Thursday , 19 September 2019
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Risky lives

CY Gopinath Diseases change people. Smallpox marks you forever; diarrhoea can ruin your social life; polio alters the way you walk for good. But in my years of working in health communication, the only disease I have come across that changes you even before you are infected is AIDS. The very thought of a virus that will lurk innocuously inside …

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Doomsday Derivatives: Bitcoins and Bunkers

Patricia Pereira-Sethi With the possibility of a showdown between the USA and Iran looming on the horizon, the wealthy are anxiously turning towards safe havens to preserve their fortunes and their lives. Their capital is firmly parked in precious metals and crypto-currencies; but it is a bunker purchase alone that will protect their lives. Many of the prosperous form part …

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Exploring the Mesopotamian connection

TENSING RODRIGUES Let’s now get back to the kathiyavadi ksatriya story. We have more or less settled on the fact that the ksatriya travelled from the Zagros Mountains to the Kachi-Bolan plain sometime before 7,000 BCE. Here they settled into farming using the technology that they had carried for cultivation of wheat and barley. Over time Mehrgadh grew into a …

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The fight for freedom

Barkha Dutt If you aren’t a journalist, you may find it tough to understand why there is so much anger in the media over a new finance ministry directive that requires even accredited reporters to have confirmed appointments before they can enter the building. The government insists that this is a mere streamlining of procedure, but press bodies have called …

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The charm of some little books

Frederick Noronha “Great things,” that influential figure from the world of Western art Vincent Van Gogh is supposed to have said, “are done by a series of small things brought together.” In this context, while the big, the bad and the beautiful grab headlines, the small, the (lesser) significant and the slight are often taken for granted. Three books came …

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Generic drug nightmare in India

Karan Thapar Perhaps because I’m a hypochondriac, I have great faith in medicine. Whenever I pop a pill, I do so in the full confidence it will work. To my horror, I now discover that’s terribly mistaken in the case of many generic drugs and, particularly, those made in India. A large number are actually ineffective and a few even …

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Pets can keep allergies at bay

Maneka Sanjay Gandhi I meet many mothers who won’t let their children walk barefoot in the house or the park, won’t let them touch snails, won’t let them grasp mud or go out in the rains, won’t let them near any animals, and refuse to keep a pet because it might bring in bacteria. Their children wear socks throughout the …

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The ‘struggle’ is not real anymore

Yoshita Rao Sanskrita Bharadwaj Rajat Trehan, 27, had a cushy corporate job in Bengaluru for eight years, but he left it all behind to move to Mumbai, to pursue his passion — acting. Originally from Jamshedpur, Rajat says: “I did it because I didn’t want to ask for any financial assistance from my parents. But this year, I put in …

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The woman who put the first man on the moon

Paramita Ghosh Astronauts are trained to be perfect. They do not make mistakes. Bunkum! Everyone makes mistakes. But because she agreed, in principle, to what her boss was saying, Margaret Hamilton, a programmer in the MIT lab working with NASA on the moon mission, thought no more about creating a code that could kick in, just in case the astronaut …

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Societal divide must end

Shashi Shekhar In a residential area of Delhi, people from two communities suddenly came to loggerheads. What began as a parking dispute took a communal turn. As usual, people gathered at the police station. Initially, it appeared as if the quarrel had been resolved, but this was not so. One side turned it into something much bigger. The consequences were …

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