Friday 23 November 2012

Waging Life for Life

the elephant of Teluk Anson, Malaysia

Ambitions have grown high over sense to set apart right from wrong, we walk forward like an uncontrolled herd of mad buffaloes to achieve a golden star which we know not will be blown off to us as barely dust arising from the looming mirage. As we set up high goals and endeavor continuously against our own mother nature to shape a world of comfort and ease, we tread a step forward to make ourselves extinct.

Starting from cutting down trees to chopping down forests for our material needs, we have been mercilessly driving away the animals, destroying their niche and habitats. Not only the inter-species fight, today when we don't even hesitate to wage intra-species fight with man killing his fellow human, animals are known to set better examples of brotherhood.

A perfect example of it is a story that relates from Teluk Anson, Malaysia. There stands a board in the forest amidst some old railway track reading aloud: THERE IS BURIED HERE A WILD ELEPHANT WHO IN DEFENSE OF HIS HERD CHARGED AND DERAILED A TRAIN ON THE 17th DAY OF OF SEPT. 1894. Railway connecting Teluk Anson to Tapah, Ipoh was completed in 1893 and its daily rumbling through the jungle had threatened the habitat of the gentle giants. Finally one day an elephant stood defiantly on the railway tracks and as the train headed towards it collided with it head on at 50 mph. The impact derailed the engine and 3 coaches.

The elephant gave his life for the sake of his herd and the fruits of his sacrifice show up today as a blooming jungle thrives there still today.

Kasab without Ticket

86 cases were slapped against Ajmal Kasab before he was hanged till death on 21st November, 2012 in Yerwada Central Jail, Pune, Maharashtra. One of those cases was entering platform without taking platform ticket !!!

Ajmal Kasab in platform without platform ticket

He did not buy a platform ticket while attacking the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (formerly Victoria Terminus) railway station.

Thursday 15 November 2012

The Genocide Trauma

Its calm under the waves in the blue of the world's oblivion. But the inside is all on fire. The suffering of the Rohingya people seems to be interminable and a constant fear of persecution floats in the atmosphere. The call for their protection needs the United Nations to interfere once more. The Burmese President Thein Sein had proposed the Burmese people to live in camps under the supervision of the UN forces. They don't even owe the citizenship of Burma's Arakan state.

The clash between the Rohingyas and the Rakhines was so severe that it called for the interference of the European Union countries, Asian countries and the Organisation of Islamic forces to restore peace and order. Right to citizenship and equality of the Rohingya people in their own native land comes much after their innate life to live.

Compelled to become refugees, 2 million Rohingya people have already fallen prey to genocide whereas 1 million are still excruciated in Arakan state and 500'000 are dispersed all around Burma, the land of Pagodas.

Rohingyas and Rakhines
"We make war so that we may live in peace." May be the bloodshed of the Rohingyas and Rakhines wash away their rivalry so that they coexist in peace thereafter.

Tuesday 6 November 2012

Chilika :An Ecological Boon

The state of Odisha in India houses the largest coastal brackish water lagoon in India and the second largest lagoon in the world , the Chilika Lake. Designated as the first Indian Wetland of International Importance(in 1981) under the Ramsar Convention, microbial diversity of this lake s varied enough to attract research projects and bio prospecting of micro-organisms for isolation of bio-active compounds.

Waste to fuel concept is being investigated by the use of effective micro-organisms isolated from the brackish water of Chilika Lake. Several isolated microbes show multiple enzymatic abilities and can be used for degradation of food waste which contains starch, fats, proteins, cellulose, chitin  pectin, xylan, etc.The products of the reactions involved like glucose, glycerol, fatty acids can be used for fermentation or fuel generation. This concept is being explored for its potential in biological waste management.

Being rich in biodiversity, it attracts several migratory birds from the snow-capped regions every year. But unfortunately the foolish human acts have resulted in extreme bio-magnification in Chilika. The ill-effects of the irrational human activities has greatly affected the population  of the Irrawaddy Dolphin, the flagship species of Chilika Lake.

As such the Odisha government has taken a step forward towards preserving its rich natural heritage and has collaborated with many organisations to conduct projects regarding clearing of waste and bio-remediation  This optimistic step towards the bequest of Chilika is an act more friendly for mankind than for nature.

the largest brackish water lagoon

The very fact makes one realize we are more connected to the nature than separate from it.

Saturday 3 November 2012

Green Gasoline

Air Fuel Synthesis, a small company located in Stock-on-Tees, in the north of England, claims to have developed an air capture technology using which they can create synthetic gasoline with only air and electricity. The Christian Science Monitor explains how it works: Sodium hydroxide binds with the carbon dioxide present in the atmospheric air blown into a tower to form sodium carbonate. Energy is added to separate hydrogen and oxygen molecules. Hydrogen and carbon dioxide are mixed in the right proportions to form synthetic gaseous hydrocarbons which can be further   converted into synthetic gasoline.

The resulting gasoline is in its pure form with a high calorific value and can either be used directly or blended with commercially extracted and refined gasoline. But the question is whether it is a full-proof method to reduce our carbon footprints and move a step away from our decline.

It can be made 'completely carbon neutral' only if a renewable energy source is harnessed to supply additional energy required in the process. Burning coal to fuel the process will hardly make it carbon neutral.

This innovative prospect has the potential to become a landmark project being able to produce truly green gasoline. Though it is too good to be true but it is true and can prove to be a mighty weapon against the fast-drifting climate change.

air captured to make gasoline

Let's wait for a major breakthrough in the efforts designed , though rare, to have a clean life with sterile air to breath in.

Thursday 1 November 2012

Sandy v/s Nilam

While the superstorm Sandy has already wreaked great havoc in the New York city, southern India awaits to be churned up by the catastrophic cyclone Nilam.

Cascading in with a speed of 80mph, the storm has abandoned the lives of millions along the US east coast. This unprecedented happening has caused almost incalculable loss to life, trade, education, infrastructure, finance and economics. On the other hand, whirling from the deep depression in the Bay of Bengal, the satanic Nilam is gradually heading towards Andhra Pradesh and is likely to set irreparable loss with incessant rainfall pouring down on normal life.

But amidst these nature's woes, besides the loss of life and property what matters more today is political gain.The mammoth storm Sandy has not only haunted the people of US with unpredictable loss, it has also aroused complexities between the present US President Barack Obama and his Republican rival Mitt Romney. The presidential campaigns flooded with promising speeches and influential appeals have been held stationary due to the fast moving diabolical repercussions of the storm and meanwhile has led to frenzy and mounting nervousness in both the candidates. Meanwhile it has given the President a golden chance to prove the tenacity of his tenure .

The upsurging Telangana issue is also likely to either come to a halt or else get fueled by the cyclone Nilam.

reaping political gains from catastrophs

Though this devastation called up by nature culminates into suffering but not even this misery remains forbidden of the political boundaries. The politicians are deft at reaping out their benefits even out of a barren, paralyzed land.