My Sketches

About time I put up some of the sketches that I do to kill time. All sketches are drawn in gimp with my wacom bamboo pen stylus. Not original. I use the manga sketches and copy them by hand. The only original thing I do is change the emotion of the character. Take a look at the ‘sketch’ category. By far, Kauro is my best work till now. Do leave your feedback and comments.

World Cup!

Uruguay:
I don’t know. I haven’t seen any of there game yet.
Paraguay:
They can win. They are setting standards in defending. As I type this message, they have been robbed of one goal by the referee. But they are also getting lucky. The referees has gotten surprisingly soft on hard tackles. But I don’t want them to win. You know there is this philosophy of playing defensive football and they rely heavily on counter-attack.. It is so entirely predictable (and boring). The best part about Paraguay is that they use this philosophy but with some good attackers in Valdes and Cardoza. It is a very good combination. Again, I don’t see any flexibilty. No change in  game play etc. etc.
Germany:

If they win, I would say they have a large share of luck. They have not yet a played a good team! Yes, I know they played against Argentina and England. It was all a hype. I wouldn’t comment about England, we all know about that team. But about Argentina, I have a special section. I am not counting Germany out though. They do well in the big stage. That’s it! Note that Muller is not there in the semi finals. But they do the best on any given circumstance. I like them for that. But I don’t want them to win the world cup just for that. We all need some new style of playing the game. There are those who win and those who win with some style. German’s are like machine and I have had enough of there headers and counter attack.

Argentina:

Argentina’s defense was opened up many times in league matches but the none of the opposing teams had good finishers. So I was looking at all the Argentina fans with concern! If only Riquelme and Pokemon were there. And Maradona is not really helping apart from being the reason Riquelme quit.

Netherlands:

They surely can win this world cup. Surprised no one noticed this team. They have been thorough professionals so far. How? Look at their strategy. They did not bother to bring in Elijero Elia and Afellay in the last match! Those two guys split the opposition defense in the left in the last games they played. But they just made one substitution to bring in Huntelaar. They are really playing there cards close to themselves. I like there coach. You need a good team to beat these guys. Damn I have not seen any of Uruguay’s match.

Spain:

They have had their share of luck. But it’s beautiful to watch these guys play. They stick to their game of quick intelligent passing and they know to make it work for them to win. Though the defense is a bit weak ith Gerard Pique and Sergio Ramos doing some dirty work in the back time and again. They have flexibility. The change to bring in Fabregas and Pedro just changed the match against Paraguay. I guess they learnt their lesson against a team with a similar strategy as Paraguay, the swiss! I want these guys to win. Muller is not there.. Yey! They have to keep an eye on Klose.  I declare I am a fan of their game!

One needs a lot of luck with referees. Why can’t they have technology in there. They want controversy.

Finally, it is Anybody’s game from hereon.  But I want either Spain or Holland to win.

Hit List!

Black Swan was a good read. The elder one at home was amazed at the different idea behind the book. I am on to other books. The current hit list is
1) Cryptonomicon by Stephenson Neal.

2) Debugging: The Nine Indispensable Rules for Finding Even the Most Elusive Software and Hardware Problems by David Agans

3) UNIX® Systems for Modern Architectures: Symmetric Multiprocessing and Caching for Kernel Programmers by Curt Schimmel – They say this is a must read for anyone working close to modern application processors. I read a paragraph and decided this is indeed the first one to be read. I confess may even be desperate, since I have worked on 3-4 cache related issues for the past 3 months.

Scuba dooba doo!

I went to scuba dive at Netrani. Yey! Among other fishes, had a close look at a scorpion fish and stared back at a muray eel staring at us with its head out of the rocks. The scorpion fish was so well camouflaged that it took me a minute to even recognize that there was a fish out there on a maroon and brown coloured rock. And about the murray eel, my instructor would take his hands near its head and the eel would slide back inside the rock, all the while looking at us. But as soon as he would take his hands off, it would come back again to stare at us. Both of those fishes made it clear that it was there teritory! Unfortunately, the dive lasted only 40 minutes. But a memorable one. After and before the dive I was snorkeling at the clear waters near the island. We saw the parrot fish which had brilliant colors and Napoleon Wrasse among other unidentified fishes.

We went through a group called the adivaas, that wanted to introduce people to scuba diving and apart from that, some of their members are on a certificate course on diving.

I am inspired and I am going to take some swimming classes here. I do not know to swim! But the surprising part is I could swim with the fins on my legs. Probably not so surprising looking at it technically, since the fins were giving me the extra thrust to keep me afloat. But the fact that thrilled me is that I can thrash my legs and arms arround to stay afloat. I think all this preparation is for my plans to scuba at Andaman. Lets see. In all, a memorable experience and I would love to do it again.

Of Supremacy of Indian Women!

On my travel to office, one of my backup options (other than reading/practicing kannada or reading books) is to listen to FM. There is this show which targets women audience which is aired in the evening (offcourse it is sponsored by a cosmetics company that, among other products, sells the “make you a pale”! cream also). One fine day, the host was asking a question that goes like this. “Do you believe that Indian women are the most beautiful in the world?”. There were enough women calling in and saying something along the lines that “yes we are beautiful”. But I was thinking of the same question, put in a different manner.

The question rephrased would be: “Do you believe all other women in the world are less beautiful compared to us Indian women”. Any takers? If someone agreed to the above question, wouldn’t they become less beautiful since they disapprove there gender worldwide. And moving further, since you have been proven to be less beautiful for looking down upon your own gender, saying yes is a false statement.  This argument moves further and further to “yes” being a false answer!

Questions are covered up so well, that probably, our human brain does not detect the anomaly! Too much of black swan book I guess :).

Off-course, all this is naught if for women, looking down upon other women is considered to not affect their beauty. So the next question is what is beauty? Reminds me of the word quality and “zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance”. Probably all this is just my perception of beauty! Heh? .. Enough!

As a side note, I am adding the word forget to my blog heading.. Among other things that I do, I also forget frequently. So now the heading looks like:

Observe Think Analyse Tweak Travel Forget… Kill Time!

Don’t compare with others and still be the best?

One of the upcoming young leaders in indian politics, replies “We shouldn’t compare ourself with other countries. We are the best”.

First of all, is that a paradox? The moment you say ‘best’, you have started to compare, which is exactly what you have denounced in the previous statement. But then, he did not prepare any speech and was answering questions from youngsters on the spot. I guess his motive was to motivate, hence I will take it on a positive note but with just a little lack of direction. This reminds me of my previous post here.

Black swan and graveyard of the firefiles

I am into another book by Naseem Nicholas Taleb called The black swan. The previous one being Fooled by randomness which I described earlier here. Again, a few pages into the book, it has taken me into thoughts about how our thoughts are wired, some more reason to not watch TV, to not take daily news seriously and some more insight into the fallacy of using the bell curve ( Remembed the Gaussian distribution?) in predicting the future based on past events and that, seeing only white swans your entire life does not mean there are no black swans out there in the world somewhere!

I downloaded an anime movie that goes by the name graveyard of the firefiles. I have taken a break after watching the first 50 mins. I could hardly hold myself after 15 mins into the movie. I instinctively know where it is going. Its a tough watch. The art and scenes are very powerful. It took 15 minutes for me to recover after watching those 50 mins. The rest, I will see tommorow or whenever I can spare an hour after watching the movie to recooperate from the shock that is coming. I go through sad movies with very little after effects. But this one is too powerful. No doubt it has won several awards.

News Media, ‘Indians and Science’

Anyone going through the news media would notice the chaos that it triggers in us. We also know that almost every news paper is in a frenzy to produce the most sought after news every minute and increase their TRP. If the criteria to remain in the job andfor moving up the ladder in an organization is to create the most sensational news, it is understandable. On a bigger scale, if the aim of a news channel is to beat any other news channel at any give time, then the quickest way is to resort to the usual tactics of making every news a ‘ground breaking’, ‘roof thrashing’ news. With the common news media understood, we can say creating such news has become a simple affair. The most challenging task is not in the hands of the ones creating the news, but the ones consuming it. Take for example, the claims of Dr. Santhanam about India’s nuclear programme. In all the chaos, I could extract that Dr. Santhanam was one of DRDO’s men for site instrumentation, who would be responsible for measuring the yield. He came out with the claim that the yield was not even close to what was publicized. I think that’s all there was to it. May be I am wrong but who cares. Trying to extract news out of enternment information is almost impossible if not stupid. Moving on, we were proud of our achievement in 1998. Weren’t we? If his claims are true, then looking back, we liked the alternate reality that was presented to us during that time. A news with a high ‘make us happy, proud’ entertainment value. But after the claims by santhanam we also did fall for the thrill of ‘make us scared, feel cheated’ news! Having fallen for almost every emotion triggering news, shouldn’t we conclude that the news being delivered is just entertainment? The tiny non-entertainment news is tough to extract. There are other questions, like what is non-entertainment news? I will stop here, enough! I had not posted anything for a long time now. Hence this post! A peek into my thoughts when I hop past a entertainment (news) channel.

Happy new year

Err .. a bit late though. Sorry!
2009 for me:
All my plans to become a pro in computer graphics did not materialize, no matter how much I tried, I figured its not for me. After 4 months of trying hard, I couldn’t get interested in it. Today, I could just easily skim through my electronics basics even though its been arround two years since I read an electronics book. So it seems I will forever be the one talking to the hardware through software. Only time can say for sure.

I learned a bit of Kannada and I can read and understand Kannada text. But my plans to read amarchitra katha in kannada did not materialize. Just when I was about to dig deep, other more important tasks came in.

I started reading a 2400 page Tamil historical novel by the name ponniyin selvan written by Kalki Krishnamurthy (It was serialized in 1950’s for 3.5 years). I am in the last 300 pages now. I did not know we had such great authors in India. Shame on me.

The US visit was mind boggling. I came to know what it would be like to visit an alien world where unknown people wish you and cars stop for you when crossing the road. I plan to visit other alien worlds this year.

I started off with Anime and manga this year. Naruto, Rurouni Kenshin and Deathnote. The best anime IMO is Deathnote. Only 36 episodes and no fuss. Twenty mins for each episode and by the second episode you are hooked. Rakesh saw 2 episodes yesterday and he is in his 12th episode today. I pity him for the addiction!

And many more ..

I hope 2010 was atleast as fun as last year. Have made all the plans and I just have to stray away from my plans to make it more fun. Easy :).