Jan 2007 BLOG

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2007-01-29 on mutual faith
MMLA sankrant program took place under the new committee. It did feel trifle different being on this side of the table again. The program was good. One of the MMLA idol contestants could not keep up with the beat of the accompaniment despite the fact that they would have practised. It showed lack of regularity for that non-professional.

An item about george Matthews performing for Darfur with a bunch of accomplished musicians from world over without practising together came to mind. He had siad that he had faith in them (and surely they in him) and he had managed to rub off his enthusiasm on them and they were excited at the prospect oh helping the afflicted. They performed the non-trivial Verde requiem saying it aptly conveyed the sentiments that when a human being dies he should not lie unattended/unnoticed, contrasting it with the atrocities in Darfur.

Darfur
2007-01-24 The Amazing Meeting
TAM5 took place in Las vegas recently. The next ones there in Jun 2008. A brief summary by John Rennie is in the link here.
TAM5
2007-01-23 India's Yin and Yang
Was reading a BBC report on the Shilpa Sheety Big Brother episode and how they though Indian public had come of age since they watched such shows and even after the episode not many went for burning effigies and rampage in general.

While I did not think watching shows like Big Brother can be termed as advancement, fresh memories of the old Russians are coming, Russians are coming and the organised calmness in the chaos made me feel that indeed, if a majority of Indians are taking happenings in their stride and understanding that people have the freedom of thought and expression, it is indeed a good day for India.

The fact that ISRO recovered a payload, a first step in possible launches with astronauts on board made me feel doubly good.

But then I read about the violence in Banglore. A mindless rally by BJP clashed with an even more mindless crowd protesting the hanging of Saddam Hussain. Is this the Yin and Yang of India?

Shilpa Shetty and Big Brother
Russians are coming, Russians are coming
ISRO's achievement
Bangalore violence
2007-01-21 crooked houses and no-sided professors
Read another two interesting stories in the same book: Robert Heinlein's --- And he built a crooked house and Martin Gardners No sided professor. Martin Gardner has been one of my Gods for recreational maths, but I had not read his fiction before. Clearly I need to read more.
--- And he built a crooked house
Robert Heinlein
Martin Gardner
2007-01-20 The devil and Simon Flagg
Read a wonderful story by that name by Arthur Porges in the collection Fantasia Mathematica put together by Clifton Fadiman. The story first apeared in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, August 1954.
Fantasia Mathematica
2007-01-10 comet C/2006 P1 (McNaught)
I was returning from Seattle last evening from the American Astronomy Society meeting. The purser of the flight announced that a comet was visible near the horizon on the right side (west). About half a dozen astronomers on the flight (mostly working on rather faroff objects in the universe and not caring too much about rocks in our backyard), besides others passengers, turned right and saw it. It had a lovely tail. No one knew what its name was and why it had not been in the papers. I looked it up this morning and it happens to be C/2006 P1 (McNaught). It is supposed to have been at 3.6 mag yesterday and should be 0.5 mags brighter tonight rising up to 2 on the 13th. (from a clear dark area 6th mag and brighter i.e. under 6 are visible to the naked eye). It should be visible around sunset in the west about 15 degrees off of the unmistakable venus. (I hope we did not see it just because we were at an altitude of 30000 feet and clear of our polluted atmosphere). Try to get to a clear and if possible high spot to see it.
Ephemeris
2007-01-09 discovery of triple quasar
Our triple quasar was announced at the AAS today. It was intriguing how the discovery, which, being a first, is a spacemark, but not terribly spacebreaking, was paired up with a corresponding simulation of triple quasars and Virginia Trimble.
Caltech PR for triple quasar

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