Recommended books for reading

bookgnome If you are a person with the habit of reading books, then you may like to check these lists of favorite books published by The Telegraph :

The Telegraph lists their 110 favorite books. While I prefer my own list for obvious reasons, I’ve added some of these books to my library list and look forward to reading them. Any other great book recommendations? [ 110 Best Books ]

I also love recommendation lists as they give us enough space to explore the unknown. However, do remember to read what you like to know and not what some others say 🙂

Reality of Propane explosion in movies

Movies are very intersecting. The special effects that you see nowadays are mind blowing. Not only that, movies create a certain kind of feeling perceptions in our mind. U.S.A is very much over rated among the youth, you know why? Because of Hollywood’s slick and smooth depiction of the Americans, their ways, immoral living mentality and thinking that they are very nice people and all others are bad. Not only that a nation that can’t even win a war single handedly is being depicted as a super power. Sure, they have the technology, capabilities and a nice environment. But Hollywood has a multiplier effect on everything.explosion


Half of what we see in movies in the recent time is just the imagination of a graphics geek wandering in a server farm. Don’t believe me? This is an example, I found from a forum [1]

When I first came to Alaska, my wife and I lived in this crummy old trailer with no electricity. We heated with a wood stove, and used propane for cooking and illumination. Two big propane tanks were outside, but we used a five-gallon tank in the tiny living room (the trailer was only 8 feet wide) with a gadget up top with a mantle.

He accidentally configured fittings of the burner(I think), resulting in a leak of propane.

I opened the valve, propane flooded the area. When it got to the pilot light on the stove, it f*****g exploded. WhOOMP! It blew out one of the kitchen windows and set fire to a bunch of stuff in the living room.

But he managed to escape without any major injuries. Then he tells about what it is like to see a Propane explosion. And that’s the reason I told you first. Sorry for being so twisting to tell a silly thing like this. Hollywood in not real, we are being told this since we are children. But why the hell are we still thinking stuff like this are real?

BTW, that movie stuff–shoot a propane tank and it explodes–just doesn’t happen. They even get the color of the flames wrong–propane burns blue. Shoot a propane tank and it just leaks. The gas has to be confined in order for it to actually explode, and as explosions go, it isn’t that much of a big deal.

Reference(s) and Link(s)

  1.  Living through a Propane explosion , ArmsMerchant, Fri, 18 Apr 2008 20:08:25 GMT
  2. Blue flames are hotter?
  3. Propane explosion video
  4. [Comments edited, links added]

Personal defibrillator in Cell Phones

An idea I found today is very nice, I think someone should actively pursue it. It will help to save a lot of lives. We already have many daily technologies built into our mobile phones. Like digital cameras, sound recorders, mp3 players, Internet browsers, GPS receivers and what not.

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is responsible for more deaths every year than AIDS, breast cancer, lung cancer and stroke combined. If the heart is not defibrillated (therapeutically shocked) within a few minutes, the victim dies. Imagine how difficult it is to reach the victims of SCA in time to save their lives.

But, suppose we each carried our own personal defibrillator, say it was a feature of our cell phones?

[ – Inventerspot – ]

When thought about this for a while, I have found some roadblocks. One is people’s mentality, I am not sure if it will change. “Why should I carry something like that?”. Second is technological, such a device may increase the size of the device from the comfort range and there is a chance that it may loss its appeal among the young crowds

People still use Internet Explorer 3!

The first thing you need to be secure online is safe software, and IMHO it is the only thing you need to do. If you don’t go to the dark side of the web, you can be pretty sure about your security with latest software. But I was puzzled seeing this [1]. Some people are still using versions of browsers, that I only have heard about. Nope, it is not good old Netscape Navigator (I’ve used it 🙂 ). Any version of Internet Explorer below 7 will open your system to the world like troy was with Trojan horse.

So Paypal is going to stop allowing access for people who use unsafe browsers. They say some folks are using not only Explorer but version 4 & even 10 year old version 3! [2]

Some folks are still using Internet Explorer v.4, and v.3, which is about 10 years old 😐 I assume theese are very old machines and its users are not concerned with anything that is happenig in the world of network-security.

Reference(S) and Link(s)

  1. People using Very Old Browsers [ – moonmiester – ]
  2. PayPal stopping access with unsafe browsers

Charles Babbage and Lord Alfred Tennyson : Why art and science don’t go together

 Charles Babbage (1791–1871), the English mathematician was the father of the idea of a programmable computer. Babbage built a mechanical computer called “the difference engine.” He once corresponded with Alfred, Lord Tennyson.


In your otherwise beautiful poem “The Vision of Sin”, there is a verse which reads,

“Every moment dies a man,
Every moment one is born.”

It must be manifest that if this were true, the population of the world would be at a standstill. In truth, the rate of birth is slightly in excess of that of death.

I would suggest that in the next edition of your poem you have it read:

“Every moment dies a man,
Every moment 1,1/16th is born…”

I am, Sir, yours, etc.

Big yuk-fest for the mechanic, but he left himself open to a rebuke from the wordsmith along these lines:

Dear Mr Babbage,

If I had sucked several thousand pounds out of the government teat, by telling them that I was building an automatic calculator, without delivering so much as a pile of rusty cogs, I would be a bit more conscious of my own foibles and a bit less ready to poke fun at the works of others. Particularly as vacuum tubes won’t be invented until 1906. So stick that in your big red engine and take the difference of it.

Your most humble and obedient servant,

Lord Tennyson.

One can easily imagine the roar of protest, and the rapid return of fire from Babbage:

To Tennyson,

Listen funny boy, the analytic engine is based on sound principles, unlike your blasted poetry. If I wanted to hear from the organ grinder, I would speak to him, not the monkey. I’ve got a good mind to come round there and duff you up, proper.

So stick it in your ear.

How could the poet resist slamming back a reply of his own:

to Babbage the wanker,

There once was a man named Babbage
Whose head was green and shaped like a cabbage

Unfortunately, you do not inspire me further. If I see you on the street, I’ll whack you with a stick Then me and my mate Wordsworth will “do” you good.

This is why today there is still not a proper accommodation between art and science.

[The above is from a posting on alt.folklore.urban from years ago by someone. He said he found it in a book (not cited) at his own garage sale.]

[ – Babbage and Tennyson – ] Atanu Dey , Mon, 17 Mar 2008 10:43:27 GMT

Funny outputs from BASH

GNU/Linux has a lot of commands. Linux and Open Source Blog lists some humorous (but real) outputs when entered. Below are a few I found interesting

% cat “food in cans”
cat: can’t open food in cans

% nice man woman
No manual entry for woman.

% “How would you rate Quayle’s incompetence?
Unmatched “.

% ^How did the sex change operation go?^
Modifier failed.

% make love
Make: Don’t know how to make love. Stop.

% %blow
%blow: No such job.

$ PATH=pretending! /usr/ucb/which sense
no sense in pretending!

$ drink matter
matter: cannot create

[ Funny Linux Commands with actual outputs ]