Sumesh’s 50th Birthday


Rhea’s new picture pose.


She is now bored.


All smiles. From left to right…. Nutty, Suman, Charu and no-idea.


Charu, Rhea and Suman


Best friends


Something really really funny happened.


All formal and “quiet”


Suman and kids


Dance moves by Rhea – Robot like.


Totally Robot like.


Charu’s snake dance


Bored? Happy? Can’t tell.

Not Kate Mulgrew!

Who does not know this opening? When I first saw this opening (probably in 1981), the words and music (don’t remember the episode I saw) totally swept off my feet! Since then, I been a big fan of the Star Trek franchise.

Since the original, there have been numerous “flavours” of Star Trek. And there are forums, blogs, IRC chats, email exchanges on which one is the best. As you probably can guess, there is no winner.

However, since you are in my part of the internet, I would gladly tell you which one is my favourite : Star Trek (Voyager)

I will put up a post someday explaining why. But today I want to discuss my utter disappointment in my hero from Star Trek Voyager, Kate Mulgew. (Link)

Kate Mulgrew, the actor best known for playing Captain Kathryn Janeway in Star Trek: Voyager, would be narrating a documentary backed by geocentrists and Holocaust deniers.

This is a major WTF news for me. How can a scifi hero be so freaking narrow minded? Astonishing that someone could even think on those terms at this day and age.

I was upset until I ready this (link)

“I understand there has been some controversy about my participation in a documentary called THE PRINCIPLE. Let me assure everyone that I completely agree with the eminent physicist Lawrence Krauss, who was himself misrepresented in the film, and who has written a succinct rebuttal in SLATE. I am not a geocentrist, nor am I in any way a proponent of geocentrism. More importantly, I do not subscribe to anything Robert Sungenis has written regarding science and history and, had I known of his involvement, would most certainly have avoided this documentary. I was a voice for hire, and a misinformed one, at that. I apologize for any confusion that my voice on this trailer may have caused. Kate Mulgrew”

As she mentioned, Lawrence Krauss said the same thing (link)

….. I was surprised to learn of the premise of the film, until I learned that its producer also apparently questions the Holocaust. It is tempting to say that both claims are obscene nonsense, but I believe that does a disservice to the word nonsense.

Overall, I think hearing that Kate Mulgrew would ever indulge in such a point of view was upsetting but I think the record has been set straight. She was not aware of the details of the project. Now if only she stopped being so anti-abortionist. She would be Captain Janeway in real life!


A Misc. Post

It appears that Gene Simmons may now be in a personal war with Anonymous, the group responsible for several recent “Operation Payback” DDoS attacks against firms, corporations, and individuals engaging in anti-piracy activism.

Simmons, the lead singer for Kiss, had his websites and rendered inaccessible by Anonymous after encouraging other artist’s to take a stand against piracy. “Be litigious. Sue everybody. Take their homes, their cars. Don’t let anybody cross that line,” Simmons encouraged his peers.

But rather than shutting him up, the “Operation Payback” DDoS attack on his websites only made Simmons more angry and outspoken. The following post appeared earlier this week on

“Some of you may have heard a few popcorn farts re: our sites being threatened by hackers.

Our legal team and the FBI have been on the case and we have found a few, shall we say “adventurous” young people, who feel they are above the law.

And, as stated in my MIPCOM speech, we will sue their pants off.

First, they will be punished.

Second, they might find their little butts in jail, right next to someone who’s been there for years and is looking for a new girlfriend.

We will soon be printing their names and pictures.

We will find you.

You cannot hide.

Stay tuned”

None of those threats seemed to bother Anonymous, however, and the group promptly launched another DDoS attack on both of Simmons’s websites and rendered them inaccessible once again.

LOL!! What a prick!

According to India legal news reports in August 2010, the government of India is ready to make corporate donations to political parties more transparent. It is a known fact that political parties in India receive huge amounts as donations from corporate houses. However, funding political parties out of a company’s profit have been often subjected to criticism. This issue comes under greater scrutiny during the time of elections because prominent political parties in India overspend and violate the spending limits set by the Election Commission of India. Also, very little is done by these parties to improve or optimize the political funds they get from corporate houses.

In country with corruption deeply ingrained in our DNA, I doubt this would make even an iota of an impact!

  • Thought/request for the day : I am deeply in social network sites – facebook, twitter, digg, stumble, wordpress, slashdot, dailymile. Why oh why can’t these be connected to each other so that I don’t feel like I am ignoring or missing out on one of the sites? Does anyone know of a platform that I can use to monitor all of these sites?

Two men were tortured for more than a year inside the CIA’s secret prisons program. One committed suicide at Guantánamo Bay. Another was driven “psychotic” from interrogations.

These are the witnesses whose contradictory, fragmentary and internally inconsistent statements provide the bulk of the evidence against Abdul Rahim Mohammed Uthman, a detainee the Obama administration has designated for indefinite detention.

  • Wow…..This is freakishly cool!

  • These are amazing.

Click here to see more

Misc. Links & Videos

Last week an Indiana teen committed suicide thanks to merciless anti-gay bullying at his school. It stings that it’s from my home state, but it hurts more that this isn’t shocking. Gay teens are four times more likely to commit suicide, especially if they don’t live in urban areas. Which is why Dan Savage thought of this wonderful project:

I wish I could have talked to this kid for five minutes. I wish I could have told Billy that it gets better. I wish I could have told him that, however bad things were, however isolated and alone he was, it gets better.

  • Schrodinger’s Cat : Dead And Alive

More Misc Links

The quest to find my blogging bone continues. In the meantime here are some misc links :

  • Aliens vs Human Intelligence DNA Evolution Science Alien Contact Lifeforms Galaxy Universe SETI 2012
  • Here is an excellent ad. This is how all ads should be done :)


  • Pictures at an Exhibition – Stunning music with an amazing ending!
  • Well what do you know. Billy Idol still has it :)

Miscellaneous Stuff

  • 7 thoughts that are bad for you. I would have ignored this list as nonsense if it was not on
    1. Cynicism,
    2. Lack of Meaning,
    3. Fretting,
    4. Lack of Self-control,
    5. Anxiety,
    6. Gloom and Doom,
    7. Stress

Miscellaneous Stuff

  1. Indians happier than Americans and British…..Oh please!! What the hell are you talking about? Did you actually visit the millions and millions of destitute living in villages? I don’t believe this survey at all. I am pretty sure that it was done mostly in cities and not the villages.
  2. Leaving New York this weekend via LaGuardia airport I got the full brunt of the famous New York attitude. Every employee and every person at the airport was in a bad mood and I got lip from quite a few even though I had two large bags and a 6 year old to take care of…..
  3. This is just sad and naysayers say US does not need health care reform.
  4. Reason number 1,352 as to why Bill O’Reilly is a douche.
  5. I take ‘separating’ the trash very seriously as my family and friends would testify. And when the government started the Green Bin program (separate the organic trash from the rest), I have been diligently doing what was asked of me. So when I hear that my efforts are going to the dumps (literally), it makes me mad!!
  6. Some garbage workers at city transfer stations say they have routinely mixed green bin organics, which are supposed to be composted, with regular trash bound for Michigan dumps. The reason for this is that the green bin waste weighs more than regular garbage, and the extra tonnage is needed to get the Michigan-bound trucks up closer to their maximum weight.

  7. Apocalypse might be around the corner!!
  8. Yellowstone is a volcano, and not just any volcano. The oldest, most famous national park in the United States sits squarely atop one of the biggest volcanoes on Earth. Doane was wrong, however, in one crucial respect. Yellowstone’s volcano is not extinct. To an unsettling degree, it is very much alive……There are volcanoes, and then there are supervolcanoes…..The last three super-eruptions have been in Yellowstone itself. The most recent, 640,000 years ago, was a thousand times the size of the Mount St. Helens eruption in 1980, which killed 57 people in Washington. But numbers do not capture the full scope of the mayhem. Scientists calculate that the pillar of ash from the Yellowstone explosion rose some 100,000 feet, leaving a layer of debris across the West all the way to the Gulf of Mexico. Pyroclastic flows—dense, lethal fogs of ash, rocks, and gas, superheated to 1,470 degrees Fahrenheit—rolled across the landscape in towering gray clouds. The clouds filled entire valleys with hundreds of feet of material so hot and heavy that it welded itself like asphalt across the once verdant landscape.

Miscellaneous Stuff

Chocked with work for the past 3 days and my daughter’s flu is not helping me be my “cheery” self. Here are some miscellaneous stuff I found over the net in the past few days :

  • Universe exists because we exist. The gist of the article is that in this century, we are going to see a combination of physics (specifically the quantum side of it) with biology. The term coined by the authours is : Biocentrism.
  • No matter which logic one adopts, one has to come to terms with the fact that we are living in a very peculiar cosmos. Biocentrism fits very neatly into the late physicist John Wheeler’s participatory universe belief in which observers are required to bring the universe into existence. In short, you either have an astonishingly improbable coincidence revolving around the fact that the cosmos could have any properties but happens to have exactly the right ones for life, or else you have exactly what must be seen if indeed the cosmos is biocentric.

    The authour then went out to explain in great detail the interaction of quantum science and the philosophy of perceiving an object but he left out how exactly will…….

    ….aspects of biological and physical science which are currently insensible. Natural areas of biocentric research include the realm of brain-architecture, neuroscience, and the nature of consciousness itself.

    affect this new form of science? Maybe he has elaborated in greater detail in his book but I am not very comfortable with this theory. This seems and stinks of a new form of philosophy and not a new science. Anyway, that’s my take. What about you?

A Spanish bar is encouraging clients to insult its staff – and offering free drinks for original or hilarious abuse. “When you come in after work, you can say swear at them and call them bastard or imbecile,” said client Antonio Ossa.

I would go to this bar just to watch the patrons try their best to get a free drink!!!!

Honey Bees

A truly fascinating article :

How could bees of little brain come up with anything as complex as a dance language? The answer could lie not in biology but in six-dimensional math and the bizarre world of quantum mechanics.

Honeybees don’t have much in the way of brains. Their inch-long bodies hold at most a few million neurons. Yet with such meager mental machinery honeybees sustain one of the most intricate and explicit languages in the animal kingdom. In the darkness of the hive, bees manage to communicate the precise direction and distance of a newfound food source, and they do it all in the choreography of a dance. Scientists have known of the bee’s dance language for more than 70 years, and they have assembled a remarkably complete dictionary of its terms, but one fundamental question has stubbornly remained unanswered: How do they do it? How do these simple animals encode so much detailed information in such a varied language? Honeybees may not have much brain, by they do have a secret.

This secret has vexed Barbara Shipman, a mathematician at the University of Rochester, ever since she was a child. “I grew up thinking about bees,” she says. “My dad worked for the Department of Agriculture as a bee researcher. My brothers and I would stop at his office, and sometimes he would how show us the bees. I remember my father telling me about the honeybee’s dance when I was about nine years old. And in high school I wrote a paper on the medicinal benefits of honey.”

Shipman’s work concerned a set of geometric problems associated with an esoteric mathematical concept known as a flag manifold………..

Mathematicians like to examine different manifolds the way antiques dealers browse through curio shops–always exploring, always looking for unusual characteristics that expand their understanding of numbers or geometry………..

One day Shipman was busy projecting the six-dimensional residents of the flag manifold onto two dimensions. The particular technique she was using involved first making a two-dimensional outline of the six dimensions of the flag manifold. This is not as strange as it may sound. When you draw a circle, you are in effect making a two-dimensional outline of a three-dimensional sphere. As it turns out, if you make a two-dimensional outline of the six-dimensional flag manifold, you wind up with a hexagon. The bee’s honeycomb, of course, is also made up of hexagons, but that is purely coincidental. However, Shipman soon discovered a more explicit connection. She found a group of objects in the flag manifold that, when projected onto a two-dimensional hexagon, formed curves that reminded her of the bee’s recruitment dance.

Delving more deeply into the flag manifold, Shipman dredged up a variable, which she called alpha, that allowed her to reproduce the entire bee dance in all its parts and variations. Alpha determines the shape of the curves in the 6-D flag manifold, which means it also controls how those curves look when they are projected onto the 2-D hexagon…………..

Shipman is not, however, content to play Kepler. “You can look at this idea and say, `That’s a nice geometric description of the dance, very pretty,’ and leave it like that,” she says. “But there is more to it. When you have a physical phenomenon like the honeybee dance, and it follows a mathematical structure, you have to ask what are the physical laws that are causing it to happen.”

At this point Shipman departs from safely grounded scholarship and enters instead the airy realm of speculation. The flag manifold, she notes, in addition to providing mathematicians with pure joy, also happens to be useful to physicists in solving some of the mathematical problems that arise in dealing with quarks, tiny particles that are the building blocks of protons and neutrons. And she does not believe the manifold’s presence both in the mathematics of quarks and in the dance of honeybees is a coincidence. Rather she suspects that the bees are somehow sensitive to what’s going on in the quantum world of quarks, that quantum mechanics is as important to their perception of the world as sight, sound, and smell.

Isn’t that awesome!!!! Bees, might be sensitive to quantum mechanics!!! I know it’s just a theory at the moment but the mathematics supports the theory so I am hopeful we would learn a lot from our little companions.

Having said that, this is not a good piece of news :

For some time now, honeybees have been disappearing from farmers’ hives without a trace. Dr. Mae-Wan Ho and Prof. Joe Cummins on the trail of possible culprits …

The mystery of disappearing honeybees is far from solved. The greatest suspects so far are pesticides and radiation from mobile phone base stations. However, it is likely that sub-lethal effects due to GM crops, mites infestations and other factors which alter the bees’ behaviour, affect their memory and learning process or compromise their health and immunity will all have a role to play.

Now I feel really guilty about the small budding bee hive that I have to knock down in my front porch. But I gotta do it before my 5 year old becomes interested in it and pokes her finger into the hive.

Miscellaneous Stuff

Apologies for not posting……been a crazy week. Here are a few miscellaneous links.

1) Total bias by the judges in the trial against The Pirate Bay. I have no idea what the procesution expects from shutting down TPB. I mean, shutting down Napster a few years ago did not really block music proliferation on the internet.

2) Total smackdown of “Marijuana is gateway to hard drugs” argument by a sitting congressman!!!

3) Ghostbusters fans, cross your fingers!!!!

4) Rush Limbaugh is still an asshole.

5) Sanity prevails in India after Congress is re-elected to a second term.

6) Hard truths of life.