Saturday Special

A few things that I recently found on the web that especially caught my attention. I will lead with the cute.


All young animals are shy. Here’s a shy baby meerkat by Japanese photographer Mamekoro (@mamekoro51). No different from a human baby tentatively peeking to see what’s out there.

I got that meerkat pictures from @41Strange. It’s full of strange and wonderful pictures. {Click on any of the meerkat pictures above for the source.}

From the wiki on meerkats:

… they are small carnivores in the mongoose family; live in all parts of the Kalahari Desert in Botswana, the Namib Desert in Namibia and southwestern Angola, and in South Africa. A group of meerkats is called a “mob”, “gang” or “clan”. In captivity, meerkats have an average life span of 12–14 years, and about 6–7 years in the wild.

Meerkats like to climb to get a good view of the landscape.

The Deep Sea

Next up, our awesome planet. More humans have visited the moon than have visited the deepest parts of the ocean on earth. Take a virtual deep dive by clicking on the image below.

Deep Dive

“Many probes and submarines have been lost trying to reach the deepest parts of the ocean. On January 23rd, 1960, about 9 years before the moon landing, humans went where they never had before. Two men, Jacques Piccard and Don Walsh, onboard the submarine Trieste slowly descended into the Mariana Trench. After 4 hours and 47 minutes of anxiety and claustrophobia…they succeeded and became the first humans to reach the deepest point in the ocean: the Challenger Deep.”

Talking of the deep, reminds me of a bit of dialog in Shakespeare (Henry The Fourth, Part I Act 3, scene 1) that always makes me smile:

Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.

Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
But will they come when you do call for them?

Kowloon Walled City

And finally a graphic that gives some details of the Kowloon Walled City before it was demolished and made into a park.

Kowloon Walled City

Click on the image above to see the full size in a new tab. The wiki says:

Kowloon Walled City was an ungoverned, densely populated settlement in Kowloon City, Hong Kong. Originally a Chinese military fort, the Walled City became an enclave after the New Territories were leased to the UK by China in 1898. Its population increased dramatically following the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong during World War II. By 1990, the walled city contained 50,000 residents within its 2.6-hectare (6.4-acre) borders. From the 1950s to the 1970s, it was controlled by local triads and had high rates of prostitution, gambling, and drug abuse.

In January 1987, the Hong Kong municipal government announced plans to demolish the walled city. After an arduous eviction process, demolition began in March 1993 and was completed in April 1994. Kowloon Walled City Park opened in December 1995 and occupies the area of the former Walled City. Some historical artefacts from the walled city, including its yamen building and remnants of its southern gate, have been preserved there.

With 50,000 residents in 2.6 hectares (6.4 acres), the population density of  the place works out to be a bit less than 2 million people per sq km. Compare that to Mumbai (India’s most crowded city, the world’s 5th most crowded city) at 84,000 per sq km.

That’s about it for now. Cheers.


Author: Atanu Dey


4 thoughts on “Saturday Special”

  1. That baby meerkat is not ‘shy’. I suspect that’s a response to perceived threats.
    Human babies usually attempt walking at the age of 10-12 months but other animals, particularly fishes, achieve mobility at much younger ages and they also have an earlier sense of alertness to size and threats.
    There’s a number of puzzling phenomena:
    1)(At biological level)Why bees build hexagonal hives? Human neural response to music,poetry…
    2)(At social/cultural level)Why south Asian manual workers carry loads on their heads while those elsewhere use carts or carrier poles?
    BTW, I had a discussion on a very puzzling Christian biblical passage from the book of Genesis at another site:
    When Yahweh created the animal kingdom prior to that of Man, he created every species in both male and female genders. But when it came to creation of Man, apparently Eva was not in Yahweh’s original plan. Adam, according to the bible seeked a ‘helper'(yes, sex partner)among the animals. He obviously committed the lust of bestiality if not the actual act. (Eva was created out of a piece of Adam’s rib as Rescue Plan B)Why? I asked a number of Christian clerics and they usually came up with the following apologetics:
    Yahweh wanted to exercise Adam’s ‘free will’ even if it means the temptation of bestiality.
    But how about if Adam exercised sexual restrain? In this case how would’ve the human race procreated and propagated?
    My personal explanation is that Yahweh is a LGBT or hermaphrodite entity and according to the bible, Adam was created in His image and could asexually procreate.(Like other mammals, Adam also had nipples, ie the potential to breast feed babies)
    Would like to hear your opinion on this subject.


    1. From a shy baby meerkat to Genesis creation story is a big jump. I guess that is ok in a post titled Saturday Special. I often found the narratives in religious texts are best understood the way we understand stories in the famous Sanskrit classic Panchatantra where major characterization is done on jungle creatures.

      Going back to the human creation story, the Judeo-Christian belief is that there was no death when Adam was created. So Adam went through pangs of sex-desire is beyond imagination. In retrospect, my wife was created two years after I was. Did I go through all kinds of desires of bestiality? It is a non-issue.

      God though portrayed as a male, being a creator and sustainer of mankind is mother-father; as we say ma-baap in south Asia.



    2. Interesting view you have about Yahweh and Genesis. A bunch of ignorant goat-herders conjuring up stories to explain their savage existence — and you are trying to explain the nature of their theology. Fascinating.

      I think it will be more useful and entertaining if you pondered the nature of the Joker and whether Batman should kill the Joker. At least that fictional tale is written by people who know a lot more about the universe than the illiterate uncivilized lot that infested the Middle East a few thousand years ago.


      1. Glad that you like it.
        (I haven’t watch that Joker and Batman movie, give me some time..)
        I’m a protestant Christian of alternative conviction in the sense I revere Jesus as a moral giant but I stopped going to church a long time ago. Some of the old testament passages really contradict common sense. Here’s a good example(a ‘sublime’ and often quoted one):
        Psalm 23 (A psalm of King David).
        1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
        2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters,
        3 He restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
        4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
        5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
        6 Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
        What’s the relation between a shepherd and his sheeps since time immemorial?
        Ans: The shepherds slaughter the sheeps for hide and meat or sell the sheeps to abattoirs. I would be more convinced if it says ” I’m a pussy cat and the lord is my pet master.”
        Let me rephrase the above:
        ” The LORD is my shepherd. He makes me lie down in green pastures. Your rod and your staff, they strike me to death. You anoint my severed head with cooking oil. Thus I walk through the valley of the shadow of death.”
        (Be reminded that I’m not throwing in science issues like ‘creationism’ vs ‘Evolution’. I take a literalist/texturalist approach like the average fundamentalist Christians do)


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