First as Farce, Then as Tragedy

Advani’s propagandist appropriation was complete, except for the chariot. Advani’s chariot was not really one. It was actually an airconditioned Toyota, repurposed to look like a chariot. This caricature of the divine Rama dwelling in an airconditioned Toyota forms the defining allegory for the emergence of the Hindu rightwing in postcolonial India. Despite its avowedly pre-modern rhetoric, the political imaginary of a primordial Hindu utopia was decidedly wrought in the crisis-riven crucible of postcolonial capitalism. Rama might have been born in Ayodhya, but he did not dwell in a Hindu temple. Instead, he dwelled in an airconditioned Toyota, the likes of which were soon going to take over the Indian economy, as part of an immense political-economic catastrophe still unfolding at the time.

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Aditya Bahl — The New Inquiry

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How an Ill-Fated Fishing Voyage Helped Us Understand Covid-19

When a crew member fell seriously ill, the vessel returned to port, and almost everyone was tested for the virus again. The before-and-after results for 120 of the crew members were made available to Bloom and colleagues, who published a study about them in The Journal of Clinical Microbiology in August. In addition to the P.C.R. tests, the pre-voyage screenings also looked for neutralizing antibodies, or proteins generated by the immune system after exposure to the virus, which suggest that a person has been infected previously. Three crew members, it turned out, had those antibodies at the start of the trip. Of the 117 crew members who did not, 103 tested positive for the virus when they got back to shore — an 88 percent infection rate. If you were to randomly select three names from the ship’s manifest, the odds that all three would have tested negative are about 0.2 percent. Yet all three sailors with antibodies were spared.

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Kim Tingley — The New York Times Magazine

‘Wonder Wo-MENA’


“There is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish.”
— Michelle Obama

The time has come!

The recent announcement about ‘equality’ in terms of wages and salaries in the private sector in UAE marks a solid step towards empowering women in the work space and strengthens the country’s regional and international status for upholding gender equality.

“Congratulations to all the women working in the UAE private sector.” – Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin RashidAl Maktoum,Twitter

Stepping up, the trend in the number of women turning into entrepreneurs bears an acclivity. Women have been proactively engaged at this front due to a number of reason – to enable them to advance their careers quickly, to align their family needs with their passion or to simply to ‘raise’ their ‘dreams’. Women have re-established themselves as ‘creators’.

Women of MENA have come a long way

Statistically speaking, in the MENA…

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The Full Story of Tom Petty’s ‘Wildflowers’ and Its Massive New Reissue

Who knows where those tenderly delivered words came from. Petty certainly didn’t. “I swear to God it’s an absolute ad-lib from the word ‘go,’” he told author Paul Zollo for his book Conversations With Tom Petty. In the next three minutes, Petty waxed poetic about love and freedom, heart and home while the reels on his recorder spun around in a steady rotation. When the song came to its seemingly natural conclusion he reached over his guitar and clicked the stop button. “Then [I] sat back and went, ‘Wow, what did I just do?’ And I listened to it. I didn’t change a word. Everything was just right there, off the top of my head.”

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Corbin Reiff — The Ringer

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How Andrea Ghez Won the Nobel for an Experiment Nobody Thought Would Work

Standing in my office 25 years ago was an unknown, newly minted astronomer with a half-smile on her face. She had come with an outrageous request—really a demand—that my team modify our exhaustively tested software to make one of our most important and in-demand scientific instruments do something it had never been designed for, and risk breaking it. All to carry out an experiment that was basically a waste of time and couldn’t be done—to prove that a massive black hole lurked at the center of our Milky Way.

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Hilton Lewis — Scientific American

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‘Weakness Was the Greatest Sin of All’

Election time.

The boy who lost his father to the last worst pandemic in turn taught his sons to be “killers.” The underlying message, though: “Being a killer was really code for being invulnerable,” as Mary Trump put it in her recent book. “Going forward,” the niece of Donald Trump wrote of Fred Trump, “he refused to acknowledge or feel loss.” The family, in her recollection, never discussed Fred Trump’s father, or his death, or its cause. It was the lesson above all others that Fred Trump passed on to his children—foremost to his middle son, his preeminent heir, the boy who would become the 45th president of the United States.

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Michael Kruse — Politico

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There’s Never Been a Story Like Britney Spears’s

The ugliness of that particular incident—an allegedly traumatizing moment involving minor children—is a reminder of some of the deeper stakes underlying Free Britney. Spears’s first involuntary hospitalization in 2008 took place after she’d locked herself in a bathroom with one of her sons and refused to give him over to Federline, who by that point had been awarded full custody of their children. In the years since then, she regained a 50/50 custody split. But after his 2019 restraining order against Jamie, a new agreement gave Federline 70 percent custody—and Federline’s lawyer says that in reality, he is with the children “closer to 90” percent of the time. It’s not unreasonable to wonder whether Spears’s newly overt campaign against her father’s control is, in part, a bid to see her kids more.

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Spencer Kornhaber — The Atlantic

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Love you to death: how we hurt the animals we cherish

Sad things that we humans do.

I stand at the traffic lights waiting to cross. A young man beside me holds a lead – at the end of it is a puppy standing patiently between us. In the moments before the crossing signal, I listen to the dog breathe. The sound is old and bronchitic, a dissonant issuing from this neat little body, the laboured wheezing of a young dog’s breath. The man is fashionably dressed, and the dog most probably loved and precious. I’m not sure if the dog is a French bulldog or a pug, but he’s one of those that now form a widespread, snuffling, breathless band of canine respiratory distress. The lights change, and man and dog walk off, the dog carrying his possibly malign genetic destiny, his future skin-fold pyoderma, the corneal ulceration that may affect his protruding eyes, the upper airway obstruction that is probably already causing him to wheeze. It’s not the first time I’ve wondered – what made this man and others seek out and pay for creatures who may live shortened, suffering lives?

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Esther Woolfson — The Guardian

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Roy shows that, while resistance is often dangerous and hopeless, it can also be joyful. There’s something gorgeous and seductive about Roy’s depiction of life among the “comrades,” the Maoist guerrillas in the Dandakaranya Forest who resist the Indian government’s violent attempts to convert their land into mines. These “strange, beautiful children with their curious arsenal” walk for days to reach a communal spot to dance together, right under the noses of the police and the murderous Salwa Judum. She doesn’t flinch from describing the diseases and violence she found among the Maoists, and certainly doesn’t advocate that everyone drop their lives to walk in the forest alongside these rebels. “It’s not an alternative yet,” she writes of the guerillas’ approach. “But it certainly has created the possibilities for an alternative.”

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Rebecca Stoner — Pacific Standard

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A Doctor’s Emergency

How do we take care of people who care for us?

Chang, one of Breen’s Central Park West mourners, had been working with her for several years when she brought up clinician burnout. An emergency physician with a doctorate in psychology, Chang regularly worked under Breen’s direction at the Allen Hospital. He also studies how stress plays out in hospital environments. Breen theorized that if groups of doctors, nurses, and technicians at the Allen worked together in consistent teams—instead of different permutations of coworkers for different cases—their well-being would improve. “Her personal belief was that we’re stronger together,” said Chang. When Breen implemented the team-based care plan in the ER, she worked with Chang and two other colleagues to study the outcome. Breen’s intuition was correct: Working together reduced burnout.

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Maureen O’Connor – Vanity Fair

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