Wednesday, October 31, 2007

My article featured in Nanopolitan

I am very happy that one of my articles was recently featured on Nanopolitan. For many of us in the IISc `community', it is really the one stop shop on the blogosphere.

The Sixteenth Kumari L. A. Meera Memorial Lecture

Notice is hereby given to all the readers of this humble blog that the Sixteenth Kumari L. A. Meera Memorial Lecture will take place on November 25, 2007, at 6 pm, at the Indian Institute of World Culture, B. P. Wadia Road, Basavanagudi, Bangalore. The lecture is organized by the Kumari L. A. Meera Memorial Trust, Palghat The speaker is Prof. M. S. Ananth, Director, IIT Madras. The lecture is entitled: The changing environment of higher education and some India-centric concerns.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

The wasting of Iraq

``In 1258 the Mongol generals Hulagu and Guo Kan besieged and took the city of Baghdad. They murdered its inhabitants, burned its libraries, and ravished its lands.


For the average Iraqi, there is little difference between the Mongols and the United States. Both have laid waste to their country.''

From this article on Alternet.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Work stress and heart disease

No kidding! A Canadian study has shown that stress at work can increase your chances of a heart attack. What a surprise? In any case, you can read about it here.

Why pure science?

I will never be able to put as well as Victor Weisskopf did in 1964 in article that has been reprinted by the CERN Courier in this article. Of the many wonderful things he say here, the following catches my attention:

The value of fundamental research does not lie only in the ideas it produces. If science is highly regarded and the importance of being concerned with the most up-to-date problems of fundamental research is recognized, then a spiritual climate is created which influences all other activities. An atmosphere of creativity is established which penetrates to every cultural frontier. Applied sciences and technology are forced to adjust themselves to the highest intellectual standards, which are determined in pure research; that is what attracts productive people and brings productive scientists to those countries where science is at its highest level.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Ajay Sree Chandra --- In Memoriam

I suddenly realized that as a blogger from IISc, I had not said anything about such a serious matter as the recent suicide of one of our students. Of course I did not know this student; I had no way of knowing him. But the news filled me with a cold horror and dread. More recently there has been a lot being written about the caste dimension of this sad, cruelly ironic and tragic situation. I have nothing to say about any of that. In posting this article, I want to simply lay open my door to any student of the Institute (or elsewhere?) to discuss any of their problems and I will offer whatever little I can by way of assitance, solace or counselling. Also, here are a few words of condolence to his family and his friends, although I just don't know how my words can help anyone.