Straight Angle™: November 2006
Monday, November 27, 2006

Nice Design! 

Well, what do you think the picture is, at first look? I couldn't believe it till I read the entire story here.

Take a look at the graceful structure that the turbine is and then we can come to a conclusion.[Picture Courtesy: Engadget]

As correctly the Engadget asks, can't there be a better name to it than Quiet Revolution QR5? There are more pictures than this to explain how this entire concept work(based on the vertical axis wind turbine). Though I am not competent enough to suggest anything on the advantages and disadvantages of design or anything else on this subject, I am pleased with the helical design of this and atleast this isn't an eye sore like the blade turbine that we currently use!- Hope this finds acceptance and wide use!


Friday, November 24, 2006

Point on Point! 

Did any of your maths teacher or professor or anyone for that matter taught you that "Point" is, in fact an idea and not a reality?- that how much ever you zoom a point, it would still remain a point and that there is no dimension to it?

A Point in fact, exists only in the mind of the person who is thinking about it. So when I say that the "Line" connects Points A and B, and also say that Line is a single dimensional entity, does it ring a bell? What I fail to understand is how can an entity connecting two non-existing entities, exist? I mean, how can a line derive its existence, when the basic definition of its existence itself is absent and still get a dimension?- In the end does the dimensions too exist only in the mind of people thinking about it or do they exist for real?

If Point doesn't exist, what is wrong in saying that Point is a Sphere, whose radius tends to Zero. Since a Point doesn't exist, you can't disprove that when the radius of a Sphere tends to Zero, it can't become a Point- You can only prove or disprove the existence of an existing thing- right? You can't prove the existence of a non-existing entity! In a similar vein, a Point can also be a Line whose Length tends to Zero. For this, you would have to first prove that a Line is in fact an entity, which would follow (from reversing my earlier argument), that Point does exist!!- This would be at variance with my earlier argument, which goes to prove that all maths that we were taught (If at all we were taught) was fiction!

So, what is the Conclusion??? You get a highly jobless, Internet enabled IT Professional!- That's the Point!


Monday, November 20, 2006

Some interesting observations about Thirumala-Tirupathi! 

  1. Don't try to overtake a vehicle at a hair pin bend- It isn't a pleasing sight to see a TATA Sumo with two of its wheels in air!
  2. Don't be under any illusion that you can have a quick darshan.
  3. Don't think you can get accommodation (I mean decent accommodation) in the hills!
  4. When the private vehicle operators call you for a ride in Tirupathi to the uphill, beware it is actually for a ride!
  5. There is no point in reaching Tirupathi before 3.00 AM- You can't enter the hills before 3.00 AM (this is only if you are climbing the hills in a vehicle..if you are walking, then anytime is the best time).
  6. Don't carry any electronic instrument- I mean things like cellular phone, camera, video camera etc. I am not sure of an electronic watch though!
  7. If you hadn't planned for standing in the queue, then forget going to Tirupathi in the first place.
  8. At times, there is no big difference between the private accommodation and the locker facilities that are offered at throw away price by TTD itself.
  9. There is no difference in the Rs.5 and Rs.10 laddus that you get tokens for. Its just another way to create artificial demand!
  10. The longer you wait in the Sarvadarshan queue, the stronger is your hunger!
  11. The cost of living inside the huge halls that you wait for in Sarvadarshan is higher than the most costliest metropolis in the world. You get 25ml of tea for Rs.5
  12. There are no (almost) private hotels in Thirumala. TTD is the monopoly for accommodation at the hills.
  13. The men at the laddu-token counter are more powerfull than the GOD himself.
  14. Often, the Kalyaanosthavams that are advertised are more crowded than the sarvadarshans.
  15. The most interesting programs in the TV would come at the fag end of your waiting period in the cells!
  16. Ramayan is more interesting to watch now, than it was 15 years ago!


Saturday, November 11, 2006

450 and going! 

This is the 450th post of this blog and it has taken me 2 years and 7 months for this!. I wonder when I will make the 500th post! That would be a milestone for sure!

What caught my attention worthy of posting is the following news item at Boing Boing!. The study conducted at Harvard shows that Children as young as 5 years old, prefer lucky individuals over unluckier one.

Young children express stronger liking for the beneficiaries of good luck compared to the victims of bad luck and generalize this preference to those who share membership in a group. Because the disadvantaged are more likely to experience negative events beyond their control - such as the tendency for the poor to be most impacted by natural disasters - this innocuous preference for the privileged may eventually grow more harmful, further increasing negativity toward the disadvantaged. Such preferences may, in turn, help explain the persistence of social inequality.
Or so goes the inferences of the study. To me it seems intuitive. Probably, every child wants to be the beneficiary of the luck than the victim of fate. This natural tendency to be better off, reflects in liking a person who is better off -similar to our expectation of how we want to be!- I liked the way they have derived the probable reason for social inequities from the perception of luck and fate by children- Nice thought process!

The other thing that caught my attention was this!- Oh, that is a funny bit after a serious stuff!


Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Related.....Yet Unrelated! 

The way the so-called Fourth Estate had been handling some of the latest issues makes me go sick. The recent incidents and their reporting leaves a foul taste in me. First comes the Priyadarhini Mattoo's case and judgement in that. I had already written how I feel about it. The way the word "Justice" was used then, made me wonder, whether the press is overdoing their job and mandate. And then I get the proof.

Proof 1: Interview with Mr.Ram Jethmalani
I fail to understand how the press decides who is the murderer, who should be punished, who is innocent, who is guilty, who should support whom, what should lawyers do, what they shouldn't, so on and so forth. Here, as can be clearly seen, the question of why is Ram Jethmalani arguing for the accused is none of the Press's concern. Why can't the press see that even the accused is a man with equal rights for a trail and his case heard? I am appalled at the way the press had already branded Manu Sharma a criminal.

There might be evidence against him, but then it is not for the press to rule who should argue for him- and what is the Lakshman Rehka that Sagarika Ghose is talking about? Where had that Rekha gone for the press? I dont think any one can pass a value judgement on whom Ram Jethmalani is appearing for and more important whom he should appear for! I agree with RJ that, there can be noone other than the court to decide on who is guilty and who is innocent. If as Ghose says there are evidence against Manu Sharma, then why don't it be submitted to the court and the case resolved there? Now, will the press take back their words, if the Higher Court finds Manu Sharma innocent and acquits him? After Priyadarshini's case Justice for such crimes had come to be equated with Death sentence. I am wondering what will this press say, if the punishment is anything other than death. It appears to me that the press had already decided on what should be the punishment for Manu Sharma and they want it delivered- No matter what the courts might decide! [Read the entire script of the Interview here]

Proof2: Chennai's Culture reporting!
Another story on how the Chennai's cops are overdoing their duties! It escapes me completely, on how can the media take this up, when there is a violation of a law, a rule and yet blame the police for that! The Hotel in question clearly seem to have violated the rule, by keeping the Pub opened after the prescribed time. I am not arguing for such a rule. Infact, I would rather say the entire rule is a bullshit. But having said that, we need to agree and accept that such a rule exists and then live with such a rule or change it- if we are not comfortable with it. But when a person breaks it, he is Guilty. Just because we don't like the law doesn't mean that we can break it. There are thousands of rules and regulations that personally I might not agree with- that is not a convincing enough reason for me to break it.

Will the same media accept a policeman accepting a speeding motorist or a license less lorry driver saying that the motorist had only violated the speed limit by 10 Kms? A violation is a violation and a rule is a rule. Every citizen that lives in a country had to necessarily obey the laws and rules of the place. Breaking the law is not a solution for an uncomfortable law. The more salient point here is the moral policing part (as reported by the media). One girl is quoted as saying that,
That's none of anybody's business. My parents know that I'm out and I'm okay with it.

While it is no-ones business to question you on why you were out, it is absolutely correct for the cops if you break the law/rule. It is ofcourse their business. Now, there isnt anything like a tolerance limit to break a rule/law..is there?

The media(in this case CNN-IBN) completely misses the point that the hotel had violated teh regulation- apart from mentioning that,
The police cracked down on a three-star pub 'Speed' at about 2310 hrs (IST) on Saturday for exceeding the closing time of 2300 hrs (IST) by 10 minutes.

In the related video clip, the reporter is heard to say, a "whole 10 minutes" with a bit of Sarcasm(this is my personal inference- needn't be the case). Does this mean that the media would have been fine had the cops come after say 1 hour and did the same thing? Ridiculous the way reporting is being done! I don't think these are any reporting. These are plain opinion pieces.[Read the entire script here]

Proof 3: Trader's Strike
Yet another media twisting of the story. Only the news of impending closure is reported, while the basic truth that the constructions were illegal in the first place is conveniently blackened out. The saddest part comes when the Government says that it cannot go ahead with the Supreme Court mandated order citing law and order situation. What the heck? If a Government cant handle law and order, then why the hell is it still continuing in office? How can a mob hold the entire State and Central Governments at ransom? The court is right when it said,
"No one can be permitted to place a dagger at the government's neck and seek relief. No one can be permitted to hold the city and its law-abiding citizens to ransom"

Why would anyone respect law if the Government is going to cite law and order as a reason for inaction? Why should anyone respect anything, if he/she knows a mob can hold the entire machinery at bay with violence? What is the point in then blaming mobs?

All three incidents seem to be unrelated- but they are related to the same role of "Acting God" that the press in this country had come to take. While it is certainly great and desirable to have an active press, it is absolutely unbecoming to have a press with no respect for laws and a press that does opinion pieces in the name of reporting.

Remember "The Hindu"?. Its loosing its user base precisely because of such an arrogant "I am invincible" and "What I say is Truth" attitude!

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