September 2007

Ahmadinejad @ Columbia (requires free subscription)

Mr. Bush, asked about Columbia’s decision to invite Mr. Ahmadinejad, told Fox News that it was “O.K. with me,” but added that he might not have extended the invitation himself.

“When you really think about it,” Mr. Bush said, “he’s the head of a state sponsor of terror, he’s — and yet an institution in our country gives him a chance to express his point of view, which really speaks to the freedoms of the country. I’m not sure I’d have offered the same invitation.”

“I’m proud of my university today,” said Stina Reksten, a 28-year-old graduate student from Norway. “I don’t want to confuse the very dire human rights situation in Iran with the issue here, which is freedom of speech. This is about academic freedom.”

Enough said.

Will Americans continue bucking the trend of giving in to fear mongers and keep that freedom free indeed or choose safety over freedom?


Nandavanathil Oru Aandi

Ofcourse, there is another immortal verse to the same tune that was very popular when I was a fresher in college when I-got-to-know-my-seniors 😉  Not something that can be shared in a civilized setting though 😉

Now what the heck would the 3 have in common? Wil Shipley & iPod – sure, makes sense. But how the heck did Ann Coulter get mixed in?

Well, if you can handle it, and don’t mind if others walking/working/sleeping near by think you have gone bonkers, you are welcome to read the connection at

If you get hurt LYAO or ROTFL, well, just grit your teeth and bear it. You have been warned.

I was waiting for the bus to come home this evening. Just sat there in a bench near the bus stop. There were about 4 or 5 coffee cups and empty water bottles strewn around. Quite a few cigarette butts as well. And a torn newspaper. Not a typical situation in the area I live at present. This is a green paradise with broad tree line roads. Not much of trash lying around. I have seen worse, but not in this area. People are usually on their best behavior.

The weather was very good with a slight chill in the air. A very good time to stroll around or be just outside. Lots of cars in the roads. Folks going home after a tiring day at work or whatever.

Along came this girl with a drink in her hand. Early teens may be. She also settled down in the bench next to where I was seated. She just pushed an empty paper cup and water bottle down before settling down. Had her head phones and seemed to be she was just enjoying the music.

She finished her drink. The bus has not yet come. Then thankfully instead of just putting her drink cup along with all the rest strewn around she went in search of a trash can.

After some time she came back. She had a plastic bag in her hand, the kind you use at grocery stores to bag the groceries. She started to pick all the empty paper cups and empty water bottles strewn around and put them in the plastic bag and put it in the trash can.

Then she sat down. After a minute or so, she got up, picked up the torn newspaper and scooped up all the cigarette butts with that newspaper and put that in the trash can as well.

Kelsey, here is to you! You did just great!

Mmhm..  How many folks did that cassette initiate into listening/getting interested in carnatic music?  That was one of the earliest cassettes that hooked me into carnatic music as well.

My interest in carnatic music started with 2 semi classical cassettes by Bombay Sisters – of Papanasam Sivan & Oothukadu songs by Keerthana, IIRC.  Then came Yesudas & Santhanam.  Then I came across 2 more cassettes – DKP (yArO ivar yArO, eppadi pAdinarO, srI satyanArayanam, thookia thiruvadi, vaLLikaNavan pErai, etc) & NCV (En paLLi kondIr, mahAlakshmi, sArasadaLa, thandhai thAi irundhAl, etc).  Then came SSI’s with brOcEvArevarE,  sri satyanArAyanam & amba kamAkshi.  Then came GNB, ARI, MDR, KVN, TKR, SKR, RNK, and so on.

Of those mentioned above, I still listen to all except Bombay Sisters, Yesduas & Santhanam.

Go ahead and follow the link to The Paradox of Gold by Kurt Brouwer. I used to think of gold as a good investment vehicle. Whatever happens, I was under the belief that gold will always come to the rescue. Apparently it is not so.

For example, gold is currently at $707 oz., which is almost triple its value from 2001, yet gold still has not reached its historical peak of $875, which was set in January 1980. Admittedly, that peak was a very short-term one and gold quickly settled back down to $700 or so later in 1980.

So, gold has not even kept up with inflation over almost 3 decades, though I would have made a 300% return if I invested in gold 2001 😦 I do not know if all the prices mentioned are in today’s dollar terms or respective year’s dollar terms. If it were the latter case, it would be even worse, wouldn’t it?

Real estate is not all that it is cranked up to be. Going by the trend shown, there have been 2 extra ordinary run ups in the real estate market. This is for the US. Is there anything similar to this for India? Any pointers?

Neither is gold.

Ofcourse, there is no denying that quite a lot of folks who have profited from both. But is that due to their innate intelligence or is it pure, sheer dumb luck? Whats a poor schmuck to do?

Update: FYI, on the equities front, BSE Sensex outperformed Indian IT majors in the first half of FY 2007-08. A dire portent? Ofcourse, I mean an opportunity for value investors to scoop up as much stake at the trough for eventual shoring up tick.

BTW, is there any way to specify start and end dates in the URL itself for this Yahoo! Finance charts?

Well, I certainly have nothing to do with the last 3 in the list in the title 😉 Mebbe a little to do with capitalism, at least as a cog in the IT services juggernaut.

The Grand Dad of all the Fed chairmen has come up with his memoirs and seems like it is all set to light a fire under the GOP. Apparently Greenspan is one of the famous devotees of Ayn Rand. I had a colleague in the early days of my career out of college who used to rave about Ayn Rand. “Oh, Atlas Shrugged. Thats awesome. The Fountainhead. Its simply superb”. And if I remember right, I have seen her carry a copy of Atlas Shrugged with her most of the times.

I never got around to read Ayn Rand. So now you are now wondering, what the heck is the deal with this post. Where am I going. There is no point and I ain’t going anywhere. I just felt like letting the world know that I haven’t read Ayn Rand, have no intention to read her either, right this moment. Whatever I do, Ayn Rand certainly is not an influence.

Update: Not sure if Ayn Rand’s writings are supposed to be under philosophy.  One more reason I may never read her.

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