Dinner at Gufha

Flaming kebab It's a restaurant, no it's a cave

I finally went upstairs the other night, to Gufha, the totally over the top cave/safari theme restaurant on the top floor of my hotel. The whole interior of the place is covered with paper mache rock formations, the waiters all wear safari outfits and pith helmets, and the only light is provided by fake flaming torches.  I was in a bit of a hurry, because I’d been working late and had a call with California later in the evening, so I just ordered a kebab.  It arrived, as you can see above, on fire.  One of the things you get used to here in India is that sometimes things are on fire that maybe you weren’t expecting to be (see also, blue shots).  You learn to roll with this sort of surprise, and enjoy the tasty results.
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Backroads are backroads

Over the hill

These small country roads, on the way back to Bangalore from Halebid, reminded me, vaguely, of the country roads around my Father’s home town in western Pennsylvania. Of course, we were driving on the wrong side and the vegetation was distinctly more tropical, but the basic spirit seemed the same.

Sravanabelagola, Belur, and Halebid

Wide view Many corners

For my second weekend day trip, we drove west from Bangalore about half way to the coast, stopping off to see the world’s largest free standing monolith at Sravanabelagola, and the ancient temples at Belur and Halebid.  The monolith is a major Jain pilgramage site, and is situated on top of a mountain with some 700 steps carved into its side to huff up.  The temples were constructed a few miles apart over a number of generations in the 11th and 12th centuries.  I can’t do justice to the history or significance of these sites, so what follows is a pure photo essay of what I saw.

Continue reading Sravanabelagola, Belur, and Halebid

Quitting Bangalore

Tonight is my last night in Bangalore.  I’ll be heading out bright and early tomorrow and heading south west to an old hill station in Tamil Nadu, a small state in central southern India.  I’ll be spending the weekend there, chillaxin’ and enjoying the mountains and the forests.  From there I’ll be heading down to the backwaters along the south western coast in the state of Kerala for a couple more days of pure R&R before flying up to Delhi on Tuesday.  Wednesday I’ll be taking a day trip from Delhi down to Agra to see the Taj Mahal.  Thursday I’ll be taking in the sites of Delhi before flying out in the evening and arriving the next morning in Hong Kong.  Sunday night I’ll fly out of Hong Kong, and have one of those super fun 14 hours flights where I’ll arrive at SFO two hours before I took off from Hong Kong.

I’ve had a very enjoyable and highly productive stay in Bangalore, and I look forward to returning.  At the moment, however, I’m ready for some time off and some varried sites.  I’m going to try to get caught up a bit here before I leave, but I don’t think I’ll be updating this space very much next week while I’m on the road.  Expect full recaps of my travels to start flowing in after I get back to California and start shaking off my jetlag.

Astronomy: today at sunset, NYC turns into Stonehenge

Happy belated New York Stonehenge Day everyone.

Xeni Jardin:
An unusual sunset in Manhattan. Snip from NASA “astronomy pic of the day”:

Today, if it is clear, Manhattan will flood dramatically with sunlight just as the Sun sets precisely on the centerline of every street.

Usually, the tall buildings that line the gridded streets of New York City’s tallest borough will hide the setting Sun.

This effect makes Manhattan a type of modernStonehenge, although only aligned to about 30 degrees east of north.

Were Manhattan’s road grid perfectly aligned to east and west, today’s effect would occur on the Vernal and Autumnal Equinox, March 21 and September 21, the only two days that the Sun rises and sets due east and west.

If today’s sunset is hidden by clouds do not despair — the same thing happens every May 28 and July 12.

Link. Image: 2001, Neil deGrasse Tyson. (thanks, Andrew, via ninjaslice)

Originally from Boing Boing by noemail@noemail.org (Xeni Jardin) reBlogged by micah to new_york on Jul 12, 2006, 11:45AM

How-to build your own CNC mill

C&C for the masses. I’ma build me one of these, in my copious free time.

cnc mill
Yes folks it’s true: You can build a computer controlled 3-axis circuit board mill from cutting boards, a pile of printer parts and a Dremel. My coworker [Will] has posted the third and final installment of his CNC machine build on Engadget. This project was launched when Will stumbled across plans for an incredibly elegant and cheap ($22~$30) 3-axis stepper motor controller that originally appeared in Nuts&Volts in 1994. It uses a discontinued UCN5804B chip, but he lists a source for them. Building the controller and scavenging stepper motors from old dot-matrix printers is covered in
Part 1. For the body of the machine Will chopped up a couple cheap 1/2” thick cutting boards from Sam’s Club. The polyethlene probably isn’t as good as say Delrin but it wins out for availability. Steel rod from the hardware store is used for the linear slides
Part 2 covers the constructions of the first axis (the table) which rides on inch long nuts on threaded rod.
Part 3 covers assembling the final two axes in the head and installing the Dremel’s flex head. Amazingly he nearly got the entire thing built in the span of two evenings.

Originally from Eyebeam reBlog by Eliot Phillips reBlogged by micah to tech hardware candc on Jul 12, 2006, 4:22PM

Mysore

Palace square Old school lorry

On my first Saturday in India, I took a quick day trip out to the neighboring city of Mysore. It’s a two or three hour drive along a relatively descent highway, and provided a nice break from the intensity of Bangalore. A brief run down of the day’s events, after the jump. Continue reading Mysore