Day By Day

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Adventures in India, Part 36 -- The Fields of Chitwan

After a short lunch we left the city and headed into the countryside. As we passed through villages and fields I was struck by the fact that nearly all of the workers were women. We saw few men, and those were mostly supervising the women. I asked our guide about this and he answered that most of the men had left the area seeking work in the Middle East, in India, or elsewhere.

At last we arrived at the Chitwan wildlife preserve where boats were waiting to take us into the swamps and forests.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Adventures in India, Part 35 -- Approaching Chitwan

After a short, but pungent, break we continued on across Nepal toward our destination, the Chitwan animal preserve.

"It's more than just oil it's liquid engineering".

 A tent settlement along a stream.

Oral hygiene.

At last, late in the afternoon, we arrived at Chitwan.

The Origins of Egyptian Civilization

One of the earliest complex societies to emerge was that of Egypt. Here Emily Teeter of the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago talks about how and when, and most importantly why an early civilization developed there.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Adventures in India, Part 34 -- Crossing Nepal

One of the most striking aspects of life in and around Kathmandu is the extreme poverty of the people and the pollution of the environment. As one article I read put it, "Once thought of as Shangri-La, Kathmandu has become a dump". Indeed it has.

Dumpster divers.

Trash everywhere.

The further we got from the center of the city, the more liveable the environment. Here on the outskirts there is at least some space between buildings.

And in the countryside there were stand-alone structures.

And gorgeous scenery.

But living accommodations still left a lot to be desired. Here is a rural hotel..., of sorts.

But the scenery was still spectacular.

Rural poverty.

At a rest stop these young women were waiting for a bus. They gladly let me take a picture.

As for the rest stop..., here are friends of ours lined up to use the lavatory facilities.

Abigail Thernstrom on Race Relations

One of the smartest and most sensible of America's public intellectuals is Abigail Thernstrom, Vice Chair of the US Commission on Civil Rights, and co-author with her husband of "America in Black and White", the best book yet published on race in America. Here she is opining on the effect that civil rights legislation, legislative gerrymandering, and the rise of a civil rights establishment have had on race in America. Hers is the voice of wisdom and experience and is worth heeding. Check it out.


Saturday, May 12, 2012

To Infinity and Beyond

Check out these articles by Alasdair Wilkins at IO9.

"These Are the Biggest Numbers In the Universe"

"A Brief Introduction to Infinity"

Then follow the links at the bottom of the articles to further reading. Have fun.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Adventures in India, Part 33 -- Cremation in Kathmandu

The Bagmati River runs through the eastern part of Kathmandu. Along the banks in the vicinity of the Pashupatinath Temple there are several platforms [ghats] where pyres are erected. 

Everywhere there is evidence of overwhelming poverty and pollution.

Cleaning a cremation site and readying it for the next occupant.

Meanwhile life goes on as usual along the river.

Transporting a corpse to the funeral pyre.

Preparing the body.

All is ready for the cremation. I didn't linger to watch the burning.