Archive for the ‘interesting’ Category

Icelandic Banking: Full of fail

March 8, 2009

Here’s an excellent article from Vanity Fair about the Icelandic banking system.

It’s a 7 page article that gives insight into what happened in Iceland, how they came about banking, and how they approached it.

The author seems to have some bias against Iceland, but the article is still good nonetheless.

Some interesting points:
– The Gov’t regulates fishing. Each fishermen are given a limit of how many fish they can catch per season. That limit can be used as collateral to get a loan from a bank. ( i found that interesting )
– Icelandic male & females have an odd chemistry
– Icelandic banks bought companies they knew nothing about
– The folks in charge of financial services in Iceland had no financial background. Many were fishermen who randomly started trading
– Iceland pays their youth to study abroad and to get PhDs. Upon coming back to Iceland, they couldn’t find a use for their PhDs.

It is really interesting to see how their mentality costed them a nation.


Pictures of India’s Lunar Mission launch

November 3, 2008

Pictures of India’s lunar mission launch. Taken from here:

India’s first Lunar Mission

September 22, 2008

India’s space program has been slowly gaining momentum. After launching numerous sattellites for commerical use, they have set their sights on the moon, literally. Their latest mission is to launch a probe to the moon. Specfically, they will jettison a device to the moon to create an impact that will result in moon dust flying around. The dust will be captured by the probe for analysis. The scientists hope to find minerals that may result in a new energy source.

This article explains it in detail.

Apparently, India’s space program has proven to be a positive investment. They claim they get a good return. This Newsweek article describes their remote sensing satellite and how it helped the people.

It argues that its space program has earned a return of $2 on every dollar invested by the government, according to Nair. For example, its remote sensing satellites, which map the Earth’s surface at a resolution of close to one meter, have helped find well water in dry regions, saving the government’s drill boring program $100 million.

That is very cool. Pres Abdul Kalam would be proud.

Stunning photos of the Large Hardron Collider @ CERN

August 3, 2008

The Large Hardron Collider is an immense undertaking by CERN and various international scientist. It is a research project to study how atoms are constructed. How do they do this? Like any child would, by smashing the object with another object.  To be precise, they race protons around a 27km “circle” and observe how the protons will collide & the resulting chaos. A particle accelerator is used to make the protons move inside this ‘circle’.  This project is said to help explain the ‘Big Bang’ which models how the Universe was created.

All the photos can be found here:

A photo:

Refreshing views from Iraq – Car enthusaists indulging themselves

July 4, 2008

Of course, I would have have to post this.

Link – It’s an article from the LA Times (posted on the Car Lounge) about Iraqi car enthusiasts finally getting to enjoy themselves along with some hair-raising stories depicting the consequences of being a car enthusaist in Iraq. Stories include being chased from Jordan to Iraq, attempted car jacking, among others. Shows how much they love their hobby that they are willing to risk their life to enjoy it and add some semblance of sanity to balance their chaotic atmosphere. Its touching.

Some pictures, courtesy of LA Times:

Iraqi dorifto??

Google Sari – found in Delhi

July 2, 2008

taken from:

Here are some more details on it:

Porsche’s Prodigy

June 21, 2008

Here’s an excellent review & technical insight on the revised Porsche 911 (997). It finally features direct injection in the engine as well as a 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox (PDK).  Another innovation would be a revolutionary oil pump that pumps oil at variable flow rate based on engine load.

The website has an excellent layout too. Be sure to watch the video about running the engine on a dyno as it simulates g-force loading. This was done to ensure the engine would be lubricated under any condition.

link to article

This is a great online magazine.

Anatomy of a Race car driver

June 17, 2008

This was from Wired magazine, its an interesting piece about the physiology of a race car driver and the amount of training that is required to drive correctly. Click the image for the article. (pic taken from the Car Lounge)

The Olympics has nothing on this!

June 16, 2008

That’s right. They have an international championship on beard grooming. Seriously. That’s right, finely groomed beards with elaborate design.

How can you not admire such works of art like this:

That’s Willi Chevalier, representing Germany, who has won this award many times, apart from the year he couldn’t compete due to an ‘unfortunate encounter with a power drill‘. Seriously.

Illilterate people delivering thousands of packages. On time everytime.

June 14, 2008

I’ve always found this interesting, the tiffin delivery system that keeps Mumbai hunger-free.  It’s been a case-study of efficiency and organization, especially considering its paper-less system nor is it ‘managed’ in the traditional sense. BBC UK even had a documentary on it!

This link describes the system in details.

On how the tiffins are identified:

Every tiffin-carrier has the mark of a circle or a flower of a specific colour and a digital identity number. Take this Tiffin Mark for example-K-BO-10-19/A/15. K is the identity letter of the dibbawala. BO means Borivali i.e. the area from where the tiffin is to be collected.. The figure of 10 refers to Nariman point area. 19/A/15 refers to the 19th Building and the 15th floor in Nariman point area where the tiffin is to be delivered. Amazing.

On its history:

this is the oldest service system in Mumbai for the basic necessity of life i.e. food. It is reported to have started somewhere in 1880-85 when the total population of Mumbai was less than ten lacs against 1.20 crores of today. Leave aside the local railway, even the buses of B.E.S.T. did not exist then. 40% of the population was Parsi. The Tiffins during those days were served on bicycles, hand-cart, bullock-cart or tanga (horse-driven carriage). Service charge at that time was two annas (twelve paisa as per the current currency) against Rs.200/- per Tiffin today.

Forbes has an interesting article on it as well.

Not only are these tiffin folks efficient, but they are charitable as well!

Rs10 goes to the Tiffinmen’s Association. After minimal expenses, the rest of the Rs50,000 a month that the Association collects go to a charitable trust that feeds the poor

Very cool. Another example of innovation being a necessity of survival.