Monthly Archives: April 2011

King Cobra-Naja Naja

This is not something to alarm you but to point out how man has neglected the use of cobra venom for therapeutic use.

In addition there is a paucity of knowledge how venom evolved in animals and how some animals are resistant the smaller doses of venom.
I teach that it is the venom that is produced in our body after the bite that kills us not the cobra venom (to illustrate the fact that cytotoxins have multitude of actions).
For example bradykinin that causes pain is the product of our own tissues.

Snake venom is a modified saliva and we really do not know whether these are produced in evolution for digestion of the prey or to immobilize or anesthetize (humane to the dying prey). None of the points I have raised have been addressed conclusively and potential for the use of the modified venom molecule for treatment of leukaemia or cancer cells or as antithrombotic activity have not been discussed in scientific journal adequately..
Why?
The answer is simple.
Once they discovered that antivenom as a cure, everybody forgot about the biological role and what system they act and why, when where and how they modify the homoeostatic mechanisms.
Moment the commercial activity of preparation of antivenom starts the scientific investigation of biological nature takes a back stage.
That is very unfortunate.
There lot we can learn from these cytotoxins.

Coming back to cobra (baby cobra-are as poisonous as the adult), I killed a young cobra with a ruler when I was as young as the tiny cobra who was under my bed.

When that little fellow made his hood and kissed the death I fell heroic and also very sad.
Then in another incident when I jumped over huge cobra in a big compound and looked around to see he was as frighted as I was and showed his hood with a warning and quietly slipped away to his safety, I wondered why fear an animal who is on his routine search of his food or prey.

I still say the jumped I made that day worth an Olympic record if somebody made an accurate measure on that day. Unfortunately I missed an Olympic record since officials were not there to record it. That would have changed my life completely but the day that completely changed my mind was another ordinary day.
I was walking along a stream with the intention of catching guppies and I had a stone in my hand (we used to play marbles those days unlike today’s kids) and I saw a water snake (harmless creature) quickly swimming across in fear.

I took an aim in a moment of irresponsible stroke of mind of ill will and thought, threw the stone at the poor creature and it landed right on his neck.

It was like a bulls eye shot but the agony of the creature who succumbed in a long drawn out 5 minutes of death dance made an impact in my mind never to hurt (reflecting my killing in fear of the young cobra) an animal in either fear or sport.

Then on one night (2 am in the morning) in darkness a Ceylon krait landed on my right shoulder and I brushed it with my left hand gently and put the light in a flash to see creature landing on cement flow with a thud and my dog charging at it, I was man thinking of three lives my dog, myself and the poor creature who ventured at night.
Mind you Ceylon krait is the deadliest of Sri-Lankan venomous snakes.

I watched the creature and it quickly disappeared into crevice wide open due to rotten timber of the bathroom door.

I did not have any cement to seal and went to the kitchen an took some American flour (who says American flour has no place in this country) and sealed the hole with the dough hastily made since the price of flour was very cheap (cheaper than the cement) then.

Suffice is to say I flushed the hole with water before I did that and slept on the settee fearing few more in my bedroom.

After three days it emerged (none elsewhere) from the kitchen floor cracked and we caught it and released it to safety.

Of course I had to cement both holes in the bathroom end and the kitchen end.

The key point here is that animals fear us more than we fear them in this modern world where are we are encroaching on their habitat with blatant disregard to biodiversity.

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My Selection of Linux Utilities that should make a Standard Linux Distribution-Internet-05-Update

Earlier I have refrained from including internet  browsers and due to lot of them making subtle intrusion into ones private life and feed ones  interests to the commercial elements I decided to update this category.

My personnel preference is Iceweasel of Debian and Dilo of Puppy (good old days).

I was off the track of Linux for some time since Bunki Moon was playing Pandu and Chuckgudu with 20 million peace loving people not knowing whether he is moving forward or backwards in time. He is a confused man like a CEO who is waiting for his removal or extension in office with so much anxiety created within himself which he is trying to divert into body politics of U.N.O.

Time will tell his strategy of securing his job first and then think of 20 million people and their welfare second would work.

Probably not.

Coming back to Linux distributions and essential utilities, I am a believer in time to come all O.E.M products should have Linux Internet utilities as default (no cost to them0 even without installing any OS one should be able to browse Internet by default.
In that context, Debian’s Iceweasel (or even Dilo) should be the one that should be ported with the O.E.M with all the unnecessary cookies removed and probably Dropbox (or a cloud entity) also accompanied with the basic (minimal) kernel.

till then the list of Internet utilities should be as follows with no intention of giving any merit to any but despising all the utilities that track the uses interests and feed them back to commercial entities to make inroads by way of subtle advertisements.
I believe user is now mature enough to chose what s/he wishes to have in his system.
Without any intended recommendations or of any perceived benefits to me or the user are as follows.

1. Putty.
2. Kget
3.KTorrent
4. Transmission bit torrent
5. FilZilla
6. Kmail
7.Thunderbird
8. Opera
9. Firefox
10. Chromium Browser
11. Skype
12. Vodafone
13. Dropbox
14. Pidgin
15. Web Editor- Bluefish editor

I personally go for Iceweasel or Dilo since that do not have intrusion utilities embedded in them for tracking the user unnecessarily.

My Selection of Linux Utilities that should make a Standard Linux Distribution-Office Utilities-07

Office packages are the ones that are generally used by almost all the users.
before getting to the standard office utilities PDF editors are the ones that one has to pay (Adobe to get some real work done) pay attention.
PDF
1. Xjournel come to my mind first.
2. PDFedit.
3. PDF chain

Then for visually handicapped user
4. Okular

For Experts text editors

5. LateX for the experts. We should not forget this utility which did all the hard work before office packages emerged.

General user
6. Abiword is my favorite because of its simplicity
7. LibreOffice for OpenOffice (It is huge resource drainer like a gorilla in a dinner party)

Page Layouts

8. Scribus

Productivity

9.Gnucash
10.Gnemeric

11. And any that I may have missed.

At this point I must make a reference to FM Setup in FullMonty.
It is a refine way of presenting utilities in an organized workplace that user in mind.
If they add some user editing capabilities and customization it is going to be a top hit in desktops.
I hope everybody should (developer and the user) look at this nice utility and make some improvements to it without adding bulk that may slow down the boot up time.

Why Singaporean / Hongkong Model will fail and the Chinese Model will work wonders?

Why Singaporean / Hongkong Model will fail and the Chinese Model will work wonders?

I use to visit Singapore almost on yearly or six monthly basis when I had a reasonable amount of foreign exchange in my hand (of course earned abroad not borrowed from SriLankan coffers like our politicians) and the ticket price was very, very cheap even on Singapore Air Line.

I stopped eating big bananas when prices went up for no reason and stopped visiting / going to Singapore when (due to poor management of Rupee  currency which depreciated by the minute and exorbitant taxes imposed by the government after the LTTE expedition on Katunayake airport) price of the air line ticket became prohibitive.

This was a very difficult decision given the prices of our commodities here were three times the price in Singapore especially electronics and toys.

Those days Singapore did not make any distinction between a Asian visitor and a European visitor and there was no surcharge for using credit cards. The credit card was like having cash in hand. Then suddenly they imposed 3% interest on credit cards and the reason I am not sure and things started going bad for Asian visitors (not working abroad) who were borrowing money from the government coffers to travel.

This is the period I made a decision if I want something (computer gadgets mainly) I get it down from Singapore if I happen to know a person visiting there for a brief period (pay him little extras for the service which is still cheaper than here).

But even with stock market  changes  in the West  Singapore turned a blind eye to Asian visitor and his needs and tried to look after the European visitor.

In fact the Orchard Street is as dear as Reagent Street in London nowadays.

Now with the credit crunch in America and Europe and consumer goods are universally available outside Singapore, they cannot turn back to Asians and lure Asians again since there are other emerging markets.

Even the Sarangoon street is dearer now.

It is nice to here from a smart businessman in Kandy  (small business) that he is prepared to sell things at almost the going price in Singapore for cash (not on credit cards) and there is no need for us to go there if our import taxes are kept at a minimum and import /get things that move fast in our economy and then we can match any in the world in business, now that the war is not a problem.

What I am getting at is if we follow the Singapore Model we are bound to fail and we have to have a strategy that make businessman / women here could take  a reasonable risk to outsmart India and Singapore with one breadth or two.

Why we go to India?

Mainly to get sarees and very few young ladies now wear sarees for daily work. If we flood the market with Indian sarees we can limit our visit to India too. We must make it like Southall in England where I could buy Indian saree much cheaper than anywhere in the world.

If we flood our market with Indian saree, we will win that battle too.

To do that of course we must make cloths much cheaper than anywhere in the world and we should not worry about quotas from European community.

Let the European come here and buy the cloths instead of we export them and pay a big sum for shipment. In the process we make money from air lines too.

The cardinal rule should be that our garments to be high quality but cheap in money terms.

1. Singapore does not have water.
2. Singapore does not have fruits.
3. Singapore does not have veggies
4. Singapore does not have biodiversity
5. Singapore does not have elephants roaming (Wasgamuwa) in the wild or Pinnawala
6. Singapore does not have bird sanctuaries
7. Singapore cannot offer helitours to the extent of ours
8. Singapore does not have singing fish
9. We can have sports festivals here
10. Singapore does not have traditional Kandyan dancers and arts and the Perehara
11. Meditation Retreats
12. We have universities which can provide cultural retreats (other than professional)

What we lack are golf flings (that is good it is at the high end) all over, we do not have horse racing and formula motor racing at international level.

What the government did was to start gambling dens to begin with. They got their priorities wrong. Without casino’s and prostitution we can do lot of other things to improve our image.

Do not think most of the visitors are coming for sex.
It is not true.
Most of of them come here because they are fed up of sex exploits excepts paedophiliacs and the sex maniacs who come here to avoid prosecution in their own countries.

The list can go on.

1. But we must eliminate corruption at all levels.

2. We must make sure our people speak many languages not only English and French (Russian, Chinese)

3. We must make sure things are affordable to our people (us) the SriLankans, unlike in Singapore where some cannot afford it since it is catering for outsiders.

But what is happening is things are becoming expensive in every level and not affordable like in Singapore and the trend is alarming.

4. If the visitors are not coming hang that idea and we must enjoy ourselves (not only politicians) and visit the places we could not visit due to war.
Why ill treat locals with exorbitant prices and lure for foreign money?

5. For this to happen our roads should improve and strict laws and punishment to offenders should be imposed and that should include ban on driving for at least 5 years. We have too many bad vehicles on the road and SriLankan drivers are the worst in this world.

If we have a championship for bad drivers we can win the World Cup  without batting an eyelid.

We got our priorities wrong.
If we go foe Singapore or Hongkong Models we are going to fail.
We should have our own Model which should be Sri-Lankan, not Western or Singaporean.

But above all look after the locals first and make them happy and then productivity will go up leaps and bounds.

Misguided miracle or wonder (nice catch phrase though) may boomerang if we are not careful.
Catch phrases will not work in the modern world but money in hand will jolly well do wonders.
Lot of us are on credit cards now and look for the heaven to fall to pick up the pieces.
Planners should understand this and should not waste time like we wasted on elections, cricket, heroics like in Olympics.

Banki Moon and his three Musketeersd

Banki Moon and his three Musketeers

In an earlier comment by me, when new to his office on Banki Moon I have said he has not set a single foot wrong.

I was wrong in that assessment.

He never set foot forward for three years but he was on reverse gear all the time that is why I did not see anything wrong in his footing in the new office.

Now that his term of office due for renewal or extension (he is elected for 5 years and not one of three years and and then two of 2 years- this is a bizarre interpretation by USA and its allies to to undermine UNO by hidden agenda) he has realized human beings walk forwards and not backwards got into 5th gear in a hurry with three musketeers armed with false propaganda.

The three musketeers are his panel of judges with hawked eyed vision for smaller countries like Sri-Lanka but squinted eye view of USA /UK in Kings and Kingdoms of Arabia and Iraq and the countries behind them, namely USA (Hilary Clinton who has lost her teeth under Obama administration), UK (Foreign Secretary who is running affairs like running a kindergarten) and cohort of loosely amalgamated or concocted countries near and far with their agenda stamped down by USA directly and indirectly (South Korea is an example).

Goes out the credibility of U.N.O and its Charters during the last three years of his office but monkeying with 20 million people desperate to keep the peace intact in the next two years of borrowed time in office with good perks and disrupting the integration of all habits both Tamils, Sinhalese and Muslims nurtured over 2000 years with harmony before the Britishers came and imposed the divide and rule principle .

Now it seems the UNO is imposing divide and rule on smaller nations (including Muslim Middle East) with the help of hired hand called UN Secretary General (Is he a General with Court of Arms?)

This is the first time in history that the U.N.O is collaborating to disrupt peace won by shear determination of a simple but small nation.

I think Bunki Moon should leave his office sooner than his five year term without making the U.NO a laughing stock of the 21st century and join the NATO (No Action Talk Only show) as a military adviser to bomb all Muslim countries that do not tore the line with Israel.

What I am really puzzled (or pissed with it) with it is how he found courage now to take action which he lacked and he failed for three years in office.

These are not his actions but actions of the stated countries undermining the UN Office with their might (delivering threats that they will not give funds to maintain this Giant White Elephant of modern times) and pressuring him when he is weak with greed for clinging to his office of no wisdom.

I think if he is a man of wisdom he should have the courage to leave it so that a person with courage enters into U.N.O and put the house of no action in order, before more calamities are created by USA for their ill perceived goals of domination of weaker countries.

In actual fact he is elected for five years and not three years.

If he is a man of courage he should stick with the protocols.

Why he needs a sanction (after failing for three solid years) for the last two years puzzles me to the world’s end predicted by some for year 2012 by the Almighty above.

This is the insinuation created by USA to undermine UNO and put their agenda in the last two years of his office which they could not do due to structural changes that took place due to elections in USA.

Why not sack him and put Hilary Clinton in his place for the last 2 years.

It will be a direct (for the fist time in history) action in US politics instead of indirect hits intended all these sordid years.

So my advice to U.N.O is to sack Bunki Moon (not a good word) rather elevate him to high office in NATO as a military adviser with no action and put Hilary in for two years on the Chair so that she can undermine Obama in office and lift her image and prestige which was lost going under him.

That is one of my wisdom teeth which was going horizontally (arrested eruption) and now turning up and erupting vertically in ripe old age (of wisdom) is telling me.

That I call a smart chess move in U.N.O politics with some iota of wisdom.

PCLinuxFullMonty-2011 has come to town for Dinner-Would you like to join him?

PCLinuxfullMonty is going to be one of the most feared Apes in the town by the Microsoft Fans.

Yes it a monster of a distribution with all the utilities one needs arranged in what is called the FM Setup Layout and very well organized.

PCLinux was the Gold Standard of my Live CD /DVD version.

This is my Gold Standard of the Desktop.

Simply, the  FM Layout stand out above all other distributions.
It is heavy and needs at least 1 GiB of RAM for install and even on my laptop  of 4GiB it froze once or twice while I was testing.

Because it has so many things loaded at boot time it takes almost all the RAM but does not use SWAP effectively in installation time.

So do not do any search for other things while it is being installed.

The version I have now had problem with making Live USB and it seems it has rectified that problem.

What I really love is it has LibreOffice and support for 60 localities which was lacking in PCLinux.

Thanks guys and Girls for your efforts.
I will give a feedback no sooner I install it.

I was trying to find the FM Setup package in synaptic and I hope you make it available both at torrent and direct point to point download.

When I was trying to install PCLinux with UNetBootIn (not FullMonty) to a Live USB I encountered many problems and I have already posted how I got round it.

I am one who loves customized desktop and I hope they incorporate FM Setup with next PCLinux KDE.
Till then I hope they will have the FM setup  package available at synaptic for download.

How I organize my memory?

The topic the Memory of course I have even penned down and sent to a Daily Post for publication, sometime back.

Now I do not write to SriLankan dailies (they mushroom like dahlias and daisies now) simply because they are so politicized, many of them having one track mind, like SriLankan Buddhists mostly living abroad (and some here too) who tend to forget that there are religions other than Buddhism even during Gautama Buddha’s time.

In other words Buddhism is also now politicized (most of the global Linux forums it is a written and unwritten rule not to engage in religious and political debates).

I of course use lateral thinking model of Professor De Bono’s and always think I am not a Buddhist and get into their religious stockings and feel the impact of what I may say on me and them.

I think all religious minded people should do that and look at how other religions look at the same scenario in a different way and outlook.

This Easter Friday when Christian were going to the Mass we fellows were organizing sports festivals and extending the New Year (we should know how to end New Year abruptly. Mind you it is only one day not extending into weeks) celebrations longer than usual.

It is a fact now that we cannot gather 100 people even in a temple during this festival period let alone new year sports.

No religious sensitivity and I think with Wesak coming soon it is of very bad taste even to me where there are several Christians in my neighbourhood.

So instead of daily papers I now blog my ideas so that anyone can read or access them if there is a decent  internet connection. It true for dailies to go web now anyway.

Mind you one of my blog sites hitting near 5000 and another at 2000 and the one we initiated in Kandy way back does not like the statistics of my page which tends to come almost 10 out of 10 has blocked the statistics of my visitors in the pretext that the site is for young adults (age discrimination) with infatuations of many kinds written all over.

I have almost stop blogging there now since without a feed back (even very adverse) it is not worth writing anything on a blog site (like our daily papers specially Sinhala).

This year for the first time I heard that New Year is only for Sinhalays (guess it is a Buddhist monk who has stated it) and not for the Tamils with is an absurd theory (if it is Sinhalaya’s New Year if Tamils are also celebrating it we must embrace them with warm heart and not vilify them).

The principles of lateral thinking that was stated above applies to memory, too.

I will put them in point form since I have already stated my intention why I write it here.

Like for our politicians (their promises) and our voters (aspirations) memory is short term generally speaking.

I believe it is important to forget since since if we keep on regurgitating the promises made by politicians it leaves a bad taste not in your mouth but in your brain which is a hindrance to progressive thinking.

Rather creative thinking (another topic for a future day) in practice.

In my case, the memory function and its use was inborn in my system from childhood.
I now go into the extent of saying I inherited it from my past birth since I never used any methods proposed by pseudo-psychologists of SriLanka.

One of my superiors abroad wanted me to write down all the instruction lest I forget on a notebook in my first job abroad.

I stated that I did not want to change my way and I remember things with my brain and not on a piece of paper like Britishers.
I also stated if I fail in any of the instructions she can fire me out and that stands for one year from now.

In fact I used one of her methods to remember her instructions and that is forward or ongoing planing which I use up to this day. Thanks goes to her reminding me that even my memory is shot lived.

That year was eventful and she developed a trust on me and I did not forget a single instruction for one year and before she depended on my memory I said good bye and joined the nearby university with some difficulty.

I am sure in her confidential report she may have stated my memory potential and how I used it effectively and that would have been the reason for me to clinch one job after another for a decade on.

So if one manages the memory properly, it is a sure way to get a job which is sadly lacking in this country and abroad too.

1. My fist principle is never carry a notebook (that is why I state that I inherited it from last birth) with messages and practices it from childhood.

2. I do not carry a cell phone (distraction or somebody to remind me over the phone) and it is mandatory.

3. I prioritize events and deeds.

4. I have a flow of events mapped out in my mind and some orderly connections developed.

5. The cardinal rule is since I do not carry a note to remember I will forget. Forgetting is a sin in my list.

6. Do not leave it for the next day if the priorities are high.

7. Finish as many tasks as possible and do not delegate to one of your friends. They are the deadliest to forget and enemies never forget.

8. How do I remember the next topic I am going to write without forgetting. The topics I want to write I list them in a mini-postcard with only 10 topics at a time and on the overleaf there is some humorous or satirical note.

9. If I have made a note of something I never throw it away (those are the jobs of least priority and I may forget lest I throw the note. Note is at home and never in my shirt pocket.

10. I take week by week and never a day by day or never a year by year routine. One year is a hell of a long time for the brain and brain works in moments of time and I often do the moment meditation.

Like Buddha’s preachings this moment is the only moment I have in my possession and grab that opportunity with all one’s might.

Mind you it is a very difficult to achieve and his teachings are essentially to forget the past, do not ponder for the next moment and live this moment of concentration.

I believe I practiced moment meditation in my past life and that has come good this life and I will do that in this life since my memory is slowly but surely failing now with old age catching up fast.

Well that leaves me to ponder on the topic how medicines affect our memory and causes poor memory.

One of the biggest is sleeping pills which I have never taken in my life and very resistant to give it to a fellow being.

That’s a topic for another day lest I forget.

Well forgetting is the instrument to establish new connections in the brain which psychologists fail to understand and highlight and only a neuro-scientists can investigate and map out one day.

Last but not least poor sleep hinder your memory significantly and do sleep as much as possible (to your heart’s content-not with sleeping pills, though) and I love sleeping any time of the day once the intended jobs are finished without thinking of the next day. I can sleep standing on a bus plying to Colombo but wake up in a moment’s instant when one tries to pick my pocket.
Even in your sleep one has to be awake for any potential danger. Animals have it but we have failed to use this ability in the modern technical world.

Please do not use earphones and very very loud speakers (which modern musicians and politicians use) both of which are bad for you.

I strongly feel that mangoes (fruit) have some ingredient especially the parrot beaked variety that helps memory and even bananas and avocados have similar micro-ingredients to boost memory. The word “ammba yahaluwas” has a meaning here not discovered by our aurvedic pundits.
So do not forget your fruits and veggies.