April Fool: The summer is here!


Yesterday was April Fool’s day – 1st of April. At least, here, in the English midlands, you could be forgiven for thinking that the weather was playing a prank!

Lboro Uni - fountain
The fountain freezes over (Loughborough University)- in a scene from The Beast from the East. Early March 2018!

We had cold weather and showers but a little more north in Scotland, they were witnessing snow. Come on, it’s April – this is Easter Monday and the students have been on vacation for the last two weeks.

The Russian attack (I mean, this weather bomb) came from Siberia like a Sergio Leone western, rather eastern, trilogy – The beast from the east, The mini beast from the east, and The beast strikes again! 

The Beast from the East strikes again aka The mini beast. This spooky night scene outside my window – Watch the blockbuster thriller at https://youtu.be/Se7oh0Pt5BA

Apparently, the lock over the arctic circle loosened and let the air from the refrigerator flow all over the kitchen! Let’s hope it was just a one-time event.

Snow Hat
Where is my towel? Under the snow courtesy the Mini Beast from the East!

It is about TIME!

Ticking away the blogs that tell a story
in a nice way –
The more you read
the more you sway
between belief and belief
and between reason and reason –

My Biased Two Cents.

The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once.

Albert Einstein(?)

In the post Let’s talk about…..!!, I promised that I will write about something that we all complain about not having enough of. One of you guessed that it was TIME. It is time for me to say that the time has come for me to fulfill a promise I made back in time. In the time to come, I will keep my word and devote my time to writing about time. In the post, Democratizing Science!, I made another promise of describing some scientific concepts in simple terms for everyone to understand and what better than time as a first topic. It is a topic that has intrigued philosophers, poets and physicists from time immemorial so much so that Stephen Hawking wrote a whole book ‘A brief history of time’…

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Democratizing Science!

The next in Chhaya’s ‘science for the people’ series –

The fruits of knowledge
we relish
The mysteries of nature
we wonder
The lens of science
we conquer fear –

My Biased Two Cents.

“Alice: This is impossible.
The Mad Hatter: Only if you believe it is.”  – Alice in Wonderland

In the posts “A child’s journey”  and “Because the child was human”, I argued that the process children follow in exploring the world around them is inherently scientific. They hypothesize, test and update their hypotheses just like a scientist is expected to.

The question is if human brain’s cognitive circuits are designed to follow the scientific method, why so few of us grow up to enjoy science. Why do some of us tend to skip over a science program on TV or find science magazines boring? I have heard many friends say,  I did so bad in science in high school; there is no way I can sit through a science program on TV”. This is very confusing to me. There is nothing in those science programs that a normal…

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A child’s journey from mystery to mastery.

A very nice story 🙂 –

My Biased Two Cents.

Growing up in a sleepy little town in the eastern Punjab, my world view was limited to the things and the people around me. The only happening place we had in town was Gita Bhawan, a big hindu temple right in front of which was a park with not so green lawns and a fountain which never worked.

As children, it was our one and only picnic spot, our Disney Land. I, my brother and a few cousins used to huddle around our grandmother to convince her to take us to Disney Land. After some sweet  persuasion and blackmail she would agree to lead the army of little comrades to their favorite place. Apart from some minor disputes over who will walk next to whom and who is allowed to sing which song, the comrades used to reach their Disney Land unscathed.

Once there, it was mandatory for us…

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Stephen Hawking: A memoriam in time

Reblogging here my post in memoriam to Prof. Stephen Hawking …

Hunt for the towel

Stephen Hawking (and the Simpsons) in India circa 2001: He gave a series of lectures in india and used the Simpspons cartoon series featuring himself! Stephen Hawking (and the Simpsons) in India circa 2001 (http://www.rediff.com/news/report/pix-when-hawking-visited-india/20180314.htm)

Yesterday, for some unexplained reason, I spent £6 on the latest issue of National Geographic – £4 of those should go to Prof. Stephen Hawking! Why? Because the main title cover is NEW VIEWS OF THE COSMOS and another smaller title is A BRIEF HISTORY OF LIFE. I conjecture this issue would sell much less if it was not for Hawking and his A BRIEF HISTORY OF TIME.

This takes me back to a somewhat balmy winter evening in India. It was January 15th. 2001 and I and a friend ventured out of our Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi students hostel to go to a show by a rockstar. The rockstar was Stephen Hawking and those were the days when poor grad students could still buy tickets for such events!

Hawking was going to give a public lecture…

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Every day is women’s day.

And they gave her a day
to raise her on a pulpit
and smile ….
to drink red wine
in their cosy homes
wash some guilt down
and smile ….
And she toils away as ever
a second person in a corner
and smiles ….

My Biased Two Cents.

Women’s day  it was yesterday I am told and now it is over. Congratulations were extended, selfies were taken, collages were made and posted on Instagram, cakes were cut and parties were thrown, it was a day for the florists and wine shops to make moolah until the next big day for the trade on the 11th of March, the mother’s day (in the United Kingdom).

Now that all the excitement around the international women’s day has died down and the men and women of this world have gone back to business as usual and the interim special status granted to women has been taken away, let me extend my heartiest congratulations to all my homies for successfully claiming one full day to ourselves after centuries of struggle for equal rights for men and women. Please don’t misconstrue me, I am not ridiculing the significance of the day, I completely…

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