October 30, 2007

My type of car

Found this today in the campus..

If you are wondering what these bumper stickers say, here are few good ones:

1. Republicans for : Voldemort

2. Well-behaved women seldom made history-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

3. A closed mind is a wonderful thing: TO LOSE

4. Organize

5. I love my country... but I think we should start seeing other people

6. Keep Portland Weird

7. My Other Car Is... My Feet

October 29, 2007

Dumbeldore again

NY Times finally caught up with HP world. In an article titled "Is Dumbeldore Gay? Depends on Definitions of 'Is' and 'Gay'", it says:
But it is possible that Ms. Rowling may be mistaken about her own character.

Ha! I haven't heard anything more ridiculous. Anyway, it further says:
Ms. Rowling quite consciously makes Dumbledore a flawed, more human wizard than these models, but now goes too far. There is something alien about the idea of a mature Dumbledore being called gay or, for that matter, being in love at all. He may have his earthly difficulties and desires, but in most ways he remains the genre wizard, superior to the world around him.

Since as a grown up Dumbeldore was "genre wizard", he could never have been stupid as a kid? He was never a teenager, I suppose. He was dropped from the sky (as Harry thought him to be) old and superior. Come on grow up. Harry did.

My own Murphy day

1. If you didn't bring your umbrella and biked 7 miles to get to the office, it will rain in the evening.

2. The book you just returned to the library, will be referred sacredly by the next paper you read.
Corollary: The section referred in this said paper will be the section you didn't go through in the said book.

3. If you have been looking forward to a particular event/day (read: Halloween and Diwali), it will fall on the busiest day of your schedule.
Corollary: The said event (Costume contest at Bookstore (No, I wasn't participating but wanted to be there for some cool shots)) starts and ends at exact time as your seminar/class which you can't afford to skip.

Yep, I am having a fascinating day! Thanks for asking.

October 27, 2007

Lucky Catches

So I was walking for my class this morning and a helicopter whooshed right up the head. Apparently there was some sort of photo shooting going on. So I whipped out my camera too and started clicking. Well I couldn't think on feet especially with the anxiety of being late for the class. This is the best shot I could catch.

Another some lucky catches (which were taken after the class, of course) includes a bee, humming bird and a butterfly...

Friday Evening...

I decided to pick up my pencils again this Friday. Resisted the temptation to go and watch the movie "Dan in Real Life" or "Game Plan"(both of them are on my To-watch list). So here are fresh from the factory sketches...They are completely random, out of the bag, sketches.

October 26, 2007

Dumbledore "comes out" of closet

Spoiler Warning: Frankly, if you haven't still finished Deathly Hallows, you don't care about this post any way but still being a loyal Harry Potter fan, its my responsibility to warn you about possible plot spoilers.

As they say, "Watched pot never boils". All the time I spend browsing through the Harry Potter fan sites but the days I decide to skip, something big comes out. This time its Dumbledore coming out of the closet and announcing that he is gay. Well obviously the fictional character don't talk but their author do. So J.K. Rowling decided to "out" him.

Honestly, I don't have a problem with him being gay or otherwise but I do have a problem with his obsession with Gellert Grindelwald, the dark wizard. And apparently in his life of 116 years and 98 years after he met Grindelwald, he couldn't find anyone else and move on. Now that's ridiculous. I can understand that as teenager, he got infatuated by dark side due to Grindelwald and tragic death of his sister opened his eyes to the reality but then why not move on, get a life. No one as bright as Gridelwald, eh, even though he is evil? I thought Dumbledore knew better than that. Or may be people in magical world don't know the concept of moving on, take Snape for instance.

The second point that disturbs me is that he actually discusses his love life with Harry? He says, and I quote:
"You cannot imagine how his ideas caught me, Harry, inflamed me."

Honestly, I will be very uncomfortable if any of my high school teacher started talking to me like that. But guess, as they say, it was necessary for the plot...

October 25, 2007

Unanswerable question #2

"So when are you finishing your PhD?"

Seriously, it is a very painful question. Do people asking this question realize what a big chaos a PhD really is? Its as if, you are blindfolded in the darkest room and you need to find the door of that room. No matter how bright you are, you still can't SEE. When will you find that door, that is, given you will find that door, is impossible to tell. And it has an added difficulty that if someone else in the same room found the door first, you have to start in some other dark room, ALL OVER AGAIN.

Some day, may be, this chaos will make sense. It doesn't right now. And the day it starts making sense, I will tell you my graduation date. Now, LEAVE ME ALONE!!!

P.S.: 1. For the Unanswerable question #1, click here.

2. No, my advisor didn't ask this question. Just some old, long lost friend suddenly decided to remember me and ask this question (add 'stupid' to the list of adjectives before friend). Hence starting the avalanche you are in.

Photo Time: The Fauna of Stanford

Ok, I am killing time. I have to meet my advisor (yes, again!) in half an hour which means I can't start with anything new and can't fret about the meeting all this time. So here are few pictures from my new D-SLR (Oooh, did I tell you that I am falling in love..with my new camera, of course).

The squirrel getting ready to jump in the branches which he actually did a split second later.

Terrified squirrel (oh ok, I terrorized it with my camera) running hither and thither.

Woodpeckers at work. You can see the holes in the poor tree created by them.

The blue bird..I don't know what its called. But I like them nevertheless, except when they start screaming. This one is in pensive mood. Probably thinking, should I get down or not....

Ok..still got 15 minutes. Let me find some better job now..

October 24, 2007

Did you know that..

...and not there? If you don't believe me, check your GPS.

Its an actual sign on a building in Stanford. I hope it has some kind of significance.

P.S.: Things could be weirder. Imagine the sign tells me "You Are NOT here".

Bobby Jindal Quiz

Which one of these is the most important achievement of Bobby Jindal:
1. He is first non-white governor of Louisiana, a southern state.
2. He is first Indian-American governor in U.S. history.
3. At 36, he is nation's youngest governor.

If you picked 2, you are a Desist. If you picked 1, you are an anti-racist. And if you picked 3, you don't give a damn about it, do you? I like you.

Edit: Ummm, yeah the Desist here doesn't refer to the English word 'desist' (meaning cease to proceed or act..no pun intended) but its name for group of people practicing Desism as explained here. Sorry for the confusion.

October 23, 2007

Seminar Bingo

Ph.D. Comic Archive search yielded the following result. (Ummm..yeah I know its not what I was looking for, I am not stupid, you know. However, I am an easily distracted Grad student. Oooh look, pretty light....).

(from: Ph.D. Comics)

A friend just pointed out that the phrase "easily distracted" and "Grad students" are practically synonyms. So above statement will read: However, I am an easily distracted Grad student.

Advisor Pain #1

How do you tell your advisor that he is not making any sense, what-so-ever? Or you just assume that you don't have enough brains to start fathoming the depth of his insights about YOUR work? Am I really supposed to incorporate those ideas in my work but the million dollar question remains how and what? Can someone explain it in a human language? I am willing to learn any language as long as its spoken and understood in THIS realm, in THIS dimension and on THIS Earth.

Well I am off to search Ph.D. comic archives for some bad advice...

October 22, 2007

My favorite shot..

..so far from my new D-SLR. I know you are grumbling, 'not another one'. But it was a weekend with no rains, so took out my new camera for fun and here are the results, so bear with me...


Lake Lagunita: Now and then

Usually the winter rain fills up the Lake Lagunita in Stanford campus. For past 2 years it has been dry. Fortunately the year I landed here, it had some water after the winter rains(thanks to good rain that year). I went to the lake again on Sunday, just to try my new camera(or rather to learn how to use it). And for fun, here are comparison shots. The first one was taken in March of 2005 when there was water in the lake and second one is from yesterday. The ups and downs of life...

Lake Lagunita (Dated: 15th March, 2005)

Lake Lagunita (Dated: 21st October, 2007)

October 21, 2007

Beautiful, isn't it?

Taken on a rainy day, from my Nikon FM2 (Analog/Manual camera). Its so much easier to handle the manual SLR than Digital SLR. There are these 123 knobs on my new digital SLR which I have no idea about. And they say Technology makes everything easier?

October 20, 2007


A wonderful quote heard first handedly today at a symposium on "Documentary Photography in Digital Age":
It doesn't matter what's inside their (photographer's) camera but what's inside their head. - Danny Lyon.

October 18, 2007

Desism Vs. Racism

I guess its a quotation day. This time its from magazine India-Currents. Aditi Nadkarni wrote a wonderful article "The Racism in Desism". Unfortunately, I couldn't find the link for the article so I took liberty of typing out the excerpts:
We Indians love labels, don't we? And I don't mean Guccis and Pradas. I mean labels for people, of both Indian and non-Indian origin...

We are desis in foreign country. India-Americans raised in the United States are promptly tagged ABCDs (American Born Confused Desis). And for a certain populations of desis, the chinese become "Chinkis", African-American become "Kallus", and white people become "Goras". We see nothing wrong in making casual use of these names. We permit ourselves to do the very thing that would likely offend us if we were on the receiving end. If one were to ever refer to us as "brownies" or, even more disturbingly, as "rag heads", we would be screaming "racism!" from the rooftops.

Racism is ill defined within the Indian community. I have come across people who think that only the discrimination on part of white people is racist. Their own discrimination behavior, however, is permissible.

...Then there is the even more disturbing regional bias among Indian themselves....(The) groups of Indians not only stuck together due to language and cultural commonalities, but also at times claimed superiority based on their regional backgrounds. A friend once joked that the "unity-in-diversity" attribute of India was likely preserved not because of tolerance, but because selective communal groups allowed one ample opportunity to avoid the miscellany and stick to one's pack.

It is quite insightful article. I wish I could find the link to original article.


Just finished (actually re-read) Jodi Picoult's Vanishing Acts. Few lines got stuck in the mind...
When you want something desperately, you shake with the need for it. You tell yourself you don't need more than one sip, because it's just the taste you crave, and once it's on your tongue you will be able to make it last a lifetime. You dream of it at night. You see a thousand mile-high obstacles between where you stand and what you want , and you convince yourself you have the power to hurdle them...

...Love is the most dangerous craving of all, if you ask me, it turns us into people we aren't. It makes us feel like hell, and makes us walk on water. It ruins us for anything else.

...After all, to acknowledge Delia (the love in question) as a drug, I'd have to face the fact that one day I might have to go without her, and this I can't do.

October 17, 2007

Another one

Tip #55A (from the book called "Tips for stalling your blog-readers"): If you don't have anything interesting to write, put up a picture. That will ought to keep them occupied.

Tip #78 (from the same book): Another good way of stalling the readers is writing a random post about things you like or dislike. Remember they don't have anything better to do so they will put up with any crap you put up there.

I debated between the two and decided to give tip #55A another shot. So here is another sketch from my old sketch book. Among all my sketches, I always liked this one best . Elderlies are pretty hard to sketch...their wrinkles come in the way of their facial feature. May be thats why they are such a popular theme.

October 15, 2007

So how was your interview?

Frankly, I don't know answer to this question. How do you know how your interview went? Obviously, the interviewers won't tell you. They all are so nice to you. How do you know when did you screw up? They don't react, they write which, by the way, is very annoying.

Speaking of being annoying, what's up with those HR questions? Have you been in situation where you had a difficult team member and how did you deal with the situation? Have you ever disagreed with your supervisor? How did you deal with that? Have you ever dealt with a difficult person? Have you worked in a limited budget project?(Yeah. Its called grad life!). Which course do you like the most and why? Which was the most difficult course you took and what did you do to deal with it? Honestly, I am not sure whether they are looking for an intern or a suitable match for marriage. And how do they know I am not making up these "experiences"?

I have a new toy..

Its Canon EOS 40D. My new digital SLR. Oh yes, I own a digital SLR now. After years of scheming and planning, I finally own a digital SLR. Thats what I have been doing most of the week...playing with it.

I went to Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival on Sunday. I will be posting the pictures from the event (of course, taken from my new D-SLR) here starting today till Halloween. Enjoy...

October 9, 2007

Men versus Women

"Men are stronger than Women. That's a fact." : A friend (obviously male) in Karate class tried to tease us.
"Yeah and Women are more flexible than Men. Whats your point?": Another friend (again, obviously female) replied back.

Can't help replaying this conversation over and over again in my mind. Karate classes are fun!

October 8, 2007

Now what...

You walk into a job fair. Go to a stall of the company you are interested in. You have already signed up for an interview with them. Your sole purpose of going to job fair is collecting the free goodies they give away. You introduce yourself to the person you are going to interview next day. They acknowledge the fact. And then silence. Now what? You still want those goodies but you can't blurt that and you have nothing else to talk about. What do you do next?

October 6, 2007

Memory lane again...

I opened Pandora's box this summer and one of the thing that came out was my old sketch book apart from my old diaries and other things that, once upon a time, I used to treasure.

Anyway, looking through my old sketch book, I realized how much patience and time I used to put in my sketches though they weren't perfect either. And how different my signature were then...

P.S.: 1. BTW, in case you were wondering, this was a sketch book from my teen years. Something like 9-10th grade time period.

2. She looks like a vamp, doesn't she? Someone inform Ekta Kapoor...

October 2, 2007


..is so hard to handle, if not the hardest. Got reprehended twice today (at two entirely different places, for entirely different things..worse part being that they both are my RECREATIONAL activities: Photography and Karate) and no matter how much I keep telling myself that it doesn't matter, its over now, you did your best and blah blah blah, I still feel bruised. May be the criticism was genuine and meant to help me improve but still IT HURTS.

I guess the hardest part of making yourself open to constructive criticism is that criticism hurts pretty badly making it harder to reach to that constructive part. Can we skip the criticism part somehow and go straight to the improving part? Haven't we made any progress in Psycho-whatever methods? Do I have to get hurt every time I need to improve? Not fair...

October 1, 2007

International Bloggers Day for Free Burma

Free-Burma.org has called for all the bloggers/website owners to support the peaceful protests in Burma. In their web site, it is said that the purpose is to set a sign for freedom and show the sympathy for the people who are fighting the cruel regime without weapons. The participating bloggers will have to refrain from posting to their blogs on October 4 and put up one Banner underlined with the words, Free Burma!". You can find the graphics to put on at this link.

If you are a website owner or a blogger and interested to join this campaign, please visit to their website @ www2.free-burma.org for more information.