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Showing posts from 2013

Been a while...

Seems like AGES since I last posted on my blog. Frankly, I'm a little ashamed of myself. A lot has been going on in life, but then, who doesn't have something or the other in their lives to keep them busy right? Anyway, this is an experience I had recently when we were celebrating my friend's birthday.
Birthdays are days when you want to be happy and want everyone around you to be happy, make you happy, etc. I know some people who will say, "Please surprise me! I like surprises on my birthday!" And on the other end of the spectrum there are people who will say, "Birthdays are just another day for God's sake! Can you please not make such a huge fuss about it?" Of course there are also people like me who organize birthdays for their friends almost every single year. I'm sort of used to it so much so that I find it irritating when I don't do something for someone. It sort of affects me emotionally. Don't know if I need a psychiatrist appoint…

What answer does mankind have for plants starving without water?

I presented this speech for the first round in the competition 'Talk Your Way to Japan'.
Good morning/afternoon. I am Vishvak Kannan here to present the topic, “What answer does mankind have for plants starving without water?”I would like to start by quoting Mahatma Gandhi, “Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need, but not for every man’s greed".
All of us know how important water is. But do we ever stop and think about how we get the water in our homes? Do we wonder if our water consumption practices are hampering the growth and sustenance of plants? For a very long time, man has been at the pinnacle of many technological innovations and advancements. But in his hurry, he seems to have forgotten the other pristine forms of life that share the earth with mankind. We forget that we, being a part of nature ourselves, must work towards a mutually beneficial arrangement between nature and mankind. It is therefore imperative for us, as responsible citizens of a global …

Letter to the Freshman

Imprint article #2 - Letter to the freshman I guess this is redundant after my post "My First Year at SASTRA". Nevertheless, I'm publishing it here! :)
Dear faccha, Welcome to SASTRA University, one of the most student-friendly campuses around. Rest assured, it is one of the few places away from home that will actually make you feel at home. I remember my first day at SASTRA, or rather my first night, away from my parents. They had dropped me off at the hostel and I had 2 bags and a mattress to show that I wasn’t from somewhere close by. I tossed and turned and could hardly find sleep. I ended up dozing off during my first day at college, for the first time, though not for the last. Getting to know the layout of the campus might turn out to be a task to some of the freshers but I can assure you that it will take only a few walks around the campus and getting lost a few times to map it out. Personally, I think I will be able to connect to more hostel residents than to the da…

Natural Day

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I've always had this fascination for parlours, I mean hair spas not anything else. It stems solely from the fact that I had never (note usage of tense! :P) been to one, till today. I went to Naturals at Cantonement in Trichy this afternoon to get a "makeover". My cousin's marriage falls on the following Sunday, so I wanted to look my best! *toothy grin* So I woke up at around 9 a.m. and left my college by, around 10 a.m. after enquiring with my day scholar friend, +Veena Swaminathan as to the whereabouts of Naturals in Trichy. I knew that there was one at this place called "Cantonement" but I didn't know how to get there and I wasn't very sure about the name of the place either. So I asked her where there are Naturals salons in Trichy and I found out that there were two more in Trichy - one in this place called "Kattur" and another in "LIC Colony". The latter was much easier to pronounce but she said it was better if I went to Ka…

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Trip to Aban Offshore's lab

I took a trip to the lab facility of Aban Offshore Ltd. where they are currently doing work on commercial production of biofuels from algae. This is pretty much what I saw and learnt! :)
Algae is used as the source of fuel because it is rich in lipids, carbohydrates and proteins. There are two types of algal strains used - phycocyanin(blue), which is an anti cancer drug, and haematococcus(yellow), which is valued for it's pigments. Algal strains are first grown in nutrient media. The medium is essentially water and contains little or no added nutrients. Algae is present in this medium in the concentration of 1g/L. Harvesting this algae from the medium is done by various methods depending on the scale. In lab scale, algal solution is placed on a Whatmann filter paper and a vacuum pump is used to remove the water. Larger scale harvesting is done by means of filtering through a thin filtering sheet which is 5 microns thick. The resultant sludge contains 80% water and 20% al…

My First Year at SASTRA

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I joined SASTRA on July 17, 2012. Unforgettable day! My parents drove me out from Chennai to Tirumalaisamudram to see me off. For all the "you-might-get-homesick" lectures that I got from my dad, I felt no sense of "going-to-be-homesick". As my roommate gates later told me, that was probably a night I slept very soundly. He saw me sleep well as he lay awake not able to sleep tight on his first night in a hostel.

My first day at college - July 18, 2012, I remember sitting in the wrong class and listening to some Research Dean of the Mechanical Dept. rant about the glory that was SASTRA University. I realized I was sitting in the wrong class only 2 hours later when the Chemistry Prof came in and took attendance. Hehe! My first week of college was quite fast. Most of it was used up in getting to know which buildings were where and meeting new people. Only later, during my rounds of jogging around the campus, did I realize that my university was actually not that big! :…

Feel The Pinch

Imprint article #1 - Union Budget 2013
Took time to release it cuz I had to first wait for it to release on print and then later I couldn't find time to upload it... Anyway, here it is! :D
The newspapers for the last week have had a lot to say about the Union Budget 2013 presented by Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram. What can we, as students, derive from the clamour over the budget draft being “unimaginative”, “dull”, “too cautious” and whatnot? Well, for starters, the budget is again going to affect only the middle class the greatest. Instead of concentrating their taxes and duties on the upper middle and the upper classes, the government chooses to levy extra charges on smartphones, set-top boxes, vehicles and air-conditioned restaurants, thereby eating into the middle class wage-earner’s purse. That’s goodbye to that new phone you were checking out on flipkart. So if your phone’s display is gone or you just wanted to change your phone because you’ve had it since Alexander Gr…