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Black Measles Miracle: How I Survived Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

[Publisher’s Note — December 14, 2016: Thanks to the Internet Archive, we were able to resurrect this important article from 2008 that has been missing from our publication canon for many years! We found this article in the Wayback Machine by doing a search on the old Urban Semiotic URL for this article that we found in another article we published.

We have retained the original article URL and publication date and time stamp to preserve pre-existing links. We have copied and pasted the original article — in situ — directly from to preserve provenance. The images are missing. The links redirect to back to the Wayback Machine — just as it all should be now! The missing image artifacts looks like this archive was snapped while we were on Movable Type! Now that’s a memoryPlease donate to the Internet Archive — we did the second the Internet Archive resurrected this excellent work! 

You can’t have better proof than this that the Internet Archive is valuable and necessary to preserving the us of us!]

Continue reading → Black Measles Miracle: How I Survived Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

Indian Monsoon Memories

I almost forgot how it felt to get completely drenched in a downpour after suffering in a scorching heat for three months. I remembered it yesterday as I got soaked in an early June thunderstorm last night – when you do you know much long waited monsoon has finally arrived. It feels divine.

The rainstorm last night brought back my own childhood memory when “monsoon” used to mean enjoying “rainy days” (staying back home as life comes to a complete stop because of the super heavy shower), it meant snuggling in the bed with a story book and listening the drizzle or thunder outside, it meant making paper boats and trying them to keep steadily floating the water logged backyard, it meant the smell of steaming hot tea or coffee and various fried snacks in the kitchen…

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The Lesson of the First Number

The Lesson of the Singing Bowl is one of my favorite articles. Today, I will share with you another story taught to me by my Indian yoga guru — The Lesson of the First Number — where I learned about intent, self-determination, and divination.

I added some detail to make the story my own so I could share it with you here.

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Benazir Bhutto: Death of a Fool or Life of a Martyr?

Did Benazir Bhutto earn the death of a fool or the life a martyr?  Was she predestined to be cursed to an early grave from birth?

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Unlearning the Midwest in India

I still remember the day I landed at the Minneapolis airport three years ago and I went into a time machine where I felt unfamiliar and out-of-place but not uncomfortable or unwelcome.

The polite cab driver’s “you bet” in reply to my “thank you” kept me wondering whether I was invited to join him in a casino or not.

I was shell-shocked after learning that in a small town with a population of 9,000, people don’t even bother to lock their front doors in Minneapolis.

“Robbery? Burglary? That happens in big cities – not here in the Midwest – this is a very safe and peaceful place,” was my landlord’s loyal reassurance.

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The Mark of Cain and the Mountain Meadows Massacre

As an avowed atheist — I prefer to worship art and nature — it may seem strange that I have a long list of religious friends. Of my many Mormon friends, I have discovered there are two topics that, when mentioned, will cause them to give you the stink eye and turn away from the conversation. If you press the matter, they will refer you to the LDS website for official commentary.

The first verboten topic is colloquially known as “The Mark of Cain” and it is an interesting and undeniable stain on the Mormon church where Blacks — men of African descent — were denied the priesthood because of their “mark”… their skin color.

Continue reading → The Mark of Cain and the Mountain Meadows Massacre