Friday, September 19, 2008

Watched this play Twelfth Night last night. It actually felt good, I was watching a play after a long time and it was different form all the plays I had watched as the play was inside a tent (500 seats) with an open backdrop! The play was presented by a not-for-profit, professional Shakespeare Festivals - Bard on the Beach. The tent is set up near a beach (English Bay beach). I always enjoy watching live performances, especially plays. Though I had a little problem in following some of the parts of the play (which didn't involve the main characters), I could enjoy it. The acting was very good, made me laugh quite a bit (considering my taste for humor). I think I liked the songs (and the music) the best...and was really impressed by the fact that almost all actors could sing so well. I was only hearing about actors singing their songs themselves in theater but hadn't seen a play where most actors sang their songs. One of the guys was singing and playing the music, that was very good. On the whole, it was very refreshing :) (though I ended up being frustrated after the play for all wrong reasons). Here is the picture of the stage that I took during the break.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Addicted to this game Fantastic Contraption. It is really a cool game and my friend has written a good post on it here.

I thought of posting the links to some of my designs (our designs as Vinay helped me with them), starting level 11 only as the first 10 levels are quite easy. Also I didn't do level 13 and 14 as my friends sent the designs even before I had started working on them. I did complete a couple of them (level 11 and level 17 to be precise) even after my friends sent them as I had already started working on them.

Although they are not the best of the designs, I really enjoyed making them :) A big thanks to the creators of this game! And special thanks to Vinay for sending it to us!!

Mission to Mars
Up the Stairs
Down Under
Back and Forth

Handling and Back and Forth are my favourite designs among these :)

Monday, July 07, 2008

credit to the credits girl!

Although I used to look at the closing credits of a film, it was more of a casual look and the duration of this act of looking at the closing credits were based on various factors, number of people walking out of the movie, who I went to the movie with etc.
Yesterday I learnt that one of my friend's friend who is a director herself in an NGO doesn't like it when people don't watch the closing credits. It suddenly occurred to me that she was so right!, it is a way of acknowledging the creators. I also regretted for having not thought about it earlier. But now I will make it a point to sit through the closing credits hope that people who read this also do. And the credit of making us realise the importance of doing so goes to her.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Well, Montreal GP 2008 was another race that Kimi DNF and I watched it live! May be its me, Kimi was out of both the races I watched live. I wrote about the other race here.

However I could watch him race and race well this time :) It was an eventful race with quite a few incidents and most incidents confining to the hairpin (turn 10), where we were seated!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Stumbled upon this awesome link and I am so overwhelmed by the way the video is made and the way the info' is presented! The timing was quite right too, I had just finished reading the adventures of the physicist Richard Feynman and was so blown over by his personality and talent and had realised how we were not taught physics the way it should have been :( (I wonder if we can do any good to our DreamSchool kids :()
It's brilliant, never seemed to have liked any info' on the web so much. So thought of writing things that I understood from the clips (I haven't watched it completely... still need to watch the last hour out of the 3 hours but couldn't resist writing about it). Please watch it, it's worth every moment.

Newton's days (300 yrs ago) - He discovered that the force that makes an apple fall on to the ground is the same force that keeps the earth in its orbit as it revolves around the sun... and he called the force Gravity.

Einstein happened to prove that nothing can travel faster than light including gravity. And this meant that Newton was wrong. Because according to Newton, say if the sun disappeared due to some catastrophe, the earth (and other planets) would just move out of the orbit in a tangential direction immediately. Now with Einstein proving that light travels the fastest and that it takes 8 minutes for the light to reach earth from the sun, if the sun disappeared, how can earth move out of the orbit immediately as the effect of 'no gravity' would not even have reached the earth (it would take at least 8 minutes remember)!

So Newton was wrong in assuming that gravity was instantaneous, that it acts upon a body immediately! Einstein solved this by reasoning Gravity as wraps and curves in the fabric of space and time (you must see the video for this) and also so proved that gravity travels as fast as light and reaches the earth like waves through the fabric of time and space taking the same time as that of light. This is the general theory of relativity.

Now there is gravity, but there is also electromagnetism the force that bounces us back when we fall off a roof of a 40 storied building. If there were to be no electromagnetism, there would have been a hole formed in the earth due to the fall. And also this force is much stronger than gravity. It is the force due to repulsion of the electrons of the two bodies when they come closer.

Now we have a feeble force gravity and a strong force electromagnetism. Einstein's wanted to find an encompassing theory that combines the physical laws of these two forces as part of his dream to have a unified theory to explain the universe, a theory of everything that he couldn't achieve in his lifetime.

After this came the quantum mechanics which said that at the tiny scale of atoms and particles, everything is uncertain, the world is a game of chance! If you imagine yourself to be in a quantum cafe and order a blue coffee, it's not certain that you get a blue coffee, you might get a red coffee! But this uncertainty in the quantum world is at such a tiny scale that we don't realise it in the real world. Now this is a contradiction to the Einstein's theory of gravity which demands certainty.

Also along with electromagnetism there were the strong and weak nuclear forces at the atomic level... and the mainstream science had accepted the particles as points and successfully united the strong force, weak force and electromagnetism, they called it the standard model. And at this atomic/subatomic world of particles, the gravity which explains the large world of astronomy so well, never fit! it was the odd man out...

There were also a group of people who believed that the universe was made of tiny vibrating stands of energy called strings. And that the string theory can unite the conflicting set of laws (the laws that govern the larger objects like galaxies and the laws that govern the subatomic particles) with one master equation. It all happened when a young physicist discovered what appeared to be string like objects hidden beneath the abstract symbols of a 200 yr old equation. Though he thought he would be considered the next Einstein nothing like that happened as the mainstream science was busy unifying the nuclear forces and electromagnetism.

But some scientists continued to work on string theory trying to tame the unruly equations of the theory. There were anomalies like a particle with no mass and a particle that could travel faster than light etc. But when they thought of Gravity being that particle with no mass and of the other forces also as particles (these particles which are forces were called the messenger particles), things seem to fall in place. They could get an equation involving gravity too, which meant that they could explain how gravity worked at the subatomic level.

However the string theory demands more dimensions (eleven of them) than we know of (the 3 spacial dimension and one temporal). The idea here is explained in a very simple manner. If we look at cable that holds something, it looks like a line to us (from far) meaning we see just one dimension. But for an ant that is exploring that cable, from its point of view, another dimension comes into picture, the ant can move forward and backward along the length of the cable (dimension 1) and it also can move clock wise and anticlockwise along the circumference of the cable (dimension 2). So the spacial dimensions can come in 2 flavours, along the lengths (the ones we know of), along the circumference.

A German mathematician had already proposed the existence of an invisible extra spacial dimension as he needed a place for his electromagnetic ripples (like how gravity was explained as wraps and ripples over 3 spatial and 1 temporal dimensions) and Einstein believed in this German mathematician's proposal.

So even if there were to be more dimensions, how would these extra dimensions (of course they are not visible) look like? Scientists propose that at every single point in space, there is a circular ring whose circumference, only an ant that is billions of times smaller can explore. And the existence of these additional dimensions at every sinlge point in space is the heart of string theory!
And since it is all at that invisible scale, its difficult to prove it all by experiments but unless it is proven experimentally, it won't be science but philosophy and so the scientists are on their way to prove it all, good luck to them!

Source: The above info' is based on what is available at

Thursday, April 17, 2008

A friend of mine asked me to write about my experience here in Vancouver when I was speaking to him last night. When I thought of it I smiled to myself, all I have to say is that I miss my people and Bangalore! But when I thought about it again as to what is it that I would like to tell people about my one and half months' stay here, the thing that came to my mind is this...
The energy consumption here is too high. I know that its not a discovery, thats what I notice when I walk around, do things here. If automation everywhere is one of the reasons, another one would be the independent/individualistic lifestyle (Energy consumption is not shared, energy is used again and again to get the same type of job done by each person).
So when I came across a cartoon (sent by the same friend :)) that said something on the lines of "When I walk past an automatic door and it opens for me, I feel sorry for the door...if I don't go in I'll hurt its feelings", I said that I don't really feel sorry for the door but I do feel sorry that it opened! else some energy could have been conserved!

I also read here that the energy conservation might be enforced as a law by mandating the energy efficient equipments.

Hmmm, I would like to add that I am not being as energetic as I used to be in Bangalore and I will have to work on that :)