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Monday, October 18, 2021

Colin Powell - the face of US in Iraq war is no more !!

          The man became an instant hero as he made  his presentation making the case for war with Iraq at the United Nations on February 5, 2003.

He  noted that Iraq harbored a terrorist network headed by al-Qaeda operative Abu Musab al-Zarqawi (in a small region controlled by Ansar al-Islam). He also claimed that Iraqis visited Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan and provided training to al-Qaeda members.  As much criticism as Powell received for this — he’s called it “painful” and something that will “always be a part of my record” — it hasn’t been close to what’s justified. The man who  was secretary of state under President George W. Bush, was much more than just horribly mistaken: He fabricated “evidence” and ignored repeated warnings that what he was saying was false.

Unfortunately, Congress never investigated his use of the intelligence he was given, so public did not  know many of the specifics. Even so, what did reach the public record in other ways is extremely damning.  My colleagues, every statement I make today is backed up by sources, solid sources. These are not assertions. What we’re giving you are facts and conclusions based on solid intelligence.  

Colin Powell, the son of Jamaican immigrants who became a US war hero and the first Black secretary of state but saw his legacy tarnished when he made the case for war in Iraq in 2003, died today of Covid-19 complications. He was 84. The retired four-star general and former head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff who served four presidents made his reputation as a man of honor distant from the political fray -- an asset in the corridors of power.

"General Powell is an American hero, an American example, and a great American story," George W. Bush said as he announced Powell's nomination as secretary of state in 2000.  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. "In directness of speech, his towering integrity, his deep respect for our democracy, and his soldier's sense of duty and honor, Colin Powell demonstrates ... qualities that will make him a great representative of all the people of this country."  His infamous February 2003 speech to the United Nations Security Council about the alleged existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq -- the evidence he presented was later proven to be false and remained a blot.

Born April 5, 1937 in Harlem, Powell's "American Journey" -- the title of his autobiography -- started in New York, where he grew up and earned a degree in geology.  Along with earning his degree Powell graduated college in 1958 as a second lieutenant in the US Army.  That led to a 35-year career in the Army, including leading the Joint Chiefs of Staff under George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton.  While stationed at Fort Devens, Massachusetts, Powell met his wife Alma Johnson. They married in 1962 and went on to have two daughters and a son.

Powell's overseas service began in Vietnam that same year, where he was sent by John F. Kennedy to train South Vietnamese forces.   He was injured soon after in 1963 when he stepped on a booby trapped stake while on patrol, earning a Purple Heart award. Powell went back to Vietnam in 1968 for a second tour, where he famously escaped a helicopter crash and returned to the burning wreckage multiple times to rescue his fellow soldiers. 'With complete disregard for his own safety and while injured himself, Major Powell returned several times to the smoldering aircraft which was in danger of bursting into flames,' his subsequent Soldier's Medal commendation read. 

Upon his return Powell worked toward a Masters of Business Administration at George Washington University.  From there Powell embarked on a career in government service when he earned a prestigious White House Fellowship under the Nixon administration in 1972. Ronald Reagan appointed him his national security adviser in 1987.    His Army service culminated in George H.W. Bush naming Powell as the first black person to serve as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 1989, where he was confirmed unanimously.

Powell's first big test came soon after he took office when the Gulf War began in 1990. As the nation's highest-ranking military adviser he guided US forces through Operation Desert Storm. The US's successful Middle East campaign had then received rare public praise for the government's handling of a conflict and earned Powell a parade in his hometown of New York.  He stayed on the job for most of Bill Clinton's first year in office but clashed with Clinton officials on a number of social and strategic military fronts.

For many Americans, he was the public face of the 1991 Gulf War against Iraq. Powell was initially lukewarm about going into the country, but his reputation soared in the aftermath of the blitzkrieg that ejected Saddam Hussein's forces from Kuwait. For a while, he even considered a run for the presidency.

Colin Powell, the first black Secretary of State who formulated foreign policy under several presidents, died Monday morning at the age of 84 of complications from COVID.   

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

18th Oct 2021. 

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Rich, wealthy ... whither money - how much is required in life ? Who is the richest person ??

பணம் தேவையா ! அல்லது தேவையற்றதா ! or how much of wealth is required !! – can you identify this rich person ?!?!?  This is no post on whether the earnings of some is really worth and justified !!

'காசு இல்லாமல் ஹோட்டலில் சாப்பிட்டால், மாவாட்ட வேண்டி வரும்' - பல பழைய படங்களில் நெஞ்சை பிழியும் வகையில் வறுமையை காட்ட  ~ சாப்பிட்டுவிட்டு பணம் தர வக்கில்லாமல் தவிக்கும்படி காட்சி அமைப்பை கண்டு இருப்பீர்கள் !  ஏனோ பணம் என்பது நல்லதல்ல ! - பணக்காரன் நல்ல ஆரோக்கியத்துடன் இருக்கமாட்டான் ! பணக்காரர்கள் சரியான தூக்கமில்லாமல் பரிதவிப்பர் போன்ற கிளிஷே கருத்துகள் தமிழ் திரைப்படங்களில் விரவி இருப்பதை பார்த்து இருப்பீர்கள் !! 

அந்தமான் காதலி படத்தில் சிவாஜி பாட்டு :  'பணம் என்னடா பணம் பணம்!  குணம் தானடா நிரந்தரம்; .. .. ..என்னிடத்தில் இல்லாததா !!  - இரக்க மனத்தை கெடுக்கும் அரக்கன்.. பணம் பணம் பணம் ஆ... 

சமீபத்திய சூது கவ்வும் படத்தில் :  காசு பணம் துட்டு மணி மணி; காசு பணம் துட்டு மணி மணி ;  கொடை புடிச்சி நைட்டுல; பறக்க போறேன் ஹைட்டுல; தல காலு புரியல ; தலை கீழா நடக்குறேன்; நல்ல வாயன் சம்பாதிச்சத - நார வாயன் துன்னுறான் ! கணக்கு போட தெரியாதவன் - காச வாரி இறைக்குறான்  

Whether one likes it or not – fact of life is ‘money is certainly needed’ and most people run after money though financial targets can never give absolute satisfaction !!  - People want to be rich, some want to become rich overnight ! 

Richness is a quality or characteristic, either of having a lot of money or of being plentiful. Wealth is the abundance of valuable financial assets or physical possessions which can be converted into a form that can be used for transactions. The modern concept of wealth is of significance in all areas of economics, and clearly so for growth economics and development economics, yet the meaning of wealth is context-dependent. An individual possessing a substantial net worth is known as wealthy. Net worth is defined as the current value of one's assets less liabilities. 

Adam Smith was a famous  Scottish economist, philosopher as well as a moral philosopher, a pioneer of political economy, and a key figure during the Scottish Enlightenment, also known as ''The Father of Economics'' or ''The Father of Capitalism''. Smith wrote two classic works, The Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759) and An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776). The latter, often abbreviated as The Wealth of Nations, is considered his magnum opus and the first modern work of economics.  Smith laid the foundations of classical free market economic theory. The Wealth of Nations was a precursor to the modern academic discipline of economics. In this and other works, he developed the concept of division of labour and expounded upon how rational self-interest and competition can lead to economic prosperity.  

Stop .. .. How much is 230 billion? Do you really know, how many digits or cyohers it has ?  - if written in numbers, it would be :  230,000,000,000.  Yes,  – it would be : 2,30,00,00,00,000 [Twenty three thousand crores !!]  … contain your astonishment – if one were to convert the same into Indian Rupees, it would be:  Rs.172,58,58,31,04,511/- 

Elon Musk's net worth has surpassed $230 billion making him the richest man on the planet after shares at Space X soar by 33 percent and sell for more than $100 billion, after only joining the Forbes top ten billionaire list in the middle of last year. The Tesla CEO has now outstripped former richest person, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, and is currently wealthier than Bill Gates and Warren Buffett combined. 

The Tesla founder saw his and his SpaceX company's wealth swell after a share sale at SpaceX on October 8 worth $100 billion in a secondary offering. The company had an agreement with both new and existing investors to sell up to $755 million in SpaceX stock from insiders at $560 per share, multiple people close with the deal told CNBC.    The 33 percent increase in its new share price brings the company’s valuation to $100.3 billion after initially offering the deal to investors in February, when SpaceX's valuation stood at $74 billion at 419.19 a share. The first round of offerings raised nearly $1.2 billion, the outlet reports.  

The company's new increased valuation places it in the rare company of a private 'centicorn' or 'hectocorn,' which are companies with a valuation of $1 billion unicorns 100 times over.  Forbes Real-Time Top six  Billionaires List reads :  1.Elon Musk - $214 billion; 2. Jeff Bezos -$197 billion; 3. Bernard Arnault and family - $185 billion; 4. Bill Gates - $132 billion; 5. Mark Zuckerberg -  $116 billion; 6. Larry Ellison - $125 billion 

SpaceX is now the second-most valuable private company worldwide behind only China’s Bytedance, according to CB Insights. That's a far cry from just over a year ago, when Musk didn't even make Forbes top ten billionaires list, which Bezos dominated at number one with a then-net worth of $113 billion. The SpaceX founder was quick to boast about taking the number one spot on the rich list, tweeting a second place medal at Bezos after the Blue Origin and Amazon founder shared some motivational words about his company.

Bezos had previously held the title of world's richest person at $197.8 billion as of 2021, after the pandemic and lockdowns saw a boom in online sales.  In April of this year, Musk pledged to give away $150 million, including a $100 million prize in a carbon removal contest, where the billionaire asked participants to create workable solutions for reducing the planet's CO2 emissions at scale in a 'durable and sustainable way.' The contest started on Earth Day and will run for four years, ending on Earth Day 2025. Since beginning that contest in April, his wealth has increased by around $60 billion, with Bloomberg reporting that the SpaceX deal alone added $11 billion to Musk's net worth. 

The 50-year-old began his career co-founding PayPal before moving on to found SpaceX and Tesla Motors in the early 2000s.  Musk has seen his own net worth soar thanks to Tesla and SpaceX's rising valuations, with the latter having raised billions in an effort to fund two capital-intensive projects, Starlink and Starship. Starlink is a satellite internet constellation operated by SpaceX providing satellite Internet access to most of the Earth, while Starship is a fully reusable launch system currently in development.  SpaceX has already launched 1,740 Starlink satellites to date, currently providing an internet network to over 100,000 users in 14 different countries who are a part of the project's public beta, with service priced at $99 a month. 

Don’t lose sleep over all these – we do not need such riches to be happy- for those who live with contentment, good money is what is good enough to take care of one’s basic needs.


With regards – S. Sampathkumar
17th Oct 2021.


Triplicane heritage - Dwaram House

Dwaram in Telegu means ‘doorway’ !!  - it is not a simple peephole or gap as understood in Tamil – a cursory reading takes us to one man whose very mention initiates a sojourn in to the World of Instrumental Carnatic music.  Unlikely that many Triplicanites ever understand his association with Thiruvallikkeni. This is a photo of a statue at Visakhapatnam [credit Wiki commons – thotfulspot]

He is no ordinary person .. .. Maharajah's Government College of Music and Dance (మహారాజా ప్రభుత్వ సంగీత నృత్య కళాశాల) is an educational institution in Vizianagaram, Andhra Pradesh. Vizianagaram around 850 km away from Chennai - was ruled by different Hindu emperors of Kalinga and it was an integral part of Kalinga. The area including Srikakulam in the north was under the domain of Eastern Chalukyas of Vengi.  The area was under the rule of Krishna Deva Raya of Vijayanagara Empire too. The Maharaja college is the first music college of South India.  Its first President was  Ajjada Adibhatla Narayana Dasu  & the second was the famous - Dwaram Venkataswamy Naidu whose statue is above.

The month of November can be dedicated to the legendary violinist Dwaram Venkataswamy Naidu (November 8, 1893 - November 25, 1964). Dwaram Naidu, popularly known as ‘fidelu’ Naidu was the first person to bring violin to the forefront of Carnatic music. He performed his first solo in Vellore in 1938. As he mastered the nuances, infused the techniques of both western and Hindustani music into his playing without compromising on the Carnatic music tradition. Dwaram Venkataswamy Naidu was partially blind. He played at the National Physical Laboratory auditorium, New Delhi in 1952, to raise funds for the Blind Relief Association was related to the famous kuchipudi dancer Padma sri Dr Shoba Naidu.  The  famous playback singer Ghantasala learned Carnatic music under Naidu.  

Thiruvallikkeni aka Triplicane is a famed land… It is a place where religion, nationalistic fervour, patriotism, sports, education and the individual dignity have interspersed for the benefit of the State and the larger interests of the Nation.  Triplicane was the seat of freedom struggle –  it is a place of rich history and heritage…. There existed  many famous people   .. .. ..

From the Icehouse which became Vivekananda House, as you travel in Dr Besant Road (named after Annie Besant) … there are smaller lanes and one such is BV Street [there are two BV – Bandi Venkatesa Naicken Street nearer Gangaikondan Mandapam and this Bandala Venugopala Naidu Street]  … in the Bandala Venugopala street, there is one ancient house, one may not attach any significance now – a house with a compound and a garden too.  It is ‘Dwaram house ’  ……..  Way back in March 2006, our Bliss (newsletter of SYMA) featured a post on its famed resident and Yours Truly interviewed that frail women, a reverred violinist.   

One need to travel back to 1800s, in 1893, was born Dwaram Venkataswamy Naidu, who went on to be an inspiration to many aspiring musicians.  Raised in  Vishakapatnam, he was appointed Professor of violin in the Maharaja's Music College in Vijayanagaram, at the young age of 26, and became its principal in 1936. Have read that Dwaram accompanied almost all the stalwarts of the time,  listened to Western and Hindustani music and even gave Hindustani touches to ragas.  In early 1950s, Dwaram bought a house in Bandala Venugopala Street in Triplicane, and moved to Madras. The awards and titles that Dwaram won were legion  yet this post is not about this man too…..

‘Dwaram Mangathayaru’,  was born on 29th Aug 1937 at Vizianagaram in a family which boasts generations of Carnatic musicians. She was the daughter of renowned violinist Dwaram Venkataswami Naidu, who at that time was  the principal of the music college of Vizianagaram.  This unassuming great personality was embellished with many titles & awards– Nadha kanal, Nadha Jyothi, Sangeetha Kala Jyothi, Thirupugazh Mamani, Nadha kala nidhi, Violin Vara gana sudha vani, Sangeetha nadha mani, TTK Award, Gangadevi Eminent Citizen award, Hyderabad to name a few and the conferment of Kalaimamani award on 25/2/06 was really another feather.

In her early age, She studied vocal music under the guidance of Janardhanachari, a renowned veena player. Even in her schooling curriculum she studied music as a special subject. At a very young age of 14 she made a remarkable debut performance on stage as an accompanist of Chembai Vaidhyanatha bagavathar at Vizianagaram. She contined her studies in Waltair obtaining a diploma of violin playing as main subject. During early 1950s their family shifted to Chennai and she had intensive lessons from her father – Great Violin Maestro Dwaram Venkataswamy Naidu. At her tender age, she accompanied her father on concert platform before elite audiences that include – Presidents : Babu Rajendra Prasad, Radhakrishnan, Sanjiva Reddy; Premiers – Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv and many other noted personalities.

She studied vocal music from Sri Sandhyavandhanam Sreenivasa Rao. She was a recipient of scholarship for 3 years from the Govt of India under the tutelage of Sri Varahur Muthu Swami Iyer another violin vidwan of yesteryears. She imparted music to many as a Professor of Karnatic music in Maharaja college at Vizianagaram for few years and for over 15 years as a staff artist in All India Radio. In her later part of her career, she taught violin as HOD at Music Academy, Chennai. She  adorned many podiums as a professional accompanist and solo artist. Initially, she played violin in hundreds of concerts with the legend flautist TR Mahalingam. She performed duet concerts with her brother Dwaram Sathyanarayana moorthy. She has played alongside many vidwans on stage, the long list which includes – DK Pattammal, MSS, MLV, Veena Doraiswamy Iyengar, DK Jayaraman, Dr Balamurali Krishna, Oleti Venkateswaralu, S Ramanathan, Radha Jayalakshmi, Bombay sisters, Prema Hariharan, Mani Krishnaswamy & more.  Here is a rendition of hers available on Youtube.

This sublime artist lived in our midst in Triplicane imparting her talents to the young generation that  included some foreigners also. I was fortunate to sit nearer and talk to her for SYMA Bliss and during the conversation she felt that the young generation has less of patience and is drawn to the fast food culture sans nutrition. She was to say that they  devote less time to music and many seek to learn through rapid courses.   

Vivid remembrances !  .. .. .. the Dwaram house now-a-days is seen locked. There are rumours that none lives over there and the property had been sold !  .. .. perhaps sooner it would fall under the hammer and some new apartment would come at that place with its occupants blissfully unaware of its glorious past and association with music – that of Violin flow !! – what a pity.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
17th Oct 2021. 

PS 1:  excerpted from my earlier article based on personal interview with Dwaram Mangatayaru in Apr 2006.  At that time itself, Kumari Mangathayaramma was close to 70 and age was taking its toll.  When the talk centered about SYMA running a Public convenience at the erstwhile place for Temple elephant – she told that she was under the impression that the majestic tusker was still there [Azhwan, the beautiful yanai passed away in 1977 !!]

2: Lt. Col. Pusapati Vijay Ananda Gajapathi Raju  better known as the Maharajkumar of Vizianagram or Vizzy, played Test Cricket for India and was in fact the Captain of the  team that  toured England in the 1936 -  played 28 first-class fixtures, winning four of them.  The test series was lost 0-2 with 2nd test ending in a draw. The team included -  Lala Amarnath,  Vijay Merchant, Mushtaq Ali,  C. K. Nayudu,  MJ Gopalan, Cotah Ramaswami .. .. … 

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Hindu Munnani protests TN Govt move to melt Temple Gold ..

Hindu Munnani protests  TN Govt scheme to melt Temple Gold ..

புனிதமான தமிழகத்திலே பல்லாயிரக்கணக்கான திருக்கோவில்கள் உள்ளன. ஹிந்து பக்தர்கள் பல நூற்றாண்டுகளாக திருக்கோவில்களுக்கு பல்வேறு விதமான நன்கொடைகளை அளித்து பராமரித்து வருகின்றனர்.  தெய்வ நம்பிக்கை கொண்ட ஆன்மீகத்தில் ஈடுபாடு கொண்ட, தினமும் திருக்கோவில்களுக்கு செல்லும் ஒவ்வொருக்கும் எம்பெருமானுக்கு எப்படி கைங்கர்யம் செய்ய வேண்டும், திருக்கோவில்களில் என்னென்ன செய்யவேண்டும் என்பன நன்கு தெரியும்.

           பால், தயிர், தேன்  முதலிய திரவியங்களால் திருமஞ்சனம் செய்து, பெருமாளுக்கு பட்டாடைகள் அணிவித்து,  இறைவனுக்கு பாமாலைகள் பாடி, அற்புத மணமுடைய அருமையான அழகு பூக்களை செவ்வனே கோர்த்து அழகிய பூமாலைகள் சாற்றி,  தங்கம், வெள்ளி, வைர வைடூரிய ஆபரணங்கள் செய்து சாற்றி,  பலவித  அன்னங்கள் செய்து, திருவமுது செய்வித்து, பெரிய கோவில்கள் கட்டி, அவற்றை பராமரிக்க நிலங்களையும், வீடுகளையும் திருக்கோவிலுக்கு கிரயம் பண்ணி .. .. என பற்பல,  மன்னர்கள் முதல் சாதாரண பிரஜைகள் வரை அவர்தம் சக்தியையும் மீறி செய்து வந்துள்ளனர்.

தமிழகத்தில் ஹிந்து கோவில்கள் மட்டும் அரசாங்க கட்டுப்பாட்டில் உள்ளன. ஏனைய மதத்தினரின் வழிபாட்டு தலங்களை அவர்களே நிர்வாகம் செய்து வருகின்றனர்.  திருக்கோவில்களுக்கு பக்தர்கள் தரும் காணிக்கைகள், சில சமயங்களில் - திருக்கோவில் சம்பந்தப்படாத விஷயங்களுக்கும் உபயோகப்படுத்தப்படுகின்றன.  அதே சமயம் நிறைய திருக்கோவில்கள், சரியாக பராமரிக்கப்படாமல், நித்ய பூஜைகள் கூட சரிவர நடக்கும் நிலைமை இல்லாமை உள்ளது மிகுந்த வருத்தம் தரும் ஒரு விஷயம். 

சமீப கொரோனா காலத்தில் - திருக்கோவில்களுக்கு மூன்று நாட்கள் வாராந்திர விடுமுறை என திருக்கோயில்களை சாற்றி - முக்கிய பண்டிகை  நாட்களில் கூட தம் இறைவனை வழிபட முடியாமல் ஹிந்து பக்தர்கள் மனம் வருந்தினர்.  

இத்தகைய இழி நிலைமையில், கோயில்களில் பயன்பாட்டில் இல்லாத நகைகளை மத்திய அரசின் உருக்காலையில் உருக்கி தங்க பிஸ்கட்டுகளாக மாற்றி, வைப்பு நிதியாக வைக்கப்பட்டு, அதன் மூலம் கிடைக்கும் வட்டித் தொகையில் கோவில் திருப்பணிகள் மேற்கொள்ளப்படும் என  இந்து சமய அறநிலையத்துறை அமைச்சர் கூறியது பக்தர்களை அதிர்ச்சிக்கு உள்ளாக்கியது.  திருக்கோவில்களுக்கு பக்தர்கள் அளித்த நகைகள், பொருட்கள்,  காட்சி பொருள்களாக ஆகிவிடுமோ ! - திருக்கோவில்களுக்கு உபயோகம் இல்லாது  போய் விடுமோ ! - முறைகேடுகள் நடந்தேறுமோ ! என பக்தர்களின் மனதில் அச்சம்.

கோயிலுக்குச் சொந்தமான சொத்துக்களை மீட்க நடவடிக்கை எடுக்க வேண்டும் என   இந்து முன்னணி போராடி வருகிறது.   கோயில்களில் உள்ள தங்கம், வெள்ளி, விலை உயா்ந்த கற்கள் குறித்து இந்துசமய அறநிலையத் துறை வெள்ளை அறிக்கை வெளியிட வேண்டும்; கோயில் தங்கத்தை உருக்கும் திட்டத்தை கைவிட வேண்டும் - இறைவனுக்கு பக்தர்கள் காணிக்கையாக அளித்த நகைகள் - இறைவனுக்கே மட்டுமே, வேறு எந்த காரியத்துக்கும் அவற்றை உபயோகப்படுத்தக்கூடாது - இந்த நகைகள் உருக்கும் திட்டத்தை கைவிட வேண்டும் என வலியுறுத்தி, இந்து முன்னணி திருவல்லிக்கேணி ஸ்ரீபார்த்தசாரதி எம்பெருமானை வணங்கி, அவரிடமே முறையிட்டு, அறப்போராட்டத்தை இன்று திருவல்லிக்கேணியில் நடத்தியது. 

இன்று காலை நடந்த அறப்போராட்டத்தின் படங்கள் சில இங்கே:
16th Oct 2021. 

Friday, October 15, 2021

UK Supreme Court decided on a Queen who ruled 2000 years ago !!

When parties in dispute seek legal opinion – the concern is how it could be decided, even when there could be legal precedence .. .. and more – how long would it take and when the Court decides, would the other party accept the verdict or go on appeal !!   ‘Justice delayed is Justice denied’ is a well known legal maxim.  It is known that if redressal is not swift and does not come in time, the remedy could be of no avail.  There are cases that are heard well past the midnight and cases that takes years and years before they are heard !!

Perhaps nothing could beat imagination on when a case is heard !  - ie., can there be a case on an incident that occurred centuries ago !  -  British Judicial system shows us the way.   Boudica trial and her acquittal are moot points  .. .. ……….

Boudica  was a queen of the British Iceni tribe who led an uprising against the conquering forces of the Roman Empire in AD 60 or 61.[yes almost 2000 years ago !] According to Roman sources, shortly after the uprising failed, she poisoned herself or died of her wounds, although there is no actual evidence of her fate. Boudica's husband Prasutagus, with whom she had two children whose names are unknown, ruled as a nominally independent ally of Rome, and left his kingdom jointly to his daughters and to the Roman emperor in his will. However, when he died, his will was ignored, and the kingdom was annexed and his property taken.  .. .. and she was tried now under an enactment of 2000 !!  dizzy !!!

The Terrorism Act 2000 is the first of a number of general Terrorism Acts passed by the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It superseded and repealed the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act 1989 and the Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) Act 1996. The powers it provides the police have been controversial, leading to noted cases of alleged abuse, and to legal challenges in British and European courts.

Boudica, was accused that as Queen of the Iceni tribe, reportedly  burnt London to the ground and was responsible for the deaths of 80,000 civilians !  But yesterday, Boudica was acquitted in a 'trial' at the Supreme Court of having committed terrorist acts against a 'rotten and illegitimate Roman government' nearly 2,000 years ago. The female warrior led the Iceni's revolt against occupying Roman forces from AD60-61 after they reneged on a deal to let her people rule themselves. She is also believed to have been flogged and her daughters raped.

Thousands of members of the tribe marched from their home in what is now Norfolk to ravage the Roman cities of Camulodunum (Colchester), Londinium and Verulamium, which was near what is now St Albans in Hertfordshire. In her trial, which was run by the education charity Classics for All and involved QC lawyers, the warrior queen was 'charged' under the Terrorism Act 2000. However, by a margin of ten to one, the 50-strong jury accepted that the atrocities committed by Boudica and her people were justified acts of self-defence, The Times reported. 

So UK Supreme Court heard and decided a trial on an act committed nearly 2000 years ago under an Act of 2000 !!  accused of having committed terrorist acts against a 'rotten and illegitimate Roman government'!!   Roman historian Tacitus described the subsequent march on the three ancient cities, saying that Boudica's tribe targeted places where 'loot was richest and protection weakest'.  She was accused of using 'action involving serious violence against persons, namely the inhabitants of Camulodunum, Londinium and Verulamium.'  The indictment added that her action was designed to 'influence the government of Rome or to intimidate the public or a section of the public, for the purpose of advancing a political or ideological cause, namely Iceni dissidence and secession.'

The prosecution, which was brought on behalf of the 'Senate and People of Rome', was led by high-flying QC Alison Morgan. She was the leading counsel in the case of Khairi Saadallah, who murdered three men in a terrorist attack in Reading last year. Morgan reportedly urged the jurors not to 'buy the hype'. She said that whilst the Romans had flogged the queen and raped her daughters after the death of her husband, Prasutagus, 'that cannot justify an act of mass murder'. However, defence lawyer Thomas Grant QC called Boudica a 'brave woman' who had been a victim of Roman 'propaganda'. 

                               After she was acquitted, judge Lord Justice Stephens said Boudica was free to leave 'without any stain on your character and remain as a national symbol of an inspirational hero'.  He added that he was 'confident' the jury would 'do justice to a Briton' because her actions were the only 'conceivable response' to the Romans' actions.

Before his death, Boudica's husband had been ruler of the Iceni people. The Romans had allowed him to continue as king, ruling on their behalf. He made a deal with the Romans that when he passed away, his heirs would be his two daughters and the Roman Emperor Nero. Prasutagus hoped that he could this way preserve his kingdom and his family fortune. But when he died, the Romans decided to rule the Iceni directly and confiscated the property and estates of his family, as well as allegedly abusing Boudica and her own children.  The marauding tribes’ major military victory came in Camulodunum, where they destroyed the city's Roman colony, including much of the famous Ninth Legion – which later disappeared entirely from the historical record. Boudica and her forces forced the Roman Governor of Britain, Paulinus to evacuate London, which was also destroyed. An estimated 70,000 people were killed there.

The warrior is said to have addressed her group from the back of a chariot, showing them her bruised body and her violated daughters. Tactitus records that her speech ended with the words: 'Win this battle or perish. That is what I, a woman, plan to do. Let the men live in slavery if they will.'  

That leaves with a fundamental Q – how long should jurisprudence go back – should things of the past be reopened and reviewed under present conditions and may be jaundiced views !!

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
15th Oct 2021. 

Coconuts lessons

Appearances are deceptive !  - yesterday took a casual snap of bunch of coconuts hanging grandly on a tree ! – we know that coconuts have a hard shell !! – obseve this bunch .. ……….

The coconut tree (Cocos nucifera) is a member of the palm tree family (Arecaceae) and the only living species of the genus Cocos.[1] The term "coconut" (or the archaic "cocoanut")[2] can refer to the whole coconut palm, the seed, or the fruit, which botanically is a drupe, not a nut. The name comes from the old Portuguese word coco, meaning "head" or "skull", after the three indentations on the coconut shell that resemble facial features. They are ubiquitous in coastal tropical regions and are a cultural icon of the tropics.

கிராமங்களில் மட்டுமல்ல ... நகரத்தில் கூட நாம் காணுவது தென்னை மரம் -  தாவரவியல் பெயர் கோக்கஸ் நியூசிஃபெரா ஃபைகஸ்.  எரிக்கேசியோ குடும்பத்தை சேர்ந்தது.  செழுமை, வளமை, வெற்றி ஆகியவற்றின் அடையாளமாக கருதப்படுகிறது. . சங்க நூல்கள் "தெங்கு' என்றும்  "தாழை' என்றும் உயர்வாக கூறுகின்றன.    அவ்வையார் மூதுரையில் உரைத்தது :  

நன்றி ஒருவர்க்குச் செய்தக்கால் அந் நன்றி

'என்று தருங்கொல்?' என வேண்டா- நின்று

தளரா வளர் தெங்கு தாள் உண்ட நீரைத்

தலையாலே தான் தருதலால்.

              ஒருவர்க்கு உதவி செய்யும்போது, அதற்கு ப்ரதியுபகாரமும்,  நன்றியும் எப்போது கிடைக்கும் என்று கருதி செய்யக்கூடாது.  எப்படிப்பட்ட நீரை வேர் மூலம் உண்டாலும், நன்கு தளராது  வளர்ந்துள்ள தென்னை மரம் அந்நீரை சுவையான இளநீராக தந்து விடும்.  அதுபோல ஒருவர்க்கு செய்த சிறு உதவியும் பெரிய  விதத்தில் நமக்கு ஒரு காலம் நிச்சயம் நன்மை பயக்கும்.

தேங்காய் என்பது தென்னைமரத்தின் பழம் ஆகும். இதனைத் தெங்கம் பழம் என்றும் கூறுவதுண்டு. இது கெட்டியாக இருப்பதால், பழமாக இருப்பினும், வழக்கத்தில் காய் என்றே அழைக்கப்படுகின்றது.  தேங்காய் மிக இளசாக இருந்தால் அதனுள் நிறைய தேங்காய்நீர் இருக்கும். இதனை இளநீர் என்பர். கோடை காலங்களில் வெயிலின் வெக்கையைத் தணிக்க இளநீரை அருந்துவர்.  இளநீர் (tender Coconut water) என்பது தேங்காய்க்குள் உள்ள தெளிவான திரவமாகும்.   

Upon a close-up of the same photo – observe that some of the coconuts – those hard shells had been penetrated neatly and the contents inside had been emptied !! (this is a cropped view not one taken on ground)

Life is always interesting !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
15th Oct 2021.

Thursday, October 14, 2021

feeding Crow !!

Feeding Crow !!!


In this beautiful World, often those (perceivedly not so beautiful) are not considered attractive – may be because, they are common, they are looked down with contempt.

In most species, mother birds always love their babies unconditionally. They spend a lot of time to take care of their babies and keep them safe as much as possible.

Allofeeding is a type of food sharing behaviour observed in cooperatively breeding species of birds.  Parent birds feed  altricial hatchlings, which are dependent on  care for their survival.  Most mother birds eat food and then regurgitate it for the babies. They often feed their babies insects so that they can get more protein and grow healthy.

.. .. .. and Crows eat ‘raw boiled rice’ !  - is what I have observed and learnt !! 

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Nobel Prize in Economics 2021

Long ago, people lived in villages – they were self-sufficient, their wants were limited – slowly Trade progressed – humans started consuming more – boundaries opened up ! people started travelling from place to place and sometimes shifted their pastures.  When people cross national borders during their migration, they are called migrants or immigrants (from Latin: migrare, 'wanderer') from the perspective of the destination country. In contrast, from the perspective of the country from which they leave, they are called emigrants or outmigrants. 

Immigration is the international movement of people to a destination country of which they are not natives or where they do not possess citizenship in order to settle as permanent residents or naturalized citizens.  Commuters, tourists, and other short-term stays in a destination country do not fall under the definition of immigration or migration; seasonal labour immigration is sometimes included, however. 

As for economic effects, research suggests that migration is beneficial both to the receiving and sending countries.  Research, with few exceptions, finds that immigration on average has positive economic effects on the native population, but is mixed as to whether low-skilled immigration adversely affects low-skilled natives.  .. ..  How does immigration affect pay and employment levels? How does a longer education affect someone’s future income? These questions are difficult to answer because we have nothing to use as a comparison. We do not know what would have happened if there had been less immigration or if that person had not continued studying. 

As it was with most subjects at College, Economics bemused and always tested our understanding ! ~ there was Micro Economics and Macro Economics. To put simply, Micro is the study of   economic behavior of a particular individual, firm, or household, i.e. it studies a particular unit.  Macro  economics is the study of the economy as a whole i.e., not a single unit but the combination of all.   Microeconomics is the study of particular markets, and segments of the economy. It looks at issues such as consumer behaviour, individual labour markets, and the theory of firms. Macro economics is the study of the whole economy. It looks at ‘aggregate’ variables, such as aggregate demand, national output and inflation. 

Then there were noted Economists like – Adam Smith, as a Scottish economist, philosopher, moral philosopher, a pioneer of political economy and a key figure during the Scottish Enlightenment. Smith is best known for two classic works, The Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759) and An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776). The latter, usually abbreviated as The Wealth of Nations, is considered his magnum opus and the first modern work of economics. Smith laid the foundations of classical free market economic theory. 

On the Qs on immigration and its effects - this year’s Laureates have shown that it is possible to answer these and similar questions using natural experiments. The key is to use situations in which chance events or policy changes result in groups of people being treated differently, in a way that resembles clinical trials in medicine. 

Using natural experiments, David Card has analysed the labour market effects of minimum wages, immigration and education. His studies from the early 1990s challenged conventional wisdom, leading to new analyses and additional insights. The results showed, among other things, that increasing the minimum wage does not necessarily lead to fewer jobs. We now know that the incomes of people who were born in a country can benefit from new immigration, while people who immigrated at an earlier time risk being negatively affected. We have also realised that resources in schools are far more important for students’ future labour market success than was previously thought. 

Data from a natural experiment are difficult to interpret, however. For example, extending compulsory education by a year for one group of students (but not another) will not affect everyone in that group in the same way. Some students would have kept studying anyway and, for them, the value of education is often not representative of the entire group. So, is it even possible to draw any conclusions about the effect of an extra year in school? In the mid-1990s, Joshua Angrist and Guido Imbens solved this methodological problem, demonstrating how precise conclusions about cause and effect can be drawn from natural experiments.


The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2021 

with one half to: David Card

University of California, Berkeley, USA - “for his empirical contributions to labour economics” 

and the other half jointly to Joshua D. Angrist

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, USA 

Guido W. Imbens; Stanford University, USA 

“for their methodological contributions to the analysis of causal relationships” 

Here is something more on the coveted award :  An endowment "in perpetuity" from Sveriges Riksbank pays the Nobel Foundation's administrative expenses associated with the prize and funds the monetary component of the award. Since 2012, the monetary portion of the Prize in Economics has totaled 8 million Swedish kronor. This is equivalent to the amount given for the original Nobel Prizes. The Prize in Economics is not one of the Nobel Prizes, which were endowed by Alfred Nobel in his will.  However, the nomination process, selection criteria, and awards presentation of the Prize in Economic Sciences are performed in a manner similar to that of the Nobel Prizes. The prize was established in 1968 by a donation from Sweden's central bank Sveriges Riksbank to the Nobel Foundation to commemorate the bank's 300th anniversary. Laureates are announced with the Nobel Prize laureates, and receive the award at the same ceremony. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awards the prize "in accordance with the rules governing the award of the Nobel Prizes instituted through his [Alfred Nobel's] will. 

Laureates in the Memorial Prize in Economics are selected by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. It was first awarded in 1969 to the Dutch and Norwegian economists Jan Tinbergen and Ragnar Frisch, "for having developed and applied dynamic models for the analysis of economic processes". According to its official website, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences "administers a researcher exchange with academies in other countries and publishes six scientific journals. Each September the Academy's Economics Prize Committee, which consists of five elected members, "sends invitations to thousands of scientists, members of academies and university professors in numerous countries, asking them to nominate candidates for the Prize in Economics for the coming year. Members of the Academy and former laureates are also authorised to nominate candidates.  As with the Nobel Prizes, no more than three people can share the prize for a given year; they must still be living at the time of the Prize announcement in October; and information about Prize nominations cannot be disclosed publicly for 50 years. 

Like the Nobel laureates in physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, and literature, each laureate in Economics receives a diploma, gold medal, and monetary grant award document from the King of Sweden at the annual Nobel Prize Award Ceremony in Stockholm, on the anniversary of Nobel's death (December 10). The physical conduct of  prize award Ceremony at present is affected by present Covid scenario.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
13th Oct 2o21. 

Monday, October 11, 2021

new marmoset - Schneider’s marmoset !!

In School days – in our History read about ‘Shogun’ rulers -   the military dictators of Japan during most of the period spanning from 1185 to 1868. Nominally appointed by the Emperor, shoguns were usually the de facto rulers of the country, with a bugging Q that – why are WE reading all these and in what way would these be of any use ! – as we grow and we read – there is so much of information available in WWW – though not all could be considered useful – yet these leaves us dumbfounded thinking that what we claim to know is too miniscule

Today read about something about Scheneider – far away from what we have heard - Schneider Electric SE, a French multinational company providing energy and automation digital solutions for efficiency and sustainability .. .. this Schneider is different !!

A team of scientists has discovered a new marmoset species in the Brazilian Amazon. Schneider’s marmoset (Mico schneideri), described in the latest issue of the journal Scientific Reports, is named after professor Horacio Schneider, a pioneer and major contributor to the research of diversity and evolution of monkeys.  Was surprised to read that some primates were discovered and classified last year too !

As we proceed here are some clues :  Kingdom:Animalia; Phylum:         Chordata; Class:   Mammalia; Order: Primates; Suborder:Haplorhini; Infraorder:      Simiiformes – can you decipher what this order is about .. .. it is us, the humans !!

Homo (from Latin homō 'man') is the genus that emerged in the (otherwise extinct) genus Australopithecus that encompasses the extant species Homo sapiens (modern humans), plus several extinct species classified as either ancestral to or closely related to modern humans (depending on the species), most notably Homo erectus and Homo neanderthalensis.  Homo sapiens (anatomically modern humans) emerged close to 300,000 to 200,000 years ago,  most likely in Africa, and Homo neanderthalensis emerged at around the same time in Europe and Western Asia .. ….and so goes the theories !

Carl Linnaeus   was a Swedish botanist, zoologist, taxonomist, and physician who formalised binomial nomenclature, the modern system of naming organisms. He is known as the "father of modern taxonomy".  Many of his writings were in Latin.  Linnaeus was born in Råshult, the countryside of Småland, in southern Sweden. He  became professor of medicine and botany at Uppsala. In the 1740s, he was sent on several journeys through Sweden to find and classify plants and animals. In the 1750s and 1760s, he continued to collect and classify animals, plants, and minerals, while publishing several volumes. He was one of the most acclaimed scientists in Europe at the time of his death.  

A primate (from primus 'prime, first rank') is a eutherian mammal constituting the taxonomic order Primates. Primates arose 8555 million years ago first from small terrestrial mammals, which adapted to living in the trees of tropical forests: many primate characteristics represent adaptations to life in this challenging environment, including large brains, visual acuity, color vision, a shoulder girdle allowing a large degree of movement in the shoulder joint, and dextrous hands.   The name ‘primates’ was given by Carl Linnaeus because he thought this the "highest" order of animals. The relationships among the different groups of primates were not clearly understood until relatively recently, so the commonly used terms are somewhat confused. For example, ape has been used either as an alternative for monkey or for any tailless, relatively human-like primate.

As primates are a well-studied group, species that are unknown to science are rare. However, recent advances in DNA sequencing have allowed scientists to compare populations and test for distinct lineages in extant species. This list includes species that have been discovered, formally described, or brought to public light in the year 2020 or later. New primate species are recorded by the International Union for Conservation of Nature Species Survival Commission (IUCN/SSC) Primate Specialist Group. In the previous ten years 36 primates were described.

Schneider's marmoset (Mico schneideri) is a species of marmoset of the genus Mico in the family Callitrichidae. Endemic to Brazil, it is found in the Amazon rainforest of Mato Grosso state. It is found on the interfluve between the Juruena and Teles Pires rivers. Schneider's marmoset is found in primary and secondary terra firma rainforests and in the transition zone to the Cerrado.

Previously misidentified as Emilia's marmoset (Mico emiliae), a morphological and phylogenetic study in 2021 showed the species is distinct and it was formally described as a new species. Schneider's marmoset has a lead-coloured saddle and rump with cream-silver underparts. There is grey fur on the back of its neck and on top of its head. Its hands are light orange, its feet are orange, and its tail is black. Schneider's marmoset is found in the "arc of deforestation", a 2,500 km stretch of the Amazon rainforest which is under greatest pressure from deforestation, mostly due to agricultural encroachment.

What amazes is the deep study, research and effort put by some Nations, Organisations – in realigning human understanding of various species.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
11th Oct 2021.