Recurring Decimals…..

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Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

Thoughts on Blogging (the lack of)

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This is one of those needless, rambling posts that are totally unnecessary but yet establishes your credentials as a true blogger.

It is a truth universally (okay I exaggerate, more like by a total number of people who can be counted by fingers) known that I have never been a prolific blogger. Even keeping up an old resolution of a post-per-day has been tough.

Still, seems to me that rate of blogging has really gone down after moving to Australia. One factor has been the lack of time. My daily commute has gone up from half an hour to two hours. While this provides more time to read books, check out new music and keep updated on podcasts, sadly it eats quite a bit into writing time (or so I would like to think, the lazy-ass I am in general). Additionally, time spent traveling around and exploring this country or for social gatherings has gone up, with very few weekends (or weeknight evenings) spent idle at home. Unfortunately, the social parties aren’t terribly exciting enough to blog about but I do try to describe or at least put up pictures of the weekend nature excursions.

However, perhaps a more important reason for the dip has been the lack of clear topics to opine on. I started blogging during the hectic days when I was churning out my thesis chapters. I required a release valve from the daily drudge of technical minutiae, and blogging seemed to be a good idea. I held (still do) opinions on current affairs, pop-culture, movies, music, books etc and felt that the world needed to hear them. But in terms of books or movies, I have since found that I have little patience, or the ability, for writing full-blown reviews. Not to mention the fact that there are many exceptional talents in this department out there. If there is something I particularly like, or it is something old and not covered extensively, I put forth a recommendation. Additionally, with the people who share similar tastes in literature, movies and music, a lot of discussion also goes on off-blog.

On current affairs, I usually resist the urge of being simply an echo-chamber and linking to a story that’s done the rounds. Unless I have something new to add, or the news is compelling enough that I must let my opinion – even if a general agreement – be known, I resist from hitting the publish button. With so many people expressing the same idea, I cannot see the point of adding to the noise. The only exception is cricket, where I have quite strong feelings and the need to rant 🙂

Which brings me to a related thought. I get a feeling that after the heady growth over the last 2-3 years, the blogosphere – at least in terms of quality if not quantity – has reached a state of equilibrium. The major bloggers have been identified and in most cases their posts or opinions are quite predictable. Take the case of Al Gore winning the Nobel prize for example. As soon as I heard the news (on TV) I knew what the reaction would be from various quarters – heavy bashing from the politically right-leaning bloggers and strong support with bashing of the right-wing bashing from the left – and I was not far off. There is a definite sense of ennui when I open my bloglines.

This is not to say there is nothing refreshing out there. I still rely on bloggers more than the ‘mainstream’ for movie and book reviews/recommendations. Then there are masters of satire and wit who continue to amuse. And the truly erudite continue to challenge our intellect and induce introspection through perceptive commentary. Finally, there are the more personal bloggers, whose matching quirky tastes we love to cultivate 😉 .

But to end this pointless rambling – if not anything, to put the reader out of misery – on a rather abrupt note, just announcing that the world will be relieved of my non-blogging for the next few days. Off to Heron, an island on the southern tip of the Great Barrier Reef – snorkeling, swimming, lazing on the beach with books and with any luck, watching sea-turtles mate etc. should ensue.

Have a great weekend.

Written by BongoP'o'ndit

October 25, 2007 at 1:44 am

Posted in Blog, Personal

Announcement….

with 5 comments

Due to reasons of random absences, ignoring the state and pleas of his blogospheric subjects and other such minor and irrelevant details [1], the minions are staging a coup de’tat [2], the first of its kind in the blogosphere, overthrowing the old Lord of the Blogosphere®, and appointing Patrix as our new one.

Appointments made by the disposed Lord will continue as usual.

Pliss to hail the new Lord.

Viva la revolucion !
——

[1] Also because we have nothing better to do at the moment.

[2] Taking advantage of the current Lords MIA status on Gtalk.

Written by BongoP'o'ndit

October 10, 2007 at 7:16 pm

Posted in Blog, Fun

Not that there is anything wrong with it….

with 3 comments

..not at all. But one wonders if our Lord of the Blogosphere © is sending a subtle message here:

lifeisstrcar

(Quickly runs out of the room and hides)

Written by BongoP'o'ndit

September 11, 2007 at 6:23 pm

Posted in Blog, Fun

Science Communication in Web 2.0 Context

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My post at Scientific Curiosity, which was criminally long overdue. Discusses how Web 2.0-style portals might change paradigms in scientific communications.

Written by BongoP'o'ndit

July 3, 2007 at 9:39 pm

Posted in Blog, Science

Immense craziness….

with 2 comments

…is happening here. The whole of south India (whatever entity that is) and Tamilians everywhere are affronted. The offending of us Bongs is currently in progress.

UPDATE: The point is that we don’t want the Tamils hogging all the offense. We Bongs know how to get offended too – and it immensely offends our sensitive soul to find other people getting offended at the drop of a hat. So please, bring on your ‘Netaji was a coward’, ‘Robindronath’s rhyming was off’ , ‘Ray was so over-rated’ etc. We shall express our due outrage.

Written by BongoP'o'ndit

June 19, 2007 at 6:36 pm

Posted in Blog, Fun, LOL

Still here….

with 6 comments

For the few regulars still turning up – a note to say I haven’t fallen off from the under side of the planet. Enjoying the lovely weather and taking advantage of the very convenient walkways and river ferries to explore Brisbane. Still at a temporary hotel and internet connection is only possible from the few net-cafes (yeah, they still exist in this day and age of wireless) – hence blogging will be light till next week.

Two negative notes: Liquor prices are unbelievably high here. Leaving aside the distilled spirits, which (thanks to high import duties) are more than double the prices back in North Carolina (Smirnoff Vodka 700ml costs 37Aus$), even the cheapest six-pack of beer is 11Aus$ (~9US$). Its going to put a crimp on my regular cocktail experiments. Surprisingly though, drink prices at restaurants and bars are comparable to those in US. Go figure.
Second, cell phone plans are way too complicated – even the pre-paid ones provide too many choices.

More on the enjoyable stuff later.

Written by BongoP'o'ndit

May 31, 2007 at 10:12 pm

Posted in Blog

On the way……

with 4 comments

Currently about 1/3 of the trip done (another 3hours of wait + 14hours in air). RDU-DFW-LAX sections were tiring (I just cannot sleep sitting up) but uneventful.

A few hours at LAX, especially at their appallingly mismanaged, exceedingly chaotic International Terminal has been interesting though. Getting food (which we last about 12 hours earlier) proved to be an adventure with only one proper sitting restuarant in the whole terminal where they made us wait 30 minutes for a seat and then another 20 minutes while no servers showed up ! If there was any time in my life when I have been ready to murder someone, this has to come close.

Currenltly, however, we are well fed, having eventually ended up eating at a Japanese to-go place in the food court (even as a snatch and run, followed by a police chase was in progress !!).

As a somewhat airline geek, its fun watching the planes land now and gawking at the 747s parked at the gates. They are simply a marvel of engineering (I cant wait to lay my eyes on one of these beauts !)

And in case anyone is remotely interested, here’s my reading list for the flight:

The Kite Runner
– Khaled Hosseini
The Tipping Point – Malcolm Gladwell
System of the World – Neal Stephenson (abot 600 pages to go !)
The two latest New Yorker editions
A 50 page scientific review (for the times when I need to force sleep)

Written by BongoP'o'ndit

May 16, 2007 at 11:44 pm