The Obama Nobel

If it was a Peace Prize, its timing could not have been more unfortunate. And the burden of this clearly showed on Obama and hence his defensive "what else can I do" acceptance speech.

Here's what I think he could have done. Decline to accept the Nobel.

An Obama who then explained that yes, he was the Commander-in-Chief of a nation waging two wars, and there was that part of his responsibility as  the President of the US of A that he is bound to execute, even as he stays hopeful and works towards a solution for peace, would have kept alive the vision he attempted to define through his oratory. He would have done much better to decline, 'for now', the Nobel and offered to pick it up when his dream and vision actually translate to reality. That would've really turned things around for him everywhere.

Oh well, I guess the big medal was a bit too much to resist. He's human, too, after all.

Posted via email from bangalorekaapi

The Water Miser Foot Tap

We recently installed a WATER MISER foot tap - details here  (

There a is pedal that is installed near the basin, when you pump the pedal - you have water in the tap. Its costs Rs 650/- (including installtion). We installed one at home in the common bathroom - and the kids loved it. Initially there were some leaks setting it up but the water miser staff was very prompt and fixed it. I think there is water saving - especially when we soap our hands and wash it/kids brush etc

A pic of our home installation attached. You can contact Chetan (9620483436) for more details. He actually comes around and does the installation too.

You are also most welcome to come and take a look at our home installation. 
Is anybody aware of any other vendor for a similar product ? 

Posted via email from bangalorekaapi

The BSA TFN Support Stations

The tent design for the TFN was sent by Hemant of Pappillon Design today - and it looks pretty awesome. So if you see one of these on the TFN Route somewhere, you know succour is close at hand :)

In case you're looking for this sort of a thing, Hemant is a very helpful guy and can be contacted at:

Mr Hemant(D)

+(91)-(80)-8025263, 41153854
Address: 1316, Near Leela Palace, 11 Th Main, Indiranagar, Bangalore - 560008

Posted via email from bangalorekaapi

The TFN Needs Your Support!

We have BSA-TFN09 Posters for letting people know about the longest, funnest cycle ride in the country, and maybe even get a few more folks to take cycling up.TFN_A4_Poster-1_new.jpg

If you know of a place you can put one up please fill this out and wee'll deliver some posters to you. Thanks!

Posted via email from bangalorekaapi

When we run out of cooking gas

All our kitchens have been designed to accommodate LPG/electric cooktops. What next ? A higher dependence on electricity ? Solar options - both as converted to electricity, and perhaps using it directly through fibre ?

There's probably a cleantech innovation waiting to happen in the kitchen. We're probably not going back to firewood and coal :)

Posted via email from bangalorekaapi

Awesome Photographers

Take a peek at The TFN09 Official Photographer Contest Finalists. 3 more days before the Winner's announced!

Lotsa people have shared their opinions on the pics. Do share yours. After all we need help to pick only ONE of the 3 really really good photographers as the TFN09 Official Photographer!

Posted via email from bangalorekaapi

Bangalore could use some of this

New York has reclaimed some space for pedestrians!

By the same logic, buses should get 35-40% of Bangalore's space, cyclists at least 10%. Yet we cater most to private transport, and in fact more to cars than to two wheelers. Inverse proportions!

One major stick to improve city planning, carbon dependence, cycling usage, and more livable spaces will be to take away from cars and private transport, and give to public and non-motorized transport. There are just too many positive side-effects to ignore, apart from the fairness of the act.

How about starting with the Brigade Road. Church Street areas ? No traffic, street-cafes, bands - wow - that'll make it worth going to the city center once again!

Posted via email from bangalorekaapi


For a while, at least, to
Like the easy - flow and the fact that emailing a post in is easy. Lets see if its just euphoria.

Spread the love

The TFN poster is here, in all its high res glory! Please take a printout and splash it on the nearest wall in your cubicle/office. Even better, use it as a wallpaper, and help spread the love for cycling!

Life in Progress

This is why I love Coorg. Whichever direction you look in, there's beauty, fresh air wherever you go, streams that have their own music, and a nice easy pace at which life does not rush past. The construction's started and cannot wait for it to get over! Also learned some stuff about wood selection, timber, rates etc over the last two days I was there.

Doing what you've never done before is sure a lot of fun!

BMTC Site Updated

BMTC 'upgraded' it site, and there's a search etc. The earlier static pages to the Vajra and other services are missing - and the route search takes you to the schedules as earlier. You can search via a route number, or using an auto-suggest of source and destinations. Clicking on the service links does not provide any route/schedule info yet, and a lot many source/destinations and routes aren't up there yet. The site also needs to get a little quicker (cannot imagine too much load on the servers right now). To be fair, they have put up a "Website under testing & final stage of construction. Route search is not updated." on the site - will check and update this entry once thats fixed.

Oh, and there's also a new service from HSR BDA Complex to BIAL (The Bangalore International Airport, i.e.) - the BIAS-7A goes via Indiranagar instead of Shanthinagar. This means a bus to the airport almost every 30-40minutes for HSR folks.

Hopefully, a step in the right direction - though needs to be complete before its actually useful. They'd do well to expose an API so a mobile service could provide updated info over SMS etc.

Time. And Money.

For a while now, I've been mentioning to people that for the next raise/job change, they could ask for the hike/ compensation partly in time. After all, we all repeat sooo often that age old adage - time is money - that its time we put some money where our time is :)

Here's a good one I read in the context of some very very compelling reasons to take up cycling :
"...why spend loads of time working to pay for the car to get to work to pay for the car"
What you choose to do with that time is then the next question. It could be spent on places you've wanted to go to, books you wanted to read, or relearning how to play the guitar, or even just spending more time with your kids (at least till such time that they tolerate your company :) ) You could finally start executing on those amazing ideas you've had. You could go back to school to acquire some additional skills!

How ? A few hours a day ? An extra day a week ? A few months a year ? Different jobs will suit different plans. And it also depends on what you want to do - you can hardly do that trans-Himalayan-unsupported-trek a few hours a week.

The really really tough one is to have a somewhat clear understanding of your financial situation, and the discipline to arrive at an appropriate tradeoff between Time and Money, the two parts to that whole equation. You'll need to fund the "time-off", plus the thing you want to do during that time. But usually, we can, and just go overboard on the "need more" front. More often than not, we're not too clear on how much of the latter we need/want/can use, and end up overstocking on, at the cost of the former. Its just a way of playing safe.

But safe isn't fun, is it ?


Right after the post - read this. Slightly unrelated, but appropriate :) Cannot say this has not crossed my mind! Oh, the strength....

Update #2:

Just saw this (recvd thru a tweet). Can't agree more. And for all of those - you need to invest - time!

TFN09 Updates

Some TFN09 news :
  • RJ Anjaan of Radio One will pick 3 lucky peeps to ride the Tour of Nilgiris - free - this week! Tune in to his show at 94.3FM!
  • Lotsa people have started training seriously. (I still need to :( )
  • The contest for the photographer and blogger should be up tomorrow or so. The goodies are in, and quite yummy!
  • Ladies - immediate registration privilege extended to the next few registrations from you. Do spread the word amongst women you know who want to go on the bestest, toughest, funnest ride.

The Big Routes

The Big Circle Buses have quietly started functioning on the ring roads. Here's an updated map describing the routes:

(click to enlarge)

Unfortunately, the information dissemination on the routes, schedules etc is still quite lousy. For instance, it seems that the Big10 frequency on Sarjapura Road is higher now, though there's no way of knowing that for sure.

Anyone know the frequency of the Big Circle buses ?


Whither ?
So many pointers...
Regular Content Joe ?
Which way does it go ?
Is safe safe ?
Risk risky ?
Is choice a "yes", or "no" ?
All kinds of swings - to, fro.
Or just let moments flow ?
The truth ?
Which the show ?

You're Grounded!

There was a recent mail on our apartment mailing list which informed us that about 1/2 of the 2000 borewells in our area have run dry, because of which the water tanker supply was likely to get erratic. We were requested to brace ourselves for water shortages, at least intermittent ones.

At least a couple of weeks a year, BESCOM, anyhow struggling to keep pace with the ever increasing need of a burgeoning city, fails to supply power for hours together. Our apartment's diesel gensets have been known to run overnight. These run at a maximum of 35-40% efficiency, and the entire dependence on huge amounts of fossil fuel directly to keep the lifts etc working is definitely not a very ecologically conscious act.

Vertical living just needs more natural resources and energy. The lack of these is starting to cause minor inconveniences and may give us a taste of major failures in not too distant a future. It'll take very little time for these tall edifices to our conceit and imagined prowess and mastery of the elements to be uninhabitable. Sure, sounds like a doomsday movie, but I'd almost bet that 24 hours of no water supply will be a real, quick trailer in not too distant a future.

Are apartments, as they're designed and built today, sustainable in the long run ? An 'independent' home on the ground level can live off human effort and power, harness enough solar energy, harvest enough rainwater, and redo stuff like plumbing etc more easily as newer, smarter, more efficient solutions are found to reduce our individual footprints. The pressure an individual home exerts on the earth is lower, and can be reduced quite dramatically. Can apartments do it ? Will real estate values start getting tied in to these fundmentals ?

Should I really start thinking about that house ?

From The Biker's Mouth : Cycling Safety in Bangalore

Its very tough to really really convince people that cycling is hardly an act of daredevilry. Its a normal, safe, mode of transportation and recreation, not an adventure sport meant only for those living on the edge!

This was posted by Kanishka Lahiri in the course of a discussion on one of the lists I'm on:
"I have some personal experience that might help dispel certain myths. At the outset, I am a far more experienced driver (~15 years) than I am a cyclist. I consider myself a careful and good driver. I moved to BLR in 2007.

In 1.5 years of driving around Bangalore, I had 4 (all minor, but highly stressful) accidents. That;s more than the number I had had in the previous 14 years. This includes brushes with auto rickshaws, cars, and one stupid cyclist. On a separate occasion I got punched in the face by a motor bike guy because I braked to allow an old lady to cross Sankey Road. Needless to say, each incident resulted in high levels of stress, and a feeling of being physically threatened.
I started cycling in June 2008. Number of accidents in nearly 1.5 years --- ZERO. Number of near misses: I'll admit there have been a few, but in almost all cases, I could attribute the near miss to stupidity on my part. There are a set of rules one ends up following when cycling on Bangalore roads. Mature cyclists make up their own rules to make themselves safe in what otherwise looks like a hostile environment. As a result, for me, while concentration levels are high when biking, emotional stress, and physical risk levels are very very low. Much lower than when driving.

The point I am trying to make is, the notion that our roads are highly unsafe for cyclists who have good judgment is a myth. And my contention is, cyclists must have good judgment, else they have no business being on the road. So I agree, an 11 year old who has little experience, is well-advised when told to stay away from busy roads. But then, why single out cyclists? All road users are required to have good judgement, since city roads are a shared and potentially life-threatening environment. That's why we issue driving licences, and that's why we don't let 10 year-olds drive motor cycles.

At the same time, I am not saying that all is well for cyclists. Things could be better. Much better. Many of the rules I practice when cycling seem unjust to me. I practice them because I need to be safe. But ideally, policies on road-space sharing should be designed in such a way that I do not have to follow some of these crazy rules."

So there. This one's as unbiased as they get. I've a similar story (more in relation to motorbike which I used a lot before I started cycling) but by now, I'm probably considered an outlier. The whole effort reminds me a bit of Wall-E. Perhaps even walking will be considered something fraught with risk and not something that normal members society undertake.

[ Earlier post on this discussed what we mean when we talk about "safety". Do read for a very nice pov from another thread on another forum. ]

Green Break : Chikmaglur and Coorg

Dusshera holidays and most of the kids friends having left on vacations meant we needed to entertain them. And the usual mall/amusement part/restaurant routine did not appeal at all.

So a location was zeroed in on, reservations were made at a resort-in-a-coffee-estate, and off we went.

For some weird reason, I decided to chance the Tumkur road ('should be ok early in the morning') and regretted it all the way upto Kunigal, where the alternative Magadi-Kunigal drive would've met the NH-48. There's construction work all the way upto Nelamanga, bad surface, awful traffic, and dust. And early in the morning is ideally when you want to feel the fresh air through open windows.

A little ahead you cross some windmills on your left - in fact the road goes all around them and you get a 270 view of the hillock with these huge white beauties atop them.

The road after Kunigal is mostly in decent shape, and traffic got a little lighter too. The weather was very nice, and the sun did not feel warm at all. We stopped on the roadside for a quick breakfast - stuff we'd carried from home to save time - and were soon at Hassan.

Hassan itself is dusty, with broken roads, and traffic. Its a major agri-trading town and that shows in the businesses you see around there. We did a quick refill at an ATM and got out of there as quick as traffic would permit.

The Hassan-Belur stretch is an absolute beauty - both in terms of the rolling tarmac (painted shoulders and all!) as well as the scenic countryside you pass through. Another set of windmills on the right, a couple of very pretty lakes, the huge reservoir of the Belur dam, and great weather kept us company. The road became a little iffier after Belur, but the view from the window got better and better as we got to Chikmaglur. It started drizzling a bit as well.

Chikmaglur has gotten a lot more crowded since our last trip there nearly seven years ago. One ways and quite a lot of traffic meant some time spent crossing the town. Once past, it became apparent why this region os called the Scotland of India. Coffee, tall trees, rolling gren hillsides and gentle rain.

To get to Hunkal woods, we had to keep going straight past the Kymara junction - where I'd earlier taken a left towards Kemmanagundi - for about 20 kms. The traffic dropped as we drove on the curvy roads around the cloud covered hills.

At Hospet village, we saw a smart looking board saying "Hunkal Woods 3.2kms" pointing left (There were signs at every possible fork - nicely done). The road was narrow, broken and went right through pretty coffee territory. After about a kilometre or so all there was an uneven dirt track and carefully kept the tyres on the higher parts of the road to avoid bottom scraping. The woods got thicker, and the rain much heavier as we gained elevation rapidly and reached the property.

The service at Hunkal Woods was warm, effective yet unintrusive. Nizam, the main man there, suggested lunch, some rest and a trek to a waterfall at 4pm. The food was basic, tasy and very nicely served at the open dining area.

So off we went on the trek through coffee, some bush, waterfalls. There were some steeper sections, and a couple of leeches to spice up the trip :)

That trek was cut short (though we did reach the waterfall) due to failing light and Shubha having slipped and bent a finger a little hard - so we returned and promised to go on a longer one the next morning.

Just before we got back, Nizam took us on a slight detour to a coffee drying yard where the guy running the place passionately explained the pulping, cleaning and drying process, the difference between Arabica and Robusta, and let us know that their coffee had won a prize announced by "Ely, of Australia"!

We got rid of the leeches (salt really works!) as well as the kids' squeamishness, had a bath, and were wondering if we should have another round of coffee (its on the house, unlimited) when the lady who runs the kitchen there herself brought very welcome mirchi bhajjis with a gentle knock on the door.

The bonfire was a little tough to get going, given the wet ground below, but it was worth the effort. Dinner was another nice affair though the kids were beginning to get sleepy and we retired early.

We got up at 5:45 am - no alarm - and thats one of the best parts of a being in a place like this. The kids got up a little later, and after some coffee and milk, we got ready and set out for the morning trip. This was a longer trek, and Nizam carried our breakfast. Upto the grassline was mostly coffee plantation dirt roads - wide and easy - though we did cross some creeks, bush and other assorted obstacles. One stretch was a little steep along the sides of a hill - but they grow coffee everywhere!

Soon we had walked to the grassline. Courtesy the acclimatization the previous evening - and Nizam's assurance that the juice from the bitter-lime fruit he'd plucked as we started would keep leeches at bay - the kids were feeling much braver. I was anyhow wearing gumboots, and Shuhba seemed to not care. The views of the rocks - which seemed to be covered with soft grass - kept egging us on to go further and further. We stopped near the edge of the plantation (place that used to be wooded till a few years ago - 'Tiger Woods' ?) for yummy Rava Idlis and very fresh coconut chutney.

We soon reached the top of a grassy hill a little below Hunkal Hill, and started our descent towards the last evening's waterfall below. Once we got to the road, Nizam and the kids took a ride in a passing truck to the estate, and we walked down to a hot lunch before we packed up and headed out.

We drove back to Hassan, and from there towards Madikeri via Arkalgud, Sanivarasanthe, and Somwarapet. There's a huge dam and hydro-project at Gorur that I knew about only when we came across it :) The road was iffy upto Sanivarasanthe, and past that it got more and more amazing every passing kilometer. Tata Coffee has some huge plantations is the area, and the well maintained hedges and tall, old trees in the plantations give the entire stretch a very picture-postcard feel.

Next day we did a quick trip to Dubare to try and "interact with the elephants", as one of the sites described it. There was a place serving bread and omelette there, and I was almost thankful for the regular breakfast. We took the boat to the other side, did the mandatory elephant ride and walked around to where a wild elephant had been held captive for taming. Felt sad to see man's efforts to break the spirit of these huge creatures.

Spent another day near Bhagamandala- mostly work involving trying to figure out next steps for getting the house in shape - and we headed back home. An amazing 4 day break, green, fresh air, the kids' fear of leeches gone forever, Dubare finally seen. (The huge bonus was the fuel efficiency that the old workhorse managed - 15kmpl+!) Gotta do another trip to Hunkal Woods - probably in January when the coffee is dried, and the air's cold.

TFN09 Framed

TFN09 Frames:

Follow maadi. Ride maadi.

Wall Painting

Over four years in our current house with toddlers and theie armies of friends around did take a toll on the walls. A couple of them more than the others, and a lot of switches has smudges around them.

Shubha was keen on a DIY, so off we went to a hardware store.

2kgs of white distemper, a brush, a roller, and a few words of advice from the not-particularly-convinced guy at the store set us back about 230/- or so. So far so good.

A little bit of reading on the web brought some confidence to back up the advice received earlier, and we started with optimism. Well, at the back of the mind was the knowledge that it could hardly look worse than it did before the repaint effort :D

Step 0. Move the furniture around as needed. Keep a ladder, wet cloth, lotsa newspaper handy for managing the dripping.

Step 1. Scrape, scrape, scrape with sandpaper. The walls need to be rid of warts, heel scuffle marks, pencil art, and powdery stuff. Its pretty tough to get a totally smooth finish, but this part of the process (as we realized a little later for some patches we did not quite attack to enthusiastically) is the most critical one.

Step 2. Put on some nice music and take a break/chai/juice. All that scraping makes you a little tired. You also might want to do a little bit of cleanup now before it spreads all over the house!

Step 3. Mixing the amount of water in the paint. For oil bound distemper, we needed to add between 0.5-0.65 litres of water per kg. We played a little cautious and used only about 1kg to start with - and it turned out to be enough. Mixing it well is important, especially towards the bottom of the bucket.

Step 4. Slop, slip, splosh. Applying it onto the wall. We started with a lot of uncertainty. Unclear how much should be 'used' per stroke, and in how much of a patch it should spread. But stuck with vertical strokes of the brush initially, and used the roller once the 'painter' moved onto an adjacent patch. Trick : since it was white on white - matching colours was not critical and even not-too-great a job on applying it uniformly did not matter at all. Kept wiping off the paint that dripped here and there. Also, contrary to advice - started from the bottom end since those were the really dirty parts and we weren't sure if the paint would be enough :) Since it was starting to blend in easily as it dried we took a call that it would not matter even if we were unable to do the top bits - those were hardly dirtied anyhow.

After the first wall the confidence shot up, and we touched up pretty much all the major greased-up bits around the house!

Turned out to be a decent job. Not too expensive, and overall, we might've spent 4 hours including the cleaning up afterwards. The brush, roller etc were easily cleaned after dipping them in water for a while.

We've possibly pushed out a full paint job by a couple of years. And its nice to see clean walls :)

TFN09 : All Systems Go!

The donations needed for TFN09 have been announced.

The invitations for the registration should start going out now, and we should have the riders for this edition known in a few weeks at most, if the signups happen fast.

All systems go. Go train!

Is It Safe ?

Thats the most common question/fear I've heard from people when it comes to considering cycling in and around Bangalore.

[ Personally, I find it safe enough. 80% of road fatalities are those of pedestrians, yet the question rarely comes to mind whether we should avoid walking! Most often, one's either ahead of traffic or behind the lot thats gone past, so you need only a few moments of alertness and you're good. Way lesser risk, and stress. ]

Here's a few interesting viewpoints on safety:

Jayadeep talks about subjective safety, and the Insecurity Syndrome associated with cycling. Honestly, I have almost no incidents on a typical cycle trip, and at least one or two "braked too late" or "got a little closer than I'd have liked to" ones when do a similar ride on the motorbike. In a car, it still happens and its still unsafe - for someone else!

While on that, here's a beautifully articulated viewpoint from Rajat on the Bangalore Bikers group:
Ever since I started commuting by cycle, time and again I have pondered over the safety aspect of cycling when used as a means of transport. Even though the statistics point to a low accident rate, the danger of being hurt sometimes fatally is ever present. An increasing number of bikers and daily commuters will undoubtedly increase the probability that our community may very well have to deal with some really bad news sometime or the other. Each time out on the cycle we are aware of this undeniable fact and yet we ride unafraid, extra cautious maybe, but unafraid nevertheless. We ride our cycles not for lack of choice but because we want to and we choose to. It is my great pleasure to ride each time, either alone or with others, secure in the knowledge that in however small a way it may be I am making a difference in this fragile world of ours.
Somewhere, traffic's started becoming an arms race! No winners there. Just larger SUVs, more metal, road rage and a downward spiral. The humble cycle might yet break that loop.
More cycles -> fewer cars -> safer roads for all!
And honestly, the last 2-3 feet on Bangalore's roads are unclaimed and quite safe :)

Other tips:
  • Be V-I-S-I-B-L-E. The helmet helps. Reflective strips, lights at night.
  • Don't stick too close to the edge. Motorists apparently leave as much space from you as you leave from the edge!
  • Use your arms etc to "puff yourself up" and define a space around yourself clearly.
  • I sometimes stand on pedals to appear larger/slow down vehicles right behind.
  • Make sure all your actions are indicated in advance to people around. Visibly, and if needed, audibly.
  • Be polite. Make eye contact.
  • Yet, be assertive. You know how it is around here.
  • Before even a minor swing out from your lane/line, look over the shoulder. Practice this.
  • Flow with the traffic - especially when switching sides of the road etc.
  • Avoid making dumb mistakes yourself :)
  • Give right of way. Especially to pedestrians.
  • Have fun.

LifeSchool : Investment Advice

I've been investing for the better part of a decade now. Insurance, stock, mutual funds, structured products, real estate. (The only no-no has been derivatives cause it just sounded too not-me.)

Yet one learns all the time. The most recent learning ? that "portfolio allocation strategy" is more than just a phrase.

Part of my investments are debt heavy, and defensive. Another part was meant to be the aggressive part which was to pull up the overall numbers. The idea was also to not worry about this for a 3-5 year timeframe, since thats a growth story for the Indian economy that I totally believe in.

The mistake ?

I'd had a decent mix of stocks for this part of the investment for a few years, and assumed the PMS product would continue with a similar philosophy when my investment advisors suggested the same. In hindsight (and for the future) I should've tried understanding clearly the goals and approach of the PMS before stepping in. Its the same stock, the same kind of research that they'd provided earlier, but very different results. Its not merely the difference between a bull and a bear market (have been through those earlier) but the difference in the goals and aggression levels for the portfolio.

The PMS was trying to be defensive on behalf of a large set of its investors and took large cash positions - and this was at odds with my intent. So it could obviously not cash in on opportunities when the markets recovered.

Lesson learnt : Just because the product says its of asset class X, do NOT assume that as the whole truth. If the goals a product is trying to achieve are not clear to you or are clearly divergent, stay away!

TFN accommodation gets swankier

The Tour of Nilgiris just announced the places where the riders will rest their weary bones. Definitely better accommodation than for the 2008 edition - what with a pool, twim sharing rooms at some places and all that!

Iruppu is the break day - and the place looks fab. There's the falls closeby, and also some river rafting etc. Personally, even a chilled out day taking in the green surroundings at Coorg isn't a bad idea at all. Esp after the longest ride on the tour...


Rode a good weekend ride. A short slow one in great weather today.
Lovely weather. Oops, said this already :)
Nice Dev D songs on the headphones.
Solar powered light in the room adds more feel good.
Had nice hot tea.
One more person following their heart.

It all adds up. Some days are just so full of smiles and buoyancy.

The Tour of Nilgiris 2009 : Dates, Route, Its on!

Tour Of Nilgiris | Experience Nature On a Bicycle! | Dates/Route

Dates for TFN 09
Dec 15th : Reporting at Bangalore. Pre-tour briefing
Dec 16th : Bangalore - Mysore
Dec 17th : Mysore - Hassan
Dec 18th : Hassan - Mercara
Dec 19th : Mercara - Irupu
Dec 20th : Irupu - Break Day
Dec 21st : Irupu - Sultanbathery
Dec 22nd : Sultanbathery - Ooty
Dec 23rd : Ooty - Mysore - Bangalore - (Mysore to Bangalore by bus)

The route's got it all - flat outs, series of climbs, a major unrelenting ascent, history along the way, the most beautiful parts of the South, coffee, tea....

The Increasing Autombile Wastelines

Inventing Green « We’ve Got 35 Times More Horsepower in Our Cars Than in Our Power Plants talks about the power generation capacity available through automobiles vs all the rest of them! Interesting way to look at this.

I'm sure that a couple of hundred years from now, folks will both lament and wonder at the stupidity and short sightedness of a few of our generations. Consider a few facts:
  • Cars carry mostly their own weight around. Most of their energy is used up in just moving the mass of metal, rubber and glass and plastics that they are!
  • Cars are getting more and more powerful - and at least in the cities (where most run) going slower and slower!
  • On board electrical capacity can usually power a host of appliances these days - including mini refrigerators and huge entertainment systems. Mostly goes unused!
  • Cars "sit around" for 90%+ of the time, yet a lot of us have one each.
The debate often reduces to personal safety, personal convenience etc. Case in point from the comments in the above article - "I certainly would not want to take my wife & 3 kids camping in a “Tato Nano”, much less worry about what parts of me will still be around for the paramedics to save after an accident." This is a very inward out, narrow way of looking at the problem from its current state alone. The fact is that as a transportation system, its pretty flawed from an efficiency (and even safety) point of view. These arguments often ignore that completely alternative transport systems are possible which consume less on an average, provide more safety overall and are just - well - saner.

But then purging was part of "modern" medical science at some point of time, wasn't it...

Eco-friendly Ganesha DIY

This is what we did at home last year (courtesy Shubha's efforts). The plan is to do this as an apartment complex level activity this year. Cheap, eco-friendly and gets the kids involved!


Green. Beautiful. Dreams. Life? Finally. Phew.