Archive for February, 2009

The COEP BAJA 2009 story

As I blogged earlier I was part of the COEP team for BAJA SAE INDIA 2009.

My story on it (Kinda meant for a press release, but too lazy to edit it! :))

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Firodiya 2009 final results!

1st place: VIT

2nd Place: College of Engineering, Pune (COEP)

3rd Place: ILS

Yessssss!!! My college bags 2nd place at the Karandak! What an awesome performance! Congrats to the team!

After what many felt, a denied chance last year, and 3rd place in  2007, this one tops all results for a decade atleast!! Simply Brilliant! Will definitely watch all top three sometime.

I am sure there will be many individual prizes to the team as well!!

“JAI HO” as everyone would say right now! 🙂

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Slumdog millionaire : 8 oscars : Jai Ho!

As I said here, slumdog fulfilled its destiny  by bagging 8 academy awards for 2008! These include:

Best Picture

Best Director – Danny Boyle

Best Original Song – Jai Ho

Best Original Score – A. R. Rahman

Best Film Editing

Best Sound Mixing

Best Cinematography

Best Adapted Screenplay

TOI article >

The cast and crew found it hard to containg their excitement! No wonder! This will be the news for many days to come! A well deserved win for the movie which has won over a billion hearts 🙂

A. R. Rahman delivered the dialogue “mere paas maa hai” – “my mother is here with me” and even spoke tamil on dias. He also performed the two songs from SM nominated for the awards with indian dancers, drums and all! It was really wonderful seeing the Oscars getting an Indian Flavour!

In other India-linked nominations, “Smile Pinky” won the academy award for the Best Documentary. Full article >

Heath Ledger received the Oscar for best actor in a supporting role, Sean Penn for best actor, Kate Winslet for best actress. The curious case of Benjamin Button too walked off with multiple awards to its name.

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Ponting to miss IPL 2009!

Yes its official now. We wont be seeing him play for Kolkata Night riders. Ponting cited heavily loaded Aussie cricket year and wanting to have the 14 day break, by not playing in the IPL, as his reasons.

Seems fair and sensible enough. Sadly, I will have one less face to laugh at after my team (Chennai Superkings) smashes KKR once again! 😀

For full story >

N so will David Hussey too it seems! KKR are looking in trouble again…

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Worlds most pathetic dance video

An advertising campaign for the worlds most pathetic dance video:

Please please watch it and join the campaign

Video introduced to me by Aditya

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Firodiya 2009 results for 1st round

Yeah, my college COEP breezes through to second round! Congrats to the team and hope they bring the trophy this year! All the best for it…

Surprisingly 7 were selected for final round. Finals begin on Monday, 23rd Feb. Hoping to catch some of them!

Others who made it through were: VIT, PVG, ILS, MODERN, FERGUSSON (my earlier college 🙂 ) and BMCC.

My post on final results.

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Life in perspective

“We are searching for life, yet we have a little idea what life really is….”

A quote I read in a Natgeo article some years back. The article was based on SETI (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence). And today I came across another article which reminded me of the line and about why liked it the first time.

Take a read. (Alien life on earth??? – the BBC’s Science portal)

The article essentialy is in 3 parts:

The first, suggests that alien life may exist in earth itself – in very unusual or toxic lakes etc. It could be the result of ferrying from comets, mars – the usual sources. Not very convincing though. As one scientist questions in the article – How do u differentiate between earth and non-earth forms? Even the article itself uses the phrase – wierd life everywhere. Not at all impressive.

The second part, calls for more exploration on earth itself. Sensible – no matter what “life” you are looking for… wierd, alien, earth like. But an interesting quote here – “Personally, I’m only interested in establishing whether life happened more than once. If we find it has happened twice from scratch then its going to have happened all around the universe.” This makes a lot of sense. I believe when and if we find life – this is the one that everyone would agree to.

It reminded me of another article I read (I will put in the reference as soon as I recollect it). This was about a team of scientists who modelled our galaxy from origin. They modelled everything (so they claim) and simulated the entire program to search for intelligent species and came up with  (I believe what is an disproportionately large number!) 361 results. The findings were published with a theme like – Oh, you know, life isn’t rare after all!  – –  Is this really necessary????!

I believe I am ambivalent when it comes to SETI. Undoubtedly, it fascinates me. It is a part of a quest, which began with intelligence itself. The earliest of civilizations have put up questions – What is the life? What is its purpose? Does life exists else where? Now for me there exists just the question – Whether these questions will ever be answered?

But sometimes it makes me wonder, whether these people have nothing else more realistic to do. I mean the world is so full of problems that threaten our very existence – such genius brains could be of great use here, not to mention the money spent.

The third part of the article is what interested me. Titled ‘Life in the lab’ it interviews a group of scientists who claim to have prepared molecules that are capable of ‘Darwinian Evolution’. These molecules have a DNA – RNA base with 6 letters in the genetic alphabet. The scientists have observed that the mistakes made in pairing are carried forward – showing that the molecule is evolving. The scientists claim that “Since, the accepted definition of life is a molecule capable of Darwinian evolution”, they have developed life and they would be testing the molecules for natural selection.

The phrase “definition of life” caught my attention. That would be the biochemical way to define life.

I believe somethings missing in their definition. I think that only one thing stops us from being just a blob full of chemical reactions. As Agent Smith would put it – PURPOSE

We’re here because we’re not free. There is no escaping reason; no denying purpose. Because as we both know, without purpose, we would not exist.

It is purpose that created us.

Purpose that connects us.

Purpose that pulls us.

That guides us.

That drives us.

It is purpose that defines us.

Purpose that binds us. [1]

Life cannot be defined without it.

My head is full of thoughts and imaginations, doubts and debates which perhaps may never be sorted, a stand never be taken. And hence, I must end this blog the same way as I started it –

“We are searching for life, yet we have a little idea what life really is….”

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