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September 28, 2014

Modi’s speech at madison square garden.

Filed under: My Life — Suramya @ 11:05 PM

Wow! Just finished watching  modi’s speech… it was amazing! The guy is a great orator.

It is late and i have to get up in 4 hrs to drive ~500 kms back to bangalore so will post more thoughts on this later.

– Suramya

September 24, 2014

India’s Mangalyaan successfully enters Mars orbit

Filed under: My Thoughts,Techie Stuff — Suramya @ 11:00 PM

Yay! India’s low cost Martian mission successfully entered Mars orbit earlier today. The 4.5bn rupee ($74m;) mission is the cheapest inter-planetary mission ever to be undertaken by the world. In fact production of the movie Gravity cost more than the entire mission.

This is an amazing achievement, now my only question is: what are we doing to reward the scientists that made this possible? When India won the world cup, every state in India rewarded millions of rupees to the players who were already well paid and compensated. Why is there no similar prizes being announced for the scientists who made history today? Mr Modi, this is a question for you and your government…

Additional links:
* http://www.engadget.com/2014/09/24/india-successfully-reaches-mars/
* Mangalyaan: India’s race for space success

– Suramya

September 22, 2014

Project Hieroglyph: Returning to Science Fiction that inspires

Filed under: My Thoughts — Suramya @ 10:13 AM

If you have been following the Science Fiction Genre recently you will have noticed that most of the popular SciFi stories nowadays are about post-apoplectic future where civilization got wiped out by a virus or zombies or some other disaster etc etc. Not many stories are being written that talk about a golden future with new advances etc that would serve to inspire folks to create new stuff like Author C Clarke’s writings on communication satellites that inspired folks to actually create them, or Star Trek Communicators that partially inspired the creation of cell phones. Those items along with numerous other things both small and large were initially created by writers as Science Fiction but then slowly became reality.

Recently Neal Stephenson wrote an article entitled “Innovation Starvation“, where he called for a return to inspiration in contemporary science fiction, this call inspired people and Project Hieroglyph was born shortly thereafter.

The name of Project Hieroglyph comes from the notion that certain iconic inventions in science fiction stories serve as modern “hieroglyphs” – Arthur Clarke’s communications satellite, Robert Heinlein’s rocket ship that lands on its fins, Issac Asimov’s robot, and so on. Jim Karkanias of Microsoft Research described hieroglyphs as simple, recognizable symbols on whose significance everyone agrees.

What science fiction stories—and the symbols that they engender—can do better than almost anything else is to provide not just an idea for some specific technical innovation, but also to supply a coherent picture of that innovation being integrated into a society, into an economy, and into people’s lives. Often, this is the missing element that scientists, mathematicians, engineers, and entrepreneurs need in order to actually take the first real steps towards realizing some novel idea.

While the mission of Project Hieroglyph begins with creative inspiration, our hope is that many of us will be genuinely inspired towards realization.

Here writers post questions or just talk about idea’s that are meant to make people think and speculate on the important question in life “What if?”. The site is a great read not just for authors but for readers as well. It pushes you to think about new idea’s or a different aspect for an existing idea. Check it out and you won’t be disappointed.

– Suramya

September 21, 2014

India’s Mangalyaan races to MARS

Filed under: Interesting Sites,My Thoughts,Techie Stuff — Suramya @ 7:30 PM

Did you know that India’s very own Mangalyaan is racing to Mars and about to do the final course corrections to enter Mars orbit? If the corrections work then India will be the first country to successfully enter the Mars orbit on the first try and the first Asian country to make it to mars.

The Indian Space Research Organisation has published a handy slide deck (PDF) explaining what happens next. There’s lots of little chores like uploading of commands going on at the moment, but things get interesting on September 24th. 🙂 The PDF has a breakdown of what is expected when the action starts so do check it out.

I am going to try staying up at night to see if there is live coverage of the event. This is a great day in the Indian Space age. 🙂

Now, there are a lot of folks who are making comments to effect of “India should spend money on feeding the poor, instead of launching space rockets”. I have seen multiple comments to this effect on various blogs and forums. What these folks don’t realize is that spending money on the poor is all well and good but we need to start spending money on the Space program as well because end of the day we don’t have that much room on earth and the only place for us to go once Earth is full is out in space. There we have a lot more resources, enough space to expand and figure out new technologies that will make it easier/cheaper to feed the folks on earth.

Well this is all for now. Will write more later.

– Suramya

Links:

1. India vs America: Earthling invaders in race to MARS
2. India’s MOM Mars mission makes final course correction
3. ISRO Website

September 17, 2014

Register for a Free MIT Photojournalism Course to become a better photographer

Filed under: Interesting Sites — Suramya @ 1:58 AM

Too many so called photographers today think that putting a black and white filter on a photo of food makes it an artistic photo. Unfortunately that is not true. If you are interested in Photojournalism or just want to learn how to take good photographs (and I am not talking about selfies here) you should check out this free MIT course: Documentary Photography and Photojournalism: Still Images of a World in Motion.

Check it out if you have some time.

Thanks to Lifehacker.com for the link.

– Suramya

September 16, 2014

ComicCon Bangalore 2014

Filed under: My Life — Suramya @ 2:20 AM

Finally attended ComicCon Bangalore after missing it consistently for 2 years in a row, just by the virtue of being in the wrong city whenever it was happening. It was great fun, though I was expecting a bit more folks to be cosplaying. However that doesn’t mean that the folks who were Cosplaying didn’t spent time, effort and money in creating their costumes. There were a bunch of folks as Superman, Spider-man, Saw one guy dressed as the Hulk and even found a minion.

One of the highlights of the show was that I got to meet Peter Kuper author of Spy Vs Spy which is a comic I have been reading for a lot of years now. I even got him to draw a panel for me in my copy of Spy Vs Spy (see below). Another author we met was Jason Quinn who wrote “The Kaurava Empire”. We bought the first volume of the series just as it was released to the public. The series is a great read and I would highly recommend it to folks.

Over all the Con was good fun, I did notice a few things though that I found interesting:

  • There were a lot more stalls selling T-Shirts than Comics/Books. I hope in the next Con more publishers show up and the ratio is more balanced.
  • A lot more publishers are starting to write about Indian Mythology and stories based on it. I saw books on all sorts of mythological figures and this is awesome. Finally folks are starting to write about Indian figures instead of Greek/American/Scandinavian. I hope this trend continues.
  • Cosplay is picking up in India.

Finally to end the post, here are some pics from the event:


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Bangalore ComicCon 2014

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Peter Kuper drawing a panel just for me 🙂

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Me with Peter Kuper

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Spider-Man Hitches a ride

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Minion’s!

Well this is all for now. Will post more later.

– Suramya

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