Thursday, October 23, 2014

Black & White Challenge

Got suckered into a 5 day black and white photography challenge by Vandana Rajagopalan, a photographer friend who introduced me to daily photos and Smugmug, where I maintain an online gallery.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

I am a webmaster!

Finally, the website that I created from scratch is now live. It is made with wordpress which is one of the best content management systems. I think, it does a rather good job in this new world of multimedia and social media. I tried to be a little different and did not just want a website which looks more like an archive or encyclopedia. It is a complex site and has all the bells and whistles. It still needs a lot of work. But, the good thing is that it will grow with time and changes can be made on the fly.

Monday, September 22, 2014

My New Blog-Rise against Depression

Started a separate blog to jot down my musings about depression.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Mindfullness Based Cognitive therapy

Depression affects a lot of people. They need not despair as there are lots of treatments out there which if given a chance will help them get through the ' black dog ' period. Black dog was the term used by Sir Winston Churchill to describe his depression and he often joked that the black dog had got him today.
Mindfullness or being aware or just being is the focusing of your mind on the here and now. Depression tends to warp your sense of time and you tend to focus more on the past turmoils or the uncertainty of the future. A simple way of being mindful is to take deep breaths and during inspirations counting from 0 to 10. Doing this about 8 minutes a day can help. Or you can just say, 'Ssssh!' and block out the riff raff of the thoughts that clutter yr mind.
Metacognitive therapy concentrates on the thought process per se and not on the thoughts. How you arrive at a thought ie the awareness of your thought process is supposed to makes a difference. In this school of thought, no judgements are made as regards the quality of yr thoughts.
On the other hand traditional cognitive therapy for treating depression deals more with the negative thoughts and judgements that you make and tries to change them or challenge them. You sort of talk back to your mind challenging your negative thoughts. Classically, a cognitive therapist would ask you about what is bothering you so as to bring your thoughts out for discussion. The next step is to find out how you feel having those thoughts. They try to break the thoughts down to identify the basic underlying disturbing thought and then dealing with correcting that.

A nice talk on Mindfullness based cognitive therapy is:

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

My experience at Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Had a great time in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Came close to the culture of the Middle East. A completely new environment of the desert. Hot and dry. A vibrant society of moderate Arabs who are very determined in preserving their culture. They hold Americans in high esteem. But, unlike Americans they are rigid in their outlook towards life. They are very disciplined and conscientious. They want the best of the world like all of us. They are like us but just different. A polite society, slightly formal and rewards merit and hard work. One of the best hospitals in the world are in Riyadh. The equipment is better than most US hospitals and what is astounding is that they are building better and larger facilities. Lots and lots of new construction. Good restaurants. Fantastic wide multi-lane roads. Large and modern malls. Vast open spaces.
Overall, a worthwhile trip and an experience of a lifetime!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Island Beach, NJ

The Island Beach state park is a beautiful place in summer. The beaches are pristine and serene. There is no commercialization of the place. What is really exciting is that I can drive my truck on the beach and park it on the sand, anchor a canopy or gazebo and relax under it on beach chairs. Many folks go fishing here and the beach is scattered with trucks and fishing rods.
The greenery is striking with many seaside plants and marshes around. There are trails for the adventurists. And the sunsets are absolutely fascinating on a clear day. There are many species of waterbirds here which migrate over here and there is an Osprey nest. Many seagull species, sandpipers, Cranes and Herons are found here besides the traditional NJ birds. Turtles are abundant during breeding season. An occasional seal may be seen. And there is a family of foxes for the brave to discover.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Tulip Tree Silkmoth, 5/23/14

This is the 2nd day, the Tulip Tree Silkmoth remains parked outside my front door. This time, I wanted a frontal view to capture all the designs on its wings. I blew on it and it opened up partially for me to take a shot. I also used this opportunity to gauge the macro mode of my point & shoot new Panasonic Lumix DMC FX70K camera. Took this shot from less than 10" from the moth with the in-camera flash.