Categories
misc

Artistic geekery

Now this is what I call the ultimate quixotic nature of artists 🙂 This guy travelled all around the world, plotting GPS data, so that, when he returned, the GPS plot gave the largest portrait ever drawn ever.

Check the link out here.

Categories
photography

Flickr friday

One flickr pic and a flickr picture set, that I wanted to share with all of you. The first is the bridge that connects Asia and Europe. The bridge is known as the Bosphorus bridge and crosses the Bosphorus strait. I did not know about this until now. I think the bridge deserves a pretty big mention – since it is a trans-continental bridge. Wow.

More pictures from pictalogue in flickr – here. More on the bridge on wikipedia here.

The second flickr photo set is a very actively maintained photo set by Kimojino, one of the park rangers at the Masai Mara National Park in Kenya. Some brilliant wildlife photographs. Beautiful lion photographs. My favourite one was:

Check out the flickr page here.  And more on the National Park in wikipedia here.

Categories
misc productivity technology

Ninja dictionary

(image courtesy ninjawords.com)

I empathize with the author in openculture.com, who said, it used to be such a torturous wait while looking up meanings of words in the ‘famous’ dictionaries of the net. I have had my share of twiddling-my-thumbs and waiting for meanings at m-w.com, dictionary.com etc etc.

Enter the Ninja dictionary! I tried this out, and yes, it really is fast like a ninja. Try it out yourself here.

Categories
misc

Todo list in the hand … ?

How many times has your parents told you not to write on your hand? Check this out, and tell me if it is necessarily a bad thing?

(Source: boingboing)

Categories
misc Opinion

Memorial for the veterans …

(photo source: http://leblog.exuberance.com/)

This weekend is memorial day weekend in the United States – to honour the veterans who died in the ‘many’ wars that the US has been fighting. The SFGate has a startling article on the spoils of war – particularly the Iraq war. It was disturbing even initially to see all those young lads go out there in the desert killing people – much like first person shooting games. Infact, they had been trained using such games only. The article says that there are a large number of these kids who are mentally disturbed when they come back (naturally !!). The numbers quoted are pretty bad – 1000 people end up attempting suicide every month. And apparently the VA (the government hospital chain for the veterans) is not able to cope with this large influx of psychologically affected patients, in settling their claims etc. This is very sad, and reminds us that, spoils of war are just not on the battlefield, but the scars remain even after.

Categories
misc news

Service for a fee, in airlines.

I just read a newspaper article (sfgate) that airlines in the US are slowly charging fees for a lot of services that passengers used to take for granted. Some of the services include:

  • Charging for checking your bag (some airlines used to charge only for second bag, more recently American Airlines has started charging for security-checking your first bag too.
  • Charging for requesting an aisle seat/more leg room seats like the bulkhead/exit aisle seats
  • Charging for meals on the flights
  • Charging have increased for rescheduling tickets

Why ? The airlines say, the reason is the increasing price of oil. They have to meet their operating margins somehow ! Slowly airlines in India have started complaining about the price of oil as well. Will these charges come to India too? We already have charges for rescheduling and ‘no-meals’ on budget airlines. All we can do is to wait and watch.

Read the full article here.

Categories
misc personal dev presentation

Inner peace – The Dalai Lama speaks …

(pic courtesy: zenhabits.net)

I have always been very impressed with the way his Holiness Dalai Lama speaks. He is an excellent public speaker. I have seen several of his speeches (in videos, online etc). A zenhabits reader, Noah Weil, recently got a rare opportunity to listen to his holiness live, and captured notes for the rest of us. I am going to let you read the contents of the talk for yourself. But I quote Noah on his impression of the Dalai Lamas speech. Read the full post here.

I mentioned he spoke excellent English, and it is true. A few points during his speech or Q&A, there was a word he wanted to use but did not know the English translation. He would give his line, and on the gap with the unknown word, would ask his interpreter, receive the translation, and continue. I was very impressed with the way he never actually misspoke; any opportunity that would be error was deftly handled so his words proceeded apace. His awareness of his skills and limitations were such that the audience knew of the gaps of his knowledge without being affected by them.

Besides his clear public speaking skills, one got the impression he was having fun up there. Serious topics sure, but nothing so heavy that he couldn’t crack wise when the situation came up. His wisdom, gratitude, and simple joy made the entire presentation eminently approachable and persuasive. Perhaps it doesn’t need to be said to this group, but I recommend to anyone who has the opportunity to listen to him speak. You will be glad you made the trip.

And I totally agree. You should hear him speak. He is extremely witty. And to think, that he has been so witty and unassuming in this speech, when his mind could have been so much in turmoil, considering what he is going through right now, with regard to Tibet and the Chinese government, is remarkable.

Categories
misc photography

Dizzying symmetry – Worlds tallest atrium

(pic courtesy: eetimes)

At the Burj al Arab hotel in Dubai. That is perfection to the dot. Breathtaking indeed.

Categories
productivity

Are you a morning person?

I have been getting up fairly early in the last month or so; but I am not the happiest person for some time. I do get used to it – I keep thinking that, I can catch up on my lost sleep in my bus ride to work (which is about an hour). But the following article seems to suggest a much better way to cure morning blues. I am defenitely going to try this out. Out of te 5 points mentioned, I think the first one struck me the most – and which is what I am going to try out.

1. I get up easier. Ever since I’ve starting morning quiet times, I’ve been able to get up refreshed, without hitting the snooze, and ready to start the day bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. This is directly because my day doesn’t start with the grind. It starts with the knowledge that I have around an hour of my day dedicated to Me. That can change anyone’s perspective in the morning.

Check out the article here at lifedev.

Categories
technology

Eerie self-assembling robots

Wow. Check this video out of a self assembling robot. Reminds me of the terminator movie, where the terminator is shot, melted-down, and what-not, he still regenerates to his original self. Ok, these are not that advanced, but the UPenn robotic labs are getting there !

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIn-sMq8-Ls&hl=en]