Friday, October 28, 2005

What a day!

Picture Courtesy: Random Useless Thoughts

42 cm of rainfall in 40 hours! In Chennai! Weird. After years of praying for rain, the weather gods finally answered our prayers.... and compensated for all the drought years by giving 42 cms of rainfall!!!!!!!! I was lucky though, not much of a flooding crisis near my house, so the electricity wasn't switched for most of the time. One of my friends hasn't had electricity for the past 30 hours. Compared to him, I'm living in paradise. Srirangam is almost submerged but the one good thing about all this rain is that we won't have any more water shortage issues for a long, long time. Today I had gone to the Doctor's office and on the way I saw a pretty unusual sight. The Chinmaya Nagar lake had risen up so much that you couldn't make out which was the lake and which was the road. Pretty scary stuff, especially when you consider the fact that the lake is more than 20 feet deep. Gives me shivers just thinking about it. Well, I just hope Tamil Nadu gets back on its feet pretty quickly and I also hope that the water on the roads gets cleared up so that people can have their electricity back.

Behind a Dolphin's 'Smile'

ABC7 Primetime today, 10pm (Pacific) aired very disturbing facts about the story behind the "Dolphin Encounters" - dolphin shows and the like.

While capturing dolphins from the wild is prohibited by countries like the US, with many other countries around the world setting up dolphin shows, the demand for dolphins has led to a big greedy business of capturing dolphins from the wild in the South Pacific islands and Japan.

The dolphins are rounded up and trainers pick the best dolphins and others are slaughtered for the meat. The dolphins are separated from their families called pods, and taken away to be trained to do unnatural acts for the entertainment of us humans.

While I do not know the details, I remember that some dolphins died in the attempted dolphin park in Chennai, India as well.

I am guilty myself, of visiting dolphin parks in a few places, though I have felt squirmish doing so.

The abc7 telecast bared the cruelty and inhumane act rendered to these gentle creatures, and hope it was an eye opener to those who watched the show.

Please support the organizations that are trying to save the dolphins, by a simple act - by refusing to encourage such animal shows. Here are some save dolphins websites I came across:
Free the Dolphins
International Dolphin Watch

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The Inner Perspective

Why do we celebrate Diwali? The inner perspective.

Once upon a time there was a demon…now wait…isn't it insane to talk about evil on the eve of Diwali. Anyways would start it that way 'cause Diwali marks the victory of the Good over the Evil.

Once upon a time there was a demon…ooof…u are not a kid anymore to listen to stories…just have fun.

Are u Eco-Powered this Diwali? Celebrate an Eco Friendly Diwali.

Play Safe.

©Copyright MMV Pal

Sunday, October 23, 2005

What the BCCI stands for

Very recently there was a meeting regarding the spat between Saurav Ganguly, the Indian Cricket Captain and Greg Chappel, the Indian Cricket Coach. It was chaired by Ranbir Singh Mahendra, the President of BCCI. Following this line is what I believe happened in that meeting.

Mahendra: Good Morning gentlemans. We are haveeng thees meeting today to find a solutions for thees problem.

Ravi: I suggest Grammar classes.

Mahendra: Excuse me Ravi! I was meaning finding the solutions for India losing the matches and the settling of dispute between the Greg Chappal...

Greg: Its Chappel mate!

Mahendra: That is what I said. As I was in the saying, the settling of dispute between Greg Chappal and Saurav Ganguly. That is why I have called Ravi Shastri, Sunil Gavaskar and Srinivas Venkatraghavan to help me find solutions. Let us start with Ravi. Give solution.

Ravi: Saurav, why did you go public with the issue involving you and Greg?

Saurav: Hmm, the boys did not play well today. It was a bad day in the office for us. The boys did not score enough runs nor take enough wickets. The boys...

Ravi: Saurav, I must remind you that this is not an after-match presentation ceremony.

Saurav: Uhhh, sorry Ravi. I...

Greg: He's practised that speech a lot in recent times.

Ravi: Greg, I would prefer it if this meeting went off peacefully.

Greg: Whatever, mate.

Saurav: Ravi, it irked me that someone would ask me to give up my captaincy despite me being the most successful captain for India.

Sunil: Yes Saurav, you are the most successful captain but that has nothing to do with you washing dirty linen in public.

Mahendra: Saurav, I didn't know that you wash your own dirty clothes. I was in the thinking that you gave it to the laundarary service.

Sunil: Oh God! It's a saying, Mahendra, like crying over spilt milk.

Mahendra: Oh, you mean due to water problems you are adding water to your milk by crying?

Sunil: Crying over spilt milk is an idiom!

Mahendra: You are calling me an idiot!!

Sunil: Uhhh, Greg, What do you think about this mess? I mean the spat between you and Saurav.

Greg: I feel that it was an issue blown way out of proportion. It was just a talk that I had had with Saurav dealing with team selection and it was a talk that should have been kept within the dressing room.

Venkat: Do you think that a coach can ask a Captain to step down?

Greg: Why not? If Saurav's not performing, he shouldn't play.

Saurav: Huhum, Excuse me Greg, I did score a century against Zimbabwe.

Greg: Mate, Geoffrey Boycott's mum could score a century against Zimbabwe..blindfolded!

Mahendra: Wow! Very talented mother. Mine is very good in the making of the aloo parathas. She also make good milk sweets. I think you will like them Sunil. It isn't made with the cried milk you were in the talking about.

Sunil: Oh...good.

Saurav: Greg, A century is a century, whether it is scored against Australia or whether it is scored against Zimbabwe.

Greg: You wouldn't score a century against Australia, mate. They are awesome when it comes to bowling short pitched stuff and you run towards square leg whenever you see a ball coming waist high or above.

Mahendra: Greg, you can't blame Saurav for that. They say they'll ball short pitch and they ball very high balls. Shouldn't they call it tall pitch balling?

Greg: I can see why Indian Cricket is in shambles.

Ravi: Saurav, you haven't performed consistently for two and a half years now and India hasn't been faring well too. Why should you continue to stay at the helm?

Saurav: The boys are not playing to their potential. They haven't performed when required but I believe that this is a temporary phase.

Greg: You didn't answer the question mate.

Saurav: I did Greg.

Greg: No, you didn't!

Saurav: Yes, I did!

Greg: No, you didn't!

Saurav: Yes, I did!

Mahendra: Ooo, this is vaery exiting.

Venkat: Exciting, you mean?

Mahendra: Yes, that is what I said.

Sunil: Saurav, why do you deserve to be Captain?

Saurav: I am the most successful Indian captain.

Sunil: You already said that.

Ravi: Remember Saurav, even good captains have an expiry date.

Mahendra: Even the Dates I had boughten yesterday had an expiry date.

Ravi: Saurav, give me a proper answer. There's no use beating around the bush.

Mahendra: Ravi, why are you breenging the George Bush into this? Let us stick to Cricket.

Sunil gives a sympathizing look to Ravi.

Ravi: Saurav, tell me why you went public with your problems with Greg and why you merit a place in the Indian Cricket team despite your poor performance with the bat.

Saurav: The boys... Hmm... You know, the boys...I did score a century against Zimbabwe... Uhhh.. The boys?

Mahendra: I say, give him a life line. Phone-a-friend. Call Jagmohan bhai, Saurav.

Greg: Listen mates, Indian Cricket isn't going to go anywhere if we are going to be afraid to drop players just because of their past records. We need to be fair to all the Cricketers in India. You don't perform, you ain't gonna get picked. Simple.

Venkat: Greg, wouldn't it have been in the best interest of the team if you had kept this talk with Saurav after the tour was over? An unhappy captain is not good for the team morale.

Greg: A non-performing captain is also not good for the team morale!

Saurav scowls.

Mahendra: Excuse me Gentlemans, it is time for tea break now. We don't seems to be settling dispute here. Why don't we just shake hand and call juice?

Sunil(indignantly): You mean truce!

Mahendra: No I mean juice only. I am very thirsty.

This is just a mockery of what occurs in the BCCI conferences but I suspect that it is pretty close to the actual happenings. The BCCI is a pretty pathetic organization. I am not talking about the money making bit. I am talking about the way they handle problems. I also feel that instead of having honorary members they should have paid employees. The theory that “They should do it for the love of Cricket” is just bs. The truth is you get more work and better work done if you pay your workers and the BCCI aren’t in any ways short of money. As I read in a magazine recently, BCCI really stands for, “Board of Cricket Controversies in India”.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


1. You accidentally enter your password on the microwave.

2. You haven't played solitaire with real cards in years.

3. You have a list of 15 phone numbers to reach your family of 3.

4. You e-mail the person who works at the desk next to you.

5. Your reason for not staying in touch with friends and family isthatthey don't have e-mail addresses.

6. You pull up in your own driveway and use your cell phone to see ifanyone is home to help you carry in the groceries.

7. Every commercial on television has a web site at the bottom of thescreen.

8. Leaving the house without your cell phone, which you didn't havethefirst 20 or 30 (or 60) years of your life, is now a cause for panicandyou turn around to go and get it.

10. You get up in the morning and go on line before getting yourcoffee.

11. You start tilting your head sideways to smile. : )

12. You're reading this and nodding and laughing.

13. Even worse, you know exactly to whom you are going to forward thismessage.

14 You are too busy to notice there was no #9 on this list.

15. You might scrolled back up to check that there wasn't a #9 onthis list

Monday, October 17, 2005


As I look to the future my mind wanders into space. I see material sciences unlocking better composite ceramics that are light and strong and protect us from the dangerously messy environs found up there. I see a space-elevator built allowing cheap bulk access making space-based infrastructure possible. I see a settlement on the moon and a boon in science from working in a smaller gravity well (for example, various metallic glasses that cannot easily be made in our gravity well). I see progress in technology, but I have my doubts about society... Here’s hoping!

Thursday, October 13, 2005

2050 News Updates

Hi all,

While you're asleep last night, this happened;

[+] Microsoft and Yahoo! will tie up their messenger services soon. Read it at [SiliconRepublic] and [MSNBC] and [Forbes].

[+] Ipod will now play VIDEO! And so be it, now the Video and Mp3 players really have killed the Radio.

[+] The new iMac G5 is out.

[+] For the techno-geeks; [AMD-1GB NOR Flash Memory]

****** South Asia Quake ******

[+] Please visit the [South Asia Quake] blog for details on the relief efforts.


Monday, October 10, 2005

The Monk who sold his Ferrari

To Enlarge - Click on the image

Robin Sharma - Author of the international bestseller "The Monk who sold his Ferrari". This was taken during his recent visit to Bangalore. You can know more about this Monk in his blog site.

Robin's Blog

Saturday, October 08, 2005

2050; A Global Voice I

Hello members,

We have traveled for 3 months now and became better suited with this group and goals. I feel very happy to see the member roll; we have more that 35 members now. And also, appreciate the hard work put in but Magnus, Sara and all the members to make this dream a reality. Its a journey of all the members and reflects the views of a community. All the posts so far has presented us with an idea of how this group will evolve in the next year, and for the next 45 years.

I take this opportunity to start this post called [2050, A Global Voice]. This themed post will be an free open assignment post where all members can write and comments of the happenings in this group and also how we manage to change and interact with the rest of the blogworld and the world at large. I'll start with 2050; A Global Voice I and for the following [2050AGV] posts; the members can put the respective numericals.

About a week ago, one of the moderators wrote me an email suggesting a few changes. While we do have 35 and more members, some members still have not posted anything. I did remind myself that this is not an obligatory thing, members can post whenever they like. But being a blogger means starting somewhere and starting something. The next generation of web surfers, the internet (including us) will be the movers and shakers of the world. You can start anywhere, why not here at 2050. So take your time, maybe about 30 minutes and write your post. Anything or you can even post your post from your personal blog. Remember that the 2050 is an open forum using blogger. So it doesn't matter if your post is not of a general nature, if you think it can change and evoke responses from the members, then share it here. But all said, the rules (or the little of it that we have) wont change. Were still experimenting. In the future we want more bloggers who will join our journey. So during this trial period of maybe a year, please stay around and get used to the norms of this 2050 Idea. Maybe a post in a month will do, but please don't just stay and enjoy reading your name in the blogroll. And also, please read and respond to the blog posts. (I know that blogger limits the notification email to only one user. So if you see any updates, do tell you friends to come and read.)*

What benefits do you see in 2050? The 2050 blog lets you share your views across the physicals boundaries of the world. It lets your share and present your culture, writings and ideas, people, language and breakthroughs to the rest of the world. Think of the kind of instant feedback that you get. Think of the exposure you can get for your creativity. Think of the attention and the changes that you can promote.

Live life and Enjoy it!

2050 a Journey.


* You can subscribe to the blog by entering your email at the subscribe blog in the sidebar. It will deliver a daily digest post to your inbox.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Our country ain't secular yet...

I had gone for an excursion to Kochi with my schoolmates. Outside a museum there was this board having certain instructions. I took a picture of that board and have also posted the pic here.

The museum has even taken the effort to highlight the word "HINDU". Because of some idiotic blokes stupid social evils still exist. What kind of a rule is that anyway? Only hindus allowed! And this happens to be an important museum. It's just sick.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

"I don't know how granny felt in 2005"

"Aha, Where have you been ?!" Vivek tried to playfully pinch the ears of his grand-daughter. "Careful Dad ! She just had her music player fixed into her ear ..." said his son Vijay coolly. "Oh God no!" Vivek muttered to himself as he withdrew silently. He had been protesting against this idea of his grand-daughter to buy this new music player (that fitted into your head), for nearly a week. What could he do? he had no say in his son's house...

Vivek sadly looked the little girl sway to music, a wire plugged into a socket in her head. When he was young, he used to pity children who had to live with such sockets fixed to their heads - they were ones who had brain complications.

As Vivek sat lost in his thoughts, he remembered his grandmother yelling at him with tears in her ears, "For heaven's sake take that thing of your ears Vivek!!, it looks like a hearing aid", and himself scorning her "Thats an iPod granny!! :) " . He had even termed that incident as funny and had posted that in his blog.

He immediately reached for his PalmTop and started writing a post at 'Earth 2050' titled "I Now Know How Granny felt in 2005..."

The Nobel Prize in Physics and Chemistry 2005

The 2005 Nobel Prize in Physics
4 October 2005

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the Nobel Prize in Physics for 2005 with one half to

Roy J. Glauber
Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA

"for his contribution to the quantum theory of optical coherence"

and one half jointly to

John L. Hall
JILA, University of Colorado and National Institute of Standards and Technology, Boulder, CO, USA and

Theodor W. Hänsch
Max-Planck-Institut für Quantenoptik, Garching and Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich, Germany

"for their contributions to the development of laser-based precision spectroscopy, including the optical frequency comb technique".

New light on modern optics

As long as humans have populated the Earth, we have been fascinated by optical phenomena and gradually unravelled the nature of light. This year's Nobel Prize in Physics is awarded to three scientists in the field of optics. Roy Glauber is awarded half of the Prize for his theoretical description of the behaviour of light particles. John Hall and Theodor Hänsch share the other half of the Prize for their development of laser-based precision spectroscopy, that is, the determination of the colour of the light of atoms and molecules with extreme precision.

Just like radio waves, light is a form of electromagnetic radiation. Maxwell described this in the 1850s. His theory has been utilised in modern communication technology based on transmitters and receivers: mobile telephones, television and radio. If a receiver or a detector is to register light, it must be able to absorb the radiation energy and forward the signal. This energy occurs in packets called quanta and a hundred years ago Einstein was able to show how the absorption of a quantum (a photon) leads to the release of a photoelectron. It is these indirect photoelectrons that are registered in the apparatuses when photons are absorbed.

Thus light exhibits a double nature – it can be considered both as waves and as a stream of particles. Roy Glauber has established the basis of Quantum Optics, in which quantum theory encompasses the field of optics. He could explain the fundamental differences between hot sources of light such as light bulbs, with a mixture of frequencies and phases, and lasers which give a specific frequency and phase.

The important contributions by John Hall and Theodor Hänsch have made it possible to measure frequencies with an accuracy of fifteen digits. Lasers with extremely sharp colours can now be constructed and with the frequency comb technique precise readings can be made of light of all colours. This technique makes it possible to carry out studies of, for example, the stability of the constants of nature over time and to develop extremely accurate clocks and improved GPS technology.


Roy J. Glauber, born 1925 (80 years) in New York, NY, USA (US citizen). PhD in physics in 1949 from Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA. Mallinckrodt Professor of Physics at Harvard University.

John L. Hall, born 1934 (71 years) in Denver, CO, USA (US citizen). PhD in physics in 1961 from Carnegie Institute of Technology, Pittsburgh, PA, USA. Senior Scientist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology and Fellow, JILA, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA.

Theodor W. Hänsch, born 1941 (63 years) in Heidelberg, Germany (German citizen). PhD in physics in 1969 from University of Heidelberg. Director, Max-Planck-Institut für Quantenoptik, Garching and Professor of Physics at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich, Germany.

Prize amount: SEK 10 million. Glauber is awarded one half and Hall and Hänsch the other half.

****** Chemistry 2005 ******

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2005
5 October 2005

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for 2005 jointly to

Yves Chauvin
Institut Français du Pétrole, Rueil-Malmaison, France,

Robert H. Grubbs
California Institute of Technology (Caltech), Pasadena, CA, USA and

Richard R. Schrock
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA, USA

"for the development of the metathesis method in organic synthesis".

Metathesis – a change-your-partners dance

This year's Nobel Prize Laureates in chemistry have made metathesis into one of organic chemistry's most important reactions. Fantastic opportunities have been created for producing many new molecules - pharmaceuticals, for example. Imagination will soon be the only limit to what molecules can be built!

Organic substances contain the element carbon. Carbon atoms can form long chains and rings, bind other elements such as hydrogen and oxygen, form double bonds, etc. All life on Earth is based on these carbon compounds, but they can also be produced artificially through organic synthesis.

The word metathesis means 'change-places'. In metathesis reactions, double bonds are broken and made between carbon atoms in ways that cause atom groups to change places. This happens with the assistance of special catalyst molecules. Metathesis can be compared to a dance in which the couples change partners.

In 1971 Yves Chauvin was able to explain in detail how metatheses reactions function and what types of metal compound act as catalysts in the reactions. Now the "recipe" was known. The next step was, if possible, to develop the actual catalysts.

Richard Schrock was the first to produce an efficient metal-compound catalyst for methasesis. This was in 1990. Two years later Robert Grubbs developed an even better catalyst, stable in air, that has found many applications.

Metathesis is used daily in the chemical industry, mainly in the development of pharmaceuticals and of advanced plastic materials. Thanks to the Laureates' contributions, synthesis methods have been developed that are

more efficient (fewer reaction steps, fewer resources required, less wastage),
simpler to use (stable in air, at normal temperatures and pressures) and
environmentally friendlier (non-injurious solvents, less hazardous waste products).
This represents a great step forward for "green chemistry", reducing potentially hazardous waste through smarter production. Metathesis is an example of how important basic science has been applied for the benefit of man, society and the environment.


Yves Chauvin, born 1930 (74 years), French citizen. Directeur de Research Honoreur, Institut Français du Pétrole, Rueil-Malmaison, France.

Robert H. Grubbs, born 1942 (63 years) in Calvert City, KY, USA (US citizen). PhD in chemistry in 1968 from Columbia University, New York, NY, USA. Victor and Elisabeth Atkins Professor of Chemistry at California Institute of Technology (Caltech), Pasadena, CA, USA.

Richard R. Schrock, born 1945 (60 years) in Berne, IN, USA (US citizen). PhD in chemistry in 1971 from Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA. Frederick G. Keyes Professor of Chemistry at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA, USA.

Prize amount: SEK 10 million, will be shared equally among the Laureates.

2005 Nobel Prize for Medicine

One admiring thing about humanity is the ability to explore new horizons... Every day! Have you got a stomach ulcer and thinking of treating it with antacids? Think again.

For a number of years we've believed that stomach ulcers have been caused by our own irregular lifestyles and food habits... not until the breakthrough discovery by two Australian Researchers that stomach ulcers are caused by Bacterium H. Pylori. The Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet has awarded yesterday, the 2005 Nobel Prize in the field of Medicine to Barry J. Marshall and J. Robin Warren of Australia for their discovery of "the bacterium Helicobacter pylori and its role in gastritis and peptic ulcer disease".

Hitherto, being believed that peptic ulcers are caused by the individual's lifestyle, it may be hard to believe that almost 90% of duodenal ulcers and up to 80% of gastric ulcers is caused by this bacterium Helicobacter Pylori.

Helicobacter pylori is found to be a spiral-shaped Gram-negative bacterium that colonizes the stomach in about 50% of all humans. In countries with high socio-economic standards infection is considerably less common than in developing countries where virtually everyone may be infected.

Infection is typically contracted in early childhood, frequently by transmission from mother to child, and the bacteria may remain in the stomach for the rest of the person's life. It was also found that, the bacterium itself is extremely variable, and strains differ markedly in many aspects, such as adherence to the gastric mucosa and ability to provoke inflammation. Even in a single infected individual all bacteria are not identical, and during the course of chronic infection bacteria adapt to the changing conditions in the stomach with time.

Even though the bacterium is found in as many individuals, the infection is asymptomatic and only 10-15% of infected individuals will experience peptic ulcer disease some time in their life. Till date, we've only treated the symptoms of ulcer with antacids to control the increase in acidity. After this breakthrough discovery, if you have an ulcer, you'd have to treat it with antibiotics rather than antacids.

Img and Inf Src: NobelPrize.Org