Kamakshi Verma

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8 Unapologetically Meta SF/F Novels

Speculative fiction has a storied and fantastic history, and while every book is in conversation with genre conventions to some extent, some speak a …

Google this! Hillary Clinton and the Syrian regime-change conspiracy

Syria was a people’s uprising against a wicked genocidal Russian-backed dictator and the West had nothing to do with the bloodshed which engulfed the …

The angry Jat: Why the community wants reservation

Travelling to villages in Jhajjar to find out why the socially and numerically dominant Jat community wants to be counted among the backwards. …

Post-Dieselgate, Volkswagen retools itself for faster ride | Reuters

BERLIN (Reuters) - The biggest engineering feat on display when Volkswagen unveils its new concept car on Tuesday will be the team developing it: a post-Dieselgate management system crafted to operate faster, cheaper and with a lighter grip on the wheel.<p>Herbert Diess, chairman of Volkswagen …

A lake that hides a 500-year-old secret

Laguna de los Condores is one of the country’s most important Inca sites – but only 150 people trek to this remote spot each year.<p>High in the remote northwestern Andes is a stunning mountain lake that’s held a secret for more than 500 years.<p>Laguna de los Condores, located in northern Peru’s remote …

South America

The Debate over Freedom of Expression

Freedom of expression was a polarizing subject in 2015, sparking media stories and public debate all over the world, with some parties arguing for a …

Israel doesn’t trust NGOs that get money from U.S. and Europe. Here’s why.

JERUSALEM -- Ayelet Shaked is Israel’s justice minister and the sponsor of a contentious bill that would require nongovernmental organizations that receive a majority of their funding from “foreign government entities,” including U.S. aid, to be labeled as such. It may also obligate members of …

Iraq Needs $1.56 Billion for ISIS-Driven Humanitarian Crisis

BAGHDAD — Iraq needs $1.56 billion this year to finance its emergency response to the humanitarian crisis caused by the war against ISIS, according to a government report released on Sunday.<p>Baghdad, strapped for cash amid a plunge in oil prices and higher military expenditure associated with the …

Middle East

Being an Immigrant Is Now Even Harder

An immigrant’s life in a new country is not easy. It’s like learning to live all over again. But lately the Syrian refugee crisis has made the path …

Google Search

Stunning Bent Wire Sculptures Feature Delicate Figures Emerging from Flowers

The work of self-taught artist Gavin Worth reveals a tender beauty in its simple lines of bent wire. We have previously featured some of Worth's amazing sculptures, and he just continues to impress us with pieces that are both stunning and conceptually moving. His newest collection, titled <i>Flora</i>, …

'State-of-the-art' subterfuge: how Iran kept flying under sanctions | News Home | Reuters

TEHRAN (Reuters) - In December 2012, aircraft trader James Kim received a letter from a company based in Cyprus offering to buy four jetliners. It was brief and to the point.<p>An Iranian flag flutters in front of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) headquarters in Vienna, Austria, January …

Electric concrete could make snow-shoveling a thing of the past

As much as 42 inches of snow covered the ground last week after a historic blizzard slammed the East Coast.<p>Days later, cities are still working to clear roadways and sidewalks.<p>Chris Tuan, a civil engineer at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, thinks there's a better way to manage this huge …

Russia Is Exploiting Syria's Kurds And U.S. Frustrations To Complicate The Fight Against ISIS

Existing U.S. alliances and other priorities make it hard for the Obama administration to respond.<p>WASHINGTON -- As Syria peace talks begin in Geneva, America's key partners on the ground feel neglected, excluded and increasingly receptive to a man who says the U.S has the war-torn country all wrong …

The Beauty Parlors of Bangladesh

Dhaka, Bangladesh — EVERY winter, I return here to my hometown, and every year, I feel a little shabbier. This time, when I was meeting a few old school friends at a neighborhood cafe, I finally understood why: the blow-dry. Everyone else had one. Everyone else had gone to the beauty parlor, and I …

10 Powerful Life Lessons from The Alchemist

Image Credit: continuousreader.blogspot.com.au<p><i>The Alchemist</i> by Paulo Coelho is one of the best-selling books in history, with over 65 million copies in 56 different languages. The story of Santiago, the shepherd boy on a journey to realize his "Personal Legend" has inspired people all over the …

10 Delightful Books To Curl Up With This Winter

Some of our favorite end-of-year nonfiction.<p>Even though Oxford Dictionaries crowned an emoji as its word of the year for 2015, and Instagram, that picture postcard app that requires so few words, continues to climb as other social media outlets level off, we haven’t abandoned the written word.<p>There …

'Downton Abbey' promises love and loss, happiness and heartbreak in series finale

<b>Note: This post contains information about Downton Abbey, which is airing its final season in the UK. American viewers can watch the final season</b> …

TV

4 Important Personal Habits for a More Productive Life

Let's be real: productivity is difficult. You get motivated, you set goals, you put systems and routines in place... but reality doesn't seem to …

What Makes a Buddhist a Buddhist?

photo credit: Steven Schwartzberg<p>Here's an old Jewish joke:<p>Stan has been shipwrecked on a desert island for decades. One day he is rescued. Before leaving the island, he shows the rescuer how he spent his years alone: Building a main street with several huts, each with a different purpose.<p>"This hut …

It’s Paul Krugman vs. Noam Chomsky: This is the history we need to understand Paris, ISIS

<b>(Reuters/Brendan McDermid/AP/Nader Daoud)</b><p>Krugman mocks idea that US imperialism’s at root of all evil. But scars of our meddling are key to the Middle East<p>Patrick L. Smith<p>November 18, 2015 12:00am (UTC)<p>Two remarks a few days apart lead straight to the question posed in this space after last …

11 Beautiful Italian Words And Phrases That Just Don't Translate

Image: IakovKalinin<p>Italy is indisputably a land of beautiful things: beautiful landscapes, cities, cuisine, fashion and people. It’s also home to a beautiful language -- a language after our own heart that celebrates adventure, the art of treating yourself and, of course, mind-blowingly delicious …

The Four-Dimensional Human by Laurence Scott, review: 'scattershot'

Laurence Scott, shortlisted for the 2015 Samuel Johnson Prize and winner of the Jerwood Prize, sees the archetypal image for our world in the final frame of The Social Network, with Mark Zuckerberg withdrawn and alone in the world of his invention, Facebook, repeatedly stabbing “refresh” but unsure …

Dark tourism: The gruesome histories that attract tourists from around the world

White sand beaches and the happiest place on Earth aren't the only popular destinations with tourists.<p>Each year, millions of people travel to places …

Oak Cliff

Turkey returns to single-party rule after surprise election sweep

Ankara (AFP) - Turks woke Monday to a country once again under single-party rule, after the Justice and Development Party regained its parliamentary majority in a surprise election sweep that strengthens the hand of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.<p>The AKP party founded by the divisive strongman, who …

7 memory skills that will make you smarter

Take it from Peter Brown, Henry Roediger, and Mark McDaniel, authors of "Make It Stick: The Science Of Successful Learning."<p>"We need to keep learning and remembering all our lives," they write. "Getting ahead at work takes mastery of job skills and difficult colleagues. ... If you're good at …

Everything you think you know about happiness is wrong

For many of us, happiness is the ultimate goal in life, worth pursuing above all else. If you’d asked me a few months ago, I would have agreed. But recently, I’ve been thinking about the kinds of mistakes we make when pursuing happiness. I’ve been wondering whether the biggest mistake might be …

Happiness

Pyramids of Giza: Technology may unlock secrets of Egypt’s Wonder of the Ancient World

Egypt is hoping to uncover the secrets of the only remaining Wonder of the Ancient World – and save its struggling tourism industry in the …

Archaeology

10 Rules to Live By for Those Who Want to Live a Positive Life

<b>1. Be comfortable in your own skin.</b><p>The first step to becoming happy is to feel comfortable in your own skin. Everyone was born with a flaw. No one is perfect. Accept yourself with what you're born with whether it be your background, your skin, your nose, your eyes, your hair, your freckles, your …