I am the alpha and the omega

Antz Attack

Though it sounds similar to Mars Attack it is supposed to be neither that funny or as satirical.

It all began a couple of weeks ago, when I came to my room from class to discover a long trail of ants entering my room from one window and leaving the room from the opposite door. "What the heck", I thought, "They did not disturb me or harm me and so I will not trouble them..."

Same room, a few days later...
I went to have my bath. When I put on my clean T - Shirt, I felt the a lot of stings all over my body. I remove my T. Shirt and see a lot of these fire ants crawling all over the T. Shirt. I come to my room to notice that my entire bag of clothing was invaded by ants.
I got angry.
I started performing a lot of non - blooded murders (ants dont have blood), a lot of them. But they didnt seem to give up.

A few days later...
I brought a cake from my house to distribute to my friends. I left the cake in the room and hurried to class (that is so unlike me). Came back four hours later to find the entire cake a food for a colony of over a million ants. Not only that, they entered all the clothes in the bag it was kept in.
Much more angry.
More non - blooded murder, more periodic than ever before (I still feel quilty for all this)

They still didnt give up.

A week before...

They entered my bed. I was sleeping happily to be disturbed occasionally by what I thought was mosquitoes. I get up to find out that the entire mattress was crawling full of these red and black monstrosities... More and more murders until my hand was tainted with red and black dust - like particles. I laid the entire mattress for an entire day to drive out the ants. But they were still in my room

The last straw...

Armed myself with Laxmanrekha I started drawing circles around their paths much alike the crop circles. That did it... No more pesky ants, no more biting dresses, carefree life...


While vacating my room (for renovation purposes) I saw a column of ants entering my room from one window and leaving the room from the opposite door.

You may have gathered from that that I am not an insect lover... Well, let me tell you, nothing could be farther from the truth. My room is a veritable zoo, the top 1 foot of my room is exclusively reserved for spiders. I welcome a lot of insects during the nite times - moths, butterflies and other anonymous insects... I only hate mosquitoes and house - flies

Anybody there agrees with me?

Posted by satosphere at 4:01 AM

December 31, 2003
Benchley's Law
Anyone can do any amount of work, provided it isn't the work he is supposed to be doing at that moment.

New Year Wishes
By the time you are reading this new year greeting, most of the people in the world, save those in the american continents would have finished their new year celeberations (IF they have had one)


Without further ado :

Wishing you all

an extremely prosperous,
war and terrorist-free,
healthy, joyous, prosperous and cheerful
New Year......

PB : If any of you have recieved this as a forward before... my due apologies.. Ignore this.

Posted by satosphere at 10:43 PM

December 30, 2003
Belle's Constant
The ratio of time involved in work to time available for work is usually about 0.6.

The Afghanistan Saga, Part II
Lets get started Again.
Pre - Taliban,1996, the country was ruled by Mujahideens. Apparently there were a lot of fighting going on even then. The country was in a bad shape at that time. The came the Taliban and the Al-Quaeda. The entire economy was thrown into disarray. It was at that time that females were banned education. Then the War against Terror during 2001. Many people fled that country, to Pakistan, Iran and other neighbouring countries. Many buildings and installations were bombed. And many did die.

Then the reconstruction. As said before, there was aid pouring in from different countries, including India. The major contribution, though, was from the US of A. They were mainly responsible for all the rebuilding work, even now.

Security is tight. The city of Kabul is pretty stable, not many attacks there. The same cannot be said for the other cities and towns. Kandahar, some distance south of Kabul, however does not enjoy that security blanket. There are still many random attacks here and there - the recent attack on one of the UN offices in Kabul. If you have been reading the papers, there is now huge meeting going on in Kabul where many leaders have come together to discuss formation of the constitution; as usual, there are many adversaries opposed to it. A rocket was launched at the US Embassy (opposite to where my father stayed), and another at a nearby locality. So it is not all that peaceful.

The political situation is this: Afghanistan is now divided into a number of provinces, each now (after the demise of Taliban goverment) ruled by warlords. Each of them is the dadha of the land. They have their own army and their own set of rules, taxes etc. None of them seem to be responsible to the Central Government, they are almost like individual states. The puppet Central Government was formed by US led President Karzai. The recent meeting taking place now (and just mentioned above) was to discuss whether Afghanistan should have a President leader or a Prime Minister type (like that of India); fears are that a Presidentship may lead to autocracy, dictatorship and more fighting. They are also dicussing about formation of Constitution. Till now, no consensus seems to have been reached.

Anyway, now reconstruction activities and aid is going on inspite of all this. But all this is going to stop, once the aid money flow dries out. One can surmise that pretty soon, when US and other countries withdraw their presence from Afghanistan, the country may go back into turmoil, the warring factions may again fight with each other, the UN may have no real force there. What will all the people do, where will they go?
For a country that has already suffered so much under the Taliban and the bombings, such a nitemarish situation will be but a stake driven into the already heavily wounded body....

Posted by satosphere at 12:44 AM

December 27, 2003
Beifeld's Principle
The probability of a young man meeting a desirable and receptive young female increases by pyramidal progression when he is already in the company of:

  1. a date
  2. his wife and
  3. a better looking and richer male friend.

A brief interlude
One huge gang of relatives went to this get-to-gether at Cosmopolitan Club for lunch on Thursday. Had lotsof fun meeting a lot of people, again. They were very frequent before, say about 6-8 years ago. (We even went to Bombay and Delhi with such a huge gumbal of relatives. Then we had lotsof get-to-gethers then. Now everybody has grown up/become busy, and its once in a blue moon day that I get to meet all of them - a moment to cherish.)

I went to Vedanthangal yesterday (Saturday). Amazing place to visit. It was my first visit there.

Started at around 1:30pm in the afternoon, with my parents and couple of cowsins. Zipped along NH-45 for about an hour at 90kmph and then turned into the road to Vedanthangal. Reached the place around 3:15.

For the next half-hour, I was in a hyper. My voice went ultrasonic, I was chattering very fast, I coulndt get my hands of the binoculors and the camera went clicking. Me being in that place was like a shopper crazy person put into the biggest mall, or a gamer put into the largest gaming fest, or a gourmet put in the largest multicuisine restaurant..... It was like a dream come true.

The number of birds were just astounding.
There were pin-tail ducks, spoonbills, pelicans, darters, ibis (sacred and glossy), painted storks, herons, egrets, cormorants (aka sea crows) and many more that I could not recognise. Hundreds of them crammed into one tree....Here is a list of some of the birds that I have seen and here you can find images of many birds mentioned above.

We bought a normal camera, a digital camera (belonging to one of those cowsins) and a binoculors (also sourced from the same source). I was very trigger happy, clicking at whatever I found interesting. And I was constantly on the lookout for birds through the binoculors. But the digital camera did not have much zoom. So we cam up with this wonderful idea.
We placed the digicam lens in front of the eye-piece of the binoculors. We got very awesome zooming power. I was able to take very close up shots. I will soon post the photos.I even took a 18 second video of the flight of cormorants. That I may not be able to put up due to lack of space.

I had to return now - 5:15pm.
While returning, we went to a nearby temple on a hill - called the chinna thirupathi or Mini Tirupati. There was Lord Venkatachalapathi.... Now you know its nomenclature.

Reached the city at around 8 pm.

For those visiting the city, Vedanthangal is a must. Bird watchers (no no, not birdie watchers) should have already visited that place. If you have not, you will be missing a wonderful opportunity.

How to get there : Vedanthangal is about 90km away. If going by your own vehicle, zip along the beautiful NH-45 till 18 km (that itself is a dream come true for many urbanites where you cannot go beyond 30 kmph on the ever so rare smooth road) beyond a place called Chegalpet and then take a right at one intersection. 15km away is Vedanthangal. If you are planning to go by public transport, get urself to Tambaram and take one of the many regular buses which ply to Vedanthangal.

When to go : The rainy season, October and beyond brings a lot of water here and a lot of birds too. October to January is the right time to visit. Try not to come in weekend as it will be crowded. Come in the evening as I did today; it is at this time that many birds will be returning in flocks. Confirm with Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation (TTDC) before coming here.

What to bring : Bring powerful binoculors, SLR or digital cameras with good zooming capabilities to get those good shots.

What to do : Obvious answer - Bird watching. Thats what you are here for. If possible, bring some food for the poor dogs and those meddlesome monkeys. There is a well-constructed concrete path to wack on, two observation towers and one more viewing area. Make full use of them. On the wayback, you can climb the hill to the temple.

So long now.....

Posted by satosphere at 10:22 PM

December 25, 2003
Beckhap's Law
Beauty times brains equals a constant.
This law is very famous, known to our college, even otherwise, under another name, and applies to females in our college. I never knew it be a Murphy's Law

The Afghanisthan Saga Part I
My father's trip to Afghanistan goes like this....

The US of A has given a three billion dollar aid for reconstruction of Afghanistan, not all as liquid cash. It is mainly in the form of reconstruction of various sectors of economy. One company, KPMG Consultants - Bearing Point, is responsible for rebuilding the financial part - banking, excise, etc. It is mainly a consultant company and to gain experience in the practical working, they invited many bankers. My father was one among them.

India has sanctioned about a hundred million dollar aid for Afghanistan. Not all, again is liquid cash. They provide help in the form of trained professionals also. So there were many bankers, doctors, civil engineers etc. (Two of the last category were kidnapped and released recently, if you havent caught up the news yet). There were about eight doctors sent there, and they are running a child care hospital (If I am rite). Six bankers were also sent. The Ministry of external affairs requested names from RBI, and RBI in turn asked various banks in our country to provide names of good bankers. My father was also nominated. The first intimated in around September 2002. After about two more confirmations later, he left in July 14th, 2003. Two people from Bombay, one from Delhi, Kanpur and Lucknow joined him there later.

He was put up in a hotel before being transferred to a rented house (rent being exhorbitant : two thousand and seven hundred dollars per month, but that is paid by the embassy). That house is near the American Embassy in Kabul and there is heavy security all around the place. It is a huge house, now that I have seen pictures of it. It has pretty good furnishing and TV with cable (I am jealous because he recieves Star Movies, ESPN, ... and I dont recieve it.), fridge, beds with enough blankets and centralised heating. There is a maid who also does all the cooking and everything.

The city of Kabul is pretty good and very secure - the same cannot be said about the other towns. The roads are pretty wide, concretised (and are in a much better situation than Indian roads, so to speak). The main currency is an Afghani, the rates are about forty eight to a dollar, the same as an Indian Rupee. Both dollar and Afghani are accepted, and money exchange are readily done; with lotsof people waving bundles of Afghanis on the roads to exchange. There are many shops in markets where this is possible too.

Transportation inside the city is also pretty easy. There are some of the TATA buses donated by India running there. But mostly, there are a lot of Taxis around - mainly Toyota Corolla's (station wagons), LandCruisers and Mitsuibishi Pajero's. They are pretty cheap too (cheaper that Chennai's autos atleast). But the poor man's vehicle there is the cycle - lotsof them there.

More descriptive description about the life and culture (not much of it anyway) in the next post.

Posted by satosphere at 9:21 PM

December 24, 2003
Beauregard's First Law
When you're up to your nose in it, keep your mouth shut.

Beauregard's Second Law
All people are cremated equal.

My last week of vacation began with an early wake up call. We had to go to this temple in a place called Mangadu near Chennai early in the morning, the occasion being my father's birthday.

Then a rude surprise after I came home, when I checked mail. Apparently, to the department, my guide for summer internship in HCL Infosystems had not sent the grades for my intern work. But my guide there had already mailed my grading long back in August. I dont know where the mixup occured.

So I started for my college with the objective of finding out where that precious grade mail had gone. The department office had no information about the recieved mail. The professor who handles the summer internship grades was also absent and not expected until Monday.
Despair, Despair.

So I sent a mail to the professor enquiring about the mixup and my intern guide requesting him to send the grades again. As early as possible. (They want the grades by the weekend, otherwise I will not be graded for it - This sucks)

And then, with nothing else to do, I went to meet my project guide, requesting a break for one week. (Officially, even though it is vacation time, I was working until today. So I assured the professor that I would continue after New Year). So my actual vacations starts today.
Mood Rising up

And I was thankful today that the Rain gods showered us with gifts on the eve of Christmas. It was a good spell of rain in the morning.

The entire afternoon of mine was sucked away from me as I was taken to a relatives' dhevasham (death anniversary). Probably, thats one reason why I may like to agree with Sudhon on this. You have to attend each and every function even though you are not inclined to.
And I felt very sleepy there, having my sleep deprived from me, due to the early wake up call at 6:45 am. (My normal timings is 1 am to 8 am). I know that is a bit tacky, but I will change as soon as college starts.

Later, I went to another temple near Beasant Nagar, the Arupadai Veedu Temple; followed by a dinner at Sangeetha, which was a very crowded place. Dont even get me started on the traffic conditions we xperienced while going there.

Rite now, I am writing this post.

Tomorrow, we (a huge gumbal of relatives and cowsins) are planning to go to Cosmopolitan Club. Hope to have fun there. (We actually planned a trip to Mahabalipuram, but the Rain gods didn't grant our wishes.) But something is better that nothing.

Having listened to a lot about Afghanistan, Kabul in particular from my father (In case, you haven't caught up till now, he just returned from Kabul on Monday), I have decided to give a decent guide to Afghanistan, but better than Lonely Planet's for the next couple of posts.....
And before I forget

Posted by satosphere at 10:40 AM

December 21, 2003
Beard's addendum to interstate travel
The palatability index of any food is inversely proportional to the distance and number of times the restaurant advertises prior to the designated stop.

Suddenly everbody in my family is talking about marriages (not mine, I definitely hope not, now...). It all about my relatives and cowsins getting married. They are all over the phone talking to one another about this guy or that girl working in Bangalore or in Silicon Valley, their horoscopes and tall or short, fair or dark, their families, money, real estates and so on and on. It kindof really bugs me.
Everytime my mom picks up the phone, its always some relation who has a nubile (for the laymen - marriageable) bride or groom. They seem to be so eager to fix up people, that they seem to have lost the whole meaning of marriage - its a celebration of love (to quote Joey Tribiani in Friends - 716) "Its all about loving, giving, sharing and recieving." But are we really doing that. They are all in a hurry to get their relatives son's and daughters get fixed up before they become too "old". Recently, my mom was on the phone talking about a prospective bride for my aunt's father's sister's daughter. THERE HAS TO BE A LIMIT TO EVEYTHING
And of course, there is this jhaatakam (horoscope). They keep recieving this horoscopes in many letters before they even look at the face. For example, this was a conversation I had heard recently....
1 : We have this beautiful guy working in the US whose jhaatakam matches perfectly
2 : What's his name
1 : I dont know, but this is a very good fit.

Aren't we looking a little over the board here.
They dont even look whether their interests match - because they consider that the married couple will eventually get along. All they are worried about is the right age, horoscope and working "outside India in a prestigious company". All they hope is that the bond of marriage will keep them together....
And as suddenly as this came up, there is this sudden spate of love marriages among my friends and relatives (I dont wish to disclose names for privacy's sake) as an answer to all this. Somebody did start fighting then.
And I know that I am slightly young to talk about this sort of thing, but its something that I (and probably everybody) has to deal with at some point in their lives. And probably I may also be forced to do such sort of things 25-30 years from now. But I dont want to do that to the human community.

Neways, no Monday Blues today.

And now, we (my mom too) are off to pick up dad... So long..

Posted by satosphere at 10:50 PM

December 19, 2003
Law of Basic Money Dynamics
A surprise monetary windfall will be accompanied by an unexpected expense of the same amount.

Cell Phone Tweaks


  • I can't guarantee that it works, or that it works correctly.
  • If it breaks, it's your fault. But you do get to keep both pieces.
  • If it breaks something else, it's your fault too.
  • You can give it to your friends, or anyone else you wish, as long as you credit to whom credit is due.

Here is an interesting cell phone tweak (as I call it) which was discovered in our hostel a couple of months back. I should have actually put it then, but I forgot about it.

It involves making calls for more than what the talktime allows for. Now I can see the glee in many of the faces. But wait till I fully explain it to you.

It all started when a couple of my friends got this 50 Rs worth RPG SIM card for free when they purchased clothing at a particular shop. Dont pack your bags yet. That offer is long over. This card had a 10 Rs talktime value.

A third of my friend suggested that we could make calls for more than what the talk time says. How - well, there are two ways.

  1. Make a call (STD preferably) and talk for a very long time. If your card talktime value is higer, make an ISD also. Thus, you can exceed the talk time value.
  2. Make a call. But, dont ask the reciever to hang up. Instead, you cut the call, and if ur good at speed-dialling, dial another number within a very short time. You can repeat this procedure as many times as possible.

My friends actually got about three such cards. We had a phone mela everyweek for three weeks; each time we made STD calls, for 25 minutes.. All out of a 10 Rs worth SIM card.

Hold your horses

Before you rush and do anything stupid like buying a whole bunch of cheap SIMs... there are some ground rules that you must remember.

  1. Don't plan on recharging the card later. Otherwise, you mite end up with negative charges remaining.
  2. The crux of this tweak is that the cell updates the charges remaining after you complete your call and not while you are talking. If it does the latter, then the tweak cannot be performed.

Neways, this worked on RPG SIMs about a month back. I dont know whether they have corrected this bug yet, or whether it is possible to do it on other cell companies or whether is feasible in other cities.
If it does work, do tell me.
If it does work, hurrah for getting back at the cell companies.

Posted by satosphere at 10:00 PM

December 17, 2003
Basic Baggage Principle
Whichever carousel you stand near, your baggage will arrive on another one.

Seeing the current spree in writing of Statement of Purposes in preparation for application work, here is my tribute to the apping community.
Presenting to you
The Letter of (Self) Recommendation

I am glad to acknowledge the merits of Mr. ABC. I have known him for more than one and a half year and that period was sufficient for me to gauge his research potential and abilities. He has taken two of my courses, the Networking with Carrier Pigeons and Data Communication with Bird Calls. He has also undertaken a project under me involving a research on Tap Dance Communication.

ABC also has excellent communication and oral skills. I have always seen him maintaining an excellent rapport with female community of the department. He has excellent argumentative skills and easily convinces a person to a particular result, however silly it sounds. He also has mastered the art of secret communication, whereby, during examinations, he spreads the answers to everybody without any of the invigilators noticing it.

He has excellent research and analysis capabilities. He has the innate ability to gather materials from various papers and materials to prepare for a research paper. He has also undertaken a course on Research Paper Metamorphosis in order to publish good research papers. Working along with him, I have managed to put two papers in a very short period of time.

ABC is a very helpful, creative and friendly person. In classes which I had instructed, for example, he always politely signalled the end of the class by scratching his footwear on the ground. He also has the nack of sleeping without the instructor knowing that he is. I am also thankful to ABC for introducing me to the gaming world. He has lent me many games which help me pass the time whenever I feel bored.

I recommend him to your graduate program in ___________________ with full financial assistance ship. If you have any doubts about his academic and otherqualities, please dont hesitate to contact me.

Well, I thats it for now...
See you next week

PB: That part about the professor being introduced to the gaming world is partly true. I actually gave to one of my recommenders, Unreal Tournament game. He is very fascinated by it, and thanks me for it everytime I see him. He said that he needed some games because he was feeling bored with academics. In fact, whenever I go to his office, he is playing that game. An interesting thing was that, he wanted this game (actually some game) as a sort of maamool (bribe) for giving an open recommendation letter (which he did). So now, everybody is happy.

Posted by satosphere at 11:45 AM

December 15, 2003
Barzun's Laws of Learning

  1. The simple but difficult arts of paying attention, copying accurately, following an argument, detecting an ambiguity or a false inference, testing guesses by summoning up contrary instances, organizing one's time and one's thought for study - all these arts - cannot be taught in the air but only through the difficulties of a defined subject. They cannot be taught in one course or one year, but must be acquired gradually in dozens of connections.
  2. The analogy to athletics must be pressed until all recognize that in the exercise of Intellect those who lack the muscles, coordination, and will power can claim no place at the training table, let alone on the playing field.

Firstly, I am extremely sorry about the last post. I realised later that it was hurting to many from the female variety of the species Homo sapiens sapiens. I will take it back as it is a degrading post. (Nobody said such things when I compared women and beer). That post will be deleted.

Secondly, I am extremely happy. My father is coming from Kabul then next week. He has been there from July. He was sent there by the Ministry of External Affairs as a part of India's aid to Afghanisthan for a deputation for one year. Apart from him, some eight other bankers from all other parts of the country (yes, my father is a banker) from different banks have been sent there to do some banking work.
Although, we expected that they would be developing some softwares for banking... they are just doing some normal accounting job in Excel... Thats ok.
The weather there is apparently very cold reaching -2 to -5 degrees and it has started snowing there in the nearby hills. He also said that Kabul is like any other Indian town, dusty, lotsa people, crowd etc.
How do I know all these? Well, he is online everyday. So we (my mother too) do not miss him that much, chat regularly on messenger.... Atleast the Internet has done its part to bridge the communication gap.
The last four months have been really hard on us, my mother the most. And I have had to go home everyday to give my mother company. So we are happy that he is coming home, albeit only for two weeks. After that, he will be gone for another 6 months.
For the people whose parents live in some other country, I share my feelings.

To top this all, my project guide has given me loads of assignments to last me for atleast two weeks. I have to put in a lot of effort to complete it. Even though it is supposed to be a vacation for me, it doesnt seem like one. I have to come to everyday to college. There comes the monday blues again.

Monday Blues

For all those having exams, Best of Luck.
For all those having hols, enjoy.
For all those having college/work, U know how I feel.

Posted by satosphere at 2:50 AM

December 10, 2003
Bartz's Law of Hokey Horsepuckery
The more ridiculous a belief system, the higher the probability of its success.

Transport Costs

Here is an analysis of travel costs in our country - specifically in my city, Chennai. It just goes on to prove that public transport is the cheapest of them all.
It is quite some time that I have done any research. My previous one on the Optimisation of Alarm Clocks was well accepted. I am hoping this one would gain favor too.
I have compared 6 different modes of transport (Although I am not including the ubiquitous Nadaraja Walking service and the 2 Wheeled Cyclotron), buses, autos, two wheelers, four wheelers, planes (yes, planes) and of course trains. First some basic ground rules:

  • Basis : I am comparing on the basis of cost per kilometer of journey.
  • Buses : I have used the costs incurred in travelling in my City (local buses) and the long distance buses (eg: Chennai to Pondicherry, 140km). It must be said that public bus transport charges in Tamil Nadu are the lowest among all the states.
  • Trains : I am basing it on Sleeper Second Class (of course I cant use Shatabdi for comparison), for long distance trains (Chennai to Delhi, 2100km) and Second Class for Sub - Urban.
  • Autos and Taxis : Autos are the devils' mode of transport; Taxis are the Dragons mode. The results here are summarised from various nitemarish journeys me and my friends/relatives have undergone with a lot of torture in my city. I would also like to remind you that Chennai City has one of the highest auto transport costs.
  • Two Wheelers : I am assuming that normal two wheelers with normal riders and not those show-offs; hence I presume a mileage of 50-60 kmpl.
  • Four Wheelers : Same as the case with four wheelers, and I am assuming AC's are turned on giving a mileage of 12kmpl in city conditions.
  • Planes (Boy, aren't u surprised) : Obviously, I am taking the sample as Economy Class, Chennai - Delhi, very advanced booking resulting in a fare of Rs 3800. Other flights have similar ranges.

Disclaimer : These are my test results and cannot and will not be subjected to questioning. Anybody objecting to my line of reasoning here is welcome to put comments
So here are the results cost wise.

Mode of TransportCost per Kilometer of Travel
Trains (long distance)25p - 50p
Buses (long distance)33p - 1 Re
Trains (suburban)40p - 1 Re
Buses (local)50p - 1 Re
Two Wheelers60p - 65p
Planes1.75 Rs - 2.5 Rs
Four Wheelers2.5 Rs - 3 Rs
Autos8 Rs - 10 Rs
Taxis (call taxi)8 Rs - 12 Rs

Well, from the above, it can be clearly seen that those people enjoying the comfort of autos while travelling suffer the worst - according to me. And that public transport is the best... I always prefer taking the bus or train anywhere, and I dont mind being a but huddled up.

The surprising fact is, many have not yet realised that air transport is cheaper than private four wheeler transport - Enigmatic, isn't it?

Also, travelling by public transport saves a lot of fuel, and if an alternative energy source is not found in another 2 decades, all the vehicles above and hence the world will screech to a halt.

Thats that for now.

I wish to do more research like these. Any pointers and ideas ????

Posted by satosphere at 9:19 PM

December 07, 2003
Benchley's Law of Distinction
There are two classes of people: those who divide people into two classes, and those who don't.

Here is a list of funny sayings that I found somewhere on the World Wide Web.

  • Save the whales. Collect the whole set.
  • A day without sunshine is like, night.
  • On the other hand, you have different fingers.
  • 42.7 percent of all statistics are made up on the spot.
  • 99 percent of lawyers give the rest a bad name.
  • I wonder how much deeper the ocean would be without sponges.
  • Nothing is fool-proof to a talented fool.
  • He who laughs last thinks slowest.
  • The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.
  • If Barbie is so popular, why do you have to buy her friends?
  • Quantum mechanics: The dreams stuff is made of.
  • The only substitute for good manners is fast reflexes.
  • Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.
  • For every action there is an equal and opposite criticism.
  • Bills travel through the mail at twice the speed of checks.
  • No one is listening until you make a mistake.
  • Success always occurs in private and failure in full view.
  • The hardness of butter is directly proportional to the softness of the bread.
  • To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism; to steal from many is research.
  • You never really learn to swear until you learn to drive.
  • The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard.
  • The sooner you fall behind the more time you'll have to catch up.
  • A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
  • If you think nobody cares, try missing a couple of payments.
  • Love may be blind but marriage is a real eye-opener.
  • If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving isn't for you.
  • You cannot make someone love you. All you can do is stalk them and hope they panic and give in.
  • Either you control your attitude or you will be offered medication
  • Money is a great substitute for character
  • Your family won't always be there for you. Unless, of course, you win the lottery
  • No matter how badly your heart is broken, therapy is still expensive
  • No matter how you try to protect your children, they will eventually get arrested and end up in the local paper.

Nothing much happening here (atleast to me). I convinced my dad to get me an 80 GB hard - disk. If I do buy it, it will be the third upgrade in my comp's career of two and a half years with me; the first two being

  1. The buying of a new mouse - the old one became dysfunctional because of excessive gaming usage.
  2. An addition of a 256 MB RAM stick, in addition to the original 128 MB I already had. (It made my comp. go very fast indeed)

Also, today the UPS stopped working too. I became a bit scary because of it. I dont like working on a computer (atleast mine) without a UPS. For now, I have just put it on a stabiliser. Will have to get the UPS repaired soon.

I will leave you ppl with this cartoon, for the Monday blues....

Monday Blues

Posted by satosphere at 10:12 PM

December 03, 2003
Barrett's Laws of Driving

  1. You can get ANYWHERE in ten minutes if you go fast enough.
  2. Speed bumps are of negligible effect when the vehicle exceeds triple the desired restraining speed.
  3. The vehicle in front of you is traveling slower than you are.
  4. This lane ends in 500 feet.

Rain rain come again
Chennai wants some water to drink
Dont Go away for another time
Rain rain come again

ok... I know it is not rhyming, but it is in reference to what I am going to tell now.

I am in this situation today (actually for three days) after reading this article which appeared in the Hindu on Sunday the 30th which describes the grave water storage situation in Chennai. This picture tells it all.

Water Storage in Chennai reservoirs over the years

This year, apparently has the lowest storage among all the years yet. And there is no use of pinning all our hope on Rain in the month of December. It would take more than a miracle to to quench our thirst. Lets face it, Chennai is slowly becoming a desert.
As it is, the rainfall is scanty in the following months. We may have to end up begging for water at the feet of other states. This is indeed, a very sad sitiation.
Right now, at home, we are getting drinking water in our taps.. But apparently that is going to last for a month. And after that, I would have to be a person standing in a queue for the water that comes in the proverbial tanker, arguing with other ladies why they should not take this water for washing and bathing purposes (I hate such arguments). My apartment is lucky in one sense, our borewell goes quite deep and we get that water throughout the summer. Others are not so lucky.
Water scarcity will have another direct effect on me. Our university usually suffers from acute water shortage as the water table there is very low (inspite of all the greenery) And even now, we are heavily dependent on water tankers (Early morning and late nite visitors can easily see long rows of tankers near the entrance waiting to fill the pumping station) And during dry seasons, we have a sort of compressed sem, where we work 6 days a week instead of the regular 5. And I am sure that the next two sems in our college would have to work all 7 days a week to avoid the acute scarcity period.

I can already visualise non - bathers rejoicing

The Municipal Corporation, PWD and Metro water should do something - a long term action.. like say a desalination plant or something.. but as soon as possible. Otherwise Chennai can't survive another dry summer.

As I told Shobha before, I dont want to end up as a dry withered man.

That, I hope, will be the dream of every Chennaiite...

Posted by satosphere at 11:26 PM

December 01, 2003
Barber's Laws of Backpacking

  1. The integral of the gravitational potential taken around any loop trail you choose to hike always comes out positive.
  2. Any stone in your boot always migrates against the pressure gradient to exactly the point of most pressure.
  3. The weight of your pack increases in direct proportion to the amount of food you consume from it. If you run out of food, the pack weight goes on increasing anyway.
  4. The number of stones in your boot is directly proportional to the number of hours you have been on the trail.
  5. The difficulty of finding any given trail marker is directly proportional to the importance of the consequences of failing to find it.
  6. The size of each of the stones in your boot is directly proportional to the number of hours you have been on the trail.
  7. The remaining distance to your chosen campsite remains constant as twilight approaches.
  8. The net weight of your boots is proportional to the cube of the number of hours you have been on the trail.
  9. When you arrive at your chosen campsite, it is full.
  10. If you take your boots off, you'll never get them back on again.
  11. The local density of mosquitos is inversely proportional to your remaining repellent.


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