Friday, November 2, 2012

Can't watch the Top Gear Bond-car special because I've got to study and possibly write self-indulgent Star Trek: TOS fanfiction because one of my actual protagonists won't shut up about it.
...Well, got to get that download queue started again.

Sunday, October 28, 2012


The stealth bomber lounges,
refreshingly constant,
with flanks of sleek metal
and eyes leonine.
"Await this December,"
said she to the Manza
with frankness and longing; 
"you will then be mine."

This is my life right now: impromptu love McWhirtles to my car. (Mine.) It isn't even a sonnet. Sonnets in my turn of phrase can be excused.

(The maniacal screencapping of two Star Trek: TOS videogames is also in progress before I have to buckle down and begin studying in earnest, but yeah.)

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Sexism in astrology, if you please.

A friend and I decided to amuse ourselves this afternoon by reading each other's Linda Goodman's Sun Signs chapters out loud.
Linda Goodman on how to keep a Leo man: 'submerge yourself'. Linda Goodman on how to keep a Leo woman: 'don't let her smother you'.
What. The actual. Fuck.

Look, horoscopes and other bullshit interest me not at all. Star signs, though, I will admit to there being something behind. ...Then again, certainly not in the way Ms Goodman says there is. Apply her reasoning to a Leo/Leo relationship and you have the woman submerging herself for the man who will not let her 'smother' him. If any woman tried to 'submerge herself' for my protagonist he'd probably either throw a fit and shake her up a little or simply silently freak and withdraw. (Ms Goodman also doesn't consider alternate-sexuality relationships, of course, but considering the publication dates that's pretty much a given.)
Her description of a Leo man fit me a lot better than the one of a Leo woman, incidentally, so basically this was one lady who talked through her dainty little sexist hat.

In happier news, I bought myself volumes one and two of Fundamentals of Flight: basic aerodynamics and aircraft structure. They are to be my recreational reading for the next couple of months.
When Cain is not Kirk, she's Scotty. Shut up.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Say Cheese. ...Say Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.

I remember being told once that 'huge' was not a word but a cheap shortcut to 'humongous'. I still can't figure out why anyone would say that.
This was at a creative writing workshop at the British Council Library. I was five or six, had not yet realized that writing formally in the first person was emphatically not my forte, and I remember writing a piece in which I invented some sort of toy car that ran on sugar.
Science-fictional tendencies in Little Self, who knew.

(The participants were also made to think of as many words as possible using the letters in Arnold Schwarzenegger. Naturally I didn't find that as funny as I would have if I'd been somewhat older. The heartthrobs of the world have apparently never been the same as mine.)

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Not Much Use Being The Early Bird If The Worm Is A Tubelight.

So I was going to post all the configurator screencaps I had because I have stupid repetitive graphs to plot and don't want to, and then I realized I'd forgotten one shot and went back to the Aston Martin site...and then I saw that in the Virage configurator they'd moved that damned ugly circular angle-control thing discreetly to one side.
Possibly they have plans to do that for the rest as well.
So I'll have to make time to screencap all of them again.
Also now the Vanquish has turned up and damnit.

PS. You still can't configure a One-77, even though they've all been sold. Aston, you stolid matter-of-fact stick-in-the-mud petrol-fuelled Brits, you.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

This Is Not My Cup Of Lassi.

Bol Bacchan was ridiculously fantastic (see also: fantastically ridiculous). If half the thought that went into this film were put into relatively serious movies...we'd have better serious movies (in other words, not utter bilge like Teri Meri Kahaani.) Not only was the movie hilarious (though it had its crass moments - got to please the galleries, I guess, but they can be survived by pretending they don't exist), it also had a clear message about religious tolerance, and even a sneaky little one about gender equality.

Also it displayed a delightfully surprising awareness of how the inherent anthropomorphism of vehicles can be used to further a visual goal. It's like the rule of three: you can use cars to enhance the comedy of a comedic situation or the drama of a dramatic one, or anything in between. This used the former: Ajay Devgn's cars (Scorpio?, Elantra, some kind of Toyota SUV which wasn't an Innova or Fortuner) all had exactly the same expression he did. And the backup Scorpios all looked exactly like stoic all-brawn-and-no-brain flunkeys should. It was hilarious. I get the impression it's Mr Devgn himself who gets the car thing (Lambo racing at Buddh International what?), but I've never seen such frankly brilliant understanding of their body language onscreen before. Respect, good sir.

Incidentally, discussion of Indian comedy films in general is the only context in which it's possible to say 'Well, I prefer grammar to sex.'

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Impartiality? When Dealing With Chauvinists?

No. No, science is not a girl thing. Nothing is a girl thing - or a boy thing, for that matter. Cars are not a boy thing, computers are not a boy thing, Sanskrit is not a boy thing: nothing that involves logic is merely a boy thing, and nothing that involves passion is merely a girl thing - either gender can possess both. And any field can involve both. Then again, men in music don't seem to face that many stereotypes, do they?

There is no such thing as an '[insert gender here] thing'. You're your own individual: you don't have to be a brash leather-clad cricket fan if you're a boy, and you don't have to wear miniskirts and goggles and lipstick if you're a girl, let alone if you're a female scientist. You can be a female scientist if you like to wear miniskirts and goggles and lipstick, but you can also be one if you wear denim - or even if you are the kind of quirky person people think all scientists are. You don't have to conform to any stereotype in order to be, well, anything.

Science doesn't bloody discriminate. I'm sorry, European Union, but Jim Kirk had it right. There's only one kind of woman - or man, for that matter: you either believe in yourself or you don't. 

For the moment, Cain out.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I Like To Torture Myself With Logic.

Dear, dear Delhi University, I'm fond of you and all (on occasion) and I do understand your intention when it came to implementing the semester system was to try and make Indian higher education more similar to that offered abroad, but you overlooked a rather important thing in connection with all that jazz: electives. There are, for instance, two compulsory physics courses for us chem honours students; the first pertains to optics and vector calculus and a fraction of mechanics, while the second is more electronics-focused. The general idea, no doubt, is to help one diversify intellectually - an admirable intention, certainly, but how about actually allowing one to diversify? I'll give you the fact that particle interactions are relevant to chemistry, but that's about it. I'll also give you the fact that our maths courses are kind of relevant, so there's that. On the other hand, there's English: Technical Writing. There's also bio. Cell theory and that whole jingbang. Whatever happened to biomolecules?

What I'm saying is, continuing from the physics angle, supposing you offered a choice of two or three courses, all of which included particle interactions but were otherwise different? I, for instance, would freakin' love more mechanics: kinematics, dynamics, hydraulics, engines; traction, torque and thrust. I'm sure there are people who would freak out on more electronics - or more optics. Or more nuclear stuff and radioactivity. Just sayin'.

As for me, engines. Give me engines.