Anna Creek… A Cattle Station in Australia…Bigger than Israel !!!

In Australia, cattle stations—which is the equivalent of an American ranch—tend to be unimaginably large, so large that some of them are bigger than some European and African countries.

Take Anna Creek Station, a well known cattle station in South Australia, near Simpson Desert between Coober Pedy and Lake Eyre. This station covers nearly 24,000 square kilometers. By comparison, Israel is barely 21,000 square kilometers, and the biggest ranch in America is just over 3,300 square kilometers. In fact, there might be close to a hundred cattle stations in Australia that are bigger than the biggest American ranch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Australia’s cattle stations are huge in size because of the continent’s climate. Most stations are located in the north and the central regions of the Australian Outback, where the climate is so dry and the vegetation so sparse that a large amount of country is needed to support enough cattle to make a living. Even a cattle station as large as Anna Creek Station normally runs about 17,000 animals during a good season.

The Anna Creek Station was bought by Sir Sidney Kidman, Australia’s so-called “cattle king”, who owned large areas of land across Australia during his lifetime. Kidman was thirteen when he ran away from his Adelaide home in 1870 with only 5 shillings in pocket and a one-eyed horse that he had bought with his savings. His teen years, Kidman worked as a drover, stockman and livestock trader, and made money supplying services to new mining towns springing up in outback. Eventually he had saved enough to buy his own station.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sir Sidney Kidman

Kidman began gobbling up one estate after another until he was the biggest landholder in the world by World War I. At one point, the size of Kidman’s properties exceeded the size of the entire United Kingdom. His family still owns more than 10 million hectares, or about three-quarters the size of England. With a herd of 185,000 cattle, S. Kidman & Co is one of Australia’s largest beef producers.

There are at least nineteen cattle stations in Australia whose size exceeds 10,000 hectares. Four of them exceeds 15,000 hectares. These cattle stations are so large and the grazing area so spread out that it takes weeks to round up all cattle during the mustering season. Back in the old days, cowboys used to ride out in horses gathering up cattle. Today light aircraft is used for spotting animals which are rounded up by stockmen on trail bikes.

Because of the remoteness and size of Australian cattle stations, life is very isolated. The next human settlement is often a day’s drive away. So these stations function like small towns with schoolroom for the kids of the owners and workers, a small general store to supply essentials and possibly an entertainment or bar area. Electricity is typically provided by generators or solar cells. Internet and television is provided by satellite.

Anna Creek Station is currently owned by Williams Cattle Company, after it acquired the property from S. Kidman & Co in 2016.

Bonus fact: The name “Kidman” and “Australia” may remind you of actress Nicole Kidman. The connection is more than a coincidence—Nicole Kidman is actually a descendant of Sir Sidney Kidman.

Photo credit: Planettrekker/Flickr

Source ::::: Kaushik in http://www.amusingplanet.com

Natarajan

 

 

 

 

 

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Mumbai Beach Welcomes Olive Ridley Turtles After 20 Years….!!!

On Thursday morning, the Versova beach in Mumbai welcomed around 80 palm-sized turtles, making their way slowly but surely in the Arabian Sea.

Why is this event so special?

Well, for starters, the turtles in question are Olive Ridley Turtle, and their eggs hatched on a Mumbai beach after 20 years, and it was all thanks to the efforts of hundreds of Mumbaikars who have been cleaning the Versova beach for over two years now.

The Olive Ridley Turtle has been classified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as a vulnerable species, which is likely to become endangered unless the circumstances that are threatening its survival and reproduction improve.

According to WWF India, “Olive Ridley Turtles are the smallest and most abundant of all sea turtles found in the world” and live in the warm parts Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans.

The females lay their eggs on the same beach that they hatched from!

However, for the past 20 years, these turtles had stopped visiting Mumbai, thanks to the number of pollutants and plastic on the beaches. Not only is the trash an unwelcoming home to lay eggs, but is also a threat to the lives of the tiny turtles who have to walk from their nesting site to the sea all by themselves.

Afroz Shah had taken the initiative to clean up Versova beaches and collect all the plastic dumped there. According to the Hindustan Times, in only 126 weeks, Afroz Shah and the Versova Residents Volunteers’ team has successfully cleared 13 million kg of garbage, which included plastic from the beach.

Speaking about the Olive Ridley Turtle hatchlings, Prashant Deshmukh, range forest officer, Mumbai Mangrove Conservation Unit said,

“Such an incident happened after 20 years. The presence of more turtle nesting sites cannot be ruled out. We will push for the development of a turtle rescue centre close to this nesting site, and we expect it to be built soon.”

Week 127 .

Fantastic news for Mumbai .

We got back Olive Ridley Sea Turtle after 20 years. Historic moment

Nested and Hatched at our beach. We facilitate their journey to ocean.

Constant cleaning helps marine species.

Marine conservation centre needed at @versovabeach

Apart from Versova, these turtles are found on the beaches of Velas, Anjarle, Harihareshwar, Maral and Diveagar in Maharashtra.

The largest nesting site of the world is in Odisha along the coasts of the Bay of Bengal. Villagers in Odisha, too, have made attempts to save the nesting sites and ensure safety to the newborn turtles. You can read more about this story here.

Edited by Gayatri Mishra.

Source……. Tanvi Patel in http://www.the better india.com

Natarajan

 

 

Green Glory: This Indian State Is Ahead of Denmark and Sweden In Wind Energy!!!

With 14.3% of its energy needs being fulfilled through wind and solar energy, it is also a global leader in renewable energy!

In a recent report, the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis(IEEFA), a US-based think tank, ranked Tamil Nadu as one of the top nine markets in the world for acquiring a high percentage of net energy needs from renewable energy sources.

The study was an assessment of the top 15 countries or power markets in the world, where the share of solar and wind energy in proportion to their total energy requirements is high. Denmark leads the way, with 53% of its energy coming from renewable sources in 2017, followed by Southern Australia and Uruguay.

In 2016-17, Tamil Nadu acquired 14.3% of its energy needs from wind and solar energy sources.

“Tamil Nadu also leads India in installed renewable energy capacity. Of the total 30 GW of installed capacity across the state as of March 2017, variable wind and solar power accounted for 9.6 GW or 32% of the total. Firm hydroelectricity added another 2.2 GW or 7%, nuclear 8% and biomass and run of river, 3%. As such, zero emissions capacity represents a leading 50% of Tamil Nadu’s total installed renewable energy. With much of Tamil Nadu’s renewable energy coming from end-of-life wind farms installed 15-25 years ago, average utilisation rates are a low 18%, making the contribution of variable renewables to total generation even more impressive,” says the IEEFA report.

Total installed renewable energy capacity for Tamil Nadu stands at approximately 10,800 megawatts (MW), of which 7870 MW comes from wind and 1,697 MW solar, while the rest comes from biomass and small hydro projects. Although it comes third in solar energy capacity behind Andhra Pradesh (2,010 MW) and Rajasthan (1,961 MW), the state tops the charts in wind power capacity ahead of Gujarat (5429 MW) and Maharashtra (4,752 MW). Tamil Nadu generates more wind energy than Sweden (6.7 GW) and Denmark (5.5 GW), the birthplace of wind energy.

“This rise in renewables is predicted to coincide with a slide in coal’s share in Tamil Nadu’s electricity mix, from 69% in 2017 to 42% 10 years later,” says the World Economic Forum. The state has also diversified into biogas and small hydro plants as well.

“As of March 2017, the state had 1 GW of biomass and run-of-river small-scale hydro, 2.2 GW of conventional hydroelectricity, and 1 GW of gas fired power capacity operational (plus another 1 GW of gas under construction),” reports the IEEFA. In an interesting aside, it also hosts the second largest solar farm (Kamuthi) in the country with a capacity of 648 MW.

This is a heartening development as it comes a time when the Government of India has set a target of sourcing 175 gigawatts of energy from renewable sources by 2022.

When it comes to renewable energy in India, one could consider Tamil Nadu as a pioneer of sorts. Most of its wind farms, for example, were built approximately 25 years back.

The natural conditions in the state favour the growth and development of solar and wind energy. The Tamil Nadu coast receives high wind density and velocity. For six months it receives heavy wind flows, while four months see moderate flows. Also, the state receives 300 or more days of sunshine.

The state’s sojourn into renewable energy began as an emergency attempt to fill the growing deficit between supply and demand of power.

Major industries like automotive parts, textiles, cement and leather-tanning, for example, demanded large amounts of power and consequently, the feed-in tariff (payments to ordinary energy users—people or businesses—for the renewable electricity they generate) for the wind energy sector was encouraging.

The price at which wind energy is sold to the people today is determined at an open auction for power utilities. Earlier, the state power regulators had a stranglehold on determining prices but changed to an auction system in 2016.

With the local textile sector first grabbing the bull by its horns, Tamil Nadu also became one of the first states to allow industrial units to establish their own wind power plants. These 20-year-old wind farms owned by the Tamil Nadu Spinning Mills Association (TASMA) generates a little less than 40% of the state’s total wind energy capacity (3000 MW). The Muppandal wind farm outside Madurai, for example, generates 1.5 GW of energy, making it the largest wind farm outside China.

With favourable tariff conditions, the state also made serious progress in the solar energy arena.

“In recent years, the government has also worked to improve its transmission infrastructure, encouraging firms to expand. Since renewable energy is infirm, managing the fluctuation in power generation is key. Tamil Nadu has begun forecasting the flow so that the grid is ready to handle things,” says this recent report in Quartz India.

Having said that, the IEEFA has argued in its report titled ‘Electricity Transformation in India: A Case Study of Tamil Nadu’, it argued how the state’s growth in wind and solar energy generation isn’t enough.

“Tamil Nadu should double its wind energy capacity to 15GW and increase its solar capacity to 13.8GW by 2026-27 to deliver cheaper electricity to customers,” the report said.

Instead, what the state is doing is looking to build 25,000 MW of thermal power projects. “Despite being a world leader in wind energy, Tamil Nadu’s wind farms have ageing and outdated technology. Upgrading the existing turbines alone could double the state’s leading wind energy capacity,” said Tim Buckley, IEEFA’s director of energy finance studies, Australia.

There are other concerns, as well. “Renewable energy assets in Tamil Nadu are facing significant back down (as state power utilities are buying little power from these plants). This adversely impacts their feasibility,” Kanika Chawla, a renewable energy expert at Delhi-based non-profit Council on Energy, Environment, and Water, told Quartz India.

Primarily, the major concerns stem from state regulation-related issues. For starters, the state-owned power utility Tangedco has proposed an additional imposition of taxes on rooftop solar plants, says this Times of India report.

Last July, Tamil Nadu was unable to use all the solar power it generated. In the wind energy sector, the government could stymie TASMA’s ability to drawing back the excess power it delivers to the power grid in the event of a shortage (wind banking). What one must understand is that TASMA generates and delivers excess wind energy to the power grid.

However, the biggest concern is the dire financial condition of the state power utility. In 2016-17, the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation Limited (TANGEDCO) posted a loss of Rs 3,783 crore, besides year-long delays in the payment of dues to power-generating units.

As a result, these power generation units are unable to repay loans they had taken from the banks to install all the necessary equipment. The poor state of regulation in the state’s power sector is a real concern.

Source….  

in http://www.the betterindia.com

Natarajan

 

 

A Tribute to a Genius – Stephen Hawking…

Stephen Hawking, the world-renowned theoretical physicist and cosmologist, has passed away at the age of 76, leaving a scientific legacy behind him that will undoubtedly be remembered for many centuries to come.

Stephen Hawking

Hawking was born on January 8th, 1942 in Oxford, the United Kingdom to two Oxford University graduates, Frank and Isobel. He had two younger sisters, Philippa and Mary, as well as an adopted brother named Edward.

The family moved to St. Alban’s, Hertfordshire, where they were considered to be both highly intelligent and somewhat eccentric by the locals. They lived frugally in a large, messy house and got around in a converted London taxi cab.

Following his primary and secondary school education, Hawking began his university education as an undergraduate at University College, Oxford in 1959. He was just 17 years old. Although the world only pictures him as a man confined to a wheelchair due to debilitating motor neuron disease that he was diagnosed with aged just 22, Hawking actually gained a reputation as being something of a daredevil during his university years.

He was the coxswain of a rowing crew at the University College Boat Club, and became notorious for steering his crew on risky courses, inevitably leading to a string of damaged rowing boats. He left University College with a Bachelor of Arts in natural science in 1962 prior to starting to work on his doctorate.

Stephen Hawking

His diagnosis with a rare form of motor neuron disease occurred at that time, and it led to him becoming deeply depressed. Nevertheless, he was encouraged to continue his studies by his supervisor, Dennis William Sciama, and was eventually able to demonstrate that Einstein’s general theory of relativity implies space and time would have a beginning in the Big Bang and end in black holes.

During his graduate years at Cambridge, Hawking fell in love with his first wife, Jane Wilde, with whom he had three children. The marriage would end some 30 years later after the marriage succumbed to the pressures of Hawking’s fame, ideological differences and the difficulties surrounding caring for him in light of his disability.

Despite beginning to use crutches in the early 1960s, he long fought off having to use a wheelchair, but when he finally couldn’t do so any longer, he gained notoriety for wild driving on the streets of Cambridge. He also used to run over students’ toes intentionally and would even spin himself on the dancefloor at college parties.

Together with Roger Penrose, Hawking had his first major breakthrough in 1970. They were able to use mathematics to show that a singularity, a region of infinite curvature in space-time, was the point from which the big bang emanated.

Stephen Hawking

After he realized that he was wrong in his argument about black holes being able to radiate, Hawking was in a Cambridge pub with his students when he suddenly turned up his voice synthesizer to full volume and bellowed that he was conceding defeat. Anyone who studied under his tuition or knew him personally knew him for his wicked sense of humor.

Hawking was elected to the Royal Society in 1974 aged just 32 after the series of radical discoveries he made during his early career, and would become the Lucasian professor of mathematics at Cambridge. The latter is often thought as the UK’s most distinguished academic chair and was once held by Isaac Newton.

His 1988 book, A Brief History of Time, catapulted Hawking to international stardom. It sold over 10 million copies and was translated into no less than 40 different languages. It was around that time that his marriage would begin to break down, but he would go on to remarry in the mid-1990s.

During his lifetime, he won the Albert Einstein Award, the Wolf Prize, the Copley Medal and the Fundamental Physics Prize, however, the Nobel Prize for Physics eluded him. He also returned to the White House (he had also visited during the Clinton administration) to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Barack Obama.

Stephen Hawking

His life has also been immortalized on screen, not least thanks to the multiple award-winning movie, the Theory of Everything. He also lent his voice and know-how to various documentaries over the years.

Perhaps it’s not surprising to know that Hawking was not a religious man, and dismissed the comforts of religious belief. With that being said, he had once told an interviewee that he wasn’t afraid of death, but he added that he wasn’t in any hurry to die due to how much work he had left to do. The great cosmologist is survived by his three children from his first marriage, together with his three grandchildren.

Watch Stephen Hawking being interviewed by Charlie Rose:

Source……..www.ba-ba mail.com

natarajan

After Coimbatore’s Water Table Collapsed, This Simple Initiative Revived It…Thanks to ” Siruthuli “

As cities across India are facing a severe shortage of water, Coimbatore has been trying to preserve and recharge its groundwater levels. At the forefront of this change is Siruthuli, an NGO that is dedicated to cleaning Coimbatore, and infusing green methods throughout the city!

Coimbatore, which was once a place of abundant rainfall, was shaken to reality following a drought in 2003.

As part of its initiative to recharge groundwater levels in the city, Siruthuli has implemented rainwater harvesting structures (RWH).                                               

“In 2003, Coimbatore received 65% less rainfall than in previous years. This made us release the need to save water, and harvest it when there was adequate rainfall,” says Shruthi Suresh, a representative of the organisation.

The organisation conducted a series of geo-hydrological studies in 2005, to better analyse how to approach the conservation of groundwater in the region. In association with the Corporation of Coimbatore, Siruthuli began conducting rainwater harvesting structures in various locations across the city.

However, one of the significant challenges of the construction was the fact that Coimbatore was primarily a hard rock structure, and thus percolation of water was difficult. The organisation persevered and came up with the idea of drilling bore wells for groundwater.

“We came up with this technique to recharge the groundwater. We recommended two types of structures using this technique. The first simply recharges the aquifers, while the other not only recharges but also pumps the harvested waters so that it can be used,” she explains.

According to Shruthi, the structures are installed in both open spaces, as well as on roadsides.

Today, thanks to the efforts of this organisation, Coimbatore has more than 600 rainwater harvesting structures in different locations across the city.

However, on average it has been observed that the open spaces have seen a much higher level of maintenance than the ones on the roadside ones. There have been instances where some of the roadside RWH structures have been shut down for new roads and construction.

However, the organisation is optimistic and has seen significant growth in groundwater tables, from the time the wells have been implemented. This can be seen in the table below:

The water that is harvested from the ground is what is used extensively for not only daily use but as drinking water. It, therefore, becomes imperative for the citizens of the city, to maintain and use the water judiciously.

Today, even with a shortage of water, Coimbatore maintains stable and sustainable groundwater tables.

This initiative goes along with one of the organisation’s chief objectives, titled, “Water Watch,” under which, they aim to not only recharge groundwater, but also rejuvenate water bodies, and restore the River Noyyal. The river, which once had 34 streams, is now reduced to just four.

In the future, Siruthuli plans to conduct a comprehensive study of the entire region. This will be done to better understand natural drains, vegetation, groundwater levels, land use, and livelihoods. The study will form the basis for developing watershed concepts, RWH structures, and more. These will be applied across Coimbatore, after a series of awareness campaigns.

Siruthuli has also been involved in spreading the message of going green and educating the next generation for the same.

You can read about their initiatives here!

Source…..Anakha Arikara  in http://www.the better india .com

Natarajan

 

Say it with a Post Card ….” Post Crossing ” is the way !

‘Postcrossing’ members meet in Metro rail

At a time when social media networks have taken over communication, a few people still find charm in sending postcards.

What’s fascinating is that they send the postcards to strangers in some corner of the world and receive one from some other corner. The idea of ‘Postcrossing’ is to exchange postcards to anyone in the world through the website http://www.postcrossing.com where the addresses of registered members are available.

On Sunday, the ‘Postcrossing community’ in Chennai held its meeting in the Chennai Metro Rail. They boarded at Nehru Park and alighted at the airport for a discussion.

G. Prakashraj, a 21-year-old engineering student of Anna University recollects how he chanced upon the initiative. “I found the website and started off in a small way. We meet at least twice or thrice a year. For a change, we decided to meet in the Metro today,” he said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Have you ever received a postcard from an underwater post office? I have. That’s how exciting it can get,” he says, recollecting about the postcard he got from Vanuatu, an island nation located 1,000 miles east of northern Australia.

Arun Kumar Narasimhan, a member of the group, says he was fascinated to get a postcard on steam engines all the way from Finland. “This encourages people of all ages to continue writing letters and sending postcards in this digital age.” It also brings in new friends. Recently, the Chennai group met its Mumbai counterpart.

Mr. Prakashraj is planning to visit Bhutan with his postcrossing friend. “That’s what life is all about. Meeting new people and gaining new experiences,” he says.

Source…..www. the hindu.com

Natarajan

” Despite everything …this too will pass …”

One day, King Solomon, the wisest man in the world, wanted to test the integrity and wisdom of his faithful servant. The King summoned his servant and asked him to carry out a task, knowing that it could not be completed. King Solomon said: “The Feast of Tabernacles is in 6 months, and I would like to wear a magic ring for the holiday. Any person who is sad and looks at the ring will become happy and any happy person who looks at the ring will become sad.”

The faithful servant immediately went on the journey in the search of the mysterious ring. A month passed, two months passed, and the servant, who visited every jeweler and peddler in the kingdom, remained without the ring. Two more months passed, and the servant reached the limits of the kingdom, but he had yet to find anyone who had heard of such a magical ring.

Over time, the faithful servant became frustrated. With all his might he wanted to fulfill his master’s wish, but no matter how hard he tried, he could not find the mysterious ring. He was depressed and almost gave up, until one day before the Feast of Tabernacles, he arrived at the small workshop of a poor jeweler in a small village.

The servant, who had nothing to lose, asked the old silversmith: “Tell me, sir, have you ever heard of a magical ring that causes the sad to become happy and the happy to become sad?” The old silversmith thought for a second, took out a small copper ring from one of the drawers, scratched it and handed it to the servant. The servant, who for the past few months had lost all hope, gave one glance at the inscription on the ring, and his eyes lit up. He thanked the silversmith, paid him a bag of gold coins, and hurried to the king’s palace.

When the servant finally arrived at the King’s Palace, Solomon was very happy and rejoiced. He did not believe that his servant would really come back to him with a ring. The servant handed the ring to his master, the wise king gave it one look and the smile immediately disappeared from his face. All the courtiers were curious to see what was written on the magical ring, and finally, when they looked at it, they saw the following simple sentence:
“Despite everything, this too will pass” 
This simple sentence contains a truth that we must cherish in our hearts – even if it feels like everything is going great and were on top of the world, we must remember that all this might disappear one day. On the other hand, and this is the happy side of the rule, all the suffering, all the frustration, all the difficult times we sometimes experience, these too will pass and be forgotten.
Source….www.ba-bamail.com
Natarajan