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AMAZIAN OF THE WEEK! Tathagat Avatar Tulsi

August 31st, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Diana


Name: Tathagat Avatar Tulsi

Hails from: Bangalore, India (via Bihar and Patna)

Occupation: Physicist

Known for: Efficiency. Long recognized as a child prodigy (he completed high school by age 9, received a Bachelors degree at 10, and completed his Masters at 12), Tulsi–now just 21 years old–has just completed the six-year Physics doctorate program at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bangalore to become one of the world’s youngest scientists. He is now potentially the youngest PhD in India. This basically means that he has successfully lived the collective wet dream of Jen’s and my fathers, making us seem all the more disappointing for pursuing careers in the liberal arts at an average American pace (Thanks, buddy!).

Worse Better still, Tulsi adds to the honorableness of his record achievements by humbly crediting his parents, saying, “I feel very lucky that I got proper environment in terms of my family members, particularly my father. He did his best to encourage my talent.”

Golly, we’d have to hate the kid if he wasn’t so freakin’ awesome. And accomplished. And adorable. And brilliant.

The one thing we’ve got on him is an updated site, however–his could some new finesse. But with his track record, we’d hate to see how quickly he’ll trump us on that one!

[ANI: Indian Prodigy Boy Completes PhD in Physics at the Age of 21]
[Times of India: Youngest PhD and Shortest Thesis]

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Thanks, Dave!

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India Gets Its First Porn Star

May 6th, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

India’s finally got its first porn star! Her name is Savita Bhabhi, and…she’s a cartoon.


You can check out the 10+ comic book-issues chronicling the sexventures of bored housewife Savita Bhabhi–who bears a passing resemblance to Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger–at this NSFW site, although after reading a couple, you might find the storylines a little tedious (except perhaps when she fucks her cousin and keeps referring to herself as his “little sister,” ewww). Typically, she comes on to a stranger, then when he gets aggro, she becomes prudish, then she says “what the hell?” and goes to town on the dude anyway. But predictable plots don’t seem to deter the 60 million unique visitors who click on the site each month, because, I mean, porn is porn, after all, and not Tolstoy.


But let’s not bury the lead, right? India, where porn is illegal, has finally got its first porn star! That’s what? Half a billion cases of blue balls, cured like that?

[via BuzzFeed]

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DISGRASIAN OF THE WEAK! Well, It’s Not Rubina Ali

April 24th, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Diana


Though the story broke in a barely-reliable “news” source, it took milliseconds for people to respond in shock and horror to British tab News of the World‘s claim that 9-year-old Slumdog Millionaire star Rubina Ali was being peddled for adoption by her father.

Let’s just say the odds were stacked against Ali’s father, Rafiq Qureshi: Ali’s biological mother publicly praised the paper for releasing the story, even duking it out over the matter with Qureshi’s wife (and Ali’s stepmother) in the streets. And people have been naturally suspect of the Slumdog showbiz dad after his name first emerged, amidst controversy–after the film was a raging success, he felt his daughter should have been paid more (despite the fact that filmmakers arranged the Jai Ho Trust to provide the young actors and their families with education and housing needs).

While speaking to CNN with the young Ali, Qureshi did in fact admit to meeting with a wealthy Dubai couple (who turned out to be News of the World journalists), with the rather dubious caveat that he actually never intended to accept money for his daughter, and that he was misunderstood because of his poor English.

Ali added:

“’I talked to them in the room,’ Ali told CNN of the meeting, conducted by undercover News of the World journalists. ‘My dad said I could meet people if I want to, ‘But I will never give my daughter away for any amount of money.’

But here’s the rub: although the undercover reporters argue that they have seven hours of taped evidence showing Qureshi and his brother negotiating the sale, the video has no sound. And this week, Mumbai police dropped their investigation of the father, citing a lack of evidence. So perhaps Qureshi didn’t attempt this terrible thing, and maybe he did. As is often the case, the truth is difficult to discern amidst the chaos.

All we can say is that we feel deeply for poor Rubina, who really just can’t seem to catch a break. And to anyone who’s actually thinking about it, might we suggest following PETA’s advice (not something we’d often do), merely applying it to adorable, talented, potentially-up-for-grabs children:


…y’know: “Always Adopt. Never Buy.” No matter how fucking adorable.

[News of the World: Father Tries to Cash In On Daughter's Fame]
[TMZ: 'Slumdog' Brawl--One Mother of a Fight]

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The Cosby Show Meets Bollywood

April 10th, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

Dude. As we all know, The Cosby Show was way ahead of its time. But who knew that, in addition to being groundbreaking reprzentation for African-Americans, it had a Desi flava, too? Check out this show intro mashup:

[via urlesque]

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Nice Tatas

March 24th, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Diana

Dear Automobile God,

Please, please, please, please, please send me one of the new, teeny-tiny Tata Nano cars, which debuted in Mumbai this week.


I know that I accidentally killed my iPod Nano by drunkenly irresponsibly dropping it into a crevice of my car–where it was later crushed beyond recognition by a moving part. But I’m different now! I am ready to take care of something cute and crushable, for real this time.

If I got a Tata Nano, I would love it, clean it, cuddle with it, give it fresh fuel every day. Ooh! And I would cawess its wittle steewing wheel and tell it how adowable it is, all the time! I would bring it to meet other wittle Nanos, and they could woll awound together. I would give it a name, like “Dano,” so that it could be known as “Dano,” The Wee Nano. What a sweet, sweet, wittle baby Nano I would waise!

I realize that these darling cars are in high demand, but I hope you can find a way to bestow one upon me. I prayed to the Technology God once, and he or she gave Jen an iPhone 3G. But I promise if you answer this request, I will pray to you more than once. Maybe three times!

Thanks in advance, and I can’t wait to get my Nano.

Love,
Diana

[LA Times: India's Tata Motors Unveils the World's Cheapest Car]

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Gay Is Not a Bad Word

February 26th, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen


STAR TV, the Hong Kong-based satellite TV service that reaches over 300 million viewers in 54 countries and is owned by Rupert Murdoch, censored the words “gay” and “lesbian” from the Oscar acceptance speeches of Milk‘s screenwriter Dustin Lance Black and lead actor Sean Penn in its re-telecast of the Academy Awards in Asia Monday evening. The sound from those speeches was reported to have dropped out when those words were uttered in Malaysia, Singapore, and India. Jannie Poon, a STAR spokeswoman, defended the company’s decision, saying STAR has “a responsibility to take the sensitivities and guidelines of all our markets into consideration.”

Adding, “Unless you’re gaysian, in which case, fuck you.”*

*Not actually uttered, but obviously implied.

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DISGRASIAN OF THE WEAK! The Philippine Government

January 30th, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Diana

I found out a couple of weeks ago that I did my 2007 taxes wrong. I was surprised, y’know, cuz Asians just don’t do things incorrectly, like EVER. Okay, yeah, I worked on my forms myself instead of handing them off to an accountant (Dumb!), procrastinated until the very last minute (Stupid!), and hurriedly completed the form online while sitting in a Boston hotel with Jen, a night before speaking at the Harvard Berkman Center about our fun Internet lives.

Alright, I wasn’t that surprised that I did them wrong. I suck.

So, okay. The IRS wanted their money. Fair enough! Let them have my damn money and spend it on some Wall Street fat cat bonuses, if that’s what they want to do! I could deal with that. All it took was the signing of a check, the placing of a stamp, and on the day went. I’m not bleeding money, but when I owe a buck or two, I pay it. I show a little dignity for my errors.

And so I’ve gotta say, having, er, been there, that I am heavily disappointed in the Philippines (pardon the synechdoche here, friends in the Philippines) for dicking around on a millions-large amount of owed NYC property taxes for well over five years. The NYT reported this week that, after much toil, the country just reached a settlement with Manhattan regarding the dues, and has finally agreed to pay $9 million in back property taxes and interest . This amount is “about 85 percent of what the city had sought… for a building at 556 Fifth Avenue.”

Meanwhile, India and Mongolia, next up on my tsk list, are still in court dealing with equally enormous unsettled tax debts.

Sigh. Just write the check and place the stamp, guys. It’s the only way.

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Thanks, Jasmine and Patrick!

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DISGRASIAN OF THE WEAK! Terrorysteria

December 19th, 2008 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

A 40 year-old man identified only as “Jameel” was arrested this week in Bangalore, India for expressing his support for Muntadar al-Zaidi, aka The Shoe Thrower, at his workplace. The Times of India reported that the police are now investigating Jameel’s “suspected terror links.”

And here we thought terrorists were all sneaky and shit. Don’t real terrorists train in secret camps and hide out in caves? Or, if they do live among us, don’t they typically try to seamlessly blend in so that no one will suspect them of actually being terrorists so that they can, you know, spring a surprise attack, like real terrorists did on 9/11, and more recently in Mumbai?


If “Jameel” is, in fact, a terrorist, then he sucks at it. Does al Qaeda really recruit blabbermouths like Jameel? If he’d give up his terrorist ties so easily over the water cooler, then imagine how that sad sack would do over a waterboard! If he’s a terrorist, then they sure don’t make ‘em like they used to, and, by golly, George Bush–The Shoe Throwee–was right, and we are winning the War of Terror.

Or not. Because by this notion of terrorism, they are everywhere. We ourselves have located two major terrorist cells on Facebook, one with close to 3,000 jihadists and another with over 16,000. That would also mean our friends here are card-carrying terrorists. Oh shit–does that mean we’re terrorists?! We triple-swear that we’re totes not! But, but…you know that guy in Egypt who wants to marry his daughter off to the Shoe Thrower? He totes is! Arrest that man!

Oh. Wait. On second thought, that guy in Egypt probably isn’t a terrorist. He’s just wicked creepy.

But whatever…arrest him for being creepy! That’s a crime, too, isn’t it?

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Condi Rice on International Relasians

December 3rd, 2008 | 0 comments | Posted by Diana


Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice arrived for an emergency condolence visit in India this week, an effort to smooth over relations between India and Pakistan during the shaky after-effects of the recent Mumbai terrorist attacks.

Indian and Afghan officials have accused Pakistan of being accountable for the incursions, after the perpetrator in custody was confirmed by India’s officials as being Pakistani (and sang that his compatriots, are too).

Pakistani President Zardari has stated that Pakistan is “in no way responsible” for the aggression, instead offering that the terrorists are likely “stateless actors who have been operating all throughout the region.” This, of course, is unsatisfying to Indian officials that are still grappling for an answer to the violence.

From AP:

Rice [says] Pakistan bears a “special responsibility” to help get to the bottom of the attacks while awkwardly declining to finger Pakistani militants outright.

Rice continued to offer solutions during her talks with Pakistan, whispering*, “Hey, we got this. Just work with me here, and we’ll get some intel that proves Iraq did this in no time.”

*Not true. So not true. Totally fictional. Right?

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Just Shoot Them

November 27th, 2008 | 0 comments | Posted by Diana

Yesterday, the coordinated terrorist attacks directed at Westerners in Mumbai, India injured and claimed the lives of hundreds.

We watched the coverage in horror.

Yet, apparently, we still couldn’t keep our minds–or at least the CNN news ticker–off of Heidi and Spencer’s fake wedding:





Sigh.

We apologize for the CNN ticker, and our thoughts go out to all of those who were and are affected by these attacks.

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BABEWATCH: Rinku Singh

November 25th, 2008 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen


Name: Rinku Singh

Age: 19

Hails from: India

Occupation: Newly-signed baseball pitcher

Rinku Singh’s life is playing out like a less gritty but no less remarkable version of Slumdog Millionaire since his signing to the Pittsburgh Pirates this week. Raised in northeast India along with eight siblings in a one-room house, Singh, the son of a truck driver, enters the Million Dollar Arm baseball contest in his home country, having never played the sport. He wins and is brought to America along with fellow countryman Dinesh Patel, who places second. Last week, when the Pittsburgh Pirates contact Singh and Patel, they’ve neither heard of the team (it is the Pirates, after all) nor the town. They get signed on Monday and become the first Indian-born athletes to ever ink a professional sports contract of any kind in America.

With a fastball hovering in the low 90s, Singh has his work cut out for him if he wants to make it to the bigs. But with that solid 6’2″ build and that face, he’s sure to win over his share of admirers (and groupies) in no time.

[UPDATE: Rinku throws a curveball! Who knew?!]

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Thanks, Amity!

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DISGRASIAN OF THE WEAK! California

July 18th, 2008 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen


We’ve all seen the headlines about China and India using up the world’s resources. China and India are eating up all the food. China and India are using up all the water. China and India are gobbling up all the oil.

And this is why I pay $4+ dollars a gallon at the pump?! Goddamn those greedy, grubbing Asian peoples!

Would it make the world feel better knowing that, as far as gasoline and diesel are concerned, California consumes more than any country in the entire world (besides the U.S.)? Yup, that’s right. The Not-So-Golden State (36 million people) consumes more gas and diesel than either China (1.3 billion people) or India (1.1 billion people).

We win!!!

As Californians, this bit o’ news depresses the hell outta us. We could and should do better.

(And, no, going green “Hollywood-style”–driving a Prius, owning a copy of An Inconvenient Truth, and then flying private–ain’t gonna cut it. Not that we would turn down a ride in a private jet. Just kidding. Okay, not really. Shit! This is hard!)

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