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My Kinda Meditation

It seldom happens that while reading one of the numerous books that you will read in your life, you come across something profound that totally resonates with you. One of those moments happened to me while while reading Mark Frauenfelder's book "Made by Hand" (Amazon | Flipkart) . He is the editor-in-chief of MAKE magazine & co-founder of bOING bOING magazine. In his book he quotes few lines by a cartoonist called Seth from his article in The Walrus Magazine:

But drawing and inking are different. They use different parts of the brain. I often find that when I’m drawing, only half my mind is on the work — watching proportions, balancing compositions, eliminating unnecessary details. 
The other half is free to wander. Usually, it’s off in a reverie, visiting the past, picking over old hurts, or recalling that sense of being somewhere specific — at a lake during childhood, or in a nightclub years ago. These reveries are extremely important to the work, and they often find…

TEDxGateway 2011 @ Mumbai

Here is a list of speakers who gave talks at the event today (2011-11-27). The event was held at NCPA - JBT, Mumbai. The list includes links to their websites:
Anu Sridharan | Grass Roots Entrepreneur | nextdrop.orgKranthi Kiran Vistakula | Innovator | CEO Dhama Innovations - ClimaCon | dhamainnovations.comMallika Dutt | Human Rights Activist | CEO of Breakthrough | breakthrough.tvJo Johnson| Member of Parliament Orpington (UK Parliament constituency) | jo-johnson.com
Julia Silverman | Innovator - Soccer Ball Generator | Uncharted Play, Inc. | soccket.com
Raghava KK | Artist | raghavakk.com
Prof. Ramesh Raskar | Innovator - MIT Media Lab | EyeNetra | web.media.mit.edu/~raskar | eyenetra.comIllac Diaz | Grass Roots Entrepreneur | A Liter of Light | isanglitrongliwanag.orgDr. M R Madhavan | Reformer - co-founder PRS Legislative Research | prsindia.org
Narayanan Krishnan | Protecting the powerless - Madurai | akshayatrust.orgRyan Lobo | Filmmaker and Photographer | ryanlobo.blogspot.comMichae…

Spirituality vs. Science

To all Spiritualists: Guys and gals please stop misusing words like "Energy", "Evolution", "Universe", "Knowledge", "Elements" etc. in your literature/justifications. These words have specific and precise technical meanings in science and us scientists and engineers are not going to pay heed to anything you say until you stop manipulating the meanings of those words in whatever you are trying to say. Invent your own words to express the various concepts you have come up with. There are a lot of sweet sounding permutations and combinations of alphabets still left out for your use.


To all Scientists: Stop looking for a precise definition of the word "Consciousness", "Mind", "Soul" etc. Let Spiritualists use them and define them. Stop encroaching on the words belonging to their domain. Do unto others like you want them to do to you.

Paintings on the Wall

Watched Class of '84 at Sophia College Auditorium today.
Followed by a walk along Peddar road and dinner at Cafe Mondegar.
Discovered this on the Juhu Aerodrome Walls today on the way back
Seems to have been done today itself - Sunday, 13th November 2011 - by school kids.
Some of these are really awesome. Proud of you Mumbai kiddos!!!


(Was in an auto returning home when I first saw these, reached home, got my cousin to drive me back there and captured the pics with his Canon 550 - returned home at 2:00AM 14 November 2011 - was crazy enough to capture them fresh!!)














Slide Show and link to all the 44 photos.

Life's Calculus

All emotions are beautiful. But what seems to make life less boring and more exciting are not the emotions themselves, but the rate of change of emotions. The impulse & step functions which cause sudden changes in emotions - "surprises" for example - are the best of them all; they spew harmonics all around and over!!!

Thamba!

Sometimes we ought to STOP and smell the roses (or exhaust in this case)

Chin up bar

I bought a chin-up bar today. Idea is to regain the muscle mass that I think I have lost due to excessive computer use. This rod cost me 650 rupees. There were two cup like discs which had to be fixed facing each other on the door frame. Each had 3 screws to hold it in place. The rubber edges of the rods would sit it these cups. The rod comes with an L key which goes into the hole at one end of the rod. The rod to fixed into place by using this key to rotate the inner cylinder which telescopes out there by increasing the effective length of the rod slowly with each twist. The rubber ends compress against the cups which had been previously been fixed in the door frame. As it is with most things in life, if u tighten something too much, it break - observe the rubber end which buckled under pressure. I think the rod is still safe to use.


Girls are mad, and boys are dumb

Advice to the boy: Abe dhakkan, ek hafta pehle usne tujhe Femina magazine mein kuch dekhne ko kaha tha .. woh Samsung ke naye phone ki advertisement dikha rahi thi aur tujhe laga ki woh uske baju wale page pe money savings ke article padhne ko keh rahi hai.... popat... She is a woman .. women always think of spending, not saving :P

Stuff under a 30x Microscope

If these photos fascinate you, then do check our these photos taken by a Scanning Electron Microscope which have been published in the book Microcosmos: Discovering the World Through Microscopic Images from 20 X to Over 22 Million X Magnification by Brandon Broll (Amazon link)


While you are at it, you may also like: Would dew believe it: The stunning pictures of sleeping insects covered in water droplets

Family Time

Tata Sky+ set top box got messed up today - video was all right but there was no audio. Tried to fiddle with the audio settings of the TV as well as the set top box but couldn't get it fixed. Had to watch Munnabhai MBBS in complete silence while eating food with family. We were having fun trying to remember the dialogs from the last time we watched the movie. Since none of us could remember all the dialogs, we were helping each other complete the lines. It was like family movie karaoke. Should do this often. Discovered a new fun family game. Some movies which are a good candidate for this came (atleast for our family):

Border : "Bhairosingh MMG sambhalo"
Speed : "Harry! Tell me good news, man."
Sholay : obviously..

Leaps

First there was asexual reproduction and evolution chugged along really really really slowly. Then Natural Selection seldom had candidates to select from and push forward beyond the other individuals of the species.


Then sexes separated and evolution leapt forward. The Natural Selection's offices were then overwhelmed with applicants. The ones with superior genes lived longer and passed on their good genes to their children. But in most cases, Natural Selection weeded out the inferior ones by ensuring that they were killed - in many cases by the superior ones, in other cases by the hazards of the environments or diseases.


To ensure that the superior genes replaced the inferior ones, all the individual with the inferior genes had to be killed and the population which remained would then be the descendants of that one individual which acquired the superior gene first.


In olden times, the population size was limited, so it was easier for Mother Nather to cause death of the non superior …

Mars and Venuses

From: Anurag Chugh
Sent: Sunday, June 12, 2011 11:50 AM
To: Upasna Sachdeva
Subject: epiphany of the day..
Women just want to look pretty in every way - Simple.
Men just want big dicks, which I guess doesn't even matter that much to their life partner.



From: Sachdeva, Upasna
Date: Sun, Jun 12, 2011 at 12:12
Subject: RE: epiphany of the day..
To: Anurag Chugh

I don’t think so.
Absolute wants never decide anything.
If you ask anyone absolutely, they’ll even want two or three or four husbands.
Unless and until you have choice… you need to give up something to get something else… you have to choose… you cannot measure the true value of anything…. that is how even monetary systems work…
So maybe women want to look pretty … but am sure a lot of them would trade that for intelligence, or just plain chirpiness… or to be good mom…..
Men on the other hand … I don’t know …. :P

From: Anurag Chugh
Date: Sun, Jun 12, 2011 at 12:30
Subject: Re: epiphany of the day..
To: "Sachdeva, Upasna"

Kaun…

From higher dimensions

Jiddu Krishnamurti's discourses makes him seem like A. Square from Flatland who has been to worlds of higher dimensions (3D) and is now trying to explain and induce the feeling of what he felt about that higher truth to his 2D country men. He tries hard to put all that he experienced into words but it is of course impossible for 2D beings to grasp the reality that is 3D.

Incomplete Brownian

Rainy season is here. Someone left a polystyrene cup out under the tree. There are no stains in it – tea was not its occupant. Vodka seems more like it. A droplet of water slides over the waxy leaves of the tree and falls into it making a plop sound. The water in it seems clear. I think of the restless atoms and molecules that make up the liquid confined by the walls of the cup. Small groups of balls strung together, bouncing off each other, jostling around. Each one alike, yet separate – Kind of like the thoughts in my head. I imagine my brain to be made of water (70% of it must be anyway) contained by my skull - which is also white in colour like the cup. A dust particle – probably a string of dead human cells - falls into the cup. I look closer as the particle moves over the membrane-like surface of water. Brownian motion. The particle reminds me of a Pinball machine – with the particle’s motion likened to the motion of the ball hitting various invisible thumper bumpers on the playf…

tareekh pe tareekh

A day is but a single frame in the film reel of your life. Last day pe play hogi movie tumhare life ki. And you will be the only audience. Let it leave a smile on your face when you take in your last breath. One chance, one take. Make it worthwhile :)

abe! sanskar?

Amit Varma's Article To Hell With Family Values  reminds me of a thought I ones had about KKK soap operas on Indian Television.
Mom discovers medical report which her daughter was hiding from her. Just then daughter  enters the alishaan house. Mom is in designer saree. Daughter in bechari salwaar kameez. Mom confronts her daughter, saps her and shouts, "kahan se muh kaala kar ke aayi hai". Daughter bursts into tears. Mom faces the camera "hey bhagwan kya humne aise sanskaar diye is ladki ko ki aaj hamari naak katwa di!"
I always used to wonder "abe sanskaar diye bhi they kya?"
Khud ke koi sanskar nahin ho toh woh apne bacchon ko kya dega? I think we all need to think before having kids. Of course I am totally unqualified (yet!) to speak on the subject but I think people should spend 1-2 years retraining themselves and modifying their own personality, cultivating discipline into their own lives to prepare themselves to become good parents before they actua…

Different kinds of scholars.

Been having this thought for quite some time. People who have PhD and those who heal people have the same title conferred to them. Seems a bit unfair to me. Besides it creates unnecessary confusion among the general public (Remember Ross from F.R.I.E.N.D.S.).


Khushwant Singh puts it in better words in the last week's edition of his column "With malice towards one and all" which appeared in Hindustan Times:
Professor RC Sobti, Vice Chancellor of Panjab University and Registrar A K Bhandari came all the way from Chandigarh to confer an honourary doctorate on me. Though overwhelmed with gratitude, I feel I must confess my shortcomings as a scholar. I went through school and colleges in Delhi, Lahore and London barely able to pass examinations I had to take. Having such a poor academic record, having four doctorates conferred on me is hard to believe. My motive in writing about it is not a devious way to indulge in self-praise, but to draw the attention to the misuse of …

This is me

Take me.
 .. and a million other imperfections.
Take me. Take me with my Canon 550D 18 megapixel DSLR.
I will show you how imperfect you are, and yet love you perfectly.

The engines that I work on

Saturday has just fallen off the cliff. Sunday has entered the scene and is now trying its best to put up a good stunt. 
No matter how hard it tries to climb the jagged rock wall, 24 hrs later it too shall meet the same fate and fall and end up back in the line behind the 6 other contenders. One hour into the show, Sunday's act was proving to be boring. So I drifted, thinking of the previous one's performance.


This Saturday was different. It was my first working weekend at my third job. Reflecting back on the day, I realised, I had solved three major issues at work. Three issues which had cascaded to result in an irritable bug on the Head Unit of our in car entertainment system - the master microcontroller wasn't able to talk properly to the radio tuner chip. Integrated Circuits and the computers made of them can be made to talk in many different ways, not unlike the numerous human languages. The language of the day was I2C or Inter-Integrated Circuit. This one was invented …

yeh kya bakwas likh daala?

demag ki dahi mein daalo excitement ka masala,
masti karo jee bhar ke, warna nahin hai guzara!


chote se bacche ne dekho hai kya kar daala,
haanste haanste uske papa ka muh hi dho daala!


engineer ne dekho kaisa code hai likh daala,
chalta walta kuch nahin, client ka paisa khoti kar daala!


dekho dekho Nek Chand ne collect kiya hai kabada,
dekhtay hi dekhtay usne Rock Garden hi bana daala!


tumne hamari zindagi ko aisa hai sawara,
ki ab gali gali ghoomte hai hum, kutte sa awara!

Nervous Intrepid Explorer

In the deep dark cave, his nervous head bobbed up slowly, breaking the surface of water - just like how the plastic air filled ball inside the flush tank would when a some man pressed the lever painfully slowly towards the unsure end of the urination.

Aprilwish

It’s hot and I wish I had 16 fingers. 8 on each hand. No, I don’t want wish that I had some extra super human capability over and above the rest of the population. In fact my wish requires that all of the human species have 16 fingers.
A bead of sweat makes it way down the side of my forehead and slides like a glacier over the side of my cheeks. It leaves a burning trail. I hate shaving on summer days. I hate running out of aftershave even more.
I wipe off the sweat and suck on the straw leading into my cold coffee.  Nothing comes up. I suck harder. Cold coffee! What a joke – it’s a mix of super-frozen ice crystals, milk powder and ground coffee bean powder. CafĂ© coffee day Express. I remember Scrooge “Bah! Humbug!”
I reconnect with my train of thought (taking a nanosecond detour there to Sheldon Cooper and back ). The only naturally feasible way – think evolution – for 16 fingers to be possible is if our predecessors – all the numerous monkey species should have had them too! And consi…

Look closely

Look closely at the patterns around you...

..... zoom out a bit and perhaps then you would be able to answer the question "why am i fat and unhealthy?"....

Photos titled: "McDonald's ki maa ki aankh!"

Almost Died

warning: unpolished and a bit incoherent BUT factual story ahead (appended video is totally unedited real life video!!)
incident time: 2011-02-27 --- It was a grand plan. A grand plan to admire the beauty of much much grander one - The Sealink.
We were going to shoot a superb video of it and upload it online. We had done it before.
But this time we wanted to be alone about the bridge. No excited shaking and panning around of the camera.
No juvenile shrieks in the background. Just a serene video exposing the awe and wonder that is the Sealink.

We set out. Me at the wheel, Deeksha shotgun and Nehal in the backseat without a belt. Nehal without a belt.
As a driver I was just 5000 kms old. My car was as old as I was a driver - 5000 kms. I had earned a few minor bumps and scratches over the time but got them old fixed during the second servicing of my new car - A shitcoloured Maruti Swift.
Shit coloured - 'coz I didn't care to accompany my dad when he had gone to book the car. Of cou…