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know-brainer

cartoon_41.jpg

As a kid, this used to be one of my fav quotes:

The right side of the brain controls the left side of the body and the left side of the brain controls the right side of the body and that is why left handers are right minded people.

It is true yknow.

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froggie delight

Frogs fascinate me. I just love them. While most people consider them ugly and warty, I think they are beautiful creatures. Toads could get a little ugly, I concede, but frogs are usually quite good looking.

dyeing dart frog

 See more beautiful frogs here

There is a lot of frog related trivia floating around. For example, Japanese consider them as good luck. They believe that bullfrogs can suck all the mosquitoes out of a room in one breath. Now that’s exactly what we need in dengue stricken India.

Here’s a charming frog folk story:
The frogs complaint against the sun
Once upon a time, when the Sun announced his intention to take a wife, the frogs lifted up their voices in clamour to the sky. Jupiter, disturbed by the noise of their croaking, inquired the cause of their complaint. One of them said, “The Sun, now while he is single, parches up the marsh, and compels us to die miserably in our arid homes. What will be our future condition if he should beget other suns?”

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Omen revisited

I have come to believe that the nth sequel of Omen is going on in our house just as you are reading this. No, we haven’t adopted the devil’s progeny or anything; this is the Omen with a twist. Tired of being foiled all the time by religious zealots, the devil decided to outsmart them all by sending a dog this time. And by some strange twist of fate, or because of some unthinkable past misdeeds, we were the chosen surrogate parents.

No, I am not over reacting; the sweet puppy we got has turned out to be the devil in disguise. I have thought about it deeply and here’s what I have realised.

Firstly, this pup was rejected by its original owners because they couldn’t cope with it. It was brought to my parents’ home by my brother. All those who know him, know about his rabid interest in morbid things and his propensity for death metal. That should have given me an idea, but I was too preoccupied then to realise it. His move from my parents’ home to our home was at the insistence of K. I have a strong feeling, he has had something to do with this but I still have to confirm this. I mean, why insist so much on flying a four month old pup from Bangalore to Bombay? Anyway, he got his way and now Robin (who should have been named Damien) is here to make my life hell!

Why do I think he’s the Devil’s spawn? Well, for one he doesn’t sleep all night. He sleeps throughout the day (when we aren’t home) and thinks that we are there for his entertainment during the night. And entertainment for him is watching us suffer as he gnaws us to death. He has terribly sharp teeth and I’m pretty sure, he has someone come over to sharpen them when we are away and tries them out on us soon as we get home. Where did that sweet, loving pup go? Or is it all a myth propagated by pet food companies, veterinary doctors and other dog owners?

He demands to be fed all the time, it’s almost like he’s fatting up to take over the world later. Like the kid in the movie, he has the most innocent demeanour. People look at him and fall for those sad, puppy dog eyes. Little do they know what hides behind them! We leave him alone for a few hours so we can go out for dinner, and when we come back the house looks like its been visited by a tornado. Not just any tornado, a vicious tornado that picks out your favourite things and then destroys them one by one. Just when you fall asleep after cleaning up the house, you wake up to the sound of gnawing. In your semi-comatose state, you don’t even realise that it’s your own hand/leg/whichever body part he seems to prefer that night is being chewed up.  By the time you realise it, it is too late and some part of your body has been irretrievably chewed up. I have several chunks missing from my body, thankfully it’s not showing. Yet.

look at that innocent face.. 

His favourite game is something that he has invented. I'm sure he calls it 'go for the jugular'. Yes, he loves to put his paws on my shoulders and bite me on the neck. His big alligator jaws can accomodate my entire neck. I think he could be a vampire dog, if not the devil's offspring. 

Some wise dog owner told me that this is all a phase and when he grows up, you’ll miss all his crazy antics. Well, all I can say is if he grows out of thinking that he is the devil’s incarnate, then I will surely be one happier and definitely a more rested person.

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Art of science competition

The Princeton University Art of Science Competition is an annual event where images from science and engineering with aesthetic value are submitted by members of the Princeton University community.

This is my favourite one

Check out the others here

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Robin, the dog wonder!!

We just got ourselves a new family member. A really smart and handsome labrador retreiver called Robin. He's all of four months, and its been a week since he came home.

Robin, the smiling dog

He's very naughty and barks at us if we don't give him the attention he thinks he deserves. And he's also clever enough to tell us when he wants to poop or pee, to save me the trouble of cleaning up after him!

Robin

Robin

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Bath, England

Bath was one of the many places on my 'want to visit before I die' list. And when we got a chance to visit Bath on our England trip, I was more than thrilled to bits. For those not in the know, Bath is a small city in the South Western part of England. I first heard of the place from the Georgette Heyer novels that I must have read and re-read a hundred times over. Georgette Heyer had this inimitable style of combining wit and romance in her stories set in regency England. A few of her novels were based in Bath and I read with great delight about the High Society dos and their fondness for theatre and dance and how they drank the Bath waters for health despite its disgusting taste.Even with such visions of Bath in my head, I must say that I wasn't disappointed at all. Most of the buildings are Georgian style — regular and symmetrical. Many of the buildings in Bath were destroyed during the world war, but were later reconstructed in the original style.
Royal Crescent
Today's Bath is a quaint mixture of the old and new. Old buildings housing swanky new shops and old pubs playing the latest Brit pop. We (K, C, S and I) walked around town and C acted the guide. He had this book cube of all the sights and we visited them in turn. The most famous attractions are the Roman Baths. Apparently, they were built around the time when the Romans invaded Britain around 43 AD. The water from the hot springs were known for their medicinal powers and are still in use today. The Pump Rooms are attached to the Roman Baths where you can go in have some tea, drink some of the water, and drink more tea to get rid of the foul taste.
The Roman Baths
The highlight of the trip was a street performer, performing on the main street. He was extremely entertaining and kept the crowd in splits throughout the show. He juggled fire torches while riding a 10-foot tall unicycle. His banter was more entertaining than his juggling act; he kept the crowd involved till the last minute with his intelligent chatter and amusing comments. When he was talking about the collections, he said, " Schizophrenics can please donate twice". He invited a little boy to ride on his shoulders while he rode a 3-foot high unicycle (I don't think he juggled anything then). The boy was all grins till the man got on the unicycle. The look of terror on his face after that was amusing in a slightly morbid way.
Street performer 

We found out all kinds of fascinating facts about the city. Jane Austen was one of the better known residents of Bath. There is a Jane Austen Society, with a museum and shop. The society conducts Jane Austen walks for interested bibliophiles. Apparently, Jane Austen never liked the place. She is said to have written to her sister Cassandra, "It will be two years tomorrow since we left Bath for Clifton, with what happy feelings of escape". And they celebrate her over there.

We heard about Bladud, supposedly the founder of Bath. Bladud was a mythical king because there is no historical evidence of his existence. He lived an exciting life nevertheless. He supposedly created the hot springs at Bath by the use of magic and dedicated the city to goddess Athena by lighting undying fires in her honour. He contracted leprosy in Athens and was imprisoned because of that. He managed to escape and lived as a swineherd. He noticed that the pigs rolled about in black mud and didn't have any skin diseases. He tried it out and cured himself of leprosy. (Now why didn't we think of that in India?) So, he went back, reclaimed his kingdom, learnt necromancy, built himself wings and learnt to fly. Unfortunately, he was killed either when he hit a wall, or when he fell and was dashed to pieces or when he broke his neck. I have always thought that one must die in a spectacular way. And King Bladud's life and death exemplifies how life should be led and ended. I think I have found a new hero in him! J

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Hello world!

"Curiouser and curiouser!" Cried Alice (she was so much surprised, that for the moment she quite forgot how to speak good English). "Now I’m opening out like the largest telescope that ever was! Good-bye, feet!" (for when she looked down at her feet they seemed to be almost out of sight, they were getting so far off). "Oh, my poor little feet, I wonder who will put on your shoes and stockings for you now, dears? I’m sure I shan’t be able! I shall be a great deal too far off to trouble myself about you: you must manage the best way you can—but I must be kind to them," thought Alice, "or perhaps they won’t walk the way I want to go! Let me see. I’ll give them a new pair of boots every Christmas."

And she went on planning to herself how she would manage it. "They must go by the carrier," she thought; and how funny it’ll seem, sending presents to one’s own feet! And how odd the directions will look!

Alice’s Right Foot, Esq.,
Hearthrug,
near the Fender,
(with Alice’s love)

Oh, dear! What nonsense I’m talking!"
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Caroll

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