The idle ramblings of a Jack of some trades, Master of none

Mar 29, 2008

Plagiarism Reprised

Thanks, Veena, for this! As she says, no piece on plagiarism is complete without mention of Lobachevsky (who, incidentally, didn't plagiarise, but you wouldn't know it from this).

If you are interested, check out the plagiariser's paper on Analytic and algebraic topology of locally Euclidean parameterization of infinitely differentiable Riemannian manifolds, heheh.


Ramesh said...


Always thought the Silmarillion was superior to the Lord of the Rings. This new book I haven't read. I'm no longer such a fan. (Also thought Ralph Bakshi's animated film of the Fellowship was truer to the original Lotr than Jackson's whatever you want to call it. Imagine leaving out Bombadil!)

The best Rendang I had was in the road behind Sarinah in Jakarta; however, I preferred the Velu Military 'original', of maybe 30 years ago.

As for getting this food in Chicago, there is a fairly good restaurant (which you've no doubt tried and deemed inferior) in that wonderful city (screwed if I can remember the name), which serves pretty good kare ayam and (what they call) rendang and roti jalan. As long as you remember where you are!

As for the blues, my son (who went to the U of C) did venture into the less safe joints you speak of (and I think some even less safe ones, since he was and is a hip-hop fan), while I've only heard Eddie Shaw (who has played with most of the greats and a magnificent man he is, too)at Kingston Mines, playing with his son and attended by an almost wholly white audience. The chicken was good and I had someone to fetch it from the kitchen, my son V. But I must say that I prefer the old Delta blues, Howlin' Wolf to Muddy Waters.

Liked you blog very much. If you sharpen it, with faith, it could become the first Indian book of a blog, and go on from there. But you're probabaly not ambitious.

Anyway, all good wishes.

Fëanor said...

Ramesh: welcome to the blog, and thank you for your comments and encouragement!

I see you were in Jakarta! Sarinah was a place we went to occasionally, but I don't recall ever having had any Rendang in that area. And what's the Velu Military?

Re: Silmarillion - I am tempted to agree with you, particularly with regard to the long development of the history of Middle-Earth before the advent of humans. Once the humans turned up, it all got a little messy. But the Lay of Luthien was quite melodious and soothing, I thought :-)

As for converting this to a book, I wonder what the readership will be for random ramblings and whimsical topics that wander from hither to yon. Maybe a selection from a selected tag would be more focussed (say, travel, or the vignettes from history...). Not sure yet, but it's an interesting thought. Thank you.

Ramesh said...

The Velu 'Military' (meaning non-veg.) hotel (restaurant) in Chennai is a legend. The food is brought around very much rendang style in small kinnams on large thattus, an assortment of spicy, yummy non-veg. dishes (mutton/chicken fry, liver, brain, fish, all sorts of great stuff) and you take what you want as the waiters go round. There are some very unusual dishes, too. You get rice served on your plate, and, if I remember, sambar and other veggies sitting on your table. It has now become a slightly more fancy place than it was 30 years ago (they've added the a/c first floor), but still well down market from, say, even a Ponnusamy, the famous Chettinad biriyani joint.

The rendang place on the road behind Sarinah was very well known and recommended to us when we first arrived in Jakarta, and stayed for some months in the hotel adjoining Sarinah (where, yes, the basement food court wasn't bad either). The hotel (Sari Pan-Pacific, was it?) was obviously too expensive to eat in every day, though they had a great unlimited (delicious) snacks and free booze (they actually served Chivas and Black Label :) hour in a lounge for their long-term guests; and the breakfast buffet, Indonesian and western combined, was pretty good too. The kids (12 and 10) were keen, daily regulars at both events. I'm talking 15 years ago.

I don't remember the Silmarillion and couldn't read it again, when I tried a couple of years ago. So, the Lay of Luthien means nothing more to me than the faint ringing of a bell. In fact, I always skipped the 'songs' even during my first 3 or 4 readings of the Lord of the Rings. Was rather into poetry and found these slightly irritating.

As for publishing the blog, its eclectic nature is its attraction (and it doesn't matter that someone like me can't make out the maths at all, or someone else the books reviews, perhaps), and though I don't know how many of your 'hits' (which seem to be growing rapidly) are from India, my own guess would be that if you're going to publish here (at a sort of Chetan Bhagatish paperback price), I think you might initially need more Indian ramblings to anchor the blog.

Also the honing/editing will be necessary, different perspective on it all. I'm told your photographs are good, so that will help. Sebald (who was highly recommended to me, Rings of Saturn, and whom I've not yet read only glanced through at a bookstore) is visually reminiscent of a published (very literary, I guess)
blog in some ways.

Not being much of a blogger myself, best you email me if you want to talk about the book. I would think being first at publishing a blog would count for a lot!

Every good wish.

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