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Category: tourism

02/24/09 11:56 - 18ºF - ID#47882

Give it up!

I have decided to do some cultural tourism, go to Roswell's Chapel tomorrow, be smeared with some ash and give up a definite addiction for some days. (I am disappointed to learn that its not really human ash - as an officemate tried to make me believe. Man, it was grotesquely entertaining when I did come close to believing what you said! ;))

Since its all about discipline, I am going to try and give up blogging on (e:strip) and non-academic non-essential internet surfing. I really thought about what I would miss the most and what I really indulge in and really... this is it.

(E:strip) is a colossal luxury for me each day, everyday! It's like my personal multiple thread soap opera and dark rich chocolate combined into one. I am obsessed with all of you and all of your lives. I read each and every journal to catch up on the soap story of your life. I may not comment on everything but believe me, I am interested. I am very interested when you tell me something more about yourselves!

So for this bit of cultural tourism, I am going to see what its like to give up my pet obsession for a whole of 40 days. Goodbye for now, and see you at Easter? (Is that right, (e:drew)?)

I will certainly miss you all! Cheers! :)
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Permalink: Give_it_up_.html
Words: 229
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: i-tech

02/22/09 05:56 - 24ºF - ID#47862

External Harddrive Advice/Poll

I really need an external HD for backup. I looked at online backup but some of the reliable ones cost a ton of money per year. The better option might be to get 2 HDs - make back ups on both, keep one at home and one in the office. I am really tempted by the < $100 Seagate freeagent 1TB drives but they have recently had a string of failures across the globe. Someone told me to build a RAID1 array instead. What do you all think?

1. Do you currently own (ir have you ever owned) an external hard drive?

2. If yes, has it ever died?

3. What brand was it?

4. Was it a USB harddrive or a RAID array?

5. Would you recommend a RAID array or the USB harddrives?

6. What brand would you recommend? What set-up?

Ended up getting a Western Digital 1TB Elements Harddrive It has been functioning pretty well - but you can never be 100% sure about when hard drives will throw in their towel. I am hoping for the best since this one seems to have such uniformly good reviews at Amazon.
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Permalink: External_Harddrive_Advice_Poll.html
Words: 195
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: tragedy

02/20/09 11:00 - 19ºF - ID#47822

Day of loss

It's a day of great loss for the community of cancer researchers. One of our best scientists and a close friend of my advisor's was murdered by someone who gained entry to her apartment on the pretence of being an interested buyer.

What a waste of an exemplary scientist! This is additionally painful because this is exactly how my grade school teacher was killed as well. That was the first funeral I ever attended. And how awful that I feel compelled to convey this message to all my friends, family and to you all. Trust no one - unless you really know them and their intentions well. It's not a very balanced world out there.
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Permalink: Day_of_loss.html
Words: 121
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 11/09/11 08:07

Category: eating out

02/19/09 10:40 - 19ºF - ID#47819

Question for e:kookcity2000

Hi (e:kookcity2000),

I remember you telling me that there is a Woodlands at Loehmann's Plaza now. I checked out Rocwiki and experiences seem pretty chequered. What do you think? How does it stack up against the palace of dosas?

I have got around 3/4th of a month to pick a decent "ethnic" place to eat. "Abyssinia" and/or "King and I" are always my backups but I would really like to hear your impression of this new place at the plaza.

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Permalink: Question_for_e_kookcity2000.html
Words: 89
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: the odes

02/19/09 01:17 - 35ºF - ID#47804

Youtube = Awesome!

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Permalink: Youtube_Awesome_.html
Words: 7
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: tragedy

02/15/09 01:32 - 26ºF - ID#47756

The house that died.

6038 Long St, Clarence, NY last year**.

6038 Long St, Clarence, NY last week*.


  • Bird's Eye view,
  • Buffalo News, Sunday, Feb 15 edition
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Permalink: The_house_that_died_.html
Words: 31
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: e:strip

02/13/09 04:36 - 28ºF - ID#47740

Don't lose your comments. Ever.

Anyone who has felt the pain of accidentally losing a post or a comment on (e:strip) should head on over to this and install the incredibly useful form-recovery add-on called Lazarus.

It saves everything you type in forms - as you type. The next time your browser crashes or you accidentally click the wrong button and reload the page, or your comment heads to the graveyard, you just need to right-click and make all those painfully typed up words rematerialize.


The best thing is, it works for everything - emails, forms, notes etc. More information about Lazarus form recovery tool here on this
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Permalink: Don_t_lose_your_comments_Ever_.html
Words: 117
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: opinion

02/10/09 07:55 - 49ºF - ID#47705

How many of you believe that...

cancer has not been "cured" because researchers and clinicians are just making too much money out of it to destroy what is virtually a cash-cow?

Today morning, at a discussion seminar, I had this very disturbing thought that definitely made me question whether I was right in choosing to do what I do. I know we really are not close to a "cure" for cancer. But WHY are we so hesitant to restructure our healthcare system and do even little things that will certainly make a difference in cancer incidence and outcomes?

Every cancer centre in this country depends on its patients to run. That is a fact. But in running health care as a business are we getting away from the basic motivation behind healthcare - to eliminate disease? There is so much drive to carry out all kinds of complicated research, but what are we doing about what research has already shown us? Is it so tough to step away from what has become a blind chase for more and more patients or publications and see whether we have achieved anything tangible in the last so many decades?? Is translational research just another over-hyped myth? No one wants to talk about what we can possibly do to IMPLEMENT our findings and translate them into healthcare policy. Instead, everyone wants to talk about precision of measurement in research and methods to recruit even more patients to clinics and research studies.

Recruitment to studies has steadily become more and more difficult. Has any of us wondered why? Is it just because people have caller-IDs on their phones and won't answer random surveys? Perhaps. But I am not sure that this is the sole reason. It could be because we have become so research-oriented that we don't care what the deliverable outcomes of our research are, any more. We are just interested in a job called "research". What does this "research" mean? Many of us would struggle to answer that question - regardless of how many "public health significance" abstracts we might write.

I am feeling so bitter and cynical today. I am sorry. :( I might probably not agree with all I said here in my happier research moments. Research is exciting to me - not just because I think its cool but because I feel like I am working towards something that will help my former patients and more importantly, future research beneficiaries. Its a personal cause to me. Thus, it feels awful that I really might not achieve the end-result I dream about all the time because there will be no one in the end, who really cares about what my research might mean to healthcare policy but only look at how much grant money I might bring in with my research or how many publications I can stack up. :/
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Permalink: How_many_of_you_believe_that_.html
Words: 471
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: eating in

02/08/09 12:34 - 35ºF - ID#47679

Semolina Upma

Another day, another meal! Feel free to stop me when this gets kind of toxic. Hee Hee. :p


I used the Greek Semolina I bought at the Indian Store. It is awesome! I am SO GLAD I didn't get the conventional Indian brand!

Ding Ding...Recipe time!!

1. Bring water to a boil with a nice scoop of red chillie powder and turmeric powder. Add semolina and cook around 2-3 minutes. Turn off heat.

2. Take half-a tablespoon of peanut oil in a pan and heat till the oil is flowy. Add a pinch of each (see pictures in the post below)
- Black mustard seeds,
- Urad dal (white split lentils)
- Channe ki dal (split yellow lentils)
- Dried red chillies.
- Cumin

3. When the mustard seeds start to pop, add
- tablespoon of chopped ginger root
- Chopped green chillies (thai/indian/jalapenos) to taste
- Chopped Karuvepelai ("Curry" leaves)
Stir them around till karuvepelai becomes really fragrant!

4. Add a dash of Asafoetida powder to the above and stir

5. Add chopped red onions - saute till translucent.

6. Add chopped green bell peppers - saute a bit. Add salt to taste

7. Add cooked semolina and stir to coat the veggies on the semolina.

8. Enjoy with a cup of Mango tea!

I used to have Semia Upma for breakfast on so many Sundays, growing up - that it's as much of a Sunday morning ritual as church is to some of you. Probably a lot more "sinful". Hehe. :)
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Permalink: Semolina_Upma.html
Words: 250
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: eating in

02/07/09 05:40 - 49ºF - ID#47671

Keerai Molaguttal

Since (e:heidi) requested more food posts, here is one! :)


Keerai Molaguttal is an uber traditional dish from the Palakaddu district of Kerala. Its not so much Tamilian as it is Malayali. You won't see this in ANY Indian restaurant - north or south, even if they are in India. It's very unglamorous and very practical but worth dying for. Some days, I just crave it so much I can even smell its fragrance before I start cooking. Its got this addictive potential. Some people hate it and some like me, just can't live without it.

Its not spicy or hot, so strong hot south Indian lemon pickles (that I bought yesterday) go wonderfully well with it. Its comfort food taken to the Malayali extreme. :)

The really simple recipe:

1. Cook rice in the rice cooker - Any rice will do, but Basmati is awesome. Don't smash the rice.

2. Wash and chop a good amount of spinach - blend the spinach in the blender to a smooth paste, add generous water to make it a smooth flowing paste but don't make it too watery.

3. Cook orange lentils (masoor dal) or toor dal
image in the rice cooker. Toor dal needs around 5-6 hours of pre-soaking if you are not using a pressure cooker. Masoor doesn't need any and is readily cooked. The objective is to cook the lentils really well so that you can smash them to a paste with a ladle.

4. In a wide-bottomed pan, take a teaspoon (or 1.5 tsp) of peanut oil, heat the oil till it flows freely. Add a pinch of black mustard seeds,
image, a pinch of urad dal (while lentils), pinch of channe ki dal (split yellow lentils), whole black peppercorns and several dried red chillies.

5. When the mustard seeds just start to pop, invert the whole blended spinach paste into the pan and stir well. Add a pinch of turmeric powder and a pinch of red chillie powder.

6. Fresh-grind around 2 tablespoons of cumin in a mortar and pestle and add to the spinach. Next, add around 4 tablespoons of coconut powder or coconut shreds to the spinach.

7. When the spinach paste starts bubbling a bit (around 2 minutes) add the cooked lentils (masoor or toor) and some more water to take it a to a hearty thick soupy consistency.

8. Bring to a rolling boil. Turn off heat. Its VERY important not to overcook the spinach. Unlike North Indians who murder their spinach in that insane dish called palak paneer, South Indians value the art of just-enough cooking to preserve that fresh awesome taste of veggies. If your keerai molaguttal has turned a dark green tinted with yellow (the colour of palak paneer, btw), you have got it all wrong. It needs to be a bright dark green and when you taste it, the raw spinach smell is gone but the fresh spinach fragrance remains accented by the coconut, cumin, lentils and red-chllies.

9. Serve over cooked rice.

10. Garnish with a nice big scoop of south Indian lemon pickle!

PS: Keerai: Spinach in Tamil. Molaguttal: I really don't know what this means. Molagu means peppercorns. I guess it could mean seasoned with peppercorns. Its a word that is neither Tamil nor Malayalam but somewhere in between - very typical of the border-district of Palakkadu.
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Permalink: Keerai_Molaguttal.html
Words: 556
Location: Buffalo, NY



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