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Ex Quoque Pro Potestate. Cique Pro Necessitate
What's 10 days in 8 years? About 1 in 290 in a lazy 3:30 am approximation - <.4%.. Actually technically I have only 2 days to turn in the bloody thesis so that's <.08%.. Unfortunately though in this grad school race there are no prizes for surviving 99.92% of the race - it's a 100 or bust - boo.. Wish me luck!


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Hilarious little clip from Harry Enfield - to be taken with a few pinches of salt :-)

Had dropped the face of blog-world for a while, so Hello World!


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Folks that read this space will know will know my eternal fondness for the VHP fascists (yes, I know what that word implies thank you). But, the current object of ire is state terror from a different party, one that claims to speak from the "left" but in practice has long abandoned any pretensions to communist ideology in favour of the authoritarian neo-liberal model favoured by the Congress - so-called "Communist" Party of India (Marxist). I should say that I write from the perspective of a "person of the left" and pretty much all the linked articles are critiques of the CPM from the left.

The state uses colonial laws to displace peasant farmers from their land which is acquired for Big Business, party cadres fire on and sexually abuse peasants while police stand by.. Yawn, this is such old hat, yet another repressive Indian government that doesn't give a hoot about poor farmers - yet this one is from the party of EMS Namboodripad - a man who stands head shoulders chest above any of our current "leaders". They have fallen to truly craven depths. For all the news and analysis you're ever likely to have the appetite to consume regarding the CPI(M)'s state thuggery and ideological bankruptcy do check out the quite excellent Sanhati. A very good summary of the CPI(M)'s political history in Bengal can be found in this well written article(pdf) by Sumanta Banerjee published in the EPW. To quote:
The rot started with the CPI(M)’s using the administration to spread and consolidate its party base by selectively distributing largesse, and forcibly doling out plots of land to sections of the farmers and peasantry, who ultimately became their apparatchiki and retainers. This privileged segment of the rural population has emerged as a tyrannical force in the West Bengal countryside – bullying the villagers into accepting their party dictates, persecuting those who refuse to toe their line, extorting money in the name of collecting party funds, and assuming the role of the sole arbiter in any village dispute....
And their "achievements" after being in power for 30 years:
At the turn of the 21st century, it was revealed that only15 per cent of the net arable land had been distributed in the state. Even among those who received land, on an average 13 per cent had lost it by 2001, and the number of landless rural households increased from 39.6 per cent in 1987-88 to 49.8 per cent in 2000 (according to the West Bengal government’s first Human Development Report). The Human Development Report of the Planning Commission brought to light far more devastating facts – in rural West Bengal 85 per cent of the population did not have pucca houses; women and children were more underfed and anaemic than in other states; 35.66 per cent of its population still remained below the poverty line – all these figures reducing the state to the 20th position in the list of 32 states and union territories in terms of the human development index.

The government’s tall claim of improving the lot of dalits and tribal people was also punctured soon when the Pratichi Trust, headed by no less a person than Amartya Sen, came out in 2002 with shocking revelations about the discrimination against students of scheduled castes and tribes in the primary schools of the state. As for the other Left proclamation of enhancing the status of the Muslim minority (which constitutes almost a quarter of the population of the state), the Sachar Committee found that its share in state jobs was only 4.2 per cent. We must add to this the dismal record of the government’s failure to prevent closure of factory after factory, leading to unemployment and suicide among industrial workers
. A couple more articles on Nadigram one from Ashok Mitra an old and disillusioned CPM member (well worth the time), and another a citizens report

The people of Bengal deserve better than this craven party, for those of the left this is a challenge we must meet. Sumanta Banerjee's article ends with with this lovely poem by Langston Hughes, that serves as a timely "or else"

What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fetter like a sore -
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over-
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

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Snippet of random conversation about the Nobel Prizes:

"The iPod won the Physics prize and Powerpoint the Peace one!"

The whole institution of the Peace prize deserves a rant, but it shall be canned. It's been another long break for me from the blogging world, trust life's been treating y'all well..

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Egad, did we really climb up this trail? No photography tricks here, for about a mile and a half it really is that steep.. It's been a long hiatus in blogging space, wish I could say I was away plotting a revolution, or attribute the break to anything other than the routine humdrum grind.. One highlight of the break was a hike up Mt. Katahdin. Before I left I was told it was "challenging". After a 12 hr hike with 80+mph winds, the occasional shower and some lovely fog "bloody f***ing brutal" might be more appropriate..
Summit peak pics inside the cutCollapse )
We were too busy staying alive to document the really scary parts, but they're seared in the memory for a while.. Will leave with one last shot, taken part of the way down, showing the trail winding down. This was one of those points where I thought we were past the hardest part..

I was hoping to see a moose, but the closest we got to wildlife was mice that kept running around the campsite. But, all in all definitely a experience to savour, Katahdin is a mountain that leaves you with a sense of awe and respect for the mountain. That sounds so cliched, but it's so true. Getting away from civilization even if only for a couple of days is so worth it.

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Livejournal has this option of current music, which is sometimes annoying, but every once in a while can actually say something... Current playlist of sorts:
Eric Clapton - Wonderful Tonight

The Beatles - Norwegian wood

Eric Clapton - Layla

The Beatles - If I Needed Someone

Bob Marley - No Woman No Cry


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Current Music: look above.

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Nothing a few naked women can't solve apparently.
Women MPs in Israel's Knesset have criticised the foreign ministry for resorting to "pornography" to promote Israel abroad after a feature appeared in the men's magazine Maxim featuring four former soldiers photographed in their underwear.

The magazine carried the article, The Women of the Israel Defence Force, in its July issue after encouragement from the Israeli consulate in New York as part of its broader campaign to improve Israel's image abroad...

...Israel is keen to sell itself as a western country with beaches and nightclubs rather than a country full of religious zealots which has been in a permanent state of emergency since its creation.

...Staff at the consulate said that they decided a photoshoot would be a good way of promoting Israel to young Americans.

David Dorfman, an adviser at the consulate in New York, told the Associated Press: "Males that age have no feeling towards Israel one way or another, and we view that as a problem, so we came up with an idea that would be appealing to them."
[source Guardian]

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So the boffins at the UMass admin. decided in all their infinite wisdom to reward Andy Card (Bush's ex chief of staff) with a honourary degree for "public service". As head of the White House Iraq Group his 'public service' included lying and deceiving a gullible US public into accepting an illegal and immoral invasion. As if surviving grad school wasn't hard enough, only get the same reward at the end as a war criminal, and a man who managed to make John Ashcroft look like a guardian of civil liberties - sweet..

This is one of the most progressive campuses in the US, I have no idea what the fuck they were thinking when the offer was made. I've never seen so many folks on campus - faculty, students and staff agree on anything, but despite all the strident protests, including shutting down admin. buildings, the administrators held firm, and so it came down to commencement day. Outside the commencement ceremony, he was greeted with scenes like:

And inside, with boos and catcalls loud enough to drown out the Provost and President reading out the acutal citation of the degree ( video below). The minute and a half of bedlam was fun while it lasted, but in all honesty felt like a defeat - the jerk got his degree in the end.. Just wish people had put all their energies into blocking the award in the first place.. But oh well, at least it gave the good folks of this town a good target to release the pent-up frustrations of the past 6-7 years, and we will certainly fight another day..

Had dropped off the blogging world for a while - so hello again, hope things have been going well..

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Current Music: Let Me Die In My footsteps - Happy Traum and Bob Dylan

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Ever been on a "quest for the laciest, most crisp-edged lentil and rice crepe, wrapped around spiced potatoes"? A restaurant review posted outside the quite excellent Saravanas in New York claimed that the quest for the laciest etc. ends there.. The dosas are pretty darned good (if you like them the papery-thin Madras style), just thought that review was too funny..

Life has been pretty crazy of late, crazy in a sleep-deprived, slave-driven kind of way. A little weekend break in New York was just what the doctor ordered, not particularly restful, but then it's hard to laze around in a city where so many people work so hard to get ahead in life. Uday, a close friend, lives opposite "Yuva bakery", it never ceases to amaze every night I'm there to see the workers work the night shift baking the bread, cakes and scones for the Upper-East Siders to enjoy come day-break. Took the 7:30am train from Manhattan to Queens, sharing the space with some fellow sleep-deprived folks, 'cept they probably do it every night..

Also saw the Namesake, frankly couldn't really understand what the fuss was about. The immigrant story was fairly predictable, Gogol's character not really fleshed out, and there was this Monsoon weddingy feel to the movie that was completely out of place with the story.. Irfan Khan saves this movie from mediocrity, but even he can't carry a weak script. I haven't read Jumpa Lahiri's book, but have read Gogol's Overcoat, expected something more than the perfunctory nod to Gogol. Overall this is maybe a movie that you could watch on a lazy sunday afternoon at home, not something I'd recommend dishing out the $$ to see at the cinemas. It didn't make me particularly homesick either, but missing the wedding of two of my closest friends certainly does. Bah.

In the end the company of close friends is always something to treasure even if the movies aren't and sleep is scarce, the dosas and Strand Book Store are merely the icing on the cake.

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A rare day job related post, a couple of recent high profile Science papers have reinforced for me my decision oh so many years back as a starting grad student to focus on studying olfaction, or the sense of smell.

The first study by Jan Born's group, shows that odours specifically seem to enhance consolidation of declarative (more factual) memories during a sleep phase called slow-wave sleep (named for I guess the EEG frequency). Elegant work from Brice McNaughton's lab in particular had shown that rats seem to replay recent experiences during sleep. They were looking at these 'place cells' in the hippocampus (an area of the brain thought to be the seat of memory formation). These cells are specific to particular locations, so that each time a rat takes a different route through its maze, a different sequence of place cells fires. Subsequent studies found that sequences of place-cell firing that occur as a rat explores a new environment are replayed the next time the rat sleeps, as if the rat were retracing its steps during sleep.

The same may well apply to humans, recently a Belgian team used PET to image brain activity in men learning to navigate through a scene from the game Duke Nukem. Sure enough, the same regions of the hippocampus that were active while task was being learnt were active during slow wave sleep.

What this study did, was to build on all this collerative data, and try and try and boost memory consolidation, by boosting brain activity during sleep. The researchers had the subjects play a video version of the card game Memory wherein they had to learn and regurgitate the positions of card pairs showing the same image in a group of 30 cards. Each matched pair appeared for a few seconds with all the other cards facing down. Some subjects were concomitantly treated to a puff of rose scent, the reasoning being that the scent would be associated with the task in Pavlovian fahion. After going through all the pairs, the researchers tested the subjects' recall by turning one of the 30 cards face up and asking them to find its match.

Once the subjects entered slow-wave sleep, the researchers gave some of them a puff of rose-scented air. The result? To quote this review:
functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans in sleeping subjects revealed that the odor activated the hippocampus in those who had experienced it previously, even though the EEG showed no disruptions in the subjects' slumber. Although they didn't remember smelling roses in their sleep, the subjects who got the fragrant prompt remembered the matched pairs better the next day, getting 97% correct compared to 86% for subjects who'd received no odor while sleeping. Subjects who got the rose odor either while awake or while in REM sleep, on the other hand, showed no memory boost; nor did presenting the odor during slow-wave sleep help subjects who hadn't been exposed to rose during the training session...

Born's findings fit with a popular view of how the brain files memories away for long-term storage, a process neuroscientists call memory consolidation. According to this hypothesis, memories are first encoded by the hippocampus and later--perhaps in a matter of hours or days--transferred for long-term storage to the cerebral cortex, or neocortex.
There's also a free to access NYT article about it here

The second smell related paper studied aging in an organism close to my heart, the fruit fly Drosophila. Across a number of systems from worms to flies to rodents it has pretty been convincingly demonstrated that dietary restriction extends lifespan.

What Scott Pletcher's group found was that simply exposing flies to the odour of yeast (fly food) while on a restricted diet resulted in shortened lifespan compared to dieting flies not exposed to this odour. Just the smell of food seems to be enough to offset some of the gains of dieting.They then proceeded to look at a mutant fly that lacks a co-receptor protein that results in flies with a drastically reduced ability to perceive odours, and sure enough this mutant fly strain lived much longer than normal flies, whether dieting or otherwise. It's quite a remarkable finding I think, for it suggests some sort of neural control over the aging process.

Indeed in worms work from Cynthia Kenyon et al, suggestS that mutating different smell and taste receptors has different effects on aging, some extend lifespan, some shorten it. Surprising effects I think of sensory stimulation.

Unfortunately, both the papers were in Science Magazine, which while being a top rated journal and all is subscription only..

Anyways, while I suppose I can give myself brownie points for choice of topic, can't say the same for how the research has panned out :-)

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So, the evil Al-Qaeda honcho Khaled Sheikh-Mohammad has 'confessed' to being responsible for 31 different terrorist plots, 23 of which are listed here in the NYT. The list includes plotting the 9/11 attacks from A to Z, Richard Reid the shoe bomber, plotting to assassinate numerous people from Jimmy Carter to Pope John Paul.

Wonder why they stopped there, they might as well have gone the whole hog and had him responsible JFK's assassination (so maybe KSM was a kid in '63, but kids can be evil too), and being the father of Anna Nicole's baby (cheap shot). Given the US interrogators reputed charming ways, I'm sure everything gleaned from Gitmo is absolutely trustworthy. To quote an ABC news report from a year and a half back:
The CIA sources described a list of six "Enhanced Interrogation Techniques" instituted in mid-March 2002 and used, they said, on a dozen top Al Qaeda targets incarcerated in isolation at secret locations on military bases in regions from Asia to Eastern Europe. According to the sources, only a handful of CIA interrogators are trained and authorized to use the techniques:...

...6. Water Boarding: The prisoner is bound to an inclined board, feet raised and head slightly below the feet. Cellophane is wrapped over the prisoner's face and water is poured over him. Unavoidably, the gag reflex kicks in and a terrifying fear of drowning leads to almost instant pleas to bring the treatment to a halt.

According to the sources, CIA officers who subjected themselves to the water boarding technique lasted an average of 14 seconds before caving in. They said al Qaeda's toughest prisoner, Khalid Sheik Mohammed, won the admiration of interrogators when he was able to last between two and two-and-a-half minutes before begging to confess.

"The person believes they are being killed, and as such, it really amounts to a mock execution, which is illegal under international law," said John Sifton of Human Rights Watch.

The techniques are controversial among experienced intelligence agency and military interrogators. Many feel that a confession obtained this way is an unreliable tool.
KSM is no saint in all likelihood, but this whole episode is so farcical, it's hard to believe it's not a scene from Monty Python..

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Five years ago this past week Gujarat burned while its CM Modi played the fiddle, figuratively. Various historians doubt that Nero actually played the fiddle, yet stories abound about his use of human torches to light his parties. There were certainly quite a few human torches in Modi's pogrom. To quite Amnesty reports:
The violence [in Gujarat] left over 2,000 people, mostly Muslims, dead. Several hundred girls and women were stripped naked, raped or gang-raped, had their wombs slashed and were thrown into fires, some while still alive...

..Bilqis Yakoob Rasool, herself a victim of gang-rape who lost 14 family members reported: "They started molesting the girls and tore off their clothes. Our naked girls were raped in front of the crowd. They killed Shamin's baby who was two days old. They killed my maternal uncle and my father's sister and her husband too. After raping the women they killed all of them... They killed my baby too. They threw her in the air and she hit a rock. After raping me, one of the men kept a foot on my neck and hit me.
During the attacks, police stood by or even joined in the violence. When victims tried to file complaints, police often did not record them properly and failed to carry out investigations. In Bilqis Yakoob Rasool's case, police closed the investigation, stating they could not find out who the rapists and murderers were despite the fact that she had named them earlier

..officials of the state government, led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), claimed that a fire on a train on 27 February 2002 was planned and caused by Muslims. It then took no steps to prevent or stop the widespread and systematic attacks by Hindu mobs on members of the Muslim minority which followed, and indeed many party and state officials were seen to participate. In many cases, these human rights abuses constitute crimes against humanity. The central government (until May 2004 also led by the BJP) failed to censure the government of Gujarat during and after the violence...

The images of the pogrom horrified many at the time, there was a many poem and column written, yet a lot of us forgot.. As Mike Marqusee notes in the Guardian:
Five years on, Muslims in Gujarat still live in fear. About 50,000 remain in refugee camps. Most of the cases filed by victims of the violence have never been investigated. Witnesses have been intimidated. No more than a dozen low-level culprits have been convicted. None of the major conspirators has been brought before the courts.

...Modi remains chief minister and has become not only the BJP's most popular figurehead, but also a poster boy for big business, foreign and domestic. Gujarat, which contains 5% of India's population, now boasts 18% of its investment and 21% of its exports. At this year's Vibrant Gujarat conclave, the showpiece of the BJP regime, the great names of Indian capitalism - Ambani, Birla, Tata - sang Modi's praises, echoed by delegations from Singapore, Europe and the US. Anxieties about dealing with a politician accused of genocide have been allayed by the appeal of Gujarat's corporation-friendly environment, not least its labour laws, which give employers hire-and-fire rights unique in India.
Yeah yeah, the issue has been much commented on, but as long as bigotry lives we will continue to fight it..

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To say that cricket is followed with a passion in South Asia is stating the bleeding obvious, devotion comes closer than passion at describing the fervour the beautiful game inpires across the subcontinent. India may be a country of many different castes, religions, tongues, cuisines but cricket is one of the few threads that binds us all together. I have written before about the particular joys of test match cricket, and over the past ten years or so of test cricket watching, had come to admire one Rahul Dravid.

The elegance of his strokeplay drove enthusiasts to raptures, but we rooted for him for showing us that aggression did not have to be of the in the face sort to be mightily effective, and for remaining throughout it all a seemingly nice bloke. I was a little disappointed then to read that he (Dravid) inaugurated a RSS programme in Nagpur, supposedly a part of the birth centenary celebrations of the RSS idealogue Golwalkar, lighting a lamp before the man's picture. The captain of the Indian cricket team is a prize catch indeed for our fascist friends. Mr Golwalkar was one of the defining Sangh ideologues, a man who was openly supportive of Nazi ideologies, and was very clear that India was to be a Hindu Nation, a charming man in short. [some quotes here] Of course India's a free country where even genocidal a*holes like Mr. Modi win elections so India's cricket captain should be free to even garland fascists if he were so choose, but somehow methinks that fervour will be missing from my end the next time Dravid walks out to bat..

I know it's only a game, etc. and Dravid's politics certainly don't detract from his sporting exploits, but damn it falls from grace are always a little disppointing..

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Current Music: The beatles - Obladi, Oblada

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This strip really isn't too far off the mark for a lot of grad students.


I've trudged through grad school accumulating debt, nothing terrible or anything, but enough to warrant scrimping to clear debts ere the graduation date. And my finances are certainly a lot healthier than those of many other grad students. The univ I'm at pays poorly even compared its peer institutions. But, it really doesn't have to be this way, there are big gains on offer for some collective effort.

Most PhDs take about 5+ years on average, efforts to improve on gen crappy conditions over the five years shouldn't be a hard sell. Yet, I find most of my fellow science grad students apathetic to rallying calls. We're not really rallying for anything particularly radical like ending US and Israeli imperialism or protesting neo-liberalism or anything, why would people not want halfway-decent wages, low fees and semi-respectable housing? This should be bloody obvious, or maybe I'm just not a particularly good organiser..

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Let's kick things off with a topic close to my heart - Colbert weighs in on Unions and Solidarity, using his characteristic wit to make a sober political point..

He was recently on Bill O'Reilly's show - it takes something special to leave that particular sterling specimen of humanity bumbling.. "What gives you the strength - Jesus Christ, or Pat Robertson's protein shake?"

Colbert's always funny, but it'll be hard to top this rip on science, nerds and technology, which includes this pearl on the iPhone:
"Yes, the iPhone has given the nerd community it's biggest collective hard wood since Princess Leah wore a bronze bikini, but you haven't engorged me Apple, I'm flaccid with rage"

Word - more 'fake news', less cable news..


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Hadn't really heard much about Guru - the new Mani Ratnam movie, other than the bare bones- it was written and directed by Mani Ratnam, and was based on Dhirubhai Ambani's life, before I saw it. Didn't expect anything particularly radical just a soemwhat nuanced film, which sadly this is not..Mani's made much better movies, and I'm sure will make better films in the future, this was a little too eulogical of the Ambanis, and certainly too "free market ra, ra, ra" types for my liking..
Spoilers InsideCollapse )
Am no fan of Nehru's quasi-socialism, and the India of Indira and Rajiv and the corrupt license raj, was undoubtedly problematic - there were and are other alternatives though than the one than Mani choses to present. I suspect though that in the end this is a film that folks would like or dislike based on their politics..

Ended the day partying with my activist friends, toasting the end of empire.. It's back to the lab bench come morning, and to humdrum fly torturing..

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Really, absent minded professors are handcuffed, arrested, and taken to jail by all of five armed officers for the cardinal sin of jaywalking.
The officer asked for identification. The professor asked for his, after which Officer Leonpacher told him he was under arrest and, the professor claims, kicked his legs from under him, pinned him to the ground and confiscated his box of peppermints.
Hmm, beware of those killer peppermints.. Maybe they were curiously strong? To continue:
Professor Fernandez-Armesto then spent eight hours in the cells before the charges were dropped. He told the Times that his colleagues now regard him as "as a combination of Rambo, because it took five cops to pin me to the ground, and Perry Mason, because my eloquence before a judge obtained my immediate release".
Not an academic you want to be messing with on that evidence, yet apparently in the true academic tradition
The bespectacled professor says he didn't realise the "rather intrusive young man" shouting that he shouldn't cross there was a policeman. "I thanked him for his advice and went on.

More seriously, The Great Leader made a Great Address to the Nation, he has a newish defence secretary, the Iraq Study report just came out recently, and taking all of this advice into consideration, he has a Plan. The Plan - to put 20,000 more troops into Iraq, and some more sabre-rattling at other "Axis of Evil" members. March Of Folly doesn't begin to describe this Hare brained plan. Do these folks live in some sort of Reality Distortion Vortex? Empire is losing it, I tell you..

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Being scooped really is like this:

That was yes'day when I found out from a friend that another lab had just had a paper accepted the gist of which is what my research has focussed on. great.. Will have to wait for the actual paper to be published to assess the situation. We weren't really close to publishing anyways, they've a good 4-5 month head start.. This comic is probably closer to the mark:

Hopefully there will be enough small differences between their data and mine to still be able to get something out, but it's certainly going to be in a particularly high impact journal.

For what it's worth - a happy new year to all who're reading this, hope your year got off to a bright and cheery start..

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Question frequently asked by students after missing a class

Nothing. When we realized you weren't here
we sat with our hands folded on our desks
in silence, for the full two hours

Everything. I gave an exam worth
40 per cent of the grade for this term
and assigned some reading due today
on which I'm about to hand out a quiz
worth 50 per cent

Nothing. None of the content of this course
has value or meaning
Take as many days off as you like:
any activities we undertake as a class
I assure you will not matter either to you or me
and are without purpose

Everything. A few minutes after we began last time
a shaft of light descended and an angel
or other heavenly being appeared
and revealed to us what each woman or man must do
to attain divine wisdom in this life and
the hereafter
This is the last time the class will meet
before we disperse to bring this good news to all people on earth

Nothing. When you are not present
how could something significant occur?

Everything. Contained in this classroom
is a microcosm of human existence
assembled for you to query and examine and ponder
This is not the only place such an opportunity has been gathered

but it was one place

And you weren't here

- Tom Wayman

A recent poem on the quite lovely Wondering Minstrels list, one that is particularly appropriate for long suffering TAs at the end of a hard semester..

If the bloody Physical Chemistry course I was forced to take this semester is a "microcosm of human existence" , it doesn't say a heck of a lot for the macrocosm :-)

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Current Music: Johnny Cash - Ring of Fire

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When most city-bred middle/upper-middle Indians think of "tribals" - in all our hubris we have this image of a "backward" people , not "civilised" etc. etc. Without over-romanticising them, that image is plainly bollocks, and stories like this quite remarkable tale, serve as reminders for those of us that may have forgotten that...

These two tribal women -Wetka Polang, 30, and Melka Nilsa, 22, declared themselves to be very much in love with each other, and after some cajoling and bribing were recently wedded with the blessing of their community and all.
After much persuasion by family members, Kandha villagers of Dandabadi finally gave consent to the formal wedding.

"They [Wetka and Melka] wanted to prove that they can live without the help of men. They also love each other very much. So we decided to forgive them," said village elder Melka Powla.

But the two tribal women had to pay fines to their community to get it to bless their union...
But they apparently won over all their detractors, and all's well that end's well
Eventually, last month, Wetka applied vermillion on Melka's forehead in the tradition of Indian marriage ceremonies before a disari or community priest, said village elder Dalimangi Chexa.

Now the couple say they are happy.

"We are leading a blissful married life. We love each other very much," Wetka told the BBC.
[from the Beeb]
Another blow to the monolithic Sanghi version of "Indian" culture...

For my non-Indian friends, India's official colonial era Penal Code has a sodomy law that outlaws homosexual relationships (although it has been rarely applied), and homosexuality is still rather frowned upon in "mainstream" India..


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