Serial Bus

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Archive for January 2009

Let Them Eat Grass (Or Cake)!

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The inauguration of Obama sparked huge celebrations in the US last Tuesday. For the first time, the sound of the TV on our office floor was turned on so that we may listen to the live broadcast on CNN, rather than just see the captions. Every American is justifiably proud of Obama’s election – amongst other reasons, it increases their self-esteem when they realize that collectively, they were able to exorcise their racist past. However, I don’t think Americans fully realize the significance of what Rick Warren alluded to briefly as the ’44th peaceful transfer of power’. Read the rest of this entry »

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Written by serialbus

January 25, 2009 at 4:40 pm

Slumdog Crorepati: Reprise

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When we saw Slumdog Millionaire in Nov08 in NYC, I came back unsatisfied and I wrote this post. Nobody seemed to agree with me. For weeks after, all I read or heard were people who continued to coo and gush about how fantastic the movie was. In fact, a couple of times, on offering a divergent opinion, my friends looking deprecatingly at me  – not sure whether they regarded me smug or stupid. Vindication came yesterday.

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All Vipassana and No Chit-Chat

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When Charles Dickens traveled to the US in 1842, he wanted to take out time to see two major tourist attractions: Niagara Falls in upstate NY & Eastern State Penitentiary (ESP) at Philadelphia. When Nidhi & I visited Philly last weekend, we also wanted to take out time to see ESP, amongst other places. As we entered the castle-like facade of the former prison, we were handed entry passes for $12 each; they were designed to look exactly as the passes given to curious visitors like Dickens in the nineteenth century except that admittance was free of cost back then.

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‘Fostering’ Teen Virginity

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Abstinence-only sex education is one of those curious and contentious ideas that raises its hood every now and then in the American society. The latest was a study published in the journal Pediatrics (authored by Janet Rosenbaum of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health) which reported that virginity pledges taken by teenagers don’t work. This was proven by Britney Spears several years back but an academic paper based on real statistics is surprisingly more convincing. Conservatives and worrisome parents might be wishing its conclusion away. When Darwin’s Theory of Evolution first became known amongst the gentry of London, an aristocratic lady apparently remarked, “Let us hope that what Mr. Darwin says is not true; but, if it is true, let us hope that it will not become generally known.” Unluckily for the gentry of London and conservatives of the US, Theory of Evolution and the Pediatrics study respectively have received rampant press.

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Written by serialbus

January 3, 2009 at 8:00 am