Monday, August 31, 2015

Behavior of the Cane Toad

The Cane Toad is an interesting frog species. The Bufo Marinus.
It is native to Central and South America, but has been reintroduced in Australia and already asserted itself a million square-km of habitat. It also sports deadly poison glands (the tadpoles are esp toxic if ingested). For this reason, it has been introduced in regions for pest control (one of them being Cane Beetle, the colloquial namesake for this species).

My interest grows from coming across its mention twice in the recent week.

First, over how frogs - esp documented in Cane Toads - lure their prey by wiggling their toe. The Ranitomeya (or Poison Dart Frogs) do the same. Uma Thurman in Kill Bill does the same (toe wiggle), albeit to different ends.
Toe wiggling creates motions, vibrations that get potential prey moving.
Cane toads flutter their toes when small prey appear, and the intriguing pedal lure draws little cane toads closer to bigger cannibalistic ones, reported Mattias Hagman, now at Stockholm University in Sweden, and Rick Shine of the University of Sydney in Australia, in January.

Second, about how the introduction of B. Marinus in Australia, has forced evolution to kick in... not on the frog or its pest, but on the Green Tree Snake which thrives in the same habitat. With time, these snakes (only in this region) have developed a smaller heads, which allows controlled quantities of toad venom to enter their bodies (smaller head = smaller prey).


Ghosts you cannot see

Familiar smells wafting in from the kitchen bring some comfort. Distress, that which felt less comfortable, comes from the day-gone-by, which should've been iconic for reasons of severance, but wasn't for the reasons of my indolence. It surprises me how complacent I've become about some more focal points of life, my professional discipline being one. Right now I'm that unprofessional that managers fear - lying, procrastinating, evasive, and in my own calm (and own thought space) about it.
There are not but ghosts behind this endless canopy
and they all hold small comfort for deserters such as we.
You have failed us in memories, your recollections all are lies.
You've been such a disappointment from the moment that we died.
And we will descend from the sky.
And we will bury you alive.
I can imagine this one guy doing a Stroszek-inspired gig.

Ride to R, Passive Politeness

Sunday was a timeless one. I could've been 22, 25, or in the present, living out the same Sunday. It started on the bike, and peaked between the fifth and eighth hour of the day. It was a long break since the last I'd been out on a bike.  Delhi, however, easily grows back on me, now that I have indexed it well, and it takes only a while out there, to get back into enjoying the city.

It was a small loop, to Rajpath and back. The sea of humanity along Rajpath / India Gate was touching. Some activity groups noticed: Cyclists, Runners, Skaters, Motorbikers. It was surprising to not see any Yoga groups, now that Yoga has been endorsed to epic levels. A Sunday feature are Segways, offloaded from minivans, for the tourist or for a demo to prospective clients - this being the only place I've seen them in action. I can think of our bird sanctuaries doing with a few Segways. The lawns either side of Rajpath were still lined with pockets of floral blooms - yellow, white, magenta like an artist's dab of the brush.

I wiled some time at the lawns before heading back. There was a injured pigeon spotted earlier, which was unfortunately missing on the way back (or fortunately?). Rajpath sees injured birds often ending up there, maybe the open lawns giving them visibility (as against cover of the urban canopy). I could imagine riding out with bag with a bird compartment, which could come handy for such situations, alongwith a short detour to the Jain Bird Hospital at Lal Qila (in Old Delhi). Felt like asking the kids out for a game of Football, but didn't and instead kept it for later. Also, first time I went up a tree upside down.

Back home, the day was about evading boss and alleviating other similar afflictions. Studied a bit. Slept a good while. Each of the days are colorful ways of plays of reality (even in the imagination) but the progress of time keeps me jittery.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Closures, Beginnings

Caturday is here. 5 days of the week got over pretty fast, though my boss will attach any label but 'fast' to the way I'm doing things. I have no answer, for now. Play has tragically dominated my life, and though it has felt a bit useless and uneasy, it has also felt workable and 'contemporary'.

As today fades away, I recollect and find that today was about closure to a BIG premise which I'd put forward to friends in ideological (or, humanist) passion a decade back. An inquiry into modalities of seeking, which worked out just fine for me. Oh how I get to rub them over it. Serendipitously, we - the same trio of that inquiry - meet in a few hours; timing to match south Indian movies.

First day of the weekend, that I am already in, is planned with the sis. She gets to physically tie me a thread of validation-as-brother and I get to vouchsafe her protection (and/or money), one last time, for this annual recurrence would be difficult to partake in once she's infected with marriage and relocates to Australia with Hub.

Roomie is taken with the version of bed-bound fitness regime introduced. He has bluffed about giving a fvck about fitness for so long that I got annoyed and gave him some encouragement today. His room/ bed, in fact is a better place to start on it than my own. He, predictably, found it amusing and hard, and beneficial. If there's the least he could start with, it gotta be this (otherwise we're staring into a void here). He followed his first try with a cigarette, which tells a lot of his cancerous disposition.

Somebody went on a shopping spree and got a whole lotta brain juice - books - over the week. At the end of it, 5 new books in the stack, and 1 in transit. They shall be devoured the coming week, which has a zealous streak of activity planned and purchases towards maker projects lined up.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

dreaming bromides, sehjal olifera

Woke up in a fix. Had dreams I couldn't understand. Wishing that I were still with Mwg who would spend hours interpreting my dreams, at the expense, of both our office times and the world economy (since our employers were international cos); she enjoyed picking on my subconscious hurt. Back then, however, I had a rather simplistic theme of snakes ongoing. Like a short movie, they were mostly about one person (me or somebody) going through a trippy moment or a transforming experience. Now they have bloated to being about one person, and another person, and with a lot of other persons around. Highlight of the dream was embrace moments with ex, and a record throw of breaking a Seven Tiles tile-pile from a throw from hundreds of yards and over the treetops - like a Remi Gaillard video.

So it happens that a coupla weeks after running into a gentleman who was running a Sehjan / Sejal / Sejan (Moringa Oleifera) plantation somewhere in Ghaziabad (suburbs of Delhi), I come across a convincing train of data and YT videos on the efficacy of the tree. It's serves a broad range of proteins / amino acids, and Vit C, Calcium, Vit A, Protien, Potassium, times multiple of that contained in other food sources. I shall get in touch promptly plan to dope myself with some unusual bio-hacks (is that what Ayurveda is, or claims to be, all about unprocessed natural concoctions?).

Sunday, August 23, 2015

morning (un)run, malormed social vertical

i had signed up to a run, that was to happen this morning. i was out there, too, only that i took the road less traveled (or less guided) and parted from the group outside the stadia where it started from. got bored. it felt revulsive to go on after the first km and beyond the turnpike. not very sporty of me, is it. but then the sport, which i enjoy on a regular basis, needs to be seen as a sporty endorsement both by its sponsor and its participants. okay, in less abstract terms, and to brief, i felt lousy after finding out that bib names didn't matter - i wanted to run to 'borat' listening to 'borat' while 'curled' like 'borat', which is what i had registered under 'borat sagdiyev'. so much for my hat-trick of pushing borat in world registers. the tee as the free giveaway took away crowd 'qualia'.

but it was a wiser-in-retrospect calculation. the rains must've turned the run to be a literal 'dampener'. they had a short warning spell right as i left out to the stadia, then held on till the time i took off and got back home, then came down as a heavy downpour. i don't hate them, but i'm over the initial experience of run-in-the-rains. i don't enjoy delhi when it rains, because running through it becomes an experience of splashing not just water on oneself. delhi is dreamier with sunrises, or with precipitation as fog.
i wanted to run back home along the railway tracks but it would've meant getting home with all diseases of delhi and dying a bit sooner than thought (will have to increase my consumption of peanut butter, which is already at peak levels) {digress: expecting parenthesis to auto-fold in Blogger, a habit from ST}

so that 15k expectation from the morning was reduced to around 5k. between choosing the phone out taking pictures, to out on the run, the latter dominated, but turned to be a short experience. hazaron khwaishein chhod ke wapas aa gaye.
but, to fall back on the psyche instead of physique,

Be glad for the song that has no ending.

got back home to start reading on all the fucked up stuff pertaining to 'women'. it was the google news homepage that asked me to consume (awareness or consumption, what makes a better source, or what makes a better behavior, one could argue later, as i mite?) and constitute myself of the image of my own nation having screwed up situation of understanding women's rights right from the domestic to the political level.
in india, domestic could be perceived as behaviors when no eyes are on you. and political means behavior when all eyes are on you. its further distressing to see that such things have creeped to the judicial level, which should be above the political but-lamentably-isn't, and shouldn't give a hoot about how many eyes are on it.
and then we'll have the annually-recurrent milestones when we look back and evaluate and go 'wtf' for a day and regress back into being the people who will seem hypocrites in surveys.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Demands to give up Friends

It didn't matter this much last night. Through yesterday, I found myself suspended (or 'locked') into a friend-ful state. It came as a funny feeling. The feeling, the void, was attempted to be overcome with ingestion, intoxication, and conversation. The Chinese food ensured the funny feeling will sustain till the morning, so that I get to reflect upon it.

Right now, upon waking up, hostility reeks from my reflections. Last afternoon, that was to be fun, turned to be intimidating, to the point that of wishing it would be over asap. I have come to cherish complicated friends a bit less, of late; they combine a few amazing and envious interests and talents to make up themselves; but socially they've come out as as people of hurtful sensibilities. They can't help it, so natural/engrained/magnified that hurt-response-cycle has become. People, who tend to offend as a means of social engagement.

I know I know some smart people, who are less outright vocal and more thoughtful, biding time for their responses. Sometimes, in lighter or newly-developing situations, their thoughts only go so as far as to the point where they will find a minimum basic coherent response. These responses are the ones derived from neologisms or memes or locally-viral-or-common phrases ('social culture'), as it quickens delivery of a social response (the nostalgic pull of these responses, is an added factor).

The response that comes at the end, however, is disconcerting. It smells both of misogyny and shock-value-to-drive-engagement.

It makes friends come off as creepy, rather than smart. It is not nice to see their cool turned into creepy. We feel creepy, as a response to the ambiguity of threat conveyed by an agency. One can't really talk about being with 'friends' when a 'threat' is in place. They probably saw it as 'frivolous' than 'threatful' in their own calculation; but failed to see how it could be perceived by friends they meet after almost a year's time. Creepy threats create anxiety, and drive response paralysis. Paralysed, we can't do much socially. Even when not pick up as a 'threat', the 'triteness' of their thought will drive my paralysis.

Coming to know about it, I can't explain why people would need to convey a passive threat in a gathering, just to prove their presence or build their identity. Or use the same trite shock value stuff which they were (in)famous for, 8 years outta college, which doesn't sound as cool anymore.

The only good a shock-response might encourage, is my blogging. Unless I blog bad.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Jack is not a dull boy

I have not yet started with work since the resolve of yesterday (29 hours ago, to be precise). GBPM (गयी भैंस पानी में), or SHTF (शिट हिट्स दी फ़ैन) situation incoming.

However, I did lyric-synch myself to Daft Punk's Harder Better Faster Stronger. The day had a long phase of DP - thanks to discovery of Daft Hands and Daft Bodies, memes which bloomed and withered without my knowledge, back in my early-employment days. I didn't know DP came onto the scene in such sweeping fashion. I always saw DP as the most genius and esoteric of musicians, but they got better and popular quickly. The world is moving to better music, it seems. Or at least the geeks rise, if this is a movement through the online sub-communities.

Lyrics

Work it
Make it
Do it
Makes us
Harder
Better
Faster
Stronger
More than
Hour
Our
Never [1:10]
Ever
After
Work is
Over [1:19]
Work it
Make it
Do it
Makes us [1:27]
Harder
Better
Faster
Stronger[1:35]
Work it
Harder
Make it
Better
Do it
Faster
Makes us
Stronger [1:43]
More than
Ever
Hour
After
Our
Work is
Never
Over [1:50]
Work it
Harder
Make it
Better
Do it
Faster
Makes us
Stronger
More than
Ever
Hour
After
Our
Work is
Never
Over [1:56]
Work it
Harder
Make it
Better
Do it
Faster
Makes us
Stronger
More than
Ever
Hour
After
Our
Work Is
Never
Over [2:09]
Work it
Harder
Make it
Better
Do it
Faster
Makes us
Stronger
More than
Ever
Hour
After
Our
Work is
Never
Over [2:16]
Work it
Harder
Make it
Better
Do it
Faster
Makes us
Stronger
More than
Ever
Hour
After
Our
Work is
Never
Over [2:25]
Work It
Harder
Make it
Better
Do it
Faster
Makes us
[2:28]
More than
Ever
Hour
After
Our
Work is
Never
Over [2:34]
Work it
Harder
Make it
Better
Do it
Faster
Makes us
Stronger
More than
Ever
Hour
After
Our
Work is
Never
Over [2:40]
Work it
Harder
Make it
[2:50]
Do it
Faster
Makes us
[2:52]
More than
Ever
Hour

Our work
Is
Never
Over [2:56]
Work it
Harder
Make it
Better
Do it
Faster
Makes us
Stronger [3:00]
More than
Ever
Hour
After
Our
Work is
Never
Over [3:04]
Work it
Harder
Make it
Better
Do it
Faster
Makes us
Stronger
More than
Ever
Hour
After
Our
Work is
Never
Over [3:12]
Work it
Harder
Make it
Better
Do it
Faster
Makes us
Stronger
More than
Ever
Hour
After
Our
Work is
Never
Over [3:18]
~Work it
~Harder
~Make it
~Better
~Do it
~Faster
~Makes us
~Stronger [3:23]
~More than
~Ever
~Hour
~After
~Our
~Work is
~Never
~Over [3:26]
Work it
Harder
Do it
Faster
More than
Ever
Our work
Is
Never
Over [3:34]
Work it
Harder
Make it
Better
Do it
Faster
Makes us
Stronger [3:38]
More than
Ever
Hour
After
Our
Work is
Never
Over [3:42]


Monday, August 17, 2015

Modus Majzoobiyat


Just woke up from a deserving lap of sleep, following yesterday, that was dense with action - much like the entire weekend. The actions were dense with lightness, which seemed to act to my modus majzoobiyat. So much shit flew, and yet none struck or stuck; and paradoxically they made for experiences of a unique sort that does validate a growing up of 30-or-so years (an awareness of about 10 years).

Briefly put, the highlights:
- drive to and back from Gethia,
- in monsoons,
- meeting accident with (one political heaveyweight) mr. bitta's brother-operated truck (apparently) at Brajghat,
- few hrs at the police station,
- driving through kanwari traffic (sorta like an annual endurance test for hindu pilgrims in this season),
- through potholed roads,
- then fogbound Gethia,
- a visit to Sattal and a band of women bringing out everything that's wrong with 'women'
- hostilities from the dead,
- my velociraptor attack wound,
- finding ferric deposits leaching from the rocks on a morning reccee,
- driving back in record time feeling much like a realistic video game,
- then delhi at its flooded worst whetting my apetite to get wet

The weekend kinda proved that life is like a dancing leprechaun that pulls out a mini machine gun and opens fire at you. I've to keep it at bay for this week; there's work to do.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

majzoobiyat hologram


Firstly, thanks to my ex-landlady for handing over her brother's stash of Depeche Mode to this tenant as the parting junk. Bengalis... the most curious ear this side of the planet. Or maybe she was just hinting me something by conveying 'leave in silence'.

I knew there'd come a day when me and Depeche Mode will get to spend quality time. I would get to know them more.

Well, I sorta did, with the latest hobby project, to generate holograms. What went in, was the jewel case of this album, what came about was a tiny plastic box (best to describe it as 'light box') that would serve the purpose. And really, all it took was constructing that tiny box.

I'd first tried it with much thinner plastic, that of a cutout soda bottle, last Caturday. Even though it got a bit mangled, it still served the purpose. I was ecstatic for a little while, then 'rest of the world' took over, and over the next 4 days I couldn't improve upon it. Until today. Today was almost done, but then the Depeche Mode case was found, and things went in another direction. I spent a good hour making the box cutout, from what was a much sturdier plastic than I had handled earlier.

Cutting a jewel case isn't easy, kids. In possession, thankfully, came this set of SK-5 Steel blades, which though didn't seem resilient, proved to stand all torture. Not only did they help make the cutouts for the box, the blade itself didn't get damaged. I later learnt that SK-5 is also used in a lot of knives, and instructional videos show how even repeated stabbing of metal (demonstrated on car doors) won't do a darn to the steel. Apparently, SK5 be so good, that it could be sharpened easy in the field as well be used as a spear without risk of breaking.

(on SK5 Steel) It is the Japanese equivalent of American 1080, a high carbon steel with carbon between 0.75%-0.85% and 0.60%-0.90% manganese. The excess carbide increases abrasion resistance and allows the steel to achieve an ideal balance of very good blade toughness with superior edge holding ability. Due to these characteristics, this grade of steel has been used traditionally for making a variety of hand tools, including chisels and woodcutting saws, and has stood the test of time and use over many years.
Hence I fearlessly proceeded to use my new set of blades on the cover. Easier said than done, really, since the thing took a while, and operation with different blades and grips.

Once the lightbox was done, all needed, were hologram videos. These take an object and project it on the screen in 4 directions, about a pivot point, so that the final composite made by our eyes is a 3d object. The composite is an illusion, really, just a play of light, and that there is no actual object there.

Majzoobiyat - N.F. vs T.I.S.B.

This week of enrichment brings out a mashup from within me. I'd imagined that The Incredible String Band's Air  was the best that could come. And then came along this North Face movie, Into the Mind, that seemed to go so well with, and even be of the same length as, the track. Both of them, together, give a euphoric 3 minutes.

North Face vs The Incredible String Band [mashup] from uhbiv on Vimeo.

From the stable of 'we never do anything original' comes this unoriginal mashup between North Face and The Incredible String Band. these two go well together. Neither the footage nor the music is mine. Edited a bit to synch with the track.


Youtube has historically sucked for mashup videos. Theirs detects all copyrighted work, and blocks it. I always hope against, in that the next new upload will go undetected... but apparently not.

   Your video has been blocked in some countries.
Copyrighted content was found in your video.
Because of the claimant's policy, this video can't be played in some countries
Your video can't be played outside these countries: Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba, Curacao, Montenegro, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Martin, Serbia, Sint Maarten, South Sudan
Copyright details
CONTENTCLAIMANTPOLICY
  • Visual content
  • 1:12 - 2:09 
  • The Orchard Entertainment
  • Blocked in some countries 

They should just block the whole thing instead of giving a message of partial access. The only countries without the copyright issue, are those which excludes 99.9 % of YouTube demographics.

Well, Vimeo to the rescue. Almost a scripted routine - get to YouTube, start uploading, remembering Vimeo halfway through, carrying on with YouTube in false hope, having the video upload on YouTube, learning the video got blocked on YouTube, upload to Vimeo as an alternative. No wonder, all my mashup videos live over there.

Monday, August 10, 2015

S.Sn.

They tell of this boy
who would sit by the river,
and sing of the oceans blue,
and think of the people and me and you,
surrounding.
Love, he heard about
in the river's song
the murmurs of the breeze;
the trill of cicadas in the trees,
invisible.

They said he was a mad one,
And thinking of the madmen,
he went looking for a mad one
found one right behind him
talking of madness besides his,
and feed him tea and oranges from Kashmir,
and enjoy the snows alongside.

And just when he meant to tell her
that he no love to give her,
then she stopped him
and said
let the river answer,
- it has already thought a lot more ,
than we ever could in a mortal span -
and it did, it said,
that they've always been lovers.

Now he wants to travel with her
And he wants to travel blind
And he knows that she will trust him
For he's touched her perfect body with his mind.


Sunday, August 09, 2015

eschew that was you

The night before the one before, the night before, and last night have been a twisted chapter in life. Twisted chapter in dealing with the living, better puts it. I had dreams the first two nights which tripped me; the last night there were no dreams, but reality was hard enough. That I didn't dream could be because I either felt tired, or felt relieved that the day ended - I was physically drained too.

The two dreams appealed for continuity instead of closure. Or reminded me of it. I felt uncomfortable about it. They reminded me that it's a small world. Is conscious-subconscious dissonance a recognized kind of schizophrenia?
The reality of last night was sort of eschewing hypocrisy and getting away from a more playable and playful part of me. I have other playgrounds, least of which is projected as human nature, or unnatural humans. People get hurt easy, and running in a field of yellow and green flowers is difficult if it is an abstract another-person mind in question.