Thursday, January 21, 2010


Recently, my students and I were treated to a series of behind-the-scenes tour at a nearby zoo. The highlight of one of those tours was was this:

(C.S. Manish 2010)

In case you are wondering, the Tarantula tickles, yes.

This next one is the Giant African Millipede. It has two defenses when threatened. The first defense is to curl up, exposing only its hard exoskeleton. The second defense is to release a compound from its pores that contains cyanide!  Needless to say, I did not handle it long enough to experience this.

(C.S. Manish 2010)


Tifosi Guy said...


Nothing in this world, would or can EVER make me do what you've done here :-)

Jaunty Quicksand said...

And nothing in this world will ever make me root for Ponting's Aussie team like you do. :-)

Compared to that, I'd gladly step into a pit full of tarantulas!

Tifosi Guy said...

Would you still step into the pit, if the Aus team was lead by Steve Waugh ?? :-)

Is it Australia or Ponting that makes you prefer tarantulas. If I had to guess, it must be Ponting !

Jaunty said...

My knee-jerk reaction was to agree with you. Then I sat and thought about it for a few minutes and this was my conclusion.

I would not have rooted for any Australian team since Allan Border's time except for the period when Mark Taylor was captain.

Ricky Ponting and Tom Brady belong to the same category to me. I am in awe of them as players (and do enjoy watching them play) but am not enamored by them. With Ponting comes the additional baggage that while I like his batting and his brave fielding, I don't like the way he responds to criticism and how he takes the high ground when things aren't going his way. :-)

Tifosi Guy said...


I'm no big fan of Ponting either and when he was announced as the Aus vice - captain, I had an inward groan. The fact that it was Warne who was stripped of the VC didn't make it any better for me liking Ponting.

There was something about him right from when he started, that didn't resonate with me.

It's again the same now with Clarke. I just can't stand the bloke.

However, since it's the team that I support and what they do on the field - even part of their sledging tactics I like ! I'll tolerate Clarke like how I've tolerated Ponting.

Interesting that you would support AB's Aus team and not Steve Waugh's !

Jaunty Quicksand said...

I wasn't clear enough when I wrote the statement about the Aussie teams. I meant that including Allan Border's team, the only Aussie team I did not mind rooting for was Mark Taylor's. So I was not a fan of AB's captaincy either.

Steve Waugh was/is a smart operator who worked the media really well to come out with a glowing reputation. As a captain, there are two incidents under his wing that rubbed me the wrong way - Michael Slater ranting and raving at Dravid after even the third umpire had said he had not taken the catch cleanly and the McGrath-Sarwan fracas. These are two memorable occasions, but right through Waugh's tenure he was content to stand at gully and let his players abuse the opposition beyond reason (heck, he even popularized the phrase "Mental disintegration") but then parlayed his yeoman work with Udayan into building up an image of a goody-two-shoes.

I bought his autobiography - Out of my comfort zone - and read every word. It is a clunky book to read but in almost 800 pages of it, you find that he has very few words about the abusive aspect of mental disintegration. (All the more reason for me to admire Andre Agassi's Open).

When people talk of Steve Waugh the words gritty and winning and tough and fighter come to mind. Someday when I am in the mood I will delve deeper into the statistical oddity of his "fighting" nature and show that a lot of it was a myth based on a few incidents of personal bravery. He was a good batsman, not a great one, and has more moments where he did not show up for a fight when needed than when he did, though the perception is the opposite.