மற(றை)க்கப்பட்ட உண்மைகள்! – வீட்டில் விளக்கேற்றுங்கள்!….

‘விளக்கு ஏற்றிய வீடு வீணாய் போகாது’ என்று ஒரு பழமொழி உள்ளது.
வீட்டிலும், கோவிலிலும் ஏன் விளக்கேற்றுகிறோம் தெரியுமா?


தீபத்தின் சுடருக்கு, தன்னை சுற்றி உள்ள தேவையற்ற எதிர்மறை சக்திகளை ஈர்க்கும் சக்தி உண்டு.
அவ்வாறு ஈர்க்கும்போது, தானாகவே, ‘பாசிடிவ் எனர்ஜி’ அதிகரிக்கும்.
நம் சுற்றுப்புறம் தெளிவாகவும், பலத்தோடும் காணப்படும். இரண்டு நாள் வீட்டில் விளக்கேற்றாமல் இருந்தால், வீடே மயானம் போல் தோன்றும். எல்லாருமே சோர்வாக இருப்பர்.
நம் உடலில் இருக்கும் ஏழு சக்கரங்களில் மூலாதாரமும், சுவாதிஷ்டானமும், நல்லெண்ணெய் விளக்கு ஏற்றுவதால் துாய்மையடைகிறது. அதேபோல், மணிபூரகம், அனாஹதம் இரண்டும் நெய் விளக்கு ஏற்ற, துாய்மை அடைந்து, நற்பலன்களை அடைகிறது.
நம் உடலில் இருக்கும் நாடிகளில் சூரிய நாடி, சந்திர நாடி, சுஷம்னா நாடி ஆகியவை மிக முக்கியமாக கருதப்படுகிறது.
* சூரிய நாடி, நல்ல சக்தியையும், வெப்பத்தையும் தருகிறது. சந்திர நாடி குளுமையை தருகிறது
* சுஷம்னா நாடி அந்த பரம்பொருளுடன் சம்பந்தப்பட்டு ஆன்மிக பாதையை வகுக்கிறது
* நல்லெண்ணெய் விளக்கு ஏற்ற, சூரிய நாடி சுறுசுறுப்படைகிறது
* நெய் விளக்கு, சுஷம்னா நாடியை துாண்டிவிட உதவுகிறது
* பொதுவாக நெய் தீபம், சகலவித சுகங்களையும் வீட்டிற்கு நலன்களையும் தருகிறது.
திருவிளக்கை எப்போது வேண்டுமானாலும் ஏற்றலாம்; இதற்கு தடையேதும் இல்லை.
ஆனால், பொதுவாக மாலை, 6:30 மணிக்கு ஏற்றுவதே நம் மரபு.
சூரியன் மறைந்ததும், சில விஷ சக்திகள் சுற்றுச்சூழலில் பரவி வீட்டிற்குள்ளும் வர வாய்ப்பிருக்கிறது.
ஒளியின் முன் அந்த விஷ சக்திகள் அடிபட்டு போகும். எனவே, அந்நேரத்தில் விளக்கேற்ற வேண்டும் என்கின்றனர்.
ஒரு நாளிதழில் வெளிவந்த நிகழ்வு இது: அமெரிக்காவில் இருக்கும் தன் மகனின் வீட்டுக்கு சென்றிருந்த ஒரு தாய், மாலையில், மகனும் – மருமகளும் தாமதமாக வீட்டுக்கு வருவதை பார்த்தார். இருவரும் வேலைக்கு செல்பவர்கள்.
ஒருநாள் மகன் முன்னதாகவும், ஒருநாள் மருமகள் முன்னதாகவும் வருவர்.
மகனை அழைத்து, தாமதமாக வரும் காரணம் கேட்க, ‘உனக்கு இதெல்லாம் புரியாதும்மா…
‘எங்கள் இருவருக்கும் பயங்கர, ‘ஸ்ட்ரெஸ்…’ இருவரும், ‘கவுன்சிலிங்’ போய் வருகிறோம்… ஒரு மணி நேரத்துக்கு அந்த டாக்டருக்கு கொடுக்கும் தொகை அதிகம். மிக சிறந்த டாக்டர், அவரது சிகிச்சையில் எல்லாம் சரியாகிவிடும்…’ என்று கூறினான்.
அதற்கு அந்த தாய், ‘நாளை அந்த டாக்டரை பார்க்க போக வேண்டாம்; சீக்கிரம் வீட்டுக்கு வரவேண்டும்…’ என்று கூறினார்.
அடுத்த நாள் மாலை, வீட்டுக்குள் நுழைந்த மகன் – மருமகள் மூக்கை சுகந்த மணம் துளைத்தது.
இருவரையும் கை கால் கழுவி, உடை மாற்றி, பூஜை அறைக்கு வருமாறு கூறினார், தாய்.
அவர்களும் அவ்வாறே செய்தனர். மணம் வீசும் மலர்களின் வாசம்… அழகான தீப ஒளி நிறைந்த அந்த அறையில் சற்றுநேரம் அமர்ந்து, இருவரும் தாமாகவே கண் மூடி அந்த சூழலின் இன்பத்தை அனுபவித்தனர். பின், கண் திறந்தபோது, ‘கவுன்சிலிங்கில் கிடைக்காத அமைதி கிடைத்ததாக சொல்ல…’ தாயார் மகிழ்ந்தார்.
இன்னொரு விஷயம்…
வீட்டில் பெண் குழந்தைகள் இருந்தால், அவர்களை தினமும் விளக்கேற்றும்படி சொல்ல வேண்டும்.
இப்படி செய்தால், அவர்களின் முகப்பொலிவு பன்மடங்கு கூடும். விளக்கேற்றிய வீடு, வீண் போகாது.

 பி.எஸ்.புஷ்பலதா in http://www.dinamalar.com

natarajan

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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 credit:regencystamps.com 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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: www.stampcircuit.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another Indian Rocket Mail from 1934. Photo credit: www.stampcircuit.com

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 planet.com

Natarajan

 

“எட்டு அடி குழியில் 3000 லிட்டர் மழை நீர் சேமிப்பு” – அசத்தும் கோயம்புத்தூர்காரர்கள்!

 

“மழை நீர்… உயிர் நீர்…”, “மரம் வளர்ப்போம்; மழை பெறுவோம்…” இப்படி மழை நீருக்காக ஏராளமான வாசகங்கள் பெரும்பாலும், வாகனங்களின் பின்புறம்தான் எழுதப்படுகின்றன. கான்கிரீட் காடான நகரங்களில் மழை நீர், சாக்கடையிலும், கடலிலும்தான் கலக்கின்றன. பெய்யும் மழை நீரைச் சேகரிக்க முடியாமல், கோடை காலத்தில், தண்ணீர் பஞ்சம் ஏற்பட்டு, கேன் தண்ணீரை நம்பி காலத்தை ஓட்டி வருகிறோம்.

கோவையில் இந்தாண்டு கோடை காலம் முதலே நல்ல மழை பெய்து வருகிறது. கோவையில் ஓராண்டில் பெய்யும் சராசரி மழை அளவு 620 மி.மீட்டர். இந்த நீரைச் சேகரித்தாலே குடிநீர் பஞ்சம் எட்டிக்கூட பார்க்காது. ஆனால், பெய்யும் மழை நீரைச் சேகரிக்க முடியாததால், கடந்த சில ஆண்டுகளாக, கோவையில் கோடை காலத்தில் கடுமையான தண்ணீர் பஞ்சம் ஏற்படுகிறது. நிலத்தடி நீர் மட்டமும் கணிசமாகக் குறைந்துவிட்டது.

இந்நிலையில், கோவையில் மழை நீரைச் சேமிப்பதற்காக, பொது இடங்களில், மழைநீர் சேகரிப்புக் கிணற்றை தன்னார்வலர்கள் அமைத்து வருகின்றனர். அதன்படி, இந்தியாவின் “மழைநீர் மனிதன்” என்று அழைக்கப்படும் சேகர் ராகவனின் ஆலோசனைப்படி, ரேக் அமைப்பு, கோவை குளங்கள் பாதுகாப்பு அமைப்பு மற்றும் சில நல்ல உள்ளங்கள் உதவியுடன், கோவை மாநகராட்சியுடன் இணைந்து மழைநீர் சேகரிப்பு கிணறை அமைத்து வருகின்றனர்.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

மழைநீர் சேகரிப்பு கிணறு

மழை நீர் அதிகளவில் வீணாகக்கூடிய பொது இடங்களில், குழி தோண்டி, அதில் கான்கிரீட் ரிங்கை அமைத்தால் போதும். உதாரணத்துக்கு எட்டு அடி குழிதோண்டி, அதில் தொட்டி போல, நான்கு அடி விட்டமுள்ள, காங்கிரீட் ரிங்கை இறக்கி வைத்தால்போதும். சராசரியாக எட்டு அடி ஆழமுள்ள குழியில் 3,000 லிட்டர் நீரை சேமிக்கலாம். இதில் சேமிக்கப்படும் நீர், கொஞ்சம், கொஞ்சமாக நிலத்தில் இறங்கும். இதன் மூலம், சுற்றுவட்டாரப் பகுதிகளில் நிலத்தடி நீர் மட்டம் உயரும். சென்னையில் வெற்றி பெற்ற இந்த மழைநீர் சேகரிப்புக்கிணறுகளை, கோவையில் முதல்கட்டமாக, குறிச்சி பகுதியில் மாநகராட்சிக்கு சொந்தமான ரிசர்வ் சைட்டிலும், துடியலூர் பகுதியிலும் நடைமுறைப்படுத்தியுள்ளனர்.

இதுகுறித்து சேகர் ராகவன், “பூமிக்குள் நீர் இறங்குவதற்கு, 10 முதல் 15 அடி ஆழத்துக்கு குழி தோண்டலாம்.  நமக்கு தகுந்தாற்போல் ரிங் அமைத்துக் கொள்ளலாம். ஆண்டுக்கு ஒரு முறை மட்டும் இதைச் சுத்தம் செய்தால் போதும். இதை வீடுகளிலும் அமைக்கலாம். தெருக்களின் ஓரமாகவும் அமைக்கலாம். நீர் சேமித்து வைக்கும் தொட்டியாக இதைப் பார்க்கக் கூடாது. நீரை நிலத்தடிக்கு அனுப்பி வைக்கும் திட்டமாகத்தான் பார்க்கவேண்டும். சென்னையில் பல இடங்களில் இந்த மழைநீர் சேகரிப்புக் கிணற்றை அமைத்துள்ளோம். இதன் மூலம் வெள்ள அபாயத்தையும் தவிர்க்கலாம். நிலத்தடி நீர் அளவையும் அதிகரிக்கலாம். குறிப்பாக, அடுக்குமாடி குடியிருப்புப் பகுதிகளில் இதுபோன்ற கிணறுகளை அமைப்பது மிகவும் நல்லது. நிலத்தடி நீர் என்பது, வங்கியை போன்றது. அதில் தண்ணீரைச் செலுத்தினால்தான், மீண்டும் அதில் இருந்து, தண்ணீரை எடுக்க  முடியும். 10 அடி ஆழம், 3 அடி காங்கிரீட் ரிங்குடன் கூடிய மழை நீர் சேகரிப்பு கிணறை அமைக்க 12 ஆயிரம் ரூபாய் ஆகும்” என்றார்.

ரேக் (Raac) அமைப்பின் ரவீந்திரன், “தற்போதைக்கு, பெரும்பாலான பகுதிகளில், மழை நீரைச் சேகரிப்பதற்காக, 200 அடிக்கு போர் போட்டு, ஆறு அடிக்கு குழித் தோண்டி, அதில் கற்களை போடுவார்கள். இதற்கு 75 ஆயிரம் ரூபாய்வரை செலவாகும். எல்லோராலும் இதை அமைக்க முடியாது. அவற்றை பராமரிப்பதும் கடினம். ஆனால், மழை நீர் சேகரிப்புக் கிணறுகளை அமைக்க அவ்வளவு செலவு ஆகாது. இதை, பராமரிப்பதும் மிகவும் எளிது. 15 ஆயிரம் ரூபாய் செலவுசெய்து ஓர் கிணற்றை அமைத்தால், அதன் மூலம் 15 ஆண்டுகளுக்கு மழை நீரைச் சேமிக்கலாம். பொது இடங்களில் மழை நீரைச் சேமிப்பதற்கு இது மிகவும் எளிதான வழி. இதுதொடர்பாக, மக்களிடையே விழிப்பு உணர்வும் செய்து வருகிறோம். மழைக்காலம் முழுவதுமே மழை நீர் சேகரிப்புக் கிணற்றை அமைக்கத் திட்டமிட்டுள்ளோம்”  என்றார்.

சமூக ஆர்வலர் டிம்பிள் கூறுகையில், “சென்னை அண்ணாநகரில் என் உறவினர் வீடு உள்ளது. அவர்களுடையே தெருவே லாரி தண்ணீரை பிடித்துக் கொண்டிருக்கும். ஆனால், இவர்கள் பிடிக்க மாட்டார்கள். அப்போதுதான், மழைநீர் சேகரிப்பு கிணறு குறித்துத் தெரியவந்தது. அப்போதிலிருந்தே, இந்தத் திட்டத்தைக் கோவைக்கு கொண்டு வரவேண்டும் என்று ஆசை இருந்தது. எங்களது அப்பார்ட்மென்ட் அருகே, இப்படி வீணாகும் மழைநீரை பார்க்கும்போது, எனக்கு வருத்தமாக இருக்கும். பின்னர், சேகர் ராகவனுடன் ஆலோசித்து, எங்களுடைய அப்பார்ட்மென்ட் அருகே உள்ள ரிசர்வ் சைட்டில் கிணறு அமைத்தோம். 2,500 சதுரடி பகுதியில் பெய்யும் மழை நீர், இதில் சேமிக்கப்படும். கோவை முழுவதும் இதுபோன்று 44 ஆயிரம் குழிகள் அமைக்கலாம் என்கின்றனர். அப்படி அமைக்கும்போது, நிலத்தடி நீரின் அளவு ஒன்பது மீட்டர் வரை அதிகரிக்கும். எனவே, பள்ளிகள், அரசு அலுவலகங்கள், ஷாப்பிங் மால்கள் போன்ற பகுதிகளில் இதுபோன்ற கிணறுகளை அமைக்கலாம். அந்தப் பகுதிகளில் உள்ள மக்கள் இணைந்து, தங்களின் பங்களிப்பில்கூட இதுபோன்று குழிகளை அமைக்கலாம்” என்றார்.

மழை பெய்வதற்கு முயற்சி செய்யாவிடினும், குறைந்தது பெய்யும் மழை நீரையாவது சேமிக்க முன் வருவோம்…!

Source….. http://www.vikatan.com

Natarajan

Chennai’s pavement football stars….!!!

A Ganesh Nadar/Rediff.com meets Chennai’s all-girl street children football team who competed in the Street Child World Cup in Moscow.                                                     

 

Their home may be on a pavement, but their eyes are bright with hope for the future.

Helping them through their rough times is their love for football.

In fact, these Chennai lasses have recently returned from Moscow, where they participated in the Street Child World Cup and won one of the five matches they played.

Their happy smiles mask the hard lives they have led.

One of the girls has been rescued from a child marriage, another from a stainless steel vessels manufacturing factory.

Two had to cope with a drunk father while two were abandoned by their fathers.

Their strength to face their circumstances came from practising advocate Paul Sunder Singh.

Singh’s abiding desire to help Chennai’s street children resulted in Karunalaya in 1995.

His hard work was noticed by the state government and, three years later, they gave him a grant that would allow him to look after 50 children in a shelter. The home now has 60 children.

“We encourage sports. It teaches both competition and discipline,” says Singh, who has a doctorate in criminology.

“We want to give these children a normal childhood and games play an important role in this effort of ours.”

Karunalaya only shelters runaway children from Tamil Nadu; the others are sent back to their home state.

“The biggest problem these children face is that they don’t have birth certificates,” Singh says. “As a result, they don’t have community certificates either and cannot benefit from government aid or schemes.”

“We get them admitted to schools through the Right To Education Act, but the schools want birth certificates which we cannot provide. All they have is Aadhar cards as the government is pushing that. Sadly, the government does not consider our problems.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

IMAGE: The team won one of the five matches they played at the Street Child World Cup in Moscow. Photograph: Kind courtesy Karunalaya

The Street Child World Cup, which was first held 2010, takes place in the city hosting the FIFA World Cup before the much-watched international tournament begins.

India, this year, was represented by an all-girls team from Karunalaya.

This is their third International outing.

In 2014, they sent a boys team to Street Child World Cup in Rio de Janerio.

In 2016, they sent a team of five to participate in the first-ever Street Child Games, also held in Rio de Janerio.

This year’s participants share their story in their own words.

IMAGE: The all-girl Karunalaya football team. Photograph: A Ganesh Nadar/Rediff.com

Sangeeta, 18

I came to this shelter as a child after I was rescued from a steel factory where I was working.

I don’t stay here now. I stay on the pavement at Waltax Road (near Chennai Central railway station) with my mother.

My father was a drunkard who abandoned us.

My elder brother is working and my younger brother is also being educated by Karunalaya.

I studied in a municipal school. In my 12th exams, I got 798/1200 marks.

I want to do BSc in physical education as I like games. Karunalaya is helping me to find a sponsor for my education.

I learnt football in the summer camps that Karunalya conducts.

Nirosha, 15

I study in Class 9.

I was working and looking after my two younger brothers when I was rescued and brought to Karunalaya.

I am here since two years. Before that, I used to stay on the pavement at Mint Street (in Chennai’s commercial centre, George Town).

My younger brothers also stay here.

I study in the Church of South India school.

I have been playing football for two years now.

My mother is a daily wage earner. My dad abandoned us years ago.

Lakshmi, 17

My parents are ragpickers.

They could not repay Rs 2,000 that they had borrowed from a moneylender so they tried to get me married to him.

I escaped to the house of a friend, who also on stayed on our pavement near Koyambedu market.

I was rescued from my friend’s place and brought here four years ago.

I scored 248/500 in my Class 10 exams. I have opted for the arts stream for Class 12.

Later, I want to study social science and become a social worker.

If I get the opportunity, I will continue to play football.

Indu, 14

Karunalaya volunteers used to give tuitions to poor students near my place; that’s how I came to know about them.

My father works and my mother is a housewife.

My elder brother is in college and my younger brother is in Class 7. My father pays for their education.

I have been playing football here since two years.

Every year, we have a tournament in which every street has its own team.

I was lucky to go to Moscow to play. It was a great experience.

Masiya, 14

I am studying in Class 10 and my brother is in Class 11.

I stay on a pavement at Kasimedu.

My father has left us. My mother is a house maid.

I have been playing football for two years.

In Moscow, we managed to get by with English, but some of the other teams spoke different languages.

The matches were played in a friendly atmosphere.

This was the first time I travelled by plane.

Tamilarasi, 14

I am in Class 10.

Karunalaya has been helping me for the last two years now.

My father is a drunkard. When my parents separated, I stayed with my mother.

I have been playing football since two years. I am a good defender so my position in the team is a fullback.

S Gomathi, 14

I study in Class 9.

I stay with my family.

I have been coming since 18 months to play football.

The trip to Moscow was fun. The food was very different, but it was tasty.

We were there for 10 days. We stayed in a nice hotel.

This was my first World Cup.

Every year, we have an inter-street tournament in Chennai. I play regularly. I love football.

Ishwari, 15

I am staying in this shelter since four years. My younger brother is here too.

I have two elder brothers who have started working.

I am studying in Class 10.

My father left us long ago. I have been playing football for three years.

Geeta, 15

I have been with Karunalaya since two-and-a-half years.

My father is a coolie in the market and my mother is a maid.

I am in Class 10 and, later, I want to study science.

I have been playing football since two years and this game is my future.

Source….Ganesh Nadar in http://www.rediff.com

Natarajan

 

 

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

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

Natarajan

 

 

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.

Source…. http://www.amusingplanet.com

Natarajan