Sixteen web-safe shades of grey

“I think I’ve kissed a prince, Mom. I hope he doesn’t turn into a frog.”

Fifty Shades of Grey

Ever had that feeling where you create an awesome image on your computer and send it out into the interwebz with all your blessings, but it turns out to be total crap when viewed on another computer? Welcome to the 90s. Where princes turn into frogs. Where computers are not capable of displaying all colors and end up showing awful/trippy shades that blind the eye and scar the mind. It was in that time of despair that the powers that be (i.e. Netscape) came up with a bunch of colors all devices and all browsers would be able to display: the web-safe colors. 216 there were decreed, and the world saw that it was good. For a while.

“I feel the color in my cheeks rising again. I must be the color of The Communist Manifesto.”

Fifty Shades of Grey

If I had been informed that a color had risen in a lascivious female narrator’s cheeks, I would have hazarded a guess at red. But since our narrator is so eager to tell us that she knows what color Communism is associated with, we must regretfully inform her that The Communist Manifesto was first published in 1848 and looked like this:

Colors of the spectrum, unite!

For those of us who can distinguish between color and greyscale, let it be known that among the 216 web-safe colors were four shades of grey (other than black and white): #333333, #666666, #999999 and (gasp!) #cccccc.

“He’s not a dark knight, but a white knight in shining, dazzling armor.”

Fifty Shades of Grey

Oh, and here I was thinking she would have got along well with the Dark Knight because –

Batman
The Dark Knight would have risen for her.

In closing, here are the sixteen shades of grey commonly used today (not all of them among the original web-safe ones):

Put on your 3D glasses now!
Put on your 3D glasses now!

So, there you have it. Sixteen shades of grey.

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Ode to Google Nexus 4

Ah, look at it shine, Like stars in summertime.
Ah, look at it shine,
Like stars in summertime.
Disclaimer: This was written before KitKat came and bedazzled us with its ganzamulous and frobilicious awesomeness. And changed everything. Again.

Ah! ‘Tis Android 4.3 Jelly bean,
That hath my heart in its custody.
Its icons clear, its interface clean,
Its touch so smooth it feels custardy.

I never cared much for the smartphone craze,
I rarely felt I needed many apps,
A sudden Google Nexus purchase
Showed me my life had so many gaps.

It knows where I am and where I want to go,
It knows what I like and what I’d prefer;
In fact, there’s no limit to what it can know:
It’s like my own private god-cum-stalker.

But any such telephonic contraption
Is only as good as your network reception.

If on a winter’s night a Rapunzel

You are about to begin reading my new poem,
If on a winter’s night a Rapunzel.
Relax. Concentrate. Dispel every other thought.
Let the world around you fade.

If on a winter’s night a Rapunzel
Finds her long hair in strange loops entangled,
She sits down and starts writing a poem
To distract herself from this mess new-fangled.

The poem has fifteen verses,
The first of which just tells you
How many verses
Are there in this poem.

The second line of the second verse
Has eighteen letters,
While the fourth line is busy
Breaking the fourth wall.

This verse might be true,
But there is no way
That could be proved.
Or is there?

What if this verse was
About a hand
That wrote about how
It had written this verse?

Where this verse ends
There it begins,
Eight words – an octave – later,
Where this verse ends.

The sixth verse began well,
But Rapunzel forgot
To add its last line.

This verse is
The most important.
It’s also pretty pompous
You now realize.

This verse knows
You’re reading it right now.
It tries hard to not show it
But it fails.

This caption tells you nothing about the image.

Eight-and-a-half verses later
Rapunzel is afflicted with poet’s block.
All the verses look the same to her,
Like she’s written the same one eight times.

The verses are gamboling before her eyes,
Twining and twisting in snake-like motion
One of the verses seizes hold of its own tail
And the form whirls mockingly before her.

This verse might seem a bit familiar,
For Rapunzel’s an arrant thief,
And her pale fire she snatches
From the literary giants.

The second half of this verse
Is about the first half;
The first half
Is about the second.

The first line of this verse is unnecessarily, uncharacteristically long.
The next two, feeling inadequate, try to
Catch up. But the fourth doesn’t give
A damn.

Verse, ordered reverse, this
Would you read,
If read you would
This reverse-ordered verse.

The final verse
Poignantly ponders:
‘How much meta
Is too much meta?’

And somewhat satisfied
With the poem she’s made,
Rapunzel starts combing
Her eternal golden braid.

Ode to Marathahalli

Shall I compare thee to sub-Sahara?
Thou art safer, with good power supply.
Yet this is as much a land of terror,
And as eager to be called a pigsty.
A search for palatable food here makes
The word “restaurant” look like a mockery,
And any shop that sells Britannia cakes
Can proudly call itself a bakery.
Koramangala’s hallowed roads and lanes
Do I long for like a jilted lover;
My wistful and nostalgic mind trains
My eyes on the map of Indiranagar
And I resign myself to this ugly
Third world country called Marathahalli.

Marathahalli Bridge
‘Deep is the abyss that is spanned by Marathahalli Bridge, and none has measured it,’ said Gimli. ‘Yet it has a bottom, beyond light and knowledge,’ said Gandalf.