Oh dear lord (or, err, dear somebody…)


As of 2012 Gallup survey 46% of Americans believe that “God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years or so”. How does one even begin to sort out ones thoughts about that?

Evolution, Creationism, Intelligent Design | Gallup Historical Trends.

Old knowledge grown new: Cold-pressing oil

While olive oil is being trumpeted as the cure of all ills in India, to replace any and all other oils in cooking, it’s worthwhile to take time to think about that cold-pressed, equally healthy, locally available and grown oils were what preceded the refined oils now in use. Further, a great deal of the olive oil sold here is so called “pomace oil”, a refined product with no semblance to the healthy characteristics (and great taste) of cold-pressed oils.

Understanding the importance of including more than one variety of cold-pressed oil in the diet, South Indian menus have always incorporated three — groundnut oil with its high heating point for frying, coconut oil for dressing, and sesame oil for curries and gravies. “All the three have their own benefits,” says Nimmi. “As much as coconut oil has received bad press being high in saturated fatty acids, which are considered potential artery cloggers, ironically it has medium chain fatty acids that are seen as heart protectors. However, to err on the side of caution, Id advocate using these different oils in moderation like they were traditionally used in different dishes to get the benefit of each oil, especially in combination with other ingredients. For example, in a Kerala fish curry, the combination of kokum, fenugreek, Kashmiri chilli and oily fish might just complement a spoon of cold-pressed coconut oil drizzled on top while serving. These areas are greatly under-researched,” she says.

via PRESSING matters – The Hindu.

Things we’ve lost: The Night Sky

A month or two back we went to Jaisalmer and spent a night in the desert. The dunes were nice, but most fascinating was falling asleep to a real, starry, clear night sky. It’s only when taken out of the intense light of the city that you realize how the stars have been lost to us.

Rio by Night

Cohen’s method is original and precise and harkens back to the methodologies employed by early 19th century photographers like Gustave Le Grey.  He photographs the world’s major cities, seeking out views that resonate for him and noting the precise time, angle, and latitude and longitude of his exposure.  As the world rotates around its axis the stars that would have been visible above a particular city move to deserts, plains, and other places free of light pollution.  By noting the precise latitude and angle of his cityscape, Cohen is able to track the earth’s rotation to places of atmospheric clarity like the Mojave, the Sahara, and the Atacama desert.  There he sets up his camera to record what is lost to modern urban dwellers.

via Thierry Cohen – Artists – Danziger Gallery.

Happy international women’s day, my foot

With my feed full of supposedly well meaning but horrendously misogynist, reductionist or patronising posts about among other things how great women (our mothers, sisters, bla bla) are from supposedly moderately educated folk (not that education necessarily does much for your politics – though it should…), with it – still – being the case that women earn ridiculous amounts less than men or cannot even be construed as something else as passive recipients for men’s attention (ref: any online forum which allows men), with it still being potentially highly uncomfortable for women to take the metro, walk the streets, eat ice cream on their own in a park or do any bloody ordinary or unordinary activity in public in the country I live in, I have a hard time feeling any happiness at all.

At least this year, so far,nobody has posted happy pictures of them receiving a vacuum cleaner from their husband for women’s day…

As Madhura said, yes it’s a celebration of an ongoing struggle, so in a way happy could be a word to use. Happy that the struggle exists, happy that it’s alive and kicking, happy that people around me are not subscribing to the rhetoric of there not being any need for feminism any more.

Yet, just as I feel uneasy about “happy labour day” (labour not having a hell of a great time in our current system, not much to be happy about there), I guess I’ll continue to feel uneasy about “happy international women’s day” as long as there’s a need for a women’s day.