Even though I do not know much about video games, I’d like to make a video game analogy to make my point. Why? Because some people I wish to get through to know a lot about it. If I am not exactly right about the granularities, do cut me some slack and go with the broad flow.
Imagine you are a gamer who has been playing regularly but not making as much progress as you’d like.
5 minute read | 857 words
This was written on the April 12, 2020 and published here a few days later. If you are the kind of person who likes to shoot the messenger that brings unpleasant news, I’d suggest you stop reading now. I am not going to pretend that I know the answer. I will try to create a back-of-the-envelope map of the territory we currently occupy and chart the possible routes ahead. You should make your own inferences.
7 minute read | 1361 words
Note 1: This started out as a letter to my daughter who goes to college this year. But once I started writing I thought that others who go through the college application process (and their parents, perhaps) might find it useful too.
Note 2: I have no specific qualifications to comment on college or children, other than that I went to college once and have had the pleasure of growing up with two kids of my own.
8 minute read | 1614 words
I must confess that I was not entirely surprised to read that the results of ‘mass-produced agriculture’ can sometimes be less than satisfactory. Allow me to summaries some of the human and environmental effects of using using ‘modern industrial production systems’ to grow tomatoes :
Hundreds of herbicides and pesticides are sprayed on the fields. Many of these are known to have negative health impact. There are known documented cases of birth defects among the farm hands.
2 minute read | 258 words
A little bit of clean water can save lives. And change lives. This short animation video show how important water is. For those who don’t have it.
More info about the charity that created this video..
1 minute read | 36 words
It is interesting that almost exactly to the day of the 25th anniversary of Chernobyl, India has decided to approve a new nuclear power plant in Jaitapur in Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra. While experts have written tomes about it (and mass media has not given a jot of attention to them), here is my quick attempt to dislodge some friends who I know are sitting on-the-fence.
The safety features argument:
6 minute read | 1178 words
To be honest I seriously considered going to Jantar Mantar, perhaps even participate in the fast. But I couldn’t. I kept following the event closely but I could not participate. Not because I want more corruption, of course not.
For some strange reason the ‘topi’ sitting on the head of Anna Hazare reminded me of the real Gandhi and the story about the kid who eats too much sugar. For the benefit of those who may not be familiar, the story goes like this: A woman brings her son to Gandhi and asks him to talk to her child to stop eating too much sugar because it is not good for his health.
4 minute read | 688 words
What inference can you draw form the following two facts:
When Irom Sharmila sits on a hunger strike in Manipur she gets arrested for ‘attempt to commit suicide’ and is force fed (nasogastric intubation) through a tube in her nose, it gets little media attention. She has been on hunger strike for years now but most people don’t know who she is or what she is protesting about. A token ‘economic hunger strike’ conducted mainly through Facebook, where people pledge to not ‘eat/drink outside’ (can’t go to KFC, but it may be ok to deep-fry your chicken at home), makes it to the cover page of at least one major national newspaper.
1 minute read | 112 words
While ‘India’ was busy cheering its cricketers to win the world cup for the nation, some couple of hundred people, who had probably laboured through the day, hauling stuff in a under-construction swank high-rise, were sleeping in their shanties in sector 61 in Gurgaon. It was close to mid-night, when India won the epic battle. Urban Gurgaon broke into a rapturous celebration with full-fledged fireworks and these people slept through it
2 minute read | 376 words
The Economist deserves credit for a very interesting poster campaign ‘Hosting the Olympics is a waste of money’. A careful reader of news might tell you that the governments can spend their time and money on better things. That these sports extravaganzas are not at all about sports, and do not really benefit the sports persons.
Even more so in the Third World. Not so long ago there was some debate about the usefulness of the Commonwealth Games held in New Delhi, but it died a natural death.
1 minute read | 150 words
If you thought Lalu Prasad Yadav was funny, you should meet John Shimkus (new chair of the Subcommittee on Environment and Economy) of the US. Lalu pales…
Shimkus is on record for dismissing the existence of global warming by citing biblical scripture that says God would not allow the earth to be destroyed. Specifically: “And He will send His angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.
3 minute read | 555 words
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