Archive | October 2014

The Drop

Bhaskar Chanda film reviews the dropThe Drop is a crime drama starting Tom Hardy and late James Gandolfini. Tom Hardy plays a lonely barkeeper, Bob Saginowski, that keeps to himself. James Gandolfini plays the bar owner, Marv, who is Bob’s cousin and powerful figure in the neighborhood.

The premise of the movie is based off of old time Brooklyn, where bars would act as holding areas for all the dirty money in the city. These would called “money drops” and the bars were called “drop spots.” Bob and Marv find themselves in the middle of a robbery that gets federal agents involved. One thing leads to another and the federal agents begin to dig deeper into the local underworld of the Brooklyn bar scene.

It is difficult to watch a gangster related film with James Gandolfini without imagining him as Tony Soprano. James Gandolfini is a great actor, and this was unfortunately his last movie. The role that he was put in was almost like a softer version of Tony Soprano, but he still played the part well and brought chills down my spine.

Tom Hardy played a good awkward introvert. He did not say much, and a lot of his lines seems a bit forced and out of the ordinary. Tom Hardy definitely had the leading role. Because of this, the movie followed the pace of his character: slow and awkward. There were too few pivotal moments and the slow buildups did not seem worth the muster.

Overall, I would suggest that people do not go see this movie. The story seemed a little introverted, as it almost acted like a character development film of a mundane protagonist. I will not give away the entire movie, but if you are deciding weather to see this in theaters or wait until a free version comes out online, I would chose the latter. This movie is not worth paying for. 2/5 Stars

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Stem Cell Research and its Potential Effects

Bhaskar Chanda Stem Cell CanadaStem cell research involves the use of stem cells to treat a diverse range of muscular, developmental, cardiovascular, brain, and other medical problems. Controversial by nature, stem cells are derived from the creation, destruction, and exploitation of human embryos. Though stem cells can be adapted from adult cells as well as taken from human embryos, the two sources provide stem cells that serve separate and unique functions, and both are needed for stem cell research to reach it’s full potential.

Stem cells promise a lot to the medical field because they possess the ability to develop into many different types of cells in the body. Stem cells use cell division to multiply limitlessly, and are distinct from other cells in that they are totally unspecialized. Being unspecialized means that a stem cell’s function can be decided based on need, giving stem cells the potential to replenish cells in the body of nearly any type – red blood cells, muscle cells, organ-specific cells, bone marrow, brain, skin, etc. This opens the door to curing countless diseases, defects, trauma, and ailments as research progresses. With adequate research, stem cells can help us understand how an organism develops from a single cell, how healthy cells replace damaged ones in adults, and what causes birth defects.

Stem cells have the potential to be particularly effective in treating type 1 diabetes. Most recently, experts have developed human insulin producing beta cells, the cells that diabetes destroys. While they still haven’t figured a way to prevent diabetes from attacking the stem cell generated beta cells, this is a giant leap forward in the cure for type 1 diabetes. This is just a glimpse into the potential that stem cells have to treat medical problems that were previously thought untreatable. With the potential to multiply through cell division and specialize into virtually any function, the possibilities for stem cell research are boundless.

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Traveling in Canada

Picture Perfect Bhaskar Chanda

Oh Canada! Canada is officially bilingual, with wide heritage from both France and England. Canada is extremely ethnically diverse, and continues to be a popular destination for immigrants. Canada’s population is among the most educated in the world, with over half of their citizens holding at least a college degree. Being the second largest nation in the world, there’s a lot of Canada to see, so this post will focus in on a journey along the East Coast. If traversing the Atlantic coast of Canada, a great first destination is Niagara Falls. Niagara Falls straddles the New York/Ontario border. Here, three waterfalls come together to form one of the most reknown waterfall attractions in the world. Also, Niagara Falls has interesting infrastructure for creating massive amounts of hydroelectric power. Channeling water with an extremely high content of dissolved salts and rock particle, erosion occurs at an alarming rate at Niagara Falls, and it’s expected that the falls will cease to exist 50,000 years from now, so see it while you can!

The weather was absolutely delightful.......cloudy yet gorgeous. Bhaskar Chanda
Photograph by Bhaskar Chanda in Canada

Cape Spear is the most easterly portion of the continent, and though a bit of a trek from the mainland, it’s a worthy destination for it’s historical significance and natural beauty. Being close to convoy routes during WW II, Cape Spear served as the site of a gun battery, with historical bunkers and underground passageways. With some of the most massive waves of any place in the continent and common whale sightings, it’s also a great spot to look out at the ocean.       Magnetic Hill Park, New Brunswick is an interesting destination along the way. What’s enigmatic about this mysterious park is that you can seemingly drive uphill…in neutral. It’s a natural optical illusion, a free thrill, and totally freaky. These are just a few of many worthy Canadian sights along the Atlantic Coast. Canada’s a huge country with an extremely diverse population, so there’s no shortage of places to see and things to do. An accessible trip out of the country, Canada offers Americans the opportunity to have an experience out of the States without getting on a boat or plane, with a distinct geography, culture, and way of life.

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