FTOTW ending Dec 16 (#11) – 3 stories, QWERTY Myth, Hindu Temples, Skanda=Alexander?

Updated Dec 18, 2006 – Santhi fails gender test. V.V. sad.
1.  3 amazing stories of (wo)men epitomizing courage, commitment and indefatigability – Jack Feld, S. Santhi (Doha Asian Games Silver Medalist from Tamilnadu, India rises from abject poverty. She fails the gender test and her medal was stripped.), Captain Mahendra Nath Mulla goes down with his ship INS Khukri struck by a Pakistani submarine. For the longtest time, this was thought to be the captain’s error but now it appears there were lot of contributing factors except the captain’s error. Going down with the ship is a Naval tradition and Captain Mulla stuck to it heroically. 2. If you had bought into the QWERTY myth and have always been wondering how easy life at the keyboard would have been if the Dvorak keyboard had won, despair not. The QWERTY Myth has been exploded. <Via Vulturo> 3. Kesava Mallela asks the thought provoking question, why should modern day Hindu temples look like they have been built in the 10th Century AD.  This story has hit the Desi podcasting circuit as well. 4. Uptill now, Alzheimer’s disease can be detected only at autopsy. Now scientists have figured out a way to detect it using some bio-markers in the spinal fluid.  <Via Priya Raju> 5. In Hinduism, Indra and Agni were the original gods of war. At some point later (exact time is not known accurately), Skanda had become the God of War. Most people believe that the Dravidian God of War Muruga was co-opted by Hinduism and tied to Skanda, the son of Shiva. Priya Raju was thinking out aloud last week asking if Skanda is tied somehow to Alexander the Great because she had heard that Iskandar is Alexander in Islam. Well, someone called Gopala Pillai has been researching into this and has published a paper trying to prove that Skanda is Alexander.  I read the paper. Not sure i agree with many of the inferences he has drawn, but he does make some important and probably accurate inferences that could put this in the realm of possibility. 6. We watched the George Clooney directed Good Night, and Good Luck that covers the war between Ed Murrow of CBS News and Senator McCarthy. David Strathairn as Ed Murrow has turned in a brilliant performance with a ensemble star cast supporting him – Robert Downey Jr., George Clooney himself, Frank Langella, Patricia Clarkson and others. We both liked it a lot. If you haven’t seen it, check it out.


  1. Anonymous said December 19, 2006, 12:48 pm:

    I have never heard of the QWERTY myth. Very interesting read.

    I loved the description of Saraswathi temple at Pilani. Is it open to public?

  2. Anonymous said December 19, 2006, 11:35 pm:

    Thanks Anonymous. The QWERTY myth has been around for a long time and the story as you have read now was that the keyboard was deliberately designed to decrease the typing speed because the keys were getting jammed in the mechanical typewriters of yore.

    Yes the temple is open to the public. Given that Pilani is such a remote place, we only get visitors who are visiting the campus or local folks.

  3. Anonymous said December 23, 2006, 2:34 pm:

    Interesting ones. QWERTY Myth makes me laugh when I am planning to buy a smart phone in next few months.. Skanda <--> Alexander may be far fetched..but we can never say..


  4. Anonymous said December 24, 2006, 8:11 am:

    Thanks Vamsi. Yes Skanda – Alexander does sound far fetched. But hey, what is life without some speculation.