Saturday, September 17

10 Ways to Adapt to Prison

this was an eye opener

and strangely enough, i saw many parallels while you enter any new company...

  1. Say less. When in doubt, say nothing at all. Listening, really listening, will educate you to the lingo and to what’s happening around you.
  2. Look, but don’t stare. Be mindful of what’s going on around you, without appearing to be paying attention to anything in particular. Don’t look in someone else’s cell — you might see something you don’t want to see.
  3. Choose your words wisely. Take care. Much weight is placed on what you say and how you say it. Refer back to №1.
  4. Blend in with your clothes. Be neither the best nor worst dressed. Go for basic colors and clothes, and keep them in good condition. Be mindful of gang colors: red, yellow, blue.
  5. Stay off the gate when you’re locked in your cell; don’t join the chorus of conversation. You can easily be played for a fool in this forum, and play easily turns to drama.
  6. Keep your own counsel. Your problems are your own. Most of your peers are dealing with similar issues, so they don’t particularly care about yours. No one in here owes you his time and patience.
  7. Be mindful of the doors you open — lending, borrowing, giving, and receiving can all lead to unforeseen consequences. Check for any attached strings. Find a few good friends.
  8. Don’t gamble or use drugs — there’s a sucker at every table, and if you can’t easily pick him out, it’s you.
  9. You are always on stage in prison, and people-watching (and ear-hustling) is taken very seriously in the land of the perpetually bored.
  10. More than any other outside influence (peers, staff, prison conditions), you can make life in prison harder on yourself. The time is what you make it. Get past self-pity, take accountability for your actions, and be receptive to good breaks when they come your way. If you’re not careful, prison can ruin you. But this can also be a place where you square yourself away, and actually learn how to live.

Friday, September 16

Diaspora Studies - India - Kenya

I have been looking spasmodically at the Indian diaspora area a bit (it is slightly connected to my current research, how food and condiment and spices and herb usage spread and fused with local cultures) and I am still getting the impression that we dont have that much of diaspora studies compared to say Chinese or Black or Irish diaspora studies. Curious that. A friend told me that its in English studies that its more prevalent, so have to check it out.

Anyway, came across this book, looked quite interesting.

Indians in Kenya: The Politics of Diaspora by Sana Aiyar

Indians have contributed to Kenya’s multiracial tapestry for centuries. At Independence, Indians constituted two percent of the population and formed its petty bourgeoisie. By 1968 Kenya hosted over 170,000 Indian residents. Occupying key roles in the economy and civil service, Indians played no small part in the twentieth-century history of Kenya. Yet, as Sana Aiyar argues inIndians in Kenya: The Politics of Diaspora, an overwhelming emphasis placed on singular territoriality, coupled with the racially bounded nature of scholarship on Kenyan nationhood, has resulted in the historiographical marginalization of Indians, who are assumed to be historically insignificant.

Thursday, September 15

Wednesday, September 14

Ground squirrels use the sun to hide food

this summer, I have been spending quite a lot of time with squirrels, swearing at them, admiring them, loving them and and and.

just recently i caught a squirrel burying a nut on the ground...and yes, I do wonder how do they find the nuts again in the winter?

well, here is the answer:

Ground squirrels use information on the position of the sun when hiding their food and reuse this information to find their food stash again. The position of the sun serves as a reference point for the animals, which live in southern Africa, to orient themselves and adjust the direction they are traveling in. A study published by researchers from the University of Zurich sheds new light on the old question as to how animals find their bearings within their environment.

Tuesday, September 13

Now that's bravery above and beyond the call of duty

Which body part hurts the most when stung by a bee? A scientist put himself through a torturous experiment to find out


the man actually had bees sting him in various locations to find out...Click here

nuts, I tell you, nuts


What did Europe Look like in the 20th century?

whilst people are getting all excited about Brexit, I am always reminded about what Zhou En Lai (China Premier) was reputed to have said in 1971 about the French Revolution of 1789..."too early to say"> By the way, the quote is wrong, see here. But I like the idea that there are very long term repercussions and we need to be cognisant of that. I frequently use the example that we are still paying for World War 1...No literally, the British Public was still paying for World War 1 expenditure till recently.

So it was with interest I saw this map of Europe


its 115 years back now...1900. You had the Ottoman Empire. you had the austro-hungarian empire, the russian empire, the german empire, all faffing around. Also, Norway was part of Sweden then..no Finland.

in 2016, all of this has gone...Brexit, my dear friends, is a pimple on the dimple on the left arse of a busy ant in the greater sweep of things.

Monday, September 12

the oldest american 13thc Maya manuscript is now proved to be the real deal

what an interesting news item. 

I quote

Brown University’s Stephen Houston and a team of leading researchers in anthropology and Maya archeology methodically verify the authenticity of the oldest known manuscript in ancient America.PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] —The Grolier Codex, an ancient document that is among the rarest books in the world, has been regarded with skepticism since it was reportedly unearthed by looters from a cave in Chiapas, Mexico, in the 1960s.But a meticulous new study of the codex has yielded a startling conclusion: The codex is both genuine and likely the most ancient of all surviving manuscripts from ancient America.Stephen Houston, the Dupee Family Professor of Social Science and co-director of the Program in Early Cultures at Brown University, worked with Michael Coe, professor emeritus of archeology and anthropology at Yale and leader of the research team, along with Mary Miller of Yale and Karl Taube of the University of California-Riverside. They reviewed “all known research on the manuscript,” analyzing it “without regard to the politics, academic and otherwise, that have enveloped the Grolier,” the team wrote in its study “The Fourth Maya Codex.”The paper, published in the journal Maya Archaeology, fills a special section of the publication and includes a lavish facsimile of the codex.The study, Houston said, “is a confirmation that the manuscript, counter to some claims, is quite real. The manuscript was sitting unremarked in a basement of the National Museum in Mexico City, and its history is cloaked in great drama. It was found in a cave in Mexico, and a wealthy Mexican collector, Josué Sáenz, had sent it abroad before its eventual return to the Mexican authorities.”

When I went to the Mexico Museum, i fell in love with the manuscripts displayed there, the colours, the vibrancy, the art, it was just amazing. One day, I will have my own copy...and a Sumerian Clay tablet :)