Sunday, November 30, 2008

How engineers learn from evolution?

This is an awesome and inspiring talk. If you are interested in observing and understanding how things happen in nature then this is talk is for you:

NOTE: If you had problems viewing the video here, you can catch it at the source: How engineers learn from evolution?

Obama's interview on CBS 60 minutes

Watch CBS Videos Online

Sunday, July 06, 2008

World War - II, Pagoda Hills, Rangoon
Capt. Sam Manekshaw leads British Battalion "A" company against Japanese Army, captures the hill despite losing half the battalion, but severely wounded in stomach and liver ridden with 9 bullets.

Major General Cowan to Capt. Manekshaw: "A dead person cannot be awarded a Military Cross."
(pins his own Military cross on Capt. Manekshaw and gets him to Rangoon hospital)

Surgeon to Manekshaw: "What happenned?"

Manekshaw: “Oh, a donkey kicked.” [1]

The surgeon decides that if a soldier could have such a sense of humour at that critical hour, he must operate to save him. Capt. Manekshaw survives and and eventually rises to become India's eighth army chief.

"The prime minister, along with the army, navy, and air-force chiefs, all missed his funeral—which was a modest one held in Tamil Nadu in the south, not a grand one in the capital. His friends grumbled that even foreigners such as Lord Mountbatten were afforded greater respect in death. Bangladesh, however, paid grateful tribute to his part in the nation’s foundation." [2]
His last words were “I’m OK”

Field Marshal Sam Hormusji Framji "Sam Bahadur" Jamshedji Manekshaw MC (April 3, 1914June 27, 2008)

My salutes. My tributes. You deserve better. Rest in peace.

[1] Wikipedia
[2] The Economist

Thursday, July 03, 2008

I believe in people

There is an essay series on National Public Radio called "This I Belive". I kind of used the same title theme here.

I believe in the general good in people. People are simply the same no matter their nationality, color, race, caste, religion, etc. Everybody have in some sort the similar aspirations in life. A simple goal that every one chases nowadays is to lead a peaceful and happy life.

Scientifically speaking, every single person on this earth is made of the same ingredients (cells, tissues, organs, etc). It is the current way of life that has made us more of a machine than a human. The current way of life makes us think just about ourselves and not think about the problems that plague the very existence of our species. Like the video above, all that we lack are examples like the little boy trying to push the tree out of the road. One person cannot be everything. That's simply not possible. But each can set examples to others in their own domain or field of work. By doing something as simple as the little boy did.

I believe in the common good that people have inside them and does not even know that they possess in them. I believe that common good has the capacity to bring about the positive changes to the society. I do not believe in blaming the government for every mess we have in the society. Because the govt is our creation. We only voted (or not voted) them to power. The change has to happen from the bottom-up. We have lots of examples for the forces that spoil the society. Its every where around us. All we lack are the examples like that little boy.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Hitting the Road:Teaching module - Draft 1

Idea generated for schools so far
  • Teach kids to make their own notebooks.
How does this help?
    • non-availability of free notebooks @ govt schools
    • potential means to earn
  • Teach kids of appropriate age about technologies related to clean energy like solar energy
    • How tap solar energy
    • How the market is growing etc
How does this help?
    • creating experts in a market of demand for the future
  • All the soft-skills appreciated in a corporate environment
    • committing to a task of reasonable difficulty and completing it on time
    • being regular with work taken up and establishing proper communication about updates/possible delays
How does this help?
    • time-management, probably study better while being good at extra-curricular
    • develops proper attitude and work-ethics and improves job-prospects
  • Safety
    • Basic fire-safety
    • First-aid and emergency response
    • Details of phone numbers, addresses of hospitals in vicinity.
How does this help?
    • Duhh......!
  • Community activity
    • Some kind of an activity that sensitized them
  • Community activity
    • Some kind of an activity that sensitized them to importance of sanitation, public health, environment etc.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Access to notebooks at government schools

I was in conversation with an active member of India Sudar, an NGO working on the education for students from the lower-economic section of the society.

I came to know from him that while the government provides textbooks and uniforms for free, they don't have the capability provide notebooks. This unsurprisingly turns out to be a severe limitation to learning. When inquired, the government officials respond,
Cross posted in Overtea and NGOpost

"Even the government has limited resources. To offset our limitations we have empowered the school's headmasters and senior teachers to partner local NGOs and philanthropists to receive the relevant aid".

Makes sense doesn't it? But I think, and the India Sudar member agrees, that this is not a sustainable model. So, what do we have? Even when ills like hunger and child-labor are removed from poor kids' way to the school, the good work is undone by the absence of guaranteed access to something as trivial as notebooks. I think this is a good idea for social entrepreneurship. Notebooks are available everywhere. Can be made from recycled paper too! Making notebooks is a good small-scale business. All it needs is an entrepreneurial idea that takes care of the economics and connects the demand and supply. Are you aware of any already existing models? (not donation of notebooks of course). Do you have any idea yourself?

Monday, June 23, 2008

Amazing Tornado Video!


I have never seen anything like this!!! wooooow! I wish one day I could see something like this just to witness the energy in action. I too want it to be out on an open plain land by a highway! :D:)

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Ten things...

One of the toughest job for me is to make list of things around a central theme. Such an assignment came to me through Badri's blog. The assignment is to make a list of 10 things or brands without which life will be harder for me!

The first and the obvious entry in my list is - Tea. Any one who knew me or were around me knows why :) No preference on the brand but very particular about the aroma and flavour. Wish some day I will be on tea tourism!

Next in line will be a nice fit Levi's or Wrangler jeans pant. I can say for sure the odds of finding a ready made jeans pant that fits you perfectly will be quite high.

My computer will definitely be in the list. Dont mistake me to be a tech junkie. But you know its my bread winner!

Even though I dont have it yet but I am sure this will be in my top 10 things to have - a Blackberry Pearl :) You will understand why I am so excited about this phone. I used to have a Nokia 6010 and currently having a Nokia 6030.

Ah I wonder how come this did not strike me as the second most important thing in my life. Its nothing but a delicious chicken dish (any cuisine)!!! :)

Music is definitely part of everyone's life in some form. In mine, its filled with the Maestro's. I am one of the fanatics of this great guy! Imagine driving down on a scenic highway feeling the sunshine on your skin and the wind finding its way through and this man's song to give you company - oooooh my goodness that's like heaven. Apart from that, any instrumental piece that can make me dance even though I am pathetic :D:)

A decent and comfortable sandals or shoes is my next important item given my foot condition - flat foot with thumb angled approximately 45 degrees!

Internet, movies and TV comes at a distant 8th, 9th and 10th.

Finally I made it! Phewwww!!!

Its now my turn to pass on the baton!


Sunday, March 30, 2008

Monday, March 03, 2008