Sunday, July 31, 2005


Check out Logogle: a Google-style Logo Maker. It even recreates a Google-type start page with your logo (i.e. containing whatever text you want!!). Here is the screenshot. You can access the TP logoglized page here.

And to compare it with the actual google page ... ain't it cool!

Friday, July 29, 2005

Horrors ... the day after

The rains seem to have moved on from Mumbai ... but left behind a terrible tale of destruction. In addition to the loss of human life, the rains have also resulted in a tremendous loss of lifestock... mostly buffaloes in tabelas (cowsheds), who could have gotten away and survived if it had not been for the fact that they were tied up, and died a horrific death. The carcasses now left behind pose serious health risks and hopefully damage from those can be mitigated.

Here are some of the horror stories, documented and shown to the world by intrepid Mumbaikars:

Image from Rediff

More images - check Ashish Panchal's website

And all the senseless SlimesOfIndia could think about was how some folks were perturbed at not having their morning sleaze with their lemon tea. And what an achievement it was that Sachin Tendulkar got his paper on time, and didn't have to face the inconvenience!!

Brain Damage ....

I think 'The Dark Side of the Moon' is overrated compared to other Pink Floyd albums, and 'Brain Damage' is certainly one greatly underrated track .... the laughter in the track is certainly creepy ... seems to definitely suggest brain damage. And speaking of Floyd, they were back earlier this month for a reunion performance at the Live 8 concert series, and a big thanks to AOL for providing free broadband video coverage, via Balaji). No Syd Barett ofcourse, but Roger Waters was back with Gilmore again, and they played Comfortably Numb, Money, Breathe and Wish you were here - certainly among among my favorite Floyd tracks. I saw the broadcast, and it was certainly great ... Pink Floyd can certainly recreate the magic again!

Brain Damage (Roger Waters)
The lunatic is on the grass.
The lunatic is on the grass.
Remembering games and daisy chains and laughs.
Got to keep the loonies on the path.

The lunatic is in the hall.
The lunatics are in my hall.
The paper holds their folded faces to the floor
And every day the paper boy brings more.

And if the dam breaks open many years too soon
And if there is no room upon the hill
And if your head explodes with dark forebodings too
I'll see you on the dark side of the moon.

The lunatic is in my head.
The lunatic is in my head
You raise the blade, you make the change
You re-arrange me 'til I'm sane.
You lock the door
And throw away the key
There's someone in my head but it's not me.

And if the cloud bursts, thunder in your ear
You shout and no one seems to hear.
And if the band you're in starts playing different tunes
I'll see you on the dark side of the moon.

"I can't think of anything to say except...
I think it's marvelous! HaHaHa!"

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

the day it poured ...

Grant Road Station
Originally uploaded by GreyArea.

37 inches of rainfall in a day ... bombay's infrastructure just could not hold up against that kind of onslaught!

this day ... the only things moving on the railway tracks were the flood waters, and people trying to walk home after trains came to a complete standstill

Rain rain go away ....

Dadar Station is unrecognizable as the flood waters continued to rise
(Image taken from

Incessant rains have lashed Mumbai for two days now, and created record rainfall levels for the whole country - more than 37 inches in some parts!! Move over Cherapunji, Mumbai has arrived to rewrite the record books, although in this case - Mumbaikars would be glad not to be the record holders. Almost 100 people are feared dead and millions of city residents badly affected. Thousands were left stranded all over the city as train services were shut down, buses came to a halt, airport closed, and power lines down. Mobile phone networks were overloaded and the army was called in for rescue and relief efforts. Yet, as always they could not hold down the spirits of the Mumbaikars, who have a way of getting over the adversity (sometimes merely shrugging it aside and getting on with it) ... and ofcourse there are always heroes, and a good deed needs to be told about to inspire more ...

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Space week

Alan Bartlett Shepard, Jr., (November 18, 1923 – July 21, 1998) was the first US astronaut in space, and mission commander of the Apollo 14 moon landing team. He even played golf on the moon using a converted soil sampler as his club! Alan Shephard holds a small but significant place in the days of my life ... I drive every morning to work on Admiral Alan B. Shephard highway, and watch the Apollo moon rocket stand majestically across from our company offices, along with the Space Shuttle Pathfinder.

I should call these past 7 days or so as space week - the Space Shuttle return to flight was put off due to technical snags, the world celebrated 26 years of Neil Armstrong's moon landing, I had a visit to NASA's John Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, and now its the anniversary of Alan Shephard's death. Not to mention, like every day of the week, I had my usual ride along the Alan Shephard highway ....

Strange coincidences all over I suppose .... !
p.s. the Space Shuttle Discovery is finally underway (Jul 26) .... hopefully it will be back safely too!

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Nature red in tooth and claw ...

"Are God and Nature then at strife,
That Nature lends such evil dreams?
So careful of the type she seems,
So careless of the single life; . . .

So careful of the type?" but no.
From scarped cliff and quarried stone
She cries, "A thousand types are gone:
I care for nothing, all shall go.

"Thou makest thine appeal to me:
I bring to life, I bring to death:
The spirit does but mean the breath:
I know no more." And he, shall he,

Man, her last work, who seem'd so fair,
Such splendid purpose in his eyes,
Who roll'd the psalm to wintry skies,
Who built him fanes of fruitless prayer,

Who trusted God was love indeed
And love Creation's final law --
Tho' Nature, red in tooth and claw
With ravine, shriek'd against his creed --

Who loved, who suffer'd countless ills,
Who battled for the True, the Just,
Be blown about the desert dust,
Or seal'd within the iron hills?

No more? A monster then, a dream,
A discord. Dragons of the prime,
That tare each other in their slime,
Were mellow music match'd with him.

O life as futile, then, as frail!
O for thy voice to soothe and bless!
What hope of answer, or redress?
Behind the veil, behind the veil."

-from parts LV and LVI, "In Memorium: A. H. H.", Alfred Tennyson, 1850.

Nature is not kind, but rather cruel in its workings ..... Watterson could not have said it better:

Here is another C&H masterpiece:

Sunday, July 17, 2005

some more on transport phenomena ...

i have been at work working all day on saturday and sunday (not to mention 3 all nighters the previous week). Surely there has to be more to life than staring at Monsieurs Navier and Stokes all day. So I decide to take a break and reply to Mustang's comment about Transport Phenomena (ofcourse!! i am reaching new heights in geekiness). It started to get longer and longer and longer, so I decided to write a post about it:

Mustang: My situation is not much better than yours - I bought BSL simply because I got too much grief from colleagues about not having my own copy! Navier-Stokes equations continue to be an enigma, and as I realize that I have been making a livelihood of those doods for so long now, I am reminded of a song from The Sound of Music ...

Perhaps I had a wicked childhood
Perhaps I had a miserable youth
But somwhere in my wicked, miserable past
There must have been a moment of truth


Nothing comes from nothing
Nothing ever could
So somewhere in my youth or childhood
I must have done something good

That seems to be the story of my association with N-S - there is no other explanation for me having survived thus far with transport phenomena ... and enjoyed it too!!

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Why Transport Phenomena

In response to Manjusha's comment:

Why Transport Phenomena: Its the geekiest reason of them all ... transport phenomena comprises the various mechanisms by which particles or quantities move from one place to another. [Source: Wikipedia]. in my geeky world, it happens to be a very significant part of my engineering curriculum - both as an undergraduate and graduate student, and forms the basis of earning my livelihood :)

the Navier-Stokes equations is a set of PDEs that describe momentum transport (i.e. flow behavior) of fluids such as liquids and gases. The numerical solution of these equations is known as Computational Fluid Dynamics. The existence and smoothness of the N-S equations is one of the seven open problems in the Millenium challenge by the Clay Mathematics Institute (each prize worth $1M!). Here is the official problem statement.

i happened to have a copy of Bird, Stewart and Lightfoot's Transport Phenomena, the great text on the subject lying on my desk when i started this blog ... for lack of any more imagination on my part, this is the name the blog ended up with!! [Ref: R. Byron Bird, Warren E. Stewart, Edwin N. Lightfoot, Transport Phenomena (1960) John Wiley & Sons, New York]

such geekiness ...... !!!

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Harbinger of the seasons?

Storm Crow : Clicked by Pandiyan.

Lately, I have gotten into the habit of checking out photos on flickr. there is an unbelievable treasure of spectacular photographs taken by amateur photographers from all over the world. and the format and design of the flickr website allows for some smooth browsing and navigation. i have quickly become a big fan of this site.

there is also a great number of indian photgraphers showcasing their accomplishments. this includes a sizeable number based in india - allowing us to see some great sights from india, its cities and villages and forests.

the present photo taken by pandiyan is one of those masterpieces. its a superb shot ... i cannot help but quote the late harivansh rai bachchan:

मैं ऊँचे अग्यात गगन की सुनता हूँ अनिवार पुकार
अंदर से कोई कहता है, उड जा उडता जा पर मार

the poem is about a young bird (from its eyes) as it grows up in a nest before getting out to fly on its own. the translation of those lines is somehting like this:
i hear the cry of the high unknown sky ... and a voice inside me says,'flap your wings, and fly away

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

The monsoon ....

Lone tree on Torana fort (Picture taken by mvramesh)

Its been a long time since i posted anything, things are extremely busy at my end. the book meme is still on my list to blog about ...

and in the meantime, the monsoon seems to be in full swing in india - and the western ghats are the ultimate place to be! the clouds descend upon the mountains, and the heavy rainfall leads to some incredible greenery and superb waterfalls - perfect for some monsoon trekking!

here is a picture by my friend ramesh ... who seems to have had a great time as he trekked alone at torna fort last weekend near pune. i would have loved to be there ... drinking a steaming hot cup of chai! reminds me of these lines of a song from milind ingle's गारवा
झाडावरून पक्षी सारे उडून गेले
जेव्हा भिजून गेले, पंखात नाद त्यांच्या हळूवार पावलांचा