Aaaru - Keep Off

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I suggest you might do yourself a favour from avoiding the Tamil film Aaaru. Violence being the main theme the movie fails miserably. Hari did much better in Saami.

PS: There were days during which I used to argue with my friends that commercial Tamil cinema was better than Hindi and kannada( atleast if one considers comedy and music). But now those arguments will fall flat on their face.

IF..

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If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too,
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream--and not make dreams your master,
If you can think--and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings--nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much,
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And--which is more--you'll be a Man, my son!

--Rudyard Kipling


Inspiring , isn't?

Brain Lara, The Enigma II

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Mike Marqusee in his Column 'Level Playing Field' in Hindu writes

"Lara's artistry blends the spontaneous and the cultivated, flamboyance and discipline, inspiration and stamina. It is irresistibly seductive. Even fanatical opposition supporters sigh in disappointment when he's out early. They know that a major innings by the walking puzzle we call Brian Lara is one of the glories of modern sport, a privilege to behold, whatever the outcome of the match"
same thoughts I intended to put in my post on Brain Lara , but couldn't put in words as
Mike has done.

Maxwell's Equations

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God Said Let ..



And There Was Light!


"To anyone who is motivated by anything beyond the most narrowly practical, it is worthwhile to understand Maxwells equations simply for the good of his soul." - J R Pierce

Inspiring statements that helped me in understanding the Maxwell's Equations better while studying Electromagnetics .

Life Membership Expires On..

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From New Scientist

"David Lake was given a life membership card for the Royal Zoological Society of South Australia. On it were the words: "Life Member. Expires 30/06/2006". "Should I be worried?" Lake asks."

Shamelessly Biased News Coverage

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I can tolerate the endless serials that get aired on TV but not the NEWS on the SUN TV and JAYA TV. Tamil Nadu has been severely affected by the rains and the coverage is shamelessly biased against the parties to which they are loyal. On SUN one just gets to hear the plight of the people and the central ministers visiting the affected places. Not a single mention of the TN state ministers relief efforts; On Jaya it is just the opposite. One hears people hailing the CM for her help, no scenes of despair. The coverage tries to impose on the viewers the feelings of the political parties rather than the affected people.

Brain Lara , The Enigma

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Brain Lara does it again. He holds another awesome record. He holds the world record for most test runs, 11,187. He as well holds the record for the highest score in one innings, 400 runs. He broke this record twice!. In his twilight of his career, he remains an enigma to me. Just as I think his magic is over, he bounces back with a spectacular innings time and again.

Illayaraja's BGM Score

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Listen to the BGM score of the movie 'Kadhalakku Mariyadhai', the climax scene. It is compositions of this kind which establishes the fact- There is none on par with Illayaraja when it comes to scoring BGM.

Jal Jal

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Listen to this song sung by S. Janaki. The film is 'Paasam'. This song is one of my favourites of old Tamil film music collection.

Thoo...

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Image from 'The Hindu'


Last Sunday, I read this musing in The Hindu. The author writes about the spitting habit that has become the integral habit for most of the people in India. Others doing that can be intolerable if you are travelling in a bus and the person sitting in front of you goes on a spitting spree..Thoo...

Though a frequent traveller in a bus , I hadn't endured the experience which the author of the article had. But yesterday was the day. I was in the bus going home from office. The window besides which I was seated had a glass pane for cover but it was common for two windows. I had my window wide open with the night breeze blowing gently. It was pleasant. Then he started. Gentleman sitting in front chewing his paan spit the first time. Nothing happened, the bus was going bit slow. I thought he wouldn't do that again when the bus catches speed but I was wrong.He did it again , this time I was not spared , his bit of thoo falling on my cheek. My friend seated next to me laughed . I kept silent. There was the third thoo. I could n't bear it . I stood and said something murmering, leaned forward and pulled the glass plane covering his window towards mine. He did not stop though, but I was safe.

Why do some people be so unconcerned about others ?

History of AT & T

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Read here a very well written article on AT & T , company which led the revolution in communication . AT&T's history of research and innovation is unparalleled. But now its not into the research and development which was its lifeline .The company is still a telecom giant but more focused on the corporate market.

Movies , Movies and only Movies

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Its festival time and various Tamil channels have 'variety' of special programmes lined up tomorrow. But why is that all programmes on all channels are always centered on movies ? Can entertainment be not provided by other means? Least thought is given to other forms of art. Even on Tamil new year it is cinema which rules. Why not give some space for Tamil Literature?I don't think it is movies alone which is in the psyche of people. I wish things change..

Let Our Life Lighten Up

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Wish you all a happy Deepavali.

Palacode

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This shot was taken in Palacode, Tamil Nadu.

Humour

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Read in the FeedBack column of NewScientist:
Heard by Claire Schoeefler on TV news in rural Victoria, Australia: "Police are concerned that the weapons stolen in the robbery may fall into the wrong hands"

Cricket and its Coverage

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The cricket played between the world XI and the Aussies was not as it was expected. The dismal performance of the world XI spelled the end of the World XI concept. No player in the world XI gave a good performance. Muralitharan did show his brilliance in the second innings of the six day test match( ironically the test was wrapped within four days). Rohit Brijnath has written very good coverage of the test match in the The Hindu. I liked the way he put Muralitharan's efforts in words:

Few moments in sport are as precious as when an athlete embraces perfection even for a fleeting instant, and Murali to Katich for four balls defined it. It was not an over bowled, but composed.

Murali let the ball go, Katich twitched; the ball landed, Katich prodded uncertainly; the ball turned and leapt, Katich looked distraught. Solace of a kind for the Australian was found in a shared embarrassment, for twice Mark Boucher was conned, too, once on a stumping chance, batsman and 'keeper hitting and clutching air respectively. Cricketing death was inevitable, only its method was in question; a ball later that, too, was settled when Katich edged a catch back to the bowler.

Being a ardent fan of the Lankan spinner, the writeup made my day.

Outlook turns 10

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The weekly news magazine Outlook completes 10 years of publishing. I have been a susbscriber to the magazine for the past three years. Outlook was launched as a weekly magazine to compete against India Today which was fortnightly then. Outlook became a strong contender and forced India Today into a weekly magazine. I feel Outlook is slightly better than India Today.And if one needs a unbiased news analysis then Hindu's Frontline would be the right choice.

I regret having subscribed to it many times. It's cover stories some times is nothing but nonsense.And there is one reporter, S.Anand who has written many articles which are controversial. I disagree with his opininions always. He was the one who covered the Sankararaman Murder Trial. Though I don't take any sides on this issue Outlook did a bad coverage on that , it was totally biased.Outlook rarely looks beyond Bollywood when it does coverage on Cinema. Even if it does it is always in a negative sense. It has reviewed only three 'regional' movies Baba , Anbe Sivam and Virumandi . All three got bad reviews.But I feel elated when Outlook brings some special editions.For example it carried a feature on Partition for this years Independence Day celebrations. The other aspect of Outlook which has me being faithful to it is its Letter section. The readers opinions are published unedited and criticisms are giving due respect.

On turning 10 it has published a special edition which is very enlightning.Carries some interesting articles and interviews. Also features many lists of 10 :10 Stories We're Proud We Did, 10 Famous Spats On Our Pages, 10 Lines We Like , 10 of their Worst Selling Covers , 10 people who sued us etc.Above all it had me engaged over the whole week after a long time

Stories of Steve

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I read the text of the Commencement address by Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios.It is very inspirational and thought-provoking speech.A little long but worth reading.Get inspired here.

Science and Aesthetics

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Does explaining the nature in terms of science spoil the beauty of it. Consider the rainbow. English poet John Keats once bemoaned that Isaac Newton had "Destroyed the poetry of the rainbow by reducing it to a prism". Michael Shermer thinks the opposite. In his regular column Skeptic in Scientific American he writes that science and aesthetics are complementary, not conflicting.Scientific explanation for any given phenomenon would not diminish its beauty or its ability to inspire poetry and emotional experiences.I concur with him.Even after knowing science behind it, nature would be as awe inspiring as ever. Science enables us to appreciate nature better.

Bridge and the Traffic

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This image from Google Earth shows the painstakingly constructed suspended bridge.It took three years to complete the construction. The people using the highway during that period experienced hell. And the agony has not ended. New problems have crept in , the traffic near the bridge during peak hours would make one wish that the bride wasn't there.

Richard Feynman

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"Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!" , a book which would give the reader a delightful insight into one of the most exciting character who shaped physics.His zest for life amazes me. A extraordinary physcist who also devoted time to art, safecracking,music and above all enjoyed his life.Hans Bethe had said "A magician does things that nobody else could ever do and that seem completely unexpected...and that's Feynman".I couldn't agree more.

Unnecessary Controversy

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The controversy that has struck Indian cricket is unfortunate. The issue should have been discussed confidentially and sorted out. Now that the differences between Chappel and Ganguly have become public, the news channel are having good time. I hate seeing every bit of news being flashed as Breaking News.

After this episode I don't think there can be any patch up between the coach and the captain.Even if there is a fix it won't last long. One should quit.I am not sure who should go but I think Ganguly should do himself a favour by stepping down, make himself available to domestic cricket and prove his worth.

Partial Zero !

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The folowing humour I read in the FeedBack column of the NewScientist.

“Patrick de Freitas tells us that in Salt Lake City, Utah, water department trucks go around proclaiming they are "partial zero emission" vehicles”

Photos at Flickr

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I have now setup a flickr account and have uploaded few photos that I took
to flickr. Check them here

New Template

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My blog has a new template now. If you have seen my earlier template and feel that it was better than what it is now please feel free to comment.

Freewheeling

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Early morning walk or is it early morning drive ?

England Win Ashes

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Thanks to Kevin Pietersen, England regains the Ashes. Australians have been humbled and I am delighted.


image courtesy : Cricinfo.com

Nalaya CM

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With 'Captain' Vijaykanth's first arasial maanadu scheduled on 14 of this month one can see posters inviting the people to the meeting on every nook and corner of the town. His suppoters consider him to be the next CM of TN. Vijaykanth was also featured in the Madan's Thirai Parvai this week on Vijay TV. He didn't miss the oppurtunity and used it very well as a platform for canvassing.But I don't think his party will make any mark in TN politics if it decides to fight it out alone. The field is there for tussle between Karunanidhi and JJ only and none else.

Unfair Fare

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I commute to my office and back home by the BMTC buses. Three months back there was a hike of Rs 50 in the monthly pass fare. And with the hike in fuel prices , the BMTC officials have announced that fare of the monthly pass would be further hiked by 30 Rs.However the ticket prices remain the same. Seems like I should not use the pass but rather buy tickets every time I do the travel.

Meanwhile the traffic woes of Bangalore is getting worse.Azim Premji of Wipro qoutes thus :

Bangalore is a national calamity in terms of infrastructure .

Visual Tale

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Last week I along with my brother and his family visited our aunt’s house in a town called Kaveripattinam, Tamil Nadu. It was a welcome break to me. After spending a day there we visited our traditional temple (Kulla Deaivam) in a village called Dallapatti. It’s an hour drive from Kaveripattinam. After offering our prayers we were back in Kaveripattinam. The panorama of life that I witnessed during my stay enchanted me. In parts, I will post few of the shots that were taken during the trip.



Nostalgia

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I am tagged by Venkat to recap my past. Here it is..

Do You Remember the Name of Your Very First School?

I did my nursery and my First Standard studies at Sri Ramakrishna Primary & Middle School, Ulsoor, Bangalore.

How about the name of your first friend at school...

Mallikarjun , we are good friends to this day and will be ever.

Who was your favourite teacher?


Miss Anthia who taught us English in our 6th and 7th Standards and Mrs Pushpa Bhaskar..she was my Kannada professor in my pre-university studies.

What subject did you dread the most?


Hindi

Did you participate in co-curricular activities?


Not a active participant
, but I did participate in one quiz contest. My team won the preliminaries and lost in the finals.


Which was your favourite sport?


FootBall was the game that I played each day in my school. Also Leg-Cricket..a form of cricket in which ones leg is the bat and the ball is rolled down instead of being bowled!

Which places did you visit on a school trip?


Nothing. The only place visited with my class was the Nehru Planitorium, Bangalore.


Now, there must a boy/girl whom you hated the most and never wanted to see again in your life, who was it?


None, thankfully.

You must have had a close friend, without whom you thought you could never live and then you both moved on, lost touch and now only wonder in which part of the word he/she must be in…who is it?

Nothing as such..


Venkat, thanks for rekindling my memories of good old days.

Testing Blogger for Word

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This post is published from Blogger for Word . Testing.

The 'Long' Culture

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There is dearth of good talent in Kannada cinema today. Sandalwood was never in good health over the past decade. It largely survived on remaking films, just plain copy of films from Tamil and Telugu. Originality and creativity were alien to the film makers. Things are changing now but for the worse. violence and rowdy culture are being glorified now. The storyline may be original but the content is awful. Sad, it is these kind of movies that have become a rage with the Kannada youth. To mention some of those :

Shastri
Kalasipalya
Mental Manja
Jogi
Deadly Soma..


Deadly Soma has the caption 'Dumidhre Baro'. In the preview of the movie Jogi on ETV one fan of ShivrajKumar aka Shivanna had this to say :

"Eshto jana hudugiyarigai long thegadirodhanu nodidhave!
Adharae Shivannaru Ammanigoskara long hidithirodhu idhae first timu!"

Seven Jnanpith Awards have been bestowed on Kannada.The film makers are not skilled enough, except Girish Kassaravalli , to convert many good Kannada literature into cinema . Unfortunately Kasaravalli's efforts are not commercially viable.

If there is one man who can stop this, he is Dr.RajKumar.
Annavre, dayavittu enadhru maddi.

Ashes

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Test cricket was at its best in the fourth Ashes Test. I hope England wins the fifth test and grabs the Ashes from the Aussies. Is the Aussie supremacy on the decline?

A unique show of respect

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In Bangalore , I have observed that in hotels particularly the Darshini kind of hotels there will be a display of delicious food stuffs . Our mouth should water glancing at the display. The actual menu is different though. But in Upahara Mandir, a darshini in Jayanagar, to which I frequent there is no display of food but there is a line up of literary figures. Eminent personalities of Kannda literature . Kuvempu, Da Ra Bendre, Shivarama Karanth, and A.N Murthy Roa. Also displayed are sculptures of Hampi . I appreciate the owner of the Darshini for caring to respect the giants in this unique way. I think, seeing at the kind of cinema that come out of Kannada film industry there is scant respect for the people who shaped the Kannada literature. Hopefully the efforts like the one mentioned draws the attention of people, while they satisfy their hunger, to the literary works of those men.

What He Said

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Yesterday, in Vannakam Thamizhalagam programme on Sun TV , a Thamizhl pulavar was the guest. I am not sure of his name. He mentioned about a Sangam age poem, a very beautiful one. I remembered reading the poem in The Hindu. The article was about the Tamil Love Poem "Red Earth & Pouring Rain", which was published in the London Tube .

What He Said

What could my mother be
to yours? What kin is my father
to yours anyway? And how
did you and I meet ever?

But in love

our hearts have mingled
like red earth and puring rain
.

The article said ..

"The poem is titled "Red Earth and Pouring Rain". In the background of authors of many works remaining anonymous, in Tamil literary tradition there is this practice of identifying a poet by a phrase or word from his poem. Thus the author of this poem is Sembulapeyaneerar, literally "The poet of red earth and pouring rain".

I liked the excellent metaphor - comparing the union of two souls with the union of the pouring rain and the red earth.The poem has been translated by A K Ramunajan

Image courtesy : Poetry Society

Sri Sivan

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My nephew Sri Sivan. The smile of his makes my day.

My Magazine!

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Click Here.

Google Style Logo

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Click here

Indian Edition of Scientific American

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Indian edition of Scientific American has been launched. Scientific American  is a science and technology magazine published since 1845.Its a magazine which has gained a high reputation for its credibility and authority.In India it would be called as Scientific American India.It is priced at Rs 100 but is available for Rs 80 per edition on subscription and is published monthly. Worth subscribing.

The other science magazine I like most is the New Scientist. I wish even that gets published from India as well.



Nostalgic

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This class photograph was taken when I was in my first standard. Its sad that though I remember few faces, I am not able to recollect any of my friends names. I cannot even recall the class teacher's name. I remember only the school,Sri Ramakrishna Primary & Middle School, which still stands in Ulsoor, Bangalore.

What would each one of them be doing now ? Where are each one of them? It truly feels nostalgic.

I wish I could rewind time and relive those innocent moments of ones life again.

Energy Treatment - Pseudoscience

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Energy Treatment is a practice that is practised by a conman called Sathiyamoorthy.Tune into Vijay TV at 9:00 PM every sunday and you will be surprised to see the talent of his. He owns a device which is nothing but a kind of dipole antenna . He would detect the 'energy radiation' sorrounding ones body and suggest a remedy if there are any violations in the energy distribution. It would suffice to mention one of his claims to rebuke his ideas - he has cure for AIDS! . He has many more things to offer.

It irritates me when I see the innocence of people who fall prey to his tactics. Energy Treatment is just one example of many such programmes that get telecast on TV , especially in Tamil channels. I wish to file a PIL against conmen like Sathiyamoorthy.Is it possible? would the case stand in court?

Check your reaction time

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How fast are your reactions?  click here and find how  quick you are in reacting to events.

Retro Music Collection

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Harry S. Anchan has a website dedicated to good music  . You can find a very good collection of rare English retro pop numbers from 50's to 80's.  You can also listen to Malayalam and  Kannada  songs too.


'Devaru' - questioning the ultimate

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Devaru is a book that questions the existence of power that is known as god. Written by a well known Kannada writer AN Murthy Roa, it is worth a read. AN Murthy Roa is well known for his agnostic thoughts. The author counters the belief in god by laying valid scientific analysis. Explains how the concept of god would have got ingrained in human psyche.

Though I am not a atheist , I found the book engaging. If you have a scientific temper you would find yourself agreeing with the author while reading the book. It does not matter if you are agnost or a believer.

Punctuation Game.

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A woman, without her man, is nothing.
A woman: without her, man is nothing.

Punctuation makes all the difference!. 


Play the Punctuation Game here  and find out how punctuation can make 
a world of difference to your writing.

Currently Listening..

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A foot tapping number  from AR Rehman for Aa Aah , Anbe Aaruyire..but it resembles many of his earlier compositions, nonetheless a good number.

The Fab Five

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Illayaraja is honoured as Isaignani and AR Rehman is hailed as the Mozart from Madras.Are these peans on the two composers misplaced ? Certainly not. Here I list five compositions of each, the fab five, which I think should seal the fact that they are global musical intellects par none.

Illayaraja.

Ithu Oru Pon Malai - Nizhalgal
Kadhal Kavithaigal - Gopura Vasalilae
Ithazhil Kathayezhuthum - Unnal Mudiyum Thambi
Ilaya Nila - Payanangal Mudivathilai
Naguva nayana (Kannada)- Pallavi Anupallavi

AR Rehman

Pudhu Vellai Mazhai - Roja
Anjali Anjali - Duet
En Mel Vizhundha - May Madham
Kannalanae - Bombay
Thoda Thoda Malardhadhenna - Indra

Humour in science

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New Scientist, a weekly science and technology magazine carries a regular feature called Feedback. Its
about humour in everyday science. I quite regularly visit the website and check it out. To mention a example,
Feedback once had this to say :

While shopping in Tesco supermarket recently, Tony Park noticed a section of the display labelled "invisible thread". It appeared to be sold out, but Park wasn't sure.


Numerous instances of humour of this kind and others have been published in Feedback.

There is also a Q&A feature called The Last word. In this readers can send in questions pertaining to everyday science.
The answers too are provided by the readers. One question which recently impressed me was this:
Wheel seems to be a convenient sort of locomotion, then why did not wheels evolve in nature?

A very good question isn't? The answers sent in by readers also were too good. So check out the website and have fun with feedback
and come to know better your world around with The Last word.






'The House of Blue Mangoes' - Tasteful

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For the past two weeks, in my free time, I was occupied with the novel 'The House of Blue Mangoes' David Davidar. I completed reading it .David Davidar has made his debut with this book. I bought this book in the 'Sapna' bookstall in Bangalore. I remembered reading reviews of this book when it was initially published. Critics had showered praised on this book. The book engrosses the reader very much. The story traveses thorough the three generations of a Tamil family.Being a Tamilian myself , it wasn't difficult for me get involved in reading the book. Set in the period of British occupation of India the book throws up lot of things to contemplate upon. What I liked most about is the authors writing of emotional circumstances. You develope a relationship with the characters of the novel and when they die you sense a personal loss.

David is now working on his second novel. A report about the same can be found here.

Separation

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Here we go again..another poem. I like reading poems composed with just few lines. Haikus are interesting but poems spanning many lines put me off , its not that I hate them but I would get tired reading them! Separation is one such short poem that touches your heart immediately. Composed by WS Merwin. Don't ask me about the poet. I know not who WS Merwin is. Happenned to read the poem while surfing the net.

Unfolding Bud - The poem about poem

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Beautifully explained as how the poems reveal their inner meanings gradually as one reads them over and over again.

The Music of the Primes

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I am not too good in mathematics but I love mathematics and I appreciate its significance. I have a great regard for those who are exceptional in this subject. That is the reason I bought the book “The Music of the Primes” by Marcus du Sautoy. The book is about prime numbers, the main theme centered on Riemann Hypothesis. Riemann Hypothesis fundamentally states that there is inherent harmony in the prime numbers, the music of prime numbers. The nature of the prime numbers is not random, as it appears to be. The book was very engaging. I appreciate the authors’ skill in explaining things in a lucid way that even those who are not into mathematics would enjoy reading it.

If you would like to know more, visit http://www.musicoftheprimes.com/

Illayaraja's Thiruvasagam

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Illayaraja's Thiruvasagam will be released on June 30th. I cannot help longing for that day after I read Sujatha's "Katrathum Petrathum" article in 'Ananda Vikatan' magazine. In the article he writes that Raja has created a true masterpiece and that he was mesmerised by listening to couple of compositions.

I am confident that Illayaraja's Thiruvasagam will have the vintage Illayaraja's stamp all over it. However I also pray that it does not fall short of our expectations like how it happens with his work for movies oflate.

Attempting Engineering Services Exam

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I am an Engineering graduate.In my eighth semester I dicided to subscribe for the Brilliant tutorials coaching materials for Engineering Services Exam, year 2005.I was not confident of landing in a job and thought that the days after my university exam I need not waste time but do something worthwhile.I did subscribe.Later there was a surprise, I got a job through campus recruitment .My designation- Software Engineer. I was delighted for I thought it was possible for me to prepare for the exams without any stress for I have a job. But things didn't work that way . Work was hectic. I did not get any free time except for week days. My laziness got better of my interest in writing the exam that I did not touch the study materials which were arriving regularly from the tutorial.

Employment news annouced that UPSC is inviting applications for the Engineering Services Exam 2005. I was in two minds whether to apply not. I decide to write, fully aware that my performance would be worse. I posted the application , a month later I recieved the admission ticket also.

Usually the exam is on three days. First day, the test is to gauge candidate's english ability and current affairs. Second day is objective type test on technical subject. Third day is a conventional type technical paper, just like the university semester exam .

My performance was good in the general ability test , pretty much OK in the objective type test but it was total disaster for the conventional paper. I could not answer even a single question.One rule for the exam was that the candidates are not allowed to exit the hall till the alloted time expires. So I spent time by going through each
question and remembering the semester in which I had come across that topic, lecturer who handled the the subject , interesting happenings during the lecture hours and so on.Thus I must say that though my performance was dismal I enjoyed sitting for the exam for it was reminiscent of my college days.

Test Blog

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This is my first writing, a test blog.