to 29:44. Of course, Obama is talking in a religious context here but I think it is interesting to reinterpret these passages as applied to ideologies, particularly those with a moral  component. I hope to expand on this theme in one of my long planned essays.

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Apple comes out with a laptop without a keyboard. Check out this video!

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The bizarre story of three young serial killers who tortured and killed 21 people and took live videos of their gruesome murders on cellphone camera. They did it as a ‘hobby’, so that they could have interesting memories when they grew old.

The thee youths dubbed themselves The Dnepropetrovsk Maniacs.

By all accounts, each victim came about by total chance. The three killers just picked them act random, trying to select people who wouldn’t fight back too much. Not exactly the “man as the ultimate prey” type, but just three thugs looking for thrill kills.

Of curse, they weren’t satisfied with only committing murder, they wanted things to remember their victims by for, as one of the killer put it, “when we’re old”. So they took pictures — Lot and lots of pictures. Three hundred to be exact, plus 2 complete videos of 2 murders.

[...] Man’s inhumanity to man has rarely been this ugly. We read about murders every day, and how many times have we heard that someone was bludgeoned to death. Well, up until today bludgeoning didn’t have a face, and now we know its face is a bloody, pulpy mass of flesh. These kids were having a great time watching a total stranger suffer unimaginable pain and their biggest concern was cleaning up the murder weapons while they made fun of the victim’s death throws.

It’s not like these kids were abused, or came from broken homes, just the opposite, they were quite wealthy and allegedly committed the crimes just for fun. They are thought to have used iron pipes and hammers on their victims. Mobile phone footage also suggests they practiced on cats first.

Later on one of the suspect quit and 2 guys continued to murder. Also they attended funerals of their victims, and took pictures of the mourners.

The Police are not revealing how they caught them but, with mobile phone footage of some of the murders, officers have little doubt of the identity of the criminals. “We think they were doing it as a hobby, to have a collection of memories when they get old,” said Detective Bogdan Vlasenko.

I am usually opposed to the death penalty, even for terrible crimes but for the first time ever, I simply can’t think of any reason why these three should live. Maybe it is the effect of watching the video.

Talking of the video, here’s a warning: It is much much more gruesome than anything you can imagine. I started watching the video but had to put it off less than 50 seconds through, and I am anything but the sensitive type. If you want to go ahead and watch the video, do so — but it may make you physically sick. Please don’t say I didn’t warn you.

The link I posted above does not contain the video itself; it only links to another site which has the video. But it does have a transcript of the video, so if you do not want to read a vivid description of the murders, do not click on it either.

(Hat Tip: Boing Boing)

Addendum: The other blogs dealing with this story seem to have lot of angry commenters complaining that they were emotionally scarred by the video (why did they click on it despite the warnings?) and blaming the blogger for writing about it. If you are one of those types or otherwise outraged that I posted this story here, please do me a favor and not bother expressing your moral indignation in the comments.

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I went to see the LA Opera production of  Carmen today.

What can I say about Carmen that hasn’t been said before? I had been waiting to see it for three years. Too often when your expectations are that high, you end up disappointed. Not so with this one.

It was one of the most beautiful experiences I have ever had. It was the most worthwhile $20 I have ever spent.

When you combine a great story with absolutely magical music you get Carmen. I could of course nitpick. The tenors weren’t that great, Carmen could have been prettier. But the music alone was worth it. Carmen’s voice was fabulous.

And who would have guessed that the opera with the most perfect music ever would also have as its central character a seductive, fiercely independent woman who fears neither heaven nor hell but only believes in freedom and prefers to choose death than compromise on her liberty?

Embedded below are my favourite pieces from Bizet’s masterpiece. Enjoy.




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In view of certain recent events, it seems appropriate to re-post this wonderful video.

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My car radio is usually tuned to FM 91.5, better known as classical KUSC. The channel plays beautiful classical music, but because they are listener supported, every three months they go on donation overdrive.

So, I was listening to them go on and on about how I should help keep the music going, and that if I pledge $180, that is $15/month to them for a year, I would receive a 6 CD collection of the 100 best Opera classics.

Don’t get me wrong — I love KUSC and I totally appreciate the fact that they need the support of those who listen to them. However, I really prefer their music to recitals of their phone number, repeated ad nauseum.

They must have realized what I was thinking, for they started playing songs from the promised 6 CD collection. In particular, they played this miracle.

Who said music can’t move you? To cut a long story short, I am now a donor and waiting for my promised CDs to show up.

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Milton Friedman, Nobel prize winning economist  — and one of my personal idols — was among the most influential libertarian thinkers of the last century. Friedman was primarily a consequentialist, meaning he advocated libertarian policies based on the fact that they work better. Such an approach has the great advantage of political effectiveness. If you can demonstrate that greater freedom also leads to better economic results — better solutions to the Roti, Kapra aur Makaan issues — you will have a much easier time swaying the public to your point of view.

However there were some issues were Friedman advocated for liberty on purely moral grounds. The video below — one of Friedman’s last interviews — is a wonderful example:

This is not to say that there is no consequentialist argument for drug legalization — on the contrary, it is perhaps the finest candidate for such analysis. Hell, even Barack Obama accepts that the war on drugs has been an utter failure. The reason, I think, that Friedman took the moral path here is that some things are just too fundamental to leave to utilitarian analysis. They are worth fighting for their own sake, discounting everything else, for they go to the heart of human existence.

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Watch this pair — he without a leg, she without an arm — dance like a dream.

(Hat Tip: Boing Boing)

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Here’s the link.

The following sequence occured in an alternate universe that I would love to belong to:

Judge: Before I ask for the other evidence I would like to ask you a question that I always do; what was, in summary fashion, the intent and purpose of the Ravana dance that you did with Mona Singh?

Bhajji: Why is that a relevant question?

Judge: (Damn, this Bhajji guy is slippery) I need to know whether your intention was to hurt religious sentiments of others or simply to, ahem, get closer to Monaji. Because, according to our law, no one has the right to offend religious…

Bhajji: My dance and its coverage speaks for itself; I did what I did. So when you ask my intent, are you saying that one answer is wrong and one is right? Is a certain answer contrary to law?

Judge: Oing?

Unfortunately, around this time, the worm-hole connecting our two universes evaporated and the transmission stopped. However, you can get a rough idea of what happened next by viewing this video from our own universe.

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Some of Obama’s speches, like the 2002 one on the Iraq war, the 2004 one in the DNC or the one earlier this year in race, are magnificiently written and rich in content.

By contrast, the one he delivered in Virginia on Saturday night is unremarkable, indeed trite in content, but stylistically brilliant. It starts off slowly, almost lamely and slowly builds up to a crescendo. The last five minutes or so should be mandatory viewing for anyone who wishes to learn how to send 25,000 people into crazed rapture. If you had any doubts about Obama’s oratory skills, or wondered what is it about this guy that sends chills up Chris Mathews’ legs or leads Oprah to declare him as ‘the one’, you need to watch the video below.

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I have never been a hardcore Ron Paul fan. Nonetheless, I found the video below touching, not just because it reminded me that I have much more in common with him than not, but also because it poignantly reflects the truth — more stark today than it has ever been — that truth-tellers can never be successful politicians.

(Hat Tip: Andrew Sullivan)

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This is hilarious!

Videos like this — funny, politically incorrect, quirky, creative and virtually zero-budget — abound on YouTube and represent one of the greatest achievements of the internet; the ability of anyone to disseminate their work to a wide public with minimal advertising. It is the ultimate free-market and I love it.

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Biden, pit-bull

I have my differences with Joe Biden’s policies but I agree with Earl Warren — he will play the attack dog role to perfection. I mean, just watch this amazing clip from last October when Biden was still in the running:

It will be entertaining to watch the VP debates.

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