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  • Lesser known facts.       Can the Earth be squeezed?           Yes! It happens all the time.   We all know that the ocean water gets attracted  due to the attraction of the moon causing high tide ...
    Posted Aug 15, 2019, 9:45 PM by Upali Salpadoru
  • Birth and Death Birth and Death       Irrespective of nationality, race or creed, it is an inborn belief of the majority, that life starts with birth and ends in death. Of course some sects ...
    Posted May 24, 2019, 1:47 AM by Upali Salpadoru
  • 100 Days in Samoa. One Hundred days in SamoaBy Andy Southall.       Taking the contents of One hundred days, superficially one may think the primary target of this book is to discourage the tourists ...
    Posted Mar 7, 2019, 10:00 AM by Upali Salpadoru
  • My heart attack.        My heart Problem.          It was a Saturday, and a student were to come for help in Physics.  It was with pleasure that I undertook this activity; yet I was feeling ...
    Posted Dec 11, 2018, 10:30 AM by Upali Salpadoru
  • හමටාන්            උකුසන් සැරුව නිල් ඉගලා ගුවන   තුළදවසක දුටිමි හිමවන් කිරි කොකුන්  කැළසුබ නිමිතක ...
    Posted Feb 1, 2017, 9:56 AM by Upali Salpadoru
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Lesser known facts.

posted Aug 11, 2019, 4:10 PM by Upali Salpadoru   [ updated Aug 15, 2019, 9:45 PM ]

   
 
  
Can the Earth be squeezed?
  

         Yes! It happens all the time. 
  We all know that the ocean water gets attracted  due to the attraction of the moon causing high tide and low tide.  It has been noticed that when ever the sea level rises the ground water level goes down. This remained unexplained for a long time. Now it has been explained.
          During the high tide when the moon attracts the water in the oceans, it also squeezes the earth. The earth behaving like a sponge gets squeezed pushing the ground water level up.
         The large hadron collider in the Swiss, Paris border, uses a circular tunnel which is over 27 km circumference. Here protons are accelerated to a speed almost as high as that of light. So the path has to be correctly adjust . How ever careful they are t has been found that it has be to be corrected twice  , everyday.
         It has been measured  that the circumference of the circular tunnel changes by 1 millimeter during  the tides.  ………………

          Source:-Infinity in the palm of your hand by Marcus Chown.       Chapter 12.
  

 Most Misbehaving Molecule.

    It comes not from a rare chemical but one of the most common compound . It has been estimated by a US geological survey that the the earth has over 300 million cubic miles of it.  It is none other than a simple oxide of Hydrogen that we refer to as water.

     There cannot be any life without this and  these molecules fill up about 50% of our body mass. Yet it is a molecule that the scientist find it difficult to understand.




       Mpemba effect.


       In 1953 a 13 yr, old student in Tanzania discovered that hot milk freezes before cold milk. His teacher did not believe that.  As the boy entered high school he came in touch with Professor Denis Osborne from Dare Salam University, who encouraged him to do more experiments. In i969 they produced a scientific paper in a prestigious journal.  Yet the this effect has not been properly explained.


   


 Density effect.

     It is a well known fact that all matter irrespective of state or phase,  contract in cooling. This effect of contracting increases the density. In the case of water this is true only up to 4° C. and there after further cooling causes an expansion. This is why ice at 0 C floats in water at 30 °C.

     Some physical properties.

       We may compare some of the properties of water with a few simpler compounds.
   
 NameFormula Molecular
 mass. 
 Boiling
  point.
 Melting
   point
 State.
 Ammonia NH3 17 - 33.4 C -78 C Gas
 Hydrogen chloride. HCl 36.5 - 85 C - 114 C Gas
 Hydrogen  sulphide. H2S 34 - 61 C - 86 C Gas
 Methane CH4 16 -164 C -183 C Gas
 Water. H2O 18 100 C 0 C Liquid.
                   


https://www.theguardian.com/science/video/2015/may/28/water-strangest-chemical-universe-explainer-video








Birth and Death

posted May 23, 2019, 4:01 PM by Upali Salpadoru   [ updated May 24, 2019, 1:47 AM ]

Birth and Death



      Irrespective of nationality, race or creed, it is an inborn belief of the majority, that life starts with birth and ends in death. Of course some sects believe in previous lives and a sort of transmigration (An existence after death). There is no known valid experiment to verify any existence after death, or  prior to birth  but science can peep into the intricacies of the  two vital events, birth and death. 


    The dictionaries generally give the definition of birth as, The emergence and separation of off spring from the body of the mother.”. This is true for mammals and some other higher animals but not for the oviparous. What about a chick coming out of an egg ? 



Which is birth in this situation; Is it the laying of an egg or hatching out? 

                       

                                                                                                                                Extending this further to other living organisms we may consider the seed bearing plants. Fig.  shows three stages

of a sprouting bean .

 Fig. 1  Birth of a bean plant.

 

     

·         Stage1:-  Seed coat has ruptured and the radicle that forms the root and the lower part of the stem, that forms the arch above the ground (hypocotyl)  has developed.

·         Stage 2:- The hypocotyl pulls the cotyledons above the ground.

·         Stage 3:- The cotyledons turn green and the true leaves have developed.

Fig. 1  Birth of a bean plant.

  Which could be best considered as the birth of a new plant?  Emerging of the radicle, pulling the cotyledons up or the development of true leaves ?

(If a baby coming out of the amnions sac and the bird coming out of an egg are taken as birth, a seedling coming out has also to be considered as ‘birth’ although the botanists favour  the term ‘germination’). 

 

In the same tone mammalian reproduction may also be queried.

·         Stage 1:-The ovary produces an egg cell with 23 chromosomes . ( A living unit with a complete record of the mother’s heredity , which can fill several DVDs )

·         Stage 2:- The testes produce spermatozoa  with a nucleus  also with 23 chromosomes bearing the father’s heredity. These cells are mobile due to the presence of a flagellum.

·         Stage 3:-Only one sperm enters the egg and  the chromosome number doubles. After fertilization the cell is called a zygote.

·         Stage 4:- The zygote gets attached to the womb . The embryo develops inside a sac.

·         Stage 5:-  After the gestation period the amnion sac  bursts and the off spring is pushed out.

·         Stage 6:- The off spring starts to breathe.

 In a normal sense the stages 5 and 6  are jointly considered as birth. 

 Considering this sequence of events that leads to the birth of a new individual, in which stage does the new arrival starts life?

For life to propagate there should have been a beginning.

There’s no way, birth can be considered as the beginning of a living thing,  To begin with God may have created man and other living organisms. Or may be life started by a gradual process over a very long period in a spontaneous manner or may be life has  come from far away space.

Spontaneous origin of Life

      The theory of ‘Spontaneous generation of life’ was initiated by    Alexander Oparin, and  J. B. S. Haldane in 1920.  In 1952 Stanley Miller and Harold Urey conducted a classic experiment  at the University of Chicago. to verify this  theory. Starting from inorganic matter, he obtained a few organic substances only by subjecting them to primordial conditions for a few days.  In 2007 under the sponsorship of NASA eminent biochemists re analysed the sealed vials  from Miller’s experiment, using the latest teart codon' in the genetic code, which tells a cell's machinery to begin translating ( making proteins according to genetic cord)  the design for a protein," AnachniquesThey found many more amino acids and concluded as follows ."The sulfur-containing amino acids we found include significant biological ones like methionine, the product of the 'stlytical Astrobiology Laboratory at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt,

DR. Sidney Fox an eminent bio chemist also experimented with abiogenesis and the primordial soup theory. In one of his experiments, he allowed amino acids to dry out as if puddled in a warm, dry spot in prebiotic conditions. He found that, as they dried, the amino acids formed long, often cross-linked, thread-like, sub-microscopic molecules now named "proteinoids".

Cosmic  origin

In the 1980s, Sir Fred Hoyle developed and promoted, along with Chandra Wickramasinghe, the theory of “panspermia”. He calculated the chances of the simplest living cell forming out of some primordial soup as infinitesimally small, and described that theory as “evidently nonsense of a high order”.

They have just passed the baby to space without explaining the beginning. Even in outer space life could have been created or began on its own.  But a recent study by a few NASA scientists seem to be in agreement with panspermia.

NASA findings

 “   For the first time, we have three lines of evidence that together give us confidence these DNA building blocks actually were created in space.” Dr. Michael Callahan of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center,  Here is an another extract from a report from NASA.  “Scientists think that the basic ingredients of life, including water and organics, began their journey to Earth on these lonesome ice particles. The ice and organics would have found their way into comets and asteroids, which then fell to Earth, delivering "prebiotic" ingredients that could have jump-started life.”                

Common Descent

    Whether the life originated in the plumes of volcanic ash or in the hot wells under the sea or far away in space, the pointer seems to be tilted to spontaneous generation. On studying all forms of life today it has been concluded that they all have had a common origin.

“Biologists have evidence that all life developed from a common ancestor that lived just under 4 billion years ago, and the concept is accepted by virtually all scientists working in the field. The structures and functions of all living organisms are encoded in the same basic nucleic molecules, DNA and RNA. Similarities in amino acid sequences between various organisms also suggest a common origin”.

There is strong quantitative support for this theory

Back to Birth

Let us get back to where we started. It is clear life started with just one or two strands  of RNA or DNA.  Then came the cells and unicellular organisms .  They produced young ones by’ a process called  ‘binary fission’. A mother cell could divide into two or more  cells.

Earliest multi cellular plants and animals also had a similar asexual process to reproduce. A hydra, an animal about a cm long, living attached to rocks in water develop branches called buds. These get detached growing into new individuals.  “Many hydras reproduce asexually by producing buds in the body wall, which grow to be miniature adults and simply break away when they are mature”.  Wikipedia. This is also a case of a new individual being born.

Except at the origin of life , a new life comes from detaching a living part of a living thing.  

The child is only a break away part of the parent. There is no BIRTH ; (in the sense a new life) but only continuation of life.

Life and Death

Death is considered as the most un avoidable finale of any organism.  Now consider the hydra. You can kill it but it may  not die due to senility. The body of it can divide and exist as new individuals.  The historic Bo tree (Ficus religiosa) at Anuradhapura in Sri Lanka is over 2500 years old.  It may not die at all as new shoots can spring up   from the base.

Consider a multicellular animal such as a human being. There are trillions of cells of various sorts ranging from unspecialised stem cells to highly specialised cells performing a multitude of functions. Every cell is a unit of life.  Many have their own life cycle. The skin cells have a life span of  two or three weeks. As new cells come up to the surface of the skin old cells die and peel off. Red blood cells get specialised from the stem cells in the bone marrow and die after two days of yeomen service.  During the life time  man f a man Millions of births and funerals take place with little or no knowledge.

A multicellular creature is similar to a highly developed city. Unwanted buildings may be demolished and new structures may be built without affecting the city. If the power system fails, it would affect every individual in the metropolis.  A constriction in a blood vessel supplying oxygen to a heart muscle  may  cripple and permanently damage the heart muscles. If timely action is not taken the organism may not recover at all.

It is not easy to diagnose death.  From the earliest times cessation of breathing  was considered an unmistakable sign of death.  For the doctors stopping the heart beat and thereby the blood circulation became the legal point of death.  If an electric shock or Cardiopulmonary resuscitation can resume the heart beat man could not have died.   Loosing consciousness due to brain death could also be taken as a sign of death.  Yet a brain dead man can be made to live with life support systems.

Even if a person has been declared dead by the doctors, the corpse could contain several living organs at least for for a few hours. If so how can you say the man was dead? 

 In most cases birth and death cannot be considered as single events but events that take some time.  So we are forced to have doubts with regard to previous lives and transmigration.

 seedling coming out has also to be considered as ‘birth’ although the botanists favour  the term ‘germination’). 

 

I

 




 

100 Days in Samoa.

posted Mar 7, 2019, 10:00 AM by Upali Salpadoru

One Hundred days in Samoa

By Andy Southall.

      Taking the contents of One hundred days, superficially one may think the primary target of this book is to discourage the tourists from visiting Samoa. Repetitive touching on loud noises, the barking and chasing dogs,  gaudy shades in buses, and lava lavas screaming all around and the official bunglings support this view. But what the subconscious mind gets on reading this is an urge to visit the island. He is criticising the place in order to have the opposite effect on the readers.

        As he starts the book he talks about a con man. A man  says “ I stamped your passports”  On a later day when he was confronted by saying, “Our passports were stamped by a woman” con man’s reply was hilarious, “ Yes. Sometimes I get dressed like a woman”    Almost in every country, the tourists meet such people and they generally cause trouble. This man for some reason only came out with an innocent lie.

         The author and his wife decided to spend a holiday in Samoa having only a few objectives. That was to  avoid the harsh N.Z. winter, for a change in their lifestyle and for Kate to render some volunteer service.. This statement proves that ,” Travel is not always rushing somewhere, you can learn as much by studying the grass under your feet” (page 15)    Again in the midst of their tour this is what they did  “ We lay on beds staring out to sea. Doing nothing. Nothing at all”. (page 188)  They were not after attractions like  ancient cathedrals and pyramids. They were only looking for  lonely beaches for sunbathing and spots for safe snorkeling.  The husband was collecting facts for his writings while the wife wanted to render some volunteer work. They definitely got all these, not free but at a cost of few talas for every photo and every entry into a beach.. The author  also derived a lot of satisfaction by discovering a lot about his literary hero R L Stephenson. His wife was able to teach mathematics in a Samoan School.

        He relates a number of interesting incidents and minor mishaps in a manner to please any reader. When they went to see a rugger match they found that the letter of the seat no had been punched out.  In their tickets. He seems to be a master at creating humour .

       “There are many pests that are forbidden…...none of them was attempting to ride my bike” (page 8)

         “The coffee tasted sublime with a protein supply of ants. Ants were safe to drink but not the water” (page 20)

         “ Smoans smile as they have the sea, sun and no trains but  the Kiwis, have their lips glued together with gloom and their laughter muscles severed with the sharp edges of their season passes”(referring to ‘season tickets’ of train travellers.)   (page 56)  

          His  witty exaggerations of what happened after climbing a hill- “ Sweating bucket loads of sweat and heart beating like a  jackhammer. (Page 92)     Somewhere else “ Inhaling like a vacuum cleaner at full power”

       An innocent punch at an elderly hostess, “ Her eyes sparkled and her face crinkled like over  baked pastry…….she laughed so loud her jaws split like the two halves of a coconut”   (page 177)

        There are vivid descriptions of some natural phenomena endemic to such islands. “As the sea rushed through underground lava tubes enormous jets of water exploded into the air.It was like watching ocean fireworks, never quite sure which blow hole would go off next”

        If there is a little bit of dead weight in the book it is the excessive narratives of Ted and Teresa.Except for this the book is very well written and can be considered as a high class travelogue.  

        It is my sincere warning that nobody is safe to tour Samoa without reading this book.


My heart attack.

posted Dec 11, 2018, 10:30 AM by Upali Salpadoru


       My heart Problem.

         It was a Saturday, and a student were to come for help in Physics.  It was with pleasure that I undertook this activity; yet I was feeling bad that day.  I did not know actually what was wrong, A wee bit dizzy, weak and some pressure on the sides of my head.  I kept my wife aware of it.   “ Let’s cancel the tuition”, she suggested.   “No need I’ll be OK in a minute. It’s not so bad. Am only a bit uncomfortable. I should lie down for a while.” I said.  On second thought I said, “Nevermind, cancel it. I feel I must rest.” She also had informed a niece who quickly appeared and persuaded me to visit emergency services.

          After thirty minutes of waiting time, a nurse performed some preliminary medical tests and sent me to a doctor. The doctor, after listening to my symptoms and history, ordered an ECG and a blood test.  Examining the electrocardiograph she said. “You have had a heart attack. We  are sending you to the Wellington Hospital.”  The nurses gave me a hospital gown to wear and inserted an IV cannula in my arm. In a jiffy I was lying flat inside a speeding  ambulance with a friendly paramedic and my niece . My wife followed us in the car with my son.

           Without much delay a doctor examined me, checked the pressure and ordered another blood test and an ECG. Due to the presence of a particular cardiac enzyme in the blood they confirmed the earlier diagnosis,  myocardial infarction, as correct. The matron gave me strict orders not to leave the bed. I slept soundly except when a nurse irritated me from time to time performing the routine tests. As the next day was Sunday, I had to suffer bed rest under business class hospitality.

       My nephew had given me a book to read. It was a true story written by a Sri Lankan lady about her ailing husband. He had entered a hospital in Chennai for a coronary angiogram. While performing the test the doctor has said, “Oh My God !”  ..”Why?”  “The catheter has snapped. A piece of it is floating inside an artery. If it blocks a vital organ…”  I don’t prey but I wondered.

           Monday dawned with an offer of a breakfast platter with bacon and eggs, which I politely refused. After the formal medical examination of me by the ward doctor  a young girl came and sat at the edge of my bed. I assumed her to be a student nurse but on careful scrutiny I saw the badge. Dr. so and so, Assistant Cardiologist.  She said, “It looks like a heart attack, we are going to get an echo cardiograph.  Depending on the results of that, my boss will decide whether you need an angiogram”.

         After a while, the senior Cardiologist examined me and said “ It’s not serious you will be all right. We have decided to perform an echo test. Depending on that we may go for an angiogram.”. By this time they had restricted my meals, when I said hungry they brought some toast and jam. As I was waiting to be taken to do the test, a technician came to my bed side pushing the machine. He took several photographs to be read by a specialist. In SL this is generally performed by the specialist, himself.

       After they had decided to perform the angiogram a few of the staff became quite active. One male nurse inserted another IV cannula on my other arm.  He  took a blood sample and asked me whether I have any objection in receiving blood. Another girl came and put a white sheet under me and started shaving my arms and around the groin. Two or three parties explained what they were going to do in detail.

       A male helper wheeled my bed to the theatre. The people there gave me no confidence. There were sophisticated monstrous machines covered with, discoloured cellophane.  After a few minutes a smart young man appeared and got into his surgical attire. “We are going to insert a dye into your system and photograph your heart.” The surgeon was partly hidden by a metal sheet. He was avoiding some rays, which I was getting in full blast. I got a tickling feeling on my wrist. The camera was moving above my chest. An assistant was holding my leg. I tried to raise my head and see what they were up to. Then the doctor shouted “U…. pali, keep your head down”. After irritating my wrist for some time he said, “Three of your are badly blocked” “What are you going to do?” I asked. “We are unable to put stents; its too narrow. We are going to drill using a diamond drill”   Which is better I wondered, “A block or a hole in the heart”.

        After a tense and anxious ninety minutes, I was wheeled back to the ward. Nurses were at beck and call. Wires plugged to various parts of my body were connected to a Wi-fi  device. Nurses could obtain my biometric data, without disturbing me. But how could anyone sleep with all those wires and a transmitter attached ?

        Next day the surgeon and the cardiologist showed me the X’ ray photographs and explained how two constrictions of my arteries have been corrected. The cardiologist discussed my impending flight to Sri Lanka. He said that the airlines request at least two weeks rest after an ailment as mine. He also advised me to refrain from driving , climbing and lifting heavy objects strictly for two weeks.  In the evening I profusely thanked the hospital staff and returned home armed with discharge reports and a lot of tablets.

             My friends said “You become ten years younger with stents”. I was feeling fine. I knew that my circulation has improved. So I step by step started my exercises and routine jobs at home. As the electric blanket in our bed was displaced, I began to change the bedding. Layer by layer; duvet, valence, sheets, etc. I  removed  with an effort. With a  greater effort, I  replaced the new covers. I became dead tired. I have never, ever felt like that. I lay sprawled on the bed for a few seconds panting. I had been asked not to do this. So I got up pretending as if nothing had happened, took a few steps. That’s all I knew. When I gained consciousness my wife was screaming with a phone in her hand. 

           Ignoring my reluctance again they took me to Kenepuru. Fortunately for me the doctor on duty was our member Kamala. As she was our friend I expected her to send me back home; instead she said “You can’t go home. I have checked your ECG but we are unable to confirm without a blood test. As we don’t do blood tests here I’ll send you to Wellington hospital in an ambulance.”

           The lesson I learned here was that, as of yet, no surgical operation can reverse the ageing process.

           

හමටාන්

posted Jan 31, 2017, 9:29 PM by Upali Salpadoru   [ updated Feb 1, 2017, 9:56 AM ]


           

උකුසන් සැරුව නිල් ඉගලා ගුවන   තුළ

දවසක දුටිමි හිමවන් කිරි කොකුන්  කැළ

සුබ නිමිතක් දෝ සිතුනද         ඵකල

මසෙකින් අපට ලැබුනා සුදු කොක් අපල

 

උස තල් ගසේ අතු මද පවනේ  සැලුනා

‍‍‍හේනේ වගා දරු වියෙවින්            තැවුනා

නැතිය වැහි වලා මිහිකත            තෙමනා

තේක්ක ගහේ කොල  රතු වි      වැටුනා

 

පාසැලෙ කවුළු වැදුනා දඞි බිඩි             ගාලා

නිසසල ඩෙස් බංකු ඇත ධුවිලි            පිරිලා

ඉද හිට වහලෙ  ටකරන් ටික මොර     ගහලා

‘‘අපි ඉගලා“ යයි කීවා උඩ               පැනලා 

 

වට්ටි පෙට්ටි පටවා සුදු භරක්            පිට

ෆුලානිලා ගියෙ නය්ගර් ගග          දෙසට

දුක හිතිලා අලි තණ ගස්                 වලට

කහ වතකින් නැමී වැලපුනි දුක්       නදට

 

පිපී පර විය බෝ විටියා                ලන්දේ

නිරුවත් ගසක් රතු පැහැ මල් දම් ඇන්දේ

මැඩියන් රැහැසියන් නවතා ඇත    සද්දේ

සුදු මල් පපී මතකය එලුවා           බැද්දේ

 

ගිනි ගුලියක් විලස හිරු බැස ගියෙ      හතට

තණ චිතකය ගිනි ගෙන දැවුනා           යසට

බුර බරා නගින විහිදුනි දස                  අතට

ගම  තොට වැසී ගියෙ පිට උන කලු     දුමට

 

මිතුරු අවතාර දුක් මුසු ගීයක්            ගැයුවා                                           

අදුරු රැය සමග ගිනි දැල් තරගෙට    නැටුවා

සසිරු ගම භස්ම ගොඩකට යට       කෙරුවා

ලහිරු දුම්දමන කලු කොට අතරින්    බැලුවා

 

සිහින් තොලැති කිරි කෙලි දැන්       නොඑතී

උඩ නිරුවත් කලු පැංචිගෙ දොඩම්        නැතී

කිරි කජු හා අම්මල් පමණක් ගසේ        ඇතී

නැත නොකියා හොදි දවටා අල     ගිලිතී


තොල පැලිලා මිරිස් රස බැලිය    නොහේ

පය පැලිලා බිම අඩි තැබිය      නොහේ

ධූවිලි නිසා හුස්ම කටක් ගැනිය     නොහේ

දිය හිදිලා පෙර පවකට දුරුතු        මහේ

 

අලුයම අවදි වෙය් සීතලෙ ගැහි      ගැහී

අවටින් පෙනේ මිටි කදු මී දුමෙ න්   වැහී

සුලගෙකි හෝ ගාන වැලි මැටි සමග  පැහී

බෑ ඉවසන්න හමටාන් කාලයයි      මෙහී

 

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Barbecue and Browning.

posted Dec 16, 2016, 9:18 AM by Upali Salpadoru   [ updated Dec 16, 2016, 9:32 AM ]



Normally we cook food by a process called boiling.


Boiling rice,vegetables and yams and making of curries are examples. The main feature of this process is that the temperature remains at or around 100, the boiling point of water.


When we boil plant or animal matter cells rupture and the contents become accessible to enzymes for digestion. The large molecules like polysaccharides break down, starch grains absorb water and food becomes tastier and easier to digest but the food does not get the brown colour and the strong flavours and aromas.


Maillard Reactions.

The browning of food was studied  by the French scientist Louis Camille Maillard (1878-1936), This is not a simple reaction as we have been taught the carbohydrates becoming carbon and water.C12H22O11 → 12C + 11H2O. It is true that this is what finally what happens when the food gets charred. There are a large number of intermediate compounds, which is evident by the colours produced and and the aromas given out.

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Most of the food chemicals produced by the maillard reactions have tantalising aromas and incredibly unique  tastes.For the most of them, their health benefits or adverse effects have not been properly studied yet. But a substance has been found which is supposed to be carcinogenis. It is named ‘furan”.



Vegetables.

posted May 24, 2016, 2:21 AM by Upali Salpadoru   [ updated May 24, 2016, 2:26 AM ]

Cucumber

CUCUMBER

Botanical name--. Cucumis sativus      Family-- Cucurbitacea  (Gourd family)

An E mail sent by Daneiel  Muthumala. Phd.

     



1. Cucumbers contain most of the vitamins you need every day, just one cucumber contains Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Zinc.

2. Feeling tired in the afternoon, put down the caffeinated soda and pick up a cucumber. Cucumbers are a good source of B Vitamins and Carbohydrates that can provide that quick pick-me-up that can last for hours.

3. Tired of your bathroom mirror fogging up after a shower? Try rubbing a cucumber slice along the mirror, it will eliminate the fog and provide a soothing, spa-like fragrance.

4. Are grubs and slugs ruining your planting beds? Place a few slices in a small pie tin and your garden will be free of pests all season long. The chemicals in the cucumber react with the aluminum to give off a scent undetectable to humans but drive garden pests crazy and make them flee the area.
5 Looking for a fast and easy way to remove cellulite before going out or to the pool? Try rubbing a slice or two of cucumbers along your problem area for a few minutes, the phytochemicals in the cucumber cause the collagen in your skin to tighten, firming up the outer layer and reducing the visibility of cellulite. Works great on wrinkles too!!!

6.. Want to avoid a hangover or terrible headache? Eat a few cucumber slices before going to bed and wake up refreshed and headache free. Cucumbers contain enough sugar, B vitamins and electrolytes to replenish essential nutrients the body lost, keeping everything in equilibrium, avoiding both a hangover and headache!!

7. Looking to fight off that afternoon or evening snacking binge? Cucumbers have been used for centuries and often used by European trappers, traders and explores for quick meals to thwart off starvation.

8. Have an important meeting or job interview and you realize that you don't have enough time to polish your shoes? Rub a freshly cut cucumber over the shoe, its chemicals will provide a quick and durable shine that not only looks great but also repels water.


9. Out of WD 40 and need to fix a squeaky hinge? Take a cucumber slice and rub it along the problematic hinge, and voila, the squeak is gone!

10. Stressed out and don't have time for massage, facial or visit to the spa? Cut up an entire cucumber and place it in a boiling pot of water, the chemicals and nutrients from the cucumber with react with the boiling water and be released in the steam, creating a soothing, relaxing aroma that has been shown the reduce stress in new mothers and college students during final exams.

11. Just finish a business lunch and realize you don't have gum or mints? Take a slice of cucumber and press it to the roof of your mouth with your tongue for 30 seconds to eliminate bad breath, the phytochemcials will kill the bacteria in your mouth responsible for causing bad breath.

12. Looking for a 'green' way to clean your faucets, sinks or stainless steel? Take a slice of cucumber and rub it on the surface you want to clean, not only will it remove years of tarnish and bring back the shine, but is won't leave streaks and won't harm you fingers or fingernails while you clean.


13. Using a pen and made a mistake? Take the outside of the cucumber and slowly use it to erase the pen writing, also works great on crayons and markers that the kids have used to decorate the walls!!

Pass this along to everybody you know who is looking for better and safer ways to solve life's everyday problems...

L O L.

posted Dec 3, 2015, 5:46 PM by Upali Salpadoru   [ updated Dec 16, 2015, 10:28 AM ]


Streaker.jpg

  1. Beauty isn't measured by outer appearance and what clothes we wear,but what we are inside. So, try going out naked tomorrow and see the admiration.


  1. If time doesn't wait for you, don't worry!  Just remove the damn battery from the clock and Enjoy life!


  1. Expecting the world to treat you fairly because you are a good person is like expecting the lion not to attack you because you are a vegetarian. .


  1. Don't walk as if you rule the world, walk as if you don't care who rules the world! That's called Attitude!


  1. Every lady hopes that her daughter will marry a better man than she did and is convinced that her son will never find a wife as good as his father did!


  1. He was a good man. He never smoked, drank had no affair. When he died, the insurance company refused the claim. They said, he who never lived, cannot die!


  1. 10% of road accidents are due to drunken driving. Which means - it is a logical statement that 90% of accidents are due to driving without drinking!!

  2. So many options for suicide: Poison, sleeping pills, hanging, jumping from a building, lying on train tracks, but we choose Marriage, slow but sure!


  1. Only 20 percent boys have brains, rest has girlfriends!


  1. All desirable things in life are illegal, banned, and expensive or

    1. married to someone else!


  1. “Drinking is our biggest enemy” - Jawaharlal Nehru

            “We should learn to love our enemies” - Mahatma Gandhi

             Now, whom to follow and which one to choose?


Wonders of 12

posted Oct 21, 2015, 8:15 PM by Upali Salpadoru   [ updated Oct 22, 2015, 9:28 PM ]

"Dirty Dozen" We have borrowed this term from www.organic.nz.





They use this term for the food substances that has the maximum amount of pesticide residue. If you wish to know them please click on their web site.

We are concerned with the mathematics of digit 12. ( By the way what is the other meaning of digit?) 

Did you ever wonder why they sell eggs by the dozen? 

Why a foot ruler is divided into 12 inches?  Day time is normally 12 hours?  A year has 12 months?

Let us try to analyse the number.  They are the first two digits 1 and 2.

1 + 2 = 3,  ……3 + 1 = 4………… (3 and 4 add up to 7),……  7 + 5 = 12.

 

Here are a few more:-

A  Triangle with 3 equal sides has  angles   of   12 x 5 degrees.  = 60 degrees.   

 A circle has 12 x 30 degrees  =  360 degrees.

Well that’s not all.  Remember the Pythagoras Theorem.

If you have a triangle with sides equal to 3, 4. And 5  it will have an angle equal to 90 degrees.  The value of a corner in a perfect square.

The ancient farmers that grew food in the Nile valley used a rope divided into 12 parts using knots. With flood waters that inundated their farming land their borders disappeared.  They used this rope to measure the land they cultivated.

Later during the floods that lasted over three months, they built gigantic Pyramids.  They used this rope to get the perfect corners. The rope with 12 divisions could easily bent and folded to a triangle with the sides  3, 4 and 5  the sum of which is 12. This is what Pythagoras learned from the Egyptians.

It is also a number more convenient to use than 10.

Compare  the fractional  values of 10 and 12:-

½ of 10 = 5,   1/3 of 10=  3. 333333, ¼ = 2.5

½ of 12 = 6. 1/3 of 12 = 4. ¼ of 12 = 3    ( Observe how neatly you get whole numbers.)

The factors of 10 are only 2 and 5. The factors of 12 are 2,3, 4 and 6.This is the reason for getting whole numbers for the fractions of 12.

The beginning the system of 12.

We think the 10 system is good as we have 10  fingers. The ancient Babylonians counted sheep up to 60 using fingers. When the thumb is used for pointing the  bones in the fingers, each finger has 3 bones. The four fingers have 12 bones. 

After 12 fold the thumb of the other finger. That would be 1 set of 12. As you have 5 fingers 12 times 5 gives 60.

 


Mind and Body.

posted Jul 25, 2015, 1:07 AM by Upali Salpadoru   [ updated Dec 2, 2015, 8:38 PM ]


Mind Body  and Self  as explained by the Buddha
Jagath Siri Pushpakumar, 



 Text of a speech made by Jagathsiri Pushpakumara and Don Rajapakse at an International conference on 25-07-2015. Venue:- The Victoria University, Wellington.

Mind, Body and Self 

Whitireia New Zealand, Jagath.Pushpakumar@whitireia.ac.nz

and

Rajapakse, Don G. R. B.

Waiariki Institute of Technology, New Zealand, Don.Rajapakse@waiariki.ac.nz

Abstract

This paper discusses the Mind, Body and Self as explained by the Buddha who preached his doctrine (Dhamma) to the world out of the great compassion. In Buddhist teachings truth is twofold: apparent and ultimate. In the ultimate sense mind and body exist as two separate entities and they interact together within a living person. Self is an egoistic belief arises in the mind as a result of mental factors such as Delusion and Wrong view about the mind and body and hence “Self” is true only in the apparent sense.

The paper further examines how the understanding of Mind, Body and Self through one’s own experience would give wisdom to unlock oneself and become liberated from the world: the ultimate freedom for every being which is the state of attaining Nibbana (The enlightenment). Even prior to one’s attaining the state of enlightenment, a little understanding of Mind, Body and Self would be very beneficial for leading a better and a happy life with others in harmony.

Introduction

What is mind? No matter. What is matter? Never mind. What is the soul? It is immaterial” said Thomas Hood (1799 – 1845) a British humourist and a poet. It was not clear whether he had studied Dhamma (Buddhism) but he had given an easy entry to the topic which is much closer to what Buddha explained.

Throughout the history inquisitive nature of the man’s mind seeks answers to the above questions. Different believes, mythologies, philosophies, religions and sciences forwarded their answers. The Buddha gave an unparalleled answer 2,500 years ago, just not to satisfy the inquisitive mind, but to use it in order to lead a good life and liberating oneself from all the sufferings.

Historical background

At the time of Buddha’s birth, 623B.C. there were many religions and doctrines which provided a range of believes. It was said that there were 62 different views in India where he was born (Mutukumarana, 2010).

Prince Siddhartha who became the Buddha later set out at the age of 29 for seeking the ultimate truth of the world. He spent six strenuous years before his enlightenment by studying, examining, and practising main doctrines taught at the time (Narada, 1988, pp.8-34). Later he called this as the “Ariya Pariyesanaya” which means the greatest research (Ariyapariyesana Sutta). Perhaps this was the first ever intellectual research undertaken by any human in the history. At the end of his quest he was successful: it was through the understanding of the ultimate nature of existence gained in his meditation, he attained the enlightenment (Narada, 1988). It is also referred to as attaining Nibbana.

The Buddha then started preaching this “Path to enlightenment” to others out of the great compassion (Karuna) for all beings in the universe including humans. His doctrine is not a divine revelation but a timeless teaching which is repeatedly discovered and preached by Buddhas born in the universe from time to time as it is the mission of every Buddha. They all follow the same “Path to enlightenment” which is rediscovered by them thus the Buddhahood. As he claimed, his doctrine is for the intellectuals. In the famous Kalama Sutta, the Buddha let anybody to examine and accept his doctrine only with an open mind. This is stated in one of the six main qualities of his doctrine, as “the openness: come and see or come and examine”. Therefore, in Buddhism there is no forceful imposing of ideas or concepts on the followers and no place for the blind faith (Gnanarama, P., 2000).

The importance of the understanding of the ultimate nature of existence

The Buddha explained the ultimate nature of existence or the ultimate realities in the world in his doctrine called “Dhamma”. It should be noted that the word “world” represents the entire universe in Dhamma. In the Dhamma Buddha explained the realities of mind, body and self. Anybody who does not know what exactly these were would cling on to them and as a result would be trapped in the world: he or she will then come back to this very world repeatedly after death. This process is well explained using ‘rebirth’ in Dhamma. The continuous journey of birth-after-birth in the world brings only suffering to any. If anybody who realises what exactly the mind, body and self are, would not cling on to them and, as a result will be free from clinging (Thanha). Once realised or freed he or she will then not return back to this world after their death. This is called attaining Nibbana: which means has ended all sufferings because of no rebirth. Therefore Nibbana is called the ultimate spiritual goal for every human being especially for a Buddhist who follows Dhamma. Only a few in the world will attempt for and achieve this state of mind because it is not simple as it looks.

Understanding the teachings of the Buddha and the Abhidhamma Pitaka

When discussing mind, body and self in the Buddha’s teachings the authors refers to the texts of Theravada or Henayana tradition of Buddhism in particular the Abhidhamma Pitaka (basket) the biggest of the three collections of teachings in Buddhism. These three collections contain the Buddha’s teachings in its original form written in Pali language which language was a common language in India at the time of the Buddha. The Pali words bear the true meanings intended by the Buddha. Therefore they are the best to give the precise meaning of his teaching and for the same reason they are being used in many scholarly works in Buddhism.

Abhidhamma Pitaka which literally means the ‘Higher Doctrine” or ultimate teachings provides an excellent analytical method of treatment to oneself. More precisely “Abhidhamma” is the analytical doctrine of (1) mental faculties and (2) elements (physical) (Dhammananda, K.S., 1998. p.67). It investigates these two composite factors of so-called ‘being’ (self) to help understand things as they are (Narada, 1979, p.iii).

As Mrs. Rhys Davids (1857 – 1942) has summarised correctly: by studying and experiencing these realities explained in Abhidhamma, we will be able to get insight into: (1) what we truly are; (2) what we find around us; (3) how and why we react to what is within and around us; and (4) what we should aspire to reach as a spiritual goal (Narada, 1979; Dhammananda, K.S., 1998, p.74).

In recent times a number of well-known Buddhist monks and scholars have done commendable work to explain Dhamma to the modern world by publishing easy to understand English books and articles which explain Buddha’s teachings. Therefore in explaining the mind, body and self in the article, the authors refer to the work including of those monks and their work.

Discussion

When understanding the Buddha’s teachings of realities, as in Abhiddamma, one needs to know the difference between the two realities: apparent and ultimate. Apparent reality is the ordinary conventional truth. Ultimate reality is the abstract truth (Narada, 1979, pp.6-7). For instance, the smooth surface of a table we see is the apparent reality where the modern science explains that the apparent smoothness of the table surface consists of forces, vibrations etc. which makes it really not smooth. When a number of pieces of wood assembled in a particular manner it is called a box. Suppose the same box is taken apart and the pieces of wood kept together in another form it could be called a bench. It is no longer a box, even it is the collection of the same pieces of wood, but when the shape change the name and concept change too. The apparent reality is used for the sake of convenience and for conventional purposes only (Anandamithriya, B. 1993, p.7). Science explains that the wood is a chemical composition which is made of a large number of atoms or primary particles of protons, neutrons and electrons. Thus in scientific terms all beings, living and non-living things are made up of these primary particles. Therefore the terms like sun, moon, earth, hill, tree, sea, water, air, man, woman, dog, bird, fish, country, school, box, table, etc. are just mere names and concepts and they do not really exist, they are simply masses of the same primary particles. The only difference is man, woman, dog, bird and fish have consciousness which other things don’t possess.

As explained in Abhidamma, all the above mentioned physically existing things are made out of different combinations of 28 species of “Rupa” (a Pali word). “Rupa” is the ultimate reality found in them all. “Rupa” could be generally rendered by the English words “form, body, matter or corporeality”, etc. and one particular meaning is not universally applicable. From a philosophical standpoint, “matter” is the nearest equivalent for Rupa. It should be also noted that an atomic theory prevailed in India at the time of the Buddha. The theory explained of greater minute particles than the atom in modern science (Narada, 1979, p.281). The 28 species or elements of matter in Abhidhamma are much smaller than the smallest particles found in all the sciences and theories old or new, which elements still need to be explored in the tomorrow’s world.

Out of the 28 elements mentioned above the four prime elements found in all material things are:

(1) Solidity (Patavi), (2) Fluidity (Apo), (3) Heat (Thejo) and (4) Motion (Vayo). These four elements are mixed together in an inseparable form in all materials (Chandavimala, R., 1987). Since it is not the idea of this article to give a comprehensive description of “Matter” explained in Dhamma, the remaining 24 elements are not discussed. In Dhamma the matter is explained as a conditional ultimate reality.

Abhidamma deals with realities in the ultimate sense. So far only one ultimate reality “Rupa” has been discussed briefly. Including the “Rupa” or “matter” there are four ultimate realities:

1.      Chitta - mind or consciousness, defined as ‘that which knows or experiences’ an object. Chitta occurs as distinct momentary states of consciousness. A total of 89 different Chittas or minds are explained, and according to the surrounding situation only one out the 89 Chittas arises at any one time. As this process happens so fast and a normal human being will not be able to identify the different Chittas distinctively unless the mind is settled in a very deep meditative state.

2.      Chethasika - the mental factors that arise and occur along with the Chitta. There are 52 of them which arise in varying combinations depend on the nature of the mind which arises. The primary seven mental factors named Contact, Feeling, Perception, Volition, One-Pointedness, Psychic life and Attention are common to all the minds.

3.      Rupa – (Matter) - physical phenomenon or material form. There are 28 of them. The main four has being explained above.

4.      Nibbana – the unconditioned state of bliss achieved by attaining “Nibbana” which is the final spiritual goal in Dhamma.

Chitta, the Chethasika and Rupa are all conditioned realities. They arise because of conditions and will disappear when the conditions sustaining them cease to be continued to do so. Therefore they are impermanent states in reality. Nibbana on the other hand is the only unconditioned reality where it does not arise and, therefore does not fall away.

One will not verify the existence of above realities or test them using the modern science. It should be noted that the scientific knowledge is limited to the data received from the five sense organs. It does not recognise reality which transcends sense-data. Therefore the understanding of the four realities is subject to the success of Insight–Wisdom (Vipassana pagna) using mind and not with any sense organ (Dharmadasa, G.A., 1957).   

Having identified ultimate realities in the world, the ultimate nature of existence of a life (being) could be explained using them. Life is the co-existence of mind (Chitta) and matter (Rupa). As the “body” contains “matter” the word “matter” could replace the word “body” given in the title of this article. Natural phenomena associate with a life could be easily explained with mind and matter (body). Mind and the mental factors are taken together as “Mind” in the article because mind always arises along with mental factors.

Decay due to aging is the lack of coordination of mind and matter. Death is the separation of mind and matter. Rebirth is the recombination of mind and matter. After the passing away of the physical body (matter), the mental forces (mind: Chitta and Chithasika) recombine and assume a new combination in a different material form and condition another existence (Dhammananda, K.S., 1998, p.73). Both mind and matter arise because of the conditions and perish immediately, and this is happening every moment of our lives. One needs to study the Abhidhamma for more details of mind and matter and the interaction between the two.

Realising the ultimate truth and the nature of the mind and body is possible through “Vipassana” (Insight) meditation which was introduced by the Buddha. The three main characteristics of them are:

1. impermanence (Anicca)

2. therefore they are subject to unsatisfactoriness (Dukka) and

3. absence of a self or soul (Anatta).

These three characteristics are common to all the conditioned things.

Each of us, in the ultimate sense, is mind and matter, a compound of mental and material phenomena, and nothing more. Apart from these realities that go to form the mind-matter compound, there is no self, or soul. There is no I, you, me, mine or yours in the ultimate sense. All these are merely just names and concepts because they do not really exist. They belong to apparent reality and are used in daily conversation therefore there is no real independent entity called self or soul.

What is “Self” then? The discussion is not completed unless “Self” or “Soul” associated with one’s mind and body is explained. The concept of ‘Self’ arises because of the mental factors called (1) “Delusion or ignorance (Avijja or Moha), (2) Attachment or Desire (Thanha) and (3) Misbelief or Wrong view (Ditti)”. Any person who has not attained Nibbana is not free from Delusions. Therefore he or she does not know that the life is a mere co-existence of mind and matter, thus develops an Attachment to (clinging onto) both of them and accepts a Misbelief of having a Self in them (Chandavimala, R., 1987). That is why the Self is only a concept or an apparent truth resulting from a wrong view, so as I, you, me mine, etc.. 

Not only that, he or she who assumes a Self, views the mind and body as a permanent (Nicca) and pleasant or happiness-yielding (Sukha) objects. He also view mind and body constitute a self or a soul (Atma). This view is the right opposite to the three characteristics of all the conditioned things we mentioned earlier.

The person who practises the Insight (Vipassana) meditation identifies the three main characteristics of mind and body and will invoke Insight–Wisdom (Vipassana pagna) that is the decisive liberating factor in Buddhism, though it has to be developed along with the two other trainings in Morality (Sila) and Concentration (Samadhi). The culmination of Vipassana practice leads to the stage of Holiness and to the enlightenment. 

It is to be noted that the Vipassana pagna (Insight) is not the result of a mere intellectual understanding, but has to be won through deep meditative observation of one’s own bodily and mental process (Nyanatiloka, 1991, p.197).

Could there be any benefit gained with some understanding of mind, body and self before achieving the enlightenment? Yes, in his Question time, Dhammananda, K.S. (2008) answering the question of “Who am I?” replied “We are only mind and matter. There is no I, you, me or mine or yours in the ultimate sense. Once we begin to understand this, our attitude towards others will always be positive, forgiving, understanding, etc.”(p.10). Therefore even the limited understanding of them also beneficial for the day-to-day life because it helps leading a better and a happy life with others in harmony.

An ordinary person without knowledge in ultimate realities will accept that the body is made of ‘material’ as explained in modern science. The mind is obvious to him as he could think and what we learn from Psychology. Majority of the world may reluctant to accept that there is no-soul because most religions teach that there is a soul within everybody.  During the Buddha’s time, the belief in soul and a creator God (the concept of Brahma) is so strongly rooted in the minds of many people and they were shocked to hear that the Buddha rejected these concepts. Some came to him and questioned him about this in many instances. It is worthy to study Buddha’s replies to those questions recorded in Pali Canon in understanding more about the no-soul reality.

Studying Abhidhamma in details is most beneficial for good understanding of the Mind, Body and Self.

Conclusion

Buddha explained what the world is and who we are in his teachings of ultimate realities. According to his Dhamma, anybody who has not experienced Insight–Wisdom (Vipassana pagna) has not fully understood what the mind, body and self are. Anybody who experienced Insight–Wisdom will know what truly they are and will be liberated achieving enlightenment. Even a limited understanding of them is also beneficial for leading a better and a happy life.

Revisiting the above discussion:

What is mind? – Consciousness which knows or experiences an object, and when it arise it arises together with mental factors.

 What is matter? - A combination of 28 species of “Rupa” in all physically existing things including humans and animals.

 What is self? - A delusionary concept in the mind which views the mind, body combination as person or being (self, soul etc.).

A Buddhist would answer to Thomas Hood’s three questions as follows:

What is mind? No matter. What is matter? No mind. What is the soul? It is a misconception”.

 Sabbe Satta Bhavantu Sukhitatta (May all the beings be happy and content)!!!

References

Anandamithriya, B (1993), Buddhism lectures and Essays. Colombo, Sri Lanka: Samayawardhana.

Ariyapariyesana Sutta, Majjima Nikaya. Part 1,. 26 p.163.

Chandavimala,  R. (1987). Abhidamma Margaya (4th Ed). Boralesgamuwa, Sri Lanka: Jayawardena, A.C.

Dhammananda, K.S. (1998). What Buddhists Believe (6th Ed). Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Buddhist Missionary Society.

Dhammananda, K.S. (2008). Question time. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Sasana Abhiwurdi Wardana Society.

Dharmadasa, G.A. (1957). Buddhist Psychology and Nivana. Induruwa, Sri Lanka: Dharmadasa, G.A.

Gnanarama, P. (2000). Essentials of Buddhism. Singapore: The Corporate Body of the Buddha Educational Foundation.

Iz Quotes (2015). Thomas Hood Quote. Retrieved from http://izquotes.com/quote/361325

Mutukumarana, N. (2010). Guide to the study of Theravada Buddhism Book 2 (3rd Ed.) Colombo, Sri Lanka: The Colombo Y.M.B.A.

Narada (1979). A Mannual of Abhiddamma (4th Ed.). Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Buddhist Missionary Society.

Narada (1988). Buddha and His Teaching (4th Ed.). Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Buddhist Missionary Society

Nyanatiloka (1991). Buddhist Dictionary – Manual of Buddhist terms and doctrines (3rd Ed.). Singapore: Singapore Buddhist Meditation Centre.

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