Famous quotes

"Happiness can be defined, in part at least, as the fruit of the desire and ability to sacrifice what we want now for what we want eventually" - Stephen Covey

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Homeland : Long Time Coming

After an action packed 11 episodes in Islamabad, the season finale took an emotional turn and set the platform for the future. Here is the review by Cory Barker of TV.Com of season finale of Homeland.

For the second year in a row, Homeland went with a more epilogue-style finale that distanced itself a bit from the primary events of the season (in this case, the Pakistan story and setting). Although the minor jump forward in time meant that "Long Time Coming" didn't drop us right into some Carrie and Quinn versus Dar and Haqqani bloodbath—which might've been extremely thrilling—the hour was ultimately a more successful example of this "type" of episode than the Season 3 finale. Whereas at the end of last season it felt like Homeland wanted to give Brody one last send-off above all else, "Long Time Coming" offered a really strong mix of somber reflection and intrigue for the future. All told, I can't imagine many of us expected that this would be how Season 4 ended, but it was a fine change of pace after the more deliberately intense and deadly back half of the season.

While I certainly would've enjoyed yet another episode featuring Quinn doing his best Jack Bauer impression, perhaps joined by an impassioned Carrie, I wonder if showrunner Alex Gansa and the writer of this episode, Meredith Stiehm, were concerned about the law of diminishing returns with the action in Islamabad. By bringing Homeland's characters and story back to the United States, "Long Time Coming" put a stop to the explosions, but hustled to try to bring everyone's season-long arcs to some kind of new—or renewed—place, without completely stripping away the espionage. I'm betting that not everyone enjoyed this approach, but for the most part, it worked for me.

Stiehm's script was particularly well-constructed, creating a first half that made room for Carrie to say goodbye to her father and experience what life outside of the CIA could, in theory, be like. Whether you entirely buy the show's long-term handling of Carrie as a character (and I'm skeptical), I do buy the simple idea that the death of a family member can have nearly unlimited impact on a person, especially someone in Carrie's fragile position given everything that happened in Islamabad. As a result, the Carrie we saw here was more invested in being a mother to her baby, was generally warmer to her sister, and handled the 'big' stuff associated with her father's death (packing up boxes, delivering the eulogy, maneuvering around at the wake, etc.) without any troubled Carrie 'freak outs'. Obviously, the sudden reappearance of her mother threw Carrie for a loop, but even then, she made the effort to drive across the country to Missouri to figure out the truth of why this woman did what she did.

o many of those little moments just rang true for me. Carrie and Quinn share some kind of connection and she didn't know if/how he survived in Pakistan, so their reunion had the right level of surprise and relief. The brief moment with Lockhart slinking into the wake super late, armed with a crappy dish of his wife's lasagna, like the awkward dweeb he is, only to be welcomed to the Cool Kids table with Carrie, Quinn, and Saul so they could all have a "Pakistan, Am I Right?" moment, was just great. Odd, but great. Finally, the small series of scenes where the episode hit us over the head that Quinn and Carrie, those two crazy kids, might be able to make it in the real world if they just got out of the CIA worked well enough because Claire Danes and Rupert Friend sold the heck out of it, and because in that moment, the two of them have reached a point where getting out actually seems like a decent plan. It's not just like the Carrie-Brody ill-fated Romeo and Juliet nonsense; it's a slightly more rational, if still underdeveloped, connection that the show simply isn't going to let us ignore.

Plus, Carrie's struggles with her mother were, in some ways, more powerful because she walked out on her kid just as her mother did so many years ago. And while Carrie's mom eventually admitted that her mistakes were due to a level of infidelity that she couldn't control, those impulses are familiar to Carrie. Like her mother, she hasn't been able to stay still; instead of sexing up the chillest bro at the bar, she simply zooms off to a war-torn country to try to bring democracy and/or imperialism to any and all nations. It's not the same, but it's not entirely different either. Thus, Carrie feels like she's been the way she is because of what's been passed down from her dad's DNA, but these moments with her mother illustrated that she is her mother's daughter as well. And so, she was finally convinced that maybe she could escape the CIA, and maybe being bipolar wasn't a life sentence of being alone. Maybe she wouldn't screw it up with Quinn, or with the baby, or even with her sister. Again, having just watched the episode, I'm not 100 percent sure I can track this throughout all 12 episodes, but as a kicker here at the end of the season, this was a darn fine place to get with Carrie. Stiehm's the best at writing for Carrie and it's no surprise she took on this episode. In a vacuum, this was the best Carrie episode in...two years? Maybe longer.

While I'm less confident about the through-lines with Carrie, the show did nice work with both Quinn and Saul in this episode, pulling together tremendous moments that were basically in-line with what we've seen all season. In that regard, it wasn't surprising to see Quinn made a grand effort to support Carrie at the funeral and wake, to play with the baby, and even clean up the dishes. He was not only jonesing to have something more with Carrie, but the dude just wants to get out. We know that, we've seen it, and we've heard it. Even though he made these gestures at a wake, and even though Carrie is absolutely a mess, Quinn has been searching for someone to get him out, and keep him out. For Saul, the story was similarly simple, but effective—he wanted back in. Lockhart's politicking submarined him last season, the private sector sucked, and now that he's come out the other side of being the key hostage of one of the world's most dangerous men, he's ready to get back in the game. Unsurprisingly, Saul's desperation meant that he was willing to listen to Dar's big pitch about Haqqani—Dar agreed to take Haqqani off the kill list if he stopped harboring terrorists and was willing to get the video of Saul as a sign of good faith—and willing to undercut Carrie, and everything that happened in Islamabad just for the chance to take back the agency.

Best of all, all three of those arcs came together in the episode's final 10 minutes, with Carrie deciding she wanted to try with Quinn, only to learn that he'd already given up (again) and taken a mission with no end date to Syria and Iraq, and then her trying to blackmail Dar into getting her in touch with Quinn using the info that she saw him with Haqqani, and then discovering that Saul and taken Dar's bait and ultimately had no problem cutting a deal with Haqqani (by association, at least). Carrie made a real effort to at least try to change her life. Quinn wanted to, again, but wasn't patient enough, and didn't trust himself to stick it out. And Saul got exactly what he wanted all along, while setting himself up to save face with the powers that be, Carrie be damned. That's quite the turn of events, and one that produced an emotional gut-punch I wasn't ready for, particularly when Carrie and Saul came face to face on Dar's porch. Who would have guessed that the biggest moment of the season would take place there, after everything that has happened over the previous 11 hours?

Obviously, it's worth being at least somewhat skeptical regarding this turn of events. Maybe Carrie and Quinn aren't the kind of pair you can totally invest in. Maybe we've seen Saul screw Carrie over one too many times. Maybe Dar's 'plan' involving Haqqani seemed vague enough that the show can simply move on next season, not unlike how it handled the mess in Iran in Season 3. I hear that, and in some ways, I feel that way about what occurred in this finale. But I also really, really like that after a sometimes bumpy season that served as a soft reboot, this episode showed that Homeland can still deliver an emotional wallop without drones, missiles, shootouts, or manipulated prescriptions. It's not the time to say "Homeland is back!" or that's better than ever, or any of those superlatives—it's just nice to confirm that the show has something left in the tank, and that it's continued existence is beneficial for television.


– Predictably, the jump back the U.S. didn't include a check-in with the Boyds. I guess Dennis is simply going to pay for his crimes and Martha will find another job? Those two were wrongfully lost in the shuffle over the past two episodes.

– No Aasar or Max this week either, but Tasneem made an appearance on TV, speaking out against American involvement in Pakistan. It will be interesting to see whether Homeland continues with that story at all in Season 5.

– I laughed at how quickly Saul ignored his wife now that he's back home, safe and sound. There she was, trying to make sure he was okay, and he just had to get to that meeting. He's a terrible husband.

– Now that we know the details, what do you make of Dar's plan? It seems to me that he wasn't involved with Haqqani from the jump, and more likely reached out after the siege on the embassy. Like I said up above, I'm not sure how much I really buy the idea that Dar, or Saul, could trust Haqqani, but I guess I'm willing to believe they're both selfish enough to think they can trust him as a means of gaining control of the intelligence community. Regardless, if it means more Mandy Patinkin–F. Murray Abraham diner scenes next season, I can be convinced.

– Amy Hargreaves did good work as Amy in this episode. She's always good, but it was nice to see the character do more than lecture Carrie. Victoria Clark was also solid as Carrie's mom; I'd love for her to stick around more next season.

– That was a great little tribute to James Rebhorn at the end of the episode. Man is he missed, everywhere.

finally I believe the following cast really added value to this season Not sure will they ever appear again but they still made resurrect the series.

Nimrat Kaur

Raza Jaffrey

Suraj Sharma

Robins Stoll/Laila Robins

Nazanin Boniadi

Sunday, December 21, 2014

GoodBye Craig.An end of a great show

Farewell to Craig An unique show which always looked like completely improvised and never scripted. Thats the one thing will people leave from the show.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Rajon Rondo To Mavericks

I find it extremely ironic that only a few months back I bought the original NBA gear of Rondo No 9 Celtics jersey that the Celtics have traded him tot he Mavs. I always loved the Mavs and always choose them as my team whenever I play NBA Live. It was always easy to get Dirk on the post and score with his turnaround fadeaway. Anyways Im not disappointed for the Celtics as they are clearly on the rebuilding path and it doesn't make sense to hold on to a superstar like Rondo.

Now the Mavs seem to have all the elements now with a terrific point guard in Rajon , a dynamic SG in Monte, and the Chandlers in 3 and 5 and the ever reliable Dirk in 4.But in the very deep Western conference it is difficult for them to come out of the West. They need to beat Clips,GSW or the Spurs who i feel that are above them even with Rondo.Morover there is the chemistry question with Rondo and Ellis. How does that dynamic works is something which Rick Carlisle has to work out.Anyways seeing my favorite player in the NBA going to one of my favorite teams is great to watch

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Homeland is heating up !!!

After a very disappointing Season 3 the thrill and excitement of Homeland petered out atleast for me. So i didnt have high expectations for Season 4 but still went back to it just to relive the homeland phenomena and wondering how they will take the story after the death of Brody. Thankfully the child of Carrie and Brody was not the crux of this season but instead the troubling region of Pakistan and ISI. So far these 10 episodes I have seen seems to be recreate the magic the series created in the first season. The addition of "Ayan" - the life of Pi character was a welcome addition to this season and he has portrayed his role well albeit his character getting killed too soon for the season.

The confusing world of Pakistan intelligence and their ever unreliable allegiances is the crux of this season. This season also seems to draw inspiration from real life incidents like the Prisoner swap program and Benghazhi Embassy siege.10 Episodes in ,I can wait to see how this season ends, after almost killing off Sal in numerous occasions he has returned to US safely now we have to see whether Quinn can survive the ordeal which he has put himself into. Good job by the writers to being that first season suspense and thrill back.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Getting ready for the NBA Season

Rocking the Rondo gear Lets Bleed Green!!!!. Got the original NBA gear from Jabong of one of my favorite Celtics Rajon Rondo. It is a shame that they would be tanking this year but still Rondo is the only true point guard left in the NBA

Sunday, September 28, 2014

First images of Mars by Mangalyaan

Keep those coming ISRO!!! wat a day would it be if we do indeed find water or life on Mars

UFC Weekend : UFC 178

After I watched Cat Zingano fight Miesha Tate which is by far the best and bloodiest fight in female MMa. It was ridiculous to see how much can these two ladies take and when finally Tate got KO'd it was relief that the fight was over . But that match was by far the best fight in female MMA. Unfortunately since then Cat Zingano never fought due to a series of unfortunate events until today.

Cat Zingano - Miesha Tate

On her comeback match she had a tough matchup with Amanda nunes who is no mug. I was excited to see Cat - a mother to takeon an upcoming star like Nunes. The first round Nunes surprisingly was able to takedown Cat and even landed some blows but soon Cat recovered and there were a couple of submission attempts by Cat which immediately looked to finish the match. Soon afterwords Cat kind of got back to her standing game in Round 2 and showed her Muay Thai skills where she showed some impressive takedowns over her back. That was good to see and then she finished the match. It was the first fight on TV for UFC 178 and it was a good match.

Romero comeback win over Kennedy was the best thing I have ever seen in UFC.The way he looked completely out of it but saved by thee bell and then his corner stole some valuable seconds for him to recover by keeping the stool in even after the interval and recover he did by knocking out Kennedy immediately.That was good to watch Some of the UFC matches were boring but this was completely enjoyable and glad I got up early to watch these matches.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Hero (2014)

Being a huge fan of Kimura Takuya and after watching the very enjoyable Hero TV Series which aired first in 2001. I finished watching the series in 2012. Never felt more dismayed that it stopped after the first season but most japanese series do. Cause right when you thought that some kind of character development is going to happen between Amamiya and Kuryuu it stopped. Moreover it would have been great to see the back story of Kuryuu where he developed from being a juvenile delinquent to a prosecutor. But still the cast of Hero is what makes the series tick, some amazing actors in the first season

Hero 2001 Cast

Found from Facebook there is a reboot of the Hero series in 2014. So quickly found it online and watched the episode.

Was pleasantly surprised that Kimura takuya is still kuryuu amazing only in japan can a person reprise the same role almost 13 years late.Japanese never seem to age for some reason. Anyways there is a new amamiya and other new characters. What was amazing to note that the tone and feel of the show never changed. Either the producers of the show has done an impressive job or simply Japan is just more impervious to change.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

No Game No Life Anime

Since it was an extended weekend this week I got an opportunity to checkout some anime series . Ever since Steins gate I havent really watched any other series so it was long overdue for an anime crazed guy like me. Wat can I say about this series. This is a really weird series.......

This is about Bro/Sis combo who are hikikomori gamers who never lose in any game they play even if their opponents cheat. So they are invited by a Gog "Tet" into his world where every argument and conflict is resolved through game.So thats where all the action starts. After binge watching the entire season of 12 episodes I cannot believe that there is no second series cause it looks like we are only through 25% of the story. Apparently this anime is more like a selling point for the manga and other related media.This is a very unique anime series for me as I have never seen anything like this before. I thought it is going to go like Phi brain and waited for the complexity in the games but NGNL is much more than that, there is some really confusing relationships in this series and sometimes it feels like you are watching an ecchi genre series. Somehow the creators have tried to create a colorful anime on gaming with the twisted characterization of Sora/Shiro which I believe is one of the most questionable relationship ever in anime and the sheer exploitation of Stephanie Dola character was really exhausting after a point.This series could have been a lot better but still ok for the hiatus I had from anime.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Lebron coming back to Cleveland

An article by Christine Brennan of USA Today

He angered an entire state when he left, but that won't matter if he comes back to Cleveland

The speculation is fun, little more than a 21st century parlor game to distract us until the World Cup is over and NFL training camps open.

Is LeBron James really going back to the Cleveland Cavaliers?

We have no idea, of course, but here's one opinion: He should.

If LeBron, now nearly 30, wants to be loved, there's no place that will ever love him more than his hometown. He grew up in Akron, just south of Cleveland. He still owns a home there, spends summers there and holds his charity bike ride there.

When he left the Cavaliers four years ago, the parting couldn't have been more bitter. Jilted fans burned his jersey and owner Dan Gilbert posted a taunting letter on the team web site. The passion on both sides was fierce and remarkable.

But that means nothing now. Gilbert's letter is gone from the web site, taken down just this week – which seems about three years too late – but whatever the case, it's gone now. All seems to be forgiven.

Northeast Ohio sports fans, some of the most loyal in the nation, almost certainly can't wait to welcome their prodigal son. The same probably goes for Gilbert, should all the decimal points align. Why would four-year-old pettiness cause any trouble now? How many times did George Steinbrenner hire Billy Martin?

Can you imagine, LeBron back in Cleveland? First Johnny Manziel gets drafted by the Browns. Then the city lands the 2016 Republican national convention. And next, perhaps, LeBron.

When did Cleveland become L.A.?

Hope springs eternal after the Cavaliers made a trade Wednesday to clear enough salary cap space to potentially offer James a huge deal and bring him back to the team where he spent the first seven years of his NBA career before going to Miami for the past four seasons. till, the sting of 2010 remains very real to many Ohioans. Usually people are about four decades older than LeBron was when they move from Ohio to Florida. Losing LeBron was just another punch to the gut of the good people of the Rust Belt. First LeBron, then more electoral votes. If he returns, the symbolism is enormous.

If LeBron does indeed come back, he returns as a very different player than when he left. When he played for Cleveland at the beginning of his career, LeBron was expected to bring home a championship. As the years went by and that didn't happen, the expectation became a burden. It understandably gnawed at him, and it ate at the fans. Pressure built. How could it have been a pleasant time?

Were LeBron to come home now, it would be quite a change from the first time around. He took the Miami Heat to the NBA Finals four times, and won two championships. Analysis of LeBron and his Miami teammates and what it all meant could fill a few encyclopedias, but, simply put, if he returns to Cleveland now, he comes back a proven champion. To be sure, there would be pressure to bring the success he had in Miami to Cleveland. But he would have different teammates. And he would have time. As an Ohioan myself, I can assure you that there's nothing we like more than proving that you can go home again.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

San Antonio will be NBA Champs 2014

I have always loved the way the Spurs play. Pop and Duncan had epitomized the unselfish "team-oriented" play of the Spurs.The way they run their offense where everyone gets a touch on the ball till anyone shoots. They play the percentage game to the book.With almost an unassailable 3-1 Lead in the final against the previously considered to be the invincible Heat they have proved that they are one the most disciplined organizations in the sporting world with a soon to be 5th title in 15 years. Kudos to Pop and Duncan to show us how Basketball should be played even in this individual superstar age.

I believe any team with such an incredible team offense and a sturdy defensive system will always be good like the Spurs but for Pop to make all the players to buy in to the system is just amazing. Long live the Spurs and long live their Legacy !!!!!.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

"Faith" is a fine Invention - Emily Dickinson

"Faith" is a fine invention

For Gentlemen who see!

But Microscopes are prudent

In an Emergency !

This is by far my favorite poem by Emily Dickinson. Faith is indeed a fine invention by humans to keep us civilized. I remember watching the video game "Resonance of Fate" and suddenly got all philosophical when i heard the following line

Faith brings Order

Order brings Stability and

Stability brings Prosperity

Dont why that stood out in my mind from the game but Im just liking this amazing reclusive American poet. Here is an analysis of the poem by Susan Kornfeld of "The Prowling Bee" blog.

In a clever little dig at unexamined religiousness, the poet suggests that Faith is not only an “invention” but a redundant one as it is fit for “Gentlemen” who can already see what they want with their normal vision. But even this invention falls short of what is needed in an “Emergency.” When you can’t see with unaided eyes what needs to be seen, it’s time to wheel out the microscope.

The core faith for most major religions is that the Holy books reveal truth and that their (and their clergies’) prescribed form of worship, rituals, and value systems are what most please God. There are some people who see God’s hand in everything or who think God talks directly to them. What will happen when beliefs and holy texts fall short or are even contradicted? While faith is “fine” when evil is punished, virtue rewarded, and prayers seemingly answered, if things are amiss, then faith might be questioned. Perhaps it will reign supreme no matter what (always explained away as “God’s mysterious ways,” or the need to believe in a “grander scheme” in which our little sufferings [like the Civil War or slavery – topics bleeding over dinner tables or worse throughout the U.S. at the time Dickinson was writing this]) serve some ultimate Good, but Dickinson recommends taking a close look. The preacher or doctor needs to think and reflect deeply not only on what he reads but on what he sees.

Dickinson was a naturalist and educated woman, and this reality-based approach suited her. Her poems don’t spout “commonplace truths” as so many did in her time (with some exceptions), but are often shockingly bold and original.

The poem is concise and clever enough to be epigrammatic. It’s the sort of thing that can be easily memorized and trotted out on appropriate occasions.

The Americans Season 2 Finale

I believe I have just witnessed one of the best season finale for a long time. This is the way every thriller series should end. Man!!! never saw that coming.

Here is the review by TV.Com Ryan Sandoval. It was wonderful to see his reviews as he just explains everything I mean everything about each episode and dissects the intricacies and the complexities of certain scenes which one can easily ignore as the showmakers hardly try to explain everything. Good job Ryan

Wow. Now that is how you end a season. Mystery: answered. Big bad: neutralized. Love triangle: concluded. Stakes: raised. Written by Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields and directed by Daniel Sackhelm, "Echo" was everything that's great about The Americans crammed into one hour, yet it never felt overburdened. In a season that questioned whether a spy family could ever become real family, we’ve organically returned to that central conflict, as introduced so many dead-drops ago. Fighting all along to protect their children from the family business, Philip and Elizabeth inadvertently brought Paige and Henry closer than ever to a danger they thought they'd escaped. Though they've jumped through hoop after hoop fulfilling spy duties and fending off threats to the little ones, the Jennings efforts' to keep Mother Russia outside the home proved more futile than they realized.

While the mission to retrieve RAM samples via sticky-shoe was an early success, it came at the expense of Fred’s life. Just as Philip deduced, the asset appeared exhilarated by his dedication to the Cause, even as he spent his final moments in a D.C. phone booth. The Americans has made a name for itself with its excellent music montages, and the use of Golden Earring’s "Twilight Zone" in "Echo" kickstarted an energetic sequence featuring the untimely demise of Fred and the arrest of Pastor Tim. Chalking up a death before the credits sequence was a first for the show, and it set an unpredictable tone for the rest of the hour.

Coincidentally enough, the music video for this song was conceived after the band’s guitarist read Robert Ludlum’s The Bourne Identity—true Wikipedia fact!):

Paige, in her know-it-all teenage way, once again mounted her high horse to teach her family about civil disobedience. "If she said one more thing about non-violent resistance," Philip later remarked, "I was going to punch her in the face." Like parents do, they allowed their daughter freedom, while behind closed doors they exercised their own liberty to dismiss Paige’s American passions. "She thinks a church pastor being arrested for loitering is some kind of hero," muttered Philip before zipping off to see Martha. Last week the two newlyweds discussed the prospect of (not) having children, and this week their conversation was much the same. "I am who I am, Martha," Clark stated, in the ironic way that only a disguised spy husband can. "I’ve tried not to hide myself from you," he continued, leaving audience members to roll their eyes en masse. Martha thankfully has survived another season, even after many suggested she’d be next to go. No family for you Martha, but congratulations on your new "Ladysmith" (technically a Smith & Wesson Model 642LS)!

How "on theme" it is that Larrick’s been AWOL via "family leave." This show doesn't miss a beat. After an abrupt Jennings family vacation to the woods near Jared’s exfiltration spot ("There’s A LOT wrong with us!" was my favorite quote of the episode), the seasoned skulker SEAL finally got the upper hand on Elizabeth and Philip. He nabbed the latter following a meeting with some fellow Illegals outside a bakery, and he snagged Elizabeth during her explanatory hike with Jared. The orphaned teen sure had a lot of questions about Kate’s whereabouts. Just how long HAD he been meeting with her? And why?

One shootout later, the answers flowed faster than blood spilling from a neck wound. I’ve enjoyed Owen Campbell’s work all season long, and Jared's dying confession alongside his insistence that Moscow be informed of his heroics was one of the young actor's best scenes. Jared’s been a helpless teen for so long that his last-minute reveal of bravery still felt like a young person begging to be seen as an adult. Amid these pleas came snippets of what happend that fateful day in Alexandria: Jared and Kate had been seeing each other for a while. The two had plans to run off and do "great work" together. Emmett did not approve of this plan and got angry with his son. Committed to Kate and the Cause, Jared then used his father’s gun on his parents. His younger sister Amelia "would’ve gone straight to the police." Jared cleaned up and hit the pool. Mystery solved (kind of—but more on this later). His final words: "You have to tell her. When you see her..." I cried as life left his eyes.

Elsewhere, Stan the Loverboy struggled with his future: Would he deliver Echo to the Russians and save Nina? All signs pointed to yes for most of the episode, as he wore a wire into the top-secret Pentagonal site and learned of the code’s two other locations (Cheyenne Mountain and another place where you’d have to kidnap the president to access it). That he also met with Arkady on where to deliver the program and meet Nina further implied he was game. But dude was also having hella mixed feelings. Stan’s stress dream featured Martha lifting files from the mail room robot (I wonder if his subconscious was aware of this), Vlad coming back from the dead, and screwing Sandra. Let’s see: I figure that Vlad is the embodiment of Stan's guilt over taking a man’s life, and a representation of the sort of emotional wedge that drove Stan and Sandra apart. Like, in imagining his ex-wife's lover, Stan's mostly projecting his own emotional hang-ups. But I do not have a degree in Feelings, so don't quote me.

Quick question, though: When is a love triangle not a love triangle? When both suitors abandon the object of affection. Stan left SOMETHING at the drop point, but we didn’t find out what it was until a perfect, nearly wordless scene at the Rezidentura: Arkady handed Nina a sheet of paper—already bad news, for not being a disk. "This is what he left," Arkady stated, emotionless. We saw Nina's face fall, as she saw what was on the page (the 1982 equivalent of breaking up via text):

With Nina’s fate sealed, she spent the remainder of the season in elegant silence. No hysterics, no bargaining. As soon as the sun came up, the doors opened and she was marched out, still healing from the bruises sustained for Mother Russia. Oleg, overcome by a need to share one last look with Nina, stormed out, too—though only far enough to maintain his innocence. Then, more quiet drama: Arkady watched Oleg, Oleg broke the gaze; Arkady left with the Lenin painting. Stan, still torn (or hopefully concocting a plan for next season), waited outside for one last glance. One last look back, and once more Nina was alone. I doubt—and hope—this is the last we've seen of the skilled and beautiful triple agent.

Now, I don’t know what it was about watching a teenager die right before her very eyes that made Elizabeth think it was a good idea to induct Paige into the Cause. The ever-dubious Claudia returned to deliver some unsettling news: One year prior, the Centre had developed a program called "Second Generation Illegals," the goal being to groom a spy child into eventual candidacy for the FBI or CIA. The Centre asked Emmett and Leanne to induct Jared, but they reacted like any protective parent would, and declined. So, the Centre went over the couple's heads and sent Kate to woo Jared into espionage. Like a teenager being disallowed to do grown-up things, the Connors boy flipped out. I can only imagine that Moscow inexplicably assigned Kate to Philip and Elizabeth this season for the same reason.

And so, in a stroke of remarkable storytelling, "Echo" and The Americans' second season ended with the fulfillment of the show's original theme, then transitioned into another. "Paige is not just yours," threatened Claudia "She belongs to the Cause. Forgotten that?" Uh, wait, she may technically be part of cover, but she's also a human being that Elizabeth and Philip made with their own biology. Take it easy, Moscow. Don't be weird. With one last disguise for the road, Philip confronted Arkady (who chose Popular Mechanics, while Philip picked up Rolling Stone—the Warren Beatty issue). The message: Stay the hell away from his daughter. Word of warning, Arkady, the last dude who hassled Paige got a skewer in the nards way back in the pilot. But since this show can’t resist twists (thankfully it EARNS them), who should start to warm to the idea but Elizabeth. Make up your mind, lady! Last week you thought Paige would be dead in an alley in a week. Now you want to "turn" your own daughter? Either way, I appreciate this as a conflict for next season. It’s organic, it raises the stakes. "It would destroy her," reasoned Philip "To be like us?" countered Elizabeth. I’m sure the dinner conversation was wonderful.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- – Even handcuffed, the Jennings can still kick ass.

– "Hard to believe the future of the free world rests on all those numbers and symbols, huh?"

– "Don’t tell her 'I you love' so much. A Russian woman doesn’t like that. She won’t respect you."

– Still no Kelli.

– Remember when Claudia said she got involved with someone and had to duck out of the picture? Who was that?


Hi guys, it’s me, Ryan. I have to say it’s been a real pleasure reading your reactions to basically my favorite show on TV. You commenters are so intuitive and passionate, these past 13 weeks went by too fast. Until next time, fellow fanatics. Until next time.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Apple just purchased what??? for 3.2 Billion dollars

I remember when I bought a duplicate version of "Beats by Dr Dre" from the nearby electronics store for 100 Rupees. It had a cool design but as with any duplicate versions,it didnt last more than a couple of months. But I liked the design with the long cloth like orange wire and instantly knew why Beats headphones/earphones were all the craze at that time and Im a fan of Dr. Dre (no one can scratch music like him) so felt good to buy a product associated with him

Dr Dre with Lebron with the Beats headphones

Dr Dre founded Beats (Beat Electronics LLC) and started producing premium high end headphones with the Brand. Due to their sleek design they very soon became a high-end fashion accessory and soon held the majority market share in headphones costing more than 100 USD. It became so popular that HTC bought 50.1 % in the Company in Aug 2011 for 309 million dollars which seems to put the valuation of the Company at 616 Million USD.

HTC bought the majority stake as a valuable accessory to their high end smart phones and boost their market share in the mobile market. When that didnt happen as they thought they immediately opted out of it by selling half their stake (25 %) back to the Company in 2012 and the remaining 25% in 2013 which in turn was bought by the Private Equity firm (Beats is still a privately owned firm, mind you !!)Carlyle Group at 500 million dollars investment in the Company for a minority stake. Eventhough the financials of Beats Electronics aren't open to the public it is easy to say that when a reputed PE Firm like the Carlyle group buys a MINORITY stake in a firm for 500 million dollars they are valuing the firm to the north of a BILLION DOLLARS.

Now suddenly out of nowhere Apple now wants to purchase this private firm "Beats LLC" for 3.2 Billion Dollars. From the SEC reported financials of Apple over the years these are the cash reserves available with them

One can understand it is not advisable to hold excess cash(problems the rich and successful have !!!) but how in the world can they justify this acquisition to their shareholders. Now again Beats Electronics financials are not public but according to New York Times article last year they had an estimated annual revenue of 1.3 Billion dollars in 2013. Now that number looks overstated to me but still with a premium headphone selling at 200 $ that makes it around 7.5 Million units sold in a year which is entirely possible if you take into account they have a majority market share in the headphones arena and about 150 Million IPhones (Source : Apple Annual report 2013)were sold in 2013. It is also amazing to note the valuation by successive reputed firms on Beats varies year on year.

How could such reputed firms have such variations in their valuations of the company , has Beats really more than quadrupled their valuation over the course of three years and if so based on what financial analysis.There are questions to be asked by the shareholders of Apple.

Found the article below at Forbes which tries to make sense of this acquisition

Rumors are flying about the imminent purchase of headphone maker and streaming music service Beats Electronics by tech giant Apple for a reported $3.2 billion dollars, which has caused a lot of head scratching in both the tech and music communities. Should this deal come to pass, a number of questions come to mind.

Why Is Beats A Fit for Apple?

Apple sees music downloads from its iTunes store diminishing, and if it reads any of the reams of research on the subject, knows very well that downloads may be more endangered than the CD. Apple dipped its toe into the streaming waters last year with iTunes Radio, which seemed like a half-hearted effort at the time and even more so now, as the subscription numbers have never really taken off and have been stagnant for the last two quarters

That said, a non-interactive service like iTunes Radio doesn’t appear to be where music’s future lies, at least financially. Pandora already has a huge lead in this part of the market, but relatively few paying subscribers. It’s thought that eventually most users will want to move to an interactive service like Spotify where they get more choice over what they’re listening to, which is where Beats Music is and iTunes would eventually like to be.

Beats Music provides a ready infrastructure for Apple and already is integrated with mobile partner AT&T T +0.11%. Plus, if it’s true that the company has accumulated between 10,000 and 20,000 subscribers (which can’t be verified since Beats doesn’t report these numbers), that’s actually a huge jump over every other service already in terms of paying subscribers. Even if the subscription numbers aren’t quite to that level, it’s still pretty good for a service that only just launched and is yet to be available outside the US.

Why Is Beats Not A Fit?

A good deal of the purchase price of Beats is based on the consumer electronics market share that the company now enjoys. Consumer electronics are the heartbeat of Apple too, but the one thing that is an integral part of its brand is a superior quality product. Unfortunately Beats headphones are more of a fashion statement and are nowhere near the overall quality one would normally associate with Apple, so you have to wonder how the electronics portion of Beats even fits into the equation of the deal. Beats does have plenty of urban appeal thanks to hip hop producer and co-founder Dr. Dre, but its not like Apple has been lagging in this area, so you’d have to figure that’s not a factor either.

Apple has some brilliant audio minds (Tomlinson Holman, who’s in charge of the company’s audio direction, is one of the world’s foremost audio scientists and inventor of the THX theater audio we all enjoy as well as one of the creators of 5.1 surround sound) and you can’t say the same for Beats, so it wouldn’t be buying the company for its engineering skill.

There’s some speculation that Beats co-founder Jimmy Iovine and Dre would come along with the Beats acquisition to help Apple’s music initiatives of the future, but does this make sense? Neither exactly fits the Apple culture, and while Iovine is certainly a forward thinking music industry mover and shaker, why would he even be interested after the big payday that would come from the acquisition? There’s a big difference from owning the company and being responsible for its direction to being just a piece in a larger one, and most creative types aren’t that fond of the structure involved with real corporate (meaning not an entertainment company) life.

Why Now?

Apple could have swooped in and purchased Beats much sooner for a lot less money, but you get the feeling that they weren’t totally sold on either the technology or the business model of the music service and needed some proof before it would make a serious offer. If the rumors are correct, it didn’t take long for that to happen; a mere three and a half months after the Beats Music service launched.

That said, Apple is quite aware that its leading position in digital music is slipping, with Spotify making major market inroads and new streaming service competition from Amazon and Google on the horizon. Apple certainly has the resources to launch its own service, but you get the feeling that might take too long to come to fruition if left to the company’s internal devices. It would seem that Beats, or one of the other streaming services reported available, is a way to get into the market more quickly than with a home-grown product.

Keep in mind that Apple doesn’t need Beats or iTunes for the revenue that music generates. Although that’s significant, the real money for the company has always been from selling hardware. The strategic place that music holds is that it has been an essential key to selling that hardware in the past. That’s not so much the case anymore though, as consumers don’t buy a new device just to stream music on it, unless of course Beats has a new unknown consumer device in the works that might drive that.

Was This Really The Beats Exit Strategy All Along? The timing of this transaction feels odd in that Beats Music only recently launched in late January, making one think that perhaps the grand plan of Iovine/Dre was to prove the music service as viable, then sell to Apple at some point down the line. Iovine reportedly held talks with Apple execs before the service even launched, which makes one wonder if a tentative deal was in the works even then. Perhaps Apple was given a chance at the purchase before The Carlyle Group extended its most recent round of capital to the company, which now might have cost the company twice as much by waiting.

If Apple’s acquisition of Beats goes down as reported, it will remain a deal that is both obvious and curious at the same time. As with many tech acquisitions, it may take time before the results become clear, which gives us plenty to speculate on in the meantime.

The above article shed some light on the logic behind it but still 3.2 Billion dollars is a lot of money even for Apple.Lets look at who benefits from all this.

Carlyle Group

Being a finance professional Im interested in starting a PE firm and look for attractive investment opportunities. But I wish I could do what Carlyle Group just did. OK, here it is when HTC sold their stake it meant that they are trying to run away from Beats but Carlyle group saw this as an opportunity and infused 500 Million dollars into the company believing in their value and also in their attractiveness to be purchased by bigger firms. Now whether Carlyle Group knew that Apple would be interested in Beats beforehand I dont know nor whether they expected it to be 3.2 Billion dollars but when this deal goes through they are going to make a cool 1 Billion dollars in profit. Not bad for a 6 month investment. Dont you think. Suddenly I feel so small in this crazy financial world.

Dr Dre

No one knows what is the current stake of Dr Dre but it is expected to be around 15% in Beats Electronics. If this deal goes through he is gonna become rich. Wow Hip hop/Rap has not only given us some great music but has also produced entrepreneurs. Damn Dre Billionaire thats Bad real BAD!!!

The Biggest loser is without a doubt


HTC comes out a Big loser what??? how??? Remember their 50 % stake sale in 2013. Imagine what would have happened if they didnt do it they would have been a cool 1 Billion dollars in profit through the Apple acquisition and imagine what a big boost would that be to the 9 Billion Dollar loss making Company. Wow wat a hit that is to HTC to watch the investment they sold for 300 Million dollars to rise to 1.5 Billion dollars in a few months. Surely Apple seems to acquire Beats just to piss off HTC. A very cruel joke thats what this is for HTC.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

"Nature" is what we see - Emily Dickinson

Nature’ is what we see—

The Hill—the Afternoon—

Squirrel—Eclipse—the Bumble bee—

Nay—Nature is Heaven—

Nature is what we hear—

The Bobolink—the Sea—

Thunder—the Cricket—

Nay—Nature is Harmony—

Nature is what we know—

Yet have no art to say—

So impotent Our Wisdom is

To her Simplicity.

Poetry analysis by Nancy Browne of Humanities360.com

In Emily Dickinson's poem, "Nature is What We See," the reader can sense her love and appreciation of nature. The theme of the poem is nature's simplicity, yet her poem suggests that nature is anything but simple; it is mysterious, magnificent, and inexpressible. The surface meaning primarily suggests that nature is natural and simple in theory, but exploring the underlying meaning, we see how Dickinson uses various patterns to describe the diversity in nature.

She shows this by the objects she chooses to represent, in the way of large, medium, and small, the sea, and the squirrel, and the bumblebee. She identifies nature as infinitely variable.

She starts the poem in reference to sight, with distinctive objects (hill, squirrel, bobolink, and bumblebee), all obvious things people can clearly see and visualize. She adds the abstract ( heaven, afternoon, thunder).

Then she takes it further suggesting that nature is more than sight, it is what people hear, Bobolink (a bird), the Sea, Thunder, Cricket, are all indications of her attempt to define nature through the senses (what we see, what we hear).

Next, she mentions that nature is harmony, (now we compare the objects of the sights and sounds. For instance, "afternoon" represents warm and light, the eclipse appears cool and dark. Weak and strong interpretations are also evident; the hill and sea are strong in appearance; the bobolink and bumblebee are weak in sound. Again, the diversity in nature is present by the noise of "thunder," as oppose to the noise of a "cricket." By using size, she attempts to show a pattern in relation to nature. It is as though nature is speaking to her in various degrees, through sight and sound.

She then compares nature to heaven, which suggests that both are mysterious and impossible to describe. So impotent, Our Wisdom indicates that humanity lacks the ability to understand the powers of nature, even suggesting that humans are too busy to care about the insignificant things that nature presents.

The mystery of what she sees and hears in nature leads her to God (Nature is Heaven) where the task of explanation is still impossible. Her suggestion is that nature itself is Heaven, and would bring people closer to God. She appears to be frustrated, unable to understand the morality of humanity and unable to explain the mystery of nature or of God.

(So impotent Our Wisdom) certainly suggests that humanity is not wise enough to define nature, and yet nature is so simple (To her Simplicity). Trying to express with words (Yet have no art to say) she is aware that it is useless; there are no words to describe the mysteries of nature.

In conclusion, she seems to say that humans do not notice the simple things in life, or they tend to ignore them (sight - hill, squirrel) and (sound - crickets, bumblebee). In the end, her line, "Nature is what we know," reflects on the notion that nature is a powerful mystery, and it will always remain indescribable.

The more Dickinson peers into nature, the more confused and frustrated she appears in trying to understand something that is not understandable.

Dickinson lived a life of alienation and this poem perhaps best describes her inability to understand not only herself, but nature, humanity and God as well.

These long dashes in her poem indicate a link to the many hidden thoughts of the author. "Nay" is a negative response and indicates how perplexed she is in defining nature

Saturday, May 03, 2014

All the Game 7's

This year, the NBA playoffs has been just crazy. In the super strong Western conference where even .500 performance will not guarantee a playoff spot all the first rounds were amazing.Portland became the first entrant to the 2nd round in the West today after a very hard fought series with Houston but it is going to be really tough for them from here as they cant just rely on their 3 point shooting. No team in the history of NBA has ever won the title solely dependent on their 3 ball.Still the dynamic backcourt of Lillard,Batum,Wesley Matthews and Mo Williams (who are all 3 point scorers) will be a handful for any playoff team. But I believe they are going to face tougher defensive systems than the Rockets in the ensuing rounds.

The Game 7's on Saturday

It is actually on Sunday morning India Time but anyways there are three exciting Game 7's. While everyone expected the West to be tough no one expected any Game 7's in the East. The top seed Indiana Pacers suddenly seems to have hit the pause button and with their star player Roy Hibbert looking like a Zombie out their against the lowly Hawks,things have started to get interesting in the East.

Hawks at Pacers

No one took the Hawks seriously even said that they were trying to tank at the end of the season which could open the door somehow for the Knicks but Atlanta ensured that they have no intention to give up yet. Man, they are suddenly looking like a tough team with an impressive backcourt and Paul Millsap being their anchor in the front court.But again like Portland they seem to be heavily dependent on 3 ball and somehow that never wins Championships.They might win this game against the fading Pacers. But if Indiana somehow regains their mojo in Roy Hibbert and win this game it could serve as a morale booster then they might be a serious contender for the Eastern Conference,

Grizzlies at Thunder

Wat can i say about the Grizzlies... If you want to see a Blue collar team with the pound and grind style of play,look no further than the Grizzlies. It is amazing to see how they just sloooowwww the game down and force the opponents to play at their pace. Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol are the best frontcourt in the world. I dont think there is ever a better passer than Gasol at the high post. I will be rooting for the Grizzlies for this game cause no one who plays the game like Russell Westbrook (dickhead !!!)deserves to win. I hope OKC loses this round and they blow up the team and separate Durant and Westbrook for good .This will help Durant as he can actually thrive with other supporting cast in OKC or in any other team and finally get the title he deserves. Cause winning with Westbrook doesnt seem right to me. But Zach Randolph is suspended for this crucial Game 7. Wat a dick move by the NBA in sidelining him for such an important game. Most probably the Grizzlies will make some changes in the off-season and Zach and Marc will be separated if they dont win now. That would be a shame so I would be supporting the Grizzlies to show their blue collar toughness against the Thunder to win the first round.

Warriors at Clippers

This has been a weird series. At the end of the season Clippers looked like they are one of the contenders for the Championships but they hardly played like one in this series. Golden State warriors are playing for their coach as Mark Jackson is almost certain to be fired if they didnt win in the first round. I thought Doc rivers would bring in the much needed system based play which the Clippers need to become an elite team but somehow the supporting cast barring Jamal Crawford and Matt Barnes have been disappointing. They need something from Jared Dudley,Danny Granger and the inconsistent Blake Griffin.The very fact that they are struggling against a Bogut less Warriors is a testament to their weak performance. I believe it doesnt matter which team wins Game 7, they are gonna lose in the next round unless somehow they miraculously uplift their performance.

Friday, April 25, 2014

The Americans : Episode 9 "Martial Eagle" Review

Another wonderful review by Ryan Sandoval of TV.com

The spies on The Americans do so much sneaking and snooping for tech plans that it’s easy to forget the spiritual ramifications of the Cold War. Ideology is what was really at stake, so it’s justifiable that fighting for what felt like a losing side might've caused someone to question the big ideas behind all the trouble. Directed by Alik Sakharov and written by playwright Tracy Scott Wilson, "Martial Eagle" promised a mission, but what it delivered was a collection of much more introspective journeys. Stan and Sandra shared a tough look at their relationship, Philip and Elizabeth dealt with the bloody aftermath of the contra plan—as well as Paige’s financial devotion to Christianity—and Gaad prepared to testify with his job and freedom on the line. It was an hour well-spent, highlighting how those tasked with saving the world keep going in the face of futility.

Mostly though, "Martial Eagle" was about Philip tearing apart Paige’s teen bible and whipping it across the kitchen before screaming, "You respect Jesus, but not us?!" The septic plan to get onto the base where our boys trained Nicaraguan soldiers worked like a charm, except for a grunt who got his throat slit, and the bound truck driver who died from exposure. Elizabeth also racked up two bodies in this episode, but it was Philip who found himself most affected by the unnecessary deaths. Just last week he had spared the driver, acting as the "good cop" when Elizabeth wanted to off the guy. Another casualty in an increasingly murky war.

Man, that glare during "Teenage Sunday" was priceless. Philip didn’t need some church leader preaching about how a selfless God could offer contentment, when he knew otherwise. Even so, as is the case with any effective sermon, the ideas stayed with him the following day. Did Philip curse these notions because it'd be too painful to hope for redemption after all the horrible things he's done? My favorite thing about Elizabeth and Philip’s disdain for Christianity is how foreign the idea of practicing any faith is to them—it's not just this particular religion. They feel very passionate about the uselessness of any sort of belief system, so Paige’s charitable donations weren't seen as a kindness, but a practical slap in the face to her caretakers. "Who told you to do it? The pastor? His wife? Stop protecting them!" Elizabeth asked, dipping into interrogation mode, more spy than mother.

Holly Taylor playing Paige Jennings

While Philip got all moody and broody, Elizabeth forced Paige to clean the house in the middle of the night to make the girl appreciate what it means to be a grown-up. "Being a grown-up means doing things you don’t want to do all the time," Elizabeth lectured (especially if you are a trained assassin), but this display was mostly about showing support for Philip. Notice how Elizabeth gave him nearly the same speech he had given her about Lucia? Normally buoyant, Philip shrugged off his wife’s help and accused her of having an easier time killing, which is what married KGB say to hurt each other. Surely he can’t believe this. I mean, of the two, Philip’s been dealing with the side effects of his expert, murdering ways much more than Elizabeth, but he also seems to be killing a lot more. If it’s so hard for him, why is he doing it so much?

Holy cow, Pastor Tim (Kelly Aucoin) has no idea how lucky he is to be alive. Philip was a straight-up tragic villain this episode, all playing Martha’s insulting tape and figuring stuff out in disguise by the sea. So when I saw those black gloves letting Philip into the empty church, I thought the religous hybrid of Matthew McConaughey and Harry Dunne from Dumb and Dumber was a goner. Tim was rightfully baffled at this father who was ordering him to keep the church away from his daughter, when usually dads are all, "My child, I forbid you to go to church." Speaking of which, why don’t they forbid Paige from going to church? I guess because it’s an ideology, with no clean way of pointing out the damaging effects. Also, though, Philip and Elizabeth are trying to be good parents. Lesser guardians would be like, "Hell go do whatever, just don’t get pregnant," but the Jennings care about their relationship with their kids enough to let Paige and Henry have a little bit of agency. Ironic, then, how this same freedom led to Paige’s donating to the less fortunate, in a sort of Communist fashion.

Who knows what went on at the Rezidentura this week, as our only taste of that staff was a check-in with Arkady. Which is fine, Oleg and Nina have earned a day off. Gaad plopped himself down right in front of his Russian counterpart, and basically beg-threatened Arkady before he was set to testify. Well, maybe less of a beg, and more of a threat. Who knows how much of an impact the classified testimony of the late Richard Patterson (remember, Claudia slit his throat?) will have. A report goes out, the media gets a hold of it, sure, but I feel like at most, the U.S. would increase resources in counterintelligence. It would not guarantee the removal of Directorate S. Maybe Arkady knew this, maybe he planned on taking this intel back to Oleg, but either way, the Russians are still on top here.

The only thing that can bring them down is the good old-fashioned American work ethic of one Stan Beeman, which in "Martial Eagle" involved interviewing researchers involved with the Department of Defense. Yes, Stan's life has been in a bit of a tailspin lately, what with Sandra self-helping herself right into the arms of another lover, but marriage was never his strong suit. Stan’s dedication may have cost him a lot, but connecting Emmett and Leanne’s deaths to the DoD meeting in Alexandria on January 23 is his first big step back toward making things right. How fitting that his ability to discover the facts comes as his personal code of ethics deteriorates. Operating in gray areas has gotten him in trouble, but it’s also given him more intimate access to the methods of his enemies. All that’s left is to connect the dots. Let’s just hope that by the time he does, it isn’t already too late.


– Pretty cool use of a fake war scenario to create some real deaths

– I thought Beeman’s speech to the science nerds about exploiting weakness would end with him smacking his forehead and exclaiming, "Nina’s in on it!"

– Someone please put "Today was a shitty day, with my shitty kids and my shitty husband" on a T-shirt.

– Elizabeth angling in on a Northrop employee, but also sharing feels about her hubby.

– I don’t think people should trash-talk people behind their backs, but every time Philip plays that fake tape, it’s funny hearing Gaad say "Come on guys, Martha’s ugly..." like that’s the jumping-off point for a regular conversation.

– Elizabeth’s reaction to finding out about Paige’s donation: "We’ll definitely talk about that."

– Dr. Ruth playing while Sandra packed her bags. She definitely has some plans.

– Martha’s breathy response: "Bastards..."

– "If they can keep you afraid, and ashamed, then they can keep you silent. And if they keep you silent, they can control you." No one knows that better than you, Stan.

– Philip also had God issues way back in "The Clock," remember?

– John 10:10, "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." Which country is the "thief"?

Friday, April 18, 2014

American horror story : Coven

After two spine thrilling seasons which kind of really freaked the hell out of me , the third season went a more dramatic but interesting route through the story of the witches. Sarah Paulson, Jessica Lange, Angela Basset and Kathy Bates make up the all star female cast of this season. Finished watching this Season 3 last month and it never really left my mind for days.

The story revolves around New Orleans and the real life story of Madame Delphine Lalourie (Kathy Bates) and Marie Laveau (Angela Bassett). Both their real historical stories are probably more outlandish than the script of the series itself. Thats how creepy it was when i looked into New Orleans history especially Lalourie's. Incredible and sad history of that period.

Lily Rabe - my favorite actress from the previous AHS seasons returns here as the "loose woman" Misty Day who is a witch (they all are witches) with the power of resurgence and a die hard fan of Fleetwood Mac. This season introduced me to Stevie Nicks and I cant get enough of her.

The season started as an academy of witches in a historic war against another tribe but gradually transformed into a story on the changes and trials which the witches face among themselves especially with the search for a new Supreme of the coven.

The trinity of experienced actors like Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates (remembered her from "Midnight in Paris" which i saw recently) and Angela Bassett (she looks amazing for a 55 year old!!) has accentuated the class and credibility of the show.Angela looks exactly the same as she was in Boyz n the hood and that movie came out in 1991. This woman doesnt age ,probably she really is a voodoo artist.

One can really see through the trend of Ryan Murphy - the show runner that through the 3 seasons of AHS women basically run the show, and all male characters are mute both literally and metaphorically. We dont see many or should I say any show which even comes closer to this unique genre which AHS seems to make its own. The eerie and scratchy title sequence itself sets the tone for the series and kudos to Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk to give us such an unique experience. Taking a more dramatic route than usual in Season 3 has helped with the ratings as it averaged around 4 million viewers which is unusually high for a Horror show. Looks like more and more people are getting into this exemplary series.

Friday, April 11, 2014

The Americans : Season 2 Ep 7 "Arpanet"

Just finished watching Episode 7 of this wonderful series. The cultural and technological significance of this episode which resulted in groundbreaking innovation of the future is captured beautifully in this episode.

Here is the review of the episode from Ryan Sandoval of TV.COM

For anyone looking to turn skeptics onto this show with a single scene, "ARPANET" offered two frontrunners in the final moments of both Philip and Nina’s storylines. Each one tied up related themes of trust and deception in its own way, following two worthwhile technology-centric missions—Philip’s to "bug" the '80s internet, and Nina's to defeat a polygraph machine. Each one offered a window into the insanely stressed and extremely capable mind and heart of one of the KGB's finest—Philip a proven hero, and Nina an impresario by necessity, and possibly a triple agent. Each one also shined the spotlight on the role of high-tech machinery in the world of espionage. Whether it's spies using "technology" to complete a mission, countries warring over the right to possess it, or societies using it to communicate, it was only a matter of time before gadgetry received its much-deserved screen time in a season that keeps raising the bar.

We knew something was up when Nina took over opening narration duty with her Russian rendition of "Previously on The Americans...." Continuing her fallout with Stan from last week, Nina began what would basically be "her" episode by agreeing to the polygraph test. Did you know that before 1988, employers could use lie detectors on their employees? ("Did you work your hardest today?" "Yes." "These squiggles tell a different story....") With a newfound ability to bend the truth, Nina continued her withdrawal from the arms of the increasingly lonely Stan, while outwardly appearing to do the opposite—because she's just that good. Also, who thought a scene where one character just says "yes" and "no" could be so riveting? And that look square at Stan during the Vlad question? Dang. Tragic romance is a staple of the spy genre, and Noah Emmerich is doing a damn fine job embodying that, even if it is hard to watch the FBI agent descend further and further.

I’ve always rooted for some sort of union between Nina and Oleg, and it looks like The Americans answered my cries with a training sequence that lead straight to the bedroom. Dissections of the spy's mindset provide a fascinating insight into the headspace of pros, and in this case further connected the world of performative drama with counterintelligence. First Philip called Kate a "spy in an old movie," there's always the wigs, and then Oleg came off like a Julliard-trained acting coach, talking about believing the lie and whatnot. To think, Nina didn't trust Oleg at the outset, and now she's cuddled up with him, ducking in and out of English, possibly still in character. All the world's a stage!

Apart from the psychological stuff, the actual technical aspect of how a polygraph works earned its keep. This show is as much vintage-gadget porn as it is taut thriller, and what better device to feature than one that purports to suss out the truth as your body tells it? Scenes like Oleg drawing on insect metaphors and Cleopatra mythology to train Nina as the spy she was meant to be popped like a Communist flag whipping in the D.C. wind. Even more chilling was the notion that as Nina rose to the demands of Oleg’s secret gamble, she might have been forming a strategy herself to use against this new mentor. If anyone learns quick, it’s Nina.

I can think of several reasons why she would end up sleeping with Oleg. Self-preservation, actual romance, Stockholm syndrome. All seem like viable options. One moment she’s telling Stann she thinks Oleg’s a "pinhead who works for himself," the next she’s calling Oleg her "secret weapon" to his face and kidding naked in her native tongue. Less one language barrier, their pillow talk was effortlessly steamy ("You can bind my wrists, tie me naked to a chair..."), touching ("You were my secret weapon"), and ambiguously manipulative from both sides ("You are a very good liar, Nina Sergeevna)." Nina could never have this much fun with Stan, or at least she could never behave the way she does around Oleg. Then again, what woman could resist passionate charmers like "You passed"? Mr. Darcy eat your heart out! On the other side of things, Oleg gushed, "You have no armor. Nothing to protect you except your wits, your courage, and your beauty," along with other compliments—to which Nina replied in both Russian and then English, "What is this, Oleg Igorevich? Call and response?" Is she aware that he might be playing a part to get something from her? Is he aware that she’s aware of that?

In only its second season, The Americans has proven it knows how to juggle storylines big and small, like a classically trained cello player plucking the strings to a masterpiece, and brief-but-effective visits with Kate, Andrew Larrick, Lucia, and a few minutes dedicated to Henry’s adventures in home invasion reminded us of the overarching plots going on. Like a daughter to her mother, hot-under-the collar Lucia gave Elizabeth some grief with plans of her own to execute Larrick. "The operation and Larrick are bigger than your wish for revenge," reasoned Elizabeth the same way Claudia might have talked her down in another time.

I hope we get to see Larrick in action, what for all this talk about how unpredictable and monstrous he is. All we got this week were some vague threats along the lines of, "You can’t be too careful nowadays. It’s hard to feel safe." He might as well have continued, "It’d be a real shame if something were to happen to you." Larrick seems like he’s making an exit, but he’s at least promised to help the Jennings gain access to the Contra commanders. I bet Lucia dies in the process of killing him, only because that seems like something she might do, and something that would screw a lot of stuff up for the Cause.

Henry did a little spying of his own on the family across the street and their vacation plans. Paige has received the majority of Jennings children's screen time, so it was nice to get a taste of what was basically a little-kid adventure. You've got to hand it to Henry for making his Intellivision happen just like his old man would. If handled gingerly, these juvenile moments of illegal exploration could prove useful in both building out the Jennings as a TV family (something the '80s seemed to have a surplus of ), and offering a respite from more intense storylines. In small doses, kid danger like Paige and Henry’s afternoon with a hitchhiker in "Trust Me" reminds us just who these young people are as individuals, and why they’re worth protecting.

I definitely liked everything about Philip and Charles Duluth’s mission to gain access to the early makings of the internet, and I especially liked Professor Rosenbloom’s smooth, animated sequence (complete with the camera traveling between floors) explaining a technology that today has reshaped the world as we know it. Character actor Geoffrey Cantor was fantastic, talking us through what was partly a lesson in computer science, partly a set of heist plans, and Reg Rogers always does a remarkable job as the swaggering, drunken wit. An "interstate highway system through which all information flows" is a pretty concise description of our World Wide Web, its value certainly known to anyone alive today, but the fact that at this time the military and science communities shared a network makes it pretty clear why the Russians wanted access so bad. If ARPANET didn't seem Golden Goose-y enough, Rosenbloom even went on to compare the technology to God.

Normally on the sidelines, Duluth provided a novice’s commentary on what would've otherwise been a straightforward mission, right down to toasting the exhilaration of an improvised job well done. "I haven’t had an adrenaline rush like that," blathered Duluth, "since I did the esteemed Madame Senator from Missouri in the Capitol washroom during conference. I see how you could develop a jones for that kind of thing, it’s addictive." Easy for him, as Philip was the one to shoulder the burden of killing an innocent lab dork, all for a few "Xs and Os on a virtual highway." But maybe Duluth is onto something, maybe Philip's body is in some way addicted to the chemicals that happen during these missions. Eh, something to explore way down the road.

With moody music, this closing interaction between the two played out like something from a film noir: Philip stepping into the role of a cold, emotionally damaged hero, and Duluth the sad sack accomplice lying about his sobriety and spouting desperate claims like "I’m not pathetic!" I’ll give it to Matthew Rhys for his ability to go from warm, fatherly horsin’ off about Camaros with Henry to lecturing drunks about how many people’s he’s killed, all while ensuring that Philip feels realistic.

Apart from family and Elizabeth’s sexuality, Philip’s relationship with death has subtly become another season-long thread worthy of investigation. He killed that young restaurant worker in the first episode, walked in on Emmet’s family in a bloody heap, and caught an earful from Anton and the Mossad agent about his "monster" status (the same term Elizabeth used to describe Larrick in this episode; maybe spies fear becoming monsters). In the same way that Elizabeth went a little paranoid about protecting her family, Philip, more introspective, is looking at ways he’s damaging others, while he’s left alone to clean up the mess inside his soul.


– Computer people please chime in about the importance of these featured, real-life computer machines!

– "He was a miner. Coal." So Elizabeth was a coal miner's daughter. Huh/Heh.

– "Glad you enjoyed yourself." —Philip

– Larrick's off to Selva Negra to help mining operations.

– Kate looks like a spy in an old movie.

– "Driving my life away, looking for a better way for me," —a little Rabbit Eddie

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Lin Dan : A tribute

A tribute to my favorite badminton player of all time : Lin Dan who learned to play badminton just avoid playing the keyboard. At the age of 30 years he has won 2 olympics, 5 world championships and 2 world cups. He was like Roger federer times 2 , at one stage he looked almost invincible even the great Lee Chong wei couldnt even come close to him .Lin Dan is like a immortal hero in Badminton If you look at it I dont think there is any sportsperson who can match his achievements in the past decade but still due to badminton primarily being an asian sport no one notices. A shame to an incredible era of the sport.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Vishy Anand Rap Song

In Honor of Anand winning the Candidates 2014 here is a fan rap song on anand by David Pruess - IM Chess player.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Vishy wins the Candidates !!! Rematch with Magnus

Wow!!!! What a comeback by Anand When everyone has written him off and a Chess Journalist even went so far to say that "Anand is the only one sure enough not to come out of the Candidates and if that didnt happen he has no understanding of Chess" Well apparently he has no understanding... Even Carlsen and Kasparov said that they expect Aronian or Kramnik as favorites to win it but both really crumbled under pressure. Aronian basically disappeared in the second half of the tournament and Kramink kind of had a brain freeze against his old rival Topalov and he was looking solid till then.They didnt even shake hands.Wonder when these two grown men will be a sport and forget something that happened 6 years ago (toiletgate). But the fact that they traded wins with white was nice to see but seriously atleast shake hands next time!!!!.
The Commentary Team
Peter Heine Nielsen a long time Second of Anand and now a second of Carlsen is the commentator for this exciting tournament along with his wife Victoria and they both were really good. An opening specialist like nielsen was really incisive in his analysis of the opening preparations by players and almost predicted the moves by them. It is always nice to do commentary of the game you love along with your wife. Lucky Guy !!!.

The Contender
Like Everyone I though there are only two players who seriously had a chance of winning the Candidates Aronian and Kramnik World No 2 and World No 3 at the start of the tournament respectively. Even Topalov had a good couple of years winning the Fide Grand Prix. But Aronian really looked like a class apart from other players being the only player in the 2800 Club.

He started on a wrong note losing to Anand but fought back brilliantly and was even stevens with Anand at the halfway stage. But I think the tie break rule got to him and he took some unnecessary risks and lost his way just like he did in London last year.
I like Aronian infact think that he is far better tactician than Anand or anyother player in the world and him playing in a World Championship match would be great to see... But anyways he will always be the favorite in the coming tournaments as well, he will get his chance soon.
The Old Guard
What was interesting to note in the press conference after his draw with Karjakin which ensured that Anand has won the Candidates. A journo asked him about his hesitance to participate in the tournament feeling that he would probably just would be turning up for the event with no real chances..... His reply was really fascinating. He said that soon after his loss to Carlsen in Chennai (which I watched live)when he was playing in the London rapids. Anand invited Kramnik for dinner after his loss to Hikaru

Anand said that he meant to cheer Kramnik up but was surprised during the dinner, he was being cheered up by Kramnik to participate in the Candidates and not to give up yet... It was really touching to see now two really veteran players who for all sense and purpose are long time rivals, ex-world chmapions and still have the magnanimity to cheer each other up when they feel down. Anand said that this encounter helped him to take the decision to participate in the Candidates. What a decision it was.

What a story it is that Anand making a comeback at the age of 44 to win the Candidates. Interesting to note that he has won this Candidates event after a gap of 19 Years when he won the right to face Kasparov in 1995.This is really a great story eventhough I feel that he is not going to win against World Champion Carlsen but still to make a statement that he is still here should really rejuvenate others like Kramnik, Aronian and Topalov to still keep on fighting.

Friday, March 07, 2014

True detective Season finale

If at all there could be an amazing team put together to make the magna cum laude of crime thrillers on TV, "True detective" is one of them. Lets go them one by one - Matthew Mcconaughey, Woody Harrelson, Nick Pizzolatto and the talented Cary Joji Fukunaga. This is an anthology series meaning there would be a completely new set of characters in the second season with possibly a new theme as well. But I cant enjoy the "noir" feel which Nick has bought to TV in the first season. From the very first episode u are thrown into the small town world where the mystic and the weird collide with each other. Throw into it the wild philosophical theories of Rust (Matthew) this show just keeps getting better for the crime-suspense thriller fans like me.
It was also interesting to watch all the fan conspiracy theories on who is the serial killer. Since this series spans over a period of 17 years it only complicates all the conspiracy theories.The "Yellow King" , "Carcosa", "Black stars" and the "Spiral sign" are all themes and motifs which adds to the tone of the series. Episode 8 is coming up on Sunday, which means Monday Morning in India, I would wake up early to watch this live. Cant miss the series finale for one bit.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Wendys Song

Funny as Shit!!! . No one pushes the limit like Matt stone and Trey Parker

Mrs. Landers was a health nut, she cooked food in a wok. Mr. Harris was her boyfriend, and he had a great big.. cock-a-doodle-doodle the rooster just won't quit, and I don't want my breakfast, because it tastes like.. shitzus make good house pets, they're cuddly and sweet, monkeys aren't good to have 'cos they like to beat their.. meeting in the office a meeting in the hall, the boss he wants to see you so you can suck his.. Balzac was a writer he lived with Alan Funt, Mrs. Roberts didn't like him but that's cuz she's a.. contaminated water can really make you sick, your bladder gets infected and blood comes out your.. dictate what im saying 'cos it will bring you luck, and if you all don't like it, I don't give a flying fuck.

Taco Taco Burritos Burritos

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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Nightman Cometh : My favorite comedic episode of all time

People talk about the popularity of Big Bang Theory, How i met your mother etc etc but nothing compares to what "Its always sunny in philadelphia" brings to the table. I have always loved edgy comedic stuff and nothing gets more edgy than this. This episode is my favorite which is a musical and cannot be more hilarious than ever. How many comedic series can say that a stage drama musical is their best episode. This was even before the "Book of Mormon" probably trey parker and matt stone got inspiration from this group. The following is from their stage drama - re-enaction of their Season 4 finale at Troubadour at West Hollywood. Seeing their fanbase reaction was amazing !!!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

A Million stars falling form the sky : Funny scene

Ellen Page Comes Out with an amazing speech !!

She is one of my favorite young actors of this generation and she coming out like this will set a welcome precedent for this generation to be more conscious of LGBT rights and more acceptable that this will not be even news anymore. Kudos to her for making such a fine speech on human rights.

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Respect!!!!! Boston Celtics showing Thanks to the two veterans.

Boston Celtics has always been my favorite NBA team and for this reason.... A Classy way to say thanks to their veteran stars who got traded in the past season. It was really an emotional return to the Garden for both KG and Paul. Respect the TRUTH.