Saturday, October 22, 2011

Different Maps of the World

We are so often seeing the world map or a globe and take it for granted. Maps are often a little misleading . It makes the planet look like huge land mass whereas its a water planet with 70 % of the whole surface covered with it . A look at some different and strange and creative maps of the world.We have so become habituated to see the world map with the North pole up and Antarctica down.Who is to say what is north and what is south ? The world looks different, isn't it?
This is a traffic map of sorts- one that shows which country drives on which side of the road.
Dark blue: drives on the left (mainly ex British colonies)
light blue : used to drive on right, now drives on left (Namibia)
Purple:used to have mixed system, now drives on right
Red: used to drive on left, now drives on right
Dark Red : drives on the right

The world instability map that shows the skewed consumption pattern of countries.USA being the most consumerist nation.
A typographical map fit in countries names filled in as inset in its geographical location.
The transit map of the world.The playful diagram shows all the cities that have or are building or planning to construct an urban rail system, includes cities- Vancouver to Auckland , Tokyo to Buenos Aires , Mexico City to Hong Kong and Helsinki to Bangalore.
The Submarine cable map - showing the grid of optical fibre networks that power the flow information on the world wide web.
Is it photoshopped or for real? Moo-t point .
Countries and their domain names with fonts corresponding in size to the internet users.
A complete reversal of the terrains of the world. The seas are mountains and the land becomes the water bodies.
The countries with internet censorship , where news is not free to circulate.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Source Code: time after time after time

Writing a movie review is an art. And every writer has his own way of going about writing a review. And it is not easy as ranting with friends about the film as you come out of the screening. Hence a movie critic and a casual reviewer differ there.

Critics notice and point out aspects of a film that average filmgoers miss out on. They comment on the merits and cons with their critical inputs and put it across in an easily understandable manner. Sometimes a movie inspires to write a review that fits its innovation and concept. Some movies reviews are theme based. I wrote on 8 different things in my review of Super 8 as its main themes.

I came across this movie review by Raja Sen rather late . But it is an outstanding review of the movie Source Code. It plays on the same concept of eight minute loop in the movie to a eighty word loop in the review. If you have seen Source Code then you will understand the effort in writing this review . That Sen loved the movie is evident in the way he writes about it but also speaks about Source Code, which inspired the writer to come up with such a review.

It is a review befitting the film.

SOURCE CODE – review.

It’s one of those mornings when you just aren’t yourself. Jake Gyllenhaal wakes up on a train sitting across from a pretty girl who seems to know him well. A helicopter pilot on a tour of duty in Kandahar, this world – this “simulation?” is alien to him , and as he looks around the exasperatingly normal surroundings, he finds everything disconcertingly real. Including the face in the mirror- which is not his own. We aren’t close to comings to grips with


- Where am I ? What is this?

- Captain, this is Sub-Editor Goodwin. You have only 80 words to write your Source Code review.

- But that’s insane. The concept itself…

- Eighty words, Captain.

Source Code, the new film by Duncan Jones is an elegantly constructed sci-fi thriller, a whodunit hopped up on methamphetamines. Thrown straight into a deeply weird end, both audience and leading man Gyllenhaal enter the film clueless, and struggle to grasp the insane situation at hand. The result is oddly involving, a film where a bonafide mystery must be solved within an eight minute loop, else everything goes kapow. Like rebooting a video game level and solving the same puzzle again


- What, really? 80 words? But it’s such a wonderfully constructed film.

- Sorry, Captain. Orders are orders.

- But whose orders? Where am I ? And listen, I like this film. Do you know how many films I watch in theatres and actually like, Goodwin?

- Buckle up, Captain.

One of the cleverest aspects of Source Code is how sharply the audience is made to identify with the leading man, going from clueless to seeking clues, hapless to heroic. The protagonist, convincing himself that it’s all a simulation – or some kind of training – like many of us, is astounded (like many of us) at the detailing. Before he explodes into the admittedly loopy high-concept reality that we’d roll our eyes if the film weren’t as fantastically paced.


- Come on ! This really isn’t working, Goodwin. There’s too much to say.

- At least you finished your sentence this time.

- So I’m supposed to be happy about getting a full-stop in ?

- I’m sorry Captain. Good Luck.

More Quantum Leap than quantum physics, Source Code is smart enough not to waste time on pointlessly explaining impossible movie mechanics. Instead, it straps us and its leading man to a time-bomb on a moving train, forcing us to hunt for hints and seek out signs, to identify a culprit and avert a further catastrophe. The pacing is excellent, helping the themes – displacement, aloofness, isolation, the search for soul- stay in focus while the clock keeps ticking . The cast is


- Damn, I almost had it there.

- Let’s thrown in the towel, Captain. That’s as close as you can get. We can end at ‘ticking’

- But the cast? The characters! I have to talk about them.

- It’s fine, Captain. Your work is done here.

- Goodwin. Listen to me. Send me back in and then terminate this column.


- Goodwin?

A thriller isn’t made special by the twist. Source Code is a perfectly solid whodunit, sure, but it is so much more, because of its characters. Because of Gyllenhaal’s Colter Stevens, figuring out his own life by reliving eight minutes, like Groundhog Day with a gun. Because of the striking Vera Farmiga endowing an automation part with heart. And because, as shown by the lovely Michelle Monaghan, life’s all about believing when a beautiful girl says everything’s going to be


First published in Mumbai Mirror, May 11, 11’.

I told you, its a crackling review. It is themed, it doesn't give away the ending, it is teasingly informative and pushes you to see a really good film as soon as possible.