Bid Adieu, 2015 !!

As usual, one more year has passed by pretty quickly. It’s been an amazing year and probably the most adventurous and learning. I tried to read a lot during this year, from books to blogs and e-articles to prepare myself. Made some really good friends and successfully remained in touch with old ones. Unfortunately, had to say goodbye few of amazing colleagues and friends. Also, not happy with my frequency of posts here. I promise to write more than often and publish my pending drafts. 😐 An interesting update is coming soon though!! 

The image says it all.

Game On !!

                                                                                                                            Photo credit: by Ophelia photos via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

How to get hidden discounts on Air-tickets

As I was booking tickets for upcoming events last month, I struggled with a lot with coupons and there terms and conditions. As I researched a bit, I figured out many ways which can help you save on travel as well as handle cases of booking where the fares get increased just before payment. These are over and above the jet mile points, Frequent Flyer etc. discount you might be availing till now. Needless to say, the offers are time bound and subject to availability but these pointers would definitely help you streamline your *offer* search.

  1. Make your travel plans earlyBook Tickets Early

    This is one of the best ways to get cheap tickets. Not only you get early bird discounts from airlines but you can also wait for any upcoming discounts. Even some of the next steps help you leverage this.

  2. Save as draftSave as draft

    Save the ticket just before payment from your browser. You are expected to be logged into your google account as well. The trick is that almost all companies employ google AdWords. Once the system knows that you have searched for this flight, you will get many advertisements with coupon codes and new rates updates via google ads. This may not be much useful if you constrained timelines.

  3. Use prepaid WalletsPrepaid Wallets

    Many prepaid wallets like Paytm, Mobiwik etc. have tied up with airline booking sites. For example, Cleartrip.com is offering 15% cashback on any hotel, flight etc. booking through paytm wallet. These tie-ups keep on changing from time to time.

  4. Use mobile apps & Case of sudden fare increaseIncrease in Fare

    Many companies are offering exclusive offers on booking done through their apps. like spicejet offers 15% discount on app bookings. The best part is that it can be used in addition to payment through prepaid wallets.

    • Sudden fare increase just before payment

    It happens many times that just before you’re about to pay for a ticket at ‘Lowest Price’ it prompts you of increase in fare – Dynamic pricing. What you can do is just save the ticket there (You have to be logged in). The sites keep track of this and it is expected that they share some exclusive coupon code to remind you to book that saved ticket. (Happened twice with me on makemytrip.com)

    Please share any additional tips & techniques that worked for you in the comments.

    Happy Journey.

salt trick_4

Namak – Swad Anusaar

How many times have you heard the chef  saying the list of ingredients for an exotic recipe with accurate amount, but suggests to add salt to taste.

Namak daale swad anusaar. 😀

Isn’t it funny & intriguing that why we haven’t been able to standardize the amount of salt to be added.And in case you have already added extra salt, here’s the solution to that.

Yes ..yes.some people like more salty food and some less.But that’s true with chilli as well na. Atleast, we should be able to define the way for those who are happy with just the right amount of salt !

I discussed this with some of my friends to understand if they even face this issue while cooking. I was amazed to find out that almost every was struggling with it. Although, some used a standard spoon to rescue themselves, while some asked their moms. Moms, because of their sheer experience, have ‘weighted’ hands to add the right amount of everything, leave alone salt.

For newbies, it’s still a struggling activity.I even searched internet but couldn’t find anything worth.pic3_edit

Is it a trade secret ?

Well, No.

Here’s the solution that I have been using for quite sometime now.

Sprinkle the salt over the surface of the round cooking vessel, in the middle of cooking, starting with the outer most circumference and gradually decreasing the radius until you reach the center of the vessel (similar to making a spiral).

(Read that again)

 

pic 1

Reference Image

pic 2

Increasing Radius

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This covers the entire dish(and food) & takes care of the varying amount as you cook a different amount of food  in future because the circumference (when viewed from the top) decreases/increases  as per the quantity of food being cooked correspondingly, making you add the right quantity of salt every time.

pic sprial

The spiral Pattern

A final trick, and this will feel posery at first, practice salting food at a height of about 10 or 12 inches above it. The distance gives a better sense of just how much salt you’re trickling, and the granules will spread more evenly over the food’s surface.It gives the cook a certain sense of confidence, too. Chances are you won’t overdo it when salting in this fashion. But, I suppose that’s debatable.

Just keep in mind that certain food have inherent salt flavor in them like Cheese, so you need to be a bit more careful while dealing with them.You may try with spiral pattern with larger pitch i.e. distance between subsequent circular paths.

Hope this helps you decipher the ‘Art of Adding Salt’. Ohh, this could have been a better title !!

The Art Of Giving

The ART of Giving

After reading the famous book , The Art of Electronics by Paul Horowitz, thinking about the significance of its title and giving my grey cells a workout, I understood the underlying basics of Art & electronics and here I draw its correlation with the act of giving.

‘Art‘ is defined as the elegant way of doing something. Thought I may be comparing and correlating two quite different topics of electronics and humanity but they too are deeply inter-related (will surely discuss this in detail in upcoming posts).

So what’s exactly ‘The Art of Giving’ ?

To explain this I will share an incident with you. Every time when we go to donate food or some clothing to people, my mother would pack it with great care. For food, she bought a foil based container, plastic spoons, and bags. She would then take a good amount of time packing them, put food in that container, put a plastic spoon, and seal them with cardboard cover so that it doesn’t leak.

The Art of Giving

The Art of Giving

And I was, earlier, had a critical view of this practice given the extra effort and time it involved.

But, when one day, I gave one of those nicely packed packages to the person sitting beside the roadside, even before he could eat the food, he had on his face a feeling of dignity and pride seeing that special packing and a plastic spoon.

He thanked and blessed me for giving him the food…ahh…probably not…he would have got the food from somewhere else also. But I think it was the way he was given food that made him feel good.

At that particular moment I realized how wrong I was.

Giving something or feeding the poor is not about giving them a meal but giving them in a dignified manner because they are human being too, they have feelings.Give as little as you can but remember not to deprive them of their dignity.

Don’t know why but, the image of that person and his words are engraved in mind and pop up every time I pass through that road…and this post is dedicated to him and to that book, which made me realize the true meaning of  “ART”.

I hope to explemlify the ‘ART’ in every sphere of my life.

Things that matter…..Tips to save environment

Every-day-save-environment-300x300Before you celebrate Earth Hour, before you participate in a Yamuna Clean Drive or even before you go to participate in a Green Marathon, it is important for each one of us to display a sense of self-discipline in saving the ailing environment for which there are no Band-Aid solutions possible.

Switching your lights off for an hour each year and wasting electricity the entire year won’t address the problem.

Nor our sweeping of road unless we stop throwing things & spitting out of our “German-made” cars (Some people literally don’t deserve to drive them..!!).

While the real onus is on each of us to find the solutions which we can imbibe in our daily routine. Here I am listing a few which I follow:

  1. Replace your home lighting fixtures with LED bulbs especially in toilets, bathrooms etc. small places where luminous intensity is not a major concern. They are now available as cheap as Rs 50 from Lagpat Rai Market, Chandni Chowk.
  2. While making tea, always add sugar, tea leaves etc. after the water starts boiling. This can save you a bit of LPG because the boiling point of water increases after adding all these ingredients and thus more energy is required. Needless to say, prepare it with lid on the vessel. It not only saves energy but time too.
  3. A common one, don’t waste water while washing hand. The interval between you press the liquid soap plunger and get your hands back under tap is crucial. If you are right-handed, you can use your right hand to open and close tap and left one to have liquid soap, and then rub them on both hands. 😀
  4. Switching off lights of your rooms when you leave them, in home and, also in schools and colleges. The cost may be incurred by Government but environment is ultimately yours. (And govt. too.:P).
  5. Recycling any plastic box by using it for flower case or pen stand..anyway you like..Let your creativity unfold.

I would update this list as I imbibe more techniques in my daily rountine.

It would be great if you can share the tips that you follow in the comments section.

 

The Power of LED

What is the reason that LED’s are becoming so popular…??

At first, high end cars used them as rear end brake lights, though you may feel that it was done to add some artistic quotient to mean machines but this involves some simple calculations to derive some really mind boggling results in terms of decreased illumination lag time, highlighting their importance as rear brake lights. Now you can see them invading your homes, shops, here-there and almost everywhere.

The point I am discussing all this about LED’s is to highlight the fact that uses of LED’s are only bound by our imagination.

I recently used a LED as a trouble-shooter while my multimeter was down.

led

I had to repair a casio.

My niece, 4 years old, was done with her experimenting with it and it was my turn to get music out of it.

So as I unscrewed the casing and scrutinized the PCB for some fireworks, I found nothing. Everything seemed fine, shiny cooper tracks, no wire connection broken..etc.

Then where is the problem… Biting my nails….!! …..In CoB (Chip on Board..the black blot on PCB’s)..??..

As testified by my niece, she did nothing wrong and the device was not in use for quite some time. So CoB issue would be the last thing to consider. Let’s first check the speaker…

But how??

My multimeter was not working. Then I saw the ubiquitous LED in my repair kit. I just connected the LED to the speaker terminals and pressed few keys…It was glowing…

Yay..I got the weak link. It was the speaker that had gone bad.

I had one in my spares, so replaced it quickly, soldered it. And it worked well.

I learned to work out things with limited resources and a little improvisation. And interestingly found a new way to use LED. So keep playing with them because it’s defiantly something more than just a p-n junction.

Happy Tinkering !!

ATOMES-2

The Hidden Reason….-Part-I

Have you ever wondered why everybody shuns government offices, procedures and administrative work..??

Why is it so that government organizations bear huge losses but private sector scales new heights…??

Why Bangalore blasts victims are forgotten a day after but Boston killers are man hunted the very next day??

Think…Think..!!!

By now, you must have thought of economic reasons, red tapism, and multiplicity of organizations and so on…which almost every other news channels and newspapers seem to focus on.

But the root cause is somewhere else…

Its “The Hidden Reason“…

It’s all depends on how we treat our resources…most importantly, the often shunned one…The Human Resource. Just imagine how you would feel if you are treated like a personal enemy, answered rudely for asking simplest of doubts(common problem at college admins) …will you ever like to go there?

Probably never.

And as a result of such behaviour…people start by-passing government procedures and touts derive benefits from it…and consequently corruption rises. The disbelief of citizens further deepens, more touts come in and this vicious cycle goes on and on.

Here the problem..but where’s the solution…??

In Lokpal..??..

..May be or maybe not.

All the laws try to punish the corrupt but not the cut the origin of corruption. And it’s not only about corruption..It’s very well beyond that….!!

It may seem superficial and vague to lawyers, judicial experts etc. but I think the real solution lies in treating our fellow citizens with dignity.

Always remember  :

 People are an asset not a liability.

[Edit 1] I acknowledge the fact that things are changing for the better. Will shortly share my views in upcoming posts.

In Part-2: I would quote some examples and detailed solutions.