"The Chicken Egg Dilemma"

Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

Short answer: It depends. (You saw that coming, didn't you?)

Long answer: 

The answer depends on what your definition of 'egg' is.  

If you mean any egg (not specifically a 'chicken egg'), then the answer is easy--the egg came first.  There were egg-laying creatures on Earth long before the bird known as the 'chicken' ever showed up. 

If you mean not just any egg but specifically a 'chicken egg', it again depends on what your definition of 'chicken egg' is.  Is it an egg which hatches to produce a chicken, or is it an egg laid by a chicken?  If you use the latter definition, the chicken must have come first, since "an egg laid by a chicken" could not happen unless a chicken already existed (the first chicken would not have come from a chicken egg then, most likely it was a result of a mutation of another species). But using the former definition, the egg must have came first.

There is also a possibility of a third definition of a 'chicken egg', which is 'an egg laid by a chicken, which hatches into a chicken'. By this definition, the chicken came first .

Yes, circular logic is circular. 

Final Thoughts:

If you want to find out for yourself which came first, the chicken or the egg, you can perform a simple experiment.  Just follow these easy steps:
  1. Walk in to your favorite non-vegetarian restaurant. 
  2. Order one (1) chicken dish, and one (1) egg dish.
  3. Make a note of which comes first.
  4. Voila!
P.S: It doesn't really matter which came first. Both are tasty. 


"Contradictory Proverbs II (The Tale of the Spider)"

Disclaimer: The following story is based on true incidents.  Any similarities to a story known as 'the spider and the king' are accidental.  Author is aware of the story but remembered it only after writing this entire post (sans this disclaimer of course).

There's a spider in my hostel bathroom.

7 Legged spider!
I first noticed it when one night I almost walked into the web it had built over the bathroom door.  I didn't disturb it, but I did wonder about the chances of the web surviving for long.  Sure enough, by the time I awoke the next morning, the web was gone. 

Later that day, I noticed the spider building a web again, in the exact same place.  This time I didn't really think much of it (attributing it to a glitch in the Matrix or something), and the next morning, as expected, the web was gone (again). 

Now here's the strange part.  Tonight, for the third day in a row, there was the spider again, building a web in all its glory... which inspired me to write this blog post.  

There's probably a moral-of-the-story in here, but which one is it-- "Learn from thy mistakes", or "Perseverance pays"? 

Or is the answer, as always, "it depends"?


"hexium's Laws"

hexium’s Law of Research Citations:

83% of people who claim “research has shown that” can not produce citations to back their claim.

(Note: This is consistent with the law that 83% of all statistics are made up.)

hexium’s Law Research of Blogs:

Research has shown that 97.3% of all blogs are overrated.

hexium’s Law General Rule of Disclaimers

As a general rule, when people say “this is not directed at any one” or “this is not intended to offend any one”, it generally is.

Corollary (a.k.a the Law of Internet Forum Moderation):  

When people start a post with "I'll be modded down for this..." they generally won't be. 

hexium’s Law of Surveys:

For every survey, there is a survey with an equal and opposite finding.

hexium’s Law of hexium’s blog posts about hexium’s laws:

hexium will forget what other laws he intended publish in this blog post.

(But they were funny, he promises.)



Hay Guise!! 

My previous post ("Miss Steaks") was the 69th post on this blog! Just thought I'd let you guys know!  Thanks!!


Ok fine, I admit. I just wanted an excuse to use the sex on the internet (no not what you're thinking) tag.  If you got here by clicking on the tag, it worked! Muahaha.

But sorry I tricked you.  To make up for it, here's a parody of Bryan Adams's Summer of 69, dedicated to the thousands of IT professionals who fervently wake up early in the morning and travel to far away lands (i.e. Electronics City) every day for work.  Lyrics have evolved from the original post made at an "undisclosed location".  Yenjoy madi!

Shuttle #69

Got up at 6 in the mornin’
Still was runnin’ out of time
Waitin’ by the ol’ bus shed
For the shuttle #69

Me and some guys carpooled
I had a ride and we tried real hard
Some quit, and others got married
I shoulda known... EC’s quite far

Oh when I look back now
The journey seemed to last forever
And since I have a choice
Yeah I’d always wanna go by
Shuttle out of fear for my life


Ain’t no use in complainin’
Since you got a job to do
Spend the mornin’s inside the bus now
And then the evenin’s too!

Standing on the shuttle stop
Thought I’d have to wait forever
Oh I think you’d understand
I didn’t mind it whatsoever
‘Cos I was waitin’ with my future wife :) 

(Chorus) Back in the shuttle #69...

Man at any given time
Drivers drivin’ reckless
‘Round corners they turn blind
Hosur road can’t last forever - forever, no

And now the times are changin’
Look at everything that’s come and gone
Public displays of affection
Make people wonder what went wrong

Standing on the shuttle stop
You think you’d have to wait forever
But when the shuttle finally comes
You start your Hosur Road endeavor
Those are the worst times of your life

(Chorus) Back in the shuttle #69...


"Miss Steaks"

I love steaks. Yummy, tender, juicy steaks. I miss steaks big time. 


There, I said it. Miss steaks. 

You know, I’ve never understood this -- people keep telling me I am incapable of admitting I miss steaks. (And strangely, they all use ‘your’ instead of ‘you’ when they say that, as in “why don’t you ever admit your miss steaks?”.) But I love steaks. Why wouldn’t I admit I (my?) miss steaks?

Speaking of missing, if your mail is missing more than 3 vowels, you’re NOT going to get a reply from me (except maybe a link to this post).

Oops, sorry. Need context. 

It’s about this course I joined. It’s time for the new batch of applicants and everyone in the current batch (including yours truly) is being contacted for more info by the hopefuls. 

Dear hopefuls, if you contact me, I would be glad to help you out and give you more information. But if your mail reads along the lines of “lik.. .cn u plz tel me wid my stats can i get into d course????”, I’ll just consider you a looser[sic] and ignore your message. If you can't frame a half-decent English sentence then you probably shouldn't try to apply. Disclaimer: Of course, that's MY opinion. Feel free to disagree and/or get angry. Thank you for playing.

And... speaking of anger, I probably should learn to control it better. At least channel it. Not unleash it on those hardly deserving it.

And neither should I disturb people and pester them to click links when they're clearly busy working.

I blame it all on missing steaks. I guess I... I... I am the curvature of a Japanese sword...


"The Diary of Jane"

[Author's note: Yes, I know it sucks (it didn't even make it to the top 500 from over a thousand entries). Tell me only if you have something else to say. 

Typos, grammar mistakes, etc. are those of the characters, not mine. 

Also, a note to readers who might be familiar with my other (now defunct) blog and might have seen a somewhat similar (and identically titled) post: It isn't plagiarism if you yourself wrote the original.

Chapter I: Newspaper Snippet

Feb 16, 2008.
Young Software Engineer Found Dead

CHENNAI: The body of a software engineer working for a reputed company was found at his residence today, in an apparent case of suicide. The police are investigating the matter -Agencies.


Chapter II: The Note

To Jane (the only one I ever loved),

During my college days I made fun of all my friends who said they were in love. I never believed in the concept of love… until I saw you. The date was Dec 28, 2007 -- my first day in the company.

I still remember that day... your amazingly cute smile, the way you gently ran your fingers through your hair, the way you slowly and gracefully blinked your eyelids – I was bowled over!

Two long weeks passed before I finally got to talk to you. You have no idea how elated I was when I got your phone number! The sense of elation when I got a message from you, the way my hands got clumsy when you were around, the way my heart skipped a beat each time I saw you…

Yes… I was definitely in love!

Then our training period got over and you got your posting in Bangalore. When you were leaving, I tried my best to tell you about my feelings for you (it was Valentine’s Day!), but I just could not muster up the courage…

With you gone, I thought to myself, better late than never. I SMS’d you, professing my love, and waited for your reply… It never came! I tried calling you… several dozen times. You didn’t even pick up!

Don’t you want to talk to me anymore? Why are you doing this to me? Why, Jane, why? I cannot live like this…!

A wise man once said, “’tis better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all”. I don’t know if you will even know, or care, about my fate. But this will be forever true – I will always love you.

Yours forever,


P.S: Mom, Dad, I am sorry.


Chapter III: The Diary


Dear Diary,

First day in new company!! Saw a guy in the canteen today, he was cuuuute :D (I think he was checking me out, hehe). Hope I get to know him better!

Mood: hopeful


Dear Diary,

I finally talked to him today! A friend introduced us. He is a reeeally nice guy, he is as sweet as he is cute!! Seems to be a clumsy fellow tho, he dropped sambar on his shirt!

Mood: floating


Dear Diary,

Valentine’s Day! And Im alone!

Was really hoping Jack would ask me to be his Valentine :(

I know he likes me, I can tell! Poor guy, I think he’s just too scared. But that is soooooooooo cute! :D

Anyway, in the train now, will be in Bangalore tomorrow!

Mood: mixed emotions


Dear Diary,

First day in new city! And I lost my phone! :(

Mood: Bummed.



janedoe: At 50 Rupees, I think the dollars reached it's peak...
hexium: ^^ Ha Ha! Jane misuse's [sic] apostrophe's [sic]!
And you probably do too. Misused apostrophes are far too common to just sit around and ignore. In some cases it's accidental, but in most cases it's due to pure ignorance.

In fact, apostrophabuse is so common that the first rule in Strunk & White's (should that be "Strunk's & White's?" Here's a hint.) Elements of Style is on the correct use of an apostrophe.

Instead of repeating what's already been said probably hundreds of times on the internet (Internet Rule #184), I'll just leave you guys with many, many links.

Hopefully; you guy's wo'nt misuse apostrophe's anymore after reading these link's!!1one!
  • Site "The Dreaded Apostrophe" has one simple rule for when to use apostrophes -- Use an apostrophe when letters are missing.
  • At least one person thinks apostrophe abuse is due to an Alien Conspiracy (if you look hard enough you might actually be able to find the article among the ads).
Once you've gone through all the links above and you're confident you know the right way to use the apostrophe, make your way over here, here, here or here and laugh at the others who still misuse it.

Oh and I leave you with a typical Apostrophabuse example I captured on my own phone:

An example of Apostrophabuse.  Can you spot the problem?


"The Fine Art of Electronic Mail"

I received an email today which made me chuckle (the RL equivalent of "ROFL"):

Hello All,
The last mail was a mistake...
I pressed tab and then space...message sent!!!!! :(
Such gaffes can easily be avoided by applying a few simple rules. They're common sense, really. But still, some things don't become obvious until they're on the Internet (Internet rule #183: If it exists, it is on the Internet). So here are hexium's Rules for Excelling at the Fine Art of Electronic Mail*:

(* Again, these are mostly common sense. Similar guides are bound to exist elsewhere on the Internet (Internet rule #184: If it exists on the Internet, it exists elsewhere on the Internet). I didn't plagiarize them! Honest!)

1) Body First

Compose the body of the message first. Say what you want to say. Say it clearly and concisely. Don't beat around the bush; get to the point. Proof-read.

2) Subject Next

Sum up the content of the body in one line. Avoid generic subjects like "hi". If the mail is important, indicate it in the subject line.

Put yourself in the receiver's shoes and ask yourself this question -- would sheet be likely to read a mail with a subject line "heyy check dis out" among tens (or hundreds) more? Let the answer guide you in your quest for a worthy subject line!

3) CC and BCC

Be very clear about when to use CC (carbon copy) and BCC (blind carbon copy). Use CC when you think someone should be "in the loop" on something, but when it does not require any action to be taken on their part (if someone is required to take an action based on your mail, put them in the TO list). A side effect of a CC is that everyone in the TO, CC and BCC lists knows who is on the CC list. Keep that in mind.

Use BCC when someone has to be discretely copied in a mail. Maybe you don't want others to know who else is on the "list". Maybe you're forwarding crap and don't want to leak email addresses or lists (good!). Be careful though, people in the TO and CC lists may not look too kindly upon knowing you've been sneakily adding others into the conversations. Another thing to keep in mind is that when someone in the TO or CC lists does a "reply to all", the people you put in the BCC list will not be included.

4) Reply To All

When doing a reply-to-all, use some common sense. Don't unnecessarily flood the mailboxes of people who probably don't care about what smart ass-comment you have about someone else's mail. At least remove the names of people you don't know. (Note that this problem wouldn't have arisen if the sender had used BCC properly.)

Equally, don't reply only to the sender when everyone else needs to be replied to too.

5) TO

Back to my original source of laughter -- Incomplete mails. See, you can't accidentally send a mail to a blank TO list! (Assuming no CCs or BCCs, mm'kay?)

Make sure the TO field is the last field you enter before pressing the Send button.

6) Attachments

Don't send LARGE, unsolicited attachments. Even though Gmail etc. have made storage space a non-concern, there are a few unfortunate souls who have to make do with as little as 25 MiB of Exchange-Server-provided storage space. Have mercy.

7) Reply

See here it gets a little tricky. It's kinda difficult to follow rule #5 when replying to a mail, so use rule #8.

8) When in doubt, use common sense.

So there we are. There may be more, which may be appended to this list (or may be left as an exercise to the reader). Follow these rules, and you'll be fine!

Happy Emailing!


"Perfect Match"

There's no such thing as a perfect match.

But Home lites come close.


"Rules of Engagement"

In military operations, Rules of Engagement are those policies that determine when, where, and how force shall be used. One such list, supposedly developed by the CIA during the Cold War to be used by spies working in Moscow, is called The Moscow Rules.

Some of the points allegedly a part of the list are:

  • Assume nothing.
  • Murphy is right.
  • Never go against your gut; it is your operational antenna.
  • Don't look back - you are never completely alone.
  • If it feels wrong, it is wrong.
  • Maintain a natural pace.
  • Build in opportunity, but use it sparingly.
  • Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.
  • Don't harass the opposition.
  • There is no limit to a human being's ability to rationalize the truth.
  • Technology will always let you down.
While Rules of Engagements are generally for war or espionage, a surprising number of them seem to be applicable to the "I-will-marry-you-I-promise" engagements as well, don't you think? ;)



In a chat room a few weeks ago...

user1: What's that thing called where... when one hasn't thought of something for a long time, and then one day thinks about it, and suddenly that thing seems to be everywhere?
user2: synchronicity?

Since that one conversation I witnessed, synchronicity seems to be everywhere!

The same evening as the chat, a friend and I were talking about good vacation spots, and an obscure island came to mind. I remembered I had acquaintance there, who I had not been in touch with for a long time. 30 minutes later, guess who called me up! And today, as I was thinking about composing this post, the same acquaintance called again!

Another friend of mine called me up twice in the past week -- once when I was about to call sheet (I was a second away from pressing 'dial'), and once when I was typing out a text message to sheet. 'Twas creepy.

I blogged about studies abroad, and between then and now, at least 3 people have asked me for advice on 'giving the GRE' (and they were definitely unaware of the blog post).

I mentioned Russell Peters in my previous blog post, and while that post was still in drafts, a friend pinged me about Peters coming to India.

There were a lot more such incidents, which I can't remember right now.

And for complete meta-ness, the word "synchronicity" keeps coming up in sites or articles I read! It's like The Number 23 -- first it takes hold of your mind... then it takes hold of your life. (And, um, coincidentally, I watched that movie recently too.)


"Elephant in the Room"

The Elephant in the Room

Shit happens. Just because you wish it didn't happen doesn't mean that it didn't happen. Just because you pretend it never happened doesn't mean it'll go away if you don't bring it up.

Just like an elephant in a living room. It's large, it's gray, and it's just standing in the middle of the room. Everyone just pretends it doesn't exist, and just walks around it. No one talks about it. No one acknowledges its presence.

But that doesn't make the elephant un-exist. It is very much there. It is real.

Shit happens. Admit it. Accept it. Face it. Deal with it.

As the great philosopher Russell Peters always says, "be a man*!"

* or woman, as the case may be.


"Application Season"

Ah. It's that time of the year again, when everyone and their dog gets bitten by the 'study abroad' bug. Having been through the ordeal myself, I thought to myself, why not help the thousands of confused souls out there? These tips have been painstakingly compiled from mine (and others') experiences. Follow them to the letter, and you should have no problem getting into that dream university of yours!

How To Get Into Your Dream University

1. Apply As Late As Possible

One of the best kept secrets of the admissions process is that the admissions are based not on a ‘queue’ system, but rather on a ‘stack’ system – First In Last Out (FILO). Imagine a stack of papers (applications) on the admission officer’s desk. The later your application reaches them, the higher up in the stack it is. Now imagine how the committee would evaluate the admissions – the ones on the top of the stack get evaluated first! So, don’t listen to the so-called pundits who tell you to apply ‘as early as possible’. Get your application in as close to the due date as you dare.

2. Prepare a Generalized Statement of Purpose

It is not worth the time and effort to rewrite or tailor your SOP for every university you apply to. Have general statements like “I will be greatful [sic] if offered a chance to study at your esteemed institution” and “I am ideally suited for this course”. Send the same SOP to all universities.

3. Don’t go with ‘safe bets’

Safe bets are for sissies. Aim high and fly, or die.

4. Don’t Look Up The College Rankings

They’re just a money-making ploy by USNews. And the NRC is just pure evil. They haven't (as of this publication) released their rankings to the public!

5. Alphabet Soup Recommenders

For your letters of recommendation, don’t approach the professors whom you have worked with the most, and/or those who are very familiar with your work. Instead choose the ones who have the highest number of degrees on their nameplate. The unis love it when the letters contain more about your professors' qualifications than yours.

6. Give The GRE Before All Else.

Give the GRE first, and then decide what you want to do (and where) based on your score. Do NOT do the following: do your researches in advance, decide where you want to be, learn what GRE score is necessary to get you there, and go out and get that score. Start on your university list only after you get your GRE score. You may have to spend a couple hundred dollars to send them your scores through ETS, but that’s okay.

7. Do Your Own Thing

Don’t visit sites like Edulix.com. Don’t share experiences with others who have gone through (or are currently going through) similar experiences. Don’t ask the seniors currently in your target colleges about the course and facilities there. You don’t want to be biased now, do you?

Glad I could be of help. Please let me know through the comments if you found this article helpful (and/or send money). Cheers.

Statutory disclaimer: If you obey this advice, you're a moron. <-- apparently this wasn't clear enough. People seemed to be taking the article at face value.



Alright, GQ (Geekiness Quotient) Test!  What was the first thing to come into your head when you read the post title?

(a) A chirpy sound - 0 points
(b) Sylvester and Tweety - 10 points.
(c) A social networking-cum-microblogging service - 100 points.
(d) A slashdot troll - 1000 points.

If you answered (a) or (b), you need to spend more time on the interwebs.   (However, if you answered (d), you probably need to go outside more.)

Anyway, this post is about twitter, option (c).  

Twitter is a "microblogging" service -- blogging for the new ADHD-generation.  Every post (or 'tweet') is limited to 140 characters.  You're supposed to tell the world "what you're doing right now" in 140 characters or less (including punctuation), and the world is supposed to care. 

I was initially quite skeptical about twitter (... as an aside, ok, I admit... so was I about blogging too) but twitter's been in the news a lot recently and that convinced me to take a second glance.

Here are some famous use(r)s of twitter:
The Mars Phoenix Lander(!?): http://twitter.com/marsphoenix
The Los Angeles Fire Department: http://twitter.com/LAFD

Twitter was also in the news for being quicker than the traditional media in breaking news on the China earthquake, and for helping get a UC-Berkeley student out of an Egyptian jail. ([citation needed]?  GoogleSearch it yourselves.)

That being said, twitter has about 2.2 million users (and growing), and the signal-to-noise ratio on twitter (like everything on the internet, I guess) is not very high.  Penny Arcade captures the average twitter user nicely in this comic -- http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2008/4/23/.

P.S: If you still think 140 characters is too constricting, wait till you check out something like Adocu.com. It calls itself a 'nano-blogging' site, where each 'post' has to be just (and exactly) one word long. Howisthatforconstricting?

P.P.S: Um, er, well... I got me a twitter too



Friend: People in India are really afraid of an eclipse.
Me: Yeah, I dunno why. It is just an IDE, after all.


"Software Engineering: Definition"

Software Engineering (sôft'wâr' ěn'jə-nîr'ĭng) noun

1. A systematic approach to the analysis, design, implementation and maintenance of software.

2. See: "It Depends".


"Contradictory Proverbs"

Have you ever wondered how sometimes two proverbs can mean entirely opposite things, yet seem equally believable?

Here's an example:

"Out of sight, out of mind." vs. "Absence makes the heart grow fonder."

Both of them are seemingly true, so which is more correct? (Don't say "it depends".)

Here's a solution to the paradox -- let Google decide!

"Out of sight, out of mind": 998,000 results.
"Absence makes the heart grow fonder." 176,000 results.

We have a winner!

~ I don't see you any more. Ergo, you're out of my mind now. Goodbye!


"Light Reading"

Q: How much does a 'light'bulb weigh?
A: It actually weighs less than it lux.

Too subtle? Lux ~ looks. Also, lux is the SI unit of illuminance.

Sorry, that was bad. I'm sure I candela better joke. >.>


"I'm Going to be OK"


(An own composition)

The "food" doesn't agree with me; I shit three times a day
But don't worry about me, I'm going to be OK.

The language is alien; can't get a word of what they say
But don't worry about me, I'm going to be OK.

Only guys all around (and a couple might be gay)
But don't worry about me, I'm going to be OK.

Not a restaurant in sight -- not even a café
But don't worry about me, I'm going to be OK.

I suck at every sport, yet I go out and play
But don't worry about me, I'm going to be OK.

Everyone (but me) studies all night (and day)
But don't worry about me, I'm going to be OK.

The skies are either too bright, or too dull and gray
But don't worry about me, I'm going to be OK.

No internet after 12 a.m. -- "Good night!", they say
But don't worry about me, I'm going to be OK.

Just ten months over here, then I'll head to the USA
Don't worry about me -- I'm going to be OK.

Don't take seriously what I had to say.
Really. It's not bad here. It's pretty OK.

Blending fact, fiction and fantasy
It's called poetic license, OK?



(Lyrics of 3 Doors Down's "Here Without You")

A hundred days have made me older
Since the last time that I saw your pretty face
A thousand lies have made me colder
And I don't think I can look at this the same
But all the miles that separate
Disappear now when I'm dreaming of your face



My dose is blogged. I have a gold. Does anybody 'ave a gure for by stubby dose? :(


IV: Epilogue

I'm OK. I'm fine. I'm feeling better.


"A Classy Pun"

Classmate: We should have more classes on Java.
Me: Dude, Java is full of classes.

Yay, my first Java pun!

~ Bas, aaj ke liye coffee hai.


"Choosing Your Friends"

The following was written on the back of one of my notebooks:

Choose your friends by their character and your socks by their color. Choosing your socks by their character makes no sense, and choosing your friends by their color is unthinkable.

Obviously, I felt I could come up with something better:

"Choose your friends like you choose your socks -- make sure they match, and don't stink."

Update/P.S: This friendship-themed post having happened to have been posted on Friendship Day was purely a coincidence! Really!


"Learning a Language"

hexium's 4-Step process for learning a new language:

Step 1: Learn to say "I don't understand <language>"
Step 2: Learn various swear words.
Step 3: Learn to say "I love you".
Step 4: Learn the rest.

Unfortunately, this method doesn't work for computer languages. (Apparently I have to learn Java now. I always used to think it was a kind of coffee.)



Soon, everything is going to change.

Phone number.
Sleep habits.
Study habits.
Food habits.
Internet habits.
Friends' circle.


Everything changes.

But the blog remains the same...


"Thank You!"

A big thank you to everyone who wished me on my birthday.

But, an EVEN BIGGER THANK YOU to those who didn't! You saved me the trouble and the expense of inviting you to my treat!


Though it was my birthday, I didn't feel any different that day than I did the day before. I didn't magically undergo any transformation (as far as I know) at the stroke of midnight. I didn't suddenly get a +1 level up either.

In short, I don't consider birthdays to be that big a deal. A birthday is just another ordinary day. To those of you who said "but it comes just once in a year!", I have a newsflash -- so does EVERY SINGLE DAY of the year.

But if there is one thing birthdays are good for, it is for reconnecting.

Ever had a situation where you haven't contacted a close friend in a long-enough while that it would get quite awkward for you to initiate contact at that point? A birthday is a perfect way to end the impasse -- a happy birthday wish, and you're back in contact! (Make sure you don't mess it up this time!)

So, at least once a year, every year, people, "keep in touch".

Oh and that birthday cake, it is a lie. Sorry.

Update: The cake was NOT a lie! :D


"Beware of Parrots - II"

As already shown in an earlier post, parrots are nothing but dyslexic raptors, and hence, must be feared.

So, inspired by the No Raptors T-Shirt from the xkcd store, here is the official "No Parrots" T-Shirt... design. No actual T-Shirt available, sorry.

Beware of Parrots!

Bonus: You may have noticed the new blog favicon based on this image. If not, look now.


"Hello, $Random_Stranger!"


It looks like I've been linked from the outside world now!

This means that if you're reading this, you were not necessarily given this url by me, which again implies that I don't necessarily know you and that you don't necessarily know me.

Though this blog has been in existence for over a year, its readership was restricted to only a handpicked few who knew where to find it. These few too, were sworn to secrecy and made to sign an NDA (ok not really, but I did request them not to tell anyone).

So to all of you who were reading this blog with the condition, "don't spread the url around" -- well, that condition is hereby withdrawn. :)

While I'm meta-posting any way, here are a few changes made recently:

  • New feed powered by FeedBurner (Subscribe!)
  • Google Analytics tracking (I'll be watching you!)
  • Other stuff (I don't remember/don't care)
Post your bouquets in the comments, brickbats can go here. :)


P.S: If have actually been here longer than a couple weeks, consider yourself a member of a very elite club. ;)


"Great Philosophers"

My Hobby: Quote pop song lyrics with the introduction "as the great philosopher $artist once said..."


  • As the great philosopher Brian McFadden once said, "you can't lose what you never had".
  • As the great philosopher Britney Spears once said, "hit me baby, one more time!"
  • As the great philosopher Alanis Morisette once said, "isn't it ironic?"
I got a million of these, but I'm not going to post them all here. In the words of the great philosopher Rob Thomas, "I'm not crazy (I'm just a little unwell)".



(For the memetically challenged, urbandictionary is your friend.



Piracy -- The Greatest Evil Ever!!

Or so the MPAA, RIAA and the BSA would have you believe.

However, there might be some good things that come out of piracy. A non-ordered, non-exhaustive list:

  • Hardware Sales
If it wasn't for the MP3 music format, Napster and widespread music piracy, there would not be a market for MP3 players, DVD players, media-player enabled mobile phones.
  • Reading habits
Pirated paperback copies of books are available for less than one-fifth the cost of the original, (pirated) e-books are available for free.
  • Merchandise & Concert tickets
Ok the 'merchandise' part is dicey, but surely, a live concert experience can't be pirated!
  • Skill building, and future sales
Photoshop! AutoCAD! A large number of Photoshop and AutoCAD professionals acquire their skills on pirated copies of the software. When these same users of pirated software reach corporate decision-making (or at least decision-influencing) positions, they usually choose what they are familiar with. Thus, piracy leads to legitimate sales. Microsoft too, understands and embraces this principle for its Windows and Office software.
  • Spreading Culture
Check out this great video on how piracy helps spread culture!

(Author reserves the right to extend this post into something more coherent and organized at some point in the future. He was forced to post this post half-baked as it was holding back all the other super-awesome post ideas he had, because he accidentally and stupidly clicked "Publish" instead of "Save" when he first created a draft of this post, causing the title to show up in the "meta-feed" section. He then subsequently deleted the post but the link still existed and 404'd. (Well, not any more it won't.))

(Edit -- The link still 404s. Apparently I was supposed to post this in May. Well screw that.)




(Inspired by indexed)


"Beware of Parrots!"

I am now officially afraid of parrots. They look so sweet and innocent with their chirpy demeanor and their little red beaks -- but just take a closer look...

Take the word "parrot"


Divide it down the middle

P A R | R O T

Now reverse each half

P A R --> R A P

R O T --> T O R

Combine the two halves

R A P | T O R



See! Parrots are nothing but dyslexic raptors!

If you see one, run for your life!


"Dues Ex Bovina"

Ever since I posted "Bovine Intervention", I have noticed that a lot more cows seem to be getting in my way. It can't just be coincidence...

I have the following theories to explain this phenomenon:

1) I am just paying more attention to the cows because of the post.

Basically, I'm being more observant towards them since I made the post, and remembering more 'hits'.

But then, the post was made based on my observations in the first place!

2) The cows read my blog and are getting in my way just to spite me.

Yeah! That must be it!



(Earlier: Meta-, Meta-Meta-, and Meta³)

Meta Four is a pun.


You sat through 3 days of meta-discussions and all you got was a lousy figure of speech. (If you're willing to pay me, I could still get you a T-shirt.)



(aka "Meta-Three" or "Meta-Meta-Meta-")

I wrote a post ("Meta-") as an introspective post on completing one year of this blog, which made that a meta post.

Then I wrote a post wondering about why I wrote that post about this blog ("Meta-Meta-"), which made that post a meta post on a meta post.

Now I'm writing this post, commenting on how the previous post is a meta-meta- post, which makes this one a meta-meta-meta- post!

~ when will this stop?



So I wrote this post yesterday ("Meta-") about completing one year of this blog, which got me wondering -- what is the big deal? Why is there all this fuss over birthdays, anniversaries and the like?

Yes, it's been 12 whole months today, no doubt. But yesterday, it was 11 months and 29 days, and tomorrow it will be 12 month and 1 day!

12m+1d > 12m.

So shouldn't that be a greater achievement than completing 12m? But somehow, only the 'one year completion' gets glorified. It isn't fair.



Holy crap it's almost one full year since I started this blog! While this is a completely meaningless milestone, I thought it would be a good time to sit down and contemplate the reasons why I did what I did.

So after a lot of soul-searching, here's a brief list of the top 10 reasons why I started this blog (in no particular order):

1. Prior Art

A needed a place to document all my lexicological innovations, inventions ("Sheets") and theories ("It Depends") so that I can sue anyone else who tries to claim them.

2. Peer Pressure

"But mommy ALL my friends have one... can't I get one too?"

Also, the feeling of 'hah! Your blog sucks! I can do better!'

3. Pedantry

I love to make fun of the way people speak or type ("Your A Looser!!1!", "What U Dng") and I love it when people make mistakes ("Ha Ha! Mistake!"). I can't help it. I just do.

4. Practice Writing
(but I still got only a 4.5/6)

But I'm probably better now than I was when I started. Which is a good thing.

5. Poetry

I think sometimes
I need some places
To keep my rhymes
And tie my laces

6. Puns and in-jokes

Some posts will be hilarious... only to the elite ones who 'get' it. Most of you will never 'get' any (pun intended?). You are not expected to. Get over it. No Soap Radio.

7. Photography

To showcase my (non-existent) photography skillz, and also because my new cell had a camera (well it was new at that time... speaking of which -- Happy Birthday dear w810i!)

8. Propagate memes

In Soviet Russia, the internets need MOAR rickrolls and a Beowulf cluster of LOLcats! Netcraft confirms it! [citation needed]

9. Preparing for future "WTF" moments

A few years (months?) later when I read this, I will surely go "wtf was I thinking!"

Might as well ensure it happens! >.>

10. Hypocrisy

I had the enlightening realization that every human being, at sheet's core, is a hypocrite. I tried hard not to be one, and to practice what I preached, but it just wasn't possible. I hated blogs and bloggers, and yet, I am one of 'them' now. Yay! I am a hypocrite! I can 'belong'!

(Crap, that last one broke the nice P-alliteration I had going on.)


"Alternate Careers"

Over the years people have told me I'd do very well at various occupations:
- Engineer
- Lawyer
- Comedian
- Philosopher
- Procrastinator
- Detective
- Grammar Nazi
- Stalker
- Serial Killer

~ I'm already doing most of those things ('lawyer' not one of them).


"First Crush"

Ah, my first crush.

I saw her for the first time
She was with another guy
But I was smitten completely
By her gorgeous curves
She was so beautiful
A beauty contest winner
She was wearing a crown
I stared at her longingly
But all I got back was
This cold, emotionless stare

A few days later I saw her again
With a different guy this time
He was holding her in his arms
I was angry and disappointed,
Jealous and heartbroken, but
I was never gonna give her up
I was never gonna let her down

Then one fine day somehow
I summoned all my courage
Timidly I went closer to her
I put my arm around her hips
Ran my fingers down her cold back
God how sweet are you, I thought
I drew her lips closer to mine
I could feel the excitement in the air
I looked at her one last time
Then I closed my eyes

When our lips finally touched
Time seemed to stand still
My teeth felt a cold chill
I had a brain freeze
Tingling sensation on my tongue
Bittersweet orange-y taste

Ah, my first Crush. *sigh*

20080524 Update: Repaired broken linky.


"Bovine Intervention"

Who let all the cows loose on the street? X(

They're always getting in my way when I'm riding. And they move so very slowly, without a care in the world, showing no concern for the massive traffic jams they're causing.

You still ask me what's my beef with cows? :/



The hardest thing to do in the world is to frame a perfect, internally consistent lie*.

On the surface it looks to be harmless enough to tell someone a small "white lie". But if (or more likely, 'when') questioned about it, you have to make up another lie to cover up your original lie. One lie will lead to another and eventually you'll be lying buried in a pit of your own lies.

Now the truth, by definition, is internally consistent. You may forget the truth, but you don't have to make it up or remember different truths for the same event. That's another problem with lying -- you don't remember whom you've told what version of your lie. (Maybe I should invent a version control system for lies -- I could call it ClierCase**!). With a lie, it becomes tougher and tougher to maintain internal consistency the longer it goes on.

Therefore, the challenge is to create a lie that is completely and totally consistent and will stand up to any amount of scrutiny (and is not 'cake').

Protip: It helps if you convince yourself of the truthiness of the lie.

* Of course, the whole theory is bound by the HUTD, so YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary).

** This counts as prior art for any future patent applications from person(s) (other than me) for any form of version tracking or controlling system for lies.


"Post Content is True"

Post title is false.


"Wierd Weather"

The weather nowadays is weird. Weirder than the weird spelling of 'weird' in the post title. Seriously.

I've started out from home in overcast conditions, (obviously) wearing a jacket. But 15 minutes through the journey, the clouds have suddenly disappeared and it's bright sunshine. My black jacket now acts like a perfect black body, absorbing all of the sun's radiation (Physics, biyatch, should I teach you it?), and literally cooks me inside.

The same works in reverse too, I start out, wearing a T-shirt, when the skies are sunny -- and then it rains.

(On a side note, if "wet T-shirt" was the first word connection that came to your mind when you read the last sentence, I like the way you think ;) . However if you thought 'hexium in a wet T-shirt', that's... somewhat disturbing. You might want to seek help. :/ )

Back to topic -- Global Warming (sorry, "Climate Change", as you like to be called nowadays), alright, you win. I'm a believer. Now please stop doing that. It's annoying.


"Still Alive"

There haven't been too many updates for a while but yeah, I'm... still alive. Which, coincidentally, is the title of the song I am about to plug -- Still Alive by Jonathan Coulton.

I recently played a game called Portal (awesome game, go play it!) and this song (yes, a YouTube link, sue me. Also, CONTAINS SPOILERS! Do not click if you intend to play the game!) played while the ending credits rolled. The lyrics make a lot of sense in the context of the game. References to Aperture Science, cake, and Black Mesa (yes, the Black Mesa, of Half Life fame) make this song full of win.

Warning: It's an insanely catchy tune. I am not responsible if it's stuck in your head for days/weeks/months/years (OK it hasn't been a year since the song was out, but I'm pretty sure it's not going to be forgotten any time soon).

PS: The cake is a lie!

PPS: Or is it??

PPPS: Only GLaDOS knows!


"Valentine's Day Conspiracy"

In a dark, smoke filled room, sat a council of representatives.

"Dear members of the Coalition of Florists, Candy Makers and Greeting Card Manufacturers, we have gathered here today to discuss a matter of great importance!", said the gray haired gentleman who sat at the head of the table.

"As you know, the economy is collapsing and a recession is imminent. Extra cash is hard to come by and people are not willing to spend. The hardest hit by this are, of course, all of us. It is no secret that what we sell is superfluous and unnecessary, and the world would not be a worse place without us."

"Gentlemen, now it is time to take things to the next level! I have a solution which will ensure unprecedented sales of our merchandise, but it will take a massive and concerted effort from all of us, and our friends in political circles".

Hushed whispers began to spread around the room. Finally one member spoke up, "Mr. Hall, what is this solution that you speak of?"

"Mr. Archie," said Mr. Hall, "I propose that we institute one day in a year, which will be declared as the day of love. We will subtly encourage boys and girls, young and old, to profess their undying love for each other. Of course, our marketing machine will make sure that we spread the message out unequivocally -- the only way to profess your love to someone on this day is by gifting them cards, candy and flowers. Are you all with me?"

"Hear! Hear!" the crowd began to chant.

"Do you have any particular date in mind?" asked Mr. Hershey.

"As a matter of fact, indeed I do. I propose a day that is exactly nine months before Children's day which falls on November 14. I assume everyone is well acquainted with the significance of the time '9 months'", said Mr. Hall, to a loud laughter in the room. "If my calculations are correct, that gives us a date of February 14th. Our marketing guys have done some research on that date and found that it is the birthday of one St. Valentine. Since we need a catchy name for this day any way, I propose we call it Valentine's Day!"

After some amount of order had been restored in the room, Mr. Ferrero asked, "Mr. Hall, why did you mention that we need the help of our friends in political circles for the success of this Valentine's Day?"

"That's a great question! You see, our target audience is mostly the youth aged 14-24, who, given the current economy, are the most likely to spend any cash that they may have, without consideration for the greater picture. Also, this is the category that is rebellious by nature and will tend to oppose any marketing aimed at it. This is where the reverse psychology comes in. By getting political parties to oppose the concept of Valentine's Day for 'corrupting the youth', we virtually guarantee that the youth will take to it in a big way, just to 'show them who is boss'".

"That is bloody brilliant!" said Mr. Cadbury. "Let's get this thing started right now!"


"Reset Button"

I thought this xkcd comic was kind of incomplete, so I took the liberty of 'completing' it.

"Get A Plate"

Q) What should you do if you're hungry and very sleepy?

A) Get a plate


The Devil's Odometer - II

My Hobby: Taking pictures of my Activa's odometer when it shows a '666'.

That last one was a 16666.6 when I took the picture! The devil turned the last two sixes upside down! It's possessed!