The Eidie Goat

GOAT.jpgEid Mubarak, Mutineers! There are two Eids that Muslims celebrate, one marks the end to a month of fasting and another marks the end to pilgrimage to Mecca, called Hajj. Today we celebrate the latter one, Eid-al-Adha. This Eid in particular is the one where a sacrifice is supposed to be made of a goat or cow (the meat is to be eaten later and donated), in remembrance of the story of Ibrahim being asked by Allah to sacrifice his son and his son being replaced by a goat.

It was for this reason, my friends and I joked around about how we needed an Eid goat. Easter has the bunny rabbit, Christmas has Santa Claus. But growing up as a Muslim kid in the U.S., we didn’t really have anything equivalent. I was always told Eid was my version of Christmas, but then, why did all the other kids get presents and we didn’t? As we got older, it seemed like the Eid goat would have been the perfect solution.

Thus, I had already goats on my mind when maitri tweeted the following “I Want a Goat” video [NSFW]. It’s promoting a program, I Want a Goat, where you can design and donate a goat to a village in India. The modern twist is that this video has hipster charm splashed all over it.

I realize the tie between this video and Eid is tenuous at best. I found the the song amusing and the cause seems legit. The project was started by a woman Debbie who volunteered in the village for seven months and saw a similar program run successfully in India. For only a $20 donation, you will be donating a goat to a village in Koraput. Why goat?

For tribal people who are landless, raising goats is a great alternative source of income. Families who breed goats can earn a good profit selling the kids in the local market. The extra income provides a safety net for families that can be used for things like medicine, food during lean periods and farm equipment. Continue reading

“In one drop of water are found all the secrets of all the oceans.”

I love this picture. I have no other reason for sharing it with you, other than that. I wondered if we might be able to use it for a caption contest, but I’m not sure how it would turn out (did I just diss your creative powers? I might have! Prove me wrong! ;) Your Shot - Top Shots 2009 - National Geographic Magazine.png

Fantastic capture, isn’t it? It was taken by a Debasis Roy, of Asansol, India, and I felt like it deserved to be seen, in case you missed it when it was featured on National Geographic’s “Top Shots“. As for how the fishy fared, don’t fret about the poor pet:

While transferring fish from one bowl to another, science tutor Roy, 27, was inspired. He composed this scene–a baby guppy sustained by a single droplet, cradled on a grass leaf atop a wooden stool–then put the fish back. [link]

Beautiful. I sweat such talent and creative vision. A whale-sized thank you to the Barmaid, for showing me this magical image. Continue reading

No Love Marriage for These Puppies

Coming off a week where the Philadelphia Eagles signed Michael Vick, the former Atlanta Falcons quarterback convicted for running a dogfighting operation, I found the following New York Times article particularly timely.

In matrimony-mad India, where marriage is the central event of a lifetime, these posters could easily be for lovelorn, small-town bachelors, pasted up by anxious parents seeking a bride. But the suitable girl these single fellows seek is of the furry, four-footed variety. Finding one, though, is not easy. “I have been searching for months, but no luck,” said Kunal Shingla, who is looking for a mate for Foster, his 2-year-old basset hound.

[Link.]

Great, I knew matrimonials were going to the dogs. Continue reading

Birdsong Battles in Little Guyana

finch.pngClicking on Wedplan’s news item in the sidebar about “India in Queens, With a Caribbean Accent” took me on a short but vivid tour of Little Guyana in Richmond Hill, Queens. I’d like to visit someday to experience the neighborhood firsthand.

While chutney and soca sound like a significant part of the area’s aural landscape, I became intrigued by the mention of another kind of music.

On weekend mornings, locals bring their black finches to Phil Rizzuto Park, formerly known as Smokey Oval Park, for chirp-off contests.

Many local men keep black finches, which they engage in “chirp-off” whistling contests on early weekend mornings at Phil Rizzuto Park, formerly known as Smokey Oval Park, nearby on Atlantic Avenue.
An older NYT story about chirp-off contests in the same Richmond Hill park gives more details about this musical sport involving birdsong. Continue reading

Rest in Peace, Annabel, There’s a Heaven for Haathi

Since my name is Anna, I love elephants. So, while meandering about SFGate.com, home of the beleaguered San Francisco Chronicle–the first newspaper I ever read– I saw a thumbnail of one which I couldn’t resist clicking. When I realized what I was looking at, I became sad. Obviously I had to inflict such depressing news on all of you:

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RIP, Annabel: An elephant at Holland’s Emmen Zoo mourns at the edge of a ditch where 45-year-old Annabel, the zoo’s oldest elephant, fell in and died. The zoo said its elephants regularly stumble into the ditch that surrounds their compound and are able to climb out, but that Annabel was unable to. [SFGate]

At 45, Annabel was the zoo’s matriarch. When she fell on Sunday, she landed on her side, that’s why she was “unable” to get up or climb out.

A breakdown truck was called to lift her out of the ditch, but her rescuers couldn’t get her to stand up again. A vet said she had gone into a state of shock and decided to put her to sleep. [RadioNL]

Part of me is wondering why there is this potentially dangerous ditch in the first place? Asian elephants (like those at Emmen Zoo) are endangered enough without unnecessarily risking their lives in poorly-designed spaces. Poor Annabel.

I know elephants are amazing, sensitive creatures but this caption just emphasized that in such a way that I was jolted right out of my passive, blithely-surfing-the-net state. The other elephants are in mourning. After my father passed away, our two German Shepherds began howling at night, much to the discomfiture of my mother. One waited outside the patio door, where he had seen my father collapse while the other remained near the front, from where the ambulance had left.

So animals grieve, like we do. Maybe more than we do. I started eating before our dogs did. It may seem tie-dyed or crunchy, but I wonder what the zoo is doing for the surviving elephants, and their human caretakers. I’m not even going to get in to the politics of zoos or the ethical implications of containing such magnificent creatures in less than natural spaces for the entertainment and possible edification of humans. I just felt sad for this fallen matriarch, and wanted in some small way to remember an elephant who wasn’t just Asian, but probably South Asian. Be at peace, Annabel. May you romp and play at the Rainbow Bridge– and if you see my three late German Shepherds, tell them I miss them. Continue reading

Pam Anderson: “Take their balls, not their lives!”

Am I the only one who thinks of an infamously disturbing Borat quote whenever Pamela Anderson is mentioned: “She had golden hairs, teeth as white as pearls, and the…”. I am? Sigh. Okay, fine.

Via the Beeb:

Stray dogs in India’s financial capital, Mumbai (Bombay) should be sterilised not killed, says former Baywatch star Pamela Anderson.
Animal lover Ms Anderson intervened on the dogs’ behalf in a letter to the city authorities.
“Dogs cannot use condoms but… they can be ‘fixed’ painlessly,” she wrote.
The star learnt of the dogs’ plight after Mumbai’s High Court recently said strays should be killed as they were a “permanent nuisance” to the public. [BBC]

Hmmm. That same BBC article states that “Despite several sterilisation programmes, the population of strays has not been controlled”, so I’m not sure if the Baywatch Babe’s solution is an effective one.

More:

The court gave the ruling in response to a public interest litigation filed by a Mumbai-based non-governmental organisation (NGO), In Defence of Animals, challenging the validity of certain provisions of a law that permits killing of dogs under certain conditions. It said animals had as much constitutional right to life as humans and had a “right to expect compassion from Indian citizens”.[ST]
The court interpreted “nuisance” in this instance as “anything that endangers life or is injurious to the health of the public at large”.
While it noted that mere barking could not be cause for killing a dog, “dogs that have the habit of chasing moving vehicles, especially two-wheelers, may be treated as a public nuisance as they could lead to accidents”. [ST]

If all else fails, they could consider one Delhi politician’s innovative solution to his city’s problem with strays. ;) But back to Bombay.

Animals rights activists say that as many as 70,000 strays in Mumbai and many more across the states of Maharashtra and Goa may be disposed of if the High Court’s ruling goes ahead.
The decision has been stayed until the end of this month.[BBC]

According to the Straits Times article I quoted, those 70,000 stray dogs are responsible for 25,000 dog bites, annually. So while some fed-up residents have taken to poisoning dogs, animal activists caution that cleaning up the city is a better solution, since the dogs tend to forage through the garbage for food.

I’ll close with a quote from “Medical professional Samir Guliyani”, whose name delights me to no end, and who went beyond the obligatory, understandable and predictable “Who does she think she is?”-sentiment:

“The way they suddenly pounce on bike riders is dangerous. Something has to be done and they have to be off roads.”
On the subject of Pamela herself, Mr Guliyani said: “She is hot but why is she writing to the municipal commissioner[BBC]

Duh, that’s what hot people do. Continue reading

Never trust a Ginger. Never.

One of you phoned me, all out of breath, to say: “Have you heard? Prince Harry said racist things about BROWN people! This is so Sepia Mutiny. Are you going to blog it? Are you? Are you? Because, like, if you do? I don’t want credit, but I can’t WAIT until SM covers it. Okay? So, are you blogging it? When?”

Well…how ’bout now, you not-annoying-at-all badger.

The video embedded above features Prince Harry disparaging darkies, his Grandmother and perhaps Canadians, as well– I couldn’t tell at times, with his accent. Well, that and a lot of people seem to insult Canadians (why?), so it seems like a safe assumption. The footage commences with time spent in an airport, waiting for a flight to the former British colony of Cyprus; after some editing, Harry is shown later on, discussing night maneuvers in Cyprus, as well as his pubes.

Speaking of those, they are what inspired the title of this post. In my title, I use the word “Ginger”, to refer to an infamous South Park episode which can help us understand why the Prince did what he did; perhaps by understanding, we may gain closure, and move on.

I had initially typed, “What next? Water is wet?” in the little Movable Type box before going the Ginger route. I only reveal this because I was really torn about which title to use. Obviously, South Park beats logic and sarcasm, every time. And for good reason, at least in this case.

Listening to Eric Cartman is especially instructive when trying to pick up the pieces after a traumatic video like the one above. Many people are asking themselves, why would Prince Harry SAY such a thing? Because water is wet? Trolls like to upset people? It’s just the way things are?

Or…is there something…more sinister…behind that pale skin and insolent mouth?

In a class presentation, Cartman argues that “Gingers” – people with red hair, freckles, and pale skin – are disgusting and are inherently evil, have no souls, and are unable to walk around during the day because of this...

Continue reading

Something to cleanse the palate

After a weekend of discussing all the hate and intolerance surrounding the U.S. Presidential campaign, I just couldn’t go to bed without doing something to help cleanse our collective palate of the distasteful business. And so, let me point you to some cute pictures and a story in the Daily Mail that will help you feel all warm and fuzzy again…for a few moments.

When two white tiger cubs were born during a hurricane they had to be separated from their mother after their sanctuary flooded. However they have since found an unlikely surrogate mother in chimpanzee Anjana, who has taken on the role of caring for the cubs….

The two-year-old chimp has been helping keeper China York care for the 21-day-old cubs at The Institute of Greatly Endangered and Rare Species (TIGERS) in South Carolina.

‘Mitra and Shiva, were born during Hurricane Hannah,’ said Dr Bhagavan, founder of TIGERS. “During that time everything flooded in the sanctuary and they had to be moved into the house as their mother became stressed.

‘It was important for their safety that they were separated.’

Placed into the care of infant animal care giver China and her chimpanzee companion, Anjna, the cubs have become almost inseparable from their new motherly figures. [Link]

There are a lot more cute pictures embedded in the article.

Continue reading

If you’re male, you may not want to read this…

…lest you wish to spend the rest of the day with your legs tightly crossed, doubled-over with sympathy pain and terror (thanks, JTMoney!). Via our news tab: Kir Royale the betta.jpg

A 2cm long fish apparently found it’s (sic) way into the penis of a 14-year-old boy from India in a bizarre medical case.
The patient was admitted to hospital with complaints of pain, dribbling urine and acute urinary retention spanning a 24-hour period. According to the boy, the fish slipped into his penis while he was cleaning his aquarium at home.

Uh…I’ve either had or been around home aquariums since I was a toddler. I have never had a fish slip anywhere, while I was cleaning anything. Hell, I haven’t even had one of these bizarre pedicures.

Professor Vezhaventhan and Professor Jeyaraman, who treated the boy and later wrote a paper on the case, explained: “While he was cleaning the fish tank in his house, he was holding a fish in his hand and went to the toilet for passing urine. When he was passing urine, the fish slipped from his hand and entered his urethra and then he developed all these symptoms.”

Okay, mens. Here’s the part which will have you wincing:

After detecting the fish in the boy’s bladder, Vezhaventhan and Jeyaraman used a technique known as cystourethroscopy to insert a special set of forceps down the patient’s penis. Unfortunately, the fish was just too slippery to grip, so they resorted to using a rigid ureteroscope with a tool attached that is normally used for removing bladder stones.

Yeesh, even I am crossing my legs at this point. One of the most awesome aspects of being female is knowing what a speculum is, whether one is involved with medicine or not, and by awesome, I mean “atrocious”. Owww.

The fish the urologists removed, which Practical Fishkeeping believes to be a small member of the Betta genus, measured 2cm long and 1.5cm wide.

By the way, bettas aren’t just “Siamese Fighting Fish“, even though many people refer to the latter (a.k.a. Betta Splendens) by just its genus name. For those who may be wondering about it, the image enhancing this post is a picture of my dearly departed “Kir Royale“, a betta splendens who traveled to that great pond in the sky, earlier this year.

He was later admitted into counseling to help him overcome any trauma.

Speaking of trauma, aren’t you glad I didn’t play the caption game, with this one? ;) Continue reading

Save the Cow, Broil the Intern?

As a shameless carnivore, I’m not a likely PETA supporter. The campaigns are needlessly provocative, silly, and substance-free. This is of course, my opinion only, and a lackluster one at that. Let those kooky morally righteous beautiful people have their fun, cavorting naked in advertisements. My shoulders barely cared enough to shrug.

But this incident is really so vile, I’m speechless:

petainterns.jpg

Ashley Byrne, a Washington, D.C.-based campaign coordinator with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), talks with Memphis police officers during a recent demonstration outside City Hall that coincided with World Vegetarian Week. When officers inquired about the well-being of intern Shawn Herbold (bottom) and volunteer Thomas Olsen, a sweat-soaked Herbold replied that she was in pain and feeling nauseated from the heat after being wrapped in cellophane for 30 minutes, and also asked how much longer she needed to stay there. Byrne let her know it wouldn’t be much longer and left her under the hot afternoon sun for 30 minutes more while debating with the officers. link

Yeah, this holier-than-thou hag wrapped two kids in plastic and left then in the blazing sun for over an hour. To demonstrate (against? for? can you tell?) World Vegetarian Week. And by the way? The East Coast is experiencing a heat wave of unbearable magnitude right now. I can only image what PETA would say if someone wrapped cute kittens and puppies in plastic and let ‘em bake in 100 degree heat. Hypocrite, much?

Larger version of this image (warning: close up is disturbing) and more on PETA’s activities in India, after the jump. Continue reading