Tuesday, January 10, 2017

5 Amazing Paradoxes to blow you away!!

 “If you try to fail, and succeed, which have you done?” 
- George Carlin
Paradoxes never seem to fail in amazing me, or anyone for that matter. I was just recently reading about the Grandfather Paradox and found myself lost for hours in the labyrinth of my mind for trying to make sense out of it. Then began my search of all paradoxes that have ever existed and boy how I was nothing less than astounded to read the various shapes and kinds of this quirky yet quintessential creation of man or rather a glitch in this ever-so-perfect evolution of linguistics, science and philosophy. 

So here I am, listing down the favourites of all that I read(and understood :)): My favourite paradoxes of all time.

Buttered cat paradox

This is a comical relief to the grim realities of literature. Really.
Ever heard of the adage- Cats always land on their feet? Also ever heard of the adage- Buttered toast always lands buttered side down? 
Now what on earth will happen if you butter this froward cat?
Although in reality, the cat will maintain its rightful habit of landing straight and the toast of landing buttered side down, many humorists, scientists have tried to reason this paradox out. It was concluded that it will produce an anti-gravity effect. Until the cat is relieved of the toast latched onto its back it will continue to hover above the ground. 


Joseph Heller in 1961, coined this term in his novel Catch-22. It is used to imply when a certain rule cannot be escaped due to its contradictory behaviour. It is like saying that you cannot get a job without experience but how you would you ever have an experience if you don't get a job in the first place?
An army officer requests his psychiatrist to declare him insane so he can escape the dangers of combat which in turn proves him to not be insane.

Read more about this paradox here.

Polchinski Paradox

Joseph Polchinski is a theoretical physicist and a string theorist who using the concept of self-consistency principle talked about objects being transferred through time. A billiard ball moving in a particular direction is transferred to a wormhole and emerges in the future at an angle such that it hits its past self and thereby preventing it from entering the wormhole in the first place. 

Unexpected hanging paradox

You have a surprise test next week. Now, what do you do? You either start preparing for it without much ado, or you sit back and do some math to find out the exact date and relax till you reach a day before your test. If you choose the latter you have actually concluded that there is no surprise test because there is no surprise after all!
Well, this is what our prisoner friend did when he was told that he will be executed between the next Monday and Friday but the day will be a surprise.
After giving a little thought to it, our prisoner concludes if he is not executed until Thursday, being executed on a Friday won't be a surprise, so Friday is out of the list. He thinks a little more and concludes, if Friday is out, then if he is not executed until Wednesday, Thursday won't be a surprise as well. And so went on our prisoner friend and inferred that he was not going be executed after all. And so he relaxed instead of trying to escape the prison which he would have done otherwise. But fate knocked his door or rather knocked open his prison with the executioner on the other side. It was a Wednesday and it was a big surprise for the prisoner. A blow so hard that in fact proved to be fatal.

Card paradox

This paradox is invented by Philip Jourdain. One side of card states- The statement on the other side is True and other side states- The statement on the other side is False. Now which one is true and false?

The first statement is true and false at the same time. Same is the case with the second statement. 

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Purnagiri: Mountain of Good Deeds

I just returned from a family trip to Purnagiri yesterday. This block in Champawat District of Uttarakhand is popular among the Hindu pilgrims for its famous Purnagiri temple, while a little not-so-known among other travellers and tourists. A two day trip to the rural mountain valley is more than one can ask for. This place is a conglomeration of nature, divinity, and faith.

It was an Assembly of the five elements 

We arrived at our Guesthouse located in Tanakpur village about 30kms from the temple which was our main visting spot. This town also known as "The gateway to the Kumaon Himalayas" which shares the border with Nepal, has some ethereal value attached to it. Located in the foothills of Himalayas, it is surrounded by the river Sarda. The fragrance of the soil was patent and prominent.The area around is surrounded by dense forests which is home to many wild animals.

Luckily, the river lies right in front of the guesthouse where we were staying. If you manage to safely climb down along the rocks, you can take a dip into this beautifully wide, blue, and sublime river. Or, you can choose to sit on the rocks and peruse the silent language of the waves augmented by the gentle, cool breeze.But a word of caution from the ancestors when you cannot help but stare at this natural watercourse- Do not stare at a river for too long, it can hyptonise you. This is what my parents told me. But indeed, ancestors need not prove this as one is only deeply driven towards a river like this. 

And when the sun started to set and the stars showed up from the disappearing shroud of light, it was nothing but mystical. This multitude of stars that showed up before my eyes in the most unimaginable way, stupefied me more than anything. This night sky was nothing like I had ever seen before. 

The wind was getting colder as the evening advanced and everybody decided to do a bonfire. We collected a few logs, twigs from the trees around using a torch. And as I sat, basking and lazing around the fire, my mind suddenly cleansed itself of all worries and drew itself towards the flames, the wind, the sound of waves from the river nearby, the fragrance of the soil and the twinkling stars up above. It was a culmination of the five external elements.

And the sixth element: The consciousness

Second day, we were to head towards the temple which was at a distance of 30kms from our current spot. We took up a tourist bus and started our ride. The temple is located 3000kms above the sea level on top of a mountain. It is one of the 108 siddha peeth and this is where naval of Goddess Sati fell when Lord Vishnu's Sudarshan Chakra mutilated her dead body. A trek of about 3kms leads to the temple named after the goddess Purnagiri.

I do not see myself as a religious person but there was something so becoming about the faith with which people climbed so many stairs for just a glimpse of their god. There was some energy around this place which drove all pilgrims as they headed unperturbed towards the top. Throughout the journey, the path is surrounded by shops selling idols, offerings, prayer books, cds, refreshments, toys and other fancy stuff. There were dharamsalas, restrooms for tired pilgrims. Religious, hindu songs were being played in almost every shop we passed by. 

Finally, we were supposed to take our shoes off in one of the last dharamsalas before we climb the last set of stairs. On reaching the spot where the shaktipeeth lied, there was a pandit to take the offerings and give his blessings to the pilgrims while chanting some religious mantras. According to my mother, there was some vibrant energy around that spot which transcends this world. 

As one takes a glance at the view from the top, there is truly something so transcendental about it. One can see the river almost from its roots from the Himalayas and the jungle surrounding it looks like a green carpet pervading the hills. The sky azure and the wind gentle, the tranquillity that one feels proves in fact that my mother was indeed right.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

5 Interesting Websites to help you evade Boredom

You are in a state of complete hopelessness and there is nothing exciting about the mundane facebook, Instagram posts anymore.Your newsfeed is brimming with posts by your friends who are basking in the coastal sun and enjoying their exotic vacations.You cannot help but succumb to ennui and give in to this boredom. It is for those moments that some internet geniuses come for your rescue to help you out of this state of utter lassitude.

Here is a list of five of my favourite websites which are there to help me evade my state of boredom. Check them out!


Artful Storytelling!

If you are a reading or writing addict, this is the place for you. You can publish your short stories, novels, poems for free as well read the stuff by other users. You can also find curators/illustrators to give visuals to your stories. Not only can you read and write stuff on this website but also publish your sketches, drawings as well as sell and buy your own books as hardcover/softcover/e-book etc. It is an ultimate destination for all amateurs, professionals who are looking to get their work recognised. Even if you are a hobbyist, this place is to surely satiate your thirst.


The fun personality quiz site!

This is an amazing website which will keep you engaged for an entire night. The tests are created by psychologists and the results are hauntingly accurate. They have a variety of quizzes like relational psychology, personality quizzes, horoscopes and more. Some quizzes are preference based, while others are situation based. Explore the most concealed secrets of your subconscious by knowing if you are left-brained or right, your personality inclinations, your dominant traits, or your character analysis and even more.


Express your musicality!

This is a superb website for all the musicians(or not) out there. How does it feel to have poker-faced, beat-boxers and vocalists at your feet to help you discover the composer in you? You can record, create and share your mix in the most unique way possible and also allow other users to check it out. It allows you to check the creations of other users and vote for your favourites. And if your music can collect a good number of votes, you can make it to the Top 50 which features on the website. You can also shop some incredible custom T-shirts, sweatshirts and more as well as printed goodies(postcards, stickers etc). 


A New World of Free Certified Learning

This is another masterpiece for all those who have a knack for learning. They provide online courses/diploma on a variety of topics/subjects. Unlike many online learning platforms, you can take these courses for free. A few of them include visual graphics as well as games. Whether you are looking for employment, want to learn a new language, develop leadership skills, or gain financial literacy, this is what you should be looking for. Now update your Resume more often with these new acquired set of skills. 


Videos, articles and tips to help you succeed!

A knowledge forum for those with insatiable curiosity and intriguing ideas. They have latest articles and videos by experts in various fields such as Arts & Entertainment, Business, Health, Personal Growth, Technology, Science and much more. Get inspired by the intriguing facts and ideas by experts through their playlists and celebrate the joy of learning and growing. They also organise programs, webinars by these experts in diverse fields and you can take them to channelise your new skills for your own personal growth and road to success.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

5 Awesome reasons why one should Practise yoga on a daily basis!

There is no denying that yoga has numerous health benefits. Yogis across the globe know and acknowledge this fact. We know it relieves you from stress, anxiety, depression, and has several health-related gains. But yoga is not just a daily exercise; it is a completely different experience altogether. Here are 5 convincing reasons why anyone should practise this awesome piece of art.

Makes You Want To Live In the Moment!

You can be nothing but thankful for being able to spare a few moments to relax and give time to your body. You are able to savour the taste of fresh air as you breath in and out and it feels like an entirely new experience each time. The awareness that each movement brings into you, is intoxicating, thrilling. Those few minutes instils such positivity that makes you want to come back the next day. It has the power to change your total perspective of life, provided it is practised regularly. 

For The First Time You Are Able To Listen to Your Body!!

Yoga gives you a whole new insight of your body. You will be nothing less than surprised to see how your body reacts to various movements synchronised with your slow and steady breathing. Unlike intensive workouts, yoga is all about finding the ease and steadiness in your body and moving with it. Your breath acts as your guide and you can simply play with it, applying any rhythm but with utmost comfort and relaxation. This only puts you into a state of wondrous trance, and you wonder whether this is same body you have been living with since all these years. 

Losing Weight Was Never So Much Fun!!

If you constantly feel the urge to lose this extra useless fat from your body but the thought of going to the gym is nothing less than a mental torture, then this is the discipline for you. Not only you will slowly approach that state of your perfect dream figure but also adding cherry on the cake, comes the other unanticipated gains such as a positivity in life, stress-free and an awesome state of mind!

Motivates You To Complete Other Chores For the Day!!

Whenever you do it(mornings- most effective), you always feel a rejuvenating current of energy passing through your body, not exactly some adrenaline rush but some positive vibrations, which will definitely supplement the tasks that you undertake for the rest of the day.It brings back the discipline you feel was long lost. Whenever you feel stressed, less-motivated, simply remember to keep your mat handy :). Use it as your daily dose of energy. ;)

Helps You Know Yourself and Your Purpose

On a serious note, Yoga is an art of practising mindfulness. It exposes a whole new side of yourself and helps you in expanding the horizons of your in-depth knowledge of self. Knowing oneself helps one in understanding his/her purpose here, thus adding a lot of meaning to life.

What are you waiting for, begin practise from today. Nothing better than this awesome discipline!!!