Over the last one and a half year, I had collected some interesting links. I am posting them online for first time. This post is long as these were collected over 18 months. I will be posting more regularly under the label: Links

 Some rights reserved by Lel4nd - Flickr

May 2012

  1. The Ethyl Poisoned Earth (Chapter 11 in Bill Bryson’s book) – Link – If you read this, you may want to read the entire book
  2. Banana
  3. Have you Ever tried to sell a diamond? (Super Long article, requires patience)
  4. The Blast Shack - Commentary on Wikileaks by Bruce Sterling

July 2012

  1. University Entrance Exams - Economist
    “Ms Yu wishes she had made her son Pan Ziren work harder. Though young Mr Pan has been rising at 5.30am and studying until 1am for the past six months, Ms Yu thinks he has wasted his years in school. He was addicted to kung-fu novels, she says”
  2. Japan’s Cramming Schools - Economist

August 2012

  1. Professor Billionaire: The Stanford Academic Who Wrote Google Its First Check - Forbes
  2. Consult – Story of a 22-years old MIT engineer working as consultant for BCG in Dubai. Link
  3. Quiet Hell of Extreme Meditation - Link
  4. Chapter 11 Excerpts - From Jared Diamond’s book Collapse – The Globalist December 2012
 Some rights reserved by stummi57 - Flickr

December 2013

  1. Asia’s Lonely Hearts - Economist
  2. The Best –
  3. Poor in India Starve as Politicians Steal $14.5 Billion of Food - Bloomberg
  4. Work on Stuff that Matters: First Principles - Tim O'Reilly
  5. Book recommendation – (Genre – Technocracy) -- Daemon and Freedom by Daniel Suarez. I recently finished reading his latest book “Kill Decision” which is not that good.
  6. Music theory for Musicians and Normal people - Link
  7. Without Babies, Can Japan Survive? - Link
    “THE first grade class at the elementary school in Nanmoku, about 85 miles from Tokyo, has just a single student this year. The local school system that five decades ago taught 1,250 elementary school children is now educating just 37.”
mause 1960 flickr Creative Commons

January 2013

  1. Defeated - Link – Caravan Magazine’s award winning story on Tamil Tigers.
  2. Why time appears to speed up with age (idea) - Link
    "Life is half over at age ten, and three quarters over at age thirty.”
  3. A freezing person’s tale - Link
    Quote - "In "rewarming shock," the constricted capillaries reopen almost all at once, causing a sudden drop in blood pressure. In 1980, 16 shipwrecked Danish fishermen were hauled to safety after an hour and a half in the frigid North Sea. They then walked across the deck of the rescue ship, stepped below for a hot drink, and dropped dead, all 16 of them."
  4. Watch my TED shortlist - Link
pic_tupinambah flickr Creative Commons

Feb 2013

  1. Akin’s Law of Spacecraft Design – Link
    Example -
    Larrabee's Law - Half of everything you hear in a classroom is crap. Education is figuring out which half is which.
    Atkin's Law of Demonstrations - When the hardware is working perfectly, the really important visitors don't show up.
    A bad design with a good presentation is doomed eventually. A good design with a bad presentation is doomed immediately
  2. Solving Tetris in C (Hatetris) - Link
  3. New Japanese Pop Idol Shocks Fans With News–She’s Not Real (video) - Link
  4. When Hard Books Disappear - Link

    "Within a few generations, seeing an actual paper book will be as rare for most people as seeing an actual lion."
  5. Dance Photography – Peter Norvig. (Bonus Link – His commencement address – Link)
  6. Lunch – Joel on Software – link
  7. Jeddah’s Kingdom Tower, World’s Tallest Building Given the Go Ahead - Link
    "This is double the height of the current tallest man-made structure, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai" – 1 mile high, 3.5million sqfeet. $26.6bn project
  8. How Carrots Became the New Junk Food - Link
  9. THE INDIA CABLES FROM WIKILEAKS - Link - Cable 162458, and 206688 (Article)

    “A DMK political strategist told us slums are critical to a campaign because their population density and poverty allows them to be more ""easily mobilized"" by bribes. Representatives of an NGO that works in Chennai's slums told us that the two main political parties in Tamil Nadu -- the DMK and AIADMK - regularly bribe voters. They described a sophisticated operation used to distribute the cash. According to an NGO representative, in the weeks before the elections, ""agents of the parties come to the neighborhood with cash carried in rice sacks. They have copies of the voter lists and they distribute the money based on who is on the list."" The agents come in the middle of the night, ""between two and four in the morning, when the Election Commission is asleep."”
  10. Million-song dataset: take it, it's free – Link (300GB of songs)
  11. Treasure chest - Love of gold becomes a macroeconomic problem - Link

    "The wardrobe of Datta Phuge, a businessman in Pune, in west India, has a new addition. Weighing 3.25 kilos and costing a quarter of a million dollars, it is a chain-mail shirt made of gold”
Nanagyei_Pic_Flickr Creative Commons

June 2013

  1. The de-facto all-time most popular online and offline university course is Michael Sandel’s “Justice @ Harvard: What’s the right thing to do?”
  2. Google Glass review -
  3. Daily Dump Composter – Link, FB Link
  4. Mars Brothers - Link
  5. The Scientific 7-Minute Workout - Link
  6. A Deadly Triangle – India Pakistan Afghanistan - Link
  7. Is it too late to be awesome? - The dangers of comparing, perfectionism and being too hard on ourselves. - Link
Haldane famously put it "I would lay down my life for two brothers or eight cousins". It's governed by the formula rB > C. (In this case the Cost is life itself, but relatedness * benefit match the cost).

"Such in outline, but even more purposeless, more devoid of meaning is the world which science presents for our belief. Amid such a world, if anywhere, our ideals henceforward must find a home. That man is the product of causes that had no prevision of the end they were achieving; that his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms; that no fire, no heroism, no intensity of thought and feeling, can preserve an individual life beyond the grave, that all the labours of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspirations, all the noon-day brightness of human genius, are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system, and that the whole temple of man's achievement must inevitably be buried beneath the debris of a universe in ruins - all these things, if not quite beyond dispute, are yet so nearly certain, that no philosophy that rejects them can hope to stand. Only within the scaffolding of these truths, only on the firm foundation of unyielding despair, can the soul's habitation henceforth be safely built. ... Brief and powerless is man's life, on him and all his race the slow, sure doom falls pitiless and dark"  --By - Bertrand Russel, in A Free Man's Workshop in 1903

"Why, Mr. Anderson? Why, why, why? Why do you do it? Why, why get up? Why keep fighting? Do you believe you're fighting for something, for more than your survival? Can you tell me what it is, do you even know? Is it freedom, or truth, perhaps peace, could it be for love? Illusions, Mr. Anderson, vagaries of perception. Temporary constructs of a feeble human intellect trying desperately to justify an existence that is without any meaning or purpose! And all of them as artificial as the Matrix itself. Although only a human mind could invent something as insipid as love. You must be able to see it Mr. Anderson, you must know it by now. You can't win, it's pointless to keep fighting! Why, Mr. Anderson, why? Why do you persist?"  - Agent Smith, Matrix Revolutions

  1. On Gold“When Christopher Columbus arrived at Hispaniola during his first transatlantic voyage in the year A.D. 1492, the island had already been settled by Native Americans for about 5,000 years. The occupants in Columbus's time were a group of Arawak Indians called Tainos who lived by farming, were organized into five chiefdoms, and numbered around half a million (the estimates range from 100,000 to 2,000,000). Columbus initially found them peaceful and friendly, until he and his Spaniards began mistreating them. Unfortunately for the Tainos, they had gold, which the Spanish coveted but didn't want to go to the work of mining themselves. Hence the conquerors divided up the island and its Indian population among individual Spaniards, who put the Indians to work as virtual slaves, accidentally infected them with Eurasian diseases, and murdered them. By the year 1519, 27 years after Columbus's arrival, that original population of half a million had been reduced to about 11,000, most of whom died that year of smallpox to bring the population down to 3,000, and those survivors gradually died out or became assimilated within the next few decades. That forced the Spaniards to look elsewhere for slave laborers.” – Extract from Jared Diamond’s Collapse book. A 5000 year long civilization collapsing in 28 years.

August 2013

  1. Heart Surgery in India for $1,583 Costs $106,385 in U.S.
  2. How Samsung Became the World's No. 1 Smartphone Maker
  3. Naveen Tewari: We want to change the world of advertising (InMobi)
  4. How to make a million dollars
  5. Tutorific
  6. Battlecode: MIT's longest-running hardcore programming competition
  7. The Factory Floor
  8. The 2012 Tour de France
Some rights reserved by marius bergsma Flickr

August 2013

  1. This Is How Your Brain Becomes Addicted to Caffeine
  2. Untold Story of the World's Biggest Diamond Heist - Link
  3. Android is better
  4. Is there hope for the bees?
    “Perhaps the most shocking scene in More than Honey doesn't feature a single bee. Director Markus Imhoof follows a group of labourers in northern China as they painstakingly pollinate all the flowers in a field by hand.”
  5. Skin in the game as a required heuristic for acting under uncertainty- Link (14 page PDF)
    “About 3,800 years ago, Hammurabi’s code specified that if a builder builds a house and the house collapses and causes the death of the owner of the house, that builder shall be put to death”
  6. Gorgeous Glimpses of Calamity (NYTimes)
  7. My Final Post
    "The camera is arguably one of the most important of all inventions… it is the single tool that has the ability to stop time, record history, generate art, tell stories, and communicate messages that transcend language like nothing else ever conceived." - Jim Jannard, founder of Oakley eyewear and the Red digital cinema camera system.
mariko_2 creative commons flickr

September 2013

  1. 'Like Being in Prison with a Salary': The Secret World of the Shipping Industry
    “More oil is poured down the drain by mechanics changing their engine oil than is spilled by the world’s fleet of oil tankers.”
  2. Dizzying Pics of Hong Kong’s Massive High-Rise Neighborhoods
  3. The demise of the DSLR
  4. The Truth About Marissa Mayer: An Unauthorized Biography (very long article, as an alternate you may read my summary notes)
  5. Mumbai’s hungry high rollers : The wild brunch
    “Sushi bars are standard—one hotel chain is said to have a daily supply flight from Tokyo”
  6. Water ATM’s in India by Sarvajal
  7. They’re Taking Over! – Jellyfish
    “Japan’s nuclear power plants have been under attack by jellyfish since the 1960s, with up to 150 tons per day having to be removed from the cooling system of just one power plant.”
  8. Geeks on the frontlines.
  9. Why Is Zambia So Poor? – “Landlocked country, There’s no dictator, no child soldiers. But most of its 14 million people live on less than $1 per day. Why?”
  10. Regeron Pharmaceuticals is Changing Drug Discovery (#4 of world’s most innovative companies).
    “Yancopoulos has made more money than almost any research biologist in history. Last year, he received a $82 million pay package, also mostly stock, which bettered every chief executive in America except Oracle’s Larry Ellison. “
  11. In Sync – Dropbox’s Profile on Wired
CallMeWhatEver Flickr Creative Commons

November 2013

  1. And Then Steve Said, ‘Let There Be an iPhone
    “Exhausted engineers quit their jobs — then came back to work a few days later once they had slept a little. Forstall’s chief of staff, KimVorrath, once slammed her office door so hard it got stuck and locked her in, and co-workers took more than an hour to get her out.”
  2. How Nandan Nilekani Took Aadhaar Past The Tipping Point
  3. Robert Shiller's Devastating Takedown Of Housing
    "Yeah, I'll diversify my portfolio. I'll live in a rental." - Economics Nobel Prize Winner 2013 – Robert Shiller
  4. How to lose half a trillion euros (Free registration required to read, TheEconomist)
  5. My Calorie Spreadsheet - Link (Google Docs blocked in office)
  6. The highly unusual company behind Sriracha, the world’s coolest hot sauce (Courtesy: Venkat)
  7. How to lose $172,222 a second for 45 minutes (Total $460mn lost due to one bug)
mariko_2 flickr Creative Commons

December 2013

  1. Indian generics and AIDS
  2. The Strava Files
  3. Bill Gates: Here’s My Plan to Improve Our World — And How You Can Help
  4. Honest Blog: Make It Better: Preventing Food Waste
  5. An A-Z guide to diabetes prevention
  6. India’s Favorite Sports Figure Says Goodbye
    “ … men and women wept without shame as their children wondered why.”
  7. The Father of Genomics
    Frederick Sanger – Only third person ever with two Nobel Prizes in Science, others being Marie Curie and John Bardeen (transistors and super conductivity) –

    “His first prize was awarded in 1958, for determining the chemical structure of proteins, in particular insulin. Learning to read that information won Dr Sanger his second Nobel, in 1980. He developed one of the first methods of DNA sequencing.”
  8. Udacity’s Sebastian Thrun, GODFATHER OF FREE ONLINE EDUCATION, changes course
  9. Fortune: Businessman of the Year - The shared genius of Elon Musk and Steve Jobs
  10. Mobile Payments Gain Traction Among India’s Poor
    Planet Money’s investigation into how T-shirts are made gives us a rare glimpse into the effects our purchasing decisions have on people and countries across the world.
  11. - If anyone is planning to buy Ceiling Fans, consider SuperFan. I am using the same at my house for last 6 months without issues. This doesn’t use standard AC Induction motor which consumes 45 to 60Watts. It used BLDC (Brushless DC) motor which uses only 35 Watts for same air circulation. That’s 10W minimum saving.
Best, Umang