Reem With A View

"Names and attributes must be accommodated to the essence of things, and not the essence to the names, since things come first and names afterwards." – Galileo

Pink Floyd – The Endless River

Downloaded “Endless River” from iTunes and completed listening to all tracks twice now. the album is a “must buy” in my POV. It completes the post-Syd “sound circle” which started from “Echoes”, through “Any Colour You like”, “Shine On You Crazy Diamond”, took a turn in “Terminal Frost” and which got better in “Marooned”.
I would give weights to describe the tracks as follows: “Marooned” (50%) + “Shine On” (30%) + “Echoes” (20%)


Pink Floyd – The Endless River album cover

Wright shines through this & even outshines Gilmour. This might be the first and only Pink Floyd album where Wright can be termed as the “leader” of the band. This is not surprising as the tracks are instrumentals (Wright’s keyboards are always strong in all PinkFloyd instrumentals) and many were taken from “Division Bell ” sessions where Wright made a strong comeback. This is officially Gilmour/Mason’s tribute to Richard Wright (who never got his due from Waters) just like “Wish You…” was Water’s tribute to Syd Barrett .

The stand out track is of course “Anisina” which is so damn good that it alone makes the album price worth it many times over.

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This one chart explains why Facebook bought WhatsApp

WhatsApp user growth

Why Facebook bought Whatsapp for $19 Billion in Cash and Stock

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My Answer to “Why are Indians so crazy about cricket?” on Quora

It is a great question, primarily because it is seldom asked as everyone takes the popularity for granted, as if Indians were born cricket lovers! Once asked, we scratch our heads for answers.

Globally, the poor prefer to play soccer (football), whether Latin America or Africa. The only cost to soccer is an inflated ball, and nothing else. Cricket is slightly more “expensive” as it requires a bat PLUS ball. In India, it was a preserve of the rich and upper classes, those who could afford the gear, had access to the Gymkhanas and the leisure time. Check the profiles of Indian Test teams till the 80s. An elitist game, it has “Laws” not “Rules”! The Laws in relation to other global sports are one of the world’s most intriguing and confusing for the layman. Cricket should never have succeeded in India considering that the nation’s socio-economic odds and history are stacked steeply against it, while they are hugely in favour of Soccer (Football). YET, it is the no. 1 sport in India, with players now coming from the poorest of the poor, “gulley” cricketers, tribal areas, rural areas and so on.

The “craze” began from the post Kapil Dev era and the rise of colour TV after 1982. As luck would have it, India won the World Cup in 1983, led by a Captain who’s profile was the exact opposite of the traditional cricketer: rural, rustic, Hindi speaking, poor, no access to any club, but a player with a huge heart and a never say die spirit. In 2 years, India won the Kerry Packer/Channel Nine produced World Championships in 1985, which was televised “live”. The public watched in amazement at cricketers wearing colored clothing, playing at night under floodlights! It was the beginning of cricket as entertainment. And yes, the country losing at every sport, were World Champs in a globally recognized and televised sport, proving their 1983 win wasn’t a fluke.

But even this isn’t the reason for the sport being so popular. The answer to that is so basic and so obvious that you feel frustrated for not having thought of it in the first place. The answer to that is known subconsciously to every single child playing cricket in the by-lanes (“gully”) or  a slum or a public ground (known as “maidan”). A country where kids are denied an opportunity at almost every level, where kids beg for a “chance” at anything, cricket was the ONLY group sport where EVERY kid got a chance to bat and show the other kids what he is capable of.Whatever the team composition, whether 3 or 5 or 11 or even 20 players a team, every kid got his turn to bat until they got out. In soccer, not every kid got his chance to “score a goal”. Sometimes they don’t get a chance to even kick the ball.The weak players were put in defense or asked to “guard the goal area”.Tell that to your 10 year old kid! But in cricket, everyone got  a chance to hit that glorious “4” or massive “6”.  And everyone has hit that one glorious shot in a neighborhood game which is etched forever in his memory, and it probably plays on his mind every time he watches his favorite cricketer hit a boundary.

As India expands its economy, and more kids get opportunities denied to earlier generations, you find kids slowly venturing into other sports and winning: boxing, shooting, running, tennis, badminton. So the cricket “craze” will fade a bit in urban areas as India grows richer. But in poor, rural areas, it will remain the no.1 sport and that is where the majority of Indian “stars” today come from.

Originally written on Quora

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Why did George Lucas sell Lucasfilm including STAR WARS franchise to Disney?

Yes, all Star Wars Fans are puzzled  (note the F in fans is in capital. This is deliberate as Star Wars Fans are almost like religious believers!)

Why did George Lucas suddenly sell away all rights to  Star Wars to DISNEY? And too add,  Indiana Jones?  And also my favorite visual effects company: Industrial Light and Magic (ILM) ? Just $4 Billion? Sounds small?

Not quite.

Being a cash plus  stock combo sale, Lucas has become the second largest independent shareholder of Disney, holding more than 2% equity. So ALL future profits of Disney from  Star Wars, Indy Jones series will CONTINUE to add to Lucas’ fat wallet, as Disney will make multiple reboots and sequels.

In addition, the sale was a master move by George Lucas in inheritance and estate planning according to experts:

Since none of Lucas’s three adopted children plan to take over his film empire, financial advisers say the strategy will save his heirs the the responsibility of managing their inheritance – and potentially going through the often long and fraught process of dividing it. “Mr. Lucas has obviously surrounded himself for years with world class legal, estate and tax advisers,” Wade Westhoff, a financial adviser based in Danville, Calif., says of the Disney deal. “This is a textbook example of exit planning for a private business owner.” (Lucas and a spokesman for LucasFilm were not immediately available for comment)

That Lucas struck a deal in 2012 may be no accident either, advisers say. Long-term capital gains tax from the sale of assets held more than one year are taxed at a rate of 15% for investors in the 25% income tax bracket or above (Lucas’s level), and zero for investors in the 10% or 15% bracket. Those rates are set to jump to 20% and 10%, respectively in January. “He probably wanted to take advantage of the lower rate on long-term capital gain while it’s certain,” says Bill Smith, managing director at CBIZ MHM, a national accounting and professional services provider.

Source:  Jedi Estate Planning

The Force… is pretty strong in George Lucas!

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Lance Armstrong: the real winner.

Source: Quote of Anon User’s answer to Lance Armstrong / USADA doping scandal: Was Lance Armstrong right in refusing to contest the doping charges levied against him by USADA? on Quora>

Was Lance Armstrong right in refusing to contest the doping charges levied against him by USADA?

Amazing answer by ANONYMOUS Quora user:

Yes. Absolutely.

At this point, he has retired, and realistically, has nothing to gain or lose from this battle. Sure, some of his endorsements may drop, but he has more than enough money to provide comfortably for his family for the rest of his life, so it doesn’t matter. As for the kids who idolize him, his legacy, the sport, blah blah blah, let’s take an actual look at his legacy before we talk badly about the man…

  • Raising nearly half a billion dollars for humanitarian work (including the funding of cancer research) through the Livestrong Foundation. It is the largest athletic charity in the history of humankind.
  • Helping over 2.5 million cancer patients with free patient navigation services. Anyone who has dealt with the frustrations of the American healthcare system will tell you that this is utterly invaluable.
  • Over 100 million Livestrong bracelets are out in the world actively spreading awareness of cancer and more importantly, the need to keep our heads high while we fight to find a cure.
  • Inspiring untold millions of people and patients, potentially even a billion or more in total. There are people who exercise, have faith in the body’s ability to heal, and can deal with the burden of cancer solely because this man exists.

And to think, regardless of what the outcome of this whole debacle is, none of these accomplishments will cease to exist. Indeed, they will actually all continue to perpetuate themselves…

Gee, if we consider this rationally, it would seem almost like Lance Armstrong’sincredible, amazing, legendary legacy of humanitarian service over the past 15 years is worth way more than 7 pieces of metal he can hang up on his mantle. I would make the argument that being largely responsible for any one of the above list would make any mortal worthy of praise and respect, much less all of them.

To all those who are tempted by their cynical side to disparage and discredit all that Lance Armstrong has achieved because of a single piece of questionable sensationalized news, I say unto ye: is there truly naught you could be doing with thy time? There are millions, nay, billions in this world who would benefit from the energies you possess in anger, if only ye couldst but channel them into well-intentioned exertion.

Volunteer at your local shelter. Cook for your local food kitchen. Lend money to aspiring entrepreneurs through Kiva. Host a bake sale to raise money for your charity of choice. Help your child with his homework. Answer questions to help others on Quora. Every minute you spend wondering if one man doped or not and what it means is legitimately nothing more than a minute wasted.



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