Is it chocolate?

This weekend, my brother and I did a bit of a survey at Food Bazaar to see which chocolate brands had vegetable fats (other than cocoa butter) in them. The results? All imported brands, such as Hershey's , Vochelle and Mars were made of cocoa butter and milk fats. And the two major brands sold in India, namely Cadbury's and Nestle, have Hydrogenated Vegetable Oils in them.

Now, you may ask, what's wrong with having vegetable fats in chocolate? Nothing, really, if you are not a chocolate purist. But there is definitely something wrong with having Hydrogenated vegetable oils in the chocolate. These fats have been shown to have many health risks, compared to saturated fats (such as from milk or even meats). There is a lot of awareness about these health risks in many countries in the west, and a lot of companies have started labeling their chocolate, saying "Does not contain any vegetable fat". Check out a bar of Mars.

So next time, before you reach for a 5Star or a KitKat, think about all the free radicals in the chocolate, and how your liver is going to metabolise it!

ETA: After this post was posted, on reading one of the comments, I went to check the Cadbury brand again. And sure enough, there is no more mention of hydrogenated veg oils anymore! There are still some bars of choc that do have them, so if you are concerned, just flip it over and read the ingredient list before buying. :)


Usenet Poll!!!

What is your level of familiarity with the Usenet?
Never heard of it.

Heard of it, but never used it.

Use it via web-based interfaces such as Google groups.

Read and post occasionally using newsreaders.

Read and post regularly using newsreaders.

Current results


"Bootism" or "Why Women Love Shoes So Much"

Why do women love shoes so much? What is the reason that a woman can walk past a clothing sale without batting an eyelid, look over a jewellery display without once reaching for her purse, but cannot resist the lure of a shoe-sale? Women and their love for shoes have been in the media a lot, from Imelda Marcos, to Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City, to our own Ms. Jayalalitha. Men wonder at these news stories and shake their heads, saying they will never understand this passion for shoes, while women plan out what their own shoe closet would look like if they had that kind of money.

Bootism is defined on its website as "a shoe religion, celebrating, explaining and validating the passion for everything shoes". I have found some really enlightening articles here, here and here. So here are a few reasons (out of my head, and from the wierd and wonderful web) of why I think we women love shoes:

  • We will find a pair of shoes that fits us, even if we have put on a few kilos of weight.
  • We don't need so much time trying them on, so we can buy them even if there is a sale on, and all the changing rooms are full.
  • We need shoes to go with all the different kinds of outfits we wear. Since women have more variety in the clothing, it is natural that their footwear will be proportionately varied, both in color and style.
  • The same style of shoes will look good on us, even if we need to buy a pair that is a few sizes larger. That can definitly not be said for a lot of items of clothing, e.g. miniskirts.
  • We can cover up or bare all, depending on the mood, without being whistled at by passers-by.
  • We simply cannot wear the same pair of shoes to a wedding and dance party!
I am sure the women who read this can think up thousands more reasons (please post them, I'll rework the list and add them in later!). And if men think they understand women really well and can tell me some of the reasons, of course, those are welcome too!

Here's to a long and faithful relationship with our beloved shoes!


On being rootless

Recently, a friend remarked about the lack of opportunities to work in your hometown if you are from a small town. This led me to think about rootless people like me, who can never give a simple answer to the question "So where are you from?" From early childhood, we have to learn to make new friends, learn names of new streets, get accustomed to new neighbourhoods because we find ourselves in a different city every couple of years. We come to realise that, after a lot of fond farewells and promises of "writing every week", old friendships usually fizzle off in a few months and new friends are made. Does this seem a little sad to those of you who have lived their entire lives in the same city? Surprisingly, it's not.

With the nervousness of fitting into a new set of friends in a new school comes the freedom to re-invent yourself everytime you are in a new place where no one knows you. Whether it is a new hairstyle you were not really confident about, or a new attitude on life, if no one knows you where you are going to, they will accept these new things as part of you. There is the thrill of discovering new ice-cream parlors and bookstores, finding new chaat thelas and of even learning a new language.

As you move from city to city, you gather a whole store of stories and anecdotes to entertain at parties and put in place a whole network of friends and acquaintances. Nothing equals the pleasure of meeting after fifteen years someone who was your "best friend" in eight grade!


F1! F1!!

Help please! I am trying to get this template onto my blog, but unfortunately I'm not that good at html. Can someone pls give me some tips???

ETA: I have successfully applied the template! Yay me!


Get a blog!

There used to be an ad on TV years ago, saying "Get a job, get a job". Nowadays, all I hear is "Get a blog, get a blog!". People seem to want to look at your blog before they will speak to you! So ok, here's my nth attempt to start a meaningful blog! Hope this fares better than the previous ones!