Brilliant! But...

This is for crazy ideas that would be brilliant except for the (rather disappointing) catch.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Book Tag from Anshul

All right, all right. Long ways to go yet before i become a regular blogger again. But this tag is easy, so here goes...

  1. Book that changed my life: Kane and Abel by Jeffrey Archer. Read it when i was relatively young - not yet a teen - and it had a profound impression on my outlook/approach to life (For those of you in the back going "aaahhh, that explains the Union Jack" - yup, that's part of the story). I guess an honourable mention should also go to this sleazy book i read which had Marcus Aurelius as a gay boy who became the last Emperor of Rome and his mother Soaemias was a slut and there was a cult which worshipped Elah-Ga-Baal and all its followers were gay and made sacrifices/ablutions at a great idol of a phallus by... (yup, you guessed it - ceremonial wanking). Unfortunately i dont remember the name of the book or the author - or perhaps it is fortunate that i dont remember...
  2. Book you’ve read more than once: Lots of books fall in this category - the books i really like, i read again and again. But the biggest count must definitely be for Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less by Jeffrey Archer, which i must have read double-digit times by now.
  3. Book you’d take to a desert island - Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith. A book i keep telling myself i would finish if i had enough free time with nothing to do :P. It is fascinating in places and finally managed to put across the points of basic economics to me, but i havent actually finished it even once. The description of how currency exchange rates came about is plain spectacular. Never had trouble understanding forex since.
  4. Book that made you laugh - First book that ever made me laugh out loud when i was reading it was Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome. It was so incredibly funny i had to stop in the middle of a sentence sometimes because i couldnt stop laughing. Since then i have managed to smile, smirk or even laugh at the occasional line in a book, but nothing near the same scale as Three Men in a Boat, which is another book i've read many times.
  5. Book that made you cry: Revenge of the Sith by Matthew Stover. The whole book was an emotional roller coaster for an avid Star Wars fan like me, and i read it a few months before i saw the movie, when the hype was at its peak. And boy, did the story in the book live up to it! Anywayz, this is the passage that had me in tears (it is on the last page of the book): "The dark is generous, and it is patient, and it always wins - but in the heart of its strength lies weakness: one lone candle is enough to hold it back. Love is more than a candle. Love can ignite the stars."
  6. Book you wish you had written: The Harry Potter series. J.K.Rowling beat me to it, though :D. Of course, she did it far, far better than i could possibly have managed. But i did dream of writing books about a little boy who could do magic and the like... (but who hasnt, i guess)
  7. Book you wish had never been written: - The Bleak House by Charles Dickens. I remember finishing the book, FINALLY, after trying repeatedly over the span of a year (that's 3 vacations for us when we were in school - we had 3 terms). I must have read the first chapter, "Jarndyce & Jarndyce" about 15 times in total, and not completely every time. It was absolutely the most incredibly BORING book i have ever read. Massive waste of time, especially as it is a huge book. I still regret the time i spent on that book, which i will never get back. Damn you, Dickens!
  8. Book you’re currently reading - Uh, the sports page of the Today newspaper? :P No, but seriously i think i have few books which are WIP but for all practical purposes i will have to start them again. Probably start with Knife of Dreams by Robert Jordan, the Wheel of Time series. Followed by Fountainhead by Ayn Rand (that's right, i havent read it even once - sacrilege!)
  9. Book you’ve been meaning to read - Covered under the previous heading, i guess.
There! Passing this tag on to Sherene and Casablanca...

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Wild Theory #1

I've realised that coming up with brilliant ideas is not something i can do on a regular basis. You cant force creativity eh? So, to pass the time until i come up with my next idea, and also to act as a kind of interlude to lighten the note of this blog, i've decided to also air a wild theory every so often. So this is Wild Theory #1:

Every computer gamer or fan of epic fantasies like The Lord of the Rings admits that indulgence in said hobbies is a form of escapism. At least, the ones who are honest with themselves will admit as much, even if only to themselves. As a form of escapism, perhaps the redeeming thing about these pastimes is that they are more healthy than say, drinking or gambling. But it is a form of escapism nonetheless.

Which leads me to my next point. Ever notice that there is a strong undertone of a fear of commitment in fantasy stories? And by commitment, i mean in a relationship. Let me give you an example:-

In Diablo II, in the end cinematic of the original game, Baal meets Marius in a prison cell. Presumably, this is Marius' prison cell, where he has ended up due to his misdeeds during the story of Diablo II, spanning four Acts or Chapters. After Marius tells Baal what he has done, Baal says the following words:

"Marius, give me the *stone* and all is forgiven."

And Marius, thinking that Baal is an angel (actually, archangel), gives Baal the *stone*. Once Baal has the *stone*, he laughs demonically (of course, Baal *is* a demon) and then tells Marius:

"You havent failed, old man. You did exactly as you were meant to do."

And then we all know what Baal did to Marius (as Marius screams "No, no, no, no, no, no, no...).

See the undercurrent?

No?

All right, let me give you another example:-

Throughout The Lord of the Rings, the story is about someone (Sauron) who is looking for great power and dominion through the One *Ring*. All the *free peoples* (i am telling you, the innuendo is strong) of Middle-Earth know from previous experience that if Sauron has the One *Ring*, life becomes full of misery and despair and is over as they know it, basically. So they fought against it, and it took a swashbuckling bearded dude called Isildur to end the first dominion by using his broken sword to cut the One *Ring* from Sauron's hand. But still the evil did not end, because (of course),

"The Power of the Ring cannot be undone."

It went on to tempt even Galadriel, who had a live-in boyfriend for thousands of years (Celebrimbor), and she just about resisted the temptation of the power it could bring. She almost became a great and terrible queen who, in her own words, "...all would look upon and despair...".

And the evil was not vanquished until the One *Ring* was destroyed, in the fires of Mount Doom (in the absence of an active volcano, most goldsmiths or professional jewellers will do the job for you to melt down that ring and make it something useful, like a Bling Bling).

So be warned, men of this world, my brothers, that there are many magic rings in this world, and none of them should be used lightly...

I think i have made my point. Hopefully, there wont be hell to pay.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Ozone-Replenishing Paint for Airplanes

Hundreds of airplanes traverse the skies everyday, on their way to and from various destinations. The bigger airplanes go as far up as the stratosphere, sometimes up to the point in the atmosphere where the ozone layer is. What if we could find a way to replenish the ozone layer by using these airplanes? One crazy idea i had was to devise a kind of paint /coating that would encourage the production of ozone. From what i remember, the production of ozone depends on the presence of nascent oxygen as well as some key ions. If these conditions could be reproduced across the surface area of each airplane passing through the ozone layer, then it might increase the chance of ozone being produced when a lightning storm or some such electric phenomenon was present in the stratosphere at the same time. The delivery mechanism in this case could conceivably be constructed in the paint/coating covering the fuselage of these airplanes - if an appropriate combination of chemicals could be found that encourages the production of ozone but has no effect on aluminium, titanium and the other materials that airplane bodies are commonly made of.

Primary Catch: Finding such a chemical combination described above is next to impossible, mostly because nascent oxygen is unbelievably reactive and therefore corrosive to almost every metal, including titanium.

Secondary Catch: As with any medium involved in a chemical reaction, it is impossible to retain the paint's composition and external appearance on the airplane's fuselage. This means that in a very short time, the coating on the exterior of the airplane would be peeling and pitted and would never pass muster with airlines or air safety bodies.

Bummer!

If Only...

From the Apple ad: "Here's to the crazy ones... the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes, the ones who see things... differently. They are not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or villify them. About the only thing you can't do, is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. While some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world... are the ones who do."

This blog is for crazy ideas, ones that will probably never see the light of day. But just for creativity's sake, to recognise that they once passed across the average human's consciousness, i want to put down those outrageous ideas that got me so excited until i realised the catch. And if someone else can find a way around the catch, then so much the better. So here goes: