Categories
art misc

Puppy Love – Super Bowl Ad

Beautiful.

Categories
technology

9 Ways Social Media Marketing Will Change in 2014

Interesting article on Mashable outlining some of the changes possible in 2014. There are some that I agree with. Some not quite so.

Read the full article here [link].

Categories
art design

Detailed Boeing 777 Model made out of …

.. manila folders ! Check this beautifully handcrafted and assembled model of Boeing 777 model. Designer Luca Iaconi-Stewart has been working on this since 2008, and it has shown. Wow.

boeing-777-model

 

See more pictures here -> [link]

Categories
innovation

World’s Best Pizza Box

Mumbai businessman rethinks the pizza box. Rather than thinking outside the box, he rethought the box. Apparently the reason why Pizzas arrive soggy is because, they dont have a way by which the steam can be ventilated out. This box has been judged the worlds best pizza box by the renowned Scott Wiener (author of a book called Viva La Pizza – The Art of the Pizza box).

It’s the biggest challenge of pizza box designers to design something that retains heat without trapping steam and I think this box has just achieved that” – said Scott.

Gotta love this guy. Check out the full story here -> [link]

Categories
Restaurant Review

Restaurant Review: Mezzeh Lebanese Lounge

Location: Great location – 80 ft Road Indiranagar, Bangalore. Between spencers and BSNL.

Ambience:  This is the terrace. There is minimal ambience. Few nice tables on the terrace. Nothing fancy at all here.

Crowd: It looks like original restaurant (World Cuisine Network) has been bought over by someone else, and the whole place is under renovation. There used to be 3 restaurants here. Now only the Mezzeh place remains.We went on friday afternoon, and there was nobody, and when I say nobody, I mean it. The 6 of us in our team were the only people who were there in the restaurant.

Food: The food was pretty good. Fairly authentic in taste. The hummus was good. The Baba ghanoush was passable (but that was probably because I am not a big fan of brinjal). The sambousik was very good stuff. The falafel rolls were pretty good too. The baklava was not that good. The biggest problem was the portion size. They have super small size portions. I mean, the sambousik’s were gone in a minute. The hummus came with 2 pieces of pita bread. And when we asked for more, we were charged, and two more small pieces came !

Price: Too steep. Just not worth the small portions or the ambience.

Overall: The valet guy said that they are renovating and should open big again soon. My 2 cents – they retain the same chef/kitchen staff. They cut the prices and increase the portion sizes. Make the ambience a little more livelier. With the great location in Indiranagar, they could be doing great business.

[Zomato link]

Categories
technology

Samsung and Google Sign 10 year patent agreement.

Oh boy. This is juicy news. No samsung-google law suits for the next 10 years. They have signed a 10 year patent agreement. Nice. I like this because now they both can grow, and not spend useless $$ on one-upping the other in court.

Good stuff guys. Hope to see more frequent android updates on my samsung phone now 😉

Update: Had originally put in Samsung and Apple patent agreement. Thanks Veera for the correction. Posted this too early in the morning to realize what I was typing.

[link]

Categories
misc

The culture that was PSBB

My dad recently gave me a file where he had filed a ton of school stuff. Wow. Nostalgic memories. In that treasure trove, I found this letter.

PSBB Chennai Letter Regarding Co-curriculars

Wow. This defined my schooling. Clearly outlines the importance of co-curriculars during schooling and the role of parents in encouraging it.

Proud to be a PSBB Alumnus.

Categories
humour Management

Conference Calls in Real life

For all those who attend conference calls in real life, this would just ring through. A hilarious parody on conference calls.

(via Rands)

Categories
travel

Mysore Trip Travelogue (Jan 2014)

I am a bit late in updating this here. We did a road trip after a long while. With the wife’s neck pain (well, the other pain – not me!), we have been mostly traveling by train and not really done any vacationing for a bit now. So we wanted to do something where we could go somewhere nearby and also somewhere where we can just go and ‘vegetate’ and relax.

Windflower Resorts

I had heard about this resort chain a while ago, and have heard that this is a great place. And there was a deal going on for their 3 days 2 nights package. The only catch here was that, you need to pay upfront the whole money. And there were cancellation penalties etc. But we had heard enough good things about the place that we decided to take the risk.

The time

We planned the trip right after New Years. We wanted quiet relaxation. So we had planned Jan 2/3/4. Nice and cool for Mysore. Mysore can get pretty hot in the summers.

The Onward Journey

The road is pretty good in terms of quality. From Koramangala, we started earlly around 530AM. Our intention was to head towards Hosur Road and take the Electronic City Ramp into the NICE road. Unfortunately because of the dark, we missed the entry ramp. We did realize this quickly though. So there was a bit of a delay here – about 20 minutes. But once on the NICE road, it was a breeze until Mysore Road exit. Worth the Rs.90 toll. The Mysore road exit takes you just past Kengeri. I was like Wow. That is sweet. No BSK. No Mysore Road junction. No Metro work progress. And No Kengeri. The rest of the journey is characterized by continuous random successions of these three incidents:

  • large speed bumps (good quality ones, but large)
  • small towns – 6-7 of them, in quick succession and all going through the town.
  • two-wheelers whenever you neared a town, which was everywhere.

So, basically, you would go dodging two wheelers to clearing a town to slowly inching up to a 100 kmph, and then you would site a bump, and slow down and back to dodging two wheelers ! This was how the journey was all through from Kengeri to entering Mysore.

Kamat Loka Ruchi was breakfast stop at 7AM. Steaming hot dosa/idlis/puris. It was not too crowded at 7AM. It can get pretty crowded as the day progresses.

Back on the road, we were on the outskirts of Mysore around 9ish. Our check-in time to the resort was 12 Noon. So we had decided to head to the zoo. This was planned. And so, I had already purchased entry tickets, parking permit, and the electric buggy tickets – all online. This was the nearest I came to Planning Nirvana. What more can you ask for. No standing in the ticket line after driving for 3 hours. The site advises you to take two copies print out of the tickets. When you enter, you show the two copies. One of them gets taken away and they stamp up the tickets for you on the other one.

We headed straight for the buggy ride. This is super convenient, especially if you are travelling with a kid. We have had bad experiences in Hyderabad Zoo, where my kid basically flat out refused to move unless carried – in the middle of the zoo, and we had to lug him everywhere. The buggy ride is a one hour guided tour of the zoo. The driver stops at all the main attractions so that you can get out, see the animals, take photos etc.

We found the mysore zoo to be one of the most clean and interesting zoos that we had visited. Wow. So many giraffes. Hippos. Rhinos. Cheetahs. Elephants. Yep. I was as excited as my 4 year old son.

zoo1  zoo2 zoo3

zoo4 zoo5 zoo6

zoo7

It was still only 1030AM. We tried requesting to check-in into the resort – which is pretty close to the zoo. Unfortunately they did not have any early check-outs and the reception person said, they could get us in only at Noon. So we asked if there were anything else that we could see nearby. And we were informed about Karanji park

karanji1

Unfortunately we did not take too many pictures here. Go here for some pictures.

Karanji park is basically a large lake, and a small lake front park. The lake is pretty big, and there is a boating facility. So we did that. And the park is a childrens park, which is very nicely maintained. So my kid had a blast for about an hour there.

We then returned back to the resort (which is about 5 min drive from Karanji park). And we were shown to our rooms.

The resort and the rooms

We loved the resort. Nice resortish feel when you get in itself. A large open open to air reception. Life size chess. A long artificial water body with artificial palms and coconut trees on both sides to give it a tropical feel. There are two rows of suites/rooms on both sides of the water body. The premium studios have a water front facing facade.There are a dozen ducks that keep wandering here and there – this provided quite a bit of amusement for my son. The screeching parakeet in the reception area is another attraction.

There is a small sit out and deck chairs facing the water. The rooms are well appointed. NIce wooden flooring. Big four poster bed. Wooden paneling. Nice luxury bathrooms.

resort8 resort6 resort7

resort5 resort4 resort3

resort2

The restaurant and the food

There is a central restaurant which you can walk to for food. The deal that I got gave me Rs. 1500 of resort credits that you could use, including food. Breakfast is free. Stick to the south Indian breakfast. The North Indian breakfast was terrible.

The regular a’la carte food (both in restaurant and room-service) was very good. The only drawback being it took forever for the food to come. It was so bad that after the second day, we ordered the starter from the room half hour earlier and then went in, so that we wouldnt need to wait. It was really that bad.Food quality was good though. And I would venture to say that, compared to some of the Bangalore restaurants, food is cheaper too. Stuff like hot/warm milk is available for room service 24 hours – this is info for families taking kids with them.

Mysore

We did not want to travel too much. The second day, at the insistence of my son, who was in no mood to relax, we had to head out somewhere. So we went to the “Mall of Mysore”, a mall which had opened very recently. This is pretty close to the resort. Very typical mall. Nothing spectacular to see here. The next day, again, we had to head out, and this time we headed into town to the Cauvery Emporium, and bought our mandatory purchase of wooden key chains and agarbathi holder !

cauvery

Return

Return was an uneventful journey. We left around 10ish. Check out is 11AM. We had a hearty breakfast at the resort itself. So by the time we hit Ramanagara (Kamat Loka Ruchi) at 12 Noon, we were just about hungry. Had sumptuous North Karnataka Jollada Roti meal. We were back home by just before 5PM. And this was because of traffic closer home.

Good trip on the whole. Relaxing for the most part. Highly recommend Windflower. They are a tad bit expensive – so keep a look out for their deals on their website. They have deals like spring deal, winter deal, summer deal etc. I have heard good things about their other resorts in Bandipur, Coorg, Pondicherry, and Wayanad. Hope to visit them some time later.

Hope this travelogue has been useful to you. If you have any questions, ask them in the comments, I will try to answer them as best as I can.

Categories
book review Opinion

Book Review: Horse Shoe Garage

This was one of the 4 books that LeadStart Corp had sent me a few months ago. This had been lying on my shelf for a bit now. I usually do not get the time to read novels like these (though I would like to!). I reserve them for train journeys. These are the times when I tear through them. And a train journey happened and I read this. Find my comments below. Again, full disclosure, I did not find this at a book store. This was sent to me by a publisher. And the publisher has given me full permission to write my own opinion (which ever side it may be) here..

horseshoe-garage-400x400

  • The plot is a racy one. It is about 2 young people, specifically mechanical engineering graduates, who are working at a corporate job. They house a wish to build their own race car, and race it in a professional championship. Both of them have theoretical knowledge and a passion, but neither have built a car, nor raced in one of them.
  • Their opportunity comes. A professional championship comes to India. they convince themselves and dump their jobs and get to work on the car and racing. The pace dips a little here, but picks up very soon.
  • They need a team, and they start building one from scratch. Here is where, the plot goes a little improbable. They search for star mechanics in their local area, and it is still fine – literary latitude. But, when they start searching for puncture shop guys – so that they can do a pitstop real fast – I let out an audible – “Oh Cmon !!!!”. But again, if you leave a mile of literary lattitude, and continue reading with a “Its just a novel” leeway, then the pace picks up again.
  • A bit of Bollywood style romance is thrown in. One of the guys loves the ace mechanic girl on the team. She initially does not love him. But as she starts loving him… well, let me not give away the whole plot, but some Bollywood style acrobatics happen here.
  • Some adrenaline with the corporate biggies playing bad guys happen. They try sabotaging the car being built. They hire away some staff. They try kidnapping one of these guys. Typical Bollywood villain masala.
  • They find a trainer, get trained. The two guys face some ego clashes between themselves. Teary eyed moments. Then coaching by the pretty mechanic heroine. Again, very typical Bollywood masala stuff.
  • Race day happens. All ego is forgotten. Pretty chick is forgotten. Race is won. Pretty mechanic chick gets part of the huge sum won, and made a partner in the team. Romance returns. Etc.
  • On the whole, pretty engaging story. You should discount some of the antics though. The romantic areas are covered nicely. Not too gross. Not too superficial. Play on human emotions are captured pretty well by the author.

Go buy the book on flipkart here (This is an affiliate link and would help fund this website hosting).