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22 LIFESTYLE NAIROBI STAR Tuesday, 27 January 2009

SILENCE, RENEWING A ★Pet corner
FORGOTTEN VIRTUE
BY ALEXANDER GREEN GETTING TO THE

W ICH IN FISH
hat would you most
like to leave to your
kids some day? A
house... a business... Ich in fish is probably the most up and quickly transported to
some money? common of all fish diseases. another home are dealing with
If so, there is plenty of good And with most problems in life, a good bit of stress. And fish
advice out there about what to do prevention is always easier than in a home aquarium can get
and how to do it. (A good start- the cure. stressed when they’re subject-
ing point, in my view, is Warren Fish Ich (ichthyophthiriasis) ed to temperature fluctuations,
Buffett’s suggestion to leave your - pronounced ick - is a type of changing water conditions (ph,
children enough money so that they parasite that attaches to a fish’s ammonia level, etc.) and the
could do what they want, but not body, feeds for a while, and then introduction of new fish to their
so much that they could do noth- falls off. It lands on the bottom tank.
ing.) of the tank and reproduces Preventing a fish from catch-
There are more important things thousands of offspring, which ing ich is dependent on your
we can leave them, however. Plato continue the vicious process eliminating stress in their lives.
said, “Let parents bequeath to their over and over. In your home aquarium, try
children not riches, but the spirit of How do you know when a fish to avoid drastic temperature
reverence.” has ich? Fish with ich exhibit fluctuations and changing water
Reverence means understanding might share reverence with people and airports. In The Happiness small white spots on their bod- conditions. Also, make sure you
human limitations. It’s a feeling of who do not worship with you or Hypothesis, psychology professor ies. In the beginning stages you’ll perform regular partial water
respect and awe about what lies share your faith.” Jonathan Haidt writes that “It’s notice a few scattered white changes and provide good
beyond our control: nature, truth, Throughout history, religion and worth striving to remove sources of spots that resemble grains of filtration.
fate, death. reverence have often gone their noise in your life.” salt. As the condition worsens, When shopping for fish in a
It’s also an attitude of acceptance separate ways. Taken to extremes, Sensible advice. Yet Matthew the ick will cover the entire fish, pet store, examine all the fish
toward life and our fellow human religious beliefs sometimes engender Kelly believes there is another rea- eventually leading to respiratory in a particular tank closely. If
beings, flawed as we may be. Rever- just the opposite: intolerance, guilt, son we choose noisy environments: problems (among others) and you see even one fish with
ence underlies the grace and civility fear, ignorance, zealotry and hatred. Silence reveals our weaknesses to death. white spots, then move on - the
that make life in society bearable Some experience reverence in us, our shortcomings. Many experts believe that whole tank is probably infected.
and pleasant. It reminds us what’s organised worship, in community In The Rhythm of Life, he writes, ich is present in all aquariums, The other fish may just not be
important, what’s sacred, what’s with others. Others discover it “In the silence, we see at one time but only attack weakened or showing the white spots of ich
worth protecting. outdoors, enjoying the glories of the person we are and the person stressed fish. Healthy fish have a yet.
Reverence is as old as civilisation nature. Still others may experience we are capable of becoming... It strong immune system and are It’s always good to have a
itself, perhaps older. Writing in the it with music. is precisely for this reason that we able to resist it. Stressed fish quarantine tank set up for any
Fifth and Fourth Centuries BC, the Yet something else comes closer fill our lives with noise, to distract have a weakened immune sys- new fish you buy. You can keep
Greek historian Thucydides called it to capturing the true spirit of rever- ourselves from the challenge to tem and are therefore suscepti- them in there for a week or
a cardinal virtue, existing univer- ence: silence. change.” ble to the ich organisms that are two and see if they develop any
sally across all cultures. A quiet mind, freed from a noisy We can fix this, however. We can already present in the tank. diseases. If they don’t, then you
An irreverent man, he claimed, environment and the onslaught of hit the off button, walk outside, Fish can get stressed and can feel pretty safe adding them
is arrogant and shameless, full of continuous thought, has long been a visit a chapel, or take a quiet drive weakened in a variety of ways. to your community tank.
hubris, unable to feel awe in the signpost of spiritual development. in the country. Those that have been transport- You’ll find quite a few brands
face of things greater than himself. In Christianity and Judaism, A few days ago, I took my five- ed from their breeding tanks to of ich treatment medications
Moreover, irreverence makes it there is the silence of contempla- year-old son David on a hike up to the pet store, and then scooped available in most pet stores.
difficult to respect those who are tive prayer. In Islam, the Sufis wrote Humpback Rocks, an outcropping
weaker: children, prisoners, the about the wisdom of finding silence about half a mile above the Blue
poor, the elderly. within. Hinduism, the source of Ridge Parkway that offers an awe-
Many equate reverence with yoga, emphasises the importance of inspiring view of the Shenandoah
religiosity. Yet this is not always the silence for inner growth. Buddhists Valley, especially near sunset.
case. believe that silent meditation is the As we neared the summit, I
In Reverence: Renewing a Forgot- path to enlightenment. For Quak- stopped and asked him to listen.
ten Virtue, Paul Woodruff writes, ers, silence makes up much of the “What do you hear?” I asked.
“Reverence is not faith, because the service, allowing for the develop- There was no traffic, no sound,
faithful may hold their faith with ment of heart and mind. not even the wind. He shrugged and
arrogance and self-satisfaction, and Secular philosophers and other said, “Nothing.”
the reverent may not know what to writers have advocated its benefits, “Isn’t it great?” I asked.
believe... If your form of worship as well. He glanced up to make sure I
or faith is reverent, so much the Silence opens us to the experi- wasn’t kidding then looked around
better. You know one place to look ence of reverence. Yet many today again, listening.
for reverence. But you should look lead noisier lives than ever. Some “Yeah,” he said, exhaling. “It is.”
further, so that you can see how you choose to live near busy highways — Carpe Diem

SEAL BRAIN, PENGUIN BREASTS OFF ANTARCTIC MENUS

O
nce the “deli- just go out and buy some.” used to be, with staff mak- or shags, are delicious.
cacies of the Rothera gets most of its ing penguin egg omelettes “My advice is if you see
Antarctic”, supplies by ship twice a or cooking seal hearts. any around, take a ... rifle
fresh seal brains, year — in December and “Seal brains ... I would and knock a few off. It is
penguin eggs March — with the occa- consider one of the delica- a very meaty bird and one
or grilled cormorant are sional flight from Chile. cies and luxuries of the is enough for about six
off the menu at research The 1959 Antarctic Antarctic, and was enjoyed people.”
bases where chefs rely on Treaty sets aside the conti- by most members of the The author said he did
imported and often frozen nent as a nature reserve de- base when I was chef,” the not like penguin but that
food. voted to peace and science unnamed author wrote. many also considered it a
“You have to use what and bases have over the In a chapter on seal delicacy. Young penguins
you’ve got in the store. Fro- years stopped eating fresh brains, he listed recipes taste best, the book says.
zen stuff, tinned stuff and if wildlife. Seals were shot for fried seal brains, seal Some say it tastes like a
you’re really desperate the at Rothera for dog food brains au gratin, brain fishy version of chicken.
dried stuff,” said Alan Sher- until 1994 when dogs were fritters, seal brain omelette Sherwood, aged 49, has
wood, a widely praised chef banned from Antarctica to and savoury seal brains on giant freezers and stores
at the British Rothera base protect the environment. toast. The cook must be a with tonnes of supplies for
on the Antarctic Peninsula. But a 1950s recipe book man — there were no Brit- the base, which can have
“We’re now onto dried at the base run by the Brit- ish women in Antarctica at up to 100 people at a time.
onions because we’ve run ish Antarctic Survey gives the time.
out,” he said. “You can’t an insight into life as it LOOKS DELICIOUS: Delicacies of the Antartic He also said cormorants, — Reuters