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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Northern California Earthquake

On 24th August, my brother Ananda informed me that there had been a strong earthquake early that morning in the Napa area which is about 90 miles north of  San Jose, California where he has been living for the last 37 years. He just wanted to reassure us that he and his family were safe, before we ourselves saw it on TV.

As you know, some of our med school batch friends too live in and around the Bay Area. Rajan (Patas) Ratnesar lives on the hills in Castro Valley. I visited him there in 2011 and met Nadarajah there as well. Nada himself lives in Hayward. I have also been to Desmond Gunatilaka's home in San Jose. Vishweshwara is further to the south in Fresno which is some distance away from Napa. No sooner I heard the news, I sent out an e-mail to those closest to the disaster and I immediately heard back from Patas, Nada and Desmond who all said they were not affected.

By now, most of you would have read about it in the media. Therefore, other than a few details about its location and history of California earthquakes, I will not elaborate on the quake itself. I am quite familiar with the area because I myself lived in the Bay Area for two years when I was a graduate student at the University of California, Berkeley where I did my MPH in 1974/75.

The infamous San Andreas Fault which stretches some 600 miles (1,000 kilometers) from southern California to north of San Francisco is reputed for causing problems every 150 years. That makes northern California quite famous for quakes that strike along this fault. The disastrous San Francisco earthquake of 1906 that almost destroyed the entire city of San Francisco took place along it. The so-called "Loma Prieta"  earthquake that hit northern California in 1989 was centered  10 miles (16 km) northeast of Santa Cruz on a section of the San Andreas Fault System and was named after the nearby Loma Prieta peak in the Santa Cruz Mountains. However, the most recent quake that struck about 6 miles southwest of Napa, wasn't on that line.
                                                                                      Map of Bay Area
                                                                         Where the earthquake struck

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Pageviews by Country and Posts (all time)

It was on 16th March, 2011 that I started this blog mainly for the benefit of 1962 entrants to the Colombo Medical Faculty, which is said to be the second oldest medical school in Asia. It was one of the very first steps taken as part of the planning process for our 50th Anniversary Reunion held in August 2012 to celebrate our entry to this prestigious institution in June 1962.

Looking back on the progress made so far, one of the outstanding features is its popularity judging solely by the number of pageviews which I have been monitoring over the years. As of today, it stands at a staggering 386,797 with an average of over 1000 "hits" per day. It is obvious that we have many viewers who are not members of our batch, which I consider to be a very healthy sign. I have repeatedly said that this blog is primarily for 1962 entrants, but it does not preclude any web surfer not only from discovering its existence, but also from making frequent subsequent visits to see what's going on. There must be something in the blog that attracts them. One could be its unusual content.

It is also interesting to see where these visitors are scattered around the globe. A break down of page views by country as shown below indicates that it is by far in the USA that the great majority of followers are. I have also provided a breakdown by posts made so far since its "launch".

In concluding this brief note, I wish to record here my sincere appreciation of what my friend and colleague Mahendra Gonsalkorala (based in UK) has done to ensure success of this project. From time to time, he has come up with valuable suggestions and always been at hand to offer advice whenever I needed it.

By country (first ten)

USA - 166685
France - 56266
Germany - 16985
UK - 14603
Poland - 9442
Sri Lanka- 6766
Indonesia - 5362
Canada - 4707
China - 4520
Taiwan - 3905

By post (first five)

Anatomy Block Centenary Celebrations - 218241
An Interview with Sanath Lamabadusuriya - 49345
How to post a comment - 5356
127th Annual International Medical Congress - 3874
Kamali Nimalasuriya de Silva - 1895

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Creative Spot - A poem by Mahendra Gonsalkorala

A Dark Secret
Not a day passes when she isn't there
Oblivious to many who stand and stare
Sad tearful eyes heavily drooped
A lonely figure, slightly stooped
Is it the burden she does silently bear?
A dark secret that she cannot share? 
Silvery streaks from eyes to cheeks
Tears not finding whatever it seeks
run down her pale beautiful face
as she leans forward in a daze
She touches the gravestone gently
laying a posy of roses so tenderly 
A man stands in the shadows, unknown
He seems tormented, a look of grief worn
He stares, shakes his head, hesitant
To be with her, a step forward imminent?
Changes mind, pauses with a long sigh
Walks away slowly with head held high

Friday, August 8, 2014

Creative Spot - Sinhala songs by Zita and Joe Subasinghe

The vocalist is Zita's husband Joe who sings two old favourites made popular by veteran singers C.T. Fernando and Raj Seneviratne. Musical accompaniment is by Zita herself. Please click on the following links.

"Ambaruk Sevanelle" (C.T. Fernando):

"Sili Sili Seethala Elle" (Raj Seneviratne):



Thursday, August 7, 2014

Creative Spot - "Nim him sewwa sasare" by Mahendra Gonsalkorala

Speedy's rendition of Nim Him Sewwa.

Note from Speedy:

I think people like music for all sorts of reasons and for some the lyrics are vital, for others the melody and musical arrangement attracts them to a piece of music (that is what  I am like), while others want rhythm and tempo. When I sing, I don't attempt to produce a carbon copy of the original (much better to listen to the original if that is what is required!) and I am interested in producing something that is pleasing  and well produced. It is bit like a painting or a photograph -  I am more attracted to paintings which LOOK like a painting than paintings which look like a photograph (some admire the latter type and say "Wow! painting is fabulous, it looks like a real photograph!). Now I am not ridiculing them as I think people are entitled to have different views but just stating my point of view. I like creativity, improvisation and imagination! That's me!

Note from the Administrator:

The original version of this beautiful song was sung by Pandith W.D. Amaradeva. Pandith Amaradeva has been the recipient of numerous awards including the Philippine Ramon Magsaysay Award (2001), Indian Padma Sri Award, and Lankan President's Award of Kala Keerthi (1986) and Deshamanya Award (1998).

CoMSAA Newsletter July 2014


Sunday, August 3, 2014

Creative Spot - Spider Web in Florida Brush

Spider web in Florida brush
Photography by Lakshman Weerasooriya

LW adds: Spider webs seen in the brush of Florida. Was fascinated by the size and appearance. They are glistening in the morning sun due to pearl like dew drops . Used 300 mm zoom hand held.