Saturday, January 2, 2010

Mid term results

We had our test on Dec 6th, and you are probably wondering what's going on.  Based on what each of you told me, everyone felt good about taking the test.  Those test results will be made available the next time I meet you on Sunday, Jan 10.

I am quite happy with my class performance and will be more than glad to give your answer sheets back.  I am not worried about the scores, but the important thing is to remember those concepts you learned in class.  They should serve you as light in your life journey.

See you on Jan 10th.

Getting motivated

Here are 10 ways to get motivated for change in 2010.  I happened to read this article recently on CNN.  It talks about 10 things you can do to help yourself stay in a mindset to make positive changes in the new year

1. Set smaller goals with smaller steps
2. Frame your goals positively
3. Look at the pros and cons
4. Get a resolutions buddy
5. Be specific
6. Know thyself
7. Examine deeper issues
8. Don't be overanxious
9. Be flexible
10. Keep your eye on the ball

Click here to read more.

Credits: CNN

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year

My Happy New Year wish for you
Is for your best year yet,
A year where life is peaceful,
And what you want, you get.

A year in which you cherish
The past year’s memories,
And live your life each new day,
Full of bright expectancies.

I wish for you a holiday
With happiness galore;
And when it’s done, I wish you
Happy New Year, and many more.

Credits: Joanna Fuchs

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Blue Moon New Year

If the skies are clear, revelers looking up at midnight will get an eyeful of the second full moon of the month—commonly called a blue moon. The last time a blue moon appeared on New Year's Eve was in 1990, and it won't happen again until 2028.

A blue moon isn't actually blue—as commonly defined, the name reflects the relative rarity of two full moons in a month and is linked to the saying "once in a blue moon."

Enjoy the New Year's Eve with a blue moon. Be safe if you are outside.

Happy New Year 2010.

Credits: National Geographic

Installing Love

Customer Service (CS) Rep. : "Yes, Ma'am, how may I help you today?"

Customer: "Well, after much consideration, I've decided to install LOVE. Can you guide me through the process?"

CS Rep. : "Yes, I can help you. Are you ready to proceed?"

Customer: "Well, I'm not very technical, but I think I'm ready to install now. What do I do first?"

CS Rep. : "The first step is to open your HEART. Have you located your HEART ma'am?"

Customer: "Yes I have, but there are several other programs running right now. Is it okay to install while they are running?"

CS Rep. : "What programs are running ma'am?"

Customer: "Let's see, I have PAST-HURT.EXE, LOW ESTEEM.EXE, GRUDGE.EXE, and RESENTMENT.COM running right now."

CS Rep. : "No problem. LOVE will gradually erase PAST-HURT.EXE from your current operating system. It may remain in your permanent memory, but it will no longer disrupt other programs. LOVE will eventually overwrite LOW-ESTEEM.EXE with a module of its own called HIGH-ESTEEM.EXE. However, you have to completely turn off GRUDGE.EXE and RESENTMENT.COM. Those programs prevent LOVE from being properly installed. Can you turn those off ma'am?"

Customer: "I don't know how to turn them off. Can you tell me how?"

CS Rep. : "My pleasure. Go to your Start menu and invoke FORGIVENESS.EXE. Do this as many times as necessary until GRUDGE.EXE and RESENTMENT.COM have been completely erased."

Customer: "Okay, done. LOVE has started installing itself automatically. Is that normal?"

Cs Rep. : "Yes. You should receive a message that says it will reinstall for the life of your HEART. Do you see that message?"

Customer: "Yes I do. Is it completely installed?"

Cs Rep. : "Yes, but remember that you have only the base program. You need to begin connecting to other HEARTS in order to get the upgrades."

Customer: "Oops. I have an error message already. What should I do?"

Cs Rep. : "What does the message say?"

Customer: "It says "ERROR 412 - PROGRAM NOT RUN ON INTERNAL COMPONENTS. What does that mean?"

Cs Rep. : "Don't worry ma'am, that's a common problem. It means that the LOVE program is set up to run on external HEARTS but has not yet been run on your HEART. It is one of those complicated programming things, but in nontechnical terms it means you have to "LOVE" your own machine before it can "LOVE" others."

Customer: "So what should I do?"

Cs Rep. : "Can you pull down the directory called"SELFACCEPTANCE"?"

Customer: "Yes, I have it."

Cs Rep. : " Excellent. You're getting good at this."

Customer: "Thank you."

Cs Rep. : "You're welcome. Click on the following files and then copy them to the "MYHEART" directory: FORGIVE-SELF.DOC, REALIZE-WORTH.TXT, and ACKNOWLEDGE-LIMITATIONS.DOC. The system will overwrite any conflicting files and begin patching any faulty programming. Also, you need to delete VERBOSE-SELF-CRITIC.EXE from all directories, and then empty your recycle bin afterwards to make sure it is completely and permanently gone erased."

Customer: "Got it. Hey! My HEART is filling up with new files. SMILE.MPG is playing on my monitor right now and it shows that PEACE.EXE, and CONTENTMENT.COM are copying themselves all over my HEART. Is this normal?"

Cs Rep. : "Sometimes. For others it takes a while, but eventually everything gets downloaded at the proper time. So, LOVE is installed and running. You should be able to handle it from here. One more thing before I go."

Customer: "Yes?"

Cs Rep. : "LOVE is freeware. Be sure to give it and its various modules to everybody you meet. They will share it with other people and then return some similarly sacred modules back to you."

Customer: "I will. Thanks for your help. By the way, what's your name?"

Cs Rep. : " You may call me the Divine Cardiologist, also known as The Great Physician, but most call me God. Many people feel all they need is an annual checkup to stay heart-healthy, but the Manufacturer suggests a schedule of daily maintenance for maximum efficiency. Put another way, keep in touch . . ."

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Prayer request

Mariya Tom's grandmother passed away in India, couple of days ago.  She was 79.  She was with us here in Atlanta few months ago.  Mariya's dad will be travelling to India today to attend the funeral which is planned this Sunday, Jan 3rd at St. Ignatius Jacobite Church, Ayroor.

Let's remember Mariya's family in our prayers and offer condolences.


Aloha - how are you all spending your holidays?  Fun with friends and families, and lots of food I suppose.

Mahalo - for those of you who sent me Christmas wishes.

Enjoy every bit of your winter break and rock your way into 2010.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Santa - thru the eyes of another engineer

If you read the post 'Santa thru the eyes of an engineer', here is a response by another engineer.

Read along:

If people are going to attempt to apply science to the question of Santa, the least they can do is to get it right. The so-called "Engineer" that wrote the paper suggesting that Santa Claus is dead had it all wrong.

A) In paragraph 5, the Engineer states that "600,000 tons traveling at 650 miles per second creates enormous air resistance." Assuming that this true, it may well be that the reindeer are protected by some sort of heat shield, which is the basis of the "red nose" legend. More to the point, the "air resistance" theory is a vast oversimplification, and a sloppy one at that. In comparing a parachute to a javelin, one can see that there is no simple, direct, predictable relationship between the weight of an object and its air resistance. The air resistance theory completely ignores many possible configurations of Santa's team that could greatly reduce air resistance.

Paragraph 5 is invalidated all the more when one considers paragraph 1, which states that most of the 300,000 unclassified species on the earth are insects and microorganisms. This suggests that it is overwhelmingly probable that any unknown species (such as flying reindeer) is extremely small (possibly even microscopic), with correspondingly low air resistance.
Also, note that various small species (e.g. bumblebee) have been known to accomplish feats of aviation that have proven quite difficult for science to explain. Furthermore, many small species (e.g. ants) possess strength that is immense proportional to their size. Also note that every known species has a body structure capable of withstanding whatever stresses are created at the top speed at which the creature is capable of traveling.

Therefore, contrary to the Engineer's conclusion, the possible existence of unknown, very small, very strong, flying creatures is indicated, and all of the Engineer's statistics on the mass, speed, capacity, and durability of standard Reindeer are therefore irrelevant.

B) If we accept the notion that Santa moves from East to West (an assumption that the Engineer makes in Paragraph 3) then we must also assume that he is moving in a vaguely North-South traversing path as he works his way West. This implies that, if he chose to, he could make several stops at the Pole to re-load the sleigh, and therefore it is not necessary for him to carry the entire payload all at once as described by the Engineer.
The reader may raise the objection that most depictions of Santa's procedures include a single annual departure from the Pole. However, one must also consider that these same depictions contain many other omissions and simplifications, such as the implication that Santa spends several minutes on each delivery. Even using unrealistically favorable figures, this is mathematically impossible. This and other examples force us to consider these depictions to be strictly allegorical. This makes sense, since a documentary would not be much fun for the target audience.

C) Consider that most chimneys are too small to accommodate an average-sized man, let alone a 250 (plus) pound man. This implies that Santa has a way of entering and exiting dwellings through access paths much smaller than those that would otherwise be required. If the same technique that Santa uses to transport himself and the gifts past locked doors also decreases mass (or makes it irrelevant), then the payload problem is completely solved. (Note that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.)

D) If we accept the notion that Santa's intelligence gathering is good enough for him to determine who is bad/good, sleeping/awake etc., then it stands to reason that Santa also knows enough about health problems, travel plans, hurricanes, floods, drive-by shootings, fires, volcanoes, earthquakes, bus crashes, burglaries, etc. etc. etc. to be able to defer or advance some of his deliveries for days or even weeks, thus considerably extending the 31 hour time limit (as mentioned by the Engineer in paragraph 3) for perhaps 3 to 5 percent of children.

E) In paragraph 3, the Engineer admits to the assumption that Christian homes are randomly distributed over the entire surface of the planet. In reality, a majority of the earth's surface is covered by the oceans, and a great portion of what is left is covered by mountains, deserts, forests, jungles, glaciers, smaller bodies of water, and other natural and man-made features that render the space uninhabitable by humans -- or at least extremely sparsely populated by Christians, who largely tend to live in communities with homes placed in neat rows on level ground, or in densely populated vertical blocks in urban areas.
Also, many families tend to gather for the Holidays, thus decreasing the number of Christian dwellings that are actually occupied on December 24-25. Therefore, the aforementioned assumption leads to an *staggering* overestimate of the number of times Santa must travel distances exceeding 60 feet. Also note that this more realistic model includes trans-oceanic voyages during which Santa could take a "bathroom break."

F) In paragraph 3, the Engineer says that Santa has a very short time in which to "park, hop out of the sleigh, jump down the chimney, fill the stockings, distribute the remaining presents under the tree, eat whatever snacks have been left, get back up the chimney, get back into the sleigh and move on to the next house. "In the previous paragraph, I dispensed with the notion that Santa must actually park and exit the sleigh, enter and exit the dwelling, and then enter and drive the sleigh for each delivery. As far as the snacks go, it is clear that between the households where the parents eat the snacks prior to Santa's arrival and the households that don't leave snacks at all, Santa has to deal with a snack in only a small proportion of cases. This means that at every stop Santa must, at a minimum, fill stockings and distribute gifts. The other tasks are performed in much smaller proportions.

G) In paragraph 2, the Engineer presents the assumption that roughly 10 children out of 35 are "good." Given my personal observations, I conclude that this would lead us to overestimate of the number of Christian households containing at least one "good" child by an order of magnitude at the absolute minimum. This, more than anything else, decreases the number of stops that Santa must make.

In conclusion - all of the Engineer's calculations are based on figures that are massively skewed, always choosing the worst-case value. The distances to be traveled, the number of stops to be made, the amount of work to be performed, and the amount of cargo to be carried are all FAR smaller than the Engineer estimates.

Santa has NOT been burned to a cinder, he has NOT been squished by the acceleration of his sleigh, and (though I'm quite certain he won't be visiting that Engineer's house,) Santa Claus IS coming to town!

Sunday, December 27, 2009


For the next one week, I am going to be out of town and hence may not be able to update this site daily.  I will be checking my messages on and off and if time permits, I shall post something here.

Wish you a happy new year 2010.

See you on Sunday, Jan 10, 2010.

Bunny vs Snowman

Santa - thru the eyes of an engineer

Talk to an engineer about Santa Claus and the engineer would do the following analysis:

1. No known species of reindeer can fly, but there are 300,000 species of living organisms yet to be classified, and while most of these are insects and germs, this does not completely rule out flying reindeer which only Santa has seen.

2. There are 2 billion children in the world (persons under 18). But since Santa doesn't (appear) to handle Muslim, Hindu, Jewish, or Buddhist children, that reduces the workload by 85% of the total, leaving 378 million according to the Population Reference Bureau. At an average (census) rate of 3.5 children per household, that's 91.8 million homes. One presumes there is at least one good child per house.

3. Santa has 31 hours of Christmas to work with, thanks to the different time zones and the rotation of the earth, assuming he travels east to west (which seems logical). This works out to 822.6 visits per second. This is to say that for each Christian household with good children, Santa has 1/1000th of a second to park, hop out of the sleigh, jump down the chimney, fill the stocking, distribute the remaining presents under the tree, eat whatever snacks have been left, get back up the chimney, get back into the sleigh and move on to the next house. Asusming that each of these 91.8 million stops are evenly distributed around the earth, which, of course, we know to be false, but for the purposes of our calculations we will accept, we are now talking about 0.78 miles per household, for a total trip of 75.5 million miles, not counting stops to do what most of us do at least once every 31 hours, plus feeding, etc. That means that Santa's sleigh is moving at 650 miles per second, 3000 times the speed of sound. For purposes of comparison, the fastest man-made vehicle on earth, the Ulysses space probe, moves at a poky 27.4 miles per second - a conventional reindeer can run, at tops 15 miles per hour.

4. The payload on the sleigh adds another interesting element. Assuming each child gets nothing more than a medium sized lego set (2 pounds), the sleigh is carrying 321,300 tons, not counting Santa, who is invariably described as overweight. On land, conventional reindeer can pull no more than 300 pounds. Even granting the "flying reindeer" can pull TEN TIMES the normal amount, we cannot do the job with eight, or even nine. We need 214,200 reindeer. This increased the payload - not even counting the weight of the sleigh to 353,430 tons. Again, for comparison - this is four times the weight of the Queen Elizabeth - 5,353,000 tons travelling at 650 miles per second creates enormous air resistance. This will heat the reindeer up in the same fashion as spacecrafts re-entering the earth's atmosphere. The lead pair will absorb 14.3 quintillion joules of energy per second each. In short, they will burst into flames almost instantaneously, exposing the reindeer behind them, and creating a deafening sonic boom in their wake. The entire reindeer team will be vaporized with 4.26 thousandths of a second. Santa, meanwhile, will be subject to centrifugal forces 17,500.06 times greater than gravity. A 250 pound Santa (which seems ludicrously slim) would be pinned to the back of the sleigh by a 4,315,015 pound force.