1 December, 2020

Links blog

There is Only XUL

✭ thereisonlyxul.org - Because we are the agents of our own salvation!
http://thereisonlyxul.org/

A
 collection of programs based on free XUL user interface language.

Among the projects listed, besides Palemoon and Basilisk browsers, is a mail client, Interlink, based to Thunderbird:

Interlink Mail & News is a free e-mail client based on open source community code built on the Unified XUL Platform. It is available for Microsoft Windows and Linux (with other operating systems in development). The client focuses on efficiency with carefully selected features and optimizations to improve stability and user experience, while offering full customization and a growing collection of extensions and themes to make the client truly your own.

Among the extensions listed are Enigmail.

The Terai region, the indigenous Tharu people who live there, and their resistance to Malaria

✭ Terai - Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terai
The
 Terai or Tarai is a lowland region in northern India and southern Nepal that lies south of the outer foothills of the Himalayas, the Sivalik Hills, and north of the Indo-Gangetic Plain.

✭ Tharu people - Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tharu_people
The
 Tharu are famous for their ability to survive in the malarial parts of the Terai that were deadly to outsiders.[6] Contemporary medical research comparing Tharu with other ethnic groups living nearby found an incidence of malaria nearly seven times lower among Tharu.[23] The researchers believed such a large difference pointed to genetic factors rather than behavioural or dietary differences. This was confirmed by follow-up investigation finding genes for thalassemia in nearly all Tharu studied.[24][25]

From History of Tharu
"The land in Nepali Tarai or plains is the rice basket of Nepal. It is most productive and sought after agricultural land. But is not much more than sixty years ago that the area was only sparsely cultivated. A hundred years ago the vast majority of the Tarai was still covered by thick, malarial jungle. At this time the area’s only full year residents were various indigenous groups, the largest of which was the Tharu. They tolerated the jungle’s malaria and wild animals, in return for which they had ample land off which to live. It was a time that old men still talk about, when a family entering a new settlement could have as much land as they could carve out of the jungle. In this environment, the Tharus developed largely self-sufficient communities in and around the jungle, with building styles, settlement patterns, religion and agricultural practices very distinctive from what is practiced in the hills or further south in the Gangetic Plains of northern India."

✭ The origin on the tharu - Himal Southasian
https://www.himalmag.com/the-origin-on-the-tharu/
"The
 ‘Forest People’ are comprised of more than one tribe and they may well have come from many regions at different times, thus contributing to the diversity of culture, facial features and customs found in today’s population; the environment then moulded them over a very long period of time into a special group of people, the Tharu, a people who, therefore, not surprisingly, are comprised of many sub-groups..."

After reading in the Mahabharata about the drying of the sea coast by the giant bird Garuda, I was wondering if these people could be the autochthonous people who came from the Thar desert. There is some theory that the Tharu people came from the Rajputs. But my idea is too much of a long shot, and there are various problems with it. "Thar" itself seems to come from a Sanskrit word for sand ridges. The Thar desert's geographical area today is not defined as meeting the coast. The desert was formed, or became drier at the time that the Saraswati river dried up, towards the end of the third millenium BC. At the time, the area was inhabited by the Harappa culture, otherwise known as the Indus Valley civilization. Some think that these were an indigenous people preceding the Aryans. Some think that they were the advanced civilization that composed the Vedas. Their hieroglyphs have never been deciphered, and nobody can say with any certainty who they were. One of the articles above quotes the Rig Veda:

“Through fear of you the dark people went away, not giving battle, leaving behind their possessions, when, 0 Vaisvanara, burning brightly for Puru, and destroying the cities, you did shine.” And in another context it is written, “The people to whom these ruined sites, lacking posts, formerly belonged, these many settlements widely distributed, they, 0 Vaisvanara, having been expelled by thee, have migrated to another land.”"

However, the Vedas are a bit like the Bible; it seems that they can be quoted to support all manner of theories.

Sri Lanka

✭ Robert Knox (sailor) - Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Knox_(sailor)
17-18th
 century British captain, trader and writer, held captive for 19 years in Sri Lanka. Interesting fellow. He was held captive with his father. His father was held captive too, but died of malaria. He wrote an early account of Sri Lanka

Sweet potatoes and Yams

Sweet potatoes are confused with yams in the US, but they are not related to true yams, or other edible roots sometimes called yams, but they are related to Morning Glories, some of whose seeds include a substance with hallucinogenic properties similar to LSD. One counter-culture figure advocated for their use in this way.

Also: Sweet potatoes may have crossed the pacific with pre-European sailors who spread their use throughout Polynesia. (I remember reading about that theory in Kon Tiki.)

✭ Sweet potato - Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sweet_potato
The
 sweet potato or sweetpotato (Ipomoea batatas) is a dicotyledonous plant that belongs to the bindweed or morning glory family, Convolvulaceae

✭ Morning glory - Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morning_glory
The
 seeds of many species of morning glory contain ergoline alkaloids such as the psychedelic ergonovine and ergine (LSA). Seeds of Ipomoea tricolor and Turbina corymbosa (syn. R. corymbosa) are used as psychedelics.

✭ Terence McKenna - Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terence_McKenna
Terence
 Kemp McKenna (November 16, 1946 – April 3, 2000) was an American ethnobotanist, mystic, psychonaut, lecturer, author, and an advocate for the responsible use of naturally occurring psychedelic plants. He spoke and wrote about a variety of subjects, including psychedelic drugs, plant-based entheogens, shamanism, metaphysics, alchemy, language, philosophy, culture, technology, environmentalism, and the theoretical origins of human consciousness.