Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Indian Customs

Vinit and I have been setting up to move most of our excess baggage to India for a while now. Unfortunately, my beautiful 'havai mahal' got busted when I looked up the customs regulations if I am transferring residence to India.

Transfer of Residence(TR) gives us a lot of leeway according to the rules. It actually allows us to bring back ALL of our personal items like clothes, kitchen utensils, books free of charge. In fact, now that we are married, as a family we can bring back one VCR, one washing machine and even ONE refrigerator!!! Can you believe our luck? We can actually take back ALL these items free of charge!

We will only have to pay a 15.3% duty on the rest of my electronics including my video camera, TV, projector, printer.

Oh and yes, the only thing that we REALLY care about getting to India is going to be charged a measly 142.64%!!! Our bike. Our poor, lovely, bike. First, it had to stay in the garage for an entire summer 'cause we didn't bring it to Fl. Now, it might have to stay in it forever till we take it out for 'a' ride or two.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Birds of a Feather Flock Together

It is an established fact that most people when left to themselves will mingle with others of the same economic (and socio too) status. You can see it around you, most of your friends will probably be earning something in your range. There are always exceptions of course but there are enough examples to generalize.

What Vinit and I have observed is that the same also applies to IQ. Its tough to have regular dinners with people who can't think or ,I am sure, with those who think too much.

I believe that all of us, humans, try to structure the world around us as a means of understanding. This is the main reason behind stereotyping. (Another post for this one)

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Can people change you?

Aish was here over the weekend and while walking down the beach we saw a a few people with rolled up pants, fishing.
His question to me was whether they bothered me. They didn't.

I knew they should.They always used to. Hunting still makes me sick.

One of our friend's idea of a calm weekend is to fish. And having spent a lot of time with him, could that have altered my idea of what I used to consider disgusting and horrendous?

And why just fishing? I still loathe the concept of hunting. Both are equally bad. Both cause equal amounts of pain.

Note to self: get the disgust back in!

Questions I want to ask- somebody- anybody

Why do we fast?
Why do we follow religion?
What do we achieve by doing what we do?
Why are we here?
What are we?
If X:us::us:amoeba, what is X?
If God created us, who created God?

Bovine Growth Hormone and the FDA

I have four family/friends who have fought cancer in the recent years. One of them, Mary Abernathy was my mentor for my non-profit work and her story is one to be inspired by.

Her breast cancer moved to so many areas of her body that I can't even name them all(Liver, Blood, Lung...) All those years ago, she mentioned the reason so many people in America have cancer. And, she also mentioned some place where she was protesting about it. As a full time student with a full time job, I had filed that in the back of my head and forgot all about looking it up on Google.

Now, last month, Vinit decided to start buying organic milk as it doesn't have rBGH. This made me look up everything related on Google.

Did you know that American milk and milk products are banned in Canada and Europe? That's because it has rBGH in it. And since the FDA doesn't let farmers advertise "no rBGH" on their milk products, it can't be sold in those places.

Did you also know that according to the FDA, there is no "proven" connection between cancer and rBGH. However, there have been numerous reports of a connection.

Some farmers are trying to go the organic route which in America only means 'no-rBGH'. But its a start. For a person who grew up drinking 3-4 glasses of milk a day, the idea of cancer causing milk is very scary.