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The Body: A Guide for Occupants by Bill Bryson - a Review

This is the second book of Bill Bryson I have read, and like the first one, A Short History of Nearly Everything that I had read  more than a decade ago, The Body: A Guide to Occupants is a well researched and thoughtful book that has good information of human body presented in humor mixed and eloquent format that I found to be highly readable like his other book I had read.  Some of these concepts that the writer presented was not new to me, as I had studied some of these concepts in various biological science courses I had taken in high school, colleges and universities, but unlike the heavy tomes text books that I had to plough through in my student life, as I read Bill Bryson's book I found it more amusing and some of the tidbits about various scientists, accidental discoveries, and treacheries of some scientists not giving due credit of the original discoverers or inventors of their hard work shed light on the dynamics of world of science that mimic the larger outside world in

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee - a Brief Review

Min Jin Lee’s Pachinko is memorable and full of heart and life’s struggles, ups and downs, challenges, survivals and kindness portrayed in lives of many characters of this unforgettable novel. The author shined a light over Korean people who lived in Japan for many generations, their longing for their unreachable motherland and being forever “outsiders” in Japan. From the start to finish the author told a long but compulsively readable story, and described the harsh life of poor Koreans living in Japan. It also showed how hard work to provide for their family pushed them to work harder, and some of them were successful climbing out of the deep pit of poverty, and many were not so lucky. Pachinko is a well researched novel and is a pleasure to read.

How Does Bigotry Enter into Mind?

1.   How does bigotry enter into mind?  I thought about this question for sometime now. A child is born with pure heart, no shred of bigoted ideas or thoughts can be present in his or her pristine mind. When I cradled my son for the first time, he was so tiny. The nurse wrapped him up in a small blanket and first she took him to my wife, the mother who gave birth after an agonizing delivery process that lasted more than 16 hours. Then I hold him in that wrapped up blanket. He could not open his eyes fully then, slept the entire time I hold him for about an hour before we left the delivery room and went to the recovery room.  Children learns from the parents. It took my son about an year to say a coherent word though he had started blabbering some words way early than that, maybe in his 3rd or 4th month he started saying meaningless words as part of his learning.  If angels are real then children are angelic. They come to this world with open mind. They look at the world with the newly

Hoodwinked

 The meaning of hoodwink I learnt not many years ago. I don't even remember from where I first heard of this word. Its dictionary meaning is: "deceive or trick someone".  Growing up in Bangladesh I am very much familiar how the corrupted politicians hoodwink as many people as they can. Democracy was not easy to achieve in Bangladesh. After its bloodshed filled independence war when millions died and millions more injured and after only a few years of the governance of the first elected government, more bloodshed came, and multiple governments came and gone by several coup-d'├ętats.  In my childhood we had only one television station and one main radio station in Dhaka. Government ran both of these. So, whoever was the government in particular time utilized these mediums as effectively as they could to propagate their political agendas, to hold onto power.  Even, the newspapers and cinemas had to go through strict censorship.  Still, each military based government faile

Hold Fast to Dreams

 I love to read often the following poetry snippet of Langston Hughes':  "Hold fast to dreams  For if dreams die Life is a broken-winged bird That cannot fly. Hold fast to dreams For when dreams go Life is a barren field Frozen with snow."  Only 8 lines and 33 words, and the poet wrote the necessary words many years ago that are needed in this time of growing sadness from a wild fire like spreading pandemic and political and economic instability. "Hold fast to dreams", he says again, "Hold fast to dreams", that is the key to hopefulness and living in this beautiful world for however brief our existence may be. Hold fast to dreams.  

A Book Review: An Elegant Defense: The Extraordinary New Science of the Immune System: A Tale in Four Lives

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Matt Richtel is a terrific writer. His book on immune system is titled: An Elegant Defense: The Extraordinary New Science of the Immune System: A Tale in Four Lives.  In my childhood, my parents taught me the very basics of our immune system, like I have a large number of tiny soldiers inside my body that fight with many viruses, bacteria and other pathogens to protect me. They told me that when I get injured, like a small cut on finger, it is these tiny soldiers come and repair the wounded area. I passed the similar knowledge to my son when he was younger.  That's about it. That's what I knew as I played soccer in the mushy mud, cricket under the scorching sun, kabadi in monsoon rain, while hopping from tree to rooftop back to another tree with hand made slingshot, jumping on reddish brick or slippery grass.  In subsequent years, schooling taught me a bit more, like the B and T Cells, antigens, antibody, how vaccine works, etc. Also, I learnt how having good eating habits and

Black Lives Matter!

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The protests in America are live streamed for more than a week now. Images and videos are vivid. Mostly peaceful protesters are marching on the streets with placards, shouting slogans together: "No Justice, No Peace", "Justice for George Floyd".  I have seen people of all colors, races, ethnic origins are walking, Blacks, Caucasians, Latinos, Asians, Africans, Native Americans, everyone out on the streets, singing, reciting inspiring poetry, distributing water, where many are holding up signs saying "Black Lives Matter".  Police presence is everywhere, as it should be. The primary task of police force anywhere in the world is to keep peace, preventing the break down of rules that any civil society is based on.  One good news arrived. At last, after more than an agonizing week of protests, peaceful and violent, in America along with the unified solidarity shown around the world, all 4 fired police officers are now charged in George Floyd's murder case.

Can a Single Virus be Omnipotent?

I'm not a virologist. So, take my personal opinion below as worth of two cents at most.  In recent days I have been plodding through a historical and scientific facts based book written By John M. Barry titled "The Great Influenza", and learning a bit of detail about viruses and their attack processes and the ingenuity of humanity to counter it. If there are any specialists exist in my friend list, please clarify on this: Can one virus attack everything in human body, from head to toe that this Washington Post article seems to be reporting on? Or is this just a plain case of fear mongering from some news media that many are claiming? During the 1918 Influenza crisis, some groups in many nations were talking along the similar line that the Influenza crisis was just hyped up for political expediency in the middle of the raging First World War. Subsequent painful history,  seems to me, disproved this claim. Here are a few snippets from this terrifying article:  "Today,