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Notes to Myself

Month

August 2009

Usain Bolt is the World’s Fastest Man…again!!!

The 22-year old 6 ft. 5 inches tall Jamaican smashes world record by 0.11 seconds

In one of the most highly anticipated events at the World Athletics Championships in Berlin, Usain Bolt of Jamaica won the gold medal in the men’s 100-meters on Sunday. It took Bolt just 9.58 seconds to assume the title of the “World’s Fastest Man”.

Check the photo-finish:

The world record has never before been broken by a margin that big, not in the modern era of computerized timing. Also five men have never before run under 9.93 seconds in the same race.

Tom Fordyce, the BBC sports journalist summed it up nicely:

“Bolt wins races by the sort of distance that would be considered a spanking in a 400m contest. He behaves in a manner that the sport has never seen before, and then runs times that no-one believed they would ever see.

When Bolt ran 9.69 secs last summer in Beijing Olympics, even that seemed an impossible time. To take another 11 hundredths of a second off that defies logic, history and everyone else’s biology.”

~ Kaustubh

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Happy Independence Day!








Most Useless Graphs


Self explanatory 🙂


Self explanatory 🙂


Self explanatory 🙂


The horizontal line indicates the percentage of people falling asleep, running to 100%. The vertical line indicates useless words being spoken.


~ Kaustubh


United Colors of Benetton

United Colors of Benetton (UCB) is known for its highly impactful (and many times controversial) advertisements.

During MBA, our Marketing professor had arranged a separate discussion session on ad campaigns; and had picked UCB as a case study. Many of the UCB ads used racism, color, gender and social issues/ differences to advertise their products – some ads had to be withdrawn after protests. And they had to resort to more simple and straight-forward ads. But overall, UCB ad campaign is always very well thought and manages to create impression.

Here’s a collection of few UCB ads I gathered from many places.








New simple and conventional ads…






ह्यावर एकदा जोरदार टाळ्या झाल्या पाहिजेत

नुकतीच सा रे ग म प ची मेगाफायनल झाली – ह्या वेळच्या पर्वाबाबत निर्णयाची उत्सुकता मला कमी होती…कारण सगळेच professional singers होते. ह्या वेळच्या पर्वाचे मुख्य आकर्षण हे स्पर्धक नसून परिक्षक होते…पण एकूणच त्यांचे ’विवेचन’ आणि ’प्रवचन’ आणि सल्ले ऐकल्यावर त्यापेक्षा देवकी पंडीत बरी असे वाटायला लागले…


गाण्यापेक्षा सुरेश वाडकर आणि ह्रुदयनाथ मंगेशकर यांचा mutual admiration club आणि त्यांच्या आठवणी ह्यावरच जास्त वेळ खर्च झाला – अर्थात त्या आठवणी आणि गाण्याचे मूल्यमापन चांगले असायचे ह्यात शंका नाही…पण हळूहळू त्याचा अतिरेक होतो आहे का अशी शंका यायला लागली होती…


प्रत्येकाची वेगळी तऱ्हा!


ह्रुदयनाथ हे सारखे सारखे फ़्लश बच्क मध्ये जात असतात…ते पण १५-२० वर्षे मागे नाही, एकदम ५०-६० वर्षे मागे – एकदम black and white आठवणी असतात… बर नुसत्या आठवणी असतील तरी ठीक…पण तसे नाही…त्या काही तरी करून ह्यांच्याशी जोडलेल्या असतात…म्हणजे बऱ्याच लोकांनी (कवी, संगीतकार, साहित्यीक ई.) मरण्यापूर्वी शेवटचा फोन त्यांना केलेला असतो. किंवा त्यांनी किंवा त्यांच्या कुटुंबियांनी chorus गायलेला असतो किंव ते recording च्या वेळेस तिथे हजर असतात ई. ई. म्हणजे इकडे गायकाचे गाणे सुरू झाले की तिकडे ते आठवणींचे गाठोडे सोडून बसतात…की आता ह्यावेळेस माझे आणि XYZ चे नाते किती जवळचे होते किंवा माझा ह्या विषयावरचा अभ्यास किती थोर आहे हे सांगतो!


हिंदी फिल्म इंडस्ट्री मध्ये जसे कंपू असतात – तसे मराठीत उघड पणे तरी दिसत नाहीत. पण बारकाईने पाहिले तर तसे ते असावेत असे जाणवते. ह्या पर्वातील बहुतेक गाणी ही मंगेशकर किंवा त्यांचा कंपू ह्यांच्याशी संबंधितच होती – जणू काही ती कार्यक्रमाची मुख्य थीम होती. आणि जेव्हा जेव्हा इतर गाणी सादर झाली तेव्हा परिक्षकांनी (किंवा ह्रुदयनाथ यांनी) त्यांच्या वर जास्त मत देणे टाळले…नुसतेच ’आपण छान गायलात’ वगैरे बोलून विषय संपवला.


सी. रामचंद्र, सुधीर फडके, सुमन कल्याणपूर, जितेंद्र अभिषेकी, श्रीधर फडके यांच्या बद्दल त्यांच्या गाण्याबद्दल बोलयाचे कटाक्षाने टाळले – किंवा इतरांची (शांता शेळके, खळेकाका, लता मंगेशकर ई.ची) जेवढी तोंड भरुन स्तुती केली तितकी बाकिच्यांची केली नाही.


एक तर आठवणींचा मारा किंवा कवितेच्या अर्थाचे ’निरुपण’ असायचे…


ते पाहून मला ’अंदाज अपना अपना’ मधल सीन आठवला. ज्यात तेजा (व्हीलन परेश रावल) आपल भाऊ राम गोपाल बजाज (बिझनेसमन परेश रावल) याला मारायचा (गेम बजाने का) प्लान बनवतो पण चुकून त्याचा मुनीम हरिशंकर मरतो.. ते सांगतान तेजा म्हणतो – ’लेकिन अच्छा हुआ. वो स्साला बहोत धरम करम की बाते करता था…बहोत बोअर करता था वो’ …परिक्षकांची टिप्पणी ऐकून तसे काहीसे वाटायचे मला 🙂


मला असे एकदा तरी ऐकायचे होते की – XYZ यांनी मला मरण्यापूर्वी फोने ही केला नाही, किंवा मी ह्या गाण्याशी कुठल्याही प्रकारे संबंधीत नव्हतो (उदा. chorus किंवा recording चा साक्षीदार ई) आणि (तरिही) हे गाणे अतिशय चा

Dying with your boots on by Jeremy Silman

A well narrated article…

IM (International Master) Jeremy Silman (born 1954) is a chess professional who has won the American Open, the National Open, and the U.S. Open; only a few other players have ever won all three of these prestigious events.

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Dying with your boots on

by Jeremy Silman

To me, dying in battle is eminently preferable to a helpless demise in a hospital bed, hooked up to tubes and waiting for the inevitable. Ancient warriors relished a noble death with a sword in one hand and a song (or battle cry) on one’s lips. And in old Japan, a conscious death was of great importance, which led many to create a “death poem” and recite it as one’s final moments ticked away.

A great example of the death poem was seen when Ota Dokan (1432-86), a scholar of military arts and a poet, was fatally stabbed while bathing. Most modern day men would scream piteously and perish in a state of fear and hysteria. Dokan-san reacted differently. He stood up, clutched the murder weapon while it was still sheathed in his body, and quietly said:

Had I not known

that I was dead already

I would have mourned

my loss of life.

And then he died.

I’ve always entertained the romantic notion that chess players are also warriors. We wage war on a battlefield of 64 squares and (especially if we lose!) suffer through serious physical and emotional trauma. Wouldn’t it be appropriate then, that chessboard warriors also meet their end while in chess combat?

There are many instances of this happening. I remember (at 30 years of age) playing a tournament in Seattle and looking at a gentleman of 70 that appeared to be in far better physical condition than I was. I thought, “I wish I was in shape like that guy is.”

Imagine my surprise when, two hours later, I spotted this poor man on the floor surrounded by paramedics. He had suffered through a massive heart attack while in the middle of a tournament game.

The most stirring story of a chess player dying with his boots on concerned world-class postal player and renowned chess teacher Cecil Purdy. He was playing in an over the board chess event and was up an Exchange in his game. It was clear that he was eventually going to win, but his well-wishers’ smiles soon turned to horror when he fell off his chair and collapsed in a heap on the ground. His brother (who was also playing at the event) rushed to his side and Cecil whispered something into his ear. Then he died. His final words? One might imagine something like, “Tell my wife I love her.” Or “The gold is hidden under the bedroom floorboard.” But no, this is a chess player and so his last thoughts were about chess. His dying message to his brother: “I have a win, but it will take time!”

My friend Dave and I often talked about death, but he wasn’t enthused with the notion at all. In fact, he was, at 55 years of age, a bit of a hypochondriac. On the morning of August 3, 2007 Dave went to his doctor for a checkup and was told that his health was excellent. He called his wife and told her that all was well, and she told him she would be back from work a bit later than usual.

That evening, Dave did what he often did to unwind: he logged onto the ICC (his handle was Bandog) and played chess. This is his game:

Bandog vs.Vague1

ICC 8-03-2007

Time Control: 3-minutes each and 12-second increment per move.

1.d4 g6 2.e4 Bg7 3.Nc3 d6 4.f4 c6 5.Nf3 h6 6.Bc4 Nf6 7.0–0 Qb6 8.Kh1 Ng4 9.h3 h5 10.f5 gxf5 11.exf5 Bxf5 12.Bxf7+ Kxf7 13.Ng5+ Kg6 14.Rxf5

Dave is easily winning.

14…Kxf5

This leads to a quick death.

15.Qf1+

15.Qf3+ mates one move sooner.

15…Kg6 and here Black waited for the axe to fall.

FINAL POSITION: WHITE TO MOVE

It doesn’t take a genius to see 16.Qf7+ Kh6 17.Ne6+ followed by 18.Qxg7 mate. White had 1 minute and 33 seconds left on his clock (ample time to wipe his opponent out) but he never moved again and — I’m sure to Black’s considerable surprise — White’s time ran out and he forfeited the game.

Two hours later Dave’s wife got home and found him dead on the floor, the diagrammed position on his computer screen. Evidently, he passed away before his hand could reach out and make the final mating sequence. His opponent couldn’t have imagined what was transpiring as he waited for white’s move. Dave’s time, metaphorically and literally, ran out. Dying with his boots on, Dave, like Purdy, had a win, but he didn’t have anymore time.

~ Kaustubh

Source: http://www.jeremysilman.com/chess_raves/Dying_With_Your_Boots_On.html

My life and work by Henry Ford and ‘Bailout’ packages


Just finished Henry Ford’s autobiography – My life and work…an excellent book! It surpassed all my expectations by miles.

This is not a typical autobiography of a successful person/ businessman – where you get to know about his childhood, upbringing, what made him great etc. In fact there is almost nothing about ‘My life’ in Ford’s biography and mostly it is about ‘…and work’.

It is a very concise piece of work (just 116 pages) and is written in very crisp manner. Ford has chosen words and construction of narration with utmost precision – you cannot make it any shorter.

Rather than an autobiography, it is Ford’s free-flowing discussion on various topics of business – just look at the titles of various chapters: Beginning of Business, What I Learned About Business, Wages, Money and Goods, Money – Master or Servant, Democracy and Industry: so atypical of an ‘autobiography’ – it more like articles in business journals or academic writings.

Almost all his thoughts give clear indication of how deep was his understanding of various aspects of business. But in particular I liked his views of ‘Finance’. So here is an extract from the book…

(From ‘Chapter 2: What I Learned About Business’, My life and work)

“I have never been able to understand on what theory the original investment of money can be charged against a business. Those men in business who call themselves financiers say that money is ‘worth’ 6 percent, or 5 percent, or some other percent, and that if a business has one hundred thousand dollars invested in it, the man who made the investment is entitled to charge an interest payment on the money, because, if instead of putting that money into business he had put it into a savings bank or into certain securities, he could have a certain fixed return. Therefore they say that a proper charge against the operating expenses of a business is the interest on this money. This idea is at the root of many business failures and most service failures. Money is not worth a particular amount. As money it is not worth anything, for it will do nothing of itself. The only use of money is to buy tools to work with or the products of tools. Therefore money is worth what it will help you produce or buy and no more. If a man thinks that his money will earn 5 per cent, or 6 per cent, he ought to place it where he can get that return, but money placed in a business is not a charge on the business – or, rather, should not be. It ceases to be money and becomes, or should become, an engine of production, and it is therefore worth what it produces – and not a fixed sum according to some scale that has no bearing upon the particular business in which the money has been placed. Any return should come after it has produced, not before.

Business men believed that you could do anything by ‘financing’ it. If it did not go through on first financing then the idea was to ‘refinance’. The process of ‘refinancing’ was simply the game of sending good money after bad. In the majority of cases the need of refinancing arises from bad management, and the effect of refinancing is simply to pay the poor managers to keep up their bad management a little longer. It is merely a postponement of the day of judgment. This makeshift of refinancing is a device of speculative financiers. Their money is no good to them unless they can connect it up with a place where real work is being done, and that they cannot do unless, somehow, that place is poorly managed. Thus, the speculative financiers delude themselves that they are putting their money out to use. They are not; they are putting it out to waste.”

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I wonder what Henry Ford would have thought of the current financial mess and the multi-billion dollar ‘bailout’ packages as a means to rescue businesses

~ Kaustubh

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