Excursions by Amit Gawande

I’m getting tired of the Coronavirus coverage around. I don’t want to watch it, read it. Anyway there’s hardly any news that’s not regular anymore. Of course, avoiding it means avoiding Television and internet altogether. My Kindle’s been the only savior. Dependable as always.

Sat, Mar 28, 2020 thoughts

Apparently, the lockdown and stay at home orders have caused the podcast downloads to decline. I guess it’s mainly due to the lack of any form of commutes. Has been, for sure, the case with me. Contrarily, I believe the podcasts episodes being released must be on the rise.

Sat, Mar 28, 2020 thoughts

It has been a wonderfully productive day today. There’s a dev project that had been stagnant for long. Almost forgotten. All that was needed was some focused, distraction-free time. I managed to find that today.

And that leaves me absolutely delighted!

Fri, Mar 27, 2020 thoughts

Dear people, we are divided by Nation. Region. Race. Religion. Launguage. Culture. Economies. And many more things. But I believe it is time now to be united by one resolve - stay the fuck at home. Don’t listen to your deranged peers. Your idiotic leaders. Even your families.

Fri, Mar 27, 2020 thoughts

Coronavirus looks pretty much the same, no strains more deadlier that others - and that is a good news. What that means is it has not been mutating at a rapid pace. In more technical terms, the virus has a proofreading machinery, however, and that reduces the error rate’ and the pace of mutation”. Here’s Benjamin Neuman of Texas A&M University contrasting the coronavirus with influenza, which is notoriously slippery”.

Flu does have one trick up its sleeve that coronaviruses do not have — the flu virus genome is broken up into several segments, each of which codes for a gene. When two flu viruses are in the same cell, they can swap some segments, potentially creating a new combination instantly — this is how the H1N1 swine’ flu originated.

Thu, Mar 26, 2020 thoughts

It was exactly a year ago that I had given up on Stoop, the newsletter app. I had a smaller device, an iPhone SE, and I didn’t like the app then. Today I find it so useful, not sure if it’s due to the larger display of my OnePlus or the testing times we are living through.

Wed, Mar 25, 2020 thoughts

Food Safety and Coronavirus: A Comprehensive Guide

In today’s time of confusion and uncertainty, safety of the food, our essential need, is equally important. Serious eats has a brilliant essay on just this topic. I think the writer or me are not alone who are troubled with all these concerns, and the essay is must read in that regard.

Even so, plenty of folks—myself included—have been confused or curious about the safety of allowing restaurants to continue preparing and serving food. Is it actually safe? Should I reheat the food when I get it home? Is it better to support local businesses by ordering food, or am I only putting workers and delivery people at risk? And if I’m cooking my own food, what guidelines should I follow?

Wed, Mar 25, 2020 thoughts links

7.5-inch e-ink display is powered completely by NFC

E-paper (or e-ink) displays have the unique property of not needing power to maintain an image. Once a charge blasts across the display and correctly aligns pixels full of black and white balls, everything will stay where it is when the power turns off, so the image will stick around. You might not have thought about it before, but in addition to data, NFC comes with a tiny wireless power transfer. This display is designed so that NFC provides just enough power to refresh the display during a data transfer, and the e-ink display will hold onto the image afterward.

Fascinating use of available technology. This would be brilliant for passive viewing - for dashboards or billboards or all sorts of boards that do not need regular change of content.

Tue, Mar 24, 2020 thoughts links

I feel too stressed out these days. It is not from the pressure of work. Or from the fear of getting infected by Coronavirus. But from the factors that I have no control over.

How people I do not know just refuse to behave in the larger interest of the community. Or how media ignores being responsible in covering the biggest tragedy the world is facing in a long time.

Or how few people are taking the pandemic too lightly. So much so that they are putting the lives of many at risk, even their near and dear ones. Or how few people are taking the same pandemic way too seriously. So much so that they have simply stopped living. Obsessing non-stop over the negativity and gloominess all around.

Where do I fall? I realized today that the inner turmoil has started to affect the way I behave. The way I express. The way I carry myself. I better find a solution, a distraction. Soon.

Mon, Mar 23, 2020 thoughts covid

I missed a final feed is shifting” post before I consolidated all my posts at one place. So, for those subscribed to my blog through RSS, these are the new feed urls - RSS, JSON Feed

PS: Still not sure how this post will reach all old subscribers. Just hope it does.

Mon, Mar 23, 2020 thoughts

I watched Contagion - I still can’t believe a movie was made that so closely foretold the present we’re leaving today. I couldn’t go to sleep with the thoughts of how bad it can get.

So I watched Chef then. I can’t believe such a simple movie can be made. And still be good.

Mon, Mar 23, 2020 thoughts

Ruth Marcus has written a wonderful opinion piece at The Washington Post on how this latest global tragedy, the pandemic feels a lot more life-altering. Social distancing enforced by the ways the Coronavirus spreads has affected us a lot deeper than what we initially thought.

How much the virus has reminded us of the mundane pleasures we take for granted — walking down the well-stocked shelves of our local supermarkets, chatting idly with our co-workers; kissing a friend on the cheek when we meet for lunch. Oh, to hug again without having to calculate the inherent risk: My mother? My daughters?

When I venture out to walk the dog, there is a grim camaraderie with those we encounter. The dogs, heedless of contagion, sniff away, and while their humans maintain a sober distance, even strangers inquire after one another’s well-being. In the barren aisles of the market, at least the last time I risked a visit, there was an air more of solidarity than panic

So true. What we thought was normal is dreaded now. And it the normalcy that we yearn for now. Together as a society.

Sat, Mar 21, 2020 thoughts covid

When it is dark outside, lighten yourself from within. And there is no easier way to do so than to spend quality time with family. Make games together. Play games together.

Fun at Home

Fun at Home

Sat, Mar 21, 2020 update covid

I can attest to this study on how CarPlay and Android Auto can impair driver’s reaction. I have experienced how distracting it is to work these systems on the touch screen of the car. I have stop using them.

Even the touch screen without these are bothersome while driving.

Sat, Mar 21, 2020 thoughts

I was completely surprised and equally frustrated, to read the only NYTimes reporting of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address to the nation. PM urged citizens to stay at home to dissuade Hindus Pilgrims to flock to the sacred site of Ayodha,” the report read.

Here’s the full transcript of the PMs address to the nation. I do not find any political or religion-based overtones in the speech. Why, then, should you report as if there is?

The PM called for resolve” and restraint” from citizens. I think same is needed from publications. These are not the times to be on the left or the right of the political spectrum. Let’s all first come out of this pandemic together as unscathed as possible. There would be a lot of time again for the political debates.

Fri, Mar 20, 2020 opinion political