Archive for March, 2010

I Love Your Comments!

Monday, March 8th, 2010

Especially, when you post them on my blog. But then I occasionally get comments like, “It’s a fabulous article, not thay hard for you to understand. Many thanks for putting aside time for you to write about those opinions.” And I’m all, like, “Aww, thanks for saying that. I put a lot of time into thinking about these things and it’s nice of you to— wait a second … that’s a pretty generic compliment and could be about anyone’s blog post.” And then I notice that the commenter’s website is something like Okay … I mean, it’s possible that a carnal giraffe enthusiast might really find my post on Memory Usage in the UIImagePickerController to be fascinating. But not likely. So it’s probably spam.

Also, spam is getting more insidious these days. It used to be that you could just do a Google search for the particular phrase used (“I love the tips on this site, they are always to the point and just the information I was looking for. Its hard to find good content these days in the world of spam and garbage sites.” comes up with over 4 million hits on Google, so if you get that comment on your blog, they’re probably not sincere.) But now they take a general comment and replace a word here or there so that you can’t just search for the exact phrase.

So, I’m attempting to block more spam by adding in a couple more plugins to my blog: WP-Captcha Free, and Bad Behaviour. I’ve also got SI CAPTCHA installed but not activated because I don’t want to make it any harder for any of you lovely readers to comment here. But I’ll do it if I have to because at this point, I’m getting more spam than actual comments!

If you run into any trouble commenting on my site, let me know by leaving a comment on— oh wait. I guess you’ll have to email me.

Shiv Jayanti

Friday, March 5th, 2010

On Wednesday, we walked around the town a bit and saw yet another festival. It’s like they have them every day here! From what I could gather, this was to celebrate the birth (I think “Jayanti” means “Birthday”) of the historical figure Shivaji Raje Bhosle who laid the foundations of the Maratha Empire, which I think Mumbai (where we are now) was part of. Shivaji was a Hindu, but he was respectful of other religions and was an all around cool guy (he opposed the prevailing practices of treating women as war booty, destruction of other religion’s monuments, slavery, and forced religious conversions) so his birthday is celebrated by pretty much everyone in India.

Buuuut, it seems there’s a bit of controversy about when exactly his birthday is. There used to be a bunch of different birth-dates observed so after 34 years (!) of deliberation and research, everyone more or less compromised and said it’s on February 19. Or, almost everyone. The Shiv Sena, a far-right Hindu nationalist party, insisted that his birthday be celebrated according to the Hindu calendar, which this year was on March 3.

Wow, and I thought American politics was complicated. But really, I think it’s just an excuse to throw another big party. Oh, also, they were passing out cakes with a yogurt topping on it and they were really yummy.

Holi Festival, Part 2

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

Monday was the second day of Holi and that’s when the colors come out in earnest. Also, the water balloons. I think there was a water component to the original festivals but now I think it’s just an excuse to have a giant water balloon fight. The water also makes the dyes stick more. Oh, the colors also apparently have meaning:

  • Red is for Prosperity
  • Green is for Happiness
  • Blue is for Sensitivity
  • Orange is for Progress
  • Pink is for Friendship

Holi Festival, Part 1

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

We’re still in Mumbai so we happen to still be in India during Holi, the spring Festival of Colors celebrated throughout India and several other parts of the world with large Indian populations. I was fortunate enough to have one of the guys at the front desk of our hotel offer to show me around for the festival. Here in Mumbai it’s a two day celebration and the first day (held on Sunday this year) was marked by burning of bonfires. The act symbolizes the burning away of all the bad luck from the previous year.

The atmosphere is a little like Halloween where lots of people are hanging out at night and having fun. But instead of trick or treating, neighbors check out the different bonfires and they start “playing” colors. What’s that? It’s where friends will tag each other with different colors of powdered dyes. But the colors don’t really get going until the second day…