Appleton Rock

Cocktail : Appleton Rock

Bar Recipe: Apple Vodka, Cointreau, mixed with sour served on crushed ice in a cocktail glass edged with salt.

There does not seem to be an official cocktail. I think the cocktail was an invention of the bar tender.

Cointreau is a triple sec (triple dry in French) liqueur which means it is one third as sweet as a normal Curaçao liqueur.

Color: Green

Taste: sweet, sour, salty, awesome

Ratings

Taste – 4/5

Ease of preparation and availability of ingredients – 2/5

Aroma – 3/5

Presentation – 3/5

Overall – 4/5

I am giving a higher rating because of the wonderful night that I had and the memories associated with it. Appleton Rock is always going to remind of them.

The Repellent

For my first post in the disassemble series I am going to look inside a simple All Out Mosquito Repellent.

The device appears to be working with its light glowing as seen in the below image.

Repellent1

But the device does not work as concluded by all the bite marks on my body and an absence of smell of the liquid. Note that in the image I have removed the bottle that contains the repellent liquid.Repellent2

The underside with the screws.

Opening up the device

Further disassembly

Going even further

So basically the device consists of a pair of aluminium rings separated by insulating material and a resistor. The resistor is color coded probably Red – Violet – Gold/brown – Blue — Which makes it either 2.7 ohms or 270 ohms with a tolerance of +/- 0.25% 🙁 The colors are not very visible. Its more likely to be 270 ohms.

What I dint get is what is that circularish, brownish object between and above the two aluminium rings. I don’t know its function.

Learnings from this experiment:

I need better tools. May be a plier and some other tools. Also some electrical measuring instruments like a multimeter. Also as I progress from electrical to electronic instruments, my knowledge would be woefully inadequate to deal with the complexity.

The only question

*****Major spoilers on The Gathering Storm. Proceed at your own peril*****

In his famous work “The myth of Sisyphus”, Albert Camus asserts that the only philosophical question worth answering is the question of suicide in the face of absurdity and meaninglessness of life. Dragon Reborn Rand is faced with this same question at the end of book 12 of The Wheel of Time.

Rand is wielding enormous power capable of unraveling the pattern (Space time continuum in our world) thus destroying the creation itself. Rand/Lews Therin Thelamon/Dragon has been brought to life again and again in a cycle of time similar to the Hindu concept of reincarnation and the circle of time. Again and again the Dragon fights against the Dark One and again and again the cycle repeats. Rand questions the logic of continuing the fight when he knows that it would end with his death and a world worse off. Why not instead destroy everything and end the struggle once and for all. Why not kill everything and let men have their final peace.

Lews Therin, for once completely sane, answers Rand’s question by saying that may be it is because we can have a second chance. Because each time we are given a chance, we get a chance to love again. Tam’s voice adds to this saying that sometimes we do not have a choice in the duties that are given us but we have a choice in deciding why we fulfill those duties.

This scene is The Most Amazing Scene of the entire series. Rand’s character is one of the most stoic character in fiction. (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheStoic 🙂 Check the literature section). When he loses his hand, Min sums up what he feels in the following words

“He’s not in shock,’ Min said sadly. The bond was full of sadness. She had taken hold of his arm as if to hold him up again. “He lost a hand, but there’s nothing to do about it. so he’s left it behind already.”– Knife of dreams

Rand recites the names of all the women who have died in his quest and ruthlessly takes forward his battle irrespective of what the cost is. Slowly and steadily over the course of 12 books he is pushed to the edge of insanity and only his sense of duty keeps him from giving up. That is until the moment when he loses his cool and tries to kill his own father. That is when he realizes that this has to end. It was about time that he gave vent to all the suppressed emotions that he feels. While finding a worthy reason to continue his struggle, he also provides us mere mortals an answer to the doubts that we are bound to have in life. It tells us that when the next time you are defeated, remember that that gives you another chance to correct your mistake and try again. Realize that even if the situation does not give you any freedom to act, you can at least choose to decide why you do what you are supposed to do. Like Sisyphus, we are bound to push the stone up the mountain and the only escape is to realize the absurdity of the situation and decide to revolt against it.
Harry Potter also realized this
It was, he thought, the difference between being dragged into the arena to face a battle to the death and walking into the arena with your head held high.  Some people, perhaps, would say that there was little to choose between the two ways, but Dumbledore knew – and so do I, thought Harry, with a rush of fierce pride, and so did my parents – that there was all the difference in the world. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

In conclusion, know why we fight. Once you have a why you can bear with any how.

The Gathering Storm

I have been reading the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan since the past two months. I am on the last leg of this marathon with having read 11 books of the series and currently reading the last published book of the series “The Gathering Storm”. I must say it has been a fascinating journey. In no other work of fiction have I seen the complexity in character development and the darkness. The last book so far seems to be the one that I liked the most and the one that has exceeded all others when it comes to dark theme. LOTR comes a littler close to the stoic character that these books seems to espouse. WOT though takes it to a new level. Some of the quotes in the book are really good.

Battle was always a mess. The only neat battles were the ones in stories or history books. Those had been cleansed and scoured by the abrasive hands of scholars looking for conciseness.
— Ituralde – The Gathering Storm
Arad Doman needed to fight. They would lose, but their children would always know that their fathers had resisted. That resistance would be important in a hundred years, when a rebellion came. If one came.
— Ituralde – The Gathering Storm

When you knew you were going to hang, the only thing to do was grin at the noose.

— Mathrim Cauthon – Crossroads of Twilight

“He’s not in shock,’ Min said sadly. The bond was full of sadness. She had taken hold of his arm as if to hold him up again. “He lost a hand, but there’s nothing to do about it. so he’s left it behind already.”

— Knife of dreams

I understand, Egwene thought. I didn’t realize what the Aiel did. I assumed that I just had to be harder, and that was what would teach me to laugh at pain. But it’s not hardness at all. It’s not strength that makes me laugh. It’s understanding.

— The Gathering Storm

I have always been an admirer of stoicism. I believe that you have to do what you have to do, irrespective of how hard the path is.

Reading The Gathering Storm is giving me the kind of pleasure that I have not experienced in reading a book in a long time. Last time when I had such fascination towards a book was when I was reading works the Foundation series and the Robot series and that was a few years back. Why aren’t there more such Intelligent books?

I was in Crosswords yesterday and I could see many books with barely a decent story. I could not find a single book to buy that could interest me. Why do people write such crappy books and more importantly why do people buy them?