Friday, January 30, 2009

Ready for the weekend

It Friday and around 15:30 now that mean weekend has begun. Tomorrow I am going to St. Louis for the toastmasters meeting along with Kyriakos, Paul and Karen. Since we have to be there by 8 the morning I guess we will be leaving pretty early somewhere around 5.
Other than that I have got a set of assignments from Dr. Tall to grade plus I have to grade my own class's homework and quiz. Then there is a homework for my Analysis class, Advanced Calculus and Optimization class all due next week.
Just a note for my optimization I need to do the following problems
Problems: 1(b), 1(c), 2(a), 2(c), 3(a), 3(c), 4(a), 4(b), 6, 7(a), 9, 10(a), 11, 20
I plan to finish with Dyck path and other lattice paths and hopefully my next blogs will talk about that.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


Yes that's the word for today. Pumpernickel is a brown rye bread from Germany. I came across this word while I was idle at home watching Sesame street !! I had pumpernickel several times without realizing that its so famous. Pumpernickel tastes great with peanut butter jam or marmalade especailly if its toasted.

The Three Jug Problem with tri linear coordinates

One of the famous problem in Mathematics is : Suppose you have 3 jugs of size 3 gallon, 5 gallon and 8 gallons. At the beginning 8 gallon jug is full, then how can you measure 4 gallons without spilling. Also there are no submarks on jugs. The solution to this problem can be had by trial and error and it takes 7-8 steps depending on when you start counting. The following solution is based on the tri linear co-ordinate system which always elicit an aha response from anyone who sees it for the first time. This is a problem which is so simple that any one can solve it with some effort and when you see the solution infact bunch of solutions using the graphical method it instantaneously drives home the message why mathematics is so fascinating !

What I was teaching last week

This semester I teach Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.
Here are some pictures I took of the blackboard after my class left to find out if my writing was legible and people could read it.

Today on Jan 29

Its been two days since I stepped out of my house because of the snow. I tried calling the local library but no body picked up phone there, so I believe it was closed. Today is much better in terms of road condition. I work in the evening from 18:30 to 21 hrs tutoring math and right now I am in Faner hall updating this blog. Today I revised some multi-variable calculus. This semester all four of my classes are calculus. 450 is Advanced Calculus, 471 is optimization for multi-variable calculus, 540 is Convex Analysis and 352 is Theory of Calculus and plus I am teaching calculus. So by the end of semester I am hoping to have a solid understanding of multi-variable calculus and analysis.


I finally found my favorite superhero character. Its not that I didn't like cartoons. I grew up watching Barbapapas and I was bonkers about them. They were those blob like topological objects who would morph into any object they want for their convenience. At one pint I loved captain planet too but it never equaled the Barbapapas mania. The history of man was another favorite one of mine along with giant robots. Its funny that we used to think that it was German teleserial when all the characters were Japanese. Telesports used to be our staple diet on sundays and my sister and I would choose teams to compete vicariously with each other. This week I got introduced to word girl. A show on PBS. She is like all superheros plus with a fabulous vocabulary. Yes wordgirl is my superhero and the good thing is I can watch her on my cellphone. Go Word girl !!

About Catalan Numbers

There are two common recursive formulas to find Catalan number
C(n) = sum(C(k), k= 1..n-1)
n*C(n) = (4*n-6)*C(n-1)
The first one yield a quadratic equation in terms of generating function f(x) and the second one leads to a simple first order differential equation which can be solved to obtain the same quadratic equation in terms of the same generating function f(x). Where f(x) = c(0)+c(1)x+c(2)x^2+c(3)x^3+.. = sum(c(n)*x^n,n=0..infinity).
First few Catalan numbers are 1,1,2,5,14,42,132,..
Catalan numbers occur in many disguises in Mathematics. One of the standard way to define them as C(n) by thinking of them as the different way to parenthesize the multiplicative expression, then number of rectangular paths in a lattice gives C(n+1) and the number of ways to divide a polygon to give triangles using non intersecting diagonals C(n-1)

On Tuesday 27th and Wednesday 28th

Its early morning around 4:55. I just checked on my cell phone and found out that SIUC is closed today. A peek out from my bedroom revealed a white snow carpet and the weather forecast promising some more sleet and snow. The school got canceled for both days. It snowed a lot. I cooked fried dal, potatoes and peas plus rice. I did use my wii, watched some documentaries on PBS and went over some problems

Monday, January 26, 2009

My tech savy Mom

I am updating this blog and at the same time I am also talking to my Mom. One thing that really impressed me how my Mom has been making progress with Wii. She is right now telling me how she has been using her IP tv and even playing game on that. Which buttress the claim that video games are perhaps the best way to bring technology to people who think its complicated. I remember when first I introduced her to video games on computer. She developed liking for one of the more challenging game and later her prowess with using other software surpassed my Dad who is an engineer.

Sunday, January 25, 2009


I watched part of a documentary on Bagota. How the visionary mayor changed the behavior of so many of its citizen by thinking what is more important for its people. He introduced the “TransMilenio“ buses. He realized that he had only 3 years to serve so to make the best possible use of his term and the only chance he had he should do what other people would be reluctant to do. He was thinking in his circle of influence. Instead of spending his limited money to built new highways for the elites of the society. He build a 17 kilometer of 3 lane paved road. One for walking, one for bicycle and one for the TransMilenio connecting school, libraries and parks. This lead to the troubled city flowered into a much peaceful urban dwelling and thereby improving the quality of life of so many of its residents.

William Dunham's books

I have started reading “The Mathematical Universe” by William Dunham”. Dunham is a very lively writer and a great expositor. So far I have read two other books by him. One is “The Calculus Gallery” and other is “Euler: The master of us all”. Both should be read by anyone with a passing interest in Analysis and Combinatorics. I will have more to say about this one, when I am finished.

Why I don't watch soap comedies

I remember Dr. Kammler once said when you are acquiring a different language the thing which is more difficult to master is humor as humor is very provincial. One needs to imbibe the culture as a cotton does to a water. The other equally important factor is knowing the history. So I tried getting myself acquainted with the history too. But is all celebrated literature is really good for your mental equanimity? I have tried watching “Friends”, “Sex and the City” , “Sienfield”, “Two and half men”, “Drew Carry Show”, “Family Guy”, “Simpson's” etc. The humor is at the expense of people. But as I write these are pretty much the fabric of current America and hundred years from now will occupy the place of awe in the history. The point I am making is that when humor is based on the expense of maligning other it comes back to haunt us and destroys our peace of mind. Even though the proletarians might endorse these shows as a must watch, we shouldn't buy that argument.

California's Energy Gamble

Yesterday I was watching the documentary on California's gamble to become green. Under Schwarzenegger astute leadership California has embarked on an ambitious initiative to reduce the green house emission to the levels at the beginning of the century in next 40 years. I am very optimistic that California will achieve this with resounding success though skeptics might think otherwise. The reason for my optimism is because its a grand plan and to make America more competitive we need newer technology. The current way of generating energy using fossil fuel is too harmful for the environment especially burning coal. I applaud that he made it clear that no more coal plant should be made. The biggest hurdle this plan faces is ensuring an uninterrupted power supply using Wind and Solar Power as they are at mercy of mother nature and the current technology has to grow to find a way to store the excess energy. The other hurdle of transmitting is more manageable. I was surprised the documentary didn't talk about tidal energy and difference in sea water method and using waste to extract energy the other promising technologies. It did show a newer more economical way of producing solar cells, energy efficient houses and appliances.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Invitation from the Carbondale Public Library

Invitation from the Carbondale Library. Over the Christmas break I volunteered my time for the local library. My idea was to give back something to the wonderful library we have here. The staff there is wonderful. I have under the tutelage of Patrick who showed me the working of the library and I was assigned to fetch books requested by other library. It was a good experience I got to know about where all the different types of books in library are kept and the books in demand. So when I received this invitation I was moved even though I am sure to miss it as I have class to attend at that time. Thank you Carbondale library, I appreciate your gesture.

Cooking at Interfaith Center

I am updating this from Morris Library. I just came here and to my amusement I discovered that they close at 21 hrs on Friday that means I have less than 20 minutes to finish this blog. Roy and I cooked at Interfaith center today. We cooked Rice, Lentil, Eggplant, Tomato Chutney and Aloo Gobhi. Around 22 people showed up which is a pretty good turn out.
Few new words.
Objurgate: to reproach or denounce vehemently; upbraid harshly; berate sharply.
An easy sentence could be coined by noticing that the word rhymes with subjugate.
He subjugates his opponents by objurgating them in public.
Yesterday I attended the Matlab training at SIUC. It was organized by the engineering department. The training was good. I learned about quite a few things I wasn't aware of. I especially liked the way the new plot tool works. Its now similar to the Maple though it still couldn't match the symbollic capability of Maple. Matlab uses Mupad for symbolic manipulations.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Triangle Inequality

One of the basic identity in Mathematics is Triangle Inequality. Unfortunately its proof is not always well motivated and complete in most books. Here is a complete proof with the various lemmas that are required.
Triangle inequality can be stated as follows
abs(x+y) <= abs(x)+abs(y)
Before we prove, lets list the four properties of absolute value
  1. x <= abs(x)
  2. x = sqrt(x^2)
  3. x^2 = (abs(x)) ^2
  4. abs(x)*abs(y) = abs(x*y)

We require one Lemma but to prove it we require the following Lemma
Lemma 1: if 0 <= a < b then a^2 < b^2
Proof Multiply first by a we get
0 < a^2 < a*b
Now multiply by b we get
0 < a*b < b^2
Comparing the two we get
a^2 < b^2

Lemma 2: A^2 <> A < B
Proof: Lets do by contradiction
Assume A >= B
Multiply first by A and then by B we get
A^2 >= A*B and
A*B >= B^2

Coming back to the inequality we start with
(abs(x+y))^2 = (x+y)^2 (ref 3) = x^2 +2*x*y+y^2 (basic algebra)
= (abs(x))^2+2*x*y+(abs(y))^2 <= (abs(x))^2+2*abs(x*y)+(abs(y))^2 (ref 1)
= (abs(x)+abs(y))^2

So we have
(abs(x+y))^2 <= (abs(x)+abs(y))^2 (Lemma 2)
abs(x+y) = (abs(x)+abs(y))


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

2^(n)-1, Mersenne prime and Perfect Numbers

I was reading about numbers like 2^(n)-1. There is a easy proof that if n is not prime then the number 2^(n) -1 is not prime. Since n is not prime it means n = a*b where a and b are non zero numbers for example 50 = 25*2= 10*5. Thus 2^(50) -1 is not prime. To understand it just multiply and divide by (2^(a)-1)/2^(a)-1. So we have
( 2^(a*b)-1)
*(2^(a)-1)/(2^(a)-1). Which can be written as
[( 2^(a*b)-1)*(2^(a)-1)]*(2^(a)-1) = (1+ 2^a+2^(a.2)+2^(a.3)+2^(a.4)+ .. +2^(a*(b-1)) *(2^(a)-1) and a and b can be interchanged.
When n is prime 2^(n)-1 is sometimes primes and sometimes not. When it is prime it is called Mersenne Prime. The reason they are important because they give rise to what is called perfect numbers. A perfect number is something whose sum of divisor other than itself is equal to the number itself. For example divisors of 6 are 1,2,3 and 1+2+3 = 6. Similarly 28 is another perfect number. The divisors in this case are 1,2,14,4,7 and sum is 1+2+14+4+7 = 28. Euler discovered that if you know Mersenne prime then the perfect number is 2^(n-1)*(2^n -1) i.e Mersenne Prime*2^(n-1). For example we know that 2^(7)-1 = 127 is a prime which implies 2^(6)*(2^7-1) = 4064 is a perfect number. The divisors are 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 127, 254, 508, 1016, 2032 and sum is 4064

Toastmasters meeting today

It was another good meeting today. Lots of people showed up for the official first meeting of this semester including Kyle, Craig, Karen and the wannabe new toastmaster Michael. The meeting began on time with Kaira doing the table topics. She did wonders with her astute handling of table topics. The theme was having a president as your neighbor and how you handle their idiosyncrasies. I was asked to comment on if I knew that Zachary Taylor had never voted until he was elected as president. I made it up by espousing his stance of not voting. That voting is not always the right thing if you don't agree with the candidates and how I regretted voting for someone who later turned out to be a disappointment. May be Zachary was sagacious to have figured out that the incumbent and adversary were not the right choice.
Kelly's talk about the falling neighborhood in America and its consequences were eroding the family values. How having more friends can increase your life expectancy. How the close knit community elevates the standard of living and moral standards of its inhabitants.
Kyriakos did a splendid speech on using technology to improve ourselves. He touched on various new Internet technologies that can expedite ones personal growth. I liked his flawless delivery and trenchant insights in how blogging, vlogging, podcasting, ebook and sites like life hack are fueling the revolution in personal growth.
My speech was about the tipping pt the book I read last month.

Thought for the day

I cannot imagine a God who reward and punishes the objects of his creation, whose purposes are modeled after our own-- a God, in short, who is but a reflection of human frailty.
Albert Einstein, physicist, Nobel Laureate(1979-1955)

Syncretic had this word few days ago

MEANING:adjective: Combining different forms of belief or practice.
ETYMOLOGY:From Latin syncretismus, Greek synkretismos (union), from synkretizein (to unite in the manner of the Cretan cities), from syn (together) + Kret-, Kres (Cretan).
USAGE:"Traditionally, Indonesians practiced a tolerant, almost syncretic brand of faith, infused with the Buddhist, Hindu, and animist traditions of earlier periods."Barack Obama; The Audacity of Hope; Crown Publishers; 2006

My take on this word
I enjoyed Malcom Gladwell's tipping pt. It is one of those books which make you think about a view point you might not be familiar at first place. It a potpourri with syncretic ideas from pop psychology, mathematics and other literature to make it a highly readable book.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Reading "How to read a book"

Its around 13:29 and I am on the first floor at Morris Library. I came after having a lunch. I had a class to teach in the morning which went well. I gave them a quiz and collected homework. There is a meeting for fencing around 18 hrs and I might go to check it out. I am midway through the Adler's "How to read a book". His three pronged approach to reading a book is incisive and makes perfect sense. The first is an overview. The second is constructing the author's argument and third is comprehending it so one can criticize the book. Some of the point he made about being an active reader. When one is reading a book its the duty of reader to ask questions and not get restless as the ultimate decision about the worth of the book rests with the reader. So he must have curiosity to ask question and also seek to find the answer. A good author usually anticipates the question before hand and arrange his book in such a order to answer his questions at a right time.

Towards the end of the book he mentioned about some books that have to be read many times struck a chord with me. He eloquently said that every time we read those books we find something new in it. It's not that when during previous readings those things were not there. Its just that as we read and inculcated the values the book begins to make sense at higher level.

Toastmaster meeting on thursday

We all met at the Tres Hombres for our spring 09 dinner.

Doodling at barnes

Sunday at Barnes and Nobles

On Sunday I was heading to student center but it was closed so I decided to go to Barnes and Noble. I didn't read the John Irving book but I think I will take a look in future. It was recomended by the staff there. The Gallop and Swing were just picture books like the flicker so you can see those moving images. These coffee table books will entice children. There was a whole new section of Brain books there. Lot of them are just the anthology of author's research and tend to become vapid. The common theme in most of these books is the brain plasticity and how you can continue to enrich your brain by making it work on different challenges instead of doing the repetitive work. Yes even solving crossword puzzle becomes repetitive and jejune! The word book by Barrons was invigorating though it didn't have many heavy weight words. Its the kind of sentences it has that makes it a good bargain item.

Later in evening I attended the meeting for meditation and it was good !!

Blankets, American Born Chinese

Over the break, to be precise on Saturday. I finished reading these two books. I was pumped up because Blankets was among the top 2 best graphic novels and American Born Chinese was another award winner. Don't let the voluminous size of Blankets deter you. It has too many blank pages and its very sparsely written. The prosaic story is about Author's tryst with religion and his first love. I am not sure why the people were raving about this book. Its just self loathing.
The gist of American Born Chinese is if you try to fit in society you have trouble. What you learn from monkey king is that no matter how good you are if you are born monkey just behave as monkey. The high pt is the organization of the book. There are three unrelated stories going on and suddenly you realize its just one story. Of course like Blankets it has great graphics but what values and morals are these two best sellers likely to inculcate? I am not sure if the author of blanket has that in mind. Its just his melancholy story of growing up.American born Chinese will only reinforce stereotype of new immigrants.

Blood Pressure Update

Yes I was at Schnucks.

Ballot problem with lattice pts

I was discussing the Ballot problem with Dr. Clark and he showed my how the reflection principle can solve this problem in seconds. The Ballot problem simply stated is counting the ballots so that one candidate is always ahead of other. Let the candidates be C and D, where C gets c votes and D gets d votes. Therefore total number of votes is c+d. Also let d > c i.e candidate D remains ahead of C through out the counting. The probability that D remains ahead of C is a surprisingly compact result of (d-c)/(d+c).
To solve using lattice path reflection one need to only observe that the lattice path never touches the line y =x which passes through lattice pts. As D is ahead of C the first lattice pt is (1,0). The number of such path to lattice pt (c,d) is binomial (c+d-1,c). This however includes path which do across or touch line y =x. Excluding those by reflection principle give binomial(c-1+d,d). Hence probability is
(binomial(c+d-1)-binomial(c-1+d,d))/binomial(c+d,c) = (d-c)/(d+c).

Monday, January 19, 2009

Chana dal, Mix vegetables, tamatar chutney

This is what I was eating on Sunday afternoon. Chana dal, Mix Vegetables, Scrambled eggs and Mohanji's style tamatar chutney

Volunteer Certificate

I was a volunteer for welcoming new international students this year and also last semester. So here are the certificates for both occassions. Indeed they have made certain changes in the format.

Agenda for tomorrow's math 140 class

Well the long weekend is over. I am in my office done grading and preparing for tomorrow's lecture. Tomorrow I will be introducing the Limit concept and discussing the more advanced problems in domain and range.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Five state of mind by swami Jyotirmayananda

I am here in Morris Library and while taking a study break I came across this "International Yoga Guide" and it has this wonderful article about 5 states of mind by Swami Jyotirmayananda. I am reproducing the essence of that here.

  • Mudha (dull)
  • Kshipta (distracted)
  • Vikshipta (partially gathered)
  • Ekagrata (one pointed)
  • Niruddha (controlled)

The lowest state of mind is mudha or dull state. In this state mind is dominated by gross impurities and increasing tamas (inertia)

The next state is kshipta state, in which mind is distracted under the sway of attachment and hatred (raga and dwesha) and is constantly fluctuating under the influence of rajas (restless externalization). The mind in this state is full of desires and ideas that make the personality ostentatious.

Truly great accomplishments in the spiritual as well as practical realms are not possible in this state, because in order to handle any work successfully, your mind has to be fre of the turmoil of likes and dislikes. If your mind is agitated, you won't be able to do gardening. When you want to sow potatoes, for instatnce, you'll end up sowing turnips. A distracted mind wastes a lot of energy.

Vikshipta is the state of mind that is partially concentrated and partially distracted. It develops as sattwas (purity) begins to dominate rajas. Vikshipta implies that the mind is being gradually disciplined. People who belong to this category in society are considered well-cultured. However they are not yogis, because even though they may be good and virtuous, they behave this way only in a conditioned environment. If they are placed in the situation of great provocation, they will lose their patience. Since they have a limit to their patience, they have not really accomplished mastery over themselves.

When sattwa completely dominate rajas, one develops the fouth state of mind - ekagrata (one-pointedness). Sattwa increased and began controlling rajas in the vikshipta state, but the process had not become complete. In the ekagrata state, the mind is permeated by sattwa. This is the sublime stateof mind in advanced aspiratns. When you enter into the ekagrata state, you begin to experience samadhi (superconciousness), a realm that is most fascinating and inspiring. However it is not easy to enter into samadhi. Your whole personality must change in order to prepare the mind to be tranquil, thereby enjoying what is beyond the mind.

The fifth and the highest state is known as niruddha, the enlightened state of mind that belongs to the fully realized Yogis. In this state, the mind is absolutely controlled because the spirit has transcended the mind, becoming completely established in the transcendental plane.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

today so far

I am updating this from Faner Hall lab. Today was good so far. I am attending 4 different classes besides the one I am teaching. I am auditing Dr. Parker's Math 352. He is one of the best teacher I had. I took Abstract Algebra with him and it was awesome and hoping to pick up Analysis this semester with him and Dr. Spector's Advanced Calculus. The other class is with Dr. Neuman and its about Optimizing Techniques and today was the first day and I loved it. The last one is Convex Analysis with Dr. Spector.
In one hr there is Toastmaster's meeting and I plan to attend that. Though I haven't prepared any speech and nothing else has been communicated about the meeting. Probably it would just be a regular meeting to set the agenda for the coming week. I have two graphic novels which I should finish this week before their due date arrives.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

My Thai style vegetables and rice

Yesterday I was pretty late and was not looking forward to cook but eventually I caved in after seeing my new bag of frozen vegetables which could be cooked in few minutes. So I prepard this Thai Style fried vegetables. It was awesome and I think picture justifies it.


Day update

Today was the second day for Math 140 and despite my being little late for the class. I was able to mark off several things from my agenda. First was giving out the printed syllabus for the class which I couldn't do yesterday. The 2nd was to administer the survey for the department and third was to communicate about the need for bringing text book everyday. So far it has been review of lines and other basic stuff.

I had several books from Carbondale library and I couldn't finish some of them. So I took pictures to remind myself to come back to these books pretty soon. The life time reading plan is a gem. Its a personal opinion of author now improved by a co-author. Besides the list it also gives a background information about the authors and why they made such an impact. The books are not selected just based on their popularity but rather on their value and so many will require multiple readings over the life time to fully grasp the meaning.
Artificial intelligence was a layman introduction to artificial intelligence but I didn't finish it. I will write a review again when I come back to it sometime and so was the rebirth of silicon valley

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Big Muddy

This Saturday I went to the Big Muddy place to watch the screeing of BBC documentary. It was about neo conservatists and islamists. The documentary naively assumes that the current situation stems from two people. One in Egypt and another a US philosopher from Stanford both coming to the conclusion that the recent (1950s) liberation and realization of self is non sustainable for a society to grow as a strong entity. The egyptian guy goes back and over the years becomes hardened islamist and Ayman Al-Jawahiri is his protege. The American Philosopher's idea are taken by people like Donald Rumsfield and they are hell bent on maligning Russia and don't care about the evidence. Later Regan is bought in to that lie and he becomes a pawn. After 1 and half hrs when we were done watching half of the documentary the group went into discussion about the documentary moderated by the local politician. I was surprised by the participants that how deeply they follow the politicians but had pessimistic outlook about the future. Of course they love to talk but nothing of substance came out. They were disillusioned by the progress in Science and Technology and think that's the end of the work.

Morning dream

It's 4:47 and I have a vivid dream recall. I was hungry and thirsty so I went to a local bar to get coffee. At the counter among the bar tenders there was this Indian guy who was speaking some south Indian language when I asked him if I can have omlette. I asked three times but his response was such that I had no clue what he was saying. The guy next to me on bar stool was another indian guy, he understood my predicament and told that guy what I was asking. The bartender realized his mistake. So I asked for a frappuchino and he pointed me to a refrigerator on left side which is to my right side. Also he offered me some 10 straws which were of the type one use for drinking out of juice carton. I picked one and headed to that refrigerator. I still hadn't paid him and it was clear in my mind. I couldn't find any coffee in that refrigerator, in fact the refrigerator was pretty much empty. Then I look around and there was another refrigerator and had coffee in it. I also saw Mukul there and I said hi. It seems that he was surprised. He was there to get a 2 liter coffee !! I was startled to see a 20 litre ice coffee with ice cubes in it. I was wondering if that is the right product. To my amazement it coasted on 25 cent for 20 liter and here I was thinking about frappuchino which coasts $1.89. I am vacillating. The brand is Raj Kumar Biznot and it clearly says. Jo Raj Kumar Biznot ki chai ek bar piyega woh bar bar piyega and I am deciphering the message. Shouldn't it be coffee.. and my dream breaks down.

Running around Pomonna

Yesterday was good. I went to Pomonna beach and we ran around the woods there. Joe and Jay had laid a wonderful eagle trail. Which was long!! I think it was about 6 miles. It was a good turn out. 11 people showed up. and you know that I am not a big fan of roller coasters. He was driving fast and the shrieks of us only seems to whet his taste to drive faster. So it wasn't surprise that I was dreading that on way back he might take the same route. It was a good run and we ended up in a cave that was very similar to the one in Fern Cliff park near Goreville.Barry and Jennifer ford through the waste high creek in that savage chili weather. We all had no clue why somebody would do that because only 100 feet from there it was less than a puddle. Jay Simpson showed me some hard wood trees where he had carved out his name 5 years ago and explained to me about how trees grow from with in and so the name etched there remains forever. He commented that tree was probably 150 years old and I was mesmerized. There was nice fire there and after enjoying we went back in the dark to Barry's big van. He dropped me at his parking lot where I picked up my car and headed to Schnuks to get the rent money for Gary. I also picked up one egg sandwich and went to the device to get my blood pressure check up. It was high normal 137. I don't know what life style change I need to do to bring it back. Then I went to international grocery store and picked several spices including coriander-cumin powder and Cinnamon powder besides a bag of rice.I came home and watched the Northern France episode of Globe Trekker hosted by Justine Shapiro. There was this parade of Giants that was interesting. The French town of Champagne was interesting because there are more than 18 thousand different wine makers are in this town and each has their own blend and flavor and ere we think of Champagne as just one single product. The episode ended with her getting inducted in to the sorority which has taken the mundane act of opening the wine to a level and sophistication of art. As I channel surfed and abc's inner beauty was on air. After watching for 20 minutes I turned it off to maintain the equanimity of my mind. Then there was a voice message from Joe, I called him back and complemented him for the well layout trail. Took shower from 21:30. Did Vipassana for around 40 minutes and then retired to bed.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Last Weekend of Fall break

Its Friday and now we enter the last weekend of this wonderful holiday season. I am updating this blog from the Morris Library. Today was my last day to Volunteer for the new international students coming to SIU. We had a pizza party in the rec center after the campus familiarization trip. I met several new people including Sam, who is a recreational grad student. I got my schedule change. I am now taking Optimization techniques, along with Convex Analysis and Advanced Calculus. The plan for today is to review one type of differential equation and do some analysis besides going to Aur's house. There is also a current affairs documentary from BBC that is being screened at Big Muddy house and I want to take a look at that.

Thursday, January 08, 2009


I had to finish "Masada" by today as I had procrastinated long enough and was paying fine for keeping it. Its a story about a fort in Jerusalem which was conquered by Jews from king Herod and later when threatened by Titus and his army the Jews did a mass suicide instead of relinquishing the control alive. The palace was magnificient and well fortified with numerous channels to help the people dwell in comfort. Later it fell into ignomity and was discovered. The site was extensively excavated in 1963 and is now a world heritage site.

Basic Topo

Professor's Daughter

Well its 22 hrs and I am chatting with my Mom on google talk. Its my way of keeping an eye on her tennis prowess. Other than that I today got few other books from the library one is on advanced calculus and the other on Topology. Both are the required text books for the course I am taking next semester.
Meanwhile my request for repeat course of Vipassana is June 3-14 and I am excited about that. Yesterday I read the professor's daughter. Its an interesting short little graphic novel about a romance between a 3200 old mummy Imoteph 4 and this professor's daughter named Lillian. Imoteph is in love because he sees a resemblance of his beloved wife in lillian. While reading the story you will discover that such romance is not something frowned upon or impossible. However this is not so crisp and clear later the mummy is subject to be encased forever and you are left wondering what's the deal is mummy treated as some human or as mummy. Aside from this minor flaw the story is one heck of a roller coaster ride with the imoteph getting into a bar fight leading to Lillian accidently poisoning the police officer and the accuse. Imoteph still believes that he is the king and wants to leave for Egypt and he gets roughed up at the docks. Ironically Imoteph's dad is the commander of the ship and is now eyeing Lillian...
I also got the bones another top selling graphic novel and its huge. There are 9 books and I got the first volume. Aside from these two there is "Blankets" another novel suppose to be in the same league as "Fun Home" that I look forward to finish.

Monday, January 05, 2009

day so far

This is another day and I am at the library updating this blog. Today I was volunteer for the ISS (International students and Scholars), welcoming new students to SIU. After that I went to Carbondale library to volunteer where I pick books and later tonight I have to go to facilitate meditation at 6 pm. I didn't get much sleep yesterday because I was in a kind of trance about thinking about some of the proofs. Hopefully that will help me get to sleep faster tonight.

Saturday, January 03, 2009


Scabrous (adjective)
1. rough with small points or knobs, like a file; scaly or scabby
2. marked with or as with scabs; blotchy,encrusted,etc.
3. full of difficulties
3. indecent, shocking, improper, scandalous, etc

  • Undiluted scabrous humor, with short, sharp scenes and a crazy string of plots.
  • attack: The group debuted with the 1979 single " Murder of Liddle Towers, " a scabrous attack on police brutality.

My take on Scabrous


Dubiety is a sense of misgiving; conceivably, even if you have no real doubt in the correctness of a course of action, you can still feel dubiety at having to be the one who follows it.

This is a good word to use for those who struggle with decisions. "Quit focussing on every dubiety and act on what you think is best." "Doctors often have no time for even the slightest dubiety before removing defective parts of your anatomy."

My take on words
I like your dictionary because it described the word dubiety to a tittle. Note my intention here was just to use the new phrase "something to a tittle" which is same as "something to a t" i.e completely. The martinet professor commanded the young lad to forget his dubiety and focus on cramming the new words for now and worry later about their exact usage.


Books and good times

I am here at Carbondale library. One of the resolution for this new year is to maintain getting up early in the morning and today after struggling for two days I made it at 6:40 in the morning. I been reading several books including a graphic novel by Edgar Allen Poe, How to think about big ideas by Mortimer J. Adler and A new life time reading list.Yesterday I went to Barnes and Nobles and read part of Tipping Point. It was interesting. It begins with the example of how Hush Puppies shoes become a rage when few beatnik kids started wearing them and how an abrubt drop in Harlem crime rate. There was also an example of how a suicide in micronesia prompted more such suicides. To me that was one of the cornerstone example of his book. Bad news influence more bad news and its imperative that we should consiously try to dwell into bad news however if you look at the media bad news is the rage. Gladwell elucidates his example with yawning and how yawning is contagious. Just mentioning of the word yawn introduces yawn in us.
Adler's book is getting more interesting. His thesis is that most of the arguments can be boil down to few generic arguments and his book is a synthesis of this over arching idea. The book is structured in a form of question and answer session with Adler acting as a sawant. Adler is famous for his book "How to read a book" which I gather is one of the best seller.
The exceptional presenter seemed interesting too. It actually has a list of hand gestures to emphasize the points. The book is very sparsely written and can be read pretty quickly
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