Archive for April, 2011

April 24, 2011

AK 47

April 24, 2011

The Toyota Hilux


The Hilux has gained a reputation for exceptional sturdiness and reliability, even during sustained heavy use and/or abuse, and is often referred to as “The Indestructible Truck”. This was further reinforced on the BBC motoring show Top Gear, when a 1988 Hilux with 190,000 miles (310,000 km) on the odometer was subjected to extraordinary abuse . This consisted of driving it down a flight of steps, scraping buildings, crashing headlong into a tree, being washed out to sea, and being submerged for four hours, driving it through a garden shed, dropping a caravan onto it, hitting it with a wrecking ball, setting its cabin and bed area on fire, and, finally, placing it on top of a 240-foot (73 m) block of apartments that was next destroyed by a controlled demolition. Although it was now suffering from severe structural damage, the truck was still running after being repaired without spare parts, and with only the typical tools, etc. that would be found in a truck’s toolbox, such as screwdrivers, motor oil, and an adjustable wrench, however WD-40 was used to get the engine going after it had been recovered from the sea. The Hilux currently rests as one of the background decorations in the Top Gear studio.

Outside of TV programs, these vehicles have been known to exceed 300,000 miles (480,000 km) with regular maintenance. It is also notorious for being used as an improvised fighting vehicle–a “technical” – by militias and irregular military forces, especially in Third World conflicts. The Toyota War between Libya and Chad was so named because of the use of Hilux trucks as light cavalry vehicles by the army of Chad. These vehicles have also been used in the Iraq war as Improvised Explosive Devices (IED). Militias have been known to outfit this vehicle with stolen, post-Soviet Union missiles and equipment. The Toyota War saw use of the Hilux as a towing vehicle, serving to tow aircraft and tanks, including the T-62 heavy tank from the former Soviet army. There are currently 37 customized Hiluxes used by the People’s Liberation Army in the Southern region of China. The Toyota Hilux has been widely used by Pakistan Army. However, Mitsubishi L200s were bought instead of seventh-generation Hilux recently to replace worn out vehicles. The New Zealand Army currently uses the Toyota Hilux for its troops in Afghanistan, as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. US Special Forces also use specially modified Tacoma and Hilux in Afghanistan.

The Toyota Hilux is everywhere .It`s the vehicular equivalent of the AK-47. It`s ubiquitous to insurgent warfare. And actually, recently, also counterinsurgent warfare. It kicks the hell out of the Humvee.

Anecdotally, a scan of pictures from the last four decades of guerrilla and insurgent warfare around the world—the first iteration of the Hilux appeared in the late `60s—will reveal the Toyota`s wide-ranging influence.

April 24, 2011


Mani  c. AD 216–276), of Iranian origin

prophet and the founder of Manichaeism, a gnostic religion of Late Antiquity which was once widespread but is now extinct. Mani was born in or near Seleucia-Ctesiphon in Asuristan (Assyria), at the time still part of the Parthian Empire.

Mani’s teaching is designed as succeeding and surpassing the teachings of Christianity, Zoroastrianism and Buddhism. It is based on a rigid dualism of good and evil, locked in eternal struggle. In his mid-twenties, Mani decided that salvation is possible through education, self-denial, fasting and chastity. Mani claimed to be the Paraclete promised in the New Testament, the Last Prophet or Seal of the Prophets. The other prophets included Seth, Enoch, Noah, Shem, Abraham, Nikotheos, Zoroaster, Buddha and Jesus.

Mani was born near Seleucia-Ctesiphon, perhaps in the town Mardinu in the Babylonian district of Nahr Kutha, according to other accounts in the town Abrumya. Mani’s father Pātik, a native of Ecbatana,(modern Hamadan, Iran), was a member of the Jewish-Christian sect of the Elcesaites (a subgroup of the Gnostic Ebionites). His mother was of Parthian descent (from “the Armenian Arsacid family of Kamsarakan” ; her name is reported variously, among others Mariam. At ages 12 and 24, Mani had visionary experiences of a heavenly twin of his, calling him to leave his father’s sect and teach the true message of Christ. In 240/241, Mani travelled to “India” (i.e. to the Sakhas in modern-day Afghanistan), where he was probably influenced by Greco-Buddhism.

April 24, 2011

Haza Min fazli Rabbi …

” what ever (I) have -this is the blessing of Allah”.

April 24, 2011

I’ve seen the land beyond ….

From these shores where we belong
I have seen the the land beyond
Where the Lord is strange and strong
I have seen the the land beyond
There’s no telling who’ll be dead
When the pale horse is turning red
And the tongues will burn in vain
And everything will feel the same
There’s no patience there’s no peace
I have seen the land beyond
Where the gravestones never cease
I have seen the the land beyond
Through the troubles of years
The heavenly apparition appears
And we’re haunted by our own minds
And the spirit comes in the disguise
From these shores where we belong
I have seen the the land beyond
I’ll be there and I’ll be gone
April 23, 2011

Salt Caravan

Danakhil depression

Dallol Tigray Ethiopia

April 23, 2011

umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu


“A person with Ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, for he or she has a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed.”
Bantu Philosophy
Zulu maxim “umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu” (a person is a person through (other) persons)
April 23, 2011

Africa – Blaine Harden

April 22, 2011

To the Desert

I came to you one rainless August night.

You taught me how to live without the rain.

You are thirst and thirst is all I know.

You are sand, wind, sun, and burning sky,

The hottest blue. You blow a breeze and brand

Your breath into my mouth. You reach—then bend

Your force, to break, blow, burn, and make me new.

You wrap your name tight around my ribs

And keep me warm. I was born for you.

Above, below, by you, by you surrounded.

I wake to you at dawn. Never break your

Knot. Reach, rise, blow, Sálvame, mi dios,

Trágame, mi tierra. Salva, traga, Break me,

I am bread. I will be the water for your thirst.

By Benjamin Alire Sáenz


April 22, 2011

wole soyinka


In the small Hours

Blue diaphane, tobacco smoke

Serpentine on wet film and wood glaze,

Mutes chrome, wreathes velvet drapes,

Dims the cave of mirrors. Ghost fingers

Comb seaweed hair, stroke acquamarine veins

Of marooned mariners, captives

Of Circe’s sultry notes. The barman

Dispenses igneous potions ?

Somnabulist, the band plays on.

Cocktail mixer, silvery fish

Dances for limpet clients.

Applause is steeped in lassitude,

Tangled in webs of lovers’ whispers

And artful eyelash of the androgynous.

The hovering notes caress the night

Mellowed deep indigo ?still they play.

Departures linger. Absences do not

Deplete the tavern. They hang over the haze

As exhalations from receded shores. Soon,

Night repossesses the silence, but till dawn

The notes hold sway, smoky

Epiphanies, possessive of the hours.

 This music’s plaint forgives, redeems

The deafness of the world. Night turns

Homewards, sheathed in notes of solace, pleats

The broken silence of the heart.

Wonder, silence, gratitude

one who is going upstream ......

SS 24 - random thoughts

one who is going upstream ......

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