Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Minnesota Bridge Collapse

I received a link containing closeup pictures of the I-35W bridge collapse, courtesy of the Minnesota Society of Professional Engineers. Keeping the victims in our thoughts and prayers, we need to ask the question, "How can we prevent similar tragedies in the future ?". The transportation infrastructure in the US faces enormous challenges everyday. Of the 597,340 highway bridges in the US, a significant number, 73,784 (12.35%) are listed as structrually deficient. (Bureau of Transportation Statistics). I hope the powers-in-question pay some serious attention to this issue.

Monday, August 06, 2007

The future of Real Estate searches

I have come across two interesting websites, Trulia and Zillow in the last two weeks. Both websites have taken upon themselves the task of collecting, organizing, presenting and analyzing real estate data in the United States. Both seem to be at the startup phase and the end users will benefit from the competition. Trulia has been started by two MBA grads from Stanford and uses the Google Maps API to spatially display the results of searches. Zillow relies upon MSN Virtual Earth for the same. Both websites maintain blogs as well. I will be blogging about the good and bad of each in my future posts.

Check out the offical blogs at

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Today's hero - Mr. Solar Engineer, Hanuman Ram

In Gudda, a village with very little, residents are literally beaming. Just two years ago, villagers had never seen light after dark, unless it came from the moon. Then, solar light arrived and changed everything.
Read on...

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Can this Tour Suck any more ?

Yesterday, I said
"Hopefully, Michael Rasmussen, the current leader would not test positive for anything."

But then :

Tour de France Continues After Michael Rasmussen Is Sent Home Under Cloud of Doping Suspicion

Can this suck any more ?

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Tour De France 2007

Two years ago, Tour De France fever was at its peak. Like most others, I had waited expectantly for Lance Armstrong to finish with the maillot jaune. And he did. For the past two years however, the race has been plagued by one doping scandal after another. Even last year, I was cheering for Floyd Landis when he stunned everyone with his amazing breakaway attack on Stage 17. This year is a different story however. After Vino and his team dropped out on Monday, the race more doomed than ever. Hopefully, Michael Rasmussen, the current leader would not test positive for anything.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Let us help

1. Hokie Memorial Fund

The fund will be used to cover expenses including but not limited to:

  • Grief counseling
  • Memorials
  • Communication expenses
  • Comfort expenses
  • Incidental needs
2. Wear Orange and Maroon on Friday (April 18th) to show our support for the Virginia Tech Community

3. Share stories and memories of the victims.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

We will miss you Dr. Loganathan!

Yesterday, a gunman went on a rampage and killed 33 people including himself. One of the deceased included Dr. GV Loganathan, my Master's thesis advisor. The news has not sunk in yet. Suddenly, I am reminded of my M.S. days (1999-2001) at VT. Fondly called as GV by his friends and peers, his day would start at 7 AM and would end at almost 12. Sometimes, I would email him stuff at 2 AM and I would receive a reply in 15 minutes. He was an extremely intelligent person but his humility would fool the casual observer. He was an excellent teacher and advisor. More importantly, he really cared for his students. When my regular source of financial funding dried out, he went out of his way to secure additional funding sources. I have heard of similar stories from other ex-Loganathanites. He had bookshelves full of books and was always looking to pass them on. I had met him last in 2003. He had emailed me recently congratulating me on my marriage.

Until this morning, I did not know that the V in his name stands for Vasudevan. I did not know the names of his two daughters. I knew nothing about his family in India. I did not know that he joked about being buried in VT grounds. I wish I did not know these things.

Suddenly the web is abuzz with analysis and opinions. I am all for constructive analysis. What are the circumstances that would alienate someone and fill them with hatred ? Should ownership laws of lethal fireams be revised ? However, let us not respond to hatred with more hatred.

My very first class under him was Advanced Hydrology. Yesterday, he died teaching that class. I learnt a lot from him personally and professionally. I will cherish those memories for the rest of my life.

Words are inadequate.
Hatred is wasteful.
A good teacher lives forever.

May his soul rest in peace. My prayers are with the families and friends of the victims.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Blogger's block

Blogger's Block - That should be the word for this generation. I can't believe I waited 6 months for a new post. How Lame!

2007 is a new year. Personally, it has ushered in a lot of changes into my life. Marriage used to be a scary word a few years ago. Now, I use sentences like "During our marriage... blah blah".

2007 is a new year. India is out of the World Cup before you could say Bangladesh

2007 is a new year. Global warming is becoming a buzz word.

2007 is a new year. My company is moving to a new building in Reston.

2007 is a new year. The last of the Potter Tomes will be out in July.

So on and so forth...
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