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Showing posts from September, 2011

Facebook will soon do status updates on your behalf: Mark Zuckerberg

The submission should be absolute and total and the word privacy will be deleted from dictionaries across the world in the next 5 years, the Facebook CEO said.

The news is not all that good from Facebook. The social networking site has intensified its efforts to take complete control of your online and offline behavior and to study behavioural patterns to not just predict your response but also share it with all kinds of people and marketers. Our social media correspondent who met Zuckerberg last weekend came back dazed and disoriented after he learnt of FB’s plans to dominate the lives of human beings across the planet.

“Its all out there. Our intuitivly snoopy social algorithm is today helping marketers learn more about customer behavior and predict buying preferences like never before. So don’t be surprised if FB pings a service provider on your behalf and requests a service that you might need in weeks to come (even if you dont need it). Also, depending on your online behaviour i…

Guest column: Seven steps to avoid double dip recession

Humor Unplugged’s economic adviser Chris Aethelburh on how to prevent a double dip recession.

There seems to be an ongoing debate about when to start a second set of stimulus to prevent a double dip recession. Germany and the European Central Bank are already pushing aggressively for fiscal austerity while US is planning fiscal consolidation pending political approval.

So should policymakers travel down the stimulus path again or should they revisit other ways to prevent another recession? If monetary and fiscal stimulus is injected without a corresponding rise in consumer demand, there is a risk of deflation. Fiscal austerity to certain degree is necessary in countries facing large debt, but raising taxes and cutting government spending may infact make the recession and deflation worse.

But, if policymakers manage stimulus for too long, a sovereign debt crisis may loom large on the horizon. If stimulus exerts further strain on the treasury, interest rates may go up and choke economi…

Calvin doesnt want to be a Baba Ramdev

Calvin has a strong reason for not being Baba Ramdev...

Jobless J&K assembly wants Poke Kitty back

The Jammu and Kashmir assembly is definitely jobless. After debating clemency for terrorist Afzal Guru, state legislators are now planning to have a passionate debate on clemency for cartoon character Poke Kitty.

At the time of going to press, the Jammu and Kashmir assembly was discussing a motion seeking pardon for Guru. After this debate, the assembly plans to take up another motion moved by legislator seeking pardon for notorious cartoon character Poke Kitty. It may be remembered that Poke Kitty, part of the Pokémon cartoon serial will be axed from the series in the next season. Poke Kitty has been accused of being a bad influence on children, thanks to his mischievous activities.

The makers of Pokémon have already made up their mind but the Jammu and Kashmir assembly is hopeful of making them reverse this decision and let Poke Kitty continue appearing in future episodes of Pokémon. “This is indeed a matter of grave concern for all J&K legislators as we love Poke Kitty. On so …

Saudi women can now vote; but cannot change channels

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah on Sunday granted women the right to vote and even run in the next municipal elections. The bad news is that Saudi women are still light years away from controlling the 'domestic' remote in their homes.

Humor Unplugged’s Saudi correspondent has learnt that the Saudi monarch has clearly said no to a proposal to let women watch channels they want to. Women in Saudi are not allowed to change channels without express permission from a male member of the family. According to our sources, a divided Majlis Al-Shura, (a council that advises the royals on public policy) approached the king with a half-hearted proposal to let women decide what they want to watch. Abdullah however shot the proposal saying he had 345 wives on last count and if each one were to decide what to watch, his home would turn into “Mulayam Singh Yadav’s wrestling ring” – the only difference being that the contestants would be women. “The king (god bless his goats, gophers and goate…

Taliban gets USD 1,45,000 in carbon credit

The International Climate Change Council has decided to reward Taliban with USD 1,45,000  in carbon credit for its poppy farms in border areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan. The decision was announced in an Oslo datelined press release issued by the body on Sunday.
“Amongst all areas surveyed by us in Asia, we found the areas under Taliban occupation have maximum amount of green cover. We also found that these areas were being maintained with a very high level of diligence and dedication and feel it is absolutely necessary to insert a word of appreciation on behalf of the international community for their exemplary efforts,” the release said.    “We are indeed honoured by this award and to celebrate we will launch 13 hit and run attacks against NATO forces in Afghanistan tonight,” Taliban spokesperson Mulllah Gomar said reacting to the development. The prize money will be routed to Taliban through the government of Pakistan. Pakistani president Zardari will take his mandatory 10 perce…

Bangalore will name potholes after politicians, promote pothole tourism

In a landmark move, Karnataka government has decided to name potholes after political leaders.

It had to happen one day but we didn’t know it would happen so soon. At a high level meeting in the Vidhan Soudha today, the state cabinet unanimously agreed to a proposal to name potholes on Bangalore roads after state politicians. It was also decided to have a separate department to deal with upkeep of potholes and other killers such as speed breakers in the city.

“We have decided to name these engineering marvels after various leaders. On Sunday, our CM will inaugurate a pothole named after former CM Yeddyurappa right in front of the Vidhan Soudha. This pothole is a unique one with a very unique design and you have to go through it to enter the building and we will ensure that every vehicle including two wheelers pass through it so that they remember the wonderful leadership we have in the state,” a senior minister said.  

The minister also urged us to drive across the city to get a fee…

L K Advani’s rath yatra will run on NASA chariot

L K Advani’s latest rath yatra is old news but many don’t know that the senior BJP leader’s high tech chariot for the journey is being provided by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Two weeks earlier, BJP had floated an international RFP asking chariot vendors to respond with their products for the yatra. NASA was the only entity among 3 that was shortlisted for the contract and bagged the same. The chariot will fly home in an An 225 heavy lift aircraft all the way from Washington with a refueling stopover at Berne in Germany this week. This will be the heaviest cargo ever carried by the plane which will be flying on Indian skies for the first time.

The vehicle, a marvel of engineering and aesthetic designing techniques, uses a pressurized cabin that can seat 7 people comfortably or a pre-surgery Ghadkari. Passengers get a good view of their surroundings thanks to a bullet proof glass and night vision sensors. Instead of using a bulky airlock, the chariot has two …

Apple accidentally sues itself

In what could possibly be a major goof up, consumer electronics giant Apple filed a case against itself in a UK court on Friday. The suit filled accidentally calls for a court injunction to block the sales of Apple's yet to be released iPhone 5 in the UK on account of multiple counts of patent infringement. The gaffe was discovered when the court issued summons to Apple executives on Monday in connection with the case.

While going to press, it was still unclear how Apple filed a case against itself. But our sources say that the company’s legal team got confused over the zillion cases it has filed against a plethora of smartphone manufacturers around the world. One Apple insider even claimed that the whole thing was an inside legal exercise that went horribly wrong. “One of the legal teams was practicing a process to file a lawsuit and the papers went outside and reached the court. We have no idea how it happened,” the source claimed.

Another insider claimed that Apple’s legal team…

Calvin on fasting and inflation

A very valid question indeed. Maybe if the likes of Jaya, Mayawati and Gadkari go on fast, inflation may decline and RBI will stop fooling around with the interest rates.

Calvin and Hobbes on fasting

Fasting is already passe...

BJP and Congress gift each other a Most Favoured Party tag

After India and Pakistan decided to declare each other as the ‘Most Favored Nation’, India’s leading national parties also decided to jump onto the favor wagon. In a joint press release issued on Saturday, the two parties decided to tag the other as its Most Favored Party.

“Yes it is true we have decided to tag each other and are really happy about the whole thing. This means we will work even more closely in the future to antagonize each other and try and grab a bigger piece of the political pie available in the country. Between us there is anyway not much to choose as far as leadership goes so this does not mean anything for the common man out there” Congress Spokesperson Manish Tiwari said. Senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj broke into an impromptu jig to express her happiness at the development.

Sources close to the two parties say that Congress and BJP will work out a few provisions as part of the agreement. One provision already agreed upon relates to more tit-for-tat fasts in the…

Calvin and Hobbes on Lokpal bill

With due apologies to Bill 

Halley’s comet to skip earth in 2061

Halley's Comet has been known since 240 BC to mankind. It was named after Edmund Halley, who calculated its orbit. The comet has been visiting earth regularly and has been part of recorded history and fiction alike.  Yesterday evening scientists at the National Aeronataks and Staged Administration (NASA) delivered the bad news -  the comet will never been seen again by mankind atleast with the naked eye.

NASA sources have told Humor Unplugged that the comet has decided to skip earth for its visit due in 2061 as the planet was considered too unsafe to zip by. It may be remembered that Halley’s comet has been advised by many comets in the past to avoid earth. But the comet persisted; hoping human beings will change and make the planet a better place to live.

However, things have only gotten worse since Halley last visited in 1986. Al Qaeda has issued a fatwa against the celestial body, calling it a “conspiracy by Western nations to pollute the academically enriched minds of Stone A…

Windows 8 lets you customize your frustration

Software maker Microsoft has added many features to make its WIP OS Windows 8 more customizable and appealing according to almost reliable sources.

While we can go on about other features, we will talk about the one that has been more annoying than watching Bill Gates count the billion added to his account every morning. While many expected Microsoft to come out with a radically new black screen of death, the Seattle-based tech giant has retained the colour blue and added several layers of customization to it. 8 users will be able to choose a pic they wish to see while their OS goes down and compose the message that goes along with it. In addition, if the user so desires, the OS (if it is online) can connect with social sites like Facebook and upload a status update indicating that the user won’t be online for a while. It can even upload a pic of the blue screen to the user’s profile to convince friends, provided sufficient privileges have been granted.

When asked as to why the Blue …

Global penguinhunt launched for Happy Feet

The penguin known as "Happy Feet" who went missing on his way home from New Zealand has apparently joined a group of underground neo-communists in Bolivia.

Happy Feet's satellite transmitter went quiet on Friday, less than a week after experts released the bird from a research ship into the Southern Ocean about a quarter of the way down to Antarctica. Initial dispatches from the device showed that Happy swam in a strange meandering route, ending up about 120 kilometers southeast of where he began by the time the last transmission came across Friday morning. Experts say his looping pattern was indeed puzzling and not like anything they had seen before.

In the midst of all this, Interpol on Tuesday morning (GMT) launched a Red Corner Notice (RCN) for the escapee. Our sources in CIA claim that they have ample proof to indicate that the penguin has joined a secret neo-communist group Socialistas de un Nuevo Amanecer (SduNA) in Bolivia. Top sleuths in CIA HQ in Langley had a…

India intensifies war on terror, launches new condolence template

India on Sunday evening announced that it has decided to show no mercy against terrorists attacking its citizens on its soil. The announcement was made at a function organized to launch a new condolence template to be send to families of victims of terror attacks post a terror incident. The template was inaugurated by union home minister P Chiduji who mailed the first copy of the letter drafted using the same to scamster A Raja's wife with the letters "testing" written boldly on it.

“We have had enough of this. Every single day our people are dying and the whole thing seems to be a never ending affair. So at a cabinet meeting we decided to take things head on,” a home ministry bureaucrat who attended the meeting said. When asked to what the government would do, he said “we are starting with a new condolence template that will help our government express sympathies quicker and with more emotion. It will make us appear more human and concerned,” he said.

Humor Unplugged h…

Desperate Advani requests PM to arrest him

All kinds of jokers want to be arrested these days.

Humor Unplugged has obtained copy of a letter allegedly written by BJP patriarch L K Advani to PM Manmohan Singh asking the latter to arrest him.

In the letter, Advani claims to have stolen cheekus from PM’s 7 RCR garden. He goes on to say that the fruits are currently in his possession and urges the PM to arrest him for the act. BJP sources say that ever since Anna Hazare turned into a mass leader after his arrest, the BJP’s PM in waiting has been waiting to replicate Anna’s success. “He (Advani) has been running from pillar to post to get himself arrested and last week he even threated to go on a Rath Yatra unless the government arrests him,” a not so senior BJP leader said.

But did the Advani actually steal cheekus? Yes, the leader said. “Advaniji went to 7RCR last week for a party and when the security guys were busy managing the PM’s security detail, he slipped out, stole the cheekus and came back without being noticed. He hid …

Simi Garewal donates Botox stock towards charity

No one can say that 3000 year old walking Botox monument Simi Garewal is not all heart. Not after the hostess of Star World show India’s Most Desirable gave away two tons of enriched weapon grade Botox towards charity.

The gesture which was kept secret all this while came to light when Simi Garewal’s sister HuJI Garewal accidently let the cat out of the bag on Saturday during a causal interaction with a bored Humor Unplugged correspondent over Skype. When grilled further, HuJI said “a group representing senior citizens and their rights had approached sis (Simi) few days back since she is the oldest living being on the planet. Those people wanted sis to give them anything she feels valuable to show her support for the cause and sis immediately handed over two tons of Botox and even had her bio protected private chopper ferry the consignment to the group’s headquarters in Navi Mumbai”.    

The group which received the consignment didn’t want us to reveal its name. “We are indeed indebt…

Salman Khan gives economic advice to US president Obama

Last Sunday, US President Obama toured Wayne, New Jersey, in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene to express sympathy and show solidarity with affected citizens. He was joined by none other than famous bollywood actor Salman Khan. The two went around Wayne, spoke to a few residents and exchanged notes on US economy before splitting.
Sources in the Khan household say that the visit was an impromptu one but important none the less as he and Obama discussed ways to prop up the US economy and improve the job scene there. "Salman was clearly against floating a new stimulus package but wanted Obama administration to focus on cutting debt in the long term without slashing the spending that is supporting the fragile recovery in the short term," a specific source said.

"If your businesses are discouraged by weak consumer spending by Americans, they should reorient themselves to export markets – creating US jobs in the process. You (Obama) should press Congress for passing Free Trade A…

Sharad Pawar effect – IMD scales down quake intensity

Being conservative with numbers seems to be the flavor of the season.

Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) after initially pegging the Wednesday night’s earthquake at 6.6, scaled it down to 4.2 in just under 5 hours. While the official explanation is that the folks at IMD initially quoted a news channel report to say that the intensity was 6.6 and later corrected themselves, no one, including Sharad Pawar, is buying this explanation.

IMD officials contacted by Humor Unplugged said that the actual reason behind the scaling down is union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar. “He (Pawar) is the one who has started the trend by pegging his assets at 12 crores. We feel even his pet might be worth more than that. We are merely following his lead. He taught us how to be conservative and humble when reporting numbers and we are deeply inspired by him. The downgrade in intensity is our tribute to this great genius who can downsize everything, except his waist size,” an IMD official said.    

BCCI unveils new Team India jersey

Faced with a string of defeats and a immensely forgettable tour, BCCI has finally got its act together to set things right for Team India.

Sources have told Humor Unplugged that Team India’s grandpa BCCI will issue a brand new jersey for the beleaguered Indian cricketers currently on tour in the UK. This jersey will be more in line with the current scenario wherein the team is in deep trouble and plagued by all kinds of injuries.

"The Indian cricket team has lost its mojo and Dhoni has lost his midas touch. We are deeply concerned and we have started addressing the problem by extending the tenure of Srikkanth and all other selectors and by issuing a new jersey. Like the Indian government, we have also set up a standing committee to look into the dipping performance levels and suggest ways to arrest the downslide. The committee will be headed by former J&K CM Farooq Abdullah and will have Arun Jaitley and Lalloo Yadav as members. We wanted to rope in Amar Singh but he was not…

Clarify on Neanderthal linkage, court to government

One of the tallest courts in the country, the Bombay Soar Court on Wednesday directed the Union Government to clarify on the presence of Neanderthal linage among humans. Observing that the matter was of supreme concern to the country, the court has given the government 15 days to respond.

According to the PIL filed by a loony professor, studies have shown that human beings interbred with their Neanderthal neighbours, who ‘mysteriously’ died out about 30,000 years ago. He claims that many scientists have claimed that the Neanderthal-modern human mating took place in the Middle East after a late night desert party where a Neanderthal and human had taken a special drink prepared from dates. The drink was supposed to be a powerful intoxicant and the two seemed to have breached the psychological and natural inter-specie boundary that night.

The petitioner's counsel pointed out to the soar court that as per the information received by them from the Ministry of Neanderthal Affairs (MNA…

Jailed squirrel’s condition worsens, emergency cabinet meeting convened

The lone squirrel who attacked an internet landing cable in Mumbai a few days back and was subsequently arrested has been fasting for the last 2 days and his health has started deteriorating.

The squirrel identified only by his first name Kiki has refused to eat food or drink water till the government sets him free. Sources close to Kiki said that the squirrel has already tendered an unconditional apology and was willing to undertake 23 hours of community service as penance and there was no need to harass the tiny soul anymore. The Maharashtra assembly has already passed a unanimous resolution seeking clemency for the squirrely delinquent.

At the time of going to press, union finance minister Pranab Mukherjee and a few senior cabinet leaders were having a discussion on the case. Cabinet sources say that the government might pass a favourable verdict and Kiki might be free by 10 am tomorrow. Doctors attending to Kiki say that his BP had fallen and the squirrel had gone weak.

Animal r…

Daniel Craig is the new ‘Bond ambassador’ of the Indian Railways

Now we all know that the famous imaginary spy is going to visit India soon to shoot sequences for his latest movie, Bond 23. But what we didn’t know is that the Indian Railways which will be hosting many of his stunts has managed to extract a neat deal with the production house. As part of the agreement, IR will be able to hire Bond actor Daniel Craig as a brand ambassador for a season. Surprised?  Here are the details.

Indian Railways PRO Chabbu Kumar told Humor Unplugged that the deal has almost been finalized and EON productions will soon sign the agreement. “Yes, he will be our brand ambassador and will be seen doing many risky stunts on our trains – including using the restroom. The production house has agreed to all our demands and we have asked them to revert with details on how they plan to take this forward. We will provide them all the assistance and equipment they need,” Kumar said.

Railways sources have also confirmed that Craig has already practiced a round of stunts durin…

Dissident panda snubs Chinese bullet trains, arrested

Pin Yang, the famous Chinese dissident panda has raised a banner of revolt once again – this time against the supreme icon of Chinese technology prowess, the bullet train.

The background
China's multibillion-dollar rail ambitions took a massive hit last month when two high-speed trains collided near the southeastern city of Wenzhou resulting in the death of 40 people. The sector has since had to face increased safety and financial scrutiny and the government has decided to slow some of the trains as an immediate measure to restore public confidence. Sources however say that China's enthusiasm for these trains has not waned much since the incident. China is said to be working on a project to have bullet trains running across its border with other Asian countries so as to enable its troops to intrude and pull back at higher speeds.

Today morning when commuters boarded their daily bus to Shanghai from Guanzhong, they were in for a pleasant surprise. They were greeted by none othe…

Muammar Gaddafi will not surrender till they spell his name right

Former Libyan dictator is angry with the international media for not spelling his name right.

Former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi has stated that he will not surrender till the international media spells his name right. In a faxed message received by Humor Unplugged yesterday evening from Tripoli, someone claiming to be his PA said that Gaddafi was very angry with the international media for twisting and using unauthorized variants of his name to humiliate the ‘leader’.

“The international media (may snake bite their shoes) is trying to insult our leader by deliberately misspelling his honour’s name. Our leader whose stature is taller than the tallest NBA player will not even think of surrendering till these pen wielders apologize in words and use the right spelling to refer to the one who has lead Libya to greatness,” the fax said.  

Humor Unplugged couldn’t verify the authenticity of the fax but the emblem of the former dictator was there on it. The international media has been u…

Section 144 imposed outside Arnab Goswami’s house, RAF deployed after another fight

Times Now anchor Arnab and his wife are at it again. This time the two fought over their respective versions of the Lokpal bill. Presenting the Humor Unplugged exclusive story of the month.

As the last day of August dawned on the Goswami household, Arnab, Pipi and their kid Pappu Goswami were enjoying a scrumptious breakfast prepared by Pipi. Peace had finally established itself firmly in the family with Arnab and Pipi signing a ceasefire agreement brokered by none other than union finance minister Pranab Mukherjee after their last skirmish. But who would have guessed that this would be the proverbial calm before Irene.

As soon as breakfast was over and Arnab and Pipi had finished exchanging pleasantries,  Arnab posted his version of Lokpal bill on the fridge with a huge note stating that this version should be considered final by the parliamentary standing committee. Pipi however had drafted her take and calmly pushed Arnab’s draft down and pasted her version there instead.

Arnab wa…