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Monday, October 23, 2017

Kiwis play spin well ~ beat India : Virat Kohli 200th ODI

The Auckland cricket side recovered slightly from a horrendous start to the Plunket Shield season, but were  still all out for 62. The Aces slumped to 23 for eight after being sent into bat against Wellington. They may not be reading this as their Press for sure would have covered more of their victory at Bombay and how their batsmen played Indian spin well.. ..

In the first ODi, Man of the match Tom Latham admitted conditions made it tough work for New Zealand in their opening ODI win over India in Mumbai.  It is October, part of our winter starting yet the sweltering heat was especially demanding on Latham, who had to keep wicket through India's 280 for eight, then bat through another 32 overs for his fine, unbeaten 103 which set up New Zealand's six-wicket victory.  Latham paid tribute to the contribution of senior batsman Ross Taylor in their record-setting fourth wicket stand of 200, Taylor finishing on 95.

In a statistical match, Virat Kohli, in his 200th ODI, sought to play the perfect innings on a slow pitch and in sapping heat,  went on to score his 31st hundred. New Zealand took more risks collectively, opened with almost a pinch hitter.  Kohli was a loner with a 121, whereas all New Zealand batsmen contributed - Ross Taylor and Tom Latham added 200 - as they chased down 281, only their third win when batting second against India in India.
Kohli brilliantly caught over the ropes

Virat Kohli is reaching new highs with almost every match, with every ODI century. In the series opener against New Zealand at the Wankhede, the India captain brought up his 31st century playing in his 200th ODI. He became only the second batsman after AB de Villiers to get to a century in the 200th  ODI. He's now the second-highest hundreds scorer in ODI history behind only Sachin Tendulkar's 49 tons. Kohli has got there playing just 200 games. No other batsman has had better career figures than Kohli after their 200th ODI.

MCA facilitated him on his 200th cap in ODI, this is not a great record – for there are 72 others who have played 200 ODIs are more.   Sachin Tendulkar leads the list with 463 matches – in the top 10 there are 2 Indians, Sachin and Dravid, 4 Lankans -  Mahela Jayawardene, Kumara Sangakkara, Sanath Jayasuriya, Muthiah Muralitharan; 3 Pak – Shahid Afridi, Wasim Akram and Inzamam ul Haq – only non-Asian Ricky Ponting .. MSD has played 307 !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

23rd Oct 2017.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Diwali India photo from space ~ Paolo Nespoli from ISS mission 52..

Born in  1957 in Milan, Italy, Paolo Nespoli’s hometown is Verano Brianza, Milan, Italy. He enjoys scuba diving, piloting aircraft, assembling computer hardware, electronic equipment and computer software.  

Paolo received a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering in 1988 and a Master of Science in Aeronautics and Astronautics in 1989 from the Polytechnic University of New York. He was awarded the Laurea in Ingegneria Meccanica by the Universit√† degli Studi di Firenze, Italy, in 1990.  This man is in news ~ and this post is for a photo tweeted by him from outer space **

Since its inception in 1958, NASA has accomplished many great scientific and technological feats in air and space. NASA technology also has been adapted for many nonaerospace uses by the private sector. NASA remains a leading force in scientific research and in stimulating public interest in aerospace exploration, as well as science and technology in general.  Expedition 52 is the 52nd  expedition to the International Space Station. It officially began on June 2, 2017 10:47 UTC, with the undocking of Soyuz MS-03. Due to a decision to cut down the number of participating Russian cosmonauts in 2017, only two crew members were launched on Soyuz MS-04, which brought the ISS total crew down to five people.

Recently I had posted on ‘fidget spinner’ video posted by NASA astronaut Randy Bresnik, who is currently aboard the space station as part of Expedition 52/53, of him  and his colleagues playing with a fidget spinner. In the video that gone viral, the team performs a series of tricks with the NASA-branded (of course) spinner, pretending to spin along with it in various directions as they float through the microgravity of the space station. For example, flight engineer Mark T. VandeHei holds the fidget spinner while he himself does full rotations along a horizontal plane; another crew member Joe Acaba does dizzying somersaults while the fidget spinner rotates in his hand.

The International Space Station (ISS) is a space station, or a habitable artificial satellite, in low Earth orbit. Its first component launched into orbit in 1998, and the ISS is now the largest human-made body in low Earth orbit and can often be seen with the naked eye from Earth. The ISS consists of pressurised modules, external trusses, solar arrays, and other components. ISS components have been launched by Russian Proton and Soyuz rockets, and American Space Shuttles. The ISS serves as a microgravity and space environment research laboratory in which crew members conduct experiments in biology, human biology, physics, astronomy, meteorology, and other fields. The ISS is the ninth space station to be inhabited by crews, following the Soviet and later Russian Salyut, Almaz, and Mirstations as well as Skylab from the US. The station has been continuously occupied for 16 years and 354 days since the arrival of Expedition 1 on 2 November 2000. This is the longest continuous human presence in low Earth orbit, having surpassed the previous record of 9 years and 357 days held by Mir. The ISS programme is a joint project among five participating space agencies: NASA, Roscosmos, JAXA, ESA, and CSA.

Deepavali was celebrated very grandly all over India.  In Thiruvallikkeni divyadesam, the purappadu of Sri Parthasarathi with Acharyar Sri Manavala mamunigal took more than 3 hours as there were dazzling varieties of fireworks on mada streets. Now a picture of India on Diwali, taken from space by 'NASA', has  become immensely popular.  Year after year, we get to see a photoshopped picture getting circulated and hence people are skeptical …   but this year Astronaut Paolo Nespoli, the 60-year-old Italian astronaut shared a photo of India, taken from space on Oct 19, 2017.

Sharing a photograph of India, as seen from space, he wished everyone a happy Diwali.  This is very much on his FB page and many credible news media pages.

See this lovely photo here.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

22nd Oct 2017.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Deepavali release ~ it is different : bio-pic of a painter ! - Loving Vincent !!

Vandichakkaram;  Mazhalai pattalam;  Soundaryame varuga, varuga;  Andharangam Oomaiyanathu;  Thoorathu idi muzhakkam;  Ellam un kairasi; Geetha oru senbagapoo; Oru kai osai; Oru thalai ragam; Saranam Iyappa, Uchakattam … and more – some of the films released in 1980. Those were days when films would get released on Friday and more on Deepavali .. ..

When we were in school, there was so much talk about Balachandar and Barathiraja – both taking film on same subject that of ‘unemployment’ – in those days when only print media provided hot news, one friend remarked that on Deepavali eve, Barathi Raja telephoned Balachandar expressing concern on both handling the same subject and both getting released on Deepavali – to which Balachandra reportedly remarked that his way of handling was bound to be different that than of Barathiraja [obvious that the teller was a balachandar fan!]

Nizhalgal  starring  Nizhalgal Ravi, in his debut venture, in the lead  and  other newcomers Raadhu, Chandrasekhar, Rajasekar forming the principal cast, revolving  around a group of youngsters and their struggles to overcome the challenges faced by them in society was a commercial failure ! ~ the other directed by  K Balachander - Varumaiyin Niram Sivappu had  Kamal Haasan and Sridevi in the lead roles too was a failure.  My more knowledgeable classmates declared that Rajnikant starrer - Polladhavan directed by Muktha V. Srinivasan did well in collection !

Cinemas can be different though ! is what I read and understood .. .. .. ~ an year after the death of Vincent van Gogh, Postman Roulin requests that his son Armand personally deliver Van Gogh's last letter to his brother, Theo, after previous attempts to mail the item failed. Despite not having been fond of Van Gogh and recalling the incident when the deceased mutilated his ear and gifted it to a local prostitute, Armand begrudgingly accepts due to his father's affection for the painter. Postman Roulin acknowledges Van Gogh's mental illness and blames the other townspeople for ostracizing and driving him out. He also expresses bemusement about the cause of Van Gogh's death, as he had received a letter from him six weeks prior to the suicide that showed him in a calm and normal mood  ~ that forms the storyline of a bio-pic !!!

It is not the usual routine one ~  the production techniques and distinctive look of this picture, the first entirely oil-painted animation feature film in history, are perhaps more striking than the story – reviews state.   Set 12 months after the death of Vincent van Gogh, the somewhat laboured narrative weaves together a group of disparate characters who all posed for the artist in a story that explores the nature of his death. Douglas Booth, playing Armand Roulin, is our guide, though this slight, episodic tale. There are sequences of extraordinary beauty – I particularly loved a scene that captured Vincent’s tortured countenance in reflection, shattered in the surface of the water of his washbasin. In the visual poetry of moments like this, the film comes closest to capturing the maverick genius of the artist, writes another newspaper review.

Loving Vincent is a 2017 biographical animated drama film about the life of painter Vincent van Gogh. It is the first fully painted animated film. It is written and directed by Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman, and is being produced by Hugh Welchman and Sean Bobbitt of BreakThru Films and Ivan Mactaggart of Trademark Films. The development was funded by the Polish Film Institute, and re-training of professional oil painters to become painting-animators on the film was partially funded through a Kickstarter campaign.  Each of the film's 65,000 frames is an oil painting on canvas, using the same technique as Van Gogh, created by a team of 115 painters. The film premiered at the 2017 Annecy International Animated Film Festival.

Another review states that anyone with a fondness for the 1991 picture Van Gogh, however, is in for a disappointment. There are no cheerful prostitutes, no can-cans in Montmartre and no suggestion that van Gogh had an affair with the daughter of his physician, Dr Gachet. Also, van Gogh himself remains an elusive presence. Instead, Armand’s enquiries focus on the still-fascinating questions of where van Gogh’s gun came from, why he shot himself in the stomach and what happened to all his painting equipment. The end result is very good, though somewhat sanitised, and I’m not sure the rerecording of Don McLean’s Vincent really helps.

In case you are to ask – whose bio-pic is this ?   -  Vincent Willem van Gogh (1853 – 1890) was a Dutch Post-Impressionist painter who is among the most famous and influential figures in the history of Western art. In just over a decade he created about 2,100 artworks, including around 860 oil paintings, most of them in the last two years of his life. They include landscapes, still lifes, portraits and self-portraits (selfies !!) , and are characterised by bold colours and dramatic, impulsive and expressive brushwork that contributed to the foundations of modern art. His suicide at 37 followed years of mental illness and poverty.

As a young man he worked as an art dealer, often travelling, but became depressed after he was transferred to London. He turned to religion, and spent time as a Protestant missionary in southern Belgium. He drifted in ill health and solitude before taking up painting in 1881, having moved back home with his parents. His younger brother Theo supported him financially, and the two kept up a long correspondence by letter. His paintings grew brighter in colour as he developed a style that became fully realised during his stay in Arles in the south of France in 1888. During this period he broadened his subject matter to include olive trees, cypresses, wheat fields and sunflowers. Van Gogh suffered from psychotic episodes and delusions and though he worried about his mental stability, he often neglected his physical health, did not eat properly and drank heavily. His friendship with Gauguin ended after a confrontation with a razor, when in a rage, he severed part of his own left ear.  His depression continued and on 27 July 1890, Van Gogh shot himself in the chest with a revolver. He died from his injuries two days later.

Van Gogh was unsuccessful during his lifetime, and was considered a madman and a failure. He became famous after his suicide, and exists in the public imagination as the quintessential misunderstood genius, the artist "where discourses on madness and creativity converge".  His lifestory perhaps portrays that of a tragic painter, whose troubled personality typifies the romantic ideal of the tortured artist ~ and the typical way the World casts genius after death while treating badly when living !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

PS : as read and taken from various sources including Wikipedia, bbc, dailymail, independent, the sun, mirror, telegraph .. .. .. 

NASA astronaut Randy Bresnik ~ fidget spinner on space !!

Randy “Komrade” Bresnik was selected as an astronaut in 2004. He was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps in May 1989. During his military career, he became a F/A-18 Test Pilot and was eventually deployed to Kuwait to fly combat missions in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. 

A veteran of STS-129, he has also trained as a Cave-a-naut with the European Space Agency to test living deep beneath the Earth’s surface as well as an Aquanaut for NASA’s Extreme Environment Mission Operation (NEEMO) 19. Bresnik is currently a part of the Expedition 52/53 crew that launched in July 2017. On October 5, 2017, Bresnik performed his third spacewalk, along with Mark VandeHei.

Away, these gadgets have taken the children space by storm. They came out of nowhere, and they're already so hot that schools are banning them – it is the ‘fidget spinners’, the biggest fad of 2017. These decidedly low-tech devices have become a must-have for kids, to the point where they're an even more popular topic anything else. The spinners are simple (and cheap) gadgets that spin in your hand. They come with an inline skate and ball bearings, and can spin for 2 minutes or more while you're working, hanging out with friends or trying to relax.  In case, you have not seen or played around, inside the three-spoke fidget spinner,  is an area you hold with a finger and thumb. Then, with another finger, you flick one of the spokes and let the spinner spin !the toy  consists of a ball-bearing in the center of a multi-lobed flat structure made from metal or plastic designed to spin along its axis with little effort.

Fidget spinners became popular toys in April 2017, although similar devices had been invented as early as 1993.  Whether it can really relieve people of their stress is not for sure, however, they are used even on   International Space Station, makes an interesting news !!  Sciencealerts.com reports that  astronauts on the ISS have finally got their hands on what was briefly the trendiest contraption in our part of the universe. And watching it spin in microgravity is enough to make the toy look cool again.

NASA astronaut Randy Bresnik, who is currently aboard the space station as part of Expedition 52/53, shared a video over the weekend of him and his colleagues playing with a fidget spinner.The team performs a series of tricks with the NASA-branded (of course) spinner, pretending to spin along with it in various directions as they float through the microgravity of the space station.For example, flight engineer Mark T. VandeHei holds the fidget spinner while he himself does full rotations along a horizontal plane; another crew member Joe Acaba does dizzying somersaults while the fidget spinner rotates in his hand.

But as fun and nauseating as that is to watch, the best part is, of course, seeing the fidget spinner freely floating through the air while continuing to spin. You can even see the iconic toy floating against a backdrop of Earth as seen through the ISS cupola windows. .. .. ….. andas it turns out, microgravity does make a fidget spinner act differently than what we can achieve down on the ground.

"In a fidget spinner, you hold the centre of one ball bearing, the outer bearing race spins around, and the outer parts of the fidget spin with the outer bearing race," physicist Paul Doherty from the Exploratorium in San Francisco explained to Live Science earlier this year.The smoother the action in that central bearing race, the less friction there is and the toy can spin for longer. But in space, the centre part doesn't stay still."Allowing the fidget spinner to float reduces the bearing friction by permitting the rate of the central ring and outer spinner to equalise, and the whole thing spins as a unit," NASA explains in the video description.

Indeed, if you watch closely when Bresnik lets go of the spinner and lets it float around, you notice that the NASA logo stands still at first, but quickly starts rotating along with the rest of the device.Now, at first you might think that in space a fidget spinner would spin for much longer, but as it turns out, there's still plenty of friction happening in the central ball bearing to make the spin eventually slow down.

Interesting little play thing !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

20th Oct 2017.