Sunday, May 10, 2009

Real Age

At my recent birthday, retook the test, and was very pleased to see the real age as 27.4. is really good site

Supersize Me

Watched this movie today. It was very well made. The main character, very healthy, takes up a challenge to be on McDonald's diet for 30 days. He get himself checked with 3 doctors and one RD before the challenge, and keep testing his physical health/blood test throughout 30 days.

He is just eating 3 meals at McDonalds and he is supposed to cover everything in menu during his 30 days. What struck me that when this young man narrated his childhood memories of his mother, that she used to be mostly in kitchen, and they hardly every ate out. This is similar to my memories. I used to think that US has fast food and eating out trend for a long time. Apparently not. The fast food challenge is a challenge for us as a parent. It is easy to eat out, as it is cheap and save on time. Even with cell phone, computer, online bill payment and all technology advances, I think rushed life is one of our biggest challenge.

At the end of the movie, main character's cholestrol jumped from 165 to 225, and wait shot up by 25 pounds, however, there was no change in height.

I am not going to McDonalds anymore. Not that we are going any of fast food places for a long time, thanks to Promila's cooking. To be fair, among among all Fast Food which serve similar food as that of McDonalds, McDonald is the best in terms of ingradient use and calories.

Movie is highlt recommended.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Swine Flu A/H1N1

I attended today’s lunch and learn session on this topic. There were more people from Wellness staff then actual people who attended it. I was surprised by very low attendance, not sure if it was due to information overload already or people were scared to attend a meeting at a common place. As per the speaker, people couldn’t stay anxious for prolonged period of time, and they drop their guards after some time, and give up.

As per them, there is still uncertainty on severity of flu. The victims in US are recovering fine, and are responding to this strain with and without treatment. US is still trying to find out as why there were more fatal cases in Mexico, and since system in Mexico is different, it is difficult to find out details on 25 confirmed deaths in Mexico.

Present strain is sensitive (curable) to Tamiflu and Relenza, if you take it within 2 days of onset of symptoms; and if one has it, the disease is communicable for another 10 days after onset of symptoms.

Annually 36000 people die in US alone for various flu. Keeping that in perspective, this is not that bad. It is good to cautious and use commonsense hygiene, the video was a great hit on how to sneeze. The cloth traps the virus, and it dies quickly on cloth, however on other surfaces, it could stay there for 1-2 days. So mantra is sneeze in your elbow or armpit (and do not wear sleeveless dresses J).

This funny and informational video is promoted by CDC.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Hiller Aviation museum

There were 4 simulations which we all three did. One particular simulation lasted for 30 minutes, and it was very close to actual plane flying, task was to take off from SFO and land it on Half Moon Bay airport. I failed miserably. The simulation had GPS, and all the gauges you would see in plane.

Museum has a lot of history; I was fascinated by Rotocycle and platform flying machine. There was a simulation for platform flying machine too. Prem had lot of fun. Highly recommended.

Cal Academy of Sciences

Only thing to watch out on free Wednesday is wait time before you enter. We reached around 10:15 (museum opens at 9:30), and have to wait 2 hours outside. However, wait outside was not bad, because the academy was in Golden Gate Park. We brought sandwiches. It also helped that there was another family which carpooled with us, so Prem played with other kid. I brought two flying planes (bought from Hiller Aviation Museum), so kids just had fun outside too.

Couple of other people who have been to museum on earlier free Wednesdays told that it generally takes around 45 minutes wait time, but may be because of spring break, there were lot of school busses which dropped kid yesterday, and they were not allowing people to enter till museum was relatively empty.

The museum created a Rain Forest which was unique (hot and humid in this 3 storey structure with in Museum), great aquarium, living roof, penguins, T-Rex, very good food, a few interactive screens and games for kids. We were the last one to come out of museum. Personally, I learnt a few new things and enjoyed it.

Charles Schultz Museum, Santa Rosa

This museum in Santa Rosa is a gem. Take your time to explore it, it is not widely advertised.

The exhibits at first floor changes (I think every six months). This time there were exhibits from NASA. Apparently, Snoopy was symbol which NASA adopted for their Apollo 10 mission (astronauts orbit around the moon, but did not land) and onwards for all their missions. So there was quite a history with NASA.

There was a wall mural created in the museum of 3500 cartoon strip tiles. The tiles are organized in such a way that they made a popular cartoon strip. It was mind-blowing. Do chat to volunteers there; most of them were personal friends to Charles Schultz.

There was an education center on second floor, where you can do sketches and cartooning. 2nd floor did provide a glimpse on Charles' life. To be honest, I only started liking Peanuts series just six months ago. Before that I just was not able to appreciate it, in fact that used to be only strip on Sunday newspaper which I would not read. I was not just getting the humor. However, 6 months ago, I watched a DVD of his strips with Prem (Prem loved it), and there was a 5 minute interview from him, and everything clicked. Charlie Brown is the story of the cartoonist who had a hard childhood, he was bullied and did not fit in among other kids, and CB was not a happy kid. He put that in cartoon, and even expressed some of his adult life lessons through the strip.

He drew cartoons for 50 years and died in 2000. He built a world class skating ring in Santa Rosa, where he spent last 30 years of his life, besides other things. Skating Ring is just across the road from museum, and there is Warm Puppy Cafe, this where he used to draw ideas and do breakfast and lunch. We ate there, and came to know that skating ring was designed by his wife based on some Switz architecture, it is unique, and you can see it while eating from the cafe.

The food was good in cafe, and you could see where he used to sit and draw cartoons. Skating Ring, Indoor tennis courts and baseball diamonds are few of the things which he did for Santa Rosa. He was active through out his life and played all these sports, and created tournaments for over 30, over 40, over 50 age groups, and participated in those.

In the museum, there is a holographic ring outside (which I think most of the visitors missed); there is a big screen movie theater and replica of his studio. It was very inspiring, in the sense, that here is the man who knew that he wanted to be cartoonist at age 5, and went on to impact lot of people's lives, his township, just doing that. He was Californian, came from a very simple background (his father owned a barber shop), who loved outdoors, sports and created a beautiful life around it. It is all there to see and experience.

We ate dinner in down town Santa Rosa and walked around Rail Road Square.

Before I forget, there is a snoopy labyrinth outside of museum, do not forget to walk it. Prem walked it 4 times. We took breaks, went for lunch, came back, and went to see three 30 minutes movies. We came back around 10 PM.

All in all, great experience.