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Saturday, April 30, 2022

Expert Comments - Cricket - anchoring !!

 Long ago ! – there would be commentators and one Expert commentator.  C: the ball has been hit to boundary and now the score is … .. .. – what do you think of that shot Sir ?  EC (Lala Amarnath, CD Gopinath .. … ) – it was a good shot, shot in length, went on backfoot, square cut for four ! – then came Mandira Bedi, Mayanti Langer and .. .. ..

A meadow  is an open habitat, or field, vegetated by grasses, herbs, and other non-woody plants. Trees or shrubs may sparsely populate meadows, as long as these areas maintain an open character. Meadows may be naturally occurring or artificially created from cleared shrub or woodland. 

The subject matter of this post – was axed from Fox Sports, due to cost-cutting policies! but fortunate enough to find a newer role – in the cash rich  Indian Premier League (IPL). She is not new to Sporting arena – she had covered several high-profile sporting events, including  2020 Brisbane International and Australian Open.  She has had some Cricket experience too – having anchored   Big Bash League (BBL), 2018-19 India-Australia series, and the 2018 Magellan Ashes.

In the 41st match at Wankhede, DC won against KKR with a good performance from Rovman Powell – seeing him tonk the ball for huge sixers, it sounded the 28 year old  could well be the Chris Gayle or Kieron Pollard sooner.  The match was not all about sixer hitting – it was some renaissance too – Kuldeep Yadav has  added new dimensions to his bowling, he has been more confident, and he has been producing match-winning spells. Kuldeep Yadav had wrecked his former team Kolkata Knight Riders earlier in the season, and on Thursday he did it again, finishing with superb figures of 4 for 14 in three overs to restrict them to 146.

When DC chased, the asking rate, was becoming tight,  Shreyas had to juggle the fifth bowler's quota between Russell and other part-timers.  Axar Patel  pulled and upper-cut the first two Russell deliveries for four and six, Knight Riders had massive problems. A run-out off the last ball of the over still left the door open. Powell and Shardul Thakur watchfully played out Narine's last over, but by now Harshit had walked off with an injury. So Shreyas had to bowl Venkatesh, and he did so in the 17th instead of keeping that over till the end. Powell hit him for a six and a four to bring it under a run a ball, and it took a six each off Tim Southee and Shreyas to end the game.

Those of us given to watching the whole match including the pre and post match analysis, would be querying on who it was standing tall between Sunil Gavaskar and Kevin Pietersen and reeling out some Cricket statistics too. It was Neroli Meadows..

Neroli Meadows is an Australian television presenter, sports journalist and sports commentator. Meadows has been a boundary rider for Triple M's Australian Football League (AFL) coverage, and was a presenter and commentator across the Fox Sports network for nine years, covering Australian rules football, cricket and basketball. She also co-hosted the short-lived revamp of the Nine Network program The Footy Show in 2019.

Meadows hails from Western Australia – one of her brothers, Ross,  played hockey for Australia,  and Ian, an actor best known for his role on Home and Away. Meadows studied journalism at Curtin University and completed a diploma in broadcasting at the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts. She also studied in the United States at the University of Tennessee on a student exchange program.

In Jan 2016, Meadows recorded an interview on the ABC program 7.30 regarding inappropriate comments made by Jamaican cricketer Chris Gayle towards her and fellow sports reporter Mel McLaughlin (who worked for Network Ten at the time).   In 2017, she joined Fox Footy's inaugural AFL Women's commentary team and did wide coverage for Fox.  She was about to anchor AFL footy show but that show was cancelled and later Fox parted ways. She is back speaking about Cricket now.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

the wise Crow - all about Construction Engineering !

When you hold a dabba Camera, you tend to fantasize to be a photographer, start looking for beautiful objects – while you dream of a Peacock, you get to see a Crow !! 
You find so many of them as you go to your terrace. A crow is a bird of the genus Corvus, or more broadly a synonym for all of Corvus. What may be less known is that crows and ravens live in every type of ecosystem around the world, from the hottest deserts to the most forbidding frozen tundras. Just how they were able to reach and thrive in every niche on the planet has been a mystery.
Science is about making the unrecognizable recognizable, turning the unfamiliar into familiar, and seeing a thread of unity behind dissimilar phenomena. Some creative ideas can’t be executed without science. Leonardo da Vinci’s remarkable capacity for careful observation made him an astonishing artist and a brilliant scientist. He was able to compare the speed of a bird’s wing movement downwards and upwards. He noticed the differences between arteries carrying blood from the heart and the veins bringing the blood back, so as to draw accurate models of the human circulatory system. His portrait paintings were groundbreaking because Leonardo was the first to show accurate musculature in the face and neck.
Is engineering an art or a science?  The debate would continue and the less informed like me would understand neither !!   with the careful application of specific rules and factors, it’s a broad discipline based on scientific and mathematic principles. Engineers are special breed !  - Engineering is a discipline dedicated to problem solving. Our built environment and infrastructure, the devices we use to communicate, the processes that manufacture our medicines, have all been designed, assembled or managed by an engineer. Sometimes referred to as “The Science of the Art of Construction,” civil engineering is often the unsung hero of a project; without it, buildings and cities would cease to exist in a way that’s operable or sustainable.
Although the projects they work on have vastly changed over the centuries, civil engineering is arguably the oldest engineering discipline. The design of the built environment began the first time someone placed a roof over their head or laid a tree trunk across a river to make it easier to get across. New materials and technology have allowed civil engineers to think even more creatively, expanding their opportunities to expand and enhance the built environment. From impossibly tall towers to stunning bridges and captivating airports, civil engineers push the limits of what’s possible. At the same time, civil engineers are bound by their ethics of professional practice to ensure that all designs are safe, practical, and economical.
Crows and ravens have taken over the world in part because they're so big and brainy, new research suggests.  .. .. .. and here is a Crow on a Civil Engineering project, of constructing its nest with steel wires !!

Researchers found that crows and ravens have bigger wingspans, brains and bodies than other birds in the Corvidae family. "We hypothesize that these three very convenient combinations of traits are what allowed this group of birds to colonize and diversify across the world," said a  postdoctoral research associate at Washington University in St. Louis, and is now a geneticist at the University of Barcelona. Crows and ravens (household names that encompass several species of birds in the genus Corvus) have proven their smarts time and again. Crows understand the concept of zero and can use multi-step planning and tools to access tasty treats. Ravens, meanwhile, have been shown to rival great apes in their intelligence, according to a 2020 study in the journal Scientific Reports.
Interesting !
With regards – S. Sampathkumar


Friday, April 29, 2022

Business Enterprise - "and Sons !"

Chennai – Madras, Madrasapatnam has a chequered history.  There is Parrys Corner and George Town, a colonial vestige.  During the colonial period, the area in and around Muthialpet was renamed as "George Town" by the British in 1911, in honour of King George V when he was crowned as the Emperor of India. The area is also called Broadway, named after a main thoroughfare in Muthialpet and there is Esplanade too.
The first settlement of the city of Madras of the visiting traders,  began here, near the fort. Fort St George in 1640 as a fortified warehouse for the English East India Company. It was built by Francis Day. The township of native people that began to grow up around it was called the Black Town by the British.  
There are so many temples in this area and there is - Ekambareswarar Temple,   constructed by Alanganatha Pillai, a dubash  of   British East India Company. There are thousands of small and big trading houses and this one - H Mani Sunker Davay & Sons at a lane called - Luckmudoss Street, is well known to those used to buying quality veshtis and angavasthrams for temple and marriage purposes.  The collection and quality is really appreciable.
In 2015, the British government was forced to pay £8.8 million to Taylor & Sons when the Welsh engineering firm went into liquidation, and in so doing, laid off its 250-person team. On the surface, that might sound weird. After all, why would a government pay out a seven-figure sum to a midsize firm that went bankrupt?
A company is a legal entity formed by a group of individuals to engage in and operate a business—commercial or industrial—enterprise. A company may be organized in various ways for tax and financial liability purposes depending on the corporate law of its jurisdiction. The line of business the company is in will generally determine which business structure it chooses such as a partnership, proprietorship, or corporation. These structures also denote the ownership structure of the company. They can also be distinguished between private and public companies. Both have different ownership structures, regulations, and financial reporting requirements.
By another definition, a Company is  any formal business entity for profit which may be a corporation, a partnership, association or individual proprietorship. Often people think the term "company" means the business is incorporated, but that is not true. In fact, a corporation usually must use some term in its name such as "corporation," "incorporated," "corp." or "inc." to show it is a corporation.
Often you find – many a firms – with suffix ‘& sons’ -  It means that campany was started by a family, which has generations involved in same business. The family can still be the sole or majority share holder in the company.  
The story of Taylor & Sons’ big payout began in 2009, after the government’s official registrar for all companies in the U.K., Companies House, mistook Taylor & Sonsat that point, a flourishing firm that had been operating for 134 yearswith Taylor & Son Limited, a body shop based in Manchester, which had reported plans to shut down. The mix-up meant the British government had shut down all of Taylor & Sons accounts, bank transactions and U.K.-based trusts. Contracts were lost, staff didn’t get paid and the firm’s credit agreements with suppliers were no longer valid. And so, by the end of 2009, Taylor & Sons (the engineering firm) was forced to shut down for good.
After a six-year court battle, Taylor & Sons owner Philip Davison-Sebry won the payout for irreparable damages in London’s high court. (He’s currently using that money to start a new firm.) For its part, the British government still blames the incident on a clerical error, part of which it attributes to the large number of businesses in the U.K. that have some variation of the “& Son(s)” suffix in their names.
.. .. .. all this long post – for this board attracted me – in a literal translation – ‘& sons’ has become ‘magan’ written in Tamil.
Interesting !
With regards – S. Sampathkumar

attractive eyes and a chittukuruvi

                   பறவைகள்  அழகானவை.  சிறு வயதிலிருந்து நம் வீட்டினருகிலேயே பார்த்துப் பழக்கப்பட்டவை சிட்டுக்குருவிகள். அவை சிறகடித்துப் பறப்பதையும், தத்தித்தத்திச் செல்வதையும், கூடு கட்ட இடம் தேடுவதையும், தானியங்களைக் கொத்திக்கொத்திச் சாப்பிடுவதையும்,  படபடவெனச் சிறகடித்துக் சுற்றி சுற்றி பறப்பதையும் கண்டு ஆனந்தம் அடைந்து இருப்போம்.
விட்டு விடுதலையாகி நிற்பாய் இந்தச் சிட்டுக் குருவியினைப் போலே
எட்டுத் திசையும் பறந்து திரிகுவை; ஏறியக் காற்றில் விரைவோடு நீந்துவை
 என்ற மஹாகவி பாரதியாரின் வரிகள் மிகவும் பிரபலம். பறவைகளின் சுதந்திரம் குறித்து பாரதியார் எழுதிய அந்த வரிகள் இன்றும்  காலம் கடந்து நிற்கிறது.  தமிழ் சினிமா பாடலில் புகழ் பெற்ற சிட்டுக்குருவி பாட்டு, எம். எஸ். ராஜேஸ்வரி  பாடிய (அஞ்சலிதேவி  நடித்த) சிட்டுகுருவி சிட்டுகுருவி சேதி தெரியுமா?..எனும் பாடல்.  சிட்டுக்குருவிக்கென்ன கட்டுப்பாடு?… இது - சவாலே சமாளி, 1971, பாடியது:  பி. சுசீலா, இசை: எம். எஸ் . விஸ்வநாதன். குருவி பாடல்கள் பல உள்ளன. 
சிட்டுக்குருவி (House sparrow), (Passer domesticus) என்பது  ஒரு சிறிய பறவை ஆகும். பொதுவாக இதன் நீளம் 16 செ.மீ.ம், எடை 24-39.5 கிராமும் இருக்கும்.  பெண் சிட்டுக்குருவிகள் மற்றும் குஞ்சுகள் வெளிர் பழுப்பு மற்றும் சாம்பல் நிறத்திலும், மற்றும் ஆண் சிட்டுக்குருவிகள் பிரகாசமான கருப்பு, வெள்ளை, மற்றும் பழுப்பு அடையாளங்களுடனும் காணப்படும். 
குருவி இனமே அருகி விட்டது என சிலர் கூறினாலும், இன்னமும் பல கண்ணில் படுகின்றன.  இதோ திருவல்லிக்கேணியில் நான் எடுத்த ஒரு குருவி புகைப்படம் .. .. அந்த கண்களும் கவர்ச்சியாகவே படுகின்றன.
உங்கள்-  மாமண்டூர் ஸ்ரீனிவாசன் சம்பத்குமார்

Monday, April 25, 2022

MI keeps losing! Pollard struggles !! - Nobel laureate wins elections !!!

Did you read about East Timorese Presidential  elections and  winning of José Manuel Ramos-Horta  ?


For Cricket lovers, Mumbai Indians losing 8 games in a row now and struggling without a single win is something unimaginable .. .. and yesterday the plight of the big hitting Kieron Pollard was hard to digest.  This big six hitter had a batting average of 11.30 from 15 ODIs and 17.20 from 10 T20Is when he became the joint-biggest buy at the IPL player auction in January 2010. He has had his matches of fame, but .. .. yesterday against Lucknow Super Giants scratched around to see his team die ! – not a great hooker, not playing pulls now a days, the big six hitter was held to a tight leash of some short barrage – Polard tried to shuffle across but could not score runs freely. 

Miles away, Emmanuel Macron comfortably defeated rival Marine Le Pen on Sunday, heading off a political earthquake for Europe but acknowledging dissatisfaction with his first term and saying he would seek to make amends. His supporters erupted with joy as the results appeared on a giant screen at the Champ de Mars park by the Eiffel tower. Leaders in Berlin, Brussels, London and beyond welcomed his defeat of the nationalist, eurosceptic Le Pen. With 97% of votes counted, Macron was on course for a solid 57.4% of the vote, interior ministry figures showed. But in his victory speech he acknowledged that many had only voted for him only to keep Le Pen out and he promised to address the sense of many French that their living standards are slipping.

“No one in France will be left by the wayside,” he said in a message that had already been spread by senior ministers doing the rounds on French TV stations. Two years of disruption from the pandemic and surging energy prices exacerbated by the Ukraine war catapulted economic issues to the fore of the campaign. The rising cost of living has become an increasing strain for the poorest in the country. “He needs to be closer to the people and to listen to them,” digital sales worker Virginie, 51, said at the Macron rally, adding he needed to overcome a reputation for arrogance and soften a leadership style Macron himself called “Jupiterian”. Le Pen, who at one stage of the campaign had trailed Macron by just a few points in opinion polls, quickly admitted defeat. But she vowed to keep up the fight with parliamentary elections in June.  “I will never abandon the French,” she told supporters chanting “Marine! Marine!”

Macron can expect little or no grace period in a country whose stark political divisions have been brought into the open by an election in which radical parties scored well. Many expect the street protests that marred part of his first term to erupt again as he presses on with pro-business reforms. Outside France, Macron’s victory was hailed as a reprieve for mainstream politics rocked in recent years by Britain’s exit from the European Union, the 2016 election of Donald Trump and the rise of a new generation of nationalist leaders.

.. .. and in East Timor, another head retained.  José Manuel Ramos-Horta would take office on 20 May 2022, having previously served as president from 20 May 2007 until 20 May 2012. Previously he was Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2002 to 2006 and Prime Minister from 2006 to 2007. He is a co-recipient of the 1996 Nobel Peace Prize, along with Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo, for working "towards a just and peaceful solution to the conflict in East Timor".

East Timor   is an island country in Southeast Asia, comprising of the eastern half of the island of Timor, the nearby islands of Atauro and Jaco, and Oecusse, an exclave on the northwestern side of the island surrounded by Indonesian West Timor. Australia is the country's southern neighbour, separated by the Timor Sea. The country's size is 15,007 square kilometres (5,794 sq mi).  Dili is its capital. East Timor was colonised by Portugal in the 16th century and was known as Portuguese Timor until 28 November 1975, when the Revolutionary Front for an Independent East Timor (Fretilin) declared the territory's independence. Nine days later, it was invaded and occupied by the Indonesian military; it was declared Indonesia's 27th province the following year. The Indonesian occupation of East Timor was characterised by a violent, decades-long conflict between separatist groups (especially Fretilin) and the Indonesian military. In 1999, following the United Nations-sponsored act of self-determination, Indonesia relinquished control of the territory. As Timor-Leste, it became the first new sovereign state of the 21st century on 20 May 2002 and joined the United Nations.

The Nobel prize winner José Ramos-Horta has scored a landslide victory in Timor-Leste’s presidential election; The 72-year-old secured 397,145 votes, or 62.09%, against incumbent Francisco “Lu-Olo” Guterres’ 242,440, or 37.91%, the secretariat’s website showed on Wednesday after all ballots were counted. The victory gives Ramos-Horta his second term in office. He served as president of south-east Asia’s youngest country from 2007 to 2012.  The election could trigger a period of uncertainty, as Ramos-Horta previously indicated he might dissolve the parliament if he won the election.  

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

Saturday, April 23, 2022

the fragrant Jasmine - அடுக்கு மல்லிகை

"In Ayurveda, it is  known as 'Hrudhya Gandha', which means 'fragrance pleasing to the heart'. It is a cooling herb.  For sure you love them – they come ‘dime a dozen’ and there are so many varieties.  Here is one grown in our terrace ! -  அடுக்கு மல்லிகை - இது ஆள் பிடிக்கிது  !!! - My friend Ramachandran identified this as : இருவாட்சி மல்லிகை

சிரியா நாட்டில் உள்ள டமாஸ்கஸ் நகரின் குறியீட்டு மலர் மல்லிகை. இந்தியாவில் மல்லிகை என்றாலே மதுரை. மதுரை என்றாலே மல்லிகைதான். மல்லிகைச் செடியா? கொடியா? -  இரண்டும்தான். மல்லிகை ஆலிவ் குடும்பமான ‘ஒலிசியே’ எனும் புதர் மற்றும் கொடிகள் சார்ந்த பேரினம். ‘ஜாஸ்மினும் சம்பக்’ (Jasminum Sambac) எனும் தாவரவியல் பெயரால் அழைக்கப்படும் மல்லிகை, இந்தியா, ஸ்ரீலங்கா, தாய்லாந்து, மியான்மர் நாடுகளில் காணப்படும் மலரினமாகும். 

The biggest difference between jasmine varieties is their growth habit. The most well-known types are vines, especially Jasminum polyanthum.   Given our love affair with jasmine, it's no surprise that this flower finds several mentions, from being used   to decorating the hair or  being added to earthen pots of water to quench thirst. 

‘Malligai en mannan mayangum ponnana malar allavo’ was a popular song of the 1970s – from the movie Dheerga Sumangali featuring Muthuraman, KR. Vijaya – MS Viswanathan being the Music Director.    

“முப்பது பைசா மூணு முழம்...... முல்லை மல்லிகை கனகாம்பரம்” – was a hit song of 1970s from film “Pookkari”  (written by Vaali) – descriptive of not only the fragrance but also the economy – in that song, heroine (as flower seller) – would dance and sing, selling flowers – the lyrics – ‘3 measures of flowers – Mullai, Malligai, Kanakambaram – for 30 paise’ – yes,  a measure for 10 paise  ! 

கடந்த ஆண்டு சீசனில் கிலோ ரூ.50 க்கு விற்ற மல்லிகை பூக்கள், இந்த ஆண்டு வாசனைத்திரவிய தொழிற்சாலைகளுக்கு கிலோ ரூ. 200 என நிர்ணயம் செய்து வாங்குவதால் விவசாயிகள் மகிழ்ச்சி அடைந்துள்ளனர். மதுரை மாவட்டத்தில் உசிலம்பட்டி பகுதியில் முக்கிய விவசாயமாக மல்லிகை விவசாயம் நடைபெறுகிறது. எழுமலை, உசிலம்பட்டி பகுதிகளில் இருந்து தினசரி சராசரியாக 10 முதல் 12 டன் வரை உசிலம்பட்டி பூ மார்க்கெட்டிற்கு வருகிறது. இரண்டு ஆண்டுகளாக ஊரடங்கு காரணமாக சீசனில் அதிகரித்த பூக்களுக்கு போதுமான விலை கிடைக்காமல் போனது. வாசனை திரவிய தொழிற்சாலைகளுக்கு கிலோ ரூ.50 என நிர்ணயம் செய்து அப்போது வாங்கினர். ஆனால் இந்த ஆண்டு கிலோ ரூ. 200 நிர்ணயம் செய்து வாங்குகின்றனர்.  

Jasmine [Malligai]  is a genus of shrubs and vines in the olive family (Oleaceae). It contains around 200 species native to tropical and warm temperate regions of the Eurasia, Australasia and Oceania. Jasmines are widely cultivated for the characteristic fragrance of their flowers.    Madurai’s unique link with the jasmine probably dates  to centuries.  There are extensive references to the flower in Sangam literature.  One of the Sangam poems describes how Pari, a Tamil king, could not bear to see a beautiful and delicate mullai jasmine creeper lying on the hard forest floor ~ and  he gifted his royal chariot to the plant so that the creeper could twine itself around.   

 "When people decide to live, destiny shall obey, and one day ... the slavery chains must be broken." ~ words of a Tunisian poet !  

A revolution known as Jasmine Revolution, an intensive campaign of civil resistance, including a series of street demonstrations began  in Dec  2010 and led to the ousting of longtime president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in January 2011. It eventually led to a thorough democratization of the country and to free and democratic elections. The demonstrations were precipitated by high unemployment, food inflation, corruption, a lack of political freedoms and poor living conditions. The protests constituted the most dramatic wave of social and political unrest; resulted in scores of deaths and injuries, most of which were the result of action by police and security forces against demonstrators.   The protests were sparked by the self-immolation of Mohamed Bouazizi eventually leading to the ousting of Ben Ali ending his 23 years in power.  The Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet was awarded the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize for "its decisive contribution to the building of a pluralistic democracy in Tunisia in the wake of the Tunisian Revolution of 2011" 

Interesting !  

With regards – S. Sampathkumar                                                                    

Thursday, April 21, 2022

food chain ~ dingoes as conservation tools ~ feral cats and dusky hopping mouse !

Ever seen this ….it is dusky hopping mouse – photo courtesy : Ben Moore,

Cricket World Cup is just over ~ many Indian fans travelled to Australia for witnessing the matches – now it is IPL – many players from Australia, New Zealand, West Indies, South Africa, Sri Lanka are in India representing various sides.   The dingo (Canis lupus dingo) is a free-ranging dog found mainly in Australia. Its exact ancestry is debated, but dingoes are generally believed to be descended from semi-domesticated dogs from East or South Asia, which returned to a wild lifestyle when introduced to Australia.

Contrary to popular belief, Australia may not have been as isolated for the 40,000 years prior to European colonisation as once thought, according to a new study which has found evidence of substantial gene flow between Indian populations and Australia about 4000 years ago. The research also suggests the dingo might have arrived on Australian shores about that time – along with tool technology and food processing – though other experts are sceptical.  The study, published in the journal PNAS, says it was commonly assumed that Australia remained largely isolated following initial colonisation some 40,000 years ago, though the genetic history of Aboriginal people has not been explored in detail.  Researchers of  Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany, joined colleagues in analysing large-scale genotyping data from Aboriginal Australians, New Guineans, Island Southeast Asians and Indians that suggest a new possibility.  The researchers say this supports the view that these groups represent the descendants of an ancient southwards migration out of Africa.   The authors suggest that Indian genes might not have come directly from Indian and they are too uniformly spread across northern Aboriginal genomes to have come from European colonists.

Some are sceptical though contending - genetic data for dingoes suggests they came from Island Southeast Asia, not India. So linking the human genetic evidence to the idea that they also imported a range of new technologies and dingoes is something that needs further investigation,”  they say.  Away from dingoes, feral cats are causing devastation to more than 400 native species, according to a new survey of their impact.  A large collaboration of researchers analysed faeces and stomach contents of feral cats across the entire continent to ascertain the diets of these feline pests. What they found was bad news for our wildlife.

From a total of 49 published and unpublished data sets, the researchers determined that the menu of feral cats is more extensive than previously thought. In a similar study in Europe data from different islands around the world showed a less varied menu. "On 40 islands across the globe where feral cat diet data was available, they recorded cats killing and eating 179 species; whereas here in Australia we have 400 different species," says lead author Tim Doherty, a wildlife ecology PhD candidate at Edith Cowan University in Perth.  In Australia feral cats have already contributed to the extinction of 16 mammals. Small and medium native animals have been declining catastrophically, and huge ferals are wreaking havoc in areas like Arnhem Land.

Another quite significant finding of the study was that across the continent, where cats eat [fewer] rabbits, they eat more native small mammals.  It is called  'prey-switching', according to them.  This means that culling a local rabbit population may inadvertently lead to cats eating more of the native animals in that area.  Getting back, Dingoes may be the unlikely saviour of the native and endangered dusky hopping mouse (Notomys fuscus), new research reveals. Higher numbers of the dusky hopping mouse have been recorded in Central Australia's Strzelecki Desert, which has a healthy population of dingoes, compared to other areas the native mouse inhabits. An apex predator, the dingo seems to be offering indirect protection to the dusky hopping mouse by hunting on its predator: feral cats.  That is a two-way effect ! – the dingoes suppress cat abundance by outcompeting for food resources; cats also provide a food resource for them" says lead authour of the study, Christopher Gordon, from the University of Western Sydney.

The numbers of dingoes, cats and hopping mice were detected using nocturnal spotlight and sand plot techniques, over 47 sites. The dingoes' presence also encouraged behavioural changes in dusky hopping mice, says Christopher. With fewer feral cats around, the dusky hopping mice were less fearful of coming out to forage for food.  Christopher tested this concept by placing small feeding trays in open areas where either feral cat or dingo numbers were high. Feeding trays containing 40 hopbush seeds were filled each night before dusk, and counted the following morning. Significantly more seeds were consumed at the sites where dingoes rule.

The study provides evidence that 'size-dependant predation' occurs when dingoes are absent or in low-density, says Christopher. This is where smaller predators, such as feral cats and foxes, whittle down populations of prey species like the dusky hopping mouse, which are too small to be hunted by apex predators.  The study suggests dingoes could be introduced to areas with small mammals that are hit hardest by feral cats, which hunt more than 400 of Australia's animal species.

Dingoes as conservation tools !!!  - that takes back to the ‘food chain’ concept –  a linear sequence of links in a food web starting from "producer" species (such as grass or trees) and ending at apex predator "decomposer" species (like grizzly bears or killer whales). A food chain also shows how the organisms are related with each other by the food they eat.  Food chains were first introduced by the African-Arab scientist and philosopher Al-Jahiz in the 9th century and later popularized in a book published in 1927 by Charles Elton, which also introduced the food web concept.

Interesting indeed.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
8th Apr 2015.

Article source :

the criminal activity of Organ harvesting .... 'Kaaki Sattai"

Kaaki Sattai ~ not to be confused with Kamal Sathyaraj starrer of yesteryears is doing well.  The film  directed by R. S. Durai Senthilkumar and produced by Dhanush, features Sivakarthikeyan and Sri Divya in the lead roles with music by Anirudh Ravichander. Before that do you remember ‘Dharma Yuddham’ the Rajnikanth starrer and the famous ‘pairs of black roses’ ??

Mathimaran (Sivakarthikeyan) the hero is  a police constable -  Divya is a nurse in a hospital, around which the whole plot runs. From a simple Cop, the hero stumbles on illegal organ donation racket orchestrated by a politician, and Dr. Devasagayam (Yog Japee), who is the chairman of the hospital where Divya works. They capture sick and injured migrant workers from North eastern States,  make them brain dead by administering them carbon monoxide instead of oxygen and then harvest their organs which they sell abroad for huge amounts of money.  In every road accident, only their ambulance comes to pick up the victim and the administration of carbon monoxide is done whilst they are transported to the hospital !

Prabhu as a Police Inspector gets killed earning much sympathy – the hero and villain play cat and mouse – in a twist,  when the villain group abducts 7 children, the cop substitutes one with the son of the Police commissioner himself ! ~ in the climax, in a public function, the villain is shot – and emergency medical aid is called for.  Incomes the same ambulance which had all along transported children turning them in to wreck ….. Durai becomes brain dead – organs harvested to save other lives !!!  - the hero earns his promotion !!!

A masala entertainer one would say – read this report from MailOnline of two people -  one a boy as young as 12 – smuggled into Britain to have their organs removed and sold on the black market. The horrific cases, which have been revealed in an official report, show the lengths to which human traffickers will go to make money from their vile trade. The pair were brought into the country last year by gangs seeking to exploit the worldwide demand for transplant organs.

One was identified as a boy aged between 12 and 15 and the other as a woman in her 30s. They are thought to have started their journey in Africa or Asia and to have been rescued by British police or immigration officials who suspected they were being trafficked. Such cases are rare, but expose what charities and campaign groups suspect is a little-known aspect of international people-smuggling. The first incident of illegal ‘organ harvesting’ in Britain was reported in 2011. Two years later a girl was brought from Somalia with the intention of removing her organs and selling them on to patients desperate for a transplant. The two latest cases are revealed in a report by the National Crime Agency, which was set up by the Government to combat serious and organised crime.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), as many as 7,000 kidneys are illegally obtained by gangs each year around the world. While there is a black market for hearts, lungs and livers, kidneys are the most sought-after organs because one can be removed from a patient without serious ill-effects. Organised criminal gangs run more than 13,000 slaves in Britain, says government regulator.  The conspiracy involves a number of people, including a recruiter who identifies the victim, someone else to organise their journey, medical professionals to perform the operation and an accomplice charged with offering the organ for sale. While the vast majority of trafficking cases highlighted in the NCA statistics relate to sexual exploitation and modern-day slavery, ‘organ harvesting’ is specifically identified as a category of cross-border criminal activity.

It is reported that the woman who was found in 2011 and referred had not yet had an organ removed but was completely traumatised and very frightened. ‘She had suffered an awful ordeal and was in such an emotional state that she found it difficult to talk about what she had been through.  In what should send chill in the spines unbecoming of any civilised society – weak people are exploited. Traffickers target the most vulnerable – children, those living in poverty, refugees and migrants – because they are often desperate and easy to manipulate.

Globally, at least 200,000 people are on waiting lists for kidneys, and many more have no access to transplantation or dialysis services. One of the worst cases uncovered so far was in the former Yugoslav republic of Kosovo, where five men were convicted in 2013 of involvement in an organ-trafficking ring that performed at least 24 illegal kidney transplants at a clinic on the outskirts of the capital, Pristina. The clinic’s director Lutfi Dervishi, who was sentenced to eight years in jail, had promised victims about £12,500 each for kidneys that were then sold on the black market for as much as £84,000 a time, but donors often went unpaid.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

10th Mar 2015.

balloons on air .. .. some interesting news on them !!

The balloon vendor was a folk hero – a  few decades ago, in every festival, be it Theppam or village festivals – balloons were great attraction.  A small cart with a cylinder – the man would fill the balloon with helium gas – we would be thrilled to see the balloon hit the ceiling.  In the movie Vedi – Vivek would hide a few balloons inside his clothes, inflate them to show himself as muscular man !!

When the battle for TRPs goes to crazy levels, the ideas to win it get mad with each passing minute. Beyond the craze for US elections, Bihar is gearing up for the electoral fight of the year and India Today is not planning to be left behind in its bid to attract viewers. So much so that one Aaj Tak anchor actually stimulated landing in a hot gas balloon.

Chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat will inaugurate the day-long hot air balloon festival that will be organised by the Uttarakhand Tourism Development Development Board (UTDB) in collaboration with The Times Of India in Mussoorie on this Sunday (November 8). This free-for-all hot air balloon festival is a part of the celebration of the State Foundation Day (November 9). Tourism department officials have confirmed that the hot air balloon festival will be organised at George Everest Estate, Hathi Paon, in Mussoorie from 10 am to 5 pm on Sunday. People can win two free hot air balloon rides by participating in the contests that will be held on the occasion.

Michael Faraday FRS [1791 – 1867]  was an English scientist who contributed to the study of electromagnetism and electrochemistry. His main discoveries include the principles underlying electromagnetic induction, diamagnetism and electrolysis.  Although Faraday received little formal education, he was one of the most influential scientists in history.  It was by his research on the magnetic field around a conductor carrying a direct current that Faraday established the basis for the concept of the electromagnetic field in physics. He  discovered the principles of electromagnetic induction and diamagnetism, and the laws of electrolysis.  As a chemist, Faraday discovered benzene, investigated the clathrate hydrate of chlorine, invented an early form of the Bunsen burner and the system of oxidation numbers, and popularised terminology such as "anode", "cathode", "electrode" and "ion". Faraday ultimately became the first and foremost Fullerian Professor of Chemistry at the Royal Institution, a lifetime position. Faraday was an excellent experimentalist who conveyed his ideas in clear and simple language; his mathematical abilities, however, did not extend as far as trigonometry and were limited to the simplest algebra.  

Albert Einstein kept a picture of Faraday on his study wall, alongside pictures of Isaac Newton and James Clerk Maxwell. Physicist Ernest Rutherford stated, "When we consider the magnitude and extent of his discoveries and their influence on the progress of science and of industry, there is no honour too great to pay to the memory of Faraday, one of the greatest scientific discoverers of all time."

A balloon is a flexible bag that can be inflated with a gas, such as helium, hydrogen, nitrous oxide, oxygen, and air. For special tasks, balloons can be filled with smoke, liquid water, granular media (e.g. sand, flour or rice), or light sources. Modern day balloons are made from materials such as rubber, latex, polychloroprene, or a nylon fabric, and can come in many different colors. Some early balloons were made of dried animal bladders, such as the pig bladder. Some balloons are used for decorative purposes or entertaining purposes, while others are used for practical purposes such as meteorology, medical treatment, military defense, or transportation. A balloon's properties, including its low density and low cost, have led to a wide range of applications.

The rubber balloon was invented by Michael Faraday in 1824, during experiments with various gases. He invented them for use in the lab.

In India, we see gigantic balloons for advertisements and at times used by Political parties.  Aviation professionals flying over Los Angeles International Airport have in the past few weeks reported at least two sightings of jetpack-strapped fliers. Planes probably aren't enough for these people.   In 1982, Larry Walters, a 33-year-old military veteran decided to use 45 helium-filled balloons to float his way from Los Angeles to the Mojave Desert in a lawn chair. As he drifted over LAX at 16,000 ft or so on June 2, pilots flying into the airport reported the unusual sight. His 45-minute flight ended safely.

Interesting !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

9th Nov. 2020. 

Friday, April 15, 2022

Parrots ! - head over heels !!

இந்த பச்சைக்கிளிக்கொரு, செவ்வந்தி பூவில் தொட்டிலை  கட்டி வைத்தேன் .. .. 

கிளிகள் அழகானவை ! நம்மை ஆனந்தப்படுத்த வல்லன.  கிளி சித்தாசிடே குடும்பத்தைச் சேர்ந்த பறவை. இவற்றுள் சுமார் 86 இனங்களைச் சார்ந்த 372 வகைகள் உள்ளன. இவற்றின் சிறப்பு சிவப்பான  வளைந்த அலகு.    

Parrots are famous for their remarkable cognitive abilities and exceptionally long lifespans. Now, a study  by Max Planck researchers has shown that one of these traits has likely been caused by the other. By examining 217 parrot species, the researchers revealed that species such as the scarlet macaw and sulfur-crested cockatoo have extremely long average lifespans, of up to 30 years, which are usually seen only in large birds. Further, they demonstrated a possible cause for these long lifespans: large relative brain size. The study is the first to show a link between brain size and lifespan in parrots, suggesting that increased cognitive ability may have helped parrots to navigate threats in their environment and to enjoy longer lives. 

No post on Science or brain but on head .. .. here is a photo where you would momentarily struggle to find the head -  head over heels !  The phrase has been in use for centuries - as 'heels over head', meaning doing a cartwheel or somersault. To be 'head over heels' is to be very excited. In a literal sense the expression also refers to turning cartwheels to demonstrate one's excitement. 

'Head over heels' is often used as part of 'head over heels in love'.  Perhaps that was not the intention when first coined and  is one of many similar phrases that we use to describe things that are not in their usual state - 'upside-down', 'topsy-turvy', 'topple up tail'. 

Parrots and malice :  A new traffic direction system (TDS) called Parrot is relying on servers that host 16,500 websites of universities, local governments, adult content platforms, and personal blogs. Parrot's use is for malicious campaigns to redirect potential victims matching a specific profile (location, language, operating system, browser) to online resources such as phishing and malware-dropping sites.  If you are a ‘parrot lover’ – read this news item too : 

சென்னை தண்டையார்பேட்டை வினோபா நகர் பகுதியைச் சேர்ந்த ஒரு நபர் மளிகைக் கடை நடத்திவருகிறார். இவர் வீட்டில் பச்சைக் கிளி வளர்ப்பதாக சென்னை கிண்டி வனத்துறை வனச்சரகருக்குத் தகவல் கிடைத்தது. அதன்பேரில் சம்பவ இடத்துக்கு வனத்துறையினர் சென்றனர்.  வியாபாரி வீட்டில் ஆய்வு செய்தபோது 2 பச்சைக்கிளிகள் இருந்தது தெரியவந்தது!! . அவற்றை வனத்துறையினர் பறிமுதல் செய்தனர். மேலும், வனத்துறையினருக்குத் தெரியாமல் பச்சைக்கிளிகளை வளர்த்து விற்பனை செய்த வியாபாரிக்கு  10,000 ரூபாய் அபராதம் விதிக்கப்பட்டது.   இதுகுறித்து வனத்துறையினர் கூறுகையில், ``வன உயிரின பாதுகாப்புச் சட்டம் 1972-ன் படி தடை செய்யப்பட்ட பட்டியல் நான்கில் வன உயிரினம் பச்சைக்கிளி வருகிறது. அதை வீட்டில் வளர்த்ததற்காக ரூ. 10,000 அபராதம் விதித்துள்ளோம். மேலும் அவரின் வீட்டிலிருந்து இரண்டு பச்சைக்கிளிகளையும் மீட்டு கிண்டிக்கு கொண்டுவந்துள்ளோம்" என்றனர். 

With regards – S. Sampathkumar


Thursday, April 14, 2022

இனிய சுபகிருது தமிழ் வருஷ புத்தாண்டு நல்வாழ்த்துக்கள்.

 இன்று போல ஓர் இனிய நாளில், மழை மேகங்கள் கண்டு இன்புற்று, காட்டில் உள்ள மயில் தன் அழகிய தோகையை விரித்தாடியதைக் கண்ட வான் கோழி, (இங்கே இந்த சிறு கருங்குருவி) தன்னையும் அந்த மயில் என்று எண்ணிக் கொண்டு, தன்  சிறகுகளை விரித்தாடியது 


இனிய சுபகிருது தமிழ் வருஷ புத்தாண்டு நல்வாழ்த்துக்கள்.


மயில் போன்று பெரிய அழகிய தோகைகள் இல்லாவிடினும், முயற்சி செய்பவரே வெற்றி பெறுவார்.  

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Jallianwalabagh massacre and the libel suit by the butcher !!

Often Indian freedom struggle gets described in one pithy statement  - Gandhi got us freedom without shedding blood !  ~ how much away from truth, and why the sacrifices and blood of martyrs was so deliberately buried under ? – how can the Nation forget the bloodshed on that day in Apr 1919 ??- People have died on battlefields, not on meeting platforms !


Have you ever read about - Sir Chettur Sankaran Nair,   President of the Indian National Congress in 1897, later  elevated to the bench of the Madras high court as a Judge and been knighted in 1912 

Amritsar historically  known as Rāmdāspur is in the Majha region of the Punjab.  The Bhagwan Valmiki Tirath Sthal situated at Amritsar is believed to be the Ashram site of Maharishi Valmiki, the writer of Ramayana. This was also the place of Ramtirth ashram where Lava & Kusha were born.  There is also a tree here that marks the place where the ritual horse from Ashvamedha Yagna of Lord Rama was captured by Lava Kusha. Guru Ram Das, the fourth Sikh guru is credited with founding the holy city of Amritsar in the Sikh tradition.  The town grew to become the city of Amritsar, and the pool area grew into a temple complex after his son built the gurdwara Harmandir Sahib, and installed the scripture of Sikhism inside the new temple in 1604.


Sadly, Amritsar is also the place when on 13th April 1919 hundreds of innocents were massacred by the British – the  Jallianwala Bagh massacre, involving the killings of hundreds of Indian civilians on the orders of Reginald Edward Harry Dyer.  No event within living memory, can ever make so deep and painful an impression on the Indian subjects than the history or the very thought of massacre of innocents at Amritsar.  The ruthless execution has no parallels and this Nation suffered economically more severely from the World war despite no direct participation.   It was the cruel General Dyer who had earlier written  a spirited account of his campaign against some nomad tribes on the frontier of South- East Persia and Baluchistan in 1916. 

The gory massacre was to occur and make Baisakhi day April 13, 1919, a tragic day on that day, local residents in Amritsar decided to hold a meeting  to discuss and protest against the confinement of Satya Pal and Saifuddin Kitchlew, two leaders fighting for Independence (did we ever read about them in our school books ?). People were also protesting implementation of the Rowlatt Act, which armed the British government with powers to detain any person without trial. It was no violent crowd – it had a mix of men, women and children,  gathered in a park called the JallianwalaBagh, walled on all sides having  a few small gates.  It was to be a peaceful meeting of peasants and people and included pilgrims visiting the famous Golden temple. 

For one man it was not a peaceful assembly - Brigadier-General Reginald E.H. Dyer entertained himself,  thoughts of  a major insurrection and thus he banned all meetings. On hearing that thousands had gathered in the park,  Dyer went with fifty riflemen to a raised bank and ordered them to shoot at the crowd. Dyer continued the firing for about ten minutes, till the ammunition supply was almost exhausted; Dyer stated that 1,650 rounds had been fired, a number which seems to have been derived by counting empty cartridge cases picked up by the troops. Dyer was removed from duty and forced to retire. He became a celebrated hero in Britain among people with connections to the British Raj.  For those of us with little knowledge of history – the names are confusing -   there were two of them.  Michael O'Dwyer, the British Lieutenant-Governor of Punjab who approved the action and Brigadier-General Reginald E.H. Dyer who executed the mindless massacre. 

For those of us with little knowledge of history – the names are confusing -   there were two of them.  Michael O'Dwyer, the British Lieutenant-Governor of Punjab who approved the action and Brigadier-General Reginald E.H. Dyer who executed the mindless massacre.

Uptil the above can be found in many websites – perhaps the following is not so well known.

Visitors to the famed Guruvayur temple for sure would have seen the large and tall lamp made of bronze, over 30 ft in height with 300 wicks – this was presented by Sir Chettur Sankaran Nair.  He was the President of Indian National Congress in 1897,  elevated to the bench of the Madras high court as a Judge and knighted in 1912. In 1914, he was invited by the Viceroy Lord Hardinge to become a Member of the Viceroy’s Executive Council, the highest governing body in British India. He was the only Indian member of the Council.   Sir Nair was in the Executive Council when the massacre at Jallianwala Bagh took place, and martial law was imposed in the Punjab. Even in this exalted position, he had not been aware of the horrors that were occurring there as press censorship was so severe in the Punjab. When news trickled down he was horrified that he was part of a government that had permitted these atrocities and resigned.

He went initially to England to fight for the right of Indians to govern themselves and later, on his return to India, wrote a book in which he blamed the then Lt. Governor of the Punjab, Sir Michael O’Dwyer for the atrocities that were committed.  In 1923, Sir Michael O’Dwyer, who had been Lieutenant-Governor of the Punjab until 1919, sued Nair for libel. As Sir Nair refused to apologise or retract, O’Dwyer sued him for defamation at the Court of the Kings Bench in London to be tried by an English Judge and Jury.   In his book, Gandhi and Anarchy, Nair had written: ‘Before the reforms it was in the power of the Lieutenant-Governor, a single individual, to commit the atrocities in the Punjab which we know only too well.’ The book had been written to attack Mahatma Gandhi’s Non-co-operation movement, but Nair, who was a moderate, had not resisted the opportunity to take a swipe at a man whose oppressive policies he, and much of India, regarded as the real cause of the Punjab Disturbances of 1919 and the repression under Martial Law which had followed them.

The case was heard before Mr Justice McCardie in the Court of King’s Bench in London over five weeks from 30 April 1924, and, apart from being one of the longest civil hearings in legal history, was notable for being the only court to air in England any of the matters arising from the Punjab Disturbances of 1919. The case was seen, and particularly so by the plaintiff, Sir Michael O’Dwyer, as a method by which to vindicate the actions of officials of the Punjab Government who had taken a hand in suppressing the disturbances, among them most notably Brigadier-General Reginald Dyer, the perpetrator of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre at Amritsar. 

In preparation for the case, both sides gathered evidence from supporting witnesses. For O’Dwyer, this was a relatively easy matter, as many key figures who had been involved in India in 1919 were by now back in, or close to, England and could appear in person. These included the Viceroy of the time, Lord Chelmsford, by 1924 a Government Minister, First Lord of the Admiralty; his Commander-in-Chief in India, General Sir George Carmichael Munro, by now Governor of Gibraltar; and Major-General Sir William Beynon, General Officer Commanding 16 Division in Lahore, Sir Michael O’Dwyer’s military equivalent in the Punjab and Martial Law Administrator during the disturbances, who had by now retired. So strong and impressive were these supporting witnesses, that O’Dwyer felt the need to solicit testimony from only six men in India.

Nair found himself at a very great disadvantage. In England in 1924 there were few who were prepared to support his view that Sir Michael O’Dwyer had been a repressive tyrant, and those who were, had little public standing.  Nair’s legal team was forced to fall back on depositions legally sworn by over 120 witnesses in India. Justice McCardie made it plain that he attributed these far less weight than he did the evidence of those who appeared before the jury. In the event the Indian depositions had little effect and have been forgotten since. Sir Michael O’Dwyer won his case, and was able ever thereafter to maintain that he and Dyer had been vindicated in a British court of law. 

On 15th Aug 1947 India obtained freedom without shedding blood – Gandhi was hailed as Father of the Nation and the leader of Indian National Congress Jawaharlal Nehru became the first Prime Minister of India – WE  have read lot of history in our schools and colleges.

 Nair's eldest daughter Lady Madhavan Nair and son-in-law and nephew Sir C. Madhavan Nair (a legal luminary and a judge of the Privy Council) lived in  estate known as Lynwood, in Chennai. The British defeated Sir Sankaran Nair, while Indians have forgotten him .. .. Sad !! 

Jai Hind

With regards to all those martyrs whose sacrifices have given us this freedom.

-      S. Sampathkumar.
-      13th Apr 2o22