Bhrigu's question

कभी जो याद भी आता हूँ मैं तो कहते हैं के आज बज़्म में कुछ फ़ित्ना-ओ-फ़साद नहीं - मिर्ज़ा ग़ालिब

Location: the valley, California, United States

Bay Area, Strategy Manager, Haas- U. C. Berkeley, Marathons

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum

Jonathan Yardley writes in the Washington Post:
[..]Rum is essentially an accident. On 17th-century sugar plantations in the Caribbean, "sugar wastes were considerable," chief among them molasses. Eventually, someone figured out that molasses combined with other ingredients could produce a potent if rather vile alcoholic drink that came to be called rum, perhaps as "a truncated version of rumbullion or rumbustion ," both of which "were British slang for 'tumult' or 'uproar,' " which, as Curtis puts it, conjures up images of "fractious islanders cracking one another over the head in rumbustious entanglements at island tippling houses."[..]
Read the entire article.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Badwater began this morning

The webcast can be accessed here. Everyone of them is a hero. But Indian eyes will be on Nattu Natraj.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

A champion's heart

Never mess around with an American, Aussie or German with his back to the wall. Here is today's champion. What an amazing ride today! No superlatives can be adequate . More here & here.

Upholding freedom

This is the image of the so-called directive from the Indian government ordering a ban on some websites (from Sepia Mutiny).

The process by which the blocking and unblocking of sites have occurred in the past two days bears scrutiny. The order on the left seems to have been signed by a Asst. Dir General of the LR cell of the Department of Telecom. That, a lowly bureaucrat had the gall to send a directive to major ISPs is amazing. What was his locus standi in this matter? Why did he not give an explanation in his letter? What is the position of Indian law on these matters?

More importantly, why did the ISPs act so hastily on receiving this order? Didn't they even consider, for a minute, the consequences of their actions in inhibiting freedom of speech, in actively participating as state-sponsored machinery in curtailing the freedom of expression? Did they even consider taking a legal opinion on this important issue? Did they even suggest to the powers that be that there needs to be a public debate before such blanket bans are enforced.

The role of ISPs in transgressing some of the basic elements of the Indian constitution is worrying, if not downright frightening. Do the very same ISPs and telecom service providers provide website-traffic data, telephone-call data, and details of other private transactions to nameless government bureaucrats on merely being asked to do so?

Be afraid. Very afraid.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Track Etiquette - a story

I had a great track workout today. I had not done one since 2004. I did a set of:
1 mile warm-up at 10.10,
800 at 3.46,
1 mile at 7.48,
800 m at 3.56,
followed by a 1 mile cool down run.

The story however, does not relate to my run which, by the way, was terrific. I was running with my buddy, when I noticed two ladies walking ahead of us. I yelled "track", but they did not budge.I asked politely, "Ma'am, could you please move to that track" {pointing to the track closest to the fence}. No response. As I passed them, I pointed to the track and made a "move there, please" gesture.

We carried on. Soon we encountered them again, and the same story was repeated. When the 800 m run was completed, they passed us. I walked up to the ladies and informed them politely where they ought to do their walking. One lady gently said, " We typically walk on different numbers after every round." The other one looked at me sternly and said: "We'll walk where we WANT to!".

Taken aback, I told her, "No ma'am. There are rules for running/walking on the track. You must not walk on the middle tracks when runners are out there." She ignored me and continued walking.

Now, these two ladies were immigrants (probably from mainland China) and perhaps, my Indian accented English confused them! However, I was aghast that one of the ladies was rude inspite of my polite request. The other lady was quite accommodative.

It is quite disappointing to see many people use the tracks as paths for walking. While we do track workouts, we are targeting a particular pace. Sometimes, runners are zoned out and are not aware of a walker until the last moment. Therefore, it is not only distracting, but quite hazardous to walk on the tracks. Some runners do their warm up runs anti-clockwise in lane 2 or 3! I do realise that not everyone is aware of track etiquette. But, when someone tries to inform you of it, you ought to listen.

See these links 1, 2, 3, that contain info on track etiquette.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Quiz Question: Name the footballer

He lives in Huntington beach California with his Chinese-American wife Debbie Chin and their two children. He comes from a family of bakers from a town called Goppingen, and is, in fact, a trained baker himself. His tendency to dive in the penalty box earned him the nickname ''Submarine Commander'. He took that in his stride when he played for Tottenham Hotspur, by celebrating his goals with a diving action. Under the pseudonym Jay Goppingen, he made a comeback as a player in 2003 for Orange County Blue Star in the American Premier Development League . The 39-year-old was able to score five goals in eight appearances, helping his team to reach the playoffs.