Tornadoes

Nature is awesome in the sense that it evokes a sense of awe in us. Last Saturday a bunch of tornadoes tore through central and southern United states:  Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee, and Kentucky.

About three-fourths of all tornadoes occur in the United States. I have never witnessed one since I spent most of my life in California — where we have droughts, floods and earthquakes but no tornadoes. Continue reading “Tornadoes”

Hello from Bangalore

I’m visiting my friend KM and his family in Bangalore (aka Bengaluru) after many years. The weather in this city is better than any other major Indian city’s. If I were to live in India, I’d choose this city. I took the picture above from the 15th floor apartment in a development called Brigade Gateway in Malleswaram — it has everything that you’d need: residential towers, school, hotel, mall (Orion), hospital, mega store, parks, gyms, restaurants, office complexes, etc etc. Continue reading “Hello from Bangalore”

The Magnificent Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer “went from adolescence to senility, trying to bypass maturity.” He graduated Bachelor of Arts in mathematics from Harvard University, magna cum laude in 1946. He taught mathematics and other classes at MIT, Harvard, Wellesley, and the University of California, Santa Cruz. Lehrer is German for “teacher” — which is fitting in his case. He is 93 years old and still hangs out around UC Santa Cruz.

All that, and he’s a genius too. I have loved his songs for decades. Try this one on the chemical elements. The last line cracks me up:

These are the only ones of which the news has come to Harvard
And there may be many others but they haven’t been discovered Continue reading “The Magnificent Tom Lehrer”

Hi from Charlotte NC

Greetings from the Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT). I am on a long layover on my way to Austin TX. My American Airline flight was from Philadelphia to Charlotte NC. And now I am waiting at CLT for my next flight. 

According to the airport’s website, “CLT is ranked among the top 10 busiest airports in the world, averaging 1,600 daily aircraft operations. It serves approximately 178 nonstop destinations around the globe and welcomes more than 50 million passengers annually.”

As it happens, this is my first time in NC after several decades. Long time ago, I once drove through NC on my way from NJ to FL. It was during a very fierce snowstorm.

I will get to Austin TX late — actually past midnight my time but still before midnight TX time. Will write tomorrow.

UPDATE: CLT has been shut down for now due to a massive lightening storm. It is thundering like crazy. I am afraid that my flight will be late. I captured a bit of video that I will post when I get to Austin.

 

Leaving in a Jet Plane

Airbus A380

The last time I was on a flight was the end of January 2020 — return from San Francisco Bay area after attending the Mont Pelerin meeting at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution.

Because of the Chinese virus, I have avoided flying. Because I like road trips, it wasn’t too much of a constraint for me, except of course I couldn’t do a road trip to Finland or India.

I am off to Austin, TX today. From Philadelphia to Austin on an American Airlines flight.

I am amazed at the big jet planes and the commercial aviation industry. Airliners are some of the most beautiful things humans have ever designed. The development of aviation surpasses all imagination. Just think: the first successful heavier-than-air powered aircraft flight in all of recorded history happened for the first time in 1903. The Wright Flyer took to the air in Kitty Hawk.

Continue reading “Leaving in a Jet Plane”

The Change

My interest spans a wide range: music, philosophy, science (primarily physics and cosmology), technology, history, mathematics, poetry, literature, the visual arts, culture and religion. Within each of those topics, I have broad interests. For instance, I really like a wide variety of music. There’s Western classical on one end and there’s Hindustani classical on the other. In between there’s world music, modern composers like Philip Glass, trance, rock, pop, Hindi movie songs (only the old ones before the 1990ies), etc.

My main professional interest is economics. I continue to learn the fundamentals of economics. I have very little interest in economies although the basic question that motivated my study related to the Indian economy and what was the major barrier to its development. Now I believe I know why India is poor. So I no longer have to think about that. Now I just focus on continuing to learn the fundamental principles of economics — and to help others learn what I consider to be important principles so they can work out for themselves the answer to questions they may have about economics and economies that interest them. Continue reading “The Change”

Time to Say Goodbye

“All things must pass. All things must pass away.”

That’s what George Harrison sang all those many years ago. I agree. All things do, and must, pass away.

I started my first blog in 1998 or thereabouts when I was a grad student at UC Berkeley. It was called “Life is a Random Draw.” That blog has since been deleted.

That’s understandable since the internet is ephemeral. Impermanence and change are the defining characteristics of the internet as much as it of the universe, as the Buddha realized about 2,700 years ago. Continue reading “Time to Say Goodbye”

India’s Republic Day January 26th

Today is the 71st anniversary of the Republic Day of India. On Jan 26th, 1950, the constitution of India came into force.

Here are a few posts from previous years. Last year’s post was “Whoever fights monsters …

Quote:

Around 1951 you could count the number of central government public sector units (PSUs) on the fingers of one hand: there were five. Twenty-five years later by 1976, that number had ballooned to 155. By 1984, there were 220. The central government added 70 PSUs in the following 30 years — for grand total of 290 by 2014. That’s a rate of increase was a little over two per year.

With Modi as the prime minister — and the de facto autocrat of India — the rate of increase of public sector units shot up to over 12 per year. In the four years 2014 to 2018, about 50 additional PSUs were added. Modi promised one thing — “government has no business to be in business” — and delivered precisely the opposite.

Continue reading “India’s Republic Day January 26th”

Train driver’s view

Probably because I associate trains with holidays when we were growing up I love trains. One time many years ago I even got to ride a diesel-electric locomotive hauling a passenger train in India — a rare treat. Thanks to YouTube, these days you can get a virtual ride in a locomotive. My favorite train-driver’s view channel is one that goes by the handle HinduCowGirl.

The driver is a Norwegian lady, who I believe is also a sky-diving instructor. She has heaps of videos of the trains she drives. I confess that I spend an inordinate amount of time watching them. All of them are pre-recorded since they don’t have the internet connectivity to live-stream the videos but many are streamed with live chat. It’s fun to hang out with others who share the love of trains. OK, so here’s one of those videos.
Continue reading “Train driver’s view”

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