Friday, April 11

Gerard Depardieu flees France over taxes


An interesting comparison between France Latvia and Greece. On the reactions to austerity. One more thing. It's easier to give than to take away. Specially other peoples money. Sooner or later you will run out of other people's money. Debt is borrowing from your children. 

My mind boggles at who would be stupid enough to do so but as you can see, there are tons of such people and nations. 

Stay away from debt son. Not good. 



NGerard Depardieu flees France over taxes: A country’s reaction to higher taxes, austerityon , or budget cuts depends on its culture, history, and national mood. - Slate Magazine

159128585Au revoir, Gerard Depardieu

Photograph by Savo Prelevic/AFP/Getty Images.

PARIS—For a brief moment before Christmas, self-doubt gripped France. The beloved French actor Gerard Depardieu—who recently played Obelix, an even more beloved French comic book character—announced he was moving to Belgium because President Francois Hollande had threatened to tax millionaires at 75 percent of their income. The nation plunged into depression. Opponents of the wealth tax geared up to attack the president. Pictures of Depardieu in his new “home” in Nechin, a Belgian town just across the French border, appeared in Paris-Match alongside an article titled “France, which is a haven for rich Qataris, is a hell for its own inhabitants.”

Thursday, April 10

Wednesday, April 9

Up yours

Very Interesting Photos. Part 24 (35 pics)

the Taliban cut off his finger for voting the first time around. So he voted again…Welcome to Afghanistan

Irony And Humor In The Semantically Subversive Byzantine Empire

You were tiny when we went to turkey son. So I'm not sure you even recall any of that trip. 

Constantinople or Istanbul as it's called now, is a fascinating city. The stones of the city echo with the sheer weight of history. It's always been torn between the east and west. And Byzantine to boot. The word itself means complex. And that's the amazing part of this empire. Not many people know about it. Unlike other empires. Bit of a mistake there. But still. Another of those places where you should go to son. It's a fascinating synergy of Christian Eastern Islamic Islamic Western thought. Total exhilarating mess. We've got several books on this so you can read up on it if you wish. 



Irony And Humor In The Semantically Subversive Byzantine Empire

The Byzantine Empire arose after the death of the Roman Emperor Constantine. To make the empire more manageable, it was split into eastern and western halves, with Rome as the seat of the west and Constantinople as the capitol of the east. Unlike Rome of the time, the Byzantine Empire coupled military might and the religious authority of the Church.

When the Roman Empire collapsed and led Europe into the Dark Ages, the Byzantine Empire continued on and it continued to modernize. You don’t last for a thousand years, including holding off Muslim invaders for much of that time, without doing some things right. They finally collapsed in 1453, when Constantinople was captured by Turks. It is known as Istanbul today.

But much of the literature and works of art that hadn’t already been captured (including by Christian crusaders in 1204) or purchased made their way into Western Europe at the time, including a substantial literary heritage. We can thank artwork and artisans from the Byzantine Empire for a large part of the European Renaissance that happened in the following generations but the literature gets far less attention.

Tuesday, April 8

Nobody’s Son

We haven't spoken much about death son. It's a funny old thing. As a scientist, you know entropy will happen. Decay is part of life and death&taxes are inevitable. 

This is a very loving and moving story about a 55 year old man coming to terms with his fathers death. 

I think the first time death touched me sort of personally was when my grandmother died. I still remember baba getting the call in the morning and him weeping on the phone. And then we left for Jabalpur. But it didn't touch me that personally. I mean I didn't feel grief son. She was too remote to me. 

But when my uncle, babaji's elder brother died, and we were taking his body to the medical school where he had donated his body, I remember sitting in the back of the van and weeping. I missed that old man. And that was because of regrets. That's why you cry son, when somebody dies. Because you regret all the things you never did or said to the departed soul. 

Babaji then went through 2 open heart surgeries and then the Bhopal gas tragedy burnt out any feeling of fear for death. But I vowed that I will never feel regret for anybody's passing son. The way to avoid regret is to do and say all what you want this life so that when the person dies you do not weep but are happy because the person lived long and prospered and was happy. No regrets son. 

I'm proud of what you have done up till now and what you have become son. If something happens to be today I will be happy and at peace because you have become a man and I know you will take care of the family son. And we have done much with each other. Laughed scolded cooked swum played and joked. But that's from my perspective son. 

That's why we are going to India next month. To celebrate babaji's 80th birthday. To make him happy and cuddly. Have his family with him. He is so proud to hear that you got through in Oxford in ppe. His heart is near bursting with pride like mine. You have exceeded both of us and that's what we want kannu. But to go back and help babaji know the love and talk to him and listen and hug and kiss and and and.  To ensure we never feel regret. 

To close it off son, never have any regrets. Laugh and smile. 



Nobody's Son

January 7, 2014

Posted by Mark Slouka



I lost my father this past year, and the word feels right because I keep looking for him. As if he were misplaced. As if he could just turn up, like a sock or a set of keys.

It’s not unusual. In fact, nothing about his death, or my grief, is unusual; there’s no news here—nothing remotely tragic. I know what tragic is: eight days before my father died, a skinny young man walked into an elementary school fifteen minutes from where I live and killed twenty children, something so outrageous that the laws of physics should have stuttered in sympathy, the thrown rock cleared the horizon, the bouncing ball kept bouncing forever.

My father’s death was not in that universe of things. Really, nothing happened. An old man who seventy years ago had held the national Czech junior record in the eight-hundred-metre run walked out of a restaurant in Prague that he went to every day, started making his way up the sidewalk with the cane that I had bought him, complained of feeling weak, sat down on the stoop of 74 Vinohradska street, and died. He was not a person of interest; he’d pass through the mesh of the New York Times Obituary section like dust. He’d lived a long, heartbreaking, and extraordinary life, lived it, on the whole, more decently than most, and when he came to the end of it, he died. It doesn’t get more ordinary than that—the dying part, at least.

Except that he was my father. And grief, like love, is resistant to reason. It was him and me. And now it ain’t.

I have other loves in my life that are greater. It helps. And it doesn’t.

I can’t look at his picture yet. Not yet. I will.

Monday, April 7

Of Religion and Redemption: Evidence from Default on Islamic Loans

I think I am getting religion. Fascinating study

We compare default rates on conventional and Islamic loans using a comprehensive monthly dataset from Pakistan that follows more than 150,000 loans over the period 2006:04 to 2008:12. We find robust evidence that the default rate on Islamic loans is less than half the default rate on conventional loans. Islamic loans are less likely to default during Ramadan and in big cities if the share of votes to religious-political parties increases, suggesting that religion – either through individual piousness or network effects – may play a role in determining loan default.

Looks like a great idea to me, I wonder why banks aren't cottoning on to this fact :) :P