Category: Amazing Facts

Toe Rings: Science and Style

toe ring

My silver pair of toe rings came as a Diwali gift from my husband. They are simple and ordinary, and look elegant on the second toe. Unlike the finger rings my toe rings are left “just enough tight”, allowing it to glide smoothly.

A symbol of married woman, toe rings are essentially a Hindu marriage custom. In most of the Hindu weddings, it is customary for the husband to put the ring on the second toe of his wife’s feet.

Today toe rings are a piece of fashion, a jewellery adorned by young and old alike. The consumer markets have  seen a variety with regard to shapes and designs. From the “plain Jane” to the enameled ones, to the semi-precious stones and the diamonds, the toe rings have also been shaped from metals and non-metals.

Indeed it has become a fashion accessory. But I was drawn to an article from a blog that came as a forward from a friend of mine. It spoke about “the science behind toe rings”.

Here, it has been observed that the toe rings are worn on the second toe of the right and left leg that connect  the “uterus and passes through the heart”. In other words, the rings press certain nerves in the body that “pertain to reproductive system”, keep it healthy and thus, help in conception.

Further, silver is the preferred metal because “being a good conductor, it absorbs the energy from the polar energies from the earth and passes it to the body, thus refreshing whole body system.”

Not once did I think,  “why women wear these toe rings, especially after marriage?” Never bothered to check with my mother about her toe rings. I would like to thank the unknown author for the valuable information.

As for me, I like the feel of the toe rings. It would be better to describe them as an adjusting pair that doesn’t hurt my feet, instead settles down comfortably, according to the shoes that I wear.

Taste of Soursop


The fruit with prickles stocked in large quantities in the cart caught my attention. Though it is the season of  jack fruit, the fruit in offering looked a distant cousin of the same.

A close look spoke a different story all together. And the fruit vendor insisted that I buy one. To my ignorance, he added a chapter on the significance of the fruit, locally (Kerala)  referred to as ‘attichakka’, and “it is a healthy fruit for cancer patients.” As the Malayalam (language) name goes, the fruit is in fact a variety of jack fruit.

With a thick crust and custard apple like inner formation of white creamy edible pulp surrounding seeds, the fruit left a mixed taste of a tangy and citric custard apple.   Of course, the fruit did not fancy my palate, but my inquisitiveness led me to search. My quest landed me on Google, and with the information in hand I clicked the name ‘guyabano’. A further search led me to its English name ‘soursop’, called so because of its sour or rather acidic taste. In fact, its names were endless.

A native of South and Central America, the Caribbean and the Saharan parts of the African nations, soursop’s adaptability to the tropical climate has brought the fruit to the Southest Asian countries as well.

As a rich source of carbohydrates,  vitamins (mainly C & B) along with minerals such as potassium and dietary fibres, the fruit has become a staple with ailing patients. According to a well researched site , a research conducted in 1976 found a chemical in guyabano or soursop that is “10,000 times more powerful and potent than a drug used for chemotherapy called Adriamycin.”

To quote another site, “soursop consists of annonaceous acetogenins, which might stop the development of damaged cells just before they could become cancerous. {Also} soursop has demonstrated specific guarantee in eliminating cancer of the breast.”

Researches have also found its significance in various other treatments that include  regulating blood sugar, controlling hypertension, preventing anemia, and relieving pain and inflammation.

A fruit is a fruit anyway. Little wonder, the commercial market has utilised soursop to flavour candies, make drinks, and other  sweetmeat. Someday I hope to taste its other delicacies!

Going back to the fruit vendor’s information, the fruit comes to the market and gets sold out fastest, especially with the Regional Cancer Centre working in full swing and the families of patients taking good care of them. I looked at the humble fruit that hardly spoke but works wonders, definitely.

Bible and American President

Barack Obama, the 44th President of United States is the first US president to swear on the Bible that Abraham Lincoln used for his 1861 inauguration.

In the US, presidents are not constitutionally required to be sworn in using a Bible, though most presidents have traditionally used one to take oath of office.

It was George Washington, the first president of United States of America who began this practice. He borrowed a Bible from St. John’s Lodge No. 1.

Chester A. Arthur in 1881 and Theodore Roosevelt in 1901, were some exceptions as they did not use a Bible.

Similarly, when Kennedy was assassinated, Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson assumed the job of president and took the oath of office aboard “SAM 26000”- Air Force One in 1963. Since there was no Bible in the plane, he used a Roman Catholic missal (contains religious services).

The popular choice till date has been George Washington’s Bible. It has been used by Warren Harding, Dwight Eisenhower and George W Bush.

Some others like Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton have opted for personal Bibles. While Nixon used two Bibles belonging to his family, Clinton chose his grandmother’s.

The Lincoln Bible, an 1853 Oxford University Press edition, will be on display at the Library of Congress from Feb 12 to May 9 as part of an exhibition for the 200th anniversary of Lincoln’s birth.

No matter what the rule says, the presidents continue the tradition to finish the oath of office with the words “So help me God”.

It’s Wikipeida’s Day

Wikipedia turns 8 today.

The free, multilingual encyclopaedia, launched in January 15, 2001, is currently the most popular general reference work on the Internet.

The articles, said to be about 12 million in count has 2.6 million in English.
The volunteers around the world have written collaboratively on these articles, and almost all of its articles can be edited by anyone who can access the Wikipedia website. They remain anonymous too. “Consequently, Wikipedia “makes no guarantee of validity” of its content.” was opened on donated bandwidth and server and its first article appeared on January 16.

UuU, said to be the oldest article, contains the earliest surviving edit on the Wikipedia.

When Time recognized “You” as its “Person of the Year for 2006”, the magazine listed websites like YouTube, Facebook, MySpace and Wikipedia as media that allowed users to interact with the web by uploading and publishing their own comments, videos, pictures and links.

According to studies Wikipedia is among the ten most visited websites worldwide. A good portion of the searches made on Internet is related to academic research and about 50 percent of search engine traffic to Wikipedia comes from Google.

No wonder, Wikipedia’s audience have shot up to 9.5 million from 6.3 million.