Tsunami, never come again!!!

Tsunami Photos Tsunami027_jpg Originally uploaded by
Tsunami Photo/News Archive link to over 20,000 pho.

^ These girls were caught in the giant Tsunami waves when they had come to Galle bus stand to go for their Tution classes. Some survived the ordeal to tell the tale...

It has been one year since the Tsunami hit shores of ours & few other neighbouring countries. It was so massive & sudden catastrophe, all who were not affected, rushed to the help of those poor victims. The boundaries of race, religion, cast & others were so easily forgotten, that all of the Sri Lankans united in one voice to rebuild the nation.
So many lives were lost.
So much property destroyed.
One year has passed, still so much to be done.
The unity of the different races is fading...
The glow of war looming around in the air...
So many affected people still live in temporary shelters.
Still so much to be done....
...can we spend time wasting fighting, when we have so much to do???

May those who died in the tragedy attain nibbana or absolute goals according to their respective religions!!!


White Waters, here we come again...

Some last minute tips by Channa

Kasun briefing us about the rocky ride ahead...

White waters... here we come again...

Refreshingly cold white water of the Kelani River

Conquring the White Waters...

facing the challenges with a smile...

theres nothing to hold on to...

almost through...

OK it's done, where's the next?

Hey theres the camera.. say cheese..

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Well, when Rasika & Susantha said they want to have a very exciting time when they came home for this holiday , I couldn’t think of any thing else other than White Water Rafting. So here we go again… back to Kithulgala for White Water Rafting in the Kelani river. Also my cousine sister & her husband joined us.

Kitulgala is situated about 80km from Colombo on the A7 road to Nuwara Eliya via Avissawell .
We stayed at the Kithulgala Rest House as we did the last time. But we arranged the White Water Rafting with Rafters Retreat in advance.
Rafters Retreat is situated just next to Kithulgala Rest House. It is a magnificent old mansion.
Channa reviewed us on the finer details of the rocky ride. Then with Kasun we went to Yatiberiya, where the raft was launched, and again another 2hrs of adventure we got. There are 7 rapids ranging from grade 2 to 3 to be conquered & ideally suited for beginners as well.
My wife did not join in the ride. But she was more than happy to capture the moments, which we felt really a necessity during the first time we did White Water Rafting.
Channa was more than happy to help us in this deed. After dropping the raft & us at the place where we launched the raft, my wife was able to take pictures of our joyous ride from two places where the rapids could be seen from the banks.

Also see White Waters at Kitulgala


Ghost siting???

I got the above photo from a friend.
Those who are in the photo had taken it after they had had a BBQ & were about to leave. The person who printed the photos had seen somthing in the upeer left corner of the photo & enlarged it.
My friend thinks it's a ghost. One below is the enlarged photo of the ghost, if it is so.
What do you think. Could it be a ghost?
I managed to scan the photo. The streight lines on the photo are due to a fsult in the scanner.

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< The enlarged portion of the upper left corner of the above photo


Tale of the Two Rods

Have you noticed the symbols used in relation to medicine?

Which of these is it?
< >

Actually the medical professionals also have been confused in the use of these two symbols.The staff entwining a single serpent –believed to be a rat snake species- is known as Rod of Asclepius.

Asclepius was the god of medicine & healing in the Greek mythology. He was the son of Coronis -a mortal- & Apollo -a Greek god-, brought up by Chiron -a centaur-, who thought him all his skills in Medicine. Zeus killed him with a thunder bolt. Many reasons are speculated for this killing, one reason being acceptance of money in return for resurrection. These have to be discussed separately.
Then realizing his importance Zeus made him immortal & placed in the sky as the Ophiuchus among the stars.

The other one is Caduceus of Hermes or Kerykeion of Mercury. It depicts a staff with wings with two snakes wrapped around it. Hermes is the Greek god of boundaries, of travelers, shepherds and cowherds, of orators, literature and poets, of athletics, of weights and measures and invention, of commerce in general, of the cunning of thieves, and the messenger from the gods to humans. Mercury is the Latin god of trade, profit and commerce.

Thus Rod of Asclepius is more relevant to be used as a symbol of Medicine rather the Caduceus or Kerykeion which is more connected with commerce. But Hermes also is connected with alchemy in the form of hermetic spells, which is a precursor of medicine

< Logo of British medical association

Logo of World Health Organisation >


Presidential Election of Sri Lanka - 2005

Presidential Election voting was wrapped-up at 4pm. Now it is time to watch for results. Unlike earlier occations, we have another new method to get updated results for Sri Lankan Presidential Polls. They are updated web pages.
The official goverment news page for Presidential Election of Sri Lanka is -click here-

There are other sites promising to give updated results of the 5th Presidential Election of Sri Lanka,

The results of past Presidential Election of Sri Lanka can be found at -click here-


Wash your hands....

While we were attending to inducing anesthesia for the next patient, our Consultant Surgeon - Dr R D Yapa- popped a question to us as usual.
"Who discovered Antisepsis?". Chandan√° was quick to answer "Joseph Lister...". We nodded in agreement. "No.. It's Semmelweis" & we've never heard of a 'Semmelweis' until now.

That's how I found about an ugly chapter in "The Art of Medicine".

Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis (July 1, 1818 - August 13, 1865), was a Hungarian doctor who practiced under Klein, Professor of Obstetrics at Lying-in Hospial, Vienna.

He noticed that,

  • the neonatal death rate due to Puerperal fever (childbirth fever) was 13% in his unit compared to 2% in the other unit in the same hospital
  • his unit was managed by doctors & medical students & the other unit was managed by midwives
  • his colleague Jakob Kolletschka died of similar symptoms after he cut his finger accidentally during a post mortem.
  • women admitted with "street-births" (who had delivered in the streets) had lower fever rates compared to his unit's
  • student doctors attended to autopsies & then to women in delivery

With these observations in 1847, he introduced a new rule that everybody must wash their hands with chlorinated lime before examining patients & later on added the instruments also to be washed. Death rate felt immediately to 2% which was comparable to the other ward.
The ugly chapter starts here. Semmelweis was not keen to report his findings to his superiors & was eventually dismeissed from his post by Prof. Klien. He returned to Hungary in 1850 & worked in St. Rochus Hospital in Pest.
He published his work in a book in 1861, "The aetiology, understanding and prevention of childbed fever" (Die √Ątiologie, der Begriff und die Prophylaxis des Kindbettfiebers). It was accepted by Hungarian government, even though it was widely criticised by German speaking doctors in Vienna. Even Viennese Medical Journal editorial reminded its readers "It was time to stop the nonsense about the chlorine hand wash".
He suffered a nervous breakdown and was admitted to a insane assylum & died 2 weeks later.
Cause of his death is speculated to be due to infection he received from a wound during autopsy. But the real cause was found to be something else. He had become violent while in the assylum & was beaten by assylum personnel. He died due to injuries received, in a fortnight.
Only in 1867 Joseph Lister introduced Carbolic Acid spray for asepsis. The scientific growth in asepsis had been halted for 20 years.

I remembered, during a class in Microbiology when I was a medical student, the lecturer told, "Wash your hands, that's the single most important action to prevent infections"

Further readings:


White Waters at Kitulgala

It was another offweekend for us. As we figured out that me & my wife would not have another long weekend off for a while, we thought of going to Kithulgala for a change

We just managed to book a room at Kitulgala Rest House, jam packed with honeymooners after the auspicious days full of weddings.When Thushara (Sister-in-law) got to know this she suggested "a trip to Kitulgala is nothing without White Water Rafting" - thanks sis

^ Raft for the bumpy ride

When we arrived @ Kithulgala Rest House, we had not made our minds yet to go on White Water Rafting. But after a chat with hotel manager, we thought of giving it a try in the Kelaniya River & our Hotel Manger was good enough to arrange it for us.

^ Final Check by Shiran & Wanasingha.

Roshan in the distance

We were to do White Water Rafting with guys from Ceylon Adventure Sports (Pvt) Ltd. Mr.Wanasingha came over to the Rest house to pick us up. We went to their office at Batakitta.

^ Final check on the raft!!

Then along with the air filled rafts we went to the place where White Water Rafting starts, Yatiberiya. Still we were in two minds when we reached the waters edge. But now it was too late for us to turn about. Both of us couldn’t swim. But with life jackets worn, we were confident.

^ Shiran instructing us...

Shiran gave us the instructions on how to row, as only two of them came with us – Shiran & Roshan – we need to row as well. I was really worried that I had to give up my camera as it was not water proof.

^ "Right Forward...." commands Roshan

From here on… it was Wanasingha who was behind the lens. The rivers are graded according to rapids from grade 2 to 6. The Kelani River in which we are rafting was graded 2 – 3, ideal for beginners like us & has 7 rapids.

It didn’t take long for the water to run over our heads. I never imagined earlier that boats could travel under water as well J . But I missed a lot of snaps, as I couldn’t take my camera along.It was an unforgettable experience….

Other places for White Water Rafting in Sri Lanka are,

  • Sitawaka river off Avissawella – Grade 3 to 4
  • Kotmale river – near Hatton - Nuwara Eliya road – Grade 4 to 5
  • Mahaweli River – from Ulapane and heads down to Gampola – Grade 2 to 5

Here are few links if you are interseted to do White Water Rafting in Sri Lanka, I found during my surfing...


Word scramble

This is a piture of a surmon written in an art form @ the Thanthirimale Temple ceiling. I am still unable to read the whole text written in Sinhalese laguage.
If U can please let me know... Posted by Picasa