happiness by building a remarkable life.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Some rules to live by

This post doesn't come with the guarantee that I follow them all. But, if I did it would have been awesome.

I am trying. Well, as my professor Dr. Dibakar Sen says... lets start with that.

1. Triers try, doers do.
2. Wake up early morning and look at the sky.
3. Never, at any point of time, stop your relentless quest to find happiness.
4. If you want to be happy, nobody can stop you.
5. Be oblique, be eccentric, look everything with skepticism. Be creative. (Even look at this post with skepticism).
6. When going gets tough, love can get you going.
7. Never underestimate yourself.
8. Practice deliberately.
9. Have a notebook to write anything interesting you come across.
10. Read books, if you can't, read blogs.
11. Grow interests, work on them, and learn skills relevant to them.
12. Money is no evil, it is the way you use them.
13. Forget the past, don't forget the lesson.

Whoa, it finished with the magic, cult and interesting number 13. Well, read about that. So you are following rule no 10 already if you have clicked in that link.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Car wheel alignment, Eigen value problem and excellence

Today morning I was attending a class on dynamics taught by Prof. Rudra Pratap. He explained today in detail the process of mass balancing using simple linear and angular momentum balance theorem. It was basically a disk rotating on a rod with an angle. Refer to the picture below.






It was an enjoyable class and then, he started writing a symmetric matrix (After attending Prof Jog's class, I like to call it as second order tensor. It feels good.) of the moment of inertia of the . The moment of inertia about the three principal axes are the diagonal terms of the matrix. Obviously, the other terms of the matrix are zero. 

Now, from the result of the mass balance problem, it was deduced that if we keep the plate in certain orientations then there is no requirement of torque at the  support points. Subsequently, the orientations were those of the eigen vectors of the moment of inertia matrix.

So, car or bike wheel alignment is essentially a eigen value problem and subsequently any balancing problem involving two masses placed on a rotating rod.

Now, when we go for aligning car or bike wheels, the mechanic does it. He knows by practice that if the wheels are properly balanced and are aligned the support don't feel any reaction force. Even if he knows how to fix the problem better than you and me, he does not have the insight of the problem like we do.

So, what are we going to do with the insight ?

We deduce a lot from the knowledge. As an engineer, we can look at a similar problem and know the solution using this insight and that is where the difference and significance comes. As I mentioned in a previous post about my own hypocrisy, I don't feel that bad about it now.

Now, why the word "excellence" is there on this post title?

It comes from the fact that creativity has a lot to do with knowing something and associating that knowledge correctly to other problems. And that we can learn from this car wheel alignment problem. This skill of associating knowledge requires practice and thinking from the side of the person having that knowledge. To attain excellence we have to practice associating our knowledge to appropriate problems to find solutions.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

And I took the less travelled road.


Ultimately, there is death and all roads lead to the same destination. However, there are only two kinds of roads.

First one is kind of a four lane highway. You drive smoothly, enjoy the view and think you are happy. But you are not, because ultimately that road becomes boring, it is the same view over and over again, and the monotony eats us like a bug.

The second one is more or less like a hilly road. There are bumps, and ferocious animals on the way and no street lights sometimes. But also the view, the enjoyable moments of sheer natural beauty and the adrenaline pump of near-escaping some mishap. And perhaps a tribal waving you ta-ta-bye-bye, a hitchhiker's breathtaking story... no food, so you survive on water and suddenly an inn out of nowhere and this and that. You don't even feel you are going somewhere. And without even knowing it you are happy from the core of your heart and that is what matters most.

I am in awe of (read utter jealousy to) people who takes the hilly road. Today he is a family man, and may be 10 days after in the sea, doing a somersault and then teaching some kids how to fly a kite, and then solving problems as a business analyst using one hell of technical jargon or whatever...

You can see them in the streets, in the bus, in the bookstore, and in malls and dusty village roads. They have something in their faces, a brightness that can not be seen by most of us because we are busy doing some s***. But, I sincerely hope, one day I will have enough courage, knowledge and the most importantly a large heart to become happy like them.

Aakax'r fale salu aru kolu - Muk dia ai bixalota'r ata tukura
Ai oximor ata tukura... Aru moiu tumar dore bixal hoi jau

[I looked at the sky and asked - Give me a part of this amazon
A part of this infinity.. And I will grow big and big like you]

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I am a student [Master of Design - Product Design and Engineering] at Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. I completed BTech (Mechanical Engineering) from NIT Silchar. My native place is Sipajhar, a small place with rich cultural heritage, in Assam. I am interested in designing products and systems for a better life. I like to collect quotes, read books,blog and surf net, dance and sing Bihu songs and write poems and articles. I don't like to talk while I am eating. But above all, I want to be happy all the time. Contact me at m2n037[at]gmail[dot]com
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