31 August 2008

Another move...., and Nice people..!!!

I have a bad(?) habit of looking at myself as a fool even for small mistakes. There are some situations in which I don't know how exactly I am supposed to behave - when a person conveys someone's regards to me, I am almost always not sure - how to respond. :) - which happened yesterday! :(
[This could be rooting from my perfectionism]

Well, that's not the topic. I relocated yesterday. This was by far the most hectic, but pleasant move till date. My friend and her dad helped me out with it.

There are many people on this planet - who would help others out. But there aren't that many people - who would go out of their way to help others. This dad was such a person. A very nice person. After being with him for a day, I couldn't help comparing him with my own dad. Are all dads like this? -- so helpful?

I have always found it good to talk with elder people - there is always some gyan (knowledge) we get from them. It was no different yesterday. More than the gyan, it is their perspective which gives me different views on things.

After the packing, move and unpacking (75%), I have given today for rest. I haven't eaten anything since morning - which means, I should go eat now.

But before leaving, I have a question (below) for my readers.

I have had this problem a couple of times. When I eat out with my father, and a friend of mine, I would just leave the bill part to my dad. Neither I nor my dad would let my friend pay. But when I am eating out with a friend and his/her father, I am on the other side and I feel a little awkward if I don't pay for the group. I am contradicting myself with my actions - but I find both to be just fine.

I felt a little awkward yesterday! Then I later thought - it's a simple matter; Why do I fret a lot about that. :) Right? [connect again to perfectionism?]

This is a very simple thing. What would be the best thing to do?

So, I am starting to live in a new place - as a paying guest, with a German family. I am eagerly looking forward to the life here! and to the new experiences! :)

Signing off,

PS: The above mentioned friend would most probably read this! So, I better don't praise her much! ;) [Let's call this a double-bluff ;) ]

24 August 2008

Weakened mental abilities and easy blogging

Thinking about the first few days of engineering reminds me of a couple of things - starting from the horrible English of some lecturers up to the following thing. My calculator during bachelors

It was one of those days someone said - "Now, you all can do very fast mental arithmetic. But now since you all are starting to use electronic calculators, you are slowly going to lose your ability to do this mental-magic"

Sure thing... some cashier in some local restaurant in India might do a faster job of number crunching than some math professor here. It's all about using that part of the brain. I wonder whether any professor adds any numbers larger than 100 in his mind. (No offense... professors are intelligent, smart people.. but they never need to do such trivial stuff, that's what I meant. They have more important things to think)

Luckily, I didn't lose that speed of mental math. Or perhaps not as much as many others did. Lucky I. :)

Unfortunately, I fell into another trap. And that is mobile phone.

My present phone Earlier, any phone-number I dialled was stored in my mind. I had to dial a number _once_ and only _once_ and it was recorded. But now, all that job is done by the small little computer inside the mobile phone. That part of brain which used to do the job is jobless and (to an extent .. useless too :( )

It is like cooking - by looking at a recipe book. The food might turn out to be good, but you never remember the procedure. (credits for idea: AJ - a fan of mine ;) )

But as you can see, it is not a bad thing after all. These new technologies are made for making the life easier and they do make life easier.

Now I shall come to the point which is of more interest to us all. BLOGGING.

I remember a time when I used to use the blogger interface to put a post. For making the post really beautiful .. or say, to fine tune it, I had to edit the HTML itself.

Later came better technologies - starting from scribefire to live-writer. Especially after live-writer came along, I never had to think about the processes in the back-ground. Inserting a picture became so easy that I started having a picture in almost every post. Blogging became so easy. [The minus being - only in Windows is it available]

Integration of RSS-readers with Browsers is another wonderful thing (Mac and Windows). I spend more time with Linux than with MS-Windows - but truly speaking - till date Windows is much better for a blog-life - both for publishing and for reading too. :) [Another nice thing if you are entering the blog-world is Google-Reader]

So what is the downside here? Life became easy at the cost of forgetting all those smart things I knew about fine-tuning a web-page! :(

So much for it. Now, there is something else I wanted to write. Perhaps after a couple of days. :)

Signing off, Sands.


22 August 2008

For Another Change

I just shamelessly copied the blog colors from some other blog.

I have anyway stored the old template. If this looks too un-readable, then I might switch back as soon as possible. I am starting to doubt about the readability already.

This is a background color which I have seen in one German blog (Daniela's Gedanken).

Please do opine.

Otherwise, it was an almost night out for me last night. But not surprisingly, I did finish lot of work in a single night (of course, that's why I put a night-outer right? )

Had wanted to write a lot. Really a lot. But too sleepy to do that. :)

Signing off, Sands.


18 August 2008

For a change..

First of all --  a little smile :) ... just for you! :) Now read on! ...

It's been quite some since I read some non-technical book. I cannot actually recollect -- which was the last fiction I read. (the little prince?)

Anyway, for a change, I started with the well celebrated novel - Pride and Prejudice. I started with it after being compelled a lot by someone.

I can totally understand that - the feeling to compelling someone - because whenever I read some wonderful stuff, or watch some nice thing, I strongly recommend those things to my friends. To some of them who are very close, I sometimes even insist on them reading the stuff I loved.

I have forced some of my friends to read a couple of books. Have insisted on them watching some nice shows. I don't know why would we do that - is it just the pleasure of knowing the dear ones too are having the same nice experience we had? Should be it, right?

Well it can't be totally true.. as I was forcing a friend of mine to watch a documentary "Survivors' guide to plane crashes" -- just two days before she was to fly. All my intention was to get her scared.

After watching that one, though ultimately informative, I was really not ready for an air-travel. Also, in all  of my later flights, I avoided alcohol : the reason - to be on the safer side. :)

But actually I really wanted to make her more knowledgeable about the kind of things which could happen during a flight - to bring her too to the safe side.

Well, Back to main topic: So, I started with the book. Usually, I have a threshold of 40 pages  - which means, if I get past 40 pages of any book, I'll mostly finish it. There are times where I reach about till 40 and drop the book and pick it up some other time.

But this book .. I just read through. The very first time I took a break was at 49. All the same, disappointingly, my reading speed is pretty low with this book. It could be because of the real old English (the book is 200 years old) and the different style. I really liked the book. This must be the oldest book I have ever read -- if not considering the epics/mythology. Well... let me finish it soon!

Other than that.. I'd been totally confused lately - like never before. I cannot point out why.. but the confusions arise mainly from the thoughts of "What can I do", "What should I do", "How can I do" -- something for the problems persisting in the world right now, starting from terrorism to gender-inequality to global-warming. Every one should do something .. I too should.

I need a proper action plan and I am making that action plan. In fact, the first post related to these global problems was posted in my Malayalam blog. But I think, I'll follow it up here in the world of English.

Turned out to be longer than what I had intended.

Signing off, Sands.

11 August 2008

People, Friendships, Relationships and... Escapism.

Hats off to life .. again.. and again. Another set of lessons! I might not be able to explain the lessons. But the following are the things I saw around me.

- Friends being drifted off to worlds apart....
- People being confused a lot...
- Escapism helps a lot of them... escape from the problem, escape from the confusing situation.

I am seeing that quite a lot lately - it teaches me a lot too. Like.., What not to do? How not to act? How not to think?

As I had said earlier... confusion is a good thing - it gives you clarity, even though it takes you through troubled times. But don't give up -- don't ever give up. Don't try to escape. Figure out the reason and fight the problem. If everything else fails, fall to the option of seeing things materialistically. Try to look into the future - try to see which action would do what in the future. Plan the actions accordingly. ***

Isn't life so simple? Like everyone else, I do have my fair share of problems, my fair share of demoralised, low moments. Still everything has always looked so clear to me. Even when there were confusions, I could steer clear of them (Not always very easily and sometimes with the help of the below mentioned friend; sometimes other friends too). Still, mostly, I have been able to ... perhaps because I am unknowingly learning from others.

As Vimal said, I have too much time to think. I should give a thought to giving less time for thoughts! ;)
Glad that it's not devil's workshop... YET! :)

Time to sleep. Signing off, Sands.

***: Easily said than done. ;)

7 August 2008

The Red Girl (again)

Red!!!I was not at all like me. Life teaches you new things, every relationship teaches you new things. But, this was totally new - I saw a new face of mine.

After seeing the Emptiness post, the Red Girl asked me - "So you missed me?". Both the times this topic came, I replied, "Not really.. may be a little" - which was more or less true. Because, even though I wasn't enjoying the silence/emptiness while she was away, I knew she'd be back in a couple of days. More over, I am not the kind of person who'd miss people.

But now it is not even 2 hours since she left. I already miss her. It is for the first time in my life, I am showing such a weakness. Really!!

I have never missed even a single person in my life. Never means Never... NOBODY this way.

I myself hadn't realized that this very girl was so valuable! Isn't it surprising? Boy! She is damn sure special.

I know, she will be back in a couple of days again ... but this time is different!

Writing this down here is not going to help me but I cannot help recording such an intense feeling which I am having for the first time.

It was not like me at all, all the afternoon - in the negative side of moods. To add insult to injury, my voice trembled when she was just leaving! :( [too bad... shame on me :( ]

Well, I should change the topic. Or just go ahead and have some food!

Signing off, Sands.

3 August 2008

List of 19..

Here is a list of English non-fiction books I want to read. I am happy that they made to the number 19 - a favorite number of mine. (Some links point to German Amazon website where as others point to the US-website)

Color code - Biology, Physics, Mathematics, Philosophy, non-cateorized,

  1. Selfish Gene [LINK]

    What is selfishness? A vice... or a virtue ... or a trait? I had read a good portion of this book some months back; had to break. Now, I am reading it again... from start.

  2. The First Three Minutes: A Modern View of the Origin of the Universe [LINK]

    The title explains everything... doesn't it? This book too is in my night stand. I might need 2-3 more sessions to finish this.

  3. Spycraft: The Secret History of the CIA's Spytechs, from Communism to Al-Qaeda [LINK]

    Again, the title says it all. This too is in my night-stand. I would take a month to finish this huge-volume.

  4. Physics for Future Presidents [LINK]

    The simple physics we need for day-to-day life - to find out the way the media is fooling us (eg.). And many other interesting stuff.

  5. Astonishing Hypothesis: The Scientific Search for the Soul [LINK]

    Brain theory.... I don't know much to give an explanation.

  6. How to Calculate Quickly: Full Course in Speed Arithmetic [LINK]

    I guess, I am pretty fast at doing math in mind. Still I could try to improve a little. Why not? Right?

  7. The Road to Reality: A Complete Guide to the Laws of the Universe [LINK]

    This is probably the largest and most difficult of the books here - half mathematics and rest physics - I would have to break my head to understand this (eg. Riemann surface and stuff like that).

  8. Consciousness Explained [LINK]

    Well.. Philosophy? I don't know! :(

  9. The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe Without Design [LINK]

    Anti-GOD. And the title explains it again.

  10. Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon [LINK]

    Partly culture, partly biology, partly philosophy and psychology - this is what I would say. A study about/on religionS - not a specific one.

  11. God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything [LINK]

    I don't dare to explain it in other words, when the title says it very crisp and clear.

  12. The Last Lecture [LINK]

    The book by Late. Mr. Pausch - the professor who died of Pancreatic Cancer. Inspirational, I would say.

  13. Bookless in Baghdad: Reflections on Writing and Writers [LINK]

    Again, vague idea. I like this author - Mr. Tharoor.

  14. Quantum Mechanics and Experience [LINK]

    Again physics - need to get QM clarified.

  15. Woman: An Intimate Geography [LINK]

    After all, I need to know the *important* stuff. Shouldn't I?

  16. The Elephant, the Tiger, and the Cell Phone: Reflections on India: The Emerging 21st-Century Power [LINK]

    India .. India .. India! and Mr. Tharror.

  17. Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything [LINK]

    Some basic stuff I wanted to learn - for a better living in these times of financial crunch.

  18. Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions [LINK]

    This could perhaps be the most imaginative stuff; or rather abstract. This could help me understand relativity better.

  19. The Modular Brain How New Discoveries in Neuroscience Are Answering Age-Old Questions [LINK]

    Again, in the same class of
    Astonishing Hypothesis from above.

Well, I am not sure - when will I be able to finish all these books. Assuming, that I finish 2 books/month ... or may be 3 books in 2 months, I'd need about a year+.

Let me see.

There is a list of papers (Math and CS) which I want to read; I might have to forget fiction for a while. Or once in a while, pick up an easy-airport-read and finish it in a couple of days.

Signing off, Sands.

1 August 2008

Not so Perfect Murder(s)

First, let's read a short conversation between Mr. Holmes and Dr. Watson. [Ad. of the Speckled Band]

"What do you make of that, Watson?"

"It's a common enough lash. But I don't know why it should be tied."

"That is not quite so common, is it? Ah, me! it's a wicked world, and when a clever man turns his brains to crime it is the worst of all. I think that I have seen enough now, Miss Stoner, and with your permission we shall walk out upon the lawn." [source]

Recently I read about some murders which happened in Kerala. I am specifically talking about the guys who murdered their wives (respectively) and one of them killed all his children too. I do totally resent the whole affair.

Both of them had planned their deeds beforehand. Well, there must have been a trigger - but they were pretty sure about the murders to be committed.

Now, the surprising thing is that they were caught within a week's time. They had left all the clues/evidences which had pointed to them. As a good citizen/man, I am happy that they were caught, as they should be.

The surprise comes from the fact that they were caught within a few days - was that all their planning was? Shouldn't they have done a little more of homework before doing the thing? Idiots!!

Well, according to Mr. Holmes, then they weren't clever enough. According to me too.

I have always known that I am good at finding loop-holes and at closing them too (if needed). The few times I have got inside our locked home@Nellayi without keys, and some other wonderful experiences at Hyderabad have proven me right. [Those experiences would account for a long post - hence later].

If you are a criminal, before your act, try to get into the shoes of an investigator, THINK WELL and then do it. If you are an investigator, try to do the other way around. That would make you more successful. Don't you think so?

These idiots obviously didn't do that. Lack of competence and efficiency is something which I hate. Hence the post. Even the police officers wouldn't have enjoyed the investigation for the lack of challenge in investigation. Kerala Police is usually pretty good with complicated cases (exceptions are there though).

Enough said. Perhaps I should join the police force .. but if the criminals are this way, where is the challenge? ;)Pathology lab

Well, anyway as I said this much, I shouldn't leave without giving this wonderful link to a documentary from BBC - How to commit the perfect murder. You could watch it here_at_video_google [not for the faint of heart].

Moral of the post: If you do something, do it right. If you can't... just don't do it.

Signing off, Sands.

PS1: I am a good, law abiding, fellow-being-loving person. But this total idiots did make me think about their lack of planning and stupidity; and I wanted to comment.

Clarification: If so, why would I watch such creepy/negative stuff? - because, I am interested in literally everything. Starting from  Atom through Spy in the Jungle, Physics for future Presidents [vid] ,  Dangerous Knowledge [vid], Planet Earth, up to  Cosmic Voyage - touching the different areas including Physics, Mathematics, Nature, Sociology etc.