Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Google 411

I recently found this amazing free service, Goog-411. It is like carrying google around with you everywhere. Just dial 1-800-GOOG-411 (1-800-466-4411). I don't have mobile internet and use this 1-800 number to find locations while I am outside. Previously it was costing me $2/call for the regular 411 service. With a combination of Goog-411 and a GPS system, you can be sure you never get lost. You don't necessarily have to connect to the location and talk to someone. The voice detection software allows you to get the location address by selecting the detail option.

Friday, August 22, 2008


The coolest female foot baller I have ever seen, Marta Vieira da Silva. See her's magic.

How little we have travelled

I often talk about how little we have travelled in space. The most we did (physically) is to reach the outer rings of our solar system with the Voyager spacecrafts. The spacecrafts are currently in the termination shock region of our solar system. Our Sun is one among the billions of stars in the milky way galaxy. They are billions of such galaxies in the universe. It will take quite a long time just to reach the next star let alone the next galaxy. Most of our research comes from telescopes that reach out to far reaching galaxies and get us great pictures. I find the prviate space program very interesting. I look forward to the space tourism launching next year. May be some day I will get to travel to the space. :)

Monday, August 18, 2008

Beer statistics

I was at the grocery store looking at an aisle full of beers from all over the world. And I needed to pick one. I thought it would be cool if they had an electronic display (next to aisle or at various locations similar to the Price checker) to show which beer sold the most (this year, this month, all time etc. like Youtube does). The display would be touch screen based that can be expanded to see additional information. I can then try out the top 10 sellers and end up with the one that I prefer. You can replace the beer example with any other product and see how it would be really helpful. When are we going to get Web 2.0 in the real world?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Dasavatharam and human evolution

This is a followup to my previous couple of posts. I had stumbled onto a post about the ten incarnations of Vishnu and how it relates to the human evolution. The post shows how the ten incarnations of Vishnu may relate to the various stages of the human evolution, starting with a fish, then a amphibian, and then ape etc. Here is the list:
  1. Matsya Avatar (Fish) - Life started in the water.
  2. Kurma Avatar (Tortoise) - Amphibious - Life moved from water to the land. (See Ichthyostega and Missing link videos).
  3. Varaha Avatar (Boar) - Complete animal - Adapted to live on land.
  4. Narasimha Avatar (Half ape) - Transformation from animal to ape.
  5. Vamana avatar (Dwarf) - Transformation from ape to human, developed intelligence.
  6. Parasurama avatar (Forest dweller) - Humans developed stone tools.
  7. Rama avatar (Hunter) - Humans used superior weapons, bows and arrows, created villages.
  8. Balarama avatar (Farmer) - Humans started agriculture.
  9. Krishna avatar (Businessman) - Domestication of animals and development of economy.
  10. Kalki avatar - Yet to arrive. He may bring the end of the world. It could be a virus.

It was interesting to put these two topics together. I have come to believe that religions use metaphors to explain complicated things. For example, Rahu and Ketu are used to represent the Lunar nodes (See Rahu and Ketu–The Invisible Planets).

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Evolution and natural selection

I am starting to like the subject of biology again. I had chosen computers over it at school. Learning about evolution by natural selection has opened up my eyes in more ways than any other thing I had ever learnt. And this man, Richard Dawkins, gets all the credit for it. If you want to learn more, watch the videos on this page, The Genius of Charles Darwin: Presented by Richard Dawkins.