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Showing posts from 2009

the 3 idiots of hirani

College life is full of joy - laughter, cheers, peers and beers, but there's a little bit of a problem - deadlines! There are deadlines for assignments, reports, viva, quizzes, projects and of course examinations, that require timely attention! Three students share a common lifestyle at Imperial College of Engineering headed by the perfectionist director Viru Sahashtrabuddhe. Raju is a typical student determined to earn a degree and therefore a living for his financially deprived family. Farhan is a wannabe wildlife photographer turned engineering student. And Ranchhod Das Shamal Das Chachand, aka Rancho, is the one whose passion is engineering - it's just that he dislikes the entire education system. The greatest question is: How do they graduate? 3 Idiots chronicles around the lives of students in a typical Indian engineering college, it's abilities and it's inabilities. The depiction of a fourth student, Chatur Ramalingam, in search of a strange scientist Phunsukh…

modern day zen habits

Over the years, Zen people have developed a deep understanding of human qualities. They meditate along the paths of Buddhism, but sometimes take a side trip. Here are some findings for the trip, and yes, they are for the lighter side of life; via:Do not walk behind me, for I may not lead. Do not walk ahead of me, for I may not follow.  Do not walk beside me, either; just #$!@! off and leave me alone.It's always darkest before dawn. So if you're going to steal your neighbour's newspaper, that's the time to do it.Don't be irreplaceable; if you can't be replaced, you can't be promoted.No one is listening until you make a mistake.Always remember you're unique, just like everyone else.Never test the depth of the water with both feet.It is far more impressive when others discover your good qualities without your help.If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments.Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in thei…

who got the blues

Here’s an interesting read from the National Geographic magazine of 2003 June by Joel Achenbach. It includes ponderings about the colour blue, and how humanity has obsession with the colour.When we finally get around to writing the entire story of civilization, we’ll devote a chapter to the colour blue. Sure, children around the world choose red as their favourite colour. But that’s just a phase, like tearing the crust off the bread. Make no mistake: Blue rules.For thousands of years humans have found ingenious ways to turn things blue. In the ancient Mediterranean, biblical blue dye came from a hermaphroditic snail with a gland that generates a fluid that becomes blue when exposed to air and light. Another blue dye came from a plant called woad. Its leaves had to be ground and fermented before the pigment emerged. Celts painted their bodies with it (think Mel Gibson in Braveheart). Another plant – known as indigo – produced the colour more effectively. Indigo plantations sprawled acr…

consider these while writing

Frank L. Visco quoted, “my several years in the word game have learnt me several rules” Let’s take a look:AVOID ALLITERATION. ALWAYS.PREPOSITIONS ARE NOT WORDS TO END SENTENCES WITH.AVOID CLICHES LIKE THE PLAGUE. (THEY'RE OLD HAT.)EMPLOY THE VERNACULAR.ESCHEW AMPERSANDS & ABBREVIATIONS, ETC.PARENTHETICAL REMARKS (HOWEVER RELEVANT) ARE UNNECESSARY.IT IS WRONG TO EVER SPLIT AN INFINITIVE.CONTRACTIONS AREN'T NECESSARY. FOREIGN WORDS AND PHRASES ARE NOT APROPOS.ONE SHOULD NEVER GENERALIZE.ELIMINATE QUOTATIONS. AS RALPH WALDO EMERSON ONCE SAID: "I HATE QUOTATIONS. TELL ME WHAT YOU KNOW."COMPARISONS ARE AS BAD AS CLICHES.DON'T BE REDUNDANT; DON'T USE MORE WORDS THAN NECESSARY; IT'S HIGHLY SUPERFLUOUS.PROFANITY SUCKS.BE MORE OR LESS SPECIFIC.UNDERSTATEMENT IS ALWAYS BEST.EXAGGERATION IS A BILLION TIMES WORSE THAN UNDERSTATEMENT.ONE-WORD SENTENCES? ELIMINATE.ANALOGIES IN WRITING ARE LIKE FEATHERS ON A SNAKE.THE PASSIVE VOICE IS TO BE AVOIDED.GO AROUND THE BAR…

how we watch tv ads

Here’s an interesting read from the National Geographic magazine of 2003 February by Joel Achenbach. It includes summaries of research about how we watch television adverts, and what our perception becomes.Given that tens of millions of dollars are spent to make and air advertisements, you figure at least a few million more might be devoted to figuring out how viewers perceive them. Sure enough, researchers have spent decades watching people watching ads. Of particular interest: what we do with our eyes.“Our eyes are very busy. They’re continuously scanning the visual field in front of them,” says Moshe Eizenman of the University of Toronto, the inventor of an eye-tracing device. Research shows that our gaze zooms in on moving object, such as the lips of a speaking person. Our eyes are drawn to sharp edges and contrasting colours. That’s why commercials often show a colourful product against a white background, and why luxury sedans are constantly hurtling along mountain roads. A good…

how much does your barcode worth

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Ever tried to barcode yourself? Barcoding yourself is the act of receiving your very own personalized barcode that you can print on mugs or t-shirt, demo or embed on your web site. In order to get your barcode, you need to enter the your age, weight,height, etc. According to the barcode yourself site, it is a complete, interactive experience, created using the personalized data of participants.Technorati Tags: ,,,,,

comic comparison

Many developing nations have similar kinds of problems such as a social problem, governance, infrastructure problem, and the problem of the masses; and this is not just confined to developing nations. As shown in this wonderful animation, a contrast is given between the EU and Italy – how things are simply different! For the lighter side of life, and for humble devotion to pizza, here’s the animationTechnorati Tags: ,,,, .

how much is one trillion dollar

Here’s a really interesting page from Plain Truth Ministries (PTM), about how much one trillion dollar actually is. It provides an illustrative comparison of the size of an adult human being against one trillion dollars stacked in rows and columns. Starting from a single hundred dollar bill, it portrays the mass of the magic trillion we hear about now and then.

lab for laughter

LaughLab was a year long project set out to discover the world's funniest joke. It was created by Professor Richard Wiseman and The British Association for the Advancement of Science, and involved people sending in their favourite jokes, and rating how funny they found the jokes submitted by others. The project was reported across the globe, accumulating over 40,000 jokes and 1.5 million ratings. LaughLab has now finished, but you can read all about it on this site. The winning joke from their site:Two hunters are out in the woods when one of them collapses. He doesn't seem to be breathing and his eyes are glazed. The other guy whips out his phone and calls the emergency services. He gasps, "My friend is dead! What can I do?". The operator says "Calm down. I can help. First, let's make sure he's dead." There is a silence, then a shot is heard. Back on the phone, the guy says "OK, now what?"

excellent movie clichés

Word processors never display a cursor.You never have to use the space-bar when typing long sentences.Movie character never make typing mistakes; and all monitors display inch-high letters.High-tech computers, such as those used by NASA, the CIA, or some such governmental institution, will have easy to understand graphical interfaces. Those that don't, have incredibly powerful text-bases command shells that can correctly understand and execute commands typed in plain English.Corollary: you can gain access to any information you want by simply typing "ACCESS ALL OF THE SECRET FILES" on any keyboard.You can infect a computer with a destructive virus by simply typing "UPLOAD VIRUS".All computers are connected. You can access the information on the villain's desktop computer, even if it's turned off.Powerful computers beep whenever you press a key or whenever the screen changes. Some computers also slow down the output on the screen so that it doesn't g…

moral stuff, more or less

Just cannot remember from where these lines were copied; but the author really is thoughtful, and the words are worth reading. Go on.If you want something done, do it yourself: Obviously true, and doing it is usually very good for your self esteem. A surprising amount of work can be done this way, and experts are not always necessary. However, there is a risk of becoming overworked if you try to do everything yourself - we all need other people after all. Never procrastinate anything you can do right now: Very powerful. There are many things that can be fixed or solved with a minimum of effort, but are often pushed aside as unimportant. Unfortunately they won't go away, and in time the feelings of guilt for not having done them will make you even less likely of fixing the problems. When you have several things you could be doing and don't know which to do, just do any one of them! If you cannot decide between two or more possibilities, then there is a good chance that the diff…

the 12 y/o aol’er

This English to 12 year old AOLer translator is amazing. Don’t get bombarded by the language – look on the aesthetic side of it. With due respect to the author Lucas Longley, as mentioned on their site.

the largest swimming pool

If you like doing laps in the swimming pool, you might want to stock up on the energy drinks before diving in to this one. It is more than 1,000 metres long, covers 20 acres, has a 30 metre deep end and holds over 200 million litres of water and the Guinness Book of Records named the vast pool beside the sea in Chile as the biggest in the world.The giant pool took five years to build, cost nearly $1 billion and the annual maintenance bill will be over $2 million. The man-made saltwater lagoon has been attracting huge crowds to the San Alfonso del Mar resort at Algarrobo, on Chile's southern coast, since it opened in 2006 December. Its turquoise waters are so crystal clear that you can see the bottom even in the deep end.It dwarfs the world's second biggest pool, the Orthlieb - nicknamed the Big Splash - in Morocco , which is a mere 150 metres long and 100 metres wide. An Olympic size pool measures some 50 metres by 25 metres. Chile's monster pool uses a computer-controlled…

drawing a thought

Are you the one who likes to paint, or draw, but couldn’t pursue painting as a career or a hobby?Sometime during school, drawing as a subject is put on pressure by maths and science. Gradually, like slow intoxication, you see the Periodic Table and Algebra murdering your drawing skills. Later in high school and college, you forget there’s something called art while being dumped in a heap of Calculus, Hydrostatics and Electromagnetic Fields. Childhood hobbies begin to backfire as soon as you graduate from college amidst confusion, hope and empty pockets. If only you had pursued what you had desired in the first place…Sound familiar? Welcome to the band!At the present day it’s easier to manage the resources to learn and pursue drawing as a career or a serious hobby. You can find a long list of web sites that provide you the training, the skills and finally, the market. Here are some handpicked web sites that might help you find the inner artist in you thereby helping you put Michelangel…

cambridge cakes & ale

Here is a true story someone found regarding exams at Cambridge University. It seems that during an examination one day a bright young student popped up and asked the proctor to bring him Cakes and Ale. The following dialog ensued:Proctor: I beg your pardon?
Student: Sir, I request that you bring me Cakes and Ale.
Proctor: Sorry, no.
Student: Sir, I really must insist. I request and require that you bring me Cakes and Ale.
At this point, the student produced a copy of the four hundred year old Laws of Cambridge, written in Latin and still nominally in effect, and pointed to the section which read (rough translation from the Latin):Gentlemen sitting examinations may request and require Cakes and Ale.Pepsi and hamburgers were judged the modern equivalent, and the student sat there, writing his examination and happily slurping away.Three weeks later the student was fined five pounds for not wearing a sword to the examination.

to pay or not to pay

Software costs money, that is, the really great ones. And they should too, because countless programmers sit for long hours to bring you competent tools for your productivity. Take Photoshop for instance, or Flash, Windows, Mac OS, 3D Max, Avast!, Oracle – the examples are endless.However, not all software cost money except download charges. There’s a team at osalt that believes, if you want success, open source is the way to go. They have a massive list of alternatives to paid software, and some of them are really good ones! Categorized into specific units, you can find alternatives of software related to business, database, networking, utilities, multimedia, et al.

legal guide for bloggers

Whether you're a newly minted blogger or a relative old-timer, you've been seeing more and more stories pop up every day about bloggers getting in trouble for what they post. Like all journalists and publishers, bloggers sometimes publish information that other people don't want published. You might, for example, publish something that someone considers defamatory, republish an AP news story that's under copyright, or write a lengthy piece detailing the alleged crimes of a candidate for public office. The difference between you and the reporter at your local newspaper is that in many cases, you may not have the benefit of training or resources to help you determine whether what you're doing is legal. And on top of that, sometimes knowing the law doesn't help - in many cases it was written for traditional journalists, and the courts haven't yet decided how it applies to bloggers. via

hearken the facts - x

A few facts that you might never come across, but your life will be incomplete without:A pound of houseflies contains more protein than a pound of beef.Russians generally answer the phone by saying, “I’m listening”.The hardest bone in the human body is the jawbone.The 57 on Heinz ketchup bottle represents the varieties of pickles the company once had.You big toes have two bones each while the rest have three.More than 40,000 parasites and 250 types of bacteria are exchanged during a typical French kiss!Houseflies hum in the key of E.More people are allergic to cow’s milk than any other food.Sweden was the first country in the world to keep population statistics.Almost everyone who reads this will try to lick their elbow.A group of tigers is called a streak.King Louis XIX ruled France for 15 minutes.1 pound of lemons contain more sugar than 1 pound of strawberries.India has more post offices than any other country.Sweden is the largest spender on ketchup.You skin is actually an organ.L…

hearken the facts - ix

A few facts that you might never come across, but your life will be incomplete without:There are 1,792 steps to the top of the Eiffel Tower.At any one time, there are 100 million phone conversations going on in the United States.Frogs cannot swallow without blinking.Americans on the average eat 18 acres of pizza every day.Texas is larger than France, Belgium, Holland, Switzerland and Luxembourg combined.The chameleon has a tongue that is one and a half times the length of its body.99% of all animal species that ever lived on Earth are now extinct.To melt away 1 pound of fat you will need to walk 34 miles.One in every 9000 people is an albino.The human eye blinks an average of 4,200,000 times a year.An ant can survive for up to two days underwater.The average Italian consumes half a pound of bread a day.Humans use a total of 72 different muscles in speech.One third of the land in the United States is owned by the government.The Blue Whale weighs as much as thirty elephants and is as lo…

hearken the facts - viii

A few facts that you might never come across, but your life will be incomplete without:Henry Ford, father of the Automobile, is also the father of the charcoal briquette.Whales can never focus both their eyes on the same object at once.The gecko’s eyes are open all the time.An individual blood cell takes about 60 seconds to make a complete circuit of the body.A dragonfly has a lifespan of 24 hours.George Washington’s salary a year was $25,000.Bulls are colour-blind, therefore will usually charge at a matador’s waving cape no matter what colour it is – be it red or neon or yellow.Denmark has more than 600 castles and manor houses.You can use pinecones to forecast the weather – the scales will close when rain is on the way.The webbed feet of the stormy petrel enable it to walk on water. It spends almost its entire life over the ocean and only comes to land to breed. If a storm arises, they can’t walk on water and are forced to remain in the air all day and night.American Indians were th…

hearken the facts - vii

A few facts that you might never come across, but your life will be incomplete without:One quarter of the bones in your body are in your feet.Humans blink over 10,000,000 times a year!La Giaconda is the real name for Mona Lisa.The E.Coli bacterium propels itself with a motor only one-millionth of an inch in diameter, a thousand times smaller than the tiniest motors built to date by man. The rotation of the bacterial motor comes from a current of protons. The efficiency of the motor approaches 100 per cent.The tune of The Star Spangled Banner was an old English drinking song. It was not made the official national anthem until 1931.There is only one intellectual game in which the computer is still no match for man, a game in which a competent teenager can beat the world’s most sophisticated computer program with ease: and that is the ancient Chinese board game Go, the oldest game in the world, and the only one at which man remains the undisputed champion.The average guy will grow about …

hearken the facts - vi

A few facts that you might never come across, but your life will be incomplete without:The top 109 highest mountains in the world are all in Asia and 96 of them are in the Himalayas.A beard grows an average of 140 mm a year.Laika, a dog, was the world’s first ever space astronaut. She was sent into space in an artificial earth satellite in 1957 by the Russian government.Al Gore coined the phrase information superhighway.Four Corners is the spot in the United States where a person can stand in four states at the same time.A mole will die if it doesn’t get food within 12 hours.Las Vegas has more hotel rooms than any other place on Earth.Every year, kids in North America spend close to half a billion dollars on chewing gum!Cats step with both left legs, then both right legs when they walk or run. The only other animals to do this are the giraffe and the camel.Cattle are the only mammals that pee backwards.Englishman Roger Bacon invented the magnifying glass in 1250.A pig’s orgasm lasts f…

two heist up: ocean’s twelve

Continued from Ocean’s Eleven, Ocean’s Twelve begins with an extremely furious Benedict who individually threatens the original eleven of their lives; if his money is not returned with interest within two weeks.Thus, situation calls for a second heist, a bigger and riskier one – this time, involving cunning detectives and the entire police force of Europe. And what do they rob this time? A precious collection off of a famous Dutchman who has safeguarded his collections in a Fort-Knox. Sort of.Will they successfully pay off Benedict, or will the Europol eventually lay its mighty hands upon them? Even the great Francois Toulour doesn’t have a clue!And while you’re at it, you might want to check out one heist up and three heist up. Technorati Tags: ,,,,,,,,

hearken the facts - v

A few facts that you might never come across, but your life will be incomplete without:Before writing 007 novels, Ian Fleming studied languages at Munich and Geneva Universities, worked with Reuters in Moscow, and then became a banker and stockbroker.If you rearrange the words “A Domesticated Animal” you can spell “Docile, as Man Tamed it”.In Los Angeles, there are fewer people than there are automobiles.Airports that are at higher altitudes require a longer airstrip due to lower air density.San Jose was the original capital of California.An adult female mosquito consumes about 5-millionths of a liter of blood in a single meal.The entire town of Capena, Italy (including children as young as 2 years old) lights up cigarettes each year in honour of St. Anthony’s Day. This tradition is centuries old.The average 21 year old has spent 5,000 hours playing video games, has exchanged 250,000 emails, instant and text messages and has spent 10,000 hours on the mobile phone.Honey is the only nat…

one heist up: ocean’s eleven

Danny Ocean (George Clooney) along with Rusty (Brad Pitt) plan to rob three Las Vegas Casinos whose central repository is one of the most secure vaults in the world. Their accomplice – nine strangers who are adept at one or another skill required for the job.They gather up as a team from all over the United States, and formulate a plan. No detail is overlooked in the plan; but for a robbery of this magnitude, no plan is ever perfect. A throbbing sequence of events, and a mystical play of the characters thus ready them for the final loot.But will they pull it off, against Benedict, the most methodical owner of the casinos? Watch Ocean’s Eleven to discover one of the greatest plots in a heist movie ever.And while you’re at it, you might want to check out two heist up and three heist up. Technorati Tags: ,,,,,,,,

hearken the facts - iv

A few facts that you might never come across, but your life will be incomplete without:In 1968, John Lennon and girlfriend Yoko Ono’s album Two Virgins was sold in the United States in a plain brown paper wrapper as on the real cover they both had posed nude.The Basenji is the only bark-less dog in the world.26% of all electric cable breaks and 18% of all phone cable disruptions are caused by rats.The dial tone of a normal telephone is in the key of “F”.Seals sleep only about one and a half minutes each time.The weight of a carat (200 milligrams), the standard unit of measurement for gemstones, is based on the weight of the carob seed.India has a Bill of Rights for cows.Genetically-engineered babies were born first in 2001.A rat can fall from a five storey building without injury.The dollar symbol $ is a U combined with an S (U.S.).According to Genesis 1:20-22 the chicken came before the egg.Oak trees do not have acorns until they are fifty years old or older.Pumpkin rule of thumb: th…

hearken the facts - iii

A few facts that you might never come across, but your life will be incomplete without:Everyone is colourblind at birth.The first computer company to register for a domain name was Digital Equipment Corporation.For ever 230 cars that are made, 1 will be stolen.There is enough fuel in a full tank of a jumbo jet to drive an average car four times around the world.No two spider webs are the same.Ewan McGregor was offered, but turned down, the part of Neo in The Matrix. Will Smith was also approached to play Neo but turned it down in order to make Wild Wild West.By age sixty, most people have lost half of their taste buds.Gold is the only sport played on the Moon – on 6 February 1971. Alan Shepard hit a golf ball.The parachute was invented by DaVinci in 1515 AD.About 39,000 gallons of water are used to produce the average car.Men’s shirts have the buttons on the right, but women’s shirts have the buttons on the left.Male lions may mate 50 times a day.Your skin weighs about 3.2 kg.Most cow…

hearken the facts - ii

A few facts that you might never come across, but your life will be incomplete without:The little “you are here” arrow on maps is called an ideo locator.A bird chews with its stomach.Cold water weighs more than hot water.The first Internet worm was created by Robert T. Morris, Jr., and attached more than 6000 Internet hosts.The lowest temperature ever recorded in Canada was –63 degrees Celcius in 1947, Snag River Yukon.The word ‘set’ has more definitions than any other word in the English language.Plants that are not cared for will cry for help, a thirsty plant will make a high-pitched sound that is too high for us to hear.Sheep outnumber humans in New Zealand 15 to 1.The ‘vintage date’ on a bottle of wine indicates the year the grapes were picked, not the year of bottling.The wheelbarrow is invented by a Chinese.The only 15 letter word that can be spelled without repeating a letter is uncopyrightable.The first product that Sony came out with was the rice cooker.A company, Warner Comm…

english funny, words-bunny

Will begin with box and the plural is boxes
But the plural of ox would be oxen not oxes
Then one fowl is goose but two are geese
Yet the plural of mouse should never be meese
You may find a lone mouse or a whole set of mice
But the plural of house is houses not hice
If the plural for man be always men
Why shouldn't the plural for pan be pen?
If I speak of a foot and then you show me your feet
And I give you a boot, would a pair be called beet?
If one is tooth, and a whole set are teeth
Why shouldn't the plural of booth be beeth?
Then one may be 'that' and three may be 'those'
Yet hat in the plural would never be hose
And the plural of cat is cats not cose
We speak of a brother and also a brethren
But although we say mother we never say mothern
Then the masculine pronouns are He, His and Him
But imagine the feminine She, Shis and Shim
So ENGLISH I fancy you will agree
Is the funniest language you ever did see!

the meanings of colours

Colors are more than a combination of red and blue or yellow and black. They are non-verbal communication. Colors have symbolism and color meanings that go beyond ink. As you design brochures, logos, and Web sites, it is helpful to keep in mind how the eye and the mind perceive certain colors and the color meanings we associate with each color. Sometimes colors create a physical reaction (red has been shown to raise blood pressure) and at other times it is a cultural reaction. Colors follow trends as well. Avocado, a shade of green, is synonymous with the 60s and 70s in the minds of some consumers.Continue here for the rest of the story.

who is anthony – anthony kaun hai

Hitman Master Madan is hired to silence reporter Anthony Gonsalvez. But the man calling himself Anthony Gonsalvez whom Madan is rightly about to shoot in the head is not Anthony Gonsalvez. So where lies the confusion? Welcome to the show.While trying to solve the puzzle, Master Madan learns the extraordinary but true adventures of the elusive Champak Chaudhary who goes by the alias Anthony Gonsalvez. Champak narrates his own stories, as Madan listens passionately until in the end Madan develops a liking for Champak.You are invited to witness a story beautifully told where the plots are benevolently elaborated and generously complimented by appropriate sounds, words and colours. Anthony Kaun Hai is definitely an exciting movie!

puzzler – the puzzle kiosk, round 3

A quick puzzle about speed and distance:While in San Francisco some time back, I hired a car to drive over the Golden Gate bridge. I started in the afternoon when there was no traffic rush. So I could drive at a speed of 40 miles an hour. While returning, however, I got caught in the traffic rush and I could only manage to drive at a speed of 25 miles an hour.What was my average speed for the round trip?Check your answer here.

puzzler – the puzzle kiosk, round 2

A quick puzzle to freshen you up – here it goes:While visiting a small town in the United States, I lost my overcoat in a bus. When I reported the matter to the bus company I was asked the number of the bus. Though I did not remember the exact number I did remember that the bus number had a certain peculiarity about it. The number plate showed the bus number was a perfect square and also if the plate was turned upside down, the number would still be a perfect square – of course it was not?I came to know from the bus company they had only five hundred buses numbered from 1 to 500. From this I was able to deduce the bus number. Can you tell what was the number?Follow this link to get the answer.

puzzler – the puzzle kiosk, round 1

Lets begin the new year with an old puzzle:While walking down the street, one morning, I found a hundred dollar bill on the footpath. I picked it up, noted the number and took it home.In the afternoon the plumber called on me to collect his bill. As I had no other money at home, I settled his account with the hundred dollar bill I had found. Later I came to know that the plumber paid the bill to his milkman to settle his monthly account, who paid it to his tailor for the garments he had made.The tailor in turn used the money to buy an old sewing machine, from a woman who lives in my neighborhood. This woman incidentally, had borrowed hundred dollars from me sometime back to buy a pressure cooker, remembering that she owed me hundred dollars, came and paid the debt.I recognized the bill as the one I had found on the footpath, and on careful examination I discovered that the bill was counterfeit.How much was lost in the whole transaction and by whom?Answer here.