Madhav's Blog

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Random thoughts on technology, books and anything else …

Outlook Back in Time

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The Giving Back Whitepaper

One of the things I have struggled with is how to give back effectively.  Not a day goes by when I don’t realize I luck I am to have a healthy family, supportive friends and a workplace where I am respected.  It is easy to get into the swing of things and take things for granted but there are so many others who have far less than I do.

Don’t get me wrong, I do my bit.  I participate in my company’s community investment, with time and money.  I give back on a regular basis to groups that further the causes I believe in.  My answer is yes at the retail counter when asked would like to give $_ to non-profit X.  I am the one who will over tip if I know that I can really help the person who just waited on me.

However, I have the gnawing feeling that my ‘bit’ is not enough and I can do more, no should do more.  So I approached the issue as I would approach any business problem.  Take a step back and really figure different ways to attack the issue and throw proportionate resources behind each approach.

Here is my initial thoughts on the topic.  Crude but something that will help me, and I really hope others as well.

Contribute

– volunteer your time in ways that really use your specific skills (try sparked.com)

– share what you have in excess or don’t really need

– periodic investment so that others can rely on you

Advocate

– spread the word via networks, social (Twitter, LinkedIn, Quora) and otherwise (colleagues, friends, family)

– encourage mentees to give back

– harness the power of the enterprise

Lead

– drive initiatives

– participate in boards

– Start causes that you can believe in but also that you can really truly see through

Other guiding principles

– strive for a difference

– diversify between local and global

– be innovative

– basic needs – foods, health, shelter

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The Arctic is the new Frontier

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/americas/07/15/larsen.arctic.ice.wars/index.html?hpt=hp_c1

http://www.amazon.com/World-2050-Shaping-Civilizations-Northern/dp/052595181

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World in 2050

Reading a book by Larry Smith that talks about the amazing geopolitical shifts that are taking place, aided by globalization, climate change, population growth and other forces.  Let us move to the Arctic, clearly that is where the action is.

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Water – the oil of the next generation

Reading an atlas with my wife and son. Antarctica contains the largest source of freshwater. Will off-shore drilling today morph into the water harvest rigs in South Antarctica. Clearly looks like we are going that way.

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Straddling Bus – Simple but Elegant

I read an article on this new concept in mass transit called the straddling bus.  Pictures in the article below will help visualize but imagine a bus that is 2 lanes wide, as long as 40 kms and carries passengers only on the top level.  Cars below 2m can zip by through the bus.  So you have a bus that literally shares the road while carrying up to 1500 passengers.  Also much cheaper and faster to build than a subway.

http://www.chinahush.com/2010/07/31/straddling-bus-a-cheaper-greener-and-faster-alternative-to-commute/

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Explaination and Google Labs

I am back after a really long time. Things have been busy at work, no time for anything else.

Check out Google Labs, beta versions of the next generation of Google tools. Particularly liked squared, goggles and a few others. Lots more niche ones there, related to language, social networking, maps etc.

Anyway, will try to stay frequent.

Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.

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The Ground Below

Last night, I experienced fear. In an amusmenet park. 70 feet above the ground. Legs dangling from a ski lift in the middle of Pennsylvania in August. My wife later told me that it was a category 2 or really mild. Well, being suspended from a creaky wire for about 6 minutes above a man made lake, rumbling roller coasters and enough electricity to fry us all is more that mild insanity.

Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.

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Tech Breakthrough – the reverse nut

Not so long ago, as is the nature of these things, the toilet broke. Well, not the entire toilet, just the handle. And actually not even the handle – just the lever that connects it to the chain.

Anyway it took me 4 days and 2 visits to the hardware store. The eureka moment was when I actually read the instructions and realized that I needed to screw the nut counter clockwise.

Of the several times that I tried nut, not once did my brian think of trying the poor binary cousin. Also, directions were useless as well.

Now I am much wiser, at least in the opposite direction!

Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.

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The Idea Capture Project

Finally got the wordpress app working on my blackberry. The first time around it just kept getting confused as to whether I already had a blog or needed to create a new one. This experience, in contrast to the apps that I downloaded on my wife’s ipod showed me why apple is the killer in this field.

This also commences what I label idea capture. I feel that the best ideas pop into our heads at the worst possible times, in the shower, driving etc. Almost like a dream, these are tied to our subconcisous and equally nascent unless given the white glove treatment and whisked away. This black and stainless steel BB will have to fill in for the white glove for now.

As always, thoughts welcome.

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