Feast for Thought

Not pontificating. Only trying to bat on the side of the environment. And ethics. And simple living. And slowing down. (And trying to learn and practise before preaching or teaching...)

Friday, January 30, 2009

Priceless Notes (NB's) on Valueless Notes (Rs$€¥£₣)

Some priceless notes on valueless notes -

# Mr Raju may have 'experimented with Satyam', but he came clean, (or should it read dirty?), didn't he? That's much more than can be said of brilliant whizkids of the financial domain in Country-That-Should-Not-Be-Named, who continue to pocket millions in bonuses - common people's savings, and the money that never could be found for food and environment crises...

# My copyrighted view of the term CTC - a somewhat demeaning term. If I cost 20 lacs to a company, I am a black hole. I can't help looking at the term askance - I prefer to know that I am an asset to my company thank you. If by employing me the company says it costs 20 lacs, shouldn't this tag be mandatory? - 'this is just 0.001% of what the company earned with me in the position'...

# What's the point in earning degrees, and training, and then aim to be merely good enough to make more and more money - endlessly? How comfortable to earn slowly and steadily. We would never have had to see GD_II had the money-makers opened the door to this piece of wisdom, and let the have-nots have some happy moments as well...
(GD_II - Great Depression the Second]

# The more you buy, the more garbage you buy - how silly of one to spend money on garbage! - unless you were as recycle-happy as Amsterdam's Waste and Energy Company

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Best wishes to Team Obama

Citizens of your nation, and millions of peoples worldwide are in need of a change for the better. In the expectation that you have the right set of advisors, we will be watching, hoping and praying for the best.
Pic courtesy - Internet
He is a First Person in a faraway land, and he's a (very important) 'third person' for my country, but the heavy burdens on not-so-broad shoulders are very visible to the whole world.
All he needs to remember day in and day out in all his actions is this -
There are the Very Fortunate nearer him and the Much More Unfortunate elsewhere, but all have just this earth as home, and the 'butterfly effect' leaves no one untouched.


Saturday, January 17, 2009

Fruits of pilot skill and collective karma!

That was a textbook, picture-perfect sort of happening. Warmest kudos to Mr Chesley Sullenberger on successfully using all his skills of 40+ years and executing a calm, composed, measured and completely successful ditching of his flight on the Hudson River, NY. For once let's attribute his success and the safe return of 155 friends to their collective karma
Pic courtesy - The Hindu
Notes: An aircraft is usually designed to enable landing on water and is therefore equipped with additional safety equipment. Now you know you should listen carefully to the pretty stewardess explaining safety procedures!
How they're airworthy, and also crashworthy
Quoting from Wiki -
"In December 2002, The Economist quoted an expert as claiming that "No large airliner has ever made an emergency landing on water" in an article that goes on to charge, "So the life jackets ... have little purpose other than to make passengers feel better." This claim was repeated in The Economist in September 2006 in an article which claimed that "in the history of aviation the number of wide-bodied aircraft that have made successful landings on water is zero."
On January 15, 2009 US Airways Flight 1549, an Airbus A320 narrow-body jet, made a successful landing in the Hudson River adjacent to Manhattan in New York City after dual engine failure due to bird strikes. Sources identified the pilot as Chesley B. "Sully" Sullenberger. All 155 passengers and crew survived with only some minor injuries, in part because the pilot ditched the plane adjacent to the passenger ferry route between NYC and New Jersey."
Other images of landing on water here

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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Why don't humans hibernate? - Musings on foggy morns

If only we two-legged upright creatures realized the benefits of hibernating...

I can't see beyond 50 metres in Delhi,
you can't drive afore you clear your Boston drive
Look at the bear - he's wise, no balaclavas,
no fireplaces, he stays put till spring cometh
Why don't humans hibernate?

I like the snow in summer, visiting
atop a tourist-glacier, and
enjoy cold, wet hands for a few minutes
the warmth is just down the hill.
Why can't humans hibernate?

Why burn more fuel for warmth?
Why have winter fashion?
Why add even more layers
over cultivated fatty layers?
Why won't humans hibernate?

Warm-blooded? or cold?
How cozy to have your fill
and sleep your way through,
saving energy in several ways...
When will humans hibernate?

This is not a rhetorical query - I await your response - and you have time till Dec 2009 to respond. This winter though, I'll continue to relply to my son's "Amma, I do not want to get out of the warm bed!" thus - "I'm sorry my son, humans don't hibernate, you'll have to rise."

Here are my additions to some 'memory aids on the Celsius scale'
When it's zero it's freezing, - I agree
when it's 10 it's not, - but near enough
when it's 20 it's warm, - of course not
when it's 30 it's hot! - it's cool

and to another -
Thirty is hot - pleasant, I allow
Twenty is nice - n.....ice?
Ten is cool - heaters, please
Zero is ice - granted!

By chance, these thoughts (origins not yet known) reached me this week - (enlarge to read)I'd prefer to be a squirrel though!

When one hails from Chennai, where the clime is hot in winter, hotter at most other times, and hottest in summer, out come the single cardigan or shawl for any temperature below 30 degrees C (about 86 F) - honest! I discover that I am just not built for temperatures of less that 15 C, as I encounter north-Indian cold.

In the meanwhile - I continue to pray - May the winter Sun never Set!

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Friday, January 09, 2009

A happy farmer near MHOW, Indore

When one travels by road or rail in India, it is such a pleasure to watch green pastures flit by. Thankful for a chance to stop on the way back from Paataal Paani in MHOW, MP, we yielded to the standing invitation of verdant countryside to stop and quietly appreciate the hands that till and toil hard for our tables to remain supplied.....

Indore district has plenty of seasonal potato cultivation. We could see expanses of the plants in various stages, while driving through to tourists spots in the district. Eyes sore from cities' concrete jungles, one cannot have enough of watching welcoming green acres, and we stopped to talk to a proud farmer, Mr B, who willingily shared details of his 'bread and butter'. We came away from the fields as contented as that smiling, optimistic land care-taker.

As a keen follower of P Sainath's articles and reports on the unhappy farming households of (mostly central) India, and the figures that always bring tears to the eyes, Gandhiji's words are always in my mind - "India lives in its villages". And the family is happy to watch 'Krishi Darshan' 'Pon Vilayum Bhoomi' 'Krishi Deepam' and reading the 'Agriculture' pages in the newspaper.
[Of the rural farming situation in India, Sainath has said - "The agrarian crisis is about a much wider rural distress. It's a crisis driven not by drought or natural calamity as Mr Sharad Pawar has said in the Parliament. And he didn't use the word crisis. It's a crisis driven by policy; global, national, local. Ok, why did this happen? It happened because through the reform years, we've been diverting resources, we've been robbing the poor to pay the rich. Now I cover guys who commit suicide because they're not able to get less than 10% interest on Rs 8000 crop loan. I go back to my urban middle-class home in Mumbai where I get an invitation from my bank 'buy a Mercedes Benz, no collateral at 4% interest'. So if you're buying a Mercedes Benz – unproductive expenditure – you pay virtually no interest. If you are the food producers, you're paying two to three times that interest. That's the sheer injustice of it." ]

Would that our Government let all our farming communities, nation-wide, be as happy and contented as Mr B.

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Thursday, January 08, 2009

Paataal Paani in the monsoons

These are pictures of the same place (please see previous entry) during the rainy seasons - July - September
The waterfall reaches a very deep gorge, which the locals have baptised as 'paataal' - meaning nether-world.

Thanks, Lt Col R, for sharing!

For glimpses of more world's, visit That's My World

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Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Paataal Paani, near MHOW, Indore

Here are views of Paataal Paani, a scenic spot near MHOW, in Indore, Madhya Pradesh (central India).
The waterfall is little more than a trickle off-season, but the whole place turns green and vibrant in the monsoons.
Alongside is a metre-guage railway track, and the spot offers obvious opportunities to turn into a modern picnic spot with cable cars and walkways. But I prefer it 'raw'!

For glimpses of more world's, visit That's My World

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