Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Dressed to Kill!

It true that I was thinking about writing something along this line for a while. But then its also true that Arnab's this post has woken me up from the slumber and provided the necessary impetus.

He talks about being politically correct in job interviews , among other things. I remember being asked at NTSE interview , what do I think of Gorkhaland. That was the time when Ghising and the CPI(M) leadership made friends with each other after mindless violence over the years. I did not call a spade exactly a spade - but did not hide my acute displeasure for Mr.Ghising - which the folks there evidently did not like.

Anyway thats beside the point. Fortunately or unfortunately I never faced any job interview - so I dont really have the "insiders" perspective. But which I always used to find very amusing in our campus is - in the sweltering heat and humidity of our good old Kolkata , the job aspirants dressed impeccably and sweating profusely waiting for the campus interviews. I always felt they wearing a white formal shirt with a tie and without a coat or a blazer makes one look like a salesman (and was not the most jobs were in marketing?). Not to offend anyone - but will anyone please tell me how that funny attire became so mandatory?

Saturday, November 26, 2005

My Black Friday Experience

Last year a gang of us attacked Officemax for its eminently useless but free after rebate stuff - and after running around the store , pushing people away and grabbing most of the stuff returned home victorious. This year - could not find that many enthusiastic people . And at this time of the year - Gainesville is always a dead town - so I thought whoever remained would invade Bestbuy first and reached the local Circuit City just half an hour or so before the store opening hour. And whoa! I found myself behind a hundred or so people! It was sheer madness once I entered the store. Here my extensive "research" for the past couple of days came in handy (thanks to http://www.bf2005.com/ - it was so helpful). I knew what I wanted ( not those amazingly cheap crappy laptops - they were all apparently "out" by midnight!) - but still missed that free Samsonite camera bag or the computer screen cleaner. And to add insult to "injury" , I ended up in perhaps the slowest moving checkout line in the entire country.
That led me to change the "itinerary" a bit - instead of heading for another round of jostling , went to an unusually quiet Sams Club and grabbed the free breakfast ( as someone famously said - there is nothing like a free lunch, but I dont mind free food anyplace anytime!) they had. I was anyway too sleepy by then - staying up the whole night and waiting to place orders online at the right times was clearly taking its toll. But still could not resist the temptation to be at our only mall - did not really find anything too tempting then though. Its another story that I went back to the mall later in the evening after having a good sleep!

And I realize, I actually enjoy the early morning madness!

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Bowled by Google!

A couple of days back I was in this talk by a Google executive. I could not resist asking him the question which I had in mind for a long time - how does Google show the "cached" pages. I could never think that Google actually stores all those webpages in their server - but that's what they do. Think about it - that is effectively backing up the entire web!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Black Friday !

Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving in the United States, is historically one of the busiest retail shopping days of the year. Many consider it the "official" beginning to the holiday season. The "black" in the name comes from the standard accounting practice of using red ink to denote negative values (i.e., losses) and black ink to denote positive values (profits). Black Friday is the day when retailers traditionally get back "in the black" after operating "in the red" for the previous months, often by cutting prices considerably. In addition, most retailers will open very early. [Wikipedia]

So we are there again. The day the consumers are supposedly the king - even if they have to wake up early and get into literal streetfight with complete strangers to grab the mostly useless but deeply discounted items. And one day when "black" something is not a politically incorrect phrase! Or is it?

( I found this somewhere in the web - could not resist putting it up here. No copyright violation is intended!)

Monday, November 21, 2005

Thought of the day

A popular advertisement line says -
There are some things money can't buy. For everything else, there's Mastercard.
Let me tweak it a bit. And I come up with -
There are somethings you need money for. For everything else, there's Google.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

"JRS" in Prison!

Now thats what you call a real stunning news.

He is one of the legends in the field. And he won the ultimate recognition way back. He was supposed to be spending his time in Florida now - enjoying sunshine and the beaches. Rather he does this.

Monday, November 14, 2005

A Classical Dilemma

This happens all to often. Especially for poor lonely creatures like us. We go online , meet some supposedly nice guy or girl and after using up a few hundred or so free night/weekend minutes feel like meeting them. But in most cases (s)he is possibly a thousand miles apart - and both of us being overworked and underpaid graduate students - we accept that its not going to work out. End of the story? Not quite , especially if one of the persons lives in a place worth a visit. So then you have the extra motivation for having a trip down there - and probably you will find some other souls to accompany you too. And honestly - vacation are more fun and less expensive in a group unless its a romantic one. And there comes the tricky part - what do you do with your virtual friend? Do you really want to tell your buddies about this person - and make yourself a target of ridicule if your virtual friend doesn't live up to his/her online image? And suppose (s)he does turn out to be a real nice company - then can you screw up the travel itinerary to spend more time with him/her - annoying all others in your group? Its no lesser a dilemma for the other person too. Knowing that your virtual friend is coming with a gang of real friends by itself is intimidating - making your way into a group is always oh so difficult. Then you are not sure of the expectation level is - whether you can ask him/her out for a coffee alone or join them while they are in a museum? Ideally you wanted him/her alone - and you are feeling disgusted to be forced to deal with a crowd - but you also know that this is the only chance you got to make an impression - (s)he is not going to visit your city again soon. I have been at the either side of the divide - forcing my friends to waste a few hours so that I can meet my chat friend and looking on while one of my friend's chat friend toiled hard unsuccessfully to impress her!

Neither was much fun for the anyone!

P.S - Birthday wishes for Sanchayeeta (15th November).

Saturday, November 12, 2005


So after immensely bugging and persistantly boring everyone around (and that doesnt only include you "online" folks) I am finally done with my first Physics talk. It went so fast - both literally and figuratively - I went over my slides as if they are going to disappear in thin air in the next instant. The whole thing was over even before I looked at my entire audience once. But the feedback was not so bad and some people did ask some questions and encouraged me off the stage - that was so considerate of them! The next one would be much better - I promise!

And then this was a perfect excuse to continue my mission to explore all the restaurants in town. Went to this place called Bonefish grill and funnily enough - ordered a variation of Grilled Chicken with Smoked Salmon and Martini.

I love good food. And they taste better or Friday nights.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Using Drell Yan to probe the underlying event

Yeah - that is the title of my talk tomorrow. Or later today.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Practising to Talk!

A host of constructive suggestions. At least I would like to see them that way. The big day is less than 48 hours away!

Among other things , finally finalized my long-waited-oh-so-tempting-west-coast-road-trip-plan for December. Hopefully more details coming soon.

My take on a few important things happening here and there :

Ganguly getting "royally" ignored by the Indian selectors - I hope he wont turn into another Dhanaraj Pillay.

IIPM Saga - I have came across countless blogs / mails. Move on folks - IIPM people are here to make money - and as long as students think studying management is the only way to glory - they would be exploited.

Volker Report and all that crap - Should not we know it by now that we should not differentiate between politicians based on race, sex, nationality or sexual orientation ?

T.O saga - Garbage in, garbage out.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Cellphones Suck!

World would be a better place if people realize -

That just because I am carrying my cell does not mean that I am available and have to take every damn call.

A call is not necessarily more important than the person sitting in front of you.

A call waiting does not necessarily mean the waiting call is more important than the current one.

And if I dont take a call - it is generally not a deep rooted conspiracy to offend that person.

I do not ride buses to get updated on stranger's personal details - neither do I go to movies to hear all these ringtones.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Have you ever wondered why people order a "big" Coke at places where they can take a "small" one and have free unlimited refills?

P.S - Birthday wishes for Arpita (31st October) , Satabdi (2nd November) , Ranjani (2nd November).