Apr 22, 2007

Cheeta - Our star!

Oh, he's an actor, he's cute, he's handsome, he's in the Guinness world records and yah he's a chimp!

This great star of ours has been cited in the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest chimpanzee (or primate - excluding humans) alive. National Geographic news says that the average life span of a chimp in the wild is 40 - 45 years, and for the ones bred in captivity it is 50. Our hero is 75 and celebrated his birthday on April 9th. He's the chimp who stared in the old Tarzan movies in the 1930's and also appeared in Doctor Dolittle, which is apparently his last appearance on silver screen.

Cheeta currently lives in California at the CHEETA Primate Sanctuary, Inc., (C.H.E.E.T.A. stands for Creative Habitats and Enrichment for Endangered & Threatened Apes) where many more ex-show business primates dwell. Dan Westfall takes care of these retired heroes. I really appreciate his gesture towards our fellow-beings.. :)

Oh and did you know, Cheeta paints too. He does a lot of abstract paintings (termed as Ape-stract apparently) and they are available for sale. You can purchase them from here and your donations goes towards the dhek-bal of our ex-showmen. Seems Cheeta, picks a color if you cant choose one yourself! :D

Cute.. Isn't he....?

Mar 20, 2007


During my internship at SUN microsystems, Inc., India I was with the Boston based xDesign Group, that was involved in developing next generation UI(User Interface) components and AJAX enabled UI stuff for web application development. During the six months of my internship at SUN, (which was a part of the course requirements for my undergraduate studies), I had a great experience working with some of the best minds in the field and a team of really nice people.

I was involved in the design and implementation of some of the reusable UI components which are a part of Project Woodstock. These components are called as Lockhart components after the Harry Potter series' famous wizarding celebrity Gilderoy Lockhart.

The components were developed based on the JSF(JavaServer Faces) framework and is intended for developing the front end of Sun-branded applications and other web applications. The project just went open source sometime mid February and the components are now available at https://woodstock.dev.java.net/

I am excited to see stuff that I worked on and code that I wrote come open source for the whole world to use and I am glad to have been involved in some edge technology work.

It is indeed a great feeling to see the fruits of one's own effort.. :)

Mar 16, 2007

Holi hai!

March 4th was a beautiful day with a clear sky and the sun shining bright! All the Baskin Tp ppl had gathered at the volley ball ground in East remote here on campus. It was my first Holi ever. Had a great time splashing colors on my friends, running and chasing.

Creating horrible colors using sand and grass when we actually ran outta colors and singing Amitab's 'Rang bharsae bhigae chunarivali, rang bharse' song was real fun! :D The guys then played volley ball - well, I was umpiring u know.. :D he he.. All of us then headed to Amyn's place and had a dance bash! Stained his poor clean carpets and danced danced until we dropped! Holi is real fun, we gotta popularize it more in TN - our ppl will have fun too.. Just like Nayagan's - 'Andhi mazhai megam' song.

For those interested, this link gives a good insight into the significance and tradition of the Holi festival: Holi

This is a nice video too. Chk it out:

Lonnnng time!

Hmmmm.. 'Tis been a long time since I've blogged.. Dont really wanna brag saying that I've been busy with homeworks, projects, exams, etc etc.. But yes - it was true partly.. :D But the real reason why I've been busy is that my world here in the US has turned from a cocoon into a brightly colored butterfly... Wheeeeeeeeee.... The list of good friends in my life has been recently updated exponentially! Yah! I'm back with my old self - friends, party, music and fun! :D

I've been having a real real reeeeaaaaal good time over the past one month! Oh man, I had so much fun every day that I got too tired to blog them down. Gonna recollect some of the exciting things and post them on the next few blogs.


This is one of those rare places where all my friends here relinquish their 'forever-noisy' self and get lost in their own silent world of thoughts. Guess why? Look at the pic by the side.. A small cliff jutting into the Pacific - standing on the edge of which, looks as if u are standing right in the middle of the ocean. For a second you will forget that something called land exists on earth! Waves hitting hard, rising over 10-15 feet on swells, roaring on high tides, drenching (actually drowning) people standing on the cliff on wild nights, spreading the silence of the night with its motionless beauty, glittering in the moonlight on calm nights - this is one of the most stunning places I've ever been to. As wild as it can get and as sober as it can be the ocean is a great magician in bringing out your deepest thoughts.. Yes, it really does! Happy or sad, this is the place where you can enjoy your solitude. I treasure my every visit to this place.. And trust me - u would love to be there too..

Jan 27, 2007

Contra Dance

Last Sunday, Jenny took me to the church on High street, here in Santa Cruz. We went for the Contra dance there! :) I had a real good time! Knowing that I was beginner, everybody helped me a lot to get hold of the steps. Soon I was dancing away to glory! We danced so much, until our feet begged us to stop. I really enjoyed the dance because of the great fiddle music, the dance movements and symmetry followed during changing positions, the spirit of the young and old dancing together and also because it was a great exercise..

A note on Contra dance:

English country dancing gained a certain legitimacy in the 17th century. The French, who thought that they invented country dancing (as well as anything else culturally significant), and who were miffed at the notion that the English should receive credit for anything, converted the name 'country dance' to French contredans (which conveniently translates as 'opposites dance'), then turned around and claimed that the English term was a corruption of the French!

Later, the French term evolved in the young U.S.A. into "contra dance."At least this is one theory.

Contra Dancing is a form of American folk dance in which the dancers form a set of two parallel lines which run the length of the hall. Each dance consists of a sequence of moves that ends with couples having progressed one position up or down the set. As the sequence is repeated, a couple will eventually dance with every other couple in the set. Contra Dancing was all the rage in 1800.

Many of the basic moves in Contra Dancing are similar to those in square dancing (swings, promenades, dos-à-dos, allemandes). A square dance set comprises only four couples whereas the number of couples in a Contra Dance set is limited only by the length of the hall.

I highly recommend Contra dance to people who love dancing away to a great tune, even without any prior experience in dancing..! I loved it :)