December 29th, 2009
I hardly see myself visiting the same country multiple times (with so many countries being in the world), but I must admit I had an AWESOME time in Sofia and Varna last year. Here are my recollections of 3 best sites in Sofia:
1. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral
2. St. Nicholas Russian Church
3. St. Nedelya Church
All in all, I had a great time in Sofia and would love to return there.
December 26th, 2009
Merry Xmas, Happy Holidays!
Here is an awesome (and accurate) application of the Uncertainty Principle. You can see the original comic here.
December 21st, 2009
Air Travel: DOT imposes 3-hour limit on tarmac strandings: This has been a long time coming. I have long maintained that such stupid behavior on the part of the airlines is simply due to maintain some metrics (like on time departure rate) that have become industry norms.
Though, this also reinforces one point I heard Carly Fiorina make a few years back – “You can never have enough regulations”. It is a shame that the government has to make such regulations – shouldn’t airlines be worrying about end customer satisfaction anyway?
December 20th, 2009
When someone in your close friends/acquaintances circle writes a book, there is a desire to read it that comes from beyond just politeness and desire to further know the person. It somehow also comes from how the common circumstances have shaped the person.
When I first heard about Above Average, from my good friend Vaibhav Sinha, he made it quite a point not to build the hype up. That was a pretty good thing, because the book would otherwise fall a bit short. When I read the book, my main concern was whether Amitabha Bagchi has exhausted all the experiences of the 6 years of early adulthood in writing the book. It is not entirely clear to me whether the book is fiction or if it is non-fiction. Certainly, the author has made some attempts to change the names of the characters etc, but for anyone who knows the relevant people, the mapping jumps out. For example, Darrell appears to be Paul Benjamin. I can think of a few other mappings too, but am holding back on disclosing that.
Every single person can write at least one book – the story of their life. Question is, can they write another? If they can, they become writers; if not, that is fine too.
December 12th, 2009
One of the first rooms that you see as you enter Rijkmuseum contains paintings and other objects of art about the 17th century trade in the Netherlands. One of the paintings “cornelis de man” is quite interesting. Whaling, even as far as the arctic, had been perfected 400 years back. Also, interestingly, the flag in that painting looks very much like the modern Indian flag. Top horizontal color appears more orange than red, and the the bottom bar more green than blue. In the center of the white bar, there seems to be an object, not entirely clear.
Digression in vexillology aside, certainly the kitchen maid, the little street and the night watch are some of the best paintings in this museum. About the kitchen maid (sometimes also called the Milkmaid): this is really a fascinating painting. Just about everyone (like myself) may have seen the painting in print, but once again, the original painting seems to be way beyond any of the high resolution images.
December 10th, 2009
Today, both of my flights are running 3-4 hrs late, allowing me to make my connection, thus reaching my final destination (1 times) 4 hrs late. If however, only my first flight was running 4 hrs late, then I would have to take another connection, getting to Amsterdam 8 hrs later instead.
Xkcd could probably make funny cartoon from it.