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Oh yes! another post on Steve Jobs’ death

Much has been posted throughout the web after Steve Jobs’ demise – Tributes, eulogies, insults, ‘oh he was not that really great’, even posts which have apotheocised the person, others calling him just another CEO, a business Shark, posts referring to his motivational speeches, his wise words, posts ascribing wise words to him which were not even said by him, his bloopers, his blunders, his mistakes, posts like ‘Oh, Apple is really bad, XXX is way ahead of it’, ‘Apple is way ahead, simplicity, genius’, cartoons, graffiti,, the list will go on endless.

I found some ones really amusing – ‘Steve Jobs was not GOD’! and a pic with an app for Apple Users ‘Light the Candle’ even spam like ‘Apple giving 1000 special edition iPads on account of creator’s death’!

All said and done, I just wanted to put in my humble words as well… As a very neutral guy towards Apple, I just feel that if one person can make millions of people all over the world talk about him, his death and inscribe himself in their minds, he is and will remain very special… In this world of billions, very few can achieve that, very few can really stand out and be veneered by millions, create almost a cult and a legacy – for followers, competitors and critics alike. And if not for anything else, I salute him for this.

R.I.P Steve Jobs

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About SPAM and energy and the environment!

So exactly how much SPAM emails do you receive in the internet everyday?! And how irritating does it get when one sneakily filters into your inbox?!

But hardly anyone would have about how much energy is consumed in sending/deleting this SPAM from the global computer networks! And if this recent study and article is to be believed then SPAM is having a more than deletrious effect on the environment!

Check out this article on the BBC

Some startling facts from the article –

  • 62 trillion SPAM emails are sent globally every year
  • SPAM accounts for 33bn kilowatt-hours of energy every year, enough to power more than 2.4m homes.
  • This is roughly equivalent to 17mn tonnes of CO2!

Do read the rest of the article. Its really good.

And if u are wondering how did SPAM get its name in the first place, check out the wiki article

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A starry starry night…

starry-night

I had always been interested in astronomy… Reading a lot and also watching a lot of films on discovery and natgeo… And also seen through the telescope a few times. But over the years, like many other interests I could not follow it. And so when the COEP Astronomy club organised a star party – I knew this was one of a kind chance!

There were about 70 students including regular club members. A ‘semi-luxury’ bus and a Sumo had been arranged for transport. We started with some delays at around 19.00 IST (Indian STRETCHABLE Time as someone quipped). With few other ‘traffic’ delays we reached the site by 9.30pm. There was loads of fun on the bus with antakshari! People were coming up with some really long forgotten songs!

The site chosen was a farm considerably far from the outskirts of Pune – it was a very well chosen site. No artificial lights and a very kind and nice-hearted farmer was there to help. And a moonless night has been chosen! Orion was already setting when we reached there – so we quickly settled to watch and hear about it. The constellation was charted and both the Hindu and Greek mythology stories told. It was amazing. Other constellations like the Canis Major (containing Sirius – the dog star) and Canis Minor (the two dogs of Orion the hunter) were also pointed out (with a help of a really brilliant laser, i must appreciate – totally professional). We also saw the messier object in Orion – a star cluster.

A quick dinner – poli-bhaji pulav – n we were ready to go again. And then the real fun. For about 2-3 hours it was just and the sky. Starting with the Great Bear to Pole star and then the Twins – Gemini, Cancer – its brlliant “beehive” heart, the majestic Leo, Saturn(and its rings) in Leo, Virgo, the broken necklace, Bootes, Corvus, Hercules, the gateway to heaven. It was just too awesome!! Complete with stories and all! A quick tea break and we watched the stories of the two Mars rovers – Spirit and Opportunity. And all were introduced to the superb software – Stellarium. Its freeware (!) and the thing for an amateur astronomer. Various constellations were shown using it and discussed. All this on a screen with projector n laptop! Very well organized!

And as we sipped tea – the mighty Scorpio started rising. It was an awesome site to see Scorpio in its full glory! It is beyond words what it feels like. N I being a Scorpio, and it being the best zodiac signs (both to watch in the sky and in reality – Yeah bring it on!) it was a double treat!

As it started getting late – it also started getting very very cold. It was hard to imagine that it was a summer night. An open field and a slight  breeze made matters worse. But I enjoyed the cold – It kept me up!

4 sufficiently large telescopes served the purpose of probing into into the night sky! A cherry on the cake was Jupiter with 5 of its satellites alongwith Saturn and its rings! And dozens of sparkly M-objects and nebulae as well! N yes – half a dozen meteorites were seen too!

It was an amazing experience – no doubts about that. What I felt cannot be described in words. The sheer size of the constellations as they fill up the night sky is trully mind-blowing! And the way the heavens seem to revolve about. Its one thing to take a casual look at the sky and another to observe it over a period of time. The heavens put up such a brilliant show for anyone who cares to watch. I can now understand why the early humans felt that the earth was the centre of the entire universe – the stars make one feel so special – and lucky!

And I can imagine why did the early humans framed the zodiac signs and constellations and weaved the mesmerizing stories about them. Imagine yourself — back in time – and the whole night sky above you – beautiful, mysterious and yet strangely appealing. Who wouldn’t see and wish their own life in the stars? It was the playground for their imagination. Sadly today people chose prime time TV over this marvelous spectacle of nature.

I have decided to attend as many star-parties (as they are fondly called) as I can…

A morning breakfast of delicious poha-buscuit-tea and a return journey full of jokes completed the awesome experience!

1: The beehive cluster in the heart of cancer (M44). YES! These many stars were actually visible in the eyepiece!

2. Scorpio – The red heart – Antares(the yellow star in near centre), the tail curving to the left and the head and pincers to top right; with the milky way in the background

3. Leo (may be a bit hard to imagine) : a lion looking at you with head to the left. the reverse quedtion mark forming the mane of the lion coming down to its feet with body in centre and right angled traingle to left forming the tail!

4. Orion and Sirius:

Orion the hunter with the three stars as his waist and two stars(red and other) above forming his shoulder and two others his legs (similar to above two ones). A fuzzy patch below the central and the other forms the sheath. The bright star to the lower  left is Sirius, the dog star. Experts will locate Canis Major and Minor as well!

orion-and-sirius

5. Messier objects: Spectacular star clusters/galaxies/nebulae which fill up the night sky:

for a table of most of them (actually taken in one night!) http://gregscheckler.wordpress.com/2008/03/11/messier-object-marathon-march-8-9-2008/

6. To end the post – this wonderful pic of the rosetta nebula (not visible to the naked eye of course!)

And people ask me “Why to look at the stars?”!

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[Disclaimer: All images courtesy the internet. To see original images as well as many other pictures click on them. Thanks to all]

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Anything happens in Pune!

Well the latest in bizzare news from Pune is : ITS RAINING!

Raining at 9:30pm on March 11!!!!!!

This is total crap… this is bad for the mango season!!!!

(it rained in sahakarnagar area for about ten minutes!)

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500

The movie everyone should watch atleast once…

Think about this the next time you spend 500 rupees…

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Large Hadron Collider: Rumours and Fact

Its 9.30 am in the morning. I am forcing myself to read the last bit of material of energy conservation opportunities in boiler design when suddenly the phone rings. Maa picks it up. She talks for a while and then asks me “Did you know they are going to make a big bang today in a few hours?”

I am like “What?!”

“And that there is possibility that the world is going to end?”

I am still stuck on “What?!”

“Ya its on the TV and someone called and told me.”

I turn on the TV.

It turns out that the scientists at CERN are going to enter the first proton beam into the Large Hadron Collider. Wiki article here.

Fortunately, for once the ‘News Channels’ are quashing the rumours and not adding more fule to the fire.

Coz poeple believe rumours like – “There is going to be a tsunami”

I mean even if the 1:5 zillion (thats what I figured are the chances of going wrong are) probability came true, believe me, it would not lead to a tsunami.

Another rumour – “A big hole will be created (on earth) and the whole universe and the whole universe is going to collapse in it”. I was like “COME ON, not that bad!” Does the speaker have any idea about how blackholes are formed. And that millions may exist in the Known universe. And just how infintely large and mind-bogglingly expansive it is?

Then there are words screamed like “mahaprakop” (Great wrath of God) and “mahapralay” (Great Flood which will sink the entire earth) which are totally out of the reference.

From what I could gather with my limited knowledge of nuclear physics is that CERN had just introduced a proton beam into the collider, for testing. And it was successful. The high energy collisions are due to start after 21st October Thus, even if the fears are granted (very very hypothetically), still why today??!!?!

The LHC is the largest laboratory and the most expensive experiment till date. The accelerator has a course of about 27km containing 900o magnets! And protons are accelerated to 99.9999991% of speed of light.

Inside the LHC -(All you need to know awesome video!)

It is to search for a sub-proton particle –  the Higgs boson which is considered to be the Holy Grail of the physicists. (sorry for the pick-up from Wiki, its so beautifully framed). It will help in proving the Grand Unified theory which brings  three of the four fundamental forces – the EM force and the weak and strong Nu force, together at extremely high energies. To achieve this, the LHC will simulate conditions present in the early stages(~t<10^-60s) of the Big Bang when separation of the forces was yet to occur. It searches to explain why gravity is such a weak force and why is it so separate from the other forces. Also its the first step to the “Theory of Everything”! (A nice kaliedoscope anyway!)

Take a look


Fundamentals of Superstring Theory


I have totally lost faith in the fact that “science/education has liberated us from superstition”. People are so insecure that they easily fall prey to such rumors. I met atleast a dozen faces scoffing at the rumors with a bit of hesitance. And perhaps a sort of guilt conscious looms over such God fearing people, so that they are in the constant fear that a misfortune awaits them.

Just a fortnight back on the eve of the lunar eclipse, there was a huge commotion in the settlements near my house. All night there was shouting and commotion. The next day I read in the newspaper that someone had spread the rumor that if you sleep on the eve of the eclipse, you would die in your sleep. And innocent people believed that. The most saddening were that of the small children who were beaten and kept awake.

Again, I am completely appalled at such people. And if educated graduates and post graduates believe such things what about the illiterate ones?

If you want to know what is wrong or what can lead to a global catastrophe, you just have to look into a Mirror.

Neway, my morning was the most entertaining, laughing at one rumor after the next!

Another thing that added to my entertainment was a program called “Tin Deviyan” (Three Goddess’). But that is a post for tomo.

And a necessary disclaimer: “Nothing is wrong with the LHC or CERN or any eclipse. Its science”



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Teacher’s Day.

I read somewhere: ( I forgot the writer’s name, so hats off to whoever he/she is!)

” A good teacher is one who teaches,

A better teacher is one who explains,

An even better teacher is one who illustrates,

But the best teacher is one who Inspires ”

Wishing happy teachers day to all the teachers out there, and specially to those who have taught me!

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