An eventful start to the weekend

Compared to the rest of the saturdays I've spent so far, I'd have to say that today was the most eventful. From 2 till ~4:30, I was at a panel discussion on research in basic science in India, with panellists mostly from the physics community, with the exception of one professor from the EE dept. Some really interesting points were raised on why Indian research isn't on par with the research output of western universities, how this can be tackled and overcome, how research in basic sciences can help the society and the country as a whole and the measures one needs to take to increase the research output of Indian institutes. With veterans and young researchers on the panel, it was a lively talk with a good amount of cross talk, a lot of anecdotes and lots of humour. I wanted to ask the panellists what role science popularization plays in increasing public and government interest in science as a whole and in drawing more students towards basic research in the sciences. I also wanted them to compare the efforts related to this in India and in universities abroad, and what we could be doing better. Alas, I chickened out.

Afterwards, I read a very insightful article on dog breeds and their variety. Only as I was reading the article did I realize that all of the dog breeds come under the same species and I was surprised at the variation of physical traits among the different breeds! I got to know exactly why certain breeds are called what they are called, for example sheepdogs, bulldogs etc. I wonder if there is any similar reason for the various breeds of cats.

And finally, I came across this really interesting and basic course on Linux on edX. Every year I read a manual or two outlining the various interesting commands in unix, which I forget the following week. I guess it's not going to be any different this time. But it still amazes me, the kind of things one can pull off while using the command line. I have found a couple of things that am going to use in my daily routine and I guess only time will tell which ones stick. Nevertheless, linux is something that everyone should try at one point or the other in life, it really brings out the kid inside of you, the kid who yearns to learn something new everyday, the kid who loves tinkering with things.

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