Nice movie for kids

If you are looking for a good movie to take your kid(s) (5 years and older) to, I recommend Charlie and the Chocolate factory. Very nicely made movie. The sets are great and Johnny Depp and the other actors have done a fine job. One can’t help notice Johnny Depp’s Michael Jackson-like potrayal of Willie Wonka. I haven’t seen the original movie from the early seventies(?) so I can’t give you a relative view.

Cricket: The Day of Reckoning?

Tomorrow could be the end of an era in world cricket. After over a decade of dominating world cricket the Aussie slide is now on the verge of being completed. A defeat at the hands of the English! After a long wait the English press I bet can’t wait for its day(s) in the sun!

Nothing has gone right for the Aussie on this tour of England. They have struggled right through and never looked like a champion side. Tomorrow is their last chance to turn the tables. Given the recent performances this seems highly unlikely. A VVS-Dravid show does not happen every day. 🙂

Dentist: To remove or not to remove?

According to most (possibly all) Dentists in the US it is recommended to remove the wisdom tooth on both ends and their counter parts on the top row. That is a total of 4 teeth! The claim is that they are not used in the chewing process. I have never heard this from Dentists in India.
In general, the attitude of Dentists in India is to try and save every tooth as far as possible. Dentists in the US on the other hand love to do an extraction at the slightest excuse. Someone told me the supposed rational for this approach. If you remove a tooth then they are free of law suits. If you try some fancy exercise on the tooth and something goes wrong, Dentists are likely to get sued! Also, given the crazy health insurance racket in the US, I believe an extraction is easy money. I am curious to know the experiences of anyone around here on this.

Chinese Restaurants in Mountain View

Two good Chinese restaurants in Mountain View on Castro Street: Hangen Szechuan Restaurant and Hunan Chili. They are very close to each other and are virtual clones of each other. As for downsides: Hangen — The owners wife could use a visit to “charm school”; Hunan Chili: They try to get you to pay in cash, though nowhere does it say that they have a min charge to use the credit card. If you want to get around it, just say “I have no cash”. They’ll then accept your credit card!

If you visit either of these try the Mapo Tofu. If you like spicy food you’ll love this dish.

Ashes: Aussies in shambles, still worthy of playing the World XI?

England continues to strengthen its hold over the Aussies with this test. As always Flintoff makes all the difference. Just when it looked like the Aussies had England down at 229 for 4, Freddie turns out a fine century. Man, this guy is real good!

The way the Aussies are playing, I don’t think this team deserves to play against the rest of the world! The World XI deserves to play a stronger side, perhaps Steven Waugh’s Australian side.

India vs. NZ: Bonded by Bond

Shane Bond simply destroyed India’s batting. Its not surprising. The team has been performing horribly. Our celebrity stars show up late. Ganguly is still sleep walking more than batting. Viru looks like he has had a little too many “aloo parattas” during the off-season. Dravid is probably pissed with his short stint as captain and too distracted as a result. Yuvraj thinks his century on the SL-WI series is enough for a while. Kaif is mostly a fielder etc. etc.

The saving grace of this match: India finally gave JP Yadav a shot and he certainly looks set for the all-rounder slot. Irfan is evolving into a potential all-rounder. Our opening bowlers have survived longer than one series without injuries and actually performed quite consistently. Last but not the least, India gave one of its youngsters (Venugopal Rao) a good chance to prove himself. Unfortunately, he ended up facing an unplayable delivery. In the competitive environment of world cricket, playing the unplayable is what sets apart the true stars. Nevertheless, Venu needs a few more chances, especially considering how long we persist with our celebrity stars.

Google Talk

Ok, now Google is in the IM/internet voice chat business as well. Its starting to get a little boring. After all the cool search stuff, they seem to be just looking around, seeing what’s there and come up with cool variations. Its about time they came up with something drastically new and game changing. I love Gmail, Google Maps, Add Content, Google Video, Google Custom Home page and other old wine in new bottles from Google.

Frankly, I am starting to get a little bored with Google’s new stuff. No wonder people are starting to refer to Google as the new evil empire. Does the world need one more IM? One more free email? One more MyYahoo? One more Blogger? One more social networking site? One more Yahoo finance? Oh well…

Chappell’s honeymoon is over

Greg Chappell was pissed with the Indian players for showing up late at the start of the tour. He was even more pissed with the press for jumping all over him and taking pictures. Sounds like Chappell’s honeymoon period is over. If India flunks this meaningless tournament in Zimbabwe, the pressure on him is bound to get worse. Perhaps he’ll have to learn a few lessons about defending himself from Dada.

Graeme Smith: World XI Captain

Its quite an achivement for Graeme Smith to lead the cricket World XI against Australia. Until a few years back, he was brought into lead SF, despite being a virtual unknown. Though he has had mixed results as the South African captain, his recent performance in the county championship Twenty20 tournament and the match against Australia for Somerset speaks volumes of his abilities. Captaining the World XI should be quite a crowning moment for him.