Being Superior

The truth is that there is nothing noble
in being superior to somebody else.
The only real nobility is
in being superior to your former self.

-Whitney Young

Eliot, T.S.

The Eagle soars in the summit of Heaven,
The Hunter with his dogs pursues his circuit.
o perpetual revolution of configured stars,
o perpetual recurrence of determined seasons,
o world of spring and autumn, birth and dying,
The endless cycle of idea and action,
Endless invention, endless experiment,
Brings knowledge of motion, but not of stillness;
Knowledge of speech, but not of silence;
Knowledge of words, and ignorance of the Word.
All our knowledge brings us nearer to our ignorance,
All our ignorance brings us nearer to death,
But nearness to death no nearer to GOD.
Where is the Life we have lost in living?
Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?
The cycles of Heaven in twenty centuries,
Bring us farther from GOD and nearer to the Dust.

TS Eliot


About a month ago, I got to work and found my keyboard completely coated in ants.

Now, if you know me well, you know how I absolutely *detest* ants. I HATE THEM! So, this, as you can imagine, was a truly traumatic experience, *especially* since I'm paranoid about keeping my computer spotless and free from bugs.

So, how and why did these bastards out of the blue decide to invade my keyboard?

Today, I saw this article. Huh.

Can Ants Eat Your Computer?Why the "crazy rasberry" ant infests electronic devices.

Electronic devices near Houston, Texas, are under attack by a species known as the "crazy rasberry ant" (Paratrechina species near pubens), which is thought to have arrived as a stowaway on a cargo ship in 2002. According to the Associated Press, the ants seem to be attracted to electrical equipment and have been "shorting out electrical boxes and messing up computers" wherever they go. This has raised concerns that the ants might cause serious damage to electrical equipment in sensitive locations like Houston's Hobby Airport and NASA's Johnson Space Center, as well as homes and businesses in the city. What do ants like about electronics?

No one really knows. Research has shown that some ant species are capable of detecting electromagnetic fields and may even use the Earth's magnetic field as a directional cue as they search for food or nest sites. Their attraction to man-made electrical devices may be an accidental evolutionary byproduct of this natural ability.

The ants may also be drawn to pieces of electrical equipment because they make great nests. Invasive species like the crazy rasberry ant are adapted to environments that are constantly changing, so they are always searching for new homes. In the wild, these ants might nest in small cavities beneath fallen leaves, inside branches, or at the base of palm fronds. Electrical switch boxes, gas meters, or your PC make ideal homes because they are dry and have small, easily defendable entrances.

When crazy rasberry ants invade an electrical box, they can't actually eat the equipment inside. Their jaws are not strong enough to cut through metal wires, but they can chew through the softer insulation around them, exposing the live wires and causing electrical shorts. (Other ant species, like leafcutter ants, are capable of cutting through thin metal wires, but they don't seem to be attracted to electronics.) When an ant is shocked or electrocuted, it releases a chemical alarm pheromone that attracts its nestmates, triggering a cascade that results in a buildup of dead worker ants that can cause further problems for electronics.

These ants are difficult to control because they are ready to abandon their homes and find new ones at a moment's notice, as when insecticides or poison baits are applied. Like many invasive ants, including some populations of the red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta), which is also thought to have arrived to the United States via cargo ship, crazy rasberry ant colonies contain multiple queens. As Houston-area exterminators have learned, this allows them to reproduce faster than single-queen species, and makes it hard to kill the entire colony.

when help is rendered by weighing the receiver's need and not the donor's return reward, its goodness grows greater than the sea - Thirukural, v.103

Like a Hat. Or a Glove.

I've been told that i have a 'sassy sense of humor'.

Isn't that delightful?



Right To Life

If you enter the country without proper documents, and you get stabbed in the face one day, and everyone sees it and there's no question about who did it, should the perpetrator be charged? Would charging the perpetrator mean that the courts are encouraging people to enter the country illegally, because this would lead them (them "illegals") to think that they have a right to life in this country despite not having proper papers?

I am no lawyer (far from it), but it makes me wonder. What do you think?

I've highlighted my favourite parts in bolded-red. whattabastard.

Court rules against injured illegal worker
By : Jaspal Singh


An illegal immigrant in this country has no right to claim loss of income, the High Court ruled yesterday.

The ruling meant that 38-year-old Sukatno Karnen, an Indonesian illegal worker who became paralysed after he was hit by a van in 1996 in Jalan Fair Park here, will not be getting the award of RM153,600 in lost income decided by the Sessions Court here seven years ago.

The award was to be given out in instalments of RM800 per month for 16 years beginning Nov 28, 2001, the day the judgment was passed.

Judge Datuk V.T. Singham, who yesterday allowed 54-year-old carpenter Lee Seng Kee's appeal to set aside the earlier judgment, said the Sessions Court judge had misdirected himself in law and on the facts of the case.

"Sukatno did not have a work permit. It is not a case of where he originally had a work permit but that work permit had expired," the High Court judge said.

"The sessions judge having found that the plaintiff was an illegal worker, had erred in law on the facts in awarding damages for the loss of earnings which were illegally earned."

Singham stressed that the High Court could not legitimise Sukatno's illegal earnings.

"It will be an affront to the public conscience and interests to grant Sukatno the relief which he claimed and if allowed, would seem to be indirectly assisting or encouraging foreigners to come illegally to this country and also encourage the commission of similar offences by other illegal immigrants."

Sukatno, who returned to Indonesia in 2001, was represented by counsel Inderjit Singh, while Lee was represented by Vivekanandan A.M.S. Periasamy.

Pointing out that public interest or public policy must override moral justification, Singham said despite sympathising with Sukatno, his personal sentiment did not allow him to override the judicial function.

"This court will only act on the facts and the application of law and not on personal sentiment to try make out a case in favour of Sukatno."

Sukatno fractured his spine which caused a dislocation of his vertebrae, resulting in paraplegia.

Singham stressed that the sanctity and certainty of immigration laws had to be maintained and strictly observed.

"Otherwise, it would undermine, frustrate and would be tantamount to condoning or encouraging an illegal act," the judge said.

"This court ought not to unlock the gates which have been shut or prohibited by the legislature by entertaining a claim of illegally earned money or by an illegal immigrant in total violation of the immigration laws," he said.

Singham also set aside the lower court's finding that Lee was 50 per cent negligent in the accident, adding that the finding was based on speculation or conjecture.

Happy Birthday, Amma.

Dearest mother/mom/amma/fernitullaharangamuthu...

You are loveliness
and joy;
Your warmth is infinite
Your presence a calming,
loving balm.

You are a gift to your children
And a blessing to the world.

You are silly
and serious;
You are kind
and uncompromising
of spirit & heart.

Your laughter
and your brilliance;
your relentless quest
for all things right & just,
shapes & will always shape us
to be the

Your love
and saves us all
a thousand times over.

Should I ever
be blessed with my own,
I could only hope
to be half the mother
that you've always been.

Thank you for being you, Amma.

Don't you dare think of skipping off in your 70s - the Big Guy and us, we had a talk. You're not done till another 38 years!

; ) love you so much!