This blog as might be apparent from the title has to do with running, biking and basically other outdoor individualistic sports, sometimes extreme, such as rock climbing . But don't be surprised if you find articles on work, personal life, music and even philosophy, this blog is an exception in this aspect in the blogosphere of running blogs and I am trying to revamp the blog to make it more runner friendly. You might want to look at the sidebar titled 'categorised', which as is obvious, categorizes my posts into different areas of interest.
The other thing that might interest many people is a section on 'running videos' and 'general videos' on the side bar, which I keep updating now and then.
I plan to bring in more posts on running and biking, with some added colour, so as to make them 'complete'. That's about it for now.
As a post-note, I have run a half-marathon, but I am yet to attempt a marathon, which through some concerted effort and time should happen in the future, but that ofcourse is not the culmination of this blog, it would on the contrary be something to jumpstart this blog onto new vistas.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Scalers and Markers(S&M) - Chapter 0

S&M: That's what we christined ourselves as, when we scaled the second peak in Nelliyampathi, Kerala two days back, because what we essentially do is scale a mountain and then mark it to commemorate our accomplishment...

To be continued

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Part II - Of Big bang, infinite universes and duality (divine dichotomy)

This, as is obvious is a continuation of the previous post. The later half of the same fart session, described in this post, has made me see things in new light, as we really dug hard into infinity....

According to the big-bang theory, as I know, universe as we see now, originated from a point source quite sometime back. Now, the big-bang says that universe came out of a point source. I wonder as to what had happened to the rest of the space? If I were to say that the point source of energy were to be located at a point, what about the point near by that point? What existed there? Nothingness? What characterises this nothingness? Undefinable? ether? neither???

Anyway, if I were to say that space had originated as a result of the after-math of big-bang, space shouldn't exist before big-bang. But as the big-bang theory states the evolution of the universe, I fail to see, how the space nearby the point-source of energy didn't exist before big-bang.
The whole idea of the universe we see now coming out of nothingness, makes one think of what had happened to the rest of the space before big-bang, it essentially makes one think of space, even before big-bang had occured. It comes as a contradiction that I have to think about space, even before space originated!

Hence the space that exists now, after the big-bang, existed even before the big-bang. This can only happen if the big-bang occured in all of space. This means, big-bang did occur, but it didn't occur at a discrete point, a dirac delta function so to say, but it occured at all points in space ; it was a series of infinite dirac-delta functions(making it continuous!) that after the big-bang exploded into infinite universes

But then these infinite universes weren't distinct entities differentiable from each other, since the universes coming out of nearby points would interact with each other. Hence, infinte universes could as well be called a single universe, as it was the same space into which these univerese had exploded into, and if space were to be used to categorise univereses, then all universes would occupy the whole of space at some point of time
since the big-bang explosion(s).

Therefore, it is meaningless to talk about parallel universes when you look at the big-picture, but deeper inside, at the nano, nay sub-atomic level, nay, at a level where particle-size tends to zero, individual universes were created, which then merged into the whole as a single universe.

So where does, duality arise, you ask? It starts right at the moment when big-bang occured, or right at the moment when infinte big-bangs occured. That is when a singular primal infinte energy source began the energy-mass conversion into matter and anti-matter(dark energy), that is when space and time as we know came into existence, that is when relativity came into existence, that is when everything could be seen in dual perspectives. The existence of infinite singularities in continutity(dirac-delta ad infinitum). Even the existence of infinite universes at the sub-sub...(ad infinitum)-atomic level, only to merge into a single universe is an example of this duality or more beautifully, divine dichotomy.

Take an example of a rock. From afar, the rock appears to be motionless and still. But when you examine it under a poweful microscope, what do you see? You see a lot of activity, electrons hurtling around at speeds unimaginable, the whole of the matter that makes up the rock is in a state of constant motion, yet the rock itself is stationary. Which is true, the rock is stationary or it is in a state of constant motion?

We agreed that matter and anti-matter could fuse back to form energy, but what about the nature of matter and anti-matter.
It is the characteristic of matter to have a gravitational force on matter close-by. And anti-matter or dark energy, which have negative mass, have the property of anti-gravity or repulsive force, that push things away.

But what I am not sure is whether these forces(of attraction and repulsion)
1) are a property or nature of matter and anti-matter or
2) are they forces that come into play when these particles interact and also does matter interact only with matter and anti-matter only with anti-matter; i.e. is to say there is no interaction between matter and anti-matter?
But I guess, it makes no difference whatsoever in two of the following three interactions...

Lets consider, the interaction between these entities:
a) matter and matter - In both the cases(above 1&2), there would be a gravitational pull.
b) anti-matter and anti-matter - In both cases again, there would be an anti-gravitational push.
c) Matter and anti-matter - In case 1, the matter would pull the anti-matter and the anti-matter would push the matter. If the forces are of equal magnitude, the forces would nullify and hence the motion of matter and anti-matter wouldn't be affected.
But if they aren't of equal magnitude, and the matter dominates over anti-matter, then they would coalesce to form energy! and the other case would be that they would repulse away.

In case 2, there would be no interaction between matter and anti-matter.

But what about the forces themselves, that come into effect when these entities interact. Isn't that a form of energy. If it is, then big-bangs didn't result in the
complete conversion of energy into matter and anti-matter alone. Was then the unmanifested energy carried forward after the big-bang? Was the magnitude of this energy which was carried forward, infinite?

I am not sure of the answer to these questions, it doesn't seem as important and magnificent as the act of creation itself - of the creation of duality from singularity, of infinite universes that seem like a single universe, of the rock that moves and doesn't move at the same time....

Fart session - Part I

This one's a long one, but then I can't help it(well I did help it by dichotomising the really long one into two long ones!).....

I had one hell of a fart session today, easily one of the best in my 5 years of IIT life. As was my wont, I went to dhaba at 12 am, to have tea and then made a customary visit to saras. There, I met two guys and we started discussing a rumour about our current chief ministers' idea of inscribing her acheivements during her regime on a piece of rock to be retreived later on, a few centuries down the line, so that the then society would get to know abt the great ruler of Tamilnadu, so to speak. A great idea I must say, the so called 'imprinting of name in the sands of time'. Anyway, we wasted an hour discussing the merits of burial of that rock in guindy national park(gnp) or some other 'protected' forest reserve.

The one hour was a totaaal waste of time, as we went on debating about the characteristics of the right place for burial. We agreed that it had to be an inhospitable region, but it shouldn't be too inhospitable that the inscription isn't discovered in the timescale of less than 10 centuries. But then you could never tell. Climatic changes could make the inhospitable, hospitable like say the Death Valley converting into a Living valley or say the Thar Desert converting into a flourishing river-side city. Or you could even have a freak asteroid or meteor hitting the spot surrounding that rock...But then will that push the inscribed rock further in was what I wasn't convinced about. Suppose, the rock were to be buried in a national reserve, wouldn't it be the right place to ensure that the inscription is discovered in a time-scale of
centuries, neither too far-off into the future nor not too nearby, that is just the right time when it was intended to be discovered or found..Well, that could be 500 years or 1000 years.
If, 2000 years ago, I were to bury an inscription into our beloved mother earth, the society would really be in awe, especially the archaeologists of the current time to discover such an ancient inscription.

But the same '2000' years it takes to make an
inscription significant and of great value, might reduce if I were to look at burying an inscription now. This is due to the fact that, the change in the pace of life has been really drastic especially over the last 200 years, with the advent of industrial evolution and the rapid mechanisation of work and vast improvements in technology, so that the same inscription might seem very important 500 years hence, if discovered buried under the earth.

At this stage, we felt bored about this discussion going no where...
The next few topics to have the misfortune of being addressed by us were: auto drivers in chennai, the general consevationist attitude of the people in chennai, the food prices in hot chips, the futility of bargaining in chennai, the MTC bus tickets being really low-priced, the stupidity of MTC in trying to compete with the suburban train, the monorail gimmick being dished out by the CM, the lack of a business sense among business people in chennai, etc....We next turned our eyes to caste system, the origin of the prejudices or the superiority of one caste over the other. We assented that the caste system was originally based on the notion that certain people were best suited to certain professions. Hence an intellectually motivated guy would want to chose a profession in academics and hence would be a Brahmin, a businessman would likely be the vaishya(??), etc. That is to say, the caste system originated so that people could be tested out to see what is best for them and according to their capabilities would be assigned the appropriate profession and they would then come under a certain caste.

But when in history did this caste-system become a source of creation of rivalries and false prejudices between different castes, was the question. After the invasion of the moguls?, after the start of colonial rule in India? When? In gita, Krishna says in the 4th chapter that, he had created 4 castes for people to be categorised under based on their karma and qualities(gunas) or character. But, I wonder if there is a deeper basis for this classification? Is this classification valid even now, or was it context-specific to the time that the gita addressed?

We then talked about how people call themselves spiritual but not religious as if religion were something to be shunned. Infact, it is those ignorant of even the contents of the religious texts that assume that religions are mere rituals with no meaning attached to them. One guy told me a few days back what he thought of religion and spirituality:

Religion is for those who are illiterate and so they take in blindly what ever the religion preaches, while spirituality is for people who want to seek the truth in a practial manner, neatly explained! What he doesn't realise is that religion over-shadows spirituality, it's over and above spirituality. Religion gives both the basis and the means to the truth. You could atleast read up the basis and see if it isn't spirituality, then may be if interest suffices, try out the means described therein.
Hmm, there is one thing that people forget in life:
If one is ignorant of something in life, whether it be religion or anything else, it is better, not to pass comments or prejudices that one has about the same.

There are so many issues that we get exposed to in a fart session, as an interplay of ideas ensues between different people, arguments are forwarded and countered back, insights get revealed all of a sudden, hypothesises are made, theories are blurted out and proofs are arrived at..Indeed, fart sessions are a major source of intellectual nourishment that proves vital for broadening one's perspective in life.

To be continued...

Friday, March 17, 2006

Duck stuck in the pond

Yesterday, my friend and me decided to hit satyam to watch a late night movie after some hectic roaming in the bus from parrys to tambaram for data collection. The movie was Memoirs of a geisha, which was a decent watch. But this post is not about the movie. We reached satyam at around 9pm and had 1 hr to kill before the start of the movie. So the topic of discussion veered to people with attitude. We agreed that they were of two kinds: One kind who were pseudo pseud and the other who were gods in their own right. He gave me an example of the second kind. This guy, a compsci pass out last year is supposedly a stud in all walks of life, right from sports to acads. In an interview with amazon, he was asked to solve a supposedly tough and pseud math problem and he cracked it in 3 minutes.

The problem looks simple at first sight, but only when attempted will the difficulty be realised.
So here's the problem:

There is a pond of known radius, r. There is a duck at the centre of the pond and a man waiting to catch the duck when it comes out of the pond. The duck can move at a speed, v and the man can move around the circumference of the pond at a speed of 4 times that of the duck, 4v. Now the duck is waiting to come out of the pond.
The problem is to provide a solution for the path of the duck so that it comes out of the pond before the man can catch it.

I will rule out an infeasible solution at the outset.
Let the duck start out from the centre of the pond in the direction opposite to that in which the man is currently standing, that is the points represented by the man's position, the centre of the circle(pond) and the ducks position at delta t after the start of its motion are collinear.
Now, the man would require to cover half the circumference to reach the opposite end of the pond, where the duck is headed. The time taken by the man would be (pi*r)/4v
The time taken by duck to reach the same spot would be r/v.
Since pi/4 < 1, the man would reach the spot before the duck and hence the duck would be caught by the man.

I racked my head for quite some time after the movie before I could get the solution, but that may not be the case with everyone. So do give it a try...

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Just do it

The inability in seizing the moment
has wounded thee in ways indescribable
What stops thee from plunging?

Plunging into the ocean with synergy,
A synergy arising out of the coming together
of faculties; of senses, of the mind, of the body
with an aim of merging with the ocean
Of an ocean once familiar,
once experienced with immense delight
But now a distant haunting memory

A memory that shows the entrance
An entrance to the path
A path that has to be walked
Not just talked about

Knowing very well the path
Has not made the exploration any easier
For, oh ignorant thee,
Thou has yet to take the first step,
The step to mark the victory
over the inital barrier

Beyond the barrier
Oh dear one,
lies what you seek
So, oh seeker of truth
fear not, and forget not
The old adage,
'Just do it'


Why do I blog? It's like asking why I run.
Many reasons are there!
I started off blogging being inspired by some bloggers like Kiruba. I was enthralled by the idea of self-publishing wherein I could express my views on varied topics freely in whatever way I chose. In my initial posts, I was more interested in putting the message across and didn't lay much emphasis on either the structure of the blog or the usage of words.

But slowly, I realised that I could fine-tune and sharpen my writing skills through the medium of a blog. Blogging is like writng a sop. The same article prepared as a first draft can be made more concise and coherent in successive drafts till there is a negligible improvement felt. Ofcourse, regular blogging may necessiate a compromise in the quality of posts but then the quality itself might depend on the nature of the topic and the knowledge the blogger possesses on the topic.

Now, it seems to me that blogging just happens, like running. Instincts and inspiration(arising from discussions and daily events and circumstances) decide when and on what I blog. I could ofcourse take a break from blogging( as with running) whenever I feel like; there's no sense of committment; it's like a call, which is part instinct and part addiction. There's a call and I attend to it, provided I ain't lazy or busy.....

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Random musings

Childishness is a trait defined by unnecessary fretting and fuming over things, being silly, etc. When people talk of a child growing up and becoming an adult, what they essentially mean is that the child has given up its immature(childish) ways of doing and seeing things and also has developed the faculty of reasoning and thinking to a reasonable extent.

But is there some trait or quality or character of a child that should be preserved as one transitions from childhood to adulthood?
Child-likeness is something that most people lose somewhere down the time-line of life. Child-likeness is the quality of being simple, un-sophisticated, inquisitive and cheerful. The gradual de-sensitisation to the surroundings and the inability to express joy and wonder at small things in life is the beginning of a slow-death, the death of child-like enthusiasm in us. The excitement which existed when you shifted house into a new locality, had slowly waned, and now you travel from home to work, without even a glance at that great banyan tree which is the pride of your locality and at which you were in awe, when you first sighted it.
When, when did this indifference begin? You don't look at your surroundings and express the same joy as earlier because you are used to it and ofcourse, you don't have the time!

When this starts hapenning, when this disease of indifference sets in and becomes deep-rooted, we need something dramatic to cheer-up our mundane and boring life. People do this in many ways. Gossip is one means where, people get to know about something exciting or unusual happening in somone else's life. Rumours are another means that help feed the imagination of people, keeping them excited till the rumour, which had been mis-construed, gets cleared. The whole idea behind weekend get-aways is to get involved in something exciting and enjoyable that doesn't seem to happen during week-days. Ofcourse, being pretty busy meeting deadlines, gives us an excuse to live life, the way we do.

If we were able to enjoy our work and be more open to the little things that life has to offer, everyday would be a weekend, where pressure and worries would be non-existent and deadlines would be a mere formality of no consequence. Life would then be effortless, where every action would be done out of the sheer joy of doing it and not with a sense of trepidation of the consequence(failure/success) of the action.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


It's all about broadening your perspective in life.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Pain in the neck

Most of us know and use the term 'pain in the neck' and its more popular variants. Instances: 'He/she's a pain in the neck', 'This work or duty is a pain in the neck'. But then this usage is obviously metaphorical and figurative.
I got to know the literal meaning of this expression, when something
struck a chord in my neck, making it exruciatingly painful to turn my neck to the right or even nod my head.. Ignoring it to be a minor twist, I continued doing whatever I was doing till I started getting comments from people:
" Your right hand side of the neck is swollen", " Why are you speaking with your head tilted?", "When you turned your head 270 degrees, I thought you were mimicking a robot!".
And when I tell them that all this is because of a muscle pull in the neck, I get three different opinions: "Apply one of moov or iodex", "Visit the doctor immediately",
"There is no need to visit the doctor, this is something that happens once in a while."
I being a little whimsical and unsure during this time , first applied some muscle relaxant, then was going to visit the doctor, but because of the latest opinion, proceeded towards the mess for dinner.
Just when I was happy on not receiving any more opinions, someone says: "Hey, your neck is tilted 5-10 degrees to the..the left. What hapenned?". I tell him that it's due to a neck twist, possibly due to having slept in an awkward position. He tells me, "this looks serious, get to the doctor right away." I try arguing that it is a trifle, nothing to be worried about, but he has me convinced.

As this conversation occured at the hostel gate, I am atleast sure now that I wont be receiving any more opinions as I head towards the hospi.
At the hospi, the junior medical officer(JMO) seems to be having dinner. So I sit down and wait patiently and observe a kid who repeatedly runs away from his mother along the corridor, only to be brought back by the mother after sometime.

Then the JMO arrives and our conversation ensues:

She: "What's the problem"?
Me: "I seem to have twisted my neck"
She: After examining my neck for two seconds, she says "You could have an injection or tablets, which do you prefer?"
Me: Thinking to myself, Injection? uh-huh.
Where would I receive the injection? (fearing it to be given in the neck)
She: On your back ofcourse.
Me: (with conviction) I will have the tablets.
She: (smiling and amused) The injection would have an immediate effect while the tablet might take an hour for the effect.
Me: Oh, that's alright, my neck's been twisted for about 4 hrs now.
She: Oh! ok!!

What was surprising about the hospi visit was that, I wasn't aware that these pain in the necks had a standard injection or tablet medication, that could have a quick effect. Its been almost a day since I happened to be afflicted by this neck muscle pull and though the severity of pain seems to have simmered down, the pain in the neck as such remains to bother me!

Coming up (tentative): Now and then, Gaming addiction, What ails the undergraduate program, Freedom

Kennenisa Bekele with the WR

Robbie Mcewen and steve o'grady - The 'Nudge'