When I was a teenager (2006-ish to 2012-ish), I had made a lot of really nice online friends. Somehow it doesn't seem to work that way anymore. I wonder why!

Edit: Seems like gaming folks have no trouble making friends online. I'm not much into gaming.

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But unlike some people, I am willing to dedicate more of my resources and skills to find the right fit.

Why can't employers do the same?

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A few months ago, when Mr Nigam did that tweet about azaan, I had totally supported him, but now I'm having second thoughts about it. If azaan is a noise pollution, then the sounds of dhols and drums currently being beaten near my house is nothing less than torture!

But I'm afraid of making a police complaint because there is a good chance that they are deliberately turning a blind eye to this. In fact, that large ganpati mandap they have set up with woofer speakers and all is right besides the police station! Can you believe that?

I think there is literally no option but to bear this torture for next ten days. What about all the aged people, heart patients and those admitted in the hospitals, how could you possibly expect them to bear all this? Don't these people have any sense of humanity or empathy?

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22 Aug 2017, 9:07 am

top scoring links : india Sapio sexuals strike again 

Hey, so obviously this may not be unique to our country, it's just that we give a shit about ourselves for now ignoring the firangis.

I want your input about dating culture in India so please give some valuable input.

I'm just going to speak what I have observed, don't see this as some indisputable proof, silly.

I'm going a little too generalized here, but that's because I look at the majority, obviously many of you are normal human beings.

Respect is basically non existent. Every time you have to date, it's super serious. This has caused many relations to go ugly I haven't seen someone say "oh yea we dated it was nice but yea it wasn't serious" it's always "oh fuck that guy/girl she's manipulative/psychopath/mysognist/sexist/rasict/hypocrite/sociopathic/shallow/depressed/fuccboi/etc. Guys on Tinder jinka dimag dekh ke kharda hota h and Girls with an obvious shallow personality and huge expectations.

I'm a guy, so the worst thing I have seen is the girl you are probably interested in has a group of grill friends who decide whether or not you are worth it. Usually that chick will have a completely lost ego/personality (is a feminist)(hates drama) and will be full of red flags (you dated her in school) but let's leave that to school because urban teenagers are fucking obnoxious...not all of them of course...

Then comes the hints shudders. I'm sorry for being socially inept for not understanding a-stupid-action-pointing-you-wanna-spend-time-with-me-which-will-totally-confuse-a-sane-person-making-them-cut-you-off-because-you-were-not-being-straight-forward.

You may say "Hey, we don't need Western culture here" (Yes, I have seen that argument), I will say that there is a huge gap between stupidity and culture. Indian culture is filled with oppressive practices.

But let's forget that, I'm just bored because there is no casual dating culture or anything without it being soaked in... Horrendous bullshit. Sure sometimes you get serious but that's another thing even the person you feel is perfect, is not perfect that's the point of dating. Every girl I dated becomes super serious, then suddenly abusive, then moves on doing some crazy "ex revenge". My guy friends cannot keep a good social life because they are so involved with their "one true love".

Or in the end, I'm just stuck with fucking idiots. But you know, we have better things to do...

But hey, whatever makes you sleep at night. People like things, some don't.

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Millions of people are affected by this cumulative disaster. It's not just one state - Bengal, Bihar, Gujarat (from July), Assam are all facing crores of people displaced. Do read up on the disaster - each state is completely swamped. Nepal and Bangladesh are also heavily hit.

Besides the Prime Ministers Relief Fund - which will be selectively doled out to each state - can we have a list of organisations that are helping and taking donations? From what I've read, UNICEF is doing good work in Nepal.

Am finding it difficult to find the resources actively engaged in dispensing aid. Found a few missionary websites but would like some more sources. Could we put together a list?

[EDIT 3: Thanks mods. Have compiled a small list myself. There are more NGOs in the comments and I'm hoping for suggestions. But these options look as good as it gets.]

Goonj: http://goonj.org/ They allow you to give materials as well, such as clothes, blankets, footwear, paper. Their website has a direct call to action for the floods.

Oxfam: https://www.oxfamindia.org/Assam-Floods-2016 They specify donation amounts. Rs.5300 will give:

1 full shelter and Hygiene kit comprising of tarpaulin sheet, Oxfam bucket with lid, Mug, Mosquito net, sanitary cloth/pad for women, anti-bacterial soap, detergent soap and blanket for 1 person.

You can also add a custom donation. Oxfam is a reputable trust. There is significant coverage about their activities, and they have a detailed plan here

PLAN INTERNATIONAL: https://www.planindia.org/support-emergency

They focus on Morigaon district in Assam, distributing non-food items. They seem to specialize in taking care of children traumatized by disaster. Pretty reputed organisation.

There are also the following government portals below. Do note that there are criticisms of the state governments and their response to the floods. This one states that public distribution services and other post-disaster services are non-functional.

That said, as of now, the NDRF, Army and State Governments are handling the brunt of the burden. I'm sure they can use whatever help they get.

GOVERNMENT PORTALS:

Chief Minister's Relief Fund, Government Of Bihar

Chief Minister's Relief Fund, Government of Assam

Prime Minister's National Relief Fund

Gujarat's Chief Minister Relief Fund is doing well on media and social media but for the life of me I can't find a donate button.

[The Floods]

If the scale of the situation hasn't struck home just yet, have attached some news articles and points below. This is a South Asian disaster.

Bihar: 12.6 million homeless and about 253 dead.

Gujarat: 218 dead and about 40,000 homeless/displaced

Assam: 2.6 million displaced and 148 killed. Kaziranga national park is also flooded, several hundred animals killed (including a Bengal Tiger).

Bengal: 152 dead and 15 million affected

Meghalaya : Over one lakh affected though casualties seem low so far

Let's not forget our neighbours. Between Nepal, India and Bangladesh, 16 million people have been affected.

My apologies for so many blank numbers, but there is so much tragedy happening and it feels like headlines only cover one issue at a time. When they were covering it. There is no sense of urgency about these floods in the press anymore.

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22 Aug 2017, 4:48 am

top scoring links : india It's not what it looks like 

22 Aug 2017, 4:31 am

top scoring links : india Soldiers' morale at Doklam sky high 

"We appreciate India's important contributions to stability in Afghanistan, but India makes billions of dollars in trade with the United States, and we want them to help us more with Afghanistan, especially in the area of economic assistance and development."

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In the West, they are slaughtered at a young age for veal (young beef). I realize cow killing is taboo in this country, yet surely raising male cows beyond those needed for breeding would cut down on profit for a dairy farm? How do farmers deal with this conundrum?

I understand some of my assumptions underlying this question might be faulty. Sorry if that's the case! Please do correct me, I would love to know more.

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22 Aug 2017, 2:49 am

top scoring links : india Guys, we need to discuss Reservation 

I think we can all agree that Reservation is a sensitive topic in India and it's something we should debate.

I would like to have a civil discussion about the topic as I am genuinely curious about what people think about it.

But before I start, I need to say this: I am 100% for the upliftment of historically disadvantaged castes and tribes. Also improving their representation. The question that we really need to answer is whether reservation is the correct solution for that.

So here's my view. As I said I am 100% for the upliftment of historically disadvantaged castes and tribes. Also improving their representation. But the reason I don't like reservation is because it is very flawed. Some problems with Reservation are:

  • Poor people who actually need financial and social help are left out on their own.
  • The government does nothing to verify that the people having caste certificates are actually backward. The rule is that if you earn over a certain threshold, you are not eligible for reservation. But there is practically no verification of this. Sometimes they ask for income certificates but anyone who has ever been to a Babu's office knows that there is no actual "income verification".
  • The reservation percentages are arbitrarily decided. Before you guys jump on me and say that the govt. has done statistical research and arrived at those numbers, please cite a source. The fact that there is no public data tells you a lot.
  • It has become a tool for politicians to exploit. It has become a way to garner votes.
  • It is not good for meritrocacy. For e.g. imagine a more extreme case. What if we started awarding medical degrees even at 4.0/10.0 GPA. Wouldn't this pose practical problems. What if they misdiagnose someone or cause someone's death.
  • Where do we draw the line? Why not reservation in the Indian cricket team? Let's have 50% players from OBS/ST/SC. Why not bollywood? Why not private companies?

Some common rebuttals:

Reservation has helped a lot of people who were actually disadvantaged.

I agree but, that doesn't make it right. You can't quote instances where it worked and say it's ok. I am sure it works in most cases, but what about the cases where it doesn't? I am not talking about the majority here. By that logic even the Information Technology Act is okay because it has worked in most cases. But what about the cases where it was abused?

What other solution do you have?

I don't. That's why we need to discuss some other solutions. For e.g. we can start by making the "income verification" a lot more strict. Secondly we should have a socio-economic census to verify its effectiveness in the past and use the latest data to adjust the percentages so that it benefits most people. Furthermore, the data should be made public so we know the politicaians are not making us chutiya. We should make quotas more fine grained to account for the relative differences between reserved classes. For e.g. caste A is more disadvantaged than caste B and caste A has more population than caste B. Then caste A should have more reservation than caste B. We should spread more awareness about these reservation schemes so more people know about them and use it to their advantage. Spend more money on advertising reservation than on "Lund lasan kalyan yojna".

What pains me is that I have plenty of SC/ST friends who are really poor and a lot of them didn't even know what IIT was until after they joined a college. It is cases like these that anger me.

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Link: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=iUezhOdGUPE

He also mentioned India and how it needs to increase it's economic cooperation with regards to the US and Afghanistan since we have a billion $ yearly trade with the US.

First time I've seen an American president take such a tough line with Pakistan and pivot that much to India to urge us to play a stronger hand. Not sure if this means they will take our side completely over China's if there was ever a conflict, but, it's a definite possibility.

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A Delhi court today denied bail to Kashmiri separatist leader Shabir Shah, who was arrested in a decade-old money laundering case for alleged terror financing.
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A factory in Mumbai accused of dumping dye into a river where several dogs turned blue has been shut down, an official said on Tuesday, after alarming pictures emerged of the brightly-coloured...
Rescuers on the Italian holiday island of Ischia pulled the last trapped child from rubble on Tuesday after a magnitude-4.0 earthquake toppled buildings and left two people dead.
Aadhaar will now be mandatory for those appearing for open school exams to ensure there are no proxy candidates appearing on others' behalf.
As her husband stalked around the back yard, upending chairs and screaming about demons, Nancy Schrock knew he was unraveling fast. She dialed the police.
For hundreds of years, Muslim men in India could divorce their wives by repeating the word "talaq," Arabic for divorce, three times. On Tuesday, the Supreme Court declared the practice...
Just days ahead of Ganesh Chaturthi, the excitement to welcome Lord Ganesha is at its peak. As the whole country gears up for grand Ganpati celebrations, the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and...
Army officer Lt Colonel Prasad Shrikant Purohit is likely to be released from jail tomorrow as the formalities for his release will take some more time. The Supreme Court granted bail yesterday to Lt...
The Hyderabad district administration has decided to spread the message against child marriage and 'contract marriages' of minor girls and women with elderly persons from Gulf countries.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is addressing nearly 200 industry leaders today to discuss a range of subjects including economic growth and jobs. The two-day event is part of the "Champions of Change"...
Delhi airport operator DIAL today said it will expand the passenger handling capacity of two operational terminals, recommission operations at terminal two and build a new runway by 2021.
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