Archive | September 2009

cat

catThe cat (Felis catus), also known as the domestic cat or housecat[5] to distinguish it from other felines and felids, is a small carnivorous mammal that is valued by humans for its companionship and its ability to hunt vermin and household pests. It has been associated with humans for at least 9,500 years[6] and is currently the most popular pet in the world.

A skilled predator, the cat is known to hunt over 1,000 species for food. It can be trained to obey simple commands. Individual cats have also been known to learn on their own to manipulate simple mechanisms, such as doorknobs and toilet handles.[8] Cats use a variety of vocalizations and types of body language for communication, including meowing, purring, “trilling”, hissing, growling, squeaking, chirping, clicking, and grunting. They are also bred and shown as registered pedigree pets. This hobby is known as “cat fancy”.f-Cute

Until recently the cat was commonly believed to have been domesticated in ancient Egypt, where it was a cult animal.[10] However, in 2004, a domesticated cat that was buried 9,500 years ago was discovered in Cyprus, and a study in 2007 found that the lines of descent of all house cats probably run through as few as five self-domesticating African Wildcats (Felis silvestris lybica) circa 8000 BC, in the Near East.

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Mahatma Gandhi

Mahatma_Gandhi_01Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi October 1869 – 30 January 1948) was the pre-eminent political and spiritual leader of India during the Indian independence movement. He was the pioneer of satyagraha—resistance to tyranny through mass civil disobedience, firmly founded upon ahimsa or total non-violence—which led India to independence and has inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world. Gandhi is commonly known around the world as Mahatma Gandhi (Sanskritmahātmā or ‘Great Soul’, a honorific first applied to him by Rabindranath Tagore), and in India also as Bapu . He is officially honoured in India as the Father of the Nation; his birthday, 2 October, is commemorated there as Gandhi Jayanti, a national holiday, and worldwide as the International Day of Non-Violence.

Gandhi first employed non-violent civil disobedience while an expatriate lawyer in South Africa, during the resident Indian community’s struggle for civil rights. After his return to India in 1915, he organized protests by peasants, farmers, and urban labourers concerning excessive land-tax and discrimination. After assuming leadership of the Indian National Congress in 1921, Gandhi led nationwide campaigns to ease poverty, expand women’s rights, build religious and ethnic amity, end untouchability, and increase economic self-reliance. Above all, he aimed to achieve Swaraj or the independence of India from foreign domination. Gandhi famously led his followers in the Non-cooperation movement that protested the British-imposed salt tax with the 400 km (249 mi) Dandi Salt March in 1930. Later he campaigned against the British to Quit India. Gandhi spent a number of years in jail in both South Africa and India.

As a practitioner of ahimsa, he swore to speak the truth and advocated that others do the same. Gandhi lived modestly in a self-sufficient residential community and wore the traditional Indian dhoti and shawl, woven with yarn he had hand spun on a charkha. He ate simple vegetarian food, and also undertook long fasts as a means of both self-purification and social protest.

Mirisawetiya

mirisavetiyaDutugemunu (162-137 A.D) who captured the kingdom of Anuradhapura from the Tamil invadar Elara, had take part in an aquatic festival held at Tissawewa. This appears to be a customany festival held at the coronation ceremony of a king in that period.. The king after bathing wanted to return in the evening found that the royal sceptre with relies of the Buddha could not be moved from the place where it had been struct in the earth. That the king caused a dagaba to be built enshring this sceptre41 with this dagaba which took three years to complete, the king built a monastory too for the Bikkus.This dagaba was called mirisawetiya because as mentiied in the Mahavamsa the king had built this dagaba as an act of explanation for the partaking of dried chillies without giving a share to the sangha42 The king from the start of the war against king Elara carried with him the sceptre referred to above after encasing relics in it42 and its power is believed to have made him win the battle fought against the Tamils.

This was the first cetiya built by king Dutugemunu who later built the famous Ruwanweliseya. According to the Mahavamsa king Gajaba (114-136) made a mantle to the cetiya and gave land for the maintenance of the viharaya which King Voharikatissa (209-231) restored the umbrella of the cetiya and built a wall, too.44 This cetiya too was damaged by the Chola invaders and king Parakramabahu renovated it to a height of 120 feet 45.At the time of the present renovation the diameter of the base was 168 feet.

The monastery at the beginning, appears to have been affiliated to the mahavihara and had gradually developed into a monastery of its own. But it continued as part of the Mahavihara and had gradually developed into a monastery of its own. But it continued as part of the Mahavihara fratenity.The chronicle do not give any light as to the nature of the relations that had existed between the Mahavihara and other monasteries like the Thuparama and the Mirisawetiya which belonged to the same fraternity. The Mahavamsa mentiones that king Dutugamunu after building the cetiya built an Uposatha hall and caused the Sangha to reside there 46 Another massive prasada was erected by the side of the Mirisawetiya by king Kasayapall(650-59)and caused a “Mahathera” to live there and granted a village for the supply of necessities47 king Kasayapa(914-23) had restored the vihara which had been destroyed with its various buildings and granted villages for the maintenance of the Bhikku residing there48 king Mahinda(956-72) had built a prasada called Chandana Prasada to house the keshadatu or hair relic49 As mentioned elsewhere this keshadatu was brought to Sri Lanka during the time of king Moggalana(495-513) and was kept in a house close to the king’s place and annual festivals were conduct in honour of it after conducting the hair reli to Jetavanarama. It is clear by the time of king Mahinda that a separate mansion at the monastery of the Mirisawetiya was constructed to house mis relic.lt is not yet clear as to when this relic was brought under the preview of the Mirisawetiya of the Mahavihara fraternity from the Jetavana faternity.

The ruins found around the cetiya indicate that the Mirisawetiya monastery may have spread over an area of over 50 acres. Among the ruins, the most important are ,except for the cetiya itself ,14 groups of buildings used as residence of the monks in the monastery which situated on the three sides of the cetiya except for the North.49

Mirisawetiya is highly valued by archeologists because of its Vahalkada. As indicated by Paranavithana the western Vahalkada of this cetiya was till recently “the most complete example of this type of structure “50 The Vahalkada of the tree other large stapas of Anuradhapura are in a ruined state. The Vahalkada “are from and architechtural point of new, among the most important features of Ceylon stupas and supply the earliest examples of plastic art of the Island”60 The Vahalkada of the three stupas at Anuradhapura in their present from appear to be later in date than the stupas themselves61 For instance the Vahalkadas of the Abayagiriya as epigraphical evidence shows appear to have been added to the cetiya after its enlargement in the reigin of Gagaba I and during the time of king Kanitthatissa. The flight of steps ascending the terraces at the Mirasawetiya are not placed behind the Vahalkadas as they are at the Ruwanwelisaya and other Dagabas . 62 The Rankothvehara and Kirivehara at Polonnaruwa have each eight small shrines with images of the Buddha. These image houses were built against me basement of the stupa. Among the Anuradhapura Stupas similar shrines are found only at the Mirisawetiya but they are arranged differently from those of Polonnaruwa .It is believed therefore that the shrines at the Mirasawetiya were added later ,probably .during the Polonnaruwa period63 When the Chola invaders pllundered and damaged the cetiya,king Parakramabahu I of Polonnaruwa had it restored. The chronicles mention the restoration of the Mirisawetiya again by king Parakramabahu n who came to power after the defeate of Magha a well known devastator of religious sites in Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa.

Henry Parker report that when in 1873, he visited Anuradhapura, the Mirisawetiya was merely a mound of earth covered with trees and schrub jungle64 J.F.Dickson, the first Govt. Agent of the province with the assistance of Smither had cleared the cetiya as well as the sourrounding jungle. During the clearence they had come across the ruins of an old image house on the western site of the cetiya65 When J.F.Dickson became the president of the Royal Asiate sociely(Ceylon Branch) he managed with the assistance of Governer Gregory to allocate Rs.lOOO/= from the funds of the sociely for excavation purposes of the cetiya Accordingly, excavations were commenced in 1885 under the guidence of Burrows. The exacavators expected to find three similar image houses like the one found on the western side in the three other directions as well When they found that the image house on the east had been destroyed, they gave up any further attempts66 Again in 1888 Burrows recommendenced the exacavations. At this time he would find only the ruins of two image houses in the northen and the southern sides.

Meanwhile Governer Gorden started the reconsrructions of the cetiya with bricks through a donation of Rs 1000/= by a Sames price in 1888. The construction plan was prepared by the Provincial Engineer Murray, according to the measure ments of the Rankothvehera of Polonnaruwa. The construction had to be stopped due to lack of funds.up to the commencement of the modern reconstruction work What we could see were the remains of the work carried out by Burrows. Owing to a crack in the brick wall the government made no further attempts to complete the work.67

My pet dog.

cute_dog_2_1024x768The dog (Canis lupus familiaris, pronounced /ˈkeɪ.nis ˈluːpəs fʌˈmɪliɛəris/) is a domesticated form of the Gray Wolf, a member of the Canidae family of the order Carnivora. The term is used for both feral and pet varieties. The domestic dog has been one of the most widely kept working and companion animals in human history. Amongst canine enthusiasts, the word “dog” may also mean the male of a canine species, as opposed to the word “bitch” (the female of the species).

The dog quickly became ubiquitous across culture in all parts of the world, and was extremely valuable to early human settlements. For instance, it is believed that the successful emigration across the Bering Strait might not have been possible without sled dogs. Dogs perform many roles for people, such as hunting, herding, protection, companionship, and, more recently, assisting handicapped individuals. Currently, there are estimated to be 400 million dogs in the world.[4]

Over the 15,000 year span that the dog had been domesticated, it diverged into only a handful of landraces, groups of similar animals whose morphology and behavior have been shaped by environmental factors and functional roles. As the modern understanding of genetics developed, humans began to intentionally breed dogs for a wide range of specific traits. Through this process, the dog has developed into hundreds of varied breeds, and shows more behavioral and morphological variation than any other land mammal.[5] For example, height measured to the withers ranges from a few inches in the Chihuahua to a few feet in the Irish Wolfhound; color varies from white through grays (usually called “blue'”) to black, and browns from light (tan) to dark (“red” or “chocolate”) in a wide variation of patterns; coats can be short or long, coarse-haired to wool-like, straight, curly, or smooth.[6] It is common for most breeds to shed this coat, but non-shedding breeds are also popular.

C. W. W. Kannangara

cwwCrestoper William Wijeyekoon Kannangara (October 13, 1884 – September 23, 1969) was a Sri Lankan lawyer and politician. Rising up the ranks of Sri Lanka’s movement for independence in the early part of the 20th century, he became the first Minister of Education in the State Council of Ceylon, and was instrumental in introducing extensive reforms to the country’s education system that opened up education to children from all levels of society.

Born in rural town in Ambalangoda,southern Sri Lanka, his academic prowess enabled him to win a scholarship to Richmond College, Galle, a prestigious national school at the time. Initially working as a lawyer after leaving school, he entered politics as the movement for independence was gathering strength in Sri Lanka. Kannangara was first elected to the Ceylon Legislative Council in 1923 and then to the State Council. He also served as the President of the Ceylon National Congress.

As Minister of Education in the State Council, Kannangara introduced extensive reforms to the education system of Sri Lanka throughout the 1940s. They befitted thousands of underprivileged students in rural parts of the country by making education free for all students. He also began a central schools scheme, which established high quality secondary schools in rural areas of the country. Kannangara’s significant achievements in areas of education have led him to being commonly referred to as the Father of Free Education in Sri Lanka

Senerath Paranavitana

paraanavitanaSenerath Paranavitana was a pioneering archeologist and epigraphist of Sri Lanka. His works dominated the middle-part of the 20th century, when he became the archeological commissioner in 1939, after the time of H. C. P. Bell, and D. M. de Z. Wickremasinghe.

He was born on 26 December 1896 at Metaramba, Galle. He had his early education at the Metaramba Government School and later entered Bona Vista School in Galle. He studied oriental languages at Ranweligoda Pirivena in Heenatigala. He was a school teacher at the Udugampola Government School and joined the Department of Archaeology in 1923. He married in 1930. Senarath Paranavitana received his Ph.D. degree in 1936 from the university of Laiden, Holland. and was appointed Commissioner of Archaeology on 1 October 1940 in which capacity he served diligently till December 1956. The next year (1957) he was appointed Professor of Archeology at the Peradeniya campus of the University of Ceylon.

Even though Paranavithana’s period began with the on set of the Second World War, his erudition and energy resulted in a very fruitful 17 years as the Archaeological Commissioner of Ceylon, when he retired in 1956. Today, Sri Lankan history and prehistory are illuminated by his highly-regarded academic and popular writings. The most well-known “magnum opus” of course was “Sigiri graffiti”, published in two monumental volumes by the Oxford University Press.

Besides his numerous contributions to foreign and local journals in the fields of epigraphy, history, art, architecture, religion, languages and literature are the following publications:

* The Shrine of Upulvan at Devundara (1953)
* The God of Adam’s peak (1958)
* Ceylon and Malaysia (1961)
* Inscriptions of Ceylon Vol.l (1970)
* The Greeks and the Mauryas (1971)
* Arts of Ancient Sinhalese (1971)
* Inscriptions of Ceylon Vol. ll (published posthumously)
* Story of Sigiriya (published posthumously)
* Sinhalayo

I like fruit Banana

banana_peeled1Banana is the common name for a type of fruit and also the herbaceous plants of the genus Musa which produce this commonly eaten fruit. They are native to the tropical region of Southeast Asia. Bananas are likely to have been first domesticated in Papua New Guinea. Today, they are cultivated throughout the tropics.

Banana plants are of the family Musaceae. They are cultivated primarily for their fruit, and to a lesser extent for the production of fibre and as ornamental plants. As the banana plants are normally tall and fairly sturdy they are often mistaken for trees, but their main or upright stem is actually a pseudostem. For some species this pseudostem can reach a height of up to 2–8 m, with leaves of up to 3.5 m in length. Each pseudostem can produce a bunch of green bananas which when ripened often turn yellow or sometimes red. After bearing fruit, the pseudostem dies and is replaced by another.

The banana fruit grow in hanging clusters, with up to 20 fruit to a tier (called a hand), and 3–20 tiers to a bunch. The total of the hanging clusters is known as a bunch, or commercially as a “banana stem”, and can weigh from 30–50 kg. The fruit averages 125 g, of which approximately 75% is water and 25% dry matter content. Each individual fruit (known as a banana or ‘finger’) has a protective outer layer (a peel or skin) with a fleshy edible inner portion. Both skin and inner part can be eaten raw or cooked. Western cultures generally eat the inside raw and throw away the skin while some Asian cultures generally eat both the skin and inside cooked. Typically, the fruit has numerous strings (called ‘phloem bundles’) which run between the skin and inner part. The inner part of the common yellow dessert variety splits easily lengthwise into three strips. Bananas are a valuable source of vitamin B6, vitamin C, and potassium.banana2

Bananas are grown in at least 107 countries.[3] In popular culture and commerce, “banana” usually refers to soft, sweet “dessert” bananas. The bananas from a group of cultivars with firmer, starchier fruit are called plantains. Bananas may also be cut and dried and eaten as a type of chip. Dried bananas are also ground into banana flour.

Although the wild species have fruits with numerous large, hard seeds, virtually all culinary bananas have seedless fruits. Bananas are classified either as dessert bananas (meaning they are yellow and fully ripe when eaten) or as green cooking bananas. Almost all export bananas are of the dessert types; however, only about 10–15% of all production is for export, with the United States and European Union being the dominant buyers.