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Showing posts from July, 2005

Am I there yet ?

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I had to run some errands at the Mall and decided (in vain, I would add) that Sunday morning seems a good enough time. Popped in a couple of new CDs' and zipped out of my parking lot. Very soon, I was taking the ramp towards the interstate and lo and behold, what I would see is a parking lot in front of me. Yuckkkkkkks, the entire interstate on my side was turned in a three lane parking lot with cars at a virtual standstill. I felt like the boat trapped in a storm and having nowhereto run !! Finally, I managed to navigate slowly to mall (a distance of 8 miles consuming an hour). While coming back (thankfully, it was not bad, I recall Sharath's excellent blog piece on Urban sprawl and my subsequent discussions with him about the traffic congestion and what it means in the long run. Sometimes, I wonder if traffic congestion is the price we pay since we want to live in economically developed areas, closeto work and close to shopping centers.
The basic problem of our society is no…

Is the world really warming ?

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I was "trawling" through the blog world and came across an excellent article by Bjorn Lomborg, a Swedish environmentalist who uses statistics to "dispel" several myths about the environment.
While I personally do not agree with several of his view points, he does make a very interesting case in the article, "The truth about the Environment". He also has a very famous book, "The Skeptical Environmentalist" in which he has outlined a lot more than the core article.
There is an equally well written piece on TAI which tries to bring the "truth" about the "Truth about the environment" HERE. Pretty rivetting stuff. Opinions, thoughts, anyone?


Education in India

An excellent three piece article in the Indian express on the education scene in India. Found this on India Uncut by Amit Verma
Regulating Higher Education

Life goes on.....

While cleaning up my Hotmail inbox (Yikes, I have nothing better to do in life???), I came across this forward from my cousin.
According to the email forward, the original article is from Prashant Patel, M.S. Computer Science, UMass Lowell. However, if the creative license is with someone else, please let me know and I will update my blog accordingly...
Read it and Enjoy !!
It's my roomie lying next to me and screaming. He's mad at my alarm going off at 6.30AM. Well, I can't help it if he sits up all night chatting with his ends, enemies and any other human being having a YahooID! with a half opened eye i saw weakly "Ok.ok...I'll switch it off". I slowly open my eyes, and I see my other roomie standing beside my bed.. bath towel around his waist, toothbrush in his mouth and giving me the look. "Wasn't it your turn to go to Walmart?? We are out of toilet paper!" Great! Looks like a fun filled day ahead.
After some quick formalities in the restroom…

Hypocrisy

After writing my A for Allah, B for Bismillah post, I was accused by one of my friends as spewing hatred against a particular community. I have always maintained that my problem is not with a particular religion, it is actually against "organized religion" of any sort. I have no problem with going to a temple/mosque/church. I consider that a benign activity, something you do if it gives you inner peace. However, when this temple/mosque/church visit converts into a public procession because of which others are inconvenienced, you are crossing the line. Indulging in killing of animals (a common Hindu ritual in several parts of the country) is definitely over the board.

The politically correct way would be to say here "I have several Muslim friends and while most of the Muslim majority is quiet and secular, it is the vocal minority which is to be blamed". However, I don't know a lot of Muslim people and I do not think that it is a minor issue of a vocal rab…

A for Allah, B for Bismillah - The myth of madrassas

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14th century ideas in the 21st century ? Surprised ? Don't be. There are schools offering "Islamic" education where the Quran is the only textbook, where girls and boys are not allowed to mix and in the guise of "Islamic education" regressive policies are taught. To be fair, the RSS run schools in tribal areas of MP and Jharkand also teach A for Arjun, B for Brahma. Like the RSS, the founders of Islamic schools worryabout children growing up " unprotected against the onslaught of the wicked west". Try as might "secular" Muslims try to convince the mainstream that the Madrassas provide a way for Muslims to grow up as confident individuals and mingle with the mainstream, it is a given that these Madrassas are the breeding ground forfuture terrorists.

Terrorists' backgrounds defy conventional wisdom
In his path breaking book"Understanding Terror Networks", Dr.Marc Sageman has produced a groundbreaking study about Islamic terrorists…

My Element is Fire - Yikeees

Was trawling through the blog world yesterday night and came across an "element quiz" on Quizilla. Pretty interesting stuff. Rather than the quiz analysis, what interested me was the pictures in the end. Reminds me of an animation movie I saw long back, Final Fantasy - The Spirits within
Check out my results, My Element is Fire

The Dragon vs the Tiger

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China may win the sprint, but India will win the marathon.
I am often asked, the Dragon Vs Tiger comparisons between China and India. India is always equated with a submissive tiger (or worse, as an elephant !!!). It is true that China heads a great manufacturing empire. Foreign companies pour billions of dollars in China. Everyone from car companies to turbine manufacturers wants a heads-up in China by establishing their own manufacturing concerns there. Foreign investment, both direct and indirect, coupled with availability of plenty of natural resources and cheap labor has propelled the 'Made in China' tag to each and every part of our lives. It is extremely tough to obtain any item anywhere nowadays which does not have the 'Made in China' tag.
The main question to be asked it "What if 21st century dollars are being put into a 20th century power?" Politically, China is controlled with an iron fist by communists who want to maintain the status quo at all cost…

Bathing problems solved :)

I propose to make the pressurized wash a compulsory feature for all graduate students. :)
http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/07/08/rushmore.cleaning.ap/index.html

Biking in Washington DC

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One of the advantages of staying in Washington DC (apart from the museums and the proximity to three
fantastic National Parks) is the Biking. There is nothing more relaxing than you hunched down on your bike, the sweat dripping in your eyes, the wind whipping you on the face and finally the exhilaration of victory when the trail ends. Additionally, you get to see DC up and close. DC is a particularly biker friendly city. The Washington DC Metro (WMATA) permits bikers on all weekends and in most hours of a weekday (except between 7 AM and 10 AM and then again between 4 PM and 7 PM). This allows bikers to access the various trail heads pretty easily.My personal favorite is the Custis trail which you can start from the Courthouse Metro station and snake your way through Rosslyn, Gravelly Point, Reagan National Airport and finally Old Town Alexandria. There are also other "bike-heads" on this particular trail, where you can head off. Try the four mile run or if you are really fee…

MIT Survey

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Pretty interesting from MIT. Should be really interesting once the final results and analysis is out.

Encarta Article - Top National Parks

Wanted to post this link from MSN Encarta for long
15 Most Popular National Parks