Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Secretive India

Yesterday I was trying to find some scientists in the field of veterinary science from India. I wanted to invite them to be peer reviewers for the funding agency that I work for. So this is all for a good reason.....I am not stalking any of them! Really! But the Indian university websites continue to suck....we are in a modern world, where everything is online; all transactions are online, and public, but Indian universities continue to think it is a sin to give out names of faculty and their email IDs!
The quality of the websites is another disturbing issue- some of the best brains of the world belong to an Indian head, but why bother with our own websites? We will design websites for the entire world, but not our own! It is so sad really.

So, yesterday I accomplished nothing by trying to help Indian scientists earn some honoraria. I went to an American university site and had a list of 84 names and email IDs of professors in less than 10 minutes! A good percentage of them are also originally Indians. Sigh! When will we learn?

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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Filter Coffee

I am a coffee lover....my husband likes to call it 'coffee addiction', but we differ as always!
I have always tried my hand at making filter coffee ever since I left home to the US in 2004. The coffee in the US disappointed me then, it was watery and people added a spoonful of 'cream' instead of the other way around at home! It confused me and I settled for many years for instant coffee, which also suited my student lifestyle. I finally did get used to making coffee using a coffee maker the US way and settled into a nice rhythm.
After moving to Qatar, I tried my hand at using the stainless steel filter, and had several disastrous episodes- the powder blocked the holes and made the hot water flow out of the wrong side, took an enormous amount of time to collect into the next container as it is supposed to etc., to name a few!
However, my parents finally got me a great coffee maker from India and I am now a regular filter coffee drinker :-) Finally!
My biggest disappointment in life is that my spouse has no habit of drinking coffee!!! Not even tea!!! I fail to understand how such a life is possible, but no amount of persuasion from my side has made him change his unforgivable ways! He makes an exception very rarely and those are much cherished days. Yesterday he had a cup of coffee late in the evening (since he had a headache). He was about to choose between tea and coffee, when I claimed he had to have coffee for a headache and he decided not to argue with my very stern face! My happiness at making two cups of coffee is really not explainable....to me it indicates spousal affection and how things are meant to be. I can assure you that I would have been complaining heavily and drawing out a timetable at whose turn it was to make coffee for the day if this was indeed the case. However I do miss this experience on a regular basis.....I guess I am pretty old fashioned in some ways, right?

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