This Pocket Watch Rescued From A Titanic Victim Has A Backstory Worthy Of Jack And Rose…

This tragic timepiece recovered from a victim’s body just fetched an enormous price at auction.                                                    Left: Heritage Auctions, Right: Wikimedia CommonsLeft: Front of Sinai Kantor’s watch, Right: The R.M.S. Titanic.


An antique, rusty pocket watch recovered from a passenger who died on the Titanic just sold for a pretty penny at auction.

The watch — which belonged to Sinai Kantor, a Jewish Russian immigrant aboard the Titanic on that fateful day — sold on Aug. 25 for $57,500, according to the Associated Press. The artifact was originally recovered from Sinai’s body after it was pulled from the icy waters by a recovery operation following the ship’s fateful sinking on April 15, 1912.

The winning bid on the pocket watch was placed by John Miottel, a collector of timepieces related to the Titanic disaster. According to Heritage Auctions, he runs the Miottel Museum in San Francisco, Calif., which already features timepieces from other notable Titanic passengers like Col. John Jacob Astor, the ship’s richest passenger, and a watch previously owned by the ship’s postal clerk, Oscar Woody.

“It will take one of the primary spots in our collection,” Miottel said regarding Sinai’s watch.

Sinai Kantor, then 34, traveled on the Titanic with his wife Miriam. The pair were both from Vitebsk, Russia and boarded the ship with second-class passenger tickets, which cost them £26 in 1912 (about $3,666 today).

The college-educated pair hoped to start a new life together in America. Sinai and Miriam aimed to study medicine and dentistry once they settled in New York City. Sinai was a furrier and he intended to sell trunks of furs to help fund their dreams, according to Heritage Auctions.

He ritage Auctions  The front and back of Sinai Kantor’s pocket watch.                        







Unfortunately, the couple would never get a chance to start their new life together. As a part of the “women and children first” protocol, Miriam made it safely onto a lifeboat. But there was no room for Sinai, who, along with thousands of others, was forced into the frigid waters once the ship sank.

A few days later, Sinai’s body was recovered along with many belongings, including the pocket watch recently sold at auction. It was not easy for Miriam to receive her husband’s belongings once his body was located. Only after an extensive legal battle that lasted for five weeks after her husband’s death was the widow given the rest of his items.

The pocket watch was sold by a “direct descendant of Miriam and Sinai Kantor” according to Heritage Auctions. The front of the watch has numerals written in Hebrew and the back case features an embossed design that depicts Moses holding the Ten Commandments.

After several days in the cold seawater and more than a century of age, the Swiss-made watch is not in very good shape. According to Smithsonian, the hands have almost completely worn away, the dial is stained, the movement is rusted, and the silver that once covered the watch’s case has eroded away leaving just the brass below.

Despite its decay, artifacts like Sinai Kantor’s pocket watch have helped keep the story of the Titanic captivating for more than a century.














Jessica H. asks: What happens to people you hear about who fall over in museums and damage priceless works of art, do they have to pay damages?

destroyed-ancient-potteryIf you’ve ever walked through a museum or an art gallery you may have noticed that a lot of the art and historical treasure on display is completely exposed. In fact, with the exception of some of the world’s more famous pieces of art, you could easily fall over and damage much of the artwork on display worldwide, right now. So, what would happen if you did trip and accidentally damage an irreplaceable priceless piece of art? As it turns out, not all that much.

This is mainly because of two things- first, museums and galleries will almost always have insurance to cover any such damage. Second, accidents happen and the people running the museums understand that.

In fact, in nearly every case we could find of a piece of artwork accidentally being damaged, no charges were pressed by either the museum or, in some cases, the owner of the art in question. In fact, it appears that the worst that might happen in such a scenario is that you’ll get banned from the museum.

For example, consider the case of Nick Flynn, a man who in 2006 tripped over his shoelace while walking around the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge and knocked over three 17th century vases worth about £175,000 (~$225,000). Flynn noted of the experience,

I snagged my shoelace, missed the step and crash, bang, wallop. There were a million pieces of high quality Qing ceramics lying around underneath me… Although [I knew] the vase would break I didn’t imagine it would be loose and crash into the other two.  I’m sure I only hit the first one and that must have flown across the windowsill and hit the next one, which then hit the other, like a set of dominos. I can say with my hand on my heart that it was not deliberate … it was just my Norman Wisdom moment, just one of those unbelievably unlucky things that can sometimes happen.

The museum official’s response was to merely send him a letter advising Flynn “not to visit the museum again in the near future.” Yes, he didn’t even technically get banned; just politely asked to abstain from visiting for a while.

In fact, the museum didn’t even identify Flynn to the public to spare him the embarrassment of being known as the guy who tripped and knocked over three vases that, before encountering Mr. Flynn, had managed to survive about four centuries and a full six decades sitting on those very windowsills. (We only know his name because British tabloids tracked him down after the fact.)

In another example, this one in 2015, a 12 year old boy tripped while visiting a Taiwanese art exhibition. During his fall forward, he managed to punch a hole through a 350 year old painting, Flowers, by Paola Porpora, valued at about $1,500,000… (You can watch the video of this happening here.) The organisers of the exhibition went out of their way to assure the boy and his family that they wouldn’t be liable to pay any damages nor in any trouble legally. In fact, one of the organisers, Sun Chi-hsuan, publicly insisted that the boy wasn’t to blame.

In yet another case, in 2010, a young woman, who as per usual with these sorts of things went unnamed publicly, damaged a $130,000,000 Picasso painting called The Actor by falling into it during an art class. The result was a six inch tear in the lower right-hand corner. In this specific case, the museum officials were more concerned with reporting that the woman was uninjured than the fact that her accident had potentially wiped away half the painting’s value.

So those are pure accidents. What about more negligent cases? All evidence would seem to indicate that museums and galleries similarly seem hesitant to do anything to the patron in question.  Beyond countless selfie-related accidental destruction of art that has become something of a frequent occurrence in recent years, there is the case of a clock made by artist James Borden that hung in Columbia Pennsylvania’s National Watch and Clock Museum for over two decades before being destroyed. How did it meet its end? An elderly couple began touching and pulling on its various bits, seemingly trying to see what the clock looked like when working; this ultimately caused the clock to come crashing down. (You can watch a video of this here.) The museum chose not to press any charges nor seek compensation for the damages. In fact, as in other examples, they didn’t even berate the individuals in the press, choosing not even to name them at all.

That said, we did find one exception to this “no fault” negligent destruction of art general rule. This happened when a tourist scaled the facade of a Portuguese train station to take a selfie with an 1890 statue of Dom Sebastiao, resulting in the statue’s destruction when said tourist accidentally knocked the statue over and it shattered on the ground below. The unnamed man was later charged with destruction of public property.

As for the non-public, even in cases where museum or gallery staff damage or destroy the art, the individual usually gets off with only a slap on the wrist if it truly was an honest accident. For example, in 2000, some porters at the Bond Street auction house accidentally put a painting by artist Lucian Freud, valued at £100,000 (about $130,000), into a crushing machine…

The painting was stored in a large wooden box, which the porters assumed was empty and put out with the rest of the trash. The auction house assured papers that the porters wouldn’t lose their jobs over the matter, and that it was an honest mistake.

In another case, an unnamed cleaning lady tossed a bunch of modern art valued at about $15,000 into the garbage in 2014. To be fair to the cleaning lady, the “art” in question, created by modernist Paul Branca, was a bunch of cardboard boxes haphazardly strewn across the floor of a section of the gallery (modern art everybody). Again, no action was taken against the cleaner. (We can only hope Mr. Branca was on his game that day, and he simply took the opportunity to go full meta-on it, displaying his former cardboard box art now in the garbage bin, perhaps even increasing its value in that case…)

All this said, while it appears most museums, galleries and even artists will take the destruction or damage of their work in good humor if done accidentally (even if there was a fair bit of negligence involved), the same can’t be said if the damage is malicious. In these cases, the museum can and will press charges, and one might expect a bit of jail time.

For instance, in the aforementioned vase-smashing story, sometime later there was some thought that Flynn had smashed the vases on purpose for the publicity of it (given his going out of his way to give interviews about it and some of his comments therein, despite that the museum had so carefully avoided assigning any blame or mentioning his name). As a result, he was eventually detained for a night, though noted he was treated very well while under arrest, with the police simply trying to determine if he’d done it on purpose. Once they decided it had indeed been an accident, he was let go with no further consequences.

In another instance, one Andrew Shannon punched a Monet painting, Argenteuil Basin with a Single Sail Boat, then worth about £7m (about $9 million). He later claimed he tripped and fell and it was an accident, but security footage clearly showed him intentionally punching the painting.  When he was detained by security guards, a can of paint stripper was also found in his pocket.  He was given a five year prison sentence.

This brings us to perhaps the most obvious question that arises from all this- why is such valuable, and often irreplaceable, art stored in such a way that people can just walk up to it and damage it (whether accidentally or not).

Well one reason is cost- placing every painting, sculpture and fresco behind protective glass or under the careful watch of a burly guard is expensive. Contrary to the value of the pieces they sometimes contain, museums and art galleries often aren’t swimming in money.

A second, perhaps more important reason, is that it would disrupt the experience of viewing the art in question; ensuring the art can be properly appreciated is of tantamount importance to those running various museums and galleries. It’s noted that said institutions have to constantly strike a balance between “keeping works of art accessible to the public, and protecting them at the same time”. Such a balance necessitates a degree of trust be placed in the public to not paw at the priceless works of art on display and to otherwise be careful around them.

Bonus Facts:

  • Perhaps the most famous example of a piece of art being damaged maliciously is the time a man called Piero Cannata attacked Michelangelo’s David with a hammer, breaking off the statue’s toe. Prior to Cannata’s attack, visitors were free to walk right up to the statue to appreciate it up close. Afterwards, it was placed behind a protective glass screen.
  • In 2012 a fishbowl personally painted and signed by Orson Welles belonging to conservative firebrand Glenn Beck was irreparably damaged by a cleaner who assumed the bowl was dirty.  Contrary to his fiery personality on air, Beck forgave the cleaner, stating: “I can’t be pissed at her because here’s somebody who wants to go above and beyond. Here’s somebody who wants to do the right thing, somebody who saw a fish bowl that looks like it hadn’t been cleaned since 1940. And took it in and washed it. Scrubbed, scrubbed the signature, scrubbed all the little fishies, scrubbed it all.”
  • It appears that insurers will cough up to pay for damage to art even if the person who damages it is the owner themselves, as famously happened with casino magnate, Steve Wynn after he drove his elbow through a $139,000,000 painting by Picasso while gesturing towards it. After a few months in court, Wynn’s insurance did eventually pay up. Wynn later sold the painting for more than it had been valued at prior to the damage.
  • Speaking of garbage art, there is a definite trend of avant garde modern artists creating pieces mostly made up of literal trash that gets accidentally thrown away by cleaners. Among the many examples of this we found in researching this piece includes the case of Damien Hirst (the shark in formaldehyde guy). In 2001 a work of art of his consisting of pieces of actual trash strategically placed around a room containing other of his works was thrown away by a janitor identified only as “Mr Asare”. Asara thought it was just left over trash from the opening party the night before. Said Asare, “I didn’t think for a second that it was a work of art – it didn’t look much like art to me. So I cleared it all into binbags and dumped it.” Upon hearing about this, Hirst was reported as finding the whole thing hilarious, while a critic of Hirst’s work was quoted as saying:

    The cleaner obviously ought to be promoted to an art critic of a national newspaper. He clearly has a fine critical eye and can spot rubbish.

Source….www. today i


What a 60 ft Bridge in Salem meant for Script writer Karunanidhi ….!

The dialogues Karunanidhi penned from the bridge made cinema halls reverberate with claps and whistles of movie buffs and catapulted him to greater heights in filmdom and in politics.









Even after he became a Chief Minister and a national leader, M Karunanidhi never forgot his humble beginnings. Despite his hectic schedule, Karunanidhi would make sure to travel to a 60-foot bridge on the Yercaud Ghat road from time to time.

He often reminisced of the days when he used to sit there and pen unforgettable dialogues for iconic films like Mandri Kumari.

The dialogues he penned from there made cinema halls reverberate with claps and whistles of movie buffs, and catapulted Karunanidhi to greater heights in filmdom and in politics.

After he moved to Madras, it seemed he missed the panoramic view of Salem city from the mountain heights and the fresh air that he used to enjoy at the 60-foot bridge and longed to return to his favourite joint.










The 60-ft bridge on Yercaud Ghat road where Karunanidhi used to sit and write.

His colourful film career took flight right at Salem. In 1949-50, M Karunanidhi stepped into Modern Theaters as a dialogue writer on the recommendation of poet-cum-lyricist KM Sherif, writes R Venkatasamy, who wrote Mudhalalli, a biography of TR Sundaram, the legendary producer and the owner of Modern Theaters.

Karunanidhi had worked in Coimbatore Central Studios and at many other studios in Kodambakkam, but it was Salem’s Modern Theaters that gave him his big break into the world of Tamil cinema.

The writer of the film Ponmudi, which was under production, had left his work unfinished and TR Sundaram decided to assign Karunanidhi the task of completing it. Sundaram liked his work and Karunanidhi was employed at a monthly salary.

Karunanidhi had with him the script for a stage play based on Tamil epic Kundalakesi. TR Sundaram was impressed by it and figured that it would make a good movie if it was adapted. And this was then converted into the legendary Mandri Kumari.

American movie master Eliss R Duncan, who was the stable director of Modern Theaters, directed the movie. It was a box office hit and made Karunanidhi into an instant celebrity. The film also gave future Chief Minister MG Ramachandran a big turn in his career.

At first, Eliss R Duncan was hesitant to cast MGR as the hero in Mandri Kumari because of a minor curve on his chin. However, Karunanidhi strongly recommended MGR, suggesting that a short moustache can hide the flaw. The idea was accepted and the film took MGR to great heights in his film career and thus forged a lasting bond between him and Karunanidhi, and both, despite becoming political rivals, had a deep mutual respect for each other.

Mandri Kumari was also the first time that the dialogue-writer of the movie was given credit on the movie posters, writes Venkatasamy. Karunanidhi was one of the few celebrities recognised for his signature dialogues.

Karunanidhi’s contemporaries in Modern Theaters were lyricist Kanadasan, MGR and Janaki. The latter two became chief ministers as well. NT Ramarao, who also worked for Modern Theaters, became the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh.










A rare photo of Karunanidhi with his colleagues at Modern Theaters, including late lyricist Kanadasan

Such was the platform that Modern Theaters gave to talented people. It was a one-of-its-kind studio outside Kollywood that made 118 films in all South Indian languages as well as in English. It produced the first colour film in Tamil – Albabavum Narpathu Thirudarkalum. TR Sundaram was seen as a towering figure and Karunanidhi, MGR and Kanadasan who were celebrities, used to call him, “Mudhalalli” (master), writes the biographer.

What remains of Modern Theaters today is only the iconic arch on the Yercaud Road in Salem.

Karunanidhi’s association with Salem’s Modern Theaters remembered by garlanding a poster on the iconic arch.

There is hardly anyone still alive who remembers Karunanidhi’s life in Salem at Sanathi Street in Fort Salem except Vekatasamy (79). The tiny tiled house where he lived survived till recently.

Whenever Karunanidhi came to Salem, he would drive past the arch to the sixty-foot bridge and spend time there alone, remembering his humble beginnings. For the old-timers, a stopover at the bridge will surely conjure up the unforgettable song “Varai, nee Varai,” as it was here that the song was shot.










The spot on Yercaud Ghat road where Karunanidhi used to sit and write.

The last time he was reported going to the place was in 2009 when he came to inaugurate the hi-tech government hospital in Salem.

Source…..G.Rajasekaran in http://www.the


10th August 2018


Mail Delivery By Rockets…..

The history of the postal system is inextricably tied to the history of transport. Advances in transportation technology have not only allowed people to travel farther and explore more territory, it also allowed the postal system to expand their influence over a larger area. As new inventions and discoveries shortened the time of travel, messages and letters began to reach distant recipients in lesser time, and the postal system became more efficient. By the time the first trans-pacific airmail was delivered, the postal service had tried every mode of transport available to man, including rockets.

The cover of a rocket mail delivered in the state of Sikkim, India, on 28 September, 1935. Photo 











The earliest type of missile mail was one which you’ve probably seen in historical movies where a parchment is wrapped around the shaft of an arrow and shot through the air into a castle or enemy territory. A more modern version of the idea was presented to an astonished audience by a German poet and dramatist, Heinrich von Kleist, through a newspaper article in 1810. At that time rocketry was still in its infancy. Rockets of that age were gunpowder powered and were primarily used as artillery in battlefields. Kleist amused himself by calculating that a rocket could deliver a letter from Berlin to Breslau, a distance of 180 miles, in half a day or one-tenth of the time required by a horse mounted carrier.

Kleist’s theory was put into practice on the small Polynesian island of Tonga, halfway around the world, by a British inventor, Sir William Congreve, using rockets he designed. But the rockets were so unreliable that the idea of using them in mail delivery was summarily dismissed, and no further thought was put into it until nearly a century later, when Hermann Julius Oberth, a German physicist and engineer and one of the founding fathers of rocketry, revisited the topic in 1927.











Hermann Oberth (center, in profile) demonstrates his tiny liquid-fuel rocket engine in Berlin in 1930. Photo credit: National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution

In June 1928, Professor Oberth delivered a convincing lecture on the occasion of the annual meeting of the Scientific Society of Aeronautics in Danzig, where he proposed the development of small rockets with automatic guidance that could carry urgent mail over distances of 600 to 1,200 miles. Professor Oberth’s lecture generated a great deal of interest throughout the world, and even the American ambassador to Germany took note. But it was a young Austrian engineer that became a pioneer in this field.

Living in the Austrian Alps, the young engineer Friedrich Schmiedl was well aware of the fact that mail delivery was extremely painful between mountain villages. What could be an eight hour walk between two villages could be only two miles apart as the rocket flies. Friedrich Schmiedl was already experimenting with solid-fuel rockets, and in 1928 undertook experiments with stratospheric balloons. After several unsuccessful attempts, Schmiedl launched the first rocket mail in 1931 and delivered 102 letters to a place five kilometers away. The rocket was remotely controlled and landed using a parachute. His second rocket delivered 333 letters.

Schmiedl’s rocket mails inspired several other countries such as Germany, England, the Netherlands, USA, India and Australia to conduct similar experiments with varying degree of success. In 1934, in an attempt to demonstrate to the British the viability of his rocket delivery system, a German businessman named Gerhard Zucker loaded a rocket with 4,800 pieces of mail and launched it from an island in Scotland. Government officials watched as the rocket soared into the sky and exploded, scattering scorched letters all over the beach like confetti. After his failed demonstration, Zucker was deported back to Germany where he was immediately arrested on suspicion of espionage or collaboration with Britain.

Experiments on rocket mail were largely successful in India, where a pioneering aerospace engineer named Stephen Smith perfected the techniques of delivering mail by rocket. Between 1934 and 1944, Smith made 270 launches, at least 80 of which contained mail. Smith created history when he delivered by rocket the first food package containing rice, grains, spices and locally-made cigarettes to the earthquake wracked region of Quetta, now in Pakistan, across a river. Later, Smith tied a cock and a hen together to one of his rockets and launched the frightened birds across another river. Both birds survived the trip and were donated to a private zoo in Calcutta after their ordeal. His next parcel contained a snake and an apple.

Despite his quirky nature and questionable choice of payload, Stephen Smith was wholeheartedly supported by the Maharaja of Sikkim, a British Protectorate in the eastern Himalayas, where he carried most of his rocket experiments.









A 1934 Indian Rocket Mail. Photo credit:








Another Indian Rocket Mail from 1934. Photo credit:

Things didn’t really took off in the US until 1959, when the Post Office Department fired a Regulus cruise missile with its nuclear warhead replaced by two mail containers, towards a Naval Station in Mayport, Florida. The 13,000-pound missile lifted off with 3,000 letters and twenty-two minutes later struck the target at Mayport, 700 miles away. The letters were retrieved, stamped and circulated as usual.

All 3,000 letters were copies of the same written by the Postmaster General. Each crew member of the submarine that launched the missile received a copy of the letter, so did President Eisenhower and other US leaders as well as postmasters from around the world.

“The great progress being made in guided missilery will be utilized in every practical way in the delivery of the United States mail,” the letter read. “You can be certain that the Post Office Department will continue to cooperate with the Defense Department to achieve this objective.”

The successful delivery of the mails prompted Postmaster Summerfield to enthusiastically declare that “before man reaches the moon, mail will be delivered within hours from New York to California, to Britain, to India or Australia by guided missiles.”

But it was not to be. The cost of rocket mail was too high—that little experiment with the Regulus cruise missile cost the US government $1 million, but generated only $240 in revenue by sale of postage stamps. Neither the Post Office nor the Department of Defense could justify the cost of using missile mail, especially when airplanes were already making mail deliveries across the world in a single night at the fraction of a cost.

And that was the end of the program. No further attempts to deliver mail by rockets have been made since then.

Source….. Kaushik in http://www.amusing



காஞ்சி வரதராஜப் பெருமாள் கோயிலின் ஆதி மூர்த்தம் எங்கே இருக்கிறார் தெரியுமா? – அத்தி வரதரின் திருக்கதை!

காஞ்சிபுரம் வரதராஜப் பெருமாள் கோயில் திருக்குளத்தில் வாசம் செய்யும் அத்தி வரதரைப் பற்றி ஒரு தகவல் வாட்ஸ்ஆப்பில் பரவி வருகிறது. அடுத்த வருடம் ஜூலை மாதம் 15-ம் தேதி திருக்குளத்தில் வாசம் செய்யும் அத்தி வரதர், வெளியே எழுந்தருளி பக்தர்களுக்குத் திருக்காட்சி தரவிருக்கிறார் என்பதுதான் அந்தத் தகவல். காஞ்சிபுரம் வரதராஜப் பெருமாளின் ஆதி மூர்த்தம்தான் அத்தி வரதர். தற்போது நாம் கருவறையில் தரிசிப்பது வரதராஜப் பெருமாள் என்று சொல்லப்பட்டாலும், உண்மையில் அவர் பழைய சீவரம் பகுதியிலிருந்து கொண்டுவரப்பட்ட தேவராஜப் பெருமாள்தான். இந்தக் கோயிலின் ஆதி மூர்த்தியான அத்தி வரதர் பிரம்ம தேவரால் உருவாக்கப்பட்டவர். அவர்தான் திருக்குளத்தில் வாசம் செய்வதுடன், 40 வருடங்களுக்கு ஒருமுறை வெளியில் எழுந்தருளி பக்தர்களுக்குக் காட்சி தருகிறார். அத்தி வரதரின் புராண வரலாற்றை இங்கே தெரிந்துகொள்ளலாமே…

திருவரங்கம், திருப்பதிக்கு எல்லாம் முந்தைய புராணச் சிறப்பு கொண்டது காஞ்சி வரதராஜப் பெருமாள் கோயில் தலவரலாறு. ஆதியில் சிருஷ்டியை மேற்கொண்ட பிரம்மதேவர், தனது காரியம் செவ்வனே நடைபெற காஞ்சியில் ஒரு யாகம் செய்தார். தன்னை அழைக்காமல் யாகம் செய்த பிரம்மதேவரிடம் கோபம் கொண்ட சரஸ்வதி தேவி, யாகத்துக்கு வரவில்லை. சரஸ்வதி தேவி இல்லாமல் பிரம்மதேவரால் யாகத்தைப் பூர்த்தி செய்ய முடியாது. எனவே, பிரம்ம தேவர் சரஸ்வதி தேவிக்குப் பதிலாக காயத்ரி, சாவித்திரி ஆகியோரின் துணையுடன் யாகத்தைத் தொடங்கினார். சினம் கொண்ட சரஸ்வதி தேவி, பிரம்மதேவரின் யாகசாலையை அழிக்க வேகவதி ஆறாக மாறி வெள்ளப்பெருக்கெடுத்து வந்தாள். பிரம்மதேவரின் யாகத்தைக் காக்கத் திருவுள்ளம் கொண்ட திருமால், நதிக்கு நடுவில் சயனக் கோலம் கொண்டார். வெட்கிய சரஸ்வதி தேவி தன் பாதையை மாற்றிக்கொண்டாள். பிரம்மதேவரின் யாகமும் நிறைவு பெற்றது. தனக்காக வந்து யாகத்தைக் காத்த பெருமாளின் கருணையை எண்ணி நெகிழ்ந்த பிரம்மதேவர், பெருமாளைப் பணிந்து தொழுதார். தேவர்களும் பெருமாளை வணங்கி வரங்களைக் கேட்டனர். அவர்கள் விரும்பிய எல்லா வரங்களையும் கொடுத்ததால், பெருமாள், `வரதர்’ என்ற திருப்பெயர் கொண்டார்.

ஒரு சித்திரை மாதம் திருவோண நட்சத்திரத்தில் பெருமாள் தேவர்கள் அனைவருக்கும் புண்ணியகோடி விமானத்தில் சங்கு, சக்கரம், கதை தாங்கிய திருக்கோலத்தில் காட்சி தந்தார். எனவே, அதே நாளில் பிரம்ம தேவர், தனக்கு தரிசனம் தந்த பெருமாளின் திருவடிவத்தை அத்தி மரத்தில் வடித்து வழிபட்டார். இப்படித்தான் அத்தி வரதர் மண்ணுலகில் எழுந்தருளினார். பிரம்மதேவரால் உருவான அத்திமர வரதராஜரை தேவலோக யானையான ஐராவதம் தனது முதுகில் சுமந்தது. பின்னர் ஐராவதம் சிறு குன்றாக உருமாறி அத்தி (யானை)கிரி, வேழமலை என்று பெயர் பெற்றது. அத்திகிரியில் எழுந்தருளிய பெருமாள் ஞானியர்களுக்கும் தேவர்களுக்கும் வேண்டும் வரங்களை வேண்டியபடியே அருள்புரிந்து வந்தார்.

பின்னர் ஒருமுறை பிரம்மதேவர் அத்தி வரதரை முன்னிருத்தி ஒரு யாகம் செய்தார். யாகத் தீயின் காரணமாக அத்தி வரதர் பின்னப்பட்டுவிட்டார். பிரம்மதேவர் பதறிப் போனார். வேறு எந்த வடிவத்திலும் பெருமாளை உருவாக்க முடியாத சூழலில், பிரம்மா திருமாலை வேண்டினார். அவருடைய ஆலோசனையின்படி, அத்தி வரதரை, கோயிலிலுள்ள நூற்றுக் கால் மண்டபத்துக்கு வடக்கிலுள்ள இரண்டு திருக்குளங்களில் தென் திசையிலுள்ள நீராழி மண்டபத்துக்குக் கீழே உள்ள மற்றொரு மண்டபத்தில் வெள்ளிப் பேழையில் சயனக் கோலத்தில் வைத்தார். யாகத்தீயில் உஷ்ணமான பெருமான், கலியுகம் முழுக்க இந்த அமிர்தசரஸ் எனும் ஆனந்த புஷ்கரணி திருக்குளத்தில் குளிர்ந்த நிலையில் இருப்பார் என்றும், இதனால் எந்தக் காலத்திலும் இந்தத் திருக்குளம் வற்றாது என்றும் பிரம்மதேவருக்குச் சொல்லப்பட்டது. அத்தி வரதர் திருக்குளத்துக்கு அடியே சென்றதும், பழைய சீவரம் என்ற ஊரில் இருந்த தேவராஜப் பெருமாள் அத்திகிரிக்கு அருள வந்தார்.






ஆதியில் தோன்றிய அத்தி வரதர் நீருக்கடியே அறிதுயிலில் இருக்கிறார். பிரம்மதேவருக்குப் பெருமாள் கட்டளையிட்டபடி, 40 ஆண்டுகளுக்கு ஒருமுறை குளத்து நீரை எல்லாம் இறைத்து விட்டு பெருமாள் மேலே எழுந்தருளுவார். சயன மற்றும் நின்ற கோலமாக 48 நாள்கள் பக்தர்களுக்கு வரதர் சேவை சாதிப்பார். 40 ஆண்டுகளுக்கு ஒருமுறையே இவரைத் தரிசிக்க முடியும் என்பதால் அப்போது பக்தர்கள் கூட்டம் அலைமோதும். வாழ்வில் ஒருமுறையேனும் இவரை தரிசிப்பது மோட்சத்தை அளிக்கும் என்பார்கள். இரண்டாவது முறை யாரேனும் தரிசித்தால் வைகுந்த பதவி பெறுவார்கள் என்பதும் ஐதீகம். மூன்று முறை தரிசித்த மகா பாக்கியவான்களும் சிலருண்டு. 1939 மற்றும் 1979-ம் ஆண்டுகளில் வெளியான அத்தி வரதர் அடுத்த ஆண்டு வெளிப்பட இருக்கிறார்.








40 வருடங்களுக்கு ஒருமுறை வெளியே எழுந்தருளி பக்தர்களுக்குச் சேவை சாதிக்கும் அத்தி வரதர், அடுத்த வருடம் ஜூலை மாதம் 15-ம் தேதி வெளியே வரப்போகிறார்  என்று தற்போது வாட்ஸ் அப்பில் பரவி வரும் தகவல் பற்றி கோயில் நிர்வாகத்திடம் கேட்டோம். “2019-ம் வருடம் வைகாசி மாதம் நடைபெறும் பிரம்மோற்சவத்தின்போதுதான் அத்தி வரதரை வெளியில் எழுந்தருளச் செய்யும் நாள்கள் குறித்து முடிவு செய்யப்படும். மற்றபடி தற்போது வெளிவரும் தகவல்கள் வதந்திதான்” என்று கூறினார்கள்.

நாளும் கிழமையும் எதுவாக இருந்தால் என்ன? அடுத்த வருடம் அத்தி வரதர் நமக்கெல்லாம் அருள்புரிவதற்காக திருக்குளத்திலிருந்து வெளியே எழுந்தருளவேண்டும்; நாம் கண்கள் குளிரக் குளிர அவரை தரிசித்து அருள்பெறவேண்டும் என்பதே பக்தர்கள் அனைவரின் விருப்பமுமாகும்.

Source…. Mu.HariKamaraj  in




The Meteorite That Crashed Into A Car…..


The Peekskill meteorite car sitting at a collector’s garage in Peekskill. Photo credit: Ryan Thompson/Flickr 








On October 9, 1992, a brilliant fireball flashed across the evening sky over eastern United States startling thousands of spectators attending the weekly high school football matches being played across the East Coast. The fireball, that witnesses described as being brighter than the full moon, was travelling almost horizontally and heading northeast. In just forty seconds, the meteorite had crossed four states travelling 700 kilometers through the atmosphere. The intense heat and friction broke the space rock into more than 70 pieces, several of which were large and fast enough to produce their own glowing trails. A considerably weighty chunk of the meteorite, about the size of a bowling ball, eventually touched ground at Peekskill, New York, with a loud boom.

17-year-old high-school student Michelle Knapp was watching television in her parents’ living room when she heard a thunderous crash outside. Knapp ran outside to investigate the noise. There she found, standing on the driveway, her 1980 Chevy Malibu. The Malibu’s trunk was twisted and battered with a hole through it. A sizeable rock over 12 kilograms in weight lay under the car, embedded in the asphalt. It was still smoking and smelled of rotten eggs. The rock had narrowly missed the fuel tank.

Understandably, Michelle was not happy; she had recently bought the car for $400 and now it was totaled. Michelle did what anybody else would have done—she called the cops and reported an act of vandalism. It was a neighbor who reasoned that vandals can’t throw rocks through cars and surmised that the rock was from outer space. The suspicion proved correct when the very next day, a curator from the American Museum of Natural History in New York City confirmed that the object was indeed a meteorite, the same one that streaked across the northeastern sky distracting coaches and parents from their kid,s football games.

Michelle Knapp in the driveway with her Malibu taken only days after the historic impact. Photo credit: John Bortle

It was this impeccable timing of the Peekskill meteorite that made it one of the most witnessed and most recorded meteorite events in history. Dozens of spectators to the high school football games had brought camcorders with them, and when the meteorite flashed over their heads many of these cameras turned skywards, towards the brief but more exciting event. As many as 16 different observers from various locations recorded the event on tape—a record that was not broken until 2013 when a meteor exploded over Russia. The sixteen videos of the fireball taken from multiple perspectives made it possible for scientists to determine the exact trajectory of the meteorite. Indeed, Peekskill is one of the few meteorites whose orbit is precisely known.

As for the car, Michelle spent no time securing a deal with a renowned meteorite collector for an amount that was nearly two orders of magnitude more than what Michelle had paid. Since then, the car has been on display in numerous cities throughout the world, including Paris, Tokyo, Munich and more.

Source……Kaushik in http://www.amusing planet .com




The valley Of Names….

For over seventy years, people have been driving out in their RVs to a remote desert area near the city of Yuma, in the US state of Arizona, to write their names and leave messages on the desert floor. Unlike regular graffiti that is hurtful to the environment, at Valley of Names messages are spelled out by carefully arranging rocks and small boulders in the hard-packed white sand.

The practice probably began during the Second World War when U.S. Army General George Patton brought his soldiers to this flat rocky area to train. This training camp, known as the Desert Training Center, was the largest military training ground in the history of military maneuvers. The camp grounds stretched from the outskirts of Pomona, California to within 50 miles of Phoenix, Arizona, and from the suburbs of Yuma to the southern tip of Nevada.








Photo credit: Bob Bales/Flickr

The earliest messages were probably made by the soldiers and the area took the name of Graffiti Mesa. After the war, the area was rediscovered and by the 1960’s the tradition had become a rite of passage for local off-roaders. In the 1970s, what was a four-acre area with a few hundred names swelled to thousands of names spread over 1,200 acres of the desert floor.

Every few years a team of volunteers would go out to clear away debris from the desert winds and replace rocks that might have been washed away in a storm. These messages are precious; some of them are over fifty years old.

Earlier there was plenty of lava rock on the east side of the hill to work with. Now they are all used up and visitors have to haul their own rocks to create the graffiti. There are some who have been coming back to this site for more than 20 years.