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Author Archives: Niraj

In Defense of MEMRI

Dr. Fakhruddin Ahmed has escaped from the insane asylum and somehow got hold of a computer, the results of which is utter nonsense. He attacks New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman for being an accomplice for MEMRI, a non-profit organization that translates news stories published in the Middle Eastern press: In your July 22 piece, you accuse the Imam of ... Read More »

World Most Expensive Cties

Here’s a list of the Top 25 World’s Most Expensive Cities. No real surprise except for entry no. 22, Douala, Cameroon. I didn’t think any African city would place on the list, except may be for Johannesburg, South Africa. The Top 10: 1. Tokyo, Japan 2. Osaka, Japan 3. London, Britain 4. Moscow, Russia 5. Seoul, South Korea 6. Geneva, ... Read More »

Ancient Classics Discovered

Our knowledge of Greek and Roman literature is going to expand substantially with the recent discovery of lost classics by such giants as Sophocles and Euripides. It’s a virtual treasure trove of new material: Now, in a breakthrough described as the classical equivalent of finding the holy grail, Oxford University scientists have employed infra-red technology to open up the hoard, ... Read More »


Interesting news on the literary front. It seems an unpublished novel by French author Alexandre Dumas was discovered in the French National Library. Dumas is one of my favorite writers in classical literature; both his books, The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo, are not only literary masterpieces, but great beach reads. I can’t wait to get a ... Read More »

John Bolton as U.N. Ambassador

John Bolton is definitely a polarizing character. He’s a tough-talking diplomat; a real bull in the china shop sort–perfect for the role of U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. Yet critics are aghast at the choice. They claim Mr. Bolton wants to destroy the U.N. This is true, nothing would please Mr. Bolton (and many others, I might add) more ... Read More »

A & E and The Sopranos

I can’t believe A & E is going to pay a king’s ransom– $2.5 million per episode– to broadcast The Sopranos. I think David Chase, the series creator, producer and writer, is making a mistake by selling the show to A & E, who will cheat the viewers out of watching one of the finer dramas on the small screen. ... Read More »

Ahmet Ertegun Interview

Over at Slate, there’s a nice interview with the legendary Ahmet Ertegun, founder of Atlantic Records, who discovered and produced many of the best-known pop acts in music history, including such luminaries as: Ray Charles, Bobby Darin, Aretha Franklin, the Rolling Stones, Otis Redding—who called him “Omelette”—Bette Midler, Wilson Pickett, Percy Sledge, Booker T. and the MGs, Sam and Dave, ... Read More »

Fading Digital Memories

Is digital technology forever? Not if you’re trying to store your precious memories they’re not. After reading this New York Times article, I didn’t realize how perishable data was; even when it’s stored on mediums that were advertised to survive a nuclear holocaust. Were we all sold a shoddy book of goods? Read More »