- Bangalore, Ahmedabad and then…
- Life goes on. We have by now perfected the art of getting on with life in spite of bomb blasts. It is time terrorists learn that their antics are giving them nothing more than a few scalps. It is they who should do lot of introspection than the governments. If they are trying to divide communities, they have miserably failed. If they are trying to administer a shock to the community or country at large, they have failed equally miserably. If they are trying to gain international attention or sympathy, nothing is coming their way. What are they going to achieve by these killings? Time for them to introspect. As usual, political parties will blame each other on various counts; but life goes on. People with nefarious designs can keep trying their best; but they will not achieve their desires. Life will go on. And that is important. It should go on.
- Research results on polar light patterns
- Heard about aurora borealis and aurora australis? These are the scientific names for the phenomenon of coloured light displays in the sky, usually observed at night, at the polar regions of the earth. This dance of lights occurs once every two or three days. Scientists remained clueless so far about why these phenomena occur. Now, they appear to have found the reasons, courtesy Themis.
- Themis is a fleet of five small satellites. It has observed the beginning of a geomagnetic storm in February, while ground observatories in Canada and Alaska recorded the brightening of the northern lights. The observed storm about 1,28,747 kilometres from the earth was triggered by a phenomenon known as magnetic reconnection. Every so often, the earth’s magnetic field lines are stretched like rubber bands by solar energy, snap, are thrown back to earth and reconnect, in effect creating a short circuit.
- This study enabled NASA to find that magnetic explosions about one-third of the way to the moon cause the northern lights or aurora borealis, to burst in spectacular shapes and colours, and dance across the sky. The findings should help scientists better understand geomagnetic storms that can knock out satellites, harm astronauts in orbit and disrupt power and communications on the earth.
- EU and the US promise freer movement for our professionals at the WTO talks
- While the EU proposed replacing the current restrictive regime of economic needs test and labour market test with a fixed quota for professionals every year, the US said that the administration was willing to address issues related to additional concessions in movement of workers and professionals with the Congress.
- The economic needs test is a non-tariff barrier which requires that it be proved that the economy of the country to which a worker is travelling to for providing services, really requires his/her services.
- As many as thirty members of the WTO with interest in liberalisation of the services sector including India, Australia, the EU, the US, Pakistan, Brazil, Canada, Malaysia and Mexico participated in a ‘signalling’ conference on Saturday, in which, they indicated the areas where they could give concessions and where they would want more openings in the markets of other countries. The ‘signalling’ conference was designed to give members an idea about the direction in which the services talks could go once issues in other areas like agriculture and Nama (industrial goods) were resolved.
- An international body for Tea under the aegis of FAO to be launched?
- Leading tea producers like India, Sri Lanka, Kenya, China and Vietnam have decided to set up a body with an aim to coordinate among themselves for the better functioning of the industry in member countries.
- Progress on the SPTF (Special Purpose Tea Fund): The Rs 4,700 crore fund, that was set up for replantation and rejuvenation of the ageing tea bushes in the country, has enabled about 11,000 hectare to be brought under replantation and rejuvenation.
- On weak global leadership
- Today’s ET has a thought provoking article from one of my favourite authors - Jeffrey Sachs. His argument is that there is a serious dearth of global leadership to solve global problems. He says that there are four problems contributing to this. Look at them:
- One is the incoherence of the American leadership.
- The second problem is the lack of global financing. The hunger crisis can be overcome in poor countries if they get help to grow more food. The global energy and climate crises can be overcome if the world invests together to develop new energy technologies. Diseases such as malaria can be overcome through globally coordinated investments in disease control. The oceans, rainforests, and air can be kept safe through pooled investments in environmental protection.
- The third problem is the disconnection between global scientific expertise and politicians.
- The fourth problem is that the G-8 ignores the very international institutions — notably the United Nations and the World Bank — that offer the best hope to implement global solutions.
- Can there be a limit to optimism?
- I am sure many of you feel that you are optimists. But are you this optimistic as the Dutch?
- One needs to be courageous to be optimistic.
- About beach volleyball
- The game was invented by William G Morgan in 1895 in
, Massachusetts YMCA. When he went to Holyoke Holyokeafter finishing school from , he realised that not many people were interested in playing basketball. So he came up with a new game which was more recreational. Initially, a basketball was used without a net and the game involved throwing the ball from one group to the other. Springfield
- This leisurely sport was brought to
around 70 years ago when some physical education trainers went abroad for training. YMCA, India Collegeof Physical Education, Chennai, took it seriously and started volleyball training in . Later, the Volleyball Federation of India was formed and since then, the Indian team started participating in world championships, Asian Games, Asian Championship, Commonwealth Championship and many other international tournaments. India Indiawon the gold medal at the Invitation Asian Meet in in 1955. In the third and fourth Asian Games held at Japan Tokyoand won the bronze and silver medals, respectively. Djakarta, India
- Despite the successes, beach volleyball in
has been on the fringes of the sporting world till now and has not yet managed to get a favourable place in the visual media as the organisers find it difficult to get sponsors. India