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Indian Olympics
Another series down under
OrkutWorld
Sathyabama Engineering College
India at the Winter Olympics
"The jury is still out on Evolution"
The Ashes
The First Invaders of South Asia?
Aryans and Dravidians
Indian discus thrower fails drug test : Surprised?...
 
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Indian Olympics

It's surprising that the official Indian Olympics page at http://www.olympic.ind.in/, still has no information on the Athletes qualified for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. It's a pretty shoddy website though. Why in the world is the ANOC presenting Kalmadi with an award anyway? More importantly, what can we do to get rid of Kalmadi?

In any case, Wikipedia came to my rescue once again. Here's the listing for Indian Athletes qualified (or in the process of qualifying) for the Beijing 2008 Olympics.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/India_at_the_2008_Summer_Olympics
Indian Olympics - Thursday, June 19, 2008 -

Another series down under

The boxing day test match has always been the traditional start of the cricket season in Australia. This time around, the match could involve four tearing fast bowlers throwing everything at the solid, yet attacking Indian batsman, in a test that will definitely set the trend for the remainder of the series.

The excitement of watching Lee, Johnson, Clark and Tait bowling with whatever bounce and speed is available at the Melbourne track, against a batting lineup that could include any/all of Sehwag, Yuvraj, Jaffer, Dravid, Ganguly, Tendulkar, Dhoni is almost too much to bear.

However, the fact is that it is up to India's batsmen to make this an exciting series, and up to their spinners to show that variety is of importance at the highest level. By the end of the 2nd day's play on the 27th of December, the world will know whether the Indian team has brought the hunger to back up their skill, in what might be the final series down under for the backbone of their batting line-up. It will also be a chance for Kumble, the bowler, and Kumble, the captain, to add a feather to his personal cap, and to that of Team India.
Another series down under - Tuesday, December 18, 2007 -

OrkutWorld

Orkut has been around a while - and I had dismissed the whole thing as just another social networking site. I finally did accept invitations to join, and found half the planet on there already. Well, atleast half of the planet that I care about. While browsing the statistics on the site, I found it interesting that over 50% of the people on Orkut are from Brazil. I imagined the US being there (in second place), and India is too. These 3 countries account for about 90% of Orkutians. (Orkutites, Orkutwallas ...)
OrkutWorld - Friday, February 23, 2007 -

Sathyabama Engineering College

A self-financed engineering college during my years there from 1994-98 - has a reputation of being a terrible place to get an education. The unnecessarily strict and borderline ridiculous rules making the four (or five if you are in the architecture group) years of school, a journey to hell and back.

It has its own WikiPedia entry now. An entry that I have tried to keep clean - but one that is often vandalised by "former students" that insist on taking the entry away from its primary goal of indicating what the college/institution really is about.

Yes, I got Suspended, stood in the sun for Office Duty, was rebuked for Not Shaving and a lot of the other stuff that people whine about. At the same time I Solved Crossword Puzzles the first two hours of the day, Spoke to Girls without devious spy techniques, had the chance to Visit the Ladies Hostel, even Bunked a few classes, ate some awesome Biryani every now and then, made some Great Friends, picked up a Decent Education, and almost Had a Blast.

I have no clue how things are now, since the college is now part of the Jeppiar University - but I dont think it was anywhere as bad as people make it seem. Do leave a comment on what you remember from your days at the institution if you are a former student, or clean up the Wikipedia entry if you have the time.

Whiners will always be whiners ...
Sathyabama Engineering College - Monday, February 27, 2006 -

India at the Winter Olympics

It's not just Shiva Kesavan in the luge this time. There are a total of four Indian athletes including him. Here's the complete list.
India at the Winter Olympics - Tuesday, February 07, 2006 -

"The jury is still out on Evolution"

In a country that has been at the forefront of science for decades, what would be the reason to question something as fundamental as evolution? However, just as any argument goes, there must be two sides - and I am going to attempt to see where the religious right might be coming from on this one.

I am sure that there are still people out there that believe that everything came from the Garden of Eden. The dinosaurs must have been frolicking in the garden as Adam and Eve tended to their apple orchards. To these people, I dont really have much to say because it is difficult for me to laugh and speak at the same time.

So, let us focus on the Evolution doubters that realize that they really do need something "scientific" to back up their statements, and therefore use the scientific term "Intelligent Design" - apparently an alternative "theory" to Evolution.

What is the basis of Intelligent Design? The concept essentially is that the random processes of evolution cannot lead to the complexity and/or physical properties of many species on this planet - and therefore imply that there is an element of intelligence involved in their design. Sounds perfectly reasonable - but when you delve into the definition a little more in detail, all it really is, is the age old answer to questions that are difficult to answer. If the question cannot be answered, lets just say a "superior being" was involved - the argument of ignorance.

What the creationists do not understand here is that the complexity involved in different species is very adequately explained by evolution, and "survival of the fittest". Evolution works by "natural selection", and the fact that worthwhile traits that suit an organisms current living environment are chosen over others that are unable to respond to changing environmental conditions. With time, these can become reasonably complex - as complex as the human brain itself.

The problem with wrapping the creationist "theory" and sticking the "Intelligent Design" label on it, is that it is still nowhere close to a real science. Science requires theories to be tested and proven by experiment in some form. This is certainly not possible with ID. Further, how does one really define this Intelligence in the first place other than the typical, "You will know it when you see it" definition.

Going back to my point on explaining everything in terms of a superior being, where unexpected and unexplainable complexities are explained away by using the Design expertise of an intelligent architect. It appears that all that is being done is that the complexity is being taken from the living species, and moved up one level to this Designer - thereby making the Intelligent Designer incredibly complex. So, taking the argument back to the proponents of ID - how does one explain the irreducible complexity of the designer? Is the jury still out on that one?
"The jury is still out on Evolution" - Saturday, November 26, 2005 -

The Ashes

As I write this, the last session of the series has just begin, with England about 230 runs ahead with 3 wickets in hand, and 47 odd overs to be bowled. If you include a couple of overs for the change of innings, things are already looking dicey for Australia.

Australia were the overwhelming favourites when they landed up in England, but it's quite amazing how things have changed in the past month or so. Names like Jones, Flintoff and Pietersen are bound to become legends in England atleast, and tied with this Ashes series forever. I certainly expected England to take back the Ashes someday, but I did not expect it to happen this year, in this series.

Australia will still continue to be the leading nation in Test cricket, but I wonder what this means for the super series that is to be played later this year. If this is really the beginning of the end, it opens a place for the other teams to reach the top. England, of course, are the front runners to take over the top spot, but India are not too far behind in Test cricket.

Exciting times for Test cricket ahead. (The less I speak of one-day cricket and the Indian team, the better).
The Ashes - Sunday, September 11, 2005 -

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