The Scientific Indian

Archives for July, 2009

What a writer needs

Sympathy, help, and a positive engagement. – Robert Louis Stevenson. That partial quote is from a fascinating essay called My First Book by the same author. A must read for all young writers. Here’s a bit more: The accepted novelist may take his novel up and put it down, spend days upon it in vain,…

Why Democracy Matters

Even with all it’s shortcomings, democracy matters because there is hope of representation for everyone, however poor one is. Unlike this disgusting corruption reported at NY Times that ruins poor young lives in China with no way for them to get back their future.

The (snake) charms of India

In India snakes charm you. Yes, they do, especially if you are a legislator in Orissa state assembly. Have time to hear a personal anecdote of the charms of snakes? Here we go. When I was about 6 or 7, I used to roam around the fields in my mother’s native village (google map). There…

Yesterday night I happened to listen to the BBC programme called The Bottom Line. Mr James Dyson was on. For those who are not aware, he is one of the finest engineers around. His company makes many things, most famous of all the Dyson Vacuum Cleaner. So, he was asked what gets the creative juices…

Do you think you ought to ‘own’ your digital content the same way you own material content? Take ebooks from Amazon stored in the Kindle. Recently, Amazon snuck into users Kindle and removed a book with questionable copyright (the book is 1984, feel free to laugh with irony). Pogue writes: “As one of my readers…

Feynman Lectures online

Bill Gates has made it available online. You need to install Silvelight (the flash alternative from Microsoft). It’s worth it.

Raqib Shaw’s paintings

Recently discovered the works of Raqib Shaw. Raqib Shaw was born in Culcutta, spent his youth in Kashmir and now lives and works in London. There are conflicts at so many levels in Raqib Shaw’s paintings that, as we look at it, we are drawn deeper and deeper into a strange, fantastical and unsettling world.…

The Genius of Bach

Rock musician Andrew W.K’s take on Bach at NPR. For a blissful ten minutes, listen to the linked ‘Bandenburg Concerto No.5: Allergro’. You would know that Bach was a deeply religious man. Reminds me of what Harold Bloom said of genius*, (I paraphrase): Genius is not bound by culture or religion. *You may want to…

Chicken and nanotubular noodles

The world is serendipitous, for those who explore it sideways, that is. Two of them explorers are Dr Richard Wool of University of Delaware and Erman Senöz. One fine day, Dr Wool (is his name a great nominative determinism, or what) unplucked a chicken, threw away the meat and kept the feathers. He then cooked…

Never thought about the cover page of a book as much as I am doing now. With the upcoming TheScian Stories book, all things bookish has become an obsession. Yesterday evening, wife was plugging away at the numerous things that need to be arranged before publishing a book and she had covered the table with…