My Dinner

Sunday, 31 October 2010 01:34 by salim

We both like cooking and eating good food. We both agree that we can cook better food than most restaurants. And our cuisine is pretty eclectic. However, some days we fall back to the nice Kerala style dinners. Today was such a day. When everything was on the plate, I couldn’t help but take a picture. So, here it is

My Dinner

Clockwise from left:

Green cabbage stirfry, green eggplant stirfry, snow peas stirfry, sardines shallow fried in their own oil, chick peas stir fry, tender mango pickle. In the middle of course is Kerala brown rice with sambar and curd (Yogurt).

Categories:   Popular Culture | Self
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For all those grammar nazis around!

Sunday, 24 October 2010 11:15 by salim

Grammar nazis and language pedants get owned by Stephen Fry!

Stephen Fry Kinetic Typography - Language from Matthew Rogers on Vimeo.

(Got from Bad Astronomy)

If I were to find it!

Sunday, 24 October 2010 01:19 by salim

Dissociating deep rooted associations are quite hard. That is why I have to verbally assert “It is not Vande Mataram”

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Categories:   Music
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What is not evidence!

Friday, 22 October 2010 01:23 by salim

In most discussions that I have with people of fervent religiosity, one thing that frustrates me is the lack of basic understanding of what constitutes as evidence. So, today I found this gem of a list in the comment section of a blog. It is a pretty comprehensive list of types arguments usually used from the religious people to defend their faith.

Allegations are not evidence.
Hearsay is not evidence.
Unsubstantiated claims are not evidence.
Personal revelation is not evidence.
Anecdotes are not evidence.
Rumors are not evidence.
Wild speculation is not evidence.
Wishful thinking is not evidence.
Illogical conclusions are not evidence.
Disproved statements are not evidence.
Logical fallacies are not evidence.
Poorly designed/executed experiments are not evidence.
Experiments with inconclusive results are not evidence.
Experiments that are not and cannot be duplicated by others are not evidence.
Dreams are not evidence.
Hallucinations/delusions are not evidence.
Experiments whose methodology is not open for scrutiny are not evidence.
Data that requires a certain belief is not evidence.
Information that is only knowable by a privileged few is not evidence.
Information that cannot be falsified is not evidence.
Information that cannot be verified is not evidence.
Information that is ambiguous is not evidence.

Now, only if everybody play nice and follow these basic principles. I am not very optimistic. Because, if the theists, especially the fanatical one used any kind of logic and rationality, they will find their own arguments crumble like dry Puttu

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Who is she/he?

Tuesday, 19 October 2010 23:54 by salim

Today evening, when I got back from work, we found her/him in our backyard. First I thought this was a ground hog, but in closer inspection, it looks more like an overgrown rat. Can anyone identify?




Categories:   Nature
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Unlike religion, Science brings so many heartbreaks!

Wednesday, 13 October 2010 01:26 by salim

So much is happening in the world of science these days with new claims of discoveries and inventions, breaking and formation of new theories, wild hypothesis. In an earlier age, people outside the academia could only get, often mistimed, almost always distorted view from the media.

Now, we have an almost immediate access to most of this information, in many cases, the original papers that describe the finding. There are many science blogs that provides background information and further reading guides. This has given me, and I am sure it is a shared feeling, a real glimpse into the process of science in action. Instead of discoveries and inventions being a bunch of static text in a text book or magazine, I can see each of these ideas evolve, painstakingly. It is like watching a live telecast of (substitute your favorite sports here) with continuous upsets and miraculous moves.

So, here is the short history of Gliese 581g, the earthlike, goldilocks planet from last couple of weeks. Here is one of the many overblown press reports (Gliese 581g).

It really was a wonderful feeling to know there is this planet that could potentially harbor life (well, other than say Io, Titan etc. We still have a problem defining the parameters of life, but that is another story). And the best part, it is only 20 light years away. Think about it, if there is a planet that can support life (as we know) right at our neighborhood, then chances are that there are many more around us.

The scientists Steven Vogt, Paul Butler and possibly a large unnamed gang of doctoral and post doctoral scholars analyzed 11 years of data available on Gliese 581 to arrive at the conclusion that there could be up to 6 planets orbiting this star with one possibly at the goldilocks zone potentially with liquid water. This planet could have a minimum of 3 times the mass of earth.

The frenzy followed this included someone in TV saying that it is only 20 light years away and if we trash earth, we could go there. This is true, if you have 180,000 years or energy equivalent of total earth consumption for several thousand years. So, we are not going there anytime soon.

Then came the shocking news. A SETI scientist from Australia Ragbir Bhathal had detected a strange pulse from this planet 2 years ago. This however did not impress Drake!

Speculations, stories, visitations from beings live in Gliese 581g, psychics who claim they are in communication with the great king Atutoao of Gliese 581g, and finally…

You know, there might not be a planet at all…

This is the problem with science. You cannot have faith in anything scientific. The moment you start believing something, there comes an experiment, an observation, a mathematical proof that force you to change.

Unlike religion, where it takes a few hundred years for a mistake to be admitted, and the only thing valid is faith.

Strangely though, I love the heart breaking, invigorating, wondrous feeling of awe, every day is a new day. Nothing remains unquestioned, no truths remain unchallenged.

Brooklyn has a space program!

Wednesday, 13 October 2010 01:03 by salim

Amazing video captured by an amateur space program in Brooklyn, NY

Space is so close!

Categories:   Science | Space
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Bhoopalee, lasya mohini…

Saturday, 9 October 2010 04:18 by salim

Oh yes, I know it is quite cheesy. But I couldn’t resist the pun.

Anyways, I have a kind of love hate relationship with Bhoopali. When we were young, my sister and I had this music teacher, who spend a lot of time in that good old Mohana Varnam. It still leaves a bit of bitterness when thinking about it. But, later on, I learned to love Bhoopali, mainly by some wonderful performances by Chaurasia and Amjad Ali Khan.

So, here is my second one. So far, so good.

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Categories:   Music
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After over 2 years, my first recording

Friday, 8 October 2010 01:03 by salim

Well, I sorely miss making music. I did for the last 2 years. It has been quite hard to break the ice. So, this is what I am trying to do from now on. I will post whatever I record here. Instead of waiting for something to be “complete” which it usually never does, I will post the first mix down.

So, here is the first one. This could be the beginning movement of a song, but right now it is just 9 minutes of indulgence in Mishr Pilu.


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Categories:   Music | Music
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