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The Daily Rhino
Wednesday, February 22, 2006

...service suspended...
itinerary small

Back in a bit.

In the meantime, sit back and enjoy(?) the first films I ever made, all a few years old now (and wait for 02:20 in the second one)

Tammy Nyp

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Al Qaeda's next target - exclusive
WADING through the unmitigated tripe on The Daily Rhino, you'd be forgiven for thinking that this isn't a news blog. Well you'd be wrong. So wrong. To quote Gene Wilder, "WRONG!"

In fact breaking news has just reached the newsdesk of the DR. Watch now, as our
crack team's Grissom-esque brains piece together the puzzle of terror.

Exhibit A:
Militant Muslims aren't very fond of Israel.

Exhibit A

Let's consider that statement for a second. Is it Israel they don't like? Hardly. Most Muslims feel Israelis are a charming people, with quaint customs and enjoyable folk music. Prominent imams, vocal proponents of Israel Bonds, also feel Israel has much to offer:

Exhibit B

Smart men. No, what hardline Muslims really dislike is the Israeli FLAG. Ooh gosh they hate it:

Exhibit C

Now, I can't find the video for this, but what he actually shouted (rather vociferously) was "I love Israel, you're a nice bunch, but I hate this fucking flag man! Seriously dude, I just wanna burn the motherfuckah. BURN IT! BURN IT! AARRGHH, have you seen the video?!" Most are of the opinion that the intense rage many Muslims feel toward the flag stems from its origins, as it was originally drawn by a celebrated Danish cartoon flag maker and casino-owner.

So it was with some astonishment that during the nineteenth straight hour of looking for Target ads on Google Earth, that we spotted something monumental. Something that shook us to our very core. Exhibit D.

Exhibit D

This is London's Heathrow Airport, one of the busiest airports in the world. Just looking at it brings me out in urticaria. Oh the wheals.

My fellow Londoners, Arnie says we're all in deep do-do now.

Exhibit E

Tag Heuer! , , , , ,


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Sunday, February 19, 2006

Beer and the golden tetrahedron
I FINALLY found some ads which I've long thought are pretty amusing. Greene King IPA was specifically brewed for Brits out in India during the Raj, towards the end of the nineteenth century and it is now the most popular cask ale in the UK. It's not all that easy to find, but when I've had it, it's been a very nice pint, goes well with mild Indian food but I still prefer a Kingfisher if I'm dining desi. Their website explains that a large amount of hops were used to give a preservative effect, hence allowing the beer to better survive the long sea journey to India. The beer proved so popular it was never exported to India. Hence the ad campaign:

I've also recently been poring over travel literature. The cheapo-trek-adventure-type agencies gave me some catalogues. Below is a page from one showing the GAP Adventures staff. Travelling the world as a backpacker, roughing it from country to country and taking months off work to do so seems an almost exclusively white preserve in the UK. There are stacks of pictures in all the catalogues and almost everyone is white. More than that, I'd hazard a guess that they're all middle class. A RTW trip lasting for months on end is practically a rites of passage trip for white guys with a generous Dad. Just going by the crude measure of my friends, the ones who've disappeared for the best part of a year to ride camels in India, bungee jump in New Zealand and trek through the Amazon Jungle have all been white. I don't know why other ethnic groups don't seem to take up the opportunity.

Anyway, it was with some interest that I saw no less than five desi faces on the page. Great! Most staff at these adventure companies have been on some trips themselves. So what do these five trailblazers do?

Iftikhar Khan, Sandeep Kumbare and Gajalini Ganesh - Accounts.
Megha Kumar and Mohiuddin Talukder - Web development.

Accountancy and IT. All they need now is an in-house doctor and an engineer and the holy quad will be complete. All I can say is, long live the Mutiny.

, , and what the hell,

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Everywhere I've ever been
I THOUGHT I'd seen loads of places. Turns out there's a lot more.

click to flick

Or as a map created by World 66 (thanks, flygirl)


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Thursday, February 16, 2006

Culinary engrish likes me
ON first glance, all you see in an inocuous, if somewhat tattered chopsticks wrapper, wishing all and sundry whose gaze upon it falls happiness, longevity, health and peace. Rather touching of Penta Foods Ltd.

click to flick

But then you turn it over and are greeted with some class A engrish. Actually, I can't decide if it's bona fide engrish, or they just typed it using the chopsticks. I mean chcosticks. Click on the image to take a look.

All is forgiven, however, with the rousing and inspirational closing line:

"Now you can pick up anything:"

Isn't that what Yoda said?

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Different governments, different styles
Prescott & Cheney

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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

I heart FOBs
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THIS is one of my best mates. I thought instead of some generic google image, I'd give you a bona fide example of what I'm talking about: the Indian student. As you can see, with no hair gel or designer labels, it's patently obvious this is no British Asian. I'm talking about the Indian overseas student.

Long have they been the brunt of American jokes (we treat them far better here) and the stars of awful films like Where's the Party Yaar, American Desi and Van Wilder.

But now the FOB (fresh off the boat) is in demand. Countries around the world are falling over themselves to attract more students from India, as they enjoy the dubious reputation of being more serious, harder-working types. Oh, nerds.

Tony Blair and Condy Rice have spent time with Indian teens, patiently fielding questions in order to persuade them to leave home. The Chancellor of Oxford University, Lord Chris Patten, recently announced a trip to India with the sole purpose of attracting more Indian students, as the UK has fallen behind the US when it comes to attracting the brightest brains of the subcontinent. He said:

“I don’t think a serious university can do without a properly thought-through strategy for China and India.”

Those two countries again. Is no area of life free from their looming presence?! Indeed, Cambridge has also recently announced a greater focus on India - they have concentrated efforts on China up to now. Patten's trip will take him to Bangalore, New Delhi and Mumbai. He will be drawing attention to statistics like the fact Chinese students now outnumber Indians 2:1 at Oxford. Last year In total, 17,000 Indians came to study in the UK, compared with about 80,000 who chose America.

He thinks that the UK and especially some of the older establishments have a "conservative, stuffy image." Surely that suits Indians to a T? Of course not, kiddies from conservative and stuffy countries want to party hearty. Leaving an often sheltered home for the first time represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for many young Indians.

They are increasingly opting for America as the destination of choice as US colleges and the Greek system promise what many frustrated Indian boys crave, frat parties. It would be interesting to compare the sex-breakdown. Most overseas Indian students are male - but I wonder if an equal proportion of guys head to the States as girls. I would assume so, as to pretend that Indian girls are less horny than Indian guys is naive at best ;)

OK it's not just sex and parties. The Indian press portrays America as a more glamorous destination for a budding scientist or engineer, with success stories around every corner, many of whom are Indian. The Grauniad claims the net worth of emigrants to the US from IIT alone is $30 BILLION. Lord Patten stated that Europe as a whole is facing a crisis in research and higher education; in 2005 the US spent twice as much as Europe on its unis and R&D:

“Last year, 25 per cent of European students went to America to do PhDs. None of us should want to be part of creating an ignorance-based economy.”

London's universities have traditionally fared well when attracting overseas students. Perhaps most successful of all is the London School of Economics, which has a student body who are overwhelmingly foreign. Overseas students bring in the bucks as they pay around £10,000 a year for a normal degree (almost £20,000p.a. for medicine), although with the coming year's top-up fee introduction, the disparity between home and foreign students' fees will be reduced.

The drive for the brown pound is not limited to the English-speaking world, China (which currently has only 800 Indian students) has upped efforts to bring in more desis. My girlfriend recently went to check out INSEAD, a business school near Paris. In the prospectus Hindi was listed as the second most common mother tongue amongst students and the pages were peppered with carefully-selected Indians.

This has only occurred due to the introduction of English-language courses in Europe. Indians are looking outside the US and UK for higher education, but they still want to speak the language left by the British. Hence Australia has seen a dramatic rise in Indian applications (and we're back to the party line of thought, see: Salaam Namaste).

But there is hope for British fans of FOBs, as last year foreign applications to US colleges fell by almost a third. In numerical terms, Indian students make up 5% of all overseas in the world and are now officially hot property.

UPDATE: Abi from nanopolitan points out this great link.

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THIS is a poorly-lit shitty phone pic of a tsunamika doll (and my hand):

This particular one doubles as a paper clip or bookmark, like this:

Others are hairclips, badges and stationery accessories. Here is a better pic:

Tsunamika is a project spear-headed by the Upasana Design Studio in Auroville, the south Indian township created by Sri Aurobindo (who went to my school, hurrah!) and The Mother. These little dolls, made from the studio's left-over fabric by tsunami-survivors, have given fisherwomen near Pondicherry an opportunity to empower themselves over the last year or so.

Of course money raised goes to the fisherwomen, but the project has provided a trauma counselling service and the opportunity to put the tsunami in the past through creativity and group activities. One million dolls have made their way around the world - with no price tag. Oddly enough, the distributors ask for no money. Not in the way that museums ask for a 'voluntary contribution', but the dolls are geuinely free. As far as I understand, the way money is made is by organisations paying the group for buying the dolls in bulk, to subsequently distribute, gratis.

Read more at the official website.

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Saturday, February 11, 2006

Bollycool Retro
retro chic

cover and booklet

THE back to black series has re-released classic Bollywood soundtracks with a nostalgic twist. Each CD looks just like a miniature version of the original vinyl.

The CDs also come with a booklet recording the milestones of Indian Cinema as well as synopses of a few key movies, all from an era past.

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Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Grand's around
BELATED as always, I'm responding to Coturnix of the Science and Politics blog who posted up the latest Grand Rounds yesterday.

Why is Tokyo so much cooler than London? Check out Adidas' new Cities Series, for their 35th anniversary.


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Saturday, February 04, 2006

Great Danes
I TRY to leave my political flotsam at Pickled Politics these days, but with the Mohammed cartoon story erupting worldwide, I realised that my usual snack has become twice the infidel it used to be:

Rest assured, you can always count on The DR to highlight the important aspects of any story. As Islamic fundamentalists rush to "boycott Denmark", what has Denmark ever given us?


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Medical Student Teaching #4
GS is a 24 year-old female beach volleyball player who is referred to you, the on-call F1 in the Surgical Admissions Unit. She has been sent in by her GP, who writes “Dear Doctor, thank you for seeing this young lady.” Unfortunately, that’s all his letter says. He’s a pretty shit GP if one is to be honest. So, none the wiser, you go to see her and can immediately see she is hot, indeed the nurse tells you her temperature is ‘up’. She’s a pretty shit nurse if one is to be honest.

From her brief history, you learn that she recently had a belly-button piercing performed, after which her symptoms began. She has a chronic history of injuries sustained whilst playing beach volleyball, such as getting tanned and developing a toned body. She has no other significant medical history.

On examination, GS is a young lady wearing a bikini and is comfortable at rest. Cardiovascular and neurological exam are unremarkable, although you do notice she has a good pair of lungs on her. The abdomen is soft and non-tender and is Stefani’s sign positive. She’s is in no pain, but as her abdomen is so unlike any you ever saw whilst practicing with friends in medical school, you realise something is definitely amiss. Your doctey sense is tingling.

You recall the influx of acute pancake-itis that came in soon after Shrove Tuesday…but it doesn’t seem like that. As usual, you’re completely flummoxed. But just then, yes just then, Christopher Lloyd tells you the diagnosis. You’re about to ask him if the flux capacitor is real, when you realise that he’s right.

What’s the diagnosis?

A Cute Abdomen.

That’s right, GS has a cute abdomen. Be sure to remember this case as you will encounter it incredibly rarely if you practice medicine in Britain. The classic triad of a cute abdomen is a lack of distension, a waist:hip ratio of less than 0.7 and very often a cute pairitonice-tits. Management for this condition is very, very close observation, with conservative treatment. You know the Daily Rhino loves steroids, but this is probably one instance that you definitely, positively should NOT give them.

Previous teaching sessions:
Medical Student Teaching #1
Medical Student Teaching #2
Medical Student Teaching #3

Originally published in Medical Student Newspaper.
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Herman the German Megabunny

MOST bunny wabbits are less than a foot long, but Herman's ears are about the same size. The unofficial biggest bunny in the world tips the scales at almost 8kg (the Guinness Book of Records does not accept new entries as they fear it will encourage pets to be overfed). He belongs to a breed called the German Giant, but is large even for them. He eats 2kg a day and is kept in a solid oak hutch, just in case he goes all Curse of the Were-Rabbit and escapes.

A spokesman for the German Rabbit Breeders' Association said: "They are good natured, reliable and calm. They are, however, because of their size, not very suitable for children."

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I have attained Nirvana
THE Grauniad had a great piece yesterday, but I wasn't able to post it up till now. I happened upon a fantastic new take on the London Underground map via the equally fantastic Londonist.

Each line represents a different genre and important interchanges between styles correlate to seminal artists. Enough of me talking - check out the article or download the pdf. I was rather pleased to find hat Kurt Cobain is (was) my neighbour, as my local station's Nirvana. But I study at The Game, how fucking depressing. It's an awesome piece of work, despite everyone being bound to disagree. Like Finlay Quaye ? Nah...

Most who know me know I'm a devout fan of Boing Boing, but I try never to re-post things here I'm sure people will have already seen them. However this video was the funniest thing they've run in ages. I wish I had the narrator's accent, everything's funny with that accent. The video is archive footage of British soldiers being used as guinea pigs to test out LSD. The best bit is:

"The efficiency of the rocket launcher team was also significantly impaired."

Rocket launching on acid. Brilliant.

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