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Sunday, May 30, 2010

All those poor Pakistanis

Just imagine. No don't imagine. Life without Facebook?
*shudders
That's beyond imagination.

Seriously though, Facebook is such an important part in my life that I'd be really pissed if someone decided to 'ban' it. I keep in touch with my friends and even some relatives through FB - esp since I'm halfway across the globe from most of them.

And most importantly would banning anything solve anything? Evidently all this started because some crazy woman in US started a group on FB called 'Draw Muhammad Day' - which, understandably angered the Muslim community in Pakistan.

But I really don't see the purpose of banning FB though. Demanding an apology from the demented woman - yes - but banning Facebook?
I saw somewhere that the ban is only till 31st May, but that just makes it even mind boggling.

Maybe governments just like banning this and banning that. I remember the Lankan gov going to such great lenghts to ban Da Vinci Code. The funny thing about that was - that ban actually prompted some of my Christian friends to get hold of a DVD and watch it - just to see why it was banned. And no, they did not feel insulted.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Representing all of womankind... *gulp


Any fellow sisters out there doing engineering/computer sceince? Particulary post grads? PhDs to be more exact?
Ah yep. See I'm sure you must have felt like that YOU are the sole representative of all women - especially when you're sitting at a lecture on Fourier transformation and everyone else in the room are guys.
Seriously, what is with the ladies? Is it us? or is it the society?
I don't know ... but it is pretty annoying. And it makes the rest of us feel spooked out.0
Like poor Celia for example (the comic strip on the left)

Let me tell you this kind of thing can permanently scar you for life.
Today for instance, I went to a conference in Melbourne (yes I go to conferences now - hence feeling very big and important), where the woman participants were (surprise surprise) around 5%.
Seriously.

Notice :image maybe subejected to copy right. Image from http://www.phdcomics.com/comics/archive.php?comicid=55

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Tales of Procrastination


Yesterday was utterly unproductive. *Sigh Spent hours fiddling with Word and Turnitin. Stupid Word. Kept reformatting my references when I used secondary citations.
A secondary citation is when you cite something that was cited in a paper/article that you've read. As in [3, cited in 1]. Word kept auto formatting it to ' [3,1]'. Sheesh. This is why am such an avid Latex fan. I've decided to keep using Endnote to keep track of my references. I can always take the bibTex output when I start writing the Lit survey - so no worries of compatibility there. And I can also just import the citations from google scholar (most of the time) - which is really useful.



So anyway around 3 pm yest, I kept hearing a voice in my head saying 'Need. Something. Sweet'...'Need. Something. Sweet'...'Need. Something. Sweet'
Original idea of an ice cream was chucked aside as highly lunatic and dangerous because, really who eats ice cream when its 12 C?
And moreover, who also seems on verge of a cold?
Right so then walked around the Agora - thus consuming more valuable time that I was supposed to spend reading about other peoples' wonderful research - trying to figure out which cafe to go into. Finally went inside one and then spent more time staring at the food items and also at two people of indeterminate gender who were making out on one of the sofas.

Aanyway finally decided on a hot choc muffin. Very nice and big for $2.50 too. Totally yummy actually. Definitely recommend a hot choc muffin with coffee on a cold afternoon. Mmmm...

PS- image from http://www.hhmidtownbagels.com/

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Yes I hear the drums!


Its almost a month since I've come to Melbourne. And a day and a month since I left Lanka. So far, I'm not complaining :)
So anyway the first thing people here say when I say my name - my surname - that is - "Can you hear the drums?"
At first I was like "Huh?" with this extremely confused look on my face, by which time they would explain about this. :D Of course silly me.

One of the best things about Melbourne is that its so multi cultural. Frankly I think everyone should come to Melbourne - at least for a few days! - just for that multi cultural experience. Some people could really learn a thing or two on tolerance and ethnic diversity.

Oh and the moon looks weird here. Bigger. I don't know why that is. Hmm

The worst thing is the weather. Being autumn, its getting very windy and cold. Even though 14 C is not supposed to be that cold - somehow it is. Only good thing about it is that I treated myself to new (and my first!) boots :D

I have used all three (tram,bus,train) methods of public transport now :) and its quite convenient when compared to the Lankan system. For instance, you can log on to their website and plan your journey online by giving details of your destination and where you're starting from.

People kept trying to give me free Footy tickets to MCG and I keep saying no :) Apparently La Trobe uni's giving away 10,000 tickets to International students. Haha they're all Footy mad here - even babies are dressed in team colours!

As for my work - well its early days yet and apparently the first year of PhD is called the 'honeymoon year' Hehe. Reading reading and more reading is what I'm doing mostly.

Which reminds me...should probably get back to that utterly incomprehensible journal paper...Ahh the joys of research :)