Saturday, December 05, 2009


I finally joined Greenpeace as a volunteer.

I think this was in the making ever since I came across my first Greenpeace activist in Hiranandani in '98 or '99. It was outside (what is now) Haiko. At that time I had no clue about climate change or whaling or whatever - I just saw a bunch of these guys had set up a little stall and were trying to get some attention.

But at getting attention they failed. Miserably. One lady infact mistook "Greenpeace" for "green peas" and inquired about it, only to turn away in a huff when she realized her mistake.

At that time, my schooldays, I didn't get pocket money or anything. I remember taking 100 bucks from mom to buy something big, and with that purpose I was in Hiranandani.

So here I was, looking at these youngish activists, probably college students somewhere. I kinda just felt bad that everyone was ignoring them and that's what prompted me to go and see what they were pushing.

They gave me a few pamphlets and told me long stories about Greenpeace, about Rainbow Warrior and their efforts to stop whaling. That's when I recalled a Discovery Channel show about them and all the stuff they did. (I used to be an avid watcher of the Discovery Channel. Back then it was really great!)

At that time, I thought what they did was really gutsy and a little stupid. But I agreed with the message. As I went off, I felt a little sad that no one here seemed to care about any of this stuff.

I ended up making a Rs. 50 contribution towards Greenpeace. Rs. 50 is like nothing, but back then I could buy a Frankie outside school for Rs. 10, and I got that Rs. 10 from my parents only once or twice a week!

So that was it - a little kid makes a tiny contribution. It was surely forgotten moments later.

Now to be honest, I don't support all the messages that greenpeace puts across. I also think that invading nuclear facilities is not right, infact it is downright stupid.

But there are 2 issues where I think Greenpeace makes perfect sense – climate change and defending the oceans by protecting marine reserves. They may be sensationalist, but they are doing something.

For too long, I didn't join because of the differences in thought. But now that I think about it, that was stupid. I have now joined because there is enough in common.

Lets be frank – unless we enact change now, the world is going over the brink. The Earth will survive well enough, but we will not. Closer to home, India is projected to be one of the hardest hit countries by this.

Now I know you're gonna say "climategate" and "scandal" and "only a theory" and all that bullshit. Get a life. Some researchers may have cut corners, but that does not mean all of science is wrong. To me, it shows that some organization somewhere (supposedly funded by Exxon according to some sources) paid good money and organized the resources to hack into research organizations, and proceeded to scan emails and release the ones that seemed controversial.

Indeed, if there was cutting of corners by researchers, I'm glad that someone revealed it. All it means is that we need to take the raw data and re-examine it.

Anyhow, I ramble on for too long. Bottomline, we all need to get involved.

tl;dr I joined Greenpeace. I don't agree completely with what they say, nevertheless I will volunteer for events in India. You should sign up too.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Science. It works, bitches.

I saw this (pic, see it!) on the internets (on Reddit infact) yesterday. My first reaction was - it's not possible. It's just not. It had to be glued or something.

But curiosity happens. I spent an hour with a paper and pencil trying to work out the physics behind it. At 6 AM, i had finally constructed my own version of it (using only a stick and my pocket-knife). Here it is:

Doesn't it seem impossible? The rod sticks out with no apparent support to hold it up! The only torque is downwards! How is it staying there? But there is no glue or anything. It is simply mechanics.

(Original concept by PhilixBefore. Free body diagram by omicron8.)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Harishchandragad – The First Trek

Harishchandragad. The very very first trek we did. Certainly it was one of the more difficult treks I've done (perhaps only Kulang was more rigorous), it was not particularly green either. And we were lost and sans-water "almost-dead" too. But if this trek had not been so amazing, so much fun, then I would never have gone on those hundreds of other ones.

Now I wonder if I would ever have got to know Krishna and KP so well, and Ankoor Das at all, had we not gone on this trek.

Junta. (L to R):
Jerome, PD, Me, Das, (who is that?), KP, Krishna (photographer)

Ummmmm... Yeah. We're lost.

Konkankada. What an Insane drop!

Ah Waters! We have waters again!

The valley as we crossed hills

KP's bullock cart. :)

It would have been so cool to write down those "Trek Diaries" we always said we would but never got around to doing. Maybe I should do it for real this time.

Happy 4th Birthday, Dear Blog

I'm simply amazed that this blog has not died. I started it so long ago, back in my third year in IIT. Blogging was just becoming a fad back then and I had decided to give it a try. So did a lot of other people, almost everyone I know.

As the fad passed, the internets was littered with dead blogs, and many phoenixy ones as well. Luckily, this one survived. Over 4 years, I've written a little more than 200 posts - approximately 1 a week.

For me, this blog is a very special. It's one of those few hobbies or pastimes or whatever that I have kept alive for any length of time. Over these four years it really has become a sort of diary, a place where I can return to see what I thought and felt over the years.

There was a point when I almost abandoned it. Around December 2006 to April 2007 I wrote not a single post. I was bored. I didn't feel like posting. It's not like I had anything substantial to say anyway.

Luckily I discovered Maya, Vue and Apophysis in April 2007, and mediocre CG artwork drove the next many post-lets. That and shady cribbu posts. I am very cribbu. I remember they wrote that in my valfi as well.

Now, I post once in a while. A sort of whenever type of thing. I'm quite sure that this blog won't perish now. It's passed that point. I'm happy for that.

Wow, it's really been 4 years.

Happy Birthday, dear Blog. And a big Thank You to all those who still read it... I wonder how many still do...

Sunday, November 15, 2009


Krishna, KP and I had trekked to Naneghat sometime this August.

Monday, November 09, 2009

I need a Coffee Shack

The IIMA campus is nothing like the IITB campus. There are no tree-lined roads, no cool breezy lakeside, no 20 minute walks to the classroom where you can imagine made-up worlds and elaborate ninja-battles. There aren't any crazy people who play monopoly in the middle of the night, none of the partying and none of the booze.

Sure, there is frisbee which is better than all the sports I played in IIT. But so much else is missing. Most of all, this place needs a coffee shack.

A place to just sit on lazy afternoons with minutes without conversation and a pun thrown in to indicate still-aliveness.

A place for everyone to come and haggle for free food and coffee – for measly treats, yet sizable gestures.

A place where I can sit at all day whilst bunking class. Sit and read comics, books and graphic novels.

It was the life of IIT. I recall Mood I junta being described (by Renta?) as the largest group of people at coffee shack where no one is talking to anyone else – they're all on their cellphones!

A place for companions, old and not-so-old, simply land up and someone is surely loitering around. That's what I need here – some good old wasting time, not in front of a computer but out there talking, laughing and drinking coffee.

Oh, how I wish for Coffee Shack.

Sunday, November 01, 2009


Monday, October 12, 2009

Experiments with Gelusil and Mixed Fruit Juice

[And ice tea and potatoes]

... and the trusty camera that shot them:







Taken using a Canon Powershot SD1000 (a point-and-shoot camera about the size of a credit card) and an exposure time of 1/10000 secs, and very wierd ISO and flash settings.

It took 2 hours to hack the firmware and then an hour to get it to take pics! Grishma was constantly moving her hand at high speeds to check whether the camera was working!

Finally, experimenting with flash sync and ISO settings, we managed to get a non-black and non-white picture. Then we moved on to taking these pics. It was totally awesome fun.

We need coloured lights. And coloured water. And thicker, more viscous fluids. Any ideas?

<menacing_voice>... This is only the beginning. Muahhahahahhhah.</menacing_voice>

PS: Please view hi-res by clicking on the pics! :)

How I Got My Name (According to the Venerable Saint KP)

Apparently, my father was a most enthusiastic runner. He used to run to work, run back from work and also run whilst on lunch break. He even ran to his convocation.

His absolutely favourite phrase, as it is for any self-respecting runner, was "Ready, Steady, Go!". Unfortunately, he was, evidently, from a hidden South-Indian island where due to local language pressures, he only learnt to say "Reddy, Seddy, Gho!"

And later, deciding to name me after his passion, he named me Seddy.

In time, I was knighed, and hence became Sir Seddy. And ofcourse, what use is a knight without a coat of armour and a singh? Hence I came to be called "Sir Seddy Singh". Apparently the alliteration appealed so much to me that I legally changed my name.

Of this story, I was not aware and I am extremely glad that dear KP brought it to my notice. I am forever indebted to you for telling me.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Oh, For A Cake!

This is a story. A true story indeed. It took place almost 1 year-and-a-half ago, in Goa. It's the story of a bike ride. The task - to fetch a cake.

You see, Chaitrali had just celebrated her birthday and Krishna had got her a most excellent cake and wine as well. Now, it was KP's turn and we decided to awesomeofy his day. This involved: (a) Wishing him. (We always forget 'coz his b'day lies in the middle of Summer. To be honest, it was a fair exchange since he never got birthday bumps either). (b) Getting him a cake! (c) Letting him cut his cake in the hotel pool-side bar while sitting inside the pool lounging like a king.

KP arrived in Goa in his own unique true trailblazing style, albeit a whole 2 days late. He hitchhiked "all the way" there. Now while hitchhiking, travel is only possible till about 5 PM, post which a place to put up for the night needs to be sought. For a person who can only get up at 11, this posed a problem. So, after getting only about 200 Km in 3 days (already 1 day late), he simply hopped on a train heading in the right direction and got there.

Upon arrival, he was promptly mistaken for a ragpicker (it was the stench). Jigisha also burned him pretty bad by shaving off the stubble on only half his face. See the pic. It was quite funny :-)

In the meantime, we were up to buying lots of beer. 4 crates of Kings beer at Rs. 12 a pint! This was supposed to be my "getting-into-IIM" gift. Only, the results had been delayed. I bought the beer anyway. Then, we proceeded to close-pack them. What you see here in only HALF of the bottles. The rest are in the other fridge. As you can see, lots of chemistry fundae have been applied to fit them in. This was Joydeep's work. He is clearly destined for great things.

Now, about the bike ride, here we all are pretending that we've forgotten KP's birthday. Already 9 hours into the day (counting from midnight ofcourse) and no one's wished him. I'm sure he must have been debating, "Should I tell them? Will that appear too needy? Ah screw it! I AM needy. I should tell them. But nooo... they'll make fun it it. Hmm. This is difficult."

On the next pic, before you judge us, we were pretending to be a boy band posing a cover photo. Look at the blank stares and the random directions we're looking in. We hate boy bands.

Joydeep and I picked up our dinky little bike and set off like true macho men (ie: Without sunblock). Yes, that is the yardstick of machoness of our generation. No more playing with knives, wrestling or juggling chainsaws.

So we headed all the way to the next town, which we were told, had a bakery! And since we were going, we were also asked to pick up a *few* other things - Carnations for Krishna, Goa-sausages for cooking junta, Prawns pickle, Bibinca and what not.

We reached and purchased stuff without incident. But now, we were faced with the daunting task of carrying a flimsy cake box and 25 Kgs of other associated luggage 13 Km back to hotel on a bloody bike!

And as we set off, we took a U-turn just outside the city, on the highway and this idiot of a bike rider comes and for some reason doesn't *see* us turning (though we had been turning for a good 30 seconds. It was a big turn). Comes and dashes straight into us and goes careening off into the side of the road. Somehow we hold on. The bike falls, but thanks to elite balancing skills, the cake is unharmed. Phew!

The food on this whole trip was just something incredible. Here above is probably the most epic meal we had. Scrumptious lobster, wine, hookahs, fish and a lot more, by the beach. Just. Simply. Fantastic.

Now, after having risked our lives and skins (accident and no-sunblock respectively), we finally reached the hotel, got KP to close his eyes for a while and had a cake in front of him, candles and all! They were playing mafia in the pool and KP got to drink a beer and cut his cake while sitting on the underwater chairs. Success! :-)

The above picture is of a candle-lit dinner that Rylan, Joy and I shared. We cooked ourselves. Fried eggs, Goa sausages, boiled potatoes and bread. Coffee and beer. Bibinca for dessert. Deelicious. As I said before, the food on this entire trip was a mini-trip in itself.

Ofcourse the vegetarians. They ate from subway. Hahahhahahahaha! (Just being a little mean. But yeah. They did loose out big-time on the food bit). We also ate bacon-and-ham sandwiches. I remember getting to a shack and ordering one. Others took a bite and were like "Waiter! One more what-he's-having!" :-)

Tuesday, June 02, 2009


"Hell, it's about time!"

Ten O' Clock On A Monday

The last 2 weeks have been stupendous, as far as mornings are concerned. I wake up leisurely at 10-ish and lounge around home, checking mail, reddit, etc. till about 11:30. Around mid-day I leave for work.

But, before work, I head to Terra Cafe where I have a scrumptious breakfast, one of:

1. English Breakfast - sausages, baked beans, toast, fried eggs, baked potatoes and tea

2. Belgian Waffle Breaksaft - waffles, infi maple syrup, a muffin, baked potatoes and tea

3. Banana crepe with chocolate sauce and ice-cream, with a side plate of sausages

Plus, the place has stacks of comic books. Read and eat. Nice philosophy. I've caught up on a lot of Calivin and Hobbes :)

After a breakfast like that, the rest of the day simply falls into place peacefully. Such is life.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Red Baron

When I was 5, I dreamt of flying fancy space ships on long interstellar journeys (like from Titan to the planet Eroticon VI (Still to be discovered)). But as I grew older, my dreams drew more real. So by 7, I dreamt of flying fighter aircraft and being the next Red Baron.

However, reality struck this down as well and I just dreamt of being rich (and buying an island) after that. I'm sure most young boys would have gone through a similar cycle.

However, last weekend, I had a chance to actually fly an aircraft. Well a Microlight can barely be called an aeroplane - it weights less than a small car!, but nevertheless it flies. It flies quite well infact.
That's the little critter. It weighs less than 350 Kgs! It's called the Red Baron, the only connection being the red colour I presume. The name's printed on the front, barely visible from this angle.

That's a chopper - same hanger types. It's huge. And utterly cool as well! But back to the microlight now:

So, me: Sitting in the aircraft, almost read for take-off. This was very early in the morning, mind you. That engine above is an 82 BHP thingy - that's a *lot* of power for such a tiny aircraft.

Aaand we're airborne! Now just climbing to a decent altitude. It was airborne is like 20 metres! (I told you it was overpowered :) )

The insides of the microlight. Look at all those controls! OOoo shiny! So we're now just levelling off and turning away from the airfield. After this, Vineetha (the pilot and instructor), showed me how to use the controls and taught me how to turn using the control stick and the rudder as well as how to maintain course, etc :)

A picture of Bangalore from under the wing. (Bangalore is a good 20-odd Km away from the Aerodrome, but we flew all the way there - didn't take long). The good thing about the engine being overhead is the awesome almost-360-degree view.

So that's us still in the air - I've now relinquished control of the aircraft. The engine is quite noisy so we get to wear these cool mic+headphone thingies and communicate with each other over radio! :D ...

Now we've landed and wheeled the Red Baron back into the hanger. Nidhi actually organized the whole thing for me - thanks a lot :) .. she unfortunately was not allowed to fly since she is a commercial pilot and for some unfathomable reason, commercial pilots are not allowed to touch smaller aircraft. Vineetha, the pilot, was awesome. Towards the end, just before landing, she took these totally cool 90-degree turns where the wings were frikking perpendicular to the ground! That was soo cool!

This is almost as much fun as skydiving! I'm thinking I should get a licence and learn to fly one of these. They cost only as much as a car. Hm... Island or microlight - damn! What a tough decision :P.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Marijuana Eyes

Marijuana Eyes

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Twin Earths and the Sun

Twin Earths and the Sun

8 x 12 (inches), made using only spray paints.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Hazy Boredom

I just said, "Bangalore is great." And it is. Unfortunately Wipro isin't so hot. In fact, it's quite shady.

So essentially I'm going stir crazy here. I have *no* work. I've met my guide for a cumulative of 15 minutes since I joined (he's always got "burning issues" to deal with apparently). I don't know what my project is about and I'm just sitting here in this room thinking of how bored I am.

To top it off, they've blocked almost anything of amusing value - reddit: blocked. gmail: blocked. xkcd: blocked. calvin&hobbes: blocked. Dilbert: blocked. I've been distracting myself from the excrutiating boredom by translating English phrases from Spanish to German. There's nothing wrong about that: try it. The results are interesting (interestingness depends on boredom levels).

My iPod Nano and books are keeping me company. On the plus-side, I'll have caught up on my year's reading by the time I'm done here. Already since I started "work", I've finished reading Pitch Invasion, The Undercover Economist and The End of Eternity. Now I'm out of books too. Must buy/borrow some more.

I shall catch up with Sod again soon - maybe tomorrow. A whole bucket of stiff drinks should cheer me up a bit.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The first 3 days

Bangalore is great.

Over my first 3 days, I've checked out many parts of the city, figured out how buses work here and also managed to get auto drivers to go by the meter (a rather difficult task here indeed).

Yesterday I visited the Bannerghatta National Park and Butterfly Park. Both were quite nice - plenty of lions and tigers and bears and other animals. The Butterfly Park was really well done too.

I was torn between buying an iPod Touch and waiting for the new version. I keep flip-flopping between "I'm buying it today!" and "Two months later, iPod gen 3." Right now I've postponed the decision till Tuesday.

I'm staying at IIM Bangalore and the campus is simply gorgeous. It's completely green and the weather is extremely pleasant. It helps that many people are staying here as well. We played card games (29, etc.) a couple of nights ago and also played cricket all night (I really didn't know till yesterday that I was an explosive batsman!)

We had an IIMB-intro party last night as well. Lots of rum and coke flowing all round. Is good.

The pubs in Bangalore are quite cheap. And the malls have humongous food courts, which makes me quite happy :)

I found some quaint bookshops on Brigade road. I guess books will keep me company on the long commutes. Did I mention that I figured out the bus system? - and Bangalore has amazing Volvo buses. Just get on and hop off half an hour later, thus preventing auto drivers from ripping you off! And just wave your hand at a bus and he'll pull up right up to you and stop and open the door! So nice! :)

I'm actually having a lot of fun. Oh and my new phone number for the summer is 9986991694.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Haddi / Mohit / Giddu

We herby introduce to you a creature, known to some as “Haddi” and to others as “Giddu”: A monster of epic-hairy proportions whose prime objective in life is to become King and Tyrant of the World. To this end, he cracks jokes that may leave you doubting your sanity. An inhabitant of a rather messy cave, known only as Room 19, he wards off evil spirits by hanging a freshly extracted bone outside his door.

His upper body and lower body seem to want to move in different directions. Thus, his appearance closely resembles the cute, cuddly Kung-Fu panda. Exactly so, he thinks that he radiates awesomeness but in reality only cleans dishes, mainly to cook Maggi in. He is extremely lazy and befits the title “Fat Slob”. Any random sample of his day will have him sitting in the exact same position in front of his computer.

He is apt to doing really silly things at times (See pic (above) for typical example). For one, he chatters incessantly in Japanese, merely repeating the 3 phrases that he knows over and over again. This, he picked up from watching strange episodes of Anime cartoons (and the occasional Hentai). He loves cats and dogs in general and all animals in particular. He gives them names and calls out to them when he passes by. It is hypothesized that the endless amounts of dog crap found daily in D10 is a byproduct of his animal-love.

Haddi is impossible to wake up at any time of day, and especially so in the mornings. He got to classes on time thanks completely to his next door neighbor, our beloved dorm baap, Gilli. But, even the ever-placid Gilli could not take Haddi’s incessant cribbing any more and indeed did run away to Europe to escape this, the “jokes” and all the waking-up. With Gilli out of the picture, Haddi took one step towards his plans of total and complete world domination:

$sudo Dorm_Baap

To add to his positions of irresponsibility, he pestered his first year group-mate Chaman (Name changed to protect identity), to become creatives head and then proceeded to singlehandedly delay all Confluence activity. He pretends to be a marketing Guru and is (quote, from his CV) “An active member of Niche”.

So there we have it: our very own lovable geek, Giddu. All said and done, when he gets down to work, he does radiate awesomeness. His PPO from Value Partners is testament to that. His sense of humor is top-notch and his spontaneity completely blew the competition away, giving him the title of Mr. Chaos. We wish you the best of luck in your days ahead and hope that all your voyeuristic dreams come true.

Physics = Awesome!

Wickedly cool stuff! I'd be working towards a Ph.D in physics had we had some experiments like this in our undergraduate labs!

Too late I guess.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Battle, Bloodshed, Combat, Conflict, ...

Okay people.

It's time for a full-on war to prevent a D grade in CF. Bring it on.

Uh.. can someone teach me CF while I'm at it? :-/

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Snowboard Person

Snowboard Person

Made with black and white spray paint and sheets of cardboard. The vertical line is an artifact from the joining process since the whole painting did not fit into the scanner.