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My Latest Nightmare March 5, 2008

Posted by shootingcipher in Just For Fun.
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Destroyer of Worlds

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Vlad Wallpapers March 5, 2008

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VladStudio had lately been one of my favorite sites for seeking out wallpapers. The art is absolutely amazing and different. The appeal of the drawings is difficult to explain. Maybe it’s the colour combinations used or the texture of the art. Even brown, a colour I would generally not want to underlay my numerous desktop icons and stare at me from the screen , has been endowed a beauty that captivates the viewer. Add wit to the artistry and the mix is a heady one.

Eg : An inverted physical map of the world (in brown)

The darker colours will make depression pervertedly soothing while the art with kids on lighter coloured templates fill me with nostalgia for days (imagined or real , does it matter?) gone by.

Indian chatrooms disappoint again ! February 25, 2008

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Posting after a long gap as I had forgotten my login password. It’s a miracle I remembered it today 🙂

Was listening to a few Tagore ‘s songs and thought of looking for the lyrics of the songs and consequently any repository of his poems(with the Bengali-English translations). Quite a few of the words in Tagore’s poems are incomprehensible to my limited vocabulary. Web search yielded a few links but none host his complete works. Most of the sites have horrendous layouts (90s html style with popups/banners/scrolling text etc) , one has a search facility but I could not extract a single poem with that and their DB kept failing.

As normal searches kept failing I thought of checking out some chat room. Was never quite a fan of Indian chat rooms and the little I had used had convinced me 4 years back to give up any effort at seeking intelligent conversation wrt rediff/indiatimes/yahoo. The past few years however have seen lots of Indian chat sites coming up (which I came to know when I dd a google search) and I thought maybe the scenario had changed. Needless to say I was WRONG.

People who visit chat rooms(males mostly wrt Indian ones) are there for only one thing which of-course rhymes with flex. So one is inundated with private messages seeking gender information as soon as one enters the chat room with a remotely non-testosterone-gushing nickname. Reply Male and time comes to a standstill. No one responds to any query (which in my case was the one mentioned earlier). Perhaps the demographic using these chat rooms are not the type to indulge in any activity that slows down their persistent strife to get a babe in this skewed gender distribution of the cyber-space in-spite of what the chat room’s name may claim.

I think I will have to seek out some social-networking site’s topic-specific communities/groups. Maybe if Orkut introduced some chat system in their community pages it would be nice , but then again it may degenerate considering our biological propensity.

The wrong side of 25 suddenly makes me feel old. These inanities used to amuse me earlier but nowadays I get pissed off. I guess I am on the other side of the generation gap.

3pm distraction May 24, 2007

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So yet another day at office.. I was working away on a not too interesting problem trying to desist myself from taking yet another peek at the seductive posts on slashdot, digg, reddit,neatorama .. when above the self-induced din of my headphones I discerned a female voice in a not too pleasant mood. As I turned away from the enticing contours of my monitor, a sheepish looking security guard being reprimanded by a lady from the hallow portals of management greeted me. Seemed to be a trifling issue , but hey we are talking about management here ; who let’s just say do their part in keeping the word nonsensical from vanishing from the english lexicon (as opposed to purfled , obnubilate etc).

A short description of the location is germane to this incident. The scene took place at a corner in a passage that leads to the stationary room. As befits the highly efficent office-admin dept, their ponderous efforts placed this oft-accessed room in a hard to find nook amongst the cubicles. So this made me the apt person for seeking directions or so everybody thought. Tired of doing too-many good turns a day and an overflowing karma, I pasted a Post-It on the adjacent wall. which seemed to be the cause of the ruckus.

 

Our good lady had lost precious time finding the stationary and it was because I had painted the arrow in the wrong direction and she had not bothered to read the text inside the box that formed the arrow’s body (yes it was a pretty neat drawing) that also mentioned the room number. I was honestly surprised as to why I had not noticed it earlier while the guard was getting the dressing down of his life. Yes she was attractive in a 40ish sort of way but that doesn’t help when crankiness supercedes all feminine charms. Admitting to guilt was out of question , joining in the tirade on helpless house-keeping personnel not quite proper and not being quite the shrew tamer , a devilish enjoyment of the fracas seemed the best way out.

 

But “the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry” and hence the annual fire-drill siren blasted forth signalling an end this act. And yes the poor guy escaped with no harm. I guess the hilarity of the situation is tough to describe but then humourless office confines lowers one’s humour threshold.

0.9999999999999…… October 27, 2006

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How 0.9999… is equal to 1 ? Ans

Programming Quotations September 5, 2006

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http://www.eskimo.com/~hottub/software/programming_quotes.html

De Mention of the dimensions September 5, 2006

Posted by shootingcipher in Physics.
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I remember having read a book “This Fascinating Astronomy” when I was 13 years old. It was a remnant of the books that came out of the erstwhile USSR to India at absurdly low prices (with respect to their excellent binding and paper quality) and after that my life was never the same (Will write a piece sometime about Sputnik,Misha, Science in the USSR etc one day maybe). It was the first time I came to know that there could be such a thing as the 4th dimension and although I could not grasp it fully until I was 16 (and finished reading the Brief Histoory of Time once) I was absolutely enchanted that there could be a basis for a time machine after all. And ofcourse countless daydreams later I am still enamoured of Astronomy. Alas I never pursued the subject academically (except the initial senior high school physics and engineering physics in the initial years) and immersed 6 years of my life in computer science.
But still this will be a lifelong pursuit to read and wonder about quntum physics/astrophysics I hope. Now to come to the point, string theory sugests that all matter is generated by substrings vibrating in the 10th dimension. When I had heard this I thought just how could the theorists imagine the 10th dimension when visualizing the 4th was a mind-bender.
Well fear not, as this absolutely amazing flash animation will explan in a manner so lucid that I could cry. And when one reads this, very few will remain unmoved by what it implies.

Strings, Parallel universes and the Theory of Everything August 19, 2006

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The Elegant Universe is a series of short videos that speak of the quest of finding the theory of everything, string theory and universes’ replicas. I am still to watch all the videos (since the bandwidth requirements are only available at office and need weekends for such stuff in office ).

Company Policies August 11, 2006

Posted by shootingcipher in Just For Fun.
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A very funny story describing the manner in which company policies are blindly followed without anybody knowing the real reasons that led to its formulation in the first place. Source : Company bulletin board ( at time 3pm when disgruntlement is magnified by the slumber the lunch and afternoon induces )
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Monkeys and Company Policies

Put eight monkeys in a room. In the middle of the room is a ladder, leading to a bunch of bananas hanging from a hook on the ceiling.

Each time a monkey tries to climb the ladder, all the monkeys are sprayed with ice water, which makes them miserable. Soon enough,whenever a monkey attempts to climb the ladder, all of the other monkeys, not wanting to be sprayed, set upon him and beat him up.

Soon, none of the eight monkeys ever attempts to climb the ladder. One of the original monkeys is then removed, and a new monkey is put in the room. Seeing the bananas and the ladder, he wonders why none of the other monkeys are doing the obvious, but, undaunted, he immediately begins to climb the ladder. All the other monkeys fall upon him and beat him silly. He has no idea why. However, he no longer attempts to climb the ladder.

A second original monkey is removed and replaced. The newcomer again attempts to climb the ladder, but all the other monkeys hammer the crap out of him. This includes the previous new monkey, who, grateful that he’s not on the receiving end this time, participates in the beating because all the other monkeys are doing it. However, he has no idea why he’s attacking the new monkey.

One by one, all the original monkeys are replaced. Eight new monkeys are now in the room. None of them have ever been sprayed by ice water. None of them attempt to climb the ladder. All of them will enthusiastically beat up any new monkey who tries, without having any idea why.

AND THAT’S HOW COMPANY POLICIES GET ESTABLISHED.

Top 25 unanswered questions May 8, 2006

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Wonder if in my lifetime I can see some of them being answered .