Thursday, December 20, 2007
In the sky afar I sight
A pretty fair dame
Glowing without a flame
Peeping through the cloud
A crescent each day
Is it joy or dismay?
In whole, when you bloom
You take away all sanity
From love smitten humanity
It’s too late when they realize
That behind everything dainty
Is the moon, merciless and flinty
some lingering thought shall bring you here.
This is different from the macro of the microcosm
of the knittings in your dream,
which you might have savoured of late.
I make you sit through a panorama.
Its a frame or a window;
you can know only when you touch it.
It is the best of its kind
because it is "With You".
At a Gurudwara, Mandir, church or Masjid?
Is it really God as you call It,
Who comes to rescue, to your help?
You learn patience standing for 'God's' blessings,
You learn faith confiding yourself in 'God',
And you learn hoping and believing too.
Patience avoids expanding trouble,
Faith does things which skill cannot,
Hope drives away fear and lessens tension,
Belief helps power creep into you;
And thus you get strength to fight your problems.
Have patience, faith, hope and belief
To eliminate problems and have a smooth life.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
In a taut soliloquy that takes us from the origins of the universe to the last days of a dying sun 6 billion years later, renowned cosmologist Sir Martin Rees explains why the 21st century is a pivotal moment in the history of humanity: the first time in history when we can materially change ourselves and our planet. Stunning imagery of cosmological wonders show us the universe as we know it now. Speaking as “a concerned member of the human race,” Rees harkens to the wisdom of Einstein, calling for scientists to act as moral compasses, confronting the coming developments and ensuring our role in “the immense future.”
Martin Rees, one of the world’s most eminent astronomers, is a professor of cosmology and astrophysics at the University of Cambridge and the UK’s Astronomer Royal. He is one of our key thinkers on the future of humanity in the cosmos.
Martin Rees’ homepage at Cambridge
Monday, December 17, 2007
- Terman's Law of Innovation : If you want a team to win the high jump, you find one person who can jump seven feet, not seven people who can jump one foot each.
- O'brien's Variation : If you change queues, the one you have left will start to move faster than the one you are in now.
- Conway's Law : In any organization there will always be one person who knows what is going on. This person must be fired.
- The Peter Principle : In a hierarchy, every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence.Work is accomplished by those employees who have not reached their level of incompetence.
- H.L.Mencken's Law : Those who can, do. Those who cannot, teach.
- Martin's Extension : Those who can't teach,administer.
- Belani's Extrapolation : Those who cannot even administer, become consultants.
- Lieberman's Law : Everbody lies; but it doesn't matter since nobody listens.
- Kovac's Conundrum : When you dial a wrong number,you never get an engaged one.
- Van Herpen's Law : The solving of the problem lies in finding the solvers.
- Murphy's Law of Government : If anything can go wrong, it will do so in triplicate.
- Bell's Theorem : When the body is immersed in water, the telephone rings.
- Ruby's Principle of Close Encounters : The probability of meeting someone you know increases when you are with someone you don't want to be seen with. - Black's Extension : The probability of meeting a gorgeous female increases geometrically when you are with a friend, a friend who is richer than you, your girlfriend and finally your wife.
- Young's Law : Great discoveries are made by mistake.
- Kin Hubbard : A good listener is usually thinking about something else.
- One Anonymous Great Seer's Law : Money can't buy love, but it sure gets you a great bargaining position.
- Law of constant product : The product of beauty,availability and intelligence is a constant.
Engineer Hod Lipson demonstrates and talks about a few of his cool little robots, which have the ability to learn, understand themselves and even self-replicate. At the root of this uncanny demo is a deep inquiry into the nature of how living beings learn and evolve, and how we might harness these processes to make things that learn and evolve. (Recorded March 2007 in Monterey, California. Duration: 06:29.)
Why you should listen to him: To say that Hod Lipson and his team at Cornell build robots is not completely accurate: They may simply set out a pile of virtual robot parts, devise some rules for assembly, and see what the parts build themselves into. They've created robots that decide for themselves how they want to walk; robots that develop a sense of what they look like; even robots that can, through trial and error, construct other robots just like themselves.
Working across disciplines -- physics, computer science, math, biology and several flavors of engineer -- the team studies techniques for self-assembly and evolution that have great implications for fields such as micro-manufacturing -- allowing tiny pieces to assemble themselves at scales heretofore impossible -- and extreme custom manufacturing (in other words, 3-D printers for the home).
His lab's Outreach page is a funhouse of tools and instructions, including the amazing Golem@Home -- a self-assembling virtual robot who lives in your screensaver.
Monday, December 10, 2007
(2) Ban Brainstorms
(3) Hoard problems
(4) Efficiency focus not Innovation
(6) Adhere to Plan
(7) Punish Mistakes
(8) Do Not Look Outside
(9) Promote Like people
(10) Do Not Train.
Well to the list we can add following 40 idea killer phrases (from Reference: “What A Great Idea” by Charles “Chick” Thompson, 1992, HarperCollins Publishers)
1. "Yes, but. . . "
2. "We tried that before."
3. "That's irrelevant."
4. "We haven't got the manpower."
5. "Obviously, you misread my request."
6. "Don't rock the boat!"
7. "The boss (or competition) will eat you alive."
8. "Don't waste time thinking."
9. "Great idea, but not for us."
10. "It'll never fly."
11. "Don't be ridiculous."
12. "People don't want change."
13. "It's not in the budget."
14. "Put it in writing."
15. "It will be more trouble than it's worth."
16. "It isn't your responsibility."
17. "That's not in your job description."
18. "You can't teach an old dog new tricks."
19. "Let's stick with what works."C
20. "We've done all right so far."
21. "The boss will never go for it."
22. "It's too far ahead of the times."
23. . . . laughter. . .
24. . . . suppressed laughter. . .
25. . . . condescending grin. . .
26. . . . dirty looks. . .
27. "Don't fight city hall!"
28. "I'm the one who gets paid to think."
29. "What will people say?"
30. "Get a committee to look into that."
31. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
32. "You have got to be kidding."
34. "We've always done it this way."
35. "It's all right in theory. . . but. . ."
36. "Be practical!"
37. "Do you realize the paperwork it will create?"
38. "Because I said so."
39. "I'll get back to you."
40. . . . silence. .
Thursday, December 06, 2007
Listen to the Lecture!Instructions: The audio is available in mp3 format. If the file does not play automatically in your media player when you click on it,download the file and listen to it on your favourite media player. To download the file, right-click on each link and click 'Save Target As..' or 'Save Link As..' and save.
Introduction; Part 1, by N. Ram, Editor-in-Chief, The Hindu - 6.10 - 1448 kb
Introduction; Part 2, by N. Ravi, Editor, The Hindu - 9.13 - 2163 kb
Lecture; Part 1 * - 8.48 - 2063 kb
Lecture; Part 2 - 10.00 - 2345 kb
Lecture; Part 3 - 5.18 - 1246 kb
Lecture; Part 4 - 3.32 - 829 kb
Lecture; Part 5 - 7.02 - 1650 kb
Lecture; Part 6 - 7.33 - 1772 kb
Lecture; Part 7 - 10.08 - 2377 kb
Lecture; Part 8 - 5.23 - 1266 kb
Question Time; Part 1 - 11.23 - 2672 kb
Question Time; Part 2 - 13.15 - 3110 kb
Question Time; Part 3 - 16.42 - 3917 kb
Copyright © 2007, The Hindu. Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of The Hindu
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
The drawer serves another purpose. It’s the unofficial collection box. This is what happens - someone comes with an urgent file, the person stands at the side of the IFP in deference while the IFP peruses the file. Some questions are asked which are answered vaguely. As the file is signed the person puts his hand into his pocket and in one deft movement drops a packet of notes into the drawer. This happened in front of me.
Consider the same IFP in a similar office. A file is brought to him - he opens it and out slips a little packet of notes into his lap. The file is quickly dealt with and then the offending packet is delicately put into the draw for later retrieval.
In India this has been modified into an art that ensures both parties not only survive but thrive. The parties in such situation are the cops (traffic species in particular) on one side and erring drivers on the other.
And so that is how Indians have gone ahead and improved and even improvised on age old traditions, they have found new uses for things to ensure that there is a win-win situation.
Indians have added an addendum to Darwin's theory – a win-win situation ensures that everyone thrives.
These are examples of how society has broadened its views on stereotypes; education has allowed women to move out from within the four walls of their homes; it has also created an acceptance to such a move. Further, it has also created scope for people to venture into new activities, which means that society (and therefore the economy) has been able to create opportunities.
The National Human Development Report – 2001, brought out by the Planning Commission of India states in its introduction that ‘The process of development, in any society, should ideally be viewed and assessed in terms of what it does for an average individual. It has to be seen in terms of the benefits and opportunities that it generates for people and how these are eventually distributed — between men and women, the well off and deprived and across regions. ---often, there is no direct correspondence between economic attainments of a society and the quality of life.’ The NHDR sees the need to go beyond the regular indices to frame such an index that ‘ should reflect the values and development priorities of the society where it is applied. It is therefore necessary for countries like India to develop a contextually relevant approach to human development, identify and devise appropriate indicators to help formulate and monitor public policy.’
Could election manifestoes be an index that not only represents a broader picture of the overall economy and society but also a national sentiment of what needs to be done in terms of importance? Further could the argument be made that issues in election manifestoes actually paint a picture of the level of development a country has actually reached.
The manifesto is in-fact a recipe book that takes basic ingredients and suggests methods to come up with an array of interesting dishes. In time the chefs become confident enough to add ‘exotic’ spices to come up with more wholesome meals that have distinct tastes, flavours and aromas. This confidence comes not only with the growing expertise of the chef but also with the clientele’s taste that becomes more discerning and demanding.
Sifting through manifestoes
The article does not look at basic issues revolving around the economy in these election manifestos; as these issues are based mainly on number crunching and finding new bottles for the old wine. I have looked for the indications of ‘coming of age’ in these manifestos. Over time election manifestos have gone beyond political ideology, economic, infrastructure, defense and regular social upliftment schemes.
Governance and NGO’s
The BJP is the only party that promises a policy for the disabled and a scheme to reduce infant and maternal mortality. The BJP manifesto is the only manifesto that states ‘a National Policy for India's Entertainment Industry will be prepared, within six months, to realize its growth potential’.
Comparing issues in national manifestos
Looking at both political parties one sees that not only have issues changed but they have become more broad-based. Both parties see a growing trend of women joining the work force and therefore the need to create an atmosphere that would be conducive to them. Also the parties are looking at empowering rural women so that not only do they become economically independent but they can also increase their household income.
What is not surprising though is that the issues of communal harmony have not broken rigid party lines. This could be because of vote banks and or internal dynamics. The policy on NGO’s could also be an attempt to co-opt the independent voice of these groups. However the fact that political parties have recognized the importance of such groups and want to do something about it shows a shift in political thinking.
One could argue that the manifesto will finally be a book of empty promises. The point that one is trying to make is that parties see change and therefore incorporate it in their manifestos.
However, India has miles to go especially when one compares these manifestos to the American Democrats manifesto. Even though John Kerry lost the election his manifesto had a certain inter-connectedness which shows not only a better understanding of problems but also an understanding of the direction society is pointing towards. For example Senator John Kerry discusses the role of renewable energy in the economy. On the issues of senior citizens the Kerry manifesto goes beyond a fund to speak about affordable prescription drugs and options for long term needs. On the subject of children the manifesto promises proper labeling of children’s food, prevention of child abuse, quality pre-school care.
Even though communal harmony has been on the agenda for a long time parties have not been able to go beyond their party lines. We as a society have not yet been able to move beyond caste, creed, region and religion. This reflects in political manifestos. However, there is no doubt that what the Indian political parties write in their manifesto has undergone a sea change. Parties are now looking outside the framework of the economy and their narrow ideologies to other issues of human welfare, equality and mutual respect. This also includes an ability to acknowledge other ideologies and ways of thinking and promote them. These are all attempts to improve the quality of life in non-monetary and intangible terms. Manifestos do reflect changes in society, their aspirations and their broadening horizons.
Friday, November 30, 2007
I love this guy, an indian comic character. Not just that my pen is an inspiration of his, but becoz of the humor in his stories. its rather hillarious beyond reasoning. I've grown-up reading the stories from Tinkle and obviously this is the character which i still believe reflects the humor and character in me....
Below are some of his jokes, i hope to present some more later....
Master: suppandi, have you finished stitching the buttons on my shirt?
Suppandi: no master! i could not find any buttons.
Master: now how on earth will i wear that shirt to office?
Suppandi: i have stitched up the button holes instead. Now you won't need buttons any more.
Once Suppandi's master's book had been torn. Suppandi stitched it back with thread. His master advised him to use super glue to stitch or stick together anything as it gives better results. Then One Day-
Master: Suppandi, iron my new and expensive suit as it has to be worn on the wedding tonight. That evening-
Master: Suppandi, give me my suit.
Suppandi: Here it is.
Master: What has happened to it? What do you think you did to it?
Suppandi: The suit had been stitched together with thread, so I removed all the thread and stuck it together with super glue. Doesn't it give a much better result.
Master: S-U-P-P-A-N-D-I!!!! You're fired! Get out.
One day Suppandi was playing football with his master's son. He had been posted as goalkeeper. Then the opposition charged towards his goal and kicked the ball into the goal from right beside his legs. The masters son was boiling with anger.
Son: Why didn't you stop the ball Suppandi?
Suppandi: Why in the world should I stop it? What is the net in the goal for?
One day Suppandi and his master were returning from somewhere in the intense heat.
Master: The sun has darkened our skins Suppandi. Suppandi agreed. The next day-
Master: Suppandi! Get me a bottle of hair dye from the neighbouring store. After some time-
Master: Suppandi, didn't you get that bottle.
Suppandi: I went to
Thursday, November 15, 2007
The IT sector is extremely upset with AM Naik — the CMD of L&T, India’s biggest infrastructure and engineering company, for making a statement against the Information Technology companies of not contributing to the national economy.
Naik is upset with the ‘Bangalore club’ as he prefers to call Wipro, Infosys and the slew of other IT companies. He despairs at the way they hire engineers to write code and alluded to their grouse of poor infrastructure in Bangalore as a creation of their own making.
Thursday, November 15, 2007 03:58 IST
This is the irascible A M Naik’s eighth year at the helm of India’s most valuable engineering and construction company, Larsen and Toubro. In a freewheeling interview, Naik talks about the journey taken so far, and the one ahead, in a three-hour conversation with Satish John.
All my businesses are core. What was not core we sold. And the so called non-core businesses we have, will go eventually. But all the new verticals that we are forming are in the core businesses.
I don’t think they said that. They only said that my style of working was like Jack Welch (legendary GE Chairman).
Our finance business is puny. We pushed our finance related businesses only in the last three years. One company does financing and debt, and the other invests in infrastructure projects by picking up equity. It is currently doing more than 20 projects. We have investment in Bangalore airport. We have investment in Kakinada port, several roads and properties.
I have done roadshows with 20 customers because L&T wants to become a Rs 50,000 crore ($12 billion) company in 5 to 6 years. If you want to bag huge projects in the private sector they go by faith and not tenders. Like the Delhi airport did not go for competitive bidding. It was their belief that only L&T could deliver. (The day after the interview, L&T also bagged GVK’s second Mumbai airport project.)
Otherwise you bring a multinational not used to working in India. In Hyderabad, Grandhi Mallikarjuna Rao (founder chairman of GMR Group) experienced it. We were only constructing there, the rest of the work was done by a multinational. They ran away or whatever. The promoters obviously didn’t want to repeat it again and so we got the order in Delhi.
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Dutch artist Theo Jansen has been working for 16 years to create sculptures that move on their own in eerily lifelike ways. Each generation of his "Strandbeests" is subject to the forces of evolution, with successful forms moving forward into new designs. Jansen's vision and long-term commitment to his wooden menagerie is as fascinating to observe as the beasts themselves.
His newest creatures walk without assistance on the beaches of Holland, powered by wind, captured by gossamer wings that flap and pump air into old lemonade bottles that in turn power the creatures' many plastic spindly legs. The walking sculptures look alive as they move, each leg articulating in such a way that the body is steady and level. They even incorporate primitive logic gates that are used to reverse the machine's direction if it senses dangerous water or loose sand where it might get stuck.
"A self-styled god, Jansen is evolving an entirely new line of animals: immense multi-legged walking critters designed to roam the Dutch coastline, feeding on gusts of wind."
Link to: Theo Jansen's Home Page
Thursday, October 18, 2007
The article below in The Hindu Business Line attempts to throw some light on PNs
What are ‘Participatory notes’? D. Sampathkumar Mumbai, Oct. 17
‘Participatory notes’ are instruments that derive their value from an underlying financial instrument such as an equity share and, hence, the word, ‘derivative instruments’.
When the Indian capital market regulator permitted, back in 1992, foreign institutional investors (FIIs) to register and trade in Indian securities, every one assumed that they would make proprietary investments out of their own capital.3rd-party investments. There was no question of their trading on anyone else’s behalf. But as it turned out, FIIs were merely acting as a conduit for third-party investments.
But some of these third-party investors had their own preferences in the matter of what Indian stocks that they would like to own with its own risk and reward characteristics. In order to ring fence, each such pool of investments they created accounts or ‘sub-accounts’ in FII parlance.Sub-account holders. But even sub-account holders, it turned out, were not investing their own money but were in fact raising money from a multitude of high net worth individuals.
They were issued pieces of paper that derived its value from underlying equity instruments of Indian corporates. The participatory notes were now well truly launched. International investments got a little more complicated with sub-account investment institutions raising loan funds as securitised paper, with a pool of underlying equity shares of Indian companies.
All this leveraged money got further leveraged with the investments going into not just equity shares but derivative instruments (futures and options) of shares of Indian corporates.
Thus one could have a sub account holder of a registered FII investing a combination of subscriptions by a group of investors topped up with funds borrowed by floating yet another piece of tradable instrument using a pool of participatory notes as collateral.
But the tale of leveraged investments became a little more complex with a $100 of such funds getting invested, for example, not in Reliance shares but into futures contract on Reliance shares.
Now, in a futures contract, one did not have to invest the full value of the contract. It is enough if put up a small margin and topped it up each depending on how the share price moved.
The potential of $100 got further magnified.
It is easy to see the super structure of heavily leveraged investments flowing into the Indian stock market. That is without even thinking of whatever private financial arrangements that each one of investors in the original pool of investments that gave rise to the participatory notes.Global liquidity.
All of this became possible when there was a global liquidity thanks to the economic policies of the West and more particularly the US. A financial distress for one lender who participated in leveraged transaction of investments of a sub-account holder of an FII who had invested in the Indian stock market can cause him to call back his loan.
This could lead to the sub-account holder closing out his futures position in the underlying share which caused the latter’s future price to fall.
Since future prices are in turn linked to the spot prices of the same share, there is a price correction in the spot price as well. The fall in share price erodes not just the overseas investor’s wealth but that of domestic investors as well.
The depreciation of the rupee’s value against other currencies or wiping out huge chunk of the RBI’s currency reserves when the liquidated investments goes out of the country, are the other unintended consequences of the FII play on the Indian stock market.
A photo Taken by the legendary Henri Cartier Bresson, this photograph of Mountbatten, Nehru and Edwina - a personal favourite - has been all over of late.
It has been pulled out to accompany reports on Pamela Mountbatten's (Mountbattens' daughter) book published recently `India Remembered: A Personal Account of the Mountbattens During The Transfer of Power.'
Who cares whether Nehru and Edwina's love was platonic or otherwise. How does it really matter to anyone beyond these three people frozen in time. What matters is when you see a man wear just the expression Nehru's wearing - the jester, desperate to catch the woman's eye, trying to impress her, waiting for validation - you will know a man loves a woman.
It was even being said that the knowledge of the more-than-close relationship between Lady Mountbatten and Nehru was in the public domain even in those days and is well documented. It was obvious that Lord Mountbatten was in a position to influence Nehru through his wife. Lady Pamela’s disclosure, therefore, only confirms what many believe. Sardar Patel tried his best to stop Nehru from referring the Kashmir issue to the U.N. but could not do so.
dont forget to read more on the topic published in the frontline.
Monday, October 15, 2007
There were fluctuations in the chaos of our infant universe. In any liquid or gas, Brownian Motion occurs; this is why milk will eventually disperse through your tea even if you don't stir your cuppa. This motion causes random fluctuations, and without these events the galaxy would never have formed, as matter would have been even distributed throughout the universe. All the ionised matter cooled, the protons, electron and neutrons started to form atoms. Nearly one hundred per cent of these atoms were hydrogen and helium, and none of the heavier elements, like oxygen, iron & carbon, were formed. This is not a universe where 'complex' molecules exist; there is no water, no salts, and no metals. Of course, there could be no life as we know it.
Gravity Works! (The Universe learns about the lightness of being.)
So, we have ended up with 'clumps' of matter, mainly hydrogen and helium, swirling and twisting in space. Gravity acts on these individual clumps, causing them to condense. As the matter condenses, it begins to pivot around its centre. Have you ever watched how an ice-skater achieves a fast spin? As they rotate, they draw their limbs in close and conservation of energy mean the kinetic energy has to go somewhere. The same thing happens to the condensing matter…it begins to pick up speed, and rotation increases. Spheres and discs are the natural products of the conglomerating, spinning matter.
Heavy Metal (Or, the Universe learns how to Rock!)
The first suns were the furnaces that baked heavy elements out of hydrogen and helium. Only the tiniest proportion of the matter was converted, in the intense heat and pressure of these solar ovens, but enough converted to make the some of the suns' unstable.
So, every atom and molecule in your body once existed within a sun; it had to, or you wouldn't be able to exist. You know, you hear about people that spontaneously combust…maybe the atoms remember their previous incarnation, and up they go! (Just my little joke.) Our Earth and everything on it are part of a third generation cycle, with each cycle increasing the complexity of elements. One can't help but wonder what the next generation will be like.
Friday, October 12, 2007
you're into sci fi?? But what about sci fact????
The Big Bang is just a theory, but as a working model to describe our universe, it's a very good theory. As it also involves the Theory of Relativity and the curvature of the Space/Time continuum, it isn't a walk in the park to understand…even if it does have a really cute and easy title.
Before the Big Bang, all that existed was a singularity. This means that everything that now exists in our universe was compressed to a point that only has reality in a mathematical sense. When the Big Bang occurred, it wasn't an explosion in the sense that everything 'blew' from that single point. The explosion occurred all over the area that is now occupied by our universe - which is thought to be a 'closed' system. This is a wriggler of a concept; as everyone knows the universe is expanding, so it must be expanding from the source of the explosion…right? In reality, the universe is expanding all over, not from a central point. A popular metaphor to explain this phenomenon is blowing up a balloon; all the points on a balloon are travelling away from each other as the same rate as the balloon expands…and our universe is expanding in a similar manner.
The Next Few Seconds
There was an interval at the very start of time when matter, space, time and energy were interchangeable, and when gravity didn't exist. The four forces of physics; strong nuclear, weak nuclear, electromagnetic and gravity were combined as a single "super force". This time period is referred to as Planck Time, when the Laws of Physics were yet to form. It is theorised that these conditions occurred in the first 10-43 seconds of time (that's 10 to the minus 43 zeros). After this point, in the next fifteen seconds, things were still chaotic but space and time became distinct from matter and energy, and the first elementary particles started to form. Gravity asserted itself. And the colossal expansion of the universe was well and truly commenced.
Now, in the formation of the particles, both matter and anti-matter were formed, and then annihilated as the particles cancelled each other out again. (The term anti-matter is being used here for convenience…there are no terms to really describe what was occurring.) Radiation is so dense; no light is visible…so this is all happening in the dark. Within the ionised plasma of our infant universe, our matter has a slight bias. For every billion pairs of particles created and destroyed, one pair might survive, thanks to the slight fluctuations occurring throughout the plasma. Anti-matter decays rapidly. The expanding universe is cooling rapidly, allowing the formation of neutron, protons and electrons of matter to exist. Only the lightest elements, hydrogen and helium, can exist in the inferno of creation. It's only three minutes after the Big Bang.
The Edge in Space
So, if the Universe is expanding, it must be expanding into something…right? So, where's the edge? Our universe is a 'closed' system; it has no edge. Theoretically, it you could live forever and travel faster than the speed of light, you could set off in one direction and eventually you would return to your starting position; Space and Time are curved. (Don't ask me the mathematics behind this…go look it up yourself.) The universe isn't sitting in nothing, like some great crystal ornament hanging in a vacuum, it's just there - or here - whatever.
The background radiation of the universe is an artefact of the Big Bang. This is one the facts that supports the theory behind the Big Bang.
There is a sudden interest that 'cosmic strings' may have formed as the universe cooled down, the same way that ice crystallises out of water. These strings are thought to (may) have formed when the universe went through the phrase transition from 'no time and space' to 'curved time and space'. If these strings would be proven to exist, or to have existed, there would be more evidence to support the Big Bang theory.
There is speculation about a 'fifth' physical force in the universe, as to create a symmetry with gravity. After all, all the other physical forces have a positive and a negative to balance each other…only gravity remains as the sole 'positive' with no real negative. This is pure
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Monday, October 08, 2007
We might describe science that has no known practical value as basic science or basic research. Our exploration of worlds such as Jupiter or Saturn would be called basic science and it is easy to argue that basic science is not worth the effort and expense because it has no known practical use.
Of course, we have no way of knowing what knowledge will be of use until we acquire that knowledge. In the middle of the 19th century, Queen Victoria is supposed to have asked physicist Michael Faraday what good his experiments with electricity and magnetism were. He answered, “Madam, what good is a baby?” Of course, Faraday’s experiments were the beginning of the electronic age. "
An excellent article on Frontline (Into the unknown). Read the full article here.
Frontline can be downloaded in Pdf format for free here.
These questions have been asked frequently: Was the horizon of the Norwegian Nobel Committee too narrow? Were the committee members unable to appreciate the struggle for freedom among non-European peoples?" Or were the Norwegian committee members perhaps afraid to make a prize award which might be detrimental to the relationship between their own country and Great Britain?
Its the first time after so many years, i read the Tryst with Destiny speech by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.
Jawaharlal Nehru (1889-1964): Speech On the Granting of Indian Independence, August 14, 1947
Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially. At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long supressed, finds utterance. It is fitting that at this solemn moment we take the pledge of dedication to the service of Inida and her people and to the still larger cause of humanity.
At the dawn of history India started on her unending quest, and trackless centuries are filled with her striving and the grandeur of her success and her failures. Through good and ill fortune alike she has never lost sight of that quest or forgotten the ideals which gave her strength. We end today a period of ill fortune and India discovers herself again. The achievement we celebrate today is but a step, an opening of opportunity, to the greater triumphs and achievements that await us. Are we brave enough and wise enough to grasp this opportunity and accept the challenge of the future?
Freedom and power bring responsibility. The responsibility rests upon this Assembly, a sovereign body representing the sovereign people of India. Before the birth of freedom we have endured all the pains of labour and our hearts are heavy with the memory of this sorrow. Some of those pains continue even now. Nevertheless, the past is over and it is the future that beckons to us now.
That future is not one of ease or resting but of incessant striving so that we may fulfil the pledges we have so often taken and the one we shall take today. The service of India means the service of the millions who suffer. It means the ending of poverty and ignorance and disease and inequality of opportunity. The ambition of the greatest man of our generation has been to wipe every tear from every eye. That may be beyond us, but as long as there are tears and suffering, so long our work will not be over.
And so we have to labour and to work, and work hard, to give reality to our dreams. Those dreams are for India, but they are also for the world, for all the nations and peoples are too closely knit together today for any one of them to imagine that it can live apart Peace has been said to be indivisible; so is freedom, so is prosperity now, and so also is disaster in this One World that can no longer be split into isolated fragments.
To the people of India, whose representatives we are, we make an appeal to join us with faith and confidence in this great adventure. This is no time for petty and destructive criticism, no time for ill-will or blaming others. We have to build the noble mansion of free India where all her children may dwell.
The appointed day has come-the day appointed by destiny-and India stands forth again, after long slumber and struggle, awake, vital, free and independent. The past clings on to us still in some measure and we have to do much before we redeem the pledges we have so often taken. Yet the turning-point is past, and history begins anew for us, the history which we shall live and act and others will write about.
It is a fateful moment for us in India, for all Asia and for the world. A new star rises, the star of freedom in the East, a new hope comes into being, a vision long cherished materializes. May the star never set and that hope never be betrayed!
We rejoice in that freedom, even though clouds surround us, and many of our people are sorrowstricken and difficult problems encompass us. But freedom brings responsibilities and burdens and we have to face them in the spirit of a free and disciplined people.
On this day our first thoughts go to the architect of this freedom, the Father of our Nation [Gandhi], who, embodying the old spirit of India, held aloft the torch of freedom and lighted up the darkness that surrounded us. We have often been unworthy followers of his and have strayed from his message, but not only we but succeeding generations will remember this message and bear the imprint in their hearts of this great son of India, magnificent in his faith and strength and courage and humility. We shall never allow that torch of freedom to be blown out, however high the wind or stormy the tempest.
Our next thoughts must be of the unknown volunteers and soldiers of freedom who, without praise or reward, have served India even unto death.
We think also of our brothers and sisters who have been cut off from us by political boundaries and who unhappily cannot share at present in the freedom
that has come. They are of us and will remain of us whatever may happen, and we shall be sharers in their good [or] ill fortune alike.
The future beckons to us. Whither do we go and what shall be our endeavour? To bring freedom and opportunity to the common man, to the peasants and workers of India; to fight and end poverty and ignorance and disease; to build up a prosperous, democratic and progressive nation, and to create social, economic and political institutions which will ensure justice and fullness of life to every man and woman.
We have hard work ahead. There is no resting for any one of us till we redeem our pledge in full, till we make all the people of India what destiny intended them to be. We are citizens of a great country on the verge of bold advance, and we have to live up to that high standard. All of us, to whatever religion we may belong, are equally the children of India with equal rights, privileges and obligations. We cannot encourage communalism or narrow-mindedness, for no nation can be great whose people are narrow in thought or in action.
To the nations and peoples of the world we send greetings and pledge ourselves to cooperate with them in furthering peace, freedom and democracy.
And to India, our much-loved motherland, the ancient, the eternal and the ever-new, we pay our reverent homage and we bind ourselves afresh to her service.