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Gender: Do not display
Hometown: Southwestern PA
Home country: USA
Current location: Washington, DC
Member since: Mon Nov 10, 2003, 07:36 PM
Number of posts: 43,677

About Me

If an H-1b has an American accent, they are probably not an H-1b. It's race, not citizenship. Americans are more diverse than you think. Millions of US citizens don't look the way you might expect. This fact is very important and will help us win elections.

Journal Archives

The Truth Behind Indian American Exceptionalism


Many of us are unaware of the special circumstances that eased our entry into American life—and of the bonds we share with other nonwhite groups.

In 1978, several years after leaving India and coming to Texas, my parents decided to move out of our middle-class neighborhood in southwest Houston. Our new home, a few miles away, was a custom-designed contemporary structure on a one-acre lot in the exclusive Piney Point Village, population 3,419, a community that vies for the title of “richest city in Texas.” We had a swimming pool and a three-car garage, where my dad, an immaculately tailored allergist, parked his silver Cadillac and my mom parked her ivory Mercedes. We had, quite clearly, arrived.

Like countless other immigrants, my parents had come to the United States, in 1969, with little cash in hand. Within a few years, my devout Hindu mother, orphaned at an early age, had switched from a sari to tennis skirts and was competing at Houston’s swankiest clubs. My father, who hadn’t owned a pair of shoes until he was 10, was buying season tickets to the Houston Symphony, where he promptly fell asleep during every performance.

Our world was filled with Indian doctors and engineers. We never stopped to ask why their entrance into American society had been so rapid. We simply accepted that their success was a combination of immigrant pluck and the right values: Indians were family-oriented, education-oriented, and work-oriented.

There was a term for our place in the country’s racial order: model minority. The concept is generally traced to a 1966 article in The New York Times Magazine by the sociologist William Petersen, which focused on Japanese Americans; the basic idea was extended to other Asian Americans. Of course, the notion of “model minorities” comes with a flip side—“problem minorities.” The terminology took on life at a time of intense social unrest: race riots across the country, the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., the emergence of Richard Nixon’s racially charged “southern strategy.” Many Americans were losing what faith they may have had in the possibility of racial equality.

Washington Gas fined $750,000 in case connected to deadly 2016 explosion


Washington Gas has been ordered to pay a $750,000 fine for failing to notify officials it had not replaced mercury gas regulators such as the one blamed in a deadly 2016 explosion in Silver Spring, Md. The utility pledged more than a decade ago to replace all of its indoor mercury gas regulators, but never did.

In proceedings before the Maryland Public Service Commission, the utility said it decided to focus on addressing a surge of natural gas leaks instead. Washington Gas argued that its pledge to replace the regulators was a “plan” rather than a “commitment.”

The commission disagreed and found that Washington Gas should “at a minimum” have notified the commission that it was not honoring its commitment, said the order issued Friday.

“At no time did [Washington Gas] inform the Commission that it was addressing these leaks at the expense of its commitment” to replace the regulators, the order said.

The fine was based on the number of days over many years that the utility failed to file required annual reports on the replacement effort. The order also accepted a plan by the utility to replace its indoor mercury regulators within about six years.

This was a pretty scary story when it happened. I have gas heat/stove but I'm sure a few folks moved to apartments with electric after this.

Giant Wooden Xylophone in Japanese Forest Plays the Notes of Bach's Cantata 147


Imagine walking through the woods and then suddenly hearing the calming melodies of Bach playing in the distance. That’s exactly the type of magical scenario that creative director Morihiro Harano and his team at Mori Inc. created in 2012. The company collaborated with carpenter Mitsuo Tsuda and sound engineer Kenjiro Matsuo to create a giant xylophone in a forest that plays a special wooden symphony.

Elevated above the forest floor, the huge xylophone was installed in the woods of Kyushu, Japan. It comprises hundreds of different-sized pieces of wood, each of which plays a different note when struck. In a video showcasing the instrument, a wooden ball is placed at the start of the xylophone, which descends at a slight angle. As the ball rolls freely down, it hits each wooden panel and plays the notes of Bach’s Cantata 147, Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring.

The beautiful sounds are entirely authentic and unaltered. What you hear is simply the raw recording of the wooden instrument and the surrounding natural environment. The mesmerizing video was created for Japanese telecommunication company Docomo as a commercial for its Touch Wood SH-08C handset—a wood-encased phone. It’s not only a great ad, but it also showcases the creative team’s incredible talent for engineering.

Check out the video below, plus a behind-the-scenes look at how NTTDocomo: Xylophone was made.

Thought this was pretty cool.

Inside the wild world of PPE sales

Republican efficiency can kill you
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