Monthly Archives: March 2010

The bull talks words – astronaut

One of the things the bull does is look at words and wonder how they came up, how did the random mix of syllables make up something so definite and meaningful so as to stimulate the exact thought in our head everytime we hear it or glance at a visual representation of its sounds ?

Today I contemplate on the stars, not like the geeky astrophysicist or the kooky astrologer but as a very amateur etymologist.

Who hasnt dreamt about being an astronaut , as a kid ? Now how did they come up with that word for a man who goes up into space ?

Astro comes from the greek root word astron/aster meaning star.

Naut comes from nautes meaning sailor (remember the nautical mile ? for those of you who dont, I’ll get back to it)

So an astronaut is essentially a sailor to the stars (astro+naut)

astronomy , astrology , astrophysics , astroid are all derived from the same root.

nomos – means a custom or law

logos – is the study of

and oid – means shaped like

like a spheroid or ellipsoid or android (man-shaped, though ill discuss andro in a different post)

Lets take more words with the astro root

asterisk – the star shaped mark u make when the expletives aren’t to be read by all 😉 😉

and have you thought of the word disaster ?

The ancients thought that bad things happen when the stars are misaligned. (Some people think the same today, but let me not raise my pulse discussing stupidity while I’m discussing beautiful words)

so dis-(latin for apart or asunder) and aster (astro) together made disaster – that which happens when the stars are asunder.

Now for the sailor we have ignored (nautes)

The nautical mile , is a measure of distance used largely by sailors, and today even by pilots for navigating the waters and the air. When the word originated, it was used just by the sailors. The nautical mile btw is defined as the unit of length corresponding to one arc of the latitude along any meridien and is equal to 1.852 km

Did I bore you with that stuff ? Sorry man.. Jus close your eyes and drift off to the world of words created by this root

nausea – sea sickness , not a good example ? 😛

naval , navy – all ultimately have the same root passing through many modifications.

And yeah aeronautics is about building ships in the air (aeros) .

Ill be back with more, If you guys have the patience. Let me know.



Disclaimer : I wasn’t born knowing this stuff , so yeah you’ll probably read it in a lot of places in bits and pieces like dictionaries vocab building books etc so dont catch me for plagiarism , this is just common knowledge 😛

and yeah even if there are slight variations in some of the roots. God damn me if this isnt a fun way to learn and remember words. You dont have to start with the words you don’t understand , understanding the origin of the words you know , can open doors to the ones you dont.

May the beer be with you! Ramen

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Posted by on March 31, 2010 in Words


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How dare they interbreed ?

Sania Mirza , a tennis player with the kind of talent that gets over hyped in cricket drenched India, wants to marry a Pakistani.

The internet is filled with morons who are quite genuinely appalled. Well, we have drawn an imaginary border line somewhere there remember ? How dare people across the line interbreed.

To those who are aghast at me calling the Indo-Pak border imaginary, all I can say is look at a satellite picture of the earth. Your sacred borders dont exist. Ants , snakes , termites and rats dont see them. They may be mating right at the border now for all you know. the rivers dont see them until men make their dams. The carbon dioxide we so carelessly emit doesn’t see those lines. Nature doesn’t see your imaginary lines or your imaginary Gods.

Please take a look at Carl Sagan’s cosmos. The earth is a tiny oasis of life in a humongous indifferent universe which doesn’t give a whizzing fire cracker about these largely carbon ‘life’ forms. This planet is a happy accident that sustains our life.

So stop the apoplexy about people choosing to wed and breed despite the existence of border lines which come n go ever so often.


Posted by on March 31, 2010 in Society


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Black Magic Woman

Lady in black spinning a web of death

They get much deadlier when they are human

Trust me , that pretty lady is even more deadly when she’s a homo sapien chechen rebel.

The Moscow subway bombings must be fresh in everyones mind right now. I wonder if the women in parliament screaming inclusivity have taken a glance at the papers. They might be, albeit unpleasantly, surprised to hear that inclusivity has been granted to women in a very male dominant profession (if I dare call it so) – suicide bombing.
The Chechens we see are very liberal and open minded when it comes to allowing women into the domains of bomb strapped jihad maniac brainwashed terror nut jobs. The ultimate reason seems to be, that women are just more easy to brain wash.
The black widows are chechen women whose close male relatives ( husbands/fathers/brothers ) have been killed in the war against Russia. Easiest folk to brainwash!
They were even included in the evil plot to hold a school in Beslan hostage. This resulted in the death of over 180 innocent school kids and many other hostages, back in 2004.
The above is just an example of Chechen atrocities and their overwhelming willingness to include their women in the perpetration.
What needs to be seen is that the black widows are just proxies, doing the dirty gruesome work of the self styled Chechen war lords. They are uneducated and lost without the support of their male kin and easily fall for the feisty speeches of the self styled warlords.
I wonder whether the women at home in India realize that they too will soon fill up as political proxies. Wouldn’t partake in heinous crimes like those of the Black widows perhaps, but certainly contribute to the misrule and misrepresentation that pervades our democracy.

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Posted by on March 31, 2010 in Politics


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