Tuesday, March 30, 2010

God was a leftist!!!

Okay.. so this post might not be the most logical or the most entertaining, rather it is the end-product of too much study, too little sleep and friends who are too busy with work to hook up for a drink in the evening.

Anyways the thought struck me while I was reading through my anatomy book this morning in a frantic effort to cram each and every structural detail of the human body before my 1st MBBS exam.

But seriously assuming that there was some sort of intelligent creation, it's uncanny how the left side of the body is almost always, slightly different from the expected norm... just as if- God was/is a leftist!

Just look at the facts.. in 90 percent of people the left side of the brain is more dominant than the right, with the important motor and speech centers being located on the same side. If u move further down the body, the left vagus nerve branch - the reccurent laryngeal nerve hooks around the ligamentum arteriosum and ascends in the tracheo-osophageal groove to the larynx.

The left bronchus is slightly more horizontal than the right, which prevents objects from going into the left lung if we are studpid/drunk enough to shove them down our trachea. The left kidney is one vertebral level above the right, and the left gonadal vein drains in to the left renal vein, whereas on the right it directly drains to the inferior vena cava.

Even the left testis hangs slightly lower than the right,which means that the conditions on the left side are optimal for sperm production.

Damn!! I even use my left hand for jacking off!!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Interesting Sri Lankan Facebook Stats

Well, this was not the post that I intended to write but, when trying to research on Social Media engagement in Sri Lanka, just came across some interesting Facebook facts derived straight from their own Advertising platform.
It gives you great options to filter your target markets with custom segmentation, most of the figures are just from playing around with the advertiser dashboard.

So lets start

As of March 2010

Males Dominate!

There are 501,520 Facebook users who live in Sri Lanka (those who have indicated that they are located in Sri Lanka) out of which 320,100 are men and 172,640 are women. Another 8780 have not disclosed their gender.

As a percentage close to 65% of Sri Lankan Facebook users are male. And around only around 35% are female.

More Lesbians than Gay men?

Well, that may be a hypothetical statement but if you go ahead to check “Interested In” feature you would find that there are 12,400 Men who are interested in Men, and 35,800 women interested in women. J

So if we take this figure as a percentage of each gender 3.87% of Sri Lankan Men on Facebook are interested in Men, and 20.67% of Sri Lankan women on Facebook are interested in women.   :O

The Facebook group called Sri Lankan Gay Friends has close to 1000 members. and the Facebook Group Lesbians Group in Sri Lanka has close to 600 members.

Who you gonna vote?

In the past few months we saw heavy political activity in Facebook, even now you could see many candidates advertising on Facebook and so many updates on different political fan pages. There was a close game between the two presidential candidates with much being spent on constant advertising. The Facebook Fan Page stats at the moment are as follows

Mahinda Rajapaksa (http://www.facebook.com/mahinda2010) - 56,702

Sarath Fonseka ( http://www.facebook.com/sarathfonseka ) - 63,150

Do you like Kottu?

Although you could consider many Sri Lankans to love “Kottu” when you filter out the number those who actually are a Fan of a Kottu Rotti Page or who have Kottu Rotti mentioned in their profile information is only 5380. No matter how popular Kottu is amongst Sri Lankans since many of them have not associated themselves with that word, Facebook has not been able to collect the correct sentiment with regards to Kottu.

What’s your Lingo?

Ok so we have the three National Languages, Sinhala, Tamil and English. In Facebook many of us have set our default language as English (US) with  451,000 using it and only 46,060 using English (UK).

But did if you check other languages you would get some interesting figures,

320 Facebook users in Sri Lanka speak EspaƱol (Spanish)

270 speak French

And an interesting 20 users speaking Hebrew

Of course the accuracy of this would differ according to whether the user has specified this on their language settings.

Sports Update

There are 55,0810 who like Cricket and only 6220 who have mentioned their interest in Rugby


There are 180 Facebook users who like Satan and 20 of those who like Osama Bin Laden…and there are 4589 fans in Anarkalli’s Official Facebook Page!!!

So anyway Facebook is a place where different tastes, ideas and people come together, its interesting see how this social media platform has risen to popularity in the recent past, when i checked Facebook some months back there were only around 350000 Facebook users but now its over 500000. Its interesting to see how Facebook is influencing our lives and how it is impacting our country as a whole, i think i might cover it on another post.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Sri Lanka is a Mountain

Yep that's right... as are the other nations of the planet. Most people believe that when they trek to the beach they are pretty much at the end of the country or can at least see its borders on the horizon. In actuality the sea waters extend quite far out. But that's not what I'm talking about.

While every nation is allowed a certain amount of the sea as part of their territory extending up to 12 nautical miles and up to 200 for economic purposes, the extent of a country can go much farther than this.

What am I talking about? I'm talking about what was dubbed by President Truman as the 'Natural Prolongation' of land. Under this a country's territory can extend well over the 200 nautical miles where the landmass (or the mountain) extends under the surface of the sea. This only includes the land part found under the sea. Anything in the water above it doesn't belong to anyone.

Sadly for us, though we have a large extension of land Sri Lanka has been 'slow' to register the land prolongation and it will be a few years till the claim goes through. In that time any other country could harvest any resources located outside out the 200 miles, especially since we don't have the technology to harvest it ourselves. No one is saying that there are resources, but if there were...

I'm sure its a little more complicated than this, but it is the basic idea. This can be seen in the image.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Kill Akon? Really?

With all this negativity about Akon coming down on Facebook, I sometimes wonder what some of us are on about. Let’s reminisce to the day Shah Rukh and his sequined entourage came down. It was purely a show for fans and a good crowd puller to jaded war-tired people, the masses. But a grenade was thrown, over 3 people died, and we instantly forgot how mental the whole situation was. Not to mention, the stars fled back home, made more movies and money, furthered their industry, became more popular world-wide and bought their own cricket teams.

To me, Akon equals good publicity to Sri Lanka and a step up as a brand. Places like Singapore go to town when international artists come down, so this gives us the same opportunity. I heard that 10,000 Maldivians are planning to come over for the concert, which maybe heresay but its good heresay.

About the Buddha statue in his video. Well, there’s enough and more examples where statues are used as ornaments in the West and pictures are used on bikinis. It’s a poor choice and an exhibition of ignorance but then again, what can you expect? During one of my earlier rant-y posts on Buddha Bars, Pseudo gave me some golden advice about substituting the anger for understanding. and something on the lines of what is important to a true Buddhist... I can’t really remember the rest. Sorry P!

Anyway back to Akon; the highly publicized grinding with the 15 year old’ issue, well...it was wrong, but the FB site seems to have a holier than thou attitude whereas at any given Sri Lankan club on a Saturday night are tons of little kids grinding away at each other too.

The point of this post is not to say bollocks to the people slamming the concert on FB. I’m personally not a big fan of Akon either. I find his voice whiny, songs repetitive and lyrics plain dumb. One exception maybe ‘Sexy B****’, but that’s because it’s pumped up with David Guetta’s collaboration. BUT my point is, its music, and everyone is entitled to their likes.

Perhaps we need to close our eyes and sacrifice our *cough* “values” for the sake of development as a country, as a brand. Look at the red light district Vs Theravada Buddhism in Thailand, and the proposed casinos in Singapore. Not that an international star equals development in Sri Lanka, but isn’t it a start? I’m still mulling that over.

Perhaps we need to be a little less angry, give it a chance and see what positives we can get out of it rather than killing him and embarrassing ourselves all together. To the rest of you, I’ll see you on the 24th.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Sexual Terrorism

Osama Bin Laden, the former LTTE and others can't compete with the terrorists that lurk right in our own backyards. Who am I referring to? Well to be frank those individuals who use sex and sex appeal as a weapon for their own ends. Now I might end up being classified as a misogynist but I can assure you its not the case.

What are the indicators of sexual terrorism? A woman flaunting her stuff, manipulating all those around her with false promises of you know what. The suckers just line up to get knocked over like bowling pins. Pulling off such a feat of desirability is no easy task mind you as considerable effort has to be applied to perfecting not only superficial appearances, but also behaviour.

But the men can also do the same, but they market themselves in a different way as the women aren't generally queing up to get some. What those guys offer is known only to the women and the guys in question. Though in other countries the men can also offer sex and I'm sure it happens to a much lesser degree here. One women actually said "Yes... I got to sleep with HIM! Hurray!" This is also not unusual when dealing with male celebrities.

But really it's in all likelihood far easier for a woman to be a sexual terrorist than it is for a man. Men are simple. Show off some flesh, waggle a little and we're generally in, hook, line and sinker. Many a man must have strayed for a piece of the action to only to be dashed against the rocks. The women on the other hand are a lot harder to bait unless you know what you're doing... which only a handful of guys out there do.

Well what can we do about these people seemingly offering themselves? Say no to Terrorism and don't deal with terrorists!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

We're the X-Men!

That’s right you heard me! Ok fine we’re not really... But we are a team... or at least we were. Over time the number of folks at Mathawaada has steadily dwindled. We were once 5, but now we’re like 2.

Teams are cool. Why? Well you get to work with other people who have some similarities to you. But a team also allows you to realize what makes you different from everyone else... sometimes you notice things about yourself that you wouldn’t notice when on your own.

Anyway here’s the Mathawaada roster!

Bawa: Bawa mostly wrote about politics, life at the medical faulty and of course the occasional strange monster. The good doctor hasn’t been in for quite some time now unfortunately. Posts from Bawa include Culture Shock: My First Day at Uni and Real Women What Rubbish.

Horton: The girl member of the team was the first to disappear. I always thought it was nice to have a female input to stop the sweaty smelliness of a sausage fest but sadly this didn’t last. Horton wrote about literature, relationships and love. Posts from Horton include Handling the Temptation and Booze Or Fag.

DRG: The Dirty Rap Gangsta was all about Hip Hop and Rap Music. DRG was also heavily in to film and theatrical productions many of which made appearances on the blog. He also was also in to books and a bit of romance. Sadly despite being one of the main members, he’s also disintegrated in to MIA status. Posts from DRG include hip-hop-and-sri-lanka-where-b&s-and-iraj ruined the show, and Falling in Love with a Psycho Chick

RealskullZero: He mostly writes about Sri Lanka, politics and some philosophical stuff. He’s still around of course but his posts have significantly dwindled in number as of late. There were times when he was the only one posting though... Posts from RealSkullZero include: Does India Really Care About Sri Lanka and Aliens in Sri Lanka.

Foxhound: Yeah that's me. I mostly wrote the philosophical stuff in addition to other stuff like Creepy Creepy Creepy and No Respect in the Bedroom

We're always a team regardless of the number and we have no intention of stopping anytime soon regardless of the situation. We're gonna keep on rolling yo!

Apologies for the self indulgent post.

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Island of Colombo

There has always been much talk on the fact that Colombo is an isolated pocket of civilization in Sri Lanka. In fact when outsiders or foreigners think of our little nation images of trees, jungles and rural people are what come to their minds. But the truth is, except for those living in the heart of the country, this really is what life is like.

There has always been an element of pride amongst the people living in Colombo. Many tend to feel that they are the most gifted, talented and generally the best of the best in the country. This doesn’t mean that everyone is a snob, but there is a tendency to look downwards on some people.

This really isn’t the case at all and is just that the people who meet success generally do so in Colombo and receive greater amounts of income. This money is then spent on educating their children who tend to grow up with a Western upbringing which fits well in to a global context unlike someone who is raised in the village.

Most of the people in this country don’t speak English on a regular basis and yet we give it so much importance.

Why is that? Well quite simply the language spread due to the influence of the British and now the Americans globally. It is the ‘Universal’ language. But really it’s nothing more than that. It’s not better than Sinhala, Tamil, French or German.

Sri Lanka needs English. Not because it’s a superior language but because it is the language commonly used everywhere. National Pride for a language is not really the issue at all but it has been used as an election tool in the past whilst basically ruining the future prospects for the country. Take the Japanese for example. They are an extremely proud and nationalistic people. High ranking business officials who speak perfectly good English refuse to speak it and instead insist on speaking through a translator. I just don’t see why that’s not the case here instead of switching the education system to emphasise Sinhala and Tamil.

English is just a tool that many use to survive. Some people even survive solely based on their ability to speak English. Worst of all there is absolutely no reason why just about everyone in this country can’t speak English. If the education system was geared in such a way then everyone could and we’d be able to get more projects and business down here. We already do pretty well but we could do a hell of a lot better.

The recent presidential elections also were rife with speculation with Mahinda Rajapaske supporters insisting that everyone except Colombo really was behind him. There is probably a large amount of truth to this and Colombo has generally voted for the UNP which is a party that seeks to serve upper class interests.

Someone once said "I don't see point in blogging in Sinhala because you're just shrinking your potential audience." I disagree because if you're blogging locally, then you're actually widening it.

Most of the people on the relatively small English blogosphere don’t really live in Sri Lanka per say when considering the entire country. It’s like that George Romero zombie movie remake where human beings lived in the last final city complete with a good deal of comforts while the rest of the world was filled with zombies.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Abuse Part II

To begin let's define abuse as: “intentionally causing harm to another being either through physical or mental means. It typically happens when one person gains power over another.”

First off it’s important to clarify the fact that absolutely anyone can be abused regardless of who they are. However certain people are more vulnerable to abuse, especially women but children even more so. Men are not also not exempt from being abused. But realistically yes, women abusing men is somewhat of a minute problem in terms of numbers. I mentioned it earlier merely to prove a point, which I failed to do.

Abuse in all of its forms is wrong or harmful. However people tend to focus on the physical abuse because it’s immediate and noticeable. But really the more tactful abuser is less likely to saw someone’s hand off or set someone ablaze because they’ll get caught. Instead they would rely on more subtle methods. Even when it comes to physical abuse, a smart person will try to avoid leaving physical marks behind and will avoid easily visible places such as the face. Those who don’t are the ones who aren’t premeditating it and are caught easily. It’s the ones where you can find no evidence that are a real problem.

Abuse is about power and exerting it over someone. There is such a strong emphasis on physical violence that people seem to forget about the other type of abuses. Neglect is a form of abuse whilst isolating a person is yet another. Both are equally bad. Just because there’s no physical damage doesn’t means it’s not the same or even worse. It’s quite simply not a case of Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.

Children are even more vulnerable than women because not only do they lack physical strength but they also lack the emotional development to figure out what is being done to them. The recent Brazillian case is a good example where a man’s lover convinced the man to perform a ritual on the son to get back at his wife. So the father would get the boy drunk on water mixed with wine and when he passed out proceeded to stick needles in to his body. When the boy woke up he never knew what happened but he felt ill. They repeated this on him several times before they were caught.

Let’s also not forget the mothers who harm their babies. In one case a woman suffocated her baby with a pillow, called the paramedics and then performed CPR to become famous. She did this more than once.

Then there were those folks who did things to children in nurseries in the US. Apparently they somehow met up on Facebook and decided to share pictures of the things they had done to the children before they were caught. I believe that group consisted of two men and a woman.

Women can also abuse other women. All women prisons are a great example of this. In such an environment a single woman (or a group) can assume the dominate role before forcing the rest of the women to do all kinds of things for her or else risk punishment. I'll just let you use your imagination... but suffice to say it can get quite nasty. Anything that purportedly only a man can do whether it be physical violence or sexual abuse can also be done by a woman in this scenario.

What is common to all these scenarios is that they involve one party having an indomitable influence over the other and using that to inflict harm in various forms. The victims also generally say absolutely nothing because of guilt, shame or a feeling of powerlessness that that they can do nothing to change things.

The real goal that needs to be achieved in cases (outside of prison and the military) of abuse is to get the victim to come forward sooner rather later or never as it is in some cases. Easier said than done.

Violence against women by husbands is more likely (but not restricted to) to occur in the lower classes of society where education and exposure is less. The women who do end up becoming punching bags have no idea what their rights are and maybe even believe that their husband does have legitimate control over them. The problem there is that women are not empowered.

Even the pervs on the bus know this because they target the shy traditional women when doing anything because they know they will say nothing whereas if they see a completely westernized woman in a short skirt there not going to do anything because they know she’s going to kick up a storm.

But even with education, that age old husband-wife relationship is quite strong. Marriage is after all considered sacred in every culture.

In a nutshell what I’m saying is, abusers are abusers. They come in all races, genders etc and they have many ways of doing it. When they get the opportunity to abuse, they take it. In the household, men tend to have a lot more power than women, and that’s why you get so much abuse there.

Monday, March 1, 2010

What if the Nazis Won?

What would have happened if the Axis actually won the world war, where they succeeded in defeating the Soviets through operation Barbarossa and then afterward moved on to force England to surrender? Obviously the way in which we will be learning history would be much different.There is so much we could discuss on how the world would be after a Nazi Victory but here i just want to address a few points on the way in which historical events and personalities are perceived.  Would Hitler still be called an Evil Dictator? Will the Allied Forces still be hailed as those who fought for freedom and democracy?  Would the holocaust remembered and commemorated?

I’ve heard a saying that the history is written by those who control the present, and if the Germans and their allies had actually won the war then the way in which we would be seeing the so called democratic and western powers would have been much different. For example how would they interpret the dropping of Nuclear Bomb over Hiroshima and Nagasaki? It would be  depicted off as an example of American brutality and USA may very well be labeled equivalent to how Nazis are now. We now learn of internment camps such as Auswitch where millions of jews were killed, but speak rarely of how the American government rounded up Japanese Americans in internment camps seeing them as a collaborators with Japan. By all means we cannot compare this with what went through inside the hundreds of camps which the Nazis built to systematically eliminate the Jews but the point is that if the Axis won the war the way in which world history is interpreted would be much more different.  

A Nazi Properganda Poster says in Ukrainian: “The oppressors ran away and they will not return!”. When Germans captured Ukraine those who suffered under Stalin welcomed the German occupation.

We speak much about the Nazi war crimes and how Soviets murdered in cold blood, but we rarely talk about the war crimes committed by the Allied forces. Most of those who were alleged of these were not tried or not punished the way in which they did for the Axis during the Nuremberg trials . If the Axis were in power it would obviously be vice versa.

The theory is simple; those who are in power control much of the past and future, and this is clearly seen in the aftermath of various conflicts across the globe. Its quite evident how different communities and countries perceived the Cold War, Vietnam War and even the war we fought here. It’s interesting how information can be controlled and perceptions are created, and ultimately the heroes and villains are defined at the end of each conflict. In my view the line between good and bad are very grey and it can also boil down to individual perceptions and understandings.

Just after Poland was invaded by Germany and Warsaw was just a blazing inferno, President of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt who at that point declared that they would not want to enter into the war made an excellent statement about this..

"This nation will remain a neutral nation, but I cannot ask that every American remain neutral in thought as well. Even a neutral has a right to take account of facts. Even a neutral cannot be asked to close his mind or his conscience."