Friday, April 15, 2011

Spintronics: Moving Closer to Reality

I did a story on Spintronics as far back as December 2006… Spintronics: Keeping the Computer’s Tryst with Quantum Physics…at which point of time, it was still a big idea with little implementation! There were some prototypes from IBM and Freescale but no large-scale implementation except for the iPod’s memory.

It was therefore good to see today’s news in EFY Times about the first electronic circuit that merges traditional inorganic semiconductors with organic spintronics.

Now, I really wish to see those dot-sized memory chips and power-saving, instant-boot computers!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Fanfare!

I always used to wonder how the emotions related to fanfare emerge in a person, you know... the kind of craze that makes you obsessed with an actor, a movie, a character, a music band, whatever! I think it is kind of seeded in a person at a very early age. In fact, I am seeing such emotions surfacing in my two-year old son now!

He has become such a great fan of Thomas, the Tank Engine, that every time we switch on the television, he wants to see Thomas. He wants to keep wearing the same Thomas t-shirt everyday. He threw a tantrum at a superstore the other day to make us buy a Thomas toy. And, every time we boot the computer he insists that we play the Thomas & Friends theme song on YouTube. Just because we spun a tale about that t-shirt being infested with ants (to make him remove it for washing), he went about repeating the story very sadly to everybody he met! As in, he has become very fond of Thomas... he has become a FAN... at the age of two!

I remember by nephew was also in love with Thomas around the same age. I guess fanfare begins with cartoons... your favourite engine, your favorite character, your favourite super-hero, whatever. And I feel that this emotion strengthens either because others encourage or discourage it. For example, when Teju first started pointing to Thomas or saying things about it, we felt very happy (in superlative) and kept encouraging him to watch Thomas shows, speak about it... because we wanted to encourage his recognition of objects and his descriptive skills. As a result, he started to like Thomas even more.

In order to wean him away from the Thomas t-shirt, I started creating an excitement around the images in his other t-shirts as well... and when I told a story about a monkey or a bear or Mr. Bean, or whatever character was there in a t-shirt, he began to like that too and insisted on wearing that repeatedly for the next few days! Then, I would have to make up another story about another doggie or bunny or whatever was there in another bright t-shirt, to make him switch loyalties! As in, if you create an excitement around a character, children become fond of it.

But, well, despite condescending to wear other t-shirts and despite beginning to take a look at other characters, Teju continues to be an ardent fan of Thomas'... first love, I guess! He also likes Barney, Bob the Builder and Finley the Fire Engine, but not as much as he likes the cheeky Thomas! It makes me wonder again... what made him a 'fan'?

I also wonder what it is with Thomas! I haven't yet met a single kid who doesn't love Thomas. Why, I love Thomas too!