I am the alpha and the omega
January 29, 2005
Law of Doctoring
It never heals correctly.


Every once-in-a-while, me and my room-mates get time to sit around, and that once-in-a-while, everybody feels bored, with no movies to watch, nothing to read, nothing to eat, nothing to cook, and basically nothing to do.

It was in one of these once-in-a-while's that we decided that we would all tell something about what we are good at, academically. To be more precise, what research work we engage in and all that.
That is actually pretty interesting because of the diverse fields we are in. For example, I specialize in VLSI, my first roomie in Wireless Communications, the second in Systems (with a Computer Science angle) and the third in Cryptography. Easily said that the latter two are Computer Science majors, both with a couple of good research papers under their arms.

Myself, in VLSI, started telling about the basics of digital circuits which none of them were aware of before. The first roomie in Basic Communication principles, which, even though I had learnt, they had all gone over my head. The second guy on Computer Architecture and the third on Advanced Encryption techniques that are still being researched.

But that once-in-a-whiles have been quite a long time ago.
A very long time ago.

Time has changed. Things have changed.
Now with 4 laptops in our house (I dont have one, the "first roomie" has two), an extremely fast broadband connexion, enough DVD's to fill all free time, and tons of books that we would never be able to finish reading even in 5 years, and finally everybody's lack of time, especially mine, have forced all that once-in-a-whiles to disappear.

I miss them, though.

Posted by satosphere at 10:08 AM

January 26, 2005
Doc's Laws of Automotive Repair
1. If you can reach the faulty part, you don't have the tool to get it off.
2. Quality is inversely proportional to the time left to complete the job.
3. If it jams-force it. If it breaks, it needed replacing anyhow.

Republic Day Special

It is not often that one gets to hear the chimes from the Carillon at the UT Tower (pictures found in previous posts). These beautiful ten minute long Carillon chimes are usually lost in the murky white noise that envelops the everyday urban environment (or - people talking on cellphones, vehicles honking and moving, generators running, etc.)

It was a real surprise, when suddenly, out of this chaos, I could hear faint clanging bells, producing a tune that registered somewhat, only slightly, in my mind; the faint tunes of Jana Gana Mana. And then, there I was, trying to stand in attention among of group of non-sensical people, who considered that act, rather illogical.

But it was a real surprise for me - to hear those forlorn tunes after such a long time. Evoking nostalgic feelings.
Must have been the ICA which requested that.

It also reminded me to wish you a
Good Republic Day

Posted by satosphere at 3:48 PM

January 22, 2005
Doc's Laws of Automotive Repair
1. If you can reach the faulty part, you don't have the tool to get it off.
2. Quality is inversely proportional to the time left to complete the job.
3. If it jams-force it. If it breaks, it needed replacing anyhow.


Here are a list of images - about 11 of them which I found were wallpaper material. Most of them are in NYC, some in the day, some in the nite, and hence they may look repititive. The full image size is 1280x960, and they are big, sizewise too. So wait for them to download. Most of them are above 150 KB in size.
Click on the thumbnails for bigger images.






Hope you have enjoyed it as much as I did.

Posted by satosphere at 11:14 PM

January 20, 2005
The First Discovery of Christmas Morning
Batteries not included.
The First Discovery of Christmas Afternoon
Give a kid a new toy- Dad will play with the toy, the kid will play with the box it came in.

A long bus journey

A long class, a long TA and a short workout at the gym, made it a very long day. Made me very tired and famished. Made me go to the bus-stop closest to the gym and take a bus without seeing the bus route number.
Too little too late.
I realized that it was an express version of bus route which I usually do not take, 10 minutes into the journey. As it is, the normal version of that bus route's closest stop makes me walk 10 minutes to reach the apartment. But this being an express bus, its closest stop was more than 20 blocks away from my apartment. So there I was, sitting in the bus, and having requested a stop, I was waiting for the bus to stop. But it kept rolling on and on - until it reached that place so far away from home.

All was not lost, I thought. After all, I could take the normal version of the bus in the opposite direction. I crossed the road and waited. For 10 minutes. No bus. Chance made me look at the bus schedule - which made me realize the fact that there was going to be none for the next half hour, half hour within which I could reach home walking.

So I did that. Walking, that is. And using a combination of walking, jogging, and, literally, galloping, I reached home in half hour. Home sweet home.

A journey which usually took 15 minutes, sometimes by walk even, ended up taking an hour.

A total waste of time.

Posted by satosphere at 10:22 AM

January 18, 2005
Dirksen's Three Laws of Politics
1. Get elected.
2. Get re-elected.
3. Don't get mad -- get even.

Mustangs. Galore!!!

As I was coming from a tiring hour of work out at the Gregory Gymnasium, I couldnt help but notice a bright red Ford Mustang, a modded 2004 version, I think.

The saucy front, streamlined side-skirts, a bulging hood, and the raised spoiler at the back, all make it look like a race car.
A racers dream.

A Ford mustang near the gymnasium. A black, I think, Pontiac Firebird is next to it.

College has started. Officially.
Work calls.
Frequency of posts, therefore, reduces.
Hopefully atleast once a week.

Posted by satosphere at 1:58 PM

January 17, 2005
Diogenes's First Dictum
The more heavily a man is supposed to be taxed, the more power he has to escape being taxed.

This is a story of a bus.
A spanky brand new Capital Metro bus on the Route that takes me from my home to the Campus/Library/Department/Gym etcetra, etcetra, etcetra.

True, I could not get a picture of it from the outside - as , Duh, I was travelling in the bus, and they wouldnt stop for frivolous matters such as me wanting to take a photo and all. After all, who can blame them, they have schedules to keep.

What I liked about the bus was the delicious curvy interiors and a soft female voice announcing the timepoints and important intersections. And what I liked about it more was Stop Buttons instead of a chain - which would have to be pulled in order to request a stop at a bus stop. (Yes, it wont stop unless you request it to. Haughty, isn't it, but another time saving measure.) The point was that, that Stop button looked awfully familiar to London Buses.
(And no, no. I havent been to London. Yet.)

A view from inside the bus while it was waiting at a light at around 6:30 in the evening while it was travelling on the main road near the campus.

Posted by satosphere at 1:27 AM

January 15, 2005
Dingle's Law
When someone drops something, everybody will kick it around instead of picking it up.

A quite striking image of the UT Tower. The sunlight was falling only on one side - and the other side was in a quite contrasting color - which prompted me to preserve that moment.

The UT Tower, time time clearly being 5:40 pm.

What do you think?

Posted by satosphere at 8:25 AM

January 13, 2005
Diners Dilemmas
1. A clean tie attracts the soup of the day.
2. The hardness of butter is in direct proportion to the softness of the roll.

Another foodie law for you, Blythe.

One of my first so called abstract images.

Just another twig in the garden, with a different perspective. Fully taken with manual settings.

Technical information.
Original image size: 2048 x 1536
White Balance: Auto
ISO: Auto
Focus: Manual, 0.2m
Aperture: Manual, F 2.0
Shutter speed: Manual 1/10s
Zoom: None

Posted by satosphere at 9:49 AM

January 11, 2005
Dijkstra's Prescription for Programming Inertia
If you don't know what your program is supposed to do, you'd better not start writing it.

I just realised that my University library has the Seinfeld Season 1, 2 and 3 DVDs.
I am now rushing to get them.

Posted by satosphere at 5:45 PM

Dieter's Law
Food that tastes the best has the highest number of calories.

Was this created by another spam-bot???


Posted by satosphere at 5:45 PM

One should always prefer the probable impossible to the improbable possible.

Sounds like somebody joined to half moons to create Iapetus. (Yes, the same moon made famous in the Space Odyssey series.) The ridge along its equator proves it, thanx to the spacecraft Cassini Huygens.

More about it here and images here.

Posted by satosphere at 5:45 PM

Dhawan's Laws for the Non-Smoker
  1. The cigarette smoke always drifts in the direction of the non-smoker regardless of the direction of the breeze.
  2. The amount of pleasure derived from a cigarette is directly proportional to the number of non-smokers in the vicinity.
  3. A smoker is always attracted to the non-smoking section.
  4. The life of a cigarette is directly proportional to the intensity of the protests from non-smokers.

And my dream machine will have SLI (from Slashdot)

Posted by satosphere at 5:45 PM

Fifth Law of Design
Design flaws travel in groups.

Came across this while using the next blog link in blogspot.
The bot has really tried to prove that its NUMBER 1.

Posted by satosphere at 5:45 PM

January 09, 2005
Denniston's Law
Virtue is its own punishment.

North-East USA Trip - IV
New York City - The Big Apple

New York City - the Big Apple, the City That Never Sleeps. There are a thousand other nicknames that fit the city more perfectly than a size 12 shoe fitting my foot.
And its the busiest city I have known yet.
And its a city thats 24/7. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and you will still find something to do there always. And to help you there, the NYC Mass transit authority running the city's Subways 24/7, no, NOT the Subway sub chain (which, not surprisingly, also has a huge presence here). The subways, dingy little trains running in mouseholes through, what I think are, slighltly untidy, turn-of-the-last century stations; which did take me aback, after a week of the swanky Washington DC Metro.

The Metro Center station in Washington DC, with a train leaving on the opposite track. I just had enough time t fish out the camera and take this shot. It was about to disappear into the tunnel.

Still, it does a very good job of keeping people and business moving in an otherwise car-strangled city.

Perhaps, the best view you may want to get would be from a chopper, as you circle around the city, day or nite, with a clear sky to bless you with good views. For the less fortunate, or the less rich, a better way to get introduced to the Manhattan skyline would be from the Circle line ferry as you come from the Statue of Liberty on the Liberty Island.

A very small part of the NYC Skyline, taken more to emphasize the Sea Gull than anything else. Taken from the dock where the ferry took off from.(Seemed like desktop wallpaper material to me at that time - Click for a bigger image.)

And if you are coming from Liberty Island, you sure can't miss the Statue of Liberty, which I have taken the liberty of showing it here.

The Statue of Liberty, greenish due to copper rust, now standing under a dull grey sky.

Once on land on Manhattan, the WTC Memorial site is quite nearby to shed a few tears. So are some other museums, which I did not get the time to visit. But the main thing I did was to walk on those narrow streets with towering buildings, after 10 minutes of which, I ended up getting a sprained neck from staring up too loong. That was Lower Manhattan.

Getting around the city, as said before, is quite easy, if you figure out the myriad subway lines in red, green, blue, orange, purple, violet, pink and all other possible colors, with atleast three branch lines in each color, and both express and local trains for each of those branches. So if you miss a station, or end up in the opposite corner of NYC, dont blame me. But then again, there is the Metro System Map and the One Day Metro Pass for people like me to go around for one day.

One place that I did want to go by the Subway was the Coney Island and, for roller coaster buffs, The Cyclone at the Astroland amusement park. But, even though I wanted to, my personal assistant, Time didnt want to. So I had to step back.

I had more to to, meanwhile. The Grand Central Station beckoned me. A quick sub ride, thankfully dropped me there. The Inside was Grand, whereas, the outside, being remodelled, offered me nothing except a big black curtain against a sunny sky.

A sunny sky, at the beginning of a new year, in NYC, is a big treat, especially if you want a good view from the Empire state building. And so, at 4:30pm, I performed a hurried walking act to it, 8 blcoks from the station. A 1 hour wait in the queue preceded the half hour long wait for security check, and another half hour wait for the elevators to carry us up. And was pretty dark by the time I reached up. 87 floors up, that is. Thank god the visibility was good. With no clouds.

The view from the top of the Empire State.
The Chrysler building is visible to the right and the Citigroup Center bathed in green light is visible near the center.

My eyes spent on the skyline, I took another subway hop to the Rockefeller Center though I emerged onto the front of Radio City Music Hall and near the Saks at Fifth Avenue, famous for its pricey showpiece apparels and clothing, but made more famous by the made-in-Manhattan serials like F.R.I.E.N.D.S and Seinfeld. But all of this was dominated by the decorations in front of the center, along with the (may I add free) ice-skating rink in that square. And this is where I leave you tonite.

The Rockefeller Center, with a skating rink in front, a huge Christmas tree in the middle, but dominated by what is only the first 8 floors of the building.

That concludes what I had wanted to say about NYC, and probably my whole trip of NE USA. Hope the 4 posts and about 12 hours I would have spent writing them havent gone to waste.

A brief summary:
Total days spent - 15.
Total days spent touristing - 11.
Major cities visited - 3
Total museums seen - 5
Total snaps taken - 1700.
Total snaps that came out good - 1000.

And I saw snow.
And I had a rocking time.

Posted by satosphere at 1:46 AM

January 05, 2005
Dennis's Principles of Management by Crisis
1. To get action out of management, it is necessary to create the illusion of a crisis in the hope it will be acted upon.
2. Management will select actions or events and convert them to crises. It will then over-react.
3. Management is incapable of recognizing a true crisis.
4. The squeaky hinge gets the oil.

This is quite a long post. And wait for the pictures to load.

North-East USA Trip - III
Washington DC - The American Experience

Washington D.C. - The capital of the country that is the US of A. The capital that triggers the memories of the great events that shaped this country. the capital that triggers the great Smithsonian. The capital of the American Experience.

If there is one thing that is prominent in this city apart from the fact that it is the administrative capital, it is the Smithsonian. In its own words :
  Welcome to the Smithsonian Institution, the world's largest museum complex and research organization. Composed of 16 museums and the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, and 2 museums in New York City, the Smithsonian's exhibitions offer visitors a glimpse into its vast collection numbering over 142 million objects.

  Visit the Smithsonian and you will see why it represents for so many the treasured icons of our past, the vibrant art of the present, and the scientific promise of the future.

- Quoted from the Website : http://www.smithsonian.org

It's not the 13 museums and galleries on a range of subjects such as natural history, african art, contemporary design, or the aircrafts of past and the future, that dot the National Mall or the huge number of articles on display or the fact that it is the most important institution that devotes itself to history, geography and all other subjects possible - its because its the Smithsonian that I spent more than 5 days on visiting the museums, albeit only 3 of them.

What I am going to give below is but a small window into the past, present and future that is the Smithsonian. Pictorially. Granted, it does not do enough justice to its magnificence (one should see it to get enveloped in awe), but atleast I hope it will open eyes of some of you to this great wonder.

Here is my take on the Museum of Natural History and the National Air and Space museum, which I spent over four days just seeing all the exhibits

The Museum of Natural History

The view at the entrance of the museum, i.e. the rotunda

The museum of natural history encompasses, to put it simply, all that is natural, and all that is history. From the evolution of life, through the history of dinosaurs and the development of mankind, from the rise of earth to the growth of mammalian kingdom, from the life of insects to the mysteries behind gems and jewels, from contemporary culture of Asia to the rise of America, from earthquakes to volcanoes, from rocks to minerals... You get what I mean. IT has everything. Three floors of history, geography, ecology, culture, science, all entangled in a deep web of synergism. And special exhibits that are set up during specific seasons, like the innovative Orchid Express and an overview of development of Sikhism - all make you wonder whether there can be anything more.

Brite white orchids, just one of the hundreds of orchids that make their appearance at the Orchid Express.

The Hope Diamond - one of the many famous diamonds that will make a lady swoon at the site of one - at the gems and minerals exhibit

The National Air and Space Museum
Stefen F. Udvar Hazy Center

The Udvar Hazy Center - under a deep glow at nite

The National Air and Space museum at the National Mall, and its companian Stefen F. Udvar-Hazy center located near the Dulles airport serve to provide an overview of the aeronotical development in USA and the entire world. The various exhibits, such as the scientific method that Wilbur and Orville Wright took to develop their aircraft, the description of the solar system ,the role of aircraft World War II and the Cold War, spying and reconnaisance, and a whole lot more add flavor to the already enriching place. Most of the exhibits are in the National Air and Space museum.

The Spirit of St. Louis, the aircraft from the first Transatlantic flight in 1927

The Udvar Hazy center, on the other hand, is a huuuge hanger full of aircraft, from the old Messerschmit aircraft to the most modern Joint Strike Fighter, from the Bell Huey to the most modern Apache attack chopper, from the earliest rockets to the Space Shuttle Enterprise, from the venerable Concorde to the sleek and fast SR-71, they have everything here. And its a huge space, and still under construction.

The Concorde - very difficult to get a complete shot of this 250 foot long aircraft. This one retired in the 1990s.

The SR-71 - another very long aircraft and difficult to take a shot. Its black coloring absorbs all the light. Seen in the background is The space shuttle Enterprise.

Thats it for now. 5 days of efforts in seeing the museum have not gone for a toss, atleast. Coming up next, my take on the Big Apple. Stay tuned...

Posted by satosphere at 12:07 PM

January 02, 2005
Demian's Observation
There is always one item on the screen menu thatis mislabeled and should read "`Abandon all hope Ye who enter here".

The beach - that I loved forever

Those early summer and winter mornings. When I used to vigorously cycle, pardon me, bike to the beaches. In sun or rain, in heat or cold, I used to land up there on the shore. Playing games with the waves. Lapping the cool water with a warm heart. With rakish crows and darty crabs, blue sea and orange dawn to give company. And a good breeze to lift you by.

I can't believe that it is those same waves and that same ocean has wreaked havoc on unsuspecting people. Little unsuspecting people against the terror of an earthquake and the might and fury of a tsunami. Those little one and a half lakh people, whose life has been mercilessly taken away.

I can't believe that the place which I cherished the most in Chennai, the place which I saw for the last time in Chennai will be a memorial, a memorial in memory of a those little unsuspecting people, an immortal memorial in memory of mortals.

It will take a lot to take those bruises on the beach. Probably never will.
It will take a lot to wipe out those tears of the people who have lost someone they loved. Probably never will
It will take a lot to unremember the memory of that day. That day when the forces of nature decided to play dominoes with CIVILIZATION. Probably never will

Posted by satosphere at 11:33 PM


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