May 31, 2010

Things that crossed my way!

Hi Guys,
First thanks to all of you, who wished me on my Birthday. I had cold (due to that dreadful power cut) and so it was quite a dull birthday.
Singam- A short review
Today I went to the movie Singam. After excellent responses from everyone who saw the movie, I wanted to see it. It seems to a superb commercial movie, after a long time. The story is as follows. Surya is Durai Singam, a Sub Inspector in Nallor station and lives there along with his parents. Prakash Raj is a bad chap who earns money by kidnapping richer people’s heirs and threatening building constructors in Chennai. He is arrested in one such deal and meets Surya in Nallor. The fire kicks off then. Prakash Raj transfers Surya to Chennai. The remaining part is the encounter between Surya and Prakash Raj.
The movie is very racy, particularly the second half. Surya’s acting is wonderful. He seems to be trying different stuff in each movie and his acting is perfect. Though some of his dialogues and his logical stuff reminded me of the movie Vel. Prakash Raj does his job as a villain perfectly. Some of the action sequences are breath taking. Songs could have been a little better. Humor is good. Sun network’s promotion for the film has worked well. Particularly the dialogue’s about Singam (shown first in tv) creates excitement. I was not able to hear a part of that sequence in theater. Seems that Sun network has released a good movie after a long time.
Innovations in Transportation- Boon or Bane
This Sunday I went to Periyar Bus Stand to reserve tickets. I went in one of the new deluxe buses that have been introduced in the city. It was a Tata Marco polo bus. Some of the new buses introduced were Tata buses and the remaining were Ashok Leyland buses. All the buses existing earlier were from Ashok Leyland. The Tata bus was very different from the conventional buses. The outer look was not very attractive. I got into the bus after long hesitation.
On the inside the bus was good. It had lot of features that were completely absent in the Ashok Leyland buses. It offered a lot of safety to the passengers. The bus had two emergency exits. The bus had stop buttons near the footboard (a feature like the chain available in trains). Another button available near the door provided manual opening of the doors. The lighting was also good. The floor design was good. It had many hangers for the standing passengers, unlike the Ashok Leyland buses which have a very few. On the whole the bus was good.
On the other hand, I started to think about the usage of these things. The door was not closed (only a very few drivers close it). The new deluxe buses are quite good, but is it right to collect 1.6 times the fare of ordinary buses? I can sense no difference in the comfort levels. As I said there was lot of innovations in the bus. But do people know it? Our transport corporation must create awareness about that stuff to people. All the new buses have provisions for electronic display boards. But only half the buses display the destinations through the electronic boards. The others simply use the conventional boards.
There are lots of innovations in our city buses. But it should reach people properly. Otherwise it will remain as a bane and will never become a boon to our people.
Who is an Engineer?
An interesting saying I read in one of my books (it was written as a chapter’s beginning)
Optimist: The glass is half full.
Pessimist: The glass is half empty.
Engineering Consultant: The glass is twice as large as it needs to be.
A SMS I received
I received this SMS today: A new T-Shirt quote in Colleges about Mechanical Engineering: “EVEN TO SPELL ENGINEERING WE NEED ENGINE”.
My personal note: It is true that Engineering started from the term Engine. Earlier Engineering focused on creating engines for machines, weapons, automobiles, etc (All those stuff remains in Mechanical Engineering today). As time went on other branches started to evolve. This is one of the main reasons why we are so proud to be Mechanical Engineering students.
You can know much about evolution of Engineering at
Happy Reading!!!

May 26, 2010

Dreadful Power cuts!

Hi Guys,
How would it be getting awakened in mid of your sleep because of sweat? I had one such night yesterday.
My parents had gone to Chennai and so I was alone in my home. It was 9.45 when I finished washing the cooking utensils. I had Strength of Materials exam today and hence I started to prepare for the exams. Suddenly the lights went off. I took my mobile phone and saw that the time was 11pm. It was 11.15pm when power came again. I was sodden in sweat and I was in no mood to study. So I decided to go to bed.
Within a few minutes, I was asleep. I was awakened in the mid of my sleep. When I awoke, I was startled. My whole body was drenched in sweat. I found that there was no power. I took my phone and saw that the time was 2am. I assumed that power would have gone in between 1.30am to 1.45am from the amount of sweat generated from my body.
To avoid dehydration I drank some water and decided to stay awake until power came back. I thought power might comeback in 10 or 15 minutes as usual. But time was moving on and power was not coming. In my sleepy mood, seconds turned into minutes and minutes turned into hours. I was checking the time for every few minutes and thought power might come back now. But it never came.
When it was 3’o clock I thought there might be some problem in the transformer or in the electric wires. I opened my bedroom window and was dazed to see that the street light was glowing as bright as ever. I was able to hear the sound of neighboring house’s Air Conditioner. I was afraid that there was some problem with the electricity connection in my home. I was standing nearby the window thinking of what to do next. Suddenly the environment became silent. When I saw through the window the street was completely black. I was thinking whether some ghost was playing with me. Then I understood that there was problem in one of the three phases. We have single phase connection in our home, whereas our neighbor has 3-phase connection (that was why AC was running there).
It was 3.15 pm, when power came back. I fell asleep quickly. When I next woke up, I was hearing the alarm sound of my mobile phone. It was 6am. I was not feeling great, but got up since I needed to get ready for the college. Some of my friends told me that they had same type of problem in their homes too. I was bewildered. அடப்பாவிகளா... Power cut பன்ன இப்பிடி ஒரு  techniqueஆ? என்ன ஒரு வில்லத்தனம்???
2 minute power cut
You might have heard about 2 minute noodles. Here a new concept of 2 minute power cut is slowly blooming. Power will go suddenly and in a few minutes, power will be back. This stuff happens 3 or 4 times a day. Actually what is happening is unknown?
Power இருக்கா இல்லையா?
Last week, I read in a newspaper that power shortage in Tamil Nadu had come down from 1500 MW/day to 350 MW/day, because of the increase in wind power production, thanks to the cyclone Laila. Then our officials should have reduced the load shedding time from 3 hours to 1 or 2 hours. But, as if there was no shortage our officials removed the scheduled load shedding.
Last week, when I told my brother about the situation here, he told me, ‘ஏன்டா இப்பிடி  cycloneஆல power கெடச்சா, ஒரு ரெண்டு மன்னேரமா கொறச்சா,  ரொம்ப நாளைக்கு continue பண்ணலாமே? நம்ம ஆளுங்க தெரிஞ்சு பன்றாங்களா , இல்ல தெரியாம   பன்றாங்களா?’
From what is happening now, I think நம்ம ஆளுங்க தெரிஞ்சே தான் பண்றாங்க. Power cut பண்றது இல்லனு சொல்லிட்டு, unofficially they are shedding the power.  This is more frustrating than the scheduled load shedding. At least then, we knew the exact time and we were able to adapt to it.
Scheduled power shedding is much better than this unscheduled power shedding.
Happy Reading!!!

May 17, 2010

Finally England has a world Cup in its Bag!

Hi Guys,
England Team enjoying the crown
England conquered the T20 world cup in style with 3 overs remaining. Australians were never in the screen from the beginning. England completely outplayed Australia. The English players were very confident right from the start. Though Aussies didn’t reach the previous two T20 world cup finals, they would have been longing to win the world cup. It was one of Aussies rare defeats in a final (I would have been more happy, if Ponting was there in the losing team).
After hitting the winning runs!
England was outstanding in their fielding. All the wickets were result of their wonderful fielding, either catches or run outs. The fielders helped the bowlers to perform well in the final (just thought about India there. They would have left half the chances). Australians recovered a little due to the big hitting Cameron White and David Hussey. But 147 was not a great score.
Collingwood did it for England with his captaincy.
For a moment I thought Australia might defend the score with their bowlers. But, the day belonged to England. Their new wicket keeper batsman Craig Kieswetter remembered me the dominating Australian wicket keeper Gilchrist. The inform batsman Kevin Pietersen joined him. Aussies were able to do nothing but watch the ball sailing past the boundary lines. Their 2nd wicket partnership of 111 drove Aussies out of the competition.
Nannes has developed so much as a bowler. He was the leading wicket taker of the tournament.
At the end of the day Aussies had something to cherish. Their women’s team had won the T20 world cup by 3runs in a humdinger against New Zealand. Our Indian Women’s team reached the semifinals, before losing to Aussies.
Other than England and Australia none of the other teams performed consistently. Sri Lanka did quite well with Mahela’s superb batting form. But, when he succumbed to Stuart Broad in the semi finals, Sri Lankans were on their way back. The other semi finalist Pakistan had a bit of luck. They performed very well against the mighty Aussies in the semifinal (I think that match led to Aussies downfall in the final). The Akmal brothers nearly did it for Pakistan, but Mike Hussey (why wasn’t he in the playing 11 for CSK in IPL) had a tale of his own.
Mike Hussey did for Australia in the semi finals. No doubt that he is Mr. Cricket.
Indians didn’t look like the 2007 team. Though many of the same players remained, they were either out of form or they grew overconfident. It seems that there is a lot of politics within the team. The team selection (both squad and playing 11) looked bizarre. Dhoni is known to be a superb captain. What happened to him? Even in IPL3 his tactics won CSK the title. In West Indies, pitches support pace and bounce, which suits Ishant Sharma very much (remember him in Australia). Why wasn’t he taken (if you say that he was out of form, so were Yuvraj, Yusuf and Gambhir)?  Also in such tracks, why was Dhoni reluctant to use 3 fast bowlers? Dhoni was using Harbhajan in the power play overs, which left the middle overs to inexperienced bowlers. I think Dhoni thought of IPL, where he used Ashwin. Then CSK had top quality bowlers like Muralidaran and Jakati to be used in the middle, India had none.
Where did Dhoni's clever captaincy go?
Media also played a role in India’s defeats. India looked confident after winning South Africa by 14 runs. The TV channels showed how Indians got out to short pitch balls in 2009 T20 world cup. Everyone had forgotten that issue. So, all of a sudden opponents knew how to get rid of Indian batsman. Australians did it first and other teams simply followed.
Indian batsman had no answer for the short pitch stuff.
Now the next big event is 2011 worldcup in the subcontinent. Sachin’s dream is to win a world cup. Indians need to use his experience to comeback. Let’s hope they do.
Happy Reading!!!

May 7, 2010

Kikujiro - A Japanese movie!

Hi Guys,

Yesterday, I watched a Japanese movie ‘Kikujiro’ in UTV World Movies channel. It is a brilliant movie about a small boy searching for his mother in his summer vacation. 
Masao lives with his Grandmother in the suburbs of Tokyo. His grandma works in a bakery. When he is alone, a delivery man comes with a parcel and asks the boy to bring rubber stamp. While doing so, the boy discovers his mother’s photo and her address. So he sets out to find his mother who lives in Toyohashi. A gang tries to rob his money when a woman (his neighbor) rescues him. She forces her husband (Kikujiro) to accompany the boy and gives him 50000 yen for the travel.

Kikujiro is an ex-yakuza (criminal) and a bad mannered man. Kikujiro is not interested in the journey. He takes the boy to a cycling stadium for gambling. There he loses all his money. Downtrodden he goes to a bar and drinks in angriness. When he comes outside, he discovers that the boy is taken to a nearby park by a molester. He rescues the boy and promises the boy that he will take him to his mother.

He steals a taxi and to their bad luck the car breaks down. They go to a nearby hotel and decide to spend the night there. All the remaining money is spent and they don’t even have money to continue their travel. The receptionist takes pity on the boy and drops them in the highway. He also gives some money to the boy and asks him to buy whatever he wants.
They get lift from a juggler and her boy friend. They get dropped in a bus stop. The bus stop seems to be very old one and no buses come along that way. A very few passing cars also don’t stop. They spend the night there. Before sleeping Kikujiro sees the boy’s mother in her photo and says that she is very sweet. The boy says he has never seen his mother. Kikujiro realizes that the boy is like him. He starts to care for the boy.

The next morning, they walk for some distance and reach the main road. They plan to puncture a car by placing a nail and then to help and get help from the car. In that way they get help and reach another spot. There they get help from a nice lad. He introduces himself as a poet and writer and says he roams the whole country. He drops them in Toyohashi.
Masao sits in a bench and Kikujiro sets to find his mother. He is shocked to see that the boy’s mother is married to some other guy and they have a child. The boy sees it from a distance and starts crying. Kikujiro convince him and says that was not his mother. Kikujiro meet two bikers and get an angel bell from them (something believed to produce luck) and gives it to the boy. They visit a carnival that night.

They continue to travel. Kikujiro steals corn from a farm. The poet (who gave them lift) is also there stealing. They meet again and the poet feels sorry for the kid. They sell the stolen corn in the highway and decide to camp there for the boy’s sake. They camp in a nearby lake (or river), which is half dry due to summer.
The two bikers also join them there. Kikujiro is reminded of his own mother (who also left him like Masao). He goes to Daito-chu (a small town) where his mother is with the help of one of the bikers. He sees his mother but returns without showing himself to her. Back in the camp, they do whatever they can to make the boy happy. They play many traditional games. They dress themselves comically (like Alien, Watermelon, Demon, etc) and make the boy happy.
At the end of the camp, all of them are very happy. The bikers say good bye to the three, who continue their journey to Tokyo. The poet leaves them in Tokyo and says he is traveling to Osaka. Kikujiro says that time has come to part. He says that they can do it again sometime. He says the boy to take care of his Grandma. The boy thanks him. The boy runs very happily and so ends the movie. 

Throughout the movie, names are not used. Kikujiro calls Masao as kid or boy. Masao calls Kikujiro as Mister. The bikers are called Baldy and Faldy by Kikujiro. The bikers and poet’s name are not disclosed. At the end of the movie, Masao calls Kikujiro and asks, ‘Mister, What your name?’ That’s when we come to know his name.

The movie is unfolded like a novel. It is like describing events from the boy’s diary. The movie is subdivided into chapters. That was something very new to me.

The movie is sad for most parts. But it is filled with humor all along. The film is directed by Takeshi Kitano. Both Beat Takeshi (Kikujiro) and Yusuke Sekiguchi (Masao) act superbly. Katsumi Yanagishima is the Cinematographer. He shows us a beautiful Japan. A Japan we have not seen. A Japan filled with farms, mountains, lakes, nature.

The film was released in 1999 and was screened in Cannes film festival and has got many International Awards.

Happy Reading!!!

May 5, 2010

Some Interesting Softwares!

Hi guys,
A few days ago, I came across interesting software known as ‘Everything’. It was very useful software. I thought of sharing information about few softwares which I have found useful.
This is a Search tool. How many of you have been frustrated by using Search software provided by Microsoft? Then this software is for you. It takes a few seconds to Search any file/folder you want. It will search the whole hard disk in a few seconds unlike Windows Search which will take hours to search. Another chief advantage is that the software is Portable and occupies less space (1.66 MB). You can download this software at
This is very useful software that converts your documents, presentations or any other office documents into pdf files. After installing the software you can convert the documents by going to print option. There you need to send the documents to doPDF and the documents will get converted into pdf files. The chief advantage is that it has no page limits like other ‘pdf converter’ softwares. You can download this software at
DAP (Download Accelerator plus)
It is a Download Managing software, which I came to know from my friend a few months ago. Many of you would know and use different download managers. DAP has many other features of which I find Speedbit Video Downloader most useful. You will find a lot of interesting Videos on YouTube and many other sites, but you will not be able to download them. This feature comes handy then. A toolbar will attach to your main browser when you install DAP. Whenever you see a video, you can use the ‘Download Video’ icon to download the video from the respective site.
Speedbit Toolbar in my browser (Firefox)
It’s a Photo Editing Software provided by Google. I have been using this software for a long time. If you don’t know much about photo editing, then you can do the basic adjustments (like red eye detection, light adjustments, etc) in Picasa. You can use the Face Detection to tag your friends in the photo. More than that, you can upload the photos to Picasa Web Albums easily. It has lot more attractive features. Find it yourself. You can download the software at
VLC Media Player
It’s a Media player as the name suggests. It’s the best player for playing Videos, as far as I know. It is easy to handle this software. It supports video files of all formats. You can control the volume to a wide range (from 0 to 400%). The file size is also very less. You can download at
Hope these softwares are useful for you. If you know any useful softwares, please post them in the Comments column, so that all the readers can use them.
Happy Reading!!!