Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Conviction With an Angle Is Upheld by Court of Appeals - New York Times

Conviction With an Angle Is Upheld by Court of Appeals - New York Times

Math and the law! See, high school math and trignometry comes in handy in real life. Cheers Pythagoras!

Tags: News

[Listening to: (Splash)Turn Twist - Jimmy Eat World - Wedding Crashers (4:11)]

Unknown cause of anxiety

The past couple of days, I've felt ansy and anxious. At first, it was hard to isolate the cause of this angst. It could be me missing some of the closest people to my heart, or the impending deadlines for graduate school, or the paper and poster due at the end of this semester about my research here. I usually had a great stress busting mechanism like playing racquetball, swing dancing, or just napping. I don't have many of those options now. Jenn and I practiced swing a lot but now both of us are getting busier as the semester is coming to an end, and we haven't done swing dancing in a while. There is no racquetball here to whack the ball to help vent frustration. Since I work all day, I can't nap in the afternoon. If I napped after a certain point, it's really hard to fall asleep in the night. Maybe, I haven't gotten enough sleep the last few days. I guess I need more than 6-7 hours of sleep.

I have been preoccupied with things that have to get accomplished in the next couple of weeks. When I have things floating in my head, I tend not to talk very much. It would seem rude, but I don't mean to be. I've had to react passively to stress as active attack is no longer viable.

I sure I feel better and happy soon. If I make enough progress, I just might. Noble aspirations!


Tags: Life


[Listening to: Amphetamines - Eve 6 - Horrorscope (2:46)]

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Quick and Dirty IQ Test

Your IQ Is 135

Your Logical Intelligence is Below Average

Your Verbal Intelligence is Genius

Your Mathematical Intelligence is Genius

Your General Knowledge is Exceptional



Tags: Random

about good ol' Oak Ridge High and Coe's Flunk Day

I found a blog post called Censorship at rebunting. She does an in depth discussion about the article on censorship in a high school newspaper. Oak Ridge is famous for Oak Ridge National Lab where I am working this semester. It is supposed to have the greatest collection of genius scientific minds in this region.

I remember censorship came into play in Coe College's Flunk Day newspaper in fear of reprisals and lawsuits by parents. This isn't really free speech.

FYI: Coe's official description of Flunk Day is
Flunk Day: A Coe tradition begun in 1911. Classes are canceled for a day in the spring so the student body can enjoy an all-school picnic, outdoor activities and fun.
In reality, it's a day of drunken revelry for the drinking population of Coe ;).

I love Flunk Day!!

Here are a few pictures of Flunk Day at Coe:


That's my best friend, Britta. The backdrop is the Flunk Day Committee (2004-2005) on a bus.


The scene of Flunk Day 2003. My very first Flunk Day!



Tags: Opinion


[Listening to: Wreck of the Day - Anna Nalick - Wreck of the Day (4:06)]
String Quartet Tribute to Coldplay - Yellow

File details: mp3/48 kbps/1.3 MB

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Saturday, November 26, 2005

Time for thanks and gluttony

Wow! It's been a while since I've done a personal update. Last weekend was wonderful. I got to spend a lot of time with Jenn. We went to a dressy jazz concert of Preservation Hall Jazz Ensemble from New Orleans. It was pretty darn good. They were an all-black band who played tons of moderate beat swing music. I was extremely happy that they called for people to dance to their last song. Jenn and I broke into swing and it was so much of fun. People were watching us as usual. I love it when people watch and are amazed to see youth into swing dancing. Sunday night, we went to a piano and viola concert. I don't really listen to classical music however I enjoyed this gig. It had one light piece and rest of it being dark and somber. Jenn was surprised that I actually liked the music. I recently found the string quartet's tribute to Cold Play, Evanescence, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Nine Inch Nails. I love Cold Play's tribute! I might put a song up for taste.

My mentor was gone all last week. So, I was able to experiment independently. Everything went peachy till the last day last sample. I forgot to turn off one of the vacuum valves while venting almost killing the most expensive motor in the whole equipment. He emailed back today saying that it was a close call but the motor is alright. You can't imagine how scared shitless I was! If that had actually broken, it couldn't have been fixed for two months or more essentially killing the rest of the days I've left at ORNL

The past few days at Callie's has been great! Apart from the initial scare of being unable to find my keys, I'e had a lot of fun so far. We met Callie's best friend, ate tons of great thanksgiving food, watched a few movies, ate at a multicuisine restaraunt and an Indian restaraunt. I've had my fill of wonderful food that made up for the whole semester. I watched Crash last night. It was one of the most intricately assembled movie I've ever seen. It left me breathless. I can see why it was so critically acclaimed. I recommend watching it. It's racism and social hierarchy at it's most vibrant pinnacle. And to provide cosmic balance, we watched Just Friends. It was incredibly dumb yet funny at the same time. I had a tight stomach from laughing so hard.

I'm sad that this break is almost over. Next couple of weeks is going to be hell because I have a lot to accomplish.


Tags: Life


[Listening to: Three Days - Jane's Addiction - Ritual De Lo Habitual (10:48)]

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Asians mimicking BSB


Asians mimicking BSB


Don't they look moronic? They must have a lot of time on their hands to choreograph something like that. Instant fame.

Tags: Random

Rules of the Road - India Humor

Rules of the Road - India Humor

Rules Of The Road, Indian Style


Traveling on Indian Roads is an almost hallucinatory potion of sound, spectacle and experience. It is frequently heart-rending, sometimes hilarious, mostly exhilarating, always unforgettable -- and, when you are on the roads, extremely dangerous.

Most Indian road users observe a version of the Highway Code based on a Sanskrit text. These 12 rules of the Indian road are published for the first time in English:

* ARTICLE I:

The assumption of immortality is required of all road users.

* ARTICLE II:

Indian traffic, like Indian society,is structured on a strict caste system. The following precedence must be accorded at all times. In descending order, give way to:

* Cows, elephants, heavy trucks, buses, official cars, camels, light trucks, buffalo, jeeps, ox-carts, private cars, motorcycles, scooters, auto-rickshaws, pigs, pedal rickshaws, goats, bicycles (goods-carrying), handcarts, bicycles (passenger-carrying), dogs, pedestrians.

* ARTICLE III:

All wheeled vehicles shall be driven in accordance with the maxim: to slow is to falter, to brake is to fail, to stop is defeat. This is the Indian drivers' mantra.

* ARTICLE IV:

Use of horn (also known as the sonic fender or aural amulet):

* Cars (IV,1,a-c):

1. Short blasts (urgent) indicate supremacy, IE in clearing dogs, rickshaws and pedestrians from path.
2. Long blasts (desperate) denote supplication, IE to oncoming truck: "I am going too fast to stop, so unless you slow down we shall both die". In extreme cases this may be accompanied by flashing of headlights (frantic).
3. Single blast (casual) means: "I have seen someone out of India's 870 million whom I recognise", "There is a bird in the road (which at this speed could go through my windscreen)" or "I have not blown my horn for several minutes."

* Trucks and buses (IV,2,a):

All horn signals have the same meaning, viz: "I have an all-up weight of approximately 12.5 tons and have no intention of stopping, even if I could." This signal may be emphasised by the use of headlamps.

Article IV remains subject to the provision of Order of Precedence in Article II above.

* ARTICLE V:

All manoeuvres, use of horn and evasive action shall be left until the last possible moment.

* ARTICLE VI:

In the absence of seat belts (which there is), car occupants shall wear garlands of marigolds. These should be kept fastened at all times.

* ARTICLE VII:

1. Rights of way:

Traffic entering a road from the left has priority. So has traffic from the right, and also traffic in the middle.

2. Lane discipline (VII,1):

All Indian traffic at all times and irrespective of direction of travel shall occupy the centre of the road.

* ARTICLE VIII:

Roundabouts: India has no roundabouts. Apparent traffic islands in the middle of crossroads have no traffic management function. Any other impression should be ignored.

* ARTICLE IX:

Overtaking is mandatory. Every moving vehicle is required to overtake every other moving vehicle, irrespective of whether it has just overtaken you.

Overtaking should only be undertaken in suitable conditions, such as in the face of oncoming traffic, on blind bends, at junctions and in the middle of villages/city centres. No more than two inches should be allowed between your vehicle and the one you are passing -- and one inch in the case of bicycles or pedestrians.

* ARTICLE X:

Nirvana may be obtained through the head-on crash.

* ARTICLE XI:

Reversing: no longer applicable since no vehicle in India has reverse gear.


Here is something else about Indian traffic lights: Green: you can go. Yellow: You may still go. Red: you must absolutely go. I remember people honking if we stopped at red lights. God knows how we have fewer accidents than the US.


Tags: Blog Finds

[Listening to: Jacksonville - Sufjan Stevens - Live @ The Bluebird Theartre in Denver (7/30/05) (5:15)]

It's Time for some Truth About Terrorism

It's Time for some Truth About Terrorism

What is your opinion about this letter? I think he has some valid points. USA has an infamous history of hypocritical foreign policies and interventions. That's one of the major reasons of anti-American sentiments abroad.

Tags: Opinion

[Listening to: There Is A God - Hamell On Trial - Tough Love (2:50)]

Schneier on Security: Australian Minister's Sensible Comments on Airline Security Sparks Outcry

Schneier on Security: Australian Minister's Sensible Comments on Airline Security Sparks Outcry

I've always thought that the added airport security is more hassle than it should be. I hate the fact that I can't carry a bunch of batteries on board but i can carry butane lighters and aerosols which makes an incredibly effective flame thrower. I also think the amount of money going into security is wasteful. It would be understandable if it actually helped stem the problem, but it doesn't. Anyone who wants to be violent and hijack a plane still can using the tools around. An effective terrorist would be resourceful. Unfortunately, security and the officials think that terrorists are dumb. There will be more attacks and we haven't found a solution yet. However, that's not going to stop me from flying.

Tags: Opinion

[Listening to: Alone + Easy Target - Foo Fighters - Foo Fighters (4:05)]

Active Listening

Active Listening

I guess there is a term for what I do to make people open up and talk to me. It's active listening which involves listening without interrupting. More people need to listen because then you have everything you need to formulate a response. It's a useful trait to develop in a social, business or academic environment. It would prevent so many misunderstandings. Life would be more tranquil and tranquil is good ;).

Tags: Random

[Listening to: Come On - Ben Jelen - One Tree Hill - Enhanced Soundtrack Season 1 (3:42)]

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

White Flight: A growing concern?

WSJ.com - The New White Flight

The forementioned article addresses a growing concern. It talks about racism and stereotypes. I have come across the same stereotypes being implemented on me by Americans. They need to realize that they see a very narrow cross section of Asians and Asian-Americans. Not everyone in India is good in math and science. Actually, I've known several people who have issues with numbers and theory just like Americans. The only difference is that our high school education system is incredibly advanced. However with such heavy emphasis being laid on academics, we lose out on the finer parts of life. I love the fact that I can experience music, dance and art without comprising my academics. I could not have imagined a better education than what I have had now. I think I'm better rounded than most of the Indians studying in Indian universities because I have more options to explore. I am not limited to just studying. I learn about politics, history, economics, music and other topics which don't fall into my realm of academics expertise.

The parts that stand out in the article are:

Whites aren't quitting the schools because the schools are failing academically. Quite the contrary: Many white parents say they're leaving because the schools are too academically driven and too narrowly invested in subjects such as math and science at the expense of liberal arts and extracurriculars like sports and other personal interests.

The two schools, put another way that parents rarely articulate so bluntly, are too Asian.

..

But this modern incarnation is different. Across the country, Asian-Americans have by and large been successful and accepted into middle- and upper-class communities. Silicon Valley has kept Cupertino's economy stable, and the town is almost indistinguishable from many of the suburbs around it. The shrinking number of white students hasn't hurt the academic standards of Cupertino's schools -- in fact the opposite is true.

This time the effect is more subtle: Some Asians believe that the resulting lack of diversity creates an atmosphere that is too sheltering for their children, leaving then unprepared for life in a country that is only 4% Asian overall. Moreover, many Asians share some of their white counterpart's concerns. Both groups finger newer Asian immigrants for the schools' intense competitiveness.

Some whites fear that by avoiding schools with large Asian populations parents are short-changing their own children, giving them the idea that they can't compete with Asian kids. "My parents never let me think that because I'm Caucasian, I'm not going to succeed," says Jessie Hogin, a white Monta Vista graduate.

The white exodus clearly involves race-based presumptions, not all of which are positive. One example: Asian parents are too competitive. That sounds like racism to many of Cupertino's Asian residents, who resent the fact that their growing numbers and success are causing many white families to boycott the town altogether.

..

Some students struggle in Cupertino's high schools who might not elsewhere. Monta Vista's Academic Performance Index, which compares the academic performance of California's schools, reached an all-time high of 924 out of 1,000 this year, making it one of the highest-scoring high schools in Northern California. Grades are so high that a 'B' average puts a student in the bottom third of a class.

..

At Cupertino's top schools, administrators, parents and students say white students end up in the stereotyped role often applied to other minority groups: the underachievers.

..

On the second floor, in advanced-placement chemistry, only a couple of the 32 students are white and the rest are Asian. Some white parents, and even some students, say they suspect teachers don't take white kids as seriously as Asians.

"Many of my Asian friends were convinced that if you were Asian, you had to confirm you were smart. If you were white, you had to prove it," says Arar Han, a Monta Vista graduate who recently co-edited "Asian American X," a book of coming-of-age essays by young Asian-Americans.

Ms. Gatley, the Monta Vista PTA president, is more blunt: "White kids are thought of as the dumb kids," she says.

..

To many of Cupertino's Asians, some of the assumptions made by white parents -- that Asians are excessively competitive and single-minded -- play into stereotypes. Top schools in nearby, whiter Palo Alto, which also have very high test scores, also feature heavy course loads, long hours of homework and overly stressed students, says Denise Pope, director of Stressed Out Students, a Stanford University program that has worked with schools in both Palo Alto and Cupertino. But whites don't seem to be avoiding those institutions, or making the same negative generalizations, Asian families note, suggesting that it's not academic competition that makes white parents uncomfortable but academic competition with Asian-Americans.

Some of Cupertino's Asian residents say they don't blame white families for leaving. After all, many of the town's Asians are fretting about the same issues. While acknowledging that the term Asian embraces a wide diversity of countries, cultures and languages, they say there's some truth to the criticisms levied against new immigrant parents, particularly those from countries such as China and India, who often put a lot of academic pressure on their children.


Tags: Opinion


[Listening to: Joints and Jams - Black eyed peas - Bullworth Soundtrack (3:33)]

Puritan Blister - An mp3 blog

Puritan Blister

This is an mp3 blog with covers and mashups. And completely LEGAL music. So, download away!

Tags: Blog Finds

[Listening to: Summertime - Audio Adrenaline - X 2003 (disc 2) (3:05)]

My Mom�s Recipes And More

My Mom�s Recipes And More

** Israeli food blog ** It's The Taste Of My Home - Tasted - Step by Step Recipes Blog Welcome !

A fun blog find.


Tags: Blog Finds

[Listening to: Get Busy Living Or Get Busy Dy - Fall Out Boy - From Under The Cork Tree (3:27)]

A random article I discovered in LinkFilter

Five questions non-Muslims would like answered


By Dennis Prager, Dennis Prager's nationally syndicated radio show is heard daily in Los Angeles on KRLA-AM (870). He may be contacted through his website: www.dennisprager.com.

THE RIOTING IN France by primarily Muslim youths and the hotel bombings in Jordan are the latest events to prompt sincere questions that law-abiding Muslims need to answer for Islam's sake, as well as for the sake of worried non-Muslims.

Here are five of them:

(1) Why are you so quiet?

Since the first Israelis were targeted for death by Muslim terrorists blowing themselves up in the name of your religion and Palestinian nationalism, I have been praying to see Muslim demonstrations against these atrocities. Last week's protests in Jordan against the bombings, while welcome, were a rarity. What I have seen more often is mainstream Muslim spokesmen implicitly defending this terror on the grounds that Israel occupies Palestinian lands. We see torture and murder in the name of Allah, but we see no anti-torture and anti-murder demonstrations in the name of Allah.

There are a billion Muslims in the world. How is it possible that essentially none have demonstrated against evils perpetrated by Muslims in the name of Islam? This is true even of the millions of Muslims living in free Western societies. What are non-Muslims of goodwill supposed to conclude? When the Israeli government did not stop a Lebanese massacre of Palestinians in the Sabra and Chatilla refugee camps in Lebanon in 1982, great crowds of Israeli Jews gathered to protest their country's moral failing. Why has there been no comparable public demonstration by Palestinians or other Muslims to morally condemn Palestinian or other Muslim-committed terror?

(2) Why are none of the Palestinian terrorists Christian?

If Israeli occupation is the reason for Muslim terror in Israel, why do no Christian Palestinians engage in terror? They are just as nationalistic and just as occupied as Muslim Palestinians.

(3) Why is only one of the 47 Muslim-majority countries a free country?

According to Freedom House, a Washington-based group that promotes democracy, of the world's 47 Muslim countries, only Mali is free. Sixty percent are not free, and 38% are partly free. Muslim-majority states account for a majority of the world's "not free" states. And of the 10 "worst of the worst," seven are Islamic states. Why is this?

(4) Why are so many atrocities committed and threatened by Muslims in the name of Islam?

Young girls in Indonesia were recently beheaded by Muslim murderers. Last year, Muslims — in the name of Islam — murdered hundreds of schoolchildren in Russia. While reciting Muslim prayers, Islamic terrorists take foreigners working to make Iraq free and slaughter them. Muslim daughters are murdered by their own families in the thousands in "honor killings." And the Muslim government in Iran has publicly called for the extermination of Israel.

(5) Why do countries governed by religious Muslims persecute other religions?

No church or synagogue is allowed in Saudi Arabia. The Taliban destroyed some of the greatest sculptures of the ancient world because they were Buddhist. Sudan's Islamic regime has murdered great numbers of Christians.

Instead of confronting these problems, too many of you deny them. Muslims call my radio show to tell me that even speaking of Muslim or Islamic terrorists is wrong. After all, they argue, Timothy McVeigh is never labeled a "Christian terrorist." As if McVeigh committed his terror as a churchgoing Christian and in the name of Christ, and as if there were Christian-based terror groups around the world.

As a member of the media for nearly 25 years, I have a long record of reaching out to Muslims. Muslim leaders have invited me to speak at major mosques. In addition, I have studied Arabic and Islam, have visited most Arab and many other Muslim countries and conducted interfaith dialogues with Muslims in the United Arab Emirates as well as in the U.S. Politically, I have supported creation of a Palestinian state and supported (mistakenly, I now believe) the Oslo accords.

Hundreds of millions of non-Muslims want honest answers to these questions, even if the only answer you offer is, "Yes, we have real problems in Islam." Such an acknowledgment is infinitely better — for you and for the world — than dismissing us as anti-Muslim.

We await your response.


Tags: Blog Finds


[Listening to: Most Of All - Fuel - Natural Selection (4:14)]

Monday, November 21, 2005

Autopia

Autopia

Idiots!

Tags: Random

[Listening to: Stupid - Oleander - February Son (3:51)]

Intelligence test

This is a funny coincidence. Arielle just told me about the types of intelligences and I found this Intelligence Test while perusing LinkFilter.

Here are my results:

Based on your input, you show definite strengths in the following areas of intelligence: Verbal, Logical/Mathematical, Visual/Spatial, Bodily/Kinesthetic, Intrapersonal, Intrapersonal

Verbal Intelligence

You prefer verbal intelligence, using it with comfort and ease.
Given an opportunity, you will usually select it.
Becoming an expert should be rewarding and fulfilling,
and will require little effort.

Musical/Rhythmic Intelligence

You use Musical/Rhythmic intelligence with some comfort and ease.
You could take or leave the application or use of this intelligence.
While you accept it, you do not embrace it.
Gaining expertise in this intelligence would be satisfying,
but would require considerable effort.

Logical/Mathematical Intelligence

You prefer Logical/Mathematical intelligence, using it with comfort and ease.
Given an opportunity, you will usually select it.
Becoming an expert should be rewarding and fulfilling,
and will require little effort.

Visual/Spatial Intelligence

You prefer Visual/Spatial intelligence, using it with comfort and ease.
Given an opportunity, you will usually select it.
Becoming an expert should be rewarding and fulfilling,
and will require little effort.

Bodily/Kinesthetic Intelligence

You prefer Bodily/Kinesthetic intelligence, using it with comfort and ease.
Given an opportunity, you will usually select it.
Becoming an expert should be rewarding and fulfilling,
and will require little effort.

Intrapersonal Intelligence

You prefer Intrapersonal intelligence, using it with comfort and ease.
Given an opportunity, you will usually select it.
Becoming an expert should be rewarding and fulfilling,
and will require little effort.

Interpersonal Intelligence

You prefer Interpersonal intelligence, using it with comfort and ease.
Given an opportunity, you will usually select it.
Becoming an expert should be rewarding and fulfilling,
and will require little effort.


Tags: Random


[Listening to: Lemon Parade - Tonic - Lemon Parade (3:42)]

Cool time-lapse figure drawing, from the skeleton out.

Cool time-lapse figure drawing, from the skeleton out. *Flash animation*

This is fascinating! You can speed it up if you don't want to wait that long.

(Via Geekpress)

Tags: Blog Finds


[Listening to: The Best Is Yet To Come Undone - Lit - A Place In The Sun (4:30)]

A few more good PostSecrets

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Link: PostSecret

Tags: Blog Finds


[Listening to: Strangers Again - Ari Hest - Someone To Tell (4:04)]

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Outsourcing and India

Outsourcing outrage Indian call-center workers suffer abuse

Now begins me getting mad:

Debalina Das, 22, a computer help-line agent in the city of Hyderabad in south India, punched the button last winter for a call from the United States.

The caller greeted her with a torrent of racial and sexual slurs, accused her of "roaming about naked without food and clothes" and asked, "What do you know about computers?"

The diatribe ended with the comment:"This company is just saving money by outsourcing to Third World countries like yours."

Is this how his parents taught him to talk to people? Where is the courtesy, where is the culture? This shows me how racists pigs like this need a reality check.

Not everyone is happy about the growing ties between the two nations. An anti-outsourcing movement has drawn wide support as layoffs continue to mount at such U.S. companies as IBM, which is cutting 13,000 jobs in Europe and the United States and adding 14,000 in India, according to the Washington Alliance of Technology Workers.


Okay, I guess with that move of jobs, IBM just saved 600 million dollars while increasing their profit margin. This could mean that the jobs that did survive are getting more money. Do people forget that capitalism that the US economy is based on functions on profit?
One of the episodes recreates a real-life exchange that occurred in January between an American and an Indian agent that has become notorious among the call center crowd here. On the Philadelphia radio show "Star and Buc Wild," host Troi Terrain phoned an Indian call center pretending to order hair beads for his daughter. The call quickly turned vicious.

"Listen to me, you dirty rat eater," Terrain growled, to muffled laughter in the studio. "I'll come out there and choke the -- out of you. You're a filthy rat eater. I'm calling about my American 6-year-old white girl. How dare you outsource my call?"

If I could meet this guy, he is going to get an earful from me. F*&#king racist pig.

Now, some real research from Deutsche Bank: Outsourcing to India: Crouching tiger set to pounce (Via New Economist) *WARNING: PDF file*

It's a fascinating read if you would like more information on ITO/BPO in India.

Here is a Wikipedia article: Wikipedia: Outsourcing

I wonder what your views on outsourcing are. I wouldn't mind a discussion on this topic.


Tags: Opinion


[Listening to: Way Away - Yellowcard - Ocean Avenue (3:21)]

Friday, November 18, 2005

Magaritas and Prime..

Most American males are relatively proficient in using tools and making things. It's a part of their life here as many have been involved in some activity at home involving construction. The most I've ever done at home in India was use a hammer and a drill at most. We have people in India who earn their livelihood by working at homes of people fixing things that people here just fix themselves. We also have a person who washes our clothes and irons them, a guy who comes and collects recyclable materials, vendors who walk around selling their wares, vegetable vendors who roam the neighbourhood selling veggies on a four wheeled cart, a carpenter who not only makes furniture but also fixes broken furniture, painters for painting homes, electricians who fix wiring and install gadgets. This isn't luxury, it's the way a lot of our economy works. We are dependent on each other. They wouldn't want us to stop using their skills because that's all they have.

Anyway, the place I was going with the proficiency in using tools is now that I have to use tools and actually build user equipments and install the components of various instruments, its sort of new and refreshing. My mentor just told me that I have to drill holes so that he can install a plug. See, I have never done that before, especially around something that cost so much. It should be exciting nevertheless!

Last evening was one of the best this semester so far. After Rachel got done with her GRE, she accompanied us to a Mexican restaraunt for the happy hour and $2 magaritas. One of Jenn's postdoc friends joined us too. I found out that he was Bengali and we talked in our native tongue for a bit. It was wonderful. Anyway, after two strong glasses of magaritas, I was pretty tipsy. I really haven't had any alcohol while I've been here. Neither have most of my friends here. We are having fun with an alternate manner of spending weekends, just hanging out sans the intoxicating fluid. Anyway, after that Jenn and I went to Prime. We were the only two people in that theatre. It was crazy. Anyway, she fell asleep during the movie because she was very tired. It was okay because the movie wasn't exceptional. I know I'll love Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire when I get to watch it this weekend. After we walked the chilling cold, we just hung out at her apartment. Jenn's a very strong girl. She is really of a rare breed, so motivated, so driven. It's refreshing for me to see someone with such definite goals and ambitions. Both of us have a long road ahead of us. How amazing would it be if Jenn, Rach and I go to the same school? I can dream, can't I ;)?


Tags: Life


[Listening to: Space - On Second Thought - Don't Drive Angry (4:12)]

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Doodle analysis

Anna Koren Graphology Center Ltd. :: Doodles

An analysis of doodles: So, what do your doodles say about you?

Tags: Random

[Listening to: Spin - Lifehouse - Stanley Climbfall [Bonus Tracks] (4:51)]

Flight Patterns

Flight Patterns

This is way cool!

Tags: Random

[Listening to: One Thing - Finger Eleven - Finger Eleven (4:39)]

Drinking decaffeinated coffee may be harmful to heart health

Drinking decaffeinated coffee may be harmful to heart health

Hmm.. That's doesn't do me much good. I drink decaffeinated coffee whenever I have coffee. I do not imbibe caffeine anymore because it screws around with my energy level. Makes me especially labile. However they did find that people who were normal weight and under, saw a reduction of chemical involved in raising the risk of heart disease. Well, I'm sort of on the borderline of normal weight and overweight. More motivation to keep fit ;).

Tags: Science

[Listening to: Side Of A Bullet - Nickelback - All The Right Reasons (3:00)]

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Last evening was kinda weird. First, Callie and David were supposed to watch a movie here which didn't happen because David wanted to get home before the weather got really bad. And then Cassa came by with a friend who left right away because he was worried about his car. And then Cassa left to run errands. She said that she would be back but never came back. She called to tell me that she might come over later in the night but that didn't happen either. And then, the good part of the evening was the late night run to Applebee's with Jenn. I had a Brewtus Sam Adams which was a huge glass of beer. I think I was mildly tipsy after that but not as much as I thought I would be.

After getting up late, and therefore getting to work late, I didn't have much to do during the day. I just had to etch and anneal the substrates from last day's work which took all but an hour. So, I spent most of the time in my cubicle looking up more graduate school stuff. I called Doc to tell him my GRE score and he said that he was happy with the score. He thinks I have a good shot at the top schools I'm applying to. I scored higher on the GRE than the last indian to go to Stanford, and he was enrolled in the same program I am aiming for. Another thing is that Penn State's grad app is being dumb. It doesn't want to send my account details to me. I need to find out if I can solve this issue or I might have to go the old fashioned paper route.

Anyhow, today's swing dancing was sort of fun. I keep getting the feeling that I have stagnated. I need to learn more moves.

Now, I am tired. And have a mild migraine. Bed time. Bonne nuit.


Tags: Life

[Listening to: Jesus On The Radio - Guster - Keep It Together (2:17)]

[Listening to: Words - Seth Horan - Conduit (5:05)]

U.S. reaches Net detente with U.N. | CNET News.com

U.S. reaches Net detente with U.N. | CNET News.com

A compromise has been acheived. Looks like US keeps hold of the internet with an international oversight committee. Lets see how this works.

Tags: Internet

[Listening to: Don't Kill - Hamell On Trial - Tough Love (3:27)]


Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Street Fighter Salsa - Google Video

Street Fighter Salsa - Google Video


You gotta watch this. This is the funniest salsa dance I've ever seen. You don't have to download this to watch. It's streaming video. Enjoy!


Tags: Random

[Listening to: Believing Is Art - Spoon - Girls Can Tell (4:19)]

Abandon the Web!

Abandon the Web!

This looks like a fascinating website to read. Just noting it for posterity.

Tags: Science

[Listening to: Somewhere in Between - Kate Bush - Aerial (5:00)]

Sitting in the chem lab typing..

It's been a long day so far. I have to cut and clean the substrates which is a major chore because it is monotonous and boring as hell. I have spent about 5 hours so far doing this, and I suspect there is another hour to this labor. Right now, after manually washing 23 substrates in acetone, I put them into an ultrasonic cleaner in a beaker containing acetone for 15 minutes. So, I have a little time to blog.

So, we got back from work last evening, and worked on our homework for 4 hours at Panera. I love the fact that I can drink unlimited amount of coffee for a buck fifty. This assignment took longer because we had to read the text to figure out how to solve these questions. I can normally just remember lectures and proceed with the homework. However, I feel that the topics/lecture is rather discontinuous, so it throws me off. It does get frustrating at times when I know that a solution is simple but I am unable to get a handle on the trick.

I've been chatting with Arielle from Florida. Remember the random IM? I think this is probably the first time that I've had a higher level of conversation so quickly with a person I hardly know. I bet I can carry off an intellectual conversation. I remember explaining the research I've done at Coe and ORNL thus far. We spent most of the time looking up swing stuff including videos. I found quite a few recordings from Norway? I'm not sure which country, but it's in Northern Europe. I'll find out and correct it if I have to. I miss swing dancing at Coe. I also look at hairy/scary moves, and think of Andi and all the fun we had picking up dance routines from swing videos.


My friends keep asking if I am keeping in touch from Andi or if I have heard from her. I get to chat with her once a week on average. I guess I want to keep in touch a little more than that. We'll see. For people who want to know, yeah, I miss her. But that's normal.

It's annoying that I haven't been able to find Sunday's episode of Grey's Anatomy on torrents. They always have it up by the next day. I don't know what happened. I also have to download shows from last night.

I really wish Jenn and I could have gone swing dancing last night. That would have been a ton of fun. Especially the free pizza! We have to go up for the social dance scene at Preservation Pub one of the remaining Mondays.

Tags: Life

[Listening to: Doll - Foo Fighters - The Colour And The Shape (1:23)]


Monday, November 14, 2005

I wonder..

I just saw that my GRE score results in a 87 percentile in both math and verbal. Is that good? Is that good enough?

I was extremely excited before I saw my percentile. Should I still be?

I guess I can give my score out, it's not that big a deal. I got 620 in verbal and 770 in math out of 800. So, total of 1390 on 1600.

So?

PS: I am imagining Jenn's and Rachel's faces if they read this post. They are going to think I'm nuts.


Tags: Life


[Listening to: Collide - Howie Day - Stop All The World (4:09)]

Foreign Student Enrollment Drops - New York Times

Foreign Student Enrollment Drops - New York Times

It's dropped 1%. Does that really count?

Tags: News

[Listening to: Walk Into The Sun - Dirty Vegas - One Tree Hill - Enhanced Soundtrack Season 2 (3:52)]

The weirdest referral to Coe ever!

Saturday began lazily with me waking up at 11.30, early enough to shower and get ready for the Indian lunch with the rest of the interns. The lunch was a lot of fun. It had been a couple of months since the last time we were there. The lunch buffet wasn't very spicy and highly americanized. However, it was still different from the food that I had been ingesting past week which was essentially ready made, quick microwave meals. One of the interns didn't like the accessories with the Indian food like the Mango Lassi or the desserts. Weird. Usually, people love that stuff. The next big thing was the geek party at Tio's. He had purchased a quarter keg. So it was a party where people just drank, played games, and painted on cardboard. I invited Cassa to the party so that she could meet more people. She is someone I met a couple of months back.

And then the weirdest referal to Coe ever. So, I'm online late in the night as usual when I get this random IM. I have no clue who it and so I ask. Mind you, I don't get random IMs ever. And then she tells me that she found my SN through my blog which she found by searching for lindy hop on Google Video Search. Then what ensues is a question and answer session about Coe, it's programs and campus life. She was interested about Coe from our swing dancing (more like swing that Andi and I did)! I think if she applied to Coe, she would be a sure in because her academic credentials are impeccable and she would fit in perfectly. I'm sure the Coe Admissions will get a kick out of seeing how she was refered to Coe. However her first choice is McGill University, which renders Coe in the dirt when it comes to school prestige. Robi got into McGill, however the visa procedures made it tiresome to be a viable option. I would love to live in Montreal though due to it's cosmopolitan nature..


Tags: Life


[Listening to: Half The Cost - Jessica Harp - Preface (3:41)]

Saturday, November 12, 2005

GRE is done!

It's been a great last couple of days. Everything went well apart from the tension relating to the GRE test that I took last afternoon. For a great start to Thursday, we got our second Inorganic test back which I didn't really want to see because I thought I wasn't confident about my answers. I get my paranoia was misplaced because I did got a really good score. And then, when I got to work, I found out that I didn't have to cut and anneal substrates. I was positively ebullient because the whole process is tedious. So, I spent that afternoon taking the last practice test. That meant that I had the rest of the evening free to just relax. But, was I really able to relax? No! I was still tense as hell. Oh well, good intentions. The funniest part of Thursday evening was my conversation with Goms. So, I talked to her for a couple of hours all the while one of her friends was waiting for her. So, after I get talking to her, I get a message from her friend asking if he could have her back now. That was the single comment that made me roll on the floor. Apart from that, she dropped one of her gen. ed classes and registered for Hindu Gods with me. It should be fun talking that class.

I woke up on Friday late enough to be well rested. I wasted the rest of the morning while feeling anxious about the GRE like last night. I decided to go to the test center early because Jenn said that she was able to start her test whenever she got there. It took me about 3 hours to finish the test. I was so anxious that my hands were shaking. The writing section turned out to be pretty comfortable as I finished both my essays on time and that relaxed me. I don't know what scores I'll get on the essays.. I felt like I was making too many mistakes in both verbal and the quantitative. However, once I got my scores, I realized I did fine. There were some words in verbal that I couldn't understand without its context. All my friends were excited to hear that I did so well. I guess I don't have to retake the GRE ;). All that's left now is the rest of the application process.

James and I saw Zathura after the test and the movie was kinda dumb. Its a remake of Jumanji with a twist! Its in space! We then ate with Jenn and Khush at the Veitnamese restaraunt. We decided to hang out at Panera's for a bit and I got som e of my favorite Colombian decaf for a buck fifty. It was fun just hanging out and talking. Jenn and I had to leave because we had planned to go to a blues bar and dance a bit. It was extremely out of the way but the cabin was very cool. The bar was very crowded and garners a good clientele. The music was wonderful and Jenn and I got to dance a little bit on the tiny floor space. It was awesome! There was an artist who was sitting in one of the booth drawing portraits of the crowd. He drew us and that was sort of cool. Apparently, a couple of people from our swing class thought we were married! How the hell did they get that idea? Last night's late night Taco Bell run was weird. We were in line for so long. I can't believe how alive the UT campus that late in the night.

PS: I love going to bars. I just hate the smoke!


Tags: Life

Thursday, November 10, 2005

blogging at the Pi time of the day

Yesterday afternoon was a frustrating period of work because every time I would try to grow a sample, one of the gears used during rotation kept falling off, and then finally it blew up in my mentor's face as he was trying to fix it. I guess that caused a mini vacation because that motor wouldn't be coming in till Friday and I wouldn't be in Friday due to GRE. I spent most of yesterday learning and relearning the 333 high frequency words listed in Barron's guide to the GRE. I'd say that I know all but 10% of the words. I'd say that its good enough? Anyway, I just took my second practice test of the GRE CD and scored a 650 on verbal and 770 in quantatative. That is about 90 points higher than the first test. It seems like I get a consistent score around 1300-1400 with my verbal score vacillating. I guess I just wait and see how I do on the actual test which happens to be tomorrow afternoon. And then I am allowing my brain a hiatus for the weekend before I start on the rest of the application process.

I finally got laundry done! I also used that time to call people and talk to them. Becky said that she would have time to meet up next weekend. We'll see if that comes to fruition. I also talked to Sara who is pursuing a graduate degree in engineering at Colorado University with her fiance Marty. She talk to me about graduate school and her application process and all that good stuff. Eventually, by the time I got to bed, Komal and I had a nice talk. We did a lot of reminscing the good ol' days.

Anyway, with me relaxing the rest of the day, I have to find something to amuse or entertain myself with.


Tags: Life


[Listening to: Do You Love - Natalie Imbruglia - White Lilies Island (4:40)]

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

justcurio.us // strangers helping strangers

justcurio.us // strangers helping strangers

This is soo cool! You answer a question and then you can ask one. And it's completely anonymous. Try it out!

Tags: Internet

Different actions about Intelligent Design in Kansas and Pennsylvania

Kan. School Board OKs Evolution Approach - Yahoo! News

Pennsylvania Voters Oust School Board - Yahoo! News

While Kansas Board seems labile about the issue of Intelligent design being taught in science classes, the voters in Penn had greater success fighting the inception of Intelligent Design into science courses. Boy, who knew the search for truth could be so political! Haha. Just kidding. Of course, its political. It's a battle of wills not the truth.

Tags: Science


[Listening to: That Particular Time - Alanis Morissette - Under Rug Swept (4:21)]

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Why is my facebook profile on yahoo search?

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

Tags: Internet


[Listening to: Homecoming: The Death of St. Jimmy/East 12th St./Nobody Likes You/Rock - Green Day - American Idiot (9:18)]

Swing and a take home test

When I got home last night, I noticed that the internet at home was down. I took that as a sign from The Shining Light that I should study which is exactly what I did. I was able to go through another 300 words in an hour and a half. I actually knew over half the words, with me learning perhaps 100 new words or new meanings to words I already knew. Anyway, the reason I studied early because Jenn and I were going to go to the Monday's swing class at Knoxville. After getting on the road late, and several wrong turns later, we got there about 15 minutes after the class had started. And as we joined the circle, the couple teaching said, "Sure, join the circle" sarcastically. Before we could feel bad that we joined the class late, we noticed that they were repeating the previous class and at a slower rate. So, I didn't learn anything new. I need to learn more moves in east coast swing. I also need to practice lindy a lot more. I have more moves in lindy on video clips than east coast. I got to dance with quite a few good dancers last night which was exciting! After getting back at 10.30, I attempted to finish the take home test. I called Dan near midnight to clarify something and by that point, I was three quarters brain dead. I don't think anything I did last night was absolutely right. Oh well! I really don't function after 11.30 or so. My fuel for my brain is out and I can't think enough to study or learn. I need to fix that. You'd be surprised to know that I have never done an all nighter to study. I never needed to I guess.

The net was down in the morning too. This sucks. I need to download the shows I miss!

Jenn cracked a joke in the morning as we were heading to class. She said that we should marry and keep studying throughout our lives if my wish for a rich relative leaving me a lot of money came true. Lol! I guess I wouldn't mind to keep learning and studying if I didn't have to worry about working a job for my livelihood. It's be interesting to get more than one ph.d. Or is it? I dunno. I might get sick of studying.


Tags: Life


[Listening to: something corporate - 13 - you're go - Something Corporate - Leaving through the Window (4:37)]

Excerpts from "Expert Judgement on Markers to Deter Inadvertent Human Intrusion into the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant"

Excerpts from "Expert Judgement on Markers to Deter Inadvertent Human Intrusion into the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant"

I remember watching a show on Discovery Channel about marking the radioaactive sites with caution signs that the future generations would understand. This is the full text of the issue.

Tags: Science

[Listening to: Riot Girl - Good Charlotte - The Young And The Hopeless (2:17)]

Foxy. But not the Foxy you'd expect.: an open letter to God, or whomever controls female bodily functions and other miscellaneous shit

Foxy. But not the Foxy you'd expect.: an open letter to God, or whomever controls female bodily functions and other miscellaneous shit

This rant as a letter to God made me laugh. I feel it's worthy of a mention and a read.

Tags: Blog Finds

[Listening to: Streetcorner Symphony - Rob Thomas - Something To Be (4:09)]

Monday, November 07, 2005

I love these Foxtrot strips









These made me crack up into a smile in an instant.

(Via Yahoo Comics!)

Tags: Random


[Listening to: Let it Shine - Jeremy Fisher - Let it Shine (3:53)]

'Safe cigarette' claimed to cut cancer by 90% - Sunday Times - Times Online

'Safe cigarette' claimed to cut cancer by 90% - Sunday Times - Times Online

Yeah, like that's going to make a difference. Seriously, cigarettes does more harm than good yet it's not getting banned. So, tell me something. They tell us that DDT is a possible carcinogen, and that got banned right away to the detriment of underdeveloped countries as they lost millions of people to malaria. What double standards developed nations have!

Ban smoking! I know about the economy argument. I somehow value my life more. And if the US can sustain the Iraq war, it can sustain a ban on smoking and the possible economical repercussions.


Opinion

[Listening to: Eve, The Apple Of My Eye - Bell X1 - Music From The OC Mix 4 (5:33)]
Forever Young (Cover) - The Youth Group - Music From The OC: Mix 5

Let's dance in style, lets dance for a while
Heaven can wait we're only watching the skies
Hoping for the best but expecting the worst
Are you going to drop the bomb or not?

Let us die young or let us live forever
We don't have the power but we never say never
Sitting in a sandpit, life is a short trip
The music's for the sad men

Can you imagine when this race is won
Turn our golden faces into the sun
Praising our leaders we're getting in tune
The music's played by the mad men

Forever young, I want to be forever young
Do you really want to live forever, forever and ever
Forever young, I want to be forever young
Do you really want to live forever? Forever young

Some are like water, some are like the heat
Some are a melody and some are the beat
Sooner or later they all will be gone
Why don't they stay young

It's so hard to get old without a cause
I don't want to perish like a fading horse
Youth's like diamonds in the sun
And diamonds are forever


So many adventures couldn't happen today
So many songs we forgot to play
So many dreams swinging out of the blue
We let them come true


Forever young, I want to be forever young
Do you really want to live forever, forever and ever
Forever young, I want to be forever young
Do you really want to live forever, forever and ever

Forever young, I want to be forever young
Do you really want to live forever?


I heard this song on the O.C soundtrack and it made me think about my time so far. I know I am still young, but I can't believe that I'm 22 already. A single line in this song stood out to me: Hoping for the best but expecting the worst. I also assume for the worst hoping to God the best happens. Something like hoping against hope that hope prevails.


Tags: Life


[Listening to: Wings - Matt Nathanson - Still Waiting for Spring (2:53)]

Youths' poverty, despair fuel violent unrest in France - The Boston Globe

Youths' poverty, despair fuel violent unrest in France - The Boston Globe

I was wondering about the cause of the French riots over the last week. I just realized that they were poverty/unemployment driven concentrated primarily with the financially unsecure muslim youth. They are pulling the race card. I hope they realize that the civil unrest is not really helping their cause.

Tags: News

[Listening to: Nothing Wrong - Jimmy Eat World - Futures (3:09)]

my favorite postsecrets this week







Link: PostSecret

Blog Finds


[Listening to: These Are The Days - Jamie Cullum - Twentysomething (3:21)]

Saturday, November 05, 2005

I am completely wiped and brain dead. I have been studying all day. I memorized about 400 GRE words and finished half of my take home test. After all that brain activity, my brain has decided to take a hiatus for the rest of the evening. So, I'm sitting and watching 13 going on 30. So, once Jenn gets done with a section of the test, we are going to do something.

Life


[Listening to: January Friend - Goo Goo Dolls - (2:44)]

Friday, November 04, 2005

Vatican: Faithful Should Listen to Science - Yahoo! News

Vatican: Faithful Should Listen to Science - Yahoo! News

It seems as though the Catholic church is asking christians to listen to secular science. They actually differentiated it from Christian science and the likes by calling academic/research science "secular". Galileo was used as a paradigm in his speech.

Tags: Science

[Listening to: Have You Seen Me Lately? - Counting Crows - Recovering The Satellites (4:11)]

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Finally, more picture!

I just put up a few pictures on my picture blog Joy's Odds N Ends. Tell me what you think.


Pictures


[Listening to: Everything - Lifehouse - Smallville OST (6:08)]

FAIR & LOVELY: India's most popular fairness cream

UNILEVER - FAIR & LOVELY

Fair and Lovely is the antithesis of the sun tan lotions. You see, we (Indians who aren't fair)have a couple million shades of brown that we wouldn't mind losing. I wish I could donate my shades to someone in dire need of a tan. I've never tried this product, however it is the single most popular cosmetic in India among the female population. I don't really know if it actually works..

Random

[Listening to: New One - Keane - Keane (4:26)]

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

I am studying for the GRE and sipping on a concoction created by James for my throat. It has a few shots of whisky, lemon juice and honey. It is sooo good. I am getting warm and it's soothing to my throat. I hope I don't get too tipsy because i still need to learn my words for the night.

I have another post coming after I talked to Jenn in the morning. I'll put it up sometime soon.



[Listening to: Lost In You - Westlife - Turnaround (3:37)]

a sick audiopost.

this is an audio post - click to play


I hate sore throats and being sick!