Sunday, November 30, 2008

Mumbai Terror Attack - Inspired by Games?

Was the recent Mumbai Terrorist Attack by a bunch of 10 terrorists in their early twenties inspired by video games? Here's an analysis.

Infiltrating enemy territory on a boat is a common strategy in Age of Empires(AoE). Infiltrating Mumbai on a Mothership and then an inflatable boat resembles this. But the same strategy has been used in 1993 when Terrorists infiltrated through a coastal village near Mumbai. AoE is a historical game and its possible that 1993 terrorists were inspired by History when AoE wasn't there.

Hand Grenades are used extensively in Postal and many Third person shooter games. Using a grenade to blow up other things like Gas cylinders to cause further havoc is common in such games. An attempt to blow up a Petrol pump in Colaba by throwing a Grenade has a resemblance to this.

Attacking a Cop and hijacking his vehicle. It's what Gamers do on the streets of Grand Theft Auto(GTA). Not just that, using the hijacked Police vehicle to shoot random people on streets is way over the limit in real life. In Games like GTA, Carmageddon etc innocent people are attacked or killed for no reason. Attacking citizens on street for their Cars is the theme of GTA. The terrorists have attacked people to hijack a Skoda, Bolero and a Two wheeler.

Shootout in a Club happens for some reason in GTA and mafia movies, but in Leopold it was totally baseless.

Any First person shooter game will instil the thrill and power of holding AK47s, MP5 and other automatic weapons. Terrorists could have been lured just for the thrill of touching these weapons. Entering a building for self-protection and attack is a common gaming instinct, but holding people hostage is natural to terrorists.

But the terrorists haven't heard of games like Commandos in which NSG were really good at. Can games inspire people to become remorseless killers and make them lay down their lives for the sake of killing random unarmed innocent people?

Murphy's Missing Spectacles

There is a Murphy's law for Keys which says When you're in a hurry, your keys go missing - Car keys, home keys etc. It basically follows up from Murphy's master law which says If Anything can go wrong It will.

Why isn't there a Murphy's law for Spectacles? I wonder if Murphy was ever wearing one. Well, Keys are easier compared to spectacles. If you're not wearing one, its just like Keys to you. But if you're wearing one, you understand why spectacles are not so easier.

Imagine this. The reason most less than forty people wear spectacles is because of short-sightedness - a condition in which things beyond 25 cm seem blurred to your eyes. Spectacles are worn to correct this condition. Now imagine missing your spectacles, because you kept it on one of the numerous Tables / Cupboards / Stands around the house and forgot exactly where. It could be on top of even a computer monitor / TV / Microwave oven.

Things are easier for people with long-sightedness unless your spectacles are right under your nose and you didn't notice.

Now to locate the missing spectacle, you need proper vision, the enabler of which is the missing spectacle in the first place. It puts you in a Catch 22 situation. How do you find something which is used to find everything, and you dont have that one thing which helps you find everything including itself?

If the key-loser in you still didn't get it, imagine a key which opens a box which contains the keys to your house. Now imagine losing the master key. You know the house keys are right there in front of you, but you've still lost your keys!

A simple solution to this problem is to switch to contact lenses. But i'd rather search for glasses with frames than transparent lenses.

An ingenious solution would be to have another pair of spectacles which are the Finder spectacles. You keep the Finder spectacles in the exact same place always and deploy the SWAT team only when required. Since they are in the exact same place everyday, You can always locate them on habit like a Pavlov's dog. With the secondary spectacles on, finding the Primary spectacle becomes a normal chore like finding keys. But if you can be organized with the secondary spectacle, why not be organized with the Primary spectacle itself, which makes the Secondary spectacle unnecessary in the first place. But we all know it doesn't work that way.

Now imagine losing the secondary spectacle. How would you find it? If you like Recursion, you'll add a ternary spectacle to find the secondary spectacle which in turn is used to find the Primary spectacle. But soon your house will be filled with N Spectacles and chances are you wouldn't locate N, N-1, N-2 in sequence to find your Primary spectacle. By then you won't remember what Nth-order a Spectacle is or Where its supposed to be present. In your search you'll stumble upon any Spectacle and you'll be happy with it even if it's not your Primary spectacle. Now you know how hard it is.

For those more organized people who keep their spectacles in the exact same place everyday and never have a problem figuring out where your spectacles are, i pity your uninteresting lives. Now let me go find my missing spectacles. Everyday is a treasure hunt...

Sunday, November 2, 2008

DIY Ferrari F1 Car Model

I picked up a Formula One woodcrafting kit and decided to make a Ferrar1 F1 model.

All you need to build is a Formula One Woodcrafting kit and a couple of Poster colors - Red, White, Yellow and Black. Pick up your colors accordingly if you are a McLaren or Renault fan. Paint brushes of several sizes are needed to make the impressions more realistic.

Now here's what we aspire to build in this model, including all the adverts.

Its not going to be a 350 Km/h monster. But its going to whizz past you in a blink just like a real F1 car at speeds much lower. Unbelievable? Check out some amazing videos of my Ferrari model speeding past you in a blink on youtube. [Or is it my video camera at low resolutions that creates this effect?]

Now let's build the model.

DIY kit comes with 3 wooden sheets with jigsaw-like pieces you can pull out and assemble to build the model. It has a pic of the model on front and instructions for assembling the model on the back side.

Pull out the pieces one by one and follow the instructions/numbering to assemble the car:

Here's the fully assembled car resembling the model on the front:

Now let's start painting the ferrari:
Start with the tyres...

Paint the body of the car in trademark Red

That still isn't a real Ferrari. Whats missing are the logos on the body and tyres.
Create logos of Marlboro, Vodafone, Shell etc on the body. Create Bridgestone logo on the tyres.

And don't forget the Ferrari logo...

And finally the Ferrari is ready to roll out of the Pitstop at blinding speeds....

DIY Wooden Guns

Disclaimer: Pictures are not real guns. They are wooden models made from DIY(Do It Yourself) Woodcrafting hobby kits available from

DIY Gun? I'm not kidding but this ain't a real gun. Its a wooden model.
I recently discovered this amazing hobby while checking out the DIY kits at a local hobby store. The wooden kit comes with 2 or 3 sheets of wood. Each sheet consists of 100+ jigsaw-like pieces which you can pull out and assemble.

It's so well designed that the pieces interlock without any glue. The pieces are numbered in the instruction manual to make it easier to assemble. After assembling the kit, you can paint it to make it look more real. Its like assembling a Lego kit or solving a jigsaw puzzle, except that its even more fun as the models look very real. Its like solving a 3D jigsaw puzzle.

Beretta Model

Now let's start making a Beretta model

The kit comes with 2 wooden sheets with jigsaw like pieces which you can easily pull out. It has a nice picture of how your model will look like on the front and instructions for assembling on the back.

Start pulling out the pieces one by one and assemble them using the numbers on the instruction manual. For more challenge, pull out all the pieces and throw away the instruction manual :)

Pull out the rings and fit them to make the barrel.

Now the model resembles the front pic.

Lets start painting the gun to make it look more realistic. You don't need to be a Picasso to paint this especially if your model is going to be in single color. Black goes well for guns. You just need a medium sized paint brush and Black poster color. Just make sure you paint uniformly.

Beretta is now ready

Carbine Model

Here's a similar set of pics for assembling a Carbine model:

Wooden board with pieces removed for assembling:

Fully assembled model:

Painting the Carbine:

Carbine model in all its glory

Check out pics of Wooden gun models, made from Woodcrafting hobby kits:

Have fun Woodcrafting! Watch out this blog for more realistic wooden models..
Post your comments on Woodcrafting and models you would like to see in the future....