The Scientific Indian

Archives for March, 2007

So, Bono is knighted. But, hey, don’t call him Sir and displease the Queen. He’s Irish and shall not be sir’d. Know who else was knighted by a Queen? John Hawkins. John Hawkins who? John Hawkins, the first slave trader. He began his business of capturing and selling african people in 1562. Queen Elizabeth I…

A Universal Library

Google is busy building it, scanning books and scaring publishers off their pants. An article at Speigel: The little Google search window would be the gateway to the content of the 32 million books, 750 million articles, 25 million songs, 500 million images, 500,000 films, 3 million television programs and 100 billion public Web pages…

Bloggers are people too

You may know by now what Kathy Sierra, a wonderfully smart blogger at CPU, has gone through. She has been the target of disturbing and sexually loaded comments, images with death threats. She is a writer I greatly admire. She and her team has done more with her books and her blog to raise the…

Albert Einstein Memorial in Washington DC

The Albert Einstein Memorial in Washington DC. Light played on the puckered bronze figure that seemed to be at the cusp of another enlightening idea. A majestic triumph for Robert Berks, the sculptor who created this work of art. The posture is relaxed, mellow and exudes subdued happiness that comes from seeing truth with a…

Are sugar substitutes unhealthy?

I was having breakfast with a friend last week. I noticed him avoiding sugar substitutes and asked why. He didn’t know of any scientific studies but said he preferred food that doesn’t pretend. His reasoning went like this: Sweeteners mimic natural taste. This is dishonest and not the way we should treat our biology. That…

Away this week

Yours truly will be away from the blog this week, makin money and all. While am away, here’s something to think about. Fake fights on Climate crisis. Alan Thorpe writes in New Scientist. Scepticism is one thing; cynicism and conspiracy-theorising are quite another. These are the hallmarks of a recent attempt to discredit the widely…

We could be surfing on the red planet

There’s more than sufficient water at the poles on Mars [via /.]. We could soon be surfing on the red planet. A few minor things to take care of: Dig out frozen water from a few kilometers beneath the ground, thaw it, install a surfdrome and we are in business.

Books recently read

Yours truly is still here. Read two books. The Adventure of English by Melvyn Bragg As the title says, the book treats English as the protogonist and traces how it was born, how it grew, how it almost died and how it came back to conquer the world. There are chapters on the various english…

Street dogs in Bangalore

Saw this news about two children mauled by street dogs and the consequent culling in Bangalore. Episodes like this are symptoms of the economic, social and organizational troubles palguing Indian cities. There are no quick and easy solutions.

Move your body

Stir your immobile self out of that chair and do something physical, would you. If you don’t, you may suffer flat balls (women excused), square bottoms and other assorted syndromes.