Friday, October 29, 2004

miscellaneous ...

i typed out the whole post in w.bloggar - and my machine crashed ... too bad w.bloggar doesnt have auto-save .... sucks! i cant believe i am typing the whole thing again ...

  • the redsox won ... all my predictions for doomsday ended as the boston red sox swept the hapless cardinals, who werent helped by some glaring blunders - including the horrrid base running in game 3 by suppan. thousands of boston fans lived their entire lives without getting to see their team win the world series, and then there are those who survived the 86 years of championship drought ... the curse of the bambino is finally over.

  • the final frontier was conquered ... the aussies get their first series win in india since bill lawry's squad won in 1969 (heck, if the red sox could win the world series, then an aussie win in india doesnt seem that bad eh ... ). thanks to a spineless batting display again, and some excellent facesaving rearguard action by the tail enders. there was no way tendulkar was going to be able to do anything coming in with no match practice for almost two months now (perhaps more, if someone can confirm ... ) and facing the best bowling attack in the world. everyone almost expected someone or the other to show up and do their bit in this test series, inspite of the fact that the indian team has been nothing short of pathetic in the few months leading up to the aussie series. well guess what ... sooner or later, the luck will run out ... and then you have to fend for yourself .. and this indian team just wasnt capable of doing that . the ghosts of calcutta have been finally laid to rest (some brownie points for india were earned when the aussies again refused to enforce the follow on ... but who cares about that). steve waugh, although disappointed not to be the captain who conquered the final frontier, must be smilng at the sweetness of this revenge. a well desrved win for gilchrist, mcgrath and co ... - redemption at last.

  • black tuesday - today is the 75th anniversary of the great stock market crash of 1929, when the dow jones index lost 31 points in a single day - one might say whats the big deal, considering the dow today is around the 10,000 mark. but that crash corresponded to nearly 12% ... and was the start of the great depression that followed. Marketplace has a feature on the anniversary. The marketplace morning report also carried a couple of stories today - The Class of 1929 and Remembering the Crash of 1929.

  • Sage - just started using Sage - an RSS and Atom feed aggregator extension for Mozilla Firefox. i certainly liked it ... im sure there are other free aggregators available, but i loved this one since its an integral part of the browser. firefox rocks!!
    Get Firefox!

  • a weekend of work - Vamsi Mootha, born in India, and now an Assistant Prof of Systems Biology (Harvard) and Medicine (Mass Gen), was awarded the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship ($500,000 in “no strings attached” support over the next five years) in recognition of his work related to identification of a gene underlying a rare but fatal pediatric disorder called Leigh syndrome, French-Canadian variant, or LSFC. Turns out he did it in a single weekend of work. perhaps this may be exaggerated ... but what was more attractive was the computational method for identifying patterns of gene activity in specific diseases. In the vast bulk of data that arises from microarray experiments and high throughput screening studies, pattern and motif identification has always been one of the challenges systems biology aims to overcome. Mootha's work has demonstrated powerful, adaptable computational algorithms for efficiently mining data to spot gene interactions that lead to a wide variety of diseases. Certainly, a great impetus for the field of in silico systems biology...
  • Thursday, October 28, 2004

    Homo floresiensis

    this week's issue of Nature features a special on the discovery of a new species of the genus Homo on a remote Indonesian island named Flores - hence the name Homo floresiensis. NPR carried a special today on morning edition - check it out here ...

    a fascinating discovery ... especially considering that this species was alive about 13000 years ago. as it turns out, prashant already has a blog entry titled The Hobbits from Flores - certainly something LOTR fans can identify with.

    Wednesday, October 27, 2004

    the end of the curse?

    the red sox are up 3-0 after last night's performance against the cardinals. now, i have been turned to supporting st. louis. its no fun if there is no fight coming forth. the cardinals have not had the lead even once in any of the three games so far ... hopefully things will turn around tonight.

    what would be the ultimate heartbreaker for the red sox nation, and the ultimate endoresement of the curse of the bambino would be if the red sox, after accomplishing an unprecedented comeback from a 0-3 deficit (and against the Yankees too!!!) were to go down in this one in a 4-3 loss..... i think that would set boston back by a 100 years .... they would probably wish they had never beaten the yankees and lost to them in 4 or 5 games. atleast they wouldnt have to bear this embarassment....

    but ofcourse, if all this is possible, it is also possible for me to walk on water, and then convert a jugful of that same water into sparkling champagne (to quote prem panicker - needless to say, during the comeback calcutta test of 2001!!). sox nation - looks like your day has finally arrived, almost ... or is your worst nightmare just about to begin ? :)

    Saturday, October 23, 2004

    the STF hero ...

    veerappan was finally brought down earlier this week ... there was certainly much relief all over the country ... and among indians abroad. one of my classmates from high school was certainly very proud while announcing this on our email list:
    I happily and proudly state that it was my father-in-law, Mr.Vijay Kumar and his STF team who cleverly laid out the trap for the deceitful criminal and gunned him down.
    i ofcourse want to reiterate - we are all proud of them as well ....

    there was ofcourse the issue over human rights violations - but encounter killings have become almost routine, especially in cities like mumbai ... folks almost think its ok to use that option. in this case, i believe the those who will overlook any "violations" far outnumber those who wont.

    Friday, October 22, 2004

    prem mhaNaje prem mhaNaje ....

    happened to pick up mangesh padgaonkar's "bol gaaNI" after a long time .... this was a pleasant break ....

    A few of images i got recently in forwarded emails - pretty funny i thought ....

    Wednesday, October 20, 2004

    bharat ek khoj ...

    just laid my hands on the start and end title tracks of bharat ek khoj - the documentary series that used to appear on doordarshan a long time ago ... thanks to ram for making them available

    red sox-yankees series .... parallels to ind-aus(2001)?

    the red sox have already achieved something previously never accomplished by forcing a game 7 after being 3-0 down! a game 7 victory after being down 0-3 is something no one has achieved in the NHL or NBA either ... so the red sox are on the brink of going down in history .....

    i had made a prediction before the series started that the red sox are going down again on a walk off run by the yankees ... and i was even brazen enough to pick my guy for the job. an unlikely hero - john olerud, taking over from aaron boone. was starting to get disappointed when the sox went down 0-3. but 3 amazing performances have left the series tied ... and my man olerud has his shot at greatness tonight. i aint a yankees fan, i would have hated to see the sox lose in 4 - heck i am delighted we are in game 7. but i wont mind if the yankees win tonight .... the fun will disappear if the curse were to end. nevertheless it should be a good game i think ... looking forward to it.

    and now i think a lot of parallels can be drawn to india's comeback in the 2001 test series against australia. india were blown out in the second test, came and teetering on the brink of defeat after following on in the second test .... and narrowly pulled of an outright victory on the fifth day (like boston's comeback to tie the game in games 4 and 5) ... if the sox were to win game 7 (like india won the last test in chennai), it certainly will go into baseball history as one the best series of all time - folks will talk about it for a long time to come - just like the memorable win for india in 2001 :)

    Tuesday, October 19, 2004

    the cricket series ...

    its that time of the year again - the aussies are back in india for the first series in india since THE SERIES happened in feb-march 2001. rain played a total spoilsport on the last day of the second test, but here are some observations about the aussies by the BBC's Scott Heinrich:
    As for Gillespie, he showed Australia what they were missing during Steve Waugh's reign when nightwatchmen were outlawed.
    Although Waugh's legacy will rage on for a long time, the traits which marked his brand of cricket are slowly vanishing from Australia's play. Australia paid for being too gung-ho when last in India three years ago, and this time around they are scoring slower, setting more defensive fields and leaving risky pace propositions like Brett Lee in the dressing room.
    and not just that, they are trying to rebuild their tarnished image - walking when they are out (irrespective of what the umpire decides) - certainly not something they have too much credibility built up about ..

    let see if this series will be the conquest of the final frontier for gilchrist, or will it be just another pipe dream ....

    back ....

    i am back after a prolonged hiatus ... been terribly busy and been traveling too. hopefully this blog will get entries more frequently ...

    Tuesday, October 12, 2004

    To Pakistan ... with thanks ....

    that is the title of an article in Slate. in response to the purchase of F-16s by the Pakistanis:
    Even if Pakistan were serious about fighting the Taliban, it could certainly find a better way to spend the hundreds of millions of dollars the F-16s will cost. But the Pakistanis gave a clue as to what they really want with the planes: They are requesting that the F-16s be armed with top-of-the-line air-to-air missiles that would be of little use against targets like the Islamists it's fighting on the ground. Other equipment Pakistan is getting from the United States—navy surveillance planes, for example—is similarly useless against a guerrilla insurgency. They would, of course, be useful in a war against India.

    Tuesday, October 05, 2004

    more CFD Haikus

    some pretty cool CFD haikus from CFD Review

    CFD Mystery
    Must have answer fast.
    Do not use many grid points.
    Is this answer right?
    What is CFD?
    Difficult question...
    what flow field hidden within?
    computer reveals
    Watch residuals!
    How does my solution go?
    Is it converging?

    Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar prize

    Vivek Ranade has been selected for the Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar Prize. He heads the Industrial Flow Modeling group at the National Chemical Laboratory (NCL) in Pune. He is a well known name in the CFD community in India, and has made significant contributions to CFD modeling of multiphase reactors (in particular to bubble columns, stirred and trickle bed reactors).

    The Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar prize is awarded every year by the CSIR to young Indian researchers for their contributions made primarily in India during the last five years preceding the year of the prize. It was instituted in honor of the founder-director of the CSIR.

    Sunday, October 03, 2004

    the lawsuits begin ...

    just a couple of days after Merck pulled its blockbuster drug Vioxx off the market, the lawsuits have begun - people suing Merck for deaths caused by cardiovascular disease induced or aggravated by Vioxx.
    A Missouri woman has sued the maker of arthritis drug Vioxx over the 2002 death of her daughter. The suit filed Friday by Caroline Nevels of Lexington came a day after Merck & Co. pulled the medication from shelves over fears users faced increased risk of heart attack and stroke.

    Nevels says her 34-year-old daughter, Shelly South, took Vioxx for 2 1/2 years before dying of a heart attack in November 2002. She claims Merck knew of the risks of Vioxx long before its announcement Thursday
    If what she alleges is proven, then the loss of $25B in marketcap on friday might just be the tip of Merck's iceberg of problems ...

    Friday, October 01, 2004

    a computational haiku ...

    a perfect way to describe the relationship between the computational guy and the experimentalist:
    Your experiment
    does not agree with my code.
    Get back in the lab
    Courtesy of CFD Review