A bewildered star gazer thrusting from distortion to discovery.

How human self-centeredness has distorted the reality of a nuclear catastrophe

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Credit: Pixabay

For the better part of the last few decades, we have lived under the threat of nuclear annihilation. For those who grew up in the Cold War era, this threat is even more real. The moment we think of nuclear extinction, dark images begin to swell up. Images of mushroom clouds ripping through a crumbling planet reduced to a smoldering sphere of lifelessness. In fact, a survey finds that about 47% of millennials feel that such a nuclear World War would scourge out humanity in their lifetime. However, it turns out that a lot of these fears are unfounded, if not borderline ridiculous. Our deep-rooted anthropocentricity magnifies both the possibility and the magnitude of such a disaster in our heads. …


It turns out that we did see it coming after all

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Credit: Pexels

All around the world we are surrounded by pandemic-talk. Every morning we wake up to a gazillion shocking Covid-19 stats. From rates of transmission to the endless wait for the vaccine, the days seem to have been tied in an infinite loop. I have even begun repeating the same conversations with my family over and over. Really, the pandemic has convinced a lot of us that there’s nothing new under the sun. In one such pandemic-induced deja vu, began to wonder about how come a contagion simply swept the 21st century off their feet. Surely, we must have seen it coming. Didn’t the authors who are the dreamers of far-flung fantasies manage to predict this catastrophe? As it turns out, they did, and that too with a near-perfect estimate. Check out these books which had warned us of the disaster well in advance. …


Check out how seven archetypes make up our stories

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Source: Pexels

Millenia of civilization, chiseled into thousands of languages and countless myths. Such facts seem to exalt the creative genius of the human imagination. But it turns out that these seemingly infinite stories are not so unique after all. In 2004, Christopher Booker published an analytical thesis which claims that all storytelling stems from just seven archetypal stories. In spite of being awfully didactic, his work remains ground-breaking, with the search for the eighth plotline still in progress. Examining these plots reveals a common thread of imagination that connects humans across continents and cultures. …


A gruesome account from a disastrous year in history

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‘The Corpses of de Witt Brothers’ by Jan de Baen

The tragic hero of this grisly encounter is Johan de Witt who headed the Dutch government from 1653 till his eventful demise in 1672. Johan and his brother, Cornelis de Witt, were wound up by a pro-monarchist mob that tore them to pieces. In order to shame the deceased, parts of the cadavers were gorged and eaten by the frenzied crowd. The most intriguing part is that no arrests were made, and everyone involved in the bloodbath went scot-free.

This raises some obvious questions. Why did the Dutch choose to reign hell on their own elected leader? And as most politicians would like to know, what is the upper-limit on blunders a premier can pull off without turning into food? …


The damaging psychological effects of a problematic fairy-tale

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Source: Time Out

Imagine walking into your home after a tiring day at work. After hours of fending off the most obnoxious people, nothing is more revitalizing than catching up with the wonderful things your kids have been up to. I am sure that your horror will know no bounds if, during the day someone has force-fed your children the most ridiculous of ideas. Ideas such as beauty equals whiteness or girls need men to save them or that boys are welcome to kiss unconscious women. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. In the 21st century, Snow White and Seven Dwarves offers many problematic messages which are not the best psychological assortment for the children. …


Why it’s extremely insensitive to believe otherwise

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Source: Pexels

A few years ago, I had the pleasure of interacting with a Nigerian co-passenger on a long flight to London. Apart from sharing a common love for Bollywood, we also happened to share the same former colonial ‘masters.’ We chatted for hours about the systems of power in our respective post-colonial countries. During this discussion, I asked her how racism plays out in Africa, an ‘all-black’ continent. To this day, her answer remains the most ingenious thing someone has ever told me.

“You know that there are no black people in Africa,” she remarked in an absolutely calm manner. Initially, it sounded nonsensical to me. Of course, there are black people in Africa. There is a whole continent of black people in Africa. …


How an analysis of the market predicts the President-to-be.

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Source: Bloomberg

The internet is ablaze with predictions about the election. Most exit-polls feature concealed algorithms that make us doubt their credibility. Only if we had a giant, public database reflecting the collective pulse of the nation, a lot of jittery nerves could be calmed down. But guess what, there exists a vast ocean of unadulterated data in our plain sight — the stock market. Because people’s economic decisions are shaped by their expectations of the future, historically the market has an excellent track record in forecasting the next President. …


Here’s why nearly every Disney protagonist has deceased parents

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A still from The Lion King(1994)

As an avid Disney fan, I have experienced far too many tear-storms through poignant moments in Disney flicks. From Bambi’s infantile disillusionment to his mother’s death to Tarzan’s rage on losing his father all over again, not to mention, Cindrella’s silent crumbling from within — all these moments have been breaking our hearts for decades. Disney movies have been largely successful in enthralling their audience with unique stories. We see unusual cohorts of characters on the land, sea, and space featuring some of the most imaginative storytelling. However, it is hard to miss a predicament that seems to be shared by almost all Disney characters — orphancy. This begs the obvious question, why do Disney features rely on this perhaps overdone plot-device? …


Read more in no time

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Photo by mentatgt from Pexels

Okay, I know you are busy. Very busy. That’s probably the reason you might not even reach the end of this article. More importantly, it is the same reason why you have been putting off your reading goals for ages. Often times it’s worthwhile to pick up concise intellectual books in the interest of time. Such books feature power-packed content in a size that actually sticks inside your mind instead of leathery bricks sealing off your bookshelf. …


Believing in this fake-news can cost you your life

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Source: NBC News

Unfortunately, we are living in Post-Truth and the pandemic has been the biggest testament to that. The last nine months have been fraught with beserk misinformation often times sugar-coated with flimsy research. President Trump seems to have prized the cake for being the leading progenitor of medically incorrect pandemic literature. While it is virtually impossible to call out the fluff from the towering peaks of untruth, it is worthwhile to remind ourselves of the facts that pose serious medical risks for all. …

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