Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Sum it if you can

A bit early as promised last week. Coz want you guys to ponder over the puzzle being posted over the weekend . Guys find the Sum of this .

S h O L E -
B I L E -
S O L -
h E I L +
S O L E +
O h -
L I E -
S h O E -
h O L E +



Sunday, August 26, 2007

Hyder "Bombed"

"Hyderabad Explode ".. "Twin Cities twin Blasts " .."Terror Strikes Hyderabad again" ..Who would have imagined they would have to read the morning newspaper with these headlines .
Would the relatives of the people who had gone to see the Laser Show at Lumbini Park in their wildest of dreams dreamt that they would be victims themselves . 42 lives were just plucked away by a cowardice terror act . Such a brutal act by some silly stupid people who do not know want they want should be condemned .
Call it Intelligence failure , Govt mismanagement , anything.. at the end of day the fact of the matter is , innocent people t their lives . We would have certainly not missed the clipping of the various news channel covering this 24 * 7 since the blast took effect . I have once seen a bomb blast in front of my eyes in Srinagar in 1999 . I tell you its really scary and I realized how much value human life has on that day. I would post that another day .
Now we might need to attack the root cause of the problem . Terrorism . First and foremost these idiots must realise that they are not going to achieve anything by victimizing innocent public. Probably a 5 min sadistic pleasure . Are you not a human . Dont you have any values ? If you have any problems talk it out with the govt , instead of taking to such incorrigible acts.
If you people could suggest some ways that would abolish terrorism it would be a great value add from we citizens . The first and foremost is Poverty . If we could reduce poverty , I tell you half the problem is solved. Mostly in almost all cases the people who execute the action is a very poor uneducated guy who is puppeted by a rich business man.
Education . Moral education should be imparted to every human. Gandhism should be propagandized. People should made to realize that Peace harvests Peace and Violence sprouts Violence.
We at this hour should stand united and see to it that we wade this crisis as effectively as possible. Our heart felt condolences to all those who lost their lives. In a way they are Martyrs too fighting against an unknown enemy .

- Lover of Gandhism

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Khul Ja Sim Sim

This week will play Khul jaa sim sim .You are a contestant on the game show.

Three closed doors are shown before you. Behind one of these doors is a car; behind the others are "Fish". You do not know where the car is, but the presenter does. You pick a door and presenter opens one of the remaining doors, which doesnot have the car ..
If you have already chosen the correct door, Presenter is equally likely to open either of the two remaining doors with the fish.After presenter has shown a fish behind the door that he opens, you are always given the option to switch doors.What is the probability of winning the car if you stay with your first choice? What if you decide to switch? Would you prefer to switch doors . Explain .

Madhu the monty hall

NB: From next week I will post puzzles on Fridays for you to think over the solution over the weekend . Check for other puzzles from the labels link.

Omnibus of R K Narayan

Starting this week, I would try to post reviews of the books that I have read and I am reading . As always the disclaimer is that these are my own thoughts and they may not reflect that of the author's. Who can forget the Malgudi days serial in Doordarshan which used to be telecast on weekdays a few years back. RKN , the indian father of modern English Fiction is the author of this book by Everyman's library . ISBN : 185715-294-8

Sampath - Printer of Malgudi .

Srinivas is the publisher of the Banner a newspaper in malgudi .
he has tough times in running the paper.As he runs into financial problems his own printer comes forward to help him. Actually the printer Sampath puts Srinivas into greater trouble when the pres comes to a grinding halt . He advises Srinivas to screenplay for his directorial venture of a film . Srinivas who is a confused person not clear with his goals joins him only to realise that Sampath is just a pompous guy who ruins his life due to his pomposity.
This story has a subtle humor which is the trademark of RKN . It depicts the normal middle class Indian mentality.Though the story was well narrated , I somehow felt I had to skip through the pages in some parts of the story in the middle.It catches up the speed finally .

Verdict : All in all its worth a read .

The Financial expert
The Protagonist Margayya is of the cadre of udayan Mukerjee's and Rakesh jhunjunwalas Though he doesnt have any money himself,He advises people financially and charges them for his expert comments. Somehow he goes to make a big fortune, thanks to Dr Pal.Years flow by and margayya becomes an A class money lender and has no time for his family . Due to circumstances theres a turnaround where in lands back to the same banyan tree he started his life losing all his money .

Interesting Quotes.
This happens when Margayya meets Dr Pal when Margayya is in search of milk from a 'smoke' colored cow as
" Are you an ayurvedic doctor or an aphrodisiac -maker".

You read this chapter and if you dont laugh, I bet you should meet a doctor . As I read the omnibus , I began feeling this was a much better narrated story than the previous one. I never felt that I could afford to lose anything in between for the fear of losing some interesting humor
and the story . The story ran really fast . Infact a bit too fast for me only to realise it was over .

Verdict : A certain read .

Waiting for the Mahatma
Sriram is normal individual who grows up in Malgudi . When Mahatma Gandhi arrives in malgudi , he gets a glimpse of Bharathi and falls for her. How his life changes after this is the story. What sufferings did he have to undergo, all for Bharathi is excellently narrated. The end is so gripping when the real meets the surreal. I am sure people who have been in the independent india and pre independent India would feel with the story .

Verdict : I have already bought a copy of this book . Of all the three this is the best .

RK Narayaning......

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Whats in my name ?

As a student of class 5 , all of us must have heard of the story of Rumpelstiltskin . The dwarf challenges the queen to guess his name to let her child of free. The story goes on wherein the queen discovers this uncommon name of the dwarf.
I dont think Madhusoodhanan is anywhere close to Rumpel . This is a very much common name in India , especially south India . Names are really close to one's heart as it marks the identity of a person. In India , we have the habit of naming the children with a God's Name so that the child inherits all the qualities of the name . Each name has a meaning as does mine. In the epic Mahabharata , lord krsna's name was Madhusoodhanan as he killed a demon by name Madhu. Madhu (demon)+ soodhanan ( Killed ) .
Now , from my memory I have heard people call my name in whatever they like . In my school , there used to be my friend who called me "Madu". I guess he couldnt pronounce the "DH". Moving to college, some of my friends jocularly said my name contained all the vices one should not possess. Madhu in Tamil means whisky...Extend madhu to Maadhu , the meaning is ladies and Soodhu from Soodhanan reflects gambling . Good that my parents didn't hear these guys definition of my name . They would have got my name changed in the gazette right away . They would have never wanted their kid to get any of these :(
Some more weird pronunciations , Muddy , Maad , Maadu ( cow) , and what not . People of have played with my name to their convenience . In my office when I interact with my US counterparts , they started with Mad U , improved to Made U ..Oh GoD , please teach them how shd I be called. Finally they settled for madwho ? thats much better . One day when we were in a meeting , my US colleague said that my name is a complicated tongue twister!! You know what his name was Xing Xang Xhu... Now you people tell me which is a twister ?
Most of the guys around me call me Madhu . In fact, I prefer calling myself Madhu . I hope by the virtue of the same old theory of the character getting inherited by name, I don't become the demon . I would rather be a docile , nice hearted person as Madhusoodhanan .

Now guys can you go and count back how many Mads are there in this post. I hope you don't get Mad counting.

Madhu the Mandu ( as some call me )

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Cake Cutting

This week's puzzle is a very simple one . BTW were you able to solve last week's puzzle. I need to tell you that one of my juniors got the right solution . So as a treat I gave him the cake below and this puzzle.

You have a round cake as a treat . With three straight slices of a knife, divide the cake into 8 equal pieces.

Can you help him enjoy his treat .

Cake Cutter as they call me @ work

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Freshening Up

Come Sundays , Appa ( dad) had an important work . He used to go to Pudupatinam Market to get the vegetables in his moped. Kalpakkam, being a small township had only one market . Market was flooded with vegetables only on Sundays. There was a huge amount of business going on as mostly all the families made their purchase over the weekend and stocked it for the week.The non veggies would get their pile of fresh fishes and meats on Sundays. Just in case you go to pdpm on Sundays you could catch up with almost all your friends . The vendors knew almost all the residents by heart as did we know the vendors personally. The Kallans, senthils , muthus shops were all lined up just after we took the right from the exit gate .
Appa had the strategy of giving equal business to all the shopkeepers getting one vegetable from each one of them dropping them into his green bag . Appa never used to bargain . I used to silently observe the business acumen of each of the vendors , their speed in dealing with people and calculating the fractional quantities without computers :( . Probably those guys ate more of their own ladies fingers !!!
Amma never used to go the market. She went only on festive occasions to make special purchases. Otherwise she was more reliable on the street vendors like Mookan the Long Nosed
Pallan , Who had a specific teeth structure which gave him this name or Maariamma ,Who had such a big kumkum on a forehead( I used to be scared of her vermilion) . They were more of the door delivery types. They used to scream at the top of their voices to get the attention of the dwellers in the flats. They had specific times for each areas. Our area was covered by them in and about 3:30 pm .
Amma's business was drastically different from Appa's .Amma used to haggle a lot with them even for a rupee. She used to compare all the vegetable vendors prices and always made sure she got the best deal .As a child I used to be amazed by her bargaining skills.. God Knows how she came to know those details sitting back home . Kosuru ( extra vegetables after the normal weighing ) was one important point amma made during her business. Some days I used to get so irritated with Amma over the bargains she made with them . It was another matter that she used to give the hungry vendors food from our house after the business deal was over . I had once asked her why do you have to bargain for one rupee and give the vendor food, instead give that extra rupee to Mariamma . My mothers answer was pretty simple , buying vegetables was business and serving people was humanity ..Point well taken mom..Appreciate it.
Sir , you could either pay the bill for these vegetables over the credit card or use the sodex ho coupons said the person on the otherside of the counter in the air condtioned Fresh outlet near my house at Hyd .My lifestyle has changed even for buying vegetables. I walked out of the outle t with the frozen vegetables pondering about the hundreds of Kallans and Mariammas who would have been affected by the Chain of Outlets like Reliance , Fresh , Subikshas .....

-Vegetable buyer .

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Puzzling Prisoners

There are 100 prisoners assigned by numbers in 1 to 100 . Any number can be assigned to them . They need not be unique. They can talk one time before they assigned and then don't have any connection. Each one is requested to guess his number (they can use different strategies). He can see their numbers (but not their guess).
How can they do it so at least one of them guesses correctly his number?

If you get this puzzle , I get you a treat .

Answer for this would be posted in2 weeks time . All discussions are welcome .

-Intelligent Prisoner

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Plucking the String ....

Classical Physics was insufficient to explain all the natural laws , which gave birth to quantum physics. Is this insufficient too ? Most of us would be aware that all forces of nature are a form of any of the 4 fundamental forces gravitational force , strong force, weak force and the electromagnetic force. Partially this work has been done by the laureates Sheldon Lee Glashow,Abdus Salam, Steven Weinberg.

They in a sense had come up with a model or a framework which could bring in symmetries between the 3 of the four mentioned forces. G force was left behind. Theoretical physicists are working to come up with the Grand Unification of theory.
While quantum theory works for point like particles whihc operate on zero gravity , the g force is close to the classical model .The big bangs, the massive objects follow the classical model.
As scientists were pondering how to bridge the gap, they came up with a new model "String theory". The first time I heard of this was in 1998 when I was doing my research program at TIFR as a part of VSRP. OK Let me tell you in very basic terms how this is modelled . All particls are not point like objects. They are like small strings ( about 10−35 m) yeah..very tiny strings . They vibrate like normal strings of a violin or guitar and appear in multiple states depending on the energy acted upon them . Sri Lalgudi G Jayaram , would be very happy to know this .
Physicsts are still working on experimental proofs based on this theory to prove the all the forces of the nature are unique , its still a far away truth .One thing we know for sure is alls s one with the nature . Just that one is a form of another . Like God which is One .

- Stringer ?

This week's puzzle

This week's puzzle is pretty straight forward one . I had shared a sequence fillups with my friends. As a sequel , I have a few more ..

1) M, V , E , M, J , ......

2) A , E , F , H , I , K , ....

3) 4, 27 , 3125 , 823543 , ....

I guess you shd be able to crack all the three. Post your answers as comments . Add your names when you are posting your comments.

Madhu the sequencer