Monday, September 29, 2008
Google Pages was the best thing for creating a free webpage on the internet – no ads, simple HTML, 1 GB space, customisable, free, etc, etc.
Well it was too good to last. Google Pages is no longer supported with the same tools as before. You can’t sign up for the service either.
The idiots who have screwed up this great web tool is Google itself. They have launched a useless service called Google Sites.
Google Sites allows no customisation and no HTML coding or coding of your images. It is so complicated that you need to be qualified enough to be employed at Google to use it. It is ugly, with unusable menu system and destroys all your HTML coded GooglePages.
Google Sites is the most user-unfriendly website builder I have encountered on the internet.
If they close down the Googlepages, then it would be a sad demise for a valuable webtool. As it is various features such as changing page template and deleting page URLs have been removed by Google on Googlepages.
I will have to now go back to Geocities but I am glad Yahoo is not a stupid dumbass like the IT developers of Google who work and run business websites on their whims and fancies.
If you hate Google Sites as well, blog about it and tell the idiot management of Google how pathetic their new application is.
Friday, September 26, 2008
The Highwayman's life is such, too many people and too few relationships. These tales from distant roads describe with a pulp flavour the men on the run. They run from the law, from conformity, from daily grind, from love and from themselves. Indulge yourself in a fantastical world of adventure and possibility.
Ujjwal Dey writes fascinating variables of Pulp Fiction, shifting from loner to posse riders and from murder to romance. His style is unique, voice murky and words playful. His protagonists battle small goons to organised crime syndicates. The female characters are daring lady-luck and baring their heart. Change of times, change of roads, change of heart – you will go through all as you revel in the raw tales of chance and fortitude.
Now these stories are collected as a paperback A4 size book and PDF ebook.
Order yours today at http://www.ujjwaldey.com/ by visiting the Writer's Portfolio section.
Pulp Fiction and Biker Fiction have never been so intriguing and entertaining. Get a copy and begin the adventure.
Monday, September 22, 2008
Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid
>> Movie Review
Ingrid Bergman, Humphrey Bogart, Kirk Douglas, Ava Gardner, Cary Grant, Wally Brown, James Cagney, William Conrad, Jeff Corey, Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, Brian Donlevy, Alan Ladd, Veronica Lake, Burt Lancaster, Charles Laughton, Charles McGraw, Fred MacMurray, John Miljan, Ray Milland, Edmund O'Brien, Vincent Price, Barbara Stanwyck, Lana Turner, Edward Arnold, and Norma Varden.
Steve Martin is in the leading role as detective Rigby Reardon supported by Carl Reiner(also the director), Rachel Ward, and Reni Santoni.
I picked up this movie not knowing this stellar cast. I was out hunting for VCDs that were marked down from the original price and bought this one at full price on a hunch – I am happy with my luck. I never had heard of this movie and I took a chance on Steve Martin knowing his work never lets me down.
The story starts with a murder. A beautiful gal comes to detective Rigby’s office and hires him for USD 10 a day to find out who is the killer as she suspects her father’s death isn’t just a car accident. From here on, the story goes through awesome spins and characters portrayed fabulously by the incredible cast of actors who were huge in the 40s and 50s.
When the titles rolled at the beginning I was amused to see black and white images; then when the movie started Steve Martin in black and white surprised me. It made me wonder how old this actor is to have made a comedy movie lacking colour technology. Then came the superstars! Rigby (Steve) hires detective Marlowe, played well by Humphrey Bogart, to help him in his investigations.
Well I will stop messing with your head and let you in on their secret. The cast of these superstars is made possible through an incredible editing of footage from old movies merged in with the newly shot black and white scenes starring Steve Martin.
This is homage to the noir films and a parody of them as well. It also ends with a dedication to Costume Designer Edith Head since it’s her final film. Composer Miklós Rózsa had to rescore the music of some films he did back in 40s for this film, his last movie as well. With the end credits you get to see the stellar cast and the names of their movies from which the scenes were taken.
This is not a collage; it is a complete movie with a storyline and a goofy, sincere plot. All those of you who don’t recognise the names of the cast I mentioned in the first paragraph won’t even blink; the movie is that well directed and edited. Even though the old movies had film that ran at a different speed, you won’t even be able to point it out here.
Watch this mind-blowing movie and make it to the "enemies of Carlotta" list.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Web based communication is, by its very nature, cold and curt in all correspondence. When you punch down the keyboard and send in an instant your thoughts, opinions, and comments to someone miles or oceans away – you are indeed making good use of technology. But then the personal touch and the warmth are always somehow missing.
This is because, when you put pen to paper you are essentially more involved with the subject matter and hence letter writing is considered an art form by many. Famous authors from H.P. Lovecraft to Jack Kerouac have essentially written hundreds of letters (the former in thousands), simply because they considered it a very essential form of human interaction. It was a way to know someone far away through a detailed description of their daily lives. When you get that snail mail in your mailbox, you know someone has taken time and effort to be in touch with you, share their lives with you and essentially want to be close to you. This is a feeling only a letter brings. You never jump for joy over the 20 forwarded emails from friends. But that one letter on your birthday makes you feel special.
But emails serve their own purpose. No one has the time or patience on the internet to read a lengthy discourse on personal activities. However it should never be considered as a substitute to letter writing. Emails are just a complementary addition to communication. It can not, with any amount of digital graphics or fonts or colours change the fact that it is a brief response probably done in lunch hour at office.
A letter on the other hand takes more practice and effort on the part of the writer. He starts off with the pleasantries and then delves into his experiences and vivid thoughts. The writer knows that this need not be less than 200 words. His reader will spend time reading his skilled handwriting and appreciate the gesture. The writer thus feels free from boundaries of time and space to truly pen his emotions and reach out to a friend or family member, telling them he still thinks of them and hence is taking the time to communicate via such a medium.
Even though we all know how wonderful sending or receiving a letter can be, we are human and vain enough to succumb to the temptation of “instant Karma” technology. The generation of today believes in instant gratification and thus emails have eroded a culture of penmanship and authorship. It is fast and cheap and hence has pushed aside tradition in this consumer-based capitalist culture. A letter may be a dying art form but it is a medium that brings the reader and writer to life.
Some cartoons on letter writing :-p
Letter writing at school
Write to me :-)
Sunday, September 14, 2008
I first saw this movie back in 2002 on a free VCD I had got. I remember buying it simply because Winona Ryder was in it, not knowing anything about the movie at all. At that first viewing it was pretty shocking and I put it away not to see it for a second time until today.
It is a wonderful movie, describing the anguish of a group of females in their youth, in a mental institution; particularly that of the narrator and protagonist Susanna Kaysen. She is in here because she had a bottle of aspirin with a bottle of vodka. She wasn’t suicidal, just had a headache and so disagrees with the opinion of being in a mental institute for this act.
In here she meets a group of misfits, women young mostly with whom she interacts and befriends. Apparently she did not have many young friends in school and is the only female in her class not going on to college. She wants to be a writer and I personally could associate with her trauma relating to the world and the way people chose to identify with this world. If you liked movies about troubled youth such as Gus Van Sant’s Good Will Hunting and Finding Forrester or Ron Howard’s A Beautiful Mind, then you would certainly appreciate this masterpiece and the story is true.
Yes, during the end credits I noticed that the movie is based on a novel by a person named Susanna. Then I looked at my VCD cover and saw “Based on a True Story” stamp on it. So now I am hunting for the novel version which seems more interesting than this movie, which I don’t know whether that’s possible. Anyways, this story is not about youth or a boring lecture on mental healthcare. It is about Susanna and her diagnosis and how she deals with it. She becomes good friends with a few of the characters in the mental ward and also with one nurse Valerie who is played well here by Whoopi Goldberg. The author Susanna criticised the movie though for fictional scenes added to the movie, but as a movie it is quite thrilling to watch as it is. But it has made me curious to hear the original tale as told by the author Susanna in her novel of the same name.
All in all a refreshing movie and quite possibly the only one starring Angelina Jolie that I have liked. She won many awards for this role, all the top 3 – Academy, Screen and Golden Globe.
I can’t imagine any other actress than Winona Ryder in that role as Susanna and she really should have got more recognition than she did for this and other movies.
Quote: “Crazy isn't about being broken, or swallowing a dark secret. It's you, or me, Amplified...”
Sunday, September 07, 2008
It is sad to read some of the pathetic one star reviews on Amazon. These adults seem to not understand the book at all. Which does not mean it is not a great crossover book to be enjoyed by adults and kids alike.
First of all the entire premise is delightfully original. You get hooked in knowing all the misfortune that haunts the Baudelaire children. Lemony Snicket tells you it is not something you want to read if you like sugary happy endings which makes me wonder why the idiots who gave it one star wouldn’t heed this good advice.
Compared to the dull snoozefest that is Harry Potter, this is very much more entertaining, engaging and well written.
He has a way with words and with every book in the series using alliteration in the title and every one with 13 chapters to form the 13 books in the series, makes you more curious about it all. I especially enjoyed his way with explaining some words and phrases to the young reader – noteworthy being – difference between “literally” and “figuratively” and the word “standoffish”.
Bad things indeed happen to these young ones and as in all children’s book the adults don’t seem to understand the evil plot until it is too late. All children’s book from Enid Blyton to any book of today shows kids as the brave, enterprising, adventurous and witty ones. It is sad that some adults find this insulting but these protagonists are the “heroes” of the novel and if there is an adult hero in some novel, no one complains about the kids being portrayed as stupid.
The Bad Beginning starts with very bad news indeed. And the orphans now seek peace of mind in various ways. Children could learn humility, kindness, adventurousness, being polite and also grace & modesty in adversity. These kids are resourceful and stick together and know how to deal with negative and positive influences. There is a lot to learn here for kids and adults alike (especially the one-star rating adults).
The movie version is a very different story from the book but Jim Carey plays Count Olaf by the book.
You will enjoy this book and like me probably collect the entire series. I got all 13 on a Sale at USD 2 each at a local bookstore chain. All hardcover printed in Italy it is a bargain of a lifetime I pulled off.
The wonderful Baudelaire kids with the pretty inventor Violet and the thoughtful all reading Klaus and the cutest baby in literature – Sunny, make for wonderful light reading and I bought these 13 books yesterday and am already into book 2.
Buy the first one and give it a try. Unless you are one of those parents who thinks their kids will become Devil worshippers through something as lame as Harry Potter or are overprotective enough of your kids to bar them from going to a regular school, preferring home education under lock and key – unless you are that type of person - your kids will surely enjoy it very much.
An inspiring story. Better than Dicken’s orphans but not as thrilling as Mark Twain’s orphans.
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
Howdy Dudes and Dolls,
This is by far the longest short story I have written at 5000 words.
DO TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK OF IT - It is offensive and vulgar and full of incredible adventure.
Wayfarer: Death Comes Lately...
The Road Trip From Hell
By Ujjwal Dey with illustration by George Fleming
The Wayfarer series is coming along nicely and I hope to put out a book length adventure of debauchery for all you whiskey-swigging, womanising, cowboys from Hell.
You can read more fiction and fact in Writer's Portfolio section of http://www.ujjwaldey.com/ - The Lounge of the Lazy Mind