Rare Foods Series :Yubari Melon 

Free Thoughts by Ranjit Singh

Yubari melons are the costliest melons around. It is a hybrid melon developed from Earl’s “favorite” and Burpee’s “Spicy” variety. It is raised in the greenhouses in Yūbari.

These melons are worth their weight in gold.

IMG_8163What makes them so special?
These are Prized for its juicy sweetness, perfect spherical shape, extra smooth rind and T-shaped stalks.

A couple of melons went for $27000 (17 lakh rupees) last year.

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Brown capped pygmy woodpecker 

Free Thoughts by Ranjit Singh

One day I was going for early morning walk in the woods. It was all quite and only sounds you heard were that of birds. Most of the trees are old and dry in the jungle. As I was walking, I heard the pecking of the dry wood. On zeroing on the source of the pecking, I saw a very small object almost resembling the color of the wood, creeping along the branch of a tree. It was pecking the bark with its beak. Meet the Brown Capped Pygmy Woodpecker.

As the name suggests it is pygmy. It just is 13 cm in size and weighs 13–17 grams. Today I saw a dry tree where a Chestnut shouldered Petronia was sitting and making sounds. As I neared for taking its photographs, I noticed the woodpecker also there. There was a standoff between them. On close observation, I noticed two holes…

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Where do historical individuals come from?

Will Pooley

Sentences end with full stops, but for some reason we don’t punctuate the beginnings.

Like sentences, historical individuals are suddenly just there. They emerge into our field of vision, they walk on stage, they emerge from some vague fog of the unknowable to become historical. They marry, or inherit, they pick up a gun or write a book.

The thought is provoked by my unease when dealing with participants in criminal court cases. Who are they really? Where did they come from? Too often, the answer feels like ‘no-one’, ‘nowhere’.


Almost as soon as I have got these words down, I regret writing them.

What, I suddenly realise, about birth certificates? In the quest to know who someone ‘is’, I feel a sense of completion when I have seen that textual proof of origin. Mother’s (and sometimes father’s) name, a place, a date, a true name.

The French state…

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