Aug 30, 2005

Sachin in Guinness Book

(Pic adopted from indiantelevision)

Well.. the title might be surprising to almost all of you, since you know very well that Sachin holds the world record in batting for various things, not now, but for the last 7 years atleast.. But, nevertheless, it was surprising to me NOT to see his name in last year's edition of Guinness Book of World Records. But, in this year's edition, he is truly rewarded.. His name appears on three occasions on pages 230 and 231, for
(a) The highest ever ODI partnership.. with Rahul Dravid.
(b) The most number of ODI centuries and
(c) The joint most number of test centuries.

Hope and wish he breaks many more records in the coming years and also help India win more and more matches, in tests and ODI's, by bat and ball, in India and abroad..

The cover of the book is very nice, with 3-D holographic images on a yellow background.

Aug 26, 2005

Oh, God!!

That pretty much sums up the events of my day so far..

First, got up early in the morning to watch the Ind-NZ one-day match, first time full-access LIVE video on my laptop.. Saw the score 145/7 and wow.. cool.. Made them all out for 216 in 43 overs... coolagain.. and then Oh God!! How does this Indian team bat like this.. Jai and Irfan gave some hope but then when Bond returns, wont his enemies bite the dust? God, send Sachin soon..

Today is Janmashtami in US, though it is tomorrow in India.. Reason? According to one Prabhuji here, it is due to the time difference.. we are in different location on the globe, you see.. Anyway, Happy Birthday Krishna!! I remember you a lot today.. I remember my good old days when Janmashtami meant lots of mouth-watering items. Smooth thenkuzhal, rough thenkuzhal, salt seedai, sweet seedai, thattai and murukku.. mmm.. I miss you all a lot..

Then went to have 'Krishna Lunch' hoping to get something special.. nay.. nothing special.. But, god, esp. Krishna helps us a lot by serving lunch every working day, right in front of our building.. Thank you god, for that (atleast).. I appreciate you..

Came back after lunch and saw that Hoggard (he spells synonym to Oh God, doesnt he?) had taken three top-order Aus wickets to help Aus looking down the barrel at 99/5.

Have a wonderful holiday weekend, friends !!

Aug 25, 2005

ஒரு ஸோக்கு

கொஞ்ச நாளைக்கு முன்னாடி கமலஹாசனோட புது கன்னட படத்தைப் பத்தி கீர்த்தியோட ஒரு போஸ்ட்-ல டிஸ்கஸ் பண்ணிட்டு இருக்கும்போது நாராயணன் அவருக்குத் தெரிஞ்ச ரெண்டு கன்னட வார்த்தைகளைச் சொன்னார்.. அது ரெண்டும் பந்தியிலே உக்கார்ந்து சாப்பிடும்போது மட்டும்தான் உதவும்.. அப்படிப்பட்ட வார்த்தைகள்.. அதைக் கேட்டதும் எனக்கு ஒரு பழைய ஜோக் ஞாபகம் வந்தது..

ஒருத்தர் நல்லா டிரெஸ் பண்ணிட்டு எங்கே கல்யாணம் நடந்தாலும் சாப்பாட்டுக்கு கரெக்டா போயிடுவார்.. விசேஷம் என்னன்னா அழையா விருந்தாளி. அதே அவருக்கு ஒரு ஹாபி மாதிரி.. ஒருதடவை பெங்களூர் போறார்.. அங்கேயும் தன் கைவரிசையைக் காட்டலாம்னு ஒரு கல்யாணத்துல புகுந்துக்குறார்.. அது ஒரு கன்னட வீட்டுக் கல்யாணம்.. மெதுவா போய் பந்தியில் உக்காந்து ஒரு வெட்டு வெட்ட ஆரம்பிக்கிறார்.. பரிமாற வருபவர் ஒரு கன்னட சமையல்காரர்.. எல்லார்கிட்டேயும் "சாக்கா பேக்கா"ன்னு கேட்டுண்டே வர்றார்.. ('சாக்கா'ன்னா போதுமான்னும் 'பேக்கா'ன்னா வேணுமான்னும் அர்த்தம்). நம்ம நண்பர் அவருக்குப் பக்கத்துல இருக்கிறவர் பேக்குன்னு சொன்னதும் அவருக்குப் பரிமாறப்படுவதைப் பார்க்கிறார்.. அவர்கிட்டே சாக்கா பேக்கான்னு கேட்டா "சாக்குல ரெண்டு பேக்குல ரெண்டு குடுங்க"ன்னு வடிவேலு பாணியில எடுத்து விடுறார் பாருங்க..

அப்புறம் என்ன.. அப்போ கிடைச்ச தர்ம அடியில தெரிஞ்சவங்க வீட்டுக் கல்யாணத்துல கூட இப்பல்லாம் சாப்பிடறதில்ல....

Aug 24, 2005

My favorite interludes

OK.. it is time for a movie/music post.. and something to list too.. This is about some awesome interludes that I love listening to again and again.. That, to me, is what comes to my mind and what makes me crave when I start hearing the song.

IMO, AR Rahman is a master in setting up interesting interludes. His style is soo unique, it has added a new dimension to tamil film music. He seldom brings them abruptly.. if they stand out, its more because they are different and nice rather than intrusive.

1) Malargalae.. malargalae.. (Love Birds): A nice song to listen anytime anywhere.. the fast interlude before the second stanza is just mind-blowing.. Started by flute, it slowly picks up speed.. Sounds like Mandolin, but could be computer-synthesized.. (4:14 - 5:05)

2) Songs from 'Duet'. Each song had a unique master-piece.. Kadri's saxophone interludes were just out-of-the-world.. especially "naan paadum sandham".. (1:32 till end).. And in the beginning of Kathirikka (0:28-1:01), what string instrument was it, guitar? Superb..

3) Veerapandi kottaiyile (Thiruda thiruda): Listen from 2:18-2:48 and from 4:40-5:32 for the violin-flute jugalbandhi..

4) Oruvan oruvan (Muthu): First 50 seconds and the last seconds.. Symphony-style orchestra.. I think it is an under-rated song..

5) Vidukathaiya (Muthu): The last 60 seconds of veena-tabla combo.. classic..

6) Mellisaiye (Mr. Romeo): This nice song (screwed up badly in picturization) has two beautiful interludes from 1:45 to 2:24.. and from 3:45-4:20, the former with violin and tabla and the latter with flute..

7) Manamadurai (Minsara Kanavu): A surprise twist in the otherwise smoothly going melodious song comes in the form of a nice drumsbeat from 3:42-4:18

8) Aadi paaru (May Madham): A short bit.. but nevertheless very good between 3:16-3:36. Finely modulated guitar blended with the female humming..

9) Thendrale (Kadhal Desam): In this best-ever lullaby I have heard in tamil films, Rahman has enjoyed himself from 3:23-4:35 with his trademark innovations imprinted all throughout.

10) Pudichirukku (Samy): Shortest of the ten but still cute flute from 2:52-3:08. Surprise gift from Harris.

The other thing I have noticed about Rahman is his use of beats in songs.. In over 90% songs, there is only one beat and it remains throughout the song. Even the best struggle to do that.. they lose it at some place or other to add variety.. One example is Rangeela.. In all the songs, you can find one beat around which the entire song is woven.

Aug 22, 2005

Work (out) and get paid

My research supervisor had once remarked that the guys who work out in gym are wasting their energy doing no work. Though it sounded as nothing at first, during subsequent visits to gym, I kept thinking about it.. and the thinking got deep when I moved to US and saw actual calories and watts of the work-out. Just think about it.. forget cardio.. but we do all the muscle exercises simply against gravity.. There is sooo much energy and power in the gyms but no output except for the people working out.

Imagine this.. you work out on a particular machine, and the weight you pull is used for actually doing some work.. It could be an emf motor to generate power, or anything.. Just that one may not see what the load of say, 50 pounds, actually is.. because that would psychologically not please the mind, so start with.. If some companies put some brain and money in designing such machines, I think it would be worth it.. So, the guys who work out actually do work and so they may not pay a fee for using the gym.. Or, even better, they might even get paid to have done a job while working out.... I am sure more people would be utilizing the gym then.. Even for some cardio exercises such as cycling and elliptical pedalling, the resitance level controlled by the user could actually be used for doing some type of job.

Does sound crazy, doesnt it? I think there is a good market out there for this..

Aug 20, 2005

Afro-Asian cup

The Afro-Asian cup, which is currently underway, is slated to be an annual event. For those who dont know, 12 players are selected from various teams in Africa and Asia respectively and they play a tournament of three matches to win the cup based on best-of-three. When I heard the name first, I thought and remembered of the 'Australasia cup' tournaments held in Sharjah in late '80s and early '90s in which various teams from Asia and Australia would compete in full strength to win a cup. The current one is simiar to the 'One team vs Rest of the World' -the (in)famous Kerry Packer kind of matches. The twist is that, these matches are given international status.

When there is complaint about too much cricket being played, I thought, Jagmohan Dalmiya, who was the mastermind behind the tournament (and also the president of the Afro-Asian cricket committee.. Damn.. he cant stay without a major position in cricket), is putting the players into more trouble. The first match was a nail-biter, with Africa XI winning by a slender 2-run margin.. It was depressing, though, since there were 11 balls to spare, and two Indians were there in the middle. Today's match seems to be going the Asians' way. Nevertheless, now I find it quite interesting and exciting..

Imagine a bowling attack of Shoaib, Zaheer, Nehra, Razzaq and Kumble/Murali.. They did a wonderful job in the first match and doing well today too.. The mood and cameraderie in the dressing room and on the field would be soo different.. It is like the European Championship Football.. I find it thrilling when people from different countries join hands together, mingle nicely and play sports.. It would be a good learning experience for everyone, since the culture and tradition of cricket in each country are different.. Batting and bowling partnerships established between players of rival countries.. I dont think it would reduce the competitiveness of cricket.. After learning so much, one would try and like to put all that into effect in regular tours..

So, I totally support these kinds of action for shortened versions.. ODI's and 20-20.. Of course, test matches should be left pristine.. To reduce the load on the players, the ICC and the respective boards can reduce the number of some meaningless tournaments and number of matches during a tour (we are gonna play 7 ODI's against Srilanka later this year..).

Few Questions .. Help !

To you CompSci people..

1) My Internet Explorer sucks for the past week or so.. More often than not, it hangs and I am forced to close it using the task manager. Is it a common problem? Is that the reason why many of you prefer Firefox?

2) My tamil posts are totally screwed up when I view my blogsite using firefox. What do I do to the character encoding?

3) My laptop has 512 MB RAM.. but, what I see in Windows Task manager is ----M/1055 M, i.e., 1.055 GB in the denominator, in the 'commit charge' space. Why so?

Thanks guys, in advance.. Have a Great Weekend !!!

Aug 17, 2005

An advertisement for Test Cricket

The recently concluded third Ashes test can be described so. Though it appeared that rain on the third day spoilt that match, wasnt it alive until the very last ball of the match.. The first two tests saw no centurions, whereas this one alone produced three.. To me the following were the highlights of the match:

a) McGrath deciding to play even though he was quite badly injured just a week ago.. Amazing spirit..

b) Probably the last test played by Gillespie atleast for this season.. He was totally off-color.. 3 wickets from 3 tests could probably be the last thing everyone wanted of him.

c) Warne showing tremendous guts with bat for three consecutive innings.. He avoided the follow-on during the short third day's play, top-scoring for his team in that process. And, in the last day, gave superb support to Ponting to save the test.

d) The Aus team was suddenly feeling the heat from the media, when reports said that Warne had a hot argument with the Aus captain about his decision to bowl first in the second match. It was claimed that there was a rift between Ponting and Warne.. To add insult to injury, during the fourth day, when the eventual centurion Strauss's edge, when he was in single digit, went right between Ponting and Warne, neither attempted to catch it and just stared at each other..

e) On the fifth day, when Aus had lost all recognized batsman except Ponting, Warne frustrated the England bowlers for almost 100 minutes, with reasonably brisk scoring too, to keep the momentum up..

f) He went, followed by Gillespie.. and when only 4 minutes were remaining, Ponting too got out.. He stood at the crease forever.. probably wishing that the ground breaks into two and takes him in.. England required just 1 wicket to go 2-1 up in the series.. But, somehow Lee and McGrath saw through those nervous moments.... What a finish.. An hour less of rain, it appeared, would have provided some result.

Aug 15, 2005


One of the things that I have to learn is to be 100% patient during all the shopping that I have to do for home.. Invariably, once I enter the shop, I start getting terrible yaaawns.. It is as though if I get a bed, I will be in sound sleep right then.. and even my inner mind feels bored about shopping .. And whenever I enter Best Buy, I start jumping around and even said that "this is the best place in Gainesville"..

Yesterday, visited a friends' home and this discussion came up. My friend said that he never goes for shopping nowadays, since his mother-in-law is around to accompany his wife. She said that once her four-months old kid started crying in a shop and a lady came to them smiling and said "This must be a boy.. no wonder even at this age he doesnt like shopping, he doesnt let his mom do her shopping" !!!

A Very Happy Independence Day, My Friends !!!

Aug 14, 2005

Working with idiots

When I joined UF, in the first-aid box right behind my fume cupboard, was stuck this piece from a newspaper entitled "Working With Idiots Can Kill You! ". (In case the link doesnt work, pl. click here). An interesting piece.. the problem with me was that, after reading that, I used to get more tense when somebody did something stupid.. Then I sat down and thought that, 'mmm.. may be not everybody can be smart in everything.. As someone did something idiotic just now, may be I will do/have done badly to someone else too..' so, two things I decided were: a) Try not to do anything stupid and b) If someone does something obviously idiotic, be happy that I am more intelligent than him/her..

The best (or worst, for the concerned persons) from the article is

A man told us he collapsed right at his desk because the woman at the next cubicle kept asking him for correction fluid -- for her computer monitor.

Enjoy reading and Have a good weekend, friends !!!

Aug 12, 2005

Cold medicine

Cant be more coincidental... 2 days after Prabhu wrote the effect of Milagu kozhambu on his cold, I caught a bad cold yesterday... Even though I consider the 'cold' as my twin, since I sneeze atleast twice a day (thanks to my sinusitis, now u know the reason for my old blog name)... Yesterday's was the "Worst of the year" kind.. and after doing nothing at work and watching the "Scorpion King" in the afternoon, I remembered something that happened almost 10 years back the same time.. In August 13-16, 1995, I was down with cold and fever in my first month in Bangalore (colder compared to Madurai, u see..). And there was this man, "Funda Bala" (also fondly called 'Karuthu Bala' since he had a karuthu for everything), who, after seeing me whining with cold and fever and thus not eat the "tricolor" cassata served during the special lunch on I-day '95, 'karuthufied' that he used to take butter-milk even during bad cold.

This past three weeks have been full of these "gnabagam varudhe" things.. I remember a lot my first few weeks of IISc.. Y'day I remembered Karuthu Bala and decided that, what the heck, let me try the terrific ice-cream that we bought just the previous day.. the cold cant get any worse.. and, may be, it might even kill my cold (like killing fire with fire).. I galloped lotsa that delicious ice-cream (no control) and .. thats it.. The watering from my nose stopped.. (hopefully it didnt solidify into that yucky yellow mass) and within an hour or two after the ice-cream, I was feeling really good..

Got up this morning, felt terrific.. took a nice head-bath and back to work.. Opened Balaji's blogsite, and, he writes about ice-creams..

Aug 10, 2005

Constructive Politics plz...

This is my first post on politics.. Hope I dont receive unwanted guests in taxis (u know what i mean...)

As you move away from Delhi, the state of politics gradually deteriorates.. In the center, there is no 'born-enemity' shown between the leaders of rival parties.. but, in states, it is literally tit-for-tat and many rivals wont like to see eye-to-eye.. You can see bloody fights in Bihar, West Bengal, Andhra and Tamilnadu from time to time. In TN, our ex-CM Mr. Karunanidhi will never go to the assembly even though he is an MLA, just b'cos he cant see the coveted seat occupied by his rival.

And our CM is no less too.. There was this inauguration of the major project, Sethu Samudram, last month.. Its a good one for TN.. we dont need an Einstein to tell the advantages of a hot sea route.. But then, since it is supposedly a central government-sponsored project, our PM and central ministers attended. Every party wanted to get the lion's share of the fame.. so there was some petty politics among the coalition itself. Anyway, all were there, including Mrs. Gandhi, Mr. Karunanidhi and Mr. Vaiko, all of whom dont hold any post in the government and also have something to make our CM angry just seeing them.. So, she didnt attend the function, claiming that the central government is acting too fast, without addressing the concerns of the fishermen..

In that process, IMHO, she did poorly. If I were her minister/assistant/secretary/consultant/friend, I would have told her to attend it. For many reasons.. first of all, you want to break the terrible animosity that has been created over the years and show to the people that certain conventions have to be respected. Secondly, it could have made the other leaders on stage a little uncomfortable. Third, a signal that the project is welcome by the state machinary.. Fourth, a chance to even steal the show.. I would have advised her to focus on the following topics while speaking at the function:

a) A loud declaration that the state government would take care of the concerns of the fishermen and that suitable measures would be taken to study the -ve impact, if any, and methods to overcome them..
Effect: That would please the fishermen community that she does worry about them..

b) She or her mentor, Mr. MGR would have mentioned SOME TIME about this project in the '90s or before.. Quote that and say that she is proud to have it started in her tenure..
Effect: That would take away some of the credits claimed by others for this project

c) Suggest to the central government for more patrolling on the international border, so that smuggling and infiltration would be checked. Remind that Mr. Rajiv Gandhi was killed by someone just across this border and how she wishes it could have been avoided by some careful security measures..
Effect: This would make Mr. Karunanidhi and Mr. Vaiko uncomfy, and sentimentally touch Mrs. Gandhi.

d) Use the stage for reinstating the requirement of another major relief to TN fishermen: Re-acquisition of "Kachatheevu".. the disputed island gifted away by Mrs. Indira Gandhi to SL.
Effect: Removes some shine of the clout from the current project and puts another demand.. another to-do stuff for the central government..

e) Talk something like "this has been a while the central and state governments join together for organizing a event together, despite their political differences.. This should hopefully be a precedent.. I request our central ministers to act as a bridge between the TN government and central government and take care of the state's needs... They should act responsibly to get the trust of the state government for approaching them... They should also participate in the state's major projects' functions in the next few years...
Effect: Shows the confidence of the CM that she would come back to power.. Some confident remarks like this would stun anyone.. To the people of the state, it shows her conf. levels rather than an act of arrogance.

f) Praise the PM nicely.. say something to the tune of " When Mrs. Gandhi was offered the top position after the tragedy of her husband, if she had chosen a scholar like Mr. Singh, it would have made our country a super-power by now"...
Effect: Would please both the PM and Mrs. Gandhi.. Would put the ball of our country's progress in the center's court..

Several of the points might sound unconventional, but, what the heck.. our CM had everything to lose before the function.. at the end of it, no matter who would have spoken after her, she would have stolen the limelight and run away with all the points..

This is no way to say that I am ADMK supporter.. As a party, I like DMK more, for the last 12 years or so (rather, it is like, who is lesser devil).. Ever since the parliamentary election, the DMK and ADMK are putting up projects to try and please people.. they compete to serve.. which should be the way it is.. (Desalinization, Sethu samudram from the center, and the Veeranam, anti-piracy law and other good measures from the state). Just a point to mention that by this means of constructive politics, atleast the public will benefit to some extent..

Aug 4, 2005

10,000 Run Club

Another one-day defeat.. *SIGH*.. All the hoopla surrounding this Indian team is turning out to be nothing.. The only thing of note today was Saurav Ganguly's fifty (though off over 100 balls), which propelled him into the 10,000 run club.

Our Sunny Gavaskar was the first to get there in 1987. The following list gives the members (in both formats of cricket):

1) Sunil Gavaskar (Ind) - 1987 (Tests)
2) Allan Border (Aus) - 1993 (Tests)
3) Sachin Tendulkar (Ind) - 2001 (ODI)
4) Steve Waugh (Aus) - 2003 (Tests)
5) Brian Lara (WI) - 2004 (Tests)
6) Inzamam-ul-Haq (Pak) - 2004 (ODI)
7) Sachin Tendulkar (Ind) - 2004 (Tests)
7) Saurav Ganguly (Ind) - 2005 (ODI)

Sanath Jayasuriya is only 33 runs short of the milestone, which he would surely cross this year (atleast 9 more ODI's are scheduled for Srilanka in 2005). So, he would be the ninth.. The others who are in the fringe are:

a) Brian Lara - 646 runs short (ODI). With the tussle between WI cricket board and players unlikely to be resolved soon, he would probably reach 10 K runs in 2006.

b) Ricky Ponting - 1710 runs (ODI). (Quite a distance..) Likely to reach 10K in 2007.

c) Rahul Dravid - 1760 runs (ODI). Likely to reach 10K in 2007.
d) Rahul Dravid - 2304 runs (Tests). In the current form, he would be just there when 2007 ends.

e) Jack Kallis - 2325 runs (ODI). With injuries permitting, he might be there in 2007.

f) Inzamam-ul-Haq: 2380 runs (tests). Without injuries and in current form, might make it in 2007.

So, there are 7 guys waiting to join the club in the next two years.. 5 of them in 2007. With more and more cricket, and with rules inclined more towards batsmen, this is the result. A century of cricket saw only one (Sunny) make it.. Twenty years since then, there would be 14 more..

Aug 2, 2005

Google and Googol

When I first heard of google in 1999, I thought it was a smart indication of the number of webpages that it can search. I had known, during my college days, that a google is 1 followed by 100 zeros, i.e. 10 to the power of 100. Since already existed, I thought, they coined something sounding similar to that.

Initially google was displaying the number of websites that were covered by it.. (they have stopped it, since there is virtually no competion now). When I was thinking a few days ago whether googol is a possible number, I got the answer that it aint.

Can the world, why, the entire solar system be made of a goole particles? The mass of sun (which constituted over 99% of mass of the solar system)is about 2 X 10 to the power 30 kg. Mass of an electron is 9 X 10 to the power -31 kg. Even if you suppose all of sun is made of only electrons (which itself is not true, there are heavier protons and neutrons..), for the sake of extreme argument, then sun has about 2.2 X 10 to the power 60 particles. That is 1 followed by 40 zeros smaller than a googol!! So, by all means, all the stars and stuff that you can see by bare eye on a clear night, might be, put together a million times more than our solar system, which still leaves a large number. So, I think, the number of particles in the entire space would still fall short of a googol.

Can anyone think of a googol of anything (except such weirdos like all the possible ways of arranging the living objects in the world)?