Sunday, November 20, 2011

Do these buildings look real to you?

We spent the last few days at the Infosys Training center in Mysore at the India Urban Conference that was a great chance to meet fascinating people.  The site, like the conference itself, was large and sprawling. Here are some shots of some buildings that seemed, even right next to them, not to be quite real.
Looks like it could on top of a cake, don't you think?
The top of the facade seems a bit too abrupt for me.
A huge building.
Yes, this is India ... outside of Mysore.
Sorry there haven't been many posts lately, too busy doing other things. But I will try to post more in the upcoming several weeks and months, with writing along with more pictures, as I'm wrapping up my job at CSTEP and moving on to new adventures (but still in India, for a while).

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Ganesh Chaturthi this year

Somehow this didn't get posted in September, so we are on the next holiday, but I'll put these up now anyway.
It's time for the big Ganesh festival again, with decorated idols and offerings of his favorite foods. We were invited to spend the day in the house of our driver, where we participated in the puja and partook of the food.
Everyone took turns at the puja.

 Including me:

Farewell to Steve Jobs

There are all kinds of great articles (and images) all over the Web paying tribute to Steve Jobs, and although I can't hope to be very original, I feel like I must join in. He blended technology and design in such an artful way to produce elegant products and services that let us focus on what we want to do, not how to do it.  We can only hope that his spirit (and products) will live on in others who will continue to innovate ... but maybe yell a little less.  

Some of my favorite statements (thanks to the Huffington Post, that provides a lot more): 
"Picasso had a saying: 'Good artists copy, great artists steal.' We have always been shameless about stealing great ideas...I think part of what made the Macintosh great was that the people working on it were musicians, poets, artists, zoologists and historians who also happened to be the best computer scientists in the world."
-- 1994
"That's been one of my mantras -- focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it's worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains."
-- BusinessWeek interview, May 1998
"Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything -- all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart. ... Stay hungry. Stay foolish."
-- Stanford University commencement address, June 2005.

--written on a MacBook Pro ....

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Some sights on the streets of DC

During a recent short trip to DC I saw these sights and had to share them.  Things getting scarier by the day.

On a rainy street.

 Obama is the tyrant? Seems to me that he may not be that effective a leader, but tyrant is not what I would call him.
More proof of the range of wackos found in America today.  Yikes.  A reason to stay in India?

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Welcome back to Bangalore

The end of an active monsoon means roads that are converted into lakes of different sizes. Here are some images of our trip back from the airport to Jakkur, and then our road (which doesn't have a name that I know of).

Driving from the airport .... on Bellary Road converted to a lake in several sections.

Then, folks are trying to fix the road by pouring in construction garbage and trying to roll it into a road.

Some images from the protests

Mr. Hazare is eating again, and there is debate in Parliament about corruption, but my expectations are pretty low. However, it was quite something to see so many people energized, here are some images from around town.
Lots of signs and billboards.
Impromptu marches of students.
Walking, two-wheelers.
Around many cities, students took to their bikes to drive around town to inform folks about the movement.
I didn't see any of the human chains that appeared in some parts of Bangalore, nor did I go to Freedom Park, where folks here were gathering, and which had its own group of folks fasting. Brilliant images used -- truly sacred -- Gandhi and the Indian flag.
Tee-shirts worn in support.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Anti-corruption protests throughout india

Hello to all, sorry for the long absence ... a bout of bronchitis and travel both contributed, along with lots of turbulence all around. The world economy continues in a mess, silly US political debate and economic policies ensure a double dip recession, European tension threatens the existence of the Euro, and I'm convinced that some weird anti=matter cloud has enveloped Bangalore and caused irrationality to rule (even more than usual). For example, Yeddy says that he is joining the Anna anti-corruption fight. Huh? One of the most corrupt chief ministers saying he is going to the join the swelling anti-corruption movement.

Anyway, for those of you not in India, you need some background. And this is perhaps an amazing positive thing -- India this weekend is a country with protests and marches all over the country supporting an old man (Anna Hazare) on a hunger strike, fighting corruption. He is effectively invoking Gandhi in image and style, and I think these are the largest protests nationwide since Independence. NDTV, a leading Indian television channel, I think provides some of the best coverage, at least images. TimesNow provides more too.

Today is 6th day of his hunger strike, and the government is boxed in but doesn't want to give in. While many can correctly note that most of the protesters are middle or upper middle class in an attempt to downplay the scale or importance of the protests, that doesn't mean that it isn't relevant. However, within the Indian political discourse, this is like the kiss of death. The poor are courted for their votes -- since there are SO many of the time -- while the rich have access to influence policy, but the middle class -- which is growing rapidly as a result of booming growth, but generally criticized for apathy, and now lashing out in anger -- generally have been ignored. Indian representative democracy seems to forget people in between elections.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

A Sunday in North Bangalore

A lovely, breezy Sunday here in North Bangalore. A nice day to take a walk and see the latest is in the struggle to connect roads and walking paths. What do we see: Lots of construction, bad roads, construction blocking the walk to the village, and water tankers. Here is a walk down the street, such as it is:
Big fancy house to the right, detail below. Also note the realty sign on the left, with detail provide below the big house.
This isn't to advertise, just to let folks know that this is the development that is blocking the link to the main road to the village and layout behind it.
Continuing the walk down the street, we can see the tea stall at the left amidst the construction.The informal sector like this provides needed services to all levels of the population, in this case security guards, drivers, and construction workers.
Next, we see the construction moving along on the right side, while the raw materials for the construction (and some of the construction workers) are on "street" on the left.

Then we encounter the problem. New construction for those seven luxury homes blocking the path to the village. So these woman who had been walking to go to the village encounter a wall and security guards.
The guards from other areas come out too as an argument ensues.
To the left, the big hole that precedes construction of those luxury homes.
Then the women give up and have to go around the long way.
On the road they pass by multiple water tanker trucks.

The water tanker filling up the tank.
Another one coming.
And street dogs, of course, omnipresent along with the water tankers.
A side street in the making. Yet another big fancy house at the end, with the workers' huts in front.

Back to the main road, with its mini-lakes showing how much it rained earlier.
Inside the gates, our lives are easy. Passionfruit is starting to emerge from the vines ....
And the kids play cricket ....
With the recycling woman with her bags of recyclables working hard.