Lisp Notes - 1

The nearest thing Common Lisp has to a motto is the koan-like description, "the programmable programming language." While cryptic,that description gets at the root of the biggest advantage Common Lisp still has over other languages.

Ideas first introduced in Lisp include the if/then/else construct,recursive function calls, dynamic memory allocation, garbage collection,first-class functions, lexical closures, interactive programming, incremental compilation and dynamic typing.

Shvedova vs Santangelo

Last weekend, I went to watch the finals of the WTA Womens championship held at Bangalore. Doubles match between chinese teipei pair and russian/chinese-teipei pair was ok. The Russian (Kurd) did not play very serious and from the body language it looked she was okay with losing.

The best match was Shvedova vs Santangelo.


Santangelo, the defending champion had defeated India's heart throb Sania to come to finals.

Santangelo is a 16th ranked player from Italy, while Shvedova who got an entry to this tour due to absence of another Russian player is a ranked 119 and was playing her first big tournament.

From the very start, Shvedova looked impressive and agile. When the match started, her shots were more powerful and she tried for aces.

But Santangelo being a professional player was able to play effortless against the novice and she made Shvedova run all over the court.

We began to guess that Shvedova would soon run out of energy and Santangelo will take the match towards her side.

But this did not happen, Shvedova never got tired, she was able to play with a top seeded player running all over the court and at last defeating her! Many a times Shvedova won the set with Santangelo having the advantage. This shows her energy the practise she must have put in.

It was a wonderful match and a great lesson to learn for a newcomer in any sport that practise is the key to winning.

Recent Books

My friend and I am participating in the 50bookchallenge and I have started enjoying reading one book after the other.

After Men who made new physics, I started reading Shashi Tharoors "5 Dollar Smile". This is a compilation of a early writings of Sashi Tharoor in his adolescence. So, you might find him attracted towards pretty girls, interest in sex topics and many of things which disturb young adults. His writing style is good and its really funny. He in his college days might be a kind of leader who must have been along with friends teasing, having fun,understanding junta and yet a leader, Not the all prefect high standards that comes in book definitions.

The last one act play of a "Life of a Kutta" was amazing, its a set in a period of India Emergency when forced sterilization was done on males. This presents the time from the eyes of a dog who is converted to a man.

The title "5 Dollar Smile" refers to UN Post card featuring photo of Child from India, which seeks to donate 5 dollars and make him smile. Its a simple story of a boy with a charity. The stories are not conclusive, but many of them are thought provoking and sometimes reflecting with real world incidents as it happens and passes by.

Next book I read was Sudha Murthy's "How I taught my Grandma and Other stories."

A very good book stressing on moral values and principles in life. Sudhar Murty has narrated the incidents in her life in a very simple style for others to understand and follow.

The title refers to the story of her youth, when she used to say featured monthly story to her grandma and once in her absence her grandma felt helpless with her inability to read. Her grandma took a resolve to start learning and made young Sudha Mmurty as her guru. This is has very emotional touch at the end which relates to a student respecting her guru.

Another thing imprinted in mind is, she learnt from a charity work of not delaying things when helping people as help at the right time is proper and delay with it is not good.

Her story about meetings with JRD Tata and APJ Kalaam was very inspiring.

Lunar New Year

I knew it by "Chinese New Year" only and this year is "the year of Pig" with increase in birthrate projected in China as they believe children bring prosperity in this year.

Found googles doodle linked to "Lunar New Year" instead of "Chinese New year". Globalization or lessons learnt for Chinese market? :-)

Wikipedia says,Lunar New Year is Celebrated by: China, Taiwan, South and North Korea, Japan, Mongolia, Vietnam, Singapore.

Happy New year all of you guys.

How Love works

At How Stuff works, found this interesting article titled: "How Love Works". According to this article,

  • People often tend to fall in love with people in whom they see their parents, siblings. With whom they have been associated from childhood.

  • Eye contacts and looking deep into the eyes, has an effect in two people falling in love.

  • Love, relationship, Lust, Passionate Love, Infidelity etc is explained entirely as a chemical phenomena. Get to know your adrenaline, dopamine, norepinephrine, phenylethylamine, etc.

Remembering Mahatma

On Self-Purification:

Love and Ahimsa are matchless in their effect. But, in their play there is no fuss, show, noise or placards. They presuppose self-confidence which in its turn presupposes self-purification. Men of stainless character and self-purification will easily inspire confidence and automatically purify the atmosphere around them.
~Mahatma Gandhi.

Today 59 years ago,Nathuram Godse bowed before Mahatma Gandhi, wished him well, then shot him to death with a Beretta pistol.

fun quote and Guru movie

I'd crawl over an acre of 'Visual This++' and 'Integrated Development That' to get to gcc, Emacs, and gdb. Thank you." (By Vance Petree, Virginia Power)

That was a fun quote I stumbled upon and totally unrelated is the rest of the post which follows.

I watched Guru the second time. Believe me, the movie was lot better the second time and its point of capitalism was more convincing than before, when one already knows what this movie is about. Second time watching the thoughts of Dhirubhai Ambani or Bill Gates did not come, while the rationale behind the arguements and thoughts of Gurubhai was more prominent.

Flower Show at Lalbagh

Vaish,Shiva,Parthiban,Priya and I visited flower show at Lalbagh on 26th Jan. Variety of flowers were displayed, and I can hardly remember the names. Few of the bonsai costs Rs.5000/- and above. But bonsai was very nice. You could see a full grown dwarf trees. :-)

I captured few the flowers with my camera till my batteries went down and I could not buy a new set of batteries inside lalbagh.

From Flower_Show

No Citations from wikipedia

The history department of Middlebury College has taken measures to stop CITATIONS from wikipedia for the Student Research paper. Yeah, thats infact the correc thing to do. For research we always should go the primary source and if not possible well researched secondary source having a relation to the primary source.

Wikipedia being so useful that students had ended citing that up in the their papers and when there was a mis-information in the wikipedia, the students did not know that and their papers went wrong. The teachers doing a correct move as they say cite wikipedia at your own peril.

Men Who Made New Physics


I finished reading this book on Monday. It is an excellent book which deals with the stories of many physicists working during the prime time of physics. It starts with RutherFords story about his rustic nature and how he used to work in his lab.
I was amazed by the story of Max Plank that I have decided to keep Max Plank as an example of being organized and disciplined in life.
Max Plank was very organized it seems. He used to come to lab, almost at the same time and daily he had set 1/2 hour of learning piano and work style was appreciated by many. Einstein and many others respected and loved him and addressed as "our plank". Later in Einsteins story came to know that Einstein resigned from post in Germany during the troubled Nazi area, as knew that it would come up on Plank to take the decision of removing Einstein and Plank would be feeling uncomfortable doing it. Einstein then had moved to Princeton and German political situation was bad under Hilter.
One funny thing, I can recollec is, in of the anti Einstein meetings, Einstein was present in the audience and enjoying it.
Niels Bohr is another scientist whom we come to know in detail. He along with Einstein was the primary characters in this book. Bohr had established an institute where lots of young physicists loved to study and conduct experiments. Physicists who ever had been there feel it was the golden era. The final topic is on Einstein and Bohrs debate, Einstein feels that there is an organized approach in God design of universe wherein Bohrs point of argument ( as I understood) is we have not understood the organization of universe yet to comment on it.
Bohr was an athelete and used to go for short sprints between scientific discussions and debates it seems. :-)

Many of my friends will enjoy this book. Jonathan gifted me this while at college and Kannapan feels this as one of the best book he has ever read.

I took some snaps of the middle page pictures using my nokia 6600.