Saturday, 26 April 2014

Rare footage of a snow leopard

Oh,wow. this is interesting. Snow leopards are very shy animals and to catch a footage of them is any self-respecting professional wildlife photographer's lifetime ambition.

this interesting beast ate a sheep and was apparently too full to move out and ended up cooped in the pen itself. the owners shot the animal at close range  shot pictures of the animal. In Tibet [Qiangtang]

Beautiful through BBC

Note the bushy tail!

Friday, 18 April 2014

12 Sherpas die between EBC and Camp1

These are the guys who ensure that everyone in the expedition live... and if they die, it does leave one speechless.

A moment to remember the sherpas and the yeoman service that they do. And also an adequate reminder to everyone about how fickle the Sagarmatha [Chomolungma] is.

12 Sherpas die between EBC and Camp1

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Big data for big mountain

Who knew?

People use big data for climbing the biggest mountain on land [there are perhaps much bigger mountains under the sea?]

Interesting. through forbes

Monday, 14 April 2014

See the world in different ways

36 different ways of seeing the world

through matador

Amazing Insults : a collection

A Member of Parliament to Disraeli: “Sir, you will either die on the gallows or of some unspeakable disease.” “That depends, Sir,” said Disraeli, “whether I embrace your policies or your mistress.”
“He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.” – Winston Churchill
I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure.” Clarence Darrow
“He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary.” – William Faulkner (about Ernest Hemingway)
“Thank you for sending me a copy of your book; I’ll waste no time reading it.” – Moses Hadas
“I didn’t attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.” Mark Twain
“He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends.” – Oscar Wilde
“I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a friend, if you have one.” – George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill.
“Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second … if there is one.” – Winston Churchill, in response.
“I feel so miserable without you; it’s almost like having you here.” -Stephen Bishop
“I’ve just learned about his illness. Let’s hope it’s nothing trivial.” -Irvin S. Cobb
“He is not only dull himself; he is the cause of dullness in others.” -Samuel Johnson
“He is simply a shiver looking for a spine to run up.” – Paul Keating
“In order to avoid being called a flirt, she always yielded easily.” – Charles, Count Talleyrand
“His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork.” – Mae West
“Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go.” – Oscar Wilde
“He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts… for support rather than illumination.” – Andrew Lang (1844-1912)
“I’ve had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn’t it.” – Groucho Marx

Friday, 11 April 2014

Forcing functions

Interesting article on forcing functions

 Through Forbes

While AWS made progress because of this forcing function, it is reasonable to ask: Was there a better forcing function? Recent moves by IBM and enterprise-class cloud firm Virtustream shows that Bezos may have made the wrong choice in forcing functions if he were seeking the largest market possible for AWS, not just increased operational efficiency for

Thursday, 10 April 2014


Ouch. This is going to hurt.

A problem in OpenSSL is pretty serious.

"When cybersecurity breaches break, the usual protocol is to change your password and update security software as soon as possible. However, Heartbleed is a bit different. Since the hack is untraceable, it may be impossible to know if your data has been breached. If a website you use hasn’t updated its security to fix the problem yet, hackers could grab your password as you change it (without you realizing). Though a new version of OpenSSL that patches the bug has been released, not all websites have updated their systems."

More in the link

How to retire early : A sensible approach

"Taking these sabbaticals was what I saw value in—but it wasn’t until around 2011, when I stumbled across a website called Early Retirement Extreme, that I realized I could work hard for five to ten years to make those periodic trips more of a permanent fixture. I was already a pretty good saver, but what I read on the site encouraged me to ramp it up even more. All I would need to do to retire early was to save and invest until my portfolio reached at least 25 times my annual expenses."

More here

The first step, as always, is in committing oneself towards doing it. The second step is in taking the first step... forward, that is.

Arise, awake. Stop not till the goal is reached.

Monday, 7 April 2014

Uncle Sam weighs in

"In 2012 he formed a think tank called the Center for the Global Enterprise and just came out with an e-book called Re-Think: A Path To The Future. The book argues that multinational firms in a rapidly integrating world need to remake themselves into what he calls globally integrated enterprises (like he did with IBM). So-called GIEs are different than mere multinationals in structure and operating approach. Legal could be in Amsterdam, research in China and California, HR and accounting in New York. Talent goes where it’s needed. Work flows to where the customers are, not where the headquarters is. Country managers don’t get to act like royalty of their own realm. Collaboration is digital and frequent. Palmisano says that IBM saw a total productivity gain of $6 billion from 2006 to 2010 by doing things like globalizing support services and the supply chain (fewer and bigger factories), freeing up local managers to focus on sales and relationships. IBM outgrew growth markets such as China and India at twice the rate of the tech industry."

More here

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Peter Matthiessen's dead

A nice article on him just before he died, here

The Snow Leopard is something I have read and its a great book to read.

Why hawks win

Another Danny Kahneman special.

Imagine, for example, that you have been placed in a room and asked to watch a series of student speeches on the policies of Venezuelan leader Hugo Chávez. You've been told in advance that the students were assigned the task of either attacking or supporting Chávez and had no choice in the matter. Now, suppose that you are then asked to assess the political leanings of these students. Shrewd observers, of course, would factor in the context and adjust their assessments accordingly. A student who gave an enthusiastic pro-Chávez speech was merely doing what she was told, not revealing anything about her true attitudes. In fact, many experiments suggest that people would overwhelmingly rate the pro-Chávez speakers as more leftist. Even when alerted to context that should affect their judgment, people tend to ignore it. Instead, they attribute the behavior they see to the person's nature, character, or persistent motives. This bias is so robust and common that social psychologists have given it a lofty title: They call it the fundamental attribution error.

Link here through FP.

So, you are smarter than the CIA?

Recently, the GJP super forecasting team has been getting a fair bit of popularity. So, one co-superforecaster and the idea behind the project (Phil Tetlock) chime in on this link.

Dailymall speaks about it here.

The lady they are talking to, Elaine Rich, is part of a different team, amongst the 8 super forecasting teams, and we all compete together and a bit against each together.

Pretty embarrassing, really. Next year being season 4 will finish things off. Where to from there?
Time will tell.