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Friday, January 16, 2009

Be careful when exiting out of a water landed plane

The Hudson river plane landing ended up okay, with no casualties, which is pretty surprising. A similar event with a Ethiopian Airline crash (after hijack and running out of fuel) had a pretty disastrous end for a lot of the passengers. I watched a National geographic feature where the Pilot of that Ethiopian airliner was mentioning that the reason for many of the casualties was the people ended up inflating their life jackets while they were still in the aircraft (check around middle of the video), which would just lead you to the top of the underwater aircraft and not to safety. The right thing to do is to inflate them after you are out of the aircraft and have a clear path to the surface of the water.

Clearly a plane with a hijack and a fuel-run-out would be under-prepared to explain all this to its passengers and the Hudson event should have been better, but initial reports suggest that the crash happened pretty quickly and hence people wouldn't have known.

I think the key reason why there were no casualties is that the plane pretty much managed to stay afloat and hence people didn't get into water. I saw at least a few snaps showing them waiting on the water slide to be rescued.

I promise to write more as I read up further.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Recommendation: Shekhar Nethralaya

When my mom was diagnosed with Cataract sometime back, I was fairly concerned about where to get the surgery done. She had been consulting with JP Nagar, Bangalore based Shekhar Nethralaya, but it didn't give out the perception of being a great hospital. First of all, there was no fanfare, no advertisements, the size was small and I hadn't heard of the main doctor - Dr. Rajshekhar, forget the other doctors.

So, after the initial consulting, where my Mom swore that she found the hospital friendly, when it came to the real surgery, I started asking around for options. I considered and rejected Shankar Nethralaya, Chennai (too far, too many logistics involved), Nethradhama (one super bad review from somebody quite close) and Narayana Nethralaya (just the unknown devil factor), I wasn't still sure whether to continue with Shekhar Nethralaya.

I sent out a mail on my Yahoo mailing list and when my group mate Rakesh told me his experience of going there for Cataract operation for both his parents successfully, I decided to go ahead with them. So, today morning, Dr. Rajshekar successfully removed the cataract in my mom's right eye and she is already back home. The experience was friendly with all staff being nice and friendly. All the payment stuff was taken care of by my insurance provider and the paperwork was eased by the hospital staff. All in all, good experience.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

My year in towns and cities - 2008

I am taking a cue here from my colleague Blues' blog of cities visited and list out my own list of cities for the year 2008 (and I have to admit, it was the best list of my entire life):
  • Bangalore, KA, India
  • Chennai, TN, India
  • San Francisco, CA, USA
  • San Jose, CA, USA
  • Santa Cruz, CA, USA
  • Monterey, CA, USA
  • A bunch of other cities, CA, USA
  • Singapore, Singapore
  • Genting, Malaysia
  • Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Delhi, NCR, India
  • Tirunelveli (+ Kallidaikurichi + Senkottai), TN, India
  • Pondicherry, India
I don't want to include them in the list here, but I also transited through Seoul, Korea & Hong Kong.

Whats in store for 2009 for me?

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Starting the New Year in a cool way - Launching shreeni.info

Last night, I just went around to godaddy.com and realized that domain names in the .info extensions were selling at $0.99 each and I ended up buying a couple of them - shreeni.info (for me) and bharadwaj.info (for my father). Once that was done, I wanted to get it them to point to our blogs and for our emails to work. The method as suggested on blogger's own help page doesn't work as well as it should. Well, it would but that would only allow me to redirect a subdomain - say blog.shreeni.info or www.shreeni.ino, but I wanted to redirect shreeni.info to my blogspot page. It needs a little help from this blog which adds the small instruction of forwarding which was missing in bloggers help page.

Now, all that is done. I do have the two domains up and working and I have their email accesses also working. So, I feel having achieved something good on New Year's day.

Happy New Year 2009

Back in Hansraj Model School, where I finished schooling, we had a great principal by the name of Tilak Raj Gupta. He always used to say that events like New Years and Birthdays are meant to be milestones in one's life. You are supposed to introspect on what went by and what you want to see going ahead. So, in the same spirit, here is what happened to me in 2008:
  • I did not change a Job. I started as an Engineer with Yahoo and ending the year likewise. This is a big relief, and I am ashamed to admit it, but unprecedented in 5 years of my professional life.
  • I did manage to take 3 vacations with my wife, two mini ones to Chennai and Pondicherry and one major one to Singapore & Malaysia. Finally, my wife caught the travel bug too and is looking forward to conquering newer destinations.
  • I managed to get a glimpse of life and times out side of India, having spent 70 days abroad in US, Malaysia and Singapore. It was an exhilarating experience and I hope I can do a lot more of it in near future.
  • I improved my health significantly. I was on medication for about 2.5 years and finally managed to shed it completely.
  • I managed to strike a very healthy work life balance after a long time. I have to hand this one to my wife who also decided to do the same this year and hence enabled me to achieve it.
There were a lot more less mentionable things that happened, but that would make the blog too long to read. So, I will stop here. I am also not going to mention what I am planning for 09, because my life seems to select its own path despite my best planned intentions.

With that note, here is me bidding adiue to 2008 and wishing a very happy and prosperous New Year 2009 for one and all.

ps: If you find, drop a line about your milestone achievements of 2008 and plans or 2009 in the comments.

Administrative note

All tech posts have now moved to http://tech.shreeni.info or you may subscribe to its RSS feed. In due course, I shall be moving it out completely, so if you follow my tech posts, please shift to following that blog.