Monthly Archives: October 2015

Moonward (Book Review)

halahala

Moonward was on my to-read list for a long time because it was conceptualized and conceived by a figure named Appupen. The Malayali in me was quickly attracted to this seemingly abstract work of art. I consumed the book in a single sitting, which is not that hard with Moonward, what’s hard is comprehending it completely. Appupen’s Moonward is an engaging read. It graphically presents an absurd dystopian future. Its not a fun read though, its vicious, dark and brutally honest. I had to pore over it a couple of times to get a hang of it.

We are introduced to the fantastical universe of Halahala. A bright meteor flashes across the heavens and crashes into the primordial landscape. Life emerges from the spot where the meteor crashed. The plants and the animals evolves and within time Halahala is full of life. Soon the strong starts feeding on the weak… and inevitably a war erupts between the animals. To maintain peace among them, wisest of them all, a ‘Tortle’, tells them of a divine being called God who might invoke earthquakes and erupt volcanoes if they don’t behave themselves. He then goes onto draw an image of the God on a rock. Continue reading

Ten Observatories in India that is probing the Cosmos

Last month Indian Space Agency ISRO put a Space Observatory AstroSat around the Earth’s orbit. It was ISRO’s first scientific mission aimed at deeper understanding of the universe by observing the cosmos. However, India’s interest in space science is not a recently developed passion. From the monumental Sanskrit treatise on astronomy, Aryabhattiya, to the impeccable sundial, Jantar Mantar, India’s affair with astronomy has a fascinating history. Post independence, Indian researchers have been taking forward this legacy with renewed vigor. And they have been doing that with massive telescopes of varied kinds aimed at the cosmos.

Here’s a list of ten fabulous Observatories in India

Continue reading

Why Kochi Airport’s environmental milestone deserves more ‘Likes’ than it recieved

cochin-international-airport-nedumbassery-airport

When it opened in 1999, Kochi Airport at Nedumbassery became a trendsetter by being the first ever Airport to be built under Private-Public Partnership model in India. It sure doesn’t boast of a magnanimous building with glass and steel structures unlike other major airports around the country, but with a simple traditional temple architecture one is sure to feel at home here.

16 years later, raising the bar for other Airports, Kochi achieved a major environmental milestone last August by becoming the first Airport in the world to be completely powered by Solar Energy.

A total of 46000 solar power panels are laid out across 45 acres of land near the cargo area. It is expected to produce maximum 12 Mega Watt of power under optimum conditions. They are providing around 50,000 to 60,000 units of electricity per day significant enough to meet all the Airport’s electricity needs. Continue reading

Contact (1997) : Journey to the heart of Universe

Nowords

Brilliant performance by Jodie Foster is what makes this film must watch

Have you ever enjoyed an opening sequence of a film so much that you wished it never ended. Contact’s opening sequence is absolutely brilliant and for about two minutes you are lost in its awesomeness as the visuals zooms out of Earth into far end of the universe.

Robert Zemeckis’s (director of Forrest Gump) Contact happens to be one of my favorite science fiction films. Sure it doesn’t have lead protagonist battling in space or stranded in another planet to stay alive, it doesn’t have a magnanimous black hole into which our hero falls. Or a killer robot hellbent on eliminating our protagonist. No! but its a satisfying film to say the least. It doesn’t answer anything but help us get comfortable with our unawareness.

Towards the end Dr Ellie Arroway played by Jodie Foster, talking to a bunch of school kids, says that she will tell them one thing about the universe. That its big. Bigger than anything we ever imagined. And if its just us.. seems like an awful waste of space.

Indeed! Continue reading

Evil Corporation that’s killing our farmers

Source: Times Of India

Source: Times Of India

In the last three years over 3 thousand farmers committed suicide in India. 3000!

Farmers are the breeders of life, backbone of an agrarian economy like India. And their deaths, not due to natural causes but suicides as a result of crumbling debts, are indeed a cause of concern. Of course famines and pestilence are part of Indian farmers predicament since forever, the recent troubles however can be attributed to something much more modern and far mroe sinister – Genetically Modified Crops.

Corporations have entered into Indian markets selling Genetically Modified Crops promising Green Revolution, increase in production, eliminate hunger, progress, empowerment, sharing, conservation, rainbows and unicorns and what not. Continue reading

A Terrible Contagion and a Climatic Anomaly

Dengue Patients overcrowded in a city hospital. Source: ndtv.in

Dengue Patients overcrowded in a city hospital. Source: ndtv.in

Recently, Delhi fell under another grip of the pandemic that has been plaguing the city since ever, and this time the city is bleeding. In one of the worst Dengue outbreak in the capital in years, around 7000 people have been reported to be infected and at least 25 people have been reported dead.

With number of cases piling up, Delhi hospitals were so overcrowded last month that they had refuse treatment to many citing shortage of beds. Some hospitals even have two to four patients sharing a single bed. Following a seven year old boy died for want of treatment and his parents unable to bear the loss jumped off a four storey building in South Delhi. The incident highlights the hapless situation in Delhi this season due to this unforeseen catastrophe. There is a sense of panic everywhere.

In recent decades, dengue outbreaks in India have become larger and more frequent, with a greater number of severe cases and deaths. A study conducted by researchers at Brandeis University says India had nearly 60 Lakhs diagnosed cases of dengue between 2006 and 2012. With a population of 16.3 million people, Delhi is the second most populated city in the world Continue reading