Saturday, December 28, 2013

Marketing Motorcycles to Women

Business are created to grow the investment of their principals and grow profits. It is quite common to see businesses to use various tactics to increase revenue by improving sales. The recent economic downturn in the US has made it highly difficult for lifestyle companies to peddle their products.

The manufacturer of the iconic motorcycle Harley Davidson experienced the brunt of the flagging economy in the form of downward spiral of their revenues. During and after the recent downturn multiple research reports pointed to the fact that most of the people who lost jobs and livelihoods were men. Some researchers went as far as to suggest that it was a "Man-cession" and not a "Recession".
Anyway, Emoji Harley Davidson has now evolved a unique strategy to target those who kept their jobs and hence money during the downturn and are now ready to indulge in their desires - Women. Recently the motorcycle manufacturer commissioned a research study that quite expectedly proved that "Women who ride motorcycles are more confident, happier, and extremely satisfied with their appearance" when compared to their non-riding counterparts.
Indeed a nice sales pitch, Emoji I would say to push the sales of the motorcycle and entice more women to join the groups of motorcycle riders that dot American highways.
Will it Succeed Emoji ? Only time will tell!!!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Internal Affair = International Politics

Japan and China have been having a little tussle over a few pieces of rock in the ocean. Of course other countries including the US are either too scared to interfere or just want to watch the fun as two major economies fight. Anyway it is interesting to see how a small action from a Japanese Prime Minister can evoke reactions from everyone.
Recently Japanese Prime Minister visited a Shinto Shrine in Tokyo. The shrine honors Japan's War Heroes. The PM visited the shrine for 15 minutes and paid his respects to those who laid down lives in defense of their nation. A gesture that is extended by every head of state, like Indian leaders visit the Memorial of Mahatma Gandhi, American Presidents visit the Arlington Memorial Cemetery, etc. 
I don't know why such a tiny incident has evoked the ire of both China and Korea who are denouncing the visit. The fact is that some of those buried in the shrine are international war criminals too. It doesn't matter what outsiders think of them, the rest of the people buried there are war heroes and nobody should stop anyone from paying respects to them.
It is amazing how China is trying to flex its muscle and control the world. Today they have gotten together with their small neighbor Korea to denounce Japan's action. I wouldn't be surprised if tomorrow they get together with England and denounce the actions of Indian Prime Minister when he/ she visits the Jallianwala Bagh.
Times are getting tougher and tougher internationally. I wonder if it getting closer to the next World War??

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Psychology of Hoarding

I was reading an interesting article online on Slate and came across this quote about hoarding:


"People who hoard are often, intelligent, creative, and endlessly curious," Randy O. Frost, a leading researcher on hoarding.

I decided to post it on the blog because I wonder if it applied to politicians who hoard money and power. I talk about Indian politiicans because those are the ones I know better than any other nation's politicians. Coming to the point, politicians and business people in India excel at hoarding money. These people are probably best hoarders in the whole world. They are intelligent, no doubt, creative, no doubt... but when it comes to "endlessly curious" I start doubting.
I would also add couple of adjective qualifiers to these words so the people may be better described. For instance, politicians and business people in India are "wickedly intelligent" because they work only to make profit for themselves. Most business people I know are willing to work hard to make money but they toil harder to ensure that others don't make nearly as much. Same goes for politicians, they are willing work much harder to keep their positions than fulfil the promises made to voters.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Heights of Superstition in the First World

It is common for everyone in the world to dismiss people from India as people frought with superstition and blind beliefs. In India the so-called intellectuals always look up to western nations such as the US and awe at their progress and scientific temper. What these people don't seem to know or acknowledge that the west too is frought with its own superstitions. If I am to ever bring this up, America-apologetics will just brand me as a jealous third worlder who is trying to find fault with the glory of the west.
A recent newsreport I read on Yahoo makes me wonder about the amount of superstition that people in America hold. This report is about a highschool athlete in the state of Kentucky who walked out of a qualifying race just because she was assigned the bib number "666". The girl said that the number created conflict with her "Christian belief" and hence she would not run. This becomes national news which attracted over 20,000 comments from readers that are mostly supportive of the runner and critical of the race officials. Suggestions range from removing the number altogether from races to adding another number to this particular runner's bib.
In the same country when I say that I am vegetarian because of my religious beliefs people scoff at my faith and try to make jokes out of it. That is because even in India when I told people I am vegetarian, most people laugh at us and make jokes about being a closet meat eater, etc. How unfortunate!!!

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Confusing Headlines

I was listening to NPR while driving to the railway station earlier this evening and one news item caught my attention and outrage. The headlines talked about how India had become the first Asian nation to launch a mission to Mars, but the rest of the story talked about the glories of China's space program. How absurd!
If NPR did want to talk about China's space program they could do that without mentioning anything about India. By saying that despite the fact that India has stellar achievements in space missions, the news reporter seemed to take the side of the China, the oppressive, communist regime which is attempting to steal resource-rich land, water, and other parts of neighboring nations.
Another blog post on NPRs website grudgingly praises India's mission to mars, whereas in reality the program should be praised as one that could serve as a model for the rest of the world.
Listening to these newsreports, reading the blogs, and just skimming the media makes me want to believe that the West indeed has an agenda against India.

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Happy Diwali 2013

Diwali is almost over but hey... good things and good deeds can be done anytime. This image is courtesy of JK YOG, I just removed the name of their organization digitally and published it on my blog. No copyright infringement is intended.

If I were in India it would have been one pig fest eating till my stomach busts, sweets, savories, etc. But then I am in America and don't even know any Indian families that celebrate these festivals well enough that I get invited to their place. Anyway festivals or not life goes on...

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Beliefs and Convictions - different strokes....

I saw this advertisement in the local papers. It is interesting how people like Jim and his group featured in the advertisement take pride in eroding the religious practices and cultural beliefs of community and create rifts in the nation in the name of god. Religion and god was never meant to create unrest, and conflict in a society, but modern religion, especially when it gets highly professionally organized seems to be doing exactly that.

India is already a disturbed place with almost 20% of the world's population in less than 5% of the world's land area the country is reeling under several problems. Converting people and creating new religious orders only lead to conflicts. I wonder when people will understand that one doesn't ascend to heaven by creating conflicts in nations.

One of my friends who had lived in Texas earlier had remarked to me that "Texas is like the buckle of the bible belt" and having lived here for over five years I would say I have been poked and pierced by the buckle several times.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Money and Happiness!

"Money can't buy happiness" goes the old adage. The modern alternative to that is "Those who say Money can't buy happiness, simply don't know where to shop". This is at least true for 99% of the world's sane, thinking and normal population. The remaining 1% belong to the old school and still think there is not enough money in this world to buy happiness. I have heard colleagues of mine say "This company can't pay me enough to come to work on a Sunday or holiday...." It simply goes to illustrate that they simply don't know the strength of the financial muslce an organization can flex.
My personal opinion, money can buy happiness, as long as the money is in your pocket. The minute it changes hands you lose both money and happiness. Food for thought!!!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Aruba - My Next Holiday Destination

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Aruba Tourism Authority for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

I was scouting for a place to go which is accessible, fun, affordable, exotic, and most importantly year around I stumbled upon Aruba, an island destination that has everything one could dream of. Aruba, appropriately called "one happy island" offers amazing options for every kind of holiday seeker - the foodie, shopper, beach lover, adventurer, honeymooning couple, and anyone for that matter.

Aruba is a small enough that everything is within reach but large enough to give you the variety in landscape that is bound to enthrall and entice everyone. While Aruba offers something for everyone, I am sure your reasons for visiting or wanting to go there could be quite different from mine.

I am looking forward to Aruba travel simply because of the amazing outdoor activities and adventure sports that the island offers. The island has some of the most amazing geographical formations and landscapes in the world. A unique combination of mountains and oceans is what draws me to Aruba.

I can climb tall mountains and refresh myself in the azure waters and lounge around on the ivory beaches. I am looking forward to a soul-soothing experience while hiking through 20 plus miles of trails across the wilderness of the Arikok National Park.

Personally speaking I am a water baby. I simply feel at home in natural waters of the ocean and the fact that Aruba's beaches offer amazing swimming opportunities make me want to go there today. Not to mention that the rising waves entice me to rent a surfboard and fly across the ocean.

I personally believe Aruba is one location for everyone. For those who don't want to drive or rent a car the public bus service is convenient and inexpensive. There are a number of taxis available for those who want a little exclusivity and speed. If you do want to rent a car then there are number of advantages, parking is free through the island, driving is on the right side of the road and the best thing is that foreign and international licenses are accepted.

I rest my case here about wanting to visit Aruba this year. What is your case? How would you enjoy Aruba, let me know I would love to discuss further about holiday options, plans and activities that you plan to undertake in Aruba.

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Texas Sunset

A typical Texas Fall Sunset. Photographed by a colleague of mine with a smart phone.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

5 Foods Americans Eat that Are Banned Around the World - Yahoo News

Growing up in India I recall the huge furore about BVO or Brominated Vegetable Oil being used in soft drinks, chocolate, etc. Consumer groups hounded these corporations and the government to ban products using BVO and the campaign was quite successful back then in the 1980s. Now I hope the ban continues. I am shocked to know that American corporations continue to spew out products with BVO quite regularly and not to mention growth hormones which makes the children and adults here grow to gigantic proportions. Wonder how it would be in India with so many multinational brands fighting for their share of the billion plus market.

5 Foods Americans Eat that Are Banned Around the World | Shine Food - Yahoo Shine
These common foods in America include ingredients that other countries ban
Read the full story

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Sunday, September 22, 2013

Would you let your Sister/ Daughter do this???

A strange practice indeed, sending young women to practice prostitution in the name of religion. I have heard of such practices being followed but not with this kind of lethal intention. I wonder who in their right minds would happily send their daughter/ sister/ wife etc to sleep with 100s of unknown men. I guess only those who are so brainwashed with fundamentalist ideology would do. The whole world stands up outraged when a rape happens in a third world country, but when women willingly go to sleep with Islamic fighters with the intentions of bearing children who would go on to become terrorists, they say it is a "Strange Practice". Mind you not "abominable" or "barbaric" or anything else, just "strange".

Friday, September 13, 2013

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Train Views

Views of Lewisville lake from the train as I ride to work daily.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Indians losing identity - or have we already lost it???

As a proud Indian citizen I continue to get frustrated by people who make the common mistake of using my ethnic-national identity label on others who are not even remotely connected to my country or ethnicity. It makes me wonder if there is even one individual out of the billion plus Indians who feel the same way about this issue.

Every so often things come up in the media that frustrate me to no end. One of the biggest that makes my skin crawl and blood boil is the issue of ethnic identity. Few million "Native Americans" in compliance with few million more Europeans and Africans continuously assault our identity. The first group have the audacity to continue to refer to themselves as "Indians" even though they know that they are not and for that matter never were the owners of the identity label. The second and third groups continue to foment the myth of Indian identity label for Native Americans. What is worse is the fact that over a million real Indians in the United States and a billion plus in the rest of the world are blissfully accepting this labeling without as much as a squeak of protest.

Recently I listened to a radio program on NPR presented by of course the famous Lourdess Garcia-Navarro, International correspondent based in Sao Paulo, Brazil, which was inappropriately titled "Brazil's Indians Reclaim Land Citing Promises, Using Force". Of course she is writing about the indigenous people of Brazil. In her biography page on NPR it is claimed that "Garcia-Navarro captured history in the making with stunning insight, courage and humanity." I wonder where this insight vanished when she is referring to Native Americans or whatever tribal nation they belong to as Indians. This reporter has been feted multiple times in various forums for excellence in reporting.

The reporting excellence seems to vanish when it comes to reporting the truth about Indians - of course the real ones from India and not those who are piggybacking on the label just because of a mistake made by Spaniard Christopher Columbus.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Riding the Train to Dallas

I am starting a new job in Dallas on Monday. Since the distance is far, working nights, and of course the rare convenience of train made me contemplate taking the train to commute. In order to check the feasibility for myself I decided to do a trail run and yesterday I bought a $10 ticket to ride from Denton, TX to Dallas, TX. If I drove in good traffic conditions it takes me about 50 mins and by train it took me about 80 mins, a good 30 mins increase in commute time, plus adding the time to drive back and forth from the train station. There is no real savings in terms of time or money. It would cost me just about the same amount of money to drive. The biggest advantage of riding the train is to offset the stress of driving after working a sleepless 12-hr night shift.

The train interiors don't stink, they are clean, hardly any crowd, seats are pretty comfortable, so it is going to be a pretty decent ride home from work I am hoping. The only disadvantage is that there is no service on weekends. I will still have to drive to work on weekends.

Railway Platform - deserted

Railway Platform - deserted

No smoking, drinking or listening to loud music in the train

View of Lewisville Lake!

I-35 during low traffic time... 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Twitter Down


Twitter down!!!

Twitter the online microblogging platform is down again... or at least that is what it says when I try to login. This is the third time I have tried logging in since morning.... Wonder what the Silicon Valley Geeks are doing...

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Trouble in Myanmar/ Burma

Myanmar has become the latest nation at strife with Muslims. The Buddhist majority nation has begun to experience the influx of illegal immigrants from its western neighbor and of course when Muslims have a little bit of community and a small group they will start trouble. The first step they take is to seek special privileges for prayers and then extra benefits and then territory and then the host nation has to either has to bow down and convert enmasse or perish in the onslaught of terrorism. I sure hope Myanmar doesn't go that direction and the Buddhists will stand up for themselves and preserve the ethnic and religious identity of their nation.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

American-born Islamic Terrorist's trail begins

After what seems like an eternity the trail to punish Major Nidal Hassan began yesterday. It is ironical that even after being imprisoned for over 4 years the terrorist in Hassan is still alive and active. According to news reports the alleged terrorist who is defending himself opened his case with the statement declaring that he indeed shot army personnel at Fort Hood.

According to news reports he claimed that he was among the "imperfect Muslims trying to establish a perfect religion". I don't know how he can call it a perfect religion when it doesn't give basic human rights to people who don't believe in the exact same doctrine propagated by its holy book.

A perfect religion ought to promote peace, Islam on the other hand seems to be doing the exact opposite. A perfect religion promotes respect for life, respect for all human beings equally, compassion for less fortunate, nonviolence, etc. I can go on and on about what a perfect religion should be, but that is not the point of this blog post.

Justice for those injured and the families of those killed will be served only Hassan is branded terrorist and punished to the highest extent by law. Of course it is for the judges to decide what to do with a terrorist like him but in my opinion anyone who attempts to harm the people who willingly lay down their lives to protect the nation should be punished to the fullest extent.

I sure hope it happens in this case and soon. I also believe that Justice Delayed amounts to Justice Denied.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Back to School Savings!!!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of costcaptain for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

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Sunday, August 04, 2013

Justice delayed is Justice Denied... well almost...

I have been following the case of Major Nidal Hassan the Muslim American army officer who turned his gun on his colleagues because they were fighting against Muslims in the middle east. To me and rest of the members of the public the case looks very straight forward. Nidal killed and injured army staff, the people who are hired to protect the nation. There are enough witnesses, and a confession too. It should be easy to put him to death and finish the case. But, US army is not finding it so easy, they think the case is complicated and continue to hold Nidal in prison and pay him his official salary. New reports that have emerged indicate that it may be impossible to put Nidal to death.

Looks like the American Justice system is stumbling along unsure of what to do. Few years ago India experienced one of the most deadly terrorist attacks and one Pakistani citizen was captured alive and his trail also took a long time but ultimately he was put to death by hanging. I wonder if that is a good enough precedent for America to follow. It is time the members of the slain service members families get the justice they deserve and the deceased souls rest in peace. Enough of paying taxpayers dollars to a traitor.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Minimum Wage Workers - the New Generation of Slaves

America has a history of Slavery and now it seems as if the history is being repeated in the form of low wage workers and high earning executives (read CEOs and management). I was listening to Diane Rehm Show on NPR and was appalled to hear that one of the panelists thought that minimum wage workers receive a "phenomenal" wage increase in the first year. I wonder if he is properly informed about the prevailing situation in the market.

I know a friend of mine who works in one of the leading hospital systems in DFW area, TX. His first year wage raise was a mere $.07 an hour, which translates to 2.80 a week and $134 a year. The years salary raise doesn't even cover his gas bills for one month and this gentleman thinks it is a phenomenal raise. I think he needs to get down and dirty before making such comments.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Atheists unveil first atheist monument on government property

Atheists unveil first atheist monument on government property - So what should we call this? The temple of ungod? The first temple of Athiests has sprung up. I am pretty sure more such monuments will come up in the near future. If believers place their faith on god of their choice and worship in the monument of their choice such as a temple, church, mosque, etc, the athiests have finally built their own place of worship.

I Wonder what their god will be called! Let us wait and watch out for the mushrooming of these shrines soon.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Bangladesh Phenomenon Moves to America

In the recent past news reports on building collapses and factory fires in Bangladesh were the hot topics. The trend seems to have moved half way around the world to Philadelphia, US, where a building collapsed in downtown and had several people trapped in the debris. Of course thanks to the greater amount of space and much higher response speed there have been no deaths reported yet in the Philly collapse.

Initial speculations are pointing to an industrial accident in one of the construction sites nearby. We will wait for the right verdict on this case if at all it becomes public and newsworthy for the media to carry.

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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Islamic Terrorist Getting Paid in Jail

In 2009 America was rocked by the gruesome act of one of its own. A Muslim army officer - Major Nidal Hassan took up arms and shot active duty military staff in Fort Hood Texas. The rampage ended with the death of at least 13 soldiers and 32 injured to several others. The perpetrator of such heinous act Major Nidal Hassan was of course shot and captured alive and is currently in a high security prison.

It has been several years and he is yet to face trail. I don't know what the military courts are doing. In the meanwhile Major Nidal Hassan has been receiving full pay and perks of his position and has thus far received $278,000. According to a investigative report published on liberal online media NBC the defense department confirmed this. This is like a slap across the face of the families of dead soldiers, the criminal is in jail but we will continue to pay his salary, even though he is not working and has not done anything to deserve the pay. On the contrary he has done everything to receive the highest punishment possible.

On the other hand soldiers who were injured by Major Nidal Hassan are still fighting with the Pentagon to get their rightful combat-related injury compensation. The liberal US military has refused to classify the incident as a "Terrorist Attack", instead it has labelled this as "Workplace violence".

I am totally appalled by this lackadaisical attitude of the military top brass and the federal government.It looks like America is trying to show off their superior customer service skills to heartless Islamic terrorists and win them over. Well there is no winning Islamic terrorists without using bullets. I hope the American Military will take action at least now.

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Devastation in Oklahoma

As the details emerge in news channels and other media the devastation in Oklahoma becomes apparent. The thunderstorm has caused more devastation at Oklahoma than the one in Hood County, TX last fortnight. According to a newsreport on Weather the death toll of yesterday's events is about 24 as reported by the state's medical examiner.

Hundreds have been injured and more left homeless as the thunderstorm with winds upto 60mph plowed through Moore, OK and surrounding counties. One TV report even suggested that the thunder storm traveled as far as Kansas and wrecked havoc there. A weather bureau warning I heard on the radio last night said that there would be heavy rains with golf ball sized hail in north Texas area. Luckily there was no storm hitting us in Denton, TX.

To me this sounds like the scenario in India where every year during the monsoon floods occur and cause widespread death and destruction. Of course India is a poor third world nation with corrupt establishment and politicians so preparation for such calamities doesn't happen. But in America the world's richest and most powerful nation this kind of tragedies taking lives, is totally not acceptable. I sure hope that further calamities of such kind will be prevented.

I know that weather can't be controlled but people's response to the weather changes can be. When there is a thunderstorm warning, people can be evacuated. America is a large nation with a relatively small population. There is enough space to resettle these people for a short time so that they are alive and can safely return home once the severe weather passes.

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