Controlled Randomness

A random collection of things I come across.

Monday, September 07, 2009

River crossing

Thursday, April 09, 2009

We're Linux

From a competition run by the Linux Foundation (Link)

The winner:

1st runner-up:

2nd runner-up:

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Pinnochio Paradox

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Chinese food == Linux ??

Funny and informative talk by Jennifer Lee of NYTimes on how "chinese" food in America is not really authentic Chinese food. Fortune cookies, one of the distinctive symbols of Chinese restaurants in USA, is of Japanese origin!! A similar 'localization' of Chinese food has happened in India with the "Manchurian" dishes. And, as described the talk,
this localization phenomenon is wide-spread around the world.

Jennifer compares the growth, variety and spread of Chinese food to that of Linux. And, McDonalds is the Microsoft of food!!

Jennifer is also the first person I have come across with a number in her name "Jennifer 8 Lee". I wonder if its the Chinese equivalent of King George VIII.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


If you follow financial news, you will often come across the terms "profits exceeded the forecast" or "profits were below analysts' forecast", especially while discussing quarterly/annual results. The stock price fluctuates accordingly. I keep thinking to myself "why can't the analysts get it right?". Most news articles, however, are written to implicitly imply that it was the company's fault to not match the forecast. In my opinion, it should probably the other way round: we should criticize the so-called experts/analysts for their incorrect forecasts.

Some related thoughts on this:
* The analyst (or his firm) could possibly profit in the stock market by deliberately supplying misleading forecasts. My guess is that there are some regulations (from agencies such as the SEC) to prevent this.
* Is there a stock-price type indicator for the analysts performance: higher price for more accurate forecasts.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Poetry in perl

Though leaves are many, the root is one;
Through all the lying days of my youth
I swayed my leaves and flowers in the sun;
Now I may wither into the truth

written in Perl as

while ($leaves > 1) {
$root = 1;
foreach($lyingdays{'myyouth'}) {
sway($leaves, $flowers);
while ($i > $truth) {
sub sway {
my ($leaves, $flowers) = @_;
die unless $^O =~ /sun/i;
See more examples at Perl Poetry Contest

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Wingsuit base jumping!

Watch this amazing video! Scary and thrilling at the same time. Apparently its from the movie "Seven Sunny Days

wingsuit base jumping from Ali on Vimeo.