Author : Nury Vittachi


Robots are people too

Robots are people too

Jun 04,2017 , 12:21 AM IST | Hans
Legislative officials in the European Union have been trying to decide whether robots are people or not. This is idiotic. Of course they are people. The little robot in my smartphone told me. (Not a joke. I asked Siri if she was human and she replied: "Close enough.")
Chill on transgender issues, but not too chill

Chill on transgender issues, but not too chill

Apr 16,2017 , 01:20 AM IST | Hans
This columnist's teenage daughter explained the latest politically correct views on "gender identity" to her mother and me.
Face recognition robots already making lives a misery

Face recognition robots already making lives a misery

Apr 02,2017 , 01:16 AM IST | Hans
I ran at Olympic speed for a bus but missed it, so I had to pretend that I always go jogging in a business suit and I ended up a sweaty mess a kilometre from the transport hub.
To be famous today, make sure you are bad or stupid

To be famous today, make sure you are bad or stupid

Mar 26,2017 , 02:18 AM IST | Hans
I told a friend that if he scrolled down to the very first Facebook post ever written he would win a prize from Mark Zuckerberg and has been scrolling for three-and-a-half days now.
Headline writer with marital problem advised not to punic

Headline writer with marital problem advised not to punic

Mar 19,2017 , 01:40 AM IST | Hans
My journalist colleague was horrified after his spouse accused him of always speaking like newspaper headlines. "Wife slams shocked scribe," he told me. "Turn to page 5."
Our lives are shaped by errors

Our lives are shaped by errors

Mar 11,2017 , 11:53 PM IST | Hans
About two years ago, I tried to remove a bubble from my smartphone protective screen and accidentally bought a camel. Luckily, I managed to back out from the purchase by switching the phone off and turning around three times for luck, a useful trick I learned from my children.
You hurt my feelings, now make me a millionaire

You hurt my feelings, now make me a millionaire

Mar 05,2017 , 12:46 AM IST | Hans
Emotional distress is when you make a sarcastic comment on Facebook and every single friend thinks that's what you really think, and when you later point out that you don't actually advocate eating the unemployed or whatever, they think you are being sarcastic.
Smartphone apps give you a super-power

Smartphone apps give you a super-power

Feb 26,2017 , 01:13 AM IST | Hans
Dads of the world need a smartphone app that detects whenever a family member is reaching out to buy something in a store and then speaks out loud in a Dad Voice: "Come on, do you really need that?"We dads can't be everywhere at once and modern children seem to have an insatiable appetite to waste money on needless luxuries such as food, drink and the like.
Some folks are legally printing fake money

Some folks are legally printing fake money

Feb 18,2017 , 11:57 PM IST | Hans
My son's high school economics textbook had an interesting homework question: "Why can't you just print as much money as you like?"
Don’t rush to judgement

Don’t rush to judgement

Feb 05,2017 , 01:32 AM IST | Hans
A couple of years ago, a friend accused me of being really slow on the uptake, so I called him last night. “Yep,” I said.
World weirdness quotient is rising fast

World weirdness quotient is rising fast

Jan 29,2017 , 01:03 AM IST | Hans
If I were a woman I would draw one eyebrow way higher than the other and spend my whole life looking wildly sceptical about everything.
How to survive driving in Asia

How to survive driving in Asia

Jan 22,2017 , 01:10 AM IST | Hans
If I turn on the windscreen wipers of a rental car, this indicates that I am turning right or left; please memorise.
7 things that prove the world has gone insane

7 things that prove the world has gone insane

Jan 08,2017 , 12:43 AM IST | Hans
North Korea's government banned sarcastic comments against it (they actually did, this is not a joke); so I sent them an email: "Great idea, you bunch of geniuses." They're sure to thank me.
More proof that irony rules the universe

More proof that irony rules the universe

Dec 18,2016 , 01:31 AM IST | Hans
I think all journalists should end every report with IDK THO LOL ("I don't know though laugh out loud") so people can't sue them in case all their facts are wrong. Clever, no?
Job titles are getting seriously deceptive

Job titles are getting seriously deceptive

Dec 11,2016 , 01:28 AM IST | Hans
I noticed many jobs are in sneaky disguises. About half of them, with titles ranging from Marketing Executive to Account Manager to Chick Sexer to Cheese Sprayer, actually mean "Salesperson".
Strange stories of robbers and their getaways

Strange stories of robbers and their getaways

Dec 04,2016 , 01:50 AM IST | Hans
Police and robbers should agree to a 30-second window between any actual bank robbery and the ensuing chase to give time for both sides to turn their step-counters on. Robber: "Ready, chap?" 
The voice in your head might be me

The voice in your head might be me

Nov 27,2016 , 12:49 AM IST | Hans
A guy having a dispute with nasty neighbours thought of a creative form of revenge. He used the wireless system known as Bluetooth to make six-second bursts of ghostly sound come out of his neighbour's music speakers every night at 3 a.m., or so he claimed in a Facebook post. In less than two weeks, the creeped-out neighbours had moved out of the apartment block.
These accountants are rock stars

These accountants are rock stars

Nov 13,2016 , 01:18 AM IST | Hans
Rap "music" was on my mind when a reader told me about blond Californian rapper Kreayshawn, who tweeted that tax authorities had emptied her bank account but it was all her accountant's fault.
How logical thinking can give you an advantage in life

How logical thinking can give you an advantage in life

Oct 23,2016 , 01:51 AM IST | Hans
Parents who can't control their kids in public are just not using the right vocabulary. I find that the line "Stop that or Dad will dance" instantly turns my children into angels. It's simple logic, a quality sadly missing in today's society. No one thinks any more.
The God of Irony

The God of Irony

Sep 25,2016 , 12:28 AM IST | Hans
Cop: You were doing 20 kilometres an hour over the speed limit. Me: Yes, but you're standing there telling me this on a planet spinning at 1,000 kilometres an hour moving around the sun at 107,000 kmph in a solar system that travels at 789,000 kmph through a galaxy moving at 1,000 km a second. Let's talk about you." (Cop doubles penalty.)
Why drinkers are their own worst enemies

Why drinkers are their own worst enemies

Sep 17,2016 , 11:53 PM IST | Hans
Never drink alcohol before a job interview or you might do what my friend did and confuse the words “lecturing” and “lactating” in answer to the question: “How do you earn your living?”
Childhood misbehaviour finally understood

Childhood misbehaviour finally understood

Sep 11,2016 , 12:28 AM IST | Hans
Someone showed me a somewhat random video in which people put cucumbers near cats and the horrified cats leapt away in sheer terror, sometimes leaping out of windows. Watching it, I re-lived my teenage attempts at dating. Cucumbers: I feel your pain.
Vampires got it right, say scientists studying youthful blood 

Vampires got it right, say scientists studying youthful blood 

Sep 04,2016 , 01:37 AM IST | Hans
My daughters were not really listening to me so I told them that Justin Bieber had just been outed as an alien from the Helix Nebula here to kidnap Taylor Swift. Instant full attention.
Silence is golden, especially now when there isn’t any

Silence is golden, especially now when there isn’t any

Apr 09,2016 , 11:38 PM IST | Hans
A comedian named Dan reminded me that TV used to stop overnight, and it inspired me to tell my children the horrific truth about life in the old days: "And at about 11.30 every night, they would play the national anthem and we would pretend to stand up and every screen went blank. And all screens in the land remained dead until the next afternoon."