startling banals

28 October 2007

Is it possible for humans to live without killing the earth?

The population of the United States is 300 million and the number of passenger vehicles is 240 million. If everyone consumes energy and resources by the US average, only 1/6th of the human race can live. And everyone is rushing to meet the American Dream even within their own countries. Going by example, China and India will have to invade Central Asia for oil for their booming economies.

Recently I heard a very good talk by an economist from India who is probably a member of the Planning Commission, about how rigourously growth rates and poverty rates are actually calculated. But none of the experts talks about the simple numbers of a sustainable lifestyle. Rahul's home in Indore is an example of a beautiful natural urban life (Watch the video).
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Steve Jobs speech (thanks to Siddhartha Mal)


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27 October 2007

Justice to all

Tehelka has exposed an open secret. Inspite of all the evidence in front of the Nanavati Commission, the big fish have managed to escape till now by using the loopholes in the system. But justice will prevail and Gujarat will someday rid itself of the disease to its social milieu along with its symptoms (Modi and co.) just as the rest of India and Bombay recovered from the Ram Janmbhoomi madness and the tense atmosphere after the riots and bomb blasts. Thackeray and Advani must get their punishment and go to jail in the same way as Dawood must. Preaching forgiveness is easy if it is someone else's loss. I am not calling for retribution but I hope every Indian who has lost a dear one to riots, communal killings, genocides and terrorism will someday get the satisfaction of justice been done. Someday..
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Red car-
No longer red.
Fall
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23 October 2007

Shelfari - horrible!!! Stay away from it!

This website is a cheat! It will send emails to your yahoo/gmail addressbook contacts in your name without asking you. I created an account just for the sake of curiousity and now it has taken a life of its own. Instead go to http://www.librarything.com if you want to.
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17 October 2007

Tree

I am a tree-
Not the tender seedling
Young, vulnerable

Nor the supple sapling
Flirting, flaunting
Greenery in the wind.
I am a tree-

I am a tree-
Broken, gnarled
Rooted fingers
Clutching desperately to my soil.
Battered, bruised shoots
Struggling fiercely towards the sun.

I am the tree
You chopped.

-Colleen Smith-Brown
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15 October 2007

Download your blog

My friend Maymon showed me a command wget three years ago. I used to download my homepage using wget (This wikipedia article calls it your own personal web crawler) You can download entire filesystems of not so secure websites like those hosted on geocities without having to login. It can be very useful if you want to download a file that has a broken link - simply download the whole filesystem of that website - you will find your file somewhere in there.

But this means that there is really no such thing as privacy on the internet. It must be easy to download our emails too for someone chaloo enough in this creepy web-crawling game.

"wget -r http://quitsmoke.blogspot.com ." will get my whole blog to your current directory nicely arranged in archives the way blogger stores it.
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09 October 2007

The morning I saw the daydreaming sparrow

My advisor sent me to Radioshack to buy some special batteries for the lab. I had a 4-5 day-old beard and the middle-aged guy at the shop joked(?) - 'Is this for a terrorist project?' Very funny huh.
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Biology 101: Response to stimulus = You are alive

I remember the consoling comments from friends on one of my homesick posts. Back then I was completely sick and tired of the sanitized and planned nature of the American city I live in. Also I missed the company of friends and my familiarity with Powai terribly. I really identified with them strongly. Something you take for granted over the years, to realize it's gone only when you suddenly find yourself in a new system with a different set of boundary conditions. Then you welcome existential angst with open arms and even get married to it.

Meanwhile, people tell you - 'Get busy and forget your feelings'

Chitra's cartoon 'Feeling Hollow in America' and some blogs that told people (non-desis who were planning to shift to India) not to expect order anywhere - which would make living in India easier. We can conclude by combining these two that the key factor that makes life in these places seem so starkly contrasting is the external stimuli that we are bombarded with. Its sheer volume in a bustling city in India overwhelmingly exceeds anything found in America. I won't go into listing all the stimuli. It is too obvious. Still, allow me to shout.. "Eureka!! Eureka!!"
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08 October 2007

Tibet: Cry of the Snow Lion

A moving account of the recent history of the people of Tibet. A ray of hope and reason in the increasingly hopeless situations around the world. There is so much for everyone to learn from their courage and compassion. I am lost for words.
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04 October 2007

Window Shoppers

too much choice
confused sparrows
in a heap of straw

one of them
makes a choice
cruises away with confidence

low flight
parallel to the ground
precious cargo in her mouth

the way shown
quick choices are made
the others follow

two birds stay
shrugging
"just came to watch"
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