Tags: wonder


Jellyfish, 270513, Chicago, Shedd Aquarium

On a recent visit to Chicago, I went to visit the famous

Shedd Aquarium

Of the many water creatures that I saw there, some of the most beautiful, and ethereal, were the


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Jellyfish, sometimes called "jellies" are the major non-polyp form of individuals of the phylum Cnidaria. They are typified as free-swimming marine animals consisting of a gelatinous umbrella-shaped bell and trailing tentacles. The bell can pulsate for locomotion, while stinging tentacles can be used to capture prey.

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Cnidaria? How does one even pronounce that? Easier to just watch these beings float across the water..

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What amazing creatures populate this Earth! Between the land, the water and the air, there will never be an end to the wonders that Nature provides.

If all these photos are not enough, you can see my FaceBook album


No updates? at ALL?

I just checked my friends' page and there are NO new entries....is that possible, when all I have to do is to be absent for a couple of days and I find that everyone has made the most interesting, debatable and intriguing posts?

Or...is LJ acting up again?

Butterflies, pouring past...

We drove from Bangalore to Chennai, and from the outskirts of Hosur, till we crossed Vellore, we had so many butterflies...yellows, tigers, and others (we were driving too fast for me to id them properly) ... for more than four hours, I watched them flying across the road. We were heading west to east, so the direction of the migration was south to north,I guess. Here's a short video I took when the car had halted:

I don't know if the video really conveys the constant stream of butterflies....but it was just amazing to see. They flitted across, as we drove through them.

Where do these tiny creatures get the energy to fly in the heat of the afternoon? How many of them make it to whatever their destination is? I did see several lying on the road, and some hit our windshield, too, which was less than delightful.....I must google up the information regarding this journey of these beautiful creatures of the light and air...but meanwhile, I wanted to share my sense of wonder....

Here's another short video, shot from the moving car:

Every one of those "dark spots" is a butterfly.... and though the clouds of these beauties were never dense, the sheer continuity of four hours of butterflies pouring across the road, in such sustained profusion, was a source of great wonder to me!

Biddling...the verb (present continuous)

As GD's nickname started out with "Biddly"..then became "Biddles" and even worse, "The Biddles"...DnA have assigned a verb to a form of locomotion unique to her...they call it "biddling"!

It consists of a vigorous spring-like action, with the obvious intention of moving forward...but till recently, it was totally unsuccessful. Now, it's a combination of biddling and swawling (in between swimming and crawling!) that gets her across to where she wants to go..

Now, it's also accompanied by one sure way of quick locomotion...the lifting up of two chubby arms, in a clear message: "Pick me up!" Sometimes, as in the video above, the note of complaint is rather strong....

I am quite dazzled by The Biddles...or should I say I am quite Biddlezzed?! Verbs are being coined fast in Sloo (St.Louis) these days!

What's "ethical"?

A and I were discussing Charles Ponzi....she had read about him on

this link

and she talked of the man's "amazing audacity".

Audacity....is that good, or bad? I was thinking about it.

What Ponzi did was clearly unethical; there's no dilemma about it. But..there are opportunities that a few of us recognize, and even fewer utilize, to make money in the financial world.

Let me cite two examples:

In the days when zero-interest credit cards were being provided, someone made a lot of money by leveraging the credit on many cards at once.

At a time when companies were listing on the stock market and were offering allocation of shares at par prices, someone applied under the names of all the family members and made sure their chances of allocation were very much higher than applying under just one name. The allotted shares, of course, appreciated a lot in value, much more so than the same shares bought later in the open market.

Both of these were legal ways to make money, and it depended on their ability to spot the opportunity (it's no longer possible) and make use of it.

Most of us would not make money by such means, for several reasons:

1. We would not even be aware of such an opportunity.

2. Even if we were, the sheer hard work that would be involved in such procedures would, in our estimation, not be worth it.

3. The risk in such procedures would be unacceptably high for us.

There are two ways to look at people who utilize such opportunities, (or, sometimes, loopholes in the rules) and make money: one might call them "smart" or "sharp". The second term, which I have heard often, somehow seems to have rather a negative connotation.

So...is the using of such opportunities ethical or not? I'm not able to answer this...if the law allows somethings, and the rules do, is that unethical?

D has a yardstick to measure any act as ethical: "If everyone did the same thing, would it be sustainable, or would it harm or hurt people?"

That makes it easy ...when one is sitting in an armchair having an academic discussion. But in real life, everyone does NOT do the same things; so...the few who see the opportunities and use them....are they being savvy or being unethical?

It goes down all the way, to even small actions, I think. I've just been replying to a couple of theatre groups who asked me to come and review the plays they are staging...and I had two options: one, to say I was out of town and couldn't do the review, and two, to say I was abroad and couldn't do the review. I typed out the second statement...and I *know* that it's more glamorous to make the latter statement, and it will better keep me "on the radar" until I get back to being a regular reviewer....but somewhere, somehow, there's a twinge of unhappiness (not true repungnance, or I wouldn't do it) that I should only make the first statement.

What do you think? How does one call the grey areas?


I met someone yesterday, who struck me as being outstandingly beautiful; though I do not usually remark on people's personal appearance, the exclamation was wrung involuntarily out of me...! And then, someone else called me beautiful, when I honestly cannot agree with that estimation...that set me thinking about this strange concept that beauty is.

Beauty is, indeed, most of the time, in the eye of the beholder. "kAkkAkku than kunju, pon kunju", goes a Tamizh proverb..."to the crow, its young one is golden." Where we place our affection, we tend to see beauty even if others cannot.

But then, there are things and people and scenes that are beautiful by any yardstick. So what is it in us that responds, at such a basic level, to beauty? It is so sadly true that a beautiful woman gets, in general, much better treated by people than a plain one....

Why does beauty appeal to us so much? Why do we instinctively turn away from ugliness?

Still pondering...and I have no satisfactory answers...!

Here's something I snapped in Lalbagh this morning, no two opinions about its beauty....

water lily 130808

Are we conditioned to see beauty in certain things as we grow up, or is it hardwired in us?