Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Big Brother Brouhaha.

Dehumanization is all around.
This is what I have become :
1. University Enrollment Number.
2. Bank account number(s).
3. Permanent Account Number.(PAN)
4. Mobile number.
5. Library Card Number.
... this list can go on for a very long time ...

I AM a number.
On many days, I am required to identify myself as 1371323107.
Gordon Brown's government plans on a massive database holding details of every phone call, e-mail and time spent on the internet by the general public. I remember how I used to snort at the conspiracy theorists who claimed that the world in the 21st century, would be the global equivalent of Nazi Germany. Orwell may have messed up his time-line, but 1984 seems right up ahead, in the near future.

Very soon, we'll all be walking around with barcodes on our necks.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Memoirs of an Almost-Techie . Part - 2.

Behold, O mortals! , the BCD to excess 3 converter.
Logic Diagram

Final Circuit

Observe the very apparent similarities between the image on top, and that below it. Now, imagine being handed the first, having to create the second from it AND make it perform mathematics. Yes. It adds stuff. It adds the number 3 to stuff.
Someone remarked, "Cool shit!". Ehhh..... how typical.

Just another weekly lab assignment, as part of Digital Circuits and Systems , or what is more aptly termed as ETEC-206.

For the record, the Stalin-affair came to an almost-peaceful culmination. And I live to tell.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

To Err.. may not necessarily be human.

"Swatting flies" is the vocation of the bored.
"Swatting butterflies" would make one cruel. And "disturbed", a la Norman Bates.

Er... I would really like a giant fuchsia fly-swatter, right about now. For neither of the above. What does that make me?

Er.. x 2 Relativity applies to much more than I thought. Bittersweet, unfortunate circumstance.

Er.. x 3 The Universe is way too vast and way too disquieting a place. And the bigger picture, more often than not, can be quite petrifying.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Of Pre-endings and Marathon Runs.

Oh how badly I crave for a decent 7-hour sleep.
An existence NOT ridden with multiple project files, never-ending assignments, presentations, practicals, examinations and so on.
Yep, it's the end-of-semester marathon run. And the work just NEVER ends! No matter how many barrels of midnight oil you've diligently converted to noxious fumes, which you are now choking on. The contact lenses freezing into shells isn't helping my myopic eyes either. Speaking of myopia, I still believe mine is entirely literal, not figurative. Yep, I do.
Also, I have decided that my idea of utopia, is a day sans alarm clocks.

This Friday, I will be facing the aforementioned Stalin-prototype for the last time. It will not be a tearful parting of ways. I have reasons to believe it would not involve any heart-to-hearts, girl-gabbing or bear-hugs. This is war, and I am short on ammunition. That can usually be made up for with pluck, but pluck does not help much when war occurs in the guise of a viva voce. Algorithm Design be damned. Though either way, both of us will be amply rewarded by each others absence. Soon.

In other news, women in Delhi have decided that the ultimate trend for Spring '09, is to venture out in boxer-shorts. Striped, cotton boxer-shorts. I understand that fashion is not for all. I know that I will never understand it, or care enough to try. But rarely can I resist a dig at the farcical fash-frat(Henceforth, FFF) that amuses/irritates me like nothing else in the whole wide world(WWW?). Expect a follow-up post about your average not-so-friendly neighbourhood human plastic specimen. Soon.

Finally, a long-awaited holiday is on the cards. I hear Phuket will be off-season soon. Lakshadweep seems attractive enough. Sun, sand and surf(SSS? Alright. I'll cut it out now ;) is all I can wish for at the moment. I fantasize about lying on a beach for days at end, with an odd strawberry margarita and a bit of Stephen Chbosky, all for good measure.(That being one of the ONLY two things that will keep me going through this month-and-a-half of sleep deprivation and torture.) I might write about the other. Soon.

As I type this, The Smiths are playing How Soon Is Now in the background. I shit you not.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Bowled Over!

The Date : April 13, 2009.
The Occasion : Friend's Birthday.
The Place : Blu-o , Ambience - Gurgaon.

Went bowling. For the very first time.
A perfect strike, followed by gutters.
What did I say about extremes? Though I did manage to feel quite like Fred Flintstone. Minus the being-good-at-it part, that is.

Blu-o amazed me, in a number of ways. Possibly one of the best decors and ambiance I have seen anywhere, let alone bowling alleys. Add in the glitzy seating sections, mood lighting and chic bar, and we have a winner. I would give it an 8.5/10. Suddenly, NCR doesn't seem all that dull after all! And I would advise everyone to make a bee-line for it before it turns into a cliche.

And I learnt that no matter how high-end a place you are in, if you're in India, you can and will be stalked. In all these years, I may have managed to execute rather innovative(often hilarious) ways to deal with the stalkers, I have never devised a universally applicable strategy. Much like the common cold. I hear vaccines are effective these days. That makes me smile my strange smile. Reminds me how fascinated (somewhat obsessed) I was with the mere idea of creating cyanide in my school chemistry lab. I'm not sure if that should be troubling.

Also, Delhi is getting to be a tough place to navigate in. Especially if the guy in the driver's seat is distracted by his girlfriend. Err.. make that "a call from his girlfriend". *smirk* .Growing up may have its perks, but living with an 8 P.M. curfew can be tough. Especially if you reside in the golden city of traffic jams. More about the traffic jams someday later. Someday soon.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Brand New Day.

In the guise of something as perfunctory as spring-cleaning, I have utilized a lazy Sunday afternoon to give this blog a makeover.

It's new. It's different. It will take some time to get used to.

Doesn't quite feel like "me". But then, I suppose yellow is a happy color.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Well? This Is The S#!t! .. ahem.

I logged into Orkut today, after what seems like eternity, to find myself being the member of communities dedicated to :
1. Kareena Kapoor. (The sub-anorexic Indian actress, also lovingly referred to as Bebo.)
2. /#StYlIsH PeOpLe$/(Note the curiously annoying jumble of case, only so characteristic of a suburban specie popularly known as THE EMO. I REFUSE to consider it a sub-culture. Acknowledging such an extent of human depravity is tantamount to giving up ALL hope. I fear greatly for them homo sapiens. I do.)
3. Some South-Indian actor with a thoroughly unpronounceable name, and an avant-garde moustache to his credit, et al. Oh wait.. I checked. He's called NBK-Yuvarathna Balakrishna.
NBK could stand for a lot of things.

I try to resist, but I *have* to include the community description, for universal enlightenment, if nothing else. As Mr. NBK himself would say, in a heavy, coconut oil-tinged accent, "Yeee-ennjoy!" :
"иαиdαмυяi Bαlαkяiรниα, ρσρυlαяly kиσwи αร 'Bαlαyyα' iร тнє σиє รтσρ ємbσdiмєит σf αcтiиg vєяรαтiliтy iи тєlυgυ ciиємα. αи αcтσя wнσ cαи ρσятяαy αиy яσlє fяσм мαรร тσ мyтнσlσgy wiтн υтмσรт єαรє, нiร мσviє cαяєєя รραиร 30 yєαяร αиd iร иσтнiиg รнσят σf ρнєиσмєиαl αиd αwє-iиรρiяiиg
★★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Manabalayya Discussion Board Lanuched "

I too have "lanuched" into confusion. I am left to wonder how this happened.

Did someone go through the trouble of hacking my account, which happens to have an "unguessable" password, only to subscribe to these communities? Was his intention to tarnish the cyber-reputation of an already infamous and unpopular social networking-taciturn?

Or, on a different track, could it be that the owners of communities such as "Aristotle's Metaphysics", "Let there be rock", and "Analytic Philosophy" realized how immaterial their pursuits were, and decided
to muse about Kareena Kapoor's weight abnormalities and amorous liaisons as more fulfilling fields of study?

Or maybe it's the Jekyll and Hyde syndrome. Maybe the other half of my split personality surfaces at some time of the day when I think I'm asleep. Morbid, deathly misanthrope by day, and emo, celeb-obsessed, lover of Telegu cinema by night? The very thought scares me. Beyond reason, even though they are sufficient.

You have got to love the intricacies of social networking. Orkut is a piece of work, really.

I will stop now. I have an exam. And I do not remember the name of the book I am supposed to have memorized verbatim, by 12 noon tomorrow.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Of This & That. and more...

The Congress intends to impose reservation quotas on the private sector.
Fabulous. If things weren't in the dickiest state possible already, there's always a way to make it worse. There goes my first vote down the proverbial drain. Come to think of it, the only reason I voted for the Congress is because I had to cherry pick the best of the worst. Sort of like rummaging through garbage to pick out the cleanest piece of junk. Sadly, "cleanest" doesn't quite cut it anymore. Sadder, I didn't see this coming. Saddest, is the fact that I was made aware of Article 49-O about 3 months too late. Politics in India is a dire, depressing scenario. *sighs*

In other news, "A brilliant burst of gamma rays killed most of the creatures on Earth some 440 million years ago, and researchers say, a similar celestial catastrophe could happen again."
Oh.. really? You mean, in addition to the geomagnetic inversion of the planet's magnetic field that is expected to cause momentary direct exposure to cosmic rays, hence reducing all life forms to the equivalent of roast duck? Or maybe the 12 asteroids that were supposed to do the big "CRASH, BOOM, BANG" between the year 2002 and 2009? Or how about the man-made black-hole that would sprout out of the Large Hadron Collider, engulfing all of the world into it? (Detour : The whole thing has more to do with the Higgs Boson, aka The God Particle. Note the irony ;)
And a smattering of Mayan myth, perhaps? (I'm sure the History Channel dudes got a real kick out of the whole thing.) About how, on December 21 2012, the Sun would align itself to the geometric center of the galaxy, bringing about the end of the earth, or at least bringing about the return of Queztacoatl. Add the long-count-calender-hocus-pocus, and you have one of the most talked about documentaries ever aired on prime time. (Detour #2 : Queztacoatl is said to be the most kickass-est, "supreme lord of all things" kinda god in Aztec mythology. **Most importantly, he is also the one credited for single-handedly inventing chocolate!)

Moving on, I am reminded of the something in the news a few years ago. Millions of dollars poured into research for the creation of genetically modified square watermelons. Justification? They fit better into refrigerators. I will leave you to draw your conclusions.

Hell hath no fury,

Like men of science gone loony.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Music, When Soft Voices Die.

Music, when soft voices die,
Vibrates in the memory.
Odours, when sweet violets sicken,
Live within the sense they quicken.

Rose leaves, when the rose is dead,
Are heap'd for the beloved's bed.
And so thy thoughts when thou are gone,
Love itself shall slumber on.

-Percy Bysshe Shelley

This is about beautiful poetry, my immense liking for Shelley, and my new-found love of a camera. There is more than one way to look at art. There are far more to create it. But only one way to experience it. With all of your senses, and all of your self.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

The Order Of Things.

Where do you draw the line?

Have you ever believed in fate?
Have you ever questioned reality?
Have you ever been bewildered by random chance?

Think about it. Every single, tiny thing that happens, every minuscule and seemingly irrelevant action can have such far reaching consequences. Ever imagined that every second of your existence affects the way the universe functions? People who you meet everyday, places you go to.

You're late for work. Rushing out, you forget your wallet at home. You head back, cursing the day under your breath and grumble about how you're going to deal with your boss. What you don't know is that had you been on time, you would have met with an accident exactly 15 seconds earlier and been in the place of a certain person (X). Had that person not been the one there, he would have gone on to murder another person (Y) in a classic case of third-degree homicide. Had that happened, the person Y wouldn't have gone on to have a family, and who's son would not have contributed to the use of a weapon of mass destruction.... this can go on a long long time.

People you see in a crowd. Ever wondered why you keep running into one of them over and over again? What if you're affecting their lives in epochal ways, or vice versa? Six degrees of separation reduces itself to a case of multiple linkages. And how certain things keep coming back to you, across time and space.

I am not a believer. I'm an explorer. A wanderer. And I am in search of answers.
Logic leads me to statistics.
Statistics lead me to probability.
Probability prescribes only coincidence as a valid explanation.
But where do you draw the line?
When occurrences supercede all probable values, when do you know it's something more than coincidence?
9 times may be a coincidence, but how do you decide that the 10th isn't?
Is there something more than coincidence? If yes, what is it?
Is there a higher order of things? Is there any such thing as "Karma"?
Does there exist a metaphysical balance? Where does it come from?
How much can you attribute to random chance?

There are times when things fall into place. It all seems to fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. The probability of a certain chain of events happening is absurdly low. And yet, it happens. And one is left to wonder if there really is a bigger picture that we all miss out on. Such things have happened to me. And I have questions. Too many questions, and excruciatingly few answers.

Reference point : The Butterfly Effect / Chaos Theory.