Thursday, March 31, 2016

Recent Sighting of 3 UFOs in Ceylon


Recent Sighting of 3 UFOs in Ceylon

1. First Sighting
First of its kind was in the central city in the hill country.
It is believed that this happened when President was holidaying in his city Residence.
He was believed to be taken in by a reconnaissance craft to the mother ship stationed in air and had an audience with the contact (ranked as a prince of the alien planet).
The matter discussed supposed to be a top secret but had something to do with the constitution making.
The belief is that he should delay it as much as possible to coincide with the next election, so that the opposition won’t have a b clue what to do.

2. Second Sighting
The second sighting was of similar arrangement but Prime Minister was taken in as a messenger.
It happened somewhere near Piti Kotte.
The matter discussed was that whether we should go back to Ceylon instead of Sri-Lanka.
The alien had in their register named it as Ceylon and they were wondering that Sri-Lanka was another island that formed by freak accident in nature.

3. Third Sighting
Third sighting was bizarre and it ended up in tragic manner.
Former president was one who was invited for an encounter of the third type.
The matter discussed was also of a Third Term in Office.
It went like this.
His advisor, the astrologer has warned that he might get infected by an alien virus with their contact.
He was to be taken in a Bubble Made of thin glass and there should not be any overlap of alien atmosphere with earthly atmosphere of his.
The contact had to be by wireless communication.
The alien tried to airlift it but had a problem of positioning the president erect once taken into the mother ship.
Once inside mother ship he was spinning like a motor until he became vertiginous.
They decided to have the rendezvous on the sea surface.
Unfortunately reconnaissance craft crashed.
There are many stories around the crash but all the aliens escaped unhurt (they ejected themselves and were safely taken back to the mother ship by alien ambulances).
Strangely the Bubble where the ex-president was housed did not burst but it became a bit wobbly.


Tuesday, March 29, 2016

How We Killed Our Science Education

How We Killed Our Science Education
 
It was a strange coincidence that I took to science for higher education.
There were no mentors.
There were no specialists to introduce it in smaller doses.
If not for the British Council Library, I would have gone astray.
There were plenty of booklets from photosynthesis to life on earth to scientific trends.


The school library did not have anything of substance.

 
Luckily school times were short and on my return I go to the library and glanced through the science magazines.
 

They were not for burrowing.
 

Few years before the government at the behest of stupid politicians decided to change the medium of instruction.
 

Luckily I had the option to select English as the medium of instruction.
 

My English was no good but I knew given the time I will pick up the terminology in science.
There were no dictionaries in science.
The science teachers without training in teaching would dish out the notes they collected in their education ladder.
We were the guinea pigs.


But books in the science and magazines in the library kept us ahead of them.
 

It took more than thirty years for the books published in seventies to be translated and they were outdated before they come out in print form.
 

This is how we killed the science education in schools.
 

There were attempt to teach Medicine in mother tongue.
I was a raw hand taken in, to teach and translate.
I craftily made my professors to understand, it was not worth.
Even after three months of deliberations, if one of the members found a suitable word, I would tear it off to pieces with counter arguments.
Finally we decided to call it off.
Higher education was in English but there was option for one to select mother tongue if one wished.
It worked in seventies.
I do not know what the trend is how.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

How to demote Race, Religion and Language in Disciplines of Intellectual Inquiry - Sphere?

How to demote Race, Religion and Language in Disciplines of  Intellectual Inquiry - Sphere?
 

1. Philosophy is the first order Discipline in mans history.

2. Science came as a second order discipline after years of suppression (Even the great scientist of the Middle Age had to survive-some were behead by the Church-such a nasty institution it was) by the third order discipline, the religion.

3.The third order discipline is religion.

4. The fourth order of discipline is race and or language.

None of the above can bring order to society.
Essentially because the human being is a disorderly even if he/she is not a terrorist.

So we need law and order not manged by a king or a queen but by popular democracy.

The vibrant democracy (with some form of deterrent)  is the way forward for 21st century..

The universal franchise is the birth right.
We cannot let any terror group including ISIS to exist in this century.
This applies to Mosads and to Palestinians.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Conspiracies in Science.

I thought I can write a book on Conspiracies in Science.

I thought I could make 10 easily!

It does not look like preset day scientists are bent on conspiracies.

I lost count at EIGHT of course I left out the minor events.


Have you thought about any?
 

Well I have found 11, NOW.

It is all due to my memory failing.

Conspiracies in Science in my List.

1. Microsoft’s Strategy

Bulldoze other operating systems with Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD).
 

2. Drug Companies
Demise of Professor Bible
 

3. AIDS Epidemic
Germans in Mid Africa
 

4. UFOs
America's Blue Book
 

5. Big Bang Theory
This is the biggest for me to satisfy the Church.
 

6. Global Warming
America aided by Oil Companies headed the misinformation campaign
 

7. Mad Cow Disease
Late British PM headed it.
 

8. Coconut Theory
America's peanut industry.

9. Chip Conspiracy
Silicon Valley kept the chip technology their copyright.

10. Solar Cells

We could have (96% of the solar energy is wasted) been a better country without coal power.
If Sri-Lankan invested on SOLAR 40 years ago, we won't have power cuts now.

11. Lithium Dry Cell battery
Is the biggest conspiracy.
The dry cell and lithium battery for the electric car was designed in the sixties but Americans shelved it.
I wrote about it many moons ago but I have lost the original references.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Hot Weather and Early Rise, Why not?


Hot Weather and Early Rise, Why not?
I do not know about humans but I know birds change their daily routine on summer months.

They are the early to rise and early to retire.

Their haemoglobin is different to ours and they need lot of energy to fly.
They use air currents to assist flying and rarely fly in opposite direction to the wind.
Their nests are built so that when they return in the evening air currents are towards the nests.

The man with the superior brain does not use his common sense, to rise early and finish they day's work by mid day when sun is directly above our head.

With this extremely (my fish in the open die due to the heat and I have made alternative arrangements) hot weather soring to 40 Centigrade, we need a strategic plan at least for school children.

I saw a little girl almost collapsing in the bus (Woman PC's kid and she did not realize it) at 2 P.M.

This girl should have been at home by mid day the most (12 P.M.).

Why cannot we start school (appropriately for office hours too) one hour early and close one and half hours early (time table reduced by half an hour, ideally one hour-not for teachers)?

There is a problem for children (they have to get up early) commuting a long distance.

The teachers should do a survey of the late comers and probably have a less demanding work in the first hour (Physical training included).

All this can be done if common sense is used instead of rigidity (most teacher from my time are /were rigid, I often wonder how I survived).

We have education ministers who had not attended school beyond 8th grade or drug peddlers in the parliament who had not even gone to primary school.

I do not think they get a brain wave to act.

I think we should close school early for new year and catch up the missed time when rain gods (May probably) answer our calls.

I must say my dog is struggling to survive with its furry coat.

The dogs I feed on my bizarre routines were not there waiting for me to feed.
 
All of them were hiding under a shade, I believe.

Please leave some water for them to drink.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Happiness


Happiness

I am trying to work out Sri-Lankan Happiness Index.

Strangely it works negatively.

For example when India got beaten by New Zealand we were very happy.

When we see nearly 2 billion Indian unhappy, we become elated.

It is with Indian and South Asian cricket umpires too.

When an umpire gives not out, as an out, just what happened to Dilshan, the other day, two billion Indians get happy.

In this scenario for all us in Asia to get happy we need simple thing like Donald Trump makes a slip in his tongue or his slip or fly is open in public rally would do.

So American can make us happy by default.

I am trying to think of a positive thing making me happy like an asteroid hitting a monk possessing an illegal baby jumbo.

This is because we cannot depend on our Judges to make jumbos (four legged) go free.

I think they are all unhappy judges.

That is why they (judges) always try to make us unhappy.

We become very happy when we see a high ranking politicians lose an election.

The corollary is that all our politicians are happy when the citizens are unhappy with cost of living going up.

So making others unhappy is in our genes.

So don't come here looking for happiness unless you too have unhappy genes in your system, like all Asians.

Happiness Index


Happiness Index


157 countries in the table.

Syria one before last.

Burundi the last.

Denmark comes first but its its happiness is decreasing.


Sri-Lanka one above India at 117 and happiness going up (probably related the surge in alcohol sale).


South Africa is one above us.

New Zealand is on the 8th position but happiness going down but will go up if they win the T20 World cup.

Singapore at 22nd place with happiness going up.


England just one below Singapore and is going down in happiness.

USA is in the 13th unlucky position with happiness going down probably due to presidential campaign.

I am waiting for someone from happy country to send me one of their not used air ticket for me to get out, before our April New Year where happiness takes a nose dive in this country.

Why Science took a back seat in Human History


Why Science took a back seat in Human History

Biggest obstacle to science was the religion.

That includes Buddhism too.

Even though Buddhism encouraged Scientific Inquiry in “Kalam Sutta”, it was never taken forward in the Eastern civilization.

When religion takes its roots dogmas get embedded in human thinking.

But when we consider how religion originated, the answer becomes startlingly obvious.

Man had an affliction to mood elevating drugs from prehistoric time.

Mood elevating drugs impair critical thinking capacity.

Some of these psychedelic drugs put man in “Trance States.”

Some of these guys in the human hierarchy who were addicted to these potent substances for their existence and survival created bizarre theories of human origin including God.

On top of religion there is an another dogma God and his creation.


In actual fact, it is these psychedelic drugs that retarded critical thinking and the evolution of scientific thinking. 

The bottom line is the drugs that effect sleep, memory and critical thinking are the byproducts of chemistry that came with scientific evolution.


In actual fact science itself is killing its roots.


LSD is a case in point. 

Alcohol too effect memory and normal sleep.

Imagine an airline pilot or an astronaut who is addicted to mood elevating drugs. 

Would you board on a spaceship man by an addict?

For our critical capacity to work efficiently, clear mind and perfect memory are vital ingredients. 

Our survival in this century depends on these factors. 
Any political leader with paranoid inclination would derail human survival.


I have summarized by thinking below.


Right Constitution

 
1.Scientific outlook comes first.

 
2. Rules of law and fair play and Justice to all living beings (Plants and Animals) is second.

 
3. Democracy as a force and the tolerance to diverse views is the third.

 
4.Universal suffrage without bondage, dogma and external powers influencing (encourage the internal powers of the mind) the decision making, is the fourth.

 
5. Religion has no place or should reign below the above four pillars.

If an individual has a certain conviction for solace, be that be so, but he/she should tolerate views of the others including, especially those who want not to be bound by any religious dogma.

Psychedelic Drugs

Under previous regime this industry was promoted actively.
With the bizarre coalition government they are still active.
If your children are poor in their studies either in schools or universities, it is worthwhile checking their habits including alcohol.
 Below I have given how hashish effects one's memory

Psychedelic Drugs
Hashish is a potent form of marijuana extracted from cannabis plants.
Short term effects
The short term effects of hashish use include problems with memory and learning; distorted perception (sights, sounds, time, touch); difficulty in thinking and problem solving; loss of coordination; and increased heart rate, anxiety, and panic attacks.
Long term effects
People who smoke marijuana often have the same respiratory problems as cigarette smokers. These individuals may have daily cough and sputum, symptoms of chronic bronchitis, and more frequent chest colds. They are also at greater risk of getting lung infections such as pneumonia. Marijuana contains some of the same, and sometimes even more, of the cancer causing chemicals found in cigarette smoke.
Effects on Learning and Social Behavior
Marijuana or hashish affects memory, judgment and perception. Learning and attention skills are impaired among people who use hashish heavily. Longitudinal research on marijuana use among young people below college age indicates those who use marijuana have lower achievement than the non users, more acceptance of deviant behavior, more delinquent behavior and aggression, greater rebelliousness, poorer relationships with parents, and more associations with delinquent and drug using friends.
Effects on Pregnancy
Any drug of abuse can affect a mother's health during pregnancy. Some studies have found that babies born to mothers who used marijuana during pregnancy were smaller than those born to mothers who did not use the drug.
A nursing mother who uses marijuana passes some of the byproducts to the baby in her breast milk. Research indicates that the use of marijuana by a mother during the first month of breast feeding can impair the infant's motor development.
Addictive Potential
A drug is becoming addictive, if it causes compulsive, uncontrollable drug craving, seeking, and use, even in the face of negative health and social consequences. While not everyone who uses marijuana becomes addicted, when a user begins to seek out and take the drug compulsively, that person is said to be dependent or addicted to the drug.

The biggest danger is going for harder drugs like heroin.

Manna Mushroom

Manna (Hebrew) or al-Mann wa al-Salwa (Arabic),is an edible substance according to the Bible and the Quran. It is believed that, god provided this substance to the Israelites during their travels in the desert.
Manna is from Heaven, according to the Bible, but the inherent identification of manna as naturalistic is historic.
In the Mishnah, manna is treated as a natural but unique substance, "created during the twilight of the sixth day of Creation" and ensured to be clean, before it arrives, by the sweeping of the ground by a northern wind and subsequent rains.
According to classical rabbinical literature, manna was ground in a heavenly mill for the use of the righteous, but some of it was allocated to the wicked and left for them to grind themselves.


There are many types of mushrooms used from China to Middle east to Mexico with various and potent psychedelic constituents.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Addictions

Addictions
Humans had been using addictive and stimulant drugs probably from prehistoric times. 

They included tea to,  coffee to, psychedelic drugs.
 

Careful examination of the practices in the monasteries both in the East and West, provide ample evidence to support the use of psychoactive drugs, if not habitually but in secretive ceremonies.
 

They were kept out of reach of the laypersons.
 

It is even postulated that discovery of divine spirit and religious teachings originated under the influence of these mood elevating psychedelic drugs. 

They are kept away from layperson so that the divine incarnation was for only a few selected individuals in the hierarchy of the religious institutions.
 

Even the Red Indians and natives of the South America had used various preparations obtained from plants.
 

But the discovery of these methods and plants in the last century and their extraction in concentrated form changed the secretive habits to the public domain.

LSD was a case in point in nineteen sixties but the ban on LSD did not stop the discovery or the use of cocaine and heroin. In fact, the use has been gradually increasing and drug cartels started emerging all over the world.
It is controlled by the underworld and no government in the East or West was able to stop this trend.


My own views are strong and against their use, even in minute quantities. The simple reason is that the user is not satisfied with the milder form and their tendency is to go for stronger and more addictive ingredients. 

 
That is the nature of the affliction called addiction.
 

If they have been used in monasteries or by so called gurus or ascetics, in my pervasive view is, it defeats the very intent of meditation practice or mental culture.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Learning a Second Language, the contribution of British Council Library.

Learning a Second Language, the contribution of British Council Library.


What is, “Learning a Second Language” has got to do with Long Life?
It may sound ridiculous or not relevant.
Let me untangle the tangled minds.
Suppose in your retirement, you like to visit a foreign country or one of your friends living abroad invites you to visit him/her.
Won’t that be a nice to have a working knowledge of English?
But if your friend is from Germany or France, would it be enough, knowing only English?
English is the business language of the world and if you intend to expand your local business to a foreign soil, it is vital that you have a team with language expertise to communicate and work with.
One cannot become an efficient ambassador, unless you are an expert and well versed with the language of the local community.
Depending on a translator is a handicap.
It was unfortunate in my formative years nobody emphasized the importance of language. If at all they discourage learning English.
I had the common sense that if I were to master science, English was the language of instruction.
The city school I went did not have a proper library. For my luck British Council Library was doing a yeoman service to help young readers of our time. Because of political indifference and interference, the USIS library closed its operation in Kandy long time ago.
I would close my introduction by saying that a sure way to train a dictator is to make him or her learn only the mother tongue of the local community. We have had enough examples in this small country with ethnic division making inroads and politicians capitalizing in the fringe.
None of the above is my reason for encouraging one to learn at least two languages.
Please read on, to get my point of view.
Learning a language and mastering it is no easy task for most of us. This is especially so when it is learned as a second language. When the mother tongue is not taught properly and its advantages and disadvantages are not highlighted, at an early age, children are at a loss to coordinate their interests and achievements. This is true for learning languages and I am yet to find a child who is genuinely interested in learning a language (for example Sinhala or Tamil) for its own beauty.
They become rote learners and drag along, in a system oriented for examination performances. Rather than bringing the best out of the innate talents of children, language difficulty becomes a stumbling block to progress.
If children are forced to learn a single language, there is no way of unlearning the bad habits.
Single language narrows the interests of young children.
If the quality of the available reading material is poor how are we to instill creativity in young minds?
One of the most interesting feature of leaning a second language is that it arouses the creativity along with curiosity.
 Learning a language and its intricacies is quite different from learning a language of instruction. For an example English is a suitable medium of instruction for science without which vast knowledge base cannot be tapped.
Similarly, learning a computer language is entirely a different exercise altogether.
So language of upbringing (mother tongue), language of instruction (English) and the language of technical communication (Linux) are few facets of the emerging global trends and requirements.
Only few of us have the mastery of all these aspects of communication. How we could direct our children without unduly burdening them in early years of their life is the challenge for our educationists and reformists.
What is happening is little bit of this and little bit of that and the final chutney (Achcharu) is not of any taste to the child's creative mind.
There is a particular age where children are at ease with learning a second language other than the mother tongue. Beyond this period it is a tedious task for any body. To learn a new language especially the phonetics as an adult is not an easy task. Then there are many other aspects including, grammar, syntax, idioms, expressions and dialects to deal with.
I am no specialist in this game of languages.
As child I was attracted to books initially for the colorful pictures then to the stories. I was in no way attracted to the daily papers except the cartoons. Neither the history nor the literature attracted me but quite unknowingly the science was the theme that interested me.
There was the Russian ‘Sputnik’ and the Lyka the dog going to the outer space in my childhood. Gradually I begun to understand that unless I learn to read English I won’t be able understand all those exciting cartoons (Tin Tin, Denis the Menace and Andy Capp) and science fiction.
Learning English was fun and learning Sinhala was boring,, in early years of my life.
For my luck I had very good Sinhala teacher and a very good English teacher. If not for them I would not have gone far. Even though, I left the homely village life in my formative years to a school in the city, quite frankly I did not learn much in the city school.
It was actually the British Council Library that provided me with all the books I needed. City school library was not much to talk about. So I learned my second language at my own pace at my own leisure. 


The seat of knowledge was the British Council Library.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

T20 or the Bollywood Cricket


T20 or the Bollywood Cricket

I do not watch cricket at all now.

Two reasons.
1. Nobody plays cricket now for the fun of it.
It is played for money and that is the bottom line.
I do not mind players like Christ Gayle getting money.
He is an entertainer.

2. The second reason is the Bollywood Betting Style of cricket.
Contract cricket of Bollywood Style buy cricketers for money.

In fact, IPL killed the game.

We do not see players like Garfield Sobers, Clive Lloyd, Rohan Kanhai, Vivian Richards, Charlie Griffith, Gordon Greenidge,Brian Lara, Jeff Boycott, Ian Botham and Graham Gooch and many more.

Most of the cricketers do not justify the money paid for them if one is to assess them by the Style and Entertainment.

The third point is slanted to our Dilshan.

He was promoted to (he can play in any place from 1 to 6) number one to destroy his career but he proved his selectors (they had to eat the humble pie) wrong.

I have some advise for him.

He carries a bat which is too heavy for him in his age of late thirties.

With age one slows down and a heavy bat adds a fraction of second of delayed response.

That is why he gets out LBW (the ball beats the bat).

One does not lose the skill (class is permanent) with age but the quick response lags (in a fraction of a second).

A lighter bat will help to match Chris Gayle.
 He should discard the old bat and try several in PRACTICE.
This advice does not suit Christ Gayle and Indian captain Dhoni.
They need big blades.

Even though, I do not watch cricket, I want these players to be entertainers.

Do not worry about the place in the team or money one gets.

Do not try to undercut the present captain (Angelo) and become the next captain.

With bookies as chairmen, Sri-Lankan cricket is looking downhill and any recovery is slow and painful.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Kandy Traffic Jams and One Way Traffic

Kandy Traffic Jams and One Way Traffic

I have to dispense this before a life is lost in Kandy due to One Way System.

In the beginning of this year mother and two children were run over by the train, and lost their life even without the ONE WAY SYSTEM.

When we had One Way (which I strongly opposed then) some time back they reverted to the old system after loss of over 8 lives, all run over by the train.

The 5 kilometer railway track from Kandy to Panideniya is not protected by proper level crossings.

I give thanks to the Kandy Police on the Beat (not the higher officers - I have never seen a higher officer on the road any way), if not for them we would have lost a student or teacher by now by accident.
They are doing a yeoman service!
 
Mind you this change is after 3 P.M. and most students have left the city but still a large number of students are in the city attending various academies.

This decision is unscientific.

When One Way a vehicle takes 15 minutes to cover the 5 kilometers stretch and there after, it is snail space due to “Bottle Neck” at Peradeniya and Gannoruwa (by the way, Gannoruwa by pass is not used for diversion).

There is no saving of time BUT add to congestion near Galaha Junction and Peradeniya.

I can go on but my reason for writing this is to SAVE LIFE.

When one way is on, crossing the road is a death trap for people living on both sides of the road.

The only valuable public place is the Court Complex.
It does not serve people who come to court in the morning from Kandy.

It does serve 50% of the workers after work who proceed towards Peradeniya.

The other 50% who move towards Kandy have to risk their life crossing the road to reach the old road.

There any many more reasons including economic loss to some traders, including three wheeler drivers.

It not scientific but a RANK STUPID IDEA.

Hope before few lives are lost we go back to the old ways and do a proper survey to prevent bottle necks and congestion.

Single Meal

Reproduction
 
Single Meal

Single most important principle in Buddhist Practice is its alms (Dhana), the giving away one’s possessions, without expecting anything in return.
This is something of an antithesis to modern world, where, self, image and one’s possessions are dear and belonging.
How it should be practiced by a Buddhist monks is discussed here briefly to make a novice monk adapt to modern trends in a demanding world.
A Buddhist monk ought to be light in baggage and belongings.  A monk could have only two cloths (Chivara), one for wearing and another for change. How it should be made is also under strict and elaborate instructions.
The eating habits are also under strict code of practice.
I would discuss that in detail here.
When it comes to eating, if one ignores the morning meal, which is very light indeed, a monk has to survive on a single meal and that has to be taken in the early evening, in the modern day practice.
You may wonder why I took some interest in this.
This examination is scientific in nature.
There are many reasons, and I would state only a few.
If monks in the West practice this according to the strict code, it is a severe test for them, adopting this regime in the winter months. Equally, I have seen some monks who try to adhere to the regime rigidly and religiously have ended up sick and malnourished. If one becomes a Buddhist monk in adult life who had enjoyed somewhat a liberal life, changing to a single meal is a severe restriction on his / her diurnal habits.
One’s hormonal status, glycogen storage and status of the acid secretion in the stomach are habituated by ones daily routine (lifestyle). Changing abruptly, having become a monk should be done on a staggered basis, giving time for the body to adjust. Additionally, many of them do not have an understating of what is a balance diet.
Over years, I have seen many Buddhist monks suffering from food related diseases, especially diabetes mellitus. This is something not welcome and unexpected for my own liking.
I have no intention of going into how one becomes a diabetic but for me somebody on a single meal getting diabetes mellitus was something of an enigma.
In this context, having thought about it, I put the blame squarely on the layman.
Hope, one is not amazed by this statement.
I should go into this briefly.
The upper and the higher middle class families are the ones who get quota for the alms (Dhana) for the residential monks in the city. Their, idea of a meal is a lavish one. Many of them are also diabetic because of their over indulgence.
The offer of alms (Dhana) is not done on a regular basis.
So on the day, all the sugary, starchy, heavy but nutritionally unbalanced is offered.  These alms (Dhana) days also happen to fall on weekends and holidays.
The monk has no choice.
He consumes a diet heavy in carbohydrates which stimulate their pancreas to the limits on weekends and practically having an austerity meal, in the rest of the week. My theory is, this up and down (erratic) stimulation of the insulin status, make them prone to diabetes mellitus, in the middle age. This may be aggravated by lack of exercise and having sugary drinks (tea) to counteract, the late evening hypoglycemia.
It is the duty of the layman to look after their welfare on a regular basis instead of a lavish feast once a month.
Medical education is in its prime stage now, especially on nutrition, the doctor should advise the upper middle class families what is a balance single diet for a monk who are practically at the mercy of the rich laymen who impart their inherent diseases on the clergy, unwittingly and unwillingly.
I would give some advice later regarding what to be offered and what ought not to be but for now let me digress a little.
I wanted to test myself whether I can survive on a single meal. I am more than convinced that it is possible and healthy.
But it takes time and it cannot be practiced overnight.

Prehistoric Time -15,000 to 30, 000 ago


Having proved it to myself that I can sustain on a single meal, I delved into man’s prehistoric period and how man survived in adverse climatic conditions and food scarcities.
Hunter gather never had three meals a day.
At best he had only a single square meal, never three meals. He mainly survived on a big game, in a community life style.
He was omnivorous and supplemented his diet with fruits and nuts. He probably did not suffer from diabetes mellitus and his teeth were strong, the enamel was thin but the dentin was thick, hardly had any caries. In times of food shortages and diseases there were signs of enamel deficiency and bone diseases.
These changes are recorded in prehistoric fossils which date back to 15,000 to 30,000 years.
Until such time he became nomadic, milk was in short supply.
Only milk supply was maternal.
The average woman was thin, and she only had children once in four years or so.
It is now believed that when a woman was thin -prehistoric women, had to work hard, almost equaling man’s efforts, like modern day women athletes, in whom the ovulation does not occur, regularly. Additionally, prolong breast feeding without weaning suppresses ovulation.
The man probably was sturdier and taller but comparatively thinner since he had to work hard in hunting exercises. He probably lived a shorter life than a woman (45 years), probably 35 years or so / died not of modern day diseases but as a result of injuries sustained in hunting.
As for prehistoric man is concerned the existence on a single meal was not a fantasy but a fact.



Paleolithic Period- 5000 to 13 000 years

Why man became an agricultural man is a mystery but available evidence suggests dramatic changes in climate at the end of the ice age and the population expansion contributed. With the emergence of the nomadic life and man’s entry into agricultural endeavors, he entered into a sedentary life style.
However, he never gave up game and hunting until such time he domesticated adequate livestock.
I would like to figure out that he was never a pure vegetarian. 
The Asian wolf became associated with man around 13,000 years ago probably scavenging around man’s domain. The dogs and wolf can live on a single meal perhaps even longer and with the loss of mammoths and huge game, wolf also found living difficult but drifted with the man for game. His eating pattern, scavenging to begin with which our present day dogs inherit and illustrate by scavenging city dumps, is a reminder that even this period the man existed (present day practice of feeding a single meal to a pedigree dog, which I do not agree) on a single main meal.
Even though, the agricultural practices were extensive, failure of crops was common phenomenon, the demise of Maya Dynasty was a true example of catastrophe in history. In spite of extensive agriculture, food was not in plenty and the food preparation from harvest to meal was labor intensive and man continued to supplement meal on animal and animal sacrifices.
In this period population expanded probably because women becoming comparatively fatter and fertile (it is interesting to note that when a woman is too fat, like in the present day, fertility drops) and their body composition was ideal for reproduction.
But with success there was impending catastrophe too.
Famines were common due to reduction of crops, failure of rain or floods.
The man became shorter and less sturdier due to sedentary life.
We may be able to surmise that even in this period man ate a variable diet, characteristically a single meal which was supplemented by animal, fish, shells, fruits and nuts.
How and when man discovered use of salt and spices is open to question, probably towards the latter stage of Paleolithic time.



Contemporary History from 5000 years to 2500

During this period man was eating mixed diet containing milk (animal), sugar, salt, spices and animal and fish products. In spite of agriculture man never ceased to consume animal food, in fact it became a major constitute, judging by the tribal and religious practices from 5000 to 2000 years.
This is probably the period where single supper or a single meal changed to multiple meals especially the upper classes but slaves and lower classes subsisted on an average single large meal.
The longevity and average health increased proportionately probably doubled compared to the prehistoric period.
Most of the sages and philosophers except hedonists lived an austere life while recommending the same to the masses.



2500 and the emergence of the Vegetarian Life

Even though, some Jainers advocated vegetarian life, it was with the emergence of the Buddhist way of life in India that preceded the current wave of vegetarian (purported to be healthy) food fads.
Neither, Ten Commandments, the Jesus Christ’s sayings nor Muslim Koran abhors sacrifices of animals.
The vegetarian life is comparatively new, probably only 2500 years old in the history of mankind and that is why, there are so many misconceptions. Unlike monkeys, baboons and gorillas who are mostly vegetarians, from which man originated in an evolutionary point of view, the man had always been a carnivorous mammal.
2500 years is a small time in evolutionary time scale, a healthy dialogue on vegetarian diet is mandatory in the present context.
Our intestine and teeth bear different relationships to tree dwelling mammals, some are morphological in nature (genetic) and some are based on the diet (environmental) we eat.
As far as the growth and development of children are concerned my view is that single diet is not adequate.
That is my entry point to discuss another point of view.
Can a young novice monk who has not gone through puberty be sustained on a single diet?
This is a question, I find it difficult to answer even though, I have stated my gut feelings above.
This is one reason, out of the many, I do not agree and defer on ordaining young underage monks. Apart from lack of psychological maturity, to go on an austere life as prescribed by Vinaya is asking too much from a child.
Parents should have a say on these issues.
They should not force a young one into priesthood in their tender years.

American Pie

As a comparison, I thought of writing something relevant. Comparing an average American’s eating habits with our´s is a revelation by itself.
An American eats a cow / bull every ten years.
In every American there are at least 5 cows in him by the time he is fifty. If he has not got mad cow disease or Alzheimer’s disease what he eats in the rest of his life is any American doctor’s guess.
He eats a pig every three years.
He eats at least 50 chickens and one turkey a year.
Some Americans of course eat much more than this.
My worry is every cow/bull he eats, at least an equivalent of 8Kg of fodder is needed to support its life to obtain 1Kg of beef. If an American stops eating 1Kg of beef he is saving about 8Kg of grain for a poor soul in Africa or Bangladesh.
Out of the tons of grain produced half is spent on animal feeds and some American cows are better fed than African kids.
Only to be sacrificed as human food.
The current Pope should give due consideration to these facts and he should give a hearing to this fiasco and if the grain saved by saving the poor cows / or bulls is multiplied by the factor of eight by 1000 (well fed cow’s weight) there is an excess grain in this world to feed everybody.
Equally FAO should take this into cognizant.
Looking by some of Sri-Lankans who lavish on food I cannot say there is any difference to American mentality, here in Sri-Lanka (especially who visit here to take a break from the winter).
Coming back to a single meal, if an American or Western guy sacrifices a single meal a week, like our Buddhist monks who live on a single meal a day, we would be able to feed some hungry children in Africa and Asia without any problem or NGOs.
WHO also should take this fact to their cognizant.
I don’t believe in what our agriculture minister who says, that food prices have gone up because of biofuels. The production of biofuels had been going on for over 25 years.
One should realize that the ancient man and his closest friend the dog survived on a single meal in spite of their aggressive hunting skills.
What should an average Dhana (Single Meal) should contain?
The physiological effect of an average meal should last 18 hours (that is the time when the glycogen storage starts to become depleted) of its intake. The diet should not have high sugary (dessert) components that stimulate surge of insulin and late dumping syndrome due to insulin surge at the time of the meal.
The vegetarian diet has no problem since the fiber makes the release of dietary sugar gradual.
The best dessert for the monks is not ice cream but fruits.
Out of the fruits, the best is bananas which releases its sugars slowly without insulin surges and maintaining a stable blood sugar.
Milk and curd are preferred, since they give ample supply of fat for starving intervals.
Missing ingredient is nuts.
Not only that they contain short chain fatty acids which supply energy for starving intervals, they are rich in healthy vitamins.
I would encourage the young monks to go liberal on fruits and nuts.
A supply of nuts (no aggalas, jaggery or sweets), fruits, papaw, banana and proper breakfast cereal containing millet (Kurrakkan) should be the breakfast for the monks.
Somebody should invest and develop a proper breakfast cereal for our kids. The same breakfast cereal can be used by young monks in their growing years (assuming they are ordained young).
For the monks in the West a Buddhist dietitian with knowledge in Vinaya practice should investigate how their midday Dhana should be constituted.
My belief is many of them are having an inappropriate diet for winter conditions.
I hope a good breakfast cereal will emerge from there for the monks on a meager diet.
My prescription for priesthood is entirely different.
When I see young monks in the TV giving emotional speeches rather than mature sermons, I become sometimes terrified.
Even my twilight years, I sometimes reserve my judgment or giving advices on certain issues.
Never over the telephone.
Only, when I can have an eye to eye contact with the person concerned when I can have an immediate assessment of the person’s psychological makeup and the reactions, I give some advice with lot of reservation.
One can do more damage by volunteering advice not appropriate.
My advice goes as this.
Let the young one follows a simple observational life.
In other words train them to observe in a simple and logical fashion. Teach the scientific facts in simple doses as they tend to make mistakes, in distinguishing, facts from fiction.
Children prefer fiction in the early years and they should be allowed to change gradually into scientific way of thinking. Even at 16 years of age (formative thinking is established) many find it difficult to grasp scientific concepts clearly.
They have the philosophical views embedded in their brains. Encourage them as much as possible.
This is why they always asks mommy why?
Encourage the philosophical views at an early age, even though, we do not have ready made answers, to their questions.
Training them in “Thinking to Think” is the most appropriate method.
Then only, they should be allowed to think of a religion or religions in their life.
What I stated above is very important, if we are to stop, young ones being taken into terrorist or religious cadres and indoctrinated with fanatic ideas.
That is the only way out.
That is the very thing we are not doing at present and ignoring.
We are slowly encouraging and allowing young militants being made out of innocent minds because of our failure in commonsense education.  Some religious and militant groups know very well, the best currency to propagate their rigid views is the young mind.

The Experiment

I was the subject of the experiment.
Not by design but by default.
There was no conviction, compulsion or any consideration for my health.  The circumstances had lead me to the experiment fortuitously.
Take it or leave it principle of mine.

I did plunge, unprepared.

Skipping the major meal for good.

I was on probation and I was working alone even though, I was given freehand by my superior. I had to develop my division and had to do research as well as teaching. I did not take it as a big deal but the time table was not to my liking.
The only day, I could concentrate on research work was on Wednesdays and to this day I use Wednesdays exclusively for my work and nothing else. I had to come home for lunch and rush back to work at 1 P.M. My wife was working full time and my elderly mother in law had to prepare meals for us. I did not want to make it very punctual but that meant I used to get back late and being on probation that was not a good omen.
Nearly two and a half hours lost in transit and without enjoying the lunch.
So when the work was heavy I used to skip the lunch.
I used to subsist on bananas and milk.
Milk was essential since I used to get early peptic ulcer symptom by skipping the lunch.
Fortunately banana and milk were cheap and were in liberal supply then.
To this I added Dhal Waddai.
Nuts were eaten in liberal doses and jumbo nuts were cheap then.
Still later I added chocolates, not necessarily dark chocolates.
That was the regime and in about six months, I was very comfortable and no dumping syndrome associated with rice.
I did not lose weight but did not feel any ill effects.
The gastric symptoms which was a worry disappeared spontaneously.
My work output increased tremendously since there were two additional hours to my work schedule.
I did not give much thought to it, till lately.
Come to think about it, when I was working in UK, on many a days, skipped the lunch, only a snack to fill the tommy, lot of coffee, which was the usual thing to do, even in the thick of winter.
Then have a very heavy supper.
This was not a big deal in tropical Sri-Lanka.
Of course this habit has now gone into a much bigger thing.
I decided to stop eating rice altogether, the reason for which I would not state or discuss here.
I have celebrated three years without rice!
It was difficult to begin with and I had to eat junk food since most of the alternative food items like couscous, spaghetti, pasta had gone up in price and some of the replacement items were horrible in taste, to say the least.
But I survived on a variety of diet except manioc for over a year to begin with (and still continuing).
Within six months, I started losing weight but I continued on a single main meal.
Then I did some background study to realize that the best way to lose weight is to stop eating rice.
The reason is that we generally eat three times what is required as calories on a rice diet. Because it is lacking in few amino acids (not total lack but relative deficiency), we make up the lack by eating an excess of rice.
Unlike manioc one can live on a rice diet without malnutrition but one tends to get obese in the long run.
The extra starch is invariably converted to fat in adipose tissues and they remain there happily unless we go on a hunger strike.
A few leafy vegetables, eggs and other grains can make it a balance diet but with a major problem. 
With a huge increase in calorie intake.
We put on weight unlike the ones who do manual labor.
The manual worker of course, can utilize this load and easily burn them for extra calories.
So, final conclusion of the experiment is that one can survive on a single main meal, provided that it is a balance diet without losing weight, but if one wants to lose weight one should cut down on rice by at least two third´s of one´s rice portions.
I of course cut rice down to zero (completely) but enjoy liberal amount of chocolates, nuts and junk food and wine too.