Sunday, August 31, 2008

recursion in blogs?

i have always been impressed with the ingeniuty of the poet who had composed a song in tamil - that wonders how others wrote songs..
even without a main theme or plot, just talking about the lack of a plot could make a story or a blog post.

though i get many ideas to write about, they seem to vanish the moment i sit down to post. add to that the travel and slightly chaotic schedules, it is becoming difficult to maintain a regular frequency.

when i decided to write this post - so that the gap between two posts is not very long -- assuming that you find it worthwhile to read my posts occasionally -- the problem was what can i blog about today.

as i wait for the rain ourside to subside - to go out, there is a rush of ideas
- the beijing olympics?
-- talk of the winners and the ways of the winners?
-- talk of the infrastructure and the arrangements?
-- discuss the preparations and the fitness levels of the comnpetitors - and feeling guilty at not keeping fit..

- the damage caused by the kosi
-- how unpredictable nature is and the futility of considering modern development as a solution to growth

- the recent book i read
-- lean brain management: that says using less intelligence on the normal activities will free up so much intelligence that it can go and perfect itself

etc etc etc
but then, a blog is not a random list. well, it can be at times. i have also created such lists.
but then, it has to be at teh spur of the moment,

if it is very contemplated, i guess it would be a book.

so, as i wonder what to blog about and how to say it, it has beome a topic for this blog.

as i remember reading in one of my early programming books:
- to iterate is good; but to recurse is divine...

Friday, August 15, 2008

Plastic Palms of Puducheri

Give time a break - say the hoardings, inviting people to come to Pondicherry.

after a long time, i took a very short break from chennai - and went to pondicherry, by bus.
i have been visiting pondicherry for many years - i can remember a visit almost 40 years ago, with my dad.
this time, as i was also going there alone - the last few times have been rushed drives in half a day - i decided to relive some of my old routines..

i was lucky to get some standing space, said the good hearted conductor, as it was a saturday afternoon - who, for some reason, took pity on me and offered his seat whenever he was moving inside to issue tickets etc - and ensured that the seat next to him was for me, when that passenger got off along the way.

like a walk along the beach after breakfast and a brief stop at the public library to catch up with all the newspapers..

a lot has changed.
from a sleepy little town - that one could walk all around in less than an hour, it has become a city and has expanded in all directions..
i could see many new hotels and restaurants including boutique hotels - such as the ones on the beach road, including a yoga therapy center.
some of the other hotel chains - such as GRT and Ginger also have established their presence.

the old trishaws are not to be seen at all. they have given way to the share autos and buses even for travel from the city to the new bus stand.

the old bus stand and the train station are still intact, though the bus stand is not used.

i do not have any complaints against development - but feel that some old things need not change and surely there is no need to make everything modern - like the plastic palms for street lights!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Is energy sustainable?

I read a book called 'Keeping the lights on - Towards Sustainable Electricity', by Walt patterson.
[also on my shelfari bookshelf]

written in a simple language, it discusses various 'myths' related to sustainable energy and proposes an argument about changing the way we look at energy.
among other things, his main points are:
  • energy is only used and not consumed.
  • since energy can never be created or destroyes [as per the law of thermodynamics], as can only do something about the use of fuels
  • we need to change the way we think about the energy carriers  aka fuels
  • one of the main reasons for promoting a culture of energy self sufficiency and energy security is the way we treat and charge the usage of energy
  • building more efficient networks for transsportation of fuels [including electricity] could also help increase the benefits we derive from these fuels
he goes on to talk about the complete ecosystem - of the energy carriers [such as electricity], the converters [devices].
he talks and quotes from another paper of his 'running the planet', where he urges us to stop borrowing from our descendants.

written in simple language, this book can be read to get a quick overview of various issues related to energy being sustainable.

but, the treatment of some of the aspects is not very deep and particularly the references to not using nuclear energy is not very convincing.

his website promises a lot more detailed treatment that i have not gone through yet.