Photo of the Day (5-21-08)

Although this shot by lecercle was taken in Bangalore, India, I see it as a tribute to all the people who rescue people worldwide–some quietly when no one is looking, and others who just happen to be there when the shutter opens, even though they probably don’t even know it.

If you’ve captured a remarkable moment in the world, send it to Gadling’s Flickr photo pool and it might be chosen as a Photo of the Day.

Plane strikes dog at Bangalore airport, skids off runway.

Enough namby pambying about how Heathrow’s T5 has fallen short of all expectations and fostered disappointment worldwide. In the grand scheme of things, Britain, you’ve got things pretty nice. London Heathrow is one of the heaviest trafficked airports in the world — T5, the largest indoor structure, and once they get it working correctly the security and logistics should be among the most efficient in the world.

Still complaining? Try commuting out of India’s Bangalore airport instead. Their airport has become so overrun with stray dogs that a Kingfisher Airways flight nailed one during take-off this week, destroying the landing gear and sending it careening off the runway.

Four people were hurt and the airplane is a complete mess, while we can only assume that the dog is in worse condition.

So next time you’re fired up because the Airport Starbucks put 2% instead of skim in your extra-skinny-non-fat-mocha-latte with an extra shot of espresso, two shots of almond and extra foam, put yourself in perspective. Your aircraft and airline could be much, much worse.

India’s rich pay to live like peasants

I would never have imagined that the glitz of India would want to leave their mansions and Mercedes to ride in bullock carts, milk cows, feed chickens, bathe in ponds, play traditional village games and fly kites.

Apparently there’s a potential market of 25 million middle class Indians who may be willing to do so. This desire is being catered to by a “native village” built in Hessargatta, just outside Bangalore in southern India, where you pay US$150 a night for the experience to live traditionally like peasants in rural India. Indians who take such trips want to reconnect with their culture and live a life they don’t know of but have heard of from their parents and grandparents.

In most real Indian villages, people live in harsh environments with less than a dollar a day; the irony is that the wealthy are paying a comparatively exorbitant price to get a taste of the “cultural” part of that life.

I’m undecided whether I should be happy that rich Indians — who know not much more than AC cars and shopping malls — want to get grounded and cultured by experiencing the simple life of 750 million poor Indians; or upset because instead of them spending a modest holiday in some real, poor village that will genuinely benefit from their money, they choose to pay a ridiculous price to live in an artificially recreated rural village.