Breaking Down Terrorism with Kindness & Communication

A beautiful heart

“There is no military solution to terrorism,”

Army Chief Gen. Ashfaq Kayani recently stated at a conference, where he was referring to a UNICEF-sponsored “rehabilitation” program  for the former Taliban recruits. What is, then, the solution? In addition to literacy, it is kindness, communication, and offering opportunities and support that the teenage boys had been deprived of at home, before the Taliban approached them.

Listen to NPR’s Report from which the quote was taken.
I took the picture of the heart from the Drawing Animated Heart Tutorial

Stereotyping Does Not Pay Off, Literally

Stereotyping entails simplifying: you get rid of all the differences that make us unique just so you can pin a label of race, disability, sexual orientation, etc, often without bothering to ask or listen to those labeled whether they agree with your rationale or not.  And precisely because stereotyping ignores differences, it does not pay off, literally, as research shows. Continue reading »

On a Lighter Note…

In the shadows of the trees
In the rustle of the leaves
Echo echoes her own song note after note
In the wind that serenades
To the clouds, its sky soul mates
Echo echoes with the wind cord after cord…

Enjoy Echo by Victor Tsaran. By the way, if you are in the Bay Area on July 2nd, you can hear him play the song live at Angelica’s Bistro

Victor Tsaran playing the guitar

"Shade it black": Turning Sorrow into Wisdom

I never stop being fascinated with stories of people who go through hardship and then gather enough strength and willpower to help or inspire others. One of such stories is related in Jess Goodell’s memoir, “Shade it black: Death and after in Iraq.” Goodell was a marine and when she was serving in Iraq, her task was to recover and process the remains of fallen soldiers.


Despite her best intentions, the remains of some soldiers could only partially be recovered; the body parts that were missing were shaded in black in the official military documents she had to prepare. She was also responsible for documenting and returning to families anything that the soldiers carried in their pockets: from spoons and trash to photos of girlfriends and fetuses that would become their children. Continue reading »

Humanity’s Downfall: Putting Numbers Before Design


In his latest book, “Car guys vs. bean counters: The battle for the soul of American Business,” and interview with Kai Ryssdal, Bob Lutz, a former vice chairman of General Motors reveals the biggest mistake that the American car companies make: they rely on numbers as the determinant of the companies’ profits and future growth. Unfortunately, Lutz states, the love for numbers is the virtue still instilled in students of business schools. The consequence of this is that the future leaders of the business world are taught to “skimp and see how much cost can we strip out before people actually protest“! Continue reading »

Beauty is Power

colorful fruits



Designing beautiful objects and surroundings is not merely a whim; beauty influences the way we act. When the cleaning crew at the Utrecht railway station in the Netherlands went on strike for a week, people at the station were much more likely to be rude to one another, and they adhered a lot more to racial stereotypes. Follow the link to the article/podcast to hear more about the research.