Friday, July 23, 2010

The Marauder's Map

I am sure everyone who is a fan of Harry Potter is also excited by the marauder's map. Harry uses it to find that Peter Pettigrew is alive and roaming within Hogwarts. Later he also uses it to track Draco. How interesting it must be to have such a map! You can map out what your boss is doing, can monitor where your kid is, etc etc. How wonderful it would be if it were true! Alas, indeed it is now a reality, and no fiction! Thanks to the smartphones and google lattitude/maps! One can enable GPS tracking in one's mobile phone and google map automatically updates your position! Even as one is travelling, you can.know which road he is in and if traffic information is available, one can esotimate time of arrival! On retrospection, the old fantasies and so-called magic are becoming a reality. I don't know if these would have been a reality without the yester years' fantasies and wild imaginations. The only uneasy thing about the old fantasy stories is that, people tend to believe that they are true and people of the past really did have those abilities and facilities. Truly, the stories of those days were born out of curiosity and imaginations. Again, curious people these days b
capitalise on science and technology to bring those imaginations a reality. Cheers to creativity and imaginations!

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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Doctrate of Medicine and Neurology

Any higher degree that involves research (particularly, a supervisor) is not an easy job. To complicate it, imagine you have to deal with several people as well. If the people you have to deal with are ill, chronically, and you are deemed to cure them, and at the same time take data for your research. To talk of it is itself head-swiveling for me! And what, my sister has borne all these difficulties and passed her DM Neurology course after a streneous focussed effort of five years. The scholarliness gets infused into your blood only after a great struggle. Salute to the Doctors community who withstand all difficulties and live their dreams to serve people.

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Sync your Microsoft Outlook Calendar with Google Calendar!

One can synchronize your google calendar with your microsoft outlook calendar (click here). So, when using calendar in android phones, I don't have to re-enter my appointments in my google calendar. The sync application automatically does that for me. What more, you can control the information flowing path! You can either choose to update your google calendar with your outlook data, or update outlook data with google calendar, or both ways! Isn't that cool and very useful? But coming to think of it, is Google trying to monopolize? ah...never mind...it is useful, so it is ok. We cannot abandon PC for google, atleast now.
This is how Madurai looks when seen from above.



(The photo was taken from a Hindu article )

One can see the four streets around the meenakshi amman temple. It is for this 'whorl' type arrangement, the city has been conventionally called to have the arrangement of a lotus flower.

The scene would be amazing when you look at it in the night with all the lightings! Take an evening flight from madurai to chennai or bangalore to see this panaromic view! ;-)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

"Talent is just the starting point" somebody said. Yes, it is truly just the starting point. Perseverence and self confidence are the key ingredients to bring a dream to reality. After about two years, my friend's comic has been selected to be one of the best in a comics contest. No doubt his comic story was original, creative and all good adjectives fitted appropriately for his creativity. But it did not gain the immediate reputation he had hoped for. He persevered. Made several attempts to take it to the people in several different ways. And Voila! Finally it got the recognition it deserved. Never give up your dreams!

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Monday, July 19, 2010

It all started with a forward with the message "no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend."
Perhaps he forwarded it to me to indicate/prick/poke me that I have, of late, not been spending quality time as I was drenched in my own apprehensions, anxieties, confusions, aspirations and commitments, slowly letting go the dose of reality and entering a monotonous melodramatic drama.

There's always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend...and so did this saga start at Starbucks. This has been the second time we ventured into such planned unplanned trips. Since it was quite a long time since we met (almost about a year and half), the time was mostly spent on talking talking talking that morning and in the days to continue. Each updating the other of the lived and un-lived moments. For some reason, you get to talk more in person rather than by emails or even phone calls. That makes me wonder what it is that the physical presence does - any quantum entanglement phenomena triggered a cascade event?! Since I had saved time by executing an idiosyncratic plan well-ahead, we had more time that morning. It was then decided to explore the local delights and the downtown Singapore. However, the trip ahead was well punctuated as a result of the explorative nature of our minds. On the way to the destination was the Haw Par Villa which was not in our schedule...but finding it attractive, couldn't resist getting down - pressing the stop button in the bus as the bus was about leave from the stop. So did time pass by there moving around amids the chinese mythological characters and stories of good against evil. Time, though had started moving slow by then, did not fail in its job to induce hunger. Finally towards vivocity again for lunch at Thai Accent. But Vivocity is not a just another place! It has enough retreat for a gadget freak - my companion - that can last more than a day or two! The first target was Best, exploring 3D Tvs, i-products etc. But my hunger somehow realized it was 3.30 pm and was craving for some food that we had to ditch Best halfway to satiate my hunger at Thai accent. Interesting foods. To top it, the Green Apple juice was just amazing! Alrite, hunger satiated...what next? Return to Best to complete surveying the rest of the shop! And from there we slowly moved on to explore Vivocity and to freeze time within the Canon time machine. The phone pouch, the 3-D pictures, sun-activated T-shirts, Sound T-shirts, the pool on the top of the skypark, nothing was left unexplored. Vivocity was followed by Chinatown - Pagoda street - 3 for 10 dollar shops. Well, who can resist buying things over there? Ended up buying interesting stuffs over there. But all these places, we decided not to rush through since our aim was not to 'see' all places, but 'explore' the places that we go. Well, truly, we didn't quite explicitly come to this agreement, but I guess both of us came to an implicit understanding. However, I did nudge a little to keep moving on for the fear of sticking to just one place. Dinner at Chinatown, followed by a walk aside the Singapore River was refreshing. The beautiful night lightings around clarke quay was something I had noticed, but not enjoyed so far. I have enjoyed the evening walks over there though. At the end of these, we decided to explore Mustafa around 1 am. Mustafa, those who have visited it, will know what it is to shop there. It is an ocean of goodies...a one-stop shop for all your needs. A lot of shopping again here.

One might ask, is this all you did in Singapore? Shop...shop...shop? Well, actually yes, the first day was mostly so...but as somebody said, the joy lies while climbing the mountain than reaching the top as such.

The first day needs to be told in such detail because we couldn't freeze much of the time within our time machine - damn the batteries. However, starting the second day, the time machine - the camera - was in full use. So, no details! :-D {alrite, I am getting lazy}.

The five days ran through every minute. It is indeed true that "There's always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend". The trick is to realize and honor it at the appropriate time. The apprehensions of the future will definitely cloud the mind always. But truly, the future is designed by the present. If you want to relish your future, you have to live the present!!

Anyway, here are a few tips for the readers:

1. Don't plan your outings to precise details unless needed (sometimes it is necessary to keep to proper eating schedules, especially if diabetic.)
2. Be a tourist who goes and explores the place, rather than knowing what to do in a place apriori. In doing so, you might miss out some places and some events, but you definitely will explore and relish the places you found by exploring!
3. If it is a short trip, give a vacation to your sleep as well!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Taste of technology

This is a new taste for me. I have always refrained hopping into newer technologies for the fear that I may get too much dependent on it. Also because I always believed in the supremacy of man over machine. But this taste of technology with spica tells me how ignorant I have been. A lot of seemingly impossible and 'magical' phenomena are now real. One is able to manage a huge amount of information in easy and undistractable ways. And the all-in-one nature is quite good. Could follow blogs, could write emails, could check location, could maintain my booklists, wishlists, calendars, tasks etc etc. The main purpose of being connected to home through skype has been missing though! But definitely gives a feeling of connectedness.

All these do not make me additive, but explorative! It does not mean supremacy of machine over man, but man over information! Great going so far! :-)

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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Research is more often a struggle than an enjoyable phenomena. Only on retrospection does it reveal its sweetness and beauty. But by the time you start retrospecting, you have already killed many of your social contacts and disturbed your social life. So, it is very likely that you are retrospecting in a lonely environment. However, if you were to evaluate if you are truly lonely, you find a negative answer. Truly, your well-wishers and friends have never left you alone...they have been constantly monitoring and have been very understanding of your idiosyncrasies. And what more does one want in life more than this care? Professional achievements are a matter of dust before strong relationships.

Perhaps this is true in all careers. We sweat the small stuff and let go the bigger picture. This adds to one more lesson in my life. A lesson taught by experience, the toughest master. :-)

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Wanted: Innovative Mathematical Thinking

http://www.maa.org/devlin/devlin_07_10.html