"end of december"

Wow "end of december" also means new year's night; Yes, there would be music on clinton street. Ok, I understood the first line of Leonard cohen's "Famous blue rain coat" which I had glossed over all these times :-)

The Grave of Shelly - Oscar Wilde

The Grave of Shelly - Oscar Wilde
Like burnt-out torches by a sick man's bed -->
Gaunt cypress-trees stand round the sun-bleached stone; -->
Here doth the little night-owl make her throne,
And the slight lizard show his jewelled head.
And, where the chaliced poppies flame to red,
In the still chamber of yon pyramid
Surely some Old-World Sphinx lurks darkly hid,
Grim warder of this pleasaunce of the dead.

Ah! sweet indeed to rest within the womb
Of Earth, great mother of eternal sleep,
But sweeter far for thee a restless tomb
In the blue cavern of an echoing deep,
Or where the tall ships founder in the gloom
Against the rocks of some wave-shattered steep.


*Gaunt-thin or bleak
*chaliced-cupshaped
*pleasaunce- secluded garden
*yon-Distance within sight
*founder-break down


I understand that he is talking about graves: one on in the land and other is ocean.

I feel proud of myself whenever I understand a poem because it is hard to get inside a one; and this is the first poem that i read, rather understood, in 2009. Infact, I did not choose this poem; usually I try to understand which ever poem comes across when I open the book.

Nietzsche on Alcohol & Church

Last week, I came across a BBC Documentary "Nietzsche on Hardship", and here I have tried to reproduce, word by word, whatever was told in that documentary. In brief, documentary says, Nietzsche was against alcohol therapy; and equated consoling oneself by going to Church to consoling by drinking Alcohol.


Comfort of alcohol
To imagine that there is a benefit in escaping our troubles, once in a while with a alcoholic drink or two, is to misunderstand Nietzscheian analysis of relation between happiness and pain. Happiness does not come from escaping trouble, it comes from cultivating them, turning them to your advantage. Nietzche did not want anyone to drown in worries, instead he said our worries are pointers to the things that need attension.

Comfort of Church
Nietzsche was rather against Church for the same reason as he was against getting drunk. In the short term, going to hear a service in a Christian church may make you feel quite good in the same way as getting very drunk may make you feel quite good. But in the long term, Church in Nietzsche's eyes dulls pain and in this way, it also dulls the energy that pain can give us to overcome problems and so reach real happiness.
There are differences between Church and Pub, but Nietzsche insisted that there are similarities in the consolation available at both the places; it seemed to him that New testament tried to make us feel better by saying that many things that we thought of as problems are not in fact problems at all but rather assets.

  • a) To anyone worried about being too timid, New testament advises blessed are the meek they will inherit the earth.

  • b) To anyone worried about not having friends, New testament says blessed are you when men hate you, they exclude you and insult you.

  • c) To anyone that worried about not having enough money and who envies that those who do, New testament has these soothing words, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of the needle than for a rich man to the enter the kingdom of god.


Nietzsche took such words to be catastrophic, like alcohol Church counsel might dull pain but it will also weaken the resolve to overcome the problem from which the pain has risen. Essentially, Nietzsche did not want to people in trouble to pretend that they did not need the things they could not attain.


**Note that I do not know the details of New testament; here I just wrote whatever was presented in BBC documentary.

Warm and cold green

When trying to get GREEN tint we have can look at Yellow ochre as "warm green" and Cereleum Blue as "cold green" and choose appropriately.

Fine art material retailers in Bangalore

For the first time I saw my cousin, Shalini's paintings in person and they were much better than the photographs which she had sent by e-mail. This energised me and I decided to teach her how to photograph paintings and also thought of buying a decent easel. I believe that the use of proper tools for painting would infuse sense of value, responsibility and pride in painter. Ability to photograph is aslo important because in this age, for amatures, internet is an art gallery; in addition to this, good photograph can also be used for making quality prints which can be used for display purpose,inside home, instead of original painting; i believe this is one way to protect original paintings from dust and other pollutants.

Global brands of colors
Bangalore, probably for that matter, whole country is in its infancy when it comes to fine-art materials. Except for Winsor Newton, average dealers have barely heard of international brands like Liquitex, Golden, and only two special dealers showed name familiarity.

Camlin and Crystal beverages are distributers for Liquitex paints and Golden acrylics inside India. Liquitex, Golden products are sold at MRP by retailer but are not readily available, customer has to pre-order through retailer. Retailers that I spoke to said that consumers are neither aware or seek these foriegn brands because these(especially at MRP) are way beyond typical Indian consumer, so all ones sees is sea of Camlin colors. Camlin's paint products are pathetic; screw caps of their water color tubes cracks after few months, and this shows how much importance Camlin gives to quality, so I would not trust my creative work in the hands of Camlin. After looking at how wilted Camlin colors tubes were, I feel embarassed to say that I will use Camlin paints for painting movie star cutouts for theaters.

In Bangalore, there are two retailers in Avenue road selling paints; the stores are congested, and unorganized like rice or grains selling shop. These shops do not even seem to know where an item is located; everything is some where in that pile.
And there is an another retailer in Commercial street, better organized but selling same brands as Avenue road retailers. It is frustrating that one has to go back to these stores, and all they have is Camlin, Camlin; why not call these Camlin outlets.

Artist quality papers
My cousin is not able to get thick water color papers made by branded company. All that is available is handmade paper with vast difference in thickness and without proper thickness rating(gsm/lb); and these aspects makes one suspect the reliability of these so called hand made papers.

Where can I get these brushes?
Loew-Cornell makes great quality brushes; I have used them for 2-3 years and seen their bristles hold over years and also handle do not crack under moisture. These brushes are made in Japan, SriLanka and India but are not available for consumers in India, and it is frustrating to know that quality brushes are made in India when the brands curently sold in India fall apart in no time.



Winstor Newton Canvas?
Fortunately W&N canvasses are made and sold in India.



Is this going to change ?
I do not think this situation is going to change any soon, may not be in my life time. There is not any Art economy. India has gotten macro things(like Benz car, Plasma TV) implanted but subtle things are not available. One can see easily spot lack of harmony in growth, they glare at you like bad silicon implants.

Camlin, camlin...
Every retail store is filled with cheap Camlin color products. Camlin's paint products are pathetic; screw caps of their water color tubes crack and break after few months, and that shows how much importance Camlin gives to quality, and I would not trust my creative effort in the hands of Camlin; they seem like Indian postal service: arcane, corrupt and unresponsive to consumer needs. After looking at how wilted the Camlin color tubes were; I feel embarassed to say that I would use Camlin paints for painting cinema star cutouts for theaters :-)

Bangalore airports limitations

I flew from Bangalore air port(BLR) recently, and it is new airport and they could have bettered it by just following the example of other airports.

1) Toilets' entrance have narrow doors, and these doors are totally unnecessary and is a shortcoming. And toilets should have been designed so that one does not need door at the entrance. Because of narrow door, only one passenger could pass at a time and this ridiculous design fails when serving large number of people, and also passenger carrying luggage in both hands would have to struggle to open the door. Like other international airports, toilets entrance should have been kept wide and open so that at least two passengers carrying luggage could walk unhindered. Discomfort caused by these doors are more that what it appears to be.

2) In the whole airport, there were just two public phones. The public telephone was on a table without any privacy for the speaker and there was a guy sitting there to collect money, and there was a queue of people waiting to talk, all these people could have over heard telephone conversation, and the whole setup was totally unprofessional, just like road side STD/ISD shop in a village. Also, charging money for local calls was bad, and there was not a way to pay by credit card so I had search my bag tharoughly to find Rs10 currency to pay for 2 minutes conversation.
Looks like some of the people involved in designing this international airport never travelled outside country. They just had to look at other airports.

3) Luggage carts were given free of charge, and I think there should be a fee for that so that service can be sustained.

Passport episode

1) This is the passport who's barcode could not be interpreted by the issuer, that is Indian Govt.


Passport1

2) This is the quality of the picture in the passport issued to replace above passport

Passport2


Passport1 was issued by Indian Consulate located in NY, in Jan 2008, and then in Nov 2008, I flew to Bangalore and the bar code on this passport could not be scanned by immigration officer at Bangalore airport.

Day1

I went to passport office in Bangalore, early in the morning(6.50 am) and the enquiry counter opened 30minutes late, that is 10.00 am. And the Govt. rep told me to apply for a new passport implying that Passport1 is a 'Damaged passport'.

Day2

After gathering all the documents, and with the filled passport application, I went to passport office early in morning(8.00am). I was carrying to Rs 4500, thinking that the fee for fast processing is Rs 2500, but I came to know that Govt. charges extra Rs 2500 for expediating process of replacing 'Damaged passport'(as if Govt. wanted to punish me for damaging passport intentionally). Then I came back to home to collect another Rs 500 and went back to passport office, paid Rs 5000 and submitted the passport application.

Day3

I went to collect my passport but found the picture on the passport had blotches similar to Passport2(as shown above). The clerk blamed the photo paper of the picture that I submitted along with passport application, and asked me to bring another picture, printed on good photo paper. This incompetence of irked me and went to speak to Deputy Passport Officer, and asked him to refund part of the fee because all along it was Govt. fault; it was Govt. that issued the passport who's bar code could not be read, and again it was Govt. that was not able to properly scan the picture. Officer got angry with me, and told that the classification of 'Damaged passport' is broad and refused to refund any money.

Day4

I went to passport office with new photograph and waited for couple of hours to collect the new passport, the one shown as Passport2, and surpraisigly picture on this passport was also not any better, it had blotches at same place as previous passport. I showed it to Deputy Passport officer and he said it is would not cause any harm.

In the end, Govt. officails did not take responsibility for issuing a passport who's barcode could nor be read by themselves, and also Govt. did not show ability to scan the photograph properly. And, out my 20days of stay in Bangalore, I had to go to passport office on 4days. When the citizens are served with such unaccountability and incompetence, how can one be proud of the country?

Bush meets his Eastern counter part

Iraq rally for Bush shoe attacker
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7783608.stm

foot-wear as assault weapon in Indian society
In India also, foot-wear is considered as an weapon of ultimate insult. We should note the difference between verbal threat of assaulting with foot-wear from the actual act of hitting with foot-wear; former is 100 or 1000 times higher than the latter, and in fact I have not seen any one doing it but heard people using it in conversation. For example this is a most popular usage, "I would have hit with foot-wear if he had....". Educated people of any generation do not use it, and also have not heard any one from my generation indulging in foot-wear assault, verbally or physically so I can confidently say that this is a thing of past.
Some times, angry mob uses festoon of foot-wear to garland the statues of political leaders, and this practice is relatively more compared to assautling a living individual with foot-wear.

Bush ducking foot-wear
Bush has a history of mis pronouncing, failing to make to construct proper sentence, and he is very bad at answering to unexpected question, but for the first time, Bush displayed a remarkable presence of mind by ducking away from the flying shoe :-) .
In Eastern world, say India, a foot-wear wielder represents a rowdy, a thug, and in this scene involving Bush, a Eastern thug took his Western counter part.

US Auto industry may need a correction

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7715896.stm
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7647708.stm
When I started my life in US, in Bay area, what surprised me was that series of big car dealerships, located on either side of El Camino Real. It created an impression in me that Americans eat cars for breakfast. Car is a utility and I do not think that should be elephant in the room. And with this rising environment consciousness, US can no more afford to have elephant. So what I am saying is that Auto industry has to shrink and adjust to global reality. (Please note that I am not an Auto industry specialist :-) )
Auto industry has not played fairly; I read about an instance where GM bought a public transportation system just to kill. Also, just few years back, GM was broadcasting it's lack of support for sensible cars. So I do not have any sympathy for Auto industry. Yes, jobs will be lost but as I described above, Auto industry may need a correction.

Showcasing Indian Government's failure

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7754190.stm
This terrorist attack comes as no surprise to those who are living in any Indian city that is under going so-called change. All these years, we all billionth know very well that every Indian Government is ridden with corruption. And then came this age of growth through the multi-national companies, and Indian Governments instead of rising to occasion, festively continued their corrupt way of life. But we billionth, in spite of having democratic process are not able to turn this tide of irresponsible politics in a non-bloody manner. But unlike we citizens, someone had to show these Governments, the consequence of being dis-functional, and these terrorists have just done that, in a mammoth scale.
Am I happy? I can not say NO, and my feelings have gone past frustration.

Unlawful elements of Nature come back

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7732239.stm
Current forest fire in California has made me say following.

We try to domesticate nature by cutting forest and draining wetlands. Animals, one of many elements of Nature, loose their habitat and also find the law of their land changed. So these newly branded unlawful animals, get hunted or punished for being in domestic land.

Yes, by hunting we take care of one element of nature, but what about weather(hurricanes, forest fires and draughts)? Without the wetlands to dampen hurricanes; and extra forest to negotiate with fire, we continue to pay dearly, again and again.

It is high time that we act on reducing the growth of population, shrink our foot print, so that we can maintain respect full distance from Nature and its elements.

Yes, marriage is an investment

Yes indeed; most married men do agree with this :-)

Let us have a baby; they are so.. cute

Today I was in Newyork city and had to walk for 30minutes to reach my friend's home. On the way I came across 3-4 Newyorkers, walking thier dogs.

-First dog-walker was a young lady with two dogs; and when I first set my eye, she was almost standing still, texting on her mobile pc phone. Then she started moving in strides and one of the dog was not ready for straide, and she started yelling at the dog and dragged it.

-Second dog-walker was also young man, with a dog; and when I first set my eye, he was standing near a store, and when he started walking the dog, it was not keeping pace with him, and he went on dragging it.

-I also came across few elderly people, walking their dog leisurely.

I have heard that some of these people have dog because they are living alone.
Yes, puppies look cute but that is not enough of proof, to say that the individual would be responsible to take care of it. I had dogs in my home and know that it is not easy to manage them. The city dogs may want to walk leisurely, especially after staying locked up for long hours inside small apartments. This behaviour is just another example showing that the people are impulsive and are unable to see the depth of responsibility. Any sensible individual would agree that modern communication devices have made us impulsive, anxious and could leave dangerous scars in life, and I believe these devices are just good for utilitarian professional communication.

Look at the irresponsible moms & dads; it just takes spontaneous emotion to throw a veil on responsibility and make a baby. One should not bring a puppy or baby, just because they are cute :-)

Shades of liberalism (Pacifica, NPR & CNN)

When I came to US I started with Pacifica radio station. I used to listen to Amy Goodman's Democracy now, every day from 9.00am to 10am. And I also used to watch CNN at home. Then when I started talking to my friends about politics, they started telling me that CNN is a liberal channel, which I could not accept at all because CNN was no where near Pacifica. Then I started listening to NPR radio and even that did not sound liberal to me. I felt NPR hosts, like Diane Rehm, are afraid to go anywhere near the controversial line. And compared to Amy Goodman & Naom Chomsky of Pacifica, NPR did not sound liberal to me; BTW, I am yet to hear Naom Chomsky on NPR; I guess he Chomsky is too radical for NPR. From past few yaers, I am listening to NPR, everyday for few hours, and I am able to see the shades of liberalism, and I see Pacifica as a far-left, NPR as a center-left and CNN as center-right.

Pacifica station has pacifist agenda and it seems the founder was pacifist and also parent of NPR. Pacifica does not take any kind of corporate contribution and depends entirely on listeners' donations. Even the some of the hosts during night time are volunteers, and keep on asking for volunteers. It seems Pacifica runs on rags and stands for its ideals (See kind of donations they are seeking http://www.democracynow.org/get_involved/donate).

Pacifica gives platform for critics of US, like Naom Chomsky. If you want another views of America which you do not get on main stream, including NPR, listen to Amy Goodman's Democracy Now(War & Peace report); you can even get the mp3 podcast, free at http://www.democracynow.org/ Like Pacifica, NPR station does not let you download mp3 files for free, and that itself shows where they stand. Amy Goodman is a fantastic host, broadcasts controversial issues much weeks before main-straems dares to glance, and she has a bold voice which I am yet to hear on any other radio station.

How easy to close a factory

This article describes the method used by factory owners in China, to close their operation. Owners, showing total lack of accountability to their employees, burn the books and flee. After reading this article, I can understand why major brand names, would rather heavily depend on contractors than run their own factories. Most recent example is DELL, which closed all of their assembly plants. In case of China, it seems fleeing is a best cure for industrialists from other countries like Taiwan, South Korea and province like Hongkong.

Some owners deserting factories
"Tao Shoulong burned his company's financial books. He then sold his private golf club memberships and disposed of his Mercedes S-600 sedan. And just like that, China's biggest textile dye operation -- with four factories, a campus the size of 31 football fields, 4,000 workers and debts of at least $200 million -- was history."

"Government statistics show that 67,000 factories of various sizes were shuttered in China in the first half of the year, said Cao Jianhai, an industrial economics researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. By year's end, he said, more than 100,000 plants will have closed. "

What is Govt. doing?
"Others may flee not out of aversion to bureaucracy but because they want to get away with what cash they have left and not face angry suppliers, lenders, employees or regulators. Sometimes relatives and managers who help run operations flee too, and without anyone who can take responsibility, some factories have little choice but to shut down."

Post US election speeches

Here are some of the speeches given right after Obama won the election. Not that I adore these speakers for anything, off course except Obama, but I was interested in their response to historic nature of Obama's victory.

George Bush speech
McCain's concession speech His best line was "I wish ...... to the man who was my former opponent and will be my president.."
Obama victory speech

devide to win: an ancient method

An interesting way of deviding people to win election, as suggested by US Republican operator

Kevin Philips:
"He told the "New York Times" in 1970: "The more Negroes who register as Democrats in the South, the sooner the Negrophobe whites will quit the Democrats and become Republican.""
http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/11072008/watch3.html

Kevin Philips, was interviewed by Bill Moyer on PBS, on the eve of Obama's election to US presidency.

Federal law or State law

In US, every State can make their own law, in some areas. This has advantages and disadvantages.

This model helps when we are trying to solve a problem which needs some kind of radical action. In such circumstances, adventurous State can take the first leap, recklessly, when every other States are contemplating. Such adventurous states set standard and cultivate the minds of dis-aggrieng people to accept the change. Example: Califorina seems to take a leap when it comes to environment laws, and this may convince other states to adapt atleast some of the changes.

Negative thing is, when we are trying to solve mundane problems. In these circumstances, we may end up solving same problem again and again for every State. Example:- When it comes to voting policies, every state has its own law, and a good voting system is needed, and this is something for which everyone is going to agree, so we can make a one blanket federal law to solve once for all states.

I should conclude saying that this is lay-man's view.

On Obama before the election Day

This is the first time I am blogging specifically about Obama, but have lot to say because I have tracked him consistently, and this is an email that I wrote to my friend living in India.

I do not know to what extent you are in touch with presidential election in US. I have followed this election since 2 years and understood how US presidential election works; it is made up of Primary race which is confined to a political party and eventual Presidential race. Leave these procedure aside, I am writing this to tell my views about Obama.

Saying Obama is a charismatic person is a understatement, and his continental background makes other get curious. He looks studious too. Obama has become a phenomenon is US; TV comedians call him has magician and say he has hypnotic power. Media loves Obama and so many young people. Sometime I get a feeling that supporting Obama is making me look trendy. Few thoughtful Obama supporters, who have understood candidate's policies make fun of other blind followers. I think it is these political-junkies who sit and read online newspapers, blogs understand candidate's policies.

Obama has auto biography called "Audacity of hope", and a reviewer interviewed the author(Obama), on NPR radio, and that interview went for an hour, and that is when I heard about Obama for the first time(Interview was on Diane Rehm). He sounded interesting. Then he started running for presidency and think that was 2years back. I should point out that this presidential campaign started way too early, that is nearly 2 years before the actual election day, and I have followed since then, I should say, on a daily basis.

Obama has many good qualities; he is humble when compared to other, US presidents. In some of his speeches he implied that America is not a perfect country, which one would think is a sign of modesty, but his opponents staged it as unpatriotism. Obama has spoken about integrity and has proved it, in his campaign by being civil towards his opponent and refraining from character assassination. And Obama is good at disagreeing without angering the other person and I have heard him do that many debates. Obama has not shown any intention to exploit his race, in fact he has tried to under play the role of race, and this reticence has made conventional black leaders(like Jessie Jackson) say Obama is not black enough, alluding to the fact that he was bought up by white mother (His dad, Kenyan, was black).

Obama has many qualities but he is not Gandhi, I mean does drive against wall. To give you an example, Obama's full name is Barack Hussein Obama, and he does not use his middle name very often, and I think that is because any association with Islam, including a name, is not popular in US.

Obama is a great orator; his sentences are not exotic but deliverers very effectively. I say 'effective' because it changes voters' mind. Let us go back a bit; when he started his campaign two years back, hardly anyone knew his name, and this is not surprising because he has not spent 20+ years in Washington like Hillary or McCain. Many people, who did not know him at all, have said that they decided to vote for him after listening to speech. People throng to his rallies; last week. in Colorado, he had 100 thousand people and that is not unusual for him; few months back he went on a world tour to meet world leaders, and he was more than well received in EU and middle-east. In that world tour, which was big success, he gave a speech in Berlin and 200 thousand people came to listen to it. As the election day approached, I heard listeners call radio program and tell that after hearing Obama's speech they decided to vote for him.

Obama's consistency, in past 2 years tells something about his discipline; and in past 2 years he has climbed a big mountain, inch by inch slowly showing his stamina. To become nominee of Democratic party he had to defeat Hillary Clinton; she is a such a political heavy-weight to Democratic party, Clinton is somewhat like Gandhi family is to Congress party(Note Kennadies are not that active now.). In fact Hillary Clinton thought that she is entitled to become the presidential nominee of Democratic party and she could not.

Obama has non-intrusive foreign policy; he is not planning to police the world, like George Bush or RNC; instead he wants to negotiate with Iran while his opponent, McCain wants to start war with Iran. People around the world seems to have recognised this attitude of Obama, so he was well received when he went on his world tour. In fact people outside US speak as if he is already a president. In fact, some Canadian's said "US, if you do not elect Obama, we will take him :-)".

Obama has bought so many young voters this year. Till now, youngsters were not active in politics, as if country is outsourced. Now Obama has bought back many of those. Obama he is a big hit in college campuses, there are so many teenagers working for free for his campaign. Some college students, who are working as volunteers, go to night-clubs, in the early hours, looking for eligible voters. I think 75% of people(<30yrs) are voting for Obama. There is so much enthusiasm that people make joke saying that Obama is a messiah and no wonder his opponent, McCain lessened Obama by comparing him to Britney spears and branded Obama as a rock star candidate without any meat. Obama has used Internet and text messaging effectively to keep the all those activists connected/informed. For us technology is a usual thing but it is new for politics.

And candidates have the option rising money for campaign, and Obama made a record in campaign fundraising; traditionally big corporates are the main source; and there are limited corporations and there is a limit on corporate funding too, so corporate funding saturates at some point. But Obama revolutionised fund rising by going directly to regular people, using Internet, and highest percentage of contributions are less than 200$(according to law, maximum a person can contribute is $4K ). So this model of depending on people is highly scalable, compared to depending on corporations. My colleague (an Indian) gave $700, and I gave lowly 10 :-)

Internet has played a big role in Obama's campaign. If you search in google, there are so many bloggers writing/defending Obama's policies, and those bloggers is made of professionals and armatures like you and me. This election season is like festival for bloggers; what surprises me is there are so many people like you & me doing it. And I think party with more educated members gets more bloggers; for example, Democratic party having more educated followers, has edge when it comes to Internet presence.

Internet is so crucial in organizing people for campaign, for example: if I want to work for Obama's campaign, I can go to a website, enter my ZIP code and get the address of nearest office. In any election, irrespective of roar of campaign, what matters is how many people actually vote; so parties should make sure that their supporter make time for voting. Yes, we in s/w know that technology can do many things, but very few can use this in such a mass scale and still make it sound it like a symphony.

In India we take it for granted that anybody can become Prime minister(off course, it happens because of wrong actions) but in US it has taken so many years for black person to become President, so this is going to be a historic election. Still there are people in West Virgina, who say(on BBC radio) that they are not going to for Obama because he is black. And some Jewish people think that Obama is a Muslim so do not want to vote for him. But, but, Obama seems to have turned such crowd in to minority, which is a tremendous work. And people are worried about threat Obama's life; there are people in US who can not accept black person as their president and they could resort to kill him. Many of my friends expressed concern about Obama's safety.

I am writing this because I wanted to let you know and also wanted to document for myself. I wanted to send this few weeks back but did not make time but I can prolong no more because election is on Nov 4th and I am sure Obama is going at least win if not sweep :-)

Democracy

I am not at an expert in constitution and structure of Govt. My knowledge comes by what I hear on radio.

I believe both US and Indian democracies should be decent, but Indian democracy if drenched in corruption. The load of corruption is makes one feel that they are not living in on; it is a window with think coat of dust. If some one can clean that, for which we may need a miracle, then citizen would *really* see the power of democracy. Voting does not make a place, democratic.

In US it feels the people really have rights because one can it working; so feels like you are living in a democracy. What is the use of democratic constitution, however stellar it is, if it is just limited to paper?

May be it was my ignorance, in Bangalore I always felt that Govt. is entitled to access every bit of my information, but in US rules are very different; till they came up with 'Patriotic Act' Govt. did not have free access to public libraries records.
And when Govt. fails protect people from morality police, like Shiva sena, democracy looks useless.

Sex laden TV shows breed teen pregnancy-Solution

Sex laden TV shows breed teen pregnancy... Link

Well, i suggest viewers, young and old, should wear condom before turning on the TV.

Measuring US employee productivity in Outsourcing age..

I have heard US politicians brag that US workforce has highest productivity. I am a software engineer in a fortune-500 company, and you guessed, most of our work is outsourced to China and India. So, how my company's productivity can be called as US employee productivity?

Booker prize for "White Tiger"

Today, an Indian born author, Aravind Adiga won the Booker prize. In this BBC interview, he says "In India for poor there are two ways to come up, one is through Crime and the other is Politics which can be a variant of crime..". I do not think he is exaggerating at all, but I would like to make two changes; first, instead of saying poor, I would say people living in slum and slightly above that level; second change is, I would add two more routes success "Extreme talented like that of Einstein or overwhelming amount of luck".

Average intelligence would not lead to anywhere, you have to be lucky and brilliant. There are so many graduates with no job and they just wait and wait for job, languish without any hope. It is a pathetic state and one should see to believe it, and I have few friends in that state. In India it is all about being at right place at the right time, which was the case with me.

Video of award ceremony
Video of Author's interview
Audio

Part-nationalization of US banks

At last US treasuery seems to have cameup with a plan that looks like has been analysed well. Nature of this financial scandal makes impossible to comeup with solution in one step. This complex problem is like a web, as it untangles we may have to change our solution, so our solution should start with basic rule but flexible enought to be modified. The first move, drawn in haste to throw 700B was shabby and immature.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7668704.stm
The lastest plan to part-nationalise the banks is a good one. Govt. move to buy shares without voting rights should be seen as a gesture of respect towards free-market.

I like following aspects of this bill.

1) The US government said it would buy preference shares in the banks. Preference shares pay a fixed rate of interest instead of a dividend, which has to be paid before other shareholders receive anything, but they do not carry voting rights.

2) Banks that receive the cash injections will be subject to restrictions on executive pay.

Adage -poem Billy Collins

I heard Billy collins recite this poem twice on radio. This is a less complicated and still emphatic poem. On radio Billy collins said something to this effect "Poetry should be like the chart hung in eye doctors' clinic; starting with thick letter and getting smaller as it proceeds."

Adage - Billy Collins
When it’s late at night and branches
are banging against the windows,
you might think that love is just a matter

of leaping out of the frying pan of yourself
into the fire of someone else,
but it’s a little more complicated than that.

It’s more like trading the two birds
who might be hiding in that bush
for the one you are not holding in your hand.

A wise man once said that love
was like forcing a horse to drink
but then everyone stopped thinking of him as wise.

Let us be clear about something.
Love is not as simple as getting up
on the wrong side of the bed wearing the emperor’s clothes.

No, it’s more like the way the pen
feels after it has defeated the sword.
It’s a little like the penny saved or the nine dropped stitches.

You look at me through the halo of the last candle
and tell me love is an ill wind
that has no turning, a road that blows no good,

but I am here to remind you,
as our shadows tremble on the walls,
that love is the early bird who is better late than never.

Tainted China water sickens 450

This is one more instance of collateral damage caused by rapid industrialization; I believe the engine of this raging industrialization is usually wealthy corporates and politicians spread around the world; yes, few consumers suffering from shopping syndrome also benefit from this. Corporates in US want an unregulated environment workplace so that they multiply their profits by selling cheap consumer products. And politicians in US, China sanitize this exploitation saying we are increasing the living standard of poor, and I think they are either ignorant or not honest.

Tainted China water sickens 450
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7665193.stm

McCain & Obama debate

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7658262.stm

I listened to debate between McCain & Obama over the radio. Policy wise McCain was not honest; he again spoke as if Iran is going to repeat Holocaust. If McCain really believes that, then it highlights his bad judgement. Also, regarding health care, I am not sure how realistic it is to assume that one can buy health policy for 5K. Obama could have slammed better. I also felt that candidates were trying to stuff as many keywords as possible (like N energy, Wind energy etc..), as if it was a job interview for a technical position :-)

I cringe whenever I hear him say "my friend", and that tone sounds too personal to be presidential and feels like he is trying hard to convince.
BBC radio made an interesting point at that this debate put candidates age on the stage.
All said, I would not give much importance to debates as pundits media because ruling a country needs more than debating skills and stage presence.

Why have melamine at all?

According to this Chinese Govt. is setting threshold for melamaine in Dairy products.
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601080&sid=aA0__rfGpEec&refer=asia

Do we need Melamine at all?
Does milk taken from cow contain Melamine?

What is common between US & EU banking system?

Recent economic crisis has affected banks in US, EU equally. Example: Iceland, the country is teathering close to national bankruptsy; few banks in UK, France, Germany, Switgherland have been rescued from melting.

-Were the banks in EU and US were following same policies or systems?
-If so, when did EU banks started following US bank's principles?

-And who forced EU banks to follow US banking system?
-Was it WTO?

I would like to know answer to these questions, and media just keeps repeating same thing again and again. When i come across a serious article, I do not know what is the motives of writer because money is too real.

Polar bear's struggle in Pig's world

If you have seen Planet Earth's videos on Polar bears, you may remember how Polar bears travel in ocean, by swimming for a while and then climbing on to a mound of snow, in order to rest. Bears supposedly repeat this exercise while they are crossing vast seas, which for human like me, looks like an epic journey, and the scale of this adventure demands some respect and recognition. Without these snow mounds to rest, Polar bears would drown out of exhaustion, admist these long journeys. So those tiny, snow mounds are very crucial for Polar Bear's life style, and with the rise in global temeparature, these snow mounds are depleating, and according to this BBC article Polar bears have started to die and some politians are still arguing whether the Polar Bears are endanagered species.

Based on following article
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7656871.stm

a) "Six polar bears recently drowned out in the open water. Their bodies were spotted by sailors."

b) Sarah Palin does not think Polar Bear is an endangered species.

Shallow side of 'age of information' and 'stay-connected'

Internet started this information age for good, then came Blackberry and then 'stay connected' mantra abused the system.
I believe we have too many sources of information covering same event, and every one of these starts with an introduction, and most of the readers get exhausted/distracted right at the end of introductory paragraph. This mostly because our attension span is ridiculously low and also media portal offer links with sensationalized titles.
I listen to radio and also read blogs, and in case of former I am forced to listen till the end(because there are just two source NPR and BBC), so in the end I absorb more information from radio than internet.
"Article Distraction and Democracy" http://wamu.org/programs/dr/08/06/10.php#19911This was broadcast, few months back, on NPR. Accrding to this program, we 'snack' news and know less than our parents.
Let us look at the new providers: TV/Newspapers and Bloggers. There is one news event but many Newspapers and TV channels, and in the end, just to get distinguished, media outlets dissect the news-event like a 'crime scene' and end up reporting on superficial things like clothes & gestures.
Then, Bloggers, second in chain, enter the news scene, scatter the news through out Web. So, we endup with insane amount of articles. Yes, there is nothing wrong in this but the reader should be responsible, cautious and stay focussed on one article.And media outlets should end sensationalized 'small-town' journalism :-)
I may be going beyond this subject but I should say that website design may have something to do with peoples' inability to stay till they completley read the article. Usually articles, in newsites, seem to be buried inside a pile of ads.
So, this 'information/interruption age' is affecting everything, including policies & democracies. Changing this trend of shallowness needs both the provider and consumer to change.

Just like updrading speakers

I have had two Klipsche bookshelf speakers for 2 years, and I have been happy without any regrets, but I have gotten used to this and lately feeling that I want more, so I am looking subwoofers, not with the intention of regaining lost excitement but something less drastic than that :-)
Then my thoughts drifted towards relation between two human beings and narrowed on socio-sexual couples(official-unofficial/married-unmarried); probably, even they may think in these lines, first starts with bookshelf speakers, years later surround speakers, few years later subwoofer, and then on one big day they stop listening to music all together.

Citi, Wachovia and WellsFargo

http://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/articles/djf500/200810031604DOWJONESDJONLINE000788_FORTUNE5.htm
Look at the haste with which Citi and Wells are moving. This is what is wrong with these bankers; and already the analysts are cheering by saying that Citi needs this deal to grow. Was not the banking industry supposed to be on death bed? How did these banks regained their guice so fast? Look at the ethical side of it, Wachovia seems to be breaking the aggreement with Citi.Bankers have not learnt anything, are back to their bi-polar days, I do not think they deserved $700b bailout. I see this squabble as slap on face of rescuing Govt.

This shows how distasteful the people are in Wall-street, I would have liked these banker crawl. One does not have to go deeper to see, that in this $700b crisis, Henry Paulson has represented wall-street. What a disgusting drama of greed.

God brain-washes devotees in to death

Fatalities in India temple crush http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7643373.stm

Well, we have another story from Northern India that shows how idiotic these f***ing god-washed devotees are. Personally, I do n't have any sympathy for these god-nuts but would have felt sad if they had died due to stampede inside a Cricket stadium instead of damn Temple. Going to temple is a sign of decayed mind and dying in a stampede inside a temple... omg...is being brain-dead :-)

Well, I certainly blame God for brain-washing these idiots in to grave

Corrupt curiosity Citi, Wells Fargo and Wachovia

Point 1)
Citigroup and Wells Fargo were locked in a bidding war on Sunday over a possible emergency takeover of the Wachovia Corporation, people involved in the talks said.

Point 2)
The government, led by the Federal Reserve and Treasury Department, has been involved in the talks as well, these people said. But so far, the government is resisting pressure to help bidders by guaranteeing a part of Wachovia’s assets the way it did for Bear Stearns when it was sold to JPMorgan Chase in March.

Point 3)
Either way, Citigroup and Wells Fargo are unlikely to bid more than a few dollars a share for Wachovia, substantially less than the $10 at which its shares were trading Friday.
Source:-http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/29/business/29bank.html?ref=business

Question:- Both Citibank and Wells Fargo must have connections to trigger a panic regarding Wachovia prospects; they may even have access to Credit rating agencies, and will Citi&Fargo, use these to drive down Wachovia shares? And we also know that FBI is investigating the banks http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7632790.stm , and by now we are well aware of wall-street's credibility :-)

Just a corrupt curiosity....

Using AGL

Fluid Acrylic + AGL+++ stays wet for longer than Heavybody Acrylic + AGL









Praportions
1) AGL + Napthol Red Medium (Fluid Acrylic)
2) AGL + Burnt Sienna (Heavybody Acrylic)











Transperancy
1) AGL + Napthol Red Medium (Fluid Acrylic)
2) AGL + Burnt Sienna(Heavybody Acrylic)
Seems AGL affects transparency least








Blending AGL mix
1) AGL + Napthol Red Medium (Fluid Acrylic)
2) AGL + Burnt Sienna (Heavybody Acrylic)













Drying of AGL mix after 30minutes
1) AGL + Burnt Sienna (Heavybody Acrylic)









Pre-election wedding?

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/us_elections/article4837644.ece

McCain camp prays for Palin wedding
In an election campaign notable for its surprises, Sarah Palin, the Republican vice- presidential candidate, may be about to spring a new one — the wedding of her pregnant teenage daughter to her ice-hockey-playing fiancĂ© before the November 4 election.

Is this an election? I am confused

Golden AGL as Retarder?

It seems Golden Acrylic Glazin Liquid (AGL) can be used as Retarder without the fear of losing binding because AGL is contains Binder. This is what Golden says "Don't be fooled by the "glaze" part of the name, blends of 1:1 with most colors can still be very opaque. Adding AGL will increase working time proportionately. Don't worry about adding too much or sticking to an exact ratio, blend as needed."

Paraphrased from http://www.goldenpaints.com/justpaint/jp8article2.php

Golden Pastes

-Hard Molding Paste has self-leveling qualities not found in other Molding Pastes. High peaks formed in application will settle out before it is completely dry.

Paraphrased from http://www.goldenpaints.com/justpaint/jp6article2.php

Acrylic Glazing

GLAZE and Refractive index
Acrylic Color = Pigment + Binder
Refractive index of the Binder is 1.4 for every Acrylic color but that of Pigment varies from pigment to pigment, and closer the Refractive Index of Pigment to that of Binder(i,e. 1.7) , more is the transparency/transculency. Example: Refractive Index of TW is 2.7 so it is opaque and that of Utramarine blue is 1.7.
What light manages to pass through or between the particles is ultimately absorbed or reflected by the lighter, underlying ground, gaining a second opportunity to interact with the pigment particles before making its way towards the viewer. This complex interplay of light within the paint film creates the particular sense of glow and luminosity that is one of the prized attributes of glazes.

Why use GEL instead of WATER?
Binder 's refractive index plays a critical role in limiting the scattering of light, and having the particles well bound in a paint film becomes crucial for creating a luminous translucent glaze. For this reason a glaze needs to be made with plenty of medium to insure the pigment is fully suspended. A 10:1 ratio of binder to color is a good place to start your mixtures. A very common mistake is to simply thin the paint with water, which only leaves the pigments more exposed to the air, where the scattering of light is greatest. Rather than a smooth translucent film, the paint will also tend to create a rougher, matte surface that further dissipates the light and leaves the color feeling washed out.

Loss of Light
Lastly, it is important to remember that glazes will always lower the value of the underlying color. Less light, not more, is ultimately reflected back from a glazed surface, so it is important to keep the underpainting or ground at a higher value then you anticipate for the final result.

Mix or GLAZE?
Glazes allow for a unique development of color that cannot be achieved by any other means. A bright yellow, glazed with a transparent red, will result in an orange completely different than if they were mixed together on the palette. There is a sense of luminosity and greater saturation of color caused by the light traveling through one or more translucent films before reaching the viewer.

Paraphrased from http://www.goldenpaints.com/justpaint/jp12article2.php

Golden Fluid Acrylics

-Fuild Acrylics are produced with the same pigments at the same load as the Heavy Body paints, yielding similar tinting strength. However, many artists believe they are actually stronger than the Heavy Body colors due to their greater leveling. Formulating the Fluid Acrylics is a more difficult process, as there is a tendency for highly loaded paints at a low viscosity to thicken over time.

-Different colors can have different Gloss; one way to tackle this is to mix with appropriate Gel which would reduce the color load and other way is to apply varnish.

-Max Water to Paint ration is 1:1

-Brush strokes get evened out. Fluid colors fills the brush in an uniform way.

-Fluid colors are good for making Gel based Glaze mixtures because foaming can be avoided.
Fluid colors are strong so 2% may be enough for Glaze mixture.

Full article
http://www.goldenpaints.com/justpaint/jp4article3.php

McCain's random antics

This is an interesting observation on random punchs thrown by John McCain

http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2008/09/tactics-v-strat.html
...that the McCain campaign is obsessed with tactics -- not strategy. The campaign is focused on winning the news cycle -- not having a larger consistent message....

Drying of Acrylic paints

About drying of Acrylic Colors.

Types of Drying
1) Surface drying: This is the first stage of drying, where a skin gets formed over the surface because the moisture, stored in underlying layer, are no longer able to keep the film/surface wet. This is also called as "dry-to-touch". Thin layers attain this stage in seconds while think layers would have to wait little longer.

2) Internal drying: This is the time required for every layer to dry and is more important than Surface drying. Time for this varies and could take hours. I have observed that color mixed with Gels or Pastes takes lot longer to dry, and show different color when dry.

Temperature:-
-Does not dry well at temperatures below 48F
-While using Hair-dryer, keep the heat low.

Substrate and drying:-
Substrate is the painting surface and its nature affects the time taken by paint to dry. An unsealed the surface/substrate like paper or canvas could accelarate drying of Acrylic color. By sealing the substrate -with Golden Soft Gel etc...- one can reduce the drying time.

Full article:
http://www.goldenpaints.com/justpaint/jp3article1.php

Why Palins did this to herself?

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/26/us/politics/26watch.html?em
I saw Palin interview with Katie Koric, yes that Russian question?
Palin's asnwer was not polished; see I was not expecting a the truth but just a confident presentation. She stumbled, sorry I should not be that judgmental(being bad talker myself) , but a VP needs to be confident; does not matter whether the individual brain-dead(like Mr Bush :-)).

Sarah went speechless while describing how media made fun of her by saying 'Palin's foriegn policy experience comes from being next to Russia', and Palin could not get the word 'caricature' to describe the way media treated her, and then Katie helped her with word 'mock'. I do not understand why Palin is putting herself to this kind of humiliation, media is going to be beat it to death; and bloggers are slaughtering it already. Sorry Sarah even I mocked at you :-), try to listening to BBC World service, every day, for few years :-)

"Clear Tar Gel" by Golden

Golden has several kinds of Gels: Hard, Soft, Clear Tar. And out of all these Clear Tar Gel has unique characteristic of settling in a way so that the surface is flat. And in addition this Clear Tar Gel does not create could, instead it creates a transparent layer that looks like Glass.
Among all, Clear Tar Gel is my favorite and have used it create glassy layers. The method that used is to mix apply a layer a hard molding paste mixed with some color and then it is still somewhat wet, pour Clear Tar Gel.
'Rheology' is a new term that I recently came across, it is refers to ability of the viscous liquid to settledown in such a way that surface bceomes flat.

Here is link specifications http://www.goldenpaints.com/technicaldata/targel.php
And salient features are
0) When poured, drops along a line without breaking.
1) 100% acrylic polymer dispersion
2) Prestinely clear, not sign of fog.
3) Aware of bubbles.

Working with Clear Tar Gel http://www.goldenpaints.com/artist/cltargel.php

Country of 1/2 billion puppets

Some boy does not want to love Her because His mom & dad did not approve; and similarly Some girl did not want to love Him because Her mom & dad refused.

This is not at all news in the nation of India; assuming that 50% living there are parents, rest of the off springs are just puppets; my genuine sympathies to them. It is a society that does not encourage self-determination. It is place where we have to redefine the terms Adult.
Yes, Indira Gandhi, a lady, became prime minister in 60s, is that true example for womens' freedom?, no I do not think so. Being able to choose in personal life is more important than freedom to hold the hightest office of the land. It is a strange country/society, even a CEO, may need mom & dad consent whom to love.

I am writing this because few victims are my close friends, and I can't change status-quo because it is a systemic problem, and it is frustrating to me that I have my friends suffering there.

Cow-boy's economic solution

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2008/09/20080924-10.html

'..is an extraordinary period for America's economy....'
This is how politicians scare their citizens with all superlatives and sometime it works; there are dumb people who believe that ...yes I should agree otherwise, sky is going fall on my family, land is going break... Mr. Bush used similar words to convince dumb Americans about Iraq war too.

'...And it will help send a signal to markets around the world that America's financial system is back on track...'
Observe the words 'system is back on track', Is fixing a systematic crisis as easy as throwing 700bn at thirsty wall-street? I do not think so, Wall-street has wasted lot more money than this, giving them money is like giving drugs to an addict; first we should cure system of its addiction. This statement goes well with Bush's simplistic/shallow view of the World; Guy is not fit for position.

'....And together, we will show the world once again...'
Again, Mr. Bush talks like a Cowboy riding to his glory; everything is a week-end adventure for him. He used similar machostic words when stepped in to Iraq war. This statement also smells like cheap patriotism perfume that every politicains loves.

I would have said that Mr. Bush should get a better speech writer, but it is too late :-)

'Country first' trash

I believe 'patriotism' is one of the misleading and misused emotion. Misuser's of 'patriotism' get addicted to it, and as the time goes by they spew more of it on others, just like an over-dosing addict.

John McCain, is also suffering from that so are many politicians, epitomizes many politicians. John has overused his POW credentials to shield himself from even constructive criticism, postponed meeting(RNC convention) just because there was hurricane 1000 miles away venue, now he wants to postpone seize his campaign for Presidency because the Wall-street is facing time of crisis.

Why can't he behave normally? Like me :-) , as a regular guy?
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7634455.stm

our emotional boundaries

Like us, Nature has not made any progress (in human terms), it has as not had any cosmetic surgery; and rock, mud and tree have stayed pretty much the same. We humans may have look at trees with sympathy, pitied their austere landscape for missing on fun and luxury of modern life.
Whenever it got chance, this enormous Nature defeats and humbles human mind. An easy example is Sea whose every aspect is beyond our grip. Also, remember the last time you looked through the window and got stuck by the soaked leaf caught in wind. This way Nature presents us these extreme version and both of these, for few moments, flushes our mind with humble emotion and also takes us to the edge of life, helps to transcend many our self created emotional limitation/boundaries like anger, jealousy etc.

Alternative Super-power?

US is the reigning super power and some are looking for an alternative. How good, sane are these potential candidates? Not that we need anything at all, but I have not yet seen the world without super-power, so I do not know.

In general, sovereign country’s policy could not be dictated by outsiders, this is very much true once the country rises to the throne of superpower because it becomes assertive, in worst case arrogant. So, only the Citizens that makeup the super-power can control the leader, and this makes Democracy a must-have attribute of super-power. And not just any kind of Democracy would do (a good example is Indian democracy), it should be a strong democracy with few of the following.
-A responsible and constructive opposition party that does not block everything blindly for plitical purpose. (India is a good example for not having one.)
-A constitution which is not just on paper but helps the Citizens. A strong judicial system must be present to apply the constitution. This is important because in Democracies like India, constitution is just a piece of paper, hardly rescues its citizens. Constitution should provide tools, by means of rights to dissect the internal and foreign policies of Govt. (Like, right to track Govt. records).

-A vocal but decent citizens who are not afraid to express their thoughts about Foreign policy, take part in debates and blogs. These citizens should be courageous enough to scrutinize Govt. to the hilt regarding Foreign affairs, and ask what it is doing to World.

I am not a Constitution professor, so whatever I wrote above is based on what I see around. As far as I know, none of the Asians countries have all of the above but there are few western countries that meet these requirements. Obviously US is a mature democracy with all these abilities. Here is an example, Govt wanted to prosecute the chauffer of Bin Laden and there were people in favor of severe sentence and people who advocated that chauffer is no Bin Laden. If the 9/11 had happened in India, it would have been hard to avoid physical threat if one were to advocate in favor of Bin Laden’s chauffer, but in US, citizens debated, blogged to acquit Bin Laden’s chauffer. And in the end, amidst the raging debate, US court awarded a minimum sentence to chauffer.

US off-stream media is full of foreign policy critics and conspiracy theorists; yes, those critics, bloggers may not bring policy change over night but important thing is that Govt. gave them the chance to express their voice; who knows their voice may make some one to really act. After listening to liberal media, I should say that worst critics of US are inside US.

US Govt. is arrogant but its citizens are mature enough to keep it on the leash, and citizens are Russia, China and India are not even anywhere close.

Democracy in Pakistan

I see Pakistan as a failed democracy and to some extent even India is not that far(based on where I stand).
When political system itself is corrupt, honest individuals will not be able to rise to the position of 'Leader' and 'voting' becomes thing like that obligation in a broken marriage, and a tool to legitimize corruption. If the system is so corrupt intellectual act hardly helps, example is the lawyers strike.
Ordinary people are not intellectuals, they just want to live, and it is sad that they are caught in the this, neither voting helps them nor they are Gandhi

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7600917.stm

Interview

These are the things that I have learnt, over the years, about technical interviews.

1) Tech industry has broad divisions like: server side, security, GUI etc. It is would help if the interview knows these so that he could pro-actively inject these in to conversation, so that interviewer could latch on to these.

Ex: Here is piece of conversation
interviewee: I wrote an IMAP client.
interviewer: Was it designed run on Server?
[this gives me a clue that interviewer was interested in knowing whether the person being interviewed had any server-side experience]

2) Interviewer might want to know, how well the candidate, can apply technical knowledge? So they usually ask the candidate to describe the practical scenario where she/he had do apply the XYZ technology.
Example: Describe me a scenario where you had to use 'Synchronization' objects?
In response it is better to use a scripted example so that it sounds compelling. One way to prepare these scripts is thoughfully go through the past experinces, pick a RIGHT one and decribe it as if one is being interviewed.

These are the things that I have learnt, over the years, about technical interviews.

1) Tech industry has broad divisions like: server side, security, GUI etc. It is would help if the interview knows these so that he could pro-actively inject these in to conversation, so that interviewer could latch on to these.
Ex: Here is piece of conversation
interviewee: I wrote an IMAP client.
interviewer: Was it designed run on Server? [this gives me a clue that interviewer was
interested in knowing whether the person
being interviewed had any server-side
experience]

2) Interviewer might want to know, how well the candidate, can apply technical knowledge? So they usually ask the candidate to describe the practical scenario where she/he had do apply the XYZ technology.

Example: Describe me a scenario where you had to use 'Synchronization' objects?

In response it is better to use a scripted example so that it sounds compelling. One way to prepare these scripts is thoughfully go through the past experinces, pick a RIGHT one and decribe it as if one is being interviewed.

http://www.lookupanyone.com

This is a serious stuff, http://www.lookupanyone.com has all the personal details for sale. They will show preview of it without payment and buy full details after paying 40$. This site is held by a company located at

Intelius, Inc.

Attn: CUSTOMER SERVICE
500 - 108th Ave NE #1660
Bellevue, WA 98004

Do they have SSN?
They claim that they have SSN but that seem to be lie because of following reason. When I searched for my name, they showed two results with different postal address, and both address were correct, I have lived at those addresses; my point is if they were to have my SSN, they would have linked those two results in to one. I am almost tempted to buy my personal results and see what they have.

spitting & throwing

There is a subtle difference between 'spitting' and 'throwing'; before 'spitting' the object should have been welcomed to come inside the mouth and to take that step the object must have been a thing of desire, and consequently 'spitting' is more painful version of expulsion, and it is like 180 degree turn around compared to throwing, which is lot more casual act :-)

What made me think about this?
Peter Murphy's song "cuts you up" made me dwell deeper in to spitting. Note that his songs does not convey the same meaning as I described above.

Personally I associate this song with frustration that one undergoes while learning any creative thing. My favorite lines are.... 'it takes you in and spits you out' when you start feeling that you know everything.

Cuts you up - Peter Murphy
.............
You know the way it throws about.
It takes you in and spits you out
It spits you out when you desire
to conquer it, to feel you're higher
.............
.............


Legally unethical?

Looks like TECH especially S/W companies are releasing the products prematurely just to meet their share-holder's deadline. And most of managers are just saving their skin by satisfaying their superior instead of standing for the quality of s/w, and in that zeal to appease they do not mind letting a crappy product go to customer.


Unfortunately there is nothing illigal about it... and I attribute this to overwhelming influence of wall-street.

Aging in to a cynic

People tend towards cynicism as they age, and usual things do not seem to make them spring like they would have done in younger years.
I see art as an exception; music, literature and paintings might still be able to move even the aged. So to be on safer side, when mind is still open for ideas, it is good to develop a taste for art(in addition to sex and money) .

War and Victory

For an outsider, victory is minuscule in the vast theatre of war, a shiny chair in the big auditorium. In real world, one can not say when exactly one tresspasses victory and how it looks, so in a way victory is a blur.

Days that we need are...

Step-father day
Step-mother day
Son day
Daughter day
Step-son day
Step-daughter day
Maid's day

Should certainly boost the economy.

What if either India or China cease to exist?

There are many movies on what happens a city in US get wiped out, and I am sure that is already is sated subject but there are unsatisfied viewers.

More worrying this if there is a natural disaster in either India or China, big enough to wipe the country out of the map, world would have have serious problems. The disaster that I am thinking is something like some celestial object hitting those country or great Everest bursting out. In such a scenario following are the things to worry...

a) What happens to world's economic balance. Currently China is world's biggest factory and we are all have been made dependent on it?

b) Will UN secure the borders of affected country against vicious neighbors? Take an scenario where India gets wiped out of the planet earth, and then expatriate Indians would like to rebuild the country, will the UN help them secure the nation against China/Pakistan?

I think Hollywood should make a movie on this subject.

Do we need Natural disasters?

In one word I would say "YES". It has advantages, one is that it reminds humans that they are not the masters and that might make them behave little bit decently. If were no natural disasters, I am sure humans would have pruned the nature completely.

There is another tiny advantage of bringing the population down, but I am yet to see the result of this because people who dies in these accidents are usually in terms on 1000s++ which is nothing compared to billions++ population. Also if you take in to account the money that goes in to reinstate the affected people, it is not worth.

Needless to say that people affected from it this is insensitive, but in broader terms these these catastrophes should make us more responsible.

paint scoop size

I have started learning to have better control over color mixing, and this is small part of my effort to apply Munsell's color theories. During this i will have to be able to measure the amount of paint that is going in to mix, and do this I do not have a measuring cup, instead I have to somehow use the pallette knife, and when ever I scoop up the paint, I have to memorize scoop size and count how many scoops. This is very crucial for mixing and somehow I never did this in past. I do not know why Art schools do not address these issues forget about letting the student practise. I am realizing that this is very crucial.

Overcoming still harmony of life

There is a string-instrument that also resembles a lady showing her back to us, and neither the string-instrument nor the lady is defined distinctly using crisp edges. Presence of strings just hints about the String-instrument and similarly hair just hints that there is a lady, and every thing in between the string and hair represent neither human body nor string-instrument.
Strings of the string-instrument's are broken and also been depicted as chain. And the fresh breeze, shown using green colour represents arrival of fresh energy, and the lady's hair color is indicating that she is absorbing it.

Now, let us go beyond this visual description to the meaning; Life style, especially the ones adhering to the popular social templates could be sounding like a perfect hamrony to neighours but be boring to the owner of life. And the lady, shown here is one such frustrated individual, and under the influence of fresh breeze, she has broken the chains of her monotonus life and has also decided not to play the music to sooth others. Essentially I have tried to depict a person who is over coming monotony of life and I hope you are also able see it.

Click for large image

Diorama - Dear brother

This song is by Diorama and this remainds me of song "Sinner in me" by Martin L. Gore, and both these songs are about the Sinner inside us. We cannot define this sin using generic rules of our society, and the sin that I am referring to is rather personal and might not be sin at all, according to society. This Sinner does not have shape so we can neither kill nor expose him/her to be prosecuted by outsiders. We continue to carry them and live, hoping that they would die one day, before us.

Coming back to the song, lyrics is compelling and also impersonal compared to some of his other songs. I have marked my favourite lines with <->

Diorama - Dear Brother
I am your doubt
Your constant sin
The swollen shape <->
Of your regrets <->

You make your way
To where I am
As you remain
Inside the cold white room


Brother shoot me down
Kill me from within

I am the void
Carved in your face
All eyes and ears
Are bouncing off

Don't let a sound
Seep through the wax
You left a friend
Inside the cold white room

Brother shoot me down
Kill me from within
Brother shoot me down
Kill me once again

I'm the hurricane <->
In your water glass <->
Stir me <->
Stir me <->

I am your first step
Into no man's land
Walk me
Walk me

Brother shoot me down <->
Kill me from within <->
Brother shoot me down
Kill me once again


As I write this I am listening to this song, wish I could post the mp3 file. If you get to listen to the song I am sure you would get bitten by scream "Brother shoot me down... Kill me from within.."

painting "due to reckless virility"

This is painting is about impact of over population on Nature. A twig is being chased by phallic pistol which symbolises over population. Twig is jumping over the fence to escape from man. Blue block on the right edge is a human body(see the shape of obdomen and navel) and is approching the twig, totting his pistol/penis. As he moves, he is lifting the land underneath(see the furling ground) . Man's foot is coming down from the top, crushing tree trunks.

In broader terms is overpopulation is an unquestionable hollistic weapon that humans or nations or groups use for various purpose( say to conquer the land).

Final painting



Practicing 1


Practicing 2

Cheap black-mail

Why these people want to someone's rights...
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/5275866.stm
By using holocaust for such trivial cause one just cheapens the history.

Spineless Indian Govt. descends to Chinese Govt. side

This is news is shocking...

"...Beijing said Mr Narayanan had reiterated that the government in Delhi viewed Tibet as part of China...."

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7321899.stm

Giving work to Chinese Govt's inet blocking s/w

Tibet dfdhsadhsdavfhv tibet bnzcxvgzdxvchgsdfhdsvfhdfavb
tibet dsjkdvfjksdbvbadjcb

http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20080317-great-firewall-of-china-expands-as-tibetan-riots-continue.html


:-)

Audio-dictionary project

This is about my Audio-dictionary project who's goal is to convert English dictionary in to a mp3 file. English dictionary contains far too many words and frankly I am not interested in all of them, in fact I need just tiny part of it so this audio dictionary holds selected few words.

Simplistic view
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
(M-W Dictionary) ----> (Text-To-Speech Engine) ---> (WAV file)


Detailed steps
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
0) Installed AT&T Text-To-Speech or "TTS Engine" on my PC
1) Choose the words from TEXT version of Merriam Webster Dictionary,
to make files like a.xml, b xml.. etc
2) Wrote a program to
a. read words from XML file and feed in to "TTS Engine"
b. programmed "TTS Engine" save the words as WAV file.
3) Convert the WAV file to MP3 file.

Current status
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I have prepared the WAV containing the words starting with letter A and yet to repeat this proven mechanism on the words starting from other letters.

Why.....?
In my profession of software engineering I use few words for everything and feel lacking when I try to write paragraphs, especially the compound sentences are open pits. So to do something for this I am trying to improve my grammar and also vocabulary and this audio dictionary is part of that town.

Collecting Word...
Two years ago, I started thinking about making an audio-dictionary and began underlining the words on paper edition of pocket sized Oxford English dictionary. Next was to transfer the words from paper to PC by manually typing(note that I had chosen only few words under each alphabet). I had two concerns about this methods namely: I was using abridged version of dictionary with subset of words and pocket dictionary did not have examples; I believe that best way to keep a word in memory is to listen or read it being used.

e-Dictionary instead of paper version..
I started searching again for different source of words, a dictionary, and this new slightly ambitious agenda required me to transfer plenty more words from paper to PC and that looked impractical, and that is when I focused on e-Dictionary so there would not be need for me to type words in to PC.

Web-based dictionary or Text-based dictionary....
I started with www.m-w.org, a Web-based dictionary and thought of programmatically querying the web server for word's meaning, and this strategy did not go anywhere, moreover www.m-w.org lacked examples so gave up the idea of using www.m-w.org. No other online dictionaries,like www.dictionary.com, were worth pursuing because they lacked history of publishing any paperback editions.

Cleaning up Gutenberg's project dictionary....
Then reluctantly, I browsed Gutenberg project site and found text-based version of 1903 edition of Merriam Webster dictionary. There were 26 files, one for every word, and these files were big, with elaborate information on every word, including examples, and also found that these files had syntax similar to XML. I decided to use Gutenberg's files as source of words and started deleting the unnecessary details about words, using my C# scripts. In addition to this I also deleted hundreds of words completely.

Regular Expression
Cleaning dictionary was all about searching for patterns and replacing, and Regular Expression is made for such kind of work. I used Visual Studio 2005 editor to search & replace based on patterns.

At present I have done this for file containing the words starting with "A" and need to repeat for other files. So I have A.xml and A.wma

Right Text-To-Speech(TTS) voice....
WindowsXP comes with a synthetic voice, sounds too robotic to comprehend. Then I came across sweet sounding AT&T natural voices, at first I thought they are expensive but costed just 40$, and I think cheap for so much natural sounding voices named: Mike16 and Crystal16.

Program using TAPI ....
Now I had both TTS voice, A.xml ready and just needed a program to take the lines from A.xml and feed them to TTS engine. I reading TAPI, a COM based Microsoft's voice library and wrote an application in C++. TAPI is scalable in sense one can set different volume to words contained in same sentence, and TAPI also has XML syntax to spell the words, and my program is able use these features of TAPI. Last surprising thing was TAPI is able to save the voice in to a WAV file and had not expected this from TAPI. Now I can add TAPI to my resume.


Is this all useful?
I have listened to WAV file several time and surprisingly I find the XML file more use full than the WAV file. XSLT made a.xml very much readable, here is snapshot of it.


View of a.xml

Grip to go back

It seems that distinct times of our past are like texture on rock, they provide us the grip to go back.

Make UN a non-political body

I have heard a lot about UN resolutions in past 8 years and based on that I have arrived at the following: UN is not practical as political body and there are plenty of evidences to prove that, resolutions against Israel get vetoed out by US and UN is unable to arrive at any consensus on Dar fur because China is blocking everything as permanent member of Security council.
Even if a resolution goes through, UN will not be able to impose the resolution because it does not have strong army.

But UN is good at generating ripple about the general issues like Poverty, Global warming, etc. When UN talks, such issues get the credibility required to motivate the people to take on their respective Govt, and that could lead the individual country to take some action.


So please make UN apolitical body.
And aside from this why does China want to be permanent member of security council if it does not want to intervene in other country's internal matter? this is really puzzling me...