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Former South African President Jacob Zuma married six women!


Myself 

By T.V. Antony Raj

Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma, Former President of South Africa
(Source: newstimeafrica.com)

Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma, born April 12, 1942, was the President of South Africa from  2009 to 2018. He was Deputy President of South Africa from 1999 to 2005. When the ANC won the 2009 general election, the parliament elected him as President. After the 2014 election, they reelected him as President of South Africa for the second time.

Does anyone know the secret of President Jacob Zuma’s Stamina? He married six women and had 20 children!

Jacob Zuma has faced many legal challenges. In December 2005, he was charged with raping a 31-year old woman at his home in Forest Town, Gauteng. The alleged victim was the daughter of a deceased struggle comrade of Zuma. She was an AIDS activist known to be HIV positive. Zuma denied the charges. He claimed that the sex was consensual. On 8 May 2006, the court agreeing with Zuma that the sexual act in question was consensual found him not guilty of rape. Judge van der Merwe reprimanded the accuser for lying to the court. He also censured Zuma for being reckless.

President Jacob Zuma and his current wives cutting his birthday cake (source: thepromota.co.uk)
President Jacob Zuma and his current wives cutting his birthday cake
(source: thepromota.co.uk)

Jacob Zuma belongs to the Msholozi clan and is a polygamist. Noted for having married six times, he currently has four wives. One wife divorced him, and another committed suicide.

During a visit to London in February 2010, Jacob Zuma lashed out at British newspaper reports that described him as a “sex- obsessed bigot”. He demanded that they respect his multiple marriages as they form part of the Zulu culture.

Wife #1: In 1959, Zuma met Gertrude Sizakele Khumalo and married her shortly after his release from prison in 1973. She lives at Nkandla, Kwazulu Natal. They have no children. She is a quiet and shy person.

President Jacob Zuma's wife #1 -  Gertrude Sizakele Khumalo.
President Jacob Zuma’s wife #1 – Gertrude Sizakele Khumalo.

Wife #2: Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, a cabinet minister since 1999. Zuma married Nkosana during his years of exile for 15 years in Swaziland, Mozambique, Zambia and several other African countries, while continuing his work with the ANC. At the time of their marriage, Nkosazana was working in a Swaziland government hospital as a medical officer. She bore him four children. They divorced in June 1998. She cited the reason for the divorce as ‘irreconcilable differences’. She is a senior member of the ANC party and is still active in politics.

President Jacob Zuma's wife #2 - Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. She  divorced him in June 1998. (Picture: Jacoline Prinsloo/GCIS)
President Jacob Zuma’s wife #2 – Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. She divorced him in June 1998. (Picture: Jacoline Prinsloo/GCIS)

Wife #3: Kate Mantsho from Mozambique worked as an airline staffer. Zuma married Kate Mantsho. Though she bore him five children, their marriage strained. She committed suicide on December 8, 2000. In the suicide note she left behind she said that she did not want Jacob Zuma to attend her funeral.

President Jacob Zuma's third wife Kate Mantsho . She committed suicide on December 8, 2000 (Source: whatishappeninginsouthafrica.blogspot.in)
President Jacob Zuma’s wife #3 – Kate Mantsho.  (Source: whatishappeninginsouthafrica.blogspot.in)

Wife #4: The 66-year-old Zuma met the 33-year-old Nompumelelo Ntuli (MaNtuli), a resident of KwaMaphumulo through social circles. They legalized their relationship on January 8, 2008.

President Jacob Zuma's Wife #4 - Nompumelelo Ntuli (MaNtuli)
President Jacob Zuma’s Wife #4 – Nompumelelo Ntuli (MaNtuli)

In June 2010, when Nompumelelo Ntuli Zuma was pregnant with Zuma’s 21st child, allegations rose questioning the paternity of the baby. The Zulu-language newspaper Ilanga received a letter from “concerned family members” of Zuma. The letter claimed that one of his three current wives had cheated on him with one of her bodyguards named Phinda Thomo. Zuma was “furious” over the allegations. A presidential statement said:

“The reports appear to be part of an ongoing and malicious campaign to undermine the right of the President and his family to privacy and dignity.”

Wife #5: In 2007, Zuma paid lobola to Thobeka Stacie Madiba’s clan when their child was born in October 2007. Zuma married her on January 4, 2010. Before the traditional wedding, Madiba had another of Zuma’s out-of-wedlock child. That child is now living with her.

President Jacob Zuma and his fifth wife Thobeka Stacie Madiba (Source: faraitoday.com)
President Jacob Zuma and his wife #5 – Thobeka Stacie Madiba
(Source: faraitoday.com)

Wife #6: On April 20, 2012, Zuma married Gloria Bongekile Ngema. The lavish wedding took place in Nkandla. Zuma’s other three current wives graced the wedding.

In this photo, taken on April 20, 2012, President Jacob Zuma and his fiance, Ms Bongi Ngema, dance at his home in Nkandla, KwaZulu Natal.  (Source: afp/Elmond Jiyane)
President Jacob Zuma’s Wife #6 – Gloria Bongekile Ngema.
(Source: afp/Elmond Jiyane)

The Sunday Times reported that Jacob Zuma acknowledged that he had fathered a love-child with 39-year-old Sonono Khoza, the daughter of his close friend, Irvin Khoza, the chairman of South Africa’s World Cup organising committee. The child was born on October 8, 2009.

Sonono Khoza mother of Jacob Zuma's love-child (Source: whatishappeninginsouthafrica.blogspot.in)
Sonono Khoza mother of Jacob Zuma’s love-child (Source: whatishappeninginsouthafrica.blogspot.in)

The Sunday Times reported that he fathered a love-child with the daughter of soccer boss Irvin Khoza.All the president’s men were mum about the baby girl, reportedly born to Sonono Khoza, 39, on October 8, 2009.

In 2012 the Daily Telegraph estimated Zuma’s known children as 20.

In 2009-10, Zuma received a budget of £1.2m for “spousal support”. This sum was almost twice the amount paid during the terms in office of former presidents Thabo Mbeki and Kgalema Motlanthe.

In June 2012, activists, including some from the ANC itself, complained in the context of the country’s widespread poverty about the amount the state paid Zuma to support his wives. The protesters suggested that only Zuma’s first wife Gertrude Sizakele Khumalo should receive state support.

Jacob Zuma is a traditionalist. He has acknowledged all his wives. A few years ago Zuma said during a television interview:

“There are plenty of politicians who have mistresses and children that they hide so as to pretend they’re monogamous. I prefer to be open, I love my wives, and I am proud of my children.”

The Swati royal family is not impressed with the president of South Africa. In 2002, President Jacob Zuma paid lobola for his Swati sweetheart, Princess Sebentile Dlamini. The Swati royal family expected a wedding shortly thereafter. They expected their princess to enter the Zuma’s Nkandla homestead. That did not happen.

Swati Princess Sebentile Dlamini  (Image source: Sunday World)
Swati Princess Sebentile Dlamini (Image source: Sunday World

Jacob Zuma’s reckless and outlandish behaviour goes beyond the political framework of leadership. He has an insatiable appetite for the opposite sex. This has driven him to engage in morally challenged relationships. Here is a photo of President Jacob Zuma chilling with bare breasted women.

President Jacob Zuma chilling with bare breasted women (Source: OluFamous.Com)
President Jacob Zuma chilling with bare breasted women (Source: OluFamous.Com)

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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 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!”

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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How Do You Call a Group of Fish?


Myself

By T. V. Antony Raj

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Every day we use several collective terms such as a herd, a flock, a swarm, a colony etc. And how do you call a group of fish?

An aggregation of fish is the general term used for any collection of fish gathered in a locality. Most fish swim in groups in search of food or to protect themselves from their natural predators.

The collective noun to denote such groups of fish depends on the species of fish. Besides aggregation, the terms school of fish and shoal of fish are most used to refer to fish that travel as a group.

The words ‘school‘ and ‘shoal’ come from Middle Dutch schōle, of West Germanic origin.

So what is the difference between a school of fish and a shoal of fish?

Schooling fish are usually of the same species and the same age. The individual members of the school move and perform complicated manoeuvres in unison.

These bluestripe snappers are schooling – Flickr image of Snapper in the Maldives by Jim and Becca Wicks

In the above image, the bluestripe snappers are schooling. They are all swimming in the same direction in a coordinated way.

If several species of fish stay together for social reasons, they are shoaling.

These surgeonfish are shoaling – Uxbona, CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons
In the above image, the surgeonfish are shoaling. Though their swimming pattern seems erratic they stay connected forming a social group. 

A group of dogfish is a troop, a group of eels is a swarm, a group of angelfish is a host, and a group of flying fish is a glide.

A group of jellyfish is a swarm, or a bloom if there is a sudden increase in their population. Some sources refer to a group of jellyfish as a smack.

Whales, dolphins, porpoises, and seals that live in the sea are aquatic mammals and not fish. The collective noun to use when these aquatic mammals cluster together is a pod. So, we have pods of whalespods of dolphinspods of porpoises, and pods of seals. These aquatic mammals live and travel in pods for protection.

A herd of Dugongs – Canisius Ambassadors for Conservation

The dugong (sea cow) is a medium-sized marine mammal. They travel in pairs or sometimes travel in groups of 3 to 6 and sometimes in groups of 7 to 10. A group of dugongs is a herd of dugongs or a nutcluster of dugongs.

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