After twenty years

Used to be one of my favorite short stories and have long since forgotten. I guess when one grows and tries to gather meaning from books and shows, this somehow subtly stood apart. Written in plain words with no complex plots. A story that reminds one of long lost friends and responsibilities with an exquisite undertone of genius. Rather hard to explain now but was distinctly powerful in conveying morality to a little kid once. Enough talk, here you go.

http://www.classicreader.com/book/1745/1/

India Vs United States

No, unlike what the title suggests, this ain’t a war or a competition. It is just a comparison that caught my eye. Literally. Here’s one of the comparisons.

India Vs US Economy

Some of the comparisons are quite interesting and mind boggling. But it is unfair in many cases due to the fact that the results are not normalized based on available land area and/or total population. I mean literacy rate, murder rate and beer drinking capita seem way off, just to name a few. No but seriously, the results are informative and if truly factual, gives a nice overview of avenues for India to improve.

Link via India Vs United States: Economy, People, Environment & Military.

I am very proud on how far we have come and maintained the stability and growth with more than a billion people in a land that’s only twice the size of Texas. And all that, without leaving behind much of the cultural heritage and the vagaries of languages and religion omnipresent in every corner. There is so much I want to do for her, but so little time, before I go to sleep…

1

Tips for texting via email

I just got this in an email. This is useful if you are in front of a computer and want to send a message to somebody without going through the painful process of texting from an antique cell phone (Gaa. I need a new phone).

Anyway, now you can email short messages, reminders, phone numbers and other important stuff to any mobile phone that supports text (SMS) messaging. Note: This might work for only carriers in the US and check with your mobile carrier regarding the charges for text messaging under your plan, of course!

1. Create a new email message.

2. In the “To” text box, enter the cell phone number using the following syntax:
10-digit-number@carrierdomain.com

Here is a list of some major carrier domains:

Alltel @message.alltel.com
Cingular/AT&T @txt.att.net
Nextel @messaging.nextel.com
Sprint @messaging.sprintpcs.com
T-Mobile @tmomail.net
VoiceStream @voicestream.net
Verizon @vtext.com
Virgin Mobile @vmobl.com

3. Create a message of 160 characters or less. You can also attach a .jpg file, if the cell phone you are sending to supports images.

4. Send the email.

And voila.

More dirty jobs, in science

I am a big fan of Mike Rowe, from the “Dirty Jobs” fame and have a fascination to really weird jobs that people have to do, every day, while I sit here in front of my computer, complaining about the compiler spewing out unrecognizable error messages, in a nice air-conditioned room, with a cup of hot coffee by my side. Of course, people do these jobs, not because they entirely like it but most times, these jobs are so specialized that the bang for the buck is usually high. This might particularly true for the weird jobs you encounter in scientific fields.

And yes, all that rant does lead to something sensible. I stumbled on to this video with a description by the assistant editor of Popular Science Magazine. He lists a few of these kooky professions and what it takes in a honest day’s work. Watch it below.

And I remembered, during one of my tours of a nuclear power plant, someone mentioned how they had a problem in one of their spent nuclear pools and a nuclear pool diver came to the rescue to set things straight. I was of course, baffled by this whole idea of a human being submerged in such a hostile environment but later realized, this was another one of those “on a need to do” professional occupations. Here’s are couple of sites that gives more information about the the nuclear divers.

1) Life of a Nuclear Diver.
2) Nuclear Divers, A Definite Breed
3) And to end this post, another great video of a dive walk through inside the Phenix nuclear plant, in France. The audio is in French but the video is worth a thousand words.

Very interesting and that is just way too cool for words !

PI day 2009

And here it is again. The celebration of that beautiful number, the mathematical uniqueness that occurs in our life repeatedly, whether you realize it or not. This is PI day: Mar 14 (3.14).

Since I’ve been doing this the past few years, I’m not going to repeat all the fun facts about PI. But I will nevertheless give you some more interesting facts and links I found recently.

1) The Pi day Sudoku puzzle.

2) Things that equal Pi. Btw, the 360 blog has some really interesting posts and you should definitely subscribe to it.

3) Oh and of course, the recent appreciation of the reverent number even by politicians. Check this out.

4) And if you want to buy some swag for your PI day party, I suggest getting these beautiful PI shaped ice maker.

5) Update: Just found out that old Al’ was born on PI day. How fitting ?! Thanks to Neatorama for the piece of trivia.

Hmm.. Another year. Another day. Time is flying I tell you …

Yummy. Try this Zimmern.

Over the past few months, I’ve become a huge fan of the ‘No Reservations’ show by Bourdain on Travel channel and to an extent, Andrew Zimmern’s ‘Bizarre Foods’. So of course, I’ve also started scourging the net for some really weird dishes to cook and absurd delicacies of different cultures.

But every now and then, I do find something that makes me say WTF ?! And here’s a good one: Tasty treat: Sea otter boogers.

Mmmm… Purple.