Blue Moon Today

August 2012 is a month with two full moons. And, by popular acclaim, that means it’s a Blue Moon month – but Blue in name only. That’s because a Blue Moon is sometimes defined as the second full moon in a calendar month. The first full moon is August 1. The second full moon is August 31, 2012. The second full moon of August 2012 is the Blue Moon.

There are two more definitions for Blue Moon. It can be the third of four full moons in a single season. Or, someday, you might see an actual blue-colored moon.

It’s very rare that you would see a blue-colored moon, although unusual sky conditions – certain-sized particles of dust or smoke – can create them. Blue-colored moons aren’t predictable. So don’t be misled by the photo above. The sorts of moons people commonly call Blue Moons aren’t usually blue. 

Now on to folklore’s Blue Moons. Every month typically has a full moon (although sometimes February doesn’t). In fact, our word for “month” comes from the word “moon.” Most of the time, the names for full moons coincide with particular months or seasons of the year. So whether you define a Blue Moon as the second full moon in a month – or the third full moon of four in a season – the name Blue Moon accounts for times when there are more full moons than is ordinary.

Blue moon as second full moon in a month. In recent decades, many people have begun using the name Blue Moon to describe the second full moon of a calendar month.

The time between one full moon and the next is close to the length of a calendar month. So the only time one month can have two full moons is when the first full moon happens in the first few days of the month. This happens every 2-3 years, so these sorts of Blue Moons come about that often.

When is the next Blue Moon, according to this first definition? August 31, 2012.

The idea of a Blue Moon as the second full moon in a month stemmed from the March 1946 issue of Sky and Telescope magazine, which contained an article called “Once in a Blue Moon” by James Hugh Pruett. Pruett was using a 1937 Maine Farmer’s Almanac, but he simplified the definition. He wrote:

Seven times in 19 years there were — and still are — 13 full moons in a year. This gives 11 months with one full moon each and one with two. This second in a month, so I interpret it, was called Blue Moon.

EarthSky’s Deborah Byrd happened upon a copy of this old 1946 issue of Sky and Telescope in the stacks of the Peridier Library at the University of Texas Astronomy Department in the late 1970s. Afterward, she began using the term Blue Moon to describe the second full moon in a calendar month on the radio. Later, this definition of Blue Moon was also popularized by a book for children by Margot McLoon-Basta and Alice Sigel, called “Kids’ World Almanac of Records and Facts,” published in New York by World Almanac Publications, in 1985. The second-full-moon-in-a-month definition was also used in the board game Trivial Pursuit.

Can there be two blue moons in a single calendar year? Yes. It last happened in 1999. There were two full moons in January and two full moons in March and no full moon in February. So both January and March had Blue Moons.

The next year of double blue moons is coming up in 2018.

Blue moon as third full moon of four in a season. The Old Farmer’s Almanac defined a Blue Moon as an extra full moon that occurred in a season. One season – winter, spring, fall, summer – typically has three full moons. If a season has four full moons, then the third full moon may be called a Blue Moon.

The next blue moon by this definition will fall on August 21, 2013.

In recent years, a controversy has raged – mainly among purists – about which Blue Moon definition is better. The idea of a Blue Moon as the third of four in a season may be older than the idea of a Blue Moon as the second full moon in a month. Is it better? Is one definition right and the other wrong? After all, this is folklore. So the folk get to decide, and, in the 21st century, both sorts of full moons have been called Blue.

As the folklorist Phillip Hiscock wrote in his comprehensive article Folklore of the Blue Moon: Old folklore it is not, but real folklore it is.

So enjoy Blue Moons!

Bottom line: A blue-colored moon is rare. But folklore has defined two different kinds of Blue Moons. A Blue Moon can be the second full moon in a month. Or it can be the third of four full moons in a season. The full moon of August 31, 2012 will be considered a Blue Moon.




Barclays probed again – over Qatar payments

Major British bank Barclays Plc faces a criminal probe in the UK over fees it paid to Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund during the financial crisis in 2008.

­The Serious Fraud Office, which prosecutes financial misconduct, said Barclays raised more than 7 billion pounds from Middle East investors in 2008, including a £3.5 billion investment from Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the owner of Manchester City. The funds allowed Barclays, unlike Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland to avoid a government bailout at the height of financial crisis.

Prosecutors are also cooperating with the UK Financial Services Authority, which is conducting a civil investigation into whether the bank appropriately disclosed payments to the Qatar investors. The FSA probe is focused on four current and former senior employees, including Finance Director Chris Lucas, Barclays revealed last month. However, the SFO’s investigation doesn’t touch upon particular employees.

Meanwhile, Barclays has named its new CEO as Antony Jenkins, who was the head of its retail and business banking division. Jenkins will take place of Bob Diamond who resigned following public pressure surrounding the Libor rigging scandal.

The investigation over the Qatar payments could become another legal blow for the British banking major after it paid more than $250 million fee to settle the probe by US regulators over the alleged rate fixing. Barclays is the only bank to have admitted attempting to rig Libor, though over a dozen global banks including Citigroup, JPMorgan and Deutsche bank are under international investigation.





Long Haul Flight Issues

Its vacation time! Been planning to go on a long holiday with your family and all geared up for it! But little does your ticket mention how troublesome your long journey could get. Long flight hauls can become tiresome and drain out all the energy out of you.

Some of the most common problems faced by the passengers-

Deep Vein Thrombosis(DVT)

People are usually under the impression that airplane seats are very comfortable. On a general basis, the economy class seats are not really designed for comfort. Sitting in the same position for long time means that blood pools in the body and clots can develop. DVT is normally formed in a deep vain in the leg.
Those who have already have known to have blood clotting problems are advised to consult their doctor before flying. Avoiding long stretches where you are inactive during a flight is probably the best way to avoid DVT from developing. The problem aggravates when a part of the clot breaks off and flows to the lungs. This condition, known as Pulmonary Embolus, can cause severe injury or death.

Stretch your legs every few minutes and move around the cabin if possible. Wear some clothing you are comfortable in, preferably loose clothing in order to avoid constriction of veins.

Jet Lag

Travel by sea provides an ample amount of time for the human body to adjust to the local time but flight journeys are a difficult. The traveler usually ends up in the part of the world where the time is out of sync. With a disturbed body clock, it takes one day per time zone for it to adjust to the new surroundings.
Jet lag usually causes insomnia, tiredness, nausea, vomitting, constipation, poor concentration etc.

So take enough rest before the travel.
Avoid having alcohol as much possible on the flight and cut down to coffee and tea.
Just have lots of water without any carbon content; carbonized drinks makes you feel bloats you up and also upsets the stomach. And some sleeping tablets en route the journey could give a good amount of sleep.

Respiratory Infections

Sitting for a long time next to passengers suffering from common cold may not only make you feel uncomfortable but might also increase your chances of getting infected. Surveys say that there is small risk of catching Tuberculosis over air flights; the transmission has been noted in flights lasting over eight hours.

Other health issues

Long-haul flights a curse of many a back pain sufferers. Cramped leg room, uncomfortable seating and being confined to a small space all contribute to lower back pain during and after a flight.
Doctors advice to sit at an angle of 135 degrees; the pressure is least on the vertebral discs.
If you have neck pain, carry an inflatable neck pillow along with you to provide extra support for your head and neck.

After the flight

Now that you have arrived at your destination, collect your bags and get started. Even after the flight, if you find yourself in pain, you can do is keep moving. Stand up for sometime and give your back a good stretch with a spinal roll-down. A good tissue massage can release the stiffness and relax tense muscles.
If you’ve a had a ad stomach throughout the journey, have a cup of herbal tea.

In The NEWS : Ajmal Amir Kajab

Photograph of Ajmal Kasab, one of the ten terr...

Photograph of Ajmal Kasab, one of the ten terrorists involved in the 2008 Mumbai attacks at the Victoria Terminus station. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Timeline: Ajmal Kasab’s journey to the noose

The following is the chronology of events in 26/11 terror attack case in which the Supreme Court (SC) today upheld the death sentence of lone Pakistani terrorist Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab:

Nov 26, 2008: Kasab and 9 terrorists launched acommando raid in Mumbai.

Nov 27, 2008: At 1.30am, Kasab caught and placed under arrest, admitted to Nair Hospital.

Nov 29, 2008: All places under siege secured, 9 terrorists were killed.

Nov 30, 2008: Kasab confesses before police.

Dec 27/28, 2008: An identification parade was held.

Jan 13, 2009: ML Tahaliyani was appointed the 26/11 judge.

Jan 16, 2009: Arthur Road Jail was selected for Kasab’s trial.

Feb 5, 2009: Kasab’s DNA samples match with articles found in Kuber.

Feb 20/21, 2009: Kasab made a confession before the magistrate.

Feb 22, 2009: Ujjwal Nikam was appointed special public prosecutor.

Feb 25, 2009: A charge sheet against Kasab, two others were filed in court.

Apr 1, 2009: Anjali Waghmare was appointed Kasab’s lawyer.

Apr 15, 2009: Anjali Waghmare was removed as Kasab’s lawyer.

Apr 16, 2009: Abbas Kazmi was appointed as Kasab’s lawyer.

Kasab, who took the advantage of loopholes in Indian security system is trying to take the advantage of the loopholes in judicial system with the help of lawyer Abbas Kazmi

Apr 17, 2009: Kasab’s confession was opened in court, he retracted.

Apr 20, 2009: The prosecution charged Kasab on 312 counts.

Apr 29, 2009: Experts opined that Kasab was major, .

May 6, 2009: Charges were framed, Kasab charged on 86 counts, but he denied the charges.

May 8, 2009: The first eyewitness deposed and identified Kasab.

June 23, 2009: Non-bailable warrants issued were against 22 including Hafeez Saeed, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi.

Nov 30, 2009: Abbas Kazmi was removed as Kasab’s lawyer

Dec 1, 2009: KP Pawar took the place of Kazmi.

Dec 16, 2009: The prosecution completed its case in 26/11.

Dec 18, 2009: Kasab denied all charges.

March 31, 2010: The arguments in the case end. Special Judge ML Tahaliyani reserves judgment for May 3, 2010.

May 3, 2010: Kasab was convicted, Sabauddin Ahmed and Faheem Ansari were acquitted of all charges.

May 6, 2010: Kasab was sentenced to death by the trial court.

Feb 21, 2011: The Bombay High Court upheld the death sentence to Kasab.

Public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam shows victory sign outside the Bombay High court after the verdict of Ajmal Kasab, in Mumbai on Monday, February 21, 2011 - Salman Ansari.DNA

March 2011: Kasab wrote a letter to the SC challenging the HC order.

Oct 10, 2011: The SC stayed the execution of the death sentence awarded to the Pakistani terrorist

Oct 10, 2011: Kasab told the SC that he was brainwashed like a “robot” into committing the heinous crime in the name of “God” and that he did not deserve capital punishment owing to his young age.

Oct 18, 2011: The Supreme Court admited the Maharashtra government’s appeal challenging the acquittal of Faheem Ansari and Sabauddin Ahmed, co-accused of Ajmal Kasab, in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack.

Jan 31, 2012: Kasab told the SC that he was not given a free and fair trial in the case.

Feb 23, 2012: The SC heard intercepted conversations between the perpetrators of 26/11 Mumbai terror attack and their Pakistani handlers and watched the CCTV footage of the carnage.

Apr 25, 2012: The SC reserves its verdict after a marathon hearing, spanning over two and a half months.

Aug 29, 2012: The SC upheld the death sentence of Kasab and the acquittal of two alleged Indian co-conspirators in the case.

Kasab’s was a unique case: ATS chief Maria

Maharashtra ATS chief Rakesh Maria on Wednesday said that the trial and sentencing of Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Kasab was culmination of a “unique” investigation, and a daunting task accomplished by various agencies.

“It was a unique investigation in which 657 witnesses were examined and investigating agencies from all over the world were involved,” he said, reacting to the Supreme Court ruling upholding the death sentence for Kasab.

The investigation was challenging, Maria said, as the conspiracy had been hatched on the foreign soil and the terrorists were well-equipped. The ATS was still hunting for the remaining accused, most of whom were in Pakistan, he said.

He thanked various departments of Mumbai police, forensic department and special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam for their efforts.

Referring to the probe of low-intensity blasts in Pune on August 1, Maria said ATS would try to get a break-through in the case before the Ganesh festival as directed by the state government. The investigation in the J M Road blast was making a good progress, he added.

Vociferous demand to execute Ajmal Kasab at the earliest

The Supreme Court verdict upholding the death sentence of Ajmal Kasab in 26/11 Mumbai attacks case on Wednesday led to a vociferous demand for execution of the Pakistani terrorist at the earliest from parties, kin of the victims and other quarters in the country.

Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said government, on its part, will ensure that if Kasab files a mercy plea, it is disposed of in minimum time and asked Pakistan to punish other perpetrators who have taken shelter on its soil.

“…Now, he should be given complete sentence quickly. Punishment should be executed quickly,” Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh said reacting to the Supreme Court verdict on Kasab’s appeal against his conviction and sentence.

BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said, “Those who wage war against the country and kill innocents deserve no mercy…. Kasab should be hanged without any delay … enough of ‘biryani’ for him.”

Describing Pakistan as “a terror factory”, he said the government “must take all steps to destroy” terror infrastructure and sought a separate set of laws to deal with terror-related cases.

“No leniency should be shown against this kind of a terrorist. They have tried to destroy the peace of the nation, so he (Kasab) should be hanged as fast as possible,” Naqvi said.

Welcoming the verdict, the ruling Congress also favoured quick execution of Kasab.

Law Minister Salman Khurshid described the judgement as “inevitable” and rejected suggestions of delay in the final verdict saying a country governed by rule of law cannot mete out street justice.

“I had seen the Bombay High Court judgement. It was very, very complicated judgement for the judiciary to have given. They must have worked very hard on it. That’s been upheld by the Supreme Court. I think most people who do analysis of law would say this was an inevitable endorsement that would have come,” he told reporters in Delhi.

Special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam, who led the case against Kasab during the trial process, said the death sentence awarded to Kasab should be executed as soon as possible so that it gives a strong signal to the terrorists that law takes stern action against such acts.

He also demanded that he prosecution against perpetrators of the 2008 terror strikes should now be expedited by the prosecuting agency of Pakistan, he said.

“The (prosecution in Pakistan) should not delay the trial on the ground that India has to furnish evidence because conspiracy behind the terror attacks was hatched in Pakistan and it is for them to prove the same,” Nikam said, adding the apex court in India has also held that criminal conspiracy behind the attacks was hatched in Pakistan.

Eknath Ombale, the brother of assistant sub-inspector Tukaram Ombale who died fighting terrorists during the 26/11 terror attacks, said if Afzal Guru had been hanged 10 years ago, then 26/11 and 13/7 incidents would not have happened.

“We are very happy with the verdict. We are now waiting for it to be implemented,” he said.

“The truth has come out before the world. I request the government to implement the sentence,” he mentioned.

“Had Afzal Guru been hanged 10 years ago, maybe 26/11 and 13/7 wouldn’t have happened,” he said.

“All Indians are awaiting the moment when Kasab will be hanged,” Ombale said.

Kasab clever & shrewd, kills without a twinge of conscience: SC


ajmal-amir-kasab-photo-terrorist-going-to-be-hanged-image-india-attacked.jpg copy (Photo credit: Shekhar_Sahu)

Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Kasab is “quite clever and shrewd” and killed without “the slightest twinge of conscience” said the Supreme Court today, dismissing his plea for leniency on purported ground that he was brain washed by Lashkar-e-Toiba and acted like a robot.

“We are unable to accept the submission that the appellant was a mere tool in the hands of the Lashkar-e-Toiba. He joined the Lashkar-e-Toiba around December 2007 and continued as its member till the end, despite a number of opportunities to leave it.

This shows his clear and unmistakable intention to be a part of the organisation and participate in its designs,” said a bench headed by Justice Aftab Alam.

“It is true that he is not educated but he is a very good and quick learner, has a tough mind and strong determination. He is also quite clever and shrewd,” it further said.

The court said Kasab has many times described himself as a patriotic Pakistani and has no remorse for waging war against India.

“Even after his arrest, he regarded himself as a ‘watan parast,’ a patriotic Pakistani at war with this country. Where is the question of his being brain-washed or acting under remote control? We completely disagree that the appellant was acting like an automaton. During the past months while we lived through this case, we have been able to make a fair assessment of the appellant’s personality,” the bench said.

“Unfortunately, he is wholly remorseless and any feeling of pity is unknown to him. He kills without the slightest twinge of conscience,” the bench said.

Kasab verdict an important milestone: Crime Branch

The Mumbai Crime Branch, which probed the 26/11 terror attack case, has termed as the “important milestone” the Supreme Court verdict upholding death sentence of Pakistani gunman Ajmal Kasab.

“The Supreme Court’s judgement is an important milestone in fight against terrorism,” Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Himanshu Roy told a press conference.

On the role of Pakistan, the crime branch chief said, “Abu Jundal’s interrogation further reveals role of Pakistan in exporting terror to our country and his links with LeT”.

Jundal, suspected to be one of the key 26/11 handlers, was deported to India by Saudi Arabia and is currently in the police custody in connection with the 2006 Aurangabad arms haul case.

“Crime Brnach is collecting very strong evidence against Jundal,” Roy said.

“Those martyrs who laid down their lives to nab Kasab should be given a tribute today,” he said.

“Without them (martyrs) nabbing Kasab and his conviction would not have been possible and those behind the terror strikes exposed,” Roy said.




Facts About Indian Coins

Indian coins are mainly produced in 4 Cities:


we can identify from where the particular coin has been produced/manufactured by using a simple methodology.

The production in city puts an identification mark under the year of issue.
Coins produced in:

1. Delhi will have a dot beneath the year

2. Mumbai will have a diamond beneath the year

3. Hyderabad will have a star beneath the year

4. Kolkata will have Nothing beneath the year

Isn’t it amazing?

Share this and let others get knowledge from you:-)




9 Amazing Inventions From The Soul Of India

India was always a fertile land for innovations. The most notable Indian inventions range from number Zero to some high end technologies that we use every day.

While many of these high-tech inventions are usually glorified, certain others which come from the ‘soul of India’- villages are usually ignored. These inventions from the country’s small corners cannot be designated as “life changing,” but still they are powerful enough to propel the dreams of a small population and also motivate the generations to produce something good for the society.

Here are some of them.

#9 Washing cum Exercise Machine

Inventor: Remya Jose
City: Malappuram
State: Kerala

Remya, a high school girl from Kerala was forced to do laundry when her mother fell sick. Out of her dislike to wash clothes by hand, Remya invented a pedal-powered washing machine at the age of 14.

The machine, which looks like the exer-cycle which we see in a gymnasium, consists of an aluminium cabin containing a horizontal cylinder made of iron net. The cylinder is connected to a pedaling system that consists of a cycle chain, pedals and a seat. Clothes are put in the cylinder, the cabin is filled with water, detergent is added and is left to soak for some time. Pedal it for three to four minutes after that and you are done! The cylinder rotates at a very high speed with the clothes inside, cleaning them thoroughly. Soap water drains out, the barrel is refilled and the process repeated. By pedaling, the clothes also become about 80% dry.

The Invention has many advantages. It doesn’t require electricity to work, it is hugely affordable and moreover, it replaces your exercise machine.

#8 Water Walking Shoe

Inventor: Dwarka Prasad Chaurasia
City: Mirzapur,
State: Uttar Pradesh

Well, this beautiful invention from a village man of tremendous determination. His invention dates back to three decades. It is called the Water Walker, which comes handy in the flooded regions of India, even now.

The shoes consist of two floats made of thermocol, bonded with a rexine sheet. This whole unit is attached to metal straps with back foot support. These two individual shoes are also tied to each other to prevent them from going apart beyond one’s ability to steer them. The size of shoe gave him good buoyancy and ease in maneuvering.

With a pair of hand held oars for balancing, a person can either walk or skate across the lake.

Chaurasia had demonstrated his shoes in front of media at the Delhi Boat Club, which was widely covered. He was also interviewed by BBC at that time, which was great recognition for him.

He had another invention on his name, “the amphibious cycle” which used the same principle of his shoes.

#7 Electric Painting Brush

Inventor: Jahangir Ahmad
Place: Anantnag
State: Jammu & Kashmir

Jahangir, a young student from the militancy hit Anantnag district of Jammu & Kashmir invented eclectic painting brush, which is essentially a blessing to the painting workers. His invention avoids the need for dipping brush into the paint bucket, which decrease the tediousness of the job and saves paint.

Jahangir was the son of a carpenter. He used to work while studying in order to help his poor family and also fund himself. One day he saw some workers painting a high wall near his house. They were struggling with the work as there is little space on the ladder to keep the paint bucket. They have to periodically dip the brush in the bucket and manage everything without losing the grip from ladder. The paint was also spilled over the worker’s clothes. After seeing this, he was determined to reduce their effort.

The automatic painting device he invented has a painting brush attached to a tube, which goes directly to a paint bucket via a motor which pumps the paint to brush. User can control flow of paint through a liver and the paint is equally distributed to bristles at 4 places through a distributor. His working prototype has great commercial potential along with wide usability.

#6 Tree Climbing Machine

Inventor: M J Joseph (Appachan)
Place: Kannur
State: Kerala

Late M J Joseph was an innovative farmer. After many of his innovations failed to gain popularity, including a fruit squeezer which can get juice out of any fruit, Joseph made the best invention of his life- a machine, using which anybody can climb a coconut or areca nut tree.

Joseph made this machine under the guidance of his father. The climber consists of two metal loops with several sub-loops and connecting rods. There are two pedals, one right and one left, for placing the foot. The device is designed in such a way that once it is fastened to the tree using the attached ropes, you can use the pedal movements to climb.

The cost effective, safe and convenient machine had become so popular in south India. Many modifications were made to the device and the National Innovation Foundation facilitated sale of his climber to customers in USA, Maldives, Thailand, Australia, Brazil and Mexico.

#5 Cotton Harvester

Inventor: Nattubhai Vader
State: Gujarat

Nattubhai Vader, a farmer from Gujarat invented the cotton harvester, a machine which can be fitted to a tractor for harvesting the cotton. He was determined to make a machine for harvesting the troublesome variety of cotton, after he saw women and children performing the slow exhausting work in the fields.

His determination paid off well as he designed and tweaked a massive apparatus of spinning rubber hoses and vacuums to fit over a tractor. The apparatus can pick as much cotton in one hour as 10 people can harvest in two days.

#4 Well Pulley With a Brake

Inventor: Amrit Agrawat
Place: Sehore
State: Madhya Pradesh

In the villages, water is mainly drawn from wells. The traditionally designed pulley system is physically demanding, especially for the women folk. Realizing the importance of pulley in the daily routine of average rural women,   Amit Agrawat has decided to redesign it. He came up with a pulley attached to a braking system or a “stopper.” He made three pulleys- Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswathi, which can be used according to the type of the well. The pulleys allow women to rest mid way through their labour. 

#3 Water Tires

Inventor: Farmers
State: Madhya Pradesh

The village farmers of Madhya Pradesh were finding it difficult to work on the thick and hard soil in the fields with their tractors. It required them to put extra weight to the machine. The tractor salesmen were trying to sell them expensive weights to attach to vehicles. But the farmers invented an inexpensive and easy way by simply filling the tires with water, which gave an added weight at literally, no cost. They not only saved money, but also invented something which can be benefitted by millions of farmers across the country.

#2 Cotton Deseeder

Inventor: Abdul Rahim Khan
Area: Mogra
State: Madhya Pradesh

Abdul Rahim Khan a farmer from the village of Mogra had many small inventions under his belt. Among that, his miniature cotton deeseeder is a miracle. It cost less than 220 to make and saved 10 times as much each year in processing fees.

#1 Multipurpose Herbs Processor

Inventor: Dharamveer Kamboj
Place: Yamunanagar
State: Haryana

Dharamveer was born as the 5th child of Ramswaroop Kamboj, who was a farmer and Savitri Devi who was an herbalist. He was attracted to the herbs at an early age, following his mother’s passion. After seeking out different ways to lead his life, Dharamveer finally realized that agriculture is indeed the profession meant to him.

Inspired from a bank manager, who promoted Aloe vera farming, Dharamveer started to cultivate it. But after realizing the huge cost of an Aloe vera gel extractor machine, he decided to build one on his own.

After a number of prototypes, he was successful in building a table top machine capable of pulverizing and extracting oil or gel from various herbs including Amla and Aloe vera. The machine can cheaply make gel from the leaves and was widely recognized.  

Dharamveer give all the credit for his success to his mother, who instilled in him urge to know more about herbs.



10 Famous Pictures From Around The World

Propaganda is a form of communication that is aimed at influencing the attitude of a community. In creating propaganda, people will focus on a specific set of facts that will elicit an emotional reaction in a population. If angered, humans will often overlook rational information. In the history of photography, thousands of famous images have been taken. Governments have popularized many of these pictures as a form of propaganda. Photographs give the human brain an opportunity to interpret a specific environment. This article is going to examine ten famous photographs and their remarkable stories.

10. Lee Harvey Oswald and His Rifle

Oswald with Gun and Communist Paper

According to four U.S. government investigations, Lee Harvey Oswald is the sniper who killed John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963. On March 31, 1963, Marina Oswald captured a collection of photographs showing Lee Harvey Oswald in his backyard with a rifle in hand. Along with the gun, the photographs show Oswald holding two Marxist newspapers, The Militant and The Worker. He is wearing a .38 caliber revolver on his waist. In 1978, the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) determined that the rifle in the picture was the same used to shoot Kennedy. The revolver was also determined to be the weapon used to kill Officer J. D. Tippit following the assassination. The collection of photos is widely recognized as some of the most significant evidence against Oswald.

The pictures have been subjected to rigorous analysis and many people have claimed they are altered. Oswald insisted they were forgeries. Some inconsistencies include unnatural lines in Oswald’s face, an identical background in all three photographs, unnatural shadows, and inconsistent body length between pictures. In 1978, a British forensic photography expert named Malcolm Thompson determined that the pictures were fakes. However, after seeing the evidence presented by the HSCA investigation, Thompson recanted his conclusion and agreed that the backyard pictures were genuine. After digitally analyzing the photograph of Oswald holding the rifle and paper, computer scientist Hany Farid concluded that the photo was “almost certainly not altered.”

Interesting Fact

On February 21, 1964 the picture of Lee Harvey Oswald in his backyard was featured on the cover of LIFE magazine. It was also placed on the front page of the Free Press. Certain alterations were visible between the two photographs. The Free Press picture completely removed the rifle’s scope. The occurrence caused distrust and fueled conspiracy theories.

9. Annie Edson Taylor


Niagara Falls is the most powerful collection of waterfalls in North America. They are situated on the Niagara River, which drains Lake Erie into Lake Ontario and forms the international border between Ontario and New York. The Horseshoe Falls drop about 173 feet (53 m), while the height of the American Falls varies between 70–100 feet (21–30 m) because of the presence of giant boulders at its base. The smaller Bridal Veil Falls are located on the American side, separated from the main falls by Luna Island. On October 24, 1901, Annie Edson Taylor became the first person to survive a trip over Niagara Falls in a barrel. She accomplished the feat on her 63rd birthday. Taylor used a custom-made barrel for her trip, constructed of oak and iron and padded with a mattress.

Annie Taylor was set adrift near the American shore, south of Goat Island. The Niagara River currents carried the barrel toward the Canadian Horseshoe Falls, which has since become the site for all daredevil stunting activity at Niagara Falls. After the plunge, rescuers reached Annie’s barrel and she was found alive. Taylor was relatively uninjured, except for a small gash on her head. Annie Taylor told the press, “If it was with my dying breath, I would caution anyone against attempting the feat. I would sooner walk up to the mouth of a cannon, knowing it was going to blow me to pieces than make another trip over the Fall.”  In 1911, Bobby Leach became the second person to travel over Niagara Falls in a barrel. In the fall, Leach broke both knee caps and fractured his jaw.

Interesting Fact

Two days before Annie Taylor’s own attempt, a domestic cat was sent over the Horseshoe Falls in her barrel to test its strength. Contrary to rumors at the time, the cat survived the plunge unharmed and later posed with Taylor in photographs.

8. Patty Hearst


Patty Hearst is the granddaughter of publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst. On February 4, 1974 the 19-year-old Hearst was kidnapped from her Berkeley, California apartment by a left-wing urban guerrilla group called the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA). The Symbionese Liberation Army was an American terrorist organization born out of a number of radical prison advocacy groups. After Hearst was kidnapped, she was taken to a house in Daly City, California and kept in a closet. After 57 days of being blindfolded, gagged and tied up, Hearst was indoctrinated with SLA political literature.

The SLA demanded that the Hearst family distribute $70 worth of food to every needy Californian, an operation that would cost an estimated $400 million. Hearst’s father arranged for the immediate donation of $6 million worth of food. In response, Patty Hearst was never released. On April 3, 1974, Patty announced on an audiotape that she had joined the Symbionese Liberation Army and assumed the name Tania. She became a well-known victim of Stockholm syndrome. Stockholm syndrome is a term used to describe a phenomenon where hostages express positive feelings towards their captors. It is a condition caused by extreme mental and physical abuse.

On April 15, 1974 Patty Hearst was photographed wielding an M1 carbine rifle while robbing the Sunset District branch of the Hibernia Bank in San Francisco. Cameras were able to capture Patty as she yelled “I’m Tania, up against the wall.” The images of Hearst quickly spread around the world. A warrant was issued for her arrest and in September 1975, Patty was arrested in a San Francisco apartment with other SLA members. Patty Hearst was convicted of bank robbery on March 20, 1976 and was sentenced to 35 years imprisonment. Her sentence was later commuted to seven years and she served 22 months.

Interesting Fact

Patty Hearst was granted a full pardon by President Bill Clinton on January 20, 2001. After her release from prison, Patty married her former bodyguard, Bernard Shaw. They have two children, Gillian and Lydia Hearst-Shaw, and reside in Garrison, New York.

7. Mission Accomplished


The Iraq War began on March 20, 2003 with the invasion of Iraq by the United States under the administration of President George W. Bush and the United Kingdom under Prime Minister Tony Blair. To date, the Iraq War has lasted eight and a half years. Two months after the war started, on May 1, 2003 George W. Bush landed on the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln and gave a speech announcing the end of major combat operations in Iraq. Visible in the background was a banner stating “Mission Accomplished.” Following the speech, the image became internationally recognized. George W Bush was criticized for suggesting the war was over, when in fact it was just beginning.

The controversy surrounding the speech and the banner made video clips and pictures of the speech famous. As criticism mounted, the White House released a statement saying that they didn’t mean to imply the Iraq War was over. Pentagon spokesman Conrad Chun said the banner referred specifically to the aircraft carrier’s 10-month deployment and not the war itself. The banner and picture have come to symbolize the irony of the President giving a victory speech only a few weeks after the beginning of a relatively long war. In November 2008, Bush indicated that he regretted the use of the banner, stating in a CNN interview, “To some, it said, well, Bush thinks the war in Iraq is over, when I didn’t think that. It conveyed the wrong message.”

Interesting Fact

Coincidentally, on May 1, 2011, exactly eight years after the speech, President Barack Obama announced that U.S. Navy SEALs had killed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in Pakistan. The French newspaper Le Monde favorably compared Obama’s speech to that of Bush.

6. Flight of Refugees Across Wrecked Bridge in Korea


Towards the end of 1950, China entered the Korean War. They sided with North Korea and the reinforcements not only broke the United Nations advance, but sent U.S. forces in retreat. As the UN left the area, so did Korean civilians. A major obstacle in the way of escape was a destroyed bridge over the Taedong River near Pyongyang, North Korea. Despite intense danger, thousands of people attempted to cross the bridge at once. AP photographer Max Desfor was working the war and captured the refugees as they struggled to move across the ruined bridge. The picture was taken on December 4, 1950 and won the Pulitzer Prize in photography for Max Desfor. Desfor had trouble using his camera due to the cold temperatures. During an interview after the war, Max commented on the “deathly silence” of the scene.

Interesting Fact

During the Korean War, the Battle of Inchon turned the tide against the Korean People’s Army (NKPA) and the United Nations command. The soldiers were forced to retreat down the Chinese border, but were defeated in the Battle of the Ch’ongch’on River. The 120 mile (190 km) retreat was the longest in U.S. military history.

5. Wait for Me, Daddy


On Saturday August 26, 1939 Hitler threatened Poland and demanded control of the city of Danzig. The same day, the Regimental Adjutant in British Columbia, Canada received a call from the Canadian capital instructing him to call out the BC Regiment. On September 10, 1939 the Parliament of Canada declared war against the German Reich. On October 1, 1940 the British Columbia Regiment was ordered to Nanaimo and then overseas. The soldiers made a famous march down Eighth Street in New Westminster.

At the intersection of Eighth and Columbia Avenue, Claude P. Dettloff captured a photograph of Private Jack Bernard’s 5-year-old son Warren (Whitey) running from his mother to join his father in line. The picture received extensive exposure during the Second World War and was used in war-bond drives. It documents the struggle that many children feel as their parents travel to war. The photo gained exposure in Life magazine and was hung in every school in British Columbia during the war. When Jack Bernard returned home, Claude Dettloff was on hand to photograph the family’s reunion. Jack and Bernice Bernard would eventually divorce.

Interesting Fact

Whitey Bernard doesn’t remember getting his picture taken, but does remember the next day when the image was published in the Province Newspaper. He soon became the most famous kid in Canada. Whitey was even enlisted to sell war bonds.

4. Portrait of Subcomandante Marcos


The Zapatista Army of National Liberation is an armed revolutionary group based in one of the poorest states of Mexico, Chiapas. Since 1994, the group has been in a declared war “against the Mexican state.” The war has been primarily nonviolent and defensive against military, paramilitary, and corporate incursions into Chiapas. The group’s main spokesperson is Subcomandante Marcos. In January 1994, Marcos led an army of Mayan farmers into the eastern parts of Chiapas protesting against the Mexican government’s treatment of indigenous peoples. Marcos is an author, political poet, adroit humorist, and outspoken opponent of capitalism. He has advocated for having the Mexican constitution amended to recognize the rights of the country’s indigenous inhabitants.

Subcomandante Marcos is famous for using a pipe and always covering his face with a black balaclava. Many people have called him the leader of a new wave of revolutionaries. In the middle of the 1990s, Subcomandante Marcos shot to prominence around the world. He became viewed as a celebrity in many areas of Mexico. A famous portrait of Marcos was spread around the world. The picture shows the Mexican leader with a black mask and smoking pipe. The image has fueled the revolutionary spirit in many areas of Mexico, much the same way that the portrait of Che Guevara became the symbol for revolution in the 1960s. Between 1992 and 2006, Marcos wrote more than 200 essays and stories. He published 21 books.

Interesting Fact

Subcomandante Marcos denies it, but the Mexican government believes he is Rafael Sebastián Guillén Vicente who was born June 19, 1957 in Tampico, Tamaulipas, Mexico.

3. Winston Churchill and the Tommy Gun


On June 4, 1940, Winston Churchill made a historic speech. “We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!” His words were an inspiration to British troops and in the summer of 1940, Churchill scheduled a collection of public tours across the UK. During one of these tours on July 31, 1940, he was photographed trying out an American 1928 Tommy gun or Thompson SMG.

The picture was taken at the defense fortifications near Hartlepool in Northern England used by the British media in 1940. It quickly spread across the world and became an important picture of the Second World War. Nazi propaganda minister Goebbels extensively used the photograph. During the Battle of Britain, the Germans dropped leaflets with the picture and the English text “WANTED, for incitement to MURDER.” The Nazi propaganda was attempting to portray Churchill as a gangster.

Interesting Fact

It is not the same gun as in the picture, but the World War II London Underground Headquarters, now a museum, has a similar Tommy gun on display that Churchill planned to use if the Nazis came to London. If they had successfully invaded he is quoted as planning “to light a good cigar, take a sip or two of his favorite brandy, and go out in the streets and take as many German troops with it as he could, perhaps fighting alongside the Queen and the royal family when the end came.”

2. Alexey Yeremenko


Soviet war reporter and photographer Max Alpert captured one of the most famous pictures of World War II. The photograph shows junior political officer Alexey Yeremenko leading an attack against German troops. It was taken by Alpert on July 12, 1942 during the German invasion of the Soviet Union. The image was initially titled Kom-bat, which is a Soviet military acronym for “commander of battalion.” The exact location of the battle is difficult to determine, but all accounts say that Alexey Yeremenko was killed right after the photograph was taken. The picture gives an excellent profile of the Soviet soldier and his weapon. During World War II, the image became a symbol of the Great Patriotic War and the Soviet fight against the Axis Powers of the Eastern Front. It represents courage on the battlefield and is a lasting symbol of the Soviet victory.

Interesting Fact

The identity of Alexey Yeremenko was not uncovered until May of 1965, 23 years after the picture was taken. He was identified after his wife and children saw the famous image on the front page of the Pravda 20-year jubilee issue. The article was dedicated to the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany.

1. American Soldier at D-Day


The Invasion of Normandy began on June 6, 1944 (D-Day). It was the largest amphibious operation in history. Allied soldiers faced intense fire as they attempted to reach the shoreline and gain cover. Robert Capa is a famous Hungarian combat photographer. To escape Nazi control, Capa moved to New York during the Second World War and became a photographer for the Allies. He accompanied American troops during the Invasion of Normandy and was able to capture 106 action photographs. Capa sent his film to Life magazine in order to have it developed. After an error occurred, Life magazine destroyed the film and only 11 pictures were salvageable.

Robert Capa’s most famous photograph shows an American soldier moving through the water and attempting to reach the shoreline of Normandy. At the time of the picture, the men were under intense gunfire. The image has been praised for showing the true nature of the Normandy landings. Robert Capa remembers, “The water was cold, and the beach more than a hundred yards away. The bullets tore holes in the water around me, and I made for the nearest steel obstacle. A soldier got there at the same time, and for a few minutes we shared its cover. He took the waterproofing off his rifle and began to shoot without much aiming at the smoke-hidden beach. The sound of his rifle gave him enough courage to move forward. I felt a new kind of fear shaking my body from toe to hair, and twisting my face.”

Of all the photographers sent to Normandy with the Allied invasion, only Robert Capa was able to capture pictures showing an active resistance. Other photographers were either foiled by bad weather or landed on beaches that faced little German opposition. This fact makes the loss of Robert Capa’s film tragic. The U.S. soldier in the photograph was identified as Edward Regan. Regan remembers that “there was so much chaos and mass confusion that one was reduced to a state of almost complete immobilization.”

Interesting Fact

On May 25, 1954 Robert Capa was traveling with a French regiment in Vietnam when he left his jeep to take some photographs. While walking up the road he stepped on a land-mine and lost his leg. Capa was quickly rushed to a field hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival due to massive trauma and loss of blood. He died with his camera in hand.




Random Facts About Life

    1. Life is broadly defined as the condition of an organism that exhibits growth through metabolism, reproduction, and adaptation to its environment. These characteristics separate living organisms from inanimate objects.i
    2. The cell is the basic unit of life, and an organism must be composed of at least one cell to qualify as a living thing.i
    3. The cells of every living organism contain deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), a nucleic acid that holds the genetic instructions for the development and functioning of a life form. It is this substance that allows a living thing to grow and reproduce.i
    4. DNA was first discovered in 1869 by Swiss physician Friedrich Miescher who noticed a microscopic substance in the pus on discarded bandages. The substance was later identified as DNA.i
    5. A virus straddles the definition of life and, according to scientific definition, is not technically alive. It is composed simply of DNA and ribonucleic acid (RNA) strands surrounded by a protein shell and requires a host cell to metabolize and reproduce. When not within a host cell, a virus lies dormant and is nothing more than a static organic particle.i
Scientists estimate the Earth has existed for about 4.5 billions years
    1. Scientists estimate the earth is about 4.5 billions years old and first began to support life forms approximately 3.7 billion years ago.a
    2. While scientists universally believe that naturally occurring amino acids were mediated by nucleic acids to create the first life forms on Earth, the question of how nucleic acids originated from inanimate matter is still being studied today. There is no definitive answer yet as to the origin of life on Earth.g
    3. Throughout history, two dominant theories of the origin of life on Earth have prevailed. Abiogenesis, a theory that is now widely discredited, holds that life was and is spontaneously generated from decaying organic matter. The theory of biogenesis, on the other hand, maintains that new life is produced from existing life forms.g
    4. The oldest living things on Earth are believed to be single-cell prokaryotes, more commonly known as bacteria. Scientists have discovered fossils of such prokaryotes from roughly 3.5 billion years ago.a
The first plant life appeared 430 million years ago and consisted of algae-like growth
    1. Plant life began on the Earth’s landforms about 430 millions years ago. The first plants were likely single-celled organisms distantly related to algae.a
    2. The first reptiles began life 300 million years ago, and modern mammals appeared roughly 75 millions years ago.a
    3. Apes originated on Earth about 35 million years ago, and the first apelike men appeared about 10 million years ago. The modern human species of Homo sapien has existed on the earth for only 100,000 years.a
    4. Scientists believe that Earth will exist for another 7.5 billion years before the sun becomes a red giant star and, in all probability, destroys the planet. Earth may cease to support life forms far before that date, however, due to increased energy output from the sun over time.a
    5. Living organisms are divided into two basic domains: prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Eukaryotes, to which humans belong, have a cellular structure with a nucleus and membrane-bound genetic information, while the cells of prokaryotes do not contain a nucleus.i
    6. Today, all identified living organisms are scientifically named and categorized according to Swedish scientist Carl Linnaeus’s taxonomy. In his 1758 publication, Systema Naturae, Linnaeus divided and classified different living organisms with a ranking scale: kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, and species.i
    7. Scientists estimate that anywhere from five million to 100 million unique species of plants and animals currently live on Earth. However, only about two million of these species have been identified.i
    8. Insect species account for 950,000 of the two million identified species on Earth.i
    9. There are nearly 300,000 different species of plants currently living on Earth.i
    10. Mammals make up just 5,416 of the two million identified species on Earth.i
    11. The theory of evolution, which explains how living things change over time through natural selection, was first publicized by Charles Darwin in 1859. Many scientists now point to this natural phenomenon as the reason behind Earth’s great biodiversity.i
    12. Worldwide, there are currently just over 6.7 billion people living in the world. The population of males is slightly higher than females (3.41 billion compared to 3.37 billion).i
    13. According to the Central Intelligence Agency, average life expectancy for a person in the U.S. is 78.11 years.e
doctor senior patient
Average life expectancy in the U.S. increased by 30 years during the twentieth century, primarily due to advances in public health care
  1. During the twentieth century alone, the average life expectancy in the United States increased by more than 30 years. Officials attribute most of this increase to advances in public health care and information.i
  2. According to a 2008 report, the average life expectancy in the world as a whole is 66.26 years.f
  3. The average life expectancy ranges throughout the world from a high of 84.36 years in Macau to just 31.88 years in the African nation of Swaziland. Experts attribute the low life expectancy in many African countries to high rates of HIV/AIDS infection.c, d
  4. The oldest documented person on record is Jeanne Calment, a Frenchwoman who lived for 122 years and 164 days. The oldest person still alive today is 114-year-old Gertrude Baines of the U.S.b
  5. The greatest verified age for any living organism is from a Great Basin Bristlecone Pine tree in Nevada called Prometheus that was measured by a ring count to be about 4,900 years old when it was cut down in 1964.h
  6. Scientists have yet to discover a sign of extraterrestrial life, but the discovery of planets outside of our solar system with habitable climates is a promising indication of life outside Earth.a


a Babcock, Loren E. 2008. Earth History. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

b Bermudez, Esmeralda. “Gertrude Baines May Be 114, but She’s Not Counting.” Los Angeles Times. January 11, 2009: A37.

c Central Intelligence Agency. “The World Factbook – Macau.” Accessed: March 24, 2009.

d Central Intelligence Agency. “The World Factbook – Swaziland.”  Accessed: March 24, 2009.

e Central Intelligence Agency. “The World Factbook – United States.” Accessed: March 24, 2009.

f Central Intelligence Agency. “The World Factbook – World.” Accessed: March 24, 2009.

g Lahav, Noam. 1999. Biogenesis: Theories of Life’s Origin. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

h National Park Service. “Bristlecone Pines.” Accessed: March 26, 2009.

i Raven, Peter H., George B. Johnson, Kenneth A. Mason, Jonathan Losos, and Susan Singer. 2008. Biology. Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill Higher Education.


India Will be World’s Third Largest Economy by 2030

India will world’s third largest economy by 2030 but its energy demand will slow down to 4.5 per cent, global energy giant BP plc said.

“By 2030 China and India will be the world’s largest and third largest economies and energy consumers, jointly accounting for about 35 per cent of global population, GDP and energy demand,” BP’s chief economist Christof Ruhl said releasing BP’s Energy Outlook 2030.

There would be “no surge in energy demand as India industrialises. Demand growth slows to 4.5 per cent per annum (vs. 5.5 per cent p.a. in 1999-2010) as improvements in energy efficiency partly offset the energy needs of industrialisation and infrastructure expansion.”

India’s dependence on imports to meet its gas needs will jump to 47 per cent by 2030 while the same for oil will grow to 91 per cent. The nation will be 40 per cent dependent on imports to meet its coal needs.

He said India remains on a lower path of energy intensity; by 2030 it consumes only about half the energy that China consumes today, at a similar income per capita level as in China today.

Over the next 20 years China and India combined account for all the net increase in global coal demand, 94 per cent of net oil demand growth, 30 per cent of gas, and 48 per cent of the net growth in non-fossil fuels.

Coal remains the main commercial fuel, but its share falls from 70 per cent to 55 per cent in China as a result of maturing industrial structure, and from 53 per cent to 50 per cent in India due to domestic resource constraints.

Oil’s share is flat at 18 per cent in China and falls to 26 per cent in India, constrained by prices and growing import dependency. Gas gains market share along with nuclear and renewables in both countries, BP said.

In India, the share of industry continues to grow, as infrastructure development catches up and manufacturing expands to absorb a growing labour force, but it never reaches the Chinese level. “India therefore remains significantly less energy intensive, with a relatively high share of the service sector in GDP.”
Source: PTI

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