29 September 2011

Maya Arts and Crafts

Check out Maya Arts and Crafts.  You can place orders for custom made items for personal use or for gifting.


Tts a bit different kind of shopping.  Ideally, people like to see and feel and judge if its worth the price before buying any item.  Here, you have to describe what you want and you get it.  Yes, most people find it difficult to describe what they want.  I have that same issuse.  When multiple options are given for colour or shape or design, I don't know what to choose.  Probably because I never knew there were options available for such minute details.

Well, consider it as a priviledge.  Say what you want and watch it take shape, a shape better than you imagined at first!!  And.. you'll find it worth the price.

How to create a 3-bit colour palette in Gimp

I wanted to use a 3-bit palette in Gimp.  Why?  To preview images for Nokia Sleeping Screen.

Gimp does not have a 3-bit palette by default.  But it has a nice feature where you can add your own palette.  So I created one.

Start the Palette Dialogue with Windows -> Dockable Dialogs -> Palettes

You'll see this box:
Click on the "New Palette" button higlighted above.
You'll see this box now:

Save this image and open in Gimp:

I found this image on a Wikipedia article.  This shows the 3-bit palette.

Now click on the 8 colours in the image you opened in the previous step.  You'll see the colours filling up in the 'New Palette' window.  Give a name to the palette so that you can identify easily:

Click the save symbol.

Well, thats it.  You have a 3-bit palette now!

Okay, so how do I use it?
I'll describe it in the next blog when I show how I created images for Nokis Sleeping Screen.

For short instructions:
Image -> Mode -> Indexed
Click Use Custom Palette
Click the colour symbol below this and select 3 bit colour palette
Select a Dithering option
Click Convert

21 September 2011

Community behaviour

One of my old relatives said that they did not have so many anti-social-elements in the society.  Nor did they have so many mannerless and misbehaving kids.  Or grown-ups for that matter.  Now the number is growing, and fast.

Me: "Really!  How did you manage to keep the numbers so low?"
Old guy: "Because, we had the liberty to punish any misbehaving kids, and not just your own."

He went on to highlight a few more differences:
Then: If you are caught stealing mangoes from a mango farm, anybody who caught you would scold/chase/beat you.  The person who caught you could be you parent, the farm owner or some passerby.
Now: If you are caught stealing mangoes, the farm owner only chase you away.  Everyone else don't care.

Then: If a complain reach your parent, your parent would severly punish you.  Complaining to parent was the final straw!
Now: If a complian reach your parent, the parents just try to trivialize the issue.  Nobody has time to listen.  "whats the big deal man", "yeah whatever", "okay okay, it'll not happen again".  If a kids see his parents supporting him, his activities would only grow.  Be it good or bad.  Especially bad.

Then: You were the maintainer of the society.  You would make sure you keep the society in such a way that your kid would safely grow and live in it.

Now: You don't care about society anymore.  All you care is how much wealth you can create for you and your kid.

After the discussion with the Wise Old Man, I was bought into his argument.

Unfortunately, this is not something one person can change.

18 September 2011

Perceptive opinions

Some time back, I was having an argument with a relative over child behaviour. She happened to mention "you used to throw away your plates while having food when you were a kid".

I was surprised! I don't remember throwing away plates while eating. Obviously, I refused to believe it. The response was 'Ask your mom'. My mother was not there and that was the turning point of the argument which, obviously, I lost.

Back at home, I asked my mother about it and she said that I did throw my plate while having food. I said I don't remember. She said "you were a little baby then". I asked her how many times did I do that. She said "Oh! I did not count, maybe a couple of times".

What the ...!!!

I must have had food at least three times a day. Everyday. For so many years! That did not count at all. What did matter was the two or three times that I threw the plate away. My mother said she happened to mention this during a casual conversation to that relative. But now my relatives think I *always* used to do it!

"You always ask the same question again and again"
I have heard this many times, especially during arguments.  Oh! why would I ask the same question again if it was answered the first time?  That logic, for some reason which I am yet to fathom, is not valid.  Especially during arguments.

Oh boy! I  find it strange that people just create opinions about others and spread it as well.  Strangely, these created opinions always seem to be favourable to the creator.

07 November 2010

The sad spider

Found this spider in my garden.  I first thought its carrying its egg case.  But this is the spider's body!
This looks like a very sad spider.

05 November 2010

Influencing Ads

   I did not like the ad of a particular biscuit brand.  In that ad, the younger brother eats all the biscuits and entraps his elder brother who gets scolded by their mom.  There are a few more ads from the same biscuit brand in which kids cause problem for others and get away with it.

   There was a detergent ad where kids splash dirt on another man and then tell him that it can be washed for free because that brand is giving some percent extra for free.  What about the inconvenience caused to that guy.  The detergent may be free, but what about the effort and time required to clean it.

  I have seen similar ads for other products which hint that being bad is OK, entrapping others is OK, being troublesome is OK, causing problems for others is OK.

  Yes, kids are mischievous.  Kids are troublesome.  They do mess up stuff.  But that should be for learning.  Its must not be a right.

  Oh, how I hated those ads.  I striked all these products off my purchase list.

  Then I saw the Mahindra bike ad by Aamir Khan.  There he his making pun of all other bike ads.  Thats when I noticed what other bike ads were hinting at.  And I was buying into their hints all this time!!  I realized its not just kids, but even grown ups mind can be easily manipulated by such ads.

  Thats it!  All those bikes are off the purchase list as well!  From now on, I won't just watch ads.  I'll also watch out for what they are hinting.

  My favourite ad is a person sleeping on a chair at an airport when another person wakes him up and tells him that his hair oil is spoiling the chair.  When the first person asks whats his problem the second person, while wiping the chairs, says that he has paid enough tax to sponsor at least 7-8 chairs for the airport.

   A  bike guy hits my bike from behind and then shouts at me.  I see a bike guy jump a signal and is hit by a car but the car guy is forced to pay.  A student gets thrown out of the class for misconduct but the teacher is forced to apologize.

   I don't think these guys are getting influenced by the ads.  Its these kind of behaviour that is depicted in such ads.  And it propagates.  Because of both ads and what they see around them.

   Looking at the trend in human behaviour, my list of not-to-purchase-items may grow for ever.  Maybe I should prepare a people-to-avoid list as well...

27 October 2010

Compulsive Honking Syndrome

Compulsive Honking Syndrome is an acquired syndrome. Mostly fed in by the driving school or whoever taught driving. Most people are very scared when they handle a car's steering wheel or a bike's handle for the first time. Honking is least of their priorities. The trainers then scare the learners about potential consequences of causing any damage. So much so that honking gets embedded in their survival instinct.

There are two types of CHS.
1. Periodic honking
2. Obstacle honking

Periodic honking is timer based. Every 'x' seconds the a mental timer fires and the driver honks. One day I was following a guy on a bike who would honk every 9 seconds. The road was 100 ft wide, no vehicles, pedestrians, potholes or humps in sight. But he would still honk periodically. This guy's trainer must have forced him to honk so much that it is now programmed in his sub-conscious mind. Even though he appeared to be relaxed, the pressure would slowly build in his sub-conscious mind and hearing his own vehicle's honk would release all the pressure. Like a pressure cooker. The pressure is created by his survival instincts.

Obstacle honking is very simple: "Honk at any obstacle or at any potential obstacle that may move in your path or in any of your path options (if you have multiple options) if you were driving 20% faster than your current speed". That means you have to honk at that pedestrian that you see few hundred meters ahead who would definitely move out of your path by the time you reach it. This is also a trained minds job. The trainer would have jumped out of the seat everytime he sees an obstacle. This would appear to the trainee as if this is a mandated requirement to honk at obstacles.

Conscious driving happens only during the training period. After that the sub-conscious mind takes over the driving. Thats leaves the conscious mind free to to talk about politics/cricket or ogle at large posters across the city even while driving (almost) safely. If the training triggers CHS, that gets programmed in the subconscious mind as well.

Well, the good news is: CHS is completely curable. It requires conscious observation and re-training the mind.

Bangalore Traffic

After observing the evolution of Bangalore traffic and driving through it for considerable time, I proclaim myself as an expert on traffic analysis. I can now give free traffic analysis, just like the way most people analyze cricket. I'll start writing a series of blogs in this regard.
Watch out for BlrTraffic label.

01 April 2009

Watchmen movie

I saw Watchmen today.
Did not like it at all :-(.

What a boring movie!! Well, I think the problem was expectation.

I like to see superhero movies. In this movie there is more of boring dialogues, violence and nudity than action. Out of two and a half hours, only the last one hour has some story and action. Most of the time we only get to see the dark side of superheros.

imdb rates it at 8. I wouldn't even give it a 1.

Afterall, it is set in an alternate world...