Presentation: Pseudo Analog in digital slideware

scrawl

If the title got your attention, let me now explain what I meant.

Our CEO is a phenomenally great presenter, and sometimes we just go out of our way to attend his talks only to hear him speak. I recently attended one of his talks at the company meeting. He used a new technique this time. And wow, did it have an impact or what?

He had used beautiful large images as usual. He had picked a nice theme. He had equated the state of our company to be like a construction site and in constant progress, and hence he had fantastic images of construction sites and heavy machinery. And on these slides with the huge images, he had no bullet points. No fancy fonts. Most of his text was a scrawl using a nice flouroscent marker colour (or perhaps he used a fantastic handwriting font).

This blend of a seemingly analog technique (writing by hand) and a digital medium had a pretty good effect. This is not new, if you think about it. In the age of transparencies (not sure how many of the younger readers have even seen a transparency sheet), we used to print out material onto the transparency slide and if we wanted to build up a case, we would use a transparency marker and write on the slide. This gives a feeling of  engagement and involvement of the presenter.

I thought it was a pretty nifty idea, that I would share here in the blog.

Idiocracy

idiocracy-movie-poster-2006-1020445348

I heard about this movie first in Merlin Mann’s podcast with Dan Benjamin (in the 5×5 network). It is a great fun podcast talking about tech and productivity – two things that I am super passionate about. But I digress. Merlin was talking about this movie and was comparing it to living in Florida, and how sometimes the folks are in their ‘own world’. I noted it down and wanted to watch it some time, and I got the chance today.

It is a pretty nice movie about an average guy (Luke Wilson), who is in the army. He gets chose for an experiment called “human hibernation”. Unfortunately, the Army forgets about this top secret experiment, and when Luke gets out of the chamber, it is the year 2500AD. Things are not too dandy. The world has gotten all topsy turvy, and the average IQ has fallen abysmally, making Luke the smartest man on the planet. The world is then fully of super dumb people. Folks who believe water can be replaced with Gatorade (even for watering crops). Everything is amiss.

In all, a pretty good entertainer, and an eye opener. Comes with a nice message of getting your kids to read, to get educated, and just be overall smart.

[IMDB link]

(img src: link)

Thirunageswaram and Uppiliappan Kovil – April 2014

The second day in the Jilla, we did a short visit with the family to Uppilliappan and adjoining Thirunageswaram. There was not much of a rush at Uppilliappan kovil. One good thing about this temple is the massive size of the Perumal and the unobstructed view you can get of the Diety from afar.

uppilli_wm

 

By the time, we got to Thirunageswaram, the sun was at its peak – fuming at 40 Deg Cel. Having toasted our feet effectively by running on the solid granite pathway to the temple, we found the situation not very surprising. The main Shivasthalam – Naganatha Swamy had absolutely no crowd. The full crowd was only at the Raahu deity.

thirunageswaram_wm

Had a good dharshan and returned back to Kumbakonam. A quick 2 hour trip for both temples together.

Aduthurai, Thiruneelakkudi, Thirumangalakkudi, Suryanaar Kovil

First day in the jilla itself saw wheels sprouting below my feet :). Had planned the first three temples from Bangalore itself.

Aduthurai is hardly a 15-20 minute drive from Kumbakonam. Most people do not even know there is a famous Shivan temple here. This temple is of the Ramayana ages, where Sugriva worshipped the Shiva lingam. The original name of this temple town is “Ten-Kurangu-aduthurai”. The temple was renovated and rebuilt by funds from Sembiyan Maa Devi – Raja Raja Chozhan’s grandmother. In the days of the Chozha period, Ladies of the royal family also took active interest in social constructions like temples, hospitals etc. As expected, the grand total of people in the temple was 2 – me and the Shiva Bhattar.

aduthurai_wm

 

Thiruneelakkudi - This small temple town is about 4 km from Aduthurai on the road that connects the Kumbakonam-Mayavaram road to the Kumbakonam-Kariakal Road. You cannot miss this road. You can just ask for the Thiruneelakkudi road. Qaint little temple. The lad Markandeya clung to the Shiva lingam when Yama came to grab him. Shiva was upset and kicked Lord Yama away. Shiva then asked Markandeya to go to this place – Thiruneelakkudi and do penance. After a while, Lord Shiva gave Markandeya eternal life here. The temple pond is called Markandeya Theertham.

thiruneelakkudi_2_wm

 

thiruneelakkudi_wm

 

Thirumangalakkudi – is 2 km North of Aduthurai. Just ask for route to Suriyanaar Kovil. Just before you hit Suriyanaar kovil, you will hit a fork – you go left for Thirumangalakkudi and right for Suriyanaar Kovil. This temple is well frequented – partially because of a tradition of starting your Navagraha temple tour by first going to this temple. The Shivan is famous for reducing any mental stress. The bhattar also told me that, the Shiva lingam can absorb any number of litres of oil poured on it.

thirumangalakkudi_1_wm

Also visited Suriyanaar kovil. Did not take any pictures there. The temple is a fully commerical temple now – catering the Navagraha tour circuit tourists only. There are two things that are unique about the architecture of this temple though. Suryan (Sun) is at the centre, and there are shrines for 8 planets all around the Sun. These guys knew their astronomy quite well. The other bigger thing is that, the temple is built such that, only on one specific day which is famous for the Surya God, the sun’s rays fall directly on the deity.

All images were shot using a Samsung Galaxy Grand and post processed using SnapSeed app. Common filters were drama and hdrscape.

Misc Majestic Photos – April 2014

WAM 4/6 Twins – lounging near PF-6 Majestic Station Bangalore.

wam4_6_wm

 

WAP4 Chilling near PF-8 – Majestic Station – Bangalore.

wap4_wm

 

Diesel Mania. Count the number of Diesel locomotives in this picture. Majestic Station. Bangalore.

diesel_mania_wm

 

All images were shot using a Samsung Galaxy Grand and post processed using SnapSeed app. Common filters were drama and hdrscape.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Misc Kumbakonam pictures – March 2014

Some miscellaneous Kudandhai (Kumbakonam) pictures from last trip.

Ramaswamy kovil

ramaswamy_wm

 

Mahamaham kolam – panorama

mahamaham_panorama_wm

 

Typical Kurukkal home – Near Mahamaham kolam

mahamaham_kurukkal_house_bw_wm

 

Kumbakonam Railway Station

kmu_railway_wm

 

All images taken with my Samsung Galaxy Grand (yes, you read that right!) and post processed with Snapseed. Common filters were drama and hdrscape.

Thirubhuvanam and Thiruvidaimarudhur – March 2014

Another mini visit to Thirubhuvanam and Thirividaimarudhur – both fairly close to Kumbakonam – about half hour drive tops.

Thiruvidaimarudhur

thiruvidaimarudhur_outer_wm

 

thiruvidaimarudhur_kolam_wm

 

thiruvidaimarudhur_inner_wm

 

Thirubuvanam panorama

thirubuvanam_wm

 

All images were taken by Samsung Galaxy Grand (yes, you read that right) and post processed using Snapseed. Commonly used filters were drama and hdrscape.

Patteeswaram and Pazhayarai – March 2014

Did a mini trip to Patteeswaram and Pazhayarai in March 2014. We all know about Patteeswaram, but not too many of us know about Pazhayarai. It is a Thevarasthalam, and more importantly a historically significant place.

During a period of time, the Chozha kings used Pazhayarai as a temporary capital, while building/rebuilding the Tanjore fort. The semi-fictional story of Ponniyin Selvan describes Pazhayarai as a grandiose capital city with huge maaligais (palaces). During the ages when Buddhism was rampant in the South, it is said that the Buddhist monks had sealed this temple and raised their monasteries along the tall walls of this temple. The great saint Appar sang and sat in ‘dharna’ outside the temple, until the then-emperor re-opened the temple. Pazhayaarai is also the birth place of one of the 63 Naayanars – Mangayarkarasiyaar. She also plays a big role in Periya puranam – by inviting Sambandhar to come and influence her husband (the then Pandiya king) back to Hinduism from Buddhism.


It is sad that the temple is almost in ruins now. I did see some development though. It looks like there is some renovation happening. Sivan here is named Somanathaswamy. 

Main gopuram – half razed

pazhayarai4_wm

Another view 

pazhayarai1_wm

Main sannidhi

pazhayarai2_wm

 

Panorama

pazhayarai3_wm

Patteeswaram is ofcourse known to many of us. The Durgai Sannidhi is famous. The Shivan is Dhenupureeswarar and Ambal is Gnanambiga (yes, of the Mylapore mess fame :)).



patteeswaram_wm

 

patteeswaram_outer_praharam_wm

The road to Patteeswaram and Pazhayarai are typical of Tanjavur Jilla roads. One FB friend of mine described my travel in these roads as the “Travels of the modern day Vandhiya Devan” – Read the Ponniyin Selvan to get more background :)

Thanjavur Sunset

thanjavur_sunset_wm

Arasalaar River

arasalaar_wm

The Road Ahead

road_ahead_wm

All images shot with the Samsung Galaxy Grand (yes, you read that right!). Images were post processed using the Snapseed app. Commonly used filters were Drama and HDRScape.

Nallur March 2014

I just realized that I had not posted my Thanjavur jilla (mostly around Kumbakonam) pictures on my blog. I had shared several on FB and twitter, but had not shared them here. I will share them in parts.

Where is Nallur?

Outer Gopuram

nallur_outer_gopuram_wm

Inner gopuram

nallur_inner_gopuram_wm

Guardian of the temple –  Nandi

nallur_bull_wm

Agraharam Street

nallur_agraharam_wm

 

All images were taken with a Samsung Galaxy Grand (yes, you read that right), and post processed with the Snapseed app. Filters commonly used were Drama and HDRscape.