Wednesday, October 13, 2010


The largest Indian conference in my area is being held in December, and it is indeed funny. There are over 25 people from abroad who are in the organizing committee, along with over 35 people from within India. Most of the "invited speakers" are the organizers themselves! And, 27 invited (plenary?) speakers for a three-day conference?! The schedule shows that at some times, there are three invited talks going on in parallel. To top all this, the schedule, speaker list, etc, are uploaded on the webpage as .doc files. What's the big deal in listing the list and schedule in plain html, or using whatever CMS they are using?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Finding and Searching

A beautiful portion from Hermann Hesse's Siddhartha:
"When someone is searching," said Siddhartha, "then it might easily happen that the only thing his eyes still see is that what he searches for, that he is unable to find anything, to let anything enter his mind, because he always thinks of nothing but the object of his search, because he has a goal, because he is obsessed by the goal. Searching means: having a goal. But finding means: being free, being open, having no goal. You, oh venerable one, are perhaps indeed a searcher, because, striving for your goal, there are many things you don't see, which are directly in front of your eyes."
Read the whole thing here. I hope that I can be a finder rather than a searcher in my profession.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Why I love Bodybuilding

A week from now, all top professional bodybuilders will assemble in Las Vegas for the Olympia, the ultimate bodybuilding competition. As someone who follows the sport off and on, I feel that this is an appropriate time to talk about why I like the bodybuilding lifestyle. Before I get into that, you might say that Bodybuilding is not a sport. You might say that it is like a beauty pageant. All heavy lifting and dieting bodybuilders do is in preparation for this "pageant", but there is no physical activity during the show. However, those who say this do not realize that flexing muscles on stage is something that is immensely draining physically. To get a feel, try to contract your pectorals as hard as possible.

Now that we've got terminology out of the way, let's get to the main point of this post. Bodybuilders are one of the most disciplined athletes---be it training, diet, or recovery methods. They control their cravings and eat very little junk food, have regular sleep and training schedules, all around the year. Heck, even their junk-food intake is planned. They go through hell while preparing for shows---depleted of carbohydrates, sodium, with water management so that they end up dry on the day of the show, so dry that they have visible striations on their glutes. It is this discipline and determination that I admire, and wish I had half as much discipline.

I'm not a big fan of bodybuilding shows though. Meatheads with oiled up bodies in posing trunks is not my cup of tea. Moreover, the high dose of diuretics they take to get that dry is not healthy at all. I know what you are thinking: I haven't even mentioned performance enhancing substances! Well, these downsides never take away anything from the discipline that's required to live a bodybuilding lifestyle.