Floral beauty

Flowers bring happiness and joy. Their riot of colours is a feast for the eyes. A flower bouquet is the best gift.


Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. If the beholder is asked then what would be the answer. It’s a relative emotion. An appeasement to the eyes. It’s a quality to be found in all yet all are not similar. If I were not beautiful, then what would I be. If you were not beautiful, my friend, you wouldn’t be so radiant.

Ballet dance

A ballet dance. We spin and keep spinning around our destiny. Like water churns sand and sand contains the waves. Our work and our destiny are spun together. Sometimes we rejoice but also bend. The life’s drama unfolds.

Ballet dance

Ballet dance of human emotions from water to fire. I presume the human mind can be conquered only with unflinching grit and determination. Our emotions may either cause hinderance in our paths or leap us forward. Both exist. Dancing within the same mind.

Maud Menten

3CD6E643-ED32-4AB7-AFBA-98069EF8C9CEThis month I’m celebrating Maud Menten .
Maud Menten did extensive work in medical and biochemical research in the early twentieth century. Much of her work was medical research, but it was founded in her expertise in biochemistry and she made some significant contributions as a biochemist. Most of her work isn’t as well-known as it should be, but there is one piece that will never be forgotten: her work with Leonor Michaelis in 1913. Together they produced the famous Michaelis-Menten equation, one of the fundamental concepts in enzyme kinetics.

The equation serves to explain how an enzyme can cause kinetic rate enhancement of a reaction and explains how reaction rates depends on the concentration of enzyme and substrate.


The Mystery of the Voynich Manuscript

Stored away in the rare-book library at Yale University is a late-medieval manuscript written in a cramped but punctilious script and illustrated with lively line drawings that have been painted over, at times crudely, with washes of color. These illustrations range from the fanciful (legions of heavy-headed flowers that bear no relation to any earthly variety) to the bizarre (naked and possibly pregnant women, frolicking in what look like amusement-park waterslides from the fifteenth century). With their distended bellies, stick-like arms and legs, and earnest expressions, the naked figures have a whimsical quality, though their anatomy is frankly rendered—something unusual for the period. The manuscript’s botanical drawings are no less strange: the plants appear to be chimerical, combining incompatible parts from different species, even different kingdoms. Tentacled balls of roots take the forms of animals, or of human organs—in one case, sprouting two disembodied heads with vexed expressions. But perhaps the oddest thing about this book is that no one has ever read it.

That’s because the book—called the Voynich manuscript after the rare-book dealer who stumbled upon it a century ago—is written in an unknown script, with an alphabet that appears nowhere other than in its pages. The writing system is oddly beautiful, full of looping and fluid curves. A series of distinctive letters, called “gallows” for their resemblance to a hangman’s scaffold, are sometimes conjoined with other letters, or have been embellished with elaborate curlicues by a scribe. What these glyphs signify—whether they represent phonetic information or numeric values or something else—is anyone’s guess. Judging by its illustrations, the manuscript seems to be a compendium of knowledge related to the natural world, including a section about herbs, a section apparently detailing biological processes, various zodiac charts, and pages devoted to the movements of celestial bodies, such as the transit of the moon across the Pleiades. The writing flows smoothly hesitation from one letter to the next; based on the handwriting, it’s thought to be the work of at least two and as many as eight practiced scribes, and possibly required years of labor. The book has been carbon-dated to the early 15th century (1404–1438).

The Voynich manuscript has been studied by many professional and amateur cryptographers, including American and British codebreakers from both World War I and World War II. No one has yet succeeded in deciphering the text, and it has become a famous case in the history of cryptography. The mystery of the meaning and origin of the manuscript has excited the popular imagination, making the manuscript the subject of novels and speculation. None of the many hypotheses proposed over the last hundred years has yet been independently verified.

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Imagescourtesy  of Yale Library
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House of leaves

This book is about that point directly behind your head. Don’t look. Don’t take your eyes off this page, off the safe glow of the monitor, the comforting shapes of the letters making up this sentence.
This is safe. What’s behind you isn’t. Keep reading these words.
If you stop to look behind you, I can’t guarantee you’ll come out of this ordeal alive, much less sane. Pretty soon you might find yourself doubting what is real and what isn’t. Pretty soon you might start to have the nightmares. One day you’ll wake up to find yourself an emaciated wreck who can’t trust space and time anymore. Whether something is real or not doesn’t matter here;
the consequences are the same.
What you need to realize is that this is not for you.8BE421E1-87B8-4FBD-80BA-A0C2429F4FAE

The culture of make believe

The Culture of Make Believe
“We were not meant for this. We were meant to live and love and play and work and even hate more simply and directly. It is only through outrageous violence that we come to see this absurdity as normal, or to not see it at all. Each new child has his eyes torn out so he will not see, his ears removed so he will not hear, his tongue ripped out so he will not speak, his mind juiced so he will not think, and his nerves scraped so he will not feel. Then he is released into a world broken in two: others like himself, and those to be used. He will never realize that he still has all of his senses, if only he will use them. If you mention to him that he still has ears, he will not hear you. If he hears, he will not think. Perhaps most dangerously of all, if he thinks he will not feel. And so on, again.”  Derrick Jensen

Have you read this book? This book is absolutely sensational…at least for me 😉
Reading The Culture of Make Believe is like looking into the mirror of our culture, and chances are you will not like what you see.
If you are able to accept new information into the ken of your mind, this book will radically alter your perception of reality. You might not be able to live the same way after. It’s like having the psychological sanity rug pulled out from under you – or blasted to pieces.7AF91B2B-2806-4650-9BD9-C3CC5734116D

Fe del Mundo

Fe Del Mundo (1911-2011) was a filipina pediatrician, and the first woman to be admitted into Harvard Medical School.
Del Mundo humorously relates that when she arrived in Boston and went to the dormitory assigned her in a letter from the director of the hospital housing, much to her surprise she found herself in a men’s dorm. Unknowingly the Harvard officials had admitted a female to their all-male student body. But because her record was so strong the head of the pediatrics department saw no reason not to accept her. Thus, upsetting Harvard tradition, she became the first Philippine woman and the only female at the time to be enrolled at the Harvard Medical School.

As a child, she’d already decided she wanted to be a doctor for the poor – three of her eight siblings died when they were kids. After her medical studies, she returned home to the Philippines, only to be plunged into the devastation of the Japanese military occupation of WWII.

She volunteered to care for kids in the internment camp and set up a hospital there, earning her the nickname “The Angel of San Tomás”. She ended up heading a new children’s hospital during the war, that later evolved into a full-scale medical center.

After the war, she opened the country’s first pediatric hospital, did pioneering research into infectious diseases like dengue fever, advocated family planning (controversial due to her Catholicism) and invented a bamboo incubator to be used in rural villages. And she went on working as a pediatrician well into her nineties.


Edith Clarke

February 10 is reserved to Edith Clarke
Today is the birthday of Edith Clarke, the first female electrical engineer and the first female professor of electrical engineering in the US. She was born in 1883 in Howard County, Maryland.

During her career, Clarke published 18 technical papers, received a patent for a graphical calculator, became the first female Fellow of the AIEE, and received the Society of Women Engineers’ achievement award.


Perfume holder

(27.0 x 19.0 x 15.5 cm: gold, silver and rubies), India 1870-1875

This perfume holder was presented to the Prince of Wales by Jashwant Singh ii, Maharaja of Jodhpur (1838–95). The Prince first met the Maharaja at the Madras Racecourse on 15 December, and later at Calcutta, where the Maharaja was made a Knight Commander of the Order of the Star of India on New Year’s Day 1876 .

The bud-shaped holder opens up when the finial is pressed to reveal five perfume holders held by silver filigree brackets. The openwork floral designs on the outside ‘leaves’ of the bud, the gold bottles and the silver filigree suggest that it was produced in different parts of India and later brought together. The gold scrolling foliage on the outer ‘leaves’, the ruby-inlaid perfume bottles and the fluted base are similar in style to metalwork from Madras, and the interior silver filigree work is similar to that produced in Orissa.


Bracelet of Ramesses

Gold mining has a long history in Egypt, as ancient artifacts attest. This gold and lapis lazuli bracelet was probably worn by Ramesses II (reign. c.1279-1213 BC) or one of his favorites.

The solid gold bangle is composed of two parts, linked on one side by a hinge and on the other by a clasp. The broader upper part of the bracelet is decorated with a double-headed duck. Its body consist of a large chunk of lapis lazuli framed by broad bands of gold plate. The two heads and the duck´s spread out tail were made of gold decorated with small soldered beads and wire.

From Bubastis (“Tell-Basta”). Now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo.

Photography by: O. Louis Mazzatenta / National Geographic

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