Thursday, September 28, 2006
Resurrected virus shows how 1918 flu strain committed mass murder from PhysOrg.com
Scientists testing a resurrected version of the 1918 flu virus on lab mice believe the 20th-century's deadliest pathogen reaped its toll through a combination of runaway tissue inflammation and cell death.
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
I would have loved to have studied pottery there with them, especially because of the family environment, but it's really too far to travel from Madurai on a regular basis. Instead I'll be taking pottery lessons twice a week in the village of Vilaachery about 45 minute bus ride from my neighborhood.
I don't start classes until next week but I'm excited, and I'll post pictures, if I manage to make anything with any success.
A young girl making small oil lamps for use in temples and home altars for worshipping the various Hindu deities.
Large piles of pottery, finished and ready to ship.
Monday, September 25, 2006
The villagers protested, but the Father had already laid the foundation, and refused to change his plans. The peasants took their case to court, and tried to prevent the building of the church. Though the Father's lawyer advised him to lie in order to win the case, the honest father refused. He had faith in the lord.
Then the judge had a dream, in it the church was being built by 153 angels. (He counted them all. How he could tell them apart I don't know. I always have trouble telling one angel apart from another.) In any case, the Judge found in favor of the father, and convinced the villagers to give up their land. The church was built. In it he installed sculptures of many saints, as well as the 153 angels. Whether they each sat for portraits individually, I don't know.
It was indeed quite beautiful. The stained glass and statues were imported from france although they decided pews were unnecessary as the villagers were used to sitting on the floor.
Friday, September 22, 2006
So then I had to wait in a 5 or 6 person line to withdraw cash from the bank without an ATM card, when woman carrying two two thousand rupee notes decided to cut to the front of the line, as if having large denominations of cash gave her that right. Even the man behind the counter yelled at her. He still took her in front of 4 other waiting people. After receiving my cash, I went to the railway reservation office, filled out 6 individual sheets for reservation requests with mostly redundant information. The only thing that changed was the date, and name and number of the train. Otherwise, I wrote the Class, number of berths, my full name, age, sex, berth preference, full address, telephone number, date and signature 6 times. But for 270 rupees I am going to Ooty to visit my friends for a weekend, and for another 850 rupees I am going to Chennai and Hyderabad for my break.
I know it will all be worth it in the end. On top of which I will have contributed to the archives of the Indian railway, which some future graduate student will surely study. If it doesn't all burn down. I mean, I think that amount of paper all held in one place has a natural tendency to spontaneously ignite.
On another note, my friend Vivek, and several of his friends have a blog about Indian politics and current events which is very informative. It can be found at www.passtheroti.com.
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
This blog is the beginning of my commentary on events, politics, and my own personal experiences in the world, as strange and absurd as it may be.
Do I have any expertise, you may ask yourself. And I can say, no, probably not. Perhaps on some subjects.
And so I give you opinions, some justified, others not. I cannot promise to write without bias, since I think that's an impossible goal.
So I will quote Umberto Eco:
"I asked for a lawyer and they gave me an avocado."