Thursday, September 29, 2005

The big picture...

As reported here on CNN, Tsunemi Kubodera of the National Science Museum, and Kyoichi Mori of the Ogasawara Whale Watching Association, both based in Tokyo, Japan, captured the first pictures of a giant squid in its natural habitat ~900 metres below the surface in the cold, dark waters of the North Pacific.

"This is the first time a full-grown, healthy squid has been sighted in its natural environment in deep water." Kubodera added.

"It went after some bait that we had on the end of the camera and became stuck, and left behind a tentacle six meters long, " Mori said.

Hmmm, so they report the first picture of a "full-grown, healthy squid" and in the process of doing so render it not-so-healthy owing to the loss of one of its tentacles!! Ah! But they got their picture, didn't they?

Curiously, when the Environmental News Network (ENN) reported the same event there was no mention of the damaged appendage at all. Why did they leave out that piece of information?? Your guess is as good as mine.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

After all, it is the thought that counts, right?

After the tsunami ravaged many coastal areas of southern Asia, the ICC announced a pair of cricket matches matching the worlds best against each other, all for a good cause - to raise money to help the victims of the disaster.

There was overwhelming support for the first game, played in Australia, where millions of dollars were raised.

The second game was first postponed, and then called off. The reasons given were ones that could have easily been foreseen in January itself, but in the end were lamely put forward in the hope that sufficient time had elapsed and the public would have moved on to other concerns.

If the authorities truly, honestly, cared about their word then such issues could have been settled for the sake of the bigger cause. But it was not to be. Once more, mere lip service was provided to assuage the general public who expected to hear that some charity would be provided and were told that measures would be taken to achieve them.

Thank goodness, the first game was ACTUALLY held. When the two-match series was announced, my fear was that this was a public service announcement, a knee-jerk reaction to the disaster. When the first game took place, I was happy. And when the second was cancelled - I was not surprised. I had almost expected that to happen. For too long I have seen the authorities promise monetary (and property) rewards for sporting achievements, only to not hear about them any more after the grand announcement or for the athletes to only get a fraction of the promised sum (such as this one, or this one, or sometimes change their priorities in support of the flavour of the month).

Somehow, I did not expect this tsunami benefit series to be any different, and I was not mistaken. Sadly, the losers here are people whose hopes were raised when despair was their sole outlook.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

The end of a streak?

In spite of the best efforts of his teammates, Greg "Mad Dog" Maddux's attempt to extend one of the most impressive streaks in baseball may have come to an end today. All season I have been rooting for it to somehow come true and the Cubs manager, Dusty Baker, even tweaked the rotation to get him an extra start, but it was not to be.

Oh least he pitched enough innings to be able to extend his contract for one more year. I hope he comes back, and all indications are that he will.

Welcome to oblivion...

And with these words I begin my journey into the world of blogs...

And speaking of oblivion, here is a typical example of why the most ardent fan of the Indian cricket team despairs when the thought of any BCCI-sanctioned activity is announced.

For many days now Prem Panicker's blog has been sharply divided on this issue, and it is clear that like the Indian team, the followers of Indian cricket are (for the most part) supporters of either the captain or the coach.

My opinion? The coach appears to have a clearer picture of what needs to be accomplished, both long-term and short-term, and should be persisted with. Sourav Ganguly, on the other hand, has been hanging on by the slimmest of threads and needs some time away from the international scene to work out some very obvious kinks in his batting.