Silly Point

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Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Fiebre del Fútbol

Thank God for the Hispanic community in the US. Without them this World Cup would have been such a disappointment. It is surprising that most Americans don't even know what the Fifa World Cup is. It is the biggest sporting event in the world. Yes, even bigger than the Olympics. The Superbowl is peanuts compared to it. 93 Million People watched the Superbowl this year, compared with 1.1 billion who saw the last World Cup final in 2002, that's one in every six person in the world. Estimates indicate that 28.8 billion viewers will watch the month long tournament this year.

But the growth of soccer in the US has been very slow. Yes you do see school kids playing soccer, now more than ever before, even the national men's and women's team have been progressing well internationally, but the game's popularity hasn't increased much for the general public. After the successes of the US team in the 2002 World Cup, I am hoping that there will be more interest this time around.

Although I have always been a Brazil fan since a very young age, I found a new team to support in 2002. I sat through and watched the unbelievable as USA beat Portugal and made it through to the second round. I watched the team at its best as they defeated their arch-rivals, Mexico. And I missed a heartbeat a couple of times in the very exciting 1-0 quarter final loss to Germany. Despite the loss, TeamUSA could walk off with their heads held high. Not only had they done what no one believed they could do, they had also shown the world that they were there to stay. This World Cup, even though the draw is tougher, TeamUSA has a world class team. And with the foundation in place with the MLS, and so many players playing in Europe, USA will continue to be dominant in future World Cups.

The 2002 World Cup was very different for me. It was the first time I was watching the World Cup in the US and it was surreal not to see the hype around it. Watching the matches didn't seem to be much of a problem, ESPN did broadcast the matches live but their commentary made the sport as exciting as watching golf. It was during these times that the Spanish language channels came to my rescue. Watching that, I could see the true passion for "futbol", every build up to a goal was made so exciting by the pitch of the commentator's voice. And the eventual celebration of "GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAL!" was just what my ears were waiting to hear. It didn't matter that I don't know a word of Spanish, it could have been in any language, but the language was common, it was football, a passion shared.

This time around, I don't have ESPN, only terrestrial TV. But I am grateful that I still get the Spanish channels. And for once I can be happy that those are the clearest channels I get.


I admit it, my previous entry was too long. Had it been a masterpiece of literature, I could have expected my readers to endure through the boring parts and read it completely. I promise I will keep them shorter from now on.

I was going to write about my Memorial Day weekend, but there wasn't anything exciting to write about. Had I been white-water rafting in Pennsylvania like my colleague, it would have been a much better experience. Instead my Memorial Day weekend involved the dull activities of driving to the airports twice, and driving a truck carrying furniture. I must say it was fun driving a truck. The truck was a full package, involving heavy lifting, loading/unloading and assembling. I didn't even get a chance to mow the lawn (which, believe it or not, I enjoy doing) as I was too busy cleaning the garage. There were some fun activities though, like playing football, BBQ, and watching X-Men.

X-Men would have been the topic of this blog if Max hadn't asked me not to do so. Conveniently, Max is on vacation and his blog,, will not be getting updated very soon. This is really frustrating as I needed to get my anger out after watching that movie. I was really disappointed by it. If you haven't seen it, I would say go rent X-2 again and have a fun night at home.

Since I finished college and started work, vacations have been scarce. This 3-day weekend was a big thing to look forward to for so long and its a shame that it passed so quickly. There wouldn't be much that would be memorable about this Memorial Day weekend. Lets hope Independence Day is better.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Not Another Da Vinci Blog!

First of all, I apologize for not writing a blog for a while. And just now, many of you will be asking me, "Who am I apologizing to? Who reads these blogs anyway?” I wouldn't blame you for having that assumption, not many readers of my blogs leave a comment. But I am really appreciative of those of you who do write a comment. Thank you! Maybe I should just start commenting on my own blogs anonymously. I could have all kinds of arguments between fictional characters, flaming each other, telling each other things about their mamma, it would be so much fun! Come on guys start commenting! (But please remember to add a name or some other identification tag to let me know who it is, even if it is something like MaleLatinLover. Long story, maybe some other blog)

There are thousands of blogs out there currently about the Da Vinci Code and I didn't want to write one too and be part of the crowd, but I couldn't help it. The Da Vinci Code has been very integral in my daily routine in the past few weeks, mostly because of the Da Vinci Code quest on Google that I had discussed previously. Well I completed all the 24 puzzles and I became on of the 10,000 finalists. After that I received a cryptex in the mail (see photo). A cool device to have, it was easy to solve the puzzle and discover the clue to the final puzzle. But this whole phase of the competition was purely for novelty. Subsequent to that, I too sat through and struggled through the final puzzles, which I must say were hard, getting frustrated at that elusive "Restoration challenge" to which I have not come up with any logic on how to solve. It ended up being random clicks in the end as their was no method to that madness, or at least none that I could see. I spent 15 minutes on that puzzle. The other 4 I brisked through in 10 minutes, making my final time not close to the winning time I suppose. But I must say it took me a total of 10 seconds to finish the chess challenge. I am told that Google has decided to continue these daily puzzles from May 26th onwards. They wont be related to Da Vinci Code anymore, perhaps making them fairer puzzles, and neither will their be prizes for completing it. But I suppose they are perfect for those slow days at work.

The puzzles were one of the reasons why I liked the book much. I have always liked solving puzzles, a friend suggested that I should possible consider a career in cryptography, but I don't think I have the patience for it. Plus after seeing "A Beautiful Mind" the side effects of such a profession doesn't seem too inviting. I liked the intrigue and mystery in the book pertaining to the puzzles, and before turning the pages, I could have a crack at it too. I remember how I figured out the Fibonacci numbers before the narrative revealed them. That was one of the reasons why I was a little disappointed in the movie. The movie wasn't much about the puzzles but focused more on the story. They tried to gear the movie towards all the people who wanted to see just exactly what the whole controversy was about. For plot and story and sheer excitement, "Angels and Demons" was a much better book. A novel version of "24" sans Jack Bauer of course. But the action takes place in 24 hours and the suspense is thrilling and the final twist in the end is very 24-esque. That would have made a better movie for all audiences in my opinion.

The controversy behind The Da Vinci Code is well known to everyone, there are a million blogs about it. There are all sides of the story, ranging from the Opus Dei's letter stating the realities behind their organization, the religious advocates who want the books burned into flames for its blasphemous content, the fans of the book who proclaim that it is a book of fiction only and should be enjoyed as such, and then the true fanatics who see the story of the book as the truth. I must say, I am among neither of those groups. I have a very different outlook to the Da Vinci code, and I will share that outlook in this blog.

Sorry I will take an aside here. I was looking for some of my previous books to find some references that I needed. I discovered that one of the books I needed is still missing. I hate it when people don't return my books. I hope Ahmad, that if I mention you by name in my blog you would feel some guilt and return my book sometime soon. I hope its still in one piece. The last time I loaned a book to Usaid , I only got the first 60 pages back. I must say that you chose a really good place to rip the book in half; page 60 leaves a great cliffhanger. But the whole point of this is to let you know that I have had a prior interest in this topic, mainly Templar history. And when I had read the Da Vinci code, it was this history that made me intrigued in the book, apart from the codes and puzzles. This real history, as opposed to the fake history (all the controversial stuff) that is rare to see in many books. The book is a good work of fiction.

First I will go over the fake history. Much of what you need to know about the Priory of Sion can be found here. As you can read, the organization was founded in 1956 as a club by a man named Pierre Plantard who's fabrication is well documented. Nearly all historians and academics agree that the Priory is a hoax. The story about Mary Magdalene was first proposed in the book "The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail" which was published in 1982 becoming an instant best seller, it was the Da Vinci Code of the 80s. The authors of the book sued Dan Brown for copyright infringement in 2005 and rightfully so, as the plot behind the Da Vinci Code is fundamentally inspired from "The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail". They should have won the case but they were probably only looking to make some money from the Da Vinci code hype. "The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail" was directly influenced by Plantard and used his "fabrications" as its fundamental source. Simply speaking, the crux of the Da Vinci Code is factually not true.

I have done a lot of research in Crusader history and I find it as a fascinating era. Actually I must say, one of the most historically accurate crusades history movie I have seen in recent times is "Kingdom of Heaven". Except for the historical inaccuracies about Balian (Orlando Bloom), the other characters are depicted accurately. I suppose some artistic license should be allowed to movie makers, after all, they are looking to make a profit and therefore must create something that is entertaining. As depicted in the movie, the Knights Templars are very real.

There is a long history of the Templars, with a wide variety of opinions about them through the ages. The story begins even before the Crusades. They were an influential voice in proposing for the crusades in the first place. Ironically they were absent from the first crusade. Most members came to the Holy Land after it had been conquered by the crusaders. Upon their arrival they established a monastic order and called themselves Knights of the Temple of Solomon and are commonly known as the knights Templars. They pledged themselves to protecting pilgrims on their road to Jerusalem. But mostly they fought in the expansion of their territories. They made their abode on the Temple Mount. Their has been evidence that they conducted excavations under it. No one knows what they found but what is known is that they became very rich. They came back to Rome and after a meeting with the Pope, became answerable to only him. As the Templars grew richer, mainly through their banking activities, the despise for them from other groups grew too, until Friday, October 13th, 1307, (giving rise to superstition that Friday the 13th is unlucky) when all the Templars in France were arrested simultaneously on an order of King Phillip IV of France and subsequently, their Grandmaster, Jacques de Molay was burned at the stake with the rest of the Templars as heretics to the Catholic church. Some of the Templars escaped from France to Scotland where they found refuge under Robert the Bruce (Maybe you know him from Braveheart), who had been excommunicated by the church earlier. Here, the Templars formed a new organization, the Freemasons of the Scottish Rite. It was these masons that built the Roslyn Chapel.

Because of the Templar's residence at the Temple of Solomon, many legends grew about the Holy Grail. People were surprised at the Templars sudden rise to riches, they were also wary of their sudden rise to power and were answerable to no one but the Pope. People attributed their power with the possession of the Holy Grail. It is interesting to note that the King Arthur legend, which became central to the Grail quest for some, was first written during this time by some Templars in French Normandy. The Grail history is very much mingled with the Templar's history, as depicted in the Da Vinci Code.

Roslyn chapel has become the favorite as the hiding place for the Grail. The reason lies in its striking design. The Chapel seams unfinished, unknown if it’s that way by design. The western wall of the chapel is a scaled replica of the Western Wall of the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem. There is also a mystery surrounding what is known as the Apprentice Pillar in the chapel, and the story behind it has become one of the rituals of freemasonry.

There is tons more to talk about. As you can see I have read up a lot on this subject. There are many everyday things we have, whose origins can go back to Templar history. Bank checks for instance being one. Some even say that the Templars knew about America, also Columbus is related to a well known Templar, he even sailed with the Templar insignia, the famous white sail with the red cross on it, a sail that Templar ships carried. But their isn't enough evidence to support that. There is though, a long Masonic history in the US too, the foundations of this country lying on them. The movie "National Treasure" might be familiar to many, our nation's beginnings lie in Masonic culture. There is a whole range of other stuff in the Da Vinci code that is historically accurate, such as the Council of Nicaea, which settled the debate in the church whether Jesus Christ was divine or a man, as proposed by the followers of Arius in Alexandria, and the selection of the canonical gospels.

I guess that was some separation of the facts and the fiction in the Da Vinci Code. There were two main reasons why I liked it, the codes and puzzles being one, and the familiar history that I had already researched being the other. But here also lies the dilemma. Was it right to read/watch the Da Vinci Code knowing that it contained blasphemous content? How does "only fiction" stand when it comes to sensitive religious beliefs? There is a similar recent analogy with the Danish cartoon's row. Freedom of speech was used to argue for that. Many countries banned The Da Vinci Code from its theaters, was that right?

It not everyday that you read books containing mysteries like Codex, Cryptex, Holy Grail and other things that intrigue us. It’s also not everyday that you read books about such blasphemies. I suppose it is this dichotomy that has made the book so famous today. Is it a heretical work trying to undermine Jesus Christ? Or is it just simply fiction, in bad taste?

Disclaimer: Please note that the views expressed on any external site are not those of my own.

Friday, May 12, 2006

O Man!

There was a pleasant surprise when I was browsing for some news on BBC today. There was an article about the Sultanate of Oman [info]. It was so wonderful to have any news about the country because it rarely makes the news. Its a mostly insignificant country and most people have never heard of it. I have spent 6 years of my life in that insignificant piece of paradise and it holds a special place in my heart. There is no other place like it anywhere else in the world.

When I first came here, many people asked me where Oman was. A frequent response I got was, "Is it close to Yemen?" Apparently Yemen had been made world famous after Joey in Friends decided to move there. But the ignorance about Oman is one of the reason why it is so great.

The BBC article talks about it's pristine natural wildlife. The Turtle nesting grounds in Ras-al-Had or the Dolphins by the coast. There is many more to see in Oman. It is a perfect blend of old and new, unlike the bustling metropolis of Dubai in the UAE, only 4 hours away, you can feel the tranquility in the serene capital of Muscat. A place where modern amenities are easily available but the people and architecture still have a traditional outlook. The place has numerous shopping malls, without the crowd seen in Dubai, fantastic hotels, the grandest of them all being the Al-Bustan Palace Hotel which used to be a former royal palace. One of the best things to visit are the 16th century forts, of which there is at least one in each city. These were constructed during the Omani imperial age, Oman possessed an empire running down the East African coast with colonies such as Zanzibar and Dar-es-Salaam in Tanzania or the Baluchi coast across the gulf in modern day Iran and Pakistan. Oman used to be an important country.

But what is of more interest in Oman is its natural beauty, the magnificent beaches, some of which would be among the best beaches of the world, if they were better known. There are beautiful bays, sheltered by mountains on all side and fine grains of sand. Oman is a perfect place for diving, there is a nearby coral reef and the marine life is plentiful and vibrant. Even on land, Oman is a geologist's paradise. It hosts the second largest cavern in the world, large enough to swallow the Great Pyramid of Giza, and numerous other undiscovered ones to cater to all spelunkers. The land is mostly arid desert but the Oasis are a pleasant site. Springs gushing out of rocks create a whole ecosystem and forge channels in mountains. Much of the land is rocky desert but there is also the largest sand-sea outside the Sahara at Wahiba sands. Trips into the desert spending nights underneath the shining stars are breathtaking. But to all those wary of the heat of the desert, there is the southern Dhofar region, a lush green resort during the monsoon season. With waterfalls and scenic cliffs, the country caters for all. And most of it can be seen during the day while returning back to the comforts of the hotels at night.

The only thing better than the place are the people of Oman. They are the most hospitable you will ever find. Unlike the other nations of the Arabian Peninsula, the Omanis are humble and inviting. Perhaps the reason lies with the country not being as oil rich as its neighbors. I spent most of my adolescent in Oman and I believe it is the perfect balance between the old and new, the technology and the amenities of the global village in the serenity and patience of the traditional nomads. It is a wonderful place to live and it is guaranteed to be a place to fall in love with.

Sorry for making this article such a travelogue, but frankly there are hardly any about Oman so I thought it was an obligation of mine to write something like this. And the article I saw today was enough inspiration. Please do comment on what you think of this entry.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

"Crude" Oil

I spent the early part of my life living in the Arabian Gulf. It was a common site for us to see oil rigs, long lines of dozens of huge storage tanks, Even had a couple of school trips to the refineries. We would learn about fractional distillation in 6th grade and then going to the refinery to see the huge distillation column was something. I still remember those visits; I was about 12 at the time. Many of my friends’ parents worked for the oil companies. What I remember more distinctly is the effects of the oil industry.

Living in countries where the price of gasoline was lower than the price of drinking water, by a huge margin, I mean you could get 4 liters of gasoline for the price of one liter of water. The country grew to such a wealth in such a short amount of time. Look at this photo of Dubai, UAE, the before picture is from 1981 and the after picture is from 2001. The difference in 20 years is phenomenal. The Oil producing countries have prospered overnight as it seems since oil was first discovered in the region in the 1960s. But they are not the only ones that have prospered, the oil companies have prospered even more.

Exxon Mobil made a record $36 billion profit last year, a year when oil prices were also at record levels. The price of crude oil has doubled since a decade ago and there seems to be no end to this price rise. How do the oil companies continue to make profits when the price of crude is at record levels? The answer is simple, they have increased the price of refined petroleum even more than required to offset the increased cost of crude oil. Today, Exxon Mobil has become the biggest company in the world, and was it a country of its own, it would rank 27th in terms of GDP. [source]

The fault does not lie with the oil companies though. After all, they are in the business of selling a scarce resource. The fault lies with the consumers who have developed such an oil culture. Why are we so dependent on oil? What will we do when the oil runs out as we have been taught since elementary school that it will in 80 years or so?

The difference in culture is vast between Europe and the US. In Europe, people are taught from a young age about the effects of fossil fuels. Renewable sources of energy are indoctrinated into the minds of young ones. I still remember at least 6 methods of renewable energy from my early years there. They are taught about the Exxon Valdez disaster of 1989. I have been an eyewitness of an oil spill in Kuwait in the 80s. We took a weekly trip to the beach and there we saw that there had been an oil spill the night before. The beach was covered in oil. Seagulls were now black instead of white and they could no longer fly as their wings were too heavy from the oil. That beach took a long time to clean up.

Japanese car companies have been pioneers in developing hybrid vehicles. Never mind the 60 mpg Toyota Prius but a regular Camry also goes 34 mpg. Compare that with a Chrysler 300C which goes 23 mpg or the horrendous Hummer H2 with its 12 mpg mileage. The American auto industry has been slow to shift but they are not entirely to blame. The demand for SUVs and large sedans is still considerably higher in the US. Anyone who has ever been elsewhere would be certain to tell you the difference they see in cars. Smaller 1.8 liter engines are sufficient in most of Europe and Asia. Public transportation is encouraged by the governments, just today the UK government made it free for children under 18 to use the bus. Many towns in Europe have bicycle lanes throughout the city and the central commercial area is often closed to cars. People often choose to walk to the store then drive there and find parking, perhaps that’s why obesity is less of a problem there too.

What steps are you willing to take to reduce your dependence on oil? Are you willing to use public transportation, or even buy a more fuel economic car? Is the extra horsepower of the 6-cylinder engine worth more to you than the price you pay at the gas pump? If you don’t make a change in your lifestyle, don’t expect the government or the industry to make it for you.

Saturday, May 06, 2006


So here I am writing this while sitting at my sister's graduation commencement ceremony. I feel so powerful, knowing that I can write blogs from my phone. I feel kind of like a foreign news correspondent who can send news while on the go. You have to marvel at modern technology you can do almost anything right from the palm of your hand. One more reason why I value them more than other objects such as precious stones. I did read that wikipedia article, kal, about the Diamond-water paradox but I would say that utility matters too. But diamonds should be expensive just for the fact that they are the hardest thing on earth.

Commencement, as to quote spiderman, is the end of one thing and the beginning of another. Sitting here at the commencement ceremony made me remember my commencement ceremony. And along with that, it made me think about school and how much a memorable time of life it was to me. I would love to be a scholar all my life, sometimes I wish I lived in greek times and could spend all my life sitting at the academy and talking to all other philosophers all the time. That type of knowledge contains so much exoticness with it. It also enlightens your thinking, making u think outside the box, think about theoretical concepts that couldn't be pictured before. This proves very useful in the discipline of relativistic physics where you have to conceive thought experiments.

Well my sister's commencement is almost over now and its time for some family celebrations. Please keep your comments coming.

Sent from my BlackBerry wireless handheld.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Motor City

So I am in Detroit, drove here all night and wanted to test if I could post a blog from my blackberry by emailing to it. I guess we will find out if its successful or not. I suppose the elitist here would argue that this blog post is not a real blog post. But since some of u complained that I didn't post anything for two days (that's referring to u bugz) so here is some new content to please u all.

Well the drive here was uneventful, I got the wheel at 3 am and then drove till 7:40 am which wasn't a long drive but the timing was bad. Fortunately I didn't fall asleep at the wheel and thanks to my ipod for that which kept me company when everyone else was asleep. I did fall asleep for a few seconds but woke up without any incident. That was enough to frighten any other sign of sleep.

Being here in Michigan I have noticed how popular American cars are here. Its very rare to see a Japanese car. And every few miles there is a car manufacturing plant. It is very obvious to see the vibrance of motor city here. But I haven't been to the city of Detroit yet, I am told its not a safe place to go. I have noticed a big difference in the city and suburb population here, far more intensified then any other city in the US.

Well all of this will be a waste if this email thing doesn't work.

Sent from my BlackBerry wireless handheld.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Diamonds and Da Vinci

Ok, so I am getting addicted to this thing. Another post in less than 12 hours. But I will try to keep this one short. There are two main topics that I want to discuss, I will start with Da Vinci.

So two days ago, my brother tells me that Google has this Da Vinci code quest, similar to the original webquest. You can see it for yourself by clicking here. I have found some of it to be of a decent intrigue, it is certainly not as childish as I thought it would be. But what I do find so childish is the vast number of blogs writing solutions to these puzzles. I fail to understand why they do that. I mean there are prizes to be won by the first 10,000 people so why would you reduce your chances by helping others? But fortunately the people at Google are smarter than most people reckon them to be and they change the questions from time to time so its not uniform for everyone. But come on people, do them on your own! They are not that challenging, and most of it just means you have to Google it. But I liked the way Google made it, using all the tools Google has to offer, Google search, Google Video, Google Maps, Google Translate, Google Calculate etc. (If you think this is turning into too much Google praise then wait till I write my "I Love Google" blog) So after starting 15 days late, I am up to speed on the quest and solve each puzzle as soon as it comes out. Haven't seen this much hype for a movie for a long time.

Well I went shopping today and it was no ordinary shopping. Went to Macy's and bought some jewelry. Got an 'emerald and diamonds set in gold' set (pendant, earrings and ring) for my sister who is having her birthday on May 5th and who is also graduating from grad school with her MBA degree. It was different shopping for jewelry, haven't done it at all before. But was an interesting experience. Never thought things so small could cost so much, while they don't even do anything. An mp3 player the size of a ring and about the same price, now that would be something worth the value. While I was at it, I thought it would be a good idea to buy something for my mom. I hadn't bought anything for her since I started working so I thought this would be a good time. I got her a diamond ring set in white gold and it proved to be very expensive. What the heck. Good thing I don't have a girlfriend or else I would have ended up buying something for her too. I guess she is just missing out :)

(And I am sure none of you ever noticed it, but its the thing I am most proud off on my blog, that little RSS icon on my sidebar. Please do subscribe to it.)

What's in a name?

First posts are just like any other firsts. Its stepping into unfamiliar territory, going into the unknown, or to quote Captain Kirk, "To boldly go where no man has gone before!" (I quote a lot for some reason, so get used to it.) I suppose I am a little late to join this bandwagon.

This isn't my first attempt at starting to blog. I had tried a few years previously and now I remember why I stopped even before posting my first post. It was so hard to think of a name for the blog! Writing content is not a problem for me. Once I start writing, thoughts keep on flowing in my head in a gentle stream of coherent words and it somehow transports to the screen without going any processing in my head. I don't even read what I write so a lot of times I don't even know what I have said. I apologize in advance for the mess you have to endure. Anyway to get back on track, I couldn't think of a name.

Then yesterday, a friend of mine asked me to think of a name for her blog. That blog can be found at Had to put on my creativity hat for that, realized I didn't have one so had to resort to a makeshift one and it had residual side effects that has resulted in this blog. It was so hard to think of a name though. Wasted my whole day on it! Asked many people for their views on it. Had some good suggestions too. "Monilog" was one of them, a play on Monologue, blog and my first name. There were also "Blogical Error" and "I think, therefore I blog" but I will stick with Silly point until the popular opinion changes (read: post in comments). I intend to write some cricket blogs too, its an intriguing niche market and could prove profitable down the line, but I could never stick to just one discipline.

Then there was the other matter of my own name. For some years now, I have been going around the Internet under the alias of MCMLXXXII. What amazed me most about it was the ignorance people have of that term. I have been accused of everything from explicit language (some word filters don't like the XXX in my name) to being Greek! Most people find that name unpronounceable for humans and resort to abbreviations such as MCM which is what people call me on most forums. Read my profile for more info on my name.

I am new to this blog stuff, don't know how long is too long. Everything I write seems to drag on too long. Maybe I should just be concise next time onwards. And please don't judge me based on my first post, I just wrote this so I could see that my page was up and running. This post is like the Acknowledgements and other such sections you find in a book before the first chapter. But I suppose none of you got that, who reads books these days? They either wait for the movie to come out or would rather just sit home and surf the net, writing blogs!