Saturday, December 24, 2016
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! This time of year is a truly wonderful and magical one and Christmas is a holiday with a beautiful spirit and traditions. One tradition is greeting each other with merry Christmas wishes. The spirit of giving, expressing love and gratitude and a celebration of life help to make Christmas a very special time of year. Even if you are not a Christian, we can all enjoy the spirit of giving which is truly what this season is all about. “Tis the season to be jolly”, as they say! The practice of wishing others well on Christmas, whether it is with Christmas card wishes, Christmas quotes, merry Christmas images or Christmas Eve wishes, is something which helps to give this time of year a special joyful feeling. In this huge collection of wishes for Christmas you will find 1) merry Christmas wishes, 2) funny Christmas wishes, 3) Christmas wishes images, 4) merry Christmas wishes for friends, 5) Christmas wishes for family, 6) Christmas wishes quotes, 7) Christmas wishes text messages, 8) short Christmas wishes and 9) even more Christmas wishes messages. We truly hope you enjoy this collection of merry Christmas wishes and, in the spirit of the season, pass these on and share!
May the melody and spirit of the holidays fill your home with love and peace. I wish you all the best and happy New Year too!
In this loveliest and happiest of seasons, may you find many reasons to celebrate. Have a wonderful Christmas!
May your Christmas be decorated with cheer and filled with love. Have a wonderful holiday!
Let the spirit of Christmas warm your home with love, joy and peace. Have a blessed Christmas!
Merry Christmas Images
Count your blessings, sing your Christmas carols, open your gifts, and make a wish under the Christmas tree. May you have a Merry Christmas!
There are many gifts under the Christmas tree, but the best one is you!
May success be with you and everything you do, Merry Christmas and a happy New Year too!
Tis the season! Wishing you a wonderful Christmas filled with memories you’ll always treasure. Merry Xmas wishes to you!
May you give and receive much love, joy, and peace this season. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!
Wishing you all the best that life can bring, Merry Christmas to you and a year full of blessings.
May God bless you with a festive, loving and peaceful celebration this Christmas and all throughout the year.
Christmas can be many things or it may be a few, but all I wish on this holiday is the best for you. Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!
I hope you awake on Christmas morning feeling like a child again. Merry Christmas and all the best in the New Year!
May your Christmas sparkle and your holiday overflow with gifts and love. Merry Christmas!
All I want for Christmas is you, my dear. May we celebrate this holiday together holding each other’s hand year after year. Merry Christmas my love.
Health, love and happiness I wish to you, Merry Christmas and good tidings too. Happy New Year!
The bells are ringing everywhere, and Santa’s on his way, there’s peace blanketing the snow-covered land, on this special Christmas day!
Thursday, December 22, 2016
Are all liberals crazy? Probably not, but it seems that way these days. Pretty much every post I write is about liberals behaving not just badly, but bizarrely. Perhaps that is good, if, like me, you want leftism to be discredited forever. But the process is painful.
There is a garden store in Minnesota called Gertens. Its hallmark is that it is really, really big. This time of year, the store sells thousands of ornaments and holiday decorations. That’s the problem: liberals discovered–surprisingly, a few liberals apparently shop at garden stores–that Gertens had this ornament for sale:
I see some American flags in that photo, too. Those are heretical, but the Left’s anger has focused on the irreproachable sentiment that all lives matter:
An ornament for sale at Gertens is at the center of a firestorm of backlash on Facebook.
A shopper browsing the ornament section Wednesday night at the Inver Grove Heights store spotted a black rectangle ornament with the words “All Lives Matter” written on it in white.
The horror! Only a liberal could twist herself into ideological knots so as to be able to claim that “all lives matter” is somehow an inappropriate sentiment.
The shopper posted a photo of the ornament in a private Facebook group, itself an offshoot of Pantsuit Nation, a larger group that sprung up ahead of the election in support of Hillary Clinton.
That helps to identify the zone of insanity–Hillary Clinton supporters.
Since the photo was posted, people have been leaving negative reviews on Gertens’ Facebook page.
“Any store that carries an ‘all lives matter’ Christmas ornament has their priorities in the wrong place. How insulting and insensitive of them,” Katrina Hannemann wrote on Gertens’ public page.
Here is another one, by Regina Edmisten:
Usually I am a loyal customer as I live in the community and love supporting local places but just now saw an ornament you are carrying this year. The “all lives matter” ornament is not what I have come to know and love about your buisness and it certainly sends a clear message to the community and not a good one. Please do better.
Another, from Stephen Arne Keeler:
“All Lives Matter” is a blatantly divisive term meant to belittle and downplay the legitimate concerns of black and brown folks in this country. Gertens selling an “All Lives Matter” ornament is tone deaf at best. Do better.
And here is one by Vicki Serreno:
I was headed to Gerten’s this afternoon for a few last-minute holiday items but after seeing the “All Lives Matter” ornament pictured in the Star Tribune I’ll be headed to Bachmann’s instead. How incredibly tone-deaf can you be, Gerten’s?
So Katrina, Regina, Stephen and Vicki believe that some lives matter more than others. There used to be a name for that kind of thinking.
Very few companies have the courage to stand up against pervasive liberal bullying. When a garden store stocks ornaments, the last thing it looks for is controversy. So, even though the left-wing bigots who complain represent a tiny minority, the easiest solution is to cave in to their demands. How much could Gertens make by selling a few ornaments? $20 or $30 maybe? It’s a no-brainer: give in to the wacky liberals and they will go away.
This is an apt microcosm of our politics as 2016 draws to a close. Liberals, unable to convince their fellow citizens by argument, resort, everywhere and always, to bullying.
Tuesday, December 13, 2016
The first expedition to reach the geographic South Pole was led by the Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen. He and four others arrived at the pole on 14 December 1911,[n 1] five weeks ahead of a British party led by Robert Falcon Scott as part of the Terra Nova Expedition. Amundsen and his team returned safely to their base, and later learned that Scott and his four companions had died on their return journey.
Amundsen's initial plans had focused on the Arctic and the conquest of the North Pole by means of an extended drift in an icebound ship. He obtained the use of Fridtjof Nansen's polar exploration ship Fram, and undertook extensive fundraising. Preparations for this expedition were disrupted when, in 1909, the rival American explorers Frederick Cook and Robert E. Peary each claimed to have reached the North Pole. Amundsen then changed his plan and began to prepare for a conquest of the South Pole; uncertain of the extent to which the public and his backers would support him, he kept this revised objective secret. When he set out in June 1910, he led even his crew to believe they were embarking on an Arctic drift, and revealed their true Antarctic destination only when Fram was leaving their last port of call, Madeira.
Amundsen made his Antarctic base, which he named "Framheim", in the Bay of Whales on the Great Ice Barrier. After months of preparation, depot-laying and a false start that ended in near-disaster, he and his party set out for the pole in October 1911. In the course of their journey they discovered the Axel Heiberg Glacier, which provided their route to the polar plateau and ultimately to the South Pole. The party's mastery of the use of skis and their expertise with sledge dogs ensured rapid and relatively trouble-free travel. Other achievements of the expedition included the first exploration of King Edward VII Land and an extensive oceanographic cruise.
News of the expedition's success was widely applauded internationally, although later becoming overshadowed in the United Kingdom and elsewhere by the tragic failure of Scott's expedition. Amundsen's decision to keep his true plans secret until the last moment was criticised by some. Recent polar historians have more fully recognised the skill and courage of Amundsen's party; the permanent scientific base at the pole bears his name, together with that of Scott.
Amundsen was born in Fredrikstad (around 80 km from Christiania (now Oslo)), Norway, in 1872, the son of a ship-owner. In 1893, he abandoned his medical studies at Christiania University and signed up as a seaman aboard the sealer Magdalena for a voyage to the Arctic. After several further voyages he qualified as a second mate; when not at sea, he developed his skills as a cross-country skier in the harsh environment of Norway's Hardangervidda plateau. In 1896, inspired by the polar exploits of his countryman Fridtjof Nansen, Amundsen joined the Belgian Antarctic Expedition as mate, aboard Belgica under Adrien de Gerlache. Early in 1898 the ship became trapped by pack ice in the Bellinghausen Sea, and was held fast for almost a year. The expedition thus became, involuntarily, the first to spend a complete winter in Antarctic waters, a period marked by depression, near-starvation, insanity, and scurvy among the crew. Amundsen remained dispassionate, recording everything and using the experience as an education in all aspects of polar exploration techniques, particularly aids, clothing and diet.
Belgica's voyage marked the beginning of what became known as the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration, and was rapidly followed by expeditions from the United Kingdom, Sweden, Germany and France. However, on his return to Norway in 1899, Amundsen turned his attention northwards. Confident in his abilities to lead an expedition, he planned a traversal of the Northwest Passage, the then-uncharted sea route from the Atlantic to the Pacific through the labyrinth of north Canadian islands. Having earned his master's ticket, Amundsen acquired a small sloop, Gjøa, which he adapted for Arctic travel. He secured the patronage of King Oscar of Sweden and Norway, the support of Nansen, and sufficient financial backing to set out in June 1903 with a crew of six. The voyage lasted until 1906 and was wholly successful; the Northwest Passage, which defeated mariners for centuries, was finally conquered. At the age of 34 Amundsen became a national hero, in the first rank of polar explorers.
In November 1906 the American Robert Peary returned from his latest unsuccessful quest for the North Pole, claiming a new Farthest North of 87° 6 a record disputed by later historians. He immediately began raising funds for a further attempt. In July 1907 Dr Frederick Cook, a former shipmate of Amundsen's from Belgica, set off northwards on what was ostensibly a hunting trip but was rumoured to be an attempt on the North Pole. A month later Ernest Shackleton's Nimrod Expedition sailed for Antarctica, while Robert Falcon Scott was preparing a further expedition should Shackleton fail. Amundsen saw no reason to concede priority in the south to the British, and spoke publicly about the prospects of leading an Antarctic expedition although his preferred goal remained the North Pole.
Nansen and Fram
In 1893 Nansen had driven his ship Fram into the Arctic pack ice off the northern Siberian coast and allowed it to drift in the ice towards Greenland, hoping that this route would cross the North Pole. In the event, the drift did not approach the pole, and an attempt by Nansen and Hjalmar Johansen to reach it on foot was likewise unsuccessful. Nevertheless, Nansen's strategy became the basis of Amundsen's own Arctic plans. He reasoned that if he entered the Arctic Ocean via the Bering Strait, well to the east of Nansen's starting point, his ship would achieve a more northerly drift and pass near or through the pole.
Amundsen consulted Nansen, who insisted that Fram was the only vessel fit for such an undertaking. Fram had been designed and built in 1891–93 by Colin Archer, Norway's leading shipbuilder and naval architect, in accordance with Nansen's exacting specifications, as a vessel that would withstand prolonged exposure to the harshest of Arctic conditions. The ship's most distinctive feature was its rounded hull which, according to Nansen, enabled the vessel to "slip like an eel out of the embraces of the ice". For extra strength the hull was sheathed in South American greenheart, the hardest timber available, and crossbeams and braces were fitted throughout its length. The ship's wide beam of 36 feet (11 m) in relation to its overall length of 128 feet (39 m) gave it a markedly stubby appearance. This shape improved its strength in the ice but affected its performance in the open sea, where it moved sluggishly and was inclined to roll most uncomfortably. However, its looks, speed, and sailing qualities were secondary to the provision of a secure and warm shelter for the crew during a voyage that might extend over several years.
Fram had emerged virtually unscathed from Nansen's expedition after nearly three years in the polar ice. On its return it had been refitted, before spending four years under the command of Otto Sverdrup, charting and exploring 100,000 square miles (260,000 km2) of uninhabited territory in the northern Canadian islands. After Sverdrup's voyage ended in 1902 Fram was laid up in Christiania. Although the ship was technically the property of the state, it was tacitly acknowledged that Nansen had first call on it. After his return from the Arctic in 1896 he had aspired to take Fram on an expedition to Antarctica, but by 1907 such hopes had faded. Late in September of that year, Amundsen was summoned to Nansen's home and told he could have the ship
The party made good initial progress, travelling around 15 nautical miles (28 km) each day. The dogs ran so hard that several from the strongest teams were detached from the traces and secured onto the sledges to act as ballast. In their wolf-skin and reindeer-skin clothing the men could cope with the freezing temperatures while they kept moving, but when they stopped they suffered, and barely slept at night. The dogs' paws became frostbitten. On 12 September, with temperatures down to −56 °C (−69 °F), the party halted after only 4 nautical miles (7.4 km) and built igloos for shelter. Amundsen now recognised that they had started the march too early in the season, and decided they should return to Framheim. He would not risk the lives of men and dogs for reasons of stubbornness. Johansen, in his diary, wrote of the foolishness of starting prematurely on such a long and historic journey, and of the dangers of an obsession with beating the English.
On 14 September, on their way back to Framheim, they left most of their equipment at the 80° S depot, to lighten the sledges. Next day, in freezing temperatures with a strong headwind, several dogs froze to death while others, too weak to continue, were placed upon the sledges. On 16 September, 40 nautical miles (74 km) from Framheim, Amundsen ordered his men to push for home as quickly as possible. Not having a sledge of his own, he leapt onto Wisting's, and with Helmer Hanssen and his team raced away, leaving the rest behind. The three arrived back at Framheim after nine hours, followed by Stubberud and Bjaaland two hours later and Hassel shortly after. Johansen and Prestrud were still out on the ice, without food or fuel; Prestrud's dogs had failed, and his heels were badly frostbitten. They reached Framheim after midnight, more than seventeen hours after they had turned for home.
Next day, Amundsen asked Johansen why he and Prestrud had been so late. Johansen answered angrily that he felt they had been abandoned, and castigated the leader for leaving his men behind. Amundsen would later inform Nansen that Johansen had been "violently insubordinate"; as a result, he was excluded from the polar party, which Amundsen now reduced to five. Johansen was placed under the command of Prestrud, much his junior as an explorer, in a party that would explore King Edward VII Land. Stubberud was persuaded to join them, leaving Amundsen, Helmer Hanssen, Bjaaland, Hassel and Wisting as the revised South Pole party.
Tuesday, December 6, 2016
Before the seventeenth century, it was generally thought that light is transmitted instantaneously. This was supported by the observation that there is no noticeable lag in the position of the Earth's shadow on the Moon during a lunar eclipse, which would otherwise be expected if c were finite. Nowadays, we know that light moves just too quickly for the lag to be noticeable. Galileo doubted that light's speed is infinite, and he devised an experiment to measure that speed by manually covering and uncovering lanterns that were spaced a few miles apart. We don't know if he ever attempted the experiment, but again c is too high for such a method to give an even remotely accurate answer.
The first successful measurement of c was made by Olaus Roemer in 1676. He noticed that, depending on the Earth–Sun–Jupiter geometry, there could be a difference of up to 1000 seconds between the predicted times of the eclipses of Jupiter's moons, and the actual times that these eclipses were observed. He correctly surmised that this is due to the varying length of time it takes for light to travel from Jupiter to Earth as the distance between these two planets varies. He obtained a value of c equivalent to 214,000 km/s, which was very approximate because planetary distances were not accurately known at that time.
In 1728 James Bradley made another estimate by observing stellar aberration, being the apparent displacement of stars due to the motion of the Earth around the Sun. He observed a star in Draco and found that its apparent position changed throughout the year. All stellar positions are affected equally in this way. (This distinguishes stellar aberration from parallax, which is greater for nearby stars than it is for distant stars.) To understand aberration, a useful analogy is to imagine the effect of your motion on the angle at which rain falls past you, as you run through it. If you stand still in the rain when there is no wind, it falls vertically on your head. If you run through the rain, it comes at you at an angle, and hits you on the front. Bradley measured this angle for starlight, and knowing the speed of the Earth around the Sun, he found a value for the speed of light of 301,000 km/s.
The first measurement of c that didn't make use of the heavens was by Armand Fizeau in 1849. He used a beam of light reflected from a mirror 8 km away. The beam was aimed at the teeth of a rapidly spinning wheel. The speed of the wheel was increased until its motion was such that the light's two-way passage coincided with a movement of the wheel's circumference by one tooth. This gave a value for c of 315,000 km/s. Leon Foucault improved on this result a year later using rotating mirrors, which gave the much more accurate value of 298,000 km/s. His technique was good enough to confirm that light travels slower in water than in air.
After Maxwell published his theory of electromagnetism, it became possible to calculate the speed of light indirectly by instead measuring the magnetic permeability and electric permittivity of free space. This was first done by Weber and Kohlrausch in 1857. In 1907 Rosa and Dorsey obtained 299,788 km/s in this way. It was the most accurate value at that time.
Many other methods were subsequently employed to further improve the accuracy of the measurement of c, so that it soon became necessary to correct for the refractive index of air since c is light's speed in a vacuum. In 1958 Froome obtained a value of 299,792.5 km/s using a microwave interferometer and a Kerr cell shutter. After 1970 the development of lasers with very high spectral stability and accurate caesium clocks made even better measurements possible. Up until then, the changing definition of the metre had always stayed ahead of the accuracy in measurements of the speed of light. But by 1970 the point had been reached where the speed of light was known to within an error of plus or minus 1 m/s. It became more practical to fix the value of c in the definition of the metre and use atomic clocks and lasers to measure accurate distances instead. Nowadays, the speed of light in vacuum is defined to have an exact fixed value when given in standard units. Since 1983 the metre has been defined by international agreement as the distance travelled by light in vacuum during a time interval of 1/299,792,458 of a second. This makes the speed of light exactly 299,792.458 km/s. (Also, because the inch is now defined as 2.54 centimetres, the speed of light also has an exact value in imperial units.) This definition only makes sense because the speed of light in vacuum is measured to have the same value by all observers; a fact which is subject to experimental verification (see relativity FAQ article Is the speed of light constant?). Experiments are still needed to measure the speed of light in media such as air and water.
This table gives some of the best measurements according to Froome and Essen:
|1676||Olaus Roemer||Jupiter's satellites||214,000|
|1726||James Bradley||Stellar Aberration||301,000|
|1849||Armand Fizeau||Toothed Wheel||315,000|
|1862||Leon Foucault||Rotating Mirror||298,000||+-500|
|1879||Albert Michelson||Rotating Mirror||299,910||+-50|
|1907||Rosa, Dorsay||Electromagnetic constants||299,788||+-30|
|1926||Albert Michelson||Rotating Mirror||299,796||+-4|
|1947||Essen, Gorden-Smith||Cavity Resonator||299,792||+-3|
|1958||K. D. Froome||Radio Interferometer||299,792.5||+-0.1|
|1973||Evanson et al||Lasers||299,792.4574||+-0.001|
Sources of information:Twentieth Century Physics, Vol 2, IOP/AIP press.
Hutchinson Science Library.
The Velocity of Light and Radio Waves, Froome and Essen.
Monday, December 5, 2016
Jayalalithaa Jayaraman, was an Indian politician who served five terms as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, from 1991 to 1996, in 2001, from 2002 to 2006, from 2011 to 2014, and finally from 2015 to 2016. Wikipedia
Growing up, it was clear that Jayalalithaa never experienced the same 'normal' childhood as her friends. Vaasanthi provides one example of this in a chat between two friends.
Jayalalithaa often told Srimathi that she did not like the film-world atmosphere, and that the men there were crude and stared at her lustfully. ‘Jaya would say, ‘‘When I go home these rascals will be sitting there. I get so annoyed seeing them – all kinds of men, tall, short, dark, fair, thin and fat and oily! Mother asks me to sit with them and talk. I hate it.”’ She said this with a vehemence that Srimathi still remembers. It was obvious that Jayalalithaa felt she was being forced into doing things that went against her nature. Perhaps she also yearned for a normal family life like her other classmates had.
The book follows a neat chronological order of events and does not stray from its course, which, at times makes for a boring read. Perhaps, as someone who has grown up in Chennai, keenly following the events surrounding Jayalalithaa's life (or hearing and reading extensively about it) the book doesn't come as a surprise — instead it's clinical and passive, stopping short when certain events in Jaya's life could've benefitted (the reader) with some much needed poetic elaboration. Perhaps, for people to the north of the Vindhyas, who aren't familiar with politics in the south, this book is a good start. To compare it with Iruvar, the Mani Ratnam film loosely based on the relationship between MGR-Jayalalithaa-Karunanidhi would be injustice, for a movie is treated vastly different from a book and most importantly, Iruvar was really fiction. And we have to remember that this isn't an authorised biogaphy — meaning access to Jayalalithaa, the main source, is missing, as is the access to the key people in her life: her mother and her brother, Sasikala, Shobhan Babu.
Vaasanthi does manage to talk to RM Veerappan, a close personal aide of MGR, who "projected Jayalalithaa as a temptress" and who "was bent on breaking up the relationship at any cost, saying that he needed to protect MGR from an evil called Jayalalithaa", and to the late Solai, who was Jayalalithaa's speech writer when she was the AIADMK’s propaganda secretary. Although the author's sympathy lies with the protagonist — this is best seen when she writes on how RM Veerappan's views on Jayalalithaa influencing MGR seemed "far-fetched", she does dip into her journalistic sensibilities — after the special court indicted her in the hotel case and AIADMK cadre set fire to a bus full of girls of which three were consumed by the flames, she writes that "Jayalalithaa reacted like a bad loser".
Born into a Srirangam-based Tamil Brahmin family in Bangalore, Jayalalithaa ruled the roost in Tamil cinema since her debut with Vennira Aadai (1965) till 1978. She had an image makeover once she met her hero, MGR, which also gave rise to the many ups and downs in her life. When Jayalalithaa first started acting, Vaasanthi describes her as a braveheart, a "remarkably fearless" woman, who if she has made her up mind would continue with it channeling her steely determination. In the chapter 'A Star is Born', she writes:
She belonged to the Mandiam Iyengar community that hailed from Karnataka. But in an article that appeared in a magazine she was quoted as saying, “I am a Tamilian. My mother belongs to Srirangam.” That angered the Kannadigas in Karnataka who believed her to be a Kannadiga. Because of the threats she received she cancelled her scheduled dance programme at the Dasara arts festival in Mysore. Two months later, during the shooting of director Panthulu’s film at the Chamundi studios in Mysore, the organizer of the Dasara arts festival heard she was there, and decided to confront her. Th e studio manager got news that about a hundred protesters were marching towards the studio to beat up Jayalalithaa. So he ordered the gates to be locked. But the hooligans jumped over the gates and entered with lathis in their hands shouting in Kannada: “Where is the bitch?” They barged in, knocking down the guards and journalists standing at the door. Panthulu spoke to them in Kannada and pleaded with them to go away. But they demanded that Jayalalithaa should say sorry for having said that she was not a Kannadiga. Jayalalithaa was neither ruffled nor afraid. She looked straight at them and said in chaste Kannada, “I have not said anything wrong. Why should I apologise? I am a Tamilian and not a Kannadiga!”
From an independent being, Jayalalithaa turned into a puppet in the hands of MGR — he took control over her activities, her finances; in short, he wanted her to be with him till he didn't. Which happened during the time he started the AIADMK on 18 October, 1972, rendering him busy with politics. In the midst of a temporary release from MGR, Vaasanthi writes about how Jayalalithaa got involved with Telugu actor Sobhan Babu, even going as far as arranging a wedding ceremony with him, which, according to some friends quoted in the book, did happen.
The meat of the book focuses on Amma's political career — for those in the dark, she joined the party on 4 June, 1982, gave her maiden speech in Cuddalore ("an impressive, fiery oration"), how she reunited with an estranged MGR, and in the end became his political heir, ousting Janaki Ramachandran, MGR's wife, in the process. As Mukul Kesavan writes in this arresting piece, for The Telegraph,
In republican India, parties founded by individuals — M.G. Ramachandran, N.T. Rama Rao, Kanshi Ram, Mamata Banerjee — never manage to institutionalize succession. The successor is either personally anointed by the leader — Kanshi Ram’s naming of Mayavati in 2001 is a case in point — or the leader’s mantle is claimed through a war of succession. Jayalalithaa is an example of the latter route: she emerged as MGR’s undisputed successor only after fighting and winning a succession battle with his widow. This contest didn’t occur via the internal mechanisms of the party — there were none — but through fission and faction
All her life, Jayalalithaa has been a fighter and this book is proof of that. Whether she was constantly fighting a hate campaign brewing against her in the party or when it seemed that MGR's trust in her was fading or after MGR's untimely death, she has never given up. The one other theme that is a constant in the book is that of loneliness — it goes without saying that people at the top are lonely, and a woman who tries to reach there is even more so. In that way, the story of Jayalalithaa is the story of an everywoman: that of constant struggle, of trying to find approval an acceptance, of trying to make cutthroat decisions without seeming 'monstrous'. It's a book many women will identify with; after all women voters did play a decisive role in voting her back to power in Tamil Nadu.
Vaasanthi writes an objective account of Jayalalithaa's life, no doubt — there's no larger-than-life symbolism of the woman who turned from a glamourous actress to a de-glamourised caretaker of the state (her moniker 'Amma' translates to mother). But how she opted for politics and transformed into a leader, who then became a brand synonymous with populism, needs more sketching in the book.
The book could also do with some airtight editing: at certain incidents Vaasanthi offers us the Tamil words employed by the people (in the book), but mostly she goes with the English translation of it. Instead, if Vaasanthi could've been persuaded to employ the original Tamil words and phrases, coupled with a small glossary at the back, it would've made for some poignant reading. One more aspect that could've been fleshed upon is the dynamic between Karunanidhi and her, one that has constantly defined politics in TN till now. Amma: Jayalalithaa’s Journey from Movie Star to Political Queen could give rise to detailed case studies of the chief minister, her leadership and how the state transformed under her, but till then this book will just have to do.
Amma: Jayalalithaa’s Journey from Movie Star to Political Queen is published by Juggernaut
Tuesday, November 29, 2016
November 23, 1937
He was the first to prove that plants too have feelings. He invented wireless telegraphy a year before Marconi patented his invention.
Jagdish Chandra Bose was an eminent Indian scientist. He was the first to prove that plants and metals too have feelings.
Jagdish Chandra Bose was born on November 30, 1858 in Mymensingh (now in Bangladesh). His father Bhagabanchandra Bose was a Deputy Magistrate. Jagadish Chandra Bose had his early education in village school in Bengal medium. In 1869, Jagadish Chandra Bose was sent to Calcutta to learn English and was educated at St.Xavier's School and College. He was a brilliant student. He passed the B.A. in physical sciences in 1879.
In 1880, Jagdishchandra Bose went to England. He studied medicine at London University, England, for a year but gave it up because of his own ill health. Within a year he moved to Cambridge to take up a scholarship to study Natural Science at Christ's College Cambridge. In 1885, he returned from abroad with a B.Sc. degree and Natural Science Tripos (a special course of study at Cambridge).
After his return Jagadish Chandra Bose, was offered lectureship at Presidency College, Calcutta on a salary half that of his English colleagues. He accepted the job but refused to draw his salary in protest. After three years the college ultimately conceded his demand and Jagdish Chandra Bose was paid full salary from the date he joined the college. As a teacher Jagdish Chandra Bose was very popular and engaged the interest of his students by making extensive use of scientific demonstrations. Many of his students at the Presidency College were destined to become famous in their own right. These included Satyendra Nath Bose and Meghnad Saha. In 1894, Jagadish Chandra Bose decided to devote himself to pure research. He converted a small enclosure adjoining a bathroom in the Presidency College into a laboratory. He carried out experiments involving refraction, diffraction and polarization. It would not be wrong to call him as the inventor of wireless telegraphy. In 1895, a year before Guglielmo Marconi patented this invention, he had demonstrated its functioning in public.
Jagdish Chandra Bose later switched from physics to the study of metals and then plants. He fabricated a highly sensitive "coherer", the device that detects radio waves. He found that the sensitivity of the coherer decreased when it was used continuously for a long period and it regained its sensitivity when he gave the device some rest. He thus concluded that metals have feelings and memory.
Jagdish Chandra Bose showed experimentally plants too have life. He invented an instrument to record the pulse of plants and connected it to a plant. The plant, with its roots, was carefully picked up and dipped up to its stem in a vessel containing bromide, a poison. The plant's pulse beat, which the instrument recorded as a steady to-and-fro movement like the pendulum of a clock, began to grow unsteady. Soon, the spot vibrated violently and then came to a sudden stop. The plant had died because of poison.
Although Jagdish Chandra Bose did invaluable work in Science, his work was recognized in the country only when the Western world recognized its importance. He founded the Bose Institute at Calcutta, devoted mainly to the study of plants. Today, the Institute carries research on other fields too.
Jagdish Chandra Bose died on November 23, 1937.
Monday, November 28, 2016
Louisa May Alcott was an American author who wrote the classic novel 'Little Women,' as well as various works under pseudonyms.
“Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.”
—Louisa May Alcott
Louisa May Alcott was born on November 29, 1832, in Germantown, Pennsylvania. Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson were family friends. Alcott wrote under various pseudonyms and only started using her own name when she was ready to commit to writing. Her novel Little Women gave Louisa May Alcott financial independence and a lifetime writing career. She died in 1888.
Famed novelist Louisa May Alcott was born on November 29, 1832, in Germantown, Pennsylvania. Alcott was a best-selling novelist of the late 1800s, and many of her works, most notably Little Women, remain popular today.
Alcott was taught by her father, Amos Bronson Alcott, until 1848, and studied informally with family friends such as Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Theodore Parker. Residing in Boston and Concord, Massachusetts, Alcott worked as a domestic servant and teacher, among other positions, to help support her family from 1850 to 1862. During the Civil War, she went to Washington, D.C. to work as a nurse.
Unknown to most people, Louisa May Alcott had been publishing poems, short stories, thrillers, and juvenile tales since 1851, under the pen name Flora Fairfield. In 1862, she also adopted the pen name A.M. Barnard, and some of her melodramas were produced on Boston stages. But it was her account of her Civil War experiences,
Hospital Sketches (1863), that confirmed Alcott's desire to be a serious writer. She began to publish stories under her real name in Atlantic Monthly and Lady's Companion, and took a brief trip to Europe in 1865 before becoming editor of a girls' magazine, Merry's Museum.
The great success of Little Women (1869–70) gave Alcott financial independence and created a demand for more books. Over the final years of her life, she turned out a steady stream of novels and short stories, mostly for young people and drawn directly from her family life. Her other books include Little Men (1871), Eight Cousins (1875) and Jo's Boys (1886). Alcott also tried her hand at adult novels, such as Work (1873) and A Modern Mephistopheles (1877), but these tales were not as popular as her other writings.