Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Of Mice and Monologe by By Mark Leyner

Check this article. I loved it and could not refrain from keeping it away from you guys. Won't say more on it, just go straight to the article. You will find the article on Op-Ed section of New York Times.

Of Mice and Monologe By Mark Leyner

I AM absolutely baffled as to why the announcement of a scientific advance heralding the advent of talking mice has not generated a peep from the chattering classes, particularly since it’s a story about chattering ... and chattering mice, to boot.

Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, have engineered a strain of mice that possesses the human FOXP2 gene, considered by evolutionary biologists to be among several crucial components that endow people with the capacity for speech. Already, the swap of mouse FOXP2 for human FOXP2 has altered the way the mice communicate with one another (their ultrasonic whistles have become slightly lower-pitched).

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Bihar: Now

I found this article at this link, and found it an interesting read, more so because this was published on Nov 14, 2006, almost an year after he became the Chief Minister of Bihar. This election, even though not an assembly election, will decide whether the people of my home state have started to cast their vote for development and progress or are still voting their caste.

History Grants Nitish Kumar An Opportunity in Bihar
By Ramesh Menon.

India is looking at Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. Will he take the reins that history has graciously given him to change the future of one of the most backward states of the world’s biggest democracy? Some television stations in India have conducted polls on the popularity of chief ministers and Nitish is one of the best. If he wants a place in the history of India’s fractured politics, he can bid for it. But it is not going to be easy.

One cannot help feeling tickled with the poll predictions that the media toyed with before the results of the Bihar elections came pouring in. Most of them were far off the mark. Sometimes, the media would do well to look into the mirror and accept how poorly prepared it is. Even in Bihar where the majority is illiterate, unemployed, hungry and poor, voters can vote for change and hold out a candle of hope for democracy. The golden rule in old-fashioned journalism of yesteryears was that if a journalist had his ear to the ground, he would hear the tremors. But in the age of Google, the way most journalists get information has changed.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Ganguly and his fake team mate.

There is an over left and seven runs needed. Ganguly at the crease - I expect KKR to win and began writing my post in praise of Ganguly and his famed resilience.

It is Ganguly's turn to remind us of the stuff he is made up of. When KKR looked dead and gone Ganguly comes to the party and guides 'his' team to a fantastic victory. We are continuously and imaginatively 'informed' about the insides of IPL and KKR in particular from someone called FakeIPLPlayer, and we know now that Dada will ...

And then the unthinkable happened. Ganguly fell in the penultimate ball with his team still needing two runs to win. What followed can only be described as the most entertaining thing to happen in IPL 2, after the blog that has King Khan (I am avoiding the nomenclature used in the now famed blog of the FakeIPLplayer, even though I am tempted to do so) fuming.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

An argument.

When Noam Chomsky was asked for his views on religion, in an interview, this was what he had to say:
"...if you ask me whether or not I'm an atheist, I wouldn't even answer. I would first want an explanation of what it is that I'm supposed not to believe in, and I've never seen an explanation."
I am sharing this with you all because I simply loved the beauty in the argument.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Story of the poor and hence of India.

Last week I read an article titled "I am just a poor boy though my story’s seldom told", that I would like to share with you.

As an introduction to the article I share with you the first two paragraphs of the article here:

That the children of the poor underachieve in later life, and thus remain poor themselves, is one of the enduring problems of society. Sociologists have studied and described it. Socialists have tried to abolish it by dictatorship and central planning. Liberals have preferred democracy and opportunity. But nobody has truly understood what causes it. Until, perhaps, now.

The crucial breakthrough was made three years ago, when Martha Farah of the University of Pennsylvania showed that the working memories of children who have been raised in poverty have smaller capacities than those of middle-class children. Working memory is the ability to hold bits of information in the brain for current use—the digits of a phone number, for example.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

IPL in South Africa. It's different!!!

IPL began today. Mumbai Indians defeated the last year edition's runners up, riding on a fantastic knock by Sachin Tendulkar. The surprise for me was Royal Challengers beating last edition's champions Rajasthan Royals. The big performers for RC were Rahul Dravid, who played some fantastic, delightful shots for his 66 runs in 48 balls, and Anil Kumble, who finished with figures of 3.1-5-5. But, not before Shane Warne displayed his craft. Class and not youth is this IPL's character.

Oooops ... Rahul hot again?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Road Not Taken

The last few months have been very difficult. Almost everyday, I have looked back to the past and have wondered about the major decisions I made in my life and how they have maneuvered my life and brought me to my present. Almost everyday, I am reminded of last stanza of the poem; The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost. I am not sure if the roads I took were the ones less traveled, but the last stanza haunts me always.

The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost.

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.