August 20, 2009
Here is a visual journey of the total solar eclipse in New Delhi. The Nehruplanetarium at Teenmurti was surrounded by parked cars in hundreds well before 6 AM on 22nd July 2009. The Sun is about to rise and the video camera of an enthusiast or of some
TV channel is hoping to catch it first!
Young and old alike are waiting for the solar spectacle to unfold.
At 6.40 AM this is how the sun looked to the naked eye.
But the screen put up on Teen Murti lawns showed a different picture!
The secret was to cut out all other light by looking through the unexposed portion of an X-ray film. Some school girls were seen distributing the X-ray films to those who wanted them. Many were also looking through the X-ray film spectacles sold for the purpose.
I decided to put an X-ray film in front of the view finder of my digital camera. Here is what I saw. At 6.44 AM on 22nd July 2009
At 7.19 AM on 22nd July 2009
That was truly a "once in a life-time" experience!
February 14, 2008
See the ad we created for your club!
The tiger in the ad is photographed by
February 12, 2008
WWF ( World Wide Fund for Wildlife) came out with the following advertisments ( Animals painted on closed fists)
Wildlife SOS, another NGO brought out a telling ad as follows
WPSI (Wildlife Protection Society of India) grabbed the opportunuty to create awareness about tigers among cricket fans. These were some of the catchy slogans which were heard and seen during the ICL Indian 20:20 championship from 30 november -16 ecember
LET THE TIGER PLAY
YOU’VE GOT CRICKET
DON’T MAKE US YOUR GAME
YOU DON’T NEED TIGER BONE WINE
TO BOWL A STRAIGHT LINE
THAT’S A 4
DON’T SILENCE THE TIGER ROAR
I ndividuals to
C onserve NOT
K ill our
SHERON KO NA MARO
NEHI TO SHAIR MAR JAYEGA
PEELE PAR KALI DHARI KA
BAGH RAKHWALA JAL JEEVAN KA
BOUNDARY FOR YOU WE NEED SOME TOO
LEAVE US OUR FORESTS
THE FINGER IS UP
THE TIGER IS DOWN
BAT 4 THE TIGER
GO OVER THE TOP
FOR THE TIGER
IN OR OUT?
January 23, 2008
Cigarette butts, snack wrappers and take-out food and beverage containers are the most commonly littered items. Cigarettes are one of the most insidious forms of litter: Each discarded butt takes 12 years to break down, all the while
leaching toxic elements such as cadmium, lead and arsenic into soil and waterways.
January 17, 2008
Thousands of chemicals have come on the market in the past 30 years, and some of them are showing up in people’s bodies in low levels. Scientists studying obesity are focusing on endocrine disrupters - which have already been linked to reproductive problems
in animals and humans - because they have become so common in the environment and are known to affect fat cells.
But could something in the environment also be making Americans fat in epidemic numbers?Animal studies in recent years raise the possibility that prenatal exposure to minuscule amounts of common chemicals - found in everything from baby bottles to toys -
could predispose a body to a life of weight gain. The chemicals, known as endocrine disrupters, mimic natural hormones that help regulate, for example, how many fat cells a body makes and how much fat to store in them.These findings have led some scientists
to put forth a provocative argument: They say diet and too little exercise clearly are key reasons for the worldwide rise in obesity in the past 20 years, but they may not be the only ones. Food intake and exercise just haven’t changed that much in that period,
they argue. And while genetics obviously play a role - just think of someone you know who can eat three Big Macs a day and never gain an ounce - these researchers say it would be impossible to see such widespread genetic change in just two decades, giving
them more reason to suspect the environment.
November 24, 2007
Visiting the Zoo
A colorful campaign aimed at parents and children is playing up the “wild” in the premier attractions owned and operated by the Wildlife Conservation Society.
Those attractions are the Bronx Zoo and the New York Aquarium in Coney Island, Brooklyn. A new agency, Deutsch, is encouraging potential visitors to “Go wild” in a campaign with a budget estimated at $7 million — and, as the elephants at the zoo might say,
that’s hardly peanuts.
The campaign includes television and radio commercials; signs and posters; print advertisements; trading cards bearing pictures of animals, which are of course called “wild cards”; and a Web site where computer users are invited to “build
your wild self” and forward the images to friends.
With species going extinct at an alarming rate, wildlife protection is possible only if the adults who are now in charge, do their bit.
While the ad companies are doing a good job of attracting kids, can they do something to make "visiting the zoo" serious adult business too?
November 15, 2007
Cross posting from Water Community (email@example.com)
Please visit the homepage of ILEC (International Lake Environment Committee, Japan):
I was a Recipient, Ibaraki Kasumigaura Lake Prize, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan and I found that the site has many useful publications, world lake database, a journal and conference information.
1. See if the lake receives discharge from ground water or it recharges the aquifer. In the later case, a polluted lake can pollute ground water.
2. The quality of lake water varies within the lake, laterally and vertically. If possible, have at least one sampling point per Km of lakeshore. Vertical sampling in the lake centre may be done twice a year, after Monsoon rains (October) and end of summer
3. Initially, just concentrate on basic parameters like Temperature, TDS, Ph, E Coli, Heavy metals, Nitrates, Nitrites, BOD, COD, DOC and Trihalomethanes.
Shrikant D Limaye
Ground Water Institute Pune
November 01, 2007
".......... it makes a lot of sense for conservation movements to use the
public health angle rather than the environment angle, as this has a
direct bearing on people. In a nation, where human lives themselves
are so ’cheap’, animals are perhaps, a ’collateral damage’!........many diseases have been directly linked to deforestation
and bad management of ’development projects’! Some diseases like
Kyasanur Forest Disease, Malaria (especially in NE India) and West
Nile Encephalitis are directly tracable.
MB Krishna (of bngbirds) pointed out about how Ronald Ross worked on
avian malaria. In fact, the role of swamp
malaria has been better worked on in Africa than in India. Many of the
swamps were earlier located deep in forest areas and were hardly
accessible to humans. However, due to rapid deforestation and sudden
exposure to human beings, lethal forms of Malaria are being seen.
I have been regularly going to Arunachal Pradesh over the last few
years, and had the opportunity to see first hand in some of the tribal
communities, the high mortality of Malaria. Most of these are what are
categorized as "Forest Malarias". These are generally acquired in
transit through forests! Also, what is surprising is that the vector,
in this case, Plasmodium fluviatilis, I think) is adapted to breeding
on ’fast breeding streams’, and so the classical public health
measures of covering all stagnant water/kerosenese etc are useless!
This mosquito is probably a forest mosquito, for which humans are
’just another mammal’!
October 13, 2007
Flooding Rivers in India -Why?
We know that the areas classified as flood-prone-defined as area affected by overflowing rivers (not areas submerged because of heavy rains)-has progressively increased over the past decades. It was 25 million hectares (mha) in 1960, which went up to 40
mha in 1978 and by the mid-1980s an estimated 58 mha was flood affected. But importantly, over these years the area under floods increased each year even though average rainfall levels did not increase. In other words, we were doing something wrong in the
way we manage the spate of water so that rivers would overflow each season.
The answer is not difficult to find. In flood-prone areas-from the flood plains of the mighty Himalayan rivers to many other smaller watersheds-the overflow of the river brought fertile silt and recharged groundwater so the next crop was bountiful.
But over the years, we learnt not to live with floods. We built over the wetlands, we filled up the streams that dispersed and then carried the water of the rivers and we built habitations in lowlands which were bound to be inundated. We cut down our forests,
which would to some extent have mitigated the intensity of the flood by impeding the flow of water. All in all, we have become more vulnerable to annual floods.
The current floods are all that, and much more. In recent years, the flood fury has intensified because of the changing intensity of rainfall. The deluge comes more frequently because of the sheer fury of incessant rain, which has nowhere to go. Just last
week torrential rain in villages of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka killed over 60 people. We know that climate change models had predicted extreme rain events. Is there a connection here?
We know that dam authorities maintain high reservoir levels because of the uncertainty of rains. We also know that when there are intense bursts of rain and levels of water rise to an extent that could endanger the dam, the gates are opened and the water rushes
out. If this flow of water is combined with even more rain in the region, then a deluge becomes inevitable. We know that variability in our rainfall is increasing at the sub-regional level. What then will this mean for the management of our reservoirs in the
future? The question is do we understand the phenomenon of floods?
We don’t. We have no mechanism to be informed of the changing intensity of rainfall; of the increased inflow into our reservoirs and of the water released by dam authorities. The fact is that today’s floods are a double tragedy: of mismanagement of our land
and water combined with mismanagement of science and data.
This mismanagement is criminal. Let’s at least know that.
Source: Editorial by Sunita Narain
September 21, 2007
Plastic or Paper? Neither
A landmark 1990 study by the research firm Franklin Associates—which factored in every step of the manufacturing, distribution and disposal stages of a grocery bag’s usable life- employed two critical measures in reaching their conclusion.
The first was the total energy consumed by a grocery bag. This included both the energy needed to manufacture it, called process energy, and the energy embodied within the physical materials used, called feedstock energy. The second measure used was the
amount of pollutants and waste produced. The Franklin report concluded that two plastic bags consume 13 percent less total energy than one paper bag.
Additionally, the report found that two plastic bags produce a quarter of the solid waste, a fifteenth as much waterborne waste and half the atmospheric waste as one paper bag. Plastic is not biodegradable, it litters our waterways and coastal areas, and
has been shown to choke the life out of unsuspecting wildlife.
A recent survey by the United Nations found that plastic in the world’s oceans is killing more than a million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals and sea turtles each and every year. According to the California Coastal Commission, plastic bags are one of
the 12 most commonly found items in coastal cleanups. Paper bags do not cause such after-the-fact problems, and are inherently easier to recycle.
Energy and waste issues aside, the manufacture of paper bags brings down some 14 million trees yearly to meet U.S. demand alone, while at the same time plastic bags use up some 12 million barrels of oil each year.
Consumers must “just say no” to both options and instead bring their own re-usable canvas bags, backpacks, crates or boxes to take away groceries. Another benefit of bringing your own, of course, is setting a good example so that other shoppers might do