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Daily Archives: August 12, 2010

links for 2010-08-12

  • New studies of consumption and happiness show…that people are happier when they spend money on experiences instead of material objects, when they relish what they plan to buy long before they buy it, and when they stop trying to outdo the Joneses…
    Scholars and researchers…have found that our types of purchases, their size and frequency, and even the timing of the spending all affect long-term happiness…
    spending money for an experience…produces longer-lasting satisfaction than spending money on plain old stuff…
    the only category to be positively related to happiness was leisure…
    anticipation increases happiness…
    Mr. Belic says his documentary shows that “the one single trait that’s common among every single person who is happy is strong relationships.”
  • Wheat and rice are today the main global food crops…Wheat is the raw material for a variety of food and drink: from flour to cakes; pasta to couscous; beer to biscuits.
    If more Indian wheat rots, it could drive global prices up further, the Associated Press reported last week, because though India’s wheat isn’t intended for export, it is counted in global wheat stocks.
    India has banned exports of non-basmati rice and wheat since 2007, save for “humanitarian purposes”, for fear it could increase food prices. But prices have surged anyway because India can’t reach food to those who need it.
    To the government, the export of wheat and rice is politically sensitive. “It’s impossible, it can’t be done,” a minister told me. Why not? On Wednesday, MPs in Parliament asked the same question.
    India’s grain stockpile is now an international shame. Finding a creative way of getting it to the poor is the best solution. Exporting it is another. Letting it rot isn’t.
  • A sense of humor is a measurement of the extent to which you realize that we are trapped in a world almost totally devoid of reason. Laughter is how we express the anxiety we feel at this knowledge
  • (Gene Weingarten discovers the truth behind the Hardy Boys books & their writer)
    Writing, particularly fiction writing, is an act of quiet terror. You are alone all at once with your genius and your ineptitude, and your errors are as public as possible. To be a writer of fiction requires extreme self-discipline and extreme self-confidence, and many of the people drawn to writing have neither. It can be a recipe for dismal failure.
    Writing is also, financially, a crap-shoot. Always has been. Sometimes, good writers starve. Sometimes, dreadful writers succeed. John Grisham's sentences thud and crepitate all over the page, and he has become a literary tycoon. Edgar Allan Poe nearly starved.
    Mostly, you become a writer not because you want to get rich or famous, but because you have to write; because there is something inside that must come out. When a baby is to be born, she is born.
  • So please sirs and madams do protest against the Indian state and the Indian Army and sign petitions and protest outside the United Nations while drinking Starbucks and discussing EB2 Green card priority dates. Do whatever you want to do but please, for the sake of truth of labeling, do drop the “independence struggle” from the description and please qualify the word “Kashmiri” with what should come after it.
    Of course if you do so, then the romance and the liberal “feel good” of standing shoulder-to-shoulder with an independence movement is gone and hurling stones at the Indian Army would be seen not as an act of supreme passion and justified frustration but as an act of war against the Indian state, something I believe which there are laws against.
    Which is why you won’t do it.
  • (Jai Arjun Singh on some revised cellphone etiquette for keeping our sanity in today's madly always-connected world)
    I have private cellphone rules of my own, and I’m religious about them in a way I could never be religious about religion. First among these rules is: Ignore three out of every four calls you receive…This might be conscience-pricking at first, but remember that we no longer live in the age of antiquated circular-dial phones, when dialing a number required physical effort and was therefore an act invested with significance…
    Special note here for married couples/generic lovebirds: successfully following the “ignore 3 calls out of 4” rule means that it’s important that you do not give your better half permission to answer your phone…
    Another important cellphone rule: if you call someone back after having missed one of their calls, NEVER start the conversation by apologising profusely and going into a lengthy explanation about why you couldn’t talk to them earlier.
 
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Posted by on August 12, 2010 in Uncategorized

 
 
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