Brief Hiatus

I will be on a brief hiatus for the next 7 days. Leaving for home (Chennai) for Diwali holiday. For non-Indian viewers, Diwali is called the festival of lights and is probably the hindu equivalent of the holiday (christmas) season in the US. Houses all over India have brightly coloured lights decorating their frontage.Read the wikipedia entry for Diwali.

I do not think I will be posting for the next one week or so.

Ciao !

4 great presentation tips

Gen Taguchi over at gives 4 great presentation giving tips (these are not totally just powerpoint hacks). One of his key points is that, several presenters do not get the amount of applause they deserve. And this is not because of a bad presentation, but he/she did not set up the audience correctly for applause.I agree. There is nothing more gratifying to a presenter than a hearty applause (not a half-hearted one). All is well that ends well right ?

Read the tips here.

Ask Metafilter to the rescue …

Read the following thread for a touching account of how a man living in Washington DC posted on AskMetafilter to find out the address of where his grandfather lived in Vienna before he fled (during WWII). Someone from the Holocaust Museum (another reader of Ask Mefi) responded within 32 minutes of posting. He and a colleague of his, were able to trace down a large amount of information about the grandfather. A very touching story, – only that it is real.Read the full thread here.

Active Reading

Sacha, over at, has a wonderful post on how to read actively. She suggests a template (not really a template but a method of folding a sheet of paper), and using the different sections thus created to help her read. She uses this technique for preparing for her exams, but it can be extended to any book that you want to “actively” read. It does seem like a sound technique.Read the full article here.


We hear so much about globalization, and see it in a dozen facets of daily life. But there are times, when it touches your heart, you feel a sudden pang of joy. It happened to me this morning, when I found this post over at I have been a loyal lifehacker reader for quite some time now. It had the following today :

Diwãli, the festival of lights, is just a week away.

If there’s a special Hindu, Sikh or Jain person in your life, why not send an eCard to wish them happiness and prosperity?

Hallmark offers several free Diwali cards that you can personalize and send by e-mail.

Being a hindu myself, I was touched by the above post. I am sure posts like these are what would be the first steps in building better global understanding and unity. Thanks lifehacker.

Time Audit

Keith Anderson Bob Walsh from, has a nice piece on self-evaluating yourself at periodic intervals to make sure you are indeed being productive.The activity is fairly simple. He suggests a simple excel sheet printed out or a hand-drawn grid. There are two aspects to this sheet. (1) List about 10 activities that you typically do during your day (2) A grid showing your typical work hours divided into 15 minute intervals. Keith reasons out – why 15 min intervals. 5 mins is too small, but 1 hour is too large for our distraction filled universe. Do this for 3-4 days, and you will know if you are indeed being productive.

Read the original post at :
Get the excel sheet for your time audit here.

Just work …

Rule 7: Do the Work.Interesting piece in The professor stumbles upon a list of advise for students (but equally applicable for any profession). The list consists of some funny and witty rules. The seventh rule nullifies all rules above it and below.

Rule 7

The only rule is work. If you work, it will lead to something. It’s the people who do all of the work all the time who eventually catch on to things.

So people, just work. Just do it 🙂

Read more of the article here.