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Showing posts from March, 2008

Cricket on Outer Ring Road

The Outer Ring Road in Bangalore is probably not as well known for cricket as the Eden Gardens, Lords or the Sydney Cricket Ground, but last Sunday I was watching a game of cricket on a Sunday morning in one of the few patches of land left on the Outer Ring Road in Bangalore.

The kids are surrounded by multi story buildings under construction, land-moving equipment and granite slabs, but nothing beats the joy of playing cricket in the morning.

The lay of the land: the pitch looks bouncy and it might aid bowlers in the morning.

The batsman watches the ball go over the slip cordon

Once in a while the ball gets lost amidst the concrete slabs behind the wickets and the wicketkeeper has to point the location out to the fielder at first slip. An intensive search proceeds.

Retrieval efforts fail and the wicket keeper himself proceeds to find the ball.

When a new batsman comes, the bails are set properly and the game proceeds.

I expect the next time I'm back here, the construction equipment woul…

Rural Wireless

I've just spent a week in Bangalore talking and hearing about connectivity for emerging countries. Living in the United States, one takes many things for granted - water, power, transportation and most importantly connectivity which has become an essential utility. Most emerging countries lack the capability or the will to deliver water, power and transportation to their citizens. However, a large number of organizations are coming up with innovative low-cost solutions to provide connectivity in the hope that this digital inclusion will mitigate the effects of lacking the other three utilities.

There have been a number of stories in the local press about Tata Communications launching the world's largest WiMAX network (another company in the group recently launched the world's cheapest car). Inspite of the hype, the state of connectivity is abysmal - there are only 2.9 million broadband connections: a penetration rate of almost 0.25 %

However, hidden behind all this brouhah…

The Cosmic Stuff

NASA has released some interesting material on the composition of the Universe - as it is today and as it was 13.7 billion years ago, 1 second after the Big Bang.

Dark Matter, which forms 23% of the Universe, is different from atoms and does not emit or absorb light. It has only been detected indirectly by its gravity.

The bulk of the universe, 72%, is composed of "Dark Energy", that acts as a sort of an anti-gravity. This energy, distinct from dark matter, is responsible for the present-day acceleration of the universal expansion.

Atoms, the building blocks we are made of, comprise of just 4.6% of the Universe.

It's amazing that atoms are so scarce in the Universe and even more amazing how irreverently we treat our Earth and fellow-beings.

Book Review: Are You Ready to Succeed ?

Dr.Srikumar Rao's book Are You Ready To Succeed ? is one of the most unusual books I have read in 2007. I read it on a flight from Bangalore to San Francisco and as soon as I finished the reading it, I went back and started reading it again.

The book is sub-titled "An unconventional guide to personal transformation in work & in life" and it is written in a very direct engaging manner as though Dr.Rao is directly talking to you. This writing style probably emerges from the fact that the book arose from a very successful course conducted by Dr.Rao at Columbia Business School.

As the author states repeatedly in the book, to derive the most benefit out of the book, you have to be committed to doing the exercises in the book. These exercises force you to take a very candid look at your mental models - the lens by which you perceive the universe and your relationship to it. Blaise Pascal wrote, "All men's miseries derive from not being able to sit in a quiet room al…