21 August 2008

Red Bull Air Race - London 2008

Red Bull Air Race - the name said it all…high energy and excitement…and I was not disappointed! It was awesome!
Red Bull Air Race is an international series of air races held in different cities. The pilots have to navigate a challenging obstacle course made up of a series of huge inflatable cones called ‘air gates’ in the fastest possible time.
Pilots must not only be fast but deftly accurate as hitting these air gates, missing an air gate or flying through at an incorrect angle incurs various time penalties. Quite death defying!
Pilots fly individually against the clock. There are 2 types of penalties – the 3 sec and the 10 sec one, which basically means that either 3 secs or 10 secs will get added to their clocked time.
Apart from that if they do what qualifies as dangerous flying – flying too low or crossing the crowd line they get disqualified.
If the plane hits an air gate, it is designed to break apart. Course personnel nicknamed "Air Gators" replace the damaged parts of the air gate. They were quite impressive. They took barely a few minutes to bring up a fallen air gate.
The races are held mainly over water near cities, but also at airfields or natural wonders.
And this year in London, River Thames against the backdrop of the 02 arena was the base for the race. Seating was arranged on both sides of the riverside. The air gates were floating on the river.
The day started with some other side activities before the qualifying races. There was the skydiving where a few guys jumped from the helicopter leaving behind them a trail of orange. That was good but what followed just took my breath away. The Helicopter Spinning or back flipping was mind blowing. A helicopter is a much heavier aircraft than the usual aircrafts used to do acrobatics and when it spun around in the air it left us all gasping with admiration. It's one thing to see a fixed wing aircraft do manoeuvres like that but it's totally different to see it being done in a helicopter. Then there was the Helicopter rescue sequence, which was also quite good.
And finally the excitement of the actual races as the pilots zoomed about. It wasn’t long before we had our favourites and mine was Péter Besenyei, the Hungarian.
All in all I had a great time!

20 August 2008

Independence Day Celebrations @ London Office

The dress code was Ethnic. However, only 5 of us went in ethnic clothes. Of these 2 were British women – bless them!!! Dawn wasn’t in Indian clothes but she was very sporting and innovative – she wore the colours of the Indian Flag. What hurt me was the lack of enthusiasm among my Indian colleagues. These days I think they only want free food and free beer!

14 August 2008

The blues is like looking down on planet earth when you're stuck in outer space
~ Sulman Rushdie

13 August 2008

Wicked, the musical

I love musicals and everything about them - the songs, the costumes and the dancing. And after watching Wicked, I love them even more. Wicked was absolutely adorable.

It is the untold story of the unlikely friendship between the future witches of Oz - Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda, the Good Witch of the North. It’s like a prequel to the 'Wizard of Oz’.

It starts with a tin dragon made at the top front of the stage roaring, followed by some colourful paper bunting ...since we had top seats ...only 6th from the stage ...lots of it fell on us…initial shock then glee!

In the opening scene the citizens of Oz celebrate the death of the Wicked Witch of the West. Glinda looks absolutely ravishing in a silvery white gown with tiara, wand and the works, as she descends in her bubble to confirm the circumstances of the Witch's melting with a wonderful rendition of 'No One Mourns the Wicked'.
In this song itself, someone asks her about her friendship with Elphaba and the scene moves into a flashback – how Elphaba’s mom has an affair with a man who offers her a drink from a green bottle. And a hilarious scene as she pops a Green Baby!!!

Elphaba has a very unhappy childhood, as she faces ridicule and discrimination because of her skin colour. Her father also seems to blame her for fact that her younger sister Nessarose is born a cripple.
One feels really bad for Elphaba as father gifts Ness a pair of beautiful silver shoes, while reminding her that she is being sent to Shiz university only so that she can take care of her wheelchair born sister.

As Glinda and other students sing 'Dear Old Shiz', they come across and shy away from Elphaba and one ends up sympathising with her. At this point I wondered, was the wicked witch really wicked at all and if the Good Witch was really good?

Madame Morrible, the sinister headmistress insists on taking care of Ness herself as she says it was a special request from their father, the governor. Despite Elphaba’s resistance she accidentally makes her roommates with the spoiled and popular Glinda.
In her anger Elphaba accidentally reveals an innate magical talent, which impresses Madame Morrible. She decides to tutor Elphaba personally and also tells Elphaba that this would be helpful to the Wizard. Here for the first time we see a happy Elphaba and her soaring rendition of 'The Wizard and I' deserves a standing ovation.

Glinda seems to be jealous at this point as she too wants be tutored by Morrible who just seems to ignore her. So Glinda immediate takes a dislike to Elphaba. Elphaba also dislikes Glinda, and seem to be quite unhappy that they have to share a room. At this point they sing 'What is This Feeling?’ which was quite humorous especially as they try to describe each other. Glinda calls Elphaba "unusually and exceedingly peculiar" while Elphaba just sums her new friend up as "a…eh…blonde!!!"

Certain circumstances and we see a friendship blossoming between the two. Glinda then decides to help her friend get a makeover to make her popular and the way she teaches her to ‘ TOSS TOSS’ her hair is toooo blondish and funny.

Elphaba seems to fall in love in Fiyero...but thinks it would be impossible for someone like Fiyero to love someone like her – and one can't stop the tears welling up in one’s eye as she sings 'I'm Not That Girl'.

Other songs that I loved were The Wizard’s 'Sentimental Man' and Elphaba’s ‘Defying Gravity’ – where she enchants a broomstick to fly and flies off, promising to fight the Wizard with all her power.

In Wizard of Oz there are some assumptions - what is the story of the Tin Man and why he doesn’t have a heart, why the lion is a scary poor, what’s the story behind the Scarecrow. 'Wicked' provides answers to these.

Wicked was pure fantasy entertainment…loveable to the core.

11 August 2008

Wordle again!

While last time I came up with the list of words myself, this time I decided use the
other option of providing the blog address and let WORDLE create something based on that.

08 August 2008

Google!

The Google logos always impress me...but this is one of the best I have seen!

04 August 2008

A lot of 8's

That's an appointment with my GP-

01 August 2008

For years there has been a theory that millions of monkeys typing at random on millions of typewriters would reproduce the entire works of Shakespeare.
The Internet has proven this theory to be untrue.
~ Anonymous