Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Producer eyes better TV, film roles for Muslims

Producer eyes better TV, film roles for Muslims
By Omar Sacirbey, Globe Correspondent | June 26, 2007

When Labid Aziz of Natick thinks about "Never Mind Nirvana," he sees a
missed opportunity. A 2004 pilot for an NBC sitcom, it was centered on
the travails of an Indian-American doctor, his pregnant white
girlfriend, and his traditional parents, who move in. It was written
by Indian-American novelist Ajay Sahgal, directed by "Friends" star
David Schwimmer, and starred Kal Penn of "Harold and Kumar go to White
Castle." But the show didn't make NBC's final cut, losing out that
year to "The Office" and "Joey."

South Asians like Aziz, 32, a Bangladeshi-American Muslim and aspiring
producer, saw in "Nirvana" a wellspring of roles that didn't involve
playing a terrorist or convenience store clerk while portraying the
South Asian community, or a slice of it, in a way that might inspire
empathy rather than incite resentment. On this fall's schedule, Aziz
has a second opportunity: The CW network is unveiling a new sitcom
called "Aliens in America" about a Muslim exchange student from


Firstborn children have higher IQs

OK, so my older brother is smarter than me!!!!

Firstborn children have higher IQs
THURSDAY, June 21 (HealthDay News) — First-born children possess IQs that are 2.3 points higher, on average, than their younger siblings, a new study contends.
This finding held true even when first-born children didn't survive and a younger child was reared as the eldest, scuttling the idea that genetics determines the difference in IQ among siblings, according to the Norwegian researchers who authored the report, published in the June 22 issue of the journal Science.
"This study really puts to an end a debate that's been going on for more than 70 years," said Frank J. Sulloway, a visiting scholar at the University of California, Berkeley, Institute of Personality and Social Research, and the author of an accompanying commentary in the journal. "The theory of biological differences is pretty much dead as a doornail."
While a 2.3 IQ point difference doesn't seem large, it translates into about a 30 percent increased chance of a child getting into an Ivy League university, Sulloway said.

Read full article at --

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Tollywood vs Bollywood with Sivaji

While Bollywood is more popular internationally, it is amazing how much green Indian regional films as in Tamil films, better known as Tollywood make.

The Business Standard reports --" The country's highest-paid film star is also its most famously reclusive one. His latest blockbuster released this weekend to hysterical audiences as India's most expensive film.
On Friday, India’s most expensively mounted film starring the country’s highest-paid film star opened across 760 screens to a juggernaut of hysteria.
Preceding its box-office debut, the lead actor addressed his fans from Tirupathi, prints were carried on elephant-back accompanied by a traditional band in Kerala’s Sultanpetta to the local Vadakkunthari temple to be handed over by the priest to the theatre manager, and bookings closed a record three weeks in advance."

Read the full article at

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Insulting your family and friends...

I went out to dinner tonight with my husband and son. Saturday night at a nice family restaurant, I was saddened to see that at atleast 50 percent of the tables, the diners who were supposed to be eating were all so preoccupied with their cellphones and blackberries, not the eating kind.

It was very strange to see one father typing away madly at his blackberry, while his wife was talking on her cell phone, and their son was enjoying an ice cream alone. At another table three teenaged girlfriends, each staring at their own phones and SMS'ing away to glory.

The drinks are on the table, foods good, company's excellent and half the people at the restaurant instead of realizing how lucky they are to have this, and instead of enjoying this are so caught up with their cell phones... For Gods Sake! I for one would vote for a law that bans using phones during dinner and family gatherings.

This is the most succesful way to insult your family and friends...

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

2007 Summer Reading

Heres what Tom Ashbrook says on his NPR show "On Point" about Summer Reading --

"Let's face it, summer reading has become a fashion statement, a vacationer's fetish, a marketer's dream. Sun lotion and Tuscan sun. Whole families, assiduously armed with hot paperbacks. Please, Oprah, please put my book on the beach!
And yet, when the marketing din has gone by, and the afternoons are long, and there's a beach, or a breeze, or a porch swing, how many of us long to get lost in the middle of a great book -- or a potboiler -- and feel the summertime slow to the soft turn of pages."

Here are the top Books for Summer 2007 as listed by the panel on this show --

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

India escapes U.S. list of worst human traffickers

CNN reports --

"India, which advocacy groups say may have as many as 65 million forced laborers, was spared the worst ranking on the State Department's new list of nations where humans are bought and sold.

Countries not doing enough to combat human trafficking could face sanctions if they don't take steps to improve.

The annual Trafficking in Persons report, released Tuesday, says that as many as 800,000 people -- largely women and children -- are trafficked across borders each year. Many are forced into prostitution, sweatshops, domestic labor, farming and child armies. (Watch why India isn't on Tier 3 )

U.S. officials told CNN the question of India's ranking caused a heated debate between Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte.

Negroponte wanted India listed as a Tier 3 country, or worst offender. Rice overruled him out of concern about alienating the Indian government. India is on the Tier 2 watch list.

Rice agreed to undertake a special evaluation of India in six months, and then take action if India does not make improvements."

Monday, June 11, 2007

Megacities of the Future

Forbes magazine lists the megacities of the future. Among the top 10 are Mumbai, Delhi and Calcutta!!!


Other related articles are 21st century cities and Ghost cities of 2100 which are also very interesting lists.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

The Evolution of Indian American Villains

Recently a senior from my family commented to me that Indian Americans are so successful in America, and that they are integrating themselves so beautifully into American society. "Sure they are," was my retort.

I could come up with a very long list if I do some research, but here are the ones that gained notoreity more recently, and are topmost in my head. Even though guilty until proven, these people are certainly presenting a different profile of Indian Americans --
- The guy who abused his professor at the Univ of Mass
- Anand Jon
- Slave traders in Long Island
- Montessori School Teacher who sexually assaulted students in New York

There are so many more, feel free to add to this unfortunate list!

Friday, June 01, 2007

Arranged Marriages are Back in Fashion

Arranged marriage is back in fashion, is it? Reality shows like the bachelor and bachelorette, mimic swayamvaras of ancient Hindu epics like the Rmayana and others. Then there is this new modern matchmaking service.

I recently came across an article in the Boston Globe, which appeared March 2007 about Janis Spindel, whom upscale singles pay as much as $100,000 to find their soul mate. She is a glorified marriage broker of sorts like the ones my grandparents and older realtives in India used to find matches for the eligible boys and girls in the family. No different, really...

"In the 15 years she has been in the matchmaking business, Spindel claims responsibility for 760 marriages and "massive thousands in committed relationships." She speaks in hyperbole and italics, and tends to repeat her words for dramatic effect. "I'm dealing with gorgeous men -- gorgeous! -- who have it all, from billionaires in Bel Air to humongous movers and shakers in Washington to awesome guys in Boston. The only piece missing is a woman, and that's when they come to me.""

Read the full article at --