enjoying the foliage

Archive for the ‘news’ Category

I am SO RELIEVED. Things are going to be awesome, guys. Congrats Americans, you did it!

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1. I got back from Japan last Monday. I had wonderful company and a fabulous time. Coming home was awfully dull and made worse by the fact that I had terrible jet lag that lasted me almost an entire week. I had nothing of real purpose to do last week outside of going to class for one day and catching up on studying, so I ended up succumbing to the midday sleepiness. I had drive my mom to work once and she actually made me pull over and slap myself awake. I think I finally got over it because I was at a conference over the weekend that forced me to be functional and interact with people over the entire course of the day that involved sunlight. But this bout of jet lag wasn’t as bad as in second year, when I came back from a trip to India in January and ended up with vampire-like sleep schedules for an entire month. I don’t have any recollection of how I managed to study for most of second semester. Conclusion: a) your SCN is a powerful thing, b) do blind people have significant jet lag?, and c) I miss Japan.

2. A friend I made whilst in Japan told me about this design website called NOTCOT. After finally remembering what it was called yesterday, I paid a visit. Fatefully, the first thing I saw was my name plastered across the website. Seriously! I’d heard of this skincare line before, but figured it was a little drugstore brand in India, perhaps to be found next to the bottles of coconut oil and Closeup toothpaste exports at the tiny Indian grocery shop about two minutes from my house. In other words, nothing to exclaim about. But now I can own a bottle of face wash with my name on it, that I may actually like. Natural, eco-friendly, prettily packaged! Perhaps it will become famous, like Aveda, and a spa will open at every Square One-equivalent in every suburb, and I won’t have to explain to people how to say my name anymore. How strange would that be?

And on a (slightly) related note, the Pratimas on the internet are designers, artists, decorators, and professors professing corporate social responsibility. We aren’t a bad bunch, I think.

3. Apart from a few odd hours a week, I’m not really working for the rest of the summer. I’ve been looking for things to do to occupy my time. Today, I stopped by Chapters to pick up a “Teach Yourself Hindi!” package with a CD. Recently I’ve been feeling pitiful about my inability to speak any second language with any measure of proficiency, and figured that learning Hindi has the highest potential for success (also I think it sounds awesome, and would be helpful for Bollywood viewing). The lessons in the language text I bought are entirely based around this soapy story about a “foreigner” named Pratap from Nepal (?) visiting a family in India and falling in love with the teenage daughter, or something. Awesome.

I’ve also investigated volunteering with a couple of environmental NGOs in Mississauga. I’m hoping it’ll workout.

4. And finally, you may have seen this floating around already today (it was on Kottke), but I’m so amused that I’m linking it here too. Fonts at a Font Conference! Wingdings<3.

Fin.

This caught my eye while browsing the NY Times yesterday. “Can People Have Meat and a Planet, Too?” reads the headline. In a nutshell, Andrew C. Revkin reports on the first international conference on manufacturing meat and considers the implications of our largely carnivorous ways, the growing demand for animal protein in developing parts of the world, and what vat-grown chicken nuggets could do to change all of this.

Now, this sort of talk pulls me in all kinds of directions, but I have a play to get to shortly, so forgive me for being a little binary. To put things blithely: on the one hand, I like the bragging rights that come with being a morally consistent and rational individual. I recognise that whether it’s a humble hamburger or a rib-eye steak it costs the planet more than it can really afford with so many hungry mouths to feed. And then there are the million and one other arguments for vegetarianism as a moral practice, some sound, some not so much. On the other hand, I am an ardent foodie, and so the thought of trading in flank steaks, duck breasts, sausage, and the like for in-vitro meal makes me cringe in an entirely different way. I am not a raging carnivore who demands meat with breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In fact, I’d say that about 80% of my meals are quite meat-free. However, I think that my bourgeois whining has a bit of a legitimate timbre to it. Whatever else the case may be, we are parting with a grand tradition of culinary richness and wonder. The circumstances seem to be such that we can’t continue on the way that we have. I would just like to take a moment to mourn the passing of our fine but problematic old ways before deciding on how best to serve a side of vat-grown ground beef.

In an attempt not to rant, I will keep this to as few words as possible:

Why does society condemn ex-New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, who over the course of his career has sued the Bush administration on several counts of ecological crimes, taken steps to give “illegal aliens” driver’s licenses, and moved to allow same-sex marriage in the state, among other things, because of an issue that isn’t in any way relevant to his political career?

As far as I’m concerned, he and any other public figure can shag whoever the hell they want and pay to do so if that’s their cup of tea. The fact that $18,000 US went to a prostitution syndicate is small potatoes indeed compared to the far larger sums that go into far fishier things, coal and oil subsidies for one. The military. Climate change denial. Okay you get the idea. There are bigger problems in the world than one man’s sex life, and I’m beginning to suspect it’s his comparative progressiveness of policymaking, not where he’s chosen to put his Johnson, that’s ticked off the Powers That Be.

Just saying.

PS – The term “spigot” is courtesy of Woody’s World of Penis Euphemisms.