,Malaysia, Nicaragua,adultery

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Tyranny of the Religious

Malaysia Steps Backward * Nicaragua's Dogmatic Position

Two items that illustrate the harsh impact of religion on civilians in countries governed under arbitrary interpretation of scriptures.

Christian Science Monitor Feb 18,2010

Malaysia caned three Muslim women convicted of adultery by a court of Islamic law, the first time that women in the multi-faith country have been subject to the punishment.

Last August, a similar sentence against a Muslim woman caught drinking was deferred amid complaints that shariah courts had overstepped the mark. That punishment is still pending.

Home Minister Hishamuddin Hussein said he wanted to publicize the case of the three women, who also received short jail terms, because of “too much hype” over the earlier case.

“People are saying that no woman has been caned before… today I am announcing that we have already done it,” he told a press conference. He added that the women didn’t suffer any cuts or bruises from the caning and had “repented” for their offenses. Four men were also convicted of “illicit sex” and sentenced to whipping.

What can one say about such atrocities?  I suppose it is better than stoning the women to death, as the Somalians do.

Guardian UK Feb 23, 2010

Nicaraguan authorities have withheld life-saving treatment from a pregnant cancer patient because it could harm the foetus and violate a total ban on abortion.

A state-run hospital has monitored the cancer spreading in the body of the 27-year-old named only as Amalia since her admission on February 12 but has not offered chemotherapy, radiotherapy or a therapeutic abortion, citing the law.

The decision has ignited furious protests from relatives and campaigners who say the woman, who has a 10-year-old daughter and is 10 weeks pregnant, will die unless treated. The cancer is suspected to have spread to her brain, lungs and breasts. They have petitioned the courts, government and the pan-regional Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to intervene.

The case has revived controversy over the 2007 law which made Nicaragua one of the few countries to prohibit abortion under any circumstances. Girls and women who seek an abortion, and health professionals who provide health services associated with abortion, face jail.

Here in America,too, there are people who would like to see total ban on abortions. Think about the possible scenarios if and when they get their way.


Tuesday, February 16, 2010


A Red-shouldered Hawk and Wild Mushrooms


Rancho San Antonio

After the morning fog dissipated, Valentines Day turned out to be sparklingly clear.   Hikers and runners took advantage of the weather.  It was difficult to find an empty slot in the parking lots at Rancho San Antonio.....another great preserve under Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District (MROSD). Arani Sinha and I were lucky to get space as a returning hiker pulled out from the lower parking lot.

We took the PG and E (Powerline) trail but did not go all the way up.  Exited on the Farm Bypass 2.1 miles from the parking lot and returned past Deer Hollow Farm on Wild Cat Canyon Trail.

 Creek alongside Wild Cat Canyon Trail, Rancho San Antonio

 A Red-shouldered Hawk at Rancho San Antonio

Wild Mushrooms and Flowers

Forager in the woods

A cluster of Lions' Mane Mushroom ((Hericium erinaceus)

Edible and excellent. Found near Big Basin on Feb 15, 2010..

About five weeks before Spring Equinox,  there are still some chanterelles to be found.  But as the days begin to turn warm they will soon be  gone except in the north coast.

The woods will continue to give pleasure as the display of spring wild flowers begins. 

Indian Warriors at Wunderlich Park



Friday, February 12, 2010


Wunderlich Park, Woodside, CA.


The woods, they are lovely * The Meadow * Pileated Woodpecker * Wild Mushrooms

Took advantage of a break in the weather to hike at Wunderlich County Park on Wednesday (Feb.10th). Easy to access, the park has a number of trails ranging from 5 to 9.5 mile loops. Some change in elevation as you head west toward Skyline but not too demanding.

The trails showed the effects of rains and stormy weather which we experienced in recent weeks. The muddy patches didn't pose much of a problem.

We took Bear Gulch trail to The Meadow (a distance of 2.5 miles) sat down and had a picnic lunch of a ragout made with butternut squash, white beans, some diced pancetta, and sprinkling of Herbs de Provence; steamed asparagus spears rolled in hot olive oil and garlic; fresh Ciabatta, with a half bottle of Sangiovase. Coffee and leftover pieces from a birhday cake with chocolate and cream topping. A lot of calories, yes, but we had a 2.5 mile hike ahead of us to return to the parking lot.

It was after the picnic that JHL, an avid birder, heard the call of a bird and, looking through binoculars , spotted a Pileated Woodpecker. I tried a few quick shots with my camera but didn't have much time to properly focus before the bird flew away.  On the way back we came across some Sulphur Shelf mushrooms; edible and good. There was an area full of White Coral mushrooms; they are not harmful but not worth picking.

Altogether, a good day.

The Meadow, Wunderlich Park


Pileated Woodpecker

JHL, bird spotter

Sulphur Shelf Mushrooms

White Coral Mushrooms

Daffodils are beginning to appear. On the drive back to Palo Alto, saw a patch full of  daffodils in bloom alongside Sandhill Road.

Daffodils alongside Sandhill Road  - ".....can Spring be far behind"



Tuesday, February 09, 2010


Weeds, Wild Flowers, Outdoor Statuary - Canada Road, Woodside, CA

A Safe, Scenic Road for Bicyclists * The Family (Club)

On any given day, unless the weather is really beastly,  many bicyclists are to be found on Canada Road between Woodside Road (the town of Woodside) and Hwy 92, a distance of  just over 7 miles. And some hardy souls ride on it even when the weather is beastly. A good ride clears the head , gets  the kinks out from legs. One can stretch the ride  by taking Olive Hill Lane off Canada Road, and then continuing on to Miramontes Road or -- even longer -- to Kings Mountain Road, and then back to Woodside Road.  Great rides no matter which you direction you take.

On weekends and holidays  hoards of bicyclists ride both north and south on  Canada Road, and it is fun to see the faster riders jockeying for position to be in the lead. See Bicycle Sundays (closing of Canada Road to cars) in the web site chainreaction.com

Photographs below were taken during a ride in the last week of January.

Looking west, T-junction Edgewood Road and Canada Road

Plaque about West Union, just south of the Edgewood Road/Canada Road Junction


A field of Oxalis weeds


Well nigh impossible to get rid of, I hated to see them in my yard. But, from a distance they look good.

Flowering Quince

Pyracantha bush - thorny, and the berries are poisonous.

Canada Road, looking north on a work day afternoon..


Outdoor statue, I


Outdoor statue, II

Outdoor statue, III
 Yellow flowers - Don't have a name; researching.
Woodside is where  The Family, a private club formed by employees of The San Francisco Examiner and other newspapers owned by the Hearst organization in protest against banning of Hearst newspapers by The Bohemian Club, has its summer camp.  The main club, originally located at Post Street, San Francisco, was relocated after the 1906 earthquake to corner of  Powell and Bush Streets.


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