17 nano’s (at the last count) in the abstract. Thanks to KV for the pointer.

Bottom-up Nanoconstruction by the Welding of Individual Metallic Nanoobjects Using Nanoscale Solder

We report that individual metallic nanowires and nanoobjects can be assembled and welded together into complex nanostructures and conductive circuits by a new nanoscale electrical welding technique using nanovolumes of metal solder. At the weld sites, nanoscale volumes of a chosen metal are deposited using a sacrificial nanowire, which ensures that the nanoobjects to be bonded retain their structural integrity. We demonstrate by welding both similar and dissimilar materials that the use of nanoscale solder is clean, controllable, and reliable and ensures both mechanically strong and electrically conductive contacts. Nanoscale weld resistances of just 20Ω are achieved by using Sn solder. Precise engineering of nanowelds by this technique, including the chemical flexibility of the nanowire solder, and high spatial resolution of the nanowelding method, should result in research applications including fabrication of nanosensors and nanoelectronics constructed from a small number of nanoobjects, and repair of interconnects and failed nanoscale electronics.

Just read that the Desi Commies think that the Mumbai attacks could have been averted had we but aligned ourselves more with Iran and Russia instead of the US in terms of the war on terror. The foreign policies of all three of these countries are equally repugnant and stand no chance against any chance of ever being ethical under any system, even utilitarian.

Leaving aside the logic behind why such a course of action would have averted terrorist attacks, considering that there are possibly a million other reasons that might be responsible for making a man (or 30 ) run amok with guns and grenades in India, I think that the only reason that it makes sense to align ourselves with Russia or Iran is equality.

The Russians and the Iranians treat everybody in the world equally badly. Foreigner or citizen, all forms of torture/ ill treatment/ suppression is fair game. Meanwhile, the US, for all its faults when it comes to the treatment of foreign incarcerated combatants, treats the foreign combatants significantly badly compared to the way local dissidents. (The wife of a man who is a member of a secessionist party can even have a serious shot at being vice president!). This stinks to the high heavens of inequality.

Obviously our commie bandhus hate inequality, obviously that is there raison d’etre.  Therein, the apeman says lies the rationale of the commie insistence that Russian/Iranian foreign policy is better than American!

The title is a bit odd, I know. Does not really read too well. But I hope you get the point. I am writing to record my amazement at my own (ahem) prescience. 5 months or so from when I set up this blog, and named it for a really bad joke that came to my mind, I am fairly lonely in a cold, dark and damp place, and the one thought that occupies my mind through all my waking hours are singular and nearly singular matrices.

Hitchcock fans in the US, (sorry those not in the US), NBC has a lot of the “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” episodes available for viewing on their website.  While the stories seem fairly simplistic going by the extremely convoluted standards of modern day TV, there is a lot of fun to be had, especially in the starting and ending sequences where Hitchcock plays the fool.Quite entertaining.

The West Lafayette Public Library had a book sale today, quite a lot of gems, being sold for a pittance. I got quite a few interesting things there, especially Michael Oldfield’s Amarok, which is probably one of the most famous examples of a work of art, written just to bug somebody, in this case Richard Branson. Oldfield was contracted to Virgin Music, and wanted to leave, and Virgin was not, so to give them the one record he still had to, he composed and recorded a single piece of music more than an hour in length. And to make it interesting, he made sure that a small snatch could not be played separately, without it sounding weird. Why the trouble? To deny them revenues from radio.

Recently while procrastinating, I came across this story on Google reader (thanks Chirru , for sharing it).  Sanal Edamaraku, rationalist extraordinaire from Kerala challenged Surinder Sharma, supposed Tantrik of choice to the Indian political class to use his fundaes to try and kill him on India TV. For those amongst the readers who don’t know, India TV is one amongst the gaggle of post Aaj-Tak hindi news channel, most of whom are based in Noida (very near the place yours truly calls home). It was set up with great fanfare by Rajat Sharma of the Adalat shows fame. After that of course, India TV descended into the same morass of pointless news coverage that all the others descended to.( I once saw 5 hours of coverage about a boy who committed suicide who wanted to get his sister  married off. Why I saw it is an entirely different matter. )So anyway, getting back to the point, Sharmaji tries very hard to send Sanal to wherever rationalists get rid of their dead by chanting, massaging his temples, popping his knuckles, rubbing a knife over him and so on and so forth.  (Videos from Youtube)

 The first video where the gauntlet is consigned to the floor.

The second video where Sharmaji tries to get Sanal to leave his mortal coil.

The sheer hilarity of the videos seem to suggest that the whole thing is a set-up and Sharmaji is a charlatan charlatan. Amongst other things, Sharmaji chants  “Ya kundendu tusharaharadhavala, ya shweta padmasana“, one of the most beautiful invocations of the goddess Saraswati. The only way that this mantra can kill you is if your head explodes on account of all the mugging that you do.  He then proceeds to “Gurur Brahma; Gurur Vishnu”, exhorting young brahmacharis to think the world and beyond of their teachers. There are many reasons that an unquestioning regard for your teachers is wrong and harmful. But I don’t think sudden magical deaths are amongst them. He also tosses in a mangalam,  a mantra wishing wellness upon the world. May you be well and may the resultant happiness kill you.

 Now funny as these videos are,they are deeply disturbing on many counts. The first is that they are indicative of the kind of nutjobs that form the political class that leads the Indian people . This whole news story was apparently set into motion as Uma Bharati claimed that some of her rivals were using tantriks to make life hell for her (Unfair means when compared to using goons, blackmail etc. I suppose).  At this point, I lose all ability to form meaningful sentences, So I won’t really try. Another story recently from the same state involved the state’s legislature wanting to demolish the current Vidhan Sabha (designed by Charles Correa) on account of the fact that it was not Vaastu Prakaram.  Now I am not the greatest fan of Charles Correa’s architecture. The British Council Building designed by him in New Delhi for example looks like a giant Jersey cow, though I am told the picture it is supposed to evoke in your mind is that of a Banyan Tree. But demolishing a building, or even worse altering an artist’s vision just because it does not jell with some ancient guidelines which might not even be relevant today is something that is hard to appreciate. The fact that people can make such statements and claims and be taken seriously, even by people who are apparently educated is quite worrisome.

The Jersey cow building

But this decline in the quality of the political leadership is not as disturbing as it seems. All the countries of the world seem now to be ruled by dimwitted morons.So we are not very badly off. Not one of them exudes any authority, any charm or any other positive quality for that matter. I think more than any explicit love for Putin, it is the fear that a functioning democracy might bring someone like Bush into power that is keeping the Russians firmly behind him.

 The second count on which I find the video disturbing is how neglectful we have become of our own traditions. I am no angel in this matter mind you, I can barely write five logical sentences in any Indian language, (I am sure many of you will claim that I cannot string together five logical sentences in  any  language for that matter.) I am totally ignorant of the existance, leave alone the contents of a vast part of Indian literary and theological canon. The whole act works only if the people watching are totally unaware of Indian, in this case Hindu tradition. It brings to mind this episode of the British comedy Goodness Gracious Me, when Sanjeev Bhaskar plays a guru hoodwinking a bunch of Firangs with mantras made up on the spot. (Sunil Gavaskaram and so and so forth). The worrisome disturbing thing is that the joke is now upon us. We are the ones who are falling for mantras just because they sound like mantras.

 (Watch the guru part of the thing, it is at the end. Sorry for not putting the fight to find a more concise one with just the appropriate section)


The third most disturbing thing is the way the atheist behaves in the videos. Sanal Edamaraku’s swarthy build coupled with the way he laughs brings to mind not the measured thought leading to escape from the narrow confines of theistic religion that atheism I believe should be about, but a laughing Rakshasa from something that Ramanand Sagar dreamed up .The problem with this sort of haughty atheism is that you tend to lose the good parts of your culture as well. By dismissing all of the religious canon as “Andha Vishwas” in one go, you are also saying good bye to a lot of very deep, and even after nearly 2500 years, surprisingly relevant philosophy.  This sort of crazed atheism brings a bad name to all people who wish to discount the presence of a supernatural. It leads to people blanketly branding all atheism as amoral.

Part of the problem with this sort of atheism , I think is the very term. If you call yourself atheist, you are acknowledging that there is something that is theist. Which means that your whole existance is meaningless unless there are other people who strongly believe in supernatural entities and so on. It is a sad way of thought and it gets really pitiful at times. Look for example at any of the atheistic websites on the Internet, all of them focus exclusively on debunking the Bible. If people suddenly stop believing in Christianity, what happens to the rationalist system of thought that you have built up.

This is the problem with people like Sanal Edamaraku. Their rationalism is jealous. They are more interested in preventing other people from believing in anything than in figuring out what the world really means to them.

Note:  I am really sorry for not putting up as many links and references as I should.

Correction: Bofi tells me that Correa is not responsible for the Jersey Cow. It was Hodgkins. But they did it together. Is that a good defence? Not enough? Tchah!


This is probably the fourth blog I am starting. The previous three ended up still-born. I usually have a flurry of posting activity 2, maybe 3 posts, a lot of playing around with the CSS till it looks very very bad indeed and then I’d lose interest for a really really long time. And then one day, it will suddenly strike me that it would be nice to have a blog. And then I will end up starting one.

Like this one.