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29 Mar 13:11

The Holy Rats of Karni Mata

by RJ Evans
From the outside the Hindu temple of Karni Mata in the small town of Deshnoke in the Indian province of Rajasthan looks much like any other. Ornate and beautiful and with a steady stream of worshippers arriving it holds a surprise for the unsuspecting visitor.

The temple is inhabited by rats: thousands of them.

Inhabited, too, is the correct word for this is no accidental infestation. The Hindu adherents encourage their presence as we might other mammalian visitors to our gardens with sustenance both liquid and solid. They are there in memory of a remarkable woman – Karni Mata.

Back in the fourteenth century (almost a blink of the eye in terms of Indian history) there emerged from the charan caste a woman named Karni Mata. Highly revered, the women of the caste are venerated as mother goddesses by the other main communities of this province. This particular sage, however, was worshipped as an incarnation of a goddess, Durga.

Durga is a form of the supremely radiant goddess, Devi and translates as one who can redeem in situations of utmost distress’. She exists in a condition known as svātantrya which is one of total independence from the universe. Durga is considered by Hindus to be the personification of feminine creativity, encompassing fearlessness, patience, compassion and even humor. Little wonder, then, that wherever Karni Mata journeyed, temples sprang up.

Humility, too: you will never find an original image of Karni Mata in any of the numerous temples dedicated to her. However, there is a record of her foot-print in each temple, hidden from the view of non believers. The temple at Deshnoke is by far the most famous (it is known locally as The Eighth Wonder – her followers on occasion lack her unassuming nature). The reason is by now obvious – it is because of the rats.

The rats eat from huge metal bowls filled with milk, sweets, and grains donated by devotees. It is considered auspicious to see a white rat near the image of Karni Mata which were placed in the temple when it was rebuilt a hundred years ago.

Pilgrims arrive throughout the year to pay tribute to Karni Mata and the sacred rats. During the Navratri festival of dance and celebration, which is held four times a year, the numbers significantly swell as thousands of religious travellers arrive on foot. Yet, why rats? Why are these animals so significant to the adherents of Karni Mata.

Legend has it that a favorite boy, the son of one of Karni Mata’s storytellers and someone who she regarded as a stepson, died. As Durga, Karni Mata implored the god of death, Yama, to bring him back to life. When this request was turned down, Kami Mata brought the cherished boy back as a rat – but not only him, all the storytellers too. The rats became holy and have been treated as such ever since.

To avoid accidentally stepping on a rat is not a sign of squeamishness. If one is accidentally killed it must be reinstated with one made from solid gold. You really do not want to tread on these rats if you value the contents of your bank account.

However, it is considered immense good luck if one of the rats chooses to scurry over you bare feet.

...or indeed if some join you for lunch (you have seen the one in the bowl, now look on the knee of the gentleman on the left).

Notice the nets above the heads of the worshippers? This is to protect the rats from an adversary that has no respect for their previous incarnation. Pigeons, given the chance, will happily swoop down and kill baby rats.

Don't worry - the rats in the pictures above and below are not dead.

The rats are not tame but they are so used to humans trailing in and out that they have become oblivious to their presence. They know, too, that they are protected and this has led to fearlessness of which even Durga would approve! As mentioned before, the rats above are not dead but simply asleep – dozing peacefully completely in the open in the full knowledge that they will be unharmed. For now, though, let's leave them to their feast.

01 Apr 06:45

Introducing PlayStation Flow

by Ariel Ingannare

April 1st

At PlayStation we’ve always been dedicated to bringing gamers immersive experiences. From innovative features like Remote Play and Share Play to the endless possibilities of the upcoming Project Morpheus, PS4 is continually creating new ways to play.

Here at the PlayStation Wearable Entertainment Technology (P-WET) group we are ready to add to that list of innovations, as we announce the latest breakthrough in fully-immersive gaming – PlayStation Flow.

PS Flow_Goggles anglePS Flow_Collection_v2

PlayStation Flow combines PS4 gaming with real-life swimming. When you get to an underwater section of a game like The Last of Us Remastered you can hit pause, head to your nearest pool, dive in and resume playing through PlayStation Flow. With underwater environments in games becoming more and more realistic, we think that PlayStation Flow provides a natural enhancement to player experience.

The system consists of four PlayStation Flow Sensors, constructed using the latest composite fabrics. They attach comfortably to your biceps and thighs and track your swimming, sending real-time updates of body movements back to your PS4 via Remote Play.


The PlayStation Flow Goggles stream game data from your PS4 via Bluetooth and display gameplay once activated poolside. Our PlayStation Waterproof Earphones deliver stunning sound even underwater to complete the immersion.

We know that players want to get back to the action as soon as possible, so we’re also proud to introduce the PlayStation Flow Body Dryer – the perfect accompaniment to PlayStation Flow. It uses ionizing technology to dry you within seconds.

PS Flow_Air DryerPS Flow_poolside

For a deeper understanding of how it all works check out the video, and stay tuned for more information from the PlayStation Wearable Entertainment Technology group.

With Project Morpheus and more on the way it’s a very exciting time for PlayStation innovation. Watch this space for more immersive experiences as we continue to push the boundaries of play.


The post Introducing PlayStation Flow appeared first on PlayStation.Blog.Europe.

01 Apr 05:39

Andy Serkis is Indeed in Avengers Age of Ultron

by David Konow
31 Mar 10:33

Marvel's Stan Lee will bring his superpowers to new Sky TV show

by Hugh Langley
Marvel's Stan Lee will bring his superpowers to new Sky TV show

Stan Lee, the creator of superhero icons including Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk and X-Men, is forming an alliance with Sky 1 for a new TV series.

Lucky Man follows a down-on-his luck policeman named DI Harry Clayton, played by James Nesbitt, who obtains superpowers (in a Stan Lee creation? Never!) from a bracelet.

The six-part series is based on one of Lee's original ideas. Landing a name like Stan Lee will give Sky some decent firepower in the fight against rivals like Netflix and Amazon, who are commissioning original shows faster than you can say Dr Otto Gunther Octavius.

But Sky's arsenal is certainly growing; other original dramas for 2015 include The Five, The Last Panthers, Birthday, Critical and medical drama Ling of Duty. And how could we forget Fungus the Bogeyman?

31 Mar 15:45

Google Maps turned your streets into Pac-Man today

by Mona Lalwani
Your streets can be an iconic arcade game right now. Google Maps has a Pac-Man option just in time for April Fool's Day. With the click of a button, your streets will be dotted with yellow pellets and the four famous ghosts. New York City, with its p...
31 Mar 15:22

Re-order everyday items from Amazon with the 'Dash Button'

by Jessica Conditt
Amazon is rolling out the Dash Button, a physical device that allows customers to re-order items like toilet paper, diapers and laundry detergent as soon as they run out, with a simple press. The Dash Button is adhesive, and when pressed, customers r...
31 Mar 14:30

Former feds indicted over Silk Road bitcoin thievery

by Dave Neal
Former feds indicted over Silk Road bitcoin thievery

Not a perk of the job

30 Mar 19:15

GitHub Facing Ongoing DDoS Attack

30 Mar 09:10

Fraudster's phoney email tricked prison into releasing him

by Nick Summers

Social engineering at its finest

In the movies, a daring prison escape usually involves a carefully orchestrated plan filled with intricate tunnels, ingenious bribes and chaotic distractions. But for Neil Moore, performing a similar breakout in the real world was so much simpler. Wi...
30 Mar 10:57

UK schools threaten to report parents who let their kids play 18+ games

by Nick Summers

UK is crazy about surveilance and snooping

If your child is playing 18-rated games such as Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto, you could be reported to the police and social services. That's the message being sent to parents by a group of primary and secondary schools in Cheshire. In a letter,...
30 Mar 12:03

Auto-complete blunder leaks passport details of world leaders

by Steve Dent
Australia has proved that it can hold its own against Hillary Clinton any day when it comes to email gaffes. The nation's immigration department accidentally disclosed the passport numbers and other personal info of every world leader attending last ...
31 Mar 05:59

Dyson's new bladeless fan is also a powerful air filter

by Richard Lai
Dyson really hates dirt, to the point that it's now come up with a new bladeless fan that can also filter out ultrafine airborne particles -- including viruses, bacteria and pollens -- that are as tiny as 0.1 microns. The aptly-named Pure Cool (AM11)...
27 Mar 18:00


30 Mar 00:27


29 Mar 17:59

Gotta go fast(via gifsboom:video)

Gotta go fast

(via gifsboom:video)

27 Mar 16:58

Google teams with Johnson & Johnson for robotic-assisted surgery

by Mona Lalwani
Google's mysterious facility, Google X, is churning out next level technologies -- a self-driving car, delivery drones and Internet balloons. Its Life Sciences division is now teaming up with Ethicon, one of Johnson & Johnson's medical device compani...
29 Mar 08:19

Uber will pay for taxi licenses to keep operating in Germany

by Jon Fingas
Uber is only willing to bend German law so far, it seems. The ridesharing outfit tells Wirtschafts Woche that it'll get around a court-ordered ban on its unlicensed services (such as UberX) by creating a new service that both pays for the drivers' ta...
29 Mar 06:12

Volvo's reflective bike paint helps cars spot you at night

by Jon Fingas
Want to feel nervous? Try riding a bike at night alongside a busy road. Even if you're festooned in lights and reflectors, there's a real chance that a less-than-attentive driver will smack into you. Volvo may have a better way to keep cars at a dist...
27 Mar 21:08

Apple CEO's Pledge to Give Away His Fortune is Worth More Than Face Value

by Jason Mick
While his 785 million dollar fortune is dwarfed by Giving Pledge backers Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, it will surely inspire
11 Mar 22:22

Watch A B-2 Bomber Refuel And Return To Stealth Mode [Video]

by Kelsey D. Atherton
Stealth aircraft are defined by their smooth edges and deliberate angles. While this provides a sleek aesthetic, it's not very conducive to re-fueling during flight. Mid-air…
26 Mar 18:30

China's Endangered 'Magic Rabbit' Photographed For The First Time In 20 Years

by Sarah Fecht
In remote northwest China, the cliffs of the Tian Shan mountains provide the last holdout for the Ili pika, a tiny rabbit relative with a shrinking habitat. The Ili pika…
27 Mar 07:48

Driving instructors pranked by pro racing driver

by Daljinder Nagra

File under: Latest News

Driving instructors pranked by pro racing driver Photo credit: YouTube/ YouTube/ Never judge a book by its cover - or so the saying goes. It's a lesson instructors at a Malaysian driving school won't be forgetting in a hurry, after being made the subject of a practical joke on their first day at work. continue reading

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26 Mar 17:29

From The CEO Of Salesforce

by Joe Jervis
David Badash has the story. (Tipped by JMG reader Scott)
26 Mar 21:09

TPP leak: states give companies the right to repeal nations' laws

by Cory Doctorow

A new Wikileaks-published leak from the secretive Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) treaty reveals a January 2015 draft "Investment Chapter" of the agreement, where the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanisms are set out. They allow companies to repeal nations' environmental, health and labor laws. Read the rest

26 Mar 10:33

Apple buys and closes database firm FoundationDB

by Dave Neal
Apple buys and closes database firm FoundationDB

If you blinked, you missed it

27 Mar 00:44

Great, now 3D-printed rifles can fire larger, deadlier rounds

by Andrew Tarantola
In 2013, Defense Distributed created the world's first 3D-printed handgun, the .38-caliber Liberator. The following year, they unveiled an AR-15 receiver capable of firing hundreds of 5.56mm rounds without fail. This year, the team has been outdone b...
25 Mar 13:51

Fargo: Bruce Campbell to Play Ronald Reagan in Season 2

by Matt Fowler

Not only is cult favorite Bruce Campbell headed back to TV for the Starz series Ash Vs. Evil Dead, but he's also just joined Season 2 of FX's acclaimed Fargo.

As revealed by TVLine, Campbell will play former president Ronald Reagan. And since Season 2 takes place in the late '70s, and stars Patrick Wilson as a younger version of character Lou Solverson (played by Keith Carradine in Season 1), Campbell's Reagan will be a Reagan on the presidential campaign trail.

Bruce Campbell (seen here in Last Fan Standing). Bruce Campbell (seen here in Last Fan Standing).

Continue reading…

25 Mar 23:52

Emilia Clarke Turned Down 50 Shades Over Nudity Concerns

by Jim Vejvoda

A slew of actresses were considered for the role of Anastasia Steele in the blockbuster Fifty Shades of Grey before Dakota Johnson was cast. One such actress was none other than Daenerys Targaryen herself, Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke.

Clarke met twice with Fifty Shades director Sam Taylor-Johnson about starring in the erotic drama. So why did she ultimately turn down the film?

Clarke -- who has appeared nude on Broadway as well as in several episodes of Game of Thrones before stipulating that she won't do that again -- was simply uncomfortable with appearing naked onscreen (in what would end up being a large portion of the movie).

"I'd done nudity before and was concerned with being labeled for doing it again," she told The Hollywood Reporter. "No regrets," Clarke said of her decision.

Continue reading…

26 Mar 02:57

Amazon hosts a robot competition to automate its warehouses

by Jon Fingas
Amazon leans heavily on warehouse robots to assist workers and fulfill your orders on time, but these machines still can't pack items quickly enough to replace humans. However, the internet giant is determined to make these mechanical helpers more us...
26 Mar 07:56

Google makes it easier for Android users to view custom maps

by Mariella Moon
A custom map you've created for a trip is only useful if you can access it when you need it. Thankfully, Google's bringing back My Maps integration with Android, so it's now easier to view your personalized files on mobile. As you might know, you can...