Saturday, December 31, 2005

the last time ...

the last time i did someting for the first time ...

Friday, December 30, 2005

circumspice ...

holy basil (ocimum sanctum), considered the holy power plant, has a hot, spicy flavor ...
for thousands of years worshipped and revered as "tulsi" meaning "the incomparable one", ayurvedic masters consider it the mother medicine of nature, it is "anti-mutagenic and anti-inflammatory". it helps to mobilize mucus in bronchitis and asthma, relieves cold and flu, sorethroat, headaches, gum infection, sore eyes, night-blindness, leucoderma, insect bites, diarrhea, vomiting, reduces blood cholesterol and removes kidney stones.
protection against anxiety and stress, its a nervine tonic, sharpens memory, delivers nutrients to the mind necessary for the experience of enlightenment.
many hindu families have the tulsi planted in a specially built structure, which has an alcove for a small earthen oil lamp, like the one we see in the picture.
but this one is special ! built in 1885 in a beautiful british forest bungalow (mount stuart), in the middle of thick south indian jungle.
hugo wood, a working plan officer, lived here and successfully raised teak plantations all around, latter he died and his grave rests up close with word inscribed on a solid slab of granite brought from england ... which reads ... " SI MUNUMENTUM REQUIRIS CIRCUMSPICE " ... " if u want to see me look around " ...

Thursday, December 29, 2005

H20 ...

on this planet, water is continuously moving through the cycle from one form to another. all known forms of life depend on water. the coexistence of the solid, liquid, and gaseous phases of water on earth is vital to the origin, evolution, and continued existence of life on earth.
water plays an atmospheric role as an absorber of infrared radiation, crucial in the atmospheric greenhouse effect. without it the average surface temperature would be −18° celsius.
H2O, two atoms of hydrogen and one of oxygen in every molecule, created civilizations such as mesopotamia, the so-called cradle of civilization, situated between two major rivers.
about 72% of the fat free mass of the human body is made of water. excess intake than necessary leads to water intoxication, which is frequently fatal.
liquid water contracts when cooled until it reaches a temperature of about 4° celsius, where it reaches its maximum density. when this temperature is reached liquid water begins to expand, and even with a change in state to ice, water continues to expand by reducing its density as its temperature decreases, it should be noted that almost all other chemicals are denser as solids than they are as liquids, and freeze from the bottom up. ice in a body of water will form first at the surface and progress downward.
the amount of heat it would take to melt a kilogram of ice, and boil away is 720 calories, which would be enough to raise the same amount of aluminum to its melting point !
water molecules have a unique ability to be energized by microwave radiation, and at the same time make an excellent barrier to nuclear radiation. it absorbs neutrons in nuclear powerplants, yet is easily heated by microwaves. water is the primary source of the raw materials needed for hydrogen bombs.
also because of water, we have water beds and waterbed theory, which is the observation that systems, such as human and computer languages, contain a minimum amount of complexity, and that attempting to "push down" the complexity of such a system in one place will invariably cause complexity to "pop up" elsewhere ...

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

hokku or haiku ? ...

this one is for mala ... in english ...

there is nothing you can see that is not a flower, there is nothing you can think that is not the moon
lotus pond as they are unplucked souls festival
a cricket disturbed the sleeping child, on the porch a man smoked and smiled
the code was willing, it considered your request, but the chips were weak
the frog leaped into the pond, only to disturb the moon

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

same fella ...

there may be as many causalities suggested here as there are interested observers, and there may be no foolproof way to distinguish 'correct' from 'erroneous' suggestions.
since the publication of jerison's evolution of the brain and intelligence (1973). the two main hypotheses advanced to answer the question of why encephalization (refers to the tendency for a species toward larger brains through evolutionary time) has occurred focus on foraging strategies and social intelligence. the two are not necessarily exclusive, but both claim dominion over the arrow of causality. the ecological and the social arguments in a hypothesis about the evolution of group size proposed a notion that brain evolution has proceeded along multiple, parallel paths, but the interaction between various socio-ecological factors has yet to be determined.
encephalization are comparative studies, lack of standardization in brain size measurement can undermine the validity of the field. hypothesis clearly implies that the more energy an animal can invest in her offspring, the larger brains they will have. primates devote more of their energy resources to their brains than do most other mammals, brain size correlated with home range size in the cercopithecines (old world primates like macaques, mandrill) and that of monogamous species have significantly smaller brains than polygynous ones.
brain size has increased over evolutionary time, and behavior has become more complex. the two are undeniably linked, more stimuli become important, as a species niche broadens. there will be selection for enhanced ability to cope with an increased amount of information.
certainly only an extreme adherent of either an ecological or social hypothesis would claim that an animal's foraging strategy depends solely upon the nature of the food resource or upon its maneuvering within a social context. which came first ? can we know ? what is the evolutionary relationship between the mechanisms responsible for interpreting and instigating social behavior ?

Monday, December 26, 2005

do u see ? ...

what is it its looking for ? do not underestimate !

Sunday, December 25, 2005

primordial soup ...

a few facts give insight into the conditions in which life may have emerged, but the mechanisms by which non-life became life are still elusive.

historical radius of the spherical universe we can observe, is about 78 billion light years. we cannot observe anything outside that sphere, as information from it would have taken longer to reach us than the life of the universe ! the universe, which includes time, space, and everything in it, begins with the big bang 13.7 ± 0.2 billion years ago.
nonlinear dynamic systems under certain conditions exhibit a phenomenon known as chaos, typically refers to unpredictability which are very sensitive to its initial conditions. in the metaphysical sense, it is the opposite, unrestrictive, both creative and destructive.
abiogenesis, is the generation of life from non-living matter. on earth, all lifeforms are based on carbon compounds, such as CH4 (methane) C2H6 (ethane), early earth environment had no free oxygen for use by lifeforms. the hypothesis that primitive life may have originally formed extraterrestrially doesnt answer anything, how did it arise there ? the emergence of oxygenic-photosynthesis life happened around 3 billion years ago, in the last billion years simple multicellular plants and animals began to appear in water.

probably all of the organic beings which have ever lived on this earth have descended from some one primordial form, into which life was first breathed. the species we see today are but the smallest part of what blind destiny has produced, all living species of today are related to each other through common descent, products of evolution and speciation over billions of years.

human DNA sequences are approximately 6.6% divergent from those of their nearest genetic relative the baboons, 1.6% from gorillas , and 1.2% from chimpanzee, 0.1 % between you and me.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

koo-ook...koo-ook ...ook ...

all birds are bipedal, warm-blooded, egg-laying vertebrates characterized primarily by feathers, forelimbs modified as wings, and hollow bones.

the brown hawk owl, ninox scutulata, is a resident breeder in tropical south asia. this species is a part of the larger grouping of owls known as typical owls, strigidae, which contains most species of owls, the other grouping are the barn owls, tytonidae.

it is a medium-sized (32cm) owl with a hawk-like shape due to its long tail and lack of a distinct facial disk. the eyes are large and yellow. sexes are similar. it lays three to five eggs in a tree hole. this species is very nocturnal. It feeds mainly on large insects, frogs, lizards, small birds, and mice. the call is a soft, musical koo-ook...koo-ook ...

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

koo-ook...koo-ook ...

in early indian folklore, owls represent wisdom and helpfulness, and have powers of prophecy. this theme recurs in aesop's fables and in greek myths and beliefs. by the middle ages in europe, the owl had become the associate of witches and the inhabitant of dark, lonely and profane places. during the eighteenth century the zoological aspects of owls were detailed through close observation, reducing the mystery surrounding these birds, superstitions dying out in the twentieth century the owl has returned to its position as a symbol of wisdom !

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

my relatives in seychelles ...

Lynch, 1973, In Vial (ed.), Evol. Biol. Anurans, : 133-182, suggested that the Sooglossidae was the sister-taxon of the Myobatrachinae; Savage, 1973, In Vial (ed.), Evol. Biol. Anurans, , considered them to have affinities with the ranoids, but because Lynch considered the Myobatrachinae and Sooglossidae to be cladistically closer to ranoids than to other bufonoids these statements are not necessarily in conflict. See Nussbaum, 1980, Herpetologica, 36: 1-5, Bogart and Tandy, 1981, Monit. Zool. Ital., N.S., Suppl., 15: 55-91; and Tyler, 1985, Herpetologica, 41: 173-176, for discussion of phylogenetic placement and review of systematic literature. Nussbaum, Jaslow, and Watson, 1982, J. Herpetol., 16: 198-203, and Green, Nussbaum, and Yang, 1988, Herpetologica, 44: 113-119, discussed phylogeny within this taxon and implied that Sooglossus is paraphyletic with respect to Nesomantis.

meanwhile my cheap calender on my table says ...

" it is while you are patiently toiling at the little tasks of life that the meaning and shape of life dawns on you "

Monday, December 19, 2005

now think again ...

nasikabatrachus sahyadrensis is a frog species ! from the western ghats, india. it was discovered in 2003 and forms its own family ! common names for this species are purple frog or pignose frog. the scientific name derived from the word nasika - nose in sanskrit, batrachus - frog in greek, and sahyadri as the local name of the mountain range where it was found.
the frog spends most of the year underground, surfacing only for about two weeks, during the monsoon, for purposes of mating. dont know what it eats ? the frog's reclusive lifestyle is what caused the species to escape earlier notice by biologists. the species was discovered by franky bossuyt and s.d. biju. however it was well known to the local people before.
the frog forms a living fossil as the only surviving species of the nasikabatrachidae family. according to genetic analysis it is distantly related to the family sooglossidae, which is found on the seychelles islands. the two families split about 100 million years ago, which fits with the geologic history of india. at that time india, the seychelles and madagascar formed a single landmass which split due to the continental drift. this species is a living proof to the theory of drift !

Sunday, December 18, 2005

flying frog ...

the origin of novel phenotypes has challenged evoluionary biologists since the time of darwin. darwin's theory of evolution provides an explanation for how natural selection eliminates the less fit phenotypes, but leaves open the question of how novel phenotypes arise !

rhacophorus malabaricus is a large-sized tree frog endemic to the western ghats of india. inhabits evergreen, and semi-evergreen forests and builds arboreal foam nests. gliding tree frogs have features such as enlarged, extensively webbed hands and feet with adhesive discs, skin flaps on elbows and ankles. these frogs use gliding to descend from the canopy down to mating sites over temporary pools on the rainforest floor and to escape from predators.

aerodynamic stability and maneuverability

the motion an animal experiences during flight is marked by transitory oscillations (phugoid mode, short-period mode, Dutch-roll mode and spiral mode) superimposed over translation along a flight path. In addition, the flight path may be changing as a result of postural changes by the animal.

maneuverability is the ability of a gliding animal to accelerate and change its flight path. a gliding animal is capable of accelerating linearly and rotationally. turning maneuvers are accomplished by rotations about the glider's center of mass that in turn alter the aerodynamic forces acting on the glider. maneuverability depends on the magnitude of the aerodynamic forces the frog can generate as well as the frog's aerodynamic stability.

this rotation can be resolved into rotations about three orthogonal axes, pitch, roll and yaw. the origin of the axes is fixed to the animal's center of mass, and the axes themselves are fixed to the animal; the axes translate and rotate as the animal translates and rotates. (A) rotation about the cranial-caudal axis is termed roll angle, rolling rotates the animal's right side up or down. (B) rotation about a dorso-ventral axis is termed yaw angle, yawing rotates the animal's snout to the left or right. (C) rotation about a lateral axis is termed angle of attack, pitching rotates the animal's snout up or down. grey arrows indicate the directions of the indicated torques.

tree frogs maneuvered in the tilted wind-tunnel using two different turning mechanisms: a banked turn (the frog rolls into the turn) and a crabbed turn (the frog yaws into the turn). the maneuverability was approximately one-third of the maneuverability of a falcon.

thank u so much for your wonderfull research MICHAEL G. McCAY

Saturday, December 17, 2005

bufo camo ...

frogs and toads comprise the order anura. there are about 3,500 known species of frogs and 400 kinds of toads, still plenty being discovered every day. they are found on every continent except antarctica. they are very sensitive to climate change, thus called as an indicator species and their population is declining rapidly. the word "frog" can be used to describe all stout bodied amphibians, smooth and moist skinned, that have long hind limbs for leaping.
a toad is used to identify members of the genus bufo as well as frogs of similar body form. these amphibians have dryer, lumpier skin, broader body, weaker hind limbs than other frogs and spend less time in the water. the genus bufo embraces atleast 250 species, toads have a pair of parotoid glands located on the top of their heads, these glands produce a poison that can make people ill or cause eye irritation. some have poison glands that oozes onto their skin.
when a frog or toad swallows a meal, his bulgy eyeballs will close and go down into his head, this is because the eyeballs apply pressure and actually push a frog's meal down his throat ! longest lifespan entered by a toad was a european common toad at 40 years !

Friday, December 16, 2005


insects are one of the most diverse groups of animals in the world, more than a million species identified and a few million yet to be discovered. cicada is of the order hemiptera, there are many thousands of species of cicadas, mostly living hidden in the rain forest canopy and regarded as indicators of rain forest types and of degeneration of their environment.
most cicadas go through a life cycle that lasts between two to five years, some species goes through a 13- or even 17-year life cycle, most of this time spend underground as nymphs, most adult cicadas live 2 to 3 weeks but some live only for a day or two or less. adult cicadas are sometimes called as "imagines".
cicadas are the only known insects known to cool themselves by sweating. they produce a wide variety of fascinating songs, only male cicadas have loud noisemakers called "tymbals" a drum-like structure on their sides, they can produce sounds louder than 100 dB ! louder than a large diesel truck at full power, can be heard up to a mile. they modulate their noise by wiggling their abdomens toward and away from the tree that they are on. they feed by piercing the surface of plants with their mouth stylets.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

nephila maculata ...

spider silk is tough, stronger (upto 5oo % ) than steel and more elastic (up to 300 %) than anything else we can make is surely a humble reminder of the fact that nature created us and not the other way around.
amongst the most amazing and commonly admired webs are the various orb-webs, the largest orb-webs in the world are spun by spiders in the genus Nephila which may be 2 metres (6 ft) in diametre and are capable of catching small birds and bats, even though they dont eat them but large insects. "a typical strand of spider silk has a diametre of about 0.003 mm (0.00012 in) in diametre, compare this with silkworm silk which is 0.03 mm in diametre" or ten times as thinner. spider silk is made up of protein yet dont decay, wonder why ? it consists of an unusual substance which is quite acidic, so not attacked by bacteria or fungi, which is why cobwebs remain around for so long.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

nephila (khulii ?) ...

spiders are invertebrate animals that produce silk, have eight legs, commonly have eight eyes and no wings. more precisely, a spider is any member of the arachnid order araneae. nephelia's are commonly called as giant wood spiders, spin one of the largest orb's in the woods ... what we see here is the female ...
the male is many times smaller than the female, some are 1,000 times smaller ! the male is so tiny that he can live on the female's web, stealing her food, often without her even noticing him. she may not even notice that he has crept up and inseminated her ! mating can take up to 15 hours ! The female lives slightly longer than the male.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

universal un-veil ...

fungi are classified under eukaryotic (you-carry-ah-tick) organisms, closer relation to animals, but now placed in their own kingdom. what we see is only the “fruit” of the organism, the living body of the fungus is a mycelium made out of a web of tiny filaments called hyphae (high-fee) usually hidden in the soil or another food source. if the mycelium produces microscopic fruiting bodies, people may never notice the fungus.

Monday, December 12, 2005

universal veil ...

one scoop of dung may provide home for as many as 40 species of fungi and there may be as many as 1,500,000 species of fungus, one specimen of the common bracket fungus, can produce 350,000 spores per second, 30 billion spores a day and 4,500 billion in one season ! almost all of them covered in a thin universal veil as they erupt ... but i havent seen any universal veil like this ...

Sunday, December 11, 2005

what time is it ?

time can be expressed as a spiral or a linear or a circular curve depending on where the 'tick' is marked on a rolling tyre. time has to be expressed always in ratios ... cos time has to be divided by time to express a measure. its always relative to its relative, which relative came first is a family affair !
this is what time sounds like if u are not having a "good time" ! out here theres "no time" ... but lots of space and a cozy hut with a live wind block and a tiny fireplace ... and sakthivel making chappatis. i was searching for philautus (stamp sized) frogs to photograph ... and these frogs make a loud noise that sounds 'tickk' ... 'tickk' ... really !

Saturday, December 10, 2005

isnt this whats all about ...

... worlds most asked question ... the infinife cycle of things ... one thing became everything ... decay and denial ... i know it but cant prove it ... digital or analogue ... buying or leasing a car ... why me ?

Friday, December 09, 2005

spot the elephant ...

many a times the obvious isn't that easy to spot, cos there is something even more obvious out there ... lets not forget that plants evolved here on earth some 100's of million years ago, before the first animal life happened and animals were designed as their couriers to spread their gene and diversity for which one get fed. enlarge the picture and u will really see an elephant ... somewhere in the big picture ...

Thursday, December 08, 2005

imperfection is perfection ...

often, those who understand the mathematics and concepts well enough to understand the essence of the physical laws also feel that they possess an inherent intellectual beauty. many scientists state that they use intuition as a guide in developing hypotheses, since there seems to be a connection between beauty and truth. here my hypotheses is - imperfection is perfection.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

strangler ficus ...

the strangler fig has an aggressive growth habit that insures its survival in the rainforest. the seedlings grows slowly at first, getting their nutrients from the sun, rain and leaf litter that has collected on the host. the stranglers send out many thin roots that snake down the trunk of the host tree or dangle as aerial roots from its branches. when the roots reach the ground they dig in and put on a growth spurt, competing with the host tree for water and nutrients. they also send out a network of roots that encircle the host tree and fuse together. as the roots grow thicker they squeeze the trunk of its host and cut off its flow of nutrients.

Monday, December 05, 2005

shallow focus ...

"It's only when we realize that life is taking us nowhere that it begins to have meaning."
~ P. D. Ouspensky

ornate flying snake going nowhere but the shallow focus strikes out !

all is too much ...

That stone buddha deserves all the birdshit it gets
I wave my skinny arms like a tall flower in the wind.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

work of hands ...

the hands that stacked these bricks and the pure chance of that tiny dry leaf hanging off the carefully drawn spider silk, casting a memoryless shadow on the bricks are of the same logic ... doesnt mean much ? ... exactly ! ... thats the point !
the universe has no point to prove then what point should any point in it prove ?

still something is missing ...

take a while to see whats missing in this picture ...
something is always missing in the big picture ...

Saturday, December 03, 2005

ensete superbum ...

"Life results from the non-random survival of randomly varying replicators."
ensete superbum is a wild banana plant that is endemic to the forests of south india and the picture is its flowers thats yet to open. i could not not find a better picture next to the nebula and the elephant calf.

Friday, December 02, 2005

just a reminder ...

cats eye nebula was one of the first discoverd nebulas and still one the most complex ... would love to photograph it ... someday ! posted this picture just to remind all of us our environment ... above all ...

famous last words of famous people ...

Wait a minute...
Who: Pope Alexander VI
I should never have switched from Scotch to Martinis.
Who: Humphrey Bogart

Thursday, December 01, 2005

mansi ...

"Worker bees can leave...
Even drones can fly away...
The Queen is their slave."
Fight Club, movie by David Fincher

a point is not part of a line ...

Here forms, here colours, here the character of every part of the universe are concentrated to a point; and that point is so marvellous a thing ... Oh! marvellous, O stupendous Necessity— by thy laws thou dost compel every effect to be the direct result of its cause, by the shortest path. These are miracles...
- Leonardo da Vinci