Showing posts from November, 2009

thought for today

SAS Newsletter: "Whatever the unpleasantness of circumstances, however disagreeable the conduct of others, you must learn to receive them with a perfect calm and without any disturbing reaction. These things are the test of equality. It is easy to be calm and equal when things go well and people and circumstances are pleasant; it is when they are the opposite that the completeness of the calm, peace, equality can be tested, reinforced, made perfect.

- Sri Aurobindo [SABCL, 23:662-63]"

Pankaj Mishra

He writes on the significance of 9.11 in India.

ON the evening of Sept. 11, 2001, I hurried through a dark apple orchard to the nearest television in this Himalayan village. My landlord opened his door reluctantly, and then appeared unmoved by the news I had just received by phone. I struggled to explain the enormity of what was happening, the significance of New York, the iconic status of the World Trade Center — to no avail. It was time for his evening prayers; the television could not be turned on.

I did not witness the horrific sights of 9/11 until three days later. Since then, cable television and even broadband Internet have arrived in Mashobra and in my own home. Now the world’s manifold atrocities are always available for brisk inspection on India’s many 24-hour news channels. Indeed, the brutal terrorist assault on Mumbai that killed 163 people a year ago was immediately proclaimed as India’s own 9/11 by the country’s young TV anchors, who seem to model themselves on Sean Hann…

Duba Dubai!

Jim Crane talks about some ridiculous projects Dubai has created.

You underestimate Dubai at your own risk. Its concoctions look ridiculous to rational-minded people. It is difficult to believe the city can succeed. But it does. Over and over, for decades, Dubai has humiliated its naysayers.

This time, though, Dubai's mistake could inflict lasting damage. The projects behind the city's debts may have been flights of fancy – artificial islands larger than Hong Kong, water-sucking golf courses, and an amusement zone bigger than Orlando – but the debts behind them are not. The damage could take years to live down.

Dubai, with all of its excess, is the biggest thing to happen in the Arab world for 700 years. Its rise is part of an eastward shift in the Middle East's centre of gravity, from the old Mediterranean capitals to the brash new ones on the Gulf. Dubai's success is important for the region, and for the rest of us who would like to see more stability in this roiled par…

Michael Wesch from KSU on how to teach

Meg Taylor forwarded this article to me, that is so relevant. We need to change our teaching from recalling information to learning tools to be able to be knowledge producers.

Here is the complete article.

From Knowledgable to Knowledge-able: Learning in New Media Environments
Posted January 7th, 2009 by Michael Wesch , Kansas State University
Tags: Essays,Teaching and Technology,anthropology,Assessment,information revolution,multimedia,participatory learning,Web 2.0
2 Comments | 16520 Page Views

Most university classrooms have gone through a massive transformation in the past ten years. I'm not talking about the numerous initiatives for multiple plasma screens, moveable chairs, round tables, or digital whiteboards. The change is visually more subtle, yet potentially much more transformative. As I recently wrote in a Britannica Online Forum:
There is something in the air, and it is nothing less than the digital artifacts of over one billion people and computers networke…

Sports, Sex and the Case of Caster Semeya

Ariel Levy has an indepth piece on the confusion regarding South African runner Caster Semeya's gender.

hen people in South Africa say “Limpopo,” they mean the middle of nowhere. They are referring to the northernmost province of the country, along the border with Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique, where few people have cars or running water or opportunities for greatness. The members of the Moletjie Athletics Club, who live throughout the area in villages of small brick houses and mud-and-dung huts, have high hopes nonetheless.

One day in late September, twenty teen-age athletes gathered for practice on a dirt road in front of Rametlwana Lower Primary School, after walking half an hour through yellow cornfields from their homes, to meet their coach, Jeremiah Mokaba. The school’s track is not graded, and donkeys and goats kept walking across it to graze on the new grass that was sprouting as the South African winter gave way to spring. “During the rainy season, we can’t train,” sai…

Hard to go back

NYT's reports on the experience of some Indian's educated here and in Europe that go back to India and their experiences.

NEW DELHI — When 7-year-old Shiva Ayyadurai left Mumbai with his family nearly 40 years ago, he promised himself he would return to India someday to help his country.

Mr. Ayyadurai, now 45, moved from Boston to New Delhi hoping to make good on that promise. An entrepreneur and lecturer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, with a fistful of American degrees, he was the first recruit of an ambitious government program to lure talented scientists of the so-called desi diaspora back to their homeland.

“It seemed perfect,” he said recently of the job opportunity.

It wasn’t.

As Mr. Ayyadurai sees it now, his Western business education met India’s notoriously inefficient, opaque government, and things went downhill from there. Within weeks, he and his boss were at loggerheads. Last month, his job offer was withdrawn. Mr. Ayyadurai has moved back to Boston.


Tara Pope writes about how people with food issues have a lot of problems during the holidays.

For Thanksgiving dinner, what side dish would you prefer to accompany your turkey — a serving of well-marinated conflict over how much or how little you eat, or some nice, fresh criticism of your cooking skills?

As families gather around the country this week to celebrate Thanksgiving, many of them are bracing for the intense emotions of the holiday meal. The combination of food and family often brings out longstanding tensions, criticism and battles for control. Simple issues like cooking with butter or asking for seconds are fraught with family conflict and commentary.

“If we had an audiotape of a lot of families talking together, you would hear so much chatter about what other people are eating, who gained weight, who lost weight, who’s eating like a bird, who’s having seconds,” notes Cynthia M. Bulik, director of the eating disorders program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hil…

When your spouse is your business partner

Interesting to learn how different personality types interact.

November 27, 2009, 9:12 am When Your Spouse Is Your Business Partner
If you have to be a little crazy to be an entrepreneur, going into business with your spouse must represent a special kind of lunacy. My husband, Chris, and I have been business partners for more than six years. In that time we’ve started two businesses, sold one of them, had two kids and gotten more or less used to the daily roller coaster ride of entrepreneurial life.

Chris and I had a meeting of the business minds early on. We met back in 2000 at a wireless service provider where we were both working. Chris had just sold his share of a machine shop to his partner, and I had come skulking back to the “old economy” after two whirlwind years at dot-com ventures in Seattle. The job market was tight, and we were both hired for our experience, tenacity and M.B.A.s. When we announced our engagement a couple of years later, one of our co-workers…

Edible School Yard

Cool ideas by Maira Kalman about thanksgiving and eating locally and creating an edible schoolyard. Beautiful





Paden and Sujata infront of the pies


IceCream Time


afternoon sun




getting to know ya




dont touch my mama




Time to move back to Pakistan..

Mohsin Hamid writes that now is the time to be in Pakistan with the government finally taking on the Taliban.

My wife Zahra and I recently decided to move back to Pakistan. Many friends in London seem puzzled by our decision. That is understandable. Pakistan plays a recurring role as villain in the horror sub-industry within the news business. It is, we are constantly told, a place where car bombs go off in crowded markets, beheadings get recorded in grainy video, and nuclear weapons are assembled in frightening proximity to violent extremists.

August 14 is Pakistan's independence day. This year it also marked the birth of our daughter, Dina. (It was a close thing. Nineteen hours later and she would have been born on India's independence day. For a novelist, the symbolism would have been considerably more tricky. Fortunately Dina was in no mood to dally.)

Childbirth changed my perception of my wife. She was now the bloodied special forces soldier who had fought and risked everyth…

Dinner at the Obamas for the Singhs

More images here.

SAS Newsletter

SAS Newsletter: "What is the best attitude? Is it an attitude of intervention or an attitude of non-interference? Which is better?
Ah, that's just it, to intervene you must be sure that you are right; you must be sure that your vision of things is superior, preferable or truer than the vision of the other person or people. Then it is always wiser not to intervene - people intervene without rhyme or reason, simply because they are in the habit of giving their opinion to others.
Even when you have the vision of the true thing, it is very rarely wise to intervene. It only becomes indispensable when someone wants to do something which will necessarily lead to a catastrophe. Even then, intervention is not always very effective.
In fact, intervention is justified only when you are absolutely sure that you have the vision of truth. Not only that, but also a clear vision of the consequences. To intervene in someone else's actions, one must be a prophet - a prophet. And a prophet …

Progressive Education

Here is a blog by The Robert Parker School Principal. Here is an article by a parent from the same school.

by Sarah Firisen

I have spent a lot of time recently thinking about corporate innovation; how to define it, how to inspire ideation and how companies can move forward in their implementation of ideas. And the more I read and think about innovation, the more I realize that something far greater is at stake here than just the ability of US companies to create new product lines and services during a recession. I want to make the case that there is a fundamental, philosophical problem with the US education system, and that if the current educational trends for most of the children in the US aren’t addressed, then the ability for this country to generate innovative scientists, politicians and business leaders out of future generations will be drastically undermined. The extent to which this is a valid concern was highlighted in the recent Newsweek-Intel Global Innovation Survey and its …

Broken Embraces

This Pedro Almovodar movie is about death, memory, jealousy and a lot of feelings of guilt. Its quite heavy and depressing to watch.

Independent reviews it here.

After a run of world-class films that began 10 years ago with All about My Mother, Pedro Almodóvar has slightly taken his foot off the pedal here.
There is much to admire in the silky editing and kaleidoscopic narrative of this movie-inflected melodrama, though having set up its plot beautifully in the first hour the film somehow muffs the resolution of its multiple intrigues. Echoing Bad Education, it concerns a blind screenwriter, Harry Caine (Lluís Homar), who's hiding from his former identity as film-maker Mateo Blanco. Flashing back to the early 1990s we find Blanco involved in a passionate affair with Lena (Penélope Cruz), herself balancing a double identity as a humble PA and an aspiring actress – she will star in Blanco's new movie "Girls and Suitcases", itself a reworking of Almodóvar's Women on th…

New Museum in Bowery

This new space in Manhattan is a welcome addition to the cultural landscape of Chinatown. I particulary enjoyed the exhibit of Nikhil Chopra.

Chinua Achebe

Chinua Achebe says Africans should tell their own stories.

The celebrated Nigerian author Chinua Achebe is to advise Penguin on a new series of books which aims to publish the very best in African writing.

Achebe's own short story collection, Girls at War, will be one of six inaugural books in the Penguin African Writers series, which launches this August and will also include Ngugi wa Thiong'o's Weep Not, Child, about the effects of the Mau Mau war on the ordinary people of Kenya, and the second novel by Zimbabwean Dambudzo Marechera.

"The last 500 years of European contact with Africa produced a body of literature that presented Africa in a very bad light and now the time has come for Africans to tell their own stories," said Achebe, author of the classics Things Fall Apart and Anthills of the Savannah. "Africa is not simple – often people want to simplify it, generalise it, stereotype its people, but Africa is very complex."

Achebe hopes the series will …

Zadie Smith

Zadie Smith writes in the Guardian about writing Essay as opposed to novels.

Why do novelists write essays? Most publishers would rather have a novel. Bookshops don't know where to put them. It's a rare reader who seeks them out with any sense of urgency. Still, in recent months Jonathan Safran Foer, Margaret Drabble, Chinua Achebe and Michael Chabon, among others, have published essays, and so this month will I. And though I think I know why I wrote mine, I wonder why they wrote theirs, and whether we all mean the same thing by the word "essay", and what an essay is, exactly, these days. The noun has an unstable history, shape-shifting over the centuries in its little corner of the OED.

Changing My Mind: Occasional Essays
by Zadie Smith
320pp,Hamish Hamilton,£20Buy Changing My Mind: Occasional Essays at the Guardian bookshopFor Samuel Johnson in 1755 it is: "A loose sally of the mind; an irregular undigested piece; not a regularly and orderly composition." And…

Shauna Singh Baldwin

Sikh Chic has an interesting interview with SSB.

Shauna Singh Baldwin: Writing Through Tears

An Interview and a Book Review by ROSALIA SCALIA

A powerful literary voice rising from North America but echoing worldwide, Shauna Singh Baldwin gives us widely diverse characters who enable us to understand the similarities we all share. Her novel, What the Body Remembers, published in 2000, won the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best Book, and her second novel, The Tiger Claw, published in 2004, was nominated for the Giller Prize. Baldwin's second short story collection, We Are Not in Pakistan, has recently been released. Her first story collection, titled English Lessons and Other Stories, depicts the struggles of immigrant Sikhs. It won the Friends of American Writers Prize.

Shauna and her husband, who live in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.A., own Safe House - a spy-themed restaurant.


Rosalia Scalia [RS]: Sikh men usually take the common last name Singh (lion) and Sikh wome…