From the Proceedings of the Centre for Soft Power Studies
At lunch yesterday, the man who returned from Kazakhstan informed two “hawkish Indian strategists” that Mithun Chakraborty was (still) big in Almaty. Jimmy continues to be an inspiration there (as the following music video shows).
No, it’s not only the Central Asian steppes that Mithunda is hegemonising. He’s asserting his power over the ignorant citizens of the declining West—Jimmy Zhingchak, Agent of D.I.S.C.O is already out in North America, saving the world (via blogsat and mohaps). Wait till Jimmy gets animated!
How some INI bloggers would respond to that great question
Pragmatic Euphony: The Army HQ is engaging in emotional blackmail by showing how even chickens are quitting the army. They are also spreading the canard that only chickens cross into civvy street.
Offstumped: It didn’t. The English language media has gotten it wrong. A Google search for “chicken and that side of the road” shows fewer hits than “chicken and this side of the road.”
Swaraj (blog undergoing maintenance): Chickens are free to go anywhere they like. If you want it to remain this side, then you need to embed a microchip with a smart card that entitles it to chickenfeed.
Polaris: The Obama administration’s policy towards chickens crossing the road in South Asia will have to change in the face of reality. If chickens have a safe-haven on the other side of the road, then it is the other side that needs to be the focus of Foggy Bottom and the Pentagon.
The Gold Standard: What do you expect? This side of Wall Street had all the banks. The chicken should exchange all its assets for gold, preferably physical gold.
Retributions: (Doesn’t write about it, claiming that this topic is suitable for “Streetcar”. Over at Streetcar he posts about how dumb womyn let even chicken escape)
The Acorn: If only the Indian foreign policy establishment shows some imagination, it would realise that the inevitable journey of the chicken is an opportunity to extend Indian power to the other side of the street, by exporting the Indian version of Chicken Biryani.
Courtesy of longtime reader Chandra Dulam comes this intriguing mystery of a botanical kind. Several American states can’t find the usual nuts this year. CNN‘s Marsha Walton reports “Even though this acorn shortage has not risen to the level of a crisis, scientists say it is important to watch closely. If the shortage continues for several years, other forces might be at work.”
Religious diversity is the side effect of…increased threat of infectious disease
From the British Psychological Society’s Research Blog comes a rather startling conclusion: religion was established for the “avoidance and management of infectious disease” (linkthanks Rajeev Mantri):
Fincher and Thornhill used the World Christian Encyclopedia and the Global Infectious Disease and Epidemiology Network to compare the spread of infections and religions across 219 countries. Their results were clear: in regions with a greater variety of infectious parasites, the diversity of religions also tends to be greater. This association held strong even after exploring the impact of other potential factors, such as differences in democratisation and histories of colonisation.
The researchers say the association between religion and parasites occurs because reducing contact with outsiders can help protect against disease. In turn, when cultures fragment and groups avoid making contact with each other, more religions are likely to spring up.[BPS Research Blog]
Reality, it appears, mirrors satire. Or the Proceedings of the Royal Soceity:B Biological Sciences mirror The Onion. Now unless journals of learned societies mistake correlation for causation (the world’s oldest professional mistake), one should wonder why God created disease.
As if destroying the fabric of US democracy was not enough, it now emerges that we are spying on Iran as well…using pigeons and squirrels. MountainRunner has details of Project ACORN—Autonomous Coordinated Organic Reconnaissance Network. The only reason the Iranians managed to capture our agents was because of a malfunction in their (i.e., the pigeons’) digestive system which caused unscheduled jettisoning of semisolid bioprocessed payloads in the target zone.
In any case, know the power of this blog, dear readers. And be awed.
CHENNAI: After a ban on smoking in public places, and imposing controls on alcohol, Union health minister Anbumani Ramadoss is now eyeing the water bottle. A national policy on consumption of water in public places will be soon be implemented in the country, Dr Ramadoss said.
He said consultation with experts have begun but refused to elaborate. “On weekends, especially in the summer months, in cities like Bangalore and Chennai even women and children are going on smoking and drinking binge. It’s a dangerous trend. We’ll have to intervene and regulate the system. Just like alcohol consumption, water consumption poses a grave threat to India, the nation with 600 million people less than 30 years of age,” he said.
“The Constitution mandates all states to exercise prohibition but except J&K and Gujarat none of the states follow it. Prohibition is a state subject, I would urge all state governments to enforce to total prohibition. And since people who consume alcohol also mix it with water, banning water consumption will further strengthen the prohibition. Furthermore, water consumption is responsible for another public health hazard—illegal urination in public places like sidewalks, compound walls and corridors of government offices. Curbing water consumption in public places will reduce the threat of contagious diseases that arise from illegal urination”
The Union health ministry intends to replicate its successful formula—first employed against cigarette smoking—in the war against public consumption of water. “Watching film and sporting celebrities drink water in public, even small children get influenced. Even children in small towns and villages are demanding water bottles now. So I ask the film industry and BCCI to co-operate with us and refrain from on-screen water consumption. If they do not co-operate we will regulate.”
Dr Ramadoss stated that calling attention to fighting malnutrition, infant mortality, infectious diseases through the improvement of the national health care system is playing into the hands of the tobacco, alcohol and bottled water lobbies. He hinted that these lobbies are very powerful and had so shaped the UN’s millennium development goals (MDGs) so as to distract attention from India’s real health risks: cigarettes, alcohol and water.
These Americans are crazy (the pronouncing “Pakistan” edition)
Over in the United States of America, they are criticising Barack Obama…for pronouncing the word “Pakistan” correctly. (via Chapati Mystery)
On the National Review blogs, Mark Steyn writes “Senator Obama’s ostentatiously exotic pronunciation of Pakistan, one thing I like about Sarah Palin is the way she says “Eye-raq”.” Washington Monthly’s Steve Benen argues that “having completely run out of compelling policy arguments to make, some high-profile conservatives have decided to make this their latest campaign hobbyhorse.”
Indians are likely to shake their heads and smile. And then realise that it is not unusual for those with the correct pronunciation to be labelled as anything but the “common man”.