ஒரு திருமணத்திற்கு முன் ஜாதகம் பார்ப்பதை விடப் பரம்பரை / குடும்ப நோய்கள் உள்ளனவா என்று பார்த்து / கேட்டு / தீர விசாரித்து அறிவது மிக மிக முக்கியம்! மரபணு (ஜீன்) / வண்ண உடலி (க்ரோமோஸோம்) வழி வரும் நீரிழிவு (டயாபடிஸ்), இரத்த அழுத்த மிகை (high BP), காக்கா வலிப்பு நோய் (Epilepsy / fits), மூளை வளர்ச்சிக் குறைவு, பைத்தியம் போன்ற பரம்பரை / குடும்ப நோய்கள் உள்ளனவா என்று பார்த்து / கேட்டு / தீர விசாரித்து அறிவது மிக மிக முக்கியம்! இரு பாலரின் Rh ஆர்ஹெச் இரத்தக் குழுமமும் (Blood Group) ஒத்துள்ளனவா என்றும் கேட்டோ / சோதித்தோ அறிவதும் மிக மிக முக்கியம்!
Looking for Heredo-Familial Disorders in the prospective partners is more important
Matching Their Horoscopes, Palmistry, Astrology and other Pseudo-Sciences!
Rh Blood Group Incompatibility Pregnancy Fetal Loss
இறைவனால் பஞ்ச பூதங்களையும் உட்புகுத்தித் தம் வடிவத்திலேயே படைக்கப் பட்டு இந்தப் பூவுலகில் தவழ விடப் பட்ட நம்மிற் பலர் நெடுங் காலம் நலமுடன் வாழ முடியாமற் போவது ஏனோ? பரம்பரையாக வரும் மரபணுக் குறைகளா? வேதியற் குறைகளா?கருவாகத் தாயினுள் இருக்கும் போதோ, தாயின் உடலின் உள்ளிருந்து வெளியுலகினுள் வரும் பிறப்பு எனும் பிரசவப் போக்கிலோ நிகழும் தவறுகள், இடர்கள், நஞ்சுகள், மருந்துகள், விபத்துகள், காலந் தாழ்த்துதல் போன்றவையா?
பிறந்த பின் பசலை – பச்சைக் குழந்தைப் பருவத்திலோ, பின்னர் வளரும் போக்கிலோ நிகழும் தவறுகள், இடர்கள், நஞ்சுகள், மருந்துகள், விபத்துகள், காலந் தாழ்த்துதல் போன்றவையா?
இவற்றைத் தவிர்த்தும், முறைப்படி சரி செய்தும் இந்த அப்பாவிப் பிஞ்சு – குஞ்சுகளுக்கு நலம் அளித்தால் அவர்களின் பொக்கை வாய் மழலைச் சிரிப்பில் இறைவனையே காண முடியுமே!
அந்த அப்பாவிப் பிஞ்சு – குஞ்சுகள் தாம் நலமுடன் வாழ முடியாதிருப்பதோடு, அவர்களின் பெற்றோரும், தாத்தா – பாட்டியரும், உற்றாரும், மற்றோரும் மெல்லவும் முடியாமல், சொல்லவும் முடியாமல், நலம் பெறவே வழியற்றுத் துடி துடித்துக் கொண்டிருக்கும் அந்தக் குழந்தைகளைக் கொல்லவும் – கருணைக் கொலை செய்யவும் – முடியாமல் இருண்டு கிடக்கும் அவர்களின் இல்லங்களிலும், உள்ளங்களிலும் நன்னம்பிக்கை எனும் ஒளி விளக்கை ஏற்றலாமே!”
Welcome back to my 19th page of WordPress.com Health Blog to which I have given the title “A Journey Round my Skull – 3 ” since it is a continuation of / sequel to my previous 17th WordPress.com pages Title: “A Journey Round my Skull – 1” and my previous 18th WordPress.com page Title: “A Journey Round my Skull – 2″.
Competitors to La Rotonde Cafe and Literary Cafe mentioned in the previous page were La Coupole, Paris – not usually busy now and Le Dome Cafe, Paris – now just a sea food restaurant, no more attracting intellectuals.
Edinburgh’s The Elephant House on George IV Bridge in Edinburgh (nick-named The ‘Harry Potter’ cafe) (Visit http://www.wanderingmee.com/2012/09/thus-born-the-boy-wizard-tracing-j-k-rowling-steps-in-edinburgh/” for a nice photo) with the pleasingly low key back room coffee shop overlooking Edinburgh Castle was where Joanne “Jo” Rowling, OBE, FRSL (/’ro?l??/; born 31 July 1965), pen names J. K. Rowling and Robert Galbraith, the British novelist and philanthropist first penned, when 25 years of age, her world-famous novel book series Harry Potter, 450 million copies and more sold worldwide and bequeathed the film Harry Potter which was the highest-grossing film series of all-time that recorded world box office sales of $7.7 billion. She also wrote he wrote in many other cafés, especially Nicolson’s Café (owned by her brother-in-law, Roger Moore). so rich Rowling now, no wonder, has her own writing place at a £4.5 million Georgian house in Kensington, West London, on a street with 24-hour security.(Visit http://www.jkrowling.com/en_GB/ and http://www.jkrowling.com/en_GB/about-jk-rowling for more details about this phonomenon of a young lady novelist who took the world by storm.). Hers is a real Rags to Riches story – she went from her childhood’s being unemployed and living on state benefits to becoming a multi-millionaire in five years; In 2004, Forbes named Rowling as the first person to become a U.S.-dollar billionaire by writing books, the second-richest female entertainer and the 1,062nd richest person in the world; Rowling disputed the calculations and said she had plenty of money, but was not a billionaire. The 2008 Sunday Times Rich List named Rowling the 144th richest person in Britain. In 2012, Forbes removed Rowling from their rich list, claiming that her US$160 million in charitable donations and the high tax rate in the UK
meant she was no longer a billionaire.In February 2013 she was assessed as the 13th most powerful woman in the United Kingdom by Woman’s Hour on BBC Radio 4.
On a delayed train from Manchester to London in 1990, J.K.Rowling wrote her initial Potter ideas on a napkin, yet another commanility between Frigyes Karinthy on one side and J.K.Rowling, Albert Einstein, Norbert Wiener (1894-1964), the US mathematician held in esteem as the archetype of the genius and absent-minded professor, our own Mahathma Gandhi, the Father of our Nation, India ( I LOVE INDIA) all of whom cherished, valued and wrote their earth-shaking ideas on bits of scrap paper and backs of envelopes and most recently closer to home, the “Four Aleys” book(which is about four women, each named Aley — came out as individual scenes and showed women who were unusually strong and were struggling to make their mark in a patriarchal society where women are generally dependent on men emotionally and financially)’s author Renu Kurien Balakrishnan(,the beloved wife of Ajit Balakrishan, the founder of Rediff.com and the author of The Wave Rider) who confessed “‘I wrote this book on scraps of paper and Ajith had packed them into his bag on a trip to San Francisco'”.
One of Renu Kurien Balakrishnan’s illustrious predecessors in the matter of writing on scraps of paper and backs of envelopes was Albert Einstein (1879-1955), considered World’s No. 2 Scientist, second only to Sir Isaac Newton PRS(Born 25th Dec 1642-1726) …… Hi! Hi!! My humble self shares the same 25th Dec as Birthday along with 1. Jesus Christ of Nazareth (c.4 BC to c. AD 30-33), the Son of God / Messiah (I am also a Christmas Baby); 2. Sir Isaac Newton PRS 25 December 1642 – 1726/27) as also 3. Clarissa “Clara” Harlowe Barton (December 25, 1821 – 1912), the American Hospital Nurse who founded American Red Cross;; 4. Louis-Joseph “Louis” Chevrolet (December 25, 1878 – 1941), the Swiss-born American race car driver of French descent, co-founder of the famous Chevrolet Motor Car Company in 1911, and a founder in 1916 of the Frontenac Motor Corporation, which made racing parts for Ford’s Model T;; 5. Conrad Nicholson Hilton (December 25, 1887 – 1979) who was an American hotelier and the founder of the well-known Hilton Hotels chain;; 6. Bharath Ratna (Posthumous in 2014) Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya (December 25,1861–1946) who was an Indian educationist and politician notable for his role in the Indian independence movement and as the two time president of Indian National Congress; he was respectfully addressed by the title ‘Mahamana’ (“Luminous Mind /
Magnanimous Heart” by the people of India led by Rabindranath Tagore;Mahatma Gandhi called him “Pratah Smaraniya” (usually used to address Hindu saints and mahaans – meaning “To Be Remembered First Every Morning”) and “Devata Purush”( Man of God); the greatest Teacher of Teachers, Dr.Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, whose birthday, 5 September, is celebrated in India as Teachers’ Day, said “Pandit Malaviyaji is a Karmayogin”;Malaviya has also been respectfully called “Dharmathma” and “Prince of Beggars”!; India’s National slogan / motto, “Satyameva Jayate” (Truth alone will triumph), inscribed at the bottom of the national emblem – 3 Lions standing over (Asoka) Chakra (an adaptation of the Lion Capital of Ashoka which was erected around 250 BCE at Sarnath, near Varanasi in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh) – and is inscribed on one side of all Indian currency and also all national documents) is also a legacy given to the nation by Pandit Malaviya as the President of the Indian National Congress in its session of 1918 at Delhi, by saying that this slogan from the Mundaka Upanishad / Mudokapanishad (an ancient Sanskrit Vedic text embedded inside Atharva Veda, the fourth of the four great Vedas (Scriptures) of Hinduism / India) should be the slogan for the nation;; 7. Bollywood’s greatest ever music director, Naushad Ali (25 December 1919 – 2006) (whoever will forget “Pyaar Kiyaa To Darnaa Kyaa” sung by Lata Mangeshkar and lipsynced by Madhubala – in Mughal-e-Azam movie 1960 Black and White and remastered in Color in 2004);; 8. Pakistan’s Founder Father of the Nation, Muhammad Ali Jinnah ( 25 December 1876 – 1948);; 9. India’s 10th Prime Minister Bharat Ratna Atal Bihari Vajpayee (born 25 December 1924) honoured by his birth day, 25 December, getting declared “Good Governance Day”;; 10. Baba Ramdev who was born Saturday, December 25, 1965 as Ram Krishna Yadav and is a yoga teacher known for his work in Ayurveda, politics and agriculture.
Just for a change from Birthday monotony above, celebs who died on my Birth Day include 1. Charlie Chaplin -Sir Charles Spencer “Charlie” Chaplin, KBE (16 April 1889 – 25 December 1977) the English comic actor, filmmaker, and composer who rose to fame in the silent movies era;; 2. Dean Martin, (born Dino Paul Crocetti, June 7, 1917 – December 25, 1995) who was an American singer, actor, comedian, film producer and one of the most popular and enduring American entertainers of the mid-20th century, nicknamed the “King Of Cool” for his seemingly effortless charisma and self-assurance;; 3. Nicolae Ceausescu (26 January 1918 – 25 December 1989) who was a Romanian Communist Despot / Dictator, faced charges including illegal gathering of wealth and genocide and executed with his wife Elena by a Romanian Militia’s firing squad on 25 December 1989;; 4. Elena Ceaucescu (7 January 1916 – 25 December 1989) who was the wife of Romania’s Communist leader Nicolae Ceaușescu, and was also Deputy Prime Minister of Romania and was executed with her husband Nicolae by a Romanian Militia’s firing squad on 25 December 1989;; 5. Gyani Zail Singh (5 May 1916 – 25 December 1994) who was the seventh President of India, known for his literary scholarliness and was also the butt of some funny Sardarji jokes and anecdotes – those interested can read the book “President Giani Zail Singh” by the Sikh author Joginder Singh;; 6. Jap serial Killer Hiroaki Hidaka (April 1962 – 25 December 2006 – died by judicial hanging), who robbed and killed four women between April and September 1996;arrested on September 21, 1996; tried by the district court in Hiroshima which sentenced Hidaka to death on February 9, 2000, a sentence that he did not appeal;he was executed by hanging on December 25, 2006.
OMG! I have filled more than a WordPress.com page with all these Birth and Death narrations for 25th December!
I shall continue with Albert Einstein’ scribblings and problem solving on scrap papers and back of envelopes etc., and Mahatma Gandhi and others too in my next – 20th – page which will continue with the sequel title but numbered 4 – “A Journey Round my Skull – 4”!
So long! See You Again!! Stay Tuned!!
Following up On my previous Post – “Why So many miserable Babies…………………”, it should have actually read, “Why So many miserable parents and care-givers including medics of so many miserable Babies…………………” – Yes, I am one of those miserable medics!
Yes, gone are the days of 1960 A.D. (when I got admitted to the Medical College) when I considered myself “a Selected Saviour of Mankind!”.
Yes, gone also are the days of 1972 A.D. ((when I took to specialise in Neurosurgery – as the branch with enormous scope for delving into new research on the yet-still-poorly, grossly
underunderstood (more about it in a later page!) masterly, and FTL (Faster Than Light) evolving human brain )) when I considered myself “a Selected Saviour of Mankind’s Brains”!
Between 1960 and 1972 – in 1971-1972 to be exact, I was in U.K. doing various odd medical jobs as Senior House Officer (SHO) and Registrar in medical institutions of various statures – giving me a much valuable – sometimes pleasant and sometimes painful – experience.
My first asignment was in Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Gateshead, New Castle Upon Tyne in the midlands. Being new to England and dropped by the Airport Bus in the local Bus Stand, I boarded a bus and asked an elderly lady passenger whether the bus will go through and drop me in Queen Elizabeth Hospital. She said, “I should talk to the conductor!”. The conductor promised to tell me when Queen Elizabeth Hospital was reached and allow time for me to disembark.The bus went on and on and the elderly lady passenger kep staring alternately at me and the conductor and eventually mustered enough strength to call out to the conductor why the bus had passed Queen Elizabeth Hospital without stopping and dropping “this Paki doctor”. The conductor just stared into the sky and made no efforts to rectify his failure to keep a promise made to me. But the driver, who heard all this, stopped the bus, came on to us and asked the conductor whether he had promised to drop me in Queen Elizabeth Hospital; the conductor merely nodded the head admitting his error. All the other passengers rose up in one and said in a chorus,”Take the bus back to Queen Elizabeth Hospital and drop the doctor there as promised”. The driver obliged and I was safely dropped at Queen Elizabeth Hospital. I used to believe that an Englishman is as good as his word; it was proven (by the co-passengers and the driver) / disproven (by the conductor) to me by this incident in my life. As Socrates put it, “Don’t take anybody’s word as true!”
My first asignment at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Gateshead, New Castle Upon Tyne in the midlands was to teach children, mostly immigrant “brownies” / “pakies” as they were clumped together (even Indian Restaurants were called Paki Restaurants) – the British, for reasons best known to themselves, saw everybody (including Indians) from the Indian subcontinent, as Pakistanis / Pakis!
The assignment was probably to test my fluency in English – not my skills in medicine which I was there to enhance! Any way, “Beggars can’t be choosers!”, I picked the gauntlet and proved myself. Nay, it was indeed a pleasant experience too as the kids, though immigrants, had normal / supernormal brains and used to greet me, in chorus, whenever I entered the classroom, “Good Morning Dr.Kriiiishshshnannn…”, reverberating in the classromm – front to back, roof to floor and wall to wall and, through the windows (doors were always kept closed, as you know – it was the duty of any new entrant to any room to close the door after him / her – just to keep the chill out!) even to the world outside!
After a month in Gateshead, I moved on to Edinburgh where I spent nearly seventeen months in various hospitals, in various jobs in various specialities in medicine in hospitals of various statures.
More of it in the pages to follow!
So long then!
Why so many miserable babies with Brain Damage, Fits, Mental Retardation? ========================================================================= It is horrifying, depressing, frustrating and worrying to see, in my (a Neuro(Brainy!)surgeon, a "nut cracker" as the nick name goes)) consulting room day in and day out, scores of miserable, harried parents bringing to me their unfortunate kids in stinking diapers / snuggies with ammoniacal dermatitis at their bottoms, drooling saliva, facial contortions, writhing / twisting limbs, doubly (urinary and faecal) incontinent, facial and limbs asymmetries and deformities, letting out horrifying sounds and throwing fits of various (hundreds of) types on and off and getting, in the bargain, their bodies hurt visibly (fore-head bumps, bitten tongues and broken teeth and even dislocated joints (shoulders mostly) and broken bones too and, more important, unseen by us, getting their brains hurt more and more, leading to more and more scarification / gliosis / sclerosis in their brains (heard of medial temporal sclerosis damaging the hippocampi, the (sea-horse - shaped) memory chips in human brains) which trigger off more and more fits / seizures / convulsions - and further brain damage - a veritable vicious cycle indeed. They come to me with the misbegotten hope that I can make normal kids out of those highly damaged kids (I know of at least one well-placed (Highly dishonest, of course) neurosurgeon who demanded (and almost got) from a real estate agent a fee of one million Indian Rupees against his (false) promise of curing his highly damaged baby boy of this type to the level where he can go to a normal school, all in a month (? By a brain / head transplant, not yet become but hoped to become a reality in the near future)! I usually admit to such parents I need to be a magician or god of some kind to fulfill their hopes! But then Who is to be blamed for all this ( To quote a song from Bollywood's Amar Prem movie By the late Superstar Rajesh Khanna - "Yeh Hissa Aur Kisee ka!(Read "This is a story (part) of somebody else!")? Is it God, Almighty, Omnipresent, Omniscient, who is said to have made man in his own image? (Heard of a God and a man who met halfway between the earth and heavens (? hell)and embraced each other shouting "Oh! My Maker!" (Don't ask me whether God made man or man made god(s)! It is a chicken or egg first story, ain't it?). Is it the parents, mothers in particular, and their families? Young and ignorant parents who, seeing that they don't have enough funds / proper status yet to support a baby, start a process of abortion but, after being reprimanded by their senior relatives for their attempted sin against an unborn, continue with the pregnancy only to get a damaged baby at the end! Is it the Young husbands, sex-thirsty and stupid, who infect the unborn baby in their wive's wombs by forcing sex on their pregnant wives (marital rape, as it is called today, and said to be very common in India today!). Is it the foolish young mothers who take harmful medicines (like the notorious Thalidomide world over and Pipmal in Tamil Nadu) to stop vomiting (hyperemesis gravidarum) etc., starve, over-eat, indulge in high profile athletics, suffer accidental fals, get kicked by (drunken) husbands, smoke, drink alcohol, take addictive narcotics, work with high radiation colour monitors (TV / Computer) and use the ubiquitous (necessary evil?) cell (mobile) phones, held against their ears, going out in the open on days of Full Moon (Romantic and irresistible), New Moon and eclipses when unfiltered (highly fetal - injurious (teratogenic) and even cancerogenic) radiation from the skies!) while pregnant or eat / drink such radiated food / water / drinks etc., etc., etc.,? Is it the obstetricians - qualified and unqualified (quacks / well-meaning grannies included and mid-wives) and highly qualified and experienced medical personnel, mostly females (some men too!) (all who had taken, at the time of their graduation into medicine the well-known but the oft-forgotten / mostly dis-obeyed Hippocratic oath (Poor Hippocrates must be turning (nay, Spinning superfast) in his grave!), often highly egoistic, obsessive and money-mongering, who help(!) billions of human samples come into this world out of their mothers' wombs day in and day out from the day when human kind started on this earth? Is it the societies / governments who allow pollution of air and water, contamination of food, proliferation of spurious meds, drugs etc., reaching pregnant mothers or put pregnant or to-be-pregnant women into the radiation rich skies and space in the name of scientific research to find new dwellings for mankind now getting suffocted on the over-populated (Bursting) earth? Most certainly, all of you would agree, it is not the fault of those poor babies!! Follow me if you are knowledge-thirsty and not chicken-hearted!
Long time No See, eh! Come, jump on to my
magic flying carpet – PHFA (Hehe! haahaa!
Positive Health For All!) to see more of
“But we live and learn, don’t we?” as I
had said in the middle of the previous page.
Why not start with a searching question for you
to answer? “Who / What are you?”.
Ok! You don’t like me asking you the question? You
don’t let others grab centre-stage / hog the
limelight in your premises?
(I am reminded of the great Comedy – Dance – Song
in the Hindi Movie Laawaris (1981) with music by
Kalyanji-Anandji and sung with Alka Yagnik by the
Big B – Amitabh Bachan – the “Angry Young Man”
in the 1975-84 (Remember the TV Serial “An Angry Young
Man” (1960)- one Man Industry in Bollywood
(Mumbai / Bombay Moviedom) – (At any given time of
day, over one lakh people were watching him – a
tall, lanky, slightly gawky figure sing, dance
and especially fight on the screen. Every year,
approximately four crore people used to crowd the
cinemas to watch him battle the forces of evil,
and it had been estimated that one in every six
Indians had seen one of his films. Each time he
left his elegant house in Bombay’s Juhu-Ville Parle
scheme, investments worth Rs.50 crore used to ride
on him. So much in demand was he – the dark, taciturn
star that the hordes of eager producers who used to
queue up outside his dressing rooms were told that
they cannot expect shooting dates within the next
ten years! And yet, the offers used to keep on coming!!
As French producers Alain Chamas who tried
unsuccessfully to sign him for Crossings opposite
Jon Voight and Richard Dreyfus finally remarked in
sheer exasperation: “This man is not just a star!
Amitabh Bachchan is an industry!!” – an One Man Industry!)
– with lyrics starting and repeated often as Pallavi (the
Carnatic Music equivalent of the thematic / punch line of
a song – heard of Rāgam Thānam Pallavi?) running as
“Maerae Anganae Mein Tumhaaraa Kyaa Kaam Hai?” (Translated
as “What the heck are you doing in my porch?”)!
OK! OK!! I agree!!! You ask yourself, “Who / What am I?”.
Very deep, searching question, eh?!
I can visualise / hear the question setting the memory
registers in your Brain ringing in a frenzy to fetch
you the “Best Answer”s (as they say in Yahoo Answers /
Ask.com Questions / Answers.com pages)!
Relax and ponder deeply! Select the Best answer (as they
say in Yahoo Answers, Answers.com, Ask.com etc.,)!
I. The highly religious and spiritually oriented amongst
you may just find, in the depths of your brain’s memory
the Indian Hindu Philosophical answers like 1.“Tat Tvam Asi”
(meaning Thou art that Brahman)by the Great Hindu Saint
and highly revered proponent of the widely followed Advaita
Philosophy, Adi Sankara and 2. “Aham Brahma Asmi” (I am
that Brahman) from the Mahavakya (meaning Great Sentence)
in Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 1.4.10. of Yajur Veda – the
second of the four Vedas created by Hindu God Brahma, the
Hindu God of Creation. The four Hindu Vedas are:
1. The Rigveda, containing hymns to be recited by the hotar,
or presiding priest;
2. The Yajurveda, containing formulas to be recited by the
adhvaryu or officiating priest;
3. The Samaveda, containing formulas to be sung by the udgatar
or priest that chants and
4. The Atharvaveda, a collection of spells and incantations,
apotropaic charms and speculative hymns.
II. The highly materialistic / science minded / “Modern”
amongst you may off-hand rattle off “……. “.
That will be a story for another day!
So long then, until we meet again!!
Long time No See, eh! Come, jump on to my
magic flying carpet – PHFA (Hehe! haahaa!
Positive Health For All!) to see more of
Inanimates, Living Beings, Mankind, Magellan,
Columbus, Languages etc.
As I noted in a previous page,”While the non-living,
inanimate objects like soil, stones and rocks
silently took the thrashing by the rain and
rivers coming from the clouds and glaciers –
both generic clouds anyway – the living beings
on earth, from the minute bacteria to the
mighty mankind evolving through gigantic
dinosaurs etc., fared differently”.
Thence I started discussing the living beings
from the minute bacteria but some intermediate
beings between the non-living, inanimate objects
on earth mentioned in the previous paragraph and
the ubiquitous and fairly well-known bacteria,
the so-far lowest forms of living beings on
earth also deserve our attention.
As per our knowledge till recently, Prions were
considered to be the lowest form of (invasive,
destructive, pathogenic and often fatal)
inclusion bodies inside living cells.
But we live and learn, don’t we?
Starting from from the days of mankind groping, at
night, in the dark through the stone age man inventing
the technique of making fire from flint and pyrite,
softwood and hardwood etc., to light the nights also
through maritime (using just sail boats braving the
dangerous Oceans like the Atlantic and the Pacific
and facing nature’s furies like whirlpools and tsunamis
(giant waves) in the waters below and tornadoes,
cyclones and storms in the air around and above them)
explorers like Ferdinand Magellan (1480-1521 A.D.)
who, for the very first time in human history,
circumnavigated (went around) the earth and Christopher
Columbus (1451-1506 A.D.) who first found the
New World (which was actually the present West
Indies though he called it, by mistake, “India”)
upto and even after Stanley B.Prusiner of Prions-fame,
mankind, blessed as it is with the versatile five
senses ((Vision, Hearing, Touch, Taste and Smell
(the last less in humans than in some lower
animals!)), powerful peripherals for locomotion
(like the lower limbs – legs) and prehension
(the upper limbs – arms and hands) and the
Super-Super-Super Computer – the Brain inside its
head (endowed with a Super-Processing capacity,
strong memory, reasoning and analytical powers
and imagination and intuition and hence “creativity”)
to the latest days of man landing a rover craft,
Curiosity, through outer space on the Mars to
send us pictures of Mars’ ladscape, especially
to locate on Mars the life-sustaining water,
which is vital for human and any life survival,
to explore the exciting possibility of mankind
migrating from earth and populating Mars and
so ease the life-threatening congestion on
mankind’s present locale, the earth!
More to follow! Sayonara for just now!
Come again! “Reviens!”, as the French say!
“Kommen Sie wieder!” as the Germans say! “Venire di
nuovo!” as the Italians say! “Veni din nou!” as the
Romanians say! “Komme igen!” as the Denmarkers /
Dutch / Danish / Hollanders / Netherlanders say!
“έρχονται και πάλι!” (these Unicode characters may
not show up correctly inside WordPress Editor! They
showed up correctly inside Windows Notepad Editor!)
as the Greeks say! “Komme igjen!” as the Norwegians
say! “Komma igen!” as the Swedish say! “Vamos de
nuevo!” as the Spanish say! “возвращаться!” (these
Unicode characters may not show up correctly inside
WordPress Editor! They showed up correctly inside
Windows Notepad Editor!) as the Russians say!
“يأتي مرة أخرى “(these Unicode characters may not show up
correctly inside WordPress Editor! They showed up
correctly inside Windows Notepad Editor!) as the
Arabs say! “फिर से आओ!” (these Unicode characters may
not show up correctly inside WordPress Editor!
They showed up correctly inside Windows Notepad
Editor!) as (North) Indians speaking Hindi say!
“Òe‡´‹ õ¼è!Ó” “(these Unicode characters may not
show up correctly inside WordPress Editor! They
did not show up correctly inside Windows Notepad
Editor too!) as we Tamils / Tamilians, speaking
Tamil (an ancient but still, unlike the North
Indian Sanskrit, truly current language, as old
as Latin, Greek, Hebrew and Sanskrit and also
held as the “mother” of the other three South
Indian languages – Telugu spoken in the South
Indian state of Andhra Pradesh (split recently
into Seemandhra and Telangana), Kannada /
Canarese spoken in the South Indian state of
Karnataka) and Malayalam spoken in the South
Indian state of Kerala) and living mostly
in Tamil Nadu, South India (also settled in
other parts of India as well as other near and
far countries like Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Myanmar
(formerly known as Burma), U.K., U.S.A., etc)
say! AND “また来る!” (these Unicode characters may
not show up correctly inside WordPress Editor!
They showed up correctly inside Windows Notepad
Editor!) as the Japanese say!!!!
Welcome back to my magic flying carpet –
PHFA (He..he! haa..haa! Positive Health For All!)
to see more of prions, viroids, viruses, bacteria etc.,
in ascending order of size.
Before diving deeper into the study of OUR prions,
a note of disambiguation.
The word “Prion” may mean different things to
different people depending on their calling /
profession / interests.
An Ornithologist / Bird Expert / bird watcher / birder
(a subset of zoologists studying birds) will think
of the Prions in Ornithology lingo – the whalebirds
which are small petrels in the genera Pachyptila
and Halobaena. They form one of the four groups
within the Procellariidae (also referred to as the
prions), along with the gadfly petrels, shearwaters
and fulmarine petrels. They are found in the
Southern Ocean and breed on a number of
subantarctic islands. Prion Birds grow 20–27 cm
(7.9–11 in) long, and have blue-grey upper parts
and white underparts. Three species of prion
birds have flattened bills with a fringe of lamellae
that act as strainers for zooplankton. All prion
birds are marine and feed on small crustacea
such as copepods, ostracods, decapods, and
krill as well as some fish such as myctophids
and nototheniids. So ornithologists have been
using the name Prion for a long long time –
decades, nay centuries, long, long before the
Prions, the subjects of this page, came to be
noticed and named Prions in 1982!
A Google search for “Prion” also yielded results
about an industrial group PRION GmbH PLM & IT
Solutions of Germany providing engineering /
industrial software solutions. GOK why the
company chose this special name! Look them up
if you need their services.
A footwear company called ThirtyTwo selling Boots,
Outerwear and Apparel for men calls a stylish model
of their boots “Prion”, GKW!
Prions, which are the subject of this page, got their
novel name in 1982 from Nobel Laureate,
Prof.Stanley Benjamin Prusiner, an American
neurologist and biochemist, currently the
Director of the Institute for Neurodegenerative
Diseases at University of California, San Francisco
(UCSF). Prusiner derived the name Prion, for his
newly – found pathogenic (disease – producing / Killer
/ Rogue) proteins, coined from the words protein and
infection – From (a reordering of) the initial letters of
proteinaceous infectious particle – Prions short for
“proteinaceous infectious particles (-ions – a suffix
that occurs in virion etc.,)”. A prion is an infectious
agent that is composed primarily of a single protein
(albeit modified / misfolded protein PrP (Prion Protein)) –
almost similar to the normal (folded) proteins
normally occurring in all living beings but devoid of
nucleic acids like DNA and RNA which carry genetic
information and are essential for replication /
multiplication / reproduction and hence are present
in higher pathogens like viruses and bacteria and
all living beings oncluding humans.
But Prions, though not living and not capable of
spontaneous reproduction, are still easily transmissible
particles causing fatal diseases.
Now that you know the chemistry of Prions, let us see
some of their physical characteristics – their size,
their susceptibility or resistance to isolation and
destruction, and physio – pathological characteristics
of destructivity / pathogenicity / morbidity / killer
Prions are tiny, miniscule particles measuring in the
nanometer range – Prions measure 10 nm while the
recently synthesised Miniprions measure 5- to 10-nm;
the only known particle smaller than MiniPrions is
DNA which measures 2 nm(diameter of a single strand).
proteins measure 5 – 50 nm; ribosome neasures 25 nm;
viruses measure 20 – 100 nm; mitochondria measure
1µm diameter x 2 µm length; bacteria measure 1 – 5 µm;
human cells measure 10 – 100 µm.
No wonder, Prions and MiniPrions can be seen only
with electron microscope (Negative-stain) and electron
crystallography and may need nuclear magnetic
resonance spectroscopy for characterisation.
Prions and MiniPrions are insoluble in known / common
solvents and hence defy extraction.
Prions and MiniPrions defied isolation by the less
sophisticated ultracentrifugation and ultrafiltration
devices passing through 0.1 µm filters (2.2 µm filters
remove bacteria) available in the years of Prion
discovery. The more recent tangential filtration
devices (like Ultrasette, Filtron, Northborough, MA)
used in a continuous mode and ultracentrifugation
devices like Beckman Optima L80 ultracentrifuge
(Beckman Coulter Inc., Fullerton, CA) have made
present researchers’ work a lot easier.
Can Prions be destroyed by any method available?
You cannot kill what is not live! Prion are not live
and hence defy killing! Prions cannot be destroyed
by boiling, alcohol, acid, standard autoclaving
methods, or radiation (UV and X – ray included).
In fact, infected brains that have been sitting in
formaldehyde for decades can still transmit Prion –
caused spongiform disease. Cooking your burger
’til it’s well done won’t destroy the prions! Prions are
extremely resistant to heat and to normal
sterilization processes. Prions do not evoke a
detectable immune response or inflammatory
(Heat / fire) reaction in host animals. For the same
reason that cells can not destroy prion protein , prions
are very heat resistant. Some loss of infectivity is said to
occur at temperatures above 100°C. But 30 to 60
minutes at more than 130°C is needed for inactivation,
although autoclaving at 134°C to 138°C for 60 minutes
does not result in complete inactivation. Prions remain
infective after sterilizing levels of radiation, formalin
exposure, extremes of pH, non-polar organic solvents,
burying for years and even cremation at 343°C
or 360°C. Prions infectivity is destroyed by 1M NaOH
@ 55°C or chlorine bleach @ 20,000 ppm (household
bleach is 50,000 ppm). Exposure for two hours to a
sodium dichloroisocyanurate solution (16,000 ppm
of available chlorine) did not completely deactivate
prions’ infectiveness. Homogenates of Prion -BSE –
infected bovine brain and rodent brain infected
with prion – scrapie – agent and exposed to 2M sodium
hydroxide for two hours did not inactivate the prion
agents. High – infectivity hamster – adapted prion
disease – scrapie is extremely resistant to heat,
chemicals, and processing!
So for all practical purposes, at least as on date,
Prions are indestructible!
Indestructible as prions are, they are highly,
terribly destructive to all living beings!
More on that at a later page!
So long! Sleep well! Let there be no nightmares of
prions killing you!
Welcome back to know more about microbes – viruses,
Hey! Wait! Here comes the most frightening, dreadful,
doomsday-sooth-saying (the end of the world this
December of 2012 – Mayan Calendaric) part of my
extracts on disease-producing / pathogenic agents
including micro-organisms / microbes!
Fasten your seat belts! Steady your hearts! The faint-hearted
and weak-minded amongst you do please skip these paras!
The next few paragraphs concern another large group of
deadly disase – causing agents / pathogens, too small to be
called viruses, though grouped with viroids (causing mostly
plant diseases and only one human disease, Hepatitis – D)
as “sub-viral particles” and hence called by a special name,
“Prions”, coined in 1982 by Stanley B. Prusiner, ((from
(a reordering of) the initial letters of “Proteinaceous
Infectious particle”, indicating that they are composed
primarily of protein only and no nucleic acid – RNA / DNA
essential for duplication / reproduction)) initially, like many
good things in the past, received with derision from
Prusiner’s contemporaries / rivals who tried their best ,
albeit unsuccessfuly,for nearly 13 years, to kill Prusiner’s
concept of prions, which are themselves deadly killers of
mankind, other animals and plants and organisms and,
what is more, are ubiquitous / omnipresent / omnivalent /
and almost ever-lasting, albeit invisibly, around us and
cannot be got rid of by any composting / germicide /
sterilisation etc., currently available / known to mankind!
The history of Prions dates back to the important (negative)
discovery in 1960s, by the South-African born (lady) physicist
and radiobiologist, Tikvah Alper(1909-95), working in the UK
and the famous English mathematician John Stanley Griffith
(1928- 1972) (nephew of Pneumococcus – Pabulum fame
Fred Griffith / Frederick Griffith (c. 1879–1941) that the
infective agent in scrapie ((“Scraping / Scratching Disease”),
known since the 18th century (1732) as a fatal, degenerative
disease that affects the nervous systems of sheep and goats
as one of several transmissible spongiform encephalopathies
(TSEs), which are related to bovine spongiform
encephalopathy (BSE or “mad cow disease” which swept
and took more than 200 human lives in Europe and America
eventually tracked down to eating food contaminated with
the brain, spinal cord or digestive tract of infected cattle
carcasses / infected beef / high-risk offal from infected cows
and could be controlled only by ruthlessly slaughtering,
during the massive eradication program in 1989, to save
mankind from total annihilation by the measly prion, as many
as 4.4 million infected cattle) and chronic wasting disease
of deer, wherein affected animals will compulsively scrape
off their fleeces against rocks, trees or fences as the
disease apparently causes an itching sensation in the
animals)) could not be a virus or other eukaryotic structure
but was indeed an infectious agent consisting solely of
proteins (No DNA / RNA!), in a misfolded form, which could
mimic viral and bacterial pathogens with respect to the
transmission of some incurable and rapidly and surely fatal
nervous system diseases and made it clear that proteins
can also serve as genetic elements just like the Nucleic
Acids, DNA and RNA, do.
As a staunch lover of ancient (not recent! – recent are trash!)
Hindi movie songs, I am reminded, by the tiny, weeny, measly
prions trying to annihilate the mighty mankind, of the
pulsating scenario of the Hindi song, “Nirbhal Se Ladaayee
Balwaan Ki ((the winning fight of the meek (Boy David, with
a mere catapult and tiny pebbles to throw with it) against
the mighty (Giant / Goliath wielding massive clubs and what
not))” in the 1956 Hindi movie, “Toofan Aur Diya (Storm
and Lamp)” of how a tiny little oil-wick hand lamp like a
candle (“Diya” in Hindi) fought, stood against and stopped
a mighty cyclonic storm (“Toofaan” in Hindi)! Sing along
with the nectar-like sweet voice of Manna (whose
Birth-name was Prabodh Chandra but a later-given
symbolic name “Manna”=Nectar) Dey (Family name)
under the great Hindi Music Director, Vasant Desai,
“Nirbhal Se Ladaayee Balwaan Ki!
Yeh Kahani Hai Diye Ki Aur Toofan Ki !”!
The singing will definitely lighten your mind frightened
by the above facts about the killer prions vs us – mankind!
More on prions, viruses etc., in the pages to follow!
So long then! Sayonaaraa, as the Japanese wish off!
Welcome back to know more about viruses!
Unknown and unseen (Seeing is Believing!) before
the eras of virology and electron microscopy,
viruses, billions of which can fit inside the eye of a
needle, are the oldest on Earth, roamed the Earth
— in their own microscopic way — hundreds of
millions of years before the mighty dinosaurs
(the longest complete dinosaur was 58 meters
(190 ft) long, 12 meters (39 ft) tall and weighed
over 120000 kg (260000 lb)), have been and
continue to be ubiquitous and omnipresent in all
parts of the biosphere where there is liquid water,
including soil, hot springs, on the ocean floor, high
in the atmosphere and deep inside rocks within the
Earth’s crust. They have survived the calamitous
extinction events hitting the earth like huge Asteroid
Hits, Mighty Cyclones / hurricanes and furious floods
like the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event,
which occurred approximately 65 million years ago
at the end of the Cretaceous period, caused the
extinction of all dinosaur groups except for the tiny
neornithine birds.Viruses even survive in extreme
places like near deep-sea vents.
We, humans, are composed of about 10 trillion
‘human’ cells. There are more than 1000 trillion
viruses on the surface of and inside our bodies.
There are more than 100 trillion bacteria on the
surface of and inside our bodies.
Most microbes do not cause disease (pathogenic) –
less than 5% are pathogens; most of them are
harmless commensals (peaceful co – existers); many
are even helpful to hosts like us and our environment.
Microbes generate at least half the oxygen we
breathe. Micro – organisms are vital to humans and the
environment, as they participate in the Earth’s
element cycles such as the carbon cycle and
nitrogen cycle, as well as fulfilling other vital roles
in virtually all ecosystems, such as recycling other
organisms’ dead remains and waste products
through decomposition. Microbes also have an
important place in most higher-order multicellular
organisms as symbionts. Many blame the failure
of Biosphere 2 on an improper balance of microbes.
Micro – organisms are used in brewing, winemaking,
baking, pickling and other food – making processes.
They are also used to control the fermentation
process in the production of cultured dairy products
such as yogurt and cheese. The cultures also
provide flavour and aroma, and inhibit undesirable
More on viruses and microbes in the next page!
Welcome back to know more about viruses!
Viruses only have a core genome consisting of
a single kind of nucleic acid (RNA or DNA)
contained within a protein shell / coat called the
capsid made of protein subunits called capsomeres
which is in many cases surrounded by a lipid –
containing membrane. They cannot grow or divide
by themselves. They must take over a living cell,
and force the cell to create copies of the virus.
The cell often dies in the process. The new viral
copies then invade other cells. When enough
cells are killed, the victim becomes sick and
Viruses were first discovered by a Russian botanist,
Dmitri Iosifovich Ivanovsky (1864-1920) in 1892 in
Tobacco Plant Disease. The Dutch microbiologist and
botanist, Martinus Willem Beijerinck (March 16, 1851
– January 1, 1931) independently replicated Dmitri
Ivanovsky’s experiments in 1898, gracefully
acknowledged Ivanovsky’s priority of discovery,
asserted that the newly found infective agent was
somewhat liquid in nature, and first called it
“contagium vivum fluidum” (contagious living fluid).
The name “virus” was later coined by
Beijerinck himself deriving it from the Latin word
“virus” referring to poison and other noxious
substances, first used in English in 1392. Virulent,
from Latin “virulentus” means “poisonous”.
The adjective viral dates to 1948. The term virion
(plural virions), which dates from 1959, is also used
to refer to a single, stable infective viral particle
that is released from the cell and is fully capable of
infecting other cells of the same type.
Unlike bacteria, viruses cannot stay on
inanimate objects, called fomites, contacted
by infected organisms and thence get into
other organisms coming into contact with such
The term “fomite” gained popularity after being
used in the 2011 film Contagion, although its use
led people to believe that the term referred to
germs spread through touching such objects,
instead of the objects themselves.
Seen the 2011 Sci-Fi / Medical Thriller / Disaster /
Pandemic movie, Contagion, by James Cameron,
which ran houseful for months in 3222 Screens in
the U.S. and world over – starred The Titanic (1997
– highest Box Office Grosser of the time, beaten
later by Avatar 2009, also by James Cameron) movie
– famed Kate Winslet as Dr. Erin Mears, an Epidemic
Intelligence Service Officer, who herself falls a
victim to the virus? Remember Kate won the
Academy (Oscar) Award for Best Actress for playing
Hanna Shmitz, the illiterate but book – loving Tram
Conductor, later turned Nazi Schutzstaffel SS agent,
and still later tried for Nazi War Crimes and
sentenced to life imprisonment and ultimately
killed herself in the prison, in the 2008 Stephen
Daldry directed movie, The Reader?
The word Fomite comes from the Latin “tinder,”
– a fomite is an object, such as a toilet seat, flush
handle, soap dispensers, tissue papers, stall
doors, bathroom exit handles,
cutting boards, sponges, and sink handles, cups,
books or items of clothing ) that, in themselves are
not harmful, but are able to harbor pathogenic
micro – organisms and thus may serve as agents
of transmission of infection.
Viruses were probably the earliest inhabitants
of our earth. Our Universe started in a rapid
expansion about 13.7 billion years ago –
The Big Bang – of everything, the building blocks
of all life and has evolved since that time. It is
thought that all of space was created in this first
moment. Viruses, the earliest inhabitants of our
earth started more than 6 billion years ago. Virus
self-assembly within host cells has implications
for the study of the origin of life, as it may support
the hypothesis that life could have started as
self-assembling organic molecules like the viruses.
The Bacteria arrived next about 4 billion years ago.
Anatomically modern humans arose in Africa only
about 200,000 years ago, and reached today’s
behavioral modernity barely 50,000 years ago!
More on viruses in the next page!
Long time No See, eh! Come, jump on to my
magic flying carpet – PHFA (Hehe! haahaa!
Positive Health For All!) to see more of
Nature’s Free yet Greatest multicolour
Son-et-Lumiere show in the sky – Clouds.
As I noted at the end of the last page, “While
the non-living, inanimate objects like soil,
stones and rocks silently took the thrashing
by the rain and rivers coming from the clouds
and glaciers – both generic clouds anyway –
the living beings on earth, from the minute
bacteria to the mighty mankind evolving
through gigantic dinosaurs etc., fared
I started discussing the living beings from the
minute bacteria but some intermediate beings
between the non-living, inanimate objects on
earth mentioned in the previous page and
bacteria, the lowest forms of living beings on
earth, to be detailed herein, also deserve our
They are the viruses which have attracted a
separate science called “Virology”.
It is common knowledge that common cold,
Influenza, Polio, Rabies, some forms of
Hepatitis, Chicken Pox, Small Pox, Measles,
Mumps, Encephalitis, Human (STD / Venereal)
Papilloma, AIDS etc., are caused by viruses.
Viruses are extremely small particles ranging
from 20 – 400 nanometers on an average, the
largest virus being 1000 nanometers in size,
too small to be seen with an ordinary light
(optical) microscope through which bacteria
can be seen; an electron microscope is needed
to see the viruses.
Viruses are most often considered non-cellular
replicators rather than cellular forms of life /
living beings like Bacteria, Archaea, Eukarya,
Protista, Fungi, Plantae and Animalia.
Some microbiologists also classify viruses as
micro – organisms, but others consider these
They have been described as “organisms at the
edge of life,” since they possess genes, evolve
by natural selection, and replicate by creating
multiple copies of themselves through self –
assembly. However, viruses do not metabolize
(produce, use and dissipate energy) and they
require a living host cell to make new products.
More on viruses in the pages to follow and then
on bacteria etc.,
Hey my dear Bloggies, Come, jump on to my magic flying carpet
PHFA (Hehe! haahaa! Positive Health For All!) to see more of
Nature’s Free yet Greatest multicolour Son-et-Lumiere show in
the sky – Clouds.
Clouds (God-made / Natural) are much more interesting and attract
our attention much more than Artificial / Man-made clouds which will
be discussed briefly later.
Natural clouds form on ground and in the sky – extending from our
ground through various layers of our Earth’s atmosphere and other
planetary / interplanetary / interstellar / intergalactic atmospheres
upto the limits of our own Universe and also the other parallel
multiple Universes / Multiuniverses / Multiverse.
BTW, for those of you accepting that there are multiple Universes /
Multiuniverses / Multiverse, let me quote a few superb lines from the
nice article, “Parallel Universes” written by Max Tegmark of Dept.
of Physics, Univ. of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104;
firstname.lastname@example.org (Mail Bounced / Permanent Failure to
deliver – User unknown (state 13).(January 23 2003.), Scientific
American: “Is there another copy of you reading this article,
deciding to put it aside without finishing this sentence while you
are reading on? A person living on a planet called Earth, with misty
mountains, fertile fields and sprawling cities, in a solar system with
eight other planets. The life of this person has been identical to
yours in every respect (until now, that is, when your decision to
read on signals that your two lives are diverging. You probably
find this idea strange and implausible, and I must confess that this
is my gut reaction too. Yet it looks like we will just have to live with
it, since the simplest and most popular cosmological model today
predicts that this person actually exists in a Galaxy about 10
raised to to the power of 10 raised to the power of 29 meters from
here” (Sorry, my text – editor does not provide for subscripts,
superscripts and super – superscripts to write “10 raised to the
power of 10 raised to the power of 29” more decently!).
Continuing with Max Tegmark, “This does not even assume
speculative modern physics, merely that space is infinite and
rather uniformly filled with matter as indicated by recent
astronomical observations. Your alter ego is simply a prediction
of the so-called concordance model of cosmology, which agrees
with all current observational evidence and is used as the basis
for most calculations and simulations presented at cosmology
conferences. In contrast, alternatives such as a fractal universe,
a closed universe and a multiply connected universe have been
seriously challenged by observations. The farthest you can
observe is the distance that light has been able to travel during
the 14 billion years since the big-bang expansion began. The most
distant visible objects are now about 4×10 raised to the power of
26 meters away, and a sphere of this radius defines our
observable universe, also called our Hubble volume, our horizon
volume or simply our universe. Likewise, the universe of your
above – mentioned twin is a sphere of the same size centered over
there, none of which we can see or have any causal contact with
yet. This is the simplest (but far from the only) example of parallel
universes. By this very definition of “universe”, one might expect
the notion that our observable universe is merely a small part of
a larger “multiverse” to be forever in the domain of metaphysics.
Yet the epistemological borderline between physics and
metaphysics is defined by whether a theory is experimentally
testable, not by whether it is weird or involves unobservable
entities. Technology – powered experimental breakthroughs have
therefore expanded the frontiers of physics to incorporate ever
more abstract (and at the time counterintuitive) concepts” (End
quote of Max Tegmark with googolplex thanx for such nice
quotable lines on a complex subject) such as multiverse!
While the Greatest Free Son-et-lumierre show provided by the
colourful, vivacious clouds with their musical, glamorous,
deafening, blinding, cruel, destructive, life – threatening
orchestral accompaniments like thunder, storm, torrential rain,
cyclone, tornadoes etc., as well as the very benevolent, life –
sustaining accompaniments like gentle, sprinkler – like,
irrigating rain has been going on from the time of Big Bang
explosion, the non-living, inanimate objects like soil, stones
and rocks could not withstand the pounding and thrashing
by pouring rain and running / rapid / rushing / gushing rivers –
the meanest, measly, smallest among them just got pulverised
and washed off / dissolved leaving no traces / trails while the
mightiest / bulkiest / sturdiest amongst them like the gigantic
Colorado Plateau had to yield, at least 2.5–5 million years ago,
if not earlier, to the speeding / rushing / pounding / thrashing /
cutting / eroding by the mighty, untamed Colarado river of 2.5 –
5 million years ago, running / rushing to its destination – the
Gulf of California between Baja California and Sonora – at
blood – curdlingly unimaginably furious flow volumes and velocities –
much much more than 30,000 m3s 1,200,000 cfs – resulting in the
formation of The Grand Canyon which is 277 miles (446 km) long,
up to 18 miles (29 km) wide and attains a depth of over a mile
(6,000 feet / 1,800 metres) and considered one of the Seven
Natural Wonders of the World although it is not the deepest
canyon / gorge in the world, falling behind Kali Gandaki Gorge
or Andha Galchi – the gorge of the Kali Gandaki (or Gandaki River)
in the Himalayas in Nepal, which is far deeper than the The Grand
Canyon, while the Kali Gandaki (or Gandaki River) itself is older
than the Himalayas! See! Himalayas has the world’s tallest peak,
Mount Everest as also the world’s deepest gorge – very truely
the High and the Low!
While the non-living, inanimate objects like soil, stones and rocks
silently took the thrashing by the rain and rivers coming from the
clouds and glaciers – both generic clouds anyway – the living
beings on earth, from the minute bacteria to the mighty mankind
evolving through gigantic dinosaurs etc., fared differently.
That will be the story for the next page! Au re-voir!
Hello Folks riding with me on my Magic Carpet! Welcome Back!
Back to clouds and then back to Eugene Gladstone O’Neill and then back to
Beating Heart Surgery and then back to See Naples and Die 1 and then back to
Rome and women doctors of ancient Rome and then back through Heydays &
Doomsdays to “FDA-APPROVED DRUGS KILL A MILLION AMERICANS PER
DECADE – one person every five minutes!” with its originator, the eminent
columnist / activist / satirist JON RAPPOPORT – http://nomorefakenews.com/ –
still waiting in the wings yet churning away soul-piercing, pungeant punch
lines as always!!
Yes…s…s…s…s, We have to go back a long, l…o…n…g python – like winding
way, indeed! As Meher Baba said first and later the ten-times Grammy Award
winner Robert “Bobby” McFerrin, Jr. and still later the Late pop legend
Robert Nesta “Bob” Marley, OM (Remember his best-known hits including
“I Shot the Sheriff”, “No Woman, No Cry”, “Could You Be Loved”, “Stir It Up”,
“Get Up Stand Up”, “Jamming”, “Redemption Song”, “One Love” and,
“Three Little Birds”, as well as the posthumous releases “Buffalo Soldier”
and “Iron Lion Zion”; and the compilation album Legend (1984), released
three years after his death and is reggae’s best – selling album, going ten times
Platinum which is also known as one Diamond in the U.S., and selling 25
million copies worldwide) sang, “Don’t worry! Be Happy!!”!
Don’t worry! We will make it!! Be Happy!!!
Clouds and their homologues Dew, Mist, Ice, Snow, Frost, Fog, Smog (Smoke
+ Fog) are all visible masses of liquid droplets or frozen crystals made of water
or various chemicals suspended in the atmosphere above the surface of a
planetary body like earth. These suspended particles are also known as aerosols.
Clouds and their homologues are formed by water vapour freezing / precipitating
/ crystallising by itself or condensing onto A. Cloud condensation nuclei or CCNs
(also known as cloud seeds) – (particles may be composed of dust or clay, soot
or black carbon from grassland or forest fires, sea salt from ocean wave spray,
soot from factory smokestacks or internal combustion engines, sulfate from
volcanic activity, phytoplankton or the oxidation of sulfur dioxide and secondary
organic matter formed by the oxidation of VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds
which are are numerous, varied, and ubiquitous including both human-made
and naturally occurring chemical compounds including most scents or odors,
paints and coatings; also Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and chlorocarbons used
as refrigerants, dry cleaning agents, fossil fuels – gasoline and automobile
exhaust; Benzene in tobacco smoke, stored fuels, and exhaust from cars in an
attached garage, from natural sources such as volcanoes and forest fires and
in the production of plastics, resins, and synthetic fibers; Methylene chloride
found in adhesive removers and aerosol spray paints; Perchloroethylene used
mostly in dry cleaning; MTBE banned in the US from 2004 – used as an octane
booster and oxygenated – additive in underground gasoline storage tanks – their
leakage led to contamination of drinking water aquifers and poisoning all living
beings; a host of VOCs found in indoor air in offices from new furnishings, wall
coverings, and office equipment such as photocopy machines, which can
off – gas VOCs into the air; and the irritant poison Formaldehyde slowly emitted
by many building materials such as wood, paints, adhesives, wall boards, and
ceiling tiles etc.,) and B. Ice Nuclei, (particles which act as the nuclei for the
formation of ice crystals in the atmosphere) both natural and anthropogenic,
including those composed of minerals, soot, organic matter, sulfate and even
bacteria found in the atmosphere all over the world.
For the miniscule – measurement – minded amongst you, CCNs are small
particles typically 0.2 µm, or 1/100th the size of a cloud droplet; a typical
raindrop is about 2 mm in diameter, a typical cloud droplet is on the order
of 0.02 mm, and a typical cloud condensation nucleus (aerosol) is on the
order of 0.0001 mm or 0.1 micrometer or greater in diameter. The number
of cloud condensation nuclei in the air can be measured and ranges
between around 100 to 1000 per cubic centimetre. The total mass of CCNs
injected into the atmosphere has been estimated at 2x(10 RAISED TO THE
POWER of ) kg over just a year’s time!
Clouds, the greatest free colour / song and dance (Son et lumière)
(phantasmagoria) show in the sky have been around from time
immemorial, pretty much from just shortly after the big – bang (The Origin
of the Universe), long before there came 1. specialist Hobbyists called
“Cloud Watchers” (the latest and illustrious example of whom was
Dr.John “Cloudman” A.Day 1913 – 2008 who gave the people the clarion
call “Just “Look UP and SEE” the beauty of the sky!” saying “The Act of
Seeing Nourishes the Soul” and provided the famous Skywatcher’s Cloud
Chart in collaborative effort with the Weather Channel and also through
the “For Spacious Skies” TV Program started by Jack Borden, former
television reporter in Boston, MA,) and 2. specialist weather scientists
called Meteorologists (their Pioneer being British amateur meteorologist
Luke Howard (1772 – 1864) who, in 1802, gave the widely accepted
Cloud Classification (cirrus, cumulus, stratus, nimbus) to study them
(in Cloud Physics – the study of the physical processes that lead to the
formation, growth and precipitation of clouds.)!
A few words on the etymology (“Etymology” is the study of the history of
words, their origins, and how their form and meaning have changed over
time. By an extension, the term “etymology (of a word)” means the origin
of a particular word.) of the words “Sky” and “Cloud” would belong here!
For this you need to bear with some well-accepted and standard
abbreviations like M.E.(Middle English (1100-1400) period), O.E. (Old
English or Anglo-saxon (600-1100)), O.N. (Old Norse from the era of
The Vikings, also called Northmen or Norsemen, who, from the late 8th
to the mid -11th century (from 790 to 1,000) raided and plundered
the coast of Europe and the British Isles and established settlements
in Britain and France; many of their Norse words are now part of
everyday English vocabulary.), OHG (Old High German) etc.,
:Cloud” O.E. meant “mass of rock,” related to clud / clod. In M.E.
from O.N. “Sky / Skie” also originally meant “cloud.” In M.E. “Sky”
meant “Cloud” first and the “sky” second, while “cloud”, derived
from O.E. clud meant rock, hill, and cloud in that order. It has been
only since 1400 that sky meant sky and cloud meant cloud, as we
know and use them today.
Confused, eh?? Don’t Worry! Be Happy!! Take refuge in “A rose
by any other name would smell as sweet”, a commonly quoted
part of a dialogue in William Shakespeare’s play Romeo and
Juliet, in which Juliet argues that the names of things do not matter,
only what things are.
Though clouds have been around from time immemorial, individual
clouds are not immortal, not even long – lived; mostly they are
evanescent, constantly changing, and so it is almost impossible
to trace the life cycle of a cloud which takes an average of 30
minutes to go through. One interesting fact, though, is that a
cloud that keeps its shape is a cloud that rises because if it remains
stationary, it evaporates. A cloud that produces precipitation is also
a cloud that rises, thus cooling even further and causing greater
condensation. Clouds grow, amalgamate, fragment and dissipate /
disappear during periods of convection, when clouds (water vapor
form of water) becomes liquid and falls to the earth as rain.
Rarely a weird cloud has even fallen to the ground, has rolled over,
has broken up and has vanished, right under the nose of,
understandably, bewildered men!
Clouds “die” by the opposite adiabatic effect, when the air sinks
in a high pressure and the air warms up, thus allowing the moisture
to evaporate giving place to a clear sky.
If those clouds were never to “die” then the sky would be entirely
covered by clouds and no liquid water would be left on earth.
Every few days a new cloud will form as the old ones evaporate.
Like every other phenomenon of nature, Clouds also seem to say,
as in the poem, “The Brook” by Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron
Tennyson, FRS (1809 – 1892) who was Poet Laureate of the
United Kingdom during Queen Victoria’s reign, the brook says,
“Men may come and men may go,
But I go on for ever.”!
With that I shall close this page! See you in the next page with
more on clouds!
Back from Curiosity which we elaborated in the previous page to more – much more – interesting details about Clouds which we just touched upon towards the end of the last page.
But hold on a sec – an interesting addendum to the topic of Curiosity of the previous page!
“Curiosity” is also the name of the USA – NASA launched Martian Rover / Explorer aka The Mars Science Laboratory launched on November 26, 2011 and landed successfully on target – on Mars – on August 6, 2012 UTC. It is larger and more advanced than the earlier Mars Exploration Rovers, with a movement rate of 90 m/h.
This “Curiosity” was deployed, not just to satisfy man’s curiosity about the Red Planet (more about it later), but to find and get more living space for the alarmingly fast burgeoning, nay exploding, world human population, estimated to number 7.032 billion as on October 31, 2011 with annual growth rate which peaked at 2.2% in 1963, and happily had declined to 1.1% by 2011. More mouths to feed and more refuse of the living and more carcasses of the dead to be disposed / dumped! So Martian Rover “Curiosity” project was driven not just by idle, fancy curiosity but by dire, urgent necessity of new colonisation in space. Every environment on Earth and elsewhere in space that contains liquid water also sustains life. After all necessity is the mother of invention.
I hear some rocket – fast real estate entrepreneurs have already started booking / selling plots on our Moon and Mars to avid buyers on earth!
Interestingly Mars, considered as Earth’s space cousin, the fourth planet from the Sun in the Solar System, named after the Roman god of war, is often described as the “Red Planet” as the iron oxide prevalent on its surface gives it a reddish appearance. Mars is a terrestrial planet with a thin atmosphere, having surface features reminiscent both of the impact craters of the Moon and the volcanoes, valleys, deserts, and polar ice caps of Earth. The rotational period and seasonal cycles of Mars are likewise similar to those of Earth, as is the tilt that produces the seasons. Mars is the site of Olympus Mons, the highest known mountain within the Solar System, and of Valles Marineris, one of the largest canyons. Mars, although now a cold and dry planet, had a warmer, watery, habitable past, and so much also, like our Earth and many other planets and their satellite moons, has Clouds – the subject of this page. Mars has high, thin clouds of water ice. Rivers have in the past coursed across the surface of Mars.
“Curiosity” landed on Martian Gale Crater, an ancient geological feature just south of the Martian equator, caused when a meteor slammed into Mars 3 billion years ago, having an enormous mountain in its center, dubbed Mt. Sharp in honor of noted Caltech geologist Robert Phillip Sharp; the mountain is three miles high; that’s taller than any mountain in the “lower 48” of the United States (albeit shorter than Mount Everest in Himalayas standing tall at 4.35 miles / 5280 ft and growing taller with years!) and taller than some portions of the rim of the crater that encircles the mound.
Martian Mt. Sharp’s slopes contain distinct layers — clay at the bottom, an apparent remnant of Mars’s watery past, a layer of sulfates on top of that, and layers of sand and dust toward the top. Similar to the way the walls of the Grand Canyon offer a layered view of the evolution of North America, space scientists believe Mt. Sharp’s slopes contain a preserved record of Mars’s past. “Curiosity” will climb the lower portion of the mountain to investigate the makeup of the layers of soil.”Curiosity” has started the era of a whole new dimension of space exploration. That dimension is one of “deep time.” Rather than getting a snapshot of one point in time on Mars, the mountain will allow “Curiosity” to build an understanding of hundreds of millions to even billions of years of Martian history.
“Curiosity” will search for the other building blocks of life, particularly carbon-carrying organic molecules, which may allow human colonisation of Mars!
Anyway, to avoid getting lost in distractions and diversions, however interesting and excitingly hot they may be, but stay on course, the main stream, let us leave Mars for another day and get on with the clouds, equally interesting!
Clouds in many forms – mist, fog, clouds, (ice, snow) and (the new) smog have been in the sky (from planetary / star / moon surfaces up through their atmospheres and interplanetary / interstellar / intergalactic space up until the outer limit of space (which is itself fast moving further and further out with the univers(es) fast expanding relentlessly and probably endlesssly) around spatial bodies including our earth (and many other planets and their satellites / moons and stars) ever since the Universe(s) formed (were created?) (with Big Bang?) probably about 13.7 billion years ago starting with subatomic nano particles through atoms -> molecules -> matter -> elements -> mixtures and compounds, molecular clouds of various sizes including gigantic ones etc., and broke up into myriads of asteroids, stars, quasars, clusters and syperclusters and their planetary systems (like our own solar system centered around our Sun estimated to have begun 4.568 billion years ago, currently having Luminosity (Lsol) 3.846×1026 W ~3.75×1028 lm ~98 lm/W efficacy and Temperatures – Center (modeled): ~1.57×107 K, Photosphere (effective): 5,778 K and Corona: ~5×106 K but has an expected further life of only ~ 1 quadrillion years (10 raised to 15 years) passing through stages of a red giant swallowing Mercury and possibly Venus and Earth (where will you and I be then / thence?) and then become a white dwarf, no longer producing energy but cools and dims continuously until it becomes a black dwarf with its luminosity falling below three trillionths its current level, while its temperature falls to 2239 K, making it invisible to human eyes (if at all humans were still to be there!) -> and finally our Sun cools to 5 K with the gravity of passing stars detaching planets from our Sun’s orbits and lastly our Solar System will ceases to exist! RIP! Whoever optimist said “It is never the end of the world!” will have to eat his words then, if he were to be there, then!
Sounds to..oo..oo..o GLO…OO…OO…OO…OMY, eh!
“Don’t Worry, Be Happy” as in the clarion call to all citizens of the world by the world-famed Indian mystic, sage and spiritual master who declared publicly in 1954 that he was the Avatar (an incarnation of God) of the age, Meher Baba (1894-1969) (meaning “Compassionate Father”; though Meher Baba was silent for long years, silence not undertaken by him as a spiritual exercise but solely in connection with his “universal work”, his call, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” reached, via his cables to his western followers, millions all over the world by being quoted in numerous Baba posters and inspirational cards of the era. Ten-times Grammy Award winner Robert “Bobby” McFerrin, Jr.(Bobby McFerrin) said, “Whenever you see a poster of Meher Baba, it usually says ‘Don’t worry, be happy,’ which is a pretty neat philosophy in four words, I think.” Bobby McFerrin’s 1988 Grammy Award-winning song “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” was inspired by the popular quote of Baba seen in “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” posters and cards. Originally released in conjunction with the film Cocktail in 1988 the song was included in the soundtrack of the movie but though somewhat popular because of the lyrics, the song got no award and originally peaked at No. 88 on the Billboard Hot 100, although another song “Kokomo” in the same movie won the BMI Film & TV Awards award for the Most Performed Song from a Film,1989 and was nominated for Golden Globes, USA Award and Grammy Award. Sadly enough, the movie Cocktail, 1988 won the infamous Razzie Awards for the Worst Picture 1989 and Worst Screenplay 1989! Its lead actor, Tom Cruise, was nominated for the infamous Razzie Award for the Worst Actor 1989 and its Director, Roger Donaldson, was nominated for the infamous Razzie Award for the Worst Director 1989! Undaunted, the wizard that Bobby McFerrin is, re-released the very same song “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” the same year and it peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 on September 24, 1988. The song also peaked at No. 11 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Tracks chart and No. 7 on the Billboard Hot Adult ontemporary Tracks chart. The song was also a hit in the United Kingdom and on the UK Singles Chart, the song reached number 2 during its fifth week on the chart. The hit song, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”, brought Bobby McFerrin widespread recognition across the world. However, the song’s success “ended McFerrin’s musical life as he had known it,” and he began to pursue other musical possibilities – on stage and in recording studios. The song was used in George H. W. Bush’s 1988 U.S. presidential election as Bush’s 1988 official presidential campaign song, without Bobby McFerrin’s permission or endorsement. In reaction, Bobby McFerrin, a Democrat, publicly protested that particular use of his song, including stating that he was going to vote against Bush, and completely dropped the song from his own performance repertoire, to make the point even clearer. McFerrin’s song “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” was a No. 1 U.S. pop hit in 1988 and won at the 1989 Grammy Awards, Song of the Year, Record of the Year and Best Male Pop Vocal Performance honors. It is ranked No. 31 on VH1’s 100 Greatest One Hit Wonders of the 80s. “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” became the first cappella song to reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, a position it held for two weeks. It also appears on Rolling Stone’s list of the 15 Best Whistling Songs of All Time.
Cheering up?! I can already hear some of you whistling / humming / singing “Don’t Worry, Be Happy!” by Bobby McFerrin or Bob Morley.
To cheer you up more, here are two anecdotes from the life of Albert Einstein, the Genius, considered during his life time “father of modern physics” and the most influential physicist of the 20th century, second to only Sir.Isaac Newton, who has been “considered by many to be the greatest and most influential scientist who ever lived.”. Newton remains influential to today’s scientists, as demonstrated by a 2005 survey of members of Britain’s Royal Society (formerly headed by Newton) asking who had the greater effect on the history of science, Newton or Einstein. Royal Society scientists deemed Newton to have made the greater overall contribution. In 1999, an opinion poll of 100 of today’s leading physicists voted Einstein the “greatest physicist ever;” with Newton the runner-up, while a parallel survey of rank-and-file physicists by the site PhysicsWeb gave the top spot to Newton.
Once when Einstein had finished a lecture on our Sun’s Chronology and our earth’s probable extinction in about 5 billion years, an elderly lady, visibly shaken, sauntered to him and asked him in a voice choked with anxiety, “Did you say that our earth will cease to exist in 5 million years?”; when Einstein said, “No Madam! I said 5 billion years!”, she heaved a sigh of relief and said, “Thank God! I had wrongly heard it as 5 million years and got worried for myself!”!
On another occasion. when Einstein was delivering a long lecture in English, a lady sitting in the first row kept looking at him pointedly, shook her head positively often (in appreciation / agreement), smiled now and then too and even clapped hands softly a few times. Einstein felt encouraged by and grateful to her and, after the lecture was over, went over to the lady and said, “Madam! Thank you very much for your kind attention and encouragement!”. She promptly replied in German,”Kein Englisch!” meaning “No English!” – it turned out that she did not understand English at all!
Cheer up – Read the optimist’s famous last words as, “Within our life-time, It is never the end of the world!”!
Here are the best examples of an optimist and a pessimist – At an airline Ticket Counter, the Optimist buys a return ticket while the Pessimist buys a Flight Insurance!
The difference between an optimist and a pessimist? An optimist laughs to forget, but a pessimist forgets to laugh, as defined by Thomas Edward “Tom” Bodett.
If you had the option to borrow from an optimist or pessimist, choose to borrow from the pessimist because he will, even from the word go, never have any hope of you returning the loan money to him!
“We’ll leave the light on for ya!” – as in the ending phrase of Tom Bodet in the popular commercials for the hotel chain Motel 6, and close this page, to come back another day with a new page, continuing with Clouds, of course!
Back to “Curiosity killed the cat!” left halfway in the previous page.
Do not suppress your curiosity out of fear of being killed by curiosity!
If the giants of mankind in the past had suppressed their curiosity
out of fear of death by curiosity, America, Africa, Australia and the
North and South Poles would never have been discovered, Alps
and Mount Everest (the highest mountain on the planet) would never
have been scaled, [An Unavoidable aside here – British mountain
climber George Leigh Mallory (1886 – 1924) who, along with his
climbing partner, Andrew Irvine, is speculated to have reached the
top of Everest (but did not come back – disappeared from the eyes
of the obervers below – presumably fell and died – his frozen body
discovered forty-six years later, in 1999, by an expedition funded
by the TV show Nova and the BBC, about 2,000 feet below the
summit, where he appeared to have died after a fall. Andrew
Irvine’s body has yet to be found.) on June 8th, 1924, twenty-nine
years before New Zealand mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary and his
Sherpa companion Tenzing Norgay climbed to the top of Everest in 1953,
planted the two national flags there and came back alive.The funside
has it that after Hillary and Tenzing planted the flags on top of Everest,
a voice (in the South Indian Malayalam – the language spoken in Kerala,
the south-western-most part of India – populated by Malayalam-speaking
Malayalees, including the community called Nairs, who are highly
enterprising, and hence ubiquitous – they would even reach where even
the Sun’s rays cannot reach and would run tea stalls wherever they went,
Everest Summit included!) came from behind, “Enthaa Saare!
Chaayaa tharattaa?”, meaning “Shall I give you a cuppa tea, Sirs?”!
Hillary and Tenzing looked back in bewilderment (“A man here before us?”)
and saw a tiny, frail Nair, in flesh and blood, calling from his already –
established “Nair’s Everest Top Tea stall!”. Funny side not withstanding,
during his fund-raising tour for his next 1923 Everest Expedition, Mallory
was often asked why he wanted to climb Everest. The question seemed
somewhat inane (senseless, unimaginative, empty, unintelligent) to an
adventurer like Mallory He eventually came up with a standard answer,
“Because it’s there!”! The answer became famous when it was quoted
in a story in the March 18, 1923 issue of the New York Times with the
headline “CLIMBING MOUNT EVEREST IS WORK FOR SUPERMEN.”
Mallory’s reply was included in the opening paragraph: ““Why did you
want to climb Mount Everest?” This question was asked of George Leigh
Mallory, who was with both expeditions toward the summit of the world’s
highest mountain, in 1921 and 1922, and who is now in New York. He
plans to go again in 1924, and he gave as the reason for persisting in
these repeated attempts to reach the top, “Because it’s there!””.
Mallory wasn’t being entirely flippant. He went on to explain: “Everest
is the highest mountain in the world, and no man has reached
its summit. Its existence is a challenge. The answer is instinctive,
a part, I suppose, of man’s desire to conquer the universe!”. For those
of you medically oriented, the Great Mountaineer, George Leigh
Mallory should not be confused with the famed George Kenneth
Mallory (1900–1986), who was a famous American pathologist, who,
along with the Hungary – born famous Chief Physician of Harvard,
Soma Weiss (1898-1942) described, in 1929 and later, the serious
Mallory–Weiss syndrome, blood – vomiting hemorrhagic (bleeding)
lacerations / linear tears of the lining mucous membrane at the cardiac
orifice of the stomach, at the junction of the stomach and esophagus
(food – pipe), usually caused by severe retching, coughing or vomiting)
Aside to Mount Everest ends here!], the great oceans would never have
been fathomed, energy sources like electricity would not have been
tapped and tamed, modern transportation on earth, in the skies and
into space would not have been possible, modern communication
like telephony and internet would not have evolved, killer germs
would not have been eradicated / controlled, Life sustenance and
Human Organ Transplantation (except the still evasive, little
understoodand wonder of wonders of an organ, the human brain)
would not have blossomed to today’s level! A lot lot more remains
to be done! As the old saying goes, “The thrill is in the hunt!”!
So take heart from a less – frequently – seen but more encouraging,
optimistic, hope – raising rejoinder to the above proverb saying,
“Curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back” – coming
from a famous but most – un – expected – in – this – context source,
Eugene O’Neill aka Eugene Gladstone O’Neill (1888 – 1953),
the famous American tragedian playwright, America’s foremost
playwright, the Founding Father of modern American Drama,
American Theater’s “Master of the Misbegotten”, America’s Titan
of the drama, the second citizen of the USA to win the Nobel Prize
for Literature (in 1936) next only to Harry Sinclair Lewis who was the
first American playwright to win a Nobel Prize in Literature in 1930
but Eugene excelled and outshone Sinclair in many ways including
being a record 4 times Pulitzer Prize winner (including one
posthumous!) and the third most widely translated and produced
dramatist next only to Shakespeare and George Bernard Shaw.
Eugene O’Neill was fondly called “GENE / Gene” by his most devoted
third / last / “till – death – do – us – part” Actress wife Carlotta
Monterey – Birth Name Hazel Neilson Taasinge – and also friends like
Arthur Bosworth McGinley aka Art McGinley, a long-time sports editor,
Providence Journal’s Obituary Editor and columnist of The Hartford
Times and also a popular toastmaster in Connecticut. Heard of the
much – coveted The McGinley award which is given to a current or
former Alliance member for meritorious service (Art was GENE’s
neighbour and drinking companion for many years – used to boast,
“Gene O’Neil and I tried to drink America dry!”. Unlike GENE,
Art had a very happy childhood and family which made him a highly
jovial person. GENE used the McGinley family as a model for his
only comedy (among the 53 plays published in his life time) and his
24th play, “Ah, Wilderness!”). Shall we also call, for brevity’s sake,
Eugene Gladstone O’Neill as “GENE” herein and hereafter?!),
We called “GENE” “most – un – expected – in – this – context”
because he was not only a man of many sorrows who had a
personal life full of tragedies, coming from a dysfunctional family,
but his plays were also out-and-out tragedies. fully steeped /
soaked in stark tragedy, but for this positive saying, “Curiosity
killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back” and his 24th play,
“Ah, Wilderness!” and an unproduced (in his life time) comedy,
”Now I Ask You,” (a comic spin on Norwegian playwright
Henrik Ibsen’s ”Hedda Gabler”, first published in 1890 –
portraying Hedda, daughter of Gabler and married to Tesman
but the play’s title went by her maiden name rather than her
married name; on the subject of the title, Ibsen wrote: “My
intention in giving it this name was to indicate that Hedda as
a personality is to be regarded rather as her father’s daughter
than her husband’s wife.”! The character of Hedda is
considered by some critics as one of the great dramatic
roles in theatre, the “female Hamlet,” and some
portrayals have been very controversial. Depending on the
interpretation, Hedda may be portrayed as an idealistic heroine
fighting society, a victim of circumstance, a prototypical feminist,
or a manipulative villain!). Don’t GENE’s two comedies
interspersed with 52 sorrowful tragic plays and his inspiring
positive saying, “Curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction
brought it back” remind you of the bright Silverline in the
Dark / Black clouds which, in turn, inspired the famous
inspirational sayings “Every Cloud has a Silver Lining!”
and “Silver Line Your Black Cloud!” and “Cloud Nine”
(the idiom referring to a state of elation or happiness)!
More on Clouds, GENE and Beating Heart Surgery
in the next page. So long, then!