Read/ Write Smarter

I made a suggestion to Google last evening regarding composing of emails.

One the one hand, people, especially while marketing something, tend to put a lot of text material when sending emails to prospective or existing clients.

And on the other hand, people’s attention spans have become shorter. Which means, most of us have lesser and lesser time and patience to read through any written matter. And since most of what we read is online, I felt there is a way of changing something.

My suggestion was that emails could be composed such that matter, if put in   bullet-ed format, could then be grouped [remember the ‘Group’ option available in Microsoft Excel]. That way, the recipient of the email can quickly get a gist of the content, and could then expand any or all section if they want more details.

This would be better than overloading the reader with an endless sea of paragraphs of seemingly boring content that would more often than not, go unread.

Google Mail #1

Google Mail #2

I made the suggestion to Google first, considering the extent to which their email is used. But going forward, this could also be employed by other email service providers as well as by websites too, where news or any web articles are posted. Main points or key news headlines could be listed out, with  details kept hidden by a [+] sign, so that interested readers could expand and read more.

Let me know what you think, and if you have any better suggestions too.

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Ambulance Pilot

The Problem: Ambulances trying to rush critical patients to hospital, but instead getting stuck in traffic

The Solution:

Bollywood is in the blood of the average Indian, and yet we fail to spot a brilliant idea when we see one in one of the biggest grossing flicks of all times.

In the movie 3 Idiots, there is a scene where Rancho’s (Aamir Khan) friend Raju (Sharman Joshi) attempts suicide by jumping from the window of his college dean’s office which is on the second floor.

The movie sees a tense and blood-soaked Rancho riding a scooter in front of the ambulance that is rushing his friend to the hospital. He plays the critical role of clearing traffic from in front of the ambulance as he rides along, by asking vehicles to move to either side, clearing the path for the ambulance to go through. You can have a look below. You just need to see the first 30 seconds of the video.

While most of us loved the movie, why have we still not implemented something like this as a mandatory service along with ambulances in our cities and towns?

The Idea: Having a motorcycle rider who accompanies each ambulance that is dispatched for an emergency. The rider would ride ahead of the ambulance, clearing the way so the ambulance can quickly reach hospitals so that the patients being brought in can be quickly attended to. The rider could also ride quickly ahead to notify traffic police at signal lights to impress upon them the seriousness, so that traffic can be accordingly moderated by them to allow a quick passage to the ambulance.

The Cost: The costs for the motorcycle rider could be borne by the hospital or divided among doctors and surgeons at the respective hospitals, or by whatever other means (perhaps by way of donations, etc.).

It is not as difficult to implement. The initial fixed cost is only the price of one bike per ambulance. A Hero CD Dawn or Yamaha Crux cost around Rs. 34.5k or Rs. 36k respectively.

Recurring costs would be the salary of the rider, fuel and maintenance, all in all working out to about Rs.12000 per month at the best, even for a city like Bombay.

It is also possible from the traffic police’s perspective. If they can do an outstanding job with handling traffic when a minister’s convoy is crossing, I think more importance can be given to ambulances.

So, until helicopter ambulances become commonplace and affordable, what there is to gain, is all the lives that can be saved due to timely treatment being made available, rather than having critical patients in ambulances slowly wade through an endless sea of traffic.

Return to Innocence

“I’m going to be a Carpenter when I grow up.”
As kids, we all dreamt of taking up a certain or even several professions, oblivious to a lot of the worldly views and reservations. Childhood, a time when we wanted to become someone just out of pure interest or awe for someone we’d seen in that profession, not for the money, not for the fame or power or anything.

And like we saw in “Mr. Deeds“, most of us have probably ended up exactly opposite of what our innocent heads wanted back then.

I’ve always wanted to be a Fighter pilot (to this day). That, or a soldier. I remember having regular dreams of rescue operations, covert missions, the works. And they’d be so exciting, I’d run through them again and again to make sure each one was perfect 😀
Lets have it from you. What did you want to be, when you were a kid; and what do you do now?