Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

In the spirit of youth…

In Uncategorized on February 4, 2011 at 9:45 am

I’d reblog the heck out of this image if I had a personal Tumblr, but here it is nonetheless.

We might not be physically invincible, but at least we try to fix the problems that you created.

Why Care?

In Uncategorized on January 7, 2011 at 11:46 pm

This post isn’t as motivated by current events as some of the others, but it’s an important question nonetheless. A lot of people have asked me WHY I do this: why I write about things so far away that have little, if any, impact on our everyday lives; WHY do I care? And I figured it would be interesting to investigate.

My first thought was “Maybe it’s scientific”. Aren’t people hard-wired to care about others? You can’t just be in the same house with someone and be completely unconcerned about their life and state of mind. So I Googled if humans were naturally inclined to be empathic, and this video came up. Take a look.

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What if you’re wrong?

In Uncategorized on January 5, 2011 at 4:26 am

What motivates us?

In Uncategorized on December 13, 2010 at 2:18 am

Money actually reduces performance when we’re faced with decisions requiring cognitive abilities.

Take that, Wall Street.

Work in Progress

In Uncategorized on December 7, 2010 at 7:17 pm

I miss writing.

I miss keeping up.

I miss Yes I Care.

So, I’m deciding to change up the format of this blog a little bit. Not always super-long, well-researched articles. I can’t do that about every issue I come across. Rather, it’s simply more feasible to have smaller, more regular updates and longer articles once in a while.

I’ll get on this, WordPress. Thanks for reading, more to come soon. Seriously.

The World on a Dinner Plate: The Food Industry Today

In Uncategorized on November 3, 2010 at 9:43 pm


What we eat today is largely controlled by all the wrong authorities- corporations rather than consumers.

Take a good long look at what you’re having for dinner tonight. Where do you think it came from? Your fridge, or California?

The answer, surprisingly, is probably closer to the latter. I’ve recently been reading up on Barbara Kingsolver’s bestseller Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, and the issues discussed in the book made me want to learn more about global agriculture, local foods, and why 1/6th of the human population is still undernourished.  It seemed somewhat contradictory– with all this technology and innovation in our world today, isn’t it weird that we’re actually WORSE-fed than before we industrialized? I’ve watched movies like King Corn and Supersize Me, but when trying to think of the origins of the problem itself, the problem is much more complicated than just the food. There has to be something wrong with the people and industries we’ve created. Read the rest of this entry »

Restoring the “Sri” in Sri Lanka

In Genocide, Global Issues, Uncategorized on August 27, 2010 at 3:00 am

Sri Lanka is one of the worst current humanitarian crises in the world today. Why doesn't anyone know about it?

So, working my way down my list, I decided to write about the first topic that caught my attention a few months ago: Sri Lanka. My mother has always kept me informed about the happenings in the country, mainly its decades-old ethnic conflict between the Tamils and the Singhalese. It resonates with me not only because my family is Tamil in origin, but because Sri Lankan culture in itself is one of the richest and most well-preserved in the Asian continent. But I realized that I don’t know enough about the country or the people to understand how this ethnic conflict came about, and what its implications are on me, or to the rest of the world. So here’s my attempt to figure out the social, political and ethnic history of this little island.

Let’s start with the basics: geography. Sri Lanka is a tiny island in the Bay of Bengal, close to the Indian Ocean, located to the South-East of the Indian subcontinent. Its capital is Colombo, and it has a population of about 21,324,791 (not including the many thousands of refugees that have escaped the country in light of the recent hostilities). Being ocean-locked makes the country a major producer of hydropower, and Sri Lanka is also home to a wide variety of flora and fauna.

In terms of ethnic divisions, Sri Lanka is mainly composed of two groups: Tamils and Singhalese. The

The tiny island of Sri Lanka is located in the Bay of Bengal, close to the Gulf of Mannar.

Singhalesemake up almost 73.8% of the country’s population, and they are predominantly Buddhist.  The Tamils, on the other hand, constitute about 8.5% of the country, and thus, are clearly the minority. Distinctions may even be made between Indian Tamils (from Tamil Nadu and other parts of Southern India) and Sri Lankan Tamils—both of whom speak Tamil, but significantly different variations of it. Sri Lanka also has a Muslim minority of 7.6% and a Christian minority of 6.2%. Therefore, ethnic, linguistic and religious differences abound throughout the land.

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Now that I’m in college…

In Uncategorized on August 26, 2010 at 2:12 pm

Hello everyone!

So, it’s been a while since I blogged. The Sticky Note on my desktop is filled with about 20 topics that I scribbled down, waiting to research and write about them all. But between everything from IB exams, summer, moving houses, changing three laptops and holding down an internship, I’ve had barely any time or energy all summer to work on Yes I Care.

No worries, though, I’m in COLLEGE! Yes, I am officially a freshman at Virginia Polytechnic University, and this is my first week here. And I’m slowly realizing that with enough commitment and planning, I CAN blog with the amount of research and detail I wish to share with my readers and myself. My schedule has gaping holes which would best be filled by some quality figure-out-the-world-around-me time.

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Gridlocked: Fixing DC With the Help of the World

In Uncategorized on June 25, 2010 at 2:05 am

Rush hour in DC begins around 4 am and is politely described as "drivers' hell".

Last week, I had the opportunity to witness first-hand the traffic debacle that is Washington DC. I woke up late, missed my bus to work, and had my dad drop me off at work after calling in late to his own job. What I saw en-route convinced me that if DC is anything like other American cities, we as a country absolutely NEED to transition to an efficient means of transportation and become less dependent on cars. So here is my effort to make sense of WHY DC has such a bad traffic situation, and what we can do to make it somewhat tolerable and efficient.

A little background about this area first. The current area called the District of Columbia, formerly known as Washington County, has been in existence since the mid-late 1700s.  DC was designed to be a partially planned city—the area bordered by the Potomac river, Western, Eastern and Southern avenue was designed to hold all the baroque-style federal buildings and the seat of the three branches of government. The architectural plan was put together by Pierre Charles L’Enfant, a French architect, and Benjamin Banneker, an African-American mathematician.  The location made commercial and political sense—it combined the port towns of Georgetown, Maryland and Alexandria for wheat and tobacco shipping; it also was a resulting compromise between Alexander Hamilton, who wanted the northern states to pay for the Revolutionary War, and Thomas Jefferson, who wanted the capital to favor southern agricultural interests. Since then Washington has expanded steadily outwards, with the wide streets growing steadily narrower due to inventions like streetcars, railways and automobiles.  What we ended up with, thus, were elaborate buildings designed for much fewer government employees, a vast intersecting street system (that expanded into states and double-letter alphabets as the city expanded: for a detailed explanation of DC’s confusing street system click here) and a historically influential African American population that has shaped the city’s cultural evolution.
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Kyrgyzstan: Strike Four for “Never Again”

In Uncategorized on June 17, 2010 at 2:29 am

It's not all ethnic-- economic, political and social factors all contribute to the recent crisis in Kyrgyzstan.

My first introduction to the recent Kyrgyz conflict was the Washington Post’s Express headline on my way to work last week. Horrifying pictures, dramatic official testimony, the whole bit. It caught me somewhat off-guard, since I didn’t know much about Kyrgyzstan except sheep eyes are considered a delicacy there, and the country was formed after the breakdown of the Soviet Empire. So here’s my effort to understand Kyrgyzstan and its ongoing cultural clashes.

Some background on Kyrgyzstan the country first. Historically, the population has been nomadic in nature. Now they’re still a mostly-mountainous country with a huge agricultural sector and relatively little industry. They’ve been dominated by Russia ever since 1876. During the Russian Revolution of 1916, Kyrgyzstan lost almost 1/6th of its population during protests. The area, called the Ferghana Valley, was split years ago by Joseph Stalin into Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. The country formally gained independence after the dissolving of the Soviet empire in 1991. As with most newly-free countries, they’ve had some political strife–a natural result of dealing with the establishment and operations of an independent government. During the first 15 years, the country was governed by Askar Akayev, who was ousted after protests during Spring 2005. Then came Kurmanbek Bakiev, who tried to consolidate power by dismissing media critics and ousting political opponents. After protesting his 2009 re-election, the country elected Roza Otunbayeva to power, and he’s still in office today.

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