Monthly Archives: August 2006

The Girl who named the now "dwarf planet" Pluto

On August 24th, 2006 The International Astronomical Union convened at Prague, in the Czech Republic and voted to redefine the term “planet“, demoting Pluto to the status of a “dwarf planet“, and leaving the solar system with eight planets.

In light of this momentous decison I decided to re-trace a seemingly unassuming article I had glanced over about the origins of the name Pluto.

Venetia Burney (born 1919) or Venetia Phair (married name) was the first person to suggest the name Pluto for the planet discovered by Clyde W. Tombaugh in 1930. She lived in Oxford, England, and was 11 years old at the time.

Burney was the great-niece of Henry Madan Science Master of Eton, who in 1878 had suggested the names Phobos and Deimos for the moons of Mars. Her grandfather Falconer Madan , Librarian of the Bodleian Library of Oxford University, was the brother of Henry Madan.
On March 14, 1930, Falconer Madan read the story of the new planet’s discovery in The Times of London, and mentioned it to his granddaughter Venetia. She suggested the name Pluto, and Falconer Madan forwarded the suggestion to astronomer Herbert Hall Turner, who cabled his American colleagues at Lowell Observatory.

Venetia grew up to be a teacher and married a man named Maxwell Phair. As of 2006, she is 87 years old and living in Epsom.

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59 years of Indian Independence (August 15, 1947 — )

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up
into fragments by narrow domestic walls;
Where words come out from the depth of truth;
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;
Where the clear stream of reason
has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;
Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

— (“Mind without Fear” Geetanjali, Rabindranath Tagore)

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Everything You Wanted to Know About Getting a Job in Silicon Valley

Ever wondered what it takes to get a job in the Silicon Valley? Guy Kawasaki, a managing director at Garage Technology Ventures, breaks down the 15 essentials to know if you want to land a job in Silicon Valley.

Rule One: Love what the company does. Passion for what a company makes or does is the most important factor in getting a job in Silicon Valley. Companies here are built on passion—indeed, perhaps more passion than reality. Hence, they hire passionate people who are already in the Reality Distortion Field …

Corollary: Rather than hoping that the openings that you like are at companies that you like, find out if the companies that you like have openings that you like.

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A "30 days" reality in Bangalore

This weekend, while mindlessly channel surfing for some thing to entertain me while I nodded off to sleep, I came across an interesting show on FX called 30 days. The shows premise was that an ordinary American would step out of their comfort zone to experience a reality that is contrary to theirs.

The fascinating series is the brainchild of Morgan Spurlock, an Independent film director and screenwriter better known for his documentary film Super Size Me, in which he attempted to demonstrate the negative health effects of eating McDonald’s by substituting all his meals for meals at this super franchise for 30 days.

This particular episode revolved around Chris Jobin. Chris is 37 yrs old software programmer who had a seemingly secure job with Morgan Stanley’s commodities desk in New York until 2003. His job, like many others in America, was outsourced to Bangalore, India rendering him jobless and embittered by the experience. Chris travels to India to live in the squalor for 30 days with a typical middle class couple Ravi, Suni and their extended family.

Chris leaves India after 30 days with quite a perspective shift. He is confronted by the trials and tribulations that average Indians face daily; how little they have and how much they aspire to succeed. Chris has a first row seat to the daily struggle that is India – modernization vs. tradition, men and women, rich and poor.

At the end of the 30 day experiment, Chris and interestingly Ravi and Suni, were able to understand if not accept the other side of the argument. The experience challenged many misconceptions that Chris had about India, or his gracious hosts had about Chris and the US…

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Electricity from Train Station Ticket Gates in Japan

Busy train stations will be able to accumulate a relatively large amount of electricity. As the large numbers of passengers push through the gates they generate electricity — It works by embedding piezo elements in the ground.

Piezoelectricity is the ability of crystals to generate a voltage in response to applied mechanical stress.

read more digg story


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