Photos of Old Bangalore

Rare photos of Old Bangalore and its lifestyle.

Welcome back into the past. here are some images of Bangalore, generations old, that are apparantly lost in the pages of history. come, travel with me back in time to the banglore in the days of the raj, when it was still  a small cantonment town. the year was 1946. and the place, namma Bengaluru

Brigade Road

does this frame look familiar??? it should. this is the  BRIGADE ROAD.   The left hand side building is still standing, and housed the Ashok Electricals, the Post Office, now it is the LEE and Luis Phillips showroom. The road hasn't got any bigger, but the traffic and the crowd definitely has.

and here's the SOUTH PARADE road,

M G Road

any guesses what it is called now??
THE M.G. ROAD. yeah. The building you are seeing is the Higginbothams bookstore, which looks dilapidated on the present day.

Old Hosur Road

The above picture is of Hosur Road. the  present day electronics, IT and BPO Hub.

Continue reading “Photos of Old Bangalore”

The Origin of Zero

It first came to be between 400 and 300 B.C. in Babylon, Seife says, before developing in India, wending its way through northern Africa and, in Fibonacci’s hands, crossing into Europe via Italy.

Source : Scientific American

The number zero as we know it arrived in the West circa 1200, most famously delivered by Italian mathematician Fibonacci (aka Leonardo of Pisa), who brought it, along with the rest of the Arabic numerals, back from his travels to north Africa. But the history of zero, both as a concept and a number, stretches far deeper into history—so deep, in fact, that its provenance is difficult to nail down.

“There are at least two discoveries, or inventions, of zero,” says Charles Seife, author of Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea (Viking, 2000). “The one that we got the zero from came from the Fertile Crescent.” It first came to be between 400 and 300 B.C. in Babylon, Seife says, before developing in India, wending its way through northern Africa and, in Fibonacci’s hands, crossing into Europe via Italy.

Initially, zero functioned as a mere placeholder—a way to tell 1 from 10 from 100, to give an example using Arabic numerals. “That’s not a full zero,” Seife says. “A full zero is a number on its own; it’s the average of –1 and 1.”

It began to take shape as a number, rather than a punctuation mark between numbers, in India in the fifth century A.D., says Robert Kaplan, author of The Nothing That Is: A Natural History of Zero (Oxford University Press, 2000). “It isn’t until then, and not even fully then, that zero gets full citizenship in the republic of numbers,” Kaplan says. Some cultures were slow to accept the idea of zero, which for many carried darkly magical connotations.

The second appearance of zero occurred independently in the New World, in Mayan culture, likely in the first few centuries A.D. “That, I suppose, is the most striking example of the zero being devised wholly from scratch,” Kaplan says.

Kaplan pinpoints an even earlier emergence of a placeholder zero, a pair of angled wedges used by the Sumerians to denote an empty number column some 4,000 to 5,000 years ago.




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But Seife is not certain that even a placeholder zero was in use so early in history. “I’m not entirely convinced,” he says, “but it just shows it’s not a clear-cut answer.” He notes that the history of zero is too nebulous to clearly identify a lone progenitor. “In all the references I’ve read, there’s always kind of an assumption that zero is already there,” Seife says. “They’re delving into it a little bit and maybe explaining the properties of this number, but they never claim to say, ‘This is a concept that I’m bringing forth.'”

Kaplan’s exploration of zero’s genesis turned up a similarly blurred web of discovery and improvement. “I think there’s no question that one can’t claim it had a single origin,” Kaplan says. “Wherever you’re going to get placeholder notation, it’s inevitable that you’re going to need some way to denote absence of a number.”


Crooked Indian Higher Education

Analysis of the perception of the Indian parents towards Higher Education.

As the classes got over, I was walking from my college to the bus stop. I was stopped by a middle aged man who started questioning me about the authenticity of the quality education given by the college, preferred choice of the course and the ease at which a degree can be got with a particular course.  After few seconds i realized  that it was a tensed father who was eager to know about the college as his son had the counseling session the next day.

As the conversation rolled on, he began to ask me as to which course was the easiest choice. What lacked was the important information about his sons interest. When i asked him so, he came up with Mechanical in a flash. But his father wasn’t very enthused by his sons choice. As i walked the straight lane to my college bus stand, thoughts kept on circulating in my mind as to how similar the behavior of the father-son duo was to compared with my own parents. As I’ve observed in past 3 years things have been the same  all the while. Indian parents usually have been lately ignoring the vital info on child’s interest when they chose to do their higher studies. It has always been fueled by the false perception of the ease at which the degree can be got or the kind of jobs their child will get after graduation. They always seem to think from their heart but not in their heads. Rather than natural interest “Comparative decision making” rules the roost.

When the situation is compared with the parents of far west,  parents right from the young age encourage their children to pursue in their interest even if it rare and bizarre field. As the child grows up he is extensively into his field and becomes a formidable asset in his area. The story always ends happily. India has the largest population of below 35 years. They are the ones who will dictate terms in near future. They are the solution for everyday problems. They are our biggest hope. If we miss this opportunity to encourage them to pursue their interest , we would have to wait for another generation to take advantage of this.

Humble INSAT series satellites from ISRO

ISRO built sheds and started recruiting young scientist at IISC Gymkhana who had not yet heard of satellites. Finally he built a team of around 40. They got hold of a second hand ground station from Australia and set up at Sriharikota. He wanted to build a redundant system so his team built another adhoc station by converting one of the ladies rest room into a ground station at Peenya.

Today i was very fortunate to have listened to Prof U.R.Rao talk about the early days of INSAT series satellites in India. He is one the eminent personalities to have shaped Indian satellite program. He had come to Nitte Meenakshi Institute of Technology, Bangalore, India to inaugurate the Clean Room facility and the Integration chamber as part of STUDSAT project.

Then Prof Rao was a faculty at MIT. Ms Gandhi was the PM. He had been to Russia to request them to launch the ‘would be’ satellite by Russian rockets. They had agreed to it by had one condition attached to it. They wanted Indian to manufacture a satellite in less  than 3 years and it would cost Indian Government cool 3 crores. Ms Gandhi gave the approval when she heard it at the first instance through the telephonic conversation she had with Rao. Beginning of the project faced a major hurdle with the death of the father of Indian space science – Dr. Vikram Sarabhai. But after few years it chugged along . Then began the great journey of setting up the labs and building a team.

Initially they had to choose between Hyderabad and Bangalore. But Bangalore had the edge with its history in Science and Technology. So they got hold of some land around Peenya. They built sheds and started recruiting young scientist at IISC Gymkhana who had not yet heard of satellites. Finally he built a team of around 40.  They got hold of a second hand ground station from Australia and set up at Sriharikota. He wanted to build a redundant system so his team built another adhoc station by converting one of the ladies rest room into a ground station at Peenya.

The team managed to build the satellite and the it was launched successfully. They had christened it as Aryabhata as a tribute to the Indian Mathematician who invented Zero. The satellite changed the face of the villages with black and white TV popping up. Buoyed by the socio-economic success, Indian gov went ahead with the rest of the satellites and called it Indian satellites or INSAT .

Analysis – Members of Indian Parliament

This Article is an analysis of the intellectual and less focused side of the Members of Indian Parliament.

Channel number 261 has a very distinct viewership cycle. The graph goes high once in every Indian Season. It has no commercial ads. It  personifies the true power of Indian democracy. There are 545 heroes and heroines. Its none other than the Loksabha Channel (Parliament Channel).

Today I happened to witness an interesting debate on ‘Compulsory Education Bill’ on the Loksabha Channel. It was discussed for 2 days continuously. In the process it brought out the  intellectual side of some our MPs. It may not have been the best but it certainly was a classic example of how democracy give opportunity for everyone and how consensus is built upon large number of section of people. At the end of the day all the clauses were debated and amendments were proposed. Exch of the MPs were had their share of views with their local problems. Even with the latest technology the bill was passed with “Ayees” and “Noos”. It was a timid end for a bill which could possibly increase the talent pool of the nation. The discussions was held between members from different religions and culture. Men had worn their traditional attire and women were surrounded by their cultural aura. But the issue they debated were no less in magnitude. An average Indian MP is one of the least expected personalities to contribute to the democracy.

Nevertheless technology has brought in a lot of openness into the system. MPs are more responsible in front of the nation. Most of them do have the talent to always give a good fight  in a debate.Its the hidden talent one has to discover. Change in their psychology is the need of the hour.The veterans  bring in a lot of respect whenever they talk. They have seen the worst of problems and discussed the best of solutions. They posses large wisdom and are intellectuals in their own field. They truly encompass the powers of Indian democracy.