Monday, February 25, 2013

Wolf Snake Rescued by the Kids

Our kids John Rommel, and Saranya Carr were at their friend Fara's house one night recently when someone outside started screaming "snake!" On rushing out the kids found a group of terrified people including Fara's mom having hysterics over a snake. The discussion was already on as to how they could best set it on fire and who was going to whack it!

After calming them down a bit, with the help of a backpack, the offender was coaxed into hiding in the bag by Vasanth, Saran, Rommel, and Manuraj, the bag zipped up, and our friend, as yet unidentified, was brought home.

We took a look under good light and it turned out to be a 2 foot wolf snake.

The Indian wolf snake (Lycodon aulicus) is a very pretty and nonvenomous snake that's actually fairly  common even in towns and cities. Human towns tend to have high populations of mice and rats, and are therefore attractive to snakes such as the wolf and trinket snake.

We did try to get the forest department to come and pick the wolf up, as that's the proper procedure, but they declined, so Rommel and his friend Dinu took our pretty wolf out to a nearby mountain  range where there's a good stretch of reserve forest and one very happy snake was released to the wild.

If you aren't too sure about identifying snakes and deciding whether they might be venomous, check out our earlier post to help you identify India's venomous Big 4  and to give you a few tips on dealing with snake bite - just in case!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Goodbye CREAM Hello Derek & the Dominos

Cream's farewell concert, Royal Albert Hall (London) 1968. A legendary group, they started hard rock & heavy metal, and then broke up...

A little over 60 minutes, and requiring eardrums of pure steel - Enjoy!

Jack Bruce, Eric Clapton, & Ginger Baker

Here's a bonus Vimeo on Clapton's early technique

And an extra special bonus, after 37 years, Cream came back for a reunion series again at RAH! Here's Badge from May 3, 2005...

After the Cream breakup, Eric Clapton and some friends formed Derek and the Dominos. Here's a fantastic live track from Live at the Filmore: Let It Rain

Enjoy the birth of Hard Rock... Turn that volume UP!

The sad demise of Jack Bruce on Oct 25, 2014, a rock legend -

Listen watch and be amazed

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Trinket Snake Rescue

This tiny 18-inch-long Trinket snake (Coelognathus helena helena) was spotted three doors down from our place one evening. The team (Saranya, John Rommel and myself) were called into action by another neighbor, as the family that saw the snake promptly locked themselves in for safety! We grabbed our snake stick and a pillow cover and found the offender trying to climb the steps to the terrace. With a little gentle manipulation we got him on to the stick and then into the pillow cover.

Notice the threat display, s/he has a vertically flattened neck to appear truly dangerous, but though they do bite quite easily, these beauties are completely harmless, nonvenomous, and they will get used to handling after a short while. When really worked up, they will flatten the entire front third and fold up like an accordion. Now that, with a snake that can get to be 4 feet long can look truly terrifying!

The forest department declined to come over (that's the proper procedure) so we dropped our visitor off at the back end of a burial ground not too far away that's on the edge of a forested area with lots of thornbush scrub around. The happy snake swiftly slipped away to explore.

And Time Stands Still

Steve Gadd, Dave Weckl, Vinnie Colaiuta, 

Shot way back in 1989 at the Buddy Rich Memorial Concerts, these three incredible drummers got together for 9 unbelievable minutes, and time stood still - it still does!

Steve Gadd
 Dave Weckl

Vinnie Colaiuta

There was a moment when I was carried back to a village in Zambia near Mapanza. Invited to a wedding, a little boy stands amazed, the drums, the drums...

Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Violin Concerto!

Mendelsohn's Violin Concerto in E minor, opus 64, the 1st movement Allegro molto appassionato.

A bravura performance of the 1st movement by Julia Fischer

Enjoy 14 mins of blissful sound!

The other two movements of this piece are also on youtube :
2nd movement
3rd movement

and here's a pic of the violinist with her Guadagnini violin (1742)

Keep enjoying!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Cool Jazz, Brubeck's Piano & Sax in '66

The inimitable Dave Brubeck Quartet doing "Take Five"

Take Five is mainly a sax showcase (Paul Desmond) with the Brubeck touch seen only after 3 mins of scintillating sax. Enjoy!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Charles Dickens' Words of Advice to His Youngest Son

My dearest Plorn,
I write this note to-day because your going away is much upon my mind, and because I want you to have a few parting words from me to think of now and then at quiet times. I need not tell you that I love you dearly, and am very, very sorry in my heart to part with you. But this life is half made up of partings, and these pains must be borne. It is my comfort and my sincere conviction that you are going to try the life for which you are best fitted. I think its freedom and wildness more suited to you than any experiment in a study or office would ever have been; and without that training, you could have followed no other suitable occupation.
What you have already wanted until now has been a set, steady, constant purpose. I therefore exhort you to persevere in a thorough determination to do whatever you have to do as well as you can do it. I was not so old as you are now when I first had to win my food, and do this out of this determination, and I have never slackened in it since.
Never take a mean advantage of anyone in any transaction, and never be hard upon people who are in your power. Try to do to others, as you would have them do to you, and do not be discouraged if they fail sometimes. It is much better for you that they should fail in obeying the greatest rule laid down by our Saviour, than that you should.
I put a New Testament among your books, for the very same reasons, and with the very same hopes that made me write an easy account of it for you, when you were a little child; because it is the best book that ever was or will be known in the world, and because it teaches you the best lessons by which any human creature who tries to be truthful and faithful to duty can possibly be guided. As your brothers have gone away, one by one, I have written to each such words as I am now writing to you, and have entreated them all to guide themselves by this book, putting aside the interpretations and inventions of men.
You will remember that you have never at home been wearied about religious observances or mere formalities. I have always been anxious not to weary my children with such things before they are old enough to form opinions respecting them. You will therefore understand the better that I now most solemnly impress upon you the truth and beauty of the Christian religion, as it came from Christ Himself, and the impossibility of your going far wrong if you humbly but heartily respect it.
Only one thing more on this head. The more we are in earnest as to feeling it, the less we are disposed to hold forth about it. Never abandon the wholesome practice of saying your own private prayers, night and morning. I have never abandoned it myself, and I know the comfort of it.
I hope you will always be able to say in after life, that you had a kind father. You cannot show your affection for him so well, or make him so happy, as by doing your duty.
Your affectionate Father.

Thanks to Brain Pickings (Maria Popova)


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