Friday, July 23, 2010

Blame it on inception – I guess

It is raining. In the dark, I do not see the rain falling – but I can hear it as it falls on the leaves. I can hear the water gurgling through the gutter and the distant hiss at the outlet towards the back of the house where it gushes out into the drain. In the darkness ahead of me, every now and then I catch a glint as a blade of grass bounces in the rain to catch the light from some distant street lamp. The air feels moist and cold.

A clap of thunder breaks the silence. In the light I see the towering columns of clouds threatening to continue the deluge for an eternity. The cane chair I am sitting on creaks in protest as I settle down more comfortably, lean back and try to catch a glimpse of the ceiling.

Above me, I can barely make out the wooden paneling of the verandah ceiling painted white. The roof above slopes down low – to keep the incessant rains from spattering on to the verandah. My feet feel cold on the dark red cement floor and I prop them up on the wooden railings, polished by age, as I reach out for a cup of tea that I know to be there on the table.

The warmth is comforting. Instead of taking a sip, I hold it in my palms for a while, soaking in the heat. The aroma of the tea wraps around my head – it is almost a physical presence – warm comforting. I take a sip and let myself sink deeper into a state of emptiness. No thoughts. No feelings. No desire move – blink even. Only breathing. Just sitting. Just being. Comfortably numb.

Blame it on inception. I dreamed last night of such peace. I could almost smell pine in the air.
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Friday, July 16, 2010

Moon and Venus

A photograph taken from my cell phone yesterday evening showing the Moon and Venus. Saturn wasn't bright enough to show up with this camera so didn't try to include it either!
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World Cup 2010 - last take

It takes some getting used to - no football on TV to rush home to at breakneck speed during the crazy evening rush hour.

But life goes on. And whether you are Paul the Octopus, Iniesta the golden goal scorer or just the plebeian TV viewer from a country that never makes it past the qualifiers, sooner or later the euphoria passes.

The final this year shall be remembered for a long time to come. I personally intend to acquire a recording of this game so that I can teach my children (when I have them), what football is NOT supposed to be and how football should NOT be played.

Thanks to Spain, I should be able to give them some pointers as to what football is and how it should be played ... as well using the same example.

This game is a must for value education classes as well. Values like sportsmanship, decency and honor are so much a part of most games that you don't even realize what part they play in making a great game - till of course you watch a team playing that is totally bereft of each of those qualities.

To be fair to them, the techniques that the dutch used are definitely not unheard of. But to see them being employed at a world cup game - and that too the final - was a little too much to stomach. I tremble to think what football would transform in thousands of school grounds around the world had they won. Despite them having lost, I shall not be surprised if a lot of kids come home complaining of chest pain from school because someone on the field played a "dutch tackle" on them and kicked them on the chest.

I guess it is easy to forget in this age that the ends don't necessarily justify the means. Footballers are almost worshiped around the world by kids because they are perhaps the closest you get to super-heroes in real life. Sadly for a lot of kids, the line between the super-heroes and super-villains might just be a little blurred thanks to the Dutch.

Well, for now, we can thank God that Spain won and we can pray and hope that the world cup will be better in the years to come - a true showcase of football magic instead of mere hooliganism.
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Sunday, July 11, 2010

Witches on beaches?

Or in deserts perhaps. An interesting sign I came across while at Mangalore:

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Thursday, July 08, 2010

An idea regarding malaria eradication

All of a sudden, we have been invaded by mosquitoes and that gave me an idea about malaria eradication:

There isn't much that I know about this. However, whatever little bits I pick up form here and there appears to indicate that a lot of effort is focused on trying to eradicate the breeding grounds of the mosquitoes. Now, mosquitoes being mosquitoes do not get the bigger picture and continue to breed - in places that are difficult for us to reach and clean - such as city sewers etc.

I am sure that there is something fundamentally flawed with my idea - which is why it has not been tried before. Or perhaps it has and I simply don't know about it. My fear is that it may have been overlooked because it is too simple.

The idea is that in addition to the conventional method of trying to remove breeding grounds, we should perhaps create breeding grounds that can be controlled. I don't know whether mosquitoes look for some characteristics ... Such as stagnant water, a water body with sufficient water that won't dry up before the eggs/larvae mature, a water body small enough to limit the number of natural predators and so on. The controlled breeding grounds can then be created to these specifications in places that no self respecting mosquito would miss. The water can then be filtered at regular intervals to clear it of eggs/larvae etc.

Does this make sense?
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