Friday, December 22, 2006

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

On the 21st of December, I was randomly browsing, when I chanced upon a news post on saying that the door in the secret section of can be opened. This really piqued my interest, because that door usually opens to reveal something significant. And I was not disappointed. A few clicks and a hangman puzzle later, the title of the seventh Harry Potter book was revealed: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

An interesting tit bit about the release date of the title. In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, we hear parts of a prophecy during the fight in the Hall of Prophecy:
" the solstice will come a new... and none will come after...". December 21 is the Winter Solstice. And since this is the last book, "none will come after". Coincidence? I don't think so.

Everybody has their own theories about the title. Here is mine. In this context, "Hallows" is a noun and "Deathly" is an adjective. One possible interpretation is that the title talks about "Hallows" which are deathly, i.e. caused by death.

What does hallow mean then? The POD defines "hallow" as a verb meaning "to make holy; to revere or respect". That doesn't make much sense when applied to the title. But I came across another definition of Hallows in :


The Hallows across most legends are seen to represent the royal regalia carried by the King, or the objects sought by someone such as a 'Grail Quester' in both ancient and modern stories.

This makes perfect sense if you replace "Hallow" with "Horcrux". Since the horcruxes are objects belonging to the founders( almost royalty in the wizarding world ), and Harry is seeking these objects, it all fits in. But why give a new name to something which already has a name?

The other possible interpretation is that "Deathly Hallows" is the name of a place.

Bye for now. Expect more HP&TDH related posts.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Interesting C program

just try this c program:

#include <stdio.h>
double m[]= {7709179928849219.0, 771};
int main(){
m[1]-- ? m[0]*=2 , main(): printf(m);

source: Kawigi.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

An OGRE called AGRE

Finally finished with my Advanced Graduate Record Examination(AGRE), the specialized version of GRE. I was completely unprepared for the exam, and the only revision I had done was a cursory glance at the model paper. Therefore I was pleasantly surprized by the paper, which turned out be quite easy. That is no gaurantee, of course, that I'll get a good score; There are a million possible ways in which I might have goofed up. But I was happy with my performance, because I solved quite a few questions on logic alone, without knowing or remembering something.

That is the last exam I take this year(Phew!). Now comes the tedious and boring part of creating the application packets and mailing them. My bank balance is sure to take a phenomenal hit this month.

Anyway, after the apping process is done, I will be relatively free for the next few months. I promise to post more often( as I have promised many times in the past :) ).

Bye for now,

Monday, April 24, 2006

Arbit Post...

A certain friend of mine and me were discussing (and cussing) about the state of affairs, when we stumbled upon the fact that we both found sidin very funny. That got me thinking; If only I had a blog, I'd be famous and have lots of chicks drooling over my posts.

It took me three days to remember that I already had a blog, which I hadn’t updated in 2 years. Well, so much for spontaneous thinking.

What makes a blog tick? What is that one element, that one ingredient in the literary recipe of a successful blog which turns ordinary dough into a gourmet's delight?

The answer is: humor. I like funny blogs; if fact, those are the only ones I like. And I'm not alone when I say that funny blogs get a large number of hits. Nothing alleviates the routine boredom at work than reading a vinodg or sidin post.

By now, my slow-but-persistent mind had figured out the important equation: funny post == popular blog == lots of drooling chicks. So now how do I write a funny post? Simple, do what every author since Shakespeare had done: plagiarize.

Stealing is an art. Sorry, that’s not correct: stealing without getting caught is an art. Now, that was a problem, because my knowledge of art is abysmally low. I once mistook the Mona Lisa for the poster of the movie "Kalasipalya". But I was not to be deterred by some small thing like utter incompetence.

So begins the blog saga of the Tall King who, like the viking Erik Hender Klassen Punddig Oesterd Bjorgun, set out on doing something where there is 0.00009% of success. Watch out for funny, irreverent, stupid, malicious and plain old naughty posts. And try to guess where I stole them from, if you're clever.

And now for something completely different, a nice picture of Laetitia Casta:

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Chronicles of Chennai: The Voyage of the Crazy Quizzers

Whats common to The Trojan War , 9 SAP Labs Employees in Chennai and a bookstore which claims to be one of India's biggest bookstore chains?The answer is: Odyssey. What follows is a (slightly dramatized) ( hyped-up )( completely fictional ) account of what happened during the Odyssey Quiz 2006.

The day of 26th January dawned upon us. To an unsuspecting eye, the morning of 26th was quite similar to the morning of the 24th, a little chillier maybe. But that day was the day when the brave knights of the Priory of SAP, donned their armour and set out on a quest, the quest for the Quizzing Glory.

There were 9 of us, 3 teams of 3. The first, and by far the strongest was the team Immaculate Misconception( Ravi Subramanian, P Rajesh and Vinay Shenoy ). Then we had the Dude, Where's My Answer?( Ila Gore, Jayendra Bisnik, Rohit Jaiswal ). Last but not the least FAQ: Frequently Attending Quizzes( Abhishek Ramanathan, Pranav K Wankawala, Priyananda Shenoy ).

The morning started in a hectic fashion, with Vinay and Ila racing against time on an auto and made it with about 30 seconds to spare. The train we booked was the Shatabdi Express, known for its punctuality. Once the train started, things got smoother. Ravi, Vinay and me had seats together, and soon we fell into a deep and spiritual discussion about the nature of reality and the quintessential contradiction of existence … or maybe we just cribbed about the lack of females in the compartment, I don’t remember.

At 11:00, the train wound its way into a cavernous lair of gargantuan proportions, called the Chennai Railway station.(This was the first time the author had visited the jewel of the South, the bustling city of Chennai, so you must forgive his exuberance here). From there, we caught a bus ( yes, a real chennai local bus! ) to the spot that is sacred to every bookworm, Landmark.

Many a joyous minutes we spent there, surrounded by tonnes of books, CDs and other useless stuff. Ravi added to his already HUGE collection of movie vcd/dvd by buying 20+ movies. The author himself couldn't resist the temptation, and satiated himself by buying a couple of books and one game ( Far Cry: What a game ! ).

Driven by hunger, we then proceeded to a restaurant whose name I don’t remember, and gorged ourselves. Lunch was a fun-filled affair, admist much leg pulling and teasing. Andre Agassi seemed to be the hot topic of discussion, for reasons I wont mention here ;).

After Lunch we landed up at the gates of the Chennai Music Academy, which was the venue of our interrogation … er, I mean quiz. Much to my dismay, the place was already crowded, chock full of guys who looked like they quizzed for a living. D'Oh! There's Arul Mani. There's Avinash Mudaliar! These guys had been quizzing for a zillion years now, and probably Knew half of wikipedia by heart.

After much squeezing, shoving and rude gestures, we finally made it into the auditorium. (Queue? Wake up, people … this is India ). There we were treated to half an hour of pointless Music. At last the quiz began. The quizmaster was a doctor( a pediatrician, a fact that would come in handy for one of the questions later ). Standard Prelims format: 30 questions, 30 minutes.

Our team did a decent performance( by our standards ). We got 12, out of 30. Ila and co did a bit better: 14. But the stud team obviously did very well, getting 21. After a delay of 15 minutes, the quiz master started announcing the finalists: Arul Mani and co … Avinash Mudaliar and co … Ravi Subramanian and co … Hooray! They had qualified! They defeated teams like QED( last years winners ) to qualify for the finals, out of over 850 teams !!! This was surely a feat to remember!

They started out well, and were at position 2 at the end of the first two rounds. Arul Mani, the omniscient God of Bangalore quizzing, decided to entertain the audience by answering every question with "Ozone Layer Depletion", until the quizmaster gave him a Rs 250/- coupon to shut up.

All good things come to an end; it was unfortunate that this good thing came to an end after the second round. IM then lost their momentum and ended up in the last place. The winners were some kids from Hyderabad( I might be wrong ). After that intial silly show, Arul Mani gave us ample demonstrations of why he is the God of quizzing by cracking every question to finish second.

After the quiz was over, Ravi and co slowly came back to ground after that unforgettable experience. We had dinner at Kabul, paid for by the benevolent Rajesh P( Way to go, Uncle! ).

All in all, it was an enjoyable experience. I hope to repeat this next year as well. I urge All quizzers out there to attend such quizzes in the future. Winning is not important, but the experience we get is priceless.