Saturday, December 06, 2014

~ Interstellar ~

Watched the movie Interstellar last Friday and was spellbound. Such movies definitely triggers one's imagination of life outside our planet and inspires people to explore Space.

Though the movie is quite complex for an average human, Christopher Nolan has tried his best to keep the movie scientific and entertaining throughout. Few of my friends who had watched the movie, did share links to brush upon concepts like Wormhole, Blackhole, Space-Time-Gravity, so that the movie can be understood. I didn't read much of; the climax is complex to assimilate the 
5-Dimensional world where communication happens through gravity. 

Post the movie, I did Google to find out more about what inspired Nolan brothers to write a movie on Space. Most of us know Christopher Nolan as the director of Inception and Batman Trilogy. It is interesting to know that both the brothers were fascinated with Space from an earlier young age.  To keep the movie narrative scientific, they did sign Caltech Physicist Kip Thorne as technical advisor. He challenged the artistic process of movie making to keep it more real.

You can watch Time's interview of Christopher Nolan and Kip Thorne here


The effort put by the Nolans into the making of Interstellar has definitely set the bar higher for other directors who wish to make movies on Space. For those who wish to read the concepts in details, Kip Thorne has written a book 'The Science of Interstellar'. Here is the description of the book:


Interstellar, from acclaimed filmmaker Christopher Nolan, takes us on a fantastic voyage far beyond our solar system. Yet in The Science of Interstellar, Kip Thorne, the physicist who assisted Nolan on the scientific aspects of Interstellar, shows us that the movie’s jaw-dropping events and stunning, never-before-attempted visuals are grounded in real science. Thorne shares his experiences working as the science adviser on the film and then moves on to the science itself. In chapters on wormholes, black holes, interstellar travel, and much more, Thorne’s scientific insights—many of them triggered during the actual scripting and shooting of Interstellar—describe the physical laws that govern our universe and the truly astounding phenomena that those laws make possible.

For those who of us who do not have time to read that book, Discovery has an episode on the same subject 'The Science of Interstellar' with narration from Mathew McConaughey explaining all the concepts to a layman. I suggest you watch it. 47 mins well spent!


I love what Marsha Ivins, former NASA astronaut, states "Every astronaut who has been to space, has come back and said the same thing. As you circle the earth from space, you do not see natural borders and boundaries  that separate the countries. All of the wars & angst that are tearing up the world feel insignificant from there".

Ain't that statement true? Just look at two countries that gained  Independence in 1947. One is trying to grow, explore & get better every year. While the other is just caught up in religion and bring down other countries. 

I wish and hope Space Travel become a reality in my lifetime.

References:

Thursday, October 02, 2014

~ Generalization is the problem ~

Generalization is the problem. People more often than not make such statements. Watch this video where Reza Aslan takes on the Bill Maher and the studio anchors of CNN.
Aslan, at this point pretty annoyed with Lemon and co-anchor Alisyn Camerota’s consistent mischaracterizations of his words, explained, “Islam doesn’t promote violence or peace. Islam is just a religion, and like every religion in the world, it depends on what you bring to it. If you’re a violent person, your Islam, your Judaism, your Christianity, your Hinduism, is going to be violent.”
Why can't media do their ground work and get their facts rights and not painting everyone with a same brush. The media's role is crucial in communicating facts rather than interpreting it and propagating an agenda.

Aslan has spoken against the extremists rules of Saudi Arabia. When he points out,"Saudi Arabia our closest ally  has beaheaded 19 people nobody seems to care or talk about it because Saudi Arabia sorta preserves our national interests." The news anchors don't have a response to it rather they switch to what Benjamin Netanyahu had to say in UN assembly.

Such is the foreign policy of Western Nations when it comes to taking a universal stance against human atrocities. ISIS beheading is a problem for everyone. While Saudi Arabia carrying out beheading in the name of justice isn't a problem for any? 


H/T: Salon 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

~ Spidermen in Bangalore ~

A tale of two men who scaled buildings around Bangalore in August.  

Jyotiraj alias Kothirama alias Spiderman, on 17 August was detained by Cubbon Park police for climbing the 22-storey V. V. Towers & hoist the tricolour on his birthday. Though there is no video of him scaling the towers. Enjoy the video of him made by Vocativ. 




On 19 August, James Kingston known as the “English Spider-Man” posted a video of him scaling a 325-foot crane in Bangalore on a construction site without any harness and dangling one-handed over the traffic below. 




Friday, August 22, 2014

~ Food for thought ~

As Ludwig Feuerbach, the German Philosopher and Anthropologist, in 1862 wrote in an essay  "man is what he eats". That phrase holds good even after 152 years.

This TED talk by Robyn O'Brian provides some very interesting insights on how the food we intake might be the cause for various allergies
& diseases, influx of GM food over the period of time, business model of many food companies & health companies, etc. 

Most of her research & analysis might be specific to the food supplies in the US market. That shouldn't matter, it still worth watching as Urban Indians are consuming produce & food products from supermarkets that sell imported ones. Better to expand your knowledge on the food items that you include in your everyday diet.

As Robyn rightly says, "None of us can do everything, but all of us can do something. Together we can bring the change". So invest 14 minutes of your time and spread the word.

Monday, August 04, 2014

~ Speed of darkness ~

Am sure you will be intrigued to know that speed of darkness > than speed of light. How? Watch this video from Michael. I bet you would watch it more than once to get things right. 


Actually there is more to know than what we know i.e. there is more darkness than light in this world.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

~ Japanese traditional way of eating Sushi ~

I had my share of discomfort during my first visit to a Sushi restaurant in the US. Here is a video on how to eat Sushi the traditional way and the mannerism associated with it. The thing about Japanese is that most of their daily habits have some kind of ritual to be performed. The video might be hilarious, but is informative. 



Thursday, July 24, 2014

~ News traders ~

Gone are the days where journalists used to report news AS IS. These days they trade news based on who pays them ( the media owners to be precise). I know it is broad acquisition against all, but that's how I view them these days. The numbers of journalists who actually report news is quite few compared to the number of media companies that have grown in the past decade across India.

Thanks to Social Media & other alternate news site which provide a different perspective to abused, TRP seeking, continual *BREAKING NEWS* on every mainstream news channel, be it regional or national.

Public Service Broadcasting trust and Prasar Bharti Corporation have come together to produce a documentary on #PaidNews in Indian media. 
Note: This documentary is nearly 3 years old, but very relevant even today.


After watching it, you realise that many cases have not been taken to it's logical end by the Media. Watch what the Sports Journalists has to say about the media's role on IPL


40:53
it's happening life feel clock in the morning and still going on
41:00
the media which had been going gaga over the IP 0 for three years
41:05
sadly did a somersault a day after the times likes to serve the Baltimore these
41:09
for scams on the news all yesterday the Enforcement Directorate is doing
41:12
everything
41:13
to drag him back to India and face the charges said
41:19
it's like upto order readers or your viewers
41:23
I like a herd you you them in one direction could one day
41:26
and southerly when they actually you're getting exposed
41:29
who were exposed also in this the people who had not call their viewers
41:34
I'm sure they've really don't hesitate to ask was reading newspapers are those
41:38
really P weekend as
41:40
the foot three years you told us a different story know all of a sudden you
41:44
are
41:45
picking a somersault and saying everything is on the border
41:49
this man are about to %uh this poor River you for these two years


Following are some of them which I regularly follow:
News Laundry
Media Crooks
Media Nama
The News Minute

Which alternative sites do you visit on a daily basis for your news? Do share them. 

Source: News Laundry

Saturday, July 19, 2014

~ Trust ~

Trust, a belief which one has in someone or something. Trust isn't natural. It takes sufficient time to develop trust in people or brand or company. The only relationship where it is natural is between a Mother and Child.

Trust is an invisible thread in our daily lives. We don't take much cognisance of it, but very much there in every aspect of our lives. Right from Family, Domestic Help, Teachers, Drivers, Colleagues & Friends. Last but no the least, religious people have their trust in {invisible} GOD. The trust with all those individuals didn't happen over night, it was gradually built over a period of time.

One such relationship which is very key & essential to the development of child to an successful individual is that of Student and Teacher. The Teacher plays a major role in the over-all development of a kid in the formative years of school. Of-course kids do imbibe & learn a lot from their parents and extended families. Teacher may primarily be responsible for imparting knowledge for growth and development of a student. At times they can also be a role model for some.

If you are wondering what is this post all about? Am ranting about Trust, Student-Teacher relationship., etc. Well it is my anger and frustration at the Teachers & Management of VIBGYOR HIGH school on Varthur-Haralur Road, near Kundalahalli Gate, Bangalore. Two teachers raped a 6 year old girl in the school premises on July 1st. Yes, you read it right, two teachers RAPED a 6 YEAR OLD girl. Apparently her parents realised it only after 3 days past the incident, when a stranger called them up to check on the girl. Until then her parents were treating her for stomach ache & fever. 

It is very horrific incident for a 6 yr old & the turmoil her parents are undergoing. She didn't known what happened with her at school & never told to her parents about it. Her innocence is shown when she asks her mother this.
"Momma, Papa is not bad, na?" asked Rhea, 6, after she narrated to her mother what had happened to her in a dark room in her VIBGYOR HIGH school upmarket school in East Bangalore.
"The child revealed nothing to her parents, but the trauma showed up in the form of stomach ache and intermittent fever in the following week." 
"Her parents would have been in the dark if not for a call from a stranger on July 9, asking why the child was not attending school." "It was a woman doctor at a private hospital in Marathahalli who educated the parents about the vaginal tear and the reasons for the child's stomach ache. She told them Rhea had been sexually assaulted. Till then, the child was being treated for high fever, though she had been complaining to her mother about pain in her private parts."
Finally the case was taken up on July 14th.
"She spoke about the harassment by two male staff in the school. Her mother was shocked. The sexual assault was confirmed after the parents took the kid to a private hospital on July 11, after fighting among themselves whether to believe what she had told them or not," says Radha R of the special juvenile police unit, Association for Promoting Social Action (APSA), who took up the case on July 14 , soon after the father rang up the childline."
Even after so much evidence, the school authorities haven't owned their failure in handling the entire matter nor have they helped identify and handover the culprit teachers. The cops haven't helped in anyway to expedite the case and arrest the guilty. Bangalore cops might have been doing good off-late, but then they have been sloppy and insensitive in this particular case. They have made the 6 yr old undergo medical tests twice. WTF! is wrong with you guys???
"In gross violation of norms governing child abuse cases, the child rape survivor was put through medical tests twice. The 6 year-old was allegedly raped in her school on July 2.
On July 11, the child underwent the first medical test in a private hospital in Marathahalli.
On July 15, police took the child to Vaidehi Medical College and Hospital for another test. “Police said the case would get stronger if the medical test was done in a hospital under their jurisdiction, which is ridiculous,'' said a child-rights activist who is with the parents. No Child Welfare Committee (CWC) member was present at either test."
Today, a lot of parents who send their kids to VIBGYOR school and citizens came forward to protest against the school and demand the police to arrest the culprits. Not really sure what our Chief Minister & Home Minister are doing about the whole situation. There have been 3 rapes reported in the last 5 days. 

The number of people who turned up should sound alarm to those are in power should not take us for granted.






~ Photos by my friend Venkat ~

Also Times of India, when they first reported this case they clearly stated *VIBGYOR HIGH* school. Now, they have been masking the name of the school, stating *UPMARKET*.  Is this journalistic practice?

The little girl's *Trust* has been broken. Not really sure if she would ever trust a Teacher in the coming years. Hope she recovers soon from trauma & gets back to normal. At the same time, citizen of this city and country have lost faith in GOVERNMENT, POLITICIANS & POLICE



~ Mission statement on VIBGYOR HIGH ~

Mr Rustom Kerawalla, chairman of VIBGYOR HIGH, just putting up mission statement on your website isn't good enough. Please walk the talk and reach out to the parents. Also hand over all the teachers who were responsible for the entire episode - the rapists and those who helped cover up the matter.

Additional reading (ordered by date)

Man abducts 6-year-old from school, rapes her
Cops question two suspects, hold identification parade
Sexual assault on girl came to light after stranger called mom
Cops flout rule, test 6-yr-old girl twice
Sexual assault on girl came to light after stranger called mother

Updates

21 July 2014 | Skating instructor arrested for the 6 yr old rape.
Deccan Herald
TOI - Looks like TOI has kind of pact with the school that they don't publish the name of the school - VIBGYOR HIGH

30 July 2014 | Another twist in the tale. Mustafa, the skating instructor arrested might not be the culprit. Instead two other instructors have been arrested in the case. However, Mustafa is alleged to have committed a rape of a 14yr old girl in Deen's academy, the school were he worked prior to joining VIBGYOR HIGH.
Deccan Herald

5 Aug 2014 | The Union Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry has asked the Council of Indian School Certificate Examination (CISCE) to furnish a detailed report on the rape of a primary school student within the premises of a High School in Bangalore last month. The Hindu

Monday, July 07, 2014

~ Be a Now-ist ~

Love this talk by Joi Ito on how the Internet has transformed the world of building things at lower cost, bottom-up innovation, community driven development & continuos development. 


Like the way he says, "Don't be futurist, be a Now-ist".

More about Joi Ito.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

~ Amazon's retail revolution ~

This BBC documentary covers how Jeff Bezos built Amazon retailing business, how it works, disrupted the local businesses and how it is investing it's profits into new businesses. It might be making our lives lot more easier at the same time ruining someone's life.


So next time you decide on what you wanna do, support the local business or buy from an online retailing company. Homegrown e-retailing Flipkart is following Amazon's footsteps.

Friday, June 27, 2014

~ Sugar: The bitter pill ~


We often don't pay attention to what we eat. Do watch the video & that should provide you some food for thought on the impact of Sugar consumption in your daily life. Next time you crave for those Donuts, Cake, Pastries, etc do think twice on the amount of sugar intake. 

Watch what you eat & live healthy!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

~ FIFA 2014 schedule ~

All footie fans here you go with the FIFA world cup schedule. All events are shown in India Standard Time zone.


Also check out posters of all the 32 national teams who are participating in FIFA2014.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

~ The drones are coming ~

Forget Robots, the Drones are coming. They are gonna take up a lot of different roles, just not delivery goods or disaster management or dropping bombs. They can also take your dog for a walk :)

Yesterday a Mumbai based eatery delivered pizza using a drone.

Via TOI

If thats not good then you should check out what the New York based videographer do with the drone


Do share if you have come across more interesting use-cases of drones.

Friday, May 16, 2014

~ India 2014 ~

I might not have witnessed freedom struggle for Indian independence. However, I did witness something historic & significant today,16 May 2014, which is decimation of Indian National Congress (INC) Party and freedom from them for next 5 years {or may be more}.

If you look at the shaded map below, the regions highlighted in blue show the impact and presence of INC. That is how badly the grand-old dynastic political party have performed in 16th Loksabha Elections of India.



The number of seats won by the BJP in Loksabha elections is probably biggest by a Non-Congress party in Independent India. Am happy that people of India have given a good mandate for the NDA to serve us better. Am sure Muslims did vote for Modi (BJP/NDA) considering the number of seats won in UP & Bihar and complete results in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Delhi.

The man at the helm is Narendra Modi, who has done the planning and work to get his party the majority. He has been hounded by media (both national & international), many political parties, countries have denied VISA & many intellectuals have spoken their mind on Gujarat Riots, Development of state, etc. Today while he spoke at Vadodara, he stated once again that he will work for every Indian & with every MP. Also stated that he wanted support from various political parties to take India ahead.

It is time people for Narendra Modi & his team to deliver in the coming 5 years as they have a clear mandate & majority. The elections results have silenced many of the Journalists, Political Spokespersons, Intellectuals, Pseudo-Seculars - who were spreading messages of fear amongst the minorities if Modi becomes PM during the campaigns.

I wish to see Modi go by his words that were made during the elections campaign that stressed upon betterment of every Indian citizen over Religion / Caste. Hope we Indians also raise above religion in our thinking and evolve for good. 

A good opposition is needed to have check and keep the ruling party grounded in Democracy. Hope Aam Admi Party & Congress do their retrospective studies and give some fight in the upcoming Delhi & Bihar Elections. If the Congress thinks they can divide and rule Indians they will end up with another defeat. First, move away from being a Dynastic political party. 

If you want to know why congress lost then check out the gems from the Rahul Gandhi, Vice President of Congress. Am sure you will enjoy them & thank me for sharing it :)

Elections results can be found on Election Commission of India or highly interactive visualisation by Gramener.

Good night!

~ Social Media & Indian Elections 2014 ~

Social Media has played an vital role in India's central elections which took place between April'14 & May'14.

BJP got it's marketing strategy correctly with the help of (CAG) Citizens Accountability Group that is helping the NDA lead the elections as of now.


Twitter one of the Social Media which was widely used by Politicians, Journalists, Celebrities & Citizens gave a glimpse and the pulse of the nation and mood of #Elections2014. Here is an article on how the world tweeted to India's elections.

Here’s the winner of #IndianElections on Twitter, which was used by major political parties

Here is an visualization of hotspots on how the world Tweeted related to India's elections. 

Here are the tweets related to #Elections2014 from 1/1/14 to 16/5/14.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

~ Smartphones & dumb people ~

If you haven't yet watched this movie then please do. Technology is a catalyst to make lives easier & simple. As with everything if you end up over doing a specific thing then you become an addict & need rehabilitation. 

So lookup & stare away from the display. Move away from "Always connected" in the virtual world to being with family & friends in the real world. We only have finite time to live, so enjoy it!



'Look Up' - A spoken word film for an online generation

Monday, May 12, 2014

~ Arsenal 2014 ~

Man City won crucial ties, scored more goals & rightly deserve to be the champions of 2014.

However, Gunners stayed at top of the league for the maximum number of days - 128 and ended up finishing 4th. 

It doesn't matter how many days the team stayed on top of the table unless they remain their at the end of season. 




COYG! win the FA cup and end the trophy draught.

~ Evaluate ~

Most of us have misplaced objectives who value tea-cup more than tea. Seth Godin has a good post "Speedometer confusion" that offers us insight into how we shape our lives with what we have vs what we want.

The number on the speedometer isn't always an indication of how fast you're getting to where you're going.
You might, after all, be driving in circles, really quickly.
Campbell's Law tells us that as soon as a number is used as the measurement for something, someone will get confused and start gaming the number, believing that they're also improving the underlying metric, when, in actuallity, they're merely making the number go up. 
Here are a few measurements that are often the result of speedometer confusion:
  • Book sales vs. Impact
  • Money vs. Happiness
  • Twitter followers vs. Anything
  • Money raised vs. Votes earned
  • Weight vs. Health
  • Income vs. Skill
  • Facebook likes vs. Liked
  • Tenure vs. Competence
  • Length vs. Quality
  • Faster? How about better?

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

~ Creativity & Walking ~

If you want to improve your creative thinking then start walking, either indoor or outdoor.

new study by Stanford researchers provides an explanation for this. 
Creative thinking improves while a person is walking and shortly thereafter, according to a study co-authored by Marily Oppezzo, a Stanford doctoral graduate in educational psychology, and Daniel Schwartz, a professor at Stanford Graduate School of Education.
The study found that walking indoors or outdoors similarly boosted creative inspiration. The act of walking itself, and not the environment, was the main factor. Across the board, creativity levels were consistently and significantly higher for those walking compared to those sitting.
Source: Stanford study finds walking improves creativity   

Sunday, April 13, 2014

~ Fastfood & Obesity ~

Just another sunny Sunday afternoon lazing at home & changing channels came across this documentary "The men who made us fat" that was being shown on BCC World.

It's a 3 part documentary on how the fast-food giants have made an impact on public health & how young people are consuming more than required food with access to cheap food. The fast-food doesn't really bring in much nutrition rather adds a lot of fat to your body.

US & UK have both experienced obesity due to fast-food chains. It's time we Indians eat some health food & not indulge much in fast-food. As fast-food chains are mushrooming across various cities & towns of India, it's up to the parents to decide what makes a good diet for kids and their health. Hope the adults have enough sense between their ears to decide what to eat.

~ Episode 1 ~

~ Episode 2 ~

~ Episode 3 ~

If you wish to read additional posts related to health.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

~ The Expert ~

Any engineer who has been in a business meeting in supporting new business or feasibility study will get this perfectly. 


As always such business meetings are totally productive. So next time you are called an Expert in a meeting then you know what it means ;)


Monday, March 31, 2014

~ Mesmerising Messi ~

A short narration on the character of Lionel Messi. A player who doesn't go down easily like the rest of his La Liga players. His football does all the talking. Just watch the video to know more.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

~ Happiness ~

One state that everyone wants to be, happiness :) Just be in the moment & be Happy. The original song from Pharrell Williams has struck chord with people across the world & here is a collection of videos from various cities expressing Happiness.


~ Original ~

~ Bangalore ~

~ Paris ~

~ London ~

~ Dubai ~

~ Berlin ~

~ Budapest ~

~ Lyon ~

~ Sydney~

~ Tokyo ~

~ Kochi ~

~ Slovakia ~

~ Seville ~

~ Tahiti ~

~ Rome ~

~ Vienna ~

~ Torino ~

~ Dublin ~

~ Myanmar ~

~ Napoli ~

~ Buenos Aires ~

~ Marrakech ~

~ Dakar ~

~ Afrika Edition ~

~ Namibia ~

~ Croatia ~

~ Bosnia ~

~ Kenya ~

~ Siena, Tuscany. Interesting to see Bharata Natyam in the video ;)  ~ 

~ Moscow ~


I spent the last one hour watching people across the world dancing to the song Happy. Music does bring people closer :) 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

~ The Vogelkop Bowerbird: Nature's Great Seducer ~

Is it natural that the male has to woo the female? The male Bowerbird puts an impressive display to attract the female bird.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

~ What is the maximum length of a valid email address? ~

Recently, a client reported an issue related to the length of an email address. This prompted me to Google for the same. 

To be frank, I had never bothered much about the length and always thought it be the local part to be about 30 characters. Practically it doesn't make sense for someone to have an email address with 60 characters. 

But then we have RFC and revision. The post by Dominic Sayers shows how much discussion happens over what we consider to be trivial J



Monday, March 03, 2014

~ Alternate energy ~

BMTC debuts with India's first electric bus. Here are some stats:

  1. The bus is made by the Chinese Auto maker BYD Auto
  2. 4 ferrous batteries generate 540 volts of electricity
  3. Can cover 250kms in single charge, with a max speed of 96km/hr
  4. Takes 5 hours to charge normally & half time for a supercharge


Image source: Ibtimes


In the second news, Madhya Pradesh debuts with India's largest solar power plant. Here are some stats:

  1. Is the largest capacity presently under execution in a single location, both in India as well as the entire Asian continent
  2. The solar plant is one of the largest solar plants in the world spread across 800 acres of barren terrain.
  3. 216,372 tonnes of carbon will be mitigated annually.
  4. The plant is expected to cater to power needs of 6.24 lakh homes in the state.
  5. The 151 (DC) MW project operated by Welspun Energy Limited (WEL)

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

~ Travel | Fuel price comparison tool ~

If you are planning for an holiday & wish to rent a vehicle to explore the place on your own and didn't know the how much the fuel is gonna cost you. Don't worry there is a website which provides you the exactly the same information in the currency of your preference

Interesting to know that the cost of petrol / diesel in India is much cheaper compared to other nations. See the graphs below which gives you an idea where India ranks. *The price listed is in India Rupee.


Price of Petrol


Price of Diesel
Source: Petrol prices 

Sunday, February 09, 2014

~ Be nice ~

The following are extracts from a girl who experienced a change in how people behaved or interacted with her in public domain, purely based on her attire. I suggest you to read her blogpost & adopt the same in your daily life.
"The power of this experience lies in the fact that it was not an intentional experiment. It happened simply because of the Chiberian weather which required me to cover as much of by body with warm pieces of cloth. Apparently, the type of cloth you place or wrap around your head defines how you will be treated."
"I pray one day, and soon, that people will be familiar enough with all other cultures and beliefs that they are not afraid or have reservations, and that the thing that stands out to them is not the wrap around my head, but the smile on my face."
Good learning for all. Time to change one's perspective about people, based on how they dress or look. If you are a parent then suggest you to groom your young one(s) about the moral of accepting people from diverse back grounds, cultures, belief systems & different sexual orientation. As in Urban India, we are seeing a lot of people from different states living in a city. We need different kind of social education in the younger ones where they mingle with everyone & not just flock by their feather. 

Saturday, February 08, 2014

~ Right to education ~

ASER has done a great job in coming up with statistics from across India. Interesting to know as to the percentage of children going to Private schools across various states:

  • 60% in Kerala & Manipur
  • 54% in Haryana
  • 42% in Punjab, J&K, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan & Meghalaya
  • 30-40% in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh & Himachal Pradesh 
  • 20-30% in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh & Sikkim
  • 10-20% in Gujarat, Jharkhand, Chattisgargh & Assam
  • < 10% in Bihar, West Bengal, Orrisa & Tripura


There is large number of state where 50% receive private education outside schools. Education planning needs to consider the large number of people enrolling to private institutions, so that Government institutions can do better.

Right To Education is a good thing for India as long as we can keep the drop outs low. Hats off to the efforts of volunteers who worked with ASER to come with the stats.


Via Hans Rosling

Sunday, February 02, 2014

~ Media blacks out Snowden interview ~


This past Sunday evening former NSA contractor Edward Snowden sat down for an interview with German television network ARD. The interview has been intentionally blocked from the US public, with virtually no major broadcast news outlets covering this story. In addition, the video has been taken down almost immediately every time it’s posted on YouTube.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

~ How internet works ~

For a few hours in February 2008, Pakistan held hostage all the world’s cute cat videos.
The situation came about when the Pakistani government, in an attempt to prevent its own citizens from accessing what it decided was offensive content, ordered Pakistan Telecom to block access to the video-sharing website YouTube. To do so, Pakistan Telecom falsely informed its customers’ computers that the most direct route to YouTube was through Pakistan Telecom and then prevented Pakistani users from reaching the genuine YouTube site. Unfortunately, the company’s network shared this false claim of identity beyond its own network, and the false news of the most direct way to YouTube spread across the Internet’s underlying mechanisms. Soon over two-thirds of all the world’s Internet users were being misdirected to the fake YouTube location, which, in turn, overwhelmed Pakistan Telecom’s own network.
Source: https://medium.com/editors-picks/1a421f4f17fc

Sunday, January 12, 2014

~ What happens while we sleep ~

As humans spend one-third of their lives sleeping, none of us curious to know what happens while we sleep. Most of us follow the normal routine; as night approaches we go to bed to get our daily dose of rest, so that we can start our next day afresh. 

Maiken Nedergaard, a Danish biologist and Sigrid Veasey, Associate Professor of Medicine at University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Sleep and Circadian Neurobiology have some interesting insights into the sleep function, the nocturnal cycle of the body mechanism & highlights the effects of lack of sleep. 

Here are some excerpts from Maria Konnikova's  post in NYT "Goodnight. Sleep Clean."
In a series of new studies, published this fall in the journal Science, the Nedergaard lab may at last be shedding light on just what it is that would be important enough. Sleep, it turns out, may play a crucial role in our brain’s physiological maintenance. As your body sleeps, your brain is quite actively playing the part of mental janitor: It’s clearing out all of the junk that has accumulated as a result of your daily thinking.
The lymphatic system serves as the body’s custodian: Whenever waste is formed, it sweeps it clean. The brain, however, is outside its reach — despite the fact that your brain uses up about 20 percent of your body’s energy. How, then, does its waste — like beta-amyloid, a protein associated with Alzheimer’s disease — get cleared? What happens to all the wrappers and leftovers that litter the room after any mental workout?
MODERN society is increasingly ill equipped to provide our brains with the requisite cleaning time. The figures are stark. Some 80 percent of working adults suffer to some extent from sleep deprivation. According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults should sleep seven to nine hours. On average, we’re getting one to two hours less sleep a night than we did 50 to 100 years ago and 38 minutes less on weeknights than we did as little as 10 years ago. Between 50 and 70 million people in the United States suffer from some form of chronic sleep disorder. When our sleep is disturbed, whatever the cause, our cleaning system breaks down. At the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Sleep and Circadian Neurobiology, Sigrid Veasey has been focusing on precisely how restless nights disturb the brain’s normal metabolism. What happens to our cognitive function when the trash piles up?
There is, however, reason to hope. If the main function of sleep is to take out our neural trash, that insight could eventually enable a new understanding of both neurodegenerative diseases and regular, age-related cognitive decline. By developing a diagnostic test to measure how well the glymphatic system functions, we could move one step closer to predicting someone’s risk of developing conditions like Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia: The faster the fluids clear the decks, the more effectively the brain’s metabolism is functioning.