Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I've moved!

Due to incessant issues with Blogger on my Safari, I've decided to migrate to Wordpress. So, kindly change this address on your Bookmarks to , if you've got this site marked! See you there!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

If I had things my way...

1) Babies would have an on and off switch: turn on in the morning and off at bedtime at parents' discretion
2) All babies would love and want to suck 
3) Breastmilk would flow like water from a tap - not according to demand
4) Pre-pregnancy clothes (yes, that favorite pair of Gap jeans) would fit a week after delivery
5) Doctors would find a cure for colic
6) One can simply pop a pill to overcome postpartum blues

But alas, this is not an ideal world...

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Stressful modern conveniences

Within the last few days, three things broke down on us - the flush of both toilets in our home and, most annoyingly, my Blackberry. While many may find them merely small issues, they really are not if you're working within various constraints like time (baby is due anytime!), money and skill.

We first discovered that the toilet in our bathroom was leaking when we moved into our new place in December. We chose to ignore it as we were too tired to deal with it then. When our water bill came this month, we decided that we needed to fix it as it was not just leaking water but cash! So, three days ago, husband and I put both our wanting plumbing skills together to fix the leak. We found that the water pump was faulty. Motivated, we made our way to the nearest hardware store and purchased a generic pump which we hope will work. 

When we got home, we started taking the water tank apart only to find that we don't have the right tools to deal with it. So we called on some friends to see if they have the wrench we need. Finally one friend's brother owns one and we will pick it up tomorrow (sigh...delay = inconvenience=stress). But on the night we got home from the hardware store, I discovered that the guest toilet was also leaking! So now we have to see if we succeed in fixing the first one before we work on the second one...

A few evenings ago, my Blackberry went kaput. It wouldn't let me do anything except call the last person who calls me! While the handheld has served me well for over two years and due for an upgrade offer (by the telcom company), I decided end of last year to stick with it as it still functioned for what I needed it for. Unfortunately its demise was due. 

Finally got a new Blackberry at a decent price and was charging and setting it up last night when I discovered that it kept going into rebooting mode on its own! What a bummer! A search on Google confirms that it's pretty common problem with the model I bought. And worse, there hasn't been one solution for it - many users had to trouble-shoot and it's basically hit or miss. Some ended up returning the phone and some got a replacement that works. I spent most of today trying to figure out what's wrong with it and I MAY have solved the issue but it's still too early to tell. I'm keeping my fingers crossed...

The point of this entry, I guess, is an ask-out-loud question of why things, specifically supposedly  modern conveniences, always break down at the wrong time and the solution is always highly stressful. Are these unnecessary hassle that we bring upon ourselves? For example, why do I need a Blackberry now when I didn't even own a cellphone for the first half of my adult life? And why do have fancy pumps nowadays when the first generation toilet flushes worked just as well? Are our lives really easier and simpler with these "progressive" gadgets? Hmm...  

Monday, January 12, 2009

Terminate at 60

While following Captain Jean-Luc Picard's adventure traversing the universe on the show's Season 4, we came across an interesting episode ("Half a Life") where the crew of Starship Enterprise encounters an alien society (that practices a ritual called, the Resolution. Basically the Resolution is suicide ritual where everyone who reaches the age of 60 kills him or herself as a means of ridding the younger generation of the need to care for the elderly.

The plot was that Counselor Troi's mother, Lwazana, who was on board the Enterprise, fell in love with a visiting scientist, Timicin, from Kaelon II. However, their love affair is doomed as Timicin is about to turn 60 and he's getting ready to return to his home planet to die. Lwaxana has difficulty comprehending such  custom and asked Picard to intervene. But as the Federation's Prime Directive does not allow the crew to judge or interfere in another's cultural norms and practices, Picard was reluctant to interfere.

Enraged and trying to convince Timicin of how wrong the custom is, at one point, Lwaxana states, "So, you get rid of the problem by getting rid of the people!"

The theme of eutanasia is oft brought up in Star Trek. The Vulcans, too, have a similar practice along with a few other alien cultures.

Other than the resemblance of the Prime Directive to our present day Moral Relativism ("That's just true for you but not for me."), the arguments to justify euthanasia advanced by the various alien cultures in Star Trek, too, resonates with the contentions of contemporary proponents of euthanasia. Many of them claim that those who are suffering from a terminal illness have the "right to die." Two problems arise from this reasoning: 1) how does one define "terminal illness" and where would one draw the line? Cancer? Depression? 2) If to die is a fundamental right, then shouldn't all of us have that right to die, too? Why just those who are terminally ill? This right should not be limited to those who are terminally ill. 

I believe that autonomy is not absolute – there are limits to autonomous decisions we make; our autonomy ends where there is tangible evidence of harm to others. This line of rationalization also opens the door to the inflicting of harm where right-to-die can easily slip into duty-to-die just like the people of Kaelon II.

Interesting times we are living in...