Sunday, May 22, 2016

Laila Tyabji - SUNDAY ROUNDUP - No 7


A Buffalo University study finds that men enjoy the company of intelligent women but don't want to marry them.

An Assamese mechanic has made a helicopter out of old car parts, & it actually flies!

Rajasthan has removed Nehru, Nelson Mandela, Manto & the assassination of Gandhi from its textbooks but one of them does have a letter from a cow. Here are some gems from current textbooks - The Class 6 CBSE textbook titled ‘New Healthway: Health, Hygiene, Physiology, Safety, Sex Education, Games and Exercises’ meant for 11 year olds, explains that "Non-Vegetarians easily cheat, tell lies, they forget promises, they are dishonest & tell bad words, steal, fight & turn to violence & commit sex crimes.” ‘Tejomay Bharat’ (Shining India), part of the Gujarat current primary school curriculum, says that the map of India should include “countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka & Burma" (as it’s all a) "part of Akhand Bharat… Undivided India is the truth, divided India is a lie. Division of India is unnatural & it can be united again…” while a Social Science English-medium textbook, published by the Gujarat Council of Educational Research & Training, says that after Partition in 1947, a new nation was born called, ‘Islamic Islamabad’ with its capital, ‘Khyber Ghat’ in the Hindu Kush Mountains!

The 22nd edition of Modi’s Medical Jurisprudence and Toxicology, in use in AIMS & other major Medical Schools, says that “homosexuality is a disease - one of arrested development or a natural deviation” & that “some lesbian women can be so morbidly jealous of such women with whom they are in inverted love, that they are sometimes incited to commit even murder.” The popular Essentials of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, now in its 32nd edition, adds that “the practice is usually indulged in by women who are mental degenerates or nymphomaniacs “.

Elsewhere, Disney is contemplating a gay princess in the projected sequel to FROZEN, despite warnings that it may backfire. In the mid-1990s, a rumour that one of the characters in the LITTLE PRINCESS had a suggestive bulge in his pants led to calls of a boycott: not only of the film but all Disney products.

The Taj is turning green. An insect known as Goeldichironomus that grows in numbers when pollution levels of water bodies rise, is attracted to sandstone & marble. The Archeological Survey of India says that the increasing green on the monument's white marble is partially digested chlorophyll combined with Goeldichironomus fecal matter. Perhaps appropriately, given the romantic symbolism of the Taj, the swarming (& shitting) is a result of the nuptial flight of the insects.

Assembly line workers in US chicken processing plants have to wear nappies because they are not allowed toilet breaks. Chickens go through the assembly line at 140 a minute, being plucked, skinned, deboned & packed en route. Not content, industry is now asking that this rate be increased by an extra 35 birds a minute, An Oxfam America Report says that workers handling scissors & knives at top speed often urinate & defecate as they work.

Modi got into trouble for saying that the infant mortality rate of Scheduled Tribes in Kerala was worse than Somalia. Turns out that not only is this statistic incorrect (with Kerala over 40 points lower than Somalia) but that the statistics for Gujarat are slightly worse than Kerala!

Hickeys or love bites were mentioned in the Kama Sutra as "the coral" & "the jewel". A woman in New Zealand suffered a stroke when her partner lovingly bit her neck, & dark hickeys are not passion but iron deficiency.

Since May 2014 the environment ministry has received over 100,000 representations asking it to declare the cow as India’s national animal instead of the tiger.

A woman on an American Airlines flight delayed the plane for several hours, & eventually deplaned & changed her flight because she thought the dark-skinned man next to her was writing coded messages in a strange Middle Eastern language & she felt uncomfortable. When the man she had ethnically profiled as a terrorist was taken off the flight by airport security, he turned out to be award-winning Italian Ivy League economist Guido Menzio, who was quietly doing math - working on differential equations to be precise.

On the day when two important issues - status of women in the country & abolition of the death penalty - were due to be debated in the Rajya Sabha there were just 15 MPs present out of a total strength of 250.

Spiritual Gurus these days no longer live naked in mountain caves. As Rajneesh explained once when asked about the importance of wealth, “All religions have praised poverty, & I condemn all those religions. Wealth is a perfect means which can enhance people in every way… So I am a materialist spiritualist.” He himself wore gold cufflinks & jewelled watches & owned a fleet of 93 cars, included several Rolls Royces. As he said, “People are sad, jealous, & think that Rolls Royces don’t fit with spirituality. I don’t see that there is any contradiction… In fact, sitting in a bullock cart it is very difficult to be meditative; a Rolls Royce is the best for spiritual growth.” Current Gurus please note.

Delighted with their success in renaming Gurgaon Gurugram, the RSS has now proposed that Ahmedabad becomes Karnavati, Hyderabad become Bhagyanagar, & Aurangabad Sambhaji Nagar.

Talking of names, Mickey Mouse started off as a rabbit called Oswald & then became a mouse called Mortimer. Mrs Disney disliked the name & the rest is history.... The Nazis hated him, calling him "The most miserable ideal ever revealed". They felt "The greatest bacteria carrier in the kingdom cannot be the ideal animal, " concluding, "Away with Jewish brutalisation of the people. Down with Mickey Mouse! Wear the Swastika Cross". A bit over the top?

Carrom boards were much sought after by the inmates of Parappana Agrahara Central Prison. It now turns out they were not for playing carrom, but to smuggle marijuana or cannabis into the jail. In one of the largest drug hauls inside the prison, 500 packets of ganja, a total of 1.5 Kg, were found stuffed inside the four frames of a carrom board which had been custom-made to smuggle the drug - to be sold among the 3,000 inmates there. In Bangalore Jail cricket balls serve the same purpose. And if you take up yoga in Pune Jail, you have a good chance of your sentence being remitted.

The Hindu Sena held a Havan for Donald Trump whom they believe is " the only ray of hope" who "will save humanity from Islam”
In the US, Hilary Clinton and her campaign strategists struggle to find pejorative nicknames to label Donald Trump. (He calls her Crooked Hilary). One of her scribble pads had the following - “The Orange Knight, Tangerine Dreamboat, Tricky Dickhead, Becky with the Weird Hair, Cheddar Boy, Combover Kid.” She finally settled on Dangerous Donald. Trouble is with Trump that, compared to the reality, every nickname sounds almost flattering! Justin Trudeau had no problem though, he called him "a racist bastard".

Meanwhile the Presidential candidate got his priorities right on grooming v the environment. "That is great. My hair looks OK. I got a little spray. Give me a little spray. You know you’re not allowed to use hairspray anymore because it affects the ozone. You know that, right? I said, ‘You mean to tell me’ — because you know, hairspray’s not like it used to be. It used to be real good. When I put on that helmet — and by the way, look [pats own hair] it really is mine. Lookit. My hair. Give me a mirror. Today ya put the hairspray on & it’s good for twelve minutes, right? They say you can’t — I said, ‘Wait a minute, so if I take hairspray & I spray it in my apartment which is all sealed, you’re telling me that affects the ozone layer?’ Yes? I say no way folks. No way."

The main Agusta middleman visited India 180 times between 2005 & 2013. A real hard sell.

Ashok Jaitley’s suggestion that AAP’s campaign on the Prime Minister’s university degrees has pushed public discourse to its lowest level ignores fairly outrageous statements that BJP’s own leaders have made. Giriraj Singh called Kejriwal himself “that fake Hanuman, he is the demon who changes shape but will get caught one day,” while Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti said “You must decide whether you want a government of those born of Ram or of those born illegitimately,” Nitish Kumar was termed a “dehati aurath” while for Sakshi Maharaj, Gandhiji’s assassin Nathuram Godse was a patriot who should be treated as a martyr, not a traitor. And, possibly most shocking - Sanjeev Baliyan to a farmer threatening suicide - “Go then do it. Now don’t talk about it. Don’t even listen to me. Go then do it…”

When railways first started, a British Travel Advisory advised women to travel with pins in their mouths so men didn't try to kiss them in tunnels!

Formerly stiff, mechanical, rather comic creatures, we are now creating loveable robots who may take over every area of our life. They respond to speech & have facial movements that look natural. Ricky Ma, a Hong Kong-based inventor, has created a robot that looks, speaks (& even winks) like Scarlett Johansson. The University of Science & Technology in Hefei, China, recently unveiled Jia Jia, an attractive humanoid robot who is about to sit for an exam along with her human peers. A Silicon Valley company, Eternime, plans to let people create avatars of themselves that learn their speech patterns & life stories, & can then converse with loved ones after death. Relationships, sex with, & even marriage to robots could be normal by 2050, says David Levy, artificial intelligence expert & author of the book Love & Sex with Robots.

Medical tip - According to both yoga & acupressure, wearing a bindi can cure depression, headaches, improve your vision, hearing & memory, & even prevent sinus & insomnia. All thanks to that one little dot!