Sumanth Srinivasan

Honeymoon in Tehran is an interesting title because not only does it describe the sequence of events in the story around Moaveni marrying an Iranian man, starting a family in the midst of reporting on local affairs and geopolitics of the middle-east, but it also does a great job of describing the memoir for what it is — a prolonged honeymoon phase of the author as she reconciles with the realities of life under the Islamic republic and its constant conflict with the very philosophies that it claims to uphold.

I picked this book up by complete happenstance at a…

Usually, upon discovering that I’m a musician, people ask me what kind of music I make. Always a moment of stammering followed by me getting flustered as I mentally put together an answer that best suits the context. It usually involves stringing together broken phrases like “oh, I use Ableton Live…play my guitar…live code sometimes”

This blog post is the long answer to that question. …

In April, succumbing to the anxieties over lost time during the quarantine, I signed up for Farsi lessons at the New York Persian Center. It turned out to be a great decision.

I’ve been told I’m “good with languages”. While I don’t really know what that means, it is hard not to be multilingual when you’re from India; the constitution recognizes 22 official languages and at least 3 show up wherever you go.

I grew up speaking Tamil at home, Hindi on the streets and English in school. This was a fairly healthy way of learning as I had separate…

I’ve come to depend a substantial amount on taking notes. This has supplemented my general creative tendencies around interpreting one thing in the context of something else. I have rigged-up a note taking system that spans many devices, SaaS tools and actual notebooks — one that is probably deserving of its own blog post.

However, all of that falls flat in one specific case: making a note of musical ideas. While I finally recognize the value of sheet music, it continues to be too elaborate a system for me to learn from scratch before I can use it without friction…

Trains can be incredibly unwieldy. Freight trains can often be a mile long, if not longer, passing at once through varying terrain, subject to conflicting forces in different sections and hauling several thousand tons at 50 miles an hour.

Stopping a moving train is a perennial problem with various solutions throughout history. By the late 1800s, there were at least 100 patents for railway braking systems.

The distance a train travels while decelerating from a given speed to rest is known as its braking distance at that speed. A large braking distance can prove to be hazardous in case of…

An inclined plane is a simple machine — so, obviously, it’s everywhere.

If one needed to go from elevation A to elevation B, it would be rather easy to build a steep path than a shallow one since it would occupy less area. But it would be that much harder to climb a steeper slope than a shallow one. This trade-off between the ease of construction and ease of use with gradients shows up everywhere: stairs, hiking trails, roads winding around hills, ramps on bridges, exits and backsides of trucks.

Sounds intuitive — it must be difficult for anything to…

I had an eventful Fall in 2019 and have decided that it needs to be documented. This little series of blog posts will go over the various things I did in the last few months, and perhaps talk about how I feel now.

Earlier this year, I put out an album.

The album is called Instructions Unclear, and it went out on October 22nd, 2019. People that listened seem to like it. Somewhat. I think. I don’t know.

For years, making music has been one of my favorite ways to spend time. I’ve tried a million ways to incorporate this…

I had an eventful Fall in 2019 and have decided that it needs to be documented. This little series of blog posts will go over the various things I did in the last few months, and perhaps talk about how I feel now.

For my birthday this year, I decided against doing the usual — which was inviting all my friends to yet another bar where I would hang out with them until moderately drunk and then spend the following day hungover. Organizing an event was the last thing I wanted to concern myself with. It also severely affected my…

Learning the New York City subway system when you’re new to the city is an excellent meta-game with lots of little games in it. It is in equal parts delightful and frustrating and teaches you a lot about rapid transit in the United States. NYC easily accounts for about two thirds of rapid transit ridership in the country, and has also served as a prototype for many other American cities embarking on transit-oriented development.

The city has 9 subway lines — five of which run north-south in Manhattan, three run east-west, and one connects Brooklyn with Queens. Most lines are…

Experimental digital art has existed for over 20 years, and it has grown increasingly nuanced in that time, with better devices and connectivity. We’ve come a long way from writing music with mainframe computers. More artists over the last decade have turned to computers, exploring algorithmic activity as a medium of artistic expression.

Consider what’s going on with Max, a visual programming language tailor-made for creatives, since it doesn’t require coding experience. Max began in the mid-80s as a platform for audio applications — you could use it to build algorithmic music composition systems or spice up your guitar solo

Sumanth Srinivasan

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