Wednesday, October 25, 2006

What I will remember about Micheal Schumacher

I'm not a Micheal Schumacher fan. Yet, in all fairness, I do agree that he's probably the greatest racing driver of all time. What I didn't like about him was his gamesmanship. I felt it was unnecessary and most of the time uncalled for. That's I have put together things that I remember in this post rather than going by what the pundits say. For e.g. I can't say that I saw the 1994 collision with Hill because I just stopped watching F1 when Senna died. I didn't see the 1995 season either. Seasons earlier to that are so far back that I just don't remember much about Schumacher in those years.

This post is a tribute to Micheal Schumacher.

Things that made me drop my jaw -
1. Revival of Ferrari. There's no way that Ferrari could have won any of their championships from 1999 onwards without Micheal Schumacher. The genius of man was such that he was able to win 3 races in 1996 with a POS. That's when Williams were super dominant and could have won every single race. What also made the difference was Ross Brawn and Rory Bryne following him to Ferrari. The difference was visible immediately and Schumacher could have won the 1997 season itself.
2. Overall Record. The same number of wins as Prost and Senna put together. That's pretty amazing. I still remember the post race press conference where Schumacher had equalled Senna's Record of 41 wins. Going hand in hand with these was his absolute domination of the 2002 and 2004 seasons.
3. Jerez 1996. Some say that he could won that race in a Minardi. That's how good he was in that race
4. Spa 1998. This was a race he didn't win but it was because he ran into the back of DC's car. But it was a rain affected race and it was just incredible to see him in the rain. He had nearly a minute's lead and was coasting to victory when it happened.
5. Sepang 1999. To my mind, this is his best race ever. He came back from injury and promised to help Eddie Irvine win. And boy oh boy did he do that. Nobody is a better defensive driver that MS and the way he held back Hakkinen was just incredible. It wasn't just 1 or 2 laps but a whole bunch of laps. Mind you Hakkinen was no slouch in the Mclaren either. Hakkinen did get the better of Schumacher in Spa 2000 with an amazing overtaking move, and keeping that in perspective, this effort in Sepang was astonishing. I also remember him defending against Ralf in Brazil 2002, but won't rate that as highly because Ralf's known limitations as a racer.
6. Brazil 2006. I think his last race was a bit underrated. He was nearly a lap down on Massa after a few laps and yet managed to come within a few seconds of second place Alonso. That means he gained almost 40 odd seconds on Massa! That's pretty special.

Some of things that made me go "That's why I don't cheer for him" aka gamesmanship -
1. Last race of  1997 against JV
2. Austria 2001, 2002 "against" Barrichello
3. Indy 2004's Dead Heat Attempt
4. Monaco 2006 Car Parking

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Monday, October 09, 2006

More than 50 years, but still no progress

Recently, a friend of mine told me that he had agreed to get married. That sentence would sound a little odd, unless you already knew about arranged marriages in India. The system basically starts with the parents of a "suitable boy" or a "suitable girl" take it upon themselves to convince their son/daughter that it is time that he/she gets hitched. After some persuasion, the prospective bride/grom gives her/his requirements. Some parents choose to ignore these and but many urbane, educated, "modern" folks do keep these "requirements" in mind.

In my friends case, it was his requirements that shocked and surprised me
1. She had to speak only a particular south indian language. No other south indian language would do, because
a) He disliked the movies and tv shows made in another south indian language
b) His mother disliked the other remaining languages
c) The girl should not feel offended if my friend and his mother happened to converse in his mother tongue
2. She must be religious and must have no aversion to a particular sect (with its own weird and controversal guru). If he chooses to donate hundreds of thousands of Rupees to the sect then its his choice and she must not have anything to say about it
3. She must not watch too much TV or movies as its offensive to his parents.
4. She must first devote herself to taking care of his parents and next him. Her wishes are irrelavent.

I could go on further, but my point is made. Essentially, I feel my friend is not looking for a marriage or for a soulmate. He's looking for a slave.

What surprised and shocked me was that this friend was very well educated, highly capable in his job, liberal in his views and quite dynamic. And yet, what these "requirements" reveal is a very parochial and narrow minded person. It was this revelation that came as a shock. After more than 50 years of Indians trying to rid themselves of their parochial nature, even the most educated, well travelled, well read people still tend to be highly discriminating in their personal chocies and views.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Its not that just one blow up

It looks more than likely than Alonso will now win the championship, but its not because of Schumacher's Ferrari blowing up its engine in Japan. In the end, its due to Alonso having a better start to the season than Schumacher.

Considering that its been 6 years since Schumacher's car has had an engine failure, its a bit ironic that this season may be coming to an end without a title due to an engine failure. He has won 5 championships for Ferrari since 2000 simply because of that amazing relability. Some call it luck, some say it was amazing driving, some say divine inspiration, and others a bit of FerrArI magic (sic).

All said and done, I think Ferrari are the best team in terms of reliability and that's why they have won so often. Consider the case of Raikkonen who is now moving to Ferrari. He lost the championship last year because of reliability issues and if his McLaren was reliable, then could have finished 3rd in the championship this season.

But, that's the luck of the draw. Sometimes its destiny, sometimes its luck and sometimes its outside forces. link (nsfw).

Friday, October 06, 2006

What to do during a Bandh?

Everything comes to a standstill, so what's the best things one can do?

Most Bangaloreans thought that its best not to venture out, but I couldn't resist. Who can resist the chance of driving through silk board at 9.00 AM on a Wednesday, with no traffic?

That's what I did and added a drive to Electronics City and back. 8 mins from Silk board to Electronics City and 7 mins on the way back.
I can't remember the last time, anyone could do that at 9.00 AM on a Wednesday Morning!! Ya..

Talking of zipping in and out of traffic, here's a nice clip of a "leisurely" stroll through Paris. Yes sir, for F1 Drivers, this surely is a leisurely pace.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Havent you got a patent yet?

That's supposed to be motivating, esp. when you are in R&D (Reading and Documentation). However, all one needs to do is have a look at some of the crazy patents out there. Check out this link. It lists some the craziest patents out there.
  1. A method of exercising a cat (Garfield's nightmare)
  2. Inclining coffin! (And he rises from the dead :-)
  3. Pillow with retractable umbrella (hmmm must be useful for sleeping outside during the monsoons)
But the best of the lot has to be "Beerbrella". Yup... It keeps the sun of your beer! How cool is that?

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Saturday, September 09, 2006

The other side of Ganesh Chaturthi

Its been over 11 days since we celebrated Ganesh Chaturthi. End of the festivals, the idol(s) are supposed to be immersed in water, signifying the joining of individual souls with the infinite.

However, the festival has now degraded into just merry making with thought going to the environment. These photos show the ugly after effects.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

We'll be back with our regular programming shortly

No Reruns...
New Shows!!!
The old favorites continue..

Coming soon, to a blog near you..

Monday, August 07, 2006

Hungary 2006 GP Winners Losers


1. JB. Finally a win after all the waiting. Considering that Honda were on the brink of disaster a few races back, this must be an amazing result. What makes it even more special is the fact that he beat RB, who is considered by many to be one of the better drivers in the wet.
2. Honda. 13 points from the race in which Renault scored 0 and Ferrari scored 3 points. Great result. Could have been better had their gamble with RB's tyres had paid off. Otherwise, it could have been 2 Hondas on the podium
3. Heidfeld. Podium finish was the result of a clinical drive. No dramas, no spins and no overdriving from him. The TV producer did not even pick him up until he actually got ready to challenge MS for the Podium. That means he drove a quite, clinical and yet effective race.
4. DLR. After the 1st pitstops was starting to close in on KR, and perhaps that way contributed towards his losing a bit of concentration and crashing out. 2nd place was a fantastic finish for him.
5. DC. To get the RB in the points is pretty good, but to finish 5th, which is ahead of both the Ferraris is pretty amazing.
6. Michelin. The wet weather tyre that they brought was literally miles ahead of Bridgestone. There was no way that Alonso could have driven around the outside of MS, the Rain-meister, without a huge advantage.

1. Renault. A rare DNF for Alonso, but for both the Renaults to DNF when conditions were some much in their favour does not speak well. Very rarely does one see the Ferraris losing badly if things are in their favour. In the end, it was 3 points lost to Ferrari when there could have been two Renaults on the podium.
2. Bridgestone. A poor tyre from them, and yet is unfair to blame them completely for the Ferraris failure. RS finished ahead of both the Ferraris and he was on Bridgestones as well. Nevertheless, the Bridgestones were a poor match to the Michelins this race
3. Alonso. A great oppurtunity lost. It would have been 9 points in his favour and would have tilted the scales hugely in his favour. Can't blame him too much if the problem was Mechanical
4. KR. A bad miss. A really bad miss. Too many times, McLaren and KR have cocked it up when things are going well for them. It was because of such failures that they lost both the championships last year. Compare that to Ferrari, and it looks like MS and Ferrari are going to fight all the way.
5. Massa. Looked totally lost in the rain. MS also was struggling but once it stopped raining, he made up for it as much as he could. Massa didn't even look like he was trying.

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Monday, July 31, 2006

Germany 2006 GP Winners Losers


1. MS. Last year, around this time, Kimi was able to demonstrate a huge advantage over the Renaults, and yet, it was Alonso who won the championship, and too with a comfortable margin. I'm not sure if Alonso or MS would win, but the championship is getting a whole lot closer. Ferrari have a clear advantage over Renault now that the weights in the suspension have been ruled against Renault. The one thing that is Ferrari's strength this year as against McLaren's, is their bulletproof reliability. MS converted that reliability into another easy win.
2. Massa. More than the 2nd place, he managed to get himself between MS and Alonso and thereby did what all that is expected of him
3. Kimi. A welcome return to the podium
4. Weber. Agonizingly close to finishing in the points for the change but as usual the Williams gave up before the end
5. Button. A good result given the disasters that the Honda team has been experiencing in the last 3 races

1. Alonso. The drop off in performance has been quite sharp in this race. I didn't expect him to win but I did expect a podium from him. I still feel that Renault will improve in Hungary and will be able to challenge Ferrari

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Monday, July 17, 2006

France 2006 GP Winners Losers


1. MS. Clincal, professional and leagues ahead of his team mate
2. Ralf Schumacher. When he's in the mood, he's as good as anybody else. Today was one of those days
3. Scott Speed. How on earth can a Toro Rosso (a.k.a Minardi) finish ahead of a Sauber, Williams? 10th place is pretty amazing for Torro Rosso especially considering JV, Klien, and Rosberg were behind. Great result
4. de la Rosa. The other spaniard in the race, but he did make it more memorable than his more illustrious countryman. His were the only exciting moments in the race
5. Alonso. Damage limitation to the maximum. 2 points lost but once we get to Hungary I'm sure things will turn back in his favour.

1. Honda. As usual - WTF?
2. Williams. I'm not sure whose season is going backwards faster - Williams or Honda. Right now, Honda is winning on a canter but Williams aren't too much behind. Its a shame considering their heritage.

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Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Now McLaren say Goodbye to Montoya

With Immediate effect as well. link.

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Monday, July 10, 2006

No not JV but Montoya

That's right folks, Juan-Pablo is moving to NASCAR. link.

There were rumors circulating that Villeneuve would move to NASCAR buts its Montoya who has confirmed the move. This is pretty sensational. JPM's options were limited for 2008. Alonso was moving in and given that JPM's record vis-a-vis Kimi was pretty poor, it was obvious that he was going to head out of McLaren. However, there was no information on where he was going to go.

JV too might be packing his bags. BMW aren't too interested and there are not many teams that are interested in him either. On the whole, I hope this brings in some exciting new talent to F1.

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sublime savage stupid

I took out my old T-Shirt with French colours from 2002. It has a No. 10 on it. No. 10 for Zidane. Today he was sublime for 110 minutes and then lost it in a second of madness. A disgraceful headbutt is the last thing that Zidane should be remembered for, but it looks like that will be his karma. I doubt whether I will be wearing this shirt ever again. BLOODY ^&*(^&*%$ &*(@#^$*&^ #@&*^$$$ &*^@!#$ HELL!!!!

In the end it did not matter. Italy has won. Not because they were stupid, but because they were level headed (sic). Buffon, Cannavaro, Grosso all heros and deservedly so. After all they didn't concede a single goal until the Final and that too it was a bit unlucky.

So that ends a great match and a pretty decent world cup.

Sigh!! Back to our usual programming.

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Sunday, July 09, 2006

Microsoft to supply ECUs for F1

In a previous post, I had mentioned about Bridgestone being the sole supplier for tyres. It now looks like Microsoft is going to supply the ECUs. link (via slashdot).

Naturally, the comments at slashdot were overflowing with anti-microsoft comments. Some of them are really funny. Sample these -
Gentlemen, restart your engines!!!!!!!!! (link)
and a reply to that
Using [ctrl]-[alt]-[brake] of course. (link)

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Friday, July 07, 2006

Ferrari are going to win lots of races next year

why? That's because its official that Bridgestone are going to be the sole tyre supplier next year. link.

McLaren struggled for a year when they switched from Bridgestone to Michelin and that was the year that Ferrari were super dominant - 2002. No wonder M Schumacher does not want to retire this year. Next year is going to be a cake walk.

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Monday, July 03, 2006

What's the role of a captain?

David Beckham has stepped down as the English Football captain. What difference would that make? There doesn't seem to be much that captain of a football team needs to do. Take Rooney's Red Card. Did the Referee first talk to the captain and then make his decision? Does the captain make any tactical decisions on the field? Perhaps he and the coach get together to decide the overall strategy for a game, but its mainly the coach's job to do the thinking.

That's quite different from a game like cricket. No other sport puts so much power in the hands of the captain. A good captain and good tactics can win not just a match but also a series.

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Indy 2006 GP Winners Losers


1. Trulli. Great drive. Not spectacular, but to start dead last, from the pits and to nearly finish 3rd is amazing. When you also consider that fact that Toyota isn't even the 4th best team currently, that takes some doing.
2. MS. I think it was a foregone conclusion even before the race that MS would be really difficult to beat here. That's not just because of his past record and Ferrari's dominance of Indy, but also due to Bridgestone. However, the thing that really made it special was his in and out laps for his first pitstop. He was visibly faster into the pits and that put him ahead of Massa. In the end he finished an incredible 12 seconds ahead of Massa and that's pretty stunning
3. Massa. Good solid job to get Ferrari their first 1-2 in almost 2 years. Great start and managed to beat MS to the first corner with ease. Also his tactics at the restart were pretty awesome. However, in the end MS was just too good for him and that's why he is lower on my list.
4. DC. Right combination of Bang-on-target strategy coupled with all the luck in the world. If not for the first corner melee he might have finished 10th or 12th but end of the day its 2 points in the bag.
5. Fisi. Good job to finish 3rd and upheld some Michelin pride. Was faster than Alonso all weekend and that's pretty awesome.
6. Bridgestone. They were lightyears ahead of Michelin at Indy. I think its more due to their better knowledge of Indy as compared to Michelin. By supplying the IRL with tyres gave them an edge in this race. However the next race is the French GP and I doubt whether Michelin will sit back and let Bridgestone whitewash them at their home GP.
7. Italian Connection. 3 Italians in the points (Fisi, Trulli and Luizzi). 2 Italian teams in the points (Ferrari and Torro Rosso). 1 reminder of Italian racing heritage.


1. JPM. What can I say? I was a fan of his driving a few years back especially his no-nonsense, no-compromise style, but his tenure at McLaren has been quite dissappointing. This race too it was pretty bad. Looking at where Trulli finished on a 1 stop strategy, the McLarens had a good chance. They might not have caught the Ferraris but I think Fisi was in striking distance.
2. Ralf. That's 3 DNFs in a row at Indy. There's something about Ralf, Indy and Round things. Last year it was his massive crash that triggered the Michelin Fiasco. This year it was a wheel nut failure.
3. Alonso. Poor race given his high standards. Looked a pale shadow of the man who won the last 4 GPs. The weird part was not just him struggling against the Ferraris but also Fisi. That almost begs the question. Now that half the season is over and Alonso isn't going to be staying, is Renault going to focus more on Fisi. They couldn't care less if Alonso won the WDC but would dearly like the constructors.... Maybe I'm reading too much into this. Its probably just a one-off.
4. Williams. Struggled throughout. The car just doesn't seem to work in high speed circuits. Hungary isn't too far away and we may see some Weber magic there, but there was not such thing in this race. Rosberg struggled and Weber didn't even get till the first sector of the first lap.
5. BMW. Promised more than they finally delivered. Heidfeld was a victim of circumstances but JV had a great chance of finishing in the points. Could have even challenged Alonso for 5th. If not Alonso, I'm pretty sure he would have gotten past Barrichello's Honda. Yet another mechanical failure has meant that a golden opportunity is lost.

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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Fantasy F1 Street Track around Bangalore

If Bangalore were to host an F1 Street race then what would be the track? has a cool application that allows you create your own maps. To answer the above question, I used it and here's what I got. link.

The start-finish would be on Cubbon Road. Turn 1 is a very interesting turn because not only is it quite sharp, it also dips. Turn 2 is actually in front of Queen Victoria's Statute and it would make a nice feature in the race. Its actually not as sharp as it looks and for F1 cars, it should be a fast ride all the way through Turn 3 till Turn 4. The road is downhill from Turn 2 to Turn 3 and is flat till Turn 4.

Turn 4 is an interesting place - Richmond Circle. There's a flyover at the side of Turn 4 and by setting up some spectator stands on the Flyover, one could get a nice view.

Turn 5 to Turn 9 is the tricky, undulating part of the circuit. Turn 6 has a roundabout (circle in Indian Parlay), one the cars would have to go around it. That makes it almost at 180 degree turn before heading up to turn 7. Turn 8 to Turn 9 is quite exciting as the road really dips as it curves to the right.

Turn 9 too is going to be nasty as the road dips sharply. Soon after Turn 9, the road head up the hill on Residency road, till Mayo Hall on Turn 10 and onto MG Road. Turn 11 should be pretty straightforward and its back onto the start-finish straight.

How long is this circuit? I'm not sure, but I'm guessing around 4-5 kms. That would make it 50-60 lap circuit.

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Interested in Plays? is an blog that caters to theatres and plays in bangalore. They also cover workshops for creative writing, dramatics etc. Worth a look. link.

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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Someone's prayers have been answered

A lake in Poland has turned to Vodka. Yup! That's what today's wish-this-would-happen-to-me story is about. link. (via)
Chemist Robert Wilczynski, used specialist equipment to test the alcohol levels in the Bracholinskie lake in Wielkopolska and found it was pretty much neat spirit.
Omigod!! What will happen if birds/animals drink from this lake? That's a different story. Don't drink and fly, I always say.

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Mutiny in the ranks

A British Army regiment has demoted its mascot, a goat, from the rank of Lance Corporal to a Fusilier. link. True Story!!

But the quotes are just hilarious.

Sample these one.
Since the goat's demotion, soldiers of a lower rank are no longer expected to salute Billy as a sign of respect, Coates said.
I'm trying quite hard to imagine which is sillier? A Private in the regiment saluting the goat or the Captain of the regiment demoting the goat. Was there a court-martial?

What did the poor goat do? The eyewitness account takes the cake.
Capt. William Rose, a soldier present at the parade, said the goat "was trying to head-butt the waist and nether regions of the drummers."

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Charity begins at home

Ever since Bill Gates announced that he was going to reduce his involvement in Microsoft and focus on his foundation, Philanthropy has been on a high. Warren Buffet too is giving his money to charity. Both of these are pretty amazing, and yet an even more amazing story is about a grocer in New York, who quietly gave away millions without announcing it to the world. link.

Waldemar Kaminski, who quietly ran a food stand in Broadway Market for more than 50 years, has been revealed to be a self-made millionaire and philanthropist who anonymously gave millions to Buffalo charities and neighbors in need.

That reminds of a story from the Indian Epic - Mahabharata.

The story goes that The Emperor Yudhisthira, performed a great sacrifice and gave away all his wealth to charity. On that day a Mongoose came to the grounds and tried to roll on some of the grains that were scattered on the ground. This Mongoose had half its skin in gold and the other half normal. When people say what the Mongoose, they asked it why was it trying to roll on the ground and why was half its skin gold. The Mongoose told them the story behind the magic.

Years before, there was a famine in the land and it so happened that a family of four were starving. One day, the father managed to get a little rice from somewhere. He took it home and was about to share with his wife, son and daughter-in-law, when a stranger came by. The stranger was a traveller from far, and was hungry. According to Hindu tradition of treating guests like gods, each member of the family decided to give up their share of the food so that they can treat their guest well. The next day, all four died of starvation.

It so happened that the Mongoose came by their house afterwards and saw a bit of rice on the floor. It rolled on the rice and found that half its skin turned to gold. It then spent the rest of its time going from place to place trying to find a sacrifice that was equal to the family's. Since Yudhisthira's sacrifice did not turn the other half of its skin to gold, the Mongoose concluded that this was not as great a sacrifice as that made by the family.

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One for all the teleconferences

In an increasingly global world, the one thing that we have been missing has been a quick way to get the current time in different parts of the world. is asks - What time is it? (via).

Just click and get the time!

A real time saver.

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Monday, June 26, 2006

A list for writers

How to write good - that's what this list claims. link.

I especially liked the last one
22. Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.

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Canadian 2006 GP Winners Losers


1. Alonso. Top of the list of winners as usual. He is dominating this season in the same manner that MS just to dominate a couple of seasons ago. Kimi mentioned in the press conference that he doesn't care about 2nd or 3rd since he is out of the running for the championship. That is quite a compliment to Alonso and Renault this season.
2. MS. Kept the pressure up in the 2nd half of the race and was rewarded with a 2nd place.
3. Trulli. Good drive. Though the cameras were focussing on his teammate Ralf, they were for all the wrong reasons. Trulli did not spin, did not lose it while braking etc... and in the end came home with solid 3 points
4. DC. Good drive by DC yet again. Showed the world yet again that Jenson may have a faster car (in theory) but its still DC the top dog as far as British drivers are concerned.
5. Kimi. I was tempted to put him in the loser's list, but that would have been a bit harsh. Ideally, McLaren, Renault and esp. Alonso would have wanted Kimi to finish ahead of MS, but in the end it was a combination of a failing car and a driver error that made him lose 2 points.

1. JPM. What on earth was he doing? He didn't qualify well and he didn't drive well either. I don't think there have been more than 2 races where both the McLarens have finished. This time it was clearly driver error rather than a brittle car.
2. Ralf Schumacher. What can I say? Amusing or Heroic? Take your pick. Either way he didn't do much this race and considering the fact that Trulli was light years ahead of him this race made it look worse.
3. Honda. They started the season on top but have rapidly gone backwards. Yet another race of poor results from Honda.

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Monday, June 19, 2006

Useless facts?

That's what this site is dedicated to.

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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Joe's Goals

No.. Not the football kind, but what-i-want-to-do kind of goals. That's the goal of this website and its quite intuitive. link.

Post a comment if you feel there's a goal for me :-)

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Fun facts about bangalore

Interesting post about a few fun facts about bangalore. link.

The one that caught my eye, is the one about bangalore being famous for software professionals, girls and dogs! LOL!! Girls and dogs...

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Monday, June 12, 2006

Welcome to our world cup winners

According to an article in Gulfnews, two students have created a program that predicts that Brazil will defeat Italy in the Finals of the world cup this year. It also predicts England and Nederlands reaching the semis and that England would defeat Argentina in the Quarters. link.

At the same time, someone told me that the odds on Trinidad and Tobago winning are 5000 to 1. A real long shot, but perhaps worth putting a couple of bucks on.

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Cool illusion

Want to see a B/W image in colour? Just have a look at this link.

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British 2006 GP Winners Losers


1. Alonso. Controlled the race from the start to the end and did not put a foot wrong. It looks more and more likely that he will be the WDC this year as well.
2. MS. Good drive and took his chance at the second pitstop.
3. KR. Looks like he's finally getting the McLaren to work, however, they are a long way behind Ferrari and Renault both in terms of Reliability (traditionally McLaren's Achilles heel) and Speed.
4. Fisi. Good second half of the race. I loved the moment where his race engineer got on the radio and reminded him about Japan last year.
5. BMWs. Both BMWs in the points and ahead of the Williams. More importantly, they got the points without anyone from the top 3 teams losing a car.

1. JB, RB and Honda. WTF? Button Qualified 19th and gave a lame excuse. Rubes qualified pretty well but as usual went backwards. Honda are still a quantum leap away from winning races let alone challenging for the championship.
2. Williams. Really disappointing given that the British GP is a home race. Both Williams were disappointing throughout the weekend. Doesn't look good for Canada.

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Monday, June 05, 2006

Video showing tragic deaths in F1 has an exceptional post about different drivers who have died inside a F1 car. link. They also link a post on livejournal that has a thread going. link.
The video from the post is jaw dropping and really disturbing. link.

Just seeing the video makes one realize how far F1 has come in terms of safety. I remember seeing Senna's accident live and it makes sick even now. I was in Residential School at time and had got a Sunday off to go back home. I was really excited about the race, especially since it looked like Senna had a young upstart to contend with. What I saw that day, shocked me and I gave up seeing F1 for nearly 2 years.

This brings back one of my favorite points on Senna and Schumacher. Had Senna not passed away, what would have happened to the 94 and 95 championships? There were a number of allegations made against Benetton and MS in 94. If anything, I doubt whether Senna would have just sat back. Its very likely he would have raised his voice as well, and the FIA would have perhaps done something different.

95 would have been close. MS won it on a canter and its just a fantasy to see what would have happened had Senna raced. Alonso is now the young upstart and MS is the current Superstar and yet he won the 2005 WDC. Would it have been the same then as well? What about MS's move to Ferrari and their subsequent revival?

However, the most poignant scene was to see Alain Prost as a Pallbearer at Senna's Funeral. Equally poignant was the Brazilian Football team dedicating their win to Senna.

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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

A cool paper airplane...

and it does fly fairly well. link. (via)

According to Wikipedia, it was a paper helicopter toy that sparked the interest of the Wright Brothers. link.
In 1878 their father, who traveled often as bishop of a regional church, brought home a toy "helicopter" for his two younger sons. The device was based on an invention of French aeronautical pioneer Alphonse Penaud. Made of paper, bamboo and cork with a rubber band to twirl its twin blades, it was about a foot long. Wilbur and Orville played with it until it broke, then built their own. In later years, they pointed to their experience with the toy as the initial spark of their interest in flying.

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The poor state

A familiar question that is asked whenever India loses any sporting event is - "How can a population of 1 Billion, fail even at this?". That's the question that a lot of people were asking yesterday, after India's 4-1 loss to the Windies.

Now for a moment forget Cricket. Take Football. Trinidad and Tobago, Lara's country, has qualified to the 2006 World Cup and their official page is here. According to the CIA Factbook, the population of T&T is about 1.1 Million. That's far less than the 13 million who live in and around calcutta, the bastion of Indian Football.

The Carribean is not a hot bed of soccer talent and neither is India. Yet, we find that even a small country like T&T qualifies for the world cup.

What is the reason behind India not even qualifying? In my view, the following reasons are at play
  1. Lack of encouragement at School. Most Indian parents do not want their children to look at Sports as a career. Why? That's the second reason.
  2. Sports in India does not provide adequate compensation to even the most talented sportsperson, unless you are Sachin Tendular. Why? That's the third reason
  3. TV and Media do not provide sufficient coverage to any sport other than cricket.
A sorry state of affairs indeed.

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Monday, May 29, 2006

Monaco 2006 GP Winners Losers


1. Alonso. Drove superbly and controlled the race from Kimi in the first half. The part where he slowed down and let Webber and JPM catch was masterful. I particularly liked the way he managed to get a 1 sec advantage just before the safety car period and then used that to get out in front of Kimi. Awesome! The best part was to do it in front of Renault Boss Carlos Ghosn who has often criticized F1 as too expensive. I'm sure Renault got their money's worth in this race.
2. DC. Most of the folks who scored or did well in the race were either previous winners, or had experience in Monaco. DC is a double winner and he used all his experience to take 3rd place. Superman returns!
3. JPM. Fairly quiet race but more importantly brought the car home. Now only 4 points behind Kimi/Fisi.
4. Webber and Kimi. Both did not finish the car but drove exceptionally well until their cars let them down. End of the day, they did not finish, that was the problem. Webber was way ahead of his team mate and either of the BMWs. In addition, he was not a moving chicane like the Hondas or the BMWs
5. Barrichello. Held of people back throughout the race and the 1 pitstop strategy worked beautifully. He would have finished on the podium except for speeding in the pitlane. He outqualified Button by a mile and converted that to a good finish. He slowly finding his feet at Honda and beginning to catch up with Button.
6. M Schumacher. Ironic. Had he started from the front even if it had been 2nd or 3rd place, he would have most likely won. I don't know whether to classify his drive as a brilliant recovery drive or a stupid one. I'm sure he used up quite a few of his guardian angel's brownie points on the way to 5th. Bit of luck that Kimi, Webber, Trulli, Klien - all of who were ahead by a mile DNF'ed, but that's just how racing is. On the whole it an interesting weekend for him and perhaps one that will come back to bite him if he loses the championship to Alonso by less than 10 points.


1. Button. Where was he throughout the race. Held back MS as much as he could - in 15th place. Considering that Barrichello was half a lap ahead of him most of the race, I was beginning to wonder if he was even awake. If I remember correctly, Button usually doesn't go very well at Monaco and proved it again this year.
2. BMW. Both Heidfeld and JV were being beaten not only by the Red Bulls but were racing for position with the Torro Rossos and Midlands. Weekend to forget but at heidfeld managed to get a point.
3. Massa. Threw it all away in qualifying unfortunately. Lost nearly 4 seconds in the pitstop due to "problems that afflict only Ferrari No 2. drivers". However, the way he lost out to MS in the 1st lap was pretty bad. Not sure if it was Jean Todt telling Massa to give way or whether it was Massa losing out by himself.

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Sunday, May 28, 2006

Is this racing at its finest?

That's the question that many folks are already asking after Schumacher's "problem" at Monaco. has an quite a bit to say on the pole. link.

No doubt he has been Ferrari's finest drivers of all time, but the fact remains that there have been more than one "hand of god" incidents in his career (with apologies to Diego Maradona). At the other end of the spectrum is possibly one of Ferrari's most loved drivers - Gilles Villeneuve. One of his most memorables races was the '79 France GP. A video showing his epic battle with Rene Arnoux in the last couple of laps is available here and you can read about the GP here.

Update: According to the BBC, Schumacher has been sent to the back of the grid after the stewards ruled that it was a delibrate attempt. link. More at ITV-F1.

Of course, its not Renault laughing all the way, because Fisi has been docked three of his fastest laps as well and he starts from 9th. link

Update 2: Jean Todt is miffed. link.

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Saturday, May 27, 2006

What came first?

Chicken or the Egg? That's what people always ask. link.

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Friday, May 26, 2006

Cheers! To your health

According to this study, having a peg daily is beneficial. This is the kind of News that we all should look forward to. After all, its better than a Fundamentalist from Cult A blowing himself up to kill hundreds of people from Cult B.

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War Torn

Great World War One photos are here.

Think of the churches, castles, and other pieces of history all destroyed in France and it makes you shudder. War in general destroys more than it creates. Yet we have innumerable examples of kings, nations, and peoples rising out of the ashes of a destructive war. Even in such cases, very rarely will we hear what the defeated have to say. One such case is of Japan, which has risen from WWII, but this is more an exception rather than a rule.

To quote various examples
  1. Nobody has a clue about what Hannibal and the rest of the Carthagians were really like. We only have Roman tales about their enemies cruelty
  2. Kalinga was destroyed by Ashoka who turned to Buddhism and repented. Was it really destroyed? How many people actually died? What made Ashoka turn away in horror at his own work? We have only Ashoka's description of the events

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Thursday, May 25, 2006

Grin and bear it

All married men laugh out loud when they read this. All men with girlfriends wonder what all the fuss is about.

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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

India lose the 3rd Onedayer to Windies

I'm not so disappointed that the 3rd ODI has been lost. Rather, I'm more disappointed with the lack of gumption shown. The moment Sehwag got out, the rest of the team collapsed. Sheesh.

That's not what most Indian Cricket fans want. No collapses!

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Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Silly season gets hotter

All the big teams seem to be on the move as far as drivers are concerned.

Even though Schumi has said that he will decide about his future at the end of the season, Jean Todt says that Ferrari's decision will be made at Monza. link.

At the same time, it looks likely Raikkonen is going to move to Ferrari, and so, McLaren have a bit of problem. Who will partner Alonso? Ron Dennis has come out and declared that the decision will be in three weeks time. link.

The leaves Renault. What's going to happen at Renault? The only news out of Renault is that they are willing to pay top dollar. BMW and JV are not the best of friends and he may be moving to Renault. link.

Not just team No 1s are under speculation, there is huge pressure on the No 2 drivers in each team as well. In the last 2 seasons, Fisi and JPM have vastly underperformed compared to their co-drivers. This is a worry for both Renault and McLaren. That's why there are rumors about Fisi and JPM moving out as well and fresh talent from GP2 coming in.

What about Massa then? Ferrari have invested a huge amount on Massa, but bankrolling a year in Sauber and making him test like crazy. So far this season, he hasn't performed badly either.

The team with the biggest problem in all this is Renault. They are losing FA and Fisi does not look upto the mark. McLaren are going to be sitting pretty with FA but are they going to lose Kimi and make do with JPM or will they go in for fresh new talent? Ferrari will most probably have Schumi and will let go of Massa for Kimi, but at the same time, its equally possible that Kimi and Massa are paired together or for Schumi and Massa to remain together.

And finally, what then about Rossi. Its still possible that he may have a hand in all this, but it looks unlikely. All in all, this is the hottest silly season for a very long time and things have just got interesting.

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Monday, May 15, 2006

Spain 2006 GP Winners Losers

  1. Alonso. Blew away Ferrari with stunning laps in the beginning. Fastest lap followed fastest laps. Controlled the race beautifully till the end
  2. MS. 2 points down on Alonso isn't too bad. Good drive
  3. Massa. Good drive to the end and workman like finish
  4. Heidfeld. Got the last point - though I'm not sure how he did it. After the Toyotas fell over each other, it was a matter of seeing off the pesky Williamses
  1. JPM. WTF? That's all I can say. His lack of finishes last season cost McLaren the constructors championship last year and this year it isn't looking good either.
  2. Toyotas. Weird!! That's all I can say. Good pace to qualify as high as they did, but the real result is on Sunday. Not only did they trip over each other, they didn't score a single point.
  3. Fisi. I doubt whether he could have challenged MS after he lost out after the first pitstop. However, blaming the radio for losing it is rubbish.
  4. McLaren and Honda. Though Rubens' qualifying has improved, the results haven't. JPM can't seem to finish a race properly (and when he does finish, its a very quiet sort of race these days). Both Button and KR are going backwards with respect to Ferrari. Not a good sign.

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Sunday, May 14, 2006

Brazilian Stonehenge?

According to the BBC, a Brazilian version of Stonehenge has been discovered. link

I wonder what next we will find. There was that story sometime back about some hill in the middle eastern desert actually being Noah's Ark. Even more recently was the story about a hill in Serbia or Bosnia or somewhere nearby, actually being a pyramid.

There could be some truth in these discoveries. After all, Troy was discovered in the same way and not just one city but seven of them.

Perhaps a carnaval can be arranged to commerate this discovery.

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Saturday, May 13, 2006

10 interesting watches

I'm not sure if this list of watches is strange or cool. Either way they will definitely attract the watch-o-holics!! link.

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Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Niranjan Shah should shut up

Rebuking Sehwag, he says -
"Sehwag has been warned verbally from speaking to the media on burnout and the Ganguly issue. Players cannot speak on board policies and selection matters,"

Rather, he should be saying that Sehwag has no right to interfere in board "politics". All that Sehwag has said is that he wishes Ganguly well and that he had supported him when he was coming up. The fact of the matter is that Sehwag is on a sticky wicket on the Ganguly issue. However, I'm surprised that Shah reacted to the comments on Player Burnout.

Sunil Gavaskar has said that players should be proud to represent India and must be ready to sweat it out all 365 days. I wonder why he stopped there. He should have insisted on players playing more than 7 hours a day to all 24 hours. After all, its a matter of honour. The BCCI is a slave merchant. If it was possible for them to get the Indian Cricket team to play 24 hours a day, they would. Player Burnout be damned.

Take the Armed forces as an example of folks who have in their hands a far greater responsibility that sportsmen or power-mad sports administrators. It is a given fact that they can take leave. Its a given fact that a army on red alert for too long starts to loose moral. It is a fact that the army does not post soldiers to the front for too long. It is a fact that soldiers are provided accomodation for themselves and their families. If people like Shah was in charge, then he would not only stop granting leaves, he would also get other ex-servicemen to speak about how much of an honour it is to "defend the country"

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Ladies and Gentlemen. We are ready for boarding

The last time I travelled on Air India, I got to see boarding chaos at close quarters. This was at Newark Liberty and the moment the agents at the gate announced that the gate was open, there was a mad rush. A huge percentage of people who travel on Air India are older folks. Most likely they are making their way back to India after visiting their sons and daughters.

No doubt the son or son-in-law would have warned the older generation that if they don't get on to the plane as soon as the gate is open, they would be left behind. As a result, every Tom, Dick and Harry's Father, Uncle and Grand-Aunt rush to board the aircraft as soon as the announcement is heard.

The result was chaotic to say the least and the ground staff just could not get things going. Boarding must have taken atleast 20 minutes.

Studies are underway by different airlines to reduce boarding time. link.

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Smug in the rain

A-ha! Rain! A wonderous thunderstorm! The best part about the rain? I just got the wipers changed in my car.

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Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Ferrari Factory

Now that the Ferrari F1 team have won 200% more than what they did in 2005, this is something that is bound to keep the tifosi interested.
How about getting a sneak peek inside Ferrari's Factory? Canadiandriver has a story and photos. link.

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Driving tips to improve mileage

According to this study, the world's oil production has peaked. That's bad news for you and me, because we are addicted to oil.

This website has some tips on how to improve your car mileage by upto 37%. The problem with such tips is how do you quantify it? What if you were already following some of the tips? Where has this study been conducted? Some of them will definitely not work in Bangalore.

Take the tip to avoid speeding. In bangalore traffic, its impossible to even reach 40 Kmph, let alone drive like a maniac.
For that matter even the tip about using the cruise control, cannot be done in the stop-start traffic in Bangalore. However, this is possible on the highway. There was this one time on a trip to Mysore, we got 25 Kmpl in a Maruti 800! That's pretty awesome, but the credit goes to my Bro who was behind the wheel.

However, some of the other tips do make sense. Keeping tire pressures correct by checking them every 2-3 trips to the petrol bunk does have an positive impact. Avoiding execessive idling also makes sense. This is particularly easy in bangalore, because of a big fat countdown timer that's displayed at major traffic lights. Anytime that a car has to idle for more than 25 seconds, switching the engine off, helps conserve a few drops of black gold.

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Monday, May 08, 2006

I love you, ya, ya, ya

The beatles have lost their case. That's what the news headlines have to say. link and link.

What does it mean to me? Nothing much probably. I can't download any songs from iTunes anyhow as its not available here in India. Not just itunes, but most apple products are hideously overpriced in India, even after considering the "apple tax". Most of the ipods and laptops are imported from Singapore and as a result there is a huge cost added. Surely, there is a better way to get more Apple stuff here.

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Sand Castles

One of the things kids do when they go to the beach is make sand castles. Some of these kids grow up and become real sand sculptors. Some sculptures are really mindblowing and this website contains some truly amazing examples. link.

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European 2006 GP Winners Losers

  1. MS - Held his nerve and had a fantastic pitstop to get by Alonso. Good drive
  2. Alonso - Not sure whether it was Alonso Magic or Renault pace. Fisi seems to finish quite a bit back both in qualifying and in the race. More likely a case of the "No 1 driver gets everything in the Renault team".
  3. Ferrari - Both cars in the podium after a disasterous 2005 and a poor beginning to 2006. Things are hotting up.
  4. Massa - First Podium and hopefully there are many more to come. Was expecting him to lose under the pressure from KR, but held on magnificantly
  5. Barrichello - Finally got some points. Qualified higher up than Button too.
  6. Rosberg - Good finish and a good job done. One more in Williams kitty against BMW, though JV finished only 1 point ahead
  1. Honda, McLaren - Joint losers for not being able to get their second cars to finish. McLaren seem to have a tradition of losing at the European GP.
  2. Heidfeld - JV was faster all weekend and this was a home GP for Quick Nick. Not so quick in this weekend though
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Sunday, May 07, 2006

A mouse and keyboard story - combimouse

This is an interesting invention - a combination of a mouse and keyboard i.e a combimouse. link.

The idea is to avoid moving your hand from the keyboard to a mouse over and over again. At first sight this looks a bit weird, but according to engadget, it really works.

However, this is not going to work unless one knows touch typing. There are number of programs that do teach touch typing. link.

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Update - November 2013.

Looks like there has been some traction. The team behind combimouse also have been looking at crowdsourcing - and as per their project plan intend to complete the full mechanical design and finalize the prototype by December 2013.

Monday, April 24, 2006

San Marino 2006 GP Winners/Losers


1. MS. A great race to hold back Alonso. Similar to what Alonso did last year. However, Alonso only held MS back after the final pitstop last year whereas this year it was for almost half the race. It would have been interesting to see if MS could hold Alonso back in some other circuit. He has held other drivers before, notably Ralf in Brazil a few years ago and Hakkinen in Sepang. My money would still be on MS holding Alonso back in most other circuits.
2. Alonso. 36 out of the maximum 40 in the first 4 races is pretty awesome. He leads MS by 15 points and there are 14 races to go. There is no doubt that Alonso will win a few more races this season, and the lead will increase. A repeat of 2005 perhaps
3. JPM. A quiet race. Bit lucky that Honda screwed up badly with Button's car, otherwise, it might have gotten interesting
4. Webber. Good job to get into the points. Score 1 more for Williams over BMW. Plus a huge gap between him and Rosberg on a circuit that Rosberg has driven before.
5. Bridgestone. Stronger result with 4 drivers in the top 10. All those test miles in Europe will definitely help.


1. KR. Looked off-colour all weekend. Was stuck behind Webber for 1 half of the race and then behind Massa towards the end. Overall, 5th is not too good. It looks likely that this is beginning of the end for Raikkonen's term at McLaren.
2. Honda. Really screwed up pitstops. The problem with RB was bad enough but the screwup on Button cost them quite a few points. This is especially irritating, given that JB pulled out the road and DNF'd in Aus. The hope was that he would challenge for a podium (win looked unlikely to me) and make up for that loss. They seem to qualify well and fall back in the race.
3. BMW. Was nowhere in the picture. With Heidfeld indisposed, it didn't look too good for them
4. Ide. First mistake - tipping over Albers. Innumerable others - holding back front runners
5. Overtaking. RIP in this race.

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Friday, April 21, 2006

Injudicious colonial hangover

The Times of India reports that the High Court and Supreme Court judges no longer have to be addresses as "My Lord" or "Your Lordship". Instead they will now be addressed as "Your Honour". In the lower courts, just a succient "Sir" would do. link.

Couple of other silly things from the past are still prevalent.
  1. The whole concept of a summer vacation is rubbish. Why on earth should the highest court in the land go on holiday? Does that mean that justice is ignored for that time? I would think that the system came into place during the British Raj, when most judges were British. Given the difference in climate between the UK and India, it made sense to have a summer holiday to escape the heat, esp. if you weren't used to it. In modern times, this makes no sense. The summer holidays can be seen here.
  2. Blacks Robes are next on the list. Why do we need them? I agree that there is no way that you would trust a lawyer or a doctor who is not dress formally. So, let the lawyers be allowed to just dress in formal clothes. A Coat and Tie should suffice. link.
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Thursday, April 20, 2006

Baseball Explained

Cricinfo has an article that explains cricket from a baseball point of view. link. The article suggests that it is from an "American" point of view, but the correct terminology would be from a Baseball point of view.

Ian Chappell used to play both cricket and baseball, though he's more famous for playing cricket. Apparently, cricket was the summer sport and baseball the winter sport down under.

Let's see if I can explain baseball from a cricket point of view.
  1. Every game has nine innings. Unlike test cricket where there are 2 innings per side, each cricket innings is called a half-innings in Baseball.
  2. Like cricket there is pitcher who "pitches" the ball and a batter who tries to score a run.
  3. There are 4 bases - 1st base, 2nd base, 3rd base and home base. If the batter hits the ball, he has to run. In case he doesn't make it to any of the bases in time, he's run out in the same fashion as cricket. Once the batter reaches a base, he can choose to stay there and the next batter comes in. This continues until the first batter goes through all the bases to reach home base. At this time a run is scored
  4. If 3 batters are out then the half innings closes and the other team comes on field to bat. This continues for 9 innings and the team with the higher score wins.
  5. There are no wickets in baseball, only strikes. A strike occurs when a batter swings and misses the ball. 3 strikes and the batter is out.
  6. Unlike cricket, there are only some areas that a batter can hit the ball. In case, he hits it to an area out of bounds then the ball is called foul. 3 fouls and the batter is out
  7. If the batter hits the ball outside the ground, similar to a sixer, then he gets to go around all the bases for free. This is called a home run and it earns 1 run. If there are already batters in other bases, all of them get to complete their home run and each one earns a run. If there are batters at the 1st, 2nd and 3rd bases, and the current batter hits a home run, 4 runs are scored.
  8. Also unlike cricket, multiple batters can be run out at the same time. This is called double or triple play.
More information on Wikipedia.

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Sunday, April 16, 2006

F1 on google calendar

One of the best ways to keep track of the F1 Season is to add the F1 Calendar to google. Google has come out with their own web based calendar and it rocks! One of the nicest feature (IMHO) is the ability to add different calendars from the net and track them side by side to your own. One of these is a nice F1 Calendar that is available here. (via)

  1. Click on Manage Calendars
  2. Choose Import Calendars
  3. Cut and Paste this link and Voila! the 2006 calendar is added.

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Wednesday, April 12, 2006

RIP Dr. Rajkumar

Kannada Cinema's most cherished thespian Dr. Rajkumar, fondly called "annavaru" passed away today - April 12, 2006.

May his soul rest in peace.

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Monday, April 03, 2006

Australia 2006 GP Winners/Losers

  1. Alonso. Had the speed all the time and even though KR finished less than 2 secs behind, I think that's more due to Alonso slowing down rather than KR catching up. If he really wanted to he could have finished 10-15 secs ahead
  2. Ralf. A great result and that too only Bridgestone tyres. Was consistently fast throughout the weekend. 3rd place is good given the disasters in the first two races. Was the only Bridgestone runner in the top 10.
  3. BMW. Double points finish. Though Williams have a faster car, its more fragile.
  4. Fisi. Managed to get past Button in the most dramatic way.
  5. RB. Finally got some points for Honda, but still has to get used to the Non-Ferrari way of doing things. Hope he can score more as the season progresses.
  1. JPM. Spin king; not just once. The car finally decided that enough is enough!
  2. Ferrari. Both drivers out during the race and it wasn't as if they were setting the track on fire at any time during the weekend.
  3. Speed. Just a bit too anxious to get past DC and ended up being classified behind.
  4. Williams. Lots of promise, but rotten reliability. I accept that they are a privateer team now and with customer engines, one doesn't expect them to dominate, but they did show some good speed
Unluckiest Soul
  1. Definitely Button. 4 points would have kept him in 2nd place in the championship and one never knows how close he will be at the end of the season to Alonso :-). Nevertheless, he gets a brand new engine at San Marino and if the race has fewer safety cars, he might be able to finish on the top step.

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Friday, March 31, 2006

Tips on drinking more water

Wikihow has an interesting article on how and why to drink more water. link.

My calculations in Metric are as follows
Weight in KgsWater in Litres

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Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Fuel cell based torch

A Hydrogen Fuel Cell powers this torch (via). Called the Angstrom's A2, it gives out 24 hours of continuous light. The folks who make this product claim that it can be recharged in a couple of minutes as against hours for rechargable batteries used in conventional torches. The fine print is that it requires their proprietary "Refueling Station" and some hydrogen. No doubt a cool toy but the questions I want to ask is
  1. Can I take on a plane?
  2. What will it cost?
  3. Where can I get Hydrogen? Not in the neighbourhood store for sure.

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Monday, March 27, 2006

Gist of the Proposed 2008 F1 regulations

Itv-f1 has a list of the proposed technical regulations. link.

Couple of interesting points.
1. Slicks are back. Slicks are part of the racing heritage, but there were number of non-racing arguments made in the late 90s when they were banned. What happened to those arguments today? Are they no longer applicable? Say hello to greater cornering speeds.
2. Weight Penalty for engine and gearbox changes. I for one, don't like the idea, but am willing to see how it works out. Its unlikely we would have a Kimi storming from the back of the grid if he has 15 kgs more.
3. No mention on the CDG that was proposed in October.

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Monday, March 20, 2006

Sepang 2006 GP Winners/Losers

  1. Massa. Similar to KR's Drive in Bahrain. The thing that really interested me was that he finished ahead of M Schumacher.
  2. Fisi. Good drive from pole. Deserves win. Flawless drive
  3. Alonso. Amazing start and very good race
  4. Jacques V. Good drive to get BMW's first points. Heidfeld drove better, but he didn't finish and that was the key
  5. Renault. Excellent display of speed and reliability.
  1. Williams. After starting in excellent positions, and showing promise all weekend, to have both cars out is not the way to go. The podium might have been difficult, but they should have had 3rd and 4th
  2. M Schumacher. To be beaten by Massa who started way behind indicates that this is not the same ruthless MS we have seen over the years
  3. Barrichello. They say he was overshadowed by MS in Ferrari. In Honda, he has disappeared. JB is has absolutely crushed him. No other team has 2 cars so far apart.
  4. Kimi. I suppose one can blame Klein, but fact of the matter is that he didn't finish 1 lap. To be a champion I guess one needs a bit of luck as well.
  5. Klein. Not only did he ruin Kimi's race, but he wasted his own opportunity to put one over DC.

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Sunday, March 19, 2006

Above capacity

Every wondered how different vehicles look like when they are overloaded? This site has a number of hilarious examples. link. (via).

Couple of missing vehicles are overcrowed spacecrafts and filled to the brim boats. Pun intended!

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Thursday, March 16, 2006

Rossi challenges Alonso

He suggests a sort of triathalon using MotoGP, Rally and F1 cars. link.

Apparently the aggregate of the times will decide whose the king of the jungle.
That reminds me of the time when Colin McRae challenged Micheal Schumacher for a two way fight on Rally and F1 cars. MS brushed off the challenge saying that he wasn't interested and its likely that Alonso would do as well.

If such a duel were to come about my money would be on Rossi. He has driven in Rally last year (not too successfully), and he has tested in F1 *and* he's a god on 2 wheels. The experiences themselves would give an edge. I'm not sure how close or how far alonso would be though.

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Wednesday, March 15, 2006

free beer

Long long time ago, a Finn decided to give away his code using a license called GPL. This license was supposed to be "Free as in speech, and not Free as in beer". Flash-forward to today, and we get a story from neighbouring Norway about free beer. link.
It almost seemed like a miracle to Haldis Gundersen when she turned on her kitchen faucet this weekend and found the water had turned into beer.
A pint or two would be good!

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Monday, March 13, 2006

Bahrain 2006 GP Winners/Losers


  1. Alonso. Driving during the second stint was really nice. Not spectacular but he was reeling in MS quite easily.
  2. KR. He started dead last; he finished 3rd; finished higher than his teammate, both Hondas, one Ferrari and one Renault - Wow! If only the team can take care of the pre-race jitters...
  3. MS. He's back, but doesn't quite look as mean as before. I doubt whether the MS of old would have let Alonso squeeze through.
  4. Rosberg. Very impressive debut, bit slow in the first half of the race, but the in laps to the pits were pretty cool.
  5. McLaren. 2 cars in the top 5. I don't remember when was the last time McLaren had 2 cars in the top 5 in the first race of the season


  1. Toyota. To finish lower down isn't as bad as having to fight with Midland who use their engines - really underperformed
  2. Massa. Podium chance squandered.
  3. BMW. Both Williams and both Redbulls finished ahead, and they are using customer engines.
  4. Button. He says that except for the first 3 seconds the rest of the afternoon was good. If that was really the case, then he should have finished 3rd.
  5. JPM. Started 5th, and finished 5th as compared to KR who started 22nd and finished 3rd. The numbers speak for themselves.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Swimming ants

I've heard of Fire Ants, Army Ants, Black Ants and Red Ants, but here's a new species - polyrhachis sokolova. link.

They can swim too.

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Does the Ferrari's Wing Wobble?

That's what Pat Symonds says, and he believes that it gives the Ferraris an unfair advantage. link.
This presumably means that other teams will adopt the same systems in the future as if something is legal on a Ferrari, it is presumably legal on other F1 cars as well.
Only a few hours to go before we get to know more about that. There's nothing unusual of Micheal Schumacher being on pole, after all this is his 65th, equal to the one and only Aryton Senna.

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Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Is it important to appear busy?

Is looking busy more important that actually doing work? That's the question asked by this post.

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Sunday, March 05, 2006

100 Greatest Guitarists

This list of 100 greatest rock guitarists suggests that the greatest of them all is Jimi Hendrix. Can't argue against that, but putting Santana at 28 is debatable.

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Thursday, March 02, 2006

Silly Season jumps on Raikkonen and Ferrari

Rumour has it that Raikkonen will move to Ferrari in 2007. Sources - and

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iPod Hi-Fi

What does it take to convert an iPod into a stereo system? Apple has introduced its new iPod Hi-Fi but a better option seems to be Onkyo's Docking Station.

It may take sometime for the Apple Hi-Fi to come to India, but the Onkyo component is available right here, right now.

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Sunday, February 19, 2006

A Geeky list on parenthood

Here's a really funny list. Top ten reasons why geeks make good fathers. link.

But lets leave the list aside for a minute. What exactly make some a good dad or a good mom?
Is it what their children feel about them, esp. as the years roll on? Is it how society judges them based on their childrens' actions? Or is it something internal, when a good parent looks at his children and proudly shouts- that's my boy or that's my girl.

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Monday, February 13, 2006

Actual pictures of the McLaren crew uniform

Due to the change in McLaren Livery, the crew uniforms also have to change. The shiny, chrome coloured car would require a equally shiny chrome coloured uniform. Pitpass has the pics here.

Oh! We're off to see the Wizard, the wonderful Wizard of Oz.

How heartless. (sic)

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Sunday, February 12, 2006

Higher Education

According to the SF Chronicle, Men are slowly becoming a minority in US colleges. The only courses bucking the trend are Engineering and Computer Science related. link.

This is quite different from colleges in India, where all courses are still dominated by men. However there is a curious trend, especially in South India. Amongst the Middle Class and Upper Middle class in South India there is a strong preference towards either Engineering or Medicine.

A number of my friends chose engineering more out of peer and parental pressure rather than any real interest. The result? Most of them have moved out the field and into fields that they are more interested in.

The question to ask is, why is there so much pressure to do engineering? The answer is simple - Engineers and Doctors are perceived to have higher incomes. Within the different fields of engineering too there is higher preference to Computer Science and Electronics - again due to the perception that these fields have higher incomes.

Lesser importance is given to personal interests.

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Saturday, February 11, 2006

Pilgrims Throng

The Hindu reports of the steps the temple authorities at Tirupati plan to take to tackle the huge number of pilgrims who throng the temple. link.

The interesting figure is the number 2 crore or 20 million. Think about it. 20 million people visit Tirupati each year and they all walk in a single file past the idol of Venkateshwara, and get only a few moments in front of the idol. That's equal to the population of Australia and much more than the population of either The Netherlands or Switzerland and almost the size of the population of The United Kingdom, France or Italy.

Imagine the entire population of Australia visiting one single temple or church or mosque each year. It boggles the mind because that's around 50000 people each day. That's more than the population of Monaco, The Vatican put together - every single day.

A story goes that when the West Indian Cricket team toured India in the early 80s, some of the of cricketers remarked that the crowds they saw in the stadium were more than the entire population of some of their home island countries. Needless to say, the Indian cricket team lost all the test matches to the all conquering West Indians. Many say that Cricket is the religion of most Indians though officially its Hinduism. Perhaps, not enough prayers are answered given the shockingly low quantity of Silverware with the Indian Cricket team's name on it.

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McLaren's New Clothes

McLaren have a new livery. Pictures here and here. Official pics from McLaren are here and here.

Quoting Kimi Raikkonen -
"I have only seen illustrations of the new livery until now but they do it no justice. It looks fantastic and should create a bit of a stir when we drive it on tracks around the world. If we can make the car as fast as it looks then we will be in good shape."

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Friday, February 10, 2006

Smile - You are on Google Maps

A Giant Smiley can be seen from Google Maps here. (via)

Not quite a smiley, but still the corridors of power is the Vidhana Soudha, seen from Google Maps here. What amazes me, is that till now I always thought of the place as a huge building with endless corridors where political skullduggery was always afoot. Seeing the gardens, the High Court across the road, and Cubbon Park nearby, the Vidhana Soudha almost seems harmless.

Whats even more surprising are the fountains inside the Vidhana Soudha.

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Thursday, February 02, 2006

Old Bangalore Photos

The old-timers often say that Bangalore has lost its charm. Some of that charm can be seen in the form of old photos at flickr. link.

The photos of MG Road and Town Hall are pretty amazing considering the gaudy colors and sinful billboards that adorn them now.

These photos are similar to the ones put up at Corner House - a local icecream chain. I wonder if Hot Chocolate Fudge was as delightful then as it is now. Hmmm.

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