Friday, October 16, 2009

"The Art of Self Deprecation" by Don't Knoweth

Ordinarily, I would hate myself for even thinking of doing this. But for things I have done, I frankly don't care. In all probability, this will go unnoticed and into the unseen orphaned pages of the cyberspace discontinuum.

When you started off your greeting, "hi" with the wrong case, I couldn't have been quicker to cut to the chase. Self-assuredly witty was my judgement, "I have to start your sentence with capital punishment."

Without much ado, it culminated in your rhyming epiphany (albeit contextually, in verbal nebulosity)...
"I am your clouds; you are my sea, I love you, and forever we shall be."
No one, and dare I say, no one has come up with that before! Sometimes, all it takes to turn your universe, is a uni-verse.

I am the same person as before, but a Dirac Delta hit my core.
In t, so small, or even zero, such might! The full spectrum, it did excite.
Invisible, may be, and even a bore; but I scream out, possibly more.
If by tunneling, it'd see the light; I'd be a photomultiplier, please be in sight!

Friday, May 22, 2009

When honesty calls

This happened last weekend, when I was flying to Austin, TX. My flight was scheduled for 6 in the morning, and I had a late night before. I was woken up by the cab driver who had come to pick me up for (my temporally unreachable by public transport) a drop at the airport. I packed my stuff and got ready in about a couple of minutes and dashed. At the airport, when the security check was going on, the usual question was asked - "Do you have any liquids, sharp objects or food items in the bag?" Quite to my surprise, my reply was probably the most unexpectedly honest (to the point of being inappropriate) - "I don't know." The security personnel and I shared a very odd look for a moment, and then he said, "I guess there aren't any". And he let me through. Reverse psychology?

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Another one-line post

You know you like computational engineering/science when...

The reflection of tiles on the urinal flush valve reminds you of the regular grid you tried generating (and probably miserably failed at).

Oh, by the way, as this man said, creativity begins in the toilet!

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Social Networking

Recently (read "today") I came across this article. Strangely, it made me think of something that isn't directly related to it, but is perhaps relevant to the topic of social networking, nevertheless.
You might also have seen this image, depicting the possible future of Google. I don't wish to talk too much about Google, as it is something that has been beaten to death by experts online; enough to have spurred a score of conspiracy theories. So let me, for the time being, blatantly forget about the giant named Google and the power of its codes. Instead, I choose to (quite contrary to this) point out a speck in the eye when there's a log in my own (quite frankly, I think that analogy is bogus, and JHC could have used a better one).

Disclaimer (before I forget): I am writing some of my thoughts and opinions about social networking. While I understand that some of the things being talked about may be unethical (yet "legitimate"), and it isn't fair on my part to sling mud, when I myself might have been practicing some of these unethical things.

Talking more about social networking websites, it is simply astounding sometimes, to see how much information there is, online. Furthermore, with the information age, the detail of the information present is equally astounding. Consider this example, for instance - back when you were a kid, the only way you could look back at a vacation you had was whatever everyone remembered, what somebody might have written down (a journal or diary, possibly) and a handful of pictures that the person behind the lens managed to cram into 32-36 frames of the celluloid roll. Today, point-and-shoot digital cameras have made the detail of photographic documentation immense; yet they have brought down the value you would associate with a memoir-image. Before you would re-evaluate the need to take a photo, because you had only so many snaps left, but now you snap away, and end up deleting 80% of what you clicked. People take photos of everything, every event, every going-out-for-coffee! To add to the insult, these get posted on the social networking website. Although this is mostly a social thing, I wonder whether technological aids have made us less skilled at doing certain things. Luckily though, there are so many skills that remain at the same level of difficulty to learn - like riding a bicycle (maybe Nintendo has come up with some weird controller and a game for the wii to help with that too!). I for one, love to appreciate technology and the amazing things it does for us, but I would still want myself to learn more and try to improve my body and mind. So, often I try to find things that techology has made, that makes for a good challenge.

Thinking along those lines also makes me worried about another thing. Living in the US, where the sanitary conditions are so high, will it make my immune system weaker? Eating such amazingly clean and good food (and not eating junk food), will my digestive system become "sissy"? Will I go sick the moment I get back to India? Hopefully, the appropriately tempered body won't have too many issues...

Coming back to the thoughts on social networking, and the detail of your information currently on the internet, it is scary that an independent person on the internet can find so much about you! This makes it very very easy to "cyber-stalk" someone. It may be a dysphemism when writing so, because true stalking would be monitoring every move. For the matter, every Web2.0 social networking page has Feeds to updates from every person, further facilitating this! And the more significant your online presence, the more that can be found about you. Furthermore, the internet seems to provide this seemingly "safe atmosphere of anonymity" that it almost encourages you to divulge details that you would otherwise not! Fortunately, at least your email transactions are not visible to the public. Now, it's not like someone hasn't voiced this out to the social networking sites - privacy is a huge issue, and if I may say, especially so for the fairer sex (for whom the internet is way unsafer than the men). So, they budged and added a lot of privacy options. Still, the awareness level is so less, and there's so much that you can still find out, that it still is a detectable cyberstalking threat. The last part of this video spooked me along those lines. I myself have used information available online to start/sustain conversations with people. You may call this a lame excuse, but this is, in no way, illegal, as the people who have put up their information online have chosen to do so. Whether or not they are aware of it is a totally different story though.

So people, let's try to keep ourselves from becoming just a set of tags.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


This is a question I wish to ask a lot of people (especially the ones who have moved to the US - or, for that matter, moved far enough distances). I haven't had the opportunity to ask many, so I decided to put it up on the blog (makes an excuse for a post in quite a while, but I'm pretty sure it's not going to be of much help).

For people who have moved a considerable distance (or to a significantly different place), how long has it taken for your dreams to move in with you? i.e. how long from the time you moved to a significantly different place, did the new place and people/places/objects associated with the place start appearing in your dreams?

The question is very vague, and I understand it is very difficult for a person to give a proper answer to this (maybe a ballpark estimate would be informative). Not many people have even given me an answer to this question.

For me, my dreams moved in a little less than a week. For one of my friends who gave me an answer, the moving hasn't happened yet.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Another link in the chain

I have been (shiver me timbers) tagged. In a time when (in Don LaFontaine's voice, if you will), despite the existence of a wide spectrum of communication, Canis Minor chooses to be secluded in invisibility (albeit technically); and at some point of time, has to come out of the kennel (not closet) and put the tongue out to gather some moisture (despite ambient humidity being considerably small). Being held together and tied with the morbid leash that is more than just a leash (hint: a leash is a mere fiber in the rapidly growing __ ), the silencer of the bone is dropped from his ever-so-weak jaws, and incoherent barks follow.

The dog gets warned by Jacob the Maltese Poodle (from Charles Dachshund's A Christmas Canine), that there are going to be three T.Rex skeletons that he has to dig up, that will haunt him through the holiday that it is. Here goes.

1. The T.Rex skeleton of Canine Past

Your Oldest Memories: Being dressed up like a girl-child for my first birthday. I had long hair, perfectly reddened henna on my hands, carbon black on my eyes, and was holding a powder tin in my hand. If only I had that photo with me now...

What were you doing ten years ago?: Very competitive days at school. Lots of playing football, post World Cup. Being part of an invincible triumvirate of power in class, yet being socially inept. Never having imagined where I would be now - I had plans to become a chef :-D . Waiting for the onset of puberty - I'd have to wait another couple of years :-P

So much for slurping on those extra-large tail vertebrae...

2. The T.Rex skeleton of Canine Present

Your First Thought in the Morning: (depends on timezone) Waking up to a dream about being in a redwood forest. Continuing thoughts about the history of Spain and how every city there wants to be an independent state. Hmmm, I can't wait to get my hands on maple & brown sugar Granola, with organic non-non-fat (yes, double negation!) Californian milk, fresh Guatemalan bananas and Hershey's chocolate sauce.

If you built a Time Capsule today, what would it contain?: Too much to add - since it's supposed to a "time" capsule, how about all the time that I have lived through so far? I believe that it is important for one to learn from and cherish every moment one has lived through. Reminiscing is one of the great gifts our brains have been endowed with: memory is one thing, reminiscing a much bigger thing!

Jaws not giving away that precious "wish"bone (furcula, if anatomically precise).

3. The T.Rex skeleton of Canine Future

This Year: As much of a clear roller-coaster ride this year has already been, I am counting my blessings. I will continue to do so, to the end of the year, when this lazy dog hopes to take a run and listen to his master's voice, bark at the moon with his brethren, and leave pug marks on wet sand, that will indirectly embrace the cold yet all-consuming ocean. But as Frost said, "I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep..."

What you see yourself doing 14 years from now: Oh, this was bound to happen. The question asked in an interview for which no one ever answers honestly. If it were longer than that, as the great economist Pota once said, "In the long term we are all dead". And be it coincidence, he too has posted to his blog after quite a while! In another 14 years, I see myself as a 35 year old single man, struggling to make his impact on the research world; trying to learn the native language to the obscure location he has chosen to move to; trying to teach what he is yet to learn, and continuing efforts to understand this ever-complexifying (on the outside) and ever-simplifying (to the offbeat observer) universe.

A bit of a snippet: the canine with the T.Rex skeleton of the future (no points for guessing which one is which).
Every bone that comes to the dog, gets the licking it deserves, and is then buried, to be dug out and rediscovered later. Therefore, I don't tag anyone :-P (tongue out for a reason)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Sunny Days are on, and so is Haymaking

I know this is more than cliched, but then, somehow, some of the happiness just needs an outlet :-)
Spoiler (courtesy ~Makam (and the tilde is intentional) ): and now you may proceed...

The day had finally come, albeit under a lot of tension (most of which might have been unnecessary). I had almost never thought out an event before to such maniacal level of detail and exhaustion. But since the stakes are high, I had to plant enough daisies to push. One interesting bit of the boring detail that was unnecessary, but nevertheless planned: if it were (in a finite probability) to be an unfavorable result, I was ready to finish most of the depression in a blog post to have been titled 'The Longest Day', 'A Midsummer Nightmare' and the likes (and I did have an (R-Q) fear that the post titles were ominously fitting the probable negative outcome). As you probably would have figured out, it was indeed perilously close to this.

But ah, fortunately, life doesn't always favor neurotic fears of befitting blog post titles, and hence, it has boiled down to a not-so-perfect (but cheerful indeed) Sunny Days (I certainly don't intend any reference to any book). And now is the time to let 2 months pass by doing nothing. Stay at home, doing nothing, gaining weight to the happiness of parents (and yet, much to my own chagrin). And I can't overstate this, but if I hadn't got internet, I would have been choking by now - it has indeed become one of the primary requirements in life. 'Pah!' it is, to the old Roti-Kapda-Makaan. It might as well be Leftovers-Rags-Streetside but not without high speed internet please! It is quite apt, especially when one realizes one is going to be at the bottom of the food chain for the next few years :-) Hurrah for the underdwellers that we are going to be (of course, god alone knows how the situation would change when you're half a day behind, but history seems to support the assertion).

One of the things that I have absolutely loathed after coming is the apparent hip-value being assigned to FM radio in Cochin. Why would it suddenly become the "new revolution" when the thing was invented and well in prominence decades ago!? One can be rather sure that half the (educated, as it goes for Kerala, as if that makes a difference) population does not have a clue what FM stands for (not that they need to know). Before, when one was travelling by the city buses, one needn't have to listen to anything but for competing musical horns and the constant so-fast-you-can't-make-out-a-syllable shouting of the bus destination and route by the cleaner/conductor. But now, you have to listen to some imbecile blithering nonsense (the redundancy here is intentional, it is that bad) to an even-worse caller calling into the show to gossip about god-knows-what. Oh, the horror! On this note, I can't forget to mention something that passed while watching the excessive advertising that's been given to these stations. One of them is called Radio Mango. I can't imagine who came up with the bright flourescent orange color for a mango (!) for the logo of the station. Please, the last time I saw that was on some highschool girl's (or effeminate guy's) history textbook or on sidewalk advertisements for Royal Circus and the likes. Further, where on earth do you have orange mangoes? Is this mango having an identity crisis? I'm astounded by the amazing advertising skills of the Malayali youth :-)

Some other random thoughts that I add due to impulse:
1. I'm rather sad that The Undertaker is out of the WWE (atleast for now). The man has always been a pleasure to watch (one very noteworthy occasion being 10 minutes before an end-semester exam). Despite his age, the man always manages to get to you with his feats of strength and atheleticism. And simply with his presence in the ring.
2. Hurrah for the Ferrari 1-2. It was fun watching Kimi somehow push the car all the way despite that hideous damage to the exhaust pipe section. I still miss Herr Schumacher, but then you can't deny that there is some class among the present drivers too.
3. As I might have already told some of you being bored on Google chat, college has made me averse to anything on TV but for Sports and some History Channel/Discovery Travel & Living. If I'm watching a movie or a sitcom, I have the compulsive urge to reach out for a non-existent spacebar when I feel like taking a snack, and arrow keys when commercials are on. Computers have sure spoiled us :-P
4. Vettiness prevails!