Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Rain Rain Go Away ??

I'm never one to say that, since I love the rains, but its been flooding, and we're wet and tired and hungry....

It started raining at 2 p.m. yesterday, & we were all attending lectures(1st day of classes). By 7.30 p.m, it was clear that if we left lab to go for dinner in hostel, coming back would be difficult.... so we tried calling all restaurants for the next hour to check if they would deliver, but the phone lines were all jammed, and when we finally got through to SP, they said the restaurant is closed cause water has entered the kitchens(!!)

I walked back to the hostel without my umbrella to enjoy the feel of the rain and the gorgeous weather, but when we reached H-11, we saw that the gate was flooded with thigh-level water... rushing with massive speed... almost like a quick-flowing river.

Our watchmen, and the canteen guys had formed a human chain to get us inside the hostel and prevent us from being washed away. I have never been in water that was flowing so quick - almost lost my chappals in the current... and was saved from being washed away only by the watchmen.

When we went in, it was only to realize that the comp rooms were flooded, so was the mess (no food !!) and elecricity had to be switched off to prevent short-circuits in the flooded areas ...

Our council team members though actually fought the current and brought back khichdi from the mess for all of us which we ate by candle light in our drying room... kept worrying where our juniors were, that they got food and all...(our responsibility, after all)

Fell asleep in the dark hoping everyone else was alright... woke up in the morning and went for a lecture in a classroom with water on the floor and no electricity and guess what, the prof conducted a pre-requisite quiz(!!)

All in all, an unforgettable day.

P.S. : 3 cheers to everyone who worked so hard yesterday - Meghana, Shalini, Ruchika, the mess aunties, the watchmen, Vinod, the canteen wala guys, and every1 else I missed.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Juniors

We are officially MTech-2 now, cause our juniors are here :)... We had a orientation session for them - took them to hill-top for the intro session .... Attending the orientation, seeing all of them at Convo hall yesterday, and at LT today morning brought back memories of my own first day...
Has it been a year already? Somehow it doesn't seem like it.

Room Shifting

Finally shifted from a shared room to a single room yesterday.... took me the whole day to sort out my stuff, clean the room, arrange the furniture, and the comp.
My new room has a table that can just hold my monitor.... CPU on the floor :( ... and it keeps shaking, cause it is soo unstable.

I closed the cupboard door a little hard on the first day, and one of the (movable) shelves fell down.... it just happened to be the shelf that had my accessories and deos and make-up and other stuff - all the teenie-tiny stuff that I have ever owned, and it all got scattered through the cupboard... small safety pins in between the clothes, facewash & shampoo behind the books, earrings in corners my fingers couldn't reach... some jewellery is still missing :(

Anyways, the room is quite big, the scenery out of the window is beautiful, and I love it inspite of all the cribbing that I just did. I've put up all my posters, and a rose on the window shelf, and curtains .... and it now feels like home.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Harry Potter - 6

Here I am struggling with my MTech - 1st stage report, when someone turns up in the lab with his very own copy of Harry Potter - 6.

1. Spending 895 for a book - not worth it.
2. I dont have the time - I _HAVE_ to do my report - its not an option.

But I am sooo jealous :((.......can't even concentrate on my damn report right now.

UPDATE : Read the book ... :)) Now back to report writing.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Attitude Difference

London has a bombing - many many people die - the whole of Europe has a 2 minute silence in their loving memory.
India has a bombing - many many people die - India has a 1 day bandh in their loving memory - all businesses shut, shops closed, essential services disabled, violence to enforce the bandh, and many many more people die.

Monday, July 11, 2005

How Nerdy Am I?

I am nerdier than 84% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!

Ok, So I seem to be very nerdy... :((
On the bright side....the site says "High-Level Nerd. You are definitely MIT material, apply now!!!."
Sounds good to me !! :))

Anyways, have my report submission in exactly 6 days, so back to work :)

Sunday, July 10, 2005

No Comments




Courtesy of PhD Comics...of course

The Matrix

Its been analyzed by 10000000 bloggers by now, I know. But we were just discussing about the technology used in the Matrix and when will it become viable, given our current AI capabilites, when Gautham made an interesting statement.

According to him, given the current craze in gaming and 3-D Virtual reality and all that, when the technology does become viable, most people will want to be hooked up to the system voluntarily. When you can experience what you feel like, when you feel like, why live in this boring world at all? Ofcourse, everyone would know how to "break the limitations put by the rules" of a system like that.

Robots would be responsible for maintaining the system, feeding our bodies nutrition and all that - just like in the movie, but people would _choose_ to be connected, and let the robots live in the "real" world.

He finally concluded by saying that "the first generation may not accept it, thinking about their freedom and their rights and all... but by the second and third generation, all of mankind will be hooked to the system. So if I find the idea preposterous, thats only because I'm too "old" to accept new radical ideas like this, and just like all technology, it will be more easily accepted by the newer generation, and in 20 years after its introduced, it will become the norm. Just like it happenend with cell-phones."

Blew my mind.
Any comments??

Saturday, July 09, 2005

HBD

My roomie Neela celebrated her birthday today. We decorated the place up, cut a cake at midnight, some other stuff that is not going to be mentioned here ..... and had midnight food and all.
All I'm gonna say is
"Neels, I refuse to increase ur Orkut scrap count.... :) so - HBDU NBDU :P "

Friday, July 08, 2005

Quotes ....

"Sooner or later we all discover that the important moments in life are not the advertised ones, not the birthdays, the graduations, the weddings, not the great goals achieved. The real milestones are less prepossessing.
They come to the door of memory unannounced, stray dogs that amble in, sniff
around a bit and simply never leave. Our lives are measured by these"
- SUSAN B ANTHONY (1820-1906) American reformer

"I have decided to stick with LOVE. hate is too great a burden to bear" - MARTIN LUTHER KING

"My bounty is as boundless as the sea, My love as deep; the more I give to thee.
The more I have, for both are infinite." - Romeo and Juliet - William Shakespeare


Kisses blown are kisses wasted,
kisses are not kisses unless they are tasted,
kisses spread germs and germs are hated,
so kiss me baby, I'm vaccinated.


T-Shirt Quotes:
Sorry if I looked interested. I'm not.

Don't upset me! I'm running out of places to hide the bodies.

Upon the Advice of My Attorney, My Shirt Bears No Message at This Time

Two rights do not make a wrong. They make an airplane.

The original point and click interface was a Smith & Wesson.

You! - Off my planet.

Well, this day was a total waste of makeup.

Errors have been made. Others will be blamed.

I can't remember if I'm the good twin or the evil one.

If you yelled for 8 years, 7 months and 6 days......
You would have produced enough sound energy to heat one cup of coffee.

How Not To Die

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Cool Blogs


  1. How To Blog

  2. Bout baby Leta

  3. Beautiful Photography

  4. Cooking for Engineers :)

  5. He started using "blog" first

  6. JAM Magazine's Editor

State of Fear

I usually like Michael Crichton books, cause they are interesting, fast paced and with some science stuff in them - be it chaos theory or cryptography or virology.
But his latest book - State of Fear - is somewhat different : It is science stuff with a story stuck somewhere in between so that it classifies as fiction.

So the bad guys are never named, never caught, they do some random "bad things" which the heroes stop, and maybe save the world - actually he doesn't clarify whether the world is saved or not - whether the final disaster is averted or not. There is not a single "character" - only single dimensional people who do whatever they were meant to without rhyme or reason.
Effectively - very bad novel.

But.........brilliant science stuff.
The book is actually about the "global warming" effect - does it exist? Is it as dangerous as everyone says? How good/bad are the environmentalists? How easy is it to "preserve" nature (and what do we mean by preserving nature anyways??). Should we believe all media reports?

Basically, it questions whether global warming is really as big as it is hyped out to be, and in the process makes you question many more things too.

He ends the book with some facts, references etc. etc. and a quote :
"Everyone had an agenda. Except me."

Inspite of the story, I would say : go read it.

MIT Weblog Survey

The MIT Media Laboratory is conducting a general social survey of weblog authors - results to be used in a Ph.D. dissertation ... Bloggers, please go contribute to someone's degree - a nobler cause there couldn't be :D

Take the MIT Weblog Survey

Monday, July 04, 2005

Parivartan

Parivartan Shikshan Sanstha was set up in 1997 to provide non-formal education to children in Sangam Nagar, Wadala (East). This slum is home to around 200,000 people, mostly migrant workers, and the nearest Municipal school is at 45 minute walk. For 2005-06 Parivartan wishes to provide for the education of 100 children.

I visited Parivartan on Saturday along with other members of Aid - Mumbai.

The school is barely a room big right now, the education is informal - the teacher ensures that there is no rote-learning and is interesting enough that students get off the streets and come to school instead. They need resources : money for another teacher, a picnic for students if possible, more formalisation in education (textbooks, teaching aids etc.) so that students find it easier to cope when they r sent to a BMC school, and daily snacks for the kids....
If you can help, there is more info here

I felt very sorry for the kids, though didn't know my stand on the slums themselves - should they be demolished or not (thats a big issue cause the government demolished some 58 houses very recently in that area).

1 part of me feels that working to improve slum conditions is a waste - these people come and live in that slum fully knowing the conditions and if they can live with it, then why should a sane person spend his/her life in trying to improve their lot ? A lot of the homes were soo dirty, and small and had garbage all around, but also had a TV/radio blaring inside. Om Damani who was with us commented that maybe their condition is soo bad that they need to lose themselves in the fantasy world of television, but I felt that if they feel that TV is more important than cleanliness and toilets, then maybe they deserve a world soo bad... Then there is also the fact that when given flats, most of these slum-dwellers sell them, and come back again to live in slums ....

But when I thought about it : if I was born into a life less privileged, and had seen no better, then where would I get thoughts for self-improvement from? As people who have been blessed with good homes, it should be our responsibility to help out those less fortunate - teach them if they dont understand .... fight for them.... they need help soo badly....

Also met some people from TISS on this visit - they were students doing their Masters in Social Work. These were students who have decided to spend their lives in social work - as a profession.... working for only 5-10 thousand Rs a month - trying to help these slum-dwellers.

Thats a life-long commitment. I was inspired.

News From Arnd the World

1. Google Sued for Click Fraud, 38% of Revenue Fraudulent?
The original Story on Yahoo

2. This is inspiring : Ian Turner of Romsey Associates based In the UK went missing on Saturday 25th or Sunday 26th of June 2005 after attending the WebmasterWorld Conference in New Orleans. He happens to be a well-known moderator and search engine optimizer. In 2 days, there was a huge thread on ThreadWatch asking for information from people, providing up-to-date info to others, and even collecting money to hire a Private Investigator.
Anyways he was found in Atlanta - without his passport and is probably back home by now. No clarifications from him yet as to what happened, but it just illustrates the enormous power of the web when used for the good.

More details here and here