Ridi Viharaya goes online

A new web site was launched yesterday for the Ridi Viharaya, Kurunegala.
It has a Sinhala Unicode version thought not fully implemented.


Happy 9th Birthday Google!

It's Google's 9th Birthday today. Happy Birthday Google!
I was very much moved by a comment left by a visitor to my blog post
Happy Birthday Google!, exactly one year ago..

prakashraju said...



yours forever!!!!

I couldn't agree more.

Well this time I thought of bringing some facts about the Web search, the thing that Google does best...
  • Choose your search term wisely. Multiple terms will narrow down your search.
  • The order in which search terms are entered will effect the results.
  • All letters are treated as lowercase even if you type in uppercase letters.
  • and >> No need to have 'and' between words. By default all search terms entered are searched for.
  • + >> common words & single digits & characters are ignored in Google searches. To include them, you need to have + sign in front it.
  • " " >> having quotes around search terms will search for exact phrase.
  • - >> to exclude a term from the search, add a - sign in front of the term
  • ~ >> to include synonyms in a search
    • Eg: ~food research includes results with Food, Nutrition, Restaurant , etc.. as synonyms of food
  • OR >> to include either of the terms, put uppercase 'OR' between two search terms.
  • .. >> to include a number range, which can be years, $, v, kg etc.. as you specify.
  • * >> to include one or more keywords in it's place. Google will fill in the blanks.
  • site: >> to restrict a search to a particular web site.
  • allintitle: >> to restrict for search terms appearing only in the title of web pages.
  • intitle: >> to find web pages with the search term appearing immediately after 'intitle:' in the title of a web page. Note: No space between 'intitle:' & search term.
  • allinurl: >> to find web pages with all of the search terms occurring in their URL.
  • inurl: >> to find web pages with the term immediately after 'inurl:' occurring in the url. Note: No space between 'inurl:' & search term.
  • link: >> to find web pages that link to a particular site.
  • related: >> to find similar web pages to a specified web page.
  • cache: >> to get last snapshot Google bot created
  • info: >> to get information Google has collected about a web page.
  • definition: >> to get a definition of a word, as given in various web sites
  • filetype: or ext: >> to retrict search to a file type other than html. Supported types are,
    • Adobe Portable Document Format (pdf)
    • Adobe PostScript (ps)
    • Lotus 1-2-3 (wk1, wk2, wk3, wk4, wk5, wki, wks, wku)
    • Lotus WordPro (lwp)
    • MacWrite (mw)
    • Microsoft Excel (xls)
    • Microsoft PowerPoint (ppt)
    • Microsoft Word (doc)
    • Microsoft Works (wks, wps, wdb)
    • Microsoft Write (wri)
    • Rich Text Format (rtf)
    • Shockwave Flash (swf)
    • Text (ans, txt)
Further readings at Google: Web Search Help Center :


Cricket Scores @ Google

Originally uploaded by zahidul islam
I was amazed to find that Google search box can be used to see the latest Cricket Scores in Twenty20 world championship matches being played.
You can just type Cricket for results of the latest match or Cricket Sri Lanka for your favorite team or Cricket Sri Lanka New Zealand for a specific match. A summery of the score card is shown with a link to the complete score card.
After all Google seems to have noticed the enthusiasm among Cricketing fans...


Ministry of Education Hacked into...

Well not exactly...
I was browsing among the Government Web sites, when I came across our Ministry of Education web site (see the image on right). I was shocked to see that it had been Hacked by some hackers. I quickly checked the Google cache for the snapshot they had created (see the image on left side). It was dated 15 Aug 2007, 14:18:06 GMT. So this site had been hacked during last 3 days. The hackers intentions are not very clear from what they had done. May be they just wanted to deface a government web site for fun.
It seems only the home page of the site had been hacked.
On further research I came across Zone-H which has an archive of Web sites that have been hacked. I was amazed to see the number of Sri Lankan Government web sites that had been subjected to defacement by various Hacking groups.
As I could not link to the particular table, I have copied the text, as you can see below:

2007/07/30 RitualistaS mcg.mpi.gov.lk Win 2003 View Mirror
2007/01/27 Dr.Jr7 dmc.gov.lk/external.asp Win 2003 View Mirror
2007/01/06 yas mail.samurdhi.gov.lk Linux View Mirror
2006/12/04 DeltahackingSecurityTEAM primeminister.gov.lk/record/delta.htm Linux View Mirror
2005/12/12 Devil Code mpdinor.gov.lk Win 2000 View Mirror
2005/10/16 Tz4r muslimaffairs.gov.lk/forum Linux View Mirror
2005/03/14 batistuta muslimaffairs.gov.lk/forum Linux View Mirror
2005/02/06 H4ck3rsBR slelections.gov.lk SolarisSunOS View Mirror
2005/02/06 H4ck3rsBR sec.gov.lk SolarisSunOS View Mirror
2005/02/06 H4ck3rsBR ports-aviation.gov.lk SolarisSunOS View Mirror
2005/02/06 H4ck3rsBR npd.gov.lk SolarisSunOS View Mirror
2005/02/06 H4ck3rsBR trc.gov.lk SolarisSunOS View Mirror
2004/01/24 Red Eye ibsl.gov.lk Win 2000 View Mirror
2003/06/19 [ LunixO ] moe.gov.lk Linux View Mirror
2003/06/07 Digital lords moe.gov.lk Linux View Mirror
2002/09/27 PaGgY hinduministry.lk Win 2000 View Mirror
2001/04/08 SadoR erd.gov.lk Windows View Mirror
2001/04/04 Silver Lords customs.gov.lk Windows View Mirror
2001/04/01 Silver Lords erd.gov.lk Windows View Mirror
2001/04/01 PoizonB0x customs.gov.lk Windows View Mirror
2001/03/31 PoizonB0x erd.gov.lk Windows View Mirror
2001/03/18 LOUCOS.BR erd.gov.lk Windows View Mirror
2001/02/26 Alien00 erd.gov.lk Windows View Mirror
2000/12/24 Silver Lords erd.gov.lk Windows View Mirror
2000/12/23 Silver Lords customs.gov.lk Windows View Mirror
2000/06/04 EhW erd.gov.lk Windows View Mirror

Still most of the above sites are not back online or have not been repaired completely. Any way most of our government websites are ill designed & not maintained well. Almost all of them use tables rather than CSS for layouts & are very poor in design, compromising their usability.


Earthquake near Sri Lanka!!!

Earth tremors have been felt in some areas of Sri Lanka, including Colombo & Kandy. The images here are from USGS Earthquake Hazards Program.

According to USGS,
Magnitude: 5.2
Time: at 04:27:28 (UTC)
at 10:27:28 am local time at epicenter
at 09:57:28 am Colombo, Sri Lanka
Location: 6.548°N, 84.455°E (In bay of Bengal)
Distance: 510 km (315 miles) E of Colombo, Sri Lanka
More details visit here Magnitude 5.2 - BAY OF BENGAL

I couldn't find any details regarding any Tsunami Warnings at the time of posting.
The relevant links are:



Typo is an abbreviation used to denote a typographical error or an error in a typeset. But now it's commonly used to define all spelling mistakes. For bloggers like us, it's a common thing, though we try hard not to do such mistakes.
Look at these images closely. They were taken when the Endeavour space shuttle was taken to it's launch pad today. Look carefully at the banner. Can you see a difference between the two photos? First one says 'Go Endeavor'. But the space shuttle is named 'Endeavour' after 18th century explorer James Coock's ship HM Bark Endeavour. The mistake was noticed & was corrected as seen in the second photo, where the banner reads 'Go Endeavour'.
So typos can happen even at that level? Please bare with me if I have done any...


Talents 2007

There were only two days remaining, when I got hold of the news about Talents 2007. I had to make some arrangements in a haste so I can attend the occasion.
During our University life, Talents was a major event where we looked forward to with much enthusiasm. During the period we got prepared for the variety show, the faculty start to overflow with life. Heads bent on books, start to wander around singing, dancing, acting & laughing. It's the time to dream, rather to make creative dreams & make them a reality. It's a welcome break from the tedious work at the faculty, but still managing to find time to run for lectures, tutorials, practicals, ward work, etc..
Committees elected from the students look after various aspects of logistics in this mega event, with help from experienced seniors & the ever so helpful staff members, ranging from the academic to non-academic.
It always brings back memories when I sat in front of the stage, of the time we were in the limelight. Ahh weeks, if not months, of preparations, sleepless nights... After all it lasts only for few moments on stage...
There were only very few I knew among the students. I only can remember them very faintly, even tough they could remember me very well. After all it was a grand show second to none, of it's predecessors...
Keep it up dear sisters & brothers, it's our signature... A unique blend of Arts & Medicine...

Please visit my previous post on Talents 2006

Also visit: Talents


Once in a Blue Moon

Once in a Blue Moon
Originally uploaded by Kalamakia
Well it seems my postings have become so rare lately, that I post 'Once In a Blue Moon'. Well today is a such day, that we are going to have a Blue Moon.
Blue Moon, has nothing to do with it's colour. It only means, a full moon that occurs for the second time in a month. Considering that the average interval between two full moons is about 29.5 days & a month has about 30.5 days, it's a rare occurrence to have two full moons in a month. But it occurs about 41 times in a century or only occurs once in about 32 months.
The term 'Once in a Blue Moon' has been in use in medieval England from old times & one such occasion was in a 'Treatyse of the Buryall of the Masse' by William Barlow, the Bishop of Chichester, in 1528.
But the usage of this phrase had had different meanings during these long years of use,
  • in 16th century: obvious absurdities, where there could be no doubt.
  • in 18th century: as equal to 'never'
  • in mid 19th century: a fairly infrequent event
There had been times, where the moon really appeared to be blue. This occurs due to light reflected from moon being scattered by dust particles which are about a micron or so in diameter. In these occasions dust particles were ejected to upper atmosphere during large volcano eruptions such as that occurred in 1883 of Krakatoa volcano or large forest fires that occurred in 1953 in western Canada.
But this year Americans have seemed to have celebrated the Blue Moon on 31st of May, 2007. >>> Blue Moon over North America on Thursday. How can that be? How can they have a Blue Moon two month before New Zelander's had one?
Well it also has a logical explanation. This occurs due to the World Time Zones. When the time of the full moon changes with each time zone it falls to the next month. This is illustrated below.
Time Zone City Full Moon 1 Full Moon 2 Full Moon 3 Full Moon 4
GMT + 12hrs Auckland 2 May @ 22:09 1 June @ 13:04 1 July @ 01:49 30 July @ 12:48
GMT + 04hrs Moscow 2 May @ 14:09 1 June @ 05:04 30 June @ 17:49 30 July @ 04:48
GMT Greenwich 2 May @ 10:09 1 June @ 01:04 30 June @ 13:49 30 July @ 00:48
GMT - 05hrs Chicago 2 May @ 05:09 31 May @ 20:04 30 June @ 08:49 29 July @ 19:48

For more details go to The Blue Moon of 2007.

It seems the method used for calculating the blue moon astronomically also had not been the one used earlier. This new definition had come into use after it had been mistakenly interpreted by an amateur astronomer in an article in 1946 in Sky & Telescope magazine on Blue Moons (see What's a Blue Moon?). It had then been adopted by various other newspapers, radio & TV shows giving wide publicity to this misinterpretation.
The correct definition had been a complex one, that uses seasons rather than months to calculate the blue moon. The third full moon occurring in a season with 4 full moons had been considered to be the blue moon (Usually a season only had three full moons). But it had not been so simple either.
The year they used was 'tropical year' running from one winter solstice to the next. The seasons were defined using a method which gives seasons of equal duration (which uses dynamical mean Sun or fictitious mean Sun, which are imaginary bodies & this method is not used now to define seasons). Then also they used some rules which are laid down in Gregorian calendar reform in 1582.
To see a list of blue moons according to this old definition visit Blue Moon - four Full Moons in a season. According to this it seems there is no Blue Moon in 2007. Phew... after all I'm not doing blog posts Once in a Blue Moon.



Boys, you are our Champions.

We are proud of our cricket team even though they couldn't beat the Australians. Still they are our champions. You did your best guys. What could we ask for more?
The Sri Lankan team returned home from Caribbeans today. Amidst torrential rains many gathered by the sides of the roads just to greet them.
I'm very much relived to see & hear, that Sri Lankan media has all the praises for them, unlike the attitude the Indian & Pakistani media had towards their teams. (ehh, Indian & Pakistani friends don't get crossed with me, but that's the truth.)
I found something very interesting that will keep our heroes right on our desktop. A screen saver from Cricinfo.com (Cricinfo home), which has each player in action & some statistics about their performance. You can down load the screen saver from here>> teamsrilanka.
Also visit here for other screen savers from cricinfo.com. They have some pretty screen savers on other major cricket teams & also some on legends of cricket.
Below are some screen captures of the screen saver. First one is the startup image. Next one is a composite of four screens.