Wednesday 16 December 2009

Bhakta Prahlada and Saint Erasmus of Formiae

My cousin who is working as a Pilot sent a mail to our family group explaining about St. Elmo’s fire. St. Elmo’s fire is a weather phenomenon that often appears on the masts of ships and the wings of airplanes. That was informative and we got to know about it.

I got curious on the name “St. Elmo” and did a quick googling and got to know that St. Elmo was named after Saint Erasmus of Formiae and he is venerated as the patron saint of sailors.

After digging more about this saint, I got this interesting tale about the saint. The summary of this tale is somewhat similar to our “Bhakta Prahlada” story. Read on…

According to his legend, when the persecutions of the Emperor Diocletian began, "Erasmus was called before a judge, beaten around the head, spat upon and 'besprinkled [...] with foulness.' He was then beaten with leaden mauls until his veins broke and burst. Erasmus suffered all of these punishments with tremendous willingness. Erasmus was then thrown into a pit of snakes and worms, and boiling oil and sulfur were poured on him but 'he lay therein as he had lain in cold water, thanking and loving God.' Then thunder and lightning came and electrocuted everyone around save Erasmus. Thus the saint was protected from the lightning. Diocletian had him thrown in another pit, but an angel came and slew all the vipers and worms."

Then came the Western Roman Emperor Maximian who, according to Voragine, was "much worse than was Diocletian." Erasmus would not cease preaching the Gospel, even though he was "put into a pan seething with rosin, pitch, brimstone lead, and oil, [which were] pour[ed] ... into his mouth, [from] ... which he never shrinked." A searing hot cloak and metal coat were both tried on him, to no effect, and an angel eventually carried him away to safety."
"And when this holy man came before the false gods" - to which he was to be forced to sacrifice, they "fell down and broke all in pieces, and consumed into ashes or dust." That made the emperor so angry he had Erasmus enclosed in a barrel full of protruding spikes, and the barrel was rolled down a hill. But an angel healed him. Further tortures ensued:
His teeth were ... plucked out of his head with iron pincers. And after that they bound him to a pillar and carded his skin with iron cards, and then they roasted him upon a gridiron...and did smite sharp nails of iron in his fingers, and after, they put out his eyes of his head with their fingers, and after that they laid this holy bishop upon the ground naked and stretched him with strong withes bound to horses about his blessed neck, arms, and legs, so that all his veins and sinews that he had in his body burst."
The version of the "Golden Legend" did not relate how Erasmus fled to Mount Lebanon and survived on what ravens brought him to eat, an interesting pre-Christian mytheme. When he was recaptured, he was brought before the emperor and beaten and whipped, then coated with pitch and set alight (as Christians had been in Nero's games), and still he survived. Thrown into prison with the intention of letting him die of starvation, St Erasmus managed to escape.

Tuesday 1 December 2009

Just an update!

It's been a bit long time since I peeked into my blog. I was very busy at work and didn't get time to blog! However, I continued my micro-blogging via twitter!

I've a couple of things to blog such as my memorable bike ride to Mysore during Dasara festival, my first ever visit to cricket stadium for an international match, and an interesting story on Saint Erasmus of Formiae and how it is similar to our "Bhakta Prahlada" story.

I hope to spend some time to blog. So, keep watching! Till then, have a good day!

Thursday 1 October 2009

Applying Thought in Railway Station

Last week, I went to Bengaluru railway station to drop my mother who was going to Mysore. I bought the ticket for 7AM express train. When I reached the platform ticket vending machine, I noticed a notice which said "Platform tickets will not be issued till so and so date". Upon enquiring, I came to know that the railways has stopped issuing platform tickets till the end of Dasara festival to avoid the crowd! That means, people should enter the station with only passenger tickets!

Obviously I got irritated as I had to help my mother in getting a seat in the train. After thinking for a while, something flashed in my mind! (Like they say, Applying Thought)

I went back to ticket counter. I bought a ticket for myself for 7.30AM passenger train up to Kengeri station. The fare was Rs.2/- only! One Rupee less than the platform ticket! I got my mother a seat and as the train left the platform, I also headed towards exit. The Travel Ticket Examiner (TTE) who was standing at the exit gate asked for the ticket. I showed my ticket and said "My train is at 7.30AM and I'll back in a few minutes". She nodded and I left the place!

Thursday 24 September 2009

Water on Moon!

It's official! Water found on the Moon! It feels proud that India played a role in this discovery!
Look at the picture of the Moon taken by Chandrayaan spacecraft (Source: NASA) .

Wednesday 23 September 2009

Fatal Killer Poisonous Plants

The next time when you go for a trekking and got attracted to a beautiful plant or flower, and thought of tasting it, beware, you might be in a serious trouble! That plant could be a killer having a poisonous substance. Unless you are pretty sure about the plant, you should not be taking a risk!

Wondered about the killer plants?! Here is a list of 16 most fatal killer poisonous plants.

Friday 18 September 2009

Pages From History: Saligrama, The Sacred Deity

This article was published in Star Of Mysore newspaper on 12th Sep issue. In its website, they keep newspaper archives of only last 7 days. As I'm not sure about getting the link of this article after a day or two, I thought of pasting the article here.
Credit and Source: Star of Mysore

By Prof. A.V. Narasimha Murthy
Salagrama, also called Saligrama is a sacred stone of unique character. Though it has a scientific explanation, its origin is shrouded in puranas and legends of great antiquity. Salagramas are found in almost all the important Mutts, temples and traditional homes.

Salagrama is a village on the banks of the river Gandaki in the Himalayas. Sage Viswamitra's son Salakayana had the darshan of Vishnu in a Sala tree in his house and hence the village came to be called Salagrama. It is also the name of a type of stone available in the Himalayas and Nepal, mostly on the banks of Gandaki river. The Gandaki river is an ancient river referred to in puranas and Mahabharatha. Its sacred nature has been described in Mahabharatha. Sri Krishna, Bhima, Arjuna and others are said to have crossed this river during their journey.

Salagrama stone

The river is also referred to as Narayani, Salagrami, Hiranyavati etc. Thus salagrama is intimately connected with Gandaki river. Thus Salagrama stone was used in ancient times to make idols and Siva-lingas. It is said that the image of Vishnu at Badari and the Krishna image at Udupi are made of Salagrama stone. Many ancient temples claim this distinction for the deities in their garbhagrihas.

However, the word Salagrama has another and more important connotation. It refers to a small roundish black stone with a small hole and some decorations like Chakra (wheel) or shankha (Conch) etc. These Salagramas are worshipped as Vishnu. There are many legends about the origin of Salagramas in the puranas. According to a legend, a woman by name Gandaki performed penance and when the gods appeared before her wanted that these gods should be born as her children. The gods refused and cursed her to be born as a river. In turn she cursed the gods to be born as worms in the river and hence gods were born as worms covered by a stone cover or shell known as Vajrakita and they came to be called as Salagramas.

According to another legend, Shani (Saturn) wanted to test his power against Vishnu. The latter to escape from Shani assumed the form of a hillock and hid himself in the river Gandaki. Shani went there also and destroyed this hillock and its pieces fell into the river. As they were parts of the body of Vishnu, they became as sacred as Vishnu himself and Gandaki also became sacred. Still one more legend connects Salagrama with Tulasi leaves. Tulasi was a highly devoted woman and by a curse she took birth on earth as a Tulasi plant. She prayed to Vishnu and he promised her that he himself will be born as Salagrama and she will adorn him always. That is why Salagramas are worshipped with Tulasi leaves. In fact, worship of Salagrama without Tulasi leaves is no worship at all.


Ancient texts describe the colour of Salagramas: Vasudeva Salagrama - White; Narayana S- Blue-Black; Vishnu S-dark; Damodara S- blue; Madhava S- honey coloured; Sankarshana S red; Narasimha S-tawny; Anan-tha S-multi coloured;
Vamana S- Atasi flower.

Their sizes vary from that of a gooseberry (nellikayi) to that of a ball. All Salagramas are not suitble for everybody and hence they have to be chosen with great care. That is why people who bring Salagramas for worship to their house, keep them temporarily for sometime and if nothing untoward happens, they may keep them permanently for worship. Salagramas are considered very powerful deities and daily rituals including the offering of the food (naivedya) are mandatory. Otherwise it will destroy the family itself.

Hence many people who cannot perform daily worship as per the tradition, hand over the Salagramas to the Mutts or temples for worship. Thus the people are afraid of the power of the Salagramas.

Adi Shankaracharya has specially recommended the worship of Salagrama because Vishnu resides in them. Ancient records also attest to the worship of Salagramas from second century BC.

According to geologists, Salagramas are the outer shells of worms which are now extinct. Thus they are fossils which are millions of years old. They are found all over the world at some pockets, including western countries. The worm which comes out of the shell makes different types of decorations mostly in the form of wheel, conch etc. They are available in plenty in Gandaki river.

Narasimha Salagrama

Traditionally Narasimha Salagramas are considered very sacred and highly powerful. There are 24 varieties of Narasimha Salagramas. They generally contain four or two wheels. Generally Narasimha Salagramas are rare. Nowadays, greedy persons in Nepal are manufacturing artificial (fake) Salagrama by using modern technology. Hence one should be very careful in buying a Salagrama in Nepal or any other holy place.

Dr. Mathoorji during his discourse mentioned an incident which took place decades ago. A rich man in Chennai died and his two sons divided all the property without any difficulty, except a Salagrama which was under worship. Both the brothers claimed it and ultimately it went to the Privy Council. The English Judge, amused over the case relating to a piece of black stone, said 'cut it into two pieces and let each brother take one piece'. To an Englishman it was just a black stone but to the millions of Hindus, it is the symbol and abode of Vishnu, the protector. Next time when you visit a temple, look for a Salagrama in it.

[Inputs: S.K. Ramachandra Rao and Dr. V.S. Sampathkumarachar].

Wednesday 9 September 2009

Haunted Railway station reopens

Begunkodor railway station which is 260KM from the state capital Calcutta was closed for nearly 42 years. The reason: In 1967, a railway worker is said to have died after he saw a woman ghost in white Saree! The result: Railway station was closed and there was no stop for the trains passing this station!

It seems the whole ghost story was cooked-up by railway officials as they never wanted a posting in a remote place! Now, the same station has reopened. I wonder why it took 42 years to know the truth! Or is it that the woman ghost has also left the place as no train was stopping over there!

Obviously, the villagers are celebrating the occasion as they can board a train after a long 42 years gap!

Note: Recently, there was a news in Bengaluru that, some policemen saw ghosts in the High Court campus. I hope high court will not get closed!

Monday 7 September 2009

Ten classic conspiracy theories

Here are ten interesting conspiracy theories listed. As you might have guessed, this list includes Apollo moon landing and 9/11 attack. Read on here.

Monday 31 August 2009

Type in Indian languages in any website

Use transliteration bookmarklet and type in Indian language in any website. This cool feature has now made typing in Indian language pretty easy. Using this feature, you can type say, Kannada in any website having a text box! This supports IE, Firefox, Chrome and Safari browsers. You can find more details here.
Via: Tech Bangalore

Friday 21 August 2009

Doodle 4 Google - My India

Google India has organized a competition for Indian school children between 1st and 10th class. Check Doodle 4 Google - My India for more details. The winner will get a laptop and his/her school will get a technology grant!).

Monday 27 July 2009

Protecting your identity online

I just came across this article at Control Enter and thought of sharing this here. Internet users should be aware of this.

Monday 20 July 2009

Today marks 40th Anniversary of Moon landing!

Today marks 40th anniversary of one of the greatest technological achievements of the human being. On July 20, 1969, a human first set foot on the Moon. Neil Armstrong took the historic first step.

NASA has released some of the pictures in honor of 40th anniversary. Do check them out:

Switch on your speaker and hit NASA Home Page where you can see a small video clip which shows Neil Armstrong taking the first step on the Moon and he says "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind".

Congratulations NASA!

Update: If you are interested to read more about Apollo program, do check here.

Thursday 16 July 2009

Old memories in a train!

Last week, I went to Mysore by Chamundi train. Six years back, I used to travel in this train on every Friday from the then Bangalore. After I went to Hyderabad, I didn't get chance to travel in this train. Even though now I'm in Bengaluru, my frequency of Mysore visit has come down drastically.

When I sat down in the train, my memories went back... This train was so familiar to me and the commuters too. Out of these commuters, some were regular passengers, few were vendors and beggars.

As my train started, I hoped to see some of those familiar faces(vendors and beggars). After 30mins of journey, none of those faces turned up. As my coach was at the engine end, I thought, it might take some time for them to come to my coach.

Even after train passed Ramanagara, nobody turned up. I was a bit disappointed. I still remember those faces.

There was this beggar who was blind and he had always carried a tamate (a Kannada word for folk musical percussion instrument) while singing a song. He used to sing folk songs and devotional songs.

Another beggar who was old but had good voice and he was known for his PB Srinivas songs from old Kannada movies. On public demand, he used to sing for a long time at one place!

There were two beggars (who seemed like couples) and both were blinds. Lot of people used to give coins to these couples. Some times, I had even seen a young girl along with this couple. Fortunately, this young girl was not blind. I still feel sad for their state.

How can I forget another beggar who was most irritating! He is a old person but he never resorted to any singing but he was "literally" begging from everyone. His voice was very loud and many people were giving coins only to make him leave their compartments!

As I said before, there were familiar faces who were Vendors. Just like, one old person (peanut seller) who always wears a white but dirty kurta. He never looked like clean. Most of the times, he was drunk!

Another old lady who was also selling peanuts and was very active.

I cannot forget one young man who was a peanut seller but conscious of cleanliness. To encourage people not to throw the peanut shells on the floor, he used to give additional paper to all the buyers! I really liked his idea. Over the period of time, other sellers were also giving additional papers and in some cases, commuters were demanding for that!

There was a coffee vendor, who was asking as if he's serving a guest at his home!

As the train had crossed Maddur, I was sure that none of these would turn up. Where are these people? Did they get a better job? Did they find a better place for their profession? Are they alive? I stopped myself from thinking more and called a new face for a cup of coffee and a Maddur vade.

Friday 10 July 2009

Help in finding this guy!

This guy is missing since December 1999. All the efforts to trace this guy went in vain. Now, the new search has begun. And you can also help in finding this guy! Yes, you can also!

Before you can think of where to find, let me tell you, this guy's name is "Mars Polar Lander". No, you don't have to find it on Earth! Rather, you have to search in Mars! And you don't have to go there. You can help in tracing the Lander from wherever you are currently located and by using HiRISE images posted here.

Good luck!

Thursday 9 July 2009

Portal dedicated to Electronics City, Bengaluru

I came across this site which is dedicated to Electronics City, Bengaluru. Here you can find a lot of information about E-city such as bus routes from/to E-city, bus/train/air ticketing centers, Companies, Hospitals, Help-line numbers etc. I found it very informative for the people who are residing/working in E-city.

Monday 6 July 2009

Federer The Legend

For some time I thought Andy Roddick will do what Nadal did in the previous year at Wimbledon. As the fifth set was going one after the other game, and keeping in mind that Federer has not broken the Roddick's game in the first 4 sets, I was just thinking if Federer would be able to create a history at Wimbledon. Two were playing like they are in a battle field and it is a do or die war. Nobody was sure when this match is going to end, and suddenly a couple of mistakes by Roddick brought this epic match to an end. Roger Federer had created a history by winning his 15th grand slam surpassing Pete Sampras's record. Sampras was in the stands looking at how his long standing record going into the archive.

With this win, Roger Federer also retained No. 1 position. When Sampras won his 14th grand slam, he was 31. Federer is only 27 and he can surely win more grand slams in the years ahead.

It would be interesting to see more Federer Vs Nadal matches once the latter comes out of the injury. Nevertheless, Federer will be remembered as one of the greatest Tennis players in the world!

Monday 29 June 2009

Beautiful Night Shots

For all photography lovers, check this out: Beautiful and stunning night shots.

Thursday 11 June 2009

The story of Brooklyn Bridge - An Inspiring story

An engineer named John Roebling was inspired by an idea of building a magnificent suspension bridge connecting New York with the Long Island. He had put forward his idea to the bridge building experts throughout the world but no one was interested even to think about it further and asked John to forget about it. According to them, it was a very difficult task, something, which had never been attempted before and is not practical.

Roebling however was determined and would not think of ignoring his dream. He thought about it day and night and wanted to share it with someone who would believe in his idea. John’s son Washington was a naïve engineer then. He trusted his father’s vision and believed that the bridge could be built.

John and Washington, working together for the first time, developed concepts of how the bridge could be built. A big challenge lay before them, but they were ready to face it as they had excitement and inspiration deep in their heart. They hired their crew and the construction of their dream bridge began on January 3, 1870.

The project started well, but after a year, a tragic accident at the site took John Roebling’s life. Hence, Washington took over and was in charge of the bridge. However, after few months Washington too suffered a paralyzing injury, which left him with certain amount of brain damage. He was not able to walk or talk. With no one to supervise, the construction stopped.

Everyone around the world was negative about the future of the project and felt that it should be taken off as only the Roeblings knew about the plans of construction of the bridge. These remarks hurt and shocked Washington, who lay still on the bed of his hospital. His desire and enthusiasm was still alive. He wanted to get up and continue his work, but his physical condition did not allow him to.

Washington could move only one finger and this gave him an idea. He called his wife Emily and tapped on her arm indicating her to call back the crew and the engineers. This worked well as Emily started understanding Washington’s indications by just the tapping of his finger. She conveyed his instructions to the engineers and soon the construction of the bridge was back at full swing.

For next 11 years, Washington gave instructions by tapping on Emily’s arm and she patiently decoded his messages and relayed them to the crew. The bridge was finally completed and opened with a big celebration in May 1883.

Today, the 5,989 feet Brooklyn Bridge stands over the East River as a tribute to the victory of John and Washington’s strong spirit, will power and determination. It is also a tribute to the engineers who had faith and trust in a man who was half paralyzed and was considered silly by half of the world. The bridge also reflects the love and affection of Emily towards her husband.

The story of Brooklyn Bridge portrays a very good example of having a vision, believing in it and then pursuing it with a never-say-die attitude. No matter what obstacles you face, if you have a dream then go ahead and fulfill it. Have strength of mind and be determined in life.

The names of John Roebling, Washington Roebling and Emily Warren Roebling are inscribed on the bridge as its builders.

Wednesday 10 June 2009

Microsoft's new search engine - Bing

Just a few days back I had posted on Wolfarm Alpha, now here is another post on Microsoft's new search engine Bing. This seems to be a better version of Windows Live search. On the contrary to Google, when you open Bing, you'll see a beautiful picture in the background.

One cool feature of the Bing is when you hover the mouse on the vertical bar next to the search result, it shows thumbnail of the site.

Within a few weeks of the launch, Bing has overtaken Yahoo! as the number two search service after Google. Try different searches such as Web, Image, Video, Map and see yourself the result and the kind of options you get to fine tune the search.

Way to go Bing!

Friday 5 June 2009

Height of Opportunism

What is the height of Opportunism? Ask Kumaraswamy, and you'll get the answer immediately! He holds the master degree in that! Perhaps, he deserves the doctorate! You don't agree? Let's see the sequence of events.
  • Kumaraswamy forms the government with BJP in Karnataka and becomes Chief Minister.
  • He refuses to lend the support to BJP after 20 months of ruling saying BJP is communal! Poor man, He was not aware of it when he took the support!
  • It's Loksabha election time. He vows to maintain equal distance from both Congress and BJP.
  • At the time of the election result, he pays a visit to Sonia Gandhi to offer support to UPA (with an intention of ministerial berth). The reason for the change is again BJP! He wants to keep communal BJP from power!
  • When he was sure that he'll not get a ministerial berth, he vows to maintain equal distance from both Congress and BJP (from the latest news)
If you closely observe the events, it is more than certain that Kumaraswamy cannot digest to be in the opposition. He always wants to be in power by hook or crook!
Definitely, we can not blame him! He's what he is! We don't have to expect him to change. The blame should be on the people who vote for him despite all these dramas! Either these people should be ignorant or foolish! I don't see any other reason!

Tuesday 2 June 2009

Wolfarm Alpha - New way of searching!

Here is a new search engine "Wolfram Alpha". Unlike Google, this search engine make all systematic knowledge immediately computable and accessible to everyone. If Google returns the list of pages which will have information about the knowledge you are searching for, Wolfarm Alpha gives you the calculated results instead of referring to the pages. Let me explain with some examples which should clear the difference between Google (for that matter any search engine) and Wolfarm Alpha.

Let me try with a place name: Bangalore.

If I search in Google, it returns the list of pages which contains information or reference to Bangalore. If I search in Wolfarm Alpha, it gives me the stats about Bangalore like, Map, Coordinates, Country Name, Population, Current Local Time, Current Weather (I found it incorrect), and Approximate Elevation.

Let us enter any date (you can try with your birth date). Google returns the list of pages which has reference to that date. Wolfarm Alpha returns the data with respect to the date such as Time difference from today, Observations, Notable events that happened on that date, when sunrise and sunset happened, and the phase of the moon! I tried giving future date, the "Notable events" got changed to "Anniversaries". That's intelligence!

Let me show you how useful this engine will be. I would like to know when is the next solar eclipse. I just enter "next solar eclipse" and hit enter. Here you go! You'll get loads of information such as Eclipse time, countries in the path of eclipse, etc.

This ambitious project is driven by Stephen Wolfram. As of now, Wolfram Alpha contains 10+ trillion of pieces of data, 50,000+ types of algorithms and models, and linguistic capabilities for 1000+ domains. And as they say, this is just the beginning. More to come in the future and it will change the way we search for the information and get the desired data.

Monday 11 May 2009

Why We Need to Reach the Stars (and We Will)

A very nice and interesting article. There are many references in our puranas about space-travel. Although it seems like a fiction to many, I have a strong belief that the ancient people were more advanced in the technology and somehow that knowledge might have lost over the period of time.

Tuesday 5 May 2009

Yediyurappa, yake neevu heegappa?!

According to the information collected by the students of Indian Institute of Journalism and New Media, Karnataka CM Yediyurappa has spent more than 11 lacks (government's expenses) in visiting temples within the five months of his tenure. The students have collected this information under Right To Information Act.

As per the information, after he became the CM, he has spent Rs. 3,68,590 for his Tirupathi visit, 1.85 lacks for Udupi's visit and 28,000 for Mysore Chamundi Hill's visit. (Source: Vijaya Karnataka paper dated May 1, 2009)

Mr. CM, we, the people of Karnataka have a lot of expectations from your government. We were fed up with the mis-rulings of Congress and JDS and hence we have given a chance to your party. Please stop visiting temples at the government's expenses. This is our money, I repeat, this is people's money and we definetely mind if you use it for your personal works/benefits.

Tuesday 28 April 2009

To what extent you can bank on Railways website?

My parents planned to catch a 10AM train to Mysore from Bengaluru. Just to make sure that train is running as per schedule, I just quickly hit Southern Railway website and checked about the train. It showed that train is departing as per schedule and it reaches Mysore around 1.45PM.

When my parents reached ticket counter at Bengaluru raliway station, railway official said that train does not reach Mysore, instead it will terminate at a station called Naganahalli because of some repair work being carried out in Mysore station. As the next train was at 2.15PM, my parents had no option but to take the ticket till Naganahalli.

I just wondered if I misread in the website and again hit the railway website and checked. To my surprise, this is what it looked like:

As you can see, I have queried for today's date (28th Apr) and it clearly says that train reaches at 14:20 (It is expected arrival). To add to it, this report was last updated at: 13:33, 28 Apr 2009.

I was just thinking if the decision of terminating the train before Mysore was taken very recently. To verify that, I again did googling and I got to know that Railways had already released a press note on 22nd April about the changes in the train services.

That means, the above site is not updated! And whatever timings it displays could be one of those calculations implemented in a program!

I now wonder to what extent we can bank on this website! If railways has created a website with so much of information, it really needs a pat on the back. But it should also keep updating these information. Out-of-date information is worse than not providing any information.

Monday 27 April 2009

End of civilization?!!!

"For scary speculation about the end of civilization in 2012, people usually turn to followers of cryptic Mayan prophecy, not scientists. But that’s exactly what a group of NASA-assembled researchers described in a chilling report issued earlier this year on the destructive potential of solar storms.

Entitled "Severe Space Weather Events — Understanding Societal and Economic Impacts," it describes the consequences of solar flares unleashing waves of energy that could disrupt Earth’s magnetic field, overwhelming high-voltage transformers with vast electrical currents and short-circuiting energy grids. Such a catastrophe would cost the United States "$1 trillion to $2 trillion in the first year," concluded the panel, and "full recovery could take 4 to 10 years." That would, of course, be just a fraction of global damages.

Good-bye, civilization."

Read on here.

Wednesday 22 April 2009


Things are changing. Nowadays, every candidate wants to have his/her identity in Internet! Look at the way the candidates are creating their own websites and use it for their campaigning.

Ananth Kumar of BJP, Krishna Byre Gowda of Congress, PC Mohan of BJP, Prof RadhaKrishna of JDS are a few examples. Krishna Byre Gowda has gone one step further. He has created a blog in Blogger but I've not seen him interacting with visitors. Also, he has opened a twitter account where you'll get updates about his campaign. Ananth Kumar has a section called "heLi-keLi" (literally meaning Speak-Listen) wherein he directly interacts with visitors answering to their questions. He has also created a voter's help desk!

As more people are becoming computer savvy and using it for discussions, communication, and information, it is obvious for these candidates to use this medium to reach out to people.

We need to check if these websites are created keeping the elections in mind or do they really update their sites and interact with people even after the elections!

Monday 20 April 2009

A conversation with a party worker!

Yesterday when I was at home, someone knocked my door and it was a group of people from Congress party who were distributing pamphlets for the forthcoming Loksabha elections. One of the guys started conversation with me and it went like this:

Guy: Namaskara Sir
Me: Namaskara
Guy: Please vote for Congress. Candidate is young, very hard-working and sincere
Me: Okay
Guy: He's a class-mate of Rahul Gandhi
Me: Is it? Really?
Guy: Yes, they were class-mates in US (United States)
Me: Oh!
Guy: Rahul Gandhi has promised to give 10000 crores for Bangalore Sir
Me: Well, Congress government was at center for 5 years and they didn't give at that time. Should we believe that we'll get that money for Bangalore development?
Guy: No Sir. They were ready to give. But, BJP (state government) didn't accept it!
Me: But, BJP came to power only 9 months back. Congress government came to power 5 years back?!
Guy: hmmm.... Sir, please vote for our candidate.

And he left!

Monday 13 April 2009

World’s Biggest Companies – A Forbes List

Forbes has published a big list of world’s biggest companies called “Forbes Global 2000”. Ranking of the companies is based on sales, profits, assets and market value.
The rankings span 62 countries. General Electric heads this list. 47 Indian companies have made it to the list.

Source: Forbes

Tuesday 7 April 2009

Collision of Galaxies

I always wondered how it would be to view a (spectacular) collision of two galaxies! I imagined that it would result in a devastating display of fireworks! Well, that's only my imagination. I'm not a Physics student to come up with a mathematical equation describing what would happen in such cases! (I even don't know if we can derive like that!).

Here is a brief explanation on what might happen as two Spiral galaxies are approaching nearer to each other! It says the whole process takes over hundreds of millions of years! I wish, at least, it starts the process in my life time! I love to see the event!

Thursday 2 April 2009

Meaning of "Suresh"

I was surprised to see an article in Wikipedia on the name "Suresh". It says,
Suresh (sureša) is a Sanskrit word which means "Ruler of Gods"; from surya ‘god’ + īša ‘lord’, which is an epithet of the god Indra.

It is commonly used as a synonym for the Hindu God Vishnu. It may also refer to Devendra or Shiva depending on which branch of Hinduism. Its etymology is a contraction of sur + esh: sur means god, esh means king. So Suresh means king of the gods. Suresh also means the planet Sun. Suresh is a frequently used name for Hindu male children. It is a popular first name in India and a common family name in North America and the Caribbean. Variations of this name in Latin America include Sureza, Sureze, Cires and Cirez. Several of these examples are found on the South-Eastern region of the Dominican Republic (La Romana, San Pedro de Macoris, Boca Chica, etc.)
Check the article here.

Wednesday 25 February 2009

Even Sharks are facing the heat of Recession!

It's not only humans, even sharks are facing the heat of recession! As per the recent statistics released by a researcher in University of Florida, Shark attacks worldwide in 2008 dipped to their lowest level in five years! Read more here.

Wednesday 18 February 2009

View millions of Historic photos

Here is yet another news from Google. Now you can search millions of historic photos which dates back to 1860s and were never published. This has been made possible through joint work of LIFE and Google. Check this out at

When you try to search for a particular subject, you should always add "source:life". Just to try at it, I gave my search criteria as "Mysore source:life". Stunningly, it retrieved me some old photographs which are tagged under the word "Mysore". Its really cool to look at old photos!

10 Easy Steps To Advanced Photography Skills

A nice article for those interested in Photography. Check it out here.

Friday 13 February 2009

I've got a mail from Ex-Vice President of Nigeria!

Yeah! You read it right! I've got an email from former Vice President of Nigeria Mr. Atiku Abubakar. Mr. Ex-Vice President wants to do business in my country and he has contacted me taking a proposal. If you are still clueless why I've been picked by such a VIP person, well, let me first reproduce the email which I got. This is how it reads.

I am the former Vice President of Nigeria, (Mr Atiku Abubakar). I read business information about your country and I know it will be safe and more profitable to invest there in your country. Am interested to invest some huge amount of money in your country I promise to send you email As soon as you get this mail get back to me immediately. I will like to know more procedures if you are interested about this proposal. Please this is my personal contact details for more discussion.

Tel: +234-808-572-7994
Tel: +234-807-919-9047

Atiku Abubakar.

From email address: Atiku Abubakar []
Subject: RE:

Okay! Let me tell you, this is a spam mail. The person seems to be smart. He/She is using the name of ex-Vice President Atiku Abubakar. Yes, Atiku Abubakar is a former Vice President of Nigeria. To make the email recipients believe that the sender is indeed Atiku Abubakar, the composer has given a link of BBC website. Whenever, you get an email from unknown person and if that email has any link, you should never click on that. There is a possibility that the link might take you to a different website altogether. So, I just opened BBC UK site by typing and then I appended rest of the site address and it indeed took me to a profile of Atiku Abubakar.

Now the question is why this person has a sent a mail to me? He has sent this mail to lots of people, not only to me. You can easily guess this as "To" section of the email is blank. If this email was to be sent only to me, the attention in the mail would have had my name. Observe the subject of the mail. It's "RE:", that means it's a reply! Apart from this, why on earth he has to choose me for the business proposal! Why didn't he go to Ambani brothers, Ratan Tata or Azim Premzi?!

This is yet another spam mail. If I respond to this email, he/she will come to know that my email address is active and I'll get another reply asking me to give my personal information. Needless to say, I marked this email as Spam so that the next time, it will get filtered by my mailbox.

Thursday 12 February 2009

Modern day Tarzan!

Can you imagine a man living with Cheetahs and also teach them how to hunt? Uh! Looks like a modern day Tarzan! Check here for more details.

Tuesday 10 February 2009

Google lands on Mars!

First it was Earth, then Sky, later it was Ocean and now it is Mars! Yes Google has landed on Mars! Hold on, Google has not fired any spacecraft to the martian soil! Instead Google has created a map of Mars similar to Google Earth.

Map can be seen in three types of Data: Elevation, Visible and Infrared. In Elevation data, map is colored as per the altitude. This view gives you a very good information on the altitude on different plains of the Mars.

Another good feature of this Map is the marked location of various Regions, Spacecrafts, Mountains etc. So, if you click on Spacecraft link, it shows you landing position of various Spacecrafts such as Mars Lander, Viking Lander. The images used in this map are taken from NASA's spacecraft.

Google Mars to view Map. Click here to know more about Google Map.

In addition to Mars Map, Google has also released Google Map 3D, which is included in the latest version of Google Earth. Google Map 3D gives a 3 dimensional view of Martian soil. I'm yet to download the latest version of Google Earth and see for myself this new tool. You can download the latest version of Google Earth from here. If you cannot download and you are still curious to see how it looks like (like me!), just check this link.

Wednesday 4 February 2009

Indian Cricket Team

Oh Boy! I cannot believe myself on the result! India has won the series (against Sri Lanka) in style and it is 8th straight win!

Those were the days when India winning a match was unpredictable. Win was certain only against minnows. Things have changed. They are playing as if winning is their fundamental right!

Will India be the front-runner for next World Cup in 2011? Well, it is too early to predict. Though India has won the series in Australia, it still has to prove outside sub-continent. The series in New Zealand and South Africa will be the real test for Indian team. All the best guys! Keep up the momentum!

Typing in Kannada is made easy!

ಕಂಪ್ಯೂಟರ್ನಲ್ಲಿ ಕನ್ನಡದಲ್ಲಿ ಬರೆಯುವುದು ಇಷ್ಟು ಸುಲಭವೆಂದು ಗೊತ್ತಿರಲಿಲ್ಲ! ಇದು ಸಾಧ್ಯವಾಗಿರುವುದು ಗೂಗಲ್ ಇಂದ. ಈ ತಾಣದಲ್ಲಿ ಭೇಟಿಕೊಟ್ಟು ಒಮ್ಮೆ ನೋಡಿ! (

Madwa Navami

Today (4th Feb 2009) is Madwa Navami. I just thought of giving some links where you can find more information about Shri Madwacharya and his works.

Monday 2 February 2009

Australian Open 2009

It was a memorable Grand Slam for Indians. It was rejoicing to see Mahesh Bhupathi and Sania Mirza lifting Mixed Doubles Trophy. Earlier Mahesh had won several Mixed Doubles titles pairing with different partners. This time, his partner was also Indian, so it made special!
On Saturday, Mahesh Bhupathi and his partner Mark Knowles of Bahamas secured runners-up trophy in Men's doubles. If they had maintained the momentum of the first set, they could have lifted the winners trophy. Another defining moment for Indians was Yuki Bhambri winning the Junior title.

Congratulations to All and wish them more success in the future.

Coming to Men's Final, as expected, it was a thrilling final between Nadal and Federer. What a match it was! At the end, it was very sad to see Federer crying in the presentation ceremony. It is interesting to see if Federer gets a chance to break Sampras's record!

Saturday 10 January 2009

2009 - International Year of Astronomy

2009 has been declared as "International Year of Astronomy" - IYA2009. Click here for more details.