Category: Uncategorized

World Elephant Day :)

I would like to share this video- which I captured during the field-work period in Nagarhole National Park. Such kind of moment (as captured in video) adds this-fine-splash-of-delight during the continuous tiresome quest of searching the answers in the nature’s vault…Hope you all, will like it…Watch the entire video 🙂

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Ecologists are……

Ecologists are…

1. male chauvinist pigs

2. particularly concerned about pathogens
Well if above lines look offensive or stupid to you,  do look for google autocomplete for “Ecologists are” and then you would understand that I haven’t really lost it.
I came across this really fascinating post  ‘WHY ECOLOGY IS SO..” on a blog called ‘Dynamic Ecology’ . The writer has pointed out some really amazing auto completes by google for phrases like ““why is science so” or “why evolution is so” and so on.  To read the blog please visit this link  : http://dynamicecology.wordpress.com/2014/02/03/why-is-ecology-so/.
I think it will be very exciting to see what everyone  else finds out in auto complete suggestions for different phrases. Here is one i tried for “Darwin is”:
1. wrong
2.  going to hell
3. forefather of
4. boring
I hope you will have fun trying some phrases for yourself as well and please remember to post  here too in comments. Have fun!

Shit!

Image

In this conference of heads

I go…

 It was unusual for me…

To raise my hand and speak!

And now they instruct us to do

To yell out the thoughts, and not to freak…

 

He raises his hand and shouts

“I work for the insects and how they mate”

She raises her hand and whispers

“I work for the wasps and their fate”

 

And now it’s me, I know

To whom the eager crowds gaze at…

I slowly lift my hand, of sweat and dust…

And that gentleman drops his hat…

 

I pat off the dust and I speak valiantly,

“I work in the jungle, for the elephants…”

And that lady in the crowd interrupts

“Whoa, in the wild! You mean a real elephant?!”

 

Of pride for the Jumbos, I smile…

“Yes in the wild, on the real jumbo with the trunk,

I walk behind their herds and follow

To watch, to wait and to collect their dung…”

 

He laughs and she, too

And the entire hall joins the group…

I still stand amidst the crowd…

Pondering about the Tusker’s poop…

 

I continued…

 

I travel a whole day in the jungle,

In search of trunk-ed bull,

I observe and wait,

And the piles of warm dung to pull…

 

Oh yes, it’s a Herculean task,

To wait for the hours, don’t go hyper…

If they won’t defecate, after munching a huge tree,

I guess, they need a “jumbo-diaper”!

 

Trust me; I study about the stress they face,

Under the harsh climate,

Under the tree with no leaves on them,

Under the poacher’s gun, that shall erase their fate!

 

And here, I find myself stressed,

Running behind them and they run behind,

With no skills in climbing the tree,

I plea and pray for them to be kind…

 

Yes, I work in the Jumbo’s night-soils,

For, the hidden mystery lies in them,

About the incidents and fears, they have encountered,

And the diseases, that can’t be claimed!

 

The crowd hushes now,

For, they must have understood a bit

For, I work for the elephants of India,

And I work on their shit!

 

They applaud a loud,

And I valiantly grab my seat…

The lady next to me whispered…

“You sat on my fingers, bullshit!”

 

With no anger to show,

I beg for the pardon,

To the next chair,

I gently shift …

Silly thoughts on why fish shoal

A quarter of the known fish species shoal throughout their life, quoted a scientist working on fish shoaling behavior. I wondered how these numbers compare with terrestrial animals. Among invertebrates only  few taxa live in groups, the celebrated ones being bees, ants, wasps and termites. Agreed that many higher vertebrates especially mammals live in groups such as elephants, hyenas, primates, meercats and wolves (I am sure you can think of at least 5 more). However it seems a small proportion of terrestrial animals group compared to fish. For argument  sake, let us agree that fish group more than terrestrial animals. Here is the main point I want to make: why do fish group more than terrestrial animals? Here is a brilliant and silly idea as to why:  I think it is because in water as opposed to on land, there is a third axis to group/aggregate. This extra dimension (basically depth) adds to the space available for grouping. It would be really cool if one could construct a mathematical model to study grouping tendency in 2-D space and then add more dimensions to the model to see if and how grouping tendencies increase. Vishu? Jaideep? Any thoughts?

But seriously, fish shoal for small talk and gossip and some discuss the meaning of life.

fishtank

Write Simple

One does not simply explain your research‘Complex scientific concepts explained using only the thousand most used words in the English language.’ says the header of an interesting blog that is an extreme version of explaining one’s work in simple words. It was back in my Masters that I was made aware of the importance of doing so, courtesy my guide. He pushed us to explain our research lucidly to a layman or a colleague. I’m not sure how good I was, but it was always a good conversation starter!

This blog is a good opportunity to begin and I’m surely going to try it out. Here is the link. The real challenge is to write about your work without using words that you generally take for granted, such as ‘species’ or ‘behaviour’. Curiously the f-word was allowed (not that it matters to explain your work though)!

In case you needed a push to write about your work, here is one –

“Have you ever wondered, where did all the different kind of living things, that makes life exciting and even more interesting, came from? the kinds we see today, either in the deep blue waters or in the deep tree covered areas of the world, were not made by god, but have come to being through several hundreds and years of change caused within each life. But, change is just one reason for the different kinds of life, the strong reason is this thing of one life becoming two. The reasons behind these are many. Many people are working towards understanding these reasons. I am one of them.” – S.P. Vijaykumar’s submitted post

If you do end up submitting a post there, do paste it in the comments of this blog too.