Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The difference between the poor and the rich countries

I got a forward on "The difference between the poor countries and the rich ones". It says that the difference is not due to natural resources, not due to age, not because of intellectual difference, not race or skin. But
The difference is due to the attitude of the people, framed along the years by the education & the culture.

This is a true fact. I personally have realized that such attitude is common among us. How many years is it going to take understand that "Destroying public property is our own loss", "We should not meddle with others business & life", "Competition is healthy and pulling legs is unhealthy"... there's really attitude problem with majority of people from self-chosen poor countries.

The forward also lists some basic principles followed by majority of rich/developed countries' people and minority of poor/undeveloped countries'.

1. Ethics, as a basic principle.
2. Integrity.
3. Responsibility.
4. Respect to the laws & rules.
5. Respect to the rights of other citizens.
6. Work loving.
7. Strive for saving & investment.
8. Will of super action.
9. Punctuality.

I can give examples of each of the points mentioned above on how we lack those. It's quite easy.

PS: I created an animated gif image of 17 slides of ppt that I received (for you guys to peek into) . Unfortunately when I uploaded in blogspot, it converted .gif to .png, hence losing animation feature. Is there any way to upload gif image intact or is this blogspot bug?

[ The slideshow can be viewed from
http://slideshare.net/anjesh/the-difference-between-the-poor-countries. {added on Nov 4}]

Sunday, October 29, 2006

A look at the village: Close to capital, yet untouched

Today we went to Bungamati to observe the functioning Bungamati Tele-center. Newar based ancient village is just 10 KM from Kathmandu, capital of Nepal, and is one of the tourist attractions. The birth place of Rato Machindranath, Bungamati, shows that technology takes time to reach community, despite so close to the capital. The pitched, smooth road, spectacular views made our travel quite ease and didn't even give us a hint of village-like. Once inside Bungamati, the whole scenario changed - the houses, the people, the alleys, ducks running around, children, naïve environment.

Women, mostly aged, are the work force of the village, at least that's what I got from my first look. Even the tele-center operator is a woman, though a young one. I hardly saw young people. There's a UNESCO supported community learning center at Rato Machindranath Bahal. Another adjacent village, Khokana, is so close that I didn't know when I crossed it. There's a famous Karya Binayek, another popular picnic spot is also lovers point. We even felt that we reached there at wrong hour, it was 3. We didn't see anything nasty. I don't understand if these young boys and girls are modernized, but definitely not in right way.

The views from small hill, close to Karyabinayak, is also magnificent. I wonder how on earth didn't come here before. I am thinking of cycling there someday soon. Remember if you are in Kathmandu, this is definitely not-to-be-missed place.

Some photos around Bungamati through google.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Are you an Idiot?: Find yourself !

http://www.addictinggames.com/theidiottest.html is the place or game [whatever] to find your idiotic characteristics. Infact I would say it's a sort of memory game.. you have to remember instructions and of course discipline yourself to follow those instructions. I don't think "The Idiot Test" is an appropriate name for the game the creator gave. Play yourself and you will find why :-)

Tip: If the instruction says you not to press a button, don't do that but wait! U want to know why.. ok press it.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Find and feel good: Who else share your birthday?

I accidentally stumbled upon a wiki page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/February_19 which lists people born on this day, died and also some important events occurred on that day. I suppose each day is as important as any other day. Feel good if any of you out there think that you are unlucky just because you born on the day you born. Many great people share the same day.

You can create the link yourself http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/monthname_day. Or go to the end of the page (of link given above), you will see a calendar-like with links to all the days.

I don't know if I should be adding my name in that list or not. I am confused with what title to give myself - student, engineer, developer, ICT advocator.... I am going to wait till I reach decent position doing what I should be doing. If you are puzzled with 'what I should be doing' line, then read stevepavlina.com blog. And don't forget to skim through his archives. You will be enlightened.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Nepal: Expect the Unexpected

I was waiting for the office bus at 8AM. I noticed some crowd at the Narayangopal chowk, a 5 minutes walk from my home. Immediately smokes were coming out of burning tires. Almost 10/15 tires were burning. I asked few people, enjoying the scene there, for the cause. They had no answer. We, colleagues from ICIMOD, somehow managed to get Jamal but of no use. Roads were blocked at several junctions by Maoists. They were saying that blockages will get opened at 10 AM. We were happy that they kept their promise. Traffic was normal after 10.

We were seeking the reasons for what happened and approached several people. Some said that a drunk police cut the hand of maoist cadre, some explained that this was to pressurize the government to finalize the talk soon, some said that police misbehaved to the public, but it was obvious that there has to do something with the police. Even the story on eKantipur.com says that the police misbehaved. Whatever, this is definitely not going in the right direction and we are and will be the victims anyhow.

[Thanks to my Nokia 6600 mobile camera. It does come handy at times.]

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Baburam Bhattarai beaten by Upendra Devkota

I understand the title is very misleading. But this is what media would have preferred, though I am not a media-person. I was thinking of putting the title as "Dr. Baburam Bhattarai beaten by Dr. Upendra Devkota". Fortunately they were not PhD then.

Interestingly I stumbled upon the wikipedia page on Baburam Bhattarai, prominent figure of CPN(Moaists), where it was mentioned that he was once beaten by neurosurgeon Dr. Upendra Devkota in school. The sentence is equally misleading, as this blog's title. Is it Bhattarai beaten only once in his life time or beaten only once by Devkota? :)

Excerpts from Wikipedia

He always came in first position in his classes throughout his primary and secondary education. Only once, however, during a midterm exam, he was beaten by his fellow classmate, Dr Upendra Devkota a neurosergeon in Nepal.

Glass pieces from forehead: How possible is that?

Normally I don't like to blog on news stuffs but I find this really intriguing and after hearing on this case from high ranking Dr. Upendra Devkota, I thought to write some about it.

The girl, Sarita Bista, 12, from far western Nepal is now in Kathmandu for further medical investigation on emitting glass pieces from her forehead. Dr. Upendra Devkota himself is looking after the case. There are some points that I would like to highlight from Dr. Devkota comments. He said that generating glass pieces from body is totally impossible. It seems so but I don't know how much he has looked into the case and Nepal Television News didn't give much info on that.

Later he commented that this may be the case of child abuse. The girl hasn't been admitted to school yet, letting her future in darkness. It is almost sure that family is spreading the news for financial gains. I find this little too hard to digest. The way he said, it is almost certain that this is child abuse case. It would have been better to hear these comments after he'd provided proofs of this mysterious happening.

Some people, if not, I wouldn't be writing here...

Among the ten old photos of some programmers and businessmen, i like the one from Microsoft. I mean I just like the photo. Isn't that Gates in square?

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Tihar: Festival of Light

Tihar or the festival of light is the second biggest festival of Nepal (among Hindus) after dashain, which lasts for 5 days. Personally I find this festival more interesting and exciting. Walking around the city has another charm, people busy trying to decorate their houses, shops with garlands, lights, small kids firing crackers.

The illustrated image is of Diya (made of soil) and oil is used to burn the threads (we call it eta in Newari). Diya is traditional form of decorating houses however these days people use candles, colored bulbs, small animating lights. The motive is to decorate the house as much as possible to attract Laxmi, the goddess of Wealth. Is there such goddess? Well if there had been, Nepal wouldn't be among the least developed countries. The funny thing is our donors are Laxmi, why don't we pray to our donors and stick their photos in our houses instead of Laxmi. Anyways tradition is tradition. Shutup and see if Laxmi has come to your house. And keep the door open. Also keep your eyes and ears open to separate theives from Laxmi ;-)

Social Networking sites: Why they boom?

If you are little tech-suavy, you would not miss to know how popular social networking sites are these days. There's myspace.com, facebook.com, hi5.com and there are so many. I use hi5 user. I was just going through my friends list and realized that i haven't seen them for so long. So sent few messages to friends. Then I felt like going through the list of friends and many of them are still not in my list. I sent friends requests to almost 20. It's so easy to do social networking these days, there's a charm and ease with which we can contact our friends. If your friend is in other part of the world, there's no way that you will be able to get hold of him/her. Thanks to internet and social networking site, we are not missing much of our friends. As you start networking with your friends, such sites get lots of hits per day, lots means really lots. The more hits they get, the more their value is and their price grows. Can any of us imagine paying $580 millon for myspace.com, $1.56 billion for youtube.com, and facebook.com is under scrutiny of yahoo. How much does facebook cost? A billion? Will get to know in coming days.

The best part of such networking site is it's self-sustainability. Users are the backbones of such sites. Content are generated by users and as users increase more, more contents hence increasing the value. Everything is so virtual.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Strings Concert: Over before actually started

When Strings were performing their forth song, it rained so heavily that everything had to be stopped. So couldn't enjoy much. But I met so many old friends, it seemed like a get-together, which I enjoyed a lot.

The worst thing happened when somebody stole my helmet. It didn't occur to me that I should do the same. I was with a friend and had a good talk. Fortunately one bike shop was opened, bought a new helmet. Well it's a good looking, black one. Anyways I had a good time.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Strings Concert tomorrow

I will be going to Strings Concert tomorrow at IOE, Pulchowk Campus. I will go there after office, though the concert will start at 2:30PM, i heard that Strings performance will be in the evening. Hope so!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Ignorance is bliss: Who said that?

I had my mobile repaired today, which costed me 500 bucks. That's too much, considering the fact that the guy just formatted it. I don't know what and how it happened but my mobile Nokia 6600 just stopped working out-of-blue at Pokhara. The repair-man clearly said that he would take 500 if it works after resetting and if he had to re-install OS, then he would charge me Rs 800. I was assuming that everything might need to re-install. Why? Don't know. Actually I was little excited what's he going to do. And my ignorance costed me 500 bucks. Everything worked fine after that. That's not going to happen next, cause wikihow explanation does sound easy, as quoted below.
1. Turn your device off.
2. Remove SIM card and MMC card (actually, you do not need to remove these, but after format remember to format memory card and reboot phone).
3. Press (3 + * + CallButton) Together.
4. Turn your device on while you are pressing the three buttons.
5. You should now see "Formatting .." on the Screen! Leave the buttons now.

The above process does the deep reset, which means 'format and new install'. And the phone will be restored back to the way it was bought in. Wish I knew that before :-(

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Pokhara : It's a must see city

I was in Pokhara from 13 to 16 Oct, 2006. The distance is roughly 200Km from Kathmandu and it took us around 6 hours to reach there. We stayed at Lake-side resort, Sahana Resort. You could see huge Phewa Lake from the room's veranda. It was a really spectacular and incomprehensible view, especially in the morning. We visited two villages, Dhikurpokhari and Puranchour. Both trip took us around 35 minutes; though it was said that Dhikurpokhari was far than Puranchour, the pitched road made the difference negligible. The views were just magnificent as one keeps on ascending.

The boating at Phewa lake was totally splendid. It was really calm, soothing... words are not just enough, you have to feel it.

And the wonderful view of Mount Machapuchere and Annapurna himalaya range from Sarangkot (half-an-hour drive from the city). We didn't ascend to the top of Sarangkot, around 1 hour walk from the place till where transportation is possible. Anyways the views we saw were enough for us. And we also didn't have much time to walk that distance.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Wiki presentation at ICIMOD

Today we, ICIMOD, invited Bellanet resource persons to talk on Wiki, their experiences, knowledge. I was to speak on implementation portion, I have already integrated mediawiki, one of popular wiki software, in our intranet. I also gave a brief background on the usage, how to format wiki content and some features. It went fine, with quite a good number of audiences. But presonally I felt that it was a little too much comprehensive for the audiences to digest. They have no idea of Wiki at all. It went for almost an hour. Overall I find it good and informative, which is actually our primary purpose. On the other hand, we could have made this more interesting and exciting by dropping some unnecessary portions (for the beginners). Otherwise it was perfect.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Kathmandu: A death zone?

I was amazed to find out that Canada, the second largest country in terms of area (9,984,670 Km2), has an estimated population of 32 million; whereas Nepal, with an area of 141,181Km2, has an estimated population of 27 million (as of July 2005). Our population almost matches to that of Canada. These days, it is heard that there are almost 2 million or more people in the Kathmandu city (area 50.67km2) alone. Can you imagine that? Which means that there are almost 20,000,000/56.67 people per km2 that is around 394,710/km2 density. You can clearly notice that in the evening, with lots of traffic jams, crowds, smoke, dust. (I was stuck in a jam today for almost 15-20 minutes, which otherwise would take me 2 minutes) I wonder how long will it take Kathmandu to top the most polluted and crowded city. The only alternative to reduce crowd in the capital is to move capital out of Kathmandu, which does sound ridiculous. But there's no any other solution. It won't take time for us to get lung problems and so many different types of diseases. There are already such cases. I heard that almost 50 traffic policemen or more got bed-ridden at the same time a month or two back, cause smoke, dust, pollution. I don't know the exact source. It's very likely for such news. I ain't and won't be surprised at all.
Certainly it won't take long for Kathmandu to be called "a death zone".

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Google Reader! i don't miss anything now

I used to use personalized google homepage where I have subscribed to couple of tech-related sites. I used to miss a lot of articles if I happen to login a little late and sometimes even miss entire day news. I hadn't realized about rss reader, I mean I know there are but never thought of using them. ( i feel stupid for not using them before). After reading on lifehacker on google reader, I thought to give it a try and now i don't miss anything from slashdot, digg/technology, stevepavlina, yahoo news,..... did i mention lifehacker? Oops!! Thanks lifehacker.

To be happy...

We convince ourselves that life will be better once we are married, have a baby, then another.

Then we get frustrated because our children are not old enough, and that all will be well when they are older.

Then we are frustrated because they reach adolescence and we must deal with them. Surely we’ll be happier when they grow out of the teen years.

We tell ourselves our life will be better when our spouse gets his/her act together, when we have a nicer car, when we can take a vacation, when we finally retire.

The truth is that there is no better time to be happy than right now.
If not, then when?
Your life will always be full of challenges. It is better to admit as much and to decide to be happy in spite of it all.

For the longest time, it seemed that life was about to start. Real life.
But there was always some obstacle along the way, an ordeal to get through, some work to be finished, some time to be given, a bill to be paid. Then life would start.
I finally came to understand that those obstacles were life.

That point of view helped me see that there isn’t any road to happiness.
Happiness IS the road.

So, enjoy every moment.
Stop waiting for school to end, for a return to school, to lose ten pounds, to gain ten pounds, for work to begin, to get married, for Friday evening, for Sunday morning, waiting for a new car, for your mortgage to be paid off, for spring, for summer, for fall, for winter, for the first or the fifteenth of the month, for your song to be played on the radio, to die, to be reborn… before deciding to be happy.

I think I am happy now. Are you? I just love getting such forwards!!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Interesting Conversation: how do you explain god's existence?

An atheist professor of philosophy speaks to his class on the problem science has with God, The Almighty. He asks one of his new students to stand and.....

Prof: So you believe in God?
Student: Absolutely, sir.
Prof: Is God good?
Student: Sure.
Prof: Is God all-powerful?
Student: Yes.
Prof: My brother died of cancer even though he prayed to God to heal him. Most of us would attempt to help others who are ill. But God didn't. How is this God good then?
(Student is silent.)
Prof: You can't answer, can you? Let's start again, young fellow. Is God good?
Student: Yes.
Prof: Is Satan good?
Student: No.
Prof: Where does Satan come from?
Student: From...God...
Prof: That's right. Tell me son, is there evil in this world?
Student: Yes.
Prof: Evil is everywhere, isn't it? And God did make everything. Correct?
Student: Yes.
Prof: So who created evil?
(Student does not answer.)
Prof: Is there sickness? Immorality? Hatred? Ugliness? All these terrible things exist in the world, don't they?
Student: Yes, sir.
Prof: So, who created them?
(Student has no answer.)
Prof: Science says you have 5 senses you use to identify and observe the world around you. Tell me, son...Have you ever seen God?
Student: No, sir.
Prof: Tell us if you have ever heard your God?
Student: No, sir.
Prof: Have you ever felt your God, tasted your God, smelt your God? Have you ever had any sensory perception of God for that matter?
Student: No, sir. I'm afraid I haven't.
Prof: Yet you still believe in Him?
Student: Yes.
Prof: According to empirical, testable, demonstrable protocol, science says your GOD doesn't exist. What do you say to that, son?
Student: Nothing. I only have my faith.
Prof: Yes. Faith. And that is the problem science has.
Student: Professor, is there such a thing as heat?
Prof: Yes.
Student: And is there such a thing as cold?
Prof: Yes.
Student: No sir. There isn't.
(The lecture theatre becomes very quiet with this turn of events.)
Student: Sir, you can have lots of heat, even more heat, superheat, mega heat, white heat, a little heat or no heat. But we don't have anything called cold. We can hit 458 degrees below zero which is no heat, but we can't go any further after that. There is no such thing as cold. Cold is only a word we use to describe the absence of heat. We cannot measure cold. Heat is energy. Cold is not the opposite of heat, sir, just the absence of it.
(There is pin-drop silence in the lecture theatre.)
Student: What about darkness, Professor? Is there such a thing as darkness?
Prof: Yes. What is night if there isn't darkness?
Student: You're wrong again, sir. Darkness is the absence of something. You can have low light, normal light, bright light, flashing light....But if you have no light constantly, you have nothing and it's called darkness, isn't it? In reality, darkness isn't. If it were you would be able to make darkness darker, wouldn't you?
Prof: So what is the point you are making, young man?
Student: Sir, my point is your philosophical premise is flawed.
Prof: Flawed? Can you explain how?
Student: Sir, you are working on the premise of duality. You argue there is life and then there is death, a good God and a bad God. You are viewing the concept of God as something finite, something we can measure. Sir, science can't even explain a thought. It uses electricity and magnetism, but has never seen, much less fully understood either one. To view death as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive thing. Death is not the opposite of life: just the absence of it. Now tell me, Professor. Do you teach your students that they evolved from monkeys?
Prof: If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, yes, of course, I do.
Student: Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir?
(The Professor shakes his head with a smile, beginning to realize where the argument is going.)
Student: Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work and cannot even prove that this process is an on-going endeavor, are you not teaching your opinion, sir? Are you not a scientist but a preacher?
(The class is in uproar.)
Student: Is there anyone in the class who has ever seen the Professor's brain?
(The class breaks out into laughter.)
Student: Is there anyone here who has ever heard the Professor's brain, felt it, touched or smelt it? No one appears to have done so. So, according to the established rules of empirical, stable, demonstrable protocol, science says that you have no brain, sir. With all due respect, how do we then trust your lectures, sir?
(The room is silent. The professor stares at the student, his face unfathomable.)
Prof: I guess you'll have to take them on faith, son.
Student: That is it sir... The link between man & God is FAITH. That is all that keeps things moving & alive.

The forwarded email claims that this is a true event and that student is Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, the current President of India.

PS:Don't know about the source!!

Technology: now and then...

I bought a new keyboard and a new mouse, 3/4 months after having bought new ones. I was very elated to get then for quite a cheap price then, but it didn't last even 6 months. I am off to buy new one and the recent ones were little expensive than the former but overall they were quite expensive as I have to buy two keyboards and two mice( i am not sure whether mice or mouses). Anyways the point is gadgets are getting more and more cheap and yet less durable. I still remember my first keyboard, that came along with my computer almost 6 years back, lasted for almost 5 years. It was quite expensive then. Now you can get the same computer with half the price than 6 years back and with even higher specifications but less durable. But again if you are buying some quality computer then they are still expensive. Most people would try to buy the cheap ones, mainly due to lack of knowledge and also financial problems. But in the long run, they will be wasting their money on service charges. One good (or bad??) thing on buying new computers here is you get everything you need ..i mean softwares. Entire Office package and anything you want ( Maya, 3D studio, autocad, Acrobat, photoshop,.. you name it). Piracy has some thing to offer to people and yet so-seemed-boom is a curse to software company because people wouldn't understand the value of softwares.. they are getting so many things for free.