March 2014



Offshore wind mills Science: For the past 24 years, Mark Z. Jacobson, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford, has been developing a complex computer model to study air pollution, energy, weather and climate. In light of these recent model studies and in the aftermath of hurricanes Sandy and Katrina, he wondered What would happen if a hurricane encountered a large array of offshore wind turbines? Would the energy extraction due to the storm spinning the turbines' blades slow the winds and diminish the hurricane, or would the hurricane destroy the turbines? Read more ....

Wobbly planet Imagine living on a planet with seasons so erratic you would hardly know whether to wear Bermuda shorts or a heavy overcoat. That is the situation on a weird, wobbly world found by NASA's planet-hunting Kepler space telescope. Read more ....

Exoplanets NASA's Kepler mission has announced the discovery of 715 new planets. These newly-verified worlds orbit 305 stars, revealing multiple-planet systems much like our own solar system. Read more .....

Clouds University of Georgia marine scientists are uncovering the mechanisms that regulate the natural production of an anti-greenhouse gas. A National Science Foundation grant will allow the UGA-led research group to further document how genes in ocean microbes transform sulfur into clouds in the Earth's atmosphere. Read more ....

Tubing segment The heroes and villains in animated films tend to be on opposite ends of the moral spectrum. But they're often similar in their hair, which is usually extremely rigid or - if it moves at all - is straight and swings to and fro. It's rare to see an animated character with bouncy, curly hair, since computer animators don't have a simple mathematical means for describing it. Researchers have provided the first detailed model for the 3-D shape of a strand of curly hair. Read more ....




4

I made Gaya sit in my car, and we made for a far-off ground. I had a solemn expression on my face, but Gaya was still considering the whole exercise as a joke. Yet, he looked neither excited nor joyous - perhaps, he was contemplating the wide social gulf between the two of us.

I asked him, "Did you ever think of me, Gaya? Be honest."

Hanging his head in shame he replied, "How could I think of you, sir? What's my worth? It was my good fortune to have had played with you as a child, else, where do I stand!"

I felt somewhat sad at the reply. "But I have always remembered you ..... Your stick with which you had hit me. Do you recall?"

Gaya was visibly upset at being reminded of the incident. "That was childishness, sir. Don't remind me of it."

"Well! That has been the most wonderful memory of my childhood days. The joy that I experience on recalling that incident is so great that no number of felicitations or wealth that I receive today can exceed it. It is a sweet memory that gladdens my mind.

We had, by then, traveled three to four miles away from the village. It was a desolate place and very quiet. On the west lay a pool from where we used to gather lotus flowers during our childhood days. The sky was turning crimson as afternoon gave way to evening. I climbed a tree and cut off a branch. The tipper and the cat were instantly shaped.

The game started. I placed the billet across a small hole and flicked it with the tipper. The billet shot past Gaya. He stretched his hand as though he was angling for a fish. The billet flew over his head and dropped some distance behind. This was the same Gaya who as a boy seemed to have had a mesmerising effect on billets - the billets, however they were shaped and whatever their size, as if on their own accord would fly to his hands. The boy, then, had a magnetic effect on his hands which attracted the billets to them. But, today, the billets did not display the same love for him.

I took full advantage of the situation, and began striking the billet merrily while Gaya chased. And I cheated. On many occasions, I was clearly out, and should have allowed Gaya a turn at striking the billet. But I cheated and continued. Gaya observed my deceit but did not utter a single word of protest; he acted as though he had forgotten all the rules of the game.

After continuing like this for half-an-hour, Gaya's throw found its mark; the billet struck the tipper, and I was, without an iota of doubt, out. But I claimed the billet had not hit the tipper, it had missed. Gaya did not protest.

"Yes, quite likely the billet had not struck the stick," he agreed.

"Would I cheat if the billet had struck the tipper?"

"No brother, how can you cheat?"

In my boyhood days if I had cheated in this manner, Gaya would have taught me a good lesson. But today I could cheat him so easily. He is an ass! He has forgotten all rules of the game.

The billet suddenly struck the tipper making a sound like the firing of a revolver. Now I could not have offered any excuse. There was no way I could have claimed it was otherwise. But let me try to falsify the truth. What's the big deal? If Gaya agrees, nothing like it; else I will have to chase the billet for some time. I will try to wriggle out of my turn at chasing by saying that we should abandon the game because it was getting dark.

Gaya cried out in joy, "The billet has struck the tipper. It made such a loud sound."

I pretended not to have seen the billet hit the tipper. "Did you see? I never noticed."

"It made a loud sound, sir."

"The billet must have struck the brick here."

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  • Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad - www.ismdhanbad.ac.in
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  • Central Institute of Fisheries Nautical and Engineering Training - www.cifnet.nic.in
  • Indian Institute of Information Technology, Allahabad (Deemed University) - www.iiita.ac.in
  • Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Kochi - www.cmfri.com
  • Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai - www.tiss.edu

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