Ice Cream Sandwiches and Tika Poutine in LA

badmaashIf you ever find yourself in downtown Los Angeles, and instead of turning to Korean or Mexican food, grab some Indian food.  In this fun eating episode of Chef’s Night Out, we get an inside look at Badmaash restaurant owned by brothers Arjun and Nakul Mahendro along with their dad chef Pawan Mahendro.  And you get to know some other neat drinking and eating spots in downtown LA.

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Viral Video Friday: The SlumGods of Mumbai

slumdogsmumbaiNo, this isn’t Slumdog Millionaire but “SlumGods of Dharavi.”  This Guardian News short-documentary takes viewers inside the slums of Mumbai, where kids are using breakdancing as a way out.  We follow the journey of 15 year-old Vikram who wants to be a b-boy star.

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Resistance by Samit Basu

resistancebookI had a blast reading author Samit Basu’s critically-acclaimed 2012 Turbulence novel awhile back, and it got me hungry for his second serving, the sequel – Resistance.  Eleven years have passed, since the flight of BA142 from London to Delhi gave passengers on the plane incredible powers. This was known as the First Wave, the age of the super power humans.  It is now 2020 and the world has changed with many super human beings.  This Second Wave, humans with no powers serve the ruling super power elites.

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Now That’s a Fraking Pencil Collection!

pencils 00I honestly never knew collecting pencils can be a hobby.  My grandfather collects stamps and I collected baseball cards, but this is totally another level of collecting.  This Indian teenager Tushar Lakhanpal loves pencils and he thinks he has over 14,000 pencils from over 40 countries.

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Frankie’s Garage: Datsun is Back … well, sort of …

datsun backdatsun goGearheads and fans of JDM cars will probably remember the brand Datsun and cars like the 510 and 240Z.  Nissan discontinued the Datsun brand here in the U.S. (1984) and now is bringing it back as a budget car brand.

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Interview with “Turbulence” Author – Samit Basu


“Turbulence” is one of the best-selling superhero sci/fi novels in India and was critically-acclaimed when published in the UK last year and now “Turbulence” reaches US shores.  Delhi-based novelist Samit Basu poses the question in “Turbulence” – “What would you do if you have the power to change the world?”  Samit’s superhero novel has it all – action, humor, fun and the right dose of reality.  Our Retrenders team got a chance to interview author Samit Basu on his international break-through novel “Turbulence.”


RTNDR:  I’ve just finished reading the book and I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed it.  For me, it reminded me of old school Marvel comics I’ve read from the 1980s.  What was your influence in writing this superhero novel?

Samit:  It started out as a book about a group of young people, in a part of the world that really needed change, not preservation, suddenly getting what they really want, the power to make that change. But along the way, when I realized that strange physical powers would make anyone in our times think of superheroes, it became a superhero book. So the plot is really its own thing, as are the themes within it, but some fantastic comics I’ve read were definitely inspirations in terms of seeing how superheroes might actually fit into the world and change it – books like Powers, The Authority, Watchmen, apart from the standard Marvel/DC classics.

RTNDR:  In Turbulence the characters mention various pop culture references, like the X-men.  Did you grow up with reading lots of comic books, movies, and sci-fi flicks?

Samit:  No, not really. I grew up in India without those things being available. But I made up for lost time as an adult, after I became a writer, engorging myself on a steady diet of comics, films and TV shows, starting with when I lived in London as a student. Books, though, I always had. But this book is really a post-Internet book; it couldn’t have happened without it, and was deeply affected by it. Now, of course, we get our pop culture fixes in India too. That’s happened over the last decade. For me, it’s been more a process of diving into it and trying (and failing) to catch up rather than growing up with it.

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Turbulence by Samit Basu

turbulenceWhat if you found yourself with amazing superhuman powers suddenly and the ability to change lives and the world around you?  What you would do?  These are the many questions asked by passengers of Flight BA142 from London to Delhi as each passenger mysteriously gains a superhuman ability.


“We want to form a real-world Justice League – of India,” Aman says.


A group of individuals from the flight intersect for a force of change when they realize they have amazing powers.  Aman Sen finds himself with incredible communications skills and his brain is always connected to the internet.  Indian Air Force pilot Vir Singh has the power of flight.  British-Pakistani Uzma Abidi looking to be a Bollywood actress in Mumbai has the power of charisma, making people like her.  A Bengali woman Tia can make multiple versions of herself.  Sundar “The Scientist” Narayan is now an insane genius builder, whatever he dreams, he builds.  And Balaji “Young Bob” Batodekar controls the weather.

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The Art of LOVE

Nidhi Chanani Art Work

I like technology and I enjoy collecting toys, but what I like more is art that says something to our hearts and minds.  My friend Johnny Moreno creates these incredible paintings on canvas celebrating the rich Latino history and culture.  And with Wondercon approaching this month, we should try to hit up Artist Alley and support our indie artists.

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History of Board Games

boardgamesimagePopular board games like Monopoly and Game of Life weren’t the first board games.  Since the days of the Egyptian Empire and up to the Roman Empire times, board games have been around for people to play and have fun.  Seeker explores the origins of board games in this article:  Seeker – History of Board Games.

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