Internet Chatting Romance – The Perils

A very good write up on a murder done motivated by Internet love triangle. Read the whole article here. Let me say that although Internet chatting is not wrong, but do indulge it ONLY if you know the person in offline (real) life. Stay away from chat rooms as much as possible, as the level of deception in those areas are too real. Some excerpts are as follows:

…Then there was the matter of the hundreds of pages of correspondence and dozens of photos he kept on his computer to document, and savor, every moment of his time with Jessi: It was a digital paper trail showing a man careening out of control. Ken Case, the assistant district attorney who worked on the case, said, “He was a guy who prior to this happening was a very dedicated father. To make that much of a transformation, as a result of communicating with a fictitious person, is pretty frightening….”

…Locals say she was “one of the best parents around” and a devoted cheerleader at Jessi’s basketball and softball games. The principal of the middle school that her children attended was so impressed with Mary and her maternal dedication that he hired her for part-time clerical work. In all of Jessi’s 18 years, Mary told me, she had missed only one of her daughter’s games, to work the polls at election time. How could a mother like that, I asked her, hijack her daughter’s identity to seduce strangers? Her answers, unsatisfactory as they are, suggest a profound capacity for self-deception….

…He tried to explain what drew him to his computer. “When I’m talking to Cindy or you like this, face-to-face,” he said, “it’s hard for me to say what I feel.” As Tommy, however, the words came easily. And then there was Jessi. He loved her, or at least believed he loved her, though he knew he was “never going to meet her.” His plan was to “kill Tommy off” in Iraq, but Cindy intervened too soon. He nearly committed suicide because of his guilt about having lied to Jessi. Why, I asked, when he was suspicious of so much of what Jessi said, did he believe she was who she claimed? “She kept sending pictures,” he explained. “One picture, maybe not. But there were so many pictures over a period of time….”¬†¬†

Although Instant Messaging is a convenient way of contacting people, but the dangers are equally great. How do you know for sure the person who is actually behind the monitor? Like it or not, too much deception can still creep into the scene, even with web cameras… yes, even that may not be a good defence or assurance giver. So don’t waste your life completely by being lazy and not meet up with a person or at least verify the person’s existence before going deeper into a relationship with him or her. When you do want to meet up or verify, ALWAYS do it with another person. If a person only will meet up if you are alone, run away. It is a scam. There is a difference between real romance, and foolish infatuation that is self gratifying. You have to learn to draw the line somewhere or else live with the consequences.

Some consequences are too great. As the aforementioned story would show.

Be smart.

Prostitution Plight

Sita, a prostitute from Kolkata who gave only one name, told of her violent childhood marriage that forced her to flee her home and land in a brothel.

“My dignity was torn to pieces. I used to cry a lot. But I soon learnt some things will never change no matter how much you cry,” she wrote.

Read the article: http://www.reuters.com/article/lifestyleMolt/idUSDEL28321320070730

If we do understand that the chains are heavy, and even heavier on some than it is on others. Very sad, this.

Asimov: Robotic Thoughts

If man is the creator of Robots, Asimov is the visionary for them. Born in 1919… he grew in fame with his epic Foundation trilogy (then) and later with the short stories that made up the “I, Robot” selections and followed by “Robot Dreams” collections.

In his world, robots are mechanical and capable of some limited independent thoughts. Using his logic, based on the 3 robotic Laws, he put forth the conclusion of a zenith law (zero) that would have to restrict (liberate) the robotic way of thinking in relation to their human masters.

All in all, a very intriguing writer whom I highly admire for his span of grandeur in his writing… he tries to connect every book that he wrote with a singular thought and scope that can be read as¬†a whole and yet be detached. Truly a master of epic writing.

But the other point of admiration is his use of science (true scientific knowledge) to fictionalise his stories. Good stories are truly made with a pinch of truth in them. And the truth needs to be researched well before it will work.

Check out his extensive bibliography at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isaac_Asimov

Tie

I know you…

Can’t be

Hey…. weren’t you playing at Soulz last semester?

uh-oh, here it comes

Girl, you just freakin’ destroyed the last song! I was like…

Ya ya yeaa… I don’t give a rat’s…

… and Nat was like “she can’t be more than 18! Dressing all red ann…..

It’s 21.

Whuh?

I said, I’m 21.

Oh. You’re much youngeee….

Please, just leave. I’ve had enough, can’t you see I’m really not in the mood to ‘chat’ abou…

Well. My little sister thought the red tie was cute. I mean,

You brought your little sister to a pub at Crossway?¬† She’s what…? 15? 14?

Oh, Boomer (he’s the jockey up front) ‘kay with it, as long as Macy (my sis) is there for the performance and keeps to the back row… it’s not her first time ‘kay?

I mean you’re not going to rat out on her now would…

okaaaaaaay… I guess… I should mak…

she liked the tie, eh? Heh.

erm… yea. All ‘Avril’ thingee… as I recall…

Guess something good did come out of it all. Heh.

Well… look’it the time… my ride’s here… gotta go… you just enjoy your, erm… drink there… seriously, it wasnt’ bad… just not up my groove, … style… whatever…

It’s evian.

Cya!

….

….

freakin’ town ain’t up my style. Sigh…

Fantasy Books – Dragonlance

My exposure to Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman’s classic was quite late. It was in 1997, that I picked up the first Chronicle book and devoured it in 2 days. I remember running towards the only shop that housed the remaining trilogy (in Subang Parade, could it be MPH?) and finished each at a shorter time. It was my¬†second ‘epic’ series which I have read, the first being¬†Tolkien’s Lord of¬†the Rings.¬†I liked the premise, and the pacing; it was not much on characterisation, and more on the plot lines moving.

I have collected a dozen of books from the franchise since then. And it is still shocking to compare that to the actual list of books produced (and how they fit in the timeline) for the fantasy universe! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Dragonlance_novels

Can you imagine the amount of money a hardcore ardent fan would have to fork out to capture the whole length and¬†breadth of the series? Wow… I can buy lots of stuff with that kind of money. But then again, that is why the proliferation of¬†titles; to cater to niche markets. But still, I have the¬†‘core books’.

My only complaint now is this: the Dragonlance universe has expanded into a massive ball of complexities where each element relates to each other, to the extent that progression into the newer stories are burdened by the heavy baggage of history collected. Which explains why Weis and Hickman are so wordy as time goes on. Each novels are clocking at about 500+ pages, which in my opinion can be reduced to a manageable 400+ size with proper editing.

Dragons of Vanished Moon Cover 

Do not judge a book by its cover is ‘actually’ a false statement. In fact, the emphasis on good art covers have never been greater than now! And in this respect, Dragonlance has not failed to deliver on the promise of cool looking art. There’s a book out from TSR that compiles all the covers and related art in one place.

There is still potential left in this universe… and it is always an inspiration for me to build one similar to it. One universe which makes me cringe everytime I think of it is the Star Wars Novelisation Universe (aka Expanded Universe)… http://www.theforce.net/books/¬†this site gives a very very in depth view of ALL the books that has been produced by Lucas’ company (I fanatically read the site for 4 years). I gave up on the universe when¬†one of the chief writers, Timothy Zhan, wrote a closing duology to the old series. The newer series – entitled The New Jedi Order¬†(under another publisher) piqued my interest for only a few months… it’s war like angle for a dozen over books, really stretched my patience and subsequently my interest in the whole franchise altogether. It was sufficient for me to update my knowledge from fan written plot summaries.

What makes Epic Scale stories attractive? I have no real idea behind this. But analysing Lord of the Rings and Dragonlance, I can say that it is always about conflict and honest characterisation. Conflict that challenges the emotional state of the readers (firstly, the emotional investment must be established) and Honest Characterisation that deals with the reality of human beings (regardless whether they are off-world characters or aliens). Packed around all these things are a myriad of ‘colourful’ universe-specific elements that are original, and a heck of big marketing effort! ūüôā