May 31, 2006

Raft & Rail @ Smoky Moutains

We started our road-trip on Friday evening (26th May) at 9:00 pm, after having a mild dinner at Taco Bell. We are 9 of us seated in 2 vehicles (Dodge Stratus & Crysler Pacifica). This is a trip similar to the one we had to Arkansas last summer. Many of us took turns to drive the car, and sleep in the back seat. On Saturday (27th May), we reached Knoxville, where we stayed for the day, and visited "Lost sea" cavern in the evening.

On Sunday (28th May), we had a raft & rail adventure at Smoky mountains. First, we boarded the train that drove us through the moutains' beatific spots, and to a higher altitude. We then took-up rafting on the wild waters of Nantahala river. Its a 8 mile, 2 hour guide-assisted raft trip down the river. I felt very adventurous, as it was my first time rafting experience. On reaching the valley, we got off the rafting boats, had a shower and a late-lunch buffet.

Our next stop was the near-by city named Gatlinburg, which had a few attractions to its credit. Without wasting much time, we went to a chinese restaurant for 160-variety buffet dinner, and started our way back home at 9:00 pm.

It was Monday noon (29th May) when we reached home... all tired and sleepy. The trip was overall very exciting, adventurous, and a good break from daily life. My photos are coming soon...

Update: Click here to view my trip photos.

May 30, 2006

A Tribute to Hinduism

I was very glad to have a peek into the site 'A Tribute to Hinduism'. It has an excellent collection of infomation related to several aspects of Hinduism. The site is further populated with pictures, quotes, analysis, excerpts,...etc. Kudos to the creators of this website. This site can serve as a starting point for all of us to learn more about the glory of Hinduism.

May 26, 2006

Yahoo Widgets Engine

Yesterday, I installed the Yahoo Widget Engine, and am very delighted about it. The appearance is cool, and is definitely worth having it around. I was surprised by the multitude of these widgets (nearly thousands of them) out there... compared to just a couple hundred Google widgets available.

You can find a list of popular Yahoo widgets here. I admit its a late find... May be becoz of its previous unattractive name "Konfabulator" that I did not pay attention to it. Now, they have changed its name to a much better sounding "Yahoo Widget Engine".

May 25, 2006

Times of Triumph

My friend Vinoth Amaranathan designed his new website recently on Googlepages, and named it "Times of Triumph". The website is neat, and has the essentials of a personal homepage. The title is very impressive... as it conveys optimism and a win-win ambience. The sub-title "Session of mind built with eternal soul" is also well framed.

Good work dude... You may also think of getting started with a blog of your own.

May 24, 2006

Reading more news than ever...

Wow... I am reading more news on internet than ever before. Thanks to rss feeds, and the underlying technologies. There is a great deal of information that keeps me busy all day long on internet. Until a little long ago, I used to wonder how I can make the best use of internet. The answer is here with RSS feeds (especially

There is news on my browser's homepage, some on my Google Desktop Widget, and finally some on my RSS reader. I also get to read articles, learn new vocabulary, know famous quotes, see comics, and stay on the edge of information.

Certainly, Knowledge is Power. The emergence of News-aggregators makes it easy to find the information I am interested in. The following are the RSS feeds that I keep track of...

  • Word of the Day
  • Quote of the Day
  • Techcrunch
  • Engadget
  • Express India
  • Blognicient Technology top blog articles
  • Slashdot
  • Yahoo Tech News
  • Digg
  • Flickr Images
  • Comics
  • Weather (Dallas and India)
  • ...
As you can see, my focus is more on Tech news...

May 23, 2006

Trip to Smoky Mountains

My friends and I are planning a trip to the Great Smoky Mountains in North Carolina for this long weekend (May 29, 2006). It will be a 3 day fun-filled road-adventure, packed with lots to see & experience... Click here for an indepth info on this beautiful vacation spot. Shall let you know more after I get back from the trip...

Below is the stuff from 'Stuff a Blog'

Timestamp: 2006-05-27 2006-05-29

smokies vacation , great smokies ,
Yahoo Map image

Relevant pics from Flickr

Related News
Great Times in the Great Smoky Mountains
Road in Smokies collapses after rain
Heavy rains cause small landslide in Smokies

Yahoo Answers
The Great Smoky Mountains?
What is the best national park to visit and why?
What is the best tourist attraction in Tennessee?

Product Details from Amazon
Great Smoky Mountains National Park (Picture Book and Tour Guide)
Manufacturer: Aerial Photography Services Inc.
ASIN #: 1880970074

Powered by Amazon
Some of my recent related posts

Click here for a list of all my previous blog-posts related to great smokies, vacation
My Standpoint:

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May 18, 2006

Its all in a smile

In US, most of them smile, and share a word or two while they pass-by strangers in everyday life. I greatly appreciate this social habit. Things are so very different in India, and it would be good if such social habits are adopted by the youth.

Got this interesting article as a forwarded mail. Its well written and worth a read.

A smile is the light in your window that tells others that there is a caring, sharing person inside.

Life is short but a smile takes barely a second.

Every tear has a smile behind it.

A smile is a curve that sets everything straight.

A good neighbor is a fellow who smiles at you over the back fence, but doesn't climb over it.

If you see a friend without a smile; give him one of yours.

A smile starts on the lips, A grin spreads to the eyes, A chuckle comes from the belly; But a good laugh bursts forth from the soul, Overflows, and bubbles all around

Because of your smile, you make life more beautiful.

Too often we underestimate the power of a smile, which have the potential to turn a life around.

Smiles are the language of love.

The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress, and grows brave by reflection.

A smile is an inexpensive way to change your looks

All people smile in the same language.

Children smile on the average 400 times/day; Adults: 15 times/day. Ever wonder why?

A warm smile is the universal language of kindness.

So Smileeeeeee please :-))

Google Adsense

I've added a few google adsense products to this blog's sidepage. I just wanted to give it a shot, and also keep it simple. Click on them once in a while... (it will cheer me~).

May 15, 2006

Cherish LIFE

Found an interesting .pps file about cherishing LIFE. Click here to view it.

May 13, 2006

Do whats required

After the election results in several states in India, some of the out-going chief-ministers remarked that they worked very hard to the limits of their capacity for the progress & growth of the state. Though such a statement is just a gesture before stepping down, it reminds me of a famous quote by Winston Churchill...

It's not enough that we do our best; sometimes we have to do what's required.
Sir Winston Churchill (1874 - 1965)

May 12, 2006


'COSMICAN'... What was the first thing that came to your mind on looking at this word?

I am thinking of 'COSMICAN' to be my cyber-name. You will not find this word in a dictionary. My friend (Vinoth) and I coined this word and assigned to it, the apparent meaning 'A member of the Universe'. Hmm... we had to coin a new one as I was trying to find a word that associates me not to a subset of minds, or any specific geographical area (country).

I instead wanted to bear a name that represents the super-set of all groups & entities. So, we came up with the name 'COSMICAN'. I feel it also reflects a higher level of thought, and a broader perspective. Do I sound justified?

May 11, 2006

Harvard Math

May 10, 2006

No interviews to join a nursery school

Well done Delhi HighCourt (India)... Below is an excerpt from the news-article

According to a significant order issued by the Delhi High Court on Wednesday, no private school in Delhi can interview children or their parents for admission in nursery class.

Its the right step towards treating all pupils equal. It should soon be made applicable to the whole nation.

This will create questions for the school authorities as how to select only a fractional number of applicants from a few thousands of them who apply. Also, monetary donations is not an acceptable solution.

I feel the selection process in nursery schools should be random, and free from caste, community or race. For those schools who are very consious about the quality of their students, they can get critical on the pass-criteria for higher classes (not nursery).

Mac Pseudo-Transparent screens

Here is some interesting stuff... Check it out!

Click here for a video demonstrating the transparent screen in action...

Get to know how its done...

Yeah, it's a trick with setting your desktop to a picture of whatever is behind your screen. But it looks pretty cool, and apparently it really begins to feel to the user like your desktop is transparent and the stuff on your desktop is kind of floating in space.

This is an interesting pic that I found in the 'Transparent screens' photo-set. FYI, this pic is original (not manipulated). Any guess as how this shot was taken! Click here for the answer.

May 09, 2006

JPR jokes

Here is a collection of broken English incidents. They are tagged as JPR jokes~ Have a hearty laughter...

About his family
I have two daughters. Both of them are girls...(?)

At the ground
  • All of you, stand in a straight circle.
  • There is no wind in the balloon.
  • The girl with the mirror please comes her... {Meaning girl with specs).

To a boy, angrily
I talk, he talk, why you middle middle talk ?

Giving a punishment
  • you, rotate the ground four times...
  • you, go and under-stand the tree...
  • you three of you, stand together separately.
  • Why are you late - say YES or NO..... (?)

Sir at his best

Sir had once gone to a film with his wife. By chance, he happened to see one of our boys at the theatre, though the boy did no t see them. So the next day at s school... ( to that boy ) - "Yesterday I saw you WITH MY WIFE at the Cinema Theatre"

Inside the Class room
  • Open the doors of the window. Let the atmosphere come in.
  • Open the doors of the window. Let the Air Force come in.
  • Cut an apple into two halves - take the bigger half.
  • Shhh...Quiet, boys...the principal just passed away in the corridor
  • You, meet me behind the class. (Meaning AFTER the class ...)
  • Both of u three, get out of the class.
  • Close the doors of the windows please.
  • Take Copper Wire of any metal especially of Silver.....
  • Take 5 cm wire of any length....

More Incidents

once sir had come late to a college function, by the time the function had started, so he went to the dais, and said, sorry I am late, because on the way my car hit 2 muttons (Meaning goats).

Fresh years day 2004 -
"No ragging this college. Anybody rag we arrest the police"

During national integration camp: You must all go to the village. There you must live them, stay them, sleep them and eat them(????)….{ He means that we shd all go to village n live n eat along with them 2 know their culture..whuf!!!!.....this happened jus few months ago)

May 08, 2006

Be worthy of your words

Huh! What a flirt she should be... (if this pic is genuine). I got this pic on the net, and at once burst into laughter. But, I infact pity the guy in the center. I just hate such people who are hideous, and mistrustful.

Trust is such an important aspect for any kind of relationship... be it in personal life or in business. The below is a passage borrowed from this site.

What is trust?
1. Trust means that you feel that the person is honest and will not lie, cheat or steal from you.
2. It also means that you can count on the person to do as he or she promised and that the person is reliable.
3. Finally, trust in a person means that you feel he or she can be counted on to do something important, will not shirk from duties, and will take personal pride in what he or she does.

Others will respect you more and want to continue relationships and dealing with you. Also, you will feel a sense of self-respect.

Well... Let me now jump into discussing a generic form of trust-worthiness. Are we all completely trust-worthy of our words & deeds?

Here is my say on it: Being trust-worthy is something that needs great practice. I feel it directly maps to how well we can stick to our word. It boils down to how accurate can we make a promise, state a claim, or give a piece of information. There are some people who make false promises and fictitious statements for the sake of pride, some do it with an evil intention, and some do it due to ignorance.

Most of us do not intend to make a false promise. However, we sometimes fail to keep-up to our word due to mis-judgement of our capabilities, or due to unexpected circumstances. Whom are we to blame at? Is it ourselves? ? ? I feel the answer is "YES" for most cases.

Here are some of my thoughts on it... Extensive planning and scheduling is essential in the first place. We should integrate the qualities of honesty and humbleness deep into our personality, and claim only the ones we are 100% sure of. This will ensure keeping up promises for the most part.

Considering the exceptional cases, we cannot foresee whats going to happen... But we can certainly give priorities to our tasks. For instance, lets say I assured my friend about my presence to his birthday party. But at the same time, if a business meeting appears out-of-the-blue and is a $million deal, I should still give my priority to the promise I made to a friend in the ideal world. But realistically speaking, things are different. It would further spice up things if an important event is in the place of a birthday party.

The bottom line is that its very important to live by one's own words. This gives more meaning & respect to one's life.

First draft of my Web2.0 company

Made my first draft of my web2.0 application. Still, I've not given it a name. It revolves around the concept of social blogging of ideas & opinions. The draft is just about requirements gathering.

[Update]: I abandoned the above idea, and came up with much better ones.

May 07, 2006

If women rule the world

Came across these interesting pics... They depict how the world would have been if ruled by women... They make sense to me.

May 05, 2006

Be a man of your words

Be a man of your words... That'd be the greatest challenge you could ever take... So, take it!

Happy Birthday Mom !

Wishing my mom many happy returns of the day... I love you mom!

May 03, 2006

Get back to the top of the world...

McCauley - A British writer, historian and Parliamentarian, responsible for making the choice of Modern English Education for Indians stated in his speech of 1835 at British Parliament.

"I have traveled across the length and breadth of India and I have not seen one person who is a beggar, who is a thief. Such wealth I have seen in this country, such high moral values, people of such caliber, that I do not think we would ever conquer this country, unless we break the very backbone of this nation, which is her spiritual and cultural heritage, and, therefore, I propose that we replace her old and ancient education system, her culture, for if the Indians think that all that is foreign and English is good and reater than their own, they will lose their self-esteem, their native self-culture and they will become what we want them, a truly dominated nation".

-McCauley in his speech of Feb 2, 1835, British Parliament

The British were successful in their effort to break the backbone of our nation (spiritual & cutural heritage). So as Indians, what do we do now? Should we not strive to get back our strengths and compete with the world like a pro? How do we do it in the most acceptable manner?

While I was thinking deeply to answer the above questions, I came up with a possible solution. Here is something you should know before I proceed...

Swami Vivekananda: a powerful soul, an influential speaker, a great philosopher, a promising disciple, and an enthusiast who devoted his life to spread wisdom, and to realize the truth. His books, speeches, and teachings does not ever touch upon the subject of religion... His subject of teaching revolves around the capabilities of our mind, and induces the 'can-do' attitude among people. Yet, he is considered as a Hindu saint, and his books are read only by the devotional minds.

Why not include his books for reading in schools? ? ? They teach students moral values, and creates greater inspiration in them to excel in life. Lessons taught to the fresh minds in school make a whole lot of difference in their future endeavours. This is the first step to create great entrepreneurs, moral politicians, and scientists for the country. But the government neglects this in the name of secularism. For god sake, why don't they acknowledge the fact that no religion is tagged with Swami Vivekananda's preachings.

Well, if students don't get to read those books in school, why not make them read at home. Not many parents do that... The reason being adults themselves are not aware of the glory in Swami Vivekananda's books/teachings. Educating adults can be easily solved with the right media. Newspapers and television are the main channels of informing people about the benefits.

Reading his books, any person at any age is sure to get motivated and inspired to lead a life of their maximum satisfaction in both materialistic and devotional worlds. Especially recommended for all those who come to foreign land (like me). It removes any trace of lonesome, fear, and broadens our thought level to new extents.

The book that comprises the crux of his works, and includes all that a common man needs to learn/know is "A Call to the Youth of India". This book is available widely in all Ramakrishna Missions. However, here is a link to his complete works.

May 02, 2006

My Blog in a book

I hope you'll find such a book in Amazon some day in future... Watch out!

P.S. The above one is a fake image of "For Dummies" book cover that can be created here.

May 01, 2006

Web2.0 kick-starts...

Last week, I discovered a whole new set of websites that offer some useful services. Credit goes to Web2.0 for being able to raise the enthusiasm among people in creating start-up webservice companies. This listing enumerates the best of web2.0 sites in each category. Its worth giving them a try.

A nice combo of RSS and Ajax improved the quality of webservices, and introduced a new way for users to interact with the web. With Google soaring high in new products and services, Yahoo and MSN are on their toes... Its a good healthy competition.

By the way, I tried the new Yahoo services like Yahoo Answers, Yahoo Tech, the new Yahoo mail, etc... and I liked all of them. Good work Yahoo!