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Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Tiger on the prowl ~ air ambulance to the rescue !!

Escalade (noun) would mean the  scaling of fortified walls using ladders, as a form of military attack.

The Cadillac Escalade is a full-size luxury SUV engineered and manufactured by Cadillac. Introduced in 1999, it  was Cadillac's first major entry into the popular SUV market.  The Escalade is built in Arlington, Texas.  As of 2015, the Cadillac Escalade is available in every country that Cadillac is available in, except Israel.

A zoo has been evacuated following eyewitness reports of a keeper being mauled by a tiger. Police and the air ambulance confirmed they were called to a 'very serious incident', while MailOnline understands an adult has suffered life-threatening injuries. Claims circulated on social media that the animal was on the loose at Hamerton Zoo in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, but this was rubbished by police and park officials. Victoria Northover Holmes, who was at the tiger enclosure when the drama unfolded, said staff were throwing meat at the tiger to get it away from a keeper.

A spokesman for Cambridgeshire Constabulary said: 'Officers were called at around 11.15am to reports of a serious incident at Hamerton Zoo Park.  'Officers attended the scene along with ambulance crews and Magpas (Mid Anglia General Practitioner Accident Service air ambulance).  Claims of a Tiger escaping and coming on the keeper was circulated in the media, whilst a  hastily-prepared sign was put up to let customers know that the park was closed for the rest of the day !   

An air ambulance landed as visitors were being evacuated from the zoo in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire,  while unconfirmed reports stated it was - Blizzard, one of the white Bengal tigers  that had escaped its bindings.   While the chaos is ordinary, the rescue efforts including arrival of air ambulance speaks high of preparedness.  The park, which was described as 'the most environmentally-friendly zoo in Europe' in 2014 and has an adult admission price of £14, has been closed for the day.

Away from the melee,  in Flordia, Tiger Woods was arrested  on a charge of drunk driving, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office. The 41-year-old golfer was arrested around 3am on Military Trail, south of Indian Creek Parkway in Jupiter. Arrest information shows Woods, a resident of elite enclave of Jupiter Island, was booked into jail at 7:18am and then released on his own recognizance at 10:50am. He faces a charge of driving with a blood alcohol level above Florida's legal limit of .08.

This is the second time that Woods has been caught driving under the influence. In November 2009, two days after the National Enquirer broke the story that Woods had been cheating on his then-wife Elin Nordegren with a New York City nightclub manager, Woods left home after taking an Ambien and crashed his Cadillac Escalade into a fire hydrant, a tree and several hedges.  However, he wasn't charged in that incident. Following that incident, several other women came forward, saying they too had affairs with the professional golfer - tarnishing his previously pristine image. 

A month later, he entered a 45-day therapy program and apologized for his actions, saying 'I thought I could get away with whatever I wanted to'.  Woods and Nordegren divorced a little less than a year later, in August 2010.  Since the scandal, Woods' career has been in a free fall as he's failed to remain a major competitor and advertisers have stopped sponsoring him.  The 14-time major winner has dropped to 876th in the world rankings after years of injury problems and has not played in any of the major tournaments for the past two years; he has had fusion surgery to address the issue in April and said last week that he hasn't 'felt this good in years'.

Woods was reported to be worth $740million by Forbes in 2016, making $100million annually during his peak in the late 2000s and has earned a reported $1.4billion in prize money and endorsements since his career began.
With regards – S. Sampathkumar

29th May 2017.

How many are required for a Cinema show ! the grossers and bombers !! Cinema, Cinema

In good olden days of 1970s, people would stand in the line in long queues, before the film was released for buying a Rs.2.90 ticket at Devi Paradise !  Of the many Cinema halls in Cinema Road in Kakinada in East Godavari district, Satyagowri  was perhaps unique.  In 1990s it used to screen only English movies – the specialty was they would issue only one ticket to the person standing in the queue, all had to stand in the queue and those who stood within the marked line, were sure of getting a ticket ! – it had good music system inside – understand that this theatre stands renovated in 2008, has increased  capacity and now screens Telegu movies as well. 

We grew up watching the exploits of the WI team led by Clive Lloyd, batting giants Isaac Vivian Richards, Gordon Greenidge, Desmond Haynes…. Roberts, Holding, Garner, Marshall … Croft, Ambrose, Patterson, Walsh, Bishop and more…………  the team unitedly called West Indies – but representative of more Nations that dominated the Cricket world for decades.  Indians were the first inhabitants, and then, in 1492, the explorer Christopher Columbus became the first European to arrive at the islands. Columbus called these islands the Indies because he thought he had finally reached Asia …… sadly, across the Caribbean, slaves from Africa were imported in great numbers to work the sugar and tobacco plantations.  Great military powers continually fought for control of the islands, and finally, a blended mix of African and European cultures and languages transformed this large group of islands and its peoples into one of the premier tourist destinations on the planet. 

What if you're a physically challenged person? What if you adore a celebrity so dearly? What if you accidentally meet him one day? What if that very same person walks you through the amazing journey called life? Brindavanam revolves around a deaf-mute man Kannan (Arulnithi), a big fan of comedian Vivek (played by himself). When Kannan meets Vivek for the first time, little does he know that the famous comedian would bring happiness to his mundane life one day. ** **

Back to the Windies ~  :  Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales is a 2017 American fantasy swashbuckler film, the fifth installment in the Pirates of the Caribbean film series and the sequel to On Stranger Tides (2011). The film is directed by Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg.  Johnny Depp, Kevin McNally and Geoffrey Rush reprise their roles as Jack Sparrow, Joshamee Gibbs and Hector Barbossa, respectively.  The filmmakers cited the first installment, The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003), as inspiration for the script and tone of the film.  Principal photography started in Australia in February 2015, after the Australian government offered Disney $20 million of tax incentives, and ended in July 2015. It was released in conventional, Disney Digital 3-D, RealD 3D and IMAX 3D formats on May 26, 2017, and has grossed $270 million worldwide.

The movie  topped the box office in its domestic debut, its estimated three-day weekend earnings of $62.2 million make it the second-lowest debut in the history of the franchise.  While the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise's performance has been waning domestically, the series has grown in popularity overseas. It certainly expanses its production budget and make good money for its producers.   Meanwhile, last  weekend's other big release, Baywatch, debuted in third place. The Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron-led lifeguard comedy earned an estimated $18.1 million over the three-day weekend, and is projected to finish the four-day holiday weekend with $22 million.

Mae Holland (Emma Watson) seizes the opportunity of a lifetime when she lands a job with the world's most powerful technology and social media company. Encouraged by the company's founder (Tom Hanks), Mae joins a groundbreaking experiment that pushes the boundaries of privacy, ethics and personal freedom. Her participation in the experiment, and every decision she makes soon starts to affect the lives and futures of her friends, family and that of humanity. ~ that summarises ‘The Circle’ an  American techno-thriller film directed by James Ponsoldt and written by Ponsoldt and Dave Eggers, based on Eggers' 2013 novel of the same name.  The film has  Bill Paxton, in his final film role, following his death in February 2017.  The film received generally negative reviews from critics and grossed $26 million worldwide.

** Much of this was prompted by what a friend of mine wrote this evening – he posted on Facebook that  theatre Raj A/c dts is close to his office and the movie review of 'Brindavanam' were tempting enough to buy a ticket for 6.45 pm show.  It was eerie as he happened to be the loner having bought a ticket.  The Theatre management  reportedly told that  the show would be cancelled if there  were to be less than 12 tickets sold.  He waited for sometime, none turned up and eventually the show was cancelled.  The film was released a couple of days earlier only ! – ever heard of such a thing !!!

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
29th May 2017.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Dhola Sadiya Bridge (Bhupen Hazarika Setu) is longest bridge of the Nation

Bhupen Hazarika popularly Sudhakantha acclaimed poet mainly in the Assamese language was popular all over India, loved by  the people of Assam,  West Bengal and Bangladesh. He is also acknowledged to have introduced the culture and folk music of Assam and Northeast India to Hindi cinema at the national level.  The Brahmaputra is a trans-boundary river flowing  through China, India and Bangladesh.

India has inaugurated a 9.15km (5.68-mile) bridge over the Lohit river, easily its longest ever, which connects the state of Arunachal Pradesh with the north-eastern state of Assam. "It was real tough work, a major engineering challenge, and the speed was slightly affected by some compensation issues," said an official from Navayuga Engineering, the company which constructed the bridge. Apart from the bridge, India is constructing a two-lane trans-Arunachal highway, upgrading a World War Two vintage road and undertaking a further four projects to widen roads.

The obvious advantage is  bridge will  reduce travel time by as much as eight hours for communities on either side of the river hour as the distance will shrink by 165 km.   It was a moment of pride for the Nation when our Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modiji  on Friday inaugurated the Dhola-Sadiya Bridge in Assam, which is India's longest river bridge.  Spanning 9.15 km, the bridge is built across the Lohit river, which is a tributary of the Brahmaputra, connects  Assam and eastern Arunachal Pradesh. The total length of the project, including the approach roads on each side, is 28.50 km.  The bridge is located 540 km from Assam’s capital Dispur and 300 km from Arunachal Pradesh capital Itanagar. It connects Sadia town in Assam’s Tinsukia district with Dhola village, also in Assam.

It is 3.55 km longer than the Bandra-Worli sea link in Mumbai. The sea link has now become the second longest river bridge in the country.   A sum of  Rs 2,056 crore has been spent on the bridge that can withstand 60 tonnes of weight, including battle tanks.  The bridge, which has a three-lane carriage way, will also cater to the strategic requirements of the country in the border areas of Arunachal Pradesh, besides facilitating numerous hydro power projects coming up in the State, as it is the most sought after route for various power project developers.

The Dhola Sadiya bridge is named as ‘Bhupen Hazarika Setu’ after the Assamese poet and became  operational on 26 May 2017. Given the fact that the North East is prone to high seismic activity, the bridge has been provided seismic buffers in all its 182 piers.

"It was unimaginable that this crossing could be bridged at a point where six rivers meet, all flowing into the mighty Brahmaputra," Gunjan Saharia, a resident, told the BBC.  Would people still love crossing river by dangerous country boats ~ yet the caption of one leading English daily was different.  Rather than highlighting the engineering marvel and its usefulness to the Region, the paper wrote that a couple of hours before Prime Minister Narendra Modi walked down a small stretch of the 9.15-km-long bridge to open it for millions of people of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, it was the final moment for about 150 boatmen to lay anchor forever as there would be no one to take a boat ride to cross the mighty Brahmaputra from now on. It also meant an abrupt end to the livelihood of these men and their support staff of an estimated 2,000 people. The media and menial mentality !! or simply Modi hatred !

With Regards – S. Sampathkumar
28th May 2017

Sunday, June 4, 2017

mudslide in Sri Lanka kills people ~ what is AOG ?

Many of us do not really appreciate the good things in life ~ and would understand the calamities, only when we see them for real ~ worser still, if one were to face them !!

In Insurance parlance, one would often come across ‘Act of God’ [what will it be for atheists ?]  ~ it could be defined as natural disaster outside human control, such as an earthquake, flood, cyclone  or tsunami, for which persons are not  responsible.  An Act of God may amount to an exception or  an "insured peril" in an insurance policy.  This phrase would generally ring an alarm bell, making one think of natural disasters like :   hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, hail, or floods. However,  what it can include  can be fuzzier than most people realize.  A fire arising out of lightning would fall under this .. ..

In hilly areas and in US, landslides  occur  and can be caused by a variety of factors including earthquakes, storms, volcanic eruptions, fire and by human modification of land. Landslides can occur quickly, often with little notice and the best way to prepare is to stay informed about changes in and around your home that could signal that a landslide is likely to occur.

In a landslide, masses of rock, earth or debris move down a slope. Debris and mud flows are rivers of rock, earth, and other debris saturated with water. They develop when water rapidly accumulates in the ground, during heavy rainfall or rapid snowmelt, changing the earth into a flowing river of mud or “slurry.” They can flow rapidly, striking with little or no warning at avalanche speeds. They also can travel several miles from their source, growing in size as they pick up trees, boulders, cars and other materials.  Landslide problems can be caused by land mismanagement too, particularly in mountain, canyon and coastal regions. In areas burned by forest and brush fires, a lower threshold of precipitation may initiate landslides.

What we have not experienced and not much read is ‘mud slide’ – a  mudflow   is a form of mass wasting involving "very rapid to extremely rapid surging flow" of debris that has become partially or fully liquified by the addition of significant amounts of water to the source material.  Mudflows contain a significant proportion of clay, which makes them more fluid than debris flows; thus, they are able to travel farther and across lower slope angles.  Mudflows are often called mudslides, a term applied indiscriminately by the mass media to a variety of mass wasting events. We are not talking of the mudflows arising from outbursts of volcanoes.

In neighbouring Srilanka, mudflow is wreaking havoc.  Sri Lanka has appealed for outside help as the death toll from floods and mudslides on Saturday rose to 100 with 99 others missing. The Disaster Management Center states that  more than 2,900 people have been displaced.  reports that  military used large armored vehicles and boats to transport people to safety. But some remained trapped in interior villages where boats have been unable to reach. At an intersection close to Agalawatte, 98 kilometers (60 miles) south of Colombo, the capital, some deaths were reported, awaiting boats to be taken to a temple where displaced people have taken refuge.

Residents of Wehangalla village near Agalawatte were marooned as floodwaters swamped most of the buildings up to the roof. They had fled to higher terrain but four people among them died in a mudslide and three others are missing. They complained that government aid still had not reached the area and they were surviving on food provided by those in nearby villagers.

The Sri Lankan government appealed to the United Nations as well as other countries for help with rescue and relief measures. Mudslides have become common during the monsoon season in the tropical Indian Ocean island as land has been heavily deforested to grow export crops such as tea and rubber. Last May, a massive landslide killed more than 100 people in central Sri Lanka.

In Indian Insurance Contracts [specifically Engg:  EAR/CAR]  Acts of God claims shall mean the claims arising out of a) Earthquake - Fire & Shock;  b)  landslide /Rockslide /Subsidence;  c) Flood/Inundation; d) Storm/tempest/hurricane/typhoon/cyclone/lightning or other atmospheric disturbances.. .. ..  now one can ponder whether ‘mudslide’ would be construed as an AOG peril ~  and whether in a named peril policy stating ‘Subsidence and landslide including rockslide’ –  would  include ‘mudslide’ as well !!!!

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

27th May 2017.