Is the car in space giving the man on Earth any benefit? Mathrubootham wants to know…!!!

I fail to understand. How did doing stupid things like this become some kind of achievement of all mankind?

Respected Sir/ Madam,

Many years ago I was invited for a wedding in New Delhi. As soon as invitation card came itself Mrs. Mathrubootham began jumping up and down like Nadia Comăneci. Stupid woman, you drank my Old Spice or what, I said. We go to one thousand weddings every year, what you are acting as if first time we are going for function.

Of course sir/ madam, you know what she said immediately. Exactly. You shut up, old man. First of all it is in Delhi. Which means there will be some change from the usual functions like appalam breaking, Kashi going, turmeric application etcetera. Some music and mono-act will be there. And second of all for the first time somebody rich is inviting us for a posh wedding. What and all will take place who knows. If you want you sit quietly in one corner Mr. Mathrubotham, let me enjoy, she said.

Ok fine Kamalam, but if dancing is there only solo and group dance allowed. Duet dance totally prohibited, have some shame you have grandchildren who are about to start Brilliant Tutorials.

The wedding invitation was from one old neighbour when we used to live in our old flat in Chromepet. In those days he used to have one small electrical shop with bulb and ceiling fans and mixie items. And then he went to Delhi and just five years later became multi-millionaire industrial magnate. Am I jealous? Never, not even one second.

Whether he can sleep peacefully at night after doing all criminal activities and black market and tax chicanery? Never never thousand times never. As for myself I sleep with 100% peace of mind of honest citizen. Once I got on a Coimbatore bus and woke up in Palakkad Bus Depot because of too much peaceful sleep. This is why I am always suspicious of people who wake up exactly on time in the morning. Something is fishy.

Sir/ madam I am telling you this story about posh Delhi wedding because of what happened earlier today. After having breakfast, I proceeded to the living room to relax with a Robert Ludlum novel and a cup of tea. Suddenly my son came into the room and peace of mind went out of the room at the same time. Appa have you seen the news? I said my dear son due to the blessings of many generations of god-fearing ancestors in the Mathrubootham family so far today I have not had the misfortune of watching any TV news channel. Immediately the unemployed scoundrel switched on the TV and said look appa what do you see on the TV?

It looks like a car. Ok, very good, but where is the car? I looked at the TV carefully. I don’t know, I said, but why is a statue driving the car? He said appa, the car is in space, one robot is sitting in the driver seat, it is historic achievement by some American millionaire.

Sir/ madam, excuse me just one second but I fail to understand. How did doing stupid things like this become some kind of achievement of all mankind? Some rich fellow somewhere will spend money in some stupid way and people all around the world are celebrating as if he has discovered zero-calorie rose milk recipe. Car is going around Mars it seems. Please tell me if it is doing even a single millimetre of benefit to a single person on this earth?

Immediately I was reminded of wedding in Delhi. After two or three days of non-stop breakfast and lunch and dinner, on the final day we went to one stadium type place for reception. After some time I asked Mrs. Mathrubootham, hello where is bride and groom, I want to quickly give blessings and go back to hotel. She made some enquiries and came back. Mr. Mathrubootham, she said, are you ready for the greatest excitement? Bride and groom are arriving in a helicopter in one hour. Isn’t it amazing?

I said why is it amazing? Anybody can hire a helicopter. What is there? She said, old man, for you nothing is exciting, at least these people have some imagination. What nonsense, I said. For real achievement maybe bride and groom should run 10 kilometre and come to the reception. Or give free food to 1000 poor people. That is achievement.

Sir/madam, when did spending money like an idiot become some Guinness Book of World Records type achievement? Am I jealous of all these rich people? No chance. To be frank I am jealous of only one thing, the robot in the car. He is enjoying himself far away from all these fools. Lucky chap.

Yours in exasperation,

J. Mathrubootham




வீண் செலவு இல்லாத ஒரு திருமணம் …! Waste less Destination Wedding Plan …


1.. என் ஆதரவு ” டெஸ்டினேஷன் வெட்டிங் பிளானுக்கு “
2. பழக்கம் வழக்கம் என்று சொல்லி லட்சம் பல செலவு செய்து தங்கள் பகட்டு , பணம்
   செல்வாக்கு என்ன என்று ஊருக்கு காட்டும் வழக்கமான திருமணத்தில் மணமகனும்
   மணமகளும் வெறும் காட்சி பொம்மைகளே ! அக்னி சாட்சியாக நடக்கவிருக்கும்
   மண நாளுக்கு முந்தைய தினமே இந்த இரண்டு ” பொம்மைகளை ” வைத்து அவர்
   பெற்றோர்  நடத்தும் “பொம்மலாட்டம்” அவர் செல்வாக்கை வெளிச்சம் போட்டுக்
   காட்டும் ஒரு விளம்பர படம் ! ஆதலால் , என் வாக்கு “வேஸ்ட் லெஸ்  டெஸ்டினேஷன்
   வெட்டிங் பிளானுக்கு ” மட்டுமே !
3. இன்றைய திருமணத்தில் தவிர்க்கப் பட வேண்டிய குறைகள் சில ..
   1. ஆடம்பர திருமண அழைப்பிதழ்
   2. ஆடம்பர ஆடை  அணிகலன்கள்
   3. ஆடம்பர விருந்து
   4. பகட்டு மேடை அலங்காரம் , மின் விளக்கு அலங்காரம்
   5. மெல்லிசை நிகழ்ச்சி  என்னும் பெயரில் திருமண மண்டபமே அதிரும்
      அதிர்வலைகள் !
   6.வாழ்த்து கூற விரும்பும் விருந்தினர் வரிசையில் காத்திருக்க வேண்டிய கட்டாயம் ..
     வயது முதிர்ந்த தம்பதியரும் வரிசையில் நிற்கும் அவலம் !
   பின்பற்றப் பட வேண்டிய நிறைகள் சில …
   1. மங்கள  இசை
   2. மென்மையான மண மாலைகள்
   3. வேத மந்திர  உச்சாடனம் … அவரவர்  மதம், குல வழக்கம்  மனதில் கொண்டு
   4. ஹோமம் , அக்னி சாட்சி …அவரவர்  மதம் , குல வழக்கப் படி
   5. அவரவர் குடும்ப பெரியவர் மற்றும் முக்கிய உறவினர் முன்னிலை …
   6. எளிய சிறப்பு உடை …எளிமையான குடும்ப விருந்து …
4.  வரவேற்பு , இரவு விருந்து  என்னும் பெயரில் வீணடிக்கப்படும் வறட்டு ஜம்ப செலவு
    பணத்தை , “வருங்கால சேமிப்பு வைப்பு நிதியாக ” மாற்றி மணமக்களுக்கு திருமண
    பரிசாக கொடுக்கலாமே !
5. என்னுடைய புதிய ” டெஸ்டினேஷன் வெட்டிங் ” மற்றும் ” வேஸ்ட் லெஸ் வெட்டிங் “
   திட்டம் .
   1. மணமகன் , மணமகள் வழியில் நீண்ட  திருமண வாழ்க்கை  ..பொன் விழா
      வைர விழா கண்ட முதிய அனுபவம் மிகுந்த தம்பதியர் இல்லத்தில்
      நடக்க வேண்டும் ஒரு ” டெஸ்டினேஷன் வெட்டிங் ” .
   2. இலட்சிய தம்பதியர் முன்னிலையில் அவர்கள் ஆசியுடன் நடக்கும்
      ஒரு திருமணம் புது மண தம்பதிக்கு தாங்களும்  அந்த
      லட்சிய தம்பதி போல வாழ்க்கை நடத்திக் காட்ட வேண்டும் என்னும்
      ஆசை விதையை அவர் மனதில் விதைக்கும் .
   3. இல்லத்தில் நடக்கும் இனிய மண விழா என்பதால் முக்கிய உறவுகள்
      தவிர மற்றவருக்கு இணைய தள நேரலை மூலம் திருமண நிகழ்வு
      மகிழ்ச்சியுடன் பகிர்ந்து கொள்ளப் படும் .
    4. திருமண வாழ்த்து சொல்ல விரும்பும் மற்ற சுற்றமும் , நட்பும்
       திருமண இணைய தளத்தில் தங்கள் மகிழ்ச்சி மற்றும் வாழ்த்துக்கள்
      பதிவு செய்வர் .
    5. திருமண பரிசு கொடுக்க விரும்பும் அன்பர்கள் திருமண இணைய
       தளத்தில் அறிவிக்கப் பட்டு உள்ள  மணமக்களின் வங்கி கணக்கில்
       செலுத்த அன்பு வேண்டுகோள் … பரிசு காசோலையும் அனுப்பும் வசதி !
    6. பரிசு விபரமும் திருமண இணைய தளத்தில் பதிவு செய்யப் பட்டு விடும் .
    7. வாழ்த்துக்கும் , பரிசுக்கும் நன்றி இணைய தளத்திலோ அல்லது
       அவரவர் மின் அஞ்சல் மூலமாகவோ  தெரிவிக்கப்படும் .
    8. இனிய மண நாள் நிகழ்வு புகைப் படங்கள் தொகுப்பு  மற்றும்
       ஒளிநாடா (வீடியோ ) திருமண இணைய தளத்திலேயே பதிவேற்றப்பட்டு
       வேண்டும் சமயம் பார்த்து மகிழவும்  மற்றும் சுற்றம் நட்புடன்  பகிர்ந்து
       கொள்ளவும் வழி வகுக்கும் .
    9. இந்த மாதிரி ” டெஸ்டினேஷன் மற்றும் வேஸ்ட் லெஸ் வெட்டிங் ” மணமக்களின்
       சந்ததியருக்கும் ஒரு நல்ல முன் மாதிரி ஆகும் !
    10. ஒரு நல்ல ஆரம்பம் …அதுவே அந்த குடும்பத்தின் பழக்கமாகவும்
        வழக்கமாகவும் மாறிட இது ஒரு நல்ல வாய்ப்பு !
The above input sent by me to the Tamil Daily Dinamani  in response to a Contest announced by them a fortnight back  has secure Second Prize in the contest.
Source … dated 27th Dec 2017

The Stockholm Telephone Tower….


By the late 19th century, the miracle device called the telephone had been invented but the simple concept of undergrounding telephone cables had eluded engineers. Clumps of telephone wires strung from monstrous towers hung above the heads of pedestrians in all major cities with a sizable number of subscribers.

Telephone service was expensive at that time, and only the wealthy could afford it. In Sweden, the first public telephone exchange was opened in the capital city Stockholm, in 1880, by the Bell Telephone Company. It originally had only 121 subscribers. The telephone company charged subscribers between 160 and 280 Swedish Krona, depending on the subscriber’s location and distance to the exchange. This was equivalent to paying a subscription fee of 9,000 to 16,000 Krona (USD 1,100 to USD 1,966) in today’s value, which was a very high rate.

The Bell Telephone Company with their high rates soon got a competitor in Stockholm General Telephone Company (SAT), which was founded in 1883 by the engineer and businessman Henrik Tore Cedergren. His mission was to put a telephone in every household. Cedergren’s charged very low fees for a connection and monthly subscription, and the number of subscribers increased rapidly. By 1886, Stockholm had more telephones than any of the major cities in the world, with 4,832 subscribers, including about 1,600 at Bell Telephone Company. In 1887, SAT became the world’s largest telephone company, large enough to buy out Bell Company’s business in Stockholm in 1888.

In this early days of telephony, there were no substations and every subscriber was physically connected to the central exchange with an overhead wire. The Stockholm telephone exchange had thousands of wires converging in from every direction. A massive tower held these wires together.

This iconic Phone Tower, or Telefontornet, was opened in 1887, and had over 5,500 telephone lines whose collective length came to around 5,000 kilometers. As you can see from these pictures, it was quite a mess, and the network was extremely vulnerable to the elements. The locals thought the tower looked hideous and even complained that it darkened out the sun.

With the public and the press lambasting the tower at every opportunity, the telephone company decided that the tower needed a makeover. A decoration competition was announced, and in 1890 the tower got the four corner turrets. At all major events in Stockholm, the city’s flags were hoisted there.

However, by the turn of the 19th century, the tower was already on its path to obsolescence. The telephone company realized that laying cables underground was a far more elegant solution than stringing them from towers. By 1913, the entire network had gone underground and the Telefontornet lost its function. The remaining shell stood as a landmark for the several decades. At one point, the telephone company hung advertisement banners from the tower. In 1952, the tower caught fire which weakened the structure, and was demolished the following year on safety grounds.

Source….Kaushik in


Norwegian has launched the world’s longest low-cost flight — and it’ll get you to Singapore for less than £150….London to Singapore !


Norwegian has launched the world’s longest low-cost flight — and it’ll only cost you £149.90.

The route runs from London Gatwick to Singapore Changi Airport, and departs for the first time on Thursday.

The route takes 12 hours and 45 minutes and will cover 6,764 miles (10,885 km) — making it the longest non-stop flight operated by a low-cost carrier.

The route — announced in April — is scheduled to run four times per week.

Thursday’s flight is due to depart at 10.30 a.m. and land in Singapore at 6.15 a.m Friday morning local time.

The flights use brand new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft, and start at £149.90 for a one-way ticket.

All seats on the Dreamliner have personal 11-inch seat-back screens and USB ports.

A higher price of £699.90 one way will get passengers “Premium” status. That means “spacious cradle seating” with more than a metre of legroom, and free lounge access at Gatwick.

The Singapore route is part of the airline’s continued global expansion.

In February, it announced that it will launch flights from the US Northeast to Europe for as little as $65 (£50). Then, in July, it announced direct flights from London to Chicago and Austin from £179.

In February 2018, Norwegian will also start flying to Buenos Aires.

Bjørn Kjos, CEO of Norwegian, said in a press release: “I’m delighted to build upon our popular USA flights and give leisure and business customers more affordable access to Singapore and the Asia-Pacific like never before.

“The 787 Dreamliner has the range to allow us to expand our long-haul services to other parts of the world while keeping fares affordable for all.

“This is just the start of Norwegian’s UK expansion into new markets as we will continue connecting destinations where fares have been too high for too long.”




What happens if You accidentally damage a Precious Work of Art in a Museum …?


What Happens if You Accidentally Damage a Priceless Work of Art in a Museum?

destroyed-ancient-potteryIf you’ve ever walked through a museum or an art gallery you may have noticed that a lot of the art and historical treasure on display is completely exposed. In fact, with the exception of some of the world’s more famous pieces of art, you could easily fall over and damage much of the artwork on display worldwide, right now. So, what would happen if you did trip and accidentally damage an irreplaceable priceless piece of art? As it turns out, not all that much.

This is mainly because of two things- first, museums and galleries will almost always have insurance to cover any such damage. Second, accidents happen and the people running the museums understand that.

In fact, in nearly every case we could find of a piece of artwork accidentally being damaged, no charges were pressed by either the museum or, in some cases, the owner of the art in question. In fact, it appears that the worst that might happen in such a scenario is that you’ll get banned from the museum.

For example, consider the case of Nick Flynn, a man who in 2006 tripped over his shoelace while walking around the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge and knocked over three 17th century vases worth about £175,000 (~$225,000). Flynn noted of the experience,

“I snagged my shoelace, missed the step and crash, bang, wallop. There were a million pieces of high quality Qing ceramics lying around underneath me… Although [I knew] the vase would break I didn’t imagine it would be loose and crash into the other two.  I’m sure I only hit the first one and that must have flown across the windowsill and hit the next one, which then hit the other, like a set of dominos. I can say with my hand on my heart that it was not deliberate … it was just my Norman Wisdom moment, just one of those unbelievably unlucky things that can sometimes happen.”

The museum official’s response was to merely send him a letter advising Flynn “not to visit the museum again in the near future.” Yes, he didn’t even technically get banned; just politely asked to abstain from visiting for a while.

In fact, the museum didn’t even identify Flynn to the public to spare him the embarrassment of being known as the guy who tripped and knocked over three vases that, before encountering Mr. Flynn, had managed to survive about four centuries and a full six decades sitting on those very windowsills. (We only know his name because British tabloids tracked him down after the fact.)

In another example, this one in 2015, a 12 year old boy tripped while visiting a Taiwanese art exhibition. During his fall forward, he managed to punch a hole through a 350 year old painting, Flowers, by Paola Porpora, valued at about $1,500,000… (You can watch the video of this happening here.) The organisers of the exhibition went out of their way to assure the boy and his family that they wouldn’t be liable to pay any damages nor in any trouble legally. In fact, one of the organisers, Sun Chi-hsuan, publicly insisted that the boy wasn’t to blame.

In yet another case, in 2010, a young woman, who as per usual with these sorts of things went unnamed publicly, damaged a $130,000,000 Picasso painting called The Actor by falling into it during an art class. The result was a six inch tear in the lower right-hand corner. In this specific case, the museum officials were more concerned with reporting that the woman was uninjured than the fact that her accident had potentially wiped away half the painting’s value.

So those are pure accidents. What about more negligent cases? All evidence would seem to indicate that museums and galleries similarly seem hesitant to do anything to the patron in question.  Beyond countless selfie-related accidental destruction of art that has become something of a frequent occurrence in recent years, there is the case of a clock made by artist James Borden that hung in Columbia Pennsylvania’s National Watch and Clock Museum for over two decades before being destroyed. How did it meet its end? An elderly couple began touching and pulling on its various bits, seemingly trying to see what the clock looked like when working; this ultimately caused the clock to come crashing down. (You can watch a video of this here.) The museum chose not to press any charges nor seek compensation for the damages. In fact, as in other examples, they didn’t even berate the individuals in the press, choosing not even to name them at all.

That said, we did find one exception to this “no fault” negligent destruction of art general rule. This happened when a tourist scaled the facade of a Portuguese train station to take a selfie with an 1890 statue of Dom Sebastiao, resulting in the statue’s destruction when said tourist accidentally knocked the statue over and it shattered on the ground below. The unnamed man was later charged with destruction of public property.

As for the non-public, even in cases where museum or gallery staff damage or destroy the art, the individual usually gets off with only a slap on the wrist if it truly was an honest accident. For example, in 2000, some porters at the Bond Street auction house accidentally put a painting by artist Lucian Freud, valued at £100,000 (about $130,000), into a crushing machine…

The painting was stored in a large wooden box, which the porters assumed was empty and put out with the rest of the trash. The auction house assured papers that the porters wouldn’t lose their jobs over the matter, and that it was an honest mistake.

In another case, an unnamed cleaning lady tossed a bunch of modern art valued at about $15,000 into the garbage in 2014. To be fair to the cleaning lady, the “art” in question, created by modernist Paul Branca, was a bunch of cardboard boxes haphazardly strewn across the floor of a section of the gallery (modern art everybody). Again, no action was taken against the cleaner. (We can only hope Mr. Branca was on his game that day, and he simply took the opportunity to go full meta-on it, displaying his former cardboard box art now in the garbage bin, perhaps even increasing its value in that case…)

All this said, while it appears most museums, galleries and even artists will take the destruction or damage of their work in good humor if done accidentally (even if there was a fair bit of negligence involved), the same can’t be said if the damage is malicious. In these cases, the museum can and will press charges, and one might expect a bit of jail time.

For instance, in the aforementioned vase-smashing story, sometime later there was some thought that Flynn had smashed the vases on purpose for the publicity of it (given his going out of his way to give interviews about it and some of his comments therein, despite that the museum had so carefully avoided assigning any blame or mentioning his name). As a result, he was eventually detained for a night, though noted he was treated very well while under arrest, with the police simply trying to determine if he’d done it on purpose. Once they decided it had indeed been an accident, he was let go with no further consequences.

In another instance, one Andrew Shannon punched a Monet painting, Argenteuil Basin with a Single Sail Boat, then worth about £7m (about $9 million). He later claimed he tripped and fell and it was an accident, but security footage clearly showed him intentionally punching the painting.  When he was detained by security guards, a can of paint stripper was also found in his pocket.  He was given a five year prison sentence.

This brings us to perhaps the most obvious question that arises from all this- why is such valuable, and often irreplaceable, art stored in such a way that people can just walk up to it and damage it (whether accidentally or not).

Well one reason is cost- placing every painting, sculpture and fresco behind protective glass or under the careful watch of a burly guard is expensive. Contrary to the value of the pieces they sometimes contain, museums and art galleries often aren’t swimming in money.

A second, perhaps more important reason, is that it would disrupt the experience of viewing the art in question; ensuring the art can be properly appreciated is of tantamount importance to those running various museums and galleries. It’s noted that said institutions have to constantly strike a balance between “keeping works of art accessible to the public, and protecting them at the same time”. Such a balance necessitates a degree of trust be placed in the public to not paw at the priceless works of art on display and to otherwise be careful around them.

Source… i