Noteworthy Stories of the Month – February, 2017

Oscars Makes History  You know the saying “Truth is stranger than fiction.”  You can’t come up with something as crazy as what happened at the Academy Awards this year – you just can’t.  I mean to announce the wrong winner for Best Picture and give the Oscar to La La Land, then only after all the cast and crew are on stage thanking people do you say “Oops we are sorry, actually the movie Midnight won, not you.”  OMG this is insane! But this isn’t the only reason Oscars made history this year. The Director of La La Land Damien Chazelle was the youngest person to win a best director trophy at the age of 32, and Mahershala Ali was the first Muslim actor to win an Oscar. I didn’t even know Oscars kept track of what religious denomination all the actors are. You learn something new every day folks.  Oscars Makes History

7 Earth-Size Planets Orbit Dwarf Star, NASA & European Astronomers Say “Not just one, but seven earth-size planets that could potentially harbor life have been identified orbiting a tiny star not too far away, offering the first realistic opportunity to search for signs of alien life outside the solar system.” Kenneth Chang of NYTimes.  What’s not to be in awe of with this discovery? Pretty cool!

Can California Foretell the Future of America? from California today California today and the California of the past are two vastly different places, and hardly recognizable as one and the same. This is a very informative and historical article on how California didn’t become the “it” place to live overnight. California has had it’s share of “dark days” where cultures that were different were shunned (Japanese internment camps, Chinese rail workers), a place where once farming became a big industry – migrant workers were looked down upon as an inferior class (Cesar Chavez and the farm workers union addressed this issue), a place where criminals were sent to prison for life no matter how minor their offenses (3 strikes law passed in the 80s).

California of the past was not a place where diversity was the norm, where people of different races lived together, nor a place where people of all ethnicities were welcomed.  The California of the past went through it’s own share of racism and xenophobia.

This article points out that over the last 25-30 years California has learnt from it’s mistakes. It has learnt to embrace it’s diverse population, passed laws to help minorities and migrant workers, and has learnt that new immigrant blood is what brings creativity and new ideas to the local economy. All this combined is what has made California the 6th largest economy in the world today.

So here is the point that this article try’s to make:  To the rest of America, want to make America great? Skip all the “dark days” that California went though, learn from California’s mistakes and new found success, and try to emulate what California is doing right today – America will be great.

Read this outstanding article to get a better understanding of what works in a state where such vastly different groups of people live and work together, and what America can learn from California.   Can California Foretell the Future of America?

India’s Ancient Stepwells, an Engineering Marvel from I know California had so much rain this winter, more rain than all previous ten years combined that this article  may not seem relevant to us now, but this story does give us a glimpse at an inventive way to harness our water supply during the years when we run low. India’s Ancient Stepwells, an Engineering Marvel

An Immigrant CEO’s Story from Medium Corporation a social media web site  Making a difference as an immigrant American CEO. Here is an opinion piece from an immigrant CEO who came to study at University of Texas as a computer science college student, graduated and moved to Silicon Valley for a career in networking, and is now the CEO of a cyber security startup.

” The reality is that the story of this country is my story. And there have been countless others just like me since the founding of our country.  We love this country unconditionally and are proud to call ourselves, first and foremost, Americans. Anyone who understands this knows what it means to be an American.

I found my home in America. Or rather, America gave me a home where I felt no constraints on my journey. That’s why I’m the CEO at Vectra a cyber security startup here in America — I love my country and want to protect my homeland and make the world a better place with technology. “

Check out this awesome quick opinion page on how at the end of the day, what all immigrants want for this country is to give something positive back to the country they call home.  An Immigrant CEO’s Story from Medium Corporation a social media web site

Mildred Dresselhaus, the Queen of Carbon, Dies at 88  “Dr. Dresselhaus was renowned for her efforts to promote the cause of women in science. She was the first woman to secure a full professorship at M.I.T., in 1968, and she worked vigorously to ensure that she would not be the last.” form

Before the Wall: Life Along the U.S.-Mexico Border:   If the president of the U.S. throws out all of the Mexicans, who will harvest the fields?  This is a very interesting article on the U.S. Mexican Border and life in the cities in and around the existing border today.  Folks, I encourage you to take the time to read this fascinating look at how Mexicans along the border towns view the border between the U.S. and Mexico.

“If the president of the U.S. throws out all of the Mexicans, who will harvest the fields? CATARINO NUÑEZ. CIUDAD JUÁREZ, MEXICO

“Build two walls, or three walls, it’s not important. Those who want to cross will cross.” ROBERTO RAMÍREZ. TIJUANA, MEXICO

“Through each year of my life, this wall has grown. I don’t know, it seems like the distance between us just keeps growing.”  JOSE PABLO SANCHEZ CARILLO Age 18. NOGALES, MEXICO

” I am actually glad he is building that wall, because maybe it will help undermine all those illegal activities.” ENRIQUE CERVERA. GUERRERO. COAHUILA, MEXICO

 This isn’t a wall and it’s not really a fence as she pointed to the chain-link fence and the concrete wall on either end. “That’s a fence and that’s a wall. This is neither. It’s a metaphor. This is basically saying, ‘Don’t come here. You’re not welcome here.’ It’s a barbaric way to take care of a situation.”  SELENA AGUIRRE. Age 20 HIDALGO, TEX.

My personal opinion is that this wall, border, fence, whatever you want to call it makes me sick to my stomach.  It reminds me of the Berlin Wall during the Cold War (for those of you old enough to remember it, and the day the people revolted and tore it down brick by brick).  But how many lives were lost trying to cross over that awful wall from East Germany to West Germany? That is what this stupid wall between the U.S. and Mexico conjures up for me. Death and Sadness. Check out this article in it’s entirely to get a better understanding of what people living at the border think of this wall. Before the Wall: Life Along the U.S.-Mexico Border

Capturing the Firefall at Yosemite   “For a couple of weeks each February, Yosemite’s Horsetail Fall puts on a show when the setting sun appears to transform its ribbon of water down the face of El Capitan into glowing lava. That’s if conditions cooperate. The phenomenon only works when the sun is lined up just so, the skies are clear and the mountains are snowy enough to fuel the waterfall. A bit of mist whipped up by the wind helps to get the full effect.” from California   Pictures speak a thousand words people, take a look at this spectacular nature show in this article.  Capturing the Firefall at Yosemite

A Day Without Immigrants in America Today  Nationwide Day without Immigrants shuts down businesses:  See how in cities across America small businesses closed for a day to show how immigrants are a core part of the fabric of America today. Anyone who thinks that putting up borders and keeping people out is what is going to make us successful, do not understand how the global economy and all the people who are part of it are so tightly intertwined today.  We need to accept that unless we all work together as a global community no one country or people are going to move ahead. This is the reality of globalization today.


“We’re a very small business, and without them we would not be able to open today. They not only gave me a heads-up about the strike, but did double the work yesterday so we would be in good shape today. He said his business would fall apart without his immigrant employees, who come from Venezuela and Guatemala.”

“Immigrants are the backbone of this country and the heart and soul of the service industry,” he said. “Without them, our small businesses would crumble. They are also part of our family here at Little Red Fox, and I too, am worried about their future under this administration.”

Drove up to my favorite breakfast spot and they where closed! This got me thinking how different my life would be with out their influence. Tbh it could be a very sad, bland future😔😔 The influence of immigrants is so great it’s very difficult to think of a world without them”#daywithoutimmigrants      A Day Without Immigrants in America Today

Remembrance Day: The Japanese Internment Camps   George Tekei remembers the horror of Japanese Internment I was just a child of 5 when soldiers marched up our driveway in a Los Angeles residential neighborhood, bayonets in hand, and pounded on our front door, ordering us out. We were permitted only what we could carry, no bedding, no pets. I remember my mother’s tears as she and our father gathered us up, with our precious few belongings in hand.

I cannot help but hear in the words of our leader today terrible echoes from the past. The internment happened because of three things: fear, prejudice and a failure of political leadership. When the administration targets groups today, whether for exclusion from travel here on the basis of religion and national origin, or for deportation based on their undocumented status, I know from personal experience that these are not done, as they claim, truly in the name of national security.  No, instead they are intended to strike fear into communities, to show the muscle and “toughness” of a new president, and to divide the citizenry against itself.  These are the acts of a despot, not an elected leader. I have dedicated my life to standing against our nation’s impulse toward demagoguery and tyranny by the whipped-up masses. The answer lies not just in education, but in empathy.”   Remembrance Day: The Japanese Internment Camps

ARPANET:   For those of us old enough to know that the Internet is relatively new, you will appreciate this picture that Hitesh sent me from Washington. DC when he was there on a business trip.  The Internet and the World Wide Web as we know of today is an off-spring of ARPANET, a project initiated and funded by the Defense Department to communicate confidential information to their varied military agencies.


Dear Warren. OUR 2017 ANNUAL LETTER BILL AND MELINDA GATES | FEBRUARY 14, 2017 from gates This is a letter that Bill and Melinda Gates wrote to their biggest donor Warren Buffet when he asked them what’s the progress made to date with the foundation’s coffers. Warren Buffet’s request was that he knows that the Gates are doing an outstanding job with their philanthropic work, but the rest of the public doesn’t know it so well. So Warren’s suggestion to the Gates couple was to write a letter to show everyone how all the work they are doing in the world is benefiting people. Very cool letter folks!!

Our letter is being released amid dramatic political transitions in these countries, including new leadership in the United States and the United Kingdom. We hope this story will remind everyone why foreign aid should remain a priority—because by lifting up the poorest, we express the highest values of our nations.

One of the greatest of those values is the belief that the best investment any of us can ever make is in the lives of others. As we explain to Warren in our letter, the returns are tremendous.  All lives have equal value’ is not just a principle; it’s a strategy.

Bill: Poverty is sexist. The poorer the society, the less power women have. Men decide if a woman is allowed to go outside, talk to other women, earn income. Men decide if it’s acceptable to strike a woman. The male dominance in the poorest societies is mind-blowing. 

Melinda: Limiting women’s power keeps everyone poor. Fortunately, as a society becomes better off, a woman’s position in that society improves. But what good is that for a young woman in a poor country who doesn’t want to wait? How can she get more power now?  

Bill: Melinda and I have seen over and over again that social change comes when people start talking to each other—and that’s the magic of women’s groups. If you go out in the village, you’re rarely going to find a men’s group where they all share information. You’ll find a big man of the village, and the key aides to the big man, and people who work for the key aides. That hierarchy stifles conversation. It keeps people from talking about what matters. Women’s groups don’t get as caught up in that, so they’re better at spreading information and driving change.

Read this letter in it’s entirely at the gates blog Dear Warren. OUR 2017 ANNUAL LETTER BILL AND MELINDA GATES | FEBRUARY 14, 2017

 A 75 Year old love story  This is an awesome story for the month of February, the month of love and Valentine’s Day.  This article recounts the story of two people who met in the Nazi concentration camps and somehow survived the horrors of Poland during the Nazi occupation to marry and live happily together for over 75 years!

He is 94 and she is a year younger. Asked to recount their lengthy love affair, they noted the absurdity of couching it — a romance incubated in the hell of the Holocaust — in the frilly trappings of Valentine’s Day.” reporter Corey Kilgannon

Read this very inspirational love story and a story of survival. A couple who even today at the age of 94 and 93 live an independent life together, are socially active, agile, as sharp as ever, and still in love!   A 75 Year old love story

Happy March!
Let’s look forward to the month of new seedlings and the arrival of spring!

9 thoughts on “Noteworthy Stories of the Month – February, 2017”

  1. Kalpana, what can I say! This post brought all kinds of emotions in me. Laughter “Where did everybody go?”! Tears ” Remembrance Day”.
    Disgust ” Building a wall against Mexico”. Hope ” Can California foretell the future of America” and the ” Immigrant CEO story”
    Loved Bill Gates comment “women, they’re better at spreading information and driving change”. Many men call this Gossip!

    Awesome post! Love you!

    1. I know I too liked the quotes from Bill and Melinda Gates about women and how when they support each other and when they earn they put it all back into their family.

  2. Dolly, the sucess of an immigrant to U.S.A could also be emulated by all citizens in the country of their origin, Apart from the opportunities and the pursit of material gains, wish every immigrant contribuute their shre to their root nation to become U.S.A.
    I recall relative of mine, a successful businessman, commented 50 years ago, “If I cannot go to U.S.,I shall bring U.S. here.” With all the subsidised professional credentials gained by those back in their homeland, I pray for their selfless contribution to their homeland of origin to make the world better!

  3. An excellent thought-provoking exhaustive presentation of the mind of an immigrant dedicating the sucess to the opprtunity given and particularly exploited to become a model citizen of the adopted country. This should inspire every immgrant to play his/her part for the betterment of the adopted country and spread the message to people all over the world, why not the same for every citizen of every country in the world and to uphold universal values to a federal world State
    Keep up the good work Dolly, you also have played and contributed your share equally.

  4. Ty Kalps for a very interesting compilation of stories … May i also add that Dev Patel of Lion is the first Indian to be nominated ( though he may think he is a Londoner) and Ben Kingsley is Half Indian… Also , wonderful to note that Viola Davis is the first Black woman to win the triple crown with her Oscar Win and these words from her speech is worth remembering ” “I became an artist, and thank God I did, because we are the only profession that celebrates what it means to live a life.” Also, Trump’s Travel ban prevented an Iranian Director from being present at the award ceremony … …
    and then the Icing on the Cake …. Marriages are made in Heaven , it is said…. However , it is destiny that brought an Indian Immigrant from Kenya to Texas University where he fell in love with another Indian Immigrant from India … a Truly Romantic story … Indeed , Cyber Security is an idea whose Time has come and guess What the Chinese are stealing all our Trade secrets … Nice to see you acknowledging Hitesh’s greatness …. Nice Gentleman .

    Once again, thanks for keeping us on our toes … love, maami

    1. It was indeed a memorable Oscars Academy Awards – one for the books! Thanks Mami for your lovely narration of how Hitesh and I met. I am sure Hitesh is very appreciative of your compliment 😊.

  5. Outstanding, sis!😊 Thank you for an awesome post! I love your CEO story – Hitesh, you ROCK in more ways than one! You are an inspiration!

    Thank you for this compilation of thoughtful, must-read articles! I know my day is cut out for me reading the rest of these interesting stories!😜

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