A group of Asian sailors reached Australia 4,000 years before Captain Cook, scientists recently learned. And Australian dogs, known as dingoes, probably descended from the dogs on that ship.

Just imagine that first historic encounter.

INDIAN SAILOR: Namaste, esteemed indigenous persons! How would you like us to address you? Aboriginals, Maoris?

ABORIGINAL: G’day, mate. The Maoris are next door. We use clan names, so I’m a Koori.

SAILOR: Really? That is similar to our word “curry”, which we use for food. This, for example, is a delicious curry called fish tikka masala.

ABORIGINAL: Strewth! But tell me: Why do some of you have four legs and go round sniffing?

SAILOR: We are calling those members of our team “dogs”. They eat the rodents on our ship. We note you have many giant rodents hopping around. ABORIGINAL: No worries, they can eat as many as kangaroos as they like.

INDIAN DOG: Woohoo! Food City!

And so, with a meeting something like the above, the dingo was born, and Asian and Australian gene pools were joined forever.

Reader Karuna Menon tells me that ancient Sangam literature specifically mentions a lost land south of India — a reference to Australia?


An Air India pilot let her snack addiction over-ride orders from bosses, various media reported recently. Passengers were stuck after Captain Smriti Trehan ignored orders to fly them from Mumbai to Delhi, opting instead to fly a different plane to Jodhpur to buy kachoris, they said.


Someone forwarded me a photo of “Mike the Murasai”, a fish found near Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant last week. Mike looks normal, but contains 2,500 times the legally allowed limit of radiation. Why call it “Mike"? Surely “Lance Armstrong” would have been a better name!


Are you someone who sometimes has to eat by himself in a restaurant with only your phone for company? I am. Miso Soup Design, a Japanese-American firm, has come to our rescue. They’ve made a stand on the opposite side that holds your phone, so you can read the screen while you eat.


Samsung will soon launch a Wi-Fi fridge . When we set up our home Wi-Fi hotspot, we named it “Don’t Steal Our Wifi”. But then we thought our neighbours may feel accused of being untrustworthy. So we changed it to “Police Internet Monitoring Service”. No one ever catch into our Wi-Fi capacity.

Nury Vittachi/ IANS