Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Tuesday Wanderings

Woman leaves wallet on plane, disembarks, then goes back to empty plane at NY airport, triggers alarms, confesses to airport personnel.. Nothing happens!

When I do, he shakes his head. Let me get this straight, he says. Unauthorized, you open the gate door to the airplane. You set off a very loud security alarm. You wait a few minutes, and then take it upon yourself to enter the empty aircraft. You spend some time moving around its interior. No one sees you there. You leave of your own accord. You exit the way you came and you stop the alarm from ringing. And you confessed this, chapter and verse, to airline personnel and nothing happened?

Yes, I say. Exactly so.
Well I am not sure why nothing happened, but would it be different if the person in question was Muslim?
Oh and do you feel secure already with how easy it was for her to get to the plane?

Arranged Marriage..

I read this piece in the NY Times Sunday mag after *A* pointed it out to me. It’s short and I did not want to copy and paste it here. It is about the attempts of an American born and bred woman who is Indian by ethnicity to try and find a match for her pretty, well educated Indian cousin (Neet) from India. It talks about how the author and her dad set about trying to find her a suitable match based in the US under the notion that helping her come here would broaden her opportunities (this despite the author Chandra Prasad being against arranged marriage).
I did smile when one of the prospects was described as “healthy” which is code for being large. I can recall the first few years after being married on visits to India, how some well-meaning relatives were concerned that I did not look “married”. That was their way of saying well you have not put on weight.

I tried to explain to them that for me staying in shape was more important than getting to the rather common sight of paunchy Indian men "looking happily married".

I could also identify with Chandra’s feelings of guilt at having tried to find a suitable match for the cousin (Neet) who seemed reluctant or in no rush to get married. I understood the well meaning part of the whole thing, trying to get her a chance to seize opportunities that many here take for granted.

It also reminded me of the time when we received a picture and a brief letter from *A*’s aunt. The picture was of her daughter (who incidentally is a stunning and smart young woman). Her letter requested us to help find a suitable match for her here in the US. As someone who is not a believer in “arranged marriages” I was naturally reticent to do anything. That coupled with the fact that we were not plugged in to the local Indian community made it easy for us to not do anything.

I am not sure I could have vouched for anyone in particular had I even known them either. Incidentally they found a match for her in India and she is married and has a kid now too.

Pork Flavored Stamps

From here
Stamps released in China to celebrate the Year of the Pig taste of sweet and sour pork. When you scratch the front of the stamps, it smells of the popular chinese dish and when the back of the stamp is licked it tastes of the dish too.

And This Might Totally Turn You Off Eating Pork/Beef..
Link via Boing Boing

The Daily Mail has an article about "farmyard freaks" -- livestock that has been genetically engineered to make them totally docile.

Factory farming techniques, most commonly used with pigs and chicken, often involve keeping animals confined in cramped conditions.

For pigs, who are highly intelligent, these conditions can lead to stress and aggression.

However, GM scientists are actively investigating ways to remove the stress and aggression gene from animals, effectively turning them into complacent zombies.

The professor said it might become technically possible to produce "animal vegetables" - beasts which are "highly prolific and oblivious to their physical and mental status".


Mridula said...

Wonderful links, and with the travel bug, of course I liked the lady opening the airport gate and going to the plane the most. At another level you muslim comment rings very true.

Viewer said...

Well I guess there will be some on Telgi Stamp Fraud type to follow in China... The only diff wud be here corrupt politicians wud be replaced with hugnry ppl

deepsat said...

you are right about nothing happening to that lady at the airport. If she was an asian or from middle east, she would have been somewhere else now!!!

nice links put on!!!


Sanjay said...

@Mridula.. Thanks. I d wonder what if the offender had not been a white woman?

@Viewer, I am not sure what the telgi stamp fraud is. Sorry don't keep up with news in India that much.

@Deepsat.. Thanks

Mona Buonanotte said...

The Chinese stamps are making me hungry! I would buy a plethora of stamps if they came in strawberry cheesecake flavour, or margarita, or cinnamon roll....

Lucia said...

Ew, ew, ew! Those stamps sound awful! (Mona, what are you thinkin'?)

What corporatization has done to the meat industry is positively sickening.

Yeah for you! I'm glad you'll be there on Jan 27!

Diana said...

Well, gee, (she says sarcastically) why don't they just lobotomize the pigs and have done with it? The vet could do it at the time of their vaccines. It'd be cheaper, but no money from the patent.

Sanjay said...

@Mona. I would pass on the pork though, the other flavors..yes!

@Lucia.. We are losing touch with how our food get on our tables. As for the Jan 27th thing, I am looking forward to it.

@Diana..lol righto!

Dan said...

How do you know she wasn't a Muslim? Did they actually ask what religion she was and report this in the news? Certainly you can't tell just by looking at someone. And I'd be really surprised if they did ask her.

Sanjay said...

@Dan. From the link it's obvious she was not Muslim. Unless she retained her old name.
As for the news part of it, it does not explore that aspect of the story.
That is just me throwing out a different angle to think about.

Ameet said...

Airport security was back at pre-9/11 levels by 2004. I've seen this sort of stuff happening before. Of course, being brown, I've had to resist the urge to point it out.

ML said...

Fascinating articles! The stamps don't sound too tasty to me.

Lotus Reads said...

Hi Sanjay

Thanks for the link to the "Arranged Marriage" story. I just noticed that this is from an anthology of short fiction on the Multiracial experience...the husband wanting a maid, not a wife and a young woman ready to marry a "healthy" (like you said, read large) male to come to the US is the never-fail formula for getting stories from and about the subcontinent published! :)))

lalitha said...

I am surprised nothing happenend to the lady at the airport.I think those stamps with the pigs are cute.Dont know if I like to taste the dish when the stamp is licked.

Id it is said...

The lady wouldn't have gotten off so easy under the other scenario. After all racial profiling is now our dirty-open-secret.

Reverend Sumangali Tania Pink said...

pork flavoured stamps? Is that halal?

Thanks for the laughs!

Carrie said...

Oh no. Pork flavored stamps. That just makes me want to barf.

I think I figured out how to leave a comment using the other link.

Sai said...

Hey Sanjay:
Woman in an empty plane....SCARY!!!

I can relate to the "arranged marriage" thing quite a bit because a lot of helpful people would try to set me up etc. Fortunately I met my K and clicked off so didn't have to go through this nonsense.

About the "intelligent" animals....they are supposed to have higher level of consciousness therefore when one pursues a path of spirituality it is advised to eat vegeterian food.

listmaker said...

Pork flavored stamps? Euwwww. I prefer mine glue flavored.

John said...

I'm thinking of bread and pork flavoured stamps for lunch.

Neers said...

yheww... porl stamps!!

Rose said...

Sadly you are right about the lady. It is sad that racism still exists today. The Chinese stamps are cool.