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Saturday, March 23, 2019

IPL 12 set to begin ~ no inaugural ceremony - ticket collection donated for Pulawama

                      The big extravaganza IPL 12 – is all set to begin today .. CSK takes on RCB at Chepauk .. ..  In Mar 2012, it was a great show blitz in Chennai ~ the inauguration of IPL 5 ~ it was not at Chepauk, far away from the Cricket stadium at Nandanam there were more crowds – mad people spending so much – not for seeing cricketers in action………….. but  the event that kickstarted the game.   IPL was touted  to be  a treat of entertainment ~ but they opened the stage with bollywood diva Kareena Kapoor, Amitabh Bachchan, Prabhudeva, Priyanka Chopra, Salman Khan, Colonial Cousins and Katy Perry.  Yes, an  American Singer, songwriter and actress - Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson better known by her stage name Katy Perry performed for IPL at  YMCA College of Physical Education ~ an innovative move to promote and popularize and patronize cricket !!!

To those die-hard Cricket fans, when we started following Cricket in mid 1970s – there were : Ranji Trophy, Duleep Trophy, Deodhar Trophy (remember that 129 by TE Srinivasan at Chepauk against star studded West Zone) & Irani Trophy.. .. there tournaments have lost charm over the years.  The 2018–19 Ranji Trophy was the 85th  season of the Ranji Trophy, the premier first-class cricket tournament ~ Vidarbha were the defending champions. For long the Cup rested with Bombay – then there were Delhi, Karnataka .. .. .. .. and .. and some other teams.  This year on 3rd Feb 2019, the finals was played between Vidarbha and Saurashtra !  Vidarbha defeated Saurashtra by 78 runs in the final, to become the sixth team in the tournament's history to retain their title.  For Saurashtra, it was their third straight loss in Ranji Trophy finals, with their captain Jaydev Unadkat saying he was really proud of how his team performed during the tournament.

Statistics may sound music but in reality, the game is not watched, if not followed.   In a sense, Vidarbha’s success is not unexpected. The Board of Control for Cricket in India’s decision to share its monumental largesse with state associations has led to an improvement in the payment of, and the facilities available to, first-class cricketers . A former Vidarbha cricketer, who played for 21 seasons, said that along the way he had seen his meagre match fee of Rs 250 jump to over one lakh rupees. ~ but the crowds have thinned and are closer to dying down – some matches are literally played before empty stands – that is the status of the Premier tournament.  In a match  between Delhi and Andhra Pradesh at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium in the Indian capital, there were about the same number of people in the stands -- around 20 -- as on the pitch. On the final day of the four, this swelled to 150, but only because it was a special occasion -- the swansong of former India opener Gautam Gambhir. People in cricket-mad India also no longer have much passion for the four-day Ranji games -- named after a maharaja who played for England in the 1890s -- preferring the excitement of one-day games and the razzmatazz of Twenty20.

So is it the game or any individual, who is bigger – even in a phase of his career where critics uncharitably thrust mortality stating that this is his last match at this venue and so long – and he himself has chosen out of Test Cricket midway in a Series and presently is planning to play in WC 2019 – the legend MSD – when he walked to Chepauk (not for any match) but for a practice session, more than 12000 spectators were live shouting at peak of their voices chanting – dhoni ! dhoni! Dhoni!!    he can still walk into stadiums across the country and set them alight. For one, the inimitable Super Kings whistle. More significantly: how long the welcome lasted, for nearly a minute-and-a-half, whistles and all, almost as if it were his last game there.

There is another reason though – last year was comeback for CSK - Dhoni and the Super Kings could play only  one match in the city in the last three years.  crowd shrieks; he isn't visible when the video begins, and is likely somewhere behind the backpedalling cameraperson, in the MCC enclosure's vicinity. This is the part of the stadium where people would have first spotted MS Dhoni walking out from behind the sightscreen, two bats in his right hand, and a helmet tucked under his left wrist. Walking out with him is a man, also carrying two bats, who is assisting him. Four bats in two right hands, moving steadily away from our shrieker.  By now, Dhoni's on the field, and everyone has seen him. That's nearly 12,000 people at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, gathered to watch Chennai Super Kings train.  That is the video on the twitter page of CSK.

This year, the IPL will not have an opening ceremony after the Committee of Administrators (CoA) running Indian cricket  decided to allocate the money set aside for it to the families of the CRPF personnel killed in the Pulwama terror attack. The opening ceremonies of the cash-rich T20 league are a heady mix glitz and glamour with performances by Bollywood stars being the highlight. However, as a mark of respect to the slain CRPF men, it has been decided to scrap the ceremony for the event's 12th edition beginning March 23.  .. and ..  ticket proceeds of Chennai Super Kings’ first home match in the 2019 Indian Premier League (IPL) against Royal Challengers Bangalore at Chepauk on March 23 will go towards the families of the victims of the Pulwama terror attack, the team's director Rakesh Singh announced on Wednesday. Tickets to the highly-anticipated clash between defending champions CSK and Virat Kohli’s RCB were sold out within hours on the opening day of sale. “Our captain MS Dhoni, who is honorary lieutenant colonel of the Indian territorial army, will present the cheque,” Rakesh said.

On Monday, it was announced that military bands will perform at the M. A. Chidambaram Stadium ahead of the opening fixture. Officials from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) also confirmed that the Board will contribute Rs. 20 crore for the welfare of the armed forces in the wake of the Pulwama terror attack, where 44 CRPF personnel were killed.  Representatives from the Indian Armed Forces have been invited for the match, which will also be attended by the three members of the Committee of Administrators (CoA).

The extravaganza is about to begin .. CSK kku oru visil podu !!

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
23rd Mar 2019.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Twitter was born this day ! 13 years ago !!

This day (21.3.) is an important day for Social media !! In the ‘hustle & bustle’ of modern World – social media is attractive.  What is your twitter handle ?

TN CM Edappadi K Palaniswami’sVerified accountis :@CMOTamilNadu  ~the trending account of Chennai Super Kings is :  @ChennaiIPL
Virat Kohli with MS Dhoni ~ from the tweet of CSK

For the new comer, the twitter language can be bemusing as it has its own sland and lingo.   @ Sign-- The @ sign is an important code on Twitter, used to refer to individuals on Twitter. It is combined with a username and inserted into tweets to refer to that person or send them a public message. (Example: @username.) When @ precedes a username, it automatically gets linked to that user's profile page. A Twitter handle is a username selected by anyone using Twitter and must contain fewer than 15 characters. Each Twitter handle has a unique URL, with the handle added after Example: Then there is the ‘Hashtag’ referring to a topic, keyword or phrase preceded by the # symbol. An example is #iplseason12. Hashtags are used to categorize messages on Twitter.

Napoléon Bonaparte [1769-1821] the military leaderrose to prominence during the French Revolution and led several successful campaigns during the French Revolutionary Wars. He was Emperor of the French as Napoleon I from 1804 until 1814 and again briefly in 1815 during the Hundred Days. Napoleon dominated European and global affairs for more than a decade while leading France against a series of coalitions in the Napoleonic Wars. He was a master strategist and had brilliant legal acumen too.

The rule of law is defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as: "The authority and influence of law in society, especially when viewed as a constraint on individual and institutional behaviour; (hence) the principle whereby all members of a society (including those in government) are considered equally subject to publicly disclosed legal codes and processes."  The phrase "the rule of law" refers to a political situation, not to any specific legal rule.The rule of law implies that every person is subject to the law, including people who are lawmakers, law enforcement officials, and judges.

The Napoleonic Code was a  French civil code established under Napoleon I in 1804.  It was drafted by a commission of four eminent jurists and entered into force on 21 March 1804.  The Code, with its stress on clearly written and accessible law, was a major step in replacing the previous patchwork of feudal laws. The Napoleonic Code was not the first legal code to be established in a European country with a civil legal system; it was preceded by the Codex Maximilianeusbavaricuscivilis (Bavaria, 1756), and some more;  however, it was the first modern legal code to be adopted with a pan-European scope, and it strongly influenced the law of many of the countries formed during and after the Napoleonic Wars.

Moving on to Twitter from Napoleon, Twitter  is an American online news and social networking service on which users post and interact with messages known as "tweets". Tweets were originally restricted to 140 characters, but on November 7, 2017, this limit was doubled for all languages except Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.  Registered users can post, like, and retweet tweets, but unregistered users can only read them.

Twitter was created in March 2006 by Jack Dorsey, Noah Glass, Biz Stone, and Evan Williams and launched in July of that year. The service rapidly gained worldwide popularity.  During the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Twitter was the largest source of breaking news on the day, with 40 million election-related tweets sent by that day.  Twitter's origins reportedly trace to  a "daylong brainstorming session" held by board members of the podcasting company Odeo.  The original project code name for the service was twttr, an idea that Williams later ascribed to Noah Glass, inspired by Flickr and the five-character length of American SMS short codes.

Twitter was founded on this day, 13 years ago ! - . ..happy tweeting ~ add to your burden of time and checking on social media !!  My twitter handle is :@KairaviniSampath.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
21st Mar 2019.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

17th Lok Sabha Elections ~ Vote without fail .. some trivia !

Have seen him do some ‘adiyaal’ roles and his role as pickpocket in a Vadivelu as bus conductor comedy   was hilarious.  Saw a tweet from our CM Mr Edappadi on his joining his party .. .. it is election time and you get to see lot of actors and actresses joining the bandwagon !  ~ and everyone who has acted in a couple of films perhaps come with a CM ambition ..  when will we have an IITian like the suave Mahohar Parikkar !

The 2019 Indian general election is scheduled to be held in 7 phases from 11 April 2019 to 19 May 2019 to constitute the 17th Lok Sabha.  Legislative Assembly elections in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Odisha and Sikkim will be held simultaneously with the general election.

Life has moved a long way  to EVMs from the ballots – the struggle to punch where ? how to fold and how to put them inside the box ? – is someone watching trouble  - Imagine going through a booklet of about 50 pages inside the polling booth to exercise your right to vote. Scary, Isn’t it? That is exactly what happened in 1996 when 480 candidates contested from Nalgonda Lok Sabha constituency in Andhra Pradesh (Now Telangana). This is the highest number of candidates that ever contested a Lok Sabha election from a single constituency.  The top honour in an Assembly election goes to Modakurichi in Tamilnadu. This also happened in the 1996 elections to the Tamil Nadu Assembly. A whopping 1033 candidates contested from Modakurichi. The election to this constituency had to be postponed by a month since the ballot papers (rather ballot books) were not ready in time. The polling time also had to be increased by two hours. Except three (3), rest of 1030 candidates forfeited their deposit. Not just that :  88 candidates did not get a single vote (even the candidate did not vote for himself) & 158 candidates got ONE vote each.  Way back in 1980s, I had worked extensively for PT Srinivasan, an independent candidate in Triplicane Assembly constituency ~ and the process was quite extracting and interesting !

Ending the suspense over the candidature for Nizamabad MP seat, Congress high command has finalised former MP Madhu Goud Yashki as its nominee. The decision of the grand old party has boosted the morale of the Congress and reportedly, he may give a tough competition to his political rivals in the fray.  NRI turned politician Mr Yashki won as Nizamabad MP in 2004 and 2009 elections, but had lost in 2014 elections against TRS candidate Ms Kalvakuntla Kavitha.

Back home, the opposition, DMK released its list of candidates for 20 seats in Tamil Nadu on Sunday, earmarking four for children of leaders and two for women in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. MK Stalin's sister, MK Kanimozhi, is contesting with her Rajya Sabha term ending in July.  Ironically, the party has allotted just 10% of its total seats for women although it champions the passage of the Women's Reservation Bill, which aims to earmark 33% seats for them.  The children of former DMK leaders who will be contesting on a DMK ticket this time are senior leader Durai Murugan's son Kadir Anand from Vellore; K Ponmudi's son Dr Gautham from Kallakurichi; Arcot Veerasamy's son Kalanidhi; and late leader Thangapandian's daughter Sumathi alias Tamilachi Thangapandian from South Chennai. DMK has not left out its former Union ministers from the list. The party allotted Sriperumpudur to TR Baalu, Central Chennai to Dayanidhi Maran, the Nilgiris to A Raja and Arakkonam to S Jagathrakshakan.

                     It is an epic dumbing down of a democratic exercise called the election, in Mandya. Two film stars with absolutely no political experience, no known adherence to any political ideology and no record of social service are presenting themselves as choices before the electorate in this Lok Sabha constituency in Karnataka. One's claim to fame is that she is the widow of a filmstar-politician and the other is the son of the incumbent chief minister. In this farce, Sumalatha, a senior multi-lingual actress herself, is contesting as an independent after being shunned by the Janata Dal (Secular)-Congress alliance which has put up Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy's actor son Nikhil Gowda as its candidate. Sumalatha seeks to cash in on the sympathy that has been generated after the death of her husband Ambareesh, a hugely popular filmstar from Mandya district. Nikhil is just a couple of movies old neither of which set Sandalwood, aka Kannada film industry, on fire. He is the latest in a long list of HD Deve Gowda's family members who have taken to politics. The former prime minister, soon to turn 87, wants to have another go in next month's elections. His one son (HD Kumaraswamy) is the chief minister and another (HD Revanna) a state cabinet minister. The chief minister's wife is an MLA while Revanna's wife is a Zilla Parishad president. And like Nikhil, Revanna's son Prajwal is contesting from the Hassan Lok Sabha constituency.

~  at Nizamabad, it is reported that about 1,000 farmers are allegedly planning to file nominations against  K Chandrasekhar Rao's daughter Kavitha, to protest the alleged failure of the ruling TRS to ensure minimum support price for turmeric and red jowar (sorghum) produce. About 40 nomination forms were taken by various individuals, including farmers on Monday, the first day of filing nominations, official sources said. Turmeric and red jowar farmers in Nizamabad and Jagtial districts in Telangana have been agitating for higher MSP for the last three weeks. The nomination fee for each contesting candidate for Lok Sabha is Rs.25,000.

Of course, we are set  to see lot more interesting things in the days to come ~ whatever it is – never fail to vote – Ensure that you exercise your franchise ! vote for the right candidate.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
21st Mar 2o19.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Cognitive ability ~ is Elephant a person ?

Aranmula kannadi  is a handmade metal-alloy mirror, made in Aranmula, in Pathanamthitta district of Kerala.  Here is the beautiful temple of Sri Parthasarathi ~ a divyadesam (Thiruvaranvilai – locally Aramula).  Unlike the normal "silvered" glass mirrors, it is a metal-alloy mirror or front surface reflection mirror, which eliminates secondary reflections and aberrations typical of back surface mirrors.  They are considered to be one of the eight auspicious items or "ashtamangalyam" that play a role in the entry of the bride at a wedding venue.  The origins of the Aranmulakannadi are linked to the Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple.

People spend long time in front of mirrors – and at the first instance, one would look to see whether the looks are attractive and needs any correction like combing or make-up – this is but natural for humans (read women).  Do animals react in the same manner ?The mirror test – sometimes called the mark test, mirror self-recognition test (MSR)– is a behavioural technique developed in 1970 by psychologist Gordon Gallup Jr. as an attempt to determine whether an animal possesses the ability of visual self-recognition. The MSR test is the traditional method for attempting to measure self-awareness. However, there has been agreement that animals can be self-aware in ways not measured by the mirror test, such as distinguishing between their own and others' songs and scents.

In the classic MSR test, an animal is anaesthetised and then marked (e.g., painted, or a sticker attached) on an area of the body the animal cannot normally see. When the animal recovers from the anesthetic, it is given access to a mirror. If the animal then touches or investigates the mark, it is taken as an indication that the animal perceives the reflected image as itself, rather than of another animal.Very few species have passed the MSR test.

The most forlorn-looking elephant, ironically named ‘Happy’  caged alone at the Bronx Zoo is also the first elephant to demonstrate self-awareness via the mirror self-recognition test (MSR). Jane Goodall, Steven M. Wise and the legal team at the Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP) secured another first for the sad elephant becoming  the first elephant to be granted a Writ of Habeus Corpus, before the  Orleans County Supreme Court.   For a decade the NhRP has used the legal pathway of Writ of Habeas Corpuson behalf of nonhumans, making the case that elephants and other self-aware, cognitively advanced beings are not ‘things,’ they are not merely ‘property’.   To them, it is wrong to treat animals   as if they're basic, inanimate beings.

Happy is the second cognitively advanced nonhuman to be granted the right to plead for rights afforded legal persons. That may sound confusing but basically, if you’re not a person you need to first win the right to ask for rights. Two chimpanzees, Hercules and Leo, were previously granted Writ of Habeus Corpus.”

The Asian elephant ‘happy’ 47 years of age,  has remained  caged alone for more than a decade at the Bronx Zoo. A writ filed by humans on behalf of other highly intelligent species is the only viable recourse for creatures like elephants who can neither legally, nor practically, plead their case before a judge in court.“Our world-class experts say that, like all elephants, Happy is an autonomous being who evolved to walk 20 or more miles a day as a member of a multi-generational large social group,” said Steven M. Wise, via NhRP press release. “The entirety of the zoo’s elephant exhibit provides far less than even one percent of the space she would roam in a single day in the wild. She doesn’t belong to a social group. Her autonomy is thwarted daily. This has got to stop.”Once used as a pathway to freedom by slaves, a writ of habeas corpus (known as the Great Writ) sets a precedent for all future considerations of the rights and freedoms for intelligent beings, be it animals, aliens or artificial intelligence.
~ a majestic tusker at Thirupunithura, Kerala (just as illustration - nothing to do with article)

The New York State Supreme Court in Orleans County today ruled that a habeas corpus petition filed by the Non-Human Rights Project (NRP) -- claiming Happy, a 47 year old Asian elephant at the Bronx Zoo, should have the same rights as a  person – would be more properly heard in Bronx County. The ruling wass the latest in a long series of losses for this group as they desperately seek ways to use the courts to advance their agenda. Similar petitions brought by NRP in all four judicial departments in the State of New York, as well as a court in Connecticut, have been rejected on the merits.The NRP shopped for a friendly court to file its lawsuit and chose Orleans County as a stage to advance an academic exercise as to whether Happy is “illegally imprisoned.”

Director of the Bronx Zoo and Executive Vice President of Zoos & Aquarium at the Wildlife Conservation Society said - “The NRP has chosen to exploit Happy and capitalize on the Bronx Zoo name to advance its failed political agenda.  They continue to waste court resources to promote their radical philosophical view of “personhood.”   The NRP’s own filings do not question Happy’s care or our facilities, but seek to have her recognized as an autonomous being and transferred to an elephant sanctuary. “We are pleased our motion for change of venue to Bronx County was granted, and we are confident that the courts will continue to do the right thing in this matter”, said the litigant.

With views and counter-views the position of Happy does not seem to have resolved in any manner.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
19th Mar 2019.