Friday, May 28, 2004


As of May 28, 2004 (10.35AM), this blog is the number one web search result (sponsored results not included) for "transport phenomena" on Yahoo Search.

Try it for yourself. I suppose that puts the onus on me to put something actually related to TP in the entries :)

Google, on the other hand did not list it all - not in the first 70 or so listings anyways - thank God! now you know why people (including me ofcourse!) trust google over yahoo for searching the web!

memorial day ... why always on a monday?

another long weekend ... monday (may 31) is memorial day here in the US - and a holiday for almost everyone. when i was new to the US, i used to wonder why the holidays are always on a monday - turns out it was made that way by president Nixon in 1971 - in addition, several holidays were changed to fall on the specific mondays (e.g labor day on the first weekend of september and so on... ). july 4 is however still on july 4. imagine a situation like that in india, if independence day were to be celebrated on say, the third monday of august (to ensure a long weekend) - we might have to observe a holiday on august 14 (pakistani independence day) from time to time ....

but seriously, could this policy be followed with regard to other indian holidays - i dont think so, simply because a) holidays mostly fall by the lunar calendar. so its not even guarenteed that they will always be in the same month as the previous year; b) most of them are religious, whats the point in celebrating diwali the following weekend or the previous weekend. almost like saying lets have christmas on dec 23, because its a monday :). but there certainly seems merit to consider that on non-religious holidays - birthdays of leaders for example - gandhi, nehru, ambedkar, the list goes on ... come to think of it, how many holidays are there for an average indian company? that is a totally different topic, lets not digress there ....

coming back to memorial day, i wondered about its history - did a bit of googling, and here is what i found: To quote from the History Channel
Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day because it was a time set aside to honor the nation's Civil War dead by decorating their graves. It was first widely observed on May 30,1868, to commemorate the sacrifices of Civil War soldiers, by proclamation of General John A. Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of former sailors and soldiers.
There seems to be a debate as to where the custom of observing memorial day began, with several places - Columbus, MS; Macon GA; Boalsburg, PA etc.

either way, monday is a holiday ... and i am looking forward to a time-out ... :)

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

this day in history - legitimizing indian removal

Every morning i drive to work along I-565 and have driven past on US-72 towards Chattaonooga, TN and see signs every couple of miles indicating the highway to be part of the {Trail of Tears Corridor. I always wondered what it was till one day, i found that a veyr major highway very close to my apt was closed for the morning to allow for a massive bikers rally to commemorate the event - still didnt realize what event the newscaster was referring to. It started on this day 174 years ago, when the US Congress passed the Indian Removal Act to forcibly remove some 60,000 members of Native American tribes in the United States living east of the Mississippi River to areas further west. The most famous Trail of Tears is the path taken to move the Cherokee Indians to their new settlements in Oklahoma. In CHerokee, the Trail is remembered as Nunna daul Tsuny, literally translated as "the trail where they cried".

The actual commemoration of the event's history occurs with the largest "organized motorcycle ride in the south" (some claim the nation) with over a 100,000 bikes (trust me - that is a lot of them - you have to see it to believe it) starting from Cherokee, NC on Friday night traveling through Chattanooga and travels to Waterloo, AL passing through Huntsville, AL on US-72 and I-565. Check their website for details. It all happened due to an act of Congress passed on this day in 1830 under the Presidency of Andrew Jackson. A reminder to this day of the road traversed by the US to becoming the so-called "defenders of freedom and democracy"

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

the truth behind renunciation of the PM position?

Rajdeep Sardesai has tried to analyze the reasons behind Sonia Gandhi's decision to give up her chance to be PM of the country. It is, in my opinion, a well written article, with an objective outlook on things. He says
By opting out, she has been able to not just bury the foreign origins issue, but also given the space for Rahul Gandhi to become a political force in 2009, or whenever the next elections are held. After all, Sonia can now go into the next elections as some kind of a larger- than-life figure, who epitomizes the spirit of tyaag or sacrifice. What better way to ask for votes?
I think he has hit the nail on the head - my personal guess was that she opted out to make sure she does not jeopardize the chances of Rahul or Priyanka - they are just getting their feet wet in politics, and come the next election, might be the forerunners to lead the country. Rajdeep goes one step further and points out:
She will then be accused of being the remote control, who in Bal Thackeray-style has power without the responsibility of office. The last thing this country needs is a parallel authority at the very top of the executive chain. In this era of coalition politics, there will be enough that Dr Manmohan Singh will have to manage without having to look over his shoulder as to who is doing the backseat driving.
Hopefully, it will be a real government that Dr. Singh leads the country with, and not a mockery - a puppet who's strings are pulled by the leader in the Lower House. If Sonia is indeed able to leave governance to the government, then she may (in Rajdeep's words again) "well find herself on the path to political sainthood as a leader who really made a difference".

open source? why not ... and then again why?

Again water cooler talk - revolving around free (and open source) software vs. commercial non-free software.

I am not a software engineer by any standards, but have had a small amount of exposure to the process of software development (particularly for scientific applications). yet I have always wondered how (or why) people agree to make software open source or free for that matter (with or without the source). The company I work for used a set of open source libraries called FOX for developing the GUI and design environment for their scientific software, and I used to wonder what we gain from using freeware or giving software we make for free or making i open source. Also, there are hundreds of and freewares and public domain open source softwares that are distributed under various public licensing methods - prominent examples include the Linux OS, GNUplot, Python etc. Similarly, for scientific applications, there are hundreds of numerical recipes, toolkits etc.

while there is great demand for free software, there is even more demand for open source software - and yet what I think is worse is that there seems to be a growing number of people who probably despise those who make and sell commercial software. I look at software in the same light as any other intellectual property, and if someone decides its worth making money out of - so be it. I am still trying to understand the mindset which decides that even very intricate and elaborate software should be made freeware. I myself use a lot of freeware tools and utilities for all kinds of small (but important) tasks, and I wonder where I would be if the developer had not made them free. But I sometimes try and put myself in the developer's shoes, and I am not entirely convinced that I would have offered those same utilities for free! perhaps if I develop software long enough, some things seem trivial enough that I would not think twice about giving them away for free!

look to see more posts on this topic ... I hope to read and understand more on this issue, and perhaps, my views at the end of it might have totally changed.

I have changed this entry since the first time I posted it, since I had mixed up open-source/freeware a bit. Here are two principal questions I had:
a) developers make their software freely available (this is often not open source, only free) - what is their motivation behind this?
b) motivation behind the opposition to those not providing open source software [IS THIS PREDOMINANTLY AN ANTI-MICROSOFT STANCE?].

Monday, May 24, 2004

after cow fodder - is it diesel locos?

laloo prasad yadav is the nation's new railway minister. he is heading the world's largest employer (Indian Railways - 1.6M employees). So after cow fodder, do we see the diesel locomotive scam before the end of 2004?

they used to say

jaba rbaDI hI KanaI qaI tÜ gaaya BaOMsaÜM ka caara @yaÜM caurayaaÆ
will it soon be

jaba rbaDI hI KanaI qaIÊ tÜ rolagaaDI ka [MQana @yaÜM caurayaaÆ

still not been able to nail down blogging in unicode devanagari fonts - but will hopefully manage it soon

Install Shivaji01 font to read this Devnagari page.

Sunday, May 23, 2004

another day ... another attack ... so what?

Another day goes by in Jammu and Kashmir, and another attack ... This time a very deadly one on a bus carrying BSF soldiers and their families. The Hizbul Mujahideen claim responsibility for it.

A new government in New Delhi has taken form, but the same story continues in J&K. Even we as a people have become so used to it, that it does not provoke as much outrage as it should. And in such a climate, "normalization" of relations with Pakistan sounds like a joke. In all this policy of encouraging peaceful relationships with Pakistan, we seem to have conveniently forgotten why we almost went to war against them in 2002 in the first place. Come to think of it, all the normalization effort seems to be from our side - while the "state supported terrorism" continues. We went to Pakistan to play cricket, got their cricket board out of bankruptcy, spurred local economies with the sellout games (thank God at least we won!!). We reopened airspace, reestablished diplomatic relations - Pakistan really gained a lot out of it - did we gain anything more tangible than brownie points on the world diplomatic scene? Do these brownie points get us anywhere?

The new PM reacted to this act saying
My heart goes out in sympathy to the members of the bereaved families. Their loss, which is shared by the entire nation, is truly irreparable
I agree - the loss is indeed irreparable, but is there something more we (as a nation) can do than merely issue a condemnation? Hopefully, those who died yesterday were worth more to us than another story in the news ...

Friday, May 21, 2004

water cooler talk

water cooler talk earlier today revolved around whether the trunk of an elephant was an extended nose or an extended upper lip. a fiercely contested debate! i myself was of the opinion that it was an extended upper lip, but the argument regarding the use of a trunk as a snorkel while swimming long distances made me doubt myself. so as soon as i got back to the office, there was a quick google search and here are the findings:
An elephant's trunk is both an upper lip and a nose.
Not only that, the trunk has more than 40,000 muscles in it. that is more than the number in a human's whole body! also, the trunk is so strong and agile that it can push down trees, or pick up a single piece of straw.
Elephants use their trunks to drink but the water doesn’t go all the way up the trunk like a straw. Instead, the elephant sucks water part way up the trunk, curls it toward its mouth, tilts its head up, and lets the water pour in.
An elephant's trunk is indeed a masterpiece of evolution. Here is a nice article describing the evolution of the elephant as we know it today. Aussie scientists have also put forth evidence that the elephant trunks were once snorkels that have now evolved to their present purpose. National Geographic has its own little contribution to educate kids (and adults ofcourse!) about the elephant. And Wikipedia's elephant feature is located here.

so it turns out that the conversation at the water cooler was almost like John Godfrey Saxe's Six blind men of Indostan :)

who says water cooler talk is useless ? :)

this day in 1927

Charles Augustus Lindbergh II arrived in Paris after completing the first solo non-stop trans-Atlantic flight in 33 1/2 hours. He flew from Roosevelt Airfield (Long Island), New York City on May 20-21, 1927 in his one-motor airplane "The Spirit of St. Louis" , custom built by Ryan Airlines of San Diego, California.

An account of this historic flight can be found here.

Thursday, May 20, 2004

got my gmail account a couple of days ago ... thanks to an invite from a good friend of mine (he is a regular visitor to this blog) and i am not sure he would like his name being announced here in this context! so far, i have not really started to use it, since i am way too used to my regular yahoo account. but 1 GB of quota is worth it anyday ...

google has given invites to very few - employees and their friends ... account holders also get to hand out invites. all this coupled with the GB of storage has made a google email account one of the most sought-after things on the internet ... including auctions on ebay and a special site (GmailSwap) dedicated purely to barter gmail invites for all sorts of things (from concert tickets, to DVDs to free webhosting ... and a lot of other unmentionable trades). slowly but surely, google is building up the hype leading to the gmail launch, and what was earlier thought to be the april fool joke of the year might just be knockout punch for a market dominated by yahoo, hotmail and aol. Gmail's text ads generated after scanning the messages for keywords have created some controversy, but most users wont care, anything for the 1GB. and ofcourse its better to have an email address like, rather than

Ofcourse google aint the only one offering 1GB of free email - there is another company in the fray (Spymac) making the same offer. again, as i said in a previous post, competition always benefits the consumer.

Electronic Voting: India v/s the US

Here is an excellent article that compares the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) used in the recently concluded parliamentary elections in India with the Diebold AccuVote System used in the US. KISS (keep it simple , stupid) certainly seems the way to go ... not to mention a tremendous saving in costs! india cannot afford to use electronic machines which cost 3300$ to make per piece ... it had to be simple (for illiterate voters) and cheap (for very large scale deployment) - both of which seem to have been achieved - one thing we didnt hear at all during this election (which i thought was awesome) was talk to the effect that the EVMs screwed the NDA - i seemed to be the only one who proposed such a conspiracy theory!

recreating a voyage

while driving to work today, i heard on the radio (NPR's Morning Edition) about an expedition to the gulf between mainland Mexico and Baja California, known as the Sea of Cortes - a rich . The expedition, by a group of scientists, aims to recreate the original voyage in 1940 by the famous author John Steinbeck(Grapes of Wrath) and his marine biologist friend Ed Ricketts. After they finished their voyage, they co-authored the book The Sea of Cortez, a detailed study of hundreds of marine species from the tidelands and a study of the ecosystem interlaced with a series of "philosophical digressions". The present expedition is aiming to recreate the old voyage based on the wriitings and logs of that expedition, and to see how much the marine ecology and species populations have changed over the past 65 years. The effort to recreate the magic of the old expedition includes the use of the Gus-D, an old wodden shrimp trawler, and by no means even close to a luxury cruise. This voyage is all business, and Radio Expeditions is doing a great job relaying the expedition to listeners like me who are fascinated by such a journey. The documentary is available here (NPR).

The official log of the Gus-D expedition including its findings, journey schedule, crew intro is available from the expedition website.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

accelerating expansion

Astronomers, using new data from NASA's Chandra Observatory are making new discoveries about the expansion of the universe. the latest information has led scientists to belive that the universe is expanding at an accelerating rate to the force known as "dark energy" (almost makes it sound like "the force" from the star wars series!) - probably putting the "Big Crunch" (reverse of the Big Bang - the collapse of the universe) or the "BIg Rip" (tearing apart because of very rapid expansion) theories of the fate of the universe to rest. Details are available from NASA's website. Needless to say, the telescope has been named after the Nobel laureate, Subramanyan Chandrasekhar (he received the 1983 prize in Physics for his theoretical studies of the physical processes important to the structure and evolution of stars).

time for a new carrier - same number!

Finally portability for cell phones is all set to be available in all markets in the country starting May 24. It has already come into effect six months ago in most major markets, but finally i will be able to rid myself of SprintPCS!!

was it just hindu nationalists?

The Associated Press reported
Sonia Gandhi said she would "humbly decline" to be the next prime minister of India, a decision that followed Hindu nationalist outrage over the prospect of a foreign-born woman at the helm of the nation.
In my opinion, however, the outrage over a foreign born person becoming PM of India was across the board, not restricted to a particular segment of the population, either an income group or a religion. Another case of how improper perceptions even in the so-called "well-read" press propagate because of the mass appeal of an organization such as the AP. Hopefully, this image shall change

Real or stunt?

Sonia Gandhi seems to be backing out from becoming PM. Hopefully this is for real, and not a stunt to eventually come out saying "i was overwhelmed by the support and i could not help but accede to their request". In the meantime, the markets reacted positively to the news with the BSE sensex recovering 372 of the 564 index points lost on the previous day.

Monday, May 17, 2004


here is the first attempt at devanagari ...

Install Shivaji01 font to read this Devnagari page.

I have used Mahesh Velankar's dishaa editor to get the source. A big thanks to him.

ÔUla kaÐTÜM maoM iKlaa qaa
saoja pr maurJaa gayaa
jagamagaata ]Yaa - saa kMTkÜM maoM vah saumana
spXa- sao ]sako trMigat qaa
saurBaI vaahI pvana


Sunday, May 16, 2004

competition benefits all

with google providing a gb of space for each gmail account (and free!), competition such as yahoo and microsoft's hotmail was sure to feel the heat .... the result is a favorable one for consumers with yahoo cutting costs for its paid services and announcing mail quota of 100mb later this summer. yahoogroups will also face the pressure with google groups extending from being just providing usenet searches to actually creating groups (like on yahoogroups).

hopefully microsoft will have some "real" competition soon ....

Details are available in Leslie Walker's article in the Washington Post.

Looks like you need a registration unless you reach the site from google news! so here is the actual text of that article ....
The rivalry between Yahoo and Google escalated last week as the two search engines rolled out improvements to Web-mail and discussion-group services designed to lure users from one service to the other.

Yahoo's big move was to slash prices on its paid Web e-mail service ( by as much as 33 percent: A plan with 25 megabytes of message storage now costs $19 a year, down from $29, and one with 100 megabytes goes for $49 instead of $59. Later this summer, Yahoo says it will upgrade its free Web-mail service from 4 to 100 megabytes of storage, while giving "virtually unlimited" storage to customers who have already paid for the portal's extra-cost mail services.

Yahoo's shift came in response to Google's plans for Gmail, a free Web-mail service that will provide users 1 gigabyte of storage in return for letting Google show targeted ads alongside messages. Gmail ( is planned for release in late summer or fall.

In a meeting with financial analysts Thursday, Yahoo also disclosed that it will soon provide a downloadable "desk bar" program that will let users run Web searches and access a bunch of other Yahoo services outside of their Web browser. The portal also said it's about to release new search features to help people find local businesses.

Google, meanwhile, revamped its Google Groups service to challenge Yahoo Groups ( Previously, Google provided access only to Usenet discussion groups, but now it also lets people create and manage public or private mailing lists, as Yahoo Groups does. Yahoo's service offers more features, including space for storing photos, but Google Groups 2 (still in a test state at offers one unique option -- users can highlight favorite discussion topics with a star so they can easily find them on their next visit to the site.

Google revised yet another service last Monday, when it redesigned, the Web-log tool it bought last year. The new version aims to ease newcomers into the art of "blogs," or online journals, with a set of design templates and a personal-profile system that links new authors to other bloggers who share their interests.

On the same day as the Blogger relaunch, Google itself started its own "Google Blog" ( But its authors on the search site's executive team promptly raised the ire of veteran bloggers by posting items anonymously and revising previously published material. "You just don't do that with a blog, according to half the Google Staff and all the Blogger folk," the blog confessed in a posting Friday. But the Google team noted its blog is an experiment and said it will continue to offer a mix of anonymous and signed postings.

Saturday, May 15, 2004

Sonia, X + 1, family ...

Tonight's blog shall touch on a variety of issues - all of which are not at all related to each other ... so if the title does not make sense, its because it was not meant to :)

A post on Prashant Mullick's blog on the issue of whether it is ok for sonia gandhi to be PM ... personally, i think its a case of too little too late -
a) there is no legal standing to stop it
b) she has slogged her way up to it- surviving 5 years in opposition
c) she has a mandate of the people .....

would love to get everyone's views on it - comments are welcome.

A friend, Mayur and his family just departed today for India - left the US for good ... no, there was no problem. he had no job issues (layoffs, politics, H1 or otherwise). His company was paying for his GC ... everything was fine ... just figured he wanted to go back ... and go back he did! i have been thinking about it for a while now, and i am still convincing myself he actually did it - i think its non-trivial. i have seen very few guys go back purely because they wanted to (generally its a situation - layoff, nojob after graduation, visa problems ... watever) - and almost no one with a family!

started thinking about my own situation and aspirations (wont pen them here) - but suffices to say that when i came to the US, even i talked plenty about going back and what was the best time to do it ... cacked a lot about the issue late into the night with friends, only to reach a dead end or a hopeless "there is no way out" conclusion. reminds me of RK Narayan's "x + 1" article. a lot of it although dealing with cliched stereotypes, can be empathized with to some extent. after two years of working with desis with families, i have seen this following situation that narayan deals with far too many times now. Narayan says
In discussions with friends, the topic of returning to India arises frequently but is brushed aside by the lord and master who is now rising in the corporate world and has fast moved into a two garage home - thus fulfilling the great American Dream. The impending arrival of the first born fulfills the great Indian Dream. The mother-in-law arrives in time: after all, no right thinking parent would want their off-spring to be born in India if offered the American alternative. With all material comforts that money can bring, begins the first signs of un-easiness - a feeling that somehow things are not what they should be. The craze for exotic electronic goods, cars and vacations have been satiated. The week-end gatherings are becoming routine.
on my last trip to india ... i had some serious discussions on this issue with my highschool buddy jayadeep during one of our meets at shivaji park in dadar. he seemed to be pretty clear on what his intentions were, i wish mine were as well! the dilemma continues, the questions are too many - whether to go back to india? when is the best time? or is there a best time at all? go back and do what? if not then ... ? PLan B? hopefully, answers will be available before it becomes a moot issue.

On to a totally different note, my parents arrived at my place ... will be here for a month, am looking forward to spending some quality time with them ...

Friday, May 14, 2004

What does the world have to say on the Indian Election Results?

Salman Rushdie in the Washington Post - not afraid to call a spade a spade

The Christian Science Monitor says
For the masses of poor in China who resent being left out of their nation's rush to riches, often the only choice is to revolt. In India, by contrast, the poor can vote.
The election taught India's leaders not to neglect the prosaic tasks of bringing roads and power to villages as they also grow its sophisticated knowledge industries, such as software.

The BBC quoting Ashutosh Varshney, a political science professor at UMich:
He reckons the middle and richer urban classes, the beneficiaries of economic reforms and the greatest supporters of the BJP, "stayed home", whereas the less privileged and the minorities "stepped out in large numbers to vote".
The NY Times says:
The Indian National Congress, led by Sonia Gandhi, the widow of Rajiv Gandhi, the former prime minister, capitalized on the widespread discontent to emerge as the single largest party.
The same article shows us a taste of things to come - the "king maker" Communists trying to force their outdated, "we are in the wrong century" ideas already, with
Sitaram Yechury, a top Communist leader, said the ministry that is overseeing the privatization of state-owned industries should be disbanded.
Hopefully we will get something a little better than that!!

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Buzzer Beaters Galore ...

Game 5 of the Spurs-Lakers series ... again living upto expectations. spectacular game, a low scoring one!

The Lakers were up by 16 with 3 left in the third ... and then the Spurs come clawing back ... and finally take the leadto go up by 1 ... only to get an impossible shot from Kobe - Lakers up by 1 with 11 seconds left in the game .. duncan shoots an unbelievable shot that goes in - and the spurs at home stretch - up by 1 with 0.4s left in the game !!

what a shot by duncan ... offbalance .. fadeaway ... falling back .. on his left foot!!!

but wait ... the game didnt end there - derek fisher shots a wide open 2 - letting the ball go just as time expired to give the lakers an absolutely crazy victory - i was ofcourse disappointed, what with me rooting for the spurs ...!!! reminded me of robert horry making that crazy shot in game 5 two years ago against sacramento in the western conference finals .. i suppse heroes pop out of nowhere ... derek fisher just hit the shot of his career - i dont see the spurs coming back from such a devastating loss!! move over duncan .. its shaqobe time - regrettably !!

why did the NDA lose?

this started as a comment to Niket's blog, but started becoming too big - so i figured i'd just post it here

i suspect the NDA lost because they failed to foresee the consequences of using italian made voting machines (i suppse that explains complaints that the machine smelled strongly of alfredo sauce!!)

but jokes apart, it has been an across the board rejection of the incumbent in all states which have come to prosperity in the new economy (andhra/karnataka in particular). i think its not those who prospered that made this rejection, but those who felt "left out"!

another theory i have is that the length of the election (3 weeks) acted against the government, esp after the early exit polls predicted losses for the incumbent. so the subsequent voters are unfairly influenced IMO.

and then there are other theories, nicely summarized by Amit Phansalkar :).

in my own constituency ...

Mumbai (North-Central): Eknath Gaikwad of the Indian National Congress [didn't know they had changed their name from Congress(I) to the INC] defeated the Lok Sabha speaker Manohar Joshi by 8615 votes.

Several other prominent leaders and Union ministers also failed to win a seat, including External Affiars Minister Yashwant Sinha (Hazaribagh), Human Resource Development Minister Murli Manohar Joshi(Allahabad), Petroleum Minister Ram Naik (Mumbai-North), Food and Civil Supplies Minister Sharad Yadav (Madhepura), Railways Minister Nitish Kumar (Barh), Labour Minister Sahib Singh Verma (Outer Delhi), and Tourism Minister Jagmohan (New Delhi).

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

more forays into blogging - the end of the road?

Just got started with bloggar - thanks to prashant mullick ... this is the first one posted using bloggar.

meanwhile, vote counting is in full swing in India - with some surprising trends. desi blogs all over are talking about the same thing - how a surprising turn of events is unfolding with the congress, far from losing miserably, is actually leading in more constituencies than the BJP. No reason why I shouldn't jump on the bandwagon ... I wondered yesterday whether the time had come for Prime Minister Vajapayee to hang his boots and retire ... And looks like that is what he might have to do. It is likely that if the BJP/NDA does not come to power for another term, this will be the end of the road for him, after a long and glorious career spanning from the Quit India Movement to becoming the first guy to address the UN General Assembly in hindi to being the one to put India on the nuclear bus in his brief 13 day first stint as PM, and then a full term as PM - with a near war against Pakistan ... the thaw in relations and last but not the least, a cricket tour of Pakistan

Before the polls, everyone seemed so sure that barring a major disaster, there would be nothing to stop the BJP coming back to power for another term. What went wrong then ? Perhaps the "India Shining" mantra was not true, and the people saw through the facade? But the economy was booming, and the government was sure that an early election was their best chance of re-election. I suspect (based on info I get from the web, and hearsay) that the common man revolted against the effects that capitalism has brought - the urban population moves ahead, while the rest of the country struggles to keep pace (may be I am wrong, and sitting here in the US really does not give a true picture? in that case drop a comment to correct me!), the growth and improvement is not percolating down to the grass roots? somewhere in the future, historians will draw a line and say - this is where the BJP failed, can we do it today? if we can, I certainly would like to know ....   

the world of blogging ...

As a guy who is quite new to the whole blogging world, it is quite easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer enormity of it all ... there is so much to learn about web development (RSS, MT, WP, etc etc - and a whole lot of jargon that goes with the world), and plenty of ideas on how one's blog can be made to evolve - as i am finding out right now. but i suppose its best to start slow and steady rather than get too excited and lose steam quickly.

i was thinking of a suitable name for the blog, and couldn't come up with something catchy enough at that instant ... there was a copy of 'transport phenomena' by bird, stewart and lightfoot (a bible for all chemical engineers) lying around on my desk, which caught my eye - and there was a name for the blog ... on the same note, decided to locate the blog here. an extremely geeky move in my opinion, but what the heck, as feynman would say "what do care what other people think"! and then comes the blog quote - by Lewis Richardson, who used it to describe the process of energy dissipation in turbulent flows. On a different note is a similar one with no connection at all to turbulent momentum transfer - by Augustus de Morgan (A Budget of Paradoxes, p. 377) :

Great fleas have little fleas upon their backs to bite 'em,
And little fleas have lesser fleas, and so ad infinitum.
And the great fleas themselves, in turn, have greater fleas to go on;
While these again have greater still, and greater still, and so on ...

on a last note, i tend to type in lowercase for the most part ... so if you have a problem with it, just let me know by dropping a comment ... not that i will change it :), but your feedback will be appreciated!

League win

Last weekend saw the end of the Spring season of the USTA Tennis League here in Huntsville. Our team (Alexy) won the league for the first time finishing with a record of 20 wins and 2 losses (tied with Charlie Abney's team, but with more individual wins). It was a very competitive hard fought season - all matches I played (save for one) were singles, - I finished with a 14-1 season - the only loss being a blown 3-6 6-0 3-6 to Clyde Wilder. Our captain Tommy Alexy finished unbeaten through the Fall and Spring seasons and is almost sure of getting his NTRP rating increased to 4.0, when ratings are announced later in the summer. We are in the men's adult 3.5 league.

We have been invited to play in the State Championship next month. Not sure I can make it, but would still be interesting to see how we match up against the best teams in the state ...

Of course, winning in spring gives us bragging rights for 6 months till the start of the fall season, unlike the 6 weeks between fall and spring seasons :)

On the USTA website, you can search by our team name (Alexy), to see overall standings, or search by name to get individual records.

On Kobe, Chandrababu and Atalji ...

Just finished watching Game 4 of the Spurs-Lakers series. Much as I would love to see the Lakers lose, it would be hard not to appreciate Kobe Bryant's 42 points - I mean some of those shots would have made Jordan proud. Looks like having a day in the field (i.e. a visit to the courthouse in Colorado) before the game seems to light a fire for the dood ...

hopefully the spurs will be able to bounce back on home court.

on a totally different court, a landslide victory for the congress in AP has really set the wheels in motion for a surprising reversal in fortune for the ruling NDA in India. Turned out that making lavish amenities available for campuses of top software companies was not enough in a state where severe drought has left the common man without water (or so i hear is one of the main contentious issues about the TDP governance). The AP Lok Sabha results will almost certainly follow the same trend ... and with the Congress already talking of Dr. Manmohan Singh as a possible candidate for PM - uncertainty looms large as the possibility of a hung parliament grows higher, and political parties frantically make moves for getting enough support to form a government ... time for Atalji to retire?

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Shri Ganesh ....

This is my first attempt at a blog - thanks to prashant mullick and niket for getting me introduced to this crazy but interesting world ... lets see how this one evolves