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Saturday, June 17, 2017

Sedition report of 1918 and remembering the great hero Vanchinathan's sacrifice

A century and a decade ago, in  1907 people in the Madras Presidency were excited by a series of lectures delivered by Bepin Chandra,  Bengali journalist and lecturer. He commenced a tour through the East Coast cities in April and he spoke on  " Swaraj, " " Swadeshi " and " Boycott. " His visit to Rajamundry had been followed on the 24th of April by a strike of students at the Government College there. On the 2nd of May in a speech at Madras he is reported to have said that, while the British desired to make the Government in India popular without ceasing in any sense to be essentially British, the Indians desired to make it autonomous, absolutely free of the British Parliament.  (not any figment of imagination but words taken from Sedition report of 1918 and do you know what the page no. 165 was devoted to)
About an year later, another  man made a speech at Thai Poosa Mantapam in the bed of river Thamirabarani at Tirunelveli [on the night of 9th March 1907] and was convicted under sections 124A & 153A of Indian Penal Code by the Bench consisting of CA White & Miller.   After that speech in 1908, he was arrested on charges of sedition. Mahakavi Bharathiyar and Subramanya Siva appeared in the Court in the case and VOC was sentenced to double life imprisonment tantamount to 40 years ad confined to prison. He was treated badly as a convict and subjected to inhuman torture.  In law, sedition is overt conduct, such as speech and organization, that is deemed by the legal authority to tend toward insurrection against the established order. Typically, sedition is considered a subversive act, and the overt acts that may be prosecutable under sedition laws vary from one legal code to another. Sedition is the stirring up of rebellion against the government in power.
The report of the sedition commission introduces “  Republican or Parliamentary forms of government, as at present understood, were neither desired nor known in India till after the establishment of British rule”.  Infamous words of the President of Sedition Committee who was later was viewed synonymous with cruelty - the Hon'ble Mr. Justice S. A. T. ROWLATT, who in Apr 1918 wrote :  Sir, I have the honour to refer to the order of the 10th December 1917 by which it was announced that the Governor-General in Council had, with the approval of the Secretary of State for India, decided to appoint a Committee (1) to investigate and report on the nature and extent of the criminal conspiracies connected with the revolutionary.. .. .. … …

As you travel down south and as the train winds its way to a small station – perhaps you might get down to free your legs, take a stroll or enjoy a cup of tea – unlikely that you will bow down to touch the land ! – after Madurai, it would be Virudunagar, Sattur, Kovilpatti and 624 km away from Chennai Egmore it is Maniyachi station – now named ‘Vanchi Maniyachi Junction’.

           106 years back, at 10.30 in the morning pistol sounded – there was commotion as the only killing of British Official in South India occurred – few minutes later – there were sounds of pistol again – this time the martyrdom of a youth – hardly 25 years of age did the supreme sacrifice of his life for the motherland.  

This is not to eulogise the killing but the martyrdom needs to be extolled. Inspired by the Surat Congress in Dec 1907 the man who pioneered shipping – VO Chidambaram Pillai organised political meetings in Tuticorin and Tirunelveli.  There were fiery speeches by Subramania Siva.  The Freedom struggle spread and on Feb 1908, around 1000 workers struck work in the Coral Mills of Tuticorin.  The collector Robert William Escourt Ashe had imposed restriction by Sec 144 and the union of workers was not to his liking.  When the patriotic leaders planned to celebrate release of Bipin Chanda Pal as Swarajya day – violence was unleashed by the Dist Admn.  VOC, Siva, Padmanabha Iyengar were arested in Mar 1908. There were riots in Tuticorin and Tirunelveli termed as incendiarism.    Perhaps all these made Ashe.  The downfall of the VOC’s Swadeshi Steam Navigation Company was also linked to Ashe.  

Robert Ashe had been born in 1872 in Ireland.  In 1895, he arrived in India, where he began his career as an Assistant Collector and rose up to be District Magistrate and Collector.   In 1907 he had his posting in Tirunelveli.  For two months he officiated at Tuticorin during which period much occurred.  

A few years later, on 17th June 1911 -  Ashe was travelling along with his wife Mary Lillian Patterson.  At 10.38 the train halted at small Maniyachi, a neatly dressed man with tufted hair alongwith another in a dhoti approached the carriage and shot Ashe on the chest from point blank range with a belgian made pistol.  The assailant ran towards the latrine and shot himself in the mouth.  He belonged to Bharatha Matha Association.

---- and that Man  of unflinching courage was Vanchinathan.  He was  born in 1886 to Raghupathy Iyer and Rukmani Ammal. His actual name was Shankaran. He did his schooling in Shenkottai and graduated in M.A. from Moolam Thirunal Maharaja College in Thiruvananthapuram. Even while in college, he married Ponnammal and got into a lucrative Government job.

After Vanchi shot Ashe and himself, a letter was recovered which purportedly indicated that the murder was political and caused great apprehension. The timing of the assassination indicated a protest against the impending coronation.  A massive manhunt followed the assassination.  Sadly, it was reported that even his last rites were not performed.  14 persons were arrested and charged with conspiracy.  More deaths were to follow as two committed suicide - Dharmaraja Aiyar took poison, while Venkateswara Aiyar slit his own throat. Madasamy, widely believed to be Vanchi's accomplice and who was seen running away after the assassination, was never traced.

In a Court of Justice in the colonial context there were testimony of approvers who perhaps were threatened and there was panic amongst the freedom fighters as they feared strict action.  What happened to the family of Veera Vanchinathan is not documented but there cannot be any doubt that his lineage would have suffered chill penury and were left uncared for – they would have been hounded by the British and after India obtained freedom, nobody ever cared for them.  

Indians exhibited their loyalty immediately after the killing by erecting two memorials – one at the place where Ashe was interred and another  a mantap at Great Cotton Road in Tuticorin - the subscription of Rs.3002/- being raised from the Indians !!.  

The life history of the Great Patriot Vanchinathan is not found in any great detail  in the history books and not many remember him.  In his birthplace Sengottai [Shencottah] in the foothills of Western Ghats closer to Tenkasi / Courtallam, a statue was erected during the regime of CM MGR.  In the movie Kappalottiya Tamizhan, Actor Balaji played the role of Vanchinathan. 
page 165 (para) of the Sedition report

Long Live Bharat Mata and Long Live the Martyrs who gave everything to make us live the way that we are doing today…..

With tears thinking of the Great son of India
- S. Sampathkumar.

17th June 2017.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

London Bridge terror attack ~ India thumps Pak; WI beats Afghanistan !?!?

Birmingham is a city and metropolitan borough in the West Midlands, England. It is the largest and most populous British city outside London; a  medium-sized market town in the medieval period, Birmingham grew to international prominence in the 18th  century at the heart of the Midlands Enlightenment and subsequent Industrial Revolution, which saw the town at the forefront of worldwide advances in science, technology, and economic development, producing a series of innovations that laid many of the foundations of modern industrial society.  One of the  most important inventions in British history, the industrial steam engine, was invented in Birmingham.

The Birmingham pub bombings occurred in  1974, when bombs exploded in two public houses in central Birmingham, England. The explosions killed 21 people and injured 182 others. The Provisional Irish Republican Army have never officially admitted responsibility for the Birmingham pub bombings, but a former senior officer of the organisation confessed to their involvement in 2014.   The Birmingham pub bombings are seen as one of the deadliest acts of the Troubles and the deadliest act of terrorism to occur in Great Britain between the Second World War and the 2005 London bombings.

UK is reeling under the threat of terror, Seven people have been killed in a terror attack near London Bridge. Police shot dead the three attackers.  BBC reports that  48 patients were taken to five hospitals; 21 are in a critical condition.  Eight armed officers fired a total of 50 bullets at the three attackers. One member of the public suffered gunshot wounds and is receiving treatment in hospital. 12 people have been arrested during police raids in Barking, east London even as so-called Islamic State claimed responsibility for attack.  It is further reported that one of the attackers lived at the address in Barking; neighbours say he was married with two children.  British PM Theresa May condemned  the "single evil ideology of Islamist extremism," saying "enough is enough"

Thousands of miles away, an  attacking approach with the bat, that saw no improvisation as the innings worsened, ended Afghanistan's record 11-match winning streak and sent them tumbling to a six-wicket loss in the series opener against West Indies at Warner Park.

As news filtered through of the grim events in London on Saturday night, the thought briefly arose that the most hyped Champions Trophy game between India Vs Pakistan at Edgsbaston, Birmingham could be abandoned. Maybe as a mark of respect and maybe because it has become clear that these sort of events - busy and joyful - are the new targets of those who hate our way of life, our governments' policies or our history. Or maybe they just hate; the targets are far too indiscriminate for any semblance of justification, wrote a British tabloid.  Terror is bad, people are dying and there need not be sports at that time. 

It was the most-anticipated match of the ICC Champions Trophy and by the time it ended, it exposed the huge gulf between cricket’s two traditional rivals. India were clinical in their approach and got their campaign off to a resounding start while Pakistan were tentative and their batting looked clueless. India’s all-round effort helped them to a thumping 124 runs win, their biggest in the tournament. After a delightful batting performance that saw India post 319/3 in 48 overs, the second half was a one-way affair as struggling Pakistan batsmen had no answers to the disciplined effort with the ball. It took India only 33.4 overs to run through the batting lineup as Pakistan managed to put just 164 on the board.

The main to Indians were not the opposition but the weather – the rain.  During Indian innings there were stoppages and then another  rain interruption after 4.5 overs resulted in Pakistan’s target being revised from 324 runs in 48 overs to 289 runs from 41 overs and matters only got worse for them once Indian bowlers took charge. Opener Azhar Ali made fifty and barring Mohammad Hafeez, no Pakistan batsman could cross 20.  Umesh Yadav took three wickets while Ravindra Jadeja and Hardik Pandya took two wickets each. Bhuvneshwar Kumar dealt the first blow when he had Ahmed Shehzad trapped in front of the wicket for 12 runs. Pakistan’s batting failed to match up to the rising required run-rate and they never came close to overhauling India’s challenging total.

A crushing victory at the hands of India has given Pakistan a "reality check" according to their coach Mickey Arthur. Saying that "the magnitude of the occasion" had got to his team, Arthur admitted they did the simple things wrong as they were thrashed by 124 runs in their 2017 Champions Trophy opener on Sunday.

Those who have been following Cricket history, specifically of One dayers would remember reading the moment in 1975, when Prince Philip presented the Cup to West Indies' talented captain, the Man of the Match, Clive Lloyd, just before nine o'clock on a glorious summer's evening. The deciding factor was the wonderful hundred by Clive Lloyd after Ian Chappell had won the toss and invited the West Indies to bat. Until Lloyd arrived at 50 for three, Chappell had set a fairly tight field and his battery of quick seam bowlers had kept the West Indies under subjection. Australia gained the initiative when Fredericks hooked a bouncer high over fine leg for 6 only to lose his balance and tread on his wicket. Greenidge spent 80 minutes crawling to 13 and a rash cut by Kallicharran ended in a flick to the wicketkeeper. Then came Lloyd, hooked Lillee in majestic style, square for six, and then put Walker off the back foot past cover with disdainful ease.  WI for another decade + were to rule the Cricket world as tourists to WI were bruised, battered, wounded, bloodied and humiliated by the pace battery.  Even their 6th or 7th bowler who could not break into regular ranks could easily represent many other teams; such was their brute force.

Sadly, did you notice that in the present Champions trophy 2017 – Group A has : England, Australia, New Zealand and Bangladesh;  group B has India, South Africa, Srilanka and Pakistan – yes, you are reading that right, no place for the once mighty West Indies.

When this is happening in England, WI is playing minnows in a T20 series and in the 1st match at Warner Park,Basseterre, St Kitts, WI won by 6 wickets and that should make an obscure reading amidst London terror bombing and Champions trophy matches.   Incidentally, do you know that WI played their 1st ever ODI on 5th Sept 1973 at Leeds and lost to England by 1 wicket with 3 balls remaining.  In that 55 over match, RB Kanhai and Mike Dennis were the rival skippers.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
5th June 2017.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

What skills would a Coach impart to top performers !?!?

Every game has its charm ~ Ivan Lendl, Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar, Anil Kumble  would look madly methodical; you always have Viv Richards, Sehwag, John Mcenroe  and more  - the debate would live : is it natural talent or right technique shaped by coaching ! – which will succeed ?

In olden days, only those who struggled in the classroom would go for private tuitions; for others the class room deliverance was quite enough to succeed.  With years, the concept changed – now a days, coaching is seen as an effective tool for optimizing efficiency.  One need to be a good coach – need not have the best of the abilities in the field and need not have succeeded at the top is another theory.

A few days after Mahendra Singh Dhoni hit a four off the last ball to give Rising Pune Supergiant victory over  Sunrisers Hyderabad in  IPL 2017  game, Tom Moody was asked if Moises Henriques, who had conceded just four in his solitary over, should have bowled the 20th instead of Siddarth Kaul. Moody, the Hyderabad coach, said Henriques didn’t usually bowl at the death in Twenty20s, but “should have bowled another over in the middle of the innings because he is experienced.” Moody, though, backed the judgment of David Warner, the captain.  How much should a coach intervene and can he do that on the field is also a raging Q ! -  though not legitimized,  Bob Woolmer, South Africa’s coach, tried it against India in the 1999 World Cup in England. Hansie Cronje, the captain, and Allan Donald, the team’s pace spearhead, had devices attached to their ears as Woolmer passed on his observations during the course of play.

Away, It took a season under Jose Mourinho to turn Ander Herrera into the player Manchester United thought they were getting. The Spanish midfielder’s man of the match award in the Europa League final was symbolic - not just for his peerless performance in Stockholm, but his rise under a famously demanding manager. It was a measure of how Mourinho has transformed Herrera after inheriting a player so inhibited by Louis van Gaal he practically needed to be reprogrammed when the new man took charge. The 27-year-old was virtually broken down and reconstructed as Mourinho looked for a man capable of becoming the heartbeat of his midfield.  Even as the Press gave so much of credit to Mourinho, was it the talent of the player or the shaping by the coach and can such transformation happen at that level ?

Champions Trophy 2017 starts today – now a days, Cricket is played more out of the field much before the events start happening.  A great reliance is placed on the Coach and other support staff and each team have big complement of them,  For 2011 WC, Indian Foreign Coach, was supported by Mental conditioning coach, Fitness trainer, Physio, Masseur, Performance analyst, Bowling and fielding coaches and more .. .. ..

Aussies take the cake for having have brazenly adopted their ‘winning is the only thing’ approach – have tried to tame opponents by bullying them, sledging them and whatever is possible .. ..  a few years back, when Ponting resigned, their new ir coach wanted them to submit a presentation, some players did not and .. .. ..  Often, it is stated that a good Manager is who gets out the best of his team and not the one who openly quarrels with them…….  Mickey  Arthur is known to be a disciplinarian …. This is no school either…  Coaching isn’t just about being the school master and waving the cane around.  Coaching is more about relation management and team building we are told.  In a brazen move that hit the headlines -  Shane Watson, James Pattinson, Mitchell Johnson and Usman Khawaja were  axed for failing to give a presentation on how they could improve following their embarrassing innings defeat in the second Test.  It was a 3 point PPT failure that did them out !

BCCI has dallied with foreign coaches with different results….. first it was the New Zealand left hander John Wright in 2000 and India enjoyed a remarkable winning percentage of over 40 in Test cricket, winning 21 out of 52.  In 2012,  Joe Dawes – Who ?  and he replaced  Eric Simons.  A land which had Kapil Dev, Javagal Srinath, Madanlal, Karsan Ghavri or bowlers like Raju Kulkarni, Thirumalai Ananthanpillai Sekhar, Venkatesh Prasad, Balwinder Singh Sandhu,Ajit Agarkar,  Atul Wassan, Sanjeev Sharma, Yograj Singh or lesser known players like Rajinder Singh Ghai, Salil Ankola, Vivek Razdan, Debashish Mohanty and more -  none fit enough !!  Dawes, played 76 first-class matches for Queensland between 1997 and 2005, often having to wait his turn behind Australia bowlers Michael Kasprowicz and Andy Bichel. His career was cut short by a knee injury following which he became involved in coaching.  So somebody who never bowled at an International level  was our new bowling coach.

Moving away from Cricket, after Michael Nobbs' removal as head coach of the Indian hockey team, the clamour for a 'desi' coach grew and former players advocated the need of an Indian coach who would understand the 'Indian mindset'.  There have been times when Coaches try a new ball game and players instead of improving get hurt…. Cricketers have twisted their foot playing football a day before the match….Roelant Oltmans, on his part rode to controversy with his plan to teach English language.

                     With all this in the background, one thought, Anil Kumble would fit the bill with his communication skills, computer knowledge, photographic skills besides knowing the players well.  Things appeared good ! as India was winning at home – and when win comes, everything gets forgotten.  Now cracks are surfacing !!

ESPNCricinfo quotes a BCCI official: “Kumble was pushing hard. The bulk of them [injuries] are non-cricketing injuries. One of the players was stressed out. So the team is not a happy lot.” Reports have further surfaced that Kumble has been running the team like a ‘headmaster’. Greg Chappell? Does the name ring a bell?  BCCI’s Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) now consists of three men knowledgeable – Sourav  Ganguly,  Sachin Tendulkar and VVS  Laxman who  overlooked the goods achieved under Ravi Shastri and appointed Kumble for the job. With Dravid handling the role of mentoring the younger national prospects, Kumble in charge of the senior side, and men of Ganguly, Tendulkar and Laxman’s stature in the CAC, Indian cricket seemed in safe hands with unification of ‘Fab Five’.

Now there are reports that  BCCI is back to coach hunting. Kumble’s contract expires after the Champions Trophy. An extension should have been mere formality. Successful coaches have historically had extensions of contracts, but the unsuspecting CoA are entrusted again with the job of selecting the suitable candidate for coaching India.   We have seen many a times, Kumble entering details on a laptop and taking good photographs of the winning emotions ~ where did he fail, whether he did – or what did he did to turn the fortunes of the Indian team ? – what exactly is the role of a coach for performers at that level ??

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
1st June 2017.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Amazon patents a new system that adds parachute to shipping label - drone delivery !!

A trademark is a word, name, symbol or device which is used in trade with goods to indicate the source of the goods and to distinguish them from the goods of others.   There is a Govt Dept. – the  Trade Marks Registry,  established in India in 1940  which now  administers the Trade Marks Act, 1999 and the rules thereunder.

Everyone of us buy agarbathies ~ this is also trademarked.  Before that a Q on a Rajnikant film… - Padayappa, was directed by KS Ravikumar; starred Soundarya & Ramya Krishnan with Rajini;  was the last film for Sivaji Ganesan. (Looks like all possible Questions over ?)…….. here is the Q :   - The producer Thenappan registered the ‘stylised Padayappa design’  as a Class 34 trademark in 1998 for some goods, making it to be first instance of brand extention in Tamil film industry ?  Can you tell what the brands were ?

The Trade Marks registry comes under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. According to the Trade Marks Act, 1999, “trade mark means a mark capable of being represented graphically and which is capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one person from those of others and may include shape of goods, their packaging and combination of colours.  Read that there was a trademark spat, whence word 'ungoogleable' was removed from Swedish.. .. …

MailOnline reports that the  days of eagerly waiting for the postman to deliver your package could soon be a thing of the past. Amazon has patented a bizarre new system that adds a parachute to a shipping label. The device could help to make sure that packages delivered by drone or other airborne crafts make a soft landing.
Amazon's patent shows a shipping label that conceals a parachute as well as a system of cords and a harness to keep the package in place. Sensors could also be used within the system to ensure the package hits its landing zone, while a shock absorber could ensure a soft landing. The patent contains several images depicting the system, and these indicate that the labels could be applied to all Amazon packages, then later removed if the firm decides to deliver by truck rather than drone. The parachute itself could come in a range of shapes and sizes, depending on the shape and weight of the package.

The patent was issued to Amazon today  by the US Patent and Trademark Office. The label looks like any other shipping label, but conceals a parachute as well as a system of cords and a harness to keep the package in place. The patent reads: 'The system can comprise a label that includes a parachute to enable the packages to be dropped from the aerial vehicle, yet land at the package's destination without damage.' Sensors could also be used within the system to make sure the package hits its landing zone, while a shock absorber could ensure a soft landing.

The firm has previously patented other ideas for drone delivery, including a system for ejecting packages from drones mid-flight. This patent, published in February, describes using magnets, parachutes or spring coils to release parcels while the unmanned vehicles are in mid-flight – and radio frequencies could help guide packages to their destination. The patent, entitled 'Manoeuvring a package following in-flight release from an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)', was filed in June 2015.

Amazon has not been shy about its drone-delivery ambitions, with trials taking place in the UK at the end of 2016, and the first 'Prime Air' demonstration in the US in March.  It describes how Amazon's drone could modify the force applied to the package once it is sent propelled to the ground – allowing the parcel to fall at the right destination. The patent also suggests that the drones will launch the packages and a geo-location, with a radio frequency located inside the package, which would receive data from the drone.  It is unclear if and when Amazon plans to use these two patents. 

Patents allow those who create inventions to keep others from making commercial use of the inventions without the creator's permission. Trademarks, on the other hand, are not concerned with how a new technology is used. Rather, they protect names of products and services, logos and other devices -- such as color, sound and smell -- that are used to identify the source of goods or services and distinguish them from the competition.

Tidbit 1 : the producer of ‘Padayappa’ - Thenappan registered the ‘stylised Padayappa design’ as a Class 34 trademark in 1998 for  - : Beedi, cigarettes, tobacco and cheroots for which class 34 is the no.

Tidbit 2 :  the one at the start, Agarbathi  is the trade mark of a Firm called Moksh Agarbatti Co, Bangalore  ~ this is to be associated with  Chennai incense sticks.
Interesting !!
With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

31st May 2017.

bat sensors to make debut in Champions Trophy 2017

For Cricket lovers, after IPL 2017, it is going to be - ICC Champions Trophy.  The interesting tournament  sees the return of the national colours as the biggest names in the business drop their franchise colours and assemble under the country's flag. While India and Australia are being pegged as the two likeliest to meet in the final, there will be teams like hosts England, eternal darkhorse New Zealand, fighters Lankans, famed enemies Pakistan and choker tagged South Africa, apart from once mighty West Indies – picking the winner is not easy !!    Hosts England will kick-start the tourney against Bangladesh in London on Thursday before the much-awaited rivalry between India and Pakistan on June 4.

At Computex 2017, Intel made a series of major announcements regarding their latest high-end processor offerings. This included the introduction of a new X-series of processors which are designed to be the company’s high-end performance platform for power users and prosumers. The creation of the X-Series comes as Intel starts to feel heat from the competition .  The new X-series processor family, code-named Basin Falls, represents an entirely new approach from Intel to addressing the high-end of the desktop computing market and will make Intel loyalists very, very happy.   With the new X-Series of processors from Intel, the company creates a clearer differentiation from their mainstream desktop Core series processors.  Why are we reading about Intel & Technology in a Cricket post ?

Way back in 1990, when India toured England,  Manoj Prabhakar for sure would not have hyped the dismissal, clean bowled -  Graham Gooch walked back to the pavilion at Lord’s having scored 123 off 113 deliveries with four sixes; earlier in the 1st innings, he amassed 333.  Seeing him play with enormous backlift, one thought a Yorker length ball could easily get through his defence – but all Indian bowlers toiled without success as he scored > 450 in a Test.

Now can you tell, what groups - England trio of Jason Roy, Alex Hales and Ben Stokes  with Indians Rohit, Ajinkya Rahane and Ravichandran Ashwin ?

In earlier days, some players on their return to the pavilion would glance  through the scorecard, which at best would reveal the pattern of dot balls, the run scored in singles, and the like – more mundane – today’s players have the benefit of watching the way they played through video analysis; event  the scoring runs on programmes that provide lot interesting inputs.  That is set to change to a different level, as in this Champions trophy, select players will have chip sets installed on the handle of their bats  providing coaches, broadcasters and fans immediate data on every shot they play.

The chips will give viewers data that has never been available before ! ~ such level of data analysis has  never been available before but up to six players in each of the eight teams in the tournament have agreed to have the chip attached to their bats.  The chips, developed by Intel, are approximately the diameter of a pound coin, weigh less than 25 grams and sit on top of the handle. They contain sensors that will give an instant read out on bat speed, the speed of the bat at impact with the ball, the angle of the back-lift, the angle of the bat  and more.. ..  it is the child of Technology giant Intel Corp.   that provides previously unseen precise details about a player’s bat speed and angle of back-lift.

It is not bats alone,   Intel technologies has announced advanced pitch analysis by an Intel drone, profiling the bat swing using a bat sensor and a virtual reality (VR) packed experience for the fans at the stadiums. The Intel Falcon 8 Drone, equipped with HD and infrared cameras, will be used for advanced pitch analysis before every match.  Intel has packed its technology onto the Intel Falcon 8 drone, that comes fitted with HD infrared cameras, which can be used to analyse the pitch. Images captured by the drone will offer rich visual data on pitch conditions such as grass cover, grass health and topology, which will be used to generate daily pitch reports leveraged by commentators during broadcasts.

Intel will also showcase VR experience zones at The Oval and Edgbaston, to allow fans to experience facing a virtual bowler in an immersive cricketing environment.

It is all happening, as we wait for the Champions Trophy ~ and will India repeat its previous performance !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar                                              31st May 2017.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

the man who knew much ~ Manuel Noreiga is no more !! - Operation Just Cause

When you call this a strategy ~ it was certainly bizarre  !!

The American government brought his brutal six-year regime to an end in December 1989, with the invasion of Panama (code-named Operation Just Cause) but capturing the man himself proved more difficult. It involved one of the strangest operations in military history. Revealing an unexpected secret weapon – a sense of humour – the military set aside their guns for Guns N' Roses. The assault began on December 20. The Americans dropped more than 400 bombs in 13 hours, while the ruler  fled across Panama City in a Hyundai, dashing from one hopeless hide-out to another, ducking into a school, a hospital and even a Dairy Queen fast food restaurant.

"It was like a nightmare – like falling into a swimming pool and when you try to reach for the safety of a wall or touch bottom, you suddenly realise that walls and bottom had fallen away," he wrote in his memoir America's Prisoner. "All I could see was an endless, limitless ocean and thousands of weapons and men hoping to find me in their sights." He eventually found a place of refuge in the closest thing the Vatican has to an embassy, the Apostolic Nunciature of the Holy See. For days, he  camped out in a sparsely furnished room, reading the bible and considering his options. The Americans were stumped. They certainly couldn’t draw him out by force – an assault on the Pope’s territory was hardly an option. The government wrote to the Vatican, begging them to refuse  asylum, and describing the drug-lord as common criminal rather than a political refugee. But the request was scuppered by poor timing: it was Christmas, and the Holy See was swamped with other seasonal requests.

Help came in the unlikely form of glam rock. For Operation Nifty Package – the extraction of the tyrant ruler as they designated him – special operatives set up enormous speakers around the building, blasting out the local US military radio station, SCN.  To begin with, the station mostly played news bulletins, interspersed with some music. "We told the audience not to use the phone unless it was an emergency or official business," an official report later explained, "so we would not tie up phone lines."  On the request line, requests  became quite imaginative...  played a lot of songs with the word 'jungle' in it”. Welcome to the Jungle, by hard rockers Guns 'n Roses, was a particular favourite.  The man,  an opera-lover, was stuck listening to Oingo-Boingo. He found his eardrums under attack from heavy metal acts like Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden and KISS, alongside cringeworthy pop-mongers such as Rick Astley and New Kids on the Block. They only interrupted this onslaught of rock and pop for one day: December 25, when the station instead played back-to-back Christmas hits.

It was “a peculiar attempt to unnerve the refugee  through questionable art,” “Blasting rock music was silly, childish, reproachable… but in some strange, postmodern way, it worked.”After 10 days, with his ears ringing and a mob gathering outside the gates, the Holy See's representative, Monsignor Jose Sebastian Laboa, told his guest he had to leave. The man agreed. He wrote two letters, one to his wife ("I go now on an adventure", he told her) and one to the Pope, thanking him for his hospitality. In full military uniform, he walked through the Nunciature's front gates – and was immediately tackled to the ground by a posse of US soldiers.

Manuel Antonio Noriega, the brash former dictator of Panama and sometime ally of the United States whose ties to drug trafficking led to his ouster in 1989 in what was then the largest American military action since the Vietnam War, has died. He was 83.  President Juan Carlos Varela of Panama announced Mr. Noriega’s death on Twitter early Tuesday morning.

The atmosphere outside Gen Manuel Noriega’s battered, bullet-scarred comandancia, headquarters of the Panamanian Defence Forces, one early morning in October 1989, bordered on frenetic. Beyond the railings a woman sobbed with grief. Her husband, an officer involved in the previous night’s failed coup attempt against Noriega, was missing. It later transpired he and dozens of co-conspirators had been shot out of hand. The headquarters was guarded by heavily armed, paramilitary thugs from Noriega’s feared Dignity Battalions. A crowd of supporters cheered and shouted insults about the US president, George HW Bush. Then, without warning, Noriega, Panama’s feared dictator, spy chief and self-styled “maximum leader”, appeared on the steps wearing combat fatigues, a red baseball cap and a broad smile.

Noriega, who died on Monday at the age of 83, was right to be nervous. The October coup attempt marked a turning point in Washington’s attitude to a man whose rise to power it had assisted, who became a valued CIA cold war asset and go-between in Central America’s dirty wars, but who turned into a monster US spy bosses could no longer control. Noriega had outlived his usefulness. Now he was an embarrassment. So Bush made him America’s most wanted.

When Noriega subsequently launched a vicious wave of repression, threatened American personnel guarding the Panama Canal and declared a “state of war” with the US, Bush pounced. Economic sanctions and quiet diplomacy had failed. Control over the strategically and economically vital canal was threatened. And Noriega knew too much. In December 1989, Bush ordered Gen Colin Powell, then chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, to launch Operation Just Cause, sending 26,000 invasion troops into Panama in a rehearsal of the Powell “doctrine of overwhelming force” that was next employed two years later in the first Gulf war.

Mr. Noriega died around 11 p.m. Monday at Santo Tomás Hospital in Panama City, a hospital employee confirmed. An official cause of death was not immediately available.  Mr. Noriega had been in intensive care since March 7 after complications developed from surgery to remove what his lawyer described as a benign brain tumor. His daughters told reporters at the hospital in March that he had had a brain hemorrhage after the procedure. He had been granted house arrest in January to prepare for the operation.

His medical problems came on the heels of a legal odyssey that had begun with the invasion and led to prison terms in the United States, France and finally Panama. While imprisoned abroad he suffered strokes, hypertension and other ailments, his lawyers said. After returning to Panama on Dec. 11, 2011, he began serving long sentences for murder, embezzlement and corruption in connection with his rule during the 1980s. It was an inglorious homecoming for a man who had been known for brandishing a machete while making defiant nationalist speeches and living a lavish, libertine life off drug-trade riches, complete with luxurious mansions, cocaine-fueled parties and voluminous collections of antique guns. It was a quirky life as well: He liked to display his teddy bears dressed as paratroopers.

Mr. Noriega, who became the de facto leader of the country by promoting himself to full general of the armed forces in 1983, had a decades-long, head-spinning relationship with the United States, shifting from cooperative ally and informant for American drug and intelligence agencies to shady adversary, selling secrets to political enemies of the United States in the Western Hemisphere and tipping off drug cartels. Whose side he was on was often hard to tell. It was an awkward embrace that befitted the history of American and Panamanian relations since the United States built the Panama Canal early in the 20th century. The United States continued to operate the canal — and govern a strip of territory alongside it — for eight decades before turning it over to Panama on Dec. 31, 1999.

Just like many other stories, a man nurtured by some, grew and turned his guns against the same, only to be pummelled and dishonoured.  Sad, that’s history !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
30th May 2017.

PS : Being a foreign story collated from many sources including NYtimes, Guardian, the Sun, BBC and more.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

administration of saline drip to Cow on the roads .. !!

The otherwise docile buffalo would seem apparently  agitated – as the man approaches nearer – he carries an injection which in one single stroke pierces the tough skin, animal shows pain, but is helpless – people say, it is Oxytocin administered making cattle produce more milk – it is stated that it has severe harmful effects on the health of the animals and also humans who consume that milk !! .. .. .. even this is common in many areas ~ but what was seen yesterday on the streets of Triplicane – shocking – ‘administering of drips’ !  [there are always 2 sides – perhaps that was done with good intention too, one never knows]

Saline, would require no elaboration ,  a mixture of sodium chloride in water that  has a number of uses in medicine. Whenever, one is admitted into any hospital, the first thing that is done is ‘drips’.    The medical use of saline began around 1831. It is on the World Health Organization's List of essential Medicines, the most effective and safe medicines needed in a health system.

What we colloquially call ‘drips’ is - Intravenous therapy,  the infusion of liquid substances directly into a vein. Intravenous (IV) means "within vein". Intravenous infusions are commonly referred to as drips. The intravenous route is the fastest way to deliver fluids and medications throughout the body. Intravenous therapy may be used for fluid administration (such as correcting dehydration), to correct electrolyte imbalances, to deliver medications and for blood transfusions.  The fluid is given from a bag connected to an intravenous line. This is a thin tube, often called an IV, that’s inserted into one of your veins.

There are several reasons why one  might need to have fluids administered intravenously. For instance, some treatments rely on IV delivery, which would include – rehydration, treatment of infection, management of pain and more.  Fluids for such treatments consist of water with electrolytes, sugar, or medications added in concentrations that depend on your need.

While the mode and methodology of injecting cattle on roads, before they are milched, leaves deep sense of anguish on the onlooker, the other day, a boy was standing near a cow on the street of Triplicane with a IV bag in raised hand – the cow had an injection inserted on the front right upper limb – not too sure whether to appreciate the care for the cow or was it wrong way of treatment, rather than taking it to a qualified Vet and having it treated in a proper place.

Some reading puts that knowledge and proper training on how to give cattle injections or shots, be it sub-subcutaneously (SQ; under the skin), intramuscularly (IM; directly into the blood supply of the muscle), or intravenously (IV; directly into the vein, usually the jugular vein), is very important in order to be able to vaccinate or treat cattle with vaccines or medicines, respectively. A cow, bull, heifer, steer or calf does not have to be sick in order to be given an injection, many cattle that are perfect healthy are required to get injections or shots for annual vaccinations or booster shots, is what a research paper says.

Cattle of all ages, when challenged from disease or dehydrating changes in environment or management, will either use body reserves of fluids to maintain homeostasis or attempt to replenish fluid balance by drinking water. The rumen serves as a reservoir which releases consumed water to the body fluid compartments through an osmotic pressure gradient. As cells require fluid for metabolism, electrolytes and other nutrients exert osmotic pressure to continuously supply the cells with fluid for normal functions.

It has been very hot in Chennai and the summer is definitely taking toll on bovines. Severely challenged cattle can dehydrate in excess of 10% of their bodyweight. Clinical signs include: eyes sunken into orbits, skin remains tented indefinitely, dry mucus membranes, and depression is evident. This degree of dehydration is potentially life threatening and procedures of IV fluid therapy and oral rumen large volume supplementation should be initiated immediately.

Whatever it be, it was shocking to see a cow on road being administered IV by a boy ! ~ and it was far different than what see in the photo here.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

30th May 2017.