Showing posts from July, 2012

Gore Vidal - a Tribute

I came to know about Gore Vidal's writing from his non fiction book titled United States: Essays 1952 - 1992. It was a borrowed book from my local library. His writing was clear, erudite and written with sharp observations and without fear. During the time of increasingly more global turmoils and misplaced paranoia, especially after 2001, this writer who had literary honesty and universal vision in his core, was not to be sidelined by yellow journalism masqueraded as benevolent subjugation. By the time he was well in his late 70s and approaching 80s, Gore Vidal came out with some of the most pointed articles of the time to describe what the wars and violence are really about and its devastating effects on forgotten victims, the casualty of wars. Gore Vidal died today, July 31, 2012. The world has lost one of its greatest freethinkers, literary critiques, and novelists. He understood the cosmic significance and albeit insignificance of human existence, and said even in his last y

Immortality - 2045 Strategic Social Initiative

Two news caught my eyes early Sunday morning. One is in BBC and another one is in Discovery News. The BBC's one talks about the universal yearning to live forever. And the Discovery News points to a Russian media mogul who has started taking initial steps to achieve cybernetic immortality for humans by 2045. Is this possible? Is there really a modern elixir that can be devised through digital technologies? It may seem too far fetched at this point, but possibly is a good step. Good diet and exercise can, theoretically, prolong life, but the certain upper longevity limit perhaps cannot be crossed for mortal human flesh. This 31 year old Russian media mogul, Dmitry Itskov, has even created a non profit organization named  2045 initiative . Here is his plan in summary: "The main objectives of the initiative are: the creation of a new vision of human development that meets global challenges humanity faces today, realization of the possibility of a radical extension of human

Step Away from the Device, Enjoy the Ride!

There was a time beyond iPhone, tablets, laptops and ubiquitous personal computers. Ah yes, no video games either. Those years were not before the first or the second world wars, not even before Beatles, ABBA, Ali, Jackson, Elvis, Madonna or Diego Maradona phenomena. Some of these were many years before I was born, and some of these were in my lifetime. Having fun did not mean striking the XBOX, Play Station or Wii's console pounding with frenetic speed, or the near absolute attachments with fabulous social networking tools of today. Relative to present days' and moments' of never ending virtual interactivity, those days and nights of computer-less light and darkness were awash by sunlight or the moon beams, not the afterglow of a massive or tiny LCD screens. It was playing soccer or cricket in mud and rain soaked field until the twilight hour, climbing trees to pluck the ripened guavas or mangoes, and running toward the fly away kites in the sky brought the pure thrills a

Humayun Ahmed - a Tribute

Like many grieving readers, Humayun Ahmed's writings had impact shaping my thoughts and life. His protagonists from everyday life, mysterious and mystical, sometimes magical, and sometimes realistic to the core, Himu, Misir Ali, Baker Bhai, and many other now forgotten main and side characters of his skillfully crafted novels, their fights against the odd, wins and defeats, selfless sacrifice, and passions, these all made up the sum total of this great Bangladeshi writer's tremendous contributions to Bangla literature.  His sentence structure was simple, but in combination had powerful meaning. I have not read his writings from the last decade, but can reminisce still those unforgettable moments that came alive from the crisp plot, economic usages of words, and ending that had left me craving for more of his story.  I remember the universal messages in his stories. Love, humanity, this mortal life, and the possibility beyond belief and imagination. At that time when I wa

Twenty years from now......

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." Mark Twain

The Competitive and Adorable World of Over 80s Ping Pong

Video link: These 80, 90, 100+ years old are keep plying the game. The game of ping pong, the game of life. Their defiance and fierceness shown in every vigorous smash or spinning of ping pong balls in front of the inevitable aging can put to shame many like me who takes life as granted, and don't live to the fullest. A good quotation from an article in The Atlantic :  “When I saw Dorothy being pushed up to the table in her wheel chair, I thought this was going to be an easy game. But then she pushed away the chair, stood up and beat me three games straight.”   Easy game? No way! The fighting spirits in this table tennis World Championship in ping pong can never be called quitters, as these are the winners, soaking the essence of life in every breath and every move around that smooth table tennis table.

Bangladesh - On the Frontlines of Climate Change

This video documentary from a photojournalist Ami Vitali gives a description of grim and slow motion catastrophe in action. Beautifully rendered, telling the stories of lives not talked about in urgency as it demands.  Video Link: The following is an extract from an article in The Atlantic where the above video was posted. "The village of South Tetulbaria in the Bay of Bengal, Bangladesh, relies on fishing but climate change threatens this way of life. In November 2010 Mamtaz Begum, a young widow from Barguna, stood up and demanded justice for vulnerable communities near to the Bay of Bengal at a ‘Climate Tribunal’ in the capital, Dhaka.   The climate tribunals are developing the idea that those responsible for climate change, can and should be held accountable through the law. Specifically they explore the possibilities for using national laws to hold governments and other private actors accountable for the impacts of the changing climat