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Software consulting firms in India during late 80s enjoyed a rare advantage. The job market for graduating engineers in all disciplines was very depressed. Especially with regional language differences and the inability to communicate in English and in some case Hindi pushed many undergrads from the regional universities to pursue masters programs. As luck would have it, the central government instituted a scholarship (essentially a monthly salary) for most of the qualifying graduating programs. This further encouraged the migration to higher education. The poor job market and a very qualified talent pool provided a windfall for the consulting firms that had just started consulting in US and other countries abroad.
During those years I found myself sharing a cube with two more individuals at one of the consulting firms. One of these good friends is a copious programmer. He used to get quite irritated as the boss would demand his work sooner. His reason was that he might take longer but his code would run the first time. He was quite right in a good number cases. In contrast I might take ten runs before even compiling and then another ten runs to actually get it working. I have always looked upon a day when I would write code and it would somehow miraculously run the first time.
Well after all these years I have a small victory to report. Recently Pramod, a friend, asked me to provide a facility for him in Aspire/J2EE to set a parameter on every database connection he uses. So I have created this fairly involved facility based on "connection events" that did the following
I have also created a write up for him on my site on how to use the facility along with release notes for the jar file. I was gearing up to hear from Mahaveer, who is using this jar, all kinds of issues as I have not even unit tested the facility other than compiling it with eclipse.
Then I was talking to Pramod on a completely different subject and he mentioned the whole thing worked fine as he expected and Mahaveer is using it.
I am quite positive I may have to wait another few years for this to happen.
I am told a power nap is good for you. Sleep has a different pattern for me. If I am sleeping I really don't want to wake up and I want to get away with as much of it as possible. If I am awake I just don't find any time to go to sleep, the end result being I would be lucky if I get a 6 hour sleep on the average.
But I do try to sneak in a 30 minute walk usually after lunch. I am not sure what happens to others when they walk. In my case all kinds of ideas come to the surfaces mostly in a babble. Some of them, usually one or two get consolidated by the end of the walk. They are usually one liners, very similar to the title of this write up. This is most productive when I walk alone. Although quite enjoyable with company, a walk doesn't seem to be equally fruitful. A conversation seem to prefer a certain quiteness to the body such as a comfortable sofa.
Eric Lander (Genome project)
Julie Gerberding (CDC)
Steven Pinker (evolutionary psychology)
Jeffery Sachs (Economist)
Shirin Ebadi (Iranian thinker)
Lance Armstrong (Ideas on living)
The link suggested by Marcia Roberts
Translate a web page
Compare translated text
An inspired collection of words
An interesting avenue for the curious and perhaps the annoying.
Books to buy
The meaning of Tingo
undaunted courage - Steven Ambrose Mar 4th 2006
The worst hard time: The untold story of those who survived the great american dust bowl - Mar 4th 2006
How to talk to your dog - 11/3/05
One world One Child - 11/3/05
The Math Instinct: Why You're a Mathematical Genius (Along with Lobsters, Birds, Cats, and Dogs)
Brett Leake Home Page
Children of the Alley: Egyptian Nobel Laureate
There was a high definition version of this documentary showed on pbs a couple of nights ago.
Spellbinding clarity. Great subject.
Some notes from Kodak
Filmmaker John Grabowska explores Alaska's visually spectacular region of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, which includes the continent's largest assemblage of glaciers, the greatest collection of peaks above 16,000 feet, along with a dramatic valleys, wild rivers and a variety of wildlife.
PBS high defintion schedules
One of the greatest satisfactions one can ever have, comes from the knowledge that he can do some one thing superlatively well.
The hardships of humanity seem no bounds in the wake of this hurricane that hit the Gulf coast.
It takes less than 2 minutes to part with some of your money to help those in need.
text of the lyrics borrowed from
DON`T BE THE LEAF IF YOU CAN BE THE TREE,
DON`T BE THE RAINDROP IF YOU CAN BE THE SEA.
`CAUSE A LEAF MAY FALL,
BUT THE TREE REMAINS.
IT MAY NEVER RAIN AT ALL,
BUT THE SEA REMAINS;
BETTER TO BE THE TREE AND THE SEA.
For more click on the link above..
President Charles M. Vest's remarks on the occasion of the award of the Queen's Anniversary Prizes for Higher and Further Education, London, England, 14 February, 2001. The other main speaker at this occasion was Lord Simpson, Chief Executive of Marconi plc.
Including dealing with dragons by Patricia Wrede
To train the mind, you must exercise the patience and determination it takes to shape the steel. If you practice improving your mind with a strong will and forbearance by trying, no matter how many difficulties you may encounter at the beginning, then you will succeed. With patience, practice, and time, change will come.
One of the next reads.
The authors, a renowned surgeon and a professional writer, offer insight into the marvelous details of the human body and draw analogies to the relationship of Christ to his church.
Renowned surgeon Paul Brand and writer Philip Yancey explore the human body, a delicate fabric of cells as awesome and mysterious as the galaxies of space. They uncover eternal statements God has made in the very structures of our bodies.
Sa.ma.tha vaa.da.me Ve.damu.ga
She first used the pseudonym George Eliott in a serial for Blackwood's Magazine in 1857 titled The Scenes of Clerical Life. She next produced the great novel Adam Bele (1859),then The Mill on the Floss (1860) and Silas Marner ( 1861).
Later novels Romola (1862-3), Felix Holt (1866) and Middlemarch (1871-2) well display her breadth of knowledge.
I sit on a high perch. I assume and often believe I could teach my 4 year old what to think and inturn shape and mold. There is an assumption that I know more, not only in some, but all matters. I am only humbled by what a beehive of a Brain these youngsters are gifter with, something I neither possessed or lost some where on the way.
He asked me one day what a "singleton" was. For a programmer by profession this was a daunting challenge to answer correctly. Programmers have gained and lost large sums based on their answer to this interview question. Well I was quite sure a 3 year olds brain is not yet clouded by such concerns. So I have patiently, having some background where he was coming from, explained that when you stand alone, when you are not with your friends, when you are one that stands out, then you could be called a "singleton" as it happened in the movie "Sandlot". "Singleton" hasn't arrived into my vocabulary before mid 20s.
He patiently listened everyone telling him Red means stop and Green means Go. He patiently waited for the car to follow the mores. And lately he has been wondering lately whether he could wish "red" was "green" and "green" was "red". I asked him what he means. Well we could go when it is red and stop when it is green. That doesn't make him upside down kid I have reasoned.
He found a little toy learning computer that makes him identify alphabets, objects etc. He has been figuring this out on his own mostly. It would tell him what is the button he pressed. For a couple of days he had been wondering and actually "scheming" as to its reaction if he were to press two buttons one after the other and laughing out loud the ensuing cacophony. Even If I wanted I couldn't have been able to teach him that. I am humbled at these little brains.
He reluctantly and impatiently sits next to me on some evenings while I work on my laptop and while he was watching something on the TV. His one eye is on my laptop waiting for me to allow him to press the keys. He said last night "Dinosaur". There is no Dinosaur on my laptop. I have Google search screen. Well for him that is where he finds dinosaur images. The quickness of association is lightening fast.
That brain at that age is humming.
Richard Corliss is a very good writer. Here are some excerpts from what he said about Katharine Hepburn:
"Film stars typically possess a glamorous version of the common touch; they are of earth. Hebburn was apart and above ...."
"Her emotional intelligence was too prickly. She blew hot and cold in the same breadth-her fire had Freon in it."
On a similar vein somewhere I have read a sentiment that
"Her sulk brightens the room"
I couldn't remember where and who said that.
It is unexpectedly intelligent and truly funny. Everyone did well. I think the real credit goes to the Director and the script writer. Smart.
Nevertheless there is nothing cool or cool looking atleast venturing to take a 6 year old and 2 year old to a movie irrespective of the funny quotient of the movie, on a friday cold winter night (atleast for the border line Floridians).
My wife is a planner and she is all for details. She very carefully planned this thing so that me and the kids (not her by the way) will arrive at the cinemas at 5:00 and go to the 5:15 show.
Well what she plans the 6 year old can easily foil. Having arrived on time, despite my two year old trying to split the gum in his mouth with a toy gun that he has in his hand and my 6 year old trying to prevent him from the madness.
Now my 6 year old anounces she doesn't want to watch the pacifier (which as planned is the 5:15 show) but want to watch some "winn--dixie" stuff movie. Usually time and place doesn't show up on a 6 year olds agenda. It is a ok to wait for two more hours. After great detail I manage to get her to agree only with a whine and not a cry to watch it.
Meanwhile she tells her pants are wet. On investigation it turns out the sippy cup leaked a full cup of water into the flowery baby bag that she had offered to carry for me to save me the embarassment of a 40 year old turtlenecked guy walking around a movie hall with it.
Earlier in my attempt to part the splintered dum (that's what the two year old calls gum) from its owner the owner simply threw the sippy cup to the floor at which time the flow controller dislodged itself, and me the clueless, very carefully put the cup from the floor into his handbag. So now evertying in the baby bag, the pampers and all else are virtually useless.
Now can you believe a bit of popcorn and a drink and such sold as a package for a kid goes for 8 dollars. Worse, imagine walking with all that stuff at one time into now an already started movie finding my way to a seat in pitch black (Can't help it. It was one of Van Diesels movies as well. call it an assoiciated memory slip).
Well I survived in good humor to tell the story.
Mick Moloney combines the careers of folklorist, arts presenter and advocate, professional musician, and radio and television personality. In 1999 he was awarded the National Heritage Award from the National Endowment for the Arts ? the highest official honor a traditional artist can receive in the United States
New album called McNally's Row of Flats reviwed on NPR
The book reference
The realage website
I believe that we learn by practice. Whether it means to learn to dance by practicing dancing or to learn to live by practicing living, the principles are the same. In each it is the performance of a dedicated precise set of acts, physical or intellectual, from which comes shape of achievement, a sense of one's being, a satisfaction of spirit. One becomes in some area an athlete of God.
Practice means to perform, over and over again in the face of all obstacles, some act of vision, of faith, of desire. Practice is a means of inviting the perfection desired
A woman has twins, and gives them up for adoption. One of them goes to a family in Egypt and is
named "Amal." The other goes to a family in Spain; they name him
"Juan." Years later, Juan sends a picture of himself to his mom. Upon
receiving the picture, she tells her husband that she wishes she also
had a picture of Amal. Her husband responds, "But they are twins--if
you've seen Juan, you've seen Amal."
For it is my office to prosecute the guilty with implacable zeal.
--Paola Capriolo, Floria Tosca (Translated by Liz Heron)
I have heard a few vocals to which he composeed jazz. Sounded nice. P.S. I know about jazz as much a fish know about cycling.
Unhappy, and unsettled, a bottle of ideas I shook,
From the land familiar, a journey of leisure I undertook
Lands far away I imagined
Lands law less
Lands with out rules
To a land separated I went
Many Months I have spent
To Prove I am who I say I am
Flew on big birds
waited in lounges clean and dirty
but commonly indifferent to all things insignificant
Spent my time jolly
Missed my plane
Hit with dementia
Forgot who I am
Lost my papers to a pick pocket
Pontificating Men with goatees
Women with scowly faces
rejected my pleas
denied my identity
put me in prisons
To the land familiar I could not get back
In the land familar no one have heard of me or seen me again
These days it is becoming rarer and rarer to find reasonable thinkers irrespective of their chosen field of study, in this case being religion or perhaps "divinity".
I have heard her on NPR saying this morning that "to seek" is an important aspect, especially of truth. Got me interested in knowing more of her ideas.
Introduction to Karen King
Other teachers at the Divinity School
note to be explored
It is not uncommon in Telugu to come across the following or something suggestive of the same
Aaa kanulu Indra Neelala ganulu
That roughly translates to:
The adorning eyes, mine shafts of royal blue
At least that was my thought, as "gani" translates to a "mine" while "ganulu" stands for plural.
I wasn't sure though what is the equivalent of "Indra Neelam". I wasn't even sure the meaning of it in Telugu. So I looked up a small telugu dictionary. It literally, albeit quite unambitiously, says a blue stone.
It would have been interesting if the shade of blue referred by "Indra Neelam" and "Royal blue" are the same. Probably not. But if they were, "Indra" is the King of the Gods, and "Royal Blue" would have been an apt translation, translating not only the meaning but the importance of the color.
A blue stone reference brings up Sapphire in Websters, pointing to a bright blue, with the following synonyms
Being a "mine" refers to the intractable depth, in this case being applied to the eyes.
Speaking of deep and of vastness, here is a rough translation from a folk song
I have travelled far to the shores of the Ocean, unlike what I was told it is clearly no match to the vastness of my Venki's heart
Mark Hauser: Moral Minds
2. Growing up
Barely an instrument but only his raising and falling cadencic voice to lend here are just a few lines, ofcourse among his thousands, that he immortalized.
Nanu Bhavadeeya dasuni,
Manambuna Neeyapu Kintabuni Thaachina,
Adi Naaku Mannanaya.
Chelvagu Nee padapalvambu
Mattanu pulakaagra kanthatha vitaanamu thakina
Nochunanchu Nay naniyada.
Alka maanavu gada ikanaina
Come recommended by Jayaram
Fish out of water. That would be me. I stick to my environment largely. My adventures rarely spill out of the boundaries of my head. I have spent a couple of years in Ft. Lauderdale and Miami. I have a cell phone but I rarely use it. Any thing that carries me between two points I call that a car. Many things that have names I call them things. Even my 7 year old corrects me.
That area of Florida, apparently for the benefit of cars, and the people that drive them, and make them, is divided into a numbered grid. Who would have thought, in the course of civilization, things will be named based on how you move. Well any way that is the state of affairs I found myself in.
Apparently a study of unsegmented, silky bodied, upper crust, earthly worms.
No man who is occupied in doing a very difficult thing, and doing it very well, ever loses his self-respect.
I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said :-- Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shatter'd visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command 5
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamp'd on these lifeless things,
The hand that mock'd them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: 10
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains: round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.
--- P. B. Shelley
In my mind the stress is on "l" and not "t" resulting in the error. Thanks to automatic spell checked I end up knowing, whether I correct it or not, some of these trip ups.
Here is an excerpt from his "Hackers and Painters" book.
"Alberti, arguably the archetype of the Renaissance Man, writes that "no art, however minor, demands less than total dedication if you want to excel in it." I wonder if anyone in the world works harder at anything than American school kids work at popularity. Navy SEALS and neurosurgery residents seem slackers by comparison. They occasionally take vacations; some even have hobbies. An American teenager may work at being popular every waking hour, 365 days a year"
The style is so clever and reminds me of Bertrand Russel.
In the context of classification a phylum is a major taxonomic group of animals and plants; contains classes.
Now that an official words exists for such a concept, the word "package" in java or other computer languages seem so ordinary when compared to this "grand division"
the only group in America that attempts to be funnier than the Congress
Technology is dominated by two types of people:
those who understand what they do not manage,
and those who manage what they do not understand.
Every technical hierarchy,
developes a competence inversion
Borrowed from "Put's Law and the Successful Technocrat" and as quoted in April 2006 IEEE Spectrum
Childrens Poems, that, lightly said.
Sleep after toil,
Port after stormy seas,
Ease after war,
Death after life
Does greatly please.
-Edmund Spenser, poet (1552-1599)
And more such could be found at the "a word a day link" at
Before today I would have never imagined that Speed Bumps could be
topics of conversation.
"Is there a problem" my 3 year old wanted to know
"What problem! Oh, are you talking about the thud?"
"Oh, that's a bump on the road"
"Why is it on the road?"
"It is called a speed bump. It is there so that you can not go too fast"
"Can I see it?"
"Yes, see that thing with yellow stripes"
"Yes, I see. How come they are not every where?"
"Well they put them once in a while"
"How do they stay there?"
"Well they take some dirt and make a hill and then cover it up with
cement (I was praying he won't ask me what cement was!!)"
By now we were heading out of the school zone.
"why is the policeman there?"
"He is there to direct the traffic. He will tell cars to stop and go"
"Why is he not directing us?"
"Narayan, one more question and my head will explode with making up
answers to your questions"
"Dad, you are a meanie and poopi head!!!"
Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.
The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
I would like to do whatever it is that presses the essence from the hour
The following letter, which John Quincy wrote at age 10 to his father while he was on state business in England.
I love to receive letters very well, much better than I love to write them. I make but a poor figure at composition; my head is much too fickle. My thoughts are running after birds' eggs, play, and trifles, till I get vexed with myself. I have but just entered the third volume of Smollett, though I had designed to have got half through it by this time. I have determined this week to be more diligent, as Mr. Thaxter will be absent at court and I cannot pursue my other studies. I have set myself a stint, and determine to read the third volume half out. If I can but keep my resolution I will write again at the end of the week, and give a better account of myself. I wish, sir, you would give me some instructions with regard to my time, and advise me how to proportion my studies and my play, in writing, and I will keep them by me and endeavor to follow them. I am, dear sir, with a present determination of growing better,
John Quincy Adams
P.S. Sir, if you will be so good as to favor me with a blank book, I will transcribe the most remarkable occurrences I meet with in my reading, which will serve to fix them upon my mind.
Apparently "Zest, curiosity, imagination, and immersion" is present in abundance when one is 6 years old.
I was watching Hidalgo with my daughter. The movie is set in the late 1800s. I don't fully recall what she said, but it went something like this: "Does he like the pilgrim girl?"
I was going to answer sincerely but the apt description of the character in question took me by surprise and also the playfulness of the description.
I was thinking, what does a 6 year old know about pilgrims and what they dress like. As it happened, they had a play in school for Thanksgiving depicting the pilgrims and the Native Americans.
Later in the film the daughter of a Sheikh was chided by her father for exposing her face to a stranger. I have explained away the customs and she was quite for a while. Then the daughter of the Sheikh was rescued by a guy and was being escorted in the middle of a desert with no one else in sight but him and her. Sheikh's daughter dispatches with her custom and talks to him in the tent with out her veil. I hear my companions concerned words "Oh, Dad, she has taken the veil. Hope her Dad won't see her.."
was released in 1936. Director Pare Lorentz knew that the devastating drought on the Great Plains would be a dramatic subject for his first film. Hollywood wasn't interested, but the U.S. government also wanted to make a point about the Dust Bowl and agreed to fund his film.
Two years later, they financed The River, in the hope that it would make the case for massive flood-control projects on the Mississippi.
Both films are widely recognized for their cinematography and for music by American composer Virgil Thomson. The images have been restored and released on DVD, with Thomson's original score performed by the Post-Classical Ensemble. Spaniard Angel Gil-Ordonez conducts.
The music seems very American. worth checking out
"Irreverent yet informed, the three performers apply a steady stream of sight gags, sound gags, even smell gags to a broad canvas, turning sacred cows into laughing-stocks along the way. The deliberately loose edges of the show camouflage its careful structure, in the same way the trio's ease with improvisation hides years of rehearsal."
Jeanne Cooper - Boston Globe
Sounded interesting when I briefly heard them on the prairie home companion
"To the making of these fateful decisions, the United States pledges before you--and therefore before the world--its determination to help solve the fearful atomic dilemma--to devote its entire heart and mind to find the way by which the miraculous inventiveness of man shall not be dedicated to his death, but consecrated to his life."
- Dwight D. Eisenhover
wikipedia reference on atoms for peace initiative
To gain in strength and elevation of mind, day by day...there is something in all this which may yet sanctify life.
to purpose; to plan; as, he lays out to make a journey.
Person 1: What you doing?
Person 2: Eating chocolate.
Person 1:Where did you get it?
Person 2: Dogy dropped it.
Person 1:Where's the dog?
Person 2: Behind the door.
Person 1: What's he doing?
Person 2: Making more!
My daughter goes to an expensive private school in Jacksonville. I almost wished she was smart enough to make this one up!!
The brain is like a muscle. When it is in use, we feel very good.
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