Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Oscar prediction - before

I am going to go out on a limb and set me up for my biggest debacle ever. Note - The Dark Knight is yet to be released, Christopher Nolan isn't a dependable, moolah -raking, mainstream director, and it's afterall a superhero film franchise we are talking about. And I haven't seen the movie.

So, here is my ultimate prediction

Heath Ledger will win the Oscar for the Best Actor in Supporting Role for The Dark Knight

Jane McGrath - another breast cancer victim

Touching photos of Jane McGrath's funeral.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Hindustan Times - chronologically challenged

Hindustan Times does have good website, but sometimes it does a google news on you.
Here is a glorious example.

Here is the page it links to.

Black in this 2008 ? Cmon, even if Amitabh Bachchan has a lot of stake in IIFA, he won't let Black hog all the limelight this year.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Indian blood donor in the UK

The blood group was persistent. No let me begin again. The National Blood Service, which takes care of organizing for blood donations and providing it to hospitals, was persistent. They sent me letters, one every month. The last one was really really disapproving. This is how it sounded to me like
'In spite of sending you repeated reminders, you still have not donated blood. Tsk, tsk. That you are busy doesn't mean you are allowed to let so many people die. Get your bloody arse out of that chair and go donate'.

Now I have been a prima donor, having attended and donated a number of times (atleast 5). So I called up the blood service booking an appointment. Well, they make me fill all my personal details (2 pages of them). And... they find that I am an Indian. Oh my God! Everyone run! Houston we have a problem. A person from a malaria prone country is giving blood. Some twisted bio warfare assault on the malaria virus -mune people of Great Britian. Get lost, you filthy Indian, you can't donate blood. Come back after 6 months, if you want to. An Indian cannot donate blood within 6 months of coming from India.

Let me calm my nerves here for a while. Lets go by stats. There were 890 malaria deaths in India in 2006 . Based on the population of India, that's 0.00009%. 890 in terms of human loss is hardly disregardable, but does that mean, we treat every Indian as a malaria carrier? That risk is so low as to be insignificant. Not accepting blood based on some trivial, unsubstantiated risk, is actually doing great disservice to those in UK who are desperately in need of blood.

Is there a way to mitigate the risk? There definitely is. Allow for a blood donation and then test it for malaria. If it is infected, discard it. The cost of taking and storing the blood is far far less than the use that it can put to, in case it is clean.

Am I going to donate after 6 months? Who knows. I think the NBS lost a great chance for some free blood. Esp, considering that it is in dire need for blood from ethnic minorities. Now, here's a stat.

Only 3% of the UK donors are ethnic minorities. Know why?