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News Roundup

It's time to perform one of my irregular news roundups as I seem to be coming across a variety of interesting stories.

Here's a sad story about the continuing tragedy of unmarked graves in Kashmir from the BBC. Hopefully, a full investigation will happen and the truth come out.

It's clearly not difficult to imagine the police or the military being involved in certain amount of torture upto and including custodial killings of civilians. Very sad reality in a democracy.

Ok. Have some fun watching this stand up act by an Indian in the UK.

And here's a good, inspirational speech by a young man who was raised by a gay couple.

And here's an old article about the shocking tale of AIDS in Africa.

Life is very strange. Agreed. An obituary.

Ha! Can you imagine the launch of the Mars Science Laboratory and the rover Curiosity was so perfect that it won't require a planned course correction. Its trajectory is initially designed so that it will MISS Mars by thousands of kilometers! This is so as not to contaminate the Martian environment with microbes that may possibly have been carried by the Centaur stage attached to Curiosity. Talks about precautions!! This is the zenith of what NASA is all about. I'm happy to be around to witness all this.

One sure wishes to see great intergalactic ships starting on their great intergalactic missions with thousands (if not millions) of humans on board in one's lifetime. But probably that won't come to pass. What a tragedy.

A lecture at the MIT Sloan School by the smart Eric Schmidt.

The Barney Frank eulogizing continues as he decides to retire from Congress.

Here's a TED talk about learning in fetuses.

And another TED talk about living to be 100 + years old. Clearly, I'm not interested. If only because I'm neither healthy enough nor wanted enough. Some fascinating tales about real people in pockets of the world such as Sardinia, Italy and Okinawa, Japan where many people live to be centenarians.

Ok. That's it in this collection or it will go on and on and I'll keep adding stuff endlessly.

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Here's a random list of things. 1.Indians sometimes prefer to abort a fetus if they find out that it's female. (Or they just kill the new born baby after it's born.) 2.There are more than 20 million babies born in India. EVERY. SINGLE. YEAR. 3.Child labor is so commonplace in India that few notice it or consider it out of the ordinary. Kids work as waiters or dishwashers in roadside restaurants. Sometimes, kids ferry tea to the local police station from a nearby roadside tea stall. 4.Massive numbers of kids and younger and adult women are employed as maids in middle class to rich households. Middle class houses might pay 200 rupees to a female who comes and washes the dishes. Rich houses might employ women permanently by paying them more. 5.Cars in the Indian cities are washed in the morning by car-washers who tend to be young men who get paid around 100 to 200 rupees per month for this service. 6.India is home to some crazily competitive exams. The IIT JEE and the IIM CAT have …

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The recent census has shown that India's population grew from 1,030 million to 1,200 million (growth of 16 percent) in the last decade. China's population increased from 1,240 million to 1,340 million (growth of 8 percent) in the same period.

Assuming a growth rate of 15 percent, India's population will be 1,380 million by 2021. China's population meanwhile will reach a figure of somewhere between 1,450 million and 1,500 million.

How can anyone get one's head around these enormous numbers? How many people can anyone connect with at a personal level? How many people can a human brain remember?

I don't know about others but I can speak about myself.

I probably have 200 relatives. Strangely enough, I've very few friends from my school or college days. Probably 20. During those bygone days, there were social networks and the passage of time makes memories fade. I can probably remember about 100 colleagues that I've worked with over the past five years. I am a b…