Sunday, July 15, 2007

Cracking a Walnut

I think, immediately following global warming, poverty and war, the most pressing woe faced by humankind is the fact that cracking a walnut is so difficult. Access to its heavenly innards is made such a tough thing, which -- ahead of its price -- makes access to walnuts so difficult.

A kashmiri gentleman taught me today how to break the nut barehanded. God bless him! It's unimaginable that breaking the shell -- to break which, such heavyweight tools like hammers, concrete slabs, furnitures; such complicated contraptions like door hinges; and such tiring exercises like propelling the nuts at walls, are used, and that too with such minuscule success, and with such amount of mess that to salvage microscopic bits of the walnut kernel from the debris so created often makes the act of sacrificing the temptation to try cracking that tough nut look nobler than otherwise -- with bare hands -- even the most femininely delicate ones -- is so miraculously easy!!!

I have decided to tell the general populace about how to do it. And that ways, I will be satisfied that I have already contributed my bit to relieving the world of one of its prime miseries.

Here goes the method!

Place the nut vertically on the table or floor so that it stands on its sharp end. Of course, keep holding it with one hand so it doesn't roll away.
Make a fist of your other hand. Hit the top of the nut with your fist with the little finger end of the fist facing down. Not too strongly, nor too delicately. You will hear a cracking sound. In most cases, it won't be the sound of a bone breaking. It's the nut which is cracked! And that too into two neat halves. All of its soul lying bare in front of you to devour!

Can't believe it? Try it yourself.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

My Virtual Social Network

The numerousness of these social networking sites is driving me crazy. I have already started losing track of which all portals I am a member of. Here I try creating a list, with idea about which is for what.

My experience is that it's better to stick to few networks. We can't be active in many networks. It would soon go out of hand if we tried to be active in all in which are signed up.

Blogspot: I use this for blogging general stuff. I started blogging here. So, first mover advantage in my case. I don't have anything particularly good or bad to say about this site.

Sulekha: I use this for blogging creative stuff -- particularly short stories. This is fairly well-read ezine, and widely popular among Indians, world over. Its blogging interface is very sophisticated. Blogs can be put wide number of categories. So, searching for interesting blogs is easier, and so is reaching out to the pertinent audience to your own writing. There's a point system in place, which rates the blogger as per their activity. So, there's this lure of becoming famous.

Orkut: The first proper social networking site I became a member of. It's got the first mover advantage for me. I have over 200 contacts here as of now. I have got back in touch with many many old lost friends though orkut. And also have met people with matching interests (water colouring, cartooning etc.) Its scrapping feature looked crazy and silly in the beginning. But it later became the prime medium of reconnecting with old friends, as I would often bump into old friends while browsing someone's scrapbook.

LinkedIn: This is a very popular professional networking site. Its professional networking and referral system is its novel feature. I have heard that some companies officially demand referrals through LinkedIn.

Minglebox: This is a campus networking site. It's an Indian site. The number of colleges listed in this seems large, but the number of members in each doesn't seem to be too good. IISc has only a little over 20 members. That shows that it hasn't yet taken off. It has got a groovy online chatting facility with your campus mates.

Tagged , Frienster , namesdatabase : These are similar to orkut. Their UI is mostly more sophisticated than orkut's, but they have lost out to orkut on the first mover advantage. Haven't had a chance to explore the features to be able to give a detailed review.