Show the world we want a phone worth keeping! #phonebloks
Show the world we want a phone worth keeping! #phonebloks
These days are tiring, guys! New posts all coming after the competition ends. Days have been great: saw many new robots, alligators, manatees and tomorrow, we’ll be off to see the Delta 4 Launch! :D
Other posts soon!
Yankee Stadium, Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, ToysRus, Madame Tussauds NY, Ripley’s Believe It Or Not
So, its been almost been more than a day since I last posted. Lots have happened since then. Hong Kong airport first. Massive airport. Massive crowd (well, we all know of China’s population woes). Real amazing place. Free wifi was one of the best things to happen. Unlike Indian airports where the wifi works for twenty minutes or so for free, this was quite the surprise. To dampen our spirits (literally), it started raining. Like crazy. Two flights got cancelled from near where we were sitting and that got us real worried. Luckily this did not last long, we were all clear to go. Meanwhile upon suggestion from a friend from Hong Kong itself, I tried some Chinese food - real cool!
Well after some real fun hours at the Hong Kong International Airport, we boarded our flight which we will be cooped in for the next sixteen hours. Luckily we had amazing surprises planned for us. From views from snow capped mountains on the north eastern side of Russia to the polar caps of the Arctic Bay and flying over the Magnetic North Pole, our trip was really cool! Finally after not sleeping, one season of 30 Rock, one season of Two and a Half Men, and Zero Dark Thirty later, we finally reached the John F. Kennedy International Airport. Did I say that the Hong Kong International Airport was massive? Well, this was even more gigantic! With a real cool train running through the terminals, we found our way towards the necessary terminal and then to Jamaica Station with ease. Now, we had eighteen hours in NYC and we had to keep our bags somewhere. No baggage storage services open at 1 am in the morning. We were so screwed!
Luckily we found an Indian cab driver who took us to Manhattan and helped us with our bags and kept them in his house nearby. Indian-Indian bhaichara is so amazing! Now started one of the best twelve hours of our journey. Times Square. Empire State Building. Rockefeller Center. Yankee Stadium. Road-side Hot Dogs. Yellow Cab Rides. The NYC Subway Rides. Window Shopping at some of the best brands in the world. We did walk much of the time, so our legs were all screwed but who really cares? We had the time of our lives!
We then flew to Orlando - I do not really want to speak more about the trip; it was totally uninteresting during the flight. Except the real awesome pizza; yes that was the best! Finally reached the Holiday Inn at 1 am in the morning. Slept off to wake up for a nice hot breakfast, where we also met from Sydney Lunabotics, a team from Australia! The inn is cool, the people are awesome and I’m having the time of my life.
Well, now, our robot is all assembled and we’re going for a test in some time. Practice session tomorrow, competition begins the day after. More blog posts soon…
After the last exam and lots of hours of hectic packing, it was finally time to leave Manipal. I hadn’t slept for more than two hours since the night before and the cab was late, sleep deprived and waiting in the excruciating heat and humidity of Manipal was seriously pissing off.
Luckily the cab arrived in about fifteen minutes and my pissed-off meter turned down a notch. But my worries wouldn’t stop so easily. The cab driver was one of the worst drivers I had seen, ever. He just couldn’t stop overtaking people on the roads and I had to stay awake hoping that there are no accidents. Damn.
Mangalore airport. Reached there finally. Paid the cab guy off, got inside the airport, checked in my baggage, got through security check; all cool. But weird stories just do not end so easily with me. My boarding pass had no gate number. It wasn’t so bad, I thought and I walked towards the screen displaying flight statuses. Wonder of wonders, no boarding gate number on the screen as well! Well, you can guess what might have happened next. Half the passengers entered the shuttle during the final call!
Well, finally I reached Bengaluru and then traveled to Chennai with ease. All cool there. Chennai domestic airport - brilliant place. Real awesome air conditioning, real helpful ground crew. The best part? The conveyor belts. Unlike traditional belts where the crew puts in the baggage from one corner, this one was more automated. The baggage came from an underground storage area from the middle of the conveyor belt ring and the bags slid onto the conveyor belt. The best part about this conveyor belt? When the bags were to slide onto the conveyor belt and if there was another bag in the way, the other bag stopped moving. Really cool!
Walked to the international terminal. In comparison with the awesomeness that was the domestic terminal, the international airport was literally shit. Over crowded, under organized, snobbish people who do not know Hindi/English or do not want to talk in anything other than Tamil, it was hell. We got into the check-in line almost at the end and then we got delayed as our multimeters were stopped by the Indian customs. Hungry and tired, we waited at a really mediocre waiting area (and with just 20 minutes of free wifi! Damn.) till the boarding commenced.
Really tired from typing all that; more later.
By the way, we’re now at the Hong Kong International Airport and are waiting for our connecting flight to New York! Can’t wait to explore the night-life in the Big Apple! :D New post soon.
This isn’t an article of mine. I just read it on the internet and shared it; it is worth reading, no doubt.
..Dear Muslims, Christians, Hindus, and Jews,
You’re living in the age of the Internet. Your religion will be mocked, and the mockery will find its way to you. Get over it.
If you don’t, what’s happening this week will happen again and again. A couple of idiots with a video camera and an Internet connection will trigger riots across the globe. They’ll bait you into killing one another.
Stop it….Stop following their script.
Today, fury, violence, and bloodshed are consuming the Muslim world. Why? Because a bank fraud artist in California offered people $75 a day to come to his house and act out scenes that ostensibly had nothing to do with Islam. Then he replaced the audio, putting words in the actors’ mouths, and stitched together the scenes to make an absurdly bad movie ridiculing the Prophet Mohammed. He put out flyers to promote the movie. Nobody—literally nobody—came to watch it.
He posted a 14-minute video excerpt of the movie on YouTube, but hardly anyone noticed. Then, a week ago, an anti-Muslim activist in Virginia reposted the video with an Arabic translation and sent the link to activists and journalists in Egypt. An Egyptian TV show aired part of the video. An Egyptian politician denounced it. Clerics sounded the alarm. Through Facebook and Twitter, protesters were mobilized to descend on the U.S. embassy in Cairo. The uprising spread. The U.S. ambassador to Libya has been killed, and violence has engulfed other countries.
When the protests broke out, the guy who made the movie claimed to be an Israeli Jew funded by other Jews. That turned out be a lie. Now he says he’s a Coptic Christian, even though Coptic Christian leaders in Egypt and the United States despise the movie and want nothing to do with him. Another guy who helped make the movie claims to be a Buddhist. The movie was made in the United States, yet Sudanese mobs have attacked British and German embassies. Some Egyptians targeted the Dutch embassy, mistakenly thinking the Netherlands was behind the movie. Everyone’s looking for a group to blame and attack.
The men behind the movie said it would expose Islam as a violent religion. Now they’re pointing to the riots as proof. Muslims are “pre-programmed” to rage and kill, says the movie’s promoter. “Islam is a cancer,” says the director. According to the distributor, “The violence that it caused in Egypt is further evidence of how violent the religion and people are and it is evidence that everything in the film is factual.”
Congratulations, rioters. You followed the script perfectly. You did the propagandists’ work for them.
And the provocations won’t end here. Laws and censors won’t protect you from them. Liberal democracies allow freedom of expression. Our leaders and people condemn garbage like this video, but we don’t censor it. Even if we did, the diffusion of media technology makes suppression impossible. The director of this movie was forbidden, under his bank-fraud probation rules, from using computers or the Internet without approval. That didn’t stop him. Nor did it stop the Arabic-language distributor from reposting the video and disseminating it abroad.
Online propaganda is speech. But it’s also part of the global rise of lethal empowerment. It’s easier than ever to kill people. In Muslim countries, mass murderers favor bombs. In the United States, they prefer guns. In Japan, they’ve tried sarin nerve gas. The Oklahoma City bomber used fertilizer. The Sept. 11 hijackers used box cutters and passenger planes. Then came the letters filled with anthrax.
Derision is that much harder to control. The spread of digital technology and Internet bandwidth makes it possible to reach every corner of the globe almost instantly with homemade video defaming any faith tradition. It can become an incendiary weapon. But it has a weakness: It depends on you. You’re the detonator. If you don’t cooperate, the bomb doesn’t explode.
This isn’t just a Muslim problem, though that’s been the pattern lately. On YouTube, you can find videos insulting every religion on the planet: Jews, Christians, Hindus, Catholics, Mormons, Buddhists, and more. Some clips are ironic. Others are simply disgusting. Many were posted to bait one group into fighting another. The baiters are indiscriminate. The promoter of the Mohammed movie founded a group that also protests at Mormon temples.
The hatred and bloodshed will go on until you stop taking the bait. Mockery of your prophet on a computer with an Internet address somewhere in the world can no longer be your master. Nor can the puppet clerics who tell you to respond with violence. Lay down your stones and your anger. Go home and pray. God is too great to be troubled by the insults of fools. Follow Him.
(William Salatan - The Slate)