Monday, January 28, 2008


The problem with switching on your computer is that it makes you stick to it forever. You hardly ever turn it off. You glue yourself to it. You would not have anything to do, but still you would sit in front of it, pretending to be busy doing something. If you are watching TV, you can atleast turn it off instantly and walk away. But your computer puts a spell on you - always. Have you ever turned on your computer, checked emails, and then turned it back off instantly? I am sure you have not.

New Soul

Have you watched the Mac Air commercial? Nice song, ya? It's called New Soul, sung by Yael naim.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


My profile has been edited. I am not in Normal, IL aymore. I am not a student anymore.
Reached Ames, IA just two days ago. I have not been really able to admire the beauty of this town (I get this feeling that it's beautiful, that is why) simply because the entire town is covered with snow. The roads have not been cleared properly because it just doesn't stop snowing here. Nevertheless, the snow should melt and all the trees should come back to life in a few months (!).

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Blidget, Anyone?

So really, I don't know what I did. I was on a few minutes ago, and was just generally playing with all the widgets (digression - pay attention to the sentence "playing with all the widgets". What would happen if I turn the "w" in widgets upside down? Now I become a politically incorrect, perverted bastard who loves to have sex with little people). I was playing some really cool games there, when I saw a link that said "immediately turn your blog into a blidget". Now I do not know what in the world a fudging blidget is, so I decided to give it a shot. I did something - and it made something. I do not know how to describe it, but I guess it made my blog's widget and called it a blidget (without the log's - if you know what I mean).
Anyway, You can find the blidget here, and if for some strange reason you decide to install my "blidget" , you know where to go. But for God's sake, please don't think that I am trying to promote my blog or whatever. The blidget is a result of an experiment/accident, and I am just sharing the reults with you all.

Monday, January 14, 2008


Decided today to check what Sam Fisher is up to and got to know that Double Agent's successor is going to be out this year in the second quarter (stale news, but I got to know about it just today). It is called Splinter Cell: Conviction, and is being made exclusively for the XBox 360 and Windows platforms.
Apparently, Anna is in trouble this time.
Those of you who have not played Double Agent, Fisher is now an escaped convict, and the government is desperately trying to catch him. In this installment Sam would not have his trademark goggles (he is on the run, so has limited resources) and his SC-20K rifle, which is sad. But he has sixth sense now, so he can smell any cop/guard following him, even if they are not visible to him. He also has a sub machine gun hidden under his hood.
The crowd in the immediate environment reacts to sam's actions. If he does something funny, somebody from the crowd may attack him, or call for help.
For details, read this article on Wikipedia.

Background - Previous blog post.
Ms. Kathuria has been kind enough to appreciate my post on her contributions to education. After interacting with her (read her comments on blogboard) I get this feeling that even I should do something for the kids, community, whoever or whatever. Of course, I understand that I should not expect anything in return. I don't want recognition - no awards, no nothing. I just want my efforts to bring some kind of relief/support to someone somewhere. But of course, "talent" is a pre-requisite, which I totally lack. Nevertheless, let me see what I can do.
Just so you know, Ms. Kathuria has also networked with various teachers like her and started a website here: If you are a passionate teacher who is dedicated and wants to contribute to society, you may contact her here. I have also added her blog link under "Buddy Blogs" on this blog.

Video Games

Was watching "Game On: Video Games" on CNBC and got to know some very interesting facts.

- Did you know that Japan had to mint many new 100 yen coins because so many were inside Space Invader machines.
- The origin of Pac-Man: The team that created Pac-Man went to eat pizza at a nearby pizza joint (before Pac-man was created, that is). The moment the pizza was delivered, somebody took the first slice and the remaining part of the pizza inspired the team to create Pac-man.
- Did you know how Donkey Kong was given that name? According to the Japanese creator of this game, he wanted to name the game dumb monkey. Now Kong is the word for monkey in Japanese, and somebody had told the creator that in English, a dumb person is also called a donkey. He joined the two words and named the video game "Donkey Kong".
- Tetris was the first game introduced on the Game Boy.
- Sonic the hedgeHog helped Sega bounce back in the video games market. By 1992, Sega had captured 52% of the video games market.
-The Sony PlayStation (in the 90s) was outselling the top 5 PC makers combined.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008


Warning: Explicit Content ;)!
Was watching The Big Bang Theory last night and was enlightened about a tiny little hindi slang word that I was just not aware of. Here are a few dialogs from that episode that will help you understand what i am really referring to:
Dialog 1 (Raj's parents are voice chatting with him from New Delhi (lol!). They recently got a brand new broadband connection (lol again!):
Raj's mom: "Do you remember Lalita Gupta?"
Raj: "That little fat girl who used to kick me in the samosas and call me untouchable?"
Dialog 2 (this is after Raj met Lalita Gupta. His parents are voice chatting with him again to know how it went):
Raj's mom: "You are wearing the boxers that we sent you, aren't you Rajesh?"
Raj: "Yes mummy."
Raj's Mom: "Because you know what happens to the samosas when you wear the tidy whities.."
Raj: "Can you please stop talking about my testicles?"
And there it was. I suddenly realized that testicles are (now?) called Samosas in hindi slang! I was dumbfounded, stupified, and laughed my lungs out! Samosas? Boy! Who would have though of that.
Did you guys know that Testicles are reffered to as Samosas? Please tell me I am not ignorant. Please tell me this is something new.
How could that word be not part of my dictionary? How did all my friends not use that word at all during daily life conversation? I thought I knew all the bad words, but I guess I was wrong! Did my ignorance/apathy/ennui discourage me from updating my already stunted vocabulary? Was I hanging around with the wrong people? (lol!)
I am sure the new generation kids from India came up with this word. However, I must admit that I found this word absolutely hilarious!!

Monday, January 07, 2008

War, and More

Last saturday we went to the Arlington National Cemetery in the DC area. More than 300,000 US soldiers KIA have been buried here. Well to be honest, we went there as tourists, probably wanting take pictures and all, but the moment you enter the site, you get a very different feeling. It is, well, not eerie, but silent, very silent. You see graves everywhere. Every tombstone has the name of the buried soldier, the war they fought in, and their birth and death date.
It's a very long walk inside the cemetery. You can either walk or take a bus ride. My sister wanted me not to take pictures inside as a mark of respect to the dead. I agreed. I got this picture from Wikipedia so that you all could get a glimpse.

At the end of the cemetery is the Tomb of the Unknowns - for those soldiers who could not be identified. The tomb is guarded all the times by a guard. During winter times, the guard changes every hour and during summer time, every half hour. It seems like guarding the Tomb of the Unknowns is a big honor. A short ceremony is conducted every hour (or half hour) when the guard changes, and both the relief commander and the oncoming guard are required for the "guard change" to take place. Read more about it here.

On our way back we stopped at John F. Kennedy's grave, which is also in the Arlington National Cemetery. Just so you know, you can see the Pentagon right across JFK's grave.

From the cemetery we went to the Iwo Jima Memorial, which is dedicated to all the soldiers who have sacrificed their lives in wars since 1775. It is a beautiful (and extremely huge) statue based on the photo clicked by Joe Rosenthal when marines raised the American flag during the Battle of Iwo Jima.

The statue looks very elegant and life-like. It has been so beautifully sculptured that you can actually see the creases on the soldiers' pants. And of course, it is huge. You have to see it to believe how huge it is. When you look at the soldiers you immediately understand how tough the battle was, and how desperately they were waiting to raise the flag, announce victory and end four days of dreadful combat.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

My life as I know It

Well, in a few pictures, I have tried to depict what my daily routine is (these days, that is). What you see in this slide show is not at all exaggerated. Believe me, This is what I do everyday, and probably this is what I will be doing for the next 10 days or so.
Life is so much fun without having to work!


Sometimes I wish I had access to the Internet when I was still in high school.
Read this amazing article on about a Geography teacher in Delhi who has been maintaining a Geography blog "trying to get his students excited about his subject." I saw the blog and was amazed at the kind of things he has posted there. It has puzzles, some wonderful facts, assignments, videos, quotes, sample papers and last but not the least, "Geographic information". View the blog here.
This blog shows Mr. Suryaveer Singh's dedication, devotion, and enthusiasm in making sure that every kid in his school (and other schools too) gets everything in their brain. I am sure he realized that classroom teaching is not always useful especially for subjects like Geography, which sometimes may tend to get a little too boring. Another important point to consider is that Mr. Singh (and other teachers like him) perhaps also consider it their duty to educate the children of our country. They don't just make money - They teach, they enlighten, and encourage children to respect education and learn as much as possible. Achieving such a goal can be a big challenge, and what Mr. Singh and other teachers are doing is absolutely commendable. It is very important to understand the importance of technology, and to use it in an innovative and creative way.
Another teacher who is doing something along the same lines is Ms. Rashmi Kathuria. She is a math teacher in a school in Delhi, and blogs about imortant mathematical concepts. Her blog is very impressive, especially the way she explains everything in terms of the "real world". She cuts carrots to explain ellipses and all that(sorry Ms. Kathuria, I ain't a big math fan!). One slide show that was really impressive was the way she..ummm..well I've forgotten, but it's about how the tangent is equal to the "something else". Check her site, it's a slide show posted in November, and it's got something to do with a circle and tangent. It's a like a theorem or something.
Okay, so I decided not to sound so vague and stupid. I visited her blog and stole this video from there. I still don't know exactly what this is about, but it is pretty cool. In fact, it is terrific.

Coool! Innit?
View more math videos/slide shows on her math blog right here.
I only wish our teachers had done something like this when we were in school. *Sigh*

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Happy New Year!

I am glad I started 2008 on a pleasant and positive note. Well, what I mean to say is that I paid a visit to a local temple (which was long overdue) and prayed to God to keep everyone happy and peaceful. You might not believe it but I always do that. I have a tendency of praying for people I care about, and also everyone else in general (not muc hfor myself). I don't think I should be writing all this, but if you think I am bragging about myself then you can go fuck yourself.

I have always believed in God. I do not curse him during depressing/stressful times and feel that everything, whether good or bad, happens for a reason. My favorite quote, as some of you might know is "I will go down fighting!". If I want something, I will do my best to get/achieve it. If I fail to get it, then probably it was not meant for me and God has something else in store for me.

On 1st January 2008 my sister and I went to the Sri Siva Vishnu Temple in Lanham, a half hour drive from Baltimore, and since it was new year's day, it was crowded. We had to park our car around 500 feet away from the temple and walk to reach there. It was kind of cold and windy, and the weather that day somewhat reminded me of the midwest. Anyway, the temple is very beautiful, and I was surprized by the number of deities inside the temple. Actually the temple is not very big, but since there are so many deities, you end up spending a lot of time in there. We were lucky enough to observe "Venkateshwara Archana". There were a few families that were waiting near Lord Venkateshwara for some special pooja, and my sister and I noticed that the panditji gave prasada only to those families - not to everyone. I, however, shamelessly went to the panditji and asked him if we could get prasada too. He was kind of dumbfounded, probably was not expecting me to just walk up to him and ask for prasada so explicitly. He half stammered and said "yes, yes, let me get it for you" and gave me one banana (others got two! :D).

And just when we were waiting to exit the temple, I was pushed by a middle aged aunty who was perhaps in a hurry to go somewhere. It was typically something that used to happen on a frequent basis with me when I was in India. Auntyji made me feel at home. I did get pissed for a second, but then, I thought it's ok. I ignored.

I am glad I visited this temple on 1st January, now I am hoping to visit temples throughout the year.
Here's wishing all of you a very happy, healthy, and fun filled new year. I sincerely hope that all your wishes come true. To all the assholes around - stop bugging people and mind your own businesses. It's time to turn a new leaf. The rest of you can continue to be nice people.