Sabu Francis
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Design in the fast lane

Posted on May 2, 2009 at 12:00am 0 Comments

I will attempt to tie a few seemingly disparate topics together in this post. I hope they will all connect to form a holistic point of view.



Let us begin with the evolution of the car. That invention never started life defined as a 'car'. It used to be called a "horseless-carriage" and the reason is simple. To understand it, let us imagine the scene when the thingamajig which we now call as car was just invented and was being revealed to an eager audience.



The thing is… Continue

The politics of data

Posted on April 23, 2009 at 3:30pm 8 Comments

The ancient Greeks considered the town of Delphi holy. According to them it was at the meeting point of the heaven and the earth, where the oracle of the Greek God Apollo guarded over the navel of the earth.



The priestess of the oracle at Delphi was known as the Pythia. Apollo spoke through his oracle, who had to be an older woman of blameless life chosen from among the peasants of the area. The sibyl or prophetess took the name Pythia and sat on a tripod seat over… Continue

Turtles all the way down

Posted on March 26, 2009 at 9:00pm 1 Comment

A well-known scientist (some say it was Bertrand Russell) once gave a public lecture on astronomy. He described how the earth orbits around the sun and how the sun, in turn, orbits around the center of a vast collection of stars called our galaxy. At the end of the lecture, a little old lady at the back of the room got up and said: "What you have told us is rubbish. The world is really a flat plate supported on the back of a giant tortoise." The scientist gave a superior smile before replying,… Continue

Challenges and opportunities in design technology

Posted on March 6, 2009 at 7:00pm 1 Comment

In the state of Kerala, at the southern tip of the sub-continent of India there exists an ancient form of martial-arts called "kalaripayattu" or kalari for short. Some even consider it as one of the oldest forms of martial-arts: As Kerala was on the trade routes with China, this martial art could have been transported across and deposited in other regions of the world in various mutated forms. One interesting aspect of this martial-arts form is the way it recognized the importance of… Continue

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