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Showing posts from October, 2008

First pictures by Chandrayaan-1

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Experimenting with animation

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My first voice message on Blogger

I sound horrible! Maybe I should keep my mouth shut and just do the typing!

Diwali was on 27.5

It’s good that today was a holiday as it gave me some time to recover from the high decibels. Check out the videos!

ICICI Bank ATM still defunct

Can you believe it? I thought I had insulted these guys enough and that the ATM would now function smoothly. The contrary has happened. Not even once did I find it working after the mail was sent. Maybe I need to fire another salvo. I’m left with Rs.7 in my purse.

Whenz Diwali?

Going by the fireworks and holiday for companies like IBM, Wipro and Infosys, it’s today.Going by what some folks are saying, Mozilla and holiday for some other companies, it’s tomorrow.Going by the holiday in our company, it’s day after tomorrow.Our office was virtually vacant today. Traffic too was minimal.

FTP

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Working with free web hosting and FTP can be such great fun! I never imagined FTP support could be provided free. Understanding the web (yes, I’m very late) is a lot easier now.I’ll be fidgeting here.

Extreme records

A few days back, we set a new record of travelling office to home in 50 minutes. We set a new record today as well, though at the other end of the spectrum. We took 150 minutes to traverse the same distance!

Did you know?

India had the world’s highest GDP for 1500 of the last 2000 years.

Destination Moon

I launched myself from the bed at 6:10am. Though the early hour is a pain, today was clearly an exception. I put on the TV at once and switched to a news channel. Santosh was awoken by the noise & decided he too must witness history in the making. I impatiently kept switching between the news channels for the ‘best’ coverage, whatever that meant.The weather at Sriharikota luckily wasn’t inclement enough to postpone the launch, though the thick clouds heavily shrouded vision. To top it, the official launch cameras were kept too close to the site (as is always the case), and we could hardly witness anything once smoke started bellowing from the first stage at lift-off. I was teary-eyed for I knew Dad would have been absolutely enthralled by today’s launch of Chandrayaan-1 via the very reliable PSLV-C11. My heartiest congratulations to the scientists at ISRO.I was hoping some amateurs with camera-phones would catch a better launch spectacle. Videos 1, 2 and 3 proved me right. Thanks,…

Opinion

It’s extremely annoying when I find people vehemently criticizing India for pursuing the nuclear or space program. Here’s my say on the BBC’s Have Your Say:To all the myopic people who keep saying that India should be spending money on alleviating poverty instead of pursuing the space program, here's a suggestion: why don't you come to India and tell us what exact formula you have in mind? Do you recommend minting money and throwing them at the poor? Poverty is a malady whose anodyne lies in effective use of resources. One of the best resources we have is in the exploitation of our scientific knowhow. Space exploration is a step towards that end.I could have gone on and on but for the size limit. I hope the hard-pressed moderator clears the huge queue and publishes my say.

A CNN report on Chandrayaan

I’M OVER THE MOON!

MOON
MOON
MOON
MOON
MOON
MOON
MOONThere was a stealth payload in the rocket. It was me!

Mani’s lonesome again!

Mantu lives in Ranchi, Santosh lives in a different time-zone and I live in my own world. Poor Mani, he only has the humble TV for company after work.

Chandrayaan launch at 6:20am IST tomorrow

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I’ll spend a sleepless night!

Apple of the eye gone bananas

Apples cost Rs.60 a kilo?! Do I look like a fool or am I yet to be acquainted with reality? Maybe fruits can be listed on a stock exchange so that ignorant people like me aren’t taken for a ride.I settled for my old favorite: bananas!

Prashant Pings

He’s currently working for an ICICI Bank affiliate company in Ranchi. Naturally, my tirade against the bank for its defunct ATM got the loyalist worked up and he couldn’t help pinging me. It’s always such a pleasure chatting with the slumbering jack! I wish we could get together sometime.

Powerless Clueless Hopeless

We suffered a marathon power cut today with only a few minutes of respite in the morning. The only good thing to meet my eyes was my bedsheet that mysteriously resurfaced in the terrace after a day of absconding.My favorite ICICI ATM was still not working; perhaps you could blame the power shortage. When I visited the ATM 2 days back, it was non-functional as usual…and you couldn’t blame the power this time. I was reassured via email and SMS the last time that my complaint had been forwarded to the department concerned, which, I now feel, is not a concerned department at all.The afternoon was sunny and humid; my slippers were toasted in the sun. Within an hour, it began to rain.

2 days

Mani returned from Ranchi yesterdayMantu left for Ranchi todayI skipped lunch yesterday and had a double-dinner, thanks to Reddy’s birthdayMy bedsheet was stolen from the terrace today

An irony

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Remember the dawn of the 21st century when dot-com companies were vanishing like they never even existed in the first place? One company that thrived on reporting the fall of such sites in a very satirical and hard-hitting manner was FuckedCompany.com. It ran like a blog celebrating sites that fell like a pack of cards. The reporting was so witty and painfully funny, I suspect many an oversensitive founder/CEO of a sinking site must have contemplated suicide after reading dot-com obituaries scrolling down its dreaded homepage.I remember telling Sebastian what an irony it would be if the company listed itself on its homepage someday. I visited the site today after many years and discovered that my prediction had come true!

I want this device!

Aravind Adiga wins Booker Prize

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My time will come!

His Niece’s Voice

Diya’s voice is the most beautiful sound to my ears.Bro-in-law, Didi & Diya leave Berhampur for Kolkata tomorrow.

Serendipitous Mehta

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Having dinner with my roommates and friends is not something I do too often. Not that I don’t like their company (I love it), but I like being by myself even more.Though I already had my dinner, I accompanied the folks today to dig into some mutton. Surfing the channels, I was elated to chance upon an interview with Zubin Mehta on CNN-IBN. Though dinner is always a noise affair here, they realized how engrossed I was and kept quiet for my viewing pleasure. Mehta spoke about Wagner, Israel, Bach, world peace and many other issues. Guys, thanks for the silence!

Tintin

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Missing the gang.

TTK...again

Submitted the courier Didi had sent. Arun, I was told by Ashwini, had left TTK. Back to square one!

December, 1997

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It was late night. I had just reached home after buying my first ever CD player. Somehow containing my excitement, I plugged the power cord and put on the unit. The display lit up. I opened the tray and inserted my first CD, a Naxos. The first track was a Beethoven sonata played by Jeno Jando.I remember everything vividly to this day. Seems like yesterday.

A near-death experience

This may be an overstatement but I figured if Ross (from Friends) can claim that he had a near-death experience just because a car backfired (which he mistook for a gunshot), I’m overqualified to follow suit.Traffic was far less today since most offices were closed for Dusshera. Our driver, enthused by the relatively vacant roads, drove the bus at top speed. While negotiating a poorly-lit sharp curve, the rear-left wheel hit the elevated sidewalk and the speeding bus careened heavily to the right. We shrieked. Dithering for a while, it landed on all fours instead of falling on its side.

The ties that bind

Taking a fancy for anything is the forte and primary occupation of all kids, and I laid stake at them very often. Being a town segregated from the fury of city life, Jamshedpur didn’t have much to lure kids with, but the wandering mind can latch on to anything.Once, the stuff that my dreams were made of was the humble tie. Being an adult with a volatile memory, I don’t quite remember what I found so enticing in them, but I do recall that all I wanted then was a tie.L.G Stores stocked fancy items to satiate the desires that would fire kids’ imaginations from time to time. It was, as a matter of fact, the favorite haunt of anyone with a fling. Notorious though it was for being overpriced, people nevertheless swarmed around it for being better endowed than any other store in Kharangajhar.Dad took me there. The shop owner, lunging at the opportunity before my folly ebbed,  wasted no time in letting my eyes feast on the ties of various colors laid in front of my discerning self.  Choosing …

What a day to choose!

I had to choose today of all days to visit TTK. Luckily, I decided to call the HO before visiting. The recorded voice promised to connect me to an executive…and made me wait for over a minute before promptly disconnecting. Dialing the extension number (of the gentleman who calls himself ‘Mr.Arun’) didn’t elicit any response either. Multiple attempts later, I was suspicious.I called the call centre, only to be informed that the HO was closed today and tomorrow. Cool, but can’t these clumsy creatures send the right voice response on holidays instead of treating them as April 1st?

Affirmative Action

Less bloggingLess news readingLess surfing…from now on. I’m tired of my dimensionless life.

Success!

We tried one last time and consummated the download.

Megs failed

Mantu and I have finally given up after 5 aborted attempts.

The insurmountable megs

It’s been 2 contiguous nights of frustration. Power cuts have made downloading a 600M image file in one stretch impossible since the server has rendered our download manager useless (I didn’t even know this was technically possible).Even trivial things are sometimes such a challenge.

Abhishek calls

Lucky guy, he’s back in Jamshedpur. I’m so envious of him, Subroto and Balraj.Abhishek has promised to send me some Durga Puja snaps. They’re precious already and I can hardly wait!

Beethoven Bust

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One of the things I want to possess someday.

My email to ICICI Bank (slightly altered)

Hello,I’m thinking of consulting a tarot card reader before venturing out to visit the ICICI ATM located right across the street at the HP Petrol Pump in JP Nagar, 5th Phase, Bangalore. Can you suggest a good reader?My several attempts at withdrawing cash from the ATM over the past few months have seldom been successful. If I were to enumerate my success, it couldn’t possibly be over 20%. Today’s trial and tribulation deserves a mention not because it’s extraordinary (it isn’t), but because it’s a sampling of the exercise ICICI often compels me to go through…thereby keeping me physically fit but driving me mentally retarded. I went up to the ATM in the morning, little expecting it to work. To my astonishment, it was working! I couldn’t remember the last time the machine seemed so heavenly. To my even greater surprise, it was actually dispensing money!! I went weak at my knees and my eyes moistened.In my daze, I punched some keys and withdrew Rs.200. The miracle had my head reeling and…

Power cuts and TATA bids adieu

Power cuts have set in yet again and we are getting used to being powerless for a couple of hours daily.Reddy showed up in the dark and told me of the TATAs finally forsaking Singur in the face of protracted hostilities under the banner of Ms.Mamata Banerjee, proof enough that violence can get anything done (or undone) in the world’s largest democracy.

Mani

Mani is on vacation from today and left for home in the morning.

A simple question and a great answer

I asked…What makes religion such a robust institution? It's baffling. I wonder how does religion manage to survive even in the face of mounting evidence that its sacred beliefs are based on blatant assumptions rather than careful observation of facts. How can people's faith in religion assume such unshakeable proportions?The best reply I got…It is quite literally a "no-brainer."  The capability for rational thought is a recent development.  Our ability to form beliefs is much older.  We believe things based on what we have been taught at a young age, and use our intellect to justify those beliefs.  It is very hard to change beliefs.  The brain does not like to think that it has been wrong about something.  In the face of contrary evidence, we will instinctively defend our existing beliefs more vigorously. It takes discipline to recognize that beliefs should derive from facts. That is why the scientific method took so long to be developed, and why it is still so alien…

The greatest thinker of the 20th century

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Of all the people I wish I were (yes, I’m not too fond of myself), Bertrand Russell is foremost. I hope to read as much of his works as possible in the years ahead.

Salman Rushdie unrepentant about Satanic Verses - TIMESONLINE

Article extract:Rushdie says he is an atheist who finds dead religions “much more attractive” but says he has nothing against true believers until their faith spills over into the public sphere and becomes “my business”.Watch video highlights here.