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Showing posts from August, 2014

This is the River where Human Civilisation began

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It seems that the human species appeared on the planet a couple of hundred thousand years ago but they did not behave in a manner that was very different from other animals species up until the last glacial period, popularly known as the Ice Age some 12000 years ago. Perhaps evolution to the modern human as we know now was not yet complete and a few more genes needed to be inserted to make humans substantially distinct from other animals.
A few genes are all that is required to change a species. There is hardly any uniqueness to the human genes. They are akin to 99 percent of the chimpanzees, and 70 percent of rats  :). ( A blogger friend Vincent will vehemently oppose this - we are not from rats! ) I have an entire blog on how these changes take place here that an interested reader may look up. Evolution is an ongoing process and mankind does not know where evolution will take it next, although that hardly matters to us, because substantial changes take place over periods much longe…

Singing Children

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Over the past few months, moved by distress of large numbers of children in different parts of the world, I have written furiously, more actively towards the cause than ever before from children on the the American borders to most recently those in Gaza, in this blog as well as much elsewhere on Facebook, Twitter and various other places online. The hope has been to win a few hearts and minds to come forward and contribute in any way they can to help relieve the distress of a child or even a few children, or in the very least to stop making it more difficult for them by branding them as illegals, human shields etc and whatever else increases the distress of these sweet innocent yet traumatized children. Many of my communications have been addressed to world leaders, world organizations and to ordinary folks like you and me. In the process it goes without saying that it upsets some vested interests deriving benefits, howsoever misguided, from the situation and one also faces criticism …

A Rose is a thing of Beauty

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While our planet has numerous pretty flowers, the rose somehow has a very special place. The sight of a rose never fails to gladden the heart despite the fact that it has thorns underneath, perhaps as a warning to life that beauty must be treated with delicacy and care or it will bite. The home in which I have stayed most in the past quarter century was built by me bit by bit in a rather dry and hot part of the country. As a result rose bushes do not come up as well as in cooler northern parts that I have lived in too from time to time in this quarter century. Nevertheless rose bushes may be grown and they do bloom well for a part of the year with a little care for the plant. 

My favorites are the yellow and white varieties but these bloom with less profusion here than reds and pinks. Therefore in the first fifteen years or so the yellow and white varieties died off quickly. However a change has taken place in the last seven years and now the other colors have dried off and only white…

Peace in Iraq and Syria was and still is easily possible

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And Gaza too

While much of the world watches the turmoil in Iraq and Syria with anguish, it is not that easy solutions to the problem were not possible. They are possible even now if what follows is heeded but there is someone who would lose - The Arms industry. How tragic it is that the world has seen such tragic scenes in Gaza, Iraq and Syria for so long, especially when far easier, far less violent solutions to the issues have been in the public domain for years now, some as indicated and linked in this post.  These solutions are not just in hindsight but have been in the public domain for years.  An old Facebook note is copied here verbatim with the latest update as below.Years ago, I wrote my views on the crisis in Iraq and because of my concern for the country, I even communicated my views to the White House and Downing street, for within my note was a suggestion for a peaceful future for that country. However, my suggestions were disregarded as is often the case for voices from …

Why is depression more common in richer countries?

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The unfortunate suicide and demise of Robin Williams has renewed a debate on depression in the social media. In an earlier post in this blog – The Joy of a rustic life –  it was described how the poor seem to be far happier than the rich. Yes there are times of devastation when the poor have no support or buffer, such as a poor farmer in debt and drought who is driven to suicide but in the main I have found this conclusion to hold most times.
This phenomenon appears to apply not just to the rich and poor but also between rich and poor countries. Levels of stress and depression are much higher in the richer countries of the world than the poor who seem to laugh much more after saying Manyahna with a banana for lunch. I have experienced this at close quarters after having lived in both types of countries for several years.When a poor country or even a rich one is mentioned here, the reference is to those that are not disturbed by an internal or external war, even an internal drug war, o…

Will the World end in 2030 or 2050?

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Humans as well as plants and animals live comfortably in the temperature range of 10 to 30 degree centigrade. When temperatures fall below 10 or rise above 30 it begins to get uncomfortable. Below zero or above 40 it sure is like hell. There are very few parts of the world where temperature remains in the range of 10 to 30 and therefore most humans do suffer a bit of hellish or hell-like conditions for at least a part of the year, unless they have implemented man-made measures to mitigate the discomfort.. Aside from these hot and cold hells there are also dry and wet hells on earth. The dry ones are near desert areas and the wet ones are those that are prone to floods almost every year such as in the Philippines and Bangladesh. Aside from what the climate gives, humans can do a lot to improve their living. Thus while some in Canada have made life comfortable through things like central heating, some other parts of the world have made living worse and closer to hell due to corruption, …

Lives of Children are not getting any Better

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While childhood is supposed to be the happiest and loveliest part of life for humans, it is very tragic that large parts of the world have become increasingly unsafe for large numbers of children. Despite much progress in other areas of life, humans appear to be failing when it comes to children. Unless this trend is reversed it will not augur well for the future of mankind. While poverty due to economic greed, exploitation, corruption etc. is a serious cause for hunger and malnutrition amongst children, the present note is not about that since that is not a problem specific to the modern age, even though some of it has returned to the most developed parts of the world too as economies have returned to their historic trickle up mode after a brief lull of around fifty years and wealth inequalities have increased. There are other articles on that issue in this blog. This one is about causes that have little to do with poverty.
As humans urbanize and cities grow, playgrounds are disappe…

An Appeal to Gaza, Israel and America

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A humanitarian appeal for a part of the world that has seen one of the worst tragedies that mankind and little children have seen in recent times, for the sake of the loveliest amongst humans- little children:

Now that a ceasefire has come this author hopes that Gaza and Israel would both work hard to let bygones be bygones and work towards a better, safer and brighter future for their children. Americans could atone for any inadvertent errors of the past in ensuring that this happens while contributing in a major way towards the rebuilding of Gaza that lies in ruins because it is primarily American support, vetoes, money and weapons that have made this havoc possible. The money for this reconstruction will not place any additional burden on the American people if simply the aid America gives to Israel is redirected for a few years towards this reconstruction. It would be in the best of American values and tradition where even in the past it has helped countries like Germany and Japan…

The Curry Leaf tree

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We have talked of several trees in this blog but one important one has been missed so far – The curry leaf tree. It can grow as a small bush and if given enough space develop into trees that are even twenty feet tall. It is a lovely addition to any garden, especially because its leaves are an aromatic and delicious herb that will enrich many recipes from omelets to lentil soups, fish and much more. The interested reader may find its use in many recipes by a google search. We just added some to a delicious dish of spinach puree and chickpea flour dumplings (Besan gatta sag). It is still simmering on the kitchen stove as I write this post.
The tree will grow in any area that does not have sub zero temperature winters. The nice thing about it is that it produces healthy leaves round the years and is available to perk up a recipe at home any time. A small tree of this as well as several other smaller ones has been growing in my backyard for decades. A photo of some that I snapped a few m…

How a three month old baby saved a whole family

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A few days ago at a place called Malin Village in Pune, India, a landslide brought an entire hillside crashing down and wiped out over 40 homes. Tens of bodies have been found and the count is rising; 150 are still missing. Earlier in the year the hillside above had been cleared of trees for farming and the hillside that had held solid for hundreds of years came crashing down in the rain because there was nothing to hold the soil together now.
In a small home a mother was feeding her three month old baby Rudra when the crash happened. All around them their home came crashing down and they were trapped in tons of rubble. She screamed for help but none heard and she eventually fainted as did the grandparents of Rudra in another corner of the same home.
But Rudra continued to cry and yell from time to time. His cries were picked up by listening instruments of a rescue team. The rubble was cleared carefully and underneath was Rudra who smiled in thanks and shook his tiny clenched fist in…