Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Johnny English Reborn Movie Review

Rowan Atkinson is back at it as Johnny English.  Just a picture of him makes me laugh.  I cannot fully remember the first movie in the series but this one appears to be funnier than that.  The entire movie was a nonstop laughing session from the get go.

Johnny English doesn't disappoint as he comically defeats all the terrorists who are after the Chinese Premier.  This time is even stronger as he was getting Kung Fu training in China before being called up for this important assignment.  I recommend the movie to anybody who enjoys a good laugh.  It is well worth the ticket price.  Only downside is we got to Liberty pretty  late so had to sit on the second row.

Johnny English Reborn Official Website
Johnny English Reborn @ IMDB

Thursday, October 6, 2011

How did Steve Jobs go so "Easily"?

I was in utter shock when I woke up this morning, logged onto my laptop and went to to check today's news. I did know that he was not all well and that was a big reason for him stepping down as Apple's CEO. But I didn't know he was this close to passing away. If his health had deteriorated to the point where it looked bleak, I am sure the media would have gotten to know about it. Maybe this was unexpected...

It's hard to describe the amount of impact Steve Jobs has had on the world. Very few people had the ability to change so much. It is hard to quantify how gifted he was. Obama's statement about Steve's tribute was so true... "The world has lost a visionary. And there may be no greater tribute to Steve's success than the fact that much of the world learned of his passing on a device he invented".

It is still mind boggling for me to imaging how he passed away like this. He is one of the most iconic figures of our generation. Though he worked for $1 a year, he was still one of the most wealthiest people in America. He must have had access to the best healthcare facilities and doctors in America. How did he go so fast... so "easily"... I am sure he did everything he could. But I get this feeling that though Steve Jobs was great, he probably was a bit arrogant about this situation as well He had led a life where he was very successful and beat many odds. Maybe he took this for granted. Maybe he was so engrossed on thinking of the next big thing, he left this slide by... I don't know. It's unfair to say such things. But it does have me thinking... How did somebody with such resources go like that... Just a thought...

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Chaos at the Vicarage

I attended the staging of "Chaos at the Vicarage" at the Lionel Wendt last Sunday.  It is an English comedy directed by Jith Pieris.  It was ok...  Nothing too special.

It is the typical English comedy where everybody is confused and running around.  Everybody in the play thinks that everybody else is somebody else or they are having an affair with somebody.

After a while it gets a bit old and predictable.  The acting was not bad.  So so play overall.  Definitely seen much better plays.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Battle of the Groupon Copycats appears to be winning the battle of the Groupon copycats in Sri Lanka.  The contenders are, &

Looks like has gotten off to quite the start after partnering with the Thai group.  One of my friends said that the site has been around for some time but only recently took off after the sponsorship.  They have a well designed site and if the data on the site is accurate, looks like they are doing quite well.  Most of the deals have many orders with some even getting sold out.  they have also been on a marketing rampage as I have heard it on the radio many times.

In contrast seems to be struggling.  They do not have as many deals as The deals are also less appealing to the majority of the public from my opinion.  They also have a nice website.  One main visible difference is that users are allowed to comment on deals so it can be more of a social exeperience.  It also looks like they are giving points for promoting their deals on social websites.  I have heard a couple of advertisements for it also on radio.

The site seems to be a bit dull compared to the other too.  They also only have one deal at a time.  I don't think the design of the site as inviting as it's competitors.  Their deals also do not look too relevant.  They have had some book deals, etc.

Though all three sites are trying to get on the Groupon bandwagon, only appears to be following the actual Groupon deals model.  In Groupon, a certain number of orders have to be placed for the deal to be active.  For example, if only one person purchases a deal, it might be not valid.  However, if 25 people (or whatever the minium) number is purchased, then it is a vlaid deal.

Though the Groupon idea is cool, I have read in many articles that  the vendors do not really benefit.  They have to sell way below their break event point to give deals that are attractive on Groupon.  Also, Groupon keeps most of the earnings.  If that is the case, I am not sure why they take part.  If most vendors refuse to go with Groupon then Groupon would either go out of business or adjust the business model to make everybody happy.  Maybe the vendors are banking on getting more exposure by being featured on Groupon

Despite the huge growth in earnings, Groupon is actually operating at a loss.  So who knows when this Groupon ride will end...   In Sri Lanka however, everybody seems to be talking about right now...

Robbery in Jawatta Caught on Camera

This happened to one of my friends in the Colombo 5 area about a month ago at night.  Both of the side view mirror assemblies were stolen from his Axio by a gang that came in the three wheeler.  He heard a couple of lound noises.  When he peeped out of the window, he saw his car being swung back and forth.  When he screamed two guys ran from either side of the car with the removed side mirrors and got into a three wheeler parked further up the road.  There was a third person in the three wheeler who started it up and they drove off.

They were the new type of assemblies which also has the signal light as part of them.  It cost about 1.5 lacks to replace both of them including labor charges.  Fortunately for him, his insurance covered it.  But I am sure his rates will sky rocket next year.  Apparently the black market value for these is only about 5 thousand.  They can only be used to replace broken parts of side view mirror assemblies of other cars.  The entire unit cannot be used so most of it will be thrown away.

His incident came to my mind immediately when I saw this video on YouTube.  It was posted a couple of days ago.  It is also in Colombo 5 on Jawatta road.  The operation is so similar to what happened to my friend.  In less than 30 seconds, these guys vandalize two cars.  Just look how easily they do it.  They even have the technique mastered.  They first jump up and use the gravitational force when coming down to do the initial break.  They look so confident carrying out this operation.  It is quite eerie...

Friday, September 23, 2011

What's Wrong with a Private Medical College in Sri Lanka?

How will privatization kill free education?  Higher education is only limited to a few due to the limited number of students accepted after the A/L.  There will always be students vying for these slots.  So I fail to understand how privatization will kill free education?  If medical degrees granted from foreign universities can be recognized by Sri Lanka, why cannot they also recognize degress granted from Malabe?

I think this is a matter of the "haves" trying to keep everything to themselves.  I think that the GMOA is scared that they will now have more competition.  The Malabe proponents have cleverly pointed out that if the GMOA is against private medical colleges, then they should stop private practice as well.

GMOA has also cited quality as an issue.  This is a very legitimate concern.  I do not want people to be misdiagnosed.  But natural law says that incompetent doctors would eventually get weeded out.  In the long run, this should take care of itself.  But more importantly, I think the government should establish a clear set of guidelines to measure the standards of private colleges, especially medical colleges.  This would solve most of the legitimate concerns that people have.  However, I am not sure if the government teaching hospitals would pass those standards either.  Nevertheless, it would be a good idea for the future.

Say what you want about the present government.  I give them two thumbs up for taking this giant step.  All previous governments have been to scared to take on the JVP inspired GMOA.  All our neighboring countries have private medical colleges and they have benefited from them well.  In fact, many Sri Lankans go there as well.  Why should they go to another third world country when they could get the same or better here at home?  Having a private medical college in Sri Lanka will also keep a lot of money in Sri Lanka that would otherwise flow out of Sri Lanka.

The Malabe College might not be perfect when it starts off.  But give them a chance and some time and I am sure they will do quite well.  The naysayers were successful in closing down the first such project in Ragama but I have a feeling that this one will be successful.  After all, privatization has made many other facets of our life better.  I have no doubt that this will go the same way.  Just look at examples in our enighboring countries if it is so hard to believe...

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Gamani Sinhala Movie Review

This move is based on a true story.  The LTTE massacre 57 people in a village which has a few untrained security personnel.  The story is about a brave female school teacher's efforts to convince the Army Major of the near by camp to train men from the village to protect them against the next LTTE attack.

I thought that it was very well done.  The acting is good.  There are a lot of powerful messages delivered throughout the movie.  I am sure it was made with the foreign audience in mind.  There are some comical scenes throughout the movie to keep you smiling as well.

Gamani is a film by Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekara.  It is a long movie at 3 hours but was well worth it.  The initial massacre scene is a bit graphic so watch out for that, especially if you are taking small children.  The movie also has English subtitles.  I am sure they made it so it can be shown outside of the country as well.  I recommend all Sri Lankans watching it...

Gamani @ EAP Movies