Jill Bolte Taylor – My Stroke of Insight

I keep recommending this blog’s readers to many many video talks. These are talks which have impressed me. There is one talk that I listened to today, which even moved me. This is probably the first talk, I have ever heard, where a neural-anatomist – a person who studies the human brain — talks so clearly of a feeling of nirvana. I am not sure, if Dr. Taylor has ever read the hindu texts, but what she talks about, is exactly what the vedas have been talking about. The vedas may not have talked about the left and right hemispheres, or the cerebral cortex, but it certainly talks a LOT about the atman, the feeling of all pervasiveness, the feeling of being ONE with the universe, or with the surroundings. Listen to the talk below, and see how much sense, it all makes. Brilliant. Dr. Taylor gets emotional towards the end of the talk, as she talks about her near-death experience.


As TED introduces her, “Jill Bolte Taylor got a research opportunity few brain scientists would wish for: She had a massive stroke, and watched as her brain functions — motion, speech, self-awareness –- shut down one by one. An astonishing story.”

Watch the video either in youtube (above) or directly at TED.com here. And I promise, you will not regret the 18 minutes of your time.

Green dot pink dot Green dot pink dot …..

My uncle is the email-forward-expert in our famly. Some of the emails that he sends, though, are mind boggling. I would like to share the following optical illusion with you all.

Concentrate on the rotating dot, you will see the dots, pink in colour. Focus on the black ‘+’ sign in the middle, and you will see the pink dot change to green. In reality, there is no green colour in the picture. Wow.

IT professionals play fair too.

What comes to mind, for a lot of non IT-professionals is that, they are being unfairly treated well, and that they are over paid, and that, the compensation is not commensurate with the work they do etc. However, it is not known for too many people (other than the family of the IT professional), that we guys usually (almost always) carry our work with us home too. We need to check email, and sometimes even work from home. Most times, IT professionals do not have the luxury of doing work only at work, and not carrying work home.

Coming to the fairness part of the post, today in lifehacker, there was a reader poll, asking if we should get paid overtime, for the time we spend at home, checking email. This is the current status of the poll.

Look at the option having the largest votes. I rest my case.

Solar thermal power … a greener alternative

(Image courtesy: greenpeace.org)

Solar thermal is the combination of solar and thermal energy generation. Solar power (the sun rays) is used to heat up a liquid (maybe directly water, or some other liquid which then heats up water), and boils the water to steam, which then runs a turbine.  Startup ausra has been on this for almost 10 years, and business is just picking up. I think it is a  brilliant idea – considering the fact that photovoltaic cells are still pretty expensive.

Six ways to write more comprehensible code

Great article over at ibm developerworks. The six points are:

  1. Comment like a smart person
  2. Use #define a lot. No, a LOT.
  3. Dont use variables names that will mock you.
  4. Do error checking. You make errors. Yes, you.
  5. “Premature optimization is the root of all ill”. – Donald Knuth
  6. Dont be too clever by half.

I love the point 5, and agree wholly with it. Read the entire article here.

Largest LCD display

I need one of those in my living room … um. .. except my living room is not that big. I will settle for a umm 6×8 ft, if you can make me one … for free ofcourse! Presenting the Barco video wall in the Comcast center in Philadelphia, USA. Costs only 22 million. Anyone want one?

I only wish those three large doors were not in the middle of the display. If they spent 22 million on the display, could they not have spent a few thousands, in plastering up those doors, or alteast reducing the hieght of the doors.