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Archive for August, 2009

It’s NFL football season and once again fantasy football drafts are occurring all across the US.  One of the leagues I’m in had their draft a couple of weeks ago on August 16 using Yahoo!’s fantasy football engine.  I unfortunately was out of the country and had to rely on Yahoo! to auto-draft my team.   I’ve had a chance to critique Yahoo!’s draft for me and compare to how I believe I would have drafted given the options available in my draft slot based on the actual results of the draft.

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Tonight, I watched the movie, The Making of the Mahatma.  While the movie was released in 1996, thirteen years later I’ve finally gotten the chance to watch it.    This movie is completely focused on Gandhi’s 21 year stay in South Africa from 1893-1914, from ages 23 to 45.   It is here where he begun his methodology of satyagraha (devotion to the truth), or non-violent protest.   Jointly produced by South Africa and India, it isn’t as widely known as Richard Attenborough’s legendary 1982 movie Gandhi, but it is pitched as a more intimate portrayal of the beginning of Gandhi’s transformation into a force of social change. (more…)

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I just completed a business trip to China (my travelogue is posted here) and on the way, had a one day stop in Hong Kong.  My first trip to Hong Kong, obviously a day wouldn’t be enough but it’s all I had.  I arrived at 6 AM in the morning on a Saturday and left the next morning on Sunday at 6 AM.   Here’s what I did in those 24 hours and my observations of Hong Kong.

Morning

I chose a hotel in the Kowloon side of Hong Kong, which happened to be right on the harbor.  (more…)

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I just came back from a week long business trip to Beijing, China.  One of the most memorable events of the trip was a variety show at a Beijing teahouse called Lao Tse teahouse climaxing with an exceptional face changing routine typical of the Sichuan Opera.  With remarkable slight of hand, the performer will change masks seven to ten times during an approximate 3 minute performance; often right in front of you.   Some may consider it as an  illusionist or magic trick, but more rightfully, it’s an art form developed in southern China that takes years and years to perfect.  While not the actual Sichuan opera performance I watched, here’s an example clip of Sichuan opera. (more…)

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On Saturday evening August 8, I attended a concert called Explosion 2009 in Oakland, California which featured popular Bollywood singer Sonu Nigam.   Also included in the show were rising female singer Sunidhi Chauhan, rap group Hard Kaur, and a bhangra competition featuring California bhangra teams (primarily teenagers and twenty-somethings).    I thoroughly enjoyed the show—some of my highlights and lowlights were: (more…)

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I just finished reading the recently released book The Defector, by Daniel Silva.  Silva is the best selling author of thriller and espionage books, having written 12 thriller novels, many of which have reached the New York Times best selling list.   A fan of the thriller genre, I’ve read and enjoyed Silva’s previous 11 books and as usual, quickly purchased The Defector when it was released in July.   The Defector continues the Gabriel Allon series, the Israeli intelligence hero that Silva has used in his last 8 books.   Here are a couple of initial thoughts, without giving away the entire story. (more…)

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I recently attended a local Indian dance program  and really enjoyed the live music, mostly from musicians who had flown to California from India.     Along with the violinst, I particularly enjoyed the tabla player.    Being a very amateur (and I mean amateur) photographer, I took some video of the performance.    Here is some brief video I call Hands of a Tabla Player. (more…)

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