Saturday, March 22, 2008

Money spent on someone else == happiness?

It's true, or so claims this study . Research done in University of British Columbia and Harvard Business School on this very unusual topic shows that money spent on another person significantly boosts happiness compared to that spent on oneself. Seems almost counter-intuitive to me, especially considering how morale boosting self-shopping is.

The more I think about it, I feel maybe there is something to this finding, after all. Another way to interpret the results is, if you spend money on people around you and keep them happy, your life will be made easier as well, and consequently, you are happier. In any case, charity is a wonderful thing, and now that there's research showing that the more you give, the happier you are, and there's no better reason to keep up the good work.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Fighting fire with fire

Scientists at Yale University have managed to fight inoperable brain cancer using a modified virus. The above picture shows the virus in green, invading the tumor cells in red. Mice that harbored various kinds of brain tumor, when treated with the virus, were completely tumor-free after three days. This is a very interesting, yet counter-intuitive idea and the dramatic results that it yields makes us hope that it can be applied to humans as well. The concept does have its drawback that the virus would infect the entire animal, and not just the tumor. Notwithstanding that, the results of this study are quite encouraging and could, we hope, improve the treatment options for human brain cancer.

Friday, March 7, 2008


You can follow this algorithm to try and come up with a fancy science name for your new tech company.

This reminds me of one of Ramesh Mahadevan's posts on algorithmic approach to Tamil verses, excerpt from which can be enjoyed below:

Rasathukku uppazhagu, vishathukku warning azhagu
pazhathukku juice azhagu, kizhathukku thadi azhagu
(Salt beautifies rasam; 'warning' beautifies poison; juice beautifies a fruit and a walking stick beautifies an old person)

Friday, February 29, 2008

Maddy and Shruti

I was delighted to find that Madhavan and Shruti Hassan have a joint project in the offing. Madhavan's previous project Evano Oruvan was an off beat attempt that portrayed the frustrations of a sincere middle class citizen. Though not a success in all dimensions, the film did win the hearts of the mainstream audience.

Shruti Rajalakshmi Hassan is a formally trained musician who is hoping to become an actress in Kollywood. She made a cameo appearance in Kamal's Hey Ram. So the next venture with Madhavan should be called her 'debut as a heroine'.

This joint venture is going to be directed by Nishikant Kamat and is tentatively named Endrendrum Punnagai. People surmise that it is going to be a romantic thriller and apparently Madhavan has to lose 6 Kgs to appear compatible with Shruti - and I know how hard it is to lose 6 pounds! Good luck Maddy.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Baby slips out from womb in train

That too, in an Indian train!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Writer Sujatha passes away

He is one of the most versatile writers who has constantly adapted his style to cater to the Tamil audience. A renowned columnist, Sujatha has worked with Kumudam, Ananda Vikatan and Kalki. A renowned novelist, stage-play writer, poet and disseminator of Science, Sujatha has also worked on many notable projects with Mani Ratnam, Kamal and Shankar. Personally, I have been often surprised to discover that most of the Tamil film dialogues that have impacted me have been penned by Sujatha. Incidentally, for the past 2 months, I have wanted to rent his movies and watch them and revel in his genius.

May his soul rest in peace.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Oscars: Is predictability a sin?

Yahoo!'s Jake Coyle feels that the predictability of last night's Oscar is "sapping the ceremony of drama". Predictability, I feel, lends more authenticity and detoxes the ceremony of randomness. I used to think Oscar awards were arbitrary, but with the predictability factor increasing, I feel it has some substance to it and is a proof of concept that the Oscar system works.

But a few surprises are always good. And Jon Stewart isn't funny to me anymore. I hope they change the host next year, at least.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

'Nepali' audio release

More images can be found here.

The song (Priya ithu sitout) is a bit vulgar for my taste and another (Sound of action) is almost completely cogged from Kill Bill's soundtrack (Ironside by Quincy Jones). Other than that, I have nothing much to say about the soundtrack. I hope the movie saves face. I like Bharath and most of his movies and owing to my faith in him, I'll probably shell out the money to watch this movie. This movie could be the last straw on the Bharath's-fan-oLi's back!

The following is one of the stills from the movie I found here:

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Slithering news

(Current Range -

If all of you living in North Texas, North Arkansas, southern Illinois, Tennessee, Kentucky, Maryland, Delaware, southern New Jersey, California, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Washington and Oregon thought you were all safe from serpent trouble, well, rethink. Global warming is going to provide the reptiles with a warm and conducive climate, and the snakes have already started to slither north.

(Projected Range -

And if you believe in God, here is something that can save you from their deadly fangs:

Sarpa raksha manthra (Prayer to protect oneself from the snakes):

Apa sarpa sarpa bhadram the Dooram gacha maha yasa
Janamejayasya yagnanthe aasthika vachanam smaran

And a little bit of the antidote might help too...

Curcumin prevents heart failure

### site tracker BEGIN ### site tracker END