RIP Arthur O. Sulzberger

First off, sorry for not having posted updates for a while. I had to channel my complete focus on a mathematical problem that has been bugging me for a while. It has to do with Theoretical Physics of course. I know the answer is within my reach and once I am satisfied with my solution I will talk about it right here. For the moment though, I would like to continue with the Prometheus analysis theme right after this post.

Arthur O. Sulzberger 1926-2012

I am sure anyone who reads The New York Times regularly would know Arthur O. Sulzberger. He breathed his last yesterday at his home on Southampton, New York. I have been reading NYT regularly since the September 11 attacks. Apart from general reporting, I love the Opinion and Editorial section. Oh, how can I forget the Crosswords. The Gray Lady is one of the greatest newspapers on the planet in my opinion. It’s history, what it has done for journalism, and the fact that it is the newspaper of record just goes on to show why it should be read by anyone, regardless of where one belongs in the political spectrum.

The New York Times – September 12th, 2001

This is the main reason why I wanted to talk a bit about Arthur O. Sulzberger. He is credited for having made NYT to what it is today. During his tenure NYT won 31 Pulitzer prizes and expanded from a traditional, family owned paper to a nationally and perhaps, internationally important paper. But what he did to the First Amendment movement in America is something that can never be forgotten. Going against outside counsel he published The Pentagon Papers. Doing so, he stood up against the Nixon administration effectively showing that everyone is accountable, be it a normal citizen or the President of the United States.

American politics fascinates me. I have been following it almost religiously since the 2000 presidential elections. Primary season, conventions and the general elections are a time period of great excitement for me. I am so looking forward to the general elections this year. So, it was natural that I had a great interest to learn more about the political climate in the 60’s and the 70’s. It’s what led me to The Pentagon Papers and appreciate the role played by The New York Times and Washington Post. That’s why I consider Arthur O. Sulzberger one of the  pioneers in journalism and is definitely one of my heroes.

I would like to take this moment and say, Mr. Sulzberger, Rest in Peace. Your contributions will never be forgotten. Have a great journey Sir.

My Top Five – Visual Post

Prometheus Part V comes up in the next post. For the moment, just thought of talking about something related. These are my top five SciFi/Action ladies of all time. Of course there are many such tough babes, but these five are simply the best when it comes to kick asses.

5. Fox & Salt – Wanted & Salt

Fox – Screenrant

Salt – Fanpop

4. The Bride – Kill Bill Series

The Bride – Popcrunch

3. Trinity – The Matrix Trilogy

Trinity – Jaymckinnon.com

2. Sarah Connor – The Terminator Series

Sarah Connor – Nerd Bastards

1. Ellen Ripley – Alien Quadrilogy

Ellen Ripley

 

RIP Neil Armstrong

Thought of taking a moment to remember Neil Armstrong. Just read that he passed away today due to complications from cardiovascular surgery. As I look at the poster of him on the moon right next to my desk at home, I am reminded of how big an inspiration he is for me. What he did will always be remembered as one of the defining moments of  our human history. One giant loss for mankind indeed. RIP Sir.

One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind! – RIP Sir

Going to light a candle in his memory.

Challenger Disaster – New Super 8 Footage

In an effort to satisfy my guilty pleasure, I was at huffingtonpost a few moments ago and I found this article and video. The video is exclusively licensed to huffingtonpost.

Jeffrey Ault, from Orange City, Florida was visiting Kennedy Space Center, round about the time when Challenger was to be launched. He recorded this footage using his Super 8 camera and your could see clearly the chain of events starting from the launch to the explosion of the shuttle. There are some chilling stuff heard during the video, like a woman screaming right when the shuttle explodes and Steve Nesbitt telling about the obvious major malfunction.

Click on the image to get to huffingtonpost for the video and the article.

Challenger Amateur Video - huffingtonpost

Challenger Amateur Video - huffingtonpost

One of the saddest events in human history.

Erratum

Erratum

Erratum

Sorry for the inactivity folks. Tied up with some personal stuff. Have some free time today. That means, updates!

Before going any further, I would like to apologize for an error related to the Bell Labs creepy picture that I have discussed quite extensively in some of my previous posts. You see, it was Don Monroe, one of my blog visitors, who led me to the NY Times piece on Bell Labs innovation, which is where the picture appeared for the first time in color. But, Don said that he is confused about the picture, since, he had worked for a long time in Bell Labs in New Jersey and he wasn’t sure if it was Bell Labs at all, although, some of the features did look similar. He also added that some of his former co-workers were scratching their heads as well.

A couple of days after I had put the news about the NY Times article here, I revisited the article only to find the famous picture replaced by a picture of Echo, the first communications satellite. It was clear that there was an issue. On March 4th, it was confirmed when NY Times posted a correction about the picture, which can be read in the following link.

March 4 – NY Times Corrections

Here’s the quote, if you are bored to browse the article.

The cover photograph last Sunday with an opinion essay about Bell Labs and its contributions to scientific and technological innovation was published in error. The picture, from Magnum Photos, most likely showed workers at Allied Chemical in 1967 — not at Bell Labs in New Jersey in 1966. The photograph had been incorrectly labeled in the studio of the photographer, Elliott Erwitt.

So, there you have it. The photograph comes most likely from Allied Chemical. Hopefully, it should be right this time. Whatever may be the source, the awesomeness of the photo still holds.

Again, thanks to Don for following it up and letting me know about the Corrections.

Book List 2012 – The Bed of Procrustes

A short post for now. I got The Bed of Procrustes: Philosophical and Practical Aphorisms by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. I have a long night ahead of me tonight and I will post my detailed thoughts about the book later. Since it’s a collection of aphorisms, you can complete this book in one sitting in all of an hour. There are pretty excellent gems in there.

The Bed of Procrustes: Philosophical and Practical Aphorisms

More coming later…..

Book List 2012 – Flipnosis

Flipnosis - Kevin Dutton

I just wanted to talk a bit about another book that I had time to thumb through at the airport before flying back to Stuttgart. It’s called Flipnosis: The Art of Split-Second Persuasion, by Kevin Dutton. I just managed to read a few pages and it was ok. But, I am not sure if it would be better than another great book with a similar theme, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, by Robert B. Cialdini. I read Influence three years ago. In addition to presenting various cases, Cialdini tries to explain the reasoning behind people’s subjection to persuasion. Hence, it felt complete and I had a great time reading it.

Influence - Robert B. Cialdini

On the other hand, Flipnosis reads like an accumulation of many examples of persuasion, at least that’s the impression I have right now. Hence, I will reserve judgment until later. Regardless, I just wanted to put it out there. If, for some reason you come across Cialdini’s Influence, indulge yourselves. It is a great book. I will update this post when I am done with Flipnosis. A funny exchange in the Introduction gave me a good chuckle though. I am sure that some of you would know it already, but I read about this for the first time. It went something like this:

Flight Attendant: " Mr. Ali, please put your seat belt on, we are about to take off."
Muhammad Ali: " Superman don't need no seat belt!"
Flight Attendant: "Superman don't need no airplane!"

Hopefully, I can find the book at my favorite bookshop and read more tomorrow. More on this later.

Showcase Wallpaper and More

Now that I am back in a secure, faster network, I can post the wallpaper as promised. As mentioned earlier, the picture was taken at Bell Labs in New Jersey. The year was 1966. It was taken by the photographer Elliott Erwitt. The picture is full of win and awesomeness, if you ask me. Anyway, click on the thumbnail for full view.

Bell Labs - New Jersey - 1966 by Elliott Erwitt

You can go here for more.

On a related note, you guys are probably familiar with Intel Museum. It gives you a fascinating view of life and research at Intel during the early years. If I travel to the States, visiting the museum will be right on top of my priority list. Look at one of the pictures from the archives. How awesome is this? Miniskirts FTW! It’s like Star Trek Yeoman’s, only this time in all white ensemble. Click on the picture to go to gizmodo for an article about Intel fashion scene then.

Miniskirts are the bomb!

I particularly like one comment over there at gizmodo. Grindhouse Murders commented that she is Snooki’s mom! LOL!

Book List 2011 – Special Entry: Go Rin No Sho

Miyamoto Musashi

If you don’t know about Miyamoto Musashi, then there is no reason to live! He was a rōnin, a samurai warrior without a master. He is renowned for his swordsmanship and numerous battles with other warriors. It is absolutely fascinating to read about his life and the way he went about conquering others with his strategy and skill. Anyone with even a marginal interest in martial arts must read about Musashi and his teachings.

Go Rin No Sho or as it is famously known as The Book of Five Rings is not just a book about martial arts or the technique of the sword. It is a book about strategy and tactics. Musashi talks about his early life and then expands on his self learning. He talks about strategy being the key element of the warrior mindset. Various aspects of strategy are presented in the five books, Ground, Water, Fire, Wind and Void. Each book talks about the preparation of the warrior and emphasizes strategic thinking, timing  etc.

Go Rin No Sho - The Book of Five Rings

I have read this book earlier. But I read it again last year, so thought of mentioning.

Overall, this is a book that you would consider as one of the most important books in your book collection. Give it a shot and see for yourself. This book is used extensively in business as well, since the strategic aspects discussed can be used in any form of profession. Besides, it is Miyamoto freaking Musashi we are talking about.

If you go to Japan, you would see the full extent of his influence. There have been multiple movies made on his life and his popularity is still intact. A fantastic documentary about Musashi aired on the History Channel sometime back. It gives you a quick introduction about the man and why his teachings are extremely valuable even today. It was hosted by Mark Dacascos. It is a must see. The full 88 minutes doc is available on youtube and am ebedding the video right here. Credit goes to ProcoTopoLoco.

I loved the documentary.

My Friday wear

Just a lame post before crashing. This is my traditional Friday wear (seen here in my old office). Scotty takes precedence when engaging in hardware hacks and Spock it is when coding. It’s a bit too much I know. But I don’t give a damn! I get superpowers, especially when putting the blue one on. Debugging always turns out more efficient 😀 Click on the image for full view.

My Friday Wardrobe

Good night folks and till tomorrow.