Sagarika redux

Sans comment, and with thanks to all those who sent me this between my last Sagarika post and the one of earlier today [You know who you are, and you are too many to thank individually :-)]

Talking news

We are drowning in news. Reuters alone puts out three-and-a-half million news stories a year. That’s just one source.
My question is: How many of those stories are actually going to matter in the long run? That’s the idea behind The Long News. It’s a project by The Long Now Foundation, which was founded by TEDsters including Kevin Kelly and Stewart Brand. And what we’re looking for is news stories that might still matter 50 or 100 or 10,000 years from now. I mean look at the news through that filter, a lot falls by the wayside.
That clip is from a Kirk Citron talk on TED, on the Long News Project.
How does the news shape the way we see the world? Here’s the world based on the way it looks — based on land mass. And here’s how news shapes what Americans see. This map — (Applause) — this map shows the number of seconds that American network and cable news organizations dedicated to news stories, by country, in February of 2007 — just one year ago. Now, this was a month when North Korea agreed to dismantle its nuclear facilities. There was massive flooding in Indonesia. And in Paris, the IPCC released its study confirming man’s impact on global warming. The U.S. accounted for 79 percent of total news coverage. And when we take out the U.S. and look at the remaining 21 percent, we see a lot of Iraq — that’s that big green thing there — and little else. The combined coverage of Russia, China and India, for example, reached just one percent.
That’s from an Alisa Miller talk that is also worth your while. An additional thought: If someone with no knowledge of India spent a day watching television news, what would his takeaway be?

The silly season

Over the weekend, I noticed this series of posts on Rajdeep Sardesai’s Twitter stream: 1 and 2.

I jocularly posted how impressed I was that CNN-IBN was ignoring the story. To which I got this reply from Rajdeep.

Elsewhere, Barkha Dutt is ‘disgusted’. And introspective.

And Sagarika Ghose is — well, confused.

My takeaway from what the media moghuls are saying is, covering the Sania-Shoaib ‘story’ wall to wall — as I write this, guess what’s playing on CNN-IBN? — is okay as long as the electronic media does it. When it goes out of proportion is when print puts it on page 1.

Ah well. In the Asian Age, Sudhir Tailang nails it.

The psycho in the shower

Forty years, almost to the month/day after Alfred Hitchcock finished shooting Psycho — and its much admired (90 shots, 70 camera angles, chocolate syrup standing in for blood…), endlessly discussed, often parodied shower sequence — the commentary keeps coming.

‘Was it really Janet Leigh in the shower?’ is a theme discussed as often, and as frenetically, as the identity of the man on the grassy knoll, and who really wrote Shakespeare’s plays. Carrying the obsession to a natural conclusion, we now have a book — on the girl in the shower. Here’s Will Hodgkinson, in the Guardian, on the book and the controversy.

Incidentally, the girl in the shower has also been identified as one Myra Jones — who ended up stabbed to death, in real life.

Also incidentally, Leigh once said she was so terrified after seeing the movie for the first time, that she couldn’t for the longest time take a shower without leaving the bathroom door open, ditto the shower curtain — which must have been kind of weird for her house guests. I also recall reading someplace that after the release of the film, Hitchcock got an angry mail from a guy whose daughter, already off taking baths thanks to a scene in some horror flick, was now refusing to take showers as well.

Hitchcock’s reply was a classic: “Send her to the dry cleaners.”

Oh – and here you go:

Life according to chess


Link courtesy my friend Krishashok: blog; Twitter.

Tangentially, from the archives a slice of brilliance on chess and life, from Garry Kasparov.

Vicco vajradanti, and all that

The most amusing video you will see this year:

And just to prove that he is yet to reach the heights he is capable of, he later addressed the media on the issue:

“I shouldn’t have done it. It just happened. I was trying to help my bowlers and win a match, one match,” he told Geo TV, a Pakistan-based news channel. “There is no team in the world that doesn’t tamper with the ball. My methods were wrong. I am embarrassed, I shouldn’t have done it. I just wanted to win us a game but this was the wrong way to do it.”

In other words, it was clear and deliberate ball-tampering. So why, since the ICC is so big on escalating punishments for repeat offenses, is Afridi getting away with a two-match ban, considering what he has done before? Like, so?: