Tuesday, January 06, 2009

The h-β Hypothesis for the Performing Guitarist

a) Schematic diagram showing height of the centroid of guitar body from the centroid of groin, the hindlimb spread angle and the angle of tilt of the mean chordal line of the fretboard. b) Regions identified due to variation in the stated parameters. A decrease in α (decrease direction noted by the direction arrow) shifts the margin.

h be the height of the centroid of the guitar body from the centroid of groin,
α be the angle of spread of the players hindlimbs,
β be the tilt angle of the mean chordal line of the fretboard from the horizontal.

The h-β chart can be divided into two real and two pseudo zones. The real zones are "Geek"(entry) and "Cool"(no. 4 through 8). The borderline pseudo-zones are "Wannabe Geek" and "Wannabe Cool". The lower the guitar is hang (lower h) and the less tilt the fretboard gets (lower β), the cooler the guitarist looks.

The four cases that can arise are as follows:
I. Higher guitar tilt (β), high hung (h) guitar : Geek
II. Lower guitar tilt (β), low hung (h) guitar : Cool
III. Higher guitar tilt (β), low hung (h) guitar : Wannabe Cool (pesudo-zone)
IV. Lower guitar tilt (β), high hung (h) guitar : Wannabe Geek (pesudo-zone)

This zones are divided by an imaginary border set by the angle spread of the players legs or the iso-α lines. The more spread they are, the chances of them being / acting cool increases via the upward shift of the border. Jack Black in School of Rock described this technique as the power stance.

Let us for illustrative purposes study the stances and guitar holding (axe wielding) pattern of the following guitarists. Images may or may not be copyrighted, please don't create a fuss about it.

From top to bottom, left to right: 1. Steve Vai, 2. Joe Satriani, 3. John Petrucci, 4. James Hetfield, 5. Kirk Hammett, 6. Saul "Slash" Hudson, 7. Mark Knopfler, 8. Eric Clapton, 9. Steven Wilson, 10. Buckethead

Most guitarist try to stay within the "Cool" zone although a few of them tend to approach the "Wannabe Cool" like Steve Vai[1]. His guitar neck tilt is usually high while keeping the guitar close to groin. Joe Satriani[2] juts a bit into the "Geek" region due to his low leg spread (occasionally he spreads them but usually limbs are pretty close), yet still manages to stay in the "Cool" region most of the times. Petrucci[3] and Buckethead[10] both are in the "Geek" region but Buckethead sometimes steers clear owing to his leg spread which is a bit wider than Petrucci. Hammett[5], Clapton[6] and Knopfler[7] use a nominal weighted stance. Clapton and Knopfler have surpringly similar stance , use similar equipments (Strats) and play similar music (mostly). Slash[6] and James Hetfield[4] use negative h, hanging their guitars well below the groin. Not only is it uncomfortable to play, but also if air jumped incorrectly with such a configuration, one might hear a painful "ouch".

Location the guitarists on the h-β chart.

Legend: 1. Steve Vai, 2. Joe Satriani, 3. John Petrucci, 4. James Hetfield, 5. Kirk Hammett, 6. Saul "Slash" Hudson, 7. Mark Knopfler, 8. Eric Clapton, 9. Steven Wilson, 10. Buckethead

Although Steven Wilson[9] has a mild negative h and uses a nominal weighted tilt, he is still a Geek and is an exception to this theory.

As examples I have only included 10 guitarists. I encourage the reader to come up with more examples and exceptions to h-β hypotheses and point their location on the h-β chart.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Dirge of π

The whole concept of irrationality is alien in engineering which leads to a phenomenon called engineering approximation. There is no room for anything but floating point numbers. This poetry is π's battle for existence in the engineering world.

A lonely π wanders free,
Weeps at his irrationality.
Father "circle" makes no claim -
As orphan he had made his name.
Numbers chuckle at his his shape
But Mathematics won't let him escape
Clustered with Greek lexicon
With phi, zeta and omicron.
Oh, see how hard he has tried
To say his state is justified,

"You round me out and give a fix
As 3.14156,
I don't mind you mutilate,
Transform me or conjugate
As long as you can calculate
My floating points will truncate.
But answers embed fallacy
Dubbed reasonable accuracy.
When will you comprehend
Approximation is a rule you bend
Imparted on a π or cake
Or generally on a circular shape.
Will someone teach you please
The irrationality of Mathematics
I can work and I can fix
I compute, he just predicts
But 3.14156
Has got no tricks up his sleeves."

But still no signs of conviction,
They treat him like Greek lexicon
And shun his grandiose and his might
"Get the hell off my sight."
Sadly he just walks away
Engineers won't let him stay.
Ideology conflicts
While 3.14156
Walks in proud approximation
As welcomed substitution.

The lonely π wanders free,
Cursing his irrationality.
His helplessness has no defense
Yet oblivious to the existence
Of theoretical physicists
Who'll take him in, as he is.

P.S. Main tera π π chuka doonga.

Friday, March 28, 2008

A Really Really Serious Letter

The whole idea of a technicolour cellphone has been blowing me out, not to mention the amount of research-constructed-risk it carries to eardrums, vocal chords, heart, genitals and the emotional self. In a few years we might stumble across a conspiracy theory that the whole far east has been plotting against us so that a harmless looking bio-hazard, like cellphone, can be slipped in. They also invented exploding batteries, a failsafe substitute that will go unnoticed due to it's harmless appearance.

Hence, instead of calling you I am writing this letter.

Here are the last four lines of Alfred Lloyd Tennyson's "The Vision of Sin" with all the punctuations included, including the hippie style use of colon.
Fill the cup, and fill the can:
Have a rouse before the mourn:
Every moment dies a man,
Every moment one is born.

Charles Babbage (you might remember him as the guy who laid down the design of Differential Engine and Analytical Engine - precursors to the modern computers) wrote a letter to Tennyson, in which he correctly pointed out
"It must be manifest that if this were true, the population of the world would be at a standstill...I would suggest that in the next edition of your poem you have it read - 'Every moment dies a man, Every moment 1 1/16 is born.'...The actual figure is so long I cannot get it onto a line, but I believe the figure 1 1/16 will be sufficiently accurate for poetry.
I am, Sir, yours, etc.,
Charles Babbage"

I was enlightened to this fact by Simon Singh's "The Code Book". I also drew my own conclusions out of this whole exercise 8.37 deaths/1000 population equated to 20.09 births/1000 population in 2007 comes nowhere near 1 1/16 as estimated in late 19th century. We might even contact the Tennyson Society and suggest them to change 1 1/16 to 2 2/5, which I believe will be sufficiently accurate for poetry.

I do believe that since Tennyson is a significant literary figure, people around the world must be working hard to construct better cellphones that will have improved capacity to risk the eardrums, vocal chords, heart, genitals and the emotional self. This will work in two ways - the crippled people will be genetically least sought after by the opposite gender while the effect on human genitalia will subsequently help in reducing the burden on earth. The researchers should work hard to ensure that more amount of psychological threat is induced in the population, with media lending a generous hand in mass distributing the results. It will be only a matter of time that we'll be able to satisfy Babbage's data and progressively reach Tennyson's results. I sincerely believe that modern research can come up with batteries having higher explosive capabilities and should send a 2 second, uninterrupted high pitch signal to the receiving end, yet remain oblivious to the sender side. This will ensure that the user, his neighbourhood influenced by a blast wave of sufficient radius of influence as well as the receiver accepting the deafening 2 second, uninterrupted high pitch signal are all affected.

And now (now now now... [echo]) for something completely different,

Frank : Did you know that "a la mode", in French, translates literally to "in the fashion"? A la moooode... It comes from the latin word modus to do or proper measure.
Richard : Frank shut up.

I am, Sir, yours, etc.

Sunday, January 06, 2008


My brother was killed in a war. And like all wars, the toll of casualties never took an individual into consideration. It is easy to device strategies and weight every grain of salt if you are trapped in a war which involves specimen of your species and specimens of seemingly harmless weapons that animate themselves to strike upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger. What if that was not the case? What if you were meant to be just another casualty in this war?

This creature had a strange habit of changing his outer shell to a black coloured one [See translator's note #1]. For some reason, it used to render him happy, or so I presumed. What this bloke didn't have a clue about was the fact that it used to drive me mad, it used to drive my brother mad and his cousins and nephews, too and even the queen. For some reason it created an effect of hypnosis which came only second to that created by inhaling diluted prallethrin. Contrary to popular belief, prallethrin doesn't kill you. It only gets you a bit high, much like a poor man's version of chasing the dragon.

So there was this guy, swiftly changing his skin and turning black. Everybody was driven nuts. And more so, my half witted brother, ZBZG. That perpetual moron always acted on his impulse and this time he couldn't help himself drifting towards this skin shifter. ZZBZ, his best friend and a quarter witted guy, also joined him. To tell you the truth, I was enjoying the scene like a distant spectator. I watched in amusement as ZBZG and ZZBZ unrolled their tubes and punched the needle through his black skin. These fraction wits were enjoying themselves and paid less attention to the skin shifter. The skin shifter grew aware of their presence. He turned his head and with one blow struck ZBZG dead. I couldn't believe my eyes. ZBZG was no more. ZZBZ sensed the second blow coming and moved himself out of his way. I didn't care about ZZBZ. There he was, my brother, lying dead. His natural flapping frequency 15 cents above A# of 7th octave silenced forever.

ZBZG's body slowly detached itself from the beast and fell to the ground while the skin shifter walked away. With a heavy heart, I drifted myself closer to my brother to pay my last dues. ZZBZ didn't come close. He was too disturbed to see the blood mixed with some red colored food ZBZG had managed to extract from the skin shifter.

I wanted to kill him, kill him badly. But attacking a skin shifter was not so easy. It is easy to kill a skin shifters where they are rare and our race can outnumber them. We do hear it from our distant relatives that they had managed to kill a skin shifter but such news comes once in every hundredth generation. And I knew, killing him alone would require a great deal of courage, a whole lot of intelligence and some help from another species. I knew just the right guy.

A communication problem always existed. These long tailed, moustache wielding, sharp nosed creatures were not from our community but were threatened by these skin shifters. We were united by a common enemy and just for the sake, he let me have his red fluid for food for I knew that this creature carried the finest germs in the entire world. All I had to do now was to suck the skin shifter's fluid out of his body and let the germs do the job. With great preparation, I flew into his castle. To my amazement, for the first time I saw the skin shifter without his skin on his bed. He was not alone. I saw a second skin shifter with him and possibly a female of his species. His black and her red skin lay on a wooden furniture.

I was about to approach them when this strange orange glowing light made me dizzy and was getting me high. I wondered, orange never got me high. It was always black. When suddenly a revelation hit my head like a lightning. That orange light was emitting prallethrin. I was loosing focus but the vision of my brother dying and a distant sound of his sweet 15 cents above the A# of the 7th octave kept me flying. I unrolled my proboscis in the air and struck him, making sure that the assorted collection of germs from the other creature's fluid gets into him. For some reason, he had no clue I was there. Maybe he was too busy playing some stupid game with the other skin shifter [See translator's note #2].

I could not hold any longer. The prallethrin was making me dizzy and I fell off his body.

Few weeks have passed. The skin shifter bloke was dead. I heard them say that it was some strange variant of plague. I don't care. I took my revenge. However, I must mention that I had stomach troubles for a week, strengthening itself with recurring events of indigestion. That skin shifter was surely junk food.

Translator's Notes:
  1. I didn't know that black coloured clothing attracted mosquitoes. Now that I am aware, I'll do my designing works on white and light coloured stuff.
  2. You've heard it before but just for the record and as a public service announcement, "Do not have unprotected sex. Use a mosquito net for safety".

Monday, March 12, 2007

Top 10 Ways to Obtain Free Food

10. Take a friend with you and pay a visit to another friend's house. Chances of his wife (or mother) bringing you both food increases. Going alone diminishes the chance by 60% while going in a huge group will scare everyone. In my school days, I had a friend to accompany me and we had set targets.

09. Dress up well and pay a visit to the nearest marriage reception party. Chances of someone recognizing you is 0%. However chances of the party actually turning out to be a silver jubilee anniversary party is around 20%.

08. Gather up some photocopies of old journal papers, a scribble pad and a defunct ball point pen. Walk into the latest seminar on "____________" and there is an 80% chance of getting some free food there.

07. Join focus groups. You may have to fill up questionnaires and answer weird, irrelevant questions but it's worth the pain for free food. From a more personal note, the food often is exceptionally good.

06. This is a classical method. Carry a large currency note with you and take someone else. Eat at small stores / shops. Chances of the owner keeping a change for such a large currency is pretty less. This celebrated failsafe method was invented in the early 19th century.

05. This is a variant of the above method especially suited if you eat in large groups. For small expeditures, ask someone else to pay for the time being and promise that you'll pay for him somewhere else. You can always have amnesia, right?

04. Get into a small dhaba with 10 goons, some cheap guns and rusted knives. Eat and leave without paying. A vulgar display of 18th century ammunition will do. I do not explicitely like this method but bollywood has made me feel it's very easy. Chances of running into fatal trouble is quite high.

03. Whenever you have a chance to congratulate somebody for his achievements, Say "congratulations" and make it a point / habit to follow it up with another dreadful monosyllabic word - "treat". A particular girl in our college has mastered this art and I keep hearing stories about her.

02. Wear a pair of roller skates and get ready at around 50 m away from a certain fast food corner. As soon as you find a 'bakra' (scapegoat), go full throttle and snatch it. This trick has been mastered exceptionally well by thugs of bollywood, and the blackboot gang. Make sure that there is a narrow lane to turn into so that no one can follow you around.

01. Dress up well, carry a fake ID and an expensive briefcase and rush into a mediocre restaurant. Tell them that you are the food inspector. Chances of good food and good service 100%.

Friday, October 21, 2005

My Obsession with the Egg

One of the meanings of obsession is "A compulsive, often unreasonable idea or emotion". I don't know if that is true in this case. It's left to the readers to judge.

It's probably the cheapest form of nutricious blob. On the day I'm blogging this, a dozen eggs cost Rs. 21 in the retail market. That's Rs. 1.75 an egg. (For those of you who do not live in India or do not wish to check out the conversion rates, it's roughly $ 0.04 an egg. I'll bet, you won't get eggs for that cheap in US). However the canteen guys (here in Kharagpur) do take their charges a bit more seriously. Consider this - a cooked egg costs Rs 3 - Rs 5, which is like 71.4% - 185.7% increment on the cost of the raw egg. Funny, isn't it?? NO!!! That's highly suspicious.

For those of you who don't like mathematics, there's a good news - I'll not show any more Profit / Loss stuff. May God bless you.

The Egg Nutrition Centre has this to offer [Click Here] in context with EGG Trivia which in my opinion is totally S%#t. My obsession forced me to Google and this is what I found. An egg song [Click Here]. "Come into my tummy, oh so very yummy...", how thoughtful lyrics can be!!! This even puts amateur bands to shame.

Do you think this is the end? No. I always almost can't finish my course without atleast one double poach. I have atleast 2 eggs a day and in many cases it increases to 6 or 8. My mom would have killed me if she knew that? But isn't that an irony.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Top 10 Evils and Why they Suck

10. Suicide. I mean if you decide to survive that horrible mess food, torment your eardrums with death metal, experiment with newer techniques because you feel that the older means of suicide are obsolete then I think it's time for you to learn cooking or get a wife, make more noises with growling stomach and smelly farts and patent those methods of suicide so that whenever someone uses it, you have a financial benifit awaiting.

09. Divorce. You have a wife who loves to talk so much that you are not given a chance. You feel that she is the one destabilizing you, and betraying you. Well, think of the torture she has done to you and you are boiling inside to take a revenge on her. Is divorce the right solution ? NO way! How can you let her get away with all those things she has done for you. C'mon, I know you are smart enough to device new ways to trap her. You can also consult a lawyer so that it is her who makes the first move and it is you who gets the financial benifit.
Q: Who is the biggest financial gainer - You or your Wife ?
A: None, the lawyers will be the ones swimming in pools of gold.

Temple of Elemental Evil... for more nice pics visit [Shanna's Site]

08. Apartheid. Many would argue, does it exist? It has been abolished. .. blah,blah. No, ever since the creation/evolution (I leave a choice between the Darwinians and Church followers) , man has always divided his world into smaller segments so that he can comprehend and control by himself. It existed, it exists today and it will exist till the destruction/pro-evolution (Again a choice) of the mankind. For people who believe that apartheid is the fight of colours/colors (A choice between UK and US English) , just remember that colours/colors produce stain. Even while I'm writing I have discriminated between the Darwinianists and the Church followers, the English of UK and that of US.... It can never end.

This image was suggested by [Ambuj Saxena]

07. Politicians. The word 'politicians' came from 'politics' which evolved from 'policy' which in turn originated from the Greek word 'polis', which actually meant 'where polites reside'. Is that true??? If you are an etymologist, you can try and prove me wrong, but again in doing so you won't be able to convince me much. And that means you can't win without using some political gimmicks. See why I hate 'politicians'. They suck, they suck the blood out of mankind.

The above is a T-shirt Design by [Howard Besser]

06. Mediocrity and Amteurization. While I was about to write something on this, I came across this award winning [The 2004 Bloggies] article by [Tom Coates] . However it's not just the Weblogs, it's everywhere. It's in arts - the new generation listening to the similar sounding hip-hop in Stereophonics, it's in behaviour - with no one making an attempt to be a hero, it's in thinking - and no more clusters of inventors gifted to a period, it's in sexuality - the same positions everyday - prefaced by a blowjob and that SUCKS!

05. Local-this-that. "Here's a Locally made toothbrush, it's better than that Corporate Shit"
"Let me numb your buccal-cavity with this Local anaesthesia, it won't hurt" (Even if you don't let me, i'll do it. Even if it hurts, I don't care).
"We live in this Locality." (And so I hate that bitch who lives in the next Local Area.)
"This is the best Local Newpaper." (It no way reaches the standards of "The Times of Xanadu")
"Local Trains are so punctual and Comfortable" (Comfortable!!!! Are you Kidding??)
In sooth, I know not why, but they suck.

04. Corporate World. The World was actually a nice place in the begining but as the greed in human being overpowered humanity. More and more assholes started joining the game and the gift of the game is money. Money the root of all evil. They are leeches, they are worse than politicians. While politicians are content with the blood they suck, this World Sucks people in their entirety.

Check out this Corporate Asshole. His smile has been plastered onto his face.

03. Rumours. Do I have to say anything about it? It travels faster than light and I have no clue how Einstein proposed the Theory of Relativity without taking this into consideration.
The Devil's Dictionary quotes it as
A favorite weapon of the assassins of character.
Sharp, irresistible by mail or shield,
By guard unparried as by flight unstayed,
O serviceable Rumor, let me wield
Against my enemy no other blade.
His be the terror of a foe unseen,
His the inutile hand upon the hilt,
And mine the deadly tongue, long, slender, keen,
Hinting a rumor of some ancient guilt.
So shall I slay the wretch without a blow,
Spare me to celebrate his overthrow,
And nurse my valor for another foe.
-Joel Buxter

02. Murder/Homicide. This is a variant of Suicide. However the patent thing doesn't work here beause of the fact that only 5% of the Murderers are actually caught. This can be very disturbing because out of every 100 people who use your patented idea, only 5 of them will pay. If you ask my advice, I'll suggest you to stick to your Suicidal Ideas business.

01. News Channels. They show investigations after a suicide, focus on celebrity divorces, glamourise/glamourize apartheid, telecast the politician's mind, endorse mediocricity, broadcast Local News, focus on snapshots of Corporate World, spread Rumours and make an issue out of it, analyse Homicides and above all advertise their own News Channel. They SUCK the most!