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The birth of ideas

December 11, 2016 Leave a comment

A very interesting TED talk on “Where good ideas come from” by Steven Johnson.  Ideas according to him are not just individual “Eureka” moments.  His fascinating tour takes us from the “liquid networks” of London’s coffee houses to Charles Darwin’s long, slow hunch to today’s high-velocity web.

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Categories: General Tags: , ,

Fish

November 14, 2016 Leave a comment

Write a new post in response to today’s one word prompt : ‘Fish’

cichlid

 

I have tried rearing fish at home several times until I finally gave up the hobby.  I would have to say that watching fish swim in the tank is a very relaxing feeling. I have reared goldfish, angelfish, neon tetra and African cichlids.

I had this Cichlid tank in 2010. Cichlids are very interesting fish that are very active and aggressive.  So, the tank can be setup with coral sand at the bottom and some rocks (cichlids love to hide in the holes of the rocks and also love to spit sand and alter the look of the tank).

So, after cleaning up the tank, I filled the tank with coral sand upto 1.5 inches from the bottom.  Then, I placed the rocks and filled the tank with water.  After the pump was started the tank was allowed to run for 1 week until the water was clean.  Then, the fish were introduced.

We named our cichlids: Phelps, Goldy, Sweety, Softy, Master, Spotty,  Blacky and Lovely.  Initially , Phelps was the most aggressive and liked to chase the others around.  But, after few days it  calmed down.  About 10% of the water in the tank has to be changed every week.

However, the maintenance of the tank is one of the reasons I gave up the hobby.   The main reason is that I did not want to see fish die due to improper care or something I had overlooked.

 

Categories: General Tags: , ,

Who do you think will win the US election?

November 8, 2016 Leave a comment
Categories: General Tags: ,

Back to Life

July 30, 2014 1 comment

After an especially long and exhausting drive or flight, a grueling week at work, or a mind-numbing exam period — what’s the one thing you do to feel human again?

 

I have realized that sleep and a good rest are vital for recuperation/recharging after an intense period of work, exam or stress.  Sleep is a natural cure for many of our ailments and a good rest without any anxieties can do wonders to your body and mind and leave you feeling refreshed and ready to take on any challenge!

Here is a poem about sleep that I had blogged earlier:

Sleep

Lying in the mothers lap
After a fun day
Sleep like a lullaby
Soothes the little infant

Fatigued, tanned bodies
Lie on the pavement
Sleep gives solace to them
Magical,  sweet sleep

Sleep tender sleep
You ease the pain
Calm the nerves
And appease tired souls

Like a loving mother
Who dotes all her kids
You bring tranquil peace
To thief, saint, beggar and  king

Sleep take me on a dream
To a world without walls
Where there is only joy and peace
And one does not belittle another

 

©copyright skm, March 5th, 2011

 

Other interesting posts in this category:
1) http://pintsof.wordpress.com/2014/07/29/daily-prompt-back-to-life/
2) http://dragoneystory.wordpress.com/2014/07/29/daily-post-back-to-life/
3) http://onemanversustheworld.wordpress.com/2014/07/29/relax-and-unwind/
4) http://moreactionresearch.wordpress.com/2014/07/29/called-back-into-being/
5) http://mauldinfamily1.wordpress.com/2014/07/29/daily-prompt-back-to-life/
6) http://kaapitimes.wordpress.com/2014/07/29/back-to-life-after-work/
7) http://bobbeck1600.wordpress.com/2014/07/29/daily-prompt-back-to-life/
8) http://fibercompulsion.com/2014/07/29/back-to-life/
9 ) http://themasculinepen.wordpress.com/2014/07/29/the-daily-post-back-to-life-read-or-go-flying/
10) http://blainecindy.com/2014/07/29/music-is-the-key/

Categories: General Tags: , , ,

Adult Visions

As a kid, you must have imagined what it was like to be an adult. Now that you’re a grownup (or becoming one), how far off was your idea of adult life?

 

We always think the grass is greener on the other side. So while I was young, I wanted to grow up fast and be a big man. I used to wonder what it would be like to be tall and strong.

I used to see the man with the ice-cream cart and wanted to sell ice-creams like him when I grew up.

I used to believe that grown ups earn money, enjoy luxuries and life would be happy-go-lucky.

But now when I look at a child I can see their innocence and their sense of wonder. I watch them immerse themselves in their games and toys and enjoying every moment. A little toy, a game, an icecream or a candy can make their day.

They have loads of energy and enthusiasm and even at the end the daythey seem to want more fun.

Little did I know then that -As we grow up we harbour ill-conceived notions of people, their colour, race and religion. We build walls around us and we seek to see differences rather than finding the common essence that unites all of us.

 

Other interesting posts in this category:
1) http://tombalistreri.wordpress.com/2014/07/23/grown-up/
2) http://underthemonkeytree.com/2014/07/23/all-grown-up/
3) http://tuckedintoacorner.wordpress.com/2014/07/23/all-growed-up/
4) http://lindaswritingblog.wordpress.com/2014/07/23/grown-up/
5) http://msbstories.wordpress.com/2014/07/23/am-i-a-grown-up-oh-well/
6) http://fibercompulsion.com/2014/07/23/whod-want-to-grow-up/
7) http://aminaahmedsblog.wordpress.com/2014/07/23/adult-and-me-lol/
8) http://angloswiss-chronicles.com/2014/07/23/daily-prompt-adult-visions-i-had-none/
9) http://flippyzipflop.wordpress.com/2014/07/23/i-had-it-all-wrong/
10) http://thinkingoutlouddotme1.wordpress.com/2014/07/23/daily-post-adult-visions/

 

Categories: General Tags: , ,

Middle seat

 It turns out that your neighbor on the plane/bus/train (or the person sitting at the next table at the coffee shop) is a very, very chatty tourist. Do you try to switch seats, go for a non-committal brief small talk, or make this person your new best friend?

 

I do not like to occupy the middle seat especially on flights. It is like being stuck between a rock and a hard place.  Sitting at the window you can get to  see the clouds or get a birds eye view during take-off and landing.  If it is the aisle seat, you can get up and stretch your legs or take a walk.

Now coming to the topic of sitting next to a loquacious person.  I like to get to know people and opening a conversation is a great way to do that.  It can become very boring if we are aloof.  Sometimes starting a conversation, we can meet interesting people and make good friends.

But there is a difference between interesting talk, getting to know one another and talking non-stop.

The other day I met one such person.   My colleagues and I were on the train on our way home after work.  This boy started firing a volley of personal questions at us.  He would just not stop.  He even went to the extent of advising my friend to get married.  After that meeting, the next day my colleagues would look out for him on the platform so that we could escape.

 

Other interesting posts on this prompt:
1) http://pintsof.wordpress.com/2014/07/22/daily-prompt-middle-seat/
2) http://tuckedintoacorner.wordpress.com/2014/07/22/the-seat-switcher/
3) http://tombalistreri.wordpress.com/2014/07/22/small-talk/
4) http://zainabjavid.wordpress.com/2014/07/22/chatterbox/
5) http://agirllikemee.wordpress.com/2014/07/22/my-talkative-bus-companions/
6) http://thinkingoutlouddotme1.wordpress.com/2014/07/22/daily-post-middle-seat/
7) http://risingrave28.wordpress.com/2014/07/22/on-a-train/
8) http://tnkerr.wordpress.com/2014/07/22/daily-prompt-middle-seat/
9) http://alotfromlydia.wordpress.com/2014/04/18/the-middle-seat/
10) http://lettheballoonssailmeaway.wordpress.com/2014/07/22/daily-post-middle-seat/

Categories: General Tags: , ,

Fictional Intruder

July 16, 2014 2 comments

Go down the rabbit hole with Alice; play quid-ditch with Harry Potter; float down the river with Huck Finn… If you could choose three fictional events or adventures to experience yourself, what would they be?

 

charlie_chocolate factory

 

 

I admire such adventures and fairy tales because they allow us to let our minds dream and wander into strange lands.  When reading such books we let our imagination go wild – like Alice and her adventures in Wonderland, Gulliver’s Travels, The Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory etc.

It’s difficult to choose a single one here.  I will talk about playing Charlie in the Chocolate factory.  I would love to find that golden ticket for a trip to the Chocolate factory and immerse myself in those adventures.  I would also love to meet that lovely family who supported Charlie for whom that visit meant ‘the world’.  This story shows that there is so much happiness in simple pleasures and adventures.

 

Other interesting posts in this category:
1) http://inmyruinsthereistreasure.com/2014/07/15/fictional-intruder-writing-prompt/
2) http://jaynesdailypost.wordpress.com/2014/07/15/fictional-intruder/
3) http://whitefeatherfloating.wordpress.com/2014/07/15/fictional-characters/
4) http://angloswiss-chronicles.com/2014/07/15/daily-prompt-fictional-intruder-i-did-it-my-way/
5) http://lavirosa.wordpress.com/2014/07/15/fictional-intruder-the-story/

 

Categories: General Tags: , ,

City Planners

If you could clone one element from another city you’ve visited — a building, a cultural institution, a common street food, etc. — and bring it back to your own hometown, what would it be?

I would not want to see the Eiffel Tower, the Leaning Tower of Pisa or the Taj Mahal in any other city. These are not just buildings or monuments they have a history and heritage which are unique to the cities to which they belong.

A cities hustle and bustle, the culture, the food and festivals are unique features. The are the essence, the life of the city and cannot be cloned.

There is a new trend of cloning that is prevalent today. People want to clone products, replicate model cities, clone animals, convert people to their beliefs and so on. What they forget is that variety is the spice of life.

Would life be interesting if there is nothing new, and everywhere you look you see your clone?

 

Other interesting posts in this category:
1) http://tuckedintoacorner.wordpress.com/2014/06/12/refusal-to-clone/
2) http://suestrifles.wordpress.com/2014/06/12/city-planners/
3) http://meaningunfolding.wordpress.com/2014/06/12/city-planners-notre-dame/
4) http://mintylemony.wordpress.com/2014/06/12/what-would-i-bring-home/
5) http://hopethehappyhugger.wordpress.com/2014/06/12/i-would-clone/
6) http://justkate914.wordpress.com/2014/06/12/daily-prompts-city-planners/
7) http://borderlinepersonalitybliss.wordpress.com/2014/06/12/bringing-the-beauty-home/
8) http://rainswritingrealm.wordpress.com/2014/06/12/city-planners/
9) http://allthingscuteandbeautiful.wordpress.com/2014/06/12/daily-prompt-being-cultural/
10) http://monicleblog.wordpress.com/2014/06/12/missing-ethnic-food/

 

 

Categories: General Tags: , , ,

Do you remember?

May 28, 2014 4 comments

(This is the text of my Advanced Project 4 speech from the Humorously Speaking manual that I delivered at my club yesterday evening)

I can’t remember the number of umbrellas I have lost  or the number of times I have misplaced my keys.

Sometimes when I have left home for work – I have the “Did I” moment.  Did I switch off the iron?  Or Did I lock the main door?

Distinguished guests, fellow toastmasters and friends –

In this fast-paced world with a growing population we have to remember so many names, so many phone numbers, facts, figures, internet passwords – it is really mind boggling.  But technology gave us paper , the printing press, the typewriter, the computer, the internet and the smartphone and we have progressively outsourced our memory to these gadgets.

Inside our brains temporal lobe is the hippocampus (sounds like hippopotamus) responsible for converting short term memory to long term memory and the amygdala (sounds like a queen from a fairy tale) which processes emotions and can record events..

When I was a child I could remember times tables,  Gandhis date of birth and when the battle of Plassey was fought.  Then when I was going to get married I could remember my wifes birthday and even her mothers birthday.  I had the memory of an elephant.  But after marriage I find it hard to remember our anniversary date, birthdays etc.

The most effective way to remember your wifes birthday is to forget it once.

When I go grocery shopping I always keep a list with me lest I should forget one item and go all the way back.

A University of Cornell study found that women remember better and can multitask whereas men are more focussed on a single task

In the movie Finding Nemo – Dory, one of the main characters can’t remember if she’s coming or going and Winnie the Pooh also had a poor memory.

Just 2 weeks back I attended a seminar to improve my memory organised by Singapores only memory champ and guiness book record holder Nishant.

He said that the reason that we have a bad memory is that we do not exercise our brain enough

A toastmasters meeting is the ideal place to exercise our brain – A speaker can throw away his script
The TME, language evaluator , General evaluator, timer and Ahcounter also have to pay attention throughout the meeting and  have to be alert all the time.

Do we ever forget to brush our teeth, take a bath or eat our  lunch?  We are creatures of habit and unless we make it a habit to remember we will tend to forget

A man was invited to some old friends’ home for dinner. He preceded every request to his wife by endearing terms, calling her Honey, My Love, Darling, Sweetheart, Pumpkin, etc.One of the friends was impressed since the couple had been married almost 70 years, and while the wife was off in the kitchen he said to his buddy:

“I think it’s wonderful that after all the years you’ve been married, you still call your wife those pet names.”His buddy hung his head. “To tell you the truth,” he said, “I forgot her name about ten years ago.”

 

As we grow old, our brain can suffer from dementia and Alzheimers disease due to atrophy or lack of use.  So some ways to improve your memory are

–       Get a good sleep – stress is not good for our memory and a good nap can recharge you and leave your mind fresh to grasp like a sponge

–       Llead an active life – we lead a sedentary lifestyle – so it becomes important to exercise – because as the saying goes  ‘a  healthy mind in a healthy body’

–        play games not on your smartphone but just do some crosswords or play Sudoku at times & finally

–        have some smartphone free time every day.

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: General Tags: , ,

Saturday scribbles

May 17, 2014 1 comment

stick figures

Categories: General Tags: , , ,
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