Shubha Bala

Shubha Bala

March 20, 2011

Holi Festival of Colors, Utah 2010 - Chalk Explosion
An explosion of color results as participants of a Holi festival in Utah throw colored chalk into the air and at each other. (photo: Jeremy Nicoll)

There’s no shortage of photos from Holi, the Hindu festival of colors, which takes place this year on Sunday, March 20th. Around the world, people celebrate the holiday by “throwing colors” at anyone who wanders by. Sometimes it’s in the form of powders, sometimes colored water, and sometimes natural dyes.

According to the BBC’s description of Holi, Ratnaval, a seventh-century Sanskrit drama, has one of the first references to the festivities:

March 11, 2011

The Progressive Artists Group was founded in India in 1947, the year the country gained its independence from Britain, to “look at the world from an Indian way, not a British way" according to Sayed Haider Raza, one of the two living original members of this group. The New York Times recently interviewed the artist about the continued legacy of this collective, which was disbanded just a decade after its creation

March 04, 2011

Dr. SalidaWhen we think of historic Islamic scholars, it’s easy to think of philosophy and literature and forget the science. From February 24-26, the University of Minnesota’s program in Religious Studies held the Shared Cultural Spaces conference, which aimed to “explore the ways in which Muslim contributions to literature, arts, science, and architecture have influenced and become foundational to Western humanistic and scientific expressions.”

February 27, 2011

Religious leaders have been joining the march against the Wisconsin government. Catholic, Episcopalian, ELCA, and Jewish voices were amongst those who have reached out to their congregations, and the governor, publicly stating their support for the workers. In her opinion piece for Religion Dispatches, Kim Bobo, the founder and executive director of Interfaith Worker Justice, writes about these phenomena:

“Not all religious leaders are strong supporters of unions, but none believe workers rights should be decimated. This is what religion looks like.”


February 03, 2011

"So, you know, these issues of above ground testing, nuclear testing, being a down-winder, a Hibakusha as the Japanese say. They're not abstractions. You know, we live with them every day. The personal becomes political." ~Terry Tempest Williams. A look into the history and heartbreak behind the word "Hibakusha."

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January 13, 2011

A novel way of understanding the other and meeting your neighbor.

January 08, 2011

We interviewed Frances Kissling on December 20, 2010. A longtime force in the abortion debate, Kissling is searching for new ways to talk to each other, not past each other, about our deepest disagreements.

We live-tweeted gems from the 90-minute conversation, which we’re reposting here in case you don’t use Twitter, or just missed it. Make sure to follow us next time. at @BeingTweets.

December 29, 2010

Twitter recently released its top trends of 2010. It’s a relief to see that the Gulf oil spill finished ahead of Justin Bieber. Interestingly, three of the top trends had to do with soccer’s World Cup. (Pulpo Paul was the “psychic” octopus that predicted World Cup match results.)

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December 22, 2010

Our aggregated tweets from our interview.

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December 10, 2010

Young Kashmiris demand independence from India, and redefine freedom.

December 03, 2010

The DodecahedronMy favorite dog-earred, page-stained book growing up was The Phantom Tollbooth. I must have read over 40 times about Milo’s quest through the Kingdom of Wisdom to reconcile the rulers of Dictionopolis, the lover of words, and Digitopolis, the lover of numbers. The conclusion of this book, and of John Allen Paulos’ recent post in The New York Times, is that both language and math should reign equally.

Paulos, a mathematician and professor, argues that while narratives and statistics play important roles, people approach them both with different mindsets:

November 20, 2010

Watch Steve Martin with the Steep Canyon Rangers sing a special song, since they say atheists don’t have any.

November 15, 2010

Read highlights of Krista's interview with mention of cultivation of mind, ethical motivation, and consciousness and more.

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November 09, 2010

Read the Twitterscript gems from Krista's October 15, 2010 interview with Chief Rabbi Sacks.

November 08, 2010

Masjid An-Nasr, Oklahoma City
The crescent-topped dome of Masjid An-Nasr peeks through trees of a residential neighborhood in Oklahoma City. (photo: Andrew Shockley/Flickr)

Hailing from Canada, where referendums are few and far between, I’m fascinated by some of the questions on the U.S. ballots. This year I was particularly interested in Oklahoma ballot measure 755 [bold emphasis mine]:

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October 28, 2010

On October 17, 2010, Krista led a lively conversation with four dynamic religious leaders: the His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama, Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, Rev. Dr. Katharine Jefferts Schori, and Seyyed Hossein Nasr on "Understanding and Promoting Happiness in Today's Society."

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October 22, 2010

The natural sex ratio quotient doesn't add up. A stark portrayal from MediaStorm of violence against females in India.

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