Trains and the Transportation System

Some of the hazards of traveling around India by air include over-crowded airports, delayed flights, and lost baggage. I was in Bangalore for three days last week and then came back to Mumbai with a day’s stop at the Indian School of Business in Hyderabad. How I wish I had the option of not flying around the country. Indian (the airlines formerly known as Indian Airlines) managed to mishandle my checked-in bag and as of now (nearly 24 hours later) the bag is still missing.

The signs are not good. I don’t mean about my bag but about the whole airlines business in India. Continue reading

The Renaming of Things

Hugh Fitzgerald over at Dhimmiwatch says in an article titled “Aurangzeb Road” (hat tip: Tushar) :

“The Danish Embassy in India is located on Aurangzeb Road in New Delhi. So there is still a road in India that is named after the most ruthless and cruel of the many ruthless and cruel Muslim rulers, oppressor and mass-murderer of Hindus. Why is there a road by that name? Change it, for god’s sake.”

Nope. We can’t do that. Bangalore can be changed to Bengaluru for reasons not very clear. Airlines can be renamed from “Indian Airlines” to “Indian”. But mass murderers have cities and major streets named after them. Dhimmis tend to do that. Personality cult disorder, as I wrote a few years ago.

Hell and Censorship

News from Abroad

Gordon Dryden emailed me an update on the Hell billboards which I had written about in August 2005.:

Hell Pizza

Thus wrote Gordon:

Today, the New Zealand Council of Advertising Standards upheld, in part, a complaint against Hell billboards – with the photo of George W Bush, and saying “Even hell is too good for some bastards”.

Its ruling (seriously) did not find anything wrong with the reference to George B in that context but felt that the term “some bastards” might be offensive to some people.”

I think that putting the word “bastards” on a billboard where one may inadvertently see it is perhaps a bit much. Therefore I do not think removing the word amounts to censorship.
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Air Indian

Imagine a restaurant where the number of employees exceeds the number of seats. Would be a very expensive restaurant indeed. Now imagine an airline where the number of employees exceeds the the number of seats. Actually, you don’t have to imagine that one as India has two such airlines where all the employees cannot be seated in the planes simultaneously. When the two state-run airlines merge shortly, they will have about 132 airplanes — my estimate is around 20,000 seats — and 35,000 employees.
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How to be an expert

Legend has it that Arthur Rubenstein was once asked on the street for directions to Carnegie Hall. “Pardon me sir, but how do I get to Carnegie Hall?” He said, “Practice, practice, practice.”

Here’s something you may enjoy listening to. A Scientific American podcast (mp3 download ~9.5 MB) on what it takes to become an expert. Anyone can provided one puts sufficient sweat into it and does so smartly over an extended period of time. So all of you who have small children, pay special attention.

The Expert Mind and the Interplanetary Bicycle Ride

In this episode, Phil Ross talks about what scientists have learned is necessary to achieve expertise in virtually any field. Ross’s article on the subject, The Expert Mind, is in the August issue of Scientific American. And Sheldon Schafer, who sports the title of Curator of the Solar System (a huge model of the solar system centered in Peoria, Illinois) discusses the Interplanetary Bicycle Ride, coming up on August 12 and 13. Plus we’ll test your knowledge about some recent science in the news. Websites mentioned on this podcast include Spectrum.IEEE.org; http://www.lakeview-museum.org; and the Scientific American Digital Archive, http://www.sciamdigital.com.

Some are Born to Sweet Delight

Hi from Mumbai. Been here for a couple of days, and tomorrow I go to Bangalore for a few days.

Mumbai is not too unpleasant at this time of the year weather wise. Spent last evening in Colaba meeting with a friend. Best way to get there from my office in Lower Parel is to take a local train and then a cab from Churchgate station to Regal theatre.
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