Saturday, June 27, 2009

How Often should one change the toothbrush?

Different people use different criteria to change the the tooth brush. Few criteria are as given below:

  1. Till the number of days recommended by the dentist(generally 3 months)
  2. Till the number of days recommended by the toothbrush company(generally 3 to 6 months)
  3. Till after an illness
  4. Till the toothbrush just wears out
  5. Till the toothbrush starts stinking
  6. Till it gets lost
Although the first two criteria seem sensible enough, they are not based on any quantification of individual toothbrushes. The same toothbrush may become worn out and become a breading ground for germs within a week in one case while it may be fine for 3 months in another case.

So a scientific method would be to have a few bristles that act as a Ph strip. The bristles will be white till the Ph value crosses a particular threshold value. After the Ph crosses the threshold value and starts to become a breading ground for either fungus or bacteria(acidic or basic) the bristles will change color. Few other chemical tests(such as tests for toxins) can also be used to change the color of the bristles. The user of the toothbrush can change the brush after the color changes.

Tooth brush change frequency can also be calculated based on Number of bristle breaks per day averaged over a 3 month period to get your individual toothbrush change frequency for any particular brand of toothbrush.

The toothbrush companies will probably introduce these type of toothbrush when they are economical and desirable to all.

Do comment below if you use some other criteria for changing your toothbrush.

Friday, June 26, 2009

A Prisoner Of Birth – modern version of the Count of Monte Cristo

A Prisoner Of Birth by Jeffrey Archer is a modern version of the classic “The Count of Monte Cristo”. However, it does not lack in originality and has been well researched. For example, Japanese knotweed can indeed destroy a building site and bring down the lands real estate value considerably.

The similarities between the “The Count of Monte Christo” and “A prisoner of Birth” are many such as the following:

  1. Cartwright is the first prisoner to escape from Belmarsh while Dantes is the first to escape from Chateau dlf.
  2. Sir Nicholas, a fellow prisoner teaches Cartwright to read, write and the manners of polite society, while Abbe Faria does it for Dantes.
  3. Cartwright escapes as Sir Nicholas on the death of Sir Nicholas while Dantes escapes as the dead body of Abee Faria.
  4. Both Cartwright and Dantes make use of a title after escaping from prison.
  5. Cartwright gets a huge treasure in the form of stamps from Nicholas’s grandfathers will while Dantes gets the treasure hidden by Abbe Faria.
  6. Both Cartwright and Dantes set out to exact revenge on those who led to their unlawful imprisonment.
Jeffrey archer has also included many of the features of the musketeers and makes known to all off his admiration for Alexander Dumas and his works. Although the book is continuous and believable for the most part, the part where the trial of Cartwright is dismissed based on the discussion between Spencer Craig and Sir Marshall is rather sudden.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Program to cut text file from character position x to y

I was searching for a windows equivalent to the Unix "cut" command. However, none could be found. So this java program will eventually do all that the Unix "cut" command does and more.

The functionality i required was to cut a text file between two given positions.Although this seems simple enough, notepad, textpad etc. don't have this facility. Hope this initial version will help those of you who want to cut a text file between two points. The program does not consider newline characters, but tab, space etc.. are considered while counting.


public class Cut {
public static void main(String[] args) throws IOException {
FileInputStream in = null;
FileOutputStream out = null;
try {
in = new FileInputStream(args[0]);
out = new FileOutputStream("cutoutput.txt");
int c,count=0,llim=Integer.parseInt(args[1]),ulim=Integer.parseInt(args[2]);

while ((c = != -1) {
count =count-1;}
if(count>=llim && count<=ulim){
System.out.println("Total characters between range is "+(ulim-llim));
} finally {
if (in != null) {
if (out != null) {

Monday, June 15, 2009

Study in Sweden - Part - II - Applying for Residence Permit

Check the Part I of the Study in Sweden series for applying to Swedish Universities.

The first thing to do after getting selected for a university is to apply for a residence permit. You can apply for the residence permit in any of the Swedish consulates or embassies. More details regarding the Residence permit can be found on the website of the Swedish Migration board.

If you are applying for the residence permit at CONSULATE OF SWEDEN at CHENNAI, few details regarding the documents required is given below:
Note:These details may change and its best to contact the consulate for latest details.
  1. Two sets of application forms duly completed and signed (Form No. 105031). The forms can be downloaded from the site .
  2. Valid passport along with two photocopies (of pages 1,2 and last)
  3. Educational certificates (last exam/degree) – original for perusal and return. Two sets of photo copies
  4. Admission letter from university/college plus two copies. Study should be fulltime.(PDF file can be downloaded from studera site)
  5. Accommodation must be arranged for in Sweden.
  6. Separate Demand drafts for Rs.6000 (application fee, subject to change without prior notice) and Rs.300 (courier fee) being the application fee and courier fee drawn in favour of Consulate of Sweden payable at Chennai.
  7. One must be able to show a minimum of SEK 7 300 per month for 10 months in a year. Applicant is requested to show proof of financial support for the entire planned study period and show the funds in your savings account. Bank certificate and transaction statement original plus two copies. If your stay is one year or less than one year. Please enclose the insurance papers
  8. Three passport size photographs (latest specification given below).
Instructions concerning photographs which are to be used for visa and permit stickers

  • The photograph should be maximum 6 months old.
  • The width of the photograph should be 35-40 millimeters
  • The area of the face should be 70-80 of the photograph.
  • The whole face including part of the shoulders should be visible.
  • The photograph should have a good colour balance, contrast and sharpness.
  • The face should be seen directly from the front against a light background. There must not be other people or objects in back-ground.
  • Both eyes with pupils should be completely visible.
  • Dark tinted glasses must not be worn, unless required for medical reasons.
  • The face should be evenly illuminated and there must be no shadows visible in the background.
  • There must not be any reflections visible in Glasses.
  • Head coverings are not permitted except for religious reasons. The whole face must be visible.
  • The photograph should show the person alone with a neutral facial expression and the mouth closed.
Other points of note:

  1. Submission of application between 10.00 am. To 12.30 pm. from Monday to Friday at the Consulate.
  2. The application is forwarded to the Migration Board in Sweden for decision.
  3. The application must be submitted at least eight weeks prior to departure for Sweden
  4. Please note, photocopies of all documents submitted with the application must be on A4 size paper
  5. As soon as you have received your admission letter and are ready with other documents, please email(svensk[at] the consulate for an interview date.
  6. All enquiries on your application will be answered only between 2-3 pm. Mon-Fri. on Tel: +91-044-28112232
The Swedish consulate is located on Cathedral road and can be easily located on google map. If you have any other questions, just comment below.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Study in Sweden - Part - I - Applying for universities

In this series of posts i hope to cover the various steps of Going to study in Sweden.

How to apply to Universities in Sweden?

To apply to any university in Sweden a single application can be submitted through the Studera site . Click on the British flag for English version of the site. The site opens up admissions for different semesters( Autumn or Winter) at different times. Keep watching the site for updates.

Although studying in Sweden is free for all till now. Its expected that a fee will be charged for non-Swedish Nationals in the coming years. See a list of all Swedish universities here. If you want details regarding individual courses offered by each of the institutes, better check the institutes websites. As of 2009, only four courses can be applied per semester.So choose the courses that you want to apply wisely.Also make sure you rank them according to your priority. If you want to go to a university ranked fourth, but have got admission to the first choice, few universities allow you to get admission directly.

The documents that will be required are listed in the website. The transcript can be obtained directly from your university by sending a Demand draft and other details. Generally this takes up to 15 or even 20 days by post. So better apply for the transcript early.

The letters of recommendation need to be obtained from your professor's and faculty, need to be sent along with the application.

A motivation letter apart from the CV needs to be sent along with various certificates and proofs. Generally the degree certificates and other marks cards are expected. Its mandatory that all the certificates and marks cards are approved by a Notary.

The application can be sent by Speed post or courier. The Indian speed post is rather reliable and sometimes better than private courier services. On an average it takes at least a week for the letter to be sent to Sweden from most parts of India and costs around INR 800.

If you have any doubts regarding any step, just comment below.