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Friday, April 28, 2006 by Blogpur

Fellow bloggers such as Sudhish have already put this up on their site, but I just had to aswell. TN Elections at least have one party trying to do a good job. Check it out.

Bismillah Khan and his Shehnai

Wednesday, April 26, 2006 by Blogpur

Wow, I had an almost divine experience. I finally got around to listening to some of Ustad Bismillah Khan's music which I bought in India a few years back.

The first song (calling it a song seems so very low) was the utterly magnificent Raga Shivaranjani. What a performance. What scintillating tunes, magnificent pauses, what a raga (or collection of ragas). Just like it's south Indian cousin (Nadaswaram) the Shehnai belts out some absolutely rivetting melodies, such variation, such tonality. In the hands of a master, it was a truly enchanting experience.

Perhaps the best accolade that can be given to Bismillah Khan is that he was able to transcend the barriers of what a person can do with a Shehnai. Generally they are played in a wedding or perhaps some religious event but this guy, he took it out of there and pushed it into a category by itself.

The second song was the masterful Raga Mishra Ki Malhar, again the sounds were a symposium of ideas, of tunes, of melodies. It wasn't as much abstract as it was Carnatic. This was a song in Hindustani that reminded me of the Carnatic tradition. Was it fusion? Undoubtedly no. All it was, was showing me and indeed anyone who listens to it, the closeness of the two well known giants of Indian classical music.

Lastly there was Kajri, again a masterpiece in it's own tradition. All these songs were 15mins or more, not once in them did I feel a minute was wasted, not once did I feel that something was wrong, not once could I detect a mistake, an "abaswaram".

The supporting instruments in this recording were also upto the task, matching the master and proving to be reliable, relentless and resourceful. They included Basharat Hussain on the khurdak, Mumtaz Hussain and Nanne Hussain on other shehnai's and Nazim Hussain on the tabla.

What a recording, a brilliant symphony of music. Pleased the ear, and the mind, and the soul.


Tuesday, April 11, 2006 by Blogpur

Quite simply, read this book. Was refered to me by one of my lecturers. Something between a dictionary and a bible for all mathematicians and computer scientists. Discusses logic, artificial intelligence, the human mind and even classical music. Miss it at your own peril.

Physics - A Recap of 2005

Wednesday, April 05, 2006 by Blogpur

    What happened in physics lately? This a recap of all the main stories of 2005 from the world of Physics. It is by no means comprehsive nor is it completely objective. It's just stuff that I've found interesting. I got many links from the American Institute of Physics.

    At the Relativistic Heavy Iron Collider (RHIC) on Long Island, the four large detector groups agreed, for the first time, on a consensus interpretation of several year's worth of high enery ion collisions: the fireball made in these collisions --- a sort of stand in for the primoridial universe only a few microseconds after the big bang --- was not a gas of weakly interacting quarks and gluons as earlier expected, but something more like a liquid of strongly interacting quarks and gluons. Click Here

    Top physics stories for 2005 include, in general chronological order of their appearance throughout the year, the following:

    • The arrival of the Cassini spacecraft at Saturn and the successful landing of the Huygens probe on the moon Titan. Click Here
    • The development of lasing in silicon (Nature, 17 February, 2005)
    • The biggest burst of light ever recorded from outside the solar system, from a soft gamma repeater. Click Here
    • Further evidence for superfluid behavior in a solid. Click Here
    • Detection of infrared radiation directly from an exoplanet. Click Here
    • Zeptogram mass sensitivity in a cantilever sensor. Click Here
    • Spashless impact of droplets at low pressures. Click Here
    • The demonstration of pyrofusion, fusion reactions created with a pyroelectric crystal. Click Here
    • The best yet prediction of hadron masses using lattice QCD. Click Here
    • The best measurement yet of the weak nuclear force. Click Here
    • Superfluidity directly observed in a sample of ultracold fermi atoms. Click Here
    • Extension of the "comb" technique for measuring frequency (a topic pertaining to the 2005 Nobel prize in physics) into the ultraviolet. Click Here
    • Using statistical mechanics to predict the effectiveness of flu vaccines. Click Here
    • Short gamma ray bursts identified as coming from in-spiraling neutron stars (Nature, 6 October, 2005)
    • Further progress in research concerning left-handed or negative-refraction materials, including perfect lensing (Science, 22 April, 2005), almost perfect lensing in the mid-infrared. Click Here
    • Extension of negative-index behavior into the near-infrared region. Click Here

    Melbourne Grand Prix

    Sunday, April 02, 2006 by Blogpur

    The old warrior returns, and as the coo of criticism mounts on his ageing shoulders, the man will fly around the circuit and prove that even after all events of the past, the fighter still remains.

    Or maybe not. 11 Crashes - that's crazy!

    They're all Gone.

    Saturday, April 01, 2006 by Blogpur

    Why, does someone at 58 take such a risk? Because he is a master, that's why. Scorsese, you've got competition.