India


Avant-garde filmmaker Pramod Pati created luscious, poetic, beautifully-scored short films on behalf of the Indian government (sometimes with social-educational purposes such as promoting family planning). Highlights include Abid, below, and 1968’s symbolism-rich Explorer. The Seventh Art provides some background:

Pramod Pati, who died an untimely death at the age of 42, worked for the Films Division of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in India, which commissioned feature-length and short documentaries as well as short animation films for the purposes of cultural archiving and nationwide information dissemination. The documentaries generally consisted of profiles of artistes practicing traditional forms, educational films for adults, and simple moral tales and basic literacy courses for children.

Although there was an obvious restriction on the type of subjects filmmakers can choose, the Films Division, like the Kanun in Iran, was free from commercial concerns and thus presented a higher scope for formal experimentation for directors.




Ford’s India subsidiary is targeting a unique demographic: serial killers. A new series of magazine ads from the automaker highlights the cavernous trunk space in the new Figo hatchback by showing a…








The Daily Bhakshar reports on a rash of self-immolations among Indian youth. In the most recent incident, a young girl doused herself in kerosine and set herself afire. Before she died, she told her parents that two ghostly girls had told her to do it. Strangely, this is not the first such incident:

Henna’s father Abdul Razzaq and brother Feroz were shocked when the dying girl told them that two girls had come to her and asked her to douse with kerosene and accompany them. However, no one saw the mysterious girls entering in or going out of the house before or after the incident. They were also shocked as Henna was absolutely normal and had meal with family before she was found 100% burnt.



Pakistan’s Engish Language The News International has an in depth profile of Sampat Pal Devi, the leader of India’s Gulabi Gang—a group of feminist vigilantes in the rural north of India: Seeds…


With any luck, alien-tinted rainfall will be a growing meteorological trend. Via the Epoch Times: A rare shower of red rain fell for about 15 minutes in the city of Kannur, Kerala,…



Scientific American reports that a cadre of Indian scientists are working to crack the “monsoon code”, the complicated math that determines the course of the continent’s seasonal monsoon. India’s farmers rely upon the rains of the monsoon for their livelihood, and less rain means less food. Being able to predict the path and strength of the monsoon would enable Indians to make better agricultural decisions.

The more conspiratorially-inclined might also reason that a better model for weather prediction could be the first step in developing accurate weather control tools, as well. The ability to consistently control the weather could be a powerful tool for any nation. Imagine being able to inflict droughts, floods, hurricanes and more…


Critics say the results are more truth-y than truthful. The Guardian writes: It is the sort of scene that belongs in a film noir, not a 21st-century democracy: an uncooperative suspect being injected…



e43f4780a2fc991162bdbf3b2661bdfee1faac7fFrom an exhibition by Raqs Media Collective at London’s Frith Street Gallery, which puts forth that modern biometric identification was invented by a British colonial official in 1858:

Untold Intimacy of Digits is an facsimile of the handprint of a Bengal Peasant, Raj Konai. The handprint was taken under the orders of William Herschel – scientist, statistician and at the time a revenue official with the Bengal government.

It is one of the earliest impressions of the human body taken by a person in power with the explicit purpose of using the trace to identify and verify a human subject.

It was taken in lieu of a signature, to affix the identity of Konai to a document. It was felt, at the time, that subaltern subjects were way too slippery when it came to the presentation of their identities to the authorities.


What happens when the unfathomable/intangible and the logical/mechanical intersect? Robots designed to tap into the spirit world — meet the priests/shamans of the twenty-first century. Via Discover Magazine: These bots wait in…


Vandana Shiva on Al Jazeera English explains how, as mega-chains venture into industrial farming, they have created an epidemic of hunger- and generated billions in profit. New Delhi, India – In November…




GibsonVia Brooklyn Vegan and Gibson.com:

The Federal Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. has suggested that the use of wood from India that is not finished by Indian workers is illegal, not because of U.S. law, but because it is the Justice Department’s interpretation of a law in India. (If the same wood from the same tree was finished by Indian workers, the material would be legal.) This action was taken without the support and consent of the government in India.

On August 24, 2011, around 8:45 a.m. CDT, agents for the federal government executed four search warrants on Gibson’s facilities in Nashville and Memphis and seized several pallets of wood, electronic files and guitars. Gibson had to cease its manufacturing operations and send workers home for the day, while armed agents executed the search warrants. Gibson has fully cooperated with the execution of the search warrants.