Showing posts from October, 2008

Sikhnet and the movie 35

This seems
like quite a good website on Sikh related stuff. I could not get to
watch the movie 35, which is about theGurmukhi script.

Antonio, Texas - One of the youngest Sikh filmmakers in the world has
created a documentary that has taken the community by pleasant
surprise. 19 year old Raj Singh has captivated his audience across
borders with his filming skills. To mark the 300th Anniversary of Guruship of Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh Research Institute (SikhRI) humbly shares the release of 35, a documentary focused on Gurmukhi script.

of sheer honesty, this documentary originated on the basis of my own
personal interest," said Raj Singh. Raj says he wanted to find out for
himself the origins of theGurmukhi script and, even further, develop a
stronger personal relationship with the Guru. The documentary centers
around the scriptural canon of the Sikh nation - GuruGranth Sahib. It incorporates the history, purpose, and methods available to learn the Gurmukhi script.����������…

thought for today

Do not be discouraged because of difficulties. Whenever one wants to achieve something in life, difficulties come. Take them as discipline (tapasyaa) to make you strong and you will more easily overcome them.

- The Mother [p-41, White Roses, Sixth Edition, 1999]

Rashid Khalidi

Chapati Mystery has good links on the Rashid Khalid controversy that McCain-Palin are misusing in their last gasps at the Presidency. It is indeed amazing that instead of challenging the racist allegations linking Professor Khalidi to the P.L.O. and other "Islamist" organizations, the Obama campaign is professing it's deep love for Israel.

Here is Scott Horton in Harpers defending Rashid Khalidi.

The last weeks of every presidential campaign I can remember bring out the crazies. Candidates are reviled as “racists,” “Nazis,” “Communists,” and the like. But this year the process has gotten nuttier and more malicious than usual. Perhaps it is a sign of desperation, given that polling does not suggest a close campaign, and a party now long entrenched appears to be poised for a swift kick in the behind—for the second time running.

Still, I was amused at how absurd some of this is. The National Review is worth examining regularly these days–it has turned into something of a circu…

Diwali Ki Shubhkamney

Thanks to Rang Decor for this beautiful image of a sequined diya.


When one aspires for something, if at the same time one knows that the aspiration will be heard and answered in the best way possible, that establishes a quietude in the being, a quietude in its vibrations; whilst if there is a doubt, an uncertainty, if one does not know what will lead one to the goal or if ever one will reach it or whether there is a way of doing so, and so on, then one gets disturbed and that usually creates a sort of little whirlwind around the being, which prevents it from receiving the real thing. Instead, if one has a quiet faith, if whilst aspiring one knows that there is no aspiration (naturally, sincere aspiration) which remains unanswered, then one is quiet. One aspires with as much fervour as possible, but does not stand in nervous agitation asking oneself why one does not get immediately what one has asked for. One knows how to wait. I have said somewhere: "To know how to wait is to put time on one's side." That is quite true. For if one gets…

Psychology and Grief

3QD has two interesting articles on new developments in Psychology.

From Edge:

DANIEL KAHNEMAN: I want to tell you a bit of straight psychology that I find very exciting, that I found more exciting this year than I had before, and that in some ways is changing my view about a lot of things in psychology. There are two big things happening in psychology today. One, of course, is everything that's got to do with the brain, and that's dominating psychology. But there is something else that is happening, which started out from a methodological innovation as a way to study memory, and we've always known, that's the idea of the notion of association of ideas, which has been around for 350 years at least.

We know about how associations work because we have one thought, and when it leads to another‚windows and doors and things like that, or white and black‚and we have our ideas of associations, and it's always been recognized as im…

A Poem


A poem for you

By Rebecca del Rio

Between these lines is a poem
The words are, by turns, wise, foolish and always beautiful.
They are the instructions you need
To live this life.

These spaces describe your first memories:
The sound of branches groaning in the wind,
The smell of your father's shoes,
How tears tasted and felt.

Here is the first dream you thought worth writing down,
The first verse you committed to memory,
A list of the lies you told to get out of trouble,
An explanation of the animal you chose
For a totem and how it chose you.

Between these lines is a tale of tragedy,
Of hilarity, the telling of your first kiss,
Your first betrayal, the first time
You felt different. And why.

Next you tell when your parents failed you
and how you learned to forgive them.
You list all your teachers, beginning
With the one you could not charm who taught you the most.
This space names the birds at your grand…


Before going to sleep, to concentrate, relax all tension in the physical being, try... that is, in the body try so that the body lies like a soft rag on the bed, that it is no longer something with twitchings and cramps; to relax it completely as though it were a kind of thing like a rag. And then, the vital: to calm it, calm it as much as you can, make it as quiet, as peaceful as possible. And then the mind also - the mind, try to keep it like that, without any activity. You must put upon the brain the force of great peace, great quietude, of silence if possible, and not follow ideas actively, not make any effort, nothing, nothing; you must relax all movement there too, but relax it in a kind of silence and quietude as great as possible.
Once you have done all this, you may add either a prayer or an aspiration in accordance with your nature, to ask for the consciousness and peace and to be protected against all the adverse forces throughout the sleep, to be in a concentration of quie…

Ambreen Butt

Ambreen Butt has an exhibit in Chelsea of her beautiful artwork.

A student of Persian and Mogul miniature painting, Ambreen Butt expands on the format of this ancient technique. With intimately scaled imagery on overlaid sheets of stitched Mylar and paper, she weaves open-ended narratives that are both formally and conceptually layered. This work is from the 1999 series Bed of My Own Making, which introduced Butt’s female protagonists looped in cycles of impending calamity. Untitled shows a lone, long-haired figure standing in profile with a lit torch, about to march forward, yet her own tresses moor her to a sprouting tree behind her.

I Need a Hero
Kustera Tilton Gallery
520 West 21st Street, Chelsea
Through July 29

Here is a review of her creative challenging work from the New York Times.

With flair, wit and uncommon craftsmanship, Ambreen Butt, a Muslim born in Pakistan but now living in the United States, revives the exquisitely detailed medium of Persian and Indian miniature paintin…

Sarah Palin on SNL

Huffington Post has a video of Sarah Palin (Tina Fey) skit on Saturday Night Live. It is really quite funny.

Here is a video of Tina Fey on David Letterman. Apparently yesterday SNL has been taken of many websites due to copyright violations unfortunately.

Confusing Words

Learning Disabilites Resources has a great post on confusing words.

Confusing Words is a collection of 3210 words that are troublesome to readers and writers. Words are grouped according to the way they are most often confused or misused.

Some of these words are homonyms (words that sound alike but are spelled differently) and some are just commonly confused.

What are Confusing Words?
affect and effect
there, their, and they're
capital and capitol
affluent and effluent
atheist and agnostic
...and over 3000 more.
Most Popular Confusing Words
lay (12022)
lay (12013)
less (8989)
less (8988)
less (8984)
affect (7090)

The last confusing word viewed was: ideal, which is confused with idealistic.
Click the Confusing Words logo to return to this page. Click About Confusing Words below for help finding the words you're looking for, contact information, and for a history of this project.

Keith Olbermann

Keith Olbermann is one of the political commentators on MSNBC, he comes before Rachel Maddow and he is really good. Here is a sampling of his views.

Although it began as a traditional newscast, Countdown With Keith Olbermann has adopted an opinion-oriented format. Much of the program has featured harsh criticism of prominent Republicans and rightward leaning figures, including those working for or supporting the George W. Bush Administration, 2008 Republican presidential nominee Senator John McCain, [22] and rival news commentator Bill O'Reilly, whom Olbermann routinely dubs the "Worst Person In The World."[2]

In January 2007 The Washington Post's Howard Kurtz wrote that Olbermann was "position[ing] his program as an increasingly liberal alternative to The O'Reilly Factor."[23] The media watchdog group Media Research Center (MRC) compiled a list of the recipients of Olbermann's "World's Worst" for about a year from its beginnin…

Paul Krugman

Paul Krugman won the Nobel prize for economics for his economic theories on international trade. I like that his column in the NYT are simple to read and understand are not filled with economic jargon but yet he is aware of all the ideas behind the terminology.

Krugman's work looked at on how economies of scale — the idea that as the volume of production increases, the cost of making each unit falls — worked alongside population levels and transportation costs to affect global trade. Krugman's theory was that because consumers want a diversity of products, and because economies of scale make production cheaper, multiple countries can build similar products, such as cars. Sweden builds its own car brands for export and to sell at home, for example, while also importing cars from other countries.

Paul Krugman, whose relentless criticism of the Bush administration includes opposition to the $700 billion financial bailout, won the Nobel prize in economics Monday for his work on int…

Black Holes

Priya Natarajan is in in the news for discovering that black holes have an upper limit of growth and dont just keep growing out of control.

By Charles PetitOctober 25th, 2008; Vol.174 #9 (p. 18) Text Size A black hole can consume anything in its path. These monsters can become huge — but perhaps only so huge.BLACK HOLE TAXONOMYENLARGE | Click to enlarge for a primer on black hole taxonomy.Design: J. Korenblat

If asked to name stupendously amazing things in space, most people would probably pick black holes. These evil-tinged clowns of the universe are definite wows. Insatiable is their middle name.

Grand and merciless, voracious and monstrous, pure appetite and deep mystery. The biggest fatten themselves in galaxy cores mainly via a seemingly limitless hunger for a main source of sustenance: fat, circular wads of gas that gather around the black holes and are sometimes given a name to delight any glutton, Polish doughnuts. Black holes cloak their innards behind an “event horizon,” from …

Indian Americans

New America Media writes about the death of Mr. Rajaram and the ascent of Neel Kashkari, both examples of the American economy's rapid downward descent.

Neel Kashkari, 35, MBA. Job Experience – Goldman Sachs, TRW, U.S. Treasury.

Karthik Rajaram, 45, MBA, Job Experience – PriceWaterhouseCoopers, NanoUniverse, Azur Partners LLC.

In another life they could have known each other, traded business cards. Successful professionals with all the trappings of the model minority. The kinds that can own a home in a gated community with a Lexus SUV in the driveway. Indian-American median family income rose from $87,484 in 2006 to $92,925 in 2007. Kashkari and Rajaram should have been examples of those statistics.

But instead they have become the two faces of America's economic collapse – the two horsemen of our apocalypse.

Kashkari is the $700 billion man – the knight on the white horse heading the rescue of collapsing corporations. Except it was too late for Rajaram.

Rajaram, unemployed, his sav…

Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio

Nobel Prize for literature was won by a French writer, that I have
never heard off, but sounds very interesting. I agree with his
criticism of American writers being insular. Here is a review of his work from the NYT.

LONDON — The French writer Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio,
whose work reflects a seemingly insatiable restlessness and sense of
wonder about other places and other cultures, won the 2008 Nobel Prize
in Literature on Thursday. In its citation, the Swedish Academy praised
Mr. LeClézio , 68, as the “author of new departures, poetic adventure
and sensual ecstasy, explorer of a humanity beyond and below the
reigning civilization.”

The works of Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio reflect a sense of wonder about other cultures.

Mr. Le Clézio’s
work defies easy characterization, but in more than 40 essays, novels
and children’s books, he has written of exile and self-discovery, of
cultural dislocation and …

Jasleen Dhamija

I found this slice of life history of Delhi and Jasleen Masi's colorful life. Quite fascinating.

Of people and places


LIVING in Delhi has been for me a rich experience and despite all its drawbacks, I have come to love this city. Even today I love it as one can only love an impossible lover.

I see Delhi as a microcosm of greater India, for I can experience all the different cultures in my own locality, the MIG apartments at Saket. As I walk my dog I see rangoli from South India and hear the strains of nadaswaram floating down the road. On festive days there is the Bengali alpana and voices singing Rabindra sangeet. The call of the azan is heard every day. On Guru Nanak’s birthday one is unceremoniously woken by firecrackers and prabhat pheri at the crack of dawn. I curse this religiosity, but a part of me is happy that old traditions survive. On Diwali all the houses are lit, with twinkling oil lamps, candles and the new, tiny electric lights. My heart fills with joy a…
Never allow someone to be your Priority, While allowing yourself to be their Option'

Thanks Laila for this.

Rachel Maddow

Alternet writes on political commentator Rachel Maddow, who has her own show on MSNBC. She is like a breath of fresh air in the field that is surrounded by old, shrill, white men.

"I think I have a fear in general about whether being a pundit is a worthwhile thing to be," Rachel Maddow tells me over dinner at a Latin restaurant in lower Manhattan. It's more than the ordinary self-deprecation of someone who just got her own cable commentary show. It's an insecurity essential to the on-air style that's powered the 35-year-old's rapid rise from a wacky morning radio show in western Massachusetts to the liberal radio network Air America and now to her own prime-time show on MSNBC.

Maddow is not a Tim Russert or a Chris Matthews -- an ostensibly nonpartisan interviewer who badgers politicians and policy-makers about contradictions in their records. Nor is she a Rush Limbaugh or a Glenn Beck -- an attack dog who deals in calculated anger, bluster, and outrage. She…