Thursday, August 28, 2008

And I think to myself...

What a wonderful world!

I see trees of green........ red roses too
I see em bloom..... for me and for you
And I think to myself.... what a wonderful world.

I see skies of blue..... clouds of white
Bright blessed days....dark sacred nights
And I think to myself .....what a wonderful world.

The colors of a pretty the sky
Are also on the faces.....of people ..going by
I see friends shaking hands.....sayin.. how do you do
Theyre really sayin......i love you.

I hear babies cry...... I watch them grow
Theyll learn much more.....than Ill never know
And I think to myself .....what a wonderful world

The colors of a pretty the sky
Are there on the faces.....of people ..going by
I see friends shaking hands.....sayin.. how do you do
Theyre really sayin...*spoken*(I

I hear babies cry...... I watch them grow
(you know their gonna learn
A whole lot more than I'll ever know)

And I think to myself .....what a wonderful world
Yes I think to myself .......what a wonderful world!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

UDAAN - when kids set an example

UDAAN (Hindi, meaning a flight, as in a bird's flight) represents freedom. Freedom to choose happiness. Freedom to share happiness. Freedom to bring smiles selflessly.

UDAAN also means the world to a bunch of young enthusiasts in the city of Jaipur (Rajasthan, INDIA).

These young kids, some of them barely out of high school, are running an organization that brings awareness in youngsters (teens) about what happiness means, and what does it meen to make the most of their age.

In times when most youth gets distracted by impulsive behavior and momentary thrills (and it is supported by studies that generally an individual doesnt attain a sense of 'consequence' until they reach 18 years of age), these lads and girls sit by a phone line waiting for the next help call from another teenage about smoking or their attraction to individuals opposite sex.

They get almost no support from the govenrment, or from the people.. they still do it out of their own pocket money. They could be having a blast on the bikes and puffing off expensive drugs, but they chose to listen to help cries of those confused.

Bravo, kids! Keep it up.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

SMIViewer fan base, Russia, and China

Here is a visitor map for all the people who have ever visited the SMIViewer download page (Since the counter's inception on July 1, 2008, and until Aug 26, 2008 morning):

Quite amazing. Isnt it?

The one thing that surprises me is: why China's map is so sparse? Is it due to government restrictions on the internet? Last week I got an email from a Chinese researcher that the download link appears blocked to him. Strange! So much control over exchange of information! And yet so many people admire China's authoritarian system.

Another thing to note is why there is almost zero visits from Russia. Compare that to the forest emanating from EU. Wow!

Anyways, see if you can access this page from your country, and if you cant, let me know by commenting here.

Friday, August 22, 2008

My name is Bolt...

So this story begins something like this: in a line up of some of the world's best athletes, there stands a seemingly timid tall human form, making strange signs with his hands, almost suggesting a confidence that would pinch many a spectators.

Then the gun struck 'go' and all 8 of them shot out like bullets. Some 10 meters before the finish line, a face proudly looks to his left, then to his right.. re affirming there was no one in his wingspan... then he nonchalantly breezes through the finish streak.

And thats when he makes a bow and an arrow in the air with his long hands, and shoots an imaginary arrow up towards the crowd. Make no mistakes.. this gesture was equalling the roar of a king lion after it fells the most dangerous beast.

And a star is born.

What boisterousness, what fervor!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Go India! Go US!!

Abhinav Bindra became the first ever Indian to win an Olympic Gold in an individual event. Here is a video of the proud moment! Go Bindra!!

Team USA surprised again with beating France in the 4x100 relay by fraction of a second..after the French were caught saying they were going to smash USA in this event. The best part: at least 3 teams beat the old world record (US did that by almost 4 seconds:-).

Go Phelps!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Digital Photographer galleries

After reading the Digital Photographer magazine at Borders store today, I signed up with their online galleries. Here is a link to my proile.

They even have a face-off where your pictures get voted for. And also an annual competition for the 6 genres.

My first picture there is this one that I took today:

I am gonna invest in a real DSLR camera if I get encouraging votes.. hell I will get one even otherwise:-) My current camera is not an SLR (FujiFilm FinePix S5100), but its not bad. Looking forward to some good shots....

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Sabiha Sumar

I caught an interview with Sabiha Sumar on CBS today. She is a journalist/film maker born in Pakistan. I felt she was pretty honest and bold about what is going on in Pakistan today, and about how the formula of democracy doesnt apply there as it would in other parts of the world. According to her (and I agree), it is the relegious extremism that is the biggest threat to the state being a realistic democracy there. Most of the people live in rural areas (like India) and have no idea about, or relevance with democracy. However, unlike India, most of the poor still live in a feudal society where local governing bodies make and implement the laws. And these local bodies are heavily influenced by the extremists. According to Sabiha, Gen. Musharraf kept the extremism away from the common people to some extent; but now, an election of ballot brought the political parties back in power, the ones that rely heavily on extremists for their own survival. Another good thing Sabiha stated was that no country has a right or business to take the idea of democracy and instill in another country; esp. not without properly understanding the latter's political context and cultural background. I admire the boldness with which she pointed out that US has no business going to Pakistan and trying to instill democracy there.. and that this effort is in fact doing the opposite. Interesting! One of her short interview films with Gen. Musharraf (Dinner with the President - A Nation's Journey) will be aired during Fall in the independent lens series on PBS, I think.

Great job, Sabiha! Keep it up!

Olympics 2008 opening ceremony: Unparalleled magnificence

... is the least I could describe the Beijing Olympic's opening ceremony with. Unmatched colors and beauty one after the other... making you wonder how and what machinery was orchestrating all that.. until the human hydraulics behind that all would come out and wave to the crowds. The best one, short only to the ending episode where a Chinese hero from '84 olympics literally flew up in the air to light the main torch, was a grid of symmetric blocks moving up and down with robotic precision making 3D shapes that one could only imagine till now... only to realise they were actually controlled by humans!!

You have a reason to be proud of your nation, my Asian friends! What a show!!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Grass: bio fuel of the future?

Just read this article about dry long grass being evaluated as a future bio-fuel.

"Miscanthus -- also known as elephant grass -- promises to be one of five or six options that could help the U.S. to reach its target of replacing 30 percent of gasoline use with biofuels by 2030." - Dr. Stephen Long from the University of Illinois quoted.

Here is another article about exploring the use of switch grass as a bio fuel.

Funny I never thought grass could be so useful, and this time not as a cattle food:-)

Go grass!!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

A bruised rose...

A bruised rose from our backyard:

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Kayak across the Pacific ocean

I chatted with a close friend today.. he is settled in Australia. I asked him for his street address and put that in Google maps. Then just for fun, I asked it for directions from my city (in U.S.) to his house (in NSW Australia). I was expecting Google to say 'unreachable via car or on ground'. However, I was pleasantly surprised with what it did: it actually gave me directions from US to Australia!! It suggested I reach the pacific shores via Seattle, then kayak across the Pacific ocean for about 8000 miles straight:-) Check it out:

Friday, August 1, 2008

Waking up ...

This is what I woke up to this morning:

Isnt it wonderful to start your day like this? :-)