Word of the Week #192:

Lamina

Are some people better than others?

“He/she could do so much better…”
“How on Earth did he/she land someone like that!”
“He/she is just not good enough for you…”

How often have we heard these words? How often have we said them ourselves?

It is probably a natural thing to say, I suppose, considering:

  1. I’m at that age where scores of my acquaintances are getting engaged or married every passing week
  2. How pervasive arranged marriages are in my geographical vicinity
  3. I actually said all three of those over the past weekend

However, the question remains… Are some people better than others? 

If we really thought about it, we would conclude that humans are—obviously—too complex to be assigned a single, objective rating, right?

What if we considered something simpler? Something inanimate?

Can we rate different tools in terms of their utility? Are hammers better than crowbars? Pliers over screwdrivers?

The answer would probably depend on whom you ask when. Sure, power drills are useful—and objectively cool—but one would not really use them to fit a new sink, right?

I suppose the same could be true of humans, right? The person I want on my basketball team might not be the one I want on my publicity team. The person I want as a business partner might not be the one I want as a romantic partner.

And, in hindsight, if someone ever questioned my choice of mate, I might be tempted to bash their skull in with a crowbar. Just saying.

Word of the Week #151:

Aerodynamics

Imagine you are a child.

Done? Good.

Now, imagine your parents telling you the following things at the following ages.

At 8: Kid, stay away from aeroplanes.

At 12: Kid, stay away from aeroplanes. They are not safe.

At 15: Kid, you are staying away from aeroplanes, right? You better… It is for your own good.

At 18: Kid! I have told you a thousand times, stay away from aeroplanes! No talking about them, no looking at them, no thinking about them. Nothing. This is not how we raised you.

At 21: Kid, if you do not stay away from aeroplanes, I swear to God, I will shoot you both out of the sky!

At 25: Kid, you have been good all your life, and as a reward, I am getting you a plane! So what if you have never been in, or even around, a plane… So what if you have no idea how to fly it, how to land, how to maintain it, how to make sure you won’t kill yourself in a fiery crash within the next year… Oh, I’m just so happy! You know what we should do? We should celebrate this news with thousands of people we barely know and will never meet for many, many years!

Sounds ridiculous, right? Well, that is how marriage works in India.

No wonder it is such a bumpy ride.

Word of the Week #11:

Culture

Now, this is a word that gets thrown about a lot, in our conversations, and usually in random, irrational contexts.

And no, I’m not talking about the weird stuff biologists grow in their petri dishes, although that is actually a sensible activity… Continue reading Word of the Week #11: