Thursday, March 31, 2016

Soft drinks steal the thunder from green coconut, watermelon, and sugarcane juices


It is summertime and people go in for cold drinks to fight off the heat and, even though the markets are flooded with natural drinks like green coconut and watermelon, sugarcane and cucumber juices, many go in for cheaper and sugary soft drinks.
This has been reported in timesofindia.indiatimes.com dated 31 March 2016.
The comparatively high cost of natural drinks compared to soft drinks acts as a deterrent and the customers prefer soft drinks even though the experts believe that consumption of natural drinks is a healthier option. The reason is that natural drinks and fruits help to not only control dehydration but watermelon and green coconut water provides carbohydrate to the body apart from controlling body temperature during summer.
Moreover, the fruits are particularly good for gastric patients and provide calories and fulfill the nutritive requirements of the body. But the market of traditional drinks has been affected with the invasion of various soft drinks. An example is the Masala soda with different flavors that one can get at Rs 5 for a glass.
Against this, watermelon sells for Rs 30 to Rs 40 a kg, the price of green coconut varies from Rs 20 to Rs 25 a piece depending on size and a glass of sugarcane juice costs Rs 10. Last year, green coconut was available at Rs 15 to 20 a piece.
The high cost is attributed to decrease in the production of green coconut in Ganjam district. To add to the problems, extensive green coconut belts of Gopalpur and Chamakhandi have been destroyed by industrialization - a company had acquired over 3,500 acres about two decades ago to set up a steel plant.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org

Some more interesting links -

Didi rolls out the red carpet (satire)

Moody’s cleanliness drive - free soap for all children (satire)

Lord Shiva cannot relate to today’s Shivaratri (satire)


Teenage girl jumps off moving bus in Mehsana to avoid molestation

Transgender candidate to contest against Mamata Banerjee in West Bengal polls

Japan kills 333 whales in its latest Antarctic hunt - the figure was 252 whales in 2014


ISIS claims responsibility for Brussels attack and warns Britain of more severe attacks

Tragedy in chicken eating contest in Indonesia - a competitor chokes to death

Terror attack in Ankara kills at least 37 - one suicide bomber was a 22-year-old woman

Star Wars Episode VIII to get delayed till December 2017

Antonio Banderas gifted a pair of monkeys to Salma Hayek on her birthday

Frieda Pinto talks about 'Jungle Book - Origins'

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Greenhouse gas emissions could see sea levels rise more than 13 meters by 2500


A recent study has warned that, contrary to earlier predictions, sea levels could rise nearly twice as much by the end of this century in case carbon dioxide emissions continue unabated. The net result could be the devastation of coastal communities around the globe and no one would be spared.
These startling findings paint a more grim picture than current consensus predictions because, the suggestion was that the level of seas could rise by just under a meter at most by the year 2100.
This has been reported in nzherald.co.nz dated 31 March 2016.
The scientists used sophisticated computer models in order to decipher a longstanding riddle about Antarctica namely, how did it surrender so much ice during previous warm periods?
The scientists discovered that similar conditions could, in future, give rise to monumental and irreversible increases in sea levels. With the continuous emission of high levels of greenhouse gas, the oceans could rise by close to two meters in total (more than six feet) by the end of the century.
And, the melting of ice on Antarctica alone could cause seas to rise more than 13 meters (42 feet) by 2500. This grim picture of sea level rise, had relied on a "minimal contribution from Antarctica" - that is the finding of the study carried out by Rob DeConto of University of Massachusetts, Amherst and David Pollard of Penn State University.
As Eric Rignot, an expert on Antarctica's ice sheet and an earth sciences professor at the University of California, Irvine, has said - 'we are not there yet . . . [But] with the current rate of emissions, we are heading that way.' He was not involved in the study.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org

Some more interesting links -

Didi rolls out the red carpet (satire)

Moody’s cleanliness drive - free soap for all children (satire)

Lord Shiva cannot relate to today’s Shivaratri (satire)


Teenage girl jumps off moving bus in Mehsana to avoid molestation

Transgender candidate to contest against Mamata Banerjee in West Bengal polls

Japan kills 333 whales in its latest Antarctic hunt - the figure was 252 whales in 2014


ISIS claims responsibility for Brussels attack and warns Britain of more severe attacks

Tragedy in chicken eating contest in Indonesia - a competitor chokes to death

Terror attack in Ankara kills at least 37 - one suicide bomber was a 22-year-old woman

Star Wars Episode VIII to get delayed till December 2017

Antonio Banderas gifted a pair of monkeys to Salma Hayek on her birthday

Frieda Pinto talks about 'Jungle Book - Origins'

Golfing will never be the same again once quadcopters enter the scene


Golfing means a trip from the green to the clubhouse to get refreshments and that can be a pain but, once quadcopters arrive on the scene, golfing will never be the same again because Rakuten, a Japanese firm, has unveiled a snack-delivery service for golfers and it makes use of drones.
This has been reported in dailymail.co.uk dated 29 March 2016.
Golfers will be able to order anything from drinks to replacement balls through an app and the items will be delivered by a quadcopter in minutes and, the golfers need no leave the course.
This golf service is set to deploy sometime in May at a golf course in Chiba Prefecture southeast of Tokyo. Players can use their smartphones and an app to place drink orders or other needs while on the green. All the refreshment items will be stored in a cooler and despatched from the clubhouse within minutes of placing the order.
Rakuten is an e-commerce platform, and it has plans to team up with Yamato Transport in order to carry out field tests of the drones that will be used for home deliveries. It will be similar to how Amazon is going to proceed with their drones.
The test flights will commence next month in Chiba, which is a city where the government will ease up on a few aviation restrictions. The duo will gather data on how wind conditions and other factors could impact the flight as the drones fly along the city’s coastline.
Operations for delivery of packages will start only in 2020. It will begin by picking up packages from distributors and transferring them to large condominium complexes in the prefecture.
Incidentally, Amazon will also being using the deregulated zones of Chiba to test out their delivery drones.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org

Some more interesting links -

Didi rolls out the red carpet (satire)

Moody’s cleanliness drive - free soap for all children (satire)

Lord Shiva cannot relate to today’s Shivaratri (satire)


Teenage girl jumps off moving bus in Mehsana to avoid molestation

Transgender candidate to contest against Mamata Banerjee in West Bengal polls

Japan kills 333 whales in its latest Antarctic hunt - the figure was 252 whales in 2014


ISIS claims responsibility for Brussels attack and warns Britain of more severe attacks

Tragedy in chicken eating contest in Indonesia - a competitor chokes to death

Terror attack in Ankara kills at least 37 - one suicide bomber was a 22-year-old woman

Star Wars Episode VIII to get delayed till December 2017

Antonio Banderas gifted a pair of monkeys to Salma Hayek on her birthday

Frieda Pinto talks about 'Jungle Book - Origins'

Major Tim Peake, British astronaut on-board ISS, talks of Moon Colony


Major Tim Peake, the British astronaut who is right now a member of the ISS squad, had joined the European Space Agency in 2009 after retiring as a helicopter test pilot in the British Army. He has suggested that setting up a "Moon colony" could be the next logical step for space research.
This has been reported in news.sky.com dated 30 March 2016.
In his first live television interview after blasting off from Earth, Major Tim Peake answered a number of questions submitted by Sky News viewers. On the question of the possibility of establishing a permanent base on the Moon, he has suggested that it was a "great ambition" since the experience gained could be used to learn more about traveling to the Red Planet Mars.
He also elaborated on investigation into the challenges that Man would have to face in terms of radiation exposure, (and) energy production - and the Moon is a wonderful place to set up a location for research. Study of the Moon could help us plenty about the origins of our own planet and Moon should be considered as a stepping stone to Mars in the future.
About life on the International Space Station (ISS) he has revealed that the scientists are engaged in 12 to 14 hour days to carry out more than 250 experiments. The results of these experiments would ultimately be of benefit to people back on planet Earth. Some of that research is on how the ageing process affects bone density and muscle loss. It is also investigating why viruses are more virulent in a micro-gravity environment.
Major Tim Peake will spend a total of six months before returning to Earth. Up in the ISS, he misses a few things - like fresh air and being outdoors, but also the color green. The green color is absent on the Space Station.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org

Some more interesting links -

Didi rolls out the red carpet (satire)

Moody’s cleanliness drive - free soap for all children (satire)

Lord Shiva cannot relate to today’s Shivaratri (satire)


Teenage girl jumps off moving bus in Mehsana to avoid molestation

Transgender candidate to contest against Mamata Banerjee in West Bengal polls

Japan kills 333 whales in its latest Antarctic hunt - the figure was 252 whales in 2014


ISIS claims responsibility for Brussels attack and warns Britain of more severe attacks

Tragedy in chicken eating contest in Indonesia - a competitor chokes to death

Terror attack in Ankara kills at least 37 - one suicide bomber was a 22-year-old woman

Star Wars Episode VIII to get delayed till December 2017

Antonio Banderas gifted a pair of monkeys to Salma Hayek on her birthday

Frieda Pinto talks about 'Jungle Book - Origins'

Palace on Wheels cancelled for 30 March for want of tourists


The Palace on Wheels (POW) is a prestigious train and meant basically for foreign tourists to allow them to experience the luxuries usually associated the Kings. It has been in operation non-stop since 1982 and, was never cancelled even during the global recession of 2007-09. But - the brake has been applied and it not leave on 30 March 2016 because there was not a single booking!!
This has been reported in timesofindia.indiatimes.com dated 30 March 2016.
This will be the first time in its 34-year history that the queen of India's heritage trains will skip a trip for want of passengers. Railway Minister should investigate and ensure that such dramatic stoppages do not happen frequently because such words travel too fast for comfort and would harm our tourism potentials.
Incidentally, the Palace on Wheels (POW) is the first and oldest of the elite group of locomotives, and has always been popular among tourists. It operates every season from September to April but, 30 March is now the black letter day when it had to be cancelled for want of tourists.
There were only eight tourists who traveled to Jaipur on the POW on its previous trip, on Holi. POW has accommodation for 104, and it needs at least 25 passengers to be profitable.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org

Some more interesting links -

Didi rolls out the red carpet (satire)

Moody’s cleanliness drive - free soap for all children (satire)

Lord Shiva cannot relate to today’s Shivaratri (satire)


Teenage girl jumps off moving bus in Mehsana to avoid molestation

Transgender candidate to contest against Mamata Banerjee in West Bengal polls

Japan kills 333 whales in its latest Antarctic hunt - the figure was 252 whales in 2014


ISIS claims responsibility for Brussels attack and warns Britain of more severe attacks

Tragedy in chicken eating contest in Indonesia - a competitor chokes to death

Terror attack in Ankara kills at least 37 - one suicide bomber was a 22-year-old woman

Star Wars Episode VIII to get delayed till December 2017

Antonio Banderas gifted a pair of monkeys to Salma Hayek on her birthday

Frieda Pinto talks about 'Jungle Book - Origins'

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Long term vegetarianism can give rise to risk of heart disease and cancer


In a study, researchers from Cornell University in the US compared hundreds of genomes from a primarily vegetarian population in Pune, India to traditional meat-eating people in Kansas and concluded that there was a significant genetic difference. In their opinion, long term vegetarianism can lead to genetic mutations that, in turn, increases the risk of heart disease and cancer.
This has been reported in nzherald.co.nz dated 30 March 2016.
The study has found that populations who have had a primarily vegetarian diet for generations were found to be far more likely to carry DNA that makes them susceptible to inflammation. Scientists in the US feel that the mutation took place to make it easier for vegetarians to absorb essential fatty acids from plants. However, the flip side is that it has the knock-on effect of boosting the production of arachidonic acid. This acid is known to increase inflammatory disease and cancer and, in conjunction with a diet high in vegetable oils - like sunflower oil - the mutated gene quickly turns fatty acids into dangerous arachidonic acid. The researchers expect the finding to help explain previous research which found vegetarian populations are nearly 40 per cent more likely to suffer colorectal cancer than meat eaters. This finding has puzzled doctors because the general perception was that eating red meat raises the risk.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org

Some more interesting links -

Didi rolls out the red carpet (satire)

Moody’s cleanliness drive - free soap for all children (satire)

Lord Shiva cannot relate to today’s Shivaratri (satire)


Teenage girl jumps off moving bus in Mehsana to avoid molestation

Transgender candidate to contest against Mamata Banerjee in West Bengal polls

Japan kills 333 whales in its latest Antarctic hunt - the figure was 252 whales in 2014


ISIS claims responsibility for Brussels attack and warns Britain of more severe attacks

Tragedy in chicken eating contest in Indonesia - a competitor chokes to death

Terror attack in Ankara kills at least 37 - one suicide bomber was a 22-year-old woman

Star Wars Episode VIII to get delayed till December 2017

Antonio Banderas gifted a pair of monkeys to Salma Hayek on her birthday

Frieda Pinto talks about 'Jungle Book - Origins'

EgyptAir hijack drama - highjacker wore a fake suicide vest


It was a hijack drama on an EgyptAir Airbus A320 Flight MS181, carrying 62 people, including eight Brits and ten Americans, was en-route from Alexandria to Cairo when it was hijacked and forced to land on Cyprus. The hijacker wore a suicide vest that turned out to be a fake - he was not a terrorist but 'an idiot' as described by an Egyptian Foreign Ministry official.
The hijacking was confirmed by EgyptAir on Twitter and subsequent negotiations with the hijacker resulted in the release of a majority of the hostages, except for the crew and four foreigners.
This has been reported in dailymail.co.uk dated 29 March 2016.
Flight MS181 had taken off from the Mediterranean coastal city of Alexandria and was en route to Cairo and, as indicated by an official with flight-tracking website FlightRadar24, the plane showed no immediate signs of distress. The flight between Alexandria and Cairo normally takes about 30 minutes but the hijacker forced it to re-route to Cyprus' Larnaca airport, where he has taken several passengers and crew hostage and demanded to see his Cypriot ex-wife.
The hijacker had made a series of erratic requests, including asking to meet with representatives of the European Union, and to be taken to other airports. He had handed over a four-page letter intended for his ex-wife ... the letter was written in Arabic, and is being translated. He had also asked for the release of female prisoners in Egypt. Obviously, this is a peculiar case and investigation is on to establish the true facts.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org

Some more interesting links -

Didi rolls out the red carpet (satire)

Moody’s cleanliness drive - free soap for all children (satire)

Lord Shiva cannot relate to today’s Shivaratri (satire)


Teenage girl jumps off moving bus in Mehsana to avoid molestation

Transgender candidate to contest against Mamata Banerjee in West Bengal polls

Japan kills 333 whales in its latest Antarctic hunt - the figure was 252 whales in 2014


ISIS claims responsibility for Brussels attack and warns Britain of more severe attacks

Tragedy in chicken eating contest in Indonesia - a competitor chokes to death

Terror attack in Ankara kills at least 37 - one suicide bomber was a 22-year-old woman

Star Wars Episode VIII to get delayed till December 2017

Antonio Banderas gifted a pair of monkeys to Salma Hayek on her birthday

Frieda Pinto talks about 'Jungle Book - Origins'

PETA sends legal notice to Kerala government on illegally held captive elephants


There are 289 illegally captive elephants in Kerala and PETA has sent a legal notice to Kerala government seeking withdrawal of its order on illegally captive elephants which allows the state's Chief Wildlife Warden to give ownership certificates to owners of these illegally captive elephants.
This has been reported in ibnlive.com dated 29 March 2016.
PETA feels the orders of the government contradicts the spirit of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, which prohibits illegal capture, trade and custody of wild animals such as elephants, and the purpose of the August 18, 2015 interim order of the Supreme Court. PETA feels that the February 26 order goes in favor of illegal owners of elephants. Hence, the state government must withdraw it and also the ownership certificates issued as per the order.
Moreover, PETA wants that the state should penalize owners of the 289 elephants in Kerala who do not have valid ownership certificate.
As per PETA, the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, had allowed the declaration of captive elephants either within 30 days of its enactment or during the period of an amnesty scheme notified by the central government in 2003. This amnesty scheme was offered through Declaration of Wildlife Stock Rules, 2003, which required wildlife articles to be declared within 180 days from the date of notification of the Rules (ie, 18 April to 18 October 2003).
The Kerala government had on February 3, 2012 asked the Ministry of Environment and Forests and Climate Change for an extension of the amnesty period but the request was denied. By giving amnesty to owners of ill-gotten elephants, Kerala is supporting the cruel and illegal elephant trade and making a mockery of the Wildlife Protection Act. Incidentally, capturing an elephant is prohibited under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. It is believed that many of the captive elephants have been captured illegally from the wild, separated from their mothers as babies,beaten into submission and transported to Kerala for use as tourist attractions and in temples.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org

Some more interesting links -

Didi rolls out the red carpet (satire)

Moody’s cleanliness drive - free soap for all children (satire)

Lord Shiva cannot relate to today’s Shivaratri (satire)


Teenage girl jumps off moving bus in Mehsana to avoid molestation

Transgender candidate to contest against Mamata Banerjee in West Bengal polls

Japan kills 333 whales in its latest Antarctic hunt - the figure was 252 whales in 2014


ISIS claims responsibility for Brussels attack and warns Britain of more severe attacks

Tragedy in chicken eating contest in Indonesia - a competitor chokes to death

Terror attack in Ankara kills at least 37 - one suicide bomber was a 22-year-old woman

Star Wars Episode VIII to get delayed till December 2017

Antonio Banderas gifted a pair of monkeys to Salma Hayek on her birthday

Frieda Pinto talks about 'Jungle Book - Origins'

Bangalore to get a vintage car museum with more than 900 vintage cars


On the outskirts of Bangalore a vintage car museum is coming up on an area of nine lakh square feet property and it will house an enviable collection of more than 900 classic cars, together with a range of time-honored motorbikes and carriages. It will illustrate not only the evolution of motor vehicles through its exhibits but also will replicate the bygone era, complete with the classic favorites, road networks along with the people and their attire of old times.
This has been reported in timesofindia.indiatimes.com dated 28 March 2016.
The museum will be equipped with advanced technology and each car will be displayed under individual sheds - among the star attractions would be a car that used to be driven by Motilal Nehru. Moreover, visitors will have access to a huge collection of 18,000 books and journals on automobiles, apart from other antiques.
The models on display would range from the Bentleys, Aston Martins and Rolls-Royces to the Mini Coopers, the museum will showcase a diverse collection of glistening steel beauties that could make even the most hard-nosed cynic quiver with excitement.
The museum would be located on a farmland near Rajarajeshwari Nagar along the Mysore Road and will not just line up the cars in an array but it is expected to become one of the 10 largest vintage car museums in the world. This state-of-the-art venue will promote awareness about old-style vehicles and will have an automotive mall that will serve as a platform for buyers and sellers.
The museum is the brainchild of doctor-turned-vintage-car-collector Ravi Prakash who himself was a national rallying and racing champion between 1981 and 1984, and is a die-hard fan of the Mercedes Benz classics. His daughter Rupali is into vintage car merchandising.
A restaurant featuring car-themed design and decor will be the star attraction of the auto-mall.
A charitable foundation will run the museum and the major part of the proceeds will be primarily spent for the treatment of road accident victims, while the remainder will go towards acquisition and restoration of cars.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org

Some more interesting links -

Didi rolls out the red carpet (satire)

Moody’s cleanliness drive - free soap for all children (satire)

Lord Shiva cannot relate to today’s Shivaratri (satire)


Teenage girl jumps off moving bus in Mehsana to avoid molestation

Transgender candidate to contest against Mamata Banerjee in West Bengal polls

Japan kills 333 whales in its latest Antarctic hunt - the figure was 252 whales in 2014


ISIS claims responsibility for Brussels attack and warns Britain of more severe attacks

Tragedy in chicken eating contest in Indonesia - a competitor chokes to death

Terror attack in Ankara kills at least 37 - one suicide bomber was a 22-year-old woman

Star Wars Episode VIII to get delayed till December 2017

Antonio Banderas gifted a pair of monkeys to Salma Hayek on her birthday

Frieda Pinto talks about 'Jungle Book - Origins'

Monday, March 28, 2016

Donald Trump says he alone can put an end to Islamist terrorism


Donald Trump is the Republican hopeful who is in the race to the White House but he keeps on making statements that one would not expect from one who aspires to be the President of the United States. In one of his latest such utterances is his claim that he alone can solve the worldwide problem of IsIamist extremism. He made this remark after the Easter Sunday suicide bombing in Pakistan.
This has been reported in nzherald.co.nz dated 29 March 2016.
On the subject of the Brussels airport attack, he has claimed that he "knew more about Brussels than Brussels knew" and went on to add that he had predicted last week's terror attack in the Belgian capital.
Incidentally, Donald Trump is the Republican presidential front-runner and another of his latest comments on foreign policy is when he labeled President Barack Obama as "insane" for his desire to welcome Syrian refugees. In the opinion of Donald Trump, such an action by Barack Obama would mean the "downfall" of the United States.
John Kerry, the US Secretary of State, has revealed that world leaders he talked to had been "shocked" by the comments coming out in the Republican presidential race. In the course of his campaign, Donald Trump had made a series of foreign policy statements that targeted immigrants and Muslims. In fact, he has called for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the US, would bar new Syrian refugees, and "send back" those who have already arrived. As John Kerry has said - what is happening is an embarrassment to the country.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org

Some more interesting links -

Didi rolls out the red carpet (satire)

Moody’s cleanliness drive - free soap for all children (satire)

Lord Shiva cannot relate to today’s Shivaratri (satire)


Teenage girl jumps off moving bus in Mehsana to avoid molestation

Transgender candidate to contest against Mamata Banerjee in West Bengal polls

Japan kills 333 whales in its latest Antarctic hunt - the figure was 252 whales in 2014


ISIS claims responsibility for Brussels attack and warns Britain of more severe attacks

Tragedy in chicken eating contest in Indonesia - a competitor chokes to death

Terror attack in Ankara kills at least 37 - one suicide bomber was a 22-year-old woman

Star Wars Episode VIII to get delayed till December 2017

Antonio Banderas gifted a pair of monkeys to Salma Hayek on her birthday

Frieda Pinto talks about 'Jungle Book - Origins'

Opening day tickets for Shanghai Disneyland already sold out


The Shanghai Disneyland is set to open on 16 June 2016 and already opening day tickets have been sold out. It is billed as China's version of the happiest place on earth and it is fast taking shape - aerial photographs show Shanghai Disneyland's lofty 196-foot-tall castle and resort buildings undergoing their final stages of construction.
This has been reported in dailymail.co.uk dated 28 March 2016.
Fans are excited about the developments and tickets for the June 16 opening day were sold out within hours of being listed on the company's official ticketing website. The excitement is visible from the fact that rooms are fully booked at the Toy Story Hotel and the Shanghai Disneyland Hotel for the first two weeks.
Constructed over 963-acres, Shanghai Disneyland is the company's sixth park worldwide and it has promised that it will pay homage to traditional Chinese culture and also showcase Disney's favorite films.
This Disneyland is eight times larger than Hong Kong Disneyland which occupies just 126-acre. But, Shanghai Disneyland cost $5.5billion to build and is labeled as the cheapest out of all the Disneyland resorts. Tickets for off season visitors is 370 yuan (£39) and it will increase to 499 yuan (£51) during peak times.
The company expects to attract the 330million Chinese who reside within a three-hour train or car trip of Shanghai.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org

Some more interesting links -

Didi rolls out the red carpet (satire)

Moody’s cleanliness drive - free soap for all children (satire)

Lord Shiva cannot relate to today’s Shivaratri (satire)


Teenage girl jumps off moving bus in Mehsana to avoid molestation

Transgender candidate to contest against Mamata Banerjee in West Bengal polls

Japan kills 333 whales in its latest Antarctic hunt - the figure was 252 whales in 2014


ISIS claims responsibility for Brussels attack and warns Britain of more severe attacks

Tragedy in chicken eating contest in Indonesia - a competitor chokes to death

Terror attack in Ankara kills at least 37 - one suicide bomber was a 22-year-old woman

Star Wars Episode VIII to get delayed till December 2017

Antonio Banderas gifted a pair of monkeys to Salma Hayek on her birthday

Frieda Pinto talks about 'Jungle Book - Origins'

Storm Katie heaps miseries on Easter holiday crowd in Britain


Storm Katie heaps miseries on Easter holiday crowd in Britain as flights were cancelled and pilots battled to land planes while police warned motorists to remain indoors as the storm brought chaos to transport networks. Passengers narrated stories of "scary" aborted landings that left people in tears when planes tried to land at the runways at Gatwick and Heathrow and had to get diverted to other airports because of winds of up to 106mph that battered the south of the country.
This has been reported in news.sky.com dated 28 March 2016.
Those who were motoring home from the Easter weekend were advised to delay their journeys until later following issue of weather warnings for London and the South East. As per reports, 900 engineers had been at work to restore power to more than 80,000 homes across the south of England after the strong winds caused outages across Surrey, Kent, Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Hampshire, Dorset, West Sussex, Wiltshire and the Isle of Wight.
As to Heathrow Airport, as many as 61 flights were cancelled and 20 were diverted, while the corresponding figures for Gatwick Airport were 26 flights cancelled and 23 diverted.
London Fire Service had to deal with 110 incidents that included collapsed chimneys and scaffolding while the Port of Dover suspended shipping movements because of the severe weather conditions as there were 29 flood warnings and 148 flood alerts across the country - mainly in the South. In Staffordshire, Storm Katie resulted in snowfall.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org

Some more interesting links -

Didi rolls out the red carpet (satire)

Moody’s cleanliness drive - free soap for all children (satire)

Lord Shiva cannot relate to today’s Shivaratri (satire)


Teenage girl jumps off moving bus in Mehsana to avoid molestation

Transgender candidate to contest against Mamata Banerjee in West Bengal polls

Japan kills 333 whales in its latest Antarctic hunt - the figure was 252 whales in 2014


ISIS claims responsibility for Brussels attack and warns Britain of more severe attacks

Tragedy in chicken eating contest in Indonesia - a competitor chokes to death

Terror attack in Ankara kills at least 37 - one suicide bomber was a 22-year-old woman

Star Wars Episode VIII to get delayed till December 2017

Antonio Banderas gifted a pair of monkeys to Salma Hayek on her birthday

Frieda Pinto talks about 'Jungle Book - Origins'

Jet Airways begins non-stop direct flights to Amsterdam


Private carrier Jet Airways has started direct operations to Amsterdam with the launch of non-stop services from Mumbai, Delhi and Toronto - by this action, it has made the Dutch capital its new European gateway for international operations. Jet Airlines first flights to Amsterdam left Mumbai and Delhi with a full complement of Premiere and Economy guests on board an Airbus 330-300 aircraft. Flight 9W 232 from Mumbai departed at 0225 hours today, followed by flight 9W 234 from Delhi at 0235 hrs and the first flight from Toronto, 9W 233, departed at 1935 hours (local time).
This has been reported in ibnlive.com dated 28 March 2016.
This strategy of Jet Airways is to provide a new service that will connect three continents by integrating with its codeshare partners KLM and Delta Air Lines. Jet Airways will operate daily flights to Amsterdam from Mumbai, Delhi and Toronto and, as a result, passengers will have greater choice and better connectivity apart from facilitating trade and co-operation between India and the Netherlands.
Through Amsterdam as Jet Airways new European gateway and along with its codeshare partners, the airline will now be offering seamless connectivity to over 30 destinations in Europe and 11 destinations in the United States and Canada to our guests. Those who will be flying from Amsterdam will be able to access Jet Airways network of 48 destinations within India as well as destinations in the Indian subcontinent and Asia via Mumbai and Delhi.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org

Some more interesting links -

Didi rolls out the red carpet (satire)

Moody’s cleanliness drive - free soap for all children (satire)

Lord Shiva cannot relate to today’s Shivaratri (satire)


Teenage girl jumps off moving bus in Mehsana to avoid molestation

Transgender candidate to contest against Mamata Banerjee in West Bengal polls

Japan kills 333 whales in its latest Antarctic hunt - the figure was 252 whales in 2014


ISIS claims responsibility for Brussels attack and warns Britain of more severe attacks

Tragedy in chicken eating contest in Indonesia - a competitor chokes to death

Terror attack in Ankara kills at least 37 - one suicide bomber was a 22-year-old woman

Star Wars Episode VIII to get delayed till December 2017

Antonio Banderas gifted a pair of monkeys to Salma Hayek on her birthday

Frieda Pinto talks about 'Jungle Book - Origins'

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Virat Kohli, the dependable, steers India to the semifinals of World T20


It was a do-or-die situation for India as they took on Australia in he World T20 match at Mohali and, a defeat would have meant the end of the road. But - dependable Virat Kohli steered the Indians to victory with 5 balls to spare. It was a familiar situation with Kohli and Dhoni at the crease for putting the finishing touches to a tough match when a slip would have meant disappointment. This has been reported in hindustantimes.com dated 28 March 2016.
Batting first, the Aussies got off to a fantastic start scoring 63 runs in the first 6 overs but, then, the Indian bowlers put the squeeze on and the Australians kept losing wickets at Tuareg intervals. They ultimately finished with 160 runs on the board - a far cry from a 200+ score that they would have expected with the sort of beginning they had.
In reply, Indians took off on a shaky start with both openers going out cheap and Virat Kohli came to the crease. And, it was tugh gong for him - he lost Suresh Raina soon and, when Yuvraj Singh pulled his hamstring muscles , Kohli had to continue with the game with a limping partner Yuvraj and watch the asking rate rising. It was then that his captain M S Dhoni came to the crease after the fall of Yuvraj's wicket and Kohli's innings gained momentum. He found gaps in the field at will and left the Australians stunned.
Virat Kohli scored 82 (9x4, 2x6) not out and was the obvious choice for the Man of the Match.
India will now face West Indies in the semi-final in Mumbai on March 31 while New Zealand play England the previous day in Delhi.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org

Some more interesting links -

Lord Shiva wants to be the King of good times (satire)

Moody gets a call from Uncle Sam and takes a trip to Mars (satire)

Narad queers the pitch for Didi & Co (satire)


Budget airline from Dubai crashes during landing in Russia - 62 killed

A 1939 Japanese Lilliput robot and Flash Gordon spaceship up for auction

Gujarat Police learn the finer points of crime from hardened criminals


Star Wars Episode VIII to get delayed till December 2017

Antonio Banderas gifted a pair of monkeys to Salma Hayek on her birthday

Frieda Pinto talks about 'Jungle Book - Origins'


Clash between people of a Roma settlement of Tula and Russian riot police

President Obama imposes tough sanctions on North Korea

Terror attack in Ankara kills at least 37 - one suicide bomber was a 22-year-old woman

Rollercoaster in theme park suddenly stopped 20-ft above the ground


The rollercoaster in theme park in Motherwell, North Lanarkshire suddenly stopped 20-ft above the ground and the eight people trapped in the ride were rescued by firefighters who were called to the Tornado in M&D's theme park. The rollercoaster is 1000-meters long and travels at up to 50mph. It suddenly stopped mid-ride and forced members of the public to remain in the carriages until the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service arrived.
This has been reported in dailymail.co.uk dated 26 March 2016.
The firefighters rescued five youths, two women and one man from the ride and no-one was injured in the incident. As explained by a spokeswoman for the theme park, the ride stopped during a cycle and the automated safety procedure was immediately initiated. No-one was hurt in the incident and all health and safety procedures were carried out.
The ride is now closed to allow for a full investigation because the rollercoaster is around 1,000m long and is the theme park's biggest ride. Incidentally, this incident comes a month after the owners of Alton Towers were told they will be prosecuted in relation to an incident in which five people were seriously injured.
That happened when sixteen people were on the £18million Smiler ride at the Staffordshire park and the carriage they were traveling in came round a bend at around 50mph and smashed into a stationary car, which was on the track. In the incident, an 18-year-old student and a dancer were seriously injured and both of them had to have a leg amputated.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org

Some more interesting links -

Lord Shiva wants to be the King of good times (satire)

Moody gets a call from Uncle Sam and takes a trip to Mars (satire)

Narad queers the pitch for Didi & Co (satire)


Budget airline from Dubai crashes during landing in Russia - 62 killed

A 1939 Japanese Lilliput robot and Flash Gordon spaceship up for auction

Gujarat Police learn the finer points of crime from hardened criminals


Star Wars Episode VIII to get delayed till December 2017

Antonio Banderas gifted a pair of monkeys to Salma Hayek on her birthday

Frieda Pinto talks about 'Jungle Book - Origins'


Clash between people of a Roma settlement of Tula and Russian riot police

President Obama imposes tough sanctions on North Korea

Terror attack in Ankara kills at least 37 - one suicide bomber was a 22-year-old woman

White rhinos killed by poachers in South Africa widlife park for their horns


Workers at the Sibuya Game Reserve, a South African wildlife park, have been "devastated" after poachers killed two rhinos and left another one fighting for his life. The reserve has released gruesome photos showing the aftermath of an attack by "ruthless" poachers, who attacked the animals for their horns.
This has been reported in news.sky.cm dated 26 March 2016.
Poachers kill white rhinos of a South African private wildife park for their horns. There were two white rhino cows that were found dead, while a bull had suffered serious injuries after his horn was sawn off. In addition, two young calves were left orphaned.
The owner of the park has revealed on Facebook that he was on patrol with an anti-poaching security unit when he discovered the rhino carcasses. He has also described how police and vets had been working round the clock to investigate the crime and save the surviving rhino. He has also asked the authorities to boost their efforts against the poachers.
As he has said - these poachers are professional highly resourced syndicates and if there is a genuine desire to stop this scourge there is a need for a better and more specialized rhino unit.
While the bull was "fighting for his life" with facial injuries and serious internal leg injuries, the two calves had been moved to Shamwari Game Reserve's rhino rehabilitation enclosure, where specialist vets are attending to them.
Incidentally, there are about 20,000 southern white rhinos left in the world, and most of them are in South Africa.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org

Some more interesting links -

Lord Shiva wants to be the King of good times (satire)

Moody gets a call from Uncle Sam and takes a trip to Mars (satire)

Narad queers the pitch for Didi & Co (satire)


Budget airline from Dubai crashes during landing in Russia - 62 killed

A 1939 Japanese Lilliput robot and Flash Gordon spaceship up for auction

Gujarat Police learn the finer points of crime from hardened criminals


Star Wars Episode VIII to get delayed till December 2017

Antonio Banderas gifted a pair of monkeys to Salma Hayek on her birthday

Frieda Pinto talks about 'Jungle Book - Origins'


Clash between people of a Roma settlement of Tula and Russian riot police

President Obama imposes tough sanctions on North Korea

Terror attack in Ankara kills at least 37 - one suicide bomber was a 22-year-old woman

Arrival of olive ridley turtles in Gahirmatha affected by erosion of nesting beaches


The arrival of olive ridley turtles in Gahirmatha has taken a beating due to erosion of nesting beaches. These beaches are widely perceived as the world's largest known rookery for this breed of turtles and the erosion has affected the annual mass nesting of the endangered species.
This has been reported in telegraphindia.com dated 27 March 2016.
The turtles have arrived en-masse as usual at the nesting grounds on the unmanned Nasi-2 island but, their numbers are considerably less than last year. As per statistics, since the commencement of mass-nesting on March 16, around 51,748 female turtles have laid eggs on the beach.
Moreover, the day-to-day sequence of the turtles' emergence is also not encouraging because, at its peak on March 19, around 28,445 turtles dug pits to lay eggs and, subsequently, the figure dropped drastically and not a single turtle had turned up for mass nesting in the past three days.
It is understood that nearly 4.13 lakh turtles had turned up at the beach for mass nesting last year and, this year, it has been a low-key affair. The female turtles usually reach the nesting beaches in the dead of night to lay eggs and, after laying the eggs, they leave the nesting ground and return to the sea. Hatchlings emerge from these eggs after 45-60 days.
Olive ridley turtles are in a unique breed by themselves because it is a rare natural phenomenon where the babies grow up without their mothers.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org

Some more interesting links -

Lord Shiva wants to be the King of good times (satire)

Moody gets a call from Uncle Sam and takes a trip to Mars (satire)

Narad queers the pitch for Didi & Co (satire)


Budget airline from Dubai crashes during landing in Russia - 62 killed

A 1939 Japanese Lilliput robot and Flash Gordon spaceship up for auction

Gujarat Police learn the finer points of crime from hardened criminals


Star Wars Episode VIII to get delayed till December 2017

Antonio Banderas gifted a pair of monkeys to Salma Hayek on her birthday

Frieda Pinto talks about 'Jungle Book - Origins'


Clash between people of a Roma settlement of Tula and Russian riot police

President Obama imposes tough sanctions on North Korea

Terror attack in Ankara kills at least 37 - one suicide bomber was a 22-year-old woman

Transgender candidate to contest against Mamata Banerjee in West Bengal polls


There are over 30,000 transgenders in West Bengal and, according to the Election Commission, there are 758 voters in the 'third gender' category with two each in Bhowanipore and Jadavpur. The Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) of Ram Vilas Paswan has fielded two transgenders, including one against Trinamool Congress supremo and chief minister Mamata Banerjee.
This has been reported in timesofindia.indiatimes.com dated 27 March 2016.
The Ram Vilas Paswan-headed LJP has announced its list of 63 candidates for elections and two of them are transgenders (hijras) and, this will obviously add a new dimension to the assembly elections in the state. One of them would contest against Mamata Banerjee from Bhowanipore and Left Front-backed Congress nominee Deepa Dasmunsi. The other would contest from Jadavpur constituency, against minister Manish Gupta of the Trinamool and former MP Sujon Chakraborty of the Communist Party of India-Marxist.
Both ot them are unfazed by the presence of heavyweight rivals. They could lose the polls but the main reason behind the move was to voice the concerns of the transgender community. While the society, the country, claim to have progressed, but these people are looked down upon, ridiculed and not even considered humans.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org

Some more interesting links -

Lord Shiva wants to be the King of good times (satire)

Moody gets a call from Uncle Sam and takes a trip to Mars (satire)

Narad queers the pitch for Didi & Co (satire)


Budget airline from Dubai crashes during landing in Russia - 62 killed

A 1939 Japanese Lilliput robot and Flash Gordon spaceship up for auction

Gujarat Police learn the finer points of crime from hardened criminals


Star Wars Episode VIII to get delayed till December 2017

Antonio Banderas gifted a pair of monkeys to Salma Hayek on her birthday

Frieda Pinto talks about 'Jungle Book - Origins'


Clash between people of a Roma settlement of Tula and Russian riot police

President Obama imposes tough sanctions on North Korea

Terror attack in Ankara kills at least 37 - one suicide bomber was a 22-year-old woman

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Cost of vanilla incresed by 150 percent in one year - ice creams also to become costly


Madagascan vanilla prices have gone up by nearly 150 per cent in one year due to a poor harvest and this soaring cost of vanilla could have a direct bearing on the price of ice-cream - it will push up the price of ice cream. Other sources for vanilla are Mexico and Tahiti, but the flavor of Madagascan vanilla is the reason of why it is the first choice for ice cream.. Obviously, manufacturers have little choice but to buy it at an inflated price.
This has been reported in dailymail.co.uk dated 26 March 2016.
Apart from short supply in general, there are fears of further price rise due to a likely shortage of food-grade supplies. In the opinion of experts, when prices are high farmers are tempted to pick beans early. It affects the flavor which becomes less intense.
As one brand of ice cream has indicated - the cost of vanilla extract was £27 a liter in February and it has now gone up to £60. Another firm has said that Madagascan vanilla beans were sold for £144 for 1kg (just over 2lb) in January as against £59 at the start of 2015.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org

Some more interesting links -

Lord Shiva wants to be the King of good times (satire)

Moody gets a call from Uncle Sam and takes a trip to Mars (satire)

Narad queers the pitch for Didi & Co (satire)


Budget airline from Dubai crashes during landing in Russia - 62 killed

A 1939 Japanese Lilliput robot and Flash Gordon spaceship up for auction

Gujarat Police learn the finer points of crime from hardened criminals


Star Wars Episode VIII to get delayed till December 2017

Antonio Banderas gifted a pair of monkeys to Salma Hayek on her birthday

Frieda Pinto talks about 'Jungle Book - Origins'


Clash between people of a Roma settlement of Tula and Russian riot police

President Obama imposes tough sanctions on North Korea

Terror attack in Ankara kills at least 37 - one suicide bomber was a 22-year-old woman

Drone delivery takes off in the US - package delivered in Hawthorne, Nevada


It was the first federally authorized delivery by drone in the US when a six-rotor drone delivered a package containing bottled water, food and a first-aid kit to an uninhabited address in Hawthorne, Nevada. The State governor Brian Sandoval has acknowledged that this was the first federally authorized urban delivery in the US.
This has been reported in news.sky.com dated 25 March 2016.
The drone followed a pre-GPS programmed route for the half-mile journey as indicated by Flirtey chief executive. A pilot and visual observers were on standby during the flight but they were not needed. The 'experiment' is proof that drones can safely navigate urban obstacles like power lines, rooftops and street lamps.
Flirtey had earlier carried out the first US rural drone delivery last July when it brought in medical supplies to a Virginia clinic.
Obviously, these herald a new era in business and the achievement is a step towards making regular deliveries to your front doorstep.
Incidentally, Nevada is one of six states that the Federal Aviation Administration has designated as test sites for unmanned aircraft. NASA is working with the drone industry and the FAA on a low-altitude air traffic control system to prevent drone crashes.
The online retailer Amazon has been testing drone deliveries in other countries, including Canada and the Netherlands.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org

Some more interesting links -

Lord Shiva wants to be the King of good times (satire)

Moody gets a call from Uncle Sam and takes a trip to Mars (satire)

Narad queers the pitch for Didi & Co (satire)


Budget airline from Dubai crashes during landing in Russia - 62 killed

A 1939 Japanese Lilliput robot and Flash Gordon spaceship up for auction

Gujarat Police learn the finer points of crime from hardened criminals


Star Wars Episode VIII to get delayed till December 2017

Antonio Banderas gifted a pair of monkeys to Salma Hayek on her birthday

Frieda Pinto talks about 'Jungle Book - Origins'


Clash between people of a Roma settlement of Tula and Russian riot police

President Obama imposes tough sanctions on North Korea

Terror attack in Ankara kills at least 37 - one suicide bomber was a 22-year-old woman

Jolt for West Bengal - another TATA firm closes office in the city


Industry in West Bengal receives yet another jolt with another TATA firm opting out of the city - it is the Tata Consulting Engineers (TCE) — a subsidiary of Tata Sons — and it has decided to shut its Kolkata office and merge it with its existing set-up in Jamshedpur. Coming in election time, it will be a discomfort to chief minister Mamata Banerjee who is eager to get more investment for her state. It may be recalled that the TATA automobile setup in Singur where NANO was supposed to be built was forced out by the same Mamata Banerjee when she was in the opposition.
This has been reported in timesofindia.indiatimes.com dated 26 March 2016.
TCE is an integrated engineering consultancy solutions provider offering services in industry segments like power, nuclear energy, chemicals and infrastructure, among others. It has delivered over 7,000 successful projects globally but it is not seeing any future in Bengal because It was not finding the right kind of projects in the state.
The firm TCE has its sprawling 15,000 square-foot offices in Sector V Salt Lake and employs 350 employees - recently, MD and CEO of TCE had come down from the Mumbai head office and informed TCE staff that the unit was being closed down, and its employees could move to TCE Jamshedpur if they wished. Those not willing to relocate would have to leave the company because the unit is being closed down.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org

Some more interesting links -

Lord Shiva wants to be the King of good times (satire)

Moody gets a call from Uncle Sam and takes a trip to Mars (satire)

Narad queers the pitch for Didi & Co (satire)


Budget airline from Dubai crashes during landing in Russia - 62 killed

A 1939 Japanese Lilliput robot and Flash Gordon spaceship up for auction

Gujarat Police learn the finer points of crime from hardened criminals


Star Wars Episode VIII to get delayed till December 2017

Antonio Banderas gifted a pair of monkeys to Salma Hayek on her birthday

Frieda Pinto talks about 'Jungle Book - Origins'


Clash between people of a Roma settlement of Tula and Russian riot police

President Obama imposes tough sanctions on North Korea

Terror attack in Ankara kills at least 37 - one suicide bomber was a 22-year-old woman

Friday, March 25, 2016

Japan kills 333 whales in its latest Antarctic hunt - the figure was 252 whales in 2014


Four of Japan's whaling ships have returned from the Antarctic with a catch of 333 whales - including more than 200 pregnant females - the return was after a four-month long expedition and Japan claims that it is all for 'scientific' purposes. The current haul is a 'significant increase' over their 2014 hunt, because at that time, 252 whales were captured.
This has been reported in dailymail.co.uk dated 25 March 2016.
Japan has continued to ignore international orders to put a stop to whale hunting and a ruling by the UN's International Court of Justice - in its opinion, the hunt was a commercial venture masquerading as science. Under the International Whaling Commission, to which Japan is a signatory, there has been a ban on hunting whales since 1986. However, Japan continues to go ahead in the practice using a loophole in the ban that allows for lethal research.
The claim of Tokyo is that it is trying to prove that the whale population is large enough to sustain a return to commercial hunting, and that it has to kill the mammals to carry out its research properly. Moreover, this time there had been no incidents with anti-whaling activists - on the previous mission environmentalist group Sea Shepherd had objected to the whaling activities.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org

Some more interesting links -

Lord Shiva wants to be the King of good times (satire)

Moody gets a call from Uncle Sam and takes a trip to Mars (satire)

Narad queers the pitch for Didi & Co (satire)


Budget airline from Dubai crashes during landing in Russia - 62 killed

A 1939 Japanese Lilliput robot and Flash Gordon spaceship up for auction

Gujarat Police learn the finer points of crime from hardened criminals


Star Wars Episode VIII to get delayed till December 2017

Antonio Banderas gifted a pair of monkeys to Salma Hayek on her birthday

Frieda Pinto talks about 'Jungle Book - Origins'


Clash between people of a Roma settlement of Tula and Russian riot police

President Obama imposes tough sanctions on North Korea

Terror attack in Ankara kills at least 37 - one suicide bomber was a 22-year-old woman

Rajdhani Express to drop a pantry car each to accommodate additional AC-III coach


The Indian Railways is gradually moving towards eliminating pantry cars and embracing e-catering. As a first step, it has decided to withdraw one pantry car each from seven Rajdhani expresses. These will include the ones from Howrah and Sealdah. The pantry car would be dropped to accommodate an extra AC-III tier coach. This will come into effect immediately.
This has been reported in timesofindia.indiatimes.com dated 25 March 2016.
The on-board catering system is always coming in for criticism due to its poor quality of not just food but also service irrespective of which party holds the portfolio of the railways and the Railway Board claims this is the first step towards granting more freedom to Rajdhani passengers in choosing the food they wish to have during the journey. As a result of this decision, breakfast can no longer be prepared on the train and will have to be picked up from a station late in the night and served in the morning. Related service will also be a problem because the catering staff and cleaners used to be accommodated in the pantry cars at night.
From all appearances, it is seen as the first step towards removing pantry cars totally from Rajdhani trains and promote e-catering that has come up at all major stations.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org

Some more interesting links -

Lord Shiva wants to be the King of good times (satire)

Moody gets a call from Uncle Sam and takes a trip to Mars (satire)

Narad queers the pitch for Didi & Co (satire)


Budget airline from Dubai crashes during landing in Russia - 62 killed

A 1939 Japanese Lilliput robot and Flash Gordon spaceship up for auction

Gujarat Police learn the finer points of crime from hardened criminals


Star Wars Episode VIII to get delayed till December 2017

Antonio Banderas gifted a pair of monkeys to Salma Hayek on her birthday

Frieda Pinto talks about 'Jungle Book - Origins'


Clash between people of a Roma settlement of Tula and Russian riot police

President Obama imposes tough sanctions on North Korea

Terror attack in Ankara kills at least 37 - one suicide bomber was a 22-year-old woman