Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Conference, workshop and a rock show

I am currently in LA attending a workshop at IPAM. This is right after attending FOCS in Berkeley. FOCS was accompanied by a "Rock Show" organized by people from the Berkeley theory group. It is not everyday that you find your professors singing smells like teen spirit and cocaine (with the word cocaine of course replaced by the more appropriate caffeine). Here's a picture of Dick Karp dancing to Christos' tunes. Luca presents a more detailed account of the concert.

The drive to LA was exciting with the car rental running out of small cars and us "having to" to rent a convertible instead. We drove in the slightly cold weather with the top open for a while. I had to wear a jacket sitting in the back - but it was worth it! More from LA to follow soon.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Was Einstein the only scientist?

Berkeley has a huge bookstore called "Half-price books" which sells used books. I often go in there and browse through the popular-science section. Interestingly, about half of the section is filled with books about/by Einstein! Of course, Einstein was a great scientist and one can expect to find quite a few books - but the fact that Einstein dominates the section so much as to make books about every other scientist nonexistent was surprising. Exaggeration and overgeneralization based on the number of books yield the following conclusions:
  1. Mathematics is extremely unpopular and/or unscientific. The only books present in the section are books which brush up your formulae from high-school algebra.
  2. Chemistry does not exist.
  3. Genome, black-holes and relativity are the "really cool" things.

Saturday, October 07, 2006


पूछती है राह मुझसे,
यूॅ बढ़ा किस ओर चला है?
दूर तक फैला है बियाबॉ,
नापने कौनसा तू छोर चला है?

खेला करती ये मुझसे अक्सर,
दोराहों पर लाकर मुझे|
राह ही सवाल है, है यही जवाब भी,
मैं इसे बूझता हूॅ, या ये बूझती मुझे?

दूर तक दिखती लम्बी राह,
कभी अचानक पगडंडियों पे मुड़ जाया करती है|
किसी छोटे से गॉव में मुझे लाकर,
उसी में गुम जाया करती है|

पूछती है मुझसे मानो,
सोच ले क्या यहीं रुकेगा?
क्या यही पाने चला था,
या कुछ दूर और चलेगा?

चल रहा हूॅ संग उसीके,
रास्ता साथी मेरा है|
चाह है देखूॅ कि आगे,
किस मोड़ पर छिपा क्या है?