Showing posts from 2020

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

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!

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,

Gun Bans in Canada

This seems to be a good step. In a democracy why would anyone need assault-style firearms? However, this arms banning step does not answer the question on illegal guns that criminals can get apparently easily. In Nova Scotia shooting, the gunman obtained his guns illegally, not through any legal means. I am aware of a huge debate between for and against gun ownership and the historical reasons behind it. In an uncertain time, like any other time really, the law abiding citizens want to get assurances from their elected governments that they are protected and criminals of all kinds don't go rampant with violence. And also one other argument that the pro guns people have that I have seen stems from the sheer mistrusts toward government. These are legitimate concerns for many nations where democracy is not stable. Canada has a functioning democratically elected federal government, popular opposition parties who has more than 50% of people's support along with provincial gover

Confusions about New Corona Virus

We have access to abundance of news. As COVID-19 passes 3 million marks, death toll surpasses 200K around the globe in increasingly faster rate, so does the various claims and theories on the origins, transmissible capability, severeness, treatment and other aspects of this virus have grabbed the world's attention. Many nations have taken stringent action by necessary public health measures including ordering their citizens to stay at home unless they are the essential workers. These are good steps. Historically, if we look back to Influenza crisis of 1918, the unpredictable nature of any virus makes it very difficult to make a vaccine or therapeutic available in short period of time, so the best approach at this point is to minimize social interactions to contain the virus.  However, this is causing huge impact on the economic front. Many people's lives are impacted beyond imagination. In developing nations, a majority of people work daily for their livelihood without any s

False Equivalence in the Time of COVID 19

What is a false equivalence? Politicians and many journalists uses it. It is basically comparing apples and oranges. Both are fruits but not the same. In more formal definition, the false equivalence is “a logical fallacy in which an equivalence is drawn between two subjects based on flawed or false reasoning” (Ref: Wikipedia) The daily press conference done by President Trump on March 23, 2020 had examples of false equivalence. He tried to downplay the very realistic possibility of devastating impact of COVID 19 with the road accidents to prove his political point. But the problem in this false equivalence example is that COVID 19 is killing people faster everyday and on a near vertical trajectory pointing to many order of magnitude of mortality than car crashes cause each year. This is comparIng apples and oranges. If the near vertical rise of the curve is not hammered down, and the virus gets more opportunities to spread freely, the direct death toll will be enormous, causing

Strange and Dangerous Time

We are going through strange and dangerous time. The very real threat of COVID-19, the alarming speed of its spread and the steeply rising number of deaths, have forced many developed and developing nations taking  urgent and emergency measures. In front of a seemingly unstoppable virus,  invisible but deadly, the very raw fear in every human beings have come up to the surface. To defeat the highly transmissible virus like COVID-19 stringent measures like the strict social distancing is necessary. Governments of the world need to be flexible to deploy all available and innovative measures to win this war against the mighty virus.  Among people, from Canada to US to Mexico to Brazil to Italy to Germany to France to Spain to UK to Egypt to South Africa to Bangladesh to Indonesia to Australia, people of every nations are terrified of the grim possibility of an uncontrolled virus stamping out our precious livelihood, our very existence. The colourful graphs showing the near vertical r


When January comes every new year, many of us make new year's resolution that includes exercising more and eating healthier food along with many other noble goals. By the end of January, many of these goals dissipate into increasingly fading memory. Many events in life happens, we get busy at work, family, sickness, rushing to appointments, studies, and many modern distractions play in synchronous mode to get us disarrayed from our goals set at the onset of a new year. To ge t back on the noble set goals to be healthier, one of the first things we can do is to measure our current level of fitness status. Attached are two images that show tables where one can measure his or her fitness level, that can sometime proves to be inspiring to return to a healthy living. These two tables are available in How to do push ups correctly? Check this link: How to do squats correctly? Check this link:  https://www.yo

Fearful Time

Stoicism talks about not to worry about the external events that one has no control of. Epictetus said, "Some things are in our control, while others are not. We control our opinion, choice, desire, aversion and in a word, everything of our own doing. We don't control our body, property, reputation, position, and in a word everything not of our own doing. Even more, the things in our control are by nature free, unhindered, and unobstructed, while those not in our control are weak, slavish, can be hindered, and are not our own." As the world entered into the human invented calendar year 2020, the drumbeats of war are reverberating, from one crazy theocratic and dictatorship based nation to another that unfortunately has a commander in chief who shows brazen instability in his words and actions. Stoicism says not to worry about the external events as an ordinary man or woman does not have any control over it, however, it brings more stress. Stoicism has good point. Do