The Youth Wing of the Kerala International Center (whatever that means!!) had conducted a quiz and a debate for high school and college students yesterday at the YMCA hall at Trivandrum. They called the event, ‘Avant Garde’. It seems that quiz organizers in Trivandrum have hatched a plan to use highfalutin names to attract people. The chief guest, Shashi Tharoor (our local MP) arrived at the venue to give a speech. He ended up talking about his views on India’s chances of getting a permanent seat on the UN Security Council. I don’t know why he was talking about that at a quiz event, but you have got to remember that he is a former UN Under-Secretary-General and the organizers must have called him to talk about crap like that to ‘inspire the youth’. Tharoor was surprised when no one stood up to ask questions in the Q&A session. I wanted to ask a few questions but unluckily, I had fallen asleep (figuratively, of course) by then. After Shashi Tharoor’s rather ‘enlightening’ session, the debates started. To be honest, the debate competition was quite boring because the school teams were no match for the college teams who seemed quite experienced in shouting, grunting and snorting, to emphasize their arguements. Trust me, they did do alot of grunting and snorting, not to mention farting.

And about the quiz…We were to told to arrive at the venue for registration at 9 am. There was a ‘surprise’ registration fees of 30 bucks, which my partner (‘The Genius’) and I grudgingly paid. I mean, who pays moneys to participate in a god-damn quiz? After that, we had to endure 2 and a half hours of “fierce” debating before we could write the prelims. The prelims questions were good and the answers were quite workable. You can find the questions from the prelims here and the answers are also available here.

The Genius (my partner) and I were runners-up in the prelims and we qualified for the finals. The other teams that got into the finals were from Mar Ivanios College, Govt. Colleege of Engineering (Barton Hill), CET (College of Engineering, Trivandrum), St. Thomas Central School & Arya Central School. The quiz finals were conducted by a guy called Arun. He seemed slightly off his rocker. 90% of the questions in the finals dealt with war, genocide, dictators and terrorism. Those aren’t exactly my areas of expertise, and frankly we didn’t expect questions of that sort in a quiz based on the ‘State of the World’. We were expecting questions about current affairs. Instead we were bombard with questions about Idi Amin, U-731, the Red Baron (WWI) and Nazism. That’s what happens when you go get a 20-something year old with an obsession with war and genocide to host a quiz. We ended up 5th out of 6 finalists. The team from Mar Ivanios college walked away with the first prize, followed by Govt. Engineering College (Barton Hill) & Arya Central School.

And in case you’re wondering: ‘NO, I AM NOT A SORE LOSER!!!’

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I recently came across an intriguing website, which hosted a collection of Polaroids taken from March 1979 to October 1997 by Jamie Livingston. He took a Polaroid photo each day for 18 years, until his death on October 25, 1997. He died on his 41st birthday, due to cancer.  Livingstone was an amateur photographer, film-maker and circus performer. He called his project, “Photo of the day”. The entire collection of 6697 Polaroids can be viewed here. All the Polaroids were uploaded onto the site by Livingstone’s friend, Hugh Crawford.

Here are some selected photos from the collection:

The First Polaroid. Taken on 31 March, 1979

This is probably one of Livingston's friends. December 8, 1990

Self-Portrait. March 10, 1989

Music!! February 24, 1989.

Livingstone is suffering from cancer. This photo was probably taken after chemotherapy. September 11, 1997.

Livingstone's Wedding. October 7, 1997.

Also, read this article on Livingstone from The New York Times.

I’ve been quite lazy lately and I haven’t posting for the 30 Day Challenge. Truely sorry but the problem is I’ve been having Onam holidays and I took the opportunity for some well-deserved rest and relaxation. I don’t draw anything except graphs for physics or maths class but here are two drawings I did earlier this year right before my Board Exams. They were drawn in a fit of absolute boredom and should not be closely scrutinized for artistic value or aesthetic appeal.

Green Day Rocks!!

Billie Joe Armstrong from Green Day

50 Cent in all his shirtless glory!

50 Cent