By-Two Kaapi in an oilfield

The weblog of Abhilash Ravishankar, India.

Here I blog about my personal experiences [posting rarely]

At my tumblelog Intoxicated by possibility I blog about my opinions/likes/dislikes [posting heavily]

Kalmane Kaapi shack

No more Cafe Coffee Day.
No more Barista.

I've always wanted the pure strong freshly brewed South Indian filter coffee with a cafe experience. And I've found it at Kalmane Koffee.

Thanks to a tip off from Manju about a couple of months back, I hit this place, first, in Garuda mall. I was floored with the cardamom flavored filter coffee that I drank. The pic here is that of the Kalmane Koffee lounge in The Forum. And that's a huge roasting machine that greets you at the entrance of the sleek lounge. Have heard that Jayanagar has a far more excellent lounge coupled with a bookstore.

So, the next time, you actually want to drink good, real good coffee, head over to Kalmane. Prices start from Rs.20 (Can you believe that? And the twenty bucks coffee is kickass!). And after you've sinned by drinking unadulterated strong filter coffee, do come back and leave a comment here.

[Photo from 'The Hindu': Murali Kumar K ]

I'll do it later

John Perry, a professor of Philosophy at Stanford, in his 1995 paper titled "Structured Procrastination", says:

The key idea is that procrastinating does not mean doing absolutely nothing. Procrastinators seldom do absolutely nothing. They do marginally useful things, like gardening or sharpening pencils or making a diagram of how they will reorganise their files when they get around to it. Why does the procrastinator do these things? Because they are a way of not doing something more important.
I love this guy! He gives a brilliant example of structured procrastination:
... when my wife and I served as Resident Fellows in Soto House, a Stanford dormitory. In the evening, faced with papers to grade, lectures to prepare, committee work to be done, I would leave our cottage next to the dorm and go over to the lounge and play ping-pong with the residents, or talk over things with them in their rooms, or just sit there and read the paper. I got a reputation for being a terrific Resident Fellow, and one of the rare profs on campus who spent time with undergraduates and got to know them. What a set up: play ping pong as a way of not doing more important things, and get a reputation as Mr. Chips.
Can I agree more with him! I have taken secret pride in being a procrastinator-par-excellence. Thanks to which I almost ended up flunking my engineering exams. But also thanks to unknowingly structuring my procrastination, I am what I am now, thinking of startups and the likes.

But sometimes when the structure in 'Structured Procrastination' loosens up, shit hits the fan.

Update: Have been reading feeds and blogging all morning. Boss comes in and reminds me that I had to present my work(which is yet to be started) in the morning.

Is the Internet gloryfing collectivism?

Varun invited me to blog at Similitude - a new team blog where "people blog for the pure selfish joy of writing". Reminded me of those golden times when I read Atlas Shrugged. Here's a mirror of the first post that I made at the blog.

As I pen this first post for Similitude, my media player has Floyd playing some of their best music. One of their songs, coupled with one of Salvador Dali's drawings (above) titled 'Ants and wheat ear' inspired this post's title.

As I just sipped some coffee a few minutes back, it struck me:

  • I hadn't updated my whereabouts on Twitter
  • I had to take a look at the snaps that my brother uploaded on Flickr in the morning
  • I hadn't posted on my Tumblr blog today
  • My account needed pruning by adding bundles
  • I had to put a clip of my Google Reader's shared items somewhere
Somewhere in the sands of time, we have fallen prey to ubiquitous bandwidth and internet. You can bump into me in the evening and ask me how you too agree that 'Picture Perfect' was a piece of crap after having read my Twitter status last night. And to top it all, maybe we hadn't met for a couple of years now - and here you are, talking about the movie I watched last night, just because you've been silently observing what I've been doing for these last two years.

And beat this. All of us are doing so. We are just like those ants over the wheat ear. All we want is a piece of that wheat. Blindly we go about pulling that wheat ear in whichever direction we want. (You do know that when ants are moving something big, not all ants are pulling/pushing it in the same direction, don't you?). At the end of the day, the wheat ear does move. Not where we wanted it to, but how the collective spirit of mankind wanted it to.

(Now I understand why TIME said the Person of the Year 2006 was 'You')

The question is:
Is technology/internet illustrating that collectivism is far more glorious than the spirit of individualism?

Kaapi-haters: Burn!

Every other time I go to get myself a cup of coffee, I find somebody telling me that it ain't good for my health.

One, I was tired of making them realize that they are just plain jealous. And two, I needed some lip-smacking 'peer-reviewed scientific articles' to prove them wrong. And voila! Here they are: 7 awesome reasons why a kaapi-hater should burn in hell.

While I was at it, I bumped into this page listing caffeine content of various drinks. Here are the ones that I usually drink:
Espresso: 51.33 mg/oz
Drip/Filter coffee (My absolut fav!): 18.13 mg/oz
Instant coffee: 7.13 mg/oz
[The first two are way above the average caffeine content in normal drinks]

And wait a minute, check this out : Powershot: 100 mg/oz!!!!!
Isn't that a little too much?

Bonus: This study might have been done on rats, but still ... aren't we rodent-esque?

What do people at Schlumberger smoke?

Nothing! Lest they blow up the oil.

Chinmay picked something out of my last post on Sinclair's principle, Global Warming and the likes, and thanks to his tests and recent doodling, seems to have overlooked quite a few things. Quite frankly, I had overlooked most of it when I made the post. But digging a little deeper, I had to debunk most of what Chinmay writes about here.

First off, to set things in the right place,
Schlumberger does NOT deny global warming in any page on their site (AFAIK).

In fact, the misquoted paragraph -

OK. But what’s the problem? Will a little extra warm weather hurt anyone? In fact, for people living in cold climates a global warming might be a good thing. In some parts of the world the growing season could become longer and agricultural land more productive.
in this page, is more of a Devil's advocate POV, a method of teaching. It's more like a teacher who's educating her students about pollution telling them - "So what if we throw plastics in the dumpyard? Somebody will pick it up, or it will get buried!", and then going on to explain "But, plastics are non-recyclable and ....."

Chinmay also makes a point about this being on their education page. What he misses out, is this page on Global Climate Change and Energy which starts off with:
We invite you to actively investigate for yourself the facts, concepts, and theories. Take the time to explore the graphs, simulations and animations, in order to better understand what global warming is all about and what can be done.

We hope you can join us in this important mission of learning, understanding and acting!
The page also accepts the role of humans and industries and yes, fossil fuels too!
Since the Industrial Revolution people have been affecting the carbon cycle.
Human intervention has increased the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to its highest level in hundreds of thousands of years. Look closely at the right-hand edge of the graph below.
They do accept that global warming is bad!
Global warming will have a major impact on the way we live. Sea levels will rise causing flooding of densely populated coastal areas. The intensity of tropical storms will increase. Many agricultural areas that are already suffering from drought will become drier.
To top it all, they exhort students to act!
  1. Reduce emissions of carbon dioxide by using energy more efficiently
  2. Use alternative energy sources that do not produce carbon dioxide emissions - solar, wind, nuclear, geothermal and hydroelectric.
  3. When we do burn fossil fuels capture and store the resulting carbon dioxide rather than letting it go into the atmosphere.
The last link is true oil-industry style - walking the thin line between telling people not to start hating oil but coaxing them towards a harmony of non-renewable energy and fossil fuels.

At the end of the day, I just hope Uncle Sam ratifies the Kyoto protocol and we head towards living in a safer planet.

Sinclair's principle and times ahead

It struck me last night, after I rewatched 'An Inconvenient Truth', that I might be headed towards some interesting times in a few months.

Al Gore says that according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), this era of global warming "is unlikely to be entirely natural in origin" and "the balance of evidence suggests a discernible human influence of the global climate." He also goes on to say how the mainstream media has been influenced by a huge lobby which is investing millions of dollars into spreading the picture that Global warming is 'normal' and there is nothing much to worry about.

This reminded me of the movie 'Thank you for Smoking', where a spokesperson(Nick Naylor) for a conglomerate of tobacco companies spins his way in life.

Today, I happen to see this on a post on the SEED (Schlumberger Excellence in Educational Development) site:

Over the past 425,000 years the earth has gone through four ice ages punctuated by brief warm periods. We are currently in such a warm period. The trend over the past century has been one of generally rising global temperature. The consensus among climatologists is that there will be a continued increase during the rest of this century. OK. But what’s the problem? Will a little extra warm weather hurt anyone? In fact, for people living in cold climates a global warming might be a good thing. In some parts of the world the growing season could become longer and agricultural land more productive.
And that so, sounded like what Nick Naylor would have said!

I have a Stop Global Warming badge on my site, and I am joining Schlumberger (the world's largest oilfield services company) in July this year. Somehow, all this reminded me of what Upton Sinclair once said:
It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.
Looks like I might talk more about Oil over By-Two Kaapi!

Update: Schlumberger is funding $25m of the Global Climate & Energy Project at Stanford. (Read on...)

It was long time due. My own domain.
Today it officially goes live here at
And By-Two Kaapi sees a small change, moving over to

The last paradox

Chief, I think I now realize what the last paradox is.

What is the one thing we hate to give up, the one thing that we hate to lose? Elementary. It is that thing that we love the most. Maybe a dear one, maybe an idea, maybe a dream. And what if our love for that dream/idea/person turns into quicksand? The more you love it, the more you lose it. That's the last paradox. At the end of it, whatever it is, you lose. The End.

In this moment of enlightenment, my media player has Eddie Vedder saying:

I take a walk outside
I'm surrounded by some kids at play
I can feel their laughter, so why do I sear?
Oh, and twisted thoughts that spin round my head
I'm spinning, oh, I'm spinning
How quick the sun can drop away
Isn't it beautiful?

I define my conduct

I was put off by the over-reaction to Kathy Sierra's so-called death-threats etc.
I had chosen not to respond to Mr. O'Reilly's Code of Conduct.

But today, I see Himanshu blogging about bad ethics in the blogosphere. And that ticked me off to write this post.

The noise in a signal defines it. Sounds paradoxical, but it is noise/chaos that is the defining element of a signal. My favorite is impulsive noise. Human life, as a signal, will show you that the impulsive noise is characterized by events which stand tall in man's chronology. These events are a result of great genius or a result of utter insanity.

The internet was an example of the former, and the Blogger's Code of Conduct is a very tiny example of the latter.

The internet exemplified freedom. The Code of Conduct calls upon a section of bloggers to goad the rest into curbing their own freedom. Let's take an example. Point 5 of that code says

We do not allow anonymous comments.

Who is anybody to decide whether I allow anonymous comments on my blog? Drop dead hilarious. I wanted to rip every single point n that code. But, that has already been done by many, and I am not in the mood for humor.

It's even more hilarious to see bloggers in huge number towing his line. But, my allegiance to the dream of freedom on the internet was undeterred thanks to hundreds of thousands of bloggers scoffing at this code.

The music is dying!

Christ! What a tragedy!
I loved Pandora, so much that I used to open it before I opened my email client.
Well, that's bound to change now.

I got this email from Tim, Pandora's founder:

Dear Pandora listener,

Today we have some extremely disappointing news to share with you. Due to international licensing constraints, we are deeply, deeply sorry to say that we must begin proactively preventing access to Pandora's streaming service for most countries outside of the U.S.
We show your IP address is '', which indicates you are listening from India. If you believe you are seeing this by mistake, we offer our sincere apologies and ask that you please reply to this email.
Consequently, on May 3rd, we will begin blocking access to Pandora to listeners from your country. We are very sad to have to do this, but there is no other alternative.
We deeply share your sense of disappointment and greatly appreciate your understanding.

-Tim Westergren
(Pandora founder)
Good-bye Pandora. See ye in another life.


This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of the people, institutions or organizations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.


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