February 2014

Bee Science: Huge swaths of the agricultural industry depend on the humble honeybee. According to the USDA, "about one mouthful in three in our diet directly or indirectly benefits from honey bee pollination." Biologists at Stanford are now looking into how the tiny ecosystems in the nectar of flowers affect the bees' dining preferences. Their work suggests bees may be picky pollinators, and their fussiness could confound complications from colony collapse disorder. Read more ....

Mono Lake Buried deep in the mud along the banks of a remote salt lake near Yosemite National Park are colonies of bacteria with an unusual property: they breathe a toxic metal to survive. Researchers from the University of Georgia discovered the bacteria on a recent field expedition to Mono Lake in California, and their experiments with this unusual organism show that it may one day become a useful tool for industry and environmental protection. Read more ....

Cross-section of hippocampus Suppose you heard the sound of skidding tires, followed by a car crash. The next time you heard such a skid, you might cringe in fear, expecting a crash to follow - suggesting that somehow, your brain had linked those two memories so that a fairly innocuous sound provokes dread. Read more .....

NASA's Opportunity rover New findings from rock samples collected and examined by NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity have confirmed an ancient wet environment that was milder and older than the acidic and oxidizing conditions told by rocks the rover examined previously. Read more ....

Kornberg In a finding that directly contradicts the standard biological model of animal cell communication, UCSF scientists have discovered that typical cells in animals have the ability to transmit and receive biological signals by making physical contact with each other, even at long distance. Read more ....


One night from my Arabian Nights thus ended in this fashion but 1000 more nights were yet to be encountered.

There was a severe conflict between my days and nights after that. I went to work during the day-time with a tired body, and cursed the arrival of nightfall. But, when night fell, it seemed to me that my day-time existence was a huge lie and ludicrous.

When evening came it sort of trapped me in a net - I would be transformed into a person from an unwritten history hundreds of years ago. At such times, the Western attire did not appeal to me - I, then, wore a red-coloured velvet fez cap, loose pajamas and a long silk "choga"; I carried a colourful handkerchief dabbed with perfume, and, throwing away my cigarette, sat on a high cushion-topped seat as if waiting for an endearing meeting.

As night progressed, such extraordinary things happened that I cannot describe them in words. It was as if a sudden breeze on a spring day was causing some torn pages of a wonderful story to float around in the rooms of this large palace. I could follow them to some distance but then they would be lost. I followed those pages as they floated from room to room the entire night.

In the vortex of this dream, and amidst the scent of henna and the melodious tunes of the sitar, I usually caught a fleeting glimpse of one particular fair damsel. It was she who donned the saffron-colored pajama and laced slippers. She wore a red cap that was fringed with golden frills.

She had driven me mad. It was for her that I have spent the nights wandering from room to room. There have been many evenings when I spent my time before a large mirror, with a lamp on either side, carefully attiring myself in the style of a "shahzada (prince)" when I would see her reflection in the mirror for a brief moment.

Turning her neck, looking at me through her large dark pain-filled eyes, and speaking in an unclear language, she would melt away in the mirror itself. A sudden gust of breeze, laden with all the fragrance from the hills, would blow away the lamps and I would abandon my preening midway and lie down on the bed. In the breeze, along with the fragrance from the Arali Hills, would float many affectionate moments, many kisses and tender touches. I could hear her gentle murmur and feel her sweet breath. Gradually an enchantress serpent would bind me in her spell, and heaving deep sighs I would be lulled into a profound slumber.

One evening I decided to go out on horseback - someone tried to dissuade me, I don't know who - but I did not listen. I was about to wear my hat and "kurta" when a whirlwind, carrying sand from the Shusta River and dry leaves from the Arali Hills, blew away the "kurta" and hat, and they rose higher and higher. A sweet laughter accompanied them, getting louder and louder, and melted away into the sun.


Some useful links for
your career:

  • Union Public Service Commission - www.upsc.gov.in
  • IIT-Kharagpur - www.iitkgp.ac.in
  • Indian Statistical Institute - www.isical.ac.in
  • Indian Institute of Technology Madras - www.iitm.ac.in
  • Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad - www.iimahd.ernet.in
  • Indian Institute of Mass Commission - www.iimc.nic.in
  • IIT Bombay - www.iitb.ac.in
  • Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad - www.ismdhanbad.ac.in
  • Birla Institute of Technology, Ranchi - www.bitmesra.ac.in
  • 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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