Wednesday, April 25, 2018

The Ghost of Matter

So some of my friends have started a forum to improve our writing skills. This is the first month's prompt. "There was light, but then there was nothing." This is my entry.

The Ghost of Matter

I have just been born again. Memories of a previous life, that had lasted forever, is fading fast. I am already forgetting my consociate. We came together when the universe was young and strange, before even the stars were born. I had formed an unbreakable bond with my feisty companion of ages. For billions of years, we traversed unmolested through stellar nurseries and their planetary progeny. The stories I can tell of these times are many and wonderful, but at the end of that long journey, we ended in a glass trap. We were a perfect coupling, waiting for the eventual disintegration of our prison, with the patience that only the most ancient and immortal entities in the universe can muster. Destiny, had other plans for us. Unceremoniously, we were thrown out of our house of glass. Unseen energies ripped us apart in different directions. I did not think that such a thing was possible. I anticipated my brokenness, a state of utter destituteness. That did not, however happen. The sudden divorce invigorated and charged me. I am bereft of my skittish partner, but somehow I find myself excited. I am moving fast, faster than I have ever gone, pulled from ahead and pushed from the back by the same energies that tore us apart.
It is a strange environment I find myself in. The air here is rare, rarer even than the gulfs between the stars. It is also extremely cold. I am being filled with unnatural energies. Only once, have I experienced something like this before. A star that had eaten itself, had collapsed into a hole in the spacetime continuum. It was an evil thing, a mouth all around, and an invisible and insatiable stomach. Just outside the reach of its jaws, was a stream of accelerating plasma and gas. In a singular case of cosmological synchronicity, there were two galaxies colliding in the vicinity. Their own clouds of gas and dust collided, sending shock waves through space. Matter itself broke down and died when the jet from the black hole interacted with the colliding gas clouds. It was only here, temporarily stuck in the jet stream, that I had ever experienced anything like what is happening to me now. My consort had survived even that, and so I cannot imagine what gargantuan forces are at play here.
I am still moving ahead at tremendous velocities. I am sensing something about the environment around me. When you have lived for as long as I have, you can feel your way through vacuum as well. I am feeling through tiny traces in the rarified space itself, sensing paths where me or others like me have passed through before me. There are also the periodic energy boosts. I think it is a good idea to start timing the regular stimulations.
I have a suspicion that I have been released from one prison, only to be entrapped in another. This appears to be of sinister design, a spiral of death. Attoseconds are turning into femtoseconds. There is a stretch where I can sense another energy source firing up, and there is nothing left from me to strip off.
How it envelops me. Despite my tremendous velocity, it is deflecting me. Now I am in another circular trap. The timing of the boosts have changed. I sense I am going around in larger circles, instead of a spiral. I am still getting supplemented with more energy. There is a stretch, where the traces branch off, and I have a suspicion that I will soon be treading this unknown road.
My suspicions have come true. In a few nanoseconds, I am made to navigate through a winding, twisted path. Now I am back to going around an even bigger merry-go-round. I suspect some foul form of sorcery at play, as I do not know of any natural forces that can possibly do this. The energy levels in me are so great, that I am almost travelling at the speed of light, even though I am infinitely heavier than the tiny sparks that make up light. Now there is a new kind of force appearing, neither pushing me from behind, nor pulling me from ahead. It is pushing me down on me, uniformly, from all sides. Again, I sense a field starting up. I do not know whether it will rip me apart, divert me to another track, or make me go even faster. The fundamental laws of physics would be broken if I speed up any further.
The gate releases. There is another bendy path, far longer than the previous one. Now I am making the largest circuit. There are many energy sources peppered about, of unknown purposes. It is so cold and empty here, but there are still remnants. Remnants of the most horrible kind. I sense the decayed and dead bodies of my cousins all around me. I have a bad feeling about this. Apart from the black holes themselves, there is no known force in the universe that can possibly destroy us.
Impossibly, I am going even faster. I have timed the gate passing me by 11,245 times a second. It feels like I have been here forever, although it could be at most twenty minutes. Some solace! I find more of my kind with me. We were all separated from our companions. Most are beings from the early cosmological era, from my time. We are being squeezed together. In all the circuits, there seems to be a set of energy sources positioned in the opposite direction. It seems like whatever is happening to us in this tunnel, is happening to another set in another tunnel. I do not yet comprehend the purpose of this experiment.
The shutters have opened. I understand now. Annihilation. Brothers are forced to fight brothers. The tunnel in the opposite direction is now merged with ours. We will smash into each other, and be destroyed. What will be left, even I cannot guess. I can see it coming now, my death. A future made up of nothingness. It begins with light, the light in the middle of a hideous tunnel that folds in on itself.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Finished all quests in Warframe

After 4511 hours of playing, out of which 3000 odd hours must be just loafing around and hanging out, finally finished all the quests in Warframe.

 Ballas wears a silver lungi and looks a bit like Krishna

Harrow :(

Moby Dick: Excerpts

The first use of the term "broad band" 

“From the ship's bows, nearly all the seamen now hung inactive; hammers, bits of plank, lances, and harpoons, mechanically retained in their hands, just as they had darted from their various employments; all their enchanted eyes intent upon the whale, which from side to side strangely vibrating his predestinating head, sent a broad band of overspreading semicircular foam before him as he rushed.”

On using hard and obscure words

“Fain am I to stagger to this emprise under the weightiest words of the dictionary.”

“But what is a GAM? You might wear out your index-finger running up and down the columns of dictionaries, and never find the word. Dr. Johnson never attained to that erudition; Noah Webster's ark does not hold it. Nevertheless, this same expressive word has now for many years been in constant use among some fifteen thousand true born Yankees”

Vishnu from the "Shaster" 

  “Now, by all odds, the most ancient extant portrait anyways purporting to be the whale's, is to be found in the famous cavern-pagoda of Elephanta, in India. The Brahmins maintain that in the almost endless sculptures of that immemorial pagoda, all the trades and pursuits, every conceivable avocation of man, were prefigured ages before any of them actually came into being. No wonder then, that in some sort our noble profession of whaling should have been there shadowed forth. The Hindoo whale referred to, occurs in a separate department of the wall, depicting the incarnation of Vishnu in the form of leviathan, learnedly known as the Matse Avatar.”

“When Brahma, or the God of Gods, saith the Shaster, resolved to recreate the world after one of its periodical dissolutions, he gave birth to Vishnoo, to preside over the work; but the Vedas, or mystical books, whose perusal would seem to have been indispensable to Vishnoo before beginning the creation, and which therefore must have contained something in the shape of practical hints to young architects, these Vedas were lying at the bottom of the waters; so Vishnoo became incarnate in a whale, and sounding down in him to the uttermost depths, rescued the sacred volumes.”

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

What I learnt from reading Moby Dick

A lot. I learned a lot of obscure American slang words that I am never likely to use.

evinced: reveal the presence of (a quality or feeling); indicate.

aught: anything at all.

exulting: show or feel triumphant elation or jubilation.

bruited: spread (a report or rumour) widely.

aforethought: previously in mind : premeditated, deliberate. with malice

monomaniac: In 19th-century psychiatry, monomania (from Greek monos, one, and mania, meaning "madness" or "frenzy") was a form of partial insanity conceived as single pathological preoccupation in an otherwise sound mind.

lees: the most worthless part or parts of something.

corporal: relating to the human body.

laceration: a deep cut or tear in skin or flesh.

feline: relating to or affecting cats or other members of the cat family.

profundities: great depth of insight or knowledge.

caryatid: a stone carving of a draped female figure, used as a pillar to support the entablature of a Greek or Greek-style building.

entablatures: the upper part of a classical building supported by columns or a colonnade, comprising the architrave, frieze, and cornice.

enfeebled: make weak or feeble.

invunerable: impossible to harm or damage.

japonicas: an Asian shrub of the rose family, with bright red flowers followed by round white, green, or yellow edible fruits.

circumambient: surrounding

backwoodsman: an inhabitant of backwoods, especially one regarded as uncouth or backward.

legerdemain: deception; trickery.

phrensies: frenzies

remembrance: the action of remembering something.

charnel-house: a place associated with violent death.

cordon: prevent access to or from an area or building by surrounding it with police or other guards.

taffrail: a rail round a ship's stern.

peremptorily: putting an end to or precluding a right of action, debate, or delay; specifically : not providing an opportunity to show cause why one should not comply. a peremptory mandamus.

impetuously: of, relating to, or characterized by sudden or rash action, emotion, etc.; impulsive: an impetuous decision; an impetuous person. 2. having great impetus; moving with great force; violent: the impetuous winds.

jollity: lively and cheerful activity or celebration.

perfidious: deceitful and untrustworthy.

subaltern: of lower status.

cannikin: a small can; a wooden bucket

archiepiscopacy:  the form of episcopacy in which the chief power is in the hands of archbishops

prodromus: A prodromus ('forerunner' or 'precursor') aka prodrome is a term used in the natural sciences to describe a preliminary publication intended as the basis for a later, more comprehensive work. It is also a medical term used for a premonitory symptom, that is, a symptom indicating the onset of a disease.

skrimshander: Native peoples of Alaska and Canada have carved ivory for centuries, but when "scrimshaw" is used in modern English, it is most often associated with 18th- and 19th-century whalers of the ilk Herman Melville described as "examining ... divers specimens of skrimshander" in Moby Dick

galliot: a single-masted Dutch cargo boat or fishing vessel.

brit: Massive colonies of small crustaceans

piggin: a small wooden pail with one stave extended upward as a handle.

bailer: bailer (plural bailers) one who bails or lades. a utensil, as a bucket or cup, used in bailing; a machine for bailing water out of a pit.

windlass:  lifting device consisting of a horizontal cylinder turned by a crank on which a cable or rope winds

billows: a large undulating mass of something, typically cloud, smoke, or steam.

hyperborean: one of a people that the ancient Greeks believed lived in a warm and sunny land north of the source of the north wind

poniards: a small, slim dagger.

scaramouch: a stock character in commedia dell'arte depicted as a boastful coward

interregnum: the time between two reigns, governments

calomel and jalap: Laxative

quoin: a wedge or expanding mechanical device used for locking a letterpress forme into a chase.

doxology: a liturgical formula of praise to God.

acerbities: A lemon in your mouth, a mean-spirited neighbor, a roomful of sarcastic people: these are examples of acerbity, a type of harsh bitterness that can leave you stunned. The Latin word acerbus means “sour-tasting,” and that is acerbity in a nutshell: sour.

slobgollion: A sperm whaleman's term, roughly equivalent to the right whaleman's "gurry" which, according to Herman Melville, "designates the dark, glutinous substance which is scraped off the back of the Greenland or Right Whale, and much of which covers the decks of those inferior souls who hunt that ignoble Leviathan."(Melville 323) Derivation for this term likely originates with the word "slobgollion" which is, according to Melville's Moby Dick, "an appellation original with the whaleman, and even so is the nature of the substance. It is an ineffably oozy, stringy affair, most frequently found in the tubs of sperm, after a prolonged squeezing, and subsequent decanting. I hold it to be the wondrously thin, ruptured Membranes of the case, coalescing."

squilgee: A  blade of leather or rubber set on a handle and used for spreading, pushing, or wiping liquid material on, across, or off a surface (such as a window); also : a smaller similar device or a small rubber roller with handle used by a photographer or lithographer.

recondite: (of a subject or knowledge) little known; abstruse.

metempsychosis: the supposed transmigration at death of the soul of a human being or animal into a new body of the same or a different species.

grandiloquent: pompous or extravagant in language, style, or manner, especially in a way that is intended to impress.

chirography: handwriting, especially as distinct from typography.

antichronical: Deviating from the proper order of time.

antemosaic: Before the time of Moses

ramifying: form branches or offshoots; branch out.

countersinkers: a worker that countersinks drilled holes.

sinecures: a position requiring little or no work but giving the holder status or financial benefit.

compendious: containing or presenting the essential facts of something in a comprehensive but concise way.

averred: state or assert to be the case.

orisons: a prayer.

imprecate: utter (a curse) or invoke (evil) against someone or something.

epaulets: an ornamental shoulder piece on an item of clothing, especially on the coat or jacket of a military uniform.

transom: the flat surface forming the stern of a boat.

mizen: a sail on the mizzenmast of a ship, in particular the lowest sail on the mizzenmast of a square-rigged sailing ship.

subtile: subtle, elusive; cunning, crafty; sagacious, discerning

halyards: a rope used for raising and lowering a sail, yard, or flag on a sailing ship.

monadnock: an isolated hill or ridge or erosion-resistant rock rising above a peneplain.

foreknew: be aware of (an event) before it happens.

brushwood: undergrowth, twigs, and small branches.

bethinking: come to think.

Ixion: In Greek mythology, Ixion (/ɪkˈsaɪ.ən/ ik-SY-ən; Greek: Ἰξίων, gen.: Ἰξίωνος) was king of the Lapiths, the most ancient tribe of Thessaly, and a son of Ares, or Leonteus, or Antion and Perimele, or the notorious evildoer Phlegyas, whose name connotes "fiery".

comber: a long curling sea wave.

An inordinate proportion of the words were unlikely negations of more common words.

misdoubt: have doubts about the truth, reality, or existence of.

unensanguined: Not bloodied

unsullied: not spoiled or made impure.

unwonted: unaccustomed or unusual.

unexampled: having no precedent or parallel.

unintelligent: having or showing a low level of intelligence.

unlimbed: Amputee

ungodly: irreligious or immoral.

immitigable: unable to be made less severe or serious.

unaided: needing or having no assistance; without help.

unceasingly: without stopping

unrelieved: lacking variation or change; monotonous.

unsubduable: impossible to subdue

ungraduated: not graduated.

unsurrendered: early 15c., legalese, "a giving up" (of an estate, land grant, interest in property, etc.), from Anglo-French surrendre infinitive used as a noun, from Old French surrendre "give up, deliver over" (see surrender (v.)).

uncracked: Not cracked

incommoding: inconvenience (someone).

disinterred: Dig up something that has been buried, especially a corpse. 

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Best Birthday Gift Evar

So my friend i666 gave me a proto-excalibur noggle for my Birthday. This is awesome :D

Sunday, April 08, 2018

Spotting a hyena

Took a road trip with a bunch of friends to Amruteshwar, a temple about 20 km ahead of Bhandardhara and at the base of Ratangad. We were able to find food in the night even at 10:30 and the people at Hotel Rujuta even picked out a good camping spot for us. In the morning, after getting Darshan at the temple, we decided to head back. The people in the hotel suggested that we drive around Bhandardhara, and visit Sandhan Valley before heading towards Thane. We felt that it was a good idea.

I knew the way to the valley so was walking ahead, with one friend close behind. The two others were lagging. On the outskirts of the village, much before the start of the valley, a freaking hyena walked out of the forest. At first I could not believe what I was seeing, it took me a couple of seconds to understand it was a hyena.

It was larger than a leopard, with a disproportionately large head. It had a horse like mane all down its back, kind of like a full body Mohawk. My friend came to where I was standing and pointed out the hyena to him. He instantly shouted out to the others "come quickly, there is a hyena here!". The hyena looked at us, and then gracefully bounded off.

When we came back I asked a tapri guy if there were hyenas in the forest. He said “kai?”. I said dog like spotted animal the size of a bloody donkey. He replied: “ho, hai na.”


Q: Did you take a photograph?
A: Nope, it happened too fast. Was too much in awe for the duration of the encounter, and even thought of capturing an image after it had disappeared.

Q: What other animals are there?
A: Deer, wolves, leopards and foxes

Q: How come the villagers don't know what to call it?
A: They are not native to the region, they were introduced by forest officers.

Q: Do they trouble humans?
A: Not really, but 15 chicken have disappeared so far.

Q: What time was it seen?
A: About 11:30ish, which is late in the day.

Q: Was it spotted?
A: No, it was striped.

Q: Why does not anyone laugh at hyena jokes?
A: Only hyenas laugh at hyena jokes

Camping at Bhandardhara

Behind Amruteshwar Mandir. Really cool spot. That is not fog in the background, that is actually a fire.

Monday, April 02, 2018

What I learnt from reading the Manusmriti

Okay, this is not about what you probably think it is about.

Noun: The action or practice of lending money at unreasonably high rates of interest.

Noun: Indigestion

Noun: Food or provisions

Noun: A person who shares equally with others in the inheritance of an undivided estate or in the rights to it (in the UK now as equitable interests).

Adjective: (Animal) without hoofs

Noun: Excrement; dung.

Noun: The state of being the firstborn child.

Noun: A slender parasitic wasp with long antennae, which deposits its eggs in, on, or near the larvae of other insects.

Hero Pose. Virasana is a basic seated and starting asana for several forward and backwards bends and certain twists. Virasana may also be used as an alternative to other seated asanas such as the padmasana (lotus pose).

The screenplay is better than the movie

Fandoms are perpetually locked in discussing exactly how the movies were better than the books or vice versa. The question is what happens w...