Music

I came across this beautiful lecture on listening to music on Open Yale Courses-

http://oyc.yale.edu/music/musi-112/lecture-1

You can watch the lecture online or can download it too. The full list of lectures is available at http://oyc.yale.edu/music/musi-112#sessions

Open Yale Courses has a considerable amount of lectures on a myriad of subjects. Do check them out.

Part music documentary and part travelogue, the show – The Dewarists – features inspiring musicians collaborating to create original music while traveling to beautiful places. I particularly liked the song “Maya” composed by “Indian Ocean” band and sung by them along with Mohit Chauhan.

Also check the site http://thedewarists.com

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Programmers and reading

A few days back, I was looking for good videos/links to interview questions on technical topics specifically for .NET. Unfortunately Google didn’t help me much to search for the required content. In the end I bought the book of questions and answers and found it useful to go through it, rather than spending time in searching for the content on net.

I was an avid reader during school and college days.I would spend the days and nights reading a novel-be it historical or a classic. However the reading habit slowly died out as i started working for the employer. Lately I have been trying to read Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson, but I am stuck in the first chapter itself:(

Jeff Atwood (he is my favorite blogger) points out that programmers don’t read books, largely due to

  1. Programmers are addicted to computing devices, be it PC, laptop, tablet or a smart phone, and with the inefficient but relatively available internet connection, they prefer to find things online.
  2. The whole bunch of technical aspects are packed in the book, whereas the programmer would be interested to find out about the problem at hand.
  3. it does take a fair amount of time to read the whole book- and people don’t have time in this digital era.

I found stack overflow the right Q&A site for technical questions. Quora is a great Q&A site if you want to look for some specific content or if you are looking for an answer to a specific question.

The world has changed…

A few years back (dont remmeber the exact time; am I losing memory?) when I was in Pune, I had this thought that the world has changed – especially for the women, when I saw a girl with a laptop in a park. This image is a reflection of the same thought.

What do you think about this image? Does it make you think about the surroundings that have chnaged? I am eager to know your thoughts.

BTW, do check out the biography of “Lady with the lamp“.

TED talks

Movies have always fascinated me, especially the animation movies. The Hollywood movies have used animation/graphics to a greater degree to simulate the real-life scenes. We are at times surprised by the thought of how the production team must have taken the shots and created the scenes. As an audience, it amuses me and makes me think about it. I wonder how they must have taken the shots – at times mixing the real-life scenes with the animated ones.

Here are 2 TED talks in which the speakers share their experience about behind the scenes of making a movie.

The first one is by Andrew Stanton, the writer of “Toy Story” and writer/director of “Wall-e” (BTW, Wall-e is my one of the favorite animation movies). An academy award winner, h

e shares his views about story-telling.

http://www.ted.com/talks/andrew_stanton_the_clues_to_a_great_story.html

The second one is by Rob Legato, who created movie effects  in the films like Apollo 13, Titanic and Hugo.

http://www.ted.com/talks/rob_legato_the_art_of_creating_awe.html

and do visit the TED website http://www.ted.com for more interesting and fascinating talks.

Google Art Project

Google has some of the amazing projects, one of them being the ambitious Google Library Project (now known as Google Books). Recently I stumbled upon Google Art Project. It provides a virtual experience of around 150 museums around the world.

This project has artworks of 2 Indian museums – National Gallery of Modern Arts, New Delhi and National Museum, Delhi.

Go check it out.

Writing an essay

When I remember the good old school days, one thing that comes to my mind is the writing of the essays. Every time we approached vacation the language teacher would ask us to write about our plans about how we would spend our vacation. And again write about how we spent it post-vacation. This was the case for the festivals too. Not to mention the exam time when we had to write an essay on a given list of choice.

In general the essay would consist of the topic sentence, introductory paragraph, supporting paragraphs and conclusion. The conclusion/moral was the necessary or rather the compulsory part of the essay/story. Every story was to have to have the moral as if it was the necessary evil. Akshar writes more about the moral of the story here.

In his article on the age of the essay, Paul Graham reflects on the way essay has been written for ages- detailing the way we have come to write the essay, while also talking about what an essay really is.

Paul rightly points out that writing an essay has become synonymous to writing about English literature and symbolism in Dickens, rather than taking an imaginative ride with the author and enjoying it.

He also says that the reader should find something interesting and should surprise the reader (and to some extent the author himself). This will make the reader feel that he/she has got/learnt something and would make him/her come back to read more.

Drawing a conclusion is not necessarily the part of the essay. I would say its better to let reader draw his own conclusion, rather than forcing the author’s one.

The Internet has provided the immense opportunity for the common man to write about their views/opnions and essays. Certainly the blogs have provided a good platform for it.

My blog post is one such an essay. Now this is surprising even for me-I didn’t realize it when I started writing this post:)