Sunday, September 14, 2008

A Wednesday - review

This in in continuation of my posts on movie reviews. Earlier I wrote a review on a Marathi film Valu and some Hollywoood movie reviews on Gung Ho and Journey to the center of Earth . Must see short Hindi movie covering a different perspective of past decade bomb blasts in India.
The movie is about an incident which happens on a Wednesday. The plot revolves around a common man who makes the entire police department run wih the help of a mobile phone.

Two powerful actors - Anupam Kher and Naseeruddin Shah dominate the show.

The Times of India describes it as "it is an intelligent diatribe against terrorism"

I will not go into details of the movie here as that may spoil the thrill in the movie.

Movie lasts approximately 90-100 minutes with no "item numbers" or songs.

My recommendations:
Acting: A
Story: A
See in a theater: Not neccessary

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Journey to the center of Earth - review

Brandon Fraser starts in this 3D sci-fi thriller, the journey for which starts on the surface of earth and then lands in an exciting new world at the crust of earth.

The unexplained disappearance of his brother lands Brandon Fraser in this journey to the center of a volcano. In there, along with his nephew and young Hannah they travel through unconquered territories and ride in roller coaster.

Effects of 3D are pretty cool at times with birds and water making their entry with a splash and a sound.

Some science effects and law of physics are applied at different stages to make it closer to a sci-fi.

Imagination its at it best to relate what goes on miles beneath our surface.

Hannah Asgeirsson is good at times but somehow the romance that blossoms miles beneath the surface of earth seemed little awkward.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Hindi guitar songs continued

This is in continuation of my earlier post on hindi guitar posts . Latest update on guitar songs. Thanks to online video sharing particularly and thanks to NikGp.

Lately I have been using and a lot for the same. I use to play the guitarrred song on the background. Gives me a sense of what people are playing.

I have been concentrating on the bollywood tracks. Here the recent ones that have been lovely.
1.Kaisi paheli jindgaani from Parineeta .

2. Thanks to Nikgp who gave a fantastic guitar tutorial.
Maa Guitar chords from the movie : Taare Zameen Par
Mitwa guitar chords from the movie: Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Valu - the bull

The village 'Kusavde' came to light with the launch of Valu. 'Valu' is a recent Marathi movie directed by Umesh Kulkarni.

The movie is definitely a watch for Marathi movie lovers. This movie gives a glimpse of rural Maharashtra movies starting from the chief of the village to its everyday people.

Valu, also called 'Durkya' is the main hero of the movie who has been a troublemaker for Kusavde.

Atul Kulkarni stars as forest officer. His acting has been good at places but sometimes the use of too much English in his Marathi vocabularly makes one thing is he really a government 'fauuurest' officer.

Some funny scenes of the movie include dialogues by Mohan Agashe stating that even donkeys of the town had participated in the battle of Panipat.

Typical village scenes where things move slowly have also been showed.

Whenever the camera focuses on 'Valu' the music producer has introduced a new tunes which sounds catchy.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Gung Ho - Review

Within movies watched this week is the one suggested on NPR. This movie was suggested on NPR based on current weakening in the US auto industry and take over by the Japanese auto makers. What makes the Japanese autos superior to their US counterparts.

"Gung Ho" , the comedy movie takes you to a cultural clash between American automakers who have Japanese bosses.

One noticeable difference is that the Japanese have work higher up in their priority listthan family quite reverse to a typical American.

Another difference is 90% accuracy vs. a 100% accuracy.
Watch this movie to see who wins the battle of "family first or work first".

Michael Keaton plays Hunt Stevenson.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Plants update

Unfortunately the marigold gave up the torturous Florida heat and shed all its flowers and its energy. We will replace it with some other one. Vinca might be suitable in Florida summer /rainy season.

Friday, May 2, 2008

How to grow Marigold, Vinca, Begonia and Red Kidney Beans

Growing plants in Florida could be easy as well as challenging. We got few "how to grow" plants tips from family members.
Our first experiment with plants started with marigold and Red Kidney Beans.

The first layer in the shoveling process started with some white sand and a lot of white stones. Once we got past that we filled it with some top soil and manure mixture and then followed by healthy marigold plants.
Seeing our neighbors loose their marigolds due to inadequate watering we adopted the care taking approach of watering atleast twice a day.
Red Kidney beans (Rajma) were different. They started with soaking the beans in water for a day and using the oven to let it dry overnight and more and letting it sprout. We used some old pots and planted the Rajma's in them. No developments for the first few days other than some green sprouts. In a few days the Rajmas were up and growing.

Since these grow as creepers we need to think where we can grow them.

Last week we then planted some Vinca and Begonia. The process continues. I will post pictures to note the progress.

Tools used , courtesy
Digg this

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Garbage disposal repair

Last week while trying to drain something from our kitchen sink our garbage disposal gave up on us. Turning the switch ON and OFF created a humming sound of a motor that was trying its best to start but did not have the energy.
A garbage disposal is nothing but a blender. Our garbage disposal is a Whirlaway by Sinkmaster which my guess is might be around 10 years old. Googled on garbage disposal repair, garbage disposal problems lead me to many sites both in google videos which demo'd how to repair the disposal as well as online forums on which successful handymen were giving their suggestions. First few things to check on a garbage disposal problem (thanks to this link.

1. Can you hear the motor spinning ? If yes go to step 2, if not try to reset the typically RED reset button which is located either on the bottom or on in some cases on the side of the disposal. IF that does not work then the fuse is blown off or there is some electrical problem.
2. Motor is trying to spin but something is jammed. Please switch off power supply at this point. With the motor switched off try to see if there is anything visibly jammed in the blades (that is the first thing you will notice when viewed from the top). Typically one might see spoons, forks or bones when viewed from the top. There are generally two small holes along the circumference at 12 o clock and 6 o clock. I tried to use the wrench to make the blade turn. No luck in that.

With modern garbage disposals one can use a wrench and turn the blades in different directions to loosen them. This small hole is found at the bottom of the garbage disposal.
Unfortunately my garbage disposal did not have the small hole at the bottom and hence I had to try different things. A wooden broom handle came to my rescue. i used the broom handle from the top of the sink to make the blades turn in all direction.
Finally I could get the blades running and then I had cold water running in it and used it to turn the blades and I liked the sound when I switched my garbage disposal switch to ON position.

Googling for garbage disposal care yielded this product
Do not let food sit on the garbage disposal for long and use cold water.

Caution: Please turn off power supply while doing any activity/repair on the garbage disposal.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Kids videos , new videos added

New videos are now added. The buffalo and field mouse and donkey and the wooden image are now added to 3smartmonkeys .

The donkey and wooden talks about the morale "know where your limits are" and the buffalo and field mouse teaches the morale "greedy and egoistic person does not get anything at the end".

Friday, February 1, 2008

child development Video website

kids animation site

Ever wonder how Web 2.0 or video sharing can be brought even to babies or small kids?
3 smart monkeys is the answer. If you wonder what it is all about, we hope to get all of you back down the memory lane, as we grew up listening to tales of Panchatantra, Aesop's etc - more so from our grandparents. Unfortunately, with most of our generation no longer being geographically in the same continent as our parents do, our kids will be missing the experience with which we grew up. This website is a humble yet enthusiastic attempt to bridge the gap. .
Any suggestions regarding increasing viewership with a view to generating revenue are most appreciated.

Three smart monkeys wish you all a happy new year !.
The current website has stories in Marathi, Hindi, English and Japanese

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Work visa problems

Over the last few years immigration or visa is a hot topic in the US and getting a work visa or H1b has become increasingly difficult

With the H1B cap reduced to 65000 for the past few years, along with additional 20000 for international students having a degree in the US.

The problem five years ago was getting a job and of course one with H1B sponsorship after a successful completion of graduate school.
Now the problem does not end there. Students normally have a employment authorization document(EAD) to work for a year after their degrees. What after that?

Now an H1b is based on lottery program as the number of applications increase every year much beyond the 65000 cap .

How has this affected studends graduating and starting on a job?
1. How long do they sign the apartment lease? Until their EAD or hope that they are lucky that they scrape through the H1b lottery system
2. Should they invest in a car? Who knows they might have to sell it off as soon as their EAD expires.

Life has certainly become more difficult for international students after graduation..

Friday, January 11, 2008

Tata Nano ! A revolution

Also known as a $2500 car in the US, this car has really grown famous in the last few months. Why $2500 . This translates to 100, 000 Indian Rupees also known as 1 lakh Rupees.
Some quick finds.

Photo: Courtesy Wiki at

Great car with
1) 2 cylinder engine.
2) great mileage ~ 45 mpg.
3) Seats four.

What you do not get
1) Trunk or boot
2) Power steering.

This car will not be available till year end in India. I do not think TATA has plans to export it yet. Though I believe this might be a hit outside as well.

TATA might have used the Apple way of advertising. Demo the product 6-8 months before launch and create a big hype for it.. Probably this one is worth it.

Based on some articles I read I heard that the emission control is better than a motorcycle.
However, does this concept car bring with a lot of traffic with it?

Drawing in 10 mins ?

As a child the most difficult thing for me was to draw a human being: Especially the eyes, the mouth and the face attached to it.
The other day I tried to draw a pair of eyes and I quickly searched into google for
"how to draw eyes", "how to draw human".
I was amazed at how technology has made it easier to do this compared to a decade back when this was much more difficult. A lot of people have actually put up videos on google demo'ing how to draw !
There is certainly some amount of geometry and mathematics involved in the same. Rule of them for the eyes is that the distance between the eyes is almost the same as one eye.
If one wants to draw the frontal view of a human face then first thing to draw is
1) A Circle, well an Oval really.
2) Divide the circle into 2 parts. Eyes lie at the center
3) Divide the bottom half into two and you will draw the mouth/lips just below and above the same.
Shading and proper grip of the pencil is quite important for the same.
More details can be found in google videos....