Saturday, March 29, 2008

Another missed opportunity ...

Dang it!! Yet another idea that the Batman (you can run but you cant hide), Jofus and I only talked about several years ago has been implemented. I refer to the neat "Shelfari" (virtual bookshelf) website. Look to the right and you will see my virtual bookshelf. Dig a little deeper and you will find a wonderfully put together website that enables friends/groups to share their past, present and future reading lists. The site of course is helpfully interlinked with Blogger, Amazon etc and stands a real chance of becoming yet another successful "social" networking product.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Eric Schlosser's dire prediction ...

I just finished reading Eric Schlosser's seminal book titled "Fast Food Nation - The Dark Side of the All-American Meal". In my opinion this is one of the two best books on how we should live and eat after we inform ourselves about the food that we eat - the other book in this genre being Micheal Pollan's Omnivore's Dilemma.

In the afterword, Eric makes a very honest assessment of our current way of life that I found to be very chilling in its prediction. Given my previous post about the amorality of businesses, I though the following was something I should share.

Excerpt from Eric Schlosser's Fast Food Nation: "The history of the 20th century was dominated by the struggle against totalitarian systems of state power. The 21st will no doubt be marked by a struggle to curtail excessive corporate power. The great challenge now facing countries throughout the world is how to find a proper balance between the efficiency and the amorality of the market. Over the past twenty years, the US has swung too far in one direction, weakening the regulations that safeguard workers, consumers, and the environment. An economic system promising freedom has too often become a means of denying it, as the narrow dictates of the market gain precedence over more important democratic values."

Powerful words, eh? Comments?

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Adith rules and the impossible passport size photo of a baby


Since Adith pretty much dictates my life these days, I changed the color and template of this blog to a shiny baby blue :). Hope you all dont object.

It has been a fleeting three weeks since Adith's birth and I have not found the time to document these past few weeks. I am back at work this week. Isnt it a cruel world where the mother gets 6 months maternity leave and the dad gets one measly week. Anyway, I managed to go to work one day and then worked from home the next four days. This in order to ease the transition for the family is what I told my manager. But it was really to ease my transition to the daily grind :).

Adith received his SSN today and this meant that we could apply for his passport. 2 passport size pictures, application form and Adith's birth certificate are all that are required. We drag the baby to the local Kinkos only to find out that they dont take passport pics of babies - too hard they say!! Take the baby to a professional studio was the recommended advice. It is bad enough that one has to pay something like $20 for a couple of passport size photos - going to a studio is likely to cost much much more. How can these guys get away with charging us these big bucks for a couple of snaps? They dont give us the negatives since these are digital pictures anyway (and they dont give you the JPEG file either). The bane of the free market economy is that one can charge what ever he/she wants as long as there is still a demand for the product - is there no sense of morality in businesses these days?. I hope that with the advent of cheap digital cameras and digital printers, more and more people will make their own passport size photos and put an end to this daylight robbery (okay - i am done with my rant on passport size photos).

Long story short, I made my own passport size photo of Adith. Oh, before I forget, the passport photo instructions mention that the distance from the chin to the top of the head must be between 1 inch and 1 & 3/8 inch. What they mean to say is that the distance from the chin to the top of the head must be between 2.5 cm and 3.5 cm (now isnt that something you can measure using a normal ruler :)). Score 1 for the metric system.