Monday, November 28, 2005

Glitter Glitter

Some more bling for my blog!

Just to show that beneath all those layers of smart talking, ass kicking and shooting-from-the-mouse nerdiness is just a girl who wants to be loved.

*Runs before I drown in the sarcasm dripping from that statement*

Sunday, November 27, 2005

For Depp fans only!

I found this on IMDB posted by Beth William from UK. I quote her completely since I cannot do a better job!

"For anyone interested in listening to a review of The Libertine plus hearing Johnny Depp saying the amazing prologue

1)Go to
2)Choose the purple box that says Listen again.
3)Go to S and choose Saturday review.
4)The review is about 9 and a half to 10 minutes into the programme if you don't want to hear the whole thing."

I cant stop listening to it. ;)

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Anatomy of an MEI scientist

MEI (My Esteemed Institution) scientist male

1) Faded kurta or jeans. Both for better effect.

2) Absolutely vacuous look on the face.

3) Snob. You have to have at least five meaningful scientific conversations with him before he even acknowledges you.

4) Must have one of following charactersitics (long hair or overgrown beard or pipe or must publish in big journal(*) every month)

5) Can discuss the beginning of the universe and the latest administration fiasco in the same breath.

6) Thinks that that world outside MEI is a big, bad place.

MEI scientist female will be another post. I promise.

*- big journal means one with impact factor of more than 10.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Gulf Asian English School

I went to judge an inter-school debate competition today. That made me extremely nostalgic about my school. I remembered all my school days and the fun that we had.

I did my schooling in a land far, far away. I have been in Bombay for three years then went off to do my Masters in a city (not so far,far away but this I am not going to tell you).

During my Bachelors the pain of leaving a country I had grown up in, was too much and I did not talk to anyone. My Masters friends I realised later were too CENSORED to have a meaningful conversation with. Anyways, the result of all this, is that I do not have one single close friend in the city of my birth - Majhi Mumbai.

The only close friends that I can last recall were my school friends which brings me to the subject of my post. I left my school exactly 10 years ago in 1995. Yep, that was my school name. Gulf Asian English School. Nothing fancy or pretensios like St. Pauls blah blah. (It was earlier called Sharjah Montessori School.)

When we seperated we knew full well that we would never meet up again. Indeed our last words were "We will the next life!"

But now it the age of the Internet and I have hopes that we will meet up. I so desperately want to talk to them if only to ask them how they are doing and whether they are alright.

I guess putting their names on the Internet is as good way as any of getting in touch with them.

So here goes.

Ishrat Jahan Haque, Anees Fathima, Niketa Jethani, Somia Khan, Huda Parveen, Yasmin Akhter, Bilquis Khannum, Protima, Masuma, Afshan

Vishal G. Nair, Vikas G. Nair, Shah Imran, Nawaz Khan, Salim, Shane Mathew, Devendrajit Singh, Abdul Rahim, Jerry T. George, Manesh Jacob, Bejoy Issac, Beniyl Mugudan, Jacob Mathew(my oldest friend by far - I have know him since I was in Kindergarten!), Jehangir Khan, Shane Mathews, Reji George(?)

In fact with Jacob Mathew, I remember an incident where I my mother had packed my favourite biscuits for my lunch. I fell and the entire contents spilled out. Jacob helped me up and even offered to share his lunch with me. That was when we were 6!

The girls and guys names are seperate in the spirit of segregation. People who did their schooling in the Middle East would know what I am talking about!

Since I am at it, I will see if I can remember their siblings

Abaraham Mathew, Salma Fathima, Juveriyah Fathima, Malan Begum, Sumbul Khan, Shelly Mathews, Hitesh Jethani.

Cool! Quite good. Now if Lord Google will bestow his benevolence on me.....

Monday, November 21, 2005

I, Nerd

I am nerdier than 94% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!
What does this mean? Your nerdiness is:

Supreme Nerd. Apply for a professorship at MIT now!!!.

Only 6% scored more than me. Yayyy!!

Now I will celebrate by treating you guys to an ultra-nerdy quote.

Backups are for wimps. Real Men upload their data to an FTP site and have everyone else mirror it.
- Linux Torvalds (the creator of Linux)

Sunday, November 20, 2005


That , ladies and gentlemen, is the new face of Indipop. Now put your hands together for........Ganesh Hegde.

Fast, racy music that you would want to dance to. Fresh with a touch of naughtiness.
Enchanting. Reminds me of what "Indipop" used to stand for in the days of Alisha Chinai and Remo Fernandes. To top it all, his moves on the dance floor are sooooo smooooth.

Although, I do suspect that he is gay. Anyone out there who can confirm this?

Of course, even if he is, I will not stop liking him. Go listen!

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Heart of Gold

I tried out this quiz for fun. I was very surprised with the result!

I liked the bling bling look of the picture so I put it here.

gold heart
Heart of Gold

What is Your Heart REALLY Made of?
brought to you by Quizilla

Friday, November 18, 2005

Women in Science

I representated my esteemed institution (which will go unnamed as I will adhere strictly to the Blogger's Code though I assure you it is reputed) at a Science Exhibition on Sunday. Lots of people came to our stall and asked us questions. But one of them really intrigued me.

One guy (must have been in his late thirties) came up, asked the usual questions and then the trumper

"Is the sex ratio at the institute the same as represented here?"

Whaaaa...! We looked around and saw that there were 4 women and 1 guy to represent my esteemed institution (MEI). We were stunned. But this guy, he went on

"no I am really glad to see so many women in MEI. That is really great. Keep up the good work!"

I was infuriated. One of the things that I cant stand is a patronizing attitude and especially of the male chauvinistic variety.

What if this guy goes home and praises his daughter the same way "Oh my! You are doing really well at Maths being a girl!" His daughter will think twice about excelling in Maths next. She will think "this is not expected of me. Therefore I am different. I should do more girly things."

I can understand and allow for things involving strength were we are at a biological disadvantage. But other than that when it comes to a question of thinking women are as good as the guys.

I am grateful to my parents who never allowed me to think that because I am a girl I am different in anyway from my brother. Maths and Science was important to me as to him. There were no limits, percieved or otherwise, placed on me or my career.

But more than that I am also grateful to MEI. In spite of being a male dominated, I do not percieve any such patronizing attitude here. There is no glass ceiling that prevents women from succeeding or deliberately stalls their progress. Even without those "Affirmative Action" and "Equal Opportunities" that I see on ads for other institutes.

At these times, I am really thankful to the Lord for these small mercies.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Star Trek Centrifuges

Centrifuges are devices that are used to increase the g force on an object to increase the sedimentation rate. They consist of a square block of metal with a round disc inside it in which you can put your sample (usually in tubes). They look very ugly. The big ones are terrible . The small ones are better. Here is a picture of the one we use frequently in the lab.

I went to a neighbouring lab today and I came across a very sleek looking dome like thing.

Me: what is this? is this a sovenir of the IMAX dome? a miniature replica?

She: No

ME: then is it some sort of paper weight?

She(with a Cheshire cat smile): No

ME(desperate now): Then what is it? pleeaaasse tell me!!!

She: A centrifuge....

ME (stunned into silence, struggling to get words out of my mouth): ummm..yeahh...

It was a amazingly sleek dome like thing. I mean, if it was in my lab then I would use it just for the sake of experiencing its utter smoothness.

So aerodynamic like something out of Star Trek. Almost, as if you would press a few buttons and say "Open hailing frequencies" then there would a reply in Klingon.

What if all the instruments in the lab were to become sleek and good looking? What would the future lab look like?

Epilogue : The dreamer/poet in me was ecstatic. The scientist in me wondered "But is the centrifuge any good?"

The pictures are from here.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Science and Poetry

I first read this poem in a book of molecular biology protocols (from the second edition of Maniatis in case anyone is interested). I liked it very much then and copied it into my lab note book.

Recently, I wanted a poem to go along with some DNA related talk that I was giving and I thought of this. Many Google searches were fruitless. Therefore I went back to my attic, fished out all my books and searched till I did.

On reading it after all these years, I found that I still enjoy it very much. As a scientist, I appreciate the accuracy of the poem. As a poet, I appreciate the word arrangement that feels as if it is going round and round forever which truly speaking DNA is doing.

“Cell DNA”

I am the singular
in free fall
I and my doubles
carry it all:

Life’s slim volume
spirally bound
It’s what I’m about,
it’s what I’m around.

Presence and hungers
imbue a sap mote
with the world as they spin it
I teach it by rote

buts its every command
was once a miscue
that something rose to,
Presence and freedom

rewording, re-beading
strains on a strand
making I and I more different
than we could stand

-Les Murray.

Sunday, November 13, 2005


These are movies that I am just dying to see. But I will not get to see them for a few months at least. The place where I live movies are always released at least 3 months after everywhere else.

1) The Libertine - The main reason that I am looking forward to this is Johnny Depp. The other is I love the idea of a rebel who breaks rules and the third is I love period pieces. There has been a lot of buzz in IMDB that his performance has been excellent in the movie. This movie might finally get him that long awaited oscar! This will be Johnny Depp at his darkest best.

2) Memiors of a Geisha - This stems from my interest in Japanese culture. It is a sad story about how her family actually was very poor. One very moving scene in the book is about how she is forced to pleasure a shopkeeper (so that he will give her money for a ticket to leave the city) while her brother waits outside for her in the rain. She becomes a Geisha who was so accomplished that she could entice a man with one look. Doesn't Ziyi Zhang (who plays the lead role) look absolutely fabulous in this picture?

Friday, November 11, 2005

A ship on the sea

This photo was taken from a seashore during sunset.

To me, the ship is a metaphor for life. Sailing through sunshine and shadow, always alone, but if looked at from a distance - very beautiful.

Photo taken by S.A.

Star Trek Lyrics!

I love Star Trek.

Recently, while browsing Wikepedia I came to know that the Star Trek theme song has lyrics too! Apparently Gene Roddenbury wrote them but never intended them to be published.

Here they are

Beyond the rim of the starlight
My love is wandering in starflight
I know he'll find in star clustered reaches
Love, strange love a star woman teaches
I know his journey ends never
His star trek will go on forever
But tell him while he wanders his starry sea
Remember, remember me.

Quite nice too....

Gives me visions of wandering through the universe looking for adventure.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

a new word


Thats the new word I made today. As type is to typo, calculate is to calculo.

So now you dont have to go through telling colleagues "i made a mistake in the calculations" and then they give you the condescending i-can-do-that-in-my-head look.

Now you can stylishly say "fish! i made a calculo!" and then with grace go in search of your mobile or PDA device to do the needful. (which reminds me at the rate that they are charging shouldn't iPods have a calculator too?)

Remember! You heard it here first.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

to thine own self.....

sometimes in life you reach a situation where you are given two options - one is right and ethical but will harm you in the near future and the other is bad but will benefit you immensely.

i was presented with two such situations recently.

situation one- a junior asked for help on a project. her project is going great guns right now (needless to say mine is as stalled as a donkey going uphill with a load on its back).she wanted my help with a technique that only i knew how to do. and in fact i had used the said technique to complete a project quite sucessfully a long time ago - so long in fact that now my boss has forgotten all about it. so what did i do? if i had showed it to her then she would have been the hero of my bosses heart (to my disadvantage) and if i did not show it to her it would not have affected me (my boss hates me anyways) but her work would have been slower.

situation two - there was an exam which i gave some time back. for my phd (yes people i am doing a phd) i have to pass this exam. but i did not. i failed miserably and since this exam is in the form of a presentation, i was humiliated in front of all the people in my deparmment. who was at fault for it is a debatable issue but it was a very traumatic experience for me. i had to give the exam again after a few months when i passed it. now my junior (not the same one as above)is giving this exam again. he asked my for help and suggestions. already it hurts me so much to see his presentation. one thing it brings back bad memories and the other he had done a good job of it. much better than me. my suggestions would have helped him out of potentially sticky spots. if i had not given them then his presentation would not have been excellent but he would have passed anyways.

so what did i do?

i did the things that i could live with for the rest of my life. i helped both of them as much as i could and to the fullest extent of my ability.

to thine own self be true.

more upbeat

someone near and dear to me commented that my blog is too depressing.

here i try to justify myself.

it is supposed to be like that! it is going to serve as an emotional dump for me and i will be dumping all my negative emotions there....i mean why would i want to dump nice happy emotions? i have a short supply of those anyways.

just to offset that, here i list five things that make me happy right now.

1) listening to the soundtrack of "pirates of the caribbean". i can almost see in my minds eye Johnny Depp and his swagger.

2) that fact that i am going to get my first ipod on monday. that gives me a nice happy glow inside.

3) ummm......

4) ohhhh.....still thinking....

5) ahhhh.....*puts hands up in the air and gives up*

this did not turn out to be the nice happy post it was supposed to be.

by the way, this list does not include people so that what you are not mentioned, A.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Happy Diwali

It was Diwali yesterday - supposed to be the festival of light. A time for feasting, gambling, firing crackers and generally having fun.

I did none of those things.

In fact I had a fight with my mom.

Well, on this day we are supposed to get up early and have a ritual bath with scented soap and all that. But sleeping is one of the essential things in my life like oxygen. I slept late the earlier day and therefore woke up late on the day of Diwali which for my mother is sacrilege beyond forgiving.

Then she started nagging me about how I am going to get married soon and therefore I should learn a few things or else what will I teach my kids etc etc.

This resulted in me becoming more glum than before and to add to all that my teeth started hurting like bad (i got my braces fitted three days ago - more about that in another post!). So things were just downhill from there. No diwali cheer for me!

As for sweets, well one cant have them with braces on right? Each bite reminds me of the importance of my incisors!

No crackers, because i dont like the headache involved with buying them and lighting them? even though i do like seeing them.

No gambling, since I am against the idea of putting money into something which will get me nothing when the money is better spent at the neighborhood cake shop anyways..

So what kind of a diwali did i celebrate? like i told you my life is in a mess right now.....
Feeling a little jittery. This is the first time that I am trying to pen my thoughts and feelings in place that the world (!) will read.

First, why blog?

Well, I have realised that these days (umm..more like months) things have been happening in my life that are causing me a lot of anger and other negative emotions. I have to get rid of these feelings somehow or I will fall sick or something. Therefore I blog.

Another is that, everyone around me seems to have a blog so I might as well have one too.

More later. My boss just walked in. So I have to get back to work.