Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A Finger Lickin' Victory

It is not everyday that you receive a challenge at something you love. So when Pooja Guha, a girl who is about 10 inches shorter than me and a couple of dozen kilos lighter, challenged me (and Debraj) to a KFC eating competition last Friday, I realised it's one of those once in a lifetime opportunity knocking on my door on a dark stormy night.

Quickly the rules were framed 1) hot chicken wings 2) 90 minutes 3) total expenses to be borne by the loser:runner up:champion in the ratio of 3:2:1 4) Tuesday evening.

But then the problem with such unequal competition is that the challenger plays with very little to lose, while the unquestioned champion (read: Me) in some deep corner of the heart/mind wonders, 'what if?' That thought of losing the battle and fame and ego can be quite gnawing. Further winning strategies were chalked out, more so to come on tops than see off the challenger. Debraj was a formidable competitor. At the end, so was Pooja.

Tuesday came and with it came a first-in-4-years veg lunch at work. Well, not counting the eggs of course.

As it drew closer to the D hour (5:30 PM) the fears within were won over.

Reached the venue on time, all competitors, referee (Mrinalini Singh) and audience and photographer (Veni) together. There was a sense of underplayed tension as we chose our table carefully, ergonomically and gastronomically. The cashiers at the store were in for much entertainment.

After many photographs, some videos and 57 chicken wings Babu gave up after his 21st wing. Pooja had quit sometime back at 14. My count read 22! There was a small prize distribution ceremony (the video of which is embedded below). I would like to take this opportunity to thank all my well wishers and believers in my Obelix-ish appetite and love for chicken and other forms of meat which they compare to that of Romeo for Juliet. Well, a little more maybe.

It was fun, while it lasted. Looking forward to any further challenges. And in the meanwhile a question for you. Why did the chicken cross the road?

Too vague? Okay, what came first, the chicken or the egg?

In the meantime, you can have a look at the pictures of the competition.

Chickening out. Not.


Sunday, July 12, 2009

A Personal Study Into The Browser Wars

Nowadays not a day goes by when we do not hear about the browser wars in the media. I did a little analysis by looking at the traffic this blog has received over the past 3-4 years and tracking the browser source. I used Google Analytics to track the numbers.

Before we go into the numbers let me give you some background about the blog and it's demographics, which will help you analyse the scenario better.

It can be safely placed under the category of a personal/general blog with posts on various topics from cricket, movie reviews, news reports, snippets of information etc. The traffic varies considerably with the frequency of posts, and remains in the 200-1000 visits/month range. A large part of the traffic comes from colleagues in office (an internet company with global presence). The rest would be from school/college friends who are either pursuing higher studies and access internet from educational institutions or those who are working (mostly in MNCs). The rest would be if links to some articles are passed around by friends to others.

The chart below shows the changing face of traffic to my blog, based upon the browser* used to reach the blog.




* Google Chrome was launched in September 2008.

Will update this post with further analysis in a few days.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Personality Traits, Tests & Johari Window

Earlier today I attended a session on working styles of my colleagues and myself and how similar/dissimilar they are and how to reduce the differences and work in the best possible collaborative manner. It was a rather interesting session, quite a refreshing change from the usual training sessions which are spent fiddling with Blackberries and waiting for lunch breaks.

It was during this session that the conversation veered towards psychological tests and personality tests and how such pseudo tests are popping up in dangerous numbers in Facebook and other social networking sites. That's when I recalled this most interesting personality test I had come across many years back, and had found useful - Johari Window.

You can read that Wikipedia article to find out more. I have tried to explain the same in a simpler fashion, below.

1) There is a 11 X 5 grid, with 55 characteristics e.g. caring, intelligent, witty etc

2) You are supposed to select 5 or 6 of them which you think is most like you. So, there could be many which sounds like you, but you need to select the top 5.

3) Now you save this link and send it across to as many friends as you want. They will be asked to select 5 or 6 of the characteristics which they think are most like you.

4) The characteristics are then classified into 4 buckets, a) you have selected and your friends have also selected, b) you have selected but your friends haven't, c) your friends have selected but you haven't and d) neither you nor your friends have selected

5) After you have received considerable feedback you will notice a pattern and if the test is taken by a lot of people who know you relatively well, you will see that your 'Arena' (a) and 'Unknown' (d) will be very clear with little variation. What you can analyze in depth are your 'Blind Spots' (b) and 'Facade' (c)

There is a lot you can infer from the data and reading up on the same is highly recommended.

IF you think you know me well, I request you to please spend 2-3 minutes of your time and take my Johari Window test by clicking the link below. My results (s0 far) are provided below, but will request you to not look at them before you take the test, please feel free to do so once you are done. Really appreciate it.

Suhel's Johari Test

You may want to create your own Johari window and I will be happy to take the test if you will find it useful.

Looking forward to some constructive feedback and discussion!





Arena

(known to self and others)

cheerful, confident, friendly, intelligent, knowledgeable, witty

Blind Spot

(known only to others)

able, adaptable, bold, brave, calm, caring, clever, complex, dependable, dignified, energetic, extroverted, giving, happy, helpful, idealistic, independent, ingenious, logical, loving, mature, modest, nervous, observant, organised, patient, proud, quiet, reflective, relaxed, religious, responsive, searching, self-assertive, self-conscious, sensible, sentimental, shy, silly, spontaneous, trustworthy, warm, wise

Fa├žade

(known only to self)

Unknown

(known to nobody)

accepting, introverted, kind, powerful, sympathetic, tense

Dominant Traits

55% of people agree that suhel is intelligent

All Percentages

able (4%) accepting (0%) adaptable (11%) bold (2%) brave (4%) calm (4%) caring (2%) cheerful (35%) clever (13%) complex (2%) confident (46%) dependable (4%) dignified (6%) energetic (20%) extroverted (28%) friendly (44%) giving (2%) happy (4%) helpful (4%) idealistic (2%) independent (8%) ingenious (6%) intelligent (55%) introverted (0%) kind (0%) knowledgeable (48%) logical (11%) loving (2%) mature (4%) modest (8%) nervous (2%) observant (11%) organised (11%) patient (4%) powerful (0%) proud (6%) quiet (2%) reflective (2%) relaxed (2%) religious (2%) responsive (2%) searching (2%) self-assertive (6%) self-conscious (11%) sensible (8%) sentimental (11%) shy (2%) silly (15%) spontaneous (22%) sympathetic (0%) tense (0%) trustworthy (6%) warm (6%) wise (4%) witty (33%)

Created by the Interactive Johari Window on 9.7.2009, using data from 45 respondents.
You can make your own Johari Window, or view suhel's full data.