Wednesday, December 31, 2008


As mentioned in previous post some months ago... here's the most anticipated post of December which is basically to wish you -one of the very few readers of my blog: A Happy New Year!!!

Enjoy the new day, week, month and the year that is 2009: Do you realize: 2009=2+0+0+3^2=23!!! (after taking trace, removing common factors and changing the definition of '+' & '^' wherever necessary...)

The Number 23

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

On Hiatus

New posts will appear most probably in December'08...

Enjoy your life till then!!!


Monday, September 15, 2008

Another Manga Ends!!!

Elfen Lied with 107 chapters.

EL is not to be read in English but German which when translated in English means Elves' Song!

Now you might be thinking why would I be interested in a 'musical' manga and you cannot be more wrong than that in your entire life. [Though I watched such an anime 'Nodame Cantabile' earlier but that was due to entirely different reasons, similar to Sketchbook.]

This manga is not about Music; its about Humans, their lives and how they treat other 'lives' - portrayed with pessimistic point of view (in my opinion) and negative connotations (which is not that far from reality!).

Wikipedia has this to say about the anime which is also more than true of the manga:

Elfen Lied involves themes of social alienation, identity, animal cruelty, revenge, child abuse, jealousy and the value of humanity. The series employs graphic violence and nudity, ...

The original manga did not end now (if my post suggests that!), but the scanlated one did. The original ended in August 2005 nearly 3 years ago... I wonder why the delay in scanlating chapters!

Now I am thinking of what to write about the manga EL. The first manga post was about Inuyasha and I sort of sketched out the last chapter in some detail which was not well-received by my reader. Yes, I have One! The second manga post was about Sketchbook and I wrote about my views of the anime, basically why I enjoyed watching it.

I cannot do any of the above for this one. Why? Because:

  • Reviewing the last chapter of EL does not mean much here. In case of Inuyasha, the 'happily ever after' scenario in the last chapter involved (almost) all characters and was meaningful as an end for the story. However, it is not so here. The ending is sort of different in this case and elaborating on it is equivalent to spoiling the ending of a worth-reading story.
  • Why I liked EL is again a hard question to answer. One might be tempted to say 'nudity, obviously'! Well, that may be true in one's case or for some other manga like 'Golden Boy' but not so here in my case. And I don't like graphic violence, either. So, the only logical conclusion would be something from the themes.

Indeed, that is so - the interplay between humanity and an 'alien entity'; their views of each other; the value they ascribe to each other - is something that is beautifully depicted in EL. The schizophrenic personality of the main character - 'human side' trying to fit in the human world and 'alien side' (for lack of a better term!) trying to annihilate the entire human civilization - was something that was gripping and probably the main reason why I could not stop reading this manga till it concluded.

Now I think I've rambled enough in this post since I did not have any intention of doing that when I started typing this post. Wow, too many I's in the previous line! OK, so I conclude this post here.

As usual, provided below is the link to more stuff/info so that you can form your own opinions about this series and probably waste some time like I'm doing right now.


Saturday, August 30, 2008


Obviously, it does not mean I've started a new hobby of sketching and thus bought a sketchbook. Nope... definitely not!

What it refers to is the Manga/Anime I came across: Sketchbook.

The manga is in a comic strip style so I thought: nothing much to get excited about. But, I read it anyway because the art was good and humorous. The humour as such is not entirely in the story or the situations portrayed but the 'Japanese way' of depicting emotions of characters. It is used extensively and achieves a new height in this manga which is refreshing and riveting!

But then reading got over soon since the chapters have barely 7-8 pages on average and 22 scanlated chapters do not take too long to read! So I ventured ahead, opened Wikipedia to get to know how many chapters are there altogether. It says 5 volumes have been released and I'd just started the 2nd volume so I was thrilled to know there will be lots more pages to read in the future...

Apart from this, I also saw the info that Sketchbook has been animated into 13 episodes titled "Sketchbook ~Full Color'S~". I thought how can you animate a comic strip which actually does not have an expressed theme into something worth viewing? I remembered Garfield's two movies which were good but compared to the strip itself, those definitely lacked something. In other words, its not the same: the (animated) movies can not really match the one-day (usually) adventures of free-willed Garfield.

But realizing that watching animes is a part of my hobby and since I watch only 'One Piece' nowadays, I decided to give it a try. I watched the first episode, then second and then third. I could not stop myself: the anime was too damn good... much better than the strip-styled manga. Apart from having the 'obvious advantages' of a different media (colour & video), the anime truly captured the theme of having no theme in particular. The simplicity of the usual events in the life of characters, their interactions among themselves and their art club activities were presented so intricately and (possibly) accurately that I was left gaping at my laptop's screen and awe-inspired to develop a quote by myself: "Simplicity is Beauty".

It seems like a take on the title of Ian Stewart's book "Beauty is Truth" but who cares. When I asked Shantanu about his views on above-mentioned quote he quite hesitatingly agreed by saying 'in acads.. yes because my mind can only understand simple things..' It seemed as if he anticipated my next question to be about 'naked beauty' or 'bare bottom' if he had not answered my query in that particular manner!

Anyway,  we are digressing here so lets get back to 'Sketchbook'. So, I recommended the first episode to him as he was out looking for a good movie to watch and waste some time. I hoped he would enjoy it. Rather, he said 'was boring; there was nothing in it...' I was too optimistic and naive in thinking that someone watching anime for probably the first time would enjoy it just based on the art and would ignore the null theme of the story!

So, I started thinking why did I like it and he not... First lets analyze his situation:

  • First time (or so) watching an anime;
  • Video is subbed, got to keep track of subtitles, thus loosing some of the nuances of the art;
  • Not familiar with 'chibi' art style (generally used to depict character's moods in animes) which is used extensively and mostly generates the humour in 'Sketchbook';
  • Obviously, no theme as such: the episode follows a shy & quiet girl and her art club 'friends' trying to find something interesting to draw - a typical day of their life: no action, romance, mystery, comedy or even drama!

This probably explains a lot - at least I'm satisfied with this explanation. Now then, lets analyze my situation:

  • Definitely not my first time watching animes;
  • I've watched more than enough of subbed videos to bother about this fact;
  • Chibi art style is one of the many reasons I like animes;
  • This fourth point got me thinking for a while - why do I like this 'so simple' anime?

Then I remembered Rutherford's words: "I am always a believer in simplicity, being a simple person myself. " Though Shantanu's earlier words also profess similar convictions, I guess quoting Rutherford makes people believe my 'knowledge' is not confined to an extremely narrow potential well. Thinking back about my schooldays, I see why I like this anime... its because my daily routine back then (even now!) was also as simple as (actually more so!) these character's. So I enjoyed seeing the 'routine' stuff with no 'ulterior motives' from third person's perspective. It is really fun (or pleasing) to know that someone exists out there (Totan Kobako) who also 'thinks' like me! :)

If you want to know what I'm talking about and decide on your own about the so-called 'simplicity' and 'beauty' of this anime then go ahead and watch

Sketchbook ~Full Color'S~ Ep-01

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Another take on shayari by introducing...

Khamakhaan Hyderabadi or Khamakhawah Hyderabadi i.e.

खामखाँ हैदराबादी या खामख्वाह हैदराबादी!!!

Some beautiful & thought-provoking shers/ghazals by the above-mentioned poet are in store today. This is the first post of August and hoping the second one will appear before the end of this month. Though I don't have any readable material right now to write about in a week or so!

Let me not bother you with my 'predicament' in this post and get to the subject matter as fast as possible which is to post some of the videos I discovered on YouTube...

These videos do not have good audio but bear with it and after sometime you will get good at filtering out the static and picking-up the 'real signal'. Just to whet your appetite, one sher (?) is written below every video in which it appears:

मोहब्बत में मरते तो हैं खामखाँ सब,
जनाजा किसीका न देखा निकलते हुए
[Mohabbat mein marte to hain khamakhaan sab,
Janaaja kisika na dekha nikalte hue.]
माशूक़ हो हसीन ये जरूरी नहीं, मगर
आशिक़ को चाहिए की वो अंधा जरूर हो
[Maashuq ho haseeen ye jarooree nahin, magar
Aashiq ko chahiye ki wo andha jaroor ho.]

कर्ज़ भी मांगो तो मांगो इतनी खुद्दारी के साथ,
कर्ज़ देने वाला देकर तुमसे शर्मिंदा रहे
मैं भी एक दिन कर्ज़ लौटा दूंगा सबका खामखाँ,
लेने वाला मेरे देने तक अगर जिंदा रहे
[Karz bhi maango to maango itni khuddari ke saath,
Karz dene wala dekar tumse sharminda rahe.
Main bhi ek din karz lauta dunga sabka khamakhaan,
Lene wala mere dene tak agar jinda rahe.]

बुजदिल है वो जो जीते जी मरने से डर गया,
एक मईच था जो काम ही कुछ और कर गया
जब मौत आकू मेरेकू करने लगी सलाम,
मैं वालैकुम सलाम बोला और मर गया
[Buzdil hai wo jo jeete jee marne se dar gaya,
Ek maeech that jo kaam hi kuch aur kar gaya.
Jab maut aaku mereku karne lagee salaam,
Main waalaikum salaam bola aur mar gaya.]

बेहतर है मौत खामखाँ, देती तो है कफ़न,
'गर ज़िन्दगी का बस चले, कपड़े उतार ले
[Behatar hai maut khamakhaan, deti to hai kafan,
'Gar zindagi ka bas chale, kapade utaar le.]
बीवी को सौत दे या मुझे मौत दे, ख़ुदा!
उठते नहीं हैं हाथ, मेरे इस दुआ के बाद!!
[Biwi ko saut de ya mujhe maut de, Khuda!
Uthte nahin hain haath, mere iss dua ke baad!!]

The following videos have better audio and many shers recited above can be heard clearly here! There are some new ones also. So enjoy...

That is all for today, I guess. Don't have any more wisdom to share. If you would like to hear some more, here is the new Beginning:

Girgit Ahmedabadi

Thursday, July 31, 2008

My Take on Poems (mostly Shayari)...

Trying to have 2 blog posts per month is not a bad idea, but believing that I can keep up to the task IS! However, I'll keep it that way at least for this month. And that is by 'showing off' my small collection of Hindi Poems (mostly shayari if you can recognize one when you read/hear one) which I 'painstakingly' translated to English. Now most of you will probably wander off to other sites (which is a completely logical choice) but those who still want to continue (which shows complete dedication to ... you know what!) should not expect too much. Also if you can offer better translations, you are welcome to comment. The format of presentation is: some sort of Introduction, poem in Devanagari script (कविता या शेर), poem in Roman script (Kavita ya Sher), its English translation (Poem or Couplet) and Comments (if any).

Lets start with the first one which is somehow related to Physics, specifically Astrophysics:

अक्सर आकाश गंगा के
सुनसान किरणों पर खड़े होकर
जब मैंने अथाह शुन्य में
अनन्त प्रदीप्त सूर्यों को
कोहरे की गुफाओं में
पंख टूटे जुगनुओं की तरह
रेंगते देखा है
तो मैं भयभीत होकर
लौट आई हूँ|
-धर्मवीर भारती

Aksar aakash ganga ke
sunsaan kirnon par khade hokar
jab maine athah shunya mein
anant pradipt suryon ko
kohre ki gufaon mein
pankh tute jugnuon ki tarah
rengte dekha hai
to main bhaybheet hokar
laut aaee hun.
-Dharmvir Bharati

Often standing on the lonely (light) rays of Milky Way,
when I saw innumerous luminous stars embedded in the limitless void like wingless fireflies crawling inside foggy caves,
I have returned aghast with fear.
-Dharmvir Bharati

Now I'll ask you to stop grinning and try to interpret these lines before you proceed further: try to place yourself in the poet's shoes and ask yourself why did these lines emerge? After you have thought about this for a while, read the following paragraph and be transformed into a worldly-wise being:

We think of God as someone who has all the power to make everything OK; the one who is truly capable. It is this perfection and capability that people strive for, looking forward to match God. If one finds out that even God has a weak side, then it is a sight to be afraid of!

This is the interpretation of above poem by Shantanu* who is an extremely inquisitive physicist (unlike me!) and has recently realized that he has a knack for scaring unsuspecting undergrads into stupor. [Those who don't know him, tough luck! You have my sympathies...] Also, I've taken liberty to change some punctuation marks and words to suit my post's flow but nothing (I guess) to change the overall meaning.


Now we move on to the real shers (couplets). The following sher is one of my motto and many 'physicists' around the world also follow it or its variants! One such physicist's sher also features in this post a bit later (the last one!). Here goes a great sher from a great Shayar:

कभी कभी यूँ भी हमने अपने जी को बहलाया है,
जिन बातों को खुद नहीं समझे, औरों को समझाया है|
-निदा फाज़ली

Kabhi kabhi yun bhi humne apne jee ko behlaya hai,
Jin baaton ko khud nahin samjhe, auron ko samjhaya hai.
-Nida Fazli

To keep myself entertained, such measures are often taken by me,
Like explaining to thee, things those were unclear even to me.
-Nida Fazli

You should stop guffawing and think about its implications seriously for a while (~2.2 ms) and guffaw again. After that, internalize this sher and hopefully you would have reached a level beyond worldly-wise.


We leave academic stuff now and move into more general aspects of life with this sher:

तन्हाई से नहीं, हम महफ़िल से डरते हैं,
दुनिया से नहीं, हम खुदा से डरते हैं|
यूँ तो बहुत कुछ खोया है हमने,
पर न जाने क्यूँ आप को खोने से डरते हैं||
-पं. रंजन महाराज

Tanhai se nahin, hum mehfil se darte hain,
Duniya se nahin, hum khuda se darte hain.
Yun to bahut kuch khoya hai humne,
Par na jaane kyun aap ko khone se darte hain.
-Pt. Ranjan Maharaj

It’s not Loneliness, Crowd makes me panic,
It’s not the World, God makes me panic.
Though I have lost quite a lot,
Thought of losing you makes me panic.
-Pt. Ranjan Maharaj

I put this sher here because of the last two lines which depict a theme which everyone familiar with Rurouni Kenshin is 'painfully' aware of. If you are not 'painfully' aware of it, then you've not 'really' read RK manga, have you? Oh wait... I again drifted towards RK which is not related to the topic of this blog. So coming back, I'd like to make you aware that the second line does not apply to me, its converse does!


Now I put up two lines from a song of a Hindi movie titled 'रोग' (Rog) which literally means 'Disease':

शहर भर की खुशी से, ये दर्द मेरा भला है|
जश्न ये रास ना आये, मज़ा तो बस गम में आया है||
रोग (मैंने दिल से कहा...)

Shahar bhar ki khushi se, yeh dard mera bhala hai.
Jashna yeh raas na aaye, mazaa to bas gum mein aaya hai.
-Rog (Maine dil se kaha...)

Than the pleasures of city, my pains are safer!
Not used to partying, sorrows are full of pleasure!
-Rog (I told my Heart...)

Normally, I would not put up anything got to do with talking hearts here but this is different as it refreshes and 'corrects' sentiments of first two lines of previous sher (as I would prefer) and that too with artistic elegance. I mean consider the phrase 'sorrows are full of pleasure' (actually its Hindi equivalent) and you would realize that even masochists/sadists would not be able to come up with anything more simple yet beautiful.


The following sher is about human's character by Munawwar Rana, a great Shayar, who does not talk while reciting shers because his shers do all the talking! [It sounds so cool in Hindi: मैं शेर सुनाने के बीच में बिलकुल नहीं बोलता, क्योंकी मेरे शेर खुद बोलते हैं| (Main sher sunane ke beech mein bilkul nahin bolta, kyonki mere sher khud bolte hain.)] So lets read the sher and let it talk:

मैंने फल देखके इंसानों को पहचाना है
जो बहुत मीठे हो, अंदर से सडे रहते हैं|
-मुनव्वर राणा

Maine fal dekhke insaanon ko pehchaana hai
Jo bahut meethe ho, andar se sade rahte hain.
-Munawwar Rana

I discern humans by comparing them to fruits.
Those too sweet are the ones rotten to the core.
-Munawwar Rana

I don't have anything to say about the sher itself but most of you would have realized that the translation is not at par with the original and would appreciate if someone can remedy that!


This one deals with hardships in life and also gives a clue to overcoming them:

बादलों के दरमियाँ कुछ ऐसी साजिश हुई,
मेरा घर मिट्टी का था मेरे ही घर बारिश हुई|
उसकी भी ज़िद है बिजलियाँ गिराने की,
और हमारी भी ज़िद है वहीं आशियाना बनाने की||

Badalon ke darmiyan kuch aisi sazish hui,
Mera ghar mitti ka tha, mere hi ghar barish hui.
Uski bhi Zid hai bijliyan girane ki,
Aur hamari bhi Zid hai wahin ashiyana banane ki.

The clouds have conspired,
To rain on my humble abode.
They insist on lightning,
And I insist on rebuilding.
-Lifted from Sadique's Notebook (i.e. Poet unknown to me)

Once again, the translation is not at par with the original. Forget about being 'at par', it does not even capture the essence of the original sher. So this one needs more attention than the rest. I've been wondering for months now: Is there a word for 'Mitti ka Ghar' in English? Please someone answer. Maybe people from GTW could help... hey wait! I was among the Top 10 there... but not in Top 5... so lets contact them but again I only know their nicknames! So back to square one: Someone out there Please HELP...

Guess My Rank...


The remaining shers deal with the most interesting subject in life: Death. Lets read them one after another without any interruptions/comments from me:

जीना पड़ा है मुझको, इस हाल में भी हुल्लड़,
हर दिन है युद्ध का दिन, हर रात कर बला है|
और मय्यत में मेरी आकर, कुछ लोग ये कहेंगे,
सचमुच मरा है हुल्लड़, या ये भी चुटकुला है||
-हुल्लड़ मुरादाबादी

Jeena pada hai mujhko, iss haal mein bhi Hullad,
Har din hai yuddha ka din, har raat kar balaa hai.
Aur mayyat mein meri aakar, kuch log ye kahenge,
sachmuch maraa hai Hullad, ya ye bhi chutkula hai.
-Hullad Muradabadi

I, Hullad, had to live even in such conditions,
Each day is a warring day, each night havoc.
And attending my funeral, some people will ask,
Are you really dead Hullad, or even this is a joke?
-Hullad Muradabadi


हर शाम हम देखे रहते हैं, और शाम गुज़र जाती है|
एक दिन ये शाम देखेगी हमें, और हम गुज़र जायेंगे||

Har shaam hum dekhe rehte hain, aur shaam guzar jaati hai.
Ek din ye shaam dekhegi hamein, aur hum guzar jaayenge.

I watch each and every eve, and they pass away.
Someday the eve will watch me, and I'll pass away. 
-Also lifted from Sadique's Notebook


अच्छा हुआ जो चल बसा काफिर
हम सब पर से तो खतरा टला है!
खुदी का इन्साफ है ये, या के फिर कहर है
मरा हुआ सा ही दिखता भला है!
-सांत्रा झारखंडी

Achha hua jo chal basa Kafir,
Hum sab par se to khatra tala hai!
Khudi ka insaf hai ye, ya ke phir kahar hai,
Mara hua sa hi dikhta bhala hai!
-Santra Jharkhandi

It’s good that the atheist is dead,
We are now no more in danger!
Is it providence, or sheer wrath,
That he is indeed preferred dead!
-Santra Jharkhandi


So there you have it: a collection of 9 shers (if you did/could not count) to rely upon during times of dire crisis i.e. death. As I mentioned earlier, Santra^ is indeed that physicist who follows Nida Fazli's sher to every invisible dot and takes the art of obfuscation to entirely new heights where mortals like me cannot reach even in dreams. Such statements like '...Taylor expansion in Hilbert space of Fock states...' are only but small drops in an ocean of his immutable wisdom.

Since I've talked a bit about Shantanu & Santra, not talking about Sadique' ( ' is a footnote marker!) would be an act of sacrilege. He is a man of too many faces, rather I should say his personality has too many facets. Even diamonds have been known to have stopped reflecting totally internally in His presence (I know this because I wear a (fake) diamond ring!). But right now, he is trying to choose one of the faces over others and hopefully (everyone Pray) he will succeed. In the end, I leave you with

Sadique's Notebook. [Read it before he makes it private!]

*Shantanu is currently at University of Rochester teaching PHY123, doing unmentionable acts  to undergrads and research simultaneously.

^Santra is currently at University of Southern California developing various tools to fool the world into believing that he is working towards Ph.D.

'Sadique is currently at IBM, Kolkata but trying hard to ruin IBM and re-enter the anticipating world of Physics.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Illusions, Misconceptions & Misunderstandings - II

WARNING: This series of posts should be read under Parental Sub-conscious Guidance. Not suitable for Minors (under-)grads with only trivial encounters with Physic(ist)s.

Here comes the second volume of the much-awaited (really!) IMM series of posts. I write the word 'volume' here because I now own and have read all of the manga volumes of Rurouni Kenshin. This feeling of completing a saga that you get to listen/read once in a lifetime is just too overwhelming but some of the 'typos' at crucial moments in the 'official' viz translation just make me want to scream with rage and disappointment: gaaaahhhhh!!! Ohhh wait... this post is not about RuroKen (more of it at the end!); its about the IMMs so lets get started with those...


Returning back from the usual shopping trip to PM, I got to see for the first time a real-life Streeetch Limousine. I was in awe: could not believe the reality of its length. By now, you should have guessed this encounter was at an intersection and I was watching it in front of me drive from left to right side. I always thought they were for use only in movies and moreover, did not consider it possible to get a glimpse of one at Stony Brook.

A limo similar to the one I saw...

Besides its length, I also noticed a raised 'hood' (not present in the above image) covering the overhead area of the first two windows. And I said to myself that is something new, something I haven't seen in the movies! And so time passed watching it drive past us at reasonable speed (nearly 5s!). As it was about to move out of my view, I caught sight of the 'hood' sliding off the limo and falling forward. I assumed the worst: man, an accident is imminent - the limo will slam on the brakes and other cars will collide with it from behind - this is Bad... These thoughts got over in 1s and when I recomposed myself, I saw the 'hood' has not fallen but had overtaken the limo!!! :)

Those who are still confused: the 'hood' was another car running parallel to the limo on the other side and I could see only a part of that car's roof-carrier (or whatever it is called) with rest of its body hidden behind the limo. So, now you juxtapose these two images (one limo & another car's roof-carrier) without using any 3D graphics emulator and you get a limo with a 'hood' which 'falls off' after about 7s.

That is all for IMM 2. Please carry on...


This is a bit technical IMM and involves my chat as a TA with one of the undergrads (lets call him/her M). This is an edited version of the chat but with no significant alterations. To actually get the IMM part here, pay special attention to the underlined texts below. I also insert some explanations & thoughts running through my mind during this chat (but nothing extensive!):

M: can i please ask you a quick question about the hw

D: ok...

M: okay number 44 right, so i calculated for H, and when i get W, i convert it to J/s but then what do i do
  do i convert the 200W/m^2 to Watt

D: which chapter... i've to look up the question first!!!

M: oh sorry, ill email you the question right now.

[This was the question: A circular lake 1.0km in diameter is 10m deep. Solar energy is incident on the lake at an average rate of 200W/m^2. If the lake absorbs all this energy and does not exchange heat with its surroundings, how long will it take to warm from 10C  to 20C ?]

D: so... you know k, A, DeltaT & Deltax, right...

[For the record: These are the quantities that you need to calculate rate of heat flow H and k is the thermal conductivity]

M: yes so my value for H was 479092 W
D: u've to divide by 10m also
M: i know, its delta t divided by 10m rite? and then .61*A
D: H=47909.3 J/s
M: oh howd u get that
D: A= (pi d^2)/4 where d=1000 m  k=0.61 W/m.K
M: its d squared?  oh nvm  sorry okay then when i get that
  how do i get seconds
  what do i do with the 200 W/m^s
D: watt is joules/second... multiply 200 W/m^2 by area of the lake to get total heat received by the lake... i.e. 200 *(pi *d^2 )/4
M: okay so i get, 157079632 W
D: divide this number by 47909.3W to get the time
M: so i have J/s and W  but its going to be W/W  how is that seconds?
D: wait a min...

[My thoughts now: That is a good question! What the hell am I doing??? One needs to find the total heat required and then divide by the incident solar power to get the time... Now armed with this chain of thought and believing that I cannot be wrong I replied...]

D: sorry i was wrong abt that... you need total amount of heat needed to raise the temp. of the lake which has to be divided by 1570... to get the time...   heat required is Q=m c DeltaT

M: wats m  how do i get mass
D: you know the volume of water in the lake and density of the water which gives you mass of the water
M: i dont know the volume

[Note to Reader: Do you agree with M?]

D: its a cylindrical lake...   vol=area*depth
M: ok thanks

[After 5 minutes]

D: so whats the answer?

[I wait for 5 more minutes but getting no reply move on to wash dishes or something! However, after 5 more minutes when I wasn't looking, M's answer appears...]

M: 2*10^11s? for Q i got 3.286 *10^14  i divided that by 1570
  volume i got 7853981  density was 1000 kg/m^3
  is that right, my answer is due in like 3 minutes
  what answer did u get?
  are u there?

  M has signed out.

When I got back, I found M offline as the 3 minutes were apparently over. I sort of felt bad because of the wrong answer M had and also wasting M's time earlier on when I did not think about the problem seriously and continued on the wrong track M was pursuing! But now I think it is not (exactly) my fault if the student can not realize what '1570...' actually meant! Don't you agree with me? :)

That is all for IMM 3. See you again in IMM-III...

If you care/dare, Check out

Rurouni Kenshin!

Disclaimer: If you recognize yourself as M, please do not get offended (try to read this in third person mode). If that is impossible for you, contact me and I'll remove this chat from here!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Illusions, Misconceptions & Misunderstandings - I

WARNING: This series of posts should be read under Parental Sub-conscious Guidance. Not suitable for Minors (under-)grads with only trivial encounters with Physic(ist)s.

Let us start by analyzing the topic first. Illusions mean here optical ones: tricks played by your eyes on you - nothing to do with magic and/or David Blaine. Misconceptions & Misunderstandings are used as mortals would normally use them but with restriction to Physics as will be demonstrated here and/or other posts down the line.


Standing outside Pathmark (PM) waiting for the 'Mall Route' bus to arrive, I was scanning its entrance, the pavement, the parking lot, the road beyond it and the (maybe clouded) sky. After a while, I happened to notice a guy exiting PM carrying a plastic bag and I could discern that there were two words (in BIG font) written on the side towards me (obviously!). He came a little closer, I could make out some of the characters and deduced that the words were 'french bikinis'. Feeling triumphant (that I could read words on objects so distant without my specs!), my eyes wandered off to look for some more challenges.

After some time my head completed its 180 degrees turn, returned to the default location and saw that guy (with plastic bag) again much closer now. So I decided to take a look again at the bag and confirm that I was correct. Lo and Behold, this is what I saw:

fresh thinking!!!

fresh thinking!!! What the hell??? Now that IS a New Height of Irony, Illusion, Misplaced & Embarrassing THOUGHTs... I could not suppress a big smile and obviously you would also be guffawing right now!

Below I reconstruct the conversation between my eyes & brain that took place that day:

E: Transmitting an image for word-recognition...

B: Image received. Need a hi-res image. Scan again...

E: Request received. Scanning... Re-transmission Complete.

B: Good. Editing image... Extracting characters... Analyzing Patterns... Searching through dictionary... Words found: 'french bikinis'. Task Completed. Accuracy: 95%.

E(thinking): french well, if you say so!

E(after some time): Transmitting a close-up view of earlier image... Repeat of earlier task requested.

B: OK. Editing image... Extracting characters... Ana...(shocked)...nd: 'fresh thinking'. (speechless!)

E: What the??? YOU said 95% accuracy earlier for 'french...' Were you hallucinating or what???

B: Shut the HELL up... YOU sent a low-res image earlier... I won't tolerate that line coming from you...

E: Oh yeah!!! How the HELL can you 'analyze patterns', 'extract characters', 'search through dictionary' and misjudge '-ing' for '-inis'. Even I can 'see' a word better than that to fit the 'pattern'...

B: Humor me!!!...

E: 'biking'.

B(dumbstruck, embarrassed): Okkaaayyyy... So if you think you are better than me, why the hell did you send the task to me, you... you - 'Three-Moon detecting' worthless pieces of some broken obsolete optical instrument...


E(hurt & sniveling): ya... whatever... you were the one who forgot to bring along specs... Eyelids Shut.

B(thinking):, I Screwed up big time today!!! They will come around eventually, though - how long can they remain shut, anyway???

E: I can 'hear' You up there...

B: Open up... Here comes the bus...

And then 'we' returned.

That is all for IMM 1. See you again in IMM-II...

Afterthought: My eyes and brain get along pretty well. Such skirmishes (as portrayed above) are solely for reader's entertainment and should not be taken seriously. Any alarmed/concerned reader should probably engage in something more fruitful/useful than reading my blog posts.

3-Moon and More...

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Old Ends and New Begins???

InuYasha has come to a much-awaited and -anticipated end after 558 chapters! So what does that mean and who all should care??? Those who do not know what is Inuyasha (actually who!) should probably be reading some other blog or doing something else entirely like searching "inuyasha" in Wikipedia.

So now that 'right' people are reading this post lets get to the burning question: what does it feel like having witnessed an end to an 'epic' fairy tale spanning nearly 12 years? It feels good obviously because the ending was nearly what was expected - an emotional one with everyone getting to live happily ever after. But not quite literally as one would expect with usual fairy tales. In usual ones, 'lived happily ever after' means 'lived rather mundane lives which can not be compared to the adventurous lives that the characters lived in the tale till now!' (this is a stripped version of a quote by someone I can't remember [:(].) That is, everyone is expected to live happily ever after in the world of InuYasha but in no way would their lives be mundane since most of the aspects of their lives (except those related with Naraku) have not changed. Lets list one of those aspects for every character of interest.

Inuyasha still has those rosary beads around his neck [:)]. Kagome is still learning to 'control' her spiritual powers. Miroku is still a perverted monk exorcising demons. Now that he's married and had his 'wish' of someone bearing his child fulfilled, the adjective 'perverted' might be dropped I guess! (or maybe I'm being too optimistic...) Sango used to worry about her brother, now has to worry about her (3 on last count!) kids. Shippou still strives  to become a stronger kitsune youkai. Kohaku has now received a new weapon from Toutousai and plans to become a stronger taijiya (demon slayer) on his own. Rin has decided to stay with Kaede-sama for now - may be to 'get used to' humans. Kaede(-ba-san) is still taking care of everyone. Jaken is still following Sesshoumaru-sama. And finally, Sesshoumaru(-sama) is still Sesshoumaru(-sama) with a dense air of pride, elegance and no-nonsense attitude engulfing his totally awe-inspiring self [:)].

Now lets get to the moments in the final chapter which are worth thousand words! Miroku & Inuyasha exorcising an Inu-Youkai. Words in my mind: What the hell is Sesshoumaru doing here? And then slowly I calmed down 'knowing' it could not be Him. A panel of Sango with her 3 kids - too cute... can not think of any other word(s). Inuyasha 'returning back' from modern era leaving Kagome there with her family - felt a bit sad at this point. Inuyasha being all composed while telling this story to Kaede-baba and she asking him when did he become so wise? - I should have gone into fits of laughter here but somehow could not. Shippou revealing to Kaede-ba-san that Inuyasha goes into the bone-eater's well every 3 days and so getting kicked - one of the things that'll never change and which definitely sent me into convulsions! Miroku's (& Sango's) twins playing with Inuyasha's ears and Inuyasha leaving them to 'slay the kitsune' - too funny! Kagome coming back, Inuyasha extending his hand into the well and their long-awaited embrace - was bound to happen or it would not have been the final chapter, would it? Souta's conversation with his 'friends' - ... [:|] Kohaku saying Sango's house is a bit cramped - want to know what would Miroku think of that! Myouga being near Toutousai - was not expecting that. The full shot of flying Sesshoumaru with Jaken holding on his fur - too awesome. Kagome calling out to Him 'brother(-in-law)' and Sesshoumaru glaring at her - hilarious, just hilarious - Kagome should know better than to call out to Him with such salutations? More than that, Inuyasha also 'agreeing' with His glare and adding 'that had a nasty ring to it'! - this totally made my day. So why was Sesshoumaru there? He brought Rin a new Kimono - He cares for her... Good... I expected Rin to hang around Sesshoumaru like before but well I'm not the author! And finally, the last page where Inuyasha & Kagome look forward to the future.

And so the 12 year old epic tale comes to an end which leads us to the question of what new begins now? And I stop and think and realize that a NEW schedule of reading mangas has formed which now only covers Fridays (and/or Saturdays) for One Piece, Naruto & Bleach (Inuyasha normally came out on Wednesdays & Today Is Wednesday!) and 'random' days depending on when Elfen Lied, Claymore & xxxHolic come out!

Well, this is all for this post I guess. I do not have time to think for more new things that have begun as a result of the end of Inuyasha manga. But I'm pretty sure that this paragraph was beginning of the end. If you care, have a look at InuYasha's...

...Final Chapter

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Fail to Pass, Hate to Love & Dying to Live

Such oxymorons make one think what do words mean after all???

As Gopaldas 'Neeraj' says "शब्द तो केवल छल है..." (Words are just illusions...) So true... words often hide or reveal too much... relevant or irrelevant information!!!

Gopaldas 'Neeraj' @ IIT Roorkee

Now you would be wondering why am I being philosophical and starting a blog with such 'debatable facts'! Well, because they say the beginning of any article should be catchy and what is better than a controversy or quotes (shayaris if you prefer) from a Great Poet!!!

Anyway lets get to our usual stuff, i.e. Physics and stuff related to it. Just to make an explicit connection with the few lines above, lets consider a statement: "Lifetime of the Muon is 2.2 μsec". Now is this statement really that simple and conveys all relevant info? No. The words have hidden a lot of info and hard-work that goes into arriving at that seemingly simple statement. In addition, the word 'Lifetime' as used here has a specific meaning which is implied but not at all obvious to someone who is not conversant with the terminology!

Have a look at this file that gives a precise meaning for the word 'Lifetime' and some details on the experimental aspect (μ source, detector, electronics, analysis/simulation software, etc.) to get an idea of what all you 'missed' in the above statement. Much more than that, you will notice that there is a formula for μ lifetime (on page 10) containing various constants and its mass. Experimental determination of some quantity is all right but how do you get a formula for it in terms of a finite number of basic constants?

This is going to be done below i.e. what follows is a 'derivation' of that formula (in the framework of QFT). Those who are unsure of whether to continue or not, should probably stop as this blog post got over somewhere around the 3rd paragraph! [ I started this post just to put this derivation here! Muhahahaha :)) As some of you may have guessed, this was indeed an assignment problem in GS's QFT-II course!]


Evaluating M^2...

Within M^2...

M^2 Evaluated.

Decay Rate...

Total Decay Rate...

Calculation finally over.

Number at last!

Now, you 'know' how the lifetime of Muon is calculated theoretically and the amazing fact remains that it matches very well with experiments! In summary, I can say that I have managed to pass through it all, have come around to love it and am definitely living to die not the other way around!


Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Willingness to Come...

We are familiar with the fact that as one grows old (read transition from high school kid to undergrad to grad to...) the willingness to come to classes decreases 'proportionately'. To find an exact relation between these two variables: Willingness to Come to Class (WCC) and Age of Student (AoS) is the prime objective of this post. The data collection is carried out by carefully studying two recent absolutely uncorrelated events:

1) An undergrad's tenacious admission that he can attend 10 classes of one hour duration in a row on all days of a week (by week, I mean an academic week = 5 days). Now, many reading this post will wonder what was I doing talking to an undergrad and that also about coming to classes??? That is definitely not like me and you would be perfectly justified to wonder that! But if you wonder a little more, it'll all start making sense. If you don't have time to wonder more, let me walk you through a syllogism:

a) I am a Teaching Assistant (TA);

b) I grade quizzes & tests;

=> It is likely that someone will be dissatisfied with my grading and will confront me.

That takes care of me talking with an undergrad but why talk about coming to classes? Lets again consider a syllogism:

a') I am Just a TA;

b') I Just grade quizzes & tests;

=> It is highly likely that there was a question on one of the tests regarding coming to classes and someone was dissatisfied with my grading and confronted me.

That should now stop you from wondering more. But maybe not! So what was the question? That does not matter, what matters is that after a heated discussion on the grading style, the unexpected admission surfaced and rest is history! In laymen's term, I found that undergrad's resolve to come to classes awe-inspiring and we get our first 'solid' data point on the WCC vs. AoS graph... I put it on the upper left (not too left) corner!

2) At the beginning of Prof. Sterman's QFT-II 'extra' class at 5:40 PM (after Spring Sem's last colloquium!) he stated "I appreciate your willingness to come to class at this time. Hell, I appreciate my willingness to come to class at this time..." !!! [Though quotation marks are used, it (obviously) does not mean this is the exact wording!] I don't think there is anything to explain here as this event is self-explanatory. I'd like the Renormalisation of QCD Lagrangian to be as self-explanatory as this but then life is not that simple or as overheard in the same class "it is as it is" (though in a totally different context). I already hear some of you urging me to end this verbiage which is leading us away from the objective of this post! So from this rather trivial event, we get another 'solid' data point on the WCC vs. AoS graph... I put it on the extreme lower right corner!

Our data collection is now complete and we start with data analysis. And we all know what can be said about the relation between two variables when we have just two points at diametrically (almost) opposite corners of the graph: Yes, you guessed it right!!! Absolutely Nothing with 95% Confidence Level.

So there we have it: a systematic analysis of WCC across various age groups. No objective and/or subjective biasing of the author was involved in choosing the sample which is random to the best of the author's knowledge. To that extent, no grad students were involved as the author coincidentally happens to be one.

These are some preliminary results and this is a work-in-progress. Thus, deviations from the results presented here should not be totally surprising and are anticipated. Apart from this, an extensive study on who all are interested in reading such survey reports is also being planned for near future.

Creative Writing

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

My First Post...

Checking if things work!!!

Posting via Windows Live Writer...

[No idea... why am I doing this???]