Friday, September 25, 2009

How to make jowar roti

I wanted to keep a record of the links like here

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Car servicing Rip off !!! How to save money

Why don't we save enough money after all the expenses? Looks like we have not spent much but at the end of the money all the tiny little expenses accumulate to eat away the bank balance. Here is one way to save money on car repairs.

I went to this Midas servicing center for buying the spare wheel( I am talking about the core metal inside the tire). The one I have got damaged during last road trip. He quoted me 120 dollars. I was happy because I took the tire replacement guarantee, however I have to purchase the wheel core.

Later there was my engine light on problem. For which I had to go to the show room and it was the catalytic converter problem. In California it has to be done only at the show room because of the environmental pollution regulations. The part was 500 dollars and the servicing charges were another 500 dollars. What can I do, I had no choice but to spend that kind of money since no one else does it.

The show room service center gave me a list of things still to be done like the water pump replacement, air filter, cabin air filter. They also advice oil change after 5k miles.

Later, I suspected the part prizes at Midas and at the show room. Midas quoted me 220 dollars for the water pump and the Toyota show room 480 dollars for the replacement. I went to Auto Zone for the price quote on the parts. The water pump was 55 dollars but the servicing charges were kinda high like 250 dollars for the extensive labor time it takes to replace it. Casually, I asked the prize of wheel core and they quoted me 34 dollars at Auto zone. I just paid 140$ with taxes for it at Midas. I was just ripped off.

I went to pepboy auto parts where I met a nice guy who would help me determine if there was any leaking problem with the water pump. He checked and give me some tips on how to monitor the leaking situation and for now he cannot see any signs of leaking.

So, I advice everyone to purchase the parts that are necessary for repair work at Auto Zone or pepboy auto parts and then hand it over to your mechanic. These car mechanics make more money on auto parts than labor servicing. And the Toyota show room advices replacements that really do not need it. Get your oil change every 3.5 k miles. They show room says 5k miles oil change but several mechanic told me it is best if done after 3.5k. Spend wisely and learn from my rip off.

happy saving!!!

simple things that make me happy

1.Taking out my dog on a morning walk. My dog wakes me up from sleep and waits at the door and looks at me intently till i wear my slippers and clutch the leach in my hand.
2. when I see my washing sink empty of used vessels. It is such a pleasure to see the sink clear and neat.
3. When I see the smile on my son's face. He makes happy with all the question he ask me.
4. When my son and my dog spend time together, running after each other and fighting.
5. when i learn a new tune on my piano
6. when i listen to soft jazz on 94.7 fm
7. when i meet one of my old customers at the pharmacy and have a little chat with them about mundane things.
8. its a pleasure camping and trialing with my son and my dog
9. Drinking fruit juice with my son at juice-it-up
10. to see my pay check in my bank deposited
11. Of course the sunrise,sunset,clear starry sky are fabulous. Appreciating nature gives us hope and admiration for life and sense of connectivity with the universe.
Man cannot pollute these far way nature. They remind man of beauty of nature.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A review of Earth democracy

We are in a time where giant corporations wield great power over our nations, our politics, our culture and even the food we eat. Within a span of two decades their influence over third world countries has grown enormously. Money power can influence politics and in turn can influence economic policies. Rules made by WTO can affect the lives of poor farmers in third world countries without even their participation in the policy making. Democratic participation of citizens is only limited to voting and the government, a slave of capitalism and free trade can sometimes impose dangerous and harmful policies to the domestic markets.
Globalization is said to reduce prices of food and make food available to the poor. Is it true and is it also true that genetic engineering and its unknown consequences to mankind is a sign of progress? When did globalization start and how did it progress? These questions and many more about globalization are taken over and dealt with in the book.

The seed idea in her past work is extensively developed in this book where Earth citizenship transgressing national and international boundaries has been emphasized. With globalization and the reach of the corporations across national boundaries influence every aspect of our lives, citizens need to think globally too, and reclaim their rights to commons from powerful few. Vandana develops these ideas into three sections—living economies, living democracies and living cultures.

Living economies is about the sustenance economy that majority of the population is dependent on. Firstly,there is the nature economy which is often neglected but is the source of life. Second,there is the sustenance economy that has been practiced by many generations of farming where life taken out from earth is given back to it in the form of animal mature or in other words eco-conservatism, so that nature is not depleted of her ability to regenerate.Third and the most dangerous to earth and nature is the market economy which governments extol as the only economy existing, which has been depleting earth and nature of the ability to regenerate and irrational logic of machinating life on earth as raw materials for excess production and greed.

Living cultures is about the indigenous cultures that have a history and knowledge to preserve nature and at the same time enjoying the plenty of it.Agriculture supports large populations in third world countries. Though market econony is given prime importance, sustenance economy dependent on agriculture is on a declin in third world countries. Poverty and joblessness is on an increase. Quality of life and freedom to live is on a decline for the poor. Monoculture way of industrialized farming may for sometime give great yields greatly damage earth of her life and ultimately rendering the land useless for any purpose. Vandana quotes Gandhi several times to invoke conservatism and oppose hegemonic and barbaric WTO policies that destroy living cultures that care for nature. Greed and market economy have become synonymous.Genetic engineering with its unknown consequences has to be implemented with great care.The author also mentions the importance of women as symbols of preservation and corporations as patriarchal hegemony. She gives the example of chimpko movement in east India to support eco-feminism. Diversity and compassion for all life and moral and spiritual responsibility for conservatism is greatly invoked.

Living Democracies is the participation of all citizens in making collective decisions about rights and usage on commons. Land and water though owned by the king were for public usage. They have been enclosed by landlords starting from 16th century in England with the backing of the king. Now it is the private ownership of land and water by huge corporations that is the treat. The poor who have a right to the commons have lost all their rights and they have been reduced to labor. Increasingly, the corporations have been encroaching on the commons and appropriating them; also damaging the ecosystems irreparably. Living democracies is about the fight of the citizens for their land and water; their right to survive and cohabit with nature.

The last section of the book deals with earth democracy in action. Several examples from the fight of the native people in India for water and land rights to major fight against WTO in first world countries are mentioned. There is a growing awareness of the treat to nature and sustenance economy. As earth citizens it is incumbent to revive the depleting and vanishing people and cultures.

Though globalization has been rebuked and rightly so in this book, I suspect there are some advantages of globalization and trade if rightly done. Subsidies given to agriculture and dumping of cheap quality food in third world countries is killing the local industries. So, this is unfair trade and governments should protect their national interest and their citizens first. But for other industries trade and globalization to my understanding may be beneficial. Like technology, globalization is like a double edged knife. It depends on how we use it consciously and responsibly. The damage by wrong policies of globalization are tremendous, hence they need to be revoked and WTO needs to take responsible policy making for the good of all citizens of the world and not for enlarging the profits of the corporations. America has to stop bulling the world and need to be the pioneer and harbinger to conservatism and earth safety and sustainability.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

One Water: documentary

The movie is about the distribution of water among the poor and the rich countries.

you can watch the website here.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Review of Stolen Harvest by Vandana Shiva

Vandana Shiva is a physicist by training and an environmental activist who has done massive work in preservation of traditional cultures and farming techniques. In an age of multinational corporations taking over of traditional cultures, their lands, their means of livelihood, this book is an eye opener to the range of exploitation done by these corporations on the name of free markets and liberalization.

One gets a sense of being robbed by these corporations the people’s commons and deprivation of nature’s ability to regenerate and flourish. There are several ways these corporations plunder the environment and the lives of the poor. Vandana first takes up the case of seed security in third world countries. Corporation like Montaso try to get patents for breeding techniques that have been in existence for centuries in these cultures. These corporate try to usurp the traditional practices and aim at dependency of the farming communities on their seeds that are genetically modified. Traditionally different varieties of seeds are exchanged between farmers but the corporations with the help of the WTO offend such practices as crime to the free trade policies. This causes dependency of farmers on genetically engineered seeds and also use of herbicides and pesticides made by the same corporations heavily. The latest seeds sold by Montaso cannot be reusable and can only be used once. They are genetically modified and not reusable.

The corporate greed to make money has no boundaries and the exploitations of nature’s resources and livelihood of the poor has no limits. The corporate supports monoculture of farming like soybeans which are dumped from United States to third world countries. The poor who depend on local industry and local farming are displaced of livelihood. She explains in detail with several examples how the cost of local commodities is reduced with this import of foreign goods. The farmers are plundered.

Vandana makes an important point about the dependency of farming land for manure from livestock and in turn their on the straw of the harvest. This chain is broken when we import foreign food which is unsuitable to people and cattle alike. She takes a strong anti-globalization stance by taking several examples like the excessive farming of shrimp on coastal areas that has eroded the land and made drinking water salty. Also excessive fishing in the last couple of decades has reduced the fish and turtle population and destroyed the biodiversity of the sea. Not only is the land and the sea no spared by the corporate greed, the cattle are looked upon as huge udders for milking money. They are given all kinds of chemical, antibiotics to grow fat for meat and eat the meat of cattle as a source of protein. She states that not giving them the right to subjectivity and slaughtering them is causing animal rights violation, suffering and disease to humans alike. BSE is a well know example of how the scientific community hid the facts of the dangers of its transfer from cattle to humans. Corporatism controls everything with their money power and the WTO policies. Genetic engineered seeds and plants are claimed to be more efficient than traditional farm varieties but they are in reality not that promising as they are advertised.

She gives compelling evidence of destruction to nature, people, environment, animals and the sea by the globalization and WTO policies. Her initiative Navdanya is an organization where seeds of biodiverse varieties of plants are collected and preserved so that the farming community is not deprived of diverse seed bank and enslaved to corporate control of seed production and monoculture. This monoculture has several disadvantages which the book goes in detail.

It is a right of the people to be able to sell and trade freely and also to be able to preserve their culture and livelihood. Free trade in agriculture can cause starvation and poverty the opposite of what it claims not to do. The reality is different from what is propounded in economic policies. Economics, culture and farming are interlinked hence the importance to local and decentralized economies.

All in all, the book makes strong points about the disadvantages of globalization and the exploitation of corporatism on third world countries. Luckily there is a lot of people’s awareness and movements in this direction due to concerned scientists and farming organizations around the world. The same theme of exploitation can be seen is all countries. Corporate monoculture pitted against diversity of nature is the fight of this age. This book can be beginner guide to corporate and WTO hegemony and the fight of the people against it.

Monday, September 7, 2009

How to write a book review

How to Write a Book Review

A book review is a description, critical analysis, and an evaluation on the quality, meaning, and significance of a book, not a retelling. It should focus on the book's purpose, content, and authority. A critical book review is not a book report or a summary. It is a reaction paper in which strengths and weaknesses of the material are analyzed. It should include a statement of what the author has tried to do, evaluates how well (in the opinion of the reviewer) the author has succeeded, and presents evidence to support this evaluation.

There is no right way to write a book review. Book reviews are highly personal and reflect the opinions of the reviewer. A review can be as short as 50-100 words, or as long as 1500 words, depending on the purpose of the review.

The following are standard procedures for writing book reviews; they are suggestions, not formulae that must be used.

1. Write a statement giving essential information about the book: title, author, first copyright date, type of book, general subject matter, special features (maps, color plates, etc.), price and ISBN.

2. State the author’s purpose in writing the book. Sometimes authors state their purpose in the preface or the first chapter. When they do not, you may arrive at an understanding of the book’s purpose by asking yourself these questions:

a. Why did the author write on this subject rather than on some other subject?

b. From what point of view is the work written?

c. Was the author trying to give information, to explain something technical, to convince the reader of a belief’s validity by dramatizing it in action?

d. What is the general field or genre, and how does the book fit into it? (Use outside sources to familiarize yourself with the field, if necessary.) Knowledge of the genre means understanding the art form. and how it functions.

e. Who is the intended audience?

f. What is the author's style? Is it formal or informal? Evaluate the quality of the writing style by using some of the following standards: coherence, clarity, originality, forcefulness, correct use of technical words, conciseness, fullness of development, fluidity. Does it suit the intended audience?

g. Scan the Table of Contents, it can help understand how the book is organized and will aid in determining the author's main ideas and how they are developed - chronologically, topically, etc.

g. How did the book affect you? Were any previous ideas you had on the subject changed, abandoned, or reinforced due to this book? How is the book related to your own course or personal agenda? What personal experiences you've had relate to the subject?

h. How well has the book achieved its goal?

i. Would you recommend this book or article to others? Why?

3. State the theme and the thesis of the book.

a. Theme: The theme is the subject or topic. It is not necessarily the title, and it is usually not expressed in a complete sentence. It expresses a specific phase of the general subject matter.

b. Thesis: The thesis is an author’s generalization about the theme, the author’s beliefs about something important, the book’s philosophical conclusion, or the proposition the author means to prove. Express it without metaphor or other figurative language, in one declarative sentence.


Title: We Had it Made

General Subject Matter: Religious Intolerance

Theme: The effects of religious intolerance on a small town

Thesis: Religious intolerance, a sickness of individuals, contaminates an entire social group

4. Explain the method of development-the way the author supports the thesis. Illustrate your remarks with specific references and quotations. In general, authors tend to use the following methods, exclusively or in combination.

a. Description: The author presents word-pictures of scenes and events by giving specific details that appeal to the five senses, or to the reader’s imagination. Description presents background and setting. Its primary purpose is to help the reader realize, through as many sensuous details as possible, the way things (and people) are, in the episodes being described.

b. Narration: The author tells the story of a series of events, usually presented in chronological order. In a novel however, chronological order may be violated for the sake of the plot. The emphasis in narration, in both fiction and non-fiction, is on the events. Narration tells what has happened. Its primary purpose is to tell a story.

c. Exposition: The author uses explanation and analysis to present a subject or to clarify an idea. Exposition presents the facts about a subject or an issue as clearly and impartially as possible. Its primary purpose is to explain.

d. Argument: The author uses the techniques of persuasion to establish the truth of a statement or to convince the reader of its falsity. The purpose is to persuade the reader to believe something and perhaps to act on that belief. Argument takes sides on an issue. Its primary purpose is to convince.

5. Evaluate the book for interest, accuracy, objectivity, importance, thoroughness, and usefulness to its intended audience. Show whether the author's main arguments are true. Respond to the author's opinions. What do you agree or disagree with? And why? Illustrate whether or not any conclusions drawn are derived logically from the evidence. Explore issues the book raises. What possibilities does the book suggest? What has the author omitted or what problems were left unsolved? What specific points are not convincing? Compare it with other books on similar subjects or other books by the same as well as different authors. Is it only a reworking of earlier books; a refutation of previous positions? Have newly uncovered sources justified a new approach by the author? Comment on parts of particular interest, and point out anything that seems to give the book literary merit. Relate the book to larger issues.

6. Try to find further information about the author - reputation, qualifications, influences, biographical, etc. - any information that is relevant to the book being reviewed and that would help to establish the author's authority. Can you discern any connections between the author's philosophy, life experience and the reviewed book?

7. If relevant, make note of the book's format - layout, binding, typography, etc. Are there maps, illustrations? Do they aid understanding?

8. Check the back matter. Is the index accurate? Check any end notes or footnotes as you read from chapter to chapter. Do they provide important additional information? Do they clarify or extend points made in the body of the text? Check any bibliography the author may provide. What kinds of sources, primary or secondary, appear in the bibliography? How does the author make use of them? Make note of important omissions.

9. Summarize (briefly), analyze, and comment on the book’s content. State your general conclusions. Pay particular attention to the author's concluding chapter. Is the summary convincing? List the principal topics, and briefly summarize the author’s ideas about these topics, main points, and conclusions. Use specific references and quotations to support your statements. If your thesis has been well argued, the conclusion should follow naturally. It can include a final assessment or simply restate your thesis. Do not introduce new material at this point.

Some Considerations When Reviewing specific genres:

Fiction (above all, do not give away the story)


1.From what sources are the characters drawn?

2.What is the author's attitude toward his characters?

3.Are the characters flat or three-dimensional?

4.Does character development occur?

5.Is character delineation direct or indirect?


1.What is/are the major theme(s)?

2.How are they revealed and developed?

3.Is the theme traditional and familiar, or new and original?

4.Is the theme didactic, psychological, social, entertaining, escapist, etc. in purpose or intent?


1.How are the various elements of plot (eg, introduction, suspense, climax, conclusion) handled?

2.What is the relationship of plot to character delineation?

3.To what extent, and how, is accident employed as a complicating and/or resolving force?

4.What are the elements of mystery and suspense?

5.What other devices of plot complication and resolution are employed?

6.Is there a sub-plot and how is it related to the main plot?

7.Is the plot primary or secondary to some of the other essential elements of the story (character, setting, style, etc.)?


1.What are the "intellectual qualities" of the writing (e.g., simplicity, clarity)?

2.What are the "emotional qualities" of the writing (e.g., humour, wit, satire)?

3..What are the "aesthetic qualities" of the writing (e.g., harmony, rhythm)?

4.What stylistic devices are employed (e.g., symbolism, motifs, parody, allegory)?

5.How effective is dialogue?


1.What is the setting and does it play a significant role in the work?

2.Is a sense of atmosphere evoked, and how?

3.What scenic effects are used and how important and effective are they?

4.Does the setting influence or impinge on the characters and/or plot?


1.Does the book give a "full-length" picture of the subject?

2.What phases of the subject's life receive greatest treatment and is this treatment justified?

3.What is the point of view of the author?

4.How is the subject matter organized: chronologically, retrospectively, etc.?

5.Is the treatment superficial or does the author show extensive study into the subject's life?

6.What source materials were used in the preparation of the biography?

7.Is the work documented?

8.Does the author attempt to get at the subject's hidden motives?

9.What important new facts about the subject's life are revealed in the book?

10.What is the relationship of the subject's career to contemporary history?

11.How does the biography compare with others about the same person?

12.How does it compare with other works by the same author?

History and other Nonfiction

1.With what particular subject or period does the book deal?

2.How thorough is the treatment?

3.What were the sources used?

4.Is the account given in broad outline or in detail?

5.Is the style that of reportorial writing, or is there an effort at interpretive writing?

6.What is the point of view or thesis of the author?

7.Is the treatment superficial or profound?

8.For what group is the book intended (textbook, popular, scholarly, etc.)?

9.What part does biographical writing play in the book?

10.Is social history or political history emphasized?

11.Are dates used extensively, and if so, are they used intelligently?

12.Is the book a revision? How does it compare with earlier editions?

13.Are maps, illustrations, charts, etc. used and how are these to be evaluated?


1.Is this a work of power, originality, individuality?

2.What kind of poetry is under review (epic, lyrical, elegiac, etc.)?

3.What poetical devices have been used (rhyme, rhythm, figures of speech, imagery, etc.), and to what effect?

4.What is the central concern of the poem and is it effectively expressed?

Subject headings used in the catalog:

Book reviewing Criticism

Related books:

Book reviewing : a guide to writing book reviews for newspapers, magazines, radio, and television. Boston. The Writer, 1978 PN98.B7 B6

Drewry, John. Writing Book Reviews. Boston: The Writer, 1974. PN98.B7 D7 1974

Teitelbaum, Harry. How to Write Book Reports. New York: Monarch Press, 1975. LB2369 .T4

Miller, Walter James. How to write book reports : -- analyzing and evaluating fiction, drama, poetry, and non-fiction New York. Arco Pub., 1984. LB2369 .M46 1984

Sources of Book Reviews

Book Review Digest 1985+ INDEX Z1219 .C96

Book Review Index 1965+ INDEX Z1035.A1 B6

Contemporary Authors REFERENCE Z1224 .C5

Related Websites:

How to Write a Book Review. Stauffer Library.

Writing Book Reviews. University of Waterloo Library.

How to Write a Book Review. Dalhousie University Libraries.

Writing Book Reports & Book Reviews. Internet Public Library.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Brad pitt on Proposition 8

In September 2008, Pitt donated $100,000 to fight California's 2008 ballot proposition Proposition 8, an initiative that would overturn the state Supreme Court decision that legalized same-sex marriage.[141] Pitt stated his reasons for the stance. "Because no one has the right to deny another their life, even though they disagree with it, because everyone has the right to live the life they so desire if it doesn't harm another and because discrimination has no place in America, my vote will be for equality and against Proposition 8.