Sunday, February 19, 2006

A.R. Rahman's production of Jana Gana Mana


Watch India's best-known instrumentalists and singers perform Jana Gana Mana.

Note: This is a very theatrical production from composer A.R. Rahman. Purists will object.

California Textbook Controversy - Tools for Dawa

Two articles by Kalavai Venkat on how the Council on Islamic Education has used its privileged status to determine content on Islam and other religions in California textbooks.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Common Locale Data Repository

The Common Locale Data Repository is a repository of conventions used in various locales. Its purpose is "to provide a general XML format for the exchange of locale information for use in application and system development, and to gather, store, and make available a common set of locale data generated in that format."

The CLDR contains XML data files for different locales that use the Locale Data Markup Language, expressed as a Document Type Declaration (DTD). I downloaded the XML data file for Hindi-India and was stunned to learn that the Indian National Calendar was not encoded.

I downloaded the LDML DTD and the Hindi-India XML data file, and tried to create new data for the Indian National Calendar (transliterated names, not in देवनागरी - Devanagari) in the data file through XMLSpy, but all I get is a message "This file is not valid: Unexpected child elements 'months'." Yet my data is structured identically to that in section 5.9.1 of the LDML spec!

Turmeric, to cure cancer?

Turmeric, to fight cancer?


This might not qualify as prior art, therefore, any discoveries on turmeric (haldi हलदी) as a cancer-fighting agent may be patented.

Traditional Knowledge Digital Library

India: Breathe in, and hands off our yoga |

I hate the title (because really the article isn't saying hands off "our" yoga; it's saying that traditional knowledges should be attributed to their source in India), but the content of this article is good news:

An online Traditional Knowledge Digital Library has been established so that others can't exploit traditional Indian knowledge as novel for patent and gain.

By documenting traditional Indian knowledge, many formulations would be regarded as "prior art," that is, previously existing knowledge about the applications of a product. Patent applications are usually rejected if there is prior art on the product.

You may visit the Traditional Knowledge Data Library at