Wednesday, January 31, 2007

"Between the conception
And the creation
Falls the Shadow"

I spent a large part of last quarter complaining I had nothing to interest me. This quarter when I do have a nice project to work on, I'd rather sleep. Mankind would progress in leaps and bounds if only someone found a cure for the chronic illness of getting bored with things as soon as they take on some tangible form - and that doesn't apply only to research!!!

Thursday, January 25, 2007


The entry for Google Technology. Cant help loving them! (I'd definitely work for Google if this was true...) More on


Google gathers information about web pages using spiders. These spiders, usually wolf spiders or jumping spiders, but occasionally black widows or daddy longlegs, are outfitted with tiny cameras that take pictures of everything they see, including web pages, and miniature radio transmitters that relay the information back to Google headquarters. Google has massive spider-breeding facilities located in Palo Alto which allow them to raise the billions of spiders required for this undertaking, and as such are the world's largest purchaser of flies. People have rarely been allowed in to see this spider-raising operation, but those who have seen it in operation describe it as "really icky".

The data collected by spiders is then relayed back to Google, who stores it on server farms. Google built its server farms by slashing and burning huge sections of the Amazon rainforest, and then planting the servers in the soil. The nutrients of the soil are quickly depleted, so Google must harvest the servers and then move to another part of the rain forest. To do the difficult manual labor of watering and tending the servers, Google employs thousands of illegal laborers from Mexico, paid about 25 cents a day.

Finally, the data is sorted by a process called "PageRank", where young boys dressed as medieval pages rank the sites according to relevance. Because the huge number of pages required to rank the information, Google has taken to purchasing young boys in bulk from Third World orphanages. There is also an algorithm called "PageRank" which allows Brin and Page to rank the boys according to which has the best boyish good looks and nubile young bodies.

Remember Pi?

I wish I was one of those super-brains who can breathlessly rattle off the first 100 (1000, 10000...) digit of pi. But I'm not. And so :

Can I have a small container of coffee?

See, I have a rhyme assisting
my feeble brain,
its tasks sometimes resisting.

How I wish I could enumerate Pi easily, since all these horrible mnemonics prevent recalling any of pi's sequence more simply.

How I want a drink, alcoholic of course, after the heavy chapters involving quantum mechanics. One is, yes, adequate even enough to induce some fun and pleasure for an instant, miserably brief.

How I love a white christmas

Wednesday, January 3, 2007


December 30th. I was at Kovalam watching the local fishermen pull in a huge fishing net. It is a sight to behold - 50 or so chocolate brown men pulling rythmically to the beats of some folksongs. After about an hour or so they drew in the catch. Unfortunately, about 20 or so puffer fish and eels had come in along with the other fish. Puffer fish, though a delicacy in some places, have no market in Trivandrum, Kerala. And so they were left to die.

It is heartbreaking. It costs nothing to pile them up into a catamaran and drop them back in the sea. Or to even manually fling them back in. Just a little time and a little care. But evidently many of us lack that.

I've worked with WWF, and its appalling how many olive ridleys lose their lives due to similar callousness. It is extremely frustrating when you realise that its not greed or luxury or even sport that these animals die for, but blatant callousness.

Its about 10 minutes of work to fling a dying fish back in the sea and ensure that the waves dont bring it back. Its worth the effort. Please.

Grad Student Cooking

They say cooking is a simple deed
A good book of recipes is all you need
i have one.
fat lot of good its done.
My food still tastes like fermented sea weed

I remember when mom did the cooking...ah, happy days of yore!
Now my lunches are a study in gore
Battered and burned
All that I've learned
Is cooking is much more than your average household chore.

Even more than an art - it is a battle of the nerve
Between you and the chicken you are trying to serve
It rises from the dead
And conspires with the bread
To get the vengeance all its forefathers did deserve

I follow each recipe down to the letter
In the vain hope that this time the outcome will be better
But the instructions get jumbled
My fingers get fumbled
And my tummy just keeps getting upsetter.

Restaurants could have saved me, but my wallet aint got dough.
And after a while my tummy gives instant food a "NO GO"
Almost about to starve to death
I appeal to you with my one last breath...
If you can cook, please let me know


"We dont write because we want to; We write because we have to."

I never ever try to understand what I write (mostly because I cant). If you can, let me know.