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Monday, August 13, 2018

India suffers worst defeat at Lords 2018

He conceded 81 runs in the third ODI, went at 10 and over in the next one, and yet, claimed 6 for 29 in the fifth ODI, in Sri Lanka's 178-run victory over South Africa. So emphatically did Akila Dananjaya bounce back from those Pallekele pastings, that Angelo Mathews has declared him to be "made of steel"

Away, Hanuma Vihari is at the summit of a very elite list. Among all current cricketers - from anywhere on the planet - Vihari's first-class average of 59.45 is the world's best. Steven Smith, the next best, is at 57.27 while Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara are in the 54s. After 62 games, it's no mean feat, and while smacking 148 against South Africa A in the second unofficial Test, Vihari swiftly went past 5000 first-class runs as well.

Vaman Kumar bowled leg spin - he took 418 ranji wickets but could play only 2 tests – he certainly was happy with the result of TNPL .. Dindigul Dragons made 117 and Siechem Madurai Panthers were off to a dreaded start – Silambarasan bowled the first over .. of the second ball Thalaivan Sargunam was out lbw, Tushar Raheja edged to slip off the 4th and Rohit played down the wrong line to make it 3 ducks and 3 in an over.. yet   the Madurai team won chasing the target quite comfortably in the end. Arun Karthik made an unbeaten 75.  One good things of this TNPL was Mokit Hariharan of VB Kanchi Veerans.  In Sunday's TNPL game against Dindigul Dragons, Mokit was introduced by his captain B Aparajith in the sixth over, where he bowled orthodox left-arm spin to the right-handed N Jagadeesan before switching to right-arm offspin for the left-handed C Hari Nishant. Although Mokit - a top-order batsman who also bowls occasionally - failed to get a wicket, his unique skill makes him an allrounder of a different kind, forcing opposition batsmen to worry about an extra thing. He finished with 0 for 32 off his four overs and had the second-best economy among the seven bowlers Kanchi Veerans used on Sunday. Mokit joins Akshay Karnewar, whose ambidextrous bowling for Vidarbha in India's domestic T20 competition befuddled the opposition batsmen two seasons ago, and Yasir Jan, the fast bowler from Pakistan who bowls "around 145kmph with his right arm and no less than 135kmph with his left."

Way back 90 years ago, at Brisbane – England made 521 & 342/8 decl – Aussies were bowled out for 122 and in chasing 742 were bowled for paltry 66.  That worst performance came when the great Donald Bradman made his debut – he made  18 & 1 – alongside Bert Ironmonger,  made his debut  at 45 years 237 days, the fourth oldest cricketer to make a Test debut.  A slow-medium left-arm spin bowler, he achieved some remarkable performances during his brief Test career, chief among them being that in 1931-32 when he earned a match analysis of 11 wickets for 24 runs on an awkward pitch at Melbourne and was mainly responsible for the dismissal of South Africa for totals of 36 and 45. In four matches of that Test series, he took 31 wickets for 9.67 runs each.

That is recorded as the worst Test defeat ~ this one at Lords too will rankle badly for Indians.  The scorecard reads : England 396 for 7 decl (Woakes 137*, Bairstow 93, Pandya 3-66, Shami 3-96) beat India 107 (Ashwin 29, Anderson 5-20) and 130 (Ashwin 33*, Anderson 4-23, Broad 4-44) by an innings and 159 runs.  

England completed their total and utter domination of India in the Lord's Test with a win in just 170.3 overs making it the third-shortest Test in the country over the last 100 years. On officially the fourth day of the Test, with the threat of weather around, England added 39 to their overnight lead of 250 before bowling India out for 130, their seventh score under 200 in their last eight innings in England. As had been the case throughout the Test, the weather was with the hosts: overcast enough to aid swing but not wet enough to save India.

Injury was added to insult, quite literally, with Virat Kohli struggling with a back issue and R Ashwin and Hardik Pandya taking nasty blows on their fingers. Kohli didn't take the field on the day, and batted with apparent discomfort. Once again, Ashwin was India's top scorer. M Vijay secured a pair with an inside edge, and KL Rahul fell to one that seamed back in. India's openers now average below 13 in overseas Tests this year. The openers didn't last long enough for Kohli to be allowed to bat at his usual station - he had to serve 37 minutes for not taking the field in the morning. Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara struggled for more than 12 overs before Broad got on a roll. After threatening Rahane's edge regularly with movement against the slope off length balls, he ended an over with a full and wide sucker ball, drawing the edge. Pujara fought on for 87 balls, to be bowled once again after getting in in tough conditions. Since making his debut, no Indian batsman has been bowled as many times as he has.  Dinesh Karthik did not contribute.  Those difficult batting conditions were compounded with uneven bounce. Both Pandya and Ashwin took bows on their fingers. However, they soldiered on, taking every scoring opportunity, taking India past 100.

Accepting mistakes committed by his batsmen is becoming a norm for India captain Virat Kohli. For the second Test in succession Kohli admitted the batsmen had failed, including himself on this occasion, and that is reason India were "outplayed". But despite the disappointment he also spoke of the motivation to keep the series alive by winning at Trent Bridge next week. Although Indian fans will now fear this Test series is moving along the same lines as that of the nightmarish tours in 2011 and 2014, when India lost 4-0 and 3-1, Kohli stressed his players ought to take on the challenge at Trent Bridge head on.  This is  the first time that India have lost a Test match by an innings under Virat Kohli. It was in England again that they were last beaten by an innings - The Oval in 2014 - although never in the past 44 years have they fared so poorly at Lord's. Meanwhile, for England, it was their first innings victory at Lord's since the 2010 Test against Pakistan.

Time for some wholesome changes in the Opening, Middle-order and wicket-keeping slots – though the bench strength in omnibus squad of 18 is not too encouraging.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
13th Aug 2018.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

armoured tanks being dumped into Mediterranean Sea by Lebanon

“fish tank” ~ is  the subject matter of the post !! ~ can you imagine why this armoured vehicle is being lifted ? ~ only to be dropped in to .. …. ? !

In Sangam literature, “Neithal” is the landscape of Sea, shore and related things. Water is always an attraction – the sea, the river or the pond (the mightiest, the flowing one or the still water) – in whatever form have their own charm.  Standing near a waterbody watching can be a great stress reliever.  In ponds, the fishes will charm you.  In Aquarium or in a small tank, you can observe them more – the vertebrates swinging their fins are unbridled attraction – whether they get too cramped and feel uneasy would never be known to us though. The guppy (Poecilia reticulata), also rainbow fish, is one of the world's most widely distributed tropical fish and also the popular aquarium fish. I have been fascinated by the guppies of Kairavini Pushkarini ~ the holy tank at Thiruvallikkeni.   ……. Present day youth may not know that there existed open wells at every house, Corporation personnel would visit each house dispensing handful of guppies in to the well. 

Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin and almost completely enclosed by land. Lebanon is a sovereign state in Western Asia, bordered by Syria,  Israel, Cyprus across the Mediterranean Sea. Lebanon's location at the crossroads of the Mediterranean Basin and the Arabian hinterland facilitated its rich history and shaped a cultural identity of religious and ethnic diversity. The earliest evidence of civilization in Lebanon dates back more than seven thousand years, predating recorded history.  The region eventually was ruled by the Ottoman Empire from 1516 to 1918. Following the collapse of the empire after World War I, the five provinces that constitute modern Lebanon came under the French Mandate of Lebanon. Foreign troops withdrew completely from Lebanon on 31 December 1946.  Lebanon has been a member of the United Nations since its founding in 1945. Despite its small size, the country has developed a well-known culture and has been highly influential in the Arab world, powered by its large diaspora.

In an unprecedented ruling in Lebanon, Mansour El Kahi, an investigative judge,  sentenced a man to 10 days in prison and a fine of $2,670 for torturing dogs. The sentence, which is subject to appeal, stirred controversy among the public. Some welcomed the decision since Lebanon has recently witnessed reprehensible violations against stray dogs.  The defendant, Georges Salameh, tortured dogs in 2016, according to witnesses. A statement by Beirut for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (BETA) said: “We received a desperate call to stop a man from killing more dogs in Sin el Fil; witnesses saw a man tie up a dog to a street pole and run him over to death.” Salameh was later seen getting back into his car, running over the dog and making sure it was dead before fleeing the scene. The organization decided to follow up the case. Salameh was caught throwing a dog called Alexa from the second floor of a car park, then rushing to his car to follow her again and try to “viciously beat her and run her over.”

This is no post on its history or legal system but on fish – fish tanks to be precise.  It is not what you get to see at homes, shops styled as aquarium selling fish as pets !! – it is the armoured vehicles being dumped into Mediterranean – sounds strange !  Mailonline reports that in Lebanon, conservationists are dumping tanks in the sea to create an artificial reef that will help marine life the thrive. Military vehicles are among those being set in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Lebanon, where vans and buses have also been put under water. Environmentalists sink them in order for algae, coral and bacteria to flourish with the aim of attracting egg-laying fish.  It is reported that these tanks are intentionally placed into the sea, in order to allow algae to flourish in the hope that it will restore natural marine life.

Tanks are being used alongside other vehicles and military scrap metal to create artificial reefs in the region – here is a photo of a  floating crane lowering  a tank into the sea off the coast of Lebanon, mirroring methods used near Tripoli.  Scientists have been using vehicles to boost sea life in the region since 2012, when Dr Michel Chalhoub from Beirut secured funding to restore beauty to the coast of Tripoli. Barges and cranes are lowered into the water by cranes. Vehicles are typically placed between 70 and 100 metres from one another. Activists drop the vehicles about 12km off the coast, sometimes joining them two-by-two, Green Prophet reports.  Disused Army steel beds as well as marine carriers and natural rock are also dumped. Once the tank is below the surface, algae will build, attracting egg-laying fish to the region following recent destruction - thus decay in marine life is combated by vehicles lowered into the sea. 

The scientists have also been known to place concrete inside the vans as well as usual natural rock in the artificial reef.  Developers Nakheel pledged to build hundreds of the reefs off the Gulf Coast to restore water life.  Rising temperatures, acidification and over-fishing are chief among the causes of the region's environmental decay.  ~ not sure how tanks could improve natural marine life – however, it makes an interesting read !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
12th Aug 2018

Saturday, August 11, 2018

squirrel terror reported in Germany

In the greatest epic Ramayana, there are so many interesting anecdotes.  One interesting is of the little squirrel.  Lord Sri Rama had to cross the sea to reach Lanka and his warriors were involved in building bridge across the sea.  Mighty monkeys and powerful bears were carrying huge bolsters and putting them on the sea and alongside was a small squirrel, putting small pebbles and then drenched itself in sea water, ran to shore, rolled itself thus making its body full of sand – then off-loading that sand on the bridge – it was perfect example of not getting overawed by the situation nor by what others did, but contributing one’s mite towards fulfillment of the target. ~ and we know that Lord Sri Rama was so compassionate .. ..

"Squirrel is a high level imperative, object-oriented programming language, designed to be a light-weight scripting language that fits in the size, memory bandwidth, and real-time requirements of applications like video games." ~ in civil society there are some who terrorise, who put fear into people pursuing their objectives ! ~ and can squirrel the little one, ever be considered as one ?

Over there in Germany, the Federal Police (Bundespolizei or BPOL) is a (primarily) uniformed federal police force in Germany. It is subordinate to the Federal Ministry of the Interior (Bundesministerium des Innern (BMI)).  Ordinary police forces, meanwhile, are under the administration of the individual German states (Bundesl√§nder) and are known as the Landespolizei.

Squirrels are members of the family Sciuridae, a family that includes small or medium-size rodents. The squirrel family includes tree squirrels, ground squirrels, chipmunks, marmots (including woodchucks), flying squirrels, and prairie dogs amongst other rodents. Squirrels are indigenous to Asia,  Americas, Eurasia, and Africa, and were introduced by humans to Australia.  Squirrels get lots of attention from humans, but not always much appreciation. We tend to dwell on the stolen birdseed or the occupied attics, yet squirrels have a long, mostly harmless — and often entertaining — history of living in our midst.

A couple of years back was a news item that a  woman was stalked in Germany, she reported the matter to Police, who duly arrested the stalker …..  it made news because the stalker was a ‘squirrel’ that followed a woman through the streets and she could not escape it.   The incident occurred in Bottrop in West Germany; Police responded her emergency call and apprehended the small creature.  German news agencies reported  that an  aggressive squirrel that stalked a woman through the streets of a German city was 'arrested' by police. The worried woman reported the 'nutty' incident to police in the city of Bottrop, after she thought she was being followed by the creepy creature. After failing to shake the animal off her tail, she made an emergency call to police officers, who attended and promptly put the little squirrel behind bars.

While being taken care of at the police station, officers worked out that the rodent was showing signs of exhaustion and fed it honey and slices of apple, reported The Local.  A video of a Police woman feeding the animal using a pipette and wrapped in a blanket went viral with  more than 300,000 times being viewed. In a statement, the force said once the squirrel is well rested it will be passed to an animal welfare centre.

Now comes another news involving squirrel and German police.  Police  have rescued a man after he called for help saying a baby squirrel would not leave him alone. Emergency services received a call on Thursday from the man, who claimed he was being chased down the street by the tiny animal. Police in Karlsruhe said the unnamed man called them in desperation after he was unable to shake off the small rodent.

Officers sent a patrol car out to investigate and arrived to find the chase still in full flow. But the drama ended suddenly when the squirrel, apparently exhausted by its exertions, lay down abruptly and fell asleep. Officers took pity on the animal, which had probably become separated from its mother. Police said it likely targeted the man because it was in search of a new home. “It often happens that squirrels which have lost their mothers look for a replacement and then focus their efforts on one person,” said Christina Krenz, a police spokeswoman.

She said the animals could be “very persistent, not just running behind someone, but entirely fixated on them. It can be pretty scary. The man didn’t know what to do and so he called the police. He was certainly feeling a bit threatened”. But police on the scene appeared more amused than alarmed. “A squirrel will be our new mascot, it will be christened Karl-Friedrich,” said the police write-up. “The squirrel has fallen asleep in fright.”Krenz said: “It was just a bit of fun. The officers thought up a name that would suit the baby squirrel.” Officers took the sleeping Karl-Friedrich into police custody, and then to an animal rescue centre, where it was said to be doing well. Krenz said the rescue centre was looking after two other abandoned baby squirrels brought in on the same day for similar reasons, though theirs was the only case in which police have had to intervene.

Interesting !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
11th Aug 2018.

carriage of goods by Railways ~ what constitutes non-delivery ?

Goods are moved from one place to another either due to sale or otherwise – the movement involves a Carrier and insurance of such goods in transportation is ‘Marine (Cargo) Insurance’ covering perils that could affect the cargo during the transit.  The primary duty of the carrier is to transport and handover the goods at destination, much in the same manner as they were entrusted .. .. .. there could be some loss or damage occurring during transit and the Carrier would try to protect themselves through the provisions of enactments !

Goods may not be delivered at destination – risk of non-delivery : dictionary meaning :  goods as handed to carrier not received at destination i.e., not delivered by them.  It can arise out of host of factors including fire, theft, neglect, failure, refusal to deliver, wrongful acts of employees handling and more – on the part of carrier, vendor, bailee et al.

Sec 93 of Indian Railways Act :  -  General responsibility of a railway administration as carrier of goods.—Save as otherwise provided in this Act, a railway administration shall be responsible for the loss, destruction, damage or deterioration in transit, or non-delivery of any consignment, arising from any cause except the following namely:—  act of God, act of war, act of public enemies, arrest,   restraint or seizure under legal process;  orders or restrictions imposed by the Central Government or a State Government or by an officer or authority subordinate to the Central Government or a State Government authorised by it in this behalf;  act or omission or negligence of the consignor or the consignee or the endorsee or the agent or servant of the consignor or the consignee or the endorsee;  natural deterioration or wastage in bulk or weight due to inherent defect, quality or vice of the goods;  latent defects;   fire, explosion or any unforeseen risk: (Provided that even where such loss, destruction, damage, deterioration or non-delivery is proved to have arisen from any one or more of the aforesaid causes, the railway administration shall not be relieved of its responsibility for the loss, destruction, damage, deterioration or non-delivery unless the railway administration further proves that it has used reasonable foresight and care in the carriage of the goods.) ~ that looks quite exhaustive !!

Entrustment to Railways can be on ‘Owner’s risk & Railways’ risk’ – when goods are carried at Owner’s risk – Sec 97 :  Notwithstanding anything contained in section 93, a railway administration shall not be responsible for any loss, destruction, damage, deterioration or non-delivery in transit, of any consignment carried at owner’s risk rate, from whatever cause arising, except upon proof, that such loss, destruction, damage, deterioration or non-delivery was due to negligence or misconduct on its part or on the part of any of its servants: (only partly reproduced).. .. when goods are carried so at Owner’s risk rate, Railway administration (as per Sec 97) shall not be responsible for any loss, destruction, damage, deteriorating or non delivery in transit, of any consignment carried at owner’s risk rate from whatever cause arising, except upon proof that such loss, destruction, damage, deterioration or non-delivery was due to negligence or misconduct on its part or on the part of any of its servants !!!

For claiming compensation against Railways Section 106 of  Railways Act, 1989 prescribes time limits and notice of loss served on it  :
(1) A person shall not be entitled to claim compensation against a railway administration for the loss, destruction, damage, deterioration or non-delivery of goods carried by railway, unless a notice thereof is served by him or on his behalf,—
(a) to the railway administration to which the goods are entrusted for carriage; or
(b) to the railway administration on whose railway the destination station lies, or the loss, destruction, damage or deterioration occurs, within a period of six months from the date of entrustment of the goods.
(2) Any information demanded or enquiry made in writing from, or any complaint made in writing to, any of the railway administrations mentioned in sub-section (1) by or on behalf of the person within the said period of six months regarding the non-delivery or delayed delivery of the goods with particulars sufficient to identify the goods shall, for the purpose of this section, be deemed to be a notice of claim for compensation.
(3) A person shall not be entitled to a refund of an overcharge in respect of goods carried by railway unless a notice therefor has been served by him or on his behalf to the railway administration to which the overcharge has been paid within six months from the date of such payment or the date of delivery of such goods at the destination station, whichever is later.

Though the first Indian train (passenger) famously ran in 1853 from Bori Bunder to Thane – the cargo transportation would precede that.  Nearer home in Chennai, the ‘Red Hill Railway’, the country's first train, ran from Red Hills to Chintadripet bridge in Madras in 1837. It was hauled by a rotary steam-engine locomotive manufactured by William Avery. Built by Arthur Cotton, the railway was primarily used to transport granite stone for road-building work in Madras.

Here is a snippet from an earlier case involving Railway carriage on what constitutes a loss arising out of non-delivery :   In the course of the argument in Seam v. L. & S.W. Ry. (1855) in which case the question arose whether goods the delivery of which had been delayed were lost within the meaning of that term used in the analogous provisions of the Carriers Act, 1830, Section F. Baron Martin put this question to Counsel, "Suppose a person delivered to a porter at a railway station a casket of jewels, and in consequence of his refusal to forward it the casket remained for some time at the station, would that be a "loss" within the Act?" and Baron Alderson asked, " Suppose the goods were known by the carrier to exist, but were not delivered by him for a month, would that be a "loss" within the Act?" An affirmation that, in such circumstances, the goods have been "lost" surely involves a distortion of the meaning of the word so extravagant as to approach an abuse of the English language. That judicial authority is not wanting in support of the construction of the term "lost" "for which the Railway Company contends would appear to be due, if I may say so with great respect, to the fact that the intention of the legislature in enacting Chapter VII of the Railway Act of 1890 has not always sufficiently been borne in mind. The object, and, in my opinion, the effect of Section 72 was not to provide compensation for pecuniary losses suffered by the owners of goods consigned for conveyance to a Railway Company, but to lessen the burden of the obligation which, prior to the passing of Section 72, had lain on Railway Companies as insurers of such goods.

Now read this non-delivery as reported in Times of India and other newspapers - In a dubious record set by the Indian Railways, they booked a consignment on November 10, 2014, but delivered it only on July 25, 2018 – a full three years and eight months later.

The fertiliser-loaded wagon booked in Visakhapatnam for delivery in Basti covered the distance of around 1,300 kilometres in almost four years, said Uttar Pradesh-based trader Manoj Kumar Gupta, who had lost all hope of getting the compost worth Rs 10 lakh.  “While I had booked 21 wagons of compost, only 20 reached my destination in time. However, one of the wagons presumably got lost, forcing me to approach the railways for compensation,” said Gupta, who was handed over his consignment of 1,236 sacks of compost after such a long time. “After running from pillar to post for months, I lost hope and gave up the search to concentrate on my business,” said Gupta. The wagon bearing number ‘107462’ was booked by a company Indian Potash Limited (IPL), confirmed officials of North Eastern Railways (NER).

“The goods were fortunately found to be safe and has been handed over to the consignee. An enquiry has been ordered into the delay,” said Sanjay Yadav, chief public relation officer (CPRO), NER, the railway zone that owns the wagon. “The wagon was lost in transit. When the matter came to light recently, we launched an exercise to trace it,” said Yadav, while also blaming Manoj Kumar Gupta for the inordinate delay. “The consignee never tried to track the goods and hence it remained missing for so many months,” said Sanjay Yadav while insisting that the wagon was lying unattended in a yard at Vishakhapatnam itself. “Possibly, the wagon was detached from the goods train as it may have been declared sick (unfit to ferry). But due to the apathy of officials, the wagon was left unreported,” said Sanjay Yadav.

Strange are the ways of people ! ~ how Insurers would have handled this case if a claim for non-delivery had been preferred and what would be the position now when such consignment gets delivered after full 3 years and 8 months later !!

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
11th Aug 2018.