One Concrete Tower amidst Green Cover….

K.Natarajan

06/08/2019

Brisbane  City  Australia

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The Burning Mountain of New South Wales, Australia…

Approximately 224 km north of Sydney, just off the New England Highway, in New South Wales, Australia, is a hill that has been burning for the last 6,000 years. The fire burns underground, at a depth of about 30 meters, fueled by a coal seam that runs through the sandstone. The aborigines called the mountain Wingen, which means ‘fire’, and used its heat for warmth in the winter months, for cooking and for the manufacture of tools. They believed that the mountain was set on fire by a tribesman to warn others when the Devil carried him off deep into the earth. European explorers and early settlers knew of the Burning Mountain but they thought the smoke coming out of the ground was volcanic in origin. It was not until 1829 that a geologist identified it as a coal seam fire.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo credit: NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service

Coal seam fire, as it happens, are incredibly common, and thousands of them are burning underground across the world. In the US state of Pennsylvania alone, as many as 45 fires are burning, the most famous being the Centralia mine fire which has been burning since 1962. In India, more than seventy individual fires are burning beneath a region of the Jharia coalfield in Jharkhand. The fires, which started in 1916, are rapidly destroying the only source of prime coking coal in the country. The problem is more acute in coal-rich nations such as China, where underground fires are consuming at least 10 million tons of coal annually—with some estimate putting the figure to twenty times more. Beside losses from burned and inaccessible coal, these fires contribute significantly to air pollution and increased levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. A geologist from the University of Alaska at Fairbanks calls them “a worldwide catastrophe with no geographic territory, and if we don’t take care of them they’re going to take a toll on us.”

Underground coal-seam fires are the most persistent fires on Earth and can burn for thousands of years. There is geological evidence that coal seam fires existed as early as the Pleistocene era, although modern-day coal fires are usually the result of human undoing, such as mining accidents or open coal seams unintentionally coming in contact with oxygen. Some coals ignite spontaneously at temperatures as low as 40 °C. Once fire gets hold, temperatures climb rapidly. The permeability of the coal allows oxygen to reach the fire but poor ventilation traps the heat inside. Some coal fires exceed temperatures of 500 °C.

Coal fires are very difficult to extinguish. It’s like a frustrating, expensive version of whack-a-mole, writes Dan Cray for Time. “You put one down, then 300 feet later another one picks up,” says Mark Engle, a geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey. Many governments have completely given up on the effort.

One of the most visible changes coal seam fires make is upon the landscape and on the environment. For example, near a coal fire in Germany, elevated ground temperatures allowed many insects and spiders to survive the cold winter. In Australia’s Burning Mountain, the heat has killed off all vegetationexcept those in the periphery of the burning seam, which actually thrives from run-off from the brunt soil. Large areas of the land has collapsed as a result of the burnt-out coal seam, and smoke vent from many cracks on the ground. The heat has turned the soil red.

Unlike Pennsylvania’s Centralia, Burning Mountain is actually pretty safe for tourists. There is a 4 km-long walking trail through the region with information panels along the track unpacking the story of Burning Mountain and the fascinating Aboriginal heritage. A viewing platform at the climax of Burning Mountain walk provides a safe vantage point to view the exhaust vents and rocks transformed by extreme temperatures.

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

Natarajan

At the age of 7 , He is the youngest to scale the Mountain Kilimanjaro …

He just wanted to see some snow. But he got much more than that.
Samanyu, all of 7, scaled Africa’s loftiest peak and proved that no dream is impossible.
And that age is just a number.
Rediff.com‘s Divya Nair speaks to the mini mountaineer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMAGE: Samanyu Pothuraju at Uhuru peak, Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.
All photographs: Kind courtesy Samanyu Pothuraju/Boots and Crampons

On April 2, 2018, when Samanyu Pothuraju, 7, from Hyderabad, was woken up at 3 am by his expedition leader Bharat Taminneni, he didn’t want to wake up.

He begged, “It’s too cold outside. I don’t want to go. Please let me sleep.”

It was the very last leg of their ascent to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro so Bharat would not give in.

Recalls Lavanya Krishna, Samanyu’s mother, “Finally, Bharat told him that if he reached the summit, his favourite (Telugu film) hero Pawan Kalyan would (surely want to) meet him.”

Mention of Pawan Kalyan did the magic.

Samanyu woke up with a start.

Eight odd hours later that day, at 11.52 am, to be precise, little Samanyu made it to the top of Uhuru, the highest point of Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. And clinched a world record.

At 7, Samanyu is the youngest person in history to scale this peak, 5,895 metres above sea level.

But the Class 3 student, who “loves karate, computers and math,” did not have the faintest idea about the significance of his journey.

“I was wearing a thick jacket and gloves. My legs were paining, but I was happy,” Samanyu tells Rediff.com from Hyderabad.

Last year he was one of the youngest to reach the Mount Everest base camp in Nepal.

What inspired him to go to Africa?

Mount Everest actually.

Says Lavanya, who accompanied Samanyu till Kilimanjaro’s second base camp and not beyond, “When we reached the base camp of Mount Everest, some months ago, he (Samanyu) was disappointed that he couldn’t see much snow.”

“When I told him about Kilimanjaro, he asked me if there would be snow and if he could touch it. I said yes. He said he wanted to go and see the snow.”

For Lavanya, a bank employee who quit her job to take care of her children (Samanyu’s elder sister is 13), sending her seven year old to the top of Kilimanjaro wasn’t an emotional decision.

It was about letting Samanyu have his dream.

She consulted Raji Thammineni of Boots and Crampons, a Hyderabad-based adventure logistics company, to find out how safe the journey was.

“Raji is a friend and she advised I first send Samanyu to a training camp to see if he was fit to go.”

Samanyu passed the camp last year with with flying colours.

“He could climb 50 steps up and down with ease, trek to mountains and even made it to the Everest base camp in October 2017,” says Lavanya.

In November, Samanyu signed up with Boots and Crampons to prepare to scale Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain.

In addition to his training, Lavanya helped her son get mountain ready by showing him a video of the terrain daily.

“He saw how people climbed it in different situations — rain, sun, snow, etc.”

Samanyu was keen to see snow. But he also wanted to see East Africa’s famous blue monkeys.”

“He saw three blue monkeys,” Lavanya says.

Lavanya and Samanyu flew to Tanzania on March 27.

“It was supposed to be summer. When we reached it was raining and snowing. My head was paining on reaching the second base camp, so I was asked to rest,” says Lavanya.

The next climb, from the second base camp to the last camp, took approximately 10 hours.

The final stretch from the last camp to the summit was equally long. But Samanyu finished it like a pro, says Lavanya.

‘It required meticulous planning to achieve this mission. We took all the care and precautions to keep the child safe and help him realise (the importance) of his mission to the summit of one of the most challenging mountains in the world,’ Bharat and Raji posted on Facebook about Samanyu’s achievement.

‘Master Samanyu fought bravely with different terrains — rainforest, moorland-rocky landscape, Alpine desert and crater rim — before summiting this wonder of the world. We are extremely proud to support Master Samanyu’s achievement which brought laurels to our country,’ the post added.

The sacrifices

To prepare for Africa, Samanyu had to wake up early and religiously maintain a schedule so he could balance school, extracurricular activities and mountaineering.

“He’d wake up at 5 am and go for his karate classes followed by cycling. After school, he’d train for mountaineering,” says Lavanya.

Samanyu had to follow a strict diet. Not too much sugar. No ice cream.

“I had to eat canned food,” Samanyu tells Rediff.com. “It was tasty though.”

“After we climbed down, they gave me ice cream. I was very happy.”

What’s next

His next challenge?

“I want to do the 10 peaks challenge in Australia.”

Turns out none of this has affected his academic performance: Samanyu, who studies at the Bolton School in Hyderabad, scored over 95 per cent in his last examination.           

IMAGE: Samanyu holds up a printout with Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao’s image at Uhuru peak, Kilimanjaro.

Lavanya and Krishna spent Rs 15 lakhs funding their son’s expedition, but they feel helping Samanyu attain his dreams was their most important mission.

Here’s their message to parents: “Never stop your child from dreaming big. You can guide her /him on what is right and wrong. But support their dreams as much as you can.”

Samanyu is now waiting to meet Pawan Kalyan, as promised. His parents have tweeted the Telugu superstar about their son’s wish to meet him.

Hey, Pawan, if you are reading this feature, please do give lil’ Samanyu a call.

http://www.rediff.com

Natarajan

 

 

The Secret of Boxing icon…Mary Kom”s Success….

‘If I am super fit till 2020, I will compete but if I am not fit I will not.’                               

IMAGE: MC Mary Kom celebrates with her coaching staff after winning the Commonwealth Games gold medal. Photograph: PTI

Almost every medal that is there to be taken is in her kitty but M C Mary Kom says she still trains like a maniac, the latest result of the regimen being a gold on debut at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast on Saturday.

The 35-year-old mother-of-three, who has five world titles and an Olympic bronze medal, is seen as a sporting icon not just in India but also in other countries.

Crowned Asian champion just months ago, Mary Kom added the light flyweight (48kg) Commonwealth crown to her tally.

“The secret to my success is my fitness and I am very quick. I plan well before bouts. I am lucky that I can catch my opponents within seconds, I am able to read them very quickly,” a giggling Mary Kom said at the end of her CWG campaign.

“I don’t have injuries, all I have is minor issues like cramps sometime,” she added.

And the secret to her fitness levels and to an extent her calm demeanour in the ring is a training regimen that she refuses to let go even one day.

“When I decide something with my head and heart than even my husband cannot stop me. He sometimes tells me to take it easy after competition but I can’t help it,” she said.

“I have to train to keep myself calm. It’s a a strong urge, it’s a habit and training makes me happy. When I don’t train I feel sick sometimes,” she added.

But despite the high fitness levels, she wouldn’t commit on whether the outlandish possibility of a 2020 Olympic appearance is on her mind.

“2020 is difficult to say, but I will try my best. 48kg is not there and I will have to put on weight to be in 51kg which is never easy. If I am super fit till 2020, I will compete but if I am not fit I will not,” said the accomplished boxer.

Elated at being India’s first woman boxer to claim a Commonwealth Games gold, Mary Kom said scripting history makes her happy.

“I have won everything and all of my medals are very important. Do I need to say more? Which other boxer can claim that, now I would not be scared of anyone. I am very happy that I created history. I have got everything,” she said.

“I still think about Olympics gold but other than that I have got everything. Even in Olympics, I do have a medal. I haven’t left out anything,” she signed off.

Source……..www.rediff.com

natarajan

        

 

At 15, Anish Bhanwala is India’s youngest C’wealth Games gold medallist….

Haryana lad wins men’s 25 metres rapid fire pistol at Commonwealth Games with a new Games record                                                         

Shooting – Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games – Men’s 25m Rapid Fire Pistol – Finals – Belmont Shooting Centre – Brisbane, Australia – April 13, 2018. Anish of India poses with his gold medal. REUTERS/Eddie Safarik – UP1EE4D0DRM4H 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anish Bhanwala made history on Friday, becoming India’s youngest gold medallist at the Commonwealth Games.

The 15-year-old achieved the feat after firing his way to the gold medal with a Games record in the men’s 25 metres rapid fire pistol event at the Belmont Shooting Centre.

The Haryana lad shot down Australia’s David Chapman’s 2014 Glasgow Games record of 24 in the final with a score of 30, which included four series of five each.

The youngest in the six-man final round, he showed nerves of steel and led the more experienced marksmen through the event to emerge deserving champion.

Australia’s Sergei Evglevski claimed the silver with a score of 28, while the bronze medal went to Sam Gowin (17) of England.

Neeraj Kumar, India’s other entrant in the event, was the second shooter to be eliminated in the final after a shoot-off after scoring 13.

In winning the gold, Anish bettered the record of team mate Manu Bhaker, who had become the youngest Indian Commonwealth Games gold medallist earlier this week when she won gold in the 10 metre air rifle final.

Speaking about his feat, he said, “I’m very excited that I became the Commonwealth champion. I am the youngest athlete from India to win Commonwealth gold at 15.”

On his next competition and plans to celebrate, he added: “Next are the World Championships (in South Korea) and Asian Games (Indonesia). I will celebrate with my coach.”

In the Qualifications, Anish scored 580 to finish on top while Neeraj was second best with 579.

Anish scored 286 in stage 1 and 294 in Stage 2 qualifying, while Neeraj had 291 in Stage 1 and 288 in Stage 2.

Tags: Anish BhanwalaNeeraj KumarDavid ChapmanManu BhakerSam Gowin

Source….www.rediff.com

natarajan