Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Kumarakom is a popular tourism destination located near the city of Kottayam (16 kilometres) in Kerala, India, famous for its backwater tourism. It is set in the backdrop of the Vembanad Lake which is the largest freshwater lake in the state of Kerala.

Snaps from Kumarakom bird sanctuary:

Map of the full sanctuary

Path en route the watch tower

Country boats taking mud

Mangrove forests

View of Vembanad lake in the middle of the sanctuary (apt place to rest in natural AC after a walk of 1.25km into the sanctuary)

View on top the watch tower.(Each white spot is a variety of crane)

Jungle book style swings for jumping between trees

Close up of a tortoise

Biodiversity Significance

The Bird calender

Importance of wetlands
P.S.: You can walk two kms in and 2 kms back out from the sanctuary without getting tired much. Ideal place to be away from the mad rush of city life and to be with the constant humming of a variety of birds.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Yelagiri - Chennai's Ooty

Yelagiri popularly known as "Chennai's Ooty" is an ideal drive-down hill station from both Chennai and Bengaluru rendering to the hi-tech people of both these metros looking to get a break from stress. Located is Vellore district of Tamil Nadu, 21 kms from Jolarpettai railway station. It is part of the Western Ghats range. Though the number of picnic spots to be seen are few, it  provides a calm, pollution-free environment.

Enroute to Yelagiri
The place is dotted with resorts providing in-house food and holiday activity facilities. I stayed at Sterling holidays which provides tasty food (comes at a price though :P) and the structure of the building is like a palace. Places you can visit are the usual lot of Lake view points, boat houses, gardens and such. One place that is sure to redefine the tourist pull to this place is the new 8-month old Perumal temple. This temple follows most of the traditions of Tirupati Venkateshwara temple.

Tasty, homely food at a much lower rate compared to the resorts is available at Hotel Yelagiri. Crisp non-oily 'Masala vada' is available en-route to Heritage village at Re.1 each . Pure honey can be bought from near the YMCA Camp House.

Baskets used for food storage in the village
Sterling Resort at night

Enroute to Yelagiri from Chennai you can drop by at Kanchipuram to visit some of the architectural marvels of the erstwhile kings showcased through the series of temples. Also Kanchi Math of Sankaracharya is close to the highway. Rathnagiri Murugun temple closer to Vellore is perhaps the only South Indian temple which provides a Ghat Road to reach the top to bypass the 100 odd steps (even Gods are providing easy accessibility unlike the politicians :P).
Ratnagiri Murugun temple

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Da Vinci surgical system

The Da Vinci Surgical System is a robotic surgical system made by Intuitive Surgical and designed to facilitate complex surgery using a minimally invasive approach. The system is controlled by a surgeon from a console. It is commonly used for prostatectomies and increasingly for cardiac valve repair and gynecologic surgical procedures.

The da Vinci System consists of a surgeon’s console that is typically in the same room as the patient and a patient-side cart with four interactive robotic arms controlled from the console. Three of the arms are for tools that hold objects, act as a scalpel, scissors, bovie, or unipolar or dipolar electrocautery instruments. The fourth arm is for an endoscopic camera with two lenses that gives the surgeon full stereoscopic vision from the console. The surgeon sits at the console and looks through two eye holes at a 3-D image of the procedure, meanwhile maneuvering the arms with two foot pedals and two hand controllers. The da Vinci System scales, filters and translates the surgeon's hand movements into more precise micro-movements of the instruments,
which operate through small incisions in the body.

According to the manufacturer, the da Vinci System is called "da Vinci" in part "because Leonardo da Vinci invented the first robot", and also because he used anatomical accuracy and three-dimensional details to bring his works to life.

By providing surgeons with superior visualization, enhanced dexterity, greater precision and ergonomic comfort, the da Vinci Surgical System makes it possible for more surgeons to perform minimally invasive procedures involving complex dissection or reconstruction. For the patient, a da Vinci procedure can offer all the potential benefits of a minimally invasive procedure, including less pain, less blood loss and less need for blood transfusions. Moreover, the da Vinci System can enable a shorter hospital stay, a quicker recovery and faster return to normal daily activities.

Although the general term "robotic surgery" is often used to refer to the technology, this term can give the impression that the robot (the da Vinci System) is performing the surgery. In contrast, the current da Vinci Surgical System cannot—in any manner—run on its own. This is due to the fact it was not designed as an autonomous system and lacks a decision making software, instead it relies on a human operator for all input, however all the functionality—including vision and motor functions—are performed through remote human-computer interaction and thus with the appropriate weak AI software the system could in principle perform partially or completely autonomously. The difficulty with creating an autonomous system of this kind is not trivial, a major obstacle is that surgery per se is not readily formalizable—a requirement for weak AI. The current system is designed to merely seamlessly replicate the movement of the surgeon's hands with the tips of micro-instruments, not to make decisions or move without the surgeon’s direct input.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Suresh Raina = Sachin Tendulkar Says Google Translate

Now this is funny. When you try to translate ‘Suresh Raina is god’ to Serbian, and translate it
Image Credit: http://sachingallery.blogspot.com
back to English using Google Translate, name Suresh Raina gets replaced by Sachin Tendulkar.
This is strange as proper names are not changed by any translators, and to see this happening from Google’s translation engine is bad.
Mostly the intelligent engines like a Translator tries to imitate the human brain, and do the prediction of a new profile to the already existing profiles. Mostly it uses techniques like Support Vector Machines, Linear Machines or Neural Networks. The engine is trained in a certain data, and is used to predict the future goals.
The details on the Google Translation engine is not known, but from the face it looks to me like the engine is not well trained on the Indian names.
You might want to try it now. And I hope Google makes the relevant change to its algorithm.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Sachin was creator of Helicopter shot - Not Dhoni

I know this is just a silly post, but thought would be of interesting viewing. Sachin had indeed played the Helicopter shot 4 years before Dhoni had made his debut.

You have proof here : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JCqVaN3kaLI&feature=share