Sunday, June 28, 2009

Changes in my environment

Below are some changes in my environment that could occur when I join my pg programme:

When I shift to the IISc hostel, I don't know whether I need to take my desktop with me. I don't even have a laptop right now.

A good part of me becomes a void without my own personal computer. I am a linux person.

Hopefully, they might provide the students with a unix account. Then it will be bliss. (real bliss)

Let's see.


I like to (at least try) to grow my own food. Food nowadays, even in India, (at least in the cities) is certainly not free of pesticides, and very probably grown with NPK fertilizers not paying attention to soil-biodiversity (earthworms, micorrzheal fungi [correct the spelling yourself if your picky], nitrogen fixing bacteria and humus, et al).
And then food is becoming more and more expensive, probably because it is transported using polluting fossil fuel that's imported.

So I have recently tried to attempt to grow some food plants myself (I enjoy growing plants anyway). Though the quantity of food that I have grown so far is negligible compared to what I consume, I tried out the grow-your-food experiment more as proof-of-concept on a small scale. I could scale it up anytime. I have successfully grown a handful of ground(or pea)nuts from just 5 plants, a fine bunch of fenugreek plants, around 1.5 kg of tomatoes (around 10 fruits were lost to a nibbling rat-like mystery animal - the pesky thing :)), small potatoes (maybe I should have taken better care - they would have grown up well), some spring onions, lots of mint, quite a bit of fennel seeds as well as fennel as a leafy-herb-thing, three or four garlics, some beans.

All these were grown in a very small area. Except the tomatoes which were outside on the ground, most of the others were grown only in a thin layer of soil (the height of your palm)!, spread over a ledge of my house. The fennel and mint was grown in my aquaponic system.

I wonder if I would be able to continue to try this after I join my pg programme.


Some people may say I'm wasting time doing all sorts of things, but I've read in a kazillion (good) places (places include webpages, books, etc) that anybody _should_ have a hobby to be sane.

Well I do have hobbies, that I am proud of. I am constantly in the quest of things to do. Places like give me a high. You would understand.

Nothing (my hobbies, that is) is going to affect my research. I have a passion for science that can only be deep.

Why even google has their Fridays reserved for their employess doing whatever they want. A lot of good google products were born out of this.

Creative juices flow, but never when you're working on them and trying hard, slogging to get a bright idea.
The greatest of ideas have never arrived because someone sat down at a table and tried hard to make it come. The awesome-est of ideas come up when you have lunch, or go to the bathroom.

What about Edison's 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration?
That's very much true. I enjoy the perspiration part, even if it is 99% of the time. But this always follows the 1% inspiration (the 'idea') that comes, not when your sleeplessly slogging but when you are doing something completely unrelated like tending to your bean plants.
There is no point in the 99% perspiration that does not come trailing with the 1% idea in front of it.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Admission offer - M.Sc at IISc (or Ph.D?)

I couldn't be a happier person.

I got a letter today offering admission to an MSc program at IISc (indian institute of science) in the Electrical department, systems and signal processing.

I may also be able to take up the direct Ph.D program instead of MSc. But it is not yet confirmed and is being processed. It has a good probability that it will happen. I am praying it will happen.

Another update on my current status: All my 8th (last) semester undergrad formalities (exams, etc) are completed (finally!) Only the results/report cards are being awaited now.

Another thing that prevents me from being totally happy is that the admission to M.Sc/Ph.D is going to be provisional until I get the report cards saying I passed my under-grad, before a certain deadline.
Although the probability is low that I fail to pass my under-grad, I still cannot rest happy until everything is all confirmed.