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.

Friday, February 5, 2010

A survey on Indian bureaucratic system

Most of us, even though outside of India, are very much interested in the overall quality and efficiency of Indian Bureaucratic system, as we deal with it time after time directly or indirectly. And for those who are in India, there is definitely direct interest for its improvement.

Professor Prem Lal Joshi at University of Bahrain, Bahrain is conducting a survey to gauge the public mood. Here is the link for anyone who is interested in the system and improving its efficiency. I would be very much interested in seeing the positive suggestions (good critics) for improvement as I have no doubt that it lacks the very basic professional ethics. We need many more such studies on regular basis.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Snow is beautiful

Its bitter cold in north America, but there is a beauty in this cold weather. Yesterday, I went to see snow sculpture exhibition. Below are some of the examples with short description.

"5 seconds of life": This is my favorite. A frog is looking at an insect with the idea to attack.

"Chinese Opera": I like the details in this sculpture.


"Man Playing Guitar": This is not probably the exact title, but gives an idea.

Below are more pictures of sculptures which hardly need any explanation.