Welcome Guest ( Log In | Register )


 | Category: My Fav Classics reviewed!
entry Sep 29 2006, 02:13 PM

IPB Image IPB Image

This movie changed my view about Jitendra who was always portrayed as a jumping jack. Gulzar did the magic of reforming this actor.

A movie inspired from the english musical classic sound of music (featuring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer) is about an ailing father (from cancer) who dies leaving behind a daughter Rama, with half dozen young siblings. Pran plays the tough grandfather who stands no nonsense and tries to keep the children under check, with his military kind of rules. Master Raju looks adorable as the youngest of the lot.

Jitendra comes into town looking for a job of teacher and lands in this household as a tutor. The children who have despised the previous tutors plan many pranks to send him away, but being a patient and a tolerant man(Jitu you did a great job there!) wins a special place in their hearts and not to mention Rama's too! Romance buds between the two. Gulzar has handled it so beautifully and so subtly. Thank god, we dont have the couple running around the trees or making eyes at each other, like in the usual movies. The pranks and fun side of the movie leaves you with your sides splitting! laugh.gif

The simplicity of the characters and sketched so well, they come alive on the screen so close to real life and leaves you with a feeling of watching a nice complete film. The music in the movie is par excellence! The two numbers that continue to remain classics are - Bite na bitaayi raina.. - with Bhupinder Singh (giving an excellent rendition) with Lata ji. A beautiful number. Musafir hoon yaaron by Kishore Kumar is another classic and a very refreshing number. A song that always comes to your mind while travelling in an open or a fast moving vehicle. Saare ke saare is a jolly-go-kind of song, is good but not that the kind you would continue to remember like the other 2 classics. Panchamda's music - quality surpassing as always!

My favourite classic - I would rate this 9.5 on 10! wub.gif

next >> Choti si baat

entry Aug 28 2006, 07:26 PM

A good read about what black holes are on the NASA site.


 | Category: What enthralls me!
entry Aug 17 2006, 07:46 PM
PRAGUE: Our solar system would have 12 planets instead of nine under a proposed "Big Bang" expansion by leading astronomers, changing what billions of schoolchildren are taught about their corner of the cosmos.

Much-maligned Pluto would remain a planet and its largest moon plus two other heavenly bodies would join Earth's neighbourhood under a draft resolution formally presented on Wednesday to the International Astronomical Union, the arbiter of what is and is not a planet.

"Yes, Pluto is a planet," quipped Richard Binzel, a professor of planetary science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The proposal could change, however: Binzel and the other nearly 2,500 astronomers from 75 nations meeting in Prague to hammer out a universal definition of a planet will hold two brainstorming sessions before they vote on the resolution next week.

But the draft comes from IAU's executive panel, which only submits recommendations likely to get two-thirds approval from the group.

Besides reaffirming the status of puny Pluto whose detractors insist it should not be a planet at all the new lineup would include 2003 UB313, the farthest-known object in the solar system; Pluto's largest moon, Charon; and the asteroid Ceres, which was a planet in 1800s before it was demoted.

The panel also proposed a new category of planets called "plutons", referring to Pluto-like objects that reside in the Kuiper Belt, a mysterious, disc-shaped zone beyond Neptune containing thousands of comets and planetary objects.

Pluto itself and two potential newcomers Charon and 2003 UB313 would be plutons.

The provisionally named 2003 UB313's discoverer, Michael Brown of the California Institute of Technology, nicknamed it Xena after the warrior princess of TV fame, but it likely would be rechristened something else later, the panel said.

Opponents of Pluto, which was named a planet in 1930, still might spoil for a fight

Astronomers also were being asked to get rid of the term "minor planets", which long has been used to collectively describe asteroids, comets and other non-planetary objects. Instead, those would become collectively known as "small solar system bodies".

The galactic shift would force publishers to update encyclopaedias and school textbooks, and elementary school teachers to rejig the planet mobiles hanging from classroom ceilings.

Far outside the realm of science, astrologers accustomed to making predictions based on the classic nine might have to tweak their formulae.

Even if the list of planets is officially lengthened when astronomers vote on August 24, it is not likely to stay that way for long: The IAU has a "watchlist" of at least a dozen other potential candidates that could become planets once more is known about their sizes and orbits.

 | Category: What enthralls me!
entry Mar 21 2006, 07:20 PM
This year has recorded a mass nesting of Sea Turtles.. Over 80000 have thronged to the coast of Orissa and Andhra (Vishakapatnam).

Recently an aunt of mine been to the coast to see them. It is an amazing sight. Each of the turtles lay some 50 60 eggs at a time.

Here is an intro to sea turtles - for ppl who havent read about them.

IPB Image

Sea turtles are large, air-breathing reptiles that inhabit tropical and subtropical seas throughout the world. Their shells consist of an upper part (carapace) and a lower section (plastron). Hard scales (or scutes) cover all but the leatherback, and the number and arrangement of these scutes can be used to determine the species.

Sea turtles come in many different sizes, shapes and colors. The olive ridley is usually less than 100 pounds, while the leatherback typically ranges from 650 to 1,300 pounds! The upper shell, or carapace, of each sea turtle species ranges in length, color, shape and arrangement of scales.

Sea turtles do not have teeth, but their jaws have modified "beaks" suited to their particular diet. They do not have visible ears but have eardrums covered by skin. They hear best at low frequencies, and their sense of smell is excellent. Their vision underwater is good, but they are nearsighted out of water. Their streamlined bodies and large flippers make them remarkably adapted to life at sea. However, sea turtles maintain close ties to land.

Females must come ashore to lay their eggs in the sand; therefore, all sea turtles begin their lives as tiny hatchlings on land. Research on marine turtles has uncovered many facts about these ancient creatures. Most of this research has been focussed on nesting females and hatchlings emerging from the nest, largely because they are the easiest to find and study.

Thousands of sea turtles around the world have been tagged to help collect information about their growth rates, reproductive cycles and migration routes. After decades of studying sea turtles, much has been learned. However, many mysteries still remain.

Sea Turtles and Humans Sea turtles have long fascinated people and have figured prominently in the mythology and folklore of many cultures. In the Miskito Cays off the eastern coast of Nicaragua, the story of a kind "Turtle Mother," still lingers. Unfortunately, the spiritual significance of sea turtles has not saved them from being exploited for both food and for profit. Millions of sea turtles once roamed the earth's oceans, but now only a fraction remain.

Reproduction Only females come ashore to nest; males rarely return to land after crawling into the sea as hatchlings. Most females return to nest on the beach where they were born (natal beach). Nesting seasons occur at different times around the world. In the U.S., nesting occurs from April through October. Most females nest at least twice during each mating season; some may nest up to ten times in a season. A female will not nest in consecutive years, typically skipping one or two years before returning.

IPB Image

Researchers do not yet know how long baby turtles spend in the open sea, or exactly where they go. It is theorized that they spend their earliest, most vulnerable years floating around the sea in giant beds of sargasso weeds, where they do little more than eat and grow. Once turtles reach dinner-plate size, they appear at feeding grounds in nearshore waters. They grow slowly and take between 15 and 50 years to reach reproductive maturity, depending on the species. There is no way to determine the age of a sea turtle from its physical appearance. It is theorized that some species can live over 100 years.

Status of the Species The earliest known sea turtle fossils are about 150 million years old. In groups too numerous to count, they once navigated throughout the world's oceans. But in just the past 100 years, demand for turtle meat, eggs, skin and colorful shells has dwindled their populations. Destruction of feeding and nesting habitats and pollution of the world's oceans are all taking a serious toll on remaining sea turtle populations. Many breeding populations have already become extinct, and entire species are being wiped out. There could be a time in the near future when sea turtles are just an oddity found only in aquariums and natural history museums — unless action is taken today. What is Extinction?

What is Extinction and Why Should You Care If Sea Turtles Go Extinct?

IPB Image

A plant or animal becomes extinct when the last living individual of its species dies, causing it to vanish from the earth forever. If there is ever a time when the last green turtle on earth dies, then never again will this magnificent creature grace our world.

Species have been going extinct for millions of years; it is a natural part of the evolutionary process. For example, most of the species that existed during the time of dinosaurs have perished. Many probably went extinct because of sudden geological or climatic changes -- possibly because of a large volcanic eruption or because of a giant meteor hitting the earth. Today, however, species are going extinct because of abrupt changes brought about by humans. Habitat destruction, pollution and overconsumption are causing species to decline at a rate never before seen in history. This loss of species is eroding the diversity of life on earth, and a loss of diversity can make all life vulnerable. Much can be learned about the condition of the planet's environment by looking at sea turtles. They have existed for over 100 million years, and they travel throughout the world's oceans. Suddenly, however, they are struggling to survive -- largely because of things people are doing to the planet's oceans and beaches. But what does this mean for the human species?

It is possible that a world in which sea turtles can not survive may soon become a world in which humans struggle to survive. If, however, we learn from our mistakes and begin changing our behavior, there is still time to save sea turtles from extinction. In the process, we will be saving one of the earth's most mysterious and time-honored creatures. We might just be saving ourselves too.

 | Category: What enthralls me!
entry Mar 21 2006, 02:57 PM
Great read!!

Journey to the end of the Earth


Want to know more about the planet's past, present and future? Antarctica is the place to go.

My first emotion on facing Antarctica's expansive white landscape and uninterrupted blue horizon was relief, followed by an immediate and profound wonder.

IPB Image
Epiphanic moment: Within sight of a vast white landscape. Photo: Tishani Doshi

EARLY this year, I found myself aboard a Russian research vessel — the Akademik Shokalskiy — heading towards the coldest, driest, windiest continent in the world: Antarctica. My journey began 13.09 degrees north of the Equator in Madras, and involved crossing nine time zones, six checkpoints, three bodies of water, and at least as many ecospheres.

By the time I actually set foot on the Antarctic continent I had been travelling over 100 hours in combination of car, aeroplane and ship; so, my first emotion on facing Antarctica's expansive white landscape and uninterrupted blue horizon was relief, followed up with an immediate and profound wonder. Wonder at its immensity, its isolation, but mainly at how there could ever have been a time when India and Antarctica were part of the same landmass.

Part of history

Six hundred and fifty million years ago, a giant amalgamated southern supercontinent — Gondwana — did indeed exist, centred roughly around present-day Antarctica. Things were quite different then: humans hadn't arrived on the global scene, and the climate was much warmer, hosting a huge variety of flora and fauna. For 500 million years Gondwana thrived, but around the time when the dinosaurs were wiped out and the age of the mammals got under way, the landmass was forced to separate into countries, shaping the globe much as we know it today.

To visit Antarctica now is to be a part of that history; to get a grasp of where we've come from and where we could possibly be heading. It's to understand the significance of Cordilleran folds and pre-Cambrian granite shields; ozone and carbon; evolution and extinction. When you think about all that can happen in a million years, it can get pretty mind-boggling. Imagine: India pushing northwards, jamming against Asia to buckle its crust and form the Himalayas; South America drifting off to join North America, opening up the Drake Passage to create a cold circumpolar current, keeping Antarctica frigid, desolate, and at the bottom of the world.

For a sun-worshipping South Indian like myself, two weeks in a place where 90 per cent of the Earth's total ice volumes are stored is a chilling prospect (not just for circulatory and metabolic functions, but also for the imagination). It's like walking into a giant ping-pong ball devoid of any human markers — no trees, billboards, buildings. You lose all earthly sense of perspective and time here. The visual scale ranges from the microscopic to the mighty: midges and mites to blue whales and icebergs as big as countries (the largest recorded was the size of Belgium). Days go on and on and on in surreal 24 hour austral summer light, and a ubiquitous silence, interrupted only by the occasional avalanche or calving ice sheet, consecrates the place. It's an immersion that will force you to place yourself in the context of the earth's geological history. And for humans, the prognosis isn't good.

Human impact

Human civilisations have been around for a paltry 12,000 years — barely a few seconds on the geological clock. In that short amount of time, we've managed to create quite a ruckus, etching our dominance over Nature with our villages, towns, cities, megacities. The rapid increase of human populations has left us battling with other species for limited resources, and the unmitigated burning of fossil fuels has now created a blanket of carbon dioxide around the world, which is slowly but surely increasing the average global temperature.

Climate change is one of the most hotly contested environmental debates of our time. Will the West Antarctic ice sheet melt entirely? Will the Gulf Stream ocean current be disrupted? Will it be the end of the world as we know it? Maybe. Maybe not. Either way, Antarctica is a crucial element in this debate — not just because it's the only place in the world, which has never sustained a human population and therefore remains relatively "pristine" in this respect; but more importantly, because it holds in its ice-cores half-million-year-old carbon records trapped in its layers of ice. If we want to study and examine the Earth's past, present and future, Antarctica is the place to go.

Students on Ice, the programme I was working with on the Shokaskiy, aims to do exactly this by taking high school students to the ends of the world and providing them with inspiring educational opportunities which will help them foster a new understanding and respect for our planet. It's been in operation for six years now, headed by Canadian Geoff Green, who got tired of carting celebrities and retired, rich, curiosity-seekers who could only "give" back in a limited way. With Students on Ice, he offers the future generation of policy-makers a life-changing experience at an age when they're ready to absorb, learn, and most importantly, act.

IPB Image

The reason the programme has been so successful is because it's impossible to go anywhere near the South Pole and not be affected by it. It's easy to be blasι about polar icecaps melting while sitting in the comfort zone of our respective latitude and longitudes, but when you can visibly see glaciers retreating and ice shelves collapsing, you begin to realise that the threat of global warming is very real.

Antarctica, because of her simple ecosystem and lack of biodiversity, is the perfect place to study how little changes in the environment can have big repercussions. Take the microscopic phytoplankton — those grasses of the sea that nourish and sustain the entire Southern Ocean's food chain. These single-celled plants use the sun's energy to assimilate carbon and synthesise organic compounds in that wondrous and most important of processes called photosynthesis. Scientists warn that a further depletion in the ozone layer will affect the activities of phytoplankton, which in turn will affect the lives of all the marine animals and birds of the region, and the global carbon cycle. In the parable of the phytoplankton, there is a great metaphor for existence: take care of the small things and the big things will fall into place.

Walk on the ocean

My Antarctic experience was full of such epiphanies, but the best occurred just short of the Antarctic Circle at 65.55 degrees south. The Shokalskiy had managed to wedge herself into a thick white stretch of ice between the peninsula and Tadpole Island which was preventing us from going any further. The Captain decided we were going to turn around and head back north, but before we did, we were all instructed to climb down the gangplank and walk on the ocean. So there we were, all 52 of us, kitted out in Gore-Tex and glares, walking on a stark whiteness that seemed to spread out forever. Underneath our feet was a metre-thick ice pack, and underneath that, 180 metres of living, breathing, salt water. In the periphery Crabeater seals were stretching and sunning themselves on ice floes much like stray dogs will do under the shade of a banyan tree. It was nothing short of a revelation: everything does indeed connect.

Nine time zones, six checkpoints, three bodies of water and many ecospheres later, I was still wondering about the beauty of balance in play in our planet. How would it be if Antarctica were to become the warm place that it once used to be? Will we be around to see it, or would we have gone the way of the dinosaurs, mammoths and woolly rhinos? Who's to say? But after spending two weeks with a bunch of teenagers who still have the idealism to save the world, all I can say is that a lot can happen in a million years, but what a difference a day makes!

For more information on Students on ice visit www.studentsonice.com

Entry Esp

entry Aug 3 2005, 07:25 PM
I remember this used to be the talk in late 70's/early 1980s.. Now hardly spoken of!

Extra sensory perception..

Any thoughts about it?

M you got any scientific theoretical approaches to be discussed?

Mind is one complex part of a human and the thought processes are even more complicated!


entry Jul 16 2005, 10:32 AM
Always been a mystery to me.. I have read many a times about it but never really got the convincing info on it.. Please folks join me in finding more info on this smile1.gif

some of the stuff on the net -
1. Bermuda Triangle. A triangular area of the Atlantic whose apices are Bermuda, Miami, and the Lesser Antilles. Reputed to be the site of numerous mysterious disappearances of planes and ships.

2. The Bermuda Triangle is a 1.5 million square mile area of ocean roughly defined by Bermuda, Puerto Rico, and the southern tip of Florida. It is supposedly a paranormal site in which the laws of physics are violated or altered.

It is said that within this area a number of ships and planes have disappeared under highly unusual circumstances. The United States Coast Guard and others disagree with the assessment of paranormal activity, arguing that the number of incidents involving ships and planes is no larger than any other heavily traveled region of the world.

Another area that is classified by many as having the same paranormal effects is the Devil's Triangle, located near Japan.

Wikipedia - gives more info on the history, citation etc..


N smile1.gif