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A Jan Koum anecdote

I never met Jan Koum during my 8 years in Yahoo. I met Brian Acton during his days with Yahoo! Shopping (or was it Yahoo! Finance?) There’s a funny anecdote I remember about Jan though. The year was 1999. Squarely in the middle of the dot-com boom days. Yahoo’s offices were in 3420 Central Expressway, Santa Clara. […]

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Pic courtesy thelaughingstork.com

The original model of western education

A history professor from Colorado State University (Jonathan Rees) wrote a hysterical anti-MOOC rant (The MOOC racket) in Slate 6 weeks ago. As I pored through the comments and mined 12 super-interesting perspectives, captured on the TechSangam blog) – 12 MOOC perspectives you may not have heard of. Not directly relevant to the MOOC debate but still very educational, […]

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Pic courtesy sourceforge.net

Hale naayi-ge hosa tricksu kalisa bahudu – ondu chikka storyu

English translation of title: You CAN teach an old dog new tricks – one small story! A few months ago, I finally enrolled for a Kannada Learning class. 4 1/2 years after moving to Bangalore, the time had finally arrived. 4 weekends (8 classes  2 hours each) conducted in the apartment common room – it couldn’t […]

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Pic via Muhammad Ali's Facebook Page

What does it take to float like a butterfly?

Q: What does it take to float like a butterfly? A: [Randy Smith on Facebook] It is a humble and meek beginning as a caterpillar. Then one must willingly submit to the transformation process in the cocoon. And finally now it must break free of it’s constraints in the cocoon to become the butterfly it […]

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Pic courtesy vanwageningen.net

The Zoo-enslaved Panther’s Ritual Dance

I forget where I found the extract below. But it instantly transported me to the last trip to Mysore Zoo – the description couldn’t be more spot-on. The desperation of a life in captivity is perhaps conveyed best in Rainer Maria Rilke’s poem “The Panther”: As the animal “paces in cramped circles, over and over,” […]

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Swami Vivekananda (Pic courtesy jnanajyoti.com)

Backstory on John D. Rockefeller’s First Public Donation

My most inspired Kindle purchase in 2012 (for a ‘princely’ sum of $1.99) was The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda. Last night I learnt that John D. Rockefeller’s first meeting with Swami Vivekananda (as recorded in Madame Verdier’s journey in New Discoveries) served as a trigger to the former’s first ever donation for public good – wow! […]

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An Aboriginal Didgeridoo player (Pic courtesy didjshop.com)

Finally… Australia to acknowledge that Aborigines were there earlier

Eleven years ago, my wife and I made our first (and so far only) trip to Australia. A two-week trip spent largely in the Melbourne area and two days in Sydney. Australia lived up to its promise of a vast beautiful country — beaches, mountains, countryside, the works. The pleasure of walking around downtown Melbourne […]

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Pic #3: left side cup unchanged, right side rotated 90 degrees

Coffee Cups at Foodys Bangalore

These days I’ve been getting my daily coffee fix at Foody’s on Nanjappa Road, Shantinagar (off Double Road). It’s right opposite the quirky and charming Jaaga, which has been serving as my office for the past two months. Don’t let “right opposite” fool you – one still needs to cross the formidable Double Road twice and need to […]

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Pic: courtesy upenn.edu

Why language matters in India

A few weeks ago we went roller skate shopping for our older son. We avoided all the fancy sports outlet chains (who only stock skates with    integrated shoes – such a scam!) After visiting a few mom-and-pop stores we went to the store where we would eventually make our purchase. Our family was conversing […]

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Clara Myrtle Grey Bird (1900-1988), photo taken in 1917. No relation to "Clara Huling" but most relevant Google Images 'period' match

Searching for Clara W. Huling – a digital archeology dig

When my second batch of friends arrived a few months ago, the most interesting book was The Complete Works of O. Henry. O Henry, which happens to be the pen name of William Sydney Porter was an American writer (from the late nineteenth century era) who mostly wrote short stories, stories known for their wit, wordplay, […]

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