Friday, December 26, 2008

Commonness in an average Indian reducing

They were the early 90s'. As far as I can clearly remember. Only one channel on the television - Doordarshan. Every Indian above 20 will have very fond memories watching this: http://in.youtube.com/watch?v=gstRrEmTcBc We all share a certain time and generation among us. We will immediately smile and start talking about Surabhi, Hum log, etc. and discuss in detail how fond certain characters, actors and times were and how these were the characteristics of a typical Indian family. Now, if I ask my cousin who is in the next generation, (a generational gap is created every 5 years) about this, I am not sure he will relate to this. The television in India in its early days celebrated diversity, propagated social causes among entertaining and informing the citizens. The songs, the advertisements and the messages were nice, soothing and creative to say the least. Some advertisements like the "Hamara Bajaj" ad became very popular. Today, with all the cable and satellite channels, we have lost the one major thing that used to bind us together in a very unique way. All I see on television is politicians promoting the killing of other Indians so openly. Regionalism has taken over nationalism. States were created only for better administration and for the locals to help maintain their unique cultural and physical ecosystems, not at the cost of nationalism. How come today there are so few songs celebrating India's rich diversity. The only ones of recent past are the "Maa tujhe salaam" from A.R.Rehman and the Jaago India campaign. The others are made to promote a vulgar cause like cricket matches. I somehow dont see the patriotic feeling, a sense of belonging to India in people watching a cricket match in unlike a national song like "mile sur mera tumhara" or "Maa tujhe salaam". I think it is high time for the government to make all the television channels including private ones to mandatorily broadcast 20 minutes a day, programs relating to national awareness campaigns and national songs which will have a wider and long term impact on the people of India than any of the other possible campaigns that the government can possibly think of. Let the awareness campaigns concentrate on family planning, AIDS awareness, patriotism, a cleaner country, dont waste water and energy and finally punctuality. Maybe this is a long pending solution to remove a lot of grassroot problems that India is unable to address by reaching the masses effectively as of now. Is it just me thinking like this or do the others also share a similar thought? What is your opinion?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The economist's awards for 2008

This list is not for the best, but for the worst of those in the business of business and were caught swimming naked when the tide went out. Hence, the "The swimming naked awards".
http://www.economist.com/business/displayStory.cfm?story_id=12796770

So confused

When things go so fast that time blurs, when you can't differentiate yesterday from the day before, when talks that people deny having had with me feel as if there was indeed such a talk, when there is nothing as odd hours in a 24hr cycle, it is very scary.
Getting back to one of my previous posts, why cant we all live without having something known as conciousness.

Investment tips

"Due diligence is the art of asking good questions. It's also the art of not taking answers on faith."

Perking it up

Games mutual fund managers keep playing year after year:
Window dressing, Painting the tape and Comparison shopping.
It is very interesting to note the following statistics:
Historically, 80% of all U.S. stock funds and 91% of small-company funds have beaten the market on the last trading day of the year -- and roughly two-thirds have given most of that gain right back on the first day of the following year.
A study by finance scholar Berk Sensoy shows that 31% of U.S. stock funds pick a benchmark that doesn't closely reflect what they own -- but does make it easier to beat "the market."

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Evolution in MBA

Before I joined my MBA I was constantly worried about one main thing - How will I ever manage with less sleep? I need my 8 hours of beauty ;) sleep. After joining the course, I said maybe I will have to adjust and make do with 6hrs per day. A couple of months down the line, I said "Sleep is a luxury". Those who get it are blessed.Now, at the end of four months, I say "Sleep is only an option". If you want, sleep, else you don't really have to and life will still run quite normally for 1 or 2 days without it.
This transformation is one of the key essences of an MBA. :)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Just screw it!

Now you can screw things up with just one hand :D

Personal finance ratios

At MBA here, in finance, we learn a lot of company ratios, starting from debt ratio to P/E ratio to asset turnover ratio and ROE and a hell lot more. Today I was going through some new blog and found the below:

Investment Income to Salary Target > 0.8 Investment Income Ratio = -2.36

Savings to Salary Target > 20 Current Savings Ratio = 20.1

Debt To Salary Target = 0 Current Debt Ratio = 1.47

Started me thinking, this is indeed a very good basic information to classify people for whom investment advice is to be given. I had never before thought of using such ratios when I was the personal financial advisor to my friends and colleagues.

I think she may have some trust issues

Ice bottoms

Ice coats electric lines after a storm

Which board game is this?


A man walks through high water in St. Mark's Square as strong winds pushed the Adriatic Sea into the Venice lagoon, submerging part of the city, Friday, Dec.12, 2008. Violent storms flooded parts of Rome on Thursday, killing at least one person, and the sea again threatened Venice as a wave of bad weather continued to plague Italy.

Whats the solution

I read a message from a middle aged corporate manager who lost his job in 1988 and still without permanent work in 1992 say "I have lost the fight to stay ahead in today's economy... I was determined to find work, but as the months and years wore on, depression set in. You can only be rejected so many times; then you start questioning your self-worth" in the economics textbook regarding unemployment. I am wondering what kind of motivation or event will be required to get this man out of his psychological scar.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

People are so so chicken out here

I just asked many people whether they want to accompany me in doing something that they actually loved. Guess what, almost all of them said "No". They all told me that they would have loved to but they just can't. They are all too scared to do it now. But they were willing to do it on the coming friday onwards after all the exams. Don't know whether to call them chicken or to respect their acceptance of the truth they they are all scared of addiction. The question on your mind must be "What is it that I asked them to accompany me for ?" Well, I asked them to join me for a multiplayer game of "Age of Empires2: The conquerors". I think this small poll tells a lot about the game. It is very very "addictive".

Friday, December 12, 2008

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Framily

I couldn't find the meaning for this word in my wordweb, but fortunately found it on the web. wiktionary: Etymology Blend of friend and family Noun Singular- framily Plural - framilies Meaning:A group of friends, who are close like a family. Found at another website: 1. framily when friends become like family, they're framily. closer than close, they may know you better than your own family. "we're framily, all 9 of us." 2. Framily A member of your circle who is more than a friend but not a blood relative. Combining the words friend and family. Someone very significant in your life not in your family. Joined by hearts and souls, not bloodlines. Linda Smith, John Jones, Sam and Jane Doe are all people I have met over the years. We spend holidays together, take care of each other's families when necessary. Our Framily reunion each year rotates between houses. 3. Framily When members of your sibling's boyfriend/girlfriend's family become close friends. They are not your siblings inlaws yet and may never be. You will always consider them FRAMILY. My new Framily are like sisters but not related to me at all. And here is an interesting article I found:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1059236/Friends-increasingly-framily-search-support-network.html
And thanks to my framily members for supporting me and helping me in times of need.

Quarter life crisis

To all those going through the quarter life crisis and whose feelings are as described below: What's up by 4 Non blondes: 
Twenty - five years and my life is still 
Trying to get up that great big hill of hope 
For a destination 
And I realized quickly when I knew I should 
That the world was made up of this brotherhood of man 
For whatever that means 
And so I cry sometimes 
When I'm lying in bed 
Just to get it all out 
What's in my head 
And I am feeling a little peculiar 
And so I wake in the morning 
And I step outside And I take a deep breath and I get real high
And I scream at the top of my lungs 
What's going on? 
And I say, hey hey hey hey I said hey, what's going on? 
Ooh, ooh ooh
And I try, 
oh my god do I try I try all the time, in this institution 
And I pray, oh my god do I pray I pray every single day 
For a revolution 
And so I cry sometimes 
When I'm lying in bed Just to get it all out 
What's in my head 
And I am feeling a little peculiar 
And so I wake in the morning 
And I step outside 
And I take a deep breath and I get real high 
And I scream at the top of my lungs 
What's going on? 
And I say, hey hey hey hey I said hey, what's going on? 
Twenty - five years and my life is still 
Trying to get up that great big hill of hope 
For a destination. 
Hope things become more clearer and brighter for you.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

New logos

I had seen similar logos of technology companies after the dot-com bust. Now here are some more new modified logos after the financial crisis. 

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Blue

I just love the blues in this picture

Burning bright?

A Palestinian boy writes in Arabic “Gaza be saved” in candle wax on his palm, during a sit-in in Yarmouk refugee camp in southern Damascus, Thursday Dec. 4, 2008. More than hundred Palestinian children staged a sit-in protesting against the Israeli siege on Gaza. The children called for the lifting of the siege, and let Gaza children live in peace.

Reflections

Splash

Just feel like riding/driving on a rough terrain like this now.... dont know why

New game in town

You must have heard of drag racing.... Well, there is a new game in town here.... It is called arse-dragging... It is where you feel you have been hooked onto some vehicle on the road and your arse is being dragged along.... Unfortunately, for me it feels like an airplane dragging me on a loooong 5 km tarmac....

Thursday, December 4, 2008

New Year's


A Russian troop walks past a traditional New Year's in central Moscow on December 3, 2008. New Year's Eve is traditionally the most important holiday in Russia.

No words to describe this


Branches are covered with snow near Hagen, western Germany, on December 3, 2008. Onset of winter in wide parts of the country caused traffic jam and chaos on the roads.

Lessons from MBA

So what does MBA teach that is related to real life? Apart from the various accountings of financial and managerial and all the other MBA subjects, the one thing I think MBA teaches you is "giving up". Yes, giving up what you like, giving up what you love, giving up almost everything that means dearly to you. This will be forced upon on you in a way that you will be slow and very painful to accept. Slowly and steadily, one realises this as a way of life. People say it is about living your dreams, achieving your dreams and doing what you really want to do. Maybe in the long term, but in the short term, during the course one very vital lesson it teaches you is to accept failure and just walk on. First we are forced to sacrifice the time and distance with family, friends and the cosy, comfortable environment we were used to. Then goes the sleep. Then we give up some of those hobbies and things that used to enliven you during your normal before MBA days. Then once you are here, you are even forced to give on the very subjects you once loved to do so much. 
Song: Giving you up by Kylie Minogue 
"Deep in a perfect moment 
All it once it feels so right 
But when I wake I see reality turn back and bite. 
Your heartbeat's ticking 
And your cool starts dripping 
And you're tongue tied up on the phone 
Your backbone's breaking 
And your smooth starts shaking 
Like you can't stand being alone 
Your calm starts rocking 
Little doubts are knocking 
Like the whole world's slipping away 
Attention's killing 
But the ride is thrilling 
And you can't help going again 
What you want is what you don't know 
Turn me on and watch your ego 
What you want is what you don't need 
I can't start giving you up 
I'm lost without you 
Can't stop tickin the tock 
I can't start giving you up 
I'm mad about you 
Can't stop slipping it off"

Sunday, November 30, 2008

No sight of solution for crisis

No, this is not about the Financial crisis, but about my personal address crisis. I don't have even one true acceptable present Indian address. :( I have one different id to show proof of address to every new place I have gone to, but now, I have run out of new ids to make to all the new addresses. :( While I was in engg., Bangalore and my parents were in Hyderabad, I got my 2 wheeler driving license done in Hyderabad. Then when I was in our own house for 10 months, I got my passport done. Then when I moved out to stay with my friend in Bangalore when my dad got transferred to North India, I got the lease agreement done on my name to get an address proof. I started facing problems with the expiry of that 11 month contract but managed because of a letter from my personal bank and office letter. Then when my parents were in Bhavnagar, Gujarat, I got my car driving license done. Now my parents are in Trivandrum and yet to give change of addresses. SEBI's rules are very tight and they want an address proof on my name to change the address. Presently, a Power of Attorney is allowing my father to handle the change of addresses as if all the shares are his(and it is his as of now, due to the POA). I dont remember what my credit card address is and when I sent them a mail asking them to tell me my address explaining my situation, they replied saying I should cancel my credit card based on the fineprint if I were to be outside India for more than 183 days. I dont think it will be possible to ever stay as my dependent with my parents if I want to give a change of address on my own. What a sick system and even sicker life of mine.

Friday, November 28, 2008

I want this mobile phone


An Italian Carabinieri paramilitary police officer shows a gun, disguised as a mobile phone, which was seized along with other weapons and drugs in a Camorra bunker in Torre Annunziata, near Naples, southern Italy, Monday, Nov. 24, 2008. According to investigators the gun disguised as mobile phone can fire up to four bullets.

The economics related to womens' legs

I for one have not observed hemlines of skirts for so long to make any useful inferences. But there have been many who have taken cues from watching womens' legs. According to the skirt length theory, when skirts get shorter, it's time to buy; when skirts get longer, it's time to sell. The logic behind this indicator dictates that positive markets lead to a happy nation and an atmosphere of fun. Fun times send hemlines rising, making micro minis great for the markets, while conservative floor-length dresses are bad news. Fact or Fiction? When times are good, fashions do indeed tend to show skin. The bad news is that fashions don't change until times are good, making this a lagging indicator. If you are buying and selling based on skirt length, you might be better off selling when skirts are high and buying when they are low. I have a question though, why are shorter skirts costlier than longer skirts, considering that the material costs of longer skirts are more than that of the shorter skirts(sometimes the material used is twice or even thrice the micro mini skirts). Assuming the material of the skirt is ignored, it just doesn't make sense. Maybe it is all based on perceptions and confidence and outlook of the people - all psychological factors.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Tada yori takai mono wa nai

"Tada yori takai mono wa nai. - Michihiro Matsumoto" I see this at the end of every mail from my Finance Management professor. This is what he signs off with. So today, I actually checked out what it means. It means "Nothing is costlier than something given free of charge." I read it and thought about it for a minute. Hmm... nice thought. So in other words, the time, affection and stuff I give to my near and dear ones are priceless. Hmmm... nice thought. And then I checked out an article with the phrase on the top of the search results. This quote was used to signify that "There is no such thing as a free lunch". It is going to cost you and cost you very dearly. The article refers to the uncountable number of free investment advice one gets in television, magazines and on websites and says that if you blindly follow all this free stuff without any due diligence, it is going to cost you dearly. I dont know whether this Japanese phrase was used as a pun or it really means this meaning. Wow! I am amazed by the double wisdom of this phrase.

Serial breakdown

This week has been quite horrible for many of my classmates here. Many people who had thought that they won't crack or miss their family or feel low or lose motivation have been wrong. My one roomie says he is recovering from a low and another announced today in all frustration that he just wants to go home. In the evening, at the canteen, I met another classmate who told me that he is feeling very low today and some of it is because of the bomb blasts in Bombay. I, myself missed quite some people very much in the week and was going through a low. I guess, it happens to everyone. People here cant tell the ones at home that they are feeling low of no proper reason whatsoever because, then, the people at home start getting worried. They have to find someone locally who they can trust and can share their feelings and get over it. The stress keeps building up here slowly, steadily and daily, till at one point you dont want what is there now and want the old nice status quo feeling with family and friends that was once there before coming into the course. Such is life here...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Nested dilemmas

if (whatever I study in mba be useful in my job == no) { if(is the grade really important == no)
{
if(is the grading fair and square == no)
   { if(is there a need to study too much than required to pass == no)
       { then, why am I having a problem despite coming to this nested if section? }
       }
   }
}
The answer is: guilt conscience, my legacy haunts me... The reason not to compete for studying gets stronger when I see undeserving people get more grade, less hard working people get more success, parasites beating the hosts. Such is life.... I need to find a motivation to study well.

The paradigm based on a single example

I was struck by this paradigm maybe a month ago when one of my classmates here made a statement while we were walking on the road "This car belongs to the govt." The inference was based on the fact that the nameplate of the car had something kind of written as philippinas govt. on a not so nice looking green background and a picture of some tower in it. I just looked around and noticed that all the cars here have that kind of a name board. Meaning that all the cars that are registered in Philippines have that kind of a nameplate. The classmate had inferred a theory based on one single datapoint. She had fallen for the "fallacy of one example" More on the same topic at http://www.earlham.edu/~peters/courses/inflogic/onesided.htm As mentioned in the above topic,

The one-sidedness fallacy does not make an argument invalid. It may not even make the argument unsound. The fallacy consists in persuading readers, and perhaps ourselves, that we have said enough to tilt the scale of evidence and therefore enough to justify a judgment. If we have been one-sided, though, then we haven't yet said enough to justify a judgment. The arguments on the other side may be stronger than our own. We won't know until we examine them.

So the one-sidedness fallacy doesn't mean that your premises are false or irrelevant, only that they are incomplete. You may have appealed only to relevant considerations, but you haven't yet appealed to all relevant considerations.

Getting back, why am I writing about this now? I just came back from a visiting professor (from a good American University)'s lecture and I am appalled by what she said. She too despite being a prof. for so many years fell for the same fallacy when she told that Lehman Brothers went out of business because they did not have a corporate social responsibility. And one needs that to be doing CSR to stay in the business for long. Well, maybe the Professoree did not know that Lehman Brothers was a 150 year old company. Just because it failed, you cannot blame it on not doing CSR. Such a pathetic example she had given, and that too being a professor. Maybe she doesnt even understand and know what poverty, pollution, etc is in the first place and then to do CSR to eradicate them. What a pathetic BS class early in the morning...

Saturday, November 22, 2008

When will India toe the line?

At first, the Chinese, now the Vietnamese and the Filipinos are the next in line... What about India? India tried it once, but failed quite miserably enraging most of the people in the country(MISA). The main problem was the method with which it was implemented and background conditions in which it happened. The topic I am talking about is putting a limit on the number of offspring a couple can have. Everyone know about the one rule policy of the chinese, now the Vietnam government plans to submit new rules to lawmakers next month that would urge couples to observe a two-child limit. The Philippines govt. is planning something on the same lines in the new family planning law that is passed in the lower houses and yet to pass in the upper house to become a law. The main opposition is from the church. I wonder which and when will the Indian govt., understand the necessity of a child limit plan to make India better. There are multiple benefits to this. Every book and author want to be the westerners and emulate the way they have developed to become a developed nation. From moving from agriculture to manufacturing to knowledge based economy,from rural to urban, from simple bank deposits to derivatives, from traditional dresses to western suits, from casual friendly culture on campus to casual sex on campus culture. Why doesn't even one book or author ever consider the reason for better American lives - the ratio of people to the amount of resources they have. That is the main reason behind the American dream. Yes, the decision to have a limit on the number of children a couple can have is tough but it is a long term solution to many of the country's problems, but who is going to take that decision?

Best of both worlds for the champions

These champions are really lucky. Michael Shumacher and Valentino Rossi. One a F1 racing champion and the other a Moto GP champion. First they get to drive/ride their awesome vehicles in such great speeds and win many games. Then they get on with the best that the other world of vehicles have to give. Michael is trying motorbike racing and Rossi is trying Ferrari car racing. WOW! It will hardly ever get anything better than this...

Monday, November 17, 2008

Funding study time prudentially

Every student needs time to study for his/her short term tests/quizes, assignments, medium term projects and long term exams. If you were a long term planner and a conservative executor, then you would planned and used your available long term time that is available to fund your future short term needs. In the middle of it all, if you have more tasks than time, how do you fund your short term needs of study time? For one you could borrow short term funds by bunking classes(short term debt). Even more immediate funds can be got by asking help from your partners and receive ready lessons from them and promising them that they will be paid in kind at a later point in time(account payables). Another source of very immediate funds is the overdraft of sleep before the d-day(Letter/line of credit from bank). But since this is very expensive and needs to be paid back first, this should be your last source of funding. So, long term funding of study time is good. But an excessive long term funding which is a conservative measure is also bad. You would have then read almost everything and quite a lot of which will be redundant information, inefficient use of funds as there is no clarity of optimum use of the funds. Also, an excessive amount of study time would be available which would be wasted(excess cash). This excess time would only be useful if you have other plans of this like additional useful classes or strategic co-curricular activities that will boost your resume.(takeover and acquisition of a company or strategic stake in another company). The most ideal way is to have a combination of long term and short term funds, as the demand of the funding will also seasonal(start of year or end of year exam time). See that the base is funded by long term funds and your seasonal needs by short term funding. That way the time during the year will be optimally used. Well, it is more fun to apply financial knowledge to real life problems and relate it to unrelated stuff... :)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Sbarro Aero


A motorcycle of the Sbarro Aero brand by Italian born designer Franco Sbarro is presented on November 13, 2008 to promote the Essen Motor Show on the fair grounds in Essen, western Germany. During the motor sport fair running from November 29 to December 7, 2008, around 500 exhibitors from 19 countries will present their latest products. (AFP/Getty Images, / November 13, 2008)

Christmas


A man fixes Christmas decoration on tents at Berlin's Gendarmenmarkt place on November 14, 2008. Preparations are under way for a Christmas market which will open on November 24. (THEO HEIMANN/AFP/Getty Images

The darkness starts surrounding you, yet there is light


A man jogs in front of a sunset sky in Bayreuth, southern Germany, early Friday evening, Nov. 14, 2008. (Julia Kellner/AP / November 14, 2008)

Endurance test


A jockey competes with his horse in the Wadi Rum International Endurance Ride in the Jordanian desert on November 14, 2008. Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashed al-Maktoum, who is also Emirati vice president and prime minister, won the 120-km race.

Marc Faber's comments

Marc Faber’s comment on the US economy: September 11, 2008 The federal government is sending each of us a $600 rebate. If we spend that money at Wal-Mart, the money goes to China. If we spend it on gasoline it goes to the Arabs. If we buy a computer it will go to India. If we purchase fruit and vegetables it will go to Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala. If we purchase a good car it will go to Germany. If we purchase useless crap it will go to Taiwan and none of it will help the American economy. The only way to keep that money here at home is to spend it on prostitutes and beer, since these are the only products still produced in US. I’ve been doing my part.

The quicksand and the vine

Read this somewhere today+ some of my own modifications:

In the 2000 movie “The Replacements” with Keanu Reeves, “replacement” players come together to play the last five games of the season after a professional football players’ strike. During a team meeting the replacement coach played by Jack Warden asks about the new players fears. “A real man confronts his fears.” says Warden. After a few funny comments about spiders and insects, Keanu says that he’s afraid of quicksand. Quicksand he goes to explain, is the feeling that everything is going well and then one thing goes wrong, then another and then another. Pretty soon you feel as if nothing you can do will help get you out of the trouble you’re in. In other words – you’re in quicksand.

You try something different in the hopes it will fix the problem. And then another thing, and then another. Pretty soon you’re in quicksand.

As the old Tarzan movies showed us, the first thing you need to do to get out of quicksand is make sure you fall into it close to a strong vine. Grab the vine and pull yourself up out of the quicksand. But to successfully extract yourself, make sure you don’t struggle too much. Take your time, slowly pull yourself up and you will find your footing.

So where is the vine you can grab onto to pull itself out of the quicksand?

Go back to the things that got you where you are and always know what and where your string vine is.

Ultimate interview question

You may never guess what questions were once asked in an interview for the position of Managing directors of some of the national public sector banks in India. The questions to each of the three candidates was "Name 5 birds." Yes, you read it right "Name five birds." And all of them managed to get it right and all of them got the positions of the Managing Directors. Sounds crazy right? But its true. The actual reason was there were only 3 candidates for the 3 positions and the interviews were a mere formality. Some unbelievable things just happen :) And ever since, my mom prepares by dad by telling him to recite 5 mammals, 5 birds and 5 animals before his interviews :)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A new payment method

Anyone game for it?

If you are the one I am destined to play a game of scrabble with, do send me a post. Looking forward to it.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

New initiatives

RBI has come out with some initiatives. But unlike the usual ones of protecting the investors, this one stands out. It is about educating young people about basic finance. They even have a youth scholarship program for people between 18 and 23. It is heartening to see a brilliant institution of this country doing all in its powers to see that India doesn't end up as a debt country like the USA. Here is the ad for your reference.

Questions to ask before outsourcing

What to Outsource
Here are some questions to ask yourself when trying to identify functions and activities to outsource:
  • Is the activity central to generating profits or creating competitive advantage?
  • Is the job a routine task that could be easily communicated to someone else?
  • Does the task wastes valuable time and energy?
  • Is the function temporary, or does it recurs in cycles?
  • Does the activity drains resources that could be better used elsewhere?
  • Is the skill required for the job so specialized that it costs more to train someone in-house to do it?
  • Is it something nobody wants to do?
Will it be less expensive to have someone else do it?

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Estimates

"Knowing others to know yourself" Well, that seems cliched and as if another person is a mirror. Well, today, I asked a classmate how much time it took to complete a certain topic that is to be done for tomorrow. The person replied with "2 hrs" and "I don't know how useful this input will be for you". If I am right by choosing a candidate of around equal intelligence, interest in the subject and motive, then I should take the same time to complete that topic. The reasons it will vary are because of the variable parameters like sleepiness, tiredness and the difference between the estimated and actual differences in the intelligence, interest in the subject and motive. If there is a big difference between the time, analyse why is the difference. Was there a wrong basic assumption which needs to be corrected? If so, do it. You are now one more step towards perfection of estimating your time based on other's time. I have always been a staunch believer in using this theory to get an estimate of how much time I will require to do chapters that I don't even have an idea of. On all the previous emergency times(read before the exam day), this technique has been very useful to me. So start getting to know others well :)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Schrodinger's girlfriend

http://noenthuda.com/blog/?p=530

My favourite motivational speech

"Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It's a very mean and nasty place, and I don't care how tough you are. It will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't about how hard you hit. It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. It's about how much you can take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done. Now if you know what you're worth, then go out and get what you're worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hits and not be pointing fingers and saying 'it's because of him, or her, or anybody'. Cowards do that, and that ain't you. You're better than that. "

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Dancing with the Stars


This undated handout photo provided by NASA, taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, shows a pair of gravitationally interacting galaxies called Arp 147. The Hubble Space Telescope is working again, taking stunning cosmic photos after a one-month breakdown. The Hubble Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore said the $10 billion telescope is as good as it was before a shutdown in late September. That glitch scotched plans for spacewalking astronauts to upgrade the telescope this month. (AP / October 31, 2008)

One more step ahead

I recommend all emotionally stable adults to read the book "God's Debris" by Scott Adams. The reason I say adults and emotionally stable is because it dwells into thoughts that are very scary and the thoughts can play with your head. It can make you feel like a nobody in this world. What the book proposes is very extra-ordinary and tries to predict the future, but not the usual kind of future, but the future of mankind and what is our significance in all of universe. One of the propositions of this book is that each of us are like individual cells in a body who just does its functions without even knowing the existence of many other cells, and the human as such. Similarly, we all have a role to play in this universe as it evolves. Also, all the people in this world will connect to each other and help evolve earth which is itself a living particle of this universe. This connection I can see in the form of the internet spreading like wild fire, making people's lives even more transparent to the world. Now, people not only put up their photos on the web, but also their record their whole day's activities and put it on the web. Also, special web services, take photos of a typical person every 3 minutes and these get uploaded to the net automatically. Basically, our whole mankind's lives are being put on a framework from where humans are going to use it for further analysis to do something of a higher significance. Maybe to help test a human robot. The below link just made me think of God's debris and the future. http://www.businessweek.com/globalbiz/content/oct2008/gb20081027_886542.htm I am not very sure if the distant future is bright... I am not even sure if the near future is bright... I am not even sure if we had to have something known as conciousness to do whatever we are supposed to be doing to help evolve the universe...

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The machine


A V-22 Osprey tilt rotor aircraft taxies after a mission at Asad air base in western Iraqi desert. With its revolutionary design and to date near perfect record in Iraq, the V-22 Osprey looks very much the part of America's next great advance in military aviation.

All alone


Two work horses wait in a sea of corn stalks for the driver of their cart on a farm in Troy Twp., Ohio.

Can you locate the 7 horses?


A horse is reflected in drops of water hanging on an autumn leaf in Igis, eastern Switzerland.

Returns

For the whole last week, all that my classmates are talking are talking of is ROE(Return on equity), ROA(Return on assets), ROIC(Return on invested capital). This is because of the tests involving financial statement analysis. I have a question though: how do you measure the ROR, ROTIR, ROT - Return on relationships, return on time invested in relationships and return on time? Are these so intangible that they cannot be measured at all? Isn't there any standardised tests to find it out? Hasn't any sociologist taken it up for research yet?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Sukka


A Samaritan man prepares a 'Sukka' made of various fruits in preparation for the Sukkot (the Tabernacles Feast) in Mount Gerizim near the northern West Bank city of Nablus. The Sukkot feast will start tomorrow at sundown to commemorate the exodus of Jews from Egypt some 3200 years ago. The Samaritan religion is based on four principles of faith, One God-The God of Israel; One Prophet-Moses Ben Amram; The Belief in the Torah-the first five books of the Bible and One Holy Place-Mount Gerizim. The Samaritan community numbers about 720 people, half at Mount Gerizin in the West Bank and the others in Holon near Tel Aviv in Israel.

Festival of Lights

Just soooo colourful...

Wedding gift, anyone?

A newlywed Karabakh-Armenian couple walks with a cow in Shusha. More than 750 couples from the Nogorny-Karabakh region participated in mass wedding organized by businessman Levon Airapetyan, who gave each couple 2,000 US dollars (1,400 euros) and a cow. (KAREN MINASYAN/AFP/Getty Images / October 16, 2008)

Golden Zeus

A man lights a "Golden Zeus" cigar, coated with pure gold, which is displayed at the Millionaire Fair in Munich, southern Germany. The four-day luxury goods trade show opened to the public Friday amid criticism from left-wing groups but few protests. (AP/Christof Stache / October 17, 2008)

Lights

Berlin's TV tower is colorfully illuminated during the "Festival of Lights." During the festival that lasts until Oct. 26, 2008 about 50 buildings in the German capital are illuminated by light artists during the night. (AP/Sven Kaestner / October 16, 2008)

New Mission

Unifying the ladders

Please make sure to read the previous post to understand this one. http://noenthuda.com/blog/?p=996

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The striptease was good ;)

Today was our last financial accounting class (also glamorously called language of business) and we had financial statement analysis - how to decipher the strategies of the companies and also how healthy companies are from their income statement, balance sheet and cash flow statements. First we start by analysing some basic ratios and then we each of these ratios are further split into other components and more related ratios are analysed. If anything looks suspicious or if we want more information then we dig in more ratios that form the parent ratio. Prof:"It is like peeling an onion. You peel it layer by layer. It is like striptease. If you see only some ratios and leave the others, it is like seeing a half naked body. You wont get the full picture. You may see muscles on the upper half and be happy but you may be shocked to know that there are no muscles on the lower half." Financial statement analysis = Striptease !!! ************************************************************************************** Student:"Sir, the analysis"
then a pause.
Prof looking at him. Student: "Sir, when you do it vertically and horizontally....umm...Sir, I did it the analysis horizontally"
Then Prof is like "So, do you do it vertically, or horizontally?" Pregnant pause, a smile and a blink in his eyes "the analysis, that is"?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

New Financial Definitions

This has been making the email rounds: CEO –Chief Embezzlement Officer.

CFO– Corporate Fraud Officer.

BULL MARKET — A random market movement causing an investor to mistake himself for a financial genius.

BEAR MARKET— A 6 to 18 month period when the kids get no allowance, the wife gets no jewelry, and the husband gets no sex.

VALUE INVESTING — The art of buying low and selling lower.

P/E RATIO — The percentage of investors wetting their pants as the market keeps crashing.

BROKER — What my broker has made me.

STANDARD & POOR — Your life in a nutshell.

STOCK ANALYST — Idiot who just downgraded your stock.

STOCK SPLIT — When your ex-wife and her lawyer split your assets equally between themselves.

FINANCIAL PLANNER— A guy whose phone has been disconnected.

MARKET CORRECTION — The day after you buy stocks.

CASH FLOW– The movement your money makes as it disappears down the toilet.

YAHOO — What you yell after selling it to some poor sucker for $240 per share.

WINDOWS — What you jump out of when you’re the sucker who bought Yahoo @ $240 per share.

INSTITUTIONAL INVESTOR— Past year investor who’s now locked up in a nuthouse.

PROFIT — An archaic word no longer in use.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Jealousy

A potent combination

What do you think is the hardest combination of feelings to go through?
I think it has to be the combination of "anger and helplessness". The worst part about this combination is that you know that nobody can actually help you and hence there is no use telling your problem/feelings to others. Also, most probably the answer you will get is "things will get alright" which when you hear you know is crap. This suffering is almost always alone. And in most cases, the healer of this is time. Because as time moves on, you start getting on or get absorbed with other things in daily life and this combination of feelings takes a back seat for good. Once you are through this deadly concoction of emotions sucessfully, you become a stronger person than before, ready to take on more of life's hits with grace and ease.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Amazing death match

The mouse killed the deadly viper in the 30 minutes fight to the death. Brave little fella... It seems like he did not know what fear is... As I say, "Desperate times call for desperate measures." http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1075430/Pictured-The-moment-tiny-mouse-turned-tables-deadly-snake-turned-hunted-hunter.html

Monday, October 6, 2008

Google's next big thing

I am really delighted that someone is ready to do something that is really environmentally friendly and in a big way. And with the kind of brand image Google has, it has a higher chance if success. Wishing it all the best to save the planet. http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/Infotech/Google_unveils_Clean_Power_plan/articleshow/3552577.cms

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Suicide???

Elderly Palestinian women sit in wheelchairs as they enjoy the waters of the northern part of the Dead Sea, in the West Bank

So cute

They are cute but their stories are distressing http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1067297/Sitting-pretty-longer-The-barrow-load-orphaned-baby-orang-utans.html

Interesting jobs of this week

Monroe, WA: Bank Robber Decoys Sought

A brazen crook apparently used a Craigslist ad to hire a dozen unsuspecting decoys to help him make his getaway following a robbery outside a bank on Tuesday.

The robber had planned ahead. In case anyone was hot on his trail, he had at least a dozen unsuspecting decoys waiting nearby, which he recruited on Craigslist.

“I came across the ad that was for a prevailing wage for $28.50 an hour,” said Mike, who saw a Craigslist ad last week looking for workers for a road maintenance.

He…was e-mailed…instructions to meet near the Bank of America in Monroe at 11 a.m. Tuesday. He also was told to wear certain work clothing.

“Yellow vest, safety goggles, a respirator mask… and, if possible, a blue shirt,” he said.

Mike showed up along with about a dozen other men dressed like him, but there was no contractor and no road work to be done. He thought they had been stood up until he heard about the bank robbery and the suspect who wore the same attire.

Priceless.

***********************************************************************************

India: Elder Care - Home Care

I am searching for a female to take care of a healthy elderly gentleman for 5 months from November ‘08 to March ‘09. Job location is Tuticorin.

Salary offered is Rs. 6,000 per month. Candidate must be over 18 years of age and under 45, have some college education, must have good health, cleanliness and must speak either Tamil or Malayalam or English. Must stay at the job location. Food and living quarters, transportation to and from home town will be provided.

Attending the elderly gentleman is the primary responsibility which includes light cooking, shopping and house keeping. Gentleman is in his 60’s and in good health and so no need for any medical assistance. Prior experience is a plus.

Rent-a-wife! Someone needs to scale this operation and market it to lonely singles around the world.

************************************************************************************

Simple explanation of a complex instrument

If you want to understand what a credit default swap is, go through the below link...

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Which generation are you?

So you belong to Gen X? Gen Y?
All you oldies.... Welcome to the world of the new generation... Gen C. The C in "Gen C" stands for Customer made/Customised, Content and Cash. During the last two months, I have seen so many new Gen C stuff on the net, they are just mind blowing. From user designed footwear designs, to user generated car stickers, to almost customising everything what the customer wants.
http://www.trendwatching.com/trends/gen-cash.htm http://www.springwise.com/media_publishing/marketplace_for_book_makers/ http://www.springwise.com/style_design/swim_caps_with_a_splash_of_cus/ http://www.springwise.com/fashion_beauty/more_style_advice_courtesy_of/ http://www.springwise.com/style_design/bedding_designed_by_and_for_ki/ http://www.springwise.com/style_design/ponoko_id_lets_shoppers_and_de/ http://www.springwise.com/lifestyle_leisure/enlisting_the_crowds_to_resolv/ Well, this is just a small example of the many things possible by the next generation. So are you just going to sit on your backside and do nothing or actually do something and become cooler as the Gen C?

Should you be concerned?

The fight for "The ONE"

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Written communication

Today, we had a class of management communication and the topic was written communication. Prof: "You people must have written letters. A lot of love letters. So put up your hands and tell us who over here has written love letters." A few hands go up. Prof to student1:"So, you have written a love letter?" Student1:"Yes, but I did not give it to the girl." Prof to class:"What is the main purpose of writing a love letter?" Student2:"Well, it was to express my feelings to her." Student3:"To Add on to Student 2's point" Backbench students:"Was it the same girl?" Student3:"It was not for expressing feelings but to convince her to accept my proposal." It has been such a long time since I have seen or even heard of love letters. Those were the days, when love letters were written in secrecy and passed on in between books and through common friends and secretly responded back. In today's world it is all about kissing and hugging on the yahoo or skype chat (something my roomie does very often) to express feelings.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Of kissing and covering backsides

Quoting my prof "If your customer is an a**ehole and he is your number one customer, then you kiss his a**e. Else, you dont get sales and you lose your job." Reminds me of the dialogue from the movie "Top Gun": Slider to Goose: "Whose butt did you kiss to get in here?" Goose: "The list is long but distinguished." After the class, I had a discussion with an accountant classmate who worked for one of the big 4 accounting firms. He told me that the first thing they were thought is "Cover your a**e."

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Financial glut

The summarised Raghuram report on the Indian Financial reforms:
A description of the roles and functions of the Reserve Bank of India:

Weird job advertisements of the week

Colorado: Tiffany & Co. Diamond Jewelery and Diamond Ring

Jewelry that I have for trade:

-A women’s diamond ring with 7 round cut diamonds in 14k white gold, (from the day we got engaged) -An 18k yellow gold cross necklace with 11 diamonds, (from the night I caught him lying about staying late at the office. You don’t come back from a late office meeting with Johnie Walker on your breath and lipstick on your abdomen, no sirree)

-A Tiffany & Co. Elsa Peretti open heart necklace in sterling silver, (from the night I found a studded leather g-string in his dirty laundry, which he said was just a designer storage bag for his spare laptop battery)

-A Tiffany & Co. Return to Tiffanys bracelet in sterling silver, (from the day he bought a 1967 Corvette without asking me first)

-And a Tiffany & Co. 18k yellow gold ring with a single diamond. (from our wedding day)

I would be interested in trading for a nice men’s watch or ring. Also interested in a rifle or shotgun or a handgun in nice condition. (I will lure him into our bedroom and present him with a gift. I will then shoot him in the head and drive the Corvette to Mexico)

************************************************************************************

Virginia: Victoria’s Secret- The worlds sexiest lingerie brand is hiring!!!!

Victoria’s Secret- The worlds sexiest lingerie brand is hiring!!! We are currently looking for part time sales associates, stock associates, and merchandising crew to join our team!!!! If you are energetic, love fashion, enjoy working with people and are looking for a fast paced work environment then we are looking for you!!! Please stop in the store to fill out an application or forward your resume for consideration! Please be enthusiastic!!! And at last a 36C!!!

Solar bicycle

I had thought of this before: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1061777/Pedal-power-The-amazing-bicycle-powered-sun.html

2 interesting points

I went through some of the blogs,opinions and news websites and found 2 interesting points about all the US mess: 1. Why hasn't the SOX(Sarbanes Oxley Act) been used to make the CFO's and CEO's of the doomed institutions personally liable and put them in prison? 2. How come Warren buffet got such a neat sweet deal from one of the best institutions of the world (A 5% preferred stock with a hefty 10% dividend and an option to buy 5% common stock which is already in the money) whereas the US treasury is buying everybody's s**t? Interesting... I guess we will never know the real reasons, would we ?

Odd couple

He Pingping from Inner Mongolia, China's autonomous region, the world's smallest man sits on the lap of Svetlana Pankratova from Russia, the Queen of Longest Legs, as they pose at Trafalgar Square in London. Pingping, born with primordial dwarfism, holds the Guinness World Record for the smallest man at 74.61 cms (2 feet and 5.37 inches) and Pankratova holds the Guinness World Record for the longest leg of any woman at 132 cms (4 feet 4 inches) in length. (SANG TAN/AP / September 16, 2008)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Birdman?


This photo taken on May 14, 2008 above Bex, Switzeland shows Swiss professional pilot Yves Rossy, the world's first man to fly with fitted jet fuel powered wings strapped to his back, flying during his first official demonstration. Rossy flew into the history books on September 26, 2008 by crossing from France to Britain on only a jet-powered wing, describing afterwards how he felt "like a bird" over the English Channel. Yves Rossy, 49, touched down in a field on top of the white cliffs of Dover after completing the 35-kilometre (22-mile) journey over one of the world's busiest shipping lanes. (FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images / May 14, 2008)

http://www.newsday.com/news/nationworld/ny-mmliphoto,0,1550106.photogallery Photo 12

The new punk on the block

Dudes and dudettes, look at his hairdo... For more pictures and info:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1062575/Pictured-The-punk-rock-turtle-bright-green-mohawk.html

Friday, September 26, 2008

Of essence and glances of women

I am sure the heading sounds kind of Mills and Boon titles.... :) Today, we had a public speaking class. The speakers have topics given to them a couple of days earlier to prepare for and they come and give the presentation. One of the speakers had this topic: "Are women the weaker sex?" The guy had each depicting some photograph and some one liners. One of them read "Women are the essence of life". But what came out from his mouth was "Women are the essence of my life". Hmmm..... Looks like he spoke some truth from the heart, huh? After the presentation, the other students are asked to give feedback about the presentation. One guy gave the following feedback/comment to a girl: "You had a three point eye contact. One on the left, one on the right and one in the center. You should give more glances. One atleast."

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The chosen ones

Prof: Israeli's (jews) considered themselves as "the chosen ones of God". Just look at them. There they are in the desert with no oil, while all their neighbours have so much of it, then they are surrounded by all enemies and they consider themselves "the chosen ones of god"? I dont understand it.

Security guards

Today, in one of the classes we were talking about GCC(Gulf cooperation council) consisting of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, UAE and Oman. The prof describes Kuwait: These guys have a strange problem. They have a lot of money from the oil. But they are weak and have a lot of wealth and are surrounded by thugs. So what do you do if you are Kuwait? First, stash the money outside the country by buying assets abroad. Then to protect the money in the country, hire cheap security guards. So who are these cheap security guards? These are the US guys. They even pay you to protect you. When asked about what they give in return, the Kuwait guys reply "we buy a lot of their US made cars. But then it is dirt cheap and it is for the security guys. These is the least we could do for those security people." I bow to my prof for this wonderful insight.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Transfers

My dad just got transferred to Trivandrum two weeks ago and he will be joining the new organisation tomorrow. It has been a decade since I have been involved in a proper one-to-one transfer with my family. You must be wondering what a one-to-one transfer is. Well it is a situation where all the items from the one house in one city move to just one house in another city.

Well what other kind of transfers are there? There is the other one-to-many transfers -> this involves separating the items in one house in one city to multiple locations based on the need and user of each item. I have personally handled and have overseen a one-to-two transfer and a one-to-four transfer. Trust me, one-to-one transfers are the fun ones, not the others. It needs a lot of guts and nerves of titanium and experience to get through the one-to-many transfers. It is definitely not for the light hearted.

I miss one of the last one-to-one transfers that my dad just had. During my school days, the one-to-one transfers were the times where the family has had intense conflicts and difference of opinions as the priorities are quite different for everybody and the roles and responsibilities are not exactly defined like in a company. This was the time of doing. No postponing, no giving excuses, but just do it and more importantly do it smartly, effectively and efficiently. Looking back, these are the times I have learnt the maximum lessons, tips and tricks about organising, packing, prioritising, safeguarding precious items, loading, supervising, delegating, ordering, confirming, unloading, unpacking the stuff and managing the pressure. Lessons nobody else can ever learn so easily without actually being in the midst of it all. Lessons I am proud of. These are the times of real decision making, however small the issue, if not resolved in a particular time frame, some other higher authority(my mom or dad) will do it, sourcing information and material, asking for help when necessary, not undoing done things. There is a sense of urgency, so many things are to be packed before the truck people come, so many loaders to keep a watch on(not just of stealing, but also how they are handling the items). You dont look at the watch, until the workers stop working to take lunch.

You look back, see the kind of mess the house is in. You walk on cardboard, newspaper and ropes everywhere. And then you start processing the info and start reorganising and reprioritising the stuff to be moved, cleaned and personally supervised. At the end of the day, you are tired, so tired that the back or the legs or the whole body aches and you desire to sleep well for the night after knowing very well that a job has been done well. As kids(my bro and I) had our own priorities during transfers and used to miss the big picture. There would obviously be times when my dad or mom would ask us to do things we have never done before and it was an opportunity to prove ourselves and gain experience and trust.

Today, it is different. We(my bro and I) have during the two decades have witnessed dozens of transfers and have learnt tremendously without any specific concious learnings. During the one-to-many transfers, we(My mom, my bro and I) as a team, have done really well and have learnt many unique aspects of the one-to-many transfers. In the last decade, my parents have moved some 9 different houses in 5 cities and I have missed almost all of it. I had wished I was there during the Bhavnagar to wherever transfer, but unfortunately, that did not happen. Looking forward to the next fully loaded one-to-one transfer. Waiting to do a complete one-to-one transfer with all my expertise with my father just overlooking things. One treat that would be when the job is well done!

P.S: Here is a breakdown of my family members' total transfer/house moving experiences/involvements after my parents got married: My mom: 29 houses My dad: 27 houses My bro: 24 houses Me: 24 houses till now.
error(+ or - 1)for each member.

Mr.President

The stuents had a short meeting with our college president the other day. he just wanted to meet us and ask us how things were going on. This is how he addresses the crowd after the hello. "I am very surprised all of you are still alive. We must be doing something wrong." :-|

Bandage

One of my classmates has come to the class with a big bandage on his forehead. The guy asks a doubt to the prof. Prof: what happened? why the bandage? Student: I fell down from the bunk Prof: you know that the bed is meant for one person only, uh?
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Even after 2 minutes, his neighbour is still laughing prof to the neighbour: you are still laughing. Are you the other guy involved?
***************************************************************************** Words of wisdom from our prof: "Here in the mba you cannot have both a love life and a study life. They are incompatible unless of course your love life is with one of your CAN group members." *****************************************************************************