Thursday, November 13, 2014

Telecast of World Chess Championship Final

The Hon. Prime Minister,
Republic of India

Subject: Non-broadcast of World Chess Championship Final in India


The World Chess Championship Final is currently underway in Sochi, Russia. The final is of particular interest to the Indian sports lovers as our very own Mr. Vishwanathan Anand is one of the participants. Mr. Anand is trying to regain the World Championship title which he lost to Mr. Magnus Carlsen in the last edition of the championship last year.

However, to the disappointment of all chess lovers, the match is not being telecast on either Doordarshan or any of the private channels. Hence the only option for the chess followers is to keep track via the internet, where many dedicated websites are covering this game. However this is not a convenient mode and also not accessible to all viewers.

Chess as a sport has its origins in India. It is also an excellent exercise for the development of mental faculties. This is an excellent opportunity to further increase the popularity of chess in the country.

Hence requesting you to ensure that the rest of the games are broadcast to the Indian audience who want to eagerly follow their compatriot's exploits.

Thanking You

Col. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Minister for Information & Broadcasting
Sh. Sarbananda Sonowal, Minister of Sports & Youth Affairs

Monday, November 10, 2014

MovieNotes: Interstellar

Movie: Interstellar
*ing: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Michael Caine
Director: Christopher Nolan
Language: English
Genre: Sci-Fi

A Christopher Nolan film with trailers promising something "out of this world".  Hence a must watch on the opening weekend.

Basic Premise
Humankind is in trouble as the Earth may not be inhabitable for long. A group of explorers/astronauts is sent out to explore potential habitats for humans in this universe.

Movie Notes
Interstellar is a movie which needs a understanding of basic physics and astronomy to be able to appreciate the story. Otherwise the story may get lost somewhere in the space-time continuum while tackling the concepts of wormholes, black holes, aging at different rates and extra dimensions at the same time comprehending different facets of space travel. Sometimes its better not to let scientific facts come in the way of  a good story.

What works? - The sheer imagination and the scale of the story, the imagery of "landscapes" of the different planets, the superb acting all around and above all of them the music by Hans Zimmer.

What does not work? - The abrupt ending which is trying to tie up too many loose ends at one go. The ending raises too many questions (is there a sequel being planned, Mr. Nolan?). 
  • How did they come out of the Black Hole? 
  • What exactly was the Cooper Station? 
  • What happened to Dr. Brand? Did she meet up with Edmunds? Will she go ahead with Plan B on the new planet or wait for the next rescue mission? And how long (relative to earth time) does she wait?
  • Who are "They"? Are they a future form of "Us" or are "They" somebody else?  
  • The Tesseract was mentioned without being explained? Is it the same as the one found in the world of Thor? or something else?
  • And how does Morse code carry data from quantum mechanics?
Time travel has always been a complicated story telling device. Add extra dimensions, space, gravity and relativity, things become way too mind boggling.

The way the characters speak about "Love" reminded me more of Dumbledore and his repeated proclamations on love being the most powerful of all magic.

There is something special about Michael Caine's voice. It can make convince you to believe anything that he says. (Click here for Mr. Caine's recitation of Kipling's If).

Best Scene - A character breaking down completely on seeing another human being after many years all alone on a planet.

Favorite Character - TARS. A talking robot who does not look like conventional humanoid robots but certainly has more intelligence.

There was an Indian Air Force drone shown early in the movie. This completed the mandatory India connect of almost every big movie/TV series these days.

Other Notes
  • Too many queries on the effects on the ageing process. The faster you travel, the slower you age. Also human bodies can be theoretically set into hibernation which slows down ageing considerably. So can humans become immortal?
  • Systematized formal education is probably the best form of propaganda. 
  • The future may seem bleak, but humankind as a species seems to be singularly resilient.
Rating - 9/10.  For sheer creativity and imagination and for its music and acting.

Previously on MovieNotes - Million Dollar Arm