Link #1

Cat yawning

Image via Wikipedia

Nice post highlighting the benefits of yawning.

http://www.upenn.edu/gazette/1109/expert.html

PS: I have started this new series of posts which are purely links, but not very common or famous links. These are interesting things I come across which aren’t very well known. Just some food for thought!

Asking questions

Do you ask questions?

Asking questions is important. Even more important is asking the right questions. Even more important is asking the right questions to the right person or source(because the “source” may not be a person). We grow up asking questions about anything and everything. Ideally speaking, every new question you ask should be superior to the previous question you asked(in a very abstract sense). Assuming this, it may not be long before which you will see a need to find other superior sources because unlike you or your brain, the source need not appreciate in it’s value. Unanswered questions should prompt you to find better sources.

Here, many cases can arise. One may be asking the right questions to wrong sources leading to the overall deterioration of the good question-answer harmony(I need a better word here!). This is not desirable as one seldom realizes if the answer was wrong. And this can initiate a chain reaction of wrong answer or not-so-right-an-answer everywhere(as more and more entities ask the same question) in the system which is like an expandable sphere with a finite elasticity. It finally bursts. The state returns back to the original raw state of chaos and unorganized information.

Also, with answering questions, more often than not I have seen that answering various questions helps the answerer know what he knows, better. Many a times, the thought process is well developed somewhere in the brain waiting for that particular question to arise. Expression or a traversal of your brain(not that you can completely traverse it) for data is important to know yourself. It can very well be the case that you ask yourself those questions and try to find the answer within you. An entire lifetime might be less to know what all you know so the best way is to ask good questions.

Now how exactly does one ask good questions? What do we mean by good questions? A good question simply means a question which satisfies the above mentioned criteria i.e. a good question is a question which is superior to all the previously asked good questions and directed to the appropriate source. This might sound more like a lesson but it is not. People should view their wisdom levels both relatively and absolutely. If you stop asking questions then probably your value is deteriorating relatively(maybe even absolutely) but when you ask questions you are becoming absolutely better. But relatively, you may or may not grow, as it depends on what questions others are asking. Also, as mentioned earlier, it is never in your interest to not answer when asked a question you know thinking you will be bad relatively. When you answer, you start knowing what you know and this is always good.

Now what happens if you don’t ask questions at all? Is it any better than asking the right questions to the wrong sources. Most of the times, it is worse. One is bound to ask the right questions to wrong sources and with increase in the “good” questions, one is more sure of hitting the wrong sources as the number of sources decrease absolutely. On the way to correct answers, one should not share the half answers or answers they doubt themselves to others or they must be imparted to others with caution so as to not burst the balloon. But without asking questions, you are almost like a dead mind in a living body. It is surely not easy to always ask good questions but it is easy to be on the path of asking questions and trying various sources! Sometimes there isn’t just one source or one way of answering a particular question. Things have to be learnt and various strings have to be connected before one becomes mindful enough to grasp the answers they are looking for. If you reach a dead end, you are surely not mindful enough to circumvent the problem, of grasping what is about to come or you are not asking a “good” question. Try to fill in the gaps.

Ask questions!

vada pav!

vada pavI feel like having one of those. This post is on how vada pav became the staple food item of the mumbaikars. Today, Its a 2000 crore industry, almost 1 lakh vada pavs are sold everyday in Mumbai itself. Out of this Jumbo King manages to sell 10,000 everyday. Vada pav is one thing that is liked and affordfable by all sections of the society. Its cost generally ranges from Rs.3 to Rs.7 with various brands serving this with add-ons like cheese and stuff and the cost varies a bit.

I used to have Jumbo king since it launched @ Andheri(W) and felt it was different, hygenic and great! I was there, may be one of their early customer and fan.

But whatever it is, this Indian burger can work for most occasions. If you are not that hungry then it surely is the solution and if you are hungry then too it can be the solution – have like 3-4. The pricing + taste + size is just at the best optimum which makes it the best fit of all times. Though its kinda too famous only in Maharashtra. I remember when i went on some tour to some places in MH, the sure thing you will get there is “vada pav”. But the mumbaikars and some brands like Jumbo King have made it all the great and have mastered the art of making it the best. My mom makes really good vada pav’s! :D

History: Talking about how it was invented. The Vaidya family began selling vada pavs from a handcart at Dadar railway station way back in 1966 – perhaps the first time the popular snack was dished out. Vada pav appears to be some kind of derivative obtained while making stuff by smashing potatoes…not much idea whatsoever. Vaidya family used to sell alu vadas and once on a customers request he gave it with a pav. That day onwards it got sold as “vada pav”. Whoever it is who made it – hats off !

References : How to prepare it : http://www.wikihow.com/Prepare-a-Vada-Pav

Bottleneck @ Adi Shankaracharya Marg

Recently, while returning from my intern evening time i have come across this weird problem faced by around 10000 people or even more who are unlucky enough to travel by this road. Its just not badly packed but its damn jam packed.

On my last trip back to IIT at 7 pm [ x-( ], I overhead someone telling his colleague, as to how this traffic is not modern but its happening since past 15 years or so. Surprised at this fact, i tried to listen more. It turns out that the bottleneck being the small width of the very long road just outside IIT-Bombay. No rickshaw-waala dares enter that zone unless he is new to the area or he is out of his mind (they are generally male. Never seen a female rickshaw driver :P). The entire project of this great problem is been given to a private construction company which is too big to consider this problem up to the mark to solve it. huh !! The person telling all this was pretty confident so i guess it must be true. He added, the company started by building the Hiranandani flyover which we see now.
But the work seems to have taken a sleeping pill after that one.

A bottleneck is any part of the system where the natural flow is obstructed causing waits and delays. It hinders movement along the pathway, determining the pace at which the whole process works.

Anyways, who knows what exactly the reason is. The road needs to be widened and for that it will have to eat some of the IITB space and on the other side some space which is occupied by a bunch of stores. There have been attempts of making it wider. Laxmi restaurant was shifted back and many others were removed. I guess the work was in progress at some time. I just hope it resumes quickly if there is any bottleneck in there in the system itself (I m talking about the decision takers).

BarCamp Mumbai 3 #1

bcm3.gif

The 3rd Mumbai chapter of BarCamp is to be held at iitb on this saturday 29th of March 2008.
I m missing my batch picnic to Kihim beach for this – After all ” kuch paane ke liye kuch khona padta hai “.

Getting back to the topic – this version of BarCamp is definitely going to be bigger and better.
The capacity has been increased and also its been planned to have mattresses all around the SOM area @ IITB. This time its all jam packed with product demos, startup ideas, cool hacks, hardware,etc…. Also some interesting discussions expected this time on design basics, visual thinking and massively multiplayer online games, etc..

Am eagerly waiting for all of these.

I m in ; are you?

The link in case u need it – http://www.barcampmumbai.org/