An Arrow of Time

The astrophysicist Arthur Eddington defined the Arrow of Time in 1927 as any physical quantity that exhibits time-asymmetry. The Arrow of Time is observed almost everywhere – time itself, in ever increasing entropy of thermodynamics, the expanding universe and the irreversible way human societies and cultures amalgamate today.

But the human mind likes to think of happy things. Subconsciously, we associate periodic systems such as the clock and the moon with time. For us, there is always a tomorrow and a next month. There is no dearth of time as time is forever and it seems to repeat itself. But an average human life consists of 900 odd months, and an average day consists of 24 hours, of which we are forced to do nothing for a third. After that, in the words of John Keating, whether cadaver or charcoal, we will be fertilizing daffodils.

When Eddington talked of the Arrow of Time, he was just curious to know more about the laws of God and nature. I am guessing he probably didn’t sleep that night in 1927.

A shot of the Met Life Tower in New York on a New Year’s eve about twelve months ago.

Of both Time and Space

A lone car on a lone road, and a traveler. The rising sun creates strange colors on the mountains while the cold air refuses to move. The earth here has no children; and those who come, leave.

Shot on a cold December morning in Death Valley, California.

Gridiron

It’s college (American) football season again in the United States. About a year back though, on a scorching September summer day, University of Southern California played against San Jose State University and won the game 56-3. For those familiar with football, the picture above depicts a field goal attempt, which is similar to a free kick in football, where the objective is to kick the ball in between the poles that represent the goalpost. Due to the non-spherical shape of the ball, a field goal from a farther distance is considered more successful.

A first time visit to an American football game maybe painfully long and boring; every foul results in a clock stop, the non-spherical “foot”ball is mostly carried by hand and all you will see is huge, grown men grabbing each other. But one hardly goes to a game for the game. A quick scan of the stadium will show gleeful song girls, scores of people wearing the same t-shirt and beaming faces of kids extremely proud of their Alma mater; as football in America is just another word for devotion.

And All was Light

The sun shines golden rays of enlightenment as its vanishes over Stanford, California at around 8 PM in August 2008. The campus is still as the freshmen are probably not yet in. Once they are here, they will leave. But the trees on Palm Drive and the magnificent Hoover Tower stand reminiscent of the sum of all their knowledge, innovation and invention, as they solemnly absorb the beams of light everyday.

Silicon

When three scientists in New Jersey decided that glass vacuum tubes break easy, little did they expect that their alternate invention will flourish the far west. And in the valley, was only a university,  that took the responsibility to push the envelope with their innovation.

Exactly 60 years later, on a lazy summer evening in August 2008, at the David Packard Electrical Engineering Building in Stanford, California; an engineer shot a photo of a board filled with silicon, as it resonated with pride in the quiet corridors.

Egy Utcatábla

Utca in Magyar nyelv means street. Among the enchanting castles and cathedrals, the tall and angelic maidens, the mysterious walkways of Pest and the sparkling waters of the Danube, a lonely promenader may chance to notice a street sign, bolted to a brick wall. For even a street sign can be composed to radiate the glory of the land.

Shot in Budapest, Hungary on a warm afternoon in April 2009.

Survival

Shot at Kharagpur, West Bengal, India during a campus trek to the remote parts of Indian Institute of Technology. At 7 AM, on a hot April morning in 2009; the ground is parched and the landscape prepares for the mid-forties at high noon. But this pinch of a powdery moss plant must survive.