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February 5th, 2013
in Eugene

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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.
September 1st, 2012
in Corvallis

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August 17th, 2014

As I get older, some of the finer details from the years past get fuzzy.  I don't mean I am imagining events and places--it is just that sometimes I am not sure about the contexts.  I guess it happens to all of us

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August 16th, 2014

Even after having authored 169 op-ed essays over the years--yes, I counted them a few minutes ago--there is a worry in the back of my mind: what if there is nothing more in me to write about? This worry is not anything new.  It has been the case for a long time now, though I am not certain when exactly this

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August 15th, 2014

For a couple of years, the late Denis Dutton, who founded one of my favorite websites ever and one which I religiously check every single day, ran a bad writing contest.  No, you did not write in or

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August 14th, 2014

Out on the path, I noticed that I was catching up on a much older neighbor.  At a curve, when she stopped to look at a bird, she saw me.  She waited, and as I reached that spot, she said "may I join you until the bridge?"It is a different culture here.  In the old country, I cannot imagine a "may

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August 13th, 2014

I know of only one way to fight, whether at workplace or in geopolitics--civil disobedience.  Thanks to Gandhi, of course.  And the older I get, the more I turn away from violence.  Thus

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August 12th, 2014

The human that I am, I, too, bleed when pricked and feel that tinge of revenge when wronged.  But then the insignificance of my existence means that even that tinge of revenge is not worth any damn thing.

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August 11th, 2014

Through all those years that I studied math and science and engineering, understanding the materials and working out the problems was not a big deal, even if challenging at times, compared to my life as a student since then for one simple reason which is this--it appears that the subjects I have been studying since graduati

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There are book reviews and then there are book reviews.  There are reviewers and then there are reviewers.I always loved Christopher Hitchens' review essays and his death was the end of the glorious days of the book review essay, I worried.  Not only does hope spring eternal but a bearded male intellec

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August 10th, 2014

Throughout the movie, The Hundred-Foot Journey, the story makes it clear that food is memories.  Just in case it did not get through to anybody in the audience who might have had way too much carbohydrates to think, the young chef, Hassan, even utters that very line "food is memories."

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August 9th, 2014

With every passing day, I am acutely aware of the very little time that I have left.  No, I am not referring to the death that looms large but to the end of summer and the beginning of a new academic year.  This is when I begin to offer myself deals and negotiate with myself; such as:"If you at l

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August 7th, 2014

Typical of the "intellectual" that I am, I was listening to Fox News the other day ...Did that make you sit up and re-read that sentence?I was making sure that you were carefully reading, and not merely skimming through my blog posts ;)  Let me start again.Typical of the "intellectua

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August 6th, 2014

A couple of years ago, when visiting with the parents, father said he felt like eating சேவை.  I offered to help mother in the kitchen, recalling the hours that it took mother to prepare that. "Oh, you can get instant சேவை from the store" father said.

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August 5th, 2014

I have always had enormous sympathies for the anti-abortion sentiments, even though I am firmly settled on the side of the mother having that choice.  I understand how deep down that opposition is not merely to the horrors of abortion itself, but is about a philosophical understanding of what life is.  This strugg

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August 4th, 2014

One of my complaints about higher education (yes, I have many!) is that the curriculum that faculty put together and the way they present their courses is mostly to achieve only one goal--to replicate themselves.  As in the higher education process seems to be designed to make graduate students and then facul

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