February 25, 2009

Fortune Cookie

In my initial months in U.S., a friend once commented, "Just add the phrase 'in the bed' to the fortune from fortune cookie and it makes sense, perhaps more so..". For some reason, this comment stuck to me. So since then, every time I open a fortune cookie, I involuntarily add the phrase "in the bed" at the end of the fortune. So far it works.

Today I discovered this blog and the second last entry in the blog is about, you guessed it, fortune cookie. The blogger has been collecting the fortune cookie's fortune for over a year and have published them on the blog. Here is the list.
  • Others are attracted to your lively and sociable personality. -in the bed.
  • Your name will be famous in the future. -in the bed.
  • You combine good taste with a quick mind. -in the bed.
  • Traveling to the south will bring you unexpected happiness. -in the bed.
  • Courtesy is one of the best peacemakers. -in the bed.
  • Keep an eye open for an opportunity soon to arrive. -in the bed.
  • Your nurturing instincts will expand to include many people. -in the bed.
  • Hang in there. Within sight is the rainbow. -in the bed.
  • You work best when meticulous attention to detail is called for. -in the bed.
  • Wise men learn more from fools than fools from wise. -in the bed.
  • You have an important new business development shaping up. -in the bed.
  • Simplicity is the essence of beauty. -in the bed.
  • Your leadership qualities will shine soon. -in the bed.
  • Be generous, and the favor will be returned. -in the bed.
  • You will be spoken well of by someone you look up to. -in the bed.
  • Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery. -in the bed.
  • Creative energy is up - capitalize on it. -in the bed.
  • Good things are coming to you in course of due time. -in the bed.
  • You have the ability to convince others of your viewpoint. -in the bed.
  • You will relive a past experience which will be enlightening. -in the bed.
  • Commitment is the daily triumph of integrity over skepticism. -in the bed.
  • You will be called to fill a position of high honor. -in the bed.
  • You stand in your own light. Make it shine. -in the bed.
  • Your dearest wish will come true. -in the bed.

P.S.: I feel I need to apology for the adult joke though am not entirely sure why. May be I am scared to be judged based on this post. Or may be this is not an appropriate place to put it. In any case, my apologies if I offended you and no, I am not an easily-available kind. So bugger off.

February 19, 2009


I can't stand spoiled kids or spoiled pets. Ever. Having said that, I am not sure what to make of these families:

- family with three nannies for their 5 year old.
- family who calls a psychiatrist to evaluate the relationship of their 4-year old with other kid who was there on a play date. (actually they wanted to evaluate whether it's a positive relationship for their kid!)
- family who blame others for not giving enough attention to their spoiled kid.

All these kids are spoiled, no doubt, but I am astounded by their respective family's attitudes.

P.S.: These are true stories. Stanford is next to Palo Alto, a rich town. Being rich or being a Stanford neighbor doesn't guarantee sanity.
2. For that matter, being a Stanford Graduate doesn't guarantee sanity either.

February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

(Modified from Worth1000.com)

...And you will be DEAD.

You have been warned...Enjoy the day.

February 13, 2009


Women rules or so says ABC news. In the light of current economic crisis, few medical experts are looking into gender dependent management strategies. Supposedly, women take less risks than men and follow a more conservative strategies than men. I am not saying that it's good management strategy as they say, 'No Pain No Gain'. So risk taking is part of business and entrepreneurship but blind risks and guaranteed failures like the ones taken recently should be checked. Guess having a more balanced world will help with that..

February 11, 2009

Desi or non-desi

As I posted yesterday about the possibility of Tajel being an Indian. I simply can't stop thinking about it ever since. If she is Indian, then she is marrying someone non-Indian. Well, Dr. Khumalo doesn't sound like an Indian name to me. I can be wrong though. And she is marrying a professor. Hmmm....let me think. The words that are coming to my mind are 'disgrace', 'scandal' etc. etc. You get an idea.

I am not saying that I am against it but honestly I am amazed to see her parents being so supportive about it. Watch 'Bend it like Beckham' to understand the issue. A desi marrying a non-desi is a big deal. And it's just not movies. It's for real. I happen to know someone who is third generation Indian (her grandparents moved to US) and her family has trouble accepting an American boy-friend.

When I got accepted to Stanford and was leaving, everyone in my office told me to get engaged before I go to US (Really. I am not joking.). And when I simply ignored the advice, they had different approach. Few said that marry anyone, but don't marry a muslim. Some told me never to marry a Pakistani. Others had objection with marrying a black. Some were very specific and told me to only marry a desi. Otherwise.... well some said they won't come to my wedding while others promised to sever all contacts with me. You see, what I mean.

They are liberal enough to allow me to date and go for a love-marriage, unlike our parent's or grand-parent's generation but he should be a Desi.

I thought love is blind. What if I fall in love with a non-desi? What then? Why do I need to disqualify everyone who doesn't happen to born in India? Does that mean they are not good enough for me (or any Indian, for that matter)? And does being associated with India make someone more desirable? I don't believe that it's about cultural differences. India is a multicultural country. North Indian culture is different from South Indian. Bengali's are different from Gujarati and so on. Don't they overcome their differences and get married (rarely but they do). So if it's possible, then why is marrying a non-desi such a big deal? Or are we just too arrogant to accept a non-desi amongst ourselves, not as a friend (that's not a problem) but as a family?

I believe in human beings. I think there are all types of people in every culture and we can't generalize them. You can find the best of humans in the worst of the places as long as you are not blinded by racial prejudices...

February 10, 2009

My fortune cookie



No I am not jobless. I am just exhausted and can't work. Plus I have a class in 20 min (well now 10 min) so I can't start working on anything anyway. Except this, of course.

See even my fortune is mocking me. Doctor or doctorate...nothing's perfect!


(From: Ph.D. Comics)

Okay, I have to ask. Is Tajel an Indian? Her mom is dressed up in a saree. Somehow in all the years of following Ph.D. comics I missed this. Does anyone know? Is this the first time it is mentioned? Not that it matters but it will be nice to know.

P.S.: BTW, this is yesterday's strip.

February 9, 2009

Yet Again..

..I am trying to tell myself that I shouldn't compare my research with others. Every research is different and the time they need to finish it also differs. So I shouldn't panic or get disheartened if someone else is planning to graduate this year or have had his or her papers published, even though that someone else started with me. It doesn't mean anything. I will finish my Ph.D. too. I will have my papers published too. One day. One day I shall over come....

Hope that day arrives soon.

Monkey and Shakespeare

I am working on a take home midterm. It's for an introductory probability class. I am taking the class to fulfill my requirements for Ph.D. Anyway, the last question in the midterm asks if there are 10,000 monkeys typing at typewriters, at some speed. We need to calculate the number of years it will take a monkey to finish the entire text of 'Mactbeth'.

I am not sure whether to feel angry or laugh at the question. I am not a fan of Shakespeare but I still revere his writing. Those are piece of art. How can a monkey be equivalent to Shakespeare? I am not sure why would anyone ever think of comparing the two? It's absolutely ridiculous. However I need to find an answer though I do feel like boycotting the question.

P.S.: BTW, I am not supposed to use internet sources to solve the question so please refrain from posting anything that might point me in that direction. I simply felt revolted by this question and hence the post. I don't want to break the honor code.

February 5, 2009

Weak Economy

(From: Al Jazeera.net.)

Don't ask me what unemploymentality mean. But I like the second sign. May be one day I will be holding that sign.

February 4, 2009

Federal Government

A friend of mine has applied for some project in DOD (department of defense). She gave me as a reference so today I had an interview with a federal government investigator for her background check. One of the question he asked made my nightmarish day a bit better. He asked (from a questionnaire he brought with him):
Do you have any information about her that you can use to blackmail her?

Honestly, I haven't heard a dumber question. Federal Government takes the prize yet again!


So today morning I woke up, a bit stressed out about my presentation in the afternoon (12:15 actually). I have been working on this problem for past 6 months but didn't have had much done on it. It's sort of a new area for me and I keep getting stuck on the simplest of things. It takes time to work around most of the problems. End Result: I didn't have much to present today. I have been stressing out on it for a week but still didn't have much to present today.

Anyways, that's how my day began: stressed out on my presentation. But I had one more thing to do in the morning. Call up my doctor and make an appointment for second visit about my distorted jaw. So I woke up, switched on my machine and started going through few more things that I might add in my presentation. Meanwhile, I called my doctor's office for the appointment. They said they will call me back immediately. I waited for them to call back for an hour (I was working on my ppt simultaneously) and finally called back. This time they simply gave me the appointment. I am not sure why couldn't have they done that first time I called them?

Anyway, so I finally got out of my house by 11 AM. It takes me approximately 40 min to reach my office, depending on traffic: 20 min to reach my parking spot and 20 min walk from there. So I was on time. And then I did something very very stupid. I put my car keys inside my laptop bag and thought will take out the bag from the other side (passenger side) and got out. I reached the passenger side and tried opening the door. It didn't budge. That's when I realized that I have locked my self out with my laptop inside the car. I called AAA (road side assistance I use). They came in 15 min andopened the door. By the time they finished it was already 11: 57. I started walking towards my office (I called one of the office mate to inform the group that I might be late). I reached 12: 17PM. Plugged in the laptop and started giving my presentation. But unluckily my advisor was in one of those moods. He trashed my presentation from slide one. every slide took 5-6 min to go through. Then he said that he doesn't think my approach (which, BTW, he suggeseted in the first place) is a good one and I should instead try another approach (that he suggested). I am not very sure it's a good approach (the one he suggested) as it doesn't quantify the results which has been my objective. It simply provides a visualization way for the results I already have. I was so FRUSTRATED. It was like I was living a nightmare. Honestly. Being late for an exam is one my recurring nightmare. Today I lived it. And it was worse than those nightmare.

February 2, 2009


BBC reports:

It's a very legit news article about how UK government is planning to stop rising numbers of dementia in UK. But I just couldn't help myself when I saw this news. Knowing the Health care system in that country (which is the worst I have seen so far. Trust me, India is far better.), I think the unintended meaning of this headline can be true too. Actually any clinic (or surgery, as they call it in London) can well be in demential state.

UK has this system of publicly-funded health system in which they tax the earning members of community to pay for the health reforms. The doctors in this system are government employees. That is to say they are NOT paid directly by the patient (or his insurance company). That means they don't care.

A friend of mine had to get her X-ray done URGENTLY ( the key word being 'Urgent'). They didn't have any appointments for 3 weeks! Can you imagine if someone has a broken bone and he or she has to wait for 3 weeks to get a simple X-ray done? Do you think they will be able to mend the bone correctly, ever? And in order to go private, they have to get a referral from the doctor and a claim number from the insurance company, which the insurance company will mail by ROYAL mail (the postal service in UK). Only then one can go and see a private clinic. And that's not all. In order to talk to the insurance company, one has to dial a PAID phone service which charges some ridiculous rate.

More I hear about this, more I get frustrated. I am so glad I don't live in UK...