About V.H. Belvadi

I have too many fingers in too many pies I'm an aspiring physicist whose alter égo is a blogger, a photographer, a violinist, an essayist, satirist, cyclist, book reader, book reader, magazine reader, book reader and a generally creative, opinionated superhero who wears either a trouser-belt or suspenders at all times. Reach me on my website, or take a look at my photography portfolio, or perhaps circle me on Google+ or even follow me on flickr. If you're on Twitter, you can also tweet with me.

Happy Birthday to me!

Today is a day like no other. But I guess you can say that for almost every day in the calendar. And yet, it varies between people, and today is the day that I, personally, vouch for. Indeed, as you may have already guessed, it is because I was born this day. And because I turn 18—which in most countries means I now come within the bounds of the law far more than before; but that is hardly a problem.

Here is what TLC’s Family website has to say about people born on this day. Now I do not know if so much can actually be deduced and generalised merely based on the chance arrangement of firey balls of nuclear fusion energy deep in space, but it is worth the entertainment!

Cancers born on June 24 have a great need to break with tradition and the past. These creative, artistic souls have something to prove to themselves and others. They possess great personal charm, which may give others the impression that they are mellow and not very driven. They sometimes sacrifice personal happiness in order to achieve their goals.

Cancer Information
for June 24
You should embrace: Probity, a sense of decorum, protectivelove

You should avoid: Costly mistakes in love, economicstress, jealousy
Friends and Lovers 

June 24 folks constantly feel the need to give of themselves in friendships and love relationships, but their feelings are often not reciprocated in the ways they hope. They may have problems succeeding at love, though they try hard to succeed. When they marry they want it to be forever. They’ll do everything they can to keep the romance alive.

Children and Family 

Because of their charm, June 24 natives make it easy for them to be loved by all. They are not particularly interested in becoming parents, though they are exceptionally good at the job if and when the responsibility comes their way.

Health 

Unless June 24 individuals are in harmonious balance, they may suffer from nervous complaints and stomach ailments, which are exacerbated by a love of rich food and drink.

Career and Finances 

Despite their need for fulfilling and exciting careers, June 24 individuals do not always have the stamina or perseverance to follow through on their ambitions. They spend money easily, even obsessively. Professional help with these matters is advised.

Dreams and Goals

June 24 people often wish to succeed in a creative endeavor, even if their career ambitions lie elsewhere. They often take circuitous paths toward their goals, becoming involved in or distracted by other aims in the process. Yet once they see the possibility of a dream coming true, nothing can keep them from attaining it.

Now a look at my small compilation of the people (and animal) born on this wonderful day:

  • 1993 Me (yes, me!) and Primera, an Andean condor, hatched at Cleveland Zoo.
  • 1971 LaMonte Coleman, NFL fullback for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
  • 1950 Nancy Allen, born in New York City, actress, Robocop.
  • 1947 Peter Weller, born in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, actor, Robocop.
  • 1937 Anita Desai, Indian Novelist.
  • 1920 Bernhard Krol, composer.
  • 1908 Hugo Distler, composer.
  • 1907 Jose de Lima Siquiera, composer.
  • 1906 Pierre Fournier, born in Paris, France, violon cellist, Paris Conservatoire.
  • 1915 Sir Fred Hoyle, British astronomer (d. 2001)
  • 1883 Victor Francis Hess, American Physicist.
  • 1873 Thomas Carl Whitmer, composer.
  • 1842 Ambrose Bierce, U.S., satirist, Devil’s Dictionary.
  • 1840 Louis Brassin, composer.
  • 1813 Henry Ward Beecher, Litchfield, Connecticut, clergyman/orator, Independent.
  • 1771 E I Du Pont, France, chemist/scientist, Du Pont.
  • 1762 Johann Paul Wessley, composer.
  • 1746 Jean Baptiste Rochefort, composer.
  • 1244 Hendrik I, the Child, 1st count of Hessen.

I then decided to take a look at this glorious day all through history and here is what I ended up with: (my personal pick only, of course; much more has gone on!)

So much for today (literally!) And now  shall proceed to spend the rest of my day memorably!

Au revoir!

Interesting: my SAT physics mock-test results

I was spending some time around the Physics Forums today when I came across this link.

For those who have no idea what the SATs are, this is what Wikipedia introduces it as,

SAT Subject Tests is the name for any of 20 standardized tests given on individual subjects by The College Board, usually taken to improve a student’s credentials for admission to colleges in the United States. Students typically choose which tests to take depending upon college entrance requirements for the schools to which they are planning to apply.

So I decided, out of the blue, to take the mock test given by The College Board on that link. Back in the Physics Forums, the question asked was to the effect of, how true to the actual SAT Physics tests is this mock test. While I still have not answered my question (and while I am not a huge fan of scoring marks wildly,) I realised, once I had finished the 36 questions long test, that I had nothing in my results to feel sorry for. Continue reading

Dear Rapidshare, I can wait!

Our once user-friendly websites are going from good to bad to worse. While there has always existed the league of the Pro or Premium customers who paid to satisfy their wants while those with free accounts survived just as well, satisfying their needs, the distinction between then and now, in my opinion, is that this bug has caught on to websites that once delivered quality goods (that is the most general term I could think of) and it is making everybody appear money-minded. Continue reading

Three elements your blog can’t live without

Special thanks go to Angie Bowen of Pro Blog Design and Mark Thompson of 1st Web Designer for most of the resources cited in this article.

Blog design and beginner tips for blogging are a dime a dozen; so why would you want to read this? Because it is different.

Years ago, as a newbie blogger myself, it was certainly very hard to analyse and come to a conclusion as to what the most important elements in a blog design were. Indeed it was not until now, close to five years later, that I believe I am in a position to give a judgement on this topic and guide other bloggers, like yourself, in the process.

I used the term blog design. Now, even a one-day old blogger can tell you that the most important thing in a weblog is the content itself; but what he cannot possibly tell you is that if the blog does not visually appeal to a reader at first sight, statistics have shown that over 80% of potential readers simply walk away. Continue reading

In God we Trust?

We have seen, and not rarely at that, that the sensitive question of the presence of god has been openly debated by physicists. And, unlike it may appear at first, not all have debated against it. Indeed we have had a good number of them who have been firm believers in a God.

From Newton, who was an ardent believer in a supreme deity (in fact this belief in the unseen was what made Newton fall so easily for an unseen force in nature he called gravity,) to Einstein, who often referred to God as the old man in his writings, some of the greatest minds in physics have been ardent believers in the existence of God.

Perhaps we have not seen them speak very often or be carried away by His existence, but this is not the only reason why people often picture physicists almost as atheists. The actual reason, as physicist Michio Kaku points out, is a slight misunderstanding. It is because, when physicists speak of a God, they speak of a God of a kind dramatically different from that which the common man refers to. Continue reading

Title Trouble: do your articles need catchy titles or descriptive ones?

Having written articles for offline media and perhaps even more often for those online–my blog and my website being two major carriers of my writings–I have observed one question that quite haunts writers. What should the most important element in the title of an article be?

There are two possibilities here and writers often contemplate heavily between the two: catchy titles and descriptive titles. Which should one choose? In my opinion, this decision depends on various factors. Continue reading

DSK set up? Who would profit from it anyway?

A 23 strong Grand Jury in New York is examining the evidence against former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn (popularly known as DSK in France) as the man himself spends time in house-arrest under constant watch of police personnel. If they find sufficient cause, they will vouch for a full-scale trial and the United States government has promised a fair trial to the high-profile man who allegedly has quite an indecent history with women around him.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn

Dominique Strauss-Kahn

But, whatever the United States government promises or however the court sees this case, statistics have now shown that 57% of France believes that the DSK issue was fabricated and that the man was set up. And the French have absolutely no conviction in the fair trial that has been promised to DSK. And why? For starters, in France individuals are not publicly transported or photographed in handcuffs. But every single wall in New York now stands adorned with DSK’s picture, in handcuffs.

Continue reading

This post was never meant to be written

Harold Camping

You read that right. This post was never meant to be written. Just ask Harold Camping, a man who predicted doomsday once, lived through it to predict a second one, all twice over.

In my earlier post warning you about what would not happen today (and openly mocking Camping in the process) I promised to return on May the 22nd and officially mock those who claimed today was the rapture. Here I am. And for the rest of us who went through today like any other normal, frustrating (or unbelievably interesting) day, mazel tov! Continue reading

This is what Facebook is for!

The social world online, I believe, is divided into three categories: Facebook fanatics (who live half their lives on Facebook,) Facebook users (who know their limits,) and Facebook ignorant (Facebook? What is that?)

I watched The Social Network seven months after it was released (I got my hands on it only in May!) and thought the film was interesting and well-laid. The screenplay was Oscar-worthy but most of the story was made up–except Zuckerberg’s wardrobe which, he said himself, the film had portrayed correctly every single time. But the point in a film is that it has to entertain and The Social Network did its job well.

Who would have expected now, three years after the incidents in the film, that Facebook would become so entertaining to people? Continue reading

Bloggers, reporters, journalists and the fine line in-between

The question as to whether bloggers are journalists is a much-debated and indeed over-blogged one. Try googling the phrase are bloggers journalists and you will quickly find that almost all of the results at the top have the same title and all lead to articles where an extensive examination is carried out on the topic. It makes no difference then, if I did the same. What I want to do instead is, in giving out my opinion, also comment on what I have read so far on the idea of bloggers as journalists.

One reason, perhaps, why the issue is on an all-time high at the moment is because of the Apple Asteroid, a yet-unreleased product which Apple Inc., claims is its trade secret. The big question was thrown to the public openly for the first time recently when three blogs, PowerPage, AppleInsider and ThinkSecret carried articles on the product which was never supposed to have fallen to public eyes. The catch? Can the bloggers take cover under laws protecting journalists and legally keep their sources confidential? Continue reading