Saturday, January 27, 2007


I like chana (gram) and eat them all the time - not in the chana-puri way but in the raw "shing-chana" way. They are part of the chickpea family and highly nutritious. For once, something I really like is not bad for me.


Cool stuff: Train on boat

Pratima and Jay had come over for dinner last night. Jay told us about a train he took from Netherlands to Denmark sometime in the 80s. When the train came to the sea, it was broken up into three parts and each was carried by a different ferry across the water where it was reassembled into a train. While on the ferry, you could get down from your train coach and get snacks. I thought the concept was super-amusing and a bit outlandish. Turns out this sort of stuff was (is?) fairly common in the 19th and 20th century wherever a bridge was considered "too stupendous an undertaking to be seriously thought of..."

Pratima also mentioned the Bombay dabbawalas and their tiffin routing. The algorithm is explained at several places on the Internet and here is what the notation looks like (via Rediff):


Friday, January 26, 2007

Cannery Row: John Steinbeck

John Steinbeck is an American Great Writer. I wasn't able to go past the first couple of tapes when I was listening to "Grapes of Wrath," but "Cannery Row" was completely different. I enjoyed driving just so that I could listen to the tapes! It's a wonderful book with the town and the area around Monterey starring for the first half of the book. In the second half, there is a semblance of a story/plot, but it's nothing special. The location is the star of the book and there are lots of unconnected stories thrown in.

I especially enjoyed the book since I went jogging out there past the Hopkins Station and many of the places Steinbeck describes early in the morning (there is a lovely sunrise description in the book too) a few months back when I was in Monterey for an SAP offsite. It's the same place geographically, but it's now so rich and fancy. It's a bit difficult to understand how such things change over time.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

BWCinema vs. NetFlix

NetFlix has started its streaming movie service and it has a weird pricing structure. If you pay $18/month for your 3 DVDs NetFlix (postal) plan, you get 18 hrs a month of movie-watching., otoh, charges $4 for 3 days - all you can eat. Granted, BWCinema is all pirated and everything, but still...

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Boro boro: Bluffmaster

The Boro Boro track from Bluffmaster is very cool. Here is the original track and here is the translation:

Once, I was in love with you
I was very happy with you
But then you played around
Don't come close to me


Dolcera Innovation Explorer

We are putting together an exciting new Innovation Explorer for monitoring trends, technologies, scientific advances, market research, innovations and new ideas. If you want to play with it, let us know and we'll email you the password.


Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Bloggers way ahead of the game: New Bush healthcare plan

Greg Mankiw, Tyler Cowen, Brad DeLong and other economists have already reviewed, analyzed and mostly commented favorably on the new Bush health care planto be announced later this evening in the State of the Union. It's indeed strange that CNN, DailyKos and others have hardly mentioned it at all. This policy mostly takes the wind out of Hillary Clinton's sails, no?


Sunday, January 21, 2007

News from Leno, Letterman, and... blogs

There have been studies that say majority of Americans get their news from Leno and Letterman (the geeks get their share from Colbert and Stewart), not from the regular news programs.

I can see why. I've switched to getting my news feeds on the Internet thru RSS and have realiezed that CNN etc. deluge you with news items. Every little thing is reported - it's their stated goal, after all but it's also extremely overwhelming. Every day, the CNN home page news feed has over 100 items. Same with the WSJ or NYT. Moreover, the news items overlap and sometimes get repeated in the same feed with minor variation. Also, these feeds are very boring.

Just like network news.

So now I get my 'news' primarily thru other blogs that update a lot less frequently and are funny or quirky or opinion-oriented.

'American Idol' on an index card

One word: brilliant.


Steve Irwin

There's a Steve Irwin film on TV right now. He's messing with crocodiles, cobras and other venomous snakes in the wild. Crazy! He definitely lived a risky risky life.

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