Friday, 29 July 2011

ad for cereal

There is this ad for a brand of cereal that has a man yelling for his socks and an irritated wife climbing upstairs to get it out of a drawer next to him and handing it to him. The ad claims that if the wife eats the cereal, she would do the same without getting irritated.
Shocking! Shouldn't the ad say that if the man eats the cereal his brains would work enough for him to open a drawer and pick up his socks.
I have been irritated by this ad every time, but did nothing. I was pleased to see others feel the same way about it.
Yesterday, my friend told me that she has sent a mail to the person responsible for this ad.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

in those days

You would have often heard the frequent chant of older people about the great life "in those days".
A comment in another blog reminded me of life "in those days"..
Sometime in the 1970s, one of the IIX was getting a new computer--ICL 2960.
But it took almost a year to get the room ready-- a huge room airconditioned with ducts made for the wiring. It took a few more months to get the UPS running. Meanwhile, we had to run around to neighbouring institutions for our computer work.
Then we had a spanking new comp centre.
I then went to another IIX. Here too they were getting a new computer- an IBM...same process...
In both places, my experience was similar even with the new systems. Spending hours punching cards.. 300-800 a deck; submitting them to the receptionist, then receiving the output next day with some error message. Then search for the errant card, repunch resubmit...........On some days, the card reader would be out of order, sometimes the UPS would not work and sometimes, the operator would drop the deck...that was a nightmare rearranging the cards.
The punching machines made an infernal noise and in a closed room ten machines punching at the same time, it was really stressful.
All this for memory that was less than what toys have now.

Friday, 22 July 2011

blogs and reading

Reading this post and the links therein, I have some mixed feelings.
One is a sense of relief that my inability to read seriously in recent times, is not, as I thought, a forewarning of impending dementia. I often hear other people complaining about this problem, but it is a relief to see how universal it is.
Second is a feeling of sadness that now we have generations that will never read seriously.
There is also hope that this is not a bad thing-just different.
Personally, ever since I started reading blogs, I have read far more science than I ever had access to. I have also been able to access studies on education in India, thoughts of people doing developmental work.....many things I did not even know existed.
I think this breadth of knowledge I have acquired is far more valuable than the ability to read in depth , considering my situation and needs. This may not be true for all.
However, the price for me, is well worth the goods.

Thursday, 14 July 2011


The other side of my previous post is this...why do investment banks want to hire engineers?
One reason could be that the BSc/BA mathematics courses that colleges offer do not prepare students for such a career whereas IITs do and the BA economics or BCom courses are not quantitative enough.
Then why don't Universities change their Math/quant courses to suit this demand?

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

More IIM graduates are opting for jobs in manufacturing industries.
Maybe even the engineers from IITs will choose jobs in engineering rather than investment banks. I hope so.
Some years back, little boys used to wish to become truck drivers, postmen, firemen or pilots.
My son was fascinated by recovery trucks.
Then, as they grew up a little, their ambitions were to become a doctor, police officer, IAS officer or an engineer.
Now, ambition is simply a number. ..."I wish to earn --lakhs" no matter what the job.
If a boy was keen on a career in investment banking, he should have joined a BA economics course or BCom Hons , why IIT ?

April 17th op-ed in the Hindu has two articles. One  about the HERC and another about research in medical colleges. First the article abo...