Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year 2011

Dear Readers,
I wish you all a very happy new year. Do come again.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Create E-books from Wikipedia

You can create e-books from Wikipedia pages. This article in Business Line talks about it. These are help pages from Wikipedia:
1. For beginners
2. For experts
3. FAQ
The tool is "Book Creator".

Monday, November 29, 2010

Old knowledge, Old revelations, New Society

Well, I am posting after a long silence. The word 'silence' brings me this SMS joke which Gurumurthy also mentioned in his article - Sonia's certificate, PM's ultimate humiliation.
First, the joke:
Manmohan Singh breaks his silence on 2G (after a push from CAG and SC) by stating that he knows a lot about 2G - SoniaG and RahulG.
Jokes apart, some excerpts from that article.

... PM admitted that Raja had told him that he was only following the policy laid down previously — virtually approving the fraud. It needs no seer to say that to say the loot was no secret affair. It was daylight robbery; as transparent as the PM had wanted it to be. Not just Raja, the PM also must be questioned on why he objected first; why he fell into silence later; why he acquiesced subsequently and why he defended it finally...

... there were demands that Raja resign, he retorted, “why should I resign? I had done everything in consultation with the PM”.The PM did not deny that statement. But, months later, on May 24, 2010, the PM said that Raja had “discussed” the issue with him. Any difference between Raja asserting that he had “consulted” the PM and the PM admitting that Raja “discussed” with him? ...
... There is no other way PM’s November objection could become a meek non-objection in January. Who except Sonia Gandhi could turn the PM’s strong objection into a meek non-objection? And who else could make the PM defend Raja in May 2010...
... The loot is too huge for Raja. The main beneficiaries are obviously hiding behind him. Raja could never have defied the PM on the strength of the DMK alone. The DMK could never have ditched the UPA on this issue. The fear that the DMK would walk out of UPA could not be the reason for the PM to acquiesce. The fraudulent venture must have had the backing of someone more powerful than the PM. That only explains Raja’s defiance of the PM; and the PM acquiescence first and finally his defence of the deal itself...

If looks-like-Mr.Clean is like this, think of people who are not so "clean". Oh! that includes the citizens too!!!

Friday, August 20, 2010

You think you know how to respond?

Supreme Court: Hey Centre! Distribute food grains for free to the poorest instead of allowing it to rot due to lack of storage facility.

Agriculture minister Sharad Pawar: Oops! We cannot distribute them freely.

That was the response!!! What about the rot? What about the storage facility? What about issues in managing it? Oh! let's watch cricket, Pawar.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Quota generations!!

The Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur was secretly — and illegally — keeping aside a discretionary admission quota for children of its teachers and staff for over four decades, admitting dozens of students to seats they failed to secure through the IIT-Joint Entrance Examination - Read further here at Hindustan Times.

That is what has happened, of all places, at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur. For over 40 years now, it has now been discovered, the faculty at IIT-Kharagpur have been giving special preference to their own children in admissions to the prestigious institution. They did not have to compete with the rest — more privileged or less. While at one level the faculty has fought caste quotas in higher studies, they have been quietly using quotas for their own children. (From Business Standard)


Monday, July 26, 2010

Shakespeare told and retold

National Gallery of Modern Art, Bengaluru, in association with The British Council and Bangalore Film Society presents Shakespeare told and retold (Film festival of Shakespeare's films) from 24th July to 18th September, 2010

(National Gallery of Modern Art, Manekyavelu Mansion, 49, Palace Road, Bengaluru – 560 052, Tel: 91-080-2234 2338, Tele Fax: 91-080-22201027, Email:

24July Saturday 3pm
Macbeth, 146 min
Directed by Jack Gold

25July Sunday 11.30am
Serbian Lady Macbeth, 93 min
Directed by Andrzej Wajda

31July Saturday 3pm
Throne of Blood,110 min
Directed by Kurosawa

1August Sunday 11.30am
As You Like It, 150 min
Directed by Basil Coleman

7August Saturday 3pm
Romeo and Juliet, 168 min
Directed by Alvin Rakoff

8August Sunday 11.30am
Romeo Juliet and Darkness, 92 min
Directed by Jiri Weiss

21August Saturday 3pm
Othello, 205 min
Directed by Jonathan Miller

22August Sunday 11.30am
Othello, 91 min
Directed by Orson Welles

29August Sunday 11.30am
A Midsummer Night’s Dream, 116 min
Directed by Elijah Moshinsky

4September Saturday 3pm
Hamlet, 212 min
Directed by Rodney Bennet

5September Sunday 11.30am
Hamlet Does Business, 86 min
Directed by Aki Kaurismaki

12September Sunday 11.30am
Rosencratz & Guildenstern are Dead, 117 min
Directed by Tom Stoppard

Friday, July 16, 2010

Symbol for Indian Rupee

I do not like this symbol. It lacks creativity, representativeness, and innovation. Please do not ask me to design one with all and more qualities. Congrats, Udaya Kumar. He has designed this, and played a nice joke unwittingly.

Like many other ugly things, I know I have to use this too irrespective of what I feel. Who cares, anyway? How does it matter when the reality shows a heavy skew in development, distribution, management, allocation, sharing, standard of life across the country.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Vidya's dance programme

Ms. Vidya Dinakaran is performing at M O P Vaishnav College, Nungambakkam High Road, Nungambakkam, Chennai under the auspices of V D S Arts Academy on 28th May, 2010 at 6.30pm.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Chola inscriptions found

The Hindu reports about the findings of chola inscriptions (10th century) near Kaveripakkam.

It is quite interesting to note Kaveripakkam is originally known as Kavidhipakkam, Kavidhi is the title conferred on an army commander.


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Vishy Anand retains the crown

Anand defeated Topalov in the World Championship Title match 2010.

You can read a nice piece on Anand here.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Feeling positive is not enough ...

Chomsky in one of his 1993 interviews was asked "Do you feel positive about the future?".

His answer:

Whether a person feels positive or not is kind of a comment on their personality and of no great interest. You can find positive signs or you can find negative signs. How you evaluate them depends on what happened in your life recently or something like that. There's no objective way to do it. The important thing is to try to commit yourself to making the positive signs more real. Suppose that you felt that there's 99 percent of a probability that human civilization is going to be destroyed in the next hundred years, but one percent chance that it won't be, and that one percent offers some opportunities to do something. Well, you commit yourself to that one percent.

(from Chomsky for beginners by David Cogswell)

Friday, February 05, 2010

Bharatanatyam Programme by Vidya

Ms. Vidya Dinakaran is performing at R. K. Swamy Hall, 5, Sundareswarar Street, Mylapore, Chennai-4 under the auspices of Sri Parthasarathy Swamy Sabha on 9th February. She also blogs: and

Image Courtesy: From her blog post

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda

The entire collection is available here at Advaita Ashrama website.


Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Applauses or Herd Clappings?

I attended Dr. Venki Ramakrishnan's talk yesterday at Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, titled Baroda to Cambridge: A Life in Science.

No, I am not going to summarize the talk as excellent summary and news items are available at Abi, The Hindu, and Mint. I could not enter the J.N. Tata Auditorium even at 3:20pm for 4pm talk. Somehow I entered and stood near the door. My friend Hisrin said we better go to one those projection rooms. I was happy with a projection screen kept at one of the seminar rooms in the auditorium complex. The audio system was quite bad but comfortable seating had overcome other things!! No, I am not going to complain about all that!!

I noticed a queer thing in applauses. When there were applause in the main auditorium, there were hardly any in our room. Normally I make only silent applause. I am sure if we had got seats inside, most of us would have clapped little boldly and loudly. I wonder why.

Is it because that the knowledge of projection creates a gap between the event and the emotional participation? Is it because the awareness that we are actually not inside the auditorium has produced an aloofness? Is it a kind of indifference since we know we are "not" part of the fun?

Quite interesting indeed.