28 October 2012

Sunday Reads - The Best of Politics, Economics, & Ideas

An eclectic mix of reads:
  • How the Chinese Prime Minister's family amassed billions of dollars in hidden fortune. (NYT)
  • Is the worst for the Indian economy? (WSJ)

Foreign Policy has two interesting slideshows: one, the changing face of the holy city of Mecca and two, the March to Mecca

The photo below, captured by the author Ahmed Mater, comes with this text: "At this bus depot you can see people coming from countries and regions around the world: America, Andalusia, China, Malaysia, and so on. They come in groups, and each one wears its own version of white. People dress in modest white cloth for the hajj; this ihram clothing, which cannot be stitched and must not have any scent, symbolizes unification. Pilgrims are supposed to forget everything singular about their own lives and enter a similar spiritual state. There is no difference in race, color or class. Everyone comes together to meet one another and do hajj for one God."

24 October 2012

A Simple History of MS Windows

There are very few things that we can do on the Web without using any product of Microsoft. Windows by far is the leader in operating systems. 

Reuters has a topical graphic depicting a simple history of the Windows OS. By the way, MS has began to ship its much-touted Surface tablet.

21 October 2012

Sunday Reads - Mango People & The Self-Destructive USSR

  • How the Soviet Empire's ambitions contained the seeds of its destruction. (Book Review; The Economist)
  • The Economist who saves lives. (BBC)
  • Mango people and media monsters. (Indian Express)

    Women make up half of the world (some say, the better half!). The Economist has an insightful graph on the economic contribution of women. Says the note for the graph: In the next decade nearly 1 billion women are likely to enter the global labour force. But their economic potential is largely unrealised. According to a report by Booz & Company, a consultancy, if female employment rates matched those of men, GDP would increase by 5% in America and 9% in Japan by 2020. The impact would be even larger for developing countries, home to most of the world’s women who lack adequate education and support (social and political). Increasing female employment would increase GDP significantly in countries like India and Egypt, where female labour-participation rates are below 30%. These countries rank low in Booz’s index of women’s economic empowerment.

18 October 2012

Mid-Week Reads - 1962 & Illegal Coal Mines

  • 1962: A lingering smart of a debacle in India; aloofness in China. (Outlook)
  • China's advantage of backwardness. (WSJ)

You must have read that Lenovo of China has sped past HP to become the world's largest PC maker. This Reuters graphic gives a lowdown on the top 5 PC makers.

14 October 2012

Sunday Reads - Football, Religion, Politics, & James Bond

Football, religion, politics, economics, this collection of Sunday Reads has it all!

  • The strange relationship between Lionel Messi and his hometown. (ESPN
  • The myth that screwed fifty years of America's foreign policy. (Foreign Policy)
  • Why we don't talk about inequality—and how to start again. (Caravan)

Fifty years ago, on October 5, the first James Bond film was released. Here's a firstshowing.com infographic capturing five decades of the most successful filmy spy in history.

11 October 2012

Mid-Week Reads - The Best of Politics, Economics, & Ideas

This blog is known for its recommendations on varied and 'hatke' reads. Here are a few more:

  • The Man who would be ex-president. (Harper's)
  • Bihar police: United in khaki but divided by caste barracks. (Indian Express)

    The privately owned reusable spacecraft lifted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Sunday to make its first official cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station. Reuters' graphic provides some details on the mission and the spacecraft.

09 October 2012

Population Boom & Urban Decay

India is booming... err, let me correct myself: India's population is booming. While the population is growing by the day, sadly the same can not be said of the necessary infrastructure that's essential to pace all-round development.

A few days back The Economist ran an interactive feature on the coming urban population boom and the shoddy quality of urban planning and governance in India.

Note: The external boundaries of India as depicted in this interactive feature are not true.

07 October 2012

Sunday Reads - Four Stories

Today's collection of reads is hugely different. I bring you four stories - of three different women and one man. These stories will stump and shake you up; for once, I can't say, 'Happy Reading'. 

  • A Polish girl’s journey across three continents - A Second World War story. (BBC)
  • Exodus: One woman's choice. (WaPo)
  • The blind faith of the one-eyed matador. (GQ)
  • Jani's at the mercy of her mind. (LA Times

Let me leave with a profound thought of Hunter Thompson.
"We are all alone, born alone, die alone, and — in spite of True Romance magazines — we shall all someday look back on our lives and see that, in spite of our company, we were alone the whole way. I do not say lonely — at least, not all the time — but essentially, and finally, alone. This is what makes your self- respect so important, and I don’t see how you can respect yourself if you must look in the hearts and minds of others for your happiness."

04 October 2012

Mid-Week Reads - The Best of Politics, Economics, & Ideas

Compared to last year, I think I have gone very slow in blogging; must post more often. Meanwhile, here's some dope for mid-week knowledge building.

  • What can Africa teach the eurozone? (BBC
  • Facebook’s Online Panopticon. (Newsweek)
  • The drugs don't work: a modern medical scandal. (Guardian)

Facebook has crossed one billion users! Here's a BBC graphic on the milestone. The passing of the milestone was announced by founder Mark Zuckerberg on US television today. 
The company said that those billion users were to date responsible for 1.13 trillion "likes", 219 billion photos and 17 billion location check-ins.

And think about it, FB is not available in China! That's One Billion Users without China! A phenomenal achievement!