Saturday, November 03, 2007

Water by Sine waves

See here.

Chirag Mehta made this java app, which makes sounds of water. It makes, which means it is artificial. Pretty cool to play around with the number of drops, size of the drops and other such variables.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Banks run by Street Kids in New Delhi

See here

Out of New Delhi from where rarely comes good news, a volunteer bank run by street kids. Butterflies is the volunteer aid group which supports children's rights and also helps the Children's Development Bank. Great thing about this initiative is it provides work, micro-loans and a way to manage these kids money, which would rather be spent elsewhere.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Simpsonizeme Troubleshooting

I have been getting traffic through web searches for trouble-shooting of the simpsonizeme site about which I posted earlier. The site does have a very friendly error message system with messages like 'The doo-hickey does not work with the whatchamacallit', which is way better than Error 419. One cannot argue with such thorough explanation.

To be successful in your pursuit of simpsonizing yourself, you need to read the instructions, slowly. The best way is to get a picture in megapixel format and a format of 640x800 or better is recommended. Also a good contrast picture where the background is plain or of light colour is better suited. A prison mugshot would not work for the very same reason, I tried. If you get the doughnut for too long then it is better to start with a better picture. All the best.

Sleeping on the floor

When last week I wanted to watch a movie while trying to fall asleep, I had to sleep on the floor as the couch is too small to hold me comfortably. I retrieved the sleeping bag and laid it on the floor with my pillow and blanket arranged.

While the falling asleep part did not work out too good as the movie turned out to be very interesting, some interesting thoughts struck the rational mind. While the carpet is not very clean with bits of food, nails (results of my bouts of adventurous nail-biting) and other bits and bobs I wonder wherever they came from, I had a comfy pillow and a heater with the blanket rounded things up in the keeping-me-sleeping department. The one discomfort was the shoulder and neck not sitting right as there was no bed to offer any support. When one stares at the ceiling when lying on the floor things look very spacious. I wanted to shout out 'O Captain, my captain!', just 'cause the view was different.

Thoughts went too to the countless homeless people who sleep without pillows, blankets or heaters, no movie to get them to sleep nor a ceiling to wonder how it feels to touch. Cardboard boxes seem very good blankets for them and a shoulder-neck problem would be the last on their mind.

The vibrations of the Earth are a thing to be experienced lying down. Especially when the tram track is just next door. I remember those summer nights in India when all kids slept on the roof and the ceiling fans attached underside would make their mechanical presence felt with each rotation.

I cannot do the sleeping on the floor everyday, but it just one of the little things that make you happy.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Simpsonize me

Wired Blog points to Simpsonize Me. Very cool if you are Simpson's fan and wouldn't mind a bit of exploring. The site is to promote the new Simpson's movie. So go and get one. By the way, that is how I would look in Simpsons.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Multiple computers? Synergy can help

I have a laptop and a desktop sitting on my not so huge desk and I particularly hate typing on my ancient (4.5 years old) laptop when few of the keys are missing and the mousepad is sticky. The conveniently placed keyboard and mouse of the desktop are very handy, so when I heard about Synergy it made things very easy to handle.

The small application lets you share your keyboard and mouse across all the monitors and also across multiple platforms, Windows, MAC OSX and even multiple variants of Unix (Linux, Solaris etc).

The small application runs on multiple platforms and is very easy to configure and install. It took me about 5 minutes to install and configure on both my laptop and desktop, but another 20 minutes to figure out how to connect them both. The problem was the firewall client.

The software has stopped evolving after 2006, may be some popularity will help.

Download link -

Saturday, June 23, 2007

You thought your job was bad?

No protective clothing to collect the potent solution of our sins and industrial effluents from the Ganges. Hopefully Ganges will keep his skin clean for some time.


Online Recognition

Reflections of A 90-Year Old Man; At the Mid-Point of His Journey. Looking Back On the Events That Have Shaped a Life. Exploring Dreams Of The Future. How Did You Get Here? Where Are You Going?? Seconds Turn Into Months. Days Pass Into Decades. Time Marches On Relentlessly. These Are The Days Of A Life...

This is what The Lives and Times... of Anthony McCune introduces himself as. And this person stumbled across my blog and listed me without me asking for it. Thank you sir.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Ghost riders in Hyderabad OMGWTF!!

I am not sure if these guys are not trained professionals as they don't wear any protective gear. Watch them perform these stunts in the pothole ridden roads of Hyderabad (India) during day time traffic without the fear of other vehicles on the road and as it so happens almost all the time on the streets of India, general disregard for law. But the stunts are impressive. Warning: OMG moment at the end.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Namesake: Review

I normally do not do movie reviews. I don't have much opinion about many things and I certainly do not discuss movies a lot. There is also the fact that almost everyone who maintains a blog does review movies. Namesake is different.

I have read Jhumpa Lahiri's book 'An interpreter of Maladies', the pure joy that is felt from reading the stories of that book not only touches one's heart's emotional strings but relates to each Indian that tries to live in a western country. The need for Indians to really mix into the western world along with the longing to get back to into the company of Indians to celebrate the culture is depicted very well in the stories.

Mira Nair's 'Monsoon Wedding', gave one the warm, fuzzy feeling after watching it. It is not so much as the characters of the movie, but the way the movie was made to make you watch it again and want you to dance in the Baaraat (Indian bridal procession.) at the end of the movie.

Ashok Ganguli (Irrfan Khan) loves to read Nikolai Gogol and is an Indian expat in New York. He is married to Ashima (Tabu) an English major who has to deal with moving to a new country with a man she hasn't met before. The first few days of them being together are really depicted well. At one point Ashok says he would make tea for his jet-lagged wife and the pure terror of this culture shock in Ashima's eyes are felt without any words coming out of her mouth. And I thought there would be more moments like this. Only 10 minutes into the story and this was the high point of the movie.

They name their son Gogol (which is meant to be his pet name) and he wants to keep this name and not his 'good' name Nikhil. It is this name that the story is based on. Why the father names him Gogol and how Nikhil tries to understand his father and his roots later in his life also forms part of the story.

Where the movie disappoints is that the characters are mostly emotionless. When reading most books I wonder how a director would portray the thoughts of each character on the screen. Mira Nair attempted to do this through the expressions of the eyes, but it doesn't show. At one point Gogol tells his wife that 'thats not why I loved you', thing is, we do not know why he did. There was no reason at all why he loved his wife.

Nor does the movie really depict the real issues an Indian proud of their culture would face in a different country. Except for the first real culture shock Ashima felt. There is no longing for them to go to India. The younger Gangulis do not question the differences between themselves and the westerners, which in a story like this would highlight the revelations felt by Gogol later in the story.

If I had read the book before watching this movie, I would have been really disappointed at the portrayal and the screenplay. To really understand how Jhumpa wanted to tell the story, reading the book would be better.