Category Archives: Uncategorized

How to choose which plastics are safe (relatively)

Many of us are moving to green now-a-days and often its a challenge to find some alternatives to the plastics that we use. Following is the description of the Types of plastics and how good/bad they are. Hope this helps in conscious choice.

  1. PETE: Polyethylene terephthalate ethylene used for soft drink, juice, water, detergent, cleaner and peanut butter containers. It was considered the safest and is the most common plastic and easy to recycle. However, a recent study found traces of DEHP in bottled water stored in a PET bottle for more than 9 months.
  2. HDPE: High density polyethylene, used in opaque plastic milk and water jugs, bleach, detergent and shampoo bottles and some plastic bags. It is considered safe and easy to recycle.
  3. PVC or V or DEHA : Polyvinyl chloride or di(2-ethylhexyl)adipate used for cling wrap, some plastic squeeze bottles, cooking oil and peanut butter jars, detergent and window cleaner bottles. PVC is well known to be associated with liver cancer. DEHA is linked to negative effects on the liver, kidney, spleen, bone formation and body weight. It is the least recyclable.
  4. LDPE: Low density polyethylene, used in gro­cery store bags, most plastic wraps and some bottles. It is considered safe but hard to recycle.
  5. PP: Polypropylene, used in most Rubbermaid, deli soup, syrup and yogurt containers, straws and other clouded plastic containers, including baby bottles. It is considered safe but hard to recycle.
  6. PS: Polystyrene, used in Styrofoam food trays, egg cartons, disposable cups and bowls, carry-out containers and opaque plastic cutlery. Styrene can leach from polystyrene and is toxic to the brain and nervous system. It also has been found to affect red blood cells, liver, kid­neys and stomach in animal studies. It is hard to recycle.
  7. Other: Usually polycarbonate, used in most plastic baby bottles, 5-gallon water bottles, “sport” water bottles, metal food can liners, clear plastic “sippy” cups and some clear plastic cutlery. New bio-based plastics may also be labeled #7. Polycarbonate can leach Bisphenol A, a chemical that mimics the action of the human hormone estrogen. It was found to stimulate prostate cancer, produce ovarian dysfunction, genetic damage, etc. (see Baby Bottles free of BPA).

Thanks to Fremont Fire Department

On 05.31.2009 at 3.40am PST i was in deep sleep to realize the smoke and suffocation. When I woke up, i realized that the smoke is due to fire and i could hear a fire alarm. I went to all the rooms to check if it is not coming from my apartment and then i opened my bedroom’s window to see that a car is on fire. Of course in real life this is the first time i saw fire coming out of a car and the fire was intense. The immediate thing i did was to call the 911 and they in turn connected to the fire department. I gave the address of apartment and location and they were here in the location in 2.5 minutes.

This is the first time that i saw the fire rescue team and they were very prompt to take the hose and immediately started the water. After 10 minutes the fire came down but there was a lot of smoke coming out of the engine. So they used some ultra high-fi cutters to cut open the hood and sprayed the extinguisher.

The entire operation took around 2 hours and all the while i was thinking about the adverse effects of the fire if no one would have seen it. If the fire came to the gas tank, it would have been a disaster and all the wood railings would have caught fire. Anyway, with great sincerity i extend my tanks to Fremont Fire Department for their good work. Probably t his is a real small incident that fire department takes care of, but for me i understand the amount of brevity, timely action and courage they show to rescue and proactively put off 100s and 1000s of fire incidents.

See the pictures at

Matrix lover gets cold…

Today it is the saddest incident in the history of entire human species. No one has ever seen the domination of the this bad virus (cold) over the human race. We humans have always prevailed and we will. Today we are less energetic, these bad guys (virus) have taken our physical strength; However we are as strong as ever and we are strengthened mentally. We will show them once again that human will and power always outlives the physical nature.

Today is the day that we will not give into these bad guys. We will gather all our armies and ammunition and be ready to prevail and thrive. We will show them once again that we are HUMANS and they are BAD guys. Today we need to show our courage, strength and endurance. We will not fall pray to any of the bad allies (anti-bio-tics), we will keep all our friendship but use none.

Finally my friends, hold on to your faith and will. Tomorrow is a new day and we the HUMAN race is going have another victory and we will kick these bad guys butt off and make them run into the black holes.


This is in response to sad and anger provoking incidents happened in India. I pay tribute to all those heroes, who have fought and gave their lives for this country in rescuing many innocent lives in Mumbai. I would not want to talk more about this fearful incident, but want to remind everyone a small message.

“Please do not forget such incidents and move on. This kind of ill cultured and brutal behavior should be stopped. If not done or if we (YOU, ME and Others) relax thinking that nothing happened to me , a time will come when the same incident might happen to one of us or to our near or dear. And, that time we will just be in agony and nothing else. We all as part of the India and Indian community in different parts of the world, please spread this message across and let everyone know that we STRONGLY CONDEMN these brutal acts.”

Most of us has been thinking that, “As long as i am safe; i don’t care”. But PLEASE come out of these thoughts and be aware that we are all part of the same system and society. If we don’t bring out our frustration, thoughts, ideas and kill our fears and URGE a result oriented action and thought process, nothing is going to happen. We have seen so many riots, bomb blasts and still we are passive. We and Media would like to talk about it when the incident happens and after few months, “EVERY THING IS NORMAL”. People behave as though nothing has happened and we are living in a perfect world. A time comes for every one, when they loose their patience, let their ACTIONs speak with no fear. “YOU FEAR, YOU SUFFER”.

When i talk to few people recently, they dont even want to talk about it. Some people feel sad about this indicent and they dont want to talk and some dont care about it. The attitude is like, “I am in XYZ country; I dont care”. With all the due respect to your personal feelings, i would urge such people to come out of their coward clothes and behave as a responsible citizens. One need not be patriatic, to feel bad about these issues and raise a voice. It just takes a meaningful, sensible human being to condemn such things and “EXPRESS THAT WHAT HAPPENED IS REALLY BAD”.

This is the question of the “Terrorism” and WE CAN NOT FIGHT it, if we have so many differences among ourselves and “fear even to speak out”.  Do speak out about “WHAT YOU FEEL” and have a result oriented thought process. World needs to know what each and every one of us feel.

Finally, i salute to all the heroes of the attacks and my sincere condolences to all those families who have lost their near and dear. Being away from my country, i am trying to do what i can.


India pays tribute to its heroes

Life Insurance : Term vs Permanent

I want to a Life Insurance and i am confused between the Term and Permanent Insurance. Insurance agents contacted me and gave me loads of info.

Many are recommending the Permanent/Life Policy. In this case i need to pay for almost around 20 years and then the policy is mine and i do not have to pay for life long. At the end of the 20 years, i also have the money value accrued and i can withdraw if i need for some interest. Its probably like taking the bank loan.

The second type of insurance is the Term Insurance and its in the phases of 10, 15, 20 years of time. This probably costs only couple of hundreds of dollars but its not permanent. you need to pay the heavy insurance premiums all the time, as long as you need the coverage.

The also said if i take a policy for the kids (also new born), i would probably need to pay only for 15-16 years and they would have the Insurance for the life time. Not sure, if this is a marketing trick or it really helps kids, when they grow up.

Appreciate if you can share your experiences and which one do you think is better. Do you recommend New York Life ?

Useful links for Desis in US

Everyone who comes to USA have to undergo some initial setup process. Its mandatory for everyone 🙂 The idea of this blog is to give a basic introduction to all the important on line resources that you would need during your day-to-day life. The idea is NOT to give any location specific details and be generic about the resources. I covered a specific topic about How much is “enough” in US in a separate blog.

If you have any specific sites to be included in the following list please do send them to me an i would be glad to add them.


Immigration / Travel Insurance:

Pay Check:

School Ratings: [from Suneetha]

Cost of living comparison:

Car Rentals:

Vehicle Research:


Low Cost Airlines:

Flight/Hotel Reservations:

Hotel Specials:

Desi Entertainment/Community Sites:

Online Hindi/Telugu Music:

Online TV :

Online Language Translators:

Online Music / Downloads :

How much is “enough” in USA

For all Desi’s who come to USA, its a confusing number to decide how much is really enough. Of course, this magic number depends totally on weather someone is single+student, single+working, married+1salary or married+2salaries. I am trying to give a rough and necessary calculation of expenses that you incur monthly. Of course the expenses changes from state to state and also depends on people.

Expense Type Low End High End Average
House Rent 800 1400 1000
Water + Trash + Sewage 40 50 40
Mobile 50 80 50
Internet + Home Phone + Cable 0 120 120
Car Gas 100 200 100
Car Instalment 200 500 300
Grosseries 200 400 300
Miscellanious 300 500 300
Total 1690 3250 2210

The above table suggests expenses for a single family (wife and husband) and no kids. In the end the idea is to get everyone know how mush is NECESSARY here in US for all desi’s coming here for the first time.