Category Archives: Interesting

Why do we scream when suddenly confronted by a danger?

Very scaredIn the afternoon I was lying in my bed, trying to recuperate from a horrible summer cold.Thinking randomly about various things, I thought, why do people scream when they are suddenly exposed to some danger? Also, they either try to shield their eyes or their eyes are dilated.

I think screaming is a primeval reaction that happens in all animals. It has a purpose. When you scream, you unconsciously, perhaps, try to warn the others. Screaming can be alarming and it signifies extreme danger. When a single individual or an animal screams, he or she is trying to let it be known that some grave danger has surfaced and they either have to run, or come to rescue. In most of the cases it is voluntary, so the evolution has ensured that we amplify the presence of a danger whether we want it or not.

Do you know even in extreme pain, guinea pigs don’t utter even a whimper sometimes? This is because they can neither run fast nor they can counter attack. All they can do is, remain out of vision. In order to achieve this, they need to keep quiet.

What about shielding the eyes or dilating them? I think when we shield our eyes, we just want to delude ourselves that since we cannot see the danger, it is not there. When we dilate our eyes, maybe we want to gather as much visual data as possible to get the full grasp of the situation.

The stark difference between Alexander and Chengiz Khan

Recently the noted lyricist Javed Akhtar posted two Tweets my wife today pointed me to:

“If you plunder from west to east you are great like Alexander. if you do the same from east to west you are a barbarian like Chengiz.”

Here is the link to the Tweet.

Although I don’t have issues with what intellectuals like him have to say about various cultural and historical opinions/facts the duality is really surprising. These are well-read people after all.

Both Alexander (whether great or not) and Chengiz Khan attacked other countries in order to increase their domains and, let us say, that the time was like that, that it was okay to plunder and takeover other countries and make its citizens your slaves. Shit happens during various historical periods (it still happens but we live in denial). This is not the issue.

But you cannot equate both these guys. Alexander had Aristotle as his teacher and he had specifically employed a historian to document his conquests and experiences. Remember the encounter he had with Porus when he attacked India? He received the brave Porus like a king and even though Porus had been defeated and captured he was not humiliated or brutally killed (I am not sure what happened to him after that famous exchange with Alexander as depicted in the Bollywood movies). Could you expect similar civility from Chengiz Khan? I’m not saying that since Chengiz Khan was a Muslim so he had to be an out and out asshole (he was not a Muslim, according to WikiPedia), but he was after all a barbarian with no affinity to intellectual thinking.

Alexander built relationships (not social media and networking relationships, obviously). He was not into burning down libraries and universities and razing cities. He formed many alliances and he only attacked when kings did not except his dominance which is fair enough considering those times.

Not being a history student I don’t know much about both these historical figures but it is silly to rue the fact that Alexander is called “great” and Chengiz Khan is termed as barbarian.

Would you have a virtual boyfriend or girlfriend

Virtual Girlfriend

I just quickly browsed through this article that talks about a resort that encourages you to bring along your virtual girlfriend and enjoy a nice weekend there. I read about virtual mates a couple of years ago and at that time it seemed strange but no longer. I think it is perfectly alright to have a virtual girlfriend or boyfriend. They can be a perfect company if they are highly interactive. It can be a no-strings attached relationship that you can fully customize, including attitude, behavior and of course, looks.

I’m not talking about the psychological effect of such a companionship because I wonder if such a research has been done but it would be a nice way of spending time for lonely people who somehow find themselves without mates. I have many friends from my special school who would simply love to have such a relationship.

Since you can already make love and experience orgasm virtually this must be the last obstruction. The best thing about having a virtual affair is that you can switch off your device whenever you feel like.

Somebody removed King Tut’s penis

I saw King Tutankhamen’s photograph on the cover of one of the issues of the national geographic society magazine in the early 80s or mid 80s and I really got fascinated by the ancient Egyptian history. In fact I knew about him even before I had heard of Cleopatra.

Image of Tutankhamen

According to this article in Time somebody removed King Tut’s penis in the modern times, after the unwrapping of the mummy in 1922. In 1968 it was declared that the King had been castrated posthumously and with the X-ray the dismembered royal penis was found buried in the sand surrounding the mummy.

The rumor has it that this was done to hide the fact that Tut had a small organ. To what lengths people go to save their national prides.