* The Hidden Diary Series -- http://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/travel/the-hidden-diary/article5071536.ece
* Venu, MK (2013) -- India of 2013 is not the India of 1991 -- http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-opinion/the-india-of-2013-is-not-the-india-of-1991/article5069783.ece
- The U.S. Federal Reserve balance sheet was roughly $890 billion in 2007. It has ballooned to a little over $3 trillion today simply by printing more dollars. Such massive liquidity injection by printing dollars in such a short period is probably unprecedented in American history.
- cheap, finance capital flowing in from the West is a double-edged weapon. If not used judiciously to enhance productivity in the domestic economy, such finance will tend to become an external debt trap. This lesson is as important for the government as it is for the Indian capitalist class which has shown a tendency to use cheap finance and scarce resources such as spectrum, coal, land and iron ore to play stock market games in collusion with the political class.
* Wahi, Namita on LARR Bill - http://india-seminar.com/2013/642/642_namita_wahi.htm
* Krishna - Ladies Man -- http://www.firstpost.com/living/the-ladies-man-and-original-feminist-lord-krishna-1066519.html
* Difficult Languages -- http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2013/08/economist-explains-19?fscr=scn/tw/te/ee/languagedifficult
* Photographing Nature - Karen Bass - Skywatching in Altiplano, on the Bolivia-Chile border -- http://www.ted.com/talks/karen_bass_unseen_footage_untamed_nature.html
* Plain talk for Entrepreneurs -- http://www.fabricegrinda.com/entrepreneurship/absolute-must-read-for-all-entrepreneurs/
- SaaS - Software as a Service
- Schwag - promotional items given to employees - http://techcrunch.com/2013/08/24/the-ultimate-cheat-sheet-for-starting-and-running-your-business/
- DBAs - "doing business as"
- 80) I have too much competition. What should I do? --- Competition is good. It shows you have a decent business model. Now simply outperform them.
* Four steps to bounce back - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rajesh-setty/4-steps-to-bounce-back_b_3817847.html
* Five things that keep Japanese people chained to their jobs -- http://en.rocketnews24.com/2013/08/26/five-things-that-keep-japanese-people-chained-to-their-jobs/
* IE Editorial on Food Secirity Bill (27Aug13) -- http://www.indianexpress.com/news/entitlement-follies/1160377/
* The Golden Emperor Moth -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loepa_katinka
* Gupta, Anil (2013) - http://www.dnaindia.com/analysis/1880125/column-why-should-start-ups-suffer-so-much-in-decade-of-innovation
* Golden Rice - http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/25/sunday-review/golden-rice-lifesaver.html?smid=tw-share&_r=0
* Jagannathan, R (2013) -- http://www.firstpost.com/india/why-tharoors-defence-of-upa-nomics-is-more-a-self-goal-978519.html
* Puri, Aditya (2013): ALL THIS HAND-WRINGING, IE 23Aug13 -- http://www.indianexpress.com/news/all-this-handwringing/1158808/0
- The consensus among economists is that the CAD this fiscal is unlikely to breach 4 per cent (about $75 billion), compared to 4.8 per cent of the GDP ($88 billion) last fiscal.
- The CAD is not about oil and gold alone. In 2012-13, while the aggregate CAD was 4.8 per cent, the CAD excluding gold and oil was 3.8 per cent. In an import bill of about $500 billion, about $280 billion was non-gold and non-oil. We imported about $30 billion of electronic items alone in 2012-13. Any strategy to compress the deficit will have to involve reducing this component of imports.
- Our oil import bill is approximately $170 billion.
- Coal imports are the single biggest item on our balance of payments after oil and gold. The rise in coal imports is the direct result of the inability to mine domestic reserves because of environmental regulation, judicial action and the prohibition on allocating blocks to private miners. From $9 billion in 2009-10, coal imports jumped to $16 billion in 2012-13.
* Jehadi Video - Ambush - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQrtkm8h9WA&feature=youtu.be
* Oldest Trees on the Planet - http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/03/old-tree-gallery/11/
* Internet & Productivity -- http://www.economist.com/news/finance-and-economics/21583615-internet-has-not-yet-produced-hoped-productivity-miracle-net-gains-and?fsrc=scn/tw/te/pe/netgainsandlosses
* Badminton Champs and the House of Golden Teardrops -- http://blogs.wsj.com/searealtime/2013/08/16/a-sweet-factory-becomes-assembly-line-for-badminton-gold/?mod=e2tw
* Baker, Nicholson (2013): A FOURTH STATE OF MATTER: Annals of Technology, The New Yorker, Jul 8-Jul 15, 2013
- Retina Display (made in Korea by LG Display), offered, beginning in 2010, a liquid-crystal image that, at three hundred and twenty-six pixels per diagonal inch, looked almost as good as a glossy printed page in an art magazine.
- Liquid crystals, David Dunmur and Tim Sluckin explain, are a fourth state of matter. They're sometimes pearlescent, and they shimmer, on account of peculiarities of their rotational viscosity. They're so-called "non-Newtonian fluids," because they don't obey the formulas in elementary physics textbooks.
- Otto Lehmann, a scientist from Karlsruhe, Germany - work on LC resulted, in 1909, in a bunch of new terms grew up to describe different classes of liquid crystals, including "smectic," meaning soapy, from the Greek smegma (yes, I know), and "nematic," or threadlike, as in those long, thin intestinal nematodes that are parasitic in dogs.
- RCA ...By the mid-seventies, the company had dismantled its research program, not wanting, in the end--so legend has it--to threaten the revenues that flowed from its tube-television patents. Japanese companies--Seiko, Hitachi, Sharp, and others--licensed RCA's liquid-crystal innovations and took over further development.
- Mid 1990s (?) -- Sony was now in RCA's position: it didn't want to give up the money that poured, seemingly endlessly, from its sales of Trinitron tubes.
- South Korea saw a chance to leap ahead of everyone else. Japanese liquid-crystal technologists, called "weekend warriors" (I learned the phrase from Robert Chen's fine book, "Liquid Crystal Displays"), began shuttling to Korea, helping LG and Samsung design and outfit their billion-dollar flat-screen factories. Korea became the center of the liquid-crystal universe.
- Merck's liquid-crystal raw materials--called "singles", brand --are unthinkably pure and extremely expensive. They're produced in Darmstadt, just as they were a hundred years ago, and shipped to Merck's large Korean subsidiary in Seoul, where Korean engineers mix and mingle the singles in accordance with requirements coming from LG and Samsung.
* Realistic Paintings - http://www.boredpanda.com/hyper-realistic-art/
* How did Estonia become a leader in technology? The Economist - AAK-Mumbai, 30Jul13 http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2013/07/economist-explains-21?spc=scode&spv=xm&ah=9d7f7ab945510a56fa6d37c30b6f1709
- The joys of shedding shedding “legacy thinking”.
* DataStories - http://datastories.in/blog/2013/08/03/meanwhile-heres-what-happened-to-the-public-distribution-of-food/
* Gladwell, Malcom (2013): THE GIFT OF DOUBT -- http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/books/2013/06/24/130624crbo_books_gladwell?currentPage=all
- - Albert O. Hirschman's Hiding Hand Principle - "People don’t seek out challenges, he went on. They are apt to take on and plunge into new tasks because of the erroneously presumed absence of a challenge — because the task looks easier and more manageable than it will turn out to be.”
* Rajivlochan, Meeta (2013): A CASE FOR FEWER HEROES, IE 6Aug13
- State govt efforts to upgrade instnl and decion-making structures - Maharashtra- law to regulate transfers of all officials...Let us strengthen our institutions so that quotidian acts lose their heroic patina.
* Hooda, Bhupender (2013): MYTHS ABOUT UPA'S SOCIAL SPENDING, IE 6Aug13
- Sweden - high welfare, high tax - Sweden 46%; France 42.9%
- Govt spending - social protection to GDP: Japan 19.2%; Thailand 3.6%; Singapore 3.5%; India 1.7%
- Upper class benefits more from fuel subsidy (IMF study) - top 20% capture 6x more from fuel subsidy than the poorest 20%
- India - food+fuel+fertilizer subsidies make 96% of all subsidies -- between 2003-2013 subsidy bill increased by 421% mainly because there was a 923% increase in petroleum subsidy
- During 2004-10, people dependent on agriculture fell from 24.9 cr to 22.9 cr but rural consumption increased by 25%
* Mishra, Neelkanth (2013): THE HIDDEN GROWTH, IE 6 Aug13
- Economic census 2005 - India had 42m enterprises with average 2.4 employees!
* Low light photos -- http://www.learningthelight.com/2010/04/27/how-to-take-sharp-photos-in-low-light-without-a-flash/
* Why India has a Sand Mafia -- http://blogs.wsj.com/indiarealtime/2013/08/06/why-india-has-a-sand-mafia/
* Reconstructing Solali - Acid attack victim -- http://www.livemint.com/Leisure/X1vWl8wQVglJ0WKkusMauI/True-Stories--Reconstructing-Sonali.html
* Falana Singh -- http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/falana-singh-bathinda-parkash-singh-badal-punjab/1/297974.html
* Sengupta, Shombit (2013): EIFFEL BRAND WORTH IS GBP 435 BILLION, IE, 4AUg13
- Tourist inflows in 2012 - India 6.5m; Eiffel tower, Paris 8m!
- Every summer, more or less the entire population of Paris empties out...replaced by 83m TOurists to France - USA 67m
- Eiffel Tower - 1050ft, erected 1889 for 20 yrs - construction cost 6.5m francs but the grant covered only 1.6m, hence the 20yr fee income
- Parisian intellectuals made a huge hue and cry against the erection
* Ripley, Amanda (2013): THE $4 MILION TEACHER, WSJ, 3Aug13 -- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324635904578639780253571520.html
- Kim Ki-hoon runs a "Hagwon" (tuition centre) in Seoul and ears $4m/yr
- South Koreans spend $17b/yr on private tuition's -- US kids $15b/yr on video games
- It is about as close to a pure meritocracy as it can be, and just as ruthless. In hagwons, teachers are free agents. They don't need to be certified. They don't have benefits or even a guaranteed base salary; their pay is based on their performance, and most of them work long hours and earn less than public school teachers.
- In South Korea, if parents aren't engaged, that is considered a failure of the educators, not the family.
- Interestingly, the hagwon teachers rated best of all when it came to treating all students fairly, regardless of the students' academic performance.
* Bhalla, Surjit S (2013): POVERTY OF THOUGHT, IE 3Aug13
- How can we justify expanding PDS to 67% of the population when our own Planning Commission tells us that only 22% of the population is poor!
* Sudarshan, Anant (2013): DUEL OF THE LITERATI, IE 3Aug13
- Bhagawati vs. Sen - fact is that their argument cannot have one right answer. Economic growth (increasing size of the pie), and redistribution (everyone getting something) are both objectives of the government.
- Paul Krugman vs. Harvard economists, Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff (suggested that high debt is linked to low growth)
- Jeffrey Sachs vs. Daron Acemogu & James Robinson (book - Why Nations Fail - 'main reason for poverty is the nature of institutions and government systems)
- Richard Dawkins vs. Edward O.Wilson (book - The Social COnquest of Earth - what drives evolution? group survival or individual survival probablities?)
- Ramachandra Guha vs. Farrukh Dhondy (William Darylmple and his view of history)
* Virmani, Arvind andd Charan Singh (2013): A MISNOMER CALLED FOOD SECURITY, IE 1Aug13
- FSB inspired by National Family Health Survey 2005-6 and the Global Hunger Index (IFPRI) but "hungry" means different things to different people.
* Venkateshwaran, Sandhya (2013): SILENCE OF THE MIDDLE CLASS, IE, 1Aug13 --- http://www.indianexpress.com/news/silence-of-the-middle-class/1149418/0
- how often has India witnessed middle class protests against the death of poor children or for their right to education; how often have the middle classes raised their voice against the displacement of the tribal community or slum dwellers due to the construction of factories and malls; how often do they protest against the lack of accountability and quality in the public health system?
* Rukmini -- BARRIERS TO ENTRY, Caravan - http://www.caravanmagazine.in/perspectives/barriers-entry
* Narayanan, Dinesh (2013): Indians cannot be a Jugaad economy for ever, Forbes, 19Aug13 --- http://forbesindia.com/article/independence-special-2013/india-cant-be-a-jugaad-economy-forever/35895/1
- The Confederation of Indian Industry has presented a list of 62 stalled infrastructure projects—each worth Rs 1,000 crore or more—to the Project Management Group in the Cabinet Secretariat for fast tracking. Of these, 35 are power projects and 11 are for construction of roads and highways. Most of these projects are stuck because of lack of environment approvals, state level clearances or inability to acquire land.
* Hadoop - http://strata.oreilly.com/2011/01/what-is-hadoop.html
* Rao, Jaitirth (2013): From Nehru's Temples to just Temples, FE, http://m.financialexpress.com/news/column-from-nehru-s-temples-to-just-temples/1156900/
- n 1924, during the reign of Nallamudi (IV) Krishnaraja Wodeyar, an engineer named Mokshagundam Visvesvarayya designed and supervised the construction of a dam over the divine Kaveri river. In the process, the ancient village of Kannambadi was submerged...along with its Venugopala temple, a 700-year-old Hoysala structure.
- In 1946, Sir Louis Dane, the Lieutenant Governor of Punjab, laid the foundation stone of a dam across the river Sutlej (its ancient Sanskrit name was Sutadhari) in a village named Bhakra. The construction of the dam started in 1948. The Bhakra dam submerged the ancient town of Bilaspur, where there were many temples and sites, traditionally associated with Maharishi Vyas, the author of the Mahabharata.
* Conference Dogma Rules -- http://www.conferencemanager.dk/EuropeINNOVA2012-Copenhagen/ten-conference-dogma-rules.html
* Sushi Technology -- http://nz.sports.yahoo.com/news/sushi-round-japan-tradition-served-053528115.html
* Desai, Megnad (2013): GETTING NOWHERE FAST, FE, 5Aug13 -- http://www.financialexpress.com/news/getting-nowhere-fast/1151155
- In liberalising manufacturing all attention is paid to land shortage but then when it comes to the crunch, the political system cannot make up its mind about leaving land purchase and sale to private parties with a strong regulatory authority.
- India has made its cheap labour expensive by saddling itself with scores of laws, which interfere with manufacturing and make the creation of large units uneconomical.
- So 90% of the labour force in the informal sector has no rights and has to work in small manufacturing units as contract labour or rot in the countryside in low-paid rural jobs or suffer NREGA.
- Public money appears to the politicians and, hence, to all who work in the public sector as limitless and costless. This is why schemes come pouring out of the NAC and UPA to spend even more money. If you cannot solve a problem, spend money to smother it.
Thus neglect to invest in railways except to benefit the railway minister’s province. If accidents happen pay compensation but do not improve safety. If mid-day meals sicken the children or kill them, pay money to their families. The same story goes for rape victims. The money mantra is the cure all and the money is public money, so why cure a problem.
* Srivastava, Mehul (2011): Why India Is Rethinking Its Labor Laws --http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/11_04/b4212013616117.htm
- Companies must keep 6 attendance logs and 10 separate accounts for overtime wages, and file 5 types of annual returns. There are at least 11 definitions of the word "wage."
- The success of the Software Technologies Parks of India Act—and of special economic zones in China—has spurred the revival of a 45-year-old plan that creates special enclaves with more infrastructure and fewer labor laws.
* Basu, Kaushik (2006): Why India's labour laws are a problem -- BBC -- http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/4984256.stm
- In India there are 45 laws at the national level and close to four times that at the level of state governments that monitor the functioning of labour markets.
- Industrial Disputes Act, 1947: Formal sector employing more than 100 workers cannot fire workers
- Data from the Ministry of Labour reveal that in the year 2000 there were 533,038 disputes pending in India's labour courts; and of these 28,864 had been pending for over 10 years.
- no worker can be made to work beyond 75 hours of overtime a quarter.
- a report by McKinsey, the consulting firm, estimated that if India overhauled its labor laws, its manufacturing exports could grow from $40 billion in 2002 to $300 billion by 2015.
* Tokyo - Largest zoomable photo - http://io9.com/the-largest-photo-ever-taken-of-tokyo-is-zoomable-and-975127382
* Gifts for the photographer :) -- http://photo.net/gift-guides/birthday-2013/