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June 11, 2010

It Starts With A Word

Word leads to

Sentence which leads to

Paragraph which naturally runs on to

Page

Chapter

Book

Championing by obscure art lit critic

Series

Out of print fishwrap.

Discovery by out-of-luck down-to-his-last-cocaine-line film director at an Inland Empire bake sale.

Indie Film Adaptation

Sundance

Director's Cut DVD with unrated, unnecessary extra footage containing nothing lurid.

Poorly dubbed Telenovela on Univision.

Included on re-release Director's Cut 10 Year Anniversary Edition DVD.

Criterion Collection

Endless marathon reruns on Star TV in between pan parag and Vicks commercials with all the good bits excised

Bollywood "adaptation" with much denial by producers that this is not a frame by frame ripoff of the original.

Entire "adaptation" almost instantaneously available on YouTube in 10 minute chunks.

Fan Tamil dub edit goes viral.

Hipster bloggers tweet up a storm.

Gritty dark re-imagined remake or origin story prequel greenlit in Hollywood. With money from Indian conglomerates.

Untimely death of original auteur in tragic hot tub accident observed in back page of The Big Sur Times.

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Hat tip.

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- June 11, 2010 3:50 PM // Bollywood , Film , Humour

Multitasking

Cross posted on sharidelic.

Multitasking

I keep returning to this topic and, judging by the recent outpouring of popular articles and TV shows, so do lots of Americans. I tweeted about it few times earlier especially after seeing the PBS Frontline documentary called Digital Nation but felt it was worthy of a blog post. The concept of multitasking dawned on me only after I came to this country along with other helpful work aids such as "Productivity!", "Push The Envelope!", "Work Hard!" and "Team Leader!" I observed that Americans take a lot of pride in being able to multitask continuously. One of the first things my supervisor advised me at my first job in America — "You need to be able to multitask effortlessly" she said. But of course!

I had no choice but to follow that principle for the last few years while I was in school or working at my various 9-5 jobs and pursuing my creative interests in filmmaking/acting on the side, because I was always trying to do more that I could handle. Not to say that I was happy with the feeling of being overwhelmed all the time. However, it was easier to hold my sanity doing that in my pre-mommyhood days!

However, post baby, I realize that motherhood and caring for an infant takes multitasking to whole new levels of nuttiness. Back then, I found myself juggling oodles of tasks at the same time — pumping with one hand and feeding the baby milk with the other, rocking the bouncer and trying to calm a wailing infant while calling the after care nurse triage service, feeding the baby while reading stories and grabbing a bite for myself while browsing through my emails! I have eaten baby food by mistake and almost fed my son my own dinner while trying to manage multiple spoons. I was also very proud of my one-handed typing skills while pumping breast milk! This madness did not stop at infancy - multitasking of motherhood (MoM) is continuing well into my son's toddler years. If anything, it became even more interesting trying to juggle the mommy duties, while working, pursuing my passion in acting and holding down the fort when hubby is unavailable due to his "extremely demanding" job! Every year, there are reports of overstressed parents running off to run errands having forgotten their baby is still locked in the car, sometimes with tragic consequences. Before, I would wonder how this could happen? Now, I can understand.

I was relieved to see Digital Nation, which confirmed my belief that multitasking is not so great for our brains after all! Here's a snippet from the video that summarizes the findings of a study conducted by Clifford Nass, a Professor at Stanford University and the founder and director of the Communication between Humans and Interactive Media (CHIMe) Lab, on a group of "multitasking" students:

Check out the DVD on Netflix, also available on instant watch.

The May issue of Women's Health magazine had an article on this topic which I felt was particularly relevant to us ladies. It's called How to Do One Thing at a Time and it asks us to stop multitasking! Here are some excerpts from the article:

A recent study published in the science journal NeuroImage revealed that when we attempt demanding tasks simultaneously, we end up doing neither as well as we should, because our brains have cognitive limits. We may think we're doing two things at once, but our brains are actually toggling between them.
"A tremendous amount of evidence shows that the brain does better when it's performing tasks in sequence, rather than all at once," says Clifford Nass, Ph.D., a professor of communication at Stanford University. "There's a huge cost to your concentration every time you switch gears. We still don't know the long-term effects of chronic multitasking, but there's no question we're bad at it, and it's bad for us."
"Multitasking has long been thought to slow down and even injure the mind," she says, "and those of us who practice Chinese medicine believe it can also injure the body."

Doing yoga regularly has definitely helped me focus but it's amusing to see that my fellow yogis or yoginis can't let go off their iPhones till the last minute before class. Let's see how long I can hold onto my zen and denounce the pressures of the "Tamasik" universe. Namaste! :)

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Shari Acharya - June 11, 2010 1:50 PM // Parenting , Virj

June 3, 2010

Shortcuts

Cross posted on sharidelic.

The SMS/Text shortcuts seem to have become the new lexicon of the 21st century. What started off as a language of convenience is gradually taking over the English language. I often get emails written in short-form, like the following (from a very sweet friend, I should add):

Hi
recd ur msg on fb.
nice to hear from u after so long.
u must have been busy with ur lil one.
see u n da lil one soon!
S

I have to admit that I find this extremely annoying — why bother to write when you don’t have time to spell out words? I haven’t figured out a way to politely convey that to this friend of mine. Perhaps she’ll get the point when she reads this post :-) It’s okay to use it for text messaging, for tweeting (to best utilize the 140 word-limit on Twitter) and maybe for a quick Facebook update but it’s not nice to write letters just with initials. I have also noticed that this trend is more popular in India as compared to the US — my inference is based on my experience of living in these two countries only. I’m guessing, it’s the influence of the rampant SMS culture there, which can probably translate to any heavy text using community across the globe.

This brilliant piece by an an Indian American Comedian Dalia McPhee called “What’s with all the initials?”, describes my sentiments perfectly! Here’s how it goes…

I got up and that was the good part.

Then I got on my PC to see CNN, then I IM-ed my friend JD on AOL, then my CPU went AWOL. And, JD’s all LOL, guess ur S.O.L. And, I’m LOL? LOL?, FU u SOB!!…

Check out the rest of her show along with four other talented Indian comedians on the Indian Comedy Tour DVD available on Netflix. You don't have to be an Indian to enjoy the jokes, they are pretty universal!

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Shari Acharya - June 3, 2010 12:06 PM // Humour , TV , Theater