After Shaking Hands…


 

Myself 
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By T.V. Antony Raj

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The Albanian proverb, “After shaking hands with a Greek, start counting your fingers” reminds me of the song “Dread and the Fugitive Mind” written by guitarist and vocalist Dave Mustaine who formed the American thrash metal band Megadeth.

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Dave Mustaine of Megadeth performing during the River City Rockfest at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas on May 29, 2016.

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The song released in 2001, is about former band member Chris Poland who played the guitar from 1984-1988. To fund his heroin and crack addiction Chris Poland would sell the bands personal equipment and gear. In this song, the crook questions his lifestyle. He struggles with the urge to steal things and dread of apprehension. 

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Chris Poland Former Megadeth Guitarist

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Lyrics: Dread and the Fugitive Mind

Let me introduce myself I’m a social disease

I’ve come for your wealth leave you on your knees
No time for feeling sorry, I got here on my own
I won’t ask for mercy, I choose to walk alone

What’s yours is mine and what’s mine is mine too
If you shake my hand better count your fingers

What if I do get caught?
What if there is no judgment?
If I’m right I lose nothing, if you’re right I lose it all
I ought to get caught because I’m doing something wicked
I’m guilty haunted by my fear and the only consequences
Are dread and the fugitive mind

You built walls to protect you so no one will infect you
Pursued by those out there that vanish in thin air
Come a long way to find what you really left behind
You don’t know when the end is but it’s coming fast

What’s yours is mine and what’s mine is mine too
If you shake my hand better count your fingers

What if I do get caught?
What if there is no judgment?
If I’m right I lose nothing, if you’re right I lose it all
I ought to get caught because I’m doing something wicked
I’m guilty haunted by my fear and the only consequences
Are dread and the fugitive mind

VH1 (originally an initialism of Video Hits One) is an American basic cable television network based in New York City owned by ViacomCBS. Behind the Music is a documentary television series on VH1. Each episode profiles and interviews a popular musical artist or group. The program examines the beginning of their career, their road to success and the hardships they may have encountered.

In VH1’s  Behind the Music, Dave Mustaine talks about coming into the studios and sometimes finding a couple of cymbals or a guitar or pedal missing. As the band was broke, he would search for the pawnshops where Chris Poland had taken the gear and got it back. 

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Are Alkaline Foods the Panacea for Coronavirus?


Myself 
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By T.V. Antony Raj

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A couple of days ago I saw a message on a Tamil TV news channel that said the pH value of the novel coronavirus ranges from 5.5 to 8.5
? It also said that consumption of alkaline foods above the virus’s pH level prevents its spread and cures this deadly infection.
 
Also, I came across similar messages on Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp attributing this information to research published in the Journal of Virology.
 
The message further lists down the pH values of different food items such as avocado, lemon, orange, garlic, among others:


Avocado 12.6
Dandelion 12.7
Garlic 13.2
Lemon 9.9
Lime 8.2
Mango 8.7
Orange 9.2
Pineapple 12.7
Tangerine 8.7

It continues by saying “All we need to do, to beat coronavirus, we need to take more of an alkaline foods that are above the above pH levels of the virus.” (sic)

Is this claim true? No!

The study quoted in the research dates back to 1991 and published in the Journal of Virology with the title ‘Alteration of the pH Dependence of Coronavirus-Induced Cell Fusion: Effect of Mutations in the Spike Glycoprotein’ by researchers Thomas M. Gallagher, Cristina Escarmis, and Michael J. Buchmeier. 

The abstract of the study mentions that it is about coronavirus mouse hepatitis virus type 4 (MHV4) and COVID-19 is a new strain of virus that was not known in the 1990s. It reads:

Infection of susceptible murine cells with the coronavirus mouse hepatitis virus type 4 (MHV4) results in extensive cell-cell fusion at pHs from 5.5 to 8.5.” 

During the present pandemic, many people searching for useful health information to ward off the deadly coronavirus have started believing many things that are not true.

According to many health experts, this claim about consuming alkaline foods to increase the body’s pH level to create an environment that is deadly to the virus is untrue. There is no evidence nor enough data to prove and support this claim.

We must understand that a virus does not have a pH.
 
Our body regulates pH levels. Our diet can change only the pH level of our waste products such as our urine and saliva but not the pH levels in our blood cells or tissues of our body.
 
Yet, there is no treatment or cure for the coronavirus. So, eating alkaline foods cannot cure or prevent coronavirus. Yet, a healthy and balanced diet can help boost our immunity, which in turn can help us fight the deadly virus.

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I was Born In 1941


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Myself .
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By T.V. Antony Raj

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I was born in 1941.
 
In the 1940s most of us were born at home.
 
Our mothers fed us at any time of the day, and when we cried.
 
We did not sleep in cribs; we slept with our mothers or siblings on hard beds or on mats spread over the floor.
 
When we fell ill, the doctor gave us aspirin tablets for fever. Our mothers powdered the tablets, added honey and forced us to swallow the bitter-sweet mixture.
 
There were no childproof lids on medicine containers.
 
We never got checked for any allergies but we got inoculated for smallpox.
 
There were no locks on doors in our houses except the front door, and there were no locks on cupboards.
 
In the 1940s we never saw a household plastic utensil but we had celluloid containers. The mass production of plastic utensils started only in the 1950s.
 
As little children, we rode in cars that had no booster seats, no seat belts, no airbags.
 
We rode on rickshaws pulled by humans.
 
When we grew up and rode bicycles, we had no helmets to protect our heads.
 
We had fun drinking water from the garden hose.
 
We shared a single soft drink bottle with several friends, without anyone dying.
 
We added brown sugar or jaggery when we drank tea or coffee.
 
We ate white bread with real butter and natural fruity jam.
 
We ate lots of chocolates; even so, no one said that we were overweight.
 
Though we played a lot outside in the sun, we never applied sunscreen lotions or creams.
 
During holidays, we played all day. We returned home only after the lights were on.
 
No one could reach us or bother us because there were no mobile phones. Even so, we were all right.
 
We had the following coins in circulation:
 

In Ceylon (now Sri Lanka)

coin Ceylon 1 cent 19431 cent 
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coin Ceylon 2 cents 19442 cents
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coin Ceylon 5 cents 1944

5 cents  
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coin Ceylon 10 cents 1944

10 cents  
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coin Ceylon 25 cents 194325 cents

.coin Ceylon 50 cents 194350 cents

There were no one rupee coins in Ceylon at that time. Now, 1, 2, 5, 10, 25 and 50 cents are not in circulation in Sri Lanka and the minting of these denominations had been discontinued.

In India 

British India coinage under George VI 1938-19471 pice = 1/4 Anna = 1/64 Rupee (in Tamil we called this coin ஓட்டைக் காலணா / oattai kalana meaning 1/4 Anna with a hole.)
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British India coinage under George VI 1938-19471 pice = 1/4 Anna = 1/64 Rupee
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British India coins catalog with images and values, currency prices and  photo, Indian old coins

1/2 Anna = 1/32 Rupee
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1 anna british india coin at reasonable rate for Sale in Kollam, Kerala  Classified | IndiaListed.com1 Anna = 1/16 rupee
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Coin Value: India (British) 1/2 and 2 Annas 1939 to 19472 Annas = 1/8 rupee
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Coin, INDIA-BRITISH, George VI, 1/4 Rupee, 1940, , Silver, KM:545

 1/4 rupee
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1/2 Rupee
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File:Indian rupee (1940).jpg - Wikimedia Commons
One Rupee

Telephones were rare. They were mounted on the wall or placed on desks, they were not mobile. One stood static in one spot to talk since an electrical cord connected the phone to the receiver.

Faber Castell Slide Rule

 
 
Since there were no calculating instruments, the word ‘computer’ was not coined at that time. We never heard of computers in the 1940 and 1950s. My first calculating instrument was a Faber-Castell slide rule bought in 1963.
 
Now, young people ask my wife and me: “How do you still manage to stay together for 56 years?” 
 
Our reply: “We were born in at a time when if something broke we would fix it, not throw it away.”

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The Pandemic President of Havelocks!


Reproduced from https://community.lk



By Tasha Devotta


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Thusitha Peiris, President of the Havies Club, Colombo.

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At 106 years of age, Havelocks is one of Colombo’s older rugby clubs. Over the years it has earned itself quite a reputation for the field game.  But this last year has taken its toll on the club because this very popular contact sport has become a ‘no no’ in the name of health and safety.


Family club

The current president of Havelocks is making every effort to keep the club going despite the lack of play.  He has resorted to making the best use of their revamped clubhouse by bringing members, their families and guests together for social engagements, especially on the weekends.  Although ‘Havies’ was a family club, during some part of its history it became male-dominated, overtaken by wild ruggerites and their enthusiastic fans.  But in the past 10 years or so, that has changed, and the club is getting back to its original status as a family-oriented place. 


Open air spaces

With COVID-19 regulations dictating open-air spaces as safer for social engagement, the airy club space that flows on to a well-kept garden overlooking the grounds has become the ideal place for club members and their families to interact with friends and enjoy some great old fashioned club food accompanied by a band playing 70’s, 80’s music.  And they do this with relative peace of mind because the club leadership ensures that pandemic safety regulations are followed.


Afternoon at Havies

It is safe to say that the Havies are making the best of a bad situation while they wait for things to settle down so they can get back to the game. Thusitha Peiris, President of the Havies Club says, “We’re all waiting for clearance from the health authorities and the Ministry of sports but in the meantime, the committee and I are responsible for the club’s survival during this pandemic period.  So we came up with the idea to make every last Sunday of the month an ‘Afternoon at Havelock’s,’ with delicious safely cooked local food and a band playing a mix of popular oldies and new songs.  It is a very successful event not only keeping the club and its staff motivated but the members and families have a lot of fun relaxing with their families and guests and that’s good to see. We plan to continue doing this because rugby will take a little more time to come through.”


Family traditions

As the Club revisits their roots to continue the family tradition, they are also leaving a legacy for future years. Almost everyone that enters the clubhouse leaves with some laughter and a sense of belonging. No doubt many traditions and memories made within its walls passed down from one generation to the next still continue. The familiar ambience may be something that members and visitors alike look forward to every time.

IMG 6550



Yellow rice

Speaking of last Sunday’s get together, Social Secretary of the club, Dominic Alles says, “we had a typical Sri Lankan ‘Havies’ style yellow rice, spicy tempered potatoes, batu moju, some pickles and three types of meat, chicken, prawn and our signature Sri Lankan pork curry. 


Finest rugby players

While the entertainment factor is something to look forward to especially during these difficult times, Havies is not just about that alone.  Having produced many of the finest rugby players in the country, it is a club that holds opportunity for talented ruggerites with a passion for the game.  The president of the club, a former ruggerrite himself who captained Havelocks in 1992 says the club holds a chance for everyone immaterial of age or background.  “At Havies there is equal opportunity for everyone.  We are not affiliated to any school, we don’t count background, we are only looking for players with a passion for the game because they are the future of this club.”

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The Secret of His energy!


Myself

By T.V. Antony Raj

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After the virile old man celebrated his 100th birthday, a reporter asked him the secret of his energy. 

Old man: “Well, after getting married, my wife and I agreed that whoever lost the argument after an altercation should walk 5 km as punishment. So, for the past 75 years, I have been walking 5 km almost every day.”

Reporter: “Then how come your wife too, is energetic as you are?”

Old man: “Oh, she used to follow me at a distance to ascertain whether I completed the 5 km walk and moreover to make sure I meet no other women!”

Its performance that Counts!


Myself

By T.V. Antony Raj
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.A priest dies on All Souls Day and is waiting in the queue at Heaven’s Gate.

In front of him stands a guy, wearing a loud shirt, leather jacket and jeans, and sporting sunglasses.

Saint Peter to the guy: “Who were you?”

Guy: “An Express Bus driver. I used to drive long distances at night.”

Saint Peter: “Enter the kingdom of heaven. You are admitted to the first-class accommodations.”

Saint Peter to the Priest: “Who were you?”

Priest: “A priest and I spent almost 40 years preaching the Word of God to people.”

Saint Peter: “Enter the kingdom of heaven. You are admitted to the third class accommodations.”

Priest: “OMG, I spent all my life preaching God’s Words. How come a flamboyant, rash driver gets first class and I get third?”

Saint Peter: “Results, my son, results.”

Priest: “What?”

Saint Peter: “Its performance, not the position that counts!”

Priest: “Ugh!”

Saint Peter: “While you preached, people slept, but when he drove, people prayed! It’s the performance that counts!” 

Donald J. Trump, the “Walking Eagle”


Myself 

By T. V. Antony Raj

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donald-trump
Donald J Trump

Donald J. Trump, the outgoing President of the United States had thought of running for president in 1988, 2004, and 2012, and for Governor of New York in 2006 and 2014, but did not enter any of those races. In 1988, considered as a potential running mate for George H. W. Bush, he lost to Vice President Dan Quayle.

Donald Trump has always voiced whatever caustic thoughts he has. To him, the Mexicans were “rapists” and “anchor babies“. He has used adjectives such as “bimbo” and “fat pig” to describe women.
 
For months he preoccupied himself with mocking Kamala Devi Harris, the vice president-elect of the United States.
 
Earlier Trump had mocked Senator Elizabeth Ann Warren, the Democratic senator from Massachusetts. He called her “the Indian” and “Pocahontas“, and insisted that she was a racist for having listed her heritage while on the faculty of Harvard Law School.
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By the way, Donald Trump has his own share of bullshit thrown at him. The following is a snippet about Native Americans tagging a pandering self-conceited Donald Trump with the name “Walking Eagle.
 
Donald Trump received an invitation to address a significant gathering of leaders of the American Indian Tribes. At the meeting, he spoke for almost an hour about his plans for increasing every Native American’s standard of living. Though vague in detail, he spoke about his ideas for helping his “red sisters and brothers“.
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After he concluded his eloquent speech, the Chiefs of the American Indian Tribes presented him a plaque inscribed with his new Indian name, “Walking Eagle” which a proud pompous Trump accepted.

Walking Eagle
Walking Eagle

After Trump left the venue, a reporter asked the group of Chiefs how they came to select the specific name “Walking Eagle” for Trump. The Chiefs explained that it is the name given to a bird so full of shit it can no longer fly.
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Sons of Donald Trump Love to Hunt


Myself

By T. V. Antony Raj

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Donald John Trump Jr and Eric Frederick Trump

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Brothers Donald John Trump Jr (born December 31, 1977) and Eric Frederick Trump (born January 6, 1984) are the first and the third sons of former US President Donald J Trump and his first wife, Ivana Trump, a former Czech-American model.

The brothers are former reality television personalities and fourth-generation businessmen following their great-grandmother Elizabeth Christ Trump who founded what became the Trump Organization, grandfather Fred Trump, and father Donald John Trump. Currently, both are trustees and executive vice presidents of the Trump Organization.

In 2000, after graduating with a BS in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, Donald Trump Jr moved to Aspen, Colorado. There, he lived in a truck and worked as a bartender for a year. He skied, fished, and hunted before returning to New York to join the Trump Organization.

In 2002, Eric Trump graduated from the Hill School, a coeducational preparatory boarding school located on a 200-acre campus in Pottstown, Pennsylvania. Later, he graduated with a degree in finance and management from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. According to Eri Trump, in his youth, he accompanied his father to job sites, mowed lawns, laid tile, and did other menial work on his father’s properties. Though Eric briefly considered other careers he decided to join the family business. 

Big-Game Hunting

There is nothing valorous to boast about these sons of Donald Trump, except that they are adventurous big-game trophy hunters.

Donald Trump Sr told TMZ, a tabloid news website: 

“My sons love hunting. They’re hunters and they’ve become good at it. I am not a believer in hunting and I’m surprised they like it.”

In 2012, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump went on a big-game hunting expedition in Zimbabwe.

Controversy erupted in 2012 when photos of the two Trump brothers posing with the carcasses of dead animals hunted by them in 2010 surfaced.  American actress and activist Mia Farrow re-posted them in 2015.

When the photos went viral online, Donald Trump Jr tweeted (and then deleted):

“Not a PR move I didn’t give the pics but I have no shame about them either. I HUNT & EAT game.” (sic)

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) criticized and condemned the Trump brothers for killing buffaloes, elephants, leopards, crocodiles and many exotic wild animals. A spokeswoman for PETA told the Daily News:

“If the young Trumps are looking for a thrill, perhaps they should consider skydiving, bungee jumping, or even following in their anti-hunting father’s footsteps and taking down competing businesses—not wild animals… Like all animals, elephants, buffalo, and crocodiles deserve better than to be killed and hacked apart for two young millionaires’ grisly photo opportunity. If the Trumps want to help villagers, they have plenty of resources at their disposal.” (sic)

The Zimbabwean animal conservation groups who investigated the hunting expedition deemed it legal. V. Chandenga, the director-general of the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, released an official statement defending the Trump brothers and calling any allegations of illegality “false” and “baseless”. 

In August 2012, in an interview with Deer & Hunting magazine, Donald Trump Jr explained his views on the big-game hunting expedition: 

“I think what made it sort of a bigger story and kind of national and even global news was that I didn’t do what a lot of other people do, which is immediately start apologizing for what I am and that I’m a hunter and all this,” (sic)

Again in April 2012, Donald Trump Jr gave an interview to Forbes magazine. He explained that at the age of 12 he learned to hunt from his Czechoslovakian maternal grandfather, Miloš Zelníček and that his father “really doesn’t understand why Eric and I hunt. However, he is open-minded and so always allowed us to go hunting.” (sic)

He also explained how hunting helps people to become conservationists.

“Anyone who thinks hunters are just ‘bloodthirsty morons’ hasn’t looked into hunting. If you wait through long, cold hours in the November woods with a bow in your hands hoping a buck will show or if you spend days walking in the African bush trailing Cape buffalo while listening to lions roar, you’re sure to learn hunting isn’t about killing. Nature actually humbles you. Hunting forces a person to endure, to master themselves, even to truly get to know the wild environment. Actually, along the way, hunting and fishing make you fall in love with the natural world. This is why hunters so often give back by contributing to conservation.” (sic)

The following photos say a lot about the  Trump brothers. 

 
A smiling Donald Trump Jr. poses beside the bufflo he killed during his African safari, hosted by Hunting Legends. (HUNTINGLEGENDS.COM)
A smiling Donald Trump Jr poses beside the buffalo he killed during his African safari, hosted by Hunting Legends. (HUNTINGLEGENDS.COM)
Donald Trump Jr proudly showing off a bloody, sawed-off tail of an elephant (Source: Zimbabwe Today – twitter.com)
Donald John Trump Jr and Eric Frederick Trump pose with a leopard while on a hunting trip to Zimbabwe. (Screengrab)

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Click on this line to see more photos of the big-game hunting Trump brothers. 

Despite the negative comments, the Trumps stood their ground. Donald Trump Jr responded to a flurry of angry messages that spurned him on Twitter. He Tweeted:

I’m a hunter, for that, I make no apologies … I can assure you it was not wasteful … The villagers were so happy for the meat which they don’t often get to eat.

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What Do You Call a Group of Crows?


Myself

By T. V. Antony Raj

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A few days ago, I posted an article How do you call a group of fish?  My friend Amir Ganesan Amirthalingam posed the question “What do you call a group of crows?” And I answered him ”Murder”.

There are different collective nouns to describe large groups of different birds. Most of them are descriptive of the group of birds and their behaviour or personalities. Some collective nouns such as flock, colony, fleet, can apply to all bird species.

Other flock names used include cloud, mass, collection, throng, murmuration, parcel, or dissimulation. This list is not exhaustive.

Some flock names are rare, obsolete and seldom-used. A few that I have come across are plain silly but are familiar to ornithologists.

Murder of crows

A murder of crows (publicdomainpicture.net)

Crows are members of the Corvidae family which includes ravens, magpies, and blue jays. They are noisy, precocious, smart, and their intelligence never ceases to amaze us. Farmers consider the crows as pests and try to protect their crops and seedlings from them. Crows are most often associated with a long tradition of fear and paranoia. The black feathers of the crow frighten some people who associate them with death. 

New research proves crows are gregarious, caring and one among the smartest creatures on the planet.

Here is a list of collective nouns used rarely for a flock of crows: horde, hover, mob, muster, parcel, storytelling and murder.

For most of the year, the crows are affable, wary and intelligent. . They are territorial, especially during the nesting season. They roost as a community consisting of hundreds of birds usually on large trees. They gather in large numbers at food sources and attractive dumpsters. 

In 1486 AD, St Albans Press in England printed The Book of Saint Albans (or Boke of Seynt Albans). It is also known by the title “The Book of Hawking, Hunting, and Blasing of Arms“. In the 15th century, there was a fad for terms of venery (an archaic word for hunting) or names for groups of game animals. This book contains a long list of collective nouns for animals, and it has, of course, a murder of crows though without any explanation.  

Though there was an obsession for terms of venery in the 15th century, most of them fell out of use in the 16th century including the murder of crows. 

There are several explanations for the origin of this term, based on old folktales and superstitions.

    • According to one folktale, a flock of crows will gather to decide the fate of a crow that encroaches their turf. If the crow is guilty, the group will execute (that is, “murder”) the defendant. This is based on the fact that flock of crows will kill a dying crow which doesn’t belong to their territory. The crows are sometimes prone to cannibalism and feed on carcasses of already dead crows.   
    • Crows are scavengers and are generally associated with dead bodies and cemeteries. In the medieval period, crows hovered over execution sites, battlefields, hospitals, and cemeteries. They scavenged on human remains. To some, the appearance of crows is an omen of death. So, when a large number of crows circle above a site, they expect someone to die soon.  
    • Medieval peasants feared the sinister-looking crows. They believed the crows came from the Devil or were witches in disguise. To them, a flock of crows would have appeared murderous.
    • When rediscovered in the early 20th century, authors then posited that the term murder of crows was correct because of the tremendous noise the crows make. 
    • Some etymologists suggest that the association of crows and ravens with death might have led to the use of the word murder

To me, the term “murder of crows” reflects a time when many animal groups had vivid and poetic names. 

Kevin J. McGowan of the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology wrote on his website that no scientist would call it a murder of crows. “Scientists would call it a flock,” he wrote.

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of what comes to my mind.

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