The pignose frog, also known as the Indian purple frog, is one of the weirdest-looking frogs on the planet. It looks like a frog supervillain. It looks like a New York financial industry fatcat grown soft on the blood of the poor—but only on the outside, as its eyes and mind remain hard and cold and shrewd. It looks like Danny DeVito could play it in a movie without unduly taxing the makeup artist. It looks like what you would imagine Karl Rove would look like if your only knowledge of Karl Rove came from the descriptions of others. And it's purple. What kind of animal is purple? Not [...]
"Two wild elephants stormed into Mysore early Wednesday, trampling one person to death and causing panic in this cultural city … After three hours of high-voltage drama and mayhem, the twin jumbos were tranquilised by forest guards and chained to trees." —It's true! The global animal uprising has apparently commenced. (And yes, there is evidence of that "cross-species coordination against human hegemony" that Barbara Ehrenreich was talking about.) It's going down! Two legs vs. four! Which side are you on?!
Will Delhi's marauding monkeys ruin President Obama's India trip? Security forces say no. This is a continuation of the monkey story we first learned about during the Commonwealth Games, so the problem is not really that Obama has to worry about primates, but everyone in Delhi does. Still, expect plenty of jokes about how Obama would rather deal with the monkeys here than the ones he now has to work with back at home. Anyway, monkeys!
India's government has held an open call for design ideas for a symbol for its currency, the rupee-to join those internationally recognized as the dollar, the euro, the pound and the yen. The submissions have been narrowed to five, with the winner to be chosen today. True/Slant's Jeff Koyen thinks it's going to be #4, above. But I'm pulling for #2, because of its nice, broad, highly visible lines. I also think something else could work?
It's that time of year again! Rights activists lashed out Friday at local officials who allowed hundreds of infants to be dropped from the roof of a mosque in western India in the belief that the fall — which ends when the babies are caught in a bedsheet — would ensure good health and prosperity for their families. The ritual at the Baba Umer Durga, a Muslim shrine, is believed to have been followed for nearly 700 years, and each year hundreds of people, both Hindus and Muslims, take part in the ritual.
There are so many things about this I don't get, starting with the way they [...]
So yes, half of India is without electrical power this morning. Half of India is like two Americas, populationwise. Imagine if all of America had no electricity at the time? Once the batteries wore out on everyone's wireless devices, no one could check sports scores or order Fresh Direct. Also, the Psychedelic Furs are one of my favorite new wave bands. I like pretty much everything they did in the '80s. Even "Heartbreak Beat." But my favorite song of theirs remains the opening track of their debut album. (That's "India," above.) Might I like them even more if they'd only recorded that one song? I mean, it's [...]
As anybody who has read a John le Carré novel knows, the spooks, many of whom work with or as diplomats, are in the habit of putting false information about in order to achieve this or that noble or nefarious end. Which raises a number of subtle questions regarding the recent WikiLeaks cable disclosures: how much of this stuff is exaggerated or untrue? Is it even possible to untangle the web of deceit and counter-deceit (and incompetence and foolishness) woven by our diplomats and their masters? Exactly what methods are El Pais, Le Monde, Der Spiegel, the New York Times and the Guardian—the newspapers called on to vet [...]
The Commonwealth Games-the quadrennial athletic competition between current and former members of the British empire-begin this Sunday in Delhi, India, and have been plagued with difficulties, particularly at the athletes' village, which is still under construction. The athletes are also being bothered by snakes, stray dogs and, of course, monkeys. And how do you solve a problem like monkeys? Bigger monkeys!
Today in religious controversy: "The government in the Indian state of Meghalaya has confiscated textbooks showing pictures of Jesus Christ holding a cigarette and a can of beer. The book has been used for primary classes and has caused a furore in the north-eastern state, where more than 70% of the population are Christians." I dunno, wouldn't this make you more inclined to follow Him? Dude knows how to get His drink on.
What makes all these "cat food" companies believe I, Choupette Lagerfeld, would lower my standards for their commercial benefit?
— Choupette Lagerfeld (@ChoupettesDiary) July 31, 2012
Despite being one of the most recognisable faces in the world, Karl Lagerfeld believes that his beloved cat, Choupette, is now more famous than him. The German-born designer is renowned for his attachment to the pampered pet, who often travels around with him on his private jet. The Chanel creative director goes to great lengths to ensure that Choupette—which means "sweetie" in French—is sufficiently attended to at all times while he's working: she has three maids, and pays a visit to [...]
Earlier this summer, the New York media world was rocked by the departure of Page Six reporter/mascot Neel Shah, who moved to Los Angeles to pursue a writing career with the upcoming NBC/Imagine Entertainment sitcom "Friends With Benefits." Shah's West Coast exploits have remained unreported, but now sources close to the former Postie tell us that, not content with working solely behind the camera, he is making plans to put himself in front of it.
I'm not sure how best to tease you into reading this piece in Triple Canopy on India, Slumdog Millionaire, money, terrorism and globalism, besides the fact that it coins the phrase "Regis ex machina," which, how jealous are you about that? And there's this: "In 2007, Mukesh Ambani-the energy tycoon who later said 'a fear-psychosis is being created to slow projects of national importance' when forty thousand protesters forced the return of expropriated farmland on which the Tata Nano factory was to have been built-was named Forbes's richest man in the world: the first Indian thus distinguished. Shortly afterward, he set up a new company to fund the films [...]
Who was responsible for the partition of India? Traditionally the blame has been placed on Pakistani founding father Mohammad Ali Jinnah. But: "A controversial new book by a senior politician from India's Hindu nationalist party suggests that Mr Jinnah, a secular man who drank and smoked but rarely visited the mosque, has too long been demonised by Indian society. Furthermore, it argues that he only raised the prospect of a separate Pakistan with independence leaders such as Mahatma Gandhi as a bargaining tool and that it was the inflexibility of Jawaharlal Nehru, the man who became independent India's first prime minister, that ultimately led to the division of the [...]