Saturday, November 18, 2006

Stellarium - Really Stellar Open Source Software for Astronomy

Yesterday I installed stellarium-0.8.2 from . I should tell that it is the best software regarding Astronomy that I have installed.

How to use it?
Install the software. Launch the software, then define your observation location (like Chennai, Bangalore etc). This sets up the location, Time from GMT, current time (which is picked up from your System's time). Now it will basically show your sky. It shows the sun, if its daytime currently. My current idea is to take the laptop today night and goto terrace and then basically try to figure out the stars and the constellations. The software also has a feature that allows to show the graphic (figure) for the constellation. Thats an awesome feature.

Update 1:
The first day I went to star gaze, it was really a nice experience. It was as well disappointing. There were lot of clouds and I didn't have a clue of the exact directions, which made me guessing all the time. There was only one star that was bright and unfortunately it was not North Star. It was between North and East directions at an angle of around 60 degrees from the ground (i dont know how to technically give the values)..

The first lesson that I learnt was this: Never go star gazing without knowing the directions, or better take a magnetic compass, until you get yourself familiar with the directions. This really makes sense because, in the beginning, even though you have a rough idea of where east is, it wont help you much, if you see several bright stars (excluding me ). If its mostly cloudy, then you dont have great issues.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Convocation Photographs

I had my convocation this monday (6th November). Governor Shri. SS Barnala gave me Gold Medal. To his right is Shri. Vishwanathan, Vice Chancellor, Anna University and Registrar of Anna University, Shri. Jayaraman. I received a Gold Medal, Cash Award and Certificate indicating me obtaining the Gold Medal. I had high fever when I attended the convocation (around 102 when I got the medal).. It was a very different experience on the whole.

Scanned copy of the convocation Photographs.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Tamil Movie tricks

Tamil film industry is known to do acts that defy laws of Physics, including gravity. If at all Newton or Einstein see Tamil movies, they would commit suicide, knowing that all that they have invented could be wrong (assuming they are unaware of the fact that it was graphicified ;) )...

One good example:
(thanks Balaji for forwarding the link)..
It seems, latest movie Dharmapuri, tamil hero has hit 50 people in one shot (i have not seen the film, and I dont intend to after seeing the reviews)..

Monday, November 13, 2006

Thursday, November 02, 2006

My first flute class

Finally I joined the flute class. The first class was great. I told my flute teacher that I learnt something on my own.. tried playing Titanic Theme Music. He heard it and said it was wrong, showed me how to play it properly and said that the period that I learnt on my own was helpful in the context that, I now have good breath control (and nothing beyond that)... Well, in the right sense, it was true, since, I never had professional touch, and the way I played was RAW.

He pointed out some places where I had issues:
  • I wasn't holding the flute properly, my left hand thumb was way too close to the blow hole, which shdnt be. He said that I should be able to hold the flute with left thumb and the index finger.
  • My left hand little finger was always below the flute, which shouldn't be.
  • I was never using my right hand little finger.
I am now learning to play "Maya Mala Gawla" Raaga. I m learning to play each swara in one full long blow. It seems that this is the first lesson. I had problems in over blowing notes, which I m practicing...

After that the next practice was to play two successive notes in a single blow. Then it is to play four successive notes in a single blow. The whole idea of this seems to get familiarized with the swaras and ability to switch between swaras seamlessly, which gives great playing speed..

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