Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Is the H1N1 virus commonly called Swine Flu really as big a scare as it has been made out to be? Is the public panic and mass hysteria justified? Or are the people actually gullible and just fearful?

Well I'll tell you my point of view. Pune which is the epicentre of the panic situation following the first death from the virus tells a large part of the story. Every second person there is now wearing a mask, everything from homeopathic medicines to quick fix quack solutions which are preventive in nature are selling like manna from heaven as everyone is believing in it (Gullibility or what?). The situation has literally reached a 'Fever Pitch'.

No similar panic exists in the US where many thousands have been affected, and neither have schools and offices been shut down.

As it is mentioned in the TOI Edit Page article,
"... public frenzy over the disease has built up to such a fervour that it would seem like swine flu, rather than being a treatable, curable form of influenza, is the kind of apocalyptic virus seen felling the entire species in Hollywood's best thrillers. Gone is any sense of proportion."

In addition, other forms of flu have similar death rates but not the same media attention.
Cereberal malaria has infected a thousand people in Bihar and over 30 have died because of it but again there is no media attention so there is no panic.

Maybe calling people gullible is a bit harsh but then think, follow my line of thought here,
After the first death, thousands of people in Pune with the mildest symptoms of cold lined up outside the hospital. There were those having the virus and those who did not. Now what are the chances that one would get infected by the virus while waiting outside the hospital amidst scores of people that do have the virus. Quite high you would say, so did panicking actually help you out? No, so dont bother.

It takes a full 15 days before the flu becomes anywhere close to critical. By then all the symptoms come out in full flow and 15 days is a sufficient time to be completely sure of whether one should go for a checkup or not. Also anytime during those 15 days the administration of Tamiflu will cull the virus completely. Even after the 15 days there is a high probability that the virus would be cured.

Having said all that I dont disagree that swine flu is a public health concern. It is, but caution, a cool head and basic prevention and hygiene are the order of the day more than panic and a knee jerk reaction which has a higher chance of getting you infected.

You feel irritated by the the blue bar that appears at the top of your blog on Well there is a way to remove the Navbar. If you are on my blog page then you can see that there is no Navbar.

Before removing let me justify the reason for removing it:
a) There is a self promotional link back to blogger. Not required.
b)Next Blog button takes users to another blog that is random in nature which may or may not have any relation to someone is reading on yourblog.
c) The Navbar is an eyesore and does not gel with your blog layout.
d) You want your blog to be yours with everything on the page as you want it. Nothing should be forced upon you.

- Get to your Dashboard by logging into blogger.
- Then goto Layout>Edit HTML and enter the following code:

#navbar-iframe {
display: none !important;

You can add it anywhere. For convenience add it just before *Variable Definitions.

You should be good to go after this. It barely takes a minute.

I know this is a departure from what I usually write on this blog but I felt that it is something useful and gives you more control over the blog.

Let me know if there is any trouble doing this.

Monday, August 10, 2009

It just becomes more and more insane. First it was Australia refusing to play a Davis Cup tie in Chennai because of security fears and now it's the perennial cry babies England.

After pulling out from the World Badminton Championships 2009 citing security concerns on the threat issued by the extremist organization, Britain has just showed to us how out of tune with reality they are. There has to be some ulterior motive for them pulling out. In the case of the Aussies it seems that the thought of playing in the Chennai heat made them realize that there was no way they could win so very conveniently they brought up the security issue. I am trying to figure out what motives do the cry babies have.

Do the terrorists even know that England has a badminton team?

What about the other countries who continue to participate in the tournament? Is the security not up to the mark for them?

Britain needs a dose of reality and some less egoistic bureaucrats in their foreign office.

We need to dish out some of this stuff to Britain. Quid pro quo is the order of the day.

Otherwise at this tournament India is really pinning its hopes on Saina Nehwal to show her blistering form and improve on it to launch an attack on the World crown. World No 6 at the age of 19. Wow. She is truly a prodigy; she can only improve from here.


England seems to have some egg on face, lot of explanations are coming up including one from Badminton

William Hague, the opposition Conservative Party's shadow foreign secretary and a senior British politician commented "Wherever possible we should err on the side of going ahead with normal life, in the face of terrorist threat"

(Sidenote: There has never been any threat in Hyderabad and is far from the sea and what not)

Thomas Lund of the Badminton World Federation said: "It's unfortunate that the English team made their decision before we had an opportuinity to properly brief the team management.""

I feel that next time if any such thing happens then the country pulling out should be barred from the next major tournament provided that the apex body of the sport finds the situation safe as it was in the case of the Davis Cup tie and here too.

Friday, August 7, 2009

This article (click on link above) that I came across on The Economist talks about how the US govt's subsidy plan nicknamed "cash for clunkers" is not attaining the intended effect - reducing emissions.

Under this programme, any person trading in his/her old inefficient car for a new environmentally friendly one will get a discount funded by the US govt, however the policy is ineffective. Read why in the article.

The US govt had earmarked $1 Bn for the programme which got used up in 1 week against the intended time period of 2 months.

They are simply subsidising car purchases which in any case were bound to rebound after the recession during which purchases were at an all time low.

The US govt is simply feeding the pent up demand.

Looks better in big size. Click on the picture

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Was just reading about the first avatar of Vishnu - Matsya. In this avatar Vishnu reincarnates himself initially as a fish who pleads for help from the Dravidian king Satyavrata while he is washing his hands in the river. The king puts him in a jar which
he soon outgrows, then a tank, a river and finally to the ocean but to no avail for he continuously outgrows them. Then the fish
reveals himself to be Lord Vishnu who tells him that a great flood will occur during which all life will be destroyed (Read about the other great floods ... or is it the same???) Yes the floods are in plural for they are known through the biblical story of Noah's Ark, through Deucalion in Greek mythology and Utnapishtim in the Epic of Gilgamesh.

Satyavrata was instructed to take "all medicinal herbs, all the varieties of seeds, and accompanied by the seven saints”along with the serpent Vasuki and other animals. (Sounds similar to something... cant remember what)

The Ten Avatars of Vishnu

Besides this there is the Great Trinity - Vishnu, Brahma and Shiva. According to the Puranas, Brahma is self-born (without mother) in the lotus flower which grew from the navel of Vishnu at the beginning of the universe. (Akin to being the son of Vishnu).

In contrast there is the Holy Trinity - The Father, The Son and The Holy Ghost

The reason why im writing this is coz I was thinking - Christianity as a religion only started after Christ or for that matter after the death of Christ. So all the stories in the Old Testament are linked up to Christianity after 32 AD, thus the historical context of the religion is put in after the events in the 1st century AD AND this historical context is something that is common to other religions (the flood for one), religions far older than Christianity.

Clearly Christianity is not very original with their history, it seems to be borrowed to me.
For more comparisons, you should defintiely watch Zeitgeist (especially the first part dealing with religion), you are in for a treat and lots of startling facts. A must watch.

Please correct if im wrong anywhere, especially if someone knows about something that genuinely links up Christianity with the past.

I feel as if I could have started a religion in 200 BC and then created a history for it by borrowing from other religions, although it would have to survive through the ages for the victors write history whether it is true or untrue.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Prophesy Defined

Came across this humorous yet insightful (and true) image and thought I should share it.
This was originally posted here.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Hang this in your Time Machine

Hey i found this while browsing. I found it quite funny and interesting both at the same time. It is essentially a to do list if you were to be stuck in the past and have nothing and need to invent everything from scratch.

The image is from