Friday, October 23, 2009

Luckily for my bank balance, it's not GSM...

I haven't been following the handset market, but this sure looks like a winner. I personally liked the RAZR and used it for years - it did was it was supposed to do, and well - but looks like Engadget doesn't

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Powerful words

Wow... Pay attention to ~03:50 onwards especially (Thanks Senura)
Reactions? Comments?

Friday, October 9, 2009

Conclusive proof he's a Sri Lankan

At least the London Bobbies made a fast (excuse the pun) buck out of this one.

The boy would have fit right in with the local university strikers leaving the taxpayer-funded lecture halls - but not their stomachs - empty.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Join the band wagon? Why not - it's the only game in town

Just found out that the club I play water polo at - Otter Aquatic Club (map) - is another victim of the hoopla around the Army Tattoo at the nearby Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH). The entire stretch of main road - around 1km by my estimate - had been closed off to all traffic since the shindig started. I had seen a notice inside the club that parking restrictions at the club would be tighter during the event (it's a nice little perk to be able to park one's car there and stroll over to the more popular events).

Today I hear the entire club has been sealed off - no practices, let alone boozing, snooker, squash, tennis, badminton, rustifying (did I mention boozing?) or anything else that usually goes on there.

The Rubicon had its uses...

[unpublished from 3.5 months ago] A future more like a past I barely knew

[I was looking another draft when I realized I hadn't published this, started June 19th 2009. Will not edit it further. General idea I had at the time: returning home after some tumultuous times, hoping things can return to something close to what they were]

One week more before we get on a plane back home - back to Sri Lanka. Finally some downtime after the treadmill of Business School; the fire hose is finally down to a trickle.

Hanging out at my aunt's place in Los Altos Hills, lucky to have my parents around too as well as my wife. Finally back to being able to read for pleasure alone. Of course it's a chance to devour some of the modern Sri Lankan literature lying around here, that four years of undergrad, five years of work and two years of business school made it too easy for me to never get around to.

Shyam Selvadurai's editor (Cinnamon Gardens) needs to be fired of course - how could he have let Galle Face Green - and Colombo, by extension - be moved lock stock and barrel to the East Coast, for Annalukshmi to watch the sun rise over the sea?!

I'd started Michael Ondaatje's Running in the Family on a rare break at a friend's place in LA (for those who know him, never expected Sajith W. to have literature on his shelves - other than maybe the variety with yellow pages!!) and immediately felt a strange nostalgia for a time before my own, for an ideal, not even a country, that represented some of the best of our enchanted isle.

Google Ads starting to scare me

I just mentioned fumes from kerosene lamps in my last post - and Google Ads served a link to a toxic gas sensor. Cue spooky music...

Sri Lanka on the BBC World Challenge short list again

A few years ago it was the elephant paper project, now it's the safe kerosene lamp project. Makes for an interesting comparison with D.Light. On one hand you could say D.Light leapfrogs the issues such as continued reliance on kerosene, fumes, remaining probability of fires; on the other the bottles would be cheaper to produce/sell/sponsor/distribute and require almost no behavior change.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

If you needed a reason to do your job properly...

The present government made a big fuss about clawing back some of the bus transportation system some years back, painting them in the government coalition's livery. The main colour on the buses is red - the colour of the nationalist/Marxist/whatever-sells-right-now minority parties, embellished with a blue stripe in the "main" Sri Lanka Freedom (maybe not for much longer the way we're latching on to China and Iran) Party's colour. The tail wagging the dog? Not that unusual among Sri Lankan canines.

Translation of the text on the back of this state-owned bus: "The employees of the Sri Lanka Transport Board's Udahamulla Depot rehabilitated this bus in honour of His Excellency (you know who)'s completion of two years since ascending to his position."

Nice to know they still have reasons to do their jobs.

Another picture I wanted to take is of the row of such buses - more than 10 - parked along Green Path, obviously commandeered to transport large numbers of people for some political purpose. Turns out they're entertaining people in the thousands - driven up, not to mention fed and watered, at state expense - at the official First Residence ahead of the provincial elections coming up Down South. Talk about distorted political markets. One would want to avoid a possible rout in one's home province, after all - despite the shenanigans that don't seem to have been working too well.

My wife saw me writing this and "please don't get taken away."

Schumpeter (column in The Economist): The pedagogy of the privileged

Surprising they didn't mention Stanford GSB and the New Curriculum; Particularly when they mentioned Nick Bloom and John Van Reenen's work (I took their class on their research, which I'd followed since I sat in on Nick's presentation ahead of SAIL 2007 (that's me front extreme left in the picture with the Infosys pyramid!)

Schumpeter: The pedagogy of the privileged | The Economist

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Pulling the ladder up after them

State-educated (free ride all the way) doctors laying siege to the University Grants Commission demanding that the new private medical school project be denied (the buildings are already up opposite MillenniumIT in Malabe).

Expand opportunity to a wider base, overcoming the funnel into limited State universities that distorts the education system - if not the entire economy? What horror! What would become of the Chosen Few, such Brahmins as these, insulting their white coats as they hang on fences?