Best remembered trips: Ayahuasca in the Amazon rainforest

I return from various trips and plan to write about them, I get caught in routine things or wallow in the vanity or vacuousness of anything I can ever write, those tales find places in the crevices of my mind. Some of them will stay in hiding forever no doubt. As this year end approaches,…

The hazards of oversimplification

Wouldn’t it be so much easier if everyone lived simply, spoke freely ( not from fear, I mean) and thought highly of high matters. The idea of a perfectly simple solution to everything, including the silver bullet to cure cancer, stems from the fact that taking the time to look into the details is not…

The kind of people I like…

I have been accused ( and I might add correctly) of not liking enough people. Or any people. My dad routinely asked me to list the people I really liked, I think I always had real trouble after about 5 names. As I grew up it was still about 5-8 because he often did not…

My new favorite author- Neal Stephenson

It started with Doug Casey’s referral to Neal Stephenson’s work. I am not sure what led me to the essay about the history of the world’s leading (although primarily, subjectively and objectively different) leading names in computers  – Microsoft and Apple. I don’t think any other single essay has influenced me so much, even if…

So, how is the weather out there?

If you are one of those people like me, who (used to) get quite annoyed at this conversation starter, ice breaker, segway to a different topic, means to fill a pregnant silence, I am sorry to inform you of my defection to the other side. It happened suddenly, when I realized that my persistent blurry…

Bird Diversification and Hubble’s Law

AN INTERNATIONAL team of scientists has ruffled the feathers of old beliefs on evolution in birds. Using rigorous taxonomical classification and DNA-sequence data, the researchers have developed world’s most comprehensive phylogenetic tree linking all the 9,993 identified bird species. The tree shows that contrary to popular belief the diversification rate in birds is accelerating. The…

In the wake of germophobia: the use and misuse of antibacterial agents

Hand sanitizers and antibacterial hand soaps gained overnight fame, any starlet would covet, after the swine flu epidemic. The most common active ingredient found in the house hold soap bar or hand-wash is Triclosan (TCS), has been in use for over 40 yrs and is the perpetrator behind the claim of 99.9% effectiveness in killing…

Blood flow in mammals and the heart of atherosclerosis

And because we cannot escape physics.. Flowing fluids are what keep us alive. Air flows all around us, water flows in rivers, blood flows in our arteries and veins. Until we are let down by our own genes or habits and suffer from diseases like hypertension or atherosclerosis, we don’t think about them. Then, we…

The nature of bias

Feeling ‘bias’ always carries within itself  a certain negative tinge, the innuendo that only the utmost unbiased decision would bring us closer to God or prove our mettle in decision making!  However, nature in itself feels neither regret nor shame in actively feeling bias towards the quickest, the smartest or the biggest and even perhaps…

Acceptable life

Why is it that people want different things and yet follow a typical pattern? Why is it more accepted to want what everyone wants? We are likely to have a genetic composition that predisposes us towards wanting social approval, or society can’t have evolved to the extent it has. Altruism is only seen in genetically…

The Stephens I admire, adore and would like to be..

Yes, unlike the false promise on Che Guevara ( still have to work on it..) my favorite Stephens are easier for me to write about, I already know them quite well. Stephen Jay Gould was a paleontologist, who broke away from the tenet in evolutionary theory ( if you care, the tenet is gradual accumulation…