Monday, May 24, 2010

The Kabbalah Code

I am still wondering why I picked up The Kabbalah Code by James F. Twyman. As I keep digging within, I can think of the following reasons:
a) Madonna
b) Since I am learning French, an adventure in Paris is obviously attractive.
c) The name resembles "The Da-Vinci Code"

Anyways, I am reading this book and I am still not able to decide what to make of this book. Till now this book resembles a spiritual version of a mix of The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demon

In fact, I am not even sure if this is fiction or otherwise.
Why? Here are two extracts from this book. One I would categorize as cute and the other down right ludicrous.

Here's the cute extract:

"I've always loved the acronym for ego: Edging God Out," I offered. "It's pretty accurate. The ego is the part of us that wants to be alone and isolated, somehow thinking that it makes us stronger. Obviously that can't be true, but the ego can't be bothered with truth."

So far so good.

But here's something downright nonsensical and pushes this book straight into the the realm of new age mumbojumbo:

"I've always believed that the chanting of Sacred Names creates literal tunnels - wormholes - in the fabric of space-time. And it's through these pathways that the breath of the Holy Spirit, which exists in the world of fantasy and imagination, can be bridged into this world."

Einstein must be spinning in his grave. Meanwhile, I will see where this book leads me to.

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Saturday, May 22, 2010

Physics Can Be Fun Too

I wish I had this book when I was studying in 5th Standard. The Cartoon Guide to Physics is easily the best 'text book' on physics. The educators will disagree, of course. Education, for some strange reason, has turned out to be not-for-fun activity. Pity!

How deep is the Cartoon Guide?
Counter question: What do you know of Pseudo-forces? The first time when I understood this concept I was well into college. The Cartoon guide explains the concept in 11 sketches. And does a good job of it. The chapter is called "Some Forces are Fictitious".
And by the time you complete the chapters of Electricity and Magnetism, believe me, you will be ready to shred your child's prescribed text books.

This one gets to sit right next to the Feynman Lectures on Physics in my small library. Highly recommended!

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Saturday, May 15, 2010

Take out time

I had just landed after a 24+ hour flight. And this chap was eager to show me what he had accomplished. I hope he would understand as I finished my meeting with the customers and headed for the hotel. I could always see and appreciate his work later.
Do you think my colleague understood?
No way!
All he felt was hurt and rejection.
I eventually lost this engineer.
This happened a long while ago.
One valuable lesson learnt, but at a cost.

You see perceptions are realities. It doesn't matter what you thin. What matters is what the other person feels. Always take out time to smile, pat a back and encourage. It doesn't matter how dead you are; how busy you are.

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Does French Help You Count?

Who in their right mind would say, "Just Four-Twenty and Nineteen days left to my wedding"?
Unless you are a mathematician or French!
You see, some clever French decided that giving names to all numbers is such a waste of time. Numbers till sixty are sufficient. All numbers after that can be derived from existing numbers.
So, 70 became soixante-dix (60 & 10);
72 became soixante-douze (60 & 12);
80 became quatre-vingt (four-twenty); and
99 became, your guessed it, quatre-vingt-dix-neuf (four-twenty & nineteen).

I wonder if any study has been conducted to determine if French children are good at arithmetic.

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Saturday, May 8, 2010

Excuses, Excuses

It is amazing how pursuit of one thing throws your life completely out of gear.
Once I decided that I should put in more hours to learn European languages, I quickly realized all other activities will have to take back seat. I used to get up early to compose blogs. That time now went into working out the nuances of Spanish, German and French. I love reading - reading anything - that too receded in the background.
"Stop," says a part of my brain. "You are just wasting your time. You will never master languages unless you get to talk to others in these languages. In any case, why are you learning these languages?"
As if I need a reason for doing anything!

Some time ago I managed to combine German and blogging here. Wonder if I pick up the threads again. Also got to start reading again. That's my life blood.

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