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March 31, 2007

Apu vs Abby

Hold on to your hats folks, 20th Century Folks have come up with one cunning plan to promote the new Simpsons movie. It involves none other than the 7-Eleven chains:

To help hype July's "The Simpsons Movie," the studio is working to enlist 7-Eleven to turn several of the chain's stores into Kwik-E-Marts. The fronts of about a dozen stores would be transformed to look like the cartoon's famed convenience store, and shoppers could pick up everything from Krusty-Os cereal and Buzz Cola to Slurpees dressed up in cups that say Squishee.

Yessiree, Yankee marketing at its best! Will there be lifesize Apus working the counters, dripping hair oil into the slurpee machine, one wonders? Thank you, come again.

On the other corner, we have Naveen Andrews (Lost, The English Patient), appearing in Grindhouse as Abby, an ass kicking zombie body part collector.

Thank you, Quentin.

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- March 31, 2007 9:30 PM // Film

March 24, 2007

Desis In Odd Places Part III

Well color me brown and sit me down, I would have never guessed about a Shaivite Hindu temple smack dab in Kauai, Hawaii, so I guess this qualifies. This is the Iraivan temple and this being the Communications Age, it comes with its own web site, documentary, podcast, and an inspirational tale of how it came to be:

Gurudeva said: "It was in 1959 that my path led me to the Hawaiian Islands for the first time. In 1968 I returned to the islands on a vision quest, seeking and finding a place to move our international headquarters, there to live a contemplative life in harmony with the ultimate attainment of the Self within man. One early morning, before dawn, a three-fold vision of Lord Siva came to me. First I beheld Lord Siva walking in a valley, then I saw His face peering into mine, then He was seated on a large stone, His reddish golden hair flowing down His back. That was February 15, 1975.

"This was the fulfillment of the quest for a vision of what the future might hold, which led me and my followers to the lovely Garden Island of Kauai, held the most sacred of all by the Hawaiian peoples long, long ago. It is alongside the sacred Wailua River, leading to the top of Mt. Waialeale, that this place of pilgrimage is being built, a temple of kaivalya, granting freedom from the past and a vision for the future. The temple's 700-pound 50-million-years-in-the-making crystal icon is a kalpaka (spiritual wish-fulfilling) ever-giving Sivalingam. So many blessings await each pilgrim. None are ever neglected.

Though the current version of the temple is still under construction, it still attracts a steady flow of visitors and I would only expect the number to grow over time. A must visit for our next Hawaii trip (if and when...)

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- March 24, 2007 7:21 PM // Travel

March 17, 2007

World Cup in the Bay Area

The San Jose Mercury News writes:

Back in the day, Anupam Singh of San Jose would be among the hundreds of cricket fans lined up in front of Fremont's Naz8 Cinema, one of the Bay Area's biggest Indian movie theaters and one of the few places to watch cricket's world cup.

But in today's tech-driven society, there are a host of ways to watch the world's biggest cricket tournament, which started Tuesday in the Caribbean. Singh watched the West Indies-Pakistan match over the Internet while at work at Oracle.

Hundreds of cricket fans were expected at the Naz, but only about 15 showed up. Just two popped into Britannia Arms, the British pub in San Jose. Both venues are broadcasting the games for free.

I feel somewhat bad for Naz and these other establishments, but as soon as I walked into Yahoo's Santa Clara campus cafe area the other day, I knew my days of tracking down cafes, theaters and pubs across California were over: in the bright plasma displays lining the seating area, Sri Lanka were busy thrashing a hapless Bermuda. Yes! Yahoo would be showing all the World Cup matches! Attendance has been a tad sparse thus far, but just wait 'til India starts playing :-)

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- March 17, 2007 9:40 AM // Bay Area

March 11, 2007

Odd Titles

From the Beeb comes this entry about a contest for odd book titles. The finalists are:

  • How Green Were the Nazis?
  • D. Di Mascio's Delicious Ice Cream: D. Di Mascio of Coventry: An Ice Cream Company of Repute, with an Interesting and Varied Fleet of Ice Cream Vans
  • The Stray Shopping Carts of Eastern North America: A Guide to Field Identification
  • Tattooed Mountain Women and Spoon Boxes of Daghestan
  • Proceedings of the Eighteenth International Seaweed Symposium
  • Better Never To Have Been: The Harm of Coming Into Existence

Love it, particularly the one about the seaweed. These titles reminded me of a game of movie charades I played in my grad school days. When came my turn, my adversary, his grin a mile wide, whispered in my ear, "The Wonderful, Horrible Life of Leni Riefenstahl."

"What?"

"You heard me."

This being an informal game and with my pride at stake, I had no choice but to proceed. Needless to say, nobody understood a single gesture I made. Adding insult to injury. many guffaws could be heard during my contortions. But, when came my tormentor's turn, I was ready. Thank you Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean for helping me get revenge!

In general, Indian film titles tend to be terse. With that in mind, here's the longest/oddest one that I know of. Cue drum roll...

It's Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyon Ata Hai (Why Is Albert Pinto Angry?). This 1980 examination of the life a typical Indian Christian sank without much fanfare shortly after its release. But the title alone ensures its place in desi film folklore.

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- March 11, 2007 7:48 PM // Books , Film