Thursday, January 28, 2016

Podcast on Creativity

I am a recent convert to podcasts, turned to them specially after my good friends visit from California. Anyways, off the many things I subscribe to now one thing I am regular with is Ted Radio hour from NPR. The podcast runs for an hour or so in which they combine multiple ted talks on a particular topic, in essence it is a superset of ted talks. 

One such Ted talk that I recently heard were on Creativity, they covered few different aspects for creativity
  1. Not being selfish, no me and mine 
  2. Ability to fall on your face and make mistakes
  3. Frontal cortex of brain or as we call Ego which monitors me and mine to be off
  4. Practice a lot of it also helps
  5. Creativity needs to be nurtured
  6. Showing up every day and being consistent about the process
All good points, one thing I really loved if they had covered was aspect of meditation. For a good meditation more than a few criterion listed above are to be met and in my experience more and more creative ideas flow right after a good meditation. As Shri Shri Ravishankar says for a good meditation, you want nothing, you are nothing and then sit with that attitude and meditation will happen. 

Our Art of Living center here in Austin do offer Meditation courses among others. Needless to say there is the Happiness Program which is also offered on a regular basis which helps one with the awareness of interaction between the different layers of existence.

On other hand people say, meditate on the issue that you want to solve and I believe that is the most useless thing to do.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

The new super hero – MLK

Today my daughter enlightened me as to why we celebrate Martin Luther King’s birthday. 

In her own words (translated from Kannada), long time ago before she was born and I was born or her grand parents were born there were rules that said only white people can play in the park and black people only play football and brown people only play basketball. Then MLK said everybody should play together and then on all kids play together in the park. That is why he is a superhero. Her follow on question was since he is called the king, does that mean he is the king of the whole world?

Anyways, I don’t know the answer to the question she asked but I am amazed that she was able to grasp the narrative at school (in English medium) and was able to translate and re-tell the story in Kannada (our native language) to both me and Sandhya.

On one hand, I was quite surprised that the teachers at CDC were talking about sensitive subject like racism to kids at pre-k level but on the other hand I am more than appreciative of them for engaging them at such early ages.

In the words of her teachers they could feel her like a civil attorney arguing a case. Considering she beats me up for disciplining Daisy (our pup), I am guessing we either have an attorney or an activist in the making. 

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

One world meditation

The title might seem off but no it was an actual event hosted by Art of Living foundation on January 17 2016. The event was a curtain raiser for the bigger event World Culture festival to be held in Delhi, India from March 11-13 2016. As you may already know we in Austin are also planning our own local curtain raiser and our folks decided a face to face meeting to be had right after the meditation.

My mind was completely occupied with the logistics for the event and how best we could make this event a grand success and so on, on top of it somehow we didn’t have the right link and when we tuned in for the meditation it had already started. This I believe was the first time that Facebook was hosting, unlike the previous times when youtube used to host and there were some delays in the audio. All in all when everyone else in the room was feeling wonderful after the meditation I didn’t pack the punch.
It was as though the universe heard my dilemma and on screen Sri Sri started talking again (we didn’t realize then but were re telecasting the meditation event) and out of curiosity the volume was increased and lo behold there was one more meditation to be done and this time with no breaks in the telecast and don’t know however many minutes later I opened the eyes and it was a peaceful and beautiful moment.

In case you missed the meditation and the Q and A that followed, don’t worry you can find it here

Monday, January 11, 2016

Refilled printer cartridges

For my hp inkjet printer at home, every time the ink dried up I used to buy brand new cartridges and some time along while printing some photos at Costco, I realized they have a service to refill the cartridges.

It was win win for multiple reasons, I hated throwing the cartridges away to a land fill, it was saving me some money and I could only refill the ink that had dried up (instead of buying set of 4 or 5).  As the saying goes first time lucky, first time I did it, it worked like a charm, printer recognized the ink levels and print quality was almost perfect and needless to say I was pretty impressed. 

A few months later  I realized the ink had dried up and I decided to go the same route, this time around the story went slightly differently. After refill the printer refused to show the ink levels and also refused to print anything at all. I tried the color and monochrome but no luck either ways.

I eventually made a trip back to Costco and there I learned a couple of things, first, they can actually measure the cartridge to determine if it has been filled with enough ink. Second, since the cartridge is now a non-standard it is fairly common for printers to show error for the amount of ink present.

Through the weighing process the good friendly Costco lady told me that the black ink for some reason hasn't gone through and she refilled it again. Of course my nightmare was still not over, for after coming back and repopulating the cartridges the printer still had trouble printing (it was printing blank pages or off color).

Then I came across this website which suggested that I try electronically clean print head (in my printer, it's called clean cartridges) and voila it did the magic and the printer started working properly. One important suggestion the site had was to print a test print once a week to prevent ink from drying up.

Last but not least is that there is a limited number of times that cartridges can be refilled, I don't know that yet and will know soon.