Showing posts from June, 2012

Local Delicacies

Giant spiders invade Upper Assam , killing two: It all happened in the evening on May 8. Most of the inhabitants of Chaulkhowa Nagaon village had been to a Bihu function. When the programme drew to a close, swarms of spiders suddenly descended from nowhere and started biting the people. The festive mood soon turned into one of panic with people bumping into each other and tripping over empty benches in their frantic bid to egress.  I nearly ignored this story, on the assumption giant spiders routinely invade India’s Upper Assam, usually when the venomous snakes are taking the day off, but that’s not the case: Assam doesn't have venomous spiders, it never had any throughout history, or there would have been some document, text or art that depicted this spider. An entomologist, speaking “ on condition of anonymity”, points out: The place was notorious for human sacrifice until the mid-19th century when the British stopped this barbaric practice. The place also suffered imm

Don't Worry, It's Only History Again


Less Elephantine, More Blimpesque

Experts on dinosaur bulk at the University of Manchester say dinosaurs are “ much lighter than previously thought ”, while emphasizing the fact dinosaurs are “still huge”. Obviously, that could change at any moment. Some other things previously thought: Protons are much smaller than previously thought. Oldies are far more durable than previously thought. Giant pandas are more numerous than previously thought. Much of the past is more recent than previously thought.