7 December 2014

From the bartender’s corner – Palm Breeze

There is a story behind this drink. Remember the front desk lady, Margaret, in our Lexington office who I had walked up to sheepishly and requested that the reserved parking sign for the CEO be taken down? (http://www.rajibroy.com/?p=5826) Well, last week when I was in Lexington, she came up to me and gave me – what looked like a gift magazine with the picture of a model showing off nice clothes, watches etc. In my mind, I was going “I don’t think Sharmila needs any more ideas” 🙂

In any case, she flipped to a page that she had put a post-it note on as a marker and it had a couple of cocktail recipes. As I read that page, I realized that there is an organization called “The Bourbon Woman Organization” (www.bourbonwomen.org). They host an annual bourbon cocktail contest called “Not your Pink Drink” and there are two awards – one for the best original cocktail by a professional and one similarly for an amateur.

Last year (2013) Marla Zimmerman from Louisville, KY was the Amateur Winner for this drink. I promised Margaret that, for her thoughtfulness, I will make both those cocktails in the next couple of weeks.

Christened Palm Breeze, it has Four Roses Single Barrel Bourbon, Peychaud’s bitters, Splenda, orange slice, grapefruit slice, lemon slice and club soda.


7 December 2014

“Social Evaluation by Pre-Verbal Infants”

[This is a little more serious and thought provoking than my usual blogposts]

I was blown away by a research experiment done by Kiley Hamlin, Karen Wynn, and Paul Bloom from Yale University and published in Nature magazine in Nov 2007. The design of the experiment is very interesting. The results, extremely thought provoking.

They took 56 kids – 24 of them six month olds and 32 of them ten month olds – and divided them into two equal sets and then did the following:

For one set, they showed two sequence of movements involved blocks of three shapes – circle, triangle and square – but each shape made to look lively with googly eyes. In one sequence the googly eyed circle was trying to go up a hill structure without success. A googly eyed triangle came along and pushed it gently up to the top. In a second sequence, the same thing happened except instead of a triangle, a googly eyed square came from the top and pushed the circle down against what the direction fo the movement that the circle was trying to go.

For a second set of kids, they did the same thing except the shapes had no google eyes and therefore did not look lively. They looked like what they were – inanimate objects.

The infants watched this till they got bored as exhibited by they not paying any more attention to keep watching the sequence. Now, the experimenters presented the infants with a tray carrying similar square and triangle blocks (no circles) as they just saw in the sequence. (Googly eyed objects for the ones who saw the googly eyed sequence and vice versa).

In set A, ALL the six month olds reached out for the helpful toy. ALL but two of the ten month olds reached out for the helpful toy too.

In set B, there was no statistical difference on which inanimate object the kids picked up!

These were kids who could not talk or get up and walk!!! Yet they showed a distinct preference – and it was a social preference. They liked helping – not pushing up. They disliked hindering – not pushing down.

The ramification of this experiment is realizing that we are all born being judgmental!! Passing judgment is not necessarily something that is formed later because we learn logic and language. A lot of tribalism that drives our taking sides – e.g. in Democrat versus Republican, Israel versus Palestine etc comes from a sense of morality that is inborn in us over generations of evolutions. [This, however, does not mean that people cannot change positions over time, as further research has shown]

6 December 2014

TV or not TV, that is the question!!

You probably remember my inlaws’ trip to Atlanta and some of the hilarious stories. Here is one more from today…

The backdrop of this story is that for quite some time, my MIL had been complaining to my FIL that she needed a new TV. I thought that was totally justified since their current TV, as I recollected, was a very old one – one of those old CRT based, really fat, at best 19 inch – if not smaller, TV. In Atlanta too, she was telling him that she wanted a new TV since the old one was not working much any more. I even put in some ideas to my FIL that he should look at flat screen, thin TVs and all that. I educated him on Plasma TVs, LED TVs and such. He did not seem to be much interested in that idea at all.
This morning, I overheard Sharmila talking to her mom and you could hear over the phone that there was a palpable excitement in my MIL’s voice about the clarity of the TV screen. Sharmila was seemingly laughing aloud too. I figured my FIL finally caved in and got a new TV. The geek that I am, my basic curiosity was of course, to find out whether she got a Plasma or some other modern technology TV. As soon as Sharmila was done with the call, I asked her “What did she get?”
Sharmila replied nonchalantly,  “She got her cataract removed yesterday”!!!!
My father in law is a very wise man! 🙂
5 December 2014

Awesome Dad!

I love kids and I love taking pictures. Unfortunately, my skills in managing kids and the camera are terribly negatively correlated to my passion for the same. Therefore, I was very impressed by this guy’s (Dave Engledow) website. He is certainly creating some memorable moments. I wish my daughters were back at that age so that I could copy some of his ideas shamelessly and keep my own mementos. The one with both of them on the toilet is my favorite!!! (have attached a small version of the picture)

Check out: https://www.flickr.com/photos/engledow/sets/72157642506741613/