Still going strong on blogging...

Posted by Tandarin Nike Saturday, January 30, 2010 9:01 PM 0 comments
It is interesting how each of us choose a subject to blog on.

Yes this is part of the uniqueness of mankind and all that bla but still trying to think how every body has different opinions on the same subject is a subject to ponder about.

This god of ours is a great person. I mean he has created the world and everything in it including man. There are look-alikes but given the population of this world isn’t it beyond our imagination for such a permutation and combination?

I am a regular blogger these days and I browse through a lot of blogs. The variety that meets the eye with respect to the thoughts running in every blogger’s mind is awesome.

I find blogs which deal with subjects I never thought of writing before. Forget writing! That kind of thought makes me feel I am not the serious type and but the grass is greener on the other side always and it is just humane of me to remain unsatisfied with what I do and other’s do better.

Leaving this aside….. the blog I think gives each of us a space to work with ourselves. It could be as a part of work or a hobby or life; like I have heard my boss saying always “reading is a part of my life, it isn’t just another hobby for me.”

But it definitely brings out our views on issues dear to us and to others.

Like minded people can meet via writing and I now after almost two months of blogging can never let this habit go.

Rumbling the Rumours....

Posted by Tandarin Nike Wednesday, January 27, 2010 9:53 PM 0 comments
I'm not typically prone to panicky behavior due to catastrophic e-mail forwards prophesizing doom and gloom.

I don't usually listen to rumours and change my behavior accordingly. With all my neurotic semi-insanity, this kind of stuff simply doesn't phase me.

Over the weekend, uncharacteristically, I heard of victims being warned about essential commoditities shortage in a small town in India. The entire town ran out at 6:00 in the evening to scour the land for these shortage prone commodities.

Turns out, this was not to be an easy task and barely few succeeded at all.

Next day, the people in the town realized their action, coupled by similar reactions all about the area, caused the shortage in the first place and now the region is without any essential commodity.

How easy it seemed to just heed the words of apparent wisdom. We should not fault the messengers - people invariably choose to give in to the mob mentality, and afterwards they feel half guilty and half relieved, most houses had their stored commodities sit idle all week.

Did someone snatch the bare essential bread which could just get a household pass through the week? Was someone left stranded and worried on their way somewhere because they were compelled to rush out and horde "their share?"

It's this kind of thought I attempt to avoid - the "me first" way of our society. I've heard another sort of "rumour" that certain foreigners have a somewhat evolved "we first" outlook, and I've witnessed this around me too. Just not this weekend.

I can't exactly take back my rush to be totally immune to these rumours. I will, however, be more careful the next time to analyze whether my actions are in defense of my personal safety and welfare, or a form of greed. In this case, it's safe to split the difference and say it's a bit of both.

That makes me feel considerably better. It doesn't neccessaily make it okay.

The beginning to the end.... Love

Posted by Tandarin Nike Saturday, January 23, 2010 1:30 AM 0 comments
It is said “love begins at the beginning and goes beyond the end”.

Have you fully grasped the feelings of Love?

Have you caught all the murmurs of your heart?

Love is ever giving and can be described in many many ways.

Love is splendorous. This feeling of a warm and deep attachment leading to enthusiasm, devotion and admiration continues to exist and grow between many varied personal relationships e.g. Man and God, Parents and Children, Brothers and Sisters, Husband and wife, Teachers and Pupils, Friends both men and women and amongst many other bonds that we human beings develop and nurture of our own free will, in our life’s journey from the earlier days of childhood to the later evenings of old age.

Love stands much above endearment, infatuation, attraction or enchantment, need and desire… which can wear off after a certain span of time or change of environment. Love is a many sided sacrifice.

It means thoughtfulness for the one you love. It means, putting their good before self gratification.

Love is an impulse, no doubt!!!…but true love is an impulse wisely directed and has to stand the test of time.

To be kind is to show and express gestures of good will, combining sympathy, forbearance, graciousness and humanism. Kindness is a microwave that heats, thaws, heals and mends in many simple ways and manners i.e. a soothing touch; a gentle word, a warm smile, a loving look, a soft expression, a show of genuine concern, giving a helping hand, offering of support and encouragement, and sharing of feelings.

Love and kindness open the most impossible gates. In the pursuit of happiness both love and kindness are vital inputs, as they symbolize sharing, caring and giving of your self and add to its glow. If love is a feeling that is experienced and kindness that is felt, then happiness is a feeling that radiates from within the heart.

Happiness is a state of mind and comes from counting our blessings and being grateful for what the maker has given us and being content with what we are able to gain and gather because of our own dedicated and determined endeavors.

Unhappy is the man who has not loved and he is miserable who has not been touched by kindness. To grasp fully the feelings of Love, Kindness and Happiness You must catch all the murmurs of your heart, which the beholders, your admirers or detractors, can never hope to hear.

These murmurs are faint. You have to hold them very close to the minds ear to capture them.

Such a total state may be expressed as....

“A day of such serene feelings spent, Is worth an age of splendid discontent”~James Montgomery~

Let's get our act together.....

Posted by Tandarin Nike Thursday, January 21, 2010 8:52 PM 0 comments
There are many who depend or live on borrowed money.

It's the kind all of us are aware of, who could beg, borrow or steal all at the same time.

One never knows when fortune could turn its tables on a man and before you know, a king could be a pauper while a pauper becomes a millionaire. So it should suffice for us to say that we must do our karma and help out where we can. Not repetitively, because everyone who borrows isn’t always needy. And everyone who lends isn’t always rich.

You may not pause for a moment to think when a domestic help turns to you for five hundred rupees, but when there are larger amounts involved and there are closer relationships at stake, it becomes a difficult choice between ‘yes’ and ‘no’. It’s not that there isn’t a willingness to help. It’s that there’s a fear of your hard-earned money being misused that sometimes holds us back.

It’s easier to loan money to people who obviously need it, who will make an effort to return it to you. But there are people who live off lent money. These are absolute and habitual borrowers.

They will not break their fixed deposits but will expect you to cut corners and lend you an unreasonable sum of money. They take advantage of the fact that by virtue of your inability to turn down a request, they can extract money from you and splurge it on unimportant things.

If you need the money so badly, how do you justify cocktail and luncheon parties? Is that what you’re borrowing for, so that you can put up a show before the rest of the world that everything is fine with your bank balance? To such borrowers, saying ‘no’ should be mandatory. They are leeches that will bleed you and you need to shrug them off before you are bound to bleed.

But even when someone desperately requires money, how much would you be willing to lend and how many times? Would you let your financial planning go awry to help someone? Would you be happy trimming on your own expenses to accommodate a loan for someone else?

It’s a tough call to make sometimes. And frankly, come to think of it, how can people bring themselves to borrow stuff they don’t  need. If you can’t afford to spend lakhs of rupees on your son or daughter’s wedding, then don’t. If you do not have the cash to buy a property and you do not want to pay the interest rate on a bank loan, don’t buy that property. Why must you borrow to buy what you can’t afford? Why??

Remember, when we were in school and forgot to take some essentials to class, the teachers’ favourite retort used to be, “Beg, borrow or steal.” Borrowing seemed pretty easy then, because returning a pencil, paper or a map was also easy enough. But now, neither begging nor borrowing nor does stealing seem a feasible option to me. I’d much rather not have what I cannot have, as long as I have only what I must.

Sooner or later your credibility is at stake and it’s just not worth it.

Do keep faith in your words....

Posted by Tandarin Nike Tuesday, January 19, 2010 1:42 AM 2 comments
Every day you live, you are technically closer to death.

Sobering thought.. indeed!!

It reminds me of a narration of a friend whose wife used to work in a psychiatric hospital with the inpatients of varying age. It seems, there was one particularly inquisitive young lady who would walk around the unit and ask, "Am I going to die?" over and over and...over again.

One day, a clever medical resident answered her with, "Why, yes, you are.... someday. We all are going to die."

Though it startled (and amused) me at this narration at that time, it seemed in reality, it did calm the poor kid. This has often replayed in my head over the years because it's simple and true: yes, we are all going to die.

We all just hope we can go out with dignity and at an appropriate age.

Talking about age, is always funny to me because, the older you get, the younger that age seems to feel once you reach it. Doubtful you'll ever turn over a birthday and think, "Well, this is an appropriate age to die! See you later then!"

Today, I discovered that despite my middle age appearance, mental age of twelve years, and tendency to pull my stomach in, I am getting older. I've begun to face up to the fact: as much as I'd hoped never to grow up and mature, I can't help but age.

The idea of growing old is not scary in and of itself, but the thought of losing your sense of spirit is terrifying.

It's this part which causes a fear in me. What happens when you no longer remember those tidbits of memories which make you who you are? What do you really become then? I hope desperately that I won't ever find out - not that I"d really know in that state whether or not I knew.

But...still. It's all just another good reason to write my thoughts down, to keep faith in words. Later on down the road, I might appreciate it more than I could ever imagine.

And if not, I'm certain it will provide a chuckle here or there - whether from me, or those very very closest to my heart.

What a life....

Posted by Tandarin Nike Monday, January 18, 2010 1:00 AM 0 comments
It really stinks when you have to work harder than you would like and it robs you of your fun time. I can't exactly complain because my job is flexible and mostly cake, but still, I like to blog, read, watch movies, and while off on the internet better than I like to work even at a flexible, cake job.

But, enough of that. Two month ago, this week, on the eve of a cricket match finals, I decided to start a blog. The next day, before the Friday night activities, I wrote my very first blog post. I hoped this exercise would get me writing more, hopefully push me into a motivated, disciplined state. I had big, fantastical dreams of getting that memoir finished or being discovered, plucked from obscurity and handed a super-duper contract for my unique, insighful ideas.

Okay, not really. But I did hope to better my written skills and become a more consistent writer. I think it probably has happened, to an extent. I find myself more expressive, more often. I no longer have fear of others reading my work. My writing has become more streamlined, my words chosen carefully to be succinct.

Mostly, this blog provides a real opportunity to connect with other people. I've had some random comments from strangers, which shows folks stumbled upon my words and read them all the way through. That is kind of scary and neat all at the same time.

So, hopefully this new year will bring even more fun. And hopefully, the cricket match between India and Bangladesh being played now will be just as exciting as the one I saw while starting my blog.

The new age terms....

Posted by Tandarin Nike Saturday, January 16, 2010 7:39 AM 0 comments
Here's a list of the 'Old politically incorrect terms' to the 'New politically correct terms'....

Barber –> Hairdresser

Tailor –> Fashion Designer

Grocer–> Food Retailer

Pickpocket–> Economic Offender

Snake Oil Salesman–> Research Proposal Writer

Bonded Slave—> PhD student

Incorrigible Gossip –> Blogger

Mujra –> Item Number

Indifference–> Spirit of [insert Indian city name]

Copying–> Internalizing

Terrorist –> Misguided youth

Wife/Husband–> Partner

Partner –> Business Associate

Sleeping Partner –> Financier

Casting couch –> Talent show

Pakistan –> Front Line ally in the war on terror

Leching –> Aggressively Appreciating

Fat –> Healthy

Criminal–> Politician

Scary looking woman –> Woman of high moral character

Ugly looking man –> Bachelor of Engineering

Code coolie–> Software Engineer

All of us are stars.... shine urselves to glory

Posted by Tandarin Nike Friday, January 15, 2010 12:44 AM 0 comments
Astrology has always been very intriguing.

It is so compelling in effect, that when you visit an astrologer to have your future read, you actually create the future that the astrologer predicts. Mostly all the negative instances that guide your life.

I have been to astrologers before, some of their predictions have come true and some are yet to come true. I have challenged a few and won a few challenges too. The astrologer has never taken it kindly though..hehe..

I am not the one who would miss out on this experience, but… excuse me please....anyone listening??

The experience of visiting an astrologer is powerful. After the visit, all the predictions occupy a certain ‘mindset’ and after a few predictions come true the ‘mindset’ grows.

Stars reveal, ‘You will meet with an accident during so and so time. Be careful’. Oh yeah! I have been careless till now and hence I have not had an accident and I have to be careful now so that I could prepare for an accident. If it’s truly destiny, how could being careful ever change it?

Silly, that’s why it is called an ‘ACCIDENT’ in the first place!

‘You are likely to go through a patch of bad health when you are between 33 and 36 years of age, be careful’. What does this mean? If I am careful, wouldn’t I go through the bad phase or if I know about it now, would it make any difference.

‘When will I get married?’ The astrologer says, ‘Now your time is not right for marriage. You will get married in your 30th year. Please perform certain religious activities, wear the diamond/coral/pearl/emerald on your body to ensure that you get good luck’. In the first place the person visited the astrologer just  because he is not getting married; now he is told that the time is not right. Wow!!! thats a clinka..

If I am anyway going to get married only in my 30th year, would buying these things mean that I would get married any earlier? If this is destiny, how will it change? And if I do get good luck will I go back to the astrologer? What Bad luck!!

‘When will I get a job?’ The response is ‘certain planets are transiting, certain planets are in exaltation, according to the stars and planetary position based on your horoscope you will not find a job for the next six months. The period is not favorable for a new job. You must visit this temple on every Tuesday and Thursday’. Great news, as such I have not been able to find jobs, now I will even give up trying for the next  six months and focus on going to the temple at a designated time on a prescribed day.

Well, if only I had displayed the same passion and discipline in my job search or in my job.

The list goes on and on… when will I be rich, when will I win over my enemies, what kind of education should I stick to, what kind of spouse will I get etc

The answers are in fact very simple, you will get married when you want to, you will meet with an accident and it is out of your control, dumbo that’s why it is called an accident. You will find a job when you try harder, you will be rich if you work hard and you will be educated in the line that you have an aptitude for and you always get what you deserve!

In reality, most of us, if not all, would like to know what the future has in store for us. The moment we hear good things we become instantly energized and when we hear the bad things we are perpetually worried.
I am not ridiculing astrology and am not against religious activities. I respect all this.

Just to say that in the equation of life, past is a constant, you and your mind is the variable while the future is what you need to create. Look at the equation, you can’t do a shit about the past, the future is what you want and the only variable in your control is your mind. So, the best way to predict the future is to create it!

Go to an astrologer if you must, but remember when you are there for the experience you say ‘Jahanpanah! Tussi great ho! Tohfah kabool keejiye!’

If you have watched 3 idiots you’d know what I mean. (If you haven’t watched it yet, go right now, I predict that you will have spent 3 good hours of your life’).

The good bold statement here is.......‘Control your destiny or someone else will’ and remember, what we see depends mainly on what we look for!

We all are Stars! Shine on..... and on.

Spectacle of natural magnificence....

Posted by Tandarin Nike Tuesday, January 12, 2010 8:52 AM 0 comments
When I was all of 15-16, I was part of a gang comprising of Venu, Walke and me, the gang of 3 also known as the gang of bunkers, since we were champs of class bunking. Our school ground was encircled by a semi-high compound wall and gradually after first few failed attempts to jump-over, became a subject of our effortless crossovers. Crossover’s they were since the moment we landed on the outside world, the air seemed to abruptly carry a strange fragrance of liberation. And the liberated moments were spent sneaking furtively into the Cinema theatre, which to our luck always showed an English movie for the afternoon show.

And when we were not watching English Adult movies, we could be found chatting; about astrophysics in the most literal form. We had carved our very own existence through the realms of physics and many equations which provided rationale to our notions of existentialism. I remember we used to have heated discussions about how the universe was created. We discussed about big-bang and what would have happened and how it would have felt if we were to become spectators to the greatest spectacle of natural magnificence.

To tell you the truth, we were totally awestruck by the sheer dimensions of the dimensionless universe. It was also the first instance when we voyaged on a journey far removed from the materialistic terrains of the world that surrounded us, until the very minutes of self-realization and into a world of mysticism and spirituality.

We discussed about how the world wrestled over small territories and possessions over wealth and status, when the real world was before us, that we figured, when we lounged on the terrace of my house, facing the infinite but clear blue sky.

Coming back to astrophysics, I remember information which cropped up during our conversation that there were billion-billion galaxies in the universe, which had over a billion-billion stars, which might have at least a dozen planets like earth, which would have life in it. I remember us discussing about how the distant life would be, and what Mother Nature would have created, in her canvas of artistic endeavor. We were of the opinion that if the distant planet was as old as our planet, the process of evolution might have created a species which might be as intelligent as we were, or even more.

We discussed Einstein’s Theory of relativity and laws of quantum physics. I remember discussing about the strange phenomenon of the BLACK HOLE, and how a black hole could suck everything that came near to it, not even sparing light or space. We couldn’t even perceive how a black hole could suck space into it, and then the notions of space-time were shattered by this Einstein fellow.

Can anyone imagine the Universe to have materialized out of a single point of concentration? What was universe like back then, when atoms were not created and how big an explosion it would have been, that it continues to explode at an ever increasing rate, starting from billions of years; The BIG BANG THEORY. How nano seconds after the big-bang, the first protons and neutrons were created into a nucleus, and out of some strange mysterious process, electrons started revolving around it to form the first atoms. How from a simple Hydrogen atom, complex atoms of metals were created and how we came into being after several billions of years to evolve into a thinking mind and body.

I really don’t know if we were absurd or normal (or paranormal), but this is what we grew up on. Though I haven’t heard from both of them since some time, my buddies are all at good places. Walke did his MSc from Bombay University and went on for higher studies to US. Venu is an Information Technology specialist and is a consultant on many cyber issues relating to security. And me, The Zillionbig is blogging before your very own eyes and enjoying it too.

As I sit to write this, I can almost feel the purring sensation of the passage of thoughts in my head. I wonder how good it would be, if I were to make a note of each and every thought that passed my mind. In other words, not a single thought crosses me unregistered and I scrutinize the worth of every single one of them. An impracticable notion, isn’t it? As they say, it’s the thoughts that maketh the Man, I wonder if it’s that small number of thoughts that I discerned, that made ME.

Life lessons just keep on coming...

Posted by Tandarin Nike Sunday, January 10, 2010 11:32 PM 0 comments
And "they" say TV will rot your brain...whoever "they" are anyway.....?

**If you are married to a man who never lets you see him naked and has a strange past history, you very well could be married to a woman pretending to be a man. This seems quite preposterous, but I've heard it time and time again and it's even been on Oprah, not just once, but several times. And for crying out loud, everyone knows Oprah only deals in hard cold facts. So, do whatever you need to do out there to protect yourself from these types of con artists. Because this would be a hard thing to explain to the friends and family, you know?

**If you happen to be in front of Judge Gopalacharya for any reason, don't put your hands in your pockets. This ticks him off. As do a slew of other inexplicable behaviors, like trying to explain your side in a case. But, really, if you've decided that Judge Gopalacharya is the proper arbitor of any contested matter, then that's on you.

**If, by chance, you have killed a spouse in a certain way (i.e. drowning them in a hot tub/bathtub or pushing them from a mountain) and seemingly gotten away with said crime (i.e. you are free to marry again) then don't decide to kill the new spouse in the same manner in which you offed the first one. It's suspicious. You tend to raise a few eyebrows. Then, they just tack on the first murder to the second, and that doesn't do your chances at acquittal any justice.

**In keeping with the above example, there are numerous creative ways to murder someone. Most are extremely effective, especially the slow poisoning. Or the fake robbery set-up with a dead witness. Or an axe to the head. Unfortunately, most killers get caught. But, at least give yourself a fighting chance by not using too much repetition.

**People don't understand that when you have a child, you are responsible for teaching them right from wrong. Small humans aren't necessarily programmed to just do what you tell them to do. You actually have to instruct them using this method called reinforcement and punishment. In this case, repetition is not only recommended, it is crucial. If you don't do this properly, there are several options available to you. I'd just go with common sense and realize that a kid is not the boss of me.

**Judges are not, as a general rule, attractive people who should be allowed before the camera, even if it's only for a lame bit about "getting money for you." Seriously, it's just one more example of my belief that we ought to go back to our roots and bring back the powdered wigs and costumes to the courthouses. Because some of these jokers who want to represent you need a serious makeover. And a good diet plan too.

**Late at night, people will plunk down their had-earned cash for just about any piece of crap you want to sell them. I really think these people are just up late buying trinkets from infomercials because they are drunk off their asses. And speaking from experience, you've got to be pretty loaded before this stuff looks so appealing that you just can't wait till morning to call in that order.

So, stay tuned folks. The life lessons just keep on coming! And they can't, they won't, and they don't stop!!

A break through in Fuel Cell technology....

Posted by Tandarin Nike Friday, January 8, 2010 3:52 AM 0 comments

Renewable energy technology has been around for awhile. Storage of energy has always been an hindering issue be it from solar power generators or from fuel cells.

On the fuel cell front, there is a fabulous desk top device now, which stores hydrogen in a manner which is much safer as well as storing density being more than storing hydrogen in its liquid form.

Named HYDROFILLTM, the world’s first personal hydrogen station will be unveiled at the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this week.

The small desktop device simply plugs into the AC socket, a solar panel or a small wind turbine, automatically extracts hydrogen from its water tank and stores it in a solid form in small refillable cartridges.

The cartridges contain metallic alloys that absorb hydrogen into their crystalline structure, and releases it back at low pressures, removing concerns about storing hydrogen at high pressure. This storage method also creates the highest volumetric energy density of any form of hydrogen storage, even higher than liquid hydrogen. Unlike conventional batteries, these cartridges carry more energy capacity, are cheaper, and do not contain any environmentally-harmful heavy metals.

“A hydrogen station in every home” is a futuristic vision that is being demonstrated in reality this week as Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies unveils what could be its biggest breakthrough to date: a small home hydrogen refuelling and storage solution that could begin our transition to a hydrogen-based economy.

In addition to making many new fuel cell products possible, the refuelling device enables a lower cost, scalable, and consumer-centric hydrogen supply model which eliminates the dependence on large-scale fuelling infrastructure investments.

Horizon FCT, has begun the market introduction of a complete line of portable consumer electronic devices that address much larger markets. The first of these products include a micro-fuel cell power supply called MINIPAK, which extends the off-grid runtimes of small electronic devices including cell phones, lighting products, and many USB powered devices.

Horizon will also present an upgraded version of its larger portable off-grid DC power supply system called HYDROPAK. While these and other products will start entering the market in 2010, be on the look out for this technology to be brought in right into your living room.

What are they watching tonight???

Posted by Tandarin Nike Wednesday, January 6, 2010 9:21 PM 0 comments

The first tv images of World War II are about to hit Aldebaran star system, 65 light years away.

If there’s anybody out there alive and with eyes to see it, the barrage of actual and dramatised footage of WW2 will keep them shocked and/or entertained for decades to come. Which is just as well, for they’ll have to wait quite a few years to catch the first episodes of such seminal series as The Twilight Zone and Bonanza (both 1959), just about now hitting the (putative) extraterrestrial biological entities of the Mu Arae area.

The Cosby Show, Miami Vice and Night Court (all 1984) should be all the rage on Fomalhaut. Meanwhile, the sentient, tv-watching creatures near Alpha Centauri, our closest extrasolar star, are just recovering from the infamous “wardrobe malfunction” during Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake’s halftime show during the 2004 Superbowl.

All this is assuming, of course, that the aforementioned extraterrestrials prefer American tv to, say, German Fernsehen or Indian tv.

This surely is the greater assumption that our television signals are able to penetrate the universe in a way that makes them receivable in the far-flung corners of our galaxy.

So shall it be......

Posted by Tandarin Nike Monday, January 4, 2010 2:26 AM 0 comments
You know what? I've been writting this little blog for some time now and I'm content with the readers I have mostly being my friends and family.

That's been definitely great as many of the important people in my life know I fancy myself as a writer and attempt a coherent rambling on this blog.

Today, I decided I've had enough. By chance I stumbled upon a hateful blog, a gathering of rather vitriolic swill - and I became a bit hot under the collar.

Tempermental and passionate I am to a fault; yet, I try to keep my emotions at bay, try to be diplomatic, respectful and, mostly, I do a juicy good job. But tonight fired me up and there's no going back from that!

I'm mad - mad that these folks spew half-truths and judgmental drither (in a poorly-written fashion, mind you) and get thousands of hits a day.

I don't so much mind their opinions. They have a right to believe what they like, just as I do. I may not agree, but unlike the few passages I read on their site, I won't automatically accuse opposite thinkers of being evil and potentially burning eternally in...well, there goes the anger again.

No, I'll just sit quietly here and wonder how many people read their little ramblings and hope that rational common sense prevails.

I will try to overcome the rise they've gotten out of me. I'll shake my head and mumble under my breath and shut the site down while I vow never, EVER, to stumble upon it again.

And as I do all that, I've decided that I'll take one more proactive step: an e-mail forward to my address book contacts, a graceful request to check out my modest blog, while asking each of them to pass my blog site on to three of their friends, with the same humble request, etcetera.

Who knows? I could get some hits too. The best way to fight a perceived negative is not with a blow as low, but with an elevated positive. This is my idea, my notion of good karma, my vision for the way the world could work.

Let's see, shall we?

2009 proved humanity is interconnected.....

Posted by Tandarin Nike Sunday, January 3, 2010 2:09 AM 0 comments
The year 2009 saw all people globally, rich, poor, young, and old, interconnected, whether they want to or not. And, furthermore, it proved that humans are intimately linked with birds, pigs and many other animals.

As different parts of the global economy continued to cave in earlier this year, almost everyone took a hit in one way or another.

Then, when we were down under, we started hearing about re-emergence of the swine flu virus that could randomly take innocent lives as it spread across the planet as fast as a Twitter rumour.

People paraded around with their faces half-concealed behind masks. Even airline as precaution were taking travellers’ temperatures and sending them away to doctors to obtain “fit-to-fly” certificates”! What kind of a double curse was this? It did sound scary.

Actually, flu epidemics are spread by the touching or random exchange of currency notes, coins etc among many other objects and surfaces. Coughing and sneezing also pass it onto another person’s space which in turn helps to spread the flu. And the surprising, low-profile culprit, the original host of almost all flu viruses, is actually birds.

To oversimplify, when virus-containing bird droppings get into a water supply, the recombining of germs can cause widespread sickness in humans and pigs as well. What a tragedy.

Why can’t we just kill the virus the same way we can overpower bacteria with antibiotics?

One problem is that viruses are not alive to begin with, so we can’t kill them. Viruses don’t eat, and they are not made up of cells. Viruses are just tiny organic substances that can only be seen with an electron microscope. A virus is basically just a strand of DNA or RNA wrapped in a jacket of protein. The only way a virus can reproduce at all is to invade a cell and hijack its control center, commanding it to manufacture more viruses. Sometimes the host cell will explode like a popped up balloon when it is filled to maximum capacity with viruses. Sometimes a virus instead crouches dormant in a host cell for months or years, waiting to attack.

A problem with flu virus in particular is that they are forever changing their genetic makeup, which means they can evade both our hit-or-miss vaccine recipes, antiviral symptom-relief drugs, and the flu antibodies we’ve already built up in our immune systems.

Another issue with flu viruses is that they are often transmitted before the initially infected person is even showing symptoms.

To make a person sick, first a virus has to make it past several lines of defense. First of all the skin which does keeps it out, but they get in through the nose, mouth, or even eyes. If this happens, the body in fact immediatly launches an all-out counterattack.

The most serious casualties during flu epidemics are often from sudden and intense immunologic firestorms in the lungs or other organs of previously healthy victims, often young adults. That’s why new strains of the flu like the latest version of H1N1 cause much alarm.

When the immune system is fighting off a milder flu attack, taking over-the-counter medicine can interfere with the healing process. Fever, coughing, sneezing, runny noses, and even vomiting and diarrhea are all the body’s attempts to deactivate or eliminate viruses from the body as quickly as possible.

The symptom of extreme fatigue should be seen as a signal to take some time out and rest, for a change, and let the immune system do its work. Don’t just suppress your symptoms and try to carry on as usual.

Schools and workplaces are finally realizing they need to relax their punitive attendance policies to avoid spreading viruses. Public health officials are also finally instructing people to cough and sneeze into their sleeves or a tissue (duh) instead of covering their mouths and releasing germs into their hands and then contaminating a handrail, door handle, computer keyboard, phone, ATM machine, etc.

Hope and pray 2010 brings all of us some immunity to face many such viruses. Keep in mind that though “Money goes from hand to hand, and the swine flu goes from man to man”, lets all be very vigilant and take care of ourselves and the people around us.

Here's wishing good health to all my blog readers during this entire year.