Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Cultural diversity in a research lab

I thought that this discussion of cultural diversity in a research lab would be interesting to my readers in India and elsewhere who work in a lab full with people from all over the world. Enjoy!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Friday, April 23, 2010

Playing with numbers

I know, I know! I am not regular in keeping my blog updated any more. My attention is diverted with so many different things that I don't feel like writing at all. But when I saw these drawings of Svetlana Bogatyr through the blog of Tanya Khovanova whom I visit time after time, I just couldn't stop my self to share it with you all. I specially enjoyed her drawings with numbers. You can visit the site to explore all of them, but here are few examples as a eye candy.

Enjoy the rest of them at her site!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Indian Standard Time

Many of us know about this phrase "Indian Standard Time" which means late by an hour to any place. Although I was never late for my classes, but for any social event, reaching on time means you are greeted by workers arranging chairs and you have to sit there for long before anyone else will arrive. So when you read similar stories about other nations, how do you react?

Here is a story about Bolivian Time in BBC. It says:

"Bolivians are really irresponsible, there is no culture of punctuality here, they don't arrive on time to work or anywhere else, it seems they don't wear a watch on their wrist,"

"Sometimes my lecturers show up 15 minutes, sometimes half an hour late. And sometimes they don't even show up," one student says.

I generally smile and enjoy them as a tale of natural human behavior. Yes, I think unless you are forced to learn the habit of timeliness (after coming out of India, I am more or less on time everywhere, even for the play-dates of my kids :)), by nature you take things easy and so never on time. At some places, it also becomes the matter of prestige. To show that you are an important person and have tons of special engagements for the day (even if you were sitting in home and looking at the watch continuously waiting to that hour to pass so you can reach), you are supposed to arrive 1-2 hours late.

Since I moved out of India, things became much more simpler. In most cases my guests are on time and if they are late they make sure to call to tell that they are running late. Meetings and other official things are always on dot. I do enjoy this certainties about life, but some time I miss easy going attitude of Indians for time.

What do you think?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Genetics of Full Professors

I am reading "At the Helm: a Laboratory Navigator" by Kathy Barker. It makes a nice read for anyone who is planning a science career, specially an academic career, in the USA. It contains lots of useful as well as annoying advises for a new PI, but it also contains sharp witty quotes which are fun to read. I came across a funny section titled "The Genetics of Full Professors". Below is the image of the text from the Google books. So True!

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Story of India

I am watching 6 parts series by Michael Wood named "The Story of India".

It took me some time to get used to his way of narrating Indian history. Instead of showing only old buildings, temple and monuments, he shows people and raw India as it exists today for a traveler and try to correlates it with ancient world while narrating the history of India. Many a times, he just want to show images of India without any specific context as well since the movie is made for American and European audience. Once you get used to the fact, that he is trying to correlate old ancient world with the current world, you start enjoying it.

The interesting aspect of the series is that he try to correlate it other civilization(and migration) and don't mind going out of India to show important pieces of our history. The time line of our history is fascinating.

I don't know how the history is taught in today's schools in India, but I don't remember studying Indian history correlated with world's history. When you correlate your own history with the surrounding, you get more complete picture of your own existence, tradition, religion and culture.

Another positive aspect of the series is history of south India which run differently than history of north India in most part. History of south India is mostly ignored in history books (at least what I remember from our school books) and without it, history of modern India is incomplete.

Probably many of you might not have correlated the disappearance of Indus valley civilization with recent climate debate. Throughout the human history, civilizations moved, changed or disappeared for many reasons, and climate change was most important until recently.

Last 2 episodes were less impressive as recent history is more or less known, and I was expecting to get more information from the British side. but nevertheless, it was an interesting watch.

I will recommend it to watch to everyone to understand Indian history if you have any chance of getting the DVD. I got it from local public library so it should be widely available.