Monday, December 19, 2011

Google Zeitgeist 2011

"An interested outsider's view on what the World and India searched for, according to Google's 2011 Zeitgeist"

About a day ago, I noticed a Green pop-up on the Google homepage. Always interested in such Google Antics, a 'Show Me' took me into the world of Google Zeitgeist! FYI, Zeitgeist is German for "Spirit of the Age" relating to any particular mass-trending climate in any area.

Zeitgeist is just another year-end list compiled by search giant Google, which shows top searched terms for the year, giving us a clue of what we, the users have spent the last 12 months looking for.

According to Google - "Zeitgeist sorted billions of Google Searches to capture the year's 10 fastest-rising global queries and the rest of the spirit of 2011." Here are the top 10 this year. Credit - Google Zeitgeist 2011 

What Zeitgeist 2011 Tells Us 

As you can see, this year's overall top-10 list tells us:
1. We love Technology and Entertainment.
2. That 東京 電力 (TEPCO, owners of the Fukushima Daiichi power plant), was the first non-Latin term to make it to the global fastest-rising list.
3. WE LOVE REBECCA BLACK (Really? Damn. And I thought 13-year old teens were intelligent! What a LETDOWN!) Shh, Don't tell the Kitty!

Credit - Memebase

Moreover, Zeitgeist tells us how the World reacted to situations, be it Osama Bin Laden's death, Anna Hazare's crusade against corruption, Amazon Kindle Fire's rise to the top in Consumer Electronics or as we've *sadly* seen, Rebecca Black topping the list. 

How Google Zeitgeist Works

Instead of me explaining how Zeitgeist compiles billions upon billions (I love Carl Sagan <3) search terms, relates them with trends and comes up with the top-10 list, here's a lovely screenshot of Google explaining how they do it!

This answers most of our questions! Credit - Google Zeitgeist 2011
What's on Zeitgeist?

There's an awesome lot to explore on the website. For a start, the website has a 'Top 10 Lists' page, which has a variety of lists (including fastest rising, fastest falling, fastest rising on Google Maps, and fastest rising on Google News Et Cetera, Et Cetera) and this is for EVERY continent. Also, every continent has content from certain countries - Egypt (Famous for the Tahrir Square movement), India (World Cup, Anna Hazare and more), United Kingdom (The Royal Wedding), United States (Ah! This HAS to be in every list) to name a few. 

Credit - Google Zeitgeist 2011 

Due to the fact that readers will get bored, and that the blogpost will be *verrry* long and due to other reasons, I cannot go into every detail (Who CAN???), but here are some things I found Interesting! (All images are screenshots from the Google Zeitgeist website, ALL CREDIT to Google - the Gods)

Some Comparisons on the Google Zeitgeist 2011

1. Apple iPhone 5 (4S really) vs Steve Jobs

This was during the period of his death (Sad). The graph is almost similar, Also compare iPad 2 and Steve Jobs - the graph of the iPad 2 is almost constant throughout the year, whereas Steve's has one peak, during the period of his death.

2. Ryan Dunn Dead vs Amy Winehouse Death

Another sad moment for the entertainment list. In the list, the searches during the death periods of Amy Winehouse and Ryan Dunn (an American TV Daredevil) there are comparable peaks. 

3. Amazon Kindle Fire vs iPhone 4S

Amazon Kindle Fire, a product on my shopping cart, surprisingly topped the Consumer Electronics list! No wonder, a cheap, quality smart tablet is what one wants. Interestingly, here, the iPhone 4S (at No. 2) emulates Kindle consistently. But, due to the 'last year comparison' clause, Kindle tops the list!

4. Rebecca Black vs Osama Bin Laden

Yes! LOL! This comparison in the Fastest Rising People playlist. Surprisingly, Rebecca loses this one!

5. Anna Hazare vs Poonam Pandey

Who isn't a fan of Anna Hazare, the anti-corruption crusader! "The Protester" is indeed Time Person of the Year 2011, and Anna is one of them. However, in these two graphs, we see something interesting - When Poonam Pandey gained fame (during the Cricket World Cup 2011), Anna Hazare was still unknown, but when we see Anna's spikes, we also see some spikes on the Poonam graph, for some reasons I cannot figure out! You can try this out yourself too!

Oh, that's pretty much it. Wait. Mr. Curious pitches in with something!

This article on the Daily Mail looks interesting, especially the blue boxes! Mr. Curious Suggests!

Below is the link to the Official Google Zeitgeist website too! Play around and enjoy!

And to end the post, here's an Official Google video titled "Zeitgeist 2011 - Year in Review" on YouTube! 

(Don't forget to join the blog, because that's what a novice blogger likes)

Wired Differently

Friday, December 16, 2011

Of Chances, Singapore and Other Things...

"I'm not weird, just Wired Differently."

Wait. See the thing 'marqueeing' above? A wonderful thing happened a few weeks back. In fact, it was a series of events, like a 7-7-7.

Me talkin' about the 2012 A*STAR India Youth Scholarship. (Yeah, go, Google that out!). And, it so happens that I've bagged it. :)

And, on the 27th of this month, I'll be checking-into a country smaller than the state of Goa (which has been my abode for 12 years). And Goa happens to be the smallest state in India. Go Figure! Among everything else, the course is for 4 years, from my 9th grade to my 12th grade.

On the 10th of November 2011, I got an e-mail containing the offer letter (this was after clearing a written test and an interview). At that moment, a logic gate opened up! A decision had to be made, and chickening out was not in my list of logical inputs! After all, what shall I tell, say 20 years later, that "You know, I had this amazing chance, and I decided not, and here I am" LOL! Yeah, LOL!

But, decisions have to be taken! Having confidence in you, and the sense that you've made the right decision is like tightrope walking. Only the skilled and the experienced get through (not to mention the lucky ones, though few). The novices stumble  at first, but make it anyways. Its all a diorama of your mind, and all you have to do is filter out the crap (illogical inputs) and the rest is yours to decide. But, in the end, you have to be firm in whatever you do!

Among the other things, if December 27th is not struck off from our Gregorian scheme of things, if Santa-Banta Claus dosen't come saying "Meri-ex-Mast" and Et cetera, Et cetera, I'm going. Friends, Family, Hobbies and Goan Life will be missed, but as the wiser guy says, "to gain one, let go of another".

Oh yeah! The blog will change a bit, too. Naturally, this being my 'mouthpiece', will feature updates from S'pore! Just hit the "Follow" button to the right! :D

Mr. Curious pitches in with something!

With everything 'over'-written said and done, iSignoff with these much-relevant lines, and the song itself!

Que Sera, Sera
Whatever Will Be, Will Be
The future's not ours to see,
Que Sera, Sera.
What will be, will be. 

I hoped I have not indulged in Nonsense.
Wired Differently!


Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Return of Wired Differently

"Because things are the way they are, things will not stay the way they are."

Bertolt Brecht

A bolt from the blue. After 3 months, garnering 20000 pageviews and after a 3 month 'hibernation' period, Wired Differently is BACK.

Well, I'm here. And I'm back. A Lot has changed. For good, or for bad.

West Bengal has a new name, Akon's making his mark on Bollywood, the Annoying TRAI regulations, and, yes, Blogger has a new interface. A leader in Libya is no more, and so is he:

Talking about trends, Beti B (or BayB) is all set to endorse Loreal-Paris in the next 20 years; One Cyrus Pallonji Mistry will have truck drivers writing 'Ok Mistry Bye Bye' on the back of their trucks (Courtesy: Ramesh Srivats). AND, who can forget the Son-in-Law of Rajnikanth, and his most famous jig:

(And yes, I have learnt to identify the URL very clearly, and wish you do the same. OTHERWISE, you'll have the song opened in 5 tabs clicking on shared links on Facebook. And YES, the song has its own Wikipedia Article)

Yes. Change we believe In. Change we can believe in. Not, this, fools!

Change we can believe in (Pure silver, silver, me hearties! Yaaaar!) (Image by Ian-S @

"Change is inevitable. Except for vending machines."

Until then, this to announce that I'm back. A LOT has changed for me as well. This won't be another dead blog. I have many things in store for you.

For now, I announce my alter ego -Mr. Curious:


Friday, August 12, 2011

Jana Gana Mana - The Complete Indian National Anthem

Its been a long time since my last blogpost (barring the Quizbots), and this one has something to do with India and her National Anthem!!! Read on!

Every school student (or for that matter anyone) promptly stands in attention for about 52 seconds everyday and as the 'song' culminates with drumbeats and 'Jaya He! Jaya He! Jaya Jaya Jaya Jaya He!' everyone is filled with a sense of patriotism. But does our National Anthem 'Jana Gana Mana', crowned the Best National Anthem of the World, really end in 52 seconds?

Not so, and those of you who read 'The Times of India' today would've been bemused by the fact that the National Anthem we sing today, is but, ONE=FIFTH of what was originally penned down by Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore a 100 years back! It even gave me a pleasant surprise, and I wondered, "If 20% of the song is sooo beautiful, then lets see what the real deal is!"

'The Lord of India's Destiny', to whom Jana Gana Mana is officially addressed is showered with praises of Victory in the 'hidden' 4 stanzas, and as in the TOI article, "the first stanza is a paean to the astonishing geographical diversity of India, the second is a tribute to its multiple communities and the remaining, a salutation to India's undying spirit."

The Entire National Anthem is a really beautiful piece (although it will be hard to memorize), but I urge everyone of the readers to please listen to the anthem, which is sung by 39 of the country's best singers and this video is courtesy, once again, The Times of India! (PS. The video loads quite quickly, so please listen to all 10 minutes of it!)

I sign off, presenting you the lyrics of the Complete Jana Gana Mana...

Read On!

Stanza 1 (National Anthem of India):-

Jano Gano Mano Adhinaayako Jayo Hey,Bhaarato Bhaagyo Bidhaataa
Panjaabo Sindhu Gujaraato Maraathaa,Draabiro Utkalo Bango
Bindhyo Himaachalo Jamunaa Gangaa, Uchchhalo Jalodhi Tarango
Tabo Shubho Naamey Jaagey, Tabo Shubho Aashisho Maagey
Gaahey Tabo Jayogaathaa
Jano Gano Mangalo Daayako, Jayo Hey Bhaarato Bhaagyo Bidhaataa
Jayo Hey, Jayo Hey, Jayo Hey,Jayo Jayo Jayo, Jayo Hey

Stanza 2:-

Ohoroho Tobo Aahbaano Prachaarito,Shuni Tabo Udaaro Baani
Hindu Bauddho Shikho Jaino,Parashiko Musholmaano Christaani
Purabo Pashchimo Aashey,Tabo Singhaasano Paashey
Premohaaro Hawye Gaanthaa
Jano Gano Oikyo Bidhaayako Jayo Hey,Bhaarato Bhaagyo Bidhaataa
Jayo Hey, Jayo Hey, Jayo Hey,Jayo Jayo Jayo, Jayo Hey

Stanza 3:-

Potono Abhbhudoy Bandhuro Ponthaa,Jugo Jugo Dhaabito Jaatri
Hey Chiro Saarothi, Tabo Ratha Chakrey Mukhorito Potho Dino Raatri
Daaruno Biplabo Maajhey,Tabo Shankhodhwoni Bajey
Sankato Dukkho Traataa
Jano Gano Potho Parichaayako,Jayo Hey Bhaarato Bhaagyo Bidhaataa
Jayo Hey, Jayo Hey, Jayo Hey,Jayo Jayo Jayo, Jayo Hey

Stanza 4:-

Ghoro Timiro Ghono Nibiro,Nishithey Peerito Murchhito Deshey
Jagrato Chhilo Tabo Abicholo Mangalo,Noto Nayoney Animeshey
Duhswapney Aatankey,Rokkhaa Koriley Ankey
Snehamoyi Tumi Maataaa
Jano Gano Duhkho Trayako,Jayo Hey Bhaarato Bhaagyo Bidhaataa
Jayo Hey, Jayo Hey, Jayo Hey,Jayo Jayo Jayo, Jayo Hey

Stanza 5:-

Raatri Prabhatilo Udilo Rabichhabi, Purbo Udayo Giri Bhaaley
Gaahey Bihangamo Punyo Samirano, Nabo Jibano Rasho Dhaley
Tabo Karunaaruno Ragey,Nidrito Bhaarato Jagey
Tabo Chorone Noto Maatha
Jayo Jayo Jayo Hey, Jayo Rajeshwaro, Bhaarato Bhaagyo Bidhaataa
Jayo Hey, Jayo Hey, Jayo Hey,Jayo Jayo Jayo, Jayo Hey


Atharv Joshi

Monday, August 8, 2011

Wired Differently: Quizbot # 9

Quizbot is a weekly quiz initiated by yours truly in an attempt to reach far out in everyone's quest for Curiosity. Besides, Quizzing is one of my hobbies and thanks to SEQC
, now one of my passions.

As usual, Please post your answers in the comments section below. Also, even if you know the answer to any ONE question, please leave in a comment! Every answer counts!

The last set saw 8 responses, after a delay (again) here goes Set # 9:

Set # 9

1. Which world-famous authors well known book has the title which is also the name of a pseudoscience, a "method" whose objectives include to "create" the Alkahest, the Azoth and the Philosopher's Stone? Give me the name of the author.

2. A group of 17th century intellectuals formed, what may have been the precursor to a present day 'Club' having roughly 1500 members. This present-day 'Club' is based int he building pictured below.

3. Connect the two pictures to an organisation, based in US.

4. Give a word for the following :
- A biscuit having chocolate filling which is sandwiched by two biscuits, which are thin.
- A whiskey, made of corn and named after a region in Kentucky.
- The family, or house of kings to which Louis XVI belonged.

5. The sitter of this set (as always) - Who, with (one of) his most famous creation?

Quizbot # 8 Answers and Scores:

1. This equation will aid you in making the Perfect TOAST :P (2/8 got it correct)
2. The place I am looking for is 'Shravanbelagola'. (7/8 got it correct)
3. The yummy, Shrewsbury! (6/8 got it correct)
4. Revenge for the Angry Pigs! (6/8 got it correct)
5. The word is Beta. (4/8 got it correct)

And now for the Scores:

1. Mangesh - 4
2. Anonymous - 2
3. Rajiv - 4
4. Raghav - 4
5. Siddharth - 2
6. Devendra - 2
7. Krishna - 3
8. Arvind - 4

Link to the previous set: Quizbot Set # 8

Till then, Later!

Atharv Joshi (AAJ)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Wired Differently: Quizbot # 8

Quizbot is a weekly quiz initiated by yours truly in an attempt to reach far out in everyone's quest for Curiosity. Besides, Quizzing is one of my hobbies and thanks to SEQC
, now one of my passions.

As usual, Please post your answers in the comments section below.

Quizbot # 7 was amazing, with 15 responses, and I was happy that the questions were crackable and workable :-)... This set comes after a little delay:

Set # 8

1. The image given below has the formula for making the 'perfecto' what? PS. This will really help you enjoy your breakfast!

2. Following are clues to a place, and are not necessary the etymology of the place name. The first part of this town's name is the name of the current month in the Hindu Calendar. The second part is Kannada for "White Pond." The place is one of the many Jain pilgrimage centres. Name it.

3. What sweet item, also manufactured in Pune and enjoyed all over India, gets its name from an English County? The cakes look something like this:

4.Revenge!!! Who is burning with revenge, waiting for their chance? PS. Funda plz.

5. The Sitter of this set. You've seen or heard this term before. This word is typically used for softwares that have been recently made available to the masses, or a software that is undergoing modifications. What word?

Quizbot # 7 Answers and Scores:

1. Ya! The answer is Le Mans, famous for the Annual Endurance Event. (11/15 got it correct)
2. It is the Mouth-Watering, Jalebi! (13/15 got it correct)
3. If you follow the steps, you end up with a Mobius Strip! (5/15 got it correct)
4. It was indeed, Jawaharlal Nehru himself :). And yeah! Thanks to my friend Akash Kulkarni for this question! (9/15 got it correct)
5. South Sudan. Nothing else to be said! (15/15 got it correct)

And now for the Scores:

1. Althaf - 3
2. Mangesh - 5
3. Nanda - 4
4. Satya Mathur - 3
5. Gaurav - 3
6. Anonymous 1 - 1
7. Anniesen - 5
8. Julian - 3
9. Palash - 4
10. Viken - 4
11. Raghav - 5
12. Anonymous 2 - 3
13. Paul - 3
14. Aniruddha - 3
15. PHS QLog - 4

Link to the previous set: Quizbot Set # 7

Thanks for the response ppl!


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Wired Differently: Quizbot # 7

Quizbot is a weekly quiz initiated by yours truly in an attempt to reach far out in everyone's quest for Curiosity. Besides, Quizzing is one of my hobbies and thanks to SEQC, now one of my passions.

I got a total of 6 responses for the last set of Quizbot. As usual, Please post your answers in the comments section below. Here goes # 7:

Set # 7

1. Pictured below is a pan view of a French city. The city lends its name to a famous motor sports event, started 88 years ago. The city hosts the same event, an endurance event. Give me the name of the city.

2. Which famous, mouth-watering Indian eatable is known by the name of 'Zlebia' in some parts of Africa?

3. Take a long, not-too wide strip of paper, twist one end by 180 degrees, and then stick the two ends of paper with adhesive. What do you end up with?

4. An article criticizing Jawaharlal Nehru 12 years before India became independent was published in a journal, written by someone who went with a pen name that was the name of the person who was the principal advisor of Chandragupta Maurya. Give me the real name of the author of this article. A younger picture of him is shown below!

5. The sitter of this set, Recently, which country, with its capital being Juba, became the newest member of the UN?

Quizbot # 6 Answers and Scores:

1. This question remained uncracked! I know it was a bit vague, but the answer has NOTHING do with Harry Potter! The answer is Wallflower, the word features in Emma Watson's next film! (0/6 got it correct)
2. The answer is R&B (Rhythm and Blues) (5/6 got it correct)
3. The answer is as simple as E = mc2. The two people have written books on the equation, and the hidden out text in the other two pictures, is the famous equation! (3/6 got it correct)
4. Its Sigmund Freud. (3/6 got it correct)
5. The sitter, is of course, Mark Zuckerberg! (1/6 got it correct)

And now for the Scores:

1. Palash - 2
2. Sachin - 3
3. Somewhere over the rainbow.... - 3
4. Harsh Joshi - 0
5. Raghav - 3
6. Anonymous - 0

Link to the previous set: Quizbot Set # 6

Later! With more Quizzing!


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Chemistry for Human Welfare - Promises and Concerns

"2011 was officially designated the "International Year of Chemistry" by the United Nations to commemorate the achievements of chemistry and its contributions to Mankind. I thought i would present my 1 Minute Take on the topic "Chemistry for Human Welfare."

"It is impossible to deny that Chemistry has played a major part in determining the nature of the modern world." - Linus Pauling, Double Nobel Laureate.

Chemistry is the study of Matter itself. The strides taken by Humans in the two millennia have a close connection with every science, Chemistry included.

Before coming to the pros and cons of Chemistry and its usefulness for Modern Humanity, I would like to first talk on the evolution of Chemistry throughout the ages. The first Human contact with Chemistry came by accident. When man struck two stones together, it produced mysterious sparks. These sparks could be transferred to wood to create a wondrous flame. The earliest chemical reaction was Fire - a mystical force to the prehistoric man.

The second thing that inspired man to inquire about the nature of matter was nature itself. How can Water be both a gas and a liquid? How do different flowers have different colours? Why do things give off a smell?

The stage for modern chemistry was set, however, surprisingly, by Alchemy. The search for the "Elixir" of life - The Philosopher's Stone involved experiments and maintaining records - a central part of Chemistry today!

After this, it was a matter of centuries before chemical concepts were explained, the Atomic theory was proven and the known elements were established, all by scientific method. It was then that a vast world of practical applications of chemistry was envisioned. New fibres, medicines, the X-Ray Machine, new methods for the mining industry, improved fertilizers for the agro industry, Electricity, computers and Nuclear Power.

Whatever are the promises from Chemistry, it is VERY evident that the list of benefits from the field of Chemistry are growing exponentially everyday. In his famous 1960 lecture, "There's Plenty of Room At the Bottom", Nobel Laureate Richard Feynman visioned a future of Atomic machines and Nanotechnology. His visions have today transpired into many practical applications, mostly benefiting the medicine industry. There are N number of fields where chemistry is being used. Some of them are: Medicine, Biology, Rocketry, Ballooning, in the Kitchen, Geology, Astrophysics, Computer Science, Nuclear Power, Nanotechnology, Agriculture, Manufacturing Industry, Television and Media and much much more.

The Periodic Table, labelled as "The Single Most beautiful Chart in the History of Humanity" helps as a starting point for all of chemistry. Having seen the promises, the very fact that every good thing has a bad side to it gives rise to the question, "What are the Concerns?" In fact, there ARE concerns.

The biggest concern is a person using chemistry for negative means. Basically, the amount of energy is constituent atoms, which can help build things, help destroy things faster. I will outline 3 principal concerns below:

The first one is the obvious one - Nuclear Power. There are two basic nuclear reactions: Fission and Fusion, involving breaking up or fusing of atomic nuclei. When nuclei fuse or break apart, they turn into other elements, giving out Energy. This can be related to Einstein's famous equation where the "Mass" from the nuclei is converted into pure "Energy." This principle can be used to power a generator to produce, in a sense, a LOT of electricity. But a fateful day in Japan, 1945 reminds us the vicious power of Nuclear Fission, where the Atomic Bomb, caused devastation, and still affects the area today. Also, incidents at Chernobyl and more recently, the Fukushima nuclear meltdown tell us that if not controlled, the vicious energy can destroy the entire planet.

My own take on the Nuclear theme is - Right now, we are at the brink of mastering Fusion Power - although complete mastery is still decades away. After Nuclear Fission is mastered, we may 'export' the Sun to Earth and start a Nuclear Fusion reactor. Nuclear Fusion is far better than Fission, and also does not produce waste by-products. So, until we master Nuclear Fusion, this is an intermediate step.

The second one is - Biological Terror Attacks. Although the name tells us its got something to do with Biology and Diseases, but advances in chemistry can mean terrorists deliberately spreading toxins, harmful gases, viruses and likewise among the masses. The 2001 US Anthrax attacks, where letters were laced with infectious material, are a prime example.

The third is the hot issue - found everywhere in science - Global Warming. The CFCs, Carbon Monoxide, Carbon Dioxide were all, in the respective eras, were found as solutions to certain problems. The Greenhouse Effect, a beneficial natural cycle, due to over'grazing' of industries and careless waste disposal techniques, is turning the planet into a death chamber. The Ozone 'Hole' above Antarctica is the cause of ice melting in polar regions, and due to the gaping hole, harmful radiations from the Sun are permeating Earth's atmosphere. One day, our planet may look like distant Mars. The solution for this, however, may lie, ironically, in Chemistry. Better techniques to flush out the CO2 may be developed, and the new field of 'Bioplastics' may yield a biodegradable plastic.

All in All, the Pros of Chemistry far outweigh the cons. The only thing that researchers have to care of is, misusing chemical power.

I know, this post was more of an essay, than a one-minute take, but I just got crazy and wrote everything that came to my mind down. If you find any mistakes, do comment below. Also, if you have any questions, please comment below, I'll try my best answering them :). Thanks.


Atharv Joshi - @@J

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Wired Differently: Quizbot # 6

Quizbot is a weekly quiz initiated by yours truly in an attempt to reach far out in everyone's quest for Curiosity. Besides, Quizzing is one of my hobbies and thanks to SEQC, now one of my passions.

Quizbot # 5 got 10 responses, which is commendable! Here's the 6th set:

Set # 6

1. ________, a slang word, describes a certain group of people. It is a very appropriate term, since the biotic living thing that grants its name to the slang term also shows similar characteristics. You will associate the word with this young lady (pictured below), not that she's a _________ though! Give me the term.

2. The earlier word used for Afro-American music was 'Race Music.' Obviously, this was an offending term. This term was changed to which popular term?

3. Connect the four images below to something billed 'The Most Famous."

4. Whose memorial?

5. The Sitter (Its really a sitter). Whose profile info on the newly released Google + reads "I Make Things?"

As usual, Please post your answers in the comments section below.

Out of the 10 responses recieved, one was a little 'Shady.' One Anonymous said, "hah google has the answers of all of them. level of questions is not so high." Mr. Anonymous, thanks for telling me that! You've just shown what you're capable of. No one's stopping you from Googling, so, the next time, let the criticism come with 5 valid 'Googled' answers!!! :P :D

Quizbot # 5 Answers and Scores:

9 answers were recieved, and one question proved a tough nut to crack. Here goes:

1. Baldness in Latin evolves to 'Chauvin', which is the root of 'Calvin.' The president is Calvin Coolidge! (7/9 got it correct)
2. Yes, it is the African National Congress. (8/9 got it correct)
3. It is Idi Amin, the infamous Ugandian (?) (6/9 got it correct)
4. Ah! This one was a tough nut. The answer is as simple as '+ and - signs!' (1/9 got it correct)
5. Atlantis. Sigh, the Space Shuttle Era ends :( (9/9 got it correct)

And now for the Scores:
1. Kapinjal - 3
2. Mangesh - 4 (Nice!)
3. Somewhere over the rainbow.... - 4 (Nice!)
4. Swapnil - 4 (Nice!)
5. Murali - 4 (Nice!)
6. Annie - 4 (Nice!)
7. Jyoti Prakash - 2
8. R Krishna - 2
9. Raghav - 5 (Great Crack!)

And yeah, as far as the 'Googling' clause goes, remember, you can't cheat your conscience.

Link to the Previous Set: Quizbot Set # 5


Monday, July 11, 2011

LHC Simplified - A Simple Explanation of The Large Hadron Collider

"A Blogpost aimed at 'Simplifying' the Large Hadron Collider. Those who dunno anything about this, Hop on. Read this blogpost. :)"

Everything summed up, The Large Hadron Collider is the BIGGEST Scientific Experiment in the WORLD. It is the MOST EXPENSIVE thing EVER built. But in order to understand a gigantic thing as the LHC (Don't worry, even I'm not LHC Literate), one has to familiarize himself with some basic physical concepts.

A few days back, I had done a presentation on the LHC for my Astronomy Club, two times. The presentation can be viewed and downloaded below. This is the inspiration for this blogpost.

The Large Hadron Collider was first thought of in the 1980s after much of the development in something called the Standard Model had been made. There are four fundamental forces of nature: Gravity, Electromagnetism and the Two Nuclear Forces: The Strong and the Weak Force. (Please check out this link for more information). The Standard Model incorporates the Electromagnetic Force and the Nuclear Forces into one theory of almost-everything.

The standard model divides subatomic particles into two groups (i.e. Fermions and Bosons), which are nothing but elementary and force-carrying particles. Everything is elegantly summed up in the Standard Model, except Gravity and a few other things.

Let us now see where the LHC sneaks in.

Particle Physicists study "What's Inside What's Inside What's Inside" ad infinitum. So beyond the Protons, Neutrons and the Electrons, and even beyond the Quarks that make up Protons and Neutrons is the fundamental question, "What gives everything mass?" To explain this, the Standard Model hypothesizes something called the Higgs Field.

A field is a region in space where force carrying particles can interact. If ones goes with the Standard Model, then there exists a "Higgs Field" where particles interact with each other, resulting in mass. A special particle, called the Higgs Boson interacts with other subatomic particles and the strength of the interaction corresponds to the mass of the body.

One of the LHC's main aims is to find this elusive Higgs Boson, and it does this by smashing subatomic particles together!

LHC is the world's largest Particle Accelerator, accelerating subatomic particles like the Proton to 99.99% the Speed of Light. Then the particles, which are sent moving in opposite directions, collide. These collisions create new particles, which are later analysed by the physicists.

The LHC works with Hadrons, i.e. particles composed of Quarks. The Three words Large, Hadron and Collider are ENOUGH to explain the LHC!!!

So, what the LHC does is creates immense energies to accelerate particles and collide them to create new particles! It has NOTHING to do with creating a Black Hole that will suck Earth!

By the way, this Large Hadron Collider rap is a good place to get started!

Below is the link to my presentation! Hope you enjoy it! For more information, you can visit the LHC Outreach website here :)

LHC Simplified

The presentation is best viewed fullscreen on Scribd. Because it has been converted, the Presentation does not look neat. If you download it and have Office 2007, there will be no problems.

If you have any questions, please post them in the comments section!


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Wired Differently: Quizbot # 5

Quizbot is a weekly quiz initiated by yours truly in an attempt to reach far out in everyone's quest for Curiosity. Besides, Quizzing is one of my hobbies and thanks to SEQC, now one of my passions.

Quizbot # 4 drew 4 responses. Here's the fifth set:

Set # 5

1. Baldness, in Latin is the root of a popular name, famously associated with a 6-year old. It was also the name of a President of the United States (pictured below). What common English name?

2. In 1894, Mahatma Gandhi, in South Africa founded an organisation aimed at abolishing discrimination against Indians in South Africa. It became an ally of which major South African political party?

3. Who has been portrayed in "The General Is Up", a novel written by an author (pictured below) of Goan origin.

4. The earliest known symbols for a modern algebraic symbol consisted of a legs going in a forward way. The opposite of this symbol was denoted by legs moving in opposite directions. Which symbol are we talking about?

5. The sitter of the set. With the launch of which spacecraft, named after a legendary island, did NASA signal the end of the Space Shuttle Program?

As usual, Please post your answers in the comments section below.

Quizbot # 4 Answers and Scores:

We had 4 responses this time, with only one of them being complete. Here goes:

1. The song is 'White Trash Party (W.T.P)' by Eminem. (0/4 got it correct)
2. The Padmanabhaswamy Temple. (3/4 got it correct)
3. The town is Wimbledon. (0/4 got it correct)
4. It is the Crab Nebula. (1/4 got it correct)
5. The answer is Concorde. (2/4 got it correct)

And now for the Scores:
1. Raghav - 3 (Good Going!)
2. Rishwin - 2 (Great!)
3. Anonymous - 0
4. Anonymous - 1

Link to the previous set: Quizbot Set # 4


Saturday, July 9, 2011

Poetic Thoughts # 3 - What is Life But...

"A 'Poetic Thought', a little bit scrambled, describing the loop of life."

What is life?
But twists and turns,
Looping meanders,
Nowhere to run :(

We start this game,
Having no clue of the future,
It is as if we're born
36 weeks premature.

But yeah! We start out,
Our primitive years,
As if thick fog - are spent in this haze.
Not knowing about this life-like maze.

And once we start walking,
Life tops up a third dimension,
We are the conquistadors
Of this new nation.

We resume our journey,
The dozen maddening years in school,
They say this is Childhood,
To me, its just Cool!

A looping meander, we here confront,
For new careers we must hunt,
A time spent in dependence,
Blooms into a need to brew our own existence.

Ah! Time flies by, responsibilities increase,
We have no time to even blurt out 'Freeze!
As we go up the office ranks
And fill our hard-earned money into banks.

And when you become a Sexagenarian,
Retirement does beckon.
You have your own holiday home
And exotic places you can roam.

Whatever comes, has to go,
It is with this fear
That one steers clear,
Of the sorrows that life offers.
But death haunts us,
With a smiling face.
And then the day dawns,
When you reach Third Base.
Strike Out!

I told ya Life was a loop, a different game.
Wherein you start with nothing,
And come back to 'Start' with nothing.

What is life?
But twists and turns,
Looping meanders,
Nowhere to run :(

What is this?
Nothing but a Poetic Thought.
Go out there, live your Life,
Or live it not!