21 September, 2007

Videshi Dosa

Here in Singapore, Indian (North or South) food isn't very far away or expensive. B S Prakash's notes on The Dosa in San Francisco and how it received a very short-sighted review still does remind me of how we are away from India. In Mumbai, I used to eat at Udupis frequently.

Get a Mental Evaluation ?

Try this questionnaire which is of the nature "answer 20 questions and we will identify your personality type".

06 September, 2007

An Asteroid Shower Lasting 100 Million Years

Some scientists believe that a collision between two asteroids, one 37 miles wide and the other 106 miles wide, some 160 million years caused so many fragments that the Earth (and the Moon) suffered "double" the overall rate of asteroid impacts for the next 100 million years ! One of those pieces caused the Chicxulub Crater, associated with the demise of dinosaurs 65 million years ago.

08 July, 2007

The World's Worst Jobs in Science

Popular Science's listing of the 10 worst jobs in Science makes for interesting reading.
For example, did you know that "a vortex of plastic the size of Texas clogs the North Pacific, choking fish and birds; construction is destroying coastal habitats" or "Dirty diapers make up less than 2 percent of landfills, while paper accounts for 45 percent".

13 June, 2007

America after Bush

Fareed Zakaria has written in Newsweek on where USA is now and and what it should be looking at in the coming years.

09 June, 2007

The Gun Culture in USA

B S Prakash writes about the prevalent concept which seems to be that "guns are a right and a necessity" in the US. If the the majority of the Americans are right, why is the overwhelmingly much larger majority outside of the US wrong about the need to bear arms ? {Interestingly : If "Democracy" means that decision of the majority of the people is to be observed, then surely USA is an anachronism within the world's citizenry ?}

30 May, 2007

Top 50 Sci-Fi Shows

See Boston.Com's listing of the top 50 Sci-Fi shows.

27 May, 2007

Will Google Decide What We Should Do Today/Tomorrow ?

Steven Feurstein muses about Google's supposed goal : "The goal is to enable Google users to be able to ask the question such as ‘What shall I do tomorrow?’ and ‘What job shall I take?’". It does sound terrifying, I agree with Feurstein. I know that I have to login to google to update my blogspot blog. But I do see that it seems to keep track of my web searches.
Where will google go with all the information it is gathering -- news, discussions, books, videos, emails, user searches ?

19 May, 2007

H1B Visas

I do tend to agree that too many of the US H1B visas seem to be going to "non-US" companies. (eg see this list : Four of the top 5 are Indian companies). I understand that the purpose of H1B Visas was to help *American* companies with their manpower requirements. No matter how much we may talk of "outsourcing", it does seem strange that American employers cannot find American employees to work in America at the same pay scales. I wonder how many of the those H1B visas are actually being used for employees permanently working in USA, not "flitting to and fro between USA and India".
Is the root of the problem really skill levels of American employees or salary expectations ? Are the employers spending enough time to see if they can get an American employee to match their skill requirements and meet their human resources budgets ? Or are American companies finding that the easier thing to do is to "outsource" to an Indian company and let an Indian company worry about H1B Visas.

27 April, 2007

Mohandas Gandhi Quotes

One striking quote is "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win" ! See more quotes.

04 April, 2007


Some gripes / complaints about human behaviour :

a. Gentleman who open the door to the Men's Room wide open in an office building where the Men's Room and Ladies' Room are opposite each other beside a busy corridor
and "men at work" are quite visible through the door.
Can't these gentlemen be considerate and open the door only the slightest and close it quickly behind them ?

b. People who sit in the middle of the bench -- eg at a Bus Stop or at a Park -- leaving inadequate space for others.

c. People who "hog" the doors in lifts and trains even when they are not getting off at the stop where the largest number of commuters will be exiting the lift or train.

12 March, 2007

Living People Outnumber the Dead : NOT !

This article in Scientific American states that " The Earth may seem crowded with 6.5 billion people but it would take 100 billion living to come close to outnumbering all who have ever live".
Mankind (homo sapiens) has been around for 50,000 years and the number of people who have died far far exceeds the now living inspite of the improvements in medication and the increases in average lifespan.

28 February, 2007

Microsoft Interested in Maths

Here's an article on the "Theory Group" at Microsoft Research -- a group of mathematicians whose work might be far away from Windows/Office/IE.

22 February, 2007

Other facets of 'terrorism'

An article on Darfur -- "Cities under Siege" : http://www.flonnet.com/stories/20070223000505700.htm

An article on the Middle East -- Palestine and Israel -- "Facing Mecca" : http://www.outlookindia.com/full.asp?fodname=20070221&fname=uri&sid=1


I've already had a website (http://web.singnet.com.sg/~hkchital {and it's predecessor http://hkchital.tripod.com} ) for a few years. I have an Oracle DBA Blog (http://hemantoracledba.blogspot.com). Now, I'm creating a Scribbles blog -- miscellaneous notes, observations, comments, scribbles, raves/rants, whatever.
So ... here goes .. nothing ! (as a character in an old TV serial used to say "We shall see what we shall see").