Rohit's nukkad

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Olympic torch relay - 10 interesting facts

With 2008 Summer Olympics round the corner and the Olympic torch relay making rounds in a number of countries before reaching the final destination - Beijing. It would be nice to look at some interesting facts related with the Olympic torch

1. The origins of lighting the torch at the ancient city of Olympia in Greece and running it through different countries was invented by the organizers of the 1936 Berlin Olympics. It was used by the Nazi leadership as a propaganda platform.

2. In 1956 the equestrian events were held in Stockholm while the rest of the events in Melbourne. The torch relay to Stockholm had all the torch bearers traveling on horseback.

3. 1956 seems to be an interest for Olympic torch stories. The most interesting one was for the Melbourne torch relay. The Mayor of Sydney was supposed to receive the torch from cross-country champion Harry Dillon but couple of students prime among them Barry Larkin's staged a hoax by pretending to be the athlete by carrying a fake torch made out of a burning part of underpants and a plum pudding can on the end of the chair leg and handed over the fake torch to the Mayor. Before anyone can realize the prank Barry disappeared.

4. In 2000 Sydney Olympics the torch was carried under water by drivers near the Great Barrier Reef using a special enclosure.

5. In 2004 Athens Olympics the torch traveled all over the world and for the first time visiting all previous held Olympics cities.

6. The origin of the torch for both Summer and Winter Olympics begins in Olympia with Athens (Greece) as the next stop, before the torch makes its route around the world before reaching the host nation.

7. There are plans to carry 2008 Olympic torch on top of Mount Everest.

8. Using the torch to light the fire at the central stadium marks the beginning of the games. One of the most spectacular lighting of the fire was during 1992 Barcelona Olympics where archer Antonio Rebollo shot a burning arrow over the cauldron from a platform at the opposite end of the stadium.

9. During the 1976 Montreal Olympics a rainstorm doused the flame after the games had opened, an official re-lit using his cigarette lighter. The organizers quickly dozed of the flame and re-lit using the backup of the original flame.

10. The 2008 Olympic torch relay is expected to cover the maximum distance and most number of athletes to carry the torch. However with all the controversy surrounding the flame this might be the last Olympic torch relays.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

First time visitor to India

" In New York City, for example, a horn blast usually means: "Yo! These cars aren't moving. I hate this. YO!"

Here's what a honk means in India: "Ah, hello. I'm about two inches from you, so if you jiggle the wheel even slightly we'll both end up knocked into that rickshaw carrying a family of seven, the man pedaling 22 crates of live chickens, and a cow. Thanks much!"

The above lines are from "India for first-time visitor" an article on today. The article is hilarious but in general gives a very stereotype view about India where the visitor just visits a few place in Northern India. To read the entire article click here

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Partner

This is probably the best John Grisham book I have read so far. The story begins from the end and walks the reader with regular surprises with each chapter. And when you think all surprises are over the biggest one hits you in the last chapter. It is hard to keep the book down once you begin reading. A strongly recommended book whether you like read a good legal thriller or a casual reader.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

John Grisham

Of late I have been writing about a lot of John Grisham's works I have been reading like crazy on my blog. Well there is a good reason behind all the reading.

Around the first week of February I decided to read all of John Grisham's work in 2008. But why John Grisham, well there are couple of reasons for it

1. Mr. Grisham has been churning out bestsellers for the past 15-20 years pretty consistently. So it good to get in touch with one of the bestseller authors of our times.

2. Some of his works I have read before (e.g. the Chamber) and seen couple of movies based on his works (e.g. Pelican Breif, the Runaway Jury) I liked the detailing about characters, the explanation of the US justice system, social issues brought along with court cases like in the Rainmaker the case is against the medical insurance companies or like in Runaway Jury it was against the gun laws in the US.

3. Last but not the least I like Mr.Grisham's narration a lot. He is a very good story teller. Once you pick up the book it is hard to keep it down.

So where do I stand on my reading assignment. Well the following is the list of all of John Girsham's work

Legal Friction work

1. A Time to Kill (1989)
2. The Firm (1991)
3. The Pelican Brief (1992)
4. The Client (1993)
5. The Chamber (1994)
6. The Rainmaker (1995)
7. The Runaway Jury (1996)
8. The Partner (1997)
9. The Street Lawyer (1998)
10. The Testament (1999)
11. The Brethren (2000)
12. The Summons (2002)
13. The King of Torts (2003)
14. The Last Juror (2004)
15. The Broker (2005)
16. The Appeal (2008)

Non-legal fiction

17. A Painted House (2001)
18. Skipping Christmas (2002)
19. Bleachers (2003)
20. Playing for Pizza (2007)


21. The Innocent Man (2006)

Out of the above list currently I have read 5 of his works in the past couple of weeks The Firm, The Rainmaker, The Testament, A Painted House and The Summons. I have seen A Time to Kill, The Pelican Brief, the Runaway Jury and the Client. I have read The Chamber couple of years back. So I plan to read them towards the end.

So the following is the reading list as of today

Legal Friction work

1. The Partner (1997)
2. The Street Lawyer (1998)
3. The Brethren (2000)
4. The King of Torts (2003)
5. The Last Juror (2004)
6. The Broker (2005)
7. The Appeal (2008)

Non-legal fiction

8. Skipping Christmas (2002)
9. Bleachers (2003)
10. Playing for Pizza (2007)


11. The Innocent Man (2006)

Saturday, April 05, 2008

A Painted House

Keeping up with my readings of John Grisham's work the latest book I completed couple of days back is A Painted House.

The book is a big surprise, since it is nothing to do with lawyers, court room drama or a suspense thriller. The book is based in early 1950s in Arkansas and it is being told from the eyes of seven year old kid Luke Chandler. The narration describes the life of poor farmers and the day to day activities of a small town during the cotton picking season. The book gives a great detail about growing up in the rural South. It walks a predictable path with few minor surprises but what most impressed me about Grisham from this book is his great sense of humor and love for baseball.