The Passing of Former President Mr APJ Abdul Kalam


Mr APJ Abdul Kalam
Mr APJ Abdul Kalam

Former President of India, Mr APJ Abdul Kalam, passed away on 27th July, 2015. He was 83 years old. It is indeed a sad day for the millions of Indians who hold him in high regard and genuine affection. He is celebrated for his many professional accomplishments and admired for his character, his sincere dedication to improving his beloved motherland. He perhaps deserved to be the head of state — a position he held from July 2002 through July 2007 — more than many others who have held  that position recently. May his soul RIP.
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The Only Home We’ve Ever Known

Deep Space Climate Observatory satellite took this picture of earth from 1 million miles away on July 6th.


(Right click on image above and “Open image in new tab” to see full version.)
That picture is a lot closer than the photograph of planet Earth taken on February 14, 1990, by the Voyager 1 space probe from a record distance of about 6 billion kilometers (3.7 billion miles, 40.5 AU).
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Constitutions Matter in our Daily Lives

Regular readers of this blog know of my interest in constitutions and how they affect the prosperity, or lack thereof, of nations. A recent conversation with a friend prompted this line of thinking about constitutions and how they matter in our everyday life even though it may appear that constitutions are rather remote and cannot possibly be relevant in our lives.
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We need more Anandamide, not Jihadamide

Ganja, or as it is known in the West, Marijuana is a miracle weed. Hemp is another name. The wiki notes, “Hemp is a commonly used term for high-growing varieties of the Cannabis plant and its products, which include fiber, oil, and seed. Hemp is refined into products such as hemp seed foods, hemp oil, wax, resin, rope, cloth, pulp, paper, and fuel. Other variants of the herb Cannabis are widely used as a drug, commonly known as marijuana. These variants are typically low-growing and have higher content of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD), and other cannabinoids.”

I came across this National Geographic feature piece on the plant. Interesting tidbit —
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Circular Firing Squad of Flying Attack Monkeys Target Rajiv Malhotra

An old legal aphorism advises young lawyers that “If you have the facts on your side, pound the facts. If you have the law on your side, pound the law. If you have neither on your side, pound the table.” When you see someone furiously pounding the table, you’d be justified in thinking that he has taken that advice too seriously, and conclude that neither the facts nor the law are on his side.

The fact is that in any battle — of wits or muscle, figurative or real, defensive or offensive — one leads with the best device at one’s disposal. In desperate situations, clutching at straws may be the best one can do when one is in over one’s head and lifeboats are missing. That cliched image comes to mind seeing the recent charges of plagiarism against Shri Rajiv Malhotra.
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The Dreamer and the Dream

“I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.” That’s Carl Jung (1875 – 1961). Wiki says, he “was a Swiss psychiatrist and psychotherapist who founded analytical psychology. His work has been influential not only in psychiatry but also in philosophy, anthropology, archaeology, literature, and religious studies. . . . Jung created some of the best known psychological concepts, including the archetype, the collective unconscious, the complex, and extraversion and introversion.”

A few quotes follow.
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Aakash, the “iPad Killer”, Vaporware has Evaporated

Aaskash, the “iPad Killer”, vaporware that the idiot Kapil Sibal promoted, has quietly evaporated in March 2015. Hindustan Times reports “India’s low cost ‘Aakash’ tablet project closed in March
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Open Thread: Ask me anything

h l mencken_1Long time since we had an open thread. This is an “Ask me anything” post. What’s on your mind?

Apropos nothing, let’s read Mencken. Mencken was insightful. For instance, he noted the “basic delusion that men may be governed and yet be free.”
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