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Showing posts from September, 2010

Two Million Minutes

As a parent who was educated in India and is now raising a child in America, the subject of Robert Compton's 2 Million Minutes is something I can relate to effortlessly. It is well documented how American kids are falling behind when compared to their peers elsewhere in the world. Compton brings those statistics to life, takes viewers into the lives of six above-average high school students from America, China and India.

The film depicts how kids from India and China spend the entirety of their high school years (two million minutes) preparing for the entrance exams to get into one of the premier institutes of learning. They have no life outside that and a decision about career is locked in at seventeen. What is more, that decision is most often made for them by their parents.

In both India and China students grow up in society that emphasizes academic success almost to the exclusion of anything else in a young person's life. Xiaoyuan, the Chinese girl in the movie, studies mu…

Cooking For Geeks

If you are the kind of cook that thrives on improvisation and experimentation in the kitchen and cannot be bothered to follow recipes then Cooking For Geeks is be the kind of "cookbook" you will enjoy. On the other hand if you are the uber-geek who wants to get everything exactly right - this is a great book for you too. Often the simplest things like a perfectly soft-boiled egg are hard to pull off with consistently high quality time after time. Traditional recipes simply don't get into the science of egg yolk and egg white phase transitions as a function of temperature. Jeff Potter takes the mystery out of this any a lot else by taking a scientific approach to cooking. Geek or not, you would likely find that more helpful than the inexactitude of conventional recipes that leave something to the cook's imagination and capabilities. The ground this book covers is impressive - from your basic scrambled eggs and pancakes to making your own Earl Grey infused whipped cream,…

About Girls

In his book Girls On The Edge, the author Leonard Sax talks about who a nascent spiritual awakening in teenage girls if not given a chance to grow could result in them seeking the ultimate happiness and satisfaction through sex or romantic relationships. This is only one of the many valuable insights in this book which is a must read for anyone who has a daughter.  Sax comes across as having a genuine empathy for girls - and concern for their overall well-being. After a long time, this is a book that kept me hooked all the way and I came away feeling like I learned things I did not know - things that may help me raise J better. On empowerment and expression of sexuality he writes "As parents, we must reject the notion that girls have to take off their clothes to empower themselves. Boys don't have to take off their clothes to empower themselves. Girls shouldn't either." I wish Sax would write a book targeted at tweens and teens that conveyed the same message in a way…

Six Shorts

Cleaning my Inbox after a long time yielded this.
I Swooping through
the far coast into the
heartland,  I wait
to turn  home by the bay.
My traverse a wide
crescent
Like your smile. II I remember the night
I turned twenty nine
with my womb full  one half of me lay
cleaved on his side
of our bed. My eyes
turned rosebuds the
day after - tears
offered in prayer.
The night I most
needed your love. III
The emptiness of
my workday coils
like a dreary boa
stuffed to the gills
yet loathe to rest.  IV On an early day in August
I made a note to myself
To  remain steadfast
In friendship and not let
Eros grime the way. Yet as
Summer turns to Fall I wonder
If sometimes its not just the same. After many years again
in the feeling of love
or its approximation, I
fight my demons again.
Needing more than being
needed. Trying too hard
to please - to fathom -
to get under the other's
skin. To grow on you like
a graft to be one in soul.
All demons of pain that
I have fought down before.
Where are …