Taking a leap into quantum jumping?

I just found this interesting website that promises to provide tips on how you can transform yourself into a “universe-hopping utopian being.” It is about this technique called “quantum jumping,” by which you can enter into a parallel universe and get insights from alternate twin versions of yourself. The Digital Silver Version costs only $97  and is a steal considering what it will do to your life. Only 500 copies of this version have been “released” at this price. The Physical Gold Collection consisting of six CDs costs only $197.

There seem to be a lot of endorsements from top physicists like Stephen Hawking too. So, have any of you tried “quantum jumping?”

If you have, please let me know what sort of internet service providers they have in your current dimension.

© 2009-2011, Anirban

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Legal drinking age in India?

A report in the Times of India states that in Delhi anyone over the age of 21 can serve drinks at bar and restaurants in the state due to new legislation, but they still cannot legally drink until they turn 25! I am not saying that the validity of this ludicrous law has any real-world implications, but it is amusing when you consider the fact that in India, anyone 18 or older can vote. In addition, women and men can get legally married at the ages of 18 and 21, respectively.

If you are visiting India and are worried about the law, rest assured. No one will ask you your birth-date when you ask for a pint. Businesses don’t care, and the police are happy to look in the other direction. Most Indians don’t have any form of valid identification, and those that do, seldom carry these documents when they go out drinking.

In addition, when it comes to consumption of alcohol, there seems to be no consistency at all. Different states in India have different laws and the minimum drinking age varies anywhere from 18 to 25. From what I can tell, two states have banned the consumption of alcohol completely.

দেশী মদের দোকানে বয়েস দেখে?

West Bengal is not one of them though. In the state of West Bengal, the Department of Excise licenses, taxes, and regulates the consumption of alcohol. The website of the Department is primarily concerned with providing information to those who want to apply for coveted liquor licenses. I searched long and hard but could find no display of the legal drinking age in West Bengal anywhere on the site.

Curiously, the primary legislation  in the state is still the Bengal Excise Act of 1909. This 100 year-old Act from the days of the British Raj dictates alcohol distribution, consumption, and taxation in the state.

Nonetheless, there is a wealth of information on alcohol consumption in West Bengal on the website. Consumption of “intoxicants” increased by an amazing 50% from the 2003-2004 reporting year to 2007-2008.

It is pretty obvious that whatever the laws on drinking might be in the state, people seem to be pouring their drinks fast and furiously!

© 2009-2011, Anirban

Not all Nobel Prizes are equal

As this years Nobel Laureates collect their prizes, a post in The Great Beyond mentions that winners in future years might actually get less prize money. The Nature blog quotes a story in Reuters which states that the Nobel Foundation has taken a 20% hit in assets due to the global recession.

On Twitter, Jason Snyder pointed out that a downsized Nobel was better than a confiscated one, to which I commented that a confiscated one was still better than a stolen one.

For those that aren’t up on their Nobel news, Jason was referring to Iranian Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi’s charge that officials had seized her award, a charge which Iran subsequently denied. I was talking about Indian Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore’s medal which was stolen in 2004. The police recently decided to close all investigations in that particular theft.

Clearly, not all Nobel Prizes are equal.

Here, you’ll find my list of how Nobel Prizes stack up on an arbitrary, but scientific-looking scale.

For the extra-inquisitive, I’ll add that Jean-Paul Sartre was the first person to decline a Nobel. Mahatma Gandhi, on the other hand was not deemed worthy by the Nobel Committee for the Peace Prize. Of course, Alfred Nobel who started the Nobel Peace Prize, invented dynamite.

© 2009-2011, Anirban

This blog is now officially outsourced.

I am usually so full of ideas that I can write for days at a stretch. Well, maybe that is a minor exaggeration, but I think you get my point. I enjoy writing about things that other people find uninteresting or unimportant. I am a boring person to the core and am gladly willing to pass around my boringness.

So, you’ll understand why it is unnerving that I’ve been feeling a bit lethargic about writing these days. Not even Slate’s recent “write like Sarah Palin” contest could inspire me to pen a few lines chastising the mainstream “gotcha” media for misunderstanding freedom-loving Joe Sixpack as he peered down the cool, American-as-apple-pie, slope of Denali at baby-eating Vlad Putin for the sake of the God-bestowed-right to moose-kill and job-creation (minus capital gains tax) and it is got to do.

Well, fortunately I don’t actually have to write my blog anymore. I can outsource it to someone else! There is actually a website that will get someone to write my blog for me for a fee. The website mentions that “native English speakers” (as opposed to articulate English writers from the rest of the world) will write posts that are around 250 words on a topic of my choosing. I just provide the keywords and someone will actually keep adding posts to my blog. Voilà! It is that easy!

I have always wanted to write a critical assessment of post-modern views of the Socratic dialogue in Phaedrus just to show off my erudition, but have never found the time (or the erudition). Now, I can get someone else to write it for me. Why bother thinking and doing when you can pay someone else? Isn’t that what capitalism is all about?

Anyways, I think I should stop here. My post is way over 250 words and I don’t want the dolt who hired me to get any freebies.

© 2009-2011, Anirban