A motley assortment of interesting (?) things

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Holophonic sounds

Amazing stereo effect! You need headphones for this to work, listen to these clips.

Get your headphones, close your eyes, kick your feet up and hit play:

The Virtual Barbershop

Hair Dryer


Thursday, May 24, 2007

Light and Shadow

I took part in this worth1000 online photography competition. The theme was paper, the challenge was to shoot 1-3 pieces of white paper. period. Here's my entry:

I finished fourth. Not bad I guess :P
This wasn't my first entry there, but I didn't do as well earlier, so I'm not talking about those, Shhhh :p

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Some people who got offended by the nudity of "The Little Mermaid" at the Copenhagen harbor decided to dress her up, burqa style.


Monday, May 21, 2007

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Trial rooms are cozy!


Hello...Hey, Wats up?

Hey listen, Im here at the bank and will leave in 10 min and then would want to buy a few clothes before i head home.

Ok, so?

Wat so? I want you to come along.

[Me???Why me?]
Ok!Where are you gonna shop?

So you are not going with me?

mmmm, actually...
Im a little...

Stories! Stories!!! All the time!
You've never had time for me. NEVER
Your watch never ticks for me.
You have time for all your friends. Your Uncle, the two year old akka's daughter, the security at your apartment. But not for me. Fine am going. And you dont say a word.




Hello, Hello???You there?Say something!

But the order was to not say a word, right?

Smart, huh???Well, know that you are not smart,Ok?


Ok???Is that wat you said. Did i jus hear you say "O" "K"?

[irritated and sighing]
Where are WE going? Tell me.

You dont have to force it on yourself.Thanks for being sweet. And am hanging up now

Stop. Listen. I thought i'll watch this match on TV...but when you wanna do this so important, i'll go with you. No Problem.


[Ofcourse not. But do i have a choice]
Hell Yea.Lets do this. I shall pick you up in 30 mins.

Love ya.



[At the store]

Why is that every store places guys garments always on the top most floor?

Stop being silly.

Thats not silly. That is one genius of a question. Have you ever thought about this? For that matter, you think anyone here even thought about it?

Im definitely not gonna waste time answering that.

Dude, you are asking the wrong person. Ask me.

You? Who are you? The Voice.

Voice? What do you know? Do you have answers to my questions?

Oh i do.

Ya , so wats it?

The guys garments being placed on the topmost floor??? Thats a simple answer!

Really, why?

Guys garments are all boring. So boring. Very uninviting. On the other hand, look at them. Aahhh! They are so brilliant, flashy, sexy, gorgeous. Wouldnt you just stop by that window if you even see a doll dressed up like a bikini model.

Alrite thats it! You are just reading me like an open book. Scary Voice, Go away!!!

[After like 45 mins]

Hon...You done?

What do you mean done? Ive looked at only 3 dresses so far.

Its been almost an hour in this store already, and i've seen myself in almost all the mirrors here.

Come on dont be a crybaby!!!Now go ahead and count the black squares on the floor while i quickly go thru the pile here.

That is so mean. Not fair!!! I agreed to come along skippin the match. And this is all i get in return.

Alright Alright, Gimme 10 mins and i'll be done here.

[after an hour]

Excuse me. Did you see a tall guy, with a weird look on his face wandering like an unaccompanied minor here???

oh that bloke, i saw him walking into that trial room last.

Thank you!

[From inside the trial room]


Thursday, May 17, 2007


| Olympus C4000 | F/2.8 | 19.1 mm | 1/8 Sec | ISO200 | No Flash | Post Processing: Contrast, Color Balance, Border, Text |

Just a ordinary white sheet of paper, cut, rolled, and shot under an incandescent lamp.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

And a century it is...

100th blog people. time to rejoice. im on my way to a huge project meeting, where we are going to explain to our superiors why its a good thing we've spent all this time and gotten so delayed and achieved close to nothing. sigh!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

100th post, Yippeeeee!

And here are the Stats:
12th March to 12th May 2007
1251 Visits
635 Absolutely Unique Visitors
2995 Page views

Beat you to it cavey :p


My desk is more often cluttered than not. Right from the stapler I last touched weeks ago to the email I printed ten seconds ago. It's never dirty, someone cleans for me once in a while but definitely cluttered. I organize once every while, but like pig-pen from Peanuts, it's a matter of minutes before the desk reaches it's normal stable state. I have heard somebody say:

"True personal clutter amounts to a chaotic system based on the mental patterns of the clutterer. There is a pattern in the chaos, but the initial state and the chaos function are in the mind of the creator, so while to any outside observer it just looks like a mess, to the creator it makes perfect sense."

While I cannot test or prove the veracity of that statement, I like to believe it as it tends to suggest that the creator is organized, so much so, that he/she can even make sense in chaos :p

My desktop is a sharp contrast to my desk though. I have a minimal set of icons on it and always use a minimalist wallpaper which enough clutter free areas that hold my Icons and they never interfere with each other. I am usually very picky about my wallpapers, and often end up editing what I find on the net to suit my style. Sometimes when I have the time and inclination, I also create my own, here is my current wallpaper that I have created.

If you'd like to get it on your screen too, try these: 1024x768 1280x1024

Thursday, May 10, 2007


| Olympus C4000 | F/2.8 | 19.1 mm | 1/800 Sec | ISO200 | No Flash | Post Processing: Contrast, Color Balance, Border, Text |

My first attempt at shooting fireworks in the dark, I wasn't expecting them and I didnt't have a tripod :(

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

EverWonder? #2

EverWonder™ : If you pull the wings off a fly, does it become a crawl?

Bots: Servants, Friends or Overlords?

Excerpts from an article about soldiers bonding with their Robots:

Every time it found a mine, blew it up and lost a limb, it picked itself up and readjusted to move forward on its remaining legs, continuing to clear a path through the minefield.

Finally it was down to one leg. Still, it pulled itself forward. Tilden was ecstatic. The machine was working splendidly.

The human in command of the exercise, however -- an Army colonel -- blew a fuse.

The colonel ordered the test stopped.

Why? asked Tilden. What's wrong?

The colonel just could not stand the pathos of watching the burned, scarred and crippled machine drag itself forward on its last leg.

This test, he charged, was inhumane.

Friendly keepers who, for example, award their bots "battlefield promotions" and "purple hearts." "Ours was called Sgt. Talon," says Sgt. Michael Maxson

"There wasn't a whole lot left of Scooby," Bogosh says. The biggest piece was its 3-by-3-by-4-inch head, containing its video camera. On the side had been painted "its battle list, its track record. This had been a really great robot."

The veteran explosives technician looming over Bogosh was visibly upset. He insisted he did not want a new robot. He wanted Scooby-Doo back.

"As he was struggling to bring the bot down without an engine, he could see "the ground coming real fast." He dropped the landing gear, flared the wings, pushed the stick forward and then started fumbling around at the bottom of his desk chair.

He had bonded so tightly with the machine hundreds of miles away that he was searching for the lever that would allow him to eject.
It's About the Humans"

Right now Avis is airing a 30-second spot that features a young man in a necktie having a conversation with the navigation bot in his rental car.

"Traffic ahead," the female voice says to him.

"Incredible!" he replies. "You found a golf course near the conference -- awesome Chinese. Now you find me a way around traffic."

He shakes his head and lifts his thumbs off the wheel in a gesture of emotional helplessness.

"I love you," he says with feeling.

The music swells:

Turn around / Every now and then I get a little bit lonely / And you're never coming 'round.

Read the full text here

Monday, May 7, 2007

News: The Media minces words!

Physorg writes up an article that reports : "We are considering taking legal action against the website," said Vissanu Meeyo, a spokesman for the information ministry.

and then titles it: "Thailand to sue YouTube over king clips"

Slashdot pick's up the article and titles it: "Thailand sues YouTube"

Slipping on the tiny word "to" does make a lot of difference!

The Real Photoshop

When I outgrew MS paint eons ago and wanted a tool that was a tad more powerful, I picked up the one that was within the easiest reach. That month's PC World magazine CD carried a trial version of Jasc Paint Shop Pro 3.0 and I started using it. Soon I heard about Photoshop but I was comfortable with PSP and felt no need to change.PSP used to have all the features of Photoshop but was significantly cheaper, and was often called the "poor man's Photoshop". As my skills improved and newer versions came out, I stuck with PSP right upto version 9.0

The the unthinkable happened. Corel acquired Jasc. Corel stopped projecting PSP as a Photoshop competitor and started tagetting non-pro users. The GUI became overly shiny and useless but the feature set started stagnating, bugs started creeping in. I stuck with Jasc's last version instead of moving to Corel's (which I think is now at 12.0)

But then the age of the software started showing, as Adobe came up with CS, CS2 and soon to be out CS3, I was stuck with an ancient piece of software. So I decided to make the jump.

So I got a copy of PS CS2. It is certainly cool. possibly even cooler. But my biggest gripe is that, having been used to a different tool, I struggle for hours even to find the simplest tools or figure out how to make them behave the way I want them to. I spent about 20 minutes figuring out how to select the background color using the ink-dropper tool..

(I think the biggest difference I found so far is that Adobe doesn't like the mouse so much, alternative uses of tools are not right-click but are usually ctrl-click or alt-click. Photoshop does not use the scroll wheel at all! PSP zooms in and out with the wheel and you can vary values using the wheel too. Photoshop leans more towards Keyboard shortcuts. Grr.. I can never remember them)

Well all in all, I've spent about a few hours making this image from scratch and I've had fun. So I must say Adobe, you've won a convert. Without much further ado, I present my first Photoshop creation :)

Friday, May 4, 2007

Spiderman 3

Yay!!! I saw Spiderman 3 on the first day. As can be expected from superhero fans such as myself, I am going to say the movie was spectacular. Even better than Spiderman 1. The graphics were spectacular to say the least. The battles are actually so complicated and there's so much carnage and web action that I think it will take a second viewing to absorb all the action. I dare say that the physics in all action sequences were perfect as far as I could judge it. The new crop of villains are quite good, but reminded me of other ground-breaking movies of the past. Sandman for instance, reminded me of T-1000 in terminator-2.

The movie is quite funny too. In two ways. Scenes intended to be funny and scenes that were just funny. Jonah Jameson (editor-in-chief of Daily Bugle) brings in a lot of humor (and it was intended to do so). But Peter Parker crying was meant to be emotional and sentimental, but did not come off that way. Lets just say, the guy is better off with his mask on. Surprisingly though, he did emote well between the good Peter and the evil Peter. A little bit of kajal in his eyes helped the evil look, but his general mannerisms were differently portrayed in both characters. Topher Grace has done a good job too, but for all fans of "That 70s Show", you will feel like, "Whats' Eric doing here?". Harry made for a good villain too.

Final verdict: Definitely worth watching once. If you are a fan of either Spiderman or good graphics or both, it's worth watching multiple times.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Google's "Do Evil" NDA

I was telling my friends about the scary NDA I had to sign at Google when I interviewed with them. I am violating the NDA, making this post!

The NDA expressly forbids me ever "imply or mention the name of Google" in public, I am not supposed to mention the interview ever, and I am required to deny the existence of this NDA.

Out there at valleywag Someone managed to steal the NDA though and posted it online.

And they best part is, I needn't have signed it and they would still have talked to me. See update 2 here.

I'm told similar NDA craziness exists at Amazon too.


Hmm.. our posting rate has come down significantly as we approach the 100 mark.. A classic case of Sachin syndrome methinks. We should be able to rev up once Mayaavi and I are able to get our necks above the work.

For those who didn't catch the significance of the poem post below, I promise, I will make another post throwing more light on why 09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0 are important.

Zero and her Origin

Zero, the number said to be discovered
Nine times by ancient magicians, was
Found again by a mysterious order of
Nine modern alchemists, who built
One machine after another, until finally
One exploded with fascinating results.
No fire emerged from its
Twin engines, but instead
Nine small automata crawled out,
Denying the proposition that energy,
Seven millenia or more in the accumulation,
For most purposes, remains
Ever constant, throughout the
Three ages of man's civilization.

Five hundred years after the death of Cesare
Borgia, whose image infected those of the
Divine Lamb (so called), still she who
Ate of the pomegranate seeds
For her indiscretion, must ever wend her
Solitary path amongst the
Five true worlds, stopping only for
Sex and occasional rending of garments.
Constant travel drains her.
Five worlds is too many for one lifetime, yet the
Sixth can never claim her.

Three wise men write, of the sefirot,
Five are false, and four are lies.
Tiferet alone among them holds the world's truth.
Eight lifetimes of study,
Eight generations of blind encoding,
Cannot release the final answer:
Zero defined by itself; no further emblems exist.

--Jeremy Bornstein

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Carnivorous Soft toys

Mochimochi Land's "Sleepy Snake eats Mischievous Mouse"
I love it!