Sunday, January 30, 2011

Travel: Day 0 - Puerto Rico

One of the advantages of teaching at a small liberal arts institution is the freedom to design and offer courses that are close to your heart. In January 2011, I was fortunate enough to lead a group of 6 students through the world of Tropical Ecology. Apart from not being in a tropical ecosystem, Nebraska in the winter is definitely not the place to have field trips about Tropical Ecology. Consequently, one portion of the course involved a 10-day trip to Puerto Rico where we got to see for ourselves all the things we talked about in the classroom.

Over the next few days, I shall provide a travelogue of our adventures together, describe the sights we saw, the things we did, and the lessons we learned.

(C.S. Manish 2010)

Standing: (from l to r) Miranda B, Sami W, Andrew J.
Sitting: (from l to r) Lorissa P, Sarah J, Katie M.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

And I'm back...

My 10 day travel extravaganza is over and I am back, savoring (not) the below-freezing temperatures and snowstorms of Nebraska.  In the coming days I shall be describing my adventures.  Until then, I shall leave you with a tantalizing view of what I saw on a daily basis:

(C.S. Manish 2010)

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Brief hiatus

For the second time in 6 weeks I shall be leaving on an extended trip. I bet you did not even realize I was gone for two weeks in November but this time I'm making sure you know! The Test series between India and South Africa ended just in time.

During my previous trip I took a few interesting snaps. I've been meaning to share them with you, but will have to leave you with just a sample.

The next two were taken at the new airport in Hyderabad. I was quite impressed by it (except for the airport tax that they levy after you have entered the airport).

(C.S. Manish 2010)

(C.S. Manish 2010)
The last photo was taken in a bookstore and I present it to you, without too much elaboration. Note the choice of books and the category that it is displayed under. I wonder what the former Governor would think if she found out.

(C.S. Manish 2010)

Friday, January 07, 2011

Pop Quiz #1: Who am I?

(Note: Every so often I shall have a pop quiz on my blog with questions about people, places, things, events, and any other thing that comes to mind. Please take the quiz without peeking at the answers, which will be included at the end, and let me know how you did.)

Today's quiz is about cricketers.

a) My first four wickets in Test cricket were of Matthew Hayden, Steve Waugh, Adam Gilchrist, and Ricky Ponting. I was the Man of the Match when my team defeated Australia for the first time at Perth. I was also the Man of the Match when we won a World Cup. I have scored over a 1000 runs and taken at least 100 wickets in both ODIs and Tests. I have scored a Test century and once took a hat-trick in the first over of a Test match. Even though I am only 26, its been almost two years since I played for my country in any form of the game.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

One and done? Seriously?!

Just 60 minutes into the 5th day, the Indian mindset was clear to see - bat out 90 overs for a draw. Their whole "strategy" was based on seeing whether Virender Sehwag could whittle away at the deficit all by himself. Once he got out, the batsmen gave up the ghost.

Well, congratulations India, you have gone and done the one thing I thought was not possible, make Sehwag play like any other batsman and take away his biggest asset - the ability to be the only batsman in world cricket to actually play each ball in isolation of match condition and on its merit. Eventually the pressure of being the lone gunman will affect anyone and it caused Viru to get out today. All inning he was fidgety and looking primarily to defend. This meant the bowlers could bowl to their plans with great glee with no fear of repercussions. And they did just that.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

A brave new world?

MS Dhoni, I have a question for you and your rascals. I know you have the bat, Do YOU also have the balls?

South Africa has set you 340 runs to win a Test match in 90 overs. Conventional wisdom (and over 100 years of Test cricket) dictates that it cannot be done in one day, and that too on the 5th day of the Test match. But must we really wallow in the past if we want to proclaim that we represent a New India? Youngistan anyone?

How often will you get a chance to hunt down Sough Africa in South Africa? You have one good day left to do so. Carpe diem!

The League of Extraordinarily Stupid Gentlemen

I like MS Dhoni. I really do. But, of late, his captaincy is making me mad. I always held the belief that the man was an aggressive captain, whose defensive ploys (think 9-1 fields) were aggressive in their intent. After watching him set defensive fields at the first sign of trouble, I am extremely dissatisfied and saddened by the change in him. But he is not the only captain in world cricket to behave that badly. It is an epidemic and they have all caught it.

I do not know who the first captain was who spread the field for one batsman in an attempt to get him off-strike so he could target the new batsman but that fellow should have been taken outside and repeatedly flogged till every vestige of that thought was eliminated from his brain. In just the previous Test match, Masada had been at the receiving end of a similar strategy adopted by Graeme Smith. I had even blogged after that, thanking Smith for showing Masada what NOT to do. But rather than learn from that, Masada decided to simply continue with the tactic.