Sunday, September 27, 2009

Google Project 10^100

And so, the "Change The World" Project hosted by Google is having a flourish of ideas. Google 10^100 project marking the companies 10 year anniversary, is finally getting underway. All that is left to do is to shortlist what to do from that extremely long list of 150,000 project ideas & we are good to go! The objective of this project is to launch campaigns that could and will "change the world".

The project is said to be branching off to 16 different themes, ranging from effective methods of de-mining to introduction of more socially conscious tax policies. The project proposals will be vying for 10 million USD that will be awarded as grant to the winner.

The winner will be chosen based on a public voting. Voting ends 8 October.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

How To Make a Customized Title Page Using LaTex

To do this you need two .tex files. Let us name the original document as report.tex & the title page you will be making as title.tex.

In my report.tex file I write the following code.






In my title.tex file I put the following code:



% Upper part of the page

\textmd{CS5999 Post Graduate Diploma Project Report}
% Title
{ \huge \textbf{Exposing Belief-Desire-Intention (BDI) Agents on The Web} }\\[0.4cm]
\large\textbf{S. S. Weerawardhana}

\textmd{MSc 2008 Registration No: 088274C}\\
\large\textbf{Supervisor: Dr. Buddhinath Jayatilleke}
May 2009\\

This proposal is submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement of\\
Master of Science in Computer Science\\
in the\\
Department of Computer Science and Engineering\\
Faculty of Engineering\\
University of Moratuwa\\



Make sure you keep title.tex document and the report.tex document in the same location. The importance of this is because in report.tex you get the code line \input{./title.tex}. This means that when report.tex is compiled it should also look for title.tex in the same location & compile both the documents to produce the end result.

See the attachment provided with this post so that you can see what the outcome of this code looks like.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Ditch MSWord, OOWriter, etc..Go LaTeX

So you have another one of these book reports to write. You go through trauma, trying to figure out what to put on paper. Eventually when you do figure out what goes into your report, comes the problem of making the report look nice & professional like!

Has it not ever occurred to you the word processors we normally use bite us only too hard when it comes to formatting lengthy documents? The pictures are never there where you originally put it. Paragraphs break at the most uncanny locations. Alignments, white spaces, line spacing....arrgh the list is endless...

Would it not be cool, if you could just write whatever you wanted to be in your report and leave adding makeup part to the word processor? Well, you can. All you have to do is get used to using LaTex (pronounced either "Lah-tech" or "Lay-tech") .

Here is what you need to get yourself going. I was doing this on Windows OS. AFAIK creating LaTeX documents can be done on Linux environments as well. I am yet to explore on that particular phase.
  • Download a text editor that can compile & parse LaTeX source. I use WinEdt. Pretty good it is!
  • You need a few supplementary software. These are mandatory. So don't ask questions. Just have them installed before you compile your LaTeX source.... :D
  • There is no need for any of these software to be installed in a particular order. Just be a little cautious about the platform you are on when installing stable binary distributions of these aforementioned software.
You will be writing your document on the text editor. What you will have to do extra is to add the formatting tags where necessary in the text.

The following code is a simple structure of a LaTex document.



\title{Coffee Tales}
\author{Sachini Weerawardhana}


This is a silly document. No need for abstracts here!


This will be the first chapter with the title Introduction. Has two sections; dummy section 1 & dummy section 2

\section{dummy section 1}

\section{dummy section 2}

\chapter{How To Make Good Coffee}
Sections below describes how you can find out yourself if your coffee mug sucks or not!

\section {Is Good Coffee Hard to Find?}
OK so, good coffee is hard to find. Want to know why?

\chapter{Coffee Makers Inside Vehicles?}
Some incoherent nonsense goes here.


Write all that on a new document in WinEdt, save the document as .tex & compile. That is all there is to it! Tutorial here has super help to get you started. A post following this would be describing how you can make a customized cover page using LaTex

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Pessimist

So, here I was talking to somebody and the somebody has been awfully nice and more than tolerant with my insolent ways. Suddenly it dawns on me how easily I forget good things that have happened to me throughout this short life of mine.

Yeah...I have been plagued by pessimistic behavior for as long as I can remember. People I meet more often than not say very nice things about me! And do I give a "word"? EN-OH! How rude, crude and lewd!!! Looking back now, I realize I have a lot to be thankful for and lot to be tagged as so freakin' lucky....It is such a shame much as a sponge my brain is it has become a sponge that absorbs only slime!! :D Of course people do like to be revered, appreciated and treated like heroes. I am sure most of you still realize the value in helping people & being supportive. While some help expecting something else in return, there are those who genuinely want to see good things happen to people. I am not sure to what category I fall into, but one thing I do know is that if I happen to make you feel good about something and you feel you need to appreciate me for that, DON'T BOTHER! I wouldn't remember the good things you would probably say anyway....

Many a times people have complained that I am too hardhearted & behave like a rock. The irony of that claim however is that, I am also immune to the message that claim carries. Ignoring what is not relevant and what I think is bullshit come naturally to me. Perhaps doing that a little too much is risky I reckon....but I am a survivor being the person I am. Hence I am a happy person.

Perhaps it is just that I am too neutral and not a pessimist per se. And I do not normally see the glass as half empty. I just see it as somebody thought the drink was shit!! :D

Shinedown Shines Down

My tastes in music have never ceased to baffle me. But no complains! I luv my taste in music. :D

It is kinky, electrifying, soothing, calming, ear-splitting, irritating all at the same time. The spectrum of genres spans from alternative rock, country, hiphop, r&b, pop, gospel to who-knows-what music! I do have to admit that I listen mostly to english numbers. Why?? Sinhala music nowadays sound so strangely similar to Shaggy mumbling in sinhala, Twista rapping in Sinhala & so on and so forth. For some reason oriental music is yet to see the spawning of new generation talent that have their own identities...

When I listen to music I first go for the tones & then to the lyrics. What keeps me attached to a particular number is in fact the lyrics! Probably that should explain why I am a fan of rock music. Although sometimes they can be brutal to the ears, they usually carry meaningful lyrics. This is one of my most recent attractions!


Saturday, August 1, 2009

Seven Reasons Why I Think A Couch Is The Best Place In The World

So I have just unearthed my deepest, darkest desire for couches. The realization of my attachment for the object in discussion has left me left thinking "Gee, I had no idea couches can be such fun generators!!!" However, I find it much to my disappointment that couches, good, plush ones in particular are quite short in supply here. (Sad Face) If I were the honorable minister of recreational activities & youth affairs, my first official duty after taking office would be to submit an order for good two dozen couches to be located at odd places in Colombo! (Excited Face)

So, here I begin my justification for my officially joining the couch lovers' club. To the less bright who have eerie attractions to my ramblings, reader discretion is advised. The following statements do contain, and is intended to be treated as euphemisms to incidents of superior mental pleasure.

Leather is a sexy material. (Wicked Grin). As my sudden outburst of emotion implies, I love to park myself on leather. Not only does the material responds well to sudden alterations of temperature, it also feels good upon physical contact. If leather is sexy, leather with soft fillings in between is pure psychotic bliss! Given the chance to choose between a leather couch & a normal couch I would raise both hands in favor of leather. If I were to own a leather couch I would not bother to crowd the oasis of recline with cushions & such like pathetic excuses to decor. I would want the couch naked & all to myself!

Couches are great places for conversation. Both verbally and otherwise. Since I happen to be quite weak in gossiping (so I think) (GrinningFace) and talking about shopping & clothes & shoes, I find this "otherwise" part much to my fancy. One can just sit on a couch and stare at the ceiling and nobody would question why. Well, even if one nosy, busy-body just happens to impede your train of thought with a goofy question you could just mumble some incoherent nonsense and be on your merry way! feathers ruffled! Peace Rules!!

Before you bust a vessel wondering why two dot one instead of three, I felt the need of jotting a line on "otherwise" class. "Otherwise" is an abstract class which can be implemented in ways that tickles your imagination. Let me just terminate this elaboration indicating that my implementation of this particular abstract class is quite baffling. (Wink)

I do the most important things in my life lying horizontal! I will start the list with sleeping. It goes on to studying, idling, reading to eating. Yeah, I have spent a good number of hours of my life eating lying flat on my back. Couches are superb places to eat at, or drink at, or do whatever you feel like doing at. Too bad the couch at my place has failed to live up to my expectations. (Flat Face). Oh well, there shall be other couches that would undoubtedly careen into my life at some point, opening doors to a world of fun & excitement. (Evil Grin)

Couches are usually located at places having good food and drinks; again the exception being the couch at my place! What a rip off!!! (Indignant Face) There is nothing like having a steaming cup of coffee or some icky sticky delectable food item before you when you are on a couch! Food tastes extra nice, IMHO, when you have it at a nice place. My idea of a nice place spells C-O-U-C-H.

Couches mean extreme physical proximity. Extreme I say.
After thought - "Somethings are best left to the imagination of the readers..."

Research shows that the best sitting position is not the 90 degree angle you and I are forced to sit in. Apparently sitting at obstuse angles in the thang to do if you want to avoid uncomfortable aches & pains. (Chuckles) More couch please!

For me couches have always been more relaxed seating arrangements than chairs. Less edgy. More comfy & Easier on ones muscles. (smile)

To all the couchos....come hither & partake! (GRIN)

Monday, July 6, 2009


Bang!!! Bang!!!
(shot A)
Gun with silencer
Smoke coming out from the mouth of the gun

A falls to his knees
Not dead

The shot has hit the mango tree behind A

A is in shock

HAA (I say) and you thought I would shoot you with a measly paper rocket!!!

(Evil Laugh)

(Gruesome look at A)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Xin Ren

"They prosper who on virtue's aid depend; Who trust in vice reach an untimely end."
- Chinese Proverb

They say respect & trust is not given, it is earned. In a state of confusion as to what the "word" the title means? Xin Ren is the Chinese symbol for trust! See picture? That is how you write it. :)

And train of thoughts derails. Nice tattoo that would make on me don't you think? ;-)

The world is materialized out of too many fragile things as far as I am concerned. It is amazing how it is able to withstands such a perpetual stream of shocks. Good shock absorbers the world is made out of I reckon. But then again, the world does know how to get rid of what she thinks she does not need. The wonder of it is that she never runs out of options of getting rid of debris. Maybe that theory ought to explain why the heavens pour down after most of the natural disasters (earthquakes, volcanic eruptions etc.)

That is how The Grand Design works. The Grand Design works for the greater good!

Connections are made out of trust. You form a construction having faith upon the bricks, wood & cement that holds the whole thing together. Much as sturdy as the construction is when everything is in the right place, the right blow at the right place would make everything fall apart.

Keywords:- Create - Blow - Destroy.

You, me & everybody else: we are not indispensable. The Grand Design has placed immense trust in putting you where you are today. Be it a shit hole or heaven on earth, you are where you are not because you alone chose your location. It pays to realize The Grand Design can take you away from where you are if she feels that you are screwing things up. Why? Because you are NOT indispensable!!! :D

Funny how every paragraph I have jotted down ends in "destruction" ainnit?

Hold on dear to what you have at present. Going in search of change can prove to be deadly. We are all connected in The Grand Design. You mess you link means so many other links will also find themselves in precarious situations. Do not be selfish. You are not designed to survive alone.

Does The Grand Design sound to apocalyptic?

It should sound so, for The Grand Design is US.

Monday, June 15, 2009


Let's face it, my travel chronicles are pretty mediocre. Apart from the off-the-shelf family trips I was dragged kicking & screaming, I have not traveled much. Now I see more than a few good reasons to uproot that habit & plant myself in the oasis of travelers, conditions permitting.

Just when you thought, you life has become incredibly safe & predictable, something good happens to you & you find yourself confronted by an assortment of & otherwise. Sight seeing is fun. OK I admit, it is more fun when you are going with the right sidekick, but that is besides the point. Screw them all who claim you gotta get out of this country to start seeing things, screw them all who claim ours is not a happening country! Quit torturing yourselves with questions like, "aww where do we stay?", "aww....I need a comfy bed for the night", "aww what do we eat", "aww how much is it going to cost", "ohmigosh what do I wear..." so on & so forth. If you are not the planning type of a person, simply do what I do. Hook yourself up with a more methodical person. Do not waste vacations on villas & hotels & whatnot. Go & get lost in the trees; literally!!! My advice, if you have somebody who would drop everything & go off with you to get lost in some unknown corner right here in Sri Lanka, EXPLOIT the conditions.

And so begins my tips for the loonies:

Trail Tip #1
Should you be driving off for a considerable distance, it pays to make sure that your travel buddy talks less. If this seems impossible for some unknown twist in fate, at least make sure that he knows how to cork it long enough for you to quit worrying that he is going to blow his windpipe!

Trail Tip #2
Water. You can not simply have too much of a good thing. H2O & plenty of it is a definite yes yes! Worried about not having sufficient bladder control? Deal with it later! Do not let your bladder keep you from having fun.

Trail Tip #3
Enjoy sceneries. FYI scenaries are not all the time caused by trees & waterfalls & stones & rocks...hint hint

Trail Tip #4
I hate Galle Road & all cities that are associated with it. That is no way to have some quality fun while travelling!!

Trail Tip #5
Costs. If you are on a tight budget & think you need more loot, cast your fears away. I can personally recommend my travel guide for economical getaways. The guide himself is not so economical. You might want to be on the look out for that ;-) ;-)

Trail Tip #6
The places....umm well.........I think I am more a fan of hills than vallies. To getaway from everything & just relax, the hills is the way to go! Get close to trees. Trees do make you feel great, although I have no clear explanation as to how they manage to do that! Check out for the most comprehensive collection of info on where you can go & wot you can do when you get there! It is sort of my tourguide's travelers' Bible, which I am sure you would also love to check out.

Traveler's Chronicles unfold...

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Argh....April Just Went By....

If somebody asked me what I have been doing in the month of April I have a very simple answer.

Freaking out!

Yes! That is right!!!! Here I am perched on my chair on an average Wednesday afternoon, thinking what I have been doing in the month of April and what comes to my head? Zilch!!! The first half of the month I was busy with projects & assignments & what not. The second half of the month I wasted trying to get stuff into my brain which were so not meant to be there. Many a times I found myself wondering if my head had a leak at some place, but the lack of first-hand witnesses prevented me from further processing of that issue.

Avurudu just came & went. I think I was too engrossed in thinking about my semester exams, which I really doubt having any hope of passing. Maybe, this old age is finally getting to me, my intellectual capacities, (which were not much to start off anyway) and everything that demands psychological effort!

Exams have always freaked me out! It eludes me as to why I still go on looking for them. I would rather not waste lines in my blog trying to elaborate how the semester exams went, because it simply did NOT!

April ended in a funny note though! I wrapped the miserable month taking part in an Avurudu Uthsawaya organized by a friend of mine. Thanks goes out to Dillion & his crew for setting the stage for a day of fun & laughter! I have to say I kicked ass in the events I took part! Not only the events were superriffic, I also ended up being crowned as the "Avurudu Kumaraya" (male version)!!! Much to my awe I realized I rock at tug-of-war, simply cuz of the fact that my team lost the moment after I retired hurt on the grounds of having my palm cut! :D

Photos? Don't ask!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Cool Tool

For those who are dying to see an easier way of typing sinhala letters/words/sentences etc. here is a fun tool to get yourselves moving.

Real Time Unicode Converter, is a unicode translation service hosted by the Language Technology & Research Laboratory at University of Colombo School of Computing (UCSC).

You just have to type the sinhala word as it is pronounced using English & the tool converts is to sinhala unicode real time.

This is how it is done.

The text you type - aayubowan! mei magei blog eka
Sinhala unicode converter output - ආයුබොවන්! මේ මගේ බ්ලොග් එක

Here's to seeing more sinhala letters on web pages!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Drive Smart - Save Loot

Driving in Sri Lankan roads is a nightmare at times! Heavy traffic, poor road conditions, little shopping malls on the pavements eating up one-third the road's width are a few of the many annoying things drivers have to run into. Of course driving comes at a cost, despite the comfort in travelling it brings. This little post is to tell y'all how to drive without burning too much deep a hole in your pockets.

Stay away from aggressive driving
I certainly could use this tip! ;-) I was like "oh-heck!", while reading an article about fuel efficient driving. Apparently, driving like a mad man & hard breaking eats up fuel as much as 40%. Plus it can also increase emission of greenhouse gasses by a considerable level. The right way of driving is to accelerate slowly & smoothly & hit the top gear as soon as possible. How feasible this is in SL roads remains a question though.

Stick to speed limits
Accelerating on highways always increases fuel consumption. It is reported that increasing your speed from 55mph(90 km/h) to 75mph(120km/h) can raise fuel consumption by as much as 20%. Driving at a constant 55mph can improve mileage by 10-15% under same conditions.

Avoid idling the vehicle
Not only does idling waste fuel, it also gets you no where & produces a lot of greenhouse gasses. If you are going to remain stationery for more than 30 seconds, except in traffic stop the vehicle.

Say no to poorly inflated tires
Make sure the tires are inflated properly. This prevents rolling resistance & in return can save fuel by as much as 6%. It is a good habit to check tire pressure at least once a month. Although it is not a good idea to inflate the tires to the "maximum allowed" level for that particular type of tire.

Drive in right gear
I think I am a little too lazy to change gears for some unknown reason. :-D. It is said that the best way to move about with stick driven vehicles is to accelerate smoothly & going up to the top gear as quickly as possible without accelerating too hard. Driving in a gear lower than you need wastes fuel; so does letting the engine labour in top gear on hills and corners.

Avoid the air-conditioner
Using the air-conditioner in a hot weather can increase fuel consumption by 10% in city driving. Rolling down shutters can help save fuel if you are driving at low speeds. But at high speeds driving with open windows may actually have an adverse effect due to the wind resistance.

Choose the right octane fuel
Most cars are designed for normal low octane fuel. Higher prices do not necessarily guarantee improved performance. Do not just blindly ask for higher-octane fuel unless you are certain that is indeed what your vehicle wants.

Service & Maintenance
Regular, timely service is indeed the way to go. A poorly tuned engine can use up to 50% more fuel and produces up to 50% more emissions than one that is running properly.

Turn off power accessories
Shutting off power consuming accessories, in your vehicle before turning off the ignition, can decrease the engine load the next time you start the vehicle up, hence saving fuel.

Park in the shade
Besides helping to keep your car cool, which reduces the need for air conditioning, parking in the shade also minimizes the loss of gas due to evaporation.

Tracking Tweets

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Oops! My Language Just Died!!!

The newest publication of UNESCO's Atlas of World Languages reads that about 6000 languages are facing some kind of threat that could eventually lead up to their extinction. 2500 of the 6000 languages are listed as endangered & 200 languages are completely dead & gone. The atlas ranks the 2,500 endangered languages by five levels of vitality: unsafe, definitely endangered, severely endangered, critically endangered and extinct.

"199 languages have fewer than ten speakers and 178 others have 10 to 50. Among the languages that have recently become extinct, it mentions Manx (Isle of Man), which died out in 1974 when Ned Maddrell fell forever silent, Aasax (Tanzania), which disappeared in 1976, Ubykh (Turkey) in 1992 with the demise of Tevfik Esenc, and Eyak (Alaska, United States of America), in 2008"
- Quoted From The Publication

What are the dangers of a language becoming instinct?
  • A language encodes local knowledge on a community's traditions, culture & ways of life. Death of a language will prevent those outside that community from being aware of diverse sociological behaviors.
  • Medicinal secrets will also be veiled forever.
  • Threat of losing valuable pieces of Literature, poetry & other aesthetics
Many organizations, following the UNESCO's initiative have joined hands together in preserving the endangered languages. Although the dead languages are beyond resurrection, there is still hope for those are in threat of disappearing from the face of the earth thanks to such concerned individuals.

To Standardize Or Not To Standardize

I recall the time I used to carry a pack of floppy disks with such pride, as if they were the world's most prized possession. A few years later I look back & stand in dismay wondering how "lame" I have been. Although I still have the floppy disks with my valuable files stored in them I am constantly worrying about being able to get the data when I need. Some of the modern day computing devices do not even have a floppy disk drive to read floppy disks.

Storing digital data is not so effortless as filing away a stack of papers. One has got to make sure that the format in which the data is available will supported by data processing devices in the years to come. Not only the unavailability of hardware & related software, but also data on storage devices are subject to corruption & decay. Hence the need of us being a little more proactive as far as long term data preservation is concerned.

Technology has come a long way since the days people wrote on stone slabs. Storing data on digital media is faster, economical and also saves paper! The need however is in establishing a standard in digital data formats just so that we can still dig out what we have buried 15 - 20 years afterward.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Kadir Speaks....

Kathiravelu Pradeeban
Deviating from the typical technical blogs is the most attractive
feature of your blog, I would say. It's nice to see you sharing
the thoughts freely on the blog. It's like a one-to-one discussion.
Thanks. I have had a really nice time, like moving through a fresher
planet. I am happy to see more soon, in your :) was such a wonderful thing to say!! I have to say, it was indeed a pleasant surprise! I keep technical stuff away from my blog. I am not at all about bits & bytes although i wound up with a CS degree by some twist of fate ;)

i have to admit i have a pretty poor collection of blog entries for someone who started blogging way back in 2006. But i am gonna pick that habit up from now onwards.

Thanks Kadir! u should have ideally passed out the complement in the morning ;) at least i would have batted throughout the day with gusto had that been the case!!!

Your blog is like a rainbow, with diverse ideas. I just enjoyed reading it, and would recommend it to my friends for a look.. :)

I hope you won't mind my calling you Kadir! I thought of publishing this little conversation we have had through Facebook in tribute to all those who have read & commented on my blog.

Thanks you guys, for the perfect stimulant & the perfect sweetner

15 Things I Do Best

  • 1) Waste time doing everything else but what must be done.
Yeah...for 26 long years I have been tormented with this great folly of mine. I find it extremely hard to concentrate on something for long enough to get it to a level that is termed as "satisfactory.

  • 2) Getting myself into really awkward situations
Well...I would rather not elaborate on this point. This happens when the pimp inside me starts talking, more often than not. I go, commit something unexplainable in human terms, & sit around moping & musing over it for days.

  • 3) Meeting new people
I believe myself to be a really easy person to make friends with. 15 minutes of conversation & if the second party's visions & ideas are in sync with mine, he or she is bound to get into a relationship they will not soon forget. No bragging! Now that I think about it, I can honestly say I have met the strangest people on earth, in my quest in making friends.

  • 4)Music on the Move
I hate the radio I have in my car!! It is this silly Japanese model (as I have been told) that does not have frequencies above 90MHz. It so happens I love music. And I am so jealous of those who can play musical instruments. Something keeps telling me I am musically gifted. I am yet to find out how.

  • 5) Forgiving & Not Forgetting
There are a few people who have wronged me in this little over 2 decades life of mine. Hmm....some of it self-inflicted actually. I of course believe that the best way to take revenge is by forgiving those who have wronged you. Therefore, if you are somebody who has tried to screw up my life, cast your fears away. You are fogiven! :-)

  • 6) Feeling Inferior
Successful people, make me feel so uncertain of myself. I am never comfortable with such people, and I always end up looking silly & inapt! More often than not I have mistaken this to be jealousy; as in I am jealous of what they have accomplished. Much later in my life I realized that it was not a jealous attack! Just insecurity.

  • 7) Lending my ears
Boy....this I have done countless times & still continue to do so. I am really proud of my pair of ears. Such capacity they have. Such stories they have heard. If only the ears had mouths of their own! Not only that would make me look like a complete freak, but also will have quite a few things to say to me about not adorning them with ear-rings.

  • 8) Coffee
This is to all those who have accompanied me for coffee & also to all those who will be. Gracias!

  • 9) Reading & Writing
Why did I not separate these two? Reading & Writing for me is like Ying & Yang! Each one complements the other & together they produce energy! I love reading & writing...although it took me an inspirational preso done by Samisa Abeysinghe - Director of Engineering WSO2 to start again on blogging after a 2 year layoff period.

  • 10) Cutting Lectures
There is something sinister going on between my conscience & lectures I am taking. There is this little voice inside my head which beckons me to cut the lecture & go off wandering! If not for the 80% attendance threat looming over my head, I would have succumbed to the yearning a long time ago.

  • 11) Falling Sick
For illnesses & diseases my life is a picnic! For so long I have been plagued by many a disease. I am not talking about fevers & colds & headaches! When I get it, the simple cold could turn into a couple of days at the hospital! Hospital food is nice. Only for the first two days though.

  • 12) Sticking to the same wardrobe for an year
Not that I dont like clothes, I just hate shopping. I dont shop unless I see an absolute necessity for a new wardrobe. Usually mother yells & fusses. When her fussing gets too irritating I hit the town & shop till I drop. That usually shuts her up for a good one year.

  • 13) Late night chats
Sumedha... This is for you ;-) . The latest I have chatted with you is until 2.45 am in the morning!

  • 14) Cleaning Toilets
My bathroom is spic & span. And yes I have my own bathroom, which I let no one in! That little room is the cleanest place in the house!

  • 15) Dreaming
My dreams are wild. Very Wild.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Celestial Congestion Control

A Russian satellite & an Iridium communication satellite collided with each other on 10th Feb Tuesday scattering the skies above earth with debris, amount of which is still being counted by scientists.

If every object orbiting the Earth stayed on a simple path, multiple observations of an object would yield precise estimates of its orbit and position. Unexpected glitches - such as accidental releases of fuel - can shift a satellite's orbit.

But so can the drag from Earth's atmosphere, as well as gravitational tugs from the Sun, Moon, and Earth, which is somewhat squashed in shape. The military uses models of these environmental perturbations to help refine its estimates of satellite orbits.

There are 800 to 1,000 active satellites in orbit and about 17,000 pieces of debris and dead satellites, like the Russian one, that can't be controlled. As per scientists it is simply not possible to calculate all collision points of these floating objects, hence the risk of similar events occurring prevails.

Let us consider traffic police in the heavens!

Earth Hour 2009

Millions of campaigners will let their voices be heard on March 20th 2009 at 8.30pm by switching off the lights for one hour to show that it is still possible to take action against global warming & climate change.

Already 377 cities, and double the number of countries that participated in 2008, are committed. WWF expects more to be committed during the coming days.

Visit to see how they have progressed & also to checkout the stuff put on sale to mark the event!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Ever-so Elusive Pride

You work hard for it & yet it can be ripped off of you in a matter of seconds.

Maya Arulpragasam, better known as MIA has done Sri Lanka proud. The Lankan lass became the first Asian to be nominated for the Oscar & the Grammy awards, the most covetous trophies one would give anything to put on display on a shelf at home!

Maya's nomination in the Grammy Award is in the 'Record of the Year' category for her single Paper Planes.

Her Oscar nomination is in the category 'Film Songs' for 'O Saya' in the film 'Slumdog Millionaire' along with A.R. Rahman.

As fabulous as the news sounds, her glory just had to be sullied by some irresponsible statements she had made in public in favor of the LTTE. Read the article published in the Asian Tribune & especially the readers' comments!

Friday, February 6, 2009

My Strange Attraction!

Before Being Sent To The Gallows...

I recently came across this nice article at, which spoke of a few alternatives a company can take before opting to a lay off in order to cut costs.

In a gist:
  • Job cuts do not save money
McKinley, et al point out in "Organizational downsizing: Constraining, cloning, learning" that "while downsizing has been viewed primarily as a cost reduction strategy, there is considerable evidence that downsizing does not reduce expenses as much as desired, and that sometimes expenses may actually increase. More than thirty years ago, James Lincoln warned that the costs of layoffs generally outweigh the payroll savings to be gained from them."
  • Job cuts reduce performance
In the article Job Cuts Often Fail to Bolster Stocks reports an average performance gain by the companies that had announced job cuts at 0.4% while the performance for the S&P 500 during the comparable time period was a gain was 29.3%.

  • Thinking of employees as a long term capital investment
Many companies fail to realize that they have a tremendous long-term capital investment in their employees. While wages and benefits clearly are an expense item on the budget, they should be thought of more as payments on the capital of employees skill and dedication.

  • Focus more on re-structuring than cutting off people
Often, when job cuts are undertaken in order to pacify the investors, the announcements talk about the cuts as part of a "streamlining" or "restructuring", but they refer only to the people involved. There are other aspects of the company's business that need to be restructured as well. These often include things such as closing of obsolete plants or branches, administrative overhauls, selling of non-core operations, or improving internal processes.

Too Many Faces on Facebook

"It does not hurt to be security conscious" I always tell myself! :)

Popular social networking site Facebook is reported to have been subject to impersonations. Alarmingly the number of reported incidents are on the rise.

Facebook says fewer than 1% of its 150 million users are affected by the scam. In one such case reported from Seattle, unknown to the real owner, his status message was changed to something that read he (the real owner) needed urgent help. Concerned friends turned to his aid, & one friend even went to the extent of wiring him some cash, which was later reported missing!!!

Simple measures such as using a stronger password & using up-to-date browser versions & anti-virus software help immensely in curbing this threat.

One last word...Trust no one! Not even your friends. :)

Phelps...Suspended from Swimming

So they have said, let the punishment fit the crime, but how severe should it really be?
The 08 Beijing Olympics swimming legend Michael Phelps was suspended from swimming for a period of 3 months on charges of being seen smoking from a bong. Further investigations whether he was smoking marijuana is being carried out sources said.

The cause of such severe punishment was probably because Phelps was treated as a role model/hero to many a nations budding young swimmers & kids alike. Undoubtedly such behavior sets a bad example to many who look up to him.

Not only the US swimming authority but also Phelps's sponsor Kellogg, stated that they would not extend the sponsorship period citing his recent misdemeanor.