Saturday, October 30

The Non-Existent Proof Of God

Does anyone have one? 'Cos I don't think one exists. I have a few HT friends who keep offering them to me, but I never seem to get it. Anyway...

Steve asked me this week if I believed in the Theory of Evolution. As a Christian himself he knew what my answer would be, but I think he was just up for banter anyway. So I obliged, and he then asked: "How can you not when it's so scientifically true?" or somesuch.

The thing is that evolution as a explanation of our origin is almost as difficult to prove as any religion. I mean to an objective person a science GSCE textbook should be as valid source for an idea or opinion as the Quran would be. Of course, not many of us can be particularly objective about the unknown - and if you think about it none of us really can be.

But yeh. I reckon that knowing the certainty of something defies the point of it being a faith. I have faith that what the Quran says is true, just like Steve has faith in Scientific reasoning. Not to say that I'm someone who doesn't appreciate the use of scientific reasoning, oh no, but I'm gonna refuse to override concepts of my theological beliefs with equally unproven "scientific fact" merely because it's presented to me in that way. So yes, I know that if I drop an apple it'll hit the floor at a certain speed, but I'm not so sure that Carbon Dating is an effective way to age objects. Perhaps in the future we'll discover a better model, just like we did with Newton's Laws of Motion?

Moving slightly onward I think that it makes sense that some things can't be proven. This is because that's where the risk, insight and will to choose that each of us uniquely has comes into play. If we had viable proofs for what to believe in then we wouldn't have to apply ourselves in following it. Wouldn't it all be too easy?

Anyway in conclusion I have as much proof that God created us as human as Steve has going for the Theory of Evolution. And yet we both are equally strong in our respective faiths that we're both right. And that's what makes our difference in this the same.

(Except of course, I'm right and he isn't.)

Friday, October 29

Game: Street Fighter Anniversary Collection

Real Street Fighter, unlike the bastard child that is CAPSNK2. Like the former game, also playable on Live, so I can now whoop the arses of strangers across the globe too. Also included are the whole SF: Movie and SF3: Third Strike. But we don't care about those, right?

However it's still not the same. That slight extra lag present on even the best connections changes the game pretty fundamentally. And since I don't really have anyone "real" to play with (aw), it pretty much makes the game futile.

I shan't be keeping it. But perhaps I'll rebuy when it goes below 20?

Moving Desks

On Monday. I wonder if Atrium Girl will miss me or not?

I think this whole moving thing is a sign...

Thursday, October 28

On The Radio

So... What would the reaction be if I said I wanted to be on the radio? As in seriously, as a career change?

Wednesday, October 27

Billion Dollar Girl

Some of you may have read about my good friend[1] Lakshmi Mittal awarding himself a 1.1 billion pound bonus this week, after having created the world's biggest steel firm (here and here).

What you may not know is that Vanisha Mittal, his daughter, got hitched this June (on my brother's birthday, no less), in a wedding that cost her dad an estimated 30 million quid (and that, surprisingly, for only 1,500 guests). "Who cares?" I hear you ask, "She's probably a heffer anyway".

Well no, she isn't - check the pics yourself. I'll refrain on commenting on the groom (ok - just the one: Let's just say that he must either have a fantastic personality or be well equipped or something).

Anyway, just goes to the show. The rich are perfect. But hey, I'm not fussy in looking for a partner - if anyone knows of a girl who's either as rich or as pretty as Vanisha, then let me know.

[1]May not be completely true.

Atrium Girl...

... Has been eating for a few days now. Hardly conclusive evidence I know, but I don't think she's Muslim.

Oh well.

Thursday, October 21

Hainault Via Newbury Park

'Nuff fitna, man. May even stick to it once Epping is up and running again...

Goin' Offline

I think I'm gonna "unplug"[1] for the rest of Ramadhan. I may still blog, and I may still check my mail, but don't be surprised if it takes a while to get a response. In the unlikely event of anyone having to tell me something urgent, try my mobile.

[1]Urgh. So so sad. I blame The Matrix. It was on last night y'know.

Wednesday, October 20

What Are The Odds?

My local Underground Station gets taken out of commission during Ramadhan. Bloody Great.

Link Of The Day Click for more info


Warning: Will waste your time royally.

Monday, October 18

Deadlines Rock!

Some of you know that Steve left for Shanghai on Saturday, delegating all his work to me for the week that he is away. Since month end was last week, most of the important deadliney stuff should have been put to bed before he went, however one report had been postponed till today. For me.

We stepped through it all on Friday and it seemed pretty simple, but of course on the day Sod's Law intervened. That's right guys, the crap hit the fan.

So there I was running around like a headless chicken reverse engineering Steve's handiwork, and then trying to enter new static data into the database, then finding I had to reformat the report since it spilled over to page 3 - all while the clock was ticking. My heart was racing.

Fortunately I managed it (I wouldn't have time to blog otherwise). Further, I'm not sure I've felt so alive since uni and it's deadlines. Erm... Not that I ever handed in coursework later than a day before it was due, of course. But yeh, who'd have thought all I needed to be happy was hard work, eh?

Oh, and Steve? You suck.

Atrium Girl...

... Looked at me today. Or more probably at the floor beneath me. But hey, at least the general direction was correct, eh?

If this should happen again I shall refrain from waving back at her like a man possessed.

The Internet Is Borked

You read it hear first.

You Know You're In Trouble When...

... Your mum tells you to check out (or whatever it is).

So I got a grilling this weekend. Well not really a grilling, more of an inquisition. Again I was asked if I had a secret bint on the side, and again I denied it. But differently this time the conversation actually went on to what I was doing about it.

Of course, I'm not. Doing anything, that is. My SIL then asked me for a list of the things I wanted from a girl. But how do I do this without making it look like what any other guy wants? Heck I think I'm less fussy than most - I don't care about height or complexion and stuff like that and the typical gender roles aren't that much of a consideration either. Ok, she has to be able to fit into my trousers, but that's a practical consideration more than anything else ("Be gentle - I'm fragile"). Other than that, I'm lost as to what to put in this list I'm supposed to have other than the redundant "decent, caring, intelligent" hoo-haa.

Maybe I don't like this idea of lists or wife specification. Hardly romantic, right? Although maybe I'm just lazy - Software specs are boring to create too. Or maybe the things I want from a woman can't be written down or selected from a drop down list on

Hold up. Did I just compare women to software? Hmm... Moving on quickly...

It's at times like these I wonder if people who do the whole dating thing have an advantage over those that choose not to - if anyone should know what they want and what they don't its them. Don't get me wrong - I don't regret living my life as I did, but they might have a practical case at least.

Sunday, October 17

Game: OutRun 2

Well... Seeing as no one took the hint I decided to grab this myself. Excellent and sublime, it seems to be much more fun than the previous two big racers I tried (PGR2 and RSC2). Yes, you don't find buses traveling at 120MPH in real life, but then it is just a game.

And when you get bored of powersliding your way through arcade mode (unpossible I say) there's a mission mode where you can unlock secrets and bonuses by chasing hearts, knocking cones and stuff like that.

Great game.

Saturday, October 16

I Need A Haircut

I'm bored of my number 2 all over. Suggestions please.

(100th blog! Who knew, eh?)

Thursday, October 14

Ramadhan Mubarak

Yada yada yada. Have a good one, guys.

Maaaaa! Nahieeeeeen!

Nirupa Roy (and if you don't know who she is, you'll certainly recognise her piccie) died aged 73 of a heart attack.

Wednesday, October 13

Fasting Is Here...

... And I'll admit that I always kinda dread it. I know I shouldn't and it's a weakness etc. Perhaps you'd understand if I explained a typical day in Ramadhan for me:

0530: Wake up for Sehri. Now, we're kinda used to waking up for Fajr so this isn't that tough, apart from the fact that we stay up a bit longer.

0615: Get back in bed for a snooze or two. Might not be particularly beneficial since I'll be getting up at...

0700: ... To get ready for work. This is ok though, 'cos I don't have breakfast (duh) or brush my teeth (did that at Sehri), so it's just pee, dress, and go.

0815 - 1730: Work as usual. Although I'll be breaking my fast at Maghrib. By myslef. Sigh.

1845: Get home. Attempt to chill for a bit before heading off to the Mosque. Not likely since there's always stuff to be done.

1915 - 2100: Head off for Tarawih prayers.

2130: Go to bed, seeing as I have to be up at 5 the next morning.

Okay, I'm guessing a lot here since this is my first Ramadhan in a real job (Exertris was terribly lax in timekeeping), but that's the general gist. It's tiring and takes up pretty much all of my time. But hey, at least I don't have to worry about lunch, right?

I remember once in RE (I think that it was in Year 9), Ms Hyatt asked the class why Muslims fasted. Mr Smart Arse (no not me, there was another at that time) answered "So we know what poor people feel like". Ms Hyatt accepted this as the correct answer and further offered health, discipline and even bleeding detox as others. I kept quiet in my perplexity.

These concepts never sat well with me. I mean what, did that mean if there was no poverty in this world a Muslim wouldn't need to fast? People on a good diet didn't need to either? Nah. On top of that I didn't recall reading anything of the sort. Nope, the reason I fasted then (and now) was cos I was told that it was what I had to do.

Not by my parents or my Madarassa teacher, of course. I mean, yes, they literally told me, but I only did it 'cos I had been commanded to by God. It was another form of worship and obedience, much like the five daily prayers that I had become accustomed to too - and you don't hear people claim that they bow five times a day towards Makkah in order to remain flexible now do you?

I have a point here, so bear with me. It's probably obvious to most Muslims reading this but the main reason why we follow our religion so closely isn't cos of the benefits these actions may bring us in this world. Heck, it's not even for the reward we'd (God willing) receive in the next. We do it cos we've been commanded to. Off the top of my head I think there's a Hadith or something saying that the companions of the Prophet (SAW) would have been exactly as they were even without the promise of paradise that they had been given. And so it should be with us.

Anyway, if I'm not around the next month or you now know why. I'll be busy doing my duty as a Muslim who has been commanded to work that much harder during this time.

The Tube: A Tribute

Ain't The Tube a wonderful thing? The comradeship and sense of community between random strangers, the consolation you give each other after yet another 17 minute delay on the Central Line and always agreeing on how Epping trains really are that infrequent ('cos they really are y'know)...

The people-watching, the window-shopping... Watching the carriages roll by carefully so that you can decide which one to sit on (the one with the prettiest member of the opposite sex, of course). It's not about talking to them or having them acknowledge you, oh no. Rather more the fact that the 30 minutes you'll have in their presence will be enough to keep you on a natural high for the rest of the day...

The scanning of the escalators which travel in the opposite direction as yours, safe in the knowledge that if you did catch anybody's eye they won't have an opportunity to give you a slap...

And remember, people are generally friendly (even if they don't smile much). They'll probably be as up for a random natter as you are (especially on delays)...

(Oh, and if anyone is interested there were TWO fitties on the way to Victoria today)

Monday, October 11

Man Of Steel

We woke up this morning to Sky News telling us that Superman was dead. Yes, Christopher Reeve passed away this morning, aged 52.

I think this calls for a Superman marathon this weekend.

Sunday, October 10

Yum Yum

So a new Halal Fried Chicken has opened up in front of South Woodford Station placing it conveniently on the way home for me. I have to say that I've cut down a LOT since having watched Super Size Me (in fact I think that this is the second meal I've had since returning from Bangladesh), but Mum didn't want to cook tonight so I picked up a couple of chicken burger meals on the way home after the film (Guys from Redbridge - they're selling for 1.99 at the mo too).

It was the best chicken burger I've ever had, man. I'm not even gonna attempt to describe what it was like, cos that won't do it any justice.

A Gig A Go-Go

1GB in a stamp sized SD card? Amazing considering my first PC hard disk was half that size. I can now carry my entire MP3 collection around as well as my maps and e-books, with space left over for last night's episode of OTH which I didn't get time to watch.

Anyone want to buy a 512MB SD card btw?

Film: Shark Tale Click for more info

Okish anim. Not quite Finding Nemo or Shrek, but had a few moments. What was kinda strange was how the characters actually looked like the voice actors - a sign of the increasing level of commercialisation in this genre perhaps. And maybe that's why this didn't really have the magic that the others did - the makers of this stuff might be getting lazy.

Saturday, October 9

Easily Pleased

Today I received my first and probably only birthday present this year (in fact quite possibly the first for the past five). I'm not sure Ishaq realised that I don't really do the birthday thing (not that that would stop him from being a nice guy) but I have to admit it made me feel slightly[1] happy when he gave me the gift.

It was a shiny new Maglite and I've been pretending to be Fox Mulder for all of Sunday, much to the bemusement of the rest of my family.

Anyway, Ish, this post is for you! I love you man!

[1]Hey, I have a rep y'know.

Film: Bride And Prejudice Click for more info

A crap script, a so-so plot, rubbish music, bad acting, terrible camera work...

But sorry guys. Hard as I tried to hate it, I didn't. I thought it was fab. And not just cos it had Ashy in it (in fact I think that this film shows just how plain she can look, and imo Indira Varma was just as easy on the eye). Perhaps it's cos I haven't read the book or seen the films or whatever, but I was drawn in and made to have fun.

A bonus was being able to watch it with my folks too. And look! There was a decent straight Asian guy at last. Although I spose he was overshadowed by the Californian Accountant... But still it's a start.

Free Film With Every Development

Okay, a bit late. And since all you guys really want are updated pics of Idris, I've just posted these. They're up in the usual place so mail me for the URL if you don't know it already.

As for the other requests the only ones I've decided to give you is the one of my feet:

You lucky people.

Friday, October 8

Gmail Giveaway

The first three to mail me a picture of Aishwarya (and only screens from Bride please) gets one.

Thursday, October 7

The Great British Asian Invasion

Wasn't it great? Really, one of the best pieces on British Asianess I've ever seen on telly, far surpassing my expectations. It was well made, well told, objective and stuck to the point (well, for the most part anyway).

I'm not too clued up on our Asian history either, so it was pretty educational for me too. At last I understand why some of my mates go to Africa to visit their relatives... And about the waves of migration... Why there's so much gold in Leicester... Really honourable stuff that I'm glad I'm a part of.

And then when they moved on to us, the current generations of British Asians, I related (I even asked my dad if he ever wanted me to be a doctor. He said no, of course). About how we're hardworking and breaking through in different areas and stuff - I was almost weeping I was so proud. Well ok not quite, but you get me.

I didn't feel that it was patronising towards us either - and I don't think it was to the white folk too. Even Nihal didn't piss me off! Speaking of which they had a pretty good range of "experts" imo; Tibbett and Syal actually made sense at times. A comment that the former said struck out actually - that all the bad habits of the British were rubbing off on the Asians instead of the good habits of the Asians rubbing off the British which if true is a bit sad.

However of course there were flaws: We've been hearing about Asians breaking through in Football for years now. And the programme did dwell on British Muslims a tad (although that could just be me being sensitive and I spose it was one of the fairer reflections anyway). They coulda also spoken to a few more normal Asians, instead of just the media celebs.

I have it available so if anyone missed it give me a shout and we'll sort something out. It's two hours long, but I felt it was well worth it. Interestingly I can't remember the last time I watched anything on the telly with my folks, so it must have been good!


So like other financial workplaces (well, I've heard that it's different up North), the tradition here is to bring IN cakes and sweeties. So I thought it'd be nice if I brought in a box of mithai and dished them out after lunch.

Lucky I haven't yet. Mr Big Shot Trader decided to bring in FOUR boxes of Krispy Kremes to share between us which will totally overshadow my pitiful offering. No one here 'cept Steve knows it's my birthday so I'll just keep quiet.

Oh, and the doughnuts are sublime btw. In fact I think I'll have two...

One to Watch

The Great British Asian Invasion, Channel Four, 9pm.

Despite the dubious title I think this might be a good watch and not just a part of the current trend to patronise our non-Asian friends ("Yes, it's true. Indians are human too! Befriend them!"). I sometimes forget that there's a whole range of Asian communities in the UK, some really different from those in London, so this should serve as an interesting reminder... And hopefully it won't make me want to headbutt the nearest brick wall either.

Wednesday, October 6

Game: Sonic Mega Collection (GC)

All four original MegaDrive Sonic games (and a few others I don't really care about) on one 15 quid disc. Need I say more?

Although it is well upsetting playing games from over 13 years ago. Sigh.

Film: Layer Cake Click for more info

A poor man's Lock Stock, with as much character and style but with half the plot. Starting promisingly and then tailing off, this film lacked the clever magic that LSTSB and Snatch both had. Although it did differ from the other two in that it was slightly darker and more serious (and so less funny).

Serious London gangster film fans will love it. The rest of us will receive it as an adequate way of passing of time.

"Pop Quiz, Hot Shot..."

So, I was stuck at Green Park on the Victoria Line for 20 minutes this morning due to "smoldering on the track". We were given the all clear and I continued with my delayed journey... But a few things didn't add up.

1) The problem was on the Northbound, and I was heading south.
2) I found out after that other lines (Jubilee and Piccadilly) were also suspended.
3) We were not allowed out at Green Park, and the doors of the train were not opened.
4) We were given the all clear to continue our journey after only 20 minutes, which seems not long seeing we stopped for "smouldering tracks".
5) There are rumours abound that the police as well as fire services were involved.

Hmm. Yet the usual suspect packages are usually handled much faster than what I had experienced this morning. So, am I being paranoid or not? Watch this space...

For Heaven's Sake

In no particular order:

- An Enzo I saw on the street
- The SOAS Library
- The River Thames heading west shot from Waterloo Bridge
- Idris walking
- Idris's face
- Idris giving me the finger
- A whole bunch of mates for picture caller ID purposes
- A Tube tunnel (shot from Holborn Piccadilly Line Southbound platform)
- A rainbow
- A night shot of the Canary Wharf towers
- A shot of the Sun peeking though the clouds
- The PowerPuff girls, used as my wallpaper
- A Jap/Anime animated GIF of a cartoon singer used as my screensaver
- A professional dancing girl demoing a dance mat game at last years ECTS
- Goku from Dragonball Z
- A TEST SHOT of a random girl I snapped on the train TWO YEARS AGO which I've kept for almost sentimental reasons since it was THE FIRST PIC I EVER TOOK WITH THE BLOODY PHONE and beat taking a pic of an apple or something
- A flower
- A Rose

That post was, surprisingly enough, tongue in cheek. Or at least, it seems, a really poor attempt at that. To make this clear: I don't habitually take random pics of girls on the train (and I hope I've explained the one time that I did), I don't condone it, yes I'd be scared too if someone did it me, and anyone who does do it should be locked up and have bad things done to them, slowly. And I'm also sorry for posting what I did. Now get off my bloody back the lot of you. Remember - I know where some of you live[1].

ADDENDUM: It's interesting to note that at least four of you have forgotten that you'd asked me for a pic of Atrium Girl. A pic which would have presumably be taken without her knowledge. And seemingly those four have also forgotten the manner in which I had responded to their requests. Gollum gollum.


Tuesday, October 5

Taking Pictures of Random Girls is a Harmless Activity

It was around 20 months ago now when I got my first cameraphone. They were pretty new then, and my T610 was the first affordable one I think. Of course the first thing I did was to take a picture of a random (and pretty) girl who was sitting across me on The Tube on the way to Arabic class. Of course it was just a test, and of course I haven't done it since. Well, not that often anyway.

Now more recently people seem to have caught up with my trailblazing activity. Both my aunt and cousin were complaining about weirdo creeps blatantly taking pictures of them on The Tube. At first I agreed with them. After thinking about it I'm not so sure it's that bad.

So what is wrong with it girls? Compared to being checked out in a more conventional way, I mean. Don't get me wrong - if a guy does anything more than admire you'd totally have a case, but the photons are carrying your image to the rest of us are in the public domain I'm afraid. Suppose you ignore it, or even didn't realise it? In what way would it harm you?

Of course I'm just a guy, so what do I know? If you want to make it clear to me why it is wrong, please do. Start by telling me why you may mind a pic but not a cursory glance, and then move on to what wrong it actually does you. Cos let's face it - most of you want your pic to be taken anyway...

Atrium Girl...

... Has amazingly versatile hair.

Sometimes it's up, sometimes it's down. Sometimes it's fastened, sometimes it's loose. Sometimes it's flowing, and sometimes it's fixed. Sometimes it's parted, and sometimes it isn't. Sometimes it's layered, and sometimes it's not.

And always it's pretty nice.

Photo Fun

From the dashboard:

Ask your readers to think of three photos they'd like to see posted to your blog. (Things around your house or whatever.) When you have enough requests, post them!

And before you ask, nothing rude please. You know who you are.

Piccies to be posted on Friday. Oh, and I reserve the right to ignore any request I feel like ignoring.

Monday, October 4

Sick, Sick, Sick

Luke and Julie. Yuck.

Unintentional Stalking

I'm sure some guy here will relate: You're walking down a street which happens to be dark, this being that time of the year. Ahead of you is a girl, by herself, walking in the same direction.

Now, maybe I'm alone in this, but I always try not to shadow a girl walking in the same direction as me, y'know, just in case she feels uncomfortable (I've been told that I dress like mugger. Sigh). What usually happens is that I speed up, she gets this, slows down and allows me to pass her, and then we both go back to our normal paces but me in full view of her. I hope you see what I mean.

Some don't get this though. No, they decide to match my pace giving me no chance to be the gentleman that I wish to be. "That's cos she doesn't give a crap about you, Shak! You're not even on her radar, mate!" I hear you cry. Then why did the one today keep looking over her shoulder as if to keep tabs of my position?

So tell me:
a) Am I being overly sensitive here? Or am I right in thinking that some girls may feel intimidated with a guy following a few metres behind in her footsteps?
b) What should I do if she doesn't allow me to fix this? I'm not going to start jogging past her, neither am I going to slow my pace (hey, I want to get home some time, y'know). So, what?
c) Should I even care? I have no intention of doing anything scary etc, so should I just mind my own business since her paranoia is her own issue to deal with, not mine?
d) Are any girls reading impressed with my gallantry yet?

Comments please.

Sunday, October 3

Film: Saw Click for more info

People who know me will tell you that I'm as hard as nails. However, that fact didn't stop Saw from scaring the crap out of me and rest of the cinema audience. Foremost a Scary Ass Movie, Saw is also an example of a brilliantly put together film, from the excellent manner in which the story was told to the way in which the small subtle (yet totally relevant) hints are subconsciously planted in the viewers' minds to the well greased and thought out plot running like clockwork. My belief was totally suspended.

Definitely the most scary film of the year - I mean this flick takes the pee. And due to the way it got me going definitely one of the best films of any genre which I've seen during 2004. Go watch - but just make sure you don't go watch alone.

ADDENDUM: I looked over my shoulder at least five times on the walk home from the station tonight. Bah. At least Steve doesn't have to sleep alone tonight...

Film: Hero Click for more info

Arty Chinese martial-arts swordplay romance much in the vein of Crouching Tiger. Not really my cup of tea (there is only so much water walking and string jumping I can take, thanks), but a watchable flick nontheless, and certain to be appreciated more by some.

And can anyone tell me why these films all look so cheaply produced? Is it like an art thing?

Saturday, October 2

Clear Inbox, Clear Mind

Today I did a spot of cleaning up, filing, organisation... That sorta thing. The scary thing is that it took longer for me to spring clean my Hotmail account than it did my real paper stuff.

Is that sad or merely a sign that I rely on new media to get my everyday tasks done? I dunno. I do feel a bit more relaxed now that my Inbox is eight (from a total of 64) messages big, which is slightly worrying. As is me blogging that fact. Urgh.

Friday, October 1

Link Of The Day

Thanks to Roh for this one:

And if anyone's wondering, my personal best is 348mph. Super Pimp.


Today I got into work at 8:15. Fajr has passed that threshold where it makes more sense to stay awake, so as a result I'm up earlier blah blah blah.

Still, it gives me a chance to chill and have a bit of a play with Idris at home for a bit before leaving, and get all the mailing, surfing (and blogging) out of the way earlier once I reach my desk.

I'm amazed at how the Tube is still relatively busy at this time, but then I guess I don't know what the real rush hour feels like. It's also weird to travel in with a different bunch of strangers that usual. Didn't see anyone fit today though.