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The ode originated in Greek drama when the chorus divided into two groups and danced across the stage singing a hymn of praise for a god or a king. Centuries later, two Roman poets, Pindar and Horace, gave it different stylistic twists: the Horatian ode maintained the Greek emphasis on structure and rhythm, but the Pindaric ode was less formal, and in some ways anticipated the modern free verse ode. Today, the ode is typically a three or four part, fairly long poem written in praise or criticism, concluding with a moral.  It may be rhymed and metrical, or it may be in free verse as in “Ode to my Socks” which was written by Pablo Neruda (1904-1973), the Chilean Nobel Prize winner,

Uncomfortably tucked away
in the land of milk and honey,
with a temperate Mediterranean climate
just south of Lebanon’s troubled Cedars
and north of the Bedouin’s desolate Negev desert,
remaining cut across various human fault lines.
But safe from the chaotic monsoons that it’s distant cousins:
the Indian subcontinental mango and jackfruit must face.
Yet left unsafe from the upheavals,
driven by zealousness in it’s own land.

A seemingly ubiquitous citrus fruit
leaving it’s mark on medieval and colonial supply chains,
starting from Levantine orchards,
and criss-crossing throughout the Old World,
Once a  prideful symbolic reference to days past,
now a symbol of  seemingly eternal contention,
standing in direct contrast to the olive branch,
in the middle of an orphaned and elusive peace.

The result of a fateful genetic mutation,
with probability as destiny.
The Jaffa Orange, an almost seedless variety of fruit,
sharing autumn’s color and luminous contrast.
It’s sweet flesh loaded with Vitamin C and citric acid.
Spherical oval shaped fruits,
almost like they fell from a distant galaxy
many light-years away…
When cut in half
their pale hemispheres
forming an obvious symmetry,
covered by a thick skin that peels right off.

The bustling commercial streets of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem,
but also those of Beirut and Istanbul,
filled with oranges
on a bright sunny midday in spring,
picked with the back-breaking labor of rural peasants
situated in kibbutzims and rocky hamlets.
Some to be eaten locally,
but many ready to export, probably to Europe
where they give their name to Jaffa cakes,
and also now grown elsewhere.
A reminder to never let your treasures go.

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There was a discussion about the average age of marriage for males and for females on a forum that I frequent and decided to see how they differed in terms of the age gap between the two genders.

The long-term trend is towards convergence but stabilizing at the male being 1.5 years older.

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I noticed I had a plethora of data regarding fertility and female illiteracy. These two variables are highly correlated with one another. In fact female literacy correlates more strongly than general literacy. The issue here is that men’s literacy starts to go up at an earlier date than female literacy.

As you poke around the data, the interesting thing you notice that the numbers go all over the map for female literacy, the Muslims/Hindus don’t consistently top one another. But outside of Madhya Pradesh, Muslims have consistently higher TFR’s than the Hindus do.

Sources: International Institute for Population Sciences, National Family Health Survey 1998-1999, ORC, Macro, WorldBank Dataset


The table appears small, here is a link to the table.

These next two tables show rank differences by state.

I subtracted (Muslim – Hindu) for both variables.

The higher the number, the greater the disparity is in the Hindu’s favor for the first chart, it is measuring illiteracy. A lower number indicates a Muslim edge.

This is literally measuring how many more kids Muslims have than Hindus. Ranging from as high as 3.2 to zero.

Islam tends to have a pro-natalist effect, even in that states where Muslim women have lower illteracy rates, they have higher fertility rates than Hindu women.

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