Friday, September 30, 2016

London Mayor wants to ban lorries from roads and make cycling safe


If London Mayor has his way, tens of thousands of lorries that have limited visibility from the driver's seat, could be banned from the roads of London to make them safer for cyclists. As Mayor Sadiq Khan has said - the rating system would be a world first and could prevent "further heartbreak and tragedy". Only those vehicles that get at least three stars out of five would be allowed into the capital.
At present there are 35,000 HGVs (Heavy Goods Vehicle) on a zero rating and nine cyclists and 66 pedestrians were killed in the city last year - this is according to Transport for London.
This has been reported in news.sky.com dated 30 September 2016.
The Mayor's office has informed that HGVs were involved in 23% of pedestrian fatalities over the last two years apart from 58% of cyclist deaths and lorries account for just 4% of all miles driven in the capital. In case the Mayor's proposal is implemented, lorries with poor sightlines would be banned by January 2020.
Since HGVs have been directly involved in over half of cycling fatalities over the last two years, some bold action must be taken make roads safer for both cyclists and pedestrians and Mayor Sadiq Khan is determined to ensure the most dangerous zero star-rated lorries are removed from London's roads completely by 2020. The London Cycling Campaign has welcomed the new initiative.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org


Some more interesting links -

For pandal hoppers during Durga Pujas in Jamshedpur - try the pool bus service

Rejuvenate the lakes of Bengaluru - bring back the birds

Bengal unable to hold on to homegrown start-ups - they end up flourishing in other states


Lord Shiva in the world of deodorants (satire)

Didi off to Rome in search of goodies (satire)

Moody learns about honey traps (satire)


Syrian ceasefire breaks down - airstrike in Aleppo claims at least 45 civilian casualties

Construction begins on the Great Wall Of Calais to keep out illegal migrants

MI6 to recruit 1000 extra people to assist in solving modern day crimes


Tamil film Visaranai is India's official entry for Academy Awards 2017

Tension on the Indo-Pak border has its effect on Bollywood movies

Shah Rukh Khan could make a movie on tennis star Sania Mirza

Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump by 4 percent after first Presidential debate


Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is leading Republican rival Donald Trump by 4 per cent after their first televised debate. This is as per a poll published by the Public Policy Polling (PPP) institute. It showed that Clinton received the support of 44 per cent of the 933 voters consulted in telephone or online interviews while Trump received the backing of 40 per cent of the voter sample.
This has been reported in thestatesman.com dated 30 September 2016.
According to the RealClearPolitics Web site, which prepares an average of all voter surveys conducted in the country, Hillary Clinton is leading Donald Trump by 3 per cent on the national level.
The two will face off in the second debate on October 9 at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri followed by the third and final one that debate will take place on October 19 in the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org


Some more interesting links -

For pandal hoppers during Durga Pujas in Jamshedpur - try the pool bus service

Rejuvenate the lakes of Bengaluru - bring back the birds

Bengal unable to hold on to homegrown start-ups - they end up flourishing in other states


Lord Shiva in the world of deodorants (satire)

Didi off to Rome in search of goodies (satire)

Moody learns about honey traps (satire)


Syrian ceasefire breaks down - airstrike in Aleppo claims at least 45 civilian casualties

Construction begins on the Great Wall Of Calais to keep out illegal migrants

MI6 to recruit 1000 extra people to assist in solving modern day crimes


Tamil film Visaranai is India's official entry for Academy Awards 2017

Tension on the Indo-Pak border has its effect on Bollywood movies

Shah Rukh Khan could make a movie on tennis star Sania Mirza

Bumble bees could soon end up in the endangered species list


The bumble bees are struggling for existence because of climate change and global warming - these bees are highly essential for us and our sustenance but the fury unleashed through climate change coupled with global warming is pushing the bumble bee population to the list of endangered species.
This has been reported in zeenews.india.com dated 29 September 2016.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has proposed listing a species of bumble bee as an endangered species and that would be the first bee species to be granted such federal protection in the continental United States. The bumble bees can be identified through a distinct rust-colored mark on the middle of their second abdominal segment. They are threatened by disease, pesticides and habitat loss, apart from climate change.
Incidentally, the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species has already listed the rusty patched bumble bee as endangered.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org


Some more interesting links -

For pandal hoppers during Durga Pujas in Jamshedpur - try the pool bus service

Rejuvenate the lakes of Bengaluru - bring back the birds

Bengal unable to hold on to homegrown start-ups - they end up flourishing in other states


Lord Shiva in the world of deodorants (satire)

Didi off to Rome in search of goodies (satire)

Moody learns about honey traps (satire)


Syrian ceasefire breaks down - airstrike in Aleppo claims at least 45 civilian casualties

Construction begins on the Great Wall Of Calais to keep out illegal migrants

MI6 to recruit 1000 extra people to assist in solving modern day crimes


Tamil film Visaranai is India's official entry for Academy Awards 2017

Tension on the Indo-Pak border has its effect on Bollywood movies

Shah Rukh Khan could make a movie on tennis star Sania Mirza

Senior police officers of Kolkata to maintain law and order in big budget Durga pujas


Based on the experience of last year when there was a near stampede in a the Deshapriya Park puja pandal where the biggest Durga idol was on display, the Kolkata Police have decided to depute senior level offices to maintain law and order in big budget Durga pujas in the city. There could be a joint commissioner manning a big budget Puja or, even, four joint CPs posted at four corners of a Puja pandal to control crowd.
This has been reported in timesofindia.indiatimes.com dated 30 September 2016.
The Lalbazar top brass has asked all traffic guards to work in tandem with the local police. The traffic cops will primarily look after vehicle movement and, the local police will keep an eye on the pandal hoppers. The police must visit the venues or pandals in advance to get familiar with the topography of the area well before the actual deployment starts.
Police have also taken a decision of not putting up barricades on important carriageways like S P Mukherjee Road and C R Avenue till Chaturthi evening. Barricades will be allowed only from Chaturthi evening and the decorators can dump bamboo poles only from Sunday for the barricades.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org


Some more interesting links -

For pandal hoppers during Durga Pujas in Jamshedpur - try the pool bus service

Rejuvenate the lakes of Bengaluru - bring back the birds

Bengal unable to hold on to homegrown start-ups - they end up flourishing in other states


Lord Shiva in the world of deodorants (satire)

Didi off to Rome in search of goodies (satire)

Moody learns about honey traps (satire)


Syrian ceasefire breaks down - airstrike in Aleppo claims at least 45 civilian casualties

Construction begins on the Great Wall Of Calais to keep out illegal migrants

MI6 to recruit 1000 extra people to assist in solving modern day crimes


Tamil film Visaranai is India's official entry for Academy Awards 2017

Tension on the Indo-Pak border has its effect on Bollywood movies

Shah Rukh Khan could make a movie on tennis star Sania Mirza

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Sarpuria and sarbhaja of Bengal set to get GI tag for Bengali sweets


Sarpuria and sarbhaja are two favorite sweets of Bengal that are trying to get Geographical Indication (GI) status. These are created by the sweet-makers of Nadia district.
Sarpuria is made by mixing cottage cheese (chhana) with sugar, kheer, groundnut, cardamom, pistachio and saffron and steaming it. Sarbhaja is fried cottage cheese with layer of kheer with cream (sar) and dipped in sugar syrup. Both are out-of-this-world delicacies.
This has been reported in telegraphindia.com dated 29 September 2016.
An organization representing the sweet-makers has contacted the Bengal government to lobby with the Center on this count. The authorities have indicated that they are examining the matter before sending it to the Intellectual Property Appellate Board in Chennai. This is the center designated government authority that issues the GI tag.
GI is a name or sign that is used on certain products which corresponds to a specific geographical location or origin (for example a town, region or country). The GI indication is a sort of certification that the product possesses certain qualities, is made according to traditional methods and enjoys a certain reputation because of its geographical origin.
So far, ten items from Bengal have received the GI status. These are Darjeeling tea, Nakshi kantha, Santipur sari, Baluchari sari, Dhaniakhali sari, Joynagarer moa, Santiniketan leather goods and three varieties of mangoes - Laxman Bhog, Himsagar and Fazli.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org


Some more interesting links -

For pandal hoppers during Durga Pujas in Jamshedpur - try the pool bus service

Rejuvenate the lakes of Bengaluru - bring back the birds

Bengal unable to hold on to homegrown start-ups - they end up flourishing in other states


Lord Shiva in the world of deodorants (satire)

Didi off to Rome in search of goodies (satire)

Moody learns about honey traps (satire)


Syrian ceasefire breaks down - airstrike in Aleppo claims at least 45 civilian casualties

Construction begins on the Great Wall Of Calais to keep out illegal migrants

MI6 to recruit 1000 extra people to assist in solving modern day crimes


Tamil film Visaranai is India's official entry for Academy Awards 2017

Tension on the Indo-Pak border has its effect on Bollywood movies

Shah Rukh Khan could make a movie on tennis star Sania Mirza

Terrorist alarm in Uran was the figment of a 12-year-old schoolgirl's imagination


Just four days after the Uri attack, there was panic in Mumbai because of reports that several terrorists have been seen in the area near Uran Naval Base. Immediately, a massive, multi-agency search was mounted by the Navy, Coast Guard, NSG and Maharashtra ATS. They had to locate "a group of suspicious men dressed in black and heard mentioning 'school' and 'ONGC'" near the Uran Naval base in Navi Mumbai.
However, it did not yield any result because it was figment of a 12-year-old girl's fertile imagination.
This has been reported in timesofindia.indiatimes.com dated 29 September 2016.
The local schoolgirl of Uran had mentioned of seeing 4-5 men dressed in Pathan suit and conversing in a different language. They were carrying what looked like weapons. Uran was immediately put on high alert and a massive search operation covering land, air and sea was launched. But, the suspects could not be traced.
Subsequently, during a second round of questioning two days later, the girl conceded that she had concocted the story. She had seen pictures of Islamic State terrorists wearing black clothes and flashing automatic weapons and that prompted her to spread the word that she had spotted them in Uran - she just wanted some thrill.
Such false alarms remain a matter of grave concern because they cannot be ignored. If proved correct, they are a valuable tool in preventing terror attacks. But frequent false alarms contribute to force fatigue because false alerts cost resources and money.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org


Some more interesting links -

For pandal hoppers during Durga Pujas in Jamshedpur - try the pool bus service

Rejuvenate the lakes of Bengaluru - bring back the birds

Bengal unable to hold on to homegrown start-ups - they end up flourishing in other states


Lord Shiva in the world of deodorants (satire)

Didi off to Rome in search of goodies (satire)

Moody learns about honey traps (satire)


Syrian ceasefire breaks down - airstrike in Aleppo claims at least 45 civilian casualties

Construction begins on the Great Wall Of Calais to keep out illegal migrants

MI6 to recruit 1000 extra people to assist in solving modern day crimes


Tamil film Visaranai is India's official entry for Academy Awards 2017

Tension on the Indo-Pak border has its effect on Bollywood movies

Shah Rukh Khan could make a movie on tennis star Sania Mirza

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Donkeys in California freak out on seeing grass for the first time


A group of eight Arizona donkeys freaked out when they saw grass for the first time in their lives. They got the shock of their life when they were moved to a California ranch because, till then, they had been fed on hay. Montgomery Creek Ranch has posted a video of the moment the Black Mountain burros almost stood still in shock as they gazed at their new home.
This has been reported in nzherald.co.nz dated 29 September 2016.
Montgomery Creek Ranch has explained that the video was filmed as the burros were first being introduced to the 'foreign' terrain. Since they had till then been fed only a diet of hay, the animals needed to be slowly introduced to the grass otherwise they would get sick very fast. They will graze in the small pasture so that they get used to it, and when they have adapted themselves to the new surroundings, they will be set loose.
Montgomery Creek Ranch is a wild horse sanctuary in Northern California and it gives refuge to horses and burros that have been removed from Western public lands.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org


Some more interesting links -

For pandal hoppers during Durga Pujas in Jamshedpur - try the pool bus service

Rejuvenate the lakes of Bengaluru - bring back the birds

Bengal unable to hold on to homegrown start-ups - they end up flourishing in other states


Lord Shiva in the world of deodorants (satire)

Didi off to Rome in search of goodies (satire)

Moody learns about honey traps (satire)


Syrian ceasefire breaks down - airstrike in Aleppo claims at least 45 civilian casualties

Construction begins on the Great Wall Of Calais to keep out illegal migrants

MI6 to recruit 1000 extra people to assist in solving modern day crimes


Tamil film Visaranai is India's official entry for Academy Awards 2017

Tension on the Indo-Pak border has its effect on Bollywood movies

Shah Rukh Khan could make a movie on tennis star Sania Mirza

Controversy over hunting of bisons in Yellowstone National Park


The bison in Yellowstone National Park is one of the last genetically pure populations of the national mammal and wildlife advocacy groups want the U.S. government to take a re-look at whether the hunting and slaughter of bison that wander outside the park threatens the very survival of these animals.
This has been reported in foxnews.com dated 28 September 2016.
The question is whether federal wildlife officials should re-examine and place the Yellowstone bison in the threatened or endangered species category. Bison had been designated by Congress as the national mammal earlier this year. These had been hunted to near extinction in the late 19th century and there is now an estimated 4,900 of them as the last remaining populations in the U.S. that don't have cattle genes in their DNA.
However, park biologists do not agree to this. They have said that the bison population needs to average between 3,000 and 5,000 animals to preserve genetic diversity. Officials of the park have also said that the bison population has grown steadily from 500 animals in 1970 to the current numbers. Therefore, culling the herd does not put the population at risk.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org


Some more interesting links -
For pandal hoppers during Durga Pujas in Jamshedpur - try the pool bus service

Rejuvenate the lakes of Bengaluru - bring back the birds

Bengal unable to hold on to homegrown start-ups - they end up flourishing in other states


Lord Shiva in the world of deodorants (satire)

Didi off to Rome in search of goodies (satire)

Moody learns about honey traps (satire)


Syrian ceasefire breaks down - airstrike in Aleppo claims at least 45 civilian casualties

Construction begins on the Great Wall Of Calais to keep out illegal migrants

MI6 to recruit 1000 extra people to assist in solving modern day crimes


Tamil film Visaranai is India's official entry for Academy Awards 2017

Tension on the Indo-Pak border has its effect on Bollywood movies

Shah Rukh Khan could make a movie on tennis star Sania Mirza

Tourists in Odisha took part in water sports on World Tourism Day


Tourists in Odisha took part in angling, kayaking and rafting in the Daya river near the Dhauli Peace Pagoda on the occasion of World Tourism Day. Apart from the other attractions at the popular tourist spot, visitors enjoyed the activities that were hosted by the state tourism department and Fluid Logic. The enthusiastic tourists braved the rain to participate in the adventure activities.
This has been reported in telegrahindia.com dated 28 September 2016.
As informed by the organizers, such outdoor activities will certainly appeal to tourists because these are fun filled and eco-friendly. These could become regular activities in Bhubaneswar.
The various events were related to accessible tourism which is the theme of this year's World Tourism Day. A group of differently-abled persons were taken on a tour of the Sun Temple at Konark and, indigenous tribal and folk dances of the state were held at Rabindra Mandap. A carnival was held in the morning from Master Canteen Square to Ekamra Haat - the focus was on the state's heritage sites and monuments, classical dance forms like Odissi and folk and tribal dances.
A food festival is also being held on the occasion which will have cuisines around the world including Mexican, Chinese and continental. The fest will go on till October 2 and several hotel institutes and restaurants have set up their kiosks.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org


Some more interesting links -
For pandal hoppers during Durga Pujas in Jamshedpur - try the pool bus service

Rejuvenate the lakes of Bengaluru - bring back the birds

Bengal unable to hold on to homegrown start-ups - they end up flourishing in other states


Lord Shiva in the world of deodorants (satire)

Didi off to Rome in search of goodies (satire)

Moody learns about honey traps (satire)


Syrian ceasefire breaks down - airstrike in Aleppo claims at least 45 civilian casualties

Construction begins on the Great Wall Of Calais to keep out illegal migrants

MI6 to recruit 1000 extra people to assist in solving modern day crimes


Tamil film Visaranai is India's official entry for Academy Awards 2017

Tension on the Indo-Pak border has its effect on Bollywood movies

Shah Rukh Khan could make a movie on tennis star Sania Mirza

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Chinese consulate in Kolkata to award prizes for best Durga Puja and pandal


The Chinese consulate in Kolkata, the official representative of the People's Republic of China in the city , has taken a decision to participate in a big way in this year's Durga Puja in the city and award the best pandals. The consulate has tied up with an NGO that works closely with the city police and Kolkata Municipal Corporation to spread safety awareness among Durga Puja organizers.
This has been reported in timesofindia.indiatimes.com dated 28 September 2016.
Members of the consulate will go to the venues for three days starting October 6 (Panchami) and decide on the 10 best Pujas. The parameters for judging will be safety, aesthetics and environment protection. The results will be announced on Nabami.
Chinese expatriates will act as judges and they will visit the pandals unannounced to see if the pandals have adopted proper fire-safety measures, whether there is enough space for fire tenders to negotiate in the unfortunate event of a fire or if the organizers have kept the entrances and exits clutter-free for easy evacuation of people.
Innovative pandal designs, themes and aesthetics will also fetch points.
There are no cash prizes but, the winners will get an all-paid trip to China and the awards will be given away by the consulate in an event after the Pujas. Free trips to China for the winners will be a means to promote tourism and showcase the best-loved destinations of the country.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org


Some more interesting links -
For pandal hoppers during Durga Pujas in Jamshedpur - try the pool bus service

Rejuvenate the lakes of Bengaluru - bring back the birds

Bengal unable to hold on to homegrown start-ups - they end up flourishing in other states


Lord Shiva in the world of deodorants (satire)

Didi off to Rome in search of goodies (satire)

Moody learns about honey traps (satire)


Syrian ceasefire breaks down - airstrike in Aleppo claims at least 45 civilian casualties

Construction begins on the Great Wall Of Calais to keep out illegal migrants

MI6 to recruit 1000 extra people to assist in solving modern day crimes


Tamil film Visaranai is India's official entry for Academy Awards 2017

Tension on the Indo-Pak border has its effect on Bollywood movies

Shah Rukh Khan could make a movie on tennis star Sania Mirza

Hundreds of tourists missing after volcano erupts in Mount Barujari on Lombok island


Hundreds of tourists are reported to be missing after volcano erupted in Mount Barujari on Lombok island. The authorities in Indonesia are searching for 389 tourists following the eruption of the volcano. It spewed a massive column of ash into the atmosphere and already more than 1,100 have been evacuated.
The column of ash reached nearly 2,000 meters (6,560 feet).
This has been reported in nzherald.co.nz dated 28 September 2016.
The volcano, also known as the Child of Rinjani because it sits within the Mount Rinjani caldera, had erupted without any warning and resulted in delay in flights from airports in Lombok and nearby Bali. It seems as per records, nearly 400 foreign and local tourists had been registered to climb the mountain. They were to set off from Sembalun monitoring post, about 11 kilometers (7 miles) from the crater.
The eruption interrupted flights for several hours at Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali which is located about 135-Km from Lombok, and Selaparang airport in Mataram, the capital of West Nusa Tenggara province, located on Lombok Island.
Rinjani is one of the 130 active volcanoes in Indonesia and the archipelago regularly faces volcanic eruptions and earthquakes due to its location on the Pacific "Ring of Fire."


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org


Some more interesting links -
For pandal hoppers during Durga Pujas in Jamshedpur - try the pool bus service

Rejuvenate the lakes of Bengaluru - bring back the birds

Bengal unable to hold on to homegrown start-ups - they end up flourishing in other states


Lord Shiva in the world of deodorants (satire)

Didi off to Rome in search of goodies (satire)

Moody learns about honey traps (satire)


Syrian ceasefire breaks down - airstrike in Aleppo claims at least 45 civilian casualties

Construction begins on the Great Wall Of Calais to keep out illegal migrants

MI6 to recruit 1000 extra people to assist in solving modern day crimes


Tamil film Visaranai is India's official entry for Academy Awards 2017

Tension on the Indo-Pak border has its effect on Bollywood movies

Shah Rukh Khan could make a movie on tennis star Sania Mirza

Tourist season in Kaziranga National Park to start from October 1 instead of November 1


The government of Assam has announced that Kaziranga National Park would be thrown open for tourists from October 1 this year instead of November 1. The gates would be opened by Assam Forest Minister. The date for opening of the national park, famous for its one-horned rhino population, has been advanced this year as per the instructions of Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal in August.
This has been reported in thestatesman.com dated 27 September 2016.
The elephant rides and jeep rides would be made available for tourists from October 1 but, there will be restrictions on the total distance of the Jeep Safari circuit because of ongoing repair works inside the park.
Due to severe floods in last two months, more than 80 percent of the park was submerged. The floods have washed away some small bridges inside the park and damaged the roads inside to a large extent.
Work is going on at a fast pace to meed the deadline. Normally the park is opened for tourists on November 1 and it gets closed on April 30 every year. Initially, only Western range, Bagori range, Central range and Kohora range would be opened for the tourists. Repair work on the roads in going and, once all the works are completed, the other ranges would also be opened for tourists.
The main attraction of the park is the one-horned rhino population. However, tourists also come to see the tigers, elephants, water buffaloes, hog deer, bear and other wildlife species apart from reptiles and winged species.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org


Some more interesting links -
For pandal hoppers during Durga Pujas in Jamshedpur - try the pool bus service

Rejuvenate the lakes of Bengaluru - bring back the birds

Bengal unable to hold on to homegrown start-ups - they end up flourishing in other states


Lord Shiva in the world of deodorants (satire)

Didi off to Rome in search of goodies (satire)

Moody learns about honey traps (satire)


Syrian ceasefire breaks down - airstrike in Aleppo claims at least 45 civilian casualties

Construction begins on the Great Wall Of Calais to keep out illegal migrants

MI6 to recruit 1000 extra people to assist in solving modern day crimes


Tamil film Visaranai is India's official entry for Academy Awards 2017

Tension on the Indo-Pak border has its effect on Bollywood movies

Shah Rukh Khan could make a movie on tennis star Sania Mirza

Mask gallery of Indian Museum in Kolkata to reopen


The mask gallery on the Indian Museum in Kolkata s located on the top floor and it had been thrown open to the public in 2010. But it had to be closed down in 2014 when some masks got drenched in rainwater because of a leaking roof. The gallery is now being reopened with 85 items.
A school workshop on Chhou and Gamira mask-making will be conducted to mark the reopening and A mask dance is on the cards.
This has been reported in telegraphindia.com dated 27 September 2016.
The total number of masks in the Indian Museum runs into hundreds and acquisitions date from the colonial period to 2000. The collection includes masks from not only India but also other countries like Australia, New Zealand, Central America, Africa, Bhutan and Nepal.
Most of them are dance masks of ancient folk traditions. There are masks of the Maoris and native Americans as well.
The Indian Council for Cultural Relations has decided to make Indian Museum the nodal agency for a large comprehensive exposition on Masks of India. This will be showcased in the next edition of The Festival of India.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org


Some more interesting links -
For pandal hoppers during Durga Pujas in Jamshedpur - try the pool bus service

Rejuvenate the lakes of Bengaluru - bring back the birds

Bengal unable to hold on to homegrown start-ups - they end up flourishing in other states


Lord Shiva in the world of deodorants (satire)

Didi off to Rome in search of goodies (satire)

Moody learns about honey traps (satire)


Syrian ceasefire breaks down - airstrike in Aleppo claims at least 45 civilian casualties

Construction begins on the Great Wall Of Calais to keep out illegal migrants

MI6 to recruit 1000 extra people to assist in solving modern day crimes


Tamil film Visaranai is India's official entry for Academy Awards 2017

Tension on the Indo-Pak border has its effect on Bollywood movies

Shah Rukh Khan could make a movie on tennis star Sania Mirza

Taiwan struck by Typhoon Megi, third typhoon in two weeks


Taiwan faced its third typhoon in the form Typhoon Megi in two weeks. Thousands have been evacuated, schools and offices are closed across the island and a total of 575 international and domestic flights were cancelled as of Tuesday morning with 109 delayed. Most trains were also halted.
This has been reported in zeenews.india.com dated 27 September 2016.
More than 5,000 people have been evacuated from their homes and a total of nearly 2,000 are housed in shelters, as revealed by the Central Emergency Operation Center. In addition, about 36,000 households have lost power due to the typhoon so far.
Before the typhoon struck, more than 3,700 tourists had already been evacuated at the weekend from Orchid Island and Green Island - both are popular with visitors. Moreover, Hualien and Taitung, which are also popular tourist destinations because of their coastlines and landscapes, are expected to also be in the firing line.
Incidentally, these areas are still trying to recover from damage brought by Super Typhoon Meranti earlier this month - that was the strongest storm for 21 years to hit Taiwan.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org


Some more interesting links -
For pandal hoppers during Durga Pujas in Jamshedpur - try the pool bus service

Rejuvenate the lakes of Bengaluru - bring back the birds

Bengal unable to hold on to homegrown start-ups - they end up flourishing in other states


Lord Shiva in the world of deodorants (satire)

Didi off to Rome in search of goodies (satire)

Moody learns about honey traps (satire)


Syrian ceasefire breaks down - airstrike in Aleppo claims at least 45 civilian casualties

Construction begins on the Great Wall Of Calais to keep out illegal migrants

MI6 to recruit 1000 extra people to assist in solving modern day crimes


Tamil film Visaranai is India's official entry for Academy Awards 2017

Tension on the Indo-Pak border has its effect on Bollywood movies

Shah Rukh Khan could make a movie on tennis star Sania Mirza

Monday, September 26, 2016

Howrah Station to have executive lounge for transit passengers by December


Come December and transit passengers arriving at Howrah station can just book space in the executive lounge being constructed within the station (old complex). They need not book into any hotel for a few hours to relax, freshen up and have meals before proceeding to his destination in the city for his work or taking a train to another destination.
New Delhi and Jaipur already have such facilities and, once complete, this lounge will be the first in eastern India.
This has been reported in timesofindia.indiatimes.com dated 27 September 2016.
The lounge will be built on 259 metres and be equipped with all modern amenities. The initial charge for two hours will be between Rs 100 and Rs 150 and, passengers can extend their stay by paying an additional Rs 50 per hour or part thereof.
The proposed facilities would include recliners on which passengers can relax, watch television and read books, magazines of newspapers from a well-stocked library. There will be access to Wi-Fi. Fresh towels and toilet kits will be provided for a small charge. Breakfast will cost Rs 100-150, buffet lunch and dinner will be between Rs 200 and Rs 250.
Entry to children below three feet in height will be free.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org


Some more interesting links -

For pandal hoppers during Durga Pujas in Jamshedpur - try the pool bus service

Rejuvenate the lakes of Bengaluru - bring back the birds

Bengal unable to hold on to homegrown start-ups - they end up flourishing in other states


Lord Shiva in the world of deodorants (satire)

Didi off to Rome in search of goodies (satire)

Moody learns about honey traps (satire)


Syrian ceasefire breaks down - airstrike in Aleppo claims at least 45 civilian casualties

Construction begins on the Great Wall Of Calais to keep out illegal migrants

MI6 to recruit 1000 extra people to assist in solving modern day crimes


Tamil film Visaranai is India's official entry for Academy Awards 2017

Tension on the Indo-Pak border has its effect on Bollywood movies

Shah Rukh Khan could make a movie on tennis star Sania Mirza

CCTV cameras do not function at Pune international airport


A major security lapse has been reported from Pune International Airport - as many as seven CCTV cameras were on the blink and the matter came to light when a car was stolen from the parking lot. The CISF personnel stationed at the airport were apparently aware about it and had alerted the authorities. The cameras had been on the blink for a month.
This has been reported in timesofindia.indiatimes.com dated 26 September 2016.
CCTV cameras have been installed at airports because these are targets of terrorists and the CCTV camera footage have been critical in identifying and going after the perpetrators. However, the seven unserviceable CCTV cameras positioned at the parking lot, the parking bay outside the arrival and departure gates and also some inside, near the check-in counters is a matter of major security lapse.
A businessman and frequent flier has said that fliers are experience heightened airport security. While taking a flight he was told to remove his shoes for scanning and there were sniffer dogs checking out the baggage. Obviously, CCTV cameras that do not function is a cause for alarm, especially since the airport is a Defence establishment.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org


Some more interesting links -

Disneyland bans 25 things including selfie sticks in all its locations

Hillary Clinton has pneumonia - she fell ill at September 11 memorial

Lord Ganesh's laddu weighing 21-Kg auctioned for Rs 14.65 in Hyderabad


Moody wants Gold medals from Olympics (satire)

Didi and her BMW dreams (satire)

Goddess Durga and her kids wait for the annual bash (satire)


Suicide bomb attack in Pakistani mosque during Friday prayers kill at least 25

Security beefed up for Munich Oktoberfest 2016

29 people injured in an explosion in New York - no evidence of any terror link


Shah Rukh's 'Fan' and Salman Khan's 'Sultan' to be screened at Busan International Film Festival

Sequel to Guardians of the Galaxy to release in US theaters on May 5, 2017

London-born singer Skepta wins the 25th Mercury prize fr his album Konnichiwa

Sunday, September 25, 2016

J. K. Rowling, creator of Harry Potter, discloses secrets of her teenage years


J. K. Rowling is 51 years old and has long held readers spellbound with her tales of Harry Potter and his friends at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. She has, now, disclosed secrets of her teenage years. She has, for the first time, talked about a rock ’n’ roll past that is far removed from her life as a celebrated author.
This has been reported in dailymail.co.uk dated 24 September 2016.
Writers who have become famous are usually bohemian and unpredictable characters and Rowling was no exception. She has admitted that as an 18-year-old, she adored her ‘Muso Boyfriend’ and would hang out with him. They would be engaged in smoking in his parents’ house, ‘snogging’ and camping with him at one of the era’s most notorious rock festivals. His parents were Dutch and they would hang out mostly at his house, since they were allowed to smoke in his attic bedroom.
It seems she used to listen to punk music with her boyfriend – something of a snob when it came to music – and, like many a teenager, she used to spend time playing guitar alone.
She finished writing the first of the seven Harry Potter books in 1995.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org


Some more interesting links -

Disneyland bans 25 things including selfie sticks in all its locations

Hillary Clinton has pneumonia - she fell ill at September 11 memorial

Lord Ganesh's laddu weighing 21-Kg auctioned for Rs 14.65 in Hyderabad


Moody wants Gold medals from Olympics (satire)

Didi and her BMW dreams (satire)

Goddess Durga and her kids wait for the annual bash (satire)


Suicide bomb attack in Pakistani mosque during Friday prayers kill at least 25

Security beefed up for Munich Oktoberfest 2016

29 people injured in an explosion in New York - no evidence of any terror link


Shah Rukh's 'Fan' and Salman Khan's 'Sultan' to be screened at Busan International Film Festival

Sequel to Guardians of the Galaxy to release in US theaters on May 5, 2017

London-born singer Skepta wins the 25th Mercury prize fr his album Konnichiwa

Inmates of Alipore Jail make Durga idols for outsiders also


A section of inmates of Alipore Jail in Kolkata are busy making Durga idols for outsiders to celebrate the Durga puja festival. The team is led by a man convicted of murder and he has been in prison now for over 10-years. He ans his team are working day and night for the last one month inside the prison to meet the deadline set by two puja organisers.
This has been reported in thestatesman.com dated 26 September 2016.
Every year Durga puja is arranged inside the jail premises and the idol of last year was so good that some Puja organizers decided to give the order of making the idols to the convict. As a result, the team is making idol for not only for the Alipore prison but also another puja outside the jail.
The team has been allotted separate wards, and have been given necessary equipment and raw material required for making the idols like mud, clay, tools, paints. The team start their work at 7 AM in the morning and continue it till 2 AM. They will be working for free and the money which they will receive for making the Durga idols will go to the Prisoners' Welfare fund.
On a rough estimate, each idol will cost less than Rs 25,000, which is much less than the market price. Incidentally, the theme for the Alipore Jail Durga puja is "Two Asuras", one who is killed by Durga and another with folded hands who is repenting his misdeeds. The second order is from a Club in Joynagar - it is for a 12-foot image in traditional form with "Daker Saaj".


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org


Some more interesting links -

Disneyland bans 25 things including selfie sticks in all its locations

Hillary Clinton has pneumonia - she fell ill at September 11 memorial

Lord Ganesh's laddu weighing 21-Kg auctioned for Rs 14.65 in Hyderabad


Moody wants Gold medals from Olympics (satire)

Didi and her BMW dreams (satire)

Goddess Durga and her kids wait for the annual bash (satire)


Suicide bomb attack in Pakistani mosque during Friday prayers kill at least 25

Security beefed up for Munich Oktoberfest 2016

29 people injured in an explosion in New York - no evidence of any terror link


Shah Rukh's 'Fan' and Salman Khan's 'Sultan' to be screened at Busan International Film Festival

Sequel to Guardians of the Galaxy to release in US theaters on May 5, 2017

London-born singer Skepta wins the 25th Mercury prize fr his album Konnichiwa

Off shore island tourism - nine islands selected from Lakshadweep, Andaman & Nicobar


India wants to attract tourists to its off shore islands and, for a start, nine islands in Lakshadweep, Andaman & Nicobar have been selected for conversion to tourist hot spot. This is a part of a master plan to boost tourism via water parks etcetera as has been done by Singapore.
This has been reported in timesofindia.indiatimes.com dated 25 September 2016.
The islands that have been selected are Smith Island, Ross Island, Avis Island and Long Island in Andaman & Nicobar. And, Bangaram, Thinnakara, Suheli, Cheriyam and Minicoy in Lakshadweep. Some tourist facilities in Lakshadweep are, at present, limited to Bangaram and a few other islands. These will see development in infrastructure, tourism, agriculture (organic and fisheries) and renewable energy.
This project is being considered as drivers of tourism and sustainable economic development on the lines of countries like Singapore that uses water parks and natural resources to promote tourism. Thus they have overcome limited land areas while being mindful of conservation.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org


Some more interesting links -

Disneyland bans 25 things including selfie sticks in all its locations

Hillary Clinton has pneumonia - she fell ill at September 11 memorial

Lord Ganesh's laddu weighing 21-Kg auctioned for Rs 14.65 in Hyderabad


Moody wants Gold medals from Olympics (satire)

Didi and her BMW dreams (satire)

Goddess Durga and her kids wait for the annual bash (satire)


Suicide bomb attack in Pakistani mosque during Friday prayers kill at least 25

Security beefed up for Munich Oktoberfest 2016

29 people injured in an explosion in New York - no evidence of any terror link


Shah Rukh's 'Fan' and Salman Khan's 'Sultan' to be screened at Busan International Film Festival

Sequel to Guardians of the Galaxy to release in US theaters on May 5, 2017

London-born singer Skepta wins the 25th Mercury prize fr his album Konnichiwa

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Harry Potter, alcohol and pornography are giving rise to exorcism in Britain


There is a rise in cases of exorcism in Britain and the blame, apparently, lands at the feet of Harry Potter, alcohol and pornography. Two Catholic Church exorcists have revealed that there is an increase in the number of people who are asking priests to cleanse their bodies of demons.
In their opinion, the reason is nation's obsession with the supernatural and a fall in those who practice Christianity.
This has been reported in dailymail.co.uk dated 24 September 2016.
The priests have admitted that exorcisms were 'run-of-the-mill' affairs for them but the procedure was far removed from the glamour that is usually portrayed in popular culture. Young people who watch TV shows and films about vampires and Harry Potter has contributed to the increase. The priests feel that even though the population has moved away from Christian beliefs, the people still want to believe in something invisible.
And, coupled with this is the pornography and alcohol consumption that influences people to want to rid 'satan' from their bodies. In fact, some people were coming to the priests claiming that a 'demonic presence had full control' of their bodies.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org


Some more interesting links -

Disneyland bans 25 things including selfie sticks in all its locations

Hillary Clinton has pneumonia - she fell ill at September 11 memorial

Lord Ganesh's laddu weighing 21-Kg auctioned for Rs 14.65 in Hyderabad


Moody wants Gold medals from Olympics (satire)

Didi and her BMW dreams (satire)

Goddess Durga and her kids wait for the annual bash (satire)


Suicide bomb attack in Pakistani mosque during Friday prayers kill at least 25

Security beefed up for Munich Oktoberfest 2016

29 people injured in an explosion in New York - no evidence of any terror link


Shah Rukh's 'Fan' and Salman Khan's 'Sultan' to be screened at Busan International Film Festival

Sequel to Guardians of the Galaxy to release in US theaters on May 5, 2017

London-born singer Skepta wins the 25th Mercury prize fr his album Konnichiwa

Viewership of first US presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump could cross 100 million


At long last the time has come when the two White House hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump would come face to face for the first debate. The 90-minute event is expected to be one of the most watched events in television history. In the opinion of experts, the audience could exceed 100 million persons.
This has been reported in thestatesman.com dated 24 September 2016.
Analysts feel the viewership could beat the record set in 1980, when 80 million Americans watched Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan's only presidential debate. The audience for Clinton-Trump debate could even come close to the 115 million Americans who had watched the 2015 Super Bowl, the most-watched sporting event in US history.
A strong showing from Republican candidate Trump in Round 1 of the three-debate showdown with Clinton could give rise to a lot of uncertainty. In case, any post-debate analysis indicates that Trump could be the the winner, it could force a rethinking that Clinton was the odds-on favorite to win the November 8 election.
Incidentally, the Commission on Presidential Debates has said that moderator Lester Holt will follow a format that calls for six 15-minute time segments in which each topic will get two segments. Such lengthy 90-minute debates can be a physically exhausting exercise and, while Donald Trump has never participated in such a lengthy debate against just one other candidate, Hillary Clinton was recovering from a recent bout of pneumonia.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org


Some more interesting links -

Disneyland bans 25 things including selfie sticks in all its locations

Hillary Clinton has pneumonia - she fell ill at September 11 memorial

Lord Ganesh's laddu weighing 21-Kg auctioned for Rs 14.65 in Hyderabad


Moody wants Gold medals from Olympics (satire)

Didi and her BMW dreams (satire)

Goddess Durga and her kids wait for the annual bash (satire)


Suicide bomb attack in Pakistani mosque during Friday prayers kill at least 25

Security beefed up for Munich Oktoberfest 2016

29 people injured in an explosion in New York - no evidence of any terror link


Shah Rukh's 'Fan' and Salman Khan's 'Sultan' to be screened at Busan International Film Festival

Sequel to Guardians of the Galaxy to release in US theaters on May 5, 2017

London-born singer Skepta wins the 25th Mercury prize fr his album Konnichiwa

Friday, September 23, 2016

Incidents of elephant poaching in South Africa up 400% since start of the year


South Africa is seeing an increase in the number of elephant poaching incidents. It has zoomed up by nearly 400% since the start of the year while rhino poaching has dropped by 17% in the same period. This indicates that elephant poaching is taking over from rhino poaching.
This has been reported in news.sky.com dated 23 September 2016.
Officials maintain watch by helicopter over Kruger National searching for elephant carcasses and, trying to stop poachers who hide in the bush and often operate at night. Only 15% of the Kruger national park is open to tourists and the remaining is wild. That is where the poachers have a field day.
Helicopters are used to maintain aerial surveillance because it helped the ground teams in the poaching crackdown. They are assured with the knowledge that they are not alone, there's somebody above them looking after them. A forthcoming wildlife conference to be held in South Africa will discuss ways of saving rhinos and elephants.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org


Some more interesting links -

Disneyland bans 25 things including selfie sticks in all its locations

Hillary Clinton has pneumonia - she fell ill at September 11 memorial

Lord Ganesh's laddu weighing 21-Kg auctioned for Rs 14.65 in Hyderabad


Moody wants Gold medals from Olympics (satire)

Didi and her BMW dreams (satire)

Goddess Durga and her kids wait for the annual bash (satire)


Suicide bomb attack in Pakistani mosque during Friday prayers kill at least 25

Security beefed up for Munich Oktoberfest 2016

29 people injured in an explosion in New York - no evidence of any terror link


Shah Rukh's 'Fan' and Salman Khan's 'Sultan' to be screened at Busan International Film Festival

Sequel to Guardians of the Galaxy to release in US theaters on May 5, 2017

London-born singer Skepta wins the 25th Mercury prize fr his album Konnichiwa

Cleanliness drive on Kolkata Metro


Metro Rail in Kolkata is the oldest metro train in the country and is, generally, maintained in a neat and clean way. That has been the tradition since inception. However, it has undertaken a cleanliness drive on Wednesday as a part of the ‘Swachh Rail -- Swachh Bharat-- Swachhta Saptah’. It would be a week-long program that began on 17 September.
This has been reported in thestatesman.com dated 23 September 2016.
The comprehensive cleanliness awareness campaign was initiated at Esplanade metro station by Swami-jis of Ramakrishna Math, Yogodyan who spoke about the importance of cleanliness. It was followed by a speech of the general manager, Metro Railway, Kolkata who stressed upon cleanliness in trains, stations and metro premises for maintaining a healthy environment.
Subsequently, there was a mime show and a Nukkad drama to create awareness among passengers about the importance of cleanliness.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org


Some more interesting links -

Disneyland bans 25 things including selfie sticks in all its locations

Hillary Clinton has pneumonia - she fell ill at September 11 memorial

Lord Ganesh's laddu weighing 21-Kg auctioned for Rs 14.65 in Hyderabad


Moody wants Gold medals from Olympics (satire)

Didi and her BMW dreams (satire)

Goddess Durga and her kids wait for the annual bash (satire)


Suicide bomb attack in Pakistani mosque during Friday prayers kill at least 25

Security beefed up for Munich Oktoberfest 2016

29 people injured in an explosion in New York - no evidence of any terror link


Shah Rukh's 'Fan' and Salman Khan's 'Sultan' to be screened at Busan International Film Festival

Sequel to Guardians of the Galaxy to release in US theaters on May 5, 2017

London-born singer Skepta wins the 25th Mercury prize fr his album Konnichiwa

Bengal unable to hold on to homegrown start-ups - they end up flourishing in other states


It is a fact that homegrown start-ups in Bengal are moving out of the state in their search of talent and a mature ecosystem to boost their business. As indicated by experts, start-ups need proper mentors, guidance and a strong team, apart from funds. People who are qualified for the job tend to move away from this city even though Bengal is home to some of the older engineering colleges in the country. One of the reasons for this is, as per the buzz in industry, the quality of engineers they produce today do not match up to the best.
This has been reported in telegraphindia.com dated 23 September 2016.
Many private institutes have mushroomed in the state and they churn out engineering graduates, but they apparently do not meet the quality expectations of start-ups that are looking out for talent to hire. Bangalore has stressed on product innovation, Pune nurtured automobile start-ups, and Hyderabad went in for biotechnology start-ups. Kolkata has to work on similar lines and create its own niche.
Any investor today looks at five key cities to invest in, namely Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, Delhi NCR and Chennai. And, while Bengal has been the breeding ground of 500-odd start-ups, at least 100 of them have migrated to other cities - this is as revealed by software industry forum Nasscom.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org


Some more interesting links -

Disneyland bans 25 things including selfie sticks in all its locations

Hillary Clinton has pneumonia - she fell ill at September 11 memorial

Lord Ganesh's laddu weighing 21-Kg auctioned for Rs 14.65 in Hyderabad


Moody wants Gold medals from Olympics (satire)

Didi and her BMW dreams (satire)

Goddess Durga and her kids wait for the annual bash (satire)


Suicide bomb attack in Pakistani mosque during Friday prayers kill at least 25

Security beefed up for Munich Oktoberfest 2016

29 people injured in an explosion in New York - no evidence of any terror link


Shah Rukh's 'Fan' and Salman Khan's 'Sultan' to be screened at Busan International Film Festival

Sequel to Guardians of the Galaxy to release in US theaters on May 5, 2017

London-born singer Skepta wins the 25th Mercury prize fr his album Konnichiwa