August Round up: Life, Situations and Lessons

August has been a full working month as we waded to work/college through a city floating in the torrential tropical monsoon.

Here’s a round up on the personal front:

  • My first year masters results were announced, and I’ve topped my class.
  • Isolated the DNA from a male plant specimen my project is based on. Have to still run a PCR-RAPD (Polymerase Chain Reaction– Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA) and then move over to a dozen more samples. Its interesting, yet cumbersome and an expensive process. So, whats the point of it? It can have a few important applications. The primary one is database creation. Some dioecious plants (male and female plants are separate) may lose their medicinal properties once they have reached sexual maturity. So, in order to harvest an important drug before the plant (male/female) becomes mature and since there is no other way to visually tell a plant’s sex before it flowers, this method can actually help researchers harvest drugs from young plants by comparing with the segregated  DNA profiles of the 2 sexes. There’s been a bit of work on this in the field of Molecular Biology of late. (Maybe a post on it soon.)
  • Followed some great advice and been systematically following and upgrading my own set of rules and have successfully reached my targets for a HOUSE FUND, an EMERGENCY FUND, and A TRAVEL AND SHOPPING FUND.
  • My lesson of the month comes from a real-estate developer in the city. They used a very clever ploy to make their new housing project a spectacular success. They priced all units of the housing (apartments) lower than their counterparts in that part of the city, thereby driving great demand for the few 100 units they are planning to construct. They have launched a lottery system and even though the application kits are priced considerably high, they have seen thousands of takers and the banks ran out of the forms in just 2 days of the one month availability period.  This actually reminded me of something I had come across in TLC as a child. When a couple wanted to dispose a property they were having trouble with and no buyers came forward, they launched a website and a lottery saying the winner gets to take away the house for $5. Eventually some one won the house and was left with much more in the backdrop than what had met the eye. But the ploy was no doubt very clever.
  • Since I have plans of becoming a homeowner before I turn 25, I thought I should give this lottery based home-application a try. It’s of course affordable and I can easily manage the finances at this point of time.  But since I don’t wait for things to happen and rather try to make them happen, I am not putting all my sanity into the prospect of having my name called out against a flat. IF I DO WIN, HOW DO I PAY FOR IT? >> Here is how: 40% from my house fund, 30% borrowed from my mom (she offered), and 30% from the earnings from my first year of job/ PL against the PF that my parents started for me when they didn’t have the pay for my college education.
Doing a reality check on finances the old fashioned way.
Doing a reality check on finances the old fashioned way.

And some interesting news from around the world:

  • ECONOMICS> India is planning to buy back gold from its citizens to curb imports to deal with it’s massive fiscal deficit and nosediving currency.
  • SCIENCE> The first human brain to brain interface is a success as researcher Rajesh Rao sends a command to control his colleague, Andrea Stocco’s brain via internet  > Here’s the link.
  • PUBLISHING> Smashwords is planning to distribute e-books in India via Flipkart (termed as India’s Amazon). This is supposed to be great news for writers and publishers out there.

©The Idea Bucket, 2013.

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    1. There are 3 gold mines in India currently currently which are being used for mining contributing 0.5% of the worlds production. Mining of gold has been closed for over 12 years now but recently our Govt. is proposing to invite private players into the mining to revive the industry. Here in India we are the largest consumers of gold jewellery in the world. aGiven the domestic production and the domestic consumption, the occurring skewness is filled in with imports from abroad which is straining our BoP. Yet the cultural significance of gold cannot be so easily curtailed through any form of governance.


      1. Thanks very much for the information. If only governments would learn the basic lesson of microeconomics: wants combined with incentives bring about actions. People really love gold especially in India. So, they’re going to try to obtain it.


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