Monday, February 27, 2006

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Optical Illusions

I am sure many optical illusions keep floating over the net and most of them are fairly charming. I also love them.

But, here are two that are positively creepy!

Have a look at the pinwheel. This one works best when after you look at the image, you look at the hand on your mouse :) - try it to see what I mean.

And then have a look at dizzying motion. This one's not so striking as the previous one, but is enough to make you dizzy!



Your goals, minus your doubts, equal your reality.
- Ralph Marston

Laws of Real Life

LAW OF QUEUE: If you change queues, the one you have left will start to move faster than the one you are in now.

LAW OF TELEPHONE: When you dial a wrong number, you never get an engaged one.

LAW OF MECHANICAL REPAIR: After your hands become coated with grease, your nose will begin to itch.

LAW OF THE WORKSHOP: Any tool, when dropped, will roll to the least accessible corner.

LAW OF THE ALIBI: If you tell the boss you were late for work because you had a flat tire, the next morning you will have a flat tire.

BATH THEOREM: When the body is immersed in water, the telephone rings.

LAW OF ENCOUNTERS: The probability of meeting someone you know increases when you are with someone you don't want to be seen with.

LAW OF THE RESULT: When you try to prove to someone that a machine won't work, it will!

LAW OF BIOMECHANICS : The severity of the itch is inversely proportional to the reach.

THEATRE RULE: People with the seats at the furthest from the aisle arrive last.

LAW OF COFFEE: As soon as you sit down for a cup of hot coffee, your boss will ask you to do something which will last until the coffee is cold.


"What am I supposed to do with this?" grumbled a motorist as the policeman handed him a speeding ticket.

"Keep it," the cop said, "when you collect four of them you get a bicycle."

Monday, February 20, 2006

Friday, February 17, 2006

Funny Incident

This dates back to 1994. I was in the first year of college and my elder brother was running his own factory. He used to work very hard and long hours and had started to miss out on the simple pleasures of life, like watching a movie. Now remember this was 1994, so the cable TV boom was yet to be unleashed on the Indian skies in its full glory. A good movie was considered good time pass.

He returned one night from work and excitedly announced that our local theatre was running the latest hit, Krantiveer. He asked our mother to prepare a quick meal so that he and I could go and catch the last show (9-12). That taken care of, we rushed on his scooter to the theatre.

A word about this theatre, it was one of the worst you could imagine. We had shifted to this new house some 2 years ago. While our old house was close to lots of good movie options, our new house could not boast of a similar story. Again remember, this was 1994, so the multiplex boom was unheard of. A good theatre meant clean and a not-good one meant unclean.

Anyhow, we rushed and rushed we did. Around half-a-kilometer before the cinema hall, there was (and still is) a crossing, where this cinema hall would post the latest movie's poster. I asked him to slow down a bit, so that I could see what was playing (remember it was dark, and oh, did I mention it was the winters, so fog too!). He, in his excitement, actually accelarated and drove faster, and I could not see what was playing.

We reached the hall, hastily parked our vehicle and purchased two balcony tickets from the window without even bothering to ask what was playing. We reached the hall, well in time and waited for the show to start.

The first major shock was because the hall was a bit run-down. Many of my brother's factory workers were present in the balcony along with us. We settled down after a round of "Namaste Bhaisaheb", "Namaste Sir" etc.

Some ads meanwhile played themselves out on the screen. Then some promos of some stupid movies came. Then Mithun Chakravarthy (that talent of Mrigaya, hugely wasted) came and started to dance on the screen. As we say "Vishal parde par". That continued for some time. Then Sadashiv Amrapurkar came and started mouthing some dialogues. Mithun abused him in some of the choicest expletives. I still remember Sadashiv's character's name was "Manjit Seth". Then some more dances and songs with Madhu. We were sick of this long promo.

We asked our neighbour, "Picture Kab Shuru Hogi?". (When will the movie start?) He looked back at us as if we had just landed from the moon and replied "Yehi to hai!" (This is it!)

Turns out it was a Friday. The movie had changed from Krantiveer to Janta Ki Adalat. There was a song that went like "Hum Bhi Pagal, Tum Bhi Pagal". My brother remarked "How apt!"

We decided to stick around to squeeze our money's worth and stick we did. Till the interval. But by that time, it was too much for us to digest. We beat a retreat; two idiots after wasting our money over a stupid movie.

I was reminded of all this today, when I stumbled upon this :

Janta Ki Adalat


Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Pappu Phir Pass Ho Gaya!!!

You Passed 8th Grade Science

Congratulations, you got 8/8 correct!

Hutch Ad for Engineers

Ha Ha!! This is cool!

Have a look at The New Hutch Ad for Engineers

Pappu pass ho gaya!!!!!

You Passed 8th Grade Math

Congratulations, you got 10/10 correct!

Shaving Tips

An unusual post!

How to shave better :)

1. Always use cold water on your face before applying shaving cream. In fact the brush should also be dipped in cold water. Cold water will tighten your skin, give you goose bumps and make the hair come out of the skin more. End result - a close shave. If you use hot water, the opposite happens, as the hot water puffs up the face and retracts the hair back into the skin. Some one hour after shaving you will notice that your shave is not as close as you wanted it to be!

2. If you don't want refrigerated water touching your face on a cold winter morning, don't worry. At least use tap water which will be quite cold.

3. Shaving against the grain of the growth is fine, if u do it slowly. Don't scrape fast and you can do it. It does not harm you. Believe me that is a myth perprated by shaving products companies and barbers to increase business.

4. If you want to save money, then you can shave immediately after taking a bath, without using cream. That will give nearly the same results. But if you want to look your best, shaving before the bath is a better option. Then of course, you will need to use shaving cream.

5. Washing the face with hot/warm water after a shave is the best bet since that will puff up the face a bit, and pull in any hair that has escaped close cutting. The result, a clean face.

6. Buy a good quality razor and blade. I use Gillette Mach 3 and it lasts six months with careful use. It is quite costly, but surprisingly lasts so long. Other normal twin blades last 1-2 weeks. Cost-benefit analysis for the Mach 3 is definitely superior to any blade in the Indian market.


Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one getting burned.
-Buddha (c. 566-480 BC)

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Visual Quiz

A long hiatus from quizzing and I am back - this time because I am ill, confined to bed and with nothing better to do than watch India beat Pakistan at Lahore (WOW!) and indulge in my old hobby - quiz making (WOW again)!

So on the "shubh uplakshya" of "sant vilayat nandan divas" (aka valentine's day) here's the next visual quiz round for all u visualisers....

If you are a quiznet member head to and download

or if you are an ordinary mortal, head to and download

All responses to email address mentioned in the file.

Answers in 7 days or when replies trickle down to zero/day, whichever is earlier.

If u know even one answer, send your entry! Even if you don't know a single answer, still send your entry. Honourable mention to all those who give funny/creative answers. Come on man, I am ill, I need a laugh or two.

Monday, February 13, 2006


One of my favourite columns to read on the net is Ask Steven, which, in the column's own words is "The regular Monday column in which Steven Lynch answers your questions about (almost) any aspect of cricket"

It is an extremely interesting column for those interested in any aspect of cricket, to the point of obsession! Steven specialises in the unusual and gets some pretty interesting and off-the-beat questions!

Have a look at his column here.


Seated next to a self inflated egotist at a United Nations dinner was an Oriental fellow dressed in the robes of one of the Far Eastern countries. The jerk, attempting to make conversation, leaned over and said: "You like soupee?"

The Oriental fellow nodded his head.

"You like steakee?"

The Oriental nodded again.

As it turned out, the guest speaker at the dinner was our Oriental friend who got up and delivered a beautiful 50 minute address on the United Nations' definition of "encouragement to self-reliance" by underdeveloped countries of the world. The speech was flawless in Oxford English.

He returned to his place at the head of the table, sat down and turned to his dinner partner and said, "You like speechee?"

Friday, February 10, 2006

The upside of being ill

I am ill and am at home. The benefits far outweigh the negatives!!

1. I am able to rest. The longest rest I have taken in the last 3 years.

2. Lovely food, all the time. Not that I don't get good home cooked food, but since I have an acute throat/lung problem, I am able to appreciate only spicy food. Rest all tastes bitter, and so here I am, tasting the best food :)

3. TV - I am enjoying some of the best TV. Just finished watching Keith Taft, an engineer, take on the casinos, on National Geographic. Amazing program! Have a look at what they did, here and here. I saw, but could not enjoy, India and Pakistan match on Monday. Had India won, I would still not have enjoyed, for my sickness. I have seen all cartoon channels, all music vidoes, all the news, all the comedies and all of everything, except soap operas. I am crazy, but not that crazy.

4. Catching up on sleep!

5. No phone calls - I have turned off the phone and can into a slumber whenever I wish!

Thursday, February 09, 2006


Do you know that cows can be used to describe Important movements. Read on.....

SOCIALISM: You have two cows. You keep one and give the other to your neighbour.

COMMUNISM: You have two cows. The Government takes both and give the other to your neighbour.

FASCISM: You have two cows. You give the milk to the government and they sell it back to you.

NAZISM: Government shoots you and takes both cows.
CAPITALISM: You have two cows. You milk them and pour the lot down the drain to keep the price up.

SADISM: You have two cows. You shoot them both and drown yourself in the milk.

APARTHEID: You have two cows. You give the black cow's milk to the white cow to drink and don't milk the white cow.

WELFARE STATE: You have two cows. You milk them and give them the milk to drink.

ANARCHISM: You have two cows. The cows shoot you and milk each other.

BUREAUCRACY: You have two cows. You fill in 17 forms in triplicate and you don't have time to milk them.

UNITED NATIONS: You have two cows. Russia vetoes the farmer from milking them. Britain and France veto the cows from milking the farmers. USA abstains.

IDEALISM: You have two cows. You marry and your wife milks them.

REALISM: You have two cows. You get married and you still milk them.

COMMONSENSE: You have two cows. You sell one and buy a bull!

Can a plane fly without "running"?

Have a look at the problem and the solution here.

Scientific Lion-Catching Methods for The Sahara

Scientific Lion-Catching Methods for The Sahara
A Contribution to the Mathematical Theory of Big Game Hunting
Table of Contents

I. Mathematical Methods
1.1 The Hilbert (axiomatic) method
1.2 The geometrical inversion method
1.3 The projective geometry method
1.4 The Bolzano-Weierstrass method
1.5 The set theoretical method
1.6 The Peano method
1.7 The topological method
1.8 The Cauchy method
1.9 The Weiner-Tauber method

II. Theoretical Physics Methods
2.1 The Dirac method
2.2 The Shroedinger method
2.3 The nuclear physics method
2.4 The relativistic method

III. Experimental Physics Methods
3.1 The thermodynamics method
3.2 The atomic fission method
3.3 The megneto-otical method

The following is from a book whose title I don't recall. The book is in German but the article is actually a translation from the original by H. Petard which appared in the American Monthly 54, 466 (1938). Unfortunately our library is lacking some years of this journal around WW 2, so I had to re-translate the stuff into English. (That will make you people share the experience of reading German translations of books on Einstein which also usually re-translate Einstein's words.

Problem: To Catch a Lion in the Sahara Desert.

I. Mathematical Methods

1.1 The Hilbert (axiomatic) method

We place a locked cage onto a given point in the desert. After that we introduce the following logical system:

Axiom 1: The set of lions in the Sahara is not empty.
Axiom 2: If there exists a lion in the Sahara, then there exists a lion in the cage.
Procedure: If P is a theorem, and if the following is holds:
"P implies Q", then Q is a theorem.
Theorem 1: There exists a lion in the cage.

1.2 The geometrical inversion method
We place a spherical cage in the desert, enter it and lock it from inside. We then performe an inversion with respect to the cage. Then the lion is inside the cage, and we are outside.

1.3 The projective geometry method
Without loss of generality we can view the desert as a plane surface. We project the surface onto a line and afterwards the line onto an interiour point of the cage. Thereby the lion is mapped onto that same point.

1.4 The Bolzano-Weierstrass method
Divide the desert by a line running from north to south. The lion is then either in the eastern or in the western part. Lets assume it is in the eastern part. Divide this part by a line running from east to west. The lion is either in the northern or in the southern part. Lets assume it is in the northern part. We can continue this process arbitrarily and thereby constructing with each step an increasingly narrow fence around the selected area. The diameter of the chosen partitions converges to zero so that the lion is caged into a fence of arbitrarily small diameter.

1.5 The set theoretical method
We observe that the desert is a separable space. It therefore contains an enumerable dense set of points which constitutes a sequence with the lion as its limit. We silently approach the lion in this sequence,
carrying the proper equipment with us.

1.6 The Peano method
In the usual way construct a curve containing every point in the desert. It has been proven [1] that such a curve can be traversed in arbitrarily short time. Now we traverse the curve, carrying a spear, in a time less
than what it takes the lion to move a distance equal to its own length.

1.7 A topological method
We observe that the lion possesses the topological gender of a torus. We embed the desert in a four dimensional space. Then it is possible to apply a deformation [2] of such a kind that the lion when returning to the three dimensional space is all tied up in itself. It is then completely helpless.

1.8 The Cauchy method
We examine a lion-valued function f(z). Be \zeta the cage. Consider the integral

1 [ f(z)
------- I --------- dz
2 \pi i ] z - \zeta


where C represents the boundary of the desert. Its value is f(zeta), i.e. there is a lion in the cage [3].

1.9 The Wiener-Tauber method
We obtain a tame lion, L_0, from the class L(-\infinity,\infinity), whose fourier transform vanishes nowhere. We put this lion somewhere in the desert. L_0 then converges toward our cage. According to the general
Wiener-Tauner theorem [4] every other lion L will converge toward the same cage. (Alternatively we can approximate L arbitrarily close by translating L_0 through the desert [5].)

II. Theoretical Physics Methods

2.1 The Dirac method
We assert that wild lions can ipso facto not be observed in the Sahara desert. Therefore, if there are any lions at all in the desert, they are tame. We leave catching a tame lion as an execise to the reader.

2.2 The Schroedinger method
At every instant there is a non-zero probability of the lion being in the cage. Sit and wait.

2.3 The nuclear physics method
Insert a tame lion into the cage and apply a Majorana exchange operator [6] on it and a wild lion.

As a variant let us assume that we would like to catch (for argument's sake) a male lion. We insert a tame female lion into the cage and apply the Heisenberg exchange operator [7], exchanging spins.

2.4 A relativistic method
All over the desert we distribute lion bait containing large amounts of the companion star of Sirius. After enough of the bait has been eaten we send a beam of light through the desert. This will curl around the lion so it gets all confused and can be approached without danger.

III. Experimental Physics Methods

3.1 The thermodynamics method
We construct a semi-permeable membrane which lets everything but lion pass through. This we drag across the desert.

3.2 The atomic fission method
We irradiate the desert with slow neutrons. The lion becomes radioactive and starts to disintegrate. Once the disintegration process is progressed far enough the lion will be unable to resist.

3.3 The magneto-optical method
We plant a large, lense shaped field with cat mint (nepeta cataria) such that its axis is parallel to the direction of the horizontal component of the earth's magnetic field. We put the cage in one of the field's foci.
Throughout the desert we distribute large amounts of magnetized spinach (spinacia oleracea) which has, as everybody knows, a high iron content. The spinach is eaten by vegetarian desert inhabitants which in turn are eaten by the lions. Afterwards the lions are oriented parallel to the earth's magnetic field and the resulting lion beam is focussed on the cage by the cat mint lense.

[1] After Hilbert, cf. E. W. Hobson, "The Theory of Functions of a Real Variable and the Theory of Fourier's Series" (1927), vol. 1, pp456-457
[2] H. Seifert and W. Threlfall, "Lehrbuch der Topologie" (1934), pp2-3
[3] According to the Picard theorem (W. F. Osgood, Lehrbuch der Funktionentheorie, vol 1 (1928), p 178) it is possible to catch every lion except for at most one.
[4] N. Wiener, "The Fourier Integral and Certain of itsl Applications" (1933), pp 73-74
[5] N. Wiener, ibid, p 89
[6] cf e.g. H. A. Bethe and R. F. Bacher, "Reviews of Modern Physics", 8 (1936), pp 82-229, esp. pp 106-107
[7] ibid

What It Costs To Have A Celebration?

A winter evening.
Four friends.
One barsaat.
Four glasses of chai.

Hundred bucks of gas.
A rusty old bike.
And an open road.

Maggi noodles.
A hostel room.
4.25 a.m.

3 old friends.
3 separate cities.
3 coffee mugs.
1 internet messenger.

Rain on a hot tin roof.
Pakoras deep-frying.
Neighbours dropping in.
A party.

You and mom.
A summer night.
A bottle of coconut oil.
A head massage.
Gossiping about absent family members.

You can spend
hundreds on birthdays,
thousands on festivals,
lakhs on weddings,
but to celebrate
all you have to do is spend your time.


I shall defend to your death, my right to my opinion!

Email Ids of Film Stars

Abhishek Bacchan:

Amitabh Bacchan:

Anil Kapoor:

Salman Khan:

Shah Rukh Khan:

Ram Gopal Varma:

Sunil Shetty:

Aamir Khan:
Aamir Khan (alternate address):

Saif Ali Khan:

Hritik Roshan:
Hritik Roshan (alternate address):

Ajay Devgan:

Bobby Deol:

Sunny Deol: He is still busy fighting Pakistani soldiers. E-mail address is a secret.


Mallika Sherawat:

Amisha Patel:

Kareena Kapoor:

Raveena Tandon:

Engineering Summed up for you!

This should give you some idea what real engineering is supposed to be! Have a dekko at Shreshth's Blog.

You Can't Win

Three cellmates in a Cuban jail compared notes. "I was jailed for coming to work late," mourned the first. "They said I was trying to upset the productivity quota."

"Me? I came to work early," said the second. "They said this proved I was a Capitalist spy."

"And I am here for always getting to work on time," added the third. "They said this proved I had an American watch."

How Rude!

Still not grasping just how important Cricket was to my new husband, I plunked myself down next to him on the couch while he watched a game and began to chat. After being shushed a few times, I gave him a look.

Immediately contrite, he picked up the remote. "I'm sorry, honey," he apologized. "I'm being rude. You go ahead and talk--I'll just turn up the volume."

Nice Coat

Traveling through Spain, my friend Amy and I soaked up the culture, gorged ourselves on excellent food and, basically, indulged our every whim. One day, we walked into a shop that had the most gorgeous coats.

As we tried a few on, we noticed the odd looks we were getting from the shopkeepers. We didn't know why, until one kind English-speaking patron took pity on us.

"Excuse me," she said, "This is a dry cleaners."

Groaner Ahead!

All the new nurses listened as the doctor continually yelled, "Typhoid! Tetanus! Measles!", over and over again.
One of them then asked another nurse, one who had worked there a while, "Why does he do that?"
She replied, "Oh, he just likes to call the shots around here."

Odds and Ends

Two doctors opened offices in a small town and put up a sign reading 'Dr. Smith and Dr. Jones, Psychiatry and Proctology'. The town's fathers were not too happy with that sign, so they changed it to 'Hysterias and Posteriors'. This was not acceptable either, so they changed the sign to 'Schizoids and Hemorrhoids'.

No go, so they tried 'Catatonics and High Colonics'. Thumbs down again, so they tried 'Manic-depressives and Anal-retentives.' Still not good, so they tried 'Minds and Behinds'. Unacceptable again, so they tried 'Lost Souls and Ass-holes'. Still no go. Nor did 'Analysis and Anal Cysts', 'Queers and Rears', 'Nuts and Butts', 'Freaks and Cheeks' or 'Loons and Moons' work either, so they finally settled on 'Dr. Smith and Dr. Jones Odds and Ends.'

Marriage Defined

First marriage is the triumph of imagination over intelligence!

Second marriage is the triumph of hope over experience!!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Monday, February 06, 2006

Manthan on the net - free!

If you are a fan of downloaded movies, have a look at where you can download the complete movie, Manthan, with the lovely "mero gaam kaatha paare" song :)

If you want to see, just click. On the other hand, if you want to download, use Net Transport, which downloads streaming media, available from Xi-Soft website.