Fri, 30th Sep '05, 6:20 pm::

I feel like I'm cheating when I see pics like this - last two pictures courtesy of Vu the PhotoSavant.

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Fri, 30th Sep '05, 2:05 pm::

Who's your Woody?

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Can't blame DaddyFri, 30th Sep '05, 12:10 am::

"As per the phone conversation with my father, I hereby declare that in no time in the future will I blame him for not finding a suitable bride for me." - signed, Chirag Mehta

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Wed, 28th Sep '05, 8:10 pm::

The doctor called me today and said my blood test came clean with absolutely no sign of any common disease. While I have all the symptoms of Whooping Cough, the Pertussis bacteria isn't showing up on the tests. This means either I have a very nasty case of whooping cough or I have something similar which they can't identify. It's funny that the doctor said that just looking at my blood test results, anyone would give me a clean bill of health. But of course, the coughing is totally ruining my work and personal life for past few months.

Oh and last week I tried the whole "say screw it to sickness and go run a mile" thing. It didn't work. I ended up coughing for over an hour after running just two blocks. I can't believe just one year ago I was preparing to run the marathon and now I can't even run two blocks.

I think that I've been very strong ever since I got sick and have done my best to stay strong to get better. But now I'm really losing my strength and patience. I don't care about anything anymore. I'm so sick of being sick. I'm gonna rest a lot in the next few days and most probably won't be on my computer much, unless I have to.

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Sat, 24th Sep '05, 6:35 pm::

Wow today turned out much better than I thought it would. Despite feeling sick as hell, I took a shower, cleaned up, and went all the way to Sweet Tomatoes in Tampa to have lunch with my new friend Jenny. It was awesome. I love the food there (and trust me it felt good to eat something healthy) and I just had a great time with Jen. Hopefully I'll be seeing her more often. It just sucks that I still cough so much and I can't really do much about it. She was so nice about it and didn't care much that I was coughing like a steam engine. Anyways, I'm really tired right now and need some rest.

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Fri, 23rd Sep '05, 9:20 pm::

Beware: Another boring blog entry on my health ahead. Proceed at your own peril.

I never thought in my life that I would ever use the word "hacking" to refer to anything else other than breaking into computers. On the phone with a buddy today, I caught myself saying "I have hacking cough and it's so bad that my head feels like exploding every time I get into a bout of coughing." This morning I went to the doctor again and he joked how I've become his best customer. I know, funny but not really. I gave some blood for lab tests so hopefully I'll soon know what's the matter with me. He said he's got some suspicion that it might be Pertussis - a highly contagious bacteria, more commonly known as... hold your breath (pun intended)... Whooping Cough!

Now Whooping Cough is a disease that mostly infects children but lately cases of new strain of Pertussis bacteria have been found worldwide, especially in US. People who have been infected by Pertussis in the past or have been vaccinated against it are relatively safe but of course I never had any shots for that. Talking to the doctor about my health in the last 7 weeks, I think I've a good idea of what happened.

During my plane trip back from Utah in July end, I got infected with two different strains of bacteria - Streptococcus and Pertussis. The strain of strep I infected my inner-ear and caused fever, dizziness, and a rash. This combination is more commonly called Scarlet Fever or Scarlatina. It takes about 24-48 hours for the strep bacteria to cause full blown Scarlet Fever symptoms. I was on the plane on Sunday and I first felt sick on Tuesday. No coughing. Just dizzy, slightly feverish, and a bit weak. Went to the doctor the same week and got some antibiotics to treat the strep bacteria.

It was after about 10 days since my plane ride that I started coughing. It started slow but gradually intensified. I thought it was just a side-effect of Scarlet Fever and didn't put much thought into it. About a week later, the coughing hadn't subsided and I knew something was up. Went back to the doctor and it turns out, my inner-ear strep infection is worse than ever, as the antibiotics hadn't worked fully. I continue on the antibiotics to treat the strep and the doctor prescribed me some cough suppressants. He told me the coughing could be the result of something other than Scarlet Fever, like Whooping Cough.

The coughing didn't stop and got worse. Went to the doctor this morning again and he said it looks more and more like Pertussis i.e. Whooping Cough now. The problem with the Pertussis bacteria is that it is very difficult to detect. The cough is very dry and there is absolutely no other symptom. Another problem with Whooping Cough is that while antibiotics work, they work very slowly. The doctor said I should be prepared to be sick for another 6-8 weeks, although things will get better in a few weeks.

So now here's the deal. I've been sick for 7 weeks now and there's just as long to go before I feel healthy. I can't run, work-out, kayak, or even climb up the stairs without breaking out into bouts of coughing. I can't talk for more than two minutes without coughing and I can't sit still for five minutes without coughing. The only times I don't cough is when I'm eating or drinking and sadly, I've been doing a lot of eating in the last two months. I've tried to eat healthy but just eating so much without any form of exercise is bad but I can't help it.

Hopefully once I get better, I will exercise and get back in shape again but till then, I feel so lazy and lethargic. I'm trying hard to keep my spirits up but it's hard when there's nothing you can do about it. When I used to feel sad, I would go running or jetskiing or just go catch a movie with a friend, none of which I can do. It's bad enough that I disrupt all the meetings at my work and I don't think strangers in a movie theater or restaurant will bear with me.

I swear I'm going to have some sort of a social anxiety disorder if this keeps up for long. I'm so ashamed of going into public places anymore because everyone looks at me like I have some contagious disease like tuberculosis. I went to Walmart and people walked away from me as I started coughing, even though I was covering my mouth. If something like this happens for a week or two, it's ok. But I've been going through this for a month and I don't know how I'll be able to bear this for two more.

The only thing I can do is sit at home and watch TV while eating - NOT at all a healthy thing to do. But right now, it's the only thing that feels good. I tried reading but I just don't feel like it anymore. I don't know... this really really sucks.

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Thu, 22nd Sep '05, 10:45 pm::

I love this satellite picture of the Earth centered on India - my new background.

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Wed, 21st Sep '05, 12:05 pm::

Just taking a little break from work now. Too many things happening today - some very good and some very bad. It's amazing how some days absolutely nothing happens and some days, everything happens at the same time. Today's not a good day if I look at the short-term implications, but whatever happened today will benefit me in the long-term. You know, just one of those days that sets the course for the rest of your life. We don't actively make decisions everyday that affect the rest of our lives. Most days we just worry about small things like groceries and haircuts. Today is definitely not one of those.

I love being all indirect :)

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Sun, 18th Sep '05, 3:15 pm::

"Leisure is a privilege." - Chirag

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Sun, 18th Sep '05, 9:05 am::

Apparently I wake up early on Sept. 18s. Anyways, I'm up because I'm pretty sure I'm experiencing the side-effects of my antibiotics. The doctor put me on Augmentin XR SR 1000mg x 4 times a day for my nasty inner-ear infection. Yesterday was the first time I took the pills. Since late last night I have been very dizzy and my head is spinning like a top non-stop. More strange though, is that I have just been VERY VERY ANGRY. I'm irritable, aggressive, and just plain mad at every little thing.

If you know me in person, you'd realize that I'm in fact the opposite and never ever get angry. I've never EVER had any anger issues. I'm getting mad at small things like my kitties drinking water loudly. So I know something weird is definitely up.

The effects listed on page 11 of this document (PDF), say: "Central Nervous System: Agitation, anxiety, behaviorial changes, confusion, convulsions, dizzyness, headache, insomnia, and reversible hyperactivity have been reported rarely."

Well once again I'm rare :) I definitely have high-level of agitation, MAJOR dizziness, and oddly enough insomnia. I mean it's 9am on a Sunday! I never wake up before 2pm on weekends. And I went to bed at 4am. I've been up since 7:30am this morning!

So I guess I'm gonna talk to my doctor tomorrow and see if this is the best medicine to be on. I guess I'm well otherwise. I'm coughing less, so that's good.

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Sat, 17th Sep '05, 6:55 pm::

Had an eventful day so far. Woke up at 11, went to Walmart to get my meds, food, gas, and a nice haircut. Got home, ate some food, and now just chilling. I just took my new anti-biotics and my head's spinning like crazy. I hope it's temporary.

Oh another weird thing I found out yesterday when I went to the doctor. Apparently I have a Deviated Septum, which could've been the result of a childhood fight/fall or something. Basically, my nose is broken on the inside even though it's not visible from the outside. This could be why I often suffer from blocked nose etc.

I'm not at all a hypochondriac, in fact I'm the opposite most of the times, thinking I'm perfectly healthy. And yet I'm finding random stuff about my health lately. Well at least the water in my diaphragm was temporary and is gone now. I know, I sound like an anatomy book.

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Sat, 17th Sep '05, 12:55 am::

Can't believe I just watched three movies non-stop! I saw So I Married an Axe-Murderer, Vampires Anonymous, and Innerspace (again). Bedtime now.

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Mon, 12th Sep '05, 12:05 am::

I don't think I fully understood the suckitude of being sick for the next two months. When the doctor said my cough will go away in 60 days or so I didn't put much thought into it. After just one weekend of staying home alone and doing nothing except watch TV and surf online, I realize how much this whole thing really sucks. I don't like to whine but right now, I can't do ANYTHING that I want to do. I can't go out with friends for a drink because anti-biotics and alcohol don't mix. I can't even go out with friends because I keep coughing non-stop and every public place I go to, people stare at me as if I have the plague.

That leaves doing things by myself. Well I loved kayaking but I can't do that or anything physically intensive as it only makes things worse. Plus due to the ear-infection, my head constantly spins and I have absolutely no balance whatsoever. So even running is out of the question.

So let's see, if can't hang out with people and can't go out alone to do things, it leaves me with the only choices: sit at home and do nothing. Well I could get a bit more productive on the computer or read a book or two but trust me it doesn't matter. I'm a social person and I love company. Or doing things. Now I gotta sit at home every night and weekend and do absolutely nothing. I can't even talk to my family or friends on the phone because I feel embarrassed due to the coughing. Urgh.

This was a pretty dull weekend and it just scares me that there's gonna be more and more of these.


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Sat, 10th Sep '05, 11:55 pm::

There is so much I learn from Fark/TotalFark. E.g. tonight's words of wisdom by a TFer:

An age old tricks guys can use to see if a girl likes them is to ask her where she lives. The more exact an answer she gives you, the more she likes you initially. So, if she says "Oh, far away," you have no chance at all. If she says "In x neighborhood," you are closer. If she says "ok, you know where that blue house in front of the 7/11 on Houston Ave is... Go behind there and go one house over. I live on the fourth floor" she likes you a lot.

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Fri, 9th Sep '05, 10:55 am::

Just taking 2-mins from work to inform my family about my recent sickness. As you probably know, I had Scarlet Fever about a month ago and took medications to cure it. All the symptoms went away after three weeks except minor coughing. Now it seems the coughing has resumed and it is worse than ever. I went to the doctor and turns out my middle-ear has some major infection. I don't have any dizziness or pain but the doctor said if untreated, this could damage part of my hearing so I'm gonna make sure it's treated. Hopefully the anti-biotics will fix everything this time; they didn't fully work last time. Scarlet Fever with all its numerous symptoms was a result of this ear-infection. I don't have any visible symptoms right now other than some pretty bad coughing. I had my chest x-rayed this morning and from the initial preview it looks like my diaphragm has some fluid build-up. I guess the doctor will tell me what that's about.

All I know is that I can't talk at all without breaking into bouts of non-stop coughing. Things haven't been that great lately and coughing has just made everything worse. A part of the treatment is covered by my insurance but there's stuff not covered, so I guess lotsa medical expenses coming my way soon. The doctor said it'll probably go away by itself in 45-60 days, whether I take medicine or not. I am gonna continue some medication but it's just gonna suck for a long time.

I don't feel like calling up my family or friends anymore simply because my coughing makes everyone feel bad about me. Even talking to coworkers is tough but I gotta do that no matter what.

Good thing I'm not contagious.

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Mon, 5th Sep '05, 11:55 am::

I read about 10-12 blogs of different friends regularly and it just amazes me that people who are so much like me, have such different lives and lifestyle. Here are some random excerpts from my friends' blogs, just to show how different their lives are compared to mine. I hope none of my friends mind me putting these on here as they are all publicly available on their blogs anyway. Also, I'd love to read what friends/family of my friends write on their blogs, just to get a different perspective.


WRX with some nice mods. I HAD to go from a dig with him 0-120mph. He got owned. 5.0 mustang. Roll and Dig. Roll he was owned. On the dig I remembered how to drive the first time. Second time I forgot how to drive so he took the kill. LT1 TA with a few mods. We were a dead even match till top end. Then I wanted to walk... but he always cut out before giving me that change. We ran a few times just for fun. 1g DSM with a Super 16g was 3+ cars behind.


As a late college graduation gift, my mother and I will be traveling to a few great cities over the next 2 weeks. Here is my approximate schedule: ... I will be seeing most of the touristy stuff, catching a few concerts (the BBC Proms!!), and taking in some overpriced dining.


I'm definitely on the search for an engagement ring--of course i'm not planning on getting married, but if i'm going to have to freakin lie every single day about my marital status, then i might as well rock the ice just for the fun of it I haven't decided if i really want to drop some big money for a nice one, or just buy a really cheap one off of ebay....okay, so the practical side of me is saying to go cheap, but that wont stop me from looking at Tiffany's website, hehehehehe. It's really bizarre, too, my infatuation with engagement rings. I kinda wish they didnt carry the meaning that they do, cuz i would really like a simple diamond ring for my birthday--hell, let's be honest, for ANY day, do i really need a holiday to justify it?


Currently, the FIA has rules in place to actually give inferior tire performance, although aerodynamic considerations are much more flexible. Current tires have a mandatory high profile and have four channels cut into the tread to reduce grip and increase slip angles. Aerodynamics helps increase the mechanical grip otherwise possible with a static tire load. For the rules changes, the FIA hopes to increase mechanical tire performance while reducing aerodynamic effects.


There's shooting outside, and one of the new volunteers looks nervous, but we tell her it's "happy shooting". That means the gunfire from a wedding or a high school graduation party- celebratory. It's an ironic phrase, and we say it with a twist in our mouths, but it's the best way to explain. There's been more random shooting during the day in Nablus, since perhaps the past month. We don't really know what it's from, but this is a new volunteer, fresh and a bit impressionable, so we might as well say that it's happy. Let's be happy.


pop (grandpa) passed away quite suddenly on wednesday. he was 85. he was one of my favorite people in the whole entire world. i just can't believe he's gone and i'll never see him again. every single memory i have of him is a fond one. when i was born, my parents lived in an old farmhouse - my grandparents on one side and my parents on the other. apparently i would wake up at around 2am every night. pop would get up and take me out of the crib and walk around with me and talk to me until i fell asleep. he was the only one who could get me to stop crying. he was my bud when i was growing up. we'd take long walks in the woods, he'd fix whatever i needed fixing, he'd come to my basketball games, he'd give me lots of hugs and "great to see ya, hun"'s. every holiday dinner, gram would ask me what vegetable i wanted, and i'd always say 'carrots', because i have an abnormal love of carrots. well, pop HATED carrots, and when dinnertime would come, i would tell him to pass his plate, and i'd load them up with carrots, and he'd laugh and put half of them back and then the rest of them on my plate. i'm making carrots for dinner tonight. i miss him so much already.


Long veils are beautiful to photograph, but torture for the bride.


I have to be honest, if I were in LA, I would be looting too. I would steal food and shoes and clothing, dog food, water, and if I had a child, diapers and formula for my child. The fact that the governor of LA has enforced a "shoot to kill" policy is sickening. When someone is taking diapers or food, basic NECESSATIES, they should NOT be shot to death. This is ludicrous. And I must say something about the civilians who are shooting at the "help" - this is what happens when people panic. When people panic, it creates chaos. Who wants to be in such disastrous conditions? No one...

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Mon, 5th Sep '05, 11:45 am::

My cellphone isn't working well so I'm having lots of trouble calling people. This isn't fun. I wonder what the problem could be.

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Sat, 3rd Sep '05, 1:30 am::

Pictures of Katrina's Aftermath.

Talking to random people online and offline in last few days I've realized that are there are lot of people who say "Oh I'm not watchin the TV or any news because it's too depressing." What they really mean is that "I am burying my head in the sand to ignore what's going on in this country because I am a coward." I think if something like this, i.e. the largest natural disaster in almost a century, doesn't move you, then you are a heartless monster. This is a time to help, to donate whatever you can, to show support - NOT to ignore and hope that this goes away and the news media can finally go back to reporting important things, like missing white teenage girls on Springbreak-Islands.

These same people today who are blocking all news and instead watching re-runs of "Everybody loves Raymond on TV are the ones who were glued to their TV-sets on Sept 11, 2001. Why? Because what if the terrorists attacked their little town in the middle of nowhere?! So they studied the news, read everything there was to know about Osama Bin Laden, and after extensive research miraculously concluded that waging a war on Iraq would stop all future acts of terrorism on the American soil. I'm sorry but the sheer stupidity of the common man is something that always amazes me.

Everyone was so up-in-arms about everything going on after 9/11, the invasion of Afghanistan, the "War" on Iraq. And now? Nobody cares! Why? Because well, we don't get hurricanes in Maine. Or Wisconsin. Or wherever these people happen to be. It is a sad day when apathy rules. From the common man to the Federal Govt.

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Fri, 2nd Sep '05, 8:10 am::

New Orleans rocked by huge blasts. This just keeps getting worse. Amazing that directNIC, a domain registrar and web hosting company, is still up. But there's enough things going on that make me cry.

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The disaster that was KatrinaThu, 1st Sep '05, 8:20 pm::

Exactly a week ago I casually mentioned that there was another hurricane on the horizon and wondered how it would shape up. Not even in my worst nightmares could I have witnessed the devastation that Hurricane Katrina has caused in the last five days. It was a Category Four hurricane when it hit the coast of the state of Louisiana on the gulf coast above the Gulf of Mexico.

Before it hit Louisiana, it passed through South-Eastern Florida as a Category One hurricane and it slowly gained strength sitting above the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexco. By last Thursday, everyone knew this was going to be a major hurricane with wind speeds of above 150 mph. My friend Kathleen called it the classic book case - the perfect example of a storm - something students decades from now will be learning in classrooms, on how it formed, how it gained strength, how it moved with tremendous force, and finally, how is destroyed every shred of civilization on half the gulf coast.

As many are already saying, this is going to effect pretty much every person in the US in a very short period of time. Katrina was not a typical storm or minor hurricane that ruined a few neighborhoods and took a few lives. Katrina is absolutely one of the largest natural disasters US has ever faced and the aftermath of this on society, politics, and the economy will be very horrendous.

Let's begin with the area most affected by Katrina - the City of New Orleans, Louisiana (NOLA). Majority of the city of NOLA lies about ten feet below sea-level. And as you can see in this map, NOLA is bordered by two major lakes, a river, and the Gulf of Mexico. On top of it, the city is literally shaped like a bowl. It was no surprise to anyone that if the city was hit by a major hurricane, the bowl would fill up with water and there would be no way of draining the water because the sea-level is actually higher than the city.

And then it happened. Katrina hit slightly east of NOLA, barely missing the city, but the damage was done. The levees and barriers that block the river, lake, and sea-waters from flooding the city neighborhoods broke from the sheer water pressure. When a hurricane makes landfall, the ocean swells upwards and sea-water rushes inland. This is different from the kind of tsunami that hit South East-Asia late last year. Tsunamis travel very very fast, hundreds of mile an hour, and shock the coast with their impact, kinda like slapping someone really hard, sometimes multiple times, but then pulling away instantly. Storm surge is when the sea-water floods inland because of the suction created by winds on the water-body, as a result of which, the water does not recede back into the ocean as long as the winds persist. A storm surge is like sitting on someone's chest and gradually applying more and more pressure till their ribs burst and getting up slowly afterwards. Of course, both are just as ravaging to human livelihood.

So now you have a bowl-shaped city of over 1.3 million (13 lac) residents that got filled with water. There just isn't any way out other than physically pumping all the water back into the ocean and lakes - a process which will take months and months. For the first time since the San Fransisco Earthquake & Fire of 1906 has a major city been absolutely ruined like this. Eighty-percent of NOLA is still underwater and it will continue to remain so.

NOLA isn't the only city affected by Katrina. Hundreds of cities and small towns were affected. From the looks of it, Waveland, Mississippi, located north-east of NOLA was affected the worst as pretty much every house in the town is levelled. The town is no more. There are no houses or buildings standing, no electric poles upright, the trees have been uprooted or snapped into pieces, and for all intensive purposes, zipcode 39576 is non-existant henceforth. And this is but one of the hundreds of towns directly affected. WalMart has closed 123 stores and UPS has suspended shipment to 900 zipcodes indefinitely. This is about three to four percent of the entire country of US.

The immediate economic impact is something people always feared - rising price of gasoline - petrol & diesel. I purchased gas at $2.599/gallon yesterday and it's above $3/gallon today in my city. Elsewhere, people are paying upgrades of $5/gallon and many small towns in states like North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and even Wisconsin have run out of gas. It is no secret that the entire economy of US relies very heavily on gas and rising prices could mean economic depression. The Port of Southern Louisiana is the largest port in the US, fifth-largest in the world.

Here is something that has blown my wits away. Back in June of this year, FX Network aired a mock-umentary titled "Oil Storm" (thanks Eric!) The synopsis of the story is that sometime around the Labor Day weekend (that is the coming weekend), a Category 6 hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico slams into Louisiana, crushing the city of New Orleans and crippling the vital pipleline for refined oil that is Port Fourchon (more details). The movie "examines the ripple effect of that event and the ensuing cascade of disasters associated with it..." Basically, the first part of the movie about the hurricane has already come true and the next part, about oil prices is already coming true. You can read the synopsis yourself to see how the story unfolds and ends, but the scary thing is, back when the movie aired, everyone was mocking, insulting, and criticizing it. Now, not so much. Nobody believed that a hurricane could drown NOLA, cut off the nation's oil pipeline, or set the oil rigs afloat. Yet that is what happened. This time truth is eerily exactly like fiction.

The damage to public and private infrastructure is only overshadowed by the utter senseless degradation of human lives. Right now, hundreds of thousands of people in NOLA area are thirsty, hungry, have no shelter, and are being terrorized by street gangs. Reporter Anya Kamenetz writes, "the city of New Orleans has a 34 percent poverty rate, triple the national average. It's about 70 percent black. White flight, first to Jefferson Parish and then across Lake Pontchartrain, to the North Shore, has accomplished the desired aim of de facto segregation in the public schools, which are 93 percent black in Orleans Parish and some of the worst in the country." Now, the aftermath of the hurricane is not only a humanitarian issue but also a racial one. Right-and-left people are debating whether the US Federal Govt. is doing enough or not, whether the National Guard would have been moved to NOLA for support any faster if there was a higher percentage of white citizens.

Yahoo! has managed to stir up some controvery regarding two pictures captioned slightly differently. They even issued a public statement and removed one of the pictures. Apparently, the caption under the very dark skinned person said " A young man walks through chest deep flood water after looting a grocery store in New Orleans" while a picture of two light skinned persons was captioned, "Two residents wade through chest-deep water after finding bread and soda from a local grocery store..." So dark people "loot" while fair people "find" right? The photographer of the second picture disagrees but for now, the issue has raised many a question.

Since eighty-percent of NOLA is currently underwater, some places as deep as twenty-feet, the only pictures and videos available of most areas are from helicopters. While thousands of people are being bussed from the drier areas in NOLA to nearby cities like Houston, Texas, there are thousands of people still stuck in their houses. Hundreds of dead bodies are floating on the streets and rescue workers can't do anything because they first have to help the victims who are still alive.

Any attempt to compare Katrina with the tsunami of 2004 is looked down upon right now because there was a tremendous loss of life in the latter. Additionally, tsunami was unpredictable while the weather channels along with the National Hurricane Center were blasting warnings for days before Katrina made landfall, giving people enough time to evacuate. Moreover, damages from tsunamis were not preventable while majority of the infrastructure destruction of Katrina could have been prevented as everyone knew the geography of NOLA and the nearby regions. And yet, I think there is a similarity despite what people say. The similarity is that poor people suffered. While they all knew about Katrina, there was little most of them could do. Many of the inner-city poor renters didn't have a car and the city of NOLA failed to provide public transporation to evacuate. So for no fault of their own, they were stuck. Sure, many of them might have intentionally chosen to hunker down and stay at home instead of going away, but now, they're all homeless.

NOLA has had near-hits many-a-time but this was the final blow. There is no City of New Orleans, Louisiana anymore. They will have to rebuild, almost from scratch. And so will the hundreds of towns with millions of people. It's hard to imagine that over a million people now have no homes, no jobs, no schools, and no life whatsoever. Everything will have to start from scratch. For the young it's not impossible but for people who have worked their entire lives to finally own a house, it's all gone. Sure, insurance will pay but what about the neighborhood. It's not there anymore. I'd love to see NOLA back on it's feet again but I highly doubt the Mardi Gras celebrations in 2006 (if at all) will be as carefree as this year's.

(I had written about seven more detailed paragraphs after this but due to a stupid mistake, I lost everything below this, hence rewriting it major parts of it. It always bums me out when I'm writing a long 'blog entry and lose part of it. I will fix the blog to not do this tomorrow but for now, I have to live with it. And since I'm too tired to rewrite everything, here's a summary of what I had written before.)

The political aspect of this entire disaster is no less complex. The Federal Emergency Management Agency had to halt all rescue operations in NOLA because of the danger to the lives of the rescuers. Violence has erupted in parts of the city with random acts of looting, rape, street-shooting, and sniper attacks. It's hard to believe but this is US and it seems like the Dark Ages. FEMA is not without controversy itself with two inexperienced directors, demotion from cabinet status, and refusal of funds to NOLA to strengthen the levees.

Louisiana is also holds half the world's supply of zinc and is a major manufacturer of industrial chemicals. There will be inflation in the short-term and dollar will fall in the ForEx markets. Oil will continue to rise for some time and a big part of US trade will be impacted, as LA is the primary port for US. Things aren't going to be pretty for the next few months and rebuilding will take a lot of time. People are dying on the streets, children are waddling through chest-high water, covered in feces, and dead bodies are floating everywhere. The biggest fear is the possibility of a pandemic of water-borne diseases.

I'm sure if anyone wants to learn more about the disaster there are a million places online to read from and hundreds of TV shows to watch. This was just a review of what I've heard, remotely seen, and learnt about Katrina and its aftermath. And here's hoping I never have to write such an entry again, though I think that's impossible. Nature is wild and very very powerful.

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