A motley assortment of interesting (?) things

Friday, March 30, 2007


| Olympus C4000 | F/2.8 | 9.1 mm Super Macro Mode | 1/50 Sec | ISO175 | No Flash | Post Processing: Resizing, Crop, Levels |

Just don't ask me what that is :p


| Olympus C4000 | F/2.8 Aperture Piority | 19.1 mm | 1/30 Sec | ISO100 | No Flash | Post Processing: resizing |

Very very cliche, I know. I still like it though.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Just swim the atlantic.

I cant seem to decide if this is a joke (on the same lines as google moonbase and google gulp after all April 1'st isn't too far away) or it is a system error. Check out the driving directions from Boston MA to Le Havre in France :

In case you missed it, look at step 9 again. yes, Swim 3,462 miles across the Atlantic. nice.

via boingboing

Series Summation

And so I shall return to my favorite topic... mathematics

Consider the series: S = 1-2+3-4+5-6...

Method 1 for solving:
S = (1-2)+(3-4)+(5-6)+... = (-1)+(-1)+(-1)+... = -Infinity

Method 2 for solving:
S = 1-(2-3)-(4-5)-(6-7)+... = 1+1+1+... = Infinity

Hence, -Infinity = Infinity. Obviously wrong, unless you believe that the number line is not indeed a line, but a loop with an extremely large radius, hence appearing to be a line to us mortals.

What's the fallacy in the above argument?

Darwin Awards (Only an honorable mention though)

(1982, California) Larry Walters of Los Angeles is one of the few to contend for the Darwin Awards and live to tell the tale. "I have fulfilled my 20-year dream," said Walters, a former truck driver for a company that makes TV commercials. "I'm staying on the ground. I've proved the thing works."

Larry's boyhood dream was to fly. But fates conspired to keep him from his dream. He joined the Air Force, but his poor eyesight disqualified him from the job of pilot. After he was discharged from the military, he sat in his backyard watching jets fly overhead.

He hatched his weather balloon scheme while sitting outside in his "extremely comfortable" Sears lawnchair. He purchased 45 weather balloons from an Army-Navy surplus store, tied them to his tethered lawnchair dubbed the Inspiration I, and filled the 4' diameter balloons with helium. Then he strapped himself into his lawnchair with some sandwiches, Miller Lite, and a pellet gun. He figured he would pop a few of the many balloons when it was time to descend.

Larry's plan was to sever the anchor and lazily float up to a height of about 30 feet above his back yard, where he would enjoy a few hours of flight before coming back down. But things didn't work out quite as Larry planned.

When his friends cut the cord anchoring the lawnchair to his Jeep, he did not float lazily up to 30 feet. Instead, he streaked into the LA sky as if shot from a cannon, pulled by the lift of 42 helium balloons holding 33 cubic feet of helium each. He didn't level off at 100 feet, nor did he level off at 1000 feet. After climbing and climbing, he leveled off at 16,000 feet.

At that height he felt he couldn't risk shooting any of the balloons, lest he unbalance the load and really find himself in trouble. So he stayed there, drifting cold and frightened with his beer and sandwiches, for more than 14 hours. He crossed the primary approach corridor of LAX, where Trans World Airlines and Delta Airlines pilots radioed in reports of the strange sight.

Eventually he gathered the nerve to shoot a few balloons, and slowly descended. The hanging tethers tangled and caught in a power line, blacking out a Long Beach neighborhood for 20 minutes. Larry climbed to safety, where he was arrested by waiting members of the LAPD. As he was led away in handcuffs, a reporter dispatched to cover the daring rescue asked him why he had done it. Larry replied nonchalantly, "A man can't just sit around."

The Federal Aviation Administration was not amused. Safety Inspector Neal Savoy said, "We know he broke some part of the Federal Aviation Act, and as soon as we decide which part it is, a charge will be filed."

Italy vs Europe

Here is a hilarious (though slightly old) flash animation made by Bruno Bozzetto, about how the Italians are different from the rest of the Europeans. The best part is you replace Italy with India and the animation is still apt :p even the flags are similar!

Also be sure to watch the "Olympics" animation on that page.


The earlier puzzle post reminds me of the Sokoban game that had me hooked for a while on my linux box.

Here's a window version of the Japanese puzzle game (like Sudoku), that is equally addictive :)

Puzzling Frogs

Here is an interesting flash based puzzle I came across. The objective is to exchange the places of all the frogs on the left with the places of the frogs on the right.

PS: took me 2:23 seconds to do it!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007


Statistics indicate that we had the most visitors when we posted the pirated songs, quick Mayaavi, get us more illegal content :p

High Key

A high key shot, I used my phone camera again.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Saturn Attack

A Bizarre hexagon on Saturn's North Pole and a Giant eye on its South Pole! Saturn is alive, and it is coming for us!

Linux is a cute brunette?

The second of Novell's three Ads, spoofing the famous Mac/PC ads.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Million Dollar Laptop

17" widescreen LED lit screen with a specially designed anti-reflective glare coating, 128GB of Solid State Disk space, a slot loading Blue-Ray drive, an integrated screen cleaning device and a very rare coloured diamond piece of jewellery that doubles up as the power button and also acts as security identification. Label? $1,000,000

Wonder what happens when you lose one :p Link

Oh and the manufacturer's website is Snobbery personified. Check it out

Blues on Browns

The camera on my phone isn't that bad after all!


Stopped at a random location on ECR to get this. Added a vignette in PaintShopPro, which happens to be the poor man's Photoshop :)

USB drive disabled???

So your evil-network-admin is clever!!! And you cant plug-in your shuffle to charge it in your office PC or transfer that source code to your usb-device to work at home or you have this favourite pic of yours that is locked in your pc. So what do you do? Accept it as your destiny and go home??? But that is your goddamn PC and you are its administrator! So here is the hack(Dont try this at home would be stupid, right?)

Step 1: Goto start and click Run
Step 2: Type Regedit and hit enter
Step 3: You'll see a tree in your left pane. So go down the tree following this path:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet \Services\UsbStor
Step 4: To your right pane you should now see a host of variables with values that you wouldnt understand ever.
Step 5: Find start there and double click on it
Step 6: U'll see a popup there with a editable text-box that has 4 as its value in it.
Step 7: Change it to 3 to enable it.
Step 8: Restart machine. Voila!!! You are all set to connect your device n enjoy.


What, I ask, is the objective in patiently picking up broken fragments and painstakingly gluing them together again? and telling yourself that the reconstructed whole is as good as new? What's broken is broken. Are you not better off to rather remember it as it was when it was at it's best? Who knows life may send one just as good or even better, your way.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Google outright denies Google Phone rumours

Mayavi posted earlier, a story linking to rumours about a possible GPhone. However Google Executive Alan Eustace outright denied that Google is working on "Yet another mobile device".

"We're not doing a mobile phone", Alan Eustace, senior vice president of engineering and research, said in an interview yesterday at Google's office in Atlanta. During an event earlier in the day, Eustace said, "I'd like to find something that is broader, rather than do yet another mobile device."

Just wondering what "something broader" can mean..

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Meat Head

How would an alien race describe us?

"They're made out of meat."


"Meat. They're made out of meat."


"There's no doubt about it. We picked up several from different parts of the planet, took them aboard our recon vessels, and probed them all the way through. They're completely meat."

"That's impossible. What about the radio signals? The messages to the stars?"

"They use the radio waves to talk, but the signals don't come from them. The signals come from machines."

"So who made the machines? That's who we want to contact."

"They made the machines. That's what I'm trying to tell you. Meat made the machines."

Excerpt from a short story by SF writer Terry Bisson. Full Text here
The movie version won the Grand Prize at the Science Fiction Museum's SF Short Film Festival in Seattle in 2006. Watch and enjoy

Almost makes you feel ashamed to be composed entirely of... Meat.

Super Jumbo

The Airbus A380 is simply the largest passenger airline built till date. The full length two level aircraft can carry upto a whopping 853 passengers in a full economy configuration. Finally after two years of delays airbus has finally started delivering these planes to airlines. No American airline has made an order so far. In an attempt to generate some interest Airbus is going around the US on a "celebratory tour". Here's a video from popularmechanics.

The amazing behemoth of a plane has a wingspan as large as a football field. Notice how the wings flex when the plane touches down!

Now the scary part is what happens if something goes wrong aboard one of these? endangering almost a thousand lives at the same time. What about terrorist threats?

Thursday, March 22, 2007

High tide ya Low tide...Always tidy

Almost 6 months now since i last actively traded. But that hasnt killed my interests in visiting Dallal street again. So Im reading a few articles, watching shows on NDTV Profit these days to get myself back upto speed with the trends in the market. And below is a summary of what has been happening over the last couple of months in the Sensex(jus in case u jus woke up, like i did).

The markets have fallen by more than 2000 points in the past one month after touching a lifetime high of 14723 levels with selling in banking & technology stocks on the back of domestic & global cues. However, correction has created attractive buying opportunity in the frontline as well as mid-cap space and has outdone the concern over fundamentals as earnings growth outlook is still robust.

So there it is. My title justified.:D. And the mantra becomes more clearer.

Exit at Summits and Enter at Valleys

Well here are my picks:

Frontline stock
Infosys at 2050 looks very very attractive. See why?

IGate at 376 expected to climb a possible 50%

However, caution beeps keep coming from a sector of the brokers. Angel Broking warns, in a leading daily, that there may be a flip side to the valuation story. “A drop from their peak levels doesn’t make a stock cheap. During the period under consideration, the overall economic scenario has changed. Things aren’t as compelling as they were in May 2006.”

But remember, "Fortune favours the brave"(Sidduism???)


An abstract shot of paperclips. An ode to dear clippy who is no longer among us. Goodbye clippy, you will not be missed.

Viva la pirates! Arrrrr..

15 rounds. 32 companies. 101,067 votes. One Worst Company to rule them all : RIAA
RIAA got voted the worst company in America in a consumerist poll.


Ants in my sugar!

asobitsuchiya has a photostream over at flickr of sugar that looks like ants! wicked.

A weird sort of co-incidence, my monitor is infested with ants :(

via boingboing

A Car that Runs on Air?

Moteur Developpment International (MDI) a french company has devised an engine that runs on Compressed Air. And Tata is planning to bringing it to Indian roads!

MDI's engine runs off a canister of compressed air that is carried on-board. These cannisters can be filled at modified fuel pumps. The prototype car can give a traveling range of about 200-300 kms on a full tank. This is better than most electric cars of today, and is good enough for an urban commute.

This article describes several goodies that come with this car. "The MiniC.A.T is a simple, light urban car, with a tubular chassis that is glued not welded and a body of fibreglass. The heart of the electronic and communication system on the car is a computer offering an array of information reports that extends well beyond the speed of the vehicle, and is built to integrate with external systems and almost anything you could dream of, starting with voice recognition, internet connectivity, GSM telephone connectivity, a GPS guidance system, fleet management systems, emergency systems, and of course every form of digital entertainment. The engine is fascinating, as is and the revolutionary electrical system that uses just one cable and so is the vehicle’s wireless control system. Microcontrollers are used in every device in the car, so one tiny radio transmitter sends instructions to the lights, indicators etc. There are no keys – just an access card which can be read by the car from your pocket." It also claims that the running cost for this car will be about a tenth of a petrol car.

Tata and MDI have issued a press release about the venture. MDI seems to have already conducted some field trials in Mexico. One cool thing about this car is that the exhaust is cooler than the outside atmosphere, so it can be used to air-condition the passenger cabin!

The question that begs to be asked though is, If I run out of gas, can I run it off my tyres? :)

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Sivaji Audio!!! Really???

Well, I heard it. And it does look to me like it is "the original".

First Reactions: Was very disappointed.

Second hearing: Sounded ok.

Third Hearing: Splendid score. Thats my verdict. Im posting the links here and you may use it at your own risk.

Plan your transactions!!!

As per newspaper reports banking transactions are likely to be affected
in the period 26th March to 31st March(5 days) due to 3 days strike of
bankmen and two days holidays. Even ATM operations could get halted as
cash filling after heavy withdrawals may not be feasible since private
banks rely on SBI /RBI etc for bulk cash dealing support.This is to
suggest to all that you draw your cash needs before 25th with the
assumption that cash can not be drawn in the period as stated above.It
is a safe course to adopt.

Read more here

UPDATE: the strike has been called off. Thankfully. look at comments for link.

Typography Redefined!!!

This piece by Jarratt moody is one awesome portrayal of how else typography can be used.

"We have used typography in our images in photoshop may be in websites to pep up the designs at times. But making a complete video out of it capturing true emotions n bringing live images right in front of your eyes, is just awesome"

See this and enjoy:

Google Themed

Google goes fancy finally. Google personalized home page will now support themes. Users can now choose themes for their personalized pages(I can count the number of friends using a personalized home page) . That apart, Now what is so cool about it?.

Well, these themes are loaded through XML files which carry different css files that constitute a theme. So they are so light-weight that degradation is absolutely smooth.

A plain look at the XML file will itself tell you it carries a lot of weather-related information. Though information about time i.e. morning, evening and nights have already been incorporated in the css, weather-related information i believe is still under construction. While this would be much easier to incorporate within the US coz they all have zip-codes, may not be all that easy to provide the same kind of service to a user elsewhere.

I dont think Google has rolled this out completely. It looks like they are still testing it out by letting a few users in a domain alone to test.(Coz i see the link to this in only one of my ids).So, when they actually roll it out, im sure they'll let user-customised themes as well to be a part of the system.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Plane on a Treadmill


So interesting, So intriguing. Always fascinating.

Ever so often though, someone devises a hypothetical situation and asks a question. As you try to solve these "paradoxes", you realize your understanding of the fundamentals aren't that great after all. Sometimes only a real experiment can quell the dichotomy that these questions bring about in the thinking public.

The great Feynman was susceptible too. In his book "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!" he describes a debate he had with his contemporaries. A lawn sprinkler squirts out jets of water and the spout is designed such that the sprinkler also rotates due to the direction in which the water is squirted. Now the question was.. if the sprinkler was immersed in water and it sucked in water instead of squirting it, which direction would it rotate? Feynman went about devising an experiment, proved his friends wrong and got thrown out of the lab for mucking around near the cyclotron.

Often however it is not practical to devise such experiments, sometimes it is just plain impossible as is in the case of this curious situation I am about to describe:

"Imagine a plane is sitting on a massive conveyor belt, as wide and as long as a runway. The conveyer belt is designed to exactly match the speed of the wheels plane , moving in the opposite direction. Can the plane take off?"

I've first seen this on boingboing. I'm not linking to the page yet, coz I don't want to give away the answer right away. What do you think?

I have about 3 or 4 other such intriguing questions, I will be posting them soon :)


Yes!!! The title isnt a typo and you read that right. Its a GPhone or more specifically a Google Phone. While Big G has been making announcements about its latest acquistions of Adscape and Gapminder's Trendalyzer they have been absolutely tight-lipped when it comes to commenting on a project like this. In any case, newspapers, Wall Street analysts, and others contradict Google's tight-lipped response to far-reaching conjecture backed by sources familiar with the company's plans.

Find more related news here

If Big G does unleash something of what we have been hearing and reading, that would be one sleek gadget any gadget-lover would want to possess!


So you wont use Firefox for some god only knows why reason. Well, you are obviously missing out of some real features you can make use of, if it is a firefox that you are using. In any case, you are still not completely down and dead. Coz, there are now addons that you can integrate into your IE7 engine to experience the power of what I'm talking about.

So here you go:(This list will grow...)
Inline Search: The first annoying thing is a IE7 popup when i do a Ctrl-F. You can now get rid of that and make use of a nice "find as you type" feature. Sure saves a lot of time.Grab Inline Search.

Mouse Gesture: An age old feature in Firefox that they dont call it a feature even these days. But then its better late than never. So IE7 now supports Mouse Gestures of all kinds but as with every other MS product they all come with a price(Your machine simply slows down). Grab Mouse Gesture

1-Click Answers: How many times while surfing the internet did you want to know more about something you just read and have opened a page and googled. Now this addon solves all of those problems with a single click. While this is still a true imitation of the already available feature in firefox it details you more about a particular term or a word when highlighted and alt-clicked. Something that I use myself with Firefox. Grab 1-Click Answers

Video Download: For those YouTube freaks who had to use Firefox only to download videos from its site, can now use IE7 alone to download it as well. Video download lets you do it. It sits as a small addon icon in the bottom of your bowser. Clicking on it opens another popup that lets you download the video. On downloading rename it to .flv. (Remember you'll need a flv player to play it). Alternately, you can convert the file to avi or mpg or .3pg through http://vixy.net. Very useful addon. Grab Video Download

As said, this list will grow as I find more useful addons for IE7 though I would strongly recommend using Firefox.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Photoshop - Pencil Sketch Simulation

Well, the picture in itself says it all. Its an attempted pencil sketch of the "Pachaikili Muthucharam" beauty Andrea through one of my favourite pastimes, the Photoshop.

Source pic: Indiaglitz (but edited for this post)
In case you want to know how this was done, please leave a comment and i shall be more than happy to demonstrate.

Go here for Original

Did someone lose a few millions?

I was leisurely ambling along the Information Highway, as is my habit during these carbohydrate induced lethargic afternoons, when I saw this bit of information that grabbed me by the shoulders and shook me wide awake(carbohydrates or no carbohydrates) before I could say "Hey!"

The top loser of the day, ICICI wanted to tell me, was the very company I work for. I can now picture what must've happened inside my cranium at that very moment. So there are these few million neurons sitting around lazily, a few of them catching up on that lost sleep, splashing around in the lovely endorphins, when one of them receives this phone call. A lazy drawled out "hello" quickly followed by a loud shocked "What!?" and then a skull piercing scream usually tends to catch the attention of most well-meaning individuals and they tend to inquire what the cause of the commotion might be. Upon being provided the gyan the neighboring neurons, and soon all the neurons, launch their own customized histrionics (should it be neuronics ?).

Questions were flying around. Is the company on the way out? did they discover a skeleton in Its cupboard? Did they muck up a major deal? I know for a fact that they recently announced quarter results and were actually doing pretty well. The biggest question however was: why is nobody bothered? A quick look around confirms that everybody is oblivious to the occurence, happily tapping away at their keyboards. Where are the startled looks? where are the angry protests? Where are the people who lost a few millions and are ready to jump out of those windows?

I tried to do some online research and looking through the company's recent press releases and
announcements yielded nothing. Just confirmation that the stock value has indeed been chopped in half! A whopping 50%.

I call up my dear friend Bala. His neurons unlike mine seemed to be milling around quite actively. I almost heard him say "Elementary my dear Watson". He turned on the giant spotlight and things became as clear as day. Turns out the answer is quite simple and somehow the fact that the company announced a 1:1 stock split for today, evaded my quest for more information. Bala gimme the link so I can put it up here :) (One of these days I gotta bug this guy and learn to trade in options, futures and derivatives. Who knows how many untold millions I'm losing by not already dabbling in those exotic sounding money sources. (or drains :p))

Thus enlightened I proceeded to go back to my state of transcendental web-browsing. My neurons (gladly) returned to their quiescent state, quickly relegating the above incident into the barely efficient cold storage that is my memory. I might expand on that metaphor in another blog. Just ask :)

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Eye of Sauron

Granted the pupil shape is all wrong.. but this is not computer generated. This is the picture of our very own Moon passing in front of out very own Sol, as seen by a probe is space. Link

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


R: Everybody and their dog has a blog. Im sure you guys have one or two that you no longer update :p Welcome to the overpopulated club of dormant bloggers :)

I have this suggestion. How about we start this common blog where we post interesting stuff once in a while, pooling our resources and contacts we MIGHT just have sufficient interesting stuff to post and sufficient traffic to keep the whole thing alive.

What say?

K: cool... what abt ppl (like me) who have NO blog? im willing to accept any suggestion apart from kicking me out of the blog group... :P

B: ya we cud...but come on rocky...look at the ppl u r talking to...u, me, kv, shyam hehehehe...LOL....

R: Umm exactly..

Varied thoughts and ideas. Why do you think I called it MishMash ? :p

S: Hey KV ... I don't have a blog either .. but our fearless leader (rocky) has gracefully overlooked this shortcoming and let me in on this !

R: Hmm.. Thou art forgiven KV for not having a blog! Will send you an invite.

V: Even if we have blog before we might have to use one common which our leader will setup for us. What is interesting is what should be the theme of our common blog...

Also, I was wondering on what criteria our leader have chosen us to partner him on this great common blog :)

R: Actually I want the topics to be random and varied. That forms the basis on which I selected the contributors ( If you guys want to add more people, you are welcome by all means )!

Tech Stuff, Life, Graphics, Robots, Art, Photography, Festivals, Cities, Relationships, Experiences, Websites, Poetry, News, Movies, Music, Culture, Books

Nothing is excluded!

B: The theme is simple..."ABSOLUTELY NO THEME"...that shall be it...

right guruji???

R: I couldn’t have phrased it better :)

K: and for the whole "fearless leader" part, i think shyam was trying for some of his pallid sarcasm... not to be mistaken for an accolade...

S: pallid ?? hardly ! ... I was pretty exuberant about the whole thing dude... bubbling even !

And we could not ignore something that was buoyed by such bubbling exuberant enthusiasm, so here we go :)

Monday, March 12, 2007

Mishin' n Mashin' n Hodgin' n Podgin'

–noun A collection or mixture of unrelated things, a motley assortment of things

–noun A mixture of dissimilar ingredients; a jumble.

We are it!