Life lesson from the man who influenced four nations for over 20 years as the sole resident of a 134-room building

March 17, 2021

Actions have consequences in the long term. It’s up to you to choose your actions such that you experience good consequences. We have a story below from history that illustrates this point.

In addition, I am happy to share a couple of other items that are of contemporary interest and relevance.

As you can see, today’s newsletter is in the form of a digest. Hope you have been forming opinions of which form of presentation appeals the most to you. I will be asking you to weigh in with your preference some time in the future.

In the meantime, let’s have some fun!

In eternal pursuit of interesting stories,

P. Venkat Raman

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Sundial Bridge

I stood mesmerized by the sleek, slanted, gleaming white column brightly lit by the evening sun against the clear blue sky. The cables tying the column to where I was standing, a pedestrian bridge across the Sacramento River in Redding, California, with see-through glass panels for the deck, made it all the more intriguing and aesthetically pleasing.

Nestled in the Turtle Bay Exploration Park in Redding, California, this architectural icon, the Sundial Bridge, serves the city as a tourist magnet and commerce revitalizer. It was designed by the Spanish Swiss architect and structural engineer, Santiago Calatrava.

What makes it so special?

The design elements that make it a bridge across the Sacramento River also make it aesthetic in looks and provide for entertainment as a functioning sundial that dramatizes the movement of the earth.

Read the full story to learn more about what this icon gives up to look beautiful.


The year was 1966 when this period of his life started. October 1, 1966, to be exact.

For many years, he had a few co-residents who participated in this process as well. This group of people first became residents of this building in 1947. But all of the others left, at different times, finally leaving him in charge of his peculiar role.

The funny part is that it was not even his own idea to exert all this influence. He sort of fell into this fateful role when he embarked on his solo flight to Scotland as far back as 1941.

Read the full story


Mortgage Refinancing—What’s the catch?

I recently came across a question by a neighbor who wondered about the motive of their current lender in encouraging them to refinance their home mortgage for a lower interest rate:

My current lender is sending me a lot of communications to refinance with lower rate.

I’m trying to determine why my current lender would try to reduce the interest rate. If it’s someone else, I can understand: they are trying to earn new business. But I’m not able to figure out what’s there for current lender—apart from usual fees etc.

What’s the catch here? What does the lender gain by refinancing my existing loan with lower interest rate?

This is a legitimate question. On the first look there seems to be something fishy going on here. Why would a lender willingly accept a lower interest payments on the mortgage note they hold?

Read more to learn what’s important when it comes to mortgage refinancing.


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