Search This Blog

Friday, December 30, 2011

Tropical Cyclone Thane crosses near Cuddalore / Pondicherry

It rained incessantly and it has been windy – Chennai has escaped – Cuddalore, Pondy bore the brunt of  very severe cyclonic storm, "Thane'.  Burma, officially the Republic of Myanmar bordered by China, Laos, Thailand, Bangladesh and India has its hand in the havoc. ##

Cyclones are named in advance.  Arising out of their long-term persistence, the need for a unique identifier was felt and hence started the convention of naming cyclones.  The tropical cyclones within the basin of North Indian Ocean are named from the list selected by members of listed countries.   Tropical cyclones are named to provide easy communication between forecasters and the general public regarding forecasts, watches, and warnings.

A tropical cyclone is a rotational low pressure system in tropics.  The word cyclone is derived from Greek word ‘cyclos’ which means ‘coiling of a snake’. The word cyclone was coined by Heary Piddington who worked as a Rapporteur in Kolkata during British rule. The terms "hurricane" and "typhoon" are region specific names for a strong "tropical cyclone". Tropical cyclones are called “Hurricanes” over the Atlantic Ocean and “Typhoons” over the Pacific Ocean. The "eye" is a roughly circular area of comparatively light winds and fair weather found at the centre of a severe tropical cyclone.

Track of Cyclone Thane – www.

From the official version of IMD, the very severe cyclonic storm, "Thane', on Friday crossed the Tamil Nadu coast, leaving six persons dead and causing extensive damage to Cuddalore and the neighbouring Union Territory of Puduchery which remained cut-off from the nearby districts of the state.   IMD Bulletin No. BOB 05/2011/34  issued at 0930 hrs on 30.12.2011 reads

***  The very severe cyclonic storm 'THANE' over southwest Bay of Bengal moved further westward and crossed north Tamil Nadu coast between Cuddalore and Puducherry between 0630 and 0730 hrs IST of today. It then continued to move westwards and weakened into a severe cyclonic storm and lay centered at 0830 hrs IST of today, the 30th December 2011 near latitude 11.80N and longitude 79.50E about 30 Km west of Cuddalore and 35 Km southwest of Puducherry. The system is likely to move westwards and weaken further. ***
Train services from southern Tamil Nadu were hit as many of them ran late or were stopped in the nearby station while many flights to international destinations were cancelled.

Hundreds of trees were reported uprooted and fallen disrupting traffic on the highways and damaging nearby property.  Deaths arising out of falling walls, trees and electrocution have also been reported. Many people have been evacuated from the coastal areas and have been moved to three shelters in safer areas.

Satellite image of  Cyclone Thane @0730 30.12.11  – IMD Chennai

At Pondy, the damage is extensive and the cyclone is reported to be  an unprecendented disaster. The entire police and other departments are now clearning theroads for traffic movement," the Collector said. 
Power supply was suspended around 10.30 p.m. on Thursday. About 200 trees besides electric polses were uprooted in the town of Puducherry and adjoining residential areas cutting off vehicular traffic. On all streets trees have been uprooted, sources said. The damage is more on the  Puducherry-Cuddalore Road and the East Coast Road , which connects the town to Chennai.  The town experienced heavy winds from around 11 p.m. Thursday which intensified around 3 am and continued till 8 a.m. on Friday. There was not much rain till around 11 a.m. on Friday.   Puducherry  also remains  cut off from the neighbouring districts of Villupuram and Cuddalore in Tamil Nadu as several trees fell on the roads due to the impact of gale winds, official sources said.

Behind such news is always the agony of poor and many who are rendered homeless and devastated by loss of property and sometimes lives.  The Govt, common public and Social Service Organisations should provide shelter, food, clothes and aid to those affected.

##  The name to the present cyclone ‘Thane’ was given by  Burma.  In the list, Bangladesh gave – Onil, Ogni, Nisha; India gave Agni, Akash, Bijli, Jal;  Hibaru, Gonu, Aile were given by Maldives; Pyarr, Phyan, Thane were given by Myanmar; Oman gave Baaz, Sidr, Ward, Murjan………

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

Cyclone Thane expected to cross near Pondicherry in a few hours from now

Red alert declared in the coasts of Tamilnadu and Andhra Pradesh and going by various weather bulletins Cyclone Thane is expected to cross the land near Puducherry at around 0700 am today [30th Dec 2011]  Some reports suggest that it would cross anytime between 0700 to 0900 am.
Here is the update from IMD Chennai - dated: 30.12. 2011 Time of issue:0530 hours IST
The very severe cyclonic storm  Thane  over southwest Bay of Bengal moved westward and lay at centered at 0230 hrs IST of today, the 30th December 2011 near latitude 11.80N and longitude 80.30E, about 50 km east of Puducherry and 125 km south of Chennai (Tamilnadu). The system is likely to move westwards and cross north Tamil Nadu coast close to south of Puducherry within a few hours.
Under the influence of this system, rainfall at most places with heavy to very heavy falls at a few places and isolated extremely heavy falls (25cm or more) would occur over north Tamil Nadu & Puducherry during next 24 hours. Rainfall at most places with isolated heavy to very heavy rainfall would also occur over south coastal Andhra Pradesh and Rayalseema and isolated heavy rainfall would occur over south Tamil Nadu during the same period.
Gale winds speed reaching 110-120 kmph gusting to 135 kmph is likely along and off north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and adjoining south Andhra Pradesh coasts during next 12 hours.
Storm surge of about 1.0-1.5 meter height above the astronomical tide would inundate the low lying areas of Puducherry and Chennai, Tiruvallur, Kanchipuram & Villupuram districts of north Tamil Nadu at the time of landfall.
Sea condition is phenomenal along and off north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and adjoining south Andhra Pradesh coasts.
Fishermen along north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry & south Andhra Pradesh coasts are advised not to venture into sea during next 24 hrs.
Even after landfall the system is likely to maintain its intensity for 12 hours and weaken gradually. Under its influence rainfall at most places with heavy to very heavy falls at a few places and isolated extremely heavy fall is likely to continue over north Tamil Nadu and Pudducherry during next 24 hours after landfall causing inundation of low lying areas. Gale/squally wind speed reaching 80-90 kmph gusting to 100 kmph causing damage to thatched roofs and huts breaking of tree branches causing minor damage to power and communication lines over north Tamil Nadu and Pudducherry during 12 hours after the landfall. People are advised to remain indoor/safe place and cooperate with state Govt. officials and disaster management agencies.

Wth regards – S. Sampathkumar.
 Satellitte picture of Thane as released by IMD Chennai at 0200 hrs 301211
 And a picture from

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Cyclone "Thane" and water stagnation at Marina beach

It has been raining steadily in Chennai as the City fears the  very severe cyclonic storm ‘THANE’ (ECP 996 hpa).  The cyclone  over Southwest  Bay of Bengal moved West-southwestwards and lay centered at  0300 hours UTC of today, the 29th December 2011 near latitude 12.00N and longitude 82.50E,  about 270 km East-southeast of Chennai.

Here is some extract of Indian Meteorological Department [IMD] warning : 29.12. 2011 Time of issue:1330 hours IST

The system is likely to move West-wards and cross North Tamil Nadu coast between Nagapattinam and Chennai close to Puducherry around morning of 30th December 2011. However as the cyclonic storm will come further close to the coast, there is a probability of slight weakening before landfall.  

Great danger signal number Ten kept hoisted at Puducherry and Cuddalore ports, Great danger signal number Nine kept hoisted at Chennai and Ennore ports and Great danger signal number Eight kept hoisted at Nagapattinam port.

Under the influence of this system, rainfall at most places with heavy to very heavy falls at a few places and isolated extremely heavy falls (25cm or more) would occur over north Tamil Nadu & Puducherry during next 48 hours.

Squally winds speed reaching 55-65 kmph gusting to 75 kmph is likely along and off north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and south Andhra Pradesh coasts. The wind speed will increase gradually becoming 110-120 kmph gusting to 135 kmph along and off north Tamilnadu and adjoining south Andhra Pradesh coast from today night onwards.

Storm surge of about 1 meter height above the astronomical tide would inundate the low lying areas of Chennai and Tiruvallur, Kanchipuram & Villupuram districts of north Tamil Nadu at the time of landfall.

Sea condition is very rough. It will gradually become very high to phenomenal along and off north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and south Andhra Pradesh coasts.  Fishermen along north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry & south Andhra Pradesh coasts are advised not to venture into sea during next 48 hrs

Fear has  gripped coastal Andhra as high tidal waves lashed the coast under the impact of 'Thane'.  There are reports of  high tidal waves of 8-10 feet, and  sea water inundating some places in Nellore, Prakasam and Srikakulam districts.The road between Uppada and Kakinada in East Godavari district was cut off Wednesday as the waves damaged the embankment and the sea water overflowed the beach road, an official said.

Chennai houses one of the beautiful beaches – the sandy Marina beach – a beach with vast expanse of sand and beautiful ocean.  The beach runs from near Fort ST. George to Besant Nagar – a distance of 13 kilo meters but most prominent is the part from Chennai University [Anna square] to the new Light House [opp to All India Radio] and the part till Foreshore Estate. 

Marine is primarily a sandy beach unlike the rocky formations elsewhere.  People visit the place in the evening for the pleasure of sea breeze; in the morning hundreds walk along the shore. 

Sands will not hold water and soon the rain water would permeate in few minutes and drain away.  Of late, it is observed frequently that in a particular place – just opposite to the Vivekananda House [Ice House], rain water stagnates for days, giving an impression of pond.

In the same place, though there were not much of rains, water collected resembling a small river or a huge pond – most probably from the high tidal waves.

Here are some photos taken this morning at Marina beach [around 0700 am on 29th Dec 2011]
 View from the service road – water on sand

Another view

The stagnated water as seen from near sea side

The roaring waves

Another view from near sea towards the road.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

Cyclone Thane threatens, Anna retires and India succumbs tamely

It is raining incessantly and there are fears about the  “very severe” cyclonic storm as it  lay centered about 250 km of Chennai, with the weather office forecasting winds touching up to 135 kph and advising fishermen against venturing into sea for the next two days.   “The very severe cyclonic storm ‘Thane’ over southwest Bay of Bengal  is likely to move westwards and cross north Tamil Nadu coast between Nagapattinam and Chennai, close to Puducherry around early morning of December 30th,” the regional Meteorological department said.   Here is something on cyclone ‘Thane”

Anna has retired hurt – he has ended his fast; Mumbai was certainly not the best of venues.  At his favourite ground in Delhi, the  Lokpal Bill survived a near-death experience in the Lok Sabha, but its passage in the Rajya Sabha is in grave danger.  With all the rhetoric it  may eventually end up in empty nothing.  Clearly the UPA does not have a majority in Rajya Sabha having only 95 off 243 members – so once again the smaller parties and splinter groups can make or mar the calculations of the bigger parties.   Assuming that is has a passage also, its fate could still be uncertain – the situation is more complex with TMC opposing it ; the major Political opponent wants amendments. If any amendments are made to the Bill as passed by the Lok Sabha, the bill will have to be sent back for passage again. If the Lok Sabha rejects those amendments, a joint session of Parliament may be required to get the Bill passed.  Another example of how politicians can make it appear but at the same time ensure that it would never happen.   -  and for the Public there should be some passage of time or some other more controversial news would ensure that this is no longer remembered.  It has also revealed that when it comes to weakening any strong move, all parties are more or less equal..   

At Melbourne, after raised expectations yesterday – the reality dawned today with the tail wagging long enough and Aussie bowling power combining to ensure that the chase became meaningless and visitors succumbed too meekly and easily to a 122 run loss on day 4 at MCG.  This morning  Pattinson played for long to take the score to 240 setting up a overall target of 292.

The highest 4th innings total in a winning cause stands 332/7 of  England way back in 1928 and all chases above 230 came before 1963.  Historically, no team has chased down a 200+ target at MCG.  India has made some successful chases in 4th innings in recent times but none of them are outside the continent.  In the first essay Indian middle order and late middle order folded so cheaply that this is one of their lowest.  

One did not need history or statistics to back an Indian loss.  Indian cricket fan wishing a victory was more of ‘only hope than any thinking of reality’ and the soon the reality dawned rather crudely. 

The man who was expected to take the fight to opposition Virender Sehwag was out for 7 before lunch; Gambhir scratched for a while for his 13, Dravid was bowled once again for 10, Laxman made 1 and Virat Kohli made none – 5 down and nothing to look forward to. Soon Sachin returned with his top scoring becoming meaningless.  Ashwin’s 30, Dhoni 23 and Yadav’s 21 can at best be regarded as some nuisance value as Indians buckled showing no resilence at all. 

There were many opportunities in this Test and all went begging – Indians never showed the gumption to capitalise on them. So another time, after the first test, Indians are down 0-1 in an away series.

In the era of spin quartet, Indian batsmen flinched regularly, then when our batting peaked, we did not have quality bowlers to support the great Kapil Dev. This time the raw bowling attack has done rather well bowling Aussies out for 333 and 240 – but Indian batting came apart.   Umesh Yadav bowled extra ordinarily.  Ishant was not amongst wickets but Ian Chappel commented that one of this deliveries to Ponting was 152 kmph – ever heard an Indian bowler delivering beyond 150 !! – when he bowled Michael Clarke,  the leg bail flew over MS Dhoni's hand.

So we will look forward to the next test starting on 2nd day of new year 2012 at Sydney. 

With regards - S. Sampathkumar

BPL (Bangla Premier League) and Ranji Trophy

Every one will try to replicate Success whether Success will eventuate is destiny !  Immediately after crowning in Beauty Pageants,  lot of locally staged events would sure follow !!

After the roaring success in terms of money for all those involved in Indian Premier League, our neighbours are trying to have their version.  The first edition of the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL)  is to  kick off on February 9, 2012 with the final to be played on February 29. The 20-day tournament will feature six teams that will play each other twice each in a round-robin format over 33 matches to be held in Chittagong and Dhaka. Teams will be allowed to field five foreign players in their XIs, as opposed to four in the IPL. Adam Gilchrist, Mathew Hayden, Kieron Pollard, Dwayne Bravo, Kamran Akmal and James Anderson are among at least 25 foreign players who have made themselves available for the tournament.

Former Indian opener Arunlal is a consultant and is one of the tournament organisers according to news.  Similar to IPL, each team is to have an icon player.   This time all their own country men - Tamim Iqbal will be the icon player for Chittagong, Mohammad Ashraful for Dhaka, Alok Kapali for Sylhet, Shahriar Nafees for Barisal, Mushfiqur Rahim for Rajshahi and Shakib Al Hasan for Khulna. The players will be paid 5% more than the amount received by the highest paid player of each franchise.

Yet another time the players will be under the hammer around 15th of Jan 12-  before that the bids of the Companies owning the team is  planned to be held on Jan 5 either at Dhaka or at Cox’s Bazaar.  Each  Franchisee will have to spend a minimum of US $2 million and can spend up to a maximum of $5 million. 

The Organisers hope to cash by television relay in a new sports channel in Bangladesh and also are hoping that the winner of the BPL will be given a place in the Champions League Twenty20 next year.

On Umpiring and DRS, Mustafa Kamal, the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president, said that weaker teams get the short end of the stick when it comes to umpiring decisions. – which cannot be brushed aside.  Bangla team rightly believes that it has been at the receiving end in some tours and even at home. 

At the time of drubbing at Melbourne, not much would be read on Ranji Trophy but the Quarter Finals of the Country’s premier tournament is to be held from Jan 2nd to 5th 2012 and the line up is :   

•  Hyderabad vs Rajasthan at Hyderabad
•  Karnataka vs Haryana at Bangalore
•  Tamil Nadu vs Maharashtra at Chennai
•  Madhya Pradesh vs Mumbai at Indore

The Semis would take place between Jan 10-13.  Rajasthan the defending champion are planning to have another go after their outright victory against Saurashtra. 

It is a pointer to the intent and money that is flowing in all forms of the game – Rajasthan now has Meyrick Pringle,  as their  short-term bowling coach.  He is said to be creating waves.  He had earlier come to Jaipur to coach at a private academy but Rajasthan Cricket Association offered him the post.  In the 1992 World Cup match at Lancaster Park, Christchurch on 5th Mar 1992, Pringle had a great match against West Indies.

Defending 201 against the likes of Des Haynes, Lara, Richardson, Hooper, Arthurton, Logie – Pringle had figures of 8-4-11-4 bowling out the Windies for a lowly 136.

Pringle, later coached Netherlands and Namibia.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

Tropical Very Severe Cyclonic Storm 'Thane' poses danger to Tamilnadu & Andhra Pradesh

Tropical cyclone ‘Thane' in the south-west Bay of Bengal is at least 36 hours away from a landfall to the south of Chennai, likely over Pondicherry and neighbourhood, as suggested by a couple of international models.  It is raining in Chennai [not heavily] and there are reports of Cyclone crossing the land  - Very Severe Cyclonic Storm Thane (IMD designation: BOB 05, JTWC designation: 06B, also known as Cyclone Thane) is the second cyclonic storm and the first storm to reach Severe Cyclonic Storm intensity during the 2011 North Indian Ocean cyclone season. Developing out of an area of low pressure on December 25, Thane organized into a tropical storm and eventually a Severe Cyclone thereafter. The system now poses a serious threat to the Indian states of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, and their coasts have been set on high alert.

-the position of cyclone Thane @ 28.12.11 11 pm IST :
IMD reported on December 25 that a low-pressure area had organised itself into a depression over southeast Bay of Bengal, about 1000 km southeast of Chennai.Soon, it  was upgraded to a tropical cyclone, the depression intensified into a deep depression on December 26.[It was further upgraded to a Cyclonic Storm and named it 'Thane', making it the second cyclonic storm of the season.  The JTWC reported that windspeeds in the storm center have crossed 65 knots per hour, thus the storm is the first cyclonic storm of the 2011 season to reach Category 1 status in the SSHS hurricane scale, there after it is reported to have reached Very Severe Cyclonic Storm status.

Indian Meteorological Department issued  Port Warning ** no. Ten this morning @ 0530 hrs IST today [29th Dec 2011].  The report reads :
The very severe cyclonic storm ‘THANE’ over Southwest  Bay of Bengal remained practically stationary and lay centered at 2330 hrs IST of Yesterday, the 28th December 2011 over southwest of Bengal near latitude 12.50N and longitude 84.00E, about 400 km East-southeast of Chennai.
Forecast:  The system is likely to move West-wards intensify further and cross North Tamil Nadu coast between Nagapattinam and Chennai close to Puducherry around morning of 30thDecember 2011. However as the cyclonic will come further close to the coast after 24 hours, there is a probability of slight weakening before landfall.   
Advice for hoisting Storm Warning Signals :  Great danger signal number Ten kept hoisted at Puducherry and Cuddalore ports, Great danger signal number Nine kept hoisted at Chennai and Ennore ports and Great danger signal number Eight kept hoisted at Nagapattinam ports. Local cautionary signal number Three kept hoisted at Pamban and Tuticorin ports.
Weather warning:
              1.  Under the influence of this system, rainfall at most places with isolated heavy falls likely to commence over North coastal Tamil Nadu and Puducherry from today, the 29th December 2011. The intensity of the rainfall would increase with heavy to very heavy falls at a few places and isolated extremely heavy falls from today, the 29th December 2011 and extend to North Interior Tamil Nadu.
             2.  Squally weather with wind speed reaching 50-60 Kmph likely to commence along off coastal districts of North Tamil Nadu and Puducherry from today, the 29th December 2011.
             3.  Gale force wind with speed reaching 100-110 kmph gusting to 125 kmph would prevail along off North Tamil Nadu and Puducherry Coast at the time of landfall.
            4. Tidal wave with height 1.0 metres above astronomical tide would inundate the low lying areas of Chennai, Tiruvallur, Kanchipuram, Cuddalore, Villupuram and Nagapattinam districts of North Coastal Tamil Nadu and Puducherry at the time of storm crossing the coast.
Sea condition:  Sea will be very rough to high along and off Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coast from today, the 29th December 2011.
             Fishermen are advised not to venture into open sea. Those who are out at sea are advised to return to the coast. Total suspension of fishing operation is advised.

Image as released by IMD – 29.12.11 @ 00:30 hrs.
The squally winds and the cyclonic storm are expected to cause extensive damage to thatched roof and huts, minor damage to power and communication line due to uprooting of large avenue trees. Flooding of escape routes.
** The India Meteorological Department (through the area cyclone warning centres (ACWCs)/ cyclone warning centres (CWCs) maintains a port warning service by which the port officers are warned about disturbed weather likely to affect their ports.  In accordance with international procedure, ports are warned and advised to hoist "Signals" whenever adverse weather is expected over the ports for the oceanic areas, in which it is located due to the tropical cyclone. However, regional difference exists. 
The Port Warning consists of 11 signals - first two of which (signals No. I and II) indicate the existence of distant disturbed weather, the next eight (signals  III to X) indicate that the port itself is threatened by bad weather and the last one (signal No. XI) indicates that the communication with the ACWC/CWC had broken down and that in the opinion of the local Port Officer, there is danger of bad weather. Signals No. I and II are called Distant Signals and the rest Local signals. The ports where this system of signals is in use are called General ports.
With the threat of Cyclone ‘Thane’ State Governments of Tamilnadu and Andhra Pradesh are on high alert and are making arrangements to fore-warn and provide all assistance to the people of coastal areas.

With regards
S. Sampathkumar.  

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

"Jana Gana Mana" is Century Old......

It is a hundred of a different kind – more important for the Nation and do you know the Madanapalle connection to this.  Madanapalle is a town in the District of Chittoor in Andhra Pradesh. 

0n 27th Dec 2011, the Indian National Anthem “Jana Gana Mana” completed 100 years.  It was on this day in 1911 that the song, penned by Rabindranath Tagore, was first sung at the Calcutta session of the Indian National Congress.  Eventually, three years after India became independent, the Constituent Assembly officially adopted it as the country's national anthem - on January 24, 1950.

Have you observed that  when the National Anthem is played by a band, the Anthem will be preceded by a roll of drums to assist the audience to know that the National Anthem is going to be played.  The duration of the roll, in terms of marching drill, will be 7 paces in slow march. The roll will start slowly, ascend to as loud a volume as possible and then gradually decreases to original softness, but remaining audible until the seventh beat. One beat rest will then be observed before commencing the National Anthem.

The most reverred song “Jana Gana Mana” our National anthem is written in highly Sanskritized (Tatsama) Bengali, it is the first of five stanzas of a Brahmo hymn composed and scored by Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore.  A formal rendition of the national anthem takes fifty-two seconds. A shortened version consisting of the first and last lines (and taking about 20 seconds to play) is also staged occasionally

The poem was composed at the time of the Coronation Durbar of George V. Some consider it to be in praise of King George V and not God.  Tagore, however, translated Jana Gana Mana into English as the Morning Song of India, addressing God and the motherland.

In Tagore’s own State of West Bengal, it is reported that  a  century later, a packed audience, including West Bengal Governor M.K. Narayanan and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, stood up in reverence to the song performed at the Town Hall, the 19th century monument that has been witness to several important meetings and gatherings.

A commentary of the events that preceded and followed the composition of the song interspersed with extracts from Tagore's reminiscences, writings and songs traced “the ideation and evolution of Jana Gana Mana.”  The hour long performance was directed  and narrated by noted filmmaker Rituparno Ghosh.

Jana Gana Mana was translated, from Sanskrit to English, by Rabindranath Tagore and the music on this English Translation was set in Madanapalle, a small town in Andhra Pradesh.  Irish poet James H. Cousin’s  wife, Margaret, who was an expert in Western music, set down the music for this English version. The framed original English translation is  reported to be displayed in the library of Besant Theosophical College in Madanapalle.  Tagore was on a tour of South India and took  rest at the Theosophical College in Madanapalle

Besant Theosophical College is one of the oldest colleges in the Rayalaseema Region of Andhra Pradesh. It was established much before Sri Venkateswara University was established. The college started on 19 July 1915. Initially it was affiliated to Madras UniversityDuring the visit of Tagore, "The Scout Movement" and "All India Women Association" were inaugurated at Madanapalle.

The National anthem of India is :

Jana-gana-mana-adhinayaka, jaya he
Tava shubha name jage,
Tava shubha asisa mage,
Gahe tava jaya gatha,
Jana-gana-mangala-dayaka jaya he
Jaya he, jaya he, jaya he,
Jaya jaya jaya, jaya he!

Whenever the Anthem is sung or played, the audience shall stand to attention. However, when in the course of a newsreel or documentary the Anthem is played as a part of the film, it is not expected of the audience to stand as standing is bound to interrupt the exhibition of the film and would create disorder and confusion rather than add to the dignity of the Anthem.

As in the case of the flying of the National Flag, it has been left to the good sense of the people not to indulge in indiscriminate singing or playing of the Anthem.

Jai Hind

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

Diamond, Palladium and State of Montana

The greatness of Test Cricket is its swings and changes – After restricting Aussies to 333, Indians were 212 for 2 at one stage but last Tendulkar at the dying minutes.  Today there were expectations of Indians posing a formidable total and putting pressure on the hosts.  Hilfenhaus on his comeback had other ideas as he quickly got rid of Rahul Dravid and followed with wickets of Kohli, Dhoni, Ishant whilst Siddle took care of Laxman and Ashwin who made a useful 31.

Australia has a lead of 51 – Warner dragged one back, Cowan and Marsh followed soon – all out to Umesh Yadav and Ishant accounted for Clarke.  Aussies were pinned on the mat at 27/4 – but  recovered through Ponting and Mike Hussey…………

At a different pitch, miles away from Melbourne amid growing concerns of his health, Anna Hazare continued his second day of his three-day fast in Mumbai.  There are reports of only a handful activists present in the sprawling venue as Team Anna members appealed to him to call off his hunger strike.  There are fears that Anna will require hospitalisation owing to a deterioration in his health.   What is to be read ? – an accomplishment or a realisation that none of the political parties is serious about this.  The Lok Pal Bill in its shape has squeaked through in the Lok Sabha but its fate in Rajya Sabha hangs in uncertainty.  The political polarisation was clearly evident in Lok Sabha and in the Upper House, UPA does not have the majority and the bill may not fructiry into a law in near future.

After seeing so many Indian politicians, would you feel refreshed to know about Brian David Schweitzer ? and do you hold any quantity of Palladium ?

Palladium is a chemical element with the chemical symbol Pd and an atomic number of 46. It is a rare and lustrous silvery-white metal discovered in 1803 by William Hyde Wollaston.    It is widely used in  catalytic converters, which convert up to 90% of harmful gases from auto exhaust; it is used in electronics, dentistry, medicine, hydrogen purification, chemical applications, and groundwater treatment. And it is used in jewellery also.

Now International analysts  suggest that  Diamond prices are poised to rise for the next four years, outpacing gold, as increased spending on luxury goods in China, India and the Middle East outpaces supplies of the precious stone.   It is stated that the  average price of rough, or uncut, diamonds will probably rise 9 percent to $145 a carat next year, 1.4 percent in 2013 and 4.8 percent in 2014.   Gold is forecast to decline for three years starting 2013, following a 19 percent gain in 2012, according to the median of seven analyst forecasts compiled by Bloomberg News.  These are analysis based on market demand and supply but not driven by sentimental values, which appear to determine the demand for Gold in India. 

The demand for diamonds is expected to double the pace of supply reportedly due to expanding middle class in China and India.  So we can be happy that we are determining something internationally. It is reported that these Nations and Middle East will account for a very high % of global diamond demand in the years to come. Rough diamonds advanced 24 percent this year, according to an index compiled by   Whilst there reportedly has been a large inflated artificial demand for Gold, the same seemingly does not exist for diamond.   

So what will the Salaried middle class of India do – save and invest – invest where in ‘dipping share market’; buy e-gold;  buy physical silver; enter commodity market or start buying uncut / polished diamond – remember all or any of these only as investment not for wearing and showcasing around…….

In Montana, Governor  Brian Schweitzer  reportedly has given out coins made of Montana palladium worth more than $600 to people who suggest ways for the state to save money. His favorite idea: quit printing government telephone directories.   He is quoted as saying in an interview that one has to be smart enough to figure out how to find someone online and there is no need for printed telephone directories !

Remember, we used to have 2 big volume books of Indian Telephones listing out the telephone numbers, given out free almost every year for all subscribers. Now think whether you can demand a few sheets of such printed paper from any of the private players be it Airtel, Tata, Aircel, Uninor, Vodafone or anybody else for that matter…

In a Country where Governors are reported to run their State like a business, Schweitzer call his his management style “running government like a ranch.” Montana was one of only two states to report surpluses from 2009 to 2011, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. The other was North Dakota.   Rising tax collections on individual income, corporate licenses, oil and gas production and insurance will leave $427 million to spare at the end of June 2013, according to  report by the Legislative Fiscal Division. As for those one-ounce palladium coins donated by a local mining company, they’re worth about $660 now, up from $430 in May, 2010.

Brian David Schweitzer  is the Governor of the US State of  Montana.  He is one with highest approval ratings among governors in the nation, with polls regularly showing a rating of above 60 percent.   Schweitzer, a soil engineer who owns two working ranches, used a branding iron to burn the word “veto” on seven paper bills passed by the Republican-led Legislature in April.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The tale of genius – Srinivas Ramanujan ‘the man who knew infinity”

On 26th Dec 2011 – Chennai turned chaotic – traffic was thrown out of gear everywhere due to the PM’s visit.  Much was expected from him as solutions to the ‘Koodankulam issue’ and the ‘Mullaiperiyar issue’ that is threatening the relations between the two States.  Nothing happened other than the traffic disruptions perhaps….

December 22, 2011 marked the 125th birth anniversary of the mathematical genius Srinivasa Ramanujan.  At Madras University, our Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh inaugurated the yearlong celebrations of  125th birth anniversary of mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan.  He declared December 22, Ramanujan's birthday, as  the National Mathematics Day and 2012 the National Mathematics Year.  Dr. Singh also released a commemorative stamp on the occasion.   The Prime Minister reminded parents and students that mathematics was “the mother science,” which was also influencing the study of social sciences in a big way.  He favoured popularising mathematics as an academic discipline, saying the general perception that the subject does not offer attractive career possibilities is no more valid as new opportunities are now available to mathematicians.   He regretted that the  country did not have enough competent mathematicians.

The function at Madras University

It does not require any poll result to show that most school students consider ‘Mathematics’ as the most difficult.  The meaning of ‘Mathematics’ is  the systematic treatment of magnitude, relationships between figures and forms, and relations between quantities expressed symbolically.  It is something difficult; something that could not be done easily or readily done. 

In olden days, people memorized tables and were so through in Maths. Some of the commonest Qs were in the nature of :

**  The price of 405 mangoes is Rs.3645/-  
What will be the price of 9 mangoes ?

**   If 20 me  taken 30 days to complete a job –
In how many days can 25 men complete the job

Can modern day children answer them without a calculator.  How popular is ‘Elements’ the mathematical treatise written by  Greek mathematician Euclid in Alexandria c. 300 BC.

Maths is perceived to be tough and exacting involving the brain power.  It’s know-how is Cumulative,  which means it works much like a stack of building blocks. You have to gain understanding in one area before you can effectively go on to “build upon” another area.  So the primary learning is that of  the  rules for addition, subtraction, multiplication,  division,  etc.,   Then through the  use of abstraction and logical reasoning, mathematics develops from counting, calculation, measurement, and the systematic study of the shapes and motions of physical objects. Practical mathematics has been a human activity for as far back as written records exist.   Maths is an essential tool in many fields of application. 

The house in Kumbakonam where he lived (old and new)

It is the history of a great genius – Ramanujan born on 22nd Dec 1887 to K Srinivasa Iyengar (a clerk in a Saree shop) and Komalammal.  They lived in a traditional house in the town of Kumbakonam, which is now a museum.  He did not have great formal training in pure mathematics but made extraordinary contributions to mathematical analysis, number theory, infinite series and continued fractions. Ramanujan's talent was said by the English mathematician G.H. Hardy to be in the same league as legendary mathematicians such as Gauss, Euler, Cauchy, Newton and Archimedes and he is widely regarded as one of the towering geniuses in mathematics.   He became a Fellow of the Royal Society and a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge.
It is a remarkable tale of a genius who struggled throughout his lifetime but hailed so much in the modern World. He was married to a nine year old bride Janaki ammal.  He had a medical problem but his family did not have the money for the operation.  He searched for a job, stayed at friend’s house while searching for clerical position.  Upon coming to Madras, Ramanujan and his wife resided in George Town.  In May 1913, Ramanujan joined the University of Madras as its first research scholar and he first moved, for about 10  months, to Hanumantharayan Koil Street, and then to Thoppu Venkatachala Mudali Street - both in Triplicane.  His wife and mother lived with him for some months, at the latter residence before Ramanujam left for England on March 17, 1914.
Quite unfortunately in 1920, he died in 1920 due to illness, malnutrition and possibly liver infection.  He was only 32. !!

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

***More than any other newspaper, The Hindu has followed over the decades the mathematical achievements of Ramanujan in detail and highlighted his genius, especially from early 1914.  The first reference to Ramanujan occurs in a letter to the Editor titled ‘A Missing Boy', published on September 6, 1905 in the newspaper, which was a triweekly at the time. The letter, from J. Seenivasa Raghava Ayangar, appeals for the public's help in tracing “a Brahmin boy of the Vaishnava (Thengalai) sect, named Ramanujam, of fair complexion and aged about 18 years” who had “left his [Kumbakonam] home on some misunderstanding.”

The letter, discovered recently by The Hindu's Archives department, is being reproduced for the first time.  The missing boy was “safely back” home within days, as Ramanujan's biographer Robert Kanigel relates in The Man Who Knew Infinity.  ***

The letter in The Hindu

*** extract from ‘The Hindu” Newspaper.