Posted by: David | October 29, 2007


Getting home from a late night at work, I settle into web browsing while my wife works on the NYT Sunday magazine crossword puzzle. Even though I have headphones on, she asks me if I know what “carnatic” means. Google has helped solve so many cross words. Carnatic is some kind of southern Indian trance music I guess.

I don’t find a word to help her, but in looking at a Wikipedia article about carnatic music, I find a stray link. A random link leading to this brilliant 11-year old violinist, Sirena Huang, and OMG, you just have to see it. TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) has a lovely video player that lets you click ahead if the music doesn’t grab you, click on the “Why am I here?” link on the player’s progress bar to hear Sirena’s charming commentary.

This girl and this music is proof that God not only exists but also has the greatest sense of humor in the universe. Thank you TED.


  1. “Southern Indian Trance”… Best. Description. Ever.

    Oh, btw, Nimish is working with Infosys (google them). Hates his job and calls me thrice a day to rant. Then cribs about how I’m increasing his phone bill. Give him your number and he’ll do the same.

  2. Of course, I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t point out that of the gnarlyest things one can do when one works at a koledge is use their interweb resources and find such things…even while at home!

    Oh and that TED conference was a hoot, be sure to check out Dawkins’

    Quick Definition
    Carnatic adj.
    of or denoting the main style of classical music in southern India, as distinct from the Hindustani music of the north.
    (From The Concise Oxford English Dictionary in English Dictionaries & Thesauruses)

    More like this…

    Displaying 3 of 3 other results

    1. Carnatic wars
    The Carnatic region in south India witnessed the initial struggle of the British and French for power. Rivalry between Chanda Sahib and Mohammed Ali to be nawab of Arcot became entangled with rivalry between the English and French East India Companies …
    (From A Dictionary of British History in History)

    2. Carnatic wars
    The Carnatic region covers the Eastern Ghats and Coromandel plain in south India and witnessed the initial struggle of the British and French for power in the subcontinent. Rivalry between Chanda Sahib and Mohammed Ali to be nawab of Arcot became …
    (From The Oxford Companion to British History in History)

    3. Carnatic music
    see MUSIC .
    (From The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions in Religion & Philosophy)

  3. Harish, thanks for your comment on my totally ignorant characterization of carnatic music. And thanks also for the Nimish update- may he survive the soul-crushing “knowledge work”* with his brilliance intact. So when my students call Dell for help with their crashed laptops, will Wonko the Sane be providing their phone support? No, he must writing ubuntu code, or some shit, right?

    And Kevin, king of reference, thank you for your sagacious comment. You, good sir, are a veritable encyclopedia of … stuff and things. Thanks for all the great entertainment you’ve pointed out to me. Dawkins atheism speech at TED was movingly irreverent, even to a vague “teapot” theist like me. The final comment on 9/11 is especially potent.

    *Why are us “knowledge workers” so dumb?

  4. Oh poo, I am not, you nitwit.

    This is a greeeat job. Better than cleaning airplane windows and rusty doorknobs on discarded airplane toilet doors.

  5. THF is in ur intarwebs, spamming ur blags.

  6. Oh Wonko, WTF do you mean? You DON’T work for Infosys, or what? And what is THF? Well whatever it is, I wish you would start posting to your blog again. But thanks for commenting …

    Thanks to Kevin, check out this fascinating TED talk- “The universe is queerer than we can suppose” by Dawkins. Oh you already have? Well good then.

  7. I am THF (nickname thrust upon me by some ignoramus from Nimish’s alma mater)

    The cleaning windows joke is directed at me, the student of Aerospace Engineering.

  8. You might like this’un as well…

  9. Thanks Kevin, yes, that WAS a good ‘un! Makes you want to just grab Public Education by the lapels and slap it silly don’t it?

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