All posts by Kaneez

Tongue Cleaning

Hygiene is one of the key things to prevent health issues and diseases. We see mandatory “wash your hands” signs for restaurant workers in restrooms and hear a lot about cleaning your hands thoroughly for food handling etc. In the mouth hygiene area, I have not seen the same passion to keep one’s tongue clean. Have you ever thought of that?

I have heard of folks suggesting cleaning your tongue at the time of brushing teeth with the same toothbrush by brushing your tongue. That is gross and ineffective! People from India, at least a large section of the populace, use what is called a tongue cleaner. The tongue cleaner is generally tied to the toothbrush with a string or a clip at the ends so that you won’t miss the tongue cleaner when you pick up the brush to clean your teeth. Following teeth brushing you clean your tongue with the tongue cleaner – as simple as that.

Here is how a typical, effective and cheap tongue cleaner looks:

I am sure retailers, both online and brick and mortar, sell tongue cleaners but to get something like the one shown here, get one from an Indian grocery store or directly from India.

When you see on TV where folks with rather large, open mouths talking, you probably notice their tongues that show a whitish layer. That means their tongues are not clean i.e., unhygienic. Why not the passion for white teeth (hopefully, clean teeth) also include an advocacy for a clean tongue?

Lambasting Washington is an Insult to Washington and the Nation’s Polity

Every time a politician criticizes the state of affairs and how they would make it better, particularly at the national level (US national level, that is), all they do is lambaste Washington. They say, “Everything is wrong with Washington” or “Washington is corrupt” or “Washington is bankrupt in terms of fresh ideas”. Very well! What does it say of the politician who says such things on Washington, especially that they are seeking to be in Washington either as Congress Person or Senator or for that matter, even President? It says that they don’t have respect to the very institutions they are seeking to be part of.

But on a larger note, Washington is the father of the nation, for God’s sake! Give him some respect. Every time one invokes Washington as the center of power that is all things bad, one is not only bad mouthing the nation’s capital but also disparaging the first president of the United States. The irony is that such badmouthing is done even by folks who have cushily settled in Washington, run its business and are part and parcel of its life.

Modern Medical Breakthroughs and Ancient Wisdom

Through the decades, we have been seeing medical breakthroughs unlike any that humans experienced. Eradication of deceases is indeed a beneficial outcome of such breakthroughs. But I wonder if we are playing a cat and mouse game with these medical breakthroughs against the medical challenges. Of course, we must. Otherwise, we will be overwhelmed by the medical challenges that we cannot address. However, even as we advance in the medical field in terms of eradication, prevention and cure of medical sickness (I am using this as a broad term to denote illnesses, deceases etc.) we can never completely conquer unless we broaden the scope of our medical advancement to include a preventive element.

There is no doubt that preventive measures are advocated but how much they are really practiced is a question we must take a hard look at. The lack of such practices actually leads to medical sickness. For example, if you don’t wash your hands, you contaminate and spread bacteria which can cause illness. Or as another example, if you are not physically active, you may develop medically oriented bodily problems.

In addition to the preventive measures, we must also consider ancient wisdom drawn from, say the Indian Subcontinent, regarding food ingredients that are shown to have properties that are both preventive and curative from a health point of view. If you consider ginger, widely used in India, there is no dearth of benefits it bestows on its consumers (I mean literally). Another example of the Indian Subcontinent’s present to the world is yoga that can simply transform, say a generation of folks into a healthy lot, should they practice it. Prior to 20th century (AD) probably America knew nothing about Yoga. Now it is a different story.

The simple opinion I am trying to profess here is that the modern medical field with its superb technological advancements must synchronize with ancient wisdom on food and healthy lifestyle to strengthen the health of a populace. I just gave a few examples from the Indian Subcontinent but there, I am certain, are many examples from the world over. Thanks for reading!

Government Job Seeking Republican, You Are For Less Government, Really?

I hear conservatives talk about less government. From a conservative values point of view, it makes sense. The smaller the government with an ensuing limited bureaucracy, the greater the independence of people under the government. The missing element in all this is that the government is of the people, by the people and for the people. In other words, the government is people. So why not have more power to the people with an expanded government. Agreed, it doesn’t always work that way. Government bureaucrats and politicians (I mean politicians who are in the government, say a conservative federal senator) can work toward wielding enormous power and indirectly subdue the independence of the people. At least until they seize to be a government person.

My problem with these less government advocates is that why they seek governmental positions such as a senator or a congress person or even president? Doesn’t joining as one goes contrary to their advocacy of less government? What do you think?

The Importance of Literacy

All the literates certainly know that literacy is a very important aspect of human life. It denotes a certain basic level of knowledge with potential for acquiring more knowledge for the general benefit to human kind. It does not mean that someone who is illiterate is not knowledgeable. Often times, the so called illiterates tend to have more practical knowledge than their literate counterparts in certain areas of human endeavor.

Worldwide there has been progress in the literacy rates. Take the example of India which had negligible literacy rate at the time of British withdrawal of their illegal occupation of the Indian sub-continent in the late 1940s. The Indian literacy rate is now deemed to be around 75% although a recent report published in Times of India emphasizes that despite the increase in the rate, there are far more illiterates than literates when compared to the decade of 2000 to the current year. Of course, one must look at this discrepancy from the stand point of India’s enormous population which is touted to overtake that of China’s not far from now.

It is a shame that countries that have enormous resources and a very knowledgeable education base cannot bring up the literacy rates to near 100%. The state of Kerala in India has achieved that. Why not the rest of the country and other countries as well?

A factor that for centuries thwarted the growth of literacy among certain countries’ populace is simply this. Child labor either through family “enterprise” or other small businesses. It is good to see that is changing with the introduction of strong child labor laws but there is a long way to go.

A CBS News Report on Wounded Warrior Project

Watched a report on CBS News yesterday that highlighted the excess spending by the Wounded Warrior Project. The gist I got from the report is this: The Wounded Warrior Project which is a charity for wounded veterans was wasting a lot of the donation money for meetings at luxury hotels etc. An Iraq veteran clearly criticized the charity while another, who is a spokesperson, defended it. However, the latter could not answer a simple question by a reporter on why so much spending happened.

I also watched a report by Sharyl Attkisson in the ABC channel about the “uncharitably” huge salaries that the CEOs of charitable foundations take home. It’s high time that the authorities who regulate the criteria for non-profit status given to these charitable entities take a serious look at them and either force them to change their mode of operations or close them down. I have given some money (not much) to the KIND fund and I have complete confidence in their ability to provide their target folks what they said they would do with the funds that they get. But it looks like not all can be trust worthy, for example, the Wounded Warrior Project if what is reported in the news is proven to be true.

Mammoth Finding at Reser Stadium in OSU

Just in news yesterday that construction workers at the Oregon State University (OSU) sports stadium, called Reser, found mammoth bones believed to be at least 10,000 years old. They also found bones belonging to other extinct animals. That is great! However, I am wondering how come these were not discovered when they were originally building the stadium. How could they have missed then?

Of course, the construction workers are not experts in archaeological or anthropological findings. They could have easily missed then or never dug at the place that was dug now. I have been visiting OSU for the past 4 years for my kids. Seen a lot of construction with some new buildings popping up.

Regarding the Reser stadium construction work (it is actually an extension of an existing stadium), I would have thought, “come on, do you really need all that construction to extend an already existing and great looking stadium?”. But now I think that was worth it given the mammoth discovery. Hope some good research would go into this at OSU.