30 January 2007

Fridged duck from Florida

There was a duck, like every other duck. Was it ring necked, they said? It was shot by a hunter. Taken to his home. Kept in a fridge. For two days and a bit.

Then, the lady of the house opened the door of the fridge, to cook it for dinner, I think. The duck, aroused from sleep lifted its head and looked up at her. She gasped, I suppose in fright. But then they said she rescued it

The duck was sent to the table. Not as dinner, but as a patient. To be operated and made well. After all it was a badly aimed shot at the wing.

The duck has got a name now - Perky - and lots of fame. And the country is worrying for this duck and weeping for its recovery. Why, there are even T-Shirts being made and sold by volunteers at Goose Creek(whatever that is) to pay for care for that duck.

Its on the news and in internet news videos and on prominent international media

Scary or Funny? - How to tackle global warming

This was on the Front Page of the Guardian a few days ago.

The US government wants the world's scientists to develop technology to block sunlight as a last-ditch way to halt global warming [more]
And, another set of opinions in the Guardian
...Yet, as the Guardian reveals today, instead of sitting up and listening, the US is lobbying the panel to concentrate on science-fiction solutions, such as putting giant mirrors into space. Some politicians and corporations are waking up to the challenge, but too many are still in their slumber. [more]

Every scheme that could give us a chance of preventing runaway climate change should be considered on its merits. But the proposals for building a global parasol don't have very many. [more]

26 January 2007


I realized I missed a summary meeting slash presentation when I saw a procession of my colleagues making their way back to their desks. However, I did need to know what happened and not be left out of savouring any juicy ancilliory details. I quickly went over to one of them - the one with dishevelled hair and coffee cup - and feebly hinted at my remorse in not being aware of the event.

'...and how did it go - was it ..?'

'O yes, very good, very useful' - said he, gathering more coffee from the vending machine.

'And um, what did they say?' - said I, my ears leaning forward.

'Oh that' said he, incredulously - 'I don't remember'....

18 January 2007

Looking back at January

One of my two known white hairs fell off from my head last week

Jammed middle finger while shutting the flap of rubbish bin

Learnt a different way of tying shoelaces from Joachim and Nick

07 January 2007

Naming Ceremony

The wireless (network) that had served us for the last two years stopped working last week because of a fancy technical incompatibility involving routers cable and/or Adsl. A replacement was purchased from ebay at a very decent rate.

My overjoyed (programmer) spouse rushed off this morning to the post office to collect the parcel. It looked intact and in good health contrary to all fears about second hand purchasing on the internet. So despite a grand breakfast of adai and chai, he non-unanimously decided to set up the wireless without delay. In the backdrop of the mild cold and drizzle outside and Kanda Sashti Kavacham (i remembered my neighbour vaadyaar mami who used to play it at the crack of dawn and sing along with it) playing inside, I abandoned the kitchen premises and watched while he sincerely sat down, bent over, half rose, scratched his chin and frowned during the process.

What shall we name the wireless network, he asked. I promptly suggested Marthandan. After Marthanda Varma, a ruler of Kerala some centuries ago. Marthandan also means Sun and I have been enamoured of that name ever since. Besides, my history text books had drawings of him with a beard and crown seated grandly on a bench with curved legs and his hand resting on a sword and Without protesting, Ashok started to type it in ...'MARTHA N DAN' . I squealed with laughter and declared that clearly, he could not appreciate the beauty of the name. Lengthy discussion followed.

Do you want the name of a divinity? Narayana, Murugan, Dandapani,? Nah! Or a colourless repetition with our house name or number? Such as Alma Home Net? We could do Number 12 Home Net, couldn't we! Shall we join our names? No? Nick names then? Not the name of a car, please! No ragam either then. Okay. Silence.

Shall we call it vengaayam? (casually)

What? Vengayam, as in onion, ulli, pyaaz? (shock and excitement)



06 January 2007

Readings From Long Ago

(A year ago) I read part of The Book of Nothing. It speaks of a musical piece of four minutes and thirty three seconds length - of silence. (A weird colleague of mine, I am told, actually owns this audio CD!) Then it speaks of a chapter in a novel titled "Essay on silence" containing blank pages. This author was sued by another author for copyright since the latter had already published a complete novel with blank pages.

Now I don't know how much of fiction these incidents are. But I was amused out of my head and laughed and cried. Then I stopped reading the Book of Nothing. Also I read a bunch of booklets by Kamla Bhasin on Feminism, Patriarchy. Very simple and strong. Wonder if Kalpana Sharma published similar thoughts. My boss when I was at Thinkpad in Kerala is in Delhi these days. I called him up and he usually tells me what he reads. This time it was "The world is flat". When I told Vijaya and Sreesh they both burst out laughing and asked if I was the Pope :-D.