Work Life Balance

If you don’t have a balance between work and life, you may miss out on both the pleasure of work and the meaning of life.


Image copyright Amrinder Arora,, 2013

Image copyright Amrinder Arora,, 2013


Don’t forget to pack the urn!

Don’t forget to pack the urn remains my all time favorite marketing stunt.

Cricket (and Baseball, Football, etc) are big businesses that depend on innovative marketing techniques. Don’t forget to pack the urn was a great such gimmick. No matter that the ashes don’t actually travel, that the 2011 series was not that competitive, and this caused a slight legal issue, the gimmick worked, and the tickets sold like hot cakes. Mission accomplished.

Dont Forget to Pack the Urn

Good work by A77 on the graphic, that was used in this innovative marketing.

An Actual Email

The writer’s name has been removed to protect the guilty.

Hi X! How are you? If you are still at this address, then happy birthday!!!

If you are not at this address, still, happy birthday, but please do write back so I can change the address!


Why do we continue to use paper checks in the US?

Traveling through a few places, I have noticed that the usage of paper checks (cheques) remains obstinately higher in the US. Just a few days ago, I received a paper check from a friend. In most other places around the world, he would have transferred the money to me electronically, by asking for my account number. That option is present in the US as well, but the usage of paper checks remains high nevertheless. What can be some of the reasons?

Besides the fact that electronic payments may be a trifle difficult to setup and the facts that asking for someone’s account number may be a hassle or an invasion of privacy, there is also this small problem of security. In order for me (or for someone else) to make a payment to a third party, all you need is: my name: Amrinder Arora, my account number, and possibly my address. My address is available at a few places, so I have no false hopes of it being secure information.

So, if you were to ask for my account number (to send money TO my account), you can also use the account number later (to send money FROM my account).

This should be troubling to everyone, although you may have observed that when you make a payment to a third party by using a check, they frequently simple take the information from the check and make an electronic payment to themselves.

The safeguard that is missing is that the outgoing payments do not require any pin or other secret information. This is the way most bank payments are made in the Europe, where you need a PIN, and possibly also a matrix code or a signature.

Another way to think about is that you need the same information (my account number) to send money TO me, as you need to send FROM me. This symmetry is a problem. If I had a different account number to receive money, then I could just publish it. When I need to send money, I could then use my sending account number.

New York City sugary drink ban

On Tuesday the NYC sugary drink ban goes into effect! Who can predict whether the people will eventual like the regulation that tries to promote a more fit US population, or whether the people will dislike the perceived attack on personal freedom? But the following quote by Robert Lustig that I recently read seems to be on point:

So the real question here is who do you want in your kitchen? The government, who will take your wallet and freedom? Or the food industry who’ve already taken your wallet, your freedom and your health?