Saturday, February 28, 2009
Friday, February 27, 2009
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
In 1986, Peter Davies was on holiday in Kenya after
graduating from Northwestern University.
On a hike through the bush, he came across a young bull
elephant standing with one leg raised in the air. The
elephant seemed distressed, so Peter approached it very
He got down on one knee and inspected the elephant's foot
and found a large piece of wood deeply embedded in it. As
carefully and as gently as he could, Peter worked the wood
out with his hunting knife, after which the elephant
gingerly put down its foot. The elephant turned to face the
man, and with a rather curious look on its face, stared at
him for several tense moments. Peter stood frozen, thinking
of nothing else but being trampled. Eventually the elephant
trumpeted loudly, turned, and walked away. Peter never
forgot that elephant or the events of that day.
Over twenty years later, Peter was walking through the
Chicago Zoo with his teenaged son. As they approached the
elephant enclosure, one of the creatures turned and walked
over so it was close to where Peter and his son Cameron were
standing. The large bull elephant stared at Peter, lifted
its front foot off the ground, and then put it down. The
elephant did that several times and then trumpeted loudly,
all the while staring at the man.
Remembering the encounter in 1986, Peter couldn't help
wondering if this was the same elephant. Peter summoned up
his courage, climbed over the railing, and made his way into
the enclosure. He walked right up to the elephant and stared
back in wonder. The elephant trumpeted again, wrapped its
trunk around one of Peter legs, and slammed him against the
railing, killing him instantly.
It probably wasn't the same elephant.
Posted by RB at 8:52 AM
Monday, February 23, 2009
Monday, February 16, 2009
Saturday, February 14, 2009
India's Hindu nationalist movement is launching a new soft drink made from cow urine.
The bovine brew is in the final stages of development by the Cow Protection Department of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), India's biggest and oldest Hindu nationalist group, according to the man who makes it.
Om Prakash, the head of the department, said the drink — called "gau jal," or "cow water" — in Sanskrit was undergoing laboratory tests and would be launched "very soon, maybe by the end of this year."
"Don't worry, it won't smell like urine and will be tasty too," he told the Times of London from his headquarters in Hardwar, one of four holy cities on the River Ganges. "Its USP will be that it's going to be very healthy. It won't be like carbonated drinks and would be devoid of any toxins."
The drink is the latest attempt by the RSS – which was founded in 1925 and now claims 8 million members – to cleanse India of foreign influence and promote its ideology of Hindutva, or Hindu-ness.
Click here to read more on this story from the Times of London.
Posted by RB at 2:50 AM
Friday, February 13, 2009
Interesting piece from February 7th's NY POST:
Some people, usually community activists, loath Wal-Mart. Others, like the family of four struggling to make ends meet, are in love with the chain. I, meanwhile, am in awe of it.
With more than 7,000 facilities worldwide, coordinating more than 2 million employees in its fanatical mission to maintain an inventory from more than 60,000 American suppliers, it has become a system containing more components than the Space Shuttle....
Click here for the complete article
Posted by RB at 1:41 PM
Thursday, February 12, 2009
A high school buddy and college housemate sent me this picture of Mt. San Antonio (a.k.a., Mount Baldy). He now lives in Huntington Beach and very recently took this picture from near his home on an exceptionally clear day.
That is a 10,000 foot mountain viewed from sea level 50 miles away.
The peak of Mount Baldy is only 15 miles away from the house in Pomona where I grew up. I could view it from my bedroom window. The foothills shown are only five or six miles away. Much, much closer than the view in the above photo. (Pomona is only 900 feet or less above sea level, so the elevation is not that different.)
I love NNY but this picture has me missing the old homestead despite also remembering the present day pollution, crime, and congestion.
Posted by RB at 10:03 AM
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Hyperinflation in Zimbabwe:
12 zeros removed from currency
[Link found here]
This image is from the good old days before billion and trillion dollar denominated currency.
That is, last year.
Posted by RB at 11:56 AM
Posted by RB at 11:42 AM