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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 twitter.com. Example: http://twitter.com/username. 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.

crowds at Chepauk - IPL 12 - CSK ku oru periya visil adinga !!


Triplicane (as Assembly Constituency) existed from the first General elections in 1952.  From then on, the winners were : 1952  AM Sambandam (INC); 1957 KSG Haja Sheriff (INC); 1962 VR Nedunchezhiyan (dmK); 1967 VR Nedunchezhiyan; 1971 VR Nedunchezhiyan; 1977 M Aranganathan (DMK); 1980 KSG HajaSherif; 1984 Abdul Samad (DMK); 1989 NanjilMahoharan (dmk); 1991 Mohd Asif (AIADMK); 1996 Nanjil Manoharan; 2001 SAM Hussain (DMK); 2006 Sayeed Bader (AIADMK)  ~ then Triplicane got merged with Chepauk becoming ‘ChepaukTriplicane’ – in 2011 & 2016 it was J Anbazhagan.

It is with deep sense of anguish  the residents of Triplicane received the news of realignment of Assembly constituencies – a la – removal of Triplicane constituency itself.  .. .. from Triplicane, to ‘Chepauk-Triplicane’ was bitter – from South Chennai suddenly the area became ‘Chennai Central’.

If we can get away – the only solace was alignment with  Chepauk stadium …  MA Chidambaram stadium to be precise.  We have seen so many first division matches, local tournaments, Buchibabu, Ranji, Duleep, Deodhar trophy matches and then Tests (Pongal Tests !) ..  Test No. 708 – India won by 4 wickets against England;  Test No. 752 ever remembered by that classy knock of Vishwanath; great bowling of Andy Roberts and the defeat (100 runs at that) suffered by Clive Lloyd against Pataudi led Indians in 1975; Test no. 841 Kalicharran led WI lost to Gavaskar captained India in 1979; Test no. 869 – grand Indian win against Pakistan in 1980 – Kapil Dev Man of the Match, SandipPatil made his debut;  Test no. 1089 Vivian Richards led WI lost badly (255 runs) to Ravi Shastri led Indians – Hirwant made dream debut taking 16 wickets – WV Raman and Ajay Sharma also made their debuts….  

                  ~ all Indian wins …. Not the only link… all Chepauk tests… and more importantly the Pongal Tests !!!...............  the ground at Chepauk has been in existence from imperial days – the first ever test here was in 1933-34 when Douglas Jardine played CkNayudu led team.  Crowds have always come in large numbers  ~ it is not only the numbers – they are reputed to be most knowledgeable and appreciative.. but the high rise dividers, barbed fence et.al. gives a different feeling.  In 1970s – remember that the stadium had double-layered fencing – separating the spectators from the playing arena.  Yet, when an Indian scores a century, a couple of people would scale the fence, get down, run, reach the player to congratulate them on their performance. 

Chepauk those days was spacious – the B & C stands had no chairs;  spectators used to carry bedsheets along squatting on the huge concrete steps much earlier before the game started.  The stadium had huge pillars, round in shape – so huge that perhaps it would require four persons holding hands to round them.  They were the  impediments too as they would hide the view on some angles from the place one sat. .. ..  and as we sat at least an hour or more before the start of the match – the stadium would erupt – someone has already spotted those gentlemen in black & white with caps – the Umpires .. it was festival mode.  Sadly, there are not many Tests or ODIs being played here and crowds have started dwindling – Ranji trophy matches are played to empty stands. 

Indian Premier League is different – even with 3 stands closed by Court order, it attracts huge crowds.  .. sadly, for 2 years there were no matches and then last year, only the first match could be played at CSK home ground, Chennai Chepauk – as politics ensured that matches had to be shifted to Pune venue. With the 12th edition of the Indian Premier League around the corner, Chennai has once again been taken over by Dhoni and Chennai Super Kings mania.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni's ascent to dizzying heights put a small city like Ranchi inadvertently on the cricket map. From the eastern state of Jharkhand, MSD has become the heart-throb of the city.  On Sunday evening (17.3.2019), ahead of a CSK practice match at the M. A. Chidambaram Stadium, the serpentine queues outside the main entrance could be mistaken for an eager audience ramping up to an international match.The team bus arrived at the venue, to delirium. Every spectator on the periphery, unfazed by the gruelling heat and humidity, crowded around to watch.Fans pushed and shoved. Security guards held hands, to stop the surge but to no avail.Inside, the noise from the three jam-packed stands immediately rose by several decibels as the CSK players made their way to the middle.

It reached a crescendo when three-time IPL champion, Dhoni, marched out with his pads on during the innings break.  Dhoni rolled his arm briefly, as  the boisterous crowd swayed to the trajectory of the ball as it left his hand.

Fans of those days transcended barbed fence barriers – for that single moment hand-shake with the achiever ~ but the security perception those days was different.  Now comes the news that a 21-year-old college student breached security at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chepauk and ran towards Chennai Super Kings captain M S Dhoni on Sunday evening.Members of the CSK, an IPL franchise and last edition’s winners, were practising and fans were allowed inside the stadium to watch.They were allowed to occupy three sections of the gallery in the stadium.The youth, identified as Aravind Kumar from Madurai, crossed the security ringand ran towards Dhoni. Aravind wanted to shake hands with Dhoni and also hug him.Seeing the fan running towards him, the CSK captain started running away but later stopped to shake hand with him.

Even as others tried to prevent Aravind from getting close to Dhoni, members of a police team providing security to the cricketers rushed to the scene and whisked away the youth.He was taken to the Triplicane police station.Police questioned him and found that he was a college student from Madurai, who had come to Chennai just to meet Dhoni.The video of the youth running to shake hands with Dhoni soon went viral on social media platforms. Police later let him go after issuing a warning.

So ready for the IPL – Chennai Super Kingskku oru whistle podu ! ~ enga thalai Dhonikku periya whistle adinga !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
19th Mar 2019.