Category: Uncategorized

Monday Reads – 01/06

footprints on sand
Photo by Lina Kivaka on Pexels.com

We are kicking off the sixth month of the year, and what a year it’s been… This is the month that signals the start of summer in the Northern Hemisphere, the onset of monsoons and the start of a new academic year in India. All of these things will continue to happen this year, of course, but it all feels very strange…

Here are a few articles to kick off the new month (which brings us that much closer to the end of this year!):

Five near-future trends changing the way you work – This article was written a few months before the pandemic, but I think the trends mentioned still hold true and are worth ruminating over.

The secret to a long and healthy life? Eat less – I know it’s a bit strange to talk about long and healthy lives when so many are dying due to the Coronavirus. Having said that, I believe that the results of the studies mentioned in this article have very important implications for all of us.

The Joy of Bone-Exhausting Work – I am sure most of us are familiar with the feeling of satisfaction (and exhaustion) after doing some hard, physical labour. This article goes on to add some important things to keep in mind after doing hard labour and raises the question of how we could bring this joy to our daily lives.

Does music help us work better? It depends – I am definitely someone who cannot work with music on. I like to pay my complete attention to the music that I am listening, and therefore, having it on while working is a distraction. But there are many others who seme to enjoy working with music on. This article explores this subject in detail.

Lonely Planet TV – Back in the 1990s, a few years after India had ‘liberalised’ her economy and we were exposed to the joys of satellite TV, a travel series burst on the screens. I was captivated by the series that, for the first time, exposed me to some of the most beautiful and captivating destinations around the World. The series – “Globe Trekker“. The great news is that Lonely Planet has now thrown open access to all the episodes of this iconic series, along with many more. Go ahead and rediscover one of the great travel shows!

 

Monday Reads – 11/05

business businessmen classroom communication
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

A few articles to kick off the new week.

Death of the Office – No one know what the ‘new normal’ is going to look like in a post Covid world. One theory that I have been hearing from multiple sources now is that businesses are waking up to the fact that working from home can ‘work’, which means that they might have unnecessarily been investing in office space. Is the ‘office’ the way we have known it going to survive?

What if You Don’t Want to Go Back to the Office? – Another article in the same vein as the one above. Many (American) workers have adapted to working from home such that they are not very keen on going back to office…

The Burden of Skepticism – An old article by Carl Sagan, but still very relevant. In fact, I would argue that it is more relevant in today’s world with the rampant spread of unverified information through social networks.

Aerial photos show ‘the human planet’—in all its beauty and pain – Something to take your mind off the immediate challenges and admire some interesting views of our planet.

The small lifestyle changes that can help to save the planet – Some simple lifestyle tips by which you can do your bit to save our planet…Something to ‘chew’ about – 20% of the emissions from livestock are attributable to pets!

 

Monday Reads – 04/05

Pink flowers against a blue sky with white clouds
Photo by chi liu on Unsplash

Today is when there is a relaxation of lock-down in India, across most parts. A few of you might be headed back to work; our apartment complex has decided to allow household help to resume services. I hope all of you remain safe wherever you are.

A few articles to kick off the new month:

‘Zoom fatigue’ is taxing the brain. Here’s why that happens – Do you feel more tired than usual after a video call? You might be suffering from ‘Zoom fatigue’. This article explains why many people feel more tired after a video call than a face to face meeting of the same length.

The Man Who Thought Too Fast – I had never heard of Frank Ramsey until I read this ‘New Yorker’ profile. It was fascinating to read that one of the papers he composed in 1926 laid the foundations for what we now know as ‘Decision Theory’.

Why birding is taking flight with a new generation – I have been a bird-watcher for over 3 decades. This article explains why this hobby is becoming increasingly popular, ‘particularly among young outdoor enthusiasts’.

Alone in Angkor Wat – A poignant note on experiencing one of the wonders of the world, in isolation.

Covid-19 Positive News – Shout out to a friend of mine who is sharing positive news about the Coronavirus pandemic. Much needed in these times.

 

Monday Reads – 27/04

sky space dark galaxy
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Articles from the fields of science, business and well-being this week:

She discovered coronaviruses decades ago—but got little recognition – A fascinating story on June Almeida, the woman who discovered Coronavirus more than half a century ago. Remarkably, the 34-year old scientist had never completed her formal education. Sadly, she was largely forgotten afterwards, but the present situation is shining a light again on her work.

Hubble Space Telescope at 30: Our window into the universe – Arguably the world’s most famous telescope completed three decades of service last week. Along the way, it has made more than a million observations and contributed to some of the most important results in astronomy over the past two decades. No wonder it is considered as ‘one of the most productive scientific instruments ever built’.

Why We Focus on Trivial Things: The Bikeshed Effect – This phenomenon must be familiar to almost anyone who has engaged in a discussion with a group of individuals. We tend to spend excessive time on trivial matters, often glossing over more important ones. This is also referred to as “Parkinson’s Law of Triviality”. This article explores why this happens and offers some suggestions on how to reduce it. Worth reading!

The New Normal – I guess, as the author says, that it is time for us to accept that this pandemic, and social isolation, are here for a while. This article offers some mindfulness practices that could help us deal with some of the emotions that we are likely to feel, or are already feeling, in this situation.

 

Monday Reads – 20/04

Gardens by the Bay
Photo by Miguel Sousa on Unsplash

Some interesting articles I came across last week:

We need a new Science of Progress – This article by one of the co-founders of Stripe looks back at the history of the birth of some of the US of A’s top educational and research institutions and makes the point that ‘Humanity needs to get better at knowing how to get better.’ It is a bit disappointing, though, to not see India being mentioned as one of the key places where knowledge was pursued in the Middle Ages. I believe it reflects a general lack of understanding and appreciation, in the West, of India’s role in the development of key sciences.

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants: The Key to Innovation – Another article on the topic of science (and art). This take a potentially contentious topic and presents it in a very matter-of-fact (read, nice) fashion. The gist of the article is that ‘Innovation doesn’t occur in a vacuum’.

See Majestic Photos of the Tallest Trees on Earth – Continuing with the theme of ‘giants, a photo-feature by the National Geographic on the largest block of old-growth redwood forest on Earth.

See how your City’s Climate might change by 2070 – Sticking with the National Geographic, this is a very interesting feature that allows the reader to explore how the climate of the place they are living in could be transformed if carbon emissions continue to rise.