Straight Angle™: May 2007
Tuesday, May 22, 2007


This news item that appeared in BBC today, caught my attention. The news is about Google deciding to ban essay writing ads from appearing. This is a classic case of clash between ethics/morality and business. The legitimate businesses that provide essay writing services- the business line here is legitimate. They are in outsourcing industry- its that simple. However, how many of us are comfortable with an University student buying an essay from one of these companies and submitting it, as his own?

Personally, I find no wrong in essay writing companies doing what they are doing. It is a legitimate business avenue for them. They get their work outsourced from their clients. Students in this case are outsourcing their job of learning/preparing a document about their learning to these third parties. Is it something wrong? My business logic says it isn't. I would try to get my job done as easily and best quality as possible. That is what all outsourcing is about. I get my job done at the cheapest and efficient place possible. It is also about the "Core Competency". May be essay writing is not my core competency. May be studying is not my core competency. So, I outsource that to someone who does it best. But where I go wrong in this case is, when I claim such a work as mine. If I dont claim that work as mine, then there is no point in me wanting that work done..right? The essay writing companies claim that they warn the users that, the work cannot be claimed as user's own is at best, sort of a disclaimer that no one really cares about. I really don't believe the claim that their essays are not being used for submission. As I said, there is absolutely no use in me paying for a work whose only purpose is submission as my own and not submit it!

It's a good case study for ethics class is all that I can say. Having done some ethics case studies, I think this case will have not differing opinions. Everyone will try to be in the "right" side of the divide. How can I justify the stance that the material is not used for plagiarism purposes? It is completely a personal ethical stance that every individual takes. As such, morality and ethics are seldom practiced as a group - though they get framed by a group- its always an individual that needs to follow it!- Weird World- Weird People!

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Monday, May 21, 2007


Was reading something when I realized how true is this picture, when it comes to me and Slashdot!

The sameness!!! Arghhh...Ask me how frustrating it is to see just a handful of topics in Slashdot after 1 hour of inactivity!! I guess Metafilter does a decent job- but the titles sometimes people give to stories in Metafilter- I would rather hang myself than to even read anything further!! I don't know how people can imagine such titles!

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Saturday, May 19, 2007


First, before I go on further, I want to make clear the history-geography of the last post!

I used to write poems- well, that was once upon a time- mostly in English- some in Tamil too. But many of my poems were written when I was in despair or generally in a sad mood. Though I hold my opinion that Sadness/Pain isn't that what brings the best, my intensity of that belief isn't the same as before, when I see my own creations!! I am starting to believe that pain brings in the better expression of the feel and so, the creations tend to look better-anyways- that is apart from the history of my latest post. Suddenly yesterday, I remembered that I hadn't posted a poem in a long time. So, sat down to write. But I couldn't write anything...Didn't want to waste the momentum that had built in me to post! So, ended up with the poem that we all grew up with!

Well, there isn't much geography to it other than that it came from Wikipedia!

This is to assuage concerns about my lost sanity! :P

Coming to the current post, I am sort of in a trance this weekend. Work has kept me busy- though I did sneak in the time required for my daily reads and news stories. Had planned for a trip to Niagara the coming long weekend. Gone to Canadian embassy for the Visa issues. I wonder how can they make people stand in the street in New York. I detested standing in the street for my US Visa. I thought people here would be more sane- seems like I am vastly mistaken.

We were standing in the 6th Avenue, 49th street, NYC, for somewhere around 1/2 hour in the chilling cold weather, with no one even having an understanding of what is happening. After 1/2 hour the embassy staff comes over and leads us inside the consulate. His demeanor leaves much to be desired. I understand that there is a huge rush for Canadian visa and the staff are overworked. But this is hardly the impression one would want their country to have when someone comes to it. The staff were acting as if we were some illiterate nuisance to tackle. I don't mind standing in the queue- but what irks me is the fact that, we were made to stand there inspite of the weather and inspite of vacant place available inside the building for a queue. Anyways, got the visa and looking forward for the trip. Let me see how it turns out!

In other stories, NYT runs a story on the raising Indian Second Tier Cities. Impressive. But how much of this would become reality is GOK!

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Thursday, May 17, 2007



Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are!
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky.
Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are!

When the blazing sun is gone,
When he nothing shines upon,
Then you show your little light,
Twinkle, twinkle, all the night.
Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are!

Then the traveller in the dark,
Thanks you for your tiny spark,
He could not see which way to go,
If you did not twinkle so.
Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are!

In the dark blue sky you keep,
And often through my curtains peep,
For you never shut your eye,
Till the sun is in the sky.
Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are!

As your bright and tiny spark,
Lights the traveller in the dark,—
Though I know not what you are,
Twinkle, twinkle, little star.
Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are!

Another One!

Baa, baa, black sheep,
Have you any wool?
Yes sir, yes sir,
Three bags full.

One for the master,
One for the dame,
And one for the little boy
Who lives down the lane.

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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Brooklyn and WTC! 

There are some things that are better left unspoken- like Love, like dreams...and here like WTC!! The people I move with- a good number of them, seem to have lost someone- 1st or 2nd or at the least 3rd degree loss. The 9/11 is better not spoken about. So, I wasn't surprised when I found a congregation at the site, the day when I went there.

Actually, it wasn't a planned trip. We had initially planned to go to 5th avenue- the Apple Store. When I first read about the Apple Store, I know I wanted to see this place somehow. And when I know I am coming to Newark, I know this would be the first place that I would visit in NYC. But, as they say, things have their own ways of shaping up. The day we were supposed to go to Big Apple to see the Apple, we had a slight mis-communication and the result- the people who were supposed to take us there, ended up reaching there alone.

So I decided, the best way to explore a place is to get lost ;)...Started off with my colleague. We know we need to go to 5th avenue. But we had no idea on how to get there. Got into the Tube and started our journey. I saw the route map in the Path- but then ignored them. Wanted to just go till where the Path would take us. Ended up in WTC.

Once we saw the huge crater in the place of WTC, I was dumbstruck with the magnitude of the event. For most of us in India, it was destruction of a building and loss of lives- though the number was enormous, I guess we would never be able to fully comprehend the scale of the building or what it stands for. This one picture there was so moving that I couldn't stop walking away lest I would cry.

This is part of the Art for Heart Exhibition that is being conducted with the paintings by the children who lost their loved ones on 9/11.

NYC had always been a dream place for me. I am sure, it still is! What I saw there and what I felt there- words wouldn't be enough to explain them- it's not the richness, it's not the wealth or the power this city commands- it's the sheer scale of human possibilities that this city is a symbol of- that inspires me- well, I am distracting from the topic.

We ended up in this place and started walking as our legs would carry us. I was sure, that I would be able to make my way back. So took all the roads that I can take- simultaneously, my camera too was busy with it's piece of work. I had already decided that I would try out and experiment all the functionalities in the camera and I also wanted to learn the differences between the many settings- theoretically all make sense- but when you actually see the same scene taken with different settings, you can appreciate the difference.

When I saw the board "Brooklyn Bridge", I know we had come to the right place ;)- started towards it. Result- loads of pictures - there would be duplicates of the same scene- same people- but note that, the settings for each of the pictures vary- you can see the settings in the "Details" tab of the page!

The bridge itself is a marvel of architecture- there are boards and sign plates that tell you the story behind the Bridge- but the one marvelous thing about the bridge is that you get to see the Statue of Liberty far off- the sight is breath taking and awe inspiring- the symbol of everything that I hold high as moral and as value- though that is in short supply everywhere (even here).

Every moment I was there- I truly enjoyed the freedom, the human ingenuity and possibilities- to look at the Manhattan Skyline and the distant Empire State Building- it truly inspires you like none else, of the innate Human Will and resolve. Would love to go there once again- if not for anything atleast to enjoy it in the night- I hadn't taken my jacket with me, as it was pretty hot in the day when we left- but ended up in rains when we returned.

Tons of photos
for the patient enough!

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Sunday, May 06, 2007

From Newark! 

Now a days, every time I sit down to write something, I find an inexplicable reason to not proceed further. May be the lack of interest on my part is the reason for this. But, I did find a strong enough reason to blog now. It's been a week now since I landed in this country for the second time this year. The first thing to strike me was the difference this place has with Texas and Dallas in particular.

Dallas is vast, spacious, dry and hot and distinctly American or at least Un-Indian. This place is all opposite. It's cramped, wet and cold. The place that I stay in, is more Indian than most of India so to say. The first guy to speak with me after the immigration desk is an afro-american and the first question he asked me was "Taxi Chahiyae??". Earlier, I was surprised by the announcement in Hindi in the Newark International Airport- but I reasoned that it was for the Air-India passengers. But this question from that guy was enough to convince me of the "Indianness" of the place.

There were more surprises in store for me. The whole locality that I currently live in, is Indian- mostly Gujaratis. There are Subzi Mandi's, Hyderabad House, Bombay Chat, Indian Movie Theaters and behold- Saravana Bhavan. Our very own Saravana Bhavan is at walking distance from my home and I am just starting(after making this post for a sumptuous dinner there). I am sure I wouldn't have to have the "Onion" "Dosa" that I had in Dallas.

The journey to office is a story in itself. I need to take a bus, then a train and then a Metro-subway to reach office. An exciting journey in itself, as this extends just across Hudson to the Big Apple!

My office sits pretty near to the Newark Penn Station. And just peeping through the window from my seat in the 23rd Floor, I can see the Hudson curling around, I can see the distant NewYork-Manhattan skylines, the EWR airport and the flights landing and taking off. There are more to my New Jersey stay than this.

Like- the photo below!- Note the jet of water and the sea gull on top of it and also visit the album- there are tons of good ones in there!

From 2007-05-06-Ca...

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Swarnasrikrishnan/Male/28. Lives in India/Tamilnadu/Chennai, speaks Tamil, English, 

Malayalam, German, Hindi(??). Eye color is black. I am a god. I am also optimistic.
It's me machan:

Swarnasrikrishnan, Male, 28, India, Tamilnadu, Chennai, Tamil, English, Malayalam, German, Hindi(??)

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