Blookist — not just another blogging platform

Visit Blookist and the most inspiring part of their website is in an obscure place — the address bar. “You don’t need an excuse to be creative”, it reads. Still in beta, Blookist is a new kind of publishing platform. That was how its co-founder and CEO, Adrian Zuzic, described it to me when he got in touch recently, asking if I would be interested in reviewing their startup.

Blookist is the content-appreciative publishing platform we had all been waiting for.

At first, I was confessedly disinterested: was this just another Obtvse, another Svbtle, or another Ghost? At a time when blogging platforms seem to be cropping up at every nook and cranny, why did I have to pay any attention to Blookist? Was this another ambitious platform started with enthusiasm that would lose direction halfway through?

As I looked around, however, it was hard for me not to realise this was not a blogging platform; it was something more, something unique, and, most importantly, something promising. I signed up for free immediately and over the next couple of days began to explore this further. It had caught my attention. { Continue }

Tissot Classic: watch connoisseurs’s Dream

As a watch connoisseur, a Tissot simply had to be part of my collection. This was especially after my older Tissot ran out of style with its spin bezel. There were a lot of choices to make among the company’s legendary catalogue, but few caught my eye as swiftly or as effectively as the Classic.

It is an unassuming piece with some impressive fitting and bold crocodile leather. Its stitch runs along the perimeter of its leather strap ending in a steel buckle with neatly folded stitches securing its lug ends.

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Mysore city “Public Eye” project: a few thoughts

Let me begin by stating the obvious: probably nobody from the Mysore city police force will read this, but I will make a few notes here nonetheless.

What we need is not — at least not most of the time — an elaborate online form to make complaints. Like me, I am sure half of the human population hates forms. Call me irresponsible, but I have no idea if a priority-B control centre number exists; it would help spread out emergency calls and increase efficiency of police functioning.

The police in New Zealand, for instance, have a *555 FREE dialling order in place. The idea is that non-life-threatening calls are made to *555 FREE and top priority emergencies are to be reported at 111 — their equivalent of 911, 999, 100 etc.

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Today I was published in the Deccan Herald

My article was published in the Deccan Herald today. It is a national newspaper. And it does call for an enthusiastic celebration.

Titled (originally as) Congress’ defeat: a lesson in marketing, the article was an examination of how the Hindu nationalist political party — the RSS backed BJP — used several proven strategies all too familiar to ad men, successfully, to win the 2014 Indian election in a landslide.

If you are interested you can read it online too (if the embedded pdf below carries text too tiny for its own good).

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The soft bigotry of low expectations

I will throw this out there, so never blame me if it seems sudden or unplanned. As I sit here at my desk, a strange mass of words comes to me: the soft bigotry of low expectations.

What does it mean? Often, what we hear in our minds is nothing more than what we have once heard aurally. I set out to find the origin of this — almost weird — phrase, and I managed to track it down to a little speech that the former U.S. president, George W. Bush, had delivered at a National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP) convention.

So what did Mr Bush — or his speechwriter — mean by this? He was speaking in reference to the education system and these words gave rise to several opinions, all based on similar lines.

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Air pollution

On one of my recent travels, as I was driving over lush, green mountains I happened to spot a pillar of thick smoke rising in the distance. On approaching it I was horrified to find a line of bushes on fire.

It was clearly a raging fire that had died down by the time I came near it, but one look at it would make anybody guilty of even driving a car. The pollution, the black soot, the suffocating heat — they were all sickening.

And behind the orange flames and heat waves rising from the ground on a gloomy, 18°C morning, I spotted the worst of the lot: forest rangers.

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Precursors of a World War III

Since recently I have been thinking about the direction the world, as a whole, is heading in and, for better or worse, it seems awfully familiar.

How all wars begin

I think that wars are fundamentally a consequence of strong identities. People of nationality X believe that their identity is superior to that of nationality Y, so they stoop down to physical violence to make their point.

Secondly, there is the question of rightful land ownership. Immovable property conflicts that happen so often in the interiors of a nation happen with just as much – or even greater – ferocity along national borders.

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