Times New Roman is not as bad as you think it is

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I have, of late, grown a fondness towards Times New Roman. Perhaps it is the bibliophile in me — although a lot of imprints these days too are letting go of the Times family for preppier alternatives like Garamond and Palatino.

Contrary to popular belief, Times New Roman is not a classical typeface like, say, the very Swiss, very classic Helvetica — another personal favorite of mine — or even the slightly more modern Helvetica Neue or its grandfather, Akzidenz Grotesk.

But to truly appreciate Times New Roman (TNR henceforth for simplicity) we will have to understand a little bit about its history, and that story begins in the 1930s.

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Gearing up for 2015: Royal Enfield, a Sheaffer and a Pierre Cardin journal

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Today marks almost ten days since my motorbike was involved in a tumble with a car. Yesterday, my bike returned home, all set and fit as a fiddle, waiting to start riding again. And my own wounds, having considerably recovered, I decided to go shopping for gear replacement.

The helmet which had sustained impact had to be replaced, quite naturally. And I decided to add gloves as well, as a much needed safety measure. Royal Enfield introduced some great riding gear recently, so deciding on a brand and style was not hard. Fit, finish and comfort are something I have been more than happy with when it came to RE.

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Apple, Google or Microsoft — whoever wins, you lose

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It is entertaining — perhaps even pleasing — to watch such tech giants as Apple, Google and Microsoft battle it out year after year. And it is fun to take sides (we always do that). But it is becoming increasingly clear that no matter who wins in the end, and at whatever rate, us consumers will be little more than sore losers.

I must admit, this was neither clear nor obvious to me a couple of years back — and why should it be? I was immersed in the Android ecosystem; and I can say this much for certain: anybody who has not seen outside Android cannot possibly understand the gravity of this situation.

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Looking forward to 2015

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Every year passes like a rigmarole and we look forward to the next. It is almost mechanical, but that was never how it was supposed to be. It starts with gusto and somewhere down the line everyone loses enthusiasm and it all becomes about counting the days to the next new year, yet another start.

I am not saying we should make 2015 different. Maybe we should, you should. But that is another story for another day.

As I pen this, I am reflecting on the how much of our lives we lead thinking about what others think about us. And when everyone does that, the earth just seems like a more considerate place, but it is not.

Your dog, almost certainly, is a better person than you.

This is nothing more than being fashionably selfish. To think, not of others and their needs, but other’s views about ourselves. Since it all comes right back to us, it really is a mere manifestation of selfishness.

There’s a reason why a dog is man’s best friend: there is more your dog can teach you than any person, book or religious scripture on Earth. His undying enthusiasm for you, his love, his affection, and how it never drops and only ever grows in leaps and bounds — humans can never have the same feelings. The fact is simple: your dog, almost certainly, is a better person than you.

In 2015, it is important to prioritise without shunning; to decide what is important without pushing aside the less important. To treat people with respect and go out of your way to help them. Not block, but bind. Which brings to mind something my physics teacher at school had said: “This world does not need smart people; this world needs good people.”

In 2015, try to be a good person with a direction, and practice tolerance and inclusiveness. Treat the world as your family. To be the bigger person and to understand that not everyone has seen the world — forgive me if I sound like I patronizes; the devilry of narrow-mindedness has only recently become clear to me. Everyone makes mistakes; one ought to acknowledge and forgive. Then forget. So acknowledge mankind’s worst mistake: religion.

On Physics and Hinduism

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At the entrance to the Centre for European Nuclear Research (CERN) stands a 2 metre tall statue of the Hindu deity, Nataraja (see above). To the unaware, it looks like something out of place: something that does not belong in one of the world’s largest scientific research institutions. But it is only one instance of the compatibility between physics and Hinduism.

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On the origin of specials

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Apparently, cheap marketing tricks do work. Our world is filled with mad men telling us we need things, and us nodding in agreement. And our sense of wanting to need is extremely sensitive: all we look for is the slightest sign of concurrence — which is what every single advertisement is built around. Ads give us a faux need.

On the one hand, we could do away with everything, as our needs are few. The Big Bang Theory sitcom’s Sheldon Cooper (awkward as it seems to quote him) puts forth this idea quite well. But this outlook is rather harsh. It is time to define a new category; a sweet-spot between needs and wants. Benefits, if you will.

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