Summer

My friend has passed his exams. After so much worry that he’ll have to miss most of the Summer holidays, it turns out everything’s rather fine. So we can go ahead with our little project (more to come later, maybe).

Us international school students/foreign university students refer to the period between June/July and August/September as Summer. This is despite the fact that there is no real Summer in Sri Lanka. It’s hot all year around, bloody hot in June and July, but it’s hot either way. In the UK people revere the Summer, although I personally prefer Spring, which sounds more, well, get-up-and-go after the morbidity of the Winter.

In Sri Lanka, we’ve split up the seasons according to rainfall, since that’s the most change in weather we usually get. We’ve got the Monsoon season, and, well that’s all I remember. I’m sure I learnt this stuff in O/L geography. A bit of a shame I don’t remember, I sort-of liked the subject.

The UK Summer means 90% rain and 10% sunshine, and increasingly hot days [rant about Global Warming goes here]. Before I left the UK, we had some really wet weather, and then some really hot weather. British rain isn’t the sort of rain we get in Sri Lanka. In the UK it’s just always there in the background, slightly annoying but inconsequential. Life goes on regardless. In Sri Lanka the rain falls at an epic pace and in massive batches, successfully bringing the country to a halt. If we’re so lucky, there are days when it rains so much in the night that it’s taken for granted that the roads are clogged, and nobody bothers to go to school or work.

I do like the Winter sunshine in Britain though. It’s cold, but the sunshine is just glorious and often the skies are clear. There then seems a sort of clarity in the air. Also, the ridiculously long Summer days are nice. And thanks to the Summer I get ridiculously long holidays to spend in Sri Lanka. But I still prefer Sri Lankan weather, even though almost everyday is a fight against the forces of sweat and stink.

Watch the Sri Lankan skies at sunset. There’s always a red hue. It looks beautiful, and you get it every evening. It’s worth living in Sri Lanka for these little things…

 


Making an App for WP7

I’ve been developing an app for Windows Phone 7. It’s an app for scoring cricket matches. I had the idea since last Summer when we played cricket and often had to make up random scores mid-game due to our forgetfulness. It took about a week to develop the app, and I’m quite happy with the result.

My app is named CricketScore (rather uninspired, I know). Basically you can save teams and score matches between any two teams. In the future I’ll have the app save the matches so that scorecards can be generated and viewed on demand, perhaps shared online as well.

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Musings on Windows 8

I hate it when people refer to the OS as “Windoze”. It’s even more pissing off that internet trolls are so lazy nowadays. The Verge seems to have the best trolls in terms of creativity these days; it’s a pleasure to read. They allow memes to be posted in the comments. So much win!

I’ve been trying out Windows 8 on my computer for the last few days. Typically took ages to download the Release Candidate via ADSL. I finally fished out a 3G dongle I’d previously forgotten about, and managed to finish the download before I could complete my degree (mid-2015). I had tried the Consumer Preview back when it was released around February, and the new release is a major improvement.

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Blog Blog

Right, let’s give this another try.

 


Ten Rupees go the way of the Dodo

I just got my hands on one of those fresh new 20 rupee bank notes. This will be the lowest denominated bank note in Sri Lanka, since the 10 rupee note hasn’t got a revival with this batch of notes. This got me thinking about the legacy of the 10 rupee note. About thirty years ago, 10 rupees would buy enough biriyani for a large crowd at the ever famous Pilawoos Hotel. Nowadays 10 rupees would only buy you a minute serving of biriyani from whichever of Pilawoos you go to (there are so many). But the 10 rupee note reminds us me of an era in which I lived my childhood. It was an era which was ravaged by war. Towards the end of this period, the war finally came to a close and there was hope once again. Towards the end of this era, the value of 10 rupees had fallen to rock bottom. My parents had to spend most of their life in this era. I believe I am fortunate to be born sometime towards the end of this era; I am only 17 years old and I will hopefully live the next 17 years without having to think about a war back home. But in my next 17 years, the 10 rupee note will disappear from circulation, and there will be little need for so little money anyway. Continue reading


Anonymous?

I have a friend who says that people who use pseudonyms to post on the internet are cowards, since they are too afraid to use their real names when expressing their thoughts. It can be deduced even by a 5 year old that I am therefore a coward myself. Would you agree?

Around the internet I see so many online avatars with names that aren’t real. (On the other hand I also hear names of real people which would be much more suitable for an online avatar.) I never thought twice about the fact that I wanted to follow this trend. There are a million plausible risks of revealing who I am to the billions of people on the internet, the most scary probably being that my parents realise that I am on publishing the internet (they will be informed soon though). You see, they are old fashioned. Concepts such as Facebook and blogging are new to them, and quite predictably they would rather not dip their toes into such foreign territory. They also don’t want me to do so.

My Facebook problem was solved about two years ago due to the fact that I changed schools, which gave me a good excuse to stay on Facebook to keep in touch. After all, many of my school activities are organized online, and the best and most hassle-free way of keeping in touch with my old friends is to chat on Facebook. It’s fun and it is safe, as long as you are careful and you know what you are doing. It took a lot of convincing to get my parents to realise this.

Blogging was something I didn’t bother trying to get past my parents. I have an urge to write stuff and share with the world, something which I could not explain to my parents. But I took the middle path and made a blog under a false name, back in 2007. As I have probably mentioned before, this died out after a year. I felt the urge again soon, but I held back until last year when I made this blog. Just 20-something posts later I got bored again. But this time round I have decided to be back for good.

I don’t really feel like revealing my real self right now. I don’t feel a need to do so. My friend does though. And this has got me wondering about how people view aliases. Do a lot of blog readers have a preference for bloggers who are honest about themselves? Does it feel more personal or trustable to read a blog post when you know that you can get in contact with its author after a simple directory search? Usually when I read a blog I don’t mind whether its author uses a real name or not. Most blog posts are about personal views, so if I don’t like it I can put in a comment giving my view, or else I can just ignore it. I have no intention of having a personal chat with the author, either for good or bad reasons. So I don’t really care about it. But do other people care if I am just a “Young Lankan Blogger” and not “_____ _______”?


Freedom? From the Frying Pan into the Fire

The Egyptian protesters have won. Sort of. Mubarak has been pushed out of his chair as President of Egypt. The “pro-democracy” protesters have being working towards this for weeks now, and finally it has happened. It’s all tears of joy for them. However, another problem lies in the way. Now the military is in control of the country, which is not really known as a good solution. Continue reading


Revival

It takes a lot of brainpower to run a blog like this. You need to have a lot of ideas, and need to be able to express these ideas. You need to find a constant motivator to keep updating the blog. I should have been doing all that. I didn’t. Now I will try again.

I started this blog in February last year. I managed to keep going until April. And then I forgot about it. I believed that my exams would be a good excuse to stop blogging, but I found that I did have lots of free time to do other stuff even while studying hard.

So this year I start anew. I just found out that the person running Crazylanka.com had commented on the post about his blog, but unfortunately I hadn’t seen it for almost a year. The comment has been accepted, so you can see it in that post now. Looking back at last year’s posts, I find that my style of writing isn’t too bad. In fact it was much better than in my first blog (back in 2007).

Let’s see how long I can keep going now. This time I am relying on friends to help me out with ideas, so perhaps I will be able to persevere for some time. I should have some interesting stuff to say once I get to university. Perhaps the preparation and the journey to university will be interesting as well.

Here’s to the future of this blog!


Analysing the Results

General Election 2010. In fact, so general that around 1/3 of the country didn’t bother to turn up at the polls. The remaining 2/3 who did turn up almost made sure that the UPFA would reach its target complex majority of 2/3 (it’s better than the simple majority of 113 seats). But unfortunately (for them), the UPFA will not be getting more than around 140 seats. The UNF suffered a crushing blow, unfortunately (for them). The DNA also failed to regain more that around 2/13 of their seats from 2004. Enough numbers! Lets discuss the names that we saw decorating the walls of our beloved country.

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Elections Once Again

Once again, it’s your turn to select a new batch of rogues and cheats to run our country. Or should I say, ruin our country. But frankly, we have had universal franchise since the Donoughmore Commission (or was it Soulbury) about 70 years ago. Every election since then, somebody has complained that the to-be-winner was going to ruin the country. Yet the country is still here, isn’t it? After all, our country survived 30 years of a brutal war with most of the international community (considered to include Western countries only) seeming to support the terrorists. Sri Lanka can definitely survive another bunch of misfits in parliament.

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