Monday, July 25, 2011

Quote: A new university?

"If I were founding a university I would found first a smoking room; then when I had a little more money in hand I would found a dormitory; then after that, or more probably with it, a decent reading room and a library. After that, if I still had more money that I couldn't use, I would hire a professor and get some textbooks." - Stephen Leacock
Here is link to original article: Learning on the battlefield.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Curious shortage of Girls at Googleville

Google+ seems very exciting. Techeople are loving it. I am loving it.

Initially, it wasn't much fun. I joined and didn't logged in for two days. Facebook and Twitter habit.

Over the time, it's getting better and better. It has all the features to socialite, same as in real life. Circles can do good job to manage people on one's network. Sparks is just great to explore contents. Google is yet to introduce groups and pages/interests. Hangout is for real life experience.

Since few days, I am using Google+ daily. Today, I just checked my circles. Then I found, all of my friends are male.

'Girls where the hell are you?'

It has better secrecy over one's contents. At the same time, It has greater openness then any other social networks. Many people are claiming it is the backbone of social web. It might be the future.

'Now, come on! Don't be left behind. Google+ is exclusively for all of us.' Join me :)

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Date a Girl Who Reads

Announcement of the initial publication of Uly...Image via Wikipedia
"Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes. She has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.

Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag.She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she finds the book she wants. You see the weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a second hand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow.

She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book.

Buy her another cup of coffee.

Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice.

It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas and for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry, in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by god, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does.

She has to give it a shot somehow.

Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world.

Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who understand that all things will come to end. That you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two.

Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilightseries.

If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.

You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype.

You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots.

Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.

Or better yet, date a girl who writes."

(Reblogging is integral part of Tumblr. I read few blogs written on that platform and one of them is The Monica Bird.  I happily borrowed/reposted this article from the blog. I would love to date a girl who reads :P)
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Monday, July 18, 2011

Traveling through the Dark

I read this poem by William E. Stafford during my high school days. The message it tries to give is so profound and inspiring. Often in life, we have to struggle with choice between heart and mind. And I always try to go with mind. May be rational mind is the way to go. But Hey, this is just me.

Traveling through the Dark

Traveling through the dark I found a deer
dead on the edge of the Wilson River road.
It is usually best to roll them into the canyon:
that road is narrow; to swerve might make more dead.

By glow of the tail-light I stumbled back of the car   
and stood by the heap, a doe, a recent killing;   
she had stiffened already, almost cold.
I dragged her off; she was large in the belly.

My fingers touching her side brought me the reason—
her side was warm; her fawn lay there waiting,   
alive, still, never to be born.
Beside that mountain road I hesitated.

The car aimed ahead its lowered parking lights;   
under the hood purred the steady engine.
I stood in the glare of the warm exhaust turning red;   
around our group I could hear the wilderness listen.

I thought hard for us all—my only swerving—,   
then pushed her over the edge into the river.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

A cup of tea with 'Hindu Terrorist'

It rains daily in Pune(summer days). I love it. I need a cup of coffee to enjoy it. Yesterday, I was outside. It started to rain. Found a small café and went in. I ended up with tea. Not bad!

The tea shop owner was very frank. He talked about so many things. He also told me about different places in India where he had previously visited. He talked about North East, especially Darjeeling and Sikkim. I asked him why he went there?

'I am Hindu terrorist' he told and laughed like in hell.
Later he elaborated that he went there with bunch of Shiv Sena to attend a Ram Temple. I didn't ask more questions, because it really didn't matter to me. I paid for tea and left.

Later I could not forget his laughter for a while.  One thing remained in my mind;
Shiv Sena = Hindu Terrorists ?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

New Policy: World's highest drinking age and how to deal with it

Maharashtra Government recently introduced new policy  on drinking age. Well, it was 21 as minimum age for drinking. Now they have raised age bar to 25, which is world's highest. Most of countries worldwide has policies in between 18-21.

I have been wondering about it for few days. I didn't understand what caused someone to introduce this policy. I am damn sure that the policy will make things worse, if it does anything at all. Anyone can make sense out of it. 

I went to recall some statistical fact. In Pune alone, there are around 80 millions people living. In India, more than 60% of population is under 25. That comes close to 48 millions who are under 25 in Pune alone. I think most of people start to drink from the age of 15. So, the total number of drinkers between age 15-25 is 19.2 millions (almost 20 millions). This figure must be just double in Mumbai. Now, total 15-25 aged drinkers is about 60 millions. About same numbers of youths must be living in rest of Maharashtra. Hello 100 millions bright young drinkers!

Now let's talk some of things related. Policy by default, is introduced to make things better (At least this is what policymakers think) But good intention is vague term. This policy will fail badly because it is not applicable. Drinking is rooted in human civilization. In fact it is one of thing which evolved with time. People drink simply because drinking is need as well as want.  Many scholars have done research about it and most of them agree that drinking is good for health. (Over addicted is obviously not good). Basic human needs evolve over the time. In stone age, human used stones to hunt and make fire to keep them warm. They didn't have other materials. Things changed. Now we have so many things that are essential. We can't live without them. I need vehicle to move, internet and mobile to communicate, verities of foods to eat and fancy apartment to live. None of our forefathers enjoyed the life I have. Same as that. Human used fruit juice as drink. Later they learned to make different drinks out of it. Now we have hundreds of drinks branded within our reach. This has been our need.  Let's put it this way; it has been our basic human need.  And it is basic want/need of 15-25 aged. This is most active age group, thus highest needs and wants. Simple as that.

So Government is trying to make our basic need illegal. I am damn sure that making it illegal won't stop men/women from their need/wants. Making brothels illegal had never stopped gentlemen to visit again and again. This hadn't happened in human history. They will drink. They will have fun same way they used to. But problem here will be that all of us are going to be forced 'criminal'. The policy will not stop ill things, but make it worse and we 'bright young'  will be dark criminal. Some officers must be silently partying somewhere. A new regulation means, a new way of milking money out of people. Even cops in street must be cheering. They had to check driving license, now they will just see someone's face and start to show 'Mahadev ka tin netra'.

There is another irony. People are given voting right at the age of 18. Basic assumption is that they are mature enough and they can take their own decision. The same person whom those 18+ voted, now thinks that 18+s can't decide on drinking. If that is true, 18+s didn't know who is the good, the bad and the idiot. The voted for last one.

I used word 'criminal' here. Don't worry. There is way out of it. 100 million 'bright young' can rule the world.  Here are some ways we can keep having fun, legally.

  1. Drink at home. Freeze it, drink like hell. This will be no fun if you live with family. Otherwise, this is the best way to keep having fun. Most of people live off the family in this age I think or you can find a friend's house as well as company. That's your right to do whatever you want inside home right?
  2. Want to visit bars? Make some ID cards which states your age above 25. Don't know applicability, but this can be tricky.
  3. Avoid bar zones. Those places where there are so many bars and pubs. You know cops might be around. Instead, you can visit less popular places. If you happen to be in those bar zones, leave earlier than closing time.
  4. Drive down to Goa/Karnataka. I have heard that Goa offers excellent drinking culture. Obviously this is not what Goa is recognized for,  but this can be most exciting thing to do. Karnataka is also no too far way.
  5. Visit some Concan beaches, pack some drinks and enjoy! There are some of the best beaches, some are completely out of crowd. Best place to spend weekend. And it's not far from both Pune and Mumbai.

What else? Shoot out on comment section. Share if you have any other ideas? May be we will make things better over the time :)

PS:  I think if the country is young, it should believe on youths. India has badly realized that restrictions and regulations can do no good. In fact it makes things worse. This is single lesson the country learned since Independence to 1991. After that, India was freed partially, and it flew in the sky. Freedom is good thing, and it starts with an individual.

( I recommend an excellent article on Tehelka Magazine: Man Can't handle drink, at any age)

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Graduate school for unemployed college students

(This is best article from my favorite Seth Godin's blog. Reposted.)

Fewer college grads have jobs than at any other time in recent memory—a report by the National Association of Colleges and Employers annual student survey said that 20 percent of 2009 college graduates who applied for a job actually have one. So, what should the unfortunate 80% do?

How about a post-graduate year doing some combination of the following (not just one, how about all):
  • Spend twenty hours a week running a project for a non-profit.
  • Teach yourself Java, HTML, Flash, PHP and SQL. Not a little, but mastery. [Clarification: I know you can't become a master programmer of all these in a year. I used the word mastery to distinguish it from 'familiarity' which is what you get from one of those Dummies type books. I would hope you could write code that solves problems, works and is reasonably clear, not that you can program well enough to work for Joel Spolsky. Sorry if I ruffled feathers.]
  • Volunteer to coach or assistant coach a kids sports team.
  • Start, run and grow an online community.
  • Give a speech a week to local organizations.
  • Write a regular newsletter or blog about an industry you care about.
  • Learn a foreign language fluently.
  • Write three detailed business plans for projects in the industry you care about.
  • Self-publish a book.
  • Run a marathon.

Beats law school.

If you wake up every morning at 6, give up TV and treat this list like a job, you'll have no trouble accomplishing everything on it. Everything! When you do, what happens to your job prospects?