Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Cooking made easy

What I like and hate about being Africa is that I need to cook my own dinner. The only time I cooked during the last five years is only during the days I had been in Africa. Sometimes It just dawns on me how easy it is to cook. While on the other days, its such a big pain.

My usual cooking include Mashed potatoes, fried rice, cooked corn, parotta, pulao etc. If any one wants a few tutorials on these please do let me know. I can do the needful. But to make parotta and pulao you need the ready made stuff and don't expect me to tell you how to make from flour and plain rice. Thank to these Indian packets like Gits ready meals and Amma's brand even I am a 'good' cook. :D

But then after a couple of days of cooking now my mind keeps on reminding me that I need to get back home quick and get a serving of my amma's puttu.

Monday, January 30, 2012

locally unknown impending oil 'crisis' and a simple solution

Its ironical that you find out certain details about your own country from foreigners. Yesterday when travelling I picked up the Khaleej Times to kill some time and I found this article about a possible oil crisis in Sri Lanka in the even of US sanctions on Iran. You can read the full article by  clicking here

I have no idea how true this is but if the facts are true it seems as if its a bit of a major threat and our arms might be twisted due to this weakness. Having a not updated 60's built oil refinery made for a specific type of Iranian oil might sound very surprising for  foreigners, but for we Sri Lankan's, when did we speak about contingency plans and come have a look we have even barely updated train systems built in the 30's, still life goes on.

Plus the journalist has made a mistake by assuming that increasing the oil prices will create a crisis, you got it wrong as long as the cricket team can keep on winning matches it will not create a crisis. So we need to find the formula to win matches and the solution is we need to find the next Murali to solve the oil crisis.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

My day and Chak de India!

Some of these long haul flights gives a lot time in absolute solitude. Its usually books, contemplating and in very unique cases films. I am still stuck with Steve Job's autobiography, where as usually I somehow manage to finish books, this one I had been reading for the last 4 weeks or even more.

So during the first leg of the flight I was in a confuse state of mind on which phone to buy, so didn't feel like reading. After an hour of analysis I told myself I don't need a phone and specially one which would cost a lot of my savings. Thought about the priorities and the idea of buying the galaxy note disappeared in to the foot note of priorities. Then I switched on the entertainment system to find a bit old Hindi movie "Chakde India". It was predictable but the acting and script could spur some very internal emotion even for a non Indian.

I couldn't stop imagining the challenge a Indian Muslim sports men could face in the face of making an error in a game against India. For some reason I remembered Azarudhin while watching the movie, but probably his case was different. It was one of those Indian movies which was not theme on love and heroism. Better later than never, so I am happy that I accidentally bumped into a good movie.

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

Saturday, January 28, 2012


In recent times Vijai movie's had all been of the same mold.  Out of his movies, Gilli was the last one I liked and there after haven't had a movie of my taste. The stories had become all too predictable and hence I was waiting to watch Nanban to see whether if Shankar has changed or whether if Vijai has changed. To my surprise seems as if both had changed, Vijai has acted in the movie and Shankar hasn't had much directorial work on it. Never expected him to do a frame by frame remake of "Three Idiots", but he has.

Out of the handful of Hindi movies which I watched "Three idiots" was one of it. Hence watching a frame by frame remake of it was pretty boring, I was wondering why they didn't just dub the Hindi version and release it in Tamil, instead of going through the pain of recreating this again.

Any way as Vimal pointed out, if probably you watch this without having watched the Hindi movie earlier I might have liked it. Anyway it was nice to see such a big crowd of Tamil movie stars in the same film.

Friday, January 27, 2012

confused me, in a confusing world

This world is inherently very confusing. People talk about rationale, being logical, having common sense, etc.. but in real life when it comes to day to day activities most of it is thrown out of the window. These things are beyond explanation and only a human brain can allow us to deceive ones own mind and make us believe that what we had done is right.

For example when we are in a bus we wait for the conductor to give us the 2 rupee balance and if that's not given we feel that he has cheated us, but when we go travel on taxi's we would not only get pay many times more than that as fee and at times end up adding a tip on top of that.

Also take for instance we would go to the market and argue with the vegetable seller on the price to deduct to make a saving but when we walk in to a super market even though the price is clearly marked up we would buy it without remembering how much is being 'stolen' from our pockets.

In certain other things we loose sight of the purpose, one such example is women wearing heals. The main purpose of footwear is to be worn for the safety of the foot. But you would see women wear these tall heals and very often get their ankle twisted or complain that they cannot walk too far because of it. When you say that the purpose of footwear is lost, usually you would hear a whole lot of abuse and be named as a chauvinistic pig.

Its not just at individual level, even at international level the confusion continues to live. Nations which at the outset seems to be at logger heads with each other are usually the nations who are at the top of the list in foreign exports between the two countries.

Westerners (specially the ones who had gone to a western country for a few years) at times complain that in the 3rd world people eat food with hands, while KFC's slogan goes as "finger licking good".

The world is a paradox!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Video of the day

The video above is an illustration of one of the best documented sociology experiments. It teaches us a lot of important lessons. For me it most importantly highlights the fact that what ever product or service should be given to a place where there is a burning need. Secondly it also highlights when things are given free it doesn't have value. Thirdly the importance of creating a pom and pageant to create value. hmmmmm

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Revolution - next release

Exactly an year back from today I hurried back to my hotel and switched on the computer to find out what was the latest from Tahrir square. It was to find out what has happened to the revolution, Hosni Mubrak and wondering who was going to take over the governance.

The international news channels were beaming news and glorifying the Egyptian military and ironically it appeared that people were pushing the military to take up the power, while the military were reluctant to take it up. For me the trust on the military by the people seemed to be blind, but it appeared that the people of Egypt had unconditional trust about the military and them forming the caretaker government. I usually never trust people who carry arms to exert power and influence on others. For me its seemed so weird that probably for the first time in history a peoples revolution takes power from one dictator and gave it to the military.

Now an election has been held, but things hadn't been up to the expectations. Chaos still seems to be the order of the day and military doesn't want to now step out of limelight and play second fiddle. So seems like revolution 3.0 might be needed to take this power and pass it to another dictator ;) The lesson is that power is a very dangerous thing and when you get used to it you cannot live without it. So be careful even giving temporary powers to people. People go to different level to somehow hold on to power and the military seems to be the best example - I meant the Egyptian one.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Experimenting on what people remember

In recent times when I do sessions to groups of people. I am experimenting by throwing random surprise questions. I expect answers from what comes on top of their mind. Interestingly these questions  seems to unearth some interesting facts which are at the level of sub conscious mind. 

For example, when I asked the question tell me what was the last lecture you attended at the university? I haven't still come across a single person who could answer that question. Most of the people were left kicking their heals on trying to recall the last lecture that they had attended. They can remember only a few lectures they had attended to, in most cases those were exceptional lectures which had an element of surprise or the lecturer had narrated it in a memorable fashion leaving a lasting memory. 

Another question I asked was on, what is the last movie you watched? It was a surprise, where a lot of people unintentionally lied to this question, they told the movie which had left a lasting memory than the actual movie they watched last. Its again the case where we forget about a lot of movies we watch since they are without a substance or a story. 

Another question was to ask audience which slide they remember from a presentation that was done 10 minutes ago. People mostly remembered the crazy slides or the visually appealing ones which went with the story. 

You guys also to try these questions on different people, I assure you that its interesting. btw now I have come to the age old conclusion that to have a lasting memory we need to have a story and element of surprise. Food for thought for all presenters. 

Monday, January 23, 2012

7am Arivu

Recently I got the time to watch the movie '7 am arivu'. I was pretty impressed with the starting sequence set in the 5th century. For this part the direction, cinematography and acting standards were all much above the usual standards set by similar Tamil films. But unfortunately for me the film couldn't keep up such momentum through out the movie and the rest of the script was fluctuating in standard. Specially the scene where the Chinese meet and decide to send Don Lee on the mission to India was hopeless. The acting was substandard and it looked all too artificial.

I liked Surya's acting right through out the movie, it really showed that he has really worked hard for the movie and Shruthi's (I mean JK's) acting was also fluctuating just like the script. In certain parts she stood and on certain frames she showed that she was a new comer. Certain fight scenes reminded me of Jackie Chan's movie and in fights Don Lee clearly stood out and his quality of exhibition was a few notches above Surya's - but to be fair by Surya he has done something better than any other present day Tamil actor could have done.

For me it was an ok movie; after hearing a lot of hype about it, I probably went in with too much expectations and couldn't find that 'wow' factor after the first 30 mins.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Does Dr. Kalam know his mission here?

Let me first put this in to perspective, I am a huge follower of Dr. Abdul Kalam. After reading his books and listening to some of this speeches like millions of others he is a role model for me. He is a big source of inspiration and one of the reasons for me to have respect towards India as a nation, is because people like Kalam, Gandhi, Swami Vivekananda and AR Rahman call/called it their home.

Secondly I do not believe that this Tri lingual initiative is any kind of solution to the problem at hand. I am a firm believer that English language can only be the most practicable bridge between the two communities and lets make English language learning a compulsory exercise and draw up a 10 year plan for that. I do not see real incentives for people to learn each others language and in the scheme of life, when you look among the priorities, for a Sinhalese to learn Tamil is a very low priority thing and for a Tamil living in a Tamil area learning Sinhala is a low priority thing. Do not take my word wrong, but for argument sake even if you assume that majority of the people in both communities like to learn each others language; when it comes to priorities among thousand other things this would always remain a "liking" and would not make much progress as it has been the same way for more than 50 years. I already stirred the pot on the same topic some time back  you can read it here

So when the news articles said Dr. Kalam was here to kick start the tri lingual initiative I was curious to study his opinion and perspective on how this could be the solution. Hence I googled to find his explanation. I came across an email interview he has given to The Hindu (click here to read the interview). Quoting from it,

How significant is the ‘Trilingual Initiative' and what kind of a change do you think it can bring about in Sri Lanka ?

Abdul Kalam: This initiative has to be a start for inclusive growth in Sri Lanka. This initiative will enable the students to learn their subjects better in their mother tongue. For example, I learnt in my mother tongue, Tamil up to tenth class. Also, it can bring cultural and civilisational unity. Above all, the individual languages can enrich each other.

Sir, I guess you had got this wrong. Unlike in present day India, we can and most of us already study the subjects in our mother tongue, this initiative doesn't have anything to do with giving an opportunity for students to learn subjects in mother tongue. Its supposed to be an initiative to encourage people to learn the 'other' communities language. Sir the issue here is we have given little prominence to English hence we do not have a common medium of communication between the two communities at grass root level. Just get people to learn two languages (Their mother tongue and English) and we do not need three.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Better cross at the pedestrian crossing

Day before yesterday while I was getting down from the bus at Nawaloka, there was this dude who got down from the bus and hurriedly started to walk across the road and another guy screamed and said "innava innava". For moment I thought they were a couple of thieves and then I turned to see the cops were standing on the other side of the road and issuing tickets for those who were accused of 'jaywalking". 

Later I got to know that one of my colleagues also has received the ticket while he was 'crossing' the road while 'flowering' on the phone. Apparently they had taken down all the details and ordered him to attend a training session on pedestrian rules on Sunday and in case if he doesn't attend it he would be issued summons by the courts for the 'crime'. 

I am pretty lucky that I has not been picked up (still), but looks as if it will be a matter of time. So in order to find out about the law and possible punishments in Sri Lanka with respect to jay walking I tried Google and couldn't find out any detail. A friend said that the rule is that if there is a crossing within 50 meters of the place you are attempting cross, you can be issued a ticket. Not quiet sure, but any one know this rule please do share it with all the others. Seems like I deserve to be in one of the 'training'.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Mr. Sankarakumaran

A few days before I went to pay my last respects to late Mr. Sankarakumaran. I couldn't stop remembering the conversations I was lucky enough to have with him. Mr and Mrs Sankarakumaran are my good luck charm for the exams. There is this striking  correlation between my successful exams results and the admission cards signed by him. Usually when an exam is around I do not feel like talking to people or meeting people, but I visit their home with a lot of enthusiasm before the exam to get the admission card signed and most importantly get that magical calming effect on me.

He always manages to inspire me and calm me down. Ayya and Amma would always come up to the door to receive. I always made it a habit to offer my hand so he can hold on to me to while we walk up to the table, the touch of his feathery delicate hand is a feeling which I will always fondly recall.  At the table while he systematically takes out his seal and tries it on a rough piece of paper, I get to listen to him talk on various topics which spans from politics, sports, school, history and most importantly his youthful days. The topics are always different and I always feel very lucky to get a private audience with the people of the caliber of him and Amma. I had a lot to learn from their simplicity and humbleness. I just realize that how lucky I had been.

Last Monday I felt that someone should have documented at least some of his stories and regretted the fact that I never thought about it before. Today I was pleasantly surprised when I bounced in to http://iam.lk/ and saw that the site already has a post about him with a montage and four audio recordings. Mr. Sankarakumaran's page is at http://iam.lk/the-guarantee-shroff/ . Iam.lk is an excellent initiative, they deserve a lot of accolades for this. Although he is no longer with us they had managed to capture and hold some minutes from his life for all of us to replay and relive.

RIP Sir.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A fan of meter taxi

In recent days the roads of Colombo is full of metered three wheeler's aka tuk tuk . At least for now it seems a pretty decent service and eliminates the need to bargain with the taxi drivers and most importantly avoids the very uneasy feeling of leading a life wondering whether you had been cheated again!

The introduction of metered taxi has now given a chance to just relax and pay what the meter shows. As of now first Kilometer costs 50 Rs and each subsequent kilo meter is supposed to be 35 Rs (or did he say 30, bit confused). For each minute where the three wheeler is in stand still during the journey it adds in an extra 1.50 Rs charge.

Today interestingly I found that for places which I paid 150 Rs for the journey before, now I had to pay only 100 Rs or 120 Rs. For example a ride from Nawam Mawatha to Union place costed 110 Rs, where as earlier it was 150 Rs. A ride along Marine drive for a distance of 2.8 Kilometer costed 100 Rs which was also 150 earlier.

Three things that we might have to be cautious to make sure it continues in the same standard,

1. Hope they don't start showing us around the whole of Colombo when we do not know the path.
2. Hope they don't start tampering with the meter.
3. Hope they don't become like the Indian drivers who demand "meter ikku mela" - which when translated reads as "price above the meter".

Sincerely hope that our guys do not become creative on this!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Talking to animals

Today while I was walking back to office after taking my lunch, there was a crow seated on one of the hand rails on the entrance to the railway station and it was crowing loudly. First I stared at it and the crowing got louder. The old instincts got the better out of me and spontaneously I wriggled my face and brought out the voice to crow back at it and said "what do you want". For a moment I forgot that I am at a public place and never expected anyone to see my act, but when I lifted my head to see the railway station guard staring at me. I just couldn't do anything than to just walk away as if nothing happened. Now I just pray that when I go for lunch tomorrow I do not bounce in to this person or even better if he cannot remember my face.

When this happened I just realized that I have had this habit from childhood.Starting from imitating the cukoos and making them scream continuously to the days in which I talk to the cats at home, I've been doing a lot of talking to animals. While schooling, I am usually the last to leave home. My list of activities in the morning was to leave our cat outside and lock all the doors, switch all the lights off and then leave home. The cat was an absolute brat, specially on rainy days she hates to be outside. So its always a struggle in the morning to leave her outside. So I got in to the habit of taking her outside the house, leave her food there and then spend some time playing with her so that she gets comfortable in the 'new' environment and then leave her by saying a nice bye to her. It became a routine such that the bye was a firm verbal bye synchronous with a wave - being said to a cat. I know its weird but then some habits are uninterpreted. On one fine morning I went through this routine and waved a big hearty big to the cat and to my utter surprise our two neighbor akkas' were on the way to school and had seen me wave bye through the gate and replied back to me with a bye - they assumed it was for them. I was utterly shocked and to cover my embarrassment I ran inside the house and didn't look back. Up to that point I would go to their home speak to teacher, sir and the ayyas but seldom spoke to the two akkas, I was at the age in which we boy school kids go through this mind set of being; scared of any girl.

Unfortunately for me on the next day the story was out that I had waved bye to them and ran away shyly. So all of them joined in to bully me saying that I waved bye and now not accepting it. When I said I waved bye to the cat no one was willing to buy that story. Although once bitten, weirdly the habit has continued and still at times the old instincts come back and you feel like looking at the animal's eye and speak to it - which I repeated today. I do not know whether other people too go through this syndrome or is it only me. Even if its only me I am sure I would do this again. Its one of the beautiful things in life.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Dangerous precedence

First China banned Google and a few sites and last week the Delhi High court warned that like China, they could also ban a list of sites including Google and Facebook unless they implemented filters so that users cannot post 'offending' material. On the other hand Obama administration was under pressure to enforce online privacy  and piracy regulations - although for now it seems as if it has taken the side of the Silicon valley giants and declared that it would not fiddle with the architecture of the web.

This prompted Rupert Murdoch to tweet,
"So Obama has thrown in his lot withSilicon Valley paymasters who threaten all software creators with piracy, plain thievery"

As it stands now the approach of the governments and the web sites stand on two extremes and a collision course is clearly visible. On one hand sites like facebook, gives little care about users privacy and treats its users as if they are guinea pigs and they had signed up for the worlds biggest sociology experiment. While on the other hand some regimes use this as an excuse and implement their own agenda of suppressing the freedom of expression.

I largely support the concept of an open web. But I support regulating the web on privacy, piracy, intimidation, black mailing, child pornography, but not certainly in to the idea of blocking off sites like Google and Yahoo. How can I do my job without Google - I need to find another profession :D

Sunday, January 15, 2012

YIT Site

After a few weeks of delay got a beta version of the YIT site out [http://yarlithub.org ]. Thanks to bootstrap after a few hours of work could get a few web pages running. Its responsive design too ;) - Ok with a few bugs :D

Implemented JKs concept of banners. The picture selection and the concept all came from him. If I am not mistaken the apple commercial think different inspired him. I haven't done justice to the concept - but till a graphics designer's Midas touch is needed to make it all complete!

Everyone was saying that we need to get something up and running by Thai pongal - so with a few bugs posted it to see what the feedback is.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Responsive wed design using bootsrap

From the time I wrote the blog post on responsive web design I had been  looking for a neat library which supports responsive web design. Today while I was searching around I found that the next release of bootstrap is being developed to have responsive design support.

Quoting from the documentation,

What they do:  Media queries allow for custom CSS based on a number of conditions—ratios, widths, display type, etc—but usually focuses around min-width and max-width.

Modify the width of column in our grid
Stack elements instead of float wherever necessary
Resize headings and text to be more appropriate for devices

Since this is not in the release version as of now I would have to use the in development version which can be found as a branch on the github, https://github.com/twitter/bootstrap/tree/2.0-wip

Those who want to give it a try might be interested in playing around with it. I had decided that YIT web site is going to be a responsive design ;) Lets see!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Butterfly effect

When I watched the movie thasavatharam few years back I was not a fan of the butterfly effect. The movie was good, but the theory was not something that impressed me. The theory speaks about seemingly unrelated events being influential on other future events. The exaggeration used in the movie spoke about weird explanation for the cause of tsunami and a flattering of a butterflies wings causing some other disaster in a another corner of the planet.

Being a person who things that most of the things that happens around us are things that can be controlled by design except the 'acts of god'.

Anyway this movie has left this pattern in the mind. Now I had become a student of this pattern, I try to observe seemingly unrelated events impacting on my life and others lives. I have plenty of examples and explanation but the correlation index that I know in statistics is thrown out of the equation. But certain times I feel that when I cannot explain incidents I am trying to relate it to butterfly effect and loosing the science of things. What I realize is that butterfly effect would exists in this uncertain world but agility is the key to exploit it. Would be interesting to see how many people honestly believe butterfly effect.

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Gadget ecosystems - Keep it open?!

Apple first started building a device ecosystem. We saw a trend where people were slowly buying more and more products from apple once they had got their first one. In most cases, people who started with an ipod, moved to iphone, then bought the mac followed by the ipad (looks like iTV might be the next). What ever said and done one of the reason was that they connected and worked together well. Seems like now everyone wants to follow suit, gadget ecosystem has been the theme at CES 2012.

While the minority pushes it to be an open system majority wants to keep it a closed system, rather i meant while the major gadget vendors wants to have it closed, small time vendors are pushing for an open inter operable device ecosystem. But this time signs seems to be ominous, seems as if customers might be the looser on this new trend. Seems like consumers would eventually get in to vendor lock when buying devices. It would be interesting to see this race on whether the consumers power will thrive or whether if manufacturers power would thrive.

I will do my little by pushing to have a open inter operable gadget ecosystem by buying devices which will work with many of the others - I do this not because I am committed to this cause but because I always pick the most cheapest choice when buying any of this.  :D Building ecosystem seems to be the newest mantra for all technological companies - we are bound to hear more about them over the next few years given that the mayan calendar has a bug and Iran and US doesn't throw nuclear bombs at each other!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Pokhara lake

More from panorama series - the picture of Pokhara lake, Nepal as seen from Sarankot. A para gliders paradise. In the afternoons the whole of this area is studded with para gliders. One of the things I was not brave enough to try. Now at times feel that should have tried it.

Pokhara lake as seen from Sarankot

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Back with panaroma craze

I love to take panorama pictures. I exploited the panorama picture to the level in which it stopped working. Now current camera has panorama but the stitching done using software. Unfortunately for me I lost the CD with the software and all the panoroma pictures that I took for more than an year was in my camera. Last weekend I was cleaning up my room and found the CD! So now, you would have to bear with me as I would continue to post an year of panorama. Starting with the Annapoorna range of Himalayas today.

Annapoorna range in Himalayas

Monday, January 9, 2012

Cold Nights, Fans, Closed Rooms

On a chill December night travelling while the trained swayed its way through the tunnels of Kadugannawa one could feel the cold wind hitting with such power sending a shrill through the spine. The wind comes in occasional strikes and when the peacefulness sets in momentarily the croaky old fan was doing its part to make it even more colder. 

This reminded me of a discussion we had exactly an year before as soon we checked in to a small back packer joint in Katmandu, where one of the guys wanted to keep the fan on while the temperature was around 6 degrees (to put this in to context we had just arrived in Nepal without knowing how cold it will be and of course without any winter clothes) . The best part of the story was the he used physics theories which sounded perfectly logical to build the hypothesis why having a fan switched on in a closed room will eventually make the room warmer. The other two of us found that it was not the time to discuss physics but to somehow counter the immediate shivering pleaded to switch off the fan.

Funnily out of curiosity I Googled to find whether the physics explanation was right. Instead of ending up with an answer for the question I ended up reading about an interesting Korean myth on electric fans! 

"Fan death is a widely held belief in South Korea that an electric fan left running overnight in a closed room can cause the death of those inside. Fans sold in Korea are equipped with a timer switch that turns them off after a set number of minutes, which users are frequently urged to set when going to sleep with a fan on." [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fan_death]

I am now wondering whether if that explanation is correct!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Ragging menace - Zero tolerance the only way out

Being a Peradeniya University Alumnus reading articles of this sort http://sundaytimes.lk/120108/News/nws_18.html makes me cringe in shame.  It has been repeating over and over again and I wonder how many more lives we need to loose before people realize the severity of ragging.

I see two major factors for this menace. First factor is that ragging is the way of controlling and building a political base for certain parties. Just like the sheep to the slaughter university entrants even before courses start are systematically roped in to the ragging cult in the guise of guidance and support from the seniors. By portraying university as too big a place where a student cannot survive by him or herself these people break the confidence and the self belief of the new comers and make them rely on the seniors. Ironically most of these senior leaders cannot get through their own exams and even after four years you would see them sitting for papers. But then at this point of time due to the sheer fear psychosis they create about the system the students just surrender themselves to the senior 'butcher'. The ultimate winners in this game our the political cronies at the university and of course the losers are the students. I personally know a lot of students who entered university left after four year with their self confidence shattered, deeply frustrated and with a tainted mind. Wonder whether this is what they refer as building personalities through ragging?

The second factor is that a lot of university dons and the earlier generation who have a strong belief that a diluted version of the ragging should exist. They proudly claim that their university life is studded with interesting incidence of mild ragging and how it helped them to create life long bonds. For me this belief is very much similar to the  the urban myth that "frogs fall from sky", ragging is not the only reason which has created bonding between people, for god sake come out of the dilution and remember that over the years ragging has been the main reason the deaths at our university and we are not doing anything to stop it from happening again by being paranoid about a non-existent good side of ragging.

As per the broken window hypothesis, a small disorder invites even more disorder. A small deviation from the norm has set in a cascading effect of social epidemic, which is ragging in this instance. Take the bull by the horn and make it zero tolerance in word and deed, if you honestly believe that we should not loose another life to this social menace.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Mayakam Enna

Watched Mayakkam enna today. I should say that the second half of the movie left me spell bound. Specially the scenes after "Nan Sonnathum Mallai vanthicha" song were amazing. The acting by Dhanush and Richa in those scenes are extraordinary. It made me feel that Dhanush does deserve the national award. Selvaragavan's touch was brilliant in the climax scenes, specially the abortion scene would make any heart sink.

The only issue that I had with the movie was the first half, it just rolled on without much substance. The script of trying to portray modern society full of meaningless drunkenness and dating seemed to be the main purpose of the first 45 minutes. When Selvaragavan did the complication of the modern 'love' complications in '7G rainbow Colony' it did generate sympathy, but this didn't.

Anyway the main messages of the movie and the ending were really good. Most importantly the cinematography to fit the story of a photographer was done aptly. It's worth watching, but in my rankings Selvaragavan's  '7G rainbow colony' and 'Aayirathil Ooruvan' ranks slightly ahead of this. But I should say slightly.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Best of 2011

A lot of bloggers including JK has been posting on the best of 2011. A listing of their own favorites from the year.  Taking a cue from them I am listing my own favorite films, book and songs released in 2011.

Best Book I read in 2011 - Undoubtedly was "Tuesdays with Morrie" - A classic book which inspired me with the idea of a Jaffna based IT initiative. Now taking shape as YIT. If not for this book, I would have had a tough time selecting one since I read, Blink, Siddhartha and death by meeting in 2011. You can find my complete book list at http://www.linkedin.com/osview/canvas?_ch_page_id=1&_ch_panel_id=1&_ch_app_id=20&_applicationId=1700&appParams=%7B%22view%22%3A%22readingList%22%2C%22offset%22%3A%220%22%2C%22uid%22%3A%22QchZYPq3z8%22%7D&_ownerId=42372945&completeUrlHash=Mlqt

Best Film I watched in 2011 - Out of the films I watched in 2011, the best for me was Theiva thirumagal. Probably it was the year with the least number of interesting films. Out of what was released I had not still watched 7 am arivu and Mayakkam Enna. So they are not in contention for the best film ;)

The Best Song of 2011 - Ennena Seidhom from Mayakkam Enna. Probably one of the best songs I had heard in recent times. But for some strange reason it has got buried in the noise of other songs. I haven't heard others comment about this song, but for me its the best.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Yarl IT Hub - School Management System Project

There is a need in our schools to have a web based school management system. So that they could efficiently manage the school with the help of technology. Schools wish to have a school management system which fits the model of our schools and is free or affordable to them. In the quest to find an appropriate open source solution we came across  Open SIS.

We found that, it was an excellent solution but as it is, it does not fit in to the model of our schools. So the YIT community decided to create a fork of open sis and do ySchool or yit-School ( both names are being considered ) as an open source project. The main purpose will be to customize the code base and integrate with other learning related open source projects and create an open source product suitable to be freely used by schools in Jaffna or for that matter schools in developing countries.

We now have a set of  people from the industry who are willing to volunteer and do some real work on this. As a first step the project has been set up on GIT Hub and open SIS code base has been forked in to be used as the starting point.

The project is in PHP, all PHP enthusiasts and those interested in contributing to build a software which will positively influence the lives of the students join as at https://github.com/Yarl-IT-Hub/ySchool. Its also an opportunity to experience the joy of working on an open source project on GIT Hub, which is the social network for the geeks. Those who wish to contribute on this project please contact any of our team members via GIT Hub or join the group on http://groups.google.com/group/yschool?hl=en

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Other's ideas

A few months back I was talking to a friend of mine and he was complaining that his boss has this weird habit of proclaiming others ideas as his own. So he used a classic metaphor to explain how things happen, story goes like this one day he ate at a certain new restaurant and was impressed with the food they served. So he came back and told his boss that the restaurant there serves good food and to give it a try. The boss berets him and says, you shouldn't be eating at such places its not hygiene. After a few weeks all of a sudden boss comes and tells him, "you should try the restaurant around the corner - its really good and clean"!

He told me this story to explain how things usually happen's at his work place. Then day before yesterday I was reading Steve Job's biography and it has a similar example explained, where apparently Steve Job's has had the same habit.

Seems like this happen's everywhere and following seems to be some of the common explanations,

1. You are seriously into stealing ideas or
2. It just dawns on you that its a good idea only on post processing or
3. You fall in love with the idea on post processing and get passionately attached to it and start living it.

Irrespective of which reason it falls into it, as per normal human psychological interpretation by a layman like me I felt credit should be given where it is due to create a sustainable inflow of such creative ideas, but on the contrary - How did it work for Steve if he was so bad?! Interesting, certain things, specially how human mind works cannot be interpreted by reading a book. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Story of the dead trees

There is this 'friend' of mine who has peculiar habit of taking pictures of dead trees ( I called it காஞ்ச மரம் , but I am being told that it should be called as பட்ட மரம்  ). The person in question would grab someones camera and run to take the pictures of trees. Out of curiosity today I asked why that person likes dead trees so much, I was given a lengthy explanation about it, I am listing the highlights of the explanation on chat.

v: i feel those trees have a lot to tell
me: like?
v: they have faced so much in life happiness sad, frustrations and satisfactions
me: oh
v: and so on and they r still beautiful to me even though they dont have leaves , fruits
v: oooo
v: i feel like they still enjoy, like dancing. Since they don't have the leaves with them u can see the actual body of the tree. When you take o photos of the tree with the sky you can see how beautiful it is
and the truth is that. I some time feel like our dancing god -nadaraja
பட்ட மரம்
கலைந்த கூந்தல்
தூக்கிய பாதம்
விரிந்த கைகள்
me: wow
v: and one more info
v:  முடிவுக்கு தயாராகும் வேளையிலும் அவை வானத்தை பார்த்து சிரித்த படி
பூமியில் ஊன்றியபடி .....simply brave and happy!

I am wondering "ஒரு பட்ட மரத்தில இந்த அளவு லாஜிக் இருக்கா?"
all rights of the above chat are reserved by v! posted with permission from v.

Monday, January 2, 2012

The Kolaveri debate

Kolaiveri craze doesn't seem to cease. Now it has triggered a clash of opinions and 'intellectual' discussion about it. AR Rahman has apparently compared it to Macarena and Jai Ho.

Today I bumped in to a Jaffna version of Kolaveri. Its very impressive. I like the lyrics, set up, singing and the video.

Just the day before Vimal on his blog posted a hilarious 'attack' on Kolaveri. I had a good laugh about it.

After reading the posts on blog-sphere, facebook, this song on youtube and twitter. I was thinking about the sentiments being expressed about this song, its meaning and accusations of perverting Tamil language, etc. Guys, give them a break, almost all the 'Tamil' movies, TV stations and radio channels are 'murdering' Tamil, to be honest this song is a bit better. You need to be happy that its an English song which uses a bit of Tamil. Its the English who should be angry for 'killing' the English grammar. Lets just chill a bit and have a good laugh.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Yarl IT Hub Logo

The voting for Yarl IT Hub logo ended at midnight yesterday and after a very close competition among more than 20 excellent logo's. Kajan Madrasmail's creation got the most number of 'LIKES' from the community to be declared as Yarl IT Hub's logo.

The winning design by Kajan Madrasmail - Declared YIT's logo

Among the logo's which were in the competition the following gave a good run for the winner, all of which deserve alot of credit and applause. Listed below are some of the other popular candidate logo's in random order.

Design by Shakir Ahamed 

Design by Dhananjeyan Balaretnaraja

Design by Mehalai Thillakan

Design by Mathuvathanan Mounasamy

Design by Indi Samarajiva

Design by Gowri Ananthan

Design by Vimalaharan Paskarasundaram

Design by Roshni Fernando

Design by Gayathiry Arulanantham

Design by Vijayaratha Vijayasingam

Design by Bavananthan Nithiananthan