Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Patna zoo adds Chyawanprash to its menu to protect chimpanzees from cold


Patna zoo is gearing up to protect its animals from the cold winter months. The authorities are planning to take extra care of the animals by making heating arrangements and also modifications to their diets.
For example - wooden planks have been placed in the cages of the carnivorous animals like tiger, lion so that they can rest there and can be saved from coming in direct contact with the cold ground. Then there are machans (makeshift shelters) installed in the cages of smaller cats such as leopard cats. And - there are heating arrangements like bulbs in the cages of birds - the wires have been properly covered. In addition, heat blowers have been placed in the lion, tiger, chimpanzee and bear cages.
This has been reported in telegraphindia.com dated 1 December 2016.
Other measures to counteract the cold season is that all ventilators of the cages have been covered with bamboo straw to keep the cages warm. Some of the enclosures of the animals have been redone with beds made of straw and hay.
As to diet - the quantity of eggs and chicken has been increased for the lion, tiger and other carnivorous animals. Lions were earlier given 9-Kg of chicken, now the quantity has been increased to 13-Kg. Chyawanprash and eggs have been added in the menu of the chimpanzee and the deer is being fed mahua - this fruit can generate high energy.
Sloth bears and the Himalayan bears are being provided with heaters, apart from warm straw padding and more meat. Regarding snakes - blankets and high-voltage bulbs have been provided in their cages to keep them warm.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org


Some more interesting links -

President Pranab Mukherjee to be present for Vikramshila Mahotsav

Baliyatra fair on the banks of the Mahanadi sees over one lakh visitors on opening day

Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin to bury the hatchet and work together to fight terrorism


Lord Shiva and long ATM queues - bullock carts and ATM don't gel (satire)

Moody fires cannons to eliminate mosquitoes (satire)

Fuchka Festival in Kolkata and selfies (satire)


Spanish police arrest two suspected ISIS terrorists in Barcelona and Madrid

At least 52 killed and more than 100 injured in a bomb blast at a remote Sufi shrine in Pakistan

Joint action by RFA, Royal Navy and US Coast Guard nets huge haul of cocaine from the sea


La La Land to have its Indian premiere at the Jio MAMI Film Club

Jackie Chan gets an Oscar after a 56-year career

Spider-Man: Homecoming will see Michael Keaton as Spider-Man's main adversary Vulture

Allahabad Magh Mela assured of smooth flow of water in the Ganges


The Allahabad Magh Mela will begin from January 12 and over three crore of devotees, pilgrims and seers are expected to be arriving to participate in the annual ritual. Hence, there is a need to have adequate quantity of clean and flowing water in Ganga for holy dip at Sangam.
Saints and seers have demanded aviral dhara (smooth flow of water) during the entire mela period and have expressed their satisfaction over the measures that are being initiated by the Magh Mela administration.
This has been reported in timesofindia.indiatimes.com dated 30 November 2016.
The Magh Mela authorities have arranged for water to be released from Tehri and Narora dams from December 15 and 22, respectively till the end of the mela period on February 24. In order to do this, water would be released every from December 15 onwards - the amount of water would be around 1,000 cu-sec from Tehri Dam. Subsequently, from December 22, another 4,000 cusec would be released from Narora dam. In addition, there would be water from the Ganga barrage for the main bathing days.
It normally takes 10 to 12 days for the water to reach Allahabad from Narora dam.
The continuous flow of water is expected to improve the quality of Ganga water during the mela period.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org


Some more interesting links -

President Pranab Mukherjee to be present for Vikramshila Mahotsav

Baliyatra fair on the banks of the Mahanadi sees over one lakh visitors on opening day

Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin to bury the hatchet and work together to fight terrorism


Lord Shiva and long ATM queues - bullock carts and ATM don't gel (satire)

Moody fires cannons to eliminate mosquitoes (satire)

Fuchka Festival in Kolkata and selfies (satire)


Spanish police arrest two suspected ISIS terrorists in Barcelona and Madrid

At least 52 killed and more than 100 injured in a bomb blast at a remote Sufi shrine in Pakistan

Joint action by RFA, Royal Navy and US Coast Guard nets huge haul of cocaine from the sea


La La Land to have its Indian premiere at the Jio MAMI Film Club

Jackie Chan gets an Oscar after a 56-year career

Spider-Man: Homecoming will see Michael Keaton as Spider-Man's main adversary Vulture

President-elect Donald Trump and Mitt Romney meet for dinner


President-elect Donald Trump met with Mitt Romney and Reince Priebus for dinner in New York City. Mitt Romney was a strong critic of Donald Trump during the 2016 Presidential campaign and is now set to become the next Secretary of State.
Reince Priebus is tipped to become the incoming commander-in-chief.
The three of them enjoyed a lavish meal at Jean-Georges, a French eatery near Central Park. It started with young garlic soup with thyme and sautéed frog legs.
This has been reported in dailymail.co.uk dated 30 November 2016.
This was the second meeting between Romney and Trump since the election. Even though the former Massachusetts governor was one of Trump’s biggest critics in the GOP, Trump had been considering Romney for the prominent spot in his cabinet.
After the meal, Romney indicated that he had an 'interesting and engaging' conversation with Trump and praised the president-elect for his transition into the White House. They had discussed 'affairs around the world' and that he was impressed with Trump's speech on the night he won the election.
Obviously, there is no friend or foe in politics.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org


Some more interesting links -

President Pranab Mukherjee to be present for Vikramshila Mahotsav

Baliyatra fair on the banks of the Mahanadi sees over one lakh visitors on opening day

Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin to bury the hatchet and work together to fight terrorism


Lord Shiva and long ATM queues - bullock carts and ATM don't gel (satire)

Moody fires cannons to eliminate mosquitoes (satire)

Fuchka Festival in Kolkata and selfies (satire)


Spanish police arrest two suspected ISIS terrorists in Barcelona and Madrid

At least 52 killed and more than 100 injured in a bomb blast at a remote Sufi shrine in Pakistan

Joint action by RFA, Royal Navy and US Coast Guard nets huge haul of cocaine from the sea


La La Land to have its Indian premiere at the Jio MAMI Film Club

Jackie Chan gets an Oscar after a 56-year career

Spider-Man: Homecoming will see Michael Keaton as Spider-Man's main adversary Vulture

Families in Jharkhand village sleep on treetops for fear of rampaging elephants


Some families of Jharkhand have been forced to live on trees in view of the because of the terror unleashed by rampaging elephants near Ranchi, the capital city in Jharkhand. It seems a herd of elephants has created fear among the people living in the villages near Ranchi apart from those who are traveling along the Ranchi- Jamshedpur National Highway.
Incidentally, the highway remains deserted for hours due to the fear of the wandering elephants.
This has been reported in thestatesman.com dated 30 November 2016.
These families are living in Loharatola village in Bundu which is located nearly 45-Km from Ranchi, and they have had to go in for makeshift perches on trees. They sleep on the treetops to protect themselves from elephants because a herd of elephants had damaged their houses last year. There are more than 15 families in the village and all of them depend on farming for their livelihood.
The families were forced to leave their village and live in the fields as they have agricultural land. They tend to farming activities during the day and climb the trees at night.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org


Some more interesting links -

President Pranab Mukherjee to be present for Vikramshila Mahotsav

Baliyatra fair on the banks of the Mahanadi sees over one lakh visitors on opening day

Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin to bury the hatchet and work together to fight terrorism


Lord Shiva and long ATM queues - bullock carts and ATM don't gel (satire)

Moody fires cannons to eliminate mosquitoes (satire)

Fuchka Festival in Kolkata and selfies (satire)


Spanish police arrest two suspected ISIS terrorists in Barcelona and Madrid

At least 52 killed and more than 100 injured in a bomb blast at a remote Sufi shrine in Pakistan

Joint action by RFA, Royal Navy and US Coast Guard nets huge haul of cocaine from the sea


La La Land to have its Indian premiere at the Jio MAMI Film Club

Jackie Chan gets an Oscar after a 56-year career

Spider-Man: Homecoming will see Michael Keaton as Spider-Man's main adversary Vulture

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Decline in arrival of migratory birds in Hunasinkere tank in Hassan


Hundreds of migratory birds of varied species have arrived at the Hunasinkere tank in Hassan, but there is a decline in their numbers. These birds fly from far off places to Hunasinkere in November every year and feed on the fish in the tank - but, their numbers are on the decline.
The arrivals include pelicans, painted storks, spoon-billed storks, purple moorhen and grey hornbills.
This has been reported in thehindu.com dated 29 November 2016.
AS a birdwatcher has revealed - spoon-billed storks are there in good numbers but there is a steep decline among ducks, purple moorhen, jacana and a few others.
Various factors could have contributed to this. Over the years the water level in the tank has come down because of decrease in rainfall. Moreover, there are more people living closer to the tank now. This reduces the space for trees on the bank. Consequently, less trees mean less of the birds.
Another aspect is that many local farmers pumping water from the lake to their land. Many private agencies take the water from the tank for construction work. Obviously, such activities disturb the birds and they shift to other locations.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org


Some more interesting links -

President Pranab Mukherjee to be present for Vikramshila Mahotsav

Baliyatra fair on the banks of the Mahanadi sees over one lakh visitors on opening day

Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin to bury the hatchet and work together to fight terrorism


Lord Shiva and long ATM queues - bullock carts and ATM don't gel (satire)

Moody fires cannons to eliminate mosquitoes (satire)

Fuchka Festival in Kolkata and selfies (satire)


Spanish police arrest two suspected ISIS terrorists in Barcelona and Madrid

At least 52 killed and more than 100 injured in a bomb blast at a remote Sufi shrine in Pakistan

Joint action by RFA, Royal Navy and US Coast Guard nets huge haul of cocaine from the sea


La La Land to have its Indian premiere at the Jio MAMI Film Club

Jackie Chan gets an Oscar after a 56-year career

Spider-Man: Homecoming will see Michael Keaton as Spider-Man's main adversary Vulture

Visva-Bharati slashes its budget for this year's annual art-and-craft fair


Demonetisation has left its mark on this year's a cut in the budget of its annual art-and-craft fair in Visva-Bharati, Santiniketan to a fifth of last year's figure.
Lat year, the budget was Rs 2.5 lakh last year and, the university has indicated that it will not be able to spend more than Rs 50,000 - this is in view of the cash withdrawal limit set by the Centre which is Rs 24,000 per week. The university has also decided to reduce the prices of the artefacts due to the cash crunch.
This has been reported in telegraphindia.com dated 30 November 2016.
The fair usually displays artefacts like paintings, sculptures, jewellery, diaries, calendars and stationery that are made by teachers and students of Kala Bhavana and is held in the art department compound. Known as the Nandan Mela, it started 43 years ago to commemorate the birthday of painter Nandalal Bose. It is held on December 1 and 2 every year.
Nearly 12,000 to 15,000 people visit the fair every day and the university has given the students an advance of Rs 40,000 with a request that thy chip in with some money, if possible.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org


Some more interesting links -

President Pranab Mukherjee to be present for Vikramshila Mahotsav

Baliyatra fair on the banks of the Mahanadi sees over one lakh visitors on opening day

Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin to bury the hatchet and work together to fight terrorism


Lord Shiva and long ATM queues - bullock carts and ATM don't gel (satire)

Moody fires cannons to eliminate mosquitoes (satire)

Fuchka Festival in Kolkata and selfies (satire)


Spanish police arrest two suspected ISIS terrorists in Barcelona and Madrid

At least 52 killed and more than 100 injured in a bomb blast at a remote Sufi shrine in Pakistan

Joint action by RFA, Royal Navy and US Coast Guard nets huge haul of cocaine from the sea


La La Land to have its Indian premiere at the Jio MAMI Film Club

Jackie Chan gets an Oscar after a 56-year career

Spider-Man: Homecoming will see Michael Keaton as Spider-Man's main adversary Vulture

Women have their way - regain entry into Haji Ali dargah after five years


Women finally have their way - after five years and a number of legal battles and protests, they regained entry into the iconic Haji Ali dargah in Mumbai.
Until 2011, they were allowed access to the shrine's sanctum sanctorum. However, suddenly, their entry was blocked. In 2014, Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan BMMA petitioned the Bombay high court against the ban and, on August 26 this year, the high court lifted it. The dargah trust had challenged the decision in the Supreme Court but, the SC upheld the order.
This has been reported in timesofindia.indiatimes.com dated 30 November 2016.
A group of around 100 women from across the country reached the Haji Ali dargah to be the first to have the privilege. The dargah trustees helped them to offer flowers and the 'chadar' at the saint's tomb and also offered them tea. The Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA) had spearheaded the struggle for women's entry to the shrine. Apart from praying at the dargah, the women enjoyed the sama (Sufi qawwali) session.
The dargah trust has indicated that in order to ensure that the women worshippers are not inconvenienced, both men and women will stand in separate queues and two metres away from the saint's tomb and pray. They would comply with the affidavit submitted to the Supreme Court and allow equal space to both men and women worshippers.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org


Some more interesting links -

President Pranab Mukherjee to be present for Vikramshila Mahotsav

Baliyatra fair on the banks of the Mahanadi sees over one lakh visitors on opening day

Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin to bury the hatchet and work together to fight terrorism


Lord Shiva and long ATM queues - bullock carts and ATM don't gel (satire)

Moody fires cannons to eliminate mosquitoes (satire)

Fuchka Festival in Kolkata and selfies (satire)


Spanish police arrest two suspected ISIS terrorists in Barcelona and Madrid

At least 52 killed and more than 100 injured in a bomb blast at a remote Sufi shrine in Pakistan

Joint action by RFA, Royal Navy and US Coast Guard nets huge haul of cocaine from the sea


La La Land to have its Indian premiere at the Jio MAMI Film Club

Jackie Chan gets an Oscar after a 56-year career

Spider-Man: Homecoming will see Michael Keaton as Spider-Man's main adversary Vulture

Plastic carry bags return to Bangalore despite being banned


Plastic carry bags had been banned in Bangalore in March but, it is gradually returning to Bangalore. Ever since May, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has seized more than 22 tonnes of plastics. Majority of this seizure was within the first month of the ban that was imposed in March 2016. BBMP also levied fines amounting to over Rs. 60 lakh.
However, the enforcement measures had slackened over the months and the plastic carry bags are making a comeback.
This has been reported in thehindu.com dated 28 November 2016.
Manufacturing of prohibited plastic products has reportedly come down after the ban, but the supply from neighboring States like Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh and from illegal units continues unabated.
Incidentally, these bags are the best option for small traders because it is easy to procure with each bag costing hardly 50 paise. Plastic carry bags have once again flooded the largest vegetable and flower markets in the city.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org


Some more interesting links -

President Pranab Mukherjee to be present for Vikramshila Mahotsav

Baliyatra fair on the banks of the Mahanadi sees over one lakh visitors on opening day

Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin to bury the hatchet and work together to fight terrorism


Lord Shiva and long ATM queues - bullock carts and ATM don't gel (satire)

Moody fires cannons to eliminate mosquitoes (satire)

Fuchka Festival in Kolkata and selfies (satire)


Spanish police arrest two suspected ISIS terrorists in Barcelona and Madrid

At least 52 killed and more than 100 injured in a bomb blast at a remote Sufi shrine in Pakistan

Joint action by RFA, Royal Navy and US Coast Guard nets huge haul of cocaine from the sea


La La Land to have its Indian premiere at the Jio MAMI Film Club

Jackie Chan gets an Oscar after a 56-year career

Spider-Man: Homecoming will see Michael Keaton as Spider-Man's main adversary Vulture

Monday, November 28, 2016

Facelift on the cards for ancient gateways in Chirag Dilli in South Delhi


The ancient gateways in Chirag Dilli in South Delhi will be getting a facelift and wear a new look. Within another five months time, they will cease to be free of the crush of urbanization. Their heritage is now obscured by commercial signposts and blatant encroachments.
The conservation and upkeep of these 17th century monuments is expected to begin this week. This will be the beginning of efforts to arrest the creeping neglect that has already led to the disappearance of one of the four original gateways.
This has been reported in timesofindia.indiatimes.com dated 29 November 2016.
The conservation work will be undertaken by Intach's Delhi chapter, and will be funded by the department of archaeology of Delhi government. Additional beautification activities are planned and these include the sewerage and shifting of electric wires underground.
Incidentally, Chirag Dilli was originally a fort with four main gates, and for centuries, defined the character of the village. This character is expected to be revived by restoring and beautifying the gates. There are a number of ancient wells in the village and these will be checked if they can also be restored.
Under the first two phases, conservation has been carried out on 32 monuments, including Bara Lao ka Gumbad, Badarpur Gateways, Gol Gumbad and Darwesh Shah ki Masjid. This conservation exercise is part of an agreement between Delhi government and Intach to protect the many historic buildings in the capital that have no legal protection.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org


Some more interesting links -

President Pranab Mukherjee to be present for Vikramshila Mahotsav

Baliyatra fair on the banks of the Mahanadi sees over one lakh visitors on opening day

Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin to bury the hatchet and work together to fight terrorism


Lord Shiva and long ATM queues - bullock carts and ATM don't gel (satire)

Moody fires cannons to eliminate mosquitoes (satire)

Fuchka Festival in Kolkata and selfies (satire)


Spanish police arrest two suspected ISIS terrorists in Barcelona and Madrid

At least 52 killed and more than 100 injured in a bomb blast at a remote Sufi shrine in Pakistan

Joint action by RFA, Royal Navy and US Coast Guard nets huge haul of cocaine from the sea


La La Land to have its Indian premiere at the Jio MAMI Film Club

Jackie Chan gets an Oscar after a 56-year career

Spider-Man: Homecoming will see Michael Keaton as Spider-Man's main adversary Vulture

Bargain hunting woman from Birmingham has stockpiled free goods worth some £5,000


An enterprising woman of Birmingham has devoted her life to hunting for bargains - while many shoppers usually dip into their savings to cover the cost of Christmas, this woman has found a way to enjoy the festive season for free.
The 40-year-old uses coupons, promotions and freebies to save money on everything from premium skincare products to the Christmas turkey. And - she has given up her job to focus on her hobby - known as 'couponing' - full time. She has collected a stockpile of goods worth some £5,000.
This has been reported in dailymail.co.uk dated 28 November 2016.
She also visits supermarkets during rush-hour because that is when shoppers are most likely to leave behind receipts with money-saving offers and she goes about collecting therm. Believe it or not, over the last year she has earned £960 through this method - it is a practice known as 'wombling'. She has not spent anything on premium skincare this year - she took the benefit of free samples and giveaways.
Notwithstanding these methods, she can even make £15 through cash-back deals on her weekly shop and it pays for everyday expenses. So, she gave up my admin job around a year ago and have managed to live on her couponing. She started couponing in 2010 and, as per her estimates, her household bills have been cut by 90 per cent. Over the last six years, she has bagged some incredible money-saving deals like -
176 tins of baked beans for free, which lasted for a whole year
£17 worth of New Look clothes for £2
£10 worth of washing tablets for 20p


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org


Some more interesting links -

President Pranab Mukherjee to be present for Vikramshila Mahotsav

Baliyatra fair on the banks of the Mahanadi sees over one lakh visitors on opening day

Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin to bury the hatchet and work together to fight terrorism


Lord Shiva and long ATM queues - bullock carts and ATM don't gel (satire)

Moody fires cannons to eliminate mosquitoes (satire)

Fuchka Festival in Kolkata and selfies (satire)


Spanish police arrest two suspected ISIS terrorists in Barcelona and Madrid

At least 52 killed and more than 100 injured in a bomb blast at a remote Sufi shrine in Pakistan

Joint action by RFA, Royal Navy and US Coast Guard nets huge haul of cocaine from the sea


La La Land to have its Indian premiere at the Jio MAMI Film Club

Jackie Chan gets an Oscar after a 56-year career

Spider-Man: Homecoming will see Michael Keaton as Spider-Man's main adversary Vulture

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Guwahati airport could become a major airline hub and gateway to the Southeast Asia


Guwahati, Assam's main city and the gateway to India's Northeast, has the potential to become a major airline hub, it can also become a major airline cargo hub and generate hundreds of jobs.
These are the views expressed by SpiceJet's Chairman and Managing Director Ajay Singh at a seminar organised by the Delhi Alumni Association, Assam. The subject was "Assam's Trilemma: Create jobs, Enhance skills, Promote entrepreneurship". He went on to add that the Northeast can be made a cargo hub and such a step will generate hundreds of jobs if training institutes can be started with government support.
This has been reported in thestatesman.com dated 27 November 2016.
His company was in talks with the Assam government to make Guwahati a hub for SpiceJet. He has indicated that if he gets a hangar for his airline at the Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi (LGB) International Airport in Guwahati and if these are lower sales tax on aviation fuel, SpiceJet could park the planes there overnight and can have first flights out from Guwahati in the morning to major cities across India.
He added that the West Bengal government had cut sales tax on aviation fuel and that has helped SpiceJet in making Kolkata a hub. At present there are flights from Kolkata to Guwahati and Silchar and are now looking at flights to Jorhat and Lakhimpur.
If Guwahati becomes an airline hub, flights to Southeast Asia "can be made from tomorrow" in keeping with the Centre's stress on Act East with better connectivity to Southeast Asia.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org


Some more interesting links -

President Pranab Mukherjee to be present for Vikramshila Mahotsav

Baliyatra fair on the banks of the Mahanadi sees over one lakh visitors on opening day

Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin to bury the hatchet and work together to fight terrorism


Lord Shiva and long ATM queues - bullock carts and ATM don't gel (satire)

Moody fires cannons to eliminate mosquitoes (satire)

Fuchka Festival in Kolkata and selfies (satire)


Spanish police arrest two suspected ISIS terrorists in Barcelona and Madrid

At least 52 killed and more than 100 injured in a bomb blast at a remote Sufi shrine in Pakistan

Joint action by RFA, Royal Navy and US Coast Guard nets huge haul of cocaine from the sea


La La Land to have its Indian premiere at the Jio MAMI Film Club

Jackie Chan gets an Oscar after a 56-year career

Spider-Man: Homecoming will see Michael Keaton as Spider-Man's main adversary Vulture

Tourism in Hazarduari palace and Motijheel Destination Park drops due to demonetisation


Tourism in Bengal has taken a beating in favorite tourist spots like the Hazarduari palace and Motijheel Destination Park in Murshidabad due to demonetization.
The Archaeological Survey of India maintains Hazarduari and it has revealed that the number of tourists this November was 40 per cent less than that in October. Similarly in Motijheel Destination Park. This has an artificial spring and clay models apart from a light-and-sound show on the history of Murshidabad. But, footfalls here has halved since November 9 - that was the day after the demonetization drive was announced.
This has been reported in telegraphindia.com dated 28 November 2016.
The situation at other tourist hotspots in Santiniketan in Birbhum is also dismal. Hootel bookings in both Murshidabad and Santiniketan had come down drastically as a result of lack of tourists following the cash crunch precipitated by the demonetization.
At Hazarduari (constructed in 1829), old Rs 500 notes are being accepted at the ticket counter, but the number of visitors has not improved. As an official has indicated - there has been a 40 per cent drop in the number of visitors this November in comparison with the figure in October. The ticket price per person at Hazarduari is Rs 15.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org


Some more interesting links -

President Pranab Mukherjee to be present for Vikramshila Mahotsav

Baliyatra fair on the banks of the Mahanadi sees over one lakh visitors on opening day

Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin to bury the hatchet and work together to fight terrorism


Lord Shiva and long ATM queues - bullock carts and ATM don't gel (satire)

Moody fires cannons to eliminate mosquitoes (satire)

Fuchka Festival in Kolkata and selfies (satire)


Spanish police arrest two suspected ISIS terrorists in Barcelona and Madrid

At least 52 killed and more than 100 injured in a bomb blast at a remote Sufi shrine in Pakistan

Joint action by RFA, Royal Navy and US Coast Guard nets huge haul of cocaine from the sea


La La Land to have its Indian premiere at the Jio MAMI Film Club

Jackie Chan gets an Oscar after a 56-year career

Spider-Man: Homecoming will see Michael Keaton as Spider-Man's main adversary Vulture

Police zero in on illegal hookah bars in Ahmedabad


Police in Ahmedabad have intensified their drive against illegal hookah bars in the city. They have already taken up the task of cancelling licences of six hookah bars in Satellite and Anandnagar areas. This decision was taken because the hookah bars were not following the norms that have been laid down by the judiciary for running such establishments.
This has been reported in timesofindia.indiatimes.com dated 27 November 2016.
The drive by the police was initiated a fortnight ago and has already covered over 20 hookah bars in various western city parts. Non-cognizable offences have been registered against the businesses. The police teams have collected samples from the bars and these have been sent for forensic examination.
As per the existing guidelines - hookah bars should not be more than 20% of the total area of the establishment. The establishment should have licence to run a restaurant or eatery. Moreover, there should be a separate area for smoking and the area should be under CCTV surveillance.
Many of the hookah bars were using tobacco that did not have statutory warning on the packets - this is required according to the rule.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org


Some more interesting links -

President Pranab Mukherjee to be present for Vikramshila Mahotsav

Baliyatra fair on the banks of the Mahanadi sees over one lakh visitors on opening day

Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin to bury the hatchet and work together to fight terrorism


Lord Shiva and long ATM queues - bullock carts and ATM don't gel (satire)

Moody fires cannons to eliminate mosquitoes (satire)

Fuchka Festival in Kolkata and selfies (satire)


Spanish police arrest two suspected ISIS terrorists in Barcelona and Madrid

At least 52 killed and more than 100 injured in a bomb blast at a remote Sufi shrine in Pakistan

Joint action by RFA, Royal Navy and US Coast Guard nets huge haul of cocaine from the sea


La La Land to have its Indian premiere at the Jio MAMI Film Club

Jackie Chan gets an Oscar after a 56-year career

Spider-Man: Homecoming will see Michael Keaton as Spider-Man's main adversary Vulture

Three-day TLC Heartwork Tattoo Festival in Delhi from 2 December


A three-day TLC Heartwork Tattoo Festival is set to take off in Delhi from December 2 - its aim is to make tattoos accessible. Tattoo is a new fashion trend becoming popular in India and the festival wants to bring together the tattoo industry, artists and equipment suppliers.
This has been reported in thestatesman.com dated 25 November 2016.
The venue of the festival would be the capital's Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium and there will be participation of artists from England, Spain, Russia and the Netherlands. Some of the international artists are Jay Freestyle from the Netherlands, Stepan Negur from Russia, Bez 666 from Britain and Fabrice Koch from Germany.
The festival is organized by Creative Skin Graphics. As per its statement - its first introduction to tattoos was watching artists and their work on TLC (channel). Through the festival, it wants to promote the culture of tattooing by giving people access to international artists and standards. The festival will also host music bands and acts by various other entertainers.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org


Some more interesting links -

President Pranab Mukherjee to be present for Vikramshila Mahotsav

Baliyatra fair on the banks of the Mahanadi sees over one lakh visitors on opening day

Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin to bury the hatchet and work together to fight terrorism


Lord Shiva and long ATM queues - bullock carts and ATM don't gel (satire)

Moody fires cannons to eliminate mosquitoes (satire)

Fuchka Festival in Kolkata and selfies (satire)


Spanish police arrest two suspected ISIS terrorists in Barcelona and Madrid

At least 52 killed and more than 100 injured in a bomb blast at a remote Sufi shrine in Pakistan

Joint action by RFA, Royal Navy and US Coast Guard nets huge haul of cocaine from the sea


La La Land to have its Indian premiere at the Jio MAMI Film Club

Jackie Chan gets an Oscar after a 56-year career

Spider-Man: Homecoming will see Michael Keaton as Spider-Man's main adversary Vulture

44 species of butterflies migrate from Chinnar sanctuary to the elevated Eravikulam park


The migration of butterflies have started and hundreds of them have started to move out from the low level areas of the Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary to the high-elevated areas of the Eravikulam National Park. At least 44 species are believed to have migrated.
The migration has been documented by a biologist of Munnar Wildlife Division and, the area from where the migration has been first noticed is Kuttar - this is where the east-flowing rivers Chinnar and Pampar converge.
This has been reported in thehindu.com dated 27 November 2016.
The migration is mainly from high temperature areas to low temperature areas in search of host plants to lay eggs and the 90.44-sq-km Chinnar sanctuary is known for the lowest elevated areas bordering Tamil Nadu (400 metres above sea level) to the highest elevated areas of shola forests (2,000 m).
IT seems a total of 44 species have been found to migrate and they are found to be resting in certain trees and plants. Such migration is important because it plays a major role in the food chain by helping pollination and in natural protection of the biodiversity of plants.
Incidentally, Chinnar is considered to be the gateway of butterflies from the Tamil Nadu plains to Kerala. A two-year-long survey (in periodic intervals) that concluded at Chinnar this weekend has found 84 new butterflies in the sanctuary thus boosting the total number of species spotted in the sanctuary to 240.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org


Some more interesting links -

President Pranab Mukherjee to be present for Vikramshila Mahotsav

Baliyatra fair on the banks of the Mahanadi sees over one lakh visitors on opening day

Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin to bury the hatchet and work together to fight terrorism


Lord Shiva and long ATM queues - bullock carts and ATM don't gel (satire)

Moody fires cannons to eliminate mosquitoes (satire)

Fuchka Festival in Kolkata and selfies (satire)


Spanish police arrest two suspected ISIS terrorists in Barcelona and Madrid

At least 52 killed and more than 100 injured in a bomb blast at a remote Sufi shrine in Pakistan

Joint action by RFA, Royal Navy and US Coast Guard nets huge haul of cocaine from the sea


La La Land to have its Indian premiere at the Jio MAMI Film Club

Jackie Chan gets an Oscar after a 56-year career

Spider-Man: Homecoming will see Michael Keaton as Spider-Man's main adversary Vulture

Saturday, November 26, 2016

A man's encounter with a hippo on a bridge in Kruger National Park


It was a man's encounter with a hippo on a bridge in Kruger National Park that the man will remember fora long time. A defenceless Ford truck was left with a massive dent in its front after the hippo charged ai it on top of a bridge in the A man's encounter with a hippo on a bridge in Kruger National Park.
The 26-year old man inside the Ford truck was badly rather shaken up. He was an welding Inspector who was on his way from Mozambique to South Africa and traveling through the park.
This has been reported in dailymail.co.uk dated 26 November 2016.
While crossing the border from Kruger National Park, he noticed the animal standing on a bridge. There were people walking around in the nearby vicinity so he assumed that the hippo was used to humans. Fascinated by the sight, he took out his phone to start filming when suddenly the animal turned and just started charging. It hit the van head on and then tried biting it. Later, it just turned around and left.
The young man was terrified because, beside him was a 50m drop and if the animal had the van sideways, the vehicle would have rolled down the embankment.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org


Some more interesting links -

President Pranab Mukherjee to be present for Vikramshila Mahotsav

Baliyatra fair on the banks of the Mahanadi sees over one lakh visitors on opening day

Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin to bury the hatchet and work together to fight terrorism


Lord Shiva and long ATM queues - bullock carts and ATM don't gel (satire)

Moody fires cannons to eliminate mosquitoes (satire)

Fuchka Festival in Kolkata and selfies (satire)


Spanish police arrest two suspected ISIS terrorists in Barcelona and Madrid

At least 52 killed and more than 100 injured in a bomb blast at a remote Sufi shrine in Pakistan

Joint action by RFA, Royal Navy and US Coast Guard nets huge haul of cocaine from the sea


La La Land to have its Indian premiere at the Jio MAMI Film Club

Jackie Chan gets an Oscar after a 56-year career

Spider-Man: Homecoming will see Michael Keaton as Spider-Man's main adversary Vulture

London's Soho and Piccadilly Circus go dark after major power cut


London's Soho and Piccadilly Circus were plunged into darkness by a major power cut. As a result, the famous Piccadilly Circus electronic advertising billboards which are usually a blaze of multi-coloured neon light, were left in darkness.
Theatregoers who were heading for the performance of Aladdin the Musical were disappointed - they came to know that the show had been cancelled. A spokesman for the Disney show, playing at the Prince Edward Theatre, informed that tickets would be refunded.
This has been reported in news.sky.com dated 26 November 2016.
Soho's Rupert Bar was in the dark but it continued to serve customers by candlelight. Some shops in Regent Street were affected by the cut but, the Christmas lights strung across the road were still working. Similarly, some restaurants, bars and shops temporarily closed down until power could be restored.
The Tube network was not affected but travelers were held at Tottenham Court Road and Oxford Circus stations to prevent overcrowding.
This incident reveals our dependence on electricity - its absence means misery in all fields.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org


Some more interesting links -

President Pranab Mukherjee to be present for Vikramshila Mahotsav

Baliyatra fair on the banks of the Mahanadi sees over one lakh visitors on opening day

Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin to bury the hatchet and work together to fight terrorism


Lord Shiva and long ATM queues - bullock carts and ATM don't gel (satire)

Moody fires cannons to eliminate mosquitoes (satire)

Fuchka Festival in Kolkata and selfies (satire)


Spanish police arrest two suspected ISIS terrorists in Barcelona and Madrid

At least 52 killed and more than 100 injured in a bomb blast at a remote Sufi shrine in Pakistan

Joint action by RFA, Royal Navy and US Coast Guard nets huge haul of cocaine from the sea


La La Land to have its Indian premiere at the Jio MAMI Film Club

Jackie Chan gets an Oscar after a 56-year career

Spider-Man: Homecoming will see Michael Keaton as Spider-Man's main adversary Vulture

Friday, November 25, 2016

Washermen of Mumbai`s iconic `Dhobi Ghat` to shift out to hi-rise buildings


Dhobi Ghat in Mumbai is an iconic structure spread across a sprawling 23 acres of land. It was constructed in 1890 to meet the needs of the British and Parsis living in Mumbai and is located adjacent to the Mahalaxmi station in south Mumbai. It consists of rows of open air concrete wash pens numbering 731 and a heavy flogging stone.
There are roughly 25,000 washermen who work here and they will move out from here and occupy tall towers, courtesy of a slum rehabilitation project.
This has been reported in zeenews.india.com dated 26 November 2016.
'Dhobi Ghat`, the scene of scores of Bollywood movies and the world`s largest open air laundromat, has entered the Guinness Book of World Record in 2013 for the largest number of people washing clothes simultaneously. It is as unique to Mumbai as are the dabbawallahs who pick up and deliver lunch boxes on time to lakhs of Mumbaikars daily.
The washerfolk live with their families in tiny slum dwellings surrounding the Dhobi Ghat. The century-old heritage site is also a major tourist destination.
The link of Dhobi Ghat with Bollywood is not new - director Kiran Rao (wife of Aamir Khan) had directed her first film named "Dhobi Ghat" (2011). And it had featured in movies like "Munnabhai MBBS", and Amitabh Bachchan`s "Don".


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org


Some more interesting links -

President Pranab Mukherjee to be present for Vikramshila Mahotsav

Baliyatra fair on the banks of the Mahanadi sees over one lakh visitors on opening day

Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin to bury the hatchet and work together to fight terrorism


Lord Shiva and long ATM queues - bullock carts and ATM don't gel (satire)

Moody fires cannons to eliminate mosquitoes (satire)

Fuchka Festival in Kolkata and selfies (satire)


Spanish police arrest two suspected ISIS terrorists in Barcelona and Madrid

At least 52 killed and more than 100 injured in a bomb blast at a remote Sufi shrine in Pakistan

Joint action by RFA, Royal Navy and US Coast Guard nets huge haul of cocaine from the sea


La La Land to have its Indian premiere at the Jio MAMI Film Club

Jackie Chan gets an Oscar after a 56-year career

Spider-Man: Homecoming will see Michael Keaton as Spider-Man's main adversary Vulture

21st annual Puri beach festival takes off with innumerable events


The 21st annual Puri beach festival took off with innumerable cultural performances and adventurous water sporting events lined up. The event started with a vedpath (chanting of vedic hymns), sankhadhwani (blowing of conch) and a display of fireworks.
In the three-day fest, there will be artistes from across the country performing their acts.
This has been reported in telegraphindia.com dated 26 November 2016.
The cultural evening began with a performance by Mahari dancer Rupashree Mahapatra and her team - the Odissi recital narrated the relationship between Lord Jagannath and his disciple. Incidentally, Mahari began in the Jagannath temple in Puri and was a ritual dance for the deities and has laid the foundation of the classical dance form of Odissi.
Then there was dances performed by artistes from Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra's Odissi school Srjan. Also performing was Kathak dancers of Arpana Rao and troupe from Mumbai apart from several folk dance forms. Melody troupes enthralled the audience with chart-buster songs from Bollywood. Against the backdrop of the scenic beach, the performances were extremely blissful.
Apart from cultural activities, there are a number of beach and adventure sports planned like beach karate, beach kabadi, volleyball, malkhamb, judo, and para sailing.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org


Some more interesting links -

President Pranab Mukherjee to be present for Vikramshila Mahotsav

Baliyatra fair on the banks of the Mahanadi sees over one lakh visitors on opening day

Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin to bury the hatchet and work together to fight terrorism


Lord Shiva and long ATM queues - bullock carts and ATM don't gel (satire)

Moody fires cannons to eliminate mosquitoes (satire)

Fuchka Festival in Kolkata and selfies (satire)


Spanish police arrest two suspected ISIS terrorists in Barcelona and Madrid

At least 52 killed and more than 100 injured in a bomb blast at a remote Sufi shrine in Pakistan

Joint action by RFA, Royal Navy and US Coast Guard nets huge haul of cocaine from the sea


La La Land to have its Indian premiere at the Jio MAMI Film Club

Jackie Chan gets an Oscar after a 56-year career

Spider-Man: Homecoming will see Michael Keaton as Spider-Man's main adversary Vulture

Second annual six-day Taj Balloon Festival begins


The second annual six-day Taj Balloon Festival started in Agra with as many as eight colorful hot air balloons dotting the early morning Taj Mahal sky. Those who were on-board the multi-colour balloons of various shapes and sizes enjoyed the beautiful architecture of the iconic 17th century monument from thousands of feet above the ground. Hundreds of city residents had gathered on their roof tops to wave at the balloons which traveled from one end of the city to the other.
This has been reported in timesofindia.indiatimes.com dated 25 November 2016.
There are a total of 16 hot air balloons from 12 countries taking part in this six-day event. They have highly-experienced pilots and crew from India and around the world. The festival includes both morning flights and tethered flights in the evening at PAC ground. The balloonists hail from the US, UK, Spain, Germany, and UAE.
The ride is free for tourists/locals through lucky draws that will be conducted for all six days.
A balloonist from UAE has remarked - the iconic view of Taj Mahal from the sky will be a big crowd puller any given day ... the service should be made a permanent feature for tourists just on the lines of Jaipur.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org


Some more interesting links -

President Pranab Mukherjee to be present for Vikramshila Mahotsav

Baliyatra fair on the banks of the Mahanadi sees over one lakh visitors on opening day

Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin to bury the hatchet and work together to fight terrorism


Lord Shiva and long ATM queues - bullock carts and ATM don't gel (satire)

Moody fires cannons to eliminate mosquitoes (satire)

Fuchka Festival in Kolkata and selfies (satire)


Spanish police arrest two suspected ISIS terrorists in Barcelona and Madrid

At least 52 killed and more than 100 injured in a bomb blast at a remote Sufi shrine in Pakistan

Joint action by RFA, Royal Navy and US Coast Guard nets huge haul of cocaine from the sea


La La Land to have its Indian premiere at the Jio MAMI Film Club

Jackie Chan gets an Oscar after a 56-year career

Spider-Man: Homecoming will see Michael Keaton as Spider-Man's main adversary Vulture

Birds like blue tits and great tits are choosy about houses they visit


An ecologist from the University of Exeter conducted a year-long study into the behavior of more than 450 blue tits and great tits has concluded that the birds were choosy about the houses they visit - the study found that birds moved more frequently between gardens that have trees and shrubs.
The amount of seed put on your bird table to attract the birds is of no consequence - what matters is how the house looks like.
This has been reported in dailymail.co.uk dated 25 November 2016.
Birds love to visit the gardens of suburban semi-detached homes rather than the terraced homes or council estates. This is because the trees and shrubs give the birds a safe route to hop and fly from garden to garden and from bird feeder to bird feeder.
The research found that birds were less likely to move between homes with paved gardens, or housing estates with manicured lawns but fewer trees or shrubs. In short, birds were unlikely to fly into rows of gardens in terraced streets that had little vegetation and were paved. Moreover, roads between gardens also hindered their movement.
Incidentally, people prefer watching song-birds, such as blackbirds, robins, blue tits and great tits, in their garden but, the wood pigeon, magpies and crows fall in the least popular species.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org


Some more interesting links -

President Pranab Mukherjee to be present for Vikramshila Mahotsav

Baliyatra fair on the banks of the Mahanadi sees over one lakh visitors on opening day

Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin to bury the hatchet and work together to fight terrorism


Lord Shiva and long ATM queues - bullock carts and ATM don't gel (satire)

Moody fires cannons to eliminate mosquitoes (satire)

Fuchka Festival in Kolkata and selfies (satire)


Spanish police arrest two suspected ISIS terrorists in Barcelona and Madrid

At least 52 killed and more than 100 injured in a bomb blast at a remote Sufi shrine in Pakistan

Joint action by RFA, Royal Navy and US Coast Guard nets huge haul of cocaine from the sea


La La Land to have its Indian premiere at the Jio MAMI Film Club

Jackie Chan gets an Oscar after a 56-year career

Spider-Man: Homecoming will see Michael Keaton as Spider-Man's main adversary Vulture

Airbus A350-1000, Europe's largest twin-engined passenger jet, takes off -


Europe's largest twin-engined passenger jet, the Airbus A350-1000, has taken to the skies in Toulouse and it hopes to grab the spotlight from Boeing's popular 777. The lightweight carbon-fibre plane, is seven metres longer and able to carry 40 more people than A350s that are already in service.
The three-hour debut flight of Airbus A350-1000 was witnessed by some of the airline bosses who have invested in the $356 million jet.
This has been reported in telegraphindia.com dated 25 November 2016.
The first flight was of a 4 hour and 20 minute duration. The 366-seat A350-1000 is designed to break Boeing's virtual monopoly in the lucrative "mini-jumbo" segment, typically involving large twin-engined jets carrying 350 people.
The Airbus A350-1000 is larger than the new-generation A350-900, which entered service last year. Both are built from similar advanced materials to Boeing's mid-sized 787 Dreamliner and is in a race between manufacturers of airplanes who are looking for fuel savings and better passenger comfort.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org


Some more interesting links -

President Pranab Mukherjee to be present for Vikramshila Mahotsav

Baliyatra fair on the banks of the Mahanadi sees over one lakh visitors on opening day

Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin to bury the hatchet and work together to fight terrorism


Lord Shiva and long ATM queues - bullock carts and ATM don't gel (satire)

Moody fires cannons to eliminate mosquitoes (satire)

Fuchka Festival in Kolkata and selfies (satire)


Spanish police arrest two suspected ISIS terrorists in Barcelona and Madrid

At least 52 killed and more than 100 injured in a bomb blast at a remote Sufi shrine in Pakistan

Joint action by RFA, Royal Navy and US Coast Guard nets huge haul of cocaine from the sea


La La Land to have its Indian premiere at the Jio MAMI Film Club

Jackie Chan gets an Oscar after a 56-year career

Spider-Man: Homecoming will see Michael Keaton as Spider-Man's main adversary Vulture

Karnataka has surplus elephants, plans to gift them to other willing states


In view of the increasing human-elephant conflict, Karnataka wants to gift surplus elephants in its captivity, to states where their population is less. A dozen elephants are being shifted to Uttarakhand - it has shown interest and wants to adopt them to ensure the safety of tigers in Corbett Tiger Reserve.
The Zoo Authority of India and forests and environment ministry have already given clearance for this transfer.
This has been reported in timesofindia.indiatimes.com dated 25 November 2016.
Karnataka has requested other states to adopt the captive elephants because they are reeling under food and water shortage. At present there are nearly 200 jumbos housed in the state's four elephant camps. These have been captured by the forest department following reports of rogue behavior, raiding crops and killing people.
The state intends to get dispatch at least half the jumbos elsewhere.
The governments of Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh have also shown interest in adopting captive elephants.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org


Some more interesting links -

President Pranab Mukherjee to be present for Vikramshila Mahotsav

Baliyatra fair on the banks of the Mahanadi sees over one lakh visitors on opening day

Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin to bury the hatchet and work together to fight terrorism


Lord Shiva and long ATM queues - bullock carts and ATM don't gel (satire)

Moody fires cannons to eliminate mosquitoes (satire)

Fuchka Festival in Kolkata and selfies (satire)


Spanish police arrest two suspected ISIS terrorists in Barcelona and Madrid

At least 52 killed and more than 100 injured in a bomb blast at a remote Sufi shrine in Pakistan

Joint action by RFA, Royal Navy and US Coast Guard nets huge haul of cocaine from the sea


La La Land to have its Indian premiere at the Jio MAMI Film Club

Jackie Chan gets an Oscar after a 56-year career

Spider-Man: Homecoming will see Michael Keaton as Spider-Man's main adversary Vulture

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Tokyo receives snowfall in November for first time since 1962


Tokyo receives snowfall in November for the first time in more than half a century. It left commuters grappling with train disruptions which is a rarity in Japan. Icy streets also added to the miseries. Snow began to fall before dawn and the mercury approached zero as a cold weather system moved south from Siberia.
The Japan Meteorological Agency has revealed that it was the first time snow had fallen in November in central Tokyo since 1962.
This has been reported in dailymail.co.uk dated 24 November 2016.
There was snow in suburban areas at the foot of Mount Takao and central Tokyo saw snow in a covering of around an inch (2cm). It was the first time snow had actually laid on the ground ever since records began in 1875. However, greater Tokyo, which spreads over a wide area and includes many suburbs, enjoys relatively mild winters compared to some other parts of the country. Snowfall is more frequent in the northern island of Hokkaido.
Due to the snowfall, train and subway services were temporarily suspended or delayed especially in western Tokyo. This affected thousands of commuters during the morning rush hour because Japanese train services run on a regimented and highly punctual basis. Obviously, commuters were baffled when their regular services were delayed.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org


Some more interesting links -

President Pranab Mukherjee to be present for Vikramshila Mahotsav

Baliyatra fair on the banks of the Mahanadi sees over one lakh visitors on opening day

Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin to bury the hatchet and work together to fight terrorism


Lord Shiva and long ATM queues - bullock carts and ATM don't gel (satire)

Moody fires cannons to eliminate mosquitoes (satire)

Fuchka Festival in Kolkata and selfies (satire)


Spanish police arrest two suspected ISIS terrorists in Barcelona and Madrid

At least 52 killed and more than 100 injured in a bomb blast at a remote Sufi shrine in Pakistan

Joint action by RFA, Royal Navy and US Coast Guard nets huge haul of cocaine from the sea


La La Land to have its Indian premiere at the Jio MAMI Film Club

Jackie Chan gets an Oscar after a 56-year career

Spider-Man: Homecoming will see Michael Keaton as Spider-Man's main adversary Vulture