April 29, 2004

Spring is here finally!
Parties are fun. And especially when the day promises to be beautiful. So much so that you don't even mind cooking for the party. For a bunch of people who promise to get stuff like "one dozen of beer drenched ice cream and one dozen of ice cream topped beer" :)

April 25, 2004

Random stuff
"The generation of random numbers is too important to be left to chance."
I came upon this rather amusing statement made by Robert Coveyou as I was going through Pseudo Random Number Generators (Src - Wikipedia). This while keeping in mind that pseudorandom numbers are a critical part of modern computing, from cryptography to the Monte Carlo method for simulating physical systems. And that a lot of careful mathematical analysis is required to ensure that the generated numbers are sufficiently "random".

April 22, 2004

Everybody's got gmail....
Only one question - how on earth do they propose to manage all that data? When even with considerable data generating simulations, 500 MB disk quotas are enforced in the lab. And then we get 1 GB just for email!

April 21, 2004

Asha Jyoti
The quarterly Asha newsletter, Asha Jyoti (for the Central NJ chapter) is here.
Features include -
* Child Labor
* Asha’s Future
* Asha Quiz 2004
* Donation Form
* Heritage India Festival

April 14, 2004

Just a thought...
We look before and after,
And pine for what is not:
Our sincerest laughter
With some pain is fraught;
Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought.

-From Shelley's "To a Skylark"

April 10, 2004

The Buddha at Kamakura
"And there is a Japanese idol at Kamakura"

O ye who tread the Narrow Way
By Tophet-flare to Judgment Day,
Be gentle when the 'heathen' pray
To Buddha at Kamakura!

To him the Way, the Law, apart,
Whom Maya held beneath her heart,
Ananda's Lord, the Bodhisat,
The Buddha of Kamakura.

For though he neither burns nor sees,
Nor hears ye thank your Deities,
Ye have not sinned with such as these,
His children at Kamakura.

Yet spare us still the Western joke
When joss-sticks turn to scented smoke
The little sins of little folk
That worship at Kamakura --

The grey-robed, gay-sashed butterflies
That flit beneath the Master's eyes.
He is beyond the Mysteries
But loves them at Kamakura.

And whoso will, from Pride released,
Contemning neither creed nor priest,
May feel the Soul of all the East
About him at Kamakura.

Yea, every tale Ananda heard,
Of birth as fish or beast or bird,
While yet in lives the Master stirred,
The warm wind brings Kamakura.

Till drowsy eyelids seem to see
A-flower 'neath her golden htee
The Shwe-Dagon flare easterly
From Burmah to Kamakura,

And down the loaded air there comes
The thunder of Thibetan drums,
And droned -- "Om mane padme hums" --
A world's-width from Kamakura.

Yet Brahmans rule Benares still,
Buddh-Gaya's ruins pit the hill,
And beef-fed zealots threaten ill
To Buddha and Kamakura.

A tourist-show, a legend told,
A rusting bulk of bronze and gold,
So much, and scarce so much, ye hold
The meaning of Kamakura?

But when the morning prayer is prayed,
Think, ere ye pass to strife and trade,
Is God in human image made
No nearer than Kamakura?

-- Rudyard Kipling

April 08, 2004

A Small Difference
Saw today while coming to the lab - Two geese sitting all by themselves on the lawns, sunning peacefully. Taking in the beautiful day.
Me - Sitting in the lab, in front of a computer, and no windows to make me aware of time.

April 07, 2004

To do -
You realise everything is a mess.
So you make a lot of lists because you want to organize everything.
Then you keep staring at the lists because you cannot believe there is so much work to be done.
Finally, you just go back to doing whatever you were doing before.....

April 05, 2004

Bread, butter and jam
A surprise visit from a friend
A call just to say hi....
Adds a little bit of jam
To the day's bread and butter.

April 02, 2004

April Fool(s)
You can be fooled once, but nearly twice in a day?
First, after you finish filling out the tax forms, you are told that there is a clause which will allow you to get quite a considerable amount of money more than you calculated before.
So, in anticipation of a (small) windfall, you are all set to go spend some more time figuring out the tax forms. Soon enough, you find out you are the only one wanting to do so. :)
Then later, an old friend from school calls up to inform you that he is getting married in December. Congrajulations are in order. Duly given too.
But then wait a minute - warning bells, and you soon enough realise .....

April 01, 2004

Trivia stuff
* How did the phrase "Mad as a Hatter" originate?
* What was the middle name of President Harry Truman?

Fact or Fiction?
* Washington D.C. has no 'J' street.
* The four kings in a deck of playing cards represent Charlemagne, David, Caesar, and Alexander.
* Michael Jackson owns the rights to the Beatles' songs.
* Van Halen's standard performance contract contained a provision calling for them to be provided with a bowl of M&Ms, but with all the brown candies removed.


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