We take for granted that things are as they should be often without understanding why. Clock hands move "Clockwise" because they followed sundials. If human civilizations had developed primarily in the Southern Hemisphere, "clockwise" would be in the opposite direction. Do you ever wonder why there are 60 seconds to a minute and 60 minutes … Continue reading A brief history of the history of timekeeping
A bookbinder's apprentice got enthralled by a volume of Encyclopaedia Britannica and a slim book of chemistry written for English ladies of the day. He then went on to change the course of history by developing the basic principles that power all of modern society. More than anyone else, Michael Faraday was the "purest" experimental … Continue reading Faraday and the Royal Society
Here is a fantastic, nearly implausible story about how climate change in the early 1800s lead to one of the most iconic horror stories in history. The year 1816, was known throughout Europe as "the Year Without a Summer". There was snow in June and July and massive food shortages. Overall, there were drastic weather … Continue reading Climate change and a horror story
A peculiarity of the Washington D.C. area is that many of taxi-drivers are South Asian immigrants, mostly of Pakistani origin. I don’t know if it is the shared first-generation immigrant experience or the sense that you can tell another brown person in a language you share, things you wouldn’t otherwise share with complete strangers, but … Continue reading Urdu is Greek to me
I had to pause before I turned the key for the last time. Nearly every day over the past five years, I had been at this very door. For this was the place we called “home”. Inside those walls, was the room that our newborn son slept in the day we brought him home from … Continue reading On moving
Is the world becoming a more intolerant place? Of course, I can’t answer that question objectively, but it certainly feels that way these days. What seem to me to be in short supply are empathy and humility. So many people I come across seem to have all the right answers, so much that they are … Continue reading Listen.
When does childhood end? Is there a specific predetermined age? Or is there a vague defining moment in life when the essence of childhood is lost forever? I think one hallmark of reaching adulthood is coming to a stage in life when problems genuinely don't go away by themselves, you can't pass on your own … Continue reading The end of childhood.