All hail the WDM2


(Image courtesy: Jay Balakrishna, IRFCA)

For all ye rail fans out there, feast yourself on this brilliantly designed flash site, showing WDM2 diesel loco working internals. For those uninitiated WDM2 == Broad Guage – Diesel – Multiuse.
The naming convention in a glance :-
W = broadguage, Y = narrow guage
D = diesel, A = AC power/electric
M = multi-use, P = passenger use, G = goods only

Charles Fawcett – The Action Guy

  • Although aspects of Fawcett’s career sometimes seemed to soar to the wilder flights of fancy, he did furnish documentary evidence to support descriptions of his deeds of military derring-do.
  • After the war he recalled being reduced to playing trumpet at funerals and carrying out exhumations to identify victims of the Nazis. After a friend offered him a bit part in a film, Fawcett spent the next 25 years reinventing himself as an actor.
  • In Paris Fawcett also took part in the rescue of a group of British prisoners-of-war who had been placed under French guard in a hospital ward by the Germans. By impersonating a German ambulance crew, Fawcett and a comrade marched in at 4am and ordered the French nurses to usher the PoWs out into the yard. “Gentlemen,” he announced as he drove them away, “consider yourself liberated.”

Wow. This guy is ‘the action guy’. He has really done a lot of the things, that we see in war movies.

Read the full telegraph article here.

Kungfu, Shaolin temple, and South India


(pic courtesy: LA times)

Yeah, they have something in common. I was reading an article the other day, which basically said, the founder of the famous Shaolin temple in China, was a south Indian monk, named BodhiDharma (or Da Mo as he is known in China). When Da Mo visited this area in China, he found that the commonly practiced method of meditation – which is sitting cross-legged from dawn to dusk, and focussing/relaxing the mind, had resulted in some ‘flabby monks’. So he introduced an martial art form, which was originally yoga-type of calisthenics.  The monks practiced meditation and calming the mind using this art form.

The trigger article is from LA Times and can be found here.

And more information on BodhiDharma can be found in Wikipedia here.

The wikipedia article has some references which trace Da Mo from the Pallava Dynasty of South India. Pretty interesting. Incidentally, DaMo is also the nick name of most people who are named Damodaran (one of the 108 names of Lord Vishnu).

Surreal photo


Surreal pic taken from my nokia camera phone. This is the Koramangala Passport office reflected on my rear windscreen, when I was filling petrol in the Indian Oil Petrol Bunk right opposite. At that time, I thought it was kinda cool. But when I looked at the pic on my computer, I am impressed (with myself ofcourse! and my camera phone).  🙂

Go further than the interview

DLB has a brilliant article on how to hire (and how not to hire actually). He writes this piece, detailing him hiring a person based on his previous method of interview, and how it failed. He then does a post-mortem, and shares his current way of interviewing. One neat idea that he proposes is to setup a 60 minute interview. Ask your technical questions for 40 minutes, and stop. With the candidate having informed that it was a 60 minute interview, now ask him, how he felt about the job. Ask him how he feels the interview is going. Observe him. If he is unsure, and shifty, then you know — this guy is probably just a master of interviews. Do you really want to hire him.

Then, with about 10 minutes left, give him a problem to work out right there (a problem which resembles the real-world job that you are about to entrust to him). A problem which would take atleast 60 minutes. Does he groan? Does he say that he needs to leave (it is perfectly fine, if he has a legit reason, but is he trying to weedle out?)

I would want to add a couple of things that I do as well:

I usually give the candidate to ask a few questions. This can gauge the amount of interest that he has in joining your organization. Observe how deep his questions are. Make sure the are not superficial ones (like how is your corporate culture – that is a textbook question).

I also ask the candidate to describe in his own words – what he understood about the job he is applying for. Is he just describing what was in your job description? Is he being more verbose? Did he go through your corporate website before he came in to the interview?

The full article from DLB is here.