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Miscellaneous thoughts on politics, people, math, science and other cool (if sometimes frustrating) stuff from somewhere near my favorite coffee shop.
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September 18th, 2019

Jesus said, "get the fuck out of here!"

President tRump, whose strongest supporters are white evangelical Christians, knows how Jesus would treat the homeless. 

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September 17th, 2019

While I hadn't planned on it, this post is in a way a continuation of the previous post.  It is also about the role that language plays in our life.  Especially the first language.  The mother tongue, as we referred to in the old country.In

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September 16th, 2019

The great danger in our age is nationalism

One of my early memories of Hindi, from my early years deep in peninsular India, was from when mother asked the gurkha why he was coming by way early in the night to check on the property, when he should be coming much later.As a kid, I was shocked.  Mother knew Hindi?  And, like most kids,

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September 15th, 2019

In my early days of writing newspaper commentaries, rejections were in plenty.  One of the pieces that never was published was about the Rhodes Scholarship.Yep, about some obscure scholarship that perhaps even 99% of regular newspaper readers don't know about.  It certainly failed the "will it play in

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September 14th, 2019

The following are real titles for articles in the landing page of The Chronicle of Higher Education:Is Meritocracy Hurting Higher Education?Are Colleges Complicit if They Fail to Keep Students From Defaming Professors?Why Elit

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September 13th, 2019

As even the occasional reader of this blog finds out, there is no pretentious highfalutin crap here.  I am genuinely interested in many aspects of life and the human condition, and I try to understand it in the simplest possible ways.  I even suggest to students all the time that the key is on understanding and ar

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September 12th, 2019

A few years ago, the university sent me and a couple of others to a conference in Kansas City.  The team leader suggested that we have dinner at a highly recommended restaurant that was a few blocks away.When we reached the restaurant, I understood why it had those high ratings from a certain group of consu

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September 11th, 2019

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September 10th, 2019

Like anybody, I too am always delighted when my analysis is on the mark.Let me explain.A few days ago, in responding to a comment at this

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September 9th, 2019

Way back--make that way, way back--in 2003, Samantha Power "profiled" rObert mUgabe in her essay with an arresting title: How to kill a country.How could the breadbasket of Africa have deteriorated so quickly

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September 8th, 2019

From what I am able to track down in my blog, it was six years ago--also on September 8th, and also a Sunday it was--that I first thought of most suitable age when I could die.75.That number

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September 7th, 2019

I didn't know Wiley nor J.R. until yesterday.Now I know them.  And Wiley's mother too.A news report referred to a post that went viral.  A post by a father on his 8-year old son's death.  A post in which he wondered whether all that time at work is worth it.So, I read

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September 6th, 2019

As I was putting the clothes away, I noticed it.  I could see light through my trousers--the seat was frayed.I rushed to the closet and checked the other two pairs that are for my daily wear.  One looked ok enough.  The other had the telltale signs of a frayed bottom.Back in the old co

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September 5th, 2019

Prose I can easily understand, even if I don't always get all the subtexts.  But, poetry is different. Right from the old school days, I have been puzzled that the poem's words say one thing and then the interpre

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September 4th, 2019

A few years ago, when talking with a student, I asked him about his part-time job.  I knew he worked for UPS for a few hours every week.He had quit UPS.  Which is when he said something that I found to be interesting.  He said that he would never get hired again by UPS because he quit.  Appar

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