Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Randomness Continues

"... his first wife, Ludmilla Feodorovitch, suffered from tuberculosis, of which she died in 1873. Her death, combined with other problems, caused Mechnikov to unsuccessfully attempt suicide, taking a large dose of opium. He married again in 1875, and his second wife, Olga, caught typhoid in 1880, causing Mechnikov to again attempt suicide—this time by injecting himself with relapsing fever, which didn't kill him, but made him very ill."

An excerpt from an Wikipedia article
on Ilya Ilyich Mechnikov A.K.A. Elie Metchnikoff

"... he also developed a theory that lactic acid could prolong life, and drank sour milk every day to prove it. He died in 1916 at 71 years of age..."

Another excerpt from the same Wikipedia article
on Ilya Ilyich Mechnikov A.K.A. Elie Metchnikoff


It's official. Elie Metchnikoff is the coolest Microbiologist ever lived!

Anyway, some Japanese bloke was impressed by Elie's masochistic sour milk diet and went on to invent Yakult.

k0k bL0k IS educational. Go tell all your friends that.

I like storms. The booms of thunder, the drowning pitter-patter of silver-dollar-sized raindrops pelting the courtyard, the iciness that lingers in the air, the wheeze of fey winds ravaging the beaten trees, the cold and sobering spray of frosty vapour on my face, the chaos, the unrest, the plain 'emo'ness of it - it all really appeals to my gloomier side.

Yeap, storms are tops.

Especially when it's outdoors.

And especially when I'm inside - inside sitting on my comfy, cane study chair at the window with my legs cocooned inside my blanket and a piping mug of whipped-cream topped hot chocolate resting in my hand to be exact. But it's so totally uncool when the tempest starts a-blowin' before I managed to do the "get inside" bit.

I left Snack Shack at about 5 pm. I was wearing my Reebok sneakers because my black Timberlands just refused pointedly to dry up (it'll sprout mushrooms, I'm sure of that). At that time, it was just a wimpy drizzle. No problemo. Wimpy drizzles, I can handle.

Then the storm just didn't want to play fair anymore (pun so intended; please notice).

The result?


Not bad for a first attempt at a Cyanide and Happiness comic strip, eh? I think I'm omni-talented.

The road between Nehru Hostel and New A.C. Hostel1 was a wind tunnel. I think Manipal University's capitalistic big-wigs built the apartment blocks in precisely that way so the storm winds would get trap in that street during the monsoon season and blow the knickers off our butts. Don't ask me why. Evil is strange that way.

Then midway down that road, the rain-force doubled in a blinking and gale-grade winds began whipping my poor brolly about like a cat would to a mouse it got in its maw. It had arrived in Manipal finally;

The Horizontal Rain.

And because the way the blocks on that road was arranged, the wind would keep changing direction without the slightest warning. Imagine this; me, holding my umbrella in front of me to stem the watery onslaught when SUDDENLY, the wind stopped and rain pelts down on my head from above. For a moment, I panicked, unable to guess where the wind was going strike next. In my moment of vulnerable hesitation, the crafty hurricane doubled back and thrust at me from the rear before I could swish my umbrella around fast enough to parry its blow - and a hundred little marble-sized raindrops splattered on my back.

When I finally managed to wrestle my umbrella from the wind to shield my 6 o'clock, I found that the wind had started assailing me from starboard and I got watered like a wilting azalea from that direction.

Then rinse, rinse, rinse, rinse and repeat. And no, I didn't accidentally write any extra 'rinses' there. That proportion felt about right considering that when I reached my front door, I got enough fluid on me to supply a Sub-Saharan village for a year.

My Reeboks are now sitting in my anteroom exchanging fungal spores with my Timberlands. I'm going to go hunt for my other pair of Reeboks now.


Anyway, I'm suffering from a bad case of Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell withdrawal syndrome here at the moment. It all started when I revisited JS&MN's official site last night where Susanna Clarke (Author-in-Supreme) had posted up two fictional letters - one supposedly written by the cool, Byronic Jonathan Strange and the other by ol' Stuffed Shirt Gilbert Norrell - showing their individual reactions towards the publishing of a novel based on their efforts in the revival English Magic.

For those who have not read this wonderful, wonderful, (YES, WONDERFUL!) novel yet, here's a bit of back story so you can enjoy these two letter too. Mr. Norrell was a magician who supposedly brought back the art of magic back to England during the Regency/Napoleanic Wars era (somewhere between the Georgian and Victorian, I was told). Jonathan Strange was his apprentice - a brilliant magician in his own right - who eventually quarreled with Norrell and became his rival.

Here's Norrell's letter;

A Letter to the Editor of The Times

Mr Norrell. Illustration by Portia Rosenberg


A report has reached me of a most alarming nature. It appears that some people called Bloomsbury are taking it upon themselves to publish a pernicious book - a novel no less! - that purports to describe the Glorious Revival of English Magic. I do not read novels - I am happy to say that I have never read one - but I understand that they enjoy a certain popularity among the more frivolous classes of society. Young ladies; married ladies; old maids; thoughtless young persons of both sexes; gamblers, profligates and libertines; servants who, whether by accident or design, have acquired an education beyond their station: these are the idle creatures who may be found at any hour of the night or day with a novel in their hands.

I despise all novels whatever the subject. I am told they promote a weakening of the intellect, moral stupor, morbid curiosity, and tend to encourage infections of the chest and eyes. All this is very dreadful but happily it is no concern of mine. But when that novel pretends to disseminate information upon English Magic - ah! then I must protest. Then it is incumbent upon me to warn the British Public of the terrible danger they run merely by opening this book.

As the architect and founder of the aforesaid Glorious Revival, I hope that my disapproval, my severe disapproval, will have some weight with these people called Bloomsbury (whoever they may be). I hope that when they learn they have incurred my displeasure they will cease upon the instant and not print this wicked book. If they remain obstinate, then I shall apply to my friends in the Government. I am not without hopes of success.

I am told that Messrs. Bloomsbury intend to publish this book in other countries. If some gentleman at the Foreign Office will be so kind as to furnish me with a list of those countries we consider our allies (I confess to experiencing some confusion upon this point), I shall be happy to have this letter translated into the relevant languages at my own expense. With the Former Colonies of the Americas, however, I have no sympathy. It is scarcely more than thirty or forty years since that impudent Nation severed itself from its lawful King with acts of wicked rebellion. By all means let this book be published there! If the Americans try to learn magic from it and if they accidentally turn themselves into cats or summon up manticores which consequently devour them, then I cannot see that it will be any great loss to any one.

Gilbert Norrell, Magician-in-Ordinary to the Admiralty

And here's Strange's;

Extract from a letter from Jonathan Strange (Magician-in-Ordinary to the Duke of Wellington) to his aunt, Mrs Erquistoune in Edinburgh.

Jonathan Strange. Illustration by Portia Rosenberg

"...Have you heard? Some people called Bloomsbury are to publish a novel recounting the history of the Revival of English Magic. What an excellent thing! I could not be better pleased. What more agreeable way is there to receive instruction than by reading a well-constructed novel? If the author has done her work properly (and I hope she has), then the British Public will soon benefit from a much more precise understanding of the arguments that have threatened to rend English Magic in two. I shall send you a copy as soon as it appears in the London bookshops.

I for one am proud to declare myself a novel-reader. It is of all pleasures and pursuits the most delightful to me. One may sit quietly by the fireside and be transported around the world. One may pass through the most terrifying dangers; be entertained by all the diversity of which humankind is capable; be saddened, amused, uplifted - all within the space of a page or two. The next moment one hears the sounds of one’s servant bringing in the tea-tray, and one is instantly oneself again, drinking tea and eating toast in the most tranquil fashion imaginable. I only hope that this book (I mean the novel about English Magic) will not be too solemn. I detest books that have no jokes.

I have some slight acquaintance with the people who intend to publish it. (The title of it escapes me). They are neighbours of mine in Soho-square. They seem a pleasant enough set of people, and of rather a sociable turn. They regularly send me cards for their parties. But I do not go. Now they have sent me a letter asking me to lend my support to their publication. I shall certainly do so. I shall talk it up wherever I go. I have not actually read it, but that is not important. What is important is that Norrell will hate it. Nothing else could cause him so much anguish. An article in one of the Reviews explaining the principles of weather-magic makes him ill for a week. A three-volume novel will in all likelihood kill him..."

Hilarious, shit. Ain't it? Here's a huge chapter excerpt from the novel if you want more;

And here's a link to my old review of it;

The next time's Shaki's going back to Malaysia, I'm making him bring his copy of Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell here for me to read (I've only read it 3 times!). He won't refuse me. He still owe me for accidentally burning off a patch of hair from the back of my head with a lighter last year.

No, the exam ain't over yet. I got a Forensic paper to sit for tomorrow.

P.S. Old header's back up cos' the new on didn't beat it by at least 5 votes. Oh well, back to the drawing board then.

Mushroom farmer,
k0k s3n w4i

1 The hostel was New. And it had Air-conditioning. India's creativity hath runneth as dry like a camel's buttocks.


bevE said...

omg i just noticed~! ur header is back ! =O

EH the comic is cute. x3 the rain is cute =D XD

I like those jonathan strange & mr norrell series thingies - what was it ?!?!!? huh ?!?!? A Series of Unfortunate Events!

oh u know what haha i watched March of the Penguins today haha it's - no they're really cute haha =D

(excuse me while i bother to think for a moment. er. I'm kinda distracted so I don't really know what I commented. haha. (actually i don't know what i read too either very well - well i did read it but i forgot it as the paragraph finished. or so.) oh btw I love the rain it's so cute. =D)

OH U KNOW ur quote also reminded me of this history 'test' we took on monday on the tory party being in disarray towards the end of the century, and since we weren't taught that yet someone read out later on about how the tory party consisted of margaret thatcher, tony blair n someone, and how they fell into disarray because they all caught hepatitis B, and on top of that pneumonia, and then they were all frozen coz they were all great politicians and then unfrozen at different periods, with tony blair being unfrozen in this century. hehe.

bevE said...

omg. what was I going on about? xD Poor lemony and susanna.

anyway, i still think the rain is cute. =D It is undeniable. and I happen to find your mushroom farm very appealing. it's very creative of you Mr Mushroom Farmer to grow a farm of mushrooms (u know what it's starting to become a cute word =D) (oh no the madness is setting in again i have to sleep soon) on your shoes! side by side no doubt, to prevent self-pollination yes? All that stuff about protogyny, protandry and dioeciousness. although, i don't think mushrooms have anthers and stigma to begin with do they? =D

(and i'll read the excerpt when it's not *refers to phone* 4.06 in the morning.)

Rabbit said...

Eh eh why change header der? *pouts*

The comic is really cute and funny, i likey the last one! Ngek ngek!

Aiyo I couldnt resist to scroll up again to look at the comic when I was supposed to be reading the words below them. =P

pinksterz said...

the comic looks like cyanide and happiness! and chicken is botak in it! BWAHAHA!

shaki is a malaysian? i thought he is from india. -__-"

sXydeViL said...

Liar. Since when there is thundering? XD

So, u arent planning on going back home this holiday? What are u gonna do? Its gonna be wet~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

michellesy said...

Loved the comic - utterly hilarious take on being drowned alive (or cultivating mushrooms on very damp shoes) during monsoon season in Manipal.

The things one does to stay sane eh? *winks*

And I can't wait for the sequel to JS&MN!

*Hops up and down on one foot*

*Squeals like a pigtailed six-year-old confronted with an array of giant lollipops*

ps: The illustrations certainly do the story justice, don't you think? Although I'd pictured Mr Norrell as somewhat more....crotchety/ spidery? =D

pps: LOL - a bit of random-ness is good, like Mr Lactic Acid up there =P

k0k s3n w4i's said...

I like my old header better.
Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell is the best fantasy novel ever written. go click the link to my review of it and learn (and hike up my site hit by one more count XD)
Y'know... you sound really stoned. You doing shrooms or sumthing?
And I was talking about the shoes xchanging spores (not the mushrooms - they don't work that way!).
Have u read the excerpt yet?

Cos the prev one was too cute for me. The main point of this post is just he comic strip anyway. wanna show off my awesome mouse drawing skillz ma.

Whatever gave u the idea that Shaki's a local Indian? MMMC (my college is 97% Malaysians, k).

Chiu... talking about storm in general la!
I plan to study really, really hard this holiday when I'm here to bury the sorrow of my totally ruined block 1. Very distracted I was.

That's hw I imagined Norrell actually. huffy fellow always in a book and wears his powdered wig in a horrible fashion. kinda like me ('cept that I dun wear powdered wigs or abhor novels).
And you got the comic wrong! am I that bad an artist? T_T
I thought the story + the turned out brolly would have been enough...

michellesy, dazed and confused said...

I'm sorrrreeeee! What did I get wrong *sobs*

Or did you take me descriptor of 'drowning' too literally?

I knew it was rain, I swear I did.

Er, in fact, are we even talking about the same thing? 0_o

pinksterz said...

eerrr...dunno but i guess last time when u wrote on some celebration in ur neighbourhood he asked u something on attending it or not?

he said something like, the thing is held in ur neighbourhood. no way u can escape from it.

that's y i tot he is a local thr. my mistake!-__-"


k0k s3n w4i's said...

I'm afraid I did take it too literally, lol. it's the exam (my seasonal scapegoat for everything that goes wrong).

still dun see how u could have mistaken XD
We got a couple of Seychellean (from Seychelles), a kiwi, a kiasusingaporean and two canadians. the rest are all buatan malaysia cop SIRIM mia.

bevE said...

wow i've known u for so long o.O i'm sure it was before '07.
why on EARTH was i nice to u xD