Monday, July 23, 2012

Everest flight

Flying kite

I live flying Kite. I still very clearly remember the day the first set of kite and chadkhari my dad got me. There were these green and blue patangs and the smooth wooden chadkhari. He told me about lal kuan. The Mecca of all kite lovers in new Delhi. I couldn't fly kite for a long time. So in the beginning I always had to find somebody to help fly the kite. I remember the early morning I think I was about 4 years old and the guy whose dad owned softy parlor would help with kite flying. It was incredible to hold a kite in mid air and how he could maneuver the kite. I never anticipated the string could be so taut. That was the day when I got hooked to flying kite. Last week when I was in Delhi I decided to revisit my childhood memory by flying a kite. It was hot and sunny but the joy of launching a kite into clouds has no equal. It is one of the cheapest remote control plane you can have. The thrill of seeing it fly has no parallel and I was glad that I did.

Pokhra pics

Water scarcity in India

Yesterday I watched Amir Khan's Satyamev Jayte. Amir has now don the mantle of a social activist and it's heartening to see a celebrity using his status and reach to effect changes. His earlier campaign of Athithi devo bhava was a great step. I watched with stomach churning trepidation as he belt out statistics about the numerous ways we have been polluting our water. The panel was carefully chosen and many of the guest had single handedly changed the situation. The message of the program was we must start rain water harvesting as people in Chennai are doing. Polluting ground water has to be made a criminal offence.

Today at Pokhara

It's Monday and my fourth day in Nepal. I really like Nepal. It's what I would like to say is green and green. I wish I could use the word clean. The condition of roads other than highway is not so good and the amount of rubbish on the street is comparable to the inner walled city of Delhi. Nepal is incredibly beautiful and hands down has more potential than many European countries. The rope way to the temple mankamna is breathtaking. It's one of the longest I have been to if Nepalese people put a little effort in cleaning and paving their roads and providing reliable electricity they can easily race ahead and pull out millions of people from the grinding poverty. They are blessed with incredible natural resource all that is needed is a political will.

We don't need a war against drugs

The war against drugs is counterproductive. It leads to rise of drug mafia who profit from the rising cost of recreational drugs. The only way to stop this unnecessary war is to legalise it. Spend some money on educating the people about the harmful effects and then it's their choice. Anyone who has lived in America for sometime knows the wide availability of drugs and these people pay quite a premium for their use. But the people who suffer unnecessarily are the people in Mexico and the people and the people who get caught in US. One of the group that benefits is islamic jehadis. So lot of violence on planet earth can be contained if US and Europe just acknowledge the drug use and let people have a choice.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Trouble with online education

 I just read an article by Mark Edmundson about his view on Trouble with education. He is one of the last vanguard of university system who are desperately seeking to still keep the hegemony over education. Alas its too late. I think he has never watched Salman Khan videos. The problem with long lectures is they become overwhelming. But take any statistics and it would be amply clear that number of students who benefit from online education is tremendous. The reason is students have control over the amount of time they want to spend over the lecture. They can pause, rewind and consult online and other resources in case they are stuck. He himself pointed out how the lecturer senses his students and tailor his lectures accordingly for the class. He should have known from the elementary statistics course the class in any university is quite a good sample for the population. So if a professor is filmed during the class it is very likely he is addressing many more students at the same time who all have similar questions and that's why when you watch lectures of  Francis Su, Gilbert Strang or Walter Lewin. Its so easy to connect.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Street food in North Delhi

Admit it. Delhi boasts an array of street food options which were not even here as recentlyas 10 yrs back.Two things which people have developed the liking are Momos snd litti.

Thanel, Kathmandu

Right now I am at Thamel in kathmandu.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Engineer's Pentagon

There are several ways one can draw a regular pentagon using just a straight edge and a compass. However there is one way which is even though a regular pentagon but is not the correct one. In the sense not all angles are equal. This construction is a good approximation and used by engineers. Take a look at the picture I drew using kig and notice that all the sides are equal but not all the angles in fact there are three different types of angles where two each of same type.

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