Saturday, July 29, 2006
Thursday, July 20, 2006
Word power! Go get it!!
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
Bangalore marathon 2006 is tentatively scheduled to be held on September 17th. This event is keenly awaited by the runner community in India. First scheduled to be held in may (hottest period in Bangalore), later postponed to the cooler period of the year, this race is keenly awaited by the running community in India mainly because this run is the only big run between Mumbai and the Delhi runs.
Some of us are planning to participate in the 42.2 km race. Though the practise has not been steady so far, i got 2 more months to prepare for this race. Planning to work on completing this run in 5 hours.
If you live in Chennai and want some motivation to run, join chennai runners.
Saturday, July 15, 2006
Yes, India is the only country where there is more than 30% price differential between petrol and diesel, with diesel being lighter on the wallet. This scenario is expected to continue as long as the political gaming exists [ till armegedon?] in India. Diesel prices are perenially kept low in India due to the governmen't policy to support manufacturing, fishing, farming and the transportation business. The diesel price hike would impact all of the above business. Since these business' are important to a political party's vote bank, they are "shielded" from the global price increase and hence the price "differential" between petrol and diesel.
Now, this being the scenario, the smart ones will try to utilise the price differential to their advantage. Automobile industry clearly has the been the major gainer. A slew of disel motor based cars are likely to be introduced in 2007 - from a wallet friendly Santro to the luxury BMW and Audi will offer the diesel option.
Though the diesel cars have been in existence since the Ambassador days [Isuzu or Matador engines], their penetration in the Indian market was limited by the fact that the fuel cost savings are overshadowed by the high maintenance cost of the diesel cars. The diesel cars were also held back by their lower perfomance and rattling. But the public perception began to change with the Fiat UNO introduction. Mitsubishi Lancer clearly proved that Diesel can be as quiet as the petrol motor. Hyundai Acccent CRDi brought the diesel perfomance to the Indian car owner. With Skoda Octavia 1.9 TDI, diesel has gained a new meaning - ripping performance on the road, a sprinting 0 - 100 kmph and wallet saving 20+ km/lit on the highways. Diesel is here to stay and longer at that.
All cars from Hyundai stable including the existing petrol only Santro, Getz and Sonata will offer the diesel option from 2007. Tata Indica, Indigo and Marina will offer more refined diesels - Marina with Dicor and Indica with the Fiat Multijet. Multijet will also power GM Chevy Aveo and the Fiat Panda. Swift will also offer Diesel option from 2007.
So if you are planning a car buy and if you do more than 10 to 15k km per year, wait for the diesel options to be offered [ofcouse, only if you are not looking at the Skoda Octavia!].
Friday, July 07, 2006
Two weeks ago, some pals and i decided to go "action" a plan that was suggested months [years?] ago. We went on a catamaran into the bay of bengal - Easily one of the best weekends we all had in a while
We jumped into the "kattumaram" [Catamaran's origin] and were on a rocking ride for about 2 km into the sea. All of us then dived into the sea, drifted, tried to swim, got our eyes "burnt" by the salty waters, screamed, relaxed, ducked the others around us into the sea water, splashed the waters around.... it was FUN.
After an exhilarating 40 mins in the sea, we jumped into the catamaran for the ride back to the land and as we neared the shores, i just had one thought - turn the catamaran back into the sea.
If you want a weekend to remember, go for this one. P.S. Yes, apologise for the photos. They did turn out pretty well ... but privacy reasons.
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
On a Saturday evening (post 5 PM), I was looking around for the lyrics of the song “High Hopes” by Pink Floyd. Here is how it went….
I googled for the lyrics and found a number of sites where I can download.
Clicked on the first one, and the next and the next…. This is what I got.
Since I didn’t want to “lose” to websense, I thought about a "work around" and found an alternate way! I searched here
I clicked on the first available link, and here are the lyrics
Sunday, July 02, 2006
Class 6 , during my school days, was the time my fellow mates [strictly, BOYS] and I were on a "discovery" path, finishing off every article on the 3 letter word that closely sounds like "vex".... but on our own. In class 7, this taboo'd topic came out in the "open" during a chemistry class. The "acid test" brought the boys together - Blue Litmus paper turns Red when dipped in Acid[BRA]!!When the chemistry teacher came up with this short form to keep us from forgetting, some guys tried to "act" as if they've never heard of the "short form". One of them [Class topper, but no trace of real "knowledge"!] even had a full fledged discussion with the teacher using the short form a number of times, in the process. Some last benchers [like my pals and i] had the grin on our faces. We thought that even the teacher was embarassed. The teacher promptly changed the topic of discussion.
That class contributed the most to the "social education" of the boys in my class - After the class, as soon as the teacher stepped out, the boys had a mindblowing "group discussion" guided by the last benchers! Then on we were on the discovery path as a "group", with the learnings of each other being shared!
But this "history" class is the high point on our "social journey". The class gave us "new insights" to think about. On a hot [no pun intended] afternoon in school, this history teacher decided to get the students' attention. But with a question like "what is the reason behind India's overpopulation?" he put us back to sleep [try to remember an exciting history/civics class in school? keep trying!].
With no answer coming his way, he decides to give it a shot himself. His explanation goes - On the 1st of every month, the head of the family has a "heavy wallet". So on the first saturday of the month, he takes his wife [and kids] to a movie and an expensive restaurant. They have a great time , sumptuous food and head home and quickly fall asleep. On the next saturday, with a less heavy wallet, he takes his family to another movie but this time they go to a less expensive restaurant. With a heavy tummy, they head home to hit the sacks soon. [Remember, this story was set in the Coimbatore of the last decade of the 1900's]. All of us were warmed up by now.
The 3rd saturday, with 2 more weeks to pull through before the next pay day, he decides to take his family to the "park". They gaze at the crowd while having some "kadalai" [groundnut!] and "popcorn". The family then heads back home, make their dinner, eat and sleep off. Now all the class guys were truely awake.
The final saturday of the month, the guy is left with little money. He and his wife decide to stay at home. The dinner is made by 7 pm. Both of them are watching the saturday evening movie. The dinner is taken in by 8:30 PM. And then, ...... they have some fun, out of boredom! [exactly his words!]. This, he said is the reason for India's overpopulation crisis!!!!
By now all of us [atleast all boys] were grinning! "All of us" had successfully passed the "social education" test.
Easily, the best "history" class we had so far.....
P.S The guys who read "Freakanomics" will find this particular reasoning very familiar!