Computing, Libraries, Tennis, India & other interests of Vikas Kamat
|Computing with Tags|| |
| I am happy to add a new "Browse by Tags" feature to Kamat's Potpourri.|
We have internally supported tags from 1997 (we called them CrowWords, a mock of keywords, after my company CyberCrow), but they were designed for machine-learning rather than for humans.
Anyway, the addition of tags in addition to keywords and crowwords gives us a rich content platform classify and organize the website.
It is indeed fascinating to see the disparate content items come together.
Hope you like 'em. Examples:
A Note About Tag Generation
It is wonderful if you have the luxury of human-tagged contents (like Flickr, Technorati or Delicious have). But what if your content is not already tagged?
That's when Keyword Extraction comes into play. We had implemented a rudimentary extractor for our -- if a letter was capitalized, it was given a weight and a tag was started. I don't have any research or study on how effective it has been.
Then Yahoo introduced an Extraction API. In my experience, it is a wonderful service (if you can tolerate the 503 s it seems to throw often), and we have supplemented generated tags whenever human-provided tags were not available. I had to make much tuning, because most of the tags Yahoo suggested had "kamat" or "india" in them. But this automation allowed us to gather some 192,000 unique tags!
After gathering the tags, I build a matrix to view the tag density. This exposes both the strength and weakness of our contents, and helps in generation of Tag Clouds.
Generation of Tag Clouds
The coma delimited tags are transposed into rows using SQL and are ranked based on repetitions. The physical proximity is weighted in.
Having all this infrastructure, the generation of a Tag Cloud is then simply querying the database with various SELECT clasues.
A Sample Tag Cloud:
beauty - blog - diwali - games - goddess - huntress - india - lost - photo - photographs - potpourri - wheels - zoo - accidental art - ant - aperture - beholder - child delivery - color yellow - colors - cricket - cultural anthropology - destiny - friends - god - illustrations - jewelry - kamasutra - mirror project - mysore - opaque - photo album - prehistoric - professions - refugee - seductress - spokes - torn - tri
|(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)||First Written: Wednesday, October 4, 2006|
Last Modified: 10/6/2006 2:55:25 AM
| Misc. Stuff|
- To reduce the number of SPLOG submissions I get at Blog Portal, I have
installed a barrier of registration
before suggesting new blogs.
- Lots of Tags are now being incorporated throughout the site. Look under
the "Merchandise and Link Suggestions" section at the bottom of
- Houston Kannada Vrinda is organizing a Seminar
on Royal Legacy of Vijayanagar to Mysore Kings.
- Kamat's Konkani book "Konkanyali Kavikala" is being reprinted by
the Goa's Konkani Akademy. The text is being revised so the people of Goa
can understand the technicalities of the book. We don't quite realize, but
the Konkani spoken in parts of Karnataka has so much Kannada verbs in it
that Konkanis elsewhere cannot understand it!
|(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)||First Written: Friday, October 6, 2006|
Last Modified: 10/6/2006 3:07:12 AM
|Marathi Koligeet|| |
| In Appreciation of Marathi Koli Folksongs|
In our joint-family, many of the elders studied in the erstwhile Bombay
Presidency and knew Marathi very well. The Antakshari games my aunts used
to play when I was young were invariably in Marathi, and I know lots of
Marathi folksongs, theater songs (Natyasangeet), and devotional songs (Bhaktigeet).
During a recent road trip to Chicago, Milwaukee and back, I happened to carry
a CD of Marathi folksongs, known as Koligeet, or the songs of the fisher-folk,
and the music took me to my childhood.
© Vikas Kamat
Koligeet or Songs of Fisherfolk is a unique genre of Indian music
All the songs in Koligeet are set in the background of river, sea, storms,
and other coastal artifacts. The songs feature melodious tunes, playful themes,
teasing, and innocence of a lifestyle that is lost since. Each song has a repearting rythm that reminds of the waves in the sea.
If you have never heard it, and know even a tingy bit of Marathi or Konkani, I encourage you to discover the Koligeet music. Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhonsle have sung many Koligeets, and I'm sure you can find them online.
Several Bollywood songs have been inspired by Koligeets, but I haven't heard even one that lives up to the beauty of the originals.
Some of my favorite Koligeet songs:
me dolkara dolkara dariyata raja sung by Lata Mangeshkar and Hemant Kumar
disalaga bayi disala sung by Asha Bhonsle
badala waro sutalago
|(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)||First Written: Saturday, October 7, 2006|
Last Modified: 10/7/2006 7:51:19 AM
|The Saga of Tibet|| |
| American journalist Lowell Thomas Jr. visited Tibet (then a mysterious, but free nation), in 1949 with his father and met Dalai Lama (then a teenage boy). They were the 7th and 8th Americans in the history to be granted this privilege. Thomas's 1950 book "Out Of This World - across the Himalayas to forbidden Tibet" contains rare and important photographs of period Tibet, before its collapse in 1959.|
Kamat Research Database: Rare Pictures of Tibet, 1949
People of India: Tibetans in India
Corel Professional Photo
|(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)||First Written: Thursday, October 12, 2006|
Last Modified: 10/12/2006 11:43:47 AM
|Without Comments|| |
| I got an angry email from a patron today. I have no idea why I was chosen to register this protest. I am reproducing it below.|
From: Papinda Singh
I have read on the BBC website that Kannada's writers are opposed to the teaching of English in schools for children younger than 11.
I have to say that is the most ridiculous, idiotic and cruel campaign I have every heard of. How dare you stop children from opportunities they richley deserve. I hope the same lack of consideration you are displaying to the children of your state is displayed to you.
How dare you hold India back.
BBC: Indian row over English teaching
Unrelated at Kamat.com: Pictures of Kannada Writers
|(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)||First Written: Friday, October 13, 2006|
Last Modified: 10/13/2006 10:50:01 AM
|Happy Diwali|| |
| My greetings to all readers of this blog on the occasion of the Diwali (spelled differently as Diwali, Divali, Deewali etc, as I have pointed out in Trouble with Indian Names)|
My family rarely bought greeting cards. My dad and I would make them by hand. No two cards we made were alike, so I don't remember what card we sent to whom.
I was never as good as Bappa, but I am surprised that many people kept the cards I sent decades ago, as tresured items.
The below is a reject art I found in my daftar.
© K. L. Kamat
A greeting card made by my dad. No two cards he made were the same.
I found no equivalent word for the Konkani word poasth in English. Poasth is something you collect over years that you pay no attention to; it's part valuable, part junk. I am using the word daftar in the same way, although I am not sure it means the same thing. Definition in Hobson Jobson Dictionary.
One man's junk and another man's treasure. Sometimes I wonder what my daftar is worth; because I myself keep finding treasures in it all the time! Letters of famous people, autographs, unidentified group photographs, and collectibles.
Like today I found a letter written by Kamaladevi Chattopadhyaya to C.N. Mangala on the occasion of starting the Women's Museum.
Another letter shows Shivaram Karanth returning India's prestigious award in protest of Emergency. Cool Stuff
See: Crude (Unprocessed) Contents
You might not know this, especially if you come Hindi heartland.
Here are the reasons why some people don't celebrate Diwali, especially in South India. Diwali in South India
|(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)||First Written: Monday, October 16, 2006|
Last Modified: 10/23/2006 8:08:51 PM
Tags: festival, greetings
|Spoilt Rotten Dog|| |
| Oh, the silly things we do for our pets...|
My rotten spoilt dog has her own homepage now, complete with her vacation pictures and resume.
|(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)||First Written: Tuesday, October 17, 2006|
Last Modified: 10/17/2006 2:29:37 PM
|Link Suggestions for Kannada Lovers|| |
| Kannada Vedike: Deepavali Issue of Spandana PDF, Kannada Language Content|
In a courageous and dramatic move in 1975, Shivaram Karanth returned to the Government of India, one of the nations' top most civilian honors bestowed upon him.
Kamat Downloads: Fascimille of Shivaram Karanth Returning "Padma Bhushan" Award" (FREE Registration Required)
Two rare pictures of members of original "Geleyara Gumpu" that played a key role in Kannada rennaisance: Prahlad Naregal and Govind Chulaki.
|(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)||First Written: Thursday, October 19, 2006|
Last Modified: 10/21/2006 10:37:27 PM
Tags: Kannada Links
|Visit to Dayanand Ashraya Dhama|| |
| In 2005, I had an opportunity to visit Sri Swami Dayanand Ashraya Dhama, a
shelter for young children run by seer Chidrupanand Saraswatiji. It was a
touching experience, just due to the way the shelter is operated in the most
minimum of resources, and the enthusiasm and spritely health radiated by the young residents.
© Vikas Kamat
Students at an Orphanage
Village of Bachodi, Town of Sagar, Year 2005
© Vikas Kamat
Pupils and Teachers at an Orphanage
Sri Swami Dayanand Ashraya Dhama, Bachchodi, 2005
© Vikas Kamat
News being Read to Kids at an Orphanage
In a residential school without TV, the students are kept informed the old-fashioned way.
The ashram is a good place to visit, set in remote area, surrounded by forest
Sri Swami Dayananand Ashraya Dhama
Bachodi, P.O. Nagolli, Town of Sagar
Shimoga, Karnataka, India
Shoes Outside a Classroom
Beauty is Skin Deep
Lust for Learning
Vikas in India 2005
|(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)||First Written: Wednesday, October 25, 2006|
Last Modified: 10/25/2006 3:52:36 PM
|Traditional Wedding Songs|| |
| It is amazing what cultural transformation awareness and networking can bring about. Remember Amma's Konkani book that I complained so much about? That book went out of print in no time, and second edition is also not available due to limited number of copies commissioned.|
The popularity of the book (and a show based on the book by Anuradha Dhareshwar) led to conducting of a workshop to teach housewives some of the songs, so they could sing them at weddings they attend. That was very successful, because the ladies who attended the workshop were in great demand to bring some of the old-glory value to weddings.
Eventually, some of the ladies got featured in a TV show.
Recently, someone who attended a Konkani wedding told me that several women came to the wedding with Amma's book in hand, so they could sing!
I told Amma that all her efforts are worth it!
And by popular request, I am making some of these songs available for purchase in the USA.
Buy the Ovyo-Gavuya CD for $9.99 at Lulu.com (for a limited time)
Old Konkani Jewelry from Folk-songs
One of the songs on the CD describes the glory of the jewels worn by the guests at a wedding. Most of this jewelry art is now lost, but the songs introduce us to the lost art form. When I see some of these jewelry in museums or with collectors, that I realize that the jewels described in the song is a real one, and I begin to admire the beauty of oral traditions of India.
Golden Bud Ornament
"Kalya Hali" -- a traditional Konkani jewelry
© Vikas Kamat
Antique Silver Jewelry
In India it was common to melt silver and gold coins to make jewels. Sometimes the coins were left intact (as shown).
Oral Traditions of India
For those who don't know, India had a strong oral tradition of imparting knowledge on history, arts, grammar, and mathematics. A lot of people don't get it, and just because someone is illiterate (one who can't read or write), they are condemned as ignorant. They aren't the same thing.
Konkani language may not have a script, but that doesn't mean it has no literature.
See Related Entry: Understanding Illiterates
|(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)||First Written: Friday, October 27, 2006|
Last Modified: 11/2/2006 6:47:48 AM
|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.