October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween...

The silliest thing I saw this year: Sarah Palin.
The scariest thing I saw this year: Sarah Palin.

October 28, 2008


Every Monday we have a seminar by School of Earth Sciences. The main attraction of seminar: Free cookies and sodas. The TA for the seminar this year is a very good friend of mine. So every week I try to go there in order to help her out. Oh ok, I go there for the food. Anyway, that's beside the point.

Yesterday, there was a presentation by GCEP (Global Climate and Energy Project) director. The GCEP is an organization within Stanford that fund different interdisciplinary research projects. The organization main research focus is on alternative fuels and reducing the carbon foot print (Hence Energy and Climate).

So yesterday's presentation was discussing different ways they are trying to reduce the carbon footprint. May be due to a repeated stress on the things we(we as in human race) are running out of and the way those things are dangerous for us or may be some other reason, my brain started doing a very weird thing. Every time she will mention a possible solution they are doing research on, my mind kept coming with questions like:
What if we run out of that too?
Or what if, that experimentation proved to be more dangerous in longer run even though it seems like a good solution now?
What if they ignore some factor and it comes back to bite us? It's not like that it hasn't happen before.
What if we are making everything worse by trying to fix it?
The epitome of this was when she offered a possible solution for decreasing the CO2 emission by burning the fuels in Oxygen rich environment. The process involved extracting oxygen from the air and my mind went:

What if we run out of oxygen?
Scary thought, isn't it? Suddenly, I didn't care about CO2 emmision anymore. Life is no fun without O2. C can wait. Don't you think?

P.S.: Don't worry, it was just my mind playing tricks with me. We won't run out of oxygen, at least till we have plant kingdom on this planet. That's our very own Oxygen factory. We just have to make sure that supply can meet the demand at all time. That's all.

Happy Deepavali

Yeah, I know. Deepavali is on Tuesday and that's when I was planning to post this one but for some reason, everyone is wishing "Happy Diwali" a week in advance (If you don't believe me, then check my gmail account, yahoo mail account and my orkut scrap book: they are filled with Happy Diwali messages). May be that's some latest fashion in India that I am not aware of? Whatever the reason, have fun on Diwali.

(On the auspicious occasion of Deepavali,
fire a lot of loud fire-crackers and make people deaf.)

P.S.: 1. This picture is from one of the Diwali wish emails I got last week. Most probably it's yet another forwarded mail going around for a while. Still, when I saw it, I laughed very hard so I am putting it here.

2. I changed the time stamp on this post so that it will remain on top till real Deepavali. Any new post will be below this one, i.e., if I get around to write one till then..

October 26, 2008

Prima Donna or Role Model or just Post Turtle..

She is Sarah Palin. She travels with her makeup artist (Emmy Award-nominated make-up artist from "Dancing with the Stars", Amy Strozzi ) who gets paid the most ($22,800 for two weeks) in entire McCain campaign. She has her personal traveling hair stylist who gets paid $ 10,000 for two weeks. She spent $150,000 for her wardrobe ever since she was nominated as running mate for McCain (Isn't she supposed to be a hockey mom? The ones that wear sweat pants and turtle necks with running shoes.). Worst of it all: It has been paid by McCain's campaign (Ok, in all fairness, I don't think that her wardrobe came from McCain's campaign money but that's hell lot of money for a governor to spend on wardrobe. I thought they were public servant. ).

Obviously John McCain thinks that "She's a role model for millions and millions of Americans. She's just what Washington needs." Otherwise he won't be spending this much money on her. Certainly not after her performance in the interviews, public speeches or vice-presidential debate. As far as playing a role model goes, I think she is a role model to millions and millions of American women who lived in 60s (or was it 50s?). Their job was to look pretty and keep their mouth shut. Sarah Palin is perfect for that job. She can certainly teach women how to be dumb.

In this millenium, she is certainly a post turtle. Ok, this analogy/joke has been attributed to many politicians but I think Sarah Palin is the best fit for this one. The original joke goes like this:

An old rancher is talking about politics with a young man from the city. He compares a politician to a "post turtle". The young man doesn't understand and asks him what a post turtle is.

The old man says, "When you're driving down a country road and you see a fence post with a turtle balanced on top, that's a post turtle. You know he didn't get up there by himself. He doesn't belong there; he can't get anything done while he's up there; and you just want to help the poor, dumb thing down."

If John McCain gets elected, I swear I will stop reading newspapers for next four years and I will seriously consider moving out of U.S. asap. I think that will be a good inspiration for me to finish my Ph.D. asap. Hmmm..in that case it will be a good thing that John McCain wins. Well at least for my Ph.D., if not for the rest of the world.

P.S.: I have refrained so far from writing anything about Sarah Palin (my previous post was about John McCain and not as much about Sarah Palin herself. I didn't know enough about Sarah Palin then.). I didn't want to dignify her personality with any kind of response so far. But describing her as a role model to "millions and millions of Americans"(or any human, for that matter) is too much to take. I hope John McCain was drunk when he made that speech. He doesn't seem this insensible.

October 23, 2008

I. HIT. ME...

..with my own staff. There. I said it. Now don't rub it in. I have a bump on right side of my head. A few black and blues all over my knee area (do you know how much that stupid knee protrudes out? Why do we have a knee anyway? It's the most injury-prone body part, if you ask me.) Oh yeah plus my wrist, fingers, shoulders...basically anything that's used to lift a staff, is hurting. So don't blame me for not blogging. Blame the staff that keeps hitting me for no apparent reason.

October 15, 2008

Just browsing...

I think Google have some kind of time travel mechanism attached to it (the site not the company, silly). You enter a search criteria and it gives you 6,090,000 results for the criteria (Congratulations! It's somewhere on the Earth.). You start clicking to check just the first 10 results out. Just first 10..how much time will that take? 15 mins, tops, but viola! 3 hours gone. Disappeared in thin air as if they never existed. And by the end of it you have a headache (probably due to all the time travel) and you have completely forgotten what you were looking for in the first place (again supporting my time travel theory).

My last time travel got me to places of fascinating beds (of all the things and I WAS LOOKING FOR BUYING AN ALARM CLOCK..hey, I remember now!! Time travel effect wearing off.) Anyway, here are the two winners:

The first one in this category is folding TV bed. Yep. A 22" plasma TV folds in and out from under the bed. You don't believe me..watch the video.

And the next one in the same category is, Ladies and Gentlemen, a floating bed. I kid you not. It is A FLOATING BED. It's magnetically suspended above ground. Costs some millions but it does look cool. Though I am not sure where will I put my alarm clock on this one, given I finally buy one. May be they have a floating alarm clock to match it. May be I will buy the alarm clock now and some day I will buy the bed to match the alarm clock. Oh well, one can dream at least!

Right. I need to get back to that alarm clock now.

Managing your Mentor

That was the title of the handout I got yesterday in class. Well the class, itself is titled "Mentoring in Research". It's about how to be a good mentor. It's actually pretty fascinating class. It gives you "strategies" to deal with your mentee as well as with your mentor. Yep. Strategies.

Honestly, it's a very good management/communication/psychology class. And it is helpful but somehow it makes everything so artificial, so shallow. Like, yesterday we were talking about how personal or professional your relationship should be with your mentee or mentor. Obviously it does depend upon person to person but if you notice that a good student isn't doing well, you should actually try to talk to him/her about his/her personal problems. Why? So that you can get the best output (well actually that was not said in the class but written in the book given to us as 'reading material').

Hello? Whatever happened to humanity? Is it now a "job" to help people in distress so that you can have better work efficiency?

I knew there was a reason I hated managers.

P.S.: Yeah, yeah. I am still taking the course. I do need some better communication skills. But I am never ever going to run an emotional bank account like a manager. Sorry. Not me.

Again...Now what?

Sometimes I wonder that why in the world I read news? If we arrange most depressing things of the world, newspapers would top that list. Though it also depends on your point of view. At times I do find these news pieces very funny (yeah I am talking about main news articles and not weird news types) . It's funny because there are people who actually believe whatever some of those idiots are saying or believe that they are right (Like Sarah Palin's supporters). Anyway, I digress.

The point of the post is this news article:
Defection hits Afghan forces.

After fighting the Taliban for the past seven years, many working for the Afghan security forces are now switching sides.

...they deserted for ideological reasons, Nolan explained.

"When Russia came it was only one country, today we have 24 foreign infidel countries on our soil. All our men and women should come and join the jihad," Fida Mohammad, a new Taliban recruit, told Al Jazeera.
No. It's not a surprise. I actually expected this to happen. I expect this to happen in Pakistan, i.e., if it's not already happening. U.S. and Pakistan created this monster and now it has gone out of control like all the monsters do. So now what's the game plan? Create another monster?

October 14, 2008


I was looking back to my summer's photographs and I realized clouds have been a fascination for me this summer. For example, this:

Though, it's cool isn't it?

October 11, 2008

It's Saturday Night...

...and I am home alone. Supposed to be catching up on my reading but instead I am watching the DVDs of Buffy, the Vampire Slayer while eating junkies and drinking coke. And I am bored. So bored that I actually read all the propositions going for ballot on November 4th in California (there are 12 of them). And read all the arguments pro and against them. People/groups supporting/opposing them. God. I need to stop this insanity.

House on move..

Taken from my cell phone while driving. Risky but couldn't let the opportunity go.

October 8, 2008


Lehman Brothers. Remember them? Starting of the second round of current crisis? Right them. Latest on them: Lehman Money Managers May Get $400 Million in Bonuses.

I love this world!

Now what?

In 1991, Soviet Union collapsed. Every one happily announced it to be collapse of communism.

Now we have a world wide economic crisis . And I am inclining towards bad practices of capitalism which incidentally started during the same time as collapse of communism.

So now what are we trying out next?

October 7, 2008

October 6, 2008


Sunset at Galveston Beach: Two years back with my canon digital camera..

Career Fair..

Overheard on the way...
"So when is career fair?"
"Next week."
"Cool. I lost my bottle."


P.S.: 1. For people who didn't get the joke: Career fair is the time when you get a lot of free gifts from various companies. Water bottle being one of the popular items that is handed out during these career fairs.

2. It's also time for a lot of free lunches and dinners, especially if you are about to graduate.

October 4, 2008

Sunset -1

Sunset at an airport.

Current Scenario

Honestly, if I was one of the presidential candidate at this time, I will do everything in my power to NOT get elected. I might have even considered to bolt and run in another direction.

Well I am not an expert in American history but still it looks like the worst deal ever handed out to a president except may be Franklin Roosevelt (remember the Great Depression of 1930s). But at least international status of US wasn't this bad. At least the rest of the world didn't have such strong feeling about it and neither there were ongoing wars against terrorism.

I am not sure why any of them wants to get elected so badly. Whatever. None of my business. Just that I don't want to be in the shoes of the person who gets elected. That's all.

October 3, 2008

Today's Post

..sorry about the title. It's better than the "Untitled". Anyway, here it is. Taadaa and all that...

October 2, 2008

Sunny California...

...completed with blue sky and palm trees.

Beautiful, isn't it?


You know how you have those words that you use repeatedly throughout the day in different ways. You know like 'Cool' or 'Great' or 'Lovely' or 'Interesting'. You roll your eyes and say a sarcastic 'Great' or when you appreciate something, you say a nice 'Great'. We all have it. We change it according to over need with the tone of our voice.

So my life started with a nice 'Great'. Everything was simply great then. Everyone was great. Then I moved to US and everything turned 'Cool'. Sarcastic cool. Appreciative cool. But recently, for some unknown reason, I have picked up the word 'Cute'. And its so not cool. There is nothing called a sarcastic 'Cute'. There is an appreciative 'cute' but that doesn't work in Karate. You know, you can't tell a guy that it was a 'cute' punch or a 'cute' kick. It can be a cool or a great kick but not a cute one. Neither can you tell after watching a frightening episode of Buffy, the vampire slayer: 'Cute'. But somehow that's what I have been known to be doing these days. Everything is 'Cute' for me these days. It's simply getting worse everyday. I am trying very hard to quit but simply can't. Any ideas for getting rid of nasty habits (or should I say 'cute' habits)?

P.S.: Please help. I am not kidding. It's getting worse by the day. I need some serious help here people.