Saturday, February 27, 2010

763 meters below the earth...

It was a great day today. Today, we went to the Cullinan Diamond Mine to do an underground tour. We were thinking of doing this for many days, and we finally came here today. I was a bit nervous initially about going deep down a live, working mine, and that too to a depth of 763 meters (~2,503 feet). I was not 100% confident about the safety of this tour, but after our guide informed us that there had been only three fatal accidents at this mine since 1903, I felt more assured. After a brief walk on the surface, the guide took us down via the industrial lift, and when we reached down and he opened the gate, I was both delighted and surprised to see this:

It looked like caves, like tunnels, and it felt deep. It took some time for this feeling to get down that we're thousands of feet below the earth's surface, and if something happens, there's probably no rescue.

We stayed there for over 2 hours (mostly walking from one place to the other), watching machines, the ore, the equipment, the workers, etc., accompanied by a super-experienced guide with decades of first-hand experience in coal, diamond, gold, and platinum mining.

It was a nice and memorable experience, good learning, and I'm glad that I went.

Me in the 'Level 763' safety suit, 763 meters deep down

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Will the US bomb Punjab?

I've seen this dream many times - perhaps 3-4 times. Each time I wake up clung tightly to whatever is near me, shivering. Today I woke up about 2-3 minutes back, my arms clung tightly to my sheet. The dream goes this way:
  1. I'm at my home, along with my family
  2. I start seeing black-gray colored fighter jets in the sky outside
  3. We're aware that these are US jets
  4. They're flying too low, with the base of their fuselage open, revealing shining orange missiles (this isn't always seen)
  5. A few of them pass too low - ~2 meters over my home - and I'm looking at them, and just as I'm fearing the worse, I realize that the fighters dropped bombs on my home's roof-top
  6. Simultaneously, other jets bomb the other homes in our colony
  7. There's chaos everywhere. Brick and mortar is falling. There's debris around. There are large holes in the ceilings
  8. After a few minutes, the bombing stops. The jets can no longer be seen in this sky. People start to come out of their homes
  9. The dream usually breaks somewhere here
I don't know why I see this (and other similar dreams) often. Will the US ever actually bomb this part of Punjab?

Monday, February 15, 2010

Self-applause for commendable first-ever-time performance on an ice-skating rink

I'm happy that I performed quite-well at Northgate Mall's ice-skating rink today, especially considering that it was my life's first ever hour of ice-skating... :)

Slight nervousness on watching people flying effortlessly on the rink

I struggled quite a bit initially, but picked up pace soon, and in no time I was swiftly gliding on the rink.

And lo, I'm flying too...

Disclaimer (lolz): I fell down real-hard on the ice multiple times (~7 times in total), to the amusement of many, and had my bones compressed in this process. But never mind...

Update (Early morning, 15-Feb-10):I just went to Bing, and its wallpaper shows ice-skating :)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

A death at Riviera Mansions, Johannesburg, SA

Someone died at Riviera Mansions today. As I had heard during my childhood time about American/European culture, there were few people to be seen (<10).The event was a quiet affair, and unlike in India, no screams could be heard. It was sad to think that someone died, but the event did confirm what I had heard years back.