Computing, Libraries, Tennis, India & other interests of Vikas Kamat
|Design Ideas from B&A|| |
| Ideas from Before and After
This month's Before and After Magazine
(B&A) features Mel and Patricia Ziegler, the couple that created Banana
Republic and eventually the Republic of Tea. The story is not online, but is
worth a read. B&A is the one of the only five periodicals I pay for (National
Geographic, TIME, NewsWeek,
and ArtNews are others), and perhaps the the only one I read.
While it is very pricey, I must say that I have learnt a lot from it. Soon I am
going to go over all old issues trying to create a new look and feel to Kamat's
Potpourri website. Here're some stuff that I've learnt from B&A:
- Do you know why the FedEx logo is so cool and distinguishable? Look at the
logo again (shown below), there's a arrow between E
and X that indirectly conveys speed, and forward movement to the brain. Such
hidden meanings (like the "A to Z" in Amazon logo)
are very important for the brand name and recognition (Y'all know about the "Coca-cola font").
- How to use the wheel of color, or why yellow and blue are such a good
- How to design banners for the web. It's all in cropping.
The "No Tears for You" List
My tears are only for Serena.
Blooywood Fest @ TCM
Do not forget the Indian movie festival on Turner Classic Movies, starting today. Complete Schedule.
|(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)||First Written: Thursday, June 05, 2003|
Last Modified: 6/7/2003
|Pan Fried Catfish|| |
| Recipe: Pan Fried Catfish|
This delicacy has won me many friends:
Six Farm Raised Catfish
Coarse, all-purpose flour
Clean the Catfish and marinate in a paste of minced garlic, tamarind paste, chili powder, and salt in equal proportions of one tea spoon each. Marinate for about five minutes.
Dip the marinated fish in a thin coat of coarse flour and roast on the pan for about 10 minutes at 350oF
Turn the fish a couple of times for equal distribution of heat and spices.
Fish is done when the outside turns golden brown. Serve with steamed rice.
|(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)||First Written: Saturday, June 07, 2003|
Last Modified: 6/7/2003
|A Grave Misstep|| |
| Buy Hillary's Book Here|
I hear Hillary Clinton's new book is already a best-seller. I thought of getting a slice of the pie and designed a banner (shown below):
A Grave Misstep
Israel cannot play mean and expect Hamas to take the high road to peace. That
ain't gonna happen.
did today (tried political assassination) is nothing short of terrorism by a state.
President Bush correctly has issued a rebuke.
Only in America
Yesterday I bought a network card for my aging notebook Pascal (that's the
name of the computer. See names of other computers on Kamat.com
It was $39.99 with $30.00 cash back (you know, they give you some money if you fill a form and authorize the
vendor to send you junk mail). Then I
saw a box that was already open and BestBuy offered it to me for $19.99.
So altogether, I got a free PCMCIA network card, and also got $10.00 cash!
I don't think there is any other place on earth where you get more
money than what you paid for buying something!
|(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)||First Written: Tuesday, June 10, 2003|
Last Modified: 6/24/2003
|Tit for Tat Violence|| |
| Tit for Tat Violence|
Reciprocal revenge violence spreads in Israel-Palestine, and I am reminded of Ganhi's famous words:
"Eye for an eye makes the whole world blind".
|(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)||First Written: Thursday, June 12, 2003|
Last Modified: 6/12/2003
|Greetings from Florida|| |
| Greetings from sometimes sunny, many times rainy, Florida panhandle.|
|(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)||First Written: Sunday, June 15, 2003|
Last Modified: 7/3/2003
|Some Wishes...|| |
| I wish..|
I wish I were here (Link to ALA Toronto) mingling with librarians, than being bitter about learning so far nothing new .NET technology.
I wish I had not unloaded the gold stock that I bought just before the US invasion of Iraq. That thing has doubled!
I wish it quit raining here in Birmingham this year, so the grass didn't grow as much and so I could play some tennis.
|(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)||First Written: Thursday, June 19, 2003|
Last Modified: 6/19/2003
|Winning Business by Blackmail|| |
| Winning Business by Blackmail|
This is a true story.
In 1989 I was working on a project in rural India, and sought the help of a
local newspaper (I advertised our service) to spread word. I was an outsider to
the town (Town of Sirsi) and I had selected this newspaper based on a recommendation from a
relative. Our advertisement ran everyday for a week and generated a great
response for us, so I renewed the campaign.
What I didn't know was of a great rivalry between this newspaper and yet another
one operating in the same town. One day I was shocked to find our
advertisement in this other newspaper as well. It was much bigger advertisement. I investigated if they really
were owned by the same owner, and why he was generous to me by placing bigger
advertisements than what I had paid for.
No, the two were really fierce competitors, and the fact that one of
them had garnered the new advertising revenue had not gone well in the other
camp. I was amazed by the genius of the editor, in attracting our attention and
funding. But I was angry at him, because I thought a newspaper spreading our message
(disguised as advertisement) without our consent, was not appropriate.
"What if you advertise in the newspaper that my company is closing
down?" -- I took objection.
They pacified me. "Look Sir, this is a small town and both publications
deserve your patronage." In reality, however, they had blackmailed
me, in paying for the advertisements.
Point to ponder:
It is illegal to defame a company or person by spreading a damaging
news/advertising message; but is it OK to spread positive message supporting a
company without their consent? This is just like Klu-Klux-Klan holding a fund
raiser for Red Cross (or for Augusta
Nationals) isn't it?
I mean, can you tell someone not to support you?
|(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)||First Written: Friday, June 20, 2003|
Last Modified: 6/20/2003
|Gems in Kamat Diaries|| |
| Unending Supply of Gems in Kamat's Diaries|
Every time I browse through Bappa's notebooks, I find fascinating stuff. Today I learnt about the difference between Tanjore and Mysore traditional styles of gesso art.
Or the mouse-mask worn by a panicked villager that I had never noticed in this picture.
|(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)||First Written: Sunday, June 22, 2003|
Last Modified: 6/22/2003
|Wimbledon is Underway|| |
| Wimbledon Underway|
Wimbledon is off to a tumultous start with the biggest upset possible (defending champion and strong favorite, crashing out in first round).
See Wimbledon updates in Kimbo's TopSpin.
Merchandise Blog Post
My thanks to the six people who ordered Hillary Clinton's book by clicking on my banner.
Here's the Harry Potter banner for your consideration.
Order your copy of "Order of the Phoenix" here.
|(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)||First Written: Tuesday, June 24, 2003|
Last Modified: 6/24/2003
|Photography via Photosyntesis|| |
| Rediscover the "Photo" in Photography|
Of course, y'all know the photo in photography means light. Photography is a wonderful technique that mankind discovered.
There is another photo-processing technique that goes in nature that we don't think
much about, especially in the context of photography. The process, of course is photosynthesis,
the process by which the plants produce their own food, using light and carbs.
Meet the genius
of Binh Danh (link to NPR) who has combined the two -- photography and photosynthesis.
He exploits the ability to the leaf to react differently to different intensity
of light, to make photographic pictures.
Binh Danh really prints photographs on leaf ! It is amazing! See for yourself.
|(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)||First Written: Wednesday, June 25, 2003|
Last Modified: 6/25/2003
|About Reducing Junk Calls|| |
| About Reducing Junk Calls|
The US Government has started a Do Not Call list, which is supposed to reduce the number of junk telephone calls you recieve.
A friend writes (via email):
Guess who is exempt:
- Anyone you have done business within the prior 18 months.
"Hello, this is Slim Whitman thanking you for your recent purchase from any of the following gas stations, of which I am a 0.00001% shareholding owner: Exxon, Chevron, Amoco, BP, Shell, Getty, Starvin Marvins, Racetrak, JollyTime ....
I am calling today on behalf of the American Red Cross. If you purchase my Greatist Hits album today, I will personally donate a penny from each and every sale.
I would also very much appreciate your vote for County Councilman during the next election cycle. Thanks for the loopholes, sucker..."
BTW, have you noticed how many of the new telemarketeers are from India? After the emergence of voice-over-IP technology, junk calling from India has become real cheap..
FYI, according to the FAQ,
Any telemarketers calling U.S. consumers are covered, regardless of where they are calling from. If a company within the U.S. solicits sales through an overseas professional telemarketer, that U.S. company is liable for any violations by the telemarketer. The FTC can initiate enforcement actions against such companies.
To me, it would have made more sense to build "OK to Call" list, making it optional; only those who wish to be called needed to register...
|(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)||First Written: Friday, June 27, 2003|
Last Modified: 6/28/2003
|Misc. Updates|| |
| Misc. Updates
- The Aperture Photo Blog gets static rendering -- For performance reasons, I have changed the page to be baked, rather than to be fried. You can see the difference yourself. Here's the dynamically rendered (or fried) version of the same page.
- Amma's Column -- Interesting post on the use of pigeons in governmental organizations (post office, police force) in India.
- AshaNet is preparing for their annual fundraiser. My appeal to our readers from a previous year.
- I have started reading S.L.Bhyrappa's famous autobiography Bhitti (in Kannada). It is gripping both as a literary masterpiece as well as a documentary of life and poverty in pre-independent India. It is as disturbing as it is philosophical, and taken my admiration for S.L. Bhyrappa to a new height. This book is going to make my "All Time Favorites" list.
|(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)||First Written: Monday, June 30, 2003|
Last Modified: 7/3/2003
|This is how I surf the web. Turns out
creating your own start page beats all portals, back-flipping,
personalized corporate pages, and book-marking tools.