Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Consider donating to Tuscaloosa ...

In the aftermath of recent happenings (it's always a mixed bag isn't it?) I am a bit disappointed that Tornado damages at Tuscaloosa are being taken in casual manner. After all, where press is more interested in the Royal Weddings and competitive advantages in political landscapes (international too), this is bound to happen.

Agreed, this is not as mammoth as Japan's tragedy, but hey, tragedy is tragedy. There is no relative scale. Ask who are affected. Ranking mishaps is for those who are not affected by them.

What I am amazed at is there is no easy way to donate what is needed. Maybe I should build one, someday. No, it's important. Donating, let me repeat, what is needed. And who'll determine what is needed? Those who are there, those whose homes and dreams were destroyed by the devastating and indifferent disaster. They are in the best position to decide what kind of help they need at any point in time. Sometimes, they need clothes, other times money (yes, money is not always the best way to get help) or non-perishable food items.

I imagine a website, a web service that lets those who are at the affected areas manage what is needed and let those who are eager to help pick and choose what they can send. In theory this is so simple that I almost want to start coding (writing) this web service. Having a tie-up with places like Amazon would be awesome!

Amazon, the word's most feared marketplace (yes, that's my interpretation of them) does not have anything where I can choose the required stuff and ship where it is needed.

Facebook, the word's busiest social networking website has nothing (that I could easily find) that does what's needed at this hour.

So, we are back to where we were. The human networking where humans appeal for help and they get response. The success is at best measured by number of hearts moved. But the contribution of technology to the management of such mishaps still leaves many things desired!

Well, I am going to do my part and donate the goods required by having them shipped to Tuscaloosa from Amazon.

You can do that too!

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Bear, the movie ...

Every once in a while, something that we see makes us dumbstruck, spellbound. The reason that makes us feel so can be anything, anything beautiful, sad, indifferent. The spellbinding effect can hardly be explained in words.

Nature is one such equalizer, normalizer, cold and devastating, dry and soothing, grand and mean, all at the same time. If human emotion/reason is what you savor at, how about the Nature reason? It's wild because it is free.

If you have not already seen this delicate balance and imbalance of Nature's grand, dramatic deeds, watch The Bear. Look no further. Read no further. Just watch it. Forget about IMDB's lowly 7.6 rating. Rating systems are flawed. They don't tell you what you should be watching. When my friend Byron gave me the DVD, I was far from elated about it. When I finished watching it with my 6-year-old, I couldn't move. James Oliver Curwood's tagline

The greatest thrill is not to kill, but to let live.

could hardly be put on the silver screen in a way better than how Jean-Jacques Annaud has done. Hats off to Jean-Jacques and his entire team. Read his story. He is one of those who make you feel proud of being a human being.