5 Apr 2005

The Rainbow Named Life

Pope John Paul II died around 2am IST, Sunday 03 Apr, after a protracted and visibly losing battle with Parkinson’s disease. As Dada put it, Popes die…

But why was the Pope not put on life-support ?

I was awake on the wee hours of Sunday - weekends i try to maintain a schedule similar to weekdays - flipping through the news channels (no movies worth watching… nor am i a fan of zooming busts…), following the Pope’s health (in the absence of anything more productive) when CNN and BBC simultaneously broke the news of the Pope’s death, around 2.30am IST. Interestingly, none of the Indian news channels did the same till almost 40 minutes later! So much for the desi newshounds!!

Parkinson’s Disease is a progressive degenerative disorder. We don’t yet know what causes it, but a group of cells in the brain, which help govern automatic motor functions, is gradually destroyed. Most patients with advanced Parkinson’s die of heart attack or stroke.

Continuing the death theme - a recent fossil find in China suggests that the earliest known “placentals” (mammals whose descendants include you and me…) lived on Earth about 125 million years ago. That would make them about twice as old as the Tyrannosaurus rex.

New fossil finds from China also suggest that fierce mammals ate dinosaurs for lunch (… don’t picture a Triceratops-chomping mammal… not yet) !

Museums have always fascinated me as a place for learning. And museums on the web - so much more - all the explanations are right there (no need to flip through guidebooks or listen attentively). Whether it is dinosaurs or Andy Warhol.

Commenting on the ensuing legal battle in the US Supreme Court over file-sharing, Bill Thompson writes, “In 10 years' time this may not matter much because China, India and Brazil will be leading the next wave of technological innovation, based around open source development and their own manufacturing capacity…” - India! i’m not too sure. Can we? Will we??

btw, have you tried Firefox ?

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