Author Archives: Ranjit Singh

About Ranjit Singh

I am working as a scientist in the India's premium E&P oil company. Besides the commitment to my job, I read lot of literature especially good fiction, history and science. I belong to Chandigarh and did my Masters in Chemistry from Panjab University Chandigarh specializing in physical chemistry. I am fond of surfing the internet for good articles, social networking and giving vent to writing for which I have aptly chosen the blog in Wordpress. Thanks

Happy to See So Many of them….

They are called Nature’s scavengers. They eat putrid flesh and thus prevent many diseases. But the carcasses they used to clean had done them in since a few years back. The cattles were given declofenac , a medicine for fever and even if a fraction was retained in the flesh of animal, its flesh was like a poison for the vultures. So their number began dwindling, so much so that they became endangered species.

In India, i remember of my childhood village days, there was a place outside every village where dead cattle were thrown. Vultures would descend on it and eat the flesh. They made peculiar sounds. They are so big that even dogs wont dare go near. Only crows are allowed the liberty.

All this is gone now. But a few days back, i happen to spot vultures outside a village where a carcass was thrown by some villager. After so many years saw and heard the voices.

There were Himalayan Griffon and Cinereous vultures…

Please enjoy the video with sound enabled.

Rastafarians

Remember Bob Marley with a special hairdo. He was called a Rasta because he practiced Rastafarian religion which began in Jamaica in 1930. Most followers were poor people of African descent brought by the British in West Indies as labours. It is both a religion and a social movement. They were oppressed and it was a reaction to this oppression.

Rastafarians believe that their God is Jah who is in fact Haile Sellassie, the king of Ethiopia. They believe that Christ was black. The religion is not strictly religion but a way of life. It says that in every living being, a part of Jah lives and love and compassion for every human being.

Their prefer to eat the food is almost organic vegetarian self grown. They smoke the cannabis like many Sadhus in India and consider it as a very pious substance. It calms the mind and helps the smoker to introspect the self.

Wholesome Rice!!

Rice is the staple diet of majority of world’s population. Asian people mostly eat rice with vegetables and lentils. Annapurna is the Hindu god of rice. Her name comes from the Sanskrit word for rice, “anna”. She is often depicted with a rice spoon in her hand.

What is the rice? It’s white part is the carbohydrates: precursor of sugar of the energy. The colour of rice comes from its outer shell or ‘bran’ which holds much of its nutritional value. It’s the bran or the coating which contains minerals and other micronutrients.

When rice is processed (milled) much of the nutritional value is lost when the bran is removed. The result is pure white rice which is high in energy(starch) and low in micronutrients. Polished rice are not good for the diabetic people.

Because milled rice has lots of energy but few vitamins and minerals, it must be eaten with other foods to get a proper people balanced diet.

Asparagus and Smelly Urine

Asparagus is very popular in Europe as a vegetable. People in some countries prefer white variety which is not different but lacks chlorophyll as it is grown in areas of very low light.

Asparagus contains a non-toxic acid called Asparagusic acid. This acid contains sulphur element. When it is eaten, the acid in the stomach breaks down the Asparagusic acid into volatile sulphur compounds like mercaptan.

When a person who has consumed asparagus goes to urinate, the sulphur compounds evaporate very fast and get separated from urine and reach the nose giving rotten eggs or rotten cabbage like smell. Studies indicate that effect can be felt within 20 minutes after consumption of asparagus.

Cleft Chin!!!

I was doing a crossword in which there was a clue for the required word which said “the chin by which Kirk Douglas was known”

It turned out that one cannot describe the famous Hollywood’s he-man Kirk Douglas without mentioning his dimpled chin called cleft chin.

He died in February 2020 at the age of 103. In one of the obituaries, the writer wrote “The cleft chin made him a star and his intense piercing eyes made him an actor”

Born to a ragpicker father of Russian descent, he ruled the Hollywood for 60 years as an actor and a producer.

Mottled Wood Owl

It is a species of large owls found in india. They are very rare in our area in Punjab. I was lucky to spot this beautiful owl in a forest near my village.

As such, it chooses its roost so cleverly that it completely camouflage itself. Only sometimes it is noticed by crows , treepies and babblers who make a hell of noise near it and force it to fly away. Only during one such cacophony I spotted it. After many unsuccessful efforts finally I was able to photograph it.

Rhinos: On the Verge of Extinction

Rhinos or more accurately Rhinoceros are in the danger of becoming extinct. They are hunted for their horns due to their supposed healing and aphrodisiac properties. The horns were sold as trophies and also used in Chinese medicine. Handle of ornamental daggers called Jambiyas are made from the horns.

There are 5 species of Rhinos

  1. Black Rhinos: 5055 left
  2. Sumatran Rhinos: 100 left
  3. Javan Rhinos: 35-44 left
  4. Northern White Rhinos: 2 both females
  5. Southern White Rhinos

Major areas where the Rhinos are found are South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Kenya

These animals are herbivores. They are often accompanied by oxpeckers who sit on the Rhinos back and eat the harmful bugs hanging on the skin of rhino.