The April Fool prank that drowned

Pure dihydrogen monoxide is tasteless, but:

The DJs’ joke was totally immature—think grade-school level—and yet remarkably successful. They warned listeners that dihydrogen monoxide was coming out of the taps in the Fort Myers area. Of course, dihydrogen monoxide is water, but people were so freaked that Lee County Utilities had to make a statement saying that their water is safe to drink.

via Florida DJs Are Off the Hook for Their Successful April Fool’s Prank – Esther Zuckerman – The Atlantic Wire.

Why nuking cyclones is a bad idea

Simply put:

Apart from the fact that this might not even alter the storm, this approach neglects the problem that the released radioactive fallout would fairly quickly move with the tradewinds to affect land areas and cause devastating environmental problems. Needless to say, this is not a good idea.

TCFAQ C5c Why don’t we try to destroy tropical cyclones by nuking.

What if: Leap Seconds

The bit I found most interesting:

Half a billion years ago when the Earth was 4 billion years old, instead of 4.5, each day was 22 hours long instead of 24. The day has gotten longer because of tidal forces from the Moon.

via Leap Seconds.

Apple Outsider » Home Turf

Yup, that’s pretty much it:

However, the Google – Facebook war is sure to be more vicious than the Google – Apple war because Google and Facebook have the same customers: advertisers. Users are their currency, and Facebook is about to rob the bank.

Of course, the icing on the cake will be if facebook forks Android and buys HTC eventually.

Apple Outsider » Home Turf.

Chashme Baddoor past and present

I was pretty disappointed that I was not as disappointed by the Chashme Baddoor remake as I had anticipated from the promos. In fact, I had planned on skipping the movie altogether, but ended up watching it based on my parents recommendations. Also, the fact that Rajeev Masand gave it a fairly positive review helped (my tastes seem to line up with his on most Hindi movies). Also, just to make get my frame of reference right, I followed up the remake with the evening show of original classic.

So, here are my thoughts as usual:

  • The remake works solely due to the performance of the support cast with the lead actor & actress being eye-candy. This was the most jarring departure from the original where Farooq Shaikh & Deepti Naval are at the forefront and their chemistry is the backbone of the movie.
  • If the lead cast of the original is a cake with the support cast adding the layers of icing, then the remake is more like a kaju barfi with the hero & heroine serving as the silver foil for decoration without adding to the taste.
  • In the remake, Ali Zafar seems to be a Physics student, and that seems to explain the lack of Chemistry with Taapsee Pannu.
  • Watching the two movies back to back served as a good reminder of the way the story telling pace has evolved over the last 3 decades. The original has a fairly laid back pace, while the remake tries to maintain a laugh a minute pace.
  • The remake has adapted quite a few of the original’s scenes starting with the balcony sighting of the heroine, leading up to the fake kidnapping.
  • The money exchanging hands sequence also gives you an idea of the kind of inflation we have had – Rs 10 in the original vs Rs 500 in the new one. As a side note, this is also a basic economics lesson that we see floated on social networks where 3 people manage to settle debts without anyone getting richer.
  • I preferred the songs of the original, particularly the classical ones.
  • I wonder whether the “Andha Ghoda Race Mein Dauda” from the remake is a take on the “Kali ghodi dwaar khadi”. The timing in the movie is somewhat similar.
  • Cigarettes feature a lot more prominently in the original, but there were no warnings during the screening in the theatre unlike the remake. Of course, Saeed Jaffrey as Lallan Miyan makes a pretty good case against smoking to Farooq Shaikh in the original.
  • Omi’s shayari is a lot more sophisticated in the original.
  • The posters on the wall between the 3 friends had more variety in the original, especially for Omi and Siddharth.
  • They retained the names of the 3 friends, but changed it for the female lead in the remake (Seema vs Neha). Wonder whether it was only for the puns & shayaris.
  • They managed to force in the Miss Chamko bit in the remake, albeit not with the same impact as the original.
  • The remake definitely didn’t emphasize on employment on part of the lead characters unlike the originals where Deepti Naval works as a part time sales person to pay for her music lessons.

Bottom line is that the remake is a typical David Dhawan entertainer where you can give rest to the grey cells, while the original remains a classic and seeing it on the big screen was a unique experience.