Wednesday, November 30, 2005



DISNEY AND NARNIA ARE a strange combination. C.S. Lewis's The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe really should not be commercialised. In any case Lewis thinking on Christianity is very far removed from what is acceptable to American conservatives. Disney have already decided that they want the conservatives as potential customers AND SO Lewis and his creations must yield to "modification" and eventually adulteration.

Still it may make for good cinema, and most have not read C.S. Lewis and so will not know what they are missing...

pic-"narniaweb", thanks to Tarkheena (

Friday, November 25, 2005


My biggest regret since starting into Medical Transcription has been my inability to get out into the forest. Well, tomorrow that changes.

Tomorrow, I will be in Mudumalai, hiking in a friend's undeveloped estate on the border of the Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary.

This is the forest where twice in 2003 we came face-to-face with tigers. The second of those experiences was my daughter's first of a tiger in the wild. This is also the forest that we saw burning, with Ursula and Jan (Switzerland) in the drought of late February this year. We regularly have visitors come from all over the world to see the forests and to meet and study our forest's unique tribal peoples.

The real truth, though is that it isn't really the wildlife (plenty), nor the scenery (wonderful), nor even the camaraderie of a good hike, but just the undescribable total experience of being in the forest. Along with that comes a haunting sense that the next generation may not have any of this - for what little we have left is most certainly disappearing.


Tuesday, November 22, 2005


A "NO" for the Bill of Rights

I suppose that it was inevitable that the executive would start to habitually bypass the courts. the first instances which were winked at were the setting up of the prison at Guantanamo and the indefinite detainment of "suspected terrorists" without due process.

Once the American people swallowed that one, then it was only a matter of a short time before the executive decided that they could indeed do anything in 'a time of war'.

It may not be amiss to point out that when the British ruled America, fomenters of rebellion were 'the terrorists' and similarly in my country, when we fought for independence, all of our leaders spent long stints in jail without any due process. these were all imperial and executive decisions taken in the best interest of protecting the nation against "terrorists". There is no doubt at all that Robin Hood is a terrorist of the first order and so too William Tell.

But, we could excuse this of emperors and kings - those who believe that they alone are capable of interpreting rightly their God given prerogatives - can we expect the same from those who espouse the wonder of democracy and who claim to be under the constitution and law of their land?

Renditions of such declared terrorists to other countries where there will be no question of any civil rights (nor even human rights) is another case in point. These are not the actions of America for if they were then there would never have been any need for secrecey in the first place!

Despite having been proved wrong on WMD and Iraq, despite the disastrous cosequences of a prolonged war/insugency in Iraq and despite the fact that graver threats exist and are now having to be ignored - it is time that the American people, through their judiciary and elected representatives, restored that balance of power that has sustained such a vibrant democracy for the last three centuries and restore to us in the rest of the world, a nation that is both mature and respectful of its own proud tradition of freedom.


Today's U.S. news of the acquittal of a person who had expressed support for Palestine and condemned Israel is an indication that America has not yet abandoned basic human rights despite the threat of terrorism:"...that people's beliefs or thoughts or wishes were criminal," said David Nevin, a Boise lawyer who defended the student in Idaho last year. "I think juries are pretty reluctant to go there."
  • Full Story

  • 12-07-2005


    The whole world is worried about avian flu mutating into a more virulent form. But, what are we doing about diseases that are very similarly transmited and even more dangerous to humans? In India, over 1,300 kids have died in Uttar Pradesh of the Japanese Encephalitis Virus. In many areas of India, during the monsoon season, Dengue quietly kills hundreds of children. In the U.S., West Nile Virus - another ARBO - is rapidly spreading.

    Our failures on the extant diseases do not augur well for how we will deal with any new epidemic.


    Over 40 million cases!
    My own data indicates an incidence of 1.5 - 1.8% in the general population of my home state of Tamil Nadu, with a Male:Female ratio of 15:1. Of the affected women, about 6% are sex workers while the vast majority (92%) are housewives who have got AIDS from their spouses. Still 2% are unmarried and have contracted AIDS from premarital sexual activity.

    And yet when an actress dares to address this issue in public, she is ostracized and criminal cases are registered against her.


    Now that President Bush is on the defensive on Iraq, it was refreshing to see support for him coming from a democrat who has even higher aspirations - HRC.

    Whether her analysis is sound is a different question. Regardless of the presence of American and allied troops, Iraq will still turn into a very dangerous place!

    original article

    Saturday, November 12, 2005

    A Rose is a Rose...

    The Rose Moss : Rhodobryum

    a mere 3-5cm high

    If you get a chance, take a closer look at the leaves under a low power microscope - the cells, symmetry and colours are simply glorious

    An entire world in a microcosm to wonder at...

    Thursday, November 10, 2005

    From BAIKONUR to VENUS and Beyond!

    Our one and only evening/morning 'star' will soon be visited and we look forward to a lot of information about our nearest planetary neighbour. I've beenpersonally fascinated by Venus ever since reading C.S. Lewis' Space Trilogy.

    Not to mention a general yearning to get into "outer" space - most probably the result of being a Trekkie!

    Update on June 29, 2013 - long past the Venus flyby Voyager 1 is heading into OUTER space!
    This artist's concept shows NASA's two Voyager spacecraft exploring a turbulent region of space known as the heliosheath, the outer shell of the bubble of charged particles around our sun

     Update on September 13, 2013
     It's official, Voyager has hit OUTER space, the very first man made object to achieve this incredible task! Read all about it by following the link above. "Voyager 1 first detected the increased pressure of interstellar space on the heliosphere, the bubble of charged particles surrounding the sun that reaches far beyond the outer planets, in 2004. Scientists then ramped up their search for evidence of the spacecraft's interstellar arrival... coronal mass ejection, or a massive burst of solar wind and magnetic fields, that erupted from the sun in March 2012 provided scientists the data they needed. When this unexpected gift from the sun eventually arrived at Voyager 1's location 13 months later, in April 2013, the plasma around the spacecraft began to vibrate like a violin string. On April 9, Voyager 1's plasma wave instrument detected the movement. The pitch of the oscillations helped scientists determine the density of the plasma. The particular oscillations meant the spacecraft was bathed in plasma more than 40 times denser than what they had encountered in the outer layer of the heliosphere. Density of this sort is to be expected in interstellar space.

    The plasma wave science team reviewed its data and found an earlier, fainter set of oscillations in October and November 2012. Through extrapolation of measured plasma densities from both events, the team determined Voyager 1 first entered interstellar space in August 2012.

    We literally jumped out of our seats when we saw these oscillations in our data -- they showed us the spacecraft was in an entirely new region, comparable to what was expected in interstellar space, and totally different than in the solar bubble"

    What a feat for science!

    Wednesday, November 09, 2005


    "conspiring” is the act of working in secret to obtain some goal, usually understood with negative connotations. Etymologically, the term comes from Latin con - "with, together", and spirare "to breathe" (from wikipedia "conspiracy").

    Thanks to Chris Madden;

    The latest one in India (that I've heard) is that the CIA (U.S.A.) paid the ISI (Pakistan) to instigate the Kashmiri militants to bomb New Delhi in order to drive India into the "anti-terror" camp...The prediction is that sometime soon, a "stool pigeon" will show up to point an accusing finger at 1)Iran or 2)Pakistan

    what do you think?

    Tuesday, November 08, 2005


    Love Reading?

    Don't wait for MSN, Yahoo or Google!

    Get started now with Gutenberg.

    Happy reading...


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