Friday, October 31, 2003


Windfalls of war

An org called Center for Public Integrity has come out with a report on the variuos American cos that have been provided contarcts for reconstruction work in Iraq and Afghan (

Itz starting as to how blatantly the US Govt is doling out contracts to cos that funded Bush's American campaign. Another proof of itz real intentions behind the war. I'm also amazed as to how less this is making news in the American media.....that too with all parties in election-mode. Probably a result of American obsession with "spicy" news rather than "real" news :-(

Wednesday, October 29, 2003


The last Supersonic Flight!

So, the Concorde has taken itz last flight :-( I would guess this is a setback in the field of technology, esp in aviation. Itz unfortunate that the best of the technology did not become affordable to the common man, even more than 2 decades after the technology really matured. This supersonic flight is in since more than 2 decades, and still it was out of the reach of common man. A return ticket from NewYork to London cost more than $10k!
In a typical lifecycle of technology, we see that any new technology comes at a premium and with less penetration at the onset, but will trickle down gradually and will be more affordable and common. However, if this doesnt not happen - as in this case this did not happen - then, I guess the scope for the technology is very less.
Anywayz, kudos to the flight that took u at Mach2 and faster.......kudos to the flight that took u from NewYork to London in abt 3 hrs......and kudos to the flight that allowed u to attend a meeting in London at 9am, and fly to NewYork for another meeting at 7am the same day! Asta-la-vista baby.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003


Fall season

Itz the best time of the yr!!!! Fall is here and actually by now almost gone too! Oon Sat I along with some friends toured some places further north where fall colors r very beautiful....itz amazing how the trees develop these of the beautiful wonders of nature! Do have a look at the pics of fall colors at They r really beautiful! The place is called Door and itz abt 300 miles north of Chicago.

Saturday, October 18, 2003


India and space program

Amid all the euphoria abt India's advancement in variuos "hitech" filed and economically, an artcle in rediff at thats hows how poorly we are lacking as compared to China. Is Mr. Kalam listening??? Just having a 2020 vision is not good enuff, if u dont have a system in place to achieve it :-(

Thursday, October 16, 2003


Govt and religion

Itz a very contentiuos issue: Shud the Govt promote a specific religion??? Itz been a contentiuos issue in India and itz been an issue here in US too. A couple of weeks back a judge was dismissed because he installed a big plaque of Ten Commandments in the court's premises. It was said that this amounted to Court's propagation of religion.
Now itz the controversy over invoking of God's name in a school pledge that says "one nation under God." Now, I know u will say it doesnt promote any one religion. But then, doesnt it use the term "God". Now an atheist has taken offence that his daughter's freedom not to believe in God is violated!
There are "intellectuals' who say that the Govy shud keep itz hands off religion. For eg, when Saraswati Vandana was introduced in India, the "secularists" took offence saying it amounted to Govt-propagation of religion. Same with the Ten Commandments case in US!
I wud say that we shud draw a thin line of diff b/w "promotion of culture" and "propagation of religion". Religion is so closely bound to the culture of a society that I guess itz not possible for one to keep the two completely separate. I guess if the Govt takes a hard stance and totally tries to separate itself from the culture of the society, that wud lead to a lot of hear-burn among the ppl - and when I say ppl, I mean the ppl in majority. For eg, lighting of lamp at the beginning of any activity is part of Indian culture. If the Govt says that it will abandon this practice because it is not part of the culture of non-Hindu ppl, then that wud lead to quite a few heart-burns. I wud say the same with Saraswati Vandana or Ten Commandments. As long as the practice does not preach hatred against any other sects/religions, the I see no reason why it shud be detested.

Quite vociferous but though-provoking debate in US on whether the lady in "vegetative" state should be allowed to live or not. Hundreds of ppl are protesting the judge's decision to allow the removal of the feeding tube. Newsgroups are flooded with arguments both for and against the decision (mostly against!). I really appreciate the Americans been forthcoming in issues like this. I guess very few ppl in India wud;ve cared for such issues.

Also interestingly, the lawyer who is arguing for the husband of the lady is a staunch practitioner of Yoga and also a disciple of Paramahans Yogananda. (More about him at

The story from NYTimes:

Feeding Tube Is Removed From Brain-Damaged Woman

Published: October 15, 2003

PINELLAS PARK, Fla. -- The feeding tube keeping a severely brain-damaged woman alive was removed Wednesday, ending an epic, six-year legal battle between her husband and her parents.

Terri Schiavo, 39, underwent the procedure at the Tampa Bay area hospice where she has been living for several years, said her father, Bob Schindler. Attorneys representing her husband, Michael Schiavo, said it will take between a week and 10 days for her to die.

The tube removal came just hours after Gov. Jeb Bush told Bob Schindler and his wife, Mary, that he was instructing his legal staff to find some means to block the court order allowing Michael Schiavo to end his wife's life.

"I am not a doctor, I am not a lawyer. But I know that if a person can be able to sustain life without life support, that should be tried," the governor said, adding the "ultimate decision of this is in the courts."

The father of the woman said the family was heartened by the governor's last-minute effort.

"The family has not given up hope on Terri," Bob Schindler Jr. said following the meeting with Bush. "We have spoken to the governor, and he hasn't given up hope either."

Schiavo has been in a vegetative state since 1990, when her heart stopped because of doctors said may have been a chemical imbalance. Her parents believe she is capable of learning how to eat and drink on her own.

A state appeals court in Lakeland rejected motions by an attorney for the Schindlers and their legal remedies have been exhausted, their lawyer said Tuesday.

Michael Schiavo says his wife would not have wanted to be kept alive artificially in this way, but his in-laws contend that she wants to live. She left no living will or other written instructions.

"In our eyes, it's murder," Bob Schindler said Wednesday on CBS' "Early Show."

George Felos, attorney for Michael Schiavo, said that the Schindlers were "still in denial" over Terri Schiavo's wishes not to be kept alive.

Doctors have testified that the noises and facial expressions Terri Schiavo makes are reflexes and do not indicate that she has enough mental capabilities to communicate.

Her feeding tube was removed once before in April 2001 after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to reverse a lower court's ruling ordering the tube be taken out. But a judge hearing a lawsuit from the Schindlers ordered the tube be reinserted two days later.

The Schindlers also contend that Michael Schiavo should not be his wife's guardian because he has long dated another woman. Michael Schiavo has refused to divorce his wife, saying that he fears her parents would ignore her desire to die if they became her guardians.

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

The talk of the town in Chicago (and at other places, as neighbours envy!) is the winning streak if Chicago Cubs in the National League baseball matches. Ok, they did loose on Saturday but still everybody here is excited abt their form!
Itz striking here that 4 games that Americans r passionate abt - Basketball, Baseball. American Football and Ice Hockey - and among these, all the tournaments that r famous r local to US.....what i call Ranji trophy matches ;-) Whether itz the National league, NBA, NHL, SuperBowl....all r Ranji trophy-level tournaments - and will any day beat Olympics, or US Open, or may be even Soccer World Cup in popularity charts here. F1 is hardly heard of here....Americans have their own version in Nascar.
Just goes on to show how limited American scope of the world is.....ppl here live in their own world that stops and ends at America, and at maximum extends to the North American continent.

Saturday, October 11, 2003

Granny Flats:

I used to alwayz consider a lot of home-owners in B'lore as greedy because they converted their houses into multiple apts - something like converting a 2BHK into two single bedroom houses - that would make it 2 congested dinghy-type houses. This became all the more common in areas like BTM, K'mangala where there was sudden housing boom (no small contribution from Infy!) and almost every bloody house got converted into 2/3 houses.
Now, the same phenomenon is happening - although in a much more decent and organised way (as all American thingz are) - in US also! In areas like Chicago, San Francisco, etc, ppl r converting their garages (I must mention here that garages here r generally quite big - typically capable of housing 2 or more cars, fitness equipments, etc) into small but fully equipped apts - what r called here as Granny Flats! I would guess that this is a recipe for disaster as far as city management is considered. Ppl will start parking their cars on the road, and because of extra occupation, more cars will ocupy the same area....architectural aethetics will go for a toss (although I'm sure Americans will do a better job than B'loreans!), ppl will slowly become more greedy lured by this idle income - I wud say this is the worst thing that has happened to ppl of B'lore in the last 7-8 yrs :-((

Intra-party infighting

The amount of intra-party infighting among Republicans and Democrats is surprising. During California recall election, Cruz Bustamante was openly companions against Gray Davis, McClintock against Arnold,and now we have the Democratic presidential candidates campaigning aginst each other. Today's NTimes says that John Kerry and Gephardt are joining hands to campaign against Howard Dean. In the Democratic debate organised by CNN this week, it looked as if everybody wanted to bring down Wesley Clark.

Quite a contrast to India where the "high command" controls all views in the party and such open infightings invite "disciplinary action"!

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