Search This Blog


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 Università 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 !! 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.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Google honours Nobel laureate who studied in Triplicane

It was a grand colourful Deepavali  ~ the sound of crackers was heard throughout the day and at Triplicane (perhaps in all other places too) as one looked at the sky, the night’s stars were not visible as the dazzling fireworks lit up the sky.  This is no post on Deepavali celebrations but something on  a man who probably did  more than anyone else to tell us about the mysteries of the night sky.  The man, became famous for his discoveries about the evolution of the stars. His work was vast, and he began early, developing his theory of stars' evolution before he had even turned 20.

The name  * Thiru Allikkeni * (meaning the sacred pond of lily)   pronounced Thiruvallikkeni  by natural laws of linguistics, was crudely rolled and twisted out of shape by the English tongue as Triplicane.   Triplicane houses some best historic educational institutions driving home the point of scholastic excellence for decades. 

Those who have been in and have  seen Triplicane,  would  never miss that imposing [Red / Saffron] structure at 149 Big Street, Triplicane, Chennai 600 005.  A landmark by itself – an imposing structure - bricks and saffron coloured walls with Indo-sarsenic architecture that  has inspired many and created many worthy students.  Hindu High School founded as Dravida Patasala for Tamil boys which later amalgamated with The Hindu Andhra Balura Patasala for Telegu boys that were in existence in 1852. In 1860 they were amalgamated as The Triplicane Andhra Dravida Balura Patasala and in 1898 renamed “ The Hindu High School”.  It has been a great learning  centre producing eminent personalities and transforming the lives of tens of thousands of people into responsible citizens for the cause of nature building.   The school was for long, considered as one of the best schools in the Madras Presidency and was once the feeder school to Presidency College, another institute of formidable repute of yore.

Today’s Google doodle honours - Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar who was  responsible for some of the most important research that has helped mankind understand the evolution of stars, inching closer to better understanding the nature of the universe itself. Mr Chandrasekhar, whose 107th birthday would have been today, was the first astrophysicist to win a Nobel Prize for his theory on the evolution of stars, determining that not all stars will turn into white dwarfs.

Interestingly this Tamilian, Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar was born in Lahore, on  October 19, 1910 to Smt.  Sitalakshmi  and Chandrasekhara Subrahmanya, who was in Lahore as Deputy Auditor General of the Northwestern Railways.  He was a child prodigy, who had published his first paper and developed his theory of star evolution by the age of 20.  At just 26, Chandrasekhar was recruited as a deputy professor by the University of Chicago, where he spent the rest of his career. Though initially his theories and equations on the structure and evolution of stars were met with skepticism, they later earned him wide acclaim.

During World War II, he performed research for the US Army, and was invited to join the Manhattan Project which produced the world's first nuclear bombs, but delays meant he didn't contribute.  Scientists acknowledge that  Mr Chandrasekhar’s work challenged  previous understanding of the late-stage evolution patterns of stars. That understanding, concluded by scientists in the early 1930s, determined that after stars would collapse into white dwarves after they converted their hydrogen and helium stores. White dwarves, which are about the size of Earth, are extremely dense from the compression of the star’s electrons and nuclei.  However,  Mr Chandrasekhar  was to expand on that understanding, determining that not all star is created equal ! He found that some stars don’t simply stop contracting later in life. Stars that have a mass more than 1.44 times that of our Sun, he found, would continue to contract. That 1.44 figure, known as the Chandrasekhar limit, was a major step in understanding how neutron stars are created, and what sparks supernova explosions.
This pic credit : the sun

The Indian-American physicist was also elected to the Royal Society of London before the age of 34, and became a distinguished service professor of Physics not too long after that. These included the National Medal of Science, the Draper Medal of the US National Academy of Science, and the gold medal of the Royal Astronomical Society.  Pinnacle of glory was to be conferred later as Mr Chandra was awarded   the Nobel Prize in Physics, which he won in 1983 alongside William A. Fowler.

The decorated astrophysicist died suddenly of a heart attack at the University of Chicago hospital at the age of 84.  His wife, Lalitha Chandrasekhar, survived until 2013, when she passed away at 102.  His paternal uncle was the Indian physicist and Nobel laureate C. V. Raman. His mother was devoted to intellectual pursuits, had translated Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House into Tamil and is credited with arousing Chandra's intellectual curiosity at an early age.  The family moved from Lahore at 1916 to Allahabad and after two years, finally settled at Madras in 1918.

Chandrasekhar was tutored at home until the age of 12.  He attended the Hindu High School, Big Street, Triplicane, Madras during the years 1922–25. He later studied at Presidency College, Madras and the University of Cambridge, where he was to spend  most of his career at the University of Chicago.

In 1998, the search engine founders Larry and Sergey drew a stick figure behind the second 'o' of Google as a message to that they were out of office at the Burning Man festival and with that, Google Doodles were born. The company decided that they should decorate the logo to mark cultural moments and it soon became clear that users really enjoyed the change to the Google homepage.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
19th Oct 2017.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Deepavali film release ! ~ ticket rates go up .......... touring talkies (tentu kottai)

Deepavali, the festival of lights is grandly celebrated with crackers, sweets, wishes and more …

One favourite pastime of people is to watch movies on Deepavali day .. How much would a family have to spend now to watch movie in an airconditioned City theatre having plush seats, Dolby atmos sound system, popcorn and other facilities – before you answer, if you had been to a theatre recently, something on good old past !!  ~ and have you ever had the pleasure on standing in Queue anxiously counting whether tickets would last till your turn ? – in our days, the luxury was Rs.2.90p in Devi Paradise theatre ! ~ what is it now ?, yet certain things in life have not changed and that includes the fans of cine actors spending and everyone fleecing the cine-goer.  

Many famous malls have been pulled down with marriage halls and commercial complex rising over there !

Way back in 1982 – for two continuous days watched ‘Gulebakavali’ mid-night show at Sriperumpudur ~ the ticket was 0.40 p or so ! ~ I was never an avid cine-buff.  Gulebakavali (The Flower of Bakavali) released in 1955 had  MG  Ramachandran, TR Rajakumari, Rajasulochana, G. Varalakshmi, in lead roles.  The film produced and directed by TR. Ramanna was the story of  a young man out to find a mysterious flower,  believed to have the power to restore anyone's eyesight, and the various challenges he faces during his journey. The story is linked to  Arabic folklore classic, One Thousand and One Nights.  The movie had a fight scene involving MGR taming a  "ferocious tiger” ~ I had to accompany a group of friends – and the movie was seen in a ‘Touring talkies’[do not remember the name or did it not have a name at all ?] aka Tentu Kottai ~ the prominent features of the theatre were : there was ‘floor class (thatai tickettu) and bench class’; people would even fall asleep on the floor; as the film runs 4 reels or so, they would stop, switch on the lights, rewind the reel and then put the next reel on the machine – a good 5 min break or so – and as you try to stretch your leg, you may suddenly feel a street dog running hither and thither !

Am surprised to know that there have been cases  in Apex Court involving Touring Talkies ! ~  C.A.No. 6460 of  1998.. .. it makes an interesting reading at a time when the  four day-long strike announced by theatre owners in Tamil Nadu against the 30% local body tax levied by the State government came to an end and with the news of movie tickets becoming expensive with tax.  Why all those who cry when the ticket price goes up slightly due to tax – remain totally shut when movie tickets are fixed at astronomical prices on the initial days of screening ~ and when so called ‘cultural events showcasing some artistes’ are priced in thousands of rupees and those assembled shriek every now and then – glitzy dances,  gibberish talks and showing of cine artistes, people are prepared to spend their month’s savings; not to speak of the travelling cost, even the parking fee perhaps would be much higher than the hue and cry on tax going to Govt.  
Some media wrote in their first page on how much of impact the  Local Body Entertainment Tax and how badly the cine-goer would be affected.  Anytime the price of popcorn and a glass of pepsi is much higher – the concern is never on the cine-goer but everything is aimed at his pocket, the industry needs them to sustain their own desire of raking crores of money.   

Reports stated Vishal, actor and president of the powerful Tamil Film Producers Council, stopped six new Tamil films from releasing last Friday, till government withdraws LBET. The Tamil version of Dulquer’s Solo released for a day was withdrawn – he was quoted as saying that they fight is against double taxation. The film industry is not in a position to pay 38 to 48 % as taxes on a cinema ticket – but the only Q is why should the Govt waive the entertainment tax, who is benefitted by such action ? never the common man, the ordinary cine-goer.

However, Tamil Nadu based multiplexes and single screens decided to go ahead with the screening of existing content till their association meets and takes a call – meantime, the Tamil Nadu government, which came under severe criticism on the LBET issue,  swept it under the carpet. They reacted by coming out with the long overdue revised ticket rates for cinema theatres in the state. After a decade Tamil Nadu government revised cinema ticket rates by 25 % over the existing base price.

There is absolutely no need for panic, nay not to think of that even – if theatres remain closed for a month also, life would not come to a standstill – Sun would still rise.  As it happens, the Vijay starrer Diwali release ‘Mersal’ has been hyped as undergoing a struggle – perhaps a planned strategy to get free advertisement and draw more crowds.

In the melee, the Touring talkies / tent kottais – perhaps are no longer in existence.  Earlier they were granted exemption and the case cited earlier as in Apex Court was on the grant of  exemption to touring cinema within the purview of sub-rule (2) of Rule 14 of the Tamil Nadu Cinemas (Regulations) Rules, 1957. The appellant owned and operated a touring talkies by the name of Sri Karthikeya Touring Talkies.  The Tamil Nadu Cinemas (Regulation) Act, 1955  under Sec 11 gave the power to Govt to exempt  any cinematograph exhibitions or any place where a cinematograph exhibitions or any place where a cinematograph exhibition is given from any of the provisions of this Act or of any rules made thereunder.  It had a proviso that touring talkies will not be allowed in towns  with a population of 50,000 and above, if there are three or more permanent cinemas.  It further stated that touring cinema   shall not be allowed within a distance of 1.609 Km. of  nearest permanent cinema located in the same local area or in the adjacent village, panchayat or town or in the City of Madras.         The distance between any two touring cinemas shall be not less than 0.402 Km.  however, there existed no restriction in regard to the distance between one permanent cinema and another permanent cinema.
~ a tent kottai pic credit : Frontline

            It appears that the appellant's touring cinema was granted exemption in Apr  1988 by reference to Section 11 of the Act which exemption came to an end with effect from  October 28, 1994.  On the same day, the appellant moved a fresh application seeking a similar exemption.  During the pendency of the application on  September 6, 1995 the G.O. No. 1326 came to be issued making an amendment in the Rules.  It also appears that between April 4, 1988 and September 6, 1995 a permanent theatre owned by respondent No.1 had come up into existence which attracted the applicability of Rule 14 and the appellant's touring cinema could not have operated unless and until granted an exemption. 

            Feeling aggrieved by the order dated October 30, 1995, the party agitated in court of law.  The Apex Court observed that it  is well-settled that if an authority has a power under the law merely because while exercising that power the source of power is not specifically referred to or a reference is made to a wrong provision of law, that by itself does not vitiate the exercise of power so long as the power does exist and can be traced to a source available in law.

            Stating so, the Apex court allowed the appeal, setting aside the judgment of the Division Bench.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

18th Oct 2017.            

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

MV Act ~ road rules ....... and driving without licence !!!

In legal Forums, and Court of law, many legal aspects do get analysed in every case.  In the impugned case, the learned counsel for the respondents submitted that the person holding LMV is not entitled to drive the transport vehicle if there is no endorsement on his driving licence to that effect under Section 3(1) of the Motor Vehicles Act from the District Transport Officer.

Section 3(1) of the Motor Vehicles  Act 1988  reads as under : -

"3. Necessity for driving licence.-(1) No person shall drive a motor vehicle in any public place unless he holds an effective driving licence issued to him authorising him to drive the vehicle; and no person shall so drive a transport vehicle [other than[a motor cab or motor cycle] hired for his own use or rented under any scheme made under sub-section (2) of section 75] unless his driving licence specifically entitles him so to do."

In the instant case, the Mini Door 3 Wheeler of the appellant was certainly a transport vehicle as defined in Section 2(47) of the Motor Vehicles Act and, therefore, the endorsement on the driving licence of its driver under Section 3(1) of the Motor Vehicles Act was essential. Without this endorsement, therefore, it can be safely concluded that the driver was not holding a valid driving licence and that the respondents are not liable to pay insurance claim to the appellant.  That was the decision highlighting ‘what constitutes valid license’ decided by - State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission [SCDRC]  Punjab in - Asha Rani vs UIICin Sept. 2010.

The roads are getting congested – and the way people drive mad, it would appear  that only a small proportion are sane…. as you drive in the metropolis – there are killer lorries [water tankers are notorious]; transport corporation buses threaten you; it is so scary  riding infront of tourist taxis, buses of educational institutions and those transporting office goers……….then there are fantastic costly cars whose owners decide that they only are entitled to be on road and drive at breakneck speed – as you feel threatened of your existence, an autorickshaw cuts past from nowhere…… and then there are two-wheeler (many do not look road-worthy but still transport sometimes a group of people)……… there are also cycle rickshaws and the odd bullockcarts – with many cattle [cows / buffaloes / horses] roaming on the street not to speak of the population of stray dogs….

Why do people  drive so fast and negligently – is it sheer fun; is that because of the power of vehicles that thrusts the macho feeling… women on wheel is more dangerous…..What we fail to learn is :  As a Nation, we are not law-abiding.  We would stretch every muscle to break the rules.  Most rules be it traffic rules, signals or other laws are meant to bemuse and restrain the common man. People ride with gay abandon on wrong side and on roads declared as one-ways.   The rich and powerful always consider themselves above the law.  In the busy stretch of KamarjarSalai (Beach Road) in Chennai, where traffic flows right from the morning,  one can often see vehicles violating signals, cutting yellow lines and being driven at break-neck speeds causing trouble, fear, hindrance, nuisance and threat to life and limbs of other road users.  Many of them belong to Politically powerful (one can see the stickers and paintings of political leaders), some Government vehicles, transport corporation buses  and top bureaucrats – many of them even have the red light atop the vehicle.  If it is a rule, does it differentiate between elite and ordinary road users.  Sometimes, even life saving ambulances are not properly provided free way.  Worst, whenever an ambulance winds its way through marauding traffic, people mindlessly try to follow the ambulance by driving fast after that.

But would you drive or allow your son to drive without a valid Driving Licence ?is that not an offence ??  ~ now read this newsitem in today’s Times of India, Chennai edition titled ‘ TNSTC permits over 30 of its drivers to operate buses without valid licence’ – shocking !!

At a time when carrying original driving licence is mandatory for drivers, Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (TNSTC) has allowed more than 30 of its drivers to operate buses without a valid licence  in one case for over six years.The issue came to light when advocate  brought the matter to the notice of the Madras high court. Admitting his plea, Justice T Raja has ordered notice to TNSTC returnable by October 26.

Williams submitted that the driving licence of P Natarajan, a driver with TNSTC, had expired in 2011. Since he had crossed 40 years of age, his licence could not be renewed automatically, as rules mandate his personal appearance before the authorities and a test to prove his physical endurance.But, flouting the rules, Natarajan chose to drive without a valid licence, instead of renewing it. Being the regional secretary of Anna trade union, an affiliate of the ruling AIADMK, Natrajan managed to keep TNSTC officials from bothering him to renew the licence. Natarajan was doing so for the past six years, knowing well that his act was not only illegal but also puts hundreds of innocent passengers' lives at stake. Appalled over the inaction of TNSTC over the issue, Williams approached the high court. He further submitted that knowing that the issue has reached the court, on September 2 TNSTC passed an order stating that action had been taken against two supervisors who failed to supervise the licence issue. Natarajan has renewed his licence now.

This apart, through another order passed by the corporation on August 25, it has come to light that 31 more drivers conductors have not renewed their licences and were allowed to continue their work with expired licence, the advocate said.

Appalling !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

17th Oct 2017.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

31 year old Austrian politician set to become youngest World leader !

Today (Sunday 15th Oct 2o17), Austrians are going to the polls to vote for the country’s National Council, the main legislative body. All 183 seats are up for grabs. A 31-year-old Austrian politician will become the world's youngest leader after pledging to cut all benefits for foreigners, polls suggest.  Back home, in our Nation, the  current Lok Sabha is the second oldest house of independent India; the first was the previous Lok Sabha (15th). The youngest MP in the current House is 28, and the oldest MP is 88. The median age of MPs is 58, that is half of the MPs are 58 years and above.

The Austrian government is taking its case to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) over Germany's plans to introduce charges to use its motorways and highways from 2019. Under the plans drivers would be charged up to £117 (€130) per year to use its roads. Vienna believes the move contravenes European Union (EU) law because although everyone will have to pay, German motorists will get a refund via a reduction in their vehicle tax.  Austria also reportedly is to file a lawsuit against the European Union's approval of the Russian-financed expansion of a nuclear plant in Hungary.

Austria is a federal republic and a landlocked country of over 8.7 million people[2] in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary,  Slovakia, Slovenia, Italy, Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the west.  The majority of the population speaks local Bavarian dialects of German as their native language, and German in its standard form is the country's official language.

The origins of modern-day Austria date back to the time of the Habsburg dynasty, when the vast majority of the country was a part of the Holy Roman Empire. Among the many wars,  Napoleonic invasions weakened the power of the Emperor in the north of Germany, but in the south, and in non-German areas of the Empire, the Emperor and Catholicism maintained control. During the 1914 July Crisis that followed the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria on June 28, Austria-Hungary, emboldened by a pledge of German support, on July 28 declared war on Serbia because that country had not fully complied with an Austrian ultimatum. Austria was thus the first to go to war in the July Crisis, which would ultimately escalate into World War I.

After the collapse of the Habsburg (Austro-Hungarian) Empire in 1918 at the end of World War I, Austria adopted and used the name the Republic of German-Austria (Deutschösterreich), in an attempt at union with Germany, but this was forbidden under the treaties the Treaty of Versailles and Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye (1919). The name was changed to Austria (Österreich) and shortly afterwards The First Austrian Republic was established in 1919. Today, Austria is a parliamentary representative democracy comprising nine federal states. The capital and largest city, is Vienna.

Media reports suggest that Conservative Sebastian Kurz, 31, is set to take power and form an alliance with the far-right.  As well as his pledge on payouts to migrants, he wants to slash Austria's red tape and keep the EU out of national affairs. It would be a fresh headache for Brussels as it struggles with Brexit and the rise of nationalism in Germany, Hungary, Poland and elsewhere. But all signs indicate that Austrians want to swap the gridlocked centrist rule for a more hardline government for the first time in a decade following an influx of asylum seekers.

MailOnline reports that today Mr Kurz was pictured voting in the Austrian capital Vienna alongside his girlfriend Susanne Thier - a finance ministry worker who he met at the age of 18.  According to exit polls, the People's Party, rebranded by 'whizz-kid' Kurz as a 'movement', is forecast to reap more than 30 percent of the vote with pledges to go tough on migrants and easy on taxes.  The eurosceptic Freedom Party is battling for second place with the beleaguered Social Democrats of incumbent Chancellor Christian Kern. Kurz - who as new People's Party leader forced the snap vote in May by ending the coalition with Kern - has yanked his party to the right and is expected to seek a coalition with the far-right.

Founded by ex-Nazis in the 1950s, the Freedom Party almost won the presidency last year and topped opinion polls in the midst of Europe's migrant crisis. Some 6.4 million people are eligible to vote in the closely-watched ballot which is expected to be a tight race.  Political analysts over there state that  a right-wing government could turn Austria into a tricky partner for the EU 

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

15th Oct 2017 @ 11.10 pm.

keeping Ashwin out of scheme ? - Smit Patel 99 - Tripura who ??

One may not easily identify this young lad - Gujarat wicketkeeper-batsman Smit Patel moved out  to join the Tripura cricket team. Patel, a winner of the Under-19 World Cup title in 2012, signed for the North East stating "better opportunities available at Agartala".

Tripura, in Northeast India is the third-smallest state in the country.  It  covers 10,491 km2 (4,051 sq mi) and is bordered by Bangladesh,  the Indian states of Assam and Mizoram.  The area of modern 'Tripura' was ruled for several centuries by the Tripuri dynasty. It was the independent princely state of the Tripuri Kingdom under the protectorate of the British Empire which was known as Hill Tippera while the area annexed and ruled directly by British India was known as Tippera District (present Comilla District).  The independent Tripuri Kingdom (or Hill Tippera) joined the newly independent India in 1949. Ethnic strife between the indigenous Tripuri people and the migrant Bengali population due to large influx of Bengali Hindu refugees and settlers from Bangladesh led to tension and scattered violence since its integration into the country of India, but the establishment of an autonomous tribal administrative agency and other strategies have led to peace.

This news was interesting !  -  Power ministers of India’s northeastern states have proposed a power transmission line between Tripura and West Bengal through Bangladesh.  It is reported that this proposal was put forth in a meeting between the ministers at Shillong, Meghalaya.  , Tripura’s Power Minister Manik Dey reportedly told the reporters that - “Tripura’s transmission line is connected to West Bengal via Assam. It passes through hilly areas and forests. As a result, Tripura and its counterparts in the Northeast often suffer from power disruption.” Tripura, south Assam, Mizoram and Manipur would be benefited if a power line connecting Tripura and West Bengal is set up via Bangladesh, he added.

We are reading about Tripura more because it is in Group C of Ranji Trophy 2017-18 relaid format of 4 groups :  the teams in this group are : Andhra Pradesh, Baroda, Madhya Pradesh, Mumbai, Odisha, Tamil Nadu & Tripura.  The group is tough as only the top 2 teams from each group move to QF.  Tamilnadu did not do all that well in the first match against Andhra and now is playing Tripura at home.

Smit, who moved from Gujarat to Tripura last year, was superbly caught by J Kousik off Washington Sundar on 99 on day one while attempting to hit a six. "It feels bad to get out on 99. The ball was there to be hit and I did go. But I don't regret it because I played really well whole day. The one run could have made a difference," he said. Smit used his feet brilliantly against R Ashwin to unsettle the ace Indian offie during his knock. "I didn't give a thought about the name Ashwin. I played the ball. TN bowlers bowled very well. But whoever was bowling, I was playing on the merit of the ball," he added.

After Aussies, the team from Kiwiland is to tour India – play 3 ODIs and 3 T20s.  One dayers are scheduled on  Oct 22 at Wankhede; Oct 25 at Pune and Oct 29 Kanpur; T20s at Delhi on Nov 1; Rajkot Nov4 and Nov 7 at Thiruvananthapuram. Shardul Thakur and Dinesh Karthik have made their way back into the ODI squad for the three matches against New Zealand starting October 22 in Mumbai. Shikhar Dhawan, who had sought leave for the Australia ODIs to be with his ill wife, also returned to the 15-man squad.  KL Rahul, who was in the squad for the ODIs against Australia, was left out. India's frontline spinners in Tests - R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja - were also not part of the squad which meant the spin trio of Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav and Axar Patel was retained.  In the pace department, Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami were left out from the squad after both of them played only the fourth ODI against Australiain Bengaluru.

The continuous keeping away of ace Ravichandran Ashwin is baffling to say the least ! – the pair of Ashwin and Jadeja have been exceptionally good in Tests and very effective in limited overs format too .. is there something cooking ! – what is the real reason – a player of his calibre cannot be rested for too long and certainly, not against strong opponent like Australia. Is he not our mainstay for the WC 2019 ? Qs and more Qs …. !!

In the Ranji, allrounder Washington Sundar's maiden first-class hundred - 156* off 223 balls - underpinned Tamil Nadu's dominance against Tripura in Chennai. Opening the batting in the absence of M Vijay - who is suffering from a neck spasm - Sundar struck 14 fours and a six to give his team a 74-run first-innings lead at stumps on the second day. He first added 162 for the opening stand with  captain Abhinav Mukund before combining with B Indrajith for an unbroken 152-run stand for the third wicket. Abhinav made 76 off 130 balls - his second successive first-class fifty - while Indrajith stayed unbeaten on 73 off 121 balls. Tripura used seven bowlers with only Joydeep Bhattacharjee and Gurinder Singh finding success. The hosts, ultimately, closed the day at 332 for 2, scoring at over four runs per over.

Earlier, seamer K Vignesh's 4 for 41 helped Tamil Nadu dismiss Tripura for 258 from an overnight 244 for 7. The visitors had lost their last seven wickets for just 55 runs.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

15th Oct 2017.

celebrating Deepavali SYMA way - at SYMA Growth Tuition centre 2017

Deepavali ‘the festival of lights’ is always enchanting – an occasion to wear new clothes, eat sweets, burst crackers, be with friends and relatives – a festivity which brings enjoyment….

The festivity could be felt in the air even before a fortnight, when one walks either in T Nagar area, where every shop be it selling Gold, silver or clothes – are overcrowded – the entire area would be flowing with people jostling to buy more and more.  In our childhood, a small sum of rupees spent would provide a bagful of crackers which would be our pride possession of exhibit to friends and neighbours.   

The reasoning of festivals is to make people happy – sharing of happiness by being with the people, sharing sweets and paying obeisance to elders.  SYMA stands for all the social values.  For creating a better tomorrow, we are striving to provide quality education to poor students.  Only education can uplift the poor to higher echelons – we are creating the infrastructure and are striving to help the poor children, [some of them - first generation students] by providing quality tuition assistance throughout the year in organized manner.  At our fulltime tuition Centre – SYMA Growth, we are now training 115 students [X – Tamil & English medium; +2 Commerce & Science Groups English] in our tenth year of operation [2017-18]

We talk to them, nurture them, guide them, make them understand the good and bad and realize the need for studying well. We strain ourselves to make them feel happy – with Deepavali around the corner, if the students are to be asked, what would make them happy – there would be a list [no our students will not say ‘holidays’ !!]

Today (Sunday, 15th Oct 2017) as the students entered, they were made to assemble in the front hall of NKT Boys High School, little would have they expected what was to follow.  In a well organized planned move [TJ Ramani, Kasthuri, SRP, Sadagopan, Sanjeevi, Mani, Sudarshan, Venkatesh, MK Prema mami, Meyyur Kannan and many others] SYMA gave them some gifts.

As they assembled at 10 am, in a small speech Yours Truly welcomed them, greeted them ‘wishes for Happy and safe Deepavali celebrations’.  Mr Sridharan, REtd Official of State Bank of Travancore and R Kannan, Trade Union leader of Postal employees and others greeted the students providing them insightful information on the need to stay focussed and feel confident of doing well in future. The students were given Deepavali gifts and glee on their faces will have to be seen to be felt.

SYMA supported in this endeavour by Sri AMR Kannan (our ex-office bearer, now in USA) Mr VA Seshadri [our member, now in USA]; Mr TK Mani, Triads [ through our committee member Mr Srinisavan (Fallam)] – the gift packet consisted of
o   Shirt bit [for boys] / chudidhar material [for girls]
o   250gm sweets packet
o   1 veshti and one saree for their parents

The package costs overall around Rs.85000/- overall and we thank our donors for making this happen and our volunteers for the good work in procuring and packing.

One often gets queried on when one should start doing social work, how much one should have to spend for the society, and how much of time, one should devote weekly or monthly .. .. ..  there are answers readily available – not only by looking at our founder members and those who continue to serve SYMA and thereby the society – there are 2 boys Venkatesh & Naveen ~ both of them are studying 11th and this year they have been coming daily to our Tuition centre and helping our coordinator Mrs Thara in her daily chores in administration.  Such commitment and zest for social service is rare ~ SYMA found it necessary to honour them and they were the first recipients of ‘Deepavali Gifts’ for Growth students.

Come join us, support us ~ together we will strive to ensure that the society is much better place to live.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

15th Oct 2017.