Thursday, January 17, 2019

Quick notes: HAL on the brink, Citizens’ data...

  • Is Modi govt weakening HAL? With no payments coming in, HAL for the first time ever takes a bank loan of Rs 7.81 billion. . . . Air force holds back Rs 20,000 crore from HAL, as foreign vendors get paid. . . . Govt’s apathy is pushing HAL to the brink.

  • Preventing the next terror attack: WhatsApp is facing pressure in India to let authorities trace and read encrypted messages. Indian policy makers have been examining methods China has used to protect domestic startups and take control of citizens’ data.

  • Taking on the mighty: Govt’s tough stand on Ecommerce FDI may put a stop to Amazon’s food sales in India

  • Ganga, the wonder river: In the late 19th century, British scientists and hydrologists became intrigued by the fact that Ganga water did not go bad, even after long periods of storage, contrary to the water of other rivers in which a mounting lack of oxygen quickly promoted the growth of anaerobic bacteria. In 1896 the British physician E. Hanbury Hankin wrote in the French journal Annales de l’Institut Pasteur that cholera microbes that had a life of forty-eight hours in distilled water died within three hours in Ganga water. Dr. Hankin was able to secure corpses of cholera victims in the river and isolated samples of Ganga water with a large concentration of the bacillus E. coli. Much to his astonishment, he found that after six hours the microbes had completely disappeared.

  • Sri Ramana Maharshi's teachings:

  • Insect Collapse: Tropical insects, having evolved in a very stable climate, would be much more sensitive to climate warming. “If you go a little bit past the thermal optimum for tropical insects, their fitness just plummets”.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

American FBI & Indian CBI - Natural Nests for Deep State Games?

It feels like India's own Deep State is acting up. After watching CNN and other Lefty media raise a ruckus over Trump's firing of FBI Director Comey (they want him impeached over this), we suddenly see a ruckus being raised by Indian Lefty media over Modi's suspension of CBI Director Alok Verma, conveniently just before the elections.

It almost seems like a case of Monkey-See-Monkey-Do. I'm beginning to feel that Indian political strategists have succumbed to the mental laziness of plagiarism, and are simply coming up with stunts by borrowing from the playbooks of strategists in other countries such as the United States. Given how much our Urdu film industry (aka."Bollywood") likes to plagiarize from Hollywood, I wouldn't be surprised at their political siblings likewise deciding to plagiarize from the political games of other countries.

Preet Bharara Attacks Trump Over NATO

After rumours surfaced that Trump has considered withdrawing the US from NATO, he was attacked by none other than Preet Bharara:

This guy is some kind of attention-whore. He likes being in the spotlight even more than Kejriwal.

We've all seen Preet Bharara's various antics - but who knew that he was also an Atlanticist? I bet Bharara is just trying to score points with the Atlanticist lobby in America's Northeast, to position himself for a future run for political office.

Failing that, maybe AAP should offer him a position as their Lokpal / anti-corruption officer.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Quick notes: Monsanto verdict, Church's threat...

  • Making farmers dependent on MNCs: SJM seeks change in patent act after pro-Monsanto court verdict. . . . Judges committing massive blunders. Of all the three judgments, this one is the most distasteful.

  • Christism exposed: Catholic Church threatens to expel nun for protesting against rape-accused Bishop  “Your deeds on 20th September 2018 and on the following days were of most grave external scandal and harm to the Church and the FCC. You went to the Ernakulam High Court junction and participated in the protest held by the SOS Action Council on 20-9-2018 without the permission of your superior.”

  • Today's RSS is pseudo?

  • Tejas fighter: Malaysia shows interest in India's Tejas fighter jets, may buy 30 of them  .  Really? Did IAF receive their order?

  • Han tricks: Chinese e-commerce companies sending shipments as ‘gifts’ to customers in India to avoid duties. 

  • BJP model: Big government, Big business

  • Master Mooji: You are Silence Itself

  • Hero Ezephyr: Pedal your way to health, make city commute easy with e-cycle

  • Kamal Nath, CON-gressman: Read the whole thread

Tuesday, January 08, 2019

Monday, January 07, 2019

Quick notes: U-turn on e-commerce, Unsafe nuns...

  • Lobbyists win: Govt does U-turn on e-commerce policy after aggressive lobbying by MNCs. The sharp reversal comes barely a week after the govt had explicitly restricted private labels being sold by e-marketplaces

  • Unsafe nuns of India: The Associated Press blows the lid off decades-long sexual abuse of nuns by Catholic priests in India. The nuns AP interviewed—some decades younger than their abusers—described the fear of retribution and being isolated or even expelled from their community, which forced them to avoid making official complaints. “It’s a fear of being isolated if I speak the truth. If you do that, you have to go against your own community, your own religious superiors.”

  • Soul Vultures: The enemy within

  • English is the albatross that's strangling India:

  • The Keto Diet, Explained: We are fueled primarily by glucose, or blood sugar, much of which we derive from carbohydrates in foods like bread, fruit, potatoes, and sweets.  If glucose levels in the blood drop to really low levels, we’d pass out and die. But, interestingly, the body can’t store much glucose — only enough to last a couple of days. So if we forgo eating carbs for a few days, we need other ways to keep going. One of those is a process called ketogenesis.  In ketogenesis, our livers start to break down fat into a usable energy source called ketones bodies, or ketones for short. “Organs like the brain that normally rely primarily on glucose for fuel can begin to use a substantial amount of ketones. So ketones can stand in for glucose as fuel for the body when there’s a glucose shortage. It’s an amazing physiological adaption to starvation that allows tissues like the brain to survive”. 

  • Chang'e-4 rover now exploring Moon: The far side could be an excellent place to perform low-frequency radio astronomy, because it is shielded from the radio noise of Earth.

  • Raga Shukla Bilawal:

  • Africans singing "Kal ho na ho":

Saturday, January 05, 2019

Hypertelescope: I in the Sky

Israeli researchers have come up with a way to make a low-cost but powerful "eye in the sky" using a constellation of many tiny satellites:

Technology like this could be very useful for India, given that ISRO has already demonstrated its ability to deploy large numbers of satellites in a single launch.

While it would be nice to use this hypertelescope technology to observe the heavens and image distant alien worlds in the search for life, there are other earthly applications which could be possible.

ISRO's HySIS (HyperSpectral Imaging Satellite) was recently launched into geostationary orbit, providing India a means to observe the Indian Ocean region continuously at all frequencies, but at a very low resolution. HySIS will allow India to detect the presence of large military ships in the Indian Ocean, but can't see in closer detail than that.

Most Earth-observation satellites, including spy satellites, are positioned in Low Earth Orbit, usually at a couple of hundred kilometers in altitude, passing over their target at periodic intervals. However, a geostationary satellite which continuously stays above the same spot due to its orbital period matching the Earth's rotation, requires an altitude of 40,000 km. Needless to say, this large distance is why spy satellites aren't typically put into geostationary orbits, and are instead limited to merely passing over their target periodically at lower altitude. But a a powerful hypertelescope in the form of a large constellation swarm of satellites could provide extremely high-resolution images of the Earth's surface even from distant geostationary orbit.

A large geostationary eye-in-the-sky positioned above the Iran-Pakistan region could provide otherwise impossibly high resolution images of the ground in realtime. It would be useful for India and Israel to collaborate on such projects as part of joint space cooperation -- after all, two I's are better than one.

Thursday, January 03, 2019

Quick notes: Duopoly, Ghar-wapsi queen...