I am the alpha and the omega
October 29, 2004
Courtois's Rule
If people listened to themselves more often, they'd talk less.

One more forward to fill up, what is supposed to be a web log.

Even as I am trembling in the freezer, so much so that Delhi winters seem much better, I am trying to look back at the past. Whether all the decisions I have made and that have lead me here are the correct ones. And whether, the small stone I overlooked yesterday would have yielded big returns. So much to think. So little time to do so.

But then again, here is a forward, which may soon flood your mailbox too.

  • My insomnia is so bad, I can't even sleep on the job.
  • People have one thing in common: they are all different.
  • A bore is someone who deprives you of solitude without providing you with company.
  • God is the one who pulls you from the wreckage of your own decisions.
  • We come to love not by finding the perfect person but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly!
  • Marriage is the triumph of imagination over intelligence. Second marriage is the triumph of hope over experience.
  • The probability of someone watching you is proportional to the stupidity of your action.
  • Half the fun of being alive is not knowing what tomorrow will bring. The other half is pretending you don't care.
  • Be thankful to problems. If they were less difficult, someone with less ability might have your job.
  • Few women admit their age. Few men act theirs.
  • Experience is that marvelous thing that enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again.
  • All things come to him who waits, but they come sooner if he goes out to see what's wrong.
  • It is impossible to enjoy idling thoroughly unless one has plenty of work to do.
  • I either want less corruption, or more chances to participate in it.
  • A real friend isn't someone you use once and then throw away. A real friend is someone you can use over and over again.
  • No man is as clever as his mother thinks he is or as dumb as his mother-in-law thinks he is.
  • Flattery is hearing from others the things you have already thought about yourself.
  • If you don't learn from your mistakes, there's no sense making them.
  • Never make the same mistake twice... there are so many new ones to make.

One more week, before lesser and lesser of me

Posted by satosphere at 10:39 PM

October 24, 2004
Cosmetologist's Principle
Whenever you need to stop at a light to put on makeup, every light will be green.


First, the pizza party. For the course that I am TAing.

We had a nice time. Pizzas, cakes, pastries, candies and Coke makde up for the food.

The pastries, candies, Pizza plates (from Papa Johns), a cute doll and a false Halloween pumpkin

We had a sumptuous pizza dinner. And we even had vegetarian pizzas for the sole vegetarian there (me) - Pumpkin and Veggie Supreme Pizzas.

(Left to right). Christian Suwarna, Shea, Imran, Srivatsan (hidden), Zachary, Sanketh, anonymous, Wei Shi, Aniket (cut-off).
All enjoying pizzas and drinks.

These are the two professors for the course. The one on the left has been there for about 40 years in the department. And the computer between them, is usually where I end up sitting.

Professor Charles H. Roth and Professor David Brown

After the dinner, we had a little meeting of sorts, where we listed out verious problems during the TA'ing and tried to sort them out. We had a fun time. Ended up at around 8:30pm. And guess what I ended up doing. I went to the lab and was there till about 10:30 pm, doing my assignment!!!.

The early sleep that day for me at 11pm, forced me to wake up at 3pm as I am used to sleeping only 4-5 hours. And I didnt get sleep thereafter. Rather than just while away time until 5:30 pm (when I had to start getting ready for the Houston Trip), I started reading, rather studying. And surprisingly, I was not at all feeling sleepy.
To top it off, I went to sleep that nite (after the trip to Houston) only at 3 am - awake for 24 hours straight.

Anyway, here is a peek from the NASA Space Center

(Right to left). Sriram, myself, Srikanth, Hareesh, Arvind - the gang who ended up going together there.

And finally, I managed to finish The Negotiator after almost a month. Hope to get started on the The Deceiver.

Posted by satosphere at 8:50 PM

October 22, 2004
Corry's Law
Paper is always strongest at the perforations.

Probably just another post in a squeezer of a space before I delve into a nitemare of a 2 weeks ahead. I am already envisaging 4 consecutive nite-outs next week. And I have no idea what it would do to my health. But I think that I am getting used to it.

Even as my grey cells and white matter are recharging from an intense brainstorming session (with myself) over a lab project, my mind is already into tomorrow.
Yes, tomorrow, where I have a pizza party thrown by the generous profs for the course for which I am doing a TA. What I am more happy about is that, unexceptional circumstances barring, I will continue to be a TA for the next semester also. So, atleast, funding wise, there should be no problem for me.

And I hope to be in a great condition by Saturday, when I have to wake up brite and early for the Trip to Houston. Lots of my friends coming this time. And I hope to make this trip worthwile.

But what is going to follow this Saturday, is hell on living lite for me. 1 exam on Wednesday, 2 major lab assignments due at very close times, 3 weeks hence, a written assignment due on Tuesday, a course project for which I have to start working on and another course project to be completed in a month, the topic of which I do not even know.. If I survive the next month, I will probably thank the gods that all the nite outs and sleepless hours I have spent have paid off atleast.

Just an example of how busy I am: I took the Negotiator (Frederic Forsyth) on the 14th of September. Now, I havent even completed 9 chapters out of the total 25.

Grad school is just tough. Especially at UT Austin.

Enough of me grumbling. I will make sure my next post is about something brighter.
And do note the time at which I am posting this.

Posted by satosphere at 1:20 AM

October 15, 2004
Cornuelle's Law
Authority tends to assign jobs to those least able to do them.

Atleast I am managing to survive.

The last 2 weeks have been hellish. With my day extending from 8 am in the morning to 3 am, the next morning. There was one day, where I spent a total of 16 hours (from 10:30 am to 2:30 am) in the department). While all this may be bad, the worst is yet to come. I predict that my last month in this semester is going to create a heartburn for even the "Devil from down under"

But I am not going to bother you with all that. After all, past is past. And nobody can do anything to alter it.

The weather. Well, its approaching winter temperatures now. It has dropped very sharply in a couple of days. Yesterday, at 1pm, usually the hottest time of the day, it was freezing. A cold front mite have developed. Already, the single sweater which I bought (and which I thought would be enough) is now insufficient. The freezer seems warmer now.
The cold weather has also made it very difficult to walk home at 3 am in the morning, and to go jogging at 8 am.

I am looking forward to the week ahead. Already the TA work is slightly lighter. Though the powers-that-may-be (i.e. the profs) predict that it would become busy in a fortnite.

Apart from a mid-term exam for one of the courses, (Incidentally, I have not even opened the book for it. Quite unlike me), the course for which I am a TA has a pizza party for all the TA's and graders. (TA - Teaching Assistant, for the uneducated ;) ). And the trip to Houston next weekend.

I wanted to get a Sony DSC V1 before that. But I thought, it would be better to wait for thanksgiving, when the prices will fall down a lot. Besides, its just one month away.

Looking furthur ahead. I have another lab assignment starting next week (which means more 8am to 3am days) and also have to start working on a project due in a month and a half. I have no idea what I am going to do for it.

Guess I have my work cut out for me.

Posted by satosphere at 2:44 PM

October 09, 2004
Corcoroni's Laws of Bus Transportation
1. The bus that left the stop just before you got there is your bus.
2. The amount of time you have to wait for a bus is directly proportional to the inclemency of the weather.
3. All buses heading in the opposite direction drive off the face of the earth and never return.
4. The last rush-hour express bus to your neighborhood leaves five minutes before you get off work.
5. Bus schedules are arranged so your bus will arrive at the transfer point precisely one minute after the connecting bus has left.
6. Any bus that can be the wrong bus will be the wrong bus. All others are out of service or full.

I am alive.
But barely.

I am neck deep in work.
With 2 exams this week, and two major lab assignments next week, I was doing 8 am to 3 am everyday. Horrendous weekend ahead of me.

But I am still alive.

A forwards. To fill up the space. Some of you have already got the mail.

For those mathematically inclined


Once upon a time (1/t) pretty little Polly Nomial was strolling across a field of vectors when she came to the boundary of a singularly large matrix. Now Polly was convergent, and her mother had made it an absolute condition that she must never, ever enter such an array without her brackets on.

Polly, however, who had changed her variables that morning and was feeling particularly badly behaved, ignored this condition on the basis that it was insufficient, and made her way in amongst the complex elements. Rows and columns closed in on her from all sides. Tangents approached her surface, and she became tenser and tensor.

Quite suddenly, two branches of a hyperbola touched her at a single point. She oscillated violently, became unstable, lost all sense of directrix, tripped over a square root that was protruding from the erf, and plunged headlong down a steep gradient. She was completely divergent by the time she reached the turning point. When she rounded off once more, she found herself inverted, apparently alone in a non-euclidean space.

She was being watched, however. That smooth operator, Curly Pi, was lurking inner product. As his eyes devoured her curvilinear coordinates, a singular expression crossed his face. He wondered, was she convergent? He decided to integrate improperly at once.

Hearing a common fraction behind her, Polly rotated and saw Curly Pi approaching with his lower series extended. She could see at once his degenerate conic and his dissipative terms, and knew he was irrational.

"Arcsinh!" she gasped.

"Hey, what's your sine?" he asked. "What a symmetric set of asymptotes you have!"

"Stay away from me!" she protested. "I haven't got any brackets on!"

"Calm yourself, my dear!" said the smooth operator.. "Your fears are purely imaginary."

"i, i, ..." she thought, "Perhaps he's not normal, but homologous."

"What order are you?" the brute suddenly demanded.

"Seventeen," replied Polly.

Curly leered, "I suppose you've never been operated upon?"

"Of course not. I'm absolutely convergent!" Polly replied quite properly.

"Come on," said Curly: "Let's go to decimal place I know of, and I'll take you to the limit."

"Never!" gasped Polly..

"Abscissa!" he swore a violent oath. Coshing her over the coefficient with a log until she was powerless, Curly removed her discontinuities. He stared at her significant places, and began smoothing her points of inflection. Poor Polly Nomial! The algorithm method was now her only hope. She felt him approaching her asymptotic limit. Her convergence would soon be gone forever. There was no mercy; Curly was a heavy side operator. His radius squared itself and Polly's loci quivered. He integrated by parts. He integrated by partial fractions. After he cofactored, he performed Runge-Kutta on her. He even went all the way around and did a contour integration. Curly went on operating until he satisfied her hypotheses, then he exponentiated and became completely orthogonal.

When Polly got home that night, her mother noticed that she was no longer piecewise continuous, but had been truncated in several places. But it was too late to differentiate now. As the months went by, Polly's denominator increased monotonically. Finally, they took her to L'Hopital and generated a small but pathological function which left surds all over the place and drove Polly to deviation.

The moral of this tale is: "If you want to keep your expressions convergent,
never allow them a single degree of freedom.

Posted by satosphere at 10:14 AM


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