Tuesday, December 30, 2008

the Fog Effect

One of the e-newsletters that I get daily had this editor's note yesterday..




Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Armadillo Cut

I enjoy cutting vegetables and fruits from childhood.
next to watering plants, this is one of the activities i find very soothing.
every vegetable or fruit has its own personality and style. if you understand that, you can make the cutting activity interesting.
one of the first techniques i learnt from my father was to cut oranges for people who like the fruit, but not the pips and do not prefer to bite and spit the seeds.

the idea was to split every piece [or whatever it is called]so that it can be opened like 2 wings.

the seeds can be easily removed and it is served without the seedds. for thosethat want only the fruit, they can help themsleves easily.
later on i used to wonder why some cuts are called french cuts - particularly beans.
all i can associate with french cuts is that they have slanting cuts.

i remember my stay in one of the suburbs of Paris called Cergy Pontoise, which was a modern township.

among the nice things there was that one could get from one part of the town to another completely on foot, and not have to cross any of the roads.

the town planners also believed that while a straight line might be the shortest path between two points, it is not necessarily the prettiest. and their focus was to make the town pretty.

coming back to my vegetable cuts, to make the job interesting, i try different ways of cutting, to reduce the time taken as well as the presentation.
which was when i figured out that i could name [and patent?] a way of cutting okra!
i call it the armadillo cut.

the technique is to arrange the lady's fingers in a pyramid - with the large ones at the base and stack the smaller ones on top.
as the height grows, you reduce the number of okras, till you reach the top with a single okra.
then it is very easy to cut all of them together with very few strokes of the knife.
the cut okras resemble an armadillo, with its scaly skin.
the armadillo cut for okras is fast and fun..
other fruits i like cutting are : jackfruit, watermelon, coconuts.
i still have not figured an easy [ane least messy] way or cutting pineapples..
any suggestions?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

IISc @ 100

due to bad planning, i could not register for the centenary celebration conference @ IISc, my alma mater.
initially, i was not sure of my travel plans - though, of late, i have reduced it substantially.

then it was not knowing if any of my class / batch mates or immediate seniors / juniors would also be there.
and then, the registrations closed - as they had an overwhelming number of registrations.

that is good, in a way - as IIScians have been known to be very quiet and aloof.
compared to some other institutions, the activities of IIScians have been more of individual contributions and not so much in social gatherings and exchanges.

that was also a reason for my skepticism of finding some others i know.
but, then, that is somewhat like a reason for the IIScian behavior!

anyway, when i got the invitation to attend a get togethe and dinner on friday - pre conference - for the alumni, i jumped at it.
one class mate and a batch mate said they were going.
after reaching teh venue, i called a couple more and one of them also turned up.

what was surprising was that some persons had come to bangalroe exclusively to participate in this. one from mumbai and a couple from hyderabad and about half a dozen from chennai!

made me feel ashamed that i missed registering.

i also could meet many more seniors, who were also there at the dinner.
when they started calling out the batched - from 1954 -- i felt not so old.

this institute has been an institution [could not find any other words].
i have many fond memories of not only the knowledge acquired during the three year stay there, but also the wonderful people i got to know - such as faculty and also opportunities to interact with the likes of Prof. Satish Dhawan - who had made tremendous contributions to the indian space programme.

here's wishing the institute more centuries of continued contributions to the community.

free massage

post the mumbai events, all hotels are on high alert.
since my office is in the commercial wing of a multi starred hotel, i go through the layers of security meant for VIPs - at least, let me assume that I am in the league of VIPs!

a couple of interesting things that i have noticed are
- the way they search seems to be changing, though slightly - from day to day. earlier, it was just a view under the chassis with a mirror
- the location where this search happens

etc etc etc, let me not document all the variations and the details to give them the benefit of their techniques.

last week, i had a meeting with a visitor from the US in a different star hotel.
as we entered, we were asked to show state issues IDs.

and then after other screenigs, the body frsiking.

later, as we chatted over dinner, he remarked the positive side of all this is the free massage you get many times a day! though not in the comfort and privacy of a spa!

while this is intended to lighten the situation, when will we regain the confidence and mutual trust among people?

Saturday, December 6, 2008

The *sexuals : marketing inventions?

First it was the metrosexuals.
this word has been around for a long time - if i remember right, from sometime in the mid 90s - when the term was coined to denote the generation of men who were conscious of their apearance.
this also led to a market of designer clothes and accessories that were to be used to be considered a metrosexual.
it became fashionable to be a metrosexual to be on page 3!

like with all products over time, since 'new and improved' versions need to be created, we got the Uber sexual.
defined as a male who is similar to a metroseual but displays the traditional manly qualities such as confidence, strength and class. 

recently, i came across a classification - the gastrosexual.
the article that introduced me to this term went on to talk about this also possibly being a strategy by marketeers. this is a term being used for the launch of food products for male cooks!
as far as i know, most of the celebrity chefs are male, though, at home, the best food is made by women..

the one that beat me recently was the 'technosexual'. 
the ones we used to call geeks or nerds are reborn as technosexuals.
again, the main characteristic of these men are the *est [latest, largest, fastest etc] gadgets that they surround themselves with. whether is is the PDA or the extra large flat screen [plasma] TV or the designer [prada?] sandals, they have to have them.

i do not know whether these marketers have taken the strategy that 'sex sells' to the extreme.

i did some research on the origin of these words. and guess what i found!

a term for people who create these words with a *sexual form.

they are called the logosexuals!