The Scientific Indian

Archives for May, 2007

Nominative Determinism

A name is a mark of existence: past, present or future, real or imagined. People, places, things, non-things, every conceivable entity in this universe has a name. You may even say something is conceivable because it has a name. No wonder then that we try various things with such an important aspect of our lives.…

Seed 2007 Science Writing Contest

What does it mean to be scientifically literate in the 21st century? How do we measure the scientific literacy of a society? How do we boost it? What is the value of this literacy? Who is responsible for fostering it? Explore these questions in a 1200 words essay. First prize is $2,500 Prize followed by…

There’s a hole on Mars

I mean, literally. A recent APOD image shows a football ground size hole in Mars. Quite possibly, the spots are entrances to deep underground caves capable of protecting Martian life, were it to exist… Such holes and underground caves might be prime targets for future spacecraft, robots, and even the next generation of human interplanetary…

Hindus are pacifists?

I am having lunch with a couple of Italian colleagues in Milan. They speak of politics and religion – mostly in Italian. I look from face to face gathering clues about the subject matter, all the while killing pasta with a fork. The pasta tastes like shoes. I cover it up with large quantities of…

Category Error knows no boundaries

Category error knows no boundaries. Well, that’s why it is called a category error, I hear you say. Wait. Lend me your eyeballs for a minute and I’ll show you what I mean: A category error that crosses continents and technology boundaries. This fine example of a category error was dropped into our home yesterday:…

Healing water

No homeopathetic cure. No idiotic dilutions and molecular memories bullshit. This is healing water. For real. The key ingredient of the water, called Microcyn, are oxychlorine ions – electrically charged molecules which pierce the cell walls of free-living microbes. The water can only kill cells it can completely surround so human cells are spared because…

Where do you buy your food

If it is in a supermarket in the UK, here’s all the rotten details from an undercover scoop by BBC. This isn’t new. Those in the US have grown up with the likes of Walmart and McDonald’s for years. Compared to the US giants, the UK supermarkets are toddlers, still they pack the same sick…

Primo Levi on Why Does One Write

The past two days I’ve been dipping into Other People’s Trades, a collection of essays by Primo Levi. Translated by Raymond Rosenthal and published in 1989, Anita Brookner called it ‘The noblest book of the year’. Sadly, amazon informs us that the book is out of print and you’ll have to look for a used…

Some love for the Herpes virus

The Scene: A human is fending off a group of pathogenic bacteria. Human: Hey you, bacteria, don’t come near me. I’ve got a badass virus with me. Bacteria: Oh, yeah? Human: It is so bad, man! You try me and you’ll get blisters that you may not even see in your nightmares. [unexpectedly exposes certain…

:-) ^_^

Have you wondered if the subtle and not so subtle differences in the way people, say from India and USA, conduct themselves? Differences in facial expressions, walking, use of emoticons in writing… I have wondered often. Cultural influences contribute to many of our physical expressions and the way we perceive expressions that other wear. Indians…