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Showing posts from January, 2012

Morning Coffee

It is morning in January
Bright and chilly.
He offers her his jacket
The steam from coffee
clouds her eyes.
They talk of times past to now
like it were a tiny ink blot
upon the vastness of the white
unknown, undiscovered ahead.
Such are beginnings perhaps.
A good bye was said but not
before it was found that she
deserved a hug. A warm embrace
that promised to melt all pain away.

Not So Augmented

Unless I am completely missing the point here, this story about augmented reality plus personalization is a text message on a skin that just happens to be a chocolate bar wrapper  Per Digital Trends : Augmented reality is the interaction of superimposed graphics, audio and other sense enhancements over a real-world environment that’s displayed in real-time. Based on that definition this does not qualify to be termed Augmented Reality.
It would be another thing if the message magically appeared on the bar of chocolate someone was physically holding in their hands. Imagine having the chocolate serenade you in the beloved's voice just as you were getting ready to unwrap it - now that would be more in the realm of augmented reality.  Some commenters have pointed out that some augmented reality chocolate would be nice - the satisfaction of chocolate without the guilt or calories. Or maybe when I am getting ready to buy chocolate augment the bar with information on a better snack option…

The Information Diet

I am so convinced the way we consume information is terrible for us that Clay Johnson had me on his side just by choosing to write a book on this subject - The Information Diet. Given my bias, I don't know that I can be the most dispassionate and objective reviewer. Ironically, I might be going exactly what Johnson cautions the reader against when it comes to consuming information - taking affirmation over information. That said, I highly recommend this book to believer and non-believer alike. If you consider that the filter bubble Google, Facebook et al are creating for us is in our best interest, this book is for you. If you want to break free, assert your autonomy and consume information in the raw sans spin, filter, churn or bias, this book is for you. Johnson starts by describing his background and credentials for writing this book. He goes on to draw parallels between an unhealthy diet and its effects to the human body to lack of deliberation and consciousness in consuming in…

Slipping Up

As a parent, one is required to dole out punishment in proportion to the offense. Nothing confuses a child more when such is not the case. What seems so self-evident is often hard to practice in real life unless you happen to be the perfect parent. I have slipped up on this rule several time in the last ten years that I have been J's mom.  Back in the day, I attributed it to unmanaged stress, having too many balls to juggle and no one to help - to err was human . With DB coming into my life and taking on the responsibilities of the dad J never had, I no longer have the same excuses. And yet, I ranted at her furiously for ten minutes straight while driving her over to her friend's birthday party.  As her life has become more and more "regular" ( two parents, a home instead of an apartment, multiple vacations in a year, a closet full of clothes, more media and electronics than she has ever had ), J has relaxed. Used to be that she thought it was her responsibility to wor…

Best In Class

I asked J during dinner last Sunday about her thoughts on the Lady Gaga New Year's eve performance at Times Square we watched on TV. I have given up on understanding such phenoms being that I am too old and culturally out of touch to get what they are all about. She said she didn't much care for it but had this to say about why this performer is so popular. "She is best in class for talent plus weirdness" 
According to J, there are many other more talented singers and definitely weirder people out there. But Lady Gaga tops the talent plus weirdness combo and that's the reason she is so popular. J made it very simple for me "To be wildly popular you have to be the best in class at something". I cannot remember another time I have been so enlightened on popular culture in so few words.

Connecting to Desiness

During J's winter break, we were visiting with a friend of DB's whose wife recently had a baby. It is not often that we get five days of the immersive desi experience so it was almost like a trip to India minus the cost and the hassle. We had freshly cooked meals four times a day - both DB and I love to cook so we gladly pitched in. The mom-in-law caught her desi soaps on the living room TV and after the kids and grandma went to bed, we watched a Bollywood flick. This family is all set to return to India in the next couple of years - it has been their plan from the start. The amped up desi ambiance around the house is supposedly for the benefit of the kids who will find the transition easier. They socialize only with their kind to minimize the impacts of a culture that will soon become foreign to the children. As we watched some of the ridiculous shows grandma is hooked on to, we could not help comparing them to some of  the entertainment Doordarshan provided in 80s and early 9…