(Roughly) Daily

Posts Tagged ‘Cobra

“Always carry a flagon of whiskey in case of snakebite and furthermore always carry a small snake.”*…

Your correspondent has to be away for a few days, so (Roughly) Daily will, for a time, be more roughly than daily… Regular service should resume on or around Thursday, August 10. Meantime, a little reminder of the extraordinary pageant that is life…

Amar Guriro on a community with a unique lifestyle…

… This is the mound of snake charmers, Jogi Daro, which was once situated about one-and-a-half kilometres away from Umerkot city [in Pakistan]. With Umerkot’s population swelling and new housing schemes having popped up to meet demand, Jogi Daro now finds itself part of the city proper.

Each house owns at least one black Indian cobra, but most actually own several snakes, including cobras, kraits and vipers, locally known as Lundi Bala. None of the serpents are defanged but children play with them as if they were toys. [Ustad Misri, snake charmer and chieftain of his tribe] says this is because a certain contract exists between the jogis and the serpents living with them.

“A snake cannot bite a jogi child, and even if it does, it will not harm our child since we administer a drop of snake venom as suti (first food) to our newborns. This establishes immunity against snake poison for their entire life,” claims Ustad Misri.

Jogis or snake charmers are a gypsy community in Sindh. They mostly wander around the entire year from one place to another, either in search of a livelihood or a snake…

The way of the snake: “Rule of the jogi,” from @amarguriro in @Dawn_News.

See also: “How did snakes lose their limbs? Mass genome effort provides clues,” from @ScienceMagazine.

* W. C. Fields


As we ponder partnerships, we might recall that it was on this date in 1769 that the Portolá expedition, a group of Spanish explorers led by Gaspar de Portolá, made the first written record of the tar pits in 1769. Father Juan Crespí wrote:

While crossing the basin, the scouts reported having seen some geysers of tar issuing from the ground like springs; it boils up molten, and the water runs to one side and the tar to the other. The scouts reported that they had come across many of these springs and had seen large swamps of them, enough, they said, to caulk many vessels. We were not so lucky ourselves as to see these tar geysers, much though we wished it; as it was some distance out of the way we were to take, the Governor [Portolá] did not want us to go past them. We christened them Los Volcanes de Brea [the Tar Volcanoes].

(The English name of the site is redundant, as “La Brea” comes from the Spanish word for “tar.”)

While evidence suggests that prehistoric native Americans used and traded the asphalt, the site is now noted for the fossils found there (first by Professor William Denton in 1875). Among the prehistoric Pleistocene species associated with the La Brea Tar Pits are Columbian mammoths, dire wolves, short-faced bears, American lions, ground sloths (predominantly Paramylodon harlani, with much rarer Megalonyx jeffersonii and Nothrotheriops shastensis), coyotes, ancient bison, and the state fossil of California, the saber-toothed cat (Smilodon fatalis)– largely dating from the last glacial period.

La Brea Tar Pits fauna as depicted by Charles R. Knight (source)

“The older I get the more things I gotta leave behind, that’s life.”*…

It’s that time of year…

Worried about your carefully chosen holiday presents languishing on a container ship somewhere? We invite you to consider these select Supply Chain–resistant items, up for bid from the world of Sylvester Stallone!

The exclusive auction event presenting the extraordinary collection of the international superstar and the Golden Globe Award-winning and Academy Award-nominated actor, screenwriter, fitness icon, author, artist and director’s most cherished treasures from his singular life and career, [is] taking place on Sunday, December 5th at Julien’s Auctions in Beverly Hills and live online at juliensauctions.com.

Give a piece of Rocky (or Rambo or Cobra or…): “Slice Through the Clutter of the Holiday Giving Season With a Little Something From the Personal Collection of Sylvester Stallone,” from @JOEMACLEOD666, @tomscocca, and the good folks at @Read_Indignity. Do browse: lots of knives…

* Sylvester Stallone, Rocky Balboa


As we stock up, we might recall that it was on this date in 1948 that Edwin Land’s Polaroid Land Camera Model 95– the first “instant” camera, producing finished prints in about a minute– went on sale for the first time.  It was priced at a then-lofty $95 (to wit, the model number).

Polaroid originally manufactured sixty units of the camera. Fifty-seven were offered at Boston’s Jordan Marsh department store for the Christmas holiday.  Polaroid’s marketing department reckoned that the camera and film would remain in stock long enough to manufacture a second run based on customer demand.  In the event, all fifty-seven cameras and all of the film were sold on the first day.  Over 1.5 million units were sold over the next few years, before the company introduced new models.


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