Sunday Times Magazine

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Times March 9, 2014

Star Times Hollywood:

Kim, Kanye finally pick a wedding date See story on page 12


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2 Times Sunday Magazine

March 9, 2014

Times Feature

rector of Caiman House, on Rupununi Learners Facebook page with any questions or to schedule a visit to learn about and par-

ticipate in the black caiman research project. (Text by Dr Adam Rosenblatt. Cover photo by verawoodhead.

Undigested rabreye seed


or the entire month of February, researchers at the Caiman House Research Station in Yupukari, North Rupununi, have been pumping the stomachs of black caimans to learn about what they eat during the dry season. The research team - led by Dr Adam Rosenblatt of Yale University in the United States, Fernando Li of Caiman House and Leanna Kalicharan of the University of Guyana - captured and sampled the stomach contents of 30 black caimans and found some very interesting results. In total, 57 per cent of the black caimans contained evidence of fish, 7 per cent consumed other black caimans, and crabs, agoutis, and snails had been eaten by only one individual each. Ten of the black caiman had empty stomachs, which is not particularly surprising

A black caiman having its stomach pumped by the research team

since crocodilians are coldblooded and therefore can go for long periods of time without eating anything. Also, the occurrence of other black caimans in the diet was expected because cannibalism is common amongst crocodilians. However, the researchers were surprised by two of the items found inside the black caiman. First, one of the individuals had consumed the seed of a tree locally called ‘rabreye’, which indicates that black caimans may not be strict meat-eaters as most people assume. In fact, recent research by an international team of crocodilian experts has found that 70 per cent of crocodilian species regularly consume seeds and fruits, though this behaviour has never been observed in black caimans before. Second, two of the black caimans had porcu-

pine quills stuck in their tongues. Porcupines are not common in the Rupununi, so it was surprising to find that black caimans attempt to eat them every once in a while, but no evidence of porcupines actually came out of the stomachs. This suggests that the black caimans bit the porcupines but did not actually swallow them, which was probably a wise decision since the quills likely could do some serious damage to the black caimans’ throat and stomach. Another interesting finding was that black caimans in different areas eat prey at different frequencies. Only 44 per cent of black caimans in the main channel of the Rupununi River had consumed fish. In the nearby Simuni Lake, 82 per cent of the black caimans had consumed fish. This finding likely reflects dif-

ferences in fish availability and abundance between the two areas - a fact that local Amerindian fishermen know very well. The Caiman House research team is now preparing to conduct more research on black caimans’ diets during the wet season and future dry seasons to find out if black caimans have consistent diets across seasons and years. Additionally, the team would like to find out how much overlap there is between the diets of black caimans and the humans living alongside them. Ultimately, only time and more studies will enable the researchers to fully understand the mysteries of these fascinating creatures. People who are interested in the black caiman research, both Guyanese and foreign visitors, are encouraged to contact Fernando Li, managing di-

Porcupine quills found in a caiman's tongue

Bones of an agouti found inside a caiman

March 9, 2014

Times Sunday Magazine


Times Focus

INSIDE ronmental issues; to provide ‘Green Education’ for children and young adults; to organise children in structured groups to take leadership on environmental issues; and to improve the aesthetics of school yards and local communities. In an interview with Guyana Times Sunday Magazine, founder Royston King said a unique aspect of the EchoClubs is the united curriculum and integrated social media platform that will link clubs and classrooms across the country. “Clubs will initiate and share information about environmental projects and events at their schools to address not only the most pressing issues in their communities, such as water conservation, habitat restoration, energy efficiency and air quality improvements, but also national and global issues,” King outlined. He added that the special media platform will reach and help youths to learn about


ways to protect the environment. It will expand the collective environmental awareness of countless youths by giving them access to notable volunteers, scientists, conservation artists, engineers and more. ECHO anticipates that the social media site will be available in June 2014. Through diverse collaborative partnerships, ECHO plans to develop the next generation of leaders, who will have the knowledge, passion and skills to promote and work toward environmental sustainability. The vision of ECHO is to be the largest and most widespread and comprehensive organisation for youth environmental education, connecting the community with youths, offering expansive programmes, and providing resources for schools nationwide. For more information, visit ECHO Guyana on Facebook.

The Orchid Foundation - A mandate to empower

Pg 5

Star of the Week

Pg 7

Local collection awes Barbados’ fashion elite Pg 10

Deepika new brand ambassador of Kellogg's Special K Pg 14

Tree-planting exercise in Region Three

he Environmental Community Health Organization (ECHO) unites with other advocates against poor environmental practices; to protect communities; and develop Guyana in this era of climate change. The mission of ECHO is to increase the eco-consciousness and social responsibility of members by providing them access to the natural world, state-of-the-art social media, innovative educational programmes and resources. The organisation’s programmes include On-Campus EchoClubs, which supports after-school and classroom clubs on the campus of lower, middle and high schools, involving children in environmental projects. The Volunteer Match programme connects schools and clubs with volunteers that support ECHO’s mission and vision. The Eco-Field Trips support and fund eco-educational field trips for low-income schools. Additionally, the Eco-School Projects support and fund eco-enhancing classroom and club needs. The Youth ECHO Leadership

Training offers workshops, seminars, and conferences to develop and train children involved in EchoClubs nationwide, focusing on developing the next generation of environmental leaders. Recently, ECHO successfully concluded a four-day nature camp held on Soesdyke Highway. It was attended by children from various regions. The camp’s objectives were to raise awareness of the importance of the natural environment to human society; to encourage children to explore and interact with nature; and to provide a forum of exchange of information on approaches to environmental issues. The camp’s activities included nature walks, constructing a nature table, swimming, outdoor and indoor nature games, and talks about the conservation of environmental resources. Last year, the organisation launched 25 EchoClubs in Region Five, West Coast Berbice. Notably, the clubs are increasing in number throughout the country. The objectives of the clubs are to raise awareness on envi-

ECHO's youths learning about mangroves

‘Chavez Pg 21 Was Here’ photographic exhibition on at Castellani House Launching clubs in schools in Bartica

ECHO hosted a conference to observe World Environmental Day 2013 at the Guyana International Convention Centre


Times Sunday Magazine

March 9, 2014

Times Feature

-US-based Guyanese philanthropist is on a mission to eradicate poverty Caring For Others' CEO and founder, Eslene RichmondShockley


aring For Others, Inc. (CFO) is a human services organisation, established in November 2001, which provides meaningful improvement in quality of life and economic opportunity for low-income individuals and families. Founded by Eslene Richmond-Shockley, from Nabaclis on the East Coast, the organisation is on a mission to help eradicate poverty around the world by feeding, educating, clothing and housing one family at a time. Richmond-Shockley was motivated to start such an organisation to help those in need because of her personal experiences growing up in poverty as a child. As a result, she wanted to give back and restore hope to others. Through the orgnisation, the philanthropist has mo-

bilised prominent individuals and leading American Corporations to assist the needy in many countries – including Guyana. CFO has also provided distributions in Belize, Antigua, the Philippines, Nigeria and small gifts to Jamaica and Dominican Republic, as well as throughout the United States. Recently in Guyana, Caring for Others completed a large distribution with the United Nations Association of Guyana and with former Chief Justice Donald Trotman at Enmore, Haslington, Golden Grove, Nabaclis and Coven John. This was the first large distribution CFO has done in Guyana. CFO seeks progressive solutions across the entirety of its platform, including developing a unique and more sustainable business

model with ‘Care Mart’ – a store that generates income through the sale of discounted items such as furniture, clothing and other household goods. Offering an advanced model for human services, CFO strives to prevent the familiar cycle of poverty many people face today. The organisation helps stabilise lives by meeting immediate basic needs of food and clothing, and then provide support to help clients become more self-sufficient. Additionally, it provides personal and financial support during turbulent times including individual counseling, money management training, job retention and job placement services. Initially focusing on communities within Atlanta, US, in recent years Caring For Others has expanded its reach of hope and dignity by developing partnerships with over 110 agencies in the US. With their assistance, CFO provides services to the economicallydisadvantaged in rural communities. Caring For Others maintains: “We do not work for ourselves or even for one another; we work for the greater good.” For more information, visit Caring for Others on Facebook.

Volunteers handing out boxes of shoes

German's Restaurant


BBC crew (left) interviewing persons in the restaurant

he world will soon know about German’s Restaurant’s healing cow-heel soup when it will be featured on the BBC World News. As part of its coverage of the Guyana leg of the Queen's Baton Relay, ahead of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, BBC World News selected German’s Restaurant for a video feature. On 3 March, a camera crew and interviewer from the world-renowned media outlet recorded footage of the restaurant and conducted interviews with employees, customers and management of the restaurant. Owner of German’s, Clinton Urling recounted the restaurant’s 54-yearold history and also did an on-camera demonstration of how the famous cow-

heel soup is prepared from scratch. In an interview with Guyana Times Sunday Magazine, Urling said: “The decision was made to select German’s Restaurant by the producers of the BBC’s coverage of the Queen’s Baton Relay-Commonwealth Games 2014 in London. The interviewer and host of the series, Mr Mark Beaumont, indicated that the selection is done in London and he is not sure about the criteria, but the idea is to select restaurants throughout the relay tour, which have a rich history and serves popular local dishes.” Urling added that the three-member video crew sampled a bowl each of the cow-heel soup. The restaurant’s own revealed that the crew “seemed a bit reserved and hesitant at the

thought of eating cow heel, but they all drank an entire bowl once they tasted the first spoonful”. He also mentioned that they thought it was “rich and flavourful and enough to feed a whole family. The thickness of the soup was not something they were used to”. “It is a tremendous compliment that German’s was selected as the only non-baton feature for the Guyana leg of the relay. The restaurant has for 54 years consistently been serving up great Guyanese cuisine and it is an honour to see that achievement recognised in such a global way,” Urling declared. The feature is expected to air in the last week of March 2014 and can be viewed on BBC World News or on its website.

March 9, 2014

Times Sunday Magazine 5

Times Women


he mission of the Orchid Foundation is to empower individuals, especially women, to become independent and improve their lives through vital life skills programmes. In an interview with Guyana Times Sunday Magazine, Indra Constantine noted that the foundation is a non-profit organisation registered under the Friendly Societies Act. She added it was officially opened in 2009 by herself and husband, Mark Constantine (a pastor who has a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology). “The foundation initially served the community of Parfaite Harmonie. It started off as a women’s group but later we saw the need to expand our efforts to other communities and also welcomed men who needed counselling. This is where my husband was able to contribute because of having a PhD in Psychology,” Indra pointed out. A member of the Guyana Relief Council since 2005, Indra is passionate about giving back to her communi-

ty, which also contributed to her starting the foundation. Initially, according to Indra, the foundation offered craft courses and hosted a medical outreach, which is still ongoing, in collaboration with the Mercy Hospital Mobile Outreach Clinic and sponsored by Medicines for Humanity. Notably, the foundation has since increased its efforts and offers skills training in the fields of cosmetology, nail and hair, cake and pastry, sewing, floral arrangements, and computer literacy classes. Classes are held throughout the week in a separate building housed in the Constantine’s yard. “Initially, the organisation focused and tailored its programmes to help single mothers and school dropouts. However, we later saw the need to get men involved as well. The ongoing medical outreach is not restricted to women alone: everyone is welcomed. One of our main accomplishments is offering recognised certificates to those who have successfully completed the programmes. Two years

Orchid Foundation's founders, Indra and Mark Constantine

ago, we approached the Adult Education Association (AEA) for accreditation of our programmes. AEA accepted and we now hand out certificates on their behalf,” Mark outlined. Additionally, Mark explained he saw the need to educate people on societal issues. As such, he has conducted numerous training programmes on psychology, conflict resolution, counselling – just to name a few- and quite a number of persons benefitted. These programmes are not

Nail technician programme held at the Orchid Foundation

Floral arrangement classes

restricted to just Parfaite Harmonie, but have been extended to groups in and out of Georgetown. Currently, the foundation is engaged with the Partners of the Americas organisation promoting a project – Hydroponics Agricultural Planting. Consequently, the foundation now has its own shade house and has helped many persons to start their own vegetable gardens, from which they make a living. “My husband and I love to give back and help others. That is why we were motivated to start this foundation. The name ‘orchid’ was chosen because it is a beautiful sight to behold when it blooms and also it sur-

vives in harsh conditions. Additionally, my mother always taught me to be independent and I wanted to help women to realise the same. Notably, many women have completed the courses offered and are now successfully self-employed,” Indra disclosed. Presently, the foundation has 70 persons signed up for various programmes a number that is increasing. Indra stated that the foundation has helped hundreds of women since its conception. Through the foundation’s intervention, Mark mentioned, couples, experiencing domestic problems, have significantly im-

proved their relationships. Success stories include past students returning to share their knowledge with others. These ones also operate successful businesses. Indra expressed her gratitude for the assistance the foundation receives from the Bernice Mansel Foundation and the Guyana Relief Council. However, she said the foundation needs more funding in realising many of its goals. Her husband also encourages churches to give back in whatever way they can to their communities. He revealed that the foundation was started as a result of his church’s outreach programmes. “My current plan is getting a separate location for the foundation. We are thankful to the Stabroek Rotary Club, which is currently helping us with our sewing programme. When that programme is completed, we will need sewing machines to continue. We have reached out, but many expressed that they are already committed to other projects. We encourage those who would like to give back to join us,” Indra urged. For more information, visit Orchid Foundation on Facebook or call 651-8204.

6 Times Sunday Magazine

March 9, 2014

Times Book World

the shaping of guyanese literature

Part Three

By Petamber Persaud


ultural Folklore will always be a significant part of our lives whether we believe or not, whether we subscribe to it or not, whether we depart Guyana for other lands or not and whether it is substantiated or not. One way or the other, we are affected because we live in a society where people hold fast to folklore. These elements of belief and unbelief contribute enormously to the fascination of this subject. This fascination, from time to time, is manifested in intriguing fashion. What Mashramani 2014 did was to heighten the awareness and appreciation of our cultural folklore using different forms in art and craft. This overall manifestation was very effective in that people who witnessed the various portrayals could relate to the oral tradition from which emerged tangible forms. Our literature is replete with varying treatments of our cultural folklore. There is one longer short story which attempts the improbable – attempting to portray a huge portion of our folklore in one sweep of the pen. The name of that story is Samaan written by Doris Harper-Wills. In the story, Samaan, we would find or rediscover Fowl Mamma, a woman who is fat and rounded “bearing a burden of fat arms, fat legs, fat mangoes or fat

Mash float showcasing various folklore characters

grapefruit”. Additionally, we would find or rediscover Old Man Papee, a beggar, or sometimes a bogeyman shuffling about with “a curved back and a curved stick and holding a curved calabash”. Then there is the Baku, who lives in the trunk of the samaan tree counting money all the time. Baku is sometimes referred to as the “Dutch baccoo” and the Dutch is associated with buried treasures of estate managers/owners. The other major characters in this story include Ole Higue and Ole Samaan. Some minor character include Moon – “scandalmonger” who intrudes in people’s privacy and takes pride in knowing every-

one’s business; the Nugget King - the famed El Dorado; Woman of the River; Spirit of the Fall; Father Mist; Rapid Water; and Ven – a fierce looking warrior and leader of a feared tribe. Interestingly, this story is about a ‘Guyana Day’ similar to ‘Republic Day’ with a moral – people working towards one destiny. Now to put the pieces together: Harper-Wills is a consummate storyteller who in Samaan focused on one object and all else revolve about that one object – the tree. Ole Samaan tree was “the last tree planted by the first Dutch settlers who came to Demerary”. It was a stout tree with monstrous branches that offered protection from the

elements, but most importantly offered shade and succour to the needy. One day, long long ago,

aration of the two friends was extended and quite palpable. A reunion was anxiously awaited. The time of the reunion was ill-fated. As Ole Higue was returning in the form of a ball of fire, the country was alive with people preparing to go a great tramp from Berbice, through Demerara, through Essequibo unto the El Dorado who promised the people of Guyana a great fortune if they get to him without fighting or bickering over small things. As it happened, Ole Higue couldn’t find her skin which was in the hands of the crowd. So Ole Higue, who could not put on her skin, which was peppered and salted, could not return to her human form and communicate with Ole Samaan. Eventually, Ole Higue died and Ole Samaan became lonely. The atmosphere became gloomy and people stayed away, except

these were good children, speaking kind words about their cultural folklore. Ole Higue Dead?...we’re sad... Even though she’s not in fairly tales, She’s the greatest witch we ever had... We’ve looked in books on all the library shelves Poor us, we have no fairies of our own. And now the one we’ve found, we killed This was the first time Ole Samaan ever heard anything kind said about Ole Higue. She was happy there were still thoughtful children in the world; children that needed a tree for shade especially in time of climate changes. So she gave birth to Young Samaan with her dying breath. Responses to this author should be sent to email: oraltradition2002@yahoo.

Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment's Mash 2014 'Legends of the Wild' float depicted characters from Guyana's folklore

Ole Samaan and Ole Higue became very close friends and they will exchange stories whenever they meet. Ole Samaan was stationary forever on one spot at D’Urban Park while Ole Higue uses to fly off mostly at nights on her bloodthirsty ventures (sucking the blood of newborn humans). However, one of her trips took her into space to another planet and the sep-

some children who came to torment her for befriending Ole Higue, Ole Man Papee and Baku. The children would carve bad words and names on her trunk and would scrape away at her toes until the pain became unbearable. Ole Samaan decided to burned herself to death. Just as this selfimmolation was happening, “six strange children” came to her for rest and shelter;

com or call (592) 226-0065. What’s happening: Coming soon, the first reprint of An Introduction to Guyanese Literature. It will be available from the author at the above contacts, Austin’s Book Service (2267350) and at the National Library (226-2690). Backslider, a novel by Terry K. (Julia Kanhai) is now available.

March 9, 2014

Times Sunday Magazine 7

Times Feature


Star of the week

Nelsion Andre Nurse



professional designer, Nelsion Andre Nurse is known for his stylish collections, showcasing his flair for fashion, and capturing the beauty of fabrics. Nurse, who has been designing since age 13, did not sit on his laurels since his debut winning collection 'Patches' (2010) at Guyana Fashion Weekend 4. He has been consistently active, working in various facets of the creative industry since that hallmark introduction. Also an interior designer, Nurse has been designing costume art for children and adult bands set designs for public and private sector entities, and has worked closely as production assistant for Caribbean Fashion expert, Richard Young; for GFW and Guyana Model Search and Designers Portfolio. With children, he works with different schooling groups to teach movement and craft. Notably, he has won various Best Gown awards, including Miss Guyana Universe 2011, Miss Guyana Talented Teen 2010 and Miss Orealla Amerindian Hertiage 2011. His first major collection, ‘Mystic Fury’, Nurse described as “a dialogue with his spirit, telling his own journey through fabric selection, style, and silhouette”. The designer crafts designs that speak volumes about his own metamorphosis in the fashion industry. Nurse’s greatest influence is his mother, Joan Woolford - a person whom he uses to bounce off many of his ideas and plans; not necessarily for sanction, but for motivation. Through his fashion company, Nandre's Creations, Nurse aims to “tell life stories in his designs and to add his touch of class to the local fashion industry”. The young professional has also inspired and paved the way for young creative energy, mentoring fashion and set designers, and always finding a way for them to pursue their passion.


n indomitable squash champion is what Ashley Khalil constantly focuses on being. From a tender age, Khalil’s parents involved her in various sporting activities. Developing her athletic capabilities, Khalil became highly competitive. Intrigued by squash, the athlete invested much of her resources perfecting her skills in that sport. Now a Level Two squash coach and Level One referee, Khalil is determined to be the best squash athlete she can possibly be. The squash pro enjoys the sport because it keeps her fit and believes it is an ideal sport for teaching young people about tactics. In order to be a squash champion, Khalil feels one must possess “mental toughness, strategy, discipline and dedication”. For the squash champion, the sport provides opportunities to meet people and travel to different places to compete. Some of Khalil’s major achievements and biggest competition wins include: National Under 15, 17 and 19 Champion in both squash and badminton; two-time Junior Caribbean Champion; Junior Sportswoman of the Year (2008); Pan am Junior and Senior medals; South American Games medals; CAC Games medals; North American Open medal; Canadian Open medal. Other than squash, Khalil’s hobbies are playing badminton and table tennis with her family, cooking (mainly baking), watching television and spending time with family and friends. Her advice for fellow youths is to find a sport they enjoy. Her belief is that squash is a great way to stay healthy and minimise stress. Playing sports, according to the squash champ, ensures a rounded individual and instills a spirit of self-confidence, self-reliance, discipline, justice, fair play and patriotism.

Nurse's most recent designs

8 Times Sunday Magazine

March 9, 2014

Times Kids Page

Flying Snake

The image of airborne snakes may seem like the stuff of nightmares (or a certain Hollywood movie), but in the jungles of South and Southeast Asia it is reality. Flying snake (Chrysopelea) is a misnomer, since, barring a strong updraft, these animals can’t actually gain altitude. They’re gliders, using the speed of free fall and contortions of their bodies to catch the air and generate lift. Once thought to be more parachuters than gliders, recent scientific studies have revealed intricate details about how these limbless, tube-shaped creatures turn plummeting into piloting. To prepare for take-off, a flying snake will slither to the end of a branch, and dangle in a J shape. It propels itself from the branch with the lower half of its body, forms quickly into an S, and flattens to about twice its normal width, giving its normally round body a concave C shape, which can trap air. By undulating back and forth, the snake can actually make turns. Flying snakes are technically better gliders than their more popular mammalian equivalents, the flying squirrels. There are five recognized species of flying snake, found from western India to the Indonesian archipelago. Knowledge of their behaviour in the wild is limited, but they are thought to be highly arboreal, rarely descending from the canopy. The smallest species reach about 2 feet (61 centimetres) in length and the largest grow to 4 feet (1.2 meters).

Did you know? Flying snakes are mildly venomous snakes, but their tiny, fixed rear fangs make them harmless to humans. Their diets are variable depending on their range, but they are known to eat rodents, lizards, frogs, birds, and bats. Scientists don’t know how often or exactly why flying snakes fly, but it’s likely they use their aerobatics to escape predators, to move from tree to tree without having to descend to the forest floor, and possibly even to hunt prey. One species, the twin-barred tree snake, is thought to be rare in its range, but flying snakes are otherwise quite abundant and have no special conservation status.

Dot-to-Dot The objective of the game is to fill all the blank squares in a game with the correct numbers. Every row of 9 numbers must include all digits 1 through 9 in any order. Every column of 9 numbers must include all digits 1 through 9 in any order. Every 3 by 3 subsection of the 9 by 9 square must include all digits 1 through 9.

please see solution on page 22

Find the Hidden Words


Whether you rely on your bike for transportation or exercise, you’ll enjoy these seven fun facts on this two-wheeled vehicle. 1. In 1817, Karl von Drais, a German baron, invented a horseless carriage that would help him get around faster. The two-wheeled, pedal-less device was propelled by pushing your feet against the ground. The machine became known as the “draisine”, and led to the creation of the modern-day bicycle. 2. The term “bicycle” was not introduced until the 1860s, when it was coined in France to describe a new kind of two-wheeler with a mechanical drive. 3. There are over a half billion bicycles in China. Bikes were first brought to China in the late 1800s. 4. About 100 million bicycles are manufactured worldwide each year. 5. Over the past 30 years, bicycle delivery services have developed into an important industry, especially in cities, where the couriers have earned a reputation for their high speed and traffic-weaving skills. 6. The Tour de France is one of the most famous bicycle races in the world. Established in 1903, it is considered to be the biggest test of endurance out of all sports. 7. Bicycle Moto Cross (BMX), an extreme style of bicycle track racing, became a sport in the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, China. (Taken from ‘Bicycle: The History by David Herlihy’)

10 Times Sunday Magazine Times Fashion


ashion collection First Resort, under the Mariska's Designs label by Sonia Noel, certainly was a showstealer at the recently held “Colours of Fashion” event in Barbados. In an interview with Guyana Times Sunday Magazine, Noel said her caftan designs are very sophisticated, versatile and timeless and are suitable for all body types. The designer has done well with the collection as it is now available in Haiti, Suriname, Barbados, St Lucia and Tobago. “I hope to add more locations very soon where my collection will be available. I am happy with the response to my first Resort Line and I feel good about the future of my brand,” Noel expressed. For more information on the collection, call 226-3099. (Photos by Shane Collymore)

March 9, 2014

March 9, 2014

Ella Yelich-O'Connor, popularly known by her stage name Lorde, is a New Zealand singer-songwriter. As a child, she has performed in various singing and drama classes and at the age of 13 signed with Universal. Yelich-O'Connor adopted her stage name due to her fascination with “royals and aristocracy”, but felt the name Lord was too masculine so added an ‘e’ to make it more feminine. Her musical debut, The Love Club, which was released in November 2012, and her first single, Royals, debuted at number one on the New Zealand Top 40, and also reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2013, making her the first New Zealand solo artist to have a number one song in the United States. Her debut album, Pure Heroine, was released in September 2013, receiving critical acclaim and commercial success worldwide. Her work has earned her numerous awards and accolades. In October 2013, she jointly won the 2013 Silver Scroll award for Royals, which celebrates outstanding song-writing achievements in original New Zealand pop music. For the 56th Annual Grammy Awards, the singer received four nominations, in which she won Song of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance for Royals. In February 2014, she was chosen International Female Solo Artist at the BRIT Awards.

Times Sunday Magazine 11

Star Times Hollywood

12 Times Sunday Magazine

March 9, 2014

Times Hollywood

Kim, Kanye finally pick Oprah Winfrey gives dress to Twitter follower a wedding date A A h, springtime in Paris. After getting engaged in a major league ballpark, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are ditching baseball and hot dogs for the Eiffel Tower and pain au chocolat. According to Us Weekly, the pair have set a May 24 wedding date in Paris for what sounds like a much more low-key affair than Kim's last trip down the televised aisle. Few details were available at press time, but Kardashian recently told boss Ryan Seacrest that things will be different this time. "We're having a super, super small, intimate wedding," she said. "As we go along, we're realizing we want it to be smaller and more intimate than people are imagining and thinking." Though spokespeople for the couple could not be reached for confirmation on the date at press time, People magazine also reported the May date, quoting an unnamed source saying it "won't be a huge wedding ... around 150 people." As you might recall, West, 36, proposed to Kim on her 33rd birthday in October at San Francisco's AT&T Park
 in a low-key event that was filmed for her family's reality show, "Keeping Up With the Kardashians." It's unclear if they will be filming the May

wedding for a special similar to the one Kardashian made for her short-lived marriage to NBA player Kris Humphries. The couple consider Paris their second home, and back in January, Kim told Jimmy Kimmel that they were definitely eyeing a summer date in the City of Lights. Their daughter, North, will turn one less than a month (June 15) after the blessed event. (MTV)

fan of Oprah Winfrey has received a dress from the TV mogul after she asked Winfrey via Twitter if she could have the dress. Winfrey appears on the cover of Essence's Hollywood issue, wearing an ivory dress. Forest Whitaker, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Michael B. Jordan also join her on the front page. Seeing the elegant dress, a fan who goes by @snobaby28 on Twitter wrote to Winfrey on Valentine's Day. "You look beautiful in that essence cover pic. WOW. CAN I please have that dress? Cuz I know u won't wear again lol luv u," she tweeted. Winfrey then replied, "You're right I won't wear ever again contact my asst. and show her this tweet." The fan gratefully wrote back, "THANK YOU!!! You are truly a blessing. Sitting alone in sadness and you have brightened my day. Bless U." About a week later, the fan wrote again, saying that she had received the dress and she planned to wear it for her wedding someday. "THANK YOU! Recv beautiful dress. Plan to wear at my wedding when I find a groom lol but will twt pic wearing it soon. Luv u to life!" she said in an excited-sounding tweet. Winfrey recently worked on a docu-series which chronicles Lindsay Lohan's days after being released from rehab. In a recently-

released trailer, Winfrey can be seen seemingly feeling frustrated, telling the "Mean Girls" star, "I really do want you to win. I really do. If that isn't what you want, I'm OK with that. You know, I will tell [the crew] to pack up and leave today. ... You need to cut the [expletive]. You really do." (AceShowbiz)

Ke$ha leaves rehab and tweets about return to music


e$ha has left rehab and is ready to get back on stage, tweeting to her fans that she was "happy to be back". Wearing a top with “I'm A Survivor” written across the front as she touched down in LAX airport, the Timber singer tweeted: "Happy to be back! Feeling healthy & working on tons of new music. I can't thank my fans enough for all the love & support u have given is beautiful. I'm so blessed to have u all". This morning, she also shared a picture of her view from an airplane window, teasing her return to music: “Since leaving rehab, the Warrior singer also changed her Twitter handle from @ Keshasuxx to @KeshaRose.” Ke$ha, who cancelled a string of tour dates earlier

this year, entered rehab at the Timberline Knolls centre in Chicago at the beginning of January for treatment for anorexia and bulimia - and her mother Pebe Sebert followed shortly afterwards. Speaking at the time, Ke$ha said: “I'll be unavailable for the next 30 days, seeking treatment for my eating disorder... to learn to love myself again, exactly as I am." (Glamour)

Justin Bieber explodes during deposition over Selena Gomez questions


ustin Bieber reportedly exploded during a deposition in Miami when asked about ex-girlfriend Selena Gomez. The 20-year-old pop star was sitting down with lawyers on March 6 for some out-ofcourt testimony. Bieber and his bodyguard Hugo Hesny were sued by a photographer named Jeffrey Binion last year for assault. The singer was scheduled to give his testimony in January but it clashed with his DUI and drag racing case in Florida. During the 4.5 hour deposition, Bieber was asked various questions including whether Gomez was present during the incident. According to TMZ, Bieber's lawyer, Howard Weitzman, felt Binion's lawyer was just trying to get a rise so

he objected. The lawyer asked for a second time and ticked Bieber off. Weitzman jumped on Bieber's defense, saying his client was being harassed. The lawyer was quite persistent, asking Bieber about Gomez again. Bieber and Weitzman stood up to leave and Bieber screamed, "Don't ask me about her, do not ask me about her!" They were back 5 minutes later but things got worse from there. Bieber dropped the F bomb when the lawyer asked him to confirm a "yes". Bieber said, "What the f*** is the difference between yeah and yes?!" He also slammed the lawyer, "What is this, '60 Minutes?'," adding "OK Katie Couric, what's your question again?" (AceShowbiz)

March 9, 2014

Times Sunday Magazine 13

Star Times Bollywood

Upen Patel


pen Patel is a British-Indian male model and Bollywood film actor. Patel was born in London to Indian parents; he now lives in Mumbai, India. After winning Zee TV's supermodel hunt in 2002, Patel began modelling for Hugo Boss, Paul Smith and Zegna. He received the MTV India Most Stylish Male Award two years in a row. He was a cook on the show Karen Anand's Cook Na Kaho before his debut into films. In 2006, he made his Indian cinema debut in the film 36 China Town. The film was a success at the box office. Patel won several awards, including the IIFA Award, for his role in the movie. His second film, Namastey London (2007), also did well at the box office. In 2008, he received flak for his guest appearance in Ashwani Dheer's One Two Three. In 2010, he took time out to finish a diploma in film making from the NIFT in the UK and earned a diploma in scriptwriting from Raindance in the UK. The same year, he completed studies in acting at the Lee Strasberg Actors' Studio in Los Angeles. In 2013, he made his debut in Tamil cinema starring in one of India's most expensive films, I. In that same year, he made his debut in French cinema as the leading man in a film directed by Yann Danh.

14 Times Sunday Magazine

March 9, 2014

Times Bollywood Abhishek Bachchan: 'Superstars Deepika new brand ambassador of Kellogg's Special K share humility in common'



bhishek Bachchan has described his experience of working with senior actors. Clocking up 13 years in the industry, the “Happy New Year” star has now shared screen space with the biggest stars of Indian cinema including his father Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan. Speaking to, the actor revealed his personal observations of the industry's superstars, saying: ''There is just one quality which is common in all of them. There is one common thread - their humility and enthusiasm towards their work, which is very important. "When they are working they are not the stars that they are off-set. Off-set they are the big stars and they carry themselves the way they want to. On-set it is just about making the best film they want to. And that's infectious and it is so refreshing.'' He continued: ''So when you work with senior actors, you maintain that respect. But when you see them working just like a

ctress Deepika Padukone has been appointed the brand ambassador of cereal brand Kellogg's. The 28-year-old, riding on four back-to-back hits like "Chennai Express", will present women with a Special K 2 Week Challenge as part of a healthy lifestyle to help them begin a weight management journey. The challenge aims to prepare women for a bold and contemporary look for wed-

normal actor to make their film work right, it is very heartening.'' The 38-year-old star was seen in a game of cat and mouse with Aamir Khan in “Dhoom: 3” and is currently shooting “Happy New Year” with Shah Rukh Khan. (Digital Spy)

dings. "I couldn't be more thrilled to be associated with Kellogg's Special K. I personally have always been a firm believer of the importance of a combination of balanced eating with regular exercise for a healthy lifestyle," she said in a statement. In the past Lara Dutta had endorsed Kellogg's breakfast cereal brand Special K. (Hindustan Times)

Kangana Ranaut: 'I don't know if I deserve this stardom'


angana Ranaut has revealed that she dislikes living her life in the public eye. The actress made her film debut in 2006 in “Gangster” and later appeared in hit films including “Raaz - The Mystery Continues”, “Once Upon Ay Time In Mumbai”, “Tanu Weds Manu”, “Krrish 3” and “Fashion” - for which she won the National Award. Speaking to PTI, she said: "The worst thing about being an actor is that you are constantly in the limelight. There are times when I feel like being left alone. "I was 17 when I started working and I don't remember living on my own. I don't know if I deserve this stardom." The 26-year-old said she enjoyed the anonymi-

ty while living in New York where she studied filmmaking. "It was a refreshing change to be anonymous and be myself. While I was studying in New York, I was cooking for myself, doing my laundry, travelling by subways. I found it relaxing

and really enjoyed staying alone," she said. "It was a unique experience to go back to school. I enjoyed sitting in the classroom, attending lectures, doing homework. I never had any formal education in acting. I understood the techniques of filmmaking but I wanted to understand them more." In her latest film “Queen”, Ranaut plays a conservative woman named Rani who is forced by circumstances to go on her honeymoon to Europe alone and in doing so unwittingly embarks on a journey of selfdiscovery. Directed by Vikas Bahl, the film, which also stars Rajkummar Rao and Lisa Haydon, releases on Friday, March 7. (PTI)

Anupam Kher celebrates 59th birthday


nupam Kher has celebrated his 59th birthday with students from his Actor Prepares school. The actor was photographed with students from the Juhu branch of his acting school on Friday (March 7).

"Thank you for your love on my birthday. It gives me strength and courage to do my best as an actor and as a citizen of my country. Jai Ho," Kher wrote on Twitter. Kher was also sent good wishes by “Total Siyapaa” co-star Ali Zafar. "Happy birthday to a

man who you can learn a lot more from than just acting," the Pakistani actor wrote. Kher will act opposite wife Kiron Kher for the first time ever in his latest movie, culture clash comedy “Total Siyapaa”, presently showing. (Digital Spy)

Sonam Kapoor to star with Salman Khan


onam Kapoor has been confirmed to star in Sooraj Barjatya's next

film. The casting of the lead actress has been the focus of ongoing speculation with Deepika Padukone originally tipped to take on the coveted role. Speaking to IANS Kapoor confirmed the reports saying: "I was in negotiations with Sooraj-ji for the last four months. We've finally worked out all the modalities. And, yes I am doing the film. I'll be getting into the film as soon as I finish shooting Arbaaz Khan's Dolly Ki Doli." The actress said she is excited about the film and following in the footsteps of the likes of Madhuri Dixit and Karisma Kapoor as one of the famed Barjtaya heroines.

"I've grown up watching Sooraj-ji's films. To be actually working in his film is a very exciting prospect for me. It's double exciting as I'll get to star with Salman Khan for the second time," said the 28-year-old. "People seem to remember that I was paired with Ranbir Kapoor in Saawariya. They forget my character was actually in

love with Salman's character. In fact, my character chose to go with Salman rather than Ranbir in the end. Salman and I had shot together for Saawariya for 31 days," she explained. Sooraj Barjatya has been behind many of Khan's biggest films including “Maine Pyar Kiya”, “Hum Saath Saath Hain” and “Hum Aapke Hain Koun”. (IANS)

March 9, 2014

Times Sunday Magazine


Times Healthy Living


hether it's a fleeting case of morning breath or a lingering bout with halitosis, everyone has bad breath sometimes. Unfortunately, for as easy as it is to get bad breath, getting rid of it can be a lot more complicated. For some, employing a toothbrush, floss and mouthwash more frequently to remove plaque, the nearly invisible film of bacteria that contributes to bad breath, will do the trick. For others, a professional cleaning to remove stuck-on tartar, which is hardened plaque, will be necessary. Others still will discover that cavities and gum disease are at the root of their bad breath problems. Occasionally, bad breath is due to something in the lungs or gastrointestinal tract, or to a systemic infection. Some health problems, such as sinus infections or diabetes, can also cause bad breath. And sometimes it just comes down to what you ate for dinner.

Brush and floss

Your mouth contains millions of bacteria. In fact, there are probably more bacteria colonized in your mouth than there are cells in your entire body. Of the some 700 kinds of bacteria that thrive in the mouth, scientists have identified and studied fewer than half - which makes it difficult to know exactly how to combat the odors that all those bacteria give off as a byproduct when they digest their food. Regardless, there are a few

things you can do to beat the bad breath caused by germs. Start by keeping your mouth clean: Your food supply is their food supply. Although you can try to kill bacteria with mouthwash, this is only a temporary solution. The bacteria will grow back over time. Your best defense is to brush your teeth thoroughly at least twice a day, and floss once a day. This will help remove the food trapped between your teeth, as well as the food trapped in the gum line. Otherwise, both of these areas would provide breeding grounds for bacteria. If food particles are left to linger, bad breath is imminent.

Clean your tongue

Scientists suspect that some bacteria, particularly bacteria located on the top of your tongue closest to your throat, actually protect against foul-smelling breath. Other types of bacteria, however, produce a pungent odor as they multiply. What does this research mean for you? The type of bacteria most prevalent on your tongue could mean the difference between good and bad breath. Unfortunately, researchers don't yet know how to tip the bacterial balance so that you'll always have naturally sweet-smelling breath. There is one simple thing you can do to help, though: Clean your tongue. The rough surface of the tongue is home to a potentially foul-smelling combination of dead cells, food debris, bacteria and the byproducts of bacteri-

some of the food particles left in the mouth after a meal and prevent bad breath from setting in.

al digestion -- factors that all contribute to less-than-fresh breath. Be sure to brush your tongue with your toothbrush after you brush your teeth. Or, for a more effective scrubbing, use a tongue cleaner. This handheld device is designed to scrape the surface of the tongue and remove odorcausing debris from its surface.

Eat to smell sweet

Know the culinary culprits

The foods you eat can exert a lot of influence on the way your breath smells. You probably expect some foods to give you bad breath, such as garlic or onions. But some bad-breath culprits may surprise you. Take meat, for example. Meat particles are known for sticking around, even after you've swallowed your bite of steak and washed it down with a gulp of water. These meat particles collect at the gumline, get stuck between teeth, and sometimes work their way under fillings or crowns, and are especially attractive to reproducing bacteria. High-protein and low-carb diets, while a possible boon to your waist size, aren't great for your breath. Eating fewer than 100 grams of carbohydrates a day triggers a condition known as ketosis, a metabolic state that causes your body to burn fat instead of sugar. Ketosis is notorious for causing bad breath. However, if you're committed to being a carnivore you can still

freshen your breath by doing one simple thing with the world's most common liquid – water.

Rinse after eating and drinking

What you drink can cause bad breath, too. Consuming an acidic beverage, including soda pop, coffee or alcohol, will release compounds into your bloodstream that will, in turn, release odors through your breath. Plus, acidic drinks lower the pH level in your mouth: A lower pH level allows bacteria to flourish and release volatile sulfur compounds, which smell similar to a rotten egg. Even if you don't want to avoid your morning latte, you can still freshen your breath by doing one simple thing: Rinse your mouth with plain water after drinking it. This will help rebalance your mouth's pH levels. Rinsing with water also works after meals - no matter what you've eaten. Swishing the water around may help remove

There are certain foods that smell good - and that make your breath smell good, too. Take fruits high in vitamin C, for example. Melons, berries and citrus fruits such as oranges are packed with vitamin C, something that doesn't sit well with the bacteria in your mouth. Instead of continuing to reproduce, the bacteria will begin to die. And the more C-laden fruits you eat, the more oral germs you'll kill. Other foods that help quell rancid breath include raw, crunchy fruits and vegetables. Celery, carrots and apples are all good options to munch after a meal because these fiber-packed foods will help remove any food that's stuck in your teeth. These foods also stimulate saliva, which is detrimental to bacteria. Raw apple slices are also a great way to end a meal and get your breath back on track.

Visit your dentist

Unfortunately, one of the most common causes of persistent bad breath is also one of the most overlooked: a lack of regularly scheduled visits to your dentist. For most, visiting your dentist twice a year should suffice. For others who experience tartar buildup more quickly, four times a year may be necessary. (Excerpted from Discovery Health)

Foods That Help You Sleep M

any foods contain naturally occurring substances that bring on sleep; below are some of the best choices to help you settle down for a quality rest.


published in the ‘Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine’ found that when the body’s magnesium levels are too low, it makes it harder to stay asleep.

Cheese and crackers

carium, which has sedative properties and affects the brain similarly to opium. You can also try this brew: Simmer three to four large lettuce leaves in a cup of water for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, add two sprigs of mint, and sip just before you go to bed.


Walnuts are a good source of tryptophan, a sleep-enhancing amino acid that helps make serotonin and melatonin, the “body clock” hormone that sets your sleep-wake cycles. Additionally, University of Texas researchers found that walnuts contain their own source of melatonin, which may help you fall asleep faster.


Old wives’ tales suggest that warm milk can make you sleepy, but the truth is any dairy product can help. Calcium (found in cheese, yogurt, milk, and these surprising sources) helps the brain use the tryptophan found in dairy to manufacture sleep-triggering melatonin. Additionally, calcium helps regulate muscle movements.


Foods like pretzels and corn chips have a high glycemic index. After eating them you'll have a natural spike in your blood sugar and insulin levels, shortening the time it takes you to fall asleep. Normally, you want steady levels to avoid mood swings and insulin resistance. But if you are looking to get rest, the blood sugar and insulin increase helps tryptophan enter your brain to bring on sleep.


Almonds are rich in magnesium, a mineral needed for quality sleep. A study

A salad with dinner could speed up your bedtime since lettuce contains lactu-

Fish such as tuna, halibut, and salmon are high in vitamin B6, which your body needs to make melatonin and serotonin. Other foods high in B6 include raw garlic and pistachio nuts.


White rice has a high glycemic index, so eating it will significantly slash the time it takes you to fall asleep, according to an Australian study. In particular, jasmine rice in particular brings on shut-eye faster; research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people who ate a meal that included jasmine rice fell asleep faster than when they ate other rice types.

Cherry Juice

ly boost levels of melatonin. In the study, subjects who drank cherry juice experienced some improvement in their insomnia symptoms compared to those who drank a placebo beverage.


like a mild sedative.


The natural sugar found in honey slightly raises insulin and allows tryptophan to enter the brain more easily, according to nutritionist Lindsey Duncan on DrOz. com. A spoonful before bed or mixed with chamomile tea could give you a more restful sleep.

Shrimp and Lobster A bowl of your favorite flakes before bed could help you get better sleep, according to the National Sleep Foundation. The snack combines two components for getting some sleep: carbohydrates (from the cereal) and calcium (from the milk).

Chamomile Tea

Another good source of tryptophan, crustaceans like shrimp or lobster may bring on an easier sleep.


A glass of cherry juice could make you fall asleep faster, according to researchers from the Universities of Pennsylvania and Rochester. Cherries, particularly tart cherries, natural-

Steeping a cup of chamomile tea will help you sleep. According to researchers, drinking the tea is associated with an increase of glycine, a chemical that relaxes nerves and muscles and acts

Chickpeas are also a good source of tryptophan, so a light lunch of hummus and whole-grain crackers (to help the tryptophan reach the brain), could be a good way to head into an afternoon nap. (Reader’s Digest)

16 Times Sunday Magazine

March 9, 2014

Times Home & Cooking

Chicken Spaghetti Trends come and go, but these tried-and-true colour palettes have stood the test of time.

Black and White:

The most classic colour scheme of all — black and white — is inherently sleek and sophisticated.

Ingredients: 1 whole raw chicken, cut into 8 pieces 1 pound thin spaghetti, broken into 2-inch pieces 2 1/2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar 1/4 cup finely diced green bell pepper 1/4 cup finely diced red bell pepper Method: Preheat the oven to 350degrees F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the chicken pieces to the boiling water and boil for a few minutes, and then turn the heat to mediumlow and simmer, 30 to 45 minutes. Remove the chicken and 2 cups of the chicken cooking broth from the pot. When the chicken is cool, remove the skin and pick out the meat (a mix of dark and white) to make 2 generous cups. Discard the bones and skin. Cook the spaghetti in the chicken cooking broth until al dente. Do not overcook. When the spaghetti is cooked, combine with the chicken, 1 1/2 cups of the cheese, the green peppers, red peppers, seasoned salt, cayenne, soup and onions, and sprinkle with

1 teaspoon seasoned salt 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper Two 10 3/4-ounce cans cream of mushroom soup 1 medium onion, finely diced Salt and freshly ground black pepper

salt and pepper. Stir in 1 cup of the reserved chicken cooking broth, adding an additional cup if needed. Place the mixture in a 9- by 13-inch casserole pan and top with the remaining 1 cup cheese. Bake immediately until bubbly, about 45 minutes. (If the cheese on top starts to get too dark, cover with foil)

Mango, Yogurt Parfait Ingredients: 1 large ripe mango, peeled, pitted and cubed 1 large ripe mango, peeled, pitted and pureed 3 cups low-fat vanilla yogurt 6 tablespoons low-fat crumbled granola bars Method: Spoon equal amounts of mango puree into 6 clear plastic cups or parfait glasses. Top each with ¼ cup yogurt. Spoon cubed mango over the top, saving a few pieces for garnish. Top each with remaining ¼ cup yogurt and reserved mango cubes. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Top each serving with a tablespoon of granola just before serving.

Orange and Blue:

Like all of the classic combinations, varying shades of these colours work well together. Here, orangey coral is an equally bright counterpoint to teal blue.

Greatest Cooking Tips

To help keep an onion together while dicing, do not remove the root. Slice off the pointy stem, then cut the onion in half through the root; peel. Make vertical cuts, starting close to the root end; do not slice through the root. Holding the root end, slice across the vertical cuts; the diced onion will fall away. When baking cookies, be sure your dough is thoroughly chilled when it goes on your baking pan. This will allow the leavening ingredients to work before the butter flattens out and your cookies lose their textural distinctions. Prolong the lifespan of greens by wrapping them loosely in a damp paper towel and placing in a re-sealable plastic bag. For crispy fish skin, rest the fish on paper towels skin-side down for a few minutes before cooking (the towels absorb moisture). Then sauté skin-side down over medium heat in oil and butter. Flip over for the last few minutes of cooking. To optimize the juice you get from a lemon or lime, microwave it for 10 to 15 seconds.

Home Help

Earth Tones:

As the name implies, these colours are derived from earthy elements like rock, water and sky. Stick to this palette for a more neutral colour scheme or add “natural” accents in brilliant floral or plant shades for a punch of colour.

Sand the face of the hammer head with sandpaper to help the hammer grip the nail and prevent the nail head from slipping. Have your walls been redecorated with some original crayon masterpieces? Don’t lose your cool. Just grab a damp rag, dip it in some baking soda, and lightly scrub the marks. They should come off with a minimal amount of effort. Seal cracks or holes in wall and baseboards with steel wool, which mice and other household pests can’t chew through. If you clean cutting boards and breadboards with soap and water, rub them afterwards with a damp cloth dipped in salt. The boards will be lighter and brighter in colour. You can also create a paste of salt and lemon juice, and use it to deep clean your cutting board as needed.

March 9, 2014

Times Sunday Magazine 17

Times Sunday Puzzle

Take the given words, and by moving a single letter from one word to the other, make a pair of synonyms, or near synonyms. For example, Boast - Hip, move the‘s’ from ‘Boast’ to ‘Hip’ creating two synonyms: Boat - Ship. 1. Pain - Nil 2. War - Zoned 3. Routing - Tip 4. Shot - Teaming 5. Right - Blight see solution on page 22

see solution on page 22

see solution on page 22

18 Times Sunday Magazine

March 9, 2014

Times Creative Writing


n the island of Kaledan, lived a king who was famous all over the East, well-loved by his subjects and respected even by his enemies. In spite of having a good and beautiful wife, his life was not always happy. After years of marriage, they had no children and were afraid they would never know the joy of a family. However, at long last, one splendid spring morning, a handsome baby boy was born and his delighted parents called him Omar. In the language of Kaledan, this means “shining light”. The years went by and Omar grew into a fine-looking youth, brave, intelligent and kind-hearted. On his eighteenth birthday, the king sent for his son. “Omar, now that you’ve come of age, you must find a wife. Choose one of the many princesses you’ve met and whose only dream is of marrying you.” “Father,” said Omar respectfully, “I’ve no intention of getting married. I’m still young and I’d rather wait till the time is ripe. I want to think about it for at least another year.” The king agreed and Omar spent the year studying with the wisest and cleverest teachers in the kingdom. And though he got to know a number of girls, he did not fall in love. When twelve months had passed, the young prince was again summoned to his father. “Well, son,” said the king anxiously, “when am I to announce your engagement?” “Alas, father, I still haven’t met the right girl,” was Omar’s reply. The king lost his temper. “Omar! You must stop wasting time. You’re a grown man now and I want to see your heirs. Think of the future and make up your mind without delay.” “I’m sorry, father, I can’t do that just yet. I’m not in love and so I can’t get married.” The king, who could not bear to be crossed in such an important matter, went into a rage. He shouted for the guards and ordered them to shut the prince in an old castle in the forest. Scheherazade, the Heroine of the Thousand and One Nights, by Edmund Dulac In the meantime, lovely sweetnatured Princess Scheherazade was a maiden whose home was in China. When she became sixteen years old, her father insisted she marry one of the princes that flocked to court her. But Scheherazade was waiting to meet a true love. And since nothing the king, her father, did serve to change her mind, he locked the princess up in one of the palaces. “I’d rather be a prisoner,” said the princess, “than have a husband I didn’t love.” Meantime, Omar spent lonely sad days in the castle where he was held prisoner. However, two invisible genies, Abhu and Dhabi were amusing themselves, unknown to the prince, by secretly watching his movements. One day Abhu said to his friend, “Omar is the most handsome person in the whole world.” “Not so!” exclaimed Dhabi. “The most beautiful person in the world is Scheherazade, the King of China’s daughter.” The genies started to argue, then decided to ask Lilibeth, the daughter of the genie king to judge the matter. Lilibeth’s advice was this, “Go to China, cast a sleeping spell over the princess and bring her to Omar’s castle. When you see them together, then you’ll soon see which is the most beautiful.” That very night Abhu and Dhabi

flew all the way to China. The two genies sent the princess to sleep and carried her to Omar’s castle. “They’re so lovely, they seem made for each other,” remarked the genies, gazing at the two young people together. “If only they could get to know each other . . .” And in the hope that they might, the genies hid behind a curtain and waited . . . Not long afterwards, Scheherazade opened her eyes and, when she saw Omar at her side, her heart began to thump. This was the man she would like to marry. So she took off one of her ring and slipped it on to his finger as a token of love. Then she went back to sleep. On awakening a little later, Omar set eyes on Scheherazade and was overwhelmed by her beauty. “If this girl is as kind as she is beautiful, she would make a wonderful wife,” said Omar to himself as he gazed at her in amazement. Then he took off a ruby ring and slipped it onto the princess’s finger. Drowsy again, he

fell asleep. Abhu and Dhabi crept out from behind the curtain, wide-eyed. “They’ve fallen in love,” said Dhabi. “What are we to do now?” “Take Sheherazde home again. But if they have really fallen in love, they’ll move heaven and earth to meet again.” And so, when Omar awoke, Scheherazade had vanished. Confused and upset, the prince asked his guards and servants if they had seen her. When the king heard the story, he told Omar, “My lad, you are losing your head over a girl you dreamed about!” “No, she wasn’t a dream,” the prince insisted. “This is the ring she left me!” Omar was lovesick. The king called doctors and wise men, but there was nothing they could do, for Omar was losing his will to live. And far away, Scheherazade was pining in sorrow. The king was certain his daughter must have dreamt it all. How otherwise could she have met the mysterious young man? The only person who believed the princess was Marzuan, a childhood friend, and he offered to search for the missing youth. Scheherazade handed him Omar’s ruby ring. Marzuan set out that same

day but, though he travelled far and wide, no one could give him a clue as to the young man’s identity. In the meantime, Abhu and Dhabi secretly followed in his tracks. One day, a merchant told Marzuan that, on the island of Kaledan, there was a lovesick prince. Feeling that this might be the very person he was seeking, Marzuan took a passage on a ship bound for Kaledan. After days of sailing, a terrible storm broke, driving the ship onto a reef, where it sank. Clinging to a floating spar, Marzuan held on till the storm died away, then headed for the shore. The beach was deserted, but in the distance he could see the turrets of a castle. Then, as he was getting his strength back, he saw a horseman approach. “Where am I?” Marzuan asked the stranger. “On the island of Kaledan,” replied the horseman. “Who are you?” Marzuan jumped to his feet. “I’m a doctor, and famous in my own land. I hear that a prince here is seriously ill, and I’d like to try and cure him.” “Yes,” replied the horseman, “Prince Omar is indeed seriously ill, but it seems his illness is fatal.” Disturbed by his words, Marzuan sald, “Take me to him straight away.” When admitted to Omar’s presence, without saying a word, Marzuan showed him the ruby ring. Omar uttered a shriek and leapt to his feet. The onlookers stared in surprise. “This is the ring I gave to the girl I want to marry!” the prince exclaimed joyfully. “That young lady is Scheherazade. She lives in far off China and is dying to see you again,” Marzuan told him instantly. Omar was delighted. In finding the girl of his dreams, he would be truly happy. He presented Marzuan with a jewelled sword and a splendid horse, as fast as the wind, as a token of thanks. Then he told him to take him as quickly as could be to the beautiful princess. Overcoming all the difficulties that it had to face during the long journey, the cheerful procession led by Omar and Marzuan, many days later, reached distant China. When they reached Scheherazade city, Omar announced his arrival by sending a messenger with a letter for the princess and a diamond ring. At long last, the couple had met again. They exchanged their first, affectionate words and found they really were meant for each other. Sure of their feelings and anxious to start a new life together, Omar and Scheherazade quickly asked the king’s permission to get married as soon as possible. The invisible genies, Abhu and Dhabi too, were at the wedding, a few days later. “Scheherazade really is lovely!” Dhabi exclaimed. “Yes, but Omar . . .” said Abhu. “Are you looking for an argument again?” demanded Dhabi. Just then, Lilibeth, the genie king’s daughter appeared. “We still haven’t decided which is the better-looking,” said Abhu and Dhabi. “Well, I’d say they are the best-looking couple in the world,” said Lilibeth. “And I’m certain their children will be even more handsome.” And so the argument finally ended to everybody’s satisfaction, and the two genies hugged each other contentedly.

Into Thine Hands Into thine hands I commit My heart, through a heart that's yours already To know that it has been found and recommitted To sturdy hands that can care I commit me into thine hands Through a mouth that claims your truth For the fruit of this gift is not ready to bare In nor out of season or reason within a crying temple To your hands I command another Sent with a strict truth to stay Stay true to spirit and spirit alone Take charge angels, you must Take hold of all that I am And all I ever will be I permit thee For now and forever Into your hands I commit thee Forever and always This will be A thumping prayer A prayer that will never sleep A prayer that will never cease For I am with thee into your hands I commit thee Yaphet Jackman

What Is Destiny? Guardian of the streetcorner, vultures of the busy saloons, How dare you question me. Let your alcoholic breath invade my nostrils? Where did you get that brazen look That now you stare me with your livid eyes? Wherefrom did you come? What womb bore you? What spring of life gushed you forth? What cradle moulded you? What circumstances came your way That now your dignity lost You offer up yourself for silver. That now the act which makes your living sure Robs you of your life? Guardian of the streetcorner My sympathy strides with you on your lovely vigil. Carver Milton Scobie

Send your creative writing to

March 9, 2014

Times Sunday Magazine19

Times World


maths equation for a spinning lasso stunt performed by cowboys and cowgirls has been unravelled. By studying trick roping as a science, a French physicist has taught himself to lasso like a rodeo veteran. Anyone can teach themselves the famous "flat loop" by following some basic formulae, says Dr PierreThomas Brun, of EPFL in Switzerland. He showed off his "cowboy physics" skills at the American Physical Society meeting in Denver. Trick roping has evolved from a straightforward cattle-catching tool into a performance art form, seen in western movies and at Mexican charreadas - competitions featuring traditional horsemen (charros). It was made famous by vaudeville cowboy Will Rogers in the 1920s and 1930s. Flamboyant moves include the Merry-Go-Round, the Wedding Ring, and the Texas Skip - considered the most difficult. But while these loops spellbind our imagination, they also harbour useful

with a slow frequency about two hertz. "And crucially - with each turn of the rope, roll it between your thumb and forefinger, to avoid accumulating twist."

Science and artistry

mathematical secrets. "Elastic threads are everywhere in our daily lives - from hair and textile yarns to DNA and undersea broadband cables. Even the honey you pour on your toast," said Dr Brun who worked on the research with his colleagues, Dr Basile Audoly and Dr Neil Ribe.

"All of these threads twist and coil according to the same equations as the cowboy's lasso." Studying fancy tricks like "spoke-jumping" and the "Kansas Tornado" could actually help us unravel coiling problems which plague industries like yarn spinning.

To begin investigating, Dr Brun has created a mathematical recipe for the simplest trick - the flat loop. "The physics boils down to a few simple rules," he explained. "First, use the maximum amount of rope in your loop about 70%. "Then, move your hands

But is science really a good approach to learn trick roping? BBC News spoke to "Cowboy Craig" Ingram, a champion roper who performs around Colorado. "Absolutely, there's a lot of science to trick roping: geometry, speed, timing and centrifugal forces," he told BBC News. "But it's also more than science. It's about artistry. When I perform it's like dancing with a partner - I feel the fluidity of the rope spinning around me and I respond to its movements." Dr Brun agrees that, beyond the flat loop, the science quickly becomes more complicated. "When Craig's tricks get more fancy, you have to come up with a more dynamic model," he explained. "The flat loop equation is a simple, steady state solution. The rope is stationary in a reference frame that ro-

tates with the hand. And exploiting this, we can derive a model in which line tension is balanced by the centrifugal force and the rope's weight. "But when you watch Craig's routine - even in slow-motion - his stunts are way more gifted and skilled than our theories can follow at this point." To advance his model, he wishes to build a "robo-cowboy" that can self-adapt to the evolution of a spinning rope. "With a robot, we can simulate more complex movements. And those could be of interest to the computer graphics industry - animation companies like Disney and Pixar," he believes. To animate a whirling skirt or the bounce of curly hair, you can follow similar equations to those governing the lasso, Dr Brun explains. "The nice thing about physics, is we can apply maths to our favourite interests - like movies," he says. "As a child in France, I always enjoyed westerns. So I'm happy that as a scientist, I can explore the things that made me dream when I was young." (BBC)

New bird family discovered in Asia A

unique family of birds containing just one species has been discovered by researchers. Scientists investigating families within the Passerida group of perching birds identified 10 separate branches in their tree of life. The analysis also revealed that the spotted wren-babbler sat on its own branch and was not related

of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, who undertook the study alongside researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing. Elachura Formosa is a small perching bird - or passerine - that is found from the eastern Himalayas to southeast China. Prof Alstrom describes it as "extremely secretive and difficult to observe, as it usu-

"This similarity is apparently either due to pure chance or to convergent evolution, which may result in similar appearances in unrelated species that live in similar environments - some wren-babblers can be neighbours to the Elachura," Prof Alstrom explained. The biologists made their discovery by analysing the molecular differences in the

to either wrens or wren-babblers. Experts recommend the distinctive bird should now be referred to as Elachura. The discovery is published in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters. "This single species is the only living representative of one of the earliest off-shoots within the largest group of [perching birds], which comprises [around] 36% of the world's 10,500 bird species," said Prof Per Alstrom from the Swedish University

ally hides in very dense tangled undergrowth in the subtropical mountain forests." "However, during the breeding season, when the males sing their characteristic, high-pitched song, which doesn't resemble any other continental Asian bird song, it can sometimes be seen sitting on a branch inside a bush." He suggests the bird had previously been overlooked because it looks "strikingly similar" to wrens and wrenbabblers.

DNA of the birds to understand what they had inherited, and thus reveal their evolutionary heritage. This method has been widely used in recent years and is responsible for a number of surprising discoveries including the revelation that a peregrine falcon is more closely related to a bullfinch than a sparrowhawk. "Molecular analyses have been instrumental in resolving the relationships among birds, and have revealed multiple totally un-

expected relationships, such as between flamingos and grebes, between falcons, parrots and passerines, and between larks and the bearded

tit," explained Prof Alstrom. "It is possible that more such cases will be discovered in the future, as more and more species are being

analysed. However, I doubt that there are many - if any - such unique species as the Elachura left to be identified." (BBC)

20 Times Sunday Magazine

March 9, 2014

Times Tech

Apple unveils CarPlay iPhone system A

pple has unveiled its new iPhone technology for cars at the Geneva Motor Show. CarPlay allows iPhones to plug into cars so drivers will be able to call up maps, make calls and request music with Siri voice commands or a touch on a vehicle's dashboard screen. It requires Apple's latest software, iOS 7, and an iPhone 5, 5C or 5S. Apple first announced

Tech news


plans to make its iOS mobile operating system more compatible with cars last June. Car producers including Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo previewed CarPlay in Geneva with other producers saying they plan to adopt the system. "iPhone users always want their content at their fingertips and CarPlay lets drivers use their iPhone in the car with minimized

distraction,'' said Greg Joswiak, Apple's vice president of iPhone and iOS product marketing. Ferrari is previewing CarPlay on its four-wheeldrive FF model. Volvo plans to feature the iPhone system in its redesigned Volvo XC90 sports utility vehicle (SUV). Mercedes-Benz isn't revealing which models will get CarPlay, but expects that both its S-Class large sedan and C-Class midsize sedan should be compatible with the system. A long list of other car manufacturers, including General Motors, Ford and Honda, are drawing up plans for CarPlay, according to Apple. Google announced it was teaming up with car manufacturers including Audi, Honda and Hyundai to integrate its Android operating system into their dashboards last month. GM and Honda de-

Facebook's WhatsApp purchase challenged

acebook's purchase of mobile messaging service WhatsApp has been opposed by privacy groups. Mark Zuckerberg's firm is planning to buy the company for around ÂŁ11bn. Opponents want US regulators to stop the deal until Facebook provides more information on what it plans to do with the personal data of WhatsApp's users. But Facebook said it will operate as a separate company and honour existing privacy arrangements, which include not col-

lecting user data for advertising. "WhatsApp built a user-base based on its commitment not to collect user data for advertising revenue," read a complaint filed with the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC). It was drawn up by two non-profit groups, the Electronic Privacy Information Center and the Center for Digital Democracy. They added: "Users provided detailed personal information to the company including private text to close friends. Facebook routinely makes use of user information for advertising purposes and has made clear that it intends to incorporate the data of WhatsApp users into the user profiling business model. "The proposed acquisition will therefore violate WhatsApp users' understanding of their exposure to online advertising and constitutes an unfair and deceptive trade practice, subject to investigation by the Federal Trade Commission." And the groups, which work on research and consumer protection online, asked the

clined to comment on their CarPlay plans. Meanwhile, Ford has

Tech Byte

already launched a voicecontrol system called Sync made by Microsoft in some

Can Apple help make hearing aids cool?

regulators to investigate the deal "specifically with regard to the ability of Facebook to access WhatsApp's store of user mobile phone numbers and metadata".


Facebook, the world's top social network with 1.2 billion users, generates the majority of its revenue by showing ads that target users by age, gender and other traits. "As we have said repeatedly, WhatsApp will operate as a separate company and will honour its commitments to privacy and security," Facebook said in a statement seen by Reuters. Facebook announced its intention to buy WhatsApp, which has 450 million users who are able to send instant messages and other media over mobile, with cash and stock. There is no charge for individual messages, which are sent using wi-fi or data connections, making it cheaper than SMS messaging in many cases. Other users pay around ÂŁ0.60 per year subscription. Referring to the business model, Jan Koum wrote on the WhatsApp website: "When people ask us why we charge for WhatsApp, we say, 'Have you considered the alternative?'" Despite assurances by WhatsApp and Facebook that the privacy policies will not change, the groups noted that Mark Zuckerberg's social networking company has in the past amended an acquired-company's privacy policies. Notably, it did so with the Instagram photo-sharing service that it bought in 2012. Regulators must require that Facebook "insulate" WhatsApp user information from access by Facebook's data collection practices, read the complaint, which was dated 6 March 2014. "WhatsApp users could not reasonably have anticipated that by selecting a proprivacy messaging service, they would subject their data to Facebook's data collection practices," read the filing. The FTC will decide whether the acquisition can go ahead and, if so, whether or not conditions should be imposed. (BBC)


of its cars and offers its own touch-screen technology. (BBC)

eople wait in long lines and even camp out to get their hands on new Apple devices as soon as they're available. But they drag their feet, sometimes for years, when it comes to purchasing another piece of technology that could greatly improve their lives: hearing aids. Danish hearing-aid company GN ReSound last week announced a new hearing aid that's compatible with the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. Called LiNX, the device syncs wirelessly with the newest Apple mobile devices and takes advantage of iOS 7's new accessibility options for the hearing-impaired. At its most basic level, the LiNX acts like a hybrid of hearing aids and stereo Bluetooth headphones. Phone calls, FaceTime chats, music, movies, turn-byturn navigation or other audio can be streamed directly to a small earpiece. When they're not pulling in audio from a smartphone or tablet, the hearing aids work like normal, picking up in-person conversations and surrounding sounds. Apple worked closely with ReSound on the hearing aid and assisted them in publicizing its launch. And this being Apple, there are plenty of bells and whistles packed into the device. A feature called Live Listen turns an iOS device into microphone. If someone's in a loud environment - a busy meeting, a sporting event, a noisy car - and wants to focus on one person's voice and cut down on background noise, they can get a stream di-

rectly from the smartphone's mic to their ears. (This feature has the potential for some fun eavesdropping mischief.) Using GPS, you can save custom settings for a specific location, say a movie theater or your cubicle at work, and get a pop-up notification on your mobile device asking whether you'd like to switch every time you return to that spot. Don't remember where you left your hearing aids? Use a phone or tablet to locate them. Apple and the device's makers hope it will encourage more people with hearing loss to get help earlier. With Apple integration, wearers can make adjustments as easily as they can check e-mail or watch a video. Basic settings like battery life and volume are built directly into the iOS 7 operating system. More advanced settings such as treble and bass can be set using the more complicated ReSound app. The hearing aids are still specialized medical devices, meaning you won't find them on the shelves of your local Apple store. Customers must have their hearing tested and get fitted for the devices by an audiologist. And they're not cheap: A single LiNX hearing aid can cost about US$3,000. Apple added support for the new technology when it released iOS 7 last year, but these are the first hearing aids to actually work with many of the system's accessibility features. Because of the specialized technology, a third-party hearing-aid maker can't just jump in and create devices that work with iOS without partnering directly with Apple. (Excerpted from CNN)

March 9, 2014

Times Sunday Magazine 21

Times Art

Ambassador Diaz (left), Minister of Foreign Affairs (center) and Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport examine one of the photos on display


n honour of the death and life of former President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, the National Art Gallery, in collaboration with the Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, hosted a photographic exhibition entitled “Chavez Was Here” at Castellani House. The exhibition has on display pictures of the former president interacting with his people, and his visits to Guyana. Venezuela’s Ambassador to Guyana, Reina Arratia Diaz, in her remarks noted that 5 February marks one year since the death of

Commander Hugo Chavez. “This exhibition pays tribute to President Hugo – who still lives between us. The exhibition also highlights his visits to Guyana in 2004 and 2010. Additionally, the exhibition captures the late president’s life with his people and his relationship with Guyana. President Hugo, although not with us, continues to live in the hearts of his people,” expressed Diaz at the opening of the exhibition on 5 February. Diaz also explained that the photographic exhibition highlights social programmes implemented

by Chavez, which sought to improve the lives of his people. Also in attendance were Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Dr Frank Anthony and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carolyn Rodriques-Birkett. “I believe this exhibition is the first of its kind in Guyana. It celebrates the life of a friend to Guyana who extended his help to South America and the Caribbean, and has worked for the betterment of his people. He has left an indelible legacy, which is known around the world,” Minister Anthony declared. The minister also lauded the policies implemented by Chavez, which opened up numerous opportunities for persons to become literate and access adequate health care. “I am very happy that we have collaborated with the Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to celebrate the achievements of a great man. Notably, this type of exhibition is held worldwide and is a reflection and introspection into the life of the late president,” Anthony pointed out. Minister Anthony also took the opportunity, during his speech, to point out another great leader lost in March - former president of Guyana Dr Cheddi Jagan who died on 6 March. The National Gallery hours are 10am to 5pm from Monday to Friday and 2pm to 6pm on Saturday; the gallery is closed Sundays and holidays.

Chavez's interaction with his people, especially with children, was admirable

Photo shows Prime Minister Samuel Hinds welcoming Chavez to Guyana

Guyana’s Republic Anniversary art exhibition ongoing at the National Gallery

'Massasekeree' Oswald Hussein (1989)


n exhibition of sculptures from the National Collection, celebrating Guyana’s 44th republic anniversary, continues at Castellani House. In his outline of the exhibition,

'Shaman and his medicine' Roaland Taylor (2004)

the gallery’s curator, Ohene Koama stated that the “sculptures in the National Collection predominately emulate the human figure, ranging from the representational to the abstract in all manner of

'Mother and Child' Omawale Lumumba (1995)

expression”. The exhibition celebrates the works of numerous veteran sculptors, who have significantly contributed to the development of the local art industry.

'The Batsman' Omawale Lumumba (n.d.)

The exhibition continues until March 29. Admission is free. Gallery hours are 10am to 5pm Monday to Friday and 2pm to 6pm on Saturday; the gallery is closed Sundays and holidays.

22 Times Sunday Magazine

March 9, 2014

Times Heritage


annons like guns, came with the arrival of Europeans to the West Indies who brought these instruments to terrify the people into subjugation and a new way of life. For the Europeans, cannons were the tools of survival: for the people of the colonies they were symbols of oppression. Mounted in the forecourt of many of the nation's public and civic buildings, these cannons

are representative of an era inextricably linked to various phases of European occupation and colonization. To date there are approximately 30 known cannons scattered throughout the country, with origins from England to Sebastopal in the Ukraine. The 4.7 MK11 cannon located at the entrance of the Police Officer's Mess was manufactured in Britain, circa 1890. It is believed that this cannon

was issued to the colony of British Guiana in 1916 to be used for coastal defense during the First World War. Gracing the main entrance of the Parliament Buildings is a pair of 8-inch German Trench Mortars, which were taken as trophies of the First World War 1914-1918. Standing guard at Fort Zeelandia, a national monument, which was once the administrative centre of Standing guard at Fort Zeelandia, is a 9-pounder Finbanker cannon (Photo by Marco Basir)

the colony of Essequibo and Demerara, is a 9-pounder Finbanker measuring 7 feet 4 inches. This cannon which overlooks the Essequibo River was most likely cast in the late 17th or the early 18th century. On the lawns of State House, the official residence of President Donald Ramotar, is a 4-pounder Swedish commercial gun,

Taken as a trophy of the First World War, this cannon still stands at the entrance of the Parliament Building

which was most likely cast in the late 18th century. Mounted on the lawns of the Manager's House, located at Plantation Skeldon, is an 18 or 24-pounder cannon of French/Dutch Carronade. Used in the Napoleonic wars, this cannon was most likely cast in the late 18th or the early 19th century. (Text from National Trust of Guyana)

Cannon at Plantation Skeldon, Berbice

Brain Teaser Answer 1. Pin - Nail 2. Ward - Zone 3. Outing - Trip




St George's Cathedral (British Guiana)

The High Court (British Guiana)

4. Hot - Steaming 5. Bright - Light

The Lighthouse located in Kingston, Georgetown (n.d.)

March 9, 2014

Times Sunday Magazine 23

Times Travel & Tourism


ocated in Region Nine on the banks of the mighty Essequibo River, Fairview is the only indigenous community within the Iwokrama preserve. Also known as Kurupukari, Fairview is an Amerindian village whose residents are mostly from the Macushi tribe that live mainly by hunting or fishing, or working at the Iwokrama Field Station. Fairview villagers are now part of Iwokrama, working on every aspect of the project; cooking meals and looking after guest rooms, guiding hikers as rangers, and sharing in the profits from lumber felled in their part of the forest.

Kurupukari ferry to get to Fairview Swimming at Kurupukari Falls

Palms in the sunset

Break time at the Kurupukari Primary School in Fairview (Photo by Skye Hernandez)

Making cassava bread in the village


Times Sunday Magazine

March 9, 2014

Times Last Laugh

By Melvin Durai


here was a time, many years ago, when humans knew little about etiquette – they didn’t have to follow any social codes of conduct. They could cough without covering their mouths, visit a friend’s home without calling first, whistle at pretty women on the street without wearing a tool belt and hardhat. Fortunately for the human race, one man started to change it all. His name was Mongah and he was a caveman. He had been watching the other cavemen closely and realized that while everyone did things differently, some of their habits were more appealing than others. Oongah, for example, used the nail of his little finger to pick his teeth after his meals, slurping up any morsel of food he dislodged. Dongah, on the other hand, seemed much more civilized: he carried a twig around with him, using it to not only pick his teeth, but also his nose and ears. Now and then, he would also scratch his back with it, not to mention other hard-to-reach places. As if that wasn’t enough, Dongah would often draw pictures in the mud with his twig – he was a pioneer in the emerging field of stick art. How efficient it seemed – one twig for so many tasks. But it wasn’t just the twig that set Dongah apart. Unlike Oongah, when Dongah dislodged a piece of food from his teeth, he didn’t eat it — he flicked it off the twig, usually in the direction of whichever cavewoman he desired. Seeing this, Oongah’s lady friend, Bupha, would give Oongah a glare, as if to say, “Why can’t you be so romantic?” Oongah smirked. He didn’t care for such public displays of affection. His brute strength was enough to attract women. It was he, after all, who had pulled Dongah from the river when the clumsy man had slipped off a fallen tree branch. Oongah believed that he hadn’t just saved Dongah from the river – he had saved the river from Dongah. But Mongah had more respect for Dongah, who seemed to be more than just a stick-in-the-mud. Mongah decided to put together a set of rules of social behavior. He borrowed Dongah’s twig and started drawing pictures in the mud, while a dozen cave-

The things I do for humans

men, as well as Bupha, gathered around to see what he was doing. He first drew a picture of a man sitting on a rock, while a woman stood next to him. Then he drew a picture of the man getting off the rock and the woman sitting on it. He pointed at the second picture, drew a circle around it and smiled, as if to say, “Always give your rock to a woman.” But the cavemen jeered. They thought he was saying that men shouldn’t sit around the cave. They should always be hunting and gathering. Dongah, trying to avert a riot, erased the second drawing with his foot, not realizing he had introduced something he and other artists would forever detest: censorship. Undeterred, Mongah moved to another spot in the mud to illustrate his second rule. He drew a picture of a man and a woman inside a cave, and another man outside, with his mouth wide open. He used squiggly lines to indicate that something was coming out of the man’s mouth. He pointed at the picture, circled it and smiled, as if to say, “Always call out before visiting.” But the cavemen jeered again. They had misunderstood Mongah’s picture and thought he was telling them that they should always go outside to belch. To show his disdain, Oongah belched as loudly as he could. Bupha put her arms around him, as if to say, “That’s my man!” Mongah shook his head. Teaching etiquette to cavemen was harder than he had thought. But he was determined to keep trying. He drew a picture of a river and a man standing beside it. Then he drew a picture of a man in the river. He pointed at the second picture, drew a circle around it and smiled, as if to say, “Bathing good.” But Mongah had forgotten that Dongah had fallen into the river a week ago. It had been very embarrassing for Dongah. Thankfully only a few cavemen saw him. But now Mongah appeared to be spreading the news. It was then that Dongah, unable to control his anger, ran toward Mongah, grabbed the twig from him and poked him in the eye with it. As Mongah writhed in pain, all the cavemen cheered: They believed that Dongah had taught them an important lesson in social behavior: gossiping can hurt. Dongah raised his arms in exultation. He had found yet another use for his twig.


A man visits his aunt in the nursing home. It turns out that she is taking a nap, so he just walks into the room quietly and sits down in a chair, flips through a few magazines, and munches on some peanuts sitting in a bowl on the table as he waits for her to wake up. Eventually, the aunt wakes up, and her nephew realizes he's absentmindedly finished the entire bowl of peanuts. "I'm so sorry, auntie, I've eaten all of your peanuts!" "That's okay, honey," the aunt replied. "After I've sucked the chocolate off, I don't care for them anyway."

Flying High

Three men and one woman are stranded on a boat for several days. Finally after days of hardship, a helicopter spots the people and pulls down a rope to have them climb up into it. All four people begin climbing up the rope. The pilot of the helicopter yells down at the people. "There is only enough room for three people. Somebody is going to have to let go." All the men immediately refuse to let go of the rope. The woman bravely says, "My entire life the men in my life had had to sacrifice for me. My father had to work hard to put a roof over my head, my brother had to protect me from bullies and my husband has always been there for me. This time I am going to sacrifice for the men and I am going to let go." The men were so touched by this speech that they all clapped.

Daddy’s Trick

A little boy greeted his grandma with a hug and said: "I'm so happy to see you, Grandma. Now maybe Daddy will do the trick he has been promising us." "What trick's that?" she asked. "Well," said the little boy excitedly, "I heard Daddy tell Mummy that he would climb the walls if you came to visit us again."

In Memoriam

Seeing her friend Sally wearing a new locket, Meg asks if there is a memento of some sort inside. “Yes,” says Sally, “a lock of my husband’s hair.” “But Larry’s still alive.” “I know, but his hair is gone.”

A Dime a Dozen

While visiting a retirement community, a man and his wife decided to do some shopping and soon became separated. "Excuse me," the man said, approaching a clerk. "I’m looking for my wife. She has white hair and is wearing white shoes." Gesturing around the store, the clerk responded, "Take your pick."

Senior Lingo

Senior citizens have taken to texting with gusto. They even have their own vocabulary: BFF: Best Friend Fainted BYOT: Bring Your Own Teeth CBM: Covered by Medicare LMDO: Laughing My Dentures Out GGPBL: Gotta Go, Pacemaker Battery Low!

Hold the Presses!

Misadventures in headline writing from around the world: City Unsure Why the Sewer Smells — The Herald-Palladium (St. Joseph, Michigan) Case of Innocent Man Freed 
 After Spending 18 Years in Prison Proves Texas System Works —Lubbock AvalancheJournal (Texas) At Last Singer Etta James Dies — Daily Mail Suspected Beer Thief Leaves Liquid Trail Charleston Daily Mail

Drawing God

A kindergarten teacher was observing her classroom of children while they were drawing. She would occasionally walk around to see each child's work. As she got to one little girl who was working diligently, she asked what the drawing was. The girl replied, "I'm drawing God." The teacher paused and said, "But no one knows what God looks like." Without missing a beat, or looking up from her drawing, the girl replied, "They will in a minute."

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