Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Twinkle twinkle little star...

The night sky with plenty of stars is indeed a sight for sore eyes. It feels good to gaze at the quiet night sky but there is more to it than meets the eye. Most of the stars that we see during night wont even exist now!! Can’t believe it? But that’s how it works anyway. The stars that we see are located several light years from earth, meaning that light travelling at 3x10^8 m/s takes several years to reach earth. So technically what we are seeing is the light from stars that have started several years ago. So assume a star which is about 10 light years from earth. Now if that star were to die today we would still see it for another 10 years.

If this is confusing then a simple example would be our Sun. Light takes around 8 minutes to reach earth from the sun. So if the sun suddenly turns off now, we would still see the sun for 8 minutes. So what we see in the sky are the past of the stars. We can look into the past!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Lucid Dream 2.0

This is yet another addition to my previous two posts. I recommend you read them and come back to this post. In this post, I will attempt to tell you one of the methods to have a dream initiated lucid dream. This is where reality checks comes in. ‘Pinch me, I must be dreaming’ is one such famous checks, but often fails in many dreams. Reality check is some event that you do to see if you are in reality or in a dream. Some of the best methods are, looking into a digital watch, remembering the current time, looking away and again looking back at the watch. If you are on a dream, you might see random numbers during the second time. Looking into a mirror also works. If you are in a dream, you mostly don’t see the actual you in the mirror. One more test is, read some text, look away and look back at the text again. If you are in a dream, the text would have changed in some way.

So one should do these tests now and then when he is awake. So while dreaming, he does these tests subconsciously and thus conclude that he is in a dream and continue on. Sometimes you may dream of getting up and you think you are awake. But actually you are in a dream. Sooo inception like, right? So next time after a lucid dream when you think you are awake, do a reality check…
twine tastes so good cats ask for it by name

Friday, December 24, 2010

Lucid Dream (you can have one...)

As an addition to my previous post about lucid dream, in this post I will attempt to tell you how to get into a lucid dream. Lucid dreams are closely related to Out-Of-Body-Experience. OOBE is where you seem to float out of your body and do things that you wish. Similar to a dream, but you control what you do. So when trying to have a lucid dream, people tell that they experience leaving their body sometimes. So as the first step to having a lucid dream, you should be able to remember your everyday dreams. Having a dairy or a recorder and recording what you dreamed as soon as you wake-up helps.

For a lucid dream, you have to get into a state between awake and asleep. From many methods, the one that I tried and the one worked is as follows. Get up a couple of hours earlier in the morning. Stay awake for about an hour. Do something like, read things about lucid dream etc. Then go back to bed with your eyes open and do things like counting your breath. This is a good time for your body to go to sleep and you still are aware. You would probably experience sleep paralysis at this stage where you seem to be awake and yet you can’t move or talk. This is normal and during this time, think of what you want your dream to be and go on.  This is a wake initiated lucid dream. I will explain a dream initiated lucid dream in my next post. TC.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Inception - Dream Control

One of the most interesting and talked about movie in the recent times, Inception, really has a great plot. Some parts of this article might be a spoiler for the movie. So for the people who didn’t see the film yet, I suggest you not to miss this. Getting into the story, do you think it would be possible to dream knowing you are dreaming? Is it possible to control what we are dreaming? Well, the answer is yes. This is termed “Lucid Dream”. In a lucid dream, the person dreaming consciously knows that he is in a dream and continues dreaming. Want some more…, once you get into this state of having a lucid dream, with some experience, you can even control the events in your dream.
Considering lucid dream, there are two types of getting into it. One is where you dream of something and at some point, you seem to conclude that it is actually a dream and continue with it(dream initiated). The other is where you get to a lucid dream conciously just as you get into sleep(wake initiated). This is not a modern discovery as lucid dream was discussed around 410 AD. For people who have troubles having nightmares, this can help you as you can control your dream. As for others, you can do interesting things like fly around etc. This is one of the things to try out…

Monday, December 20, 2010

Jingle Bells ^_^

 “Ho ho ho!!”. The one thing that comes to mind when you hear this is Santa Claus and the joy of Christmas. On the eve of Christmas people do a lot a lot of shopping, families have a good time with a grand feast, children waiting for Santa to come down the chimney and give them presents, the soft touch of snow flakes on your cheeks – these are the cherished moments of Christmas. On the eve of Christmas families get together and decorate/personalize their Christmas Trees with all sorts of stars, lights and coasters. The Christmas carols and hymns sung by people and children set the mood and give you the joyful Christmas spirit. Lovers and couples would love to get a moment under the mistletoe(*wink*).
On the day of Christmas, children wake up to the glee of opening their presents. Families visit their relatives and have a good time. The Christmas sprit lives on until the new year arrives. This Christmas I hope santa gets me a Playstation 3(*wink*). So what do you want for Christmas this year?
PS – Wish you all a happy and joyous Christmas

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

the CUBE

I spend a lot of time travelling each day. So tried reading books and doing puzzles to spend my travel times with some use. I slept most of the time though.  During the past month or so, I got a new Rubik’s cube and got serious with it. It really needs some brains to do it. In a couple of days I solved it using the beginners method that’s all over the internet. On seeing me many of my friends got a cube and then we started competing for the quickest solve. So I practiced it during my travel time and my time got around 4 minutes and then to around 3 minutes. After this I studied about speedsolving. It is solving the cube fast(duh).

Anyway, I learned a method called the Fridrich’s method. Also I got to know that the pros actually lubricate their cube to make it move smooth. After all this, my current time is around 2 min. My plan is to be able to complete the cube blindfolded. This really needs some serious memory. You actually need to remember the cube and keep track of each piece after each move. So a rubik’s cube is a good puzzle to work your brains in your spare time.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Midou Ban - Get Backers

Midou Ban is one of the main characters in the anime series GetBackers. He is one of my favourite anime characters of all. He is known for his mysterious ability called ‘Evil Eye’. He is supposedly the grandson of the ‘Last witch of 20th century’, born under the star Asclepius. So his grandma taught him some witch craft and he learned the evil eye from her. As he is born under the star Asclepius, he has super human strength. One of his well known ability is that he has a grip of 200kg in each hand. Using this he seems to crush hard objects, punch into walls and damage buildings.

He is a genius in battle as he always has his calm and battles with great tactics. Talking about his battles, his best ability is his ‘evil eye’. The evil eye is the ability to make the opponent/s hallucinate a dream of his choice and design for a whole minute. Though its only a minute, it seems a long time for the opponent. The evil eye has it limits though. He cannot use it for more than 3 times a day and cant use it more than once for a same person within 24 hours. He is one of the best anime characters ever made…

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Afro Samurai

Afro samurai is a short and fast paced anime made from a japanese manga series. The anime has only 5 episodes based on a story about a swordsman, afro that takes place in futuristic/feudal Japan. In that time where the story takes place, the person with the Number 1 head band is said to be the strongest warrior in the world and he is seen as godlike. Anyway the only way to obtain the Number 1 head band is to get the Number 2 head band and challenge Number 1. Anyone can challenge Number 2 but only Number 2 can challenge Number 1.

The story begins with the current Number 2, Justice, who is challenges the Number 1, Rokutaro. They battle fiercely and in the end, Justice prevails beheading Rokutaro. A small boy, Afro, the son of Number 1 watches all this as Justice claimes the Number 1 head band. So the story picks up as Afro who is now a grown up swordsman and the owner of Number 2 head band, battles to avenge his father and become Number 1. The anime is really fast and action packed. But it contains some gore and explicit language. Another thing to point out is that Afro was voiced by Samuel L. Jackson.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Death Note

Death Note is a manga series which was one of the best in my opinion. The story of death note revolves around a high school student, Light Yagami who finds a mysterious note book called 'Death Note' wherein a person dies if his/her name is written in it. The story thus continues as Light tries to bring down evil and make the world a better place and a world class detective 'L' who tries to stop him. Later the successors of 'L', Mello and Near tries to bring Light down. The way Light tactically takes down people and the way 'L' tries to find him are just too awesome.

After the manga series was a hit among manga lovers, Death Note was made into an anime developed by Madhouse and directed by Tetsuro Araki. The anime had 37 episodes and according to me, this was one of the best animes ever. After the sussess of the anime, 3 movies with real people was also made.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Hot Chilli

The first thing that comes to our mind when we think about chilli is that it is HOT. But why is it hot? What gives chilli its hot sensation? The answer is a substance called ‘Capsaicin’ and other related chemicals collectively known as ‘capsaicinoids’. When we eae chilli, the capsaicinoids present in them bind themselves with the pain receptors in our throat which is responsible for sensing heat. These receptors sends a message to the brain which says he has ate something hot. The brain in turn responds to this message by increasing the heart rate, perspiration rate and endorphin release.

So why does chilli have this capsaicin? The answer, according to scientists is evolution. The plant produces seeds so that they can be eaten and spread out by birds and so they can exist without extinction. But the hotness however is to inhibit a fungus called Fusarium which is the main cause of seed mortality. The birds anyway doesn’t have the necessary organs to experience the spicy taste and so the hotness is not a big deal for them. One of the other important aspect of capsaicin according to a new study is that it can help in killing cancer without harming other cells and that too with no side effects.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Balls of Fury

After a days hectic work, I take a break and play some Table Tennis(TT) with my friends. The place that I work in offers some games like carom, chess, TT, etc. At first it was a bit hard to play as I didn’t have any experience in it.  After a while we got better and started to play more and work less. The serve is one of the important things in TT. A good serve will always give you the edge.
There are two ways to hold the bat: pen-style and hand-shake method. While holding the bat in a pen-style way, the server has an advantage of a giving a powerful forehand to his opponent, however, backhand is affected severely. On the other hand, the hand-shake method is more popular as the server is able to react with a strong backhand to his opponents shots. There are even some really good players and we learnt some moves from them. As days &  hours went by, we mastered the serve, forehand, backhand, smashes & even advanced moves such as chopping & blocking.  We started teaming up with our friends and had some good matches. Too bad I am going to be transferred to a different work location shortly L.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Warren Buffet’s principles for successful investing

      1>      Rule:1 Never lose money
    Rule:2 Never forget rule 1    
2>     Never be afraid to ask for too much when selling or offer too little when buying.
3>     Look for business in which you think you can predict what they are going to look like in
10 to 15 years time. Take Wrigley’s chewing gum. I don’t think internet is going to change
How people chew gum.
4>     “If calculus or algebra were required to be a great investor, I’d have to go back to delivering newspaper”. All you need is addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and some little knowledge of percentage and probability. Anything more is a waste and anything less, you can’t play the game.
5>     You want to learn from experience, but you want to learn from other’s experience when you can.
6>     It is hard to teach a young dog, old tricks. All that matters here is age and experience. Youth and enthusiasm has no value.
7>     Wall street makes its money on activity. You make your money on inactivity.
8>     “You only have to do a very few things right in your life. So long as you don’t do too many things wrong”
9>     Fearful when others are greedy. Greedy when others are fearful.
       10>   The most important thing to do if you are in a hole is stop digging.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The "i" factor

I guess the first thing that comes to mind when the word “cellphone” is uttered has got to be “iPhone”!Apple has been in the lead with respect to its ‘revolutionalising’ mp3 players - iPod as well as their hi-tech and uber cool laptops/desktops - iMac.
With the new iPhone 4 out in the US & Europe, people are queueing for their latest smartphone. Another issue reported by some users within days of the iPhone 4 release was that during calls the proximity sensor can be insensitive and contact with the touchscreen can end calls, mute calls, and dial other numbers.
Inspite of these issues, the iPhone 4 is “THE” phone of 2010 with several unique & innovative features. Some of its improvements over its predecessors are the inclusion of 5MP camera with LED flash along with HD (high-definition) video capabilities.
Another new feature is “FaceTime” , which is a video calling software. Currently, it works only with Wi-Fi connection between an iPhone 4 or 4G apple device with another similar device (FaceTime compatible device).
Do those fingerprint marks on your cell annoy you? Fear not! The iPhone 4 uses a Lipophobic screen coating which repels fingerprint oils. (another “plus” for the iPhone 4!)
The hardware details of the “i4″ are equally commendable, with its rechargeable Lithium ion battery. With an Apple A4 (ARM Cortex-8) CPU & storage capacity of 16GB (or 32GB) , what more can one ask for? Did i mention that it has a memory of 512MB eDRAM?
Inspite of these mouth-watering features, the iPhone 4 has faced severe criticism due to its “antenna” issue. People have complained that the signal bars of the phone reduce when the phone is held in a particular way (if the hand blocks the antenna). Unfortunately, Apple committed a blunder with respect to their signal-formula-calculation for which they tried to correct using a “bumper”. The Bumper serves as an outer cover preventing the signal from dropping.
With Apple releasing the new iOS 4.1 in the months to come, lets hope they fulfil the customer’s wish!!
Underneath a libel washes the motorway.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Games for apple platforms

I have always wanted to get a mac system and I finally brought one last week. I really like the user interface a lot more than my other system. I was using this mostly for my profession as a web developer. But sometimes I get bored and want to have some fun. So I found out some cool mac games to play around with. I have to say, they were awesome. I also liked the spider game for mac, similar to our spider solitaire but a lot more cooler.
Some years back, mac systems didn’t have many good games. But now be it action, adventure, puzzles, sports, strategy etc mac has it.  Some mac games have really cool graphics and are really fun to play.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

"Casino" Online

I have always been a fan of films like 21, Hangover, Rush Hour 2 etc for they all have one thing in common. You guessed it, I am talking about casinos. I always wanted to have a casino experience just for the fun and thrill of it. But most places don’t have a real casino and for those casino freaks who want to experience casinos at the comfort of their own home, there is a way. An online casino is a place that offers games such as roulette, poker, bingo etc. Some online casinos also offer live games such as blackjack where the dealing part is done by real dealers from casino studios. One of the other great games offered is online poker. The revenue of Poker alone grew substantially after the introduction and the fame of Online Poker.
One of the important things to note about gambling is that the people indulging in these activities should not get addicted to it. A good thing to mention about online gambling is that many sites offer bonuses for people to play in their sites. The rules and regulations are also better online than at a land casino. Also you do not have to  tip the casino employees. So if you decide to play in a casino, enjoy yourself and stay safe.

Monday, November 1, 2010

3D Origami

Chinese modular origami is one type of origami where we make complex structures out of many similar modules. This type of origami came into existance during 1993 when a group of Chinese refugees who were detained on a ship called Golden Venture. These refugees were held in an American prison where they started to make complex models and these models were given as gifts to those aiding and helping the refugees and sold them at charity fund collectors. The media helped in popularizing this art around the world. Soon after this, this type of origami was called ‘Golden Venture Folding’.

These modules are made of rectangular paper with 1:2 aspect ratio. These rectangular papers are folded into small triangles with 2 flaps and 2 pockets. The basic module is quite simple to fold but making a structure with those often require hundreds of pieces and will take a lot of time. These triangles are then joined together by inserting a flap of one triangular piece into the pocket of an other triangle and so on to make a complete structure. These structures often include swans, pineapples, ships and dogs/cats. This kind of origami is also known as 3D origami and this makes a good gift for your loved ones as it shows the amount of effort you put of them.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Samurai X

Samurai X also known as Rurouni Kenshin is a manga series which revolves around an assasin named Kenshin Himura who becomes a wanderer trying to protect the people in need. Soon after the manga became popular, the anime series was released. The anime had 95 episodes and 2 animated movies. The story is about a fictional character, Kenshin was once an assasin trained under Hiten mitsarugi style of sword fighting. He was thus named ‘Batusai - the man slayer’ or ‘Batusai - the slasher’. After the Bakumatsu war he wanders off as a peaceful man oweing not to kill anyone thereafter.

As the story moves, Kenshin gets some good friends namely Kaoru, Sanosuke and Yahiko with whom he joins and goes through various adventures and difficulties try to save those in need. Kenshin Himura is well known for his ‘x’ shaped scar on his left cheek. In the anime, I personally like the Shishio saga where Shishio, an assasin similar to Kenshin, plans to take over Japan. The fight sequences and characters are awesome and makes this anime one of my favourite.

Monday, October 18, 2010


One of the popular widgets available to a user using blogger is ‘Fish’. Fish is a nice little widget that is fun and nice to see. It is like a virtual aquarium with fishes. You can have upto ten fishes. You can even change the color of each fish, the background, the color of the fish food etc. Once the widget is configured and placed on your site, the users of the blog can play with it. When the mouse pointer is moved over the aquarium or water the fishes move toward the mouse pointer. The way the fishes move towards the pointer is smooth and natural.

The users can even feed the fishes by just left clicking and you can see pellets of fish food floating. The color of the fish food is also configurable. Once we click to feed the fish, the fishs come rushing towards it and consumes them. It looks really cool. So if you are using for a nice widget to add to your blog, count this in…

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Nokia 5230

Nokia has done a good job introducing the model 5230. I own this baby for about three months now and this is a really good phone. Nokia 5230 comes with some cool colours and mine is white. It comes with a nice big screen which is great. It has a 3.2 inch screen with 360x640 p display. It comes with a 2MP camera and the clarity is good too. It supports 640x480 video recording at 30 fps which is one of the best at this class. It also has accolerometer and proximity sensor which allows motion sensor applications and games.

When it comes to music, it has a 3.5mm head phone jack. So you can enjoy music with your favourite headphone. It has a music playback of around 30 hours. Its sound quality is again one of the best in its class
even if it doesn’t belong to Xpress music series. In addition this puppy has 3G and GPS. It has the Symbian S60v5 OS. Sadly it doesn’t have wi-fi which is not a big deal for me. Overall Nokia 5230 is one of the best phones in its price range( it costed me around 7700 INR) compared to any other phones. In a nutshell this is the best value for money touchscreen phone till date.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The fourth physical dimension

We know One dimension, two dimension and three dimension. Lets try to imagine a fourth physical dimension. To do this imagine a world with only two dimensions called ‘2Dville’. In 2dville, people exists as different 2d shapes. Each of them have length and breadth but no height. They know only length and breadth and they don’t have any idea of what height is. They cant see up because they don’t know ‘UP’. Now suppose a creature with three dimensions, say ‘me’ , sees this 2d world from above but the people of 2dville have no idea that they are being watched. If I speak, the people of 2dville can hear me but it would be like a voice from nowhere. Also when we try to pass through 2dville, the people of 2dville see flat images of changing shapes and once you pass through completely you seem to dissappear.

So according to the 2dville guy, a shape appeared from no where and its shape changed and finally it disappeared. Shocking . Now imagine our world and that we 3d people are not aware of the 4th dimension. We cant see it but what if things existed in the 4th dimension? They could see us and we cant see them. Even if they passed through our dimension we still see a three dimensional figure momentarily. What if when people die they go to some other dimension? And sometimes when they pass through our dimension... Are they spirits? Ghosts?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A Thousand Suns

I am a hardcore Linkin Park fan. I have all their albums and heard all their songs over and over. Now listening to their new album, “A Thousand Suns”, All I can say is AWESOME. I really appreciate their effort on doing something new. The name of the album, was said to be derived from a quote from bagawadh gita. There are a total of 15 tracks with 8 full length tracks and the rest of the 7 fall under intro and interludes. 
1. "The Requiem" 
      This is the opening track with lyrics from “The Catalyst” in a female voice
2. "The Radiance"                                     
     This is an interlude
3. "Burning in the Skies"                        
      The first full length track. Not too much screaming but still a good track. I give it 3.5/5
4. "Empty Spaces"                                    
      Another interlude
5. "When They Come for Me"            
      A good rap sung by Mike Shinoda. I especially like the start and the end.  3.5/5
6. "Robot Boy"                                           
      A pleasant one. At first you would even wonder if its LP. One of my favs.  4/5
7. "Jornada del Muerto"                        
8. "Waiting for the End"                         
     A great combo of Mike and Chester. One of my favs. 5/5
9. "Blackout"                                              
     This one’s like the regular LP with Chester’s screaming. My fav. 5/5
10. "Wretches and Kings"                     
    Another combo of Mike and Chester. I really like the Chester’s part. 4/5
11. "Wisdom, Justice, and Love"        
12. "Iridescent"                                         
      A mild song and also good to here. 3/5
13. "Fallout"                                                
14. "The Catalyst"                                     
     The first single. And a good one too. 4/5
15. "The Messenger"                                
     Another mild, acoustic track. 3/5