Monday, September 29, 2008

Boiling Frog Syndrome

Boiling Frog Syndrome


We all go through different kinds of problems in our lives as an individual, as a society, as a country, and even as entire world. We constantly face certain problems and challenges in our lives. However some individuals manage to get out of them successfully whereas others find themselves devastated and broken by the end of it. Of course certain problems are completely out of our control and hit us suddenly without any warnings and which are impossible to guard against. But here I am talking of the kind of problems that we get ourselves into or are driven into and fail to realize the implications until very late. Few people, societies, and countries however do manage to pick up the warning signals pretty early and take preventive steps to avoid the consequences or to minimize the effect or in some cases even come out much stronger than before. These individuals have learnt the art of guarding themselves against the Boiling Frog Syndrome.


Some of the problems that are quite common are –

Ø  Global Warming

Ø  Population Explosion

Ø  Depletion and Scarcity of Natural Resources ( Gas / Oil / Drinking Water)

Ø  Shortage and Reduction in World Food Production

Ø  Economic Downturns

Ø  Corruption

Ø  Quality Control in Projects

Ø  Individual Debt / Financial Crisis

Ø  Breakdown in Relationships

Ø  Career Crisis

Ø  Health Complications

Ø  Addiction



In all of the above problems the warning signs are not clearly there to recognize in the early stages. Most of us fail to recognize them early enough. Sometimes even when we recognize them we fail to take effective action against them due to ignorance of the consequences. When these problems turn hazardous or life threatening then only we truly recognize their potential. By the time we realize it it’s very often too late. This human behavior is very common and is explained nicely through the metaphor known as the Boiling Frog Syndrome.


They say that if you put a frog into a pot of boiling water, it will leap out right away to escape the danger. But, if you put a frog in a kettle that is filled with water that is cool and pleasant, and then you gradually heat the kettle until it starts boiling, the frog happily sits there and will not become aware of the threat until it is too late. The frog will eventually boil to death.


The frog's survival instincts are geared towards detecting sudden changes and so are with humans. This parable is often used to illustrate how humans have to be careful to watch slowly changing trends in their lifestyle, relationships, habits, finances, health, and career in addition to the environment, economy, etc. and not just the sudden changes. It’s a warning to keep us paying attention not just towards obvious threats but to more slowly developing ones.


In all the examples mentioned above the reasons and circumstances leading to trouble are initially very pleasant and have high probability of going unnoticed similar to the Frog enjoying the water in pleasant conditions. It’s only when things suddenly start going wrong and out of control that we often realize the trouble we are in. The changes are very slow and gradual for us to even notice them. But then that’s what we should be careful of and guard against. The reason being once the effects start taking place then its exponential and leaves us with very few options or solutions to fight them with.


One of the classic examples is that of Global Warming. With the whole world basking in the technology advancements and the industrialization we rarely pay attention to the slow but steady increase in the Greenhouse Gases in the atmosphere and the resulting Global Climate change. These kinds of problems require individuals to take proactive and conscious decisions to thwart off the long term disastrous consequences.


Visit Glecosys for more information on Global Warming. 

Friday, September 19, 2008

Best Movies – My “Hall of Fame”

Best Movies – My “Hall of Fame”

I am a diehard Movie Buff and a self-acclaimed Movie Critic too. I watch a lot of movies whenever I can. Though I must admit I am bit biased towards English Hollywood movies. The simple reason being they make movies on a wide variety of topics and are technically rich. I thought it would be a good idea to list down the movies that I loved watching over the years and which I think should go into my “Hall of Fame”. :-) I would highly recommend watching these movies. Of course other critics may not agree with my choice but then I understand this may not be the best list of all given the limitations – Most of these movies are from my generation and of course I haven’t seen all the movies released during this period. To add to that these are the movies that I could relate to and perceptions do differ. So anyways here it is –

*The list is not in any particular order.

All movies directed by John WooHard Target, Broken Arrow, Face-Off, Mission Impossible – 2. Check them for the sheer style and the cool factor. John Travolta, Nicholas Cage, Tom Cruise never looked better. Flying pigeons, flying bullets, flying coats - too cool.



Leaving Las Vegas – Awesome acting by Nicholas Cage. The most tragic movie I ever saw.

Check out Godfather 1, 2, and 3 for brilliant direction by Francis Ford Coppola and acting by Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, and Robert De Niro. Its probably the greatest movie made so far. No one could recreate the feel the movie had.


Watch for Anthony Hopkins role as “Hannibal the Cannibal” in The Silence of the Lambs. Brilliant adaption from the novel.

 Jodie Foster is another favorite in movies like The Silence of the Lambs, FlightPlan, Panic room, Contact.

Three Colors – Triology. I have only seen Red and am awestruck. Can’t wait to watch the other two White and Blue. Directed by Krzysztof Kieslowski, it’s one of the most innovative movie making style I have ever seen.

 Quentin Tarantino is another favorite movie director. Check out the path breaking and bold and stylish movies Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill Volume 1 and 2, Reservoir Dogs. Check out Travolta and Uma Thurman’s chemistry in Pulp Fiction.


 Uma Thurman is my all time favorite actress. I am mesmerized by her in Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill.   


 John Travolta is the king of style in movies like Broken Arrow, Face-Off, and Pulp Fiction.

Clint Eastwood is the original cowboy. Some of his best works can be seen in “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly”, Unforgiven, Million Dollar Baby. My all time fav of Clint Eastwood is the romantic classic “The Bridges of Madison County” with Meryl Streep.

If I were to name my all time fav actor, it would be Jack Nicholson. Amazing stuff in Batman, A Few Good Men, As Good as It Gets, Anger Management, and The Departed. A must watch.

Check out Bourne Identity for some cool acting by Matt Damon.

Phone Booth by Joel Schumacher is probably the best and the most intelligent thriller I have ever seen.  

Another actor that is closer to the Jack Nicholson league is Daniel Day-Lewis. Mind blowing stuff in The Gangs of New York and There will be Blood

Watch Russell Crowe in A Beautiful Mind and Gladiator and Denzel Washington in American Gangster.

Tom Cruise rocks in Jerry McGuire, Top Gun, Mission Impossible series, and A Few Good Men.

Action movies are clearly the forte of Arnold Schwarzenegger with Commando, Terminator series and True Lies. A close second spot is of course taken by Sylvester Stallone with the Rocky and Rambo series and Assassins also featuring the uber cool Antonio Banderas. Of course you can’t leave out Die Hard 1 starring Bruce Willis when you are talking of action movies.

These olden classics are a must watch - Ben-Hur, Lawrence of Arabia, The Bridge on the River Kwai, The Sound of Music, and Gandhi.

 Life is Beautiful will probably go down as the most beautiful film made on human emotions ever. A must must watch.

The Matrix Triology by the Wachowski Brothers is again a path breaking movie making style.

Watch XXX starring Vin Diesel for some cool action and rocking sound track.

I hate watching Horror movies coz they scare the shit out of me. However I did once manage to watch Ring 2 and regretted the decision for many nights thereafter. Though for horror freaks I would recommend it.

 M. Night Shyamalan made the movie of his lifetime with The Sixth Sense. Though he could never recreate the same magic ever after.

The only director in Hollywood who comes up with universally appealing hit movies one after another and keeps getting better and better at it is Steven Spielberg - Jaws, E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, Indiana Jones series, Jurassic Park series, Amistad, Saving Private Ryan, Catch Me If You Can, The Terminal, Munich are some of his best works that I have seen.

The actor who can carry movie on his own and with a stupendous track record is Tom Hanks. A must watch are Philadelphia, Forrest Gump, Apollo 13, Saving Private Ryan, You've Got Mail, Cast Away, Road to Perdition, Catch Me If You Can, The Terminal.

Fargo is a joy to watch thanks to Joel and Ethan Coen.

Leonardo DiCaprio is amazing versatile actor with the wide variety of roles he essays in drastically different movies such as Titanic, Gangs of New York, Catch Me If You Can, The Aviator, The Departed, Blood Diamond.

In the animation category (3D) the entire Shrek series is immensely enjoyable along with Ice Age.  

Kevin Spacey gives his best in The American Beauty and The Usual Suspects.

Watch Pirates of the Caribbean for Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow.

Watch The Godfather, Scarface, Scent of a Woman, Heat, The Devil's Advocate to see why Al Pacino  is considered one of the greatest actors in all of film history.

Watch Ocean’s Eleven for the cool script, direction by Steven Soderbergh, and the super cool George Clooney.

And finally a toast to all the beautiful, hot, cool looking ladies from Hollywood – watch Jodie Foster in any of her movies, Catherine Zeta-Jones in The Mask of Zorro, Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, Helen Hunt in Twister, Kate Winslet in Titanic, Salma Hayek in Desperado, and of course Uma Thurman in Kill Bill :-)