I recently got the chance to visit Barcelona, Spain for a business trip. Being my first real trip (I have had a lot transit layovers), I was really excited about the trip. Did it live up to my expectations? Yes and No.
- Architecture : One word.. beautiful!!!
- Food : Two words.. healthy and small portions.
- People : Friendly
- Public Transportation : Clean, Efficient, Affordable
- Technology : I personally thought that the technology in US was more advanced.
And yes, Europeans wear suites to a football game . But then, I guess, I shouldn’t be generalizing after just visiting one city in Europe.
If you get a chance to visit, Barcelona, I would highly recommend visiting the Barri Gotic (old part of the city with Gothic architecture) and Sagrada FamiliaÂ (unfinished cathedral by Guadi). And don’t get intimidated about taking the public transportation. It is easy to figure out and the people are very friendly.
And do ensure that you have a ton of money . With the exchange rate at today’s rate, it is not cheap to visit Europe ..
Here are some pictures from the trip. For a complete list, click here.
The Hotel, I stayed at
Subway station in Barcelona
Door knob on an old building
Graffiti (it seemed to be everywhere and apparently is considered art here)
Column (with Christopher Columbus at the top)
Paella (the real deal)
Last Saturday, I attended a charity event at the VanderCook College of Music, a music college associated with my Alma matter, IIT. It was a fun evening with live music and a silent Chinese auction. But the best part was that I was seated next to a very old and very funny professor from IIT. Dr.McKee is probably in his 80s, but is one of the most active persons I have seen. He had this infectious booming laughter, that would crack every one up. This picture with him, should say it all
Here’s what he said about degrees
B.S = Bull Shit
M.S = More of the Same
PhD = Pile high and Deep!!!Â
A friend of mine send me this inspirational quote by Mark Twain
Dance like nobody’s watching;
love like you’ve never been hurt.
Sing like nobody’s listening;
live like it’s heaven on earth
– Mark Twain
Screenshot of the Google homepage showing solidarity with the Earth Hour effort. To quote from the Earth Hour website
“On 31 March 2007, 2.2 million people and 2100 Sydney businesses turned off their lights for one hour – Earth Hour. If the greenhouse reduction achieved in the Sydney CBD during Earth Hour was sustained for a year, it would be equivalent to taking 48,616 cars off the road for a year. ”
This year, a lot more people signed up and it was a global event.Â The stats are yet to be calculated, but I am proud that Chicago played a big part in this . I did my part by turning down the heat .
As I noted in my last post, I recently ran the Shamrock shuffle 8K. The official pictures for most of the races in US are taken by Marathonfoto. You can go to their website after the race, put in your Bib no and get a preview of the photos that can then be ordered from them. In previous years, I was happy with just taking the thumbnail of the picture and sharing it with my friends. Looks like the Marathonfoto folks decided to “beef” up their security this year and put a annoying “Proof” across the picture. When you log into the site, it shows a list of all the pictures they took of you.. the list looks like this
Clicking on any of the thumbnails brings up a popup looks like
Here’s what I did to get rid of the “Proof” text
- Checked the page source of the popup and figured that it was a flash application. Clever way of obfuscating the link to the source image..
- Knowing that the flash application would use generic HTTP connections in the background, I fired up “WireShark“, a traffic capture and analyzer tool, and clicked on the thumbnail again to fire up the popup.
- An analysis of the traffic showed that the flash app was calling out a particular URL to get the image. Here’s a screenshot of the analysis by Wireshark.
- Fire up a browser window and directly access the image with the URL from the traffic capture to get it without the “Proof” text .. The original image looks like this.