Saturday, May 24, 2008
I know that some of you were craving for a posting. And I do agree that there hasn't been any for the last week or so! Well reason being my laptop broke down again and till yesterday, i was without one. The guy at LCI kindly agreed to give me a laptop on loan it is a G-Max, nothing compared to my Toshiba A-200, but it is still better than nothing.
Well those who are close to me know my favourite saying: 'Live every single day as if its your last day on earth'. Well i am saying this as a piece of advice to you all because you never know when you will die or when someone dear to your hear will.Two of the persons i know/knew passed away on Thursday, and i need to get used to not seeing them.
One of them was a girl,she was such a young, lively, and ever smiling person, that I am yet to accept that she is not gonna be seen anymore.
The other one is a guy, who was my friend since 1997, we had loads of fun and we was someone whom i really appreciated. He was always to the point, and lived every single day fully. Whenever had difficulties but he always surmounted them and he was a source of inspiration when it came to dedication and determination with regards to things he loved. . He was a very good person and a great guitar player. I will miss him. Though we have always met haphazardly at parties, and stuff or just on the roadside, it was always great to talk to him.
God Bless you my fallen angels. When you fell from the heavens we wanted you to stay, but unfortunately He called you back!
I cannot even imagine how hard it must be for the parents. But then I realised that they need good people in Heaven too. I am sure that people will tell them that they have to be strong and take care of themselves, and the others...when you are in this situation, I am sure that these are only words. I will only pray that God gives them courage to live through this extremely hard phase.
That is why it gets me on my nerves when people are mean and hurt others for no reason. When you are faced with this situation, you are just wonder about life...
What is life?
If without life, a body is a corpse, then life is everything that allows a body to do things that a corpse cannot, like talking, smiling, comforting, and.... For one second i wondered yesterday, This 'life' is so ethereal, you cannot see it, feel it or anything, but you can see its manifestation. We sure can try to 'define life' using scientific explanation... but IMHO, it is more subtle, or even magical. You can only feel it.
Life, just like Love....Life when you see the person u truly love and for a fraction of a second you miss a breath and you get the feeling that your heart has stopped beating for a microsecond, before it starts to beat faster. If this has never happened to you, then you have missed something essential!
Life is so complex to understand, that i only try to understand some of its philosophies. I personally take every day as a 'lifetime', I am born when i wake and die when i go to sleep at night, and i try to help as many people as I can throughout the day, (it's for good Karma...or so i heard..I do not want to be cockroach in my 'next life' Hihihi..being a human is hard enough!!!)
Anyways, now i know that some of us have an extra angel watching over us.
Well many of you might have seen the video below, from the Website of Le Défi
Well i believe that at times it really happens that students really behave as mannerless brats...unfortunately their parents still perceive them as 'babies'. Are we creating 'des Enfants Roi'...as termed by Francoise Dolto (you might not know who she was the mother of Carlos, the French singer who passed away lately).
This reminds me of an article I read ages ago on L'Express France, about how children should be seen, I would strongly advise you to have a look .
I belong to a generation whereby corporal punishment was not legal but kind of acceptable, if the teacher slapped, it was for a reason, and I was (probably still am)not an easy not, and i remeber the one slap I got once which changed everything, and I am thankful to the teacher for that one slap!
We have to bear in mind that the average students spend more time at school or college than at home, so i believe that it is at School that there is more potential to shape OR Re-Shape his personality. The respect students have is no way near as it used to be. With students not respecting their schools/ colleges as institutions, where are we heading. Will they ever respect members of the society.
Its just unfair that only one student got slapped in the video, because actually the one using his mobile phone in class should have got his share too... Because i am sure that mobiles are not allows in class....'Quel manque de respect envers l'authorité?'
A simple example would be those idiots listening to music on a really high volume in the bus or in public places without any consideration for others. These idiots should ask Father Christmas for 'B100DY Earphones'. The wearing of uniforms should be really enforced and with little of no variants. Furthermore, to me it seems that some people believe that evolution process did not provide them with enough 'holes' or orifice (or....... but i dare not say) so they make some more with piercings ...... well i am not against that but i think that the regulations in schools should be enforced. Well as an excuse they may say that it's fashionable...kindly allow me to tell that that fashion evoles, so what will they do when piercings are not fashionable anymore .... 'acheter mastik pou bouche trou'!!! Anyways... Pas moi ki bizin fer lecon a nous banne dirigeants!
Well I was pleasantly surprised yesterday, the roads not far from where i live are being resurfaced...i found it weird coz the National elections are due in about two years time....but then i happened to learn that the PM will be coming round my end next week. See if you need infrastructure in your area, like street lightings, road-resurfacing and pedestrian crossings, its way simple...invite the PM over for a function..and then everything will happen by magic. LOL...Sacré Pays!!!
As usual, comments welcome!...
P.S. It drives me mad and sad when I hear people, who in my opinion are either intellectual dwarfs, or emotionally deprived or plainly immature and dysfunctional take a picture from a blog and forward it to someone else just for the sake of gossiping or start an argument..it is just cheap...there is more to life than creating trouble for others... Anyways...a chacun ses plaisirs!!
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Yesterday, i accidentally watched local news..they were fighting..sorry arguing - or probably discussing about the importation of 'Du riz Ration' from India.
To me this is a useless debates because many people do not really consume it('Du riz Ration'...I would like to thank my newly appointed Editor, Tantine Polo, for this clarification. ....)..may be we should look for other sources of import for rice if we really want to find a solution to the predicted shortage of rice. And what annoyed me was the fact that once more the speaker (who rarely speaks) was nearly sleeping while many Assembly members were chatting and reading (some aloud).
Mr Speaker Sir, I have a suggestion. It would be appreciated if the Honourable Members of the House could post their questions and answers on a website and we could all read...its is annoying to look at someone read...because i can do that too...and on top of that, on TV, there are loads of censoring happening.....sorry may be i should have said montage or editing.
May be the members of assembly should be introduced to blogging....this would facilitate the proceedings of the assembly. Many ministers have no clue about their 'dossiers', and any one with the intent to asking a question will need to send the question(s) beforehand, and the minister would have an adviser or P.S. prepare an answer. The Minister would then simply read it aloud.
Does someone need special abilities to read aloud....?
I tend to think 'No', so do we need Readers in the Assembly...i tend to think 'No'...so why are my taxes wasted then.......
If ministers were good enough why not have debated like in the House of Parliament of the UK, whereby anyone can ask any question at any time to anyone in the house.... And on top of that the whole debated would be broadcast on TV...
Beacoup seront prets a sacrifier Tulsi, Sindoor, Luna et ... pour voir ce qui se passe dans le parlement.
Some answers to questions asked were like 'Quand mo ti la mo ti fer sa, et to ti dire sa....Quand to ti la to fer pire... bla bla bla'..... worse than kids fighting for a sweet, or toy!
Well today we were meant to have torrential rains and thunderstorms... So based on these forecasts, our Minister of Education decided to close the schools early to avoid the happenings of the 26th March 2008... Very wise, except that as usual..Meteo ine Faner! We have recorded only 74 mm of rainfall ...way far from the '100 mm' . 26mm difference and the schools were closed, and last time...because of a couple of millimetres..students went to school and lives were lost....Someone found a logic in that?
There is no logic in that. Then the other decision about allowing civil servants to get home early because of the rain and power failure...how much does a decision like this cost?
Let me tell you then: Several millions of Rupees. Our third world....sorry our 'developing' country cannot afford that!
Well due to the forecast bad weather afternoon exam sessions we canceled, and we had to get home. Imagine all UoM students + all civil servants trying to get back home at roughly the same time... So bad...may be we should work on a 'plan d'évacuation d'urgence' because right now our transport system sucks! Traffic Jams ......
This situation also allowed us to witness something: Some Bus Operators (according to the radio 'Certains Operateurs Individuels') were refusing to pickup students, whilst some others were asking for cash fares off the students.... This is so dis-honest! Hopefully the Authorities will do something about it...Mais ne dit-on pas que l'exemple vient d'en haut?
Seeing the situation on the bus-stops, some students and I decided to walk to Rose-Hill from where it would be easier for us to get a bus...what a walk that was..we had a lovely time chatting, and joking around.
Unless we review or issue a Plan D'evacuation D'urgence, the next time a natural calamity strikes or a wrong forecast by the Met Services (though this seems more likely :-)) is issued we will face major problems in getting people from their workplace back home or vie-versa.
Our Mobile networks ware jammed as people were worried and were trying to find out how their dear ones were and how they were doing. Messages and calls were not going through. Welcome to the Cyber Island!
Well lets get to something else:
Today was the programming paper...lovely paper I'm tempted to say but, some found it hard. The exams were a little bit troubled by one or two little power failures, but on the whole it went on fine...can't wait to finish correcting now (I have not yet started this process by the way!)
I know some students tend to be creative in exams lets see what masterpiece they come up with. The funniest one i came across once was that the refresh rate of a monitor is : 'A special mechanism which the cools down the monitor and prevents from overheating'.
Well..we'll see this time!
I will also request you to pray for the families in China who have lost a dear one.
What shocked me was the fact that the Chinese Prime minister is not opening China's frontier's to foreign aid...its either because of National Pride or sheer stupidity...I think all help might be useful, and this is fuelling controversies about China and the Olympic games...but that will be for some other post..lol.
Spent some time discussing with someone, X, today about whether or not it is ethical to put some other person's lecture notes on one personal website....I strongly disagree unless prior permission has been obtained. This constitutes an infringement of copyright. But X said that knowledge is universal..which i agree, but deep linking a url in a webpage is not nice, and not legal either. Nor is the downloading of lecture notes/resources , harbouring it in one's personal server and providing a link to that resource from one's website. Come on Mr X, respect the work of others..at least ask them, i would personally not refuse...but hw many wouldn't..... unless you ask, you'll never know!
Hopefully with the heavy rain, the price of vegetables will not increase to much as a sharp rise in the price of vegetables like carrots will not be easily bearable!
As usual comments are welcome.
Friday, May 9, 2008
I know that many students are currently taking exams at UoM, I hope that that they are not finding it too hard!
Well yesterday, i managed to get my biometric reader, the M2-Hamster Plus, working, its is cool and right now, its working in a stand-alone mode, and the speed of identification and verification is not bad at all. The only saddening thing is that the whole integration kit will word on a server running windows only.....how miserable is that......I hope to find a way of introducing some linux in the whole process!!!.I have been thinking about a few stuff lately, and one of them includes the use of graphs to map keyboard latencies and use statistical metrics to derive similarities in typing patterns. Another one would be to use pressure gradient and vectors using a a graphic tablet to identify people online. Well these are just ideas for the time being, i believe its worth investigating.
I managed to RIP some CDs yesterday, now this operation is done very quickly using Media player. Not so long ago (3-4 years back), ripping a single song would take about 5 minutes, at that time i was using a software called Audio Grabber 1.8....'comme quoi, on n'arrête pas le progrès'. By the way yesterday some of you might have seen the my MSN display message: 'In love with Music, biometric and sooo much more...' well i found my long lost wireless headphone...
Now finally i will not be disturbing anyone at home with my music........
By the way little server was admitted to Intensive Care yesterday, its graphic card needs to be replaced along with its hard disk..... then hopefully it will work fine once more....looks like little server will soon turn into a Biometric Template Comparison Server......i just need some time for this......The only thing i am worried about is whether the Celeron 500 D processor will be powerful/quick enough. However 'qui ne tente rien n'a rien!'
Well I am off now...hoping there are no embargoes on Carrots and Polos!!!
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
Currently many students are busy with their exams and unfortunately...the number of scripts we have to correct is increasing by the day!
I was online sometime ago, and i noticed a funny display message, please see below:
If you cannot see it properly it reads: 'Why is it zat all zose lecturers have a smile and seem happy....If only they knew how zey are being cursed'
Anyways, I hope there are exceptions to that statement!!!!
I had a very nice little conversation with Yash yesterday...in what started as a theological discussion on Agni ('The Hindu God of Fire') who consumes all the offerings made during prayers, and brings them to the actual Gods. Since all the offerings are burnt, the delivery service is quicker than FedEx. I know this comparison will shock some of you...
Well lets get back to the conversation with Yash, we were talking about forces, inertia and ... then i told him about a phenomenon i read about sometime back. Its called Coriolis forces, its due to the rotation of the earth about its axis.
This is why a whirlpool in a basin, and cyclonic winds spin in opposite directions in the north and south hemisphere.
You can read more about it. Avinash also told me that in one episode of James Bond, he used this technique to know in which hemisphere he was. Our conversation led us to Eco-Light and Photoluminescent paints.. Just think about it people - lets assumed we used photoluminescent paints on our buildings, we could consequently decrease the power used for street lightings in towns by switching on the lights later.
We also talked about electromechanical UPS using a magnetic field to decrease power loss due to frictional forces. I also told him about my MSc Project Supervisor Professor Norman Revell, one of the brightest persons i met, who wanted to make a universal charger to charge mobiles, cameras, wireless mouse, coffee.... using an induction charger which looked like a mouse pad and which was USB powered. Unfortunately, Professor Revell died last year, a big loss to me, because he was a very inspiring person, and participated tremendously to MSc Project, by his sharp supervision and he helped me get in touch with industry people from Polaris UK and also a very famous researchers from Oxford. Rest In Peace Professor Revell. God Bless you humility and kindness
Well I met someone interesting lately, and its Miss Carrot, she is very good company and she is very funny. We fight a lot...no we argue a lot...no! no! no!..rather we discuss a lot. Its always nice to chat to people with different perspectives...it opens up the mind..and as someone once said....The mind is like a parachute: It works best when it is open! Anyways, Miss Carrot is very nice and funny!!! She has a lot of imagination and gosh she is sharp, and impulsive!
I am looking forward to doing something soon: put a feedback form online as one of my 'famous' poll questions.....i think i will do that on the 30th of May....at least the students will be able to tell me what they think, and i will disable moderation for that day, that is the comments will appear instantaneously on the blog ....well that 'instantaneously' might mean after minutes ....we are still in a third world country when it comes Internet Speed...come on Mauritius Telecoms......sorry Orange.....it is so unfair....The fair use policy is sooooo unfair.
About a week ago, I was watching the news on TF1 and the french Minister of Education Xavier Darcos, whereby he suggested a 'besoin de la France de se recentrer sur les fondamentaux'. Please read this article..its very nice. The french were used to being very good in Maths, but looks like its changing and their Minister is worried about it...they are willing to decrease the content of the syllabus of other subjects to devote more time to Maths and French Language. I was in the bus this morning and there was a form 4 girl who as unable to find the roots the equation below by factorisation.
Y=3 x2+8x+4....where are we heading....may be our syllabus needs to be REVIEWED and and to me reviewed DOES NOT MEAN SIMPLIFIED.
If a country like france is doing it and taking the right steps when they see a decrease in performance, may be instead of removing stuff like Iterative methods like Newton-Raphson and ......may be we should do the same! Else our students will keep getting worse...and i am worried because they need to pay for my pension
Lol....many of you might still be waiting for the politics section...unfortunately, i have not watched the news lately.So see you soon!!!
Saturday, May 3, 2008
Most of you should have seen the different political rallies of the 1st of May. Once again we have seen the bias of some media in the coverage. Certain political parties got 20 minutes of news coverage whilst others had a total of 5 minutes. Futhermore, in the news...the slips of the tongues of some speakers were elegantly erased during the 'montage'. Fortunately i listened to the speeches live on the radio and once again had a laugh at the lack of competence of some.
Unfortunately it seems that when one is not in the good books of the MBC, all the slips of the tongues are broadcast...just like that leader of the opposition party who is not in the parliament (wonder who leads them there...) his slip of the tongue pic pic pac pac was in the news.... he nearly said TIC TAC (just like the sweet), or Tic Tac Tic Tac...(like a ticking timer for a bomb....).
IMHO, some people capitalise on the position of their parents...as this is often the case in local politics. An one particular rally, the political preference of our dear President was often cited...just as if they wanted a snowball effect for his son.....
'Incompetence, quand arreteras-tu de ronger notre arène politique?'
Our attorney general rightly enumerated the different reforms to legal system...outstanding.... I got a quick little question though..can't we have a 'health centre' or dispensary in our courts of justice, i have seen may people suspected of financial fraud go through the legal system unpunished simply because they were 'ill' some even went to court on stretchers...may be in the court was in a clinic or vice-versa we could have given 'un semblant de justice'...worse still...this has set precedence to other suspects in the same case where suddenly they were ill (Wonder if this condition is called 'une maladie de convenance')....... may be instead of having magistrate in the courts...we should have doctors shouting 'ORDER!!! ORDER!!!', and as punishment people could be given injections or could be hanged using a stethoscope.
Yesterday was a challenge, 4 hours of revision for Programming in ELT2...'Qui dit mieux?'...lol
Hopefully this will help the students for their exams. We went through most of the chapters and unfortunately for me, the data projector kept overheating and shutting down..this was slightly getting on my nerves. At some point in time i went to get a white board marker and a 'duster'.
I nearly lost it when a bunch of students started chatting among themselves and i calmly addressed them..luckily they understood et 'Le silence qui regna par la suite était digne de celle d'une cathedrale'.
When i got back home, i had a quick little tour on MSN, i was amazed by the display message of one of my friends who turned 26 yesterday..it was 'Today's my birthday, I bought a PSP to feel younger', well Gio... no comments.
I then started having a look at the assignment of some students...it seemed obvious that some had copied from their friends, or they could have someone who did the program for them... Many programs did not have a structure, some hardly used functions, and repeated the same block of codes again and again...but the most shocking thing was that someone used GOTO in the programs...we are in 2008...have you not realised that? I bet the use of better programming constructs would improve the readability of the codes. Anyways.....
Anyways, I am eagerly awaiting feedback from my students to know what are my weaknesses, so that i can improve my lectures next year.